Freaky Root Thing

This is too weird. I actually hope this is a hoax. Earth's new rulers are gestating in the earth beneath our feet.



Downtown Lodi Trick-or-Treat

We'll be participating in the Downtown Trick-or-Treat! The merchants in downtown Lodi invite the community to trick-or-treat at their establishments on Saturday the 31st between 12 noon and 5 p.m. Kids 12 and under should report to the F&M booth in the Post Office Plaza to get their designated trick-or-treat bag.


MONDAY TELEMETRY For October 26th, 2009

Welcome to another installment of Monday Telemetry, a weekly blog from The Launchpad that covers some of the more interesting releases or events that are coming to the store in the coming week.

Written by David Hine
Art and variant cover by Jeremy Haun
Cover by Frazer Irving
Following the Black Mask's destruction of Arkham Asylum in BATTLE FOR THE COWL, Dr. Jeremiah Arkham has rebuilt the Asylum following the design of his mad Uncle Amadeus. Intended as a model for enlightened treatment of mental illness, the building soon mutates into a torture house, and the inmates find themselves trapped in a living hell. And when Jeremiah starts hearing a voice from beyond the grave, it becomes painfully clear that the lunatics really have taken over the Asylum!

In a world where a deadly disease transforms innocent victims into Zombies and Vampires, only one government task force is tough enough for the job: The Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency. Throughout history, from the Civil War to World War II, the FVZA protected humanity from the blood-sucking, flesh-eating hordes - until a cure was discovered that sent the undead to their graves. When a new incurable strain of the virus ravages a small town in America, Agent Landra Pecos must call upon her lethal skills to eradicate the threat. But as Landra delves deeper into her investigation of the undead menace, she uncovers shocking secrets that will change her life forever. Based on the popular website FVZA.org and written by comics superstar David Hine (Civil War: X-Men, Spider-Man Noir, Arkham Asylum). Featuring covers by John Bolton and Clint Langley.

Written by MARK MILLAR
Pencils & Cover by CARLOS PACHECO
THE SEARCH FOR STEVE ROGERS CONTINUES! From the mad minds of MARK MILLAR (ULTIMATES 1 & 2) and CARLOS PACHECO (X-MEN), Nick Fury assembles a new team of deadly operatives to track down the renegade Captain America! But what will the Avenger's resident marksman HAWKEYE have to say about Fury's tactics and will these new faces make the cut when the %^&( hits the fan?

Death has come to the X-Men. The one true Black Queen has returned, and she wants nothing less than every soul of mutantkind...dead or alive. And everyone that's ever crossed Selene is going to pay. The dead rise, familiar faces haunt mutants across the world, and Selene takes her final steps into becoming a god. It all begins here in a full-length X-FORCE extravaganza, and continues in the pages of next month's issue of X-FORCE...but the shockwaves of this terrifying event will be felt in NEW MUTANTS and X-MEN: LEGACY as well, and those reverberations begin here in two all-new bonus tales.

Same As It Never Was

One of the first official pics of the upcoming A-Team movie. In the era of reimaginings it's surpirsing to see something hew so close to the original. Wow.



Downtown Lodi businesses to extend hours?

City planners in Lodi are urging downtown businesses to stay open later and to open on Sundays. Well we stay open til 7 already and are open 12 to 5 on Sunday already... so... But we did appear on CBS 13 last night!

Check it out: http://www.cbs13.com/video/?id=62094@kovr.dayport.com


Roleplaying in the Yet

A proof-of-concept surfacescapes demo using D&D 4e. Man, I love that some of the smartest people in the world are also total geeks. (Mike)

Surfacescapes Demo Walkthrough from Visual Story TAs on Vimeo.

New Gaming Stuff

We've got a small gaming shipment in today:

Highlights include Black Lotus sleeves and deck box for MtG, a Tide of Iron expansion, and some Heroscape stuff. For D&D we got some restocks, the D&D Starter Set, Primal Power (new!), Sinister Woods Adventure Tiles (new!), and E3 Prince of Undeath (new!). (Mike)


Shattered Horizon on PC

Every great once in a while (nowhere near as often as in the past) I'll want to upgrade my PC to play some cool PC game. Shattered Horizon makes me feel that way and also looks like a game that would require the keyboard/mouse setup.

