Miscellaneous Thursday: Feb. 19, 2009


• Don’t forget to click the VOTE FOR ME button just above my smiling face in the sidebar.

• Don’t forget to vote in the 2nd String Character Hall of Fame Balloting, also in the sidebar.

• And if you want to send me a new graphic to replace my header, feel free … the size is exactly 770 pixels by 200 pixels.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *


How could I forget this ? ? ?

How could I forget this ? ? ?

It was bound to happen. I’m surprised that it didn’t happen sooner. I made a whopper of a mistake. Not the kind of mistake that would make anyone mad, just the kind of mistake that makes me look stupid. In my post a few days ago, regarding Peter David, I said something about the fact that he and I had never worked together. This was not the truth, as both Mark and Kara pointed out in the comments section.

Even though it had slipped my memory, I had published six issues of work by Peter David. I’ve got no excuses. I’ve got no explanation. Peter wrote six issues of Jim Starlin’s Dreadstar (part of the Bravura imprint) which featured art by the phenomenal Ernie Colón. I don’t know why this didn’t come to mind when I was writing the story about Peter, my daughter and the TV show Space Cases.

I don’t know if Peter and Ernie are owed an apology, but I know that my fanatical readers are … so … I’m sorry. This is the reason that almost all of my posts here end with the caveat, “That’s my version of the story.” It is a way for me to acknowledge that my memory isn’t perfect and even if I remember it clearly, others memory of exactly the same situation may be different. 

I encourage all of my readers to do exactly what Kara and Mark did. If you catch me in an error, point it out. It is more important to get it right than for me to be right.


Mantlo also created THE WHITE TIGER

Mantlo also created THE WHITE TIGER

What do Rocket Raccoon #1 (of 4), Cloak and Dagger #1 (of 4), and Jack of Hearts #1 (of 4) have in common? My answer: writer BILL MANTLO. Bill Mantlo as the writer/creator of all these characters as well as the writer of each of these mini-series. From 1974 to 1988, Bill Mantlo was one of comics most prolific writers, mostly at Marvel Comics, where he started in the production department. While his first credit was as a colorist, his first writing assignment came when editor Tony Isabella was in a deadline jam on the black-and-white magazine The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu. Mantlo quickly scripted a Sons of the Tiger story for (then) newcomer George Pérez

As part of Marvel’s goal to stop using reprint material when creators got behind on their deadlines (remember the disappointment of buying a new comic and discovering reprint material inside due to the “dreaded deadline doom?”) Mantlo picked up a number of assignments to create stand-alone fill-in issues. Mantlo’s resume includes an issue or two on nearly every title that Marvel published at the time.

'Nuff said, true believer. Miniature Superheroes!

'Nuff said, true believer. Miniature Superheroes!

In addition to creating Rocket Raccoon in the pages of Incredible Hulk and Cloak and Dagger in the pages of Spectacular Spider-Man, his creations Jack of Hearts and White Tiger (reportedly the first Puerto Rican superhero) were launched in the pages of Deadly Hands of Kung Fu magazine. He also was the regular writer on licensed properties Rom: Spaceknight and Micronauts, creating enough positive  fan support that drove both series to long healthy runs. Mantlo also worked on high visibility mainstream Marvel titles with distinguished runs on Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Spectacular Spider-Man and Marvel Team-Up.

By 1988, Bill was finishing his law degree and doing less and less comic book work. In 1992, Bill Mantlo has hit by car while rollerblading. Not wearing a helmet, Mantlo suffered severe head trama from which he has never fully recovered. You can check out more details at Wikipedia HERE, but an even better summary of his career can be found HERE.


I had so much fun with this last group of “what do we have in common” pieces of art that I’ve decided to do it again. Okay, Fanatics, pay attention ! ! !










Check out the four pieces of artwork above and let me know what you think they have in common. There may be more than one answer, but there is only ONE correct answer … and it is the one I’m thinking of. So essentially this is a “mind reading” quiz of the week. 



