Thursday, January 31, 2008

Top Cow hosts a contest, millions vote

More and more companies these days are reaching out the fans for content. I doubt its due to a dearth of writing/artistic talent in the industry, but rather a true connection with all the kids out there that eagerly head to the comic book store every Wednesday to pick up the new releases. Top Cow definitely took advantage of this knowledge, leaving it up to those same fans to decide what comics will be produced. And decide they did. The Top Cow Blog says upwards of 4.1 million people voted for two series to become full-fledged series in 2008. The winners will be announced on February 12, so those that voted can see if they're stuffing the ballot box really paid off or not.

“A promotion like this is always a bit risky because you don’t know what kind of results you’re going to get. But the fans really impressed us with their enthusiasm with Pilot Season,” said Top Cow Publisher, Filip Sablik. “Over 4 million votes is almost unbelievable and we’re even more proud to say that all those votes are legitimate, without the aid of any scripts or bots. We’re incredibly proud of our fans and all of the talented creators involved in Pilot Season.”

So to all you Top Cow fans out there, make sure to give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done. And check out Top Cow February 12 to see which series were voted winners. Pilot Season gets a little love

Preview: Secret Invasion #1

The invasion is almost upon us. What invasion you ask? Well I can't tell you because its a secret. But Marvel will let you in on it in a couple of months. Secret Invasion #1 is Marvel's next epic storyline, and it features the Skrulls latest attempt to enslave humanity. Its promised to have repercussions that will forever impact the Marvel Universe. Its written by Brian Michael Bendis with Leinil Francis Yu doing the pencilling, so creatively it'll kick ass. Secret Invasion #1 hits stores April 2, and the special double-sized issue will cost $3.99. Preview: Secret Invasion #1

Destro and Zartan cast

This G.I. Joe casting news continues to come at us fast and furious. IESB is reporting that BOTH Destro and Zartan have been cast, and they've been cast pretty well. Zartan is supposedly going to be played by Arnold Vosloo, better known as The Mummy and Marwan from season 4 of 24 (great season). Destro will be played by David Murray. Who? Murray is renowned on the theater circuit (Macbeth, The Forbidden Planet, The Importance of Being Earnest) and has had some roles in films as well (Veronic Guerin, Hunted, Out of Season), and has been described as being a cross between Alan Rickman and Clive Owen. Destro is going to be the main bad guy in the upcoming film, and when paired with Zartan and Baroness well, we're going to be seeing one kickass movie. Destro and Zartan cast

Marvel zombies get animated

Its hard to fathom the success that the Marvel Zombies series has had. What started out as somewhat of a gag has quickly become one of the best-selling stories in a while. And all Marvel had to do was take their heroes and villains and turn them into mindless, brains-seeking zombies. Next on the zombies conquest list? A movie. Shock Till You Drop is reporting that there is a animated direct-to-DVD movie in the works featuring the Marvel Zombies crew. Whether or not it will feature Ash is up for debate (but since Bruce Campbell is in nice with Marvel, it wouldn't surprise me if there were and he was the voice in the movie). There's not much news on the flick other than the news that there is a flick. So stay tuned. Marvel Zombies terrorizing a screen near you

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

New England Comics Winter Sale Reminder

Just a reminder that there are only three days left for the New England Comics Winter sale, so make sure you get what needs to be got before this Friday, February 1. 50% off comics (old and new, except for new releases) 30% off toys 20% off everything else (toys, games, posters, trading cards, statues) New England Comics Winter sale

Frank Kozik signing

For all you Frank Kozik fans out there, the internationally-known vinyl toy artist and author of Plasticland will be appearing at Diesel Fuel Prints Gallery tomorrow (January 31) in Portland, OR from 6-10 PM. Kozik is also the man known for "single-handedly reviving the concept of rock posters as an art form." So check it out if you like Kozik and are in the Portland area tomorrow night. Frank Kozik signing

Larry Hama = Stan Lee

He doesn't quite equal Stan Lee, but within the G.I. Joe universe, he IS Stan Lee. According to Latino Review, Larry Hama has just been added to the crew for the movie, most likely as a creative consultant. For those that are unaware, Hama created Destro, Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow and Zartan, just to name a few. He also wrote for the Marvel comic G.I. Joe (in addition to Wolverine, Nth Man: The Ultimate Ninja and Elektra according to Wikipedia) so I guess he is closer to Stan Lee than you think. Many of the characters he created were named after friends and family that died during the Vietnam War. He even had a figure modeled after him named Tunnel Rat in 1987, so you know you've made it when you're immortalized in action figure form. Anyways, I imagine that he's being brought on as a creative consultant, which bodes extremely well for the director/producers as well as the fans. It adds a certain credibility to the production, meaning that its not just going to be something Paramount throws out there to make a quick buck. It seems they're really committed to this movie, which is awesome. Larry Hama consults on G.I. Joe film

