Howdy, all! I?ve returned from my break of being out of the country, spending time with the family, building a playset for the kidlings, hiking, playing videogames, reading, rowing a boat, and making clam chowder.

Um, no, that last bit is not a euphemism. Why do you ask?

Let?s get started with some good ol? fashioned rumours. Mmmm? Rumour. Tastes like bacon filled tacos, doesn?t it?

Standard Disclaimer Thingy


All The Rage

      is a column that may contain rumours, gossip, and outright gosh-darned speculation. Please read any parts of


      with that noise at your own risk. Factor scores determine the


      of a particular piece of information. Everything else in

All The Rage

    is a matter of opinion and downright awesomeness. Factor scores following those pieces determine awesomeness blah blah blah? yes — ?awesomeness? is a word. Look it up.

On with the show!

Is Daniel On the Way Out From Ghost Rider?

I heard some rumblings that writer Daniel Way will be leaving the Ghost Rider ongoing. No word on who might replace him, if this is even completely true. Still looking into it. If this information is accurate, it will be kinda sad to see Mr. Way go, as I quite like his run.

Strangely enough, my lovely wife came home with the Ghost Rider DVD in tow right after I had discussed this rumour with a source?

This Has A ?Head On Fire? Factor Of Six Out Of Ten

The Future of the Ultimates? Maybe

Recently I heard that the comic series which is primarily responsible for bringing me back into the superhero reading fold may get canned. This bothered me on a few different levels? So, I looked into it. There was some information conflict with my sources in the Gnoman Spy Network, but it would seem that Ultimates volumes 3 and 4 are on track with 3?s Jeph Loeb and Joe Madureira having two issues of the series completed and the Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuiness pair having one issue of volume 4 done.

Now, a source says that the issue done so far is it for Ed and Jeph (thus the issue won?t see the light of day) and their Ultimates project is being scrapped. Hard to say at this point if it?s completely true or not (a very reliable source tells me ?nothing Ultimates is getting scrapped?), but I?m certain that?s what led to someone reporting to me that Ultimates was doomed. Someone also told me that the ?Ultimate universe is being blown up.?

Hmmmm? A whole lotta stuff there to sift through, I know.

Rest assured, I?ll keep tabs on how this pans out and keep y?all in the loop.

This Has A ?Being Blowed Up Sux!? Factor Of Five Out Of Ten

Concerning Ingle and Green Lantern

Let?s take a breather from Marvel and jump into the DC Universe for a moment, shall we?

An informant tipped me off to the notion of Jamal Ingle (the artist on Nightwing) getting involved in a Green Lantern title. After looking into it, I can say that this is a distinct possibility.

Also, anyone been reading Green Lantern Corps recently? Some good stuff there.

This Has A ?Hot Nightwings For Everyone!? Factor Of Six Out Of Ten

HRLIBETexeria and the Mystique of Deadpool

Annnnnnd it is back to Marvel?

One thing I would be thankful for is a new Deadpool ongoing. You know, one Deadpool doesn?t have to share with Cable. Nothing against you Cable fans out there, mind?

I?ve heard that there?s talk about a Deadpool ongoing maybe in the works. All it is right now is talk, at least from what I?ve been privy to. I?ve also come across a nugget that claims Mark Texeria was offered this possible Deadpool series. Of course, the magic gelatinous cube was somewhat fuzzy on this, as it could also mean that it?s about the Cable/Deadpool series with Texeria on art duties.

And then he could always go for the new Mystique ongoing, which I understand he may have his sights set on.

This Has A ?If We Could Only Get Deadpool On A Shape-Changing Flaming Motorcycle? Factor Of Five Out Of Ten

Spider-Man Fairy Tales #2 First Look

Spider-Man Fairy Tales #2, written by C.B. Cebulski (Loners, Drain) and gorgeously painted by Niko Henrichon (Pride of Baghdad) will be hitting shelves the 27th of this month. I was amazingly impressed with #1 and am very pleased to be able to show these pages. Each issue is a different take on a fairy tale involving Spider-Man and characters associated with the famous wall-crawler.

