Archive for March 2012 – Page 2

Mars Attacks Is Not A Broadway Musical Written By John Layman. But It Should Be.

Two days ago, I got the Mars Attacks To Be A Broadway Play press release from IDW. I didn’t run it for three reasons. First, I was going to bed at the time. Secondly, I forgot to run it when I woke up, life got in the way. And then thirdly when I had time to consider, I realised something that should have been obvious.

It’s not true. It’s a precursor to some April Fool’s announcement, probably at ECCC tomorrow.

The clues are there if you look.

One, John Layman talks about having seen Sound Of Music on stage in New York when he was a child. But it wasn’t on the stage then.

Two, seven foot males with full vocal ranges? If released on April 1st, that would be the natural line meant to indicate it’s April Foolery.

Three. The only people running this story are the comics sites. The stage and Broadway sites… aren’t. Because the PR wasn’t sent to them.

And four, it’s a fucking comic book adaptation of Mars Attacks on Broadway written and produced by John Layman. Seriously. I’d see it. But it will never happen.

It’s so easy to do what Nick Davies refers to as “churnalism” in Flat Earth News. A company sends a press release, you just run it verbatim like some sites, or maybe you rework it with a enthusiastic, pessimistic or sarcastic slant, like others including… well, Bleeding Cool. But little time is spent looking into it.

Normally that wouldn’t matter. A company announces a new project, a new hire, a new promotion, you take it as read. Why doubt it? You just run it. At Bleeding Cool we like to think we run articles that aren’t part of the promotional cycles of the big companies , but the truth is, if I hadn’t been wanting to get a relatively early night, I’d have probably run the same, possibly mocking John Layman in the process.

But having a little time, I was minded to ask certain people certain questions. And when I did, the edifice fell apart. It’s confirmed as a hoax.

Comics Alliance and Comics Beat ran the PR while also casting possible doubt on it, but didn’t counter with any research. The Mary Sue, Geeks Of Doom, Topless Robot, ICV2, Fellowship Of The Geeks, Nerd Bastards, EGM Now and Comic Book Resources however, all go nuts deep.

Now, about that off Broadway one-man production of Chew starring Patrick Stewart….




The Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour – Review And Photos

Yesterday we published an interview with David Yates, after he stopped by the Warner Bros Studio Tour to talk about his history with the films and his future plans. Now it’s time to look at the tour itself.

It should be noted that the recommended dwell time for the tour is three hours, but since I only attended on junket day I experienced a compressed 25 minute version. We were all but jogging through it – it was like an obstacle course where the only obstacle was whimsy. Still, I had a chance to get a good look at some of the sets, and even put together this gallery of camera-phone images for anyone who might be interested in taking the tour.

The first thing that should be said is that if you’re a fan of the Harry Potter books and series, you should almost certainly take this tour. It offers an unparalleled glimpse into the making of the films, and everything you will see was lifted directly from the film sets. There are no replicas here, and by taking a closer look you’ll pick up on a lot of the tiny details that production designer Stuart Craig and his team added to give each prop and piece of furniture its own individual character. A great example of this, pointed out by producer David Heyman during the press conference, is a tiny broom graffitied onto one of the Great Hall tables using the point of a compass. It’s the sort of thing that you’d never see in the wide, sweeping shots used in the film.

The opening of the tour is fairly impressive. One of the first things you’ll see is a slightly awkward video introduction by Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. There are a few instances of scripted humour that fell flat, and you get a definite sense that the actors weren’t given clear instructions on what their eyelines should be for the piece. Still, when the screen rolls back to reveal the Hogwarts entrance hall, I’ve been told it’s a moment that often brought people to tears of excitement.

The sets in the tour include the Hogwarts Great Hall, Dumbledore’s Office, the Ministry of Magic, Umbridge’s terrifyingly pink office, the gates to the Hogwarts grounds and, most impressive of all, a complete reconstruction of Diagon Alley. On the backlot you’ll find, among other set pieces, Number 4 Privet Drive, the Knight Bus and a rickety old bridge that was frequently used for Hogwarts exteriors.

