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Issue #156

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Issue #156
  • Y’know, every so often, back in the old days of comics when it was fairly rare for a character to guest-star in another character’s book, Julie Schwartz made team-ups something of an irregular tradition, particularly the Flash-Green Lantern team. (Someone recently told me Julie originally prepped a Flash-GL team-up for an issue of SHOWCASE, to test the waters for a regular team-up book ala the teaming of Superman and Batman in WORLD’S FINEST COMICS. You have to understand that in the ’40s, DC was actually two different companies – DC Comics, after DETECTIVE COMICS, which was basically Superman, Batman, Green Arrow, Aquaman and a few others, and AA Comics, after ALL-AMERICAN COMICS, which published The Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Wonder Woman and gobs of others, which is why DC’s Superman and Batman rarely appeared in AA’s Justice Society Of America – and even though they’d merged into a single company by the late ’40s, even by the early ’60s editorial departments still operated as if divisions were still there, so the idea that Julie’s office should want to put out a book “in competition” with WORLD’S FINEST had a certain logic. The story was done, and then someone told Julie no one would want to buy a FLASH-GL teamup book, so he apparently shrugged and ran the story in THE FLASH instead. Of course, everyone wanted to buy a FLASH-GL teamup book. The next teamup took place a few months later in GREEN LANTERN, and by then the Golden Age Flash had been reintroduced, so the Flash was teaming with him more, and though there were a few more Flash-GL teamups it was a pretty rare event, so every one felt a little special.

    Likewise, once in awhile we run a special feature where creators pimp their upcoming comics, without comment or filtering (though some editing was necessary). Haven’t done it in awhile – don’t know why save for what Julie told me when I asked why they never did a GL-Atom team-up in the Silver Age, given that Gil Kane drew both characters (Gil and I did a GL-Atom teamup in LEGENDS OF THE DC UNIVERSE to patch that particular hole): “I guess I never thought of it” – but here we go. It occurs to me trying to set this up in the dog days of convention season with a Labor Day deadline probably wasn’t a great idea, so a special announcement about that at column’s end. But a number of talents did answer the call, so let’s go:

    LONE TM & © 2004 Dark Horse Comics, Inc.

    Stuart Moore:

    September 29th: LONE trade paperback (Dark Horse), collecting the entire future-western series. “Four stars” — SFX Magazine; “Grade: A” — CBG. Art by Jerome Opena and Alberto Ponticelli.

    October 13: MICHAEL CHABON PRESENTS THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF THE ESCAPIST #4 (Dark Horse) features the 38-page “Escapist 2966” by me and Steve Conley. Retro-future fun with a serious undertone — which a lot of Silver Age comics had too, deep down. Also included in ESCAPIST VOL. 2 trade paperback, out November 10th, if you prefer your comics smaller-sized in bigger chunks.

    PARA (Penny-Farthing Press) continues through the fall; issue #5 in September, #6 in October. High-tech paranormal thrills.

    Further off:

    WILL STARR! SPACE PILOT! (AiT/PlanetLar), by me and John McCrea. Nasty fun with bad 1970s TV shows and, uh, the 1970s in general. Spring 2005.

    A new science fiction/superhero series with Avatar, also Spring 2005.

    And I’m currently buried in the screenplay for a SciFi Channel original film, tentatively titled BLACK MAMBA. More on that as it develops…

    Elbert Or:

    I’m a comic book creator based in Manila, Philippines, and in a couple months, our publisher will be releasing a graphic novel we did internationally: SIGLO: FREEDOM, published by Nautilus Comics. Edited by Dean Alfar and Vin Simbulan, with works by Lan Medina, Gerry Alanguilan, Arnold Arre, Carlo Vergara, Honoel Ibardolaza, Jason Banico, Marco Dimaano, Nikki Alfar, Andrew Drilon, and Elbert Or. It’s currently being solicited in Previews. SIGLO is an anthology of ten stories about freedom in its various manifestations, set across a hundred years of history. (“siglo” is the Filipino word for “century.”)

    Jonathan Luna:

    ULTRA #2 by Image Comics. Written by Joshua and Jonathan Luna. Art by Jonathan Luna. Released September 8, 2004.

    Mike Baron:

    THE DETONATOR, coming from Image Comics. Story by Mike Baron. Art by Mel Rubi. It’s an intelligent action comic about a man who’s out for vengeance, who bites off way more than he can chew. “Frank Grace was a mining engineer fresh out of college when the company he worked for brought a mountain down on him. Grindcorps had no intention of mining for gold – they bought the mine as an insurance scam. Then they collected life insurance on all their dead employees. But Frank crawled out of the mountain and did a little investigating.” He’s skilled with explosives. He blows things up. My neighbor is a retired munitions expert for a Colorado mining company and we’re taking pains to make the explosions credible.