Prince of Persia graphic novel

Obviously you like graphic novels if you're reading this blog, so I'll go ahead and check that off the list. But if you also like the Prince of Persia series, things just got better. And Wired went ahead and made things even better by giving you a preview of the work. The above is the image that Wired has from the graphic novel due out this fall from First Second Books. It will be written by A.B. Sina and illustrated by Alex Puvilland and LeUyen Pham, and will apparently be kind of weird. Game creator Jordan Mechner says "it's a totally different story and characters from the games or the movie, and I mean different." Keep your eyes open for it, if you're interested. Prince of Persia graphic novel page preview

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

New Arrivals: January 30, 2008

Easy pick of the week this week. Captain America #34. Come on. Its the return of Alex Ross to Marvel. Not that hard. Enjoy! New Arrivals: January 30, 2008

Iron Man is done!

Which is good to know, because I'd be a little worried if the movie weren't done with it scheduled to come out in a few months. According to an interview with Collider, Jon Favreau said that all that's left is just working in new shots as they come in. But the bulk of the movie is there, so all that's left is to get the other stuff added in. He also added his two cents on the possibility of an Avengers movie: "I'd love to, you know, if the experience is as good as this. Since The Avengers has The Hulk, Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man, they still have to make a few more movies. I think they would want to get a chapter in on each of the heroes before they combine them. But I think it is very smart that they are thinking of cross-pollinating between different characters... Now, because they control all of these different characters, there can be that sort of interplay between the movies and characters that gives it the spontaneous feeling of the books." Iron Man done

EA and Marvel no longer BFF

Ever since EA Chicago closed down shop a few months ago, rumor has been running rampant that the Marvel games in the pipeline were also being shut down. This rumor was quieted a bit when it was stated that the games would be picked up by another EA studio. But now, it seems that the games are done completely. According to Gametap, EA and Marvel have decided to dissolve their agreement. Marvel and EA jointly developed only one game of the multigame deal (Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects) which vastly underperformed expectations. It was guessed that the next game we could expect to see would be a Marvel fighting game or Marvel MMORPG, but it looks like those aren't going to be seeing the light of day anytime soon. EA and Marvel dissolve developmental deal

Quaid and Tatum go Joe

Well, Variety went ahead and confirmed some of the casting for the upcoming G.I. Joe film. Channing Tatum has been confirmed as Duke, which is fine by me. He has the look and grit to be able to pull it off (although Mark Wahlberg as Duke would've been completely badass). The other casting news? Dennis Quaid. Quaid has been cast as General Hawk. Filming is slated to begin next month in LA, with an anticipated release date of August 7, 2009. Quaid and Tatum confirmed for Joe

Monday, January 28, 2008

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

Tedd Riccio is a comic book aficionado chock full of useful comic history knowledge. So why not tap into that knowledge for the betterment of you, the reader? Debuting today (and hopefully appearing weekly) will be a new column by newly appointed Assistant Editor Tedd (just Tedd will be fine). This column will be called “Hank McCoy (Before the Fur),” so be sure to keep your eyes open for his unique insights into comics.

A critique of Grant Morrison’s New X-men (Or, Grant Morrison makes me feel dirty and I need a shower)

A few years back, Grant Morrison headlined an aptly named (for the time) new X-men title named New X-men. Many of the choices Morrison made have had a big impact on the current X-men continuity (exposure that Xavier is a mutant to the known world, extension of Xavier’s financial resources into the X-corporation, the destruction of Genosha, etc.). A big chunk of what you read about in X-men comics these days has to do with the events of this series, and the longer Morrison wrote it? The more critical acclaim it got.

After twenty or so odd years of reading X-men comics, all I can say is: who are these people giving this comic series acclaim, why are they choosing to do so, and do they need therapeutic counseling and/ or psychiatric care? Because frankly, New X-men’s disturbing sleigh ride through a world of fragile, violent human relationships and freakish abnormal physical deformities leaves me wondering about the mental stability of the fan of any such series.

Your average X-men story tends to be big on the all-out mutant warfare but one other ingredient- sensitivity. Yeah, it’s cool to watch the X-men fight it out with the Marauders, waste the Brood, and tangle with inter-dimensional demons, but it’s those big questions about ethics, relationships, and prejudice, that still keep you coming back for more after forty years.

So who are these incredibly brutal, insensitive people in Grant Morrison’s comic book? Why the hell is Magneto, survivor of the Holocaust, leading human beings to the slaughter on Genosha? Why is Scott Summers having an affair? Why is Trish Tilby rejecting Hank McCoy because of the way he looks? Oh, and my favorite- Xavier carries a GUN and Jean JUST NOTICES THIS, NOW, for the FIRST TIME?