The tour isn’t entirely made up of sets, however. Budding special effects artists will find themselves in their own private heaven when introduced to the Creature Workshop, which showcases the prosthetics worn by Warwick Davis as Professor Flitwick and Griphook the Goblin (Davis said in the press conference, when asked what prop he’d most like to keep from the films, “My face … I was very attached to it when we were filming.”) There was far more in the Creature Workshop than can possibly be included here, but to tease you I’ll give you three items to spot if you decide to take the tour: Inferi, Fenrir Greyback, and Harry Potter’s “hayfever face” from the end of Deathly Hallows Part 1.

The centrepiece of all this is the model of Hogwarts used for flyover shots and building CGI effects, as seen in the timelapse construction video that we posted a while back. Having shed the worst of my personal Pottermania somewhere in my late teens, I’d managed thus far not to geek out too much over the tour. But even the most hardened and cynical journalists on the tour stood back in awe of the Hogwarts model, and I’m not ashamed to count myself among them.

Finally, you exit through the gift shop: an Aladdin’s cave of brightly-coloured and fantastically overpriced merchandise. On my look around I found a small statue of Fluffy the Three-Headed Dog which would set its buyer back £200, and even something as simple as a Gryffindor scarf costs £25. The gift shop is not a place for pocket money, but kids with rich parents and adult collectors will find more hidden treasures than they could possibly hope to carry home in one sitting.

Overall, for fans of the series the tour is a must-see. But if you’ve never seen a Harry Potter film and find yourself being dragged along by an over-enthusiastic friend then you probably won’t find yourself bored either. A downright ridiculous amount of time, money, talent and manpower went into building the sets and props that you’ll see on the tour, and it offers a unique insight into the process of building a multi-billion dollar franchise.

Colourised Scott Pilgrim Hardcovers May Take Some Time

At ECCC yesterday, Bryan O’Malley annoucned that Scott Pilgrim would be colourised by Nathan Fairbairn in a series of hardcover volumes, two this year, then published every six months, from Oni.

Comics Alliance has some page examples… but just how thoroughly thought through do those colours have to be? Take this page…

Those shoes were later identified by Wallace…

But does the colour match?

Pretty much! Now multiply this kind of research by 10,000 and you have Scott Pilgrim in colour…

Cameron Hatheway Goes On A Date At ECCC

Cameron Hatheway writes from ECCC for Bleeding Cool. But while he’s there, he has other things on his mind;

I’m the kind of guy who enjoys a good after-party or two. Intrigued by the suggestions of Emerald City Comicon, I attended both MINTcondition and Kirby Krackle at the Hard Rock.

MINTcondition was a very small space to hold an art exhibit, but it wasn’t too packed when I arrived. Comic book and geeky goodness plastered the walls, and complimentary mix drinks were provided by JONES soda. I had a Betty or Veronica, my date had The Harley Quinn. We spent maybe 20 minutes there taking in the sites, as I rambled about the inspirations and relevance of some of the paintings (“The Man-Of-Bats character was from a great run of Grant Morrison’s Batman & Robin”).

I was kicking myself for taking a taxi, because the exhibit was only three blocks away and I ended up paying $6 for my simple mistake. Now I know, and knowing is half the battle. Afterwards just to show society we were up for the challenge, my date and I walked all 8 blocks to the Hard Rock Café to catch musical performances by Adam WarRock, Marian Call, and Kirby Krackle.

Now while Kirby Krackle was the headlining act, I must say that Adam WarRock stole the show in my opinion. The guy rapped about everything from the 616 universe to Jane Austen, and I was bobbing my head like the stereotypical nerdy white guy that I am. Marian Call stole my heart with a great anthem about Jayne from Firefly, and Kirby Krackle rocked the house as usual. Because the bar had my card on an open tab, I couldn’t purchase any Adam WarRock merchandise, but that didn’t stop me from showering him with praise. Tomorrow at the convention will tell a different story, as I throw all my monies at him. Seriously people, check him out if you’re a fan of comics and rap.

