Saturday, December 27, 2008

Meanwhile, back in the Marvel Universe...

Not sure if I’ve mentioned this (recently or at all), but not only do I pen reviews for SpiderFan, but I have recently been tapped by fellow Spider-Fanner Al Sjoerdsma to work on the upcoming Official Index to the Marvel Universe (my contributions begin with issue #2, due out in Feb., ‘09). Well, due to a misunderstanding on my part, I reviewed X-Men/Spider-Man #1. When I realized that my review was premature, I decided to expand it to fit in over at SpiderFan, only, as it turns out Kevin Hollander had already laid claim to reviewing that title. Not wanting to let my review languish in limbo, I figured I‘d post it here.

Comic: X-Men and Spider-Man #1!

Title: The Strangest Teens of All

Over the years, the paths of Spider-Man and the X-Men have crossed many times. In this limited series, we see how one story took place over the course of several years, as events in the lives of these heroic teens are manipulated by Mr. Sinister. This first chapter takes place during the ‘60s when the X-Men were in their New costumes (after the “death” of Professor X), and around the time Flash had just entered in the military, Harry Osborn and Gwen Stacy were both still alive, (he was dating MJ, and she was dating Peter).

The X-Men (Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Beast, Iceman, Angel) are sitting around at the X-Men mansion in Westchester, watching an account of themselves on TV battling the Hulk, while the show’s guest, J. Jonah Jameson, rails on about the mutant menace, and calls for some sort of registration for all mutants. Spider-Man, meanwhile, swings through Manhattan happy as various TVs play in the background with the same program broadcasting. Spidey is happy that JJJ is going after someone else.

He enters his and Harry’s apartment and wonders if he should tell Gwen his secret, while thinking that worrying might give him an ulcer (which it eventually does). The next guest on the show is Kraven who has just been released from prison (after having been tossed there by Spidey), and vows that his next target will be mutants. And he postulates that Spider=-Man is a mutant. The X-Men feel they have to warn Spidey, and head into the city.

After having changed out of his costume, Peter meets up with Gwen and Mary Jane they all head to the Coffee Bean to meet the gang. They enter the café, under the watchful eyes of Kraven. Shortly after the arrival of Peter and the girls, the X-Men (in civies) pull up in Warren’s car and of all the places in Greenwich Village to enter, they go into the Coffee Bean.

Inside, the mutants and Peter’s friends intermingle. Flash, who is in Uniform, as he is either on leave, or yet to ship off to the Army), tries to pick up Jean, and MJ & Gwen flirt with Bobby and Hank, respectively. Harry’s on edge because of MJ’s antics (around this time Harry began taking drugs, and this was clearly part of that storyline). Just as all of the teens are beginning to enjoy themselves, Kraven and Blob burst into the café and attack. As all get-out erupts, the X-Men and Peter use the confusion to change into their costumes.

The heroes force both villains outside and onto the street so as not to endanger the patrons. As the fight rages on, Kraven manages to nick each of the X-Men; drawing blood from each of them. Eventually Spidey and the X-Men manage to subdue the Blob, but Kraven manages to slip away. The Blob dealt with, Kraven in the wind, and the cops on their way, all of the heroes do likewise so as not to be around when the cops show up. Before they go, however the X-Men renew their offer to have Spider-Man join them. He declines stating that he really doesn’t work well with teams.

Kraven delivers five vials of DNA material to Mr. Sinister who has been hiding behind the scenes this whole time. Mr. Sinister indicates that he has plans for the genetic material.

This is obviously a continuity implant story, building on previously-established events from the established cannon of the Marvel Universe. The story seems to play out well, doing a very nice job of tapping into those events, and actually manages to successfully re-establish the feeling of that time. From the excellent visuals and great dialogue you can almost believe that this story was written and drawn back at that time. The inclusion of a later villain like Mr. Sinister, plus the teaming of two older, classic villains (who prior to this never actually met), are both very nice touches.

Summary Rating: 3.5 Webs

Rating Explanation:
Again, this story reads quite well, and does a most-excellent job of recreating that era for this reader.

I’m not entirely certain how this will eventually play out, but this story worked quite well for me, including a bit of foreshadowing with Gwen sitting on a dock with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background.

# # #

As soon as the camera’s battery is fully charged, I’ll post more Christmas photos.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Spider-Presents roll in...