Beyond such bizarre characterizations and plot points, there are some strong (albeit, alternative) elements to this series. I admit, the way Morrison gets up in your face with the whole ‘mutations are often unsettling, grotesque, unpleasant, fleshy things’ angle is an interesting approach. Morrison isn’t pulling any punches while you watch Wolverine pick bullets out of his skin or Cassandra Nova (who I’ll get too) thrust her hand through the face of a distant relation of Bolivar Trask. The thing is? I have a tough time being sympathetic with the X-men in this book, because hell, I’M freaked out by the X-men in this book. Of course, maybe that was the writer’s point- and for that I commend him. Evolution is a scary, brutal, freaky process, and the mutants in this series are a testament to that. In particular, I find the subtle suggestion on Morrison’s part that the conflict between humanity and it’s mutated offshoot is irreconcilable because of simple, primal, evolutionary urges to survive is intriguing.

The thing is, if it’s so damn hopeless, why keep going? In any other series, that question would spark motivation in the characters. But in Morrison’s series, it almost seems foolish, unintelligent, to even try to create a world where humans and mutants live in peace. The idealism you valued in other X-men series seems na├»ve and/or hollow.

I would praise and criticize the writer’s use of the cast and cameos in equal fashion. While some characters, such as the visually stimulating but painfully arrogant Emma Frost, get tons of time in the spot light. Fantomex is the kind of character that thirteen year olds dream up for a role-playing game- take the most ridiculously powerful, informed, anti-hero loner type you can think of and you’re coming close. Why do I get the feeling that Morrison wants to be this guy? Worthwhile characters from X-force and Generation X like Domino, M, Multiple Man, Rictor, Siryn, and the now late (thanks Grant) Russian mutant Darkstar get a couple of lines here and there, but nothing substantial. Why these characters suddenly got second rate treatment after carrying their own titles for years, I’ll never really now.

As far as adding to the X-men canon? I have to admit the man did some cool stuff- some of it more in the vein of returning to and cleaning up old storylines that I’ve always loved. I’ve been waiting eagerly for Marvel to capitalize on the whole Civil War could turn into Days of Future Past thing, and seeing a big-ass Sentinel Master Mold in the middle of Ecuador makes me shiver at the possibilities. For those of you who didn’t grow up in the eighties, the Superhuman Registration Act is the first step forward down what could be a long, dark, world-ending cycle that the X-men have been fighting to stop for a long time. Days of Future Past didn’t feature humans enslaving mutants or vice versa- instead, but rather an army of sentinels that hunted down and killed mutants and super-powered humans alike, taking their mandate to protect humans to its ultimate extreme (a la Terminator).

Also, I’d be recalcitrant if I didn’t mention that Cassandra Nova is a frightening, disturbing villain that’s worth keeping around. A sort of ‘Anti-Professor X,’ Cassandra is a bald headed, incredibly powerful psychic entity that’s devoted to wiping mutants off the planet instead of helping them survive. The fact that she’s Xavier’s twin goes with Morrison’s whole ‘mutations have to do with genetics not super-powers’ theme. Once you get past the freaky babies in the womb strangling each other origin, you can appreciate her for what she is: an incredibly powerful being whose sole motivation is not simply to kill Charles Xavier but to destroy everything he has every built. Such a brutal villain warrants attention- I mean, Christ, even Apocalypse has a PHILOSOPHY about LIFE.

The art in this book is among the least appealing I’ve seen Marvel put out in a while and doesn’t hold much depth. In fact, it even seems a little unclear to me. Overall, I think this series showcases more about Grant Morrison’s style than it does the X-men comic’s, although there’s no questioning that the man has talent as a story-teller. I just wish he didn’t break so completely from the previous portrayal of all the characters that have been in print for roughly forty five years. Tampering with the classics has some merit for pushing things forward, but I think he goes a little too far. I wouldn’t be able to call myself a fan though, because frankly, I just don’t think I’m hardcore enough to live in the man’s world.

Millar back on Wolverine

Mark Millar is quite the popular writer these days. He wrote a little something called Civil War last year, and is all set to start on two series this February (Fantastic Four and Ultimates). But that's not quite good enough for Millar, who is also slated to join Steve McNiven for a glorious eight-issue run on Wolverine this June. What does have have in store for Logan? "This is a story set 50 years in Wolverine's future. He's an old man by this point and has turned his back on violence after a catastrophic event, when the villains killed almost all of the heroes in the Marvel Universe. This story kicks off with his peaceful world under threat and Wolverine forced to become involved in his greatest adventure yet. It's a road movie taking him from the remains of California to the remains of New York in a Marvel comic unlike anything you have ever seen before." Can't this guy ever get a break? The entire interview is a great read, and really gives good clues as to what to expect this summer when Millar returns to Wolverine for eight issues. Millar back on Wolverine

Tranformers the Ride?

