Monday, February 26, 2007

Black History Month

Is all but over. And I just hope that NBC realizes that The Black Donnellys doesn't qualify as minority-oriented programming.

I'm just saying...

More NYCC Stuff

Here are a couple of links to Newsarama reports from the panels I was on, should you really and truly desire to sample my scintillating wit in a public forum.

Crossing Over: How the Comics Boom is Changing Entertainment.


My favorite quote, which didn't make it into either of these write-ups, came during the Wildstorm panel. A fan from the audience asked whether or not the Wildstorm Universe was turning into a PG-13/All-Ages affair. The answer was (and I'm paraphrasing) "Yes, it is, for the books that take place within that Universe. But some, like The Highwaymen, will exist outside of that Universe and won't be under the same restrictions."

And then I chimed in with: "Our book is totally, unapologetically profane. Like if Billy Connelly and Redd Foxx went on a Tourette's road trip, with guns."

I think I heard 100 Bullets' Brian Azzarello, who was sitting next to me, snort.

The Highwaymen

Now that our five-issue Wildstorm miniseries has, offically, been announced at the New York Comic Con, the very least I can do (or, maybe it's the most I can do) is show off the awesomeness of the cover. Even though the interior artist, Lee Garbett, is doing fantastic work, there's just something about a Brian Stelfreeze cover.

It'll be on sale June 20th. I'll give a little more info about the book in the weeks to come...but for now, it's about kick-ass old dudes called back to do One Last Job.

The Hands-Down Best Part of NYCC

The New York Comic Con that is. I'll let the pictures do the talking.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

New York Comic Convention

I'm girding my loins for this 2nd annual whorefest. (I call it that because that's pretty much all I'll be doing, selling myself to whoever's willing to bid.)

If'n you're desperately looking for me, here's where you can definitely find me:

Saturday, 5-6pm
DC Presents Crossing Over: How the Comics Boom is Changing Entertainment. (Come and thrill at me sitting next to Paul Dini, Brian K. Vaughan, and Greg Rucka as they offer cogent thoughts on the subject while I shout random obscenities!)

Sunday, 12-1pm
Wildstorm/CMX: 'Gon' Wild (Where BKV has to tolerate me once again, while Gail Simone continues to pretend not to know me.)

I'll be the devastingly normal-looking black guy.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

One of the Craziest Things I've Seen All Year


Now, I know that these scenes from Neil LaBute's The Wicker Man remake are taken wildly out of context and butted together in such a way that renders them ridiculous. But firstly, let's remember that this is a Neil LaBute movie, starring Oscar-winner Nicolas Cage. And then let's recall the shot of Cage, dressed like a bear, punching out a woman.

After this, I totally can't wait to see Ghost Rider.

A Choice for Our Times

Penelope Cruz or Salma Hayek?

(And no, both is not an option.)

Friday, February 16, 2007

Finally...More 'Aliens'


A company called Bluefields Creative (looks like a VFX firm) is developing a quick-hit animated series, much like Cartoon Network's Clone Wars, based on James Cameron's Aliens—which is, for my money, the greatest action film ever made.

According to Ain't It Cool News, always a bastion of reliability, there's some interest in Aliens: War Games, but it hasn't made it to Fox proper yet. But judging by the presentation footage (click on "Animated Boards" to see it), they've got a pretty good handle on the world.

Will it fly? Who knows? But I've got my fingers crossed. I've always wondered why Fox didn't milk this franchise and do a Colonial Marines vs. aliens TV series. Seemed like a no-brainer to me. (I'd have much rather watched that than Space: Above and Beyond.)

Maybe this is the cure for what ails...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Dumb-Ass Press Release of the Week

Working, as I do, for Entertainment Weekly, I get hundreds of emails a day. Some of them are important, some of them are interesting, and others are just plain stupid. And the stupid ones invariably fall into two categories: 1) The ones that are promoting the most laughable products you've ever seen and 2) the ones that approach an entertainment publication with story ideas that would never fly in an entertainment publication.

So, here's the Dumbest one of the Week (thus far).
Dear Marc,

This year National Arbor Day - which celebrates the importance of planting and caring for trees - will fall on April 27th. Have you started thinking about what your Arbor Day story will be?
Following please find examples of story ideas that I think will interest you in particular:
  • Just three trees strategically placed around a home can decrease utility bills by 50%
  • Residential property values can increase 5 - 20% if trees are in the landscape
  • Sales at businesses on tree-lined streets are up to 12% higher
  • Crime rates decrease in areas with more greenery
  • Children who have a view of greenery perform better in school
  • Access to green spaces relieves the symptoms of ADD, resulting in better concentration
  • Access to green areas helps reduce stress and aggression in urban environments
  • Each year, an acre of trees absorbs the amount of carbon produced by driving a car 26,000 miles
Would you like to receive a press kit about the tree planting celebrations and other National Arbor Day Foundation programs?

We are excited about the 2007 tree planting efforts and hope you will be able to support the extreme importance of trees to future generations through your coverage of Arbor Day. I am ready to help with photos or additional information and can quickly put you in contact with a representative from The National Arbor Day Foundation or The Home Depot Foundation.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
So long as we can drape Hayden Panetierre from the branches of a mighty oak, you got yourself a deal!


Monday, February 12, 2007

I Am Not a Pyromaniac

Nor do I smoke, but I love me a Zippo lighter. I've got two on my desk right now. There's just something perfectly elemental about that hunk of metal. You can hear the simplicity when you flick it open. That sound is rewarding, in a strange way. It's like an E chord on an electric guitar: it's not complicated, but it's satisfying.

