REVIEW: ‘Toe Tag Riot’ #2

(Black Mask Studios, 2014)

Created by Matt Miner and Sean Von Gorman
Written by Matt Miner
Pencils and Inks by Sean Von Gorman
Colors by Savanna Ganucheau
Lettered by Sean Von Gorman

Confrontation has never been a place where I’ve felt comfortable.  Who knows the roots?  If my sister is reading this she’ll laugh and nod and say “Yup, that’s our family…”(Test here to see if she really reads these like she says she does…) Perhaps it is some form of latent Catholic guilt, rising up within at the sound of a raised voice, or maybe it’s the years Continue reading

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REVIEW: ”Critical Hit’ #2

(Black Mask Studios, 2014)

Written & Created by Matt Miner
Pencils & Inks by Jonathan Brandon Sawyer
Colors by Doug Garbark
Lettered by Jim Campbell

The world of the comic book reviewer is as broad as the Internet.  There are millions of opinions, ever more millions of fans, and when you do a quick search, what seems like more competition for views than any one site could master. Continue reading

REVIEW: ‘Critical Hit’ #1

(Black Mask Studios, 2014)

Written by Matt Miner
Pencils and Inks by Jonathan Brandon Sawyer
Colors by Doug Garbark
Lettered by Crank!

It’s hard to stay on top of modern entertainment.  It comes out so fast now that before you know it “I’ll start watching Game of Thrones after the first season is collected…” becomes, “…oh crap, Game of Thrones is starting it’s fifth season and I’ve yet to watch any of them…” Continue reading

PREVIEW: ‘Toe Tag Riot’

We here at Bag & Bored are excited to announce that two of our favorite creators have returned with yet another earth shaking series.

Matt Miner, writer of the tragic and meaningful protest comic series “Liberator”and the follow-up “Liberator/Earth Crisis: Salvation of Innocents” is back, this time with top notch artist Sean Von Gorman (Pawn Shop, FUBAR, Occupy Comics) to bring us a series that is destined to be as big a hit as it is socially important. Continue reading

REVIEW: ‘Liberator/Earth Crisis: Salvation of Innocents’ #2

(Black Mask Studios, 2014)

Created by Matt Miner
Written by Matt Miner and Earth Crisis
Pencils and Inks by Javier Sanchez Aranda
Colors by Joaquin Pereyra
Extras Art by Kathryn Mann
Cover by Rod Reis

Liberator/Earth Crisis: Salvation of Innocents is not your everyday comic book.  As of yet, I have seen no spandex.  There are grim realties at work and yet no pointy-eared and cloaked figure stepping from the shadows to knock the pistol out of the mugger’s hand, or a giant anvil in ethereal green light that appears Continue reading

REVIEW: ‘Pawn Shop’ Graphic Novel

(Soup Dad Comics, 2014)

Written By Joey Esposito
Art by Sean Von Gorman
Colors by Jonathan Moore (Chap. 2-4), Sean Von Gorman (Chap. 1 and chapter breaks)
Letters by Adam Pruett
Cover by Jonathan Moore

The dedication of the book says it all. “This book is dedicated to the lonely souls haunting New York City.” Pawn Shop was a fully funded Kickstarter project in 2012 that was recently released as a complete graphic novel in February of this year. Inside writer Joey Esposito explores the interconnectedness of people and Continue reading

REVIEW: ‘Liberator/Earth Crisis: Salvation of Innocents’ #1

(Black Mask Studios, 2014)

Written by Matt Miner and Earth Crisis
Pencils and Inks by Javier Sanchez Aranda
Colors by Joaquin Pereyra
Lettered by Crank!
Extra Art by Kathryn Mann

“What can one person do?” This is the question posed and answered in the newest Black Mask Studios book, Liberator: Earth Crisis. Matt Miner is back, taking up the cause of animal cruelty with the help of Earth Crisis, an American metalcore band. Continue reading

Bag and Bored’s ‘Best of 2013’: CORY THRALL

BEST OF 2013
with Cory Thrall

When I started this crazy thing called Bag & Bored I was looking for something to kill some time and have some fun with.  Nothing big, no readership – just silly meanderings on whatever comics I had read that week.  Consider my surprise that here we are over a year later and with quite a cast of reviewers and writers on our team.  One of the major pay-offs with this site has been Continue reading