Check it:



MONDAY TELEMETRY For October 19th, 2009

Welcome to another installment of Monday Telemetry, a weekly blog from The Launchpad that covers some of the more interesting releases or events that are coming to the store in the coming week.

If you haven't picked up Morrison's Batman & Robin series we're restocking the initial issues of that title, so may wanna check it out. Likewise with Blackest Night and Power Girl. The new Stand mini starts this week too. On the toy front we're getting Blackest Night figs, and WoW's Illidan. There's also a new printing of Arkham Asylum: Living Hell coming in if you wanted to see some of the inspiration for the Arkham Asylum video game.

An eclectic mix of stuff this week. Some Halloween offerings and while there's a number of notable releases here are a few that may be under your radar:  

Following the events of "The Eighth Deadly Sin" in BATMAN ANNUAL #27 and DETECTIVE COMICS ANNUAL #11, the new monthly series starring Death's Dark Knight begins! Michael Lane is a man in search of redemption, but does serving the Order of Purity as God's Angel of Justice bring him closer to achieving his goal - or simply send him further down a road paved with good intentions? When a hired killer comes to Gotham City seeking revenge for crimes committed decades in the past, Azrael faces an impossible conflict: What if God's justice forces the hero to claim one of God's servants? From writer Fabian Nicieza and artist Ramon Bachs!

Black Lantern Psycho-Pirate shares his pain with the citizens of Smallville! And having your face shoved through the back of your skull can create quite a bit of pain. Will any Kryptonians come to the rescue? And could the key to taking down this menace lie within the Medusa Mask? Find out in the finale of this terrifying 3-issue epic from writer James Robinson (SUPERMAN, STARMAN) and artist Eddy Barrows (TEEN TITANS, ACTION COMICS)!

The biggest names in comics crime fiction assemble for an anthology of original tales of murder and deceit, presented in glorious black-and-white!

Comics luminaries Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets), Ed Brubaker (Criminal, Sleeper), David Lapham (Stray Bullets), Rick Geary (A Treasury of Victorian Murder), Chris Offutt (HBO's True Blood), and Paul Grist (Kane) show why they're masters of the genre, while newer talents like Jeff Lemire (Essex County), M. K. Perker (Cairo, Air), and Alex de Campi (Smoke) reveal their surprising dark sides. Aided and abetted by some of the most gifted slatherers of thick, black India ink in the field, such as Sean Phillips (Criminal), Eduardo Barreto (Cobb), Dean Motter (Mister X), and more, this gang is headed straight for the bad parts of town, and you're invited along for the ride!

The Eisner award winning team of Bendis and Maleev (DAREDEVIL, HALO) unveil a big new chapter in the life of Jessica Drew as she heads to Madripoor to do SWORD's dirty work. Based on the ground-breaking motion comic and featuring all new material.  And guest starring Spider-Man!!

Originally presented in the first online issues of MySpace Dark Horse Presents, for which it won the Eisner Award for Best Web Comic, Sugarshock tells the story of a rock band led by charismatic but crazy Dandelion Naizen, a hyperactive singer/songwriter possessed of a mean hatred of Vikings (don't ask) and a mission for a secret government agency that may only exist in her head. But when her band, which includes a robot bass player, is enlisted in an intergalactic battle of the bands-emphasis on battle-Dandelion gets to prove herself as both singer and soldier.
This is Joss Whedon at his funniest and most hyperactive, with writing that bursts off the page in a way seldom seen in comics. Multiple Eisner Award winner Fábio Moon delivers the outrageous story with equal energy, as well as providing a fourteen-page look at his process, with never-before-seen character designs, page layouts, and promotional images.

Joss Whedon's Eisner award-winning story gets its own comic!

New Comics In Store 10-21-09

After the jump: a list of the new stuff coming into the shop this week...


