Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tyler Perry: Busted By Union

OK. So the news hit on Wednesday, but I was waiting on a key piece of information before I'd be ready to talk about it here.

Nikki Finke has the best coverage, for the most part, but had missed one key point: what happened to the fired writers?

It took a weekend of Google alerts, but I found out that they received a financial settlement from Tyler Perry's company for an undisclosed amount. I imagine that it will include residuals for the episodes they already completed work on, but can't say for certain.

So, Mr. Tyler "I'm not Disney/I haven't seen one thin dime" Perry fought the WGA...and the WGA won. On a Thanksgiving weekend that was hard to find things to be thankful for on a personal level, this managed to make it on to that unfortunately short list.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I Really Suck At These Things...

But when the app is using SHAZAM in a manner that seems like it is meant to call to mind the Whiz/DC Comics franchise, is there some way DC has a case against them?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Final Verdict: Bendis Right, Kirkman Wrong

Todd Allen has a piece over on Publisher's Weekly that does all the math and comes to the basic conclusion that Kirkman's contention that good money can be made going creator-owned is, at best, very shaky.

Edit: OOPS...of course good money can be made. I meant his contention that it is so likely to be a substitute or improvement upon the money creators make on work-for-hire books at the Big Two.

How Will They Know?

From Geoff Boucher's HERO COMPLEX over on the LA Times website:

GB: There's wildly mixed levels of excitement about webcomics. Some people shrug, others see the future, albeit one that may be difficult to monetize. There's also the huge bookstore market now for trade paperbacks, hardcovers, etc. Talk a bit about format and the future -- what is the comic book of the future?

DD: Realistically speaking -- and this is just my opinion -- we're in the pamphlet periodical format right now and we're going to stay in that for the foreseeable future. Primarily for the reason that our consumer audience is accustomed to that, understands it and they are driven by the collectible nature of it historically. It's something you buy, something you own, something you possess. As new readers come in we will address their styles and their understandings. As people get more comfortable with reading material online, we will turn toward that expectation. There is a great improvement and growth in bookstore market and that is a key area. So we have three delivery systems: Online, in periodicals and in bookstores. Realistically, one of those could collapse and we could still be strong but it does require an adjustment in who and how you sell to them. No matter what, our future is in great characters in great stories created by great talent.

As far as I know, the only real online DC Comics material is all illegal scans found on bittorrent sites. So, I'm a bit perplexed at how they're supposed to know that people are more comfortable reading material online if they're not testing the waters similar to Marvel Comics' ironically named DCU (Digital Comics Unlimited) offering.

Surveys will only tell you so much. I know they've used some online surveys regarding such things, but we're talking about the same readers that make basement dwelling titles sound like they're in the top ten and top ten titles sound like they're in danger of cancellation.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Batman: Arkham Asylum Teaser Trailer

Wonder If This Will Appear In Blackest Night...

From the Rock of Ages arc in JLA #12

Fake Art Adams? Try Fake Mike Choi!

As Rich Johnston reported over on Lying in the Gutters, Jeff Henzel had been going around pretending to be Art Adams. Or, more likely, "Jeff Henzel" was passing off work by other artists as Art Adams. See, Rich's research basically indicates that "Jeff Henzel" is "Joshua Hoopes", the man who had been having artists across the world provide him with artwork that he'd then sell to comic book companies that thought he was the artist, rather than a middleman.

If you're a writer trying to break in and find it difficult to find a collaborator who will take a 50/50 split rather than upfront cash, this is one of the reasons why.

Rich noted that it was entirely likely that "Jeff/Josh" would turn up elsewhere trying to swindle more people.

Well, he didn't have to turn up again...he already has a different artist's work that he's trying to pass off as his own to get gigs.

Apparently, "Sleepbringer" on the Digital Webbing message boards posted looking for an artist and heard from "Jeff". He gave a link to his "online portfolio". Pretty familiar looking, eh? Lot of Mike Choi stuff there.

Now, mind you, the contact probably happened before Rich's latest coverage where he let "Jeff" know the jig was up and that the world would know. But it was quite possibly sent after "Jeff" figured out who Rich really was.

