As things get sorted out and begin to relax around my temporary home here, I set my sights on the next two weeks which will contain two conventions I?ll be attending. As you might guess, both Emerald City ComicCon and Sakura-Con will cause ATR to be delayed by probably a day. I just thought you all should know, in case you wonder where this column is next Sunday and the Sunday after.

Let?s get down to it, shall we?

Starting With Some Starry Wisdom

Why not kick off this edition with something from writing machine Warren Ellis?

What you see here are some images from upcoming title he?s writing called Doktor Sleepless.

?Tesla Boy Gangster? by Raulo Casares

?Radio Science Jesus? by Ivan Rodridgues

And here?s a fun thread from The Engine concerning 2000 AD, with some cool folks like Andy Diggle and Heidi MacDonald chiming in.

This Has A ?Professor Insomnia? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten

Paging Mr. Osborne

Some of you may recall that John Byrne rumour I ran around 3 weeks back. The rumour turned out to be completely off the mark (which was good to know, actually), and some of you expressed your displeasure about it or something. Or so I understand. However, there is a silver lining to all that nonsense and that is Wayne Osborne, a nice fellow who was kind enough to answer a few questions regarding the comic he?s doing with Byrne.


    : Could you tell us a bit about yourself and this comic you are having John Byrne work on? And what exactly is he doing with it? Is this a very large commission or a whole new comics enterprise?

WO: Basically, I’m just a life-long comics fan who is fortunate enough to “live the dream”. The comic is something I’ve been thinking about for a very long time. It started out as a group book and one of the characters in the group kept coming to the front wanting to do more stuff – so I let him. I revamped the concept and finally worked up enough nerve to send the plot to John. Someone had asked John a while ago about how much it would cost to commission a complete comic. He named the price and I emailed him as soon as I saw his post to take him up on it. But it was some time after that when I finally sent him the plot. Like I said, I had to work up the nerve. I was feeling a bit queasy waiting for his reply to the outline I sent him. What if he didn’t like it enough to do it? Ugh, that would have been crushing. He must have had fun with it though because he really knocked the breakdowns out of the park. Hopefully, this will be the start of something new for me. I’d like to publish this one, have it finance the next one, and so on and so on.

ATR: What sort of title is this and what can we expect?

WO: I’d rather keep the specific concept under my hat until it is a little closer to being finished. It’s an old-school, all-ages book. And it’s very much a love letter to all those early to mid seventies Marvels I read growing up.

ATR: Why John Byrne? Aside from the fact that many consider him to be a living legend with comics writing and art, what other reasons did you have for having Byrne do this?

WO: Jeez, why not? You pretty much answered this question in the asking of it with the “living legend” part. John’s always been my favorite artist and I jumped at the chance to do this with him when it was offered. But if you need other reasons, I think he tells a great sequential story and does it in a timely, professional manner and he has 30 plus years of experience to draw on. And draw on it I did. Making comics ain’t as easy as it looks and John made a lot of good suggestions. I knew I would get more than my money’s worth with John.

ATR: So the rumour reported a some weeks ago here in ATR has turned out to be patently false, right? Why do you think people would endevour to attach your project to the latest attempt at “Byrne Bashing” b submitting these kinds of things to this column? What is your take on all the controversy surrounding Mr. Byrne, anyway? How has it been having him work on this project?

WO: Totally false. I guess you should ask your sources why these things are done instead of me. What did they have in mind by bringing this to you? As for my take on any other controversy, John can speak for himself and does on the forum everyday. Have you ever considered signing up and asking him about what’s out there yourself? I’d rather keep this project positive and something fun for me. And hopefully, fun for John and any others out there who might be into the concept. In that light, that’s why I emailed you to correct your information and offered to answer any questions you might have about the comic. Lemons to lemonade, don’t you know.

ATR: Wayne, how is all this with the comic project turning out so far? Is this something you’ve been planning for awhile? Would you say that this is a step to seeing you involved in the comics industry in this way on a regular basis?

