Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Quebecor: Stepping Closer To Getting Out Of Bankruptcy Hell?

Publishers Weekly reports on Quebecor's slow trudge through bankruptcy proceedings, in reporting a loss of $2.2 billion in 2007.

In a statement, CEO Jacques Mallette said the company has made good progress in restructuring its operations. “I am pleased with what we have accomplished so far,” Mallett said. To finance its operation during the bankruptcy proceedings, Quebecor received $1 billion of debtor-in-possession financing earlier this year, and the company said it believes it has enough cash to operate until it emerges from bankruptcy.

Quebecor has always been one of the bigger names in printing comic books. I never know whether their problems should sound some sort of alarm about the health of the comic book industry, either from the fact that financial goings could be so bad or that the potential of one less option for printing could hurt large and small publishers.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Vote For The PATCH OF ORANGE Entry

The greatness behind THE MIGHTIES pitch (found over here) has an entry in to create the new Radiohead music video. It's trippy goodness.



Watch more cool animation and creative cartoons at aniBoom

Make sure to follow it over to the aniBoom site to rate it so it gets a better chance of being picked.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Oh Bull Testicles!


Who could pass this up, folks?

TESTICLE BILL DANGLES OVER LEGISLATORS

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - They're proudly displayed by any self-respecting bull, but dangling big metal ones on the back end of a truck could be banned in Florida.

Metal replicas of bull testicles have become trendy bumper ornaments in some parts of the Sunshine State, but state Sen. Carey Baker is campaigning to ban the orbs.

Baker acknowledged that Florida lawmakers have more pressing issues, including huge revenue shortfalls, but said the state needs to draw a line on what's obscene before more objectionable adornments appear.

More at the link above. People getting points for bull testicles on their car. Isn't it preferable that we let them have those testes on display so it can save us valuable time in figuring out what level to converse with them on? ;)

Besides...I don't believe Florida has a law requiring diapers on bulls at this point...and some dangling, swaying, live bull testicles should be all the more offensive than a pair frozen in time on a bumper...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Ugh...I Really Didn't Want To Do This



But wow...one of my least favorite people, the big dumb animal named Steve Ekstrom, is shooting off his mouth via his fat fingers on a keyboard again in a way that personifies stupidity. Not only that, but quite possibly misogyny.

About what, might you ask? Wrestling of all things. Several wrestling fans going at it over whether female wrestling is a worthwhile product...with Ekstrom championing the negative position. Along the way, he dismisses research as some sort of dirty debate trick, travels in illogical circles, and essentially argues that something isn't misogynist because it's caused by misogyny.

It'll really blow your God damned mind.

It's all in the comments section HERE.

Adam Hughes Makes Star Wars Legacy So Tempting


I've bought a few issues of Star Wars Legacy, but I can't remember where I left off so I'm always hesitant to try to start picking it up again for fear of duplicating a purchase or skipping something and missing out.

Adam Hughes does his best to make me stop worrying about that regularly.

Death Walks The Streets Trailer

Saturday, April 26, 2008

RON & FEZ Noon to Three


Some out there know that my trip to NYCC had great aspirations. You see, I had been in contact with Black Earl Douglas, producer of the Ron & Fez show, about escorting Fez Marie Whatley through the comic convention.

OK. Fez has been talking about going to the NY Comic Convention. I have friends that can hook it up so that I can introduce Fez to a number of people that work on DC Comics (Fez's favorite company) and ask questions. I can probably even record a video of it with my laptop that you can pull audio from for the show. One of the contacts works on (deleted), which I think is one of Fez's favorites.

Also, I have contacts with a few artists there. I might be able to get someone to sketch MAN-MAN or GAY MAN for the show.
This was an offer I made to Earl because he was getting disrespected on the show, again. I figured I could help him get a win by hooking Fez up nicely. If I wasn't worried about trying to help out Earl, I would have just called into the show, made the offer directly, and probably would have a better go of things. That still would have allowed me the chance to help Fez have a great experience at the con, which was the most important thing. I just figured I could get Earl some credit at the same time.

Hey Kev,

Fez wants to go the NY Comic Con on Saturday, April 19th. Please let me know who from DC will be there and what time.

Thanks for setting this up. Take care.

Earl

Now, Earl shortening my name down to Kev didn't register as any kind of flag for me, but maybe it should have. More on that later.

But, on the surface, this e-mail seems to be accepting the offers I've put out there to hook him up with interviews. Based on that, I reached out to a DC contact about scheduling some interviews. I was told that, given the hectic nature, it would just be best for me to bring Fez by the booth and they'd dole out whoever they could based on creator availability and Fez's time at the convention.

Earl,

Just to follow up, everything is pretty well set up. DC Comics is going to set us up with whoever they can Saturday, depending on the schedule at the time. Some of the biggest creators at DC will be attending the convention and possibly available, like Grant Morrison (Batman, All Star Superman), Geoff Johns (Action Comics (Superman), JSA, Green Lantern), Gail Simone (Wonder Woman, Birds of Prey), etc. They can't give us a definite schedule for us until we show up, because the convention is a hectic thing. I'm trying to coordinate with a few professionals directly, though. Dennis Calero (the Marvel artist who called in and spoke with Ronnie about Man-Man) definitely wants us to swing by his booth as well, too.

I'd like to come by the studio one day this week, if at all possible. I think that Fez would probably be more comfortable on Saturday if it isn't the first time we meet.

Thanks,
Kevin

It was around here that things started to fall apart. I sent an e-mail directly to Ron & Fez. While they didn't respond, I saw a shift in Earl's responses. They all became shorter and made the situation look considerably more bleak. The focus was just on how could Fez get a press pass or could I leave a VIP badge at the press office for him to pick up. The weekend was going to be so hectic for Fez that he couldn't be sure when he'd show up and Earl would just have Fez call me if he wanted to get hooked up for meetings. Very deflating.

In a phone conversation on Friday, Black Earl was confused when I brought up again that, if Fez took me up on the DC creator meetings, I'd be able to videotape it. It was in my original e-mail to him. But, hey, all was well...Earl was a good guy trying to help out and things just didn't go great.

