Thursday, September 27, 2007

Top 10 Heroes in Hats - #8 - The Question!

Oh like you thought it'd be anyone different. It had to be the Question.
Just look at the guy, he has a faceless mask, rumpled coat gloves and a suit you could be buried in.
You have to repect him. He doesn't really have powers but the version of him that appeared in Justice League Unlimited was priceless for it's conspiracy theory nut job personality.
In DC continuity, this version of the questions is no longer with us but it's comics so he'll be back soon enough.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Ok, we can jump for joy at this next bit of news. I know I'm excited and this guy isn't even listed in my Top 10 heroes who wear hats either.

Here's the story from Newsarama...

The graphic novel collection of author Frank Beddor’s Hatter M (with art by Ben Templesmith) goes on sale in just a few days (9/26), and Newsarama has a first look at the trailer. Click on this link or on the cover image to open (or right-click either to download) the Quicktime clip. And if you’re not yet familiar with the world of Beddor’s The Looking Glass Wars, following is some information provided by the publisher…

”In geo-graphic novel #1 Royal Bodyguard Hatter Madigan searches our world in a mad quest to find the lost Princess Alyss of Wonderland. Meticulously assembled by the true believers of the Hatter M Institute for Paranormal Travel this collector’s edition hardback illustrated with the realm jumping art of Ben Templesmith will contain a multitude of mind boggling ephemera and extras including concept art illustrating Templesmith’s creative process. As you turn the pages of Hatter’s first adventure take heart in the knowledge that the world is much stranger than fiction.”The publisher also provided this more detailed synopsis…

”Put to rest any delusions or disinformation you may have of the tea guzzling madman of faux literary history and prepare to expand your consciousness as the saga of Hatter Madigan and his relentless search for the lost Princess of Wonderland unfolds on these pages.“In Frank Beddor’s The Looking Glass Wars, Royal Bodyguard Hatter Madigan was ordered by Queen Genevieve to take Princess Alyss and leave Wonderland after a bloody palace coup staged by the murderous Redd. But while escaping through the Pool of Tears (the portal connecting Wonderland to our world), crushing centrifugal force pulled them apart and Alyss was lost. In this geographic parallel adventure, Hatter finds himself in Paris, France in the year 1859 shockingly separated from the child he had been sworn to protect.

“Unbeknownst to Hatter, Alyss had exited a puddle in London, England. Lost and alone, she was befriended by an aspiring author to whom she told the surreal, violent, heartbreaking story of her young life only to see it published as the nonsensical children’s fairytale Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. But Carroll had got it all wrong. He even misspelled her name! Alyss had trusted Lewis Carroll to tell the truth so that Hatter would find her and bring her home. Instead, Hatter must endure a non-stop quest, crisscrossing the globe for 13 years in search of the lost Princess.

While formidable with blades, a moment must be taken to introduce his signature weapon, the Hat. Woven and blocked from a material not available in any realm except the origins of wonder, the Hat, when hurled by his expert hand, instantly unfolds into a circle of blades to attack or defend. “The mad odyssey begins here…”

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Top 10 Heroes in Hats - #9 - Zatanna

OK, I'm not sure I buy Zatanna as a hat wearing super chick mostly because of all the years I read her adventures with the JLA where she had that strange lobster hair clip.
Essentially she's hear now because of her huge resurrgence as the hard luck sorceress of late from DC's Indentity Crisis and Seven Soldiers series.
She also has the benefit of having a power that is both visually interesting and annoying as hell at the same time. She speaks her spells backwards. I'm also willing to say that she's generally sort of distracting in a...Power Girl sort of way. Between her and Black Canary, there wasn't a pair of fishnets in the DCU that wasn't already accounted for. They must have cost $40 a pair.
She comes from a magical family as well. Zatara, her father taught her the whole backwards speak schtick and she has a cousin, Zachary Zatara who is a snot nosed punk who once joined the Titans off screen and then annoyed the piss out of them.

