10/5/03

WARNING: If you don’t want to know the outcome of the Evander Holyfield/James Toney fight, do NOT read introduction.

I just got back from the Captain’s house where we gorged ourselves on bulbous 3-meat sandwiches, hot wings, pie and a ridiculous amount of Guinness. We also watched 4-time heavyweight champ Evander Holyfield get the piss beat out of him by James “Lights Out” Toney.

Every damn punch hurt me, especially Toney’s overhand rights. As a longtime boxing fan it is a bit sad to see a great champion get beaten so decisively, but damn it was exciting to watch Toney’s quick bombs explode on Evander’s face. And I love that two great champions decided to square off when all around them belt holders are ducking the quality competition. Holyfield and Toney live to bring the war. Yeah, Evander’s skills have faded, but I’m still amazed that a man can take the kind of shots he took in this fight and still keep coming. For eight rounds at least..

Seems to me fights like this one are the closest thing we have to real life superhero battles.


Ghost Writer

I wasn’t going to run anything else on John Byrne, but to be fair I think I should mention a great number of people have been writing in to defend John after reading last week’s letter by Dennis Feeback of Frankfort, KY.

A Mr. Serge E. Ladd tells me he once heard a rumor that people browsing the Mid Ohio Convention area bookstores found trade paperbacks mysteriously signed by their author, John Byrne. At the John Byrne message board, Serge asked John whether or not this rumor is true. John replied, “That’s true. If I find myself in a bookstore with a pen in my pocket, I sign any of my books that are on the racks.”

Can a guy who goes out of his way to sign books at random bookstores for fans be the same person accused of yelling “Reeprint!” to kids after stamping their second editions? Hell if I know.

This Has A “Signing Bonus” Factor of Seven Out of Ten


Impurrrfect Kitten

Unfortunately some of you may have already seen the new pic of Halle Berry as Catwoman. If you haven’t, take a look below. It’s pretty fucking horrible. I didn’t think it was possible to make Halle look bad, but Hollywood has succeeded. The image was released by Warner Brothers and appears in last week’s Time Magazine. The photo was also shown on the entertainment news show, Access Hollywood, this past Monday. In addition to the photo there’s also an official synopsis floating around — “Patience Price, a mild mannered graphic artist, is murdered in order to keep her silent about an accidental discovery she made. An ancient myth is played out, when an Egyptian Mao cat, indebted to Patience for saving her it’s own life, breathes life back into the young woman. Patience is reborn with an independent attitude, carefree behavior and the heightened senses of a cat. Now she must investigate the circumstances behind her murder and learn to accept both parts of herself.”

After seeing this image and reading the story summary I did some digging and it turns out that Warner Brothers has also completed work on the new Batman costume for Christian Bale. I’m told the studio was so pleased with the way the Catwoman costume turned out, they decided to take some liberties with the Batsuit as well. Here’s an advance look at Bale’s new digs.

According to www.comingsoon.net the Dark Knight will arrive in theatres on July 1st 2005.

This Has A “What’s Goin’ Down In the Batcave?” Factor of Eight Out of Ten


Punishment

Over on www.darkhorizons.com there is news on the Punisher movie script:

    ‘Captain Red’ is back with more juice on the comic adaptation — “I got a look at the script, and I’ll tell you right now, Garth Ennis fans are in for a big treat. There are big portions of the first story arc, which I think is “welcome home frank” in this script, and it’s cool. I enjoyed the script very much — the russian, bumpo, joan, all there. [Director] Jonathan Hensleigh also brings in his own voice, and they are trying to make Tampa WAY more dangerous than it actually is. I don’t want to give anything away, but I will say that Saint [bad guy played by John Travolta] is written as a very flawed character, very human. He’s not pure evil, but he does do evil things. Castle is not the comic book character we all know, but he is not all that different either. He’s not a one man wrecking crew so much as, like Saint, a flawed person trying to make sense of the loss of his family, and his way to do this is to kill a lot of people. BTW, His father (Roy Scheider) wasn’t in this version of the script, only mentioned when he picks up his father’s 45’s, and parker shotguns. The big family death scene I saw is not in this script, and I’m afraid they’ll cut him out of the film, which would be a shame. They are nearly done with shooting. Only a few more weeks. I believe Travolta wraps in a week, and [Punisher lead Thomas] Jane may already be done, actually. Not sure about that one. I really hope more big films come to Tampa to shoot as an alternative to Canada, because the city is ready and willing to host them”.

