Conquering Cosplay: Umbrella Corp. Denver / Tactical Cosplay Gear

This article is dedicated to the coolest of the cool things you can collect. This month isn’t really about something you can collect but of someone you can become. I had the privilege  to speak with Robert Schumann, the founder and event coordinator, of a very special group of folks.

There’s people who wear costumes, there’s people who cosplay and then there’s the Umbrella Corp of Denver group. A couple times a year around Denver you will see a troupe  all dressed in black and tactical gear. All their gear goes together and they are all wearing the same Umbrella Corp insignia. Their presence is menacing but their attitude is awesome! They are some of the most friendly people you will meet at Denver Comic Con or the Denver Zombie crawl.

They were founded in 2011. They do charity events and make any happening into a seriously awesome event. A couple of events they do throughout the year are…

To invite the Umbrella Corp Denver car or team to your event please contact Robert Schuman via rschuman06@yahoo.com

Item:

Umbrella Corp tactical outfit

What it is:

One of the coolest cosplay outfits out there and if you are lucky enough and put in the effort, you might become part of the group!

How Much it Costs:

Costs vary depending on what gear you get but here’s an example of how much and where you can purchase such an outfit. (Read at the end of this article for Umbrella Corps of Denver Official list of gear). All prices are close estimates based on internet sites:

511 Black tactical pants: $50

Tactical knee pads $20

Tactical boots $75-130

Airsoft replica AR-15 $60-150

Tactical gloves with knuckle protection $40-60

Tactical elbow pads $20

511 tactical shirt $25

Tactical vest with MOLLE/loop platform $100-180

Sling for rifle: $20

Painters mask: $31

Tactical helmet: Replica $30/Real deal – $400-900

Insignia patches:$10

0-650-511-tactical-pants-black~1 7d6201ccc9d58b9b75db51e885d800b5 0-650-blackhawk-advanced-tactical-knee-pad-v2-black 20070822022518!Bi-3681 837582 41ShqUyrugL._SY300_

Is It Worth It?:

You can put together a similar outfit on a budget. Shop at Goodwill or Ross and you will find many bargains for this stuff:

Black shirt, long sleeve: $5

Black pants: $5

Find the best looking toy military style rifle at Target or goodwill(Might need some black paint): $10

Homemade insignia: Free

Cool sunglasses.: $5

Black surgical mask or bandana: $5-15

Goodwill black shoes or boots: $20

Prices are approximate but pretty close based on my own experience shopping at Goodwill. I shop at Goodwill a lot. 🙂

I can tell being in such an outfit would make you feel like a rockstar. So yeah it’s worth it.

Bottom Line:

What I though was really cool was how they are all treated like celebrities. Dozens of people coming up to get pictures. Every once and a while it’s exciting to feel important and like a celeb.

Info about the group:

https://www.facebook.com/umbrellacorp.denver

Gear and patches used by our members can be found on the links below.

Patches: http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html_sacat=0&_nkw=Umbrella+Corporation+Patches

Centurion riot gloves:http://www.copsplus.com/prodnum4911.php

Centurion Riot Vest: http://www.opticsplanet.com/hatch-centurion-upper-body-shoulder-protection-cpx2500.html

Weapons: http://www.400fps.com/

We use S10 gas masks or North Safety 7700 Series Half-Face Mask Respirator with North+ P100 Filter Cartridge

All other gear and equipment can either be found on the websites listed above, online, or at your local Army Surplus stores.

Backstreet Boys and N’SYNC to Team Up for Zombie Western!

Oh how the mighty have fallen, and then hit rock bottom. Back in the late 90’s, when boy bands ruled the Earth, I don’t think any of us could have predicted that the Backstreet Boys and N’SYNC would ever team up. They were arch enemies! But time makes fools of us all, and members of the two bands will be teaming up for a new Asylum movie calledDead 7, written by none other than Nick Carter (he was the youngest in BSB, and “the cute one”).

The producer of Sharknado is the person we can all blame/thank for the upcoming Dead 7. The movie will be a futuristic western, with zombies! It will star Carter as the hero of the day, as well as his fellow Backstreet Boys A.J. McLean and Howie Dorough and N’SYNC-er Joey Fatone. Because what won’t Joey Fatone do, amiright?

Carter is intending to reach out to The New Kids on the Block in hopes of getting Jordan Knight to sign on and there is no word on whether or not any other members of N’SYNC will accept his invitation.

So…that’s a thing we can look forward to.

Source: Rolling Stone

 

Parallels in Fandom: Partially Deceased Syndrome VS Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; What “In The Flesh” Has to Teach Us About the PTSD Stigma.

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Kieren Walker (Luke Newberry) Photo courtesy of the BBC

“I am a Partially Deceased Syndrome Sufferer and what I did in my untreated state was not my fault.” – Kieren Walker

In the post-apocalyptic world of the small (and recently canceled) BBC show In the Flesh, zombies have been renamed “Partially Deceased Syndrome Sufferers.” Through medication they have returned to their original state, memories intact. On paper, they have their old life back, placed back into their family homes, able to live the way they did before they rose from the grave. But in reality, things aren’t quite that simple. Living citizens are still angry over the deaths PDS sufferers caused in their untreated state, and in small towns like Roarton, being partially deceased could get you a bullet in the brain. Neighbors are terrified of PDS sufferers’ medication wearing off and that if it does, they’ll “go rabid” and return to being dangerous zombies. Most citizens want them out of their town and use the derogatory slur “rotters.” PDS sufferers are forced to wear makeup and eye contacts to hide the fact that they aren’t living anymore and the stigma is down right life threatening.

