Sunday, January 31, 2010

The end of the (Spider) world as we know it?

Well, I'm not ready to call it, but I just heard that co-star of Disney's high-rated series, High School Musical, Zac Efron, has been tapped to step into Tobey Maguire's Spider booties...
Actor Zac Efron is set for a 9-million-pound payday for his role as Spider Man. The High School Musical star will step into Tobey Maguire’s shoes for the fourth blockbuster movie, slated to start shooting later this year and hit theatres in 2012.

Tobey, 34, shocked bosses at Universal Pictures last year when he announced he was quitting the megabucks franchise. “After dumping Spidey, Tobey then came to the rescue by recommending that Zac should take over his role,” the Daily Star quoted a studio insider as saying.
This could make the next installment even bigger as it taps into Efron's already-established fan base. Apparently, The film's producers are also believed to be considering reuniting Efron with his High School Musical co-star Vanessa Hudgens, 21. She is hotly tipped to replace Kirsten Dunst, 27, as Spider-Man’s love interest. “It would be a great coup to land her as well,” a source said.

Well, let's see if the Disney/Marvel connection will pay off for us after all. We can only hope.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I can only hope that someone was (or gets) fired over this!!!

No, seriously. I have spent the better part of the last four-and-a-half-decades telling that Marvel’s Iconic Corporate Icon is capital-S-Spider-hyphen-capital-M-Man (Spider-Man) and what to I see in this month’s Marvel Preview (that official ordering form for Marvel comics, that IS PUBLISHED BY MARVEL EFFIN COMICS ITSELF!?!?

I mean, seriously fellows! What were you thinking?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Girls read comics?

Wait, I think that the title of this post should have had an exclamation point rather than a question mark as the concluding character. Still, it seems that Marvel just discovered that girls read comics, and is now coming out with a comic targeted for “girls.”

Yes, you read that right, “girls” not “women” or “females” but, you know, “girls.” Before you react, you must keep in mind that this comes from the same editorial team the decided that having Spidey make a deal with the devil to end his marriage did so because they felt that if Peter got divorced it would make him “too old” for the reading audience. (As if the “kids” reading Spidey were 10 years-old.)

Seriously, have you ever been to a comicbook shop? Ever see “youngsters” in the shop that aren’t there with their fathers (and fidgeting to get out and go someplace cool, like a candy store or a videogame shop?). Granted, I’m half-a-century-and-counting, but most of the folks I see at comic shops and comic conventions are closer to my age then they are their pre-teens. And no, I’m not the only one who thinks it is a bad idea either.

Now I don’t object to a comic targeted to the fairer sex (Hell, I LOVE Spider-Girl by Tom DeFalco), but calling it “Girl Comics” or “Her-Oes” is not only patently ridiculous, but borderline insulting as well. One can only imagine that this brilliant marketing strategy will be followed by Black Comics, Hispanic Comics, and ugg, I can’t even continue.

Am I the only one who remembers when Marvel used to actually BE the House of Ideas?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sometimes you just have to ask "why"?

OK, I'm as eager to read a new Spider-Man mini-series as is the next Spider-geek, but I really have to wonder just what the heck was going on in the minds of the folks who green-lit the Spider-Man Secret Wars comic. I mean, seriously, WTF? Why resurect a 20-year-old story that you can't change or amend to tell a story that who cares if it happened at all, because it doesn't affect the final outcome of the story.

I Mean, I can understand about the Spidey Clone War series because this is (presumably) what the original writers wanted in the first place (still, after three or four issues into this series, I'm not entirely sure that I'm following what the heck is going on, and the only thing that is helping me is that I read it the first time around).

Now I understand that when there is a Marvel-related movie coming out, the company will flood the market with related new series (though it would be nice if they could figure out a way to get some of those movie audience patrons into comic shops), but who has been clamoring for a Secret Wars (or Clone-Saga) storyline?