JLA MOVIE: News we can use!!!

September 20, 2007
Variety is reporting that director George Miller (Mad Max) will helm a big screen live action Justice League of America film, which Warner Bros. is projecting as the studio's 'tentpole' offering for 2009. Casting has already begun for the film, which will likely be shot in Australia, and which Warners is anxious to get in the can before potential strikes that could cripple production next summer. The production of a JLA movie means that Bryan Singer's Superman sequel will be pushed back (Singer is currently busy filming Valkyrie with Tom Cruise in Germany).

According to Variety the JLA movie "will likely feature Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash and Aquaman," but it is unlikely that Christian Bale and Brandon Routh will appear as Batman and Superman in the new JLA movie. The live action, special effects-laden JLA project is still not a sure thing since according to Variety Batman helmer Christopher Nolan wants it delayed, and with so many superhero roles to fill the project, which is based on script by Kieran and Michael Mulroney, is so very complicated and casting-dependent that, according to Variety, "even those deeply involved in the project are holding their breath until production begins."

However Warner Bros. badly needs a major production to beef up its summer 2009 schedule and is excited about the screenplay, while Miller, who recently directed the $375 million hit Happy Feet, currently has plenty of mojo with the studio.
To all of this I will say good luck getting it off the ground, not because the cast is too big and cumbersome but rather because Christopher Nolan thinks it's too complicated. Someone should tell Nolan that Marvel just crapped out 3 X-Men films and 2 Fantastic Four films. Lets not think big or anything...

Manga hit Death Note to Adult Swim!

September 21, 2007
The Cartoon Network's late night Adult Swim block has confirmed via a message on its discussion boards that Viz Media's Death Note anime series will debut on Adult Swim on Saturday night, October 20th at midnight (ET, PT).

Adult Swim's Saturday night lineup, which follows the Cartoon Network's Toonami block, is the prime venue for anime on American TV. Typically a series like Death Note will appear on the once-a-week Saturday slot before (potentially) moving to a nightly rotation on Adult Swim.

Viz Media is planning on releasing the first Death Note DVD a month later on November 20th, in both a standard edition ($24.98) and an edition that comes with a limited edition figurine ($39.98), and the appearance of Death Note on Adult Swim should boost sales of the Death Note DVDs. The second volume of the Death Note anime series is due out on December 18th and subsequent volumes will be released on a monthly basis.

The Death Note manga, which finished its run with the publication of Volume 12 in July, remains extremely popular. The first volume in the series has sold over 35,000 copies in the bookstores so far in 2007, more than the initial volumes in any other manga series except Naruto and Bleach, an indication that the series is gaining new readers. The airing of the Death Note anime on Adult Swim (and Viz Pictures acquisition of the two live action Death Note movies, which will be released next summer, see "Viz Gets Death Note Live Action Features") should keep the Death Note manga in the top ten in sales through 2008

Monday, September 24, 2007

Top 10 Superheroes who wear hats - #10 - Texas Twister

Oh like you never wondered....

Coming in as strong as possible for the 10th best hero in a hat is...


Drew Daniels was rounding up stray cattle near the Reynolds Power Plant when a tornado touched down near the site's waste storage area. Daniels found himself in the path of the raging tornado and was soon swept up into it as it hit the power plant. Daniels was overcome by the nuclear winds and instinctively tried to escape and found that he was able to generate a tornado around himself and fly out of the nuclear tornado. Daniels decided to test his new found powers out by halting the nuclear tornado from doing any further damage and easily dissipated the storm. Now that he had powers, Daniel decided he was going to make something of himself instead of being a cattle handler, headed East to New York City to make his mark on the world.

Yes...this does indeed mean that the guy was involved in an accident involving a radioactive tornado. I'm sorry but that is just BRILLIANT!!! Read on...

