Between Blair?s internet access down this week (due to him moving), and Millarworld also temporarily shutdown due to heavy traffic, it seems like I?m the only one left online this weekend. Well, me and ten thousand porn sites, that is.

Ultimate Secret

Brian K. Vaughan, fan favorite writer of Ultimate X-Men and Runaways, mentioned that he would be involved with another Ultimate title along with Mark Millar and Brian Bendis much later this year.

No more details were leaked since Brian admitted that it was way too early to start discussing, but he did let it slip that the mystery title was not new to the Ultimate line.

This Has An ?Ultimate Adventures? Factor Of Eight Out Of Ten

Driving Mr. Young

Larry Young, the man with the plan behind AIT/PLANETLAR, gave ATR a sneak peek at his upcoming series THE BLACK DIAMOND:

    Fifty years from now, an elevated highway spans the nation. Initially, a response to international terrorism, the US government grounds commercial airline flights and builds THE BLACK DIAMOND. The project leader and chief architect is named Jim Maddox and he sacrifices everything to build his dream.

Years pass, Maddox and his daughter Kate, an engineering savant in her own right who is married to Dr. Don McLaughlin, DDS; both are on top of their fields and highly respected. But when the government decides to clean up THE BLACK DIAMOND, and when Kate is kidnapped to be used as a hostage by forces loyal to the road, Dr. McLaughlin has to borrow his brother-in-law?s illegal 1973 Mercury Cougar to get on the highway and rescue his wife 150 feet above and 100 miles an hour faster than anything he?s ever known.

He wants his life back; he needs his wife back. It’s life in the fast lane! In full color!

Jon Proctor, who you may have heard of from the Epic Comics book GUN THEORY, is doing the art and colors. He’s an incredible artist, and I think he’s going to become quite famous in comics after this comes out. It’s also not an OGN; it’s in the hybrid-format we pioneered with DEMO.

This Has A ?Turn Off That Left Blinker? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten

Give The Devil His Due

Colleen Doran, artist of Orbiter and A Distant Soil, recently relaunched her message board after it had been hacked and shut down.

She posted the following update:

    Well, I am going straight to Hell.

I am going to be finishing up an issue of Lucifer in a matter of days. So, be on the lookout for the solicitation for issue #62. I am both penciling and inking it.

Also, I have already spoken with writer Mike Carey about doing another issue, probably #69. Hell was so nice, I’m visiting twice. Pencils and inks again.

This is some of the best, character-oriented drawing I have done in my whole career and it is especially nice to be able to pencil and ink my own work in a comic. Usually I am restricted to only enjoying that privilege on A Distant Soil and graphic novels, but it’s a real pleasure to get to try my hand at a monthly. I am using a slightly different drawing style than you will have seen from me before. I like the look. Dark and sharp.


This Has A ?Stealth Tribes? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten

Lights, Camera, Action

Brendan Deenan is Director of Development at Miramax Films, in other words he looks into various properties that can be optioned and translated into film. Brendan is also a big comic fan, and has his first comic book, Scatterbrain, coming out soon. He took time out of his schedule to answer some questions.

John Voulieris: Tell us about yourself and your job. What do you look for when optioning material?

Brendan Deenan: When looking at material for feature film consideration, I look for originality first and foremost. There’s a cliche out there that all the world’s stories have been told; I don’t really believe that. I think people know when they’re reading or watching something fresh, and that’s something for which I’m always looking. The next thing I seek out is a solid, three-act structure or, if there isn’t one, I look for a kernel of a story that would lend itself to that kind of structure.

Finally, I keep an eye out for characters with solid arcs in their development. Great storytelling often revolves around a character’s journey to being a better (or sometimes worse) person. And when a project has several characters going through this arc, it usually has the most potential for a film.

JV: Any interesting comic properties you’ve wanted to option? Any dream projects?

BD: I really, really want to be involved in a The Walking Dead TV show. I think HBO should have picked this up the day after the first issue came out. Imagine a hard-core, blood-and-guts weekly zombie show with violence, sex and swearing? It’s a no-brainer, if you’ll excuse the pun. It’s never been done before and it’s the perfect time for it, especially with HBO resurrecting genres that seemed defunct (e.g. Deadwood). Tom Manning’s Runoff should also be a TV show. It’s got a great Twin Peaks-esque vibe and it’s really funny to boot.

As for films, I got very close to optioning Sam Hiti’s Tiempos Finales (End Times) but it didn’t end up happening, unfortunately. That being said, I think it’s going to be a great film. I also really liked Marvel’s Runaways. Kids who find out their parents are supervillains? It just seems like a natural for a movie.

JV: Tell us about your new comic coming out. Who is collaborating on it with you?

