I?m a bit behind on getting ATR out this week, and it actually entirely my fault this time around. I just need to learn to not cram so much into one week and weekend? as well as probably working on exercising my whole body instead of just my ?writer?s gut? on a regular basis. All I can say in regards to that is my arms feel like rubber and so typing this out is an excessively surreal experience. Who needs narcotics when I have my insulin, tea, and computer? Oh, and ibuprofen. Can?t forget that.

After six months on this wonderful column, how?s about a Mission Statement?

Each week I dig up cool items, bits, rumours or whatever within the realms of Comicdom that you, the stalwart reader, may enjoy. Sometimes you get scoops, maybe some gossip, maybe mini-interviews/Q&As with a creator or just someone interesting. I always attempt to bring it about in a manner that is easy to swallow. I do get a few complaints concerning ?tradition? and I?m of the firm belief that ATR should be about anything but this so called ?tradition?. This isn?t high art. This isn?t a cure for cancer. This isn?t tradition, your mom, or even ?journalism?, really.

This is All The Rage.

Now I am going to give it to you. Here we go?

Starship Troopers Enlists New Writer

I wouldn?t be surprising you if I said that I like the Starship Troopers comic Markosia publishes. Anyhow, I was talking to Tony Lee, the current writer of Troopers, the other day and he decided to lay the following on me:

Tony: As you already know, I’ll be stepping down from writing duties from issue #4 of the Starship Troopers ongoing. And of course this means that, after a break of a couple of months, we’ll have a new team working on the book. Now, I can’t tell you who the artist is yet, as we’re still checking into a couple of things, but I can tell you that we have a writer.

And goddamn it, he’s better than me.

We had a lot of pitches over the last couple of weeks, but to be honest? Before I even stood down, I knew who I wanted to follow me. And at Bristol I was able to source him out, see what he thought about the Troopers, and where he saw things going.

In a weird way, he’s been involved in Troopers as much as I have – he was involved in the playtesting of Mongoose’s Starship Troopers game (the game that Blaze Of Glory was originally based on), and when I first got the trilogy from Mongoose in 2004, he was lined up to do the next three.

Of course these never happened, but over the last couple of years he’s been active with the Mongoose side of Starship Troopers – his series ‘Extinction Protocol’ has been a regular in Mongoose’s magazine ‘Signs & Portents’ for several months now and therefore he is already the only other writer to have written this incarnation of the Troopers.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Simon ‘Cy’ Dethan.

And the script he has just sent in is one of the best I have read in a long time. It brings a new unit of pathfinders into the mix, introduces a major part of the Starship Troopers mythos, a part that stems all the way to the novel, and has some of the most gung-ho dialogue you’ll have ever seen.

Me: So it’s very military in scope then?

Tony: Very much so. Cy was very much involved in the military aspects of the game, and this shines out in his script.

Me: I love your take on Troopers, but you go more the adventure/action route… Which is cool., but I can also see it going hardcore military sci-fi. Either one works, actually. In a perfect world there would be two ongoing titles.

Tony: His is a totally different take, but this is because he has a totally different unit. The pathfinders are the first ones in and last ones out. They’re elite. And in Cy’s first four-part arc, you learn exactly why. Every now and then I’ll pop back, we may do an anthology, an annual, or I might just stand at conventions weeping, shouting out my own ideas line by line… Besides – I get to edit him. I can put ninjas in whenever I want. Oh – as he’s about to become the next big thing in comics, go to http://www.comicspace.com/cy/ and befriend him. Send him underwear and shit like that.

Me: Do you think he?ll like me sending him my Incredible Hulk boxer shorts? *silence* Tony? Hello, Tony? Huh. Must?ve got disconnected or something.

Maybe it would have been best for me to suggest my Iron Man thong?

Here?s to Cy?s tenure on the title. May it be grand!

This Has A ?Buggin For Duty? Factor Of 10 Out Of 10

Dash Shaw Does Dr. Strange? Gets Pelted by Strangeness

Marvel has an ?indie creator anthology? on the burner and Dash Shaw showed off his version of Dr. Strange over at Meathaus. More information can be found over at Indie Comics News with an audio interview of Dash available there. Personally, I think it looks neat. It?s cool to see creators like Dash tackling some of Marvel?s iconic characters.

Of course, there seems to be no parade without its rain. Some people came in and left rather disparaging comments for Dash over on that entry at Indie Comics News? which in itself isn?t unusual these days at all (for anyone on anything), but the fact that they came from hardcore John Byrne fans made it? well, strange. Not that I?m picking on Byrne here. He has no control over what certain fans of his do in his name. Please keep that in mind.

