Two days ago I punched my computer glare screen and shattered it. I picked glass out of my fist for an hour after that.

Let me first say that I didn’t mean to break it. Nearly every day at my 9-5 job the internet server simply stops functioning. It usually only lasts a matter of minutes, but it always seems to go down at the least convenient time. You know, like when I need research material for an article, or when I want to watch Monkey Vs. Robot or that damn Batman: Dead End film for the 13th time.

Well, it happened again right in the middle of an office viewing of the live action M vs. R vid. When stuff like this occurs I have a tendency to smack my screen lightly. It’s just my way of acknowledging the computer evil. I didn’t intentionally try to kick my screen’s ass. But that’s what went down. Either my love for monkeys is more powerful than I possibly imagined, or..

Markisan hate technology..

But Markisan love bargain.. me love bargain so much… [cough, cough]. Okay, let’s talk like normal adults. Yes, I love bargains, and our sponsors at Dynamic Forces have a doozie this week. By click on a banner or button on this page you can head over to Dynamic Forces’ website and pick up Superman / Batman / Wonder Woman: Trinity #1 Re-Marked by writer/artist Matt Wagner with a Batman Head sketch for the DF special price of $49.99. This baby is limited to only 10 sketched copies, so be in quick!


Devil’s Due

I hear that Marvel will publish an Ultimate Daredevil / Elektra ongoing series featuring artwork by Salvador Larocca, who illustrated the Ultimate Daredevil / Elektra mini-series last year. I’m told the book will come out this winter.

I also hear that Daredevil will be relaunched with a new #1 after issue #55.

This Has A “Truth Or Dare” Factor of Six Out of Ten


Third Degree Byrne

Over on www.peterdavid.net, Captain Marvel writer Peter David isn’t happy about some recent comments made by John Byrne at the John Byrne Boards (Note: it appears these comments have been deleted). The two distinguished creators have gone at it before at the site, but David has not posted there in some time. In his blog David writes:

    John–who never hesitates to castigate others for proclaiming to be mindreaders, but doesn’t hesitate to put forward his opinions on my state of mind as fact–claimed, “PAD is evidently one of those people who cannot separate himself from his work, and so has taken each of my comments as a personal attack, responding with personal attacks, including most unprofessional ‘commentary’ in the comic books he writes.”

Well, no. I’ve pointed out that some of his critiques of my work were wildly inaccurate (for instance, holding up Spidey 2099 #1 as an example of how to do a first issue wrong because the hero never appears in costume… except he does, for eight pages. Later John admitted he hadn’t actually read it, but stood by his opinion nonetheless.) And I’ve taken his personal attacks as personal attacks (for instance, his claiming that I advocated the concept of people standing by and doing nothing while policemen were beaten to death.) But I’ve written quite a bit more than John has, and separating myself from the work has become pretty easy. Unfortunately, John doesn’t quite seem to be able to reciprocate. For instance, he obviously thought the sequence in Captain Marvel #2 in which Rick Jones laughs at the Hulk Annual was some sort of retaliation directed at John. No. I would have done the same sequence no matter who wrote that idiot annual, presuming the editor let me.

Jeez. Jack Kirby created Funky Flashman and HouseRoy, obvious Stan Lee and Roy Thomas pastiches. What an unprofessional that Jack Kirby was. And hey, how about that story featuring a superpowered character visually based on Jim Shooter, right down to the acne scars as I recall, blowing off his own foot with a blast beam. Who is the unprofessional person who drew that story? I’m trying to remember…

This Has A “Peter David Writes Hulk Better Than You!” Factor of Nine Out of Ten


Rogue Squadron

Last week I mentioned that Flash writer Geoff Johns has been answering fan questions about the book’s change in direction on www.geoffjohns.com. Since he started talking there’s been a lot of buzz on series, more than there’s been in a good long while. With the release of issue #200 this past Wednesday that buzz is only getting stronger.

For those that don’t know, #200 marks the beginning of dramatic new developments for The Flash. In the bicentennial issue the Spectre emerges from the shadows and returns the Flash’s secret identity with his voodoo vengeance mojo shit. Everyone who knew Wally West and the Flash are one and the same (which was pretty much everyone) has that knowledge erased. The idea is to wipe the slate clean so Geoff will be able to rebuild Wally’s character. For more information on this read the recent interview on comicbookresources.com

In the interview Johns happens to mention that former JLA artist Howard Porter will be drawing an arc of The Flash featuring the JLA.