Yeah, yeah, I know that the point of the Christmas season is not the gifts that you get, nor even so much the gifts that you give, but the whole “Peace on Earth goodwill towards men” thing, but hey, I did get a buncha cool Spidey stuff, (and I know hoe jealous this makes you guys), so I’m gonna put it on display here:

First up was this Spider-Man activity book that I received. then, there is this very cook sheet of Spidey stickers (which you can apparently peel and place over and over). Very cool. I’m going to have to see if they work as well as the copy claims). And of course, what would the end of the year be without a calendar for the upcoming year (and for all of you who haven’t already acquired a NovaStar Fantasy art calendar) might want to get their hands on a Marvel Pop-up calendar.

More to come (I have to get some pics of the camera, but the camera’s battery died.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Some early Christmas gifts...

So ‘tis the season to be feeling Mary, er, Merry and already the gift-giving has begun. My CAG buddy James Rodriguez brought me back a little gift of sorts from his recent trip to South America. A Spanish copy of Spider-Man. I have something of a collection of these type of comics. I like to ask friends of mine who are traveling to non-U.S. locales to snag a comic for me, or — failing that — grab a foreign fast-food toy for me. I don’t know why, but both are always cool for me to receive (hint, hint, hint).

Oh yeah, and if you haven’t already acquired your 2009 calendar, you just might want to check out the one that James produced (a visual of it is off to the right side of my blog at the top). Don’t forget to tell him that I sent you over. Head over to his Blogspace and locate the payment and shipping details.

Another gift I received was from another CAG friend, Liz Ortiz. I can’t recall if she scored this when she was recently in Texas or it was simply something that she had lying around her place. She tells me that it is a holder for a videogame system (I don’t remember which, but it it really doesn’t matter, as it is Spidey, and well, I’m enjoying it in my collection now.

While I haven’t yet received it, Chris Buchner (yep, another CAGer) claims to be sending me the Spidey Santa hat you see to the left. He found it on ebay, and well, knows my taste for (the truly odd) Spidey-Stuff. Still, whild I was (obviously) entertained by the Santa Hat, I was truly surprised by this Spider-Man 3 Santa hat.

Apparently with blockbuster success comes whack-job marketing. Well, happy, happy, merry, merry to you all.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!

So we got the first snow of the season this weekend, and well, I want to show you all the view out my front door when I got up this morning.

A closer look reveals so much more:

closer still:

And another view:

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sing, Spidey, Sing!

A while back I mentioned that there was a Spider-Man musical in the works, well, according to Scoop that musical has gotten one step closer to it’s 20010 Broadway debut. Director Julie Taymor has just cast Evan Rachel Wood as Mary Jane Watson.

Julie Taymor the director of the rock musical Across the Universe is reuniting with her leading lady Evan Rachel Wood for the Broadway production of Spider-Man: The Musical. Wood recently told reporters that she will be playing Mary Jane Watson in the show. Plans for Spider-Man: The Musical are to begin production next summer and it will likely be on stage in 2010.

For the rest of the story, go here.

Sounds like fun.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Songs in the key of Spider-Man

A couple or three years ago, a very good friend of mine found a dozen or so versions of the theme song to our favorite web-slinging hero and then burned them to a CD for me. Over the years, I have listened to the CD over and over again. Just recently I had cause to look the theme song on YouTube, and, well I simply couldn’t resist these, and neither will you.

Here is the original Spider-Man theme song, the way we heard it on TV when the cartoon originally debuted:

Here is the way The Ramones sang it:

Now re-interpreted by Weird Al Yankovic:

As sung by The Distillers:

Even Aerosmith took their own whack at the Spider-Man theme song:

The Karmacats (who?) give us a slammin’ version of Spidey’ Theme:

Michael Buble did a Jazz Remix to the theme song:

I know I posted this once before (albeit on another blog), but so long as I was posting versions of Spidey’s theme song, I figured that I’d have to include it again here (for the first time). Courtesy of the Simpsons:

This last one didn’t have embedding enabled, so here is the link.

How Spider-Man 3 Should have ended

My CAG buddy Chris pointed me in the direction of this vid, and, wel, it was too funny not to post here.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Mini Spidey (tape) sculpture

You read that headline correct, a masking tape sculpture. A few years back I was working on-site for a local business and the guy who worked in the next cubical to me liked to make miniature figures out of masking tape. I don’t know how he managed to do it, but apparently this guy does this kind of stuff all the time. He specifically made me this Spidey sculpture for fun, and because he knew that I liked Spider-Man.

