Friday, December 28, 2012

Early Review: Batman: Fowl Play Book

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Legions of Gotham was given an advanced copy of the new HarperFestival softcover storybook Batman: Fowl Play, which hits shelves next Tuesday.   The book is a great Batman vs. Penguin tale with amazing artwork by animation legend Steven E. Gordon (Batman: Asylum, X-Men Evolution).  This is a great book for any kid and a nice addition to any collection! 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Tolkien's World: A Guide to the Peoples and Places of Middle-Earth Book Review

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Tolkien's World: A Guide to the Peoples and Places of Middle-Earth Book Review

About the Book: Tolkien’s World takes readers on an incredible journey through the realms of Middle-earth and back to a time when elves, dwarves, wizards, and a small, courageous people known as hobbits battled the forces of evil. This lavishly illustrated guide brings you the people and places from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Explore Middle-Earth, from the rolling hills of the Shire to the desolate ash plains of Mordor. Discover the secrets of a world where the elves roamed through enchanted forests and dragons slept in dark caverns under the mountains. With stunning artwork that re-imagines the places and people of Middle-Earth, Tolkien’s World is ideal for hobbit fans, big and small.

Open the pages of Tolkien’s World and meet Bilbo Baggins, the hero of The Hobbit. Then find out about Gandalf the wizard and his incredible magic powers, uncover the story of the unfortunate Gollum or learn about magical weapons, such as Gandalf’s sword Glamdring. This meticulously researched guide lets you discover the amazing peoples and creatures that inhabit Middle-earth, from friendly elves and stout-hearted dwarves to the deadly dragon Smaug and the evil Sauron. Packed with adventure and lore, Tolkien’s World is a must for all Hobbit

Our Take: The Hobbit is one of the most anticipated films of the year. I know I've been yearning for it ever since I saw Peter Jackson's brilliant take on the LOTR trilogy! This is one of many great book releases that we're going to feature this week that tie-into the new Hobbit trilogy!   This lastest release is brought to us by the folks at Insight books.  This one strays from the mainstream films and provides us with beautiful artwork based on Tolkien's world.  The hardcover book takes us through the various characters, places and races in Middle-Earth accompanied by fantastical and impressive fantasy artwork.  This one is a great book for any Tolkien fan and would make a great Xmas gift!

How to Buy: Amazon.com

The Art and Making of Hotel Transylvania Book Review

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The Art and Making of Hotel Transylvania Book Review

About the Book: The Art and Making of Hotel Transylvania brings to (undead) life a fresh new spin on the classic horror monsters like Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, Werewolf, and the Invisible Man from Sony Pictures Animation and director Genndy Tartakovsky - creator of Samurai Jack and executive producer and director of Star Wars: Clone Wars animated series.

The story features Dracula, owner of a lavish five-stake resort hotel for monsters, away from the human world. On one special weekend, he invites some of the world's most famous monsters to celebrate his daughter's 118th birthday. For Drac, catering to all these monsters is no problem, but his world could come crashing down when one ordinary guy stumbles into the hotel and takes a shine to his daughter, Mavis.

Featuring over 400 pieces of concept art, character sketches, storyboards and digital art, along with interviews with key filmmakers and crew, this full-color book is truly a spooky but fun treat for the eyes!

Our Take: We're big animation collectors here at the Legion and we also collect Halloween.  Finally, a new era animated film that combines the two!  Hotel Transylvania was a phenominal film and this hardcover art book is the perfect take-home companion to the movie.   It includes TONS of great behind the scenes sketches, artwork and designs that went into the making of the film.  The book is chock full of text and facts about the movie and the designs that went into it.   This one is a must-have for any fan of the film.

How to Buy: Amazon.com

Dark Shadows: The Visual Companion Book Review

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Dark Shadows: The Visual Companion Book Review

About the Book: The cult television series Dark Shadows is fondly remembered by its fans — not least Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, who reunited to bring a stunning reimagining of the show to the big screen.

Produced in close cooperation with Tim Burton and the production team, this lavish official companion to the film includes a Foreword by Depp, an Introduction by Burton and an Afterword by producer Richard D. Zanuck, alongside scores of photos, concept drawings, production designs, and interviews with the cast and crew.

Our Take: I'm too young to remember Dark Shadows very well, but I tell you what, I NEVER miss a Tim Burton film.  They're like Xmas to us here at the Legion.  Anything he touches entertains us so vastly and so completely that we're Burton junkies.  I will admit that before I saw Dark Shadows I was a little skeptical about whether this would be my first disappointment as a fan, but thankfully the film was quirky, funny and dark...it was fantastic.  Now, Titan books gives us a great hardcover visual companion to the film.  This one focuses on the characters, the sets, the costumes and even the cinematography and editing.   This one is the perfect companion piece to the film and is sure to delight any fan.  We highly recommend it.