This is a guy that, after being pretty much a well known swindler as "Josh Hoopes", still gave out the name for payments to be sent to. It is entirely possible this guy is going to keep using the "Jeff Henzel" name awhile longer. I certainly have no doubt he'll try to pass off work again, unless it becomes about as well known as the Mike Choi'sFake Art Adams fiasco.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Friday, November 21, 2008

ABC Cancels Three Primetime Shows

ABC has announced, for all intents and purposes, that they have canceled Pushing Daisies, Dirty Sexy Money and Eli Stone.

Both Pushing Daisies and Dirty Sexy Money were hurt by the WGA strike shortening their initial seasons. Dirty Sexy Money has had a very lackluster second season that couldn't seem to capture any of what it had going for it last year. Pushing Daisies started off slow this season but seemed to be hitting its creative stride in the most recent episodes. One of the problems for PD appears to have been an effects-heavy budget.

It is quite possible that, without the WGA strike, Eli Stone may have never gotten a shot at airing on ABC. It's break came from the fact that the networks had no remaining new episodes of the shows they originally intended for their line-up. Still, it might have gotten a chance as a summer program to see if it could find an audience.

I can't comment on the quality of Eli Stone, as I never wound up watching it. But, until Nikki Finke's editorializing, I heard only good things about the show and I have no doubt that Marc Guggenheim was putting together an excellent show.

Is Dan Didio On Speaking Terms With...Dan Didio?


We’re still locking down the writer on the Oracle miniseries, but Battle for the Cowl will be written and drawn by Tony Daniel, which we’re very excited about. This is the first time Tony’s written in a while, and he’s just champing at the bit to be able to do this, and we’re excited that he’s on the series.

From Hero Complex on the LA Times website:

Dan Didio: The first thing we’re going to see is called “Battle for the Cowl,” that’s going to be a book that features nearly every member of the Batman family

GB: Even Ace the Bat-Hound?

DD: [Laughs] Probably. We have a writer-artist team on this right now that’s scouring every book possible to see what they can include in these two-page spreads they want to build of all the characters that inhabit the Batman universe.

Unless Tony Daniel has MPD, there's no way I can see him referred to as "they" and "team". What's the deal?

Why I'll Miss MAD TV Pt 5

THE RACK: Don't Forget About The Hoffmans

Make sure to check out THE RACK, by Kevin Church & Benjamin Birdie. Why? Because they make sure to stop what they're doing to take time to ask people to help a friend.

Ultimate Comics Walk-Up Sales For Nov 12th, 2008

From Lee Newman of Ultimate Comics, the list of top-selling books at one of their locations in North Carolina for what was released on 11/12/08. Pull lists are not included, as this is meant to capture what is being bought off the shelf.

1. Amazing Spider-Man #577
2. The Stand: Captain Trips #3
3. Batman: Cacophony #1
4. Action Comics #871
5. Nightwing #150
6. Wolverine #69
7. Detective Comics #850
8. BPRD: The Warning #5
9. Green Lantern Corps #30
10. Dark Tower: Treachery #3


It was a light week and rain on Friday and Saturday hurt our sales a bit. The new store is on one of those "main street" type strips next to Duke Campus. It is not a mall or a shopping center with a major draw so the weather can have adverse effects on foot traffic into the store. That is what happens when a large group of your clientele is vehicleless and the rest thinks it will be too hard to park... although when the weather is bad Ninth St suddenly becomes an easy place to park.

1. Stupid Spider-Man all over the place. As mentioned in the comments last week, yes the creative team does play a part in this, but natural attrition has not happened since New Ways to Die ended. Seems like a lot of the One More Day haters may have just liked what the end result was after all.

3. Little disappointing. The art is hurting this one big time, I am hearing a lot of gripes in the stores.

4. New Krypton is a success!!! Action is in the top ten.

3. Yeah, that's what happens when you're so desperate to make a splash that you let Kevin Smith have his neighborhood pal (Walt Flanagan) draw the mini-series. Saw that coming from the moment the project was announced. I'm not trying to dump on Flanagan completely, but if he's not close friends with Smith, he doesn't get a gig with DC Comics, let alone a crack at one of the "trinity". It is not a good sign for the health of a publisher and the quality of their product when they're flailing blindly to try to get back in the win column.

4. I'd be interested to see if the New Krypton tide really lifts all boats. Action Comics is the easy sell, with Johns & Frank. Robinson's first arc on Superman was shaky and Sterling Gates is still largely an unknown quantity on Supergirl.