While In the Flesh is not the most popular show, characters like Kieren and Jem have a lot to teach us about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the stigma surrounding it. In just the first three minutes of the first episode, Kieren is shown having vivid, disturbing flash backs of the people he killed when he was in his untreated state. These flash backs continue throughout the show and Kieren becomes depressed over his inability to control them and the government’s lack of care.

Those who suffer from PTSD frequently have vivid flashbacks and nightmares of the trauma they’ve endured. Like Kieren, they can’t let go of the events that happened to them. PTSD sufferers often grapple with suicidal ideation, similar to how Kieren feels during the show. His sister points out that he “can’t kill himself twice” alluding to the way Kieren died in the first place. Feeling guilty for his actions, Kieren grapples similarly to those with PTSD.

Jem, Kieren’s younger sister, is a veteran who fought untreated PDS sufferers in the Human Volunteer Force (HVF) during the zombie outbreak or “the rising” as it’s referred to on the show. As the show continues, we find out that Jem is suffering from flashbacks, nightmares, and extreme feelings of guilt and anxiety. She shows all the symptoms of PTSD and with no tools to help her transition into civil society again, her anxiety just keeps getting worse. It doesn’t help that one of the people tied up in her guilt happens to be her brother, a PDS sufferer she couldn’t bring herself to kill during the rising.

Jem Walker (Harriet Cains) Photo courtesy of the BBC

Studies show that 1 out of every 9 women will develop PTSD in their lifetime. This makes them twice as likely as men. While Jem suffers because of her time in the HVF, this number is likely higher because 1 out of 6 women in the US will experience an attempted or completed rape at some point during their life. The stigma around PTSD is focused on veterans, but many people forget that rape victims make up a large portion of PTSD sufferers.

One fear that the living have about PDS sufferers is that if their medication wears off, they will return to their untreated state and become violent. The stigma around PTSD sufferers is very much the same. Especially with veterans, many people believe that PTSD sufferers are violent and will lash out at any moment. With the April shooting at the Fort Hood military base in Texas, this stigma has only deepened. Suspected of having PTSD, Ivan Lopez injured 16 and killed 3 before killing himself. While Lopez was being evaluated for PTSD,  there was never a diagnosis. Despite there being no concrete evidence of Lopez having PTSD, many people believe he did and have therefore attached the diagnosis to violence.

Ivan Lopez, Photo courtesy of Fox News Latino

However, the opposite is true. PTSD sufferers are no more potential to violence than anyone else. Blogger and PTSD sufferer C.J. Grisham writes, “I get extremely nervous in crowded situations and become hypersensitive to my surroundings. Before entering any building, I make a quick survey of all people around me and seek out any and all exits. I sit with my back to a wall so I have a good view of people approaching me. I get startled and anxious at unexpected and loud noises. What I don’t get is violent. What I don’t do is threaten people.”

Clinical Psychologist and Military Researcher, Herrera-Yee says of PTSD sufferers that “you’re more likely to see it as someone who is withdrawn, anxious and numb, who’s lost interest in life. Some veterans explain it to me this way: ‘The last thing you want is to go out and lash out.’” Despite this, the stigma of violence still remains, much like the stigma surrounding PDS sufferers. Kieran is small, and soft-spoken. He spends much of his time inside, avoiding people because he is ashamed of what he did. He takes his medication daily and is probably the least likely to lash out or go rabid. In fact, when *SPOILER* forced to go rabid by being subjected to the pill “Blue Oblivion,” he attempts to tie himself to a grave to keep himself from hurting anyone. It isn’t the PDS sufferers who are most likely to lash out, but the living surrounding them who treat them like second class citizens and want them out of their town by any means necessary.

While having PTSD isn’t quite as obvious to the untrained eye as the living dead, the stigma is still very similar. No one is threatening to gun down anyone who has PTSD, but the same fear is still very much there. Similar to Kieren having to hide his condition with makeup and eye contacts, many PTSD sufferers feel they cannot talk about their disability for fear of judgement and many feel ashamed for having it in the first place.

PTSD is a serious issue with a terrible stigma surrounding it. People who don’t understand PTSD (or don’t care to) can be afraid of people who have it. It’s important to educate the public about this disease because with knowledge comes acceptance. By using In the Flesh as a teaching tool, we may be able to get rid of the misconceptions surrounding PTSD.Though the show has been canceled, its messages are still important. Like Kieren, many PTSD sufferers are very much harmless and deserve our love and respect. 

For more information on PTSD and its treatment, please visit http://www.ptsd.va.gov/ for veteran focussed PTSD and http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/index.shtml for general information about the disorder.

Cover photo and video courtesy of the BBC.

Monthly Movie Preview: August 2014

July has come and gone in the blink of an eye. August promises to close out the summer in style, with a few notable blockbusters and some good independent films sprinkled in. Check out what we have to say about August’s films:

August 1 – Guardians of the Galaxy

Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, Glenn Close, Benicio del Toro

I’m hooked on a feeling… that this might be the greatest Marvel movie ever made. Although the Guardians have been around in comic books for decades, and the team being used for the film having existed since 2008, the number of people who can name any of the individual team members is far surpassed by the volume of fans who have no idea what is going on – and that will work to the film’s benefit. Nobody has any expectations of this rag-tag group, whose diversity is its strongest card. A talented set of actors, endless humor and explosive action will round out the intergalactic adventure that, at worst is a thrilling movie to see with the family, and at best could be this generation’s Star Wars. One thing is certain – we will be at the theaters on Friday to find out. – Sherif

