Thursday, July 27, 2006

So I watched the Sci Fi Channel’s Stan Lee/Dark Horse venture “Who wants to be a Superhero?”. Cute concept, fun show a bunch of people are vying for the opportunity to be turned into a comicbook superhero by Stan.

I’ve got to say that prior to watching this show I was lamenting my pathetic life, then I saw the contestants on this show. Still, having said, that, if I had the means to create a costume and attending the screening sessions, I would have totally done just that. (As would you.) Oh yeah, I couldn’t help but to notice that Stan never appeared in the same room as the wanabe superheroes contestants. He was always on a TV screen (a la Wizard of Oz).

After the show I went to and built my own Superhero. here he is.

Fun stuff, everyone should try it, and oh yea, watch the show also.


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

So, a short while ago a couple of gals from Westport, CT wrote this song entitled 90 Pound Suburban Housewife Drivin’ in her SUV (Talkin’ on Her Cell Phone). Well they got all kinds of press coverage for it, cut a single, and had it play on the radio.

Pretty big deal actually. Today I saw this cartoon in the paper.

Pretty funny actually, considering that Mort Walker and Dik Browne(the fathers of Brian Walker, Greg Walker and Chance Browne who produce the strip) both lived in or near Westport, and all three boys still live in the area (Dik passed away some time back and Mort now lives in FL and CT).

Just thought I’d pass all of this along.
I like to think that I’m a funny guy, and there are those folk who tell me that I am. (“Hey, what are you, some kind of a smartass? You want me to pop you one, eh?” and things like that.) Anyway, the point is, much of my writing has taken on more of a serious tone than my so-called real life. Still, I can appreciate funny writing when I read it, and such was the case with the link that I’m including in just a minute. First, however, I’d like to set it up a bit for you.

The following bit of dialogue is just a bit of perhaps how a conversation might have gone between Captain America and Iron Man, if the events that lead up to Marvel’s Civil War occurred in the (so called) “real world.” While I truly wish that I could claim that I penned this scathing bit of social satire, sadly, I did not. A buddy of mine who posts Spider-Man related reviews at our home base of actually wrote it (check us out sometime).

In the meantime, follow the link to and see What If Civil War Happened In the Real World? and find out if you laugh as much as did I.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Psychosis! #1 out soon!

The Fear is on its way

A week or so back I received a copy of the cover of Psychosis! the horror comicbook anthology being published by Guild Works Productions, the publishing arm of The Comic Artists Guild. Today, I would like to show you all a copy of the cover for that comic.

As I understand it, there will be four covers for the comic. A “regular” cover and one each for the three stories contained within the comic. This is the cover which features my story (if you look close, you can see my name on the cover in very tiny letters). Ryan is the artist of the story itself (I haven’t seen any of his art yet, but when I do, you can be assured that I’ll show it here).

The cover artist is by a chap named Melvin Ylagan who (IMHO) rendered an image that is not only lyrical and chilling, but disturbingly erotic as well. I hope you agree. As I stated in a previous post, the comic itself will be on sale in September of this year from the publishing arm of the Comic Artist Guild. I’m recommending that you all go out to your local comicbook shop and reserve a copy now.

Stay tuned, more fear to come.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Fear is coming!

By Robert J. Sodaro

Come with me on a little walk of shameless self-promotion. Recently, a very good friend of mine, named Mark Mazz extended me a wonderful invitation. (No not like that, stay with me now, and get you minds out of the gutter.) I met Mark some 15-20 years ago when I was working (briefly) as a freelancer in Marvel Comics’ internal marketing dept. We discovered that he had a great deal in common, and over the years we kept in touch. So earlier this year when Mark became the Art Director for a group called The Comic Artists Guild (CAG) he does what he always does, he went out of his way to include me in something that I would enjoy, but otherwise might have missed.

Last month, Mark invited me to participate in contributing to a horror anthology comicbook that CAG was publishing. The comic, entitled Psychosis will be available the first week of October from Guild Works Publishing (GWP) the publishing arm of the Guild. The premise of the comic is to draw on the talent pool of the Comic Artists Guild, in order to showcase their work, promote themselves as artists and (presumably) get big-time, high-paying gigs for everyone involved.