5. Nightwing "goes out" with a bang.

6. Is this still the Millar/McNiven run? I really meant to pick their run up, but missed the 3rd issue, I think, and never went back. I'll probably snag the trade.

Your thoughts? And, as always, if any retailer wants to be added to the column, leave a comment or drop me a line.

Newsarama: Still Need Google To Search It?

So I was chatting with a friend online regarding some of Dan Didio's recent decisions regarding the DC publishing schedule. The friend says that Didio came off looking like a complete asshole in the last column where he answered questions on I remember him having some bad news, but not coming off like an ass.

So I search for Dan Didio and I get this:

1...2...3...3....3...THREE TOTAL RESULTS.

Do a quick Google search of for Dan Didio?

Searching Dan Didio on the site itself pulls up a total of 3 hits...but Google puts the pertinent articles right at the top?

Other blogs (like The Beat) have already covered how Newsarama and CBR are much closer in hit levels since the redesign. I still say the fall can be blamed on the move to Pluck and comments on front page articles instead of threads. The old style was much more conducive to readers linking back to notable bits on the site, without any particular benefit to be found in the new.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Why I'll Miss MAD TV Pt 4

Josh Middleton's Supergirl 38 Finished Cover

Uncanny X-Men 504: Terry Dodson Inked Page One

As always, the provided images come from the Terry Dodson fan group on Yahoo.

You're Entering The Tyler Perry All Spin Zone

Tyler Perry gave an exclusive interview to Sistas Talking Tyler Perry. I have to say that his answers don't pass the smell test:

Yolanda Ro: One question, that the readers are asking, is why wouldn't someone in your financial position, at the very least, provide the writers with health care insurance?

Tyler Perry: I don't want people to think I'm walking around with $300 million and won't give people health insurance. There are all these articles about me making $200 million from "House of Payne" but that's not true. I haven't gotten one dime off the show--not one thin dime. Nobody writes you a check for $200 million. TBS doesn't have a contract to write me a check for $200 million. It could take up to 5 years for "House of Payne" to make that amount of money. But the initial investment had to be made by me. Every dime that has been put into "House of Payne", to pay the actors and writers, have come from me doing plays and movies; from black folk who have been with me all the time. The writers knew that I even went into my own personal checking account and gave all 300 employees $1000 bonuses for Christmas.

That's just ludicrous. There's no way House of Payne is airing on TBS for free...which means he's not telling the truth. With the number of episodes it has aired, money has certainly come in from the show itself to pay the ongoing expenses. As far as the upfront costs to have started putting the show together before he had a deal with TBS, that's a case of him getting credit for what he's supposed to do. If you want to have your own production company, you're putting the money up. If you want to have your own studio, you're putting the money up. You get to reap the lion share of the profits, but you don't get to cry "poor me" along the way. Especially since he never seemed to cry poor on any of the movies he's produced from his plays.

Tyler Perry: This is what I was trying to get WGA to understand with the deal; I'm not Disney, and I'm not CNN. This is me, by myself. I'm one man with 300 employees. The deal they wanted me to sign was a deal I couldn't afford. And the moment I refused to sign, the very next day, there were all these articles printed about me being a "union-buster". The next day they were calling me racist and picketing outside the party. They waited right until the party to picket, thinking they had me over a barrel, and that I would cave in, but I don't give into extortion. If it had not been for the NAACP stepping in, things would have gotten really ugly. Originally WGA tried to get the NAACP on their side but it didn't work out that way.

By the way, he acknowledges later that he has deals with all of the other unions. Not crying too poor for that, eh? He just feels his writers aren't worth as much because he's previously done all of his writing, in my opinion. Since these are his creations that they're playing with, he feels as though they're not doing enough work to justify the compensation they should be getting.

By the way: extortion? Please. You use all legal advantages you have in negotiation. Where else should they have picketed? Where else would be effective?

