State of the Comics Industry, with LCS Owner Michael Tierney and Alterna Publisher Peter Simeti

Tierney, Simeti

One's in the system trying to make a buck. The other is trying to buck the system.

Michael Tierney is the owner of two comic shops -- The Comic Book Store in North Little Rock, Arkansas, and Collector's Edition in Little Rock, Arkansas. With 37 years experience running the business and as a contributor to the Overstreet Price Guide, he has a keen insight into the state of the comics industry from the front lines.

Peter Simeti is the publisher of Alterna Comics, an independent producer of comics done on newsprint with a price point unheard of since 1985 -- and he's got some radical ideas for changing the accepted dynamics of the comic book distribution model.

We've been keen on getting both of these guys on a livestream, but then it hit us: What if we brought them together on the SAME livestream, to bounce ideas off each other and maybe, just maybe, come up with one or two good ones.

The results were better than we could have hoped.


Ring the Bell: "Mean" Gene Okerlund Passes at 76

Gene Okerlund

When you watched wrestling back in its heyday, before the WCW got gobbled up by the WWF (which later became the WWE), you had a host of colorful, unbridled, over-the-top personalities all itching to get at one another in the squared circle to combat each other and find out who would be victorious.

Riding herd on all of these men and women through his interviews and broadcasts was "Mean" Gene Okerlund, a man of little stature yet who towered large over the industry. He never backed down from the big guys, and always kept the audiences entertained.

Today, we ring the bell for Gene Okerlund, who has passed away at age 76. No cause of death has yet been listed, however Okerlund has had a history of kidney troubles requiring transplants in 1995 and again in 2004.

Godspeed, "Mean" Gene.


January Bombshell, Kelly Poynter, Hits Bulls-eye with Worthy Cosplay

Bombshell 2019 01 - Green Arrow

Wow. 2018 has just flown right by! Hard to believe we've seen twelve incredible cosplayers already, and with our January 2019 Critical Blast Bombshell, it looks like there's no end to the creative people who are out there making our heroes pop out of the pages and screens and into the real world!

And every once in a while, you find a cosplayer who does a character you not only merely recognize, but whom you would swear was lifted right out of the medium and placed into the world. This month's Bombshell is definitely in that category, and one month in is already on target to be our Bombshell of the Year for 2019. (Granted, he's in a field of one right now, and we'll be adding eleven more to the competition before the year is out -- but for the next 31 days, the odds are definitely in his favor!)

So let's draw back the curtain on a new year -- and a new cosplay Bombshell feature -- as we proudly present to you, our readers, the...



Santa Delivers Cosplay: December 2018 Critical Blast Bombshell, Spittani!

December 2018 Bombshell

Tis the season to be jolly, hang the holly, and oh! by golly get into the folly of...

You know, sometimes a line just doesn't go where you plan it to. But you get the idea. It's December, and everyone's thoughts are turning to that special person in the special outfit who brings us wonderful feelings of happiness.

Nope, not him. At least, not in the Critical Blast offices. We're still totally ready for Santa, sure, but it's our monthly cosplay model who is all the buzz today.

We couldn't wait until Christmas to unwrap this gift. So, please, gather round and feel the comfort and joy as Critical Blast presents to you our...


Critical Blast Bombshell, December 2018



A Generation Ago, Kitty Pryde Spoke Truth to Power; Year's Later, Twitter Loses Its Mind

Kitty Pryde Truth to Power

“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.” 
― George Orwell, 1984

We communicate with words. We may communicate crudely or eloquently, but nevertheless we do it with words. And as we mature, we learn there are words that are better than others, and there are words that are not spoken in polite society.

And then there are words that are not only looked down upon, but they are controlled. They can be said, but only by certain people. This act of protectionism embues a word with power, ideally to remove the power of hate from it when used by those who would use it thusly.

We know the most prominent of these words by their first letters. The F-word. The N-word. Say them in the wrong place, or be the wrong person, and your environment can quickly change.

Which is why it was such a shocking moment when X-Man Kitty Pryde dropped one of these bombs in the classic X-Men graphic novel, GOD LOVES, MAN KILLS.


