Friday, January 28, 2005

Who comes up with this stuff?

Now, if we'd learned about the Periodic Table of Comic Books in high school, I might not have done so poorly in Chemistry.

Thanks to Moral Calculus for the link.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

New Comics & Trades Hitting the Shelves

30 DAYS OF BLOODSUCKERS TALES #4
AMAZING JOY BUZZARDS #1
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #516
ARANA HEART OF THE SPIDER #1
ARMY OF DARKNESS: SHOP TIL YOU DROP DEAD #1
ASCEND GN
ASTONISHING X-MEN #7 - reorder
AVENGERS DISASSEMBLED TP
AVENGERS EARTHS MIGHTIEST HEROES #6 (OF 8)
BATGIRL #60
BATMAN #636
BERSERK VOL 6 TP
BEYOND AVALON #1
BLACK WIDOW #5 (OF 6)
CAPTAIN AMERICA #2 - reorder
CAPTAIN GRAVITY AND POWER OF VRIL #2
CONAN #12
DETONATOR #2
DOOM PATROL #8
FANTASTIC FOUR #522
FLASH #218
FUTURAMA/SIMPSONS CROSSOVER CRISIS PART 2 #1 (OF 2)
GI JOE #39
GI JOE VOL 5 RETURN OF SERPENTOR TP
GOLD DIGGER ADVENTURES STAND ALONE SPECIAL #1
IRON MAN #2 - reorder
JLA CLASSIFIED #3
JSA STRANGE ADVENTURES #6 (OF 6)
KNIGHTS OF THE DINNER TABLE #99
LEGION OF SUPER HEROES #2
MANGA DARKCHYLDE #0
MARVEL AGE SPIDER-MAN #19
MARVEL FREE PREVIEWS #18
MYSTIQUE #23
NEW THUNDERBOLTS #4
NEW X-MEN #9
NEWTYPE ENG ED W/DVD
NIGHTWING #102
NINTENDO CLASSICALLY TRAINED T/S LG
OFFICIAL HANDBOOK MARVEL UNIVERSE: WOMEN OF MARVEL
ORIGIN TP
PLANETARY #22
PREVIEWS VOL XV #2
RED STAR VOL 3 PRISON OF SOULS TP
ROBIN #134
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #145
SOULFIRE #3
SPAWN #142
SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #24
STOKERS DRACULA #3 (OF 4)
STRANGERS IN PARADISE VOL 4 POCKET TP
SUPERPATRIOT WAR ON TERROR #2 (Of 4)
SUPREME POWER VOL 1 CONTACT TP
TALES OF TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #7
TAROT: WITCH OF THE BLACK ROSE #30
TEEN TITANS GO #15
TRUE STORY SWEAR TO GOD #12
TWO BITS #1
ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR #15
ULTIMATE X-MEN #55
ULTIMATES 2 #2 - reorder
UNCANNY X-MEN #454
USAGI YOJIMBO #81
WE 3 #3 (OF 3)
WITCHBLADE #82
WITCHING #8
WIZARD COMICS MAGAZINE #161
X-23 #2 (OF 6)
X-MEN PHOENIX ENDSONG #1 - reorder, variant cover
Y-THE LAST MAN #30

Saturday, January 22, 2005

You know that looked cool

If you weren't among the small crowd dumb enough to go see Elektra last weekend, here's the Fantastic Four teaser that you missed in front of the movie.

And while you're at it, check out the preview for Corpse Bride
— a Tim Burton movie in the style of The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Wednesday's New Comics!

ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #636
ANGELTOWN #2 (OF 5)
ARCHIE #554
AUTHORITY: REVOLUTION #4 (OF 12)
BATMAN GOTHAM KNIGHTS #61
BIRDS OF PREY #78
BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL #97
BLADE OF KUMORI: Aftermath #3
BLOODRAYNE: SKIES AFIRE
BONE VOL 1 OUT OF BONEVILLE COLOR ED HC
BONE VOL 1 OUT OF BONEVILLE COLOR ED SC
BOOKS OF MAGICK LIFE DURING WARTIME #7
BPRD THE DEAD #3 (OF 5)
BREAKDOWN: Aftermath #3
BRODIES LAW #4
BULLSEYE: GREATEST HITS #5 (OF 5)
CABLE/DEADPOOL #11
CATWOMAN #39
DAREDEVIL #69
DST SPECTRUM VOLUME 3 #2
ESSENTIAL DR STRANGE TP
EX MACHINA: THE FIRST HUNDRED DAYS TP
EXILES #58
FIERCE #4 (Of 4)
FIREBREATHER IRON SAINT ONE SHOT
FLAMING CARROT #1
HANGING OUT WITH THE DREAM KING SC
HAWKMAN #36
HELLBOY VOL 1 SEED OF DESTRUCTION TP
HELLBOY VOL 2 WAKE THE DEVIL TP
HELLBOY VOL 3 CHAINED COFFIN AND OTHERS TP
LUCIFER #58
MADROX #5 (OF 5)
MANHUNTER #6
MARVEL AGE SPIDER-MAN #19
NIGHTCRAWLER #5
OUTSIDERS #19
OWLY VOL 1 THE WAY HOME TP
PIGTALE #1
POISON ELVES: HYENA #3
POWERPUFF GIRLS #58
POWERS #8
PULSE #7 - reorder
RED STAR VOL 2 NOKGORKA TP
ROGUE #7
SAMURAI: HEAVEN & EARTH #2 (OF 5)
SIMPSONS COMICS #102
SIN CITY THAT YELLOW BASTARD TP
SMALL GODS #6
SPACE GHOST #3 (OF 6)
SPIDER-MAN INDIA #3 (OF 4)
STORMBREAKER: SAGA OF BETA RAY BILL #1 (OF 6) - reorder
STRANGE #2 - reorder
MEGACITY 909 #5
SUPER MANGA BLAST #48
SUPERMAN #208 - reorder
SUPERMAN #209 - reorder
SUPERMAN #211 - reorder
TEEN TITANS #20
TERRA OBSCURA VOL 2 #5 (OF 6)
TIM SELEY GI JOE SKETCHBOOK
TOMB RAIDER #49
TRIGGER #2
ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #71
ULTIMATE X-MEN #54
ULTRA #6 (OF 8)
WANTED #6 (Of 6)
WATERLOO SUNSET #3 (Of 4)
WIZARD SUPERHERO GAMING SPECIAL
WOLVERINE #24
WOLVERINE THE END #6 (OF 6)
WONDER WOMAN #212
X-23 #1 (OF 6) - reorder
X-MEN #166

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Happenin's at Haven...

Okay, so what's going on here lately? Well, we're ordering comics and selling them when they come in. We're ordering the heck out of some War Machine and that stuff is flying off the shelf lately. More and more guys are getting in on the act, painting the figures, constructing the terrain, and waging war on one another. This game is really taking off. Hero Clix has been doing well lately too - the Mutant Mayhem expansion has been a good one, and it's got a lot of folks back into the game.

Which books out there are worth reading? Man, there are a lot. Ultimate Spider-Man is still going strong, though it's had a few bumps along the way. Samurai: Heaven and Earth is an awesome new book. Supreme Power continues to impress. Manhunter, from DC, has been a surprisingly good book; I wasn't expecting much out of it, but I've really enjoyed it. New Avengers has been...different...I'm not sure what to make of it yet, but it's at least been captivating. We'll see where Bendis takes it.
G.I. Joe: Reloaded has been a step up from the regular book, which is a shame, since the regular Devil's Due series started off so well. Fables rocks. Thor: Son of Asgard, has been a surprise - I don't even like Thor, but this is a seriously good book. I'm really looking forward to Ultimate Iron Man; Orson Scott Card is one of the best Sci-Fi authors in the history of the genre (read Ender's Game, people!!), and he's writing this book. At the least, you can be assured that this book will be character driven and still have exceptional action sequences.

Anyway, I say all that to say this: if you haven't been in lately to read comics or to play some games, what are you waiting for?!?!?! Things are hopping at Haven these days, so get in on the action already!

- Golden Age Josh

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Weekly What's New in the Comics World

100 BULLETS #57
ACTION COMICS #823
ANGELTOWN #3 (OF 5)
AQUAMAN #26
AVENGERS EARTHS MIGHTIEST HEROES #5 (OF 8)
BATMAN HUSH VOL 1 TP
BATMAN LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #187
BATMAN STRIKES #5
BLOODHOUND #7
DARKNESS/SUPERMAN #1 (Of 2)
DISTRICT X #9
FABLES #33
GAMBIT #6
GOTHAM CENTRAL #27
GREEN ARROW #46
GREEN LANTERN REBIRTH #1 (THIRD PTG)
HELIOS #2 (MR)
IDENTITY CRISIS #6 (Of 7) - reorder
INCREDIBLES BLASTING EVIL POSTER
JLA #110
JSA #69
MAJESTIC #1
MARVEL KNIGHTS 4 #14
MARVEL KNIGHTS SPIDER-MAN #10
MARVEL TEAM-UP #4
NEW THUNDERBOLTS #4
NEW X-MEN #8
NIGHTWING #101
PULSE #7
RUULE KISS & TELL #7
SHE HULK #11
SHI JU NEN #3 (Of 4)
SHONEN JUMP VOL 3 FEB 2005 #2
SPIDER-MAN/HUMAN TORCH #1 (OF 5)
STAR WARS: OBSESSION #1 (Of 5) - reorder
STAR WARS OBSESSION #2 (Of 5) - reorder
STORMBREAKER: THE SAGA OF BETA RAY BILL #1 (OF 6)
THE BALLAD OF SLEEPING BEAUTY #6
THE PUNISHER #16
THOR, SON OF ASGARD #12
TOYFARE #91
TWO BITS #1
ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN VOL 11 CARNAGE TP
ULTIMATES 2 #2
VIDEO VAULT CATALOG WINTER 2005
WARREN ELLIS ANGEL STOMP FUTURE #1
WARREN ELLIS SIMON SPECTOR #1
WHAT IF DR DOOM HAD BECOME THE THING - reorder
WHAT IF GENERAL ROSS HAD BECOME THE HULK - reorder
WHAT IF MAGNETO HAD FORMED THE X-MEN WITH PROFESSOR X - reorder
X-23 #1 (OF 6)

