Monday, November 30, 2009

Waiting for Superman?

If you are, then, well, don’t hold your breath.

Yep, you heard that right, we’re going to all be waiting on well, not so much Superman as his next film. To be sure, given the lackluster turnout for the last Superman film,you can hardly blame us for yawning. Still, if you had been hoping that Warner Bros. would make every effort to get a Superman movie into theaters before their 2012 deadline for the character rights, then, well then, you’re SOL because a new report indicates that Warner intends to keep the franchise on ice at least for the time being.

Celebrity blogger, Anne Thompson, writes that:

despite the perceived need to get a new Superman movie in production before 2011 in order to avoid paying penalty to the heirs of the character's creators, Warners are planning to stay quiet on the Superman front for the simple reason that they don't know what else to do:

Furthermore, Thompson has indicated that while it is a priority for the studio to find the right direction for the character and if director Bryan Singer is willing to do that, fine, but if he gets in the way, he may not stay with the project. Apparently, while there are no writers currently working on a Superman script.

According to one popular entertainment site:

Considering Warners have three of DC's most popular comic writers consulting for the studio on DC-related projects (including Grant Morrison, who wrote the critically-acclaimed, award winning All Star Superman), the idea that the studio can't come up with a direction for the character is kind of mind-boggling, and perhaps points to a reason why Marvel Studios needn't worry about the competition just yet.

Personally, if Warner wants to ever get their flagship character back up into the air, they really have to stop having him go up against Lex Luthor in yet another Real Estate scheme, and have him fight, well anybody else in the Man of Steel’s Rogue’s Gallery. Yeah, I know that thet whol romance angle with Lois worked on TV, but on the big screen audiences want just a tad more flash, sizzle, and well, flat-out action.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Spidey at the parade!

As you all know by now, Spider-Man re-appeared at this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Here are a couple of clips of him:

Here he is again, this time in a longer view, with (a somewhat annoying soundtrack).

Thursday, November 26, 2009

G-Man Rules!

Yeah, you heard me, Chris Giarrusso’s G-Man is the coolest comic here these days! I’m totally loving his Cape Crises mini-series. It offers so much of why I read comics in the first place. It is entertaining, tells a readable story, keeps me guessing as to what is going to happen next, makes me want to not only turn the page to get to the rest of the story, and pick up the next issue.

Yep, this is truly a very cool comic. The premise of this whole series is that Great Man and his brother G-Man both wear capes made of magic cloth which gives them the ability to fly and super strength. Only Great Man is cutting up the cloth and selling bits of it as flight bands to anyone who has the cash. Although he has been warned that doing this will split up the power and weaken the magic, he keeps doing it, which leads to all sorts of trouble.

The various characters that populate this series are unique, and, well, fun to read. I’m hoping that Chris does well enough with this series to not only continue it, but to convince Marvel that they need to produce more of Chris’ Mini-Marvels (another good read from Chris that could do with better publicity).

G-Man has a couple of back-up shorts which are contributed by buddies of Chris (including the guys who are producing Marvel’s X-Babies). I’m telling you that this book is so good even the back-up stories are fun to read.

If you are not reading G-Man, you should be, go out and get yourself a copy now!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Holidays are upon us!

One of the “fun” types of comics that I look forward to every year are holiday comics. You know the ones I’m talking about: year-end (Christmas), Valentine’s Day, etc. Over the years, Marvel has published quite a number of these types of books, and as you can expect, I have acquired several of these, including holiday-themed comics from other publishers.

Well, Marvel stopped publishing a year-end holiday comic a couple of years back, and this year they re-instituted it. Unfortunately, while I really do enjoy these books (as stated), and I’m glad that they did again this year, I’m a bit disappointed this find that several (if not all) of the stories contained in this issue, are reprints.

I’m currently in the process of tracking down these stories (and I’ll get back to you all on that), I’m also a bit disappointed that this comic only contains Christmas stories. No Chanukkah, and no stories from other faiths. You would think that in this day and age (especially when there are numerous Marvel characters from other faiths), that they would be overlooked (especially when I know for a fact that some of these stories do exist. I mean so long as you are reprinting stories, why not reprint a non-Christian story as well?)