Diversions of the Groovy Kind by Lloyd Smith


One click and you’ll see that this is exactly the kind of blog that I love to refer, honor and adore here at Funny Book Fanatic. Generous artwork, behind the scenes stories, interior pages and all dedicated to the retro/nostalgia that made me pursue a career in comics with a dogged determination that haunts me to this day. Prepare your eyeballs, this blog is big and loud, especially the full-page header that will fill your computer screen (and featuring cool superhero art by John Buscema). These are hard-workin’ bloggers. Lloyd Smith (and his friend Jonathan Gilbert) has six blogs hosted at Blogger™ alone. Only a couple of weeks ago, on his Red Lion Publications blog, Lloyd and Jonathan announced the establishment of a new publishing enterprise and started soliciting for art and lettering submissions. Yep, that means that Mr. Gilbert is no longer working as writer/editor at CE Publishing Group.



A few weeks ago I raved about Marvel’s decision to have Emily Blunt play Natasha Romanoff, The Black Widow, in the upcoming Iron Man II movie. As I mentioned, my daughter and I had been debating it for months and even though we were both Blunt fans, it hadn’t occured to us … but once it had, the casting seemed perfect.

Better than S. Johansson

Better than S. Johansson ? ? ?

Now, it seems that Blunt may have a conflict with her commitment to the Gulliver’s Travels movie, which may prevent her participation with Favreau and Downey on ol’ Shellhead’s second movie. Shame, shame. Probably not the level of the DougRay Scott tragedy (if you don’t know this one … you can ask me to explain it … or you can look it up), but certainly unfortunate. Then came the news about the wrong-headed choice to replace Blunt … the beautiful, talented and COMPLETELY WRONG Scarlett Johansson.

Johansson is wrong in so many ways. When they were suggested to me, I thought that both Hilary Swank and Jennifer Garner were bad choices (even though I like both actresses quite a lot). Both of them would have been superior choices to the soft, weak and completely un-threatening Johansson. Next to Johansson, even Gwyneth Paltrow (who plays Pepper Potts) seems like a bad-ass.

Can Scarlett beat this amateur?

Can Scarlett beat this amateur?

On the drive to Lake Havasu, I was getting my regular Howard Stern/Sirius Radio fix and the guest on the show was Eliza Dushku (formerly of Buffy and Tru Calling, now of Fox’s Dollhouse). She was talking at length about how she had been working on her Russian and she thought she was perfect to play the Black Widow. I love Eliza, but she isn’t right either.

Without Blunt, I don’t see any REALLY great choices on the horizon. Perhaps if we put our fanatic heads together, we can come up with the perfect alternative. Too bad Famke Janssen was already Jean Grey, wouldn’t she make a great Natasha?

Link to stories HERE   •   HERE   •  &  HERE 

IF SCARLETT JOHANSSON IS WRONG, WHO WOULD BE PERFECT TO PLAY THE BLACK WIDOW?? Jennifer Connelly?  Courtney Cox?  Lena Headey?  Rosemarie DeWitt?  Alexa Davalos? 



Clint “Hawkeye” Barton to appear in Iron Man II movie

Together in IRON MAN 2

Together in IRON MAN 2 ? ? ?

There is a rumor about Hawkeye showing up with the Black Widow in a number of places on the internet (including the unofficial Iron Man 2 movie blog), most of them dating back to the middle of December. Another site has a discussion from mid-January. It all seems to start with rumor reports from either Latino Review or CinemaBlend.com. While the casting of The Black Widow has been a subject of much discussion, the casting of Hawkeye hasn’t been mentioned by anyone. So either the rumor isn’t true or the part hasn’t been cast yet.

My vote for Hawkeye: either Nathan Fillian (if they make him Tony’s age) or Ryan Gosling (if they make him approximately the same age as Natasha). I’ve seen people suggesting Jason Statham and Clive Owen … and those people are just wrong.

Link to stories HERE   &   HERE

           — Dave Olbrich (DWO) Thurs. Feb. 19, 2009



Filed under Miscellaneous Monday, Point-of-view

17 responses to “Miscellaneous Thursday: Feb. 19, 2009

  1. Thanks for the nom, Dave! Have to clear this up, though: as much as I love Jon Gilbert, he ain’t Ol’ Groove! Jon’s my buddy, pal, and soon to be publisher, but the secret identity of the Groovy Agent is li’l old me, Lloyd Smith, sometimes comicbook writer and humble blogmaster of Red Lion Publications(along with taking care of Jon’s E-Dispatches blog).