Not exactly.

Apparently, the stuff that many of the personalities on the show say about Earl is closer to truth than I previously believed.

Let's start it out with the revelation I heard on Monday's show: Earl thought I was Big Kev, from Big Kev's Geek Stuff. From what else was said on the show, I think Fez was pretty clear early on that he just wanted to go hang out with his friends at the convention. Oh, somehow Earl miscommunicated the videotaping idea, too...because Fez said on the show that I was expecting to be provided with equipment to record it, when I had a Panasonic MiniDV cam ready to record it.

So...now I've been dubbed "the New Big Kev" by Ron and that's...ok. I did get to meet Fez briefly at the convention on Saturday. He was as gracious and polite as could be. He wanted to thank me for all the offers of helping set things up, even if he wasn't able to take me up on them. I noticed he had a weekend pass badge (probably from the old Big Kev), which pointed out that all the back and forth about press credentials with Earl was unnecessary. I apologized to my DC contact for the false alarm about the interviews, but said I'd hopefully be able to get his information to the show so that they could possibly arrange phoners later. He was happy with that, because the booth had been ridiculously hectic and phone or studio interviews outside of a con weekend would be much easier to set up.

I had a shirt made for Saturday that had the site banner on the front and FEZ DETAIL on the back. Of course, I didn't get to use it. But I went up to the studios on Monday afternoon to drop it off. Unfortunately, they weren't doing a show...but I was lucky enough to be standing there trying to call into the office when Black Earl came out to use the restroom. This was before I knew how much things got miscommunicated, so it was a sincerely uncomplicated talk with him and he said he'd make sure Fez got the shirt. I hope Fez likes getting t-shirts.


So...it wasn't a complete loss. But I know I'll be less prone to think East Side Dave, Lily, or Pepper Hicks are exaggerating when they tee off on Earl. Bronx Johnny stays out of that mix most of the time. He's a be easy kind of guy...and ya gotta love that. He's why I have a Ron & Fez mousepad next to me and a Ron & Fez t-shirt in my dresser drawer. Happy Easy, Johnny...Happy Easy.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

NYCC SCHWAPP!!! How Fanboys See Jenna Jameson

The Women Who Kick Ass panel at NYCC saw two of the panelists drop out, one rather vocal about dropping out due to having to sit on the panel with a porn star. I took a quick video to try to capture how I thought drooling fanboys in attendance actually saw the whole thing, which is backed up by how many times I saw camera flashes going off in that crowd, I think. Poor Amanda Conner...such a great artist but probably didn't have the fans listening as intently to her as they should have been.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Fangoria Going Bye-Bye?

Found a bit about Fangoria going through bankruptcy on their Wiki page and followed it to the source on Bloomberg.com.

Publisher Creative Group Files Chapter 11 in New York

Creative Group Inc., the publisher of Starlog and Fangoria magazines, filed to reorganize under Chapter 11 in New York on March 21, saying it owes $16.6 million on a secured bank loan and $15 million on subordinated notes.

Creative said it intends to use Chapter 11 to restructure the debt.

The New York based company also does animation, sound mixing and production work for film and television.

Creative was accompanied in the Chapter 11 filing by eight affiliates.

To read Bloomberg coverage, click here.

The case is In re Creative Group Inc., 08-10975, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

Hmmm. Personally, this makes me wonder even more about that warehouse problem they had that destroyed tons of their back catalog.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

SPECIAL Is Everything That KICK ASS Is Not


On a slow Sunday, I decided to take a chance and sit down in the IGN Theater at NY Comic Con and watch the indie super-hero movie (of sorts) Special starring Michael Rapaport.

It is stark and decidedly indie in appearance. There's no gloss to it and clearly had to skimp on the shooting budget in order to pull off the few special effects used.

But it is good. Boy, is it good.

I never really knew what to expect from this film. The description of the movie in the NYCC program made it sound like it was supposed to be straight forward flick about Michael Rapaport's character becoming a super-hero after a pharmaceutical trial. But nothing about this movie is really straight forward.


Rapaport's character is a lowly meter maid who gets used and abused by just about all of those around him. He's really beaten into submission by his life. The drug is supposed to help him with his confidence and hopefully snap him of this life of suffering. But it isn't without its side effects.

I can't really detail much more about the movie without giving away elements that will really spoil a few of the better moments in the first half of the flick. But this is a movie that manages to be funny, sadistic, dark, inspiring, charming, and heartbreaking at different moments that really combine to make a film that stands out.

You'll recognize a few of the actors in the film aside from Rapaport. Paul Blackthorne (of the recently canceled BIG SHOTS on ABC), Jack Kehler and Christopher Darga (both faces you've seen many times) are examples of casting that add not only good actors but a bit of reassurance for your more mainstream viewer that stumbles on to the movie.

The surprise performance in the movie belongs to Robert Baker, who shows good range in the film. Mostly asked to provide witty one-liners, he pulls off some of the better emotional reactions of Rapaport's concerned friends. Josh Peck, who plays Baker's brother and co-owner of a comic shop, doesn't do so bad, either, but fails to pull off a moment that makes you forget he is acting briefly as Baker did.

I highly recommend seeking out this movie. It's well worth the time to watch.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Two Joe Quesada Questions

Since a few people want to know what they would have been, I'll share them here...despite the fact that I'm sure it will be anticlimactic, though.

Yes or No Question 1: Was Marvel behind the Marvel_b0y blog at any point in its existence?

Glaringly obvious question, no? But I didn't catch anyone asking it or hear anything about it. With all the accusations about it, Marvel hasn't seemed to address it at all. I know I posted a question about it on Marvel.com for the MySpace Cup of Joe. I don't think I was the only one. So, I feel asking this would have been at least a little confrontational to a guy who was running a fairly feel-good panel at the time.

Yes or No Question 2: Did you get a Screen Actors Guild card for your work in Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back?

This is the beating of the dead horse. But the fact remains that he had a speaking role in a Hollywood release. Normally, that requires you either being in SAG or paying for SAG membership. That would put the crossing the line to appear on Colbert in a completely different light, regardless of whether he let his membership lapse. But, being that it had nothing to do with comics and wasn't a friendly question, I didn't feel like changing the mood of the whole panel.

