Saturday, January 31, 2009

50s-style Alien Invasion Movie Totally Restores My Faith in Cinema



Let's put that sour Land of the Lost post out of our minds and focus on some good cinema. I wish it had a different name, but Alien Trespass just became the movie I'm most looking forward to this year.

It's an homage to alien-invasion movies from the '50s and stars Eric McCormack. I never found Will and Grace all that funny, but I've sort of developed a man-crush on McCormack from watching Lonesome Dove: The Series on DVD. And with his pipe and horn-rimmed glasses here, he looks totally awesome.



It's also got Robert Patrick in it. I'm one of the few who actually loved his time on The X-Files as John Doggett (I'm still disappointed he and Annabeth Gish never got their spin-off) and he's one of the coolest parts of The Unit.



And in case you're wondering what the aliens are going to be like... well, they're going to be FANTASTIC.





The movie opens in "select cities" on April 3, my wife's birthday. Here's hoping that the Twin Cities are amongst the Selected and that Diane doesn't mind celebrating with a one-eyed, tentacled alien.

And here's the trailer.



Thanks to Robert Hood for brightening my day.

Land of the Lost trailer

Anyone who's been holding out hope that the Will Farrell Land of the Lost movie might not completely suck should quit doing that right now. You can cringe at the trailer for yourself at the bottom of this post (the first scene in it should be all it takes), but let's point out a couple of things.

First, Cha-Ka looks like he's going to be played as an idiot. Look how stupidly happy he is to be giving Will Farrell that present. Then watch the trailer and see what happens when Farrell accepts it. Why would Cha-Ka give him that? Cha-Ka was smart on the show. Granted that this is only a few seconds of film, but it looks like Cha-Ka's going to be just as dumb as Farrell's Rick Marshall. Ha ha, stupid monkey-boy.



Even the Sleestak's look silly.



And then there's the whole thing looking like it was shot in the desert. Were green-screen jungles too expensive?

I don't know why I'm disappointed. This is exactly what I expected as soon as I heard that Will Farrell was involved.

John Carter movie update



/Film has some new details about Andrew Stanton's John Carter of Mars movie. The best bits are that Carter will still be a Civil War soldier (as opposed to a modern character, as you might expect) and that the look of the film will be far more inspired by Lord of the Rings than Star Wars. If I knew where to find Stanton, I'd hug him.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Which Alphan joins the X-Men?



Alpha Flight illustration by the awesome Ben Towle.

A quick Alpha Flight tease before bedtime. According to Matt Fraction, "There is a very very very very good chance of an Alpha Flight character joining the team. In, say, Uncanny X-Men #508."

That's in response to a question about whether any Alpha Flight characters "other than Madison" will be showing up in the series. I haven't been reading it, so Madison "Box" Jeffries' being in it is news to me. Guess I need to hunt down some X-Men back issues at the same time I'm digging through Superman comics for that Zatanna appearance I missed.

Fishnet Fridays: Smallville Zatanna and Black Canary's angry creator

Zatanna on Smallville



So the big news this week was that Zatanna's going to be on Smallville and she's going to be really, really hot. I almost care.

I'd care a lot more if Smallville hadn't already killed my interest in its version of a character I like even more than Zatanna. I'll be watching for stills of Serinda Swan in costume and that'll determine whether or not I watch this show again after a couple of blissful years of skipping it.

I got cranky thinking about Smallville, so...

Here's something to put me in a better mood.



By Cal Slayton.

More mood improvement

A couple of Black Canary sketches



By Rob Ullman.



By Victor Santos.


Carmine Infantino vs. DC Comics

Black Canary's co-creator (along with writer Bob Kanigher) Carmine Infantino wrote a letter to DC Comics complaining - amongst other things - about not getting paid for his creation.
Concerning the lack of payment for my creation “The Black Canary”: it may be your legal right but have you no concern for the moral issue?
I'm not informed enough about the details to comment on it (except in a very general way that writers and artists ought to be fairly compensated for their work, and that "fairly" isn't necessarily a synonym for "according to the contract"), so I'm just pointing out that the letter exists.

Writing is Hard: The Core of Advertising

Something else I need to get way more serious about learning is marketing. Our first try at Jesse James vs. Machine Gun Kelly was an example of that. Unless you read this blog or happen to love scouring the fine print in the back of the Previews catalog, you didn't know about it. No wonder it was under-ordered. I didn't even do everything that I know I'm supposed to do to promote a book.