WO: So far it’s been a blast. A real dream come true. I have scans of all the breakdowns which, again, are great. I’m in the process of scripting. We’re going old school on this one and doing the lettering on the board. After that’s done, John will finish the inks and we’ll go from there. I know a couple of guys who can color. Then I’ll have to decide how to publish. Do I offer it to an established independent or just go it alone? If this is good enough maybe I’ll be around for a little while. I just want to be able to do the art justice with the scripting and I’ll be satisfied.

ATR: Just out of curiosity, what titles do you pick up? Anything really tickle your fancy as of late. And since everyone else is getting in on this, I’ll ask you: What’s your take on the death of Captain America (both on the event and the media-storm surrounding it)?

WO: I currently read Fables, Jack of Fables, Y: The Last Man, JSA, Superman, Astro City, Fantastic Four – The End, Young Avengers (when it was out), Ultimate Spider-man, She-Hulk, Exiles, Walking Dead, Invincible (gotta support another Kentucky boy) and I’m sure I’m leaving something else out. I don’t read as many comics as I used to because I guess I miss the fun and escapism. I know I listed a few mature books, many of which are a little short on “fun and escapism”. Really, I guess I miss the comics I read growing up and the Marvel characters in those comics. It’s kinda jarring seeing more mature and serious themes play out in the Marvel Universe in such a blunt way. I have a hard time reading most of my old favorites now. Which brings us to Cap. I haven’t read the comic so I can’t comment on the story but if you hang your hat on “events” to keep the fans coming back; you have to keep coming up with new ones. The gods were smiling on Marvel because this one happened on a very slow news day. My Mom even called me about it. She was a little upset, “death of an American icon and all that”. And I saw people in the comic shop that I’ve never seen before. (Hopefully, they won’t be too disappointed in their “investment”.) Marvel’s got another ready-made event when they bring him back so that’s a no-brainer when they have their next summit.

Thanks so much, Wayne! Nice choices of comic reading there. And yeah, I should stop in the JBF sometime. I?m sure it will go over smashingly! Hehe? But I just might when I get the time. Best of luck to all those involved on this forthcoming comic.

This Has A ?Turning That Frown Upside-Down? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten

Which Way To The Rising Sun?

C.B. Cebulski is in Japan getting together things with noted manga artist Ryusuke Hamamoto for project called Compass, due to land in summer. For more information, keep track of their respective blogs: and

I have to say that I dig that take of Hellboy you?ll find in Ryusuke?s blog. As for Compass, stay tuned for more?

Speaking of C.B., don?t forget that Loners #1 is due out on the 11th of April from Marvel! Newsarama has some preview pages. It?s looking good, it is.

This Has A ?Directions For The Lonely? Factor Of Eight Out Of Ten

Re-Animator Love

Finding out about Zenescope?s upcoming Re-Animator comic filled me full of nerdy joy. My hard-pressed minions found me this sweet cover and some to-be-lettered pages:

Herbert West ? Reanimator is a favourite H.P. Lovecraft story of mine. This comic is a modern re-telling of this classic story (from 1922). It will be a six issue limited series scripted by Joe Brusha, pencils by Jason Craig, and colours by Thomas Mason. It should be hitting stands in August and expect it to be priced at $2.99. Of course, I will have more info on this soon.

For more information on Zenescope, please click .

This Has A ?Herbie The Mad Scientist Bug? factor of Ten Out Of Ten

A Little Gentlemanly Wormwood

Here?s something I thought was rather neat. It?s an entry from Ben Templesmith?s Livejournal that shows off an animated trailer for Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse as done by a couple of talented fans. Quite impressive, really. If you are unfamiliar with this excellent title, read this fine review of a current issue to get an idea of what it?s about.