Yolanda Ro: Did you ever promise the writers benefits, residuals, or union contracts once the show took off? Tyler Perry: No. They were never promised anything. What was said to them is "here's the deal--The show is a non-union show". Each writer made six figures for less than nine months of work. Every time they wrote a script they received between $7,000-$10,000; In addition they were also receiving a paid salary by the week. Furthermore, WGA did not call me, I called them. It was 'me' making that move. I called them 5 months ago to begin negotiating a deal. These writers clearly knew that. I have deals with every union except WGA and I was trying to get into WGA because I wanted better writers--and because I was working too hard. I had to outline the show, tell them what I wanted, give them ideas, and then rewrite the script. It was taking 16-18 hours for them to write the show. The actors were frustrated, the crew was frustrated, everybody was frustrated because we would go in to shoot the show, but the script was bad. So I made it through that first year but I told them " I can't do this anymore". After I began negotiations with WGA, I didn't threaten to fire them. I just told them they were going to have to get on their job and step up their game.

I find it hard to believe that the WGA would be trying to press their case with the state labor board if Perry was truly trying to get things rolling with the union. Hard to make a case that someone fired workers for attempting to organize if they were welcoming the union.

Yolanda Ro: Can you address the accusations that you are racist, and also the rumors that you replaced the four black writers with white writers? Tyler Perry: That's not true. I let go of four writers in LA but I kept three writers in Atlanta--two are white and one is black. I hired four new black writers; One of them was Myra J from the Tom Joyner Show. When she came to work for me the union originally told her, since she hadn't done anything in four years, she could work for me. But once she came to work they began sending these harassing letters saying she had better not work for me. I sit here and look at these people knowing that they've never been able to do anything...knowing that I gave them their first opportunity, and for these four black writers to call me's ridiculous.

Ugh. No, no one called him racist in that way. What they suggested was that he was taking advantage of their being black because he knew that it is often harder for black writers to find work.

And their first opportunity? Some of those fired (if not all) were WGA members. In order to become a member, you have to have sold a script at the very least. You can't enter until you're doing work and as soon as you're doing work, you need to enter. Of course, his basically saying they should be grateful that he ever gave them a job is right in line with the accusations of the writers.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Why I'll Miss MAD TV Pt 3

Tonight in Los Angeles: Comic Film Nerds & Comics On Comics

In a communique from Chris Mancini (of Comedy Film Nerds):

Exult in the glory of live comedy! Comedy Film Nerds and Comics on Comics will engage in a symphony of hilarity for your pleasure, this Wednesday (November 19), at Dream World Comics.

And it's free! What's not to love about film nerds Jackie Kashian, Chris Mancini, and Mike Schmidt appearing with Marc Guggenheim (Amazing Spider-Man, Young X-Men, Eli Stone, the upcoming Green Lantern movie) with host Juan-Manuel Rocha? Especially when it's free.

Dream World Comics is located at 12400 W. Washington Blvd. in Los Angeles. The show begins at 8 p.m.

and admission is free, so show up early to grab a good seat!
Chris Mancini
As someone who's enjoyed several video podcasts by Comics On Comics and Chris Mancini's short film work, I highly recommend getting out to attend if you're in the area.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What's Going On At DC?

Rich's LitG this week seems to be pointing at Dan Didio as the source of a lot of disgruntlement for the writers at DC.

Making Grant Morrison change the ending to Final Crisis that is, supposedly, exactly what was approved at the beginning (have some doubts on that one)?
Writers having to put their own stories on hold because of the Final Crisis changes?
Having a stand-up shouting match with James Robinson (who, IMO, is writing like a guy back from Hollywood that thinks comic book scripts are kids' stuff)?
Winding up with Tony Daniel on your big follow-up to BATMAN R.I.P. (any bets on whether this winds up worse than Countdown: Arena?)?

I have no idea what is actually going on, but it doesn't look good for DC at all.

Why I'll Miss MAD TV Pt 2

UPDATE 2: Pray For Carla & Lance Hoffman

If you read Blog@Newsarama with any regularity, you've undoubtedly read many pieces by Carla Hoffman. I haven't had the pleasure of meeting her or her husband, Lance, at a convention, but it is easy to tell from the way she conducts herself online that she's one of those people that you're better off for meeting or spending time around.

She & her husband were overcome by a flash fire when trying to get away from the Tea Fire in the Santa Barbara area of California. After suffering 2nd and 3rd degree burns over much of their bodies, the couple managed to drive themselves (!!!!) to help & safety. They had to be sedated into unconsciousness while the doctors let the swelling for their severe burns subside. They're in stable condition now, but recovery (to whatever extent one can recover from an event like this) will be long and difficult process.

