Monday, December 15, 2008

Jim Shooter speaks about the art on LSH

Jim Shooter on his recent run on the Legion of Superheroes,

“I must add that Francis Manapul is going to be great someday – maybe one of the best of all time.”

“He already shows flashes of brilliance. He works very hard and seems to care a lot – but that and a $1.85 gets you a cup of coffee. As soon as Francis grasps what business he’s in – storytelling – as soon as he realizes that conveying the story and information clearly, at a glance, is first priority, he’ll be a contender."

"It’s not just about making cool shots that vaguely relate to what was asked for in the script. It’s about thinking things through until you can come up with just-as-cool shots that effectively deliver all the content required; about making the visual storytelling ‘read’ effortlessly."

"Francis is incapable of drawing a dull picture, so if he ever really grasps the importance of the story and science of storytelling, he’s going to be a hall-of-famer."

Friday, December 12, 2008

Review by the Dork: Superman Back in Action

Writer: Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza. Len Wein and Gerry Conway for DC Comics Presents
Artist: Pete Woods. José Luis García-López for DC Comics Presents
Publisher: DC Comics (2007)
Price
: $14.99 (Softcover)
Format: TPB
Includes: Action Comics #841-843 and DC Comics Presents #4, #17, and #24

Kurt Busiek writes a fun old school tale in this 3 issue story arc. Busiek shows the superheroes and us dorks a world where collectability goes amok.

In this story Busiek is also paying homage to Simpson's Treehouse of Horror X where the Comic Guy becomes The Collector and starts putting people in protective sleeves only to be stopped by the heroes Clobber Girl (Lisa) and Stretch Dude (Bart). If you haven't seen the episode I recommend you do.

The only thing that seems weird in this TPB is the extra stories that were selected. Like I have said previously in posts, I love the fact DC is adding these reprints to their TPBs, but usually they have something to do with the main story. These three stories really have nothing to do with it other than they star Superman, are cool stories and drawn by a favorite of mine
José Luis García-López.

So I ain't bitchin just wondering why?

Review by the Dork: Superman Escape From Bizarro World

Writer: Richard Donner and Geoff Johns with various
Artist: Eric Powell and various
Publisher: DC Comics (2008)
Price
: $24.99 (Hardcover)
Format: TPB
Includes: Action Comics #855-857, Superman #140, DC Comics Presents #71 and Man of Steel #5

This TPB is in the vein of what DC has been doing lately; which I applaud. They take a story arc from a comic book series, one that doesn't have enough issues to really make a complete TPB and then flesh it out with relevant back stories. So not only do you get a great current story you get also all these cool old stories.

This Bizarro story is great and once again shows how Geoff Johns with THE Richard Donner is the master of mixing the old universes with the new ones in ways that are coherent and not clunky.

I have both
DC Comics Presents #71 and Man of Steel #5 in some boxes packed away so it was nice to reread these tales and remember how much I liked them. It was also great to read a much older tale of Bizarro that was new to me.

So DC keep up what you're doing and I'll keep slapping the cash down.

Review by the Dork: Breathe

Writer: John Sheridan
Artist: Kit Wallis
Publisher: Markosia Enterprise(2007)
Price
: $19.99 (Hardcover)
Format: TPB
Includes: Breathe #1-4

The Dork Review is meant to be a positive and fun site celebrating what we enjoy and not what we hate. So I usually won't be commenting on a book if I don't particularly like it, but sometimes a book rides the good/bad fence for me. Breathe is one of those books.


In some ways I like the book, especially the art. I like the serene quality to it as it reminds me of the one issue comic Joshua Middleton put out called Sky Between Branches. The soft quality could have been really contrasted by the harshness of the acts in the book.

But something in the story or the way the characters talk doesn't draw me in but pushes me out of the story. I think this had the potential to be more. If the creators had had a stiff critique before publication I think this book would have shined.

I know it's hard to go back, but I would like to see this story if it was reworked and republished.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Passing of Bettie Page, the Pin Up Queen

Bettie Page, the muse of thousands of artists and adored by millions has died at the age of 85. She was one of the most beautiful women ever to live and will be missed.

