Up, up and away! A place for comic-book fans to gather.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Hey, kids, free comics!

Yep, it's that time of year again. The annual Free Comic Book Day is Saturday as comic-book shops promote comics while hoping to capitalize on the fervor surrounding “Spider-Man 3.” Here in the Springs, Bargain Comics and Ed’s Cards & Comics are taking part. The free comic I’d like to get my hands on is Marvel’s “Amazing Spider-Man: Swing Shift,” an all-new story specially produced for Free Comic Book Day. You can check out other publishers’ offerings at www.freecomicbookday.com.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

That Lana's one tough cookie

Some nice scenes between Clark and Lex on tonight's "Smallville." But the best part was seeing Lana in tough revenge mode. She is NOT happy about that whole fake pregnancy thing. And she's smart, keeping up with Lex lie for lie. Good stuff. Next week's episode looks pretty dopey, though.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Comic-book creators coming to town

Mark your calendar now. On Saturday, May 12, two comic-book notables - Terry Moore, creator of “Strangers in Paradise,” and Billy Tucci, creator of “Shi” - will be visiting Bargain Comics downtown. There’s a Q&A from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. and a signing from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

And now for something completely different

From DC Comics, an example of life imitating art, or something like that. Though I'd be more impressed if the rock was a glowing green. ....

"A new mineral, matching the chemical composition for kryptonite suggested in ‘Superman Returns,’ was discovered by a team of geologists in a Serbian mine, according to London’s Natural History Museum. Unable to find a suitable match to a known mineral, the geologists turned to the Internet, which revealed the rock’s relation to the most famous element in comic books.

"The real world version of kryptonite – which according to media reports will be officially named 'jadarite,' after the place where it was discovered and because it does not contain the element krypton – is white, does not glow and is reportedly harmless to humans and/or natives of the planet Krypton."

Monday, April 23, 2007

"King-Cat" creator at CC

John Porcellino, author of the long-running self-published comic book "King-Cat Comics and Stories," will present a free talk and a slide show featuring his work, and will sign copies of his new book, "King-Cat Classix," at 7 p.m. Thursday at Colorado College’s Tutt Library, 1021 N. Cascade Ave. Learn more about the Denver-based Porcellino and "King-Cat" at www.king-cat.net.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Grevioux on "New Warriors"

I talked to Kevin Grevioux — the screenwriter/actor/comics writer with the impossibly deep voice - this week about his upcoming “New Warriors” for Marvel.

There’s plenty of secrecy surrounding the series. We know these new New Warriors are a group of young heroes opposed to superhero registration, but don’t really know anything about their ties to the old team. Grevioux talked about some of the characters and their powers; he remained mum, however, about their true identities.

He was happy, though, to talk about what it’s like to work for Marvel after being a fan all his life. “Dude, this is like a dream come true,” he said.

Look for more on Grevioux in a future Comics Fan column. You can also check out his Web site at http://www.kevingrevioux.net/.

Lana's baby blues

The big shocker on last night’s “Smallville” was that Lana didn’t lose her baby. That’s because she never had a baby; she wasn’t pregnant! Am I the only one that didn’t see that coming?

Nice scene between Clark and Lana. And it was fun to see Lynda “Wonder Woman” Carter as Chloe’s mom.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Spidey on Broadway

Spider-Man the musical?

Marvel today confirmed plans for a Broadway musical starring the webslinger.

“Produced by Hello Entertainment/David Garfinkle, Martin McCallum, Marvel Entertainment, and SONY Pictures Entertainment (billing in formation), the musical will be directed by Tony Award-winner Julie Taymor with U2’s Bono and The Edge creating new music and lyrics for the project. A reading is scheduled to take place this summer. No dates for a Broadway opening have been confirmed at this time.”

The press release notes that this will be the first time a Marvel character has been the subject of a show on Broadway. DC beat them to the punch a long time ago — about 40 years ago, actually - with “It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Superman.”

"Countdown" preview on My Space

If you’ve got your doubts about committing to “Countdown,” DC’s new weekly series that debuts right after “52” ends, here’s a way to sample the first two issues for free. DC announced today that it will post the first two issues online at www.myspace.com/comicbooks. Here’s how it’ll work:

The first 10 pages of issue No. 51 (that’s the first issue) will be on www.myspace.com/comicbooks on May 4.

The last 12 pages of No. 51 will be on the site on May 11, along with the first 12 pages of No. 50.

The last 10 pages of No. 50 will be on the site on May 18.

Flash vs. Superman: The debate continues

Did you catch “Lost” last night? It opened with Charlie and Hurley, during a rain-soaked walk through the jungle, debating who’s faster: Superman or Flash. A true geekfest. The debate, however, was cut short when Charlie caught an arrow in the throat. ... Oh, don’t worry. It was just another one of Desmond’s visions.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

World War III is here

World War III erupts - and ends - in “DC’s 52” No. 50, in stores today. The war is further detailed in a four-part special “World War” series that also hit today. Yep, all four parts at once. I got them all, but I wonder how many readers will do the same. I agree with Mike Coco of Bargain Comics, who thinks it would have been better to spread them out at least over a couple of weeks, if not all four weeks.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Your chance to be a part of Marvel movie history

Want to be in a Marvel movie instead of just watching one? The grand-prize winner of the Be in a Marvel Movie sweepstakes wins a walk-on role in a future Marvel Studios movie. (Though the fine print warns there’s no guarantee the winner will appear in the finished film after the editing.) Three first-prize winners will win a collected edition of Marvel comics and 15 second-prize winners will get a 12-issue subscription to one of Marvel’s titles. Go to marvel.com to enter. Deadline is Aug. 10.

