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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Priest on "Gunplay"

Comic-book writer Christopher Priest, who has called Colorado Springs home for years, will be writing prose backup stories for “Jorge Vega’s Gunplay,” the winner of Platinum Studios’ 2007 Comic Book Challenge. Priest’s stories will be “dime-store novel” versions of the main story by Vega.

“Gunplay,” Platinum Studios says, “is the haunting tale of Abner Meeks, a Buffalo Soldier condemned to roam the Old West with a hellish curse slung at his waist — a demonic shooting iron that forces him to kill once a day or suffer soul-searing pain.” Sounds cheery. Look for it in mid-March. Further details will be coming to www.gunplaythecomic.com.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The new Cap

I've got a short story in tomorrow's Gazette, on the Pop page, about the new Captain America. As anyone who has been reading "Captain America" knows, Bucky Barnes is poised to become the new Cap in issue No. 34, on stands Wednesday. Newsarama has an early review.

Monday, January 28, 2008

"The Ten-Cent Plague"

I talked today with David Hadju, author of “The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America.” The book, set for release in March, is a fascinating and amazingly detailed look at the furor surrounding comics in the 1940s and ‘50s, including congressional hearings and book burnings. Until I read “The Ten-Cent Plague,” I never knew how intense and widespread the controversy was. Hadju said he was in the same boat at first. “I didn’t realize it had the heft and the meaning that it had until I really started digging in,” he said. Look for more on Hadju’s book in a future Comics Fan column.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Marvel, Soleil team up

A new joint publishing venture from Marvel:

Marvel, in collaboration with acclaimed French comic publisher Soleil, is proud to announce that they will be publishing some of Europe’s most popular comics in English for the first time! Producers of cutting edge science-fiction and fantasy comics loved across the world, Soleil’s an industry leader in bringing fresh voices to the comic medium with their diverse offerings. Now American audiences can discover why talent from all over the world line-up to produce to high-quality graphic novels with Soleil!Some of Soleil’s most popular releases, such as Sky Doll, Universal War One, Samurai and Le Fleau Des Dieux, make their English language debuts beginning this May. The first release will be Sky Doll #1 (of 3), a timely socio-political thriller in which a young android must decide her destiny by challenging the very government—and faith—that has controlled her life.

“Marvel’s proud to bring Soleil’s innovative stories to new audiences,” said Dan Buckley, Marvel President of Publishing. “These books represent some of the world’s top talent telling cutting-edge stories in a variety of genres, demonstrating the power of the comic medium.”

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ending with a bullet

“Messiah Complex” came to a violent end in this week’s “X-Men” No. 207. I thought, frankly, that it ended with Professor X dead (again), but apparently I was wrong. Check out Newsarama for a guide as to what’s next in the X world.

Also out this week: “Countdown to Final Crisis” No. 14. I can’t say I’ve been caught up in this weekly series as I was with “52,” but I was wowed by the last page of this week’s issue. An interesting battle is ahead.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

"Dark Knight" loses its Joker

This just in from the Associated Press: Heath Ledger was found dead Tuesday at a downtown Manhattan residence in a possible drug-related death, police said. He was 28.

The Australian-born actor was nominated for an Oscar for “Brokeback Mountain” and, of course, plays the Joker in the upcoming “The Dark Knight.” I’ve read a lot of comments from director Christopher Nolan on how Ledger will blow people away with his portrayal of the twisted Joker.

Just last night, I watched part of Nolan’s “Batman Begins” on FX. A great movie.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

News on the small screen and big

Good news for “Smallville” fans. According to the latest TV Guide (the sci-fi issue), there are are six new episodes left before the drought caused by the writers’ strike. New episodes begin Jan. 31. I must have missed an episode, because the article refers to a previous episode with the Bizarro Clark pretending to be the real Clark. Which I wouldn’t have wanted to see anyway, because I’m sick of the episodes where a character has a double or is bewitched or under the influence of red K or whatever.

