This has been an extra-crazy week for me and my own, as much of our time was consumed by a family emergency. Everything seems to be going a better already, but still there was all of that valuable ?column time? eaten up. Everything has been cobbled together real last-minute like. Thankfully, there?s always nice folks helping out and I even have a guest piece as written by SBC?s own Mr. Tobey Cook.

Before I get on with it, I would like to take a moment and dedicate this ATR to my mother-in-law, Tina, and to Josh Boyd and all of his family and friends. Josh, I don?t know if you?ll get to read this where you are, but hang in there and heal up quick and nothing you have done has been in vain. Please know that many people that you know care and are pulling for you.

Byrned Out

Show of hands to those of you who read the lead-in last week. Okay, nice. Now how many of you hate me for it? That few, huh? I thought it would have been worse. Ah, well. Can?t lose them all.

Anyhow, Mr. Name Withheld, aka Wayne Osborne, took the time to email me and set the story straight:

    ? John had agreed to draw a comic for me. The price of the job was a little less than $22,000.00 which was the cost of full pencils and inks for a twenty- two page comic and the cover. John also volunteered to pay the letterer out of his pocket. I can understand how someone might get the details of the job a little bit wrong but the part about John ?talking me out of donating this money to a charity? is just a lie. John and I have been talking about this project for a long time. Never in these discussions was it ever my intention to donate the money to a charity only to have John talk me out of it. I expect to see this item corrected soon.

JB, dear sir, your detractors are legion and many of them are members of your own board (and maybe even an admin or two?). You seem to have a knack for drawing attention to yourself in the worst ways.

Am I issuing a retraction? Nope. In fact, I stand by my piece. See, I?m quoting someone else. The only mistake I made was in the scoring. I meant for it to be a 2/10, but I was in a rush and made a sloppy error. For that I sincerely apologize. I also extend apologies to Mr. Osborne if the piece tarnished his project in any way. That wasn?t my intent, and I think anyone reading this column with at least a Grade 3 reading level could see that clearly.

Wayne Osborne and I opened up a friendly dialogue as a result of all of this. I sent questions to him concerning the project he?s doing with John Byrne and I do hope to run them in the next (or future) ATR. My thanks go out to Wayne, as he is a real gent.

The only confusion I felt about all of this is from the few people that commented that I ?empowered? John Byrne. I went over some of the comments and one email (There were 3 angry emails in total. 2 Byrne Fans, 1 Byrne Hater. Wayne would make 4). A single sentence comes to mind regarding them: ?See you next Tuesday? or whatever the plural of the sentence would be.

This Has A ?Byrne-Out At The Hilarity Bar? Factor Of Seven Out Of Ten

Where Have You Gone, Steve Rogers??

The death of Captain America. Say what you will, but you have to admit that it getting headlines is pretty impressive. People who don?t even know who Cap is are talking about it. Because of my week being so insane, my friend Tobey Cook was able to provide a bit on this:

Captain America #25

      is this week’s big topic, obviously. I thought the story was well handled, and all of those folks who say Steve Rogers will be back toting his signature shield have not been reading what Brubaker’s been doing with the book since he took it over 2 years ago. I have faith in Brubaker that he’ll make any choices regarding the future of Captain America an interesting read.


      Retailer reactions have been pretty negative, and a lot of that stems from the fact that Marvel didn’t reveal any information to retailers about the contents to issue #25 for fear of it leaking out. So when Wednesday morning rolled around and the death of Captain America was on the cover of just about every major newspaper, as well as being featured on many local news stations, retailers were caught by surprise. Attempts to reorder the book from Diamond fell flat, as they were out of stock before stores opened on the west coast. I received an email from Chris Casos over at

Comics Dungeon

      here in Seattle, and here’s the bit he wrote regarding his feelings on Marvel’s lack of information?


      “Due to the large media coverage of

Captain America #25

      , we have had a minimum of 50 people calling during the course of this Wednesday trying to get a hold of it. And you know, we would usually be happy about that. Except for the fact that Marvel, being the genius group that they are, never bothered to let any retailers know about the content ahead of time. That being the case, we only had like 14 shelf copies for that thing. So here is the deal. If you didn’t get it, we will try our best to get you a 1st printing copy if they arrive on the reorder. Honestly though, you are probably going to end up with the 2nd printing. And don’t bug me about this. I’m ready to kill in a heartbeat because of this stuff. Seriously. Just a comic. He’s gonna be back in 6 months. 2 years tops.”


      Now, I can understand why he would be upset. If I were a retailer, I would be upset as well. Marvel’s been obviously doing this a lot lately, and it’s not something the retailers are taking lightly, especially because they were not prepared (nor apparently was Marvel) for the amount of media coverage this was going to get.


      I spoke to Chris on the phone about this, and he told me that Diamond did say that anyone who reordered by 12pm EST would have their orders filled with a first printing. They also had the option of turning those backorders into a direct reorder, so that they could get copies shipped out pretty much immediately. He basically said he wished Marvel had given them a bit more to work with as far as a timetable, because he could have really done a lot better promotion of the issue with his customers. He was able to move some other Captain America merchandise (back issues, t-shirts and a statue), so it’s not like he lost money on it.


      Gabriel Hagmann, of

Dreamstrands Comics

      had this to say?


      “I ordered about 10%-15% above my usual number for Captain America, just based on the fact it was an anniversary issue. I sold out within about an hour after I opened the store, and I’m not sure if I will be able to get more copies of the 1st print in stock. A lot of the people who came in I had to turn away, just because even with limiting people to 1 copy per person, I didn’t have enough to meet demand. If Marvel had given retailers notice about a week or two before the Final Order Cutoff that this press release was going to go out, I would have been able to adjust my numbers above what I normally do and not had to turn away so many people. They really dropped the ball on this one, and I can’t understand why.”