August 1 – Get on Up

Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Nelsan Ellis (True Blood), Dan Aykroyd, Viola Davis, Craig Robinson, Jill Scott, Octavia Spencer

HEEEYYY!!! Now one more time, say that with your best James Brown impression. Couldn’t do it? That’s okay, because Chadwick Boseman sure can when he plays James Brown in the upcoming biopic titled Get on Up. If you are a fan of James Brown, soul, funk, music, and history, this movie is for you. Be prepared to get on up and enjoy this movie directed by Tate Taylor (The Help). However, get on up silently because, well, you are still in a movie theater. I honestly believe this movie is going to be great and it’ll make you feel so many emotions including excitement, happiness, sadness, and sorrow. Despite this movie being about the music of the godfather of soul, it is also about his family and his life, which has not been struggle-free. Basically, I think this movie is going to be fantastic; however, if James Brown and his music is not your thing, it is possibly the drama and the history will be enough to hold your interest. So one more time, get on up, and give it your best HEEEYYY!!! – Evan

 

August 5 – Dragonball Z: Battle of the Gods

Starring: Original voice cast

I’ve been trying to get into DBZ since I recently signed up for Crunchyroll, but there are just so many other great animes out that I haven’t gotten a chance to get to really dive into the series. What really has me interested is the fact that a year after its release, Funimation has taken it upon themselves to get the American theatrical release rights and is showing this in select theaters for a few nights. Something happened with a Tekken animated movie a few years back and it was definitely worth the trip. I don’t personally care about this movie and I figure that any major fan would have already seen the dubbed version, and while I don’t really care for some of the business practices of Funimation, this gives me hope for the future. Anything that gets a big enough following could be a potential candidate for the big screen. There are plenty of animes I would pay to see so if this is your type of thing, make sure to get out there and support it as it will give companies a reason to continue doing this in the future. – Robert

 

August 8 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Starring: Johnny Knoxville (voice only), Tony Shalhoub (voice only), Megan Fox, William Fichtner, Will Arnett, Whoopi Goldberg

August is here, and whether or not fans burn down the House that Bay built depends on this film. Long-time fans are either reserved or outraged, whether it be the way the Turtles look, the fact that Megan Fox is playing April O’Neil, or if it’s just based off the fact that Michael Bay is the director. All of these points are quite valid, but I can’t help but want to take a chance on this new take on the Heroes in a Half-Shell. We all have our own impression on what we consider the Turtles to be, and I think that any major motion picture attention to the franchise is a win in my books. There’s simply no way this TMNT incarnation will be as amazing as the originals, or even the new Nickelodeon television series, but as long as Bay can capture the magic of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that made it such an instant classic 30 years ago, it may continue to be at the forefront of pop culture for all ages. – Sherif

August 8 – What If

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, Adam Driver

Originally titled The F Word for its initial 2013 debut, What If is the tale of Harry Potter trying to avoid being put in the friend-zone with a decidedly hot blonde. It sounds like a cliché concept, but What If has already garnered a lot of critical acclaim, earning Best Adapted Screenplay at the Canadian Screen Awards. Daniel Radcliffe is finally believable as an adult actor, and his best friend in the movie is played by Adam Driver – who is the one sole reason that HBO’s Girls is a watchable show for me. This movie won’t break any new ground, but for any guys looking to get over the Friend Zone hump, this would be the movie to take her to (unless she likes TMNT, in which case you should just marry her). – Sherif

August 8 – Step Up: All In

Starring: Ryan Guzman, Briana Evigan, Adam Sevani, Stephen Boss, and Cyrus Spencer

Confession time:  I have seen every single episode of So You Think You Can Dance.  Every. Single. One.  I haven’t seen any of the Step Up movies, but I am always happy for the contestants of SYTYCD when they make it to gigs beyond the show.  For Stephen Boss aka tWitch and Cyrus Spencer aka Glitch, this is exactly the case.  And really, is anyone going to see these movies for the plot?  No, its a dance movie.  But the dancing should be worth seeing this film, even if it is just for the SYTYCD alum.  – Adrian

August 15 – Frank

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Domhnall Gleeson (AKA Bill Weasley), Scoot McNairy

I have absolutely no idea what to make of this movie. It looks like Deadmau5 has a crack-head brother or something and we are getting to watch the story of his tomfoolery. The story of a guy who wears a fake head and never ever takes it off seems like it could be humorous but I don’t know if this is my kind of comedy. After watching the trailer my interest is definitely piqued but there are too many other things I would rather see so I would say that I will wait to rent this at Redbox or something, but truth be told I will probably forget about this movie once I’m done writing this. – Robert

 

August 15 – Life After Beth

Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Dane DeHaan, Anna Kendrick, John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon

As much as I love these actors and zombies, I am rather sick of people being in love with monsters. Although the idea may be over done in this we see upcoming actor Dane DeHaan (Amazing Spider-Man 2) as Zach, a young man who we see struggling emotionally due to the loss of his girlfriend. This quickly changes as Zach sees Beth (Aubrey Plaza), his lost girlfriend and finds she has been resurrected somehow, and although she initially shows no signs they start to figure out she is a zombie and needs to eat human flesh. This will almost guaranteed bring laughs if for nothing else due to the cast, but ultimately it will be lost among the other blockbusters this month. It is definitely not a family film and is marketed towards the teen and young adult community. Although the film itself may be easily forgotten due to other massive films this month don’t forget it as it will likely be a well liked film among certain groups. – Jacob

