By Blair Marnell
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It looks like Mark Millar may have lost that bet with Harry Knowles…

A story just posted to AICN features a report from Bryan Singer’s Q&A session at NYU. According to the report, Singer said that he is looking to cast an unknown in the title role of Superman. And when Jim Caviezel’s name came up…

He said, with ample humor, that since Caviezel, is KNOWN, he won't cast him. He also mentioned that he's looking for an actor between 25 and 30.

Knowles reacted to the news as you might expect that he would:

    And you'll notice Singer's response regarding "Jesus" Ahem.... Mark - I told ya so!
But don’t feel too bad for Millar, he got a lot mainstream exposure out of this bet.


Silver Screen Savior

There are several rumors flying around this week, that a deal has been signed, which will bring Mark Millar’s creator owned title, Chosen to life as a theatrical film. In a recent post, Millar strongly hints at the possibility:
    PS In other news, HUGE Chosen news late last night. You'll hear about it in three months or so, but it's very good news indeed. I couldn't sleep last night. Seriously.
Additionally, Millar revealed that Simon Pegg will be writing the introduction for the Chosen trade paperback. Pegg is the co-writer and star of Shaun of the Dead, which opened in wide release across the US last Friday. Pegg’s contribution to the Chosen TPB has led to speculation that he may be involved with the big screen adaptation as well.

This Has An “I Owe It All To My Father” Factor of Seven Out of Ten

Miracles & Marvels

No, your eyes do not deceive you. That’s a picture of the upcoming MiracleMan statue by Randy Bowen, a sculptor well known for his Marvel busts and statues.

Also of interest was the following description, taken from Bowen’s website:
    Gaiman and Bowen sat down at Comic Con San Diego in 2003 and sketched out the concept for this statue, and finally the piece is coming to fruition. Miracle Man (the comic) launched in 1986 and re-defined the way that comic stories were told. The series will be re-launched by Marvel in December. Anticipation will be high for this character. This statue s extremely limited and will be released as two separate versions limited to 1000 classic and 500 metallic (respectively). Don't miss out on this milestone statue!
Of course, the line that has the internet abuzz is “The series will be re-launched by Marvel in December.” However, the Marvel solicitations for December went out last Wednesday, and there was nothing about MiracleMan contained within.

But… there may actually be something to this. The prevailing rumor holds that the classic (and long out of print) MiracleMan series will be reprinted through Marvel’s Icon imprint. Additionally, Neil Gaiman would finally have the opportunity to properly finish his MM story.

Time will tell if it’s actually happening or not…

This Has A “Kimota!” Factor of Five Out of Ten

Split Personalities

Following up on last week’s Oliver Coipel story, I’ve heard that the writer attached to Coipel’s next “BIG” Marvel project is none other than Brian Bendis.

If true, this could be the Moon Knight revival that Bendis is said to be interested in.

This Has A “Fist of Khonshu” Factor of Six Out of Ten

Byrne by Byrne

After last week, you’d think that running another John Byrne item would simply be redundant. But then Byrne goes and says something like this…
    Personal prejudice: Hispanic and Latino women with blond hair look like hookers to me, no matter how clean or "cute" they are. Somehow those skin tones that look so good with dark, dark hair just don't work for me with lighter shades.
Byrne’s comment was in response to the newly released pictures of the Fantastic Four cast in costume. In particular, Jessica Alba as Sue Storm, the Invisible Woman.

At first, the response on the Byrne Board was more or less along the lines of this post:
    I agree with the Master!!!
Though a few posters had opinions of their own:
    Is there something wrong with pointing out the truth?

    Here's my beef with all of you people who are poo-pooing Alba as Sue strictly because of her ethnicity. If you were to describe the character of Sue Richards (nee Storm) to a non-reader, what would you say? Odds are most of you would list her powers, then mention she's Mister Fantastic's wife and the Human Torch's sister. Beyond that, someone MIGHT say that she's got blonde hair. But... just how important is her blonde hair to her character
And more:
    Before this thread gets locked down, I have to respond to this. It would be hypocritical of me not to.

