Archive for May, 2003

Highlights Of WizardWorld East Day 2

Saturday, May 31st, 2003

Newsarama has an article concerning Day 2’s activities at WizardWorld East. Below are a few of the highlights.

– Bill Willingham, writer of Fables from DC/Vertigo, is taking over Robin with issue #121. Rick Mays will become the new penciler.

– Neal Adams’ Batman work will be collected for the first time in September in the hardcover Batman: Illustrated by Neal Adams, which will include classic stories and rarely-seen covers.

– As reported in Day 1’s recap Patrick Zircher will take over the penciling duties on Nightwing when Rick Leonardi moves to Batgirl.

– Kevin Smith promised that the Daredevil: Target and Spider-Man/Black Cat mini-series will be finished, eventually. Smith blamed the delay on the fact he’s been busy working on the movie Jersey Girl starring Jennifer Lopez.

No news was reported from CrossGen’s panel discussion.

Highlights From WizardWorld East Day 1

Saturday, May 31st, 2003

Newsarama has an article detailing the biggest announcements to come from Day 1 of WizardWorld East in Philly. Below are a few of the highlights I thought newsworthy.

– Tom Brevoort announced that the first issue of the long-awaited JLA-Avengers crossover series by Kurt Busiek and George Perez would be out ahead of schedule, shipping in September.

– Artist Rick Leonardi announced that he was taking over as the artist on Batgirl. He’ll work with continuing writer Dylan Horrocks. Patrick Zircher has been named to replace Leonardi on Nightwing (for more info on this development click here for an interview from the PULSE).

– Jim Lee said that Alan Moore plans more League of Extraordinary Gentlemen stories, following the characters into the 20th century.

– Jim Krueger announced he’ll produce a four issue mini-series for Image called The Last Straw Man. The first issue will debut in October. “It’s set in the Old West,” he said. “A cowardly guy dresses up as a scarecrow to bring justice to a small town. It’s basically a Western Batman. I was inspired by reading about the real cowboy gunfighter, Doc Holliday.” The artist on the mini will be Brett Weldele, the colorist on Krueger’s Image series The Clockmaker.

Stay tuned for highlights from Day 2.

Lady Deathstrike Gives A “Monologue

Friday, May 30th, 2003

There’s an article at Yahoo detailing X2‘s Kelly Hu’s (Lady Deathstrike) current project – she’s appearing in a stage production of The Vagina Monologues. At least she’s getting more lines in that production than she did in X2.

In the same article it’s revealed she’ll be playing the title role in a movie version of the vampiric comic book Jade. I’m assuming this is the old Chaos! Comics character.

Todd Nauck Forms His Own Superteam

Friday, May 30th, 2003

Todd Nauck, the penciller for Young Justice, will release his creator-owned mini-series WildGuard: Casting Call from Image Comics in September. The mini-series details the formation of the team thru a Reality show premise. By the final issue the team will consist of 5 members and then, presumably, be ready for further mini’s, one-shots, etc. Inks will be by his Young Justice compatriot Lary Stucker and colors will be by Tom McCraw.

On a related note Todd is conducting a couple contests thru the WildGuard website. One surrounds the Final Five members. After all 18 potential team members are listed in the Profile section send in who you think will be the Final Five. If you’re right you’ll win a piece of original art featuring the new team. The other is to design the Letters Page logo and artwork (the Letters Page name has already been picked).

For more info on the mini-series concept and alternate cover artists click here.

Mr. Bumpo on Film!!

Friday, May 30th, 2003

Cinescape – Punisher Casting

Hey! Word over at Cinescape says that they’re revealing some of the characters to be in the new Punisher movie. Some of ’em are new, some of ’em are from the comics themselves…

such as Mr. Bumpo, the fat guy that was introduced in the year-long maxi-series by Ennis! Bumpo’s awesome!

We can only hope that Spacker Dave is involved somehow…

Byrne subs Batiuk on Funky Winkerbean

Thursday, May 29th, 2003

Kansas City Star | 04/12/2003 | Something funky going on with `Funky’

and frankly….I think it is some of the best work Johnny Redbeard has done in a while.

Check out your local paper.

Opinion: Kevin Smith bringing Marvel down

Thursday, May 29th, 2003

I just love ICv2.com’s TalkBack articles. Written by real Comic and Game shop owners about what’s going on in the industry.

Here’s one from Gail Burt of Metropolis Comics, nailing Kevin Smith-and Marvel-to the wall about late-or-never releases of two books Smith was working on.

If I may quote: “…this author is a known flake who often drops his project mid-swim and then takes years to finish, and this publisher seems to be okay with that.”

If you’re a die-hard Kevin Smith fan, you might want to read this article while gripping a tennis ball in each hand.

Bill Murray, lasagne and Odie!

Wednesday, May 28th, 2003

According to Variety and Comics2Film, the upcoming Garfield movie will have Bill Murray as the voice of Garfield. Apparently, Garfield the cat will be CGI, as will probably be Odie and any other animal characters.

