Insomnia returns

It's 5:00 in the morning and I've been up for a half an hour.

Can't guess as to how many times I woke up from a dream that was telling me it was time to get up. I finally took the hint. Had half a mind to play with the Wii Fit which let me know that after over twenty years of martial arts training that I am "unbalanced" and politely asked me if I had problems walking. I'm wondering whether or not the "unbalanced" comment was referring to my mental status.

I'm over due starting my next "Tales of Night Life". Got an artist all lined up. She did chapter two of "New Kid in Town". She got all excited when I told her that the next story would be involving a werewolf. The story is in my reptilian brain and unfortunately has built a comfy little next in there and refuses to get out despite poking it with a sharp stick.

Deffiant McDouchebag continues his vendetta against me hoping to drive me from any internet forums that he finds me in. He actually started a blog here on Blogger just to comment in this blog, back when he was he was throwing around wild accusations and taking a break from trying to sign comic artists to ten year contracts with his company. I was thinking he was a wannabe shakedown artist or identity thief. Now I think I'm the focus of interest for a Paranoid Schizophrenic. To quote the Joker from BATMAN BEYOND: RETURN OF THE JOKER "It would be funny if it weren't so pathetic. Ah, what the heck. I'll laugh anyways."

THE SPIRIT isn't doing well at the box office. Critics are panned it. I'd take the time to defend it if Frank Miller owed me a goddamn thing.

Year's almost done. Got some stuff to show for it by way of content. Content is always important. Hopefully next year I'll have something to show by way of books to put in people's hands. The next issue of MERE MORTAL is coming and will complete the story arc. Since I'm not looking forward to much being shown me by the big time comic book companies, I'm going to have to just get excited by my own work.

Gail Simone's stuff is keeping me excited. I just want to hang out in the little corner of the DC Universe she's writing and cling to my little Gail involved fantasy of her vision of things spilling over into everything I read and making it more enjoyable. Never seen her picture, but I like to imagine her the way she writes: witty, charming and inviting. Then the Al Green music starts to play....


See what happens when I can't sleep?

Now the story can be told...


Mom: "What would you guys like for Christmas?"

Me: "Meagan would like a Wii Fit."

Mom: "What about you?"

Me: "Well, let's just say it's for both of us."


Mom: "Have you thought about what you'd like for Christmas?"

Me: "Yes, we'd like a Wii Fit."

Mom: "A Wii... Fit?"

Me: "Yeah, it's an accessory for the Wii."

Mom: "That's for both of you?"

Me: "Yep."

First week of December.

Mom: "I need to know what to get you for Christmas."

Me: "We'd like a Wii Fit."

Mom: "Is there anything else you'd like, in case I can't find one."

Me. "..." "Highlander: Season One."

Second week of December.

Mom: "I can't find a Wii Fit anywhere and they want almost double the price for them online and I don't know how to use Ebay!"

Me: "This is why I told you about it in October."


Me: (Insert eye rolling here)

Mom: "OK, maybe you did, but I can't find one! Maybe I could just give you the money... WAIT! YOU! You have connections!"

Me: "There's no such thing as the mafia."

Mom: "STOP THAT!" (Insert smack here.) "You find all sorts of weird stuff. You managed to get a Wii after looking for all of five minutes. You can find one and I'll pay you back!"

Me: "So you want me to get my hands on one of the most sought after items anywhere during the Holiday season, and then get it to you so you can give it back to me for Christmas, without Meagan knowing?"

Mom: "Yes." (At this point I found the fact that I used to RP Jaeger Ayers to be highly ironic.) "Oh and I have no idea where to find that Highlander thing you asked for."

Me: "Mom, your office is across the street from a Best Buy."

Mom: "They have DVDs?"

Two days after that.

Me: "It's done."

Mom: "WHAT?! How did you find one? How much did you pay?"

Me: "It was $89.99."

Mom: "I couldn't find one anywhere."

Me: "Well, you can find one in my car right now."

Mom: "HOW?! How did you do it?"

Me: "I'm Batman."

Merry Christmas

Last night at a friend's church I got to hear a little girl who was no more than five years old recite from the Bible. It was the same passage that Linus recites in 'Merry Christmas Charlie Brown'. She spoke clearly and needed no prompting. She looked out at the congregation the entire time time. Once finished she recited a little poem about Christmas. I was very impressed, and thought I'd share.

Merry Christmas everyone and thanks to all of you that have supported us. It's the best present a person could ever ask for.

Love you too, Frank.

I flipped through an issue of Maxim on the news stand as I was killing some time. Maxim is a rag, but nothing else looked interesting. Anyhow, they did a little piece on THE SPIRIT which is being written and directed by Frank Miller. No, it's looking like the movie is going to be a bit of a departure from the comics created by Will Eisner, and many fans ain't too pleased with that. I'm not a huge fan, so it doesn't much matter to me.

So, Miller talks about how Eisner was his mentor and he didn't want to do a movie that was a "dusty monument" to the old comics. He said he's doing what he felt Eisner would have wanted him to do with movie. "I owe him." That's cool. No problem there, but then he turned right around and commented about the fans who are concerned and unhappy about his take on the character.

"I don't owe the fans a goddamn thing."

O rly?

Well, that's enough to keep me from buying a ticket. He can play the artiste all he wants, but it's the fans that got him where he is right now. I'm sure his supporters are saying at this point, "Well, he's not talking about his fans, he's talking about the fans of The Spirit that are unhappy." That's no better. Fans are fans. None are worth more than another. You can't make a movie about something that isn't in some small part for the fans of that thing.

Now, if he had said something along the lines of: "Hey, I know what I'm doing is a bit different, but I'm doing what I think my friend and mentor would have wanted me to do and I hope people will give it a chance." That's fine, I'd have probably gone to see it. Nope, had to cop an attitude. And I'm sure it was just bravado meant for the Maxim readers, but he missed the mark of 'cool' and landed on 'asshole' instead.

For the record, I'm a fan of Frank Miller. I liked DARK KNIGHT RETURNS and BATMAN:YEAR ONE. I liked his old DAREDEVIL stuff. I liked SIN CITY and 300 and enjoyed the movies they made of those. I don't like everything he does. ALL-STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN is complete crap. It's hit and miss really.

So, where will THE SPIRIT fall with me? Well, no one's going to find out any time soon, because Frank doesn't owe me a goddamn thing.

Leaving well enough alone

We live in an age of multimedia cross-marketing saturation bombing. It's almost to the point where we don't have consumers, we have targets. Think about that the next time you hear the term "target audience". As if some record producer or artist agent or webcomic writer who spews forth his half crazed opinions on his blog is perched upon the water tower overlooking the vast mass consciousness of the developing mono-culture picking and choosing the recipients of their .50 caliber meme which will be fired through the media of their choice.

And it's not like we're sitting up in our water towers, sucking down anything caffeinated or mind altering that we can get our hands on, and only having to use one weapon of thought attack at our disposal. Oh no children, we've got the whole toy store at our disposal. Movies, books, television, radio, CDs, DVDs, MP3s, Blue-Ray, broadband, satellites skimming over the Ionosphere for the sole purpose of getting our ideas into your heads, or make your fillings sing "hey nani nani". Whichever comes first.

And some people just can't get enough. The movie isn't enough. They need the soundtrack downloaded onto their Ipod, the same one that has the movie's trailer which they downloaded when it somehow, as if by magic, got leaked onto the web. Wait, there's a book adaption? Got to get that to! It doesn't matter that the movie in question is an adaption of a novel to begin with. Now you have to wait for months for the DVD, but not that piece of shit that's coming out a couple of months later, NO YOU FOOLISH BASTARD, it's got to be the special edition 5 disc hi-def box set with the little book and commemorative paperweight!

There's an animated WONDER WOMAN movie coming soon, to which I say "Yay". I'll be buying it. However, in a little online discussion doom was reigned upon us with the statement, "That doesn't solve the problem of there not being a live action Wonder Woman movie."

Fuck the economy and tell the entire Middle East to sod off! Get Obama on the phone! We need a damn Wonder Woman live action movie, because damn it all we're entitled to have our every whim catered to.

This is a problem? THIS? No, CATWOMAN was a problem. This is just a matter of no one can pull off the role. And don't bother leaving comments about Lucy Lawless. That ship sailed about ten years ago. Let her do the animated voice like she did in NEW FRONTIER.

WATCHMEN is getting set to be butchered on the screen. I caught some people clamoring about doing a KINGDOM COME movie. Here's where we hit the problem.

Some works lose their magic in translation. NEW FRONTIER was great, but so much got cut out when the work got animated that it felt like they just when from Darwin Cooke's outline. There's even more stuff going on in WATCHMEN and KINGDOM COME that there's no way you can get a decent translation of the work compiled into a two to three hour movie. There's also not enough there to warrant a series of films. And think about one of the main strengths of KINGDOM COME: the art. Alex Ross ain't gonna be painting those animation cells.

Some works can translate well. SIN CITY and 300 proved that. The difference is that there's room to work with them. They had to add a lot to 300 to flesh it out for the movie. SIN CITY faithfully adapted multiple limited series into one movie. The thing is, while I love SIN CITY, we are not talking about a terribly dense work. It's fairly light, a popcorn read. That's not an insult, I love popcorn reading.

