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A Visit to Thought Bubble 2021 – and why it’s better than comic-con 1983!

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Article by Aidan Parr A few years ago I started selling some of my old comics at events and markets. That eventually evolved into Chaotic Comics & Crafts, where I sell some old back-issues, a lot of graphic novels, art from friends, and some books that I've written and self-published. I’m usually to be found doing this somewhere around Nottingham, Loughborough, or Derby, but sometimes further afield too. I’ve enjoyed comics in all their variety since I was a kid, but I haven’t actually been to a comic convention since 1983. There are probably good reasons for that! In those days it was very much targeted at white males in their teens to mid-twenties: very earnest comics fans who got together to talk comics, meet writers and artists, and follow them around all day. Back then Marvel, DC, and 2000AD dominated. What I probably didn’t enjoy so much was all the seriousness and a feeling that it was some sort of fraternity that only the few could join. There were a few good-quality fa

Book Review - 'Gemina' by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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Review by Fay Clark Well, I think I've kept you all in suspense for long enough. I cannot believe I wrote the review for the first book in this series FOUR YEARS AGO. That's my bad, I got distracted by other books! I've now read Gemina a couple of times, so am finally ready to review it. So, strap into your spaceships, the crazy is about to return, in this thrilling sequel. Gemina is the second book in the Illuminae Files series by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Although this is a follow-up, it doesn't feature the same main characters, but we do still follow the same timeline and witness the fallout of the events from Illuminae . Please refer to the below synopsis, which I'm sure will help make sense of this awesome Space Opera! Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed. We follow  Hanna, who is the station captain’s pampered daughter, and Nik the reluct

Thought Bubble 2021 is here!

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Article by Steve J. Ray One of the things that fans have missed the most over the last couple of years is conventions and festivals. Covid 19 really took its toll on all forms of live entertainment, and many may still be anxious about returning to large venues, and places where crowds gather. Thankfully, the rapid rollout of the Covid vaccine has meant that events like the New York Comic Convention have been able to go ahead in the U.S., and now the U.K.’s mightiest, and truest comics art event, Thought Bubble, is returning… with a bang! The list of comics talents attending this year is simply stellar, and it looks like the fans who wanted to go last year but couldn’t are going to be very well rewarded for their patience. THOUGHT BUBBLE FESTIVAL SHARES FULL PROGRAMME UK’S LARGEST COMIC ART FESTIVAL RETURNS FOR FIRST EVENT SINCE 2019 THOUGHT BUBBLE COMIC CONVENTION HARROGATE CONVENTION CENTRE 13th – 14th NOVEMBER 2021 Thought Bubble , the UK’s largest comic art festival, has shared the

DO IT, BUY THE BOOK - OCTOBER WRAP UP

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By Fay Clark Well, it's that time of the month where I tell you what I completed for the October DO IT, BUY THE BOOK CHALLENGES. If you ever want to keep up live feed style, you can catch it all on our Instagram  @FanUniverses . Now on to the books. Challenge 1 - READ A BOOK THAT CAME OUT DURING YOUR BIRTHDAY MONTH. Call Down The Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater. This book is the start of a new series, it has characters from The Raven Boys series. I loved the Raven Boys books and know that Maggie can write magical realism so well! I've been really looking forward to starting the dreamer trilogy. It did not disappoint.  ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5. Challenge 2 - READ A HALLOWEEN/SPOOKY BOOK. The Long Walk by Richard Bachman. So, this is my first Bachman book. I've read a few other Kings... I actually prefer Bachman. This was really well done, with a few things that annoyed me, like the ending! Other than that, the subject was interesting and I liked the characters.  ⭐ ⭐⭐⭐/5. Challenge 3 - READ A BOOK S

DO IT, BUY THE BOOK - NOVEMBER CHALLENGES

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By Fay Clark Well I had a spooktacular time reading all the creepy books for October's DO IT, BUY THE BOOK challenges. I am however, super looking forward to the November challenges. I made everything a little bit themed this time around. November is my birthday month and I really wanted to fit in some books I have a feeling I will be getting for my birthday! That's why the challenges are a lot more open than normal! I do hope these work out well for you all. Challenge 1 - Read a book by one of your favourite authors. Challenge 2 - Read a book that has your favourite colour on the cover. Challenge 3 - Re-read an old favourite book.  Challenge 4 - Read a comic or Graphic Novel with your favourite Villian in. Challenge 5 - Our pick of the month comes from the wonderful Paul. You can catch him on various podcasts such as our very own "Geek". Read "Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud." I'm truly very excited for my reading plans this November. There is not