For the sake of sanity, I will only post one comment I saved:

    Putrid garbage! Hard to believe someone as great as John Byrne can?t get a job at Marvel to save his life but a little creep who draws at a kindergarten level is not only being published by Marvel but thinks he?s better than Steve Ditko! Way to go Marvel!! What?s next, offering work to the blind!

That by a frequent poster from the JBF boards who even links to the John Byrne Forums (via his name). How quaint. I withheld his identity, which is sure to attract a few JBF people here that think I?m devil-spawn yellow-bellied journo scum and they will no doubt bring up the naming of an individual from my very first ATR installment. Gotta love consistency.

There were other nasty remarks, all of them echoing what Mr. Quoted said up there. The things I?ll note what I thought after reading them are:

  1. Dash never says he?s better than Ditko in the podcast.
  2. What?s John Byrne have to do with this?
  3. I take it the commenter doesn?t like Dash?s work. Just a hunch. But why be a dick about it?
  4. What, a blind person cannot write? What? It?s a legitimate question.
  5. I?m willing to bet if the comments kept going, someone would have eventually blamed Dash for bubonic plague and rabies; and I would just like to point out that I?m already in the running for ?inventor of rabies?.

The comments run like what you read for a little bit until they trailed off. The good news is that several people came in and stuck up for Dash, which was nice to see. I wouldn?t expect everyone to love his art or anything, but this prime example of ?ZOMG! I?m a Disgusted Comic Fan!!11Eleventy? just goes the show that not everyone is pleased with everything, and sometimes they have to demonstrate just how much of an asshole they are to in order to express themselves.

I suppose I should have ended what I just said with a ?just like [a certain creator]?, but goddammit, even I have my limits. Plus, I can only take so much whining and negativity. Sure, life is hard; and I may have a helmet, but I don?t always have to leave my wonderful land of taco flavoured gumdrops and lolly-bears.

The comments I yap about have since been removed, which is probably a good thing in the end.

This Has A ?Can?t Please ?Em All? Factor Of Seven Out Of Ten

Swipe Safari: Balenting Act

Many of you have asked me why I haven?t featured any swipes on here (at least I don?t think I have? damn drinking). To put it simply, Mr. Johnston over there at Lying in the Gutters does it just fine (with his Swipe Files, I believe it?s called) and I saw no reason for including the same thing in this column? However, someone emailed me a swipe very recently and it got me thinking. Yes, thinking. I do it sometimes. Anyhow, I thought it might be cool if you lot sent me swipes when you came across them? You can have me mention you or not, your choice. Additionally, if you want to throw in a comment on the swipe you discovered, I?ll add that, too.

I?ll get this started with the swipe I mentioned a dear reader sent in. In true Steve Space Cadet fashion, I neglected to ask if I could use his/her name or if they wanted to make a comment. That may change, though, thanks to this column being on Zee Series of Tubes. Now I direct you to this Jim Balent swipe?

I?m told that the first image is from Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose #6 and that the second image is Brittany York aka Playboy?s Miss October 1990.

Neat, eh?

What do I think about all this swiping business? Honestly, it doesn?t bother me too much (usually). Artists have their way of doing things and all that happy stuff. I suppose as long as it looks good and so on? But, I love coming across something like this, anyway. It?s all in good fun.

Send in those swipes; and I?ll keep an eye out for them, myself (truth be told, I suck ass at spotting them). It would be swell to see Swipe Safari pop up in ATR once in a while.

This Has A ??Swiper The Fox? Has A WHOLE New Meaning Now? Factor Of Eight Out Of Ten

The Beau Nation Army Wants You

Someone mentioned this in our very own SBCB forums and I agree that it?s a good idea, and thought that perhaps it could use a little attention?

A call has been made by a dedicated Beau Smith fan who feels that we should band together and set into motion a letter writing campaign to DC Comics and get Beau on a title. Like I just said: This is a good idea. I don?t know Beau or anything, but I do know he?s an outstanding writer. Plus, it would be cool to see him on Aquaman. I haven?t written an actual letter in a long time, but I think this is as good a time as any to start, yeah?

This Has An ?Aquamanliness? Factor Of 10 Out Of 10

Grant Morrison: The Early Years

I would like to just take this brief moment to tell you about a book I received. Grant Morrison: The Early Years pretty good book from what I?ve read so far, written by one Timothy Callahan. It?s about, well, the early years of Grant Morrison, covering his work on Zenith, Arkham Asylum, Animal Man, Batman: Gothic, and Doom Patrol. There?s also an exclusive interview with Grant in the back. The fine folks over at the Sequart Research & Literacy Organization published it, and I have to say that this book makes a great addition to any fan of Grant Morrison?s works? bookshelf.