The main reason to go to any amusement park is for kickass rides. Universal Studios Florida has some pretty fantastic rides, including the Incredible Hulk and the Spider-man ride. According to IESB, it looks like the near future could also hold another franchised ride for us, the Transformers ride. Paramount Studios and Hasbro are in talks to bring a ride to an amusement park near you (maybe near you...guess it depends on which park gets it and if you live close to said park or not). No word yet what type of ride it will be. I've said before that a really cool ride would be the part in the movie where S7 takes Shia LeBeouf and Megan Fox, and Optimus picks up the SUV, tears the roof off and carries them away. Do that in the vein of the Spider-man ride at Universal Studios, and that could be pretty awesome. One of the most interesting things about this whole project is which Transformers will be used. The designers have not been told which ones because apparently "some of the robots will not be surviving the second and third films." Wow. First off, it looks like a trilogy is in the works, which doesn't really surprise me. But who are they going to kill off? The first movie only had about 10 or so Transformers, and Jazz was the only Autobot to have died. Could Bumblebee meet his fate at some point down the road? Will Optimus not make it, so the way can be paved for Roddimus? Transformers ride in the works

He's the Duke

We all need a good speculation and hearsay now and again and fortunately for us, Ain't It Cool News has a rather tasty bit of speculation regarding Duke in the upcoming Stephen Sommers G.I. Joe film. Who's it going to be? Channing Tatum. Who's Channing Tatum? Well, if you're a teenage girl, chances are you know who he is. He played a bit part in Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds remake (which was pretty crappy, but I digress), but is most noted for his roles in Step Up and She's the Man (with surprising hottie Amanda Bynes). He's got some pretty big flicks in the pipeline (Stop Loss and Fighting), so it appears that this guy is on the rise. Whether or not he can pull of the grizzled bad-ass that is Duke well, guess we'll have to see. Duke cast confirmation

Friday, January 25, 2008

Preview: Clandestine #1

Its the return of Alan Davis' freaky family! Clandestine #1 tells the tale of a family that has been hidden for centuries, just wanting to be left alone. But because of the youngest Destine, Rory, fighting crime as the Crimson Crusader, their ability to stay hidden is threatened. Which means all sorts of crazy stuff is liable to happen to the once hidden family. Clandestine #1 is written and penciled by Alan Davis, inked by Mark Farmer, colored by Chris Sotomayor and lettered by Dave Lanphear. It hits stores February 6 for $2.99. Preview: Clandestine #1

Who Wants to Create a Super-heroine?

Make sure you read that title right. I'm not asking for some intense heroin. I'm asking for a super-heroine. And its not quite me asking, rather Shadowline comics. So its a character contest. According to Shadowline editor, Kristen Simon, “I’d been hoping to see a super-hero book with a strong female lead to act as a counter-point to our popular Bomb Queen series, but none were forthcoming. So I decided to come up with a contest to create a super-heroine for the 21st Century.” Interested applicants have to follow some basic rules to get their creation in the halls of Image/Shadowline Comics. First, you have to send in a brief one paragraph story synopsis by January 31 to superheroinecontest@gmail.com. Then, ten semi-finalists will be selected from all entries received, and will then be required to turn in five fully scripted pages by February 29. Five finalists will be chosen to have their synopses published on March 10 for voting, which will end April 4. The winner will get a three-issue mini-series that will be illustrated by Franchseco. The character rights will remain with the creator, and back-end profits will be split between the creators. The winner will be announced April 28, with a slated cover date of November 2008. Its a great way to help break into the comic book industry, and even if you don't win you can see what the finalists did and learn a thing or two. Who Wants to Create a Super-heroine?

What would Edward Norton do?

If a recent interview with Total Film is to believed, Ed Norton would have kept turning down role of Bruce Banner in the upcoming The Incredible Hulk. The Sun has excerpts from the interview with Total Film, and in it Norton mentions that he turned down the role quite a few times actually before finally accepting. “There’s the wince factor or the defensive part of you that recoils at what the bad version of what that would be. And I did that, basically. I said ‘no’ to it a couple of times.” He also goes on to talk about how the movie will be a franchise relaunch (Batman Begins is setting the tone for everything these days huh?) and is definitely the first chapter in a Hulk saga. So it seems this trilogy thing is really picking up as well. Which means we can probably expect the second and third to film at the same time, and be released one year apart from each other. Total Film interview with Ed Norton (excerpts)

