Click to make big.
Click to make big.
Those cheers you heard from Europe and Asia in the night? Those were the people that caught this week’s Nitroglycerin before you did, kemosabe. Do you want to see what all the hype is about? Do you want to know why grown men in Uzbekistan weeped tears of pure joy at the mirth contained within? Use one of the convenient links below!
Speaking of Birdie and I and the fact we like working together, we’ve got a new project that I’ve made vague allusions to in the past. Well, it’s going to go live Friday with the usual comics marketing mindset: a poorly-written press release that’ll be sent to the Newsarama, CBR, and The Poughkeepsie Sentinel. Here’s what the logo looks like:
Doesn’t that intrigue you? Make sure you come back on the day of launch (again, Friday) to check out the first installment of our new, non-promotional strip that takes a glance at the inner workings of the comics business from the ground level.
From Michael Kupperman’s The Scaredy Kids In “Gangway For Murder”
Kiss creates comicbook company
Rock group rolls on shingle
By PHIL GALLO
After 34 years of a comicbook presence in rock ‘n’ roll, Kiss has created a comicbook entertainment company.
Platinum Studios and Kiss Catalog, the company run by Kiss leaders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, have partnered to create the Kiss Comics Group, which will kick off with a book, “Kiss 4K,” and eventually venture out into platforms such as mobile, online, film, television and licensed merchandise products.
“Kiss 4K,” the story of the transformation of Simmons, Stanley and other Kiss band members from rock stars to world-protecting warrior spirits, will debut as the world’s largest comicbook, priced at $50. It will be the first comicbook-based property to simultaneously launch all of its merchandise in the U.S., France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
Eventually, a new Kiss comic involving characters King of All Beasts, Demon, Starchild and Celestial will appear weekly online at Kisscomicsgroup.com. “Kiss 4K” will be unveiled at the Wizard World convention in Los Angeles in March.
The second title is expected to be “Kiss Girls,” which features four teenagers who “talk about shopping and are about as dysfunctional as anyone until something happens to them and they get to wear the Kiss makeup and look good doing it,” Simmons said.
Simmons and Platinum Studios founder and chairman Scott Rosenberg started discussions about creating the joint venture at the 2005 Comic-Con.
“Kiss Comics Group and Platinum Studios — they are the same as we are,” Simmons told Daily Variety. “This is a company not burdened with corporate considerations. It’s all about the one-on-one.”
Signatures Network and Dell Furano will be handling worldwide licensing for Kiss Comics Group. Characters from Platinum Studios’ library of more than 3,800 will appear in the Kiss books.
Kiss has had a comic presence for nearly 30 years. Band started with Marvel in 1978 and in the ’90s issued comics with Stan Lee, Todd McFarlane and Dark Horse.
Platinum Studios has more than a dozen of its projects in various stages of production at several film studios, among them “Cowboys & Aliens,” “The Darkness” and “Unique.”
These are the comics.
Below are my picks or whatever.
OCT060288 DOOM PATROL VOL 5 MAGIC BUS TP (MR) $19.99>
NOV060237 SEVEN SOLDIERS OF VICTORY VOL 4 TP (RES) $14.99
Any week with two Morrison trade paperbacks is a good week for me! I understand why the Seven Soldiers trade is late, but the delay on th Doom Patrol volume has me curious. I wonder if it had anything to do with the Charles Atlas suit.
(Seriously, at this point, can’t they give the Charles Atlas people like $9 for the rights to use his likeness? Throw in a snack pack of Doritos if they get tough.)
OCT060173 SUPERMAN BACK IN ACTION TP $14.99
Hey, I liked Up, Up, And Away an awful lot – is this material fun? It looks fun. There’s a big bad Alien in it and stuff. Somebody tell me.
NOV062369 DEFENDERS INDEFENSIBLE TP $13.99
A fine, fine little series that even if it’s played for comedy, manages to keep all the characters involved more “in character” than they’ve appeared during the latest major crossover. Yes, it’s Dormammu and his sister freaking out again, but there’s a real epic feel to this that a regular Marvel title has not had before.
NOV062366 IRON MAN EXTREMIS TP $14.99
Remember how I made the blah blah blah about Iron Man a while back? This is how I’d like the character to be done. Yes, it’s Ellis.
Yes, I think he’s better than most, most of the time.
Other Companies And Junk
JUN063099 BEASTS HC $28.95
Fantagraphics’ Jacob Covey works with dozens of creators to compile “a classic mythological menagerie, comprised only of creatures that were thought at one time to actually exist” and it looks fantastic from what I’ve seen. I’ll have a review up for it in the very near future, I’m pretty sure.
NOV064130 GARFIELD BLOTS OUT THE SUN $10.95
BECAUSE HE IS FAT.
DO YOU GET IT???