At the end of the night my date and I made our way back to the hotel, but not before hitting up the Elephant & Castle Pub downstairs. Because if it’s one thing that I enjoy, it’s eating a burger after midnight and ending my night with one final Guinness. Toasty is the new tipsy.

Cameron Hatheway is the host of Cammy’s Comic Corner, a weekly audio podcast. You can follow his Emerald City Comicon adventures on Twitter @CamComicCorner.

Critical Hit #141: Warky and His Amazing Friends

criticalhitThis episode: BUGS! RUN! Direct Download RSS Feed Subscribe via iTunes Take the jump for the image from this episode. Have you purchased your Critical Hit T-Shirt? Order one today! Dino art by DR Studios Contact us at A … Continue reading

The Writer’s Quest At ECCC, Day 1: I Didn’t Have To Steal A Car This Time

Matt Funk writes for Bleeding Cool;

The Emerald City Comic Con has given me dozens of memories that I’ll always cherish since I started attending in 2007: Brubaker signing a Captain America #25 with “Matt did it,” being feet away from Stan Lee, starting talking to my first girlfriend while at the con, meeting my all-time favorite writer, Jonathan Hickman, and last year, having the most bizarre weekend of my life wherein I had to be accomplice to grand theft auto to get to the con (don’t worry, we gave it back). However, the lead up to last year’s con was probably the most important. I had decided that I wanted to start working in comics the summer of 2010, and began working with an artist I met on deviantArt on a project called “Mere Mortals.” We knew how to make the comic well enough, but we were fairly clueless and didn’t give much thought to the pitching process. We had no plan at all on breaking in or getting exposure.

Enter Kurtis J. Wiebe.

I had a brief exchange via the Comic Book Resources forums with the then newly-discovered writer of The Intrepids, and eventually Green Wake and most recently Peter Panzerfaust. I asked him a few questions about how he broke in at Image and if he had any advice. He about a million times more helpful than he needed to be and told me how he had pitched the Intrepids to Jim Valentino at Shadowline at the previous Emerald City Comic Con. He’d put together a comic with artist Scott Kowalchuk that included a chunk of fully completed story, a plot summary, character bios, and a few other things, and handed out to editors at the con. He told me all of this and then even was kind enough to send me the PDF of the pitch before the first issue had even been released.

With Kurtis’ help, my plan to break in really snapped into focus. I tried very hard to get a pitch together for Mere Mortals before the con, but the artist couldn’t follow through. I’ve worked with two other artists this past year on other pitches, but have had the same problem. So this winter, with the convention approaching, I was still empty handed. Determined to have something for the con I decided to draw a comic myself.

Though it isn’t a formal pitch, I wrote and drew a 24 page comic which I entitled “Blank Page Comics.” It’s an anthology-style comic with four different stories in it that I had printed through Ka-Blam Digital Printing. My plan wasn’t to get the comic published (I’m nowhere near a good enough artist, I just want to write), but just to get my name out there. To show editors and publishers and everyone else in the industry what I can do.

And so today, that’s what I did.

One of my first stops was the Oni Press booth to talk to Sixth Gun editor Charlie Chu. I’m a huge Sixth Gun fan and Charlie happened to stop in the store I work at last Saturday, so it was cool talking to him again. I gave him a copy of my book and we chatted for a bit. I also struck up some conversation with the immensely talented Brian Churilla, creator of The Strange Life of D.B. Cooper, who was also at the Oni booth. He was extremely friendly and gave me some super helpful feedback on my artwork. I also talked to Kurtis Wiebe, who I was surprised to find remembered me from last year and was also very gracious and took a copy of my book. You can also look forward to an interview with him before the weekend is over. Jim Zubkavich of SkullKickers fame is currently in the midst of a contest for the next Tavern Tales issue of the series which I sent in a pitch for. I gave him a copy of my book and the pitch I sent in. Hopefully that will leave a good impression.

