Will Blair return during this fall?s Infinite Crisis event or during the House of M aftermath? Or will he join the ranks of Batwoman and the Hypno Hustler in comic book limbo? All will be revealed next week!

Crisis On Infinite Shareholders

The New York Times recently ran an article about Carl Icahn, billionaire hedge fund owner with over 5 million shares in Tim Warner stock who is looking into trying to provoke some change within the media giant.

This is All the Rage and not an SEC report, so I?ll get to the point: M. Icahn basically thinks that Time Warner stock is undervalued (it is trading at $18.54 a share these days, down from its high of $94 per share in 1999, and $64 after the America Online merger in 2001) due to some of its under performing divisions (like the cable unit), which he wants to spin off and push to sell, thus driving the stock price back up.

So our more astute readers may start to think what other division of Time Warner that comic readers are familiar with may be viewed as ?underperforming? by the financial bigwigs and may be put on the chopping block?

It?s hard to say since DC does not disclose its financials, but profit margins in the comic book industry may not seem that impressive to the billionaire hedge fund set.

It also important to note that Mr Icahn won?t necessarily get his way when it comes to this tactic (he is trying to recruit more large scale shareholders and hedge funds to back him up and there is no guarantee of success), but a lot of people speculate that DC is a division that stays under the radar so as to avoid attention and now that will be harder to do as the finance guys start looking at which divisions bring in the bucks and which (in their opinion) keep their precious stock from rising.

One last item of note quoted from the article: Some investors say Mr. Icahn’s shake-up effort may gain broad support. “I think the whole company is too complicated, and they missed every opportunity with AOL,” said Stephen Jarislowsky of Jarislowsky Fraser, whose funds own 2.65 million shares.

Missed every opportunity with AOL, eh? Comic book readers have been saying that for years (advertising and webcomics via AOL would have definitely given the main DCU characters some more visibility). But, alas, no one listens to the lowly comic fan; they would rather hear it from billionaire finance guys. I guess they prefer advice from the Ivy League than the Justice League.

This Has A ?Corporate Villains United? Factor Of Six Out Of Ten

Mike Grell Freelance

Over on his website, Mike Grell recently talked about the shipping delays on his IDW series JON SABLE BLOODTRAIL:

    I began this book on a schedule set by other minds and was told on the day I signed the contract that it was already late. Therefore, any small delay became critical and potentially disastrous. A recent a death in my family and other related factors started the domino effect on everyone, including Westfield and, ultimately, the readers who are waiting for the book.

I’m working to overcome the delay and make up the time in the schedule. Meanwhile, I know everyone here and at IDW is dedicated to maintaining the quality of production that’s been the hallmark of the Sable series.

I apologize to the readers for the delay and I promise that it’ll be worth the wait.

Mike has also posted a bunch of preview art from upcoming issues and upcoming trades of Jon Sable.

This Has A ?Maggie The Cat? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten

All Millar, All The Time

Everyone knows Mark Millar, writer of the Ultimates, Wolverine, and Ultimate FF, a top ten mainstay, and message board host of MillarWorld.

But did you know that he recently started an online magazine at http://themagazine.millarworld.tv/ that features creator interviews, early reviews, and lots of other cool stuff that will make our fanboy heart rate rise?

The latest issue as described by the editor (Alice) features:

    This month we ask writer Garth Ennis about the characters he?d go out for a drink with; Bryan Hitch talks shop with Jim Lee; Geoff Johns explains why he loves his job (who wouldn?t?); we find out more about Serenity and other projects from Adam ?Jayne? Baldwin; Allan Heinberg tells us the difference between writing TV scripts for ?O.C.? and writing comic scripts for ?Young Avengers? and we find out what life as Chewbacca is like for the actor Peter Mayhew.

We also analyse the Harry Potter saga up to the latest delivery of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince; see the evolution of the comic book hero in the past few decades; find out just how good REM in concert can be; compare the worldwide boozy shenanigans that marked the launch of the.magazine in July and take a look at advance shows coming soon to a TV near you.

This Has A ?You Beat Me To That Ennis Interview? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten

Everyone Is Hiding Something

Some more preview art from Ben Templesmith for the new Warren Ellis series FELL, out next month from Image comics:

This Has A ?I?m A Damn Good Cop? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten

In With The New

There are a lot of new comic publishers popping up these days, and one of the newest kids on the block is Septagon Studios out of Toronto, Canada.

Here is their recent press release:

    In 2005/2006 Septagon Studios will directly move towards the publishing market of Comic Books, Graphic Novels and soon expanding towards other notorious formats. Septagon Studios will not limit itself by being underestimated. It will impact the way in which we look at publishing today.

The objective of Septagon Studios is to add to the diversity of the comic book market with a wide variety of titles, in various genres. Septagon Studios will not limit itself by targeting a specific audience. It is a company for every reader. We welcome everyone and anyone who enjoys comics.

Septagon Studios is passionate about excellence and producing quality
publications for both the modern and traditional generations of comic book readers. Being a creator-based company, we encourage new talent from around the globe to join our already growing staff and give their dreams of creating comic books a chance to come true. Here at Septagon Studios we give you the chance to bring your imagination and creativity to life.

Find out more at their website: http://www.septagonstudios.com

This Has A ?New School? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten

Top Ten Cliff Notes

Jesse Nevins, over on The Fourth Rail recently posted his detailed annotations for the 49ers OGN by Alan Moore and Gene Ha.

I?m sure everyone caught Zorro and Popeye,but if you want to catch the really obscure references check out Jesse?s article. Jess has also posted annotations for Alan Moore?s League of Gentlemen miniseries and although not essential to understanding or enjoying the books, they add to the overall experience.

This Has A ?Where?s Waldo?? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten

Silent Diggle

Andy Diggle (The Losers, Silent Dragon) recently started his own blog over on http://andydiggle.blogspot.com

It?s updated quite frequently, so fans of his may want to check in on a regular basis. Andy even chimes in on a recent ATR article written by yours truly.

This Has A ?Close Quarters? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten

Free Your Mind

Over on BobLayton.Com, Bob Layton and David Michelinie give readers of their old Future Comics series insights into where the various storylines would have gone had the series continued and not been cancelled.

So all you fans of Freemind or Peacekeeper can now have your curiosity satisfied at last.


Oh, come on? There is bound to be a few of you out there!

This Has A ?What About Deathmask?? Factor Of Eight Out Of Ten

Dead Head

And finally some preview art from Christos N. Gage?s (Deadshot) new creator owned series Paradox:

This Has A ?Magic Mystery Tour? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten

Next week Geoff Johns promises to explain the retconning of Blair in the newest issue of Teen Titans! Until then, I?ve been John Voulieris, thank you for all the tips and tricks in the last two weeks!

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