Jesus, Jim Davis. Just off yourself or let the strip die already.
OCT063032 VAULT OF MICHAEL ALLRED #4 (OF 4) $6.99
You know, I’ve bought and enjoyed all of these (egocentric, to be sure) scrapbook-type things for Madman and I really hope they’re not included in the forthcoming Gargantua collection.
NOV064014 DOC SAVAGE DOUBLE NOVEL VOL 3 $12.95
You should read these. Yes, you should.
Whatever, DC. Just make some more damn comics I want to read. See below for a handy reference on how to handle inter-character conflict. Thanks.
Originally used here.
Click to Embiggenify.
That rubber mask is must be for the sort of guy that wants
to pose as Woozy Winks after a very bad night
Back from Las Vegas, where hands were shaken, bets were placed (I walked away with a tidy profit from roulette, actually,) and maybe, just maybe some deals were made.
Vegas is an odd city, and that’s only if it actually qualifies as such. Cities to me have a strange organic flow about them, something that places like London, New York, and San Francisco exemplify. Vegas is, due to its arbitrary mini-environments, anything but organic – it’s more of a development with a population of 1.7 million. I’d call it an urban experiment, but it’s obvious that whatever scientist is supposed to be watching it has wandered off for a tea break.
Sorry about the lack of updating – wireless was sporadic at best and frankly, I thought spending quality time in Star Trek: The Experience (Klingon Encounter rocks, Borg Invastion 3-D is mostly stupid) and catching up with Svea and her folks was more important than ruining your minds.
Anyhow, I’ve returned. How are you? You look good! No, really. Have you lost some weight?
Art by, of course, Jamie Hewlett. Image taken
from some issue of Deadline that’s reprinted in the
Titan Tank Girl trade paperbacks.
From Spider-Man: Blue, a Jeph-Loeb written project
I like a little bit more than I should.
Swiped from Lark’s MySpace page.
As much of a Wednesday tradition as changing our underpants, Birdie and I present to you another exciting installation in the ongoing promotional webcomics saga, Nitroglycerin. It’s available in two formats, as usual:
- Supersized in the Archives.
- Below the fold (and with an extra in-joke this time!) at the BOOM! Website.
Posting’s going to be kind of light for the rest of this week – I’ve got some work-related things to do in far-off locations and I’m trying to kick a cold to the curb prior to my 6AM departure on Thursday, so I’m spaced on various combinations of vitamins, poultices, pills, and salves.
Speaking of pills – when did they decide that Tylenol Cold “caplets” needed to have some sort of sugary coating on the outside? I nearly gagged on the “Cool Burst Sensation” that flooded my mouth last night. The reason I take my cold medicine in pill form is because I can’t use the syrups without puking, mostly because of their horrible taste. The “Citrus Burst” that was attached to my daytime-use drug was equally horrifying – the sort of thing I’d associate with having stuck my head into a machine dedicated to making rancid Skittles. Horrible, horrible, horrible.
Art by Jaime Hernandez, taken from the inessential-yet-fabulous
Private Stash collection from Buenaventura.
What I’m picking is below.
Please note: I usually drop my regular titles just to make
this shorter. Do any of you care about those?
DEC060007 PREVIEWS ADULT VOL XVII #2 PI
DEC060003 PREVIEWS VOL XVII #2 PI
DEC060005 PREVIEWS VOL XVII CONSUMER ORDER FORM #2 PI
Already?!? Jesus, time’s flying.
Dark Horse Comics
JUN060044 PENNY ARCADE VOL 3 WARSUN PROPHECIES TP $12.95
This should be just about the point where Gabe’s art ticks upward in quality dramatically. Once a man takes away his day job and starts drawing full time, things happen, I guess.
OCT060228 SHOWCASE PRESENTS BRAVE & BOLD BATMAN TEAMUPS VOL 1 $16.99
Want to get a sneak peek of what you’re in for with this volume of Silver Age Cuckookiness, slappy? Check out the first of the “regular” Batman team-up issues on this very site!
Man, I’m really nice to you people.
NOV063511 HOW TO BE A COMIC BOOK ARTIST $4.99
They hired me to do this, but thought asking $5 for a single page that read “Just draw what I fucking tell you to, dammit!” was a bit much.
SEP063175 NINJA TALES #1 $6.99
JUL062993 TAG #3 (OF 3) $3.99
BOOM! Studios did not pay me for this placement.
They pay me to keep the multiple laundering accounts in the Caymans in my name. I do the placement as a bonus.
(I do really like Tag, though, and think that the Tales books allow the market to have a high-quality pop-culture anthology versus a more intellectual/artistic approach.)