Everyone seems to think that I'm enough of an attention whore to have no care about screwing up a panel for other attendees or to stalk people for a response. Not me. I made an attempt to put out feelers for the Joe questions that would get to someone in a position with Marvel that would give it a chance at happening in the right circumstances. Either the info didn't get to them or they had no interest whatsoever. And thats...ok. ;)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Journey To The Center Of The Earth 3D

Had the privilege of seeing the 20 minute preview of JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH 3D after the convention today. I'll reserve judgment on the acting in the clips, because these scenes were chosen as being a great demonstration of the success of the 3D technology used in the process, not proof of great script or acting.

Brendan Fraser spent a lot of time at the convention going on and on about the way it shows the environment and gives a depth of field...and he was right.

The movie still suffered a bit from foreground characters looking like they resided outside of the movie screen for extended periods of time, which can become distracting. Objects should only travel quickly outside of the environment of the screen, not remain stagnant there. But it didn't really hurt too badly, especially since it is part of the quiet moments.

I think that the technology they are using brings films a lot closer to being able to just adopt 3D as a standard, rather than a gimmick. It had a place and a purpose in every scene. You got used to the depth and even appreciated it, rather than finding it to be a nuisance. With home theaters advancing so much these days, lord knows the theaters need something to help motivate asses back into the seats at theaters.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Young X-Men #2 Final Cover


Terry Dodson just might get me to pick up more X-Men titles...

NYCC Scheduling Issues (Press Only)

OK, it is annoying enough seeing how many of the press wind up sitting in VIP ONLY seats meant for VIP ticket owners. There doesn't seem to be much that makes the value of that perk anything truly worthwhile...but I digress.

Today, they are closing the press room at 8pm. They have panels until that time. Where do the press go after those panels to finish covering them? The Gail Simone panel isn't unworthy of coverage or anything. Seems silly to close it down by 8pm to save a few bucks and frustrate the press corps.

Notes Taken Via Text Messages

I ditched my laptop and camcorder in the press room and headed over to the Cup of Joe panel. I decided it would be fun to take notes text messages on my phone.

  • Funny Stuff: seeing McCann wipe lint off Buckley's back like a doting parent before school pictures
  • I really don't want to fuck with Joe Q. He seems like such a genuine good guy. (this was a thought in relation to my asking him the questions)
  • This Spidey616 guy really needs to take remedial math again. (He's been told several times to just ask one question over the last two days and never does.)
  • Personal stuff aside, Slott does a good THING impression.
  • Some jackass interrupted the panel talking to Joe and Jim about something.
  • Jackass was prepping for Stan Lee running in and saying something. Oops.
  • Joe had someone fake a call to his cell phone so he could say it was Dan Didio asking if he knew where DC's market share went.
I noticed things outside of that panel, too, that I texted about. Like the white girls waiting for the TM Revolution concert that were sending swastikas back and forth on their Nintendo DSs. Weird.

NYCC: Panel Scheduling Nightmare


OK, so I already pointed out how weak it was that the Black Panel started at 7:30pm on Friday and that the two most worthy female-focused panels were scheduled against each other.

At 12pm in Room 1ED02, we have GROWING UP WITH ARCHIE, which is marked as a KIDS panel for KIDS DAY festivities at the con.

Over in Room 1E03? STICKY PAGES: NEW YORK COMIC CON SUPER-QUEERO EDITION!
Come join our party as the Super-Queeroes of the comics world talk about what's good, bad and ugly in the industry today. Watch in terror as they pull questions from the doggy-bag of doom, dish about what heroine is sleeping with what super-villainess, and generally disturb the public peace. Featuring a visit from Special Guest CAPTAIN CONDOM!
Chuck Dixon isn't in attendance with the family, by chance, is he? C'mon...how difficult is it to NOT put these two panels so close together in order to avoid all chance that some parents will be displeased with seeing CAPTAIN CONDOM on their way to an Archie panel they were told was good for their kids?

Wizard In The Press Room

I don't know who is paid and unpaid at their table in the press room, but someone lower on the food chain was told by someone higher that they hadn't eaten anything at all today but you didn't hear them complaining, apparently in an effort to tell the lower-ranking attendee to work more and yearn for food less. Another higher up, apparently facetiously, said there was a perfectly good bag of chips in the middle of the table for either of them to have.

NYCC Attendance Not As High As First Year?!?!

Publisher's Weekly has stated that there are a lot of people at the convention, but not as many as the first year. I'm not sure if that would be wholly accurate, as the fact that there is more real estate to cover might give the illusion of smaller attendance figure (PW says they do not have official numbers and I didn't see any quote from Greg T. unofficially saying that the attendance is lower).

Secret Six Ongoing

Gail Simone announced that there will be a Secret Six ongoing starring Catman, Deadshot, Ragdoll, Scandal, an A-List Batman villain (Poison Ivy?) and a new character created just for the series.

Art will hopefully be shown during the Gail Simone Spotlight panel.

AH! & Power Girl?


A fan over on the Adam Hughes e-mail list asked the following:

So, I am assuming this is the book Adam was going to do covers for initially as mentioned by Allison. Damn shame if it was.


Allison Sohn responded:

that is incorrect.

In fact, that book was originally to have covers by Aaron Lopresti. Once Adam's cover gig was given to another artist, and Aaron was moved to moved to another title, this book was offered to Adam as a sort of "sorry buddy, what about this one instead?". At that point, we had already decided the best move for Adam to make was to complete All Star Wonder Woman. And anyway, I can't wait to see what Amanda comes up with!