Fellow SBCB contributor Tobey Cook and I plan to do a joint review of The Early Years in the near future. As I said, I feel it?s pretty good from what I?ve read already? although it?s highly subjective nature and conversational tone may not be everyone?s cup of tea. That doesn?t mean Callahan didn?t do his homework, though, and the book plainly shows he certainly and deeply appreciates the contributions of the widely recognised creator to the comics industry.

Timothy Callahan has a blog that makes for excellent reading, too.

This Has A ?Yes, He Really CAN See You? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten

Blogonaut: A Blog, a Podcast, a Column/Blog, and LAYMANNNN!!!!

The first blog I?d like to bring to your attention is Comics Slop, a great online source for well-written, honest, and sometimes downright scathing reviews. By the way, one such review garnered the attention of writer Dan Slott, who felt the need to refute the ?F? review of She-Hulk #15-#18. Read it all here. Thankfully, Dan was quite pleasant in his comments. Although I would like to point out that, as far as I know, the rating ?A? isn?t for ?Adult?s Only?, but ?Appropriate for ages 8 and up?. Or something somesuch? Ah, well, I?m nitpicking. For the record, I have enjoyed Slott?s run on She-Hulk.

Looking for some enjoyable podcasts to break up all of the blog reading you are doing? Then swing on over to Bullpen Bulletins; a decently produced and terrifically entertaining site with regular podcasts on all things Marvel Comics. The discussions there get quite deep and are quite informative. Definitely worth your time to listen in if you read Marvel. In fact, I?m listening to the latest installment right now.

The Captain Marvel impression killed me.

There?s a column/blog you all should be reading over at Comic Book Resources and it?s called Comics Should Be Good, and my favourite instalments to read are 365 Reasons to Love Comics. One of the more recent ones talks about one of those titles near and dear to my heart: The Unknown Soldier.

Apparently John Layman has won some award. The Bloggo Award. Is it real? Is it fake? Probably fake. So fake, it?s real! Congrats either, way, Layman. You know, this just provides a cheap excuse for me to plug his blog. Layman also had the restraint not to brag about it in other places. Here?s to hoping that polar bears don?t try to eat him on his move to California. Maybe if they just bat him around a bit? As for this mysterious job he?s gotten a hold of? I?ve heard it has something to do with a Thundercats movie.

Okay, I might be lying a bit there.

This Has A ?Blogcolumncast Pod Shazamcats, Ho!? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten

Comic Web: The Rack, Outlaw Tales, and Zed Reckoning

As I get to this bit, my arms are trying to revolt against me. I?m fighting the good fight, but they?re? my arms. Typing with my nose hurts, so that?s out. I?ll be quick.

Here are webcomics for you to read and, as some would hope, love:

There?s The Rack, a funny ?comic strip about a comic shop?. Even though they don?t list this column on their sources of associates and information, I think I can find it in my heart to forgive them.

Seriously, it?s a riot. Read it, dammit.

Next we have Outlaw Tales by Jason Edwards. This comic promises to be interesting as well as providing a compelling science-fiction story. The art is done with 3D software, which makes for a not-so-ordinary webcomic, that?s for sure.

One webcomic to grab my full attention is Zed Reckoning which is about a zombie named Zed who ?travels the wastelands with his soul in a suitcase, looking for a way to restore himself, but the Dread Baron Astor and his legion of zombies are hot on his tail?. I love how this comic looks. And it has a free-thinking zombie as the protagonist. I?m in love.

This Has A ?Rack The Zombie Outlaw? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten

The Closing Odd Bits

Fabian Nicieza is bringing back Captain Action to comic books for Moonstone. Read a great interview with Fabian and all about it here. Who the hell is Captain Action? Glad you asked. Did you know that Tony Lee was in the running and almost got it? It?s true.

We have a new writer on the Silver Bullet column The Real Mainstream, which was Craig Johnson?s baby for a long time. James Redington is the new guy, and I look forward to seeing what he comes up with!

And here?s a plug for myself? I love to read comics (obviously), so I?m going to try to do short reviews of them, hopefully consistently, because I love reviewing. We?ll see how all that goes. If you?re interesting in reading more of my blatherings, go here.

That?s it for this week, kids.

Here?s all that wonderful information that you need to contact me, complain to me, suggest things, and send bits & pieces to:


There?s always the ATR forums, too. Go crazy.

Until next time, dear readers?

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