Archive for March, 2007

Best wishes to Phil and Sherry Meadows!

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

Phil Meadows (who I worked with on Fanzing, Job Wanted, “Melvin and Marvin Middler, Time Meddlers” and Metro Med #0) has just embarked with his wife on a trip to China to pick up their new adopted daughter. I would just like to wish them the best and welcome their new girl, Julianna, to their family.

Sherry Meadows has been blogging the last few months of preparation, and we can watch the site for updates. Phil says they’ll arrive on Sunday and will have Julianna the next day. Here’s hoping all goes well.

And yes, this is one of the reasons Phil had to leave Metro Med to concentrate on his home life (I’ll be kicking off the artist hunt this week). Adoption is a long, arduous process, with nothing but bureaucratic hassles. At one point, getting approval had taken so long that much of the paperwork they had gone through was reaching its expiration date and they’d have to start all over!

Please keep the Meadows in your prayers.

Soon to Monitor Duty: ACTUAL NEWS!

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

I’ve got an inside tip on something happening at DC.

However, Monitor Duty has never actually been a comic book journalism blog. It’s really more of a commentary newsblog: we link to other people’s news. I’ve never broken a story and frankly I’m not sure what to do with it. I don’t want to engage in gossip. So I’m going to do my best to confirm this with a few people I know at DC.

OK, I will give you a hint: look at what Marvel did last month that made them a lot of money.

If nothing else, the story will break at Emerald City ComiCon, and I’ll announce it when it’s official.

But it’s big. And you’re not going to like it.

I’m going to see “300” on the IMAX tomorrow for my big day, and then I’ll be back to see if my feelers have yielded results.

The Limits of Meta-Fiction

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

I picked up the first issue of the Heinberg-Dodson run of Wonder Woman, not because I was a fan of the character or those creators, but to give the character a shot. I was, to put it nicely, decidedly underwhelmed, and I was not surprised when I heard Heinberg was getting yanked from the book.

What did surprise me– and excite my interest– was the announcement that novelist Jodi Picoult was going to be writing it. She’s a very popular writer and, from what little I’ve read, very good with complex issues of identity and morality. She’s lauded for her convincing female characters, and so I thought I’d give it a try.

As always with Wonder Woman, I found myself once again underwhelmed.


Marshall Rogers passes away.

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

Marshall Rogers passes away, age 57

Rogers was the artist on Detective Comics in the late 1970s, and his collaboration with writer Steve Englehart defined the character for the next decade. Their most famous story arc was published as Batman: Strange Apparitions.

See the Marshall Rogers fan site to bask in the greatness of his artwork.

Marshall Rogers, 1950-2007. R.I.P.

Clark Kent to be in Teen Wolf remake

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

This will probably be appearing in tomorrow’s “Best of the Web” (especially since I e-mailed it to Taranto):

From “The Onion”, dated December 16, 1998:
Gus Van Sant Prepares Shot-For-Shot Teen Wolf Remake

And now:
Smallville’s Tom Welling to Star in Teen Wolf Remake

Oh, by the way: This is a horrible idea.


Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

Starz Bunny Club Exclusive: Spiderman

The package arrives! Solution to the mystery!

Saturday, March 24th, 2007

Well, when we last left our hero, he had been expecting the arrival of a mystery package, only to be met by the nefarious Boris Badenov and his ruffian-in-arms, Natasha Fatale, who convinced the none-too-bright moose that they were internationally renowned talent brokers.


I mean, I was expecting a package, as you all remember.

This has been one of the best surprises I’ve gotten in years. I don’t know who sent this, but awaiting the arrival of this mysterious present has been exciting. I’ve been playing amateur detective over the last day (without “cheating” like contacting ComicsNow to see who sent it), and I’ve narrowed it down to a few people.

The key clues are thus:
* The person knows my address, including my Zip+4. It’s possible that they can find the +4 code online, I can’t rule that out, but most likely it is someone I’ve sent mail to.
* My birthday is next Thursday. Assuming this is a birthday gift, that means the person knows my birthday.
* The item is comic-related, since it is from a comic book web site.
* It’s rather a dangerous thing to send a person a gift without referring to a wish list, especially if it’s in a line of collectibles that they collect. For instance, if someone collects David Winter cottages, you can’t just send them one unless you have reason to know what is and isn’t in their collection. Of course, my collection IS online, so that’s check-able. Even more likely, they have a good reason to know that what they’re sending me is not something I have. Maybe it’s a Metal Men Archives or Adam Strange, since I haven’t been buying Archives. Or perhaps this is some brand new product hot off the press.