JK Parkin is providing updates as he gets them. There is talk of starting up a fund to help them out. I encourage you all to keep up with the news on this and make any kind of contribution you can. If everyone who reads blog at just skipped a few comic books for the month and sent that money to help them instead, even that slight donation could add up and make a difference.

In the meantime, if you believe in a higher power, ask it to send whatever help it can to the Hoffmans. Please.

UPDATE: JK Parkin has shared the news that the Montecito Fire Department has set up a fund for Lance & Carla.

UPDATE 2: A friend of the Hoffmans has provided a method to contribute via PayPal. There's, also, a group set up on Facebook for updates. For those with an aversion to Facebook, Kevin Church has the latest update on his blog.

UPDATE: Not To Harp, But...

Who's this new Vixen and why did they make her replacement a white woman?


That's supposed to be...

Ah, fuck it.

UPDATE: Just to kill the whole "Mari has always been relatively light-skinned" argument:

Of course, there's, also, the currently published Vixen mini-series that displays her as intended:

So why is it that whoever is coloring Howard Porter and Ed Benes seem intent on making her so many shades lighter to practically lose any visual clue of her ethnicity?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Why I'll Miss MAD TV Pt 1

If you haven't already heard, this will be the last season of MAD TV. Sure, it wasn't as good as it used to be, but it's been the best Saturday night sketch comedy show for a few years (which is, admittedly, faint praise).

So I'm going to share a few bits from the show that made me laugh over the years.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

DC Comics Epic Synergy Fail

That Blue Beetle? Canceled.

This Blue Beetle? Just got major exposure in the debut episode of the latest Batman cartoon.

You know, it isn't like the Blue Beetle series was kid-unfriendly. They couldn't just wait a few months more?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The DCU Online Game Has Irwin Schwabb?

Why didn't anyone tell me that Ambush Bug is actually in this game? That's a much more thorough approach than I was expecting!

Friday, November 14, 2008

300 Fitness Craze Still Kicking

Who knew that over a year and a half after it was released in theaters, 300's influence would still be found in gym's across the country?

Shortly after the release of the movie, there were many articles about the grueling workout routine the actors were put through to get them ripped. An overwhelming number of the exercises (if not all) involved the use of a kettlebell. It became a hot fad that trainers and clients embraced.

In November 2008, you can still see those gyms and trainers resistant to the movement back in 2007 now adopting it. While the local Bally Total Fitness gyms in my area don't have a large variety of kettlebells, but they certainly have several and trainers putting clients through their paces with them.

Who would have ever imagined when Frank Miller's beautiful mini-series came out that it might, in a roundabout way, lead to a new fitness craze?

Ultimate Comics Walk-Up Sales For Nov 5th, 2008

From Lee Newman of Ultimate Comics, the list of top-selling books at one of their locations in North Carolina for what was released on 11/05/08. Pull lists are not included, as this is meant to capture what is being bought off the shelf.

1. Sandman The Dream Hunters #1
2. Ultimatum #1
3. Amazing Spider-Man #576
4. Final Crisis: Resist
5. Justice Society of America #20
6. Marvel Zombies 3 #2
7. Cable #8
8. Civil War: House of M #3
9. Adventures Comics Featuring The Guardian #1
10. Trinity #23


1. Woo Hoo, Sandman. 20 years later and still a phenomenon. Beautiful book + great character + great story = great sales.

2. They turned out to see the Ultimate Universe die. OF course, selling it for half price didn't hurt!

3. Spidey just bounces around the list. Stability would be nice.

4. I wonder how many people were confused when they read a Checkmate book? Perfect coda to a great book (Checkmate not Final Crisis) by the way.

6. The fans like this Zombies much better then the last.
2. Half price will do it. I don't know how many #1 issues I ordered from simply because they were 75% off cover. Too bad it seems like Loeb gave readers 75% less story.

3. Wonder if Lee's heard from any of his customers as to why they keep buying Amazing Spider-Man off the shelf rather than pull-listing the book?

4. You know, I was of two minds on that. It's kinda like rooting for the Rough Riders in Canada. I was kinda happy it wasn't really about Final Crisis, eh...but I was, also, bummed that it wasn't really about Final Crisis.

