Monday, February 28, 2011

The Omnibus: Book or Bulletproof Vest?

So there I was in my local comic shop this afternoon when I heard some guy go “Ahm knee bus?  What’s an Ahm knee bus??”  And I just about shat my pants in disgust.  And, no, it wasn’t because of the milkshake-cheeseburger combo I had just scarfed down at Wendy’s an hour earlier.  You see, it instantly occurred to me that this guy’s silly question meant one of two things. 
a) that fool was just straight up ignant, yo.
b) there are some people out there who actually don’t know what an Omnibus is! 
Now, personally, I’m thinking that choice ‘a’ was the more probable answer, but dammit…I just couldn’t sleep at night if I risked it and *didn’t* tell all my fellow peeps what this whole Omnibus craze is really all about lately. 
So here’s the deal, people.  Us fanboys – us TRUE fanboys – we like to own collected editions of our favorite comic book storylines (and, if you’re anything like me, the not-so-favorite ones as well).  And this need is satisfied through massive encyclopedia-sized reprints published for the purposes of milking the loyal customer out of his very last penny – er, I mean…for the purposes of giving fans a fresh new look at a now-classic storyline in the mythos of one or more of our favorite heroes. 
And that’s basically what Omnibuses are.  On the one hand, they’re just another dent in the already far-too-depleted bank account of the fanboy.  On the other hand, they’re totally AWESOME, man!  These things are just HUGE.  If you happen to live on the wrong side of the tracks and you can manage to fit one of these bad boys inside your jacket, you’ll never have to worry about random gunfire or stray bullets again.  The sheer thickness of these things alone offers more protection than S.W.A.T. riot gear!  Not bad for something that only sets you back about $100.  And that’s nothing to say of the ‘bonus creator commentary,’ alternate covers gallery, and who knows what else in each printed masterpiece. 
Now, before you go and have a hissy fit after finding Omnibuses in stores for a c-note, remember your fanboy training, young one!  If you’ve got the sight, and you’re like me, your nerd-sense will automatically start tingling whenever you’re in the vicinity of a good deal online.  And, really, even if you can’t find yourself a decent discount, keep in mind that these things clock in at around 1000 pages.  Now I don’t know about you, but where I come from, that kind of page count is more orgasm-inducing than a drunken Jessica Alba, completely void of discriminating preferences after having downed three bottles of Grey Goose. 
I mean, come one, with over thirty issues stuffed between the covers (you know, the way I’d stuff Jessica between the covers after all that Vodka), how can you possibly go wrong?  Only one way:  by walking into any respectable comic shop and asking “Gee whiz, what’s an Ahm knee bus??” 
Now one thing I should warn you about is that if you try to lift too many of these at once, or you have to awkwardly put one in the farthest corners of your bedroom without disturbing any of the other stuff you’ve got lying around, you may injure your groin a bit.  It’s nothing to lose sleep over; just be careful is all.  Really careful.  Or you’ll pull your balls.  Just trust me on that, and please don’t ask me any further questions on the matter.  Oh, and buy yourself an Omnibus featuring one of your favorite comic book heroes RIGHT NOW!  You’ll thank me later.  Even if you do end up pulling your balls.

James Jacobs is the co-author of True Confessions of a Fanboy.  If the above report made you think any less of him, you ain’t even seen half the truth.  Check out right now for a free excerpt of what I’m talking about. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Even “Special Friends” can make it out of the Friend Zone!

Okay, let me just get this out of the way and admit it right now.  I watched She-Ra back when I was a wee lad.  We’re talking the days when you actually had to be a girl to buy girl toys.  When Teddy Ruxpin didn’t seem all that creepy.  When there was an actual difference between buying “My Buddy” and buying “Kid Sister.”  I know, ancient history, right?  But that’s how it was back then. 

And I know all those in the “My Buddy” crowd never would have been caught dead watching a girlie show like She-Ra, but dammit son… I did.  And I had a reason!  I was in it for the ‘man.’  The He-Man, to be precise.  See, even back then, I was a fanatical little sumbitch, so seeing as how She-Ra was a direct spin-off of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, the prospect of a He-Man cameo every now and then was just too good to pass up.  And I must say that the payoff did indeed come on many an occasion.  The only problem was that “many an occasion” doesn’t exactly qualify as “always.”  And on those days when Mr. “I wear pink pants whenever I’m not riding a big green cat” didn’t show up, there was quite a shameful display that I had endure in his stead.  All y’all “Kid Sister” folks know what I’m talking about.  I’m talking about Bow, aka (according to the marketing geniuses at Mattel) the “Special Friend Who Helps She-Ra.” 

Now we all know what “Special Friend” really means here.  It’s just that Mattel couldn’t get away with putting “She-Ra’s bitch” on the cover of their toy boxes.  Sadly, we’ve all been Bow at one time or another in our lives.  Bow was defined by one specific quality: According to legend, he had a secret crush on She-Ra (which she undoubtedly could smell like a used tampon a mile away).  And if the whole “Special Friend” bit didn’t clue the kids in enough at the time, Bow even had a little heart worn at the center of his chest that would beat rapidly if She-Ra was in danger.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, try and recall that time you were in math class scoping out that hot chick and having to watch helplessly as she cheated off your test paper at 3:00 pm and went behind the bleachers with some jock douche at 5:00 the same day. 