Well, to be sure I know that I (and my good buddy Chris Buchner) would love to see Ben Reilly return as the Scarlet Spider), but I honestly don't think that anyone is listening to either of us (even though we know that they should!).

Anyways, that's what I think, if anybody cares (and is listening)

(Too Much) Coffee Time!

We love coffee. In fact, consuming an excess amount of coffee it our last remaining vice. So it only goes to follow that Shannon Wheeler’s iconic comicbook Too Much Coffee Man was (and still is) one of my all-time favorite comics. So when I got an e-mail this morning from Boom Studios that they are about to release a Too Much Coffee Man Animated mug, I could hardly contain myself.

Interestingly enough, this discovery was followed up by an all-to-brief online chat with Mr. Wheeler himself, who told me that Boom was about to launch a new line of books that will kick off with a compilation of Wheeler’s cartoons that were submitted (but rejected) by The New Yorker.

The new imprint (named Boom! Town), will publish and market selective reissues of out-of-print works and merchandising, including the collection of Wheeler’s cartoons that didn’t make it into the The New Yorker. Wheeler’s book, I Thought You Would be Funnier, will be among the first wave of releases under the new imprint.

Too Much Coffee Man fans can also thrill to the announcement that it looks like Wheeler will also be writing and illustrating a new eight-page TMCM story for the relaunch of the Dark Horse Presents.

Seriously, how cool is that?

Monday, January 25, 2010

G-Man totally Rules!

Well, this is it kids, G-Man The Cape Crisis # 5 is out (well it’s been out for a week, but I just got a chance to read it today) and man-o-man was it a fun read! As you all know, I’ve been singing the praises of Chris Giarrusso for quite some time, from his hilarious work with the Mini-Marvels to his work here with his own characters. The series is populated with young heroes who have gotten themselves into a situation because of Great-Man’s gread (and yeah, stupidity) regarding the magic cloth that makes up his belt and his brother’s cape. The cloth not only gives them both the ability to fly, but it is the source of their powers and strength.

As you recall, last issue that power was spread so thin that the cloth literally exploded robbing both them (and all the others who were in possession of parts of the cloth) of their powers. Now the boys must go off to the mythical Sky Mountain to locate Krios to get back their powers.

Still, what really makes this series work is the delightful dialogue as well as the interplay between all of the characters. In this issue there is a particularly witty exchange where the school’s Principal reprimands G-Man for fighting because of his superpowers. G-Man says that he lost his powers and the other student has been picking on him. G-Man leaves the office only to have the kid call him out yet again, this time in front of the Principal. G-Man refuses the challenge, and the Principal tells G-Man to stop taunting the bully.

These kinds of exchanges occur all the way through this issue (throughout the entire series, actually). It is as if G-Man is the only rational person surrounded by a host of dim-witted morons. I’m telling you that this stuff is hysterical, Giarrusso, has a great ear for dialogue, and utilizes it to his advantage. If you aren’t reading this comic, you should.

MegaCon is coming!

So with the start of the year just behind us, we are now looking forward to the convention season, and we (personally) are hoping to spend just a bit more time on the road going to other shows.

Just last week we received a pre-convention book for Mega Con in Orlando, FL. As much as we’d love to attend this event (March 12th-14th, 2010), we probably just aren’t going to make it down to this show. From the sghow book it looks like it is going to be a great show (especially considering that today it is a dark, wet, windy, New England Monday, and anyplace south and warm looks good right about now).

Still, that’s just me grousing. As soon as I have a convention schedule worked out, I’ll let you all know. In the mean time, I’m going to stare at the cover of this booklet and, er, think warm thoughts.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Hero is more than just a Sandwich

OK, so as I stated I recently joined MoCCA, and over the weekend not only did I get my membership card (autographed by John Romita, Jr., but I also received a “trading card” sketch card and a special variant edition of Marvel Apes #1. Needless to say, while all of this swag is totally wicked-cool, I didn’t so much join to get this stuff as I joined to support the cause.

