More posts after the new year (promises, promises . . . ) but for now, behold:

A teaser for the movie; Drew Struzan goodness; I can't believe that this is actually happening - feels just like it did before Phantom came out, but this time I don't think we will be as disappointed. It is, after all, Speilberg directing and not Lucas.



I'm baaaackkkk!

With news that's already all over the web, but what the hell::

The Joker!

Rorschach on Set!

The Black Freighter lives! Check out the poster for the comic within the comic movie!

and finally, Old Boy Indy!



There can be only one #1 for All Hallow's Eve!

John Carpenter's original classic, Halloween!

Happy Halloween all! Have fun Trick or Treating!



Horror comics have a long and storied history - from EC classics like Vault of Horror to Tales from the Crypt right up to the modern age with books like Steve Niles's 30 Days of Night.

But for me the best, creepiest, and most consistently entertaining horror comic stars a cocky, rude, Englishman named John Constantine.

From his first appearance in Swamp Thing (vol.II) number 37, Constantine has been a constant enjoyment for me to read. The creation of Alan Moore, the mage has been written by a variety of writers throughout the years (including Americans Denise Mina and Brian Azzerello), but he has always remained so essentially, Constantine.

The latest run by Andy Diggle (The Losers, Green Arrow: Year One) has been nothing short of brilliant.




Three for the price of one! My favorite Halloween books:

#5 The October Country by Ray Bradbury

#4 Batman: The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale

#3 Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

Bradbury is the king of Halloween spookiness and mystery as far as I am concerned - as much as Stephen King is the
master of horror, Bradbury turns the best tales of cool autumn winds, crackling leaves and carnivals in darkening fields.

Bringing it back to comics, The Long Halloween was the third time that Loeb and Sale tackled Batman in his "Year One" setting and made the whole affair an year long event that started and finished on All Hallow's. If you can't see the beauty of using the Bat's Rogues Gallery in a Halloween story, you've lost me and should probably surf on by!



If a life-size bust of my favorite monster from
Sideshow Collectibles doesn't put you in the mood for All Hallow's, the price ($499.00!) might give you the proper holiday shock!

Anyway, it's sold out, but man, that is frighteningly cool . . .


Go here and check out all the great designs for Kreepsville Industries upcoming coffintable book, Cereal Killers.

Some of my favorite artists are contributing to this, and I can't wait to get my paws on it. The artwork to the left is by Wayne Harris!



Classic Bust of Leatherface! Take that Rodan!



If you're going to wear a store-bought costume on All Hallow's to Trick-or-Treat in your neighborhood, there's only one way to go . . .

Ben Cooper. The King of the Costume. Classic Frankenstein.



Starting the countdown to my favorite holiday!

In order to properly prepare for the night of all nights, little ghouls and boys everywhere need a handy-dandy guide to make-up effects. Why not go with a classic!



A follow-up to the Eightball controversy in CT: Teacher goes free, comics blamed.

Logan gets titled.

I'll take a case of Rudolph Pate, please.

eBay gets on your desktop.\

The vault is about to open - there's one coming from Marvel and DC too. Neato!

More Star Wars news.

He's back.



From DC Comics' Green Arrow and Black Canary Issue #1, art by Cliff Chiang.

And for enterprising youth, a blank .jpeg version:



As a follow-up to my last post, Marvel Comics' big 10.11.07 announcement was the re-emergence, re-design and re-introduction of the recently deceased Captain America (see Captain America, Vol. IV, #25 for all the lurid details.)

Alex Ross designed the new look which incorporates the design of Cap's original triangular shield, as well as arming the NuCap with a gun and knife. Marvel's staying mum on who is taking up the mantle of the Sentinel of Liberty, but with Ed Brubaker writing, I am pretty confident it will be a fun ride.

As for the new costume, the verdict is still out for me. I like the general idea of a more urban combat-looking costume. It's more functional, less "costum-y." The metallic effect, while it works great with Ross's paints, is going to be hard for many artists to pull off without it looking cheesy.

Ross used a similar technique for the re-design of DC DC Comics' Citizen Steel (formerly Commander Steel) in that company's JSA title.