DEC063545 WIMBLEDON GREEN GREATEST COMIC BOOK COLLECTOR I/T WORLD HC $19.95
I love Wimbledon Green. I know it’s the fluffiest of Seth’s works, but there’s a sense of joy in it, some heady, bizarre combination of Uncle Scrooge and Jimmy Corrigan that captivates me.
Unlike John Byrne, I love Wikipedia. Not as an information resource of value, really – mostly because it’s a handy way to catch up on comics series that I may never have finished. After finding out from Teletraan-1 that Circuit Breaker from the Marvel Comics Transformers series was used as a character in Secret Wars II so the company could claim ownership, I followed a link over to the wiki entry about that series. This in particular made me smirk:
Secret Wars II went far beyond any previous crossover by having minor and major tie-ins with nearly every other title in the Marvel Universe. Some tie-ins consisted of little more than a cameo by the Beyonder. A collector trying to own the “whole” story would need to have purchased nearly 42 comics in less than a year. Though the story could be understood by reading the main mini-series alone, the number of tie-ins was controversial at the time. Also some readers criticized the series for its meandering storyline and its perceived philosophical clumsiness. The series was a big sales success however, and most comics which linked with it saw a modest rise in sales. It paved the way for subsequent large crossovers such as Inferno, and Fall of the Mutants.
Wow, a whopping 42 issues in your massive Marvel crossover. Is it just me, or does that seem really quaint in the wake of the 100+ mark Civil War is hitting? The only crossover I’ve ever really cared about, Invasion!1 hit the 30-issue mark, but it featured a strong core that you could read on its own and pick up whatever titles tickled your fancy without feeling like you were missing anything critical. That’d be what I call a marked contrast to Civil War, where the (to be fair, written well enough to be almost justified) revelations for Reed Richards’s behavior don’t take place in the main title, but over in Fantastic Four. That’s clever on Marvel’s part. They’re basically saying “So, if you were wondering why a main character in this story flipped out and was suddenly building interdimensional prisons and rounding up his pals to put in them, go read this other comic,” and people are replying with “Here are my pennies, my good publisher!”
Good for them as a business; shame on them as a group of storytellers.
1Yeah, I like DC 1,000,000 but only for the main story – the non-Morrison stuff leaves me pretty cold, excluding the Young Heroes In Love and Hitman stories.
From Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #4 | Art by Takeshi Miyazawa
That should clear your palate if you’ve read the previous entry featuring Jinmen Juushin’s The Family Zoo. If you’ve not, then scroll down at your own risk.
Did you know you can watch ten full episodes of Starcade, the video-game game show of the early 80s, online? Well, you can! Show 62 features two things of note: host Jeff Edwards hating his job more than usual and the Sega Star Trek arcade game, the basis of a few of my favorite childhood memories. There’s also the appearance of Astron Belt in show 102 – the video game that cribs footage from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan‘s Genesis Demonstration sequence as well as a cameo by the Enterprise as it moves into warp.
Yes, I am a nerd.
(The flash player may take a moment to load, but it’s so worth it.)
Before you continue, please note that this is a very adult
comic featuring topics and subjects that most readers will be
actively uncomfortable with.
By clicking the above link, you agree to not hold me
responsible for what happens to your brain. Also, you’ll
have to read right-to-left, as this scanlation is in the
traditional Japanese formatting.
Yes, I’m sorry. No, I won’t do it again.
From The Eternals #3
[Warning: this gets pretty nerdy. I mean, like, more than the usual amount.]
So, Tony Stark, then. Before Crank started the other night, I was forced to sit through a series of previews for films of dubious merit. There was a loud, overlong trailer Saw III, of course, which I hope is the last, definitive statement in films that involve 90+ minutes of slow torture of various cast members, along with a preview for Employee Of The Month, a Dane Cook vehicle that seemed to involve 90+ minutes of slow torture of the audience. What caught my eye and happened to stop the fast-forward process was a glimpse of the direct-to-DVD animated feature, The Invincible Iron Man.
I’m not really a purist about these things, but it appears that instead of following a tried and true origin story that’s been updated with only the most modest of tweaks, writer Greg Johnson and director Frank Paur have gutted a major theme for the character and instead have Tony Stark creating armor for the purpose of kicking around some spooky Chinese ghosts. That’s not right in the slightest, people. This change, pretty much ruins the appeal of Iron Man for me in a very specific way.
Iron Man, as a comic or film or novel or video game or whatever, should be about more than a guy in a fancy suit of armor that beats up other (generally also armor-suited) guys. It should be about one man – Tony Stark – having his eyes opened wide and spending the rest of his life making up for years of unethical business practices. There’s more to the character of Tony Stark than being a rich drunk who likes to tinker with gadgets. Some people – Warren Ellis and, shockingly, John Byrne (whose origin story for Iron Man was folded into Ellis’s Extremis), to name two – get this. Tony Stark, as a character, should be a driven combination of Bill Gates and George Clooney: a handsome, charismatic, socially-minded technocrat determined to leave the world a better place than he found it.
