Archive for July, 2005

Spider-Man/Black Cat Is Actually Finished (you know the mini-series by Kevin Smith)

Sunday, July 31st, 2005

Film director and comic shop owner Kevin Smith has finally finished the comic book series he was contracted to write three years late.

Naturally few people likely will care.

Naturally the man is a disingenuous yet totally human crook who takes contracts with comic book companies and ignores his obligations in order to make more money by creating films.

Newsarama announced it here. The View Askew Forum discusses it here. I haven’t been to either site because I don’t care. I discovered all this here at the Comic Treadmill (and Mag doesn’t care either).

Jack Kirby would puke.

Alan Kistler’s Profile on: Donna Troy

Saturday, July 30th, 2005

For an extended/updated version of this article, check out Kistler’s web-site.

Let’s face it. With the exception of Hawkman ((shudder)), no DC character has suffered a more convoluted history of constant revision than Donna Stacey Hinckley Troy. She’s been Wonder Woman’s sidekick, Wonder Woman’s magical twin, a protege of the Titans of myth, and a cosmic policewoman. But no matter how confusing her story sometimes becomes, people just love her and she’s not going away.

So what are we waiting for? Enter the HISTORY OF DONNA TROY!

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Sucky Stealth sucks more than anything has sucked?

Thursday, July 28th, 2005

Stealth gets panned by Ebert in an early review.

Sounds putrid. Wish I didn’t still want to see it.

Disney Closing Last Hand-Drawn Studio – Computer Animation Dominates Market

Wednesday, July 27th, 2005

Disney studios announced that it is closing its last studio that strictly does hand-drawn animation. This will take place in in 2006 when the existing projects are brought to completion. The studio announced that due to financial troubles, it will close after 17 years. Some think that this may end the 83 year existence of 2D Animation. But the closing was attributed to the rising costs of animation production in Austrailia, and Disney’s plans to produce its traditional animated films at a lower cost by outsourcing it to India, The Phillipines, and Japan.

The studio is in Sydney, Australia and the closure will mean that 250 people will be looking for work next spring. The studio has produced many fine movies during its heyday.

Change truly is a part of life. But you know what. Sometimes today is the end of the ‘good years’ and the rest are simply mediocre or standard fair. It ends up simply only being about paying bills, wathing TV or living on a tight budget. Am I saying this in a fatalistic sense. No.

But to an artist who does hand-drawn animation, it really has to be scary/disturbing to see much of your skill becoming increasingly less valued and necessary in the movie market. That is the context of my comment.

Being flexible, learning new skills & believing that things can get better helps almost every situation in some regard. That being said, I do feel for the hundreds at this studio who will be starting over next spring and for those who may be at an age where starting over is very difficult.

10,000 anime plots have just been inspired.

Wednesday, July 27th, 2005

The Japanese have developed a lifelike ‘female’ android. They have been in a race with America on this front ever since Anthony Michael Hall did this 20 years ago.

The lifelike android is hot and her name is Sexy O’Sullivan…oh, wait, no it’s Repliee Q1.

‘Smallville’ stuntman badly hurt in fall

Wednesday, July 27th, 2005

Sayour, 35, the stunt coordinator for the show and primary stuntman for “Smallville” star Tom Welling, was badly injured in…a “freak accident” during filming Tuesday morning on location near the township of Langley.

Fun day at Monitor Duty HQ

Wednesday, July 27th, 2005

We recently had an escape well added to our home. It’s a 5′ wide window in our basement so that in case of fire we could escape from the basement, and it adds in a ton of light to what was once gloom.

Next we’re having the contractor put in ceramic tile in the basement bedroom (currently empty) and the basement living room (crammed full of everything from the bedroom plus my comic collection), so Sunday night we pulled up the old carpet and took it out, and I pulled up the pad and prepared to take it out Monday. Under the pad is some old vinyl tile that also has to come up. The contractor asked me to clear out the living room as best I can, so I told Melinda that I would stack the comic long boxes in our shop. I hate to put them on the floor, but I don’t have a pallet. That’s okay, it’s only for 2 or 3 weeks.

The excavation of the window well left a huge mound of dirt right by it, which I plan to distribute appropriately…but the month of July has been beastly hot. I haven’t mowed the lawn…I’ve barely been outside…and I certainly didn’t have the energy for shoveling dirt around.

SO! Monday, we have a horrible rainstorm. The dirt pile that I didn’t move yet turns out to be blocking the drainage from the side of the house and from the gutter downspout. Since the water can’t go into the yard, it diverts into … the window well. When Melinda notices this, the water is FOUR INCHES HIGH against the window well and there is a half-inch of water on that bedroom floor! The puddle has spread through the wall to the shop area where I had, the day before, said I was going to put the comic collection.