In that book, Dale Eaglesham and Ruy Jose, have done an admirable job of keeping Ross's metallic design while still staying true to their own style of art. I credit the colorist here too, but I don't have an issue handy to see who that is.

One colorist that comes to mind who's always done an admirable job with metal surfaces is Laura Depuy - certainly over John Cassiday's pencils on the character Danger in Astonishing X-Men.

I'm confident in Steve Epting's abilities as penciller and painter to stay true to Ross's redesign, it's just that with the way Marvel handles it big events, you just know that NuCap is going to be appearing in every title from Iron Fist and New Avengers to Moon Knight and Ghost Rider. With that wide range of artists handling the appearance of the difficult to nail effects of the costume, readers are going to get a lot of less than stellar interpretations of the new duds.

Whatever the eventual treatment of the costume is, there are going to be many purists who can't stand the idea of a NuCap in a new outfit. Personally, I have really been enjoying the storyline of Cap's death and the aftermath. Besides World War Hulk, its the best thing Marvel is doing right now. Also, I am not a diehard Cap fan, so the changes effect me that much less.

One of the first Cap stories I read and loved, however, was Mark Gruenwald's 12 or 14 part story that started with Steve Rogers quitting as Cap and a new more ruthless person taking over the roll. So, I'm already partial to NuCap stories.

And anyway, this is comics and the original Cap, Steve Rogers, will be back from the dead soon or later.

My money's on sooner.

images courtesy of Marvel Comics via Newsarama



Here's the teaser poster for Jon Favreau's Iron Man :

And here's a teaser image for a big announcement Marvel Comics is making on October 11th, 2007, apparently :
Can you tease a date?

This is another perfect example of Marvel's insistence to make everything they do overblown. World War Hulk (and Planet Hulk leading up to it) has been a great storyline with little or no hype to it before it was released. The much bally-hooed Civil War on the other hand was screamed about everywhere possible, and for the most part was a major disappointment. Spidey's current One More Day storyline is super-duper hyped, but with only one issue of the 4-parter out so far, I will reserve judgment. Suffice it to say that first issue was no great shakes.

Anyway, that's my dig at Marvel this week - come back later in the week for a dig at DC!

We try to be equal opportunity in our hating here at TTHQ . . .



Here are a bevy of links to keep you glued to the internet for the night:

Director Zach Snyder (Dawn of the Dead, 300) intros his new in-production comics-to-film adaptation Watchmen here.

Cartoonist Daniel Clowes (David Boring, Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron) makes headlines in Connecticut in ways he probably wishes he never did. Read about the ridiculousness here and here; get Tom Spurgeon's take here.

Kevin points out a highlight reel panel from the latest issue of Frank Miller's and Jim Lee's All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder (Issue #7) right here.

Have I mentioned how much I am enjoying these webcomics? Especially, Andy B's Raising Hell and Cam Stewart's Sin Titulo!


GOOD READS:Heart-Shaped Box

Just having finished Joe Hill's Heart-Shaped Box, TT HQ wanted to post about this book - its a helluva read. Fast-paced, intricate, unpredictable, and filled with well-thought out, believable characters, the book is a stunning first novel. Plus it is quite possibly one of the scariest books I have ever read.

And that's saying a lot - and not so much - all at the same time. A lot, because I read a lot of horror - anyone from Brian Lumley to Lovecraft to John Connolly and Richard Matheson. And of course, Stephen King, the master of the genre. But that's also why saying this book is horrifying shouldn't be that surprising. Because Joe Hill is really a pen name for Joseph Hill King - the elder son of the aforementioned master of horror.

Going into this book I knew that Hill was King's son, but the sale of the book to William Morrow preceded the common knowledge that Hill was really a King. Hill stuck to his pen name so that he could make it on his own; even his agent didn't know he was the heir to King when he brought the book to W/M. Having already written an award-winning collection of short stories (Twentieth Century Ghosts), Hill could have taken the easy route and revealed his literary heritage. But instead, he stuck by his guns, and like his father before him (under the pen name Richard Bachman), sold a mean little piece of fiction that is now scorching the best-sellers lists.

Box is the story of Judas Coyne, an aging heavy metal icon/rock star with a none-to-original penchant for dating girls half his age, and a rather unique hobby of collecting macabre pieces of memorabilia - like a noose used to lynch a man and a snuff film of a murder in Tijuana.