How to Buy: Amazon.com

Harry Potter Film Wizardry (Revised and Expanded) Review

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Harry Potter Film Wizardry (Revised and Expanded) Review

About the Book: Immerse yourself in the world of the spectacular Harry Potter film series, and learn why Yule Ball ice sculptures never melt, where Galleons, Sickles, and Knuts are really "minted," how to get a Hippogriff to work with actors, the inspiration behind Hogwarts castle, and why Dementors move the way they do. 

Written and designed in collaboration with the case and crew that brought J. K. Rowling's celebrated novels to the silver screen, Harry Potter: Film Wizardry delivers an enchanting interactive experience, transporting readers to the wizarding world by sharing film-making secrets, unpublished photography and artwork, and exclusive stories from the stars. Full of removable facsimile reproductions of props and paper the Harry Potter films and the talented group of Muggles that has made true movie magic.

Our Take: We're taking a break from our Hobbit week to check out another fantastical and magical franchise...Harry Potter!  We already miss the Potter books and films, but thankfully this one was re-released with more features!   The book was given info on the final two films, along with some new interactive features.  This one has tons of great pack-in interactive items like an invite to the Yule Ball...stickers for potions and a lot more.   This one is essential for any serious fan and really does help to take the fan experience a step further. 

If you're a Potter fan, this book is a no-brainer.  We highly recommend this one for Xmas!

How to Buy: Amazon.com

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey--The World of Hobbits Review

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey--The World of Hobbits Review

About the Book: Enter the amazing World of Hobbits. Packed with photos from the new film, this book will tell you all you need to know about these amazing creatures – their appearance, appetites, homes, friends, deadly foes and much more.

Our Take: The Hobbit is one of the most anticipated films of the year. I know I've been yearning for it ever since I saw Peter Jackson's brilliant take on the LOTR trilogy! This is one of many great book releases that we're going to feature this week that tie-into the new Hobbit trilogy! There are so many of us, including myself, that have had children since the original LOTR trilogy was in theaters. In fact, my wife was pregnant with our first child when we saw Fellowship of the Ring in theaters! Now, my son is 10 and VERY much into the Hobbit, since dad has read the story to them before bed. This is a fantastic book to give to your kids to get them excited for the new film and to keep interested and learn a bit about the fantastical world that Tolkien gave us all. This softcover book is full of great images and tons of info about Hobbits. We highly recommend this one for Xmas.

See Inside the Book:
 
How to Buy: Amazon.com

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey--The Movie Storybook Review

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey--The Movie Storybook Review

About the Book: Relive the story of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in this fantastic photo-filled book. Battling against Goblins, Wargs and other forces of evil, will Bilbo Baggins and the Company of Dwarves find the strength to help recapture the lost Kingdom of Erebor? With this amazing retelling of the movie, you too can visit Middle-earth.

Our Take: The Hobbit is one of the most anticipated films of the year. I know I've been yearning for it ever since I saw Peter Jackson's brilliant take on the LOTR trilogy! This is one of many great book releases that we're going to feature this week that tie-into the new Hobbit trilogy!  There are so many of us, including myself, that have had children since the original LOTR trilogy was in theaters.  In fact, my wife was pregnant with our first child when we saw Fellowship of the Ring in theaters!  Now, my son is 10 and VERY much into the Hobbit, since dad has read the story to them before bed.  This is a fantastic book to give to your kids to get them excited for the new film and to keep interested and learn a bit about the fantastical world that Tolkien gave us all.  This softcover book is full of great images and tons of info from the new film.  We highly recommend this one for Xmas. 

How to Buy: Amazon.com

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Official Movie Guide Review

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Official Movie Guide Review

About the Book: Enter Bilbo Baggins’ world through exclusive interviews with director Peter Jackson, Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen and all the principal cast and filmmakers, who share film-making secrets and tales of what it was actually like making movie magic in Middle-earth.

Lavishly illustrated with hundreds of behind-the-scenes photos of the actors, locations, sets, creatures and costumes, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Official Movie Guide has been produced in collaboration with the filmmakers who have brought J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic novel into breathtaking three-dimensional life.

Our Take: The Hobbit is one of the most anticipated films of the year. I know I've been yearning for it ever since I saw Peter Jackson's brilliant take on the LOTR trilogy! This is one of many great book releases that we're going to feature this week that tie-into the new Hobbit trilogy!  This one is a softcover book with over 160 pages of in-depth and behind the scenes looks at the making of the film is THE book for the Hobbit film.  If you buy one book, make it this one (although who can buy only ONE Tolkien book?! lol).  We get looks at the making of the sets, costumes and even the great make-up on characters like the troop of Dwarves and the Orcs!  I was very impressed with this one and the softcover status brings it in at only around $15...a steal in our opinion. 

