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Check back here for detailed information on updates to the reading orders or database, reviews by myself or any of the other site contributors, and general comic news we find interesting! You can also subscribe to an RSS feed for updates.

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By | Saturday, October 30, 2010 | 9:52 pm | 0 Comments | Blog > Database Updates

While I was waiting for the potential Superman winners to contact me, I decided to get in a few database updates! This post also includes the updates I’ve done since the announcement.

I added a cover and publication information to the Joker book that’s currently our featured giveaway.

Thanks to some sharp eyes from Heinsby, who informed me that I’d listed Green Arrow 1-3 two times on the Brightest Day Issue Reading Order. I’m not sure how I left it in there twice, but I’ve corrected the error!

I also added a link to the little random picking methodology discussion to the header of the giveaways category.

The following couple books have been moved to new placements on the DC Universe Reading Order, plus given covers and some other info:

DC Animated: Justice League Unlimited: Jam Packed Action (Digest)

DC Animated: Batman: The Collected Adventures Vol. 2 (Renamed from “The Dark Knight Adventures, based on my copy. I’m unsure as to multiple titles existing for this collection? I scanned my cover, since I couldn’t find a good high res of it.)

I’ve got some more placements I’m working on that I hope to post later tonight, but I’m also working on a couple reviews (and editing/advising a user submitted review that I’m excited about!)

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By | Saturday, October 30, 2010 | 7:28 pm | 10 Comments | Blog > Database Updates

It makes me sad to know that out of 25 eligible applicants, I’m only able to give away five books – but at least five of you will be very happy!

Here are the users that won Superman: Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow, donated by Heavy Ink!

JesterJDT – Jesse from Toledo, OH.

DaveWheeler952Dave from Minnetonka, MN.

DevilSoprano – Brian from Charlotte, NC.

Marc – Marc from Milwaukee, WI.

Lonefeather – Sam from Pebble Beach, CA.

Congratulations to all of you!

They’ve been put in touch with Heavy Ink, who will be sending out their books soon.

I thought some of you may be a little curious about how I pick the winners.

Since some of the site users are my friends, some have been contributors and supporters for some time, some are obvious heavy users and some are obviously brand new – I want to be careful not to be biased in the selection. Everyone should have an equal chance!

So I use a fully mechanical process. First I take each user’s user id number (generated based on what order you signed up) and list them out in an excel doc. (You can see your user id by hovering over the icon next to your name when you comment.)

I use user ids instead of usernames, because I don’t want to be subconsciously influenced by knowing what number represents who.

Then I put the formula “=rand()” in the column next to the user id values.

This formula generates a random decimal number every time you refresh it. So by sorting the selection by that column, all the numbers end up in a random spot on the list every time you sort the column.

For no real reason, I also sort the column back and forth a few times (it just makes me feel like they’re more mixed up.) Then I just pick the first values on the list!

For this set of results, I’m actually showing the full list there on the left.

So if you’ve figured out your user ID, you might notice how close you were to getting a book this time. Maybe you’re number 6!

There’s probably a much easier way to do this, but that’s the system I’ve been using.

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By | Friday, October 29, 2010 | 11:59 pm | 26 Comments | Blog > Giveaways

Update: The contest is now closed and the winner contacted! If you entered, check your mail!

Update 2: The winner has been announced. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Here’s the weekly giveaway!

Thanks again for the awesome response to the Superman giveaway. The entries are now closed and the winners will be announced as soon as they have been confirmed.

This week isn’t going to be as epic but it’s still a nice prize. It was originally going to be the prize for the first user submitted review, but it turned out to be early (and from the UK!)

I’m sending out a hardcover copy of the Joker original graphic novel by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo. For now, we’ll be keeping the requirements simple, but we’ll probably have more fun with it soon.

The Rundown:

(1) Joker Hardcover OGN – From my personal collection (with very minor scuffing on the top of the dust jacket, but otherwise in great shape.)