But that isn’t the only book Porter is believed to be doing with Geoff. In fact, on his own website, www.howardporter.com , Mr. Porter says, “there is a DC Rogues Gallery mini series in the not too distant future for me.”

When asked about this statement on www.geoffjohns.com Porter says:

    I wish I could say more… but that’s all I know right now I think maybe that its turning into something else now… maybe? Geoff?

So, in order to get some clarification I emailed Geoff about the Rogues Gallery mini and he told me, “Actually, Howard will be doing an arc in The Flash rather than a Rogues book.”

On his board Geoff mentions that there will be an upcoming storyline in The Flash called “Rogue War”. I asked Geoff whether or not this arc was originally slated to appear as the “Rogues Gallery” mini-series. He says:

      The Rogues series idea is still out there, but nothing concrete on that horizon. We talked about doing something like that with Howard which led to his stint on

Flash

    . The next story arc after Ignition.

It’s also worth mentioning that Porter confirms rumors that a Ron Garney / Kurt Busiek Superman book is in the works. Garney is Porter’s studio mate, so I’d say this info. is rock solid.

This Has a “Flash Flood Warning” Factor of Seven out of Ten


New Jack Hustler

In an interview on www.fanboyradio.com Spectacular Spider-Man writer Paul Jenkins says he plans to incorporate more humor into the new title. He also has plans to do single issue stories down the road, despite Marvel’s push for 6-part collectible arcs. The solo tales will feature some of the most obscure villains from Spidey history, such as the Mindworm, who Jenkins describes as, “Some fella with a big brain. I’m not sure what else he did, but he had a big brain.”

Jenkins says he’s also itching to tell the a story about a guy called the Hypno Hustler.

    The story was, originally, that he played in a band and he was this dude from the seventies. He’s got the afro and the white suit, you know. He’d play up on stage and his backing singers would be so hypnotic that the audience would be arrested in their movement and he’d run down the back and steal everybody’s money, and then come back and finish his set, and no one would be the wiser. I thought this was just brilliant. What a great, goofy story. So, we have a situation where somebody’s found the Hypno Hustler’s only recorded record and they put it on to the trance turntables in the clubs, and all the kids are going crazy like they’re on ecstasy, and the Hypno Hustler comes back in search of his royalties.

Man, I think Paul Jenkins went up a notch on my favorite writer list..

This Has A “Hustler, Word, I Pull The Trigger Long” Factor of Ten Out of Ten


Staking Claim

Former Catwoman artist Cameron Stewart has been talking about his upcoming projects on http://pub127.ezboard.com/fcartoonandillustrationparadise66133frm28. His posts reveal Dark Horse’s plans to launch a new Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin-off series.

      Next up for me is a pinup in

Hellboy: Weird Tales

      and a 6-page story (which I’ll colour as well as pencil and ink) in an upcoming

Buffy

    spinoff series. After that I should be bouncing around the DCU and Vertigo…

While Stewart admits he has never watched an entire episode of Buffy he says the comic project he’s working on is a good gig.

    The script I’ve got, though, is really good and I think it’ll be a lot of fun to draw. It doesn’t feature the main cast of the show – it’s all new characters, just set in the “Buffyverse.”

Stewart adds that his “Buffyverse” tale is being written by “Hollywood big-shot Joss Whedon.”

Note: In the latest issue of Previews Dark Horse mentions a Tales of the Vampires series will be solicited in the future. The copy says it will be written by the writers from both the Buffy and Angel television series.

For more on Cameron Stewart visit www.cameron-stewart.com.

This Has A “Shiny New Slay Ride” Factor of Nine Out of Ten


Hauerville

When Smallville returns to television on October 1, it will pick up three months after the end of last season. Morgan Edge, a character straight from the pages of the Superman comic books, will be introduced as the leader of the Metropolis Intergang crime syndicate. Edge will be played by veteran actor Rutger Hauer. On his website Hauer describes his working experience on the set of the popular WB show:

      Anyway, I’ll tell you a little about

SMALLVILLE

      . I have seen about 9 different episodes before getting to work myself. It has many good qualities going for it and it’s been done in smart ways. On my first day I had to dive in rapidly for a rather big scene. I felt it was quite a bit overwritten which tends to kill the strength if nothing else. In TV series/works the written words as scripted tend to be kept to rather strict. For good reasons. Altering can run into more cans of beans to handle. Plus the fact that it is a different craft in itself. After meeting the star of the series, Tom Welling, I felt a bit better. He felt the same way and was very polite in addressing this because this can be painful for some actors as it is the only thing they have. I was introduced to the director and understood very quickly how things were done here. They were done on the side and very, very quickly. I had not quite learned my lines as I hate to have to re-learn them if changed at the last minute which we had just done. It gets really tricky. Hardly any rehearsal. Do it. Do it. Of course,we did. But what a different approach. We trimmed the three pages back to about two. Which seemed appropriate. But changes had to be phoned in and approved. Basically, all of this comes down to little time to be creative and truthful. Tough. The director is a great man. Quick and together. Good sense of humour. A great guide. Since I had to wait for hrs again I was quite anxious and nervous before getting into it. And then working so rapidly. Ouch. Learning the steps of this trade and just having to admit it is not the best for my skills although not bad to know that it indeed isn’t. Each to his own. Always good to re-establish where you don’t belong. I’ll have to work hard to make this work. And will of course. I also realize part of the difficulties on

SALEM’S LOT

    . It being the same animal. Format etc.

Monday I’ll have another scene with Tom and the same director. Then a new director will show up for the next episode. It’s an eyecandy factory. They work nine months a year. One of the best things about the profession is that you get to work with some really great colleagues. So here I am. Doing my scene with Tom, who I have just met and who is something twenty and was basically discovered two years ago. No previous training. And as we go I find one of the most generous and gentle guys to work with. Relaxed, together, upbeat, intelligent and on the cellphone one moment and focused for a 100% the next. Having a good time with it and me.

Liking it that he can be a bit silly as the character. Just lovely. God bless him. Truly an actor you’d wish for to work with if you could. A very special treat. And at least as nice as you would think when you watch him going through some of the insanity of the series. He hopes to get into films after being released from the series. Pffft. Three more years to go. I reassured him he had it all going for him. No doubt about it. So Tom. I hold you in the highest regards. You are a haloblizzard, or I’ll be damned.

I have to say it’s nice to see Hauer getting some work. I was happy when he landed a small role on Alias last season and hopefully he’ll be on Smallville for an extended period. Hauer starred in two of my favorite movies from the eighties – Bladerunner and Ladyhawke and I’ve always wondered why the guy never became a superstar..

This Has A “Replicant Revival” Factor of Eight Out of Ten


Superhero Sharing

On http://www.geoffjohns.com poster KevinTBrown shares a letter from former Flash artist Scott Kolins, who confirms that he is on Avengers regularly – sort of.

    Oliver [Coipel] and I will “share” the book as we will trade of story arcs and Marvel will publish more than monthly. Maybe 18-20 issue a year. For example my She-Hulk 4 part story begins in Late September and will come out bi-weekly and finish in early November. The plan is that I will draw 12 issues a year of Avengers and we’ll see when or how Marvel puts them out. Oliver will do however many Oliver can do. I’m sure of the far reaching plans yet but I think you’ll really enjoy the She-Hulk arc. She rages through a small town as Cap, Ion Man, and The Scarlet Witch try to contain her. Hulk shows up as well as an Avenger rejoins the team! True Mighty Marvel Mayhem!!!

This Has A “Avengers Status Upgrade” Factor of Seven Out of Ten


Hulk Smash.. Later?

I’ve received additional confirmation of an Ultimate Hulk series by writer Mark Millar, but still no word on the artist. Ultimate X-Men artist David Finch tells me that Marvel originally planned to release an Ultimate X-Men / Ultimate Hulk crossover book last year and that he was supposed to draw it. Instead the project was scrapped and he was moved to the regular Ultimate X-Men. This change may explain why David Finch’s name appears on www.amazon.com as the artist for the upcoming Ultimate Hulk series. Now, the question is, once Marvel rolls out Ultimate Hulk, will the X-Men crossover be resurrected?

This Has A “Um, So When Does Hulk Drink Beer, Millar?” Factor of Six Out of Ten


Makeshift Marvels

A source informs me that Marvel neglected to tell its people they weren’t sharing a booth with Diamond at the San Diego ComiCon this year, nor were they informed that Diamond wasn’t going to be helping Marvel staffers acquire proper identification. Prominent staffers who came to the con without making separate arrangements didn’t get badges. Only those staffers who made arrangements with Diamond were given help, so in some scenarios many Marvel employees were forced to pay for their own pro badges — a $60 cost. Now, these expenses were undoubtedly written off as legitimate business items after the Con, but according to my source, “The lack of coordination, communication and, most of all, respect, shown by Marvel by not having a table and not having badges for their staff has got to be more embarrassing and demoralizing for them.”