The Future of the X-men Film Franchise

Empire has a interview with Lauren Shuler Donner, producer on every X movie to date. They discuss Wolverine 2, X-men First Class, Deadpool, X-men Origins: Magneto.

Looks like Wolverine 2 will use the Claremont/Miller Wolverine mini-series as a template, which is a great place to start. Looks like First Class will skew for a younger audience. The Deadpool movie will ignore what was set down in the Wolverine movie. Magento could be good.... we'll see.

Jackie Earle Haley to play Sinestro?

Just a rumor so far, but various sources are reporting that Jackie Earle Haley may be cast as Sinestro in the upcoming Green Lantern film. More details at Sci-Fi Squad.


Two announcements from DC

Two great announcements to come out of the Diamond Retailer Summit:

A Wednesday Comics Collection: The Wednesday Comics collection will offer all 12 issues of the newspaper strip series in an 11” x 17” hardcover, at $49.99.

Awesome Pulp Stuff: The First Wave miniseries, written by Brian Azzarello with art by Rags Morales, will set the stage for a new gritty, noiristic world with Doc Savage, the Spirit, Batman, Black Canary, the Avenger, and other heroes.  Then later in 2010, DC will introduce ongoing series for The Spirit and Doc Savage, spinning out of the Batman/Doc Savage special and The First Wave.
It's Doc Savage, man. What's not to like.


Leaked Expendables Trailer

There's a leaked trailer for The Expendables making the rounds, but its getting pulled down almost as fast. Go watch this one quick.


MONDAY TELEMETRY For October 12th, 2009

Welcome to another installment of Monday Telemetry, a weekly blog from The Launchpad that covers some of the more interesting releases or events that are coming to the store in the coming week.

Superboy is back and hunting for Lex Luthor! He can't find Luthor on his own, and he needs help from his best friend Tim Drake, a.k.a. Robin. But Tim's now traveling the globe under the alias of Red Robin! The boys' reunion isn't all smiles and hugs, as Conner discovers that Tim has been hiding a great many secrets from the newly returned Boy of Steel. And they're secrets that could destroy their friendship!
Plus, in the Legion of Super-Heroes co-feature, the intergalactic odd couple known as Sun Boy and Polar Boy team up to figure out what's up with the menace trying to destroy the universe.

Deep within a secret government base beneath the arctic tundra lies the "Ark": a vault containing the genetic codes for all life on Earth. But there's a problem-a rogue Artificial Intelligence has decided that the best way to protect the samples is to eradicate every living creature! Only Iron Man has the knowledge to stop the machine-and he's only got an hour to do it! Join Robert Venditti-creator of The Surragates, now a major motion picture-and fan-favorite artist Nelson (X-FACTOR) as the fate of the world hangs in the balance!

Just when you thought the magic was over... The journey continues as the second volume to Michael Turner's smash action adventure fantasy series, SOULFIRE, begins! With the return of magic to a world unprepared for such an inexplicable event, Malikai, Grace, and the rest of the gang struggle to recover from their Battle for the Light against Rainier. Malikai and Sonia attempt to rekindle the romance they began in the magical realm of the Everlands, but a stranger, with a special secret of her own, enters their lives and interrupts their interlude. Meanwhile, Grace and Seph discover that the creatures of magic are not necessarily safe amongst the prejudices of the modern world. And, PJ and Benoist find themselves in a destitute land where technology reigns supreme--but not very peacefully! New paths will be forged for all as the war between technology and magic once again ignites, all in the pages of SOULFIRE Vol 2 #1 - right now! As a new volume of SOULFIRE arrives, several familiar names are ready to bring the wonder to you! Writer J.T. Krul returns to script the tale and artist Marcus To (of Fathom: Kiani and Soulfire: Chaos Reign fame) brings his adept penciling skills to the title. All the while inker Saleem Crawford and colorist Beth Sotelo provide the perfect combination of style and beauty to complete the entire SOULFIRE package. The magic has returned and it's here to stay. Make sure you're a part of the next exciting chapter in the storied SOULFIRE mythology!

Nothing will ever be the same.