Monday, April 16, 2007

A new Bruce Banner

A double dose of Marvel movie news today.

Marvel announced that two-time Academy Award Award nominee Edward Norton will play Bruce Banner in Marvel Studio’s “The Incredible Hulk.” As you may recall, Eric Bana had the Banner role in Ang Lee’s “Hulk.” The new movie, directed by Louis Leterrier, is scheduled to rampage into theaters on June 13, 2008.

Meanwhile, “Spider-Man 3” had its world premiere today in Tokyo. Why Tokyo? I have no idea. Here in the U.S., we’ll have to wait until May 4.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Marvel hogs the Top 10

Newsarama today posted Diamond’s Direct Market Sales Charts and Market Share report. Marvel had eight of the top 10 best-selling titles in March, topped by “Captain America” No. 25. (Yep, the issue where Cap is assassinated.)

What I found interesting was the appearance of Dark Horse’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” debut issue at the ninth spot on the list. As Newsarama points out, it’s an unusually strong showing for a non-Marvel or DC book. It’s also worth noting that Marvel’s “The Dark Tower: Gunslinger Born” No. 2 was at the fifth spot on the list. That’s two titles with no spandex in sight in the top 10.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

"Ultimates" action

There’s wide-screen action, and then there’s really wide-screen action. Newsarama has posted the eight-page foldout gatefold from the upcoming “Ultimates 2” No. 13 by Bryan Hitch, Paul Neary, and Laura Martin. Quite cool. It looks like the long-awaited issue might actually show up in comic-book shops next month.

"Painkiller Jane" on the small screen

There are only so many hours in the day, and I can’t spent them ALL reading comics. So there’s some I’ve just never read.

Take “Painkiller Jane,” for example. Never read it. If you’re a fan, though, check out the new series starting Friday night on the Sci-Fi Channel. Reviews are mixed. “The show’s clearly all about style over substance,” the Los Angeles Daily News says. The Orlando Sentinel is more positive, at least as far as star Kristanna Loken: “Jane started as a comic-book character, and Loken transforms her into a three-dimensional figure with appealing vulnerability and amiable sarcasm.”

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

It's "Civil War" all over again

If you jumped on the “Civil War” bandwagon too late — or not at all — here’s another chance to see what the Marvel mega-event was all about. A trade paperback collecting the seven-issue miniseries hits comic-book shops tomorrow.

Marvel also announced this week another way to experience “Civil War” - with “Civil War Chronicles.” Newsarama explains that “Civil War Chronicles” will be a monthly series that reprints issues of “Civil War” and “Civil War: Front Line” in order, as well as some related titles.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Fine fashions for the comics fan

I was mall-crawling at The Citadel mall over the weekend while my wife spent an eternity buying clothes and came across some cool superhero Marvel T-shirts at Steve & Barry’s. About $8. There was Thor and Captain America — both illustrated by Jack “King” Kirby, it appeared — plus X-Men and multiple Spider-Man shirts. If only my birthday was near ...

Friday, April 06, 2007

Heading toward the big finish

The end is near. Four issues of “52” are left. This week’s issue No. 48, featuring Renee Montoya as the new Question, gets bashed a bit on the DC message boards. The main complaint is the Renee story is sluggish and takes up almost the whole issue. I kind of agree, but I’m still digging “52” immensely. My only problem with the series remains that so many threads get left on hold for so long. It’s been forever since we dropped in on Booster Gold and evil robot Skeets and the whole “time is broken” storyline.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Metal Men on the big screen?

The Hollywood Reporter reports that Warner Bros. is setting up a Metal Men movie with producer Lauren Schuler Donner.

The wacky robot group isn’t exactly DC Comics’ best-known team - though Metal Men creator/mad scientist Will Magnus is a key character in the ongoing “52” series. I can see the Metal Men more as a Saturday morning cartoon than a feature film. But DC scribe Geoff Johns helped develop the take and will executive produce, the Hollywood Reporter says, so that’s a good sign. And Donner is no stranger to bringing comics to film.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Of Minx and manga

I talked to Karen Berger, senior VP at DC Comics, the other day about the upcoming Minx line of graphic novels.

The line is aimed at teen girls. Japanese manga, of course, attracts tons of girls. American comics, not so much.

How come? “There hasn’t really been a line, or enough of a presence, in American comics of material that is realy directly aimed for a teenage girl,” Berger says. “As we know, the superhero genre is dominant. Girls like to read stuff that is not power-based, that deals with relationships and friendships, and those elements are very common in manga.” Those elements, she said, will also be found in the Minx books, starting with “Plain Janes” in May.