Last Friday I went to a party. For most people this isn’t a big deal, but I don’t go to many parties. I’m what you call domesticated. Sure, I rip it up at Wizard World and I occasionally enjoy the smooth, refreshing taste of a Guinness or two at home, but going out to someone’s house and interacting socially with strangers around a keg of Miller fucking Lite? No, that doesn’t happen too often.

And now I remember why.

I’m insane once intoxicated. No matter what clowns you have at your party I will completely upstage them. I will yell more than your other guests. I will tackle unsuspecting socialites despite full cups of brew nestled in their well-manicured hands. I will agree to sumo-wrestle your gay midget pal, argue with a newspaper and tell your friend Jimmy he looks like that “elf bitch” from Lord of the Rings. I will kick my fluffy bear slippers into your beer-goggled eye.

And at the end of the night, at the very end, after my best buddy has laced up my shoes and my girlfriend has put my pants back on, I will try to punch holes through your front door. When my concerned friend asks why I’m punching the door, I will look at him in complete bewilderment and ask, “I was hitting the door?” He’ll say, “Yes. Yes you were, Markisan.” Then I will ask him, as if my life hinged upon the answer, “Did I hit it like a man?”

Land of Opportunity

I’m told Marvel has approached Sojourn artist Greg Land about drawing New X-Men numerous times in the recent past, and he has always turned the offer down. But with CrossGen hemorrhaging, my sources say Greg may be reconsidering.

Many have speculated that Salvador Larocca (X-Treme X-Men) will be given the New X gig, but I’m not so sure. Marvel has passed the guy around more than a bong at a Phish concert.

I asked CrossGen’s Senior VP of Publishing, Bill Rosemann, if Land was leaving for the X-office and he said he wouldn’t discuss creator offers with other publishers. “That’s between each creator the companies. But I will say that we’re certainly aware that Greg — and all of our creators — are highly sought after pros, and we’re blown away by the amazing work that our writers, pencilers, inkers, colorists, and letterers continue to produce every day for CrossGen.”

Pretty vague, right? Especially since I asked Bill if Greg was planning to stick with CrossGen. Given Bill’s comments I wouldn’t be surprised if Land has already jumped ship and Salva is getting the hippie shake again.

This Has A “Sojourn” Factor of Six Out of Ten

Resuscitation Techniques

Over on the ComixFan message boards, legendary writer Chris Claremont continues to drop hints about his upcoming X-projects, including some on the placement of artist Salvador Larocca. Posters at the board have been asking Claremont if he plans to bring back the characters, Thunderbird, Lifeguard and Slipstream with his former X-treme X-Men partner Salva. Chris said he’d “jump at the chance to have Salva once more draw these characters he designed, especially Lifeguard.” Then he dropped a clue:

      There are plans …


      There are plans …


    And in The End — ah well, that’s *another* story …

Now, Chris could just be talking about his plans to return the characters in the long-rumored maxi-series X-Men: The End or he could be saying that Salva is illustrating that book. Or it could be both. The old dog is pretty tricky..

But I have to tell you, that isn’t really the question on my mind. What I want to know is what kind of powers does a mutant named LifeGuard have?

Kitty: Oh my God, Colossus is in the kiddie pool and he can’t switch back to human form! His organic metal skin is pulling him under! We have to help him or he’ll drown!

Wolverine: Well shit, Shadowcat, let’s call up our pal LifeGuard! Bub’s got a wide selection of flotation devices and she can hold her breath longer than those bastards on Survivor. Hell, I hear she even scored some official Baywatch shorts off Ebay. She’ll save the Russkie, darlin’.

Kitty: Great idea Wolvie! I’ll call the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and get her here right away!

Wolverine: Good thinkin’, kid. I’ll grab the beach chairs and a couple ’o cold ones. I just hope the big Commie can hold on!

This Has A “David Hasslehoff” Factor of Eight out of Ten

Spy Gear

Captain Marvel and Fallen Angel writer Peter David announced the return of Spyboy earlier this week in his weblog. “For you Spyboy fans, Dark Horse has scheduled a new four-issue “Spyboy” series for later next year, which I’m in the process of writing,” said David. “Since I tend to treat every Spyboy outing as if it’s the last one (because whoever knows anymore?), this time we’re going all out. Time has passed, and this time Alex Fleming (aka Spyboy) will be going to his senior prom, graduating high school, learn the truth behind the identity of his mom, and go head to head with his newest and ultimate opponent: Spyguy.”

This Has A “High Espionage” Factor of Eight Out of Ten

New X-Man

I’m told Runaways writer Brian Vaughan will be stepping in to pen the Ultimate X-Men issues #46-49 before David Mack (Kabuki, Daredevil) takes over as the regular writer. Originally the plan was to have Bendis and Mack co-write issues #40-45, clearing the way for Mack’s solo debut on issue #46.

Update: Current Ultimate X-Men scribe Brian Bendis has confirmed Vaughn will indeed write issues #46-49. Go to: message board.