That's one title ruled out as the subject of the snub...and way too many left to be any closer to figuring it out. ;)

NYCC Is Fun Thus Far


I was just running around like an idiot for much of my first few hours at the convention. Let's see:

  • Watched the online journalism panel. Kinda weird to watch Matt Brady sit next to Heidi MacDonald, seeing as how she never did print a retraction for her story saying Joe Quesada left Newsarama because Matt broke an embargo. Matt, Heidi, and Jonah did say they have a sort of friendship that can explain how they occasionally piss one another off and then smooth it all over.
  • The panel seemed to range from neutral to harshly negative on viral marketing. Matt Brady found it distasteful and the sites present all indicated that they didn't treat Marvel_b0y as actual news, but blog and gossip fodder instead.
  • Went to the Editor's Buzz panel. Accidentally set Didio up to take a bit of a veiled shot at Marvel's viral marketing. There was a lull in audience questions, so I asked the panel about viral marketing's place in their publishing.
  • Skipped over to the Mondo Marvel panel and stood in the back. Joe Quesada, Jim McCann, Dan Slott, and Tom Brevoort...hmmmm. Wonder if at least Greg Pak might think I'm a decent guy...I did laud PLANET HULK to the extent that it rated a blurb on his site. ;)
  • Mark Waid was announced as joining the Brand New Day gang. It wasn't specified as to the length of his run with the crew, but it drew a big response from the crowd. It added to the list of people somehow involved in the panel that don't like me.
  • After deciding NOT to walk up to the front row halfway through the Mondo Marvel panel, I left for the Women in Comics panel. Figured that would be a much more substantive panel and it was. It did make me realize I'm old, though. And hated.
  • Becky Cloonan, in answering a question about whether she considers her work to have any feminism to it, said that she really didn't experience any difficulties from being a woman, because of the work of women like those in Gail Simone's family tree that worked so hard for equality. If this had been the Black Panel and a younger creator said something similar that implied the struggle was 100% over, they would have taken some heat...and rightfully so. Not a peep here. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with Becky for saying that, but I think it would be worth pointing out that some still experience problems.
  • It was funny to see Becky Cloonan mention that she felt it was weird that there are Women in Comics panels when there aren't and haven't been anything similar for race, like Blacks in Comics...only to have to be corrected that there have been (at several SDCCs and last year's NYCC) in addition to one happening that night at the con. Again, nothing wrong with her not realizing she was wrong about that...but it was still funny.
  • One of the last audience questions at the panel was directed to Shelly Bond. Completely unrelated to the topic of the panel, the fan wondered why a creator like Matt Wagner would feel that he had to do a Madame Xanadu at Vertigo with a Mature Reader's label even when it is clear that the book won't earn the rating due to sex or violence. It was difficult for the fan to get across exactly what he meant, but the end result was Shelly saying that she feels that Matt will be flexing his creativity in a way that will fit the label regardless of the presence of violence or sex.
  • BTW, it was a crime that this panel happened at the same time as the WOMEN OF SCIENCE FICTION (or whatever the panel was named) went on across the hallway. The two non-controversial female-focused panels forced to compete for an audience? Ugh.
  • Stepped into the Secret Invasion panel for a second. Saw that Christos Gage had joined the panel. Good writer. He taught me the lesson that a creator you meet at a con won't necessarily remember you after you talk comics for an hour at a pub and buy 'im a beer after the open bar closes at CB Cebulski's bash. Guy meets a lot of people. With his Hollywood work, maybe one or two more than a regular comic book writer (perhaps more than that, Kev).
  • Stopped in the press room and completed my registration for a press badge. It's a bigger room this year, which is nice. Not extremely bigger, but it is noticeable.
  • Went to the DC Nation panel. Started late because the Secret Invasion panel ran over. Not a bad panel. Darkseid as definitely being the big bad in Final Crisis "slipped" out. It really seemed to be a slip, but the marketing seems to already indicate that Darkseid is the main heavy. Power Girl's solo series was revealed. The coming of a "Wonder Woman that is a man" was mentioned. Geoff (not Geoff Johns, just Geoff) indicated that he and James Robinson will be giving Superman the same treatment that he and Tomasi gave the Green Lantern books through the Sinestro Corps event.
  • After the panel, I spoke with Peter Tomasi about how much I enjoyed the Black Adam mini-series. This led to us calling to order the meeting of DOUG MAHNKE ADMIRERS, basically. Spent a good deal of time talking about how perfect Doug's work on the mini was, how difficult it is to put into words the way he can capture a script perfectly with his pencils, and having a good body of work.
  • Stopped by the WOMEN WHO KICK ASS panel (as mentioned in an earlier blog). I'm still stunned that the panel had more hosts (three; the entire THE STACK crew) than guests (Amanda Conner and Jenna Jameson). IMO (and I could be wrong), it screamed of three guys who couldn't decide which would get to host the panel with the porn star so they all did it.
  • Attended THE BLACK PANEL. It had the biggest room (the same that the major Marvel and DC panels use), but an even worse scheduling than last year, I believe. If memory serves, last year it started a half hour earlier. Michael Davis and Denys Cowan rode herd over the panel this year, with Mike Gold, Cheryl Lynn Eaton, and Rashida Lewis. I was there for a good portion of the panel before deciding that I'd really like to document some of the panel later. Once I throw the recording on my laptop to transcribe, I'll have some of the pearls of wisdom. As of right now, all I can remember is that Mr. Davis is apparently fighting with someone and very complimentary to audience members without a Y chromosome. ;)
Sorry for the superfluous use of an Icon cover at the beginning of this post, but I just miss that damn book.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Women Who Kick Ass Panel

Why was it when I passed the panel, thirty minutes in, only THE STACK crew, Jenna Jameson, and Amanda Conner were there (aside from the audience snapping picture after picture)?

Weren't four women supposed to be on the panel? Has the fallout that led them not to be there been addressed somewhere? Did the panel really need all three members of THE STACK there to drool? ;)

Love Me, Hate Me, Or Just Recognize Me: Get A Free Shirt

I'll be going around NYCC all weekend. I don't care if you like me, love me, hate me, or just can't normally be bothered: if you find me, tell me your opinion of me, and ask for your shirt, you'll get an XL white t-shirt that you'll either get a kick out of or burn in effigy.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

No Lunch? No Problem!

I have two questions I'd like to ask Joe Quesada. Two YES/NO questions.

I'll make a donation of $100 to Hero Initiative for each question answered. If both questions are answered, I'll double the donation...making it $400 donated to a great charity. The time and place of the questions is completely up to Marvel.