I rounded out the day by attending the Marvel: Breaking Into Comics panel, which featured C.B. Cebulski, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Ramon Perez, Phil Noto, Adi Granov, and Chris Yost. The panel was a treasure trove of information but the following points stood out to me:

–Always get a business card from editors and always follow up

–Network in any way possible

–Use whatever connections you have

–Get your work in front of people however you can

–Stand out from the rest of the pack in any way you can, even if it’s little things like decorative envelopes

And one thing that Cebulski opened the panel with, is that do it because you love it. Because even though it’s easier than ever to break into comics, it’s harder than ever to get paid for it.

It’s quite a journey to get into comics, and no two journeys are the same. I’ll continue to tell my story over the course of the weekend. Let me know in the comments if there are any questions about breaking in that you have and I’ll do my best to seek answers from the talent assembled here in Seattle.



Major Spoilers Podcast #397: Geek Girls Welcome Here

msp397In this issue: The crew takes issue with a recent Forbes article, and discuss nerd on nerd hate. Read the Forbes article here Direct Download Subscribe via iTunes RSS Feed Contact us at A big Thank You goes out … Continue reading

Cameron Hatheway’s First Sketchy Day At ECCC

Cameron Hatheway writes for Bleeding Cool from ECCC:

Day One:

Billion dollar idea; candy you serve to children on airplanes to knock them the fuck out. On my 6:30AM flight to Seattle, I had a rambunctious 7-year old sitting behind me, making idiotic observations about what he saw outside, and playing on his loud and noisy cellphone. On a side note, if you give a child under 10 a cellphone to play with, kindly spay or neuter yourself and save me the trouble of doing it for you. As soon as the flight landed and I made my way to the Light Rail platform, I was cold. Really cold. I swear my fingers got frostbite as I was purchasing a ticket. My Southern California mindset was about to clash with the dreaded wasteland that is Seattle. But it wasn’t raining for once, so I guess there’s that (for now). I was completely surprised I didn’t see one Hippie until the second stop on the Light Rail. From what I’ve seen in news reports, Hippies roam the Seattle countryside in herds, begging for spare change and reeking of a mixture of weed and patchouli oil. So naturally I had aim for the brain to kill it. My firearm being detained by TSA however, I had to settle with bear mace (aka Anti-Hippie Spray) instead.

Now I’ve been to my fair share of comic conventions for the past decade, and I never arrive when the doors first open. It’s always absolute chaos, and I don’t have the stomach to stand in such close proximity to those who are walking stomachs. There was always the joke at Comic-Con International that in the free goodie-bags, they should include a bar of soap or a stick of deodorant. Although come to think of it, I don’t want to kill my sense of smell because AXE decided to become a sponsor. So instead of arriving at 2PM, I took a nap and arrived at 3PM instead, expecting to waltz on through since I was Pre-Registered. Surely the line would be non-existent, right? Big mistake. The line for Pre-Registered attendees was a complete clusterfuck, as staff directed us through a metal maze that was rumored to have an eventual end. I then knew what a cow must feel like on its way to the slaughterhouse; scared, confused, and surrounded by several smelly companions. I became a vegetarian right there in line. Not even the appearance of Judge Dredd could have restored the line, much less my faith in humanity. At one point a conversation between two attendees behind me made me do a standing facepalm;

“Yeah it’s starting up again on Sunday. What’s that kid’s name again? Jeffrey? Yeah, that dude’s a dick! I bet he’s a dick in real-life too!”

So finally, after what felt like hours of my life draining from me, I arrive inside the convention. I’m pretty surprised on how small it feels. However, I don’t notice any presence from Hollywood like I do at Comic-Con or WonderCon. The only thing that comes to mind was a few Falling Skies posters, and that’s it. This convention was definitely put on for the comic book fans in mind. The Artist’s Alley (my favorite part of any convention) is massive, and walking down any row you have superstar creators to the left and right of you. It almost feels like a Geek Fantasy Draft, and you’re the General Manager. So I did my standard walk around the convention once or twice, taking it all in, before getting down to business; retrieving my commissions. Geek confession; this is my first time getting commissions done, so I was pretty excited. I decided Emerald City Comicon was the perfect spot for it, because it’s all my favorite artists in one place. So after doing some quick checking of emails and figuring out who was located where, I went hunting.