The Hero Initiative creates a financial safety net for comic creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work. Since inception, the Hero Initiative has been fortunate enough to benefit over 40 creators and their families with over $400,000 worth of much-needed aid, fueled by your contributions! It's a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment.

The Initiative has already produces a number of very cool items, including a series of “100 Covers” spotlighting 100 illustrated covers (Spider-Man, Hulk, Wolverine), that were drawn by various fan favorite artists (I have the Spider-Man cover book) — which is marred only by the fact that Rob Liefeld drew a cover then refused to allow it to appear in the book — which I feel was very ego-centric and self-serving of Liefeld, denying his fans a chance to see the cover he drew, and possibly denying funds to this worthy cause by someone who might have purchaes the book if only Liefeld’s illustration had appeared in the tome).

Anyways, the Hero Initiative is a worthwhile cause, and I want to urge anyone who works in this industry, or has derived enjoyment from the professionals in this industry to support it, as it is truly a worthy cause.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Mary Jane, meet Thomas Jane (sort of)

OK, so this is the coolest thing (Hey, I’m a Spider-Geek, so yeah, it is the coolest thing). Last week when I stopped in to Magnum Comics in The Bronx to meet Chris Torres, one of the guys at the shop pointed out to me that The Punisher (released April 16, 2004) showed up In Spider Man 2 (June 30, 2004).

Don’t believe me? Then check out this clip.

Now do you think its cool? I thought so. If you want to patch into some other Spider-Man movie trivia, you can go here. Still, I’m quite entertained by the Punisher showing up in Spidey, especially when you consider that the character was originally introduced in the pages of Spider-Man (ASM #129, to be precise).

Yeah, loads of cool stuff going on in the background, if you just know where to look.

The Museum of Comics and Cartoon Art

If you have never heard of The Museum of Comics and Cartoon Art (MoCCA) it is time that you learn. Located in New York City, the purpose of the MoCCA is “the collection, preservation, study, education, and display of comic and cartoon art.” It is the Museum’s goal to represent very genré of the artform, including animation, anime, cartoons, comic books, comic strips, gag cartoons, humorous illustration, illustration, political illustration, editorial cartoons, caricature, graphic novels, sports cartoons, and computer-generated art. In fact, the goals of the museum goes further than that, as its collection policy ensures that the art collections are maintained in an environment of the highest integrity.
It is the mission of the museum to promote the understanding and appreciation of comic and cartoon art as well as to detail and discuss the artistic, cultural, and historical impact of what is the world's most popular art form. Comics and cartoons have been instrumental in effecting significant dialogue on issues involving society, culture, philosophy, and politics. History has shown them to be instrumental in documenting--and interpreting--historic events and social change. Artistically, comic and cartoon art is created at the highest levels by some of the world's finest graphic illustrators.
Yep, that’s it, the museum‘s intent is to educate the public about the historic, educational, and entertainment value of comic and cartoon art. It is the museum’s stated goal to demonstrate through lectures, panels, and gallery shows to demonstrate how it is crafted, and how it reflects history, the time period in which it was created, and how does the art and storytelling itself stands the test of time.

Anyway, as I said, MoCCA is located in NYC (594 Broadway, Suite 401, (btwn. Houston and Prince), Voice
: 212.254.3511 / Fax: 212.254.3590). The reason I’m bringing all of this up is because last night I went to the Museum to attend a panel hosted by Arie Kaplan with Victor Gorelick, Stan Goldberg (respectively Editor in Chief and long-time artist at Archie Comics). While I was there I joined MoCCA giving me free entry to the Museum, all MoCCA events, and and 10% off MoCCA purchases.

How cool is that?

Oh yeah, while I was there I picked up a copy of Archie Digest # 260 which contains an original story by Arie where Archie and the gang went on a field trip to MoCCA. By purchasing the comic (and joining, I also received a free copy of DC/Vertigo’s The Unwritten, which turned out to be something of a cool issue.

