Spider-Man proves loyalty with Nazi salute at Rumsfeld rally
Posted 29 April 02005 - Permalink
Spider-Man proves loyalty with Nazi salute at Rumsfeld rally
Posted 29 April 02005 - Permalink
Marvel and Stan Lee Settle All Outstanding Litigation [Newsarama]
No official numbers released.
Dr. Strange new animated DVD movie; Marvel releases Q1 02005 numbers [Newsarama]
Earnings decreased 11.5%, but it beat predictions by 4 cents a share. Publishing up 14% to $22.4 million; average circulation per title also up after a down trend. $10 million charge for the resolution of all past and future payments claimed by Stan Lee (so is this the settlement number after all?). Licensing up 52%. Toys got killed as Spider-Man 2 and Lord of the Rings fade into history. The Marvel dragon sits on $243 million cash. Dr. Strange mentioned as part of a group of original animated DVD features starting in 02006.
Marvel to become movie production house! Paramount to distribute [Newsarama]
Wow! A huge move. Marvel's boldly going to be making the films themselves now- no more splitting the profits with a Sony, and total creative control- but no more splitting the risks, either.
Posted 28 April 02005 - Permalink
Mini-comics loot now in the orbital HQ from yesterday's Fresh Meat at The School of Visual Arts (in rough alpha order, Neilalien hasn't had a chance to read anything yet):
Posted 26 April 02005 - Permalink
Reader email sadly says it all, when a Doc fan wishes for less Doc:
Hope Doc isn't a major player in House of M, because including the 8 issues of the maxi series and all the crossovers, you're looking at 50 comics books, according to the checklist in the latest Marvel Previews. Those bastards!
Clea losing big re: Which of these Marvel Heroes should appear in the next Heroclix set? poll [poll results on Marvel.com] [Sorcerer Supreme sends the FYI]
She's behind Cannonball, Deathlok, Madrox, Shadowcat, Union Jack. Can we boost her results? [vote on Heroclix poll]
Strange #5: A Medical Review (and general blisteringly negative review too) [Polite Dissent]
Comic book collecting has come of age, with prices for important mint-condition books climbing well into the six figures [Forbes.com]
On the Marvel side, there's Steve Ditko, the first Spider-Man artist. Grab his Dr. Strange artwork if you can find it.
I sold hundreds of copies of Harbinger #1 (Valiant Comics) for more than a hundred bucks a pop -- and you can pick them up for near cover price these days. I was a bastard. I knew and understood the fanboy mentality perfectly, and to this day I feel no guilt about it.
Must-read: Two problems afflicting mainstream comics: "super-reading" immersion required re: back continuity and in-references; "little more than pleas for licensing deals" [Boston Phoenix: Pleasure islands: Superheroes, 'super-readers,' and the latest generation of mainstream comics by Douglas Wolk; analyzes the guilty pleasure of Birds Of Prey] [via Comics Reporter]
Tom Spurgeon on How To Critique Comics [Comic Foundry]
Marvel surges in licensing, from #69 to #4 in 02004 [ICv2]
The worldwide retail sales of its licensed products rose from $189 million to $4 billion. Behind Disney, Warner Brothers, and Nickelodeon. According to License Magazine, which says most leading licensors remained flat.
Marvel Babies, we make our dreams come true [Paul O'Brien analyzes at Ninth Art]
Kennedy brother-in-law Raymond Reggie is an undercover informant against Clinton fund-raiser David Rosen [New York Times; try BugMeNot if not registered] [via News From ME]
The case against Rosen is based on claims by Stan Lee Media's Peter Paul.
Unheralded writers finally get their due [Metro]
When children were reading comic books, purty pictures and artists were king. Now the adults reading comics need better stories, so writers are king.
The Big Two Marvel and DC output shows comics aren't dying, but it's like a successful weed choking out the other grass with book glut [I Think I Can Manage column at ICv2]
800 cartoonists participate in second annual 24 Hour Comics Day [Newsarama]
Posted 25 April 02005 - Permalink
Marvel Visionaries: Steve Ditko out today
Jim Salicrup suggestions for Marvel in 7-Elevens [Addicted To Comics at Buzzscope]
Sell the already-working Ultimates there, not unproven kiddie lines. Continuity's not a problem. Clean up the books. Less pin-up style covers. Bring back Bullpen Bulletins and letters pages.
Another lifetime achievement award for Stan Lee's pile [this one given by SPACE: The Imagination Station]
Zombie movie legend George Romero will also be honored.
Cinemaker "The Ultimate Guide to Low Budget Production, Marketing and Distribution" 6-DVD set includes a William Shatner interview with Stan Lee, and a Kirby interview? [Fangoria]
WTF does the 'Digital Comic' Eisner Award category mean? [Penny Arcade]
'Scanned for web publication'?
