What are you looking at? Another great instalment of All the Rage, I would hope! This last week has been very busy, and so much stuff was collected that I had to save some for next week. This time around, ATR is heavily dominated by Marvel. It seems DC has some serious minion counter-measures they?ve put in place. No need fall to your knees and sob uncontrollably, my friends, for the future still looks quite bright. Never fear, for I shall stay vigilant in my duties to get you The Cool Stuff.
What should you expect this time around? How about a cavalcade of Marvel morsels, including my zany suppositions on Civil War and the new Ronin, some news on The Eternals, a small bit of Spider-Man data, first-look art from the upcoming Loners complete with an interview with the editor, and a little nugget about something being spun off from Marvel Zombies/Army of Darkness by Dynamite Entertainment. You?ll also see great news on independent publisher Markosia, UK comics bits (including the requisite 2000AD goodie and small press treats galore) and much more!
Sit down and strap in, ?ere we go, ?ere we go!
Civil War: Fatal Tidings?
What?s all this I?m hearing about someone biting it during Civil War or something some such? Hmmm? Character death is attention grabbing, that?s for sure; but who would the powers-that-be at Marvel kill off (aside from my spies)? Captain America? Iron Man? Reed Richards? Surely not them, right? Those are some big names. Or perhaps we will see a big change in one or two of them? Take this Marc Silvestri ?cover? that surfaced recently:
Okay, we?ll see if that ?cover? is a fake or not? we?ll see, indeed.
Anyhow, my gnomish spies are everywhere, including New York City and a few of them got out by the skin of their teeth to give me (and thus us) some information? They overheard some confusion over a death happening in Civil War #7, like one wasn?t going to happen (as if supposedly it was never said). Then I was told that a cold chill came over the room where this was heard: ?Hmmm? THAT would drive people crazy, since Death comes in the most unexpected places and times??
Huhm. What is ?THAT?, exactly? Some will probably want to take into account the blood-covered Cap-shield that adorns the cover of Civil War: Confession?
Here?s my fave crazy sounding theory (which is considered as fact by the author), yoinked from a completely trustworthy source
(i.e. Amazon.com review comments? What? They?re NOT trustworthy? The heck you say!). The following quote is unedited for posterity:
- This book reveals the secret history of Iron Man. I cant reveal how I got it because it may cost me my job (and no, I dont work for Marvel)
We learn that Tony stark was never in the iron man suit!! From the beginning Steve Rogers was Iron MAN and Stark was just the public image/persona. Rogers was never frozen after WW2, It turns out that was his clone, part of the super soldier program (I guess they had cloning tech back in the 40s).
I’m guessing Stark and the Real Steve Rogers will reveal this to the cloned Rogers at the end of CW.
Whoever OKed this stupid retconn should be fired. The art was pretty good though, Zircher does classic superheroes right.
I love it.
If it is true, I can see full-scale riots happening. Think of the future material! I could hire more gnomes, ninjas and kobolds? and maybe a few dancing ettins! It would be glorious. I could then join Keith Dallas on a tropical beach somewhere, sipping those kinda drinks one gets with little umbrellas in them.
I could go on for a loooooonnnng time yammering on and on about all of this, but I won?t. As many of you are going to point out, I haven?t even really scratched the surface all that much. I?ve only covered a few points off the top of my head. Of course, your thoughts are always welcome via electronic carrier-vole or feel free to post in the forums here! Steve?s Rage Cage needs some breaking in.
This Has A ?Where?s Clor As Captain Iron Manica?? Factor Of Seven Out Of Ten
Now, some folks have been saying that Cap is the new Ronin. Some say it might be Iron Man. My guess? It?s neither. How about Hawkeye? No, no, not the new Hawkeye (Kate Bishop), but Clint Barton! Remember what Bendis said elsewhere regarding the new Ronin: It won?t be who we expect (like Captain America), ?it?s someone with a long history in the Marvel Universe?, and ?has a history of donning a guise that best suits his or her mental mode?. So, yeah, why not good ?ol Hawkeye? Makes sense to me. Oh, yes, and I base this on more than just some educated guesses by diligent forum-posters?
