Welcome back to another edition of ATR. Election season is upon us again. And just think, there?s only three years until we choose our next president! More on that later?

The Last Word

News about Speakeasy Comics is starting to pop up everywhere. On Wednesday, Heidi MacDonald filed a story at The Beat which shed further light on Speakeasy?s Hollywood deal. MacDonald wrote that the deal in question was not a buyout, but rather a ?partnership? between Speakeasy and an entertainment company. And I have heard that she is correct in her assertion. Word is that this deal has been in the works for some time before recently coming to fruition. No one has yet come forward to speak on the record, but from most accounts, Speakeasy?s new Hollywood connection (let?s call him ?BL? for now) has an interesting track record in the entertainment industry. ?BL? started out as a ?Rock band photographer? before becoming a music producer. For over ten years he worked his way up through the ranks and became a producer on feature films like Detroit Rock City and the upcoming Damn Nation. He has also worked with Mike Richardson?s Dark Horse Entertainment. “BL” has also a partner in the Takoma Entertainment Group, though I now hear that the parent company in this deal is called Artistry Entertainment. Regardless, the move is widely perceived as a positive one, which should give Speakeasy more of an edge as they attempt to expand their properties into film and television.

So what does this deal mean for the comic creators at Speakeasy? From what I?ve heard, all contracts will be honored (including deals with creators whose projects have not been released or announced) and Speakeasy will continue to take submissions. It has been rumored that Speakeasy?s focus will shift from creator owned books to more comics like Spellgame and Beowulf, which are at least partially owned by Speakeasy. However, Speakeasy insiders have downplayed that particular rumor. As for the rumors of additional creators possibly leaving Speakeasy? It looks like the wind has changed direction. A lot of that talk has gone quiet, as most of the creators now seem content to stay where they are and see how things play out.

This Has An ?Untouchables? Factor of Eight Out of Ten


Na Na Na Na, Hey Hey Hey?

Now, I could have just posted some preview panels from Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen?s Nextwave, that have been up for over a week? But I figured you?d rather see an early preview of some of the actual pages. So, here you go:


This Has A ?Wave Goodbye? Factor of Ten Out of Ten


The Right Hand of Doom

Earlier this week, artist Sean “Cheeks” Galloway posted the following pic and blurb on Deviant Art:

    Heya, gang! WHEW! NOW I can spill the beans. hahaha. Recently, I got selected as lead character designer for the Hellboy Animated cartoon. What you see here is the new look for the cartoon. Sorry to say, but it won’t be based on Mignola’s style. He wanted something other than his style. It’s going to be 2 direct to DVD movies (70 minutes each). They’ll be aired on Cartoon Network. The first one is scheduled for next October. I just wrapped up the designs for the first DVD?

This Has A ?Conqueror Worm? Factor of Nine Out of Ten


Covert Operations

I?ve been told that DDP will be bring out a GI Joe one-shot next February, entitled GI Joe Special Missions: Manhattan. The story follows some of the Joes not being used in GI Joe: America?s Elite (Cover Girl, Beachhead and Tunnel Rat) as they assault a building in Manhattan to snag a toxic virus being cooked up in an old Cobra lab. Of particular note, the Battle Hymn creative team of B. Clay Moore and Jeremy Haun will be providing the story and pencils, respectively.

This Has A ?Rolling Snake Eyes? Factor of Eight Out of Ten


In The Year 2006?

In a post over at The Engine, Warren Ellis has invited comic creators to talk about their 2006 comic plans, with some intriguing replies. Here are some of the highlights:

Dan Curtis Johnson:

    My horror-western is still being drawn but I think it’ll be finished and published in 2006, and I’ll hopefully get the Roman/Punic War historical action-adventure thing scripted enough to get an artist started on it. Of course, I’ll be a new dad so everything else may disintegrate utterly as I spend all my time learning how many shades of poo there are.

Andrew Dabb:
Most of the stuff I’m working on right now (Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, Atomika, Vaistron, and Sigma Six) will continue on into 2006, and in the case of at least two of them very possibly 2007. My original graphic novel DANCERS should be out through Slave Labor Graphics sometime within the next twelve months, and I’ve also got at least one six issue science fiction mini-series lined up with an ambitious publisher (details to be announced shortly), have a short story placed in an upcoming anthology, have just accepted a job writing dialogue for a series of manhwa digests, have a second OGN which is a few months from being completed, and Boussourir (Vaistron artist) and I are already planning another project.

Max Douglas (Salgood Sam):
I?m wrapping up the first POTA story early in the New Year, and I?ll be back on Sea of Red doing layouts for Paul for at least an arc.

Will at some point likely do a SOR story myself, nursing the seed of a vampire tale, that may happen late in the year.

May be some more apes too if the numbers are good on this first run, not sure when that would be.

For now a lot of my focus is on Dream Life for next year, I applied for a grant to do the GN, find out in March if I got that.

If not, it and other personal things may be riding the back burner for a bit while I make a living.

Jock:
My last LOSERS deadline is literally right before Christmas, so this year will have an even bigger sense of closure for me.

In the New Year I’m doing a fill in on SWAMP THING, which I get to colour myself and go all out on the psychological horror aspects. Can?t wait… it’s not something I get to indulge in on a lot of the other stuff I do?

Next year there’s an OGN in the works at Vertigo, though unsure as to when that’s supposed to be starting, plus I?ve just recently got the urge to produce my own CANNIBAL comic, as that’s one genre of horror that doesn’t seem to have been updated. I?m thinking of calling it EATEN, and doing it as a 48pp one shot. purely within the skeleton of the old Italian movies? but you know, more trashy?