Struggling with being critical of the Eisner Awards without insulting nominated friends [Comics.212.net]
Neilalien goes through this all the time with his Grammy peeps.
Champions campaign promise: no ongoing secret evil government conspiracies [Frothing at the Mouth]
For the uninitiated [to comic books], let it be known that just as "graphic novel" is comic-ese for comic book, "landlord" similarly means "mom," "God" equals Stan Lee and "girlfriend" is a euphemism for a Natalie Portman blow-up doll.
Probably nothing else would improve the fortunes of the comic book as much as a transformation of general public perception that comics are cool, instead of cool to make fun of... And on more days than not, it seems like that public perception is mostly poisoned not by fanboys mockably fitting the stereotype, but by others (geek types themselves) desperately needing to be (self-)perceived as higher up the geek hierarchy than the fanboy strawman (really, who else would bother to make these kinds of comments?).
Posted 20 April 02005 - Permalink
Against the increasing presence of the word "assrape" in the lexicon of casual post-Identity-Crisis comics discussion [Peiratikos]
Even when you're speaking out against assrape in comics.
Marvel solicits for July 02005 [Comic Book Resources]
DEFENDERS #1 (of 5)
Written by KEITH GIFFEN and J.M. DeMATTEIS
Pencils & Cover by KEVIN MAGUIRE
Wong possessed by Nightmare! Dormammu and Umar in unholy alliance! The Hulk and the Sub-Mariner at each other's throats! The Silver Surfer...uh...surfing. Can Doctor Strange reunite the Defenders and save "Reality As We Know It?" Come to think of it, can editor Andy Schmidt save the Marvel Universe from Eisner-award-winning creators Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis and Kevin Maguire? Only the Ancient One knows for sure! 32 PGS./T+ Suggested for Teens and Up $2.99
MARVEL MILESTONES: DR. STRANGE, SILVER SURFER, SUB-MARINER & HULK
Written by STAN LEE & BILL EVERETT
Penciled by BARRY WINDSOR-SMITH, JACK KIRBY & BILL EVERETT
Cover by BARRY WINDSOR-SMITH
The Defenders have their day! In honor of this month's DEFENDERS #1, Dr. Strange faces death in the unreal dream world of Nightmare in a story from MARVEL PREMIERE #3! Plus: the Silver Surfer vs. Quasimodo from FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #5, the first appearance of the Sub-Mariner from MARVEL COMICS #1 and the origin of the Hulk from HULK #3. 48 PGS./T+ SUGGESTED FOR TEENS AND UP $3.99
If you're looking for a great superhero movie, as in the use of super powers and special effects, look outside the Fantastic Four box: Kung Fu Hustle is good fun!
Posted 19 April 02005 - Permalink
X-Ray Visionary: New adventures in the saga of Stan Lee [LA Times] [via Comics Reporter with probably-correct doubts that a post-internet-bubble-crash Stan Lee Media would have been fine if only Peter Paul's shenanigans hadn't brought it down]
The challenges of the book glut; limited shop shelf space [Brian Hibbs Tilting At Windmills]
Essential Super-Villain Team-Up reviewed [Ninth Art]
Richard Starkings talking lettering and fonts [Newsarama]
Comic Books: The American mythology [GW Hatchet; reg req'd, try BugMeNot]
It may be 'social suicide' to say that 'comic books are cool' now, but in 2,000 years, people will be studying Batman the way we study the Greek myths now.
Online fandom is a place any sane person/creator would do well to avoid [Ninth Art]
The Dream Police, they live inside of my head [Pulse]
The Last Sane Cowboy by Daniel Merlin Goodbrey wins 02005 Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics [The Comics Pimp]
The Undertones show at Knitting Factory on Saturday night was so great! First US tour in 20 years! Super crowd (extremely wide age range, as with most shows Neilalien sees nowadays), they played all the hits, and the band was all energy and really looking like they were enjoying themselves and happy to be there with us- aloof can be so overrated. Good move re: singer Paul McLoone (replacing Feargal Sharkey) too. Neilalien got his teenage kicks. Upcoming: New York Dolls at Irving Plaza, Kraftwerk at Hammerstein Ballroom, Patti Smith at CBGB's, Gang of Four at Irving Plaza, Joey Ramone Birthday Bash at Irving Plaza. See you there, Neilalienistas!
Undertones Get New Kicks [Rolling Stone]
Posted 18 April 02005 - Permalink
Lea Hernandez: Comics Need Hurting; go on, hurt them [The Great Curve]
Blasphemy conviction and six-month sentence of Austrian comic book artist in Greek courts overturned on appeal [CBS New York]
Gerhard Haderer had portrayed Jesus as a marijuana-smoking surfer hippie who hangs out with celebrities including Jimi Hendrix.
