Friday, May 30, 2008

Wizard World Philly: Boy I'm Glad I Didn't Go!

Wizard's new tagline for the convention (if/)when it returns next year:

Wizard World Philadelphia: We're Stuck Between NYCC and Wizard World Chicago...Please Come & Pretend Anything Exciting Is Happening Here

Or at least that's what I think it will be. There's a lot of "wait and see" being shared at the con this year, with the answers more likely to be given at a WWC or SDCC. Anything not being saved for those was likely shared in NYCC.

J.G. Jones On Final Crisis: The pace picks up immediately with issue #3

Over on Newsarama's WWPhilly coverage:

A fan expressed some disappointment with the first issue of Final Crisis. In response both Jones and Sattler said “Don’t worry.” J.G. added that “The pace picks up immediately with issue #3. Grant structures his stories in such a specific way, and you will see why the first issue has so much set up. It all pays off!”

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is a 7 issue mini-series, right? And there's a month break after issue #3, right?

Major company events are supposed to have a bit of summer popcorn movie to them. There should be some manner of POP early on to grab the reader. Something. But there really isn't a POP in the first issue. It's quite possible that there isn't one in the second issue, if we're getting a "just you wait until #3!"

I'm sure there's some payoff in this mini, though (even if Grant hasn't had a spotless record on endings). I get that Grant is an artist, but company events tend to be weighted more toward the commerical aspect than the artistic angle. So you normally would want to get some SIZZLE into that first issue.

By the way: "don't worry"? Your customer expresses disappointment in the book and they're told "don't worry"? I'm hoping there was something not captured in the fan's question by the reporter. If not...that's a bit off as an answer.

Quesada Still Saying Its Magic

From the Wizard World Philly coverage of the BND panel over on Newsarama:

Asked if the "missing time" between OMD and BND will also address what was going on with Spider-Man in other titles, Quesada said that the more detail that you go into, the more complicated things can become. As a result, the plan is to keep things as clean and as simple as they can.

If that doesn't reaffirm JMS's statements that Quesada wanted to fall back on "it's magic, we don't have to explain it", I don't know what does.

There continues to be inconsistency in their statements regarding the Spider-Man changes...inconsistencies that only get worse with each time they open their mouth to answer questions.

I think they've taken the worst approach possible in their attempts to have their cake and eat it, too.

Marvel decided they wanted to make some significant changes to the character. That's great. That's their right. Take it and run with it.

But when you make significant changes like this, you're going to invalidate some stuff that went before and piss off some fans. Accept that as the cost of doing business instead of trying to say everything happened (when it couldn't possibly) and that you didn't really change anything other than the wedding not happening (when, again, that isn't possible).

As long as they continue to try to make it be everything to everyone even when that flies in the face of logic, they're going to find that this continues to be thorn in their side. Just make what sense of it that you can...cutting out what really can't fit in continuity...and move on.

And, for God's sake, don't try to compare the unanswered Spidey questions to how things are done in LOST...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Encore: NYC SCHWAPP!!!: Passing A Message To Grant

Given that Final Crisis just dropped today, I thought I'd post this again while everyone's talking about Grant Morrison

Before hitting the road to NYCC, my friend Aaron asked me to pass personal messages from him to Grant Morrison and Jenna Jameson. While I wasn't able to get the message to Jenna, I did deliver his message to Grant. It was a little more impersonal than he may have desired...

SCHWAPP!!!: Beats Of The Week Volume 1

Introducing a new vlog angle. I'm going to attempt to just touch upon the story "beats" of the week, both good and bad. It will, unfortunately, never be all inclusive of what comes out in a given week. I can only read so much. If something big happens that I haven't already bought and read, I'll definitely try to get my hands on it.

Without further ado...

Fun With Press Releases


The Pop Culture Extravaganza Is Packed With A Record-Breaking Number Of Exhibitors, Retailers and Creators.

Congers, NY (May 28, 2008) – Wizard World Philadelphia’s floor has sold out. All 301 exhibitor and retailer booths and 174 tables in Artist Alley have been taken, leading to 135,000 completely sold out square feet of floor space. Even though the floor is completely sold out, there is a first come first serve waiting list for those still itching to get in on the biggest Wizard World Philadelphia in history. To get on the waiting list, contact James Ross at 917-270-0121.

“With the show floor packed with retailers, attendees will have the best opportunity they’ve ever had to find and buy everything they’ve been looking for,” said Wizard Vice President of Business Development Stephen Shamus. “On top of that, the guest list is more robust than ever and offers a wide spectrum of talent from the worlds of sci-fi, toys, comic books, wrestling, and gaming.” Guests and events at Wizard World Philadelphia include Katee Sackhoff from “Battlestar Galactica,” guest of honor J.G. Jones, comic creators Garth Ennis, Steve Dillon and Ethan Van Sciver, the first annual ToyFare Hall of Fame Awards, toy sculpting lessons from the Shiflett Brothers, Robert Tonner and Clay Moore and wrestler Kevin Nash.

For tickets and more information about the 2008 Wizard World Philadelphia show and about registration for the 2009 Wizard World Philadelphia show, please visit The Wizard World comic convention is coming to Philadelphia from May 30th to June 1st.

Am I wrong or does it seem a little "special" to be bragging about a sellout that didn't occur until less than two days before the show?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Pardon My Digression...

Maxim has named what they feel are the WORLD'S FUNNIEST WOMEN. I think nine out of the ten they name are solid picks (won't say who I think should be dropped), but one of those nine sticks out in my mind because I completely agree with their blurb assessment of her:

7. Aisha Tyler

The former Talk Soup host and Balls of Fury star isn't the "mugging for laughs" type, instead she just has this laid-back funny vibe that allows her to shrug off even her occasional bombs like it ain't no thing. But she's criminally underused; we wouldn't mind seeing a lot more Aisha around.
Emphasis is all mine. Selfish as it might be on my part, her attempts to have more of a mainstream career (her work on dramas like CSI and the such) are pissing me off since they've kept me from enjoying her comedic skills.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Final Defecations On Countdown Vier

As we continue, it looks like the Counting Down columns aren't always as long as the first few. Might actually be able to dissect several per blog, which is great since I don't want this to go on longer than the actual series did.

NRAMA: The Monitor's conference - there's a point that's been raised among fans - why kill the aberrations? Why not capture and relocate them?

: Some of the more zealous Monitors would argue that simply capturing and relocating the aberrations wouldn’t solve the their eyes, the damage caused by these multiversally displaced individuals might not necessarily be might just be getting started.

