Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Marvel.com: Hotbed of Contradiction


"There are no political reasons, there are no behind the scenes reasons for the no smoking policy, it has nothing to do with advertisers, it has nothing to do with fear of a litigious world. It has to do with one thing and one thing only…"I don’t want to see it in my comics!"

"My Wolverine, the Wolverine in my world, he doesn’t smoke, he’s too cool for it."

"Look, I do realize some people miss Wolvie and his stogie, but in time, no one will ever know it’s gone as new generations of readers pick up these books."

"It's just a matter of whether we want to promote cancer or not," said Quesada. "Quite frankly, I think we're done promoting it."

There's about a hundred different movie stills from X-Men 3. You couldn't find one that stays on message?

Crazy Credit Confusion in NY Times

I'm sure by now everyone has seen the article on Batwoman and gender issues in the NY Times from this weekend. I myself only saw it online up until now. I didn't realize that it was actually a full-page story and gives a lot of editorial real estate to a mass market audience.

This is no real surprise to to NYT readers, as the Times has always been one to support the comics industry. Articles on Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Civil War, Paul Levitz, Infinite Crisis and Wizard come to mind. Although many of them were complete puff pieces (cough cough, Wizard), I can't really complain about comics coverage going out to 1,680,582 million people.

Anyway, because I work in magazines and end up hiring a lot of illustrators, it's second nature for me to look at all the art credits. There were a total of six images for the story - five to DC and one for Marvel (plus a lot more online for the exclusive DC Great Ten previews). This, however, isn't the strange part. The DC credits read "Above left, Alex Ross/ DC Comics 2006; above, Joe Bennett/DC Comics, 2006." Name, publisher and year. Pretty standard stuff. And then we get to the credit for the lone Black Panther image: Marvel. Just Marvel. No name, no year. Huh?

Why no artist credit? Why no more information? Well, there could be several possibilities:
1) DC pitched the story to the Times and the writer (George Gene Gustines, who will forever be known as G3) or page designer didn't bother getting the credit from Marvel
2) DC's PR department is roughly 12 times the size of that at Marvel (not 12 times, but close)
3) The NY Times just has a massive comics bias

It's probably a combination of 1 and 2, though I'd welcome other ideas.

If you're like me, you're curious who actually did the Black Panther illustration. Well, all you have to do is go to Marvel.com and search for "Black Panther." Turns out it's the cover to Black Panther #15. And according to Marvel.com the artist is Mike Mayhew. Except, that art definitely does not belong to Mike Mayhew. In fact, the artist signature says "Leinil" — as in Leinil Francais Yu. So maybe there's no bias after all. Maybe the Times got the image from Marvel.com (which means it's 72 dpi, which makes sense why it ran so small on page and would corroborate idea No. 1) but when they went to get the credit they were confused as I was.

To add to even MORE credit confusion, if you read the story online, the Times gives the Alex Ross/DC credit for the Batwoman sketch to....MARVEL. Beautiful.

More PR! This time...Alex Ross

Alex Ross Painting Covers for Virgin Comics


New York, NY, MAY 30 – Alex Ross, the acclaimed comic book illustrator is painting covers for Virgin Comics, it was announced today by Virgin Comics CEO, Sharad Devarajan. His first work for Virgin is the cover of Ramayan Reborn #1 (in stores September 6). Ramayan Reborn is loosely based on India’s greatest legend, Ramayana originally written in Sanskrit more than two thousand years ago.

“I have always respected and enjoyed the magic of Alex’s art,” said Devarajan. “His knowledge of classic characters and mythic elements provides unique perspective for Ramayan Reborn.”

Ramayan Reborn from Virgin Comics is a graphic, post-apocalyptical reinvention of Indian mythology told by India’s two greatest creators, bestselling author Deepak Chopra (Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Peace Is The Way) and acclaimed filmmaker Shekhar Kapur (Elizabeth, Bandit Queen).

“I am thrilled to be contributing to the Virgin Comics library of titles,” said Deepak Chopra. “There are very few Western allegories with mythic storytelling, intrepid heroes and interwoven dimensions on this level. Homer’s Odyssey and Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings come to mind.”


Straight-up pr jibber jabber:
SONY BMG Entertainment today is announcing the creation of the TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE 20TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL EDITION DVD, which will hit retail in November.

