Blair is off this week. Rumor has it that he managed to negotiate a movie deal for All the Rage. Oliver Stone is working on the script and pre-production is slated to start this November. I think Andy Garcia would be perfect as me.

Roll that Clip

People hanging out at the Ait/PlanetLar booth in San Diego noticed a flurry of Hollywood honchos wheeling and dealing with Larry Young and Mimi Rosenheim. Deals were being signed and checks were being exchanged right there on the con floor. It seems that deals were struck for The Black Diamond, Smoke And Guns, Five Fists of Science, Filler, and Sunset City.

I guess that article in Entertainment Weekly did more good than anyone thought!

This Has A ?But What About Couriers?? Factor Of Eight Out Of Ten

Cut and Print

Another Hollywood type interested in writing and directing one of his favorite comics is Peter Berg (Copland, Collateral). He has started discussions in regards to adapting The Losers from Vertigo Comics.

The Losers is a monthly action and espionage comic by Andy Diggle and Jock. It?s one of my favorite books, and Peter Berg would indeed be perfect as lead butt kicker, Clay.

Peter Berg and The Rock on the set of Rundown
This Has A ?Now Get Jean Reno As Roque? Factor Of Seven Out Of Ten

The Music Industry Loves Us, Too

It?s more than just Hollywood big shots that love comics, the music industry is getting in on it, too.

John Dolmanyan, the drummer from System Of A Down, lined up an A-list group of comic artists to decorate his drum set. Neal Adams, Bill Sienkiewicz, Mike Kaluta, and Arthur Adams all contributed to his percussion set.

Some of the art can be seen at Neal Adams web site

This Has A ?Mezmerise? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten

So Does The Art World

Tim Bradstreet was selected as one of the artists who?se work will be showcased in the upcoming 2005 Spectrum Exhibition. The Spectrum exhibition celebrates the best fantasy, adventure, science fiction, and genre artwork each year in publishing.

The exhibit is scheduled to run from September 7th to October 1st 2005 at the Museum of American Illustration located at 123 East 63rd Street in New York.

This Has A ?I?ll Take That Punisher Print? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten

Greek Palooka

Doug Mahnke, current Batman penciller, took time recently out of his hectic schedule to answer some questions.

JV: How did you break into the business? What was your first published work?

DM: Back in 1988, I sent out portfolios to Dark Horse, DC, Marvel, and maybe a couple others. I was fairly ignorant of what I was doing, and actually sent them to the art directors instead of the editors (it made sense to me at the time). I got a call from Randy Stradley at Dark Horse. They were interested in using me for a horror/crime story. It turned out to be John Arcudi’s “Homicide”, which appeared in Dark Horse Presents. John had actually gone through the submissions himself, and had picked my art out. I’m guessing that doesn’t happen too often these days.

JV: How did you land the Batman gig? Are you enjoying the buzz surrounding the Red Hood story? What other villains or supporting characters from Batman would you like to draw?

DM: I was working my way through the Justice League Elite Limited Series, when the Bat office called and offered me Nightwing. I declined (nothing against Nightwing; things were just going well with JLA related stuff.) They called shortly afterwards, and offered me Batman.

I never questioned why they offered it to me, but I definitely considered Batman as the book on top of my “A” list. Several of my friends had mentioned, over the years, their interest in seeing me draw Batman. So I developed a curiosity about the idea, myself. There was no way I would have turned it down.

The Red Hood buzz? It’s always good for a comic when people are interested in some extraordinary feature – the return of a long-dead character, for example. Jason Todd’s return is loaded with intrigue, to say the least. Don’t ask me how he came back, as I have no idea, and it’s possibly the most-guarded secret at DC! I’d like to draw any of the Bat-villains, and put my version out there: Two Face, the Penguin, any of them. Batman has a great Rogues Gallery, and these characters have been interpreted and re-interpreted again and again. I’d like to think I’ve already done a pretty good Joker.

