Welcome one; welcome all, to yet another instalment of this fine column. I do hope you bunch that have this time as a holiday weekend are enjoying yourselves. Personally, I?ve spent it working on this, with my awesome family (my youngest son, Vance, wields cuteness as a rather lethal vorpal weapon), playing Neverwinter Nights 2, and putting in some highly enjoyable Chez Geek time (a wonderful game hilariously illustrated by Dork Tower?s John Kovalic) with dear friends.

Anyhow, enough prattle about me…Here?s your Rage.

Caution: This edition has a Wordy Factor of ?RATHER?.

The MJ Statue Flap and? Heroes For Hentai?

Normally, I try to avoid news that?s being done to death by comics journalists if I can help it. I feel that?s there is just no point covering what others are doing just fine, unless I have something to add or I have my own odd spin on it or whatever. I suppose this is one of those times I think I can add to something. But I?m going to do this bit anyway, so bear with me, please.

In case you have been hiding out with Elvis and Ms. Earhart, you probably already know about the whole uproar over the Sideshow Collectables comicquette of Marvel?s Mary Jane and then Adam Hughes, the talented fellow who provided the design for the statue, talked up his side on the whole thing over with the Newsarama crew. He seemed pretty surprised over the controversy and proceeds to provide his views and points out that Mary Jane is actually finding Peter Parker?s Spider-Man costume and not doing laundry as he says here:

      Also, if it was Mary Jane


      the laundry, there would?ve been suds everywhere, and I would?ve done a better job of doing it, so there would be no question ? that would be Mary Jane doing the laundry. I thought it was a kind of cute, funny, ?discovery? moment with a classic pin-up feel. That?s pretty much all I was shooting for. Yeah, she?s sexy, yeah, she?s dressed like a sexy chick?but look at her history ? that?s how she?s been portrayed for years, even when she?s not doing chores. Mary Jane is a bit of a bimbo. She?s been a supermodel and a dancer, an actress and a model?so I gave her a cute, sexy moment.

If you misinterpret that, at the ground level, then you?ve got an escalating series of perceived ?affronts? and it?s not helping anybody, I don?t think.

He then goes on to mention that this is the ?loudest? and ?meanest? attention his art has received… and then he begins to broach a territory that even I in my boldest moments would at the very least hesitate to even go with 200 miles of:

    This is probably going to open up a whole other can of worms, but it?s something like using the ?n-word.? Even when I?m sitting and having a discussion about how horrible that word is, I can?t even use that word in a clinical discussion about how horrible it is. I have to say, ?n-word? instead. But Dave Chappelle can use it all day long, and nobody gets offended. So ? is it actually an offensive word, or is the context offensive? Is it offensive when it?s used by a racist individual as a slur?

Interesting. I?m sure many eyebrows were (and are) raised when Mr. Hughes brought that up in the interview. Anyhow, Newsarama offered, ?Care to dig yourself out of that hole? How does that relate to the Mary Jane statue?? and his response was:

    Well, that?s how I end up looking at this ? is it really a sexist or misogynistic act if it wasn?t intended that way on the part of the people doing it? If you perceive something that way, but it wasn?t meant to be that way, and it?s not sending people back to the stone age, is it really a sexist or misogynistic thing that?s going on, or are you seeing something that?s either not there, or that the artist never intended to be there?

And I can see this following comment possibly irking some folks out there?

    I think the whole ?sexual availability? claim comes from trying to back up the argument that this is the most awful thing to hit mankind since the Holocaust.

But that?s only if they want to be irked, if you ask me.

Read the whole interview in order to get it all in the best possible context. I have a feeling that some people will still be waving pitchforks in Adam Hughes? direction for a little bit longer. And are they justified? Hmmm? I?ll leave that for you to decide. I?m saving my opinions for the second half of this bit (alas, I can only opine so much). Regardless of the outcome concerning the current MJ Statue hoopla, I hope Adam continues to do what he loves.

To be completely honest, it will all most likely blow over, or something new and controversially shiny will come along and that will be that. Speaking of which?

One thing is for sure: Marvel wasn?t about to let that be the main attention-grabber for very long.