August 15 – The Expendables 3

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Antonio Banderas, Jet Li, Wesley Snipes, Kelsey Grammer(?), Terry Crews, Victor Ortiz, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Arnold Schwarzenegger

Initially sold as a man-gasm inducing thrill-fest, this franchise is two strokes away from permanently shooting blanks. I love action flicks as much as the next guy, and I genuinely thought the franchise was a good idea, but is there something really so wrong with just letting the legends ride off into the sunset without having to sit through multiple hours of screaming, slow-motion firefights and catchphrases that barely worked twenty years ago? Let’s be honest; nobody is watching this film for the acting, or the storyline. Twenty & thirty-something men get to see some of their action star idols duke it out as one last hurrah. The third installment gives us Antonio Banderas, Mel Gibson (the new bad guy), Harrison Ford, a post-prison Wesley Snipes and Kelsey Grammer. If the fate of the world is in Frasier Crane’s hands, we’re all screwed. There’s no way I’m influencing you’re decision to see The Expendables 3, as you’ve likely already made your decision before reading this. – Sherif

August 15 – The Giver

Starring: Brenton Thwaites, Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Odeya Rush, Katie Holmes, Taylor Swift

I won’t lie.  When I see the trailer for The Giver, I get chills.  Based off the book The Giver by Lois Lowry, the movie will be a look into one boy’s world… a utopia that isn’t actually that perfect.  It feels odd to be writing a preview on this for two reasons.  One being that practically every millennial and younger have read the book in school.  The other being that if I say much more for those who don’t know the plot, there is a lot to give a way.  In short, go see this movie.  You will not be disappointed.  -Adrian

August 22 – Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Starring: Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin, Rosario Dawson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Eva Green, Bruce Willis

Is it 2005 again, or did Robert Rodriguez just find a way to make Jessica Alba hot again?? It’s been nearly a decade, but Frank Miller’s Sin City is coming back to the silver screen in its second installment, A Dame to Kill For. Just like last time, the star-studded cast will take turns adding their pieces to the puzzle. Sin City vets like Alba, Bruce Willis and Josh Brolin are back, but several big name newcomers will also be sharing the spotlight, including Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Viewers should expect multiple plot twists, both in a sequel and prequel aspect to the original. Miller and Rodriguez’s visual style also looks to be prevalent throughout the film. This is going to be a fun movie any way you look at it. If you can’t wait for the movie to come out, you can also read the graphic novel of the same name, as it was released over 20 years ago. – Sherif

August 22 – To Be Takei

Starring: George Takei

Oh my! To Be Takei is a documentary depicting the life of brilliant and ever-exuberant George Takei. It tells his story from his childhood in a Japanese internment camp to his ground breaking role on Star Trek to his coming out story and marriage. This promises to be an incredibly inspiring film, especially for anyone who has felt trapped by society just for being who they are. George cleverly reminds us in the tagline that “It’s Okay to Be Takei!” As a Trekkie and proud member of the LGBT community, I’m extremely excited to see this movie hit the big screen, On Demand, and iTunes on August 22nd.  – Charlotte

 

August 22 – Are You Here

Starring: Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis, Amy Poehler

This movie looks like it could be a more light-hearted sequel to Due Date. The movie stars Zach Galifinakis as yet another crazy person with a myriad of issues, only this time he inherits a small fortune and everybody seems to be out to get it from him. It actually looks pretty funny but looks like it might have more of those light-hearted friendship moments than I would prefer from a movie with him in it. His usual style of comedy hasn’t yet grown old to me so this definitely looks like something worth checking out. – Robert

August 22 – If I Stay

Starring: Chloë Grace Moretz, Jaimie Blackley, Liana Liberato, Mireille Enos, and Joshua Leonard

Honestly, I have never read If I Stay.  However, it doesn’t look half bad.  The story follows a teenage celloist named Mia who has a pretty good life going on until her family gets in a fatal car wreck.  Mia experiences an out of body experience while in a coma and must decide whether to go back to living or go… elsewhere.  I don’t know whether this will appeal to the masses, but anything that gets teenagers to read seems pretty decent to me. – Adrian

August 29 – Life of Crime

Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Tim Robbins, Isla Fisher, Yasiin Bey

Life of Crime reminds me of the type of comedy that my parents would have watched when I was a kid, and one that I wouldn’t have understood for the life of me. I have a feeling this could be the same way. Tim Robbins plays a rich man whose beautiful wife (Aniston) is kidnapped. When the kidnappers attempt to collect the ransom, Robbins refuses to pay. If it sounds like an idea that’s been done before, that’s because it has. The 1986 movie Ruthless People had pretty much the same premise, and Life of Crime is credited as being based off the book The Switch. I’d be lying if I said that Jennifer Aniston, Mos Def and Tim Robbins didn’t sell me on seeing the movie, but otherwise, Life of Crime doesn’t bring nearly enough to the table to make me want to sit through it. – Sherif

“Respect My Craft” – Max Brooks

In this consumer-based industry, it can be easy to forget the years of hard work that the people in the business put in. Behind every panel, it takes a skilled writer, artist, inker and colorist to make the product complete. Behind each scene goes hours of preparation. Hush Comics’ weekly article “Respect My Craft” will dive into the history of these comic book and pop culture greats that will hopefully give a new perspective on how the men and women behind the pen (or stylus) contribute to the collective awesome-ness of the nerd world, or at least give you a reason to invest in their work.

