7-23-11: Captain America... The Review!!!

by Matman

As I walked into the theatre my thought was of fear!!! For me to be happy about this film, it had to only be the greatest film of all time! No pressure, eh?

We always say that to make a good comic book movie you need to stay close to the source material, and make the character interesting and likable. It needs to have spirit and most importantly, it needs to be accessible to kids of all ages.

Check, check, check, check and check!

‘Captain America – The First Avenger’ is an incredible look at the making of a hero! From his humble and meek beginnings we see a man who believes in something so hard, he’ll do anything to get it. This, during a world conflict that clearly defines good and evil! On the other side we meet the Red Skull who is the absolute opposite of Steve Rogers; so power hungry he’ll kill anyone and anything who gets in his way!

The pacing of this film is as perfect as you can get. The story has time to breath and isn’t weighed down by anything unnecessary. The action scenes are like watching comic book panels come to life; heroic and full of action. For longtime Cap fans, the appearances of Dum Dum Dugan, Arnim Zola and Peggy Carter was a treat and a brief glimpse into the ‘Winter Soldier’ was just icing on the cake! 

As Cap, Chris Evans was perfect and will make you forget he was the Human Torch! And Hugo Weaving was just as impressive. Even behind the ultra cool looking mask, he was full of hate. Haylee Atwell (Peggy Carter), Tommy Lee Jones (Colonel Philips) and Sebastian Stan (Bucky) were all excellent additions and played their parts perfectly. Joe Johnstone

So as you can imagine…I loved this movie! It has for me become my favorite superhero movie and the blueprint any director should follow when making a film because Joe Johnston created an absolute masterpiece!

Matman Rating – 5 out of 5 stay for the trailer past the credits!

7-22-11: The New Secret Identity Website Launches This Weekend!

We've been working on it for a few weeks now, and the new website is ready to go.  We will likely unplug the current website Saturday night and plug the new one in. Provided there are no major technical issues, it should be a quick transition.

While the new site will be very familiar to those who frequent the current one, we've reorganized and streamlined things, and we've also increased the community component of the site. You may need to reset your bookmarks, as some of the pages have been renamed.

So, look for the new site in the next couple of days, and we'll keep you posted if anything changes!

--Matt and Brian

7-21-11: Finding Friends In San Diego

The biggest comic show on the entire planet is happening right now in San Diego! If you are there you know the crowds can be pretty crazy and finding certain creators may be hard to do. Well, let us help you find one of our pals, Chris Giarrusso!!!

Chris can be found in artist alley at FF – 17. If you can’t find it by the number, just follow the rainbow to his table. Chris will have some of his classic cover recreations on hand as well as prints and of course, doing sketches until the closing hours of the show!

And while you’re in the neighborhood, Jacob Chabot will be right next to Chris at FF – 19 with Skull-boy stuff as well as the debut of ‘Rama - Tut, the Pharaoh From The Future’!

7-20-11: Secret Identity Cover Girl... er, Cover Boy!!!

First, he helps create podcast excellence with Secret identity! Then, he graduates college as one of the most interesting graduates at Springfield Technical Community College. Soon, his image will be on a billboard! But in the now, he made the cover of The Springfield Rescue Mission Magazine!

7-19-11: Image At San Diego Comic Con

Many of the best comic book creators in the industry will be seated at Image Comics booth #2729 for the entire 2011 San Diego Comic-Con, as well as many more that will be there for a limited time during scheduled signings. With signings ranging from best-selling favorites like Robert Kirkman and Todd McFarlane to exciting up-and-coming creators like Nate Simpson and Nick Spencer, Image is proud to host so much talent in one place. Make sure to come by and meet your favorite creators!

Top Cow Productions will be hosting additional signings at their booth (#2629) throughout the show. For more information about their signings and more, visit

SIGNINGS:Wednesday, July 20th
6:00 - 7:00 Ted McKeever (META4)
7:00 - 9:00 Robert Kirkman (THE WALKING DEAD, THE INFINITE) - This event will be ticketed. Tickets will be available at the Skybound side of booth #2729 on the day of the signing, from the opening of the doors until the allotted tickets run out.

Thursday, July 21st
9:30 - 11:00 Christopher Sebela (SCREAMLAND)
11:30 - 12:30 Michael Broussard and Jeremy Haun (ARTIFACTS)
12:45 - 1:45 Rufus Dayglo (TANK GIRL)
2:00 - 4:30 Robert Kirkman (THE WALKING DEAD, THE INFINITE) - This event will be ticketed. Tickets will be available at the Skybound side of booth #2729 on the day of the signing, from the opening of the doors until the allotted tickets run out.

3:00 - 4:00 New HAUNT Creative Team: Todd McFarlane (SPAWN), Joe Casey (BUTCHER BAKER, THE RIGHTEOUS MAKER), and Nathan Fox (BLUE ESTATE) -- Meet Todd McFarlane and the new Haunt creative team as they join forces for their first public appearance. Fans will receive a free limited edition HAUNT signing lithograph designed by Nathan Fox. Two autographs per person, limited to the HAUNT signing litho and one additional item. This event will be ticketed. Tickets will be available at the Image Central side of booth #2729 on the day of the signing, from the opening of the doors until the allotted tickets run out.
4:30 - 5:30 Brandon Seifert and Lukas Ketner (WITCH DOCTOR)

4:30 - 5:30 Charles Soule (27)
5:45 - 6:30 Christopher Sebela (SCREAMLAND)

Friday, July 22nd
9:30 - 11:00 Rahsan Ekedal (ECHOES)
11:30 - 12:30 Mike Allred and Laura Allred (MADMAN)
1:00 - 2:00 Michel Gagne (SAGA OF REX)
2:00 - 3:30 Brandon Seifert and Lukas Ketner (WITCH DOCTOR)
2:00 - 3:30 Yoshiki (X Japan), Jon Goff (SPAWN), and Carlo Soriano (Star Wars Adventures) - Meet Yoshiki and the creative team behind BLOOD RED DRAGON at their first ever public signing! The first 100 guests will receive a free limited edition BLOOD RED DRAGON comic! Two autographs per person, limited to the BLOOD RED DRAGON comic and one additional item. 3:45 - 4:45 Nate Simpson (NONPLAYER) -- Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award nominee!5:00 - 6:30 Robert Kirkman (THE WALKING DEAD, THE INFINITE) - This event will be ticketed. Tickets will be available at the Skybound side of booth #2729 on the day of the signing, from the opening of the doors until the allotted tickets run out.

Saturday, July 23rd
9:30 - 10:30 Deborah Vankin (POSEURS)
10:30 - 11:30 Mike Allred and Laura Allred (MADMAN)
11:30 - 12:30 Robert Kirkman (THE WALKING DEAD, THE INFINITE)
1:00 - 2:00 Hoang Nguyen (CARBON GREY)
2:30 - 4:00 Brandon Seifert and Lukas Ketner (WITCH DOCTOR)
2:30 - 4:00 Nick Spencer, Joe Eisma, Rodin Esquejo, and Alex Sollazzo (MORNING GLORIES) - Meet the entire MORNING GLORIES creative team! MORNING GLORIES has been nominated for multiple Eisner Awards: Best Continuing Series, Best Writer, Best New Series, and Best Cover Artist.
4:15 - 5:15 Robert Kirkman (THE WALKING DEAD, THE INFINITE) - This event will be ticketed. Tickets will be available at the Skybound side of booth #2729 on the day of the signing, from the opening of the doors until the allotted tickets run out.
5:30 - 6:30 Randy Queen (DREAMS OF DARKCHYLDE) - Free DARKCHYLDE movie posters and copies of DREAMS OF DARKCHYLDE TP signed by creator Randy Queen and John Carpenter (director of classic horror films such as Halloween and the upcoming Darkchylde film adaptation) will be given away to the first 100 guests! 

Sunday, July 24th
9:30 - 10:30 Deborah Vankin (POSEURS)
11:00 - 12:00 Michel Gagne (SAGA OF REX)
12:00 - 1:30 Ben McCool (MEMOIR, PIGS)
1:45 - 3:00 Christopher Sebela (SCREAMLAND)
2:00 - 4:00 Robert Kirkman (THE WALKING DEAD, THE INFINITE) - This event will be ticketed. Tickets will be available at the Skybound side of booth #2729 on the day of the signing, from the opening of the doors until the allotted tickets run out.