Had we not taken the carpet out just the day before, we’d have had a godawful mess. Had I put the comic collection in the shop…well, I’d have ruined a couple boxes and needed to clean off all the polybags. I think I’ll put down a bed of two by fours wherever I decide to put the collection.

Cramalot (into a Broadway show)

Tuesday, July 26th, 2005

Cast Set for ‘Lord of the Rings’ Musical

How in the world are they going to tell this story on stage in a couple of hours, especially taking time out for singing?

Brainiac and Kistler are gunning for revenge!

Tuesday, July 26th, 2005

It was announced recently that James Marsters, known widely for playing the witty vampire Spike on the shows “Buffy” and “Angel”, is joining the cast of SMALLVILLE to play Brainiac, Superman’s biggest arch-enemy next to Lex Luthor. Comic book fans know Brainiac very well in all his different incarnations, usually as the green-skinned killer android whose ship could nuke a continent. The animated series breathed new life into him by making him a guy who always seemed to be just that close to destroying the planet or actually killing Superman. So when I first heard this, I was a mite excited.

I’m not a regular fan of the show, but I catch it now and then and I have friends who watch it regularly. Some of the stuff they’ve done I thought was very clever and fun. Some, not so much. I saw no reason to make Jor-El’s ghost/spirit/whatever basically a villain and I thought the introduction of a Kara-like character who turned out to be just one of Jor-El’s pawns was a sad tease and now makes it impossible for them to ever include Kara Zor-El in the future. I also thought bringing in Lois Lane was silly when they were supposed to focus on Lana and Chloe as a love triangle. Little things like that. But Brainiac is Brainiac so I thought “Well, maybe they’re getting things back on track.” And I chuckled as I imagined Spike in green make-up, speaking with a robotic voice. And then I read this interview by producer Al Gough on how the character will be protrayed in SMALLVILLE.

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Why are J-LO and Jessica Simpson famous?

Tuesday, July 26th, 2005

Payola Shocker: J-Lo Hits, Others Were ‘Bought’ by Sony

I remember thinking, back in college, how I was going to keep up with pop music so that I would be different from my dad. When my kids talked about a singer, I’d know who they were talking about. Then, around 1995 or so, popular music got so sucky and weird that I had to stop listening. (When “Ace of Base” is the best thing out there, pop music is dead.)

Maybe this will lower your esteem of me, but when I was driving across Iowa to go to I-CON, I heard Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” and it’s the first pop song I’ve liked in ages. I don’t watch “American Idol” because watching kids redoing songs I didn’t really like when Barry Manilow did them and then being berated by some British twit doesn’t strike me as a fun time. Still, I have to admit that it’s an attempt at the one thing that the music industry isn’t: a meritocracy. The people succeeding on that show really can sing! Contrast Kelly Clarkson to most of the underfed, semi-naked hotties whose singing ability consists of warbling unchallenging songs into a headset mic.

OF COURSE there’s corruption in the music industry!

Stephen Sadowski says, “I Didn’t Do It!”

Tuesday, July 26th, 2005

Penciller Stephen Sadowski says that the inker on JSA #75 changed his art for #75 and he has posted the original pencils to prove it.

Why You Should Respect Christopher Reeve

Tuesday, July 26th, 2005

This is sort of a personal story. Rather than a news entry or even one of my typical Kistler comedy/parody interviews, think of it more as an op-ed piece. A personal column of sorts.

Over a year ago, I got my friends Becca and Lisa into comic books. Since then, I have given them comic after comic of Batman, Superman, Fantastic Four and others, doing my best to both 1-give them the basic histories of the characters chronologically and 2-eventually catch them up to today’s major storylines. They very much appreciate it and as I later began dating Lisa it became quite fun for me to have a girlfriend who asks me to pick her up an FF comic when I make my weekly trip to Midtown Comics.

A week ago, while speaking of super-hero movies we liked and were looking forward to, Becca mentioned that she had never seen the original Superman movies with Christopher Reeve. I was a little nervous to show them to her because Becca (and she will be the first to admit this) tends not to like older sci-fi/fanasty movies, mainly because she can’t take the old special effects seriously. And technology wise, the 1970s was a long time ago. But taking a chance, and because it had been a while since watching the movie myself, I popped in the DVD and we watched it.

Three things happened. 1, Becca absolutely enjoyed the film, all of it. 2, Becca developed a crush on Christopher Reeve. 3, I found myself feeling like a kid again and, perhaps more than ever, realized how magical the film had been thanks to Dick Donner’s direction and Christopher Reeve’s performance. Hopefully you know exactly what I’m talking about. But if not, then please reflect with me here.