Still, this is a fun book, and worth the investment, especially if you don’t have the stories in their original incarnations.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Whatever happened to Spider-Man?

I’m trying to be fair, I really am. I mean, I love the character, and in spite of what I think about most of the stories in Amazing Spider-Man’s post Brand New Day world (any one else notice that editorial has stopped referring to Spidey’s life in that fashion. I can only guess that want to stop bringing attention to the fact that these aren’t real Spidey adventures, as they are the result of a Mephisto-induced world).

I really don’t go out of my way to publicly state how much I hate most of the stories, but lately, I have to say the past couple of issues of ASM have had what can only be described as some of the worst art I’ve ever seen in a Spidey comic in my entire life (and I’ve been reading since Amazing Fantasy #15.

The art in ASM #611 (with Deadpool) blew chunks (no disrespect to the artist, but his style just does not belong in Marvel’s Signature series. It looked rushed, muddy, and amateurish. And when did Deadpool become such a jackass. I mean I know that he is a smart-mouth mercenary, but seriously, the writing was crap too. I mean, When John Byrne was writing She-Hulk, and all that goofy crap was going on in that title (the silly stories, breaking the 4th wall), that was all fine and good, but when she appeared in any other title, it was business as usual and things operated pretty much they way they did in the “regular” marvel Universe. Here Deadpool’s stupidity exploded all over the pages of Amazing, completely ruining my reading pleasure).

Then in ASM #612, the back-up tale with Pete, MJ and that girl reporter from Front Line, the art there was equally bad. I mean, after the atrocious (and confusingly badly-written) Who Was Ben Reily? storyline (ASM 608–610), this title is seriously hitting the skids (there is even a retcon in #612 regarding events in 600/601, it just makes me shutter.

Now I’m not telling anyone to stop buying this title. I want everyone to make up their own minds, but the writing of late is just bad. I am urging everyone to write into the Spidey offices to tell them what they thing (bad or good), as this is the only way that anyone in that office will know what we really think.

Twilight, Funnybook Style

This is simply too funny NOT to share.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Spider-Man made “The List”

To be sure, it wasn’t my List that he made, it was Norman Osborn’s List. Yeah, Norman — the former Green Goblin, now the hero known as Iron Patriot — Osborn has a List, and apparently our guy Spidey is on it. Well, that is what I read anyway (to be sure, the Avengers and others have made that List as well, but we’re here to talk about Spidey, and well, the Goblin, er, Osborn).

Turns out that the power base that Osborn is starting to crumble, and our guy Peter Parker is helping put him down.

I just finished reading Dark Reign: The List The Amazing Spider-Man (by Dan Slott, Adam Kubert, and Mark Morales), and, well, I was quite impressed. I think that Slott is one of the best writers on Spidey today. He has already penned a couple of my all-time favorite Spidey stories (one of which, The Pulse #5. I particularly enjoyed that issue because I had never seen the Green Goblin taken down in such a savagely, brutal manner (no, not by Spidey, by Luke Cage), man, it was beautiful!

Well, this issue of The List was nearly as good. Slott has a firm grasp on who Spider-Man (and Peter Parker) is (are). He really wrote the heck out of this story (none of the over mis-handling of editorial that is currently going on in ASM these days. This was pure Spider-Man

Makes you wonder why he is not allowed to write this well in the regular title.

This stuff is so good stuff. Makes me long for the good old days.

All the way through Civil War I said that I wasn’t sure that I was going to like the world on the other side of the storyline, but I was certainly enjoying the ride. I can now say the same thing about Dark Reign. Yeah, I know that Osborn’s run at the top of the heap couldn’t last.

I now can’t wait to watch him fall, again.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Spidey returns to the Macy’s Day Parade

That’s right folks, this Thanksgiving Day, after an absence of more than a decade. The original Spider-Man balloon had a landmark run that began in 1987 and ended in 1998. Since then, Spidey-philes have been eagerly awaiting the webcrawler’s return to the parade path, which will finally occur this year.