BD: Scatterbrain (which is a four-issue limited series) is what I call “superhero noir”, rather than being about the superhero, it’s about the cop who’s hunting the hero. Jack Anderfold is a man whose glory years have passed him by. He blames all of his problems (drug/drinking problem, separation from his wife, estrangement from his son) on the appearance of a new vigilante, Scatterbrain, who has the power to make people experience their worst fears, among others. When Jack does finally manage to track Scatterbrain down, it’s the beginning of a really dark series of events, with a lot of twists and turns, that will affect Jack and everyone he loves.

Readers should pick it up because it’s something I don’t think people have really seen before; it’s almost as if a Raymond Chandler character was plopped down in the middle of a superhero universe. And the art is ridiculously cool. Tim Seelig’s work is reminiscent of Dave McKean and I’m blown away by every page he sends me. Rich Emms, the founder of AP Comics, has been a great editor and has really helped me streamline the comic. I couldn’t have done this without him.

Scatterbrain #1 will be listed in April’s PREVIEWS and I really hope people will give it a shot.

JV: Do you write with an eye towards a movie option? Or do you just try and tell a story in that specific format?

BD: Actually, I specifically did not write Scatterbrain with an eye towards a movie option. The comic is what it is, and I think it’s a disservice to the readers when writers approach material with the wrong intention. I’m also writing a novel and I feel the same way about it: if it did get optioned, that would be fantastic, but I don’t write with an eye towards it. However, I am writing a screenplay based on a great horror short story by Matthew Costello, and that is obviously being written with a giant eye towards film.

JV: Any other artists you’d like to work with? Any pre-existing characters you?d like to tackle?

BD: There are a TON of artists I’d like to work with, so many, in fact, that I don’t think I can list them all. As far as characters go, it’s probably an equally long list. I’ve always had a soft spot for some of the “B” or even “C” level heroes, like Moon Knight or Ragman (in fact, I pitched DC a Ragman series about 10 years ago. I also submitted a Scatterbrain proposal and a Scarecrow series not unlike their YEAR ONE Scarecrow book coming out. Never did hear back from them.I’d also love to get my hands on any of the bigger characters that I grew up reading: Spider-Man, Batman, the Avengers, X-Men, Superman, but I realize that’s probably a ways off.

JV: Any other projects or pitches you want to plug? Comic or non comic related?

BD: This is the only project that’s “public” right now. I should be finishing my novel very soon (only 3 chapters left) and I hope to get that adapted screenplay out of the way sometime soon, too. Finally, I’m writing my second children’s play, which will hopefully go up Off-Off-Broadway later this year. And I’m hoping that Scatterbrain will lead to more comic writing work. I’ve been having a blast doing it and I really hope it’s not the last comic I write.

This Has A ?Diddy Report? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten

Cat Scratch Fever

If Halle Berry in an ill-fitting costume is the only image you have of Catwoman, then feast your eyes on this sneak peek of Jock?s covers for the May and June issues of the Catwoman comic series:

These are the images that got Jock the regular Batman cover assignment following Matt Wagner?s tenure on the title as cover artist.

This Has A ?Razzie Award? Factor Of Eight Out Of Ten

Bwah Ha Ha

DC has been pleased with the critical response and sales on the two Keith Giffen penned ?I can?t believe it?s not Justice League? series. So much so that the powers that be are considering giving Giffen a shot at an ongoing series featuring the same cast.

This Has A ?Who Ate All My Damn Oreos?? Factor Of Six Out Of Ten

Retcon or Rerun?

Veteran artist/writer John Byrne is currently working on 3 DC titles: Doom Patrol, Blood of the Demon, and Action Comics. Unfortunately, the sales on Doom Patrol have been dropping at a fast rate with no signs of stopping, and it is highly likely that the series will be cancelled soon.

Editorial is rumored to be fast at work to explain away this retcon of the classic team and fit it back into the previous continuity. One interesting possible explanation is that this John Byrne Doom Patrol series is actually a TV series within the DCU that is based on the classic team (one of the characters in the previous Arcudi version of the Doom Patrol had mentioned he wanted to produce such a series).

On another note, DC is happy with the initial orders on Blood of the Demon, and Gail Simone plans to have the Demon guest star in her first few issues of Action Comics (on which Byrne is the penciller).

This Has A ?But What About Beast Boy?? Factor Of Five Out Of Ten

In closing I suggest everyone checks out Markisan?s interview with Darwyn Cooke on this site in the interview section. It?s informative and entertaining.

I?d like to wish best of luck to all my buddies at Millarworld ? lets get that site back up and running soon. We all miss it.

And good luck to Blair with his move.

John Voulieris

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