Bag and Bored’s ‘Best Of 2013’: BRAD GISCHIA

BEST OF 2013
with Brad Gischia

I began reviewing comics for Bagandbored.net about six months ago.  I was so fired up to get into it, but I specified, when I talked to our fearless leader, Cory, that I would be in more than a little bit of a jam when it comes to reviewing books.  I am not near a comic store.  So to get a gig that is so centered on ever changing wall books, or even monthly, well…it wouldn’t be easy. Continue reading

PREVIEW: “Liberator/Earth Crisis: Salvation of Innocents”

Matt Miner is the creator and writer of the comic “Liberator”, an animal rights twist on the vigilante story, which has been a favorite here in the Bag & Bored Universe.  We loved all four books in the mini-series, and that makes me very happy to announce that Matt Miner and “Liberator” artist Javier Aranda have joined forces with Hardcore Punk legends Earth Crisis in the creation of a new comic – “Liberator/Earth Crisis: Salvation of Innocents”. Continue reading

REVIEW: “Liberator” #4

(Black Mask Studios, 2013)

Review by Brad Gischia

Creator/Writer: Matt Miner
Art: Javier Sanchez Aranda
Colors: Joaquin Pereyra
Letters/Edits: Vito Delsante
Cover: Chris Burnham (art), Rod Reis (colors)

Each and every comic lover has, at one time or another, read a book and thought, “I can do that…and I can do it better.” In some cases it may have even been true. Matt Miner has done what so many of us wish we could do. He has Continue reading

REVIEW: “Liberator” #3

(Black Mask Studios, 2013)

Review by Brad Gischia

Created & Written by:  Matt Miner
Pencils & Inks:  Javier Sanchez Aranda
Colors Artwork:  Joaquin Pereyra
Letters & Edits:  Vito Delsante
Cover Artist:  Ben Templesmith

Note: Moderate Spoilers.  I’ll try not to get too deep into the story, only mentioning briefly some broad plot points that you would most likely infer from reading issues one and two anyway, because readers of this site and this comic are fantastically intelligent and thoughtful. Continue reading

REVIEW: “Liberator” #2

(Black Mask, 2013)

Review by Cory Thrall

CREATED & WRITTEN BY:  Matt Miner
ARTWORK BY:  Javier Sanchez Aranda
COLOR ARTWORK BY:  Joaquin Pereyra
LETTERED & EDITED BY:  Vito Delsante

In Brad Gischia’s review of “Liberator” #1 (linked below) the scope and importance of this title was established and explained in perfect detail, from the real life activism of creator and writer Matt Miner, to the realities of the situations displayed in the comic backed by amazingly intelligent articles at the end of the issue.  This is a comic that tells a whole new story, and a much needed one.  An incredibly important and largely overlooked ‘issue’ – the systematic torture and mistreatment of animals of all kinds.  Continue reading

REVIEW: “Liberator” #1

(Black Mask Studios, 2013)

Review by Brad Gischia

Creator/Writer – Matt Miner
Art – Javier Sanchez Aranda
Colors – Joaquin Pereyra
Letters/Edits – Vito Delsante

*Caution, moderate spoilers

Greetings from the Wasteland,

Does another Wednesday loom already?  Are you looking for something new to pick up on NCBD?  Look no further.  Liberator #1, “Rage Ignition”, will be on the stands. Continue reading

INTERVIEW: Matt Miner, writer of “Liberator”

matt-dara1Matt Miner is the writer of “Liberator”, a 4-issue mini-series starring masked heroes who save, protect, and avenge abused animals.  Matt and artist Joel Gomez (Wetworks, Nightmare on Elm Street, Lost Boys: Reign of Frogs, Flashpoint: Reverse Flash and Detective Comics) are working hard to fund this mini-series using Kickstarter (see link below), and have some surprising and amazing ‘gifts’ for backers.  The Kickstarter page has a collection of highly positive quotes from such people as Scott Snyder, Steve Niles, Neko Case, Justin Gray and more.  Most importantly, this is a comic based on horrific things that happen every day and go mostly unnoticed or are ignored – the plight of abused animals.  These poor animals have no real voice with which to better their lives.  These characters, and their writer himself, are their voices.

Matt was able to take some time to answer some questions for us, where you will learn why this mini-series is so important, and why it deserves the support it needs to be successful.

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– First, can you tell us a little about yourself, maybe a bit of what a normal day-in-the-life of Matt Miner might be like?