(This is the part where I wink conspiratorially)
If one keeps in mind that the new Ronin is the old Hawkeye, then what happens to Steve Rogers and Tony Stark? Speculation runs rampant (much to Marvel?s delight) and I?ve even heard that it?s not U.S. Agent on the cover of Omega Flight #1, but Cap himself! What about that one, eh? Ahhh? rumour. Gotta love it.
(Do I believe this? I?m taking a ?wait and see? approach. It would be pretty cool, though.)
This Has An ?I Doubt Ronin Will Turn Out To Be A Wise-Cracking Physician? Factor Of Seven Out Of Ten
In a joint effort of minion cooperation, my kobolds and ninjas managed to work together and successfully capture Bill Rosemann, the editor of the upcoming Marvel limited series Loners. Seeing as there?s already information available through a couple of fine interviews found HERE and HERE, I felt it best to ask my pris?er, guest about a few other things. The ninja/kobold effort was also able to procure art from the upcoming title, of which there are only a couple images you?ve probably seen previously elsewhere. Sadly, before I could get more information from him, Bill ?left? (Ed. Note: ?escaped?) while I was making some tea. I am happy to report that no kobolds were hurt during Bill?s hasty departure (getaway- Ed.), and it only resulted in the termination of one errant ninja.
Bill: Okay, ?90s hero fans, just think of all bang you get for your buck! Darkhawk! Turbo! Lightspeed! Green Goblin! Spider-Woman III! Ricochet! If you had to buy individual titles featuring these cool characters, you?d have to spend… well, you couldn?t because they?re not currently starring in their own solo books! But thanks to the efforts of writer C.B. Cebulski (Drain), artist Karl Moline (Fray, Route 666), colorist Christina Strain (Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane) and cover artist Jason Pearson (Body Bags), you get all of them in one book! Cha-ching!
Bill: What, all those characters listed above aren?t enough for you? Okay, tough guy, there will be additional cool cats pulling up a chair and joining our support group for former teen heroes who are trying to give up the tights — such as a certain former Generation X member with killer claws, and a new version of a hero you?re used to looking (waaaay) up to — but I happen to be a big fan of our core group. I mean, did you ever read the Green Goblin series by Tom DeFalco and Scott McDaniel? It was good stuff! Not to mention Lightspeed, who happens to be my personal favorite Power Packer — because she was a book nerd like us! And Turbo and Darkhawk were New Warriors, for crying out loud ? the team that, like, caused the Civil War! C?mon, people, this story is chock full of great characters whose time has come!
ATR: This villain you mention, that hasn?t been seen ?the light of day? in ?quite some time? — Any hints to who he/she might be? Is it Mole Man? I mean, he doesn?t see the light of day often — *laugh*
Bill: Hmmm….well, while your guess is incorrect, I must admit that your punny thought process is indeed on the right track. The villain, who appears in issue #1, I would think, has not seen ?the light of day? in many a moon. Oh, and I just remembered that another villain returns in issue #2 as well. And they?re both a whole lot cuter than dear ol? Moley!
ATR: The mention of the villain makes me wonder if villains will become a part of this support group. Will they? Can you tell us, possibly?
Bill: Interesting question. While the group was formed specifically for former heroes looking to get out and/or stay out of the spandex lifestyle, I don?t see why former villains — if they?ve repented and turned their backs on their evil ways ? wouldn?t be welcomed… at least, by part of the group. Darkhawk might just punch their face off.
ATR: The art by Karl Moline looks great and C.B. Cebulski is an excellent writer, with some outstanding stuff under his belt (including the must-read Drain). How did this creative team get together? I know that C.B. pitched the project, but how did the rest of you get involved, and was this a hard project to put together? Not just creatively speaking, but was Marvel fully behind this idea initially, or did it take some coaxing?