    I think that comment was highly inappropriate and I was offended to read it. Justifying it as a "personal prejudice" makes it no less so. And I don't believe that John should be held to a different standard in terms of making stupid comments than anyone else who has been flamed for doing so.

    For someone who makes so many critical comments on the stupidity and ignorance of "fanboys," John, you should know better. That was a very stupid thing to say, especially in a public forum. That was right out of Archie Bunker's mouth from the early '70s, except this isn't a satirical sitcom.

    I shudder to think what you must privately think of other people who don't look like you...
Byrne chimes in again:
    What we've seen here today is an all too typical example of an all too typical attitude: those who are the loudest to defend their "freedom of speech" are the quickest to try to slap down anyone whose "speech" differs from theirs. The standard "all opinions are valid as long as I agree with them".

    Interestingly, of all the "lurkers" who have flocked here to be "offended" today (as well as one or two regulars) NONE are Hispanic or Latino women who have dyed their hair blond.
Ironically, while Byrne sees no problem with his own comments, he shows little tolerance in another thread, in which several posters refer to Red Tornado as “Reddy”:
    And as soon as you're all members of the JLA it will be fine for you to call your fellow members by cutesy poo knick-names, too. Until then, how about a little respect for these characters you supposedly love so much?
And incidentally, the original “Jessica Alba as Sue Storm” thread is still going strong. Up to 23 pages currently…

This Has A “Storm Front” Factor of Seven Out of Ten

Fun For the Whole Family

Seen recently on the Geoff Johns Message Board:

Yes folks… it’s a family friendly version of Identity Crisis!

I have no idea who made this parody strip, but it was originally found here.

This Has A “Who Benefits?” Factor of Nine Out of Ten

Things To Do When You’re Dead…

Josh Howard’s Dead@17 from Viper Comics was one of last year’s breakout indie hits. Following up his success with a second miniseries, Dead@17: Blood of Saints, Howard has a number of D@17 projects in the works, including a third miniseries. Earlier this week, Howard took the time to answer a few questions about the future of D@17:

Blair Marnell: How would you describe Dead@17 to people who haven't read it before?

Josh Howard: Dead@17 is a teenage/horror/drama about a girl named Nara and her best friends Hazy and Elijah. Nara is brought back from the dead as one of the Resurrected for the purpose of fighting evil, specifically a demon named Bolabogg and his army.

BM: Can you bring us up to speed on what happened in the previous miniseries?

JH: In Dead@17: Blood of Saints, Bolabogg, having failed to possess Nara, went after the vulnerable Violet. Violet/Bolabogg wrecked havoc on Nara's friends, and finally, Nara herself. The series ended with Violet/Bolabogg escaping and Nara's and Hazy's friendship in ruins.

BM: And where does Dead@17: Revolution start?

JH: Revolution starts several months later. Nara and her mentor Noel Raddemer are trying to hunt down Violet. Meanwhile there is an assassination attempt on a U.S. Senator by a mysterious group called Heaven's Militia. This event is the catalyst to what the series has been building towards.

BM: Then, is this the last story for Dead@17?

JH: It may be the end of Nara's story, but not necessarily the end of Dead@17.

BM: You've also got a crossover with Misplaced coming up, how did that come about?

JH: Basically, Josh Blaylock just contacted me out of the blue and asked if I wanted to do it. Misplaced is a great concept, and our characters seemed to have a lot of similarities. It sounded like a fun idea so we went for it. Its going to be a story about the two girls Nara and Alyssa meeting each other and becoming roommates and all the chaos that ensues. It takes place in continuity, right after Misplaced #4 and after the first D@17 series.

BM: There's a rumor going around about a Dead@17 TV series, any truth to that?

JH: No truth to a Dead@17 TV show at this point, but possibly a film. Stan Winston Studios is interested in producing it and they've been meeting with all the major studios. Nothing concrete just yet, but we'll hopefully have something to announce soon, God willing.