So, when Jude has the opportunity to buy a ghost through an internet eBay knock-off, he doesn't think twice about it. And when the suit that is supposedly haunted arrives, the fun (or the terror, depending on if you are a character in the book or a reader!) begins.

The scare-tactics start early in the book and flow through, non-stop, until the very last page. Jude, who starts as a fairly unlikeable character, grows on the reader throughout the book, despite revelations of some of the less than noble things he has done. It's this kind of empathy between character and reader that really allows Box to shine. The reality of Jude's character grounds the book, so that the more fantastic elements of the haunting and the reasons behind it become all that much more terrifying. The antagonists of the book truly shine - the evil inherent in the concept of the ghost story is turned on its ear with the revelations of modern horrors that created the ghosts for this story.

Chilling visual language throughout the book gives the reader a vivid picture of the action and keeps at bay the most frustrating crutch of horror-fiction: the idea that what's happening is so bizarre that not even the characters can describe it. That kind of descriptive cop-out (the "it was a blur of things so terrible, so vicious that my mind shut down" description) often takes the reader out of the moment. Hill, however, manages - in effortless fashion - to not only chronicle all of those fear-inducing moments in the book, but to make all of those descriptions absolutely compelling.

For any fan of the horror genre, this is a must read book. For those who just enjoy a good story, with well written prose and fully developed characterization, I can't recommend this book enough.



So, I have added a link on the sidebar to bountee.com where I am now selling some t-shirts. This is just one more place for me to feature some of my design work, and hopefully make a little cashmoney.

If you like, grab one. If you have a suggestion for a design, let me know. Either way, please click on over and at least vote for my tee designs - the more positive I get the closer to a listing on the front page I will get.

Thanks for the support!



#1: The Baloonatic - a sentient balloon terrorizing Metropolis

#2: The Death Metal Men - a villainous counter-team created by Dr. T.O. Morrow which hosts menacing metallic members like Uranium, Strontium and Thorium!

#3: Psuedo science lessons and amazing artwork laid out in pages like this:



News out of DC Comics is that Jim Shooter (former editor of Marvel Comics, Valiant Comics and comic-writing genius) is back on board the title that launched his career (at the young age of 14!) . . . Legion of Super-heroes!

With the 50th Anniversary of the Legion on its way in 2008, it is nice to see that DC is making a commitment to the 1000s of Legion fans out there by really pulling out all the stops for the series and the venerable characters. On board with Shooter is artist Francis Manapual (check out his great ensemble piece below) who looks to be bringing back some of the classic look to the Legion that was most recently rebooted by Mark Waid and Barry Kitson.

Legion fans are a rabid bunch and while Waid/Kitson's run was critically acclaimed (and I personally enjoyed the little I have read of it), fan reaction was mixed at best. With the announcement of Shooter taking over the title from fill-in writer Tony Bedard with issue #37 of the current series, a lot of fans seem to be hoping for a return to the "classic" Legion of old. However, in an interview at Newsarama, Shooter says that he not only isn't comfortable with reboots keyed to new creators entering books, he states that he is also a fan of Waid's run and wants to stick with it while bringing in his own enthusiasm and adventure to the title.

This, I think, bodes well for Shooter's return. Readers can look forward to his great writing without the title turning into a retro-fied run down memory lane. Remember, Shooter first started writing the Legion series in the 1960s when he was only a teenager. He went back to Legion again in the 70s, before his historic and controversial editor-in-chief position at Marvel Comics. So nearly 30 years later, comics, the Legion, and the writer himself, have gone through myriad changes.

Shooter has proved that he is a writer that can evolve with the times, his massive contributions to the 90s being clear evidence of that with the Valiant line of comics. He's since struggled to launch a market-succesful new line of comics, but is always on the cutting edge of the industry - introducing new characters, concepts and universes without ever taking a break.

His return to a mainstream book like Legion, is not just a return to his origins in the industry and a "been there, done that" scenario. It is a different man and a differnet Legion that he returns to. This is the type of situation in the comics medium that garners that magical feeling of anything can happen now. Let's just hope that unlike many of those previous occasions that on this one, the lightning will strike twice.