Also intellectual properties like BATMAN and SPIDER-MAN are easily adapted because there a lot of source material for the producers to cull from. They can make it work. Adapting a series like WATCHMEN, or the numerous other Alan Moore properties of which he won't even allow his name to be attached to the adaptations, and the producers are hand cuffed. The creators only produced a set amount of source material and it often isn't much. It's way too easy to go off the reservation and piss off the audience you were hoping to cater to.

Tricksy things, those target audiences. Blast them right and they'll worship you with devotion, praise and money. However if your aim is off, you've got a pissed off beast which you've disturbed and it's never easy to calm them down.

As humans it's in our nature to adapt. Ideas must adapt meet the rigors of the world. Art does not adapt. The world adapts to art. People adapt to art. Great glowing ideas that change the minds, hearts and souls of all who come in contact with them, which drive their creators to near madness in the best of conditions, in their quest to formulate and express them. And for every single one of these wonderful ideas, there's a hundred people looking to change it so that they can make a buck off it.

Holy Load of Crap, Batman!

It's been a big year for Batman. There was the anticipation of THE DARK KNIGHT, the metric ton of marketing, commercials everywhere, then the movie itself. I made my feelings on it abundantly clear, I didn't like the movie. Still everyone had bats on the brain, especially with the impending "Batman R.I.P." Fans were in a tizzy wondering how on earth could DC dare to kill off Bruce Wayne. How could they do it? Who would replace him? In fact, even now that the storyline has come to a close there's still so many questions in the air. "Battle for the Cowl" will determine who will be the next Batman.

Just one tiny iddy biddy problem with this: Bruce Wayne ain't dead. He's still Batman.

Unfortunately DC editorial didn't get the memo. I blame grant Morrison's accent for this. Obviously, Dan DiDio couldn't understand the words coming out of Morrison's mouth when he told the fat controller the Bruce Wayne doesn't die. Otherwise he wouldn't have turned the storyline into an 'event' and had every Bat-related comic tie into it.

How do you write a story dealing with the ramifications of the death of a character when the character is just fine and continues to appear in comics. Peter Tomasi nailed it perfectly last week in NIGHTWING #151. There was a brilliant scene at the end of the issue in which yes, Bruce Wayne was missing and instead of going nuts searching for him, Dick Grayson, Tim Drake and Alfred the Butler popped some popcorn, made smooties and watched a movie on Wayne Manor's home theater system. Tomasi green lit the R.I.P. storyline when he editor. Unfortunately Tomasi proved himself to be competent so he's not an editor anymore. Fortunately he's writing the most enjoyable NIGHTWING run since Chuck Dixon.

R.I.P. has been handled poorly in every respect outside of the execution of the story itself. It was marketed horribly, misleading readers. It was turned into as 'event' when really it the final chapter of Morrison's storyline. This story also referenced a ton of old Batman stories which DC didn't see fit to reprint before hand. They are making up for it by putting out THE BLACK CASEBOOK next year to go along with the trade of "Batman R.I.P." which will be collecting the stories in question. That's a whole other can of worms since it shares the same name and page count as THIS. The compiler of that torrent was never contacted by DC which they don't have to since it is DC's property being collected. Still, credit needs to go where it's supposed to. This guy did it first, and did it when it could help readers fully understand what's going on. He did DC's job for them and did it for free.

So now we've got Bat-books on hiatus or being canceled to be relaunched. That or other titles will pop up to replace them. Don't forget the next event which will answer the questions not caused by the last one, but thrown out there by rabid shortsighted fanboys and an editorial staff that needs to go back to editing storylines, not creating them. All because no one wanted to listen to the writer when he tried to tell people not to go nuts.

I'm going to go what the Tim Burton BATMAN flick now. Just to calm my nerves.

Fighting over the drumstick

Well Chris is working his way steadily through issue 4 of MERE MORTAL, so now we look forward towards issue 5. As per out tradition he'll be over at my house for some good eatin'. This time instead of enjoying the onset of a turkey coma we'll be getting a bit done. The issue 5 script is ready to go and I'm hoping to address on thing that our critics have knocked us on: fight scenes.

We've gotten a couple of reviews, and while both have been favorable they both did not like how we handled the fight scenes. Well, we could tell those reviewers to go sod off, however we're not 12 year olds. These were objective observations and if both saw a need for improvement in that one area then we're going to show them what we're made of.

I've choreographed fights for karate demos. I also have an extensive collection of fight footage and somewhat rare martial arts films. We're going to be drawing from a lot of sources for this one. So expect a big fight coming up, and expect it to be our best one yet.


The following is completely true, except for the parts that aren't.

With our troubling economic times it seems like everyone is taking a hit. The comic industry is no exception.

"We're pretty sure that the country's economic woes are the real reason COUNTDOWN didn't sell as well as we hoped." said Dan DiDio, DC Comics editor-in-chief.

The problems did not stop there, as Marvel was having it's own troubles making sales. "I don't get it." cried Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada, "Three movies, a cartoon series, and his likeness on everything and SPIDER-MAN just isn't selling? What the hell?"

"The government has to do something." Remarked DiDio. "We're too big to fail. What would the world be without Superman?" Despite the fact that this question was answered by the storyline following the "Death of Superman", DiDio remained adamant that society is not ready to face this possibility. To try to get in the good graces of the folks on Capital Hill, DiDio and Quesada both are looking to whatever it takes to try to get a piece of the bailout pie.

"We're going green!" announced DiDio. "We'll only be using recycled storylines from now on! In fact, expect Clark and Lois to get a visit Neron next year."

"You can't do that!" cried Quesada.

"Why not?"

"Because we ripped off 'One More Day' from the storyline where Neron tried to steal the love between Wally and Linda West... I mean... nuthin'..." Quesada said and them promptly left the room for a potty break. He returned moments later much more composed. "We've already gone green over at Marvel!" he proclaimed, but then asked to retract that proclamation upon being informed that having Skrulls all over the place doesn't count.

They did meet with some opposition at getting bail out funds from the Government as President-elect Obama felt that money should be taken from them and given to smaller companies, because 'spreading the wealth is a good thing'. The President-elect quickly changed his mind after DiDio and Quesada offered to create a massive crossover event revealing that Lex Luthor and Doctor Doom both receive orders from radio talk show host, and TV personality Sean Hannity. Obama did seem a bit more cozy with the Marvel contingent.

"I don't know why." said Quesada. "He just seemed more comfortable with people willing to deny the existence of twenty year long relationships."

Only time will tell if any bail out money goes to either of the companies. It's my hope that these companies do make it because should they fall Lord only knows what Geoff Johns and Brian Bendis would do with all that time on their hands.

Heroes (not the TV show)

I've always been a superhero fan. I can't remember a time when I wasn't. Everyone has a hero, whether they run around in spandex or not. One of my heroes had a pretty tough weekend.

At UFC 91 Randy Couture lost his heavyweight championship to Brock Lesnar. It was a hell of a fight. I'm saddened by the outcome, after all Couture even as the champ was coming into this as an underdog and like most folks I love seeing an underdog come out on top. My friends and I have said it all before. "Man, he's getting kinda old." "Wow, that other guy is so big and strong." Over and over we've seen Couture defy the odds. It didn't happen this time.

It wasn't for lack of trying. Despite being 14 years older than his opponent and being 45 pounds lighter, Couture gave Lesnar a hell of a fight. Clearly Lesnar's greatest test since entering mixed martial arts. Lesnar deserves all the credit for passing the test. It wasn't luck, or a fluke. It was a solid combination and good follow up.

It would be so easy to vilify Lesnar. With his size advantage, he could easily fit the role of 'big bully'. But it's not the case. He was gracious with his victory, just as Couture was gracious in his defeat. Couture doesn't fight villains like the characters I usually write about. He fights the odds. He faces opponents in the ring and puts his skills and hard work to the test. He doesn't ramble on about kicking people's asses. He talks about 'imposing his will' upon them. He's a sportsman.

Athletes are easy to see as heroes. They inspire us with their feats and victories. They often don't ask for the title of 'hero', but the onslaught of fandom gives it to them.

So, Randy Couture is one of my heroes. I'd love to be as tough and skilled as he is, even though that'll likely never happen, it's good to try. They call him 'Captain America' which honestly if I was going to equate him to any comic book character I can't think of one better. I admire many of the the same attribute in Couture as I do in Cap: perseverance, skill, graciousness. My favorite super-heroes, like my favorite fighters all have something going for them besides their powers or fighting skills. They have heart.

So, Couture right now is going to figure out which direction he wants to go in after losing the belt. Honestly, if he retired from the game and went of to run his gym and train fighters, I wouldn't blame him. He's done plenty for the sport and for the fans, and I'd be happy with whatever he decides. But would I like to see a re-match?

Hell yes.

Not because of anything against the new champ, but because I'd like to see my hero beat the odds and inspire us all one more time.

Well, now the pressure is off...