Bush Doesn't Read

He's said time and again that he doesn't read the newspaper. Apparently, he doesn't want anyone else to...maybe he thinks it will help his approval rating through the rest of his life. I mean...when history will judge his actions, as he says, it might help him if no one can actually read about what he did.

Why do I say this? Bush proposed a budget that cuts every last READING IS FUNDAMENTAL dollar out. Do you remember that program in school? Do you remember that the point was to make sure that even underprivileged children had a way to get a book to read, regardless of their parents' financial situation?

Soon, it might just be a memory. Who knew it was possible to respect Bush even less...

No One Remembers Second Place

...and, in this case, he doesn't even get to bus the tables so he can see the look on Joe Quesada's face.

I was bid-sniped in the last seconds (literally) by someone who played the eBay game better than I. My only hope is that I helped drive up the price of the charitable auction much more than it would have been without me there (meaning the other bidders wouldn't have bid as furiously, not that my name garnered a response).


Shame. I was going to be a polite and gracious lunch guest. Well...for the most part. The plus side in losing is that now I won't have to sell vital organs to cover the winning bid. ;)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Adam Hughes Snubbed By DC Editorial?


From the Adam Hughes fan e-mail list, Allison Sohn (artist and significant other of Adam) relayed the following when asked what Adam would be doing for covers after the Catwoman cancellation:

Adam was told back at San Diego Comic Con, in July of 2007 that Catwoman was coming to an end. At that time, DC offered Adam a new book to be cover artist on. It was to be a new title to DC, and Adam would get to be cover artist from issue one. However, within a couple of months, the powers that be at DC Comics turned around and gave that same job to another up and coming artist, without giving Adam the courtesy of letting him know he was off the title. Instead, we found out from the replacement artist. Since then DC has offered Adam several other titles to do covers on, which Adam has declined. Adam and I both agree it is in his best interest to focus on completing All Star Wonder Woman.

That's a shite way to treat the talent.

Is There No One Charitable Out There?


Look, I'm all for getting a steal of a deal...but when it is for charity, I don't feel so good about it.

Less than a day of bidding left. A lunch with Quesada is still only $305? That's criminal.

I challenge people out there to make me pay more. Or even try to spare Joe from having lunch with me. Think about that: awkward! ;)

Update: There's someone competing with me now. Might be too rich for my blood at this point, but I'm glad Hero Initiative is going to get more money this way.

I'm With Marvel_b0y?


People have started claiming that the I'M WITH MARVEL BOY button is evidence that Marvel_b0y was their viral campaign. Kinda forgets that Marvel Boy is a character involved in Secret Invasion...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Scream Factory Update

I think I know what will be happening with those "missing Fangoria" series.

After contacting The Scream Factory, I've learned that the missing series (The Fourth Horseman, Shifter, and Recluse) will be addressed in Scott Licina's forthcoming exclusive interview at Newsarama.

However, after asking about who created the books, it was pointed out that Scott Licina and Mark Kidwell are the co-creators of Shifter (with Michael Madsen and Patrick Durham), and that Recluse is the creation of Mark Kidwell.

So, if The Fourth Horsemen isn't going to come riding over the horizon anytime soon, I'm pretty sure more will be heard from the others...

Monday, April 14, 2008

J'Onn Is Dead? Long Live J'Onn!


So...apparently J'Onn is all but confirmed as the hero dying in Final Crisis. He's getting a one-shot from Tomasi and Mahnke to commemorate the event (damn good creative team to pick, btw).

But does anyone think he'll stay dead? We're talking about a death orchestrated by Grant Morrison with a character that has a spiritual connection with fire (H'Ronmeer, God of Death & Fire, I believe). I feel confident that this is part of a plan to reimagine J'Onn to some extent.

If not...don't be surprised if you see me ape the guy who listed reasons why he should write the Legion of Super Heroes and start up my own campaign regarding J'Onn. So much untapped potential in that character.

2008 American Latino Awards

Some of you may remember an unfortunate run-in I had with the people behind American Latino TV. We straightened that all out and I become a bigger fan of their stuff the more I've checked it out.

Today, Rich Johnston linked to the 2008 American Latino Awards, due to Joe Quesada being up for an award there. Seems like a great opportunity to point you all in that direction as well.

Friend Hype: Big Dog Studios


I met Brandon, the artist behind Big Dog Studios, at last year's HEROES CON. Great guy and talented artist. Don't hold it against him that I label him as a "friend" here. No need for any internet-addicted comic book writers to contact him to tell him how despicable I am.

Anyway, I dig a lot of his work. He does black and white comic book art, graphic design, and tattoo artwork. Keeps him pretty busy.

I'm reposting some of his work here, but feel free to check out more of his work on his MySpace.

Silver Age Goofiness I'd Like To Read Today


C'mon...who wouldn't want to read a series of take-offs on all of those goofy stories that you only got back then? Maybe Grant Morrison could handle some of this sort of thing if he keeps going on All Star Superman...

(image via the comments section of Kevin Church's blog here)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Random Parody Video

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Kid Knockouts

Thursday, April 10, 2008

SCHWAPP!!!@TheMovies: Street Kings

Got into a sneak preview of the Keanu Reeves vehicle, STREET KINGS. Was it good? Yeah...you'll want to check this flick out.

Mr. Anonymous Delivers A Correction

One of the as-of-yet-not-revealed-on-page spoilers has been changed by editorial. Which one? Watch the video (it's shorter this time):

JOE KUBERT: MAN OF ROCK by Bill Schelly

Author Billy Schelly dropped me a line to tell me a bit about his most recent work. Those of you who know your comic book legends might remember the work he did on Otto Binder previously. His current target is one of the true greats: Joe Kubert.

