Category Archives: Comics

Samurai Sit Down: AmalgamPhilly Comic Shop Owner Ariell Johnson

Samurai Sit Down:  AmalgamPhilly Comic Shop Owner Ariell Johnson

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In a year where the upcoming wave of comic based material will very heavily feature characters of color there was big news recently made by a young Philadelphia entrepreneur Ariell Johnson. Her AmalgamPhilly comic book & coffeehouse has been all the rage with fellow comic book fans, gamers and more as she reflects the importance of diversity in comic business spaces as well as in the comics themselves. I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Ariell Johnson so get comfy and check this geeked out edition of Samurai Sit Down.

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Thanks for taking some time from your new business to talk with us. To start can you share your earliest comic memories and what was it that turned this hobby into a professional goal?

I started reading comics in high school, when my friend would let me borrow his comics, I didn’t buy my first comic until I was in college. It was Storm & Illyana Magik, a four issue mini-series, and I got it off of eBay.

The idea came when a local coffee shop that I would frequent on Fridays, after buying my books from Fat Jack’s, closed. It was such a great coffee shop, I loved the vibe so much, it was owned by a young black woman, and it was just everything to me. A home away from home. Her closing made me want to create the kind of space that she had created, but incorporating comic books into the mix.

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Marvel’s Jessica Jones Brings Adult Depths & Drama Without Living Off The Avengers

Marvel’s Jessica Jones Brings Adult Depths & Drama Without Living Off The Avengers

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Marvel does it again as its latest Netflix exclusive property is the talk of entertainment circles all over. I honestly wasn’t even that pressed to check out Jessica Jones. I really was only focused on how much of a role Luke Cage would play in the series but 3 episodes in I was hooked.

Marvel is doing an amazing job giving all of their respective titles a life of their own without having to live of the overall presence of the Cinematic Universe. Jessica Jones is dark gritty, explicit and graphic. The New York that Jessica Jones presents has a level of humanity that you don’t get in the TV and Film productions and that Dare Devil touched on a bit. Jessica Jones early on opens up to the unknown experiments that gave her super human ability. This is delivered in a manner where the world is still wary and unsure what to make of individuals with the power of an army within them.

Jessica Jones and her series long pursuit of KilGrave better known as the Purple Man to comic fans is one part police drama with a series overtone of Silence of the Lambs.

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Kilgrave has powers that he has used to violate his victim, Jessica included, but what is most evil is that this isn’t Ultron or Thanos who can destroy the planet. Kilgrave’s ability to speak words to action and make conscious slaves of people allows his sadistic nature to hit home.

There is a steady theme of human frailty and imperfection with all the characters with in the show vs the element of amazement and wonder that Thor or Iron Man exude.

Marvel gives you just enough connectivity by the end of the series to let you know that paths will cross in the aftermath of the Avengers New York “incident”.

Unlike Agents of Shield which ties very directly in the Avengers world with appearances from Asgardians and Nick Fury himself, Netflix is being set up as the everyday mans view of the Marvel Universe. Who were people who were running when the sky was raining debris and alien war crafts.

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Marvels knows that we don’t need consistent reminders of the world we are witnessing. They put the focus on the personal stories and let us wonder how will Jessica Jones react to Dare Devil in the future. Or perhaps we’ll get a foreshadowing of Spiderman in the upcoming Luke Cage series before Civil War.

It’s a skill knowing how much to give people and what to hold back. Jessica Jones strikes that balance perfectly. This pull no punches story stays stay to its source material while giving those that are new to the story everything they would need to feel invested in the plot.

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Some folk missed the direction Marvel went in with JJ. Perhaps their knowledge on the story is lacking or they just want more.

“..the Marvel Cinematic Universe is just weird. It’s why if I hear something like “Marvel says Deadpool is part of the MCU!” that starts to mean less and less to me. So now, what, Ant-Man will show up in a two second cameo in that movie or something?”

Personally I hope Marvel keeps this same tone going forward until time comes to fully pull all these platforms together.  Let the stories breathe on their own a bit so that when the crossovers happen they have a true feeling worlds meeting vs a forced co-existence.

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Avengers: Age of Ultron – Impressions & Reactions [No Spoilers]

Avengers: Age of Ultron – Impressions & Reactions [No Spoilers]

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After much hype and anticipation Avengers Age of Ultron has arrived. To the tone of record setting open weekend sales the 2nd Avengers film brings us 1 step closer to the completion of Marvel’s Cinematic Phase 2, but before we get too far ahead of ourselves let me share a few thoughts on the new Avengers movie. Don’t worry. While the following post does speak on the movie and it’s plot, this is a spoiler free zone. Nothing here will ruin the experience for anyone who hasn’t seen the movie yet.