DC dumps its move to bring Humanoids (TechnoPriests) (2000AD too) European comics to North America [Newsarama]
The books didn't catch on. Many comments of the 'DC did not market or push these lines well at all' variety. So what was the point of all this?
Seattle newspaper editor wants cartoonist illustrations for 'police blotter' column (WTF!?), Johnny Ryan draws white guy mugged by blacks, hilarity ensues [TCJ Message Board; warning: very low signal-to-noise in that thread]
Thesis: Wonder Woman is bulletproof [Dave's Long Box]
Ah, memories of ye olde Is Thor bulletproof? Usenet debates. The bracelets? Spinning Mjolnir around as a shield? Just showin' off (with no innocents hit by ricochets, neither!).
Bob Layton, he of some past popular Iron Mans, rants re: Ultimate Iron Man [Bob Layton]
Restarting at the beginning and making Tony Stark a mutant ain't what anyone wants to see.
Posted 13 April 02005 - Permalink
Big Steve Ditko: The Mysterious Traveler update [Blake Bell's Ditko Looked Up]
Critical Ditko reprints would be included in an upcoming Marvel Masterworks of Tales to Astonish #1-10 [Ditko Looked Up]
Speedball #1 Ditko pencilled page (commentary re: Guice inking) [Ditko Looked Up]
Marvel Visionaries: Steve Ditko next week!
If superheroes were power fantasies before, they're soap-operatic sufferings now [Ninth Art]
ICv2's Top 300 Comics & Top 100 GN's Index/Archive (including associated articles) [ICv2]
ICv2 makes their website and the internet better.
Memorial for never-missed-a-deadline Will Eisner inspires John Byrne to rant that late creators should be fired; invokes Ayn Rand [John Byrne Forum] [via Fanboy Rampage] [must-read FR comment thread] [Milo comment]
Gritty new comic redefines DC superhero universe [The Eagle Online]
DC's Dan Didio: "DC has this incredible wealth of fabulous characters that has never really been tapped to its full potential." By killing said characters?
Bill Willingham: "Magic is, basically, breaking the laws of nature- and evil people break the laws." [Newsarama]
Costume designer for "Wild Women of Planet Wongo" Dean Walz inspired by old "Star Trek" episodes, Marvel comic book characters [Cincinnati.com Enquirer]
Army recruitment falloff recalls 01970's when "operating and repair manuals were printed in comic book form because of the low reading skills of many enlistees" [Chicago Tribune story by way of SunHerald.com]
St. Louis DJ not as good as Superman, more like Dr. Strange or Aquaman [RiverFrontTimes.com]
Local DJ Tony J. is like Superman. Okay, maybe not Superman; he's more like one of those obscure superheroes, like Aquaman or Dr. Strange, who can save your life, but only in very specific situations.
A $1,000 investment in Marvel stock in 01998 worth $4,413 today, up 341% [Motley Fool]
Thought Balloons shuttered
Oh no! One of the best comic book news weblogs ever. So much for Neilalien's plan to enjoy the nice spring weather with lots of via's to Thought Balloons and Franklin's Findings; he'll have to search Google News for his own damn self now. ;) Those were two of Neilalien's biggest traffic referrers too... But he won't pathetically think of himself right now. TB's moved on from the message-board noise and fun/mental-health-removing grind of daily news blogging for writing essays on Dark, But Shining (with Eat More People, who has also shuttered his solo blog). Hat's off, guys! Neilalien will be reading.
Softening the blog pain: Neilalien uber-fave Attentiondeficitdisorderly Too Flat is back!
Posted 11 April 02005 - Permalink
Pope reborn as superhero in Colombian comic [Reuters at ABC News Online] [via Weblog Wannabe]
The resurrected muscular super-pontiff wields a faith staff, holy water, communion wine, an anti-Devil cape and special chastity pants.
Mosaic Confusion: Why Adults Can't Read Comics [The Less Said The Better]
I think I've managed to boil down DC's policy to one sentence: Publish stories that only make sense if you've read every comic they've put out for the last 35 years, and then punish you for having read them.
Posted 8 April 02005 - Permalink
Big crash of Joey Manley's webcomics sites!
Neilalien gets cranky without his GraphicSmash. The sites are being recoded from scratch and seem back up in a skeletal form now, but he still can't log in.
Let's have a voluntary ban on women being merely rapees, victims, props in comics [Permanent Damage]
Literal Forms: Narrative Structures in Maus [Indy Magazine]
Franklin's been promoted; Neilalien's enjoyment of comics blogosphere demoted [Findings is on hiatus]
Spotted scrawled on a napkin in a Cairo cafe:
No more Franklin
Nor finding out
what Franklin thinks.
Now Franklin finds
for dead-tree inks.
Congrats- but we all
find that stinks.
"Go here" link-text used in otherwise right-on web-usage rant re: people who write a web address online but don't make it a link [Comic Book Galaxy Blog]
Neilalien likes to rant about web usage too ;). Don't "click here": writing meaningful link text.