    Gordon Purcell:

    My main project is the revival of FLARE for Heroic Publications. It was a popular title in the late 80’s/early 90’s about a solar powered heroine who was part of the League of Champions. It’s a full color comic with one 18 page story and one or two backup stories in each issue for $2.99. The first issue is coming out in October, and I’m already drawing issue 6. Wilson Hill writes, Terry Pallot inks and Dennis Mallonee edits. If it does well, we’ll add some of Hero’s other titles as time goes on.

    I’m also drawing a graphic novel on the Trojan War for Lehrer Publications, with the intention of distributing it to the school, bookstore and comic markets. I’m drawing occassional stories for ELVIRA from Claypool.

    David Hedgecock:

    POINT PLEASANT. Written by: Chad Lambert. Art by: Ryan Scott, Jason Moser, and Dan Barlow. Cover by: Steve Black. Published by: Ape Entertainment. Time traveling scientists journey to Point Pleasant, West Virginia in search of the Mothman. From the Revolutionary War to the 1967 Silver Bridge disaster, 200 years of paranormal history becomes a roadmap of death, treachery and murder for a technologically advanced society. Based on true events. 32 pages, B&W, color cover. Solicits through Diamond in October. In stores in December.

    Trina Robbins

    On September 8th, the next GOGIRL will hit the stands in graphic novel form. She’ll be coming out three times a year. This issue, “The Time Team” finds our flying teen battling dinosaurs back in the cretaceous period, as she and two classmates try to return to their own time. Andwe throw in some UFOs, alien zoo keepers, and Vikings for good measure! The writing’s by yours truly, Trina Robbins, gorgeous art is by Anne Timmons, and artist Cynthia Martin provided color for the cover.

    For anyone who wants to check out my prose books, my next one will be out in early October. It’s a history of Irish women, called WILD IRISH ROSES, chronicling amazing Irish women from before Patrick through the 20th century, with a beautiful cover by the aforementioned Cynthia Martin, and lots of interior illos.

    Matt Bellisle:

    In October, I will be included in the Small Press Expo’s SPX 2004 ANTHOLOGY-WAR. My entry is a political commentary story entitled “Underground: Maquis”. This book is solicited by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and is in the current Previews book from Diamond.

    Anne Timmons:

    GOGIRL! VOL.1: THE TIME TEAM comes out September 8! The graphic novel is published by Dark Horse Comics, written by Trina Robbins with art by Anne Timmons, lettering by Trina and a colored cover by Cynthia Martin – an all – girl creator team! “Today is like any other day in Grover Cleveland High¹s science lab‹any day in the Jurassic Era, that is! Doc, the school genius, has rigged up a tight little time machine masquerading as an exercise bike, all fine and good until pretty-girl princess Heather cops a ride and drags herself, Doc, and Lindsay Goldman back several million years to the dinosaur-infested jungles of the long-gone past. If being late for cheerleading practice isn¹t enough of an annoyance, try ditching a hungry T-Rex! And where did those alien spaceships come from?!” The award-winning GOGIRL! has captivated readers of all ages, and now GoGirl! stars in her own series of all-new original graphic novels. Pub. Date: September 08, 2004. Format: Soft cover, 96 pages, b&w, 5 1/4″ x 7 1/2″. Age range: 14+. Price: $5.95. ISBN: 1-59307-230-9. GOGIRL! won a “Lulu of the Year” award from Friends of Lulu.

    Antony Johnston:

    THE LONG HAUL, by Antony Johnston & Eduardo Barreto. >From Oni Press, Diamond order code: AUG042895, ETA: November 2004. “Chicago, 1871. Notorious ex-bank robber Cody Plummer is trying to go straight, until he hears about a train carrying $1.9million in Government money to San Francisco. As if that wasn’t tempting enough, the security for this so-called “unrobbable” train is being handled by the Pinkerton agent who once put Cody in jail… Cody assembles a team of old compatriots for one last score against incredible odds: the train can’t be stopped, the bombproof safe weighs 2,000 lbs., and twenty-six armed men stand between them and the money. Sounds like pretty good odds to Cody…”

    Michael T. Gilbert:

    Right about now, look for a 48-page MR. MONSTER graphic novel (from Atomeka) to hit the stores. MR. MONSTER: WORLDS WAR TWO is a full-color volume, featuring my character (The World’s Greatest Monster Fighter!) battling a horde of invading Martians, led by the diseased brain of Adolf Hitler. Script and layout by me with George Freeman providing the finished art. It’s a stunner!