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V for Vendetta trailer

Tuesday, July 26th, 2005

The V for Vendetta trailer is up. Natalie Portman, back from stinking up the screen in the Star Wars prequels, stars as a young woman taken under the wing of a masked anarchist fighting a fascistic British government.

It’s based on an early work by Alan Moore, though oddly enough his name isn’t even mentioned in the trailers. Instead, it says the story is entirely written by The Wachowski Brothers. They didn’t approach Moore about the story; rather, they acquired the rights from DC Comics, which owns the story even though Moore and DC Comics famously don’t get along.

As I said, it’s an early work by Alan Moore. I read it once, and it’s a terribly boring tale. I kept expecting it to be good because it’s Alan Moore, but it’s Moore at his worst. It’s blatantly paranoid, and while it’s set in a 1984-like future Britain it’s clear that the writer thinks it’s not far off of the Great Britain of his then-day. As poster Striker Z…a Power Company fan, I would presume…says over at the Libertas blog, all the great lefty writers of the early 1980s were paranoid about Margaret Thatcher.

Adapting this meager work at all is questionable. It’s just hard to take seriously a movie where English chaps are acting like Nazis, even conducting Dr. Mengele-esque experiments, and the story seems cribbed from Orwell. This delusional view of Merry Old England didn’t even work as a statement about Thatcher’s administration, and now Thatcher’s party isn’t even in power. Why would this movie get greenlit? Oh, perhaps it could still work as an interesting “what if” story, sure, if one stuck more to the central plot. But making this movie now, when England is at war and has been for almost four years, can only be a political statement.

I mean, this film contains explosions on subway trains and bombing attacks on government buildings, plus protagonists in bomb vests and numerous statements about government and anarky…it’s not like this film reached the studio’s desk and then they looked around and said, “Oh, dear, maybe this isn’t the right time to release this. We hadn’t realized some of the subject matter mirrored current events. People might take it the wrong way.” They’ve even decided to leave in scenes of bombings on the London Underground!

And it’s by the Wachowskis. You know, the fellows who made cops and suited agents the bad guys in their Matrix movies, establishing scenarios where you are supposed to admire characters who enter a government building and begin shooting everyone in sight. These guys aren’t exactly apolitical, or they wouldn’t be putting Professor Cornel West in their movies because they love his philosophies so much.

Folks, you thought “The Passion of the Christ” was going to stir people up? You thought it amazing that “Fahrenheit 9/11” could get financing during a time of war? You wondered about George Lucas getting in his sly digs at Dubya in SWIII? Wait till this one hits.

New Series For On Old Marvel Character – Moon Night!

Tuesday, July 26th, 2005

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Thanks to NEWSARAMA for an great re-introduction to a fave Marvel character from my youth. I bought very few Marvel titles… but Moon Night was one of them (*along with The Avengers and the Daredevil).

Novelist Charlie Huston will be taking a shot at writing the character in 2006 along with the artistic talent of David Finch. Here is hoping that they have a blast on the initial six-issue run!

OH, MY!!!

Tuesday, July 26th, 2005

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If this rumour is true, this is brilliant… and will change everything for a season… you can mark me down as believing it as LIKELY TO BE TRUE!

The rumour is here. Do not go here if you do not want to be exposed to a MAJOR POSSIBLE SPOILER.

That’s a shame

Monday, July 25th, 2005

Russia’s Biggest Spammer Brutally Murdered in Apartment

What the Comic-Con Saw

Sunday, July 24th, 2005

I say it again, the movie Stealth is probably fluff, but it sure does look good! If you’re still doubtful, you can check out the STEALTH COMIC-CON SIZZLE PIECE. But be warned, this is one of those trailers that pretty much gives away the whole movie except for the ending.

Names for wars

Sunday, July 24th, 2005

This is off-topic, granted, but I’m a writer and every now and then I’m struck by the peculiar usage of words and phrases. That’s why, as soon as I saw this AP article entitled “Poll: Americans Say World War III Likely”, I was baffled by the title.

They think World War III is likely? We’re in a World War right now. And frankly, this is World War IV because the Cold War will come to be regarded as World War III.

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New Dark Pheonix Cartoon!

Sunday, July 24th, 2005

This will change your life. Well … not really. But it’s funny. Trust me. Would Kistler lie to you?

Final Version of Superman Logo Revealed

Saturday, July 23rd, 2005

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Dark Horizon was given a scoop by Warner to reveal the final version of the new Superman movie logo.