Tying into upcoming events in Amazing Spider-Man including WHO IS BEN REILLY? and THE GAUNTLET! Even with all the action jam-packed into every issue of Thrice Monthly Spidey, we STILL don't have enough room to tell the wall-crawler's exploits! So BEHOLD! The brand-new, state of the art WEB OF SPIDER-MAN!  THRILL! To the return of KAINE, the ill-fated Peter Parker Clone - where has he been all these years? Where is he now? And how does it tie into KRAVEN?! Then - MARVEL!  At the continuing adventures of May-Day Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Girl! And More! Get caught in the web this October!

New Comics In Store 10-14-09

After the break: a list of the new stuff coming into the shop this week...


MONDAY TELEMETRY For October 5th, 2009

Welcome to another installment of Monday Telemetry, a weekly blog from The Launchpad that covers some of the more interesting releases or events that are coming to the store in the coming week.

By Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
One of the most award-winning and acclaimed comics series of the last several years returns to the shelves this September with a perfect new jumping-on point for new readers -- or those who've gotten hooked on Brubaker and Phillips hit series INCOGNITO and are craving more!
CRIMINAL's most popular character, TRACY LAWLESS returns in THE SINNERS.  It's been a year since Tracy was forced into working for the bad guys, and now made men are turning up dead all over the city, in what appears to be mob-style hits.  But since criminals don't go to the cops for justice... only Tracy can solve this crime.

Penciled by JEFTE PALO
Variant Cover by BILLY TAN
Launching from the pages of New Avengers, Jericho Drumm assumes the role of Marvel's new Sorcerer Supreme as DOCTOR VOODOO! Having foreseen an unimaginable evil that will soon envelop the Marvel Universe, the Eye of Agamotto has passed the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme on to the one man who has the unique gifts to stave off the coming darkness -- but is Doctor Voodoo ready for the momentous duty as avenger of the supernatural? As Jericho begins to grapple with his colossal new position, malevolent beings of vast power see his arrival as an opportunity to strike. Rising stars Rick Remender (PUNISHER) and Jefte Palo crack open a new chapter in the Book of Vishanti to tell the ongoing adventures of the new Sorcerer Supreme in the Mighty Marvel fashion!

Daniel Kilgore is dragged into his estranged brother Kurt's secret life of murder and espionage... by his ghost.  With no training whatsoever, guided by the spirit of his secret-agent brother, Daniel must now solve his brother's murder and save the world - or die trying!  It all starts here, people: Witness the birth of HAUNT!

Tons of things have changed since writer Warren Ellis (THE AUTHORITY, STORMWATCH) and artist John Cassaday (Astonishing X-Men) began their long, strange trip into the bizarre underbelly of the WildStorm Universe, but one thing has stayed the same: Anticipation for this final issue of the critically acclaimed series remains gargantuan! Over a decade in the making, PLANETARY culminates in this spectacular, oversized adventure. Prepare for answers to be revealed as the enigmatic Elijah Snow has one last errand to run!
Featuring a stunning 3-piece wraparound gatefold cover drawn by Cassaday, PLANETARY #27 represents the end of an era and should not be missed!

You won't believe your senses!! Marvel is proud to present the second issue of this hotly anticipated three issue anthology showcasing Marvel's greatest characters re-imagined by the best and brightest talents working in independent comics today. Don't miss what's sure to be one of the most exciting collections of comics short stories ever produced!!! Every issue stars a stunning array of the best, most exciting cartoonists on the planet-showcasing the Marvel Heroes as you've never seen them before! Featuring the long-awaited Peter Bagge "Incorrigible Hulk" serialized over all three issues!


Zendikar is here! UPDATED

Tomorrow we'll have Magic the Gathering: Zendikar for sale. We got allocated on the fat packs, so if you want one, you'd better hurry.

Update: Fat Packs are gone. No expected restock on those. 

Walking Dead #1

Newsarama has the first issue of the fantastic zombie comic The Walking Dead up for free here.

We can't recommend this book enough, it's more about the survivors than the zombies (although there's plenty of horrific zombie moments) and remains compelling as the story twists and turns over several years of development. A Walking Dead TV series is slated to appear on AMC.