Extra bonus points to you stalwart (and quite possibly insane) readers who get this week?s column title joke? Dammit, I want them found! Nobody messes with? who am I? Don?t ever call this number again!

See? Now it?s a triple-referenced joke! I?m pure genius, I tell you. What? Oh, right.

Let?s get down to it.

Cry ?Havoc? and Let Slip the Vampires and Zombies of War

As many of you have to already know, Tony Lee (Starship Troopers, Midnight Kiss) is one of the best up and coming writers in the industry these days, and Szymon Kudranski (30 Days of Night Annual 2004, Scatterbrain) is one of the better artists I?ve seen in quite awhile (he?s got a very distinctive style going on that I?m rather fond of). Some interesting items have fallen into my possession and although I?m not sure whether or not I?m ?allowed? to do this, I think I would be letting you all down if I don?t show you what I?ve come across for Bloodbourne: Bite of the Living Dead, a title by Lee and Kudranski currently in production. What?s it about? Simply put: Zombies versus vampires. How cool is that? What you see here are pages 1-3 of the book. As of this writing, Bloodbourne is not with a publisher, so a release date is still unknown. I?m hoping this gets picked up right quick. Any of you publishers out there paying attention?!

I would also like to point out that Tony Lee has a new column here at SBC, starting this Monday, called ?It?s Only a Comic?. He and occasional partner-in-crime Dan Boultwood will be providing weekly entertainment for all to enjoy. When it goes up it will be at the following location: http://www.silverbulletcomicbooks.com/only/.

And if you haven?t read Lee?s Midnight Kiss (brilliantly illustrated by Ryan Stegman), this is a good time to start! Markosia is offering #5 (the final issue) for free in both PDF and CBR formats. Get the goods here: http://www.markosia.org.uk/press.php

This Has An ?I Hear Boston Vamp-Zombies Get Ignored For 2-3 Weeks? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten

?And Where?s That Aquaman Movie?

It?s a bad year already for DCU fans who would like to see their heroes modified for the silver screen. Practically at the same time David Goyer announces that his version of Flash is ?dead in the water? (and it seems to have been for quite some time), then Joss Whedon publicly declares that his involvement with the Wonder Woman movie is toast. Batman Begins: The Dark Knight is still in the casting phase and production appears to be slowly coming together? with a projected release date of July 18th, 2008 (so far, anyway). That?s just over a three year wait for those of us that REALLY liked Batman Begins. Of course there?s no word on the supposed Green Lantern film I heard about awhile back. Remember that one? Was supposed to have Jack Black star? Let?s hope that never comes to pass.

Meanwhile, Marvel properties are continuing with the movie madness, with Ghost Rider about to hit theatres (on the 16th of this month), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (June 15th) and Spider-Man 3 coming this May (another 3-year wait, though, to be fair), as well as animated features that have been coming out, et cetera. Then there?s the ?re-interpreted to be closer to the comic book? Hulk coming in late June ?08, and Iron Man already being cast and getting all reared up to go for May, 2008 release?

Seems like the DCU isn?t getting the fair representation on celluloid that it deserves, eh? There are more comics-based movies coming out, to be sure, but most of them are Marvel characters, not DC.

I guess there?s the Superman Returns sequel (possibly called Superman: The Man of Steel) coming out in 2009 for you Supes fans. I sincerely hope you aren?t dead of old age before that?s released. You know, I really wanted to see a Wonder Woman movie directed by Whedon. But what about Bryan Singer directing it? Think he could? I mean along with his Superman (or Super-Dad, as I like to call the most recent film) duties and everything. Can you see it? Yeah, I can. Wonder Woman would have a kid that she would leave with Steve Trevor and a strong female lead played by Famke Janssen to raise as Princess Diana would have better, more heroic things to do.

Hey, it could happen.

Anyway, all kidding aside, I?d like to see more DCU based movies? wouldn?t you? I was looking forward to a Flash and Green Lantern movie. *sigh* Stupid studios.