Bill: You know, that?s a question C.B. himself can best answer. Because as far as my involvement in the creation of the book, I was lucky enough to walk into my first day of work back and Marvel and was informed I?d be editing it. Luckily, I had read about it in a recent issue of Wizard and was looking forward to reading it — and now I?m actually helping bringing it to readers! But let me say, in addition to being a bud of C.B., this is an extra treat for me because I worked with Karl at CrossGen and have been waiting for the right project that would bring his art to the attention of a larger audience. If you were one of the few who enjoyed his art in Route 666 you know how great his style is — and for those who?ve never seen his art before, get ready to discover a new favorite! Oh, and the coloring by Christina Strain (which, if you study it, is quite brilliant) and the genius John Hughes movie-inspired covers by Jason Pearson? Icing on the cake, baby!
(ATR Note: Update! I was able to track down C.B. Cebulski and ?kindly? get him to answer the same question I just posed to Bill?)
C.B.: I’m happy to say that Marvel has always been fully behind the Loners. Honestly, I pitched it thinking it was a long shot. Yes, response to the Excelsior team in Runaways was extremely positive, and the characters garnered some well-deserved buzz, but could they support their own title? That was my concern. But it was a chance that Marvel was willing to take and I couldn’t be happier that Joe Quesada, Dan Buckley and David Gabriel have really gone to bat for the project. I always called Runaways “the little book that could”, so here’s to hoping that the Loners can achieve similar success.
(Back to Bill?)
ATR: And a personal moment (for me), if you don?t mind ? It?s very cool to see Darkhawk back! Will we see stories focused on him in the series? Any big changes coming to him? What of the other characters? What can we expect?
Bill: You know, I had never read any issues of Darkhawk?s solo series, so I didn?t know too much about him, but then Brian K. Vaughan and Robert Kirkman made me a big fan of his in their issues of Runaways and Marvel Team-Up, respectively. So like you, I?m happy to see Chris Powell once again soar into the spotlight. And I can confidently say that while each issue focuses on a different character, Darkhawk has a strong presence in every chapter. As for changes, expect everyone to take a cold, hard look in the mirror — and, depending on what they see, may decide to alter their lives.
ATR: Anything else? Come on, don?t hold back!
Bill: You?ve seen Pearson?s covers that nod to The Breakfast Club and Pretty In Pink — but just wait for the Loners spin on Ferris Bueller?s Day Off, Weird Science, Some Kind of Wonderful and Sixteen Candles!
No Mole Man? WTF? I am so not reading this title now! Wait? I?m just kidding, Bill?. Please? Please just put that grater down, okay? Okay?? Hey, how did you get back in here, anyway?
*ahem* The art looks pretty good, huh? I like it. I really like how Jason Pearson did those covers as I love the movies they?re inspired by! Expect to see Loners by April 11th for the start of its six issue run.
This Has An ?Owner Of A Loner Heart? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten
Back In Black, Indeed
One enterprising minion got me the following crumb about Spidey with the black costume: The sniper seen in Amazing Spider-Man #537 WILL pull the trigger in #538.
This Has A ?Spidey Is The New Black? Factor Of Seven Out Of Ten
A few people asked me about what was up with The Eternals; specifically #7. I did some poking around and found out some things through research and simple spy-craft. As #6 ended up being double-sized, #7 was a surprise edition and was not factored into scheduling. #7 is finished being pencilled and will come out February 28th, only one month late. Say what ye will about Marvel?s lateness lately (I think it?s irritated just about everyone), but #6 being the size of two issues it?s like getting 3 issues in two months. That?s not so bad, right? More information on what is to come with The Eternals is sketchy at best, but I can say that the Eternals mini sets them up for a solid place in the Marvel Universe tapestry and they will be used?
This Has An ?Eternals, Deviants And Celestials, Oh My!? Factor Of Seven Out Of Ten
Kiss My Ash, You Marvel Zombies!