I am certain that many of you have already placed your sight-orbs on this:

If you think people flipped their lids over the Mary Jane thing; holy mutant cows, you should see how this went! I mean, all of sudden it?s like ?MJ who??

I could go around and dig you up dozens of links, but I?m lazy. Very lazy. So, I send you to the fine lot at Newsarama again and one of their blog posts that has a few links worth reading. There?s even a link right away in that post which takes you to the initial reaction, et cetera.

Boy howdy, MJ was forgotten in seconds. Troops were assembled and hitting the beaches for decency in numbers that should make the Blogosphere proud and the Interweb weep with adulation. I have read angry and outraged comment after angry and outraged comment and I was all ?Damn, this cover is getting more shit in one minute than I do in a month by whatever-that-guy?s-name-is over at MillarWorld. It was impressive indeed, and I haven?t seen a furore like this is quite awhile.

Many people are taken aback that the cover is done by a woman. I?ve even heard odd comments here and there that wonder if she has something against women herself? Fact is, Sana Takeda is an extremely gifted artist (one I mentioned last week) who has a lot of outstanding work (Drain, for instance) under her belt and this is the image that was picked out of the bunch she probably did for the cover. I doubt this cover was done under any other outlook than sheer professionalism and love for the craft.

Of course, Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada talked about this ?Tenta-Scandal? a bit on Joe Friday?s:

      This one I can answer to*. First, I think people are reading way too much into that cover than was ever intended. I heard terms such as ?tentacle rape? being thrown around when that in no way is what?s happening, nor does it happen in the book. Those tentacles are the arms of the Brood who appears in the issue and is a major story point, the Brood have tentacles, sorry about that.

Secondly, the concept for that cover, soup to nuts came from a female artist. Thirdly, not being a deep follower of manga, I have no idea what recurring theme people are referring to or concerned with. While I appreciate the sentiment and the feelings that some may have about this, I honestly feel that there is way too much being read into this cover.

Also, HFH is a book that features two strong, lead female protagonists who kick major ass; somehow folks have forgotten to focus on that.

(*This is following a previous answer to a question about the MJ Statue uproar which asked if he had any comments on it. He said, ?Not really. When fans saw the statue was exactly the same time I was made aware of it, I have no involvement in that stuff and haven?t kept up with the brouhaha. It kind of floors me in a way because Adam Hughes is brilliant and is known for his amazingly sexy portrayal of strong women, so I?m not quite sure what people are up in arms about? Seriously, fill me in because I?ve literally been out of town and out of the loop.?)

That seems pretty clear, right? Reading what Joe says there seems to take a bit of the wind out of the sails of those crying ?rape porn!?, yeah? Not really. From what I?ve seen, many people who read what he said scoff or laugh. I really don?t know what to think on this one, at least as far as the ?tentacle rape? thing goes. You see, since I?m aware of that particular sort of anime / manga sub-genre, my mind is going to reach the same immediate conclusion many others have. However, upon further examination, I find that the skimpy outfits and rating (T+: 9+ years old Appropriate for most readers, parents are advised they may want to read before or with younger children) don?t exactly match up too well. I?d have to say that the 9+ guideline fits about as decently as the attire the female protagonists are garbed in on the cover. It?s stretched to the limit. Over the limit, even. I?m a very progressive thinking individual that likes to think he isn?t over-protective of his children. And to be sure, I discussed this with my beautiful wife, just to be certain we?re on the same page. We both came to the same conclusion: Based on the cover alone, we would never purchase this comic for our children, or allow the purchase of this comic, unless they were older than, say, 12. At least! We would feel better if it was slapped with a 15+ rating, actually. It has nothing to do with the tentacles, either, but more the outfits and nipples and ?bewbs? and so on.

My kingdom for digression. This is starting to sound like an op-ed piece. Any more of that and I?m going to have to pull this station wagon right over, kids.

Wait, Joe Quesada had NO idea that the cover for Heroes For Hire #13 wouldn?t cause a stir? And why it would? Is this what I?m getting from that statement above? I kinda write this column off the cuff at times (*cough*a lot*cough*) and I was just wondering how an EiC would have no?

Ah, digression. My good friend; there you are.