Some on-set Punisher pics can be found at http://www.millionaireplayboy.com/toys/wildepunisher.php.

This Has A “Skull Cap” Factor of Seven Out of Ten


Speed Lines

Newly crowned Flash artist Howard Porter told message boarders at www.geoffjohns.com that he has started working on the scarlet speedster. On Friday he revealed three preliminary sketches of The Flash from his own website for fans eager to get a glimpse of Porter’s interpretation. “Ok, here is the first sketch I have done…,” Howard wrote. “Please keep in mind that it is early and I haven’t totally found what I want with him yet. It will get better I promise!”

Later in the thread Howard admitted that his first attempt at Flash proved a bit too bulky. “Yeah, looking back at it he is a bit too built. I will trim him down a bit…”

Porter pencil-colored the sketches in Photoshop.

 

In addition to posting his Flash sketches Howard also took the time to answer some questions posted by SNW21 at www.geoffjohns.com. He writes:

    I hope I do ok on this! I didn’t study and I am not good at pop quizzes .

1) Is the current work that you’ve done in FF gonna be the same in The Flash or will it be more like the JLA but up a notch?

I am trying to approach Flash with a different eye than FF & JLA. I used a lot of stark lighting and heavy blacks to enhance the dark mood of the storyline in the Fantastic Four and with the JLA, I was just trying to keep the hair in my head while finishing the book in time (towards the end the deadlines were killer). I have a few ideas of what I want to do with Wally, for instance I loved the way Infantino would have Barry skid to a halt at an impossible angle. I will be paying homage to him when I can. I also think Wally should always look like he is in motion, I know I would be if I could run around the globe in a blink of an eye. I will be drawing him slimmer than I did in the JLA, but not too skinny! As far as mood? I think that all depends on the storyline..

2) Who has been the easiest character for you to draw so far in The Flash work that you’ve done for the upcoming issues?

I have only done seven pages so far, so I don’t have an answer for this question yet.

3) Who has been the hardest character for you to draw so far in The Flash work that you’ve done for the upcoming issues?

I have only done seven pages so far, so I don’t have an answer for this question yet. 🙂

4) Will you be drawing any easter eggs into your drawings that may hint to upcoming storylines or just to the days of old (like for example, the number on Jay Garrick’s mail box)?

I hope so! I always love sneaking in things when I can, so keep your eyes on the backgrounds!

5) Are you still into drawing splash pages or not that much?

I love them! If it were up to me, pages two and three would always be a double-page spread. Just like Kirby used to do. However, if it isn’t needed to tell the story, I say leave it out. It’s all about what works the best for the story!

6) How much of the current Flash series have you read (Try and mention from what issue to what issue. If not, then just mention the name of the writers’ runs on The Flash.)?

When I found out that I was going to work on the book, I went straight to the shop and bought everything that I could. I haven’t read everything yet, but I will. Off hand I can say that I have read a bunch of the Waid, Morrison-Millar and Johns stuff. And also some of the early issues too, when Chunk was around.

7) Who is your favorite character in the DCU? In the Marvel Universe?

DCU – Flash
Marvel – Thing

8) Who is your favorite character on The Flash from any Flash run (Main and Supporting characters)?

That’s an easy one — Wally

9) Who is your favorite rogue from The Flash?

Cold.

10) Finally, how does it feel to be working with one of the best Flash creative teams (Geoff, James, etc.)?

Proud, honored, lucky, excited, 13 years old, enthused, inspired and eager.

