Thursday, December 30, 2010

It was (another) Merry Spidey Christmas

Well, the holidays aren’t quite over, but I thought that I’d share with you the Spidey-related gifts that I received on Christmas:

 The following items were presented to me by “Santa”

This Marvel Calendar I got with my pile of this week’s comics, how cool is that?
Happy Holidays, all!

JLA no more

OK, if we can laugh @ Spidey, we can laugh at his Distinguished Competition as well.

Courtesy of Mother Goose & Grimm.

Spidey funnies

Yet another funny Spidey cartoon discovered and sent to me by my buddy Ed.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Recent funnybook Funnies

Thought I'd pass these along. The come to me via an old friend.

Hope you all had a Merry a Christmas as did I!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bring out yer dead!

Yet another comicbook character bites the dust! According to a CNN story we can soon expect a founding member of the Fantastic Four to die in the near future. (ho-humm) Yeah, like we haven’t heard that one before. Sure Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, Bucky Barnes, The Green Goblin, Harry Osborn, The Flash, Captain America, and a myriad of other characters have “died” (including one or two of the fabled FF itself already) only to come back to life, so why are we to believe this pap has any more staying power than any of those deaths?

Well, because Marvel tells us so.
Marvel executive editor Tom Brevoort made it crystal clear: “A core character from the series, whom you've seen in the [2005 and 2007] films, will be no more,” he told CNN.
Yeah, right. If it lasts a year I’ll be totally surprised, but you are hearing it here, if not first, and least first from me, it wont last. Let me make this prediction, whoever it is that dies, will be back sometime before the next Movie or TV appearance of the FF, because we all know that Marvel allows the tail to wag the dog.

My pal, sometimes writing partner, and huge FF fan John Wilcox likes to remark that Stan Lee has been the only writer that has been able to consistently keep the team together (100+ issues, as I recall). Now that's what I consider to be an interesting story.

And now, for something completely different...

Have yourself a Spider Christmas!

And a Merry (Spider) Christmas to all!

Best part happens @ 1:09 in, I laugh every time I see it!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

More trouble on the set of Spidey's musical

Christopher Tierney
According to last night's newscast, and today‘s Daily News gives us the story of how the harness of actor Christopher Tierney (a stunt-man playing Spider-Man) snapped and sent him plunging 30 feet from a platform into a pit below the stage, and the technical dress rehearsal was stopped as an ambulance was called to cart him off to the hospital. However, a spokesperson for the stage show says that Tierney  will recover and that the show will not shut down.
The decision was reached after a lunchtime meeting of the producer, investigators for the state Labor Department and federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration and a union rep from the Actors' Equity Association....
Meanwhile, state labor investigators were spotted at the Foxwoods Theater on W. 42nd St., where the accident happened about seven minutes before the close of the Tuesday night show.
Tierney, who is a 30-year-old New York-based actor and dancer hails from Portsmouth, N.H., is in serious condition with cracked ribs and other injuries and is currently at Bellevue Hospital. Tierney is the fourth performer hurt since Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark began trial performances last month after several money-burning delays.
Director Julie Taymor called the accident “heartbreaking.”
“Nothing is more important than the safety of our Spider-Man family,” she said in a statement.
But several Broadway actors broke ranks and raged that Taymor was playing with her performers' lives to stage the $65 million spectacle, the most expensive Broadway show ever.
The play, which most recently had been pushed back to Jan. 11 (from Dec. 21), has been pushed back again ‘til Feb. In spite of  Taymor‘s upbeat attitude, there are many that think the play will never open, and even if it does, it can never make back what was spent on it.

Have yourself a Kal-El little Christmas

We understand that this is a Superman-themed carol, but, well, it IS the holidays, so what the heck!

Happy Holidays to all!

Official Index to the Marvel Universe V2 #8

As the Winter settles in on us, and we approach St. Nick and the year-end Holidays, I got another very cool (early) present. This one is issue # 8 of Official Index to the Marvel Universe: Avengers, Thor & Captain America. And yes, I checked the credit box in the front of the issue and apparently I’m still considered a contributor to the book.