I really should take some classes in marketing, but until then, I'll keep on trying to learn from the wisdom of others. Like this post by Erica Friedman about the difficulties of advertising and promoting manga. I don't write manga, obviously, but the concepts apply to anything you're trying to sell.
The core of advertising is saturation. One of the tenets of advertising is that repetition is the key. The ad for XYZ car may annoy the heck out of you, when you see it on TV, hear it on radio, see it in a magazine and on billboards, but chances are, you'd recognize the car if I showed you a picture. Buying one ad won't make a difference. A company has to buy many, many ads to establish in our thick brains that a series is out.
Saturation as the core of advertising isn't her point at all, by the way. Her point is that even after you spend a ton of money saturating websites and print publications with your ads, no one's actually going to pay attention to them. Depressing, but true.

The alternative, however, isn't to not try to saturate. You still have to get the word out. How to do that effectively (both in terms of cost and results) is the hard part.

Writing is Hard: Alternatives to Print

Building on Wednesday's post about the profitability of webcomics, I'm adding Fleen to my web-reading. I know absolutely nothing about webcomics, but I'm all kinds of intrigued now and Fleen seems to be a good place to learn more.

Take this recent post about knowing how to give your web audience what it wants:
To make a living from your website, you need a website that serves the needs of people who will give you money.

Web design, effective communication with audiences, community building … these are all skills that must be practiced and learned.
That's sort of terrifying, but it also sounds like a fun challenge.

Another option I'd previously dismissed and am now reconsidering is Print on Demand. I'm not quite as excited about it as webcomics, but I'm at least easing up on my resistance to it, especially as a potential way to publish collections of webcomics. I think I'll always rather have a publisher, but self-publishing is becoming more and more acceptable, even in the prose world.

I'm not completely sold on POD yet, but for my future reference, here's an overview of the most popular comics POD houses.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fan Film: The Origin of She-Hulk

I don't want to rag on the quality because this was obviously just some folks having fun while telling a very faithful-to-the-comics version of She-Hulk's origin story. Sure, there've been better fan films, but I'm glad these guys did this.

The Seven Silver Skulls of L'Gonda

Jungle Stories



Via Pulp of the Day.

Same girl, different tree



Another one by Craig Harris.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wonder Woman Wednesday

A sketch



By Clio Chiang.

A fan



I'm uncomfortable pointing to someone's family photo blog, so I'm cropping this one tight and not linking. I just think it's cool that there are still little girls who dig Wonder Woman.

Writing is Hard: Manuscript Formatting

If I can talk about not-comics writing for a second: this is mostly for me to be able to find it later, but other writers may find it useful too.

A literary agent's assistant talks about the best way (if there is such a creature) to format manuscripts for submission.

Atomic Robo vs. the Death of Indie Periodicals

Last week I commented on Diamond Distribution's deathblow to indie periodicals and said that it wasn't the end of the world. Atomic Robo's Brian Clevinger says the same thing, but has a lot more experience and insight than I do.

Which is also why I sit up take notice when he says that we should've all been heading to webcomics a long time ago anyway.
I’d been wondering when comics would go digital since around 2002 ... I started going to conventions and the difference between webcomic money and small press money was so obscene it made me feel bad. Seriously. I was making more money by giving away my comic online than everyone I ever saw who self-published their comics or who went through smaller independent publishers and Diamond

...Basically: there was no reason to go into print. The only difference is that it’s now official Diamond policy to laugh at you for trying.

Adventureblog Gallery: Athena

The original Action Girl.



By N. C. Wyeth.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Action Girl News: Tales of an Ancient Empire



Still going through some old links.

Earlier this month, Christopher Mills had some info on Tales of an Ancient Empire, the sequel to 1982's sword-and-sorcery flick, er... The Sword and the Sorceror. I have fond memories of those '80s Conan wannabes like Beastmaster, Krull, Deathstalker, and Barbarian Queen. And I agree with Chris that The Sword and the Sorceror was one of the most enjoyable. That doesn't make it good (none of 'em can claim that adjective), but it was fun. And it should be fun to see the genre updated for the new millenium.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Abarat



I wish I could remember how Clive Barker's Abarat, Book 2 ended up on my bookshelf, but I don’t. And it’s weird that I somehow had the second book in the series, but not the first. I’m glad I did though, because it made me go back and buy the first one and now that I’ve read it, I love it so, so much.