Notice the new banner ad above? That's for the documentary debuting on 9/7/07 titled, "You Must Be this Tall."

It's a doc on the now abandoned and destroyed Rocky Point Amusement Park - a RI institution until about 15 years ago when it went bankrupt.

I spent many a summer day at the park in my youth, often feeling sick on the Rock & Roll, the Corkscrew, or the Musik Express after chowder and clam cakes from the Shore Dinner Hall.

Click on the link and check out the site, and come September, if you are in the Little Biggest, please see the movie.

Also, 75orless Records will be issuing the soundtrack to the film, later in the month. In case you didn't know, I created the logo for the label, do a lot of the layout and design work for the albums they produce, and have had a personal hand in printing more than a few (thousand) of the hand-pressed cd covers myself. So head over and check out all of their selections as well.



It seems that after a period of DC books just treading water, the company has made a major effort to step up their game. This happens a lot in comics, in my view - a sort of cyclical rotation of the books that just seem to be right, while others languish in mediocrity. For a while, since all of the hype behind One Year Later, 52, and Infinite Crisis (and its infinite tie-ins) died down and the company shifted to putting the marketing machine behind Countdown, the books seemed to lose quality while they gained quantity.

While the push behind Countdown and its countless tie-ins is still moving strong, the fan reaction to it has been weak. Things have reached their saturation point. Or rather the over-saturation point. There is just too much out there, and none of it, on its own, seems to hold any water. The books just feel thin. I am still sort of enjoying Countdown, for its universe-spanning feel and some of its more entertaining points (see my Countdown Rundown weekly column over at FOG! for my views on the weekly book), especially the story of the comic Flash Rogues, the Pied Piper and the Trickster.

But in the last month, the change in the quality of the DC line has come from the books that aren't related to Countdown and the books leading to the coming Final Crisis. Rather the best books coming out of DC have been the stand alones; books like Green Arrow: Year One, The Metal Men mini-series, The Un-Men (yes, I know it's Vertigo!), The Outsiders: Five of a Kind weekly event, The Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps War event, and Booster Gold.

While the Sinestro event and the new on-going Booster Gold are both related to the coming Crisis, they stand on their own, and would be perfectly enjoyable even without a vast knowledge of the current DCU. Solid, entertaining stories about super-heroes that aren't ashamed of their core "super-heroness." GA:Y1 has been much better than I could have hoped for - Andy Diggle and Jock having updated the arrow-slinger's origin and mixed in a very riveting and socially-conscious story, while staying true to the character's nearly 70-year-old roots.

With only one issue under their respective belts', both Vertigo's Un-Men (spinning out of old Swamp Thing stories) and the regular DCU 8-issue mini The Metal Men have both shown great promise. The art on Metal Men alone should be winning fans across the board. Plus, their appeal to both old and new fans (me being one of the later, at least for the Metal Men) should serve as a model for all new comics.

And, with the nostalgia-serving homage to the 80s classic, Batman and the Outsiders, the current August-shipping event Five of a Kind is following in the footsteps of Metal Men - serving up old-skool fun in the form of unlikely team-ups and fast-paced, action-packed one-shot stories (this week's Metamorpho/Aquaman serves as a perfect example.) At the same time, the event is pushing the concept forward for a new generation of fans.

Maybe there is hope for the "Nu-DC" and the regime of Dan Didio after all. I liked what the senior VP-Editorial did when he first came on - ambitious world/universe building and a revamp of the entire line - but lately, that ambition has turned into stubborn adherence to a failing vision. Maybe with the end of universe-spanning events in sight with Morrison and Jones' Final Crisis (for which I and countless fans have very high hopes), the DCU will finally get back to what it does best - solid, character driven stories of iconic super-heroes.

For Marvel fans, check back in over the weekend for a look at what's making me happy from their line - can you say, "Hulk SMASH!!!??"



The latest column is up over at FOG!

It's a double shot of last week's and this week's issue of Countdown. Check it out, we could use the site-hits!



Part 2 of a series

Continuing my series of classic and personal favorites, we jump to the modern era and the most recent Batman covers to hit the shelves (actually two haven't even come out yet, but what the hell!)

