It seems that everyone out there that writes these sorts of things (and by ?things? I mean comics writings with letters, words and images) is reporting on New York Comic-Con. That?s excellent, I say! Sadly, I?m not in New York this time around. Rumour is a fickle beast this week as everyone wants to yabble about all sorts of things publicly at NYCC, thus blowing some of my minions? hard work. Thems the breaks, as they say and I?ll have some new targets for the orbital death-ray; but I hear everyone is having a good time (and there?s some great reports emerging from it) and so for this ATR you get some bits I picked out from what I?ve come across and some stuff that I?m excited like a cracked out weevil over. Then there?s the stuff that I just ramble about. I?m thinking of just offering an alternate truncated All The Rage for my more impatient, skim-happy readers.

Alright, I?m not, but I bet I had a few of you going.

And? We?re off!

The ?Manhunter From Cancellation? No More

After that wonderful intro, how about some good news from New York? DC announced that they have decided to keep publishing Manhunter, saving it from the not-so-awesome world of cancellation. Isn?t that great? Of course, people are comparing this all to the Spider-Girl thing over at Marvel. Yeah, didn?t see those comments on it coming, right? Anyway, Manhunter is a great title and I?m quite certain many folks out there are jumping with joy.

This Has A ?Treating Fans Right? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten

Everyone Quotes Queen For This One

On the Marvel side of things at NYCC, I?m very happy to hear that there will be a new Champions series coming out. I suspected this, as a few of my friends can attest, but I didn?t want to delve too much into ?fan speculation? on here. Don?t worry; I?m correcting that flaw effective immediately. I?m also happy to say that Barry Kitson will be on illustrative duties and the massively talented Matt Fraction writing it. For some more info, read this nice piece by Chris Arrant over at ?Rama.

This Has A ?No Time For Losers? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten

Speaking of Conventions?

Yes, yes, we?ve all heard about how nerds can smell; especially when they are clustered together in mass numbers. Comics nerds will say they smell better than videogamers, and videogamers will say they smell better than comics nerds. Both comics nerds and videogamers think tabletop gamers are rather stinky, and then they break down between role-players vs. wargamers vs. boardgamers. Everyone agrees that LARPers and cosplayers smell the foulest. (Sorry there LARP & cosplay folks, just reporting what I hear? I suppose it?s fair to mention furries, too). Me? I don?t smell much at all. I go camping for days and hardly have an odour. Just thought you should know that. I don?t live in a glass house, see? Nyah nyah nyah. But for those of you who do get a bit ripe and want to maintain that hard earned geek cred, there?s stuff like Marvel Heroes cologne! That?s right, get your good smell on and be all Hulk, Spider-Man or Cap about it!

I also hear that the Captain America batch won?t make you cry. Fantastic, eh?

This Has An ?I Can?t Believe He Just Told Us About Perfume? Factor Of Seven Out Of Ten

Card to Drop a Bug

I heard Joe Quesada has announced best-selling sci-fi writer Orson Scott Card will be writing a new Ender?s Game story (?The Gold Bug?) that will only be in the Red Prophet hardcover edition, compiling the initial six issues, in July from Dabel Brothers / Marvel. (Much thanks to the Bendis Boards where I spotted this. Cheers, guys!)

This Has A ?Dr. Device Prescribes Annihilation? Factor Of Eight Out Of Ten

Passion of the Liefeld Part II

What?s a rumour/news column without Rob Liefeld? Seriously: What? If there?s no Byrne or Moore news? hell, even if there is, Rob is usually in one of these sorts of columns. Fine by me. Especially if it?s concerning stuff like this!

So, not too long ago I was looking through Rob?s board (which is full of many friendly people, I would just like to say) and noticed that artist extraordinaire Tim Seeley (G.I. Joe) asked:

    ?Okay guys? I’ve been working on this, but it’s tough to do. I’m a big fan, and I want to get Rob to draw a cover for my book, Loaded Bible. It’s about Jesus fighting vampires in the future. Maybe you’ve heard of it. In any case, who here wouldn’t want to see Rob’s drawing of Jesus? and Vampires?!

Rob?s response:

    Tim, I’ll gladly do a cover for you. PM me?

Liefeld involved with Loaded Bible? That?s pretty damn rad, if you ask me. The whole Jesus vs. Vampires thing is pretty damned entertaining (and done very well).