So I've said in the past that I feel some pressure to write about BLUE BEETLE since Boxxet said to come here for more information about Blue Beetle. Well, I don't have to worry about that anymore since BLUE BEETLE is the latest title from DC getting the axe. I tell ya, I'm going to be having a lot more spending money soon. DC seems to have targeted my pull list, so I figure that's another three bucks I won't be spending on comics per month. Thanks to DC chopping so much stuff I'm up about twenty dollars a month.

The only problem is it's BLUE BEETLE getting the axe. This has been a favorite book of mine and quite a few other people. The main character, Jamie Reyes, is great. He's Latino, which is a really under-represented minority in comics. He's also a testament to how far DC had come. Anyone else remember Vibe? He was the break dancing member of the Justice League with the power to not only generate and control vibrations but also to be every stereotype imaginable. Fortunately, he'd dead now, and unlike Hal Jordan and Barry Allen I doubt he'll be back any time soon.

Reyes will still be around as a member of the TEEN TITANS which his presence may be the only thing keeping me on that title. BLUE BEETLE is a gem, and even though it's not quite as strong as it was with John Rogers at the helm, think it deserves a chance. At the very least, I'd like to get some trades.

I am wondering when the title chopping will stop.

Deadwood... with pirates?

Galveston #1
Let me just make one thing clear before we dive in here: I hate pirates. How a bunch of murders and rapists have been so over-glorified is beyond me. So why am I even reading this book? Because if you take multiple genres and shove them in a blender that usually makes me perk up.

Quick history lesson. Jean Lafitte was a famous pirate in the early 1800. If you're awake in your high school history class you may have seen his name pop up here and there. Well, his final years weren't spent out on the high seas. They were spent somewhere much more dangerous: Texas. There he was good buddies with one Jim Bowie. Name sound familiar? Bowie knives anyone?

Now this comic doesn't claim to be historically accurate, but with a set up like that, someone has to jump in and have some fun with it. Johanna Stokes does just that and serves up a pirate/cowboy/buddy flick of a comic. Lafitte is smooth-talking smart-ass. Bowie is a hard fightin' tough guy who looks like he'd give Jonah Hex a run for his money. The first issue gives us fun by way of mutiny. It's mostly set up, and there's not much by way of a strong hook; but the set up is interesting and it's enough to warrant my further attention.

Two different artists worked this one. Todd Herman hits us head on with brutal fight scene. I like his stuff. It's loaded with atmosphere and he really has a keen eye. Greg Scott comes in to bat clean up on the second half of the book. He gets the job done, but Herman's work overpowers his. Still, it's solid, and tell the story.

This book hits the shelves Wednesday, so if you can, keep an eye out for it.

My Stepmother's Curse

I'm reminded of one of my favorite comic series, HITMAN by Garth Ennis and John McCrea. I loved that book. Loved every last issue of it. Strangely enough, my step-mother loved it too. You see, once you got past the over the top violence in the book you had these extraordinary characters. Even though they were killers they seemed more decent than a lot of folks I've run across. The book spoke more eloquently of honor, family and friendship than anything else I've read.

My step-mother is a very sweet and kind woman, not the type you would imagine would read HITMAN. She did have one problem. Whenever she would declare any character in that comic to be her favorite, they would die. "I love Ringo." Gunned down by five guys with assault rifles. "I love Sean." Stabbed by a mob hitter. It finally just kept going until she declared Tommy and Natt, the main characters, were her favorites.

That was the end of the series.

And now it seems I've inherited it. Problem is, that it's evolved. Now whenever I start following a comic at DC it's set to be canceled. BIRDS OF PREY and NIGHTWING are next on the list. I have the urge to delete all my praise for WONDER WOMAN from this blog for fear Dan DiDio will read it and target it for cancellation. DC seriously needs a new editor-in-chief. It's like he wants the readers to go away, or at least me at any rate.

2 Guns

This is a heist book, pure and simple. Steven Grant serves it up well, and BOOM is serving it up for free. They're releasing it as a webcomic and right now I'm trying to figure out which way is up with this thing. That's a good thing.

It starts with plans for a bank robbery. Simple enough. It gets complicated when we find out a bit more about our would-be thieves. One's a deep cover DEA agent and the other is an undercover Naval Intelligence officer. They're playing each other but who is playing both of them. Most of the action follows the DEA agent, Bobby, who's getting the seriously short end of the stick. Kinda sucks when it seems like the only person you can trust is the guy who shot you.

This one's got a bit of everything. Government agents, black ops killers and even some rather nasty gangsters. The writing is solid. As a reader I felt a bit confused, but it was a well planned confusion. Bobby's looking for answers and we're along for the ride. The art is solid as well. It's not overly flashy, but it tells the story well and seems very suited for this tale. Overall it's a subtle book. It doesn't jump in your face, but it rewards patient readers with a fun bit of mystery to unravel.

Vote: Nozz

Found out someone's planning on writing my name in in the election next week. Of course I'm not old enough to be President. Still the thoughts of such power are appealing. It does make me ask myself what would I do if I was President.

I'd support that whole Bill of Rights thing.

Taxes? Screw that. I'd install the Fair Tax. Buh-bye IRS.

Waterboarding? No more! This would be replaced by Vic Mackey with a bottle iodine and telephone book.

Governments bail outs? Nope. These with companies fail, well that's just how it goes. And no more pressure from government to make loans and give credit to those who can't handle it. That's the crap that started this mess to begin with.

Supporting the troups? Hell yes. Whatever you need, gang. Just keep taking down those bad guys.

Secure the borders? Oh yeah. Big fence and deport those little pricks who aren't even trying to get their paperwork together. I know the immigration process has a lot of hoops to jump through. I've got no problem turning a blind eye to that person who's having some trouble with the process, but is actually trying. It's those little pricks who are just here to make a buck, are here completely illegally and don't even make an effort to learn the language that piss me off.

Yeah, I could never be President. I'd end up with too many whiners complaining how I'm too insensitive for the job or something. That's OK, the fix is in anyways. I'm still going to vote though, if only for the satisfaction on canceling out the vote of some brain-dead Obama supporter.

If you can listen really closely, you can actually hear the founding fathers turning in their graves.

I'm being watched....

No. Really. My rantings and ravings keep popping up in the damnedest places.

I don't know much about but damned if they don't keep yanking stuff from this blog. It even said to visit here for more information about Blue Beetle. That's horrible pressure. Now I feel I have to actually write on a regular basis about Blue Beetle. That would be much easier to do if John Rogers was writing it again. He gives good Blue Beetle. Not that Matt Sturges doesn't give good Blue Beetle, however Sturges is like a rally damned good hamburger and french fries, I'm talking Royal Red Robin with the endless basket of fries good; however Rogers is a well cooked steak, easily consumed but the kind you want to take your time to fully appreciate. Oh, and add in baked potato with my order of John Rogers. Don't forget the butter.

Then my Wonder Woman post popped up over on When Fangirls Attack. When I first saw this bit on Google I was expecting the Fangirls to actually attack. Which, if I'm gonna go, that's the way I want to go. There was no attack. This makes me wonder if I'm currently in their good graces and they'll attack stuff for me. I could sic them on Deffiant Douche. That way I could be amused and perform a public service all at the same time.

Then Steve Rolston tossed up a bit from my Emiko Superstar post up on his live journal. My friend Bridget accuses me of having a fangasm over it. I'm here to say that no such fangasm occurred. I have no comment on the little happy dance I did in my living room. Yes it's true. I love Steve Rolston. But it's for his art. Honest. That, and the sideburns. Those are some seriously cool sideburns.

Then there was the offer to test a pheromone based cologne and write about it. I thought about spraying Johnson with it sending him into the Winchester to see what would happen. It would be science! MOTHER F'N SCIENCE!

Woo, that 7-11 coffee is strong.

Then I said something about BOOM! Studios. They sent me a very nice e-mail thanking me. As such I am cancelling my plans for revenge on Mark Waid for his join effort with Todd DeZago that totally killed my shot at that totally hot waitress at the Gorilla Press party in Charlotte. Yes, I know it was eight years ago, BUT SHE WAS SERIOUSLY F'N HOT! So yes, even though I have already acquired the monkeys, there will be no vengence.

So people are watching. No pressure. And no vengance monkeys.

Yeah, damn strong coffee this morning.

In league with Lucifer....

Post title borrowed from the first HIGHLANDER movie. That's right, I'm waving my geek flag.

Post title borrowed from the first HIGHLANDER movie. That's right, I'm waving my geek flag.

is coming in December. This is a limited series about a thief, Lucifer, who deals with the occult. Michael Alan Nelson (CTHULU TALES) teams up with newcomer Emma Rios to bring us this one. The initial feel reminds me a lot of Joss Whedon's FRAY. Our thief doesn't sport cool Slayer powers, but instead relies on her bag of tricks to make things happen for her.

The first issue is a bit light on action but sets things up nicely. Rios's art is quite nice and suits the story well. The lead isn't an "uber-babe" and fortunately isn't drawn as one. It's a nice change of pace. Despite having a heavy supernatural aspect to the story, the characters aren't completely over the top. This jarred me a bit. I was expecting something more outrageous from the cast, but this works in making the occult parts of the story that much more jarring. Luci pulls some really outrageous stuff, but to her it's completely business as usual.

