What do Republican pundits REALLY think about VP Choice Sarah Palin? Why don't we listen to what former McCain campaign manager and a former Reagan speech writer have to say about it:



are hanging at the DC WarRoom - you should visit. Hopefully I will have a column starting up there in a week or two. Stay tuned for linkage.



Summer is in full swing at Terror Tales Central/Thunderhouse, but had to drop a note on the today-premiering Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog by the incomparable Joss Whedon and Co.

Of special note to fans of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical episode, "Once More, With Feeling," the three part musical/blog/movie/short starts tonight and continues through July 20th. Head over to this site for all the fun.

Starring Neil Patrick Harris as the eponymous Dr. and Nathan Fillion as Captain Hammer, this promises to be the biggest hit on the internet since YouTube exploding Mentos and Diet Coke videos.

For more info and an interview with Whedon, go here!



This fall acclaimed designer Chip Kidd (along with co-writer Saul Ferris and photographer Geoff Spear) will be putting out a book that any Batman fan will be drooling over . . . BatManga!

The book will cover the history of and reprint copies of Batman stories published in Japan in the mid-1960s in Shonen King manga magazine. Long forgotten (and more likely, unknown to the masses) the comics ran in conjunction with airings of the ABC tv show Batman, which were re-aired in Japan.

Mostly drawn by 8-Man creator Jiro Kuwata, the stories ranged over a year, were all-original and mostly featured new, unknown in the US villians. The book promises to be a treasure trove of Bat-goodness for fans and will serve as an amazing companion piece to Kidd's excellent Batman: Collected tome.

Look for it in October 2008 from Pantheon Books in both a soft-cover edition and an expanded limited edition hardcover. Read an interview with the writers here.

*I am the night. I am Batman. (translated from Japanese)



Announced months ago by author Stephen King, Marvel Comics this weekend at WizardWorld Philly announced the comic book adaptation of The Stand. Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacaso (sp? he wrote Marvel's "4" title about the Fantastic Four) with art by Mike Perkins, Marvel E-I-C Joe Quesada held back the number of issues the comic adaptation would run.

Considering the book itself (the unabridged version, at least) clocks in at well over a 1000 pages, it is hard to see the adaptation being anything less than 12 issues. Even the ABC television miniseries was an 8 hour event and that left out a lot from the book. With King being fully involved in the project as he has been with Marvel's adaptation/expansion of his Dark Tower series, it seems that the book will be given a lot of room to tell its story.

The refusal of Marvel to lock-down a finite number of issues seems keyed to the business end of things, however. It's not easy to get a casual comics fan to commit to an ongoing series that extends over more than a year, especially when they know the book will be collected eventually in a handsome hardcover package. Throw in the rising cost of gas and the difficulty of finding a comic shop in this direct market only comics-world, and you have a recipe for a tough sell - even for a writer as popular as King and a book as popular as The Stand.

Either way, it is something that I am sure many King fans are excited about, and certainly, anyone who has picked up the Dark Tower adaptations knows how good and good-looking those books have been. I look forward to the project myself, and just point out Marvel's strange secrecy on the issue number as a point of curiosity.

At right: feast your eyes on a small black and white piece by series artist Mike Perkins!



Head over here for a look at Joss Whedon's upcoming show, Dollhouse debuting this Fall on Fox. Reteaming Whedon with Buffy co-star Eliza Dushka, the sci-fi show looks promising. Also starring Tahmoh Penikett better known to fans of Battlestar Galactica as Helo. What the frak!?

Also, if you get a chance, head over to youtube for a look at the new JJ Abrams sci-fi show, also debuting on Fox in the fall, Fringe. Looks promising in an X-Files sort of way.



IRON MAN: The Awesome.
THE DARJEERLING LIMITED: Not as good as Rushmore . . .
JUNO: "Dream big!" . . . great line, solid flick

SHE&HIM - VOLUME ONE: 70s country pop rocks!
STEPHEN MALKMUS & THE JICKS - REAL EMOTIONAL TRASH: Like Pavement but better, maybe.

THAT SALTY AIR (Tim Sievert): Damn good for a debut GN
KIRBY:FIVE-OH (TwoMorrows Press): only a 1/4 in, GREAT!
A DRINK BEFORE THE WAR (Dennis Lehane): So much better than "Mystic River" (titles count as one word, smartguy!)



Chip Kidd is back to re-inventing the look of book covers. This time its with mainstream, monthly comics. Yes, yes, he's designed plenty of comic book covers before, and had a huge impact on the look of many a Batman-related book and trade.

But this time, it's on a book that will be on shelves monthly and heralds one of DC's biggest books in the last twenty years, Final Crisis by Grant Morrison and J.G. Jones.

Dig it . . .



See the latest villian-centric Dark Knight trailer here.

I will be seeing Iron Man tomorrow night, but as excited as I am about that, I don't think the movie is going to hold a candle to the Batman sequel.

Look for an Iron Man review later in the week.




Barry Allen as the Flash! In the DCU . . .