Well I’m a New Yorker, an animal rescuer and animal rights and social justice activist.  I’m also a comic book writer and a dad to several rescued animals.  A day in my life includes a lot of dog walks, dog poop, writing, chatting with folks on Twitter, trying to find homes for animals and pushing my Kickstarter for Liberator.

– For your new title – the mini-series “Liberator” – you are attempting to get funding from the Kickstarter program, with the idea of funding the whole mini-series in one swoop.  What kind of gifts do you have up that might entice someone to back your project – other than helping a destined to be amazing series get printed, of course?  Also, how did you get bands like Bad Religion to help you in this?  There’s also some amazing artwork being offered.

Well we have all the offerings – the books, rad prints, variant covers, Kickstarter exclusives, limited editions, original art, etc.  The thing that makes the Liberator Kickstarter a little different is that, well,  good projects with a good message tend to attract other good people who want to help.

So we started inviting folks to contribute to the project – articles, interviews, stuff of that nature.  An issue of Liberator is 24 pages of comic adventure story and several pages of these extras.  The reward packages from bands and organizations are things they’ve bundled up specifically for us, to further help Liberator succeed.

So that’s why we have those cool swag bundles from Bad Religion and Propagandhi and the Descendents and filmmakers and activist organizations and the like.  It’s because they give a damn and they’re good people who wanted to help.

Other folks are jumping onboard daily and we’ll be announcing them throughout the campaign.

– It seems every comic fan and creator has that one special title, or that one special character, or issue, etc. that got them into comics on more of a ‘serious’ level – from spectator to collector.  Any comics stick out in your mind as being major influences on your life or your comic work?

Growing up in the 1980s for me it was all about those quintessential game changer Batman stories – you know: Death in the Family, Year One, Dark Knight Returns and Killing Joke.  On the Marvel side I was all in with Punisher, Punisher War Journal and some of the Wolverine stories – really grim and gritty stuff compared to the bulk of superhero titles at the time.  But that grim realism and heavy narrative, that dark and brooding internal dialogue, spoke to me and I really connected with those stories.  In my opinion they’re still some of the best comics ever written.

– The premise for “Liberator” is pure genius, in my opinion.  I’m curious as to what brought you to writing this mini-series, and how much of your own personal activism experience went into it?

That’s very kind of you to say, but the premise is heavily inspired by real life true events.  There are people who actually do this type of direct action for animals and when I learned of them I thought to myself that they were kind of like superheroes but for animals.  They’re masked, they do all this black ops shit, they save animals – I thought it was brilliant stuff.  My own personal activism never ventured into this illegal arena – I was more on the aboveground front line with signs and bullhorns – but I’ve always been and always will be a vocal supporter of the underground.  Lately I’ve been focused on  rescue of abused cats and dogs and death row animals in our city shelters.

– Your efforts in saving troubled animals, ranging from outright activism to the BSL News blog, is truly amazing and inspiring.  What do you think made this so important in your life, to the point of having the passion and drive needed to devote so much of your life to Animal Rights?

It’s pretty common with folks like me to have had some sort of personal trauma in their early lives where they feel alone, helpless, scared, and voiceless.  Having had experiences like this, it makes it easy to empathize with abused and neglected animals.

– Can you tell us about your work with your BSL News blog, and what it’s like to be on the ‘frontlines’, so to speak?  You seem to be doing some great things on there.

BSL News is a site run by my wife and me – its mission is to help combat breed specific legislation (laws targeting specific breeds of dogs for their genetics) and give us a hand in our rescue efforts.  I don’t know that it counts as the frontlines, but it’s certainly been a good resource for helping open eyes to the harm that breed stereotypes can cause and call people to action to fight when breed bans or BSL is proposed.

– In the video for the Kickstarter page you can see you not only in full action, but also in an appearance on television.  I also read that you were interviewed by the BBC in regards to Hurricane Sandy.  I assume the BBC interview was in light of your dedicated work with helping displaced animals from the aftermath of Sandy?

I was interviewed twice by the BBC regarding Sandy, but both times it was in regards to the piss poor job LIPA (Long Island Power Authority) was doing in regards to restoring power to the poorer areas of the Rockaways.  It’s really shameful how LIPA was hard at work restoring the rich Long Island neighborhoods and left the poor in Rockaway to freeze to death.  They actually asked why I didn’t evacuate before the storm and I said “well, I’m not going to leave my animals” and they kind of scoffed.  It was uncomfortable.

– Back to the comic, how did you get Joel Gomez in on this project?  His artwork is amazing!  Really sets the tone, from what I’ve seen.