Marvel Studios reaches a deal with WGA

We all know that this WGA strike really sucks. Gone are all the great shows that typically come on, and instead we're left with a million more reality shows. So its good news when at least some companies manage to strike a good chord with the WGA. Its even better when that company is Marvel. According to Comics 2 Film, Marvel and the WGA has reached an accord which would allow the WGA to get back to working on upcoming scripts for Marvel, including Thor, Captain America and Ant Man. This is fantastic news, and maybe DC should follow suit to get a certain movie about a league of justice going again. "Marvel Studios' signing of an interim agreement with the Writers Guild is more good news for our membership," WGA East President Michael Winship and WGA West President Patric M. Verrone added in a joint statement. "Marvel is committed to fairly compensating their writers and now they can move forward with their planned production schedule." Marvel reaches deal with WGA

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Preview: Batman #676

Batman #676 seems like an inconsequential issue. 676 isn't really a milestone or anything. But its possible that Batman will die in this issue. Grant Morrison's run has been building up to this, and what happens in this issue will change the future of the Dark Knight. The issue features artwork by Tony Daniel and Sandu Florea, with the cover by Alex Ross. Batman #676 hits stores April 23. Preview: Batman #676

Brilliantly drawn girls

We've come a long way as a race. Abraham Lincoln was instrumental in destroying slavery for the betterment of the country. The 19th amendment gave women the right to vote. And we just observed Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, celebrating equal rights for all citizens. So we're making great strides. So why should these strides be limited to reality? Comics have also been somewhat on the forefront of political issues, and this is most prevalent regarding women in comics. The Guardian has a phenomenal article talking about women in comics, and its a great read. The article talks to Gail Simone a lot, who is one of the best female writers out there, just about how times are changin'. The article says that shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lost and Heroes have been instrumental in encouraging more women to follow comics and want to work in the comic book industry. So check it out if you have the time. Good perspective on the changing face of comics. The Guardian: Brilliantly Drawn Girls

New Iron Man shot

Marvel's all about these shots trickling out from the upcoming Iron Man film. Above is the newest that has been released to get you further hyped for the upcoming film. Also, Marvel has some new wallpapers for your desktop viewing pleasure, if you're so inclined. New Iron Man photo

Interview with Charles Roven

Batman is a mythic, historic franchise. Being responsible for it means you've got to get it right, or you face discontent with countless fans. Being responsible for the Flash franchise on the big screen as well just adds to the pressure. Thankfully, producer Charles Roven seems to know what he's doing. IESB has an interview with one of today's hottest producers about The Dark Knight, DC and comic franchises in general. One of the juicier tidbits talks about a supposed Batman vs. Superman film. "Well there was a project that Warner had at one time that was pretty interesting. I’m not sure it’ll ever get made but it was Batman vs. Superman. It was another producer involved and another director involved at that time. In fact, because Warner Brothers elected not to make that movie, I believe that Wolfgang Peterson was directing, that he ended up doing Troy. " The interview is a short, quality read, so check it out if you have the time. Interview with Charles Roven

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Y Vaughn, Y?

You might not have been aware, but Brian K. Vaughn has been writing what has been considered his most acclaimed comic series in Y: The Last Man. The story goes that a plague wiped out every man on Earth except for Yorick Brown and his monkey Ampersand. The two search the world for his girlfriend with the help of 355 (a dreadlocked guardian angel) while avoiding female soldiers and freedom fighters. Wall Street Journal caught wind of this series and have an article talking about the end of the critically acclaimed series. Vaughn says his idea for the work came from going to an all boys high school in Cleveland. "I've always been fascinated with gender," he says. "When you're separated from the other sex, you can't help but think about it." Y: The Last Man #60 hits stores January 30, and is the end of quite a good thing. End of Y: The Last Man

X-Files sequel information

I'm a huge fan of the X-Files. One of the best shows created in my opinion, however it did get a little too conspiratorial towards the end and less about the aliens. Regardless, the first movie was solid enough, and was actually pretty decent. So we all wanted a sequel. Now that one's been announced so many years later, fans are a little worried if the movie will be any good or not. If these pics are any indication, it looks like things are just insane. There are some spoilers ahead, so be warned. One MIke Sampson over at JoBlo.com has a report from the set of the X-Files sequel. Wait. Scratch that. He has more than a report, he has actual pictures from the film's set (from an inside source). There are some pictures of Chris Carter talking to an actor on the set. The actor isn't David Duchovny (at least I don't think) or Gillian Anderson. Rather, the pictures seem to portray a wolf. Not just any wolf, but a wolfMAN. So it looks like we're going to see some weird stuff happening. Which makes sense, since it is the X-Files. Hopefully the weirdness isn't so absurd that its considered outlandish. New X-Files sequel pics