: Okay, so as the Monitors point out Alexander Luthor as being the worst case scenario of dimension hopping...wasn't he just a one in a million occurrence? MM: Perhaps he was...but at the present time, the Monitors may not be entirely concerned with how these individuals became aberrations...for now, their main focus seems to be on the fact that there are aberrations...many of them.

: So - the other aberrations the Monitors point out - run 'em down for us...

: Duela Dent—the Joker’s Daughter—is the first aberration we come across. At the beginning of Countdown we know she’s out of place, hanging out in the wrong universe. Will we ever learn what universe she came from? Maybe... Then there are a few other characters that the Monitors have labeled as “problems”...individuals who for whatever reason are responsible for “hiccups” in the Multiverse: Donna Troy, Jason Todd, Kyle Rayner, Supergirl, Nightwing... That’s four to start us off...but there are more.

NRAMA: So when will we see that aspect of Countdown pick up, that is, the "hunting of the aberrations?"

: It’s a theme which carries throughout the entire series, but readers will see one of the first “hunts” occur about the second week of June. And this hunt will result in the kicking off of one of Countdown primary storylines.

OK, besides the fact that there's a math problem there (he named five characters, not four), there's the little problem that they almost completely ignored both Supergirl & Nightwing for the entirety of the series. This is the editor of the year long event that is privy to all the pre-planning. I'm guessing that there was a mid-series decision not to increase the scope of how many characters were given a turd coating by this Countdown thread. It is obvious that they weren't ever meant to be part of the "Challengers of the Multiverse" or what have you, but to drop them as anomalies and have the Monitors give them nearly zero attention?

Just to make certain that we drill this point home as much as possible before picking apart Carlin's inability to keep shit straight later:

NRAMA: Time-wise - next week, we'll be four issues into Countdown - will that roughly correlate to one month's worth of time in the DCU?

: Yes.

Remember that, folks.

And that, above, was all of the stuff from Countdown #49's weekly treatment. See what I mean about shorter stuff? And on to issue 48...

Newsarama: Let's start with Mary's issues here - take us inside her head a little. Why's she so eager to get back into the game of super-heroing? There seems to be a desperation...towards an addiction going on here…

Mike Marts
: See, that’s the thing...Mary’s desperation isn’t necessarily about getting back into’s more about feeling the painful loss of her powers. She had her super powers for so long—trusted them, relied on them, perhaps even took them for granted...and now they’re gone, seemingly forever. And Mary’s finding this extremely difficult to live with. She’s lost her sense of purpose, her sense of self. She feels backed into a corner. And now—who knows—she might try anything to get her powers back.

: Anything?

: Anything.

Wow...I just now realized that Brady's "addiction" angle seems to be prophetic about where she'd go. So addicted to power that, once she even had her old powers back, she wanted more. But...according to the editor...that didn't seem to be anything planned for the character. Maybe the complete reinvention of Mary got brewed up after Mike "I just make sure it's out on time" Carlin took over.

Which is kinda funny given:

NRAMA: On that front, and time-wise, when's Countdown taking place compared to Trials of Shazam?

: The events of Countdown and Trials of Shazam may not line up perfectly...but for the most part Trials happens before Countdown and then concurrently - at least, according to Trials editor Mike Carlin. And he knows everything, so he must be right!
Heh...oh, Mike...if you only knew how unreliable Carlin is with keeping even things he has edited straight...

Not to beat a dead horse, but:

NRAMA: Okay – over to Jimmy...Perry now knows that Jason Todd is Red Hood, so, by default, the entire Daily Planet now knows?

: No, not hinted last week, there is a story behind the connection between Jimmy Olsen and Jason Todd. A story that will be told within the pages of Countdown.
Yeah...anyone remember that story?

Oh, boy are these things going fast and furious now. We're on to Counting Down for #47. To be fair, since I've recently taken to pointing out the subliminal pornography of certain comic book artwork:

Money shot!

Now, on to the interview:

NRAMA: Back to Black Adam - his word was "sorry?" Captain Marvel changed it to that? And he has the wisdom of Solomon? I mean - wasn't that, or wouldn't that have been one of the first words he said or at least a really likely one if say, he visited Isis' grave?

MM: Did you read the end of 52 or World War III? Did you see what Black Adam is capable of? Still think the word “sorry” is even in his vernacular?

NRAMA: In that he’s sorry Isis and Osiris are dead because he went the wrong way, probably…

MM: Well - but Black Adam editor Michael Siglain assures me that there are still one or two big pieces to Black Adam’s puzzle to be discovered in his upcoming August mini-series.

I would think that calming the whiny masses (which I may have been part of; I can't remember) by saying, "no, we didn't give away the secret word, folks...keep reading," might have made sense. I'm guessing that there may not have been much information sharing going on.

NRAMA: Oh - one question on tie-ins...The Joker was in this week's Detective, and apparently has been around for a while. Is that the Joker, the Joker, or "a" Joker...or...who? Just seems kind of strange as he was locked up securely in Arkham recently...

MM: The Joker appearing in Detective #833 and #834 is “the”, “our” Joker. The real Joker. You know what I mean!

NRAMA: Yeah…but then who was the Joker securely locked up in Arkham in #50?

MM: The Joker.

NRAMA: “Our” Joker?

MM: Yes.

NRAMA: Not “a” Joker?

MM: He’s the Joker.

NRAMA: Wait – who’s the Joker?

MM: The guy on first – he’s the Joker.

NRAMA: I’m figuring that’s the extent of the clarification we’re going to get on that one, so over to you for the tease of issue #46…hit it.

That's a good spine of the DC Universe, eh? Five weeks into this event and DC editorial already had the wheels coming off their cohesive universe (which is the point of having a "spine" to it). That's not saying any of it was Marts' fault.

OK...that's a few of the weekly columns dissected in this edition, so that's it for going over Countdown.

Over Countdown?

No, I don't imagine I'll ever be over Countdown...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Of Late Comic Books & General Gripes

Before the thread regarding Mike Choi's personal loss and dedication to his work gets to far away from its original intent, I'd like to allow any griping to move to this blog, instead.

That can include:

Shouldn't contracts allow for artists to have some time off during the year?
How hard are publishers trying to spin the late comic book deal as a service to the fan?
What is up with Secret Invasion costing $4 with the only "added value" being a cardstock cover?
And anything else one might want to gripe about...

For Those That Bitch & Moan About Late Comics...

Over on his blog, Mike Choi talks about the drawbacks of being an artist. After mentioning how taking a traditional vacation is pretty much impossible, he shares the following:

But it's all good. I've worked on the last five Thanksgivings. However, something opened my eyes slightly today to the idea that something might be wrong in my prioritizing when work is involved.

