Time has no meaning at the Department of Motor Vehicles?

Somehow, I keep forgetting that. I made an appointment and didn?t expect to be there too long. But thanks to an understaffed branch, I was there longer than I care to admit. I was still waiting when I got a call from a friend. He wanted me to help him find a place to host his wedding reception. This was his way of telling me that he?s getting married.

These? past few weeks have been pretty crazy. Ever since graduation, a lot of my friends seem like they?re in a rush to get on with the rest of their lives. Which is understandable, and I?m trying to do that too. Sometimes it just feels like it?s happening really slowly by comparison. Taking on ATR hasn?t really helped me on that front. I knew coming onboard that this was time intensive, but I don?t think I really understood just how much goes into it every week. It?s a tough gig. And I haven?t found the right balance between working on the column, and taking care of everything else I have to deal with?

But I will.

And I?m going to find a place for my buddy, too.

Having said that, here?s the latest news and rumors:

Lost & Found

Following up on last week?s story about the future of Paul Dini (Batman: The Animated Series), I managed to track down Dini for a few comments. And he confirmed his departure from WB Animation to join the writing staff of Lost, a television series that will premiere this fall. When asked how he landed his new gig, Dini replied:

      Earlier this year I got a call from Lost executive producer Bryan Burk to meet with him and series creators and writers J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof. I had met Bryan and J.J. previously through my friend, Seinfeld producer David Mandel and we were all admirers of each others respective work in TV, comics and film. Damon pitched me the broad strokes of what


    was about and I got very excited. I knew right away it was a show I wanted to watch, and I hoped I’d be lucky enough to get a chance to write for it. I must have said the right things in the interview because here I am.

Dini also elaborated on the premise of Lost, and what attracted him to it:


    is an hour-long adventure series that deals with the survivors of a plane crash and their battles for life on a mysterious island. That said, it’s as much a character drama as it is an action show. The castaways are, for the most part, strangers and they really have to put their differences aside in order to overcome the hardships the island throws at them. Also, many of our characters arrive with dark secrets and existence on the island will force the castaways to deal with internal monsters as well as the more tangible horrors that lurk in the nearby jungle. Uncharted island, people in distress, strange beasts, how could I not love this series?

Of the mysterious Project X alluded to on his website, Dini explained:

      Project X was actually the working title I had coyly assigned to


      . Now that


    is on track, there’s no need for Project X anymore. That said, another super-secret assignment has reared its head, so it’s onto Project Y. I can’t say anything about it now except that it’s an original film idea I worked up with a very demented, very creative friend of mine and with any luck it will be under way soon.

Dini also stated that before he left WB Animation, he completed his work on the second season of Duck Dodgers, an ?oft-rumored series featuring a certain caped canine? and an episode of Justice League Unlimited.

This Has A ?New Horizons? Factor of Nine Out of Ten

Gotham City Spec Ops

There?s a rumor going around that Andy Diggle and Jock (The Losers) are working on a Batman project. According to what I?ve heard, this may be the Batman vs. Lex Luthor story, which Diggle has alluded to in previous online interviews. When asked if the rumor was legit, Diggle replied:

      Not true. We’d both love to work on Bats someday, and said so to Bob Schreck, but we’re both full-time on

The Losers

    for the foreseeable future.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’d love to do a Bats vs. Lex story at some point in the future, but it’s still just a daydream for now.

Normally, that would quiet the speculation. However, an additional source later confirmed that Diggle and Jock are in the early stages of planning a Batman story, with the details to be worked out later this summer. The Losers is still the top priority of this creative team, but the Batman project will happen. Just not soon.

This Has A ?Eyes Only? Factor of Seven Out of Ten

Double Dare

Back in April, Brian Bendis posted the following message:

    We are working on some ideas for DD’s fortieth anniversary this fall. One involves a project that would feature art by people who have never drawn Daredevil before.

So… Who would you love to see draw Daredevil? Try to be realistic. As in people who are alive or not under contract elsewhere. Alex is still the DD artist. Don’t start rumors or start to panic.