Needless to say, I’m suggesting that if you live in the NY tri-State area, and you ever find yourself in or near the Village, you really owe it to yourself to check out Mocca, and join, you’ll be glad that you did.

I know that I am.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

In Praise of Ed Hannigan

Back in the ‘80s there this wicked-cool artist named Ed Hannigan who worked for Marvel. He designed and illustrated the neatest, most innovative cover you were ever likely to see. He loved screwing with the cover logo and altering the perspective of what was seen. His name was Ed Hannigan. At the beginning of the ‘90s the contracting marked forced him to leave the field and find other work.

Recently it was revealed that he was diagnosed with MS, which developed from a “minor annoyance” to a major disability. Well, in something of a surprise move for a major corporation (that has had a long reputation for screwing creators) Marvel recently announced a benefit comic to benefit Ed, and help pay his medical bills.

Ed Hannigan Covered is a one-shot reference work that is published by Marvel and co-sponsored by The Hero Initiative. This comic is not only a very cool collectible as well as a nifty glimpse to the past. I’m highly recommending that you go out and pick up a copy of this book, even if you don’t know who Ed is, you’ll love looking at how spectacular his covers looked. He was miles ahead of everyone then, and he still is way out in front.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Here comes the new Spidey!

Yep, you heard that right, only three films in and Disney/Marvel is getting ready to relaunch the movie franchise with a new director and a new direction. It has just been confirmed that Sony is about to announce that it has struck a deal with director Marc Webb ((500) Days of Summer)to direct the next three Spider-Man movies. It is their intention to reboot the franchise so that it will focus far more on the private life of Peter Parker — as a High School student.

Webb’s other big appeal? He's much cheaper than the old Spider-Man crew. The deal just now being sewn up calls for Webb to be paid roughly $10 million for the first film, with substantial bonuses built in if the picture reaches certain box-office milestones. (Coincidentally, Webb’s deal is being hammered out by the Gersh Agency, the feisty outfit which first put Tobey Maguire into the webslinger's suit a decade ago.) This is a big savings from how his predecessor Sam Raimi was compensated. Unlike the now-departed Raimi, Webb won’t be getting paid a percentage of the films' grosses. Compare that to Spider-Man 4, for which Raimi and star Tobey Maguire were expected to claim more than 25 percent of the gross.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

It’s Spider-Time!

Yeah, that’s right, kids, it is Spider-Time, at least that’s what my wick-cool Spidey watch tells me. I got this watch some time back from a friend of mine, and while I’ve been wearing it for quite a while now, I don’t think that I’ve ever posted a pic of it. Well, no longer, as I’m putting it up now.

Sweet, eh?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Meet Rick!

As you all know I was recently interviewed by Jazma online, Well, as was scrolling through the Jazma site, I happened to notice that my buddy (and new artist on Wülf Girlz) Rick Lundeen has also been interviewed on Jazma online. Well, as I’m now working with Rick on Wülf Girlz, I want everyone to see what an amazing talent that Rick is.

Rick and I worked together on my story for Iconic, about Gustave Whitehead, the first man to fly (yes, even before the wright Brothers). I had such a swell time working with him on that project that when the artist position for the Wülf Girlz came up, I offered it to Rick, who jumped at the opportunity (apparently he enjoyed working with me as well).

Anyway Rick is a very talented artist, and I’m looking forward to working together for a long time to come. The Page of art on this page is a sample of Rick’s work on the Girlz, that is slated to appear in Atlas Ujnleashed’s initial newsletter.

Fanboy Arrogance

So, last week I was invited by my good buddy Chris Torres (yeah, the one who did a killer job illustrating my Agent Unknown Story in CAG #7). Chris asked me to come down and hang with him and the group at Magnum Comics (3723 Riverdale Avenue,
Bronx, NY 10463-1807). I had never been to this shop, so I figured that it would be fun. I trekked in on a Wednesday, so that the whole crew of regulars would be there.