Also, in the same thread, Rob mentions to look for a thread concerning a new ?faith-based imprint? which is called 12 Gates Productions. Here?s what he had to say:

    12 Gates Productions is a name to watch this year as we have many special projects set to rock the publishing world. 12 Gates Productions is a new partnership that I’m a part of that you’ll learn more about in the weeks to come but here are some new images from our first offering Armageddon Now! World War 3. Armageddon Now! WW3 written by Phil Hotsenpiller details the world as it leads towards its final days and a vast cast of international characters gather to fulfill their roles as mankind’s final days unfold. The art is a collaboration between Marat Mychaels, Rob Liefeld and Matt Swift. Together we are producing amazing work. Marat and I share pages, switching between layouts and finished pencils and our very own Matt Swift is providing the stunning finished artwork. We currently have 35 pages completed. I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am about this project. As many of you know I’ve been looking to go in this direction for quite some time and now it’s coming together better than I could have ever anticipated. There are eight 100 page graphic novels set for release beginning this summer.You can learn more about all of 12 Gates new projects at Wizard World Los Angeles. We’ll have preview books as well as posters.

Here’s some preview art for you to chew on in the meantime.

Rob went on to say:

    The goal of these books is to tell an exciting story with exciting characters set in a world where events that are unfolding are based on biblical prophecy found in the books of Revelations, Ezekiel, Daniel and Isaiah. They are filled with espionage, political intrigue, action, adventure and have puzzles and riddles that make the Da Vinci Code look like Hop Skotch. Whether you believe the Bible or not, I’ve always found the stories contained in the pages of the best selling book of all time are as riveting and dramatic as any I’ve ever encountered. It’s some of, if not the absolute best source material ever. And yes, I’m a co-owner of 12 Gates.

For those of you who are like me and kind of squirm when they hear ?faith-based? anything, Rob Liefeld says in response to a question if the comics will be preachy:

    Faith based means from my perspective that the characters and the story revolve around a common faith. There are several lead characters, heroes, who do not believe in any God, but the world is dictated by biblical prophecy which can be pretty crazy.

Matt Swift, one of the talented individuals working on this project had this to say on the matter:

    The great thing about Armageddon Now: WW3 is that it doesn’t isolate anyone. Those words ?Faith based? are scary for people who don’t go to church… The goal is to entertain anybody who opens the book up, regardless of your religion. Rest assured, ?Ned Flanders? will not be in the credits.

If you would like to see more on this discussion, or would like to add to it, head over to the Liefeld Boards and look for this thread: here.

You have to join up if you want to read it / comment on, though. Not to worry, the natives are pretty friendly.

Here are some images I ran across that I thought were completely appropriate to this piece:

I?ll end on that note. Best of luck to all involved with this new and interesting project.

This Has A ?Where?s My Zoroastrian Faith-Based Comics?? Factor Of Eight Out Of Ten

All The Horror

Tales From the Crypt is coming back in comic-form! Yay! This pleases me. Who do we have to thank? Why, Papercutz, the publisher of Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys comics. They plan on carrying on with the EC Comics tradition, making this re-Crypting as enjoyable as the original. The dark humour will remain and it should be suitable for all ages. Find out what hellishly delightful surprises await from the press release?

In other news in the same vein, Variety reports that the old 1970s comic magazines Creepy and Eerie will most likely see the movie screen, though we shouldn?t rule out a TV series or some such. Read more HERE.

This Has A ?Neck Breaking Twist? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten

Victims of Civil War

Many of you have read Marvel?s Civil War. All seven issues and all the things that crossed over with it, into it, on it, over it, by it, whatever. Some of you loved it, some of you hated it, and most of you had something to say about it. Take a blog over at Newsarama, for instance, which had this to say. You can pretty much sum up everything with that, so I thank Graeme for saving me the time. Except he left us out, which is okay because I don?t expect him to add every forum in there? that would break him, and we don?t want that. Here?s what we had to say in our forums. Yeah, I?m not very kind. Sorry, I guess. Anyhow, it all just goes to show that life can imitate art. Seriously, whose side are you on? Did you like it? Do you think it sucked? Or do you just not give a shit and would rather say ?52 is much better, you Marvel weenies?? This whole thing has caused its own civil war of sorts? Okay, not really. There?s really nothing all that exciting about watching comic readers froth at the mouth over this. Sure, there?s some excitement for me, but I?m sick in the head. So, aside from that ?Rama blog entry, the aftermath of CW also brought us this true gem over at the Invincible Super-Blog. Honestly, this is the best thing to result from Civil War so far for me? Not all the whining and complaining (hey, I?m guilty too? I even used the term ?weeping vagina?, which is funny on many levels if you think about it), not those ?re-cut? versions of the comics (but they?re still funny), but what Chris did with Civil War. Thanks, man, you really made it all worthwhile.