“After I finished my biography of Otto Binder, I wanted to write a biography of an even bigger giant in comic book history. I’m a big fan of Joe Kubert. He’s right up there with Will Eisner, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and very few others, as far as I’m concerned.
“He’s been in the comic book industry for seventy years and his work is still in demand. The more I researched Kubert’s career, the more I realized the scope of his talent and achievements over the years. He’s much more than an amazingly talented artist. He’s also a fine writer, an innovator, and an educator.
“Work began on Man of Rock in 2004. I was able to interview Joe and his wife Muriel, as well as Adam and Andy, and a number of other Kubert colleagues and friends who have never been interviewed before with respect to their association with Joe. It was a great experience, though I hasten to add that this is my book, and my own take on Joe’s life and his work.”
Man of Rock, a Biography of Joe Kubert is 320-page trade paperback book selling for $19.95. It offers a 120,000 word manuscript by Bill Schelly, and a generous portion of photographs and artwork. It is being published by Fantagraphics Books as is being currently solicited in the April Diamond Previews.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Confirmation That Jen Grunwald Is Marvel_b0y

Why is it that no one at Marvel appears willing to confess to and address the Marvel_b0y excessively shite-y viral marketing campaign?

Mr. Anonymous (no, Marvel didn't find out who he was and make him sleep with Namor) has found out that, for at least the Windows Live iteration, it definitely was Jen Grunwald. I contend that it was always her and done with the blessing of Bendis and others the whole time.

Ms. Grunwald is an admin at the Bendis boards. She'd definitely have had the power to idiotically reactivate and rename the Marvel_b0y account over on the Bendis boards. The horridly fake game of cat and mouse between her and Bendis the whole time clearly points to his being complicit in the whole deal. I've heard whispers of others at Marvel being involved in the process, but then they turned up on the MySpace viral campaign...so it might have just been crossed signals.

I'd really like to know why Marvel doesn't own up to their goof. Come clean and put it to rest. Someone should pose that question to Joe Quesada this week.

Josh Middleton's Great Vixen Cover

All the stuff about the way Vixen's been handled, artistically, in JLA is all well and good. But Josh Middleton does a wonderful cover here. Reminds me of the JLA cover that appeared during the Meltzer run, in as much as some of the same elements were employed.



Beautiful cover.

(Via)

The cover that I remembered having more similar elements is the J.G. Jones variant of JLA #4. Beautiful cover, as well, that just shares being out on the plains and having a lion in the scene.


Before anyone brings up the whole "Halle Berry" discussion, these pics show her looking a lot like her 80s appearances, just without the Wolverine/Flock-of-Seagulls haircut:

Titans #1 Reviewed At Newsarama

Troy Brownnos...ahem...Brownfield reviews Titans #1 over at Newsarama.

Among some of the best lines?

Titans #1 fails on nearly every conceivable level.

Donna Troy’s breasts resemble nothing so much as her having been shot in the back with two nuclear missiles.

The bosoms are so out of control in this book that I’m frankly surprised that Batman wasn’t sporting falsies.
Somewhere, Bendis is saying, "Jesus Christ...I guess Yu got off light in that Secret Invasion review! Who knew?!?"

Go read it, ya humps!

Ron & Fez: Black Earl/Lilly Photo Shoot

Ron & Fez Noon to Three on XM 202

Update 10/10/2008: Welcome, Ron & Fez fans! If you happen to like comic books and movies, please do stick around and check out the rest of the site!

Press Release: SEAN PATRICK FLANERY JOINS ILLUSTRIOUS CAST OF “BUMP”


For Immediate Release

April 9, 2008

SEAN PATRICK FLANERY JOINS ILLUSTRIOUS CAST OF “BUMP”

Star of “The Boondock Saints” and “Young Indiana Jones”

attached in the role of “Brett”

Another casting coup today from producer Scott Licina, who is proud to announce that Sean Patrick Flanery, known to movie goers worldwide for his brilliant work in the cult classic film “The Boondock Saints”, will take on the role of Brett in the adaptation of the hit comic book mini-series, Bump. Mr. Flanery joins the previously announced Ashley Laurence (“Hellraiser”) and Tobin Bell (“Saw”), with special effects master and director Robert Kurtzman at the helm.

Sean Patrick Flanery brings a wealth of experience and broad acting ability to “Bump”. In addition to starring roles in “Suicide Kings” and “Powder”, he is also highly regarded for his work in television on shows including “The Dead Zone”, “CSI” and most notably for starring as the younger version of the legendary character in “The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles”.

All four original issues of the "Bump" comic are available online for free as one of the initial offerings from The Scream Factory, an alliance of film, music, literary and comic book professionals who have unleashed a stunning selection of downloadable quality horror titles at www.wowio.com. All of the titles are available on Wowio through the Smashout Comics publishing group.

Critics from the comic world enthusiastically embraced "Bump" upon its release this year.

“This story delivers in the scares department, which isn’t that easy to accomplish in comic book form.” – Ain’t It Cool News

“Well I gotta tell you, it’s as scary as hell. This is one series that I can’t wait to see more of.” – Zone Horror

“What’s truly special here is the quality. It’s top notch in a world where the rules of horror are pretty hard to follow while offering up something fresh and original.”

– Horror Year Book

For More Information:

Official Website: bumpmovie.com

Comic Books on MySpace: myspace.com/thescreamfactory

Email: contact@bumpmovie.com

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Marvel_b0y = Jen Grunwald?

Speculation has been rampant as to the identity of Marvel_b0y. But the popular guesses as to the identity of the subject at Marvel...the employee fully approved to do this...is Jen Gruenwald.

Comments that suggested Marvel_b0y was Jen Gruenwald were initially deleted from blogs since the move to Windows Live (one is currently up, but it was just posted an hour ago). Strange behavior for someone who had a gag about being Steve Wacker earlier, eh? Made sure to call Jen a hottie earlier.

Yeah...I know this is a dead horse...but I'll occasionally keep bringing it up until there's some closure on that horrible marketing gone awry.

WILDSTORM IS SAFE!

I have it on good authority (see that? it's a pun!) that Wildstorm is safe. Whatever Cully was referring to when he said a whole line was being canceled, it wasn't the entire Wildstorm line.

My source on this was a little upset that so many people (including myself) jumped to such far-fetched conclusions based on Mr. Hamner's choice of words. I think it was just the timing with so many blogs and fans discussing the current state of Wildstorm and what will become of it that led people (again, including myself) to think this was a possibility.