 

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Click on the link to take you to all of our Denver Comic Con 2014 “Respect My Craft” articles

 

Name: Max Brooks

Profession: Writer

Notable WorkWorld War Z, Zombie Survival GuideHarlem Hellfighters

“One time I was doing some radio press in Utah and this lady called up and she said, ‘I’m living in a trailer with my four kids and now I’m afraid of zombies and I don’t know what to do!’ And I said, ‘Lady, if you’re living in a trailer with four kids, you’ve got bigger problems. Don’t worry about the zombies.'” –Max Brooks

 

Max Brooks was born May 22, 1972 to Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft. He graduated from American University’s film school in 1994, after having also attended Pitzer College as a History major and spending a semester at the University of the Virgin Islands. Mel Brooks is a name that should sound instantly familiar to anyone who has watched older comedies. He was an actor/producer in such films as The Producers, Spaceballs and Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Anne Bancroft was a name that I didn’t recognize immediately but after looking at her work, realized just how big she was. Anne Bancroft played Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate, a role for which she won a Golden Globe for best actress, and a film that is preserved in the national registry for its cultural significance. You could say that their son had quite a bit to live up to.

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In his early years, Max worked as a writer for Saturday Night Live, and according to interviews, had written the manuscript for The Zombie Survival Guide even before working there. It was during his time at SNL that he met a book publisher that was willing to put the book out there and get it published. What initially was touted as comedy book slowly but surely started to be seen for what it actually is. With sales that were initially slow, Max decided to do a few interviews and lectures to prove that this book was the real deal and that it wasn’t making fun of its core audience. After people started realizing that this book was amazing, it shot up The New York Times Best Sellers list and eventually selling over a million copies while being the publishers most requested back cataloged book.

After the success of his first book, he followed up with World War Z, which was met with high praise. World War Z was immensely popular and spent weeks of the Best Sellers list. The novel remains one of my favorites of all-time, and it’s just as socially conscious as it is entertaining. From the Middle Eastern relationships to American non-interventionism, the underlining political tones were all on-point. These books made Brooks not only an acclaimed writer, but the new spokesman for the undead.

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This book was so popular, in fact, that it was picked up for a movie adaptation. After these two successes, they were followed up by a graphic novel that was a follow up to the Survival Guide, called The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks. Max Brooks wasn’t content to just be a writer, he has also acted in TV show such as Roseanne and 7th Heaven. He also has a career in voicing animation and has done voice over work for various cartoons such as Batman Beyond and Justice League. He has been handed the torch for the undead (even though Romero is still writing books), even representing zombies in the Deadliest Warrior special, “Vampires vs. Zombies.” Spoiler, zombies win.

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Latest work is the Harlem Hellfighters (review to come), a fictionalized account of an all-African American military squad during the First World War. They were set up to fail and ended up being some of the most decorated soldiers of the war. This is where his degree in History really shines, because he is able to take stories that actually happened and show the world the true bravery of this unit. Even though some of the people will be renamed as not to upset the families, everyone in the story is either real or based on a real person.

harlem-hellfighters-cover

One of the most interesting things about Max Brooks is that he is dyslexic and yet still managed to write one of the most popular zombie novels of all time. While a kid in elementary school, he was initially frustrated that he had such a hard time reading, but it was his love for history that actually saved him and allowed him to push past it.

 

None of the media in this article belongs to Hush Comics; it all belongs to their respective properties (NY Times, Spike TV, Broadway Books). Join us tomorrow as we continue our countdown to Denver Comic Con with comic book artist, Colleen Doran, famous for SandmanWonder Woman and more.

Weekend Wrap-Up…May 18, 2014

In preparation for Denver Comic Con, we’ve been writing daily articles spotlighting guests at the con – called “Respect My Craft. Just last week, we wrote on:

Godzilla! Everybody’s favorite giant lizard monster is back at it. This opening weekend of Godzilla was the highest-grossing film of the year. This isn’t a very accurate representation of the movie, but it’s close enough. Expect our review soon.

heisenberg godzilla

The Game of Thrones got really juicy last week, with Peter Dinklage giving one of the show’s best performances (I only wish it could have lasted longer). Tonight’s episode, “Mockingbird,” is sure to be a thriller. Judging by the name, I’d say Littlefinger (who carried around a mockingbird pin) and Sansa, our “Little Bird,” will get plenty of attention.

Speaking of GoT, creator George R.R. Martin gets animated with it, as he appears on Robot Chicken in this clip inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s Birds.

The government actually has a zombie fallout plan. Tax dollars wasted or bigger conspiracy??

The first full trailer for Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar has dropped. There’s a big emphasis on Murphy’s Law, and finding life on another planet when the food source on ours runs out (we’ll always have Cheetos, right?). Matthew McConaughey and My Cocaine (Michael Caine) star in this sci-fi thriller.

Everybody calm down! The next DC Animated project announced is… Aquaman and his New52 origin story. I hope all you people who were complaining of too many Batman films are happy when Arthur Curry starts riding seahorses and talking to dolphins. Jokes aside, Geoff John’s Aquaman run to kick off the re-launch was pretty good, and made the masses respect the ridiculed character. There’s still a while until this comes out, but the next DC Animated film to come out will be Batman: Attack on Arkham.

The new teaser for Guardians of the Galaxy is out, and Rocket Raccoon’s voice is heard. Blam! I murdered you!

DC Comics has released the creative teams and covers to the HUGE September crossover for Futures End. They will feature 3D holographic covers, and if they’re anything like last year’s “Villain Month,” they will fly off the stands. Just beware, there is going to be an awful lot of cash-grabbing issues, most of which will be terribly written and uninteresting.

