Issue #18

Hello, comic fans, and welcome to Round 4 of "Comic Book Idol." I'm your host J. Torres. And I am no monkey. We started with six contestants earlier this week (none of them monkeys), and six covers for CrossGen titles (but none with monkeys in them as far as I know):

Chris Ring

Two people had to be voted off of Monkey Island before we proceeded to the next art assignment and with more unwarranted cries of foul play and crazy conspiracy theories over the voting process, this is how that drama played out in this week's poll:

An hour after voting began last week, Hickman was dead last, Scherberger and Ring were in first and second respectively, and Weber was fourth. We also only had around 40 monkeys voting by that point. This week, the first hour of the poll looked like this…

Jonathan Hickman - 15 votes (23.44%)

Michael J. Flores - 14 votes (21.88%)

Patrick Scherberger - 13 votes (20.31%)

Chris Ring - 8 votes (12.50%)

Martin Redmond - 8 votes (12.50%)

L. Frank Weber - 6 votes (9.38%)

About 200 monkeys voting and two hours after the poll opened, Scherberger was back in a spot he'd grown accustomed to in previous rounds, Hickman held steady at number two, Redmond (more used to being on the bubble) found himself in the top three for the first time, while Ring (usually neck and neck with Scherberger in the first twelve hours of these polls) was off to a slow start only a few votes ahead of Flores and Weber…

Patrick Scherberger - 41 votes (22.53%)

Jonathan Hickman - 41 votes (22.53%)

Martin Redmond - 28 votes (15.38%)

Chris Ring - 26 votes (14.29%)

Michael J. Flores -24 votes (13.19%)

L. Frank Weber - 22 votes (12.09%)

300+ votes cast and three hours after voting began, it's musical chairs not Comic Book Idol being played here, and Ring is now leading the pack circling around those chairs to the tune of the Monkees' "I'm A Believer"…

Chris Ring - 70 votes (22.01%)

Patrick Scherberger - 64 votes (20.13%)

Jonathan Hickman - 61 votes (19.18%)

Michael J. Flores - 44 votes (13.84%)

L. Frank Weber - 40 votes (12.58%)

Martin Redmond - 39 votes (12.26%)

400+ votes cast and a quarter of the way through the 24-hour poll, Scherberger and Hickman find themselves in another tie for first, Chris Ring drops from first to third as the monkeys start to fall asleep at their typewriters, Redmond moves from last into fourth place, while both Flores and Weber drop a notch each into the hot seats…

Jonathan Hickman - 80 votes (19.66%)

Patrick Scherberger - 80 votes (19.66%)

Chris Ring - 73 votes (17.94%)

Martin Redmond - 63 votes (15.48%)

Michael J. Flores - 57 votes (14.00%)

L. Frank Weber - 54 votes (13.27%)

600+ votes cast and halfway through the duration of the poll, the top three at last check are still on top but with Scherberger and Hickman neck and neck for first place once again, although Ring is not far behind thanks to a rally from Dr. Zaius and friends, while the bottom three all switch places as Weber pulls out of the two elimination spots but with Redmond and Flores clearly in his rearview mirror…

Patrick Scherberger - 117 votes (18.22%)

Jonathan Hickman - 117 votes (18.22%)

Chris Ring - 112 votes (17.45%)

L. Frank Weber - 102 votes (15.89%)

Martin Redmond - 99 votes (15.42%)

Michael J. Flores - 95 votes (14.80%)

While I was sleeping Ring and Redmond decide to swap places on the monkey bars…

Patrick Scherberger - 131 votes (18.50%)

Jonathan Hickman - 125 votes (17.66%)

Martin Redmond - 117 votes (16.53%)

L. Frank Weber - 116 votes (16.38%)

Chris Ring - 114 votes (16.10%)

Michael J. Flores - 105 votes (14.83%)

Close to 700 votes in. Flores' people finally show up to the party, put on Quincy Jones' "Soul Bossa Nova" (the Austin Powers theme to you kids) and start doing the monkey...