    We’ll also see a new 6-page story featuring Mr. Monster and Ronn Sutton’s pint size hero, 5-Alarm Charlie in the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund benefit book, EVEN MORE FUND COMICS. I wrote the story and Ronn and I drew our respective characters. I believe it’s due next month.

    Chris Pitzer of Adhouse Books:

    September: THE COLLECTED SEQUENTIAL by Paul Hornschemeier assembles the long-out-of-print series SEQUENTIAL, where Paul Hornschemeier began to hone his comic craft. These seven highly experimental comics have been long sought by fans of Hornschemeier, in a beautiful hardcover format. 1-color dustjacket. 256 BW & 2C pages. 6.5″ x 9″ HC. $25 US funds. ISBN 0-9721794-7-X.

    October: THE PINK SKETCHBOOK: CHEESE Volume 2 by Jay Geldhof & Rob Ullman is doubly delicious, bringing two great artists together under one cover. Jay Geldhof and Rob Ullman will share duties by creating pin-ups and sketches of the female form. Yep, good ol¹ cheesecake! Girls! Girls! Girls! and some in color! Also includes a drink coaster! 1-color cover with endflaps. 32 pages, 8 of which will be digital color. 5.5″ x 8.5″ saddle stitched. $10 US funds.

    November: ONE STEP AFTER ANOTHER, by Fermin Solis follows the life of a young woman who is just trying to make it in this crazy world. The author/artist Fermin Solis uses bold brushstrokes and minimalist renderings that gives this timeless story a modern feel. Imported from Spain, find out why Fermin Solis just won the 22nd Comic of Barcelona prize. 4-color cover. 40 pages. 6″ x 6″ saddle stitched. $5 US funds.

    December: SKYSCRAPERS OF THE MIDWEST by Joshua W. Cotter captures the rural solitude and sadness of a land full of anthropomorphic country cats and hits a nerve that would make a grown man cry. With stories of childhood trauma and exploration, this comic gives voice to a new creator within our field. This super-sized bargain-priced issue collects the almost out of print mini-comics, and begins the AdHouse series. SKYSCRAPERS OF THE MIDWEST was awarded the 2004 Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics. 4-color cover. 56 pages.
    6.685″ x 10.187″ saddle stitched. $5 US funds.

    Chris Bunting of APC:

    I’m not sure whether you’ve heard of APC a.k.a. APComics … but to avoid any confusion, it’s a leading British independent comic publisher not to be confused with Antarctic Press, or any of the other guys who call themselves A-something Comics-Press-Studios! These ongoing monthly comics are US-sized, full colour (you say color, I say colour), card stock covers, and 28 pages.

    ASSASSIN SCHOOL #4. Phil Littler (Writer), Enrique Corts (Art), Len O’Grady (Colors), 32PP, Full Color, Card Cover, $3.50 (£2.50): Dr. Ivan Bender has created an army of robots – and he wants to take over the world. Assassin School’s Emma Lee tries to hunt down the evil Bender – but she runs into a few problems along the way! In #5 Dr. Bender’s plans of taking over the world with his robots is succeeding and Assassin School’s Emma Lee, now Bender’s prisoner, fights to save the planet from a mechanical takeover.

    B1N4RY. Richard Emms (writer). Jim Sutherns (art). Len O’Grady (colors). FC. 28 PP. $3.50. A digital hero for a digital age. Joseph Burrows is your guy – whose life is tuned upside down when he is witness to a a digital murder. A visit from a virtual “ghost” reveals that life is not what we expect. Could it be one big lie… or is it the start to unravelling the secret to the world we live in? In #2, Joseph has found a way to crack the code and start to experiment with the findings – creating something that will change his life forever. A security camera video tape reveals that Joseph is a suspect to a murder and the police are on the hunt for him as well as the Hackers who are known for their intolerant manner. In #3 PREMISE: The code has been broken, leaving one of the friends dead – only to be resurrected as a super-being. B1N4RY has been born – but for what purpose? Has this been an unfortunate catastrophe — or is this the start of an unravelling to the secret world we live in? Either way someone wants answers… and it all starts here.