If I had any talent in that area, I’d pang it to look like Spidey, but sadly, I’m lacking skill in that area, so I’m going to leave him just the way he is. I shot the pic with Spidey’s foot resting on that matchbook cover (he is leaning on a candle) so that you can get a feeling for the figure’s actual size.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I’ze Gotz Spidey-Fingers!

Yeah, its true, I’m a total Spider-geek. I can’t help myself I really can’t. I went to some local craft fair recently and found this Spider Finger-Puppet. One of the reasons I got it is, because I have two other Spidey Finger-Puppets, only both of those are variations of the classic red-and-blue costume. When I saw this one I knew that I had to have it.

Now all I have to do is find the other two...

One of these days I’m really going to have to photograph everything Spidey that I own.

(Photos courtesy of my daughter Kayla)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Free Comic Book Day is Coming

Yes, yes, yes. Free Comicbook Day is nearly five months off (Saturday May 2nd), but just today, several of the Gold Comics Sponsors have been announced these comics include the following:

Archie Comics: The "Mighty Archie Art Players"
Bongo Comics: he Simpsons and Futurama
BOOM! Studios: Cars (based on the hit Disney/Pixar movie)
Dark Horse Comics: Star Wars: Clone Wars
DC Comics: Green Lantern (Blackest Night #0)
IDW Publishing: Transformers Animated/G.I. Joe
Image Comics: Savage Dragon #148
Marvel Comics: The Avengers (New and Dark Avengers)
Oni Press: Shonen Jump (Resurrection #0)

I’ve always been a fan of Free Comic Book Days, and well, the 2009 edition will be no exception. More as it comes up.

It’s Starting to look a bit like Spider-Mas

For the last several years, I’ve been setting my Christmas tree up later and later. (One year I literally set it up on Christmas Eve, of course that year it stayed up until almost February.) For the last couple of years I’ve been trying to get it up earlier rather than later. Well. I got it up last night, and well, you can guess what wound up on the tree.

Awww, you guessed, and you just know they look great on the tree itself...

And of course, you just know that I hung my stockings by the chimney with care...

I know that I have more Christmas ornaments somewhere, I just have to locate them. In the mean time, merry Spider-Mas to all, and to all a good webbing!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Rorschach (Lego)

I just found this image and had to share it with you all:

I so totally can’t wait for this flick to come out!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Back when he was cute

I interrupt the funnybook ramblings of this blog to bring you a photo of my son when he was cute (for reasons that will become obvious as soon as you see the pic).

He’s now 17 and a High School senior.

I have a better one of him somewhere wearing a “onesie” proclaiming him to be a “Future Marvel Zombie” I’ll have to find it and send it over to whomever is editing Marvel Zombies this time around.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Funnybooks as Literature

As you all should know by now, I’ve been reading comics since the (very) early ‘60s, which is when I discovered Spider-Man, and made him my own. So when I tell you that after 46 years of following his (nearly) every adventure, that I can be moved to true emotion by a story (and by the plight of characters) that — for all intents and purposes — I have known all of my life (longer in fact than I’ve known my wife), which is something of a big deal if you can understand that.

To be sure, this is something that I really didn’t think that could happen. I mean, sure I still enjoy reading Spider-Man stories (mostly), and I’m never going to get the character entirely out of my system (even during that brief period between the end of ‘95 to the beginning of ‘01 when I stopped collecting entirely, I wasn’t completely over him). Still, it was surprising to me that, well, I could be surprised.

Amazing Spider-Man #574 did just that to me, I found myself becoming emotional involved with what was going on even as the story was unfolding. The story dealt, with not so much Spidey himself, but one of Spidey’s long-time supporting cast members, Eugene “Flash” Thompson. Spidey first met Flash in High School, and Flash always played that typical dumb jock that picked on the hapless (brainy) Peter Parker. This lasted all the way through High School, and most of the way through College.

