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Spurgeon to Hollywood: Hurry up and make that Dr. Strange movie already

Doctor Strange: The Oath

Doctor Strange: The Oath

No doubt inspired by his arrival to Comic-Con, Tom Spurgeon has made up a list of what he feels are 10 properties that should be fast-tracked into movies or TV shows. No. 1 on the list is Dr. Strange, and Tom has an interesting suggestion as to who should don the Eye of Agamotto:

While some folks reading that original post thought I was hinting at Johnny Depp being best suited for the role, the actor I was thinking of was actually Leonardo DiCaprio. A number of you probably just vomited, but DiCaprio is already 34, he can act, he’s as believable as Downey Jr. — albeit in a different way — as someone who once had a glamorous career, lost it and has seen tough times since, he’s a major motion picture star, he has considerable onscreen charisma it’s fun to see him embrace rather than flee and he’s adept at playing romance. But so many actors would do.

Go check out the whole list. There are some interesting and eclectic choices found there.


SDCC ’09 | NBM, Disney and more

The 2009 San Diego Comic-Con kicks off in two weeks. If you are a publisher, creator, retailer or any other kind of exhibitor who would like to let folks know about any special plans you have for the show (panels, signing schedules, exclusives, debuts, etc.) drop me an email and I’ll run it here.

Registered Weapon

Registered Weapon

Webcomics | Gardner Linn, one of the creators behind Registered Weapon, sent word that the first print collection of “the webcomic about a crime-fighting robot who used to be a cash register” will premiere at San Diego, “guerrilla style.”

“Booths will soon be an outmoded concept in the every-man-for-himself comics industry of the future (just like paper and paying for things), so writers Gardner Linn and Chris Thorn will be hitting the show guerrilla-style, passing out copies to anybody who wants one (and even more people who don’t),” he writes. “And keep coming back to http://registered-weapon.com for more info as the con approaches, and new comics four times a week.”

BTW, I really dig this webcomic; go check it out if you’re looking for off-the-wall laughs.

Comics | NBM has released their booth signing schedule, which includes appearances by Lewis Trondheim, Neil Kleid, Rick Geary and more. Kleid’s new book, The Big Kahn, will debut at the show.

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MSNBC dives in to Archie marriage hype

Even Rachel Maddow is not immune to the revelation that Archie will be married in an upcoming (and probably imaginary) story line as “comic book matrimonial correspondent” Kent Jones looks at the impending nuptials and tries to handicap the race between Betty and Veronica. (hat tip: Comics Worth Reading)

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Friday diversions, Snake and Bacon Style

Kick off your Memorial Day weekend the right way by watching the pilot episode of Snake and Bacon that debuted on Adult Swim the other week. Below is a little snippet, but go here to watch the whole episode.


Young as when the world was new

Grumpy Old Fan

Grumpy Old Fan

This space is ordinarily reserved for my views on DC Comics’ superhero line, because those books take up the bulk of my comics purchases.  Today, though, we’ll be talking about what is probably my first great love.

For this longtime fan, the new Star Trek movie (directed by J.J. Abrams, as if you didn’t know) is a revelation. It is a terrifically busy movie, full of running and shouting and frantic working of high-tech controls. Phasers are fired, shields are battered, and great starships endure severe poundings (as do their commanding officers). However, ST ’09 is not a mere popcorn film, designed to capitalize on the familiarity of corporately-owned characters. (As if to drive home this point, the movie was playing with trailers for G.I. Joe and the Transformers sequel.) It reintroduces the archetypal crew of the Enterprise convincingly, with winning performances from all involved.

Now, let’s be clear: this is not really a review. A review would talk about the film’s technical aspects, and I’m not ready to do that just yet. Actually, I’m still in the “remember that? That was awesome!!” phase.

Nevertheless, I do have something to say — but first:

SPOILERS FOLLOW for Star Trek (2009).