While Spider-Man might have been the originator of the superhero selfie, DC Comics will be releasing selfie-themed issues coming this August.

Cinderell-y, Cinderell-y night and day its Cinderell-y!  Next year the live action version of Cinderella comes out.  Considering Cinderella is Adrian’s favorite Disney movie of all time, this is pretty big news.  Check the teaser below:

Get ready to eat and read at Chipotle.  The restaurant chain is debuting literary cups with the likes of Toni Morrison, Jonathon Safran Foer, Malcolm Gladwell and many more contributing to musings that are sure to be written in perfect typography.

#Showoff

DC Comics is hooking up with NASCAR, which I can imagine won’t reach either demographic to get into the other, but it’s worth a shot.

While I’m still reeling off the news of Far Cry 4, there’s news afoot that Halo 5 will be coming to X-Box One next year.

This was bound to happen, and I mean that in a great way, Skylanders will be coming to IDW Comics.

Written by Adrian Puryear and Sherif Elkhatib

 

 

 

Comic Book Reviews 04-02-14

Review Scale:

The mythical A+: Classic comic book material. Belongs next to your copy of The Notebook and The Joy of Cooking.

A: Would definitely recommend to all comic book readers. Even more so to fans of the genre or characters

B: Enjoyable read. Fans of the genre or characters will especially like.

C: Non-essential read. Can be enjoyable for fans of the genre or characters, but likely for only one or two events in the books.

D: Unenjoyable book. Read at your own risk. Might find satisfaction if major flaws are overlooked.

F: Please don’t buy this book. Donate your money to a local comic book writer’s workshop instead to inspire future generations to write something better than this trash.

Pick of the Week:

Magneto #2 – A

“Magneto was right.” This is quickly becoming one of my favorite titles. Gabriel Herandez Walta captured something special while illustrating this book. We find Magneto in search of Omega Sentinels, killing all in his path. When he discovers that the homeless are being kidnapped and biologically altered to hunt mutants he has a flashback to Warsaw,1942. The flashback panels are brilliant. I literally got chills reading those pages. We find yet another catalyst for Magneto’s anger when it is revealed that his friend, Levi Weinlaub, and family suffered at the hands of Hilter’s Nazis. When in the company of humans Magneto refers to himself as Max in this book. As a child, Max Eisenhardt was sent to the Auschwitz death camp. He changed his name to Eric Lehnsherr to navigate through the camp to be closer to his true love, a gypsy girl named Magda.  As Max he was weak and fragile. This is interesting because it appears as if he is identifying himself as the powerless. This book flowed well, and the reader can follow along with minimal backstory. OMG, the scene with the nails is a MUST SEE! Magneto’s new purpose seems to be focused on righting the wrongs of the past. I give this title an emphatic two thumbs up!  – JS

Marvel has finally found Magneto’s voice in the new Marvel.NOW world. He’s broken-down, tired, and fucking ruthless; this isn’t your father’s Magneto. The best part is, his powers aren’t even back to full strength – a point that serves to show just how frighteningly powerful he is. Magneto‘s writer Cullen Bunn does a commendable job on this book. We’ve started off with different accounts of Magnus Meltdowns, just to add to the effect that this guy is absolutely terrifying, and it works so well. I also love the flashbacks to Nazi Germany and how it turned Erik into a monster. This book has shot straight up my list of favorites, and I can’t wait to see where this book takes us. – S

Other Reviews:

BOOM! Studios:

Dead Letters #1 – B-

A man wakes up in a shady motel room and remembers nothing.  Not his name, not how he got there, not even what he had for lunch.  The one thing he does remember is that he’s no stranger to violence or action.  Sounds totally Bourne Identity, right?  Dead Letters #1 certainly starts out that way but ends in M. Night Shyamalan fashion.  I’m talking The Six Sense Shyamalan… Not the The Happening version.  Had it not been for this crazy twist, I would have just as soon written this series off.  This is one to keep your eye on; its’ bound to surprise and entertain. – T

Dark Horse Comics:

Terminator Salvation: The Final Battle #5 – B+

This issue was loaded with nostalgic moments from the history of the series. We actually get to see the original terminator being sent back along with Kyle Reese being sent back as well. There are obviously a few changes that have been made due to the continuity having changed. It seems as though everything is still going according to plan but with a slight twist. There are few variables that are going to change how we get to the end, but ultimately it should turn out similar to the explanations we are given in the film. With each issue that passes, I get more and more excited to find out how everything comes to an end. – R

Veil #2 – B-

The crazy lady with the weird powers is back. Dante is still stuck in the middle of it all, trying to play protector to some weird bio-weapon lady. There are some new elements that open up possibilities, but it ends up creating more questions than it does answering. I love the direction that the series is going in, even if it’s a tad creepy. The art is soft and the color art is crazy good. There’s something about a woman who mutilates sexual assaulters that really intrigues me – call me old-fashioned. There’s a difference between stalling and feeding the story to the readers, and Veil is doing a great job of the latter. – S

Edgar Allen Poe’s The Premature Burial C

This one-shot comic combines two of Edgar Allen Poe’s tales, including The Premature Burial and The Cask of Amontillado. Both of these stories seem to be told by an original character named Mag the Hag. With anything by Edgar Allen Poe, you are assured a very dark and demented story filled with nasty people and often times nasty deaths. These two stories are nothing short of classic Poe and the artwork provide for them add to the already creepy nature of the short stories. The first story, The Premature Burial, follows a man who tries to kill a woman and desecrate her corpse only to end up finding the end he tried to produce for the woman in being buried alive. The second story, The Cask of Amontillado, is about a man who is taking a woman down to his vaults to tell her why her husband has been missing for years only to tell her that he killed him and trapped him in a wall. After he has told the woman of his actions and she runs off, the man dies himself next to the man he trapped so many years ago. Definitely two creepy stories and a must have issue for any Poe fan. If you do not know Poe’s work you may find this a little off putting as the stories are very dark and the artwork even made me shiver once of twice. – JR

