Thank you internets, you’ve been great this week. So let’s share that bounty with others:
Mighty Samson: Writer J.C. Vaughn has a preview of Mighty Samson #1 at his blog. Shooter’s involved, Patrick Olliffe is the artist. Dark Horse is the publisher. I’m in!
Here’s a little more about the series at Comic Attack.
Shadow: Novelist James Reasoner has a Forgotten Book that’s a must have for fans of Maxwell Grant’s The Shadow: Gangland's Doom: The Shadow of the Pulps, by Frank Eisgruber Jr.
British Comics: Matthew Murray at Comics Beat goes all out for the new Dandy and breaks down its contents.
Peanuts: Zach Weiner finally lets Charlie Brown kick that football.
Peppers: Mark Evanier lives the sitcom life.
3-D: Ricky Sprague at Project Child Murdering Robot tells how Marvel Comics (in 3-D!) turned him into an atheist. Bonus: 3-D artwork on the internets!
A big week on the internets, so let’s get right to it.
For me, the big news is that my pal Jerry Bingham is illustrating a 5-part story in Batman Confidential, starting in issue #50 that went on sale this week. If you’re on the fence about it, here’s a multi-page preview of it that’ll make you wish Jerry drew more comics. Fans of Batman: Son of the Demon rejoice!
Batman: Over at Project Child Murdering Robot, Ricky Sprague comments on the upcoming Christopher Nolan Batman movie with some language that might be NSFW but SWR (still worth reading)! Bonus shout out to Batman: Year One: “It was among the first of the modern age comic book character reboots that now seem to occur every other year or so. Mr. Miller's hardboiled writing was at its peak, and Mr. Mazzucchelli is one of the best illustrators ever.”
Biff! Bam! Pow!: Bob Greenberger at ComicMix tackles the eternal question: Is Legends of the Superheroes any good? “You have to love kitsch, bad writing, awful acting, and comic books to enjoy (or endure) these specials.”
Well, at least Batman will still be published out of New York!
I’m no pundit and I’m certainly no reporter or journalist, and I’m not even a DC insider, although I should point out that before Paul Levitz bought Wildstorm, he tried to buy the company I co-founded, Malibu Comics.
I was saddened, though not surprised that Warner Bros. was splitting DC Entertainment into two divisions and keeping all their old school business in Manhattan. My sympathies go out to all DC employees who are getting let go and to all freelancers who are getting their books cut out from under them. This is not an easy time, and it’s not going to get easier.
I think lost in all the discussion and rundown of DC’s recent shift is that the biggest piece of the puzzle has yet to be explained or admitted to. Warner Bros. which folded DC Comics into a new company called DC Entertainment just a year ago, now took DC Comics out of that company and moved DC Entertainment – along with all of the money-making portions of the company – to the West Coast.
DC Comics, the comic book division, is now its own stand-alone entity. An island of old-school publishing left without its support network. This has been hailed as a victory for the comic book people.
It isn’t. It’s a wake up call.
Welcome to the Labor Day edition of Weekend Reading, with a few extra links to help you cope with the extended weekend. Let’s get it started; I’ve got to make the rounds of quite a few barbecues.
Comic Books For Kids: You know who everyone should thank for the influx of great graphic novels for kids? Jeff Smith, creator of Bone. Robin Brenner at Early Word explains, and also points out that while a number of librarians are nuts about graphic novels from NY’s publishing icons, they are somewhat ignorant of the kid-friendly graphic novels actually produced by traditional comic book publishers.
Vince Colletta: I don’t think there’s an inker around who polarizes people as much as the late Mr. C. Scoop reviews The Thin Black Line, a new biography of the inker who “saved the bacon of many an editor.”
Gene Roddenberry: Frederik Pohl remembers his time with the “great bird of the galaxy.”
Superman: Randy Johnson, the writer not the retired baseball pitcher and mustache-worshipper, reviews Jeff Mariotte’s 2007 DC Universe novel Trail of Time. “The real fun for me were the chapters labeled May, 1872. They detailed the gradual coming together of four DC western characters, Jonah Hex, Bat Lash, El Diablo, and the Scalphunter, along with an able assist from Johnny Thunder.” Needless to say, he liked the book, and who among us wouldn’t? I’ve already ordered my copy.