That’s right, kids. Spidey is back:

Marvel's legendary crime-fighting web-slinger made his Macy's Parade debut in 1987, becoming an instant classic. Hailed by spectators, amateur photographers and millions of the Super Hero's fans, the Spider-Man balloon became an icon of the Parade's signature giant character balloon line-up. Flown in the holiday spectacle for twelve years, the balloon was retired following the 1998 procession. The new Spider-Man balloon debuting in this year's Macy's Parade combines the classic pose of the previous giant—his arms outstretched in front of him and his legs bent behind in full crawling mode—but this time it will feature Spidey's classic web-slinging pose coupled with a more modern look. The Spider-Man balloon will be a part of the Macy's Parade through 2011.

I don’t know about the rest of you Alices, but I know where I’m going to be when the Parade is on, and that is parked right in front of the TV.

Oh yeah, and from what I understand, Amazing Spider-Man Assistant Editor Tom Brennan is going to be one of the balloon handlers. Now how cool is that?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A funnybook “wet” dream!

I don’t know know about the rest of you Alices, but when I have a truly sweet dream, it goes something like this. When auctioneer John Anderson whet to clear-out a house in Fenham, Newcastle the other day....
...instead of discovering a few odds and ends, he stumbled on this giant collection of comic books, including famous titles like Batman, Superman, Spider-Man and Flash Gordon.

Also found were hundreds of never-used books on the subject and even original sketches from illustrators at world-renowned publishers Marvel and DC Comics.

Now, the whole lot is set to fetch thousands at a special auction on Tyneside this week.

Only my dream doesn’t end with me selling the books, but keeping them all!

Funnybook Filing...

For the past several years, once a year, I would haul my comics out of my attic, and file my recent comics in with my older titles. I do it like this because, well, My In-Laws live with us, and they are snow-birds (here in the Summer and back in Florida in the Winter). Anyways, because I’ve been working on The Official Index to the Marvel Universe, and we are winding up our coverage on Amazing Spider-Man, I figured that I needed to pull out the rest of my Marvel comics, sort through them and (better) categorize them so that I can actually find stuff if I’m required to do so for my upcoming entries.

Well, when I was looking through them I did a quick count and figured that I had roughly 54 long boxes of comics. Well, depending upon which figures I use, I have somewhere between 12,000 and 15,000 comics.

I thought that I’d give you some photographic reference of what that looks like.

Remember, these photos are just my Marvel comics.

Anyway, I need to catalog these comics, figure out what I have (specifically, which of these comics have Spidey in them as a guest) put them into “order,”weed out the dupes, perhaps even bag a bunch of them up, and well, actually read a bunch of them (I just came to realize that quite a few of them I received in the early ‘90s when I was on the Marvel (and DC, and Image, and Malibu, and Milestone, and Valiant and...) comp lists, and never actually ever read them.

Guess I have quite a bit of reading to go to “catch up” as it were.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Let’s hear it for Sagan-Man!

This one is just for fun, from the always entertaining online strip,XKCD:

How can you NOT love this stuff?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Die Medium?

I have to say that, after having purchasing the second issue of Boom Studio’s, I’m still waiting for the explosions to start.

Yeah, yeah, I know that comics and films are two very different media, but I mean, really, this book had better start blowing crap up soon, or I’m afraid that it is going to lose it’s potential audience.

Just to make it clear, I’m enjoying the comic thus far, but really, this is not at all what I expected in a comic that has the main character blowing stuff up in the first 20 minutes of screen time. I mean, four films later we have expectations, and this book had better start ramping up the über-violence pretty soon.

Oh, if you are a fan of the book, but want to see some wicked-cool crap blow up, you can watch this following video (be careful, though, as the lyrics repeatedly utter John McClane’s most famous line — yippie-I-aye-Muther-f#cker! — as part of the chorus, so if you are watching at work (something I don’t advise), you just might want to keep the sound low).

Oh, and here is some six minutes of explosions and gun battles from 2007’s Live Free or Die Hard (the 4th film).