    THE CHASE. Adriano Miranda (story). Inaki Miranda (story / pencils). Eva de le Cruz (inks/colors). FC. 28PP. $3.50. Card cover. Amysterious suitcase changes taxi-driver Tom Lecab’s life… if he can run faster than its owner and dodge bullets while protecting his wife Samantha and little Marvin. Fellow City ain’t bad, just a little overcrowded by gangsters and corrupted souls that would kill you for a dime. Or a suitcase! In #2, the chase begins — with no return ticket for Tom Lecab! There’s something with the suitcase and the Buda statue; the Chinese mob wants it, they know he’s got it and they will show no mercy. Time to put on the running sneakers! Who ever said life was a piece of cake?! Ships with a 1:10 sketch cover.

    COMICANA. Dan Boultwood (story / art). Len O’Grady (colors). FC. 40 PP. $4.95. Card cover. Life working in a comic store for Matt and Craig is uneventful, until a mysterious board game turns their world upside down, opening a doorway to hellish-terror!!!

    MONSTER CLUB Richard Emms (writer). Theo Bain (Artist). APComics (Letters). FC. 28 PP. $3.50. Card Cover. With the announcement of the animated movie, Monster Club has become an independent comic smash-hit. The Monsters have won the battle – but will they win the war? In #4 monster assassin Allysia and the Club’s leading lady, Mia, decide to have a night on the town and find out a little more about each other’s background, but their plans are interrupted at the restaurant where they’re dining – when things turn ugly… really ugly.

    Simon Fraser:

    HELL HOUSE is my adaptation of the Richard Matheson novel of the same name, scripted by Ian Edgington and drawn me. It’s a 4 issue series, 48 pages each episode, in B&W, being published by IDW. In 1931 & 1940 two teams of occult investigators went into into the Belasco Mansion in Maine, also known as ‘Hell House’, the Mount Everest of haunted houses. Of the nine people who went in , only one survived. It’s 1970, four mismatched strangers are going into Hell House, determined to probe the secrets of life and death.

    Jim Di Bartolo:

    Our project, THE DROWNED just came out at the beginning of August, written by my wife Laini, illustrated and lettered by me, and published by Image Comics. If you’d like to check out art and details about the book click here and here.

    Jason Rand:

    I’m the writer of SMALL GODS from Image. My artist pointed me toward your rundown for new comics. I had a look and, correct me if I’m wrong, but it looks like you’re only after upcoming comics, not just “new” comics (we’ve got 2 issues out at the moment). I thought it was worth seeing if you were interested in recent releases, but if not, is there anything in particular we need to do to get a regular review from you? Besides sending you the comic, of course.

    That’s pretty much all you need to do. SMALL GODS, since it’s ongoing, counts as an upcoming project; there are more issues coming, right? (For those who don’t know, it’s a science fiction comic about a society where telepathy is becoming common. Or so I understand.)

    B. Clay Moore, writer:

    BATTLE HYMN, five issue mini with art by Jeremy Haun and Ande Parks (December). Dark tale of WWII superheroes.

    CLEAN LIVING, 64-page OGN with art by Azad (early 2005). Coming of age story set in sixties London and modern America.

    FIVE DEAD MEN, a four issue full color mini (a Western) with art by Tony Moore. Early 2005. Five-page preview coming in the back of an upcoming issue of THE WALKING DEAD.

    Adam Beranek:

    Coming in Spring 2005 from Silent Devil Productions: DRACULA VS. KING ARTHUR, a 4-issue mini-series. Each issue will be 32 full color pages. Writers are Adam Beranek and Christian Beranek. The pencils and inks are by Chris Moreno and the colors are by Hi-Fi Design. “Vlad Tepes of the Dracul Order is in his final days. His empire is about to be overrun by an advancing Turkish Army. Vlad will certainly be killed and have his remains spread across the countryside… unless he makes a deal with Lucifer himself. He will become Dracula, the first vampire, and go back to the days of Camelot to destroy King Arthur.”

    Kalman Andrasofszky:

    I drew and colored the comic series iCANDY for DC last year. I have 3 pieces of cover art about to come out from Harris Publishing/Anarchy Studios. The first will be for VAMPI: VICIOUS CIRCLE #3, which should be hitting any week now. It’s written by B. Clay Moore, with art by Dub of Graphiksismik and Gabriel Rearte.

    The next two will be alternate covers for a new 2 issue mini-series, which should be in stores September and October respectively, featuring their Xin character (based on the Chinese ‘Journey to the West’ myth) encountering Vampi, titled, unsurprisingly: VAMPI VS. XIN. The mini is written by Jay Faerber with art and regular covers by Kevin Lau.