The $75,000 Question: Mark Waid Crowdfunds Legal Defense Against Jawbreakers Lawsuit

Meyer v Waid

We've reported in the past on the civil war brewing in the comics community, with the lines being drawn between what is termed "Comicsgate" and "everyone else."

One of the biggest touchstones of the ongoing friction, and one that has all eyes in the comics community watching, is the lawsuit filed by Richard C. Meyer against Mark Waid for tortious interference in regards to Meyer's contract with Antarctic Press to publish his independent graphic novel, JAWBREAKERS: LOST SOULS. The allegation is that, after Waid publicly admitted to reaching out to the publisher, AP summarily reversed their decision to publish the book, prompting Meyer to sue for damages.


The Hate U Give Makes Powerful Statement

The Hate U Give

Starr Carter is sixteen, with an older brother Seven and a younger brother Sekani.  Their father named them Starr, knowing she would shine, Seven, for perfection, and Sekani for joy.  The Carter family lives in Garden Heights, a poor black neighborhood with crime and drugs, but the children go to school in a suburban white neighborhood.  Starr believes she must act according to her environment in order to fit in and not draw attention to herself.  This creates an internal struggle for Starr which consumes her life.


Has the Indie Done Gone from Indiegogo?

Indiegogo. For months now it's been the go-to site for aspiring comic book creators to fund their dreams. Some have been failures. Some have been moderately successful. And some have simply exploded.

But a chilling effect went through the creative community yesterday when, suddenly, Indiegogo took down the Arkhaven Comics account, citing "unusual activity," and refunded all pledges for a $100,000 project being penned by Chuck Dixon. This happened on the same day that Bleeding Cool ran an article with Arkhaven's controversial publisher, Vox Day, an article the site took down that night, bowing to pressure.

We spoke with Arkhaven creator Jon Del Arroz about the event and what impact it could have on other Arkhaven projects -- and non-Arkhaven projects.


Is Your Kickstarter Data Secure?

Kickstarter Security

It’s something everyone worries about, even if only a little, when putting all your information into some online form: Will my data be kept secure? Who is going to see this other than myself and the agent on the other end? Can I trust this website?

For the most part, with trusted entities, that answer is yes. Barring the occasional intrusion from bad actors working outside the network of a company, you can usually trust that your information won't be mishandled. (Sold to other companies, sure, or even made available to the government -- but that's a story for another day, right Mr. Zuckerberg?) 

So it was a bit alarming when a comic book artist began posting on his social media account the screenshots of personal communiques between Kickstarter and Richard C. Meyer, aka YouTube personality and pariah Diversity & Comics.


October Bombshell Violette Verse: Big Cosplay Comes in Small Packages

Bombshell 2018 10 - Violette

As the Critical Blast Bombshell feature has grown over the years, we've seen all kinds of cosplay, running the gamut from heroes to game icons to cartoon characters to science fiction figures, done by cosplayers who've been at it for years or who have just entered the field. But we've never yet featured a cosplayer like Violette.

Violette is bundle of energy and optimism, which no costume can disguise, and her range of cosplay knows no limits. Wherever she goes, she makes people smile with her commitment to making the world a better place through superheroism.

She's done all this, and she's not even ten years old yet. Tremble at what she'll accomplish as she matures!


Why The Truth About Bert and Ernie Doesn't Matter

Anyone who knows anything about Frank Oz and especially Jim Henson should understand that they created the muppets to provide joy and entertainment to people of all ages.

What they mean to you is different than what they mean to your neighbor.

Recently former Sesame Street writer, Mark Saltzman, came out and said that Bert and Ernie are gay. What being gay means for a muppet is still yet to be determined, however, that was his point of view. Frank Oz, who created Bert and probably knows Jim Henson better than anyone outside of Henson's family, said that Bert isn't gay; he also questioned why their sexuality mattered?