At least it's business as usual until a former employer tracks her down to settle a debt.

Solicits are due in October 28th, so if this book sounds like your cup of tea, head over to your LCS (local comic shop) and place your order.

Times achangin'...: part 3

Comics have changed a lot over the years and the evolution is continuing. Independent comics are not what they once were. It used to be a creator had a vision and would put his work together and find a way to get his work printed and distributed. I'm talking about the guys who were working their day jobs to keep those bills paid and trying to get the work done and stash away enough money for supplies and printing. These were the guys very familiar with the taste of Ramen noodles. Hunger can bring out the best in a creator.

With the coming of the internet and the advances of high speed connections the game has changed. It is possible for viewers to check out full color pages efficiently. Used to be it too a while for even black and white images to come up. I know this because NIGHT LIFE was on the web back in '95 and '96. James Madison University had stuff from the campus newspaper online back then and my comic strip was part of it.

So, now you don't need the money for a print run, you just need a site for hosting your work, and you can find free ones out there. You need a scanner. Really, that's about it. This makes it a lot easier for creators to get their work out there, and solves the problem of distribution.

This also poses a problem.

There's an absolute glut of webcomics out there. It's unreal how much there is. So, you have to sift through them to find the good stuff. This can be a rather involved process, but much like browsing the racks at the comic shop for something new you're going to find stinkers as well as gold.

Right now I'm following a few: Finder, Girl Genius, Sinfest, Fragile Gravity and a few others. These have been around for a while. They have firm readerships and they put out a quality product. They're a good jumping on point for those of you that are new to webcomics.

Really it breaks down to three types.

Hobbyists: these are the folks that are just doing it for fun. Absolutely nothing wrong with it. They don't take it very seriously, but sometimes you can find some gems in there.

Wannabes: these are the guys who think they have the hottest thing out there. Their parents and friends told them how awesome they're stuff is so they're inflicting it upon anyone who clicks their way. They often don't take criticism well.

The real deal: these are the ones to watch. They meet their update schedules. They consistently turn out decent work. They thrive on criticism both good and bad and use it to try to improve. They don't conduct themselves like petulant children. These are the people who are actually trying, and have the chops. They have stories to tell.

The web is the new proving ground for new writers and artists. The next generation of talent that you will see working for the big companies will be culled from the web. This is the new indy scene.

Time's achangin'... : part 2

So, I have no interest in Marvel and my enthusiasm towards DC is greatly diminished. Where does that leave me? It leaves me open to things I haven't picked up before. I made the joke in the 'Fanboy Dictionary' that anything not published by Marvel or DC was an 'independent comic'. If that were actually true then Archie is an indy comic. Kinda nukes the old stereo type.

That's right kids, there much more to comic books than just Marvel or DC. This should be apparent to anyone paying the slightest bit of attention. HELLBOY is getting action figures, animated shows and some very cool movies. Frank Miller scored big with big screen adaptations of SIN CITY and 300. SPAWN has a huge following and has had figures, cartoons and a movie. These are just four off the top of my head. Venturing outside of the big two yields some very fun results.

For me, I've recently started getting into MADMAN, THE GOON and BONE. Good times all around. For those who haven't really ventured outside the big two, here's an idea of what's waiting for you.

DARK HORSE comics have been around for decades. This is where you're going to find comics like SIN CITY, THE GOON and HELLBOY but also STAR WARS and BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. This is where you'll find a lot of really great, high quality, creator owned works. There's not a lot of your 'traditional' super heroes flying about, kinda a spandex free zone.

IMAGE COMICS has had it's ups and downs, but like it or not the founders struck a major blow for creator ownership when they broke away from Marvel and went their own way. This is the company that gave us SPAWN, THE SAVAGE DRAGON and host of others.

ONI PRESS is one you may not have hear off. However, if you've heard of Judd Winick or Greg Rucka then you should be familiar with them. This is the company that produced THE ADVENTURES OR BARRY WEEN: BOY GENIUS, WHITEOUT, and QUEEN AND COUNTRY. These are award winning books, and I've currently been spending a lot of time lately drooling of the grand gloriousness of the QUEEN AND COUNTRY absolute editons that are being released.

Then there's BOOM STUDIOS which is currently working very hard to suck me in and doing a fine job of it. I'm predicting this group becoming major players, and not just because they had the good the sense that DC didn't and made Mark Waid editor. Here's the best part about these guys: if you're leery of forking out the cash n something new, they've taken the sting out of that by offering some of their titles FREE on their site. So, once you're done here, go read you some free stuff. I'm currently working my way through 2 GUNS.

That's just a glimpse of some of the other stuff out there. So, by now you're thinking, 'OK, Marty's heading off into the wilds of indy comics now.' This is true, but what I talked about above isn't it.

More later.

Times a-changin'...

I'm not liking what I am seeing from where my entertainment money goes. I one consistent expense for my own amusement is my weekly comic fix. The majority of the comics I buy are DC. DC is heading in directions I don't like. What really galls me is that the writer attached to much of what I'm not liking is someone I had been a fan of: Geoff Johns.

What I liked about Johns was that the stuff he wrote was genuinely engaging to me. He's very good at hooking a reader in. I liked his FLASH run. I loved his TEEN TITANS run. He's still doing stuff I enjoy. I love BOOSTER GOLD. But then things start to pop up. GREEN LANTERN: REBIRTH was the first big bump in the road. Its no secret to anyone who has followed this blog for a while that I feel that DC should have never brought back Hal Jordan. I think it degrades the excellent stories, like FINAL NIGHT, however I went along with it. I picked up the first few issues of the new Jordan starring series and now had evidence of something I knew all along:

Even though I loved Hal Jordan when I was a kid, I'm not a kid anymore, and Hal Jordan isn't really very interesting.

Seriously folks, who would you think I'd relate to: the fearless, skirt chasing jet test pilot or the artist/graphic designer who was in the right place at the right time but does his best to step up to the plate?

Fast forward to this week. LEGION OF THREE WORLDS #2 and ROGUES' REVENGE #3 hit the stands. Both penned by Johns. ROGUES' REVENGE wraps up things paving the way for the impending FLASH: REBIRTH (very imaginative title, insert eyeroll here please), bringing the return of Barry Allen to the title role of the FLASH comic. As I've written before, this is easily the stupidest move I've seen DC make. To make matters even stupider, at the end of the issue in question, the Rogues are referring to Allen's return, saying he's the Flash that never cut him any slack. If he's coming back then it's big time trouble.

Barry Allen? Hardcore? Whiskey tango foxtrot?

Moving over to the Legion. Yes, I've written and sent my letter trying to save the current series. Then I go and read LEGION OF THREE WORLDS. I want to say I haven't seen such bias in a long time, but its an election year so we know that's false. George Perez is the sole reason that this book wasn't a complete crapfest. Perez, as always, brings all the goods to the table, and while I rarely endorse a comic solely for the art, I will do so here. Kudos to Mister Perez. Jeers to Johns. We get the textbook, big super villain team up. We get the heroes bickering over whether or not to bump off Superboy-Prime. We get Sun Boy seeing the action from his apartment, making a really corny line about a sun shining and retreating into his apartment, likely to write self-loathing poetry. Nice to know the emo fad has lasted 1000 years into the future. We get the horribly uncharacteristic writing of the Threeboot Brainiac 5. Add in some Green Lantern fanboyism and of course a character from the current Green Lantern books managing to still be alive a millennium later. I'm really on the fence about dropping this book. Lousy writing, but spectacular art.

My current pull list has been hemorrhaging DC titles this year. So what will this mean for my future as a read? Will I go over to Marvel? No, I dropped them back in '96 and see nothing there to entice me back over. Will I drop DC entirely? Also no, they're still putting out great titles like WONDER WOMAN and TINY TITANS, and those are works I'm very much enjoying still.

So which direction will I head in? DC seems to not want my business as much anymore with their insipid "retro trend". Honestly, if I want to read about the silver age Justice league, I'd buy the old comics, I don't need the characters resurrected. I'm not heading back over to Marvel, because I'm not into the whole Skrull-o-rama deal.

It's time to explore other options. More on this later.

The Fanboy Dictionary

They are out there and in case anyone out there is wondering what the hell they're ranting about, here's a helpful list of terms for you.

*BANDWAGONAGEDDON: n: the utter destruction of something good due to bad ideas being blindly followed

*CHEATING: v: the practice of using tactics that are deemed underhanded that even though villains do it on a regular basis only is advantageous when done by the hero

"Batman would beat Superman because he cheats."

*EDUCATIONAL: adj: used to describe any work that depicts how horrible life really is and should be given to kids to prepare them for the real world

"'The Killing Joke' is educational because it teaches you that it only takes one bad day to turn you into a serial killer and you need to watch out for those."

*FANBOY: n: one who reads comics and has such a brilliant understanding of them that the opinions of others are worthless unless they totally agree with him

*INDEPENDENT: adj: used to describe any comic book not published by Marvel Comics or DC Comics

"My favorite independent comics are 'Sin City", 'Hellboy' and 'Spawn'."