Ian McKellen as Gandalf! In The Hobbit . . .

Venom as Anti-Venom (The Cure? The Antidote?)! In the Marvel U and Amazing Spider-man . . .



With the DC Comics Universe moving into a new year of stories, launching tomorrow with the $.50 DCU #0, and the May-shipping Final Crisis by the mega-star team of Grant Morrison and JG Jones, the company has been unveiling a number of ads depicting the upcoming series and tie-ins from the characters' main titles.

The posters are bold and stark and feature an iconic sliver of artwork from the artists and characters involved in the upcoming series and story arcs. The original release features Darkseid and the upcoming Final Crisis.

Another, featuring a Terror Tales favorite, Batman, is also written by Morrison with artwork from upcoming Batman cover artist Alex Ross. This story promises to change the Bat forever and the death of Bruce Wayne. Much debate is swarming the internet over whether that is a literal or figurative death. Either way, a gutsy move for DC and Warners considering the blockbuster Dark Knight film is only months away from bowing in theaters.

In that vain, I was inspired by the message-board denizens over at Newsarama.com to create my own poster. Booster Gold was a laugh-out-loud character in the 90s when written in the wonderful JLI series by J.M. DeMattias and Keith Giffen.

Mostly a throw-away C-lister since the demise of that title, recently the character has been revived and made into a must-read book by Geoff Johns, Jeff Katz, and Dan Jurgens (w/art assists by the excellent Norm Rapmund). Filled with action, adventure, laughs, intrigue, mystery, and most importantly, fun. Its the way more comics should be written - respective of its past, but pushing forward boldly without scorching the earth it covers.

Anyway, here's my design entry for the new DC-ad push:




The ongoing trials and tribulations of the Incredible Hulk's film career continue. The latest enemy the Green Goliath faces is not the Abomination or MODOK, but rather hostile media outlets, hellbent on kicking up controversy that may not even exist.

In the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, the magazine features an article on the much-reported ongoing battle between Marvel Studios and The Incredible Hulk film's star and screenwriter, Edward Norton.

Known for his dedication and Howard Roark-like determination to fight for what he believes in (Google American History X and Tony Kaye!), Norton (so it's been reported) is locking horns with Marvel over the final cut of the film, which is due in theaters this June. While Marvel is looking for a fast-paced, action-packed commercial film to wash the taste of the previous box office disappointment that was Ang Lee's Hulk film from fans's mouths, Norton is advocating a more balanced picture that would come in somewhere over 2 hours and include more pathos for the character of Bruce Banner. According to the article and quotes from director Louis Letterier, things on the set were splendid until Marvel came in to dictate cuts to the director and Norton (who, besides re-writing the original Zach Penn script, is also an un-credited producer on the film.)

Norton has thus far refused to comment on the situation, and has not promoted the film at all, adding fuel to the speculation fire that there is a genuine controversy over the cut of the film. Finally, after months of EW gunning for an interview, Norton's people gave them a 257 word statement from the actor.

After professing his love for the character since childhood, the actor goes on to say: "Every good movie gets forged through collaboration, and different ideas among people who are all committed and respect the validity of each other's opinions is the heart of filmmaking. Regrettably, our healthy process, which is and should be a private matter, was misrepresented publicly as a 'dispute,' seized on by people looking for a good story, and has been distorted to such a degree that it risks distracting from the film itself, which Marvel, Universal and I refuse to let happen."

Unfortunately, by looking at the article this statement appears in and the chatter on geek-message boards across the web, the distraction has already happened, and it isn't going away. The damage might already be done.

With Marvel's Iron Man only a mere two weeks away, the marketing machine for Hulk should be in full swing. But as of this date, there has only been a single trailer premiered on cable, with no TV spots following it, and beside news of the reported controversy between Marvel and Norton, no press on the film itself.

With such a stellar cast (including Tim Roth, Liv Tyler, and William Hurt), a proven action director in Letterier (The Transporter), and the power of a star like Norton behind this franchise relaunch, The Incredible Hulk should be a favorite in the coming summer box-office numbers game. Instead, fans are worried, Universal and theater owners seem spooked, and there is talk circulating that the Hulk is jinxed when it comes to the big screen.

Read the article and Norton's statement to EW here.

above left: the latest poster for the film, showcasing a more familiar feel for fans of the 70s Hulk TV show.



Click here to sign a petition to stop German director Uwe Boll from producing more work.

Boll, the director of such blockbuster films as Blooderayne and House of the Dead, has so affronted the videogame-to-movie crowd that they have started a petition against him. In a recent interview, the director agreed that if 1 million signatures were obtained, he would in fact stop creating schlock films.

While I personally have never seen one of the director's films, I thought it was my duty as a pop culture fan to point out this example at popular democracy at work.

Go get'em!



Coming soon to a Target near you!
In addition to the already great Mr. Miracle, Orion and Lightray figures from the JLU line from Mattel, Kirby fans can rejoice with this set feature all new figures of the evil Mantis and Lashina (of Granny Goodness' Female Furies) plus the heroic bug, Forager!