Patrick Scherberger - 139 votes (18.36%)

Jonathan Hickman - 133 votes (17.57%)

Michael J. Flores - 125 votes (16.51%)

Martin Redmond - 124 votes (16.38%)

L. Frank Weber - 121 votes (15.98%)

Chris Ring - 115 votes (15.19%)

Close to 900 votes in. Flores takes the lead for the first time ever, Scherberger loses the poll position for the first time today, Redmond is back in the number three spot, Hickman loses ground, and Ring falls to last place like King Kong from the Empire State Building…

Michael J. Flores - 165 votes (18.42%)

Patrick Scherberger - 156 votes (17.41%)

Martin Redmond - 150 votes (16.74%)

L. Frank Weber - 147 votes (16.41%)

Jonathan Hickman - 146 votes (16.29%)

Chris Ring - 132 votes (14.73%)

1000+ votes cast. Jonah Weiland issues the following statement: "No more monkeys jumping on the bed!" Conspiracy theorists finally shut up, as the much-maligned Chris Ring seems fated to stay in that last position. Little do they know that Flores works at Kinko's and has six computer terminals at his disposal while Scherberger's cousins number close to 100 and Hickman has several aliases and login names at CBR including "SithSense", "PathFan75" and "jamiesrich." Meanwhile, Weber is in fifth place because of the time difference and Redmond drops to fourth because he is French.

Michael J. Flores - 196 votes (19.35%)

Patrick Scherberger - 180 votes (17.77%)

Jonathan Hickman - 177 votes (17.47%)

Martin Redmond - 165 votes (16.29%)

L. Frank Weber - 157 votes (15.50%)

Chris Ring - 138 votes (13.62%)

With thirty minutes left to vote, it seemed that the article on Flores in National Geographic's All-Monkey Issue really did help him after all, but the FBI must have finally caught up to all of Ring's hackers…

Michael J. Flores - 196 votes (19.35%)

Patrick Scherberger - 180 votes (17.77%)

Jonathan Hickman - 177 votes (17.47%)

Martin Redmond - 165 votes (16.29%)

L. Frank Weber - 157 votes (15.50%)

Chris Ring - 138 votes (13.62%)

In the end, the casting of votes came to this climactic conclusion (after a premature automatic poll closing, some database issues shutting down the site for about half an hour, and Osama Bin Laden issuing a Jihad on all the infidel monkeys of the West)…

The official results are in and unfortunately we must bid goodbye to two fine contestants: Chris Ring and L. Frank Weber.

Chris, you brought a lot of excitement to this competition. As ridiculous as some of the conspiracy theories were, they did make "good TV" and we have you to thank for adding that element of fun to CBI, unintentionally or not. Some people found it hard to believe that you'd have that many supporters, but I didn't. And some people thought it was wrong that you brought in "outsiders" to vote in this contest because heaven forbid non-comic book readers find their way to this Web site, discover an actual interest in the medium, and (gasp!) tell others about our secret little society. Well, you keep doing what you're doing and we'll see you in the funny papers I'm sure.

Frank, I'll say it now: you were my favorite. I'm quite sad to see you go. I really hoped you'd go the distance, but you should be proud of how far you did go. I'm gonna stop saying go now, but we both know you never wanted to work for Marvel or CrossGen anyway. You should also be happy for all the new fans you've gained. I expect no less than 10% of the royalties from "Crab Allan." What's "Crab Allan?" the monkeys ask. See Frank in the forum, he'll let you know.

Now, the moment many CBI fans have been waiting for, the Round 4 art assignment for our final four: a comic page.

Behind the scenes, we've referred to this assignment as the "quick change" because what the contestants need to depict on this page is a Marvel superhero changing from their civilian identity and street duds into their mask and tights (or armor or leather or mutant/monster form).

The deadline is Monkeyday (Monday to you uprights), September 8 @ noon (EST).

As with previous rounds, inks and colors are optional. Sequential storytelling and some kind of monkey shot, er, money shot preferable. Standard 11x17" comic boards please.

Also as usual, judges will be given approximately 48 hours after the deadline to review and rant or rave the pages posted (and let's see if this brings the fashionably late Joe Q to the party any earlier). Then on Wednesday, September 10 around noon (EST) the voting will begin in a 24-hour poll that will eliminate two and move two into the final round for all the bananas.

Might I suggest to our final four that showing people's feet and avoiding any brick walls in the background could score you bonus points? And at this stage of the game every point will count. Also, although we don't provide any dialogue, forum moderator Augie De Blieck wanted me to remind everyone to leave some room for the letterer. Now, to quote judge Ron Marz: "Ook-ook, eek. Ook-ook, eek-eek ook eek."

Translation: "Let's bring on the storytelling. Time to separate the contenders from the pretenders."

Special Announcement: As a bonus prize to our Round 2 top vote-getter, Oni Press has invited Patrick Scherberger to submit his "Queen & Country" pin-up for publication in an upcoming issue of the Eisner Award winning series! Way to go, Patrick!

More surprises and special prizes like this to be announced in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

Related Links:

Next week: Two will be eliminated. Two will move on. Alex Garner is our guest judge.

Meanwhile, the Open Your Mouth forum is no monkey either.

Thank you for your attention.

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