Friday, November 30, 2007

40 Worse Pieces of Liefeld Art

Like there can only be forty...
A fun Liefeld drinking game: take a shot for every pouch he draws on a character. Oh great, now you have alcohol poisoning.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Mafia's 'Ten Commandments' found

An interesting set of commandments, and this should be of interest to anyone who enjoys crime fiction (either in gaming or literature).
Mafia's 'Ten Commandments' found Salvatore Lo Piccolo at Palermo's central police station, 5 Nov 2007 The commandments were found during the arrest of Mr Lo Piccolo Italian police have found what they say is a 'Ten Commandments'-style code of behaviour for Mafia members, at the hideout of a captured Mafia boss.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Watchman Movie Releases

After a couple months of shooting at various locations and on stages, last week we finally made the transition to our New York City backlot. Since the New York City that is rendered in the graphic novel is so particular, it was very important to me that our backlot speak the same language, the vernacular of WATCHMEN. In addition, the backlot needs to function as many different parts of the city, countless store fronts, street corners, alleys, etc. So, with that in mind, we set out to build own own custom backlot here in Vancouver, BC. In my opinion, the results speak for themselves.

Some pictures:

(Gunga Diner)

(Is that Rorschach?)

Datamancer's Steampunk Victorian Laptop

Too cool.
This may look like a Victorian music box, but inside this intricately hand-crafted wooden case lives a Hewlett-Packard ZT1000 laptop that runs both Windows XP and Ubuntu Linux. It features an elaborate display of clockworks under glass, engraved brass accents, claw feet, an antiqued copper keyboard and mouse, leather wrist pads, and customized wireless network card. The machine turns on with an antique clock-winding key by way of a custom-built ratcheting switch made from old clock parts.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Siousxie - Into a Swan

I feel like I'm in high school again. :)

Mayor Resigns, Claims Abduction By Satan Worshippers

Once again real life creates something that we can't top. :)
The mayor of an Arkansas town resigned on Wednesday, claiming he was abducted and brainwashed by Satan worshippers nearly three decades ago.

Centerton Mayor Ken Williams said he has been living under an assumed name for nearly 30 years. He had been mayor since 2001.

Williams told authorities he was born Don LaRose and that in the mid-1970s, he was a preacher in Indiana. He said he was abducted and brainwashed into forgetting all about his life as Don LaRose.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The stunning temples secretly carved out below ground by 'paranormal' eccentric

And once again truth proves to be stranger than fiction.

Nestling in the foothills of the Alps in northern Italy, 30 miles from the ancient city of Turin, lies the valley of Valchiusella. Peppered with medieval villages, the hillside scenery is certainly picturesque.

But it is deep underground, buried into the ancient rock, that the region's greatest wonders are concealed.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Rogue cell phone has 911 on redial

A rogue cell phone is not accepting calls, but it sure likes to dial 911 operators in eastern Iowa.

Operators at the Black Hawk County Consolidated Communications Center said that they received about 400 calls from the same cell phone last week and that no one seems to be on the other line.

Sienna Miller signs up for 'G.I. Joe'

Sienna Miller is the first thesp to enlist in Paramount Pictures' big-budget tentpole 'G.I. Joe.'

British actress will play the film's female lead, described as a raven-haired baroness and sexy femme fatale skilled in espionage.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Suburban Glamour

It might be a little behind to review this now but I have only just recently picked up the issue. Suburban Glamour is the first issues of the new comic by artist/writer Jamie McKelvie. Jamie McKelvie has come to prominence as the artist for the Long Hot Summer and Phonogram mini-series that have been previously available through Image Comics. Suburban Glamour is a creator owned book also made available through Image Comics.

Suburban Glamour is a 24 page full-color comic book.

Like Phonogram before it (created with co-writer Kieron Gillen) this comic could best be qualified as being a part of the modern fantasy genre, with much similar to novels such as Moon Called by Patricia Briggs, or a television series like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. McKelvie's work is probably similar in tone to Buffy, as it also features teenage/young adult characters and has a great deal of pop culture referencing inside of it (like Phonogram most of that referencing is of a musical variety).

Suburban Glamour is a strong work, and demonstrates that McKelvie is a capable writer, in addition to having a very clean illustrating style. I have to admit that I first picked up Phonogram on the strength of the McKelvie's artwork, although recommendations from other like fan-favorite author Warren Ellis didn't hurt either. However, for me, one of the main flaws with Suburban Glamour comes from having a familiarity with McKelvie's previous work on that. From a character design standpoint, the main characters of the book (particularly Astrid and Chris) are very similar to the characters of David Kohl and Emily from Phonogram. Too similar in my opinion, to a point of distraction at times. Although having the art in Suburban Glamour in color does have some differences from the black and white art of Phonogram.