This Has A ?For The Hollywood Things Cannot Stand The Light? Factor Of Five Out Of Ten

They Shall Shed Their Fan Light Over Dark Evil

Green Lantern fans shouldn?t utterly despair, however. Albeit very brief (around a minute long), I invite you to enjoy this excellent fan-film short just as I have: http://cobraproductions.filmspace.biz/gl.mov.

Hey Warner Brothers, can you have these guys do a movie? Please?

This Has A ?Mogo Is Very Pleased, And Has Signed On As A Producer? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten

For The Boys? Anything

Just a quick note on The Boys? It is hoped that it?ll be back up and running by spring. Get those virgins ready for sacrifice, just to be sure.

This Has A ?Butcher Needs To Be Handing Out Asses And Teeth Every Month? Factor Of Seven Out Of Ten

Your Marvel Musings Minute?

I?ve been reading in various places, including our own forums here at SBC, the unbridled speculation on what Marvel has planned for their primary Universe of Operations (616). I?ve heard quite a bit myself, from various sources; about what will / won?t / might / maybe happen and all that fusion jazz.

I?ve heard all sorts of stuff concerning how Marvel goes about planning (or ?planning? to those of you of a cynical persuasion) things. From that they dictate everything to the writers stemming from a mad 20-year business plan sold to them by quasi-aliens that worship deceased science-fiction authors to the ?dartboard approach? (complete with nude clowns and man-killing baby seals).

I discussed this with some insiders recently, and they all seem to be of the same mind; Marvel gets most of its direction from passionate writers and a crop of editors who are really with the ?program?, if you will. The one thing I could ascertain for sure is that everything you see happening in the MU is done out of a deep love and respect for the characters. I realise that some of you are groaning right now, or are hissing curses, but keep in mind that change can be good.

One must keep in mind that most of the writers involved with Marvel (and, as one can assume, DC or any other long-standing company) grew up with these characters and that it?s only natural that they want to bring those dynamic and much beloved figures back to their roots, back to what made those writers fall in love with them in the first place.

Another thing one must keep in mind is that the regular Marvel 616 Universe will become more like the Ultimate Marvel Universe. No, no, not in the way that probably first springs to the forefront of your brain. What I mean is that Marvel is making a concerted effort to interconnect most of the titles on a regular basis. Look what DC has done with 52 and what they will be doing with the (alleged) upcoming Multiverse weekly. Marvel has been doing it for years with the Ultimate line. Readers don?t have to read all the interconnected comics, but it sure doesn?t hurt, and more in-depth regular crossover with storylines and such is very much in the cards with Marvel, you just wait and see (heck, you?re seeing it now).

Now take that for what you will. What do I think? I can tell you we?re in for one hell of a ride in the very near future. But you already know that. I?ll keep my ear to the ground and my minions well-fed in hopes for any juicy stuff I?ll be able to swing your way soon.

This Has A ?When Will Marvel Have A Mooninites Crossover?? Factor Of Five Out Of Ten

Now THAT is a Killer Secretary

My ninja-spies are indeed everywhere, and one unit reports David Wohl, the co-creator of Witchblade, is bringing his new book to Silent Devil Productions (link: http://www.silentdevil.com/). The title, Executive Assistant, is coming from his Titan Productions Company (link: http://www.titanproductions.com/). From that Wohl?s website: ?In the modern, cutthroat corporate world, today’s CEO needs an edge to stay on top. Enter the EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT–she’s a secretary, bodyguard and assassin all rolled into one.?

Looks like I?ll have a new title for the pull list! Check out that art from Siya Oum. Nice!

Expect the official announcement at the New York Comic Con.

While you?re poking around, take a look at what else Silent Devil and Titan Productions have brewing.