In comparison to the 1st Avengers movie, Age of Ultron exists in a different context for the viewers. Previously we were introduced to a new collective. We took the ride along to witness the step by step building of the Nick Fury’s ultimate force and even as that chapter ended we had no real idea where things were heading. We only had glimpses and peaks of what the future would hold. 2 Infinity gems, in unique form existed but it wasn’t until we saw Thanos that things started to get a little clearer.

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Since then we’ve seen 2 more infinity gems, more of Thanos and most directly, Marvel itself elected to give us all the full road map that takes us through the remaining phases. Fans of the Marvel Universe enter Age of Ultron far more informed with what is to come so we have our ears ready for what we want to hear. That is what Age of Ultron provides. While telling this Avengers tale  we get  a number of plot references that set the stage for many of the announced films. One reference in particular got me fired up for the intro of one of Marvel’s greatest characters.

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As a Villain, Ultron is not your typical evil robot bent on global destruction. I mean yes that is his goal but there is a very creepy aspect to him that walks that fine line between the human traits of his creators and the cold emotionless machine that he still is. Bit’s of attempted humor and sparks of wit truly give Ultron a personality that comes through to a point that you have to remind yourself isn’t an actual person.

For the action fans out there you get no shortage of battles between all the Avengers and Ultron, the Avengers and each other and well, you’ll see.

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Science and technology have dominated the scene thus far in Marvel but Age of Ultron is clearly positioning us to welcome in another type of power set. Cosmic energy, magic and more are steadily entering the world.  How the Avengers attempt to handle this is the question that will be posed going forward.

It’s very easy to catch yourself looking forward during Age of Ultron. That’s not because the movie is lacking but with Agents of SHIELD, Daredevil and more on deck, your may find yourself so busy trying to connect the dots that you miss a great movie. Age of Ultron fully stands up on its own 2 feet while pointing you towards the future. If you haven’t seen it please do and hey if you have seen it already maybe go see it again. I’m sure you might have missed a few things.

thanos

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Walmart Helps You Prepare for MARVEL’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron With New Super Heroes Assemble App

Walmart Helps You Prepare for MARVEL’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron With New Super Heroes Assemble App

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #AvengersUnite #CollectiveBias

#AvengersUnite

We’re one week away from the premiere of MARVEL’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron. The next phase of Marvel’s cinematic universe is in full swing. As we all get ready to see how the growing Avengers team will fare against the villainous Ultron, Marvel and Walmart have teamed but to get the masses ready for the upcoming battle. Now available on iOS and Google Play Store Avengers: Super Heroes Assemble is your portable data center for all things Avengers.

Super Heroes Assemble provides an introductory bio for all the key Avenger characters including Vision, the Hulk Buster Armor and the feature villain Ultron.

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Everyone’s getting into the act for the return of the Avengers!

Hit the Jump and let’s take a closer look at the app and what you can do with it.

#AvengersUnite

 

Now available on iOS and Google Play Store Avengers: Super Heroes Assemble

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Marvel Brings Their Animated Touch to Tribeca Film Fest with ESPN 1 of 1 Films

Marvel Brings Their Animated Touch to Tribeca Film Fest with ESPN 1 of 1 Films

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Marvel continues to spread its reach over the entertainment world with its ESPN collaboration 1 of 1 Origins & Genesis. Origins represents the background tales of a number of sports stars set on a comic styled still motion animation. Genesis extends this concept into a lengthier discussion of the similarities between sports stars and the characters within the world of comic books.

The topic of world saving superheroes and pro level athletes could easily dive into a much deeper discussion on the idea of hero/celeb worship which is a notorious thing within our American culture. but ESPN & Marvel keep it light and create a playful inspiring image that I think most people can take something away from.

Marvel & ESPN Films Present: 1 of 1 – Origins – Colin Kaepernick, directed by Eric Drath. (USA) – World Premiere. If you know football, you know one of its biggest stars, QB Colin Kaepernick. Yet, it was on the baseball diamond that a young Colin would be forever changed. At 12, he was already a stand-out athlete, head and shoulders over his peers in both size and skill. But on one fateful day, the hits were not coming, his fielding was off and his attitude was bad. His father would see this opportunity as a moment to help redirect Colin’s life and forever alter his destiny. – Via LadyBloggSays.Com

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Avengers Prepare For Ultron With Under Armour

Avengers Prepare For Ultron With Under Armour

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Comic fans across the globe are counting down to the opening of Avengers: Age of Ultron. As the excitement builds for Marvel’s next blockbuster here’s a little behind the scenes look at how Under Armour is crafting the amazing costumes that the heroes are performing in.