Well, it was a load of fun and I got to meet some very interesting folks (hey, funnybook folks are always interesting), and got to talk comics with a new group of people. While there I managed to acquire some very cool stuff (a couple of comics, including an issue of Amazing Spider-Man (#16)that I’m missing, bring to eight the total number of ASM issues I still need). I also scored a really nifty lead statuette of The Creeper that came with a reference comic on the character. I’ve always been a big fan of Ditko’s Creeper, and am looking forward to the hard cover collection that is due out next month.

Still, what I enjoyed most about my time at Magnum was the conversation with the fans about Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson. All of these guys insisted that Kirsten wasn’t all that hot, and while that all agreed that none of them would “kick her out of bed” (as the saying goes), thy just didn’t think that she was all that hot (especially as MJ). Personally I was astounded, as I think she is not only killer hot, but a very competent actress (although I’ve heard her unscripted speaking and feel that she is dumber than a bag of rocks).

Further, not only would she never been speaking to anyone in the shop (except to say “Stop looking at me loser, or my bodyguard will kick you ass!”), but if she ever did show up on the arm of one of us (yes, myself included) it would because she was in a dogfight, and we were the grand prize.

Seriously, I was actually impressed by a room full of balding, bearded, overweight, funnybook Geeks who could — in all honesty — call a woman way more attractive than anyone they have ever seen in person “not so hot.” It was a fun moment for me, and I now want to go back and visit the shop again.

Anyways, Magnum Comics & Cards in the Bronx is a cool shop, they have a load of back issues, more toys than you can shake a stick at, and walls full of funnybook costumes for men, women and youngsters. Plus, the seemed to like me, and put up with my nonesence, so they can’t be all that bad.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hell's Blood is here!

I just wanted to shout from the rooftops that the second issue of my good buddy, Hector Rodriguez’s comic, Hell’s Blood, has come out from Guild Works Productions. Now I want to say right off the bat that I really like Hector, and I was looking forward to this comic for quite a time, and have long been associated with both Hector (Through CAG) and with GWP, so it should be no surprise that I’m pimping his book in my space here.

Still, I want you all to know that Hector is a phenomenal artist, and if you want to experience some truly outstanding art, you need to acquire a copy of this issue. I was very impressed with the first issue (copies of which are still available), so needless to say, Hector has not disappointed with this follow-up issue.

The Story (penned by Chris Buchner and Liam Webb) picks up from where last issue left off and pits young Hector (the main character, not the esteemed Mr. Rodriguez) against all the demons of Hell (or so it seems). As expected, an all-out knock-down brawl occurs. To find out more, you’ll need to acquire a copy for yourself.

Remember, that’s Hells’ Blood from GWP

* * * * UPDATE * * * * * UPDATE * * * * * UPDATE * * * *

I just learned that Hector was also interviewed on Jazma online, you can read that interview here where he talks more about Hell’s Blood.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Marvel Vs DC, the 2010 throwdown

OK, I just don’t get it. I read this new post from Heidi MacDonald’s very cool column.

...Marvel has just announced that they will accept trade-ins of retailers’ unsold copies of Blackest Night tie-ins for copies of a Siege variant edition.

You read that right. Marvel will give you a copy of their event comics for the covers of unsold copies of DC’s event comics.

The DC comics involved were all part of DC’s Lantern ring promotion — retailers had to order Blackest Night tie-in books at high levels in order to get collectible Lantern rings. Some folks thought the levels were too high.

That was on 1/13, then on 1/15 she posted this:

Why? Why did Marvel turn the clock back to 2001-2, when Nü Marvel under Bill Jemas and Joe Quesada delighted in playing Scut Farkus to DC’s Ralphie at every opportunity — calling DC AOL Comics, and so on. Jemas also delighted in getting hostile with retailers. But in 2010, things with Marvel seem so be going pretty smooth with that whole Disney thing and all, so why now? Why such an aggressive in your face move here and now?