From the entry:

    The legend of Kwaku Anansi, the First Spider, melds with the Marvel Universe as Anansi learns a valuable lesson about power and responsibility. On his quest for the legendary Spider-Orchid, Anansi is challenged by four elemental beings who seek to stop him from reaching his goal. Will Anansi be able to overcome the villainous forces of air, water, sand and fire to complete his journey and take his next steps in life?

What other Spider-Man Fairy Tales are on the way? #3 is a Japanese legend with Venom, and #4 is a ?reverse Cinderella tale?. Neat, eh?

This Has A ?Spidey?s One Of The Anansi Boys!? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten

The Despoiling of MazingMan728

I got a heads up concerning this; as I needed to, what with me being on a break and perusing even less message boards than I usually do. Some of you may know who ?MazingMan728? is, and for those who don?t, well, he?s a fellow who goes to various boards (such as DC Universe and Newsarama) to post advance spoilers, usually of DC books from what I?ve seen. Now, the whole mindset of whether advance spoilers are bad is a matter of pure opinion and I personally don?t get into advance spoiling much in ATR. I think it?s not very fair or nice to the readers or publishers. I like to think I?m fair and nice, normally. Sometimes my guesses can be a spoiler, but I try to preface it with ?this is pure speculation on my part?. Any advance story knowledge I do know, I tend to sway away from. Especially if I am reading advance issues for review purposes and so forth.

Anyhowitzer, MazingMan728 was a spoiler king. He diligently posted spoilers to boards and it sparked some great conversation. I would be so lying if I said I didn?t respect him on this basis alone. Yeah, not my thing (reporting spoilers), but he did it well. I guess what pissed some folks off out there was the fact that Maz (as he is known) was supposedly spoiling issues that were allegedly given to him in advance from DC (or something like that). You see, when you get advance issues, you?re under an agreement not to talk about key plot elements and all that stuff. Pretty standard, as I?m sure all of you can gather. So, armed with this sense of anti-spoiling purpose, a couple of members of the Comic Bloc boards decided to track down Maz to get a bead on where he was posting from (as many speculated he worked at / ran a comic store; retailers can get advanced issues etc). Through the means of technological magic (i.e. IP tracking, no doubt), these individuals figured out that Maz worked for or was affiliated with Diamond Distribution in some way. Or so I hear it. This most likely led to MazingMan728 getting in some hot water. And he was already getting quite a bit of flack from angry internet denizens. So, he decided to lay low, having his DC Boards profile wiped and having thread he started also deleted, as well as asking that other threads concerning him be purged from other boards. I can?t say I blame him. The whole thing exploded into one fine mess.

Of course, this is what I can gather from poking around on zee intarwebs. The very last item I came across was this in the DC Universe forums. And here it is for you to read (in case it gets deleted or whatever):

      Dear Bar Members:


    I have a message from a friend for you to pass on in which he would like to clarify some issues with you as you are the people outside of his family that he truly cares about and wants your understanding on.

FACT: Maz is doing as well as can be expected under all the circumstances of this week.

FACT: As for MazingMan728 he is dead to the board. But in each death comes a rebirth.
FACT: Maz is very humbled and honored to have such good friends and support from you all. It is this support that has helped him cope with having his personal and professional life invaded and torn apart.

FACT: Maz is upset with any disappointment he may have caused any of you.

FACT: Maz was really humbled and surprised to see the affect that he actually had on the people of this board as well as other boards. He did what he did because it was something he enjoyed and not once did he care about being popular.

FACT: Maz’s lively hood was placed in jeopardy but all should work itself out in time.

FACT: Maz never lied to any of you as he does not work at any of the Diamond’s comic warehouses, Diamond’s home office or is one of their traveling sales reps.

FACT: DC never sent Maz any advance preview copies.

FACT: DC does not know who Maz is.

FACT: Maz had contacted DC in the past in regards to Spoilers including Dan Didio via his MySpace account to inquire about Spoilers and their approval or disapproval.

FACT: Maz was and is a man of his word and did stop with the Spoilers when asked to.

FACT: Maz was unaware that any mentions of the books ahead of their street date was in any way an act of passing on privileged information.

FACT: All comics mentioned by Maz were purchased by Maz.