** Beau Smith‘s new “Cobb: Off The Leash” collected edition debuted days ago, and he’s a generous guy who has sent goodies before. He could also just be wanting a review of the TPB. Nobody ever said that Beau was a failure at self-promotion, right? So maybe this isn’t birthday-related. Still, why send it from ComicsNow? He probably has comps at his home address. (Though I’ve heard enough incidents of creators still waiting for their comps when the reviewers already have them. Could be Beau put me on a list and the company sent them out via ComicsNow.)
** Erik Burnham. I organized a big Christmas present for him a few months ago, though really the generosity came from many other people. And if he bought me anything for my birthday I’d be mad at him, because I hear he may be moving and that’s going to require money. And he knows that. So it better not be from him. BUT…he would have my full mailing address, having gotten it off my packages to him.
** Scott Beatty. He sends me stuff, though never from a dealer. Still, maybe it’s a new book of his, similar to what I suspected above for Beau.
** Dozens of other possibilities. Really, the detective work is moot, because it could be anyone who reads the site, or has worked with me, or knows me.

My wife walks in with the mail, including a large, thin envelope from ComicsNow. It’s Priority! Dang, that was fast. I thought this mystery would play out for another three days.

I grab the tab and pull the zip strip off the top. Inside is some padding material, a thin item and a packing slip.

I turn the packing slip over to see who the buyer was. It was…


Indoctrinate U Hits Theaters This Summer

Saturday, March 24th, 2007

I’ve been a fan of Evan Coyne Maloney’s movies for years. His short films run the gambit from silly to scary, from frivolous to poignant. Then he turned his attention towards full-length documentaries, and his first one is finally ready to debut this year.

Indoctrinate U is about groupthink on today’s college campuseseses. It is produced by On The Fence Films, who also made “Dead Meat” (about the Canadian health care system). Indoctrinate U is a full-length version of the 40 minute short, “Brainwashing 101”, which I’ve seen but is no longer available from the web site. The highlight of BW101 was an encounter with a fussy administrator who, I swear, is probably Christopher Guest in disguise. You can see him in the trailer:

The reason for this post is that I’d like to encourage all of MD’s readers to swing by the site and request a screening.

Here’s hoping that 35-year-old Maloney could end up at the Oscars next year. Given the kind of lousy films that made up the documentary list this year, you never know.

At last: Acceptance!

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

Who here likes mysteries?

I just received an e-mail from My package has been packed and shipped, and they’ve given me the tracking number.

Funny thing is: I didn’t order anything!

Another funny thing: my birthday is a week from today. Is that it? Is this a birthday present? Who could it be from? Who remembered my birthday? It doesn’t appear on MySpace or ComicSpace (I just checked), or I could think that someone saw it there after my last post, but that’s not it.

And who knows me well enough to send me a comic book item?

This is confounding! It’s not my wife or my family. They might go to my Amazon wishlist (EEK! I better make sure it’s up to date. OK. Just did.), I could see them doing that, but not ComicsNow. I don’t even use ComicsNow…nothing against them, just that I support my local it’s not like I had a wish list.

That leaves the Monitor Duty “staff”, the readers of the site, the gang over at Dixonverse, and all my friends I’ve made in my years of running Fanzing and self-publishing. Could be Phil, Erik and Rob, the three I’ve worked closely with on Metro Med. Or maybe it’s got nothing to do with my birthday and this is just some comic company promotion.

But who would have my mailing address? My mailing address WITH THE ZIP+4 CODE? I don’t really make it public on the site, though I don’t hide what city I’m in and I’m probably findable. And like I said, I don’t have a preset gift address at ComicsNow, if they even have such a thing. So it’s not like that time I moaned about “The Tick vs. Season One” coming out on DVD just after I was laid off from my job and a kind reader of Monitor Duty went to Amazon and used my gift address to send it to me. (Yes, I still remember that. Made my month!)

I’m stumped. There are just too many candidates…and like that Tick thing, it may end up being someone I don’t even know. I have no clue what the item could be or whom it could be from.

All I know is…it’s on its way and I can track it on USPS! (Go ahead, play along with me as it heads on its way to Rochester MN.)

I just pulled it up and it said: Status: Acceptance

Someone just gave me the gift of acceptance. I’ve been waiting all my life for that!



The next Napoleon Dynamite

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

“How many boyfriends have you had?”
“Three. How many girlfriends have you had?”
“That’s irrelevant.”

Another movie about the socially awkward:
Eagle Vs Shark Trailer

This looks terrific. I hope it opens big. I wish it wasn’t rated R, though. That cuts out all the teens who made “Napoleon Dynamite” a huge hit.

Martian Manhunter File Updated!

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

While taking a break from the Wonder Woman profile (which hopefully will be up monday night), I took an hour to update the MARTIAN MANHUNTER PROFILE. It now has more information in it, such as the fact that there was a previous character named Roh Kar who was described as a “manhunter from Mars” in a Batman story and the fact that J’onn’s daughter was named after Ostrander’s late wife. It also has an update on the new character Miss Martian and the new AJ Lieberman series.

If you’re just interested in J’onn’s recent appearances on SMALLVILLE, skip ahead to PART TWO.
J'onn Smallville.jpg
That’s all for now. Enjoy!

I caved

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

I did it.

Despite my misgivings.

I’m on MySpace as well as ComicSpace.