7-18-11: Bring The Simpson's To Camp!

As kids get ready for camp (both of Matman’s go this and next week) we thought this would be the perfect week to discuss Camp / Vacation Travel Must Read Comics!!!

“As a kid I couldn’t and still can’t go anywhere without comics to read,” said Matman! “As my little one Samantha packs for a week of fun I asked her what is the one comic she has to have with her! Her choice is Simpson’s Classics!”

Simpson’s Classics is a quarterly magazine that has special featursd, but more importantly, reprints two full issues of the current Simpson’s comics! If you’re a fan of the Simpson’s’ and haven’t read the comics than you are missing out on stories that follow perfectly with the TV series. Each magazine is $3.99 and a full magazine size.

“I like the magazine because it has a lot of good stories and you can find them anywhere like grocery stores and Toys ‘R’ Us,” said Samantha Herring. “If I can’t bring my TV with me, I can still enjoy the Simpsons”.

For more ingotmation on Simpsons comics, go to

7-17-11: The Red Skull, A Flaming Skull And Cap # 1

We are mere days away from the all new Secret Identity website and the all new super spectacular Secret Identity Podcast!!! Excited? I am, but first…

*With all the Captain America books hitting, I hope everyone picked up the incredible ‘Red Skull - Incarnate’ # 1. This is a deep look at why the Red Skull is so psychotic! Look for the cool propaganda poster looking covers by David Aja!

*Speaking of Cap… the first issue of Ed Brubaker and Steve McNiven’s ‘Captain America’ hit and yup…it’s a winner! Wait ‘til you see the bad guy at the end!!!

*so I was talking to a creator friend and asked ‘why are you not doing ComiCONN in August? He said ‘no one asked me to!’ So I sent a message to the guys at ComiCONN his number and BAMMO!!! He’s in. Go to for a formal announcement!

*Picked up my first issue of ‘Birds Of Prey’ in a while because of the art by Billy Tucci! You should too!!!

*Don’t know what to think of ‘Ghost Rider’ # 1 yet, except I loved Matthew Clark’s art!

*Picked it up on a lark, but Marvel’s time traveling ‘Iron Age’ mini series is real good and a very satisfying read!

*A couple of great trades to look for to pack for the kids on their way to camp! ‘Archie World Tour’ written by our pal Alex Simmons and features a high flying globe trotting adventure. ‘The Archie Babies’ by Mike Kunkel and Art Mawhinney is an all new trade that features Archie and the gang as babies!

*My Classic Cover Of The Week is Justice League Of America # 159 from October 1978! Look at this incredible cover by Rich Buckler and Dick Giordano featuring a few of my favorite all time characters; Jonah Hex, Enemy Ace, and the Flash! Too bad the story was kinda clunker…typical 70’s JLA!

Well that’s it for this week kids… Matman Out!!!

7-16-11: EA Gives Latest Example Of Why iPad Is A Legitimate Gaming Console

“Hardcore” gamers like to eschew claims that mobile devices, particularly Apple’s iOS devices, are legitimate gaming platforms. What a lot of gamers don’t realize though, is that developers absolutely consider these devices gaming platforms, and they are working harder than ever to create content for these platforms that will be able to stand toe to toe with other platforms that gamers consider more “hardcore.”

IGN posted a video this week of EA’s FIFA developers showing off a version of the upcoming FIFA 12 for iPad. This year’s iteration of the game will allow players to use other iOS devices (iPhones and iPod Touches) as controllers for the iPad game. The video also demonstrated how the game looked on a big screen, using the iPad’s HDMI connector.

In other words, the devs demonstrated how they can turn the iPad into a traditional console via the software they are developing. This has already been done with other games and apps on a smaller scale. But, it’s easy to imagine that if FIFA 12 will have this capability, other EA games will end up having it too.

I’m not suggestion that my iPad/iPhone combo will replace my current consoles, but when you look at how consoles are trying to incorporate some of the best parts of mobile tech, and mobile tech is starting to provide console-type experiences, the lines between the two are starting to blur. Personally, I for one can’t wait to see more games with this functionality, because it pretty much means I’ll have a portable console made up of devices that I already carry around with me on a regular basis.

And that’s perhaps the most interesting thing about what’s happening right now with iOS devices and gaming. It’s like a spy movie, where the assassin gets past event security because he’s broken down his weapon into multiple pieces and then assembles it once he’s inside.  Apple has basically snuck a new game console into iOS users homes piece by piece. First the iPod, then the iPhone, and finally the iPad. Then they bring them all together to form the console.

Crazy stuff, and I can’t wait to see what’s coming down the road.  One thing’s for sure--I’ll be buying FIFA 12 on iPad on day one.

7-15-11: The World According To The Mighty One

Secret Identity has had a long standing love affair with ‘Chew’ ever since writer John Layman told us the story! For the past 20 or so issues, the ‘mighty one’ and artist Rob Guillory have crafted a unique story that stands out among the zillions of titles on the shelf!

Not being a one trick pony, John has added another title to his slate; Godzilla – Gangsters and Goliaths from IDW. In this second (and strongest) of IDW’s ‘zilla books, G-GG follows the story of a Japanese policeman who finds his way onto Monster Island as he runs from a Japanese gangster!

“In the entire print history of Godzilla,” said Matman “this series has captured what is cool about Godzilla and the films! Godzilla can’t be the lead; he needs to be a strong supporting character!”

Adding to the awesomeness of the book is artist Alberto Ponticelli who draws Godzilla, Mothra and the Space Twins perfectly!   

But Layman’s writing isn’t designated to people who solve crimes by eating body parts or the king of the monsters! Recently he wrote the Marvel three issue event ‘Identity Wars’ that ran through Spider-Man, Deadpool and the Hulk annuals. As an added bonus, he is joined another Secret Identity fav, former Batgirl artist Lee Garbett! All three books are still available at your local comic shop.

“There are a few scribes that I get anything they write,” added Matman! “Sterling Gates, Nick Spencer, Geoff Johns, Joe Kelly and add to that list John Layman!"

7-14-11: Review--Transformers: Dark Of The Moon

by Brian LeTendre

Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon (TF3) is pretty much the Transformers movie I wanted to see the first time around. I think it’s easily the best of the series, although that’s not saying much, as I thought the first one was so-so, and the second one was awful.

I won’t bother getting into the story, except to say that the premise is interesting. But let’s face it--I did not go see TF3 at the theater and pay the extra money for 3D to see a good story. I went to see robot carnage, and this movie has it in spades.  TF3 starts with a flashback to the war on Cybertron, and that’s just the appetizer. The last 45 minutes of the movie is just a giant battle scene, and sprinkled in between are some smaller, but equally awesome action sequences.  

Optimus Prime is finally a butt-kicking leader for the first time in the trilogy. Megatron is scarred from the events of the last movie, and it makes him even more menacing. Leonard Nimoy as Sentinel Prime is great.

All in all, TF3 is a technical marvel.  From the robots themselves, to the 3D effects, the movie is visually amazing. The story is decent, but there’s plenty of cheesy Michael Bay-isms throughout that are just downright cheesy. But who cares? We’re talking about a movie franchise featuring giant robots based on a toyline and cartoon from 25 years ago.  If you were disappointed with the action in the first two movies, TF3 more than makes up for that. See it in the theater, in 3D, where you can truly appreciate it.

4 out of 5 Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots

7-13-11: Starz and BBC present 'Torchwood: Miracle Day'

Welcome to the new Torchwood…Americanized for your viewing pleasure!

When we last saw Torchwood in the brilliant ‘Children Of Earth’ series, we saw Gwen pregnant, Captain Jack on the run and Ianto dead! Thanks to the Starz cable network, the wait and the run is over!

In this season premier, no one on earth is dying! On the time of the last reported death, Torchwood files got into the hands of everyone including the CIA. As CIA Chief Rex Matheson is speaking on the phone with agent Ester Drummond he is killed in a car accident. But because this is ‘miracle day’, he doesn’t die! Meanwhile in the UK, Gwen, husband Rhys and their baby are being hunted down. And of course Captain Jack gets involved and during a rescue he hurts himself, something an immortal shouldn’t do!