Joel’s very talented and he’s really helped bring a new level to the project.  I was referred to him through Freddie Williams II and Joel, even though he’s not an animal rights person, thought the story was intriguing and worth telling.  He’s been great and his art is going to blow you away.

– In the press for the Kickstarter page, you mention that fans of things like ‘Batman’ and ‘Dexter’ would enjoy this book.  What edge does the book ride on, in so far as vigilantism goes?  It’s obvious there is some direct action going on, but how far is it taken in the mini-series?

The two heroes within the book stick to a nonviolent code of conduct, with “nonviolent” being defined as violence toward a living being.  I don’t believe you can be violent to a nonliving inanimate object – therefore I consider smashing a window or flattening a tire to be a nonviolent action as long as you take all necessary precautions to avoid harming any life.

The heroes of Liberator are anally meticulous to make sure no human or animal is hurt in the course of any of their actions, which is also true for the real life animal activists that inspire the story.

– I think one of the most inspiring things about this title is that you have dedicated some of the proceeds from it to fund more of your work in dog rescue.  What brought you to this idea, and what area do you feel will benefit directly from the proceeds?

My wife and I do independent dog rescue, meaning we’re not with a group or organization and work on our own.  So the cost of everything from leashes to food to neutering to shots normally comes out of our pocket – for large vet bills we run fundraisers which helps a bit, but it’s still a lot of money for us.  If Liberator’s successful we could afford to help more dogs and cats and out here in Rockaway, and since Sandy hit, there are a LOT of displaced animals who need the help.

– Can you tell us about the main characters in ‘Liberator’, and maybe a bit about why they took the path they’re on?

Well, we’ve got Damon Guerrero, who’s an Hispanic mid 20s slacker barista who really found his calling working in the animal liberation underground.   His equal and eventual partner is Jeanette Francis, a strong and wicked smart mid 20s college student who saw what was going on in her university’s labs and it rocked her world view.  They’re both fueled by separate but equally disturbing pasts and a burning drive to help those who can’t help themselves.

– You have rescued animals in your home, both cats and dogs.  I wonder what might have brought them into your family?  Do they have stories to tell, as well?

All our animals are rescues and all of them have stories.  Our pit bull girl Dara is who got me rescuing; she was my first rescue – she had a day to live at the kill shelter and I saw her photo on Facebook and she was so scared and skinny and I fell in love with her deep soulful eyes.   I got her off death row but couldn’t bring myself to adopt her out and insisted on keeping her.  Our pit bull boy Joey was a neglect case in a housing project.  The sweetest little boy you’ll ever meet, all he wants to do is snuggle and sleep and these “people” who had him couldn’t even bother to walk him or give him water.

We’ve got three cats, two of them rehabilitated ferals from the Bronx and one a dumped housecat who we rescued from under the Rockaway Beach boardwalk a week before Hurricane Sandy.  They’re all amazing cats with huge personalities and my life is more complete from their presence.

Lastly we’ve got a foster Rottweiler in my home office.  Sweet guy, huge heart, super gentle – nothing like how he looks upon first sight!  He was tethered in the sun on a 3 foot chain and prong collar when we met him.  Slowly we convinced his wretched “family” to let us start taking care of him there, then finally to give him up.  Luckily we got him before the hurricane because he would have drowned in the shitty little shed they shoved him in when it was raining.

– You’ve done a lot of work with fighting dogs, it seems.  How much of a problem is such a thing as we’re heading into 2013?  Can you also talk about some of the actions you have been a part of in this area?

I’ve done some work with fighting dogs but not a lot.  It’s still a huge problem in a lot of areas, and out where we live is no exception.  Abandoned houses are even more common now post-Sandy and they’re regularly broken in to and used by dog fighters to store their canine victims.  It’s heinous.  The only good thing about this practice is that literally anyone else could also break in and remove those dogs.

– What other comic book work have you done previously?  Any experiences or lessons in these works that might have helped get ‘Liberator’ put together, in terms of writing it?

Liberator’s my first comic writing work but I took it very seriously so I didn’t rush anything and I made sure to have the money to bring onboard a professional art team.  I took classes under Scott Snyder to really polish the book and hone my craft.  I wanted to be sure this thing was as good as it possibly can be because I’ve wanted to do the book for nearly a decade and there’s no sense in doing it half assed and having the thing suck.