The TECHNOLOGY:

• Avengers Seamless Armour is made from a single piece of fabric and engineered with a

special knitted construction that provides superheroes and athletes with unparalleled

movement and zero distractions

• Engineered with multiple levels of ventilation that permits superior breathability

• The use of thin yet high gauge yarns result in a lightweight but incredibly durable baselayer

Seamless_Lineup Seamless_Hollows

 

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The Current State of The Omega Nexus

The Current State of ‘The Omega Nexus’

Omega nexus

Good Afternoon Omega Nexus Fans & Supporters

This Jason Francis aka The Social Media Samurai. I’m one part of the creative minds behind the Omega Nexus and Head of Social Media & Promo. After receiving a recent wave of inquiries about the status of the Omega Nexus I felt I needed to address the people. This is my open letter to y’all. This wasn’t approved by my partners. This is 100% Jason.

First thing’s first I want to give a massive show of thanks to all of you who have purchased books, shirts, wristbands, etc and truly put faith in the idea and concept of the Omega Nexus. It blew my mind how many people took a true interest in what we were doing. Nothing fuels creative energy like the positive response of the people. From the lower 48 states back to the island of Barbados folk loved the story of the Slade Brothers.

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We made the commitment and investment to present the Nexus at AnimeCon 2012, in Barbados, the home of the creators Roger & Jerry Reese. The reaction was memorable to say the least and I can’t wait to return.

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Then as upstarts in the fiction entertainment world you guys pushed us to our first award when we were voted East Coast Black Age of Comics Fan Favorite 2013.

Things were looking great but then life happened, human error happened and long story short, things kind of grinded to a halt.

If I’m being honest is was at this point that I feel we let you all down. We promised a new force in the game and he gave you a tease. It wasn’t intentional but that’s how it happened. Understand that from a creative stand point if you locked us in a room for a week to do nothing but create, we’d have books, movies & TV shows for days. The story making has never been an issue but getting it out to you properly has not been as smooth as I would have liked it. This isn’t about blame but just the reality of where we are. My mentality became one of frustration that even other business partners and friends close to me could feel. They sensed it in my silence. When something I would speak on and push everyday went unmentioned it set off red flags. You can only stand on potential for so long and I think we have realized this.

I took a stance that as the guy at the forefront of pushing the Nexus marketing & promotion wise, I would not continue doing the same thing and expecting a new result. I essentially offered up a challenge to my teammates. We have to prove that we can put out books. The one Omega Nexus piece is nice but there must be more and it must be continuous.

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So that’s what is on deck. We’re not here to bring you just another Ascended: The Omega Nexus book. We want to welcome you to the Ascended Universe. For the first time since I was still in school I can say that NEW Omega Nexus material is on the horizon. As the majors in the industry continue to roll out more and more “tried & true” content with their trusty stable of characters we will make good on our original goals to bring inclusion and diversity to story telling while giving the youth heroes that look like them to root for.

I’m fully confident that you will all be blown away with the story we are about to share with you. I can understand if this message is met with degrees of pessimism. I don’t blame you but I give my word that bigger and better days are ahead.
Thank you for your patience, encouragement and support!

The Omega Nexus

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Dave Chappelle GQ Man Of The Year – Interview

Dave Chappelle GQ Man Of The Year – Interview

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Dave Chappelle GQ Man Of The Year – Interview

2014 has been quite a successful comeback year for Mr Cappelle. The highlight of which  was a series of sold out shows at Radio City Music Hall. Now he caps of the year being named GQ’s man of the year. As aware of his celebrity as Dave is you can allow imagine what he thinks of the honor. After a nearly a decade of curious moves and straight up silence we get a very candid and open interview from Dave Chappelle. Check out his thoughts on Kanye and David Sterling and more.
 
He doesn’t think Donald Sterling should have lost ownership of the Clippers

Ultimately, I don’t think he should have lost his team. I don’t like the idea that someone could record a secret conversation and that a person could lose their assets from that, even though I think what he said was awful. When you think about the intimacy of a situation, like, can a man just chill with his mistress in peace? I just don’t like when things like that happen, because if they take shit away for things that people say that are objectionable, I may not have anything in a few years. Granted, I don’t think I say shit like “Stop bringing white people to my game.”

Thoughts on Kanye’s Civil rights stane.

Well, okay now, I don’t know about that. But I do see a common denominator in the sense that the issue of privacy in general is everyone’s issue. And his version of that is very extreme. I’m a celebrity in some people’s eyes, but not to the extent he is. I saw on Yahoo that his wife got tackled in Paris. Like, just crazy shit. I think that he’s right in the sense that scrutiny in and of itself is oppressive. If someone sits there and stares at you while you eat, you won’t even eat the way you normally do, because it’ll make you so uncomfortable. If I look at my dog when he’s eating, he will look at me like, “Dave, I will bite you. What are you looking at? I’m trying to eat.” It’s something that dehumanizes a person, being on display like that. So is it like the civil rights movement? Not quite. The metrics are a little wrong to make that comparison. But it is a civil rights issue, in a sense. Because how is he supposed to live his life? It’s like someone putting their ear to your butt and being

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Marvel Unveils “Phase 3” with Long Awaited Black Panther Film

Marvel Unveils Long Awaited Black Panther Film – Will This Finally Bring Change?

