What a week, huh? Disney bought Marvel and everyone’s wondering how this will finally address their pet Marvel peeve. Before you get all fan-ish with what this means now and will mean in the future - they own the Ultraverse! They own Crossgen! They have to do this! They have to do that! They can hire Alan Moore! They’ll clean up Marvel! They’ll rollback prices! You should run over and read Steven Grant’s very perceptive take on the buyout in his Permanent Damage column. He’s a sharp guy and he makes excellent points.
In the meantime, there was other stuff for avid lurkers to check out and peruse in their spare time. Let’s take a look:
The relaunch of the Ultimate Universe continues this month with issue two of Ultimate Comics Spider-Man. I liked this issue, but it was nothing spectacular. Where issue one showed more of the aftermath of Ultimatum, this issue sets up the various stories that will be taking place in the book. At the end of issue one we saw the Kingpin fall to his death thanks to Mysterio. Issue two confirms that as for now, the Ultimate Universe’s Kingpin is now dead. I say as for now because you never know with comics. Maybe that guy wasn’t the Kingpin. Maybe it was an actor playing the Kingpin. Right Aunt May? Ugh!
Anyway. Mysterio is looking to not simply be the new Kingpin of Crime, but the ruler of the world. Get in line Mysterio, so does every other bad guy in the comic book world. I like this version of Mysterio better than the regular Marvel Universe one. Although I like the classic fish bowl look, you could never really take Mysterio seriously as far being a serious threat to the world. This Ultimate version doesn’t have the fish bowl and gives off a Dr Doom like vibe as far potential to really do some damage in the Ultimate Universe. It would be cool to see if Mysterio did become a major bad guy that all of the Ultimate Universe would have to unite against because he’s so dangerous. We’ll see.
It’s official, MMS is coming to the iPhone 3G and 3GS on September 25th, according to AT&T. For those keeping track, that pushes the promise of “late summer” back to “early fall” since technically, summer ends on September 22nd. On the surface, it seems like not such a big deal, but it is just another straw that is being added to the camel’s back as it pertains to AT&T. Many suspected that MMS would go live on September 9th, alongside the Apple iPod event scheduled for that day. Hey, better late than never, right?
Read More | AT&T
Okay, this has to be the oddest job opportunity I’ve seen in a long time. If you define “job” using words like “money” and “salary,” then this isn’t really a job. But it sure is oddly fascinating, and someone will come along and snap it up.
The Wetlands Activism Collective is looking for a volunteer for an Environmental Internship. You’ll be a Comic Book Activist and part of their Greening The Comics Industry program. Nope, you won’t be making signs and protesting outside the offices of DC Comics and Disney/Marvel, but you will be doing some environmental activism to make the comic book landscape a little bit greener.
Read More | Idealist
UPDATE: You can now find the correct translation on Guillory’s blog.
Following up an issue where our protagonist finds love in the midst of ubiquitous regurgitation (among other delightful surprises) would be difficult. That is, of course, unless you’re John Layman and Rob Guillory.
Chew #4 begins with an expected and humorous Applebee-loathing-Chu scene; yet, the rest of the issue takes a path dissimilar from what we’ve seen in this series so far, quelling any doubts (if there were any) that Layman and Guillory can’t keep us interested. In a very Lost fashion, the last issue gave us Amelia, E.G.G., and the creepy guy with a box, only to leave us to our theories as this issue produces a number of different, unrelated (or not?) questions.
This issue, despite my not thinking it possible, gets so much stranger and weirder, making for a very scrumptious read.
It takes a lot of talented and creative people to bring a finalized comic book to your local comic book store. Like the movie business, a comic book passes through a series of edits, rewritings, re imaginings, etc. before it even makes it our the door of the production company.
If you think you can’t make comics because you’re not in same league as those big companies, STOP! Just cause the Rolling Stones made hit records, that shouldn’t stop you from writing your own “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”
Mac owners, the time for upgrading is upon as, as Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard is now available on a worldwide basis. If you didn’t know that there was a new operating system from Apple today, we wouldn’t blame you, because it’s kind of been released without much fanfare. You see, Snow Leopard is all about fine tuning, refining, and improving upon OS X 10.5 Leopard. It’s a makeover that, at first glance, seems underwhelming because the majority of the changes occur “under the hood” so to speak.