Entertainment Weekly called Abarat “a blend of Alice in Wonderland and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.” I see where they’re going with that – it’s about a young girl who gets transported from our world to another, fantastical one – but I think that does a disservice to Abarat. Alice in Wonderland is a (pardon the adjective) wonderful book about the playfulness and innocence of childhood. Wardrobe is a magical story with a theological message. Abarat is also wonderful and magical, but it’s so different in tone and purpose from those other two books that… well, I don’t know if you’d be disappointed to find that it’s not really like them at all, but you’d certainly be surprised.

It’s closer to Alice. In fact, other than the “real-world character transported to fantasy-world” angle, there’s not much that Abarat has in common with the Narnia books at all. The Narnia stories are traditional fantasy. Lewis inhabits his stories with dwarfs and unicorns and fauns and other well-known mythological creatures. Barker, like Lewis Carroll, chooses to go his own way, though Barker’s creations are infinitely stranger and more imaginative than Carroll’s talking animals and game paraphernalia.

Barker’s background, of course, is in horror. And though Abarat is in no way a horror book, it’s certainly peopled with creatures from the same imagination that spawned Hellraiser. The first person from the Abarat that our heroine meets is a man named Jack Mischief who has antlers on this head. And at the tip of every antler is another, tiny head; one of Jack’s “brothers,” all named Jack, but with different last names like Serpent and Moot. It gets weirder from there.

Candy Quackenbush is the main character. She’s a high school girl from the unbearably boring community of Chickentown, Minnesota. While doing a paper on her town for school, Candy decides to dig a little deeper than just copying down facts about the town’s all-important chicken industry, and she’s able to learn that there was in fact a tragedy in the town’s history. Her teacher doesn’t want to hear about that though and after an ugly confrontation about it in front of the entire class, Candy leaves school and just starts walking… all the way out of town and into the surrounding prairie.

That’s where she finds an old lighthouse-type structure and meets Jack Mischief. Jack has come to our world from the Abarat, a magical land that he says used to have commerce with our world. The lighthouse, he claims, was built to guide travelers between the two worlds. Unfortunately, Jack’s not the only one who’s come over. He’s stolen some kind of key and has been pursued to our world by a spindly creature called Mendelson Shape.

Jack gives the key to Candy and tries to escape back to the Abarat, but Candy doesn’t let him abandon her. Monumentally frustrated with her life in Chickentown, Candy makes Jack take her with him. Shape follows, determined to get the key back for his master, a horrifying man named Christopher Carrion.

The Abarat is an archipelago of twenty-five islands: one for every hour of the day, plus a mysterious, twenty-fifth island inhabited by unknown beings and surrounded by an impenetrable fog. Christopher Carrion lives at the island of Midnight with his ancient grandmother, an unpleasant, but powerful woman who spends her nights stitching together an army of makeshift bag-men filled with mud. Carrion himself is a tall, dark creature with a high, transparent, liquid-filled collar into which he releases his own nightmares to swim around and caress the lower half of his face. There are no elves and dwarfs in the Abarat.

Candy and Jack are soon separated after arriving in the Abarat. The story follows them both as they have unrelated (for now) adventures. Jack is hired by a crew of people looking for a missing friend who was intimately connected to an important event in Abaratian history and will likely prove vital to the islands’ future. Candy has to fend for herself as best she can in this strange, but wonderful new world that begins to feel more like home for her than Chickentown ever did.

She’s relentlessly pursued by Carrion’s minions (even before he learns that she likely has the key) making friends and enemies along the way. And though she hops from island to island, the book never feels episodic. It’s just the scenery that changes; the story stays consistent, always noticeably moving forward towards something, even when we can’t tell for sure what it’s heading to.

It’s been a long, long time since I’ve been this entranced by a novel. Especially one over 400 pages long. Seriously, I’ve been reading the wrong books while this one has been sitting out there waiting for me to discover it. Barker’s weird, wonderful Abarat and the creatures that inhabit it are unlike any fantasy setting I’ve ever visited. And as strange a place as it is, he describes all of it without pretension or conscientiously flowery language. It’s an easy, fast-moving read, made even easier by Candy.

She’s delightful company. Partly because of her adventuresome spirit, partly because she seems to have some mysterious history with the place, but mostly because she so hates the world she left behind, Candy quickly embraces the Abarat and spares us the disbelief and longing for home that often accompanies these kinds of stories. She charges joyfully into the adventure (not that she’s never scared for her life, because she is) and takes you with her.

