Welcome back to another edition of ATR. I?m getting ready to see Batman Begins in a few hours. But first, I?ve got a column to write, so let?s get to it?

Return of The Speed Force

With Geoff Johns? impending departure from The Flash, there?s been a lot of speculation as to who will be the Scarlet Speedster?s next writer. But the most prevalent rumor circulating has none other than Mark Waid in line for the job. Waid, as you may recall, had a seminal run on The Flash several years ago which is still highly regarded by Flash fans. If his return to the title pans out, it would go a long way towards keeping the book in the spotlight after Darwyn Cooke?s four issue story arc?

This Has A ?Savitar? Factor of Six Out of Ten


It?s A Hard Knock Life

Eric Powell?s The Goon is set to get a major promotional push from Dark Horse this October. For starters, there will be a special 25-cent issue of The Goon and a new hardcover called The Goon: Fancy Pants Edition. The stories in the hardcover will not be collecting the Dark Horse issues sequentially. Instead, Powell has rearranged those stories along with some of his self-published Goon issues into chronological order.

The hardcover is also expected to contain excerpts from Powell?s sketchbook and other extras?

This Has A ?Zombie Priest Boogie? Factor of Nine Out of Ten


Web of Intrigue

There?s a rumor going around that Thomas Haden Church and Topher Grace might be making an appearance at a panel during next month?s San Diego Comic Con, and that Marvel and Sony will mark the occasion by officially revealing the identity of the villain or villains who will appear in Spider-Man 3.

My money?s on Electro?

This Has An ?Electric Company? Factor of Seven Out of Ten


The Global Frequency Is Real

The reaction to the leaked Global Frequency pilot has thus far been overwhelmingly positive. John Rogers, the writer/executive producer of the GF pilot responded to fans at length over at his blog. The key points of his statement were:

    1.) I assure all of you, I will call all the cast members over the next few days and convey to them your wonderful reactions, the genuine enthusiasm their performances created. (I think Josh and Jenni would like to know that a night under the rain machine wasn’t a total waste) I’ll also call Nelson McCormick, the director and let him know that on several counts he was right and I was wrong, and I owe him a beer. They made the show, you like the show. We executive types need to get the hell out of the middle of that relationship.

2.) I’m completely slammed on a deadline here, so I can’t give this the full attention I’d like to, at least not for the next week. I’ve got one first draft of a film I’m writing and three others in active about-to-get-a-director mode.

But you know what? I bitch and moan about how all this emergent technology is going to change the entertainment industry and nobody’s taking advantage of it. And here I have, well, unless I’m mistaken, a fan base, which exists and is trying to organize for a show, which has never appeared on television. Not a cancelled show — a show which has literally never aired on broadcast television. This is BoingBoing (http://boingboing.net/) and Wired’s frikkin’ dream. Seeing as I was planning on writing a book on this stuff, I’d be insane not to follow up in some way.

And, maybe it’s the old stand-up comic in me, but to try nothing would be disrespecting you, the audience. I can’t bring myself to do that.

I’ll see if we can figure out what the next step is. I’ve got a light back half of 2005. Maybe it’d be fun to play Pancho to you fans’ Quixote.

3.) Crucially, I have no idea what to do.

There may be nothing that can be done. Let’s look at some very, very unpleasant truths. GF is not owned by Warren or myself — it’s owned by DC Comics and Warner Brothers. Anything that happens has to be with their permission. They are large, multinational corporations, and although the people I interface with are immensely pleasant, the companies generally don’t cotton to this sort of thing. I would also remind you that every copy of GF out there is of dubious legality depending on your local copyright laws.

Shows survive because of money. Period. There has never been a write-in campaign that’s worked, because frankly e-mails and letters don’t pay the rent on those studio lots. Family Guy came back because the box set made unspeakable amounts of cash. You all know the Firefly story.

For more GF episodes, I have to somehow find $26 million dollars for 13 episodes of production (that stings, eh?), find somebody to air it (not airing them, going straight to Internet or DVD would require an even MORE insane paradigm shift) and convince the powers-that-be the DVD box sets will be profitable. That’ll not only require stunning acts of fiscal contortion, but the fan base/buzz/media attention has to be of a truly EPIC proportion. What are the odds of that? I’ll tell you ?