Zenescope announces new Sinbad title

Fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm have been "modified" to be a little less frightening than they were originally intended to be. Thankfully, Zenescope Entertainment has made a name for itself with its visions of how the tales were meant to be told with the Grimm Fairy Tales series. This revisioning hasn't stopped there however, as they've also had a go at Alice of Wonderland fame with Return to Wonderland. Now they've set their sights on Sinbad, the legendary sailor. 1001 Arabian Nights: The Adventures of Sinbad follows Sinbad as he has unjustly been accused of murder. So he decides to put together a crew (eclectic of course) and seek out the one artifact that can clear his name, while of course dealing with all kinds of crazy creatures and enemies. The new series is scheduled for a May release, with a preview issue hitting in April. Dan Wickline is writing, with Paolo Pantalenan illustrating. “This is a classic hero we felt could really benefit from a cool and edgy makeover” said series co-creator and Zenescope VP Ralph Tedesco.” We wanted to re-imagine this character by adding a certain type of charisma, sort of James Bond meets Captain Jack Sparrow in the embodiment of a pro wrestler. Then put him in this awesome backdrop full of gorgeous women, dragons, monsters, creatures...and did I mention gorgeous women?” Zenescope Entertainment bringing Sinbad back to life

X-Men Origins: Wolverine set photos

There are some photos posted of some sets from the upcoming X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie, and they're nothing too special. All the sets look really remote, so we could be seeing some feral activity from everyone's favorite Canuck. X-Men Origins: Wolverine set photos

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Rest in Peace Heath Ledger

You've probably heard the news by now, but word everywhere is that Heath Ledger was found dead today in his NYC apartment. His body was found by his housekeeper, trying to awaken him for his massage appointment. Investigators found sleeping pills near his body and are looking into the possibility that he overdosed. This is truly sad, as Ledger was really just starting to come into his own as an actor. And with the pending release of The Dark Knight he was set to completely break out. Seriously, Ledger was at the prime of his acting career. Between Brokeback Mountain, I'm Not There and of course The Dark Knight, Ledger was making quite a name for himself. Rumor had it that he was going to great lengths to get into character to play the Joker. Hopefully his devotion to the cause didn't get the best of him. Probably the most jarring fact is that he was only 28 years old. Omnicomic sends its condolences to Ledger's family. This is truly a sad day. Heath Ledger found dead in apartment Update: According to Reuters, it has since been learned that Ledger died as a result of an accidental overdose of prescription medications, including oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine.

New Arrivals: January 23, 2008

The pick this week is called The Living Corpse #1, and its about a zombie. Not your standard, run-of-the-mill brains seeking zombie, but one who had all his memories come flooding back to him one night. Which means that, twenty years later, he's responsible for keeping evil off the Earth. Enjoy! New Arrivals: January 23, 2008

IDW going to Silent Hill with Sinner's Reward

The Silent Hill franchise has been one of those franchises that crosses games, movies and comics, and scares the living bejesus out of you. There is little more unnerving then (in the game) wandering through fog so thick you can't see anything in front of you then having the damn radio start spitting out static, meaning you know things are about to get real. And then the movie came out, and good grief. The first movie in a long time that was so deranged it was fantastically scary. IDW Publishing is returning to Silent Hill with a new 5 issue comic called Silent Hill: Sinner's Reward. Silent Hill: Sinner's Reward is the story of Jack "The Pup" Stanton on the run with his mob boss's wife. While on the run, they apparently decide to throw caution to the wind and make a wrong turn that inevitably finds them winding up in Silent Hill. Written by Tom Waltz and illustrated by Steph Stamb (with Justin Randall on special incentive cover duties) the first issue of the five hits stores February. You can preorder the whole series over at IDW for $19.95 and $10.00 shipping. Silent Hill: Sinner's Reward Silent Hill: Sinner's Reward Preorder

MIke Vogel rumored to be Duke

I guess all it takes is one big movie to get your name out there, and its out there. IGN is reporting a rumor that could possibly gain some traction with the success of Cloverfield. Mike Vogel plays Jason (Rob's brother) in Cloverfield and is rumored to be in the running to play Duke in the upcoming G.I. Joe. Now, Duke is a role that has to be cast right, and if it isn't, then the entire movie will fall apart at the seams. Vogel has the potential to be a good Duke, because he showed off enough assertiveness in his role as Jason to do the part well. Vogel was up for the role of Captain Kirk in the upcoming Enterprise film, but the role was given to Chris Pine. Paramount is a big fan of him, and they're responsible for both Cloverfield and G.I. Joe, so that could help his cause out. It also helps that when asked about the role, he nervously looked away, neither confirming or denying before a publicist interrupted the conversation. Grain of salt time? Vogel rumored to be Duke