Batman #667 written by Grant Morrison; art and cover by J.H. Williams, III

Writer Grant Morrison's current story resurrecting the "Club of Heroes" focuses on the Silver Age Bat-emulators from around the world - think of guys like Bat-Hombre (now El Goucho) and the United Kingdom's Knight & Squire - reuniting with their inspiration, Batman on a remote millionaire's private island. Morrison's modern updating of the concept is of course, phenomenal, and it's only a third of the way into the story.

When one of the Club of Heroes is murdered on the island and the killer taunts the heroes while wearing the peeled off face of their millionaire benefactor, Batman takes the lead in tracking down the ruthless killer.

The first issue of the three parter (Batman #667) just shipped last week, and if you can find it on the stands, I urge you to do so. It was one of the best Batman comics I have read in years. It's too bad that artist J.H. Williams's stint on the book is so short - he has the perfect combination of moody art and action driven story-telling that's making this an instant classic.

Tune in later in the month for some of the Silver Age covers that inspired the story behind the new Club of Heroes.

Covers to issues #668 (on the right) and #669 (left) also by J.H. Williams, III. My personal favorite of the three is the cover to #669, although it is hard to argue with the graphic genius behind the cover to #668. Both books are shipping to comic shops within the next 2 week to 1 month.



Click this.

Yes I am talking to you.

from the genius of kevin.



The first three covers for Marvel Comics' upcoming Spider-man uber-ever, One More Day. The covers are by series artist and E-I-C Joe Quesada. A fourth mystery cover will be revealed later.

The story marks a major turning point in the life of Peter Parker and will reset the Spider-man franchise for Marvel. After this cross-over, Marvel will only produce Amazing Spider-man as a core 616 Marvel Spidey title, eschewing Sensational and Friendly Neighborhood.

The catch? Marvel will be producing and putting Amazing on the shelves three times a month - with three super-star (sort of) creative teams, including artists Phil Jimenez and Steve McNiven and writers Bob Gale and Zeb Wells.



This is a nice mid-summer cooler to keep the humidity away - the teaser poster for the upcoming Whiteout based on the Greg Rucka mini-series from Oni and the Frank Miller cover that inspired it.



Part 1 of a series:

This cover, originally drawn for Detective Comics #31 by Batman co-creator Bob Kane (September 1939: Batman vs. the Vampire, written by Kane and Gardner Fox), was only the 5th appearance of Batman and has often been repeated.

Most notably in the two covers that follow: Batman #227 by Neal Adams (December 1970: the Demon of Gothos Mansion, written by Denny O'Neil, interior pencils by Irv Novick), and more recently, as the cover to the first issue of the mini-series, Batman and the Mad Monk by Matt Wagner (October 2006: Part 1 of 6, written/drawn by Wagner.) The last is an exploration of that classic story from 'Tec #31, expanding on the titular character, the Mad Monk.

As much as I love the classic Gothic Romance vibe & the ink-wash technique of the Adams cover, and the painted art/computer rendered look that shows up in Wagner's version, the original still stands as one of my top five all-time favorite Batman covers.

Over the next year and a half - leading up to Batman's 80th Anniversary - I plan on featuring more and more stories on the character that got me into comics nearly 25 years ago and remains my favorite fiction character, in any medium.

All covers we're pulled from scans of my own collection, or in the case of those I don't own, from the greatest comicbook resource on the web: the Grand Comic Database project. Learn more about them and their mission, here!



Stan Lee continues his reality series on Sci-Fi Channel: Who Wants to be a Super-Hero? The second season kicks off next week!

The Cast:

The Winner*:

* Mr. Mitzvah wins as predicted by me, in a just world!



continuing my picks for solicitations to be delivered in October 2007:

Written by ED BRUBAKER Art and Wraparound cover by SEAN PHILLIPS

FLYING! Tracy finally comes to the end of the line in his search for answers,
but will he want them by then? Or has his entry back into the life his brother
led changed who he is? And what about the hitmen on his trail? He'll have to
deal with that, too. The action-packed FINALE of the second Criminal arc from
award-winning creators Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. And every issue of
Criminal is packed from cover to cover with content, from back-up stories to
noir articles by Brubaker and many other big-name writers, so wise up and buy
the single issues!