I know that I’ve been contributing to the Thor entries, and that I contributed to a number of the Captain American entries, but, well, my collections of these tho characters get kind of thin as we close in on the present, so I don’t precisely know where my collections (and entries) stop.

Oh yeah, and I also recently wrote an article about the Indexing project that appeared on Check it out and refer it to your friends. (I’m told that it was actually pretty good.

That’s it for tonight. Talk to you again on the morrow mates!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Another injury on the set of the Spidey musical

Yep, you  heard that right, this afternoon at a tectonically dress rehearsal, one of the stunt men playing Spidey in the new B'Way musical Turn off the Dark fell several feet into the orchestra pit in front of a live audience, and was rushed to the hospital as the show was halted.
Broadway's problem-plagued Spider-Man production was halted near the end of the show last night when a stunt double's flying harness snapped, dropping him two stories into a stage pit, according to witnesses The audience sat, horrified, as the empty harness swayed over their heads and a woman—likely lead actress Natalie Mendoza—began sobbing and screaming: "Call 911." Miraculously, the 31-year-old stuntman may not be seriously injured. "All signs were good as he was taken to the hospital," said a spokesman for the $65 million musical production, Turn Off the Dark, which is in previews.
Here is a video clip from a local news program on the accident...

I hate to say it kids, but it really is beginning to look as if this show (now pushed back from its Jan 11 opening to some time in February), just might never open!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

New Spidey Swag!

OK kids, because I know how much you all love to see what cool Spidey Swag I collect, here is some stuff you may or may not have seen...

Here are some shots of a bag of Halloween cards and lolly pops

Now for some Spidey-themed food containers

I might have added this already, but my buddy Alex scored these wicked-cool Spidey ear-buds for me and gave them to me at the NYCC 2010

Here are a couple of cool Spidey figures

SOme Spidey Washcloths (the to two were given to me by my pal (Hot Pants) Liz

And here is a set of dominoes

That should be it for now, more (oh so much more) to come!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

“War” is in the cards!

Back in 2006 when comicbook illustrator Dave Ryan initially conceived his epic industry-wide gathering of Independent comicbook characters in a six-issue “War” he really had no idea that it would ever generate such a powerful buzz it would create. “I’m friends with quite a few indie guys and it snowballed.” Well, like so many great and buzz-worthy ideas before it, The concept has morphed out of the pages of his comic and jumped into a set of trading cards.

That’s right; the six issue limited comicbook series — The War of the Independents featuring over 200 creators and their Indy characters — from Red Anvil Comics is now an impressive 50 card set, produced and distributed by ($21.95). In addition to the 50 cards of the main set there are three chase cards and one unique sketch card in every package!

In the history of comics such a monumental crossover of this magnitude, involving the sheer number of independent characters has never been attempted, much less actually accomplished…until now. Following on the heels of the critically-acclaimed War of the Independents comicbook series, comes a trading card set that features 50 of the most popular characters from the series with full color art. Given the uniqueness of the concept, and the fact that many of these indie characters have never before appeared in trading card sets have added to the mystique of the set itself. Needless to say, the set’s producers hope that this will ensure the collectability of the set.

According to the product information, the 50-card set is to be packaged and sold complete and in its entirety. Each full set will be shipped in a decorative plastic container, and will include three special edition chase cards as well as one signed creator card in every set. Further, there will also be a unique Special Chase Sketch Card by an artist from the series; each package will include the following:
  • Full Set of Trading Cards (50 cards total)
  • One of the above cards will be a creator autographed card guaranteed included in every set
  • Special Gold Foil Original One-of-a-Kind Chase Card
  • Decorative Gold Foil plastic container
  • Certificate of authenticity
For his part, writer/Illustrator Ryan hopes that both the card set and the comicbook series itself are well received, and is already riding high on a wave of good will amongst indie creators and the fans themselves. The War of the Independents Trading Card Sets retail for $21.95 each, and are currently available from or by mail at: Nanu, PO Box 5631, Trenton, NJ 08638

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, a second look

I have now had the opportunity to check out DC Comics second issue of The T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, and well, I hate to say it, but I’m almost about ready to pull my near-unanimous support for the title, based solely upon my read of this second issue, and that, my friends is truly a damn shame.