Anyway, you get my point here.  Bow was just another average frustrated lame-o with no hope of tapping that Grayskull poon he so desperately sought after on a daily basis.  So you can imagine my utter surprise when the latest Masters of the Universe figure turned up last week featuring a new and improved updated Bow figure!  And, boy, is this dude jacked!  Like a wolverine in heat, the guy’s just a beast!  Here, have a look-see:

Bow review

I mean, damn son, look at what they did to him!  The accessories!  The articulation!  The whole “She-Ra will be bowing – er, I mean blowing me in no time” facial expression.  This guy is no joke!  So yeah, it took 25 years, but I’ve finally gained a modicum of respect for She-Ra’s whipping boy, er – “Special Friend.”  And if you don’t mind me saying so, he could be my special friend anytime he wants!  Wait, disregard that last sentence.  Even Teddy Ruxpin couldn’t pull that one off.  Still, though, he’s pretty cool now, so thank you, Mattel, for giving us fanboys a little molded-plastic payback for all those high school whores who only wanted our “special” calculus skills for the pop quiz.  Bitches!

What are you waiting for?  Go get my book at

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Has me by the balls, the Force does...

I can remember it like I was nine years old.  Come to think of it… I was nine years old!  And I was salivating in palpitating anticipation over the new Star Wars movie.  The hype machine that Kenner (now Hasbro) Toys is still known for to this day was in full force, fresh with awkward kiddie commercials and mini-catalogs fiendishly inserted into their 1982 Star Wars toys.  On display for all the world to see: the long-awaited title for the final installment of our beloved trilogy.  It was gonna be called REVENGE of the Jedi and it was gonna be the nerdgasm of all our lifetimes combined!  How freakin' cool to have a movie with the word "Revenge" in the title!  For a simple New York kid, years from even being rejected by some hot thang sitting in the corner of calculus class, it would be a true rite of passage to witness this movie in all its glory.  I mean, shit son, the rebels had just gotten their asses handed to them in Empire, and I don’t know about any of you, but I was straight up desperate for some wicked awesome REVENGE.

And then it happened.  George happened.  In the first of what would be COUNTLESS “creative” blunders, George Lucas decided that “seeks revenge not, the Jedi does.”  Er, I mean “Jedi do not seek revenge.”  It’s simply not “in their nature.”  That sumbitch had to go all soft on us and change what could have truly been the greatest movie title of all time!  And he changed it to, of all things, RETURN of the Jedi??!!

Is THAT what Jedi do?  They “return” to stuff??  Oh wait, now I get it.  Luke is the first Jedi in a looooong ass time.  So he's returning, and with him, the entire Jedi way of life.  Ha.  Ah-ha-ha.  Umm… yeah.

Fanboys and Fangirls the world over, I present to you: the neutering of a movie title!  I was crushed.  I felt so small… like a mere nine year old.  Yeah, I know… I was one, but what I WANTED was to feel like a cool badass adult who wouldn’t need to be accompanied by my mommy and daddy to see a film about REVENGE.  And this horrible disappointment didn’t even include the pain I would end up enduring through all the Ewoks, Boba Fetts falling down hungry vaginas, and Vaders being unmasked to reveal a hapless crusty old fart.  Oh, and that god awful dance at the end.  But I digress.

So it I lived with it.  I lived with the pain.  I lived with the anguish.  I lived with the confusion, frustration, and befuddlement.  I lived with it all!

But then… last week… the coolest show to ever be held prior to a San Diego Comic-Con.  Toy Fair, baby.  No, not that crappy magazine published by the now-defunct Wizard.  Toy FAIR.  Where nerds of all shapes and sizes convene to learn what is coming out this year from Hasbro, Mattel, and every other force in the plaything industry… including, of course, some of the reveals of those Con exclusives we all clamor for.  Those impossible-to-obtain treasures that can only be owned by mortgaging the first-born that you probably won’t have anyway.

And the biggest reveal of them all this year: Hasbro has gone and undone George’s biggest “don’t” he ever did done.  Their purchase of Kenner long completed, they announced the mother of all Star Wars exclusives.  Now, after all of these years, hope springs anew: Here, have a look:

Revenge of the Jedi set!

There you have it, people.  REVENGE of the Jedi.  Emblazoned across a big freakin’ Death Star package, including multiple Revenge cardbacks inside.  Just the way it always should have been.  Just the way it oughtta be!  And by Palpatine’s balls, it will be mine at any cost.  So bye bye, tax refund.  Sayonara, Christmas bonus I’m ten months from even seeing.  Thanks for stopping by, hot lady who will let me drop $200 on an expensive lobster dinner with no chance of a happy ending later on.

Let it be known forever more… when it comes to this latest Lucas ploy, one that is actually cool for a change… I will *finally* have my REVENGE!  

What are you waiting for?  Go get my book at