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

New year, new comics!

Alpha Flight #11
Animerica vol. 13 #1
Ant: Days Like These TPB
Archie & Friends #88
Army of Darkness: Ashes 2 Ashes #4
Berserk vol. 5 TPB
Bloodstream #4 (of 4)
Breach #1
Captain America #2
Conan #7
Conan #9
Constantine: Movie Adaptation
C.S.I.: Dominos #5 (of 5)
Darkstalkers #2 (2 covers)
Deadshot #2 (of 5)
Detective Comics #802
Dorothy #1
Fantastic Four Foes #1 (of 6)
Fierce #4 (of 4)
Firestorm #9
Flaming Carrot #1
Flash #217
Ghost in the Shell: Man Machine Interface
Gold Digger #59
Grendel: Devil’s Reign #7 (of 7)
Horizon #21
Incredible Hulk #77
Inquest #118
Intimates #3
Justice League Elite #7 (of 12)
Justice League Unlimited #5
Marvel Age Spider-Man #19
New Avengers #1 Director’s Cut
New Avengers #2
New Thunderbolts #2
Noble Causes #6
Question #3 (of 6)
Soulfire #2
Space Ghost #2 (of 6)
Spectacular Spider-Man #23
Spider-Girl #82
Spider-Man Unlimited #7
Strangers in Paradise #70
Superman Strength #1 (of 3)
Tales of Tellos #3 (of 3)
The Gift #9
Toe Tags (featuring George Romero) #4
Tomb of Dracula #4
Ultimate X-Men #54
X-Men / Fantastic Four #2 (of 5)
X-Men: Phoenix Endsong #1 (of 5)
Youngblood: Imperial #1

The early bird

I got my post card in the mail yesterday: Hotel reservations for Comic-Con International open January 12. That may seem early, but if you're planning the trip to San Diego this July, it's a good idea to stay ahead of the game — the official Comic-Con hotels always fill up.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Bidding Farewell to a Legend

In Memoriam: Will Eisner
Tuesday, January 04, 2005


Legendary comics and graphic novel artist and writer Will Eisner died last night, Monday, January 3, 2005, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at the age of 87, following complications from quadruple heart bypass surgery.

Will Eisner didn't create Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, or even Archie and Jughead. Some comic book fans may scratch their heads when asked to describe his work. But every artist and writer in comic books, as well as graphic artists across the entire spectrum of modern illustration, television and film, owes a debt to him.

In 1941, Eisner created a goofball detective named Denny Colt who died (not really) and was reborn as The Spirit, the cemetery-dwelling protector of the public -- and pretty girls in particular. The Spirit possessed no superpowers. He couldn't see through his girlfriend's clothing the way a curious alien like the Man of Steel might scientifically investigate Lois Lane. And he wasn't a brilliant technologist like Batman, imagineering hokey gadgets and psychedelic compounds for all-night parties with the Joker.

The Spirit broke so many molds:

• Eisner was the strip's artist and writer, a feat that is still rare today.

• The Spirit was published and distributed as an insert in Sunday newspapers, ala Parade magazine. It was seen weekly by as many as 5 million people from 1941 to 1952.

• No two Spirit sections looked alike. Although most commercial operations -- from Superman to Pepsi-Cola -- spend millions of dollars testing, proving and marketing their logos, Eisner thought it was more challenging to change The Spirit's masthead every week -- for 12 years.

• The Spirit was a fun, mature read, aimed at adults but accessible to kids.

For all of these reasons, The Spirit was published and reissued in various forms almost uninterrupted for 60 years. Its look, feel and smartass humor is timeless, which accounts for the countless revivals.

Eisner, who went to high school with Batman creator Bob Kane, provided first jobs in the comics business to everyone from Jack Kirby (co-creator of Captain America and the Fantastic Four) to Pulitzer-winning writer and artist Jules Feiffer.