Oh yeah, and well, then there’s this:

Which brings me back to my original point of, I just don‘t get it. Why can’t these two publishers just get along and instead of taking swipes at each other figure out a way to work together and do something to promote the industry as a whole?

I just wish that they would both grow up.

Mor on Spidey 4 & why we have to wait to see it

Heidi MacDonald, columnist for Publisher's Weekly, brings us more about why Spider-Man 4 fell apart, and why its director and stars walked away from the package:

NY Mag’s Vulture blog’s Claude Brodesser-Akner has a lot more details on why the Raimi version of Spider-man 4 will never be. Basically, after seeing Avatar, Raimi anted to bringing more state-of-the-art SFX, which wouldn’t relaly have been ready by the 2011 release date. Also, the script had some problems, as the studio saw it. Here’s what WOULD have been with the Malkovich Vulture storyline:

The rest of that piece is here.

Craig Ferguson talks about Spidey

OK, a buddy of mine (who stays up way later than me), sent me this clip from the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. It is rather long (9:25 min) but about he starts talking about Spidey, and does a rather extended bit about both the Spidey 4 and the musical (both of which have been put oh hiatus). he also keeps coming back to Spidey throughout the rest of the clip, so you should watch it through to the end.

I especially loved the line where he says that Spider-Man 3 sucked, “I liked the move and it sucked” mostly because, well, not only because it is hilarious, but I feel exactly the same way about it.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Free Comic Book Day extras!

A week or so back we announced what the Free Comicbook Day Gold contributors were going to be. Today we want to fold in the Silver contributors, which include: Sonic: The Hedgehog, Worlds of Aspen, Fearless Dawn, S.E. Hinton / Fame, Bongo: Free-For-All, Irredeemable #1, DC Kids Mega-Sampler, Del Rey Showcase, Green Hornet #1, Weathercraft!, The Overstreet Guide, Library of American Comics #0, Artifacts: First Look, Love and Capes #13, Iron Man: Supernova, The Tick #1, Oni Press Free-For-All!, The Sixth Gun #1, Radical: Bigger Books!, Atomic Robo, Freedom Formula: Speed Metal, The Stuff of Legend/Mortal Instruments Preview, Owly And Friends.

Silver Sponsors

I’m not sure if there will be any more premiums available, but this looks like a great run of merchandise. I highly suggest that you all make plans to head out to your nearest comic shop on Free Comic Book Day (Saturday 1).

Happily ever after (with more to come)

It is no secret that I’m a huge fan of Love & Capes, the superhero comic masquerading as a romance comic (or is it a romance comic hiding inside of a superhero comic?) Truth to tell, I never get that right, however, I honestly don’t care which one it is, because it totally works.

This is easily one of the top five comics currently being published in today’s market. It is the love story of Abby Tenyson (the owner of a small, independent book store) and Mark Spencer, a mild accountant (who happens to be the Crusader, the most powerful superhero on the planet). The book has been coming out for a couple of years, and I’ve just acquired the recently-released issue #12 of the series where Abby and Mark finally tie the proverbial knot. Writer, artist Thom Zahler, manages to crisply capture realistic dialogue that conveys both the romantic byplay between the lovebirds as well as heroic dialogue of the heroes.

To be sure, the heroes themselves borrow heavily from established DC & Marvel characters but only so much in the shorthand of their superficial appearances. The story, as well as the characters themselves are pure Zahler. With this issue, Zahler did a truly wicked-cool marketing maneuver, he gave long-time fans the opportunity to attend the wedding of their favorite characters, and (for a small fee) to have Zahler (a respectable caricaturist as well as a top-flight cartoonist) insert their image into the church as the couple exchanged their vows. He produced a pair of covers (one with Mark Spencer and a second with The Crusader), as well as an interior two-page spread (which became a for-sale print).