The most acclaimed stories featuring the character have always featured Tony Stark battling some aspect of himself, be it his creations (Armor Wars) or alcoholism (Demon in a Bottle) and this proves that there’s more to the character than simpleminded slugfests, if only for a few issues at a time. There’s been a sporadic uptick in quality of late – I think Ellis’s Extremis, as a collected work, nicely encapsulates a great deal about the character in a continuity-void sort of way. Joe Casey and Frazier Irving’s The Inevitable carried some of the old-school Marvel flavor and a sense of history while managing to show Tony Stark as a more mature, well-rounded man who finds the parade of supervillains in his life inconvenient. I also found the first issue of Adam Warren’s Hypervelocity miniseries to be great fun and feel that he’s more than up to the task, especially as he’s a premiere technofetishist.
It makes sense that, hand in hand with the technocratic/futurist thing, there should be a liberatarian bent to the character that opens up multiple story possibilities for the character. He’s consistently seen that governments misuse technology and probably wouldn’t trust them. Of course, this would nullify things like the questionable decision to become Secretary of Defense as well as his entry into the horribly mismanaged Civil War event. In fact, I think it’d be much more interesting to portray a conflicted Iron Man siding with Reed Richards (who actually managed to justify some of his actions in the latest Fantastic Four) out of immediate concern for human life and then raising his voice when things like “Negative Zone Prisons” and “Cybernetic/Clone Thor” got brought up in the conversation.
Somebody (and I can’t find who – Paul O’Brien, maybe?) described Iron Man as “Batman with Bluetooth,” and I can see some similarity there, even in such a pithy phrasing. That’s the sort of workable direction I could see the character going in without the extremes that we’ve had of late. What do you want out of Iron Man? Some people say the character is beyond saving at this point thanks to the latest Marvel crossover, others hold out hope that it’s all about Loki or a Skrull or The Hatemonger or whatever. What could Marvel do to make you want to care about the character (again, or for the first time)?
As part of my whole “Watch A Lot Of Action Movies To Make Sure I’m Not Nicking Anything Substantial While Writing Cover Girl” program, I watched last year’s Jason Statham tour-de-force, Crank. It’s simultaneously supremely entertaining while being the most misogynistic, sexist, racist, and homophobic movie I’ve seen in a long time. In my eyes, it was so over-the-top in its stupidity that it may have been the work of cinematic savants. I quite liked the camera work and casual use of special effects. There were some truly inspired moments in those areas: Statham reading subtitles for dialogue being spoken, a building physically bulging because of a fight inside, and especially the first two or three minutes, shot from the central character’s point of view while he fumbles through his apartment.
Because of the plot’s nature, there’s no time to waste – there’s a well-done information dump that allows the viewer to be almost completely up to speed and by the ten minute mark, truly ludicrous things begin to happen. I love this technique when it’s properly applied and this movie applied it so very properly, indeed. The only moments I really balked at are the infamous Chinatown A-Bit-Too-Close-To-Rape Sex Scene and a bit of hand trauma that probably has more to do with my taste in violence than anything else.
Still, better than anything I’ve seen from Michael Bay, and at around 90 minutes, an object lesson to filmmakers of that ilk – sometimes, less truly is more. Also, he’s a bit of beefcake, that Statham. While I’m firmly in the “I Like Girls, Thanks” camp, I can see exactly why people go a bit squishy for him.
Nice job ruining the big reveal of the latest issue of 52 right on the cover, DC. Sure, by the fifth page, it’d all come out, but it was still more than a bit annoying. I’m the tiniest bit peeved my Jack Knight Starman theory was wrong, but at least the fact that at least one member of a certain, preferred-by-me incarnation of the Justice League lives on can keep me from writing angry rants to Dan Didio.
Also, Animal Man. Huh.
Even also-er, the big reveal for the series that was “hidden” in this week’s DC Nation column? Wasn’t bringing that thing sort of the point of Infinite Crisis and The Kingdom? Or did I just read too much into those events?
[EDIT: That's spoiled in the comments for this post, if you care.]
I read this week’s Fantastic Four and actually really enjoyed it, even if the discussion of Isaac Asimov made me wander off for a bit. I’ve never taken to that man’s writing, despite the fact he’s among the top three or four influencers in my preferred genre. Much like the (also very iconic) Heinlein, the second people bring him up and start using a certain tone, I glance around for a handy exit. Of course, I have the feeling I’d be doing that a lot around the “real” Reed Richards.
Anyway, nice bit of damage control by McDuffie in this issue, managing to humanize Mister Fantastic quite a lot after the havoc wreaked on the character by Millar. It felt like a fill-in, but a decent enough one that (hopefully) means good things are coming.