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Teenage armor: A review of the new Iron Man cartoon

Iron Man: Armored Adventures

Iron Man: Armored Adventures

“I couldn’t stand boy companions. If the theory behind Robin the boy Wonder, Rory the Superboy, the Sandman’s Sandy, the Shield’s Rusty, the Human Torch’s Toro, the Green Arrow’s Speedy was to give young readers a character with whom to identifiy it failed dismally in my case. The super grownups were the ones I identified with. They were versions of me in the future. There was still time to prepare. But Robin the Boy Wonder was my own age. One need only look at him to see he could fight better, swing from a rope better, play ball better, eat better and live better … He was obviously an “A” student, the center of every circle, the one picked for greatness in the crowd — God how I hated him.”

– Jules Feiffer, The Great Comic Book Heroes

So what is it with Marvel these days taking all their core characters and turning them into sulky teen-agers? First there was Wolverine: Prodigal Son, the Marvel/Del Rey book which attempted to “mangify” the character by turning him into a generic angsty shonen hero — thereby robbing everything that made him interesting to begin with — and now there’s Iron Man: Armored Adventurers, which imagines Tony Stark not as gadabout playboy but nerdy youth.

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Snake ‘n’ Bacon on Adult Swim!

Snake and Bacon fight crime

Snake and Bacon fight crime. Ssss!

Yes, it’s true. Tales Designed to Thrizzle auteur Michael Kupperman has revealed that his seminal, wacky pairing of meat product and reptile will debut on the small screen. What shenanigans will they get up to?

Snake ’N’ Bacon the TV show pilot is going to be broadcast as part of Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block of programming, on May 10th at 12:45 AM. The cast includes Kristin Schaal, Dan Bakkedahl, Bill Hader, Peter Serafinowicz,  James Urbaniak, Brian Stack, and David Rakoff, in live-action and animated segments.

Kupperman also has a plethora of screenshots at the link to whet your appetites. Mark your calendars now. (And also remember that the fifth issue of Thrizzle comes out soon, not to mention the first trade paperback collection).


McFarlane appears at this weekend’s Supanova in Australia

Todd McFarlane faces off with Spawn

Todd McFarlane faces off with Spawn

While the American comics community has the Emerald City ComiCon in Seattle this weekend, Australian fans in Brisbane can meet Spawn creator Todd McFarlane, Heroes star Hayden Panettiere, Johnny the Homicidal Maniac creator Jhonen Vasquez and many more guests at Supanova.

Writing for the Courier Mail, Suzanna Clarke profiles McFarlane, who is making a rare convention appearance:

About 20 years ago, McFarlane became a comic book superstar as a result of his work on Marvel Comics’ Spider-Man. So how did he get into the comic biz?

“I was the proverbial best artist in the class,” he says, from Berkeley in California, where Image Comics is based. “I spent a lot of time doodling . . . around 16, I started collecting American superhero comic books. It seemed cool.”

Taken on at Marvel comics in 1984, he was filled with doubt about his abilities. “Every year there was a new kid coming along. I realised I had to get better and figure out how to draw.”

McFarlane said if he had one piece of advice for young people, it is “don’t buy into the corporate line that there is only one way to get what you want in life.”

No Heroics means no happy hour for Dan Taylor

Hero Happy Hour

Hero Happy Hour

We learned last month that ABC is creating an American version of the British sitcom No Heroics (which Rich Johnston reviewed last year and has mentioned a few times in Lying in the Gutters). Comic fan and former World Wrestling Entertainment writer Freddie Prinze Jr. has been cast in ABC’s version of the show.

While this might be good news for ABC and Prinze, Hero Happy Hour creator Dan Taylor has a different take:

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Farscape: 10 years and still going strong

Farscape

Farscape

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the cult hit Farscape, and while the TV show may be over, the comic continues. In fact, BOOM! Studios announced today that the first issue of their first Farscape mini-series has gone into a third printing.

“We were blown away by the reaction to the first printing of FARSCAPE #1,” said Editor-in-Chief Mark Waid in a press release. “So when we went to a second print, we were pretty darn happy. We cannot believe that we have sold completely out of all of that now!”

The third printing is due in stores April 8. In addition, in celebration of the anniversary, the Henson Company is selling a limited edition T-shirt. It’s only available today, so be sure to order it before midnight if you want one.