Dynamite Entertainment Whips Up Zorro

Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

Dynamite Entertainment has acquired Zorro to add to their licensed character stable. I think that with the good work they’ve done on The Lone Ranger that this will be a good fit. I also remember back when Topps Comics had the rights to both Zorro and the Lone Ranger Joe Lansdale and Tim Truman had a mini-series meeting of the 2 franchises planned, but it never saw publication. I wonder if that could be revived now.

And I guess this means that the Zorro series from Papercutz will be ending too. While I enjoy Papercutz’s Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew graphic novels their Zorro just didn’t appeal to me.

Alan Kistler’s Gonna Be On Film

Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

So apparently, people out there care about my opinion despite a complete lack of credentials. 😛

There’s a documentary being filmed concerning comic book adaptations into films and TV. One focus of the film is Wonder Woman, as there’s quite a lot of talk about whether or not her movie is still happening and what should or shouldn’t be done with the character. Apparently, Lynda Carter, Tom Mankiewicz (writer and creative consultant on Superman), and Jack O’Halloran (star of Superman and Superman II) have agreed to be interviewed by this same documentary.

At the moment, the documentary is still being shopped around to different studios. If for some reason no one actually picks it up, the producers intend to submit it to film festivals at the very least.

This past weekend, I got an e-mail from the folks involved in creating the documentary. They are aware of my being a “comic book historian” and want to interview me this week concerning my thoughts on Wonder Woman, as well as on comic book movies in general, which ones I think were done well and what I think should be kept in mind for the future.

They want to interview ME in the same movie in which they will interview Lynda Carter and Tom Mankiewicz. Who the Hell am I? But, apparently they’re impressed with my articles on and want me for the project. For all I know, my segment (assuming I even make the final cut of the film) will just be a minute or two, but still, I consdier it very cool as an opportunity and an offer.

So obviously I said “sure.” I’m a mixture of being flattered and kind of bewildered by the whole thing. I mean, I interview OTHER people, no one interviews ME.

The interview is happening this Thursday. I’ll let you all know how it goes.

Silver Surfer is real!

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

I used to love checking out “Theater Hopper“. Problem is, I never visited it every day because it only comes out periodically. I just bookmarked it at work and every now and then I’d dig it out of my bookmarks and read a few months’ worth at a time.

Then I got laid off a few years back and forgot about it. I didn’t have it in my home bookmarks. I remembered that there was a great webcomic by a guy I met at FallCon, but couldn’t recall the name of it.

Stumbled across a link to it today in an old MCBA e-mail and now I have a couple years’ worth of comics to catch up on.

Oh, and I found this gem from a few months ago: The Fantastic Four 2 trailer.

Tom: Sorry I lost track of your comic. If I see you at a con, I’ll give you some freebies.

Your good host

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

I’d be interested to know if any of you score lower than 18%. (Or is that “higher”?)
By the way, the only reason I scored that badly is that they count “I have fired a gun and liked it” as being evil. Sorry, but I never shot a gun until I was 36, and my dad was showing me how so it was kind of a bonding activity…and I scored a direct hit on my first shot. How was that evil?

You Are 18% Evil

You are good. So good, that you make evil people squirm.
Just remember, you may need to turn to the dark side to get what you want!
How Evil Are You?

Oh, and I’m Superman, apparently.

You are Superman

Iron Man
The Flash
Green Lantern
Wonder Woman
You are mild-mannered, good,
strong and you love to help others.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz

Seven tips for saving Indy 4

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

Cinematical Seven: Tips For Spielberg and Lucas As They Embark On ‘Indy 4’

Not a bad to-do list, frankly…though the best advice would be to let the series die gracefully and spend the money on something new.

Captain America meets Clerks

Friday, March 16th, 2007

Irony alert:

This took place BEFORE issue 25…

Ya gotta admit, Silver Surfer and Galactus as Jay and Silent Bob… BRILLIANT!

What message?! …The one that you’re carrying inside your rusty innards!

Friday, March 16th, 2007

The US Post Office is decorating selected mailboxes across the country to look like R2-D2. They are part of a promotion for an upcoming announcement of a new stamp, expected March 28. Details can be found at Yahoo! news and the U.S. Postal Service Website.


Unicorn Causes Crash … riiiiiight.

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007

Phillip C. Holliday, Jr. drove a pickup truck through a red light on March 7 in Billings, Montana. The pickup truck narrowly avoided striking another truck in the intersection and then Holliday made an “erratic U-turn” through a gas station, crossing a street and crashing into a light pole. No one was injured, fortunately.

When Holliday, 42, was questioned by officers at the scene, he told them the crash was not his fault. Why? BECUASE A UNICORN HAD BEEN DRIVING THE TRUCK.

Holliday pleaded not guilty to felony charges of criminal endangerment and drunken driving. Since he has five drunken-driving convictions, the judge ordered his bail to be kept at $100,000, despite the defense’s argument that the last such conviction occurred 14 years ago.

The unicorn has not been found.

I didn’t make any of this up.

Original Story.