I woke up at 2 pm, after four hours of sleep. I had two voicemail messages. the first was from the VP of editorial at Marvel, and the second was from my mom, who told me that my uncle had died. I called Marvel back first.

The funeral is this Wednesday, and the book is due Thursday (for me). I won't be calling my editors for an extension, because a) I know I won't get it, because issue 500 NEEDS to be on time understandably, b) measures have been taken to avoid lateness already, measures I wish hadn't been taken but were absolutely necessary, and c) so help me, if Nick called me right now and said, we'll make the books late so you can have an extension, or we can get someone to fill-in for you, I would turn him down.

I hope you join me in sending your thoughts and prayers along to Mike and the rest of the Choi family.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

NYCC SCHWAPP!!!: Passing A Message To Grant

Before hitting the road to NYCC, my friend Aaron asked me to pass personal messages from him to Grant Morrison and Jenna Jameson. While I wasn't able to get the message to Jenna, I did deliver his message to Grant. It was a little more impersonal than he may have desired...

Friday, May 23, 2008

Kirby, Bliss, & Homage Etiquette

The great and wise JK Parkin is covering this over on Blog@Newsarama, but I wanted to add my two cents. Apparently, a university professor has identified a New Yorker caption contest piece as a Kirby swipe, with Jeff Trexler and Mark Evanier (recognized authority on all things Kirby) jumping up to defend it as being so obvious an homage as to not have been any sort of lapse in ethics.

I really don't see why some are playing favorites with this artist. Yes, I'm sure his intentions were fine...but it takes nothing to put an "After Kirby" in there to acknowledge for the world that it is an homage. There was a time that people went nuts anytime there was an homage cover ON A COMIC BOOK (where, you know, everyone points out that we'd recognize an obvious Kirby homage) without an "After ____" on it.

If the artist can sign his own name to it (as you can see in the New Yorker image), then he could have put an AFTER KIRBY and told the world it was an homage instead of just letting it be a cool little secret between him and people familiar with the source material.

I mean...I know 95% of the New Yorker audience are comic book fans, right? So he'd only be doing it for that 5%, but it'd still be the right thing to do...

Oh, there was eventually an AFTER KIRBY added to its posting on the internet, by the way...after the professor bitched and moaned about it, I believe.

I'm not saying it was a huge deal. But pissing on the professor for pointing out that it was an unacknowledged homage (which, by normal definitions, means you can classify it as a swipe) by the legal and comic book scholars just isn't right. How is the professor to know what the artist's intentions were if the artist didn't do anything proper to publicly demonstrate those intentions?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Terry Two-Fer...ummm...Thursday

Terry Dodson has shared two upcoming X-Men covers he put together.

Secret Invasion X-Men #1

Young X-Men #5

SCHWAPP!!!@TheMovies: Indiana Jones & The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

ASM BRAND NEW DAY SPOILERS: Dig? Thumbing Of The Nose? Or Just Being Cute?

As discussed, the last page and a quarter plays on the JMS saying that Quesada's answer for everything OMD was, "it's magic; we don't have to explain it!"

Is it a dig at him? Is it kind of thumbing their nose at the situation? Or is it just meta-cute?

You make the call!

The New Runaways Team?

Terry Moore and Humberto Ramos are doing the rounds to publicize their new Runaways work. But you know what? I care more about what Christina strain has to say about it to Vaneta Rogers back in March:

"I'm very excited about it because Humberto's work looks fantastic," she said. "He's drawing it similar to how he was doing X-Men, but he's doing a really good job of getting the characters' personalities down. Everybody's really distinctive. He captured their personalities really well. So I'm very excited, and I have some interesting ideas about how I'm going to do it. And I'm kind of referencing Carlos Meglia for the coloring stuff. So I'm going to go for this kind of animated look."

Strain is a hold over from all of the previous Runaway "regimes"...and a valuable one at that. She's quickly become one of the colorists you can quickly spot the work of.

SCHWAPP!!! Comics Week 28: Secret Invasion #2

Has Anyone Else Brought This Up?

DC really only seems to make a habit of releasing TPBs or Showcases of their less-than-blockbuster properties when there is some sort of new release related to them that might help them sell some copies. The Batman & The Outsiders Showcases were coordinated with the relaunch of Batman & The Outsiders. They put out the DC Special issues to showcase stories that will be important coming up.

So...Grant Morrison (and Mark Millar) creation, Aztek, just had a TPB released. Grant Morrison is writing Final Crisis. Aztek was a legacy character (the memories of all who had worn the helmet were stored in the helmet itself). Aztek had been sent out to deal with a great evil.

Could a new Aztek be sent out to deal with an evil so great that we're apparently going to see the day it won?

The Wikipedia entry reminds us:

A younger black female Aztek was seen in Grant Morrison's run on JLA during "The Rock of Ages" storyline in which the JLA traveled to an alternate future overrun by Darkseid.

THE 99: Tolerance Through Comics & Theme Parks

You know...I've read THE 99...and it really doesn't grab me. But I'm not the most important target audience for it.

You see, while I am Muslim, I'm still probably more defined by my Western upbringing than my choice of religion. I don't read comic books and wonder why there isn't someone I can identify with in them (even if I did pitch an embarrassingly bad attempt at a Muslim-starring mini-series to Dan Raspler in 1997).

No, I really think this is geared toward Muslim kids born into the religion and possibly only first generation citizens (at least when we're talking US-based audience).

Quite obviously, the Middle Eastern audience is obviously the biggest evidenced by the theme park they're opening in Kuwait.

That's good stuff. It is great that the property is working out for them to the point that it seems marketable as a theme park. Theme parks and comic books have the opportunity to leave an amazing mark on the lives of children. Maybe it can really make a difference in the world.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Brand New Slott

Back in March, Dan Slott said the following over on Spider-Man Crawlspace:

On a personal note, I want to profusely thank jeffgamer for his support around the net. Back in December, jeffgamer's internet-wide dissent of OMD got the notice of NEW YORK POST writer Dareh Gregorian, who wrote an online piece about it: "Spidey Swings". The article even wrapped up with a quote by jeffgamer: "jeffgamer, wrote: 'The Spider-Man I've loved and read about for 34 years is dead now. No matter how well written or well drawn what comes next may or may not be, it is being built upon the corpse of something that I, and many other readers, cared about deeply.'" That put this phenomenon on Mr. Gregorian's radar. And on January 7th, Mr. Gregorian wrote a follow up story which appeared on PAGE 3 of the actual NEW YORK POST, "Spidey's Smooch Scandal", which showcased the cover to the first BND issue, #546, and plugged it two days before its release! You can't BUY publicity like that! The next day USA TODAY, the wire, and, in turn, local papers around the country picked up the story. The USA TODAY piece was what caught the attention of Howard Stern. The buzz from there grew and led to BND stories on ABC, CBS, CNN, NEWSWEEK, and local evening news shows around the country. So to jeffgamer I say "THANK YOU!". You might just be the butterfly who flapped his wings on the internet, caused a hurricane in the real world, and gave ASM #546 the attention it needed to spike and reach the #1 spot in January! You might just be the guy who brought new readers in off the street, helped major retail chains sell out, and made us go back to press for a second printing on #546! Keep up the good work!