This Has A “Badge of Dishonor” Factor of Five Out of Ten


Executive Decision

I’ve been informed that a respected industry professional and blogger believes that the three major comic book news sites — Newsarama, The Pulse and SBC — haven’t properly covered Marvel’s recent reorganization. He writes, “Pulse is closer to the story but I think all three of those reports miss it. And more than that I can’t say without violating a couple of confidences.”

For those that don’t know, a few days ago Marvel announced a number of structural changes, including a contract extension for Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada (the duration was not mentioned), Axel Alonso’s promotion to Executive Editor from Senior Editor and X-Men Editor Mike Marts’ promotion to Senior Editor. The press release also says that Editor C.B. Cebulski will head a new Talent Relations Office, designed to recruit new talent and manage freelancer concerns. Managing Editor David Bogart will also be guiding this endeavor.

The Pulse also mentions a rumored status change with Marvel President Bill Jemas.

    The announcement came amidst reports of recent editorial realignment at Marvel. According to numerous insiders, President Bill Jemas has been removed from involvement in the regular Marvel editorial matters, except for the Ultimate line, but there has been no word of a formal reorganization.

The rumor that Bill Jemas has been stripped of editorial power stems from Comics Unlimited retailer Matt Hawes, who sent a two-page letter to Marvel owner Ike Perlmutter detailing his concerns about Marvel Comics. In a candid message on www.comicon.com Hawes reveals:

    Mr. Perlmutter called me personally last week to express his concern over matters and offer an apology for the poor public behavior of his employees.

Mr. Perlmutter seems to be a very sincere man who cares about the perception of his company. He showed Bill Jemas my letter and, I assume, discussed what I had written therein

That discussion led to a cordial conversation between Jemas and Hawes. According to Hawes, Bill informed him that changes would be made to Marvel over the next six months in the areas of story content and policy. Hawes writes:

    First, he assures me that he will not be making the kind of comments he has made in the past. He tells me that he couldn’t understand how people in comics could take things so seriously and that growing up in New Jersey he was raised to make fun of people as a game, and that he laughs such stuff off. He explained that he didn’t understand why others do not do the same.

I explained to him that comics fans have enough of others making fun of us, and that we should at least count on the publishers not to denigrate us. If we don’t take ourselves seriously, I asked, how are others going to do so?

Hawes says that Jemas has been trying to persuade the board of directors to keep comics priced low and is looking into widening distribution channels. In addition, Hawes mentions that Jemas has a plan for a line of color “Essentials” which would be re-workings of classic Marvel comics by new writers and artists. These books would closely follow the original stories while incorporating contemporary elements.

      Jemas also told me that he is working on putting out more all-ages and kid-friendly comics. The next comic in the series of “25 cent” comics will probably be

The Avengers

    . He also said that he is going to allow Tom Brevoort a freer hand in editorial to produce more Marvel comics akin to the classic Marvel approach.

Hawes ended his post believing that Jemas wants to change things and make Marvel better.

As far as the news sites not getting the whole story, I guess we’ll have to wait and see what develops in the next couple weeks.

This Has A “No News is Good News Without Gary Gnu” Factor of Eight Out of Ten


UnCONventional

Oh, this is a treat. Matt and Dan finally return to ATR. With Wizard World set to begin in just five days, I thought we’d do something fun to celebrate, so I gave my friends an opportunity to write a convention survival guide of sorts. The following list is heavily based on stories from the last three Wizard Worlds we’ve been to. Every year, me and the boys gather in Rosemont, IL for comics and beer, and other top secret activities. So, if you’re going to the convention and you want to talk to me or my crew, you can probably find us in the Hyatt bar at night, drunk as hell, singing Irish folk songs and hassling creators. Snag a beer and we’ll have story time.

So without further ado.. I give you Matt & Dan’s Magic Wizard Tips, or some other stupidly named thing..