This Has A ?Hold My Calls!? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten

More Of That Magical Moore Fellow

In case you don?t know, Alan Moore with have some new things to dazzle us with come 2008. It would seem that a new (3rd) volume of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, called Century, will be ?Published as three deluxe, 72-page, full-colour, perfect-bound graphic novellas, written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Kevin O’Neill?.

Oh, and what?s this? The Moon and Serpent Bumper Book of Magic? An ?Extravagant compendium of thaumaturgic lore? and a ?320-Page Super-Deluxe Hardcover, co-written by Alan Moore and Steve Moore, and illustrated by various luminaries from the comic book field.? Very, very fascinating! That should be out in 2009. Seem like a long way off, yeah? Only 2 years, really. I really like that cover art by John Coulthart.

Find out more here. While you?re there, make sure to investigate the other excellent wares of Top Shelf.

This Has A ?Who Magicks The Magick Men? Factor Of Eight Out Of Ten

Comicarchy in the UK: Toothy Battle Robots Galore

Time to pay attention all you lot on the UK end of things!

I heard this rumour concerning 2000AD? Carlos Ezquerra is running so behind with Judge Dredd: Origins that they’ll be running a six-parter from Tharg’s filing cabinet of goodies marked “just in case” by Gordon Rennie and Ian Gibson.

But is that such a bad thing? I have faith that Carlos will produce some of the best work around, and if that means we have to wait a bit, then so be it. He?s been kicking ass for so many years, I think the guy deserves some slack. Not only that, but I would love to see some Rennie/Gibson Dredd. Now it might be a bit of a downer that Origins may not end with the 30th Anniversary issue (thus the ?Interludes?; on the bright side, they?ve brought us some great stuff by History of Violence team Wagner/Locke!).

We?ll see what happens. I?m sure everything will work out for the best and we all know that the 30th Anni-issue is going to be totally awesome if but for Flesh alone.

*does super geeky happy dance*

I would like to point out to you just how sexy this new cover is:

Those of you who aren?t reading this prog? WHY NOT????

Poking around, I happened upon artist Dave Taylor?s blog (I know, it should be in Blogonaut, but I felt it should be here since it is UK comics related). In it you will find all sorts of good stuff, including this art from the upcoming Big Robots storyline in 2000AD that he?s doing with Alan Grant! Looks stellar, doesn?t it? Superb work, Dave. I am going crazy waiting for Big Robots as it is? And then you tease us so! I dig that Ronaldo ?bot. Ha!

Then look at that Red Sonja illustration he did? very, very choice. There are lots of other goodies in Dave?s blog? So, get to reading. Oh, and Dave, I?m sorry I told everyone? I just couldn?t help myself. You understand, right? I mean— NO! Not the Dire Weasels!!!!! ARGH!

Lots of running and hiding later…

David Bishop (writer extraordinaire and former editor of 2000AD) has had John Wagner talking about one of my all-time favourite comics, Battle Picture Weekly on his blog (Vicious Imagery). The first part is HERE. It?s a great read! Nice work Mr. Bishop and Mr. Wagner. There?s a Part 2, as well, which is easily found. Vicious Imagery is a great blog to read on a regular basis, by the way.

I received some excellent homebrew comics from Graham Pearce, who?ve I?ve profiled on here before. First, he would like everyone to know that the new website for his comics will be http://www.sgtmikebattle.co.uk and will have content (like SGT. MIKE BATTLE) up soon. One of the comics sent was something he did awhile back entitled Watchblood. Here?s the description that accompanied it: ?When Alan Moore reinvented Supreme and Youngblood, it got me thinking ?what if? Rob Liefeld rewrote and drew Watchmen?? Here is my answer.?

Pure, unabashed, unadulterated hilarity, I tell you. Too short, though? I want more. Along with the Sgt. Mike Battle stuff, it?s been a real treat. Thanks, Graham! Those who might be interested in Mr. Pearce?s comics (especially those who have a wonderfully bent sense of humour) should drop him a line in his forum contained within pencilmonkey.net or just email him: grahampearce8@netscape.net.

