BACK TO BASICS … OR UPSETING MR. HEINTJES AGAIN.
What with the trifecta of nicotine withdrawal, calorie counting and excess exercise, I’ve been ignoring my responsibilities to my fanatic fan base. I’ve not made myself available as the stunning font of knowledge through the regular program we (how many of me are there?) like to call “Ask The Dwo.” Okay … okay … everyone stop laughing.
The reason that this upsets my longtime friend Tom Heintjes is two-fold. First he’s responsible for my DWO nickname (yeah, you pronounce it like it was a word … you say du-woh … it doesn’t rhyme with “two”) so he thinks he retains some control over its use. Second he disapproves of “the Dwo,” it is his opinion that my nickname should be “dwo” without the “the.”
Now that I’ve completely bored everyone who stopped by to read about funny books, let me say this to Mr. Heintjes. Get Over It.
None of this changes the goal of this humble program. Ask me a question. Any question. I’ll attempt to answer it. I can’t guarantee that you’ll like the answer. So put on your thinking caps. And if you’re stumped for ideas, you can always check out the BACKGROUND page for ideas. I’ve got an answering “Ask The DWO” post coming up next week. Continue reading
With DC’s sorceress Zatanna winning the first round of this fanatic, unscientific and only reasonably fair competition of 2nd String Comic Book Characters, it is time to move on to the 2nd round for 2nd Stringers. The new updated voting box is in the sidebar. So now it is time to …
Blue Devil #1
MEET THE NOMINEES
BLUE DEVIL (DC hero)
Created by writers Dan Mishkin and Gary Cohn and artist Paris Cullins. First appeared in a preview story published in Fury of Firestorm #24 (June 1984). That story led directly into Blue Devil #1, also cover dated June 1984. Daniel Patrick Cassidy is a special effects wizard and stuntman hired to create and play the title character in the movie Blue Devil. To that end Cassidy creates a full-body costume with a hidden powered exoskeleton and built-in special-effects devices. When two of his co-stars accidentally free a demon named Nebiros, Cassidy uses his costume to drive the demon back, but not before being blasted with mystical energy. After the fight, Cassidy finds that the blast had permanently grafted the Blue Devil costume to his body. Continue reading
My life and career have intersected with the wondrous Marv Wolfman at many points along the way. I am proud to call him my friend … or at least a friendly acquaintance. If you’re reading this Marv, the next lunch is on me. I plan to pay up really soon.
TRULY GREAT: Tomb of Dracula #54 cover by Gene Colan
I first became aware of Marv Wolfman in high school when I was reading as many Marvel Comics as I could get my hands on. Sometimes that was quite difficult. Remind me to tell the story someday soon about how I almost froze to death during high school in my pursuit of new release comics.
For a comic frame of reference, I essentially grew up in Smallville. I lived on farmland five miles from the nearest town, Claremont, Minnesota (pop. 620). It had one very small convenience grocery store that carried comics. Even though new comics came in only once a week or so, I visited that little rack of comics every day at lunchtime. Continue reading
In yesterday’s post, I wrote about how the Jack Kirby Awards were established. It was a reaction to the Comics Buyer’s Guide Fan Awards. It came from a germ of an idea from either Gary Groth or Kim Thompson at Fantagrapics Books. The goal being to establish awards based on the votes of comic professionals, ones that might be respected both within the industry and in the outside world.
I also promised a little melodrama as well as some lying and betrayal, so strap in for this reasonably long second chapter of our adventure in comic industry awards. Continue reading
FANATIC QUIZ QUESTION OF THE WEEK
Name the eight “Gorilla” creators
In November of 2000, at Mid-Ohio Con, seven comics creators gathered to celebrate the launch of Gorilla Comics. At the panel discussion all but one “gorilla” was present. The imprint was announced to be part of Image Comics. During the panel, Image publisher-at-the-time Jim Valentino played host, holding the microphone for fans as they got their questions answered.
The high visibility imprint lasted less than a year, the victim of faulty financing from a dot.com entrepreneur. Who were the eight “gorilla” founders?
DID I MENTION THAT I LOVE ME SOME MAN-BULL
Name your favorite second-string hero / villain.
Multiple covers around the same printed comic pages. They are a little piece of hell that comic readers and collectors either tolerate or celebrate depending on the how’s and why’s of your comic buying habit. There are a number of trains of thought about the benefits or lack thereof.
They do allow, under the best of circumstances, for publishers, creators and retailers to put a few extra badly needed dollars in their pockets.
Love ‘em? Hate ‘em? Accept them as a tolerable but unavoidable evil?
First, a quick caveat before I start assigning blame. As the publisher at Malibu Comics, I absolutely employed this marketing gimmick a number of times to “encourage” sales on behalf of the company and the creators who would also benefit from additional sales. Guilty as charged.
If I have my history correct (and please feel free to correct me if you feel it is necessary), the first time this “technique” was employed in comics was 1989 with the release of Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #1. The decision to put the multiple covers on this book almost assuredly came during some kind of meeting between Bob Wayne and Bruce Bristow at DC Comics. But I don’t blame them.
If you look at it under a slightly skewed kaleidoscope (like I do), Frank Miller is to blame. Yeah, that’s right, you read that correctly, I blame Frank Miller … well sort of. How is that possible? He didn’t write it or draw it. He didn’t even do the cover art. Let me explain.
The circumstances were these. Legends of the Dark Knight was a Batman concept book. The idea was to get top-notch creative teams to create four-issue story arcs on a new continuing series that wasn’t tied tightly to regular Batman continuity. This would free creators to tell a wider variety of stories and also lend themselves to replicate the success of Frank Miller’s run on Batman #404-407, (better known as Batman: Year One) which became a super successful trade paperback in 1988.