Now how cool is that?

If you haven’t seen Love and Capes yet, you are going to want to pick up a copy. Want to give it test run before investing your hard earned money? no problem, Zahler has been producing a Free Comic Book Day issue for the past couple of years (which is how this writer first discovered the comic), proving that making sample comics available on Free Comic Book Day really does work.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sing a song of Spider-Pence, a pocket full of rhyme...

So, word is now out that Sam Raimi, along with stars Toby Maguire and Kirsten Dunst have all taken a pass on Spider-Man 4. According to reports, the director was unhappy with the direction of the script and Columbia announced that the film was on indefinite hold.

...Columbia Pictures announced plans for a replacement movie focusing on the High School years of Spidey's alter-ego, Peter Parker. It will be released in summer 2012 with an as-yet-unnamed actor in the starring role and a script by James Vanderbilt.

Well, as depressing as all this may sound, from Heidi MacDonald, we learn that new Marvel owner, Disney, has come to the rescue of the previously announced-and-canceled Spider-Man Broadway musical.

Disney...has stepped in to get Spider-Man the Musical back on track, Michael Riedel at The New York Post reports.

Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark...has had a rocky road. With superstar director Julie Taymor, and superstar composers Bono and The Edge on board it seemed like a surefire hit, but monetary mismanagement, and Taymor’s divided attention with her movie career forced the planned February launch to be scuttled as the show became a financial black hole, blowing through some $52 million and needed four years of full houses just to break even.

One can only wonder if Avi Arad &/or Joe Quesada traded Sam Rami’s Spidey 4 to Mephisto to get Spidey the Musical, or he will try to trade the musical for the film

Shock to the system

As funnybook fans, we all love our comics, but as über-geeks we also love our action figures. This is why I love Shocker Toys because they are willing to take our favorite Indy characters and trun them into action figures.

Seriously, what could be cooler than that?

Needless to say, they are currently circulating a petition to get comic shops and mass-market stores to carry Indy action figures alongside their mass-market brethren.

Comic and mass market stores worldwide need to understand there is a need for Indy Comic action figures to be displayed alongside well-known Marvel and DC character action figures. This petition will show store-buyers that there is both a demand and need for this type of product and that by carrying it the Indy comic community will come closer together.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Support the Cause

Everyone has their pet cause, even me. In comics, my cause is the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) In case you don’t know, the CBLDF is the organization that protects us as comicbook readers, retailers,and professionals. They defend our right to buy, read, and sell comics.

According to its website,
The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund was officially incorporated as a non-profit charitable organization in January of 1990 from the money left over from donations raised to defend Friendly Frank's arrest for selling "obscene comics" in Lansing, IL in 1986. Since then, the CBLDF has helped over a dozen comic book retailers and professionals fend off the censors, some successfully, some not.

I’ve written about the CBLDF a couple of times for the comics press, and always support their causes. I bring this up now because I just purchased Liberty Comics #2 (Image), and read it this past weekend. Interestingly enough, when I saw it I momentarily confused it with The Hero Initiative’s benefit book (IDW), which I picked up a few months back (otherwise I would have purchased both Liberty issues).

Hero is another worthy comicbook cause, and yes, I also support them whenever I am able. Still and all, right now I’m talking about the CBLDF. I want to strongly urge everyone to join the this very worthy cause to ensure that the forces of censorship don’t encroach any further into our beloved playground.

To the best of my knowledge, there haven’t been any major censorship suits recently, but I could be wrong on this. I used to be a member of the CBLDF, but seemed to have let my membership lapse, so the next thing I’m going to do is renew ($25.00 a year). You get a cool membership card, and a quarterly newsletter. Plus, the cause is, you know, well worth it.