I really want this book to succeed, I also really want to like it, but, I’m afraid that if the writing follows the industry’s current standard to pad out each story so that what used to be an eight-to-10-page story now fills a full-blown graphic novel, that neither is going to actually happen.

This particular story, Live Fast Die Young follows the New Lightning, a young man from Kenya named Henry Cosgei, who is from a particular tribe in Kenya that are all great runners. The story almost slavishly follows Henry as he progresses from a young man to Lightning, even as it jumps through his life it concurrently follows the present-day story of the two T.H.U.N.D.E.R  back-room operatives (recruiters-cum-handlers if you will) who convince Henry to run for them.

Sure, I know that it is typical for writers to serve up an “off-speed-pitch” in the middle of their story-lines to flesh out the backgrounds of their characters, but this is the second issue, and we are already here. Personally I think it was too soon in the chronology to slow the story down quite this much, but hey, what do I know?

Still, while it is a tad premature to bail so completely on the series, I will admit that I'm not quite so enthusiastic as I was just 30 short days ago when I snatched up and read issue #1. Now I’m going to have to wait a few more issues before I go so far out on a limb as I previously did.

I’ll keep you all informed.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

“Trading on” Captain Action

One of the staples of comicbook characters is the trading cards based upon their comicbook exploits, and for Action figure legion and comicbook icon, Caption Action, the time has come for him to have his own line of trading cards. Recently re-introduced in comicbook form from Moonstone Books, Captain Action now has his very own set of trading cards from Captain Action Enterprises.
Originally introduced in 1966, by idea-man, Stan Weston, and equipped with a wardrobe of costumes allowing him to transform into various established superheroes, including Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, Captain America, Aquaman, the Phantom, The Lone Ranger, Tonto, Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, Sgt. Fury, Steve Canyon, and the Green Hornet. The Captain was the Ideal Toy Company's response to Hasbro's GI Joe (also created by Weston), and was originally conceived as an action figure and was later introduced to comicbook fans via a license from DC Comics.
Over the intervening 44 years Captain Action figures have risen to become one of the most revered and sought-after collectibles in the action figure market. For many collectors, Captain Action and his related action figures (Action Boy and Dr. Evil), and accessories, have become “Holy Grail” investments items for collectors; continuing to rise in value to this very day.
This year, Captain Action Enterprises launched the very first collectible Captain Action Trading Card Set. In the 40-year history of this great character there has never been a card set dedicated specifically to the Captain and all of its related characters. This impressive 50 card set is targeted to appeal to not only older collectors but new fans as well. It is composed of six subsets; “Captain Action”, “Action Boy”, “Lady Action”, “Concept Art”, “Cover Gallery”, and “Vintage Art.” Each subset presents colorful new and restored art in handsomely designed cards. The full 50-card set is attractively packaged and sold its entirety, and is shipped in decorative plastic containers. Each set also includes an additional unique Chase Sketch Card by an artist from the series. These Special Gold Foil Original One-of-a-Kind Chase Cards are sure to become hot collectibles. Each package will include the following:
·         Full Set of Trading Cards (50 cards total)
·         One of the above cards will be a Creator Autographed Card guaranteed in every set
·         Special Gold Foil Original One-of-a-Kind Chase Card
·         Decorative Gold Foil plastic container
·         Certificate of authenticity

Captain Action Trading Card Sets ($21.95 each) are currently available from or by mail at: Nanu, PO Box 5631, Trenton, NJ 08638.