Eventually Flash enlisted in the army and went off to war (back then it was Vietnam — these days Marvel tends to fudge that topical bit of information as it would make Flash (as well as the rest of the characters) way too old for much of the current audience. Anyway, eventually Flash grew up (sort of) and he and Peter became friendly (they even roomed together for a while). Needless to say, Flash is and always has been something of a jerk. Well in this story, for perhaps the very first time, we gain a real insight into not only who Flash is, and why he is the way he is.

Interestingly enough, even though Flash bullied Peter, he always had a serious man-crush on Spider-Man. This was always dealt with as hero worship, and well, that was that. Only not so much. You see, there was more to Flash, and to his story that we had ever learned — until now. This story reveals all that. It tells a bit more about who Flash is, and why he is motivated to do the things he does.

And it has a surprise ending that I didn’t see coming.

It is deeply moving, and profoundly evocative. If you don’t read comics, you can pick up this particular comic and read it knowing whatever little you know about Spider-Man and his cast that you already know, and it will still be powerful, because while it so totally not about Spider-Man, it is obvious that Spidey is the heart and soul of this matter.

Why? Because what Stan Lee told us back in 1962 was the truth then, and is the truth now...

With great power comes great responsibility.”

Interestingly enough, around the same time that I read Amazing Spider-Man #574, I also picked up Invincible Iron Man #6, yet another comic book that surprised and taught me something. See, for me, most of the time comics are just light reading, escapist entertainment. On occasion, I get some new, interesting, or (believe it or not) even powerful out of them. Today when I read The Invincible Iron Man #7 was one of the latter.

It was there that I learned about Clifton Pollard.
Pollard was a gravedigger working at Arlington National Cemetery earning $3.01-an-hour. In November of 1963, it was Pollard that dug the grave of the recently-slain President Kennedy. The only reason that anyone knows this is because Jimmy Breslin then a reporter for the now-defunct New York Herald Tribune was covering the funeral found and spoke to Pollard. Apparently Breslin was the only reporter in America who thought that the gravedigger’s story might be an interesting read.

Pollard told Breslin that he considered it an honor to open the earth for a slain President’s casket.

Clifton Pollard wasn't at the funeral. He was over behind the hill, digging graves for $3.01 an hour in another section of the cemetery. He didn't know who the graves were for. He was just digging them and then covering them with boards. "They'll be used," he said. "We just don't know when. I tried to go over to see the grave," he said. "But it was so crowded a soldier told me I couldn't get through. So I just stayed here and worked, sir. But I'll get over there later a little bit. Just sort of look around and see how it is, you know. Like I told you, it's an honor."

Say what you want about comics, but as far as I’m concerned they are legitimate literature, and Invincible Iron Man # 7 is one of the reasons why.

The comic was written by Matt Fraction and illustrated by Salvador Larroca. It was one of the best comics that I’ve read this year.

And to think that my father always told me that comicbooks were going to rot my brain. Thankfully, He couldn’t have been further from the truth.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Enigma Works Comics

One of the artists I met at the recent National comicbook convention was Luke Mierisch. Luke has this great, clean style to his art. I was privileged to score a pair of comics he produced for Enigma Works. One comics — Tall Tales of Non-Fiction — was written by Dean A. Selleck; the second — Papillon Black — was written by Jason Cookingham.

Both comics are done is a very noir-like stark black and white. both show a skill that totally impressed both myself and my editor, Mark Mazz. After Mark arranged the introduction between the both of us, Luke and I spoke for a bit, and I invited him to contribute to my upcoming Agent Unknown graphic Album. I passed along to Luke the three issues of AU that Dell Barras drew for me back in the mid-‘80s.

Luke and I have chatted at length,and I’ve asked (and he’s agreed) to illustrate the new Stacy Anne Duncan story that I’ve written. I have to tell you that this excites me a great deal, as Stacy Anne was one of the original Division agents that I developed, and I have more stories of her that I not only want to tell, I want Luke to illustrate them.

Anyway, if you attend a show, and wander past Luke in Artists’ Ally. Stop at his table and pick up whatever he is selling, you’ll be seriously very happy that you did. I know that I was.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

It’s a Day, you Turkey!

So today is the day of all Turkeys, and it is time for my annual appeal to everyone to sign the online petition to bring the Spider-Man balloon back to the Macy’s Day Parade.

The Petition is not mine, but I happened across it a couple of years back, so I like to remind everyone of it at this time of the year. As I understand it, Spidey hasn’t been par tof the parade for over a decade, and there are those of us inthe fan community that think that this is wrong. especially given as how popular Spidey is these days (owing mostly to the movies).