This Has A “Growing Up Fast” Factor of Nine Out of Ten


Cross Wired

I keep getting these CrossGen rumors in, three-quarters of which I don’t believe. But this one is from a very reliable source so I’ll try my hand one more time. I’m told Ruse is getting the ax right after Butch Guice finishes his last issue and Mystic is also on the way out. Apparently the decisions were made the day after the Baltimore Con.

This Has A “Sigil Slice-O-Matic” Factor of Five Out of Ten


All Hell’s A Comin’

Luficer and Hellblazer scribe Mike Carey talks about his newly collected independent series Inferno as well as his current projects at www.titanbooks.com. The writer gives a preview of what’s next for John Constantine and Lucifer, and also says he’s working on a new Vertigo mini-series.

      In

Hellblazer

    , John’s going to reach a big turning point in his life very soon: a personal crisis unlike anything he’s ever faced before. Issue #193 is the crunch point — I don’t think anyone will see it coming, and I don’t think anyone will be able to guess which way we’ll take it. Oh, and we’ve got some big plans for issue #200, which again should hopefully surprise and baffle and entertain.

In Lucifer, the relationship between Lucifer and Michael is going to come to the fore. With God out of the picture, the tensions between them will increase, and they’ll have to sort out a lot of things that have been left hanging since the dawn of time. We’ve got a double-length story for issue #50, for which Craig Russell is doing the art, which will tell some of the story of Lucifer’s rebellion against God, his first meetings with Lilith and Mazikeen, and the reasons why things happened in the way they did. In many ways, the canvas is going to get bigger — as we move towards a resolution which will bring together all the characters we’ve ever introduced.

New projects… I’ve got a four-part miniseries coming out from Vertigo, beginning in January. It’s called My Faith in Frankie, and it’s a romance — but a romance with a very Vertigo twist to it. The protagonist is a teenaged girl with two boyfriends: one is a god, the other is dead, and they both think it’s time she made more of a commitment. The art is by talented newcomer Sonny Liew and the great Marc Hempel. It’s a very fun ride.

This Has A “Literal Dating Nightmare” Factor of Seven Out of Ten


Human Target

Blackburne Covenant writer Fabian Nicieza has been revealing some details about his upcoming Hawkeye series at the Thunderbolts/Hawkeye message boards. Posters on the board expressed some concern about Hawkeye going on the road and being taken out of costume. Fabian says that Hawkeye fans shouldn’t be worried. “I love the costume too, always have. One of the best designs in comics, IMO.

“That being said, while it works perfectly while standing alongside all the Avengers, it wouldn’t play as well when he’s standing on a golf course in the middle of the day busting the chops off some good ol’ boys…

Like I said, hope you check it out. If you like Clint, you’ll like the book, in costume or out, superhero action or a money-mystery, it’s Clint like he’s rarely had a chance to be shown. All-shmuck, all-fun, all-business!”

In a follow-up answer Nicieza mentions that while the first arc doesn’t lend itself to the costume, his initial breakdown of the second arc does.

Posters also asked Fabian if he has any plans to feature Thunderbolts characters in Hawkeye, specifically Mach 3 and Harrier. In his answer Fabian reveals a possible Marvel plan to resurrect the now defunct T’Bolts team. “I’d expect that whatever TBolts ideas Marvel is currently percolating (based on comments they made at recent conventions), would most likely include something with Moonstone, and maybe even Hawkeye.

“As such, since I’m not sure when those plans will see print, planning for it in a possible future arc of the monthly Hawkeye series seems like wasted creative energy.

“If we come out of the gate strong and sales warrant a second arc, I’m preparing the storyline synopsis for that one now. It’s a story I think longtime Hawk fans (and those who enjoyed one specific TBolts issue with one specific guest-star) would very much enjoy…”

When asked about his comments regarding sales and future arcs, Nicieza elaborated on his position. “My comment about second arcs, etc. shouldn’t be taken as my not being optimistic, but rather simply realistic. Hawkeye IS a monthly series, but if it doesn’t sell well enough to support itself, then it WON’T be a monthly series. That goes for ANYTHING that either Marvel or DC publish.