While performing at a local rodeo show, the Texas Twister was enveloped in a glowing red energy field and teleported to a vast arena along with all other super-powered hero from every nation on Earth. They would soon learn that the cosmic gamesman known as Gamesmaster and Death were playing a game of life and death, and the heroes where chosen to be the pawns in the game. The Texas Twister watched helplessly as each side chose twelve heroes to use as pawns. As one of the many not chosen to be used, Texas Twister and the others remain behind in the arena and only watch. After the game was over, all the heroes were placed back where they were teleported from, finding that only an hour had elapsed. \

Yes, this also means that Texas Twister was like the "first alternate" in a battle between the guy who embodies xgames of chance throught the universe and DEATH! That means he has to be important. At least he was picked. Not everyone can be Jordan because someone has to be Will Perdue. What?


The powerful winds mixed with the radioactive material from the waste site and radiation from the power plant, caused Daniels to be infused with radioactive air molecules, giving him the ability to generate tornadoes at will. He can use his powers to propel him into the air, giving him the ability to fly or hover. His skin is denser than normal and prevent unwanted heat loss from wind-chill factor. His skin is harder than human and resists friction and airborne particle abrasion.


The Texas Twister is an expert horse rider, lasso thrower, and sharpshooter.

Say it with me...EXPERT - LASSO - THROWER

This guy is bad ass and I like him. In the movie about his life, the part of Texas Twister shall be played bt Sam Elliot

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Simpsons to get Clowes, Spiegelman and Moore

This may be the episode that makes be smash my TV...

First allow me to say that it is possible that I should be discussing Dan Clowes being published in the NYT. I am not going to discuss it because I really don't care.

Dan Clowes Comic in 'N.Y. Times'Appearing on 'The Simpsons' in October
September 12, 2007
Starting this coming Sunday (September 16th), Daniel Clowes' new comic strip,
Mr. Wonderful, debuts in the "Funny Pages" section of The New York Times
Magazine replacing Megan Kelso's Watergate Sue, which has finished its run. Mr.
Wonderful, which Clowes loosely characterizes as a "romance," is his first major
comic work since his stunningly brilliant The Death Ray, which appeared in 2004
in issue #23 of Eightball.
Now you can forward it to your hipster friends and discuss it. I'm like that old NFL ex D-Lineman...ok...maybe ex DB, who doesn't want to read about...Young girls finding their way in a balnd suburbia and making sad but true statements about life until Steve Buscemi comes along and tries to seduce one of them.
No. I want to read about the cool investigator chick who gets assigned to solve a murder in a polar ice research facility in Antarctica. She has guns and hates her job and has guns.
Oh and I'll read Captain America. I'm not reading Dan Clowes. I don't care if he wrote the menu at the IHOP at Western and Howard. It's not for me. I tried.

Now then, the part I do care about:
Also, on Sunday, October 7th, Clowes, Art Spiegelman and Alan Moore will all
"appear" in an episode of The Simpsons in which Comic Book Guy's old school
comic store, The Android's Dungeon and Baseball Card Shop, is facing stiff
competition from a new pop culture emporium, Coolsville Comics & Toys, run
by a hipster character named Milo (voiced by Jack Black).
Here's the deal. We all know how this goes. For years, Comic Book Guy has been taking it on the chin for every comic boook geek stereotype in the damn book. Most of them are actually deserved because if I walk into 5 comic shops in this town, 4 of them have guys who rule their little imaginay kingdoms and walk around with a plastic hammer of Thor, looking authoritataive.

The part I'm interested in is the Coolsville shop opening up and the hipster lovefest that must ensue if it involves Alan Moore, Dan Clowes and Jack Black.

I hate the Comic Book Guy and I hate the Hipster (Milo). There is no middle ground here. I'm hoping Spiegelman is there to cause physical damage to Alan Moore. My real problem is that I'm
not sure the Simpsons is really trying hard enough to make fun of everyone. I don't know if the Hipsters will get that they are being made fun of because, for many of them, life began with the Watchmen or at the very least, with Miracleman.