I apologized to my source for the frustration involved in this issue and would like to extend that apology to anyone else that was stressed at all by the discussion of the reporting of events yesterday.

So...Now We Know What Scream Factory Is...But...

...do we know where some of the previous Fangoria titles are that haven't been announced with Scream Factory thus far?

Of the original Fangoria Comics books, Bump, Beyond The Valley Of The Rage, and Strangeland are accounted for. What about The Fourth Horseman or Shifter?

On a related note, I had heard a rumor about a 80s horror movie fan-favorite actress being attached to Bump and, through the modern miracle of IMDB, confirmed that
Ashley Laurence is, indeed, attached to the movie. You might remember her from a little horror classic named Hellraiser.

That's in addition to Tobin Bell (why do I always want to type KOBEN?), of Saw fame, attached to the role of the sheriff.


Busy and mysterious week for the former Fango guys just trying to make good...

Corporate People Say The Silliest Things...

Thanks to Graeme for blogging about this, which is the only reason I caught it.

Tom Brevoort had the following to say about foreign royalties:

Like our editorial staff, our accounting department is lean, and the revenue derived from overseas editions isn’t so great that it woul justify the manhours it would take to determine that somebody was owed a three-dollar check for a story that had appeared in Zimbabwe and to cut it.
Gee, Mr. Brevoort...mighty kind of you to decide for your contractors what amounts of money are worth it for you to track. Corporate streamlining of your operation completely negates the legal and ethical obligation for you to pay them all monies rightfully owed to them.

People are right: creators DEFINITELY have no need or use for a union. Clearly, management has their best interests in mind at all times...

Edit: I'd like to acknowledge that Tom Brevoort says Marvel finds "other ways" to compensate creators for foreign reprints that we don't know about and shouldn't know about. I wonder if it is some manner of compensation that even their shareholders don't know about. Because, if it isn't, then there is no reason not to just share it with the audience. If the shareholders DON'T know about it...hmmmmm....

Monday, April 07, 2008

NON-ISSUE: Wildstorm Canceled Or Just A Stillborn Line Within Wildstorm?

NON-ISSUE: I HAVE IT ON GOOD AUTHORITY (PUN INTENDED) THAT THE WILDSTORM LINE IS SAFER THAN SAFE RIGHT NOW!

UPDATE 1: Apparently, Rich Johnston has removed the story referenced below. That sound you're hearing appears to be the death throes of the WILDSTORM line, I do believe.

UPDATE 2: Dianafan, CBR poster and friend of SchwappOnline, provided a screen cap of the article as it appeared in Rich's column prior to being pulled down:



Rich Johnston reported on the following tidbits that Cully Hamner (f*cking great artist, by the way) shared with the world:

That project that I was gonna do after "Black Lightning," the one that got the official greenlight? It was a part of a line of books that DC just CANCELLED. Just got the word in a conference call.
Canceled line? The whole Wildstorm line, possibly? Since we're seeing Midnighter and others bite the dust...

Anyone with further details they'd like to share about the line canceling? Anonymous and Mysterious are taken, but you could be Mr/Mrs. Unknown or some other name of your choosing. ;)

NYCC Is A Virtual Lock

Looks like I'll be attending the show. It's going to be my first convention where my schedule is completely my own to decide (at least I think it will be, unless this idea I'm developing comes to fruition).

At WWChicago 1997, I spent about the whole convention sitting behind the HEAD PRESS table to sign the first comic book short story I ever had published (Robert Luedke is a great guy, by the way). Skipped conventions until NYCC last year, which I covered panels for Newsarama. Ditto for Heroes and WWChicago.

So...if any of my gay fans want a picture with me (God only knows why; apparently the beard makes me an attractive bear or something)...or anyone is interested in setting up a boxing ring off-site to see if any marvelous comic book professionals want to box me for charity or something...start making your plans now.

Mr. Mysterious On The CBR Redesign

Mr. Mysterious pans the CBR redesign.

"God damn. You see the new CBR layout? The old one was awful, but the new one is remarkably over-busy. There's no organic flow to it. There are so many columns and tables of information, it's crazy. And some of the columns and tables repeat information. Awful."
He's not to be confused with Mr. Anonymous, mind you. He's actually in the industry. That's all I'll say for now.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Can We Get The Consensus on Marvel_b0y's Status?

He stopped posting suddenly. Barely addressed any of the audience's many concerns about his legitimacy. Ended on the whimper of saying that RUN FATBOY RUN.

So...do we think now that he was definitely marketing and they didn't know how to wrap up the production?
Or maybe the silence is meant to build things up for him speaking out again as a viral marketing tool?
Was he just a bitter employee like he suggested?
Or something else?

I'll be running a poll on the front of the site to get what popular opinion is.

David Mack Swiping Causes Mental Instability

Wow. Just Wow.

This guys says he was off his meds, leading him to decide to act like an anti-Mack troll in an effort to get Mack swiping threads locked so people wouldn't be able to keep going on about his recent swiping.

Apparently, my father was right: comic books do cause brain rot.

Dr. Doom...Only Not So Much

Lisa Fortuner hits the nail on the proverbial head with her dissection of the Dr. Doom tirade at Ms. Marvel. She's right that the issue is much more about getting the character wrong than about the misogynist angle. Doom is written to spew offensive language to cement that he's an asshole. But the manner of his speech is off for the character (which, of course, can open it all back up to just being offensive/misogynist for the sake of being so).

I'd type more of my own outlook on the whole thing, but I'm travelling and I'm tired.

Friday, April 04, 2008

No Relation (That I Know Of)


It does look interesting, though. That's one heckuva cover/promo piece.


Update: Unknown Eric posted a link to the following in the comments section. I thought it was worth sharing with the rest of you.

CBR Relaunch: Too Early To Call

Taking a look at it, the increase in staffing is ambitious, the design change is counter-intuitive, and the difference in template between the forums and the front page lead the carpet to not match the drapes.