I bet Joe isn?t reaaaallly sorry about the Brood having tentacles. Just a hunch.

Yeah. I?m good? *smile*

Anyhoo, Mr. Quesada is probably flooded with emails and what-have-ye over this. I don?t envy him on this particular matter. Then again, the timing is perfect as that MJ statue has already sold out pre-orderwise and I?m willing to wager that the HFH #13 sells nicely. These two events coincide on quite a few levels and even if they?re considered different by many, one certainly has to recognise that they are in the same ballpark. Okay, at least the same dimension. It?s publicity, and with everything Marvel has been doing, whether it?s killing off Cap, controversial comicquettes, providing a divisive crossover that most certainly ended in someone?s feelings being hurt over the internet, manga influenced covers that have people cry ?rape porn?, murdering that poor, poor bastard Goliath, movies, and the list goes on. It?s no wonder that a DCU-centric friend of mine was recently complaining that he can?t stop thinking of Marvel when they keep making their fans talk about them? even if a lot of it is angry.

On a somewhat related note, that Joe Friday?s column is very entertaining and informative. The video is funnier than hell, and features not only Quesada, but Bendis, JMS, Dan Slott and Ed Brubaker, as well. It?s worth a watch. Plus, you Marvel fans might want to read what else Joe has to say.

I sure have linked to ?Rama a lot this time around. You guys owe me some taco-stuffed pastries, you hear?

For those of you interested in reading a couple of sites that have provided insight and plenty of opinion on the two current controversies babbled about above, go ahead and scroll on down to the Blogonaut section.

But first, I beseech you to read the interview I did with Eric, which is next!

(Meanwhile, I must prepare for Joe Q?s ninja hit squads? I understand they watch too much Sonny Chiba and kick ass. Pray for me.)

This Has An ?In Parts Assembled Solely? Factor Of Eight Out Of Ten

Splinterview: Checkmate, Eric Trautmann!

Not all that long ago, I was given a message that Eric Trautmann, an aspiring talent in the comics industry, wanted me to sit down and ask him a few questions about some stuff. I was more than happy to oblige, and it only cost me part of my soul. A fair trade, I have to confess. It has been revealed that Eric will be the co-writer on Checkmate #17, which I hear is to be a knockout issue. Join me and together we shall rule the Gal? No, no, that?s not it. Sorry. I mean?Join me while I prod Eric for information on what he?s doing, what he?s done, and just where the heck he thinks he?s going?

ATR: Eric, thanks for allowing me to interrogate you a bit. It looks like you’re co-writing Checkmate #17 with your pal Greg Rucka… How did you become involved with Checkmate and DC?

ET: Clean living. *laughter* I had edited Greg’s two Perfect Dark novels when I was still at Microsoft. We clicked, and became very, very good friends, and he seemed to think I could string a couple sentences together reasonably well, when he saw the Perfect Dark: Janus’ Tears series I wrote for Prima/Random House. So, when he started looking for a co-writer, I was on his list of potential candidates. Fortunately, the Checkmate editor, Joan Hilty, seemed to like what I did with Joanna Dark in the Prima series, and I was invited to pitch a fill-in issue for Checkmate. At which point, I did my happy dance, and then tried not to collapse from naked terror. DC is The Big Leagues.

ATR: Excellent. And what should we expect with this issue you are co-writing?

ET: Hopefully, the same smart characterization and grand intrigue that is the hallmark of Greg’s run, though my hope is to more directly link my issue to the DCU proper. It’s not an arc-story, it’s a fill-in, but by the same token, the intent is to set up some good stuff for subsequent issues. I spent a lot of time digging through old issues of all sorts of DC books, trying to find logical ways Checkmate interacts with the DCU. They know EVERYTHING. They are EVERYWHERE. And there’s decades of mad inventiveness, some of it really smart, some of it very goofy, but all of it definitely in the DCU. So, part of what I want to do is touch on some of this insane stuff, and put a logical spin on it, in the context of Checkmate, what Checkmate does, and how Checkmate operates.

And, you know, things blow up. That’s always good, too.

ATR: Yes. Me likes it when stuff blows up.