*ONLY: adj: used to describe superiority of a character over any other characters carrying the same name

"Hal Jordan is the only Green Lantern"

*PERFECT: adj: may only be used to describe the artwork of Jim Lee

*PROOF: n: a fact that supports an argument, inferior to the opinion of the Fanboy

"Your proof that Stan Lee did not work at Marvel when Captain America was created is meaningless. Everyone know that Lee created Cap."

*REALISM: n: the addition of horrible acts of violence in comic books to reflect how terrible the outside world really is

"Sue Dibny getting raped adds realism to 'Identity Crisis' because rape really happens."

*WIZARD: n: the holy text, on sale monthly, not to be argued against despite utter lack of any journalistic merit

"'Catwoman' was a great movie because Wizard said so."

Emiko Superstar

Months ago I picked up a freebie at Kings. It was the preview of the Minx line being put out by DC Comics. I didn't grab it because it was free. I grabbed it because it was different... and free. It featured many tales about many young women. Not the spandex clan crime fighters and world savers one usually imagines in a knee jerk reaction mention of comics. This was about women, by women. The preview book had a lot of solid stuff, and about halfway through I came across EMIKO SUPERSTAR by Mariko Tamaki and Steve Rolston.

I knew I had to have that book.

It got placed on my pull sheet the following week, even though the solicits for it were not in Previews yet. The guy who does my pulls had no clue what it was. Week after week we waited for mention of it. Patience got rewarded and Derrick told me he finally spotted it and ordered it. I was pretty happy, and then came the news that DC was shutting down their Minx line. I'd still get my book, but I'd have to look elsewhere for more. DC seems to be making a lot of crappy decisions lately.

I got the book this week. It's a small unassuming thing, easily overlooked in my collection by someone browsing and not knowing any better. The cover is perfect like that because that's what we're reading about: a girl who is so easy to overlook that even she doesn't realize how cool she is.

This is not a story for just teenage girls. This is for every person who wants to create and throw their work to the masses. Its for the wannabe artist. The people who know they have something to express but are either to afraid to do it or are struggling to find their voice. It's a look at fifteen minutes of fame for such a person.

It's an absolute gem.

It's an understated, twinkling, little star of a comic that you'll miss if all you're interested in is looking at the big constellations for the stories of the gods.

So if you've got $10 bucks to spare, give it a shot. Do it for the geeks like Emiko who are cooler than they give themselves credit for.

Writing a comic script

Chris has shown quite a few times step by step how he puts together his pages. I figure it's about time to detail the writing side. Now, this is not a 'bible' on how to write comics, but it's how I do things and hopefully will help someone out there out with their project.

1: Outline the story. I do a lot of note taking and sometimes a few sketches. I write everything down in good old fashioned spiral bound notebooks. Sure it's a bit old fashioned but I create better with pencil lead staining my fingers. Now, this is the point where you want to detail things about your characters as well as what you want to have happen in the story itself. I still write individual issues, so this is also the point when I figure out about how many issues the story is going to be. This is going to be trial and error for newer writers. I know how much I can pack into individual issues. Don't get frustrated if you find you need an extra issue or if your getting through the story faster than planned. Pacing takes practice.

2: Outline the issue. Most comic books have 20 to 25 pages of actual comic content in them. The rest is advertisements. My "magic number" is 22. I never write a script longer than 22 pages. This way if Chris wants to stretch out a scene he can do so. If I come up a page or two short of my magic number I don't add in just for the sake of hitting the number. Story is going to flow as it will. I again go back to my spiral bound notebook and number a page 1 to 22 and make notes as to what I want to have happen on every page. The notes are usually just one sentence, but if there are certain details that I know I need to reveal at a certain time or certain things need to happen I make note of them here.

3: First draft. I sit hunkered over the same notebook and write it all out. I refer back to my outline repeatedly to see where I'm at and where I'm going. This is when you're writing down all your actions and dialogue. I split up the page into panels and work from there. Being an artist myself helps a lot because I have an image in my head of what I'd do on the page. I write it down, but then that's completely open to Chris's interpretation.

4: Next draft. This is when my stone age ass sits down at one of them new fangled computers and types the bloody thing. I do much of my editing on the fly, changing little bits here and there. Often having to tweak the dialogue a bit here and there. After typing it all up, I wait a day or two before going back and doing the final edit.

Here's a sample:

Page 7

Panel 1

Joe continues to talk.

1. Joe: Finally I had had enough and fought back.

2. Joe: They got sent to Rooksgate.

Panel 2

Vernon asks a very important question.

3. Vernon: What made you finally fight back?

Panel 3

Joe goes silent for a moment. Doug perks up. He hasn’t heard this before.

Panel 4

Joe looks at Vernon.

4. Joe: You remember your first kiss?

5. Vernon: Yeah.

6. Joe: I don’t.

Panel 5

Doug stops sorting things and looks at Joe. Vernon is paying close attention.

7. Doug: What do you mean you ‘don’t’?

8. Doug: You never told me this.

9. Vernon: How can you not remember?

10. Joe: It was Richards. His telepathy.

11. Doug: Who was the girl?

Panel 6

Joe looks at the floor. Doug is utterly shocked.

12. Joe: Lily Florentine.

13.Doug: fuck.

The finished page can be viewed here. As you can see there's not a ton of action on the page, so Chris doesn't need a ton of direction.

Here's some quick pointers for scripting.

Keep in mind each panel is an individual frame. You can't have a character do "A" and then do "B". That's two separate frames.

I try not to put more than 6 panels on a page. I script loose and like to leave my artist room to breath. If you find yourself hitting double digits on your panel count for a page, you really need to move on to a new page.

If your word count in one word balloon or caption box exceeds 20, you're pushing it.

If the number of word balloons or caption boxes on a page exceeds 20, you're pushing it. I do maybe 15 or 16 at the most.


At the Baltimore Comicon last weekend, Senior Vice President and Executive Editor of DC Comics Dan DiDio announced the the cancellation of LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES. Not the best way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Legion. The plans are to scrap the current run and relaunch later with the Silver Age Legion team recently reintroduce back into continuity by Geoff Johns.

This is another example of DC Comics moving backwards instead of forwards. The current Legion book took a fresh look at the established characters and has sold better than any Legion book in the past 20 years.

I'm supporting a letter writing campaign to try to save the current book, and ask any fans of LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES to join me.

DC Comics
1700 Broadway
New York, NY 10019

Attn: Dan DiDio

Make your letter intelligent and thoughtful please. If I can resist the urge to write "Eat it, Grandpa!" you can too.

Returned from Baltimore

The Con went well. Hopefully Chris and I got a new reader or two out of it. I spent the majority of day two frontmaning but managed to get in a couple of commissions. Talked to a bunch of really cool people. Got a little frightened of one girl who may or may not have a chemical imbalance. So, on to the shout outs!

Big thanks to or 'neighbors' Rodney Ramos and the gang from Burning Heart for putting up with us for two days. Lots of fun stories got shared and more than a few laughs. Howdy to Chris and Barry from Penguins with Baseball Bats. We had fun hanging out with them at the light rail and then they were good enough to swing by the table to hang for a bit. Thanks as always to our homeboy Dan Nokes for keeping the candy bowl stocked. We got to see Carla McNeil, which is always a treat. Huge thanks to Franco, who was absolutely as cool as I thought he would be.

Thanks to everyone who came up from Tidewater to hang out with us! Thanks to the Brittanies who kept Chris busy with commissions. Thanks to James Thomas, Big Rick, Derrick from Kings and Bobby Fresh for swinging by and helping us project the illusion of having fans.

Special thanks to Marc Nathan and all of his staff for putting on another great Con. We'll see them all next year.

In non-convention related news, the next installment of Tales of Night Life is up. Check it out.

See ya next week.

Off to Baltimore tomorrow. Check out Chris's blog to check out the goodies we'll have at the table.

Peter Petrelli = Kitty Pryde?

I caught the first two episodes of the latest season of HEROES last night. I loved the first season. Wasn't really into the second season. Can't say I'm really feeling this one. Got some spoilers below, so if you missed it last night, bail and come back later.

It's the whole "we've got to stop this future from happening" angle. It worked brilliantly the first time, but this is the third time they've done it. Sure there's a couple of twists here and there. The villains are a good angle. Hiro versus the speedster is pretty cool. I'm not into the Peter from the future bit because frankly I saw that 20 years ago with the X-MEN story "Days of Future's Past".

So, I'll still watch the show. There's nothing else really on on Monday's anyways. They still want to catch lightning in a bottle like they did in the first season. Sorry guys, that's not going to happen.

How much is too much?

After an outstanding workout at the beach on Saturday, a bunch of us karate guys got ourselves loaded up on Chinese food and then someone raised the geek flag. The topic of superheroes bounced about nad briefly landed on Superman.

"I don't like Superman. He's too... super.", One of the guy's remarked. This got a look of confusion from his sensei who replied.

"That's like saying you don't like Marty because he's too Marty."

Which makes one wonder: how much Marty is too much Marty?

Is different amounts of Marty appropriate for different situations?

How can we measure the proper amount of Marty accurately so that one doesn't go overboard?