Five out of five stitched-together mud-men.

The Return of Monster Game Night

We're done with Hungry Hungry Hippos and Uno. Now we've moved on to poker.



Thanks to Frankensteinia for capturing the moment.

Otis Frampton was there and got a picture of Frank on his iPhone.

Jesse James vs Machine Gun Kelly update

For those of you interested in the Jesse James vs. Machine Gun Kelly one-shot, here's a little more information. We have a new artist for the book. His name is Greg Jolly and he's really frickin good. He and Alex have worked together before and I'm excited that I get to work with him now too.

As with most independently produced comics, Greg's going to have to work Jesse vs. Machine Gun in around his paying stuff, so we're not expecting his part of the book to be completed until early summer at the soonest, but I know some of you are curious about the future of the book, so I wanted to let you know that it's still moving.

Writing is Hard: Ebert's Rules for Reviewing

Since I do a lot of reviewing, I found Roger Ebert's thoughts on Review Ethics fascinating. They're all about movies of course, but just about every one of them applies to books and comics with a tiny bit of adaptation.

I especially like this one about whether or not it's okay to receive free product to review. I keep seeing this discussion over and over again about whether or not it's ethical for a reviewer to critique books he or she got for free. Some critics have even gone to the extent of disclosing in their reviews whether or not they paid for the book. I think that's unnecessary.

Ebert says:
Of course movie critics get tons of free DVDs, just as book critics get books, etc. You may review those you want, even going so far as to pay for those you don't get for free. Recently I ordered the complete Werner Herzog documentaries from Germany, for example. Herzog would no doubt have been happy to supply them, but I would have felt like a creep for asking. If I admire him so much, I should be willing to buy them. Your unwanted DVDs must never be sold, unless you are a starving critic, in which case you are exempted under the La Boheme amendment. Technically, you should put a scissors to them before discarding, but I don't think the FBI will come after me if I give some to our grandchildren, or donate them to a veteran's hospital.
Amen to that "don't sell your unwanted comp copies" bit. I know some critics see it as deserved payment and I'm not going to argue with them, but a) I'd feel icky doing it and b) Ebert backs me up, so that's where I stand personally.

I also love Ebert's thoughts on being prepared to give negative reviews even to friends. Man, that's hard to do. The best I can usually do is just not review something if a friend wrote it and I didn't like it. Ebert's bravery is inspirational.

Action Girl News: Dragons and Nazis

City of Fire



Joshua Middleton shares artwork from the cover of City of Fire, an upcoming Young Adult novel by Laurence Yep. I couldn't find much about it, but it apparently features a young girl as a heroic character. Mostly I just wanted to point out how fantastic that painting is.

Blessed is the Match

I'm not a big fan of documentaries as a rule, but this one about a woman paratrooper who became a WWII resistance fighter sounds like an amazing story that I want to hear. Hannah Senesh left the safety of Palestine in 1944 and parachuted behind enemy lines to rescue Jews in her native Hungary. The description in the link spoils the end of the story, but I'd like to see the movie anyway and learn more about this woman's bravery.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Music Meme: 1977

Continuing my list of favorite albums from every year I've been alive.

1977

Meco: Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk



There was only one thing I was truly concerned about as a ten-year-old in 1977. I think we had the Star Wars soundtrack too, but the disco versions of the Star Wars theme, the cantina song, and the Close Encounters of the Third Kind theme got way more play at our house than the John Williams versions.

Star Wars (doesn't really get going until around 1:25)



Close Encounters

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Quotes of the Week: No Frakkin' Clue Edition

I can't believe I didn't find anything worth quoting last week, but people sure made up for it this time. (Or maybe I was just paying better attention.)

It wouldn't be Quote of the Week without something from Neil Gaiman, so let's start off with that.
Only rarely does Tatar note the blindingly obvious. When the heroine of ''The Singing Soaring Lark'' (the Grimms' ''Beauty and the Beast'') sits down and cries, we're told that characters often cry when things are going badly: ''The weeping is emblematic of the grief and sadness they feel, and it gives the character an opportunity to pause before moving on to a new phase of action.'' Well, quite.
--Neil Gaiman, citing one negative thing in an otherwise glowing review of The Annotated Brothers Grimm.