Bettie Page was an iconic figure who will go down in history for being grander than most people realize. She gave birth to styles both in fashion, culture, and art that will live long after today.

Wanted TPB by the Dork: Guest Starring the X-men

Writer and Artist: Various
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Includes: Marvel Team-Up #4, 150 and Annual 01, Iron Fist #14- #15, ROM #17 - #18, Spider-Woman #37 - #38, Moon Knight #35, The Avengers Annual #10, and The Incredible Hulk Annual #7

I use to love seeing the X-Men pop up in other books and it always made me pick them up. Of course that's what the editors had in mind, but that didn't matter as I was a whore for the X-Men.

So Marvel, collect these Guest Starring issues together again and I will be a whore again and buy it.

Wanted TPB by the Dork: War of the Gods

Writer and Artist: George Pérez
Publisher: DC Comics (1991)
Includes: War of the Gods #1-4. Crossover titles-Animal Man #40,Batman #470,Captain Atom #56-#57,Demon #17,Doctor Fate #32-#33,Flash #55,Hawk and Dove #28,Hawkworld #15-#16,L.E.G.I.O.N. '91 #31,New Titans #81,Starman #38,Suicide Squad #58,Superman: The Man of Steel #3,and Wonder Woman #58-#61

This kind of series is what brings George Perez's artwork alive. His amazing grasp of layout and space becomes overwhelmingly apparent in this series.

Gods fighting Gods with the Superheroes between...DAMN!

Fun Fact (clipped from Wikipedia): Around the time of this story, George Pérez was having editorial problems that caused troubles and problems writing the storyline even back to its inception. He felt that DC Comics was not doing enough to celebrate Wonder Woman's anniversary that in turn would promote the story. Also, DC did not plan the story for newsstand distribution, but for retail stores only. Originally, the final issue was going to have Steve Trevor and Etta Candy marry, which was building up since the series was relaunched. DC stopped it so the next writer following Pérez, William Messner-Loebs, would do it instead. For several years, because of all this, Pérez would separate himself from DC.

Fun Fact (clipped from Wikipedia): Touchingly, the final page of Wonder Woman #62 features a letter from Pérez addressed to Diana herself, making clear his feelings on having been a part of arguably one of the most iconic heroines ever created. The following is his letter to Princess Diana, also known as Wonder Woman:

Dear Princess Diana,

I just wanted to let you know just how grateful I was that you allowed me to document your adventures, and it is a great sadness that I must now announce my retirement from the Wonder Woman series.

I've learned a lot these past few years and I'd like to think that I'm a better person for having followed your adventures and hope I did your exploits justice.

As so often happens in life, it's time to move on to start working on that new chapter in the book of life (a recurring image you'll notice in my final issue.) I leave you in the capable hands of one William Messner-Loebs, about whom you might want to ask your new friend Dr. Fate, and the talented Jill Thompson.

Well, that's it for me. I'm glad your current troubles are over and hope your current troubles will prove less hazardous. In your line of work I know that seems unlikely, but there’s no harm in hoping.

Take care, Princess Diana. And as they said over at Themyscira: The Glory of Gaea be with you.

Wanted TPB by the Dork: Next Man

Writer: Roger McKenzie
Artist: Vince Argondezzi
Publisher: Comico Comics (1985)
Includes: Next Man #1-5

Comico Comics shined as a new publisher in the mid-1980's with some very promising hits like Mage, Grendel, and the Elementals.

Next Man was not a "hit" for Comico but it was still a good book. Though the art was a bit raw it had a very Jack Kirby feel to it, which I would have liked to seen grow with the series. The book stopped/cancelled with a cliff hanger, which is always a bit sad for me. An unfinished story is like an itch you can't scratch.

It would be nice if this book was reprinted and a "final" story was added to the TPB. But since I have no idea who owns this property (I have actually tried to find out) then my guess is that it will never happen.

Perhaps one day when I win the lottery I will do it.