After some negative reactions from posters on the board (which really wasn't worse than anything Joe Quesada used to say on New Joe Fridays), he followed it up a week later by deleting that message and replacing it with the following:

It's been pointed out to me how "snarky" my original post sounded. And if that's the case, then I'm sorry. At the same time, I'd also ask for a little understanding and for you to try to imagine how things look from this side of the equation. After a few months of being on a book like ASM , I'm starting to understand how this works. Passions are always going to run high with fans-- both for & against. Here on the internet it can get pretty vocal. And in the past, I've seen myself as a fan too-- able to spout off just as much as any of you guys. I think I get it now-- that's NOT the case. I get paid to do this. I get the privilege of working in this industry. And part of being a "professional" is that you have to act like one. You guys can say whatever you want and goof up from time to time-- and no one's going to shine a light on it. The trade off is-- I don't get to do that anymore. I think I can live with that. So again... Sorry for being a little too "human" back there. It won't happen again. In the future, when posting here and around the net, I'll strive to take a more professional attitude-- one that you, as consumers, deserve from the people whose work you support.
In another thread on that board, he doesn't seem to deal well with a BND colleague getting praise where he isn't receiving the same:

Seriously? If you liked Zeb's issues of ASM (which kicked much ass), something to keep in mind, was that Zeb got to play with BND when all the pieces on the board were already set up.

Funny that backhanded compliment thing there. Or, if you prefer, trying to make an excuse as for why people might think Zeb's arc kicked more
ass. There is the fact that, from what I'm aware of, the arc didn't really have anything that would make it stand out as being a BRAND NEW DAY story versus a plain ol' Spidey story.

Shame that Zeb wound up off the book and never seemed to have been highlight in the promotions for BRAND NEW DAY as much as the others involved in the book.

I think that comment came before Slott's epiphany about watching his words over the internet. Of course, I have documented irrational behavior from him directed at me after his supposedly coming to the understanding of how a professional is supposed to act. Professional or not, he does slyly try to invite people from that board to come over to his spot on (where he can, you know, delete or edit anything he doesn't like).

This ain't exactly bitching and moaning with fans, but it's a bit unprofessional to try to defend your own work from poor reviews that you suggest came from people just flipping through in the store and then slide a few digs in at a competitor's book and the creators involved.

From his message board on

Thought for the day...

Reading a comic in the store is like trying to watch an entire movie on the display monitor at Blockbusters. Reading a comic in the store on Comic Day is like trying to watch an entire movie on the display monitor at a crowded and noisy Blockbusters. Reading a comic in the store when the store owner or manager is there... (Because you KNOW they don't like you doing it. And NO, you're not their favorite customer that they have a "special relationship" with. And No, they're not cool with it. That's an urban myth. Like your girlfriend from... Canada.) ...well, reading it like that means that you're reading it as quickly as humanly possible. Wonderful. Now you're the guy who's not only trying to watch an entire movie on the display monitor at Blockbusters, you're also the guy who's flipped open the control panel, hit the FAST FORWARD button and is watching that movie at 16X speed. Awesome. I'm sure you're totally following the plot, the snappy dialogue, and all of the extra little touches. Meanwhile... On the same trip, you've purchased a copy of ALL-STAR SUPERMAN #whenever-Grant-Morrison-and-Frank-Quitely-felt-like-finishing-it. But with this book you've cradled it in your arms all the way home, read it in your Queen Anne chair in front of a roaring fire, and all while enjoying your snifter of port. Jeepers, I really wonder which comic you're going to like more?
Yeah...people enjoy someone else's work more than yours because of the ambiance. Right.

I've heard about a little bit that will be appearing on the last page of tomorrow's Amazing Spider-Man. It comes off as a dig at JMS's recounting of how Quesada said OMD made sense (it's magic), from what my sources say. This points out that either the full script went in after a certain date or scripting was done after the finished art.

That's important because I thought for a second the following panel was taken from my interaction with Slott...then I said, "nah...the script had to have been in long before that!" Maybe not...

That's something that was expressed to me by Dan several times. Like when he was stalking me for a phone call and I indicated I'd only call him if I could record it and put it up on the blog (because he was trying to twist anything he could to attack Newsarama at the time and continues to try to twist facts in any argument). But maybe there are other people he had a mad-on for that he said the same to...given how far gone he was for a month or so there.

SCHWAPP!!!@TheMovies: Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

Marvel Loves Sexually Controversial Images

Yeah...THIS won't get a lot of negative attention (that will likely just help Marvel advertise it). I've run this by a few friends and the general consensus is the fourth panel (top right) is meant to evoke images of a facial/money shot. That doesn't even get into the potentially sensual depiction of all the girls gathering around to "help" in the rest of the panels...

Why I Despise Greg Land's Artwork Reason 139

Because somewhere out there, there is a pornstar receiving a facial that has Pixie's smile in the scene/picture. Friggin' Land and his crutches...

SCHWAPP!!!@TheMovies: Iron Man

Monday, May 19, 2008

Final Defecations on Countdown Part Três

Here we go again. I'm picking apart what statements DC made about Countdown that they didn't necessarily live up to. They are inconsistencies that not only demonstrate a lack of solid planning and some small degree of false advertising. But the main point is how difficult it is for them to put together a solid book that is editorially driven when editorial didn't even seem to know what they were doing.

Oh...and we're still pulling some of this from the first Newsarama interview about Countdown...

DD: Right. We’re also going to deal with Mary Marvel in a big way in this series. As Freddy has taken the forefront in Trials of Shazam, we wanted to focus on the other members of the Marvel Family, and this is a great place for us to push Mary Marvel to the forefront and examine that character.