Does Marty factor into the Anti-Life Equation? It would be much more pleasant if Marty factored into Johnny Quick's Speed Formula.

Are there adverse affects to prolonged exposure to Marty?

These are all important questions. If anyone has a way to get some proper answers, I'd appreciate it.

Moore movies

No, not Michael Moore, Alan Moore. For those not familiar with who this is, he's a writer and quite the celebrated one in comic circles. He's had a few movies made from his works, and to my knowledge, isn't very happy with any of them. I bring this up because another of his works is headed for the big screen, WATCHMEN. So here's where we've been:


I enjoyed the movie mush more than the actual comic, and that's extremely rare for me to say. The film featured heroes from 19th Century literature teaming up to save the world. The movie took a much different approach than the book, opting to go with a lot more action. This worked in it's favor. The book itself read a bit slowly and really dove deeply into the characters and their relationships with each other. Much of this was glossed over in the movie, but still turned in a fun flick to munch popcorn to.


Moore's telling of the story of Jack the Ripper. It's a very thick book, but I managed my way through. The movie, starring Johnny Depp, was also a great departure from the book. Much of the sexuality in the book was toned down or removed. There was also heavy departures in the interpretations of many of the characters. There's actually very little resemblance between the tow other than the title.


A very in depth look of a futre fascist society that got absolutely butchered on screen. I did not trust the Wachowski brothers to handle it appropiately and I was right. They ended up paying tribute to Bush Derangement Syndrome and tried to make an action film out of a drama piece. The book looks at England after a World War in which the the country became a fascist society denying many of it's people basic education and any art. It was done because the world was in a shambles and the Government did what it did in an attempt to restore order. It of course went too far and denied people their freedom. The movie infers that this is the direction that the country will take due to the war against world terror. More pablum from those in the Hollywood hivemind who have completely bought into the mainstream madia's agenda against President Bush. Yet again, major departures in the characters, unto the point that Moore didn't want his name attached to the work.

Which brings us back to WATCHMEN which is the gutting of the idea of superheroes. This pulls apart superheroes as a concept and picks the bones using adaptations of the old Charlton Comics heores. I get the feeling that either people are going to go into it expecting a big superhero movie and being disappointed or they're going to get what they want and another of Moore's works will be butchered.

I think Hoolywood needs to look more at his ABC work. TOM STRONG or TOP 10 would be a couple of things I'd love to see on the big screen.

The trouble with Supergirl.

Supergirl is confusing me. I'm sure I'm not alone here. This is one of the characters in comics with enough bumps in the continuity highway to make readers a bit car sick.

The short of the character is simple: Supergirl is Superman's cousin.

The long of the character is Supergirl is Superman's cousin, but the original died during CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS back in the 80s. Then there was another one was a shape shifting alien. Them there was the fallen angel one. Then there's Power Girl who has had her origin changed more times than I can count but is now settled on being from a parallel universe and is the cousin of that Superman.

That brings us to the current Supergirl. I'm talking about her because she appeared in two comics that I picked up yesterday: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD (which starred her and Raven) and ACTION COMICS. It was very much like reading two entirely different characters. Now there's going to be a bit of difference whenever you read the same character written by different writers, however there's usually enough in common that the reader isn't thrown for a loop.

Not only was the behavior of the character very different in the books, but both stories delved a bit into the character's origin, specifically in the handling of her father. The character's main title has finally picked up a little steam so hopefully there will be definitive answers in there. It's kinda weird having a prominent character like this, who was introduced years ago, still be so all over the place referring to how he or she is portrayed. Its like the writers and editors don't know what to do with her.

So, will the real Supergirl please stand up?

Wonder Woman

WONDER WOMAN was easily the read of the week. Gail Simone has been doing a great job since she took over the writing duties. I haven't been very excited about the relaunch of the title, especially since it was without Greg Rucka. Rucka's run was a brilliant handling of the character and I judge all the other handlings of the character against it.

Wonder Woman is considered one of the "Big Three" of DC Comics along with Superman and batman, but too often doesn't get the respect she's due. The character is the top hand-to-hand fighter in DC comics who has handed Batman his cape and cowl repeatedly. Yet still fan clamor for Batman badassery.

Maybe she's more difficult to relate to. She likens more to the heroes of Greek Mythology than the spandex crowd. She's had to face challenges of the 'gods' as well as mortal threats. Often these challenges come in finding favor with her patrons. She acts as the champion for her godly patrons, but at the same time is subject to their whims.

Wonder Woman was created by William Moulton Marston, the same person who invented the lie detector. Marston also had theories about feminism involving bondage, which hopefully I'll find a link to which explains things much better than I could. So, Wonder Woman carries a Lasso of Truth which works as a lie detector. Does that mean that there are elements of bondage to the character? Yes, but not like one would think. The character has to deal with ritual bondage. As mentioned above she has to maintain favor with her patrons, sometimes even having to ask there permission before acting. This is her faith, she honors it and celebrates it, welcoming the trials set before her.

There's been talk that maybe the character would be better accepted if she took a darker turn. She is an Amazon, so why isn't she a bit more vicious? The character exudes grace. Something I've noticed in my years in martial arts. The tougher the fighter, the less they feel a need to prove it. The character is a great warrior, and she knows it. As such there is no need at act as though she needs to prove it.

I've discussed 'good feminism' versus 'bad feminism'. The conversation came up while watching BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. 'Good feminism' means that strengths of women are displayed and accepted without needing to make men look bad. I think the best catchphrase for 'bad feminism' I've ever heard is "The best man for any job is a woman". Buffy like Wonder Woman is a very strong and capable character. Though both are often surrounded by men they are not damsels in distress, but at the same time they don't make the men in their lives feel inferior simply due to a Y chromosome.

So there you have it. A strong woman in comics who doesn't have to prove it to anyone and carries herself always with grace. And if that's not enough for you g out and buy the comic, the talking albino gorillas are pure awesome.

No pages on the site for Friday.

Chris usually updates the site every Monday and Friday with new pages for y'all. Well, there's no update for today, and that would be my fault. I hit Chris with a Double splash page over in MERE MORTAL and while he could probably get it done and up in time, waiting until Monday won't kill anyone and it'll give Chris time to make it look extra sweet.

As for NIGHT LIFE, with me still making certain format transitions I'm dropping my update schedule to Mondays only for now.

This, that and the other

Got something new. I've begun a series of pulp style prose fiction that can be viewed here. It'll be updating once a month for now, but that may change and become more frequent if there's any demand for it.

For anyone wondering about status of the guy trying to steal from me, it's pretty much all over. I made an appearance on an forum last night, and sure enough he showed up to attack me. There were many wild accusations, and all and all the guy just made himself look foolish. Everyone else that was there were really great. There were many really good questions and hopefully they weren't too bored with my answers.

As for the threats, they're as I expected, empty. My accuser has denied me the option to discuss the matter with his attorney. This is assuming that his attorney actually exists. Since it's a matter of public record that I've made these requests and he's denied them the case would be thrown out of any court in the land. So, his attempted shakedown got him nowhere, but the hits on my site are up, so I guess making this public wasn't a waste of time.

So now I turn my attention to prep for the Baltimore Comicon. If anyone reading this can make it on out to the show, stop by the table. Chris and i would love to meet you.

More coolness!

Chris has been hard at work on the site. As such, check out the new look as well as more Mere Mortal and Night Life!

Yeah, it's still stupid.

Well, it's certainly nice to know where a person stands. Our perspective thief/extortion artist is STILL trying to get me nice and scared. I told him I'd suss it out with his lawyers to see if there was any legitimacy to his claims to "having his copyright", whatever the hell that's supposed to mean, and here's the response.

"you know that's not how these things work. nether of our lawyers are required to discuss the fact that they ARE our lawyers,let alone a possible case.(unless ordered to by a judge.) "confidentiality." don't worry,...if you put my character out you'll find out the hard way."

Except, that is how these things work. That's what the lawyers are there for. I could have this cleared up very quickly actually, and put and end to this. He thinks I stole his character, which is apparently a real problem for him since he also claims that Marvel stole a character from him that he created when he was 9. Yet he provides absolutely no proof or evidence whatsoever that this character exists. He says there's a confidentiality agreement. Fine, I'll talk to the someone handling the legal side of things to resolve the matter. And there's the response I get.

All this is meant to try to worry me. Hopefully I'll cave in and beg forgiveness. Once jerks like this get power over someone they'll use it. He'll want an apology first and money for damages later. Probably hoping I'll put information of my own up so be used against me.

So, does his company exist? No. He refers to it as MK Comics. I've checked out MK Comics. That company has nothing to do with him. Does he actually have a lawyer? Of course not. Sure people are a little scared of lawyers in this sue-happy society. Unfortunately for the moron in question, I'm not one of them. If he wants to put out the cash to start something he can knock himself out. This might as well be a rite of passage for me.

I've done something in comics that some moron wants a piece of and wants to threaten legal action. I have arrived.

3 things to love about Secret Six

DC treated us to their new SECRET SIX series last week. This book spun out of the COUNTDOWN TO INFINITE CRISIS series VILLAINS UNITED and also previously had a mini series.