Now let’s look at the fears!! With this season, Starz and BBC co produced this show and despite the Americanizing, flows like any great Torchwood episode. Hearing American accents can be a little throwing alongside the thick Welsh speak, but the episode was strong and not dominated by the US production. Also, this was not dumbed down for American audiences which was my fear. The true spirit of Torchwood lives on!

The regular cast of Eve Myles, John Barrowman and Kai Owen absolutely sparkle! And the additions of Mekhi Peifer, Alexa Havens and the lovely Arlene Tur make it a strong and likeable ensemble. It took me a while to like Peifer, but towards the end of the episode, I really liked him!      

This is not a reboot or a reimagining of Torchwood! It is a ten part forth season that started out with a bang and hopefully will continue to shine!

Matman Rating – 4.5 out of 5 kids in earmuffs

7-12-11: Fantasy Baseball Standings At The All-Star Break

We have hit the halfway point of the baseball season, with the All-Star game being played tonight (8p.m. on Fox). We're also halfway through the fantasy baseball season, and it's been a wild ride so far. Here are the standings in both divisions:


7-11-11:Look Out For The 'Paparazzi'

Press Release

The new comic book fiction series “Paparazzi” from Bluewater is out and taking names. The four issue mini series is written by Adam Gragg and pencils by Jorge Mongiovi & Gregg Paulsen.

Los Angeles; some call it the city of angels, others call it a cesspool of debauchery and self indulgence, but whatever you choose to call it, one thing is clear; L.A. is where all the action is. When an entertainment newspaper stops covering celebrity tabloids and starts to focus on the superhero community, all Hell breaks loose. From closeted capes, to drugged out Do-Gooders, no one is safe from the poison pen of Sara Michaels and her award-winning snake of a photographer, Glenn Barry.

From the people who brought you The Legend of Isis, “10th Muse” and Wrath of the Titans, comes a new type of comic book that explores what goes on under the spandex, and we aren't talking Botox!

The sex, the lies and all the fun continue in issue three of Bluewater's guilty pleasure, Paparazzi! 

Each issue retails for $3.99 and sport a covers by artist Gregg Paulson (Judo Girl). The series is exclusive to comic book stores.  To find a comic book shop locator, go to

7-10-11:  Review--Hall Pass

by Brian LeTendre

I kind of dismissed “Hall Pass” when it first came out. I love the Farrelly borthers, but I think a lot of their success has to do with the amazing casting many of their movies have. Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis are funny guys, but compared to Jim Carrey, Ben Stiller or Bill Murray, they didn’t have me excited to see this one.

So, when my wife and I settled in to watch “Hall Pass” for our weekly movie night, I was expecting a decent comedy with a few big laughs. As it turns out, I underestimated this one, as Hall Pass was consistently funny, and much better than I expected.

“Hall Pass” features Wilson and Sudeikis as Rick and Fred, a couple of married guys who are both stuck in a rut that a lot of married couples find themselves in. 
Between jobs, kids, and the day to day routine, there’s not a lot of romance in their lives. Both guys find themselves thinking about the good old days, and fantasizing about what it might be like to be single again. Their wives decide to give them a “hall pass”--a week off from marriage, and the movie chronicles each of the days the couples are apart.

Two of the things I love about the Farrelly brothers are that their movies are often a lot smarter than they are given credit for, and they also have a lot of heart. Both are true of “Hall Pass” as well. All of the main characters are likable, and while the wives are sort of painted as the bad guys early on, both Christina Applegate and Jenna Fischer’s characters are sympathetic enough that you don’t want to see either of them get hurt. The movie actually makes you root against it’s very premise--you think you want to see a wild week where two husbands let loose, and you end up wanting to see the husbands and wives work everything out and remain loyal to one another.

There’s plenty of laughs as the movie goes through each day the husbands are free of their wives. Some of the humor is pretty foul, and there is one scene in particular that will stay with me for quite a while, both for its hilarity and its disgustingness. All in all, “Hall Pass” is definitely worth checking out, especially if you’re married.

4 out of 5 Be Careful What You Wish Fors

7-9-11: The Brass City Comic Convention Is On!!!


7-8-11:  Review--Mighty Fin (iPhone)

by Brian LeTendre

Mighty Fin is a fun side-scroller that initially hooked me (see what I did there?) with it’s simple control scheme and charming aesthetic. After spending some more time with the game, I also found a lot of reasons to keep coming back.

In Mighty Fin you play as the title character, a fish who embarks on a vacation that takes him to various locations around the world. Unfortunately for Fin, his travel agent Shady Sal has booked some rather dangerous locales for Fin to spend his vacation in, and Fin has to avoid hazards ranging from hungry seagulls to spiked ice flows while trying to collect bubbles and new outfits to wear on his adventure.

The game’s core mechanic is simple, and perfectly suited to the iPhone’s touchscreen. Fin moves through the water on his own at a consistent pace. The player touches the screen to make Fin dive deeper into the water, and lets go to make Fin jump up and out of the water. The collectibles and the hazards are arranged so that you need to time your jumps and dives to navigate them effectively. It’s a mechanic that’s very easy to understand, and even my five year old was able to pick the game up and play almost immediately.

Once you’ve beaten a level, it becomes unlocked and can be played over and over again. As you make your way through different levels, things get a bit more difficult, but I never found the later levels frustrating. The game features leaderboards as well, and that combined with the collectible outfits gives players a reason to replay levels multiple times. 

All in all, Mighty Fin offers a really fun experience for gamers of all ages. Launching Pad Games is quickly becoming one of my favorite developers, as they clearly understand the strengths of the platform they are developing for. Their games also feature great writing, characters and visual design. Mighty Fin is an easy recommend for me.

4.5 out of 5 Costumed Goldfish

You can get Mighty Fin now on iTunes for a mere $0.99. To keep up on all of Launching Pad's projects, head over to

7-7-11: Matman Reaches A Milestone!!!

The adventure for me started in the summer of 1974! As I had lunch with my mom and dad, my dad noticed me looking at a bag of comics… three awesome comics for some real low price! The book that caught my eye was Magnus Robot Fighter # 36 and at that moment, something amazing happened!

I became a comic book collector!

Since that cute 5 year old kid began reading and collecting comics, I have had some incredibly long lasting relationships. I often wonder what would have happened if I didn’t read comics! How much different would my life have been? Would I still be the same person I am now?

As silly as it may sound, comic books have always been there for me. When I made the move from Massachusetts to Connecticut in 4th grade, it was comic books (and Star Wars) that got me through it. When I would go on long trips for sports I was never ashamed to bring comics! Every aspect of my life revolved around at first Tuesdays and Thursdays, then just Wednesdays!

Nothing ever got in the way of collecting, even booze! In my ‘lost years’ of drinking and pills I would sober up enough to get and read the weeks new comics. When prayers, family or an intervention or two couldn’t keep me clean, comics could!

Some of the most influential folks in my life don’t really exist! Captain America made me a patriot, Sgt. Rock showed me the sacrifice of the soldier, The Flash helped me run real fast and Jonah Hex killed bad dudes for money! Lesson learned.

So here I was today, working at Most Excellent Comics in Enfield Ct. as I was getting this weeks books I remembered I was a mere 7 books away from having 25,000 comics! So as I put my books in order of purchase the magic book that came up was Jonah Hex # 69!!! I know writers Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and (on this issue) artist Jeff Lemire have won awards and the adulation of an entire industry…but how does creating my 25,000th comic rank in their personal history?

Thank you comics for making me who I am!!!

7-6-11: The Rinse Debuts For $1 This September!

Press Release

This September crime pays in more ways than one as BOOM! Studios offers the first 22-page issue of a brand new fast-paced, two-fisted crime series for only $1– enter THE RINSE! Acclaimed writer of Vertigo's COWBOYS and ANGELTOWN, Gary Phillips and spectacular Vertigo artist Marc Laming (AMERICAN CENTURY) usher in a shocking vision of grit and greed. When a mountain of stolen cash is on the line, can 'Frisco's best laundryman reach the payout before the bullets reach him? Specially priced at only $1, THE RINSE #1 begins a modern tale of sin in the city by the bay that no crime fan can dare miss. Pre-order your copy today and get the full first issue this September for only $1!

