How to Take Full and Complete Advantage of Digital Comics

Many find themselves reading digital comics. This has risen due to great companies such as comiXology. Their app and others alike make it quite simple to purchase and read comics without leaving your home. Marvel has taken an additional step to get people's feet wet with digital comics. The four dollar comics that some view as being expensive now have the added incentive of a free digital copy to be redeemed and used through their site. I have become aware of the multitude of ways to get comics in a thrifty manner:

  • Marvel updates their app (available on iOS, Android, and PC) every Tuesday with three free comics around noon.
  • Marvel has 99¢ sales on Monday and Friday. These usually have a theme to them.
  • comiXology also has sales regularly.
  • Each publisher on comiXology tend to offer at least a few free comics.
  • DC and Image will drop a $1 off the price after a comic has been released for a month.
  • IDW drops their price in HALF after four to five weeks of a title being released.
  • comiXology and Marvel accounts can be linked after sending a simple e-mail to their support team detailing your information.
  • Finally, SHARE!!! Some are still adamant about reading comics in print and could care less about the digital copy.
  • Also, if you have no need for the code Comic Vine has a trading forum just waiting to be used! Which can be found here.
  • If that's not your style, sell the codes on eBay for some quick cash! Just put a few dollars as the Buy-It Now price and set the shipping to free because you can send them the code in a message.

I currently have 361 comics in my comiXology account. I've only been getting digital comics for a year. Of those 361, I've only paid for 27, and the majority of those were through the 99¢ sales.

Just some friendly tips for those in need. I hope this helps :)

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Jimmy Hudson and the Ultimate X-Men

Jimmy Hudson first appeared in Ultimate X #1 (2010) and was created by Jeph Loeb and Arthur "Art" Adams.

This is still a young character having only appeared in a little over twenty issues, and we have only seen glimpses of his personality. Each writer whether it be Loeb, Nick Spencer or Brian Wood have put their own personal spin on the character. Sure sometimes it was just a slight tweak, but it was definitely noticeable. Some of the different changes could be attributed to him being a teenager trying to find himself. Here is who Jimmy Hudson is to me:

He is his father’s son - meaning James Hudson's son not Wolverine’s. He is the man James and Heather Hudson raised him to be, and he continues to strive to be that person. He might have thrill-seeking tendencies, but he has never wanted to let them down nor taint his image in their eyes. Jimmy was sheltered by a loving mother growing up - a mother who was against war. Despite this, Jimmy found himself at the forefront of a war and now has been through and lead battles like both of his fathers.

Wolverine knew very little of his past whereas Jimmy remembers all of his childhood. This makes a distinct separation between the two characters. Jimmy is the son of a war hero and the son of a sheriff. He has a noble person to look up to and has been lucky enough to have James Hudson as a father. This is something that Wolverine either never had or never remembers having. He is akin to Remus and Romulus. Jimmy does not have an animal side. He is not feral like Logan was. Jimmy also brings up the nature vs nurture argument which is something X-Men fans should be well aware of considering the recent Uncanny X-Force series. Loeb even pokes at this with Jimmy’s first interaction with Kitty Pryde. She asks him if their pet alligator bites. Jimmy responds with, “Yeah, he bites. He’s an alligator.” A creature known for showing his claws will show his claws.

Jimmy is innocent and inquisitive. Something I think he could still be able to retain even with what has happened in the southwest. He has a soft spot for Kitty. She was the first person to enlighten him. She showed him his father, gave him answers to questions he didn't know he had, and she told him what he was— a mutant.

The first time Jimmy ever saw his father he was shocked and scared. More importantly, he was impressed. He was awestruck to see this man in front of him, hologram, or not.

I would love to see Jimmy interact with Storm and Colossus. I feel that there could be some sweet and touching moments waiting to be tapped. I would also just love to see everyone’s reaction to Jimmy one by one. How he reminds them of Logan, and how different he is. The conversation sprouting from this would be such a joy to read. It would be filled with remembrance and laughter. Ororo commenting on how close they were, Piotr with a kind comment about Logan, and then Bobby with the clashing comment of a slightly insultful joke.