This Has A “Back the Mack Up” Factor of Ten Out of Ten

Lost In Dreams

After two years Travis Charest has only finished illustrating 25 pages of the 52-page Humanoids graphic novel, The Dreamshifters, according to an informed poster on Charest’s Yahoo group. He says Charest’s progress was revealed in an interview with Metabarons artist Juan Gimenez and Humanoids’ Bruno Lecigne in the French magazine BoDo? this month. Apparently Gimenez thought Charest was only on page six, but Bruno corrected him.

The Dreamshifters is a book that focuses on the current incarnation of the Metabaron, a cybernetic being descended from a long line of space lords feared throughout the galaxy for their technology and cunning. Unfortunately, at Charest’s pace, Metabaron fans won’t see the badass cyborg for at least two more years..

Hell, it just occurred to me that I can never rip Frank Quitely for lateness again.

This Has A “Downshift” Factor of Nine Out of Ten

Baby Talk

Congratulations to Finder creator Carla Speed McNeil, who announced the birth of her new baby boy at the comic book site, Sequential Tart, this week. “December fourth, 12:48 AM, nine pounds two ounces, twenty-two inches long, David Antony McNeil. He is my husband Mike’s Mini-Me literally down to his toes,” said McNeil. “Natural childbirth was no big deal compared to The Aftermath. If somebody’d offered me an epidural to get through the first five days postpartum, I’d’a kissed their boots.”

Go to the Sequential Tart message boards and talk with Carla about giant baby heads, guts and bottle-feeding, and then go to to buy some issues of the great tribal, sci-fi comic Finder. Carla says the kid has a giant head. Help support it.

This Has A “Speed Force” Factor of Ten Out of Ten

Earthpig Done

According to Dave Sim’s recently-projected schedule, he should have completed the last page of Cerebus #300 on December 17th. So raise a pint to Dave and the aardvark. Oh, and stop asking me if he’s writing New X-Men.

This Has A “Is Cerebus a Mutant?” Factor of Nine Out of Ten


Superman: Birthright author Mark Waid made a rare appearance on DC’s Superman message boards earlier this week to call out a specific poster for spreading lies and misquoting him. The poster, known as ManofTheAtom, has been slinging insults at Waid and his work on Birthright since the book debuted.

After almost six months, Waid finally reached his breaking point. He wrote:

      From Mota: “Waid told CBR that he didn’t want to write businessman Luthor but DC told him he had to.”


      Well, you finally got the attention you’ve been craving, Mota. I’ve finally reached the upper limit of your twisting, misremembering, and/or deliberately misrepresenting the things I’ve said that I’m just in the mood to finally call you on it this time.


      When it comes to Luthor, here was my exact quote: “Though it may not be totally obvious this early in, nothing–absolutely nothing–has been changed simply for the sake of changing it. That’s hideously disrespectful to the work of those who have come before me. If anything, I’ve actually more than once ignored my gut instinct to change certain things. Example: I’d prefer Luthor not be a businessman, but so many people whose opinions I respect disagree with me on that, and that revamp was so universally embraced, that I’m not about to decree that I somehow know ‘better.’ I’ll work with it and find a way to make it work for me.”


      In other words, while I personally don’t prefer the “Luthor as businessman” scenario, it clearly has a real resonance given how other media have picked up on it since it was introduced. I decided to lean into it rather than fight it–granting the benefit of the doubt that others may know something about what makes it “work” that I haven’t yet figured out for myself. (Likewise, keeping the Kents alive. Personally, like Siegel and Shuster, I think having Superman endure the double tragedy and consequential “aloneness” of being twice orphaned makes him a stronger character–but I recognize and acknowledge that there are valid arguments for keeping the Kents alive, as well.) I have some strong ideas about who I think Superman is, but I’m not egotistical enough to automatically assume that just because I hold certain opinions, I’m dead right and everyone else is dead wrong and an idiot. That’s part of the beauty of a legend like Superman’s–it means so many things to so many people that no one should have to feel threatened by differing interpretations.

      Mota, please, for the sake of us all, try to put away the hate and vitriol that so characterizes your posts. If you don’t like my interpretation of the Superman legend, that’s certainly your right–there’s no need to shore that up with false quotes and “facts” that are knowingly or unwittingly untrue. You bought and read the


    books (eventually), meaning you have a right to your opinion just having done that. But please try to respect that just because our opinions may differ about something we both love doesn’t make either of us evil or an egomaniac. Believe it or not, with statistically insignificant exceptions, everyone who produces comics is–at every moment–simply trying their hardest to do the best job they’re capable of when it comes to serving the characters and entertaining the audience. Sometimes we succeed. Sometimes we fail because we’re only human. But having to politely tolerate “fans” who put words in our mouth, make tasteless comparisons of our comics stories to the tragedy of stillborn children, or otherwise lose their heads doesn’t exactly inspire us to new heights of greatness.

Waid isn’t the only one fed up with ManofTheAtom’s comments. Other posters, like Sean Brady, have felt the weight of his relentless bitching. “This section has turned into a forum that now only exists to give MOTA a soapbox to stand on so that he can constantly rant about continuity and canon, and sabotage as many threads as possible with his repetitive comments.