BM: Do you have any future comic projects lined up yet?

JH: I've got another book with Viper that I've been trying to get out for about a year now, but the success of Dead@17 keeps putting it on the backburner. So I hope to finally be able to release that next summer/early fall. I've also got a project in the works for another publisher that will be released next year. I'm not allowed to really talk about it yet, but I'm really excited about it. Hopefully it will appeal to fans of Dead@17.

BM: Last question: when do your next Dead@17 projects come out?

JH: Revolution #1 hits in November, Misplaced@17 in December. We're also working on Dead@17: Rough Cut vol. 2 for early next year.

This Has A “Dead Girl, Interrupted” Factor of Eight Out of Ten

Superior Tech

Robert Kirkman’s Tech Jacket may be making a comeback from Image Comics next year. However, original TJ artist and co-creator E.J. Su may not be back on the art chores, though Cliff Rathburn has been mentioned as a possibility.

More details can be found here.

This Has A “Open Hatch” Factor of Seven Out of Ten

Color Zombie War

Rich Johnston’s latest Lying in the Gutters column included a rumor which contends that Marvel intends to cut rates for established colorists and “outsource” or hire new and untested talent to take their place. Now, Johnston is no stranger to controversy, having originated both ATR and LITG. However, this time, Johnston became the focus of ire for many professional color artists on the GutterZombie color boards, which quickly gave rise to some heated exchanges between Johnston and several board regulars:

In the thread, Dave McCaig had this to say:
    You state in your article "People lose jobs, or people have to change jobs, but as technology increases, it's luddite to ignore it." Anyone reading this would assume this means colorists are just machine operators being replaced by faster, better machines. That is disrespectful of our profession, and our artistic merit. Technology is not causal to our ability to create art; it only frees us up to expand the toolset we use to create it.

    If a faster pencil came along, I think there would be a much larger outcry if suddenly pencilers started losing waves of jobs to cheap no name labor overseas, and those that kept their jobs lost up to half of their income. If you can explain to me how a faster pencil makes this justifiable please do. If you can't then please explain why in your article you never mentioned that this was unfair.

    Did it ever occur to you to get a reaction from anyone in the creative field for this article? You heard this news from sources in or around Marvel, but didn't bother to follow that up with reactions from other publishers, or even the people it was directly affecting, the colorists?

    Just to be clear, I am angry over the cavalier way you presented this news, and for all the things you did NOT say. By not calling foul, you are propagating the notion that colorists are technicians, and should not be all that surprised that some kid in his parent's basement in Bangladesh is taking our jobs.
Johnston’s response:
    This article was about how art is going to the bottom line, but also how that's not something new.

    Right now? Yes, monkeys can get jobs. Colourists have chosen not to unionize, the market is shrinking and cuts are being imposed…

    I talked about colourists because this week a few concerned colourists decided to talk to me.
Snakebite answers:
    You think a colorist union will help this situation? WRONG. Look at other industry unions and you tell me if they keep work from going overseas. I've worked in Animation for 8 years now (almost 13 years total in the art field) and no union has kept work from going to the bottom line. That is biggest myth of all time. By saying that you basically saying its our fault work is going to the bottom line because we haven't formed a union...a union that would take more of our money to do nothing with it.

    In any case I only respond to this because you decided to come on our board to reply. I gave up relying on any industry for any professionalism, out side of my fellow artist types, for a long time now. It’s obvious the people "running" the show and the people "reporting" the show don't care about anything other than making more problems and taking more work away from the people who built it in the first place.
The back and forth continues for another five pages and quickly ratchets up in intensity.