Live Free Or Die Hard - Funny videos are here

While it isn’t contained in this clip, I just love the line John utters when he drives his car into the ‘chopper.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Comics I’m no longer enjoying

I remember back in high school when I finally got serious about comicbooks, I was a freshman in high school and met a classmate who was reading comics in one of my study halls. We hit it off immediately, and became friends. True,I had been reading comics since 1961 or there-abouts, but I didn't really start buying them regularly until that point.

I had always been more attracted to Marvel over DC, and of course to Spider-Man. One of the other titles I also greatly enjoyed was The X-Men, so I was very excited five years later when they returned to new adventures with GS X-Men #1. Then, over the next 18 years I thrilled to their adventures under the capable writing of Chris Claremont. Around 1993 Clarmont and the X-Men parted ways (rather abruptly).

About a year ago, Chris was reunited with the team with the release of X-Men Forever, which picked up on his interrupted storyline. The premise of the story for this title is that the intervening 16 years never happened,and Chris is picking up from the moment he left telling the story he intended to tell at that time.

I’m not entirely sure I’m buying that. Still, I’ve been reading the story, and well, to be honest, I’m really not having as good a time as I thought I was going to have. The story seems flat and forced, and the whole time I’m reading it, I can’t help but to think that, if this really is the 616 Marvel Universe, how does it intersect with everything else that has gone on with the MU over the past 16 years.

Yeah, this may sound nerdy and geek-like to you all, but remember, I’m currently working on The Official Index of the Marvel Universe, so that makes me an archivist and historian, so these sorts of questions play a real role in the way I view things. Still, that’s only part of my issue. Like I said, the story isn’t ringing true to me, and I don’t know if it is because I’ve been away from these characters for 16 years, or something else, but I’m really not caring about what happens to them.

This is no disrespect to Chris, but I really don’t care much what happens to the X-Men in their regular books either. So there’s that. As it stands, I’m no longer purchasing the title after issue #12.

Another Marvel title (or rather series of titles) I’m not enjoying is the entire Marvel Zombies concept. Sure the first couple were kind of fun, but no, not really. This mostly because I simply don’t enjoy seeing my childhood heroes turned into amoral flesh-eating dead things (and yes, this does make me nerdy and geek-like, only — in this instance at least — I simply don’t care).

What really put that into place for me was the release of Marvel Zombies Evil Evolution, which pits the Marvel Zombies against the Marvel Apes (another concept that I really don’t enjoy, but that’s another story). Reading this particular title is disturbing on many levels. The story has the Marvel Zombies crossing through and inter-dimensional portal in order to eat the Marvel Apes. Part of my problem is that not only am I really having a hard time distinguishing the the two sets of “heroes” but I’m having a hard time lining up the continuity of both groups of characters into what I already know of their continuity (yep, there’s that archivist part of my brain working overtime again, can’t help it).

Anyway, I really only pick up either series when Spidey (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) appears.

I’m thinking I need a better hobby. (Un)fortunately, I seem to be stuck with this one. Ah well.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Kick Ass: The Movie

Last year (was it really just last year?) Marvel Comics introduced us to a creator-owned, adult-themed, violent, superhero property written by Mark Millar (Wanted) and John Romita, Jr. (Amazing Spider-Man) entitled Kick Ass. I purchased the first three issues of the series, before deciding to pass on the concept (and the series) in its entirety. Now it is being translated into a big-screen (R-Rated) film.

Kick Ass is about an otherwise ordinary New York City high school student named Dave Lizewski, who takes his love of comics to an otherwise unprecedented level in that he actually transforms himself into a real-life superhero. He assembles a suit and mask, which he wears under his normal clothing, begins exercising, and practices things like walking on roofs and the like.

Oh yeah, the thing is, he isn't bitten by a spider (either radioactive or genetically enhanced), exposed to gamma radiation, injected with a super soldier formula, or builds a suit of armor. He is, as ordinary as are you or I. Still he Eventually looks to fight crime. His first attempt very nearly gets him killed as he takes a severe beating and stabbing by thugs. This is followed by his wandering off into the street and being hit by a car.