See Inside the Book:

How to Buy: Amazon.com

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Visual Companion Review

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Visual Companion Review

About the Book: Join the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf the wizard and the Company of Dwarves on their Quest to recover treasure stolen by the Dragon, Smaug the Magnificent. Leaving the comfort of Bilbo’s home they must face many perils before they can claim their long-lost gold -- Trolls, Elves, Goblins, Wargs, and worse…
Richly illustrated with more than 100 color photos from the film, and featuring a brand new fold-out map charting the journey from Bag End to Wilderland, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Visual Companion begins the Quest for the Lonely Mountain in spectacular style.

Our Take: The Hobbit is one of the most anticipated films of the year. I know I've been yearning for it ever since I saw Peter Jackson's brilliant take on the LOTR trilogy! This is one of many great book releases that we're going to feature this week that tie-into the new Hobbit trilogy!  This wonderful hardcover book offers a nice quality dust jacket and great design.  It gives you overviews of the story, characters and even the various types of races/creatures that you'll encounter in Middle-Earth.  This is a very visual book with tons of full color images from the film, not just studio promotional pics.  This one truly is a great visual guide to the film and it falls in at a great price with an MSRP of only $19.99.  This one would make a great Xmas gift.

See Inside The Book:

How to Buy: Amazon.com

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Activity Book Review

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Activity Book Review

About the Book: Packed with stunning photos, facts, and activities from the brilliant new movie. Join Bilbo Baggins on his unexpected journey across the wilds of Middle-earth with Gandalf the wizard and a company of thirteen Dwarves.

Our Take: The Hobbit is one of the most anticipated films of the year.  I know I've been yearning for it ever since I saw Peter Jackson's brilliant take on the LOTR trilogy!   This is one of many great book releases that we're going to feature this week that tie-into the new Hobbit trilogy!  We don't often feature activity books here at the Legion, but this hardcover book is an exception!  This one does a great job of mixing story info and character bios with various puzzles and games that will entertain all ages.  That really keeps the feel of a real book with high quality pages and great full-color all over design on each page.  This one is great for a kid or collector!

How to Buy: Amazon.com

Monday, December 10, 2012

More Strawberry Shortcake Book Review

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More Strawberry Shortcake Book Review

About the Book: Strawberryland is so "berry " sweet, who could possibly resist going back for another visit? Jan Lindenberger and Jennifer Bowles have returned from the place where strawberries grow all year round to bring us another volume of Strawberry Shortcake collectibles. Originally introduced as a greeting card design by American Greetings, Corp., this sweet-smelling little girl and her many-flavored friends became the playmates of children everywhere through the 1980s. These children have grown up, but they never forgot Strawberryland-now Strawberry and her friends are in high demand on the collectors' market. This volume covers not only the dolls themselves, but the many many miniatures, toy sets, foods, premiums, and even a chapter for "fabulous fakes"!
Our Take: We love toy collecting here at the Legion and as such we love toy collecting guides.  In fact, we just reviewed the first Strawberry Shortcake Collector book.  My wife collects Strawberry Shortcake, so these books have been extra helpful in identifying not only items and accessories within her own collection, but also help her to set her sights on what else is out there to find.  This next edition of Strawberry Shortcake items covers the dolls and a lot of items again, but also delves into all the knockoffs and more of the side items!  This one has tons of full color images and is a wonderful field guide to collecting!  We highly recommend it!

How to Buy: Amazon.com

The James Bond Omnibus Volume 004 Book Review

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The James Bond Omnibus Volume 004 Book Review

About the Book: The daring James Bond is back in a definitive bumper edition collecting the second period of Jim Lawrence's celebrated run in comic strip form!

Includes nine of Bond's most thrilling and dangerous missions: Trouble Spot, Isle of Condors, The League of Vampires, Die With My Boots On, The Girl Machine, Beware of Butterflies, The Nevsky Nude, The Phoenix Project and The Black Ruby Caper.

Our Take: I've been a James Bond fan as long as I can remember.  I love the classic Sean Connery and Roger Moore films.  I'm honestly not into the new ones, but thats just me.  Anyway, as a fan of classic 007 I am always on the lookout for great books to accompany my fandom.  These omnibus comic strip collections from Titan books collect vintage James Bond comic strips from the British newspaper "The Daily Express" from the 1950s and early 1960s, as such these were all but lost to us fans!  We have each of these volumes and will continue adding these great black and white Bond strips to our collection!  This would make a fantastic Xmas gift for the 007 fan on your list!