This Has An ?Animation For Re-Animated Corpses? Factor Of Eight Out Of Ten

More Knuckling About

I know I had mention of Beau Smith?s column Busted Knuckles in here last week, but bear with me because his last column was just AWESOME. In it he talks about a project he did with Darick Robertson and Tim Bradstreet. But in the late 80?s. How?s THAT for talent, eh? Sadly, the comic they did never saw the light of day (or stores, as it were), but Beau was kind enough to post the pages in Knuckles. Go take a peek here.

This Has A ?Manly? factor Of Ten Out Of Ten

Indie Front: Well Met On The Front

There?s always plenty of action going on with independent comics. Here?s some of it?

Looking for something fresh and deserving of some attention? Check out Vatican City, Las Vegas by writer F. Rex and artist Terry Wolfinger and from ICCC media. A brief description:

    In the last night of time, in a Vegas casino fashioned after the Vatican, author Thomas Carlyle is as good as dead. Swilling a mortal dose of alcohol, he will perish among the grotesque patrons of Vatican City, Las Vagas as they pursue an elusive jackpot token call “The Godhead.” While he slowly expires, he finds himself embroiled in criminal intrigue as the Jones corporate family and the Medici mafia family struggle for control of Vatican City. The romantic subplot follows a strange, surreal love triangle between the moribund Carlyle, a desperately passionate French midget mime, and a cocktail waitress nun whom Carlyle mistakes for the Virgin Mary. As the night deepens and the forces of Vegas evil threaten to rob human existence of all significance, Carlyle dreams a final reckoning to bring Vatican City’s management to justice.

Read more about it in this great write-up over at Comic Book Resources.

Another comic you may care to look into is The Adventures of Dexter Breakfast by Vernon Smith. Make sure to visit his website and his deviantART page! The latter has some excellent preview pages.

Devil?s Due would like for you folks to get familiar with the history of the character Sheena. Feel free to read a special PDF here.

If you haven?t yet, make sure to see the preview pages of One Last Song that CJ Hurtt and Shawn Richter have up at the following blog: Personally, I like the fact that the upcoming Fallout RPG is mentioned there. Anyway, One Last Song is looking really nice!

With Ape Entertainment?s second miniseries of The Black Coat, ?Or Give Me Death on its way in May, this would be a great time to read this amazing series by co-creators Ben Lichius and Francesco Francavilla and catch up with the trade paperback, A Call to Arms. To sweeten the deal, Ape has provided the first Black Coat issue free to read over at their Comicspace. You can see some preview there, as well.

Finally on the Front, I would like to point out that I am very, very happy Dark Horse has reprinted the Fritz Leiber?s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser comics that were originally published under Marvel?s Epic imprint in the early 90?s. Terrifically adapted by Howard Chaykin with fantastic art by Mike Mignola, this beautifully presented collection is something that deserves to be on the bookshelves of anyone who?s into sword & sorcery fantasy (as Leiber was a masterful innovator in the genre) or just ripping good yarns. These comics are something I haven?t seen since high school, so enormously big geeky thanks goes out to Dark Horse and the original team that put this great project together.

This Has A ?More Lankhmar And Nehwon, Please? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten

Comic Web: Cyanide and Happiness

As I?m typing this out it occurs to me that I may have been neglecting to mention a great strip called Cyanide and Happiness. Enjoy it here.

This Has A ?Fatally Overjoyed? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten

It has come to my attention that perhaps All The Rage should have printed up some ?Cap Was Right? shirts (see last week?s edition for a fine example). Wish I would have thought of it like a few others have? Oh, well. Hey, my minion?s are overworked as it is! Speaking of which, thanks for tuning in this week for another dose of my ramblings and links.

Before we close out here, I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family, friends and fellow fans of Drew Hayes, the creator of Poison Elves who passed away far too young recently. A great talent in the industry has been lost.

Here are some places I can be found online:


Thanks for reading Rage this week. Next week will be a special installment that has me covering some of Emerald City ComiCon. If you’re going, see you there! And don’t forget about that Fiction Clemens Party going on on Saturday night. Details can be found HERE.

Until next time, dear readers…

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