Ummm...did they really do that? Did they examine that character or completely and drastically change everything about her? Let's forget whether the changes were good or not for the moment. But to suggest they were going to examine her when they nearly reinvented her from scratch just seems wrong. I don't recall her being written as the jealous, obsessed or power hungry type. Yes, we haven't seen her having lost her powers...but when she gained them back, she was still willing to make a deal with the Fourth World devil to get a slight bump up in power? That's wholesale change of character.

DD: There’s going to be another storyline that will focus on some of the key villains of the DC Universe that will take us through the underbelly of the DCU again, with lines that will tie all the way back to Identity Crisis.

Ah...another of the storylines that happened outside of Countdown (as Mary Marvel had some Eclipso bits happen in Countdown to Mystery, I believe). It would seem that, if we're talking about villain focus, it has to be Salvation Run. If they're trying to count all the spin-offs in this interview, it's a little disingenuous, in my opinion. Other than using a quick Piper/Trickster bit to introduce the Suicide Squad prison planet deal, Countdown didn't really do much with that.

DD: Where 52 is world-building, which is what was so interesting about it, as we were rebuilding the DC Universe from the ground up following the events of Infinite Crisis, Countdown is the book where, as the expression goes sh-- blows up. There’s a lot of excitement within the pages, and again, how the book is being crafted and paced is different from the way 52 was crafted, just because of the way it’s being assembled.

Ah...the SHIT BLOWS UP talk. If shit really blew up, a large majority of this series wouldn't have made it to the shelves, as there would have been devastating explosions at the printer.

But let's look at the portion of the last sentence that I bolded: it's redundant and tells the reader nothing. Essentially, it "is being crafted and paced" differently because of how it "is being crafted and paced". How it is being assembled is how it is being crafted. It feels like that sentence is one of the best confirmations that DC tried to reinvent the wheel for no real constructive purpose.

MM: Oh, and in regards to JG, we didn’t want to leave him out of the mix completely, so he’ll be doing a few guest variant covers.

We didn't get any variants, but JG did step in for two covers. They occurred during the handoff to Mike Carlin and after the handoff, though.

Finally...we are done with the first interview and work our way over to COUNTING DOWN for issue #51.

Newsarama: Mike, we touched upon it earlier this year when we spoke, but just to recap a touch, can you give us a feel again, from your point of view, why you were tapped for editing this project? It wasn't exactly hazing, was it?

Mike Marts: Of course it was hazing! Dan Didio wooed me to DC with sweet promises of easy projects with quick creators and cushy deadlines... and then WHAM! As soon as I was in the door, he got that sinister grin he’s so famous and told me his real reasons for tempting me over to the dark side...WEEKLY COMICS!

Oh, Mike...if you only knew how it would turn out. Truer words have not been spoken. Though the "dark side" wasn't so much the weekly comics aspect.

MM: Countdown is an ambitious, epic project the likes of which have only been tried once before — 52 (duh)--but this time around we’ve taken a few steps further... while 52 was told in real time, Countdown will be told in current time, and reflect events happening in the DCU right now. Meaning that any major event that happens in the DCU over the next year will be reflected and touched upon in Countdown — and vice versa.
I could be wrong, but I really don't remember that much crossing over with the biggest event in the DC Universe during that time: Sinestro Corps War. That's unless you count their spoiling Kyle Rayner's and Superman Prime's fates. It wasn't really reflected or touched upon. Didio already apologized for the situation that led those points to be spoiled, but there's been no real addressing of how something as important as that war could be virtually ignored while they covered the bachelorette party of Black Canary. Not the fault of Marts, though...since he was begging off since issue 6.

Mike Marts: All right, let's take a look around the the last twenty-four hours, here is what's hit my inbox related to Countdown...color proofs from Guy Major on #47...second proofs for lettering on #46...the third script revision from Paul Dini for that same issue...cover inks from Terry and Rachel Dodson on pencils on #38 from artist Jesus Saiz...cover pencils and inks for #31 from one of Wildstorm's top artists...plot revision on #27 from writer Sean McKeever...and confirmation for the story conference call with Paul Dini on #26. How's that?

Fans of the "Marvel method" of scripting might disagree, but the highlighted sentence fragments above point out another possible item contributing to the inconsistent product. The "Marvel method" might work for regular monthly production, but when plots are already being penciled several issues ahead and you might script yourself into an inconvenient is a little more difficult to fix with a weekly.

MM: Each artist-be it Jim Calafiore, Jesus Saiz, David Lopez or Carlos Magno-may bring their own unique drawing style to the pages of Countdown, but we're fortunate to have layout artist Keith Giffen back on board for this new weekly series. Keith is essential in providing the series with a consistent, unified look and feel.

Newsarama Note: As Dan Didio explained on Wednesday, Giffen was finishing his commitment to 52 during the production time of the first few issues of Countdown. is so essential that they basically went half the series without him and without any other layout artist? Don't get me wrong...I believe that Mike Marts felt Keith and/or some layout artist was essential...but the decision to go forward at a time that wouldn't allow Keith to participate or to not use someone else in the interim probably came from above him.

NRAMA: Story-wise, this week, we saw the first tie-in with another event in the DCU, that is, the scene with Batman and Karate Kid fighting, from JLA. Where much of that fight was off camera in that issue, are we correct to assume that this is that fight?

MM: That great action sequence from Calafiore is indeed "the fight" from the JLA/JSA crossover. We hope readers enjoyed this subtle crossover. Fortunately Paul Dini and the guys responsible for writing that issue-Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray-had Brad Meltzer's JLA script to work from fairly early on.

NRAMA: Okay - given the economy of pages, nothing in comics is there without a reason, and Dan has said that Karate Kid will be playing a roll in the series - any hints as to what we'll see with him? And will it be just him, or the entire Legion?

MM: There is so much more coming for Karate Kid...a journey that I'm sure no one is expecting. And I'd love to spoil some bits about the Legion, but Didio, Meltzer and Johns would break my neck. What I can say is that Karate Kid won't be alone on his journey... of the first major gripes that people bunched their panties over: the Batman/Karate Kid fight appearing in detail HERE instead of in the actual Lightning Saga crossover. That was a pretty bad move, as far as pleasing the customer. I, also, think it was one that was pretty easy to see coming from months out. It is one thing to show what happened in the series, but to do it to the exclusion of it appearing in the Lightning Saga (whether real or perceived).

And "a journey that I'm sure no one is expecting"? Well...that's one way to classify the character having the black plague, coughing from universe to universe and dying at the end. It was so great that he brought along Una to die, too. No one expects the Spanish Inquisition, either...but it doesn't make it a good thing.

NRAMA: By and large, and if they can be put into a single group, how do these crossovers occur? I'd assume that Paul can pull in the elements he needs, but how do other writers get to use Countdown elements in their titles?