Kodansha's November Digital Series Debuts Announced

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We’re back once again and ready to reveal the upcoming digital debuts for November 2021 that include fantasy action/adventures, a couple of Cells at Work! spinoffs, as well as romance and slice-of-life stories!   As a reminder, these new digital debuts as well as returning favorites will be available upon release across all our participating digital vendors including  Bookwalker ,  comiXology ,  Kindle , Apple Books,  Google Play ,  Kindle ,  Nook ,  Kobo ,  izneo , and more! To see what other new releases will be available in November 2021, and other months take a look at our  Manga  Release Calendar ! The Iceblade Sorcerer Shall Rule the World  Art by Norihito Sasaki, Story by Nana Mikoshiba, Original Character Design by Riko Korie  Release Date:  November 30, 2021  The Arnold Academy of Magic is a school for the elite...and Ray White is just your ordinary guy. In fact, he doesn't seem particularly skilled with magic at all, and is a bit of a klutz. Which is why he has nothing to

Scouting for Thoma and Other Genshin Impact Thoughts

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Article by Adam Ray As regular readers here on the gaming section of Fantastic Universes knows, I am a consummate card gamer, with their efforts on competitive play. The world of gaming is far bigger than that, and the past few months have been sunk into the same fantasy-action RPG that has encapsulated our friends at No Ordinary Heroes. Genshin Impact . There is a lot to be annoyed by but deeply love about this game. As someone who deeply loves Dungeons and Dragons, the intense fantasy flavor of swords and sorcery, with a deeply entrenched lore, and marvelous callbacks to Asian history and myth, there's little for me to dislike about the game. I choose to put the balance of endless grinding through dungeons and other fights with the wholesome revelation of real characters struggling through magical oppression. Y'know. The usual. As of the time of publishing this article, Tartaglia is about to leave the Event Banner, and Hu Tao is about to come in. In a shocking turn of events,

Review: Batman: The Long Halloween Special #1

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Batman: The Long Halloween - "Nightmares" Writer: Jeph Loeb Artist: Tim Sale Color Artist: Brennan Wagner Letterer: Richard Starkings Review by Eric Lee   Batman: The Long Halloween Special offers fans of the original mini-series a fun, if ambiguous bookend to the Two-Face saga. One thing that the one-shot course-corrects: giving the Calendar Man a more active role. In the original Long Halloween series, he's more of an amusing aside, but ultimately inconsequential to the plot. In the follow-up series Dark Victory , Calendar Man has a more active role, but it's still not relevant to the main narrative. Now we finally see the Calendar Man in his full-on criminal role. It's pretty great to see him actually propel the plot and how that intertwines with Two-Face and Gilda Dent. To be fair, the Calendar Man's actual crimes aren't that compelling, as it's a fairly standard kidnapping/extortion scheme. However, what's fun is how writer Jeph Loeb picks up

Preview: Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons

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Article by Steve J. Ray As Wonder Woman's 80th Anniversary year draws to a close, after all the amazing releases we've already seen it would be easy to believe that DC Comics couldn't possibly have any more surprises up their sleeves. Thankfully, particularly if you're as huge a fan of the Warrior For Peace as we are, it seems like this year is a gift that will keep on giving... and 2022 will be as well. When DC announced its adult-targeted Black Label imprint, back in 2018 , one of the first titles announced was  Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons . It's taken three and a half years but in November 2021 the wait will be over. Looking at some of Phil Jimenez's preview, it will also have been well worth it, too! In the mid-late 80s, two men revitalized Wonder Woman and took her to all new heights; those men were George Perez and Phil Jimenez. Seeing Mr. Jimenez working on the character he helped return to greatness for issue #1 fills my heart with joy, and when y

Music Review: 'Nemesis' - Professor Elemental

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Review by Steve J. Ray It came... it finally came! It's hard to believe that it's been three years since the wonderful "School Of Whimsy", and while we've had the wonderful albums " Professor Elemental And His Amazing Friends: Part 2 ", and " The Good Dad Club " since then, but the cliffhanger at the end of "Whimsy" left me, and countless other Professor Elemental fans on tenterhooks. Now, at last, the wait is over! With " Nemesis " we finally find out what happened to the Prof and Jeffers after being captured by Mr. Swan, Gideon, and an unnamed, though utterly terrifying, new enemy. The best part? The wait has proven to be well worth it! The album begins with a pumping intro that shows the terrific atmosphere of one of the Prof's live shows, but by the second track, we start to realize that something's not right, thanks to the way the song ends. These tracks lull the listener into a false sense of security, before t