Megan Gale confirms Wonder Woman role

We all knew it. We all speculated on it. I even suggested it on Friday after the news broke that Justice League was taking a temporary production hiatus. Now, straight from the mouth of a babe, Megan Gale HERSELF confirms that she was cast as Wonder Woman. According to The Sunday Times Perth Confidential, Gale said that she has been cast as Wonder Woman. Apparently she has known this since October, but was sworn to secrecy by Warner Brothers. The entire cast was forced to secrecy (for obvious reasons). She has stepped up her fitness regime to get into kickass shape, and has also been training to wield weapons for the role. "I still can't believe it,'' Gale said. ``I have been infatuated with Wonder Woman since I was a teenager.'' So now we may not get to see her don the knee high boots and kick ass, but at least we can imagine. Gale confirms Wonder Woman casting

Friday, January 18, 2008

Long weekend

So I'll be enjoying the long weekend, and won't be posting on Monday. So enjoy the long weekend as well, and be sure to remember the whole reason we're having the long weekend: in honor of the king. Not the Burger King (as cool as he may be), but Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Take the time to reflect on the significance of Dr. King, and do some good in the world. And yes, that is Professor X up there. I had to keep it comic related, and Professor X has been likened to Dr. King with his approach to mutants and humans.

Interview with Ludo Lullabi

The World of Warcraft is a best unto itself. It is probably the most popular MMORPG ever, and has spread so far into pop culture that its become an icon of the times. The natural progression to comic was one that took a little longer than I thought it should've, but December 2007 saw the release of the first issue of the newly created World of Warcraft ongoing series. Picking up the penciling duties was a 29-year-old Frenchman named Ludo Lullabi, who was such a fan of the series that he submitted his own fan art and was offered the gig for the comic. The hardest part of drawing for the comic? According to an interview with MTV, Lullabi says the hardest part was the arena of Dire Maul. "So far, the most challenging part must be the arena of Dire Maul. In the script it was supposed to host a lot of spectators, but in the game it looks kinda small in comparison and the columns make it a little hard to add a crowd… I had to choose the “surrounding steps” version even if it makes it really hard for the orcs located behind the columns! As for the easiest part to draw, well… Valeera!" The rest of the interview is pretty cool, as it gives you a bit more insight into what goes into drawing for the World of Warcraft comic, as well as drawing for comics in general. Interview with Ludo Lullabi

Conan bust

Conan the Barbarian is a franchise that is certainly full of busts. Mostly in the case of busty vixens needing to be saved by Conan on his many adventures across the land. Now Dark Horse is providing a bust of its own of Conan himself. The Savage Sword Collection Bust #1: Conan is being released on January 30, 2008 that will retail for $54.99. This will be the first in a series of sculptures of the greatest Robert E. Howard characters. Tony Cipriano will be the sculptor in charge that measures 6.5 inches from base to top, and is 8 inches wide. Savage Sword Collection Bust #1: Conan

Megan Gale IS Wonder Woman

The Hollywood Reporter has more details about the postponement of the upcoming Justice League film. One of the most interesting tidbits in the article is that it lists Megan Gale among the cast members, meaning that she is most likely playing Wonder Woman in the film. I think we all sort of knew that already, but this is the closest thing to a confirmation that I think we've gotten. The studio says that the script really wasn't up to snuff, which could be a major setback for a movie like this. Its also interesting because the article lists all the cast members so far being offered the roles are technically out of contract, but Warner Brothers (and just about anyone else) feels that they wouldn't turn this down again when reoffered. This also bodes well for the Batman franchise. Christopher Nolan was getting hesitant to direct the third film in the supposed trilogy, as he felt the Justice League conflicted with his Batman, so now that Justice League is on hold, Warner Brothers better do everything they can to get Nolan back on board for the third Batman. More Justice League postponement news

Thursday, January 17, 2008

New England Comics Winter Sale

Thankfully winter follows fall, which means the Winter sale follows the Fall sale. So its a good time to head over to New England Comics and pick up all those back issues you've held off on getting. The discounts? Comics - 50% off TPBs/GNs - 20% off Everything else (Posters, T-shirts, statues, cards, toys, etc) - 30% off Of course the sale excludes new releases, however there are tons of other stuff you can pick up in the mean time. The sale starts Friday, January 18 and runs until Friday February 1. Their sales are really f'ing good, because if you're like me and can't get the comic store every week you can easily make up for lost time for cheap. So head on over and take part in the sale, just to make sure your collection stays current. New England Comics Winter Sale

TNT's Witchblade coming to DVD?

When you're hot, you're hot. After successfully launching First Born, the new Witchblade storyline, as well as the Witchblade anime, it appears that the short-lived live action show on TNT will be headed to DVD as well. Comics Continuum has a small blurb on their website saying that a DVD has been confirmed for release. From the Comics Continuum website: "TNT's live-action Witchblade series is apparently headed for DVD. Top Cow publisher Filip Sablik confirmed for The Continuum that Top Cow has been contacted for interviews for a DVD package.