“It is no different on TV. FIREFLY was a weekly TV show until it was cancelled. Then it wasn’t.

“Or magazines. GEORGE was a monthly publication. Until it wasn’t.

“In the publishing industry, we have to continually prove ourselves. New Warriors Vol. 1 #1-30 sold more than 250,000 copies per issue. It was cancelled at #75. So… was it a 75 issue limited series or simply a monthly series that lasted 75 issues?

“Semantics aside, IMO, if you like Hawkeye, then you will like this comic book.”

A question about the type of villains Hawkeye will face also came up. Fans asked if the former Avenger will be squaring off against super-powered foes. One poster mentioned that one of Hawkeye’s best traits is his “willingness to take on more powerful foes and find ways to beat them.”

Fabian agrees, but says there is a thin line to draw between super-powered and super-skilled in Hawkeye. “From an action, adventure and visual standpoint, what is the difference between fighting the Living Laser or a cult of 99 Archers? At the end of the day, both require insanely incredible skill on Clint’s part.

“I have said — and some people choose not to pay attention — that the stories have ESCALATING stakes and confrontation. That’s a codeword for INCREASING BITCHING ACTION.

“Once again, it’s all story-based. If the story warrants a super-powered foe, you’ll see it. Just not Galactus. And no Hawkeye in Hell.”

Though you won’t see Hawkeye go to-to-toe with Mephisto, Fabian says you will see a lot of character development in the series. He is writing three-page prologues from the archer’s past for each issue. “‘Past Prologues’ to each issue help shape and define Clint’s past while also playing to the themes of the present-day storyline. The prologues, when put together at the end of each arc, form almost a mini-story on their own. In ‘The High, Hard, Shaft’, the story is: ‘Why does Clint Barton do what he does?’ In the second arc, it will be, ‘Why is Clint so scared about love and relationships?’”

Finally, in an interview with Comic Shop News, Nicieza was asked if there is anything he hopes to do with Hawkeye in the new series that he couldn’t in the past. “It’s really apples and oranges,” Nicieza says. “I never would have thought to write HAWKEYE this way before because I never would have been allowed to under previous Marvel regimes. It’s just not how they ‘saw’ comics. I tried — as much as Marvel of that time would allow — to tell stories with this tone and tenor when I wrote NOMAD, but that was honestly ten years ahead of its time for Marvel.”

This Has A “He Said ‘Hard Shaft’” Factor of Nine Out of Ten


Turn Off the Fans

Well, this is interesting. Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill Director Quentin Tarantino told Zap2It.com that he avoids comic book adaptations because of overzealous fans. “The reason I’ll never do a comic book movie with, like, The Flash or something like that is fuck those comic book geeks, man,” Tarantino told the site. “You can’t please them. I might do a comic book movie, but I’d come up with my own characters where I’m God and I’m the expert and not you guys.”

Tarantino also added, “The thing is, film geeks can be your best friend, but man, they can be your worst enemy.”

Kill Bill: Volume One opens in theaters Oct. 10.

This Has A “No Fan Affection” Factor of Ten Out of Ten


Wants and Desires

I seem to recall reading about this before, but what the hell. Some of you might not know. Top Cow has a new message board dedicated to Mark Millar’s new superhero series Wanted. The boards features sketches and six pages of black and white preview art by J.G. Jones pages. Go to http://topcow.com/_boards/index.php?s=3c88ab0da6b84f97268dee535e9a7404&showtopic=31382 for an advance look.

This Has A “You Know You Want It” Factor of Six Out of Ten


Out,
Markisan

PS If anyone has any rumors, stories or news to share email me at markisan@silverbulletcomicbooks.com or IM me via AOL Instant Messenger. My screen name is Automatic San. Thanks to everyone who has been sending stuff in. It’s greatly appreciated.


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