How to Buy: Amazon.com

Plastic Cup Collectibles: With Price Guide Book Review

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Plastic Cup Collectibles: With Price Guide Book Review

About the Book: Whether you realize it or not, you are probably already a collector of plastic cups. Just look in your kitchen cabinets and you'll find those plastic cups you didn't realize you were even collecting. The popularity of collecting plastic cups is rapidly increasing due to the latest collaborated marketing efforts between the fast food restaurant and movie industries in promoting a blockbuster movie while selling soft drinks. Plastic cup collecting is no longer just a hobby. The increasing interest and rapid growth of this newest market clearly demands that information and prices be made available to the expanding group of knowledgeable and novice collectors. In over 150 full color photographs, Bryan Meccareillo provides a complete guide to these new collectible

Our Take: We are big collectors here at the Legion.  One of the things I enjoy collecting is plastic cups of all kinds, especially fast food and promotional cups.  This great little book collects a lot of full color examples of what cups are out there.  I have a mixed reaction to this book, though.  On one hand, a lot of the items are mis-marked (such as a 1990s animated Attack of the Killer Tomatoes mug that is labeled as being from 1976, and the 1983 He-Man Burger King Cups are listed as a 1995 Little Caesars promotion?).  The book starts out strong archiving a lot of the common cup lines, but eventually falls into very random offerings that don't really mesh.  Its rather clear that rather than being any type of complete archive this is a showcase of author Bryan Meccariello's collection.  On the other hand, I really enjoy seeing Bryan's collection and rather than a great collectible reference guide, this is a really fun coffee table book that is very attractive and well layed-out for flipping through. 

How to Buy: Amazon.com

Alien - The Illustrated Story Book Review

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Alien - The Illustrated Story Book Review

About the Book: Vacant. Two space helmets resting on chairs. Electronic hum. Lights on the helmets begin to signal one another. Moments of silence. A yellow light goes on. Electronic hum. A green light goes on in front of one helmet. Electronic pulsing sounds. A red light goes on in front of the other helmet. An electronic conversation ensues. Reaches a cresendo. Then silence.

And when the silence is broken... the crew of the Nostromo must grapple with a terrifying life force they cannot leash, nor even comprehend - the Alien!

The stunning color graphic novel of Ridley Scott's legendary sci-fi thriller!

Our Take: Are you a fan of sci-fi?  Are you a fan of the Alien franchise?  Of course you are!  We love Alien here at the Legion and this re-print of the classic Heavy Metal comic that immortalized Ridley Scott's epic film.  This classic comic adaptation has been out of print for over 30 years and now is released in this great graphic novel format from Titan Books.  They used the original Walter Simonson art to restore and renew this near perfect adaptation.  The artwork is fantastic, the story is a great adaptation of the film.  Any Alien collectible is a gem to us here at the Legion, we highly recommend it.  This one would make a fantastic Xmas gift!

How to Buy: Amazon.com

Strawberry Shortcake Collectibles: An Unauthorized Handbook and Price Guide Book Review

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Strawberry Shortcake Collectibles: An Unauthorized Handbook and Price Guide Book Review

About the Book: " Welcome to the World of Strawberry Shortcake," a world that American Greetings, Corp. created for little girls everywhere in 1979 and 1980. The Strawberry Shortcake character was originally created as a greeting card design, and now is a sought after treasure to collectors around the world. Jan Lindenberger, whose collector's guides are invaluable tools to those in the field, presents Strawberry Shortcake and all her friends in full color photographs, providing some of her history and showing the vast array of articles that were produced for her "followers." Each item is described and a current market value is given. Strawberry Shortcake's fans include the young and old alike, who want to enjoy Strawberryland and all its inhabitants! They all will love this new and helpful book.
Our Take: We love toy collecting here at the Legion and in that veign, we love toy collecting guides!  Anything that educates and archives what is out there for collectors we love and no book does that quite so well for Strawberry Shortcake as the Schiffer Book Jan Lindenberger guides!  This first one archives with great full-color pictures of not only the original doll line and accessories, but also everything from the playsets, mini-PVCs, stuffies and even more Strawberry items, many of which I'd never seen before.  A few of my now favorite items that my wife and I are now searching for to add to our collections..the three shelf bookcase and vintage Kenner Strawberry plastic carrying case!   This is a wonderful and comprehensive guide to what is out there for collectors and a great place to get started.

Watch for our upcoming review of the second book, More Strawberry Shortcake!

How to Buy: Amazon.com

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes: Prima Official Game Guide Review

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Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes: Prima Official Game Guide Review

About the Book: In LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, the Dynamic Duo of Batman and Robin join other famous super heroes from the DC Universe including Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern to save Gotham City from destruction at the hands of the notorious villains Lex Luthor and the Joker. Batman fans of all ages will enjoy a new and original story filled with classic LEGO videogame action and humor as players fight to put the villains back behind bars. 

• Detailed Area Maps – Discover all of LEGO Gotham City’s best-kept secrets.
• Easy-to-follow Walkthrough – Details every mission and covers all Free Play content in colorful sidebars.
• Find Everything – Strategy to help you collect minikits, Red Bricks, Gold Bricks, vehicles and more.
• Quick-reference Checklists – Easily keep track of everything you've accomplished.
• Bonus - FREE digital web access to the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS and PlayStation Vita platforms containing a detailed walkthrough and expert strategy to help you battle crime in LEGO Gotham City.