MM: Dini was great in that he had an extremely detailed weekly outline of Countdown in before the end of '06...this allowed the editorial staff-and in turn their writers-to plan these "crossing over" moments well in advance.

That's funny. Not to focus too much on this, but we all know Geoff Johns plans stuff out fairly far in advance. Yet we have Kyle Rayner not only appearing hale and hearty in Countdown before his storybeats were over in Sinestro Corps, but he had been advertised as being a member of that group long before it came to pass, effectively killing any tension over his Parallax moment as soon as Countdown solicits came out. That's on top of the point that there wasn't really much touching upon and reflecting done in Countdown regarding the whole fear/will war.

NRAMA: Okay - into the events in the issue…first off, the Red Hood thing - now Jimmy knows who he is, and on top of that, knows that Dick Grayson was a former Robin? What the heck?

MM: Oh, you caught that...? We thought we were playing it fairly subtle, but hat's off to those who picked it up. This will have major story ramifications down the road-oh, wait-did I just give something else away?

NRAMA: Sure, sure, play it coy - but doesn't that mean that he (along with any other reporter) knows who Batman is?

MM: No, definitely not. The Jimmy/Jason Todd connection is a unique situation-one we're not going to spoil by revealing in the second issue!

NRAMA: So, bluntly, it's not a goof?

MM: Nope. Trust us.

Hmmmm. I knew there was something that would fall on Marts at some point. This is it right here.

I don't remember seeing that whole goof addressed. Oh...and it was a goof. A straight fuck up. No cute little idea. A fuck up. If I want to try to play favorites on this one, I can only save Graymiotti, at best. I mean...they were given what had to happen in the issue from Dini, I do believe. Ah...screw it. Everybody who worked on the issue probably slapped themselves in the head at some point and said they should have done something to keep that from slipping through. ;)

Alright...that's it for the third installment. I'm probably doing this for myself at this point, since most people just want to forget that Countdown existed.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Yeah, What The Hell ARE You Wearing, Raven?

My God. Who thought Titans #2 could drag things down even lower than the first issue managed?

It starts with the opening page:

Ummm...I don't believe the character bible for Argent has her being this busty. Of course, maybe it is just the bondage somehow forcing more blood to flow to her breasts, inflating them artificially.

It continues in further panels.

Of course, maybe there's just some chemical in the air from the villain's lair that makes all women who breathe it more ditzy and busty:

Winick, Churchill, and Benitez have really outdone themselves with these first two issues...

DC's Legion Shuffling

Rich Johnston reported that Jim Shooter didn't wind up attending the Bristol convention because he's off Legion of Super Heroes. That was news to me.

In a follow-up thread about it in the Lying In The Gutters forums, a CBR poster named Ontire had the following to say:

I'd heard, more than a year ago, that Johns was going to take over shortly after the Bedard run. Shooter was going to come in and do a fill-in, leading up to Final Crisis, and Waid.2 Legion would cross-over with the Legion of the Lightning Saga, leading to Johns returning the Levitz era, pre-Crisis Legion, essentially intact afterwards.

Then, allegedly as a face-saving measure, it was decided that admitting complete failure on the re-launch was a bad move, and Shooter was made permanent, but as they say @ Grace Bros., "Our figures are slipping." So who knows now.

I had heard there was some interest in Geoff's version of the Legion before they even saw print in Lightning Saga or Action, but I never heard that it got anywhere near that sort of planning stage.

Gotta Love The GTAIV Glitches

Bought the game myself. Haven't hit a lot of these glitches, just the occasional freeze...but it is still damn annoying.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

DC Vs Marvel @ The Movies: Much Ado About Nothing has become chic to suggest that Marvel does better with their properties in the movies because they are not adverse to creating a cohesive universe where their characters cross over in the movies.


Does anyone pointing this out as a strategic advantage realize that Iron Man is the only movie that has been released thus far that is starting that trend? And that means there has effectively been NO CROSSOVER BETWEEN MOVIES YET? How can that be a sign of the strategy being a success?

Some people (cough...linked above...cough) just love to find any possible angle to bitch about DC Comics. I'm sure that's not true of ALL of the people putting forth this idea, though.

For the record, I do think that the Marvel Entertainment approach is a helluva lot stronger than Time-Warner's history of giving too much of the control to individual filmmakers. But I do find it hard to argue decisively against giving such control to previously proven artists like Singer & Nolan. If I had to bet on the abilities of Favreau, Singer, and Nolan to helm a super-hero franchise prior to the release of their respective movies, Favreau would have the worst odds of winning.

But the biggest flaw here is thinking the cohesive universe is why Marvel's succeeding when it hasn't even occurred in the market yet to have contributed to their success.

Of Lawyers, Victims & Superman the blogosphere is all in a tizzy about the Time-Warner shoot down of several charity auctions featuring Superman and his supporting cast.

The guy who ran the auction is saying he doesn't want to play the victim. Hmmm. Sounds like he's all about playing the victim in this, with the sole caveat being that he's nice enough to clarify DC Comics likely had nothing to do with the problem.

He's sitting there wallowing in this situation. He's saying all the "right things" about it being his fault, but then he's pointing out other peoples' artwork to suggest that the WB should pursue them, too. He's obviously at least a little bitter already.

But I don't see anything that demonstrates he has tried to reach out to someone at DC Comics or Time-Warner to help get clearance for the remaining auctions or any retroactive clearance for the auctions that have completed. Some guy doing his job by contacting eBay to pull down unauthorized use of IP doesn't mean that no one at the conglomerate would be willing to authorize it.

Why not try?

Curses, Foiled Again!

My plot to end the career of Marc Guggenheim (if you believe everything Dan Slott says) has been an utter failure.

I mean...what else can you qualify it as when his ELI STONE has been renewed for next season?

Self, what are we going to do tonight?

The same thing we do every night, self: attempt to to take over the...I mean...ruin Guggenheim's career!

If I had only grown out my mustache, I'd be able to twirl it and laugh fiendishly as I plot. Or would that be too over the top?

Dammit, this has been a rough day.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

How Not To Pimp Your Blog 101

Some Newsarama poster has spent the last few days pimping his blog in the comments section of front page articles. He comes up with a few generic, on-topic sentences...then points to how something he thinks is related to that topic can be found on his blog. It was kind of embarrassing when he had to suggest he thought there was a link between the Guardians of the Galaxy series and Secret Invasion, just because he didn't have any GotG stuff at his blog but did have SI theories there.