Not the most auspicious start. Still he (as Monty Python would tell us) gets better, inspires others (Hit-Girl, Big Daddy, and Red Mist), and together they...well, here’s where we que the videotape as it were:


Trailer Park | MySpace Video

This vid was shown off at the 2009 San Diego ComicCon, and well, was a big hit. Look for it around April 2010.

The Angels want to wear my red shoes (or not)

I’ve always loved these lyrics from Elvis Costello, and once even owned a pair of red leather shoes (which I wore until I could no longer wear them), but given that there is now a pair of red Trek shoes I can only wonder. if I (or the angels) wear them, will I (or they) be the first to die?

It’s not often that skaters and Trekkies can find common ground, but this weekend, Payless shoe stores across the galaxy will debut the all-new Star Trek STPL x—a line of Trek-inspired skate shoes from Airwalk. Those who prefer to not leave the house can order the limited-edition kicks through the Payless website.

If you want to know more, or get your own pair, go here. Me? I’m a superstitious guy, so I think I’ll pass.

In Praise of Steve Ditko

I’m so happy I could just plotz! No seriously. I was reading the latest issue of Comic Shop News and I learned that in February, DC Comics will be publishing a hard-bound edition of Steve Ditko’s The Creeper. Including a 25-page, never-before-published Creeper story.

You have no understanding of how very excited I am. When Steverino left Marvel and Spidey in 1968 and went over to DC, he created my other favorite character, The Creeper. Just recently, I was looking around for what I knew had to exist, a collected edition of Steve’s Creeper. Little did I know that I was prescient and saw the immediate future.

No I can barely contain myself, and I’m not entirely sure that I can wait that long.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Return of Jon Sable

Back in the ’80s one comic that I always enjoyed reading was Jon Sable, Freelance from First. When that company went under I missed reading Jon’s adventures (There was a tie-in miniseries featuring one of the semi-recurring characters, a thief called Maggie The Cat, from Image Comics in 1996, however only a couple of issues were released and the series was never completed).

So you can imagine how happy I was when I recently acquired the first issue of a new Jon Sable comic from IDW/ComicMix. This new series reminded me so much of what I miss about the comics from the ’80s (great art, clean storytelling, and a rousing adventure).

I’m highly recommending this series to anyone who was a fan of the first run, and to anyone who might have missed it. Mike Grell is back, and boy is it just in time!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Fanboy Heaven

OK, this is just way too funny not to re-post.

(Look close at Scarlet Spidey to get the joke)

Sunday, November 08, 2009

10 down two Belkis to go!

Yep, it is November in Belkis as we explore the second-to-last month is one of the most enchantingly beautiful women on the planet.

This month, her image is brought to us by the powerful pen of David Quiles, who is an independent comicbook artist and publisher. David produces some seriously bad-ass art comic art! He is associated with (our friends) the nut-jobs over Crazee Comics. His amazing work tends towards underground comicbook themes, where he works the whole bag as publisher, illustrator, designer, and creator. You can always find David on the NY-Tri-State convention circuit illustrating and performing his many commissions. His work can not only be found on ebay, but also at Infiniteline Comics, his MySpace page, and his ComicSpace page. In addition to his work in this calendar he is available for all types of commissions.

David can also be found at comicbook shows around the NY area, and should be looked up whenever you have the chance. If you are still interested in acquiring NovaStar Studios, Fantasy Art Calendar (featuring Belkis), you can contact James Rodriguez (who put the whole thing together) over at his site, and while you are there, ask him about his up-coming sci-fi comicbook.

Go Foreign

Over the summer some friends of mine went over to Germany for a family wedding and brought me back a couple of German comics. Now I don’t read German, but I do enjoy snapping up the occasional non-US comic to add to my collection.

Sometimes these books are Foreign versions of US characters, sometimes they are simply local comics. It really doesn’t matter much to me, as it really is kind of fun to have them.

The comics that were brought back for me this time were an issue of Tintin (perhaps the biggest comicbook character in the world).

...and someone named Lucky Luke:

These comics join my existing forign comics, including a German Spidey:

And a Spanish (or Mexican) Spidey I acquired a few years back.

I have more, but this is what I put my hands on right now.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Don’t hold back, “Kurt” tell us how you REALLY feel!