I'd been thinking about writing, recently. That I want to do more of it. That I want to get better at it. We're coming to the end of the line on the Wildstorm book, the writing of it, anyway, and doing this miniseries has reinforced something that I think I knew about myself, but hadn't really...faced is the wrong word. Codified is better.

I'm a power-chord of a writer. The stories that float in my head are not the kinds that lend themselves to multi-level narratives, they're not dense puzzle-box mysteries or deep character studies. They are about mashing the pedal to the floor, pulling the trigger, or getting the girl. Scotch, not martinis. I deal in base pleasures.

You turn to the first page of a comic I had something to do with the writing of, and my goal is to make you hear that click of machined simplicity. That Zippo magic.

If you do, then I am a happy man.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Too Revealing...

I know, but I'm just gonna put it out there.

Whenever possible, I use the handicapped stall. (And, for the record, I'm not handicapped.)

I do so for three reasons.

1) It's usually the deepest into the men's room, and the stall furthest from the door affords the most privacy, no one walking past trying to get a read of your identity by your shoes.

2) It's got the most room. Yeah, I know, usually it's for a wheelchair. But sometimes, if you've got a coat and a bag, every little square inch counts.

3) Those metal bars on the walls offer leverage. For when you need leverage. You know what I mean, damnit.

It probably makes me a marginally horrible person, but there it is.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Pimp My Enterprise

Whitney Matheson over at USA Today's Pop Candy pointed this out, and it's too cool not to share. Remember in the last episode of Heroes, when George Takei—playing Hiro's stern Japanese dad—pulls up in his sleek Mercedes? Here's the license plate:

Because that's just how Sulu rolls, bitches.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Are YOU Man Enough?

When I was a kid reading what I thought were the best comics ever printed (and which, looking back today, we actually not all that great), they all had the shittiest advertising. We all remember the Insult that Made a Man out of Mac (and how he sent away for a crappy book which probably came with the most basic of workout instructions and directions to a small shop in Tijuana that sold horse steroids), and the Sea Monkeys, and the 500-piece plastic army dude set.

I spent a whole summer trying to convince my mother that I'd be the best Grit salesman in the state, because I just had to have that Apollo 3-speed bike. In her wisdom, she explained to me that no one knew what, exactly, Grit was and as such, no one would buy it just so I could have a bike. (And it does sound like the worst name ever for anything that's not a really hardcore gay porn mag.)

But my favorite comic-book ad was for Megaforce. It was on the back cover of what seemed like every comic I bought for three straight years. And it was the perfect clarion call for a 12-year-old: Come see our movie featuring guys in slick jumpsuits with great Bee Gees hair as they ride their pimped-out, armed-to-the-teeth dirt bikes and dune buggies into battle against mysterious Arab bad guys! Are you, boy with nary a pube, man enough for this breed of adventure?

Bet your ass I was. I, too, wanted to be able to pop wheelies on my Schwinn and fire rockets from my handlebars, just like Barry Bostwick. (Naturally, me scotch-taping bottle rockets to my bike and lighting them ended badly.) I wanted to be able to lure Persis Khambatta, with her fresh new hair, into my Aqua-netted lair and make sweet pre-pubescent love to her.

I bought the comics, saw the movie, and lived the dream.

Now that I've got a comic on the way from the very same company that plastered those ads everywhere, I asked my editor if he could do me a solid and print the Megaforce ad on the back of our book. He barely laughed as he crushed my spirit.

Little does he know that I'm gonna find the best color printer than someone else's money can buy and mock up my own back cover. And then I'll be rolling like it's 1983, reading my own comic with the best ad ever on the back.

Because I am man enough.

You'd Buy it For Me If You Loved Me

With Valentine's Day an even week away, I figured I'd let you all know what you can get me to show your undying love and affection. Now, it might be a little pricey, so you may want to pool your resources.

Yes, you can buy me Ecto 1.

It's only going for $149,998. Hurry up.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Latest Thing I'm Pissed Off About

Joel Schumacher and The Sandman. Together again.

Ye gods, I hope this doesn't happen. But, you know, it probably will. With Joss Whedon off of Wonder Woman, and all the injustice that entails, this would probably balance the scales. After all, the forces of good can't win every time.

(And, if anyone out there has access, I would LOVE to read Whedon's script, or whatever there was of it. That goes in the "Pop Culture Buried Treasures" bin, along with Kubrick's first movie, Fear and Desire, and D.A. Pennebaker's lost Dylan doc, Eat the Document, likely never to be seen again.)

Please, let the powers that be do two things: 1) Watch Schumacher's Batman & Robin, the whole damned thing. 2) Read The Sandman, the whole damned thing. And then try to synthesize a world where those two aesthetics should be in the same fucking zip code.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

I'm Itchin...

To talk about the comic-booky stuff that's afoot. Covers are coming in, the art is just about done (for the first issue of the Wildstorm book, for the entire OGN from AiT/Planetlar)...

I'm usually good with secrets, but I want to talk so bad it hurts. Maybe come the New York Comic Con the muzzle will be off, since I'm scheduled to be on a couple of DC-organized panels...and I have to assume they'll be wanting me to talk about something besides my extraordinary awesomeness.

How Much For These Two?

Apparently, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs wanted $2 million for the rights to the first pictures of his kids. He settled for high six figures, from People magazine, I believe. Good for him. It's ridiculous, the idea that someone would pay that much for pictures of people who aren't even dry yet, let alone accomplished anything. And it's not like Diddy needs the money. It's just some perverse set of bragging rights. I'm sure there's some secret celebrity Babies R Us location where famous parents gossip about how much they sold the first pictures for, rather than the nightmare experience had at the Sears Photo Studio.

Anyway, how much are y'all willing to spend for pictures of my knuckleheads? I got bills to pay and, I promise, they haven't appeared in any other publications. You'd have an exclusive.