Not a bad concept if I were to say so myself.

Needless to say, the idea here is to start small, and create some buzz for the group and then (hopefully) move into licenses, and more regular publishing. The initial books that GWP intends to publish will serve as a way of finding which creators and concepts click, (while making any “mistakes” (if any) on the cheap). It is the feeling of the people in charge of GWP that far too many comicbook companies have come on way too strong and somehow don’t actually understand the nature of the market (or publishing) and simply get wiped out after the venture capital is gone.

With this publication GWP is going direct to retailers, readers, and through comicbook conventions. So, they’re going all 21st century with printing-on-demand and Internet-style guerrilla marketing. The comics will be available through the CAG Web site and any other way they can think of to make it work. While all of this may seem somewhat counter-intuitive to “comic industry reasoning”, that business model has seen the best-selling titles selling for ONE-tenth of what they were at in 1992-1995!

Will they be a huge success? It’s more likely that just not losing our shirts will make us a success, and I have Mark’s assurances that the principals of this venture are in it for the long haul. CAG has done this for 5 years, and they’re still going strong. Want to know where the last 20 other companies are today? Well, quite a few of them no longer exist

Why am I talking about all of this? Well, as I stated at the outset, Mark invited me to contribute to the comic, and I did with a little eight-page story I call Never Judge a Book by it’s Cover. All I’m going to say about the story for now (Yes, I have discussed the plot with Walt) is that it is a classic EC-style horror story with a kind of a twisted O. Henry-style ending (and that is perhaps giving way too much away already). The book is due out in September, and as the date approaches, I’ll assuredly be talking more and more about it. In the mean time, here is a teaser.

Again, the comic is entitled Psychosis! It is going to be a 48-page book, with three suspenseful tales! CAG will be posting some sneak previews of stories and book updates next month. Now, as I understand it the comics is slated to have four alternate covers. One of those covers spotlights my story.

In the meantime, my full script has already been written, submitted, and passed along to the artist. I haven’t seen any of the interior art as of yet, but I have been assured that the individual drawing it is quite talented, and will illustrate it as creepy/spooky as I wrote it. This is a very cool thing for me. Not since the late ‘70s have I had a fiction story of mine published. Back then it was an espionage comicbook entitled Agent Unknown, which was published by Renegade Press.

Well, that’s about it for now. As the publication draws closer, I’ll be chatting on this topic again. Oh, and you’re all invited to my publishing party…the first cup of goat’s blood is on me.

The Perfessor

Saturday, July 15, 2006

When a secret is not a secret.

When is a secret not a secret? When everyone knows.

In case you missed it, Spider-Man recently “outed” himself in a national press conference. Yep. That’s right, during a Press conference called by his (Peter Parker’s boss, Tony “Iron Man” Stark), Where Iron Man not only endorsed the Superhero Registration Act, but revealed himself to be the superhero Iron Man, Spidey also stepped up to the mic. and endorsed the bill, and revealed himself to be Peter Parker.

“My name is Peter Parker and I’ve been Spider-Man since I was fifteen years old.”

J. Jonah Jameson, Peter’s former boss, and the publisher of The Daily Bugle, who has hated Spidey since he first appeared on the Superhero scene, fainted dead away.

Those of us in fandom (who have been reading Civil War) have been debating the relative merits of this action. We have also been debating on how long this current “permanent” change in the Marvel Universe will last. Right now, we’re hovering between 18 months and two years.
The phone books are in! The phone books are in!”

Actually, the truth of the matter is that not only were they in quite a while back, but I’m not really talking about phone books as much as I was quoting Steve Martin’s character from his film The Jerk. What I am talking about is the 2006 Comics Values Annual.

This is a comicbook price guide that has been coming out now for so 13 or 14 years now (I’ve been associated with it since the second or third year as first a writer and then as a contributing editor).

Well the current edition is out and even though my name doesn’t appear on the cover, I can assure you that I’m a contributor (in fact, much of the interior copy is written my me, and has been for the last 10 years).

At any rate, here it is, and I had a helping hand in it. What could be cooler than that?