Our Take: There aren't that many video games that get my attention these days.  Modern games just don't do it for me.  Our family has a Wii, but thats mostly for the kids, we just play Super Mario on it for the most part.  Now, the one exception is the Lego Batman games!  Lego Batman 2 was a fantastic follow-up to the first with an expanded character base and all new worlds to navigate.  Now, because we don't spend all day playing games, we had a difficulty getting very far in the process...my kids kept getting stuck.  Prime game guides to the rescue!  This comprehensive softback book takes you step by step through every twist and turn..every secret.  This is an invaluable guide for anyone playing Batman Lego 2, and we highly recommend it!

How to Buy: Amazon.com

The Hellboy Timeline: Top 10 Events in the Life of HELLBOY!

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Monday, October 22, 2012

The Joker Returns To Batman Comics in "Death of the Family"

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Encyclopedia of Cabbage Patch Kids: The 1990s Book Review

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Encyclopedia of Cabbage Patch Kids: The 1990s Book Review

About the Book: The Cabbage Patch Kid craze started in the 1980s, and continued into the 1990s, where it is perpetuated by a strong community of collectors. This excellent book picks up the story at the start of the 1990s, where the authors' successful first book left off. It shows the full line of Kids produced by Hasbro from 1990-1994, including Birthday Kids, Kissin' Kids, and the 10th Anniversary dolls. All the Kids produced by Mattel between 1995-1998 are here as well, including OlympiKids, Snacktime Kids, and the Keepsake Collection. The book also features pets, with lots of valuable information about the adorable Koosas. The authors have included an excellent 85-photo reference for head molds used through both the '80s and '90s. Learn to recognize fakes and altered Kids in the marketplace, and see some creative ways to turn shabby flea market finds into beautiful Kids again.

Our Take: We love toy collecting here at the Legion, especially 1980s and 90s toys.  One of the most essential pieces to collecting toys is having a solid base of knowlege about whats out there on the market.  There is so much misinformation online, we like to still turn to print books to help.  This one showcases all of the CPK releases from the 1990s.  This guide is particularly helpful, because the 90s dolls had a lot more accessories and pack-ins than the previous decade.  Its fun to collect the 90s versions, because they were so much more colorful.  We highly recommend this one to any collector.

How to Buy: Amazon.com

Encyclopedia of Cabbage Patch Kids: The 1980s Book Review

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Encyclopedia of Cabbage Patch Kids: The 1980s Book Review

About the Book: Since 1978 when Cabbage Patch Kids*r dolls were "born," children have cuddled them and added new members of the clan into their hearts. This book presents the many varieties in 60 specialty lines made by three major U.S. toy companies (Coleco, Hasbro, Mattel) and many foreign companies (including Jesmar, Tsukuda, Tri-Ang Pedigree, Lili Ledy) in the 1980s. Over 750 color photos with descriptions and pricing information make this the most useful book for identifying Cabbage Patch Kids dolls.

Our Take: We love toy collecting here at the Legion, especially 1980s and 90s toys.  One of the most essential pieces to collecting toys is having a solid base of knowlege about whats out there on the market.  There is so much misinformation online, we like to still turn to print books to help.  This guide not only delves into photo cataloging all of the dolls from the era, but also the various adoption papers and hangtags that exist.  They also include all of the variations on hair, boxes and Xavier Roberts signatures that exist.  We recommend this one for anyone thats into Cabbage Patch Dolls..this is a definitive guide.  

How to Buy: Amazon.com

The Unofficial Batman Trivia Challenge Book Review

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The Unofficial Batman Trivia Challenge Book Review

About the Book: You may think that you know everything there is to know about the Dark Knight of Gotham City, but how much do you really know? With topics that cover the entire Batman franchise, you'll have to swoop into every fight, scene, and exchange in order to beat this trivia challenge.

Our Take: We're huge Batman fans here at the Legion.  I feel that I have a good amount of Batman trivia knowlege, but this book really challenged me.  This little softcover book gives over 800 questions spanning 250 pages!  This is a great book for any Bat-Fan to test their skills.  This one would be fun to take on road trips, or just have on you for casual reading.

If you really want to prove that you're a Bats expert, get ready to put your skills to the test with questions like:
  • Which superhero did Batman know as a child?
  • Why was the caped crusader entrusted with Kryptonite?
  • What tools would appear in the utility belts of both Batman and a modern law enforcer?
The ultimate test of fandom, this book is guaranteed to challenge even the greatest Bruce Wayne fan!