Wanted TPB by the Dork: Nemesis

Writer: Michael Fleisher
Artist: Dick Giordano
Publisher: DC Comics (1980-1982)
Includes: Brave and Bold #166-193

The Nemesis was a story that ran in the back of Brave and Bold at a time when DC was doing this with a few of their books. It was cool that not only did this back story run separately from the front story but it popped up into the main title on several occasions, including the Nemesis's finale, where he supposedly died.

History (clipped from Wikipedia):Thomas Andrew Tresser is a vigilante, turned operative for the U.S. government and a master of disguise. His default costume is a black turtleneck sweater with a balance as a chest symbol and a chest holster. He was an applicant to an unnamed government agency whose brother Craig was an undercover agent infiltrating a criminal syndicate called "the Council".

Craig was brainwashed into killing their family friend Ben Williams and was subsequently killed in self-defense by fellow agents.

Tom thus became "Nemesis", preferring to use an alias instead of his dishonored family name. With the assistance of Batman, he cleared his brother's name and saw the men responsible for his brother's death dead.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Comicology's The Kingdom Come Companion

Facts (clipped from Wikipedia): In January, 1999, Harbor Press published the first (special) issue of their comics magazine Comicology. The 272-page Comicology: Kingdom Come Companion, edited by Brian Lamken, focused heavily on Kingdom Come, featuring an A-Z of almost everything with extensive illustrations by Ross and various other commentary on the mini-series.

It was the subject of a swift cease-and-desist notice from DC, objecting that the volume "constitute[d] an unauthorized derivative work that infringed upon DC's copyrights, violates their trademark rights, and misappropriates their good will."Lamken acquiesed to the recall, despite protesting that DC had prior knowledge of the project.

It is likely that the similarities between the material contained in the Revelations Volume available only with the purchase of the considerably-more-expensive Graphitti/DC two-volume set contributed to the recall of the Comicology volume.

The recall made the Companion arguably the most difficult Kingdom Come item to find on Ebay and elsewhere.

Wanted TPB by the Dork: Superman, the Secret Years

Writer: Bob H. Rozakis
Artist: Curt Swan
Publisher: DC Comics (1985)
Includes: Superman: The Secret Years #1-4 and Superman and His Incredible Fortress of Solitude.

With it being recently announced that Geoff Johns and Gary Frank are going to be releasing a new series called Superman: Secret Origin I think it would be cool to release some old back stories that touched on Superman's past.

Superman, Secret Years is a Pre-Crisis story about the years between High School and the Daily Planet. It is also some of the last work Curt Swan did on Superman and that alone warrants a TPB.

If they did do a TPB of the Secret Years they should include the Pre-Crisis Treasury Edition of Superman, which explores his Fortress of Solitude. This is one of those gems in DC's past that should be dusted off and reprinted for new readers.

Wanted TPB by the Dork: Steel, The Indestructible Man

Writer: Gerry Conway
Artist: Don Heck
Publisher: DC Comics (1978)
Includes: Steel, The Indestructible Man #1-6 (6 was printed in the All-Star Squadron)

Geoff Johns reintroduced a "new" Steel in the Justice Society. This new Citizen Steel is the grandson of the original Commander Steel and the third person of this tragic family to bare the name and powers.

The original Steel was introduced in this 5 issue series then went on to be a major player in the All-Star Squadron.

This 5 issue series was originally printed in 1978 but suffered under the DC Implosion of that year where something like twenty titles were canceled.

Commander Steel eventually gave his life fighting the supervillain Eclipso. Shouldn't his sacrifice be honored with a TPB (that includes the 6th issue)...I know it should. God Bless America!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Wanted TPB by the Dork: Whatever Happened To...

Writer and Artist: Various
Publisher: DC Comics (1980-1982)
Includes: DC Comics Presents #25, 30-32, 35, 37-40, 42, 47, 48

In1980 in the back of DC Comic Presents, DC ran extra little stories that told the tales of forgotten heroes in Whatever Happened To...

These are those heroes...Hourman, Golden Age Atom, Robotman, Mark Merlin And Prince Ra-Man, Star Hawkins, Rex The Wonder Dog, Rip Hunter-Time Master, The Crimson Avenger, Richard Dragon Kung-Fu Fighter, The Original Air Wave, The Sandman, Sandy- The Golden Boy, and The Black Pirate And Son.