“Gary Phillips is a man that knows crime and with THE RINSE he's aiming for a kill shot,” says BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “Paired with Marc Laming's outstanding and visceral art, this series will knock you down, drag you around and keep your heart racing until the very last word!”

“With the full first issue priced at only $1, this is a deal you can't refuse! I'm telling you, with high-crime at a low price THE RINSE is a win/win.” says BOOM! Studios Marketing & Sales Director Chip Mosher. “And if your go-to guys for crime in comics are people like Rucka and Brubaker, prepare to add one more name to that list: Gary Phillips!”

THE RINSE is a tale of high finance and low-down greed as Jeff Sinclair, the premiere laundryman in San Francisco, is unwillingly pulled into a dangerous gig laundering $25 million in stolen casino skim money. Forced to truly consider his line of work and the evil that he facilitates, Jeff must find a way to clean the cash and wash away his own sins. A grounded, gritty look at the world of money laundering in the vein of Elmore Leonard, THE RINSE is a modern crime classic in the making! For fans of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ CRIMINAL!

THE RINSE #1 is written by Gary Phillips (COWBOYS, HIGH ROLLERS) and drawn by Marc Laming (AMERICAN CENTURY). This title ships in September with A & B covers in a 50/50 split by Francesco Mattina and Paul Azaceta respectively. Featuring 22-pages of story and carrying a price point of $1 with a Diamond Code of JUL110956.

Check out the 4-page preview below!

7-5-11: Whitesnake - Forevermore (Frontiers / EMI)

by Matman

One of the greatest voices in rock is David Coverdale! His soulful, powerful and very bluesy approach is packed with emotion and alongside some incredible musicians helped create some of the most memorable music of the 70’s and 80’s! Thankfully, Coverdale is back with a new band, but an incredible album, ‘Forevermore’.

Joining Coverdale again is guitarist Doug Aldrich who adds the perfect blend of John Sykes and Richie Blackmore style riffs. Back for a asecond time as well is Reb Beach (Dokken, Winger) who adds a lot of flash and style as well. Bassist Michael Devin and drummer Brian Tichy round out the band (that is currently on the road) and provide a solid backing. But the star of the disc is Coverdale. 

‘Forevermore’ begins with Steal Your Heart Away, a song that harkens back to the ‘Slide It In’ era. The next few songs (All Out Of Luck, Live Will Set You Free and Easier Said Than Done) all showcase excellent songwriting, great production and maturity. In the height of their popularity, Whitesnake were never given much credit for their songwriting, only the image that was created around them. Now a little older, the focus is back on the music!

The standout track for me is ‘One Of These Days’, a beautiful ballad that sounds nothing like anything Whitesnake has recorded before! Where some may feel the song is out of place among all the rock and riffs, I look at it as a hidden gem! 13 incredible songs and not a weak one in the bunch!

If you are looking for the flash of ‘1987’ and ‘Slip Of The Tongue’ you won’t find it here. What you will find is the awesomeness of Coverdales best works; Deep Purples ‘Burn’ and the above mentioned ‘Slide It In’. Like Motorhead recently, Whitesnake have created one of the best albums of their long career! ‘Forevermore’ is a beautiful nod to the past while remaining grounded in the present.

Matman rating - 4.5 out of 5 Tawny Free Videos

7-4-11:  Happy 4th Of July, Everyone!


7-3-11:The Flash, Whitesnake and Shoes (Oh My)!

Hey ho!!! Get ready for some ranting and raving! It’s been a loooong week filled with everything but fun… but here goes!!!

*My wife is doing her own summer watching project, Alias! She was a huge fan of the show and being a teacher has a LOT of time on her hands right now.

*I was flipping through the DVD’s at Most Excellent last Wednesday (I’m working there on Wednesday nights again), and found Mahogany!!! Oh yea...

*Flashpoint has been pretty good so far! The mini’s have for the most part been entertaining and unique. But you must pick up the Reverse Flash and Kid Flash ones!

*In celebration of ‘The Empire Strikes Back’, Adidas is launching an inspired line of sneakers in the fall! Some pretty cool looking designs but for me…they ain’t Converse!

*I’ve been listening to a ton of new music recently and the one that has knocked me off my feet is ‘Forevermore’ from Whitesnake! If you were a fan of pre ‘1987’ like Slide It In and Trouble, than you will love this one. I will have a review this week on the site…

*Moon Knight # 2? Not so good. I think this book won’t be making the cut. Kinda sad too since I love the character.

*Anne Hathaway as Catwoman? Meeeooowwww!

*This past week, Steve Barker and I recorded 5 episodes of 'Plastic Fantastic'! Star Wars, Family Guy, Happy Days, Starting Line Up and Spider - Man Animated were all covered. Excited?

*I two years DC may lose the rights to Superman!!! That could not only spell disaster for the company but the comic universe as well! Stay tuned!

*For this weeks Classic Cover, I’m going back to the first Flash comic I ever bought, Flash # 243 This incredible picture depicts the Flash running with the Top over his shoulder and heading right for the Rogues Gallery! An incredible introduction to a cool character!

Well that’s it for this week! Stay cool!

7-2-11: Batman and Space Ghost Team-Up!

In case you missed it, last week's episode of Batman Brave and the Bold was called "Bold Beginnings," and it featured an intro adventure between Space Ghost and Batman. It was awesome, and you can watch the whole thing in the player below. Enjoy, and thanks to Keith for the link!

7-1-11: Happy Canada Day!!!

To our neighbors to the North, Matman and Brian wish our Canadian friends a happy Canada Day!

Much like Independence Day in the States, Canada Day or Fête du Canada celebrates the anniversary of the British North America Act of 1867 which united three British colonies into a single country called Canada!

So have at it Canada, but keep the stereo down !

6-30-11: Twisted Pixel's Comic Jumper On Sale This Week!

Today Twisted Pixel Games announced that its award-winning Xbox LIVE® Arcade action-platformer Comic Jumper is on sale this week as part of the Xbox LIVE Deal of the Week.  The game, which launched at 1200 MSP during Microsoft’s inaugural Game Feast promotion last fall, is now available for a limited time for 400 MSP.  

Twisted Pixel also announced that once the sale concludes Comic Jumper’s regular price will be 800 MSP.

In Comic Jumper players control the Captain and his mouthy “chestkick” Star as they attempt to bring their comic book series back from the brink of cancellation by jumping into and saving the storylines of four different comic franchises ranging from 70’s fantasy, silver age, modern, and Manga.  Each comic offers its own unique art style true to the era, and varying gameplay mechanics in the vein of core classic shooters of the nineties.

Pick up the game on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace this week for 400 Microsoft points!

P.S.  For those that want some more insight into the game, I did an interview with Lead Engineer Mike Henry last year for CBR, which you can read here. You can also keep up on all Twisted Pixel's projects at their site,

6-28-11: Jonah Hex Moves To Gotham!

With September still a few months away, many fans are both worried and excited with the DC relaunch. The fear is normal; how will (fill in the blank of favorite character) look and read? And the excitement is the feeling of being on the ground floor of an entire restructure!

But DC and their writers are speaking a bit, reassuring fans that all the change will not be so drastic you won’t recognize the character or book. One such title is the new ‘All Star Western’ that will be replacing ‘Jonah Hex’. So what will the new book be like?

Jonah Hex will be brought to Gotham City by a criminal psychologist to help track down a serial killer. Here Hex will play in a pre, pre, pre, Batman Gotham that may feature some familiar characters or at least names. Here, the focus will be on the bounty hunting side!

The book will be written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray and instead of the very familiar ‘one and done’ stories, ‘All Star Western’ will feature longer arcs.

The revolving artist will no longer happen as well! Joining the writing duo is Moritat, who recently chronicled the adventures of The Spirit!

6-27-11: Latest Captain America Trailer Is Amazing

6-26-2011: Countdown To ComiConn Starts Now!!!

The ComiCONN guest list is heating up!!! With less than two months to go this second edition looks to be twice as good as last year. And since last year was so good… well you know!