How to Buy: Amazon.com

Victorian Costume for Ladies 1860-1900 Book Review

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Victorian Costume for Ladies 1860-1900 Book Review

About the Book: Updated with nearly 30 high-quality vintage images, the second edition of this lavishly illustrated book provides irrefutable documentation of ladies' fashions worn in Victorian America from 1860 to 1900. Extensively researched using nineteenth-century fashion, beauty, etiquette, household, and medical literature, the book explores the fluctuations in clothing styles including undergarments, casual wear, sports clothes, common dress, evening attire, hairstyles, and jewelry, while tracing the fascinating impact fashion had on the mental, physical, and social lives of our Victorian ancestors. Chapters on personal hygiene, cosmetics, clothing manufacture, laundry, and the dating of vintage photographs are included, along with updated prices. The period photographs and detailed analysis provide a unique picture of the lives of Victorian women through their styles of dress. The second edition of this comprehensive and easy-to-read book is an invaluable resource to historians, theatrical costumers, genealogists, museum curators, and historical fashion and photography enthusiasts.

Our Take: This great book from Schiffer focuses on imagery and info on classic Victorian clothing.  This updated second edition of the book is FULL of fantastic images of clothing that shows how elegant and romantic the attire was.  The book covers everything from Victorian undergarments, casual and evening wear to hairstyles.  I have never seen such a fantastic and full collection of Victorian images all in one place.   This one is ideal for anyone studying vintage clothing or interested in the culture of the Victorian era.  We highly recommend it.

How to Buy: Amazon.com

Monday, October 15, 2012

MATT WAGNER TO WRITE THE SHADOW: YEAR ONE!

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MATT WAGNER TO WRITE THE SHADOW: YEAR ONE!

THE LEGENDARY COMIC BOOK CREATOR TELLS THE SHADOW'S ORIGIN STORY IN 2013!

October 12th, 2012, Mt. Laurel, NJ - Legendary comic book creator Matt (Mage, Grendel) Wagner takes on The Shadow in 2013 with The Shadow: Year One. Much as he did with Dynamite's Green Hornet: Year One, Matt plans to tell the definitive origin story of The Shadow, showing fans why the character has endured in popularity for so many years! Look for Matt Wagner's The Shadow: Year One in 2013!






"THE SHADOW has long been one of my absolute favorite established characters and I'm thrilled to finally get the chance to contribute to his continuing adventures," says Matt Wagner. "I'm getting to help define The Shadow's mysterious origins in a Year One story arc! For all his published history in both the pulps and comics, as well as his radio adventures, there's surprisingly no depiction of his very first adventures as the dark-clad Master of Men. This series will explore the events that first drew Kent Allard/Lamont Cranston back to the States, how he began to assemble his vast network of agents and how he first adopted the famous black hat and cloak as his alter-ego's disguise-secrets that, up until now…only The Shadow knew!"

"Matt's a legend and it's always great to work with him," stated Dynamite Editor Joe Rybandt. "Everything about his work is infused with realism and authenticity, and his Shadow: Year One will raise the bar for pulps and their heroes."




"I've known Matt for 30 years now, since he lived in Philadelphia and was working on Mage for Comico Comics. I've mentioned this for years, that I repeatedly asked him if he would work on a comic with me as even at a young age, his scripts, art and ability to tell stories was some of the best I had seen. I never would have thought that 25 years later we would start a relationship with Matt working together. This is the third project with Matt, and it keeps getting better each time. I'm proud to be working wtih Matt, and can't wait for this new adventure to begin!" - States Dynamite President and Publisher Nick Barrucci

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About Dynamite Entertainment:

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT was founded in 2004 and is home to several best-selling comic book titles and properties, including The Boys, The Shadow, Vampirella, Warlord of Mars, Bionic Man, Game of Thrones and more!

Dynamite owns and controls an extensive library with over 3,000 characters (which includes the Harris Comics and Chaos Comics properties), such as Vampirella, Pantha, Evil Ernie, Smiley the Psychotic Button, Chastity, Purgatori, and Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt.

In addition to their  critically-acclaimed titles and best selling comics, Dynamite works with some of the most high profile creators in comics and entertainment, including Kevin Smith, Alex Ross, John Cassaday, Garth Ennis, Jae Lee, Marc Guggenheim, Mike Carey, Jim Krueger, Greg Pak, Brett Matthews, Matt Wagner and a host of up and coming new talent!

DYNAMITE is consistently ranked in the upper tiers of comic book publishers and several of their titles - including Alex Ross and Jim Krueger's PROJECT SUPERPOWERS - have debuted in the Top Ten lists produced by Diamond Comics Distributors. In 2005 Diamond awarded the company a GEM award for Best New Publisher and another GEM in 2006 for Comics Publisher of the Year (under 5%) and again in 2011.  The company has also been nominated for and won several industry awards, including the prestigious Harvey and Eisner Awards.

Wimpy Kid Coming to E-Book!