1: It's Gail Simone and Nicola Scott, the same creative team that gave us an awesome run on BIRDS OF PREY. Simone handled the writing chores for the VILLAINS UNITED series as well as the mini series, making both fan favorites. The writing here is just as entertaining. Scott is easily one of my favorite artiest working in comics today. When paired with Simone, it's absolutely magical.

2: Bane may actually get some character development. Really, I've always thought this character was over rated. He broke Batman's back and was then bumped down to jobber status. No one's really done much with the guy. I've heard some grumbling about him being included in the line up, but this character served on the Suicide Squad with Secret Six founding member Deadshot. The pair were double crossed by Amanda Waller and partnered up during SALVATION RUN. Simone seems to have taken all of this into account.

3: This book is a ton of fun. From the butter brickle ice cream to the stripper to repeated vomiting it's a really good time. Combined with the bad guys looking to pull of a job that seemingly can't be done angle and I'm fully on board.

This was easily the read of the week.

Target: Nozz

So, it's all my fault. I knew I should have been smarter. I've got no one to blame but myself. See, for those that have read the previous entries that I tried to hussle up some paying comic work with disasterous results. So, an amusing crash and burn.

Well, I didn't think anything of it, but sure enough I get tracked down on this here blog. And here's the comment I deleted a couple posts ago:

"you have a copyright that is owned by ME.(warsilver) MY E-MAIL IS XXXXXXXXXX@XXXXX.XXX my real name is XXXXX.
somehow you even have the same costume,and a chain on it,my question is do you want a lawsuit??

almost everything in/on said character is the same as the character i created in 1992. carbon dating on documents will prove this. I am not being disrespectful,just defending what is MINE.

i have suspicions as to how you got a hold of it. i could be wrong. this could be a case of us thinking alike. its happened before,but in rare instances in comics."

Name and e-mail address blanked out by me. Please note the threat of lawsuit, followed by an attempt to make nice. Classic shakedown. What he's hoping will follow is me freaking out and contacting him begging him not to sue. He'll offer to settle and likely demand some money. That's best case too, odds are I've got an identity thief gunning for me. If he keeps it up I've got no problem siccing the proper authorities on him.

How stupid does he think I am? The incident with me applying for a gig with him was only two months ago? Did he think I had a head injury and just plain forgot all about it? I just thought he was a garden variety nut, but our super-cool buddy Rob tipped me to this being a possible phishing scam. Figure suckering me with the fake comic company didn't pan out, so he's going this route.

This happens every so often. I'm in the position that I have a little bit of a reputation, but I'm not a big gun. Some folks thinks that makes me vulnerable. Got an e-mail once tipping me off that some guy was claiming that he worked for me and I had never heard of them. Weird stuff happens when you put yourself out there.

This guy obviously read my Joe versus Joe entry as well which inspired the last bit. Not a bad scam... if you're targeting a complete idiot, which last I checked, I'm not.

So watch yourselves out there, gang. There's scumbags under them rocks.

Revenge of the moron?

For whatever reason, the shmuck I wrote about here has approached me claiming I've stolen his character. Can't say I'm in the practice of taking ideas from mental patients. Probably just pissed I aired him goofiness for all to gawk and laugh at.

Dark and epic and crappy

Occasional Superheroine nailed it pretty damned well. This saddens me. As much as I wish the whole dark and epic fad would sod off to it's little emo corner and peacefully take a razor to it's tradgic little wrist and leave me well enough alone, it seems to be making buckets of money, so I guess we're going to have to deal with it.

We've got WATCHMEN barreling towards the theaters, and those who have read the book know what a sunny trip to the beach that thing is going to be. Even THE SPIRIT is looking grimmer and grittier than usual. Marvel's got another PUNISHER movie coming out. Now we get to hear about Warner Brother's wanting to give the same treatment to other DC comics heroes, likely starting with SUPERMAN.

This is easily the stupidest thing they could possibly do.

Sure that depressing piece of psuedo-terrorist porn that is THE DARK KNIGHT is making enough money to make the producers giddy, but what works for Batman does not work for Superman. These two characters really are on the opposite ends of the superhero spectrum. Batman uses fear as a weapon and with that gives the readers a rush. People who are scared fantacizing about being that which causes fear, and everyone has been afraid sometime in their life. Superman represents that very best that people hope to aspire to. He's powerful enough to do almost anything he wants and moral enough to do what's right.

Superman is not a dark character. He's the light in the darkness that gives those around him hope. In THE DARK KNIGHT we see the heroes drug down into chaos, compromise and failure. Batman submerges into darkness where he is hunted like the villains he faces. He failed to find a better way. That's always been my main gripe about that movie. I'm in the seat wanting to see my hero overcome the odds. I want to see him rise above the darkness, chaos and dispair. That didn't happen.

Superman rises above, because that's what he does. He's powerful enough to do amazing things. He faces impossible challenges and he rises to them because he is a hero. If they want to do a Superman movie with darkness, fine. Surround the character with darkness. Make it so all seems lost, and have our hero come through. That's why SUPERMAN RETURNS did so miserably. The movie was all about threatening Superman and doing away with him, and yet again it was Lex Luthor and a bunch of green rocks as the threat. We were told time and again in that movie how important Superman was to the world. They needed to show us. They needed a threat that would decimate the world, and give us a hero willing to lay his life down to defend the world. Bring on Darkseid, or Brainiac. Something that's more of a threat than a smart guy who wants to cash in.

Darkness in our heroes is not the answer. What does it say about a culture that wants to see it's heroes compromised? I don't want to be entertained when I could be inspired. I watched SPIDER-MAN 2 last night. At the time when it was released I had heard Aunt May's Hero monologue to the point of being nauseous. It was in nearly every trailer and advertisement. Last night, I heard it again and I think I finally got it. After subjecting myself to THE DARK KNIGHT, I needed my palet cleansed. That monologue speaks eloquently of the importance of having heroes. Of believing in those who stand for something important, decent and greater than themselves. Rosemary Harris delivered that speech so very well.

Like the song LOVERS IN A DANGEROUS TIME by the Barenaked Ladies says, "Got to kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight."

Time to kick something.

Comics: mine, others, and Crisis Avoided

First up: my stuff!

Chris has finished up MERE MORTAL issue 3, and if taking the week off to work on other thing and a site update before starting issue 4. I've completed the first chapter of NIGHT LIFE, and will be taking the week off as I'm transitioning from a strip format to a regular comic page format. This is a bit intimidating for me, but you don't get anywhere by being a wuss. You may be asking how we managed to get to end of our prospective chapters at the same time? We're just slick that way.

And now: other people's stuff!

In a random act of e-narcissism I Googled myself. That always sounds dirty, no matter how many times you say it. Anyways, a listing came up for me at under 'Blue beetle' and the page, which I had absolutely nothing to do with, had a bit from this here blog and told the gentle readers to check here for more info on BLUE BEETLE. Of course, I haven't said anything about BLUE BEETLE since that one post that got ganked for that site, UNTIL NOW! This week's issue was good times. I like Sturges on the writing chores, and we have Rafael Albuquerque on art, so I'm a happy camper. I was really worried about this book after John Rogers left, but it seem to have gotten it's footing back.

Over in TEEN TITANS we get a very nesty bait and switch story. I honestly sat there and said, "That did not just happen". This title's been in some trouble since Geoff Johns left it. It just doesn't seem to be able to keep my focus. I thought the Terror Titans story was alright, but not great. The team keeps losing members. I know there's some spin off series planned, but right now, I don't know how intersted I really am in checking it out.

LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES had my attention for the first time in a long time, and not just from the last page of shocker of two of my favorite Legionaires canoodling. I like the series, although it does need to tighten up just a little more on the narrative. I'm very glad that the series will be surviving the Legion of the Three Worlds event. There was quite a bit of worry from myself and other Legion "Threeboot" fans that this version of the Legion would be done away with in favor of the Legion that Geoff Johns brought back in his Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes story.

Justice Society of America continues it's story of Gog and Magog, which ties in with Mark Waid and Alex Ross's series KINGDOM COME. The story continues to be a strong one, whether your a fan of KINGDOM COME or not. Lots of good elements coming into play as Superman from the KC universe watches event unfold before him that had dire consequences on his world. Unfortunately this story is geared towards readers who have been reading comics for quite a while. Yes, still story loses quite a bit of punch if you ahven't read KINGDOM COME, but it's still worth the time to pick it up.

And on to SUPERMAN, which marks the first time I've really followed this title. I showed up for James Robinson's writing and I haven't been disappointed. The hook on the end of this issue has got me eagerly awaiting next month. Even you haven't read the title in a while, now's a really great time to come on back.

Finally: Final Crisis management.

It's no secret that I'm terribly disappointed in FINAL CRISIS and BATMAN: R.I.P., and I've dropped both titles. I gave both three issues, and neither could keep me interested. Here's the thing on FINAL CRISIS, no I don't like the series, but I'm really loving the spin offs.

