To everyone in the Eastern US affected by Frankenstorm Sandy, my heart goes out to you. Stay safe and I hope normalcy returns as soon as possible. (And don’t forget to vote!)
Show business knew how to take away the game ball from Sandy coverage with the announcement that George Lucas was selling Lucasfilm to Disney for $4 billion (with a ‘b’). That’s just mind-boggling.
And with that news came the news that new Star Wars films will be forthcoming with Lucas not involved in their production. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, Lucas announced his charitable intentions with the $4 billion. What a week. Marvel and DC will have to stage a double-secret-reboot just to get a little press.
Let’s see what else is going on:
I am shocked - shocked, I tell you - to discover that the movie Argo (about how Jack Kirby’s designs for a screenplay based on a Roger Zelazny novel helped rescue hostages in Iran for the CIA) is playing fast and loose with history.
Michael Sporn has a long post with some nice artwork by Playboy cartoonist Rowland B. Wilson and some rare artwork by Alex Toth.
Down The Tubes interviews Paul Scoones, author of the new Doctor Who book: The Comic Strip Companion: The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Doctor Who in Comics: 1964 — 1979.
Another sad week as noted comic book artist Ernie Chan passes away. As always, Mark Evanier has the best obituary, if ever an obit can be categorized that way.
Amanda Marcotte takes a look at The Avengers movie, specifically the male reviewers and their reactions to The Black Widow.
Another good catch by Daniel Best at 20th Century Danny Boy: a tale of stolen artwork involving Joe Simon and the FBI.
Comedy writer Paul Laikin (he wrote for MAD Magazine and was editor of Marvel’s Crazy) has passed away.
And speaking of MAD Magazine, I’ve never met anyone who didn’t like Don Martin’s work. Here’s a nice piece in honor of his birthday.
Now, how many times have you already seen The Avengers? Doesn't it just kick movie butt? And what movie do you think we'll be talking about all summer? Avengers or The Dark Knight Rises?
Avengers Assemble...in line! Former Malibu Comics publisher and co-founder Dave Olbrich (now a manager at Space Goat Productions) and for Malibu Comics Editor-In-Chief Chris Ulm (now the head guy at Appy Entertainment), show up at the :20 mark in this report from AMC theaters in southern California.
Longbox Graveyard goes Marathoning and Assembling for Avengers and other Marvel-based movies. “Five of my favorite superhero movies, in a day-long sitting, followed by a midnight debut of The Avengers! Seventeen hours in a movie theater, ninety minutes in the car each way getting there, a day off work to do it and another day off to recover. Great for a twelve-year-old, not-so-great if you’re half a century old. So I found a couple twelve-year-olds and went anyway.”
Hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, power outages. It's been a wild couple of climate change-enhanced weeks. Let's play catch-up across the internets:
Cullen Bunn is having a career year and let’s hope it’s the first of many. The creator of The Sixth Gun got his Oni Press series, The Damned, picked up by Showtime for a series. He’s already gotten The Sixth Gun optioned to SyFy for a series. If they both make it to air, Bunn will have two more shows on the air than DC Comics.
Apes: Rich Handley reviews the fourth issue of Darryl Gregory and Carlos Magno’s Planet Of The Apes, from Boom! “BOOM!’s Apes run stands on a pinnacle, one sure to end badly for humanity.” But all good for readers and fans.
Republicans: My pal Doug Molitor from Funny Or Die looks at 12 Republican super-heroes. My favorite? The Human Torturer!
Jack: Man, that’s a lot of nice Jack Davis work that Michael Sporn posted. I really love those western covers, too.
I have an idea for a great drinking game. Surf the internet and every time you come across a link to Bleeding Cool’s expose of Rob Granito, take a drink. You’ll be Lohan’ed before Monday. In the meantime, I await the Bluewater biography of Mr. Swipey McSwipe-swipe.
Let’s see what else is out there:
Batman: The writer Lance Mannion tries to teach his sons about Batman.
Liberty: Writer Martin Powell gets interviewed at Broken Frontier. Subject: his children’s books and The Halloween Legion and Liberty Unlimited, both of which I’m really looking forward to.
Blood: Mark Wheatley, Marc Hempel and Ricky Shanklin’s graphic novel Blood Of The Innocent is marching toward the big screen. Breck Eisner (The Crazies) is attached to direct and Bill Marsilii (Deja Vu) is writing the screenplay. According to Scoop: “The original comic book series set Dracula against Jack the Ripper and was published by Warp in 1985.”
I know that we’re all thinking the same thing: how great it is that Michael Rosenbaum is coming back to Smallville for the big series finale. I’m stocking extra Doritos for my goodbye party.
Now that you’re sitting down, why not read a few things:
England: I missed this end of the year interview with head of brand marketing for DC Thomson John Paul Murphy. DC Thomson publishes, among other things, the British comics the Beano, the Dandy and Commando.
Art: After looking at these paintings from Britain’s War Picture Library, I can only conclude two things: (1) Giorgio De Gaspari is a terrific painter and (2) I want to see more!
Nate: Comic Strip Of The Day takes a look at Big Nate. “It is self-deprecating, self-reflective humor delivered on an adolescent level. And it works.”
2011 is still going to be a rough year for publishers, and longtime beloved publisher Russ Cochran is one of those having a troubled time.
To keep his books from falling into the wrong hands ("I would rather sell them to you, my faithful customers, at a lower price than to wholesale them to dealers and booksellers"), Russ is cutting deals by slashing prices to move out his inventory.
Some of the price cuts are outrageous. There's a list and a link at the Trouble With Comics post.
Russ has done some brilliant work over the years, creating beautiful hardcover volumes that preserve the work of classic EC Comics and MAD Magazine. I have a complete set of the MAD reprints in a nice slipcase and they are sweet, and yes, I take them out and read them pretty much every year.
If you've ever wanted to pick up some of these books, but have put it off for whatever reason, now's the time.
[Artwork: Tales From The Crypt, snagged from The Daily Crosshatch which also has a nice review of the book]
The War on Christmas is nearly done for another year, and there’s just enough time left for the War on New Year’s. Let's see what you should be reading this week:
Joe: This is simply a great, honest and open interview with Joe Casey, comic book writer/creator and co-creator of Ben 10. Perfect holiday reading from interviewer Tom Spurgeon at The Comics Reporter.
Thor: So there’s some controversy from an all-white group that’s upset that Marvel has cast an actor of color to play a Norse God in Thor. Ricky Sprague at Project Child Murdering Robot has a thought or two.
Polly: Animator Michael Sporn is happy that Dean Mullaney’s new book has arrived (as am I). Polly and Her Pals: the Complete Sunday Comics 1925-1927 comes from Dean’s The Library of American Comics via IDW.
I spent Thanksgiving outside the US this year so I’m stuffed with stir-fried shrimp and chocolate ice cream, which made for an excellent breakfast of leftovers, because that's just how I roll.
If you’re out and about shopping now for the holidays, here’s the best Holiday Shopping Gift Guide you’re ever going to need for the 2010 credit card season, courtesy of Tom Spurgeon at The Comics Reporter.
Let’s see what else is going on:
Green Lantern: If you’ve been in awe of the new Ryan Reynolds trailer for Green Lantern, there’s at least one person with an alternate view worth reading: Ricky Sprague at Project Child Murdering Robot. “The Green Lantern Corps is their ‘muscle,’ enforcing their rules of righteousness. They take creatures from various parts of the universe and have them fight 'evil.' There are lots of different GLs, made up of different species from different planets. You can see where this is starting to get lame.”
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