And of course Jack Black is Milo. Jeremy Piven is a tool from what I hear so why would they use him? Actually I thought the episode where Homer went gay was the hipster comics episode too. "Bzzzzzap!"
The only way the point could br driven home further is if Milo wears a different bowling shirt in every frame, only drinks PBR and they play Sparta in the background, the whole episode.
I think it could use a derelict Jack Kirby and set design by Chris Ware too. I need a drink...
Oh yeah, the article also said this stuff and I would read Frankenstein!
In addition to his comic strip in The New York Times and his appearance on The
Simpsons, Clowes fans can look forward to his cover for the new Penguin Classics
edition of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, which is due out on September 25th.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Top 5 Dead Heroes (Marvel)

Ok, I'm bored so here are my Top 5 dead superheroes, starting over at Marvel Comics.
I'm listing guys who I see as probably remaining dead so Captain America will nto be appearing on this list. I was gonna do 10 but I got tired....Ready?

5. Icarus -The other guy with the wings in the X-Men...

Sure he looks like Tommy Gnossis in this picture but basically eh was the 3rd member of the Guthrie family to learn that he was a mutant. I like that all the Guthrie kids were mutants. Cannonball, Husk and then Icarus.

Icarus could fly and apparently he had a healing factor too which kept him from actually dying when he would try and off himself. He was eventually shot and killed though but I don't think he's coming back.

4. The Anarchist

OK it's an odd pick but I love to talk about the failure of comics to give us characters of color who matter. Here's a guy who was essentially the "Tarzan" of American race relations. He was raised in Alaska by white folks and had an OCD hand washing thing because he secretly couldn't deal with being black.

Trust me folks, it's not as easy as it looks. Everytime Tiger Woods wins a trophy, Michael Vick shoots a dog. Every time James Earl Jones is spoken of with great respect, OJ goes and tries to pistol whip a guy in Vegas.

I'm sure the Anarchist was busting his ass.

3. Guardian (James Hudson)

Hey when Wolverine wasn't willing to be Canada's version of Wolverine, Guardian was willing to step up and AT LEAST be Canada's version of Captain Canada.

You try leading a team composed of Tai Babalonia and Randy Gardner, Tonto, Bigfoot (not the truck because that shit would have been cool), and that chick from Space 1999 with the eyebrows. Yeah, you'd be dead by issue 12 too!

He had a power suit that I think gave him the powers of the Canadian Parliment when it was fully charged. They said he made it for oil exploration and I have to tell you that if he and Shaman wer both alive, Shaman would be calling him all sorts of cowboys.

2. Ant Man - Scott Lang

Who didn't like Scott Lang. He was like one of 2 single dad superheroes in comics. He would show up to the Avengers with the kid. He rocked. I don't think it bothered him that he had another guys costume and name either because as a single dad, he didn't have much time for creativity. He'd have become Captain America if it was oen weekend a month and 2 week in the summer like the reserves and if Cap EVER sat that damn shield down.

1. Banshee

OK, I suppose there are some folks out there who never liked Banshee. Screw you people. The man was from an era when you knew a mutants power by their NAME and COUNTRY OF ORIGIN. That's all ya needed back in the day baby!

The man was calleed Banshee and if you played dungeons and dragons even a little bit, you knew he screamed and flew. He also had a cool accent. He said "Boyo" more than any other Irishman I ever met. That costume is bad ass too. I always dug the wings. I want him back.

The list does look then, I agree but that's because the below listed folks aren't on it.

Cap will be back in a year or so. Thor is already back which means Loki is back too and you can't fucking kill a guy like Moses Magnum. Funk wil never die! Thanos is like a God or something too. He's like the Death God of Funk. How can he be dead? Makes zero sense. He will be back too.