Sick of Marvel already? Like I said before, this ATR is full of Marvelment. Heh heh? Marevelme– Anyway, here?s a piece of news that concerns both Marvel and Dynamite Entertainment. Are you peeing yourself over Marvel Zombies/Army of Darkness like I am? Yeah, it?s pretty neat. No, not the pee you perverts. Both companies have kept this latest project under strict lock and key, but a gnomish necromancer in my employ tells me that an Army of Darkness mini-series will come out of the MZ/AoD crossover, between the time of AoD #13 and the launch of AoD #1 while Evil Ash was in charge and Ash was ?dead?. I?ve been reading the Army of Darkness comics for awhile now, and I can say of unsound mind that they are awesome. (Yes, I used the word ?awesome? yet again? Get the threads revved up, kids! Ha! Did you really think I would ever stop? Never.)
Comicarchy in the UK: Small Press Rising
There?s a whole lotta UK comics small press stuff going on this time around, so let?s get started! First off, Shane Chebsey is back with another one of his great reports. Shane, if you would please:
Shane: Well, folks… they let me come back, so I guess the interest in the UK indy scene really is as high as it seems.
This time around I wanted to bring to your attention a series that is still bubbling under the surface of the wider acclaim it certainly deserves. I?m talking about Andy Cheverton and Tim Keable?s West. So far four issues of this series have been produced, and with each issue Andy and Tim?s work has become more confident and the lead character ? an enigmatic a lone traveler in 19th century America named Jerusalem West ? has developed along with the creators? abilities as storytellers. A new West #0 is due out in May, and features a reprint of the first Jerusalem West story from Violent! #7 as well as two new stories and pin-ups from small press artists. Written by Andrew Cheverton with art and cover by Tim Keable. West #5: ?The Last Bounty?, the latest issue of the West title, written by Andrew Cheverton, illustrated by Tim Keable is unscheduled at the moment, although an Autumn 2007 convention release is likely.
As well as West, Cheverton produces a small press anthology called Synchrony. This collection of more experimental stories is a showcase of Andy?s own artwork.
The forthcoming Synchrony #3: Pavement and other stories, features artwork from Douglas Noble and Tim Keable. This will be available in March at the UK Web & Mini-Comix Thing, which has turned into a major Indy Comics festival over the last 3 years.
To find out more about West and Andy?s other work go to: http://www.angrycandy.co.uk
Thanks, Shane! Great report! I am so going to check out West now as it sounds quite remarkable.
Due to some response coming in from you lot reading, I have some UK small press stuff, too! Keep it coming, guys.
If you are looking for a fun little forum to talk small press and what have you, I would like to point out this site: http://www.pencilmonkey.net/forum/. Take a peek and join in the fray! I?ve noticed that they?re a friendly bunch and though I admit I?m a lurker right now, I plan to join up very soon.
One thing I saw recently that looks right up my alley is Sgt. Mike Battle, by Graham Pearce, a man with a serious mission: to write great comics. Here is a link to a magnificent interview with him: (link: http://www.2000adreview.co.uk/smallpress/2006/pearce/graham.shtml)
Sgt. Mike Battle is the kind of comic that should appeal to those with a warped sense of humour, naturally. I understand that the website, http://www.sgtmikebattle.com, will be back up eventually. This comic comes with my personal recommendation, so get to ordering it. That?s an order! Or rather, it?s an order to order. What? Oh, just get it, okay?!
For those of you looking for an illustrated history of British comics, I heartily advocate the book Great British Comics, by Paul Gravett and Peter Stanbury! Please visit this site for more information: http://www.greatbritishcomics.com/.
It?s all there: Judge Dredd, Dan Dare, Modesty Blaise, Dennis the Menace (quite, quite different than the American version), Tank Girl. This book is ?celebrating a century of ripping yarns and wizard wheezes?, so if you don?t have it, procure it post haste.
You hear that? That?s a nightmare creature from the Glimmer reminding me that I?d best get to some 2000AD bits stat! This week we have a page from Detonator X, a new giant robots vs. monsters series by Ian Edginton and Steve Yeowell, starting in April.