Recently added is the muti talented and incredibly cool guy, Joe Kelly! Not only has Joe written mainstream books like Dead Pool, Action Comics, JLA and X – Men, but he is also very prolific in the ‘indie’ side! If you have never read ‘I Kill Giants’ than you have not read one of the most powerful and beautiful stories ever published! Plus… he is the co – creator of a little show called Ben – 10!

SHAZAM!!! Actor Michael Gray who played Billy Batson in the classic 70’s live action TV series Shazam will be making his first East Coast appearance ever.

You may not need to see his identification, but actor Anthony Forrest will still sign pictures and Sandtrooper toys for you. Ask him about his time on the set of Star Wars!

What is a show without comic legends? Meet Michael Golden (Micronauts, The Nam), Mark McKenna (everything), Rodney Ramos (inker extraordinaire), writer Paul Kupperberg and War Of The Independants very own Dave Ryan!

Plus a slew of local artist and talent (including Secret Identity friends) Carl Herring Jr., Everett Soares and Shawnti Therrien

The show is happening August 27th in Stamford, CT at the Stamford Plaza Hotel. The hotel is right off of 95 with easy on / off access. For those in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts NEED to know that this is an easy show to get to and don’t use the ‘it’s in another state’ excuse!!

For more information please go to

Dealer and exhibitor space is still available, but jump on quick by contacting

6-25-11: ConnectiCon 2011 Is Almost Upon Us!

It's almost that time of year again! ConnectiCon 2011 will be held July 8-10, 2011 at the Connecticut Convention Center and Hartford Marriott Downtown. Events at the convention center will take place on Friday and Saturday between 8am and midnight, and Sunday between 8am and 6pm. Events at the Hartford Marriott Downtown will run 24-hours a day beginning at 8am on Friday morning and ending at 6pm on Sunday evening.

Over 7,000 people attended ConnectiCon in 2010, making it one of New England's largest pop culture events. Why pop culture you ask? Well, because ConnectiCon doesn't focus on just one element of fandom, the convention's organizers are fans of a lot of different things, so we focus on all of the awesome stuff that we like including: web comics, anime, console games, board games, table top miniatures, science fiction, fantasy, comics books, roleplaying games, live action roleplaying, collectible card games, and horror. You name it we've probably got something related going on, even Madden Football, and spontaneous games of Twister while folks wait in line! ConnectiCon has "Everything but the kitchen sink!"

Head over to to get tickets for this year's show!

6-24-2011: Guerillas In Our Mist!

A few years back artist and writer Braham Revel created a book that for Matman (and many fans) had it all… monkeys who smoked and shot guns in the jungles of Viet Nam! Throw into that a Nazi or two and Guerillas was born!

“This comic was amazing and one of my most recommended books ever,” Matman reminisces! “But inside of all the fluff was an incredible story about a young man who didn’t wanna be in the situation he was in.”

First released by Image, the single issues were collected in a trade (HIGHLY RECCOMENDED) and now the second volume is underway…and with your help can be completed very soon!

Go to and in the search, type Guerillas and you will see how you can not only help Braham finish the book, but also get some cool goodies!

For as little as a $5.00 donation, you can get some cool stuff. For different donations like the reasonable $20.00, you can get a signed copy of the competed book. For $500.00, you can get a lot of stuff and yourself drawn into the book as well.

“We have been asked to push many Kickstarter projects that we believe in” said Matman, “But this will be one that I will financially be backing! As soon as my wife lets me, I’m gonna put my money where my mouth is!”

To find out more about Guerillas, Braham and the progress of the campaign, please go to

To hear the interview Matman did with Braham a few years back, please click

6-23-11:  Review--Kick-Ass

Brian finally sat down and watched Kick-Ass a little while ago, and he’s sorry he waited so long. Click here for his review.

6-22-11: Plastic Fantastic And Shocker Toys Come Together

As Matman and Steve Barker (aka Sketch Getter B) get ready to record some ‘Plastic Fantastic’ segments for the ‘relaunch’ of Secret Identity, we have some news to report!

Shocker Toys, the coolest toy manufacturer on the planet has decided to become part of the Secret Identity family!

“We are so excited to have Geoff Beckett and Shocker Toys as part of the team.” Matman said! “When I met Geoff last year I found a guy who is obsessed with creating the best toys possible! He has focused on the ‘indie’ creators and designs toys that are not cookie cutter in any way!”

Shocker Toys, based out of New Jersey has been dabbling in plastic since 2000! Their ‘Indie Spotlight’ series has been gaining all sorts of attention featuring characters like The Tick, Lazerman and Jack Staff! They have also have a unique line of toys called ‘Mallows’. These blocky figures have a unique shape, cool look and awesome packaging!

Coming soon is a line of ‘Indie Spotlight 2 Packs’ which will feature Lazerman/Zen and Captain Action/Madman! On the horizon is what could be the jewel in the Shocker Toys crown… ‘Golden Age Series’! Included here will be such favorites as the Arrow, the DareDevil and one of Matman’s favorites, the Heap!

“Another thing cool about these figures is many of the figures can be signed by the creators at shows.” adds Matman. “you can’t do that with your Iron Man or Luke Skywalker toys. How awesome will it look to display your Madman toy signed by Mike Allred? Just perfect if you ask me.”           

For more info on Shocker Toys, go to the site at

Also, you can friend them on Facebook at!/ShockerToys

Look for ‘Plastic Fantastic’ coming soon with chats on Star Wars, Family Guy, Starting Line Up and of course Shocker Toys!

6-21-11: Robin Confirmed As Playable Character in Arkham City Challenge Mode

Press Release

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment today confirmed that Robin will be a fully playable character in the new and improved challenge mode in Batman: Arkham City.  The Tim Drake Robin pack is currently available exclusively to North American fans who pre-order the game from Best Buy on any of the platforms for which the game will be available:  Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, Games for Windows PC and the PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system. 

Robin will come complete with his own unique gadgets and special moves, and will be playable in all challenge maps in the game, as well as two additional challenge maps that are included with the pack – Black Mask Hideout and Freight Train Escape.  The pack will also contain a bonus Red Robin character skin.

Batman: Arkham City builds upon the intense, atmospheric foundation of Batman: Arkham Asylum, sending players soaring into Arkham City – five times larger than the game world in Batman: Arkham Asylum – and the new maximum security “home” for all of Gotham City’s thugs, gangsters and insane criminal masterminds. Set inside the heavily fortified walls of a sprawling district in the heart of Gotham City, this highly anticipated sequel introduces a brand-new story that draws together a new, all-star cast of classic characters and murderous villains from the Batman universe, as well as a vast range of new and enhanced gameplay features to deliver the ultimate experience as the Dark Knight.

You can check out artwork and trailers for the game, which is due in stores this Fall, over at

6-20-11: Good Bye Big Man. Thanks For Sharing Your Soul!

Here we go…another week and another bunch of Matman rants! So let’s go!!!

*Incredibly sad news to start with. The music industry lost a giant this weekend with the passing of Clarence Clemons! For those who don’t have a clue, the ‘Big Man’ was the right hand man of Bruce Springsteen for almost 40 years as a member of the E Street Band. Clemons died Saturday from complications from a stroke. He was 69!

*I did my review of ‘Green Lantern’ (see below) and found it good, not amazing! It appears bad reviews kept folks away. With a weekend box office take of $52.5 million, it fell behind first weekends of Thor and X-Men First Class.

*Count at Most Excellent this week is 12 with 9 being DC, 3 Marvel and 1 Dark Horse. The majority of the DC were Flashpoint tie ins.

*Speaking of Flashpoint, I’m curious to know what people are thinking.

*Congrats again to Steve Scott on his amazing art on Batman # 710 – 711! With writer Tony Daniel and inker Ryan Winn, this team is telling a solid tale involving Two – Face. Find a place for Mr. Scott, DC!

*Jack Kirby created so many characters we all know and love and thanks to Dynamite and Kurt Busiek, Alex Ross and Jack Hrbert many of the lesser known characters return in Kirby Genesis! The zero issue and first are out now and I’ll be reviewing the first issue on this weeks show!!

*Just when you think Archie Comics can’t improve themselves…they do! New characters like Kevin Keller gets his own mini series, Mega Man returns to comics at Archie and their trade collections are not only loaded with incredible stories and art, but are more than worth the money!!! And Life With Archie magazine continues to sell like crazy!