Welcome to the first post-San Diego version of Weekend Reading. I’m not linking to any convention reports because, well, other people do a much better job of tracking them all down. However, I will link to this. Mark Evanier does a much better job than I ever could of explaining how the Hollywood invasion of Comic Con International is not only necessary but welcome.
Spurgeon V. Field: There are many reasons why Tom Spurgeon won the Eisner this year at San Diego. This is one of the reasons why he should win it next year, too.
iPad: If you’re thinking of getting one, Beau Smith can make that decision easier for you.
Up, Up, And Away He Goes: James Bond and Superman screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz has passed away. Says The Guardian‘s classy obit: “In 1977 the director Richard Donner recruited Mankiewicz to work on the script of Superman, for which he received the credit of creative consultant, a fancy name for script doctor.”
After many years of struggle, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster hit the comic book jackpot with their creation Superman, only to see it slip away from their control and for DC Comics to keep not just the rights but almost all the money as well. One of the many dark chapters in the building of the comics industry – businesses profiting by taking away the rights of creators.
Frustrated by their attempts to negotiate with DC, and out of work when DC dumped them for complaining (and filing suit), they did what creators do: created another property where they were determined to get a better deal for themselves.
The project was Funnyman, a red-headed TV comedian who fought crime. Unfortunately, the self-titled comic book, for Vince Sullivan’s Magazine Enterprises, lasted just 6 issues in 1948 and a companion newspaper strip defined the term short-lived.
Read More | Feral House
Superman‘s been grounded. No he hasn’t been sent to his room without supper, but the Man of Steel is taking a walking tour of America. The year-long adventure, called “Grounded” began in Superman #700 but really picks up steam in #701. It’s written by J. Michael Straczynski and illustrated by Eddy Barrows. Supes will be using his cross-country hike to try to reconnect with the people of this great nation.
Naturally, he’s keeping a diary and we got our hands on some excerpts. Up, up and away…on foot.
Batman called to laugh at me. Said even Terra-Man used a horse. Ha-ha. Prick.
Status: Facebooking an embarrassing panel of Bruce and Dick getting massages in old comic book.
Lunch: A&W’s Uncle Burger. Stupid name for a pretty good burger.
Met another guy who wants to talk about the “brown skins.” I said he had me confused with Green Lantern. I don’t see skin color. I have enough trouble with Kryptonite’s colors. And don’t get me started on the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Read More | Superman Grounded
Welcome to the weekend on the internet. Let’s get it started with Mr. Joe Kubert.
I had the pleasure of working for a company that published one of Mr. Kubert’s books (Abraham Stone) and got to hang out with him a little at Comic Con International one year. Just a great, great guy, as well as a fantastic artist. Marty Pedler at Bookslut has a new interview with him, and if you haven’t read it yet, get over there. Here’s a little snip: “I still feel that if it’s not a children’s medium, it’s at least a young person’s medium—despite the fact that the average person who reads comic books is now, I’m told, probably in their early twenties. Maybe it’s because I’m an old fogey, I don’t know, but I still feel a little strange and awkward when I see stuff that’s so blatantly sexual.”
Hey Librarians! Pack up your decimals of Dewey and head out to Washington DC, where all the cool graphic novels are going to be talked about. It’s the American Library Association’s annual conference, and it’s set for June 24-June 29. Early Word has the word on all the graphic novel programming just waiting for you.
Dave Simons: It’s been one year since the death of the acclaimed artist Dave Simons and his friend Daniel Best and 20th Century Danny Boy remembers him with stories and quotes, like this one: “Here is my recipe for a winning comic book cover: Flame. Gorilla. Skull. Hot chick. Other elements of interest: Nazis, dinosaurs.” I would totally buy Flaming Gorilla Skull Chick Vs. Nazi Dinosaur #1 from any publisher. Even at $3.99. I’ll even write it. And I wish Dave was still alive to draw it.
Superman Serials: The Bijou Blog takes a look at those Superman movies that most comic book fans don’t care about: the old serials like Superman and Atom Man Vs. Superman, starring Kirk Alyn. “His Superman seems stern at times, then happy-go-lucky, but also happens to take a sadistic glee in cracking two crooks’ heads together. The cape appears to give him some trouble. Alyn is seen to push it out of his way several times and he never runs while in costume, doing more of a ballet leap to keep from tripping.”