This entire ramble-fest was just an excuse to show off that ?Civil War In 30 Seconds? piece.

One thing I?m sure many will agree on: The Marvel Universe has got a lot more interesting. Of course, things look like they?re heating up on the DC end what with Countdown coming and all that. Can?t have one without the other, you know. Just wouldn?t be right.

This Has A ?30 Seconds And Not Embarrassed? Factor Of Eight Out Of Ten

The Punishment of Speculation

As of Punisher War Journal #6 we?re supposed to see a ?new look? for Frank Castle. What could it be? Will it have to do with Cap?s mask? Probably, as that?s been mentioned. I don?t see him becoming Captain America, exactly, but who?s to say? I?m quite certain there will be (if my minions are correct) a few people trying to step up with ?the shield?, so to speak. What about Iron Man type items? See what Punisher did to Rhino at the end of #3? Maybe the whole ?Iron Cap? thing wasn?t a total hoax? It would be like a whole new War Machine. Punisher War Machine? Hoo, boy, I?m just going out on a limb here (okay, several limbs), folks. I?ll see what the minions can dig up. Don?t seem too sure of myself? Did you READ what I just wrote? I should just erase it; that would be ?professional?. But I won?t. Cram ?professional?. I want to know what Marvel is going to do to my favourite Marvel comic character and you must suffer through my musings. So there. I have no idea what the tragic ending of #5 will be. Tragedy usually means death, though. Just a guess.

Since we?re talking Punisher? I understand that we will be seeing a Marvel Zombie version of Castle coming up in the Marvel Zombies / Army of Darkness comics. Hmmm? I always thought the whole zombie thing was for the super-heroes, yeah? Just thought I would bring that up. Not that I mind. Zombie Frank has a nice ring to it.

This Has A ?Take It Like A Man-Thing? Factor Of Five Out Of Ten

For Your Sworn Viewing Pleasure

Here is an upcoming cover for an issue of Dabel Brothers?s The Hedge Knight 2: The Sworn Sword (a six issue series) by the amazing Leinil Francis Yu. I?m led to believe that it?s #2. It sure is purty.

This Has A ?Song Of Fire And Kick Ass Art? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten

Indie Front: The Homeless, Hollow and Digitally Acquired

Here?s another wallop of an instalment in ATR covering current and upcoming independent comic offerings. Let?s get to it?

Matt Silady is someone who has a 168 page original graphic novel called The Homeless Channel coming out in May. He started by publishing the chapters as mini-comics and selling them at shows like Alternative Press Expo which gained him the attention of Ait / Planet Lar, who then offered to collect them all into one volume. Here?s what it?s about:

    When Darcy Shaw starts a twenty-four hour cable network called The Homeless Channel, she thinks she’s got everything figured out. But confronted with an unexpected romance, a sibling out on the streets, and corporate sponsor who think they know what’s best for her network, Darcy starts to wonder if she can really save the world by putting it on TV.

I?m always glad to see new and original things in comics, but I?ve probably said that before. I don?t mind saying it again. Offerings such as this are one of the main reasons why I read independents and comics in general. Take a look at some of this great art:

A video trailer can be found HERE, Matt?s homepage HERE, and the publisher?s listing HERE. Here?s to your debut going well, Matt!

One publisher that deserves some attention is Archaia Studios Press. ASP, as they are also known, publishes some of the finest comics around, including the critically acclaimed Mouse Guard and other strong titles like the fantasy Artesia Besieged (which is for the role-playing game Artesia; more info here:, Okko, The Killer, The Secret History, Robotika, and The Lone & Level Sands. Let me say that Mouse Guard earns all of the praise it gets, and the other titles ASP carries do seem rather enticing, don?t they? Make sure to check out their catalogue on their homepage for more information on what they will be throwing at us.