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JEFF KINNEY’S BESTSELLING DIARY OF A WIMPY KID SERIES TO BE RELEASED AS E-BOOKS FOR THE FIRST TIME

THE OCTOBER 30, 2012, RELEASE OF BOOKS 1-6 AS E-BOOKS LEAD UP TO THE SIMULTANEOUS E-BOOK AND HARDCOVER RELEASE OF THE BIGGEST PRINT BOOK OF THE YEAR, DIARY OF A WIMPY KID BOOK 7, THE THIRD WHEEL, ON NOVEMBER 13, 2012

NEW YORK, NY, October 15 2012—Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS, announces today the release dates for the first-ever Diary of a Wimpy Kid e-books. Available for download on October 30, 2012, will be books 1-6 in the bestselling series. The seventh book, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel, will also become available in e-book simultaneously with the publication of the hardcover book on November 13, 2012. As part of the branding of the series in e-book form, the books will carry their own name and logo, Wimp-E-Books.
Author and illustrator Jeff Kinney was involved in all aspects of the transformation of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books into e-book form. “It was important to me to make sure the books look just as good on the screen as they do on paper,” said Jeff Kinney. “I’m thrilled at the way the books look on e-readers, tablets, and other devices, and I hope fans enjoy having them in digital format as much as they've enjoyed them as books.” 

“The release of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series in e-book formats is a long awaited and much anticipated publishing event,” said Michael Jacobs, President and CEO of Abrams. “The books are phenomenally successful, having reached over 75 million kids worldwide, and we believe making them available as e-books will be another great way for kids to read them and for booksellers to sell them.”

Before the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books were published, stories from the first three books appeared digitally for free on the website www.funbrain.com, where they are still available. Books in the core series by Jeff Kinney include Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2007), Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (2008), Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw (2009), Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (2009), Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth (2010), and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever (2011). Jeff Kinney has also written and illustrated The Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book and The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary. The series is a fixture on the USA Today bestseller list and the Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. It has also remained consistently in the top spots on the New York Times lists since publication of the first book in the series in 2007.
 
More than 75 million Diary of a Wimpy Kid books are in print in 41 languages in more than 44 countries around the world. Published by Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS, Kinney’s work has been widely praised for its ability to turn reluctant readers on to books. Jeff Kinney was named one of Time magazine’s most influential people in the world. There are three major motions pictures based on the books, which grossed more than $200 million worldwide in box office sales. The book series won Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards in 2010, 2011, and 2012, and Jeff Kinney won a Children’s Choice Book Award in 2012. Books in the series have won numerous awards voted on by students and teachers in schools around the globe. The Wimpy Kid Island, Wimpy Wonderland, on www.poptropica.com, remains one of the most visited on the site.

The Art of Joe Kubert Hardcover Book Review

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 The Art of Joe Kubert Hardcover Book Review

About the Book: A coffee table art book spanning all 70 years of this legendary creator’s work!

Joe Kubert is one of the great comic book artists. His career literally traverses the history of comics, beginning in 1938 when he became a professional at age 12, to today as one of the greatest draftsmen working in the field. Kubert is known and respected as much for his sinewy, passionate drawing as he is for his consummate storytelling skills. Over his 70-year career in comics, he has worked as an artist, an editor, a publisher, an entrepreneur, and a cartooning auteur. The Art of Joe Kubert is a deluxe, full-color coffee table book that honors this legendary creator with beautifully reproduced artwork from every phase of his career as well as critical commentary by the book’s editor, comics historian and Kubert biographer Bill Schelly.

Schelly’s text parallels the visual evolution of the artist’s work, tracing his life and career from his early days drawing Hawkman in the Golden Age, to his creation of Tor, his involvement in creating 3-D comics in the 1950s, his tour de force stints on DC’s war comics — Sgt. Rock, The Unknown Soldier and the groundbreaking Enemy Ace — in the 1960s, to illustrating the adventures of Tarzan in the 1970s. And before finding a creative safe haven at DC Comics in the ’50s, Kubert drew for many smaller and more obscure companies, including Holyoke, Quality, Fiction House, Harvey, St. John, and others — all of which are represented, including a 50-page section of comic-book stories in the horror, crime, and SF genres from the pre-Comics Code era, reprinted in full color for the first time.

Although Kubert is known for his contributions to pop culture icons such as Tarzan and Sgt. Rock, he has also invested his creative energy in more personal projects over the last 20 years, including journalistic and historical graphic novels such as his Eisner Award-winning Fax from Sarajevo and Yossel: April 19, 1943, all of which are illustrated along with Schelly’s insightful analysis that places these later, more mature works in the context of Kubert’s career. 224 pages of full-color comics and illustrations

Our Take: I have a lot of comic book art books and coffee table books.  Its hard to convince me to add to the group, but this hardcover book on the art of Joe Kubert was an immediate must have....especially after his passing this summer.  The book comes with an attractive dust jacket featring Kubert's DC Hawkman and Hawkgirl artwork.  Author Bill Schelly gives us a great backround on Kubert's early life, education and the periods of his comic book artowork, accompanied by wonderful exerpts of artwork, comic book pages and sketches.  This one is a must have for any serious comic book fan.  Kubert was a legend and his legacy has left behind not only two very talented sons, but a school that has trained many legends to come in the comic book industry.  