5. I think Geoff Johns did himself and the book a disservice by sticking the Power Girl resolution stuff in the middle of the Gog/Magog arc. I understand that it was the mechanism used to shuffle her off to Earth-2, but it wound up feeling more like something that delayed resolution in the larger arc. Not that it effected sales or anything, here...but I felt like mentioning it.

8. I'm still mystified at how the House of M event has such life in the TPB market (direct and bookstore) that it makes financial sense for Marvel to keep pumping out more mini-series in that world.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

New Watchmen Trailer

Is Pick On Didio Day Over?

Cuz I just wanted to sneak these bits in:

People seem to identify this problem as being unique to DC, but I would argue that it happens across the entire industry. I would argue that no matter what your expectations are every week, those expectations are unfortunately broken. I would argue that this problem is unique to the business.
Sure, it happens everywhere. But you, Mr. Didio, were those most emphatic about scheduling issues getting fixed. Marvel made the decision that it won't put fill-in artists on a major event and stuck to it. Quesada has said they'd do everything they can on scheduling issues, but did not feel that sacrificing quality for timeliness was an acceptable trade-off.

DC, on the other hand, lets their events run fairly late and then STILL uses fill-in artists. You have to pick a course and stick to it. If you're willing to use fill-ins, then try to have artists ready to fill-in, rather than wait until you're sacrificing both quality (in as much as lack of consistency in art styles) and timeliness.

As Mr. Miyagi said:

"Left side road? OK. Right side road? OK. Middle of road? (SLAP) Squish like grape."

Pick an approach that satisfies timeliness or satisfies quality issues, rather than satisfying neither.

Regarding the use of the multiverse:

DD: The real answer – I just don’t want to approach it in a haphazard manner. Being incredibly candid, I want Grant Morrison to have first crack at it. So realistically, the multiverse is Grant’s toy to play with and use as he likes. I want Grant, when he becomes available, to do the first and best exploration of the mutliverse. He has the best grasp of the concept, and the interpretations that I feel matter.

Geoff did a wonderful job for the Earth-2 story he did in JSA recently, but Grant has so many fabulous ideas for the multiverse that we’re going to wait for him.

That's right. It is an incredibly wise idea to wait for the guy who's work ethic more or less led to you needing to bring in Doug Mahnke to finish Final Crisis and who wants to go off and do Vertigo for awhile. I'm sure we'll get to see that in a reasonable amount of time with the customer base just as anxious and excited to see it.

All that said, I like Didio and think he often gets too much shit from fans (and told him as much at Wizard World Chicago...twice...while drunk). There's just obvious room for improvement.

Blue Beetle Canceled

Thought I'd share a quick bit regarding Didio's announcement regarding Blue Beetle:

One of the books that I’m most disappointed about in that regard is a book like Blue Beetle, which we are cancelling. That’s a book that we started with very high expectations, but it lost its audience along the way. Recently, we felt that it was standing on firmer ground, and was getting a more positive response. The problem is that the firmer ground and positive response is not enough to keep the book afloat. So unfortunately, we had to cancel that series.

You put Matt Sturges on the book and pretty much immediately had an arc about illegal immigration/border-crossing. When that happens right after a writer change, it feels a little dubious. If it happened in the middle of Rogers' run, I wouldn't have raised a brow. If it happened after a half year of the new team, maybe I'd be fine with it. But it turned me off immediately to where I dropped it quickly.

I can deal with message books, but not when they're heavy-handed. Blame Winick, but I've been made very wary of the overall quality of a story in a message book. Having it be about the first thing of an announced new direction (right after the Spanish language gimmick issue), didn't send signals that would leave me hopeful.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Kirkman's Brit Ends...

...and not because he realized it was hypocritical to criticize the work-for-hire path when he runs one of his own books that way.

Totally unrelated: in Kirkman's next manifesto, he'll point out how work-for-hire is risky, since a publisher can end a title even if it isn't losing money and you're doing excellent work on it.

Middleman Done?

IO9 has been checking up on the status of MIDDLEMAN and received the following response from Javier Grillo-Marxuach:

I don't think ABC Family is ready to throw in the towel just yet. They love, and — more importantly — own The Middleman. But I think it's fair to say that they aren't going to order any new episodes in the immediate future. Right now, we are all focused on closing a deal for a DVD set that will please the fans with a lot of bonus material, bring new viewers to the show, and secure the show's legacy and longevity. As was the case with shows like Firefly, and Family Guy, the sales of the DVD will truly be the barometer for the future of The Middleman.