“Mark, there are many of us who would love to chat with you about this book, but this will never be the place to do it while it’s MOTAs playground. Kinda sad really seeing that this is the official DC message board.”

Personally I’m a huge fan of Waid’s Birthright. I just have one question, “Where the hell is the moderator?”

This Has A “Post Right” Factor of Ten Out of Ten

New Girl

Over on DC’s Supergirl message boards, comic book retailer, alangill123, told posters he was able to view an advance look at a top secret, Jim Lee Superman/Supergirl cover for Wizard #148 (on shelves Dec. 24). Both Wizard Entertainment and Diamond Comic Distributors have kept a tight lid on the image.

Alangill123 says the cover also has a huge blurb indicating a preview of a new Supergirl series inside. He says the image, available to retailers with a special Diamond access code, was only up for a day before it was taken down by DC. Alangill123 did not save the image, but said the Supergirl was young and blonde. He described the costume as a “variation on the original….but exposed her midsection. Quite sexy looking but nothing that young girls today don’t wear throughout the summer!”

Quite frankly, this is the first time I’ve heard of a new Supergirl book or a feature in Wizard. I attempted to track down the pic but I was unable to find the image. I only learned about this yesterday, but still, I am disheartened. The Diamond site only offered the teaser, “Fathom creator Michael Turner joins Batman artist Jim Lee to present the debut of a very important leading character in the DC universe on the cover to Wizard #148”. There was also this annoying image:

If anyone has the real image, please send it to me.

This Has A “Feminine Mystique” Factor of Seven Out of Ten

Crossed Out

So this week my comic shop guy was looking over his shipment list and he yelped in surprise. I asked him what was up and he showed me a lengthy list of cancelled CrossGen trades. I secured a copy and these are the books on it:

First Vol. 4

      “Futile Endeavors”

Meridian Vol. 5

      “Minister of Calador”

Ruse Vol. 3

      “Criminal Intent”

Mystic Vol. 5

      “Master Class”

Way of the Rat Vol. 2

      “Dragon’s Wake”

Crossovers Vol. 1

      “Cross Currents”

Negation Vol. 3


Path Vol. 3
Ruse Traveler Vol. 2
Scion Traveler Vol. 3

      “Divided Loyalties”

Meridian Vol. 6

    “Changing Course”

I asked Senior VP of Publishing, Bill Rosemann, about the cancellations and he told me, “Graphic novels are an integral part of our publishing plans, and we’re looking forward to the day when we can release an updated shipping schedule. We greatly appreciate the patience of readers and retailing partners as we move towards bringing these books to fans of Arwyn, Lady Death, and Po Po.”

This Has A “Trade Deficit” Factor of Five Out of Ten

No Hair

There’s a rumor going around that Ultimate Six artist Trevor Hairsine will be the new penciller on The Authority. I’m told he is definitely NOT the guy. That’s all.

This Has A “You Should Have Finished Cla$$war” Factor of Six Out of Ten

First Flight

For those who want to see what Ryan Sook’s art will look like on Hawkman, here’s a pencil page featuring Hawkgirl that I found on his website.

Ryan will be the new ongoing artist. It’s rumored that Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray will become the permanent writers.

This Has A “Fresh From the Nest” Factor of Five Out of Ten

Making His Mark

Mark Chapman, publicist for the UK’s biggest comic book publisher Rebellion, has left the company abruptly after two years. In an email issued to friends and the online press, Chapman explained late on Friday that he was “disenchanted” with his role in the company and has left to become a freelancer.

All is not frosty with his former employer though, as his first gigs as a newly minted writer will come via Rebellion. But, typically, he is “sworn to secrecy” as to what those gigs are. Chapman wrote, “I’ll also be looking for more commissions, so if those of you who work in editorial have any features in need of a writer, or are open to feature pitches, please let me know.”

This Has A “Gizza Job (J says this is some kind of British thing)” Factor Of Eight Out Of Ten

Injustice League

This was amusing. Find out which Batman villain are you by clicking here and answering funny questions. I’m Bane, apparently.

This Has An “Arkham Admission” Factor of Six Out of Ten

Just a few more things before I go. I’ll be out of town for the next couple weeks because of the holidays. We’re trying to line up some guest columnists, but chances are I will contribute to the Rage in some capacity.

I have an interview with David Mack coming out. I talked to him about his upcoming run on Ultimate X-Men and his return to Kabuki with “The Alchemy” in January. It’s a good one, so look for it in the interview section. And hey, if you still have some last minute shopping to do for the holidays a Kabuki book makes a great gift. I just re-read Circle of Blood and it was even better this time around.

And finally, the generous folks at Intec sent me six Marvel Comics DVDs — five Ultimate X-Men and Ultimate Elektra/Daredevil. I’ve watched three of them so far and I will write some reviews over the break. So look for those as well.

I’d like to wish everyone Happy Holidays. Eat a lot of meat.


PS Oh, by the way, all the stuff I mentioned in the intro. happened.

PSS If anyone has any rumors, stories or news to share email me at or IM me via AOL Instant Messenger. My screen name is Automatic San. Thanks to everyone who has been sending stuff in. It’s greatly appreciated.


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