After taking suggestions from fans, the final selections were made. And earlier this week, Bendis finally revealed the details of The Daredevil Anniversary Special:

    I am not supposed to show you this, but I do not care?

Thanks for all your putting this together?

Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Penciled by Alex Maleev & FRIENDS
Cover by Greg Land

Daredevil headlines this special, oversized issue celebrating both the 40th anniversary of the character AND the 5th anniversary of the groundbreaking Marvel Knights imprint!

The Eisner-winning team of Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev invite some of the greatest comic artists who have never before drawn Daredevil to answer the question: How has the public revelation of Daredevil’s secret identity affected the rest of the Marvel Universe?

This once-in-a-lifetime gathering of super heroes and superstar talent includes Spider-Man, Captain America, The Punisher, Doctor Strange, Nick Fury, Elektra, and many more. Artists include Maleev and a band of stars including Chris Bachalo, Michael Golden, Greg Horn, Jae Lee, Mike Mayhew, Frank Quitely, and P. Craig Russell (AND MORE SURPRISES)!

48 PGS. / MARVEL PSR …$ 3.99
UPC: 5960604706-06511

When a fan compared it to the Ultimate Spider-Man Special that came out a few years ago, Bendis agreed: ?That is exactly what this is like. But the theme is obviously very different.? Bendis also said that ?artists are doing segments, not pin ups.?

Daredevil #65 is expected to hit in October.

This Has A ?Physical Challenge? Factor of Eight Out of Ten

Everybody Was Robot Fighting

Recently, iBooks announced that Louise Simonson (New Mutants) would be writing their upcoming revival of Magnus, Robot Fighter. This new incarnation of the character will be based on the original series by Russ Manning, rather than the Valiant/Acclaim series of the 1990s. When contacted, Simonson shared her thoughts on the project:

    Magnus is a really enjoyable character. Manning gave him a rich environment but left a lot of questions unanswered. Which is great for anyone who wants to continue a series.

For instance: Where did Magnus really come from? What was the ultimate agenda of 1-A, the robot who raised him? Why a North Am society structured like that one was? How did it come to be that way? What of the present scientific advances that seems to be steering technology in different directions than those shown in Magnus?

Especially, the question of how man lives with the increasing intelligent machines he’s begun to create is even more relevant now than it was when Magnus was originally created.

An artist has yet to be named for the project, however Jim Steranko (Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD) is the production designer, and may also provide the covers. Current plans call for three 48-page full color graphic novels, with the first to be released in 2005.

This Has A ?Fought With Expert Timing? Factor of Nine Out of Ten

The Cat?s Meow

Garfield, the long running comic strip created by Jim Davis, recently spawned a theatrical release: Garfield: The Movie. In the film, a CGI Garfield is voiced by Bill Murray, who takes over the role originated by the late Lorenzo Music. This is seen by some as ironic, since these two actors have a shared history. It?s well known that Music provided the voice of Peter Venkman, on the animated series: The Real Ghostbusters. While Bill Murray first portrayed the character in the live action Ghostbusters films.

What?s less known, is the story behind Music?s departure from The Real Ghostbusters after two seasons. According to a source who worked on the series, when Murray finally heard Music?s voiceovers on the show, he reportedly said, ?I don?t want this guy doing ?me.?? And thus, Music was replaced, even though many behind the scenes believed that ?he did Bill Murray better than Bill Murray!?

And now, several years later, Murray is stepping into the role Music perfected.

Funny how things work out.

This Has An ?I Ain?t Afraid Of No Ghost? Factor of Six Out of Ten

UPDATE:Noted comic book scribe and former Real Ghostbusters writer, J. Michael Straczynski sent in the following message:

    It’s a great story. Only thing wrong with it is that it ain’t so.

I was the story editor for TRGBs in season one — editing 78 episodes and writing a bunch of them — and came back to write on season two in order to fix the mess that others created after I’d departed. (Wrote a total of 21 eps.) And what I was told while so engaged doesn’t line up with this at all.