So, a couple of weeks back the folks from Wizard announced that their 2010 Convention was going to fall on the same date as NYComicCon 2010. I wrote about what a bad Idea that I believed this to be — that is to say, the fracturing of the industry by forcing fans, publishers, and businesses to choose between the two.

Well, apparently I was not the only one who thought it was/is a bad idea. Scott Kurtz over at PVP had some harsh things to say. Rather than attempt to repeat or paraphrase his comments, I’m just going to refer you over to his blog, and let him tell you himself.

And you thought I was upset.

Hair we go!

Over the years, we’ve all wondered exactly how Norman and Harry Osborn managed to comb their hair in their own unique, particular style (cornrows that go from ear-to-ear, rather than from forehead to the back of their respective scalps. Well, apparently someone discovered the truth...

Apparently, (strange as it seems), there is a real-life version of that particular style:

Life imitating art. How cool is that?

Official Index #11

Yep, you read that header correct, kids, the Official Index to the Marvel Universe #11 is currently available, and yes, I am (still) a contributor to it. Run right out and get your own copy today.

As with previous issues, I have contributed to the Spider-Man Index.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Toys’ is Us!

Hollywoodland has gone toy crazy. Given the success of the recent slate of toy-based films (Transformers, GI Joe, et. al), many producers are looking for the next big cash cow:

Soon to be starring in his own feature-length film with Universal Pictures: Stretch Armstrong, the pliant, muscle-bound doll whose roots go back to the 1970s. Big Wheel, the plastic tricycle, has its own TV show in the works. Even the board game Risk has a deal for a film, to be co-produced by star Will Smith.

While more can be found in a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, this blogger is looking for one of his favorite childhood toys, The Outer Space Men to make it to the big screen. These toys have already had a very delightful graphic novel published about them and Eric Hayes who wrote the graphic novel.

If Hollywood was smart it would snatch up this property and adapt Eric’s wicked-cool story as the basis for the film.

We can only hope.

Monday, November 02, 2009

How much do I hear bid for that used T1000?

Got an extra couple of billion on your hands? If so, you could be the next owner of the Terminator series. You heard that right, the rights to ownership of the intellectual property, Terminator film franchise will be auctioned off later on this month in a deal that will surely test Hollywood’s intellectual property valuations at a time when film industry profits are under increased pressure from falling DVD sales.

The sale, which comes weeks after the rights to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were sold for $60m – and is likely to exceed that – has sparked considerable interest because Terminator is a rare example of a blockbuster film franchise not controlled by a big studio.

The interest in the future rights of Terminator underscores the value of IP during a tough time for Hollywood. That value has held up, with Walt Disney recently agreeing a hefty premium in its $4bn deal to buy Marvel Entertainment.

According to Hollywood sources, the Terminator auction will come three weeks after the rights to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were sold for $60m. The Terminator franchise is expected to fetch as much as three times that.

Referring to the Turtles sale, Kevin Shultz, senior managing director at FTI which was appointed by Halcyon in the wake of its protection application, said of the Terminator auction: "We have a property that has made three times the box office takings."

No don’t you just wish you had a piece of that pie?

RIP Rusty Haller

Here is the obit of my pal Rusty Haller as it appeared in issue #1166 of Comic Shop News:

With a little help from my Friends

I hadn’t been to A Timeless Journey in Stamford for a couple of weeks (been busy, ya’ kno’?), so I stopped in this Saturday and well, in addition to scoring a couple of new comics that I hadn’t yet acquired, my good buddy (and owner) Paul Salerno, handed me a bag of to-be-assembled Spidey toys from his gum machine.

Turns out these were the three missing toys that I’ve been missing from his Marvel character Gum Machine.

First up, is the ever-mysterious “Backwards bending Spidey”

Not quite sure what that pose signifies, or what he could possibly doing (voguing, perhaps?) Then we have the very cool and always-menacing Doc Ock.

and, now, for the long-awaited, never-before-seen, eight figure:

Yep, the third character in the series, was yet another Spidey.

All together now...

Thanks Paul, you’re the bestest!