    Thomas Deja:

    While the publication of HOUSE OF LORELEI, featuring my debut as a comic scripter and edited by our mutual friend Steve Roman is being pushed into early 2005, Frontier Publishing will begin serializing my weird crime-with-music novel ONYX REVOLVER in mid-September. Elsa Dawn, a former pop diva, tracks the murderer of her policeman father to Chimera Falls, the kind of small city you forget the moment you leave…literally. It’s the closest I’m ever going to get to writing something akin to COWBOY BEBOP. Frontier has begun issuing completed books in paperback form.

    Danny Fingeroth:

    DANNY FINGEROTH’S WRITE NOW! Magazine #8 from TwoMorrows, on sale now, features the how-to-create-your-own-character-from-scratch crossover with MIKE MANLEY’S DRAW! #9. WRITE NOW! #9, on sale in November, will feature a new Neal Adams cover and an interview with Adams, plus interviews with Geoff Johns, Peter Bagge and Batton Lash as well as great how-to Nuts & Bolts material.

    The DVD version of the crossover between WRITE NOW! and DRAW!, titled HOW TO DRAW COMICS FROM SCRIPT TO PRINT, will be in stores soon. It tells you all you need to know about creating a comic from initial idea to script finished product. Two hours of solid information.

    My SUPERMAN ON THE COUCH: WHAT SUPERHEROES REALLY TELL US ABOUT OURSELVES AND OUR SOCIETY is still on sale and still exciting discussions among fans and civilians alike. Catch Danny at the Texas Book Festival in October talking about the book.

    And I will be teaching three comics courses at New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies this fall. There’s Writing for Comics and Graphic Novels, Level One. There’s the Level Two Intensive, where you write a comic script in a week. Finally, there’s Inside The Comics Creators Studio, given through NYU but held at the home of the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art in Manhattan’s Soho. Among the scheduled guests are Dennis O’Neil, Bobi Sikoryak, J.M. DeMatteis, and Mike Mignola.

  • Those who’ve been waiting for a copy of the collected MASTER OF THE OBVIOUS essays should check out my website, Paper Movies, where you can now buy TOTALLY OBVIOUS: THE COMPLETE MASTER OF THE OBVIOUS COLLECTION in .pdf form via PayPal. As for what I’m up to in comics these days, that’s listed there as well. And other things. Go take a look.
  • There are probably a lot of pros out there kicking themselves , thinking, “Man! I should’ve sent PERMANENT DAMAGE information on my upcoming projects.” Or mini-comics creators and self-publishers thinking, “When’s he going to let us pimp our wares?”

    Here’s the skinny:

    On October 6th, we’ll run another of these columns. For everyone.

    That means anyone who has something to push, they can push it there. If you’ve got a book coming out from anywhere from Marvel to Oni that you want attention for, great. If you’ve got a mini-comic or some unusual form, great. If you’re self-publishing, great.

    Here’s what I need:

    Your name;

    A website address where people can learn more about your book or order it;

    The names of;

    Your collaborators, if any, and what their roles were;

    Your publisher;

    The price;

    And a brief (like 50 word tops) write-up of what the book is about. I do not want press releases.

    If you want to include a cover shot or some other visual, please do. But only one per book.

    Keep it concise, pithy and clean, that’s all I ask.

    The deadline’s October 1st. The rest is up to you.

    Those wishing to comment should leave messages on the Permanent Damage Message Board. You can also e-mail me but the chances of a reply are next to nil these days, given my workload, though I do read all my e-mail as long as it’s not trying to sell me something. IMPORTANT: Because a lot of people apparently list it in their e-address books, this account has gotten a slew of virus-laden messages lately. They’re no real threat but dealing with them eats up time I don’t really have, to the extent I can no longer accept unsolicited e-mail with attachments. If you want to send something via attachment (say, art samples) ask me first. If I say okay, then send. Unsolicited e-mail with attachments will be wiped from the server without being read. You can also leave messages for me and have discussions on other topics at my Delphi forum, GRAPHIC VIOLENCE. Please don’t ask me how to break into the business, or who to submit work to. The answers to those questions are too mercurial for even me to keep up with.

    Those wanting to subscribe to the WHISPER e-mail newsletter should click here.

    I’m reviewing comics sent to me – I may not like them but certainly I’ll mention them – at Steven Grant c/o Permanent Damage, 2657 Windmill Pkwy #194, Henderson NV 89074, so send ’em if you want ’em mentioned, since I can’t review them unless I see them. Some people have been sending press releases and cover proofs and things like that, which I enjoy getting, but I really can’t do anything with them, sorry. Full comics only, though they can be photocopies rather than the published version. Make sure you include contact information for readers who want to order your book.

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