If I was to reprint these old stories in a TPB I would include the recent backstories in Countdown that told the origin tales of the modern heroes, which currently can only be found on-line.

Wanted TPB by the Dork: Strikeback!

Writer: Kevin Maguire and Jonathan Peterson
Artist: Kevin Maguire
Publisher: Image Comics (1996)
Includes: Strikeback! #1-5

In 1994 Kevin Maguire released Strikeback! through Bravura and Malibu Comics imprint. The series was never completed (only 3 issues done) and vanished for 2 years. Then in 1996 the series reappeared at Image. They reprinted the first three issues and completed the series with two new issues.

I have always liked Kevin Maguire's expressive style. Kevin always seems to be having a blast at what he is doing...from his run on the Justice League to the Defenders. And Strikeback! is no different.

It would be nice to have this creator-owned book compiled and released.

Marvel Tumbler Glasses from 1978

Glasses from Marvel released in 1978. I love these old 1970's tumblers and their iconic use of comic book poses.

I also think it is interesting to see which characters they chose to put on a glass. Spider-Woman as a choice and not Invisible Woman seems weird, but she did have a cartoon out at this time. Perhaps that is why they went with her instead.

By the way, the Spider-Woman tumbler is by far the hardest one to get in this series and can seriously set you back.

Specs: 6.25" tall Federal glass tumbler ©1978 Marvel Comics Group. Glasses are not marked with sponsor name and were probably distributed by a restaurant or store. Issued in a set of 5 including Captain America, The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man and Spider-Woman. Full gloss and Rare.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Wanted TPB by the Dork: Shazam by Don Newton

Writer: E. Nelson Bridwell
Artist: Don Newton
Publisher: DC Comics (1978-1980)
Includes: Shazam! #35, World's Finest #253-263, 266-270, 272-281, and Adventure Comics #491 and 492

This was a cool three year run of Shazam! that started in one title, ran through another title and eventually ended in a third title. Don Newton took more of a "realistic" approach to the Big Red Cheese and really carved out a look for this character and his universe.

Don Newton,

"If you like bombshells, here's one: I am going to be taking over.............Captain Marvel! More over, Jack Harris sez to draw it realistic! Finally they bring him up to date... I'm going to get rid of his "wet look" and trim him down about 10 lbs.!

I've felt for sometime, that the "funny" Captain Marvel belonged to the forties and just doesn't come off now. I trust the stories will now be in keeping with the art. So, I've "arrived"... where else can I go?

Wanted TPB by the Dork: X-men Brood Saga

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: Dave Cockrum and Paul Smith
Publisher: Marvel Comics (1982-1983)
Includes: The Uncanny X-Men #154-157 and 161-167

Why the hell is this not a TPB!?!

This is Marvel's and Chris Claremont's
answer to Aliens!

We learn that Corsair is Cyclop's father.
There are impregnating nasty aliens called the Brood.
Giant space whales live in the universe and are used as ships.
Wolverine fights off a brood stomach baby and wins, but barely.
The X-Men attack the newly formed New Mutants, who hold their own.
Professor X completely transforms into a Brood, but manages to keep his mind somewhat intact.
Professor X gets a new cloned body that allows him to walk.
Kitty is kicked out of the X-Men.
And the artist Paul Smith gives us some seriously cool artwork.

It is some wild and crazy shit that needs reprinting!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thundarr the Barbarian-Kicks ASS!

The year 1994: From out of space comes a runaway planet, hurtling between the Earth and the Moon, unleashing cosmic destruction. Man's civilization is cast in ruin. Two thousand years later, Earth is reborn... A strange new world rises from the old: a world of savagery, super science, and sorcery. But one man bursts his bonds to fight for justice! With his companions Ookla the Mok and Princess Ariel, he pits his strength, his courage, and his fabulous Sunsword against the forces of evil.

He is Thundarr, the Barbarian!

FUCK YA!!!

Thundarr without a doubt needs to be given the comic book treatment, but only by the right people. My money would be on Geoff Johns as the writer and Alex Ross as the artist. It should be a limited series and a self contained story.