ET: As long as the explosions are for intelligent reasons.

ATR: If you say so, sir. I’ve only recently started checking out Greg’s run of Checkmate and I’m liking what I see so far, but I thought I’d get a question for you to field from a friend of mine who’s a big DCU and Checkmate reader.

ET: If I can answer it, fire away. I may not know the answer.

ATR: He asks: “Are we going to continue to see Checkmate draft various superhero teams to do their dirty work in the future (big teams in particular, seeing Mr. Terrific blackmail or otherwise coerce the JLA or JSA would be fascinating)? Any chance we may see the Suicide Squad come back into play?”

ET: …wow. I’m not cleared to answer that. I don’t think I’m cleared to KNOW half of the answers to that. Heh. That’s a Greg question.

I would say, my understanding — and the approach I’m taking — is that Checkmate handles the stuff the JLA can’t or won’t. You can’t have Superman flying into, say, China, and dealing with something without an international incident. That’s what Checkmate is FOR. So co-opting the JLA would have to be for a DAMN GOOD REASON. At this point, I have no idea what that reason would be. But I expect Greg does.

And that makes me scared. Very, very scared.

ATR: Greg can be scary, man.

ET The things he does… you know… with the things? Scary. Don’t even bring up the salad tongs. The screams haunt me.

ATR: Dear god. It’s so hard to forget. We should continue before we end up wallowing in our tears again.

ET: Please.

ATR: Tell us a bit about your background with writing… I know you did the Perfect Dark Zero: Janus’ Tears, which was quite good. What else is there?

ET: My comics career is, er, embryonic. Before PD:JT, I’d done a couple of mini-comics (one for WizKids, as part of the Crimson Skies basic rules, which was then thoroughly butchered by an editor cutting out things like establishing shots and a third of the dialogue; I did a second, under a pseudonym, for Prima as a tie-in to a videogame. It was a fun piece, but I didn’t craft the story — I’d been given an “outline” of sorts by the videogame folks. If you’ve ever dealt with the kind of folks who handle story in videogames, you can guess how, er, well-considered THAT was.)

I may be doing some work for an independent publisher later in the year, but it’s too early to really spill the beans on that.

Checkmate is, quite simply, my first “at bat” for mainstream work.

In terms of other writing, I’ve been scribbling at stories for as long as I can remember. I sold a piece to a regional interest magazine in my home state (New York) when I was still a teenager, which was my first pro sale; the magazine paid me, then promptly folded without printing a page, which was a fairly atypical freelance experience — usually the check bounces, and then the publisher folds.

I ended up doing work for West End Games on the Star Wars RPG, because I am a huge geek, loved Star Wars, and knew the editor. I collected editorial table scraps there for a couple years until I landed a staff position, allowing me to leave the sunny climes of Northern New York (land of the Wind Chill That Can Kill You, As Proof That God Does Not Want You To Live There) and move to urbane Northeastern Pennsylvania. Like Green Acres, without the cultural diversity.

When WEG folded — and I’m not going to get into all that here, but it was ug-leeee — I bounced around doing all manner of crappy temp jobs, until I was recruited into Microsoft. That’s ANOTHER sordid, long tale for another day.

At Microsoft, I was part of the then-nascent licensing group, and my job was to help shape product quality on things like action figures, comics, etc. I even managed to script doctor a couple of games (including the first Halo).

ATR: Nice work with Halo, then. I enjoyed the game and the story behind it.

ET: Thanks. My job on Halo was to polish the “in mission” dialogue practically overnight; the cut-scenes were locked down. My co-writer at the time, a fellow named Brannon Boren, and I put in a murderous three days rewriting dialogue while being prohibited from actually looking at the game.

That led to some work for Random House (Ballantine / Del Rey) — I wrote an “Art of” book about Halo (it was similar to my experience with the Halo script, wherein I was required to write about the pretty pictures, but for months was not allowed to LOOK at the pretty pictures. Bungie was fun. *winks*), edited the first three Halo novels, which then led to Perfect Dark novels, which led to Perfect Dark comics…

…and the rest is history.

ATR: Check and mate, as it were. I just wanted to say that. Even if it made little sense. What? You don?t have to look at me like that, man. Uhm? Any chance of seeing more Checkmate work from you in the future?