As usual, my mission statement is: I have a serious love for UK comics. If you have any news, information, comics I should profile, suggestions or radioactive gerbils, please email me: steves@silverbulletcomicbooks.com.

This Has A ?Robotic Dire Weasels?! DEAR GOD!? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten

Indie Front: Blazing Tears of Hard Labour

This is the time where we dance! Well, okay, this is more like the time where I talk about independent comic offerings a bit. Remember, if you are an indie publisher or reader, and you would like me to cover something: please drop me a line at steves@silverbulletcomicbooks.com.

My gnomes got a hold of some teaser artwork from the upcoming Perfect Dark: Janus? Tears #6 (out on Prima), the comic based on the world established in the Perfect Dark videogames.

Honestly, this is a great series if you want to experience a comic rife with action, subterfuge, knock-out art and a wonderfully written script (solid work, Eric, I think you?ll do well in the future). Keep in mind that this artwork hasn?t been coloured yet. For a taste of the first issue, go here.

If you enjoy what you see with Janus? Tears, or the Perfect Dark videogames themselves, Greg Rucka (Gotham Central, Wolverine, Queen and Country has written two novels based on that world: Initial Vector and Second Front.

Remember Slave Labor Graphics? They had cool comics like Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, Lenore, Milk and Cheese, stuff like that. They?re still around and kicking harder than ever! SLG Publishing is offering up some pretty cool stuff these days, including Disney comics, ?shocking as it would seem? (in their own words). Titles of interest are Gargoyles, Tron, Emo Boy, Wonderland, Nightmares & Fairy Tales, and so much more. Visit their site and peruse at your leisure: http://www.slgcomic.com/. Once you?ve found what you like, order some of that nummy goodness or run down to your local comics shop as if your life depended on it (it, in fact, DOES) and exercise your gawd-given rights as a consumer.

I?d like to bring mention to Masterpiece Comics, a small outfit from Arizona that is publishing some interesting titles. I read Fireblast: Adventures in the 30th Century #0 (about a private-eye/adventurer in the far future), which I happened to really enjoy. Masterpiece has other comics, too, like Wild Boys and Rushmore. For more pertinent data, please visit their site: http://www.masterpiececomics.com/.

For those of you looking for something that fun, exciting, compelling and different, you should give Unit Primes a read. It?s been out for a while, with the first run selling out (which is always nice to hear). Creator Chris Dreier has crafted an amazing piece of work, if I may be so frank. The pencils by Federico Zumel are striking, elegant and absolutely lovely to boot. Read more about Unit Primes at the Afterburn Comics site here or in our very own Silver Bulletins.

I have a mighty need for indies and news on independent publishers! If you are a voracious reader that wants to give me a heads up on something or a publisher that would like to have your goods profiled here, please get in touch with me.

This Has A ?Perfect Optimal Tron-Prime Fire Blast? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten

Blogonaut: TAK-Atomic Dorks, Ahoy!

Some great blogs for you check out?

It would appear that the greatly talented and droll Evan Dorkin (Milk and Cheese, Dork) has a Livejournal. Feel free to check it out for yourself: http://evandorkin.livejournal.com/

It?s always an entertaining read! One of the best bits he?s written of late:
?Have recently signed an anti-exclusive contract with both Marvel and DC. This agreement prevents me from working for either company for another year. As compensation for staying away and leaving them alone, DC gave me a Wonder Woman datebook (Sarah noticed yesterday that it was for 2005), and Marvel gave me a booklet of McDonald’s coupons worth $5 (unfortunately, the best one — for McGriddles — was torn out). Still, that’s more than I got last year.?

If you?re looking for some terrific reading and thoughts on the comics industry, both on western and Asian comics, you should swing by Takeshi Miyazawa‘s website and read what he?s posting there on a regular basis. You may know Takeshi Miyazawa from his work on Runaways, Robotech: Invasion and various other Marvel works. Make sure to take a peek at his art? I find it to be very natural and it captures many nuances of expression.