When reached for comment, Johnston replied:
    I think my position's fairly established in the thread. What I wrote was well sourced from professionals working in the industry. Just that not everyone clearly agrees. Someone posted my private email to a messageboard, something I took extreme exception to. I was asked a number of questions, which I answered - however some people didn't like, misunderstood or didn't acknowledge the answers I gave. And despite some people deciding they spoke for the entire board, it's clear that opinion and comment was divided - just not everyone was as loudspoken as some.
GutterZombie board owner, Dave McCaig had some additional comments as well:
    Much of the ire directed at Rich on GutterZombie surrounded his stated reasons for coloring being outsourced. Rich basically broke the cardinal rule of rumor columnists. He editorialized his story. Once he got past the outsourcing bit, he peppered the rest of the column with his own subjective opinion. Namely that "it's getting easier to colour a book these days" and that as technology advances, "you'd have to be Luddite to ignore it." He claims that those views were presented to him from industry sources. But he is solely responsible for deciding they had merit and publishing them. He certainly defended those claims on GZ as though they were his own. Regardless of whose opinion he was printing, the fact remains that Photoshop does not replace talent and skill, in the same way that a new version of Microsoft Word does not replace writers, or make the act of writing easier. Both applications are merely tools.

    For many colorists, the outsourcing/rate slashing rumor Rich wrote about is secondary to him perpetuating the idea that we are not artists but technicians (the luddite comment clearly steers this way). And that cheaper work is just as good as skilled work. More damaging to the industry as a whole is his suggesting, clearly in his own words, that saving money in the production budget by outsourcing to juniors will outweigh losses in overall comic book quality and create profitability. I for one only want to buy quality products, and I think comic fans would agree.

    While only a handful of people were involved in the discussion on GZ, I received a great number of private messages from respected colorists supporting the stand I made, who for their own reasons chose not to speak publicly on the subject. However, I think I can safely say that a large percentage of colorists were offended by his comments.

    Hopefully those coming to GutterZombie to read through the threads will form a very different opinion from the one Rich promoted. We welcome new debate on the subject, and have set up a section specifically for people to discuss it. I also welcome visitors to have a look around the rest of the site and join in. Not only are there public art forums for aspiring comic artists & colorists but there are private boards for pro colorists, pencillers, inkers, writers, and letterers too.
Johnston writes back:
    Naturally, I'm not keen to give any details about the number of colourists who contacted me about the story, but felt they didn't want to post on the board for Dave's wrath.

    But Dave may be mistaken... it's not a cardinal rule to editorialize when writing rumour columns. In fact I think it's compulsory. Nevertheless, all comments were sourced by talking to specific individuals in a position to make those comments.

    And pointing at a problem isn't the same as perpetuating the problem. Indeed, I've been told by a very high profile source that as a result of last week's article, there have been discussions at Marvel about the ramifications of their reported plans - in a way that may make Dave very pleased indeed.
And McCaig's final statement:
    I can't imagine why any colorists would fear my wrath! I think we have a very open and fair environment at Gutterzombie. To be honest, Rich is the only person to have been banned (since re-instated), and only the second person to have had threads shut down on him in the year and a half the site's been running. Up to now, GZ's operated with almost no moderation of any kind. Anyone who wants to air their opinion has always been more than free to do so, as anyone will clearly see while reading Rich's 36 posts on the subject of his column.

    For the record, I welcome any good that might come from Rich's column. If nothing else, he brought to light a subject up that has been plaguing colorists for years.
This Has A “Rules of the Game” Factor of Eight Out of Ten

A Friend in Need…

As I’m sure most of you are aware, the state of Florida has been hit hard by a series of hurricanes within the last few weeks. One of the most recent victims has been artist, Dave Dorman, whose house was extensively damaged on September 16, during Hurricane Ivan.

A number of comic creators (including Dan Brereton, Chris Moeller and Scott Hampton) have donated artwork to be auctioned on ebay, to benefit Dorman and his wife. Some of the art can already be seen online, and the auctions are currently scheduled to begin Thursday, September 30.

Further details are available at For more information, please e-mail Steve Smith:

That’s all for this week. See you in seven.


PS If anyone has any rumors, stories or news to share, please email me at Thanks to everyone who has been sending stuff in. It’s greatly appreciated.

Has Steve really irritated, annoyed or provoked you?
Get your revenge at Steve's Rage Cage message board.