Moving to Target Exclusive status, Mattel plans on releasing additional 6 packs with mixes of new and old figures, new three packs and all new single figs! Of those rumored to be on the way . . . The Question!

With the WB Justice League Unlimited show off the air for over two years, it is impressive that Mattel is putting out any of figures in this line, even repaints of existing molded figs. To actually being putting out multiple waves shows a great dedication to fans of the line.

Look for these New Gods box sets at a Target near you in Late May or Early June.



If you aren't loving these amazing covers to the latest Countdown Specials and 80-Page Giants by Ryan Sook you clearly have something wrong with you.

Pictured here are the covers to the Specials focused on Kamandi and Omac; others include the Atom, the New Gods, and shipping this week, Eclipso.

If DC marketing has any say in publishing plans, this should be the next Artist Series Portfolio collection that DC Direct issues.

As a bonus, the contents are pretty impressive. For speculators, I predict these books were under-ordered and sold out quick. Get'em while you still can.

Added Bonus #2 - DC issued a few variant covers featuring similar Ryan Sook art for Batman and the Outsiders #1, Green Arrow/Black Canary #1, and Death of the New Gods #1 - even more rare, and well worth the price of admission!



From Publishers Weekly Newsletter:

Artist Chris Bones had been a fan of the cult film Repo Man for years. Director Alex Cox's first film, it merged the aesthetic of LA.'.s ’80s punk scene with an absurdist science fiction story line and tied it together with a great soundtrack by Iggy Pop, Black Flag and Suicidal Tendencies. “I was very young when I first saw the film, and for some reason it just stuck with me,” Bones said. “The older I got, the more I seemed to gravitate back to it, which was a catalyst for me to develop an interest in Alex's other films, along with many other ‘strange’ directors. But I guess what made it a hit for me was the overall black humor and postapocalyptic feel. Having one of the best soundtracks ever didn't hurt too much, either.”

read more here



As much as Millar is annoying these days with all the comments he is constantly making, and the fact that I thought the first issue of his and Hitch's run on the FF was shite, I do have to admit that I enjoyed the first issue of Kick-Ass.

So, with art that looks like it is going to rival Romita, Jr.'s work on that title, I will most likely be getting this . . . .

go visit artist Tommy Lee Edwards!



Tim Roth is certainly scary as the Abomination in the upcoming Incredible Hulk flick from Marvel Films and Ed Norton. Now if Norton and Marvel can just work out their differences and finish a cut of the film that they can agree on.

Norton's well known for being "particular" about the film's he is involved in (from American History X - where he went so far as to recut the film, causing director Tony Kaye to pull his name from the picture - to The Italian Job, in which he was so vocal about his displeasure with the final cut of that film that he practically guaranteed its box-office failure.) Since Marvel allowed Norton to virtually dictate the film to them on paper by letting him re-write the original script and supposedly promising the actor unprecedented say in the final cut, Marvel has basically painted themselves into a corner.

However, I am not sure that's a bad thing. Norton has a very high degree of expertise in the industry, is meticulous, and really has a mastery of his craft. Marvel could do worse than let someone like that influence the route this picture takes.

Go here for the trailer in HD.



It only comes once every four years (that helps the Big Blue Boyscout avoid awkward social scenes), so here's to you Supes*!

*DISCLAIMER: Superman not really 50, that's just bad math.



1) Grant Morrison's Batman

2) Geoff Johns's Action Comics

3) Mattel's DCU Classics line of figures; see them here. Here's a taste of the magic (image courtesy of the DCUC Info site, listed above):

4) Brickmaster magazine - dedicated to customizing and building Lego sets. A recent new hobby that I am getting to share with my son - so far, our favorite has been the Indiana Jones Temple of the Ark set - supercool.


COMIC MOVIE NEWS in a flash!

A few quick hits:

See some of the figures for the upcoming Dark Knight here; and no, Deathstroke the Terminator is not in the movie, just the figure line. And yes, that is Firefly; see comment on Deathstroke.

Also, Dark Horizons has a surreptitiously taken pic of Two Face from the upcoming Bat-film, which since there hasn't been anything else, and Mattel is not yet releasing the figure to the public, constitutes a firt look.

Warner Bros. renews their rights on Akira and that looks to be coming out as a two film series, produced by Leo DiCaprio.

David Fincher is now the director linked to Charles Burns' Blackhole; script by Neil Gaiman and Roger Avery. That can't be a bad thing.

Great casting news: Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool in the new Wolverine movie.

Not so great casting news: Will.I.Am of the Black Eye Peas as Wraith in the new Wolverine movie. Really, Marvel Films?

Go back to Figures.com (link above) for tons more on toys coming from Speed Racer, Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Star Wars: Clone Wars, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and Kung Fu Panda. Me? I am looking forward to Hulky Polky Dancing Hulk: "Hulk Smash Left Arm! Hulk Smash Right Arm! Hulk Turn on Puny Humans!"