*First DC announces a huge relaunch, then Secret Identity announce the same! Wanting to get in the game is now Uncanny X-Men! Writer Kieron Gillen, Greg Land and Carlos Pacheco will chronicle the volume two adventures!

*Captain America Corps? An interesting tale about Captain Americas being taken away from different realities and other Cap’s need to find them! Not too bad. And to think I wasn’t gonna get it!!!

*The Classic Cover Of The Week is Green Lantern # 3 with a dazzling cover by Gil Kane! This was my first introduction to Green Lantern, thanks to my dad. It was one of his comics I found as a kid and one of the only superheroes comics he read. It’s the first appearance of Hector Hammond who plays a huge part in the Green Lantern film and is a classic comic that still holds up today!

Ok folks…get off line and do some work!

6-19-11:  Happy Father's Day!

6-18-11: In Brightest Day, The Green Lantern Review!

by Matman

My first introduction to Green Lantern came when I was about 5 and I discovered some of my dad’s comics! Mixed in between his ‘Tarzan’ and ‘Zane Grey Western’ were a few copies of Green Lantern; #5 featuring ‘Hector Hammond’ and # 11 featuring ‘Tomar Re’. So it only felt right to go see ‘Green Lantern’ with my dad on Father’s Day Weekend!

Parallax has been released from his imprisonment and is looking to take out the Green Lantern Corps, and everything that is in the way. In his escape, ‘Abin Sur’ is injured and finds his way to earth to deliver the ring to the most worthy candidate, Hal Jordan. In order for Hal to meet the challenge he must overcome the issues that cripple him emotionally.

Ryan Reynolds is an incredible Hal Jordan; good looking, cocky and over confident. He plays it serious when he has to be and keeps it loose when the role calls for it. Blake Lively as Carol Ferris was an interesting cast. She doesn’t look or act like the Carol from the comics, but something about her had me entranced. Peter Starsgaard as Hector Hammond was very sympathetic and creepy and that’s how I like my bad guys. Mark Strong as Sinestro was my favorite! He commanded the screen and played the power hungry Lantern perfectly!

As far as the effects and overall look of the film, it watched like a comic book! Every scene, effects (or no) looked amazing, especially in 3D. The costumes looked cool and I thought worked very well. And the interaction between live and CGI was seamless especially Tomar Re and Killowog!

Director Martin Campbell had about $200 million dollars and made a movie that told a great story, looked awesome but in times seemed unbalanced! Now inn defense of the movie, I had seriously high expectations, more so than any other movie in recent memory! It was going to be hard to live up to what I thought, but for the most part, the film delivered!

Matman Ratong – 3.5 out of 5 Poozers!

6-17-11: Get Caught Up On Your Damn Dirty Apes This Summer!

Press Release

This August BOOM! Studios makes sure there's no reason not to get caught up with the sell-out smash hit PLANET OF THE APES comic series! Get your hands on the critically acclaimed first arc with PLANET OF THE APES VOL. 1 TPB for only $9.99! Then kick off the pulse-pounding new arc with PLANET OF THE APES #5 for only $1 – both titles shipping this August. $11 gets you caught up on the all new sci-fi smash hit written by award-winning novelist Daryl Gregory (DRACULA: THE COMPANY OF MONSTERS, and PANDEMONIUM) and drawn by the sensational Carlos Magno (TRANSFORMERS: TALES OF THE FALLEN). Both the trade paperback and the single issue will be on sale the same month as the highly anticipated RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES feature film!

Since mid-April, fans everywhere have been buzzing with the unveiling of the RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES movie trailer! The trailer's premiere unleashed a wave of Apes-mania creating an unprecedented pre-release sell out for PLANET OF THE APES #1 and sending the first issue into second print!

With demand increasing each issue, fans should pre-order both PLANET OF THE APES VOL. 1 TPB and PLANET OF THE APES #5 at their local comic book shop ( to ensure they get their copies in a timely manner!

Taking place before the original 1968 PLANET OF THE APES movie — but true to the continuity of the first five films — BOOM! Studios' PLANET OF THE APES comic series begins in a time when Ape society reaches a new golden age. But there are ripples of dissent in both the ape and human ranks. Tensions will rise and soon all will be caught in chaos! Amidst all this uncertainty...what is the fate of The Lawgiver?

6-16-11: Con Report From Pittsburgh 2011

A few months back our good friends Steve and William took a trip to Pittsburgh Comic Con! Here is Steve's report...

While the headline Secret Identity guys, Matman and Brian, were at the Paint and Pixel festival, I (codename: Sketch Getter B) took a trip, with my convention buddy Billy to Pittsburgh for the Pittsburgh Comicon.  The show is held in the Monroeville Convention Center just outside of Pittsburgh. The location is perfect for a convention, with lodging less than a 9 iron away from the hall and plenty of eating spots within walking distance or a short ride.  Plenty of free parking was a welcome change from some of the bigger city shows. The convention center was spacious and well lit, and the show layout was great with wide aisles and plenty of visibility. There was a good mix of vendors and creators.  The vendors had wide assortment of back issues and vintage books, and also toys, action figures, and statues.  The creators ranged from headliners like George Perez, Mike Grell,  Joe Sinnott, and Phil Jimenez, to independent and small press names such as Dave Wachter, and Eric Adams.  Renee and Michael George put on a wonderful show that, if you can, you need to get to. 

During the three days we were there we spoke to many of the artists and we both arranged for some con art.  All the artists we spoke to were friendly and approachable whether getting art, having books signed or just talking about your favorite character or book.  I had a nice conversation with Jim Starlin about his upcoming Marvel book series Breed 3 and how it will change everything you read in Breed 1 & 2 (which came out under the Malibu imprint).  Now I have to go reread them, because all I remember is that I really enjoyed the books. 

And if you get a chance, go checkout  for an interesting book from Eric Adams of the same name.  Lackluster World is the story of Fahrenheit Monahan and his brother Kelvin, and their sister Celsius.  Fahrenheit is a little bitter and defensive, and after an anonymous public act of creative defiance catapults him to cult status, his life spins out of control.  It is a 7 issue series and 1-6 are out with the finale being released in May.  I first met Eric in Baltimore last year in the independent area and his unique book caught my eye.  He is writer and artist, and this book is an interesting read. 

Another reconnect from Baltimore was Dave Wachter, who draws a weekly webcomic The Guns of Shadow Valley.  Dave is also a very talented artist who gives a lot for the price.  Moody, gray toned art spritzed with white out.  He did a Captain Cold and Lex Luthor for Billy’s brother (who could not make the show) that was truly stunning.  To see more of Dave’s work, visit .

We also both visited our friends Brendon and Brian Fraim.  The Brothers Fraim are fast and extremely reasonable.  Full color “sketch” cards?  No sweat, and they aren’t “sketchy” at all.  The Brothers Fraim are the artistic equivalent of the Brothers Grimm.  They bring to life the images from your mind, instead of the words. See their art at

We also got art from Daryl Banks, Arvell Jones, Pat Oliffe, Ron Frenz, and Chris Ring.  Pat, Ron and Chris, along with Mike Grell, Scott James, Tom Fleming, and David Michael Beck were all with Scott Kress.  Scott runs Catskill Comics and he and his guys occupied many booths.  Billy also won one of the George Perez auctions and had George draw a great Hal Jordan Green Lantern.  And last, but certainly not least is Phil Jimenez.  I have gotten art from Phil in the past but this guy is sooooo accommodating to his fans.  Drawing all weekend for FREE.  The only payment was waiting in line and dealing with Phil’s pleasant conversation.  Whether you were at his table or bothering him in the hotel bar (sorry!), friendly is this dudes middle name.

If you are looking for a pop culture extravaganza, there are other shows out there for you.  But if you want comics and creators in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, try the Pittsburgh Comicon.  Thanks again to the Pittsburgh Comicon and Michael and Renee George for a great show.  That’s my report and I’m sticking to it. 

6-15-11: Trailer For Star Wars Kinect

We're still catching up on all of the video game news from E3 last week, and one of the games that a lot of Secret Identity listeners might be interested in is the new Star Wars game for the XBox 360 Kinect. As you might imagine, it's a motion controlled game where players will be able to not only battle with lightsabers and race vehicles, but use the force as well. Check out the video below.