Well, Markisan asked us to compose a list of essentials for Wizard World. Here it is:

  1. Extra towels upon arrival. Cuz’ after swabbing up vomit, no one can shower in the morning.
  2. Map of Hotel, so no matter who you meet or where you end up in the wee early hours, you can find your way back to your room (especially useful when drunk).
  3. Locate access to the maintenance elevator. There’s a good chance “Rosa” will shoot you a dirty look, but it’s worth the time it shaves off the lobby wait.
  4. Mismatched boxer briefs and black socks just in case your drunken friend wants to perform blackmail photo ops on your unsuspecting ass.
  5. Friend confident enough in his own sexuality to remove your pants, ensuring comfortable slumber.
  6. Extra T-shirts, never to be worn. They make nice pillows on hotel floor.
  7. RUM! Highly mobile. Can be taken on plane to Chicago by bottle, on convention floor in concealed flask, and pretty much any where else you can think of in whatever sized container you’d like.
  8. Grappling gear, or a drunk friend, for climbing in and out of balconies onto hotel roof.
  9. Meet someone with an “in” to obtain Wizard World after party tickets.
  10. Bring books with intention of signing. Just make sure you aren’t too hung over to notice the guy in front of you holding the “Last Person In line” sign.
  11. RUM! To be obnoxious enough to budge in front of signature line and bum cigarettes off Kevin Smith.
  12. Art Portfolio. Note: If you drink till 5 a.m. and the art review line forms at 8 a.m. there’s a good chance you won’t make it.
  13. Extra tip money for maid to compensate for shattered plant holders and vomit soaked towels.
  14. Lysol! Four guys in one room, ‘nuff said!
  15. Beer to keep in room once ATM runs out of cash. Growlers recommended.
  16. Extra tip money for cab driver allowing six assholes in back of cab, and compensation for cleaning puke off protective shield and floor mats.
  17. RUM! To get tanked enough to taunt exhibition wrestlers during convention. (Seriously, how can you be tough in spandex and a feather boa?)
  18. Bring the “Magnet” (also known as the hot guy) for use on stewardesses, bartenders, female editors and Star Wars extras.
  19. Tequila, to induce punk renditions of Johnny Cash karaoke.
  20. Hang late. All the cool creators stay up.
  21. Drink logic: why order a beer and a shot, when you can get a drink containing many shots?
  22. Catheter, to insure drunken friends don’t scare off creators during piss break..
  23. Self-censor, to avoid imposing fan-boy logic on favorite creator.
  24. Ability to respond positively and show support in Artist’s Alley despite enormous gaps in talent between established creators and talentless hacks.
  25. Someone at home willing to pick you up despite O’Hare Airport’s fucked up delays.

So in conclusion, enjoy yourself, drink irresponsibly, and take Monday off.

Cheers!!!

Matt & Dan

This Has A “Pants Removal” Factor of Four Out of Ten


Before I wrap up this week’s ATR, there’s one last thing worth mentioning.. SBC’s very own Final Draft columnist Alan Donald has asked me to join this thing called The Panel, a new weekly feature where top people from across the comic book industry gather to answer fan questions. Here’s the list of participants thus far:

      Mark Buckingham (

Peter Parker: Spider-Man

      ), Terry Moore (

Strangers in Paradise

      ), Axel Alonso (Editor, Marvel), Alan Grant (

Judge Dredd

      ), Mark Chapman (

Rebellion

      ), Bill Jemas (Marvel), Markisan Naso (writer,

All the Rage

      ), Mike Collins (

Star Trek

      ), Bill Rosemann (Publicist, CrossGen), Dave Gibbons (

Watchmen

      ), Nick Barucchi (Dynamic Forces), Devin Grayson (

Nightwing

      ), Jock (

The Losers

      ), Peter David (

Captain Marvel

    ), Joe Quesada (Editor in Chief, Marvel), Rick Shea (Manager of Famous Faces and Funnies, an enormous comic book retailer), Lee Dawson (publicist, Dark Horse), Shawna Ervin-Gore (an editor at Dark Horse), Craig Lemon (Senior Editor and 2nd in command for the whole site, SBC) and Alan Donald (Columnist, SBC).

So, I think it’s fairly obvious that I don’t belong in this company. Chances are I’ll just say stupid shit. In fact, I already answered the first question and I know I said stupid shit. But what the hell, it’s fun. Look for The Panel to debut sometime this week I believe.

See you in Chicago,

Markisan

PS If anyone has any rumors or stories to share email me at [email protected] 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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