A future release on ASP, slated for Halloween this year, is Hollow; which is about a boy without a soul. Now here is a title that intrigues me greatly. See, award-winning playwright and director Larime Taylor ?examines the human condition and uses the soul as a metaphor for disability in this modern ?day dark urban fairytale?. It?s got sweet pencils by Duncan Eagleson (Neil Gaiman?s Sandman) and it?s terrifically painted by Danielle Sylvie Taylor (Larmie?s wife). See for yourself:

Now, I would like to take a moment to note that this is NO small accomplishment for the Taylors (or will be no small accomplishment, though I?m satisfied saying they?ve done much to be proud of so far). You see, they both have disabling conditions that would make most of us find living day to day a tough job, let alone putting together great-looking creative endeavours. Larime has arthrogryposis, and is in a power wheelchair; Danielle has an immune system that causes her to be allergic to just about everything and is legally blind, thus making life very difficult. Really, the fact that they are doing this comic despite whatever cards life has dealt them is awesome and seeing what I?ve seen so far, my hat is off to the Taylors, even if they weren?t disabled (I would like to mention that I think Duncan?s pencils are very nice, too). I can?t wait for October, guys.

Slave Labor Graphics have hinted that Evan Dorkin?s monster drawings may be seeing life as? something on SLG. Here?s part of what they said in their Livejournal, slg_news:

    [Tom] Spurgeon writes, ?It’s not a New York con unless you get to talk to Evan Dorkin. Track him down at the Slave Labor booth, and encourage him to do something with his great, recent monster drawings.? True, true! We love those monster drawings, too, so much so that we are looking into doing something with them. (Mysterious mystery!)

Read the full entry HERE. There?s a funny video from last year of Mr. Dorkin, as well! I?ll keep on this and let you all know what happens?

Since I?m yapping about Slave Labor, allow me to point out EyeMelt is where you can but digital versions of SLG?s comics. I decided to try it out and I can tell you that overall it works smoothly. It looks like things are being handled well. Essentially, you lot out there that enjoy reading comics on your computer should check this out. It?s fast, easy and, oh yeah: cheap.

Cheap, unlike Top Cow?s Digital Plan. Who?s going to buy a digital version (in PDF, no less) of a print comic for full price? Who, I ask? Well, good luck with all that?

UPDATE: ?What a difference a day makes”, indeed! Top Cow changed it’s tune rather quick, and that’s actually very good to hear! Great news.

If you are looking for a publisher that can offer some cool titles that aren?t ?mainstream? or ?tights-ridden?, you can?t go wrong with NBM. There is a horde of must-read books there. Too many to list, actually, but two right off the bat for me are Dungeon and Boneyard. Take a minute or ninety to peruse their wares; you?ll be a better person for it.

That?s it for Indie Front this week. Remember, if you think there?s an independent publisher or comic I should look into, drop me a line:

This Has An ?Eye Melting Dungeon Parade? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten

Blogonaut and Comic Web Combo Party

Some fun blogs and webcomics for you to read? Come get some.

Freelance writer Corey Brotherson?s online ?corrupted thoughts?:

Needle Scratch Static:

A good read of a blog as written by Gordon Harries, another freelance writer.

Written nicely by Josh Wagner and fun quirky art by Falkenhagen.

By Sydney Winchester. I found it quite by accident, much like how the main alien character finds Earth. Quite entertaining!

This Has A ?Blog N? Comics Mash? Factor Of Eight Out Of Ten

There you have it. Happy? Better be. If not you can complain in some forum somewhere. I?ll probably not see it, which is a real shame. That?s why I invite you to come voice your opinions in *big announcer voice* Steve?s Rage Cage in the forums here. I don?t expect much, but if you have a gripe, question, or goofy dance for me, please post it. There, I mean. Not in some forum that I or my minions may be trawling for data in like drunken chimney sweeps. Don?t get the wrong impression here, though, I love you all for who you are.


If you were all made from chocolate.

There are a few places to stalk me online. Always feel free to contact me.

I also write things? Indiephile and Manga Hunter S (yes, they need updating, I know), as well as doing audiocasts and other noodlings over at

If you were wondering where the UK section is, it will be back next week, full of tastiness. One last thing? Seen this video yet?

It?s a 1967 Wonder Woman pilot? Pretty damned amusing.

Until next time, dear readers.

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