    I want to thank Chris and Gabriel for providing the information to me on this and allowing me to use their statements in this piece. It really underscores that Marvel needs to pay more attention to the people they supply product to and make sure they’re kept in the loop.

Thanks, Tobey. Cap #25 might be really hard to get right now, but I’ve been hearing that some folks have them. Keith Dallas informs me that MidTownComics has them, for instance.

This Has A ?Rack Up Another Death For Cap? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten


It looks like John August will be writing Shazam!, New Line Cinema?s adaptation of the beloved DC Comics character Captain Marvel. More information on this development can be found HERE.

Looks like it?s shaping up to be a good deal, and they even have Geoff Johns for ?idiot checking?. Yup, all good so far? even if there?s a producer of Constantine on board.

What? All I?m sayin? is that Constantine was a huge insult to Hellblazer fans?

(Please stand by while Steve goes into a psychotic fit.)

This Has A ?I Suppose Peter Jackson Has Nothing To With This Film, Huh? Factor Of Seven Out Of Ten

I Can Piss On Calais From Dover

Not long ago, Warren Ellis posted THIS in the Engine forums. Of course, this led to much pants-wetting, especially from me. A comic about >the Battle of Cr?cy? Holy crap, that?s awesome.

Then, even more recently, there was THIS. Illustrations? Fantastic illustrations from Raulo Cacares.

Just look:

You can safely bet that I will be keeping my longbow trained on this.

This Has A ?Misericordias To Those Too Stunned To Continue? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten

Jerwa Gets Scrooged

Earlier today, writer Brandon Jerwa (Highlander, BSG: Zarek, G.I. Joe) was talking about stuff and I noticed him mention something. I then pressed him on the issue and here was his response:

      Dammit, Steve, can anything be kept from you? No? Oh, well. I was saving this for April, but what the heck – no time like the present. I’m currently searching for an artist for a 32-page black-and-white version of Charles Dickens’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL. I want to preserve the classic direction of the story, but we’ll definitely be playing up the dark, scary elements of the ghosts and the visions they inflict upon Ebenezer Scrooge. My favorite movie version is the Albert Finney musical take simply entitled “Scrooge”, so that should hopefully explain where I’m coming from on my end.


      I am looking for a DEDICATED, RELIABLE artist, preferably one who can ink his own work. Please don’t waste my time. I should be very clear that this book currently does not have a home; the first step will be producing a few pages for pitching. I don’t care if you are established or looking to find your way into the industry – if you can keep your promises and you are devoted to this project like I am, we’ll get along just fine. Like any independent, creator-owned (at least for now) property, all the glory is on the back end… and wow, does that sound far dirtier than I intended it to.


    If you are the artist I seek, please drop me a line at

Any takers?

This Has A ?Artists Bless Us, Everyone!? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten

Comicarchy in the UK: Knighthoods All Around

A quick bit a fantastic reader made me aware of. Read this:

    We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to award knighthoods to John Wagner, Pat Mills and Alan Grant, in recognition of the 30th anniversary of the great British comic, 2000AD.

That?s right! A petition to get knighthoods for these fine fellows. Personally, I would have knighthoods awarded to more than just the three luminaries mentioned, but we don?t live in my perfect world. To add to my pain: since I?m a Yank, I cannot sign it. However, if you qualify, please take the time to add your name to the petition.

This Has A ?Knights In Zarjaz Armour? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten

Indie Front: Se7en Ways To Cut A Grimm Tale

This week this section will be light. Light, but good.

Last ATR I stupidly neglected to add 2 comics from Zenescope Entertainment that I had meant to. So here they are, with some pages from recent issues for your viewing pleasure.

For fans of the movie, there?s the title Se7en, which is surprisingly good and quite disturbing. Each issue covers one of the deadly sins and elements of the film in much more detail. What you see here are pages from ?Sloth??

Then there?s Grimm Fairy Tales, an excellent book with great stories with surprise twist endings (a favourite story-type of mine). Here?s some pages from #11 and the cover for that issue and #12?

Zenescope Entertainment is producing some sweet comics with some of the best talent out there. Make sure to flip through some of their titles the next time to head over to the comic shop.

And there you have it! A very brief installment of Indie Front. Don?t forget: I love indie comics. If you produce something that you would like to see profiled here or read something that you feel needs some ATR love, please drop me a line.

This Has A ?Sloth Makes The Best Fairy Tale? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten

Blogonaut: Ringo!

Here?s a treat of a blog for you guys this week: Mike Wieringo! His homepage is always fun to poke around in and his blog is full of cool stuff, including many an artistic treat. Take his latest entry on the death of Captain America, complete with illustration. Nice Cap, Mike!

This Has A ?Let?s See More Of His Cap? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten

Comic Web: Your Friendly Local Bible Pirate Fellowship

Two comics this week?

The first is one many of you should know. If not, please do yourself some good and read every single strip of The Perry Bible Fellowship. They are filled to the brim with entertainment, cynicism, and irony. Please, I implore you: Read them all. You won?t regret it.

Next is something for all you pirate lovers out there: Todt Hill. Another great comic found at The Chemistry Set. This comic has it all: Story, Adventure, Great Writing, Attitude and Nice Art. It reminds me of the days of comic strip yore. A very good thing.

This Has A ?Bible Pirates?! Quick! Hide The Glowing Bacon!? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten

This batch of ATR cobbler is all baked. I?m really freaking tired and really need one of those machines that Judge Dredd uses to replace sleep.

Places to find me on Zee Internets:

Until next time, dear readers.


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