The #ComicsGate Thing

The #ComicsGate Thing by Troy Riser

(What is this ComicsGate thing you keep hearing about? To some, it's a hate group, symbolizing old white guys whining about comics turning into political agitprop for social agendas. To others, it's a movement of fans who just want to read good comics again without having to endure stories where the writer's personal ideologies and philosophies have been shoe-horned into their favorite character's makeup.

It's a pretty big thing, and it's a pretty volatile one as well, with some comics professionals (so-called) making threats of violence (or at the very least wistful wishes of agonizing death and disease) against anyone who dares to align themselves with the movement.


Rose McGowan Issues Statement Distancing Herself from Asia Argento

Rose McGowan and Asia Argento

The following statement has been released by Rose McGowan:

I would first of all like to start off this statement saying thank you for your patience. A lot of people have been demanding answers and a response to the recent events surrounding Asia Argento’s sexual assault case. Many people believe that because we have been close in each other’s lives over the past year that perhaps I am affiliated with this incident or being complicit. I am not. 


Mego's Peggy Bundy and Nostalgia Go Together Like a Horse and Carriage

Mego Peg Bundy
Mego was the king of action figures in the 70's. The formula was simple: an 8-inch action figure line with soft goods clothing and doll hair for characters who benefited from it. To maximize their reach, Mego didn't specialize in one franchise, they made toys for every brand they could: from Marvel to DC, Star Trek to Planet of the Apes, and Charlies Angels to CHIPS.  If it was on a screen, odds are MEGO made a figure of it.

Forbes Contributor Gives Disney Path of Atonement for Firing James Gunn

James Gunn

Apparently Forbes contributor Scott Mendelson thinks Disney and Marvel must atone for the sin of firing James Gunn from his role as director and script writer for GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 3 after a history of pedophilia-related tweets came to light, and he's offered a few opportunities for the corporate HMFICs to "save face" in the way they proceed.

Heaven forfend Disney and Marvel should simply keep their focus on producing great movies. No, they must now be ready to not just hire a new director -- they have to cast one.


Inside Anime Midwest 2018 (VIDEO TOUR)

At the Hyatt Regency O'Hare in Rosemont, Illinois, anime fans came together to celebrate their fandom and share their love of a genre.

If you couldn't make it, fret not! Our own CosplayKitti was on the scene, capturing the moments and talking with vendors and attendees. Enjoy!



Recent Must-Watch Gambling-Inspired Movies

The summer season is the perfect time for you to relax at home while enjoying a movie with your family or buddies. This summer, make it a must to catch newly released top gambling movies. These movies offer you a lot of things at once, they are entertaining while at the same time educative. Watch one or more and you can learn gaming skills to help you make some profits the next time you visit Novibet to play casino games.

Runner Runner (2013)


Stay Connected With Vero

Vero Logo

Social networking has become the new form of communication. We live online; constantly entangled with the web as we go through daily life. It’s on nearly every pc and smartphone/device. Social networking is not just a way to stay in contact with family and friends, it’s become a platform to see and be seen. 

Users build a social presence online, that presence is the deeply echoed mirror of how we like to be perceived. All social networking has done, is set standards for clicks and groups that you as a person aspire to be apart of. So, social networking is a platform that is a part of our daily lives in various ways. We aspire to different standards and keep up to date with the latest news and trends around the globe. 


July Bombshell CutiePieSensei Brighter than Fireworks!

July 2018 Bombshell: CutiePieSensei

The month has just gotten underway, and it's already getting hotter! 

Our Critical Blast Bombshell for July enjoys the unique opportunity to design costumes both as a hobby and as a profession, adding emphasis to the adage, "Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life."

With a portfolio of cosplay that runs through several genres (and mixes some of the together in the best of all possible ways), Critical Blast is pleased and proud to present to you the...



Did Peter Fonda Tank Boundaries with Twitter Rant?


Peter Fonda drew shock and outrage across the country when he took to Twitter with a profanity-laced rant; and it may have been a bridge too far for moviegoers.

Taking to the Internet to vent about immigration policies, Fonda's comments included suggestions about tossing President Trump's son Barron into a cage with pedophiles. These comments went public barely a week before Fonda's newest movie, BOUNDARIES, was to see limited release from Sony Pictures.


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