Anyway, because we don’t get to see Spidey today, here he is from days of yore.

So, Happy day, you turkeys! Eat ‘em up!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Putting the Bite on Vampires.

One of the comics that I managed to get my hands on recently was Am I Immortal by Shawntie Therrien (published by Free Lunch Comics). This comic continues the story that Shawntie began back in Psychosis! #1. To be sure, this isn’t so much the same story, as it deals with the same characters, themes, and universe. Shawntie you see has something of a crush on Vampires. (Can’t say that I blame her as I have been feeling the same way about Werewülves these days, but that’s an entirely different post. Today, we’re talking about Shawntie.

Over in Psychosis! her stories deal with Meth, while Am I Immortal follows Cain, the other player in her undead opera. Shawntie’s style of storytelling (as I’ve seen in Psychosis!) has tended to be a series of full-page illustrations accompanied by text. with this installment she has chosen to deliver her story in a more traditional manner (panel art with word balloons) . I have to say that I enjoy both, and she is equally adept in both styles. In her Meth stories, we have heard of Cain, but never met him, now (at last) we are meeting this tragic character.

Shawntie brings us right into the story, causing us to care about Cain, even though we don’t know who he is. Her art is very stylistic, drawing us in and washing over us as we move further into her story. This is not your typical vampires, nor is it the weepy, angst-filled vampire-lite crap from Twilight this is a whole world of mystery, lore, and creatures who walk in the night.

I strongly urge you all to head over to the Free Lunch Site and order one of your own (You might want also go to the Guild Works Productions site and pick up the first three issues of Psychosis! as well.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Choice Cuts

So, While I was in Boston a couple of weeks back, I ran into a buddy of mine, David Quiles. I was originally introduced to David by CAG president Keith Murphey. David and I hit it off right away and soon after I picked up one of David’s self-published titles.

David has a very interesting style of art. He likes to get dirty. His art is all full of action, movement violence and darkness. It is truly something to behold. I knew right away that I wanted to collaborate with David on something, only he and I couldn’t quite hit on the right project. Well, it took almost a year, but I finally conceived on an idea that I thought that David would like, and when I pitched it to him he rolled it around in his head for a bit,and really warmed to the idea.

Well, it took me a couple of more months to script out my eight-page idea, and pass it over to him. Well, David is not someone who is going to be rushed, and I had no intention of trying to rush him, so I walked away and let the story simmer with him. Every couple or three months when I would run into him I’d check on the progress and he would have pretty much the same answer, that he was working on it in-between the other things that he was doing, and that was OK with me.

Well I ran into him again last weekend at the Nationals, and he told me that he had not only thumb-nailed the story (which he had expanded to 12 pages), but that he would send me the thumbnails if I texted him at 1:00 in the morning. (Seems he would be working at that that time, just as I was going to bed). I agreed, and sent him a couple of text messages as I went off to bed, and well, this evening I found the art in my in basket.

Let me say that I wasn't disappointed at all with what I saw. this is going to be a great story (due mostly to David’s art, to be sure). I’m hoping that he will be able to finish it off soon, and then get it into print. In the mean time, I think that you should hurry over to David’s site, and check out Choice Cuts along with the other comics that he had produced.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

G-Man Rules!

Anyone who has been reading this blog has probably heard me wax enthusiastic about cartoonist Chris Giarrusso wonderful work on the Mini Marvels. I first discovered Chris’ work in a series of comic strips that ran on the Marvel Comics Bullpen Bulletins pages. Those strips grew into full-page comics, and then to multi-page back-up stories, to digest-sized reprint comics.

Personally, I couldn’t get enough of his stuff, Well, last weekend when I attended the National Comic show, I finally got my chance to actually meet him and tell him how much I have been enjoying his work (I have been corresponding via-email for a bit, but meeting him was fun). During our chat, I picked up a copy of G-Man, his own character (done Mini Marvel style).

G-Man and his brother Great Man are a pair of pint-sized superheroes who run into all sorts of very entertaining adventures (including crossing paths with Eric Larson’s Savage Dragon — the adventures of G-Man have been running in the back of Savage Dragon for some time, apparently). I have to say that I enjoyed G-Man every bit as much as I have enjoyed Mini Marvels. Chris still knows his stuff, and you should check out his web store and buy him out of all his cool stuff — Including downloads, Icons, and Avatars, as well as on-line comics.