So, what can you expect? Well, if you’ve used an iPhone 3G and an iPhone 3GS, think of it in those terms. They are really pretty much the same product, but the 3GS is much snappier, and has a couple of new features that the 3G doesn’t have, namely a better camera and a compass. Comparing Snow Leopard to Leopard is similar - you get speed, things feel faster, and potential is unlocked for the future, because there are some cool things that third-parties can tap into now.
Not everything is under the hood, though. You will see a few UI tweaks, like Dock Expose, right-click dock menus, Finder icons, and the like. We will cover all of those in more detail, but again, that isn’t the focus here. If you are underwhelmed right now, read on, because there is a lot to be excited about. At the very least, though, understand that upgrading to Snow Leopard will cost you just $29. Now that we have your attention, let’s move on. We’ve got videos for you, after the break.
Yup, we’ve suspected that September 9th was going to be the day that we’d see a bunch of new hotness from Apple as it pertains to music, namely iTunes and iPod-related announcements. Well, it’s been confirmed, as Apple has started sending out invitations to a rock and roll themed event on the 9th, to be held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater. Expect the entire iPod line to be refreshed, with the exception of the shuffle, and with the focus being on the iPod touch and iTunes 9.
What do you hope we see next Wednesday?
In the world of comics, Arie Kaplan has written for MAD Magazine, Tales From The Crypt (Papercutz), Cartoon Network Action Pack (DC Comics) and Speed Racer (IDW). For TV, he’s also written for MTV, Cartoon Network and PBS Kids. His book, Masters Of The Comic Book Universe Revealed! is still available from Chicago Review Press. His latest book From Krakow to Krypton: Jews and Comic Books is an oral history that tracks how Jews created the modern comic book industry. It was published in 2008 by The Jewish Publication Society.
TOM MASON: How did the book From Krakow to Krypton: Jews and Comic Books come about?
ARIE KAPLAN: Around 2001 or 2002, I was approached by one of my freelance writing clients, Reform Judaism Magazine, with an offer to write a series of articles on the history of Jews in comics. The editors of Reform Judaism figured that I’d be a good fit for this assignment since I’d been writing for MAD Magazine for a couple of years. And they were right. I immersed myself in research, and worked very hard on the series, which was called “Kings of Comics,” and which came out in 2002-2003 (Reform Judaism is a quarterly).
TOM: How was that received?
I’ve always had a soft spot for the goofy Doom Patrol series from DC Comics. Originally created by writer Arnold Drake and artist Bruno Premiani, it debuted in My Greatest Adventure #80 in 1963, the same year that Stan and Jack debuted X-Men #1. A lot of fans argue that there are similarities between the Fantastic Four (which debuted before Doom Patrol) and the DP (both teams have four members with the same type of characters: a bitter non-human character, two men - one a scientific genius and the other who can burst into flames/energy - and a woman; in DP the woman – Elasti-Girl - can increase and decrease her size, a power somewhat similar to Mr. Fantastic’s stretchable skin). Others argue that there are similarities between DP and the X-Men (DP debuted three months before X-Men #1). Both teams are led by older guys in wheelchairs who love to boss mutants around, although Professor X clearly has the cooler, higher-tech chair thanks to Mr. Jack Kirby’s design sensibilities. Seriously, if I was a chair-based comic book character, I’d shop at “Chairs by Kirby.”
The original Doom Patrol has that typical 1960s DC Universe appeal and that early run reads like a dinner theater version of X-Men/Fantastic Four with somebody like Sterling Hayden playing Niles Caulder as Monte Wooley. (Forgive the Golden Age of Movies reference point, but I recently saw The Man Who Came To Dinner on Turner Classic Movies, and the first thing I thought of, because I’m a geek, is “That’s Niles.”) While Stan and Jack and company were creating an interconnected universe of recurring villains and cosmic storylines for their DP-similar books with multi-faceted villains like Doctor Doom and Galactus, DC had the Doom Patrol fighting the equivalent of space worms and monsters made from cuts of meat. So it doesn’t really matter if the Doom Patrol looks similar to either the Fantastic Four or the X-Men because it’s not the idea, or the make-up of the team, it’s what you do with them.