I'll be buying the DVD set. Maybe even a few as gifts if I get myself a day job to replace the one that laid me off recently. Darn this economy...keeping me from supporting a good TV show as much as I want...

Walking Through The Halls Of Justice

Click here to see the full comic that this image is clipped from. You'll be glad you did.

(Hat tip to Johanna; I'll have to check the archives to see if I like it overall as much as she does)

Fake Art Adams PSA

If you didn't read about it already in LYING IN THE should go read that. But if you need convincing, here's a little snippet:

The current scam involves a letter sent to a number of mid-level publishers a month ago purporting to be from Art Adams looking for work at a very reasonable (for Art Adams) rate. Remember, this is from The Fake Art Adams:

Hello there..............

Allow me to introduce my self.

my name is Art Adams, comic artist and Illustrator; If you don't know me I have worked on just about every comic title from the X-Men to Batman, and everything in between, (Lol).

I am writting because I have quite a bit of time here in between gigs,, and am offering my artistic talents for contract.

Here is a link to my site; or just go down to your local comic dealer

and better yet buy one of my books.

If interested shoot me an E-mail.

Art Adams, Zoinks!!!

The Fake Art Adams requests a deposit up front, stating that he's been screwed by some publishers in the past. The publisher negotiates a figure with The Fake Art Adam's supposed agent, one “Jeff Henzel.”

The money is paid and then the art arrives. It is clearly not from Art Adams.

Emails used by "Jeff Henzel" and The Fake Art Adams are:, (sometimes with the name Anthony Birch) and

Crazypens is one pseudonym used by Josh Hoopes to scam people on DeviantArt.

If you're someone in the market for artwork (and, with how a fan commissioned Byrne to draw his comic, there might be more of you out there than you think), you should be wary about any direct, unsolicited contact from a professional artist with a sweetheart of a price for their work.

Here's hoping that Rich Johnston will have more on this next week.

The Day After Veteran's Day...

...should be no different than Veteran's Day itself.

If you see a veteran, from any conflict, you should thank them and shake their hand if possible.

If you're a bit socially dysfunctional, don't worry: you stand little chance of being rejected. Get over the fear and thank the folks that, whatever failings our leadership might have, are only laying their lives on the line for their country.

Love the war, love the veteran. Hate the war, love the veteran. Or anything in between, as long as you love the veteran for what their service should mean to you.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

UPDATE: Beyonce As Wonder Woman?

Apparently, Beyonce told the Los Angeles Times that she wants to be Wonder Woman and has already met with DC Comics & Wonder Woman to express that interest directly.

"I want to do a superhero movie and what would be better than Wonder Woman? And it would be a very bold choice. A black Wonder Woman would be a powerful thing. It's time for that, right?"(shown here wrangling alligators)

I dunno. I've only seen her in Austin Powers, so I guess I haven't seen her when she's really trying to act. Maybe I'm just spoiled by the Batman franchise in wanting a very talented actress for the role.

On the other hand, she's probably as good or better of a pick as any of the previous actresses rumored for the role. I'd be hard pressed to pick a leading lady that could look the part and have Academy Award talent.

Anyone else have thoughts?

UPDATE: Valerie D'Orazio discusses this topic with much more depth. I happen to agree that Gina Torres could be a great Wonder Woman, though the window of opportunity is getting smaller for her as we speak. By the time a Wonder Woman movie starts shooting, she'd probably be the perfect Hippolyta, regardless of the ethnicity of whoever they cast as Diana.

Now Michelle Obama Gets A Comic

Bluewater Productions is now coming out with a comic about Michelle Obama. As much as it is a cash-in, I'm kinda glad to see it happening.

Michelle Obama is already my favorite First Lady in my lifetime. She's a strong, secure and attractive woman who doesn't seem intent on trying to compete with the President because they seem like they're on the same page and comfortable with each others' success.

Michelle seems to have a stronger voice than Laura Bush, secure enough in herself to not feel the need to compete with her husband all the time like Hillary and easily the most attractive First Lady in my 33 years of life. Looks aren't important, really, but it's better to have them than have kids wondering why the President brings his mom everywhere instead of his wife (like Bush 41).