Looking back, I recent picked up The most recent Marvel Mini digest and (looking forward), we can expect at least one more Mini Digest that spoofs the Secret Invasion. (The following announcement comes direct from Marvel’s on-line catalog).

Been craving more Mini Marvels since their hit first collection flew off the shelves? February brings you the "Mini Marvels: Secret Invasion" digest! Your favorite tiny heroes face off against Skrull invasions of their own, with awesome cuteness to spare. Also check out a slew of Secret Invasion collections starring the likes of the New Avengers, Captain Britain and MI13, Hercules and more, all out this February!

While the weather outside is chilly, the "X-Men: Inferno" hardcover will surely warm the hearts of '80s aficionados and X-fans alike when it brings the entire crossover together in one edition large enough to knock any late night burglar unconscious! Plus "The Death of Captain America Vol. 3" concludes the trilogy and "Invincible Iron Man Vol. 1: The Five Nightmares" while classics like the original Cloak and Dagger limited series or the Guardians of the Galaxy's first appearances get new hardcovers!

So what are you still doing here? Go visit Chris!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Random Funnybook Stuff

First up, I want to apologize to the folks who have been loyally following this Blog, I haven’t been posting as much these days, and well, that is because I’ve been pounding the pavement for some new clients. A couple of my longest running newsletter clients have in-housed their newsletters (while a local publication to which I have been contributing went to a bi-monthly schedule), resulting in a serious financial setback to me, and requiring me to cast about for some new clients.

Hopefully I’ll be back on a more frequent postings as these things shake out.

In the mean time, why don’t you wade through this list of 75 comics that are being optioned for films slated to be released over the next couple of years. Please keep in mind that not all of these films will be made, and (if history is any indication) many of them will seriously suck.

On another funnybook front, it seems that The NY Times Bestseller list apparently doesn’t include graphic albums — which means that not only did you not see the re-release of Watchmen, but you also won’t see Dabel Brothers comic book publishers book; The Dresden Files: Welcome to the Jungle, an original story by Jim Butcher.

In other funnybook news, I attended the National Comicbook convention in NYC this past weekend, and not only met up with old friends (some of which I hadn’t seen in years), but hopefully put some forward movement on a number of funnybook projects that I’ve had under development for much of this year. As we get closer to completion on these deals, I’ll let you all know. The really exciting about this is that while some of them are for print, a couple are intended for the web.

Now I have to go back to work.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Get ready for a NYC Crime Wave!

No, I’m not kidding, I just read it in this press release form Three J Productions, LLC and Carl Herring Jr. set to launch Crime Wave on NYC.

Carl is a good buddy of mine (and fellow CAGer), who is way talented. not only has he produced a top-flight intro comic to his projected series (The Enforcers) but he also contributed a great Story to CAG #7. Now we cna see yet another incarnation of Carl’s talent as he give us the following:

Carl Herring Jr. founder and President of Three J Productions, LLC is pleased to announce that the company's latest publication Crime Wave Anthology vol 1 is set to debut at New York Comic Con in Feb 09 at the Javits Center. Crime Wave is a collection of three crime dramas that explode off the pages with non-stop action. Two stories feature the FBI duo - Chase and Hunt.

The third story features D.E.A. Enforcers Clayton Jagger and Rio Mendez in their first appearance since the now famous Enforcers Limited Edition Zero Issue. In charge of the books design is Creative Director Ed Traquino. Supplying the interior artwork are two very talented rising stars of the comic book industry, Scott E. Ambruson and Chris Torres. Rounding out the creative team is veteran artist Norm Breyfogle supplying the cover art. Crime Wave Anthology vol 1 is the first of several projects that Three J Productions, LLC has planned for 2009.

Personally I can’t wait to score my copy!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Cool funnybook SWAG

SWAG has been defined as Stuff We All Get. While we truly don’ all get this stuff, it is the term that has been assigned to it. SWAG, well I came away with some pretty cool SWAG from the recent National Comicbook show in NYC this past weekend. Mostly what I came away with was several very cool comics, and a couple of nifty posters. I also picked up some stuff a couple of weekends earlier at the Boston Comicbook show I attended.