Being at a convention trying to get people to buy your work is one of the most depressing experiences in the world. It combines the humiliation of working at a shitty retail job with the added bonus of personal rejection and without even the minimum wage pay.
--Alex Robinson, describing the joys of attending a convention as a creator. (I should note that while I think that Robinson is hilarious and has an excellent point, I still have a blast at every convention I attend as a creator. Then again, you also have to factor in that I'm not trying to make a living off this stuff.)

Is the robot Tyrannosaurus Rex in the Batcave going to win the "Battle of the Cowl" and get to be the new Batman? Man, no one will ever see that twist coming!
--Caleb Mozzocco, describing the one scenario that would get me interested in DC's upcoming Batman event. (You should click through, by the way, and check out Caleb's vision of what Batosaurus Rex would look like in costume. Genius!)

Kevin James illustrates how lighting and camera angles can affect our perception of an actor. In the early scenes, he's a fat schlub, but after he goes into action, the camera lowers subtly, the lighting changes, and suddenly he's a good-looking action hero, ready for business. He demonstrates what fat men have been secretly believing for a long time.
--Roger Ebert, getting both Paul Blart: Mall Cop and fat guys right.

...Ms. Robot and I were filled with delight during last Friday's Battlestar Galactica ... when Kentucky Fried Chicken appeared to announce its new "Frak Pak." I'm assuming even you non-BSG watchers know the joke, but for the few of you who don't, it's that "frak" just means "fuck," allowing the BSG cast to curse on air. And thus, KFC is offering a "Fuck Pak." This is awesome beyond words.
--Topless Robot, being Topless Robot.

Alpha Flight on Free Comic Book Day?



I missed this before, but speaking of Fred Van Lente, he teases in this chat that we'll get to see at least one member of Alpha Flight in the Free Comic Book Day origin issue of Wolverine.
taimur: So, with the FCBD Wolverine title officially released, safe to assume Alpha Flight will be in it.
Fred Van Lente: You KNOW there will be Alpha Flight on FCBD.
Fred Van Lente: The story takes place before Incredible Hulk #181.
Fred Van Lente: In fact, it’s about how James MacDonald Hudson arranges for Wolvie to get the anti-Wendigo mission in the first place.
Fred Van Lente: But is that the only Flight reference?
Fred Van Lente: Canucks and fellow travelers will have to wait ’til May to find out…

It Meant Something



I'm torn. I'm not all that interested in an all-new She-Hulk, but I am quite interested in reading comics by Fred Van Lente. The solicitation copy doesn't reveal much about the story, so I'm going to have to give this one a flip-through at the store to see if I want it. (I tell ya though, the $4 price tag means it's going to have to look AMAZING to get me to take it to the register. And its not having an artist yet? Not a good sign I'm thinking.)

ALL-NEW SAVAGE SHE-HULK #1 (of 4)
Written by FRED VAN LENTE
Pencils by TBA
Cover by ALEX GARNER
From a world where society as we know it has crumbled and humanity has been irrevocably changed, she comes-the all-new, all-different SAVAGE SHE-HULK! But now, a deadly mission has brought her to current Marvel continuity. What terrible secret does this gamma-irradiated beauty bare? And is she friend or foe, Inhuman or mutant, Avenger, Defender...or Invader? Discover the mysteries surrounding this all-new superstar in the Marvel Universe as we proudly presents the all new SAVAGE SHE-HULK! Plus 8 pages of Director's Cut Extras!

40 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$3.99


Updated: Found this alternate version of the cover.

Run, You Stupid Fools! Run!

Chillin



By Craig Harris, who's just gone onto the blog roll. Wow! He's got some Black Canary and undersea stuff there too, so he's instantly awesome.

"The Lost Kingdom of Athala"



By Wally Wood. Golden Age Comic Book Stories has the whole tale (it's the second of three in the link).

"The Terrible Treasure"



Rulah was even more cheesecakey than the usual jungle girl (not that there's anything wrong with that), but in this story she fights pirates and beats up a pack of wolves with another wolf! The Comic Book Catacombs has the full story in two parts.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Rogue's Gallery

Wolverine and the X-Men



I totally missed Wolverine and the X-Men when it started in the fall, but it's back on now and TiVo's going to help me catch up. (Click Rogue above to see her file from the show.)

Rogue Gallery



By Katie Cook.