ET: That depends on what Joan thinks of #17, I expect. I hope so.

ATR: Well, then, it had better be good.

ET: Thanks. Not enough pressure already. You bastard. *laughs*

ATR: I like to lay it on.

ET: I can take it. I handled Microsoft. And I have the bleeding ulcer to prove it.

ATR: So, you and your lovely spouse run what is probably my favourite comic/gaming store, Olympic Cards and Comics. I figure you have a pretty good handle on the comics industry, both from a creator and retailer perspective. What is your take on the current Mary Jane Statue flap and Heroes for Hire #13 “hentai cover” controversy?

ET: Well, I’m certain the creators of the pieces are genuinely not trying to cause offense. At least, I hope that’s the case; though controversy certainly helps move units, and that, ultimately, is the business we’re in. The individual cases — the MJ statue, the “hentai” cover, etc. — are generally innocuous. But when viewed from a more macro level, it points to a certain amount of locker-room mentality. This is the same company that, in its major crossover event, had to include a sorta creepy “incest” vibe with two of its oldest, most venerable characters. In that context, and in the face of some pretty vocal criticism, it seems weird that there isn’t more attention paid to that at an editorial level. These are all avoidable missteps, in my opinion.

As someone who also helps run a retail comics store, the Heroes for Hire cover doesn’t exactly scream “welcome” to female patrons. That makes it harder for us to sell to the most people. It hurts them in the long run, I think.
If I were “spinning” the MJ statue, for example, I’d probably suggest that MJ, the model is posing for a glam shot as a present for her husband.

I’m not trying to pick on Marvel — the same charges have been leveled at DC (rightly or wrongly); the Kotobukiya “Supergirl” figurine springs to mind, for example. On the surface, it’s just a gussied up “fashion model” of a type common in Japan, but when placed next to other less-than-respectful treatments of female characters, the outrage is understandable.

At the end of the day, we try to maintain a welcoming environment, and some of this material makes that very, very difficult. On the one hand, the industry is portrayed in the mainstream media as “Pow! Biff! Zap!” nonsense; on the other, we’re “borderline pornographic.” Makes it a lot tougher to show concerned parents things like “Owly,” or to turn female readers on to “Y, The Last Man” or “Strangers in Paradise” if we keep getting tarred by the controversy brush. Why would they even walk into the store, if all they see is the sturm und drang?

ATR: You raise some good points. I appreciate you taking the time to comment on it a bit. It seems to be taking comics media by storm, and I’m curious to see how people feel on it.

ET: I love Hughes’ work. I LOVE it. It’s got all that great Gil Elvgren cheesecake retro goodness going on; that’s what kills me about the response to the statue.

ATR: Yeah, it would appear to have acquired a life all on its own.

ET: I wonder if that’s perhaps in part because of last years’ New York Times article about how comics are all about “diversity” these days. The media loves to pounce on perceived hypocrisy. Hm.

On the other hand, when dealing with mainstream media properties, you literally can’t win. You’re going to piss SOMEBODY off. It’s inevitable.

ATR: Oh, totally. Someone somewhere always gets pissed off about something.

ET: Not that you can relate or anything, huh? *nudge*

ATR: This is me glaring at you. Just kidding. Please put the cudgel down. *pause* What, me? No one has ever gotten angry with me writing this column. Ever. Okay, I may be lying a bit? I usually manage to piss someone off somehow… Always ends in tears, you know. Anyhow, it’s been great talking to you, Eric! Famous last words?

ET: My fondest wish in life would be to have the ability to be witty on command. Now, for example, would be an opportune time for this ability.

ATR: We all can’t be me. It’s okay. With some therapy should be able to cope with it.

ET: Curse you. Curse you and your bacon-wrapped evil ways. Great talking to you, too.

ATR: Well, I’ll be damned… That’s probably one of the best closing statements ever. I guess we can all be like me after all. As long as there?s bacon involved.

See this cover?

Does this contain clues to who the newest member of Checkmate will be? I believe it does. Incidentally, it?s the first Superman comic Eric ever bought with his own money.