Finally, I would like to direct your attention to this utterly zarjaz 2006 year in review I found over in the Newsarama forums: (link: http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=96401) Thrill packed to the extra-gills full mighty thrill power, The Adventurer did a superior job. I really enjoyed reading it!
I hope your UK appetites are sated for now as that?s all you?re getting here until next week. I would like to thank everyone for writing in and giving me tips on what sites to look into and what titles to read. I love UK comics and I feel they?re something everyone should enjoy. Don?t be afraid to drop me a line, whether you are a mere enthusiast and supporter, or publisher of any size.
(Although, I would like to add that UK Comics supporters of 20 metres or taller need to place ?I WILL CRUSH YOU AS I WOULD A BUG? in the subject-line, please. Much obliged.)
This Has A ?Giant Robot Monster Stompers FTW!? Factor Of Nine Of Of Ten
Let?s kick off the independent comic goodness this week with Markosia Enterprises (http://markosia.org.uk/), a UK publisher with some great titles under its belt, such as the outstanding bang-up thrill-ride Starship Troopers and The Lexian Chronicles. This fine outfit has just undergone some massive changes in the management and editorial departments; for more information, please read this press release. I like the ninjas part of the deal, Tony!. Fans of Starship Troopers will be pleased to know that my spies have discovered that Shanth Enjeti, the artist on Damaged Justice has been removed from the book, with Blaze of Glory artist Sam Hart returning to finish off the excellent series he started all those years back with Tony Lee, starting from issue #3. With the last two issues of Damaged Justice and Robin Hood – Outlaw’s Pride being published at the end of the year by Walker Books, 2007 seems to be a banner year for Tony and Sam’s joint collaborations!
And what of Robin Hood ? Outlaw?s Pride? I can tell you that the script is about done, as I have seen it. Let me tell you: It?s good. Very good. Trust me when I say it is some of Tony Lee?s very best work to date. Provided it doesn?t get cocked up somehow (I don?t see how this could happen), readers of brilliant illustrated fiction (and Robin Hood) have something to look forward to in the coming months. If you don?t know about Markosia, now?s a good time to jump on board.
Here are some nifty upcoming, never-seen-before covers for you to take pleasure in:
Second is Chris Dibari?s cover for #2 of the Starship Troopers ongoing. Not bad a?tall?
I would like to now direct your attention to Fanboy Planet (http://www.fanboyplanet.com/). Why? Because it?s the entertaining home of the new comic Tony Loco! A title published by Illusive Arts Entertainment (http://www.illusivearts.com/), Tony Loco is a neat new interesting tale that promised to be dark, introspective, entertaining, original and downright cool. It?s kind of hard to describe in a few lines, but I strongly encourage you (*cracks whip*) to take a look at this title: http://www.fanboyplanet.com/tonyloco.php.
Another title I noticed on Illusive Arts is Dorothy, which I know next to nothing about. I?m going to have to remedy that problem. Here?s the comic?s homepage: http://www.dorothyofoz.net/.
I have a mighty need to showcase independent publishers of all kinds! If you are one, or know of one that needs to be in here, please, PLEASE contact me. I feel that indies are the last great frontier of comics entertainment, no offence meant to the Big Boys. The more independent publishers I am aware of, the better.
This Has A ?How About A Tony Lee: Loco Trooper Comic?? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten
Blogonaut: Aqua-Blog and The Funny
Because of space and time issues, I?m only going to cover a couple blogs this time around. It always seems to be that way, right? Stupid time and space! I curse you! My washer and dryer certainly look like time machines? but why won?t they work like them? Just what is the secret? Someone has to know. What? Oh, yeah? Space?
Mark Englom writes a blog found here: http://comiccoverage.typepad.com/. If you know what?s good for you, you will read it. Personally, I?m happy I read it; for Mark is an excellent writer and his entries are usually thought-provoking in a good way, as well as being hilarious on a regular basis. Try it; you just may really like it.