By Ty Romsa. (Found via Fandomania, which has found a ton of other gorgeous Rogue art too.)



By Adam Hughes and Sideshow Collectibles.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Master of the Seven Seas

Fresh Prince of Ocean Air



So, did you hear who McG wants to play Captain Nemo in his 20,000 Leagues prequel? I'm more skeptical and less open-minded than before.

I like Will Smith. He's got a lot of charisma and he's very entertaining to watch. But I have yet to see a single one of his movies that stuck with me past my walking out of the theater. I don't have a problem with fluff, but I would love for a 20,000 Leagues movie to be more than that. The original was fun too, but it was also a lot more than just a popcorn movie.

Dawn Treader still sailing

The LA Times reports that disappointing financial performance of the first two Narnia films isn't what made Disney drop out of the next installment, the sea adventure Voyage of the Dawn Treader. It was an already bitter relationship between Disney and Walden based on disagreements over how to split the substantial Lion, Witch, and Wardrobe profits and how to market Prince Caspian.

In another LA Times article, TV critic Mary McNamara scolds Disney for being short-sighted about the potential for future Narnia installments, particulary Dawn Treader.
So, part two, Prince Caspian, didn't make a gazillion dollars. What a surprise. Prince Caspian was always the dud, relatively speaking, of the series. For fans who read and reread The Chronicles of Narnia, it was the one you could skip. The fact that Prince Caspian the movie did as well as it did was a miracle, and a testament to the filmmakers.

...Cinematically, Dawn Treader is a no-brainer. It's a sea voyage, for Pete's sake. There's a dragon and missing knights and a wizard and all manner of magic involved. The moral ambiguity of slavery, the deleterious effect of great wealth, the meaning of the afterlife are all dealt with in entertaining and thrilling ways.
Apparently, other studios are already interested in the movie with Fox being the front-runner and Sony and Warner Bros. close behind. This is good news because I totally agree with McNamara. Dawn Treader should be awesome whether or not Disney can see it.

Trilobis 65 Floating Home

Dave Campbell has exactly the right attititude about the Trilobis 65 Floating Home: "Give to me!"

I'm selling everything I have to buy this thing. If only I'd bought that copy of the Spider-Man/Obama comic so that I could now reap the sweet, sweet financial rewards of that investment.
Trilobis 65 has been designed on four separate levels connected by a spiraling staircase.

The top level is 3.5 metres above sea level. The next level is at 1.4 metres above sea level and hosts the daylight zone with all services and allowing outdoor access. The third level is situated at 0.8 metre below sea level, semi-submerged, and is devoted to the night-time zone. At 3.0 metres below sea level, totally submerged, there is the underwater observation bulb, an intimate and mediative place.

The shape of Trilobis 65 allows the annular aggregation of more modular units, creating island colonies.
Just in case you skimmed through the quote and missed that last part, you can use your awesome futuristic sea-home not only to rule the seven seas, but also to "create island colonies."

Watch out Aquaman. There's a new Ocean Master coming.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Writing is Hard: The Death of Indie Single-Issue Comics

Jason and I had already decided to pitch Kill All Monsters as a graphic novel, but this news certainly reinforces that we made the right decision there.

For those of you who don't follow comics news and don't feel like clicking through, here's a summary of what's going on. If you do follow comics news, you can skip this post because it's old news to you.

The one-and-only distributor to comic book shops has decided to increase the minimum amount of money a comic can make and still be carried by them. Which means that books not meeting that threshold can't be sold in comics stores (unless the store is willing to go through the inconvenience of buying through another means like directly from the publisher). This isn't the first time Diamond Distribution has put limits on minimum orders, but the threshold is now high enough that most independent comics won't be able to meet it. Indie comics just don't sell well enough.

That doesn't mean that indie comics are dead, of course. It just means that indie creators and publishers will have to focus on selling their books through other means. Bookstores, for example, have other distribution choices than just Diamond. The distributors don't carry monthly, single issues of comics, but they do carry graphic novels and collected editions (basically, anything with an ISBN number). So if you're publishing in those formats, you'll likely be okay. If you're not, you probably will be soon. Either that or - as industry watchers are also predicting - via Print on Demand and the Internet.

Comics aren't dying, but they are changing.