Friday, September 14, 2007

Joe and Willie, Dogfaces

I think Bill Mauldin accurately conveys the humanity of soldiers, and this is one of the most difficult and important things to accomplish. Combat soldiers gain a different perspective on life than we civilians. Bill Mauldin reassures us Americans that we're human beings, wherever we go and whatever we do. Whether we're at home reading his comics in a quiet room or reading them on a dark night in Anzio hearing shells fly overhead, Bill Mauldin quietly reminds the American civilian at home and the American soldier in the field of the one trait they will always share.

Bill Mauldin died aged 81 in January 2003. He spent two years in Europe as a soldier and cartoonist for the Stars and Stripes newspaper. He drew single panel comics about two imaginary soldiers named Joe and Willie who stood for the trials and tribulations of just about every American infantryman fighting Hitler's Reich. His experiences were in the European theater, primarily, and the invasion of Italy specifically, but Willie and Joe walked through landscapes and battlefields all over.

My dad gave me a book of Bill Mauldin's cartoons called "Up Front", published 1944, and in it Bill Mauldin talked about why he was doing what he was doing.

All the old divisions are tired - the outfits which fought in Africa and Sicily and Italy and God knows how many places in the Pacific. It doesn't take long to tire an outfit and many of the divisions that saw their first battle in France are undoubtedly feeling very fagged out right now. Like the men in the older divisions, those men have seen actual war at first hand, seeing their buddies killed day after day, trying to tell themselves that they are different - they won't get it; but knowing deep inside them that they can get it - those guys too know what real weariness of body, brain, and soul can be.

I've tried to put their weariness and their looks into Willie and Joe, who started with them and are getting tired with them.
Bill Mauldin makes no bones about the exceeding similarity of war to hell.

Since I'm a cartoonist, maybe I can be funny after the war, but nobody who has seen this war can be cute about it while it's going on. The only way I can try to be a little funny is to make something out of the humorous situations which come up even when you don't think life could be any more miserable. It's pretty heavy humor, and it doesn't seem funny at all sometimes when you stop and think it over.

Through it all, there's a serious attention to detail; Bill Mauldin knows how to draw guns and equipment, and there's a sway to his postures that I've mostly seen in newsreels and photographs. He does lighting and effects without fanfare; he uses them because that's what's needed at the time.

He kept right on trucking with his cartoons for decades after World War II. There's a deep grief in this cartoon of November 1963.

My scanner is flickering in and out, and all images are probably still copyright Stars and Stripes or elsewhere, so a glimpse is all you'll get. Willie and Joe are immensely likable and resonant, and many enjoyable hours can be spent in their company listening to all the things they had to say.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

The Man in the Bunny Suit

Hello again.

Okay, so here's a comic I wrote in 1996 or so as a troubled young man of 26 years old. My friend drew it. I can write a whole comic in like an hour and then it takes two weeks to draw it. I kept hounding my buddy and then he finally drew it. Boy, he hated that.

I thought it was funny. Some humor from the 1990s get dated, but I thought this would hold up for at least another month or two before it stopped being funny.

And remember, these are only drawings, so it's not real, and so it's okay for people of all ages to read it. That is, except if you're living with your parents and they don't like it when you're looking at naughty comics and they beat your palm with a fork - then you probably shouldn't click the thumbnail links. Anyway, if your palm is all sore from parentally administered fork beatings, or if your parents stick your arm in a pot of boiling water to "discipline" you then you shouldn't be on the internet in the first place.

Alternately, if you're in your place of business and surfing the web, you could potentially have some explaining to do if you click these links, depending on how strict your company is. If you do get called onto the carpet, you should say "If you don't want me to surf the net, don't give me an internet connection, fatty." Make sure to emphasize the word "fatty". Your boss shouldn't ask any questions after that. Once again - emphasize "fatty" by screaming it at the top of your lungs. Actually, you should know this stuff already, and I shouldn't have to tell you every damn time how to get along with your boss.

Remember - delete history, delete cookies; these are commands you can use to hide your tracks on the internet. It'll save your palm a heck of a beating, I'll tell you what.

And now, the comics. I give you "Man in a Bunny Suit" published by self, 1996.