One of the interesting bumps in the adjustment period? Hannibal Tabu:


JUST ONE MORE THING ...
Apparently, my co-worker Augie is now riding herd on four new writers in CBR's new
reviews section (which this writer learned about in the new site's launch manifesto).

Welcome to Fight Club. Since this is your first night, you're gonna have to fight .


Just in case that gets edited out:

So...add a bunch of reviewers, but don't tell your dedicated one-man-review-team (scorned, though he may be) that you're diluting his unique place in your business? Would seem a touch douchey, would it not? I'm not a fan of his work, but I'd think the man who many comic readers apparently love to hate would deserve being made aware that his role was about to become a bit less special on the site beforehand.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Who Or What Is "THE SCREAM FACTORY"?

I saw this page in the Friends display of one of my top friends on MySpace, but he wasn't answering any questions about it...



I have the sneaking suspicion that it is related to this article, though.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Random Comic Book Thoughts

  • Hey...maybe Heidi MacDonald and Douglas Wolk were paid Marvel consultants on the Marvel_b0y viral marketing campaign? I mean...didn't they start the whole "insult your readers and creators to generate buzz" thing with the "Jess Lemon" incident?
  • Now that it is no longer April Fool's Day, I can tell you my true joke: the spoilers were never going to end with Monday's reveal. Full Secret Invasion #2 spoilers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yu_moia-oVI
  • I'll be traveling to attend a wedding and possibly a funeral this weekend, so you'll have to forgive me if I'm not around to say "I told you so" or "f*ck! they used me!" right away.
  • For some reason, the retcon of a sidekick for The Wrath just happening to match the way The Wrath was done in THE BATMAN cartoon is detracting from my enjoyment of the great work Bedard and Morales are doing on their BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL arc. I wish it wasn't true, but it keeps nagging at me. If anyone involved has come out and said that it was an idea that came up independent of the cartoon development, please direct my attention to it so I can breathe easier.
  • Dennis Calero was on the RON & FEZ SHOW on XM Satellite Radio Channel 202 this afternoon, plugging his upcoming appearance at NYCC and a big project he is doing at Marvel that he thinks will be announced at the convention. Wonder what it is? DC's loss for not wrapping him up when he was on Legion of Super-Heroes; his work there was very underrated. (Update: Dan Coyle says in the comments that Calero was talking about a big pitch with Fred Van Lente at the Baltimore Comic Convention)
  • I'd really like to see Johns and Morrison collaborate on a bi-weekly half or full year alternate Earth story. Well, I'd be fine with them writing the real DCU Earth, if coordination issues wouldn't seep in. I'm struggling to figure out who I'd team to do the same over at Marvel, but Fraction would be in the equation.

Much Better Than Marvel_b0y

I have to agree with the masses: THIS is the proper way to run a viral marketing campaign. Well...the proper method, but you do have to find a way to infect more people earlier on...

SCHWAPP!!! If I Was Played By Marvel...

Geoff Johns + George Perez + 3(LoSH) = FULL OF WIN


For more of the details, run over to Newsarama to read Vaneta Rogers' excellent interview with Geoff Johns.

Is Agent M the nefarious Marvel_b0y?

Has a Blackberry. Takes the same piss-poor style pics. Would be exactly who brass would have post the stuff or model their fake employee after.

Mr. Anonymous No More?!?!?

Well...I think it might be safe to say that Mr. Anonymous won't be giving me any spoilers. I received an IM from someone who brought up the topic of Mr. A, leading to the following portion of our conversation:

[01:21] Schwapp Online: I'm a little bummed that my source hasn't been on in the last 24 hours
[01:22] Mr. Mysterious: Marvel found him.
He sleeps with the Atlanteans.
[01:22] Schwapp Online: ...
[01:22] Schwapp Online: Namor is backdooring him?
[01:23] Mr. Mysterious: I was making a play off of "sleeps with the fishes".
[01:23] Schwapp Online: I know...and I twisted it into something more Brokeback Mountain
[01:24] Mr. Mysterious: Sick freak.
[01:24] Mr. Mysterious: Anyway, I'm out; later!!

Mr. Anonymous...please say it ain't so?!?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April Fool's Prank Fallout At A Major Blog Site


Late last night, I stumbled on to an early April Fool's blog post from someone I know. It was a pretty funny shot at two rather popular members of that site.

But it quickly disappeared. When it was pointed out to the poster's attention, it appeared another mod at the site deleted it. His comment? That the mysterious mod could "make a frappucino, fold it in half, shine it up nice and shove it up his candy ass!"

More as it becomes available...

Google, Once Again, Joins In On April Fool's

Following up on Google Paper (where Google would print out the web and send it to you for free), they've now rolled out the new feature to rock the world:

Google Custom Time

Blizzard Gets In On April Fool's Again!

Blizzard, producers of World of Warcraft, said there'd be a Panda race and some wispy race, along with being able to order Panda Express chinese food through the game, one April Fool's.

This year? The Bard Class, ala Guitar Hero.

SCHWAPP!!! Mr. Anonymous Revealed!

In this vlog, I finally reveal the truth behind all of the Mr. Anonymous and Marvel_b0y hoopla going around. I'm only sorry I waited this long to tell you all.

Join The Efforts To Get TWADOHH To Relinquish Control Of BeaucoupKevin.com

Over at the offending hackers' site (Thor With A Dick On His Head), I'm trying to rally people to motivate them to give Kevin Church control of his site back. The more responses, the more likely they will give up this charade instead of Kevin having to wait for legal or administrative action.

Please post a comment in the same thread as my statement, in hopes that we can right this wrong.

NEWSFLASH: BEAUCOUPKEVIN.COM hacked by THORWITHADICKONHISHEAD Blogger

Kevin Church, the man behind BeaucoupKevin.com, has had his site hacked by the mysterious blogger behind Thor With A Dick On His Head.

I've contacted Google/Blogger to have something done about this hacker's account. Attempting to reach Kevin Church for comment. Will provide updates as they become available.


UPDATE: We've just received an official comment from Kevin Church that reads as follows:

It's just the most awful thing because I don't know who would think doing and redirecting people that come for my high-quality content to a page that features...what that page features...it's just horrible.
More as this develops...