– I think the work you’re doing and have done is very important and I believe it is also needed on a broader scale.  Do things look to be going in the right direction, in terms of Animal Rights?  What major changes would you like to see?

As long as a person thinks they should be able to use and abuse an animal for their own gain I think there’s work to be done.  It’s a constant struggle and hard to gauge if things are going in the right direction.

Activism-wise we’re headed into a total loss of our first amendment rights – activists are rounded up as terrorists and nonviolent crimes are punished with decades in federal prison just due to the person’s political ideology.  Anarchists are targeted for thought crime: believing that we’d be better off without the government in our affairs and Occupy folks are beaten down and maced by cops for holding a sign.

Realistic changes I’d like to see?  Sure, I’d like to see felony charges be standard for animal abusers and animals not classified as “property.”   Animals are a “him” or a “her”, not an “it.”

– Do you have any future comic-related plans once ‘Liberator’ is released?

I’m working on two other projects at the moment.  I’m contributing a piece for the Occupy Comics anthology – I guess the publisher feels I have a unique enough view of the Occupy Sandy folks since I was here for the storm and the aftermath; I’m thrilled to be able to say “thank you” to them this way.  I’m also working on a piece for an anti-bullying anthology that should be great – I’m a huge supporter of efforts to end bullying and, again, thrilled to be able to help in this small way.

– Not a question, but I really wanted to thank you for putting so much of yourself and your life into helping animals in the many ways you do.  Creating/writing ‘Liberator’ while also using the sales to fund your work is seriously awe-inspiring.  As someone who grew up with Pit Bulls and the like, I wanted to take this chance to applaud your dedication, and to say I’m really looking forward to this mini-series!  Thank you for doing this interview with us.

Seriously, thank YOU.  Since starting work on Liberator I’m thrilled to find folks who also share my passions for animals alongside a love of comics.  Thanks so much for giving a damn!

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HELP “LIBERATOR” GET PUBLISHED – SUPPORT IT ON KICKSTARTER: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mattminer/liberator-4-issue-comic-series-by-matt-miner-and-j

FOLLOW AND/OR GET IN TOUCH WITH MATT MINER ON TWITTER:  @MattMinerXVX

IMAGES AND ARTWORK FROM “LIBERATOR”, AND MORE:

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– Interview by F. Fang / Edited by Jared Butler

NEWS AND MORE! December 20th, 2012

Bag-and-Bored-Wordbal2-1Not much news going around the comics world the past couple of days, but here’s some stuff we here at the B&B Crew found interesting, news or not! :)

– Mark Millar & Frank Quitely’s “Jupiter’s Legacy” is coming this April!  –> http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/JoshWildingNewsAndReviews/news/?a=71578

– Complex’s 10 Best Comic Books of 2012  –> http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2012/12/the-10-best-comic-books-of-2012/

– Vote for your favorites on Comic Monster’s “Horror Comics Awards”!  –> http://www.comicmonsters.com/horror-comic-awards.html

– Samuel L. Jackson won’t be in the upcoming “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie, but wants in on Star Wars!  –> http://comicbook.com/blog/2012/12/20/samuel-l-jackson-will-sit-out-guardians-of-the-galaxy-wants-star-wars/

– Kickstarter for Matt Miner & Joel Gomez’s “Liberator” only has 40+ days left to reach their goal of $18,000!  Help this really interesting premise (4-issue series about heroes ‘risking it all’ to protect animals) get published!  I think it’ll be awesome.  –> http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mattminer/liberator-4-issue-comic-series-by-matt-miner-and-j

– Happy 200th Anniversary of the first printing of “Grimm’s Fairy Tales”!  Not comics, but awesome all the same, and it’s influence can be felt all over Pop Culture – including comics!  Check it out:  –> http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/19/grimm-brothers-anniversary-german-culture

– IGN released their “Best Comics of 2012” awards, with award categories from many areas of the comic book universe:  –> http://www.ign.com/wikis/best-of-2012/Comics

– IDW picks up the rights to ‘T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents’ and a few others!  –> http://www.comicsalliance.com/2012/12/20/idw-acquires-thunder-agents/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

– Graphic Novel Reporter’s “Best Graphic Novels of 2012” list!  –> http://graphicnovelreporter.com/content/best-graphic-novels-2012-feature-stories

 

AND AS USUAL, SOME AWESOME ART TO GO WITH YOUR NEWS!

Skeletor – drawn by the awesome Skottie Young!

SKELETOR1