Fun Fact (clipped from Wikipedia): Comic book writer-artist Jack Kirby worked on the production design for the show. While many people believe that Kirby was the primary designer of the show (mainly due to his similarly themed Kamandi: The Last Boy On Earth), the main characters were in fact designed by fellow comic book writer-artist Alex Toth, who also designed the popular character Space Ghost for Saturday morning television.

Toth, however, was unavailable to continue working on the show, so most of the wizards and other villains and secondary characters that appear on the show were designed by Kirby. He was brought onto the show at the recommendation of comic writer Steve Gerber and comics and animation veteran Mark Evanier, who realized that the same imagination that produced Kamandi could contribute significantly to the series. Indeed, the evil wizard Gemini, the only repeating villain on the show, resembles Darkseid, an infamous Kirby villain.
Coloring Book: Thundarr the Barbarian in the Floating Palace.
This was the only printed type of book produced for Thundarr.

Wanted TPB by the Dork: John Byrne's O.M.A.C

Writer: John Byrne and Len Wein for the DC Presents.
Artist: John Byrne and George Pérez for the DC Presents.
Publisher: DC Comics(1983 and 1991)
Includes: DC Presents #61, OMAC-One Man Army Corps #1-4

This was a great 4 issue series from John Byrne based on a Jack Kirby creation. Byrne both wrote and drew this series, which really dove into the O.M.A.C mythos. This four issue truly covered the lifespan of the character and did so in a very interesting way.

It would be nice if they did reprint this series then colored it as an added incentive to buy the TPB. For some reason the original series was black and white.

Also it would be cool if they threw in the George Perez DC Presents, because hell it's George Perez and it would be cool to have this story in a TPB.

Fun Fact (clipped from Wikipedia): In Kingdom Come, Alex Ross created a female version of OMAC named OWAC, (One-Woman Army Corps).

Wanted TPB by the Dork: Nightcrawler Mini-Series

Writers and Artist: Various
Created by:
Len Wein and Dave Cockrum

Publisher:
Marvel Comics (1981-2002)

Includes:
The Uncanny X-Men #153, Bizarre Adventures #27, Nightcrawler #1-4 (1985), Nightcrawler #1-4 (2002)

Since Nightcrawler is one of the most popular X-Men there is...these two mini-series and their tie-ins should be compiled and reprinted.

I never read the second mini-series, but I did read the other bits. The Bizarre Adventure explores the world Nightcrawler travels through while teleporting. Bizarre Adventure is then followed up with a fairy tale story in the X-Men, which then becomes, somewhat, reality in Nightcrawler's first mini-series.

Note to Marvel: Why did you never make a Bamf Doll seen in the X-Men #168 and I believe first appeared in X-Men #153? I would have loved to get one for my daughter.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Wanted TPB by the Dork: Arsenal

Writer: C.J. Henderson then Devin Grayson
Artist: William Rosado and Rick Mays
Publisher: DC Comics (1996 and 1998)
Includes: Arsenal Special and Arsenal #1-4

Now that Roy Harper aka Speedy aka Arsenal aka Red Arrow has finally hit the big time with joining the Justice League of America. We should get to see some of his older adventures reprinted.

I did not read this one-shot but I thought it would be cool to include it in the TPB. The four-issue mini-series by Devin Grayson was a fun storyline, but what really makes me want this mini as a TPB is Rick Mays artwork. I first saw his work in
Kabuki Agents: Scarab which grabbed my attention and led me to pick up this mini. He has a nice style going, which is a mixture of both American and Manga comics.

I would like to see what Rick Mays could do with a main book, but we'll see what the Comic Gods bestow.

Fun Fact (clipped from Wikipedia): While the Green Arrow was away on a cross-country adventure with Green Lantern and Black Canary, Roy became addicted to heroin; the award-winning story played out in Green Lantern vol. 2, #85-86 in September and November 1971. Once Roy's secret was discovered, Green Arrow angrily punched him and then threw Roy out on the street. Green Lantern later found him and left him in the care of Black Canary, who stayed by his side while he went through withdrawal. Soon after, he had a confrontation with Green Arrow that caused the two of them to stop working together.