Bad news for “Justice League” fans. Variety reports that the big-screen “Justice League” is on indefinite hold. Warner Bros. studio had set Tuesday as its greenlight deadline for the movie.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Going "Incognrego"

I talked this morning with Mat Johnson, author of “Incognegro,” a graphic novel to be released by Vertigo next month. It’s about a light-skinned African-American reporter who passes for white as he investigates lynchings in the South. His work becomes personal as he heads off to save his brother, who has been arrested for the murder of a white woman in Mississippi.
The story is a compelling one: a deftly blended mix of a murder mystery, a character study and a bit of a history lesson. It was inspired in part, Johnson says, by the birth of his twins — one “looking very European,” with red hair and pale skin, and the other with Afro-type hair and brown skin.

I’ll have more on “Incognegro” in a future Comics Fan column.

Monday, January 14, 2008

"Pilot Season" voting nears an end

Have you cast your vote yet? Top Cow reports it has received more than 2.5 million votes in its “Pilot Season” promotion at www.myspace.com/pilotseason. Fans have until Jan. 21 to place their votes for which two of Top Cow’s five one-shot “Pilot Season” books from last year will become series. (It’s like viewers, instead of the networks, deciding which TV pilots get picked up.) One of the books, “Necromancer,” was illustrated by Colorado Springs’ very own Jonboy Meyers.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The retailers react

Newsarama has a nice overview of retailer reaction to Spider-Man’s “One More Day.” Not surprisingly, retailers are hearing from a lot of customers unhappy about the turn of events in Spider-Man’s life. The question is whether how many carry out their threats to drop Spidey. Aside from the controversy, all the retailers agree that dropping the two other monthly Spider-Man titles and boosting “Amazing” to three times a month should help sales. There also seems to be agreement that the new Spider-Man status quo is intended to draw in new readers, at the risk of driving away some of us aging fanboys. A reasonable goal, I guess, though you still have to get those newbies into comic-book shops.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Spider-Man's "Brand New Day"

Well, it’s a “Brand New Day” for Spider-Man after the events of “One More Day.” I read “Amazing Spider-Man” No. 546 last night. It’s nice to have artist Steve McNiven back and the writing by Dan Slott is fine (a nice, breezy first-person narrative by Peter Parker). But I just don’t know if I’ll be able to care about this “new” Spider-Man, who seems to have de-aged, lives with his aunt again and has his best buddy, Harry, back. I get my fix of a younger Spidey over at “Ultimate Spider-Man.” On “Amazing,” it’s hard to get my head around the fact that so much that has happened over the years is gone. Again, it’s not just that Peter and MJ aren’t married. It’s that all the significant milestones in recent years, such as Aunt May finding that Peter is Spider-Man, have been wiped away.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

"A Comic Book Kid"

Check out the latest Entertainment Weekly (the one with Matthew Fox of “Lost” on the cover) for an entertaining essay by writer Jeff Jensen on his love affair with comics. Titled “The Amazing Adventures of A Comic Book Kid,” it’s sure to strike a chord with any true comics fan.

Monday, January 07, 2008

"Fantastic Four: The Lost Adventure"

I talked this morning with Marvel Comics executive editor Tom Brevoort about “Fantastic Four: The Lost Adventure,” which comes out in February. It’s a reunion of sorts of the legendary team of Stan Lee and the late Jack Kirby. The story was originally created for the monthly “Fantastic Four” series nearly 40 years ago but wasn’t published apparently because of some rift between Lee and Kirby. After Kirby left for DC, some of the story made it into “Fantastic Four” No. 108 as an extended flashback sequence. For “The Lost Adventure,” Brevoort brought back Lee and original inker Joe Sinnott to rebuild the original story from Kirby’s pencils. “It’s not exactly the issue you might have got in 1970, but it as close as we could get,” Brevoort said. I’ll have more on “The Lost Adventure” in the next Comics Fan.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

And more fallout ....

Aww, it just gets more interesting. After reading the latest installment of the Comic Book Resource's multi-part interview with Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada, head over to Newsarama to check out writer J. Michael Straczynski's thoughts on the controversial "One More Day" storyline.