If not for Eisner's influence, Pulitzer Prize winner Art Spiegelman might never have published his graphic novel Maus: A Survivor's Tale (Eisner is credited with popularizing -- if not inventing -- the medium of the graphic novel with the 1978 publication of his graphic story collection, A Contract With God) and fellow Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay would have been missing quite a few Eisner-inspired tales.

For comic book professionals, the highest honor in the industry is either an Eisner Award, named for Eisner and given out every summer at Comic-Con International in San Diego, or a Harvey Award, named for Eisner's late friend Harvey Kurtzman, the creator of Mad magazine and Playboy's "Little Annie Fanny," given every April in Pittsburgh. Kurtzman, who discovered talents as diverse as R. Crumb and Gloria Steinem, passed away in 1993, making Eisner the last man standing.

Literally.

At every Eisner Awards ceremony, each recipient was handed his or her award by the man himself.

Several years ago, a big red velvet chair was put on stage for Eisner. The Eisner Awards promoters said, "Come on, Will, you shouldn't have to stand up all this time; here, have a seat." Eisner sat on it briefly, got a laugh out of it, but then he stood up again, and stayed on his feet the rest of the night. Eisner demonstrated his strength of character and enduring physical wherewithal by standing on stage throughout the entire presentation, shaking hands and personally congratulating the winners. Because there is a different presenter for each award, no one else stood for as long as Eisner.

That's why, when Eisner handed the 2002 Eisner Award for Best Serialized Story (Amazing Spider-Man #30-#35: "Coming Home") to writer J. Michael Straczynski and artists John Romita Jr. and Scott Hanna, Straczynski thrust the award in the air and remarked, "You know, you get the Emmy, you don't get it from 'Emmy.' You win the Oscar, you don't get it from 'Oscar.' How freakin' cool is this?"

Published in November 2004, DC Comics' The Will Eisner Companion is the first comprehensive, critical overview of the work of this legendary writer/artist. Divided into two sections -- his Spirit work and his graphic novels -- this authorized companion features all-new critical and historical essays by noted comics historians N.C. Christopher Couch and Stephen Weiner, as well as alphabetical indexes relating to all aspects and characters in his oeuvre. Also includes a chronology, a bibliography and suggested reading lists, as well as an introduction by Dennis O'Neil.

A new generation of comics fans learned about the man in the 1970s when underground comix publisher Denis Kitchen began reprinting The Spirit stories and eventually produced new stories of the character by top comic book talent including Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons and Neil Gaiman. Kitchen became one of Eisner's closest friends and confidants, as well as his personal representative and literary agent (with Judith Hansen).

More recently, John Law, a 56-year-old Will Eisner character, was given fresh life and adventures in 2002 by Australian artist and writer Gary Chaloner as an online comic book hero at ModernTales.com. In December 2004, Law returned to print in IDW Publishing's Will Eisner's John Law hardcover trade paperback. These stories were the first original John Law adventures published since Eisner worked on the character in 1948. This edition includes both new material and classic John Law tales by Eisner himself.

And Eisner's final -- and likely most controversial -- graphic novel, The Plot, finished last summer, will be published this spring by W.W. Norton.

Will Eisner was the wizard behind the curtain, except in his case, the magic was real.

There will be no funeral service, per Will's wishes. "Will and I hated funerals," his wife, Ann, said the morning after his death. "We made plans long ago to avoid having them ourselves." He will be buried next to his late daughter, Alice, who died in 1969. Surviving Will are his wife, Ann, and his son, John.

Cards may be sent to:

Will Eisner Studios
8333 W. McNab Road
Tamarac, FL 33321

Unofficially, in lieu of flowers, you might consider a donation in Will's name to the American Cancer Society -- his daughter died of cancer -- or the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, which Will was known to have supported.

On a personal note, I am crushed. Will and I started working on what began as an autobiography and morphed into an authorized biography three years ago this month. His friendship and camaraderie was like none other. (Will Eisner: A Spirited Life will be published in July for Dark Horse Comics' new M Press imprint.)

In the days to come, if you'd like to share a story or a thought about Will and need an outlet, I'll make this newsletter available to anyone who'd care to contribute. Just reply to ASpiritedLife@tampabay.rr.com and I'll share your words with an international audience of Eisner fans and media.

Today is a very sad day for the world of arts and letters.

--Bob Andelman

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Art's art

Art Spiegelman, creator of the Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel "Maus," talks to The Onion about his new book, "In the Shadow of No Towers."

A better best

The Boston Herald has a much more sensible best/worst of 2004 list than the one I complained about yesterday.

You might not agree with the choices, but arguing over what should have or shouldn't have made the cut is the fun part of making "best of" lists. At least here you can understand what the author is talking about.

Looking back

Here's a great commentary on the state of the comics market in 2004.