This Has A ?Gettin? Down With Good Ol? Fashioned Super-Powered Espionage? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten

Gutsville: Seditionists Will Be Digested

Have you been reading, nay, experiencing Gutsville by Si Spurrier (script) and Frazer Irving (art and letters)? You should. It?s even been featured before, before my time at ATR, here in all of its glory. This only proves that John V. has good taste in comics, especially so since I just read the first issue and found it to be fantastic. Not just fantastic in that ?oh, that?s very nice? kind of way; but also fantastic in the way of ?Man, what an odd duck of a story, yet damned compelling!?

Click here for complimentary information, but the gist of Gutsville (for you impatient types out there) is a bunch of people on a ship bound for Australia never make their destination on account of being swallowed whole by a mysterious beast. Now their descendents eke out an existence over a century-and-half later? Inside, over all this time developing a bizarre Victorian-esque society which resides in shanty-town appropriately called Gutsville. A kooky concept to be sure, but the first issue proves straight away that it works. If you?re looking for something more than a bit weird, certainly gross, and downright cool, I implore you to light up that methane lamp and head on off to a near-by shoppe to pick this comic up. Even if you have to brave the side-guts, you won?t be sorry.

We can thank Image for publishing this 6 issue mini-series, by the way.

Oh, yes? Straight from the belly of the beast, I present to you some pages from Gutsville #2! There are some covers thrown in for good measure, too:

Great stuff, no?

This Has An ??Tis Mere Mild Indigestion, Dear? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten

What is Puppykiller?

A little bit ago, something arrived in my email? It was this image with the message ?Puppykiller trailer in July– courtesy of Junkie Jesus. More to follow.?

What the hell is Puppykiller? Who?s doing it? Who?s ?Junkie Jesus?? I don?t know (yet), but I?ve heard that it will be a very interesting comic and that?s why it?s in here. I?ll provide more information as it arrives.

This Has A ?Science As A Candle In The Dark Makes Baby Junkie Jesus Cry? Factor Of Seven Out Of Ten

Villain 101

It would seem the glamorous life of a super-villain is just too alluring to some people out there. One of them is Alex Gray, who has decided to undertake the task of constructing a documentary based on his living the ?low-life? for an entire year. A year as a super-villain? think of it. I?d imagine it?s pretty different from living the average life of a cad that I do. Still, I can always hope and aspire to be as flippin? great sinister as Mr. Gray! Do yourself a favour and check out the <ahref=http://villain101.com>Villain 101 website.

Here?s the first trailer for the documentary:

If you watch you may notice SBCB?s very own Park Cooper (of the Park & Barb Show). He?s the guy suggesting the ?Baron? should precede ?Blight? as a name (thus making for a great cheesy ominous villain name ?Baron Blight?. Looking good, Park!

This Has An ?Alex Gray Would Make An Excellent Villain Name Itself!? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten

Blogonaut: Abnett?s Blog-O-Thon, Occasional Superheroine, and Manstream Awards

First off, you fellow Dan Abnett fans might be interested to know that today (Sunday) he?s doing a ?blog-a-thon?. Details can be found in his blog, The Primary Clone, here. And for those of you who don?t feel like clicking around, here?s the bit that explains everything:

    She [Nik, Dan?s wife] suggested a blog-a-thon. According to her, a blog-a-thon would involve writing five hundred words an hour every hour for twelve hours. I?d write five hundred words, take the rest of the hour off, and then write another five hundred at the start of the next hour – and so on, all the while answering posts. I think she may have bee having a laugh. I can?t even find a clone willing to volunteer for that.

Sounds like a great bit of fun!

(You might also be pleased to know that Dan?s Blog is available via a Livejournal feed.)

Then we have a couple links for you folks that enjoy getting the female perspective on all things comic books; a perspective that has been tapped quite a bit lately due to the Mary Jane Statue thing and the already infamous Heroes For Hire #13 cover?

There?s Occasional Superheoine, which I have to admit, is very entertaining to read. Through that I discovered the Manstream Awards, an ?awards? system in which certain instances in comicdom are frozen in time for posterity? and by that I mean good old-fashioned mockery. This is one of my favourite finds as of late. I really dug that bit on Irredeemable Ant-Man #7. Hey, when you write a column like ATR, you really learn to appreciate a good ribbing, even if you or what you read is the target.