The odds of this working are way, way too small to take seriously.

BUT … having said that, I’ll make some calls, talk to some humans. I’ll try to learn, in what time I have, how this totally new process could work. That’s what we’re talking here, about you (the audience) creating a completely new process for television shows.

On the other hand, the entire idea of Global Frequency is of ordinary people subverting the establishment and getting things done. The concept of a fan base for the show subverting the establishment and getting things done … frankly that’s a little irresistible.

So, as I said, I have no idea what to do. But I’m smart enough to know that you probably do. Or you’ll figure it out faster than I will. So check in here (http://kfmonkey.blogspot.com/), hell, make your own damn websites. Look at who’s posting, contact each other.

Because I’m just the guy on the Frequency with the Hollywood skill set. You’re the audience. You’re the numbers, you’re the power.

This Has A ?Die-Back Doctrine? Factor of Eight Out of Ten


Night Closing In

Rick Remender and Kieron Dwyer have been turning a lot heads this year with Sea of Red, but that?s not the only project they?re currently collaborating on. Next month, the duo have a five issue miniseries coming out from IDW called Night Mary. As the name suggests, the story deals heavily with dreams, as Remender elaborates:

      The inspiration for

Night Mary

      came from a number of different sources. It was something that Kieron and I had been throwing around for a long time. We had gone through a period where we were working on a number of pitches, taking different ideas and concepts that were interesting to us. The thing that is most interesting about

Night Mary

    is the limitless potential of dreams. There have been a number of successful films and things that are based on dreams and it?s surprising that there are not more. The potential is vast and limitless. And we as human beings, spend seven to ten hours a day dealing with dreams, almost 35% of our lives. And we don?t explore it that often, which sort of led to the desire on our part to find a way to tell an interesting story and be able to use dreams as a backdrop where you can basically do anything. One of the other things was to find something that would continually be fun to draw, so Kieron would have something as he is working, he?s continually changing his style and really flexing his artistic muscles. For me, writing that story was the same way. It gives me the ability to write thirty different things in the course of one comic book, which is a blast.


The story is about a girl named Mary, in her late teens, and she is a victim of insomnia with very little control over her dreams. She?s a lucid dreamer, so she?s conscious and aware in her dreams. She also has the ability to enter the dreams of other people, but she doesn?t necessarily control that ability very well. She does control it to an extent, with the help of her father and serum known as ?the dream weaver.? But without that and as time goes on, she loses more and more control, which as you can imagine, wrecks havoc with her normal life. She can try to get a regular night?s sleep, but she can?t do it. She?ll end up in some other person?s nightmare. Because of that, she?s a tortured character. She?s heroic in the sense that her mission is to help people as much as possible. Her father runs a sleep research facility, where she can do that and that?s where our story starts off. Eventually, these dreams and nightmares she?s dealing with start seeping into reality, as a villain emerges in the story, a figure from her father?s past that leads to a physical manifestation of things that are happening in the dream world which brings real world dangers and tension into the storyline.


Dwyer also had a few thoughts to share on his artistic approach to the series:

      Having it set largely in the dream world allowed me the opportunity to basically do any number of art styles that I might want to do. Each one of the dream sequences is going to be drawn in a different style. The only thing that is consistent throughout the series is the way that the reality sequences look. Those are all muted and monochromatic blues while the portions of the story that are set in dreams are in full color and in different styles. The appeal of that to me was that I generally like to work with different art styles. People may notice that from project to project I tend to switch up my drawing style to suit the project. And

Night Mary

      gave me the opportunity to do more than just one style per the series. So, I?m taking a whole different approach to the art chores. I?m doing a lot of the art in digital form, using Photoshop and Painter. In the past, I usually used Photoshop exclusively for coloring over line art. Now I?m doing a lot of the painting straight on the computer. Unlike

Sea of Red

      , where I?m just doing the layouts for another artist to work on,

Night Mary

    will have 100% art by me. Rick and I are also co-plotting it. I think it?s the kind of book that people who like horror and psychological thrillers will really enjoy. I think anyone who?s interested in any type of story will find something to like about it. So, hopefully we will find that to be the case when it comes out next month.

