Image Comics: So Much Damage | SYFY Documentary

Aside from not getting a lot of new information (for those of us who’ve been around since then), the one bad thing about these kinds of documentaries is how they tend to get the chronology all wonky. You don’t cover the start of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead (October 2003) and say THEN Powers (April 2000) came out and Brian Michael Bendis was fired by Todd McFarlane off of Sam & Twitch (series debuted in August 1999) and also say he then went on to write Marvel’s Ultimate Spider (also started in 2000) and AliasJessica Jones (later in 2001). Or how about toward the end when they had a footnote saying that Kirkman’s Outcast TV show debuted in the year 2010, the same year as TWD TV show?


There were a couple of other examples. I believe it’s important to get that kind of minutiae as precise and accurate as possible when presenting a historical documentary. That’s often compromised when things are edited for bite-sized consumption. [end nerd rant].

At any rate, it’s always a treat to watch and hear the boys talk about their awesome shared baby in the form of Image Comics.



Comic Book Fetish #1: Skybound’s SLOTS, Marvel’s LEGACY and more!

Related imageIt should probably go without saying that if it’s a Skybound book it’s going to read well. I currently read Skybound titles such as Redneck, Extremity and I’ve read Gasolina and Green Valley, I have a Ghosted trade paperback on my shelf yet to read, and I’m now trade-waiting Birthright after reading it in floppies for the first 20 issues or so. Skybound Entertainment founder/CEO Robert Kirkman and company have a lot to be proud of these days. They’re one of the best comics lines around, a line that also includes Manifest Destiny, Kill the MinotaurOutcast, Invincible, and of course The Walking Dead.

And I have no doubt the Image Comics remaining founders/partners are glad they made Mr. Kirkman a partner nine years ago.

1st Issue Fetish

The newest Skybound title Slots by creator/writer/artist Dan Panosian – the first issue was yet another fine Skybound read. It takes place in Vegas and features a middle-aged guy trying to get back in the game – of gambling and boxing – and make a big score. Is it a crime book? Maybe not per se, yet, though I could see it going down that route at some point (hopefully). But it is heavily soaked in the same kind of flavor of crime and suspense-thriller comics as books like Criminal.


Lackluster Legacy

mearvel-legacy-headerMarvel Legacy #1 – I’ve got love for writer Jason Aaron – a very nice Southern Gentleman I met at New York Comic Con some years back, so I take no pleasure in saying this about a book he wrote. I initially passed on this the week it came out, but against my better judgment I decided to give it a shot the following week. Well, I’d like my $6 back. Bamboozled again. I was told it was a really good story and that it was just like DC Universe Rebirth. False. It would’ve been better had they totally aped Rebirth. The comparisons to DC Rebirth are superficial at best. Of course for it to be like Rebirth that would require a kind of reboot that would abandon the recent narratives they’ve just emerged out of the last five years since their Marvel NOW! Initiative. Legacy mimics Rebirth terribly, but again, given that it’s not a ‘rebirth’ or even a fresh restart, that’s to be expected. Btw, having 3 uniformed beat cops showing up to arrest Deadpool for the murder of SHIELD’s Agent Coulson is . . . an ill-advised story decision (it would actually be the FBI or some other abbreviated/acronym-ed agency, or even a vengeful former SHIELD Agent would work). Moving forward I suppose I will simply stick to Jessica Jones and The Defenders – the only two Marvel series I’ve been reading the past year.

Legacy vs Rebirth? No Contest

dc-rebirth-marvel-legacyBy the way, I have a little rant inspired by Marvel Legacy. (formerly known as that great entity Comic Book Resources) ran an article with this quote:

“It’s definitely an effective way to set up a new line of comics, and you can’t fault Marvel Legacy for copying the Rebirth formula.”

CBR has officially left the reservation! How the hell does Legacy copy the Rebirth formula??? How does it set up a “new line” of comics when Marvel isn’t launching a new line of comics?

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And to go off on CBR even more . . .  in a different article they said DC’s Vertigo Comics launched with The Sandman #1 in 1989, when Vertigo actually “launched” in 1993 — hence 2018 being the 25th anniversary of Vertigo Comics as an imprint. I’m not sure why CBR’s editorial staff couldn’t seem to reconcile that simple math . . . I guess because their start date was all wrong. It wasn’t 1989. Granted The Sandman started with a cover date of January 1989. But the Vertigo imprint was not adopted and applied to certain pre-existing DC comics like The Sandman, Hellblazer, Doom Patrol, Shade: The Changing Man and Swamp Thing until 1993.