I need to point out a cool bit of synchronicity here: the voice of Garfield until now was the late, great Lorenzo Music in the Saturday Morning cartoon. Now it will be Bill Murray in the movie.

Bill Murray played Peter Venkman in the Ghostbusters movies, and Lorenzo Music voiced the character for the Saturday Morning Ghostbusters show! There must just be something very compatible about these guys!

NASCAR And Superheroes, The Next Round

Monday, May 26th, 2003

NASCAR and the world of Superheroes are no strangers. In the past NASCAR teams have tied into Superhero movies (Batman Forever and Spider-Man) and Superhero comics (Batman vs. The Joker, Superman, Ultimate Spider-Man). So it comes as no surprise that this year NASCAR will be tying into 2 of this summer’s blockbusters, The Hulk and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. Teams in all 3 of NASCAR’s major series will be participating.

First up will be The Hulk in June. Bobby Labonte’s #18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet will run the Hulk colors in the June 15 Winston Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway. And Jason Leffler’s #2 ASE/CarQuest Dodge will carry the Hulk in the June 28 Craftsman Truck Series race at the Milwaukee Mile.

Click here for an image of Labonte’s paint scheme.

Click here for an image of Leffler’s paint scheme.

July will see the move to T3. Jamie McMurray’s #42 Havoline Dodge will bring the futuristic terminator to the July 5 Winston Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway. And Michael Waltrip’s #99 Aaron’s Chevrolet will carry T3 in 2 Busch Series races, July 4 at Daytona International Speedway and July 12 at Chicagoland Speedway.

Click here for an image of McMurray’s paint scheme.

Click here for an image of Waltrip’s paint scheme.

Maybe one day these one and two race tie-ins with comics will lead to the full-time sponsorship of a NASCAR team by a comics publisher. We can only hope for that kind of “outside the industry” advertising. But until then enjoy these 5 races where comics may take the spotlight.

Small Press Comics Discussion

Friday, May 23rd, 2003

If you’re interested in writing or drawing a small-press comic as a way to get your work out to the publlic, or if you’re already a small-press creator and would like some views on how to get noticed, here’s an article on Slush Factory that will help you get your bearings.

It’s a transcript of a panel discussion entitled “Open Minds: How do you get someone to try a small press comic?”, held at the Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo (SPACE) on April 5/2003, in Columbus, Ohio.

Hulk-Mania

Thursday, May 22nd, 2003

Following the late-Apr, early-May DVD release of “The Incredible Hulk Returns” and “The Trial of the Incredible Hulk;” June 3rd will see two more Hulk offerings on DVD. “The Original Television Premiere” and “The Death of The Incredible Hulk.”

From the Barnes and Noble Marvel Masterworks Edition of Hulk Vol 1, to the Marvel Must-Haves, to the upcoming PSM Magazine Exclusive Hulk Heroclix, and now the expanded DVD releases; it’s clear that the marketing folks at Marvel have a clue how to position themselves to make the most possible money in preparation for the Hulk movie coming to theatres on 20 June.

I wish I could find as much DC merchandise as I could Hulk merchandise (let alone adding in Spidey and X-Men).

As we’ve NEVER MIND – THIS LINK IS DEAD –discussed over on the Fuzzball Forum at length, Time-Warner could be doing a lot more liscensed promotion and film with the DC characters. I guess Warner doesn’t like free money. Discuss over on the Forum.

Happy Hunting.

Metron Press Schedules Next Release

Thursday, May 22nd, 2003

Metron Press, the comics publishing arm of the American Bible Society whose first release was Samson: Judge of Israel, has announced their next project. Testament will be an anthology-type book, presenting stories from the Old Testament inside an overall story of a man looking for solace in a bar. It will be presented in an oversized format (8.5″ x 10.875″) with 120 pages at a cover price of $12.95 and is scheduled for released in September 2003.

The book will be written by Jim Krueger (Earth X, The Clock Maker) and will contain art by Bill Sienkiewicz, Steve Rude, George Pratt, Bo Hampton, Kent Williams, Sergio Aragon├ęs, Rudy Nebres, Teddy Kristiansen, Vince Locke, John Van Fleet, Ray Lago, Scott Hampton, Phil Hester, Zach Howard, Bill Koeb, Greg Spalenka, Yvonne Gilbert, Tommy Lee Edwards, Jason Alexander, and Mark Texeira.

If you’ve read Samson: Judge of Israel you know this book will be a “don’t miss”. And if you haven’t read Samson:JOI you need to pick it up before getting Testament. The work Metron Press is putting out isn’t the traditional Christian comics of the 70’s/80’s. These books look and read like anything produced by the major players in today’s market.

If you want more info from the press release click here.

Males, 12-24 Push Adult Swim to Top of Ratings

Wednesday, May 21st, 2003

Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim has defeated Leno and Letterman in the select 12-24 male demographic, according to ICv2 today.