First person up, Chrissie Zullo. I’ve been a fan of hers ever since first laying eyes on her Cinderella covers for Vertigo. She definitely knows how to illustrate women, so I contacted her ahead of time and tried to decide for either an Amy Pond, or an Episode VI Princess Leia. I ended up going with Leia, and by Obi-Wan did she blow me away! She was so smitten with her work on the commission, she ended up producing a couple of prints for the convention. So go ahead and drop by her booth to pick one up, because I have the original.

Next up, Brian Churilla. Over at the ONI booth there was a line around the table for Oni’s golden boy Bryan Lee O’Malley, who was in full signing mode. I had to cut through the line to get to the Brian I wanted to see, who was surrounded by all things D.B. Cooper. The first issue of The Secret History of D.B. Cooper is such a great read, and I highly recommend you pick it up. I’ve always been a fan of Churilla’s style since his The Anchor series with Phil Hester over at BOOM! Studios. The dude loves drawing monsters, so I commissioned from him a Spaceboy from one of my favorite series The Umbrella Academy. Spectacular, isn’t it? Puts a big smile on my face every single time! I chatted with him for a little bit, and asked if he’s received any weird e-mails since D.B. Cooper’s launch. He told me a couple of strange ones, as if the sender might be suggesting he stop bringing certain truths to life! So go pick-up a signed copy from him before he’s taken out by men in black suits, and it goes for triple on ebay.

And finally for today, Riley Rossmo. Before I commissioned from him a Swamp Thing, I hadn’t a clue he was such a big fan of the character. It definitely shows in his work, and you could tell he had a blast illustrating it. Just last week his new series Rebel Blood debuted, and the cover alone should get you excited. We both geeked-out over Churilla’s D.B. Cooper, some of the classic Swamp Thing stories, and how Snyder & Paquette are just killing it on the new series.

While walking around the convention and letting my eyes wander, I overheard more than once Comic-Con International rumors. Even in a different state, people can’t stop talking about it! So from what I can tell, here’s the latest rumor to toss into the liar fire; the higher-ups at Comic-Con were so thrilled with the success of Wondercon in Anaheim two weeks ago, that the new plan is to keep one of the conventions in San Francisco (Wondercon), and put the other in Anaheim (Comic-Con) as soon as possible. As for APE, who cares? It’s APE. Now remember guys, Comic-Con’s contract doesn’t expire until 2015, and myself being a San Diegan, I know deep-down inside that it’ll be staying here for several more years to come. You know why? Because there are things to do in San Diego after the convention.

Finally, I’ve noticed a trend starting with creators signing in Artist’s Alley; ebay surcharges for non-personalized items. Looks like it’s a trend worth following if you’re a creator.

Shout-outs to Brian “Pants” Christman of Comic Geek Speak, Ben Templesmith, Sal Abbinanti of Atomika, Shane Houghton of Reed Gunther, Greg Prout, Brandon T. Seifert of Witch Doctor, and Michael Cho.

Cameron Hatheway is the host of Cammy’s Comic Corner, a weekly audio podcast. You can follow his Emerald City Comicon adventures on Twitter @CamComicCorner.


Saturday Runaround: Tracking Down Tony Harris And Walking Dead Bibles At ECCC

TonyWatch: Kelly Davis tells Bleeding Cool from ECCC that Tony Harris was left out of both the program and iPhone App for the convention. If you want to track him down, and ask about his new work, you can find him at the Image booth promoting Chin Music with Steve Niles….

WalkingDeadWatch: Those looking for the Walking Dead Bible Compendium at ECCC, there is a new system today and tomorrow. Tickets will be given out during the first hour of the convention. Then at noon, they’ll draw 33 tickets. Those ticket holders will be able to purchase the HC.