When it comes to CBR I still lament the fact that former owner and founder Jonah Weiland sold away what USED to be the gold standard of comics news sites.

News and such coming out of New York Comic Con

I am writing this on Saturday night going into Sunday morning, so New York Comic Con is still going on, but there are a few things of note.

dc-doomsday-clock-superman-watchmenDoomsday Clock, the upcoming Watchmen sequel – this might be the first Mature Readers story to feature Superman? But hey, it’s Geoff Johns writing it, right? Surely there won’t be a cussing Superman, right??? Nah, but ol’ Supes may have to witness some naughty words . . . or maybe just share pages in a book has some “mature” content. At any rate, I think Supes is strong enough (and man-of-steel-enough) to handle it.

Speaking of the official sequel to Watchmen . . . Watchmen artist/co-creator Dave Gibbons says he will not be reading it. And of course we all know our favorite grumpy old man and co-creator/writer of Watchmen, Alan Moore will not be reading it either.

DC_Logo_RGB_031816Sticking with DC Comics – they are dropping the Rebirth banner on their comics soon (like, this December soon) and going with a new trade dress that’s probably their sharpest looking yet, because let’s face it, DC’s trade dress has always been less than stellar compared to Marvel’s and other publishers. Now they’ll have a corner box with the DC circle at the top, followed by the issue number and price and then below that will be the family name icon such as Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, etc.

They look good and you can get a first look at them over at Bleeding


Over at Marvel, the only thing of note for me in regards to their comics are rumors or hints of a new Storm of the X-men series. Please, please let it be written by Chris Claremont. He’s the best writer of Ororo Munro in all of her history, and it’s the best option for Marvel to get some publishable work from the man, the legend they’ve been paying for a decade to essentially NOT write comics for them or anyone else.

Oh, you didn’t know that? Yeah, it’s been confirmed that Marvel actually has  Chris Claremont on a kind of retainer, pretty much paying him some kind of salary as well as provide health benefits so that he does not do work-for-hire superhero comics elsewhere. Think of it as an exclusive contract that several of today’s creators have – only this one is for a creator whom they do not stipulate that he produce X number amount of scripts. They’re essentially paying him NOT to write since they haven’t given him any assignments in a good while now. Comics best kept secret – it’s almost scandalous, really. Set Chris Claremont free, Marvel! Or, at least allow him to write that new Storm series.

vertigo-logoSo DC’s Vertigo imprint will be re-launching in August 2018. I remember the early days of Vertigo in the early to mid 90s. Good books, good times. The expansion of the British invasion that began in the late 90s thanks to Karen Berger and Shelly Bond – both editors now elsewhere at Dark Horse (Berger’s Books imprint) and IDW (Black Crown imprint), respectively, due to drastic changes to DC Entertainment’s editorial structure AND their business model – no longer offering fully creator-owned IPs. But that’s a discussion for another day.


AMC’s The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead will have a crossover in the near future. Robert Kirkman is not yet revealing what character from which show will be crossing over to which show. So naturally with this kind of tease we’ll just have to wait for it to happen.

Additionally . . .

  • I have watched both the Runaways and Cloak & Dagger They look to be good modern adaptations of their source material. Well casted and production as good as any of the Marvel Netflix shows or even FOX’s The Gifted. I’m hopeful they’ll play well and garner enough viewership to be successful.
  • Speaking of The Gifted, I have watched the first episode and I’ve got to say it is indeed intriguing. It has a good blend of action and drama – team and family drama. Featuring B-and-C-level X-book characters like Polaris, Thunderbird, Blink, Sage, Shatter and one I never heard of, Eclipse – who was created for the show, taking inspiration for Sunspot of the New Mutants, I presume. The show promises to showcase other low-level characters deserving of onscreen exposure. I need to watch the Pilot again uninterrupted before I can make a final critical analysis, but upon that one viewing I’m entertained and intrigued enough to continue.

And finally . . . FINALLY!

Coming on the horizon are two TV adaptations of two of my favorite comics. Greg Rucka & Michael Lark’s Lazarus over at Amazon and Ed Brubaker & Steve Epting’s Velvet over at the newly re-branded Paramount Network (formerly known as Spike TV). I have casting ideas for both leading ladies, but that’s another column for another day.

That’s all the comic culture goodness I have for now. Until next time . . . keep turning the pages!