6-14-11: Marketing...Zombie Style!

After a few delays we are pleased to announce that everyone’s favorite zombie is back in action!!! The latest installment of ‘Life With Zombie’ is up for your consumption at!

“We’re so excited to get the latest strip up,” said Matman! “The boys in the art department had some equipment issues, we had a tornado and I had a broken hand! I was just so excited to see Manuel Carmona’s awesome art and Francisco Rivera’s colors. They’re incredibly talented artists that make my stupid ramblings look good!”

In case you’re late to the party, ‘Life With Zombie’ is a comic strip that deals with the social issues of a zombie living in modern times…and that ain’t easy! Like Brian LeTendre’s strip ‘Mostache’ at
  (along with artist John Cordis), it gives the podcasters an outlet for their creativity. and join the matmancomics family!

So check it out by following the link above at click on Zombie! Become friends on Facebook with Life With Zombie.

And if you’re an artist looking for some stuff to draw, just get in touch with Matman at

6-13-11:  E3 2011--PlayStation Vita Trailer

6-12-11: Zombies, The King and DC Relaunch Stuff!

Greetings and salutations!!! Thank God we aren’t recording today because I have no voice left! Why? Combination flu, 14 hour work days and trying to sing the high notes of ‘High Enough’ by Damn Yankees… so get ready!!!!

* The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are coming back with….wait for it… IDW!!! First book will feature four covers, one featuring your favorite turtle!

* We have had a little time to soak in the big DC announcement and now we get to look for titles and creators that haven’t been listed. Jamal Igle? C’mon DC. He’s not only on time, but one of the best out there. Better be on one of the unannounced Superman books.

* Speaking of unannounced books…’Zatanna’? C’mon again DC!!

* Hope you all got to watch the ‘Doctor Who’ sort of season finale!!!! Holy cow!!!

* Speaking of Superman…, ‘Action Comics’ # 1 team of Grant Morrison and Rags Morales. If it wasn’t for Rags, I’d pass.

* As a HUGE ‘Ka-Zar’ fan, I was excited about the new mini and thanks to writer Paul Jenkins and artist Pascal Alixe. Ahhhh the Savage Land.

* Following ‘Doctor Who’ on BBC America this weekend was followed by ‘Battlestar Galactica’. This first episode was incredible then and now! Incredible characters, suspenseful stories and just incredible TV. Sad how it all ended…

* As we get ready to record more ‘Plastic Fantastic’ segments I got two new toys this weekend. The first is ‘Battlefield Captain America; from the movie series and vintage ‘Star Wars’ Stormtrooper. The vintage SW’s figures are an incredible walk down memory lane and the Cap movie figures have some interesting choices in the line.

* And this Monday, ‘Life With Zombie’ returns to! This one is entitled ‘Zombie Marketing 101. Once again artist Manuel Carmona and colorist Francisco J. Rivera have done an amazing job making pretty pictures with my silly scripts!

* Finally, the ‘Classic Cover of The Week’ was my introduction to Jack ‘King’ Kirby and ‘Justice Inc.’ # 2. I still don’t quite understand the character very much, but man the book and cover looked pretty. Jack’s art was so big and full of action I became hooked and have never looked back. Comic books begin and end with the king!!!

6-11-11: Haunt Getting New Creative Team In September

Something that may have been lost amid all of the announcements by DC this week was word out of Image that a new creative team will be taking over Haunt as of issue number 19 in September. For those unfamiliar with the title, Haunt is a superhero that is formed by a guy fusing with the ghost of his dead brother. The dead brother was a government operative, and his borother has now been sucked into that life, working for the government as the superhero Haunt. 

The book was launched with the creative team of Robert Kirkman writing, Greg Capullo on layouts, Ryan Ottley penciling, and Todd McFarlane on inks. Ryan Ottley departed after a few issues, and Capullo took over the art full-time.

The new creative team on the book will be writer Joe Casey (who I love from GI Joe: America's Elite) and artist Nathan Fox (Pigeons from Hell). From the interview Casey recently did with USA Today (, it seems like fans can expect a shakeup to the status quo the book has established through 16 issues so far.

I'm not sure how I feel about the move yet, but it's clear that something needed to happen, as Kirkman is busy with Walking Dead, and Capullo just got announced as the artist on the upcoming Batman series at DC. My biggest concern about the book is that I'm not sure it has laid enough of a foundation for a new creative team to build on. On a brand new character like Haunt, I feel like there needs to be a good 25 issues or so of cast and world building before you can overhaul the creative team and expect it to work for the long haul. That said, I am a huge fan of Joe Casey, so I will definitely be giving the new team a chance to impress me in September.

Note: You can actually read the first full issue of Haunt over on Newsarma by clicking here.

6-10-11: Springfield - 1, Tornado - 0

It was 20 seconds that changed our lives forever!

That was the average length of time the tornado that hit Springfield lasted in everyone’s neighborhoods. Whether it was the South End, Island Pond Road or my part of 16 Acres, it took no time for all our lives to be changed.

Last week, as most of you know, Springfield was hit by a massive tornado. What made this worse is we have no Tornado training! We just don’t get them here. But last Wednesday we did. This is the first one to hit the area since the 1930’s and the second one I was in. That one was 1980-ish in Ct!

At around 4:15 PM my wife and I started to receive texts and calls from all over the place telling us a tornado had struck Springfield. Since we lost power we didn’t have a clue what was going on. We got the girls and the cats into the basement and as my wife and I made our way through the house we saw the funnel cloud 400 yards away. We saw one of our trees get pulled out of the ground and then nothing. As we got out of the house we saw the trees on the next street were gone! Then we noticed many of the houses were too.

Over the past week I have been in the worst of the worst! Through the Rescue Mission and from donations from everywhere, I have been spending time with those who lost everything. I have been touched by people’ hearts and our cities spirit! We have been given over 100,000 lbs of food, water and clothing to get out to those in need. We finally met our neighbors who have lived across the street from us for almost two years.

Apparently we do have hope!

Thank you to all our friends who reached out to Brian, myself and our families! We are fine, but so many are not! Please pray for those displaced, hurting and those just lost in a sea of confusion. Pray for our efforts at the Mission to provide the City of Springfield hope, to our Mayor, the Police, Guard and Firemen who when we needed them the most were there for us!

The picture on the top right is one I took on a street hit hard! The caption I wrote is “Our Homes Were Destroyed, Our City Is In Disarray, But The American Spirit Will Survive!”

6-9-11:  Upper Deck's New Marvel Beginnings Cards Feature Rare Comic Panels

If you’re a hardcore comic collector, this story might make you queasy. Upper Deck recently launched a series of collectible trading cards called "Marvel Beginnings." This 180-card set features various heroes and villains from the Marvel universe, as well as some rare sketch cards and autograph cards.

Sounds pretty normal for a card series, right? Well, the new series also contains very rare “Marvel Ultimate Collection Panel” cards, which feature an actual panel from a rare Marvel comic. For this series, Upper Deck got their hands on some old Marvel comics, and cut them up to make the insert cards ("Amazing Spider-Man" #2, for example).

So, does the thought of those rare comics being cut up make the collector in you crazy? Or, are you just excited for the new series of cards?

You can find out more about the new card series and download the checklist here.

6-8-11: Nintendo's Wii U Announcement Trailer

6-7-11:  Inkwell Award Winners Announced!

Press Release

With an exciting turnout in voting from April 1-30, The Inkwell Awards are now able to release for their fourth year the ballot results from the six categories targeting the exceptional 2010 work of ink artists.  Scott Hanna took the winning slot for Favorite Inker this year for his work on Marvel titles Hulk and Avengers: Prime, followed by Runner-up Wade Von Grawbadger, 2009's winner in this category.  

For the second consecutive year, Scott also won the Most-Adaptable Inker Award category for his various and eclectic ink works from both Marvel and DC (Avengers Academy, Incredible Hulk, Nova, Shadowland: Powerman, Batman & Robin, R.E.B.E.L.S.), followed in second place by Mark Morales, who won Favorite Inker last year.