JV: Any plans to return to the JLA? Any other DC characters you’d like to tackle?

DM: I have no plans to return to the JLA at the moment, but I’ve been busy with the JLA/Cyberforce crossover, so I have yet to feel like I’m away from it. As far as characters I’d like to take a crack at, I’d list Wonder Woman, Plastic Man, or Lobo for complete brain-cleansing. Working on the JLA means having to draw a good portion of what DC has to offer. So there aren’t many characters from DC that I haven’t drawn in one way or another.

JV: Which writers would you like to work with? Any creator-owned stuff in your head that you would like to try publishing?

DM: There are way too many good writers out there for me to put together a list! It all depends on the character, and the story being told. An interested writer will come up with something any artist would like to draw. I will say that I would like to work, sometime, with DC editor/writer Pete Tomasi. It’s easier for me to single out my favorite moments with the writers I have already worked with, and the stories we did. Drawing Lobo/Mask (a DC-Dark Horse crossover) with writers John Arcudi and Alan Grant, was pure pleasure, for example. These guys made drawing fun for me!

As for creator owned stuff, it’s always in the back of my mind. The problem is being too busy to actually do it! I have three or four ideas that I’ve had circulating in my brain for several years. When I finally do a creator-owned project, it will most likely contain humor, action, and monsters. Who knows? Maybe this interview will inspire me to put pencil to paper, and get going on a creator-owned project. On a side note, don’t forget that I have already done one creator owned project, Major Bummer, with writer John Arcudi.

JV: What projects do you have coming up in your near future?

DM: I’ve just finished the pencils on JLA/ Cyberforce with writer Joe Kelly. Inks by Norm Rapmund, colors by the intrepid David Baron. It’s tough enough drawing one collection of superheroes, let alone two. This thing is crazy with action! I’m also doing Team One with Chuck Dixon, and Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers Frankenstein. As we all know, Frankenstein is always cool!

This Has A ?Maxie Zeus? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten

Batarang To The Head

Chris Weston has begun posting preview art from his upcoming Legends of the Dark Knight arc (written by Will Pfieffer) on his website

Here is a sampling:

This Has A ?Does It Come In Black?? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten

True Stories

Brent Anderson (Astro City), has posted on>his website a short webcomic called ?The Hero?.

Brent describes the genesis of the webcomic (which was originally a short story):

    I originally wrote and drew ?The Hero? in San Diego, California in the late 80s for T.A.G. Rag, a never-published collection of stories written and drawn by a collective of great people who called themselves the ?Tuesday Art Group? (T.A.G.). We would get together every Tuesday to talk about comics, discuss movies, play a version of Hacky Sack we had dubbed ?Squoob? (don?t ask), and to suffer rehearsals of my comics art seminars.

The incident related in ?The Hero? truly happened (insofar as my imperfect memory can recall it) and was printed in Streetwise published by TwoMorrows Publications in 2000. I?ve reprinted it here for those of you who never saw Streetwise.

This Has An ?Astro City? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten

Where Art Thou?

Thor?s return to the Marvel Universe is being planned for 2006 and there are supposedly numerous seeds and clues being planted throughout some Marvel Universe titles.

For instance, a lot of plot points are being planted in the current New Avengers arc that deals with the Sentry. In fact, a lot of rumors center around the fact that it is believed that the Sentry himself is an amnesiac Thor.

This Has A ?Has Anyone Seen My Hammer?? Factor Of Four Out Of Ten

Bad Signal

Warren Ellis has released a new promotional image for his new police drama FELL from Image comics. Ben Templesmith is the artist, each issue will be self contained and only $1.99.

This Has A ? Everybody Is Hiding Something? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten

A big ?efharisto? (that translates as ?Thank you? for all the non-Greek readers out there) to Doug Mahnke and everyone who contributed to this week?s column.

Blair will be back next week with more news and rumors.

John Voulieris

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