This Has An ?If Only In Dreams? Factor of Ten Out of Ten


Not Fade Away

Jeff Mariotte, the writer of IDW?s first Angel miniseries, has confirmed that he will be writing a second Angel miniseries, which will tell the story of what happened to the surviving characters after the final episode of the TV series.

According to Mariotte, the second mini should be coming out in November.

This Has A ?Personally, I Want To Slay The Dragon? Factor of Nine Out of Ten


Everybody Was Gun Fu Fighting

Here?s a look at some art from the Gun Fu trade paperback coming out in August from Image. Gun Fu creator/writer Howard M. Shum dropped me a line and mentioned that in addition to collecting Gun Fu #1 and Gun Fu: The Lost City #1-#4, the trade will also feature a Gun Fu pinup gallery by Chris Bailey, Balak, Randy Green, Herval, Ruben Martinez, Xavier Ramonede, Matthew Stewart, and Darryl Young. The trade will have an introduction written by Dave Sim (Cerebus).


For those of you unfamiliar with Gun Fu, it?s about a hip-hop speaking Hong Kong cop, working for the British secret service to fight the Nazis? in 1936.

Yeah? it?s fun.

This Has A ?Fight Comix!? Factor of Eight Out of Ten


Last Shuttle From Eternia

The story of Val Staples and MVCreations has been well chronicled, from their troubles with CrossGen to the fund raising efforts to rescue the company from heavy debt last November. But it?s been a while since we?ve heard about their current situation. Staples checked in recently to bring us up to date:

    We ended up raising a little over 35,000.00, which was incredible. I’m very thankful for everyone’s help, and I hope those who bought items through our store or our auctions are enjoying their purchase.

Only a few thousand came from direct donations, which I greatly appreciate. The rest came from selling stock on our store (until we ran out and I closed the store) and auctions we’ve been running since that announcement was made, and are still doing until I am completely depleted of my personal items of value.

I sold off all my MVCreations prototype stuff, comps, rares, etc… anything of value to a fan/collector. It kinda stinks I don’t have anything to remind me any more of what we produced at MV aside from a few copies of each comic that I kept. But that’s just how it is.

Graham Crackers Comics (http://www.grahamcrackers.com/motu.htm ) has also been helping us by selling books that came from our archival stock.

My last big batch of items I got out of storage at my family’s home will be on eBay
soon under my he-manorg eBay user ID.

Thus far, I’ve taken care of a number of artists? But I still have about $45,000.00 in artist debt to tackle, about half of which is due to my friends Emiliano Santalucia and Enza Fontana.

I still live with my family, which I have done since January. And I’m almost out of personal belongings. So, I’ve cut costs as much as I can. After this last auction, I will need to rely on my freelance work to pay off the remaining debt.

Anyone can talk to me in person about all of this if they?d like to know more about what all has happened and is currently going on. I’ll be attending San Diego thanks BCI flying me out (a DVD company I’m working with for the He-Man DVD coming out in July) where I’ll be at the Tower Records / BCI Eclipse booth. And I may drive up to Wizard Chicago with some friends… just depends on if I can make sure the trips cost me very little.

This Has A ?By The Power? Factor of Eight Out of Ten


Penny Lane

Mike Penny?s Helios, which up to now has been self-published through Dakuwaka Productions (http://www.dakuwaka.com/ ), is set to move to Speakeasy in September, with a new miniseries: Helios: In With The New. The first issue will be sporting a cover by J.G. Jones, which can be seen below.

This Has A ?Shining Path? Factor of Seven Out of Ten


Villains Unhinged

As promised, it?s time for another CapvsBats remix. However, this week, Cap steps away from the House of M and takes on Villains United, one of the infinite, Infinite Crisis tie-ins. Take it away, Cap?





 


That?s all for this week, folks. Special thanks to Cap. And Cap extends his thanks to Cncoyle, Algertman and HailHydra from the Newsarama boards along with Chris Sims at the-isb.blogspot.com.

Later,
Blair

PS If anyone has any rumors, stories or news to share, please email me at [email protected]. Thanks to everyone who has been sending stuff in. It?s greatly appreciated.


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