I bet the GoG get their say in the Secret Invasion too!! I loved the old GoG series and I'm looking forward to this totally different take on the group.

We have lots of Secret Invasion theories + more at

If anyone wants to check it out.

Man...I'm sorry, but that's lame. The 'Rama don't take kindly to that kind of pimping, either.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Random Parody Video

Final Defecations on Countdown Pt. Deux

When last we left you, we were quoting from the initial Newsarama interview with Dan Didio and Mike Marts about Countdown. There were so many "interesting" bits that we couldn't get through the whole interview in one blog. So, we start back up with it today...

MM: When all is said and done, the entire series will have taken place over the course of a year, so fans will get the sense that there was a year-long journey with many things happening. But major things that happen in the DC Universe – if someone dies, we will see it and deal with it in Countdown. If someone gets married, we’ll see it in Countdown. Something like Amazons Attack – that will be reflected in Countdown.

Funny...those three bits seemed to be all that really crossed over into Countdown. Lightray's death (and Jimmy's being present), the Green Arrow/Black Canary nuptials, and the craptastic Amazons Attack.

NRAMA: With that mention of Amazons Attack – Dan, you’ve kind of become famous for putting things into book that payoff farther down the line. That said, have we seen the startup to Countdown in the regular DCU titles?

DD: Absolutely. Amazons Attack is key to one of the main through lines of Countdown, but it exists as its own story, in its own right. Again, we’re in the business to tell serialized stories. So, realistically speaking, we bring our stories to a conclusion, but we always want to leave some thread or two that can carry on to something else so we always feel like we’re building, and feel cohesive in respect to the world our stories take place in.

Ugh. Ladies and gentlemen, I think we might have part of the root cause of Countdown's being printed shite: Amazons Attack was so integral to one of the main stories to be told. If your ingredient list starts with fecal matter, you're not really going to be able to aspire to greatness.
NRAMA: Before we talk about the various through lines that are going to be running through Countdown, where did that desire to have Countdown be the project that would pull the Kirby aspects of DC back into the fold, proper, come from? When did that notion get rolling? DD: When I walked in the door. NRAMA: So this is part of “Dan Didio, Day One: My Goals:”? DD: DC Comics – what you’ve got to do in my position and what we all did when planning out the larger picture, is that you want to identify things that are great in the DC Universe – things that stood out and things that people still remember. The things that Kirby created when he first started at DC Comics over 30 years ago still resonate today.

It may be too early to really rule on this, but it is hard to put "still resonate today" together with "let's kill them all in a mini-series". Completely reinventing them along the lines of what Grant Morrison did in Seven Soldiers of Victory doesn't seem to jive with the idea that they still resonate if you need to go to a version that isn't very identifiable with the originals.

DD: Also – personally, I have to add in there that I think in his creation of the character of Darkseid, you have one of the greatest single characters created in comics.

NRAMA: But if he’s so great, where is he? Why isn’t he being used more?

DD: Just like so many of our characters can get overused and overexposed, one of the first things we did was remove Darkseid from a lot of our storytelling. If you go back through our comics, you can probably count on one hand how many times Darkseid appeared over the last five years. Probably the most prominent appearance was with the return of Supergirl in the Superman/Batman arc.

One of the things that we wanted to do with Darkseid was that we wanted to create a story that was elevated to what we felt the true value of the character was. In Countdown, you’ll see some of that come to fruition, as well as other aspects of Kirby’s creations and characters.

Ummm...Countdown is supposed to show the true value of Darkseid? I'm guessing that Dan would really like that quote back. ;)

I get the idea that he was probably thinking ahead to Final Crisis and how Countdown had to set that up, but any story where Jimmy Olsen and Ray Palmer best Darkseid doesn't fit the concept of elevating the character, IMO.

NRAMA: It’s probably also fair to say that it’s a tricky corner to mine though – after all, in those thirty-plus years, it’s not as if others, both creators and editorial administrations haven’t tried to explore the Fourth World and shine it up for modern times, meeting with varying degrees of short-term success… DD: This is where Mike and Paul have been key, actually. Like I said, Mike’s not familiar with the DC Universe, so he’s approaching Darkseid and the entire Fourth World with a fresh eye; and Paul, obviously, is a guy who’s been able to distill down the strengths and weaknesses of so much of the DC Universe, in regards to how he told stories in the various cartoons and animation that he’s worked on over the years. So, with the two of them working side by side on these characters, they found a way to unfold a story that I believe really identifies the strengths of the characters and what makes the characters great, all the while with an eye on moving them toward the future. As I said, it’s such a strong concept and an idea that it has to be addressed, and I think we’re doing it in the best way possible.

Yeah...OK. I think Dini has demonstrated that he can distill down the strengths and weaknesses into animations and have them well-received because the audience knows you can only get so much detail in 22 minutes or in an 80 minute feature. In comic books, where stories need to be fleshed out, he flounders with DC product. In animation, he has the option to adapt. In comic books, he has to come up with new ideas and flesh them out fully to win over the audience.

Mike Marts gets a pass because...well...he was out the door so quickly. I have a very reliable source with insider knowledge that tells me Mr. Marts was begging off of this albatross as early as issue 6. Apparently, it took a fresh set of eyes to realize that this event was FUBAR'd from the start. I know that, if I were him, I'd hate to see creators I was fond of turning in some of their worst work because they were being used as writer-monkeys instead of creators.

I'm going to cut this off here for now. Partially because the hour is late and partially because I'm kinda digging the idea of picking apart the first interview in a way that requires 3+ blogs to get through it all. ;)

PS - Notice how few of the people shown in the above cover image actually showed up in the series significantly or at all. Gotta love that.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Blue Beetle All-Spanish Issue

You know...not to get pulled completely into the debate that has been going on for the last few weeks about the Blue Beetle issue...but...

It has been argued that there was an in-story reason for the issue being almost completely in Spanish.

Not so much.

The in-story reason is supposed to be the family reunion with the side of his family that doesn't speak English at all. Right. Lilly, who is married to a businessman with a private plane who is in Metropolis for work, doesn't speak a word of English? That's kind of suspect already. But let's leave that alone for now.

Jaime leaves the shindig and winds up now, for no apparent story reason, talking to the scarab in Spanish...and then conducts his whole discussion with Parasite in Spanish, despite the fact that Parasite's first language is English.

So...let's just completely chuck the idea that this was an all-Spanish issue for story reasons. It wasn't. A majority of the Spanish in the issue didn't even happen around Traci 13, who was supposedly who we English-only speakers were meant to identify with in being lost in a new language.