Oh yeah, in case I forgot to mention it, Liberty Comics #2 is an outstanding anthology comic, featuring work by some very cool and very talented creators, including JRJR, Mike Alkred, Jimmy Palmiotti, Dave Gibbons,and many others.

* * * * * * UPDATE! UPDATE! UPDATE! * * * * * *

Just thought that you all should know, that I just joined both the CBLDF and the Hero Initiative. I strongly urge that all my funnybook friends do the same.

Friday, January 08, 2010

More on

I wrote about this (briefly) the other day, but this is a much longer piece that appeared in today’s Financial Times.

Fans of graphic novels such as Watchmen or X-Men can use their tablets, laptops or iPhones to buy and read digital comics using’s software.

Readers can click on individual frames or characters to chat about them with friends online, read more stories or buy branded merchandise. Marvel Comics, the publisher acquired by Disney last year for $4bn, has already signed up to’s service.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Coming to a digital screen near you

So I know that we’ve all been debating the whole print vs. digital well, I just want you all to know that the entire debate has just been ratcheted up a notch...

During Microsoft’s keynote at CES 2010 this evening, Steve Ballmer showed off a very cool mobile and web application called, a platform that aims to be the ultimate digital content delivery system for the publishing world.’s first target is comic book fans. With, comic book fans can not only access the content they want from multiple devices — including mobile phones and the desktop — they can also interact with other fans and with the comic creators.

So much for the neo-Luddites, eh?

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

It is a Marvel New Year

Well, as I pointed out in a previous post I received a pair of (very cool) Marvel Calendars for Christmas. Well, imagine my surprise when I went into my local comic shop the other day and discovered a (free) Marvel Calendar as well as the giveaway Origins of Siege

Both were giveaways from Marvel’s New year’s Eve event. I haven’t read the Origins of Siege, but it is supposed to give us a ramp-up to this year’ Mega-Marvel Event.

Seriously, Honest-to-Stan, I’m bone weary of the way Marvel whipsaws its way through one event after another. I know that editorial thinks that they are whipping up interest and sales, but I honestly believe that they are just making the existing readership weary of all of the events, and preventing new readers from being able to gain a foothold into on-going events.

I truly believe that if they just dedicated themselves to writing good, solid stories, with interesting characters, fans, readers, and yes, even sales, would follow.

But that could be just me.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

First Marvel, then POW, soon, the World!

Yeah, you read that right, Disney added Stan Lee’s POW Entertainment as a desert helping after gobbling up Marvel...

As Disney was sealing its deal with Marvel Entertainment on Thursday, it was also expanding its ties with POW! Entertainment, the company led by the man who once ran Marvel and co-created many of its signature characters, Stan Lee.

Disney is acquiring a 10% stake of POW! for $2.5 million. It is also acquiring "enhanced rights" to the company's creative side as well as exclusive consulting services. It was not clear what the rights and services entailed or the reason for expanding its relationship with POW!

Experts believe that Disney may be hoping to tap in to Lee’s creative side to create concepts and stories that will work across several platforms; this, even though though Lee hasn’t been involved with Marvel’s comic books since the early 1990s, and most of what he has produced in the interim has been, well, way less than memorable.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

It’s Christmas until say it isn’t

You read that right. Today I went to the local Hallmark store and purchased the 2009 Hallmark Spidey Christmas ornament.

Then I went over to Borders and picked up Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics and Making Comics.

I'll talk more about them after I’ve read them.

The Disney/Marvel deal is done

Yep, we just learned that the Marvel stockholders overwhelmingly approved the Disney buyout:

Surprising no-one, Marvel shareholders approved the sale of the company to Disney on Wednesday. Welcome to the official beginning of the Disney/Marvel era.

It's the moment people have been waiting for since August, finally ending any speculation that something would stop Disney buying up the most successful comic publisher in the western world (Although, as we said at the time, we're not sure if Disney really cared so much about the comics as much as everything that comes - and doesn't come - with it).

We wonder what happens next...