Packed with exclusive special features to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the animated classic film, the DVD release is timed to the debut of a TRANSFORMERS Classics line of figures.

The 20th Anniversary Special Edition DVD includes never-before-seen footage, exclusive interviews, interactive games and collectible packaging. The film features the voice of Orson Welles in his final role, as well as stars Eric Idle, Judd Nelson, Leonard Nimoy, Casey Kasem, Robert Stack, John Moschitta, Peter Cullen, and Frank Welker. The DVD also features a winning soundtrack featuring the iconic theme "The TRANSFORMERS" performed by Lion, and the popular "The Touch," performed by Stan Bush.

For more information on TRANSFORMERS: The Movie 20th Anniversary Special Edition DVD log onto www.TRANSFORMERSthemovieDVD.com

To coincide with the special edition DVD release, this fall Hasbro will pay a special tribute to the rich history captured in the saga that is MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE with the TRANSFORMERS Classics line of figures. Available in November 2006, these new figures will feature updated versions of the first generation of TRANSFORMERS (or “G1”), inspired by the look and spirit of the original figures and characters.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Comics & Minorities in NY Times

X-RAY vision. Teleportation. Shape-shifting. Flight. The special abilities of superheroes are certainly diverse. But historically the faces behind the masks have been much less so. Out of costume the biggest difference was black hair or blond. Green skin was more common than any shade of brown. And on the rare occasion when nonwhite heroes were included, names like Black Panther and Black Lightning telegraphed the difference.

Read full text here


X-FACTS: The X-Men comics vs. X-Men: The Last Stand
Mike Russell's CulturePulp examines the new movie in a funny and clever fashion.

Check out the full here

Friday, May 26, 2006

Comic Foundry Visits the Spider-Man 3 Set

As I was walking through the city on my day off, I stumbled onto a filming location for Spider-Man 3. It was in the little park on 23rd st. between 5th and Madison. No name stars were there. It was a playground scene with a bunch of little kids and dogs all wearing Spidey gear - backpacks, t-shirts, jackets, etc. The shot was cute kid No. 1 was hanging upside down on a rope swing when cute mom No. 1 runs up and grabs him before he falls. She carries him off while cute kid No. 2 runs and jumps on the now empty rope swing. Here are some photos via my camera phone:

Director Sam Raimi

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Get Discovered on MySpace

The lovable CB Cebulski tells his blog readers about how he discovered an artist online for his next project — by surfing through MySpace:

I was just clicking around one day looking at different folks friends when I spotted a cool profile pic, hand-drawn in a sweet style. So I clicked it and came across the artworkof Rob Guillory. You can check his stuff out too at http://www.myspace.com/rob_guillory. So I e-mailed Rob and we got to chatting, I checked out his site and loved his artwork. He was just what I was looking for. I sent him the script for S.A.S.E, he dug it, and the rest is history!

Refer back to CB's blog for full.

On a side note, CB's X-Men Fairy Tales is on stands now. Czech it out.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Degrees of Separation

This news about the Persepolis movie is great...I just wish it were live action. Oh well.

Speaking of Iran, did you know L Word actress Sarah Shahi is the great-great-granddaughter of a 19th century Iranian Shah, Fath Ali Shah Qajar?


From the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel
He says comic-book readers can find a powerful Messiah figure in Superman, who was created by two Jewish teenagers; Kal-El, Superman's name on the planet Krypton, roughly translates to "All that is God" in Hebrew. Batman can be seen as "an avatar of God's justice." Spider-Man teaches lessons about power and responsibility.

Monday, May 22, 2006

New frames, and I'm not talking glasses

I just bought some original comic art and I'm looking to get it framed. Anyone out there know how to go about doing that? I'm thinking about framing it with the printed page as well — anyone have any experience in that?


Virgin Comics will introduce Devi today, and The Sadhu tomorrow, May 23. The previews being released include several pages of final art and lettered pages from the first issues of each story.

Devi (pronounced day-vee), is the mysterious story of the warrior goddess Devi and the battles she fights that no one ever sees. This modern take on a very ancient myth was created by acclaimed film maker Shekhar Kapur (Elizabeth, Four Feathers). Devi #1 goes on sale at comic shops on Wednesday, July 12.