No, this was a clear grab at trying to attract more Hispanic readers at the risk of alienating the current readership. Not alienating them based on their being racist or ignorant, but from the distinct reading discomfort of not knowing what is going on in the panels without having to awkwardly keep flipping to the back of the book. Yeah...that makes for an experience that immerses you in the story.

And these readers who apparently couldn't be bothered to check out a Hispanic super-hero until there was an issue almost exclusively in Spanish? They're not getting an issue done in Spanish next month...or the month after...or the month after.

So, while incredibly well intentioned, DC Comics risks alienating their already small readership for this title for a particular audience that doesn't really seem to be that likely to come around or stick around? Doesn't seem wise to me. But, then again, this could be a last ditch effort to draw attention to a book that, given DC's recent history of low-selling books that switch creative teams (cough...All New Atom...cough), might not be long for monthly publication.

Terry Dodson's Women of the DC Universe BATWOMAN Bust

According to Dodson, the bust is in stores today. Here's a look at his design sketches for it.

88 Minutes Goes Wide, But VICE Gets One Screen In NYC?

It's a crime that, in this day and age, a shitty Al Pacino flick that sat on a shelf for two years (88 Minutes) gets 2000+ screens, but VICE (starring Michael Madsen & Daryl Hannah) currently has only 28 screens (only one of which is in NYC).

Detective Max Walker (Madsen) was once a highly respected cop until he lost his wife and his life unraveled. Haunted by her memory and harboring his rage, Walker has nothing left to lose. He is a loose cannon waiting for an excuse to explode.

A drug bust operation goes awry. A large haul of heroin is discovered by Walker and his team; including Salt (Hannah) and Sampson (Williamson). The bust attracts a great deal of heat after several people are killed and one gang member escapes from the scene.

Murder and mayhem ensue. The officers involved in the bust are being killed off one by one. No cop is safe. With no suspects in sight, a bewildered Walker joins forces with Salt to investigate the slaughter of his team.

What follows is a series of twists, intrigue and foul play. When it is discovered that some drugs from the bust went missing the cops start to look amongst themselves for the killer. Trust is compromised, comradeship dissolves and friends turn their guns on one another until the last man is standing and the truth is revealed.

Madsen said in an interview on Opie & Anthony that it is one of the top five movies he's done. Madsen may never had become an A-List actor, but when you look at the flicks he's been in, that top five is an impressive spot.

You can see the trailer here.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Mike Choi: Voice Of Reason

Mike Choi comes with the logic that most fanboys always want to ignore when arguing against Wizard's practices (linked above).

Now, I'm all for being giddy about Wizard possibly going the way of the dinosaur if you project them selling their property as a sign of the end (with all sympathy to those that would be out of a job, naturally). But you can't blame Wizard for producing a magazine that people buy. It's like knocking Marvel for putting Wolverine in so many books when so many keep buying anything he shows up in (as Choi pointed out) or knocking DC for having so many books featuring Batman & Superman.

I said I'd be giddy for them to go, though, and that's definitely true. It's part the hope that whoever fills the void will be more like Comic Foundry (who Choi praises even in his defense of Wizard) and part because the fallout from Wizard disappearing would be damned interesting to observe.

  • Where would the Big Two turn for print coverage of their events and major properties?
  • Would CBR or Newsarama attempt to come out with a print publication?
  • Would there even be an attempt to fill the void or would coverage just get that much more focus online?
I know I'll stay tuned to see how it all shakes out.

Adam Hughes Convention Selling Plans

From Allison Sohn on the Hughes-Fan Yahoo Group, regarding what prints Adam Hughes will have for sale at what conventions:

Chun Li, I believe I stated earlier, will be at San
Diego. Part of Adam's agreement with Udon is that he
can do prints for San Diego, but no sooner. San Diego
marks the release of the book that the Chun Li art is
featured in.

The Rocketeer, as previously stated, is also for San
Diego. That was as close to a "home town show" for
Dave Stevens as it got. Also, as it will be a
charitable fund raiser, it makes sense to bring it to
the show with the highest attendance.

I have no idea what the "ASWW teaser" is... and I'm
the one making the prints. Anyone care to clue me in?

I bring this to the blog for the rumor of their being an All Star Wonder Woman teaser print...and Ms. Sohn's shooting it down by saying she hasn't heard a thing about it. So...unless DC is printing up some giveaways of an All Star Wonder Woman drawing, it looks like anyone buying into that rumor will be disappointed. might have indicated that things were closer to being published.

I brought more than the teaser image discussion so that I could plug the charity sale of Adam's Rocketeer prints. Make sure to pick some up, folks.

Of Jihads & Stupid Jokes

Rich Johnston pointed out how there was an uncomfortable exchange in an interview with Paul Cornell, conducted by Benjamin Ong Pang Kean over on Newsarama. The exchange (and almost all posts referring to it) later disappeared.

No explanation. No apology. Nothing.

Rich got his hands on a print screen of the bit.

After Cornell finished an answer that indicated Faiza (the muslima character he's created in his upcoming series) will not be a stereotype and is a character that he will do his damnedest to avoid cliches with (religious or otherwise), BOPKean's next question was:

NRAMA: Did she join this team with motives of her own? Is she on a jihad mission, going on an all-out holy war against...what?

Knowing how a lot of these interviews go, it is entirely possible that Kean sent a bunch of questions via e-mail at the beginning, so that his follow-up question would not have been informed by the response to the previous question. Still...the exchange finished up with:

PC: You *what*?! I typed something much ruder in answer to that originally. What the hell?

NRAMA: Oh blimey! We're all doomed!

That right there is why I think the interviewer was just colossally stupid, rather than a bigot. I fully believe that the jihad question was just asked out of ignorance or an attempt at frat boy level humor. There's evidence to back that up...namely the fact that he left the idiotic question, the angered answer, and the frivolous and inappropriate wrap-up comment in the final article he sent into Matt Brady.

Someone who was less ignorant of or oblivious to the situation would have e-mailed an apology to the creator and a few new questions to give a better wrap-up to the article. This guy sailed on with a bliss that can only come from complete ignorance to the ugliness he caused by answering the question or the shitstorm he could create for his employer by that running on their site unedited.

Now...would it have been nice if Newsarama addressed the issue instead of trying to delete all evidence of its existence and pretend it never happened? Sure. But what are they really going to do? It was an interview done by a contractor that they fixed as soon as they caught what had happened. I don't know any place of business that publicly chastises an employee after a mistake. I'm sure something has been privately been said to Kean to help make sure nothing that stupid or potentially inflammatory (to a creator or the audience) slips into his finished work again.