DC/Vertigo:

Batman: Detective Comics #30 – B+

Oh, the wonders of a new creative team. After GothtopiaDetective Comics‘ latest arc, the series was running on fumes. It had lost its flavor and much of its audience. However, this new creative team of Brian Buccellato (writing) and Francis Manapul (art) has breathed new life into the series. We start the Icarus arc with big panel art and some sweet action scenes of Batman. It looks like Batman will be taking on a street drug that sets people on fire! Like, full-blown Richard Pryor. I’m curious to see if they go back to Bat’s roots or will fall back on some big baddie to carry the arc. I’m hoping that the series takes some risk and starts all over, because more of this and I’ll be addicted. – S

Trillium #8 – B

This was the final issue of Jeff Lemire’s Trillium. There was a lot of confusion leading up to this issue, and I was unsure of how Lemire was going to wrap it up. I suppose it wasn’t as confusing as I made it out to be, because it’s wrapped up in the first ten pages. However, the main focus of the story is of the romance of Nika and Billy. We get more heartbreak and despair, too. Lemire really brings his A game with the art; there are several full-page panels that really make the book. Overall, Trillium made less sense than I wanted it to, but it took me on a fantastical journey to show us that we are not alone in this universe. – S

Green Arrow #30 – B

Things have begun to get a little crazy with the second to last issue of The Outsider Wars. The mystery of Oliver Queens’s death from last issue was solved and I must say that I was pretty surprised with how they pulled it off. I don’t particularly like the way that they ended this issue though. They spent all this time with the buildup to only abruptly end things in what can only be described as unsatisfying. Of course nothing is final seeing how the last issue ended and this one begins. The art for the whole Outsider War has left much to be desired as far as I’m concerned but it certainly isn’t the worst art I’ve ever seen. I am more interested to see what is coming next after this whole war as opposed to the end of this particular story arc. – R

Aquaman and the Others #1 – D

This has got to be the lamest bunch superheroes I have ever seen. So far, I haven’t seen a single interesting thing about any of The Others. I actually didn’t even know they were a team until last week. The art just as great as the regular Aquaman book, but it still can’t save the bland characters with almost no unique personalities. This issue also felt extremely short and there was barely any buildup to whatever story arc they are beginning. They barely took the time to properly introduce the main cast with each getting a few pages and absolutely no backstory. I don’t know where they are going with this publication but I am willing to give it ten issues before I kick it to the curb – if it lasts that long. – R

IDW Comics:

Monster and Madmen C+

In the second part of this three-issue series, we learn a little more about the Madman, Jack the Ripper, and his intentions. We see Frankenstein’s monster wander off around the city trying to figure out what has happened since he awoke and he becomes enthralled with the people and buildings around the city. All is fine and he is going around unnoticed until a prostitute offer him her services and the horrified and horrifying look he gives her makes her scream in fear causing people to chase him only for him to find his way back to the Doctor who saved him from the beach in the first issue. We learn this man is Joh Moore and that he has an almost unhealthy obsession with the Monster. Dr. Moore offer the Monster his home and tells him that if he stays and lets him examine him that he will make the Monster a companion to help heal his lonely heart. After the Monster agrees to stay we see the Doctor go out on the town and pick up a woman whom we can only assume will receive the wraith we all know Jack the Ripper is known for. A very entertaining and artistically entertaining series continues to put a good twist on two famous stories. Anybody who enjoys either story or monster movies in general will enjoy this issue and hopefully in the next and last issue we will have a good wrap up of the series. – JR

Image Comics:

Black Science #5 – A

Just when you thought a story involving multidimensional travel to interwoven layers of realities and universes couldn’t get more complex, Black Science #5 enters the scene to roundhouse kick you to the face.  One of the best kicks I’ve ever received.  A whole new dynamic enters the plot this week and it breathes vibrant life into an already thriving series.  Remender knows what he’s doing.  I really applaud the way he drops a new and compounded concept on readers without making it confusing or seem out of place.  On par with the plot is still the artwork – environments are so intricately detailed!  Everything about this series is well managed and super creative. If you haven’t started, please pretty PLEASE start reading Black Science. – T

’68 Rule of War #1 – A

I really enjoyed this issue. With a familiar, yet new take on the world of zombies, this story has some interesting twists to it. I really was interested in this story from the get go, with the mystery behind what is happening and the various stories lines I could see crossing paths, I’m happy I got the chance to read this new book and I look forward to future issues. If you get a chance to read this book or you are a big zombie fan, check it out for sure. – E

Marvel:

Moon Knight #2 – A

I’ve been reviewing comics for a very short time now, but I’m finally starting to hit my groove.  Know how?  I’ve discovered my first real pet-peeve with comics!  It’s when issue #2 drops and it’s everything that should have been issue #1!!  Moon Knight #2 hits this mark square in the face.  I guess in the way of pet-peeves, this is a good one to have.  People – if you were only mildly impressed by Moon Knight #1 (like me) be sure to shake the feeling and grab a copy of #2 right now!  Panel to panel, this issue was flat out awesome.  The outstanding quality of #2 resides in the fact that no major or significant plot development occur.  There’s almost no dialogue and you don’t really know what’s happening until the end.  You might read those last few sentences and think I’m on crack.  Rest assured – I only sniff magic (markers).  The story is a one-and-done, but is executed flawlessly and is visually stunning the whole way through.  I can now start buying into the hype that Moon Knight is a keeper.  – T