FACT: Maz was not banned from the board but asked to have his membership as MazingMan728 and his posts deleted due to the incidents this week. Maz also made the same request to Newsarama, ComicBookResourses and ComicBloc.

FACT: Maz is laying low and has come on as a lurker yesterday and this morning but wishes to stay out/off the boards as a member until such time as he feels he may not be harassed by other outside sources.

FACT: Maz was only a member of ComicBloc as of this past Monday. He joined to defend himself from some members and a moderator on that board that were bad mouthing him.

FACT: Maz would like to ask that you not blame Jim Beard for any of the actions on ComicBloc as the issues were addressed by Jim in his position as a moderator but what happened in those conversations was between Maz and Jim and being as it was personal Maz did not wish to share further.

FACT: MunkeyPunk has a new fan as Maz’s wife has been very impressed by him. She is also very impressed with all of the support on the DC Board.

FACT: Maz did not get a job at DC as some have suggested on the board. If something of that nature had come up he would have informed the bar gang as he respects you all too much as to not mention anything of that news caliber.

FACT: Maz thinks that Mike must really be nuts to think that Maz would work for Geoff Johns after what members of his board did to him. Not to mention that Maz has at this point still never had any communications with Geoff Johns in any capacity.

FACT: A good man got seriously injured this week by two strangers and we will all feel the lose for it. And while time may heal all wounds, it does not erase the memories of what happened.

FACT: Maz is not Australian nor has he been to Australia.

Here?s that Comic Bloc thread in question, if you are curious– Oh, wait. Looks like that thread got deleted, too. Damn. Well, swing by Comic Bloc if you get a chance. Nice bunch over there.

Honestly, though I don?t agree with crucifying this guy over posting advance spoilers, if he did get them from advance issues then he?s at the mercy of the publishers. That?s pretty much where my Official Opinion? starts and stops. Make your voice heard in the ATR forums, if you so desire.

This Has ?A Sad Time For Spoilerdom? Factor Of Eight Out Of Ten

Getting The Nuts In Gear For Irredeemable Ant-Man

I love Robert Kirkman?s and Phil Hester?s Irredeemable Ant-Man. I dare say it?s my fave Marvel title at the moment. What blows is that it?s getting cancelled. Hey, these things happen. I had a feeling it would get axed? but still, hope springs eternal. Fans of all kinds have banded together to save or attempt to save all manner or entertainment, such as the shows Jericho (fans were just nuts for the show?HAH!) and Veronica Mars or the pre-emptive effort to save Omega Flight (link: and so on. Now I ask you, fellow Eric O?Grady fanboys and fangirls, write to Marvel and ask them (nicely!) to keep our beloved latest Ant-Man jerk around. Twelve issues just aren?t enough.

Where to write? Try this address:

For those of you who are like ?Irradiatedable Ant-Guy who?? I highly recommend clicking on the following links to scans_daily entries here for starters, here, here, and here.

Here?s the Wikipedia entry on him.

Naturally Marvel has a page on him. Really, that Powergrid needs two more attributes ?Dickery? and ?Teh Funnay?.

Now don?t you feel more educated?

I would like to end on what I now consider the best cover for the year so far from The Big Two:

This Has A ??Up Your Nose With A Fu— AAAAAACCKK!!? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten

Comic Web: The Nearly Infamous Zango

Writer/Artist Rob Osborne (link: may one day conquer the world. No, really. He?s been putting his pants on both legs at a time since 2006 and is someone who has a lot of this stuff called ?talent?, which are two important qualities any Planetary Ruler must have.

I met Rob at Emerald City ComiCon and right off the bat I realised he?s delightfully twisted and funny. Needless to say, we got along quite well. Lately he?s been doing this webcomic called The Nearly Infamous Zango (link:, which (like Rob) is very, very amusing.

There?s the description of Zango fat Rob?s site, but I think it?s best he explains it, don?t you?

I managed to track him down through various nefarious means. That?s right, every nasty thing you?ve read about me in a couple of online forums is true. Except for that one time? but I was drunk, so there?s no telling, really.