SigningWatch: For those not at ECCC this weekend… but are in LA, Meltdown is running an Ultimate Spider-Man Launch Party showing the new series ahead of its launch tomorrow with a signing from Jeph Loeb, Paul Dini, Steven T. Seagle and Duncean Rouleau.

• 12pm- signings with creators and crew
• 1:30pm- Q&A with creators and crew
• 2:30- Screenings of the Ultimate Spider-Man premiere episode every half hour until 4:30
SagaWatch: Talking of Meltdown, here is how Damon Lindelhof and Brian K Vaughan launched Saga there earlier in the month.
WoodWatch: Brian Wood has stated at ECCC that the monthly print comics will have material that won’t be collected in trade or distributed digitally.

Well, in all honesty my intention is to do this for the whole series, but we all agreed its better to expand a goal than not meet it, so I’m officially committing to the first two arcs, which is #1-6 with the intention of continuing. Like a lot of my past books, the world of “The Massive” is extremely rich and detailed, so finding inspiration is not a problem. I kind of wish I had done with this “DMZ,” actually, but the ability to add story pages to a single issue like this was not possible there.

As far as how many pages, it will be a minimum of four per issue. This is actually more than it sounds, as it won’t be comic book story pages, but text — text and images and design, but resembling more a magazine than a comic book. It will be material written in the voice of the main character, Callum Israel and will both give backstory and context and even expand on the stories in the main part of the book.

These are not “extras” in the familiar sense of the term — sketches and script excerpts, letters, pinups, etc., but actual content; story-relevant material that, while not necessary to all readers, adds something real to the series.

LegalWatch: How DC and Warners are taking a play from the Facebook case against the Siegel and Schuster heirs.

TW wants to counter the sympathy for the Siegel family that was a more than evident factor in the 2008 decision that gave them half of Action Comics #1. It’s not the big bad corporation vs. the noble impoverished creator and his family – to the contrary, the brief argues, Time Warner had set aside $20 million for Siegel’s widow and daughter, and the company anticipated paying more in keeping with a set of agreed-upon terms that Toberoff deceptively induced them to scuttle for his own personal gain.

Friday Trending Topics: Closing In On The Avengers Aliens

That face and mouth structure looks awfully familiar. Could they be… Korbinites? And does that help explain Walt Simonson‘s high-profile return to Marvel on Avengers?  At this point, I think there’s probably a pretty good case to be made for the Badoon as well, but, well… who wouldn’t like to see Thor vs Beta Ray Bill on film, eventually?  It’s been entertaining speculating about this little mystery, but of course we’ll know for sure soon. Until then, jump into the forum and tell us if this theory stands up.

Most-Read TV/Film Stories Today:

New Avengers Promo Finally Delivers A Close-Up Of An Alien Soldier

Here’s a new TV spot for The Avengers and, below it, a screen grab revealing one of Loki’s alien warriors. And it’s very clear. And you can see exactly what it is…

New Avengers TV Spot Is All Sizzling Dialogue

Joss Whedon gives some of his “stuff” to Nick Fury and Tony Stark, and I like it.

Which Daleks Will Be Back For The Next Series Of Doctor Who? All Of Them

The BBC have issued some new images from the set of Doctor Who, not that you’d know it. They’re such incredible close-ups that most of them could have been taken in the middle of Oxford Street and you’d have no idea.

Most-Read Comic Stories Today:

AVX: Versus #1 Cover Contains No Homo-Erotic Subtext Whatsoever

We’ve taken Steven Wacker‘s criticism to heart.

Hit-Girl #1 Missed Off Retailers’ Order Form

Last year, Kick Ass 2 #5 by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr was accidentally left off the order form. It was in Previews, but not on the form that retailers used to order the comic. They did their best to raise awareness of this, but in the end reduced orders saw Marvel choose to match orders from issue 4.

Cosplay Studio – Asiria, Catwoman And Wasp

Cosplay photographer Jay Tablante of the Phillippines is a bit of a Bleeding Cool favourite. Here are a few of his latest cosplay works…