All of these X-Men have been through at least one ordeal if not multiple. Bobby and Kitty have recently suffered the loss of Peter Parker. Bobby was actually there when it happened. Scott was killed in front of Piotr and Ororo. They’ve watched the X-Men fall apart and crumble powerless to do anything to the contrary. Kitty did the only thing she could do after all of this. If she wouldn’t have kept busy or focused on a goal, she would have snapped like the prior two.

I want a story that focuses on the team and what they’ve been through. I want to see them come together as a family once again. That’s the story I would like to be reading and I think a number of fans would really enjoy that as well— a story which focuses on the past as well as the future and how the few remaining are struggling to get by.

I am enjoying Brian Wood's current Ultimate Comics X-Men and Kitty as the focus. There are a lot of great things happening and I think we have yet to really see what exactly Wood has in store for us. I would just like to see a story arc (or one-shot even) which focuses on Jimmy aside from the miniseries coming in March. I am excited for the mini and I think we are getting closer to seeing the things I've touched on prior.

I think it would be a nice, simple and heart-touching story. It's not much to ask for, and there is probably way more that older Ultimate X-Men would like to see come to fruition. Those are probably not going to get the story they might want, but I like my odds.

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Current X-Men Titles

By my count, there is a total of fifteen X-Men titles currently being published by Marvel. I am going to do myself justice as a fan and read all of those to post reviews and share thoughts. Those are incoming. Expect a few to follow shortly, such as, X-Men Legacy and All-New X-Men. Nine of these titles I have never read before. Of these nine, five have yet to be published. So... just a quick breakdown:

1. Age of Apocalypse

2. All-New X-Men

3. Astonishing X-Men

4. Cable and X-Force

5. Deadpool

6. Gambit

7. Savage Wolverine

8. Ultimate Comics: X-Men

9. Uncanny X-Force

10. Uncanny X-Men

11. Wolverine

12. Wolverine and the X-Men

13. X-Factor

14. X-Men Legacy

15. X-Treme X-Men

The crossed out titles I have already read and formed an opinion on, and the bold titles are yet to be released. Detailed reviews are to follow.

Which title(s) are you most excited about?

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Batman #0 Sketch Variant

DC has started the ever-so popular black variant under the We Can Be Heroes initiative. The Batman zero issue is the first to sport this with more to follow (Green Lantern #13, Swamp Thing #14, etc.) Steve Scott has done a couple and even has them for auction on eBay. They're pretty stellar so it's worth a look at the very least.

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Lizard With A Beard

So. Back in April. I somehow got the idea for a story I would like to tell. And unlike all the other stories/ideas that have come into my head, I cannot recall how this one came to be. So I had an idea for a character - a lizard - who live in Nevada and is a mercenary. The stories I thought of telling cracked me up. I thought of doing multiple origins a la The Joker. This character was very much inspired by my love for TMNT. Except he doesn't have any brothers. Its just him. Without any further ado, I present to you.... Rembrandt, Lizard with a Beard!!!

I've gone through a couple of different designs for him. All the while never having a name. Nor really giving one much thought. It must have been the end of July when I saw a name and immediately thought of him. That's when I knew it was perfect. Rembrandt. I loved the name because I've been a Sliders fan since childhood. But it also fit perfectly with my other love TMNT. Naming this reptile after an old, famous painter? Thought had never crossed my mind before. Some things just have a way of working out perfectly :)

If anyone would like to draw Rembrandt. Please feel free to do so. It would make my day. I envision him with a tank top, tactical pants and then armed with swords, submachine guns and maybe a canon for an arm a la Weapon X from Age of Apocalypse. But take any creative liberties you would like.

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Spider-Men Contest

This week we saw the release of Spider-Men #1. As a Spider-Man fan, I was very excited to read this. What got me into Marvel to begin with was Ultimate Spider-Man. I felt that Brian Michael Bendis ended Peter Parker's story way too soon. But I did except the amazing send off he gave Pete. Bringing back Mark Bagley on the art was definitely a plus. Reading the final issue was definitely something I hesitated on. I couldn't believe that I was there with the final issue in my hands. I never thought I would see the end of a story that I loved. I opened the issue knowing good and well that Pete would be dead by the end of it. That made me sad. I was shocked by how sad I actually was. As I neared the end, my eyes started to water when I saw Mary Jane.