32PGS/Mature Content/No Ads... $2.99

Another great story arc in the making from Brubaker and Phillips. Can't miss comics.

And that's it for Marvel. I am looking forward to Iron Fist, Incredible Hulk and World War Hulk, but there is nothing in those issues to set them out from the rest of the run as I already collect those regularly.



A monthly look at the solicits for DC/Marvel/Dark Horse/Indies. Today, DC:

Written by Si Spencer
Art by Simon Gane & Cameron Stewart
Cover by Sean Phillips

Noted British television writer Si Spencer (Eastenders, Torchwood, Bad Girls) presents a sharp, unforgettable cadence in THE VINYL UNDERGROUND, a 21st century cross between THE INVISIBLES and CSI that brings rich social and political context to the dark, glittering cesspool that is London. Spencer is joined by indie creator/penciller Simon Gane (Paris, Punk Strips) and Eisner-nominated artist Cameron Stewart (the Other Side, SeaGuy) with bold, captivating covers by by Sean Phillips (The Invisibles, Criminal).
In this fast-paced, ultra-cool ongoing crime-noir series, an unlikely quartet of occult detectives secretly solve crimes — from DJ crack bars in Camden to the elegant, high-society ballrooms that make up modern London. The Vinyl Underground is led by Morrison Shepherd, a D-list celebrity darling, soul DJ, and son of an ex-footballer. Fresh out of prison and off a nasty coke habit, Morrison is joined by a fellow ex-con named Perv, whose seizures give him clues to crimes long before the cops, and Leah, a gorgeous morgue assistant who leads a double life online and represents the brawn of the team.
Morrison's ex-flame Abi is reluctantly forced to join the team when her father is implicated for murder. A young boy's head (with diamonds in the eye sockets) washes up on the edge of the Thames and seems to be connected to a series of ritual killings, a drug called Khat, and Muti magic. Can they get to the bottom of it?
On sale October 3 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • MATURE READERS

I love Cameron Stewart's art, am a huge sucker for Sean Philips covers (thought he had the best Hellblazer covers since Glenn Fabry) and I have heard nothing but good things about Si Spencer's writing. Count me in.

Written by John Ostrander, Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis and others Art by Howard Chaykin, Karl Kesel, Luke McDonnell and others
From the 1980s comes this hard-hitting volume collecting the popular series in which captured super-villains got the chance to leave prison behind…for a price. Included are storied from Suicide Squad #1-18, Doom Patrol and Suicide Squad Special #1, SECRET ORIGINS #14 and Justice League International #13.
Advance-solicited; on sale November 14 • 528 pg, B&W, $16.99 US

Even though I have most of these issues, this is still a must-own, especially in the great Showcase format.

Written by Grant Morrison
Art and cover by Tony Daniel
The next chapter of Batman’s life starts here! The shadow of Batman’s archfoe Ra’s al Ghul still looms large over the head of the Dark Knight. Is Ra’s al Ghul destined to live again? Batman begins his quest for the truth in this special prelude to “The Resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul,” guest-starring Talia al Ghul, Damian, the Sensei and I-Ching!
On sale October 31 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

While Batman's delays and lack of consistent Andy Kubert art have been a major dissappointment, each issue that comes out penned by Grant Morrison has been better than the last and some of the best Batman stories since the classic O'Neil/Adams run (and besides DKR and Year One). Plus, the return of my favorite villain, this is easily my most anticipated book of October and probably the year.

WRITTEN and illustrated by various Cover by Gene Ha
Don’t miss this collection of 13 stories of tricks and treats by some of comics’ top creators, including writers Steve Niles, Mark Waid, Steve Seagal, Dan DiDio, Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, Peter Johnson (TV’s Supernatural), David Arquette (Scream), Cliff Dorfman (Entourage) and many more with art by Ian Churchill, Dean Ormston, Dustin Nguyen , Bernard Chang and others! The inmates of Arkham horrify each other with terrifying tales involving Superman and zombies, Batman and vampires, Robin and werewolves, Aquaman and witches, Flash and the dead, and more! Plus, the return of Resurrection Man!
On sale October 31 • 80 pg, FC, $5.99 US

Love Halloween stories. Really liked Abnett and Lanning's Resurrection Man series. So nothing but good here.