Keanu Reeves has written a comic. BRZRKR. It is fucking nuts. I enjoyed it immensly. The most batshit violence I’ve seen in a comic in a while.

At first I thought there wasn’t going to be much of a story but in the end there was and it was told with subtlety. By the time it was done I had a big grin on my face. I was intrigued and hooked.

And great news, Netflix has picked it up for a live action film, starring Keanu, and an anime series.

Get it while it’s hot and support your local comic book shop. I recommend Frog Bros in Boscombe. That’s where I get mine.

Comic Book Box!!

I finally got a box for all our comics and it’s already full, so we’re going to need another one! Did I go for the plain white box of the serious comic book collector? Hell no! I got the brightly coloured one aimed at 12 year-olds with the word POW! On the lid! Why? Because it makes me smile.

You won’t find many caped heroes in our collection (mine and Rachel Howells). It’s mostly horror comics and Sandman Universe stuff. And the odd My Little Pony/Transformers cross-over (Rachel).

Collecting comics easily becomes an obsession. It’s an obsession I’m willing to embrace. Storytelling and art. What is there to not like?

Support your local comic book store. I get mine at Frog Bros in Boscombe Sovereign Centre.

Becoming Superman Book Review

Has anybody read Becoming Superman by J. Michael Straczynski? Or even heard of Straczynski for that matter. I hadn’t until I came across a book on Screenwriting he wrote in a charity shop a few months ago. It was old and battered, published in the late 90s.

I started reading the screenwriting book but had to stop. There was something different about this book. Something that made it stand out tonally from other books I had read on screenwriting. So I googled him and lo and behold his autobiography (Becoming Superman) was released at the beginning of September last month. I immediately downloaded the audiobook.It is one of the best books I have read in years. And I want to recommend it to you. It is a masterclass in autobiographical writing and the best book about how a writer became a writer I’ve ever read. I was blown away by it.

If you haven’t heard of him you might have heard of some of the things he’s written. Here’s a list of some of the highlights.

The Real Ghostbusters

The Twilight Zone
Babylon 5 (he singlehandedly wrote 92 of the 110 episodes)
Murder She Wrote
Sense 8 (new to Netflix)

The Amazing Spider-Man
Fantastic Four
And many others

Three novels including Demon Night

World War Z
Godzilla vs King Kong (coming next year)
And so much more.

The point is, this guy knows his shit. But the reason I want everyone to read it is his personal story. The way he tells his own life story is a masterclass in suspense and intrigue and great prose all by itself. His life growing up was horrendous.

I won’t spoil things here because every revelation and dark turn is worth discovering for yourself. But I think it’s safe to say if he hadn’t become a writer he would have become a serial killer. His history is full of murdered pets, a family of criminals and psychopaths, nazis and a terrible family secret, incest, violence, and madness.

The book is hilarious in parts and incredibly dark in others.

I read this as an audiobook and as audiobooks go it is perfect. The narration is outstanding. At the beginning of the book there is a short and funny conversation between Straczynski and the narrator explaining why Straczynski isn’t allowed to narrate his own book. You know from the moment you press play that you are in for a treat.

I will be ordering a hardback so I can read it again just as soon as I get paid.

There is a worry that I’ve hyped this book up far too much and it couldn’t possibly live up to expectation. But it can, and then some.

I very rarely feel the urge to read a book twice but I’m eager to start again from page one already.

Ep.1 Riverdale and Archie Comics

Kassidy’s Nerd Box is a podcast researched, written, and performed, by my 12 year old daughter and me (Andy, her dad). If you have kids with a nerdy edge to them (who also like a bit of humour in their geekiness) I think they will enjoy it. I think you will too.


Kassidy delves into her nerd box to talk about the history of Riverdale and Archie Comics and shares some interesting facts about the show.

Transcript of the “Brief History” section of the podcast.

Riverdale is a Netflix Original series based on the Archie Comics. The comics weren’t well known in England but were massive in America. It is as much of America’s cultural identity as The Beano is to England.

Archie Comics started nearly 80 years ago in 1939. It wasn’t always called Archie Comics. It started off as MLJ Magazines and mostly featured super hero characters. Archie’s first appearance wasn’t until 1941 in Pep Comics number 22.

The youth of America loved Archie and he soon started appearing alongside the super hero on the front page of the magazine. That super hero being The Shield. Interesting fact about The Shield quickly; The Shield is the reason Marvel’s Captain America has a round shield. When Captain America first appeared he had a triangular one but it was too similar to the shield used by MLJ’s The Shield so Marvel were forced to change Captain America’s shield to the now iconic circular shield. Did that make sense? I feel like I used to word “shield” too many times.

It wasn’t long before Archie’s popularity so overshadowed the hero that he was given the full front page and the company changed its name to Archie Comics.

In 2015 Archie Comics re-launched Archie for today’s generation. It was so successful they had to do a second print of the comics to keep up with demand.

The modern incarnation of Archie Comics has moved away slightly from the safe family friendly tone of its past. Including a Zombie comic called Afterlife with Archie and the very bloody Archie vs Predator crossover.

In 2017 Netflix released a TV adaptation of Archie called Riverdale. Riverdale being the name of the town where Archie lives.


Facts from the podcast.


So, Jughead has a famous hat. He wears it for most of the TV show, apart from when he’s in bed. Or naked. In the show it’s a woollen beanie that’s been cut up around the edges to look like a crown. Originally it was not a beanie. Or it was. Something got lost in translation along the way. It’s actually a fedora. Also known as a Whoopee Cap when worn the way Jughead wears it. Back in the 1920s it was common in America for all men to wear hats. Teenagers, and other people who think they are cool and unique, would turn the fedoras inside out and cut the brim into a jagged edge. They would then personalise them with badges and pints and whatnot. They called it the beanie. The trend to do this got forgotten to history but Jughead kept his on.


Riverdale and Pretty Little Liars were shot on the same set.

When we were watching Riverdale yesterday Kassidy noticed the school, Riverdale High, looked a lot like Rosewood High from Pretty Little Liars. She Googled it. Turns out I’m right. The shots from above the town are identical in both shows. Even the school looks like it was shot from the same angle.




A fact about the show creator, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. Roberto is the Chief Creative Officer at Archie Comics and he’s the guy who adapted Archie for television. So, long before Roberto worked for Archie comics, back in 2003, he wrote a play called Archie’s Weird Fantasy, in which Archie comes out as gay. Archie Comics found about the play and issued a Cease and Desist order threating litigation. Meaning they would sue them if they went ahead with the show. The show did happen a few days later but under the name Weird Comic Book Fantasy with the characters’ names changed.

In 2012 Roberto Aguire-Sacasa went to a book signing for Archie Meets KISS where he met the current owner of Archie Comics, John Goldwater, and pitched the idea of an Archie/Glee crossover. Goldwater loved the idea and made it happen. By 2014 Roberto was Chief Creative Officer or Archie Comics having also pitched the Afterlife with Archie zombie comic.




The actor who plays Archie, K J Apa (his full name is Keneti James Fitzgerald Apa but he’s known as K J Apa), is from New Zealand and is half Samoan. His dad is a Matai (chief) of his village in Samoa. KJ has part of a sleeve tattoo to commemorate his father and his heritage and would like to get his whole body tattooed in Polynesian and Samoan designs.




Finally. Do you remember Sabrina the Teenage witch? Did you know that she is also an Archie Comics character?

She’s getting her very own spin-off show called The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

And she’s from Greendale which is a fictional town somewhere near to Riverdale.



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