“The preview pages for Devi are being released simultaneously at Virgin Comics’ headquarters in New York, the Virgin Comics and Virgin Animation studios in Bangalore, India, and at Virgin offices in London. We are delighted to at the forefront of story telling for comic book fans in every time zone,” said Virgin Comics CEO Sharad Devarajan.

“Virgin Comics Issue Zero” a free 24 page introduction to Virgin Comics will be released at comic book stores and Virgin Megastores on June 28.

The Sadhu will be in stores on July 26. Snakewoman – Virgin Comics first release from their Director’s Cut line – will debut on July 19.

Friday, May 19, 2006



From the great illustrator Christopher Silas Neal (and a great guy, to boot). He does some comic stuff too, which you can check out here.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Slow Posting, my apologies

It's been crazy bananas back in the real job. I've been working 12-hour days and weekends so I apologize for the lack of posting.

Interesting notes while I get back in the groove of comic-things:

X-MEN 3 will be the cover of the next Entertainment Weekly. (hush)

What I Just Read:
Death Note, Vol. 2
Starman TPB, Vol. 1
52, issue 2

What I'm Reading:
Fell, issue 5
Transmetropolitan TPB, Vol. 6

What I'm Reading Next:
Death Note, Vol. 3
Y: The Last Man, Vol. 7
Batman Year 100, issue 4
The Tickling

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Anime Peanuts

I have no idea where this came from.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


What's this?

This week In Gawker's analysis of New York Magazine's LOOK BOOK section, you can find indie scribe Mark Sable as a guest commentator.

Desmond says that his comfort is his scarf and pocket square. What other physical objects does he find comfort in?

A check for a million dollars, which he's about to hand over to a former Nigerian official who e-mailed Desmond's asking for help transferring his assets to the United States. And P. Diddy's umbrella.

Full text in this link.

I just read THE BEAT's news clip of the New York Daily News visiting Steve Wacker's office and doing a production story on 52.

Wait a minute, I thought. Didn't I just go to Steve Wacker's office to do a production story on 52? Yes, I did.

Them's the breaks, folks.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Malegrams, the FOB section I used to art direct, is up for an ASME award (American Society of Magazine Editors) for Best Magazine Section. The awards are tonight. Low life designers like me don't get to go or anything, but I'll be rooting from my ofice.
Comic Foundry Magazine

We've got great stories this month, including

A great piece with Gene Colan

Chris Arrant on OEL manga

An interview with Brett Weldele, the artist on the Southland Tales GNs

Check them out, folks. You won't be sorry.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Death Note vol. 1by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata
Transmetropolitan vol. 6 by Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson

Akira vol. 1 by Katsuhiro Otomo

The Tickling by Renee French, Top Shelf
Starman vol. 1 by James Robinson and Tony Harris


As promised I went down to Midtown Comics to check out the books. The only one that was gone before I got there was the Owly book. Very popular. I think I picked up everything except for the Conan book, but only because it slipped my mind. Nothing really jumped out at me as being spectacular. Scott Pilgrim was probably the most fun, though.

While there I ran into Drew Melbourne, author of the Dark Horse Book Arch Enemies. Good guy, good book.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Check out our cool CF reference on About.com. Chris Arrant's great piece on American manga is featured on About.com's Comics Section. Of all the places our articles have been picked up, this one is a first.

Look at me trying to be funny
The very kind JK Parkin invited me to contribute to The Great Curve's Free Comic Book Day coverage, along with a bunch of other misfits. Check out what we had to say. Courtesy laughs, please.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Attention James Bond fans: The new Casino Royale trailer just hit the web.

Season 3 of the Metti Publisher Fantasy Comics League is upon us. Join now!

The people running the show over there are really putting together some cool new changes and features. It's going to be one of the most exciting seasons yet. Seriously. I'm actually a big fan of the site and am not only a supporter, I'm a player. My team came in 10th overall this past season and I was 7th overall in the first season.

It's free, so sign up here.

Monday, May 01, 2006

I stayed up the entire night to finish editing and uploading this baby. (Is it bad if don't sleep and you're still five miinutes late to work?). There's a ton of great stuff from some incredible contributors. The departments are extremely solid this month and despite having a couple stories fall through at the last minute, I'm very happy with this issue.

Check it out now!