Mike’s a big fan, so it’s gotta be popular with the married thirtysomething guys too. Go Cartoon Network!

Ang Lee Talks “Hulk

Tuesday, May 20th, 2003

Ang Lee’s transformation / Director happily jumped into the foreign world of special effects for ‘The Hulk’

For those of you who are like me and want to know a little more information on how/why Ang Lee decided to go from stories such as “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” to comic books, check out the above link. The director discusses his decisions for picking up the film and what he’s tried to do with the story.

It’s good stuff! Thanks to www.ComicBookResources.com for helping me find it.

DC Says “No More Elseworlds

Tuesday, May 20th, 2003

In an interview at The Pulse concerning his new project JLA: Another Nail (the follow-up to his and Mark Farmer’s 1998 hit mini-series JLA: The Nail) Alan Davis reveals that DC has decided to downplay Elseworlds projects.

Quoting the article:

The appearance of JLA:ANOTHER NAIL is a bit surprising surprise considering that Elseworlds projects are being downplayed at DC. “There was a decision from on high that Elseworlds didn’t sell and there weren’t to be any more Elseworlds,” Davis confirms. However, undeterred, he told editor Pete Tomasi that he had an Elseworlds story. “Pete said, ‘We’re not really doing any more Elseworlds.’ But when I sent him the plot, he said ‘We’re doing this one.’ That was it.”

But I’d say there’s a good chance they won’t totally disappear. If the right creator came along with the right story that DC thinks would sell (as evidenced here) I’m sure they’d be happy to release it.

Next 80’s Retro Comic – GHOSTBUSTERS

Monday, May 19th, 2003

Sony Pictures has contracted with 88 MPH Studios to develop numerous marketing tie-ins for Ghostbusters. The blockbuster comedy will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2004 and Sony’s looking to have numerous tie-ins available.

Beginining this fall items such as comics, graphic novels, art books and trade paperbacks, posters, lithographs and wall scrolls will begin rolling into comic shops.

Newsarama has an article with more details regarding the agreement between Sony Pictures and 88 MPH Studios, info on 88 MPH Studios and an image of the comics promo poster.

Getting Bored Just Standing In Line?

Sunday, May 18th, 2003

Cinescape – Home – Editorial

Not a big piece of news, but a fun little bit for the weekend. Cinescape, at the above link, has a short article describing an action sequence performed in the lobby of a theater in Long Beach, CA as people waited in line to see the newest Matrix flick.

Apparently, stuntmen disguised as agents jumped down from the theater’s roof and tried to take tickets away from customers. Luckily a character from the film saved the day, screaming into the lobby on a motorcycle.

Similar events took (and are taking) place in other theaters in the country, free of charge to the public!

Makes you wonder why they didn’t think of something like this for the release of “Showgirls”, eh? (JUST KIDDING!)

Matrix: Reloaded Action Figures By McFarlane Toys

Saturday, May 17th, 2003

Hey folks; Action Figure Express now has pre-orders available for Matrix: Reloaded action figures by McFarlane Toys.

The set includes: Neo and Trinity as they appeared in the “lobby shooting spree” scene in the first film; Morpheus as he appeared while fighting atop a semi-truck with sword in Matrix: Reloaded; and the evil, undead, “Albino” twins.

Each figure comes with a display base. Neo and Trinity’s bases snap together as do the bases of Morpheus and the Twins.

From the pictures available, these figures appear to be well-sculpted and suitable for display, but with very few or no playable articulation points. This is about par for the course with the latest offerings from McFarlane Toys.

The very first Spawn figures produced back when they were Todd Toys were both well-sculpted and highly articulated. Now the sculpts are a lot better but the articulation has really been reduced. I guess these are really being marketed as displayable works of “art” for collectors rather than as toys for kids. But at approximately $10.00 each, what the heck!

Available sometime in May.

Happy Hunting!

2 Exclusive Stories In WIZARD ZERO

Friday, May 16th, 2003

There will be 2 exclusive 12 page comics in Wizard Zero, available July 30. One will be a Batman tale by the current Batman team of writer Jeph Loeb and artist Jim Lee. The other will be an Ultimate Spider-Man tale by writer Brian Michael Bendis and Marvel Comics Editor-In-Chief/artist Joe Quesada. Both stories will be new tales and not previews of upcoming arcs.

Lee and Quesada have also joined forces to create an exclusive Batman/Ultimate Spider-Man jam cover for this landmark issue.

Shop Owners talking about the success of FCBD

Friday, May 16th, 2003

The Talkback section of ICv2.com is abuzz with talk about the success of this year’s Free Comic Book Day. ICv2 is a neat website, dedicated to cross-pollination of ideas for”pop culture retailers”-comic and games shop owners.

There’s something about FCBD that insures an interesting comment or two in the Talkback section, and from the point of view of comic shop owners, FBCD was an amazing success.