Time was short, but I got him to spill. Like an oil tanker which was probably piloted by me ?that one time?. Enjoy?

ATR: Hey Rob! So tell us a bit (read: a lot) about yourself and The Nearly Infamous Zango webcomic you’re doing… And feel free to spill any secrets you have about Tuvalu’s national security.
RO: Steve, it?s great to be here doing ATR. Thanks for having me. (Are pants required?)

Here?s the scoop on the Z-Man: The name Zango was once synonymous with super-villainy in Metrotown. But now Zango is just a malcontent couch potato. Lying on the couch in his bathrobe and bunny slippers, Lord Alfred Zango, Jr. gorges himself on junk food and fumes over the media attention that other super-baddies receive.

Zango burns with jealousy. He wants to be the most notorious?the most infamous?man alive. But he doesn?t want to leave the house!

The Nearly Infamous Zango is a first for me. I?ve not written and drawn a comic that went straight to the web?till now! The story of our malcontent miscreant has arrived in increments of one to four pages on an almost weekly basis. For you, dear reader, new installments are posted at Go! Read! Enjoy! Or Else!

Currently in The Nearly Infamous Zango, important questions are being answered: Will Zango get dressed for the day? Will he finally leave the house? What?s happening with all that fruit that Deacon Dread has been zapping in the laboratory? Will anyone lose an eye? (Or another eye.) Will Van Freako finally get a pet to play with?

Regarding Tuvalu, it?s a real place. It?s not a fantasy land, like say, Oz. That being said, did you know that it the smallest member of the United Nations? A Polynesian island nation, Tuvalu has a total land area of 10 square miles. Not much to defend, really. And Tuvalu has almost no natural resources, so its economic engine consists of foreign aid (read: USA).

Tuvalu?s national security isn?t really at risk, so Tuvalu has no military. If an enemy of Tuvalu ever dared to encroach upon this nation?Beware the boobie traps!

(Meta Note From Steve: For the readers? did you all know Tuvalu is where we get the internet country code ?tv?? Like at the end of a web URL? MillarWorld folks take note. Back to bugging Rob)

ATR: Pants are always optional, man. How’d you come up with the idea for almost-former (?) super-villian and current “malcontent couch potato” Zango, anyway?RO: I love sitcoms. The more absurd, the better. And, putting my indie street cred at risk, I love supervillains. You marry those two interests together, and you have The Nearly Infamous Zango. A supervillain sitcom.

Zango is also inspired by those all-too-common moments when your ambitions are bigger than your initiative. (And when it comes to initiative, size does matter.) You know those times when you really want to do something, something really big, but instead you just flip on the TV or surf the net? That?s exactly what Zango is going through. He wants to be a huge (evil) star, but will he do the work?

ATR: Any chance this great webcomic will see the sinister light of day as a printed comic and/or collection?

RO: Absolutely. It?s just a question of when. And who. Publishers, send your enquiries to

We?re gonna get so rich off this one. We?ll be high-fiving all the way to the bank. (You won?t be able to read it for free much longer. Enjoy it while you can.)

ATR: So what other things have you worked on? Come on, tell us everything, dammit.

RO: 1000 Steps To World Domination is my manifesto for world conquest. How can one man conquer the world through comics? This book started as mini-comics and garnered the first-ever Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics. I then produced a graphic novel for AiT/PlanetLar.

I also wrote and illustrated Sunset City: For Active Senior Living. It?s a graphic novella, hardcore retirement noir. I bet you?ve not read a comic like it. Brian (DMZ) Wood recently reposted his review:

There are excerpts from 1000 Steps and Sunset City over at the website. Check it out:

ATR: What other items of interest are on your agenda for world domination?

RO: The agenda includes alien abductions and the Twilight Zone. I?m writing a mini-series called Interlude, and it?s being drawn by the inimitable Tony Parker. The aliens won?t be happy till someone gets an anal probe. Read an excerpt here:

To conquer the all-ages category, I?m working on Old Man. It?s a series of whimsical romps based on my 24 hour comic that was selected for the 24 Hour Comics Day 2006 Highlights book.