New Action Girl Comic: Masquerade



I really can't wait for Phil Hester and Carlos Paul's Masquerade. If you're not familiar with the concept, it's part of Jim Kreuger and Alex Ross' Project Superpowers series that updates a bunch of public domain Golden Age superheroes. I don't know any of those characters and haven't been that interested in seeing them updated, but Miss Masque has a cool look and Hester's involvement makes me immediately interested.

While Hester acknowledges Miss Masque's origins as "cheesecake-with-a-gun," he's got some great ideas on how to make her cool.
Unlike all those big guns, she has no powers. Nothing. She must rely on her wits because even her pistols are pretty small potatoes when faced with something like The Claw. I tried to make her special by describing her intellect as almost super human in that she's able, due to a childhood trauma, to imagine herself outside her body. This perspective allows her to observe any dilemma dispassionately and solve problems that go beyond linear logic. She's the brains of the outfit!
It also doesn't hurt that the preview art (in the link above) has her fighting a giant Nazi robot.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Girl Power!

Wonder Woman and Feminism

Jacki Zehner is a Huffington Post contributor who frequently comments on women's leadership and success in the workplace. She's also a Wonder Woman fan.

In a recent post, Zehner talks about the relationship between Wonder Woman and the feminist movement:

...I gave a speech a few weeks ago to a group of 200 women with a WonderWoman T-shirt on calling for a revolution. Calling for women to reclaim the word Feminism! Calling for women and men to work together to create a more just and equitable world for everyone.

...I reached out to the editor of Ms. Magazine last week after meeting with Sara Gould of the Ms. Foundation to ask her to think about re-releasing [the magazine's first issue with a Wonder Woman cover] as a special edition in its original form because the stories read as true today. (scary...) You might also know that I am deeply, deeply, frustrated with the lack of progress we, as women, have made in this country.
She then links to this inspiring article by Daily Beast contributor Amy Siskind lamenting over the current state of feminism in this country and calling for a revival that includes more than just "liberal Democratic women who (are) pro-choice."

No all-ages Wonder Woman comic for you!

Darwyn Cooke says, "This year J. Bone and myself pitched an all-ages Wonder Woman book aimed at young female readers. In other words, I wanted to give [DC Comics] at least 12 issues of a Wonder Woman book that any parent could give their child. They couldn’t have been less interested."

C'mon, DC!

Wonder Woman Gallery



By Matthew Humphries.



By Beatriz Iglesias.



By Victoria Ying.

Adventureblog Gallery: Three heroines; three media

Black Canary (and our old buddy Aquaman)



By John Delaney (thanks to the Aquaman Shrine).

Zatanna



Via Geek Orthodox.

Black Widow



By Kotobukiya. I really like these bishoujo-style Marvel statues.

Action Girl News: Inside Wookiee

Yesterday Was a Lie



SCI FI Wire has the scoop on a noir mystery with a lady detective. Yesterday Was a Lie is still looking for a distribution deal and my interest in seeing a woman in the private eye role (as well as seeing Peter Mayhew act without his Chewbacca costume on) makes me hope it gets one soon.

Inside Man 2

It sounds like Jodie Foster's definitely back in for Inside Man 2. Here's hoping that she actually has something to do this time around. She has a fantastic character and I'd love to see her in action rather than making idle threats and being generally ineffective.

MicroCon and FallCon 2009 Dates



Mark your calendars! I'll be at both events; hopefully with something new to show.

MCBA MICROCON COMIC BOOK PARTY
Sunday April 26, 2009 - 10AM to 4PM
Minnesota State Fairgrounds
1265 Snelling Ave
Saint Paul, MN. 55108

MCBA FALLCON COMIC BOOK CELEBRATION
Saturday & Sunday, October 10 & 11, 2009 - 10AM to 5PM Both Days
Minnesota State Fairgrounds
1265 Snelling Ave
Saint Paul, MN. 55108

Monday, January 19, 2009

Monster Monday!

How Not to Promote Your Giant Monster vs. Vikings and Alien Movie



Don't let the poster give a single freaking hint about all the awesomeness you've packed into the film.

2008: The Year in Frankenstein



Frankensteinia conveniently wraps up every Frankenstein event from the past year.

Fishman



By Ben Simonsen.

Scarecrow



By Grant Gould. I know he's not technically a monster since he's part of a Wizard of Oz set, but I don't care. Scarecrows are awesome and this one is particularly groovy.

My 20 Most Anticipated Movies of 2020

It's fun to think about what's coming out and which movies I'm most interested in, then compare that at the end of the year to w...

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