When we began the series, all the original actors were contacted because we needed to get their permission to use their likenesses and to do sound-alike voices. So Bill knew from the git-go that we’d be doing a sound-alike on him. (I seem to recall that he heard the demo prior to giving approval, but that could be a mismemory on my part.)

When the change-over was made from Lorenzo Music, what I was told at the time was that the network requested the change. Apparently they felt that Lorenzo’s voice was too laconic and laid back.

There were also some rumblings that Lorenzo’s residuals would be too expensive in reruns, which was why they re-voiced him in a number of prior episodes. DIC — often referred to as Do It Cheap — was and is known for that. For instance, to insure that no writers can apply for residuals off DVD copies of Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors — on which I also worked — under international copyright provisions intended to protect writers, they took off the names of the writers and the two story editors, Huck Barkin and Jim Carlson. Every other person who worked on that show got a credit, down to the guy who turned knobs on the mixing board, but the writers and story editors…gone. So the money aspect seems to make sense knowing how DIC operates.

That having been said…at NO time did I ever hear that Bill Murray asked to have Lorenzo replaced. (Note: I do not know Bill personally, and have no vested interest in this except to set the record straight.) To the best of my knowledge, they all were familiar with and liked the show from the git-go, a perception reinforced when I met Dan Ackroyd at Ivan Reitman’s office a year or two later, when I was working on a feature film for them.

This Has A “Don’t Believe Every Rumor You Hear” Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten

Outside The Lines

Tom Raney?s art on Outsiders will soon be colored directly from the pencils, bypassing the inker. When asked about the change in art, Raney replied:

      Yup, from issue 14 on


    is going to be printed from my pencils. Gina [Going-Raney] is coloring directly over my work.

I’ve always enjoyed the interaction of working with an inker. When you get a synergy going between the two of you, a common focus, it really brings a different dimension to the work. Unfortunately, for me, Scott [Hanna] got an offer too good to turn down and had to leave the book.

Well, rather than focus on the downside of things, Eddie [Berganza], Gina and I discussed the situation, and saw where we could turn this into an exciting opportunity!

It’s something new for us, which is very energizing! It provides a lot more control for us both. Since Gina works in the same studio the whole process is much more immediate, there’s no waiting (since we’re scanning the pages ourselves) and no additional interpretation. It’s all us.

That also makes the whole venture really scary! It’s our first time doing anything like this, all new ground! And while it very exciting, we’re worried about how it’ll print. Soooo… we’re crossing our fingers here!

Hopefully everyone likes it!

This Has An ?Upgraded Arsenal? Factor of Eight Out of Ten

Dark Tidings

Some interesting pages found online this week:

These scans are from a Darkness 14-page story by French comic creators, Nick Meylaender, Louis, with colors by St?phane and Olivier Peru. Semic will publish the story in France, as part of the Hulk/Darkness crossover. Top Cow may also be publishing the story in the US, sometime down the line.

This Has A ?Darkness In The City of Lights? Factor of Eight Out of Ten

Negative Space

Paul Pelletier has left CrossGen, and is currently working on She-Hulk for Marvel. Pelletier reportedly still wants to complete the Negation War miniseries, as a ?thank you? to the fans who supported CrossGen and to provide closure for the Sigil-verse. While his Marvel work is his top priority, he will be working on pages for Negation War one to two days a week, as his schedule permits. From what I?ve heard, he?s determined to see it through to the end.

Provided of course, that CrossGen can stay afloat long enough to publish it?

This Has A ?Fading Sigil? Factor of Six Out of Ten

Imperial Rumblings

I?ve heard that the writer of the upcoming Youngblood: Imperial miniseries is Robert Kirkman (Invincible). Actually, I?ve heard it a few times, which leads me to give it some credence. Still no word on the artist yet, but when I know more I?ll put it up here.

This Has An ?Everything Old Is Youngblood Again? Factor of Seven Out of Ten

One more thing before I sign off: If anyone hears any news or rumors coming out of Heroes Con, please send it to blairm@silverbulletcomicbooks.com.


PS Thanks to everyone who has been sending stuff in to me. It?s greatly appreciated.

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