(Hmmm, re: an item in that "Don't 'click here'" piece: if vision-challenged users are using only a webpage's link-text listed out of context separate from surrounding text, or tabbing from link to link, then Neilalien's blogging style of using website names as the link-text 'buttons' is not really much more accessible than using "here"s. A list of just website names is coming up... Which leads to another question, perhaps politically incorrect, may the gods protect him, struggling with the wording: Is it possible to be too concerned about your website's accessibility for the blind if you are a website about comic books?)
Editorially-mandated 'event' storytelling based on deaths and rapes isn't creating a comics market of lasting mass popular literature [Comics Reporter]
Such decisions shape the market, and if you realize that in a sense Blue Beetle has become better known as a plot-point snuff victim than he was for whatever modest thrills the entirety of his comic book adventures might have offered, you have to wonder what shape these companies are going for.
Posted 5 April 02005 - Permalink
Doc's cloak, Brunner's farewell to Marvel: The cover to The Comics Journal #51 [Defenders Message Board]
Neilalien just did a voracious search of his website and he cannot believe that he's never scanned this for you fans *smacks forehead*.
Strange #5 out this week
Strange Girl #1 in July: she's "equal parts Tank Girl and Doctor Strange" [Newsarama]
And no part interesting to Neilalien.
Never come up with a new idea when you can recycle an old one [Paul O'Brien on the Big Two's big crossover events; at Ninth Art]
Marvel in 7-11s are good for comics; the direct market's challenge is to create a unique, fuller experience [The Comic Pimp at CBR]
But the Pimp cries foul re: non-direct-market exclusive product, like the Barnes & Noble softcover Marvel Masterworks.
Comic books as psychological warfare [In The Fray's Pulse weblog] [via WFC News]
EgyptAir will give out 20,000 copies of AK Comics' Middle East Heroes on its flights; U.S. propaganda has a tougher sell.
Related: Comic books beat commies in Hungary [Palm Beach Daily News] [via Franklin's Findings]
Speakeasy Comics: Stock our books and in return we'll put you on our list! oooh [Newsarama]
Ha- Neilalien's just being punchy. Small publishers gotta try something, anything to make a dent these days. Chris Allen has a gig there so hopefully the retailer program will help. Money quote: "Too often in comics we [publishers] look at the retailers as our customer instead of our partner."
Posted 4 April 02005 - Permalink
Neilalien liked Sin City- it was a stylish visual feast of violence (but too brutal- Kill Bill was more enjoyable in this area), sex (most of the online discussion seems to be ga-ga for Jessica Alba but Rosario Dawson had this boy's attention), noir, pulp, and fucked up. Mickey Rourke was spectacular.
But, it felt like there was too much of the noir wordy clunky narrative voice-over to go with the eye-feast. Even for Neilalien, who has nothing against the old talkies, even the old noir talkies- and certainly nothing against the old-school wordy comics with the thought balloons and captions that are so out of favor these days.
At first he thought it was a grander problem to this great experiment. We lose a lot of a novel's words when it becomes a movie. A comic is 'closer' to a movie, so it should be that when one becomes a movie, 'less' is lost, since there are fewer words than in a novel; plus the film gains some neat imagery that a pictureless novel lacks. But maybe comics, being the wonderful artform combo of words and pictures that it is (unless it's a 'silent' story), still has too much text for films, and thus should not be, or can't be, brought to the film medium so faithfully as Sin City attempts?
Or maybe it's not as meta as that, and it just depends on how wordy the source comic is, and if the words are any good. Kill Bill was better in the wordy way as well. As lush as it is to look at, does Sin City simply still just fail in the "show don't tell" department? Or as Not The Beastmaster has already said:
Unfortunately, Rodriguez is just as faithful to all the non-visual elements, and those carry over with far less success. People have been making fun of Frank Miller's faux-tough-guy scripting since at least Dark Knight Returns, if not Daredevil, but hearing it read aloud should, if there's any justice, destroy it once and for all. The voiceovers, especially Hartigan's, sound like what you might think film noir narration sounds like if you've never seen a film noir before.
Posted 4 April 02005 - Permalink
Keith Giffen's not angry with Countdown [Comic Book Resources]
He's flattered that his Justice League work has made second-stringers like Sue Dibny and Blue Beetle so killable-for-impact, and he's got a work-for-hire perspective.
It's not a storytelling event, it's a marketing event of looming self-importance [X-Axis review of Countdown]
Official Blogosphere Snark Notes version of Countdown [Gutterninja]
Poster Abhay rips Countdown a new one [Pop Culture Bored]
Offing Blue Beetle's not kosher; don't mess with my childhood; kill Booster Gold instead [Ghost In The Machine]
Posted 4 April 02005 - Permalink