The story so far, taking into consideration that this is the first of a four issue mini-series, seems to be a simple coming of age story about the main character of Astrid, a "typical" British teenager. The supernatural elements, much like a modern faery tale, are what make this story anything but typical. However, I do not want to give away too much of the story away, as that would take away the discovery of the story on it's own. Suffice it to say, this issue should appeal to fans of modern fantasy or modern faery tales.

From a gaming standpoint, I can see this comic having an appeal to game masters and players of White Wolf's recent Changeling the Lost game. It would also be of interest to those who play Eden Studio's Witchcraft or Buffy games. I can see easily adapting this story to Witchcraft, perhaps it being the story of newly awakening Gifted characters.

All in all, I was very impressed with this first issue of Suburban Glamour and highly recommend picking up a copy. And if you enjoy Suburban Glamour I wholeheartedly recommend picking up a copy of the Phonogram trade paperback as well.

Delta Green: Eyes Only Updates

We're all waiting impatiently for Delta Green: Eyes Only to reach the warehouse so we can start shipping it to customers.

The books were due at our warehouse near Buffalo, New York on Friday, November 16. Due to congestion in the east coast warehouses the shipment got stuck in Atlantic City for a few days.

As of Thursday, November 15 they hadn't yet reached the Buffalo terminal, where they'll be transferred to a local carrier for delivery to our warehouse. The freight rep said it ought to arrive any day now after the final leg from Atlantic City.

As soon as I hear that the books have arrived, I'll post word here.

Thanks for your patience! I think everybody's going to be very happy with Eyes Only.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Hasbro Recruits New GI Joe License Suitors

Hasbro has solicited proposals from potential publishers of the next G.I. Joe comic book license beginning this past summer, and will be making a decision on a licensee sometime after the end of this month, Newsarama confirmed Friday morning.

Buzz in industry circles began to grow in recent weeks suggesting the license, which has been with Devil’s Due Publishing since 2001, was in play. Asked the status of license Friday, Mike Surabian, a representative of Hasbro’s public relations agency Hunter PR, confirmed it was indeed up fro grabs, telling Newsarama, 'The G.I. Joe license is up for renewal. Hasbro’s partner, Devil's Due will be publishing the America's Elite storyline until July of 2008. Hasbro solicited proposals at Comic-Con [International], currently have a number of them in-house, and will be deciding on the Joe comic partner post-Thanksgiving. No decisions have been made yet.'

As noted, Devil’s Due, who hasn’t necessarily lost the license and could potentially win a renewal when Hasbro makes their decision, has held the comic book license since 2001, when as a then-Image Comics imprint it revived a dormant comic book property to the early skepticism of many industry observers.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

NSFW: A Little Death

Interesting little short film with powerful visuals. How would you make it into a game? I'm thinking something with PDQ as it's base.

Not The Daily Show, With Some Writer

What, do you want us to put stuff on the Internet for free?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

New World Order: Immemorial Tales of the Third Army

Inspired by the research of occult master Jordan Maxwell, New World Order is the story of a young group of truthseekers called the Third Army and their enigmatic leader Max as they confront the modern realities of a world that has been plunged into chaos by entities working to bring about a New World Order. With unique symbolic interpretations, detailed footnotes and encounters with 'real-life' modern-revolutionary thinkers, New World Order explores such themes as secret societies, religious controversies, occult philosophies, UFO’s and government conspiracies with the purpose of preparing the world for a new age of enlightenment by the means of an intellectual re-evolution.

Not only is New World Order a compelling story that explores many of the problems that the world faces today but it is also the untold story of the 'Lonely Ones,' the real-life truthseekers who are attempting to awaken the masses to a world that is torn between it’s own unlimited potential for greatness and it’s own self-destruction.

Sheep to the Slaughter

Most folks will tell you that nicotine only reached Europe after that old scoundrel Sir Walter Raleigh imported the idea of smoking to the Old World. (Technically, Europe is not older than the Americas, but we’ll let that one hang there for the rest of the essay. We expect to be forgiven for our laziness.) Well, it may probably have been Raleigh’s employee Thomas Hariot, since Raleigh himself never even set foot in America… at least not by boat. (I’ll get back to that.) However, since we have Egyptian and even German corpses with nicotine in their tissues from nearly two thousand years before Columbus was an itch in his daddy’s pants, we find ourselves forced to confront the possibility that there was, in fact, some form of transatlantic contact between Europe and Africa and the Americas stretching back to the times before Christ. And since there’s hashish in them there corpses, we also find ourselves considering the involvement of our favorite Ismaili assassins, the hashishin, and where there’s hashishin, can the Knight’s Templar be far behind? Well, sure, they could be. However, since I’m not fond of playing by the rules, I have to suspect they won’t be. Speculating on Egyptian mummies loaded with cocaine and nicotine and hashish, and Peruvian mummies with the same, necessarily leads us to Roanoke Island.