This isn?t to say that those two blogs are all light-hearted and good-times. They have a point; a finely honed point, to be exact. There are those of you who will agree, applauding their efforts and those of you who will scoff and tell them to ?man up? (if you will). I?m sure that many of you would fall somewhere in between. If you care to, express your opinions on them in our ATR forums.

This Has A ?Tentacle Man-O-Thon? Factor Of Nine Out Ten

Indie Front: Purity and Savage Tales of Scorn

With all those tentacles flying around, it?s possible you might miss some cool non-Big Two items that are currently and will be available.

In no particular order, here is what I?ve come across or has caught my eye?

I?ve featured Dakuwaka and their title Purity in here before, and I?m happy to say that I?m enjoying the mini-series so far. Issue 3 should have hit the streets already and #4 will be a 48 page grand finale of a terrifically illustrated and well-told tale chock full of action, intrigue and flat-out ultra-violence. Here?s the blurb on Purity #4? with some pretty, not-yet-lettered art for you to gawk at:

    The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse discover an element that will give each of them the power of God Himself, allowing them to not only bring about the end of the world, but to wage war on Heaven and Hell. Their threat is so great, that God and the Devil must set aside their differences and place the task of stopping the Horsemen with a man who believes in nothing; not God, the Devil… or even himself.

I?d like to take a minute to remind some of you fellow pulp anthology / sword & sorcery fans out there that Savage Tales is back and after reading the first issue, it?s back strong. I?m no stranger to the anthology comic, being a reader of 2000 AD (and the Judge Dredd Megazine), naturally), and I wish there were more of them. To check out Dynamite?s re-launch of Savage Tales, head down to your local shop, and make sure to visit here. Since I mentioned anthology comics, here?s some others you may dig: Nightmare World, Negative Burn, Tales From the Plex, and Dead By Dawn Quarterly just to name four that could use a few good readers. Feel free to let me know if there?s an anthology comic I should check out myself, or if you are just wondering what?s out there.

Finally, it looks like that Scorn comic from tireless promoters Septagon Studios will be coming out? I?ve heard so much about it and I?m curious to see how it is. There?s a trailer up for it here. Take a peek. It?s not bad a?tall, actually. The only thing I would have done differently is hire Mick Harris of Scorn fame do the soundtrack. Hey, a man can dream, alright?

Some brief press excerpts on Scorn, for those of you who wish to see some?

      Written by Kevin Moyers (Unleashed Publications, Machined) and illustrated by Philipp Neundorf (Gunn, Runes of Ragnan), Scorn is a complex story that revolves around revenge, anger, and disgust.

?SCORN is a book that continues to throw twists and turns where you least expect them,? stated Nicola Defina, president of Septagon Studios, Inc. ?The story follows Michael Riggs as he witnesses the murder of his best friend. Michael is emotionally disturbed, and promises to wreak vengeance upon the killer. The artwork is unconventional, gritty, and draws the reader directly into the story.?

Expect Scorn in June. It?s about time, and I mean that in a good way.

This Has A ?Hedrake?s Boss Collections? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten

One Last Thing and Closing Comments

Fell Vol. 1: Feral City is available as a TPB, in case you haven?t noticed be blabbing about this awesome comic. Read issue one here. Do it for the children.

Look into some other comics while you are there; it?s good for you.

And what’s a party without the proper gear and attire? No function plan for your dystopian near-future will be complete without these items courtesy of Avatar Press in times to come:

It’s like a Warren Ellis moment, isn’t it? A good way to close this week out.

There you have it. Another week bites the dust. Please be sure to contact me if you have any questions, Stasi-like tip-offs, comments, or suggestions that I must die in a fire. I only ask that you be imaginative when regarding the latter, as a simple bonfire is such a waste of a possible good time for others to share.

It also can?t hurt to have a sense of humour.

Details you need in order to properly track me down:


Please enjoy your week! Be safe. Don?t accept any wooden tacos.

Until next time, dear readers?


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