Atomic Comics (link: http://www.atomiccomics.com)is a retail store that I?ve noticed works hard to make customers as accommodated and happy as possible. They also have a blog: http://atomiccomics.blogspot.com/. Well worth a read, if you ask me, and is home of the prestigious Nukies awards.

This Has A ?Nuclear Lite-Brite Vs. Invid Dorks? Factor Of Eight Out Of Ten

Comic Web: PvP-BFX2 versus Beaver & Steve?s Thumpin? LFG bfg

How many of you read PvP? Show of hands. Then you?re aware of the animated feature PvP: The Series, right? Right?! It?s not bad at all. See a clip here: http://secure.blindferret.com/PvP/.

It?s only a couple bucks, and that?s a couple of bucks well spent, folks.

Since I mention Takeshi Miyazawa earlier, it?s only fitting that I plug his net-only comic, BFX2, which he does with collaborator ADC. I?m really happy I came upon this project, and I hope you are, too. Read it here: http://www.bfxproject2.com/.

And for you guys into MMOs and the like, direct your browsers to Looking For Group (http://www.lfgcomic.com/), a very amusing comic about the goings on in a virtual fantasy world somewhere. Yeah, I LOLed. I even ROFLcoptered a little.

Highly touted (and rightfully so) webcomic Thumpculture is in print, from what I understand. See what all of the buzz is about and read it here: http://www.thumpculture.com/. Neill Cameron does an outstanding job worthy of the praise heaped upon him.

Last and not least by slight stretch of a unicorn?s hide is Beaver and Steve (http://www.beaverandsteve.com/). It?s? It?s? It?s funny as hell, so you should read it. OKAY?

This Has An ?At Least My BFG Doesn?t Look Like A Lite-Brite? Factor Of Eight Out Of Ten

This may be the near-end of this installment, but don?t go anywhere just yet. I would like to treat you to Steve?s Self-Indulgent Theatre. Oh, I know: Lucky you!

I write for another site (that I co-run with my good friend Ryan Speck) called MediaGauntlet. There you can find me doing ?audiocasts? about comics? Yes, you can actually HEAR me (?Ooooo! Ahhhh!?). You poor buggered fools, you?
Er, I mean, go take a look-see! My Stack is a weekly deal where I ramble about comics I have. The first one is a little rough, guilty as charged, but it shall improve. Or something.

MediaGauntlet (http://www.mediagauntlet.com) is a site that not only deals with comics, but movies, games, TV and other forms of media with reviews, articles and columns. I also provide audio reviews of things. We?re still adding content, so don?t expect the world, but I do hope you enjoy your stay.

Writer Brandon Jerwa was in a rut around deadline time for his weekly Jerwa Report at Dynamic Forces and he decided as a desperate measure to interview me. Read it here. There?s plenty of bacon there for everyone, so no need to shove.

I have another column by way of the Silver Soapbox called Indiephile (where I babble about non-?Big Two? comics) arriving soon and I?ll be working on another edition of Manga Hunter S very soon for http://www.mangalife.com.

And, naturally, I can be found at the following hidey-holes on Thee Glorious Internets:
Livejournal: http://synabetic.livejounal.com (don?t be afraid to add me and/or comment!)
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/synabetic
ComicSpace: http://www.comicspace.com/steven_g_saunders/

As always, input of all kinds is welcome! My email address is steves@silverbulletcomicbooks.com. Please don?t hesitate to contact me about what?s on your mind. Um, except for that one thing. You know? the thing with the strippers. Mum?s the word on that, alright?

There are always the forums if you wish to try your luck there. Don?t forget: You can always email me something and I?ll cover it in Steve?s Rage Cage (the forum). Think of it as a makeshift letters section.

Okay, that?s it for now. Until next time, dear readers?

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