New Watchmen Character Posters Online

The Internet Movie Posters Awards site has them all up.

(hat tip to Kevin Melrose)

DJ Coffman Helps Me Voice A Complaint

Olbermann on Prop 8

I'll repeat what I've said time and again.

I'm a muslim. My faith teaches me that, to some degree, homosexuality is a sin.

I'm an American. My country teaches me that we're all created equal. That we're all entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

For good or bad, I often put democracy and my country ahead of my faith. It is a struggle every time. Tie goes to democracy, though. Wish more people felt that way.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Chocolate Costumes & Halle Berry's Terrible Storm Legacy

If you Google New York Chocolate Show, you'll find a lot of other pictures of heroes in chocolate uniforms. Many are pretty goofy/terrible. But I figured I'd just half-jokingly point out this one.

You see, this a white model being used to portray Storm. I tell ya, if it wasn't for Halle's portrayal of Storm as so light, they'd never have tried to pull this off. The goofy NY skyline made of chocolate is par for the course with this fashion show, though. I think Wonder Woman had a white chocolate plane stuck in her hair.

In Case You Missed It: ZUDA WEEK

And if you did miss it, the blame is all mine. I consistently posted these in the dead of the night, so that Tuesday's was most likely read on Wednesday, Wednesday's on Thursday, etc. Forgive my momentarily chaotic posting history.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Now This Is The Dogfight Game For Me

Saturday, November 08, 2008

GET YOUR WAR ON: Obama & His Young White Harem

(hat tip to Kevin Church)

Friday, November 07, 2008

Zuda Week: Baby Monsters

OK, I'm cheating on the last one for the week, but only because I'm so sure that I'll be doing this again soon.

BABY MONSTERS (by Steve Broome) only has 8 pages, but it looks like it has potential.

Presumably set in the future, super powers can be given to people. Don't really know exactly how, yet, but it does seem to involve surgery of some sort. Seems to be an attempt to make a better soldier for some kind of use.

Yeah, that's all kind of sketchy, I admit. But the character designs are solid and the coloring really makes the art shine. It isn't that the art is bad on its own, but it is clear that the coloring and shading puts it over-the-top.

The 8th page gives a strong hint that I'm going to like the direction this webcomic is going in. It sets up potential conflict and goals, much the same way that the whole "save the cheerleader, save the world" thing did for HEROES Season One. Of course, it doesn't hurt that Broome has the sense of humor to include a "30 minute pig orgasm" as one of the apparent powers that can be given out (or side effect of one, at least).

No need to rush over to it right away, as I believe it will be a more satisfying read when the pages available double. But I guess Mr. Broome would probably prefer you run over there and vote for it early and often.


NIGHT OWLS is another of the Zuda titles you see talked about in the blogosphere. As much as I'm loathe to give attention to something that is already getting plenty of it, Peter & Robert Timony's creation was one of the most attractive options that had a sizable sampling. Who knew it would be this good?

I'm going to start sounding like a broken record here, but the clean, crisp cartooning is what sucked me in and kept me around. It's just so very easy on the eyes and works so well for a supernatural comedy set in the 1920s. You're immediately put in the right frame of mind.

If you're going to have an old man astral projecting, an arch-nemesis without a face and an owl beast that is five stories tall, I'm pretty sure you've thrown out realism from your possible style choices (well, at least with a comedy). Not that there is anything wrong with that.

All things supernatural wind up popping up in this webcomic, but it's never treated as being weird and really isn't the focus of the tales being told. In truth, the supernatural is basically all set-up. Such a huge majority of the funny is rooted in playing upon the culture of 1920s America or other conventional humor.

Mindy Markus, for instance, is a flapper...and probably the most astute practitioner of fisticuffs. This, of course, is to set up all the jokes based around her flying in the face of 1920s standards for behavior by the fairer sex. There are a lot of jokes based around her being thought to need help or protection and her feeling insulted by such behavior. For Pete's sake, they have a small gargoyle on the team and it is much more important that he talks pretty much like the everlovin' Thing before times got so politically correct.

The Timony Bros have put together a highly entertaining, absurd comedy about a supernatural detective agency during the 1920s. In some ways, it feels a bit like ANGEL in the 1920s, minus most of the dramatic moments. That's meant as a compliment. Strongly recommend checking it out.