"Rosemary's Baby" and "Boys From Brazil" author Ira Levin dies

Ira Levin, author of the best-selling horror and suspense novels 'Rosemary's Baby,' 'The Stepford Wives' and 'The Boys from Brazil,' all later made into popular films, has died at age 78, according to media reports.

The New York Times reported that Levin died on Monday at his Manhattan home. It quoted his son Nicholas as saying the death was apparently of natural causes.

"Rosemary's Baby," about a woman who believes she has been impregnated by the devil, was published in 1967 and made into an Oscar-winning movie the following year starring Mia Farrow and directed by Roman Polanski.

Levin's 1972 novel 'The Stepford Wives' involved husbands in a Connecticut town replacing their wives with submissive robots. It was twice adapted by Hollywood -- a 1975 film starring Katharine Ross, and a 2004 version with Nicole Kidman.

'The Boys From Brazil,' published in 1976, featured the infamous Nazi doctor, Josef Mengele, seeking to clone a new Third Reich. The 1978 film version starred Gregory Peck and Laurence Olivier. Levin's first novel, 'A Kiss Before Dying,' published in 1953, was twice made into movies.

Audition: Warner Bros. Superheroes

"Most popular DC comic book heroes"? Does this sound like the JLA to anyone else?

Sounds to me that they're looking for unknowns, which would lead me to think that the "big guns" aren't going to be a part of the movie.

*This is a search for the 8-9 leads for this action feature film based on the most popular DC comic book heroes.*

We are looking for Male actors 18-35 years old; Caucasian and Black. The primary focus should be to find Caucasian actors. There is 1 role for the Black Actor.

We are looking for Female actors 20-32 years old; any ethnicity.

The aim of this audition process is to learn about the sensibilities, range, humor, delivery and life experience of each actor. We are looking for great actors who enjoy working in an ensemble. ( Improvisational skills, theater training and comedy would be useful.) We will also need to keep in mind that we are looking for physically fit actors with good body types. Please have the actors wear form fitting clothes.

I've Got Your Sorcerer Supreme

A 'bungling' voyeur who spied on a 22-year-old woman in a tanning booth has been given a suspended jail term.

Stephen Strange, 43, of Chippenham, who admitted voyeurism, watched the woman undress and lie on a bed in July 2005.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Scott King vs TSA – Winner: TSA

On a level, I think that he brought some of this on himself (see the link for his general attitude towards the screening process and the fact that he left his bags outside of a bathroom) but the thought that reading a particular comic makes one a terrorist is just bothersome and yet symptomatic of the overall level of "Thought Crime" sometimes in this country.

Probably not the thing that I want to be putting on my blog but oh well.

The second problem was that I had several graphic novels with me. I had planned to read them on the plane. I had 'DMZ' volumes 1, 2 & 3, 'The Nightly News,' and 'Artemis Fowl.' The guard flipped through 'DMZ' saw a ravaged New York City and them immediately called for two other security guards to join him in the room. I was then questioned for over an hour about the comics and why I had them. I was point blank asked if I was a terrorist or if I ever had desires to harm other. The whole ordeal was completely ridiculous. I can understand them being cautious but going ballistic because of the graphic novels I had with me is taking it too far.

Ironically, he was apparently coming here to Cleveland. I guess that I should leave my copies of "DMZ" at home when I travel this Christmas season.

By the way, if you haven't picked up Brian Wood's thoroughly brilliant "DMZ" book yet, you really should. The first taste is (almost) free, with DC/Vertigo offering the first trade collection for only $9.95. It's harder and harder to find comics at that pricing anymore.

If you don't know about the book, check out the Wikipedia page. It's OK by Wikipedia standards.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Norman Mailer dead at age 84 - Yahoo! News

This is a great blow to American literature. I was even talking about him recently with Jonny. If nothiing else, The Naked and the Dead and The Armies of the Night should be required of every American literature program in this country. The fact that it isn't is a crime.

Norman Mailer, the macho prince of American letters who for decades reigned as the country's literary conscience and provocateur with such books as 'The Naked and the Dead' and 'The Executioner's Song' died Saturday, his literary executor said. He was 84.

Mailer died of acute renal failure at Mount Sinai Hospital, said J. Michael Lennon, who is also the author's biographer.

From his classic debut novel to such masterworks of literary journalism as 'The Armies of the Night,' the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner always got credit for insight, passion and originality.

Friday, November 09, 2007

IGN: Exclusive Ultimates 3 Preview

There's nothing like fresh art from Joe Madureira and Christian Lichtner to make your day. When these images hit our inbox earlier this afternoon, we did a happy little jig. Then we figured you might like to take a look at them. Written by the Eisner-winning, Emmy-nominated Jeph Loeb, this eight-page sequence re-introduces Venom to the Ultimate Universe, and he's out for blood.