Update #1: The Henson Company has extended T-shirt sales through Sunday.

Update #2: BOOM! sent out another press release today announcing a third printing of issue #2 of Farscape.

Supernatural TV show promotes Wildstorm’s Supernatural comics

Supernatural

Supernatural

Last year Wildstorm published a couple of comics based on the CW TV show Supernatural, and now it sounds like life is imitating art … or art is imitating art, actually. The April 2 episode of the show revolves around the Winchester boys discovering a series of comics about their lives and the demons they hunt, which sends them looking for the creator.

BuddyTV shares a description of the episode: “Sam and Dean are shocked to discover a series of comic books titled ‘Supernatural’ that accurately detail their lives as demon hunters. They track down the writer, Carver Edlund, who explains he has visions of the brothers that he then turns into comic books. Chuck reveals that Lilith is coming and she has a plan for Sam.”

The title of the episode is “The Monster at the End of This Book,” a reference to the classic children’s title of the same name. Clever.

Gaiman defends controversial child-raising techniques on The Colbert Report

Neil Gaiman, writer of Sandman and The Graveyard Book, will appear on The Colbert Report tonight.

As you can see in the video below, the popular conservative talk show host called Gaiman out on his latest book, where a young orphan escapes his family’s killer by wandering into a graveyard:

The program starts at 11:30 p.m. Eastern on Comedy Central.

Spider-Man and his giant robot fight evil in Japan

Marvel.com has started posting episodes of the 1970s Spider-Man TV show from Japan. Gasp and marvel as Spider-Man rides around in a flying Mach 5 and teams with Voltron to fight the evil Iron Cross Army.

The first episode, titled “The Time of Revenge Has Come! Beat Down the Iron Cross Group!” is available now, with more to come each Thursday.

Robot Reviews: The Twilight Zone

The Twilight Zone: The After Hours

The Twilight Zone: The After Hours

Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone: The Odyssey of Flight 93
adapted by Mark Kneece and Robert Grabe
Walker Books for Young Readers, $16.99

Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone: The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street
adapted by Mark Kneece and Rich Ellis
Walker Books for Young Readers, $16.99

Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone: Walking Distance
adapted by Mark Kneece and Dove McHargue
Walker Books for Young Readers, $16.99

Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone: The After Hours
adapted by Mark Kneece and Rebecca Isaacs
Walker Books for Young Readers, $16.99

Folks (I don’t remember who exactly, but I know it was more than one) like to claim that one of the virtues of comics is its ability to allow the reader to suspend their disbelief. People gifted with impossible powers, alien invasions, wanton destruction, impeccably beautiful and buff heroes wearing tight-fighting, brightly colored costumes, we can accept all of it and more thanks to the magic of sequential art.

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WonderCon ’09 | Panel schedule announced

wonderconComic-Con International has posted the programming for WonderCon, which is coming up Feb. 27-March 1 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. As its run by the same folks who do San Diego, it has that same feel and variety, but is a little more laid back and low key than the madness that is the San Diego Comic Con. My brother and I were able to walk right into the X-Files panel last year just as it started … same with the Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles panel. I don’t think you could ever do something like that at San Diego. In any event, it’s a great opportunity to see creators and actually chat with them a bit.

Let’s see what will be going on …

• Marvel’s been absent from WonderCon for the past couple of years, and while they don’t appear to have a booth, they do have a presence this year. Both Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction are guests of honor, and it looks like Jeph Loeb, Mark Paniccia and Axel Alonso, among others, will also be there. Of note is a discussion between Fraction and author Michael Chabon on Saturday that will likely be worth the price of admission alone.

• Speaking of special guests, Brian Azzarello and Dave Johnson are also attending and will host a panel on 100 Bullets on Saturday … followed by a night at Isotope Comics. And although Dan DiDio won’t be at the con this year, DC’s got Jim Lee, Will Dennis, Ian Sattler, James Robinson and Aaron Lopresti, among others.

• Oni Press, IDW, Dark Horse, BOOM!, SLG, Aspen and Top Cow will also be on hand, both on the floor and at various panels to talk about their latest projects.

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