(1) Winner – Randomly selected from the comments on this post. You must be logged in when you comment to be eligible. You must also be in the continental USA.

Deadline – You have until 11:59 on Friday, November 5th, 2010. The winner will be contacted that night or early the next morning, and announcement will be made as soon as they are confirmed.

Good luck everyone!

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By | Friday, October 29, 2010 | 12:59 am | 0 Comments | Blog > Database Updates

Hope everyone is having a good Thursday night.

First of all, as of right now you’ve got exactly 23 hours to get your comment on the post for the Alan Moore Superman trade giveaway.

Remember that you must be logged in. I do the random selection through user id numbers, and if you’re not registered you won’t have one!

Your comments have been more than kind and I’m very glad that some of you will be winning books. The best of luck everyone!

I’ve done some updates, though only minor ones will show on the front. Well, we had big changes for the review layout earlier (and I hope everyone is enjoying Simon’s Hellblazer Review). I also changed the formatting for the byline and breadcrumb on single blog posts in order to fit longer user names.

The main updates are in the back end. I’ve removed the un-needed items from the backend navigation for the average site user. You don’t need the writing fields, because you can now submit reviews directly on each book or post topics you’re interested in the forum (and I’ll pick them up for the blog if they’re great, like Uncle Gorby’s Corner.)

When I feel it’s time, I’ll make a similar submission form for database entries, so the only thing non-administrative users can do in the backend is edit their profile and upload an avatar. I also added links back to the front page and  My Collection.

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By | Thursday, October 28, 2010 | 12:32 pm | 5 Comments | Blog > Reviews

Find This Book At:
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View our database entry
Includes Issues: Hellblazer 134-139
Issue Dates: February – July 1999
Warren Ellis, John Higgins

This review is spoiler free! Skip To The Verdict? »

After a long hiatus Hellblazer issues are once again being published in trade, leaving a gap of 46 issues that remain unpublished to this day.

This TPB is the second in the new run of collections and it collects the first 6 issues of Warren Ellis’ run on Hellblazer.

The story is set in the year days of the ”New Labour” era in London, with Constantine freshly back in town after being away for some time. After hearing about the murder of an old acquaintance, he starts to look around for trouble and to get the bottom of it.

As with all Hellblazer books, this trade contains a fair amount of brutal scenes, plenty of dark going ons and a astronomic total of cigarettes smoked.

I have been a long-time fan of Ellis and have come to expect a high level of writing from him in his work, and this book is no exception. It is written around Constantine and the person he is, rather than trying to squeeze his character into some over-the-top story, as other writers have done through the years.

The downside to this approach is that this TPB doesn’t really contain anything new for Hellblazer fans, and while it may be a good read it wont be particularly memorable.

The art, drawn by John Higgins, is far from top notch and in certain panels Constantine looks more like blonde Hugh Grant than the magician we have come to love. The colours are good, as is a lot of the other artwork, it’s just those few panels that help tarnish the artwork of the book as a whole.

The main reason I am critical of this book is that I try to think in terms of ”What would a first time reader think if they read this?”. For this collection I would say they’d enjoy it, but their enjoyment would pale in comparison to the experience they’d have if they started with a Delano or Ennis arc.

For that reason I would say this book is for current fans of Hellblazer only.

It’s far better than all the uncollected stories, but it’s one of the weaker TPBs in the series. I give it 3 stars out of 5.

Essential Continuity:
I was unable to get this book for a while – after finally purchasing it my idea of Constantine was unchanged. Non-essential reading for continuity.

Read first:
There is no essential collection to read before as it’s Ellis’ first TPB, however I would recommend reading all of the other stories first to get maximum enjoyment out of this one.

If you haven’t read any Hellblazer at all, you could start with Delano’s trade Original Sins, which collects the first 9 issues of the Hellblazer ongoing, or even read Swamp Thing, where the character was first introduced by Alan Moore.

Read next:
Next in Ellis’ run is Hellblazer: Setting Sun.

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