Friday, December 10, 2010

What makes a Superhero a “Hero”?

As anyone who reads superhero comics can tell you the over-muscled, spandex-wearing, macho, testosterone-fueled colorful hero is the true staple of the genre. Many of us pick up these four-color gems for the pure escapist thrill of the ride, and yes, watching some power-mad supervillain try to wrap an I-Beam around the head of some noble hero is part of the draw of the series. So when a major comicbook company like Marvel — a company that is known for its slavish dedication to the long-underwear set publishes a comic that goes against the grain of the nature of the superhero genre, it captures the attention of its readership.
In October & November, Marvel Comics published a five-issue weekly series entitled 1 Month 2 Live that — while it dealt with the nature of superheroics, it comes at it from a completely different angle. Now that the five comics have passed through the comicbooks shops, Marvel has collected them and is currently re-issuing them as a hardbound collection that is available online and in book stores and comic shops around the country.

1 Month 2 Live is the tragic story of Dennis Sykes a regular guy living in the Marvel world of superheroes. By day he is a mid-level banker, struggling to be a moral man in an amoral, corporate world, when he leaves his office and goes home, he still can’t escape the stress of the real-world as he has to contend with the bitterness of his niece whose parents have both dies. Both Dennis’ brother and his wife have recently died (his brother by cancer and his Sister-in-Law from a car accident), and now Dennis and his wife, Abby have now been saddled with raising the precocious, and morose child, who is bitter that both of her parents are dead.
Still, this is the Marvel Universe, so it is populated with superheroes and villains. Dennis has been given the unpleasant task of revoking the promise of a loan to a children’s hospital so that they can construct a sculpture garden. Upon leaving the hospital, he happens across a pair of thugs who are hijacking a medical supplies truck in the hope of scoring drugs. Even when told it is just medical waste they continue in their nefarious deed.

In an effort to do something, Dennis intervenes on behalf of the driver, only to be assaulted himself. The thugs are literally pouring the radioactive materials down the throat of Dennis, who show up, but Ben Grimm, The Fantastic Four’s Thing. After dealing with the thugs, Grimm brings Sykes to FF HQ so that Mr. Fantastic can help Dennis. Once there, however, Reed informs Dennis that he has cancer, that hat has been exacerbated by the medical waste, and he only has a month to live.

As stated, this is a comic, and the Marvel Universe, so the radiation gives Dennis superpowers as well. What happens next is fairly a-typical for a story of this type, as Dennis doesn’t so much choose to use his powers and abilities to fight crime, but still wants to make the best of the time he has left, and winds up spending much of that time in the company of no less than both the Fantastic Four and the Avengers.

Still, this isn’t so much a story about the super-heroics that are De rigueur part and parcel of this particular genre, but about the life that Dennis chooses to live, and the example he wants to make for his niece. According to series editor, Stephen Wacker, the story itself grew out of a personal experience of his own when one of his own aunt’s was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Given that he was looking to develop a very different and very special story, Wacker and his creative crew have, in fact, created something that is not only deeply moving, but extremely unique, and actually quite special indeed.

Underlying the story of folks in spandex is the very personal tale of one man’s quest to do right by the people around him. It is in this fashion that Wacker and his crew have returned to the very heart of what makes up a superhero in the Marvel Universe. Although it isn’t said in so many words, Wacker (who also edits the Spider-Man line), brings the story around to Spidey’s own mantra of “With great power must also come great responsibility.” So now Dennis, with a 30-day death sentence counting down against him, sets out to leave a mark one way or the other — even as he gets to meet  Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and the Avengers. Everyone is the hero of their own story…but not every hero gets to survive.

1 Month 2 Live (comics) issue 1-5: $2.99 (each)
1 Month 2 Live (Hardcover) $19.00

Thursday, December 09, 2010

On the 8th Day of Chanukah, my True Love gave to me...

Well, last night was the last night of Chanukah, and today I’m going to post all of the very cool Spidey-related gifts that I received this year from my (very indulgent) family...