Tears stood at the precipice of breaking out of my tear-ducts and rolling down my face.With the final page, I sat there with a handful of tears on my face and my arms outstretching the comic so it did not get wet. Puny Parker no more.

Even though his story was over I couldn't help but wonder a few things. Why wasn't Kitty present at the time? Whatever happened to the Bombshells? Why did Kong move away? And just what was up with Mysterio?!! I thought he had a master plan and now we would never see him. Those were the only things that I felt sore about. I never got closure on their stories. But that's the way it works in real life. I appreciated that fact.

Ultimate Comics X-Men gave me more of the Kitty, Bobby and Johnny that I loved. It was so nice and refreshing to see them again. A continuation of a story. To see how Kitty was dealing with Pete's loss. To hear the line: "Where the hell were you?!" was chilling.

Now we have Spider-Men. (Can you say best Spider-Man team-up ever?!) We will finally get to see some more of the Ultimate Mysterio. Bendis recreated this classic villain in a fresh way. I cannot wait to see how this play out with the villain who was always too much for just one Spider-Man to handle. I have welcomed Miles into the role even though I would have rather seen Kong fill Peter's shoes. I know Sara Pichelli will deliver some truly amazing scenes throughout this series and my biggest hope is the final fight.

Here's the contest portion.

  • Tell me how you would like to see the final fight between Peter and Miles versus Mysterio. Or what you are most excited to see happen in this mini-series.
  • Winner will be chosen at random and will receive a digital code for Spider-Men #1 in a private message.
  • Contest ends on Wednesday, June 20th.
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Digital Comics in the Mighty Marvel Manner.

My friends and I like to read each others books. It's fun; I feel like it benefits both parties. If I pay for a book and I read it then I get my money's worth. But if my friends also read it and enjoy it then I feel as if then $3 or $4 was totally worth it. At times though it's easy to get bogged down by how many comics we read between ourselves. I am guilty of this as well. But when I see a book has a free digital comic inside that is when I smile. I don't have to worry about getting the book back to the friend. I don't have to worry that he may damage my book. It takes away the worry and leaves nothing but fun and excitement.

With the digital codes, I'm able to redeem a comic and read it while I'm not at home. It's the best feeling to be bored somewhere and remember that I have a comic on my phone to read. Whether I am in class or in the waiting room at a doctor's office, it makes everything more pleasant. I was pleased to hear that every $4 book out of Marvel would be featuring the digital copies. This makes me feel better about shelling out the extra dollar than I am used to spending. It also comes in handy for my friend who never really read any Marvel and is scared to test the waters. I give him my digital comics to read. And he has yet to not enjoy any of the ones he has read.

With my analyzing this, I realize how genius Marvel really is. By simply including a digital code in select issues, they have motivated more people to buy in LCS and have made more people fans of theirs. My friend is a prime example of this. He will probably never stop as long as I keep giving him the codes. but it's not just that. He started buying his own Marvel books which I cannot wait to get the codes from!!!

Well played, Marvel. Well played indeed.

-blur1528

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Outlining

Recently I have been outlining not one but two stories. This seems to always happen. Whenever I start a project, I begin thinking of the options I have and the stories I wish to tell with the character. And when I do that I usually find a story I want to tell but it doesn't fit the character. Which brings me to now.

I am working on a Green Arrow story which I only see going for 24 issues. The other is Hellion. Hellion is a different story because the more I think of Julian the more I realize how endless the potential is. I feel like I could weave a story to go on for at least 50 issues.

I plan to do the characters justice and I think that is what is truly taking the longest part with the outlines. I feel I owe these two some respect coming from a writer's and a fan's point of view.

More details on the way,

blur1528

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My Art

From time to time I tend to get inspired by what I read or see and usually this leads me to drawing. And since its my anniversary and all I thought I'd share some of my "art" with all of you. From left to right: Raphael, Shredder, Ted Kord, Indigo Tribesman Alfred, Rick Grimes, Hellboy, Thing, and my Monster Face created by cutting and taping pictures together and then drawing it resulted image.

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