Ultimate Spider-Man #200 – A-

If you have been following Ultimate Spider-Man, you know that the Ultimate Peter Parker has been dead for two years (SPOILER!). This issue, more than anything, is a love letter to Peter Parker and all the iterations of his kind. As all the big names come back for a wake in Parker’s honor, we get a recap of all the crazy adventures they went through together. It was really neat to get an inside look at how others felt about their relationship with Spider-Man, and does a solid job of explaining all the characters and relationships you may not know. If you’re not a Spider-Man fan – or you lack a heart – it can bore you. However, the full page spreads of various Spider-Men is something to behold. By the time you’re done reading this, you will have had a great session in nostalgia, or you will go buy the entire catalog of Ultimate Spider-Man. – S

The Punisher #4 – B+

I really like this entire arc of the Punisher. It is action-packed, stays true to the character, and has a story-line that is intriguing enough to keep me entertained. With moderate story progression this week, I can’t put much effort into figuring out what is brewing; however, I hope it will be exciting. This book is fun to read, and I really do enjoy reading this comic. – E

Black Widow #5 – B-

After four issues of what could be considered one-shots, the fifth issue is finally able to build a continuous story. The idea that a spy should trust her gut over intel rings true for Natasha, as it gets her into one sticky situation. Phil Noto’s art, as always, is worth the price of admission alone. I like that the story is finally moving forward, but I can’t help but feel that, five issues in, the book has lost a bit of its luster to me. It will take some really good story-telling to pull me back in the way I originally felt about it. That being said, an espionage book written about an Avenger is enough of an original idea to get me to keep reading, and Natasha Romanov is one of the most bad-ass characters in the Marvel world. Let’s hope this snowball keeps rolling downhill. – S

Loki: Agent of Asgard #3 – B-

I thought the story that was being told was pretty cool. I have a pretty good idea of where this story is going, but it is really nice to see how Loki is manipulating things for the purpose to gain his objective. I really liked the way the story is told in this issue. With most of it being a narrative, I felt like I was watching a movie about major or even a fairy tale, and honestly, that wouldn’t be far off from the truth. All the mysticism and dragons make this a tale worthy of Midgard. – E

Deadpool vs. Carnage #1 – C+

This issue marks the start to another almost guaranteed enjoyable Deadpool series. We learn that Cletus Kasady/ Carnage has escaped from prison and has been traveling across America killing as many people as he can. Deadpool sees this on the news while watching T.V. and after a classic Deadpool scene where he tries figure out what he should do with his life, he heads after Carnage figuring he is the only one crazy enough to be able to catch him and bring him to whatever kind of justice Deadpool brings. This first issue packs the kind of violence we would assume would come from not just a Deadpool book but from Carnage as well and of course has the same wit and humor that always comes with our favorite Merc with the Mouth. The issue ends on a semi cliffhanger and the sight of a smaller Villainess from the Spiderman universe known as Shriek. This series is bound to be entertaining for Deadpool alone, but I am excited to see where it goes and how these two will continue their battle. – JR

The Merc With the Purdy Mouth faces off with Carnage. We don’t know why;  Deadpool actually gets the “epiphany” from watching television. There’s not even an attempt at cohesion here – like most things Deadpool. There is some clever writing, but I didn’t see the point to any of it – and the issue was quickly forgotten after the last page was turned. The name of the series is enough to sell the mini-series, but any more bland issues like this and I don’t think I’ll be able to keep going. Here’s to hoping this issue lives up to at least a little of its potential. – S

Inhuman #1 – C

Don’t get me wrong, I like Charles Soule’s writing. I truly enjoyed last year’s Superman/Wonder Woman run from D.C. Comics. But Inhumans #1 was a difficult read. Unless you have a pretty extensive knowledge of The Kree, (an alien race at odds with the Skrulls and responsible for bio-engineering super-sapiens here on earth), Black Bolt and Terrigen technology, you are going to be lost. There is a ton of unnecessary dialog in this book, so much so that it seems forced. I know, I know, I’ve complained before about the lack of writing in some titles, but this book couldn’t find a healthy balance between the art and the story. The panels are vibrant, shout out Joe Madureira, but at points it seemed like the art and story were fighting for the readers attention. Now, with that being said, I am semi-excited for this title. If you have been following the incredible Ms. Marvel book, you will be pleasantly surprised that we start Inhuman following the Terrigen storm in New York; can we say “crossover?” Overall, great art, too much info in the story for a first issue. There is, however, a pretty cool Stark Industries Easter Egg at the end, though. – JS

 

GPA by Publisher:

DC Comics: 3 B’s and 1 D, averaging out to a 2.5

Marvel Comics: 3 A’s, 3 B’s and 2 C’s, averaging out to a 3.13

Independents: 2 A’s, 3 B’s and 2 C’s, averaging out to a 3.00

That about wraps it up for our reviews this week! Look for next week’s previews coming soon. Any comic books you didn’t see reviewed that you want reviewed? Any grades you didn’t agree on? Let us know in the comments!

All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to IDW Comics, Image Comics, Dark Horse, Boom! Studios, Dynamite Entertainment, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.

Written by Sherif ElkhatibEvan LoweAdrian PuryearTaylor Lowe, Robert Michael, John Soweto and Jacob Robinson