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The Tricks and Treats don’t get going until this Friday but Marvel president Kevin Feige decided to let a gang of blockbuster treats loose on the public at the special Marvel Live event at Disney’s El Captain Theatre in Hollywood , Ca yesterday. Reaching all the way out to 2019, Marvel made is cinematic plans known for its Phase 3 round of films. Breaking the 6 movie per phase outline that had been in place, Phase 3 is packed with 9 projects. We will see the return of Captain America and Thor along with a Guardians of the Galaxy sequel. The Avengers will top off the Phase with “Infinity War Part 1 & 2 in 18′ and 19” respectively. In addition to the familiar faces from the past films, Marvel is releasing new character works with Dr Strange, Captain Marvel, Inhumans and the much anticipated, highly demanded Black Panther.

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This signals the first solo feature films for a woman and a person person of color in the Marvel universe since Elektra and Blade. The announcement of an official Black Panther movie is the answer to requests that have existed since Marvel took to the big screen to reintroduce its characters a decade ago. Black Panther fans and fellow creators of ethnic characters have longed for the day where representation of them was done right on the biggest of stages. Now as the plots of all the respect franchises prepare to converge, T’Challa the Ruler of Wakanda is being thrust right into the center of things. As one of the most important characters in Marvel it would have been a total injustice not to make this movie, but as a black fictional writer myself I can speak to the skepticism that was felt every time we heard a Black Panther movie rumor.

Black comic fans watched as DC elected not to stick with a Green Lantern story line that featured John Stewart but rather follow the Hal Jordan plot origin. This was in spite of the fact that most people, especially the kids, were more familiar with Stewart due to his role in the highly acclaimed Justice League animated series. If it wasn’t last-minute changes of heart, Black characters were often presented with some type of flaw that kept them from being seen as completely human. They were malcontent drunks like Hancock, laughable buffoons like Handy Man or Meteor Man or the undead/semi living like Spawn or Blade. We couldn’t just get  a strong, attractive, intelligent leading character.

Black Panther

Chadwick Boseman who is most own for his portrayal of Jackie Robinson will take on the huge responsibility of bringing the Panther to life. The success of the BP flim will have far-reaching ramifications beyond just Marvel’s bottom line. There is a gigantic community of comic loyalists who as people of color want to see what the Panther represents displayed to the masses. There are writers and content creators who are still getting told from the larger businesses that “black heroes don’t sell”. And most simply there are kids who want to see movies with lead stars that look like them.

After hearing Marvel’s Co-President Louis D’Esposit, following a Comic Con 3 yrs ago, I seriously doubted that this movie would ever get off the ground.

“He has a lot of the same characteristics of a Captain America: great character, good values… But it’s a little more difficult, maybe, creating [a world like Wakanda]. It’s always easier basing it here. For instance, ‘Iron Man 3’ is rooted right here in Los Angeles and New York. When you bring in other worlds, you’re always faced with those difficulties.” – D’Espoit on the “Difficulties” of making BP 

Not long after releasing Thor to record attendance with its completely fictional and man-made environments this man looked us all in the face and lied horribly. Yet, years later here we are.

Black Panther

I have confidence in the team that Marvel has working on their movies and I see no reason to doubt that T’Challa’s introduction into the Marvel cinematic universe will be anything short of amazing. Hopefully with his emergence into the mainstream people will look on and ask will we now see more characters of color stepping out to hold down their own franchise brands? Will we finally see someone from the vast independent comic circuit strike success in crossing over into a lead role. Will the diverse range and scope of our people be given the fair chance to showcase itself.

Jason Francis | The Social Media Samurai

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The Simpsons Meet Family Guy!!!! 5 Min Teaser Video

The Simpsons Meet Family Guy!!!! 5 Min Teaser Video

 Simpsons

Some things in this world just have to happen and in the animated world of off the wall family comedy it was only a matter of time before the Family Guy crew crossed paths with the Simpsons clan. When the Simpsons kick off their 26th season we will also get the long awaited 2 hr Simpsons/Family Guy cross over episode. It’s the stuff of cartoon fantasy as we see Huey’s world dominating ego interact with the cartoon prince of pranks Bart. And can anything be more dangerous then putting Homer and Peter in the same space for an extended period of time? Just add beer and watch the funny take place.

This weekend’s San Diego released a lengthy teaser vid of the crossover and season premieres which will take place this September. Check it out below.

Jason Francis | The Social Media Samurai

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