Top Comic Book Sales for April 2017 | Comic Spectrum

If you’re Marvel, then yes, shipping 93 comics, many of which are $4.99, when your biggest competitor is shipping 78 comics, at least half of which are $2.99, will always help your chances in being the market leader — especially when you’re playing the 1st issue onslaught game that retailers have absolutely no choice in playing if they want to continue to generate revenue. — Comic Book Fetish


MARVEL COMICS 93 41 0 134
IMAGE COMICS 57 11 1 69
VIZ MEDIA 0 30 0 30
TITAN COMICS 23 2 1 26
OTHER NON-TOP 10 108 112 31 251

Event & Batman on Top…Nothing New! X-Men Back on Top? Will it Last? Is Digital Behind the Drop in Print Sales? It should be no surprise to people who follow sales numbers that the top 10 once again confirm the lemming-like tendency of comic shops to order piles of event comics (Secret Wars #0 at […]

via Diamond Announces Top Sales for April 2017 — ComicSpectrum News

Meanwhile, As We Wait for Southern Bastards . . .

Well, those of us (and we are legion) waiting around (im)patiently for more Southern Bastards can thank the upcoming SCALPED TV show and the developing SOUTHERN BASTARDS TV show as well as both Jasons, Aaron & Latour’s, contractual commitments at Marvel for the wait and irregularity of our favorite Dixie-fried crime comic series. Great things are worth the wait, but damn, I need at least 6 issues of Southern Bastards a year. But I can do two things at once — grump about the lack of Southern Bastards in my life while also congratulating the Jasons (especially Aaron) on their ever-increasing success. Bravo boys! But word to the wise: you don’t really want to be on Coach Boss’ bad side, do ya? Just sayin’.

You can check out @jasonaaron’s Tweet for yourself here:

EXTREMITY from Skybound Entertainment and Image Comics

Finally read the first two issues of Extremity and I gotta say I’m really digging this new series from Image Comics via Skybound Entertainment. Action packed, fast-paced storytelling with good and very energetic art. I think in this case it really helps that the creator/writer/aritst Daniel Warren Johnson is drawing the story himself. With Extremity it looks like Skybound has yet another fine comic series on its roster, along with Redneck, Green Valley, Birthright, Manifest Destiny and of course the Robert Kirkman books. Does Skybound even publish a bad book? I don’t think so. Many kudos to Kirkman, editor Sean Mackiewicz and co. for their eye for talent.

Incidentally I recently noticed that these newer Skybound books are coming in with a $3.99 price point, while the mainstays retain the $2.99 price point.

And any rate, keep an eye on this series. I think it’s going to be a sleeper hit.



Asians ARE NOT ‘Oriental’, Co-Creator of Iron Fist! | Legion of Leia

Asians ARE NOT ‘Oriental’, Co-Creator of Iron Fist! Earlier this week, I argued how casting an Asian-American as Danny Rand might have benefitted Marvel/Netflix’s adaptation of Iron Fist. It seems Co-Creator of Iron Fist, Roy Thomas had a few words of his own as well. And they were…. Well, let’s just say that my blood boiled. In…

via Asians ARE NOT ‘Oriental’, Co-Creator of Iron Fist! — Welcome to the Legion!

Panel Patter Gives Respect to Jaime Hernandez & Love and Rockets

Panel Patter Gives Respect to Jaime Hernandez & Love and Rockets

Head on over to Panel Patter for Scott Cederlund’s poignant (and rather timely) take on the ever seminal, transcendent and legendary Love and Rockets: The Death of Speedy by the great cartoonist Jaime Hernandez (one-half of the writer/artist creators of the 35 years-plus old series published by Fantagraphics Books).

The final pages of this story are some of the most heart-wrenching and surprisingly redemptive moments in Love and Rockets or in any other comics for that matter. As the war escalates between Dairytown and Hoppers, the cost for Hopper escalates as well. These men and women that are barely more than boys and girls have been treating life as if it was nothing more than child’s play. Breaking hearts and shooting guns are their ways to hang on to their youth. It all comes crashing down as Esther’s Dairytown boyfriend’s gang escalates the fighting, shooting one of Ray and Speedy’s friends. Outside of the hospital, Speedy breaks down in front of Maggie, asking for her love as some kind of redemption for all of his actions. It’s more than Maggie can or is willing to offer to Speedy and she pushes him away.

Read more at Panel Patter.