And of course, I have a Super Secret Project. Sorry, can?t talk about that one. But you should know that it will bring the world to its knees. Oh yes. The world is mine. (Start the ATR rumor mill.)

ATR: I?m sending out my radioactive voles as we speak! Okay, Rob, here’s the most important question. Are you ready? You have sixteen highly trained (but narcoleptic) gnomes, fourteen tonnes of bacon, one orbital death ray (which only functions on Tuesday), and a ball of string. These can assist you in your conquesting needs (they can!). What do you do with them… and why?

RO: What?s a good name for an orbital death ray? How about Herbert? Yes, Herbert the Harbinger of Doom.

On Tuesday (when it?s finally functioning), I?d point Herbert towards the heap of raw bacon. Using Herbert?s powerful laser, I?d cook the breakfast meat. (Though bacon isn?t just for breakfast anymore!) The porky smells waft through the air attracting hundreds (Nay, thousands!) of wild dogs.

At this point, I fetch the sleeping gnomes from the garden and perch them each upon the backs of the sixteen shaggiest, most berserker alpha dogs. Then, using the ball of string, I tie the narcoleptic nincompoops to their flea-ridden steeds.

(And I tie a piece of string around my right index finger. A reminder to put the trash out later.)

These hounds of hell storm the cities! The good citizenry is ravaged by these bacon-enhanced beasts! The gnomes (when awake) trumpet my message: Rob Osborne is your leader! Do as he says! Displease him, and you?ll not be invited to the Grand Kegger!

And the world will follow me. They?ll go to And Aubrey Sitterson will beg to work with me.

The End.

You read all of that? You better have. Make sure to visit Rob?s site and see what his dominating the World is all about.

This Has ?I?ll Show You My Nuts!!!!!? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten

Blogonaut: Chris Sims Rawks

If you?re not reading Chris Sims? Invincible Super-Blog then you need to get a full body transplant into someone else that isn?t completely lame. Seriously, kids, it?s one of my favourite things to read involving comics. There?s great reviews and commentary on all things cool in comicdom. I know, I know, I?m sure I?ve blabbled about this blog before? But it?s this entry that made me fall in love all over again.

Here?s the scene Chris posted in the ISB just so my editor has to put up more images:

Yeah, I have the t-shirt of the last panel there. I wear it a lot. Because of a manufacturing gaffe on the first version, Rebellion sent me another one. So, yeah, I have two ?Gaze into the fist of Dredd? shirts, though one?s print is partly cracked and flaked off (thus the aforementioned gaffe). I still wear it, though.

Zarjaz shirts of all 2000 AD kinds can be found here.

Have I ever mentioned that I?m an enormous drokking fancreep of Old Stony Face?


Also, anyone who has this as a front page image is just plain awesome:

Keep up the excellent work, man.

This Has A ?Gaze Into The Fist Of Frank!? Factor Of Twelve Out Of Ten

Parting Shots and In Closing

Do you read Nightmares and Fairytales? Do you dig dolls? Howzabout a free Annabelle doll from SLG Publishing? You only have to cover shipping costs.

The website of cinematic happenings I read the most,, has a series of articles called Crisis on Infinite Comic Adaptations covering DC comic based movies. As the author says, ?Over the rest of the week I?ll look at different DC properties and their journeys to the screen; I?ll also weigh in what I think the chances are that there will be an actual motion picture at the end of the tunnel.? It?s certainly worth a read. Start with Part 1 here.

It?s great to see Impaler being nominated for an International Horror Guild Award. Huzzahs go out to William Harms and Nick Marinkovich! Hope they win.

There you have it. Another column in the bag.

I?ve been doing mini-reviews and the like over at Feel free to stop by and read Comics With Steve sometime.

As always, I?d love to hear from you. Here?s the myriad ways in order to get in touch with me:

Livejournal (link:
MySpace (link:
ComicSpace (link:

There?s always the Official ATR Forums, too.

My wife talked me into starting up on Facebook. I feel all alone on there. Any of you lot do Facebook at all? It seems quite a bit like MySpace to me.

I?d like to thank everyone who drops me tips, says hi, makes suggestions, and otherwise help to keep me a very, very busy man. You rule.

Until next time, dear readers?

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