Meltzer's LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT is not a direct tie in, but it's an event so I'm talking about it here. As stories go, it's a solid one. It revolves around the final night of the DCU. Something's happened, which Meltzer is vague on, but that probably a wise move, but it's bad. End of the world kind of bad and the heroes know that this is very likely their last fight. Much of the story revolves around Geo-Force wanting to finally get his revenge on Deathstroke for his sister. Much of what goes on with other heroes is handled in a page of two. The story is solid, but unless you're a fan of Geo-Force, and at last count there were about twelve of us, you likely will not care.

Second issue of ROGUES' REVENGE hit and I'm loving this book. The Rogues, like myself, decided to give the whole FINAL CRISIS thing the finger. And while I'm getting heat at the comic shop for my decision, Captain Cold and his crew are getting their own heat. They're looking to handle a few last bits of business before going to ground, namely, killing that punk Inertia. Libra's got a problem with them not playing ball, and it's on like Donkey Kong.

Then there's the SUPERMAN BEYOND 3D. I don't like 3D anything. Never been a fan. The story is tight though. This is the kind of stuff I wanted to see in FINAL CRISIS. Champions of the multiverse coming together fo take on some big badness. Superman kicking butt and taking names. If we had more of this sort of thing in FINAL CRISIS I'd be singing it's praises to the heavens.

So, that's my week in comics. Later.


Everyone has some sort of title. This is true in martial arts too. Now there's plenty of titles out their, and I actually have one, but I don't really use it.

It probably comes with me dealing with all the testing I did back in 07. After the kicking of my ass had concluded and the menjo (certificate) was presented I was still the same guy I was before. So, titles aren't that important to me.

Sure, some titles are definitely worth attaining. Things like 'high school graduate'. It can work like a bit of professional or social short-hand. Taken too far though and it just becomes bragging.

So, my titles? I'm a black belt, and a sensei. Sure I've got higher rank and title than that, but the ones I listed are all I need.

Damn you, Jonas Brothers!

So I get a phone call today. It's the church. Someone's not happy. Seems someone made a mess in the social hall of the church where we train. Since we were the last scheduled group to use the room and the mess was obviously created by more than one person I got the phone call.

Well obviously, it wasn't us. We're running around in there barefoot. We kinda like the floor clean and since none of my students spontaneously secrete wrappers and foodstuffs from the soles of their feet it made no sense that it would be us.

However the Jonas Brothers were playing in town, and then all the pieces fit together.

For those of you not familiar with them, they're three brothers that Disney put together and is marketing them as a band. The kids eat it up despite the fact that they're about as edgy as a butterknife and their songs are slightly less melodic as the previously mentioned butterknife bouncing off the kitchen floor. It's Hanson. It's New Kids on the Block. It's tormenting parents coast to coast. I first was subjected to them when I left my DVD of JUNGLE BOOK in the DVD player and was subjected to them wailing away what was supposed to be "I want to be like you" originally performed in the movie by the legendary Louis Prima. Then they appeared to play 'live' on SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE. Three boys with a back up band, hair that people spend a great amount of time on to look like they spend no time on their hair, and dressed in clothes no teenage boy would be caught dead in. That's including the ones that lately have been dressing like girls, but that's another rant. I do wonder if they're related to Homer Jonas would did work in Disney's animation department decades ago.

So these safe 'rockers' were in town to cater to their tween fan base, and a merry mob of them had gotten together and met at the church before going to the show. In their rush to worship at the feet of these androgynous, corporate cash-cows; they forgot to clean up after themselves.

And I get the phone call. This being before the diligent church secretary got to play detective and put two and two together.

So the next time I get a single complaint about the state of the floor from anyone I know right where to point them.

That's right, the Jonas Brothers.

Knowing when to shut up.

So, the latest page of Mere Mortal is a splash page with no dialogue nor captions. Real easy for a writer, right? Well, not so much. Silence has weight, and must be considered carefully. In comics and some movie of TV scripts fledgling writers can easily fall into the trap of overwriting.

In prose the line is grayer. You have to fill in all the necessary blanks for the audience. It's still possible to overwrite in prose. No one wants to read five pages about someone walking into a room.

The trick for any script is to realize that there will be visuals to help tell the story. Yes, a picture is worth a thousand words. You have to be careful how much you add to that. A moment of silence, properly placed and executed, can have just as much effect was the most profound line you could think of.

Never add dialogue just for it's own sake. I love how sometimes in comic books the characters will be spouting these wild monologues while beating the crap out of each other. I've been in enough fights to know that that's just not going to happen. Sure, throwing out some snappy banter is fun and all, but going overboard is really easy.

So be careful of what you write, and remember, sometimes not writing it can have much more impact.

Going to Baltimore

The Baltimore Comic-con is fast approaching. It's looking to be a good time. Why is it looking to be a good time? Because we'll be there, that's why.

That's right, gang. I'll be manning a table in the artist alley with the most hardcore artist in comics, Chris Johnson. 'Why is Chris the most hardcore' you may ask having no knowledge whatsoever of the sheer magnitude of the badassery possessed between the two of us. The man swings a hammer all day long and snatches up the pencils, pens and brushes at night for you people. And when his hand cramps up and he can barely hold a pencil, does he whine and not draw anything leaving the good readers in lurch? NO! He rubs the thing down with Icy Hot and soldiers on to make the deadline.

He of course wouldn't talk about such things in his own blog. He's too bad ass for such trivial matters.

So, get your butts to Baltimore in September. Because Chris Johnson is an artistic bad ass.

Clone Wars Clone

So tomorrow the 'untold story of the Star Wars sage will be revealed'.

Um... they kinda already revealed it. Couple years back. Cartoon Network. Bunch of little five minute minisodes which were peppered in here and there throughout the viewing day. They're on DVD. No really, they are, Chris has it. I watched it. It was pretty cool.

And what's up with the supposedly cute little Jedi wannabe alien girl and the "I want to prove I'm not too young" bit? Wasn't the reason the Jedi counsel wanted to refuse Skywalker back in PHANTOM MENACE was that he was too old?

Do the studios just think that we're not paying attention at all?

The Worrier King

Like the song said, "I'm hiding from the mail man and I hate to hear the telephone ring." Yesterday I checked no e-mails and didn't talk to anyone karate related. I just needed a break before I ended up with an ulcer. That said, I drew some stuff. I read some comics. I ate Chinese food. Despite all of it, the impending problems still are weighing on me.

Yeah, avoiding the problem isn't the smart way to deal with thing, but when the problem keeps changing so that every time you think it's done it comes back at you from a new angle, well sometimes you need a break from the fight. My emotions over this are drained. That sucks because being angry or passionate can give you some extra energy, just as long as you're careful not to let your emotions lead you into a mistake.

I've got a simple choice to make. I know what I've got to do to make this end. My decision will have lasting ramifications, which are unavoidable and will likely end in a angry words and possibly some threats.

Time to answer the phone.

And another day goes by.

Two more phone calls and got a plumber to check out my malfunctioning well pump. Yeah, it's cooked and to replace it will cost $1400.

Praise the Lord and pass the aspirin.


I'm not sure what exactly a migrane headache feeling like, but it's gotta be something like this. There's no peace and harmony in the Nozz compound. There's turmoil in karate. The comics I've been following are no long interesting. Every day it's a new phone call.

Every. Day.

All I want to teach karate, work on my comics and not have an aneurysm due to stress. Here's what really kicks me: I didn't do anything to start any of this. I was a pretty happy camper. Sure there was little stresses, but we've all got those. It seems like I've been put in the middle of other people's drama.

Fortunately, I've made headway on the church situation. Yay for reason.

Still, right now, I wish i had never taken over the dojo. Love my students. Hate the drama. I just want to train and teach my students. I don't think that's too much to ask. No more putting me on lists. No more ultimatums.

Mmmm... DEATH!

It's just not what it used to be when it comes to comics. We used to know what to expect. Marvel had a revolving door instead of pearly gates, while over at DC if someone died they usually had the common decency to stay dead. Well, that's certainly not the case anymore.

Barry Allen has followed Oliver Queen and Hal Jordan and returned from the great beyond. That's right, DC's patron saint, he who sacrificed his life for the universe, is back and will be featured in his own title. This is easily the stupidest thing I've seen DC do.

Here's the thing, death in comics should mean something. Now, villains can return from the dead as much as they want. It goes back to the old gothic notions of unstoppable, undying evil. Heroes for the most part should stay dead. The thing they makes them heroes is their willingness to sacrifice themselves for something greater than them. Death being the ultimate sacrifice. Well, that's not really a big deal anymore. Even in the depiction of the Martian Manhunter's funeral in FINAL CRISIS #2, Superman is speaking of hopes for resurrection.

This is to say nothing of the fact than in the cases of Allen, Jordan and Queen the torch had been successfully passed. Wally West has been the Flash for over twenty years, and now they're bringing back his predecessor? This spits in the face of not only the fans of characters like West, Kyle Rayner and Connor Hawke, but the writers who toiled to build these characters into ones with their own followings and solid stories. It's as if the writers and editors at DC are not interested in progress, they want to regress back to when they were kids and watching SUPERFRIENDS on Saturday mornings.

It seems like DC is almost inviting me to leave, and I've actually given though to taking them up on the offer. Guess Dark Horse and the indy comics may be getting a boost in sales if this keeps up.