How to Buy: Amazon.com

Normandy: A Graphic History of D-Day Book Review

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Normandy: A Graphic History of D-Day, The Allied Invasion of Hitler's Fortress EuropeBook Review

About the Book: Normandy depicts the planning and execution of Operation Overlord in 96 full-color pages. The initial paratrooper assault is shown, as well as the storming of the five D-Day beaches: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword. But the story does not end there. Once the Allies got ashore, they had to stay ashore. The Germans made every effort to push them back into the sea.

Our Take: This new historical graphic novel is based on D-Day in WWII and is both written and illustrated by Wayne Vansant.  Comic book fans will remember Wayne from his work on the 'Nam comic back in the day.   Wayne brings his fantastic and expressive artwork to this great new graphic novel.  This is a fantastic one to give to younger tweens and teens learning about WWII..it really makes it fun and easy to take-in information that is often faceless and flat to kids.  This book does great job of bringing the events to life.

This book depicts the such key events in the Allied liberation of Europe as:
 
1. Construction of the Mulberry Harbors, two giant artificial harbors built in England and floated across the English Channel so that troops, vehicles, and supplies could be offloaded across the invasion beaches.
2. The Capture of Cherbourg, the nearest French port, against a labyrinth of Gennan pillboxes.
3. The American fight through the heavy bocage (hedgerow country) to take the vital town of Saint-Lô.
4. The British-Canadian struggle for the city of Caen against the “Hitler Youth Division,” made up of 23,000 seventeen- and eighteen-year-old Nazi fanatics.
5. The breakout of General Patton’s Third Army and the desperate US 30th Division’s defense of Mortaine.
6. The Falaise Pocket, known as the “Killing Ground, ” where the remnants of two German armies were trapped and bombed and shelled into submission. The slaughter was so great that 5,000 Germans were buried in one mass grave.
7. The Liberation of Paris, led by the 2nd Free French Armored Division, which had been fighting for four long years with this goal in mind.

How to Buy: Amazon.com

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Plastic Toys: Dimestore Dreams of the 40s & 50s Book Review

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Plastic Toys: Dimestore Dreams of the 40s & 50s Book Review

 About the Book: This tremendously informative book is the most complete source for collectible plastic toys. Over 850 vivid color photographs display plastic toys-from cars, trucks, and airplanes to dolls and dollhouse furniture-supplemented by manufacturers' diagrams and molders' marks. Industry development from the 1930s through the 1960s is discussed, with attention to wartime changes in plastic toys production. With charm and light touch, Bill Hanlon explains technical facts of the plastics industry and provides down-to-earth, useful information on how to evaluate, repair, and care for your collection. For the detail-hungry collector, there is an extensive price guide and a chapter on researching and identifying individual pieces. Hanlon also presents significant information that has only recently come to light, providing a means of identifying toys whose origins until now were a complete mystery.

Our Take: We're big collectors here at the Legion and reference books on collecting are our favorite thing!  This new hardcover book from Schiffer is a great photographic collection of dimestore items from the 1940s-50s.  The offerings are primarily little cars, military vehicles, doll furniture and sci-fi space age items.  The book is very thorough and provides a fantastic visual reference guide for collecting and identifying old dimestore plastics.  There are so many more items out there than I ever realized.  In fact, one thing I learned that I love is that many of the vehicles came with cardboard backrounds and playsets of sorts.  This is a fantastic and high quality book for anyone interested in dime store collectibles. 

How to Buy: Amazon.com

Friday, October 12, 2012

#NYCC: Dark Horse to Publish BUFFYVERSE Sampler in January 2013!

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DARK HORSE OFFERS BUFFY FANS THE CHANCE TO CATCH UP WITH THE CAST OF SEASON 9 IN ONE VALUE-PRICED SAMPLER!

BUFFYVERSE SAMPLER TO FEATURE FULL FIRST ISSUES OF BUFFY SEASON 9, ANGEL & FAITH, SPIKE, AND WILLOW!


OCTOBER 11, NEW YORK, NY—Dark Horse offers fans and retailers alike the perfect jumping-on point for all of the titles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9!

In 2007, Dark Horse made comics history with a revolutionary new concept: Joss Whedon’s best-loved television series continued in comics with Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8. With Joss Whedon himself at the helm, the series launched with much critical acclaim, and sold out of multiple printings.
Following the success of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8, Dark Horse launched four separate series for the anticipated Buffy Season 9. Buffy Season 9 and Angel & Faith are direct follow-ups to Season 8, while Spike and Willow are spinoffs from those two ongoing series.  


Collected here are all four #1 issues, with all-new cover art by C. L. Bradley!
Coming in at 96 pages, this issue carries the low cover price of only $4.99!
Look for this at your local comic shop on January 23, 2013!
 

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