Ray Fawkes:
There’s the Oni OGN of The Apocalipstix I’ll be doing with Cameron Stewart, and I’m doing what I can to make sure the horror books I’m putting together (one with Vince Locke, one with Michael Manning) hit the stands before the end of the year.

Neil Kleid:
Want to get through a year (or more) of the capes and tights Image book I’m writing and launch the HELL out of BROWNSVILLE at NBM and URSA MINORS! at Slave Labor.

Beyond that, get out more books. THE BIG KAHN and AMERICAN CAESAR are the next two books on the production plate at NBM (with Scott Chantler and Jake Allen, respectively) and finalizing an original graphic novel with Matt Bors at a major indy publisher.

As well, I’ll be drawing away on MIGDAL DAVID, my second drawn book.

Miles Gunter:
I’ve got an action horror comedy OGN coming out from Image. Hoping to have in stores by fourth quarter 2006.

Continue work on NYC Mech.

Art production will begin on a fight comic drawn by Mike Oeming and Mike Hawthorne. I’m scripting and co-writing with Oeming.

You can check out the entire thread here.

This Has A ?Future Looks Bright? Factor of Ten Out of Ten


Retrovision

Word out of Marvel is that a special handbook is hitting in February: Marvel Legacy: The 1960s Handbook. As the name implies, the handbook will only focus on Marvel characters that were introduced in the 60s, with character bios written in the classic over-the-top style of the era. Industry legend, ?Our Pal?, Sal Buscema, has drawn a new cover for the occasion, which you can see below:

This Has An ?Excelsior!? Factor of Nine Out of Ten


For The Man Who Has Everything

Alright, people. It?s time to send out some well wishes: Congratulations to the newly married couple of Paul Dini and Misty Lee. To mark the occasion, J. Bone provided the following illustration:

For those who want to send the happy couple their best, feel free to leave a comment on Dini?s blog.

This Has An ?It?s A Magical World? Factor of Ten Out of Ten


Dreamweavers

A few more pics have been leaked out of the newly reformed Dreamwave. Take a look.


This Has A ?Paints A Pretty Picture? Factor of Eight Out of Ten


Sacre Bleu, That?s Just Up The Rue!

Long time ATR readers should recall Mike Mackey?s Liberality For All, which I?ve covered here before. The first issue came out this week, and I know all of you ran out to buy it.

Right?

Come on, people! Surely you didn?t miss the ?most talked about comic in years?!?

Oh, well. In that case, let me fill you in on the high points. Apparently, the cause of Mackey?s Liberal Dystopia is the untimely death of Ralph Nader before the 2000 US Presidential Elections:

Resulting in an Al Gore victory, and apparent ?liberal? capitulation to Al Qaeda.

Followed by Osama Bin Laden?s declaration of war on Right Wing Talk Radio hosts.

So, flash forward twenty years and a Cybernetic Sean Hannity is one of America?s last hopes against Liberal oppression.

And there?s his friend, G. Gordon Liddy! BTW, you can?t tell me ?so many cold dead hands? isn?t the funniest line you?ll read this year.

Here are your heroes in action?

And to cap it off, a heroic portrait of Liddy on the backcover.

This is the kind of book I should hate, but instead I love it. It?s an instant comedy classic. Like The Godyssey. So run out and buy a copy. There should be several available? The predicted rush of conservative comic fans failed to materialize. At least here in Los Angeles?

This Has A ?So Many F.O.I.L.S, So Little Time? Factor of Six Out of Ten


Regime Change

Staying with crazed partisan politics, it?s no secret that America is currently in political turmoil. The White House is embroiled in scandal upon scandal, an unpopular (and seemingly unending) war, to say nothing of the massive Blue & Red State schism. As a people, we have rarely been so divided.

However, there is hope on the horizon. A presidential candidate for the 2008 election has picked up a massive online following not seen since the early days of ?Howlin?? Howard Dean. His name?

General Zod, of Krypton.

On his website (http://www.zod2008.com/), General Zod has left the following message to the American people:

    When I first came to your planet and demanded your homes, property and very lives, I didn’t know you were already doing so, willingly, with your own government. I can win no tribute from a bankrupted nation populated by feeble flag-waving plebeians. In 2008 I shall restore your dignity and make you servants worthy of my rule. This new government shall become a tool of my oppression. Instead of hidden agendas and waffling policies, I offer you direct candor and brutal certainty. I only ask for your tribute, your lives, and your vote.

The General clarified his plans at his campaign launch in Philadelphia.

    Listen to me, people of the Earth! Today I bring a new order to your planet! Your lands, your homes, your possessions, your very lives — all of this and more you will gladly give to me! In return, I promise you lower taxes and cheap gas prices!

It is as useless for you to deny me your vote as it is for me to annihilate you. You will only bring death and destruction upon yourselves, while I lose the potential products of your labor. In return for your vote, you will have my generous protection! In other words – you will be allowed to live.

Hear me now! There is now one law, one order, one ruler who alone will determine your collective destiny! Kneel before me! From this day forward – there is only Zod!

Well? I?ve heard enough. Clearly, this is the man America needs in the White House. Unlike other politicians, he?s got a certain honesty about him. I like that. Plus, he?s actually got a plan for the future!

Therefore, ATR officially endorses General Zod in the 2008 Presidential Election.

Hail Zod!


And we are done. See you in seven.

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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