In the Props Award category, for an ink artist deserving of more attention, there was a real multitude of nominees with eleven candidates this year, but Art Thibert took the top position by a clear margin for his work on Doc Savage, Captain Action, and Brightest Day, followed by runner-up Mariah Benes.

The S.P.A.M.I. Award (Small Press And Mainstream Independent) had the closest turnout this year as last year's number two and number three positioned nominees, Cliff Rathburn and Todd McFarlane, were neck and neck with Cliff beating out Todd by only four votes for his work on Image Comics' Guarding the Globe and Invincible.

The All-in-One Award category, for those artists who ink their own pencil work, was scooped by Francis Manapul for his work on DC's Adventure Comics and The Flash, followed close behind by runner-up Jerry Ordway (who himself just edged out Chris Samnee by one vote).

For the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award, this years award recipients were Kevin Nowlan and Wally Wood, and both were 2010 nominees in this category (In fact, 'Woody', as he's affectionately known, was the runner-up last year).  Wally entered the comic book industry by the late '40s with lettering, doing backgrounds, inking, and finally pencilling.  He became a breakout star at EC Comics in the 1950s, doing horror, adventure, romance, and humor, but it was with the science fiction genre that he excelled.  He also worked with Will Eisner on The Spirit and inked Jack Kirby on the Skymasters of the Space Force strip.  Iin the silver-age he was especially prolific, working for numerous publishers, and at Marvel he is especially remembered for his contributions to the title Daredevil.  And as a publisher he was a pioneer for his brilliant independent creations like Witzend, Sally Forth, and Heroes Inc. Presents Cannon.  Wood worked into the bronze-age but he passed away in 1981, leaving behind hordes of fans and having inspired scores of artists.   Inkwell ambassador J. David Spurlock, the representative for the Wood Estate, accepted the posthumous award and made a statement on behalf of the estate.

Our other Hall of Fame Award recipient, Kevin Nowlan had previously won the 'Favorite Finisher/Embellisher (Modern)' category in 2008 before the Inkwell ballot and nomination process was restructured the following year.  As a self-taught illustrator, Kevin's work received fandom recognition in the 1980s for his work at Marvel, DC, and other independent publishers.  While he has excelled in pencilling, lettering, and in doing animation character designs, the majority of his work has been as an ink artist, and one of the few inkers that sees himself more as a 'finisher' for his embellishing skills.  His approach has been mutually revered by both fans and his peers.

Joe Sinnott shared this statement in regards to this year's results:

"I just want to say again what an honor it truly is to have my name associated with the Inkwells annual Hall of Fame Award.  To have these fine inkers share in this great honor of this award is truly gratifying to me.  The finished product that we all see on the comic book pages is the result of fine embellishment provided by these talented inkers.

As you know, all too often most pencilers do a magnificent job, however, the finished product in many cases is the result of a talented inker.   I would like to congratulate my old friend the late Wally Wood, and the highly talented Kevin Nowlan on receiving this year's award.  Waiting in the wings there are many who are deserving of this honor. Best wishes and good luck to those nominated next year and in the years to come.
Joltin' Joe Sinnott (class of 2008)"

The results were officially announced at the Inkwell Awards first live awards ceremony that took place at Heroes Con on Saturday June 4th.  Inkwell founder and director Bob Almond acted as host, former-committee member Tim Townsend acted as Presenter, Inkwell contributor Dan Panosian acted as Keynote Speaker, and Inkwell ambassador Ethan Van Sciver acted as auctioneer for the live fundraising auction that followed the ceremony.  Outgoing committee member Bob Shaw was awarded a silver inkwell trophy after three years on the team and artist Cully Hamner was made known as an incoming Inkwell ambassador. The spokesmodel Ms. Inkwell, played by model Kathy Taylor, and much of the organization was in attendance, as well as all of the award recipients except Francis Manapul who couldn't make the event and Cliff Rathburn who couldn't be reached.

For more info regarding the 2011 results such as winners' acceptance speeches, nomination committee participants, and more, please keep checking the official Inkwell Awards website at

6-3-11:  Pics From Aftermath Of Springfield Tornado

6-2-11:  Tornado Hits Springfield, MA

Hi Everyone,

Yesterday afternoon, a tornado hit Springfield, MA and surrounding areas.  Both the Herring and LeTendre families, as well as our homes are ok, but many of our friends and neighbors were not as lucky.  We are without power and might be for a few days (I'm posting this update from a family member's home).

We just wanted to let everyone know we're ok, and that the website and podcast updates might be a little late this week.

To see the formation of the tornado that hit yesterday, check out the video below.

6-1-11: DC Giving The Reboot In September!

Well word is out…DC is relaunching all their titles with zero issues beginning this September! But along with the renumbering will be a bit of a ‘retooling’ of all the characters including Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman!

All the ‘fun’ begins with ‘Justice League’ # 1 that will reunite DC’s big 6 of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Green Lantern and The Flash! Yhe series will be written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Jim Lee. Lee has also gone and did designs on 50 characters! A comment mentioned that has many fans worried is that some characters will have new origins.

“I don’t know how I feel about this right now,” tells Matman! “I’ve been reading comics for over 35 years and Batman, The Flash and even Green Lantern are not the same guys I read when I started so I know change is a constant. I just worry that this will be undone in a year or two like Marvel did.”

No word on Action Comics and Detective Comics getting the renumbering! Let’s hope not!   

The renumbering event will come following ‘Flashpoint’ that will live up to it’s hype that things won’t be the same again! No more Batman Incorporated? No more (fill in the color) Lanterns? Superman’s walk around the USA all for nothing? Stay tuned…  

Also in the plan is DC will be moving into the world of day-and-date digital sales to coinside with this event!

5-29-11: Spending Memorial Day In Flander's Field

So instead of a typical ‘Matman’ rant this weekend I wanted to keep it in the spirit of the holiday!

In the United States we celebrate our veterans and their sacrifices with Memorial Day! This unfortunately has become a long weekend, a time to open pools and have cookouts! All are tons o’ fun but we must remember why…

Started in the late 1800’s as ‘Decoration Day’, Memorial Day is the last Monday in May where we celebrate the fallen soldiers of wars past!

So instead of what I read or who’s drawing what new series, I decided to do something different! Below is one of the most famous poems about war ever published called ‘In Flander’s Field’. The piece was written by Canadian surgeon Lieutenant Colonel John McCrey after watching a friend die in a battle during World War One.

In Flanders fields, the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below...

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields...

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands, we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields...

5-27-11: Help Those In Need By Donating Comics!

Over the past week, we have seen areas of the United States destroyed by tornadoes, the worst happening in Joplin, MO. When human life is lost it tends to put things into perspective! Who’s better or who’s stronger becomes secondary to the fact that people hare hurting!

“It is so heartbreaking to see the destruction and pain these folks are going through,” Matman added. “The loss of life is hard enough to deal with, but then you think about how someone’s life was completely turned upside down in an instant. The loss of things like comic collections may not seem important, but for many this is a lifetime of memories.”

Today, Matman was told by a friend about something awesome going on in the midst of chaos.

“An old friend of mine Andra told me about the efforts of one business looking to help ease some pain in a way we can all relate to! But why don’t I let Jason Hurley fill you in…”

“This is a call to publishers, distributors, stores, anyone who has all ages books they would like to donate. My name is Jason A. Hurley and my brother and I own a comic shop called Hurley's Heroes in Joplin, Missouri. This last weekend, Joplin was hit by a deadly tornado that wiped out a huge chunk of town. Several hundred, perhaps even thousands, of families were put out of their homes. Now, hundreds of children are stuck inside huge shelters, and no doubt bored out of their minds. We've taken a few books from the store to a shelter nearby, and they were greatly appreciated. I've been inspired, and I want to make this effort bigger. I have plenty of people, mostly my loyal customers, willing to distribute these books far and wide to the various shelters around town. Now, I need books to distribute. If anyone out there has all ages comics that they would be willing to donate to this cause, you can just send them to me, and I'll get them out to the shelters.”

Hurley's Heroes
1515 W. 10th
Suite C
Joplin, MO 64801

Our prayers (and hopefully comics) go out to you all from the Secret Identity family! Please help out if you can and even if you can’t! There are a lot of ‘younguns’ in need of a superhero right about now!