Newsarama: A Union - Can/Should It Happen In Comics?

See answers from Steve Niles, Robert Kirkman, Brad Meltzer, Peter David and many others.

As the strike by members of the Writer's Guild of America dominated discussions in the entertainment industry this week, Newsarama decided to utilize this month's question for 'The Q' to allow creators to share their opinions on whether writers in the comic book industry should form a similar union.

Earlier this week, Newsarama shared comments on the WGA strike by Brian K. Vaughan, who supported the idea of a union for comic book writers. But as he and others have pointed out, starting a union for creators in this industry has been tried before by creators like Arnold Drake and others – but none of those attempts have been successful.

So it's time for creators to sound off on the issue as we asked the question:

- Should comic book writers unionize? Could they unionize?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Paul Norris, R.I.P.

Paul Norris, who co-created the comic book character Aquaman, and who produced the Brick Bradford newspaper strip for a little over 35 years, died about four hours ago at the age of 93. He'd had a series of strokes in the last few months and had just been hospitalized for his most recent.

Paul was born April 26, 1914 in Greenville, Ohio. He studied at Midland Lutheran College and at the Dayton Art Institute before landing a job as an illustrator and cartoonist for the Dayton Daily News in 1936. Three years later, he assembled a portfolio of his best work and took it to New York in search of better prospects, which turned out to be comic books. No one, not even Paul, was ever certain what his first job was in that medium but by 1940, he was drawing for Prize Publications, where he launched several of their star strips — Yank and Doodle, Power Nelson and Futureman.

A year later, he was at DC Comics where his most memorable assignment was Aquaman, which he and editor-writer Mort Weisinger created. (DC now puts a 'created by Paul Norris' credit on all Aquaman comics. The absence of Weisinger's name is apparently a legal problem on DC's end, not a case of Norris squeezing out his former collaborator.) Paul also worked on, among others, the Sandman in Adventure Comics. He was the artist who revamped the character from his old costume — a business suit and a device that looked like a gas mask — and turned him, at editorial insistence, into a Batman knock-off. When Norris left the strip, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby took it over. During this period, Paul also worked on the Vic Jordan newspaper strip for the New York Daily PM.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Steranko to Hold Storytelling Workship

To highlight his personal appearance at the Big Apple National Con - Nov 17-18 at Manhattan's Penn Plaza Pavilion - comics icon JIM STERANKO has agreed to hold a MARATHON WORKSHOP spotlighting his internationally-celebrated specialty: MASTERING NARRATIVE TECHNIQUE. Voted by Wizard as the Fifth Most Influential Artist in comics' history, Steranko will reveal a host of spectacular storytelling techniques, tricks, and theories _from the basics to the ultra-sophisticated‹which he promises will enhance every attendee's understanding of the complex comics medium, fans and pros alike.

'This may be the last of my public seminars,' says Steranko, who has only heralded such ground-breaking how-to events once in every ten or more years. 'The National is such an important show, and one I've supported since it began under Mike Carbonaro's guidance, that it warrants this kind of special effort. Everyone interested in comics, film, animation, and electronic games will find an infinitely deeper comprehension about the architecture of narrative art and I'm talking about practical and efficient material that will expand the vision and experience of everyone ready, willing, and able to spend an afternoon with me.'

Steranko will be articulating many of the more than 100 narrative devices and techniques he developed during his career, from his SHIELD, X-MEN, and CAPTAIN AMERICA books to his film collaborations with Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Francis Coppola, which include DRACULA and RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. The four-hour workshop will provide an extraordinary behind-the-scenes look at the creative process by one of America's premiere pop-culture legends. Attendance will be limited and early registration is recommended. Email or call 201-865-3288 for availability.

Every workshop attendee will receive a FREE Vanguard Steranko collectors item.

Mandrake The Magician Casting

Mandrake has long been a favorite character of mine. I didn't know that his strip still ran though, very interesting. I first ran across the character in Jules Pieffer's book The Comic Book Heroes as a kid.

I hope hope hope that this movie doesn't suck.

In an interesting bit of casting, Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Tudors) will star in Omega Entertainment and Baldwin Entertainment Group’s Mandrake, based on the comic strip created by Lee Falk.

Chuck Russell (The Scorpion King, The Mask) will direct the film, which is set to shoot next year in China and the United States. Criss Angel reportedly has a role in the picture.

Mandrake the Magician debuted in newspapers 1934, and stars a tuxedo-clad stage illusionist who battles crime with his hypnotic abilities. The strip spawned comic books, radio and movie serials, a TV movie, and a co-starring role in an animated series.

Although nowhere near as popular as it was in the 1930s and '40s, the King Features strip still appears in newspapers.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film will update the comic and feature a Mandrake who is 'an extreme escape artist embroiled in international espionage.'