    I can see where all of this gets confusing, so no harm no foul. I am honored and gratified that you’ve nominated Diversions of the Groovy Kind!

  2. BTW, my vote for the actor to play Hawkeye would go to Josh Holloway.

    Just sayin’.

  3. Dave Olbrich

    Lloyd —
    I’ve made the fix in the original post, as fanatic readers often go back and read previous posts, so it is better if it is correct. Sorry for the error.

    Josh Holloway would be fine for Hawkeye.
    But what do we do about Natasha?
    Do you agree that Ms. Johansson would be a bad casting decision?

  4. Arrgh! Bill Mantlo – Shuuda known! He’s like the Gil Kane of writers in the late 70’s / 80’s.

    I need to hand in my comic geek membership card. Damn… that said, though, the answer to this week’s HAS to be they are all the art of the great George Tuska!!!

    p.s. – no worries re: Peter David. :)

  5. Dave,
    Nope, I don’t see Johansson as Natasha, but who knows. I’ve seen what I thought was bad casting actually pull it off a time or three. I’d prefer to someone with more–eh–experience–for the role, m’self.

  6. Paul O'Connor

    If Scarlett Johansson is wrong, then I don’t want to be right.

  7. Dave Olbrich

    I don’t know Scarlett Johansson. She’s probably a very nice young woman. But she’s no Black Widow. She is missing both a “maturity” vibe and a “threatening” vibe.

    She may make O’Connor’s knees weak, but she seems about as tough as a bowl of Mac-n-Cheese to me.

    Now Famke Janssen. I shiver just thinkin’ about it.

  8. Paul O'Connor

    Did you see ScarJo in the Spirit? Actually, that’s a trick question, because no one saw the Spirit (including me). But I bet she was tough in the Spirit.

    Actually, it doesn’t matter, because you are wrong. Wrong wrong wrong.

    Turn in your man card.

  9. Dave Olbrich

    Yes. I saw THE SPIRIT in the theatre. It was terrible. It was unsuccessful. I am a recovering victim.

    Scarlett Johansson seems like this year’s Tara Reid to me. But then I don’t understand the attraction to Angelina Jolie either … so maybe I’m the wrong audience.

  10. Paul O'Connor

    Scarlett = B list (with A list potential).

    Tara Reid = second string.

    (to borrow from another thread on this august site)

  11. I’m with you, Dave. Famke is much more like what I had in mind; no way she’ll get the part, ’cause the moviegoers will think Jean Grey is the Black Widow. Now, for me, it would work. I grew up with Don Heck drawing those ladies–and when Don drew ’em, yep, they both looked alike!

  12. Tom Mason

    No man card refund necessary. ScarJo just doesn’t have the acting ability to pull off a Black Widow I want to see. I think she’s oh-so-fine rolling her curvaceous figure around on a hotel bed in Japan waiting for Bill Murray to show up, but kicking butt and screaming things like “Iron Man – look out!” and “Over here, Iron Man!” and “We’ve got to get out of here, Tony! Now!” is best left to others. My vote? Kate Beckinsale or Milla Jovavich.

  13. Dave Olbrich

    Casting the wrong actress in the wrong part isn’t winning. Forever damaging a great character like Natasha in the minds of the non-comics audience isn’t winning.

    I’m happy for your happy libido … but now we’ve got a worse movie … and almost all the people commenting at the bottom of your link agree with me.

    I wish I had something pithy to say, but I’m tired, grumpy, sick and my throat hurts.

  14. Paul O'Connor

    I still win. This is me, winning. Watch me do my Win Dance: win win win win win Winny McWin.

    And I’ll bet you a dollar, Mr. Grumpy, that those guys commenting at the bottom of the link were the same guys who were convinced Watchmen would be a hit.


  15. Dave Olbrich

    touché old friend

  16. Pingback: The Scarlett Johansson/Black Widow School of Casting « Funny Book Fanatic

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