This was a very interesting packing for an online comic by Radical Warren. I really enjoyed the very existentialist excursions into the absurd presented by this very funny strip . I haven't been to the site as of yet, but the comic was very cool, and got me to thinking that this would be a very cool way to not only package a strip comic as a promo (while it was cover-priced at .50 I believe that it was given away as a freebie). Currently I'm collaborating with three other cartoonists who are working on three different web comics for me, I think that I just might utilize this packaging technique when the time comes to promote my strips.

Next up was the ashcan Poser (also by Chris “Radical” Warren). this comic was ostensibly a superhero strip, and well, every bit as entertaining. Both of the comics are done in a very minimalist form with the dialogue driving the story and being the focus of each strip. While they both went in very different directions, I found them both to be quite good.

Another cool ashcan I received was from JGM Comics (see previous post). Plus I picked up some Amazing Spider-Man back issues for very cheap, narrowing the number of Spider-Man comics I need to complete my run of this title to less than 40.

I’ll go more into my NY SWAG in a later post. Now, I’m going to go to bed.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Ash Can Comics

Here in comics we have what we like to call Ashcans. When Ashcans where first used, they were literally a small-press run of a comic to establish ownership of the characters in the comic. The term “ashcan copy” originated during the Golden Age of Comics. It was meant to describe a publication that was produced solely for legal purposes (i.e.; trademark), and not normally intended for distribution.

The term “Ashcan” literally means that the printed material was supposed to go straight from the printer into the trash. Ashcan editions frequently contained unlettered stories, unfinished art or even just whatever wastepaper had been conveniently available at the time. The goal in making them was to get something out with the comic’s intended title slapped on as quickly as possible so that the publisher could make some claim to having been the first in print if a competitor tried to publish a similar title.

Needless to say, these days Ashcans function as a limited-edition collector’s copy, as well as a marketing tool for the publisher. Well, over the years, I have acquired quite a number of these little babies. My most recent Ashcan comes to me courtesy of JGM Comics. Two characters from JGM are Ripperman and Shadowflame; a couple of costume superheroes.

I bring this up, because, not only are these comics pretty good, but a future JGM comic is going to be spotlighting a couple of superheros that I’ve developed. Their names are Law and Order, and they pal around and bust up bad guys under the name The Enforcers. Joe who heads up JGM, found me a very talented artist, and well, I’ve seen the art, and I’m panting at the bit to see it in print.

More as it develops.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Hail to the Chief!

Only, who, precisely is that? No really, if I believe Fox News it was this Obama guy, but if I go with [[The Daily Bugle]] it was Steven Colbert. I’m trying to sort it all out, but I’m not so sure whom I can trust on this, especially as I completely distrust all forms of mass media.

So, I figure that I’ll just lay low for a couple of days perhaps make a deal with the Devil or something, but eventually I’ll certainly puzzle it out.

Or at least I hope I do.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

And the Winner is!

Us. We. The American People!

That’s right, we won. A true American has been elected into the White House, and I couldn’t be happier!

Sorry, couldn’t help myself there.

Seriously, how cool is this?

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Cup ‘o (Spider) Joe

So, the other day I mentioned that I was having a cup of Spider-Coco (my last cup, as it turned out), Our good buddy — and regular commenter — Tommy told me that he felt especially jealous over this, so I figured that I’d show him my collection of five Spider-Mugs. They are from three separate purchases.

The “odd” mug was purchased first. then I received as gifts two sets of two mugs each. One set has Spidey on one side and The Hulk on the other, while the second set of mugs (the one that came with the Hot Chocolate mix, I believe) had two different versions of Spidey on the mugs.

As I said, both of these two-mug sets were gifts, and now they are the only mugs from which I drink (coffee, usually) when I am at home.

On a different subject, I attended a Boston comicbook convention today, and while I was there I scooped up 13 Spidey comics (10 for .50¢ each, and the other three for a total of $10.00). Not bad, eh? The really cool thing about this acquisition was that it brought me within five regular comics and three annuals of completing the original run of Amazing Spider-Man.

I scored three issues of ASM, (& two Annuals), a Peter Parker Annual, three issues of Sensational Spider-Man, one Spider-Man the Lost Years, and three issues of Spider-Man Chapter One. Not bad for a day of fun, eh?

More on this story as it develops.