Then there?s this blog, http://realtegan.blogspot.com/, which I?ve saw referred to as ?The Aquaman Blog?. Yes, it appears that fellow Seattle local Laura “Tegan” Gjovaag is quite the Aquaman fan, even having her own site dedicated to the undersea hero: http://www.eskimo.com/~tegan/aqua/. This blog is well-written, with a nice personal touch that I immediately took a liking to.
Both blogs featured this week are great additions to you blog-reading habits, so kudos to Mark and Laura for doing such first-rate blogging.
This Has An ?It?s Great To See Aquaman Get Some Love For A Change? Factor Of Eight Out Of Ten
Comic Web: Dorks and Goths
This week I would like to show you three of my all-time favourite webcomics. They?re rather popular for what they are, all of which are available in print, as well.
The first two revolve around the role-playing game scene. Yeah, you know: the ultra-nerds. I?m a gamer myself, so I find these comics to be completely riotous. Dork Tower (http://www.dorktower.com) is the one more likely to appeal to those who aren?t exactly dice-slingers or minis-geeks, as it has a broad sense of nerd-humour. John Kovalic is very, very talented and should be experienced by everyone. Dork Tower is also available a monthly print title (and in Dragon magazine, last I checked). Check out the site for more information on that and more of John?s projects.
Rich Burlew is terrific game-designer who came upon the alchemic formula for funny when thought up The Order of the Stick, an epic account of a group of D&D adventurers who seem to live to make readers laugh (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0403.html for the latest). This is a comic where it certainly helps to have knowledge of Dungeons & Dragons third (and 3.5) edition, though I can see a ?layman? chuckling a bit a these strips. OotS is complex as it is funny, heavy on dialogue and action. One can also find collections of this comic in print, or in the monthly pages of Dragon. You?re going to want to start from a ways back or even the beginning, as there are some serious plot-arcs and things you need to know. But believe me when I say it?s worth it!
Stepping away from gaming now, here?s Writhe and Shine (http://www.writheandshine.com/)! For those of you who are into the goth-industrial music scene, you?ll find this comic to be highly entertaining? for those of you not, I can still see you enjoying it. Robert Tritthardt has an observational driven comedy style that is full of acerbic and barbed wit. These strips are true gems! Writhe and Shine is also available in print format collections. Take a few minutes to look at Robert?s site and read as many strips as freaking possible.
This Has A ?Writhing Dice & Dorks? Factor Of Eight Out Of Ten
There you have it, yet another edition of ATR! I really had fun putting this one together. There are a few things I?d like to cover before we depart each other?s company, however?
The comic book lounge Isotope (in San Francisco) is throwing a way cool contest involving the in-store appearance of Bill Willingham, the great mind behind Fables! Ten fortunate souls could win an all-expenses paid dinner with Bill at one of SF?s swankiest eateries. All you have to do is go HERE for the details.
I have just heard (as I wrap-up this ATR) that there is some commotion concerning the Eagle Awards over at The Engine (http://www.the-engine.net/forum/). Look for yourself in the ?Eagle Awards 2006? thread. It seems that there is some dispute of categories and such? This has led Tony Lee and Dan Boultwood threatening to hold a rival award ceremony of their own in the Ramada Hotel bar ? the ?Two Drunk Guys in a Bar Awards?. Distinguished candidates would be selected from categories like ?Most Popular Manga Artist Who Buys Us a Drink?, ?Best Convention Panel With an ‘H’ in the Title?, ?Scariest Fan? and ?Most Likely to Sleep With the Wrong Person?. The trophies themselves are to be plastic soldier figure painted like gold. Will we get to experience these awards ceremonies in the future? That remains to be seen, my friends.
Thanks for reading my weekly ramblings! If you just can?t get enough, check out my first volume of Manga Hunter S over at Manga Life where I start my odyssey of discovering Asian comics.
Naturally, you can always drop me a line: firstname.lastname@example.org
Comments, criticism, suggestions, tips, news and mad ravings are ALWAYS welcome!
Until next time, dear readers?