 First up, is a set of Halloween gift cards and lollipops

Next is a Spidey-on-a-motorcycle figure

a cool Spidey figure

a Spidey cold pack

and a pair of Spidey jigsaw puzzles
 (this first one has a “flippy” image, that's why Spidey looks blury)

Yeah, there are technically only six gifts here, but the other two Chunakah gifts I got were not Spidey-related.

Happy Chanukah everyone.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Be your own comicbook character!

Back in the day it was everyone’s desire to be in motion pictures (or so it seems), and there were obviously a big draw to people leaving their hum-drum lives and entering the glamorous world of film. Well, today, what with the increasing cross-trafficking between films and comics, it was only a matter of time that the offer to appear in a comicbook would be offered. So while this offer isn’t quite new (some months ago, Thomas Zahlerwho writes and illustrates Love and Capes offered his fans the opportunity to appear in his comic at the wedding of the main characters)

Well, for fans of Andrea Grant’s Minx, their time to become immortalized in a comicbook has come as well. That’s right, Grant, through her company of Copious Productions, is offering her readers this very opportunity. For a very reasonable buy-in of just $200, fans are able to have themselves inserted into a comic as either a film noir detective, a classic superhero, or a slice of life (reality) character.

In the film noir detective scenarios (there are three separate scenes with roles for seven characters, both male and female), fans are offered the chance to be a hard-boiled detective or a wily femme fatale in the classic film noir style. The classic Superhero comic is done just as you would expect with roles for up to 4 male or female characters as the heroes must save the world, experience their origin, or face off against another character.   In the slice of life comic (done in a style similar to The Office, or Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor) there are again three scenes with roles for up to 10 male or female characters.

According to Copious, they are doing this as an additional way to help raise money to subsidize Andrea Grant’s Minx comic. Then, of course if you really have been bitten by the comicbook bug, you’re going to ant to get in on the big production push by Copious, the chance to actually die in Andrea Grant’s Minx comic.
Needless to say, this is all in good fun, and there is already a very powerful buzz rippling through the comics’ field as word of this rather unusual promotion ripples through the Internet. Grant feels that in today’s market place, and given the current state of the economy it is important for entrepreneurs to develop new and innovative ways of creative financing for their dream projects.

Monday, December 06, 2010

It's starting to look a little bit like Free Comic Book Day!

The other day, my daughter asked me if Christmas was my favorite holiday, and I had to stop and really think about it. Needless to say, I didn’t actually have to think that hard, and I told her, truthfully, “No, actually, Free Comic Book Day is.” I mention this because, over the weekend, it was announced what the 10 Gold Sponsors for next year’s 10th event would be.

As could be expected, I was thrilled to learn who was going to be involved in next year’s event.
Kung Fu Panda, Richie Rich (Kid Zoic/Ape Entertainment), The Dark Crystal (Archaia Entertainment), Betty & Veronica (Archie Comics), Darkwing Duck/Rescue Rangers Flip Book (BOOM! Studios/Disney), Avatar: Last Airbender/Star Wars: Clone Wars Flip Book (Dark Horse Comics), Locke & Key (IDW Publishing), Spider-Man (Marvel Comics), Geronimo Stilton & The Smurfs Flip Book (Papercutz), plus a special top secret project from DC Comics, and  a Kid-Friendly Title from Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead), from Image Comics
Yeah, you got that right, I LOVE Free Comic Book Day. it is a day where I get to acquire some 30 FREE comics (did I mention that I don’t have to pay for them either?). Yeah, I totally love this stuff. as I get to see many comics that I wouldn’t normally get to read, plus acquire some free comics that are available nowhere else, except on Free Comic Book Day.

While this isn’t recognized as a national holiday as of yet, I’m certainly hoping that it will be one day. Anyways, here are some images of the covers from the books that have been already been announced.

Ain’t it cool?

Free Comic Book Day is Saturday May 7th, 2011