Witchblade, which starred Yancy Butler, aired two seasons on TNT."

This is slightly more concrete than just rumor, but the jury's still out I guess on confirmation.

TNT Witchblade on DVD (scroll down the page a bit for the tidbit)

Second chance for Amazing Spider-Man #546

If you missed your chance the first time to see how Peter Parker's Brand New Day started Marvel is giving you a second chance. Not surprisingly, the first printing sold out at the Diamond Comics Distributor level (not sure about the retail level). So Marvel decided to go back to formula and issue a second printing variant with new art by Steve McNiven for your viewing pleasure. "As the controversial first issue of a new era for Spidey, Slott, McNiven and everyone else involved hit this one out of the park," said editor Steve Wacker. "Love it or hate it, everyone's takling about Spider-Man." Amazing Spider-Man now ships three times a month, so you have three chances to follow Parker and picking up the pieces of his life. Second chance for Amazing Spider-Man #546

Justice League officially on hold

Well its finally come to this. According to IESB, a site that has been right on more than one occasion, George Miller's adaptation of Justice League is being delayed. How long you ask? Until the WGA strike is over. Which is looking to be June at the earliest. So all the crew have a one week termination notice, and then they're on their own. This film continues to be plagued by one thing or another, from apparently a bad script to casting unknowns. So maybe its for the better that the film is on hold so they can get their act straight. But if they wait too long, and the Avengers movie gets made and is actually good, DC and Warner Brothers will have missed a golden opportunity. Justice League on hold

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Preview: Serenity: Better Days #1

Serenity's back! Kind of. Dark Horse is all set to release Serenity: Better Days #1 on March 12. Joss Whedon returns with a story that talks of Mal and his crew in a heist that might actually be successful for them. But knowing that crew, it'll all fall apart at the end, as that seems to always be the case for them. Brett Matthews helps Whedon out with the writing duties, while Will Conrad provides art duties (Adam Hughes did the cover) and Michelle Madsen does the coloring. 40 pages for $2.99 can be yours on March 12 if you're so inclined. Preview: Serenity: Better Days #1

Preview: Countdown to Adventure #8

Typically, if you see there's a countdown to adventure, you can be sure that something crazy will happen when that countdown reaches zero (may even get an adventure out of it). So it should come as no surprise that Countdown to Aventure #8 would also be quite the adventure. San Diego is faced with a case of the Lady Styx virus, and the Healers are going to wipe the city. Its up to Starfire, Adam Strange and Animal Man to stop them, while the future of Forerunner is revealed as well. Adam Beechen and Justin Gray write the issue, with art by Allan Goldman, Julio Ferreira, Fabrizio Fiorentino and Adam DeKraker. Eddy Barrows and Ferreira did the cover, and the issue hits stores March 26 for $3.99 (48 pages). Preview: Countdown to Adventure #8

The Dark Knight character list

I don't want to spoil anything about this movie, because I want to go into it completely unawares. But that's kind of tough, considering this hear blog is about comics and this is probably the biggest comic event of the year. In any event, Bad Taste will spoil the movie for you a bit if you let them. They've received a list of all the characters appearing the movie. Characters ranging from (spoiler!) Batman and the Joker to Shotgun SWAT and Reporter #2 (I also heard that Frightened Inmate #2 will be in there...sorry, Arrested Development joke). Anyways, head on over to the site and check out the list if you want to know what characters will be in the movie. Bad Taste also has a link to a plot review, as well as some set pictures that are also somewhat spoilerish. The Dark Knight character list

John Mayer friends with the Joker

So John Mayer is a singer/songwriter who's had a couple of hits, and is responsible for playing the fight riff that makes white people fight (according to Dave Chappelle). It appears that he is also friends with the Joker, as he was the recipient of some goods from the Clown Prince of Crime. According to Mayer's blog Honeyee, Mayer received a package from Gotham Novelties, Inc. The box also has a rather familiar tagline "Why so Serious?" Within the box there lay a Joker card, as well as a pretty spiffy T-shirt. Holy marketing savvy Batman. The Joker is marketing himself. John Mayer+Joker=BFF

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

New Arrivals: January 16, 2008

The pick of the week this week is going to have to be New Exiles #1, in honor of the contest Marvel is having to crown a letterer. Enjoy. New Arrivals: January 16, 2008

Sin City game due in 2009

Sin City is relocating to video game consoles, and that move is aimed at happening early 2009, according to MCV. Red Mile is handling the game adapting, and there are really no details regarding the game, such as what story it will be based on, or what type of game it will be. But we do know there will be a game developed by Red Mile. So that's good news for Sin City fans right? Right? In the mean time, enjoy the above pic from Sin City. Hopefully it will hold you over until the game (or movie sequel). Sin City video game due in early 2009