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While there were more great comics than you could count at this weekend’s MoCCA Fest one that got a little notice was Kris Mukai’s Commuter (available for sale here) which captures real life moments of subway horror (rats, puke, bums, vandals, peoples selling batteries, mariachi bands) in comics form.
Only a day after recording this promo, the man known as The Ultimate Warrior is dead at age 54.
Born Jim Hellwig, the masked wrestler eventually changed his name legally to Warrior. One of wrestling greatest icons from its 80s glory days, The Ultimate Warrior brought unmatched ferocity and craziness to his matches and promos. He was a comic book character brought to life.
After being on the outs for nearly 18 years with the WWE—at one point they even released an entire DVD devoted to showing how erratic he was in real life—Warrior had made a return just in the last few days, including a NEW three year contract to be a brand ambassador for the WWE. On Saturday, the 5th, he was iducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. On Sunday he appeared at Wrestlemania. On Monday he cut the above promo on Raw. And on Tuesday…he passed away.
Details weren’t known as I write this but suffice to say…wrestling is a very very difficult way to make a living.
The Ultimate Warrior at his WWE Hall of Fame Induction. (Photo: Jonathan Bachman, AP Images for WWE)
Here’s a new one for the comics-related crime blotter: A Utah teen has been arrested and charged with aggravated assault after he used replica Wolverine claws to attack a friend.
No one knows why Kristofer Ryan Huff, 19, set into his 20-year-old roommate with the claws….and also a knife. Perhaps it had to do with the fact that the victim was dating Huff’s mother, who was also injured in the attack.
The victim ended up with injuries to his head, arm and thigh, presumably long slashes of the kind a weapon that goes “Snikt” would make.
This is firmly under the HYPE banner since I was a publishing consultant for this project, but Ham Fisher’s venerable boxing-themed comic strip character has been updated to an MMA-fighter for IDW’s Joe Palooka. The concept was the brain storm of boxing announcer Joe Antonacci, along with Mike Bullock, Fernando Peniche and Matt Triano. In the story, Joe Palooka is a discredited MMA fighter who travels the world desperately trying to clear his name while fighting to earn a spot in the legendary “Legion of Combat,” worldwide fight series.
The book already has a following via digital editions, and has sponsored MMA fighters in the past. Why did I take on this project? Joe had a lot of contacts and a complete marketing plan for the book. If you’re going to do a targeted project like this, that’s is how to do it.
The war between cars and wresters has claimed another victim. Randal”Randy Savage” Poffo, who thrilled the wrestling world with his hysterical rumblings and grumblings as Macho Man, died in a car crash this morning at age 58. He reportedly suffered a heart attack while behind the wheel, and veered across traffic into a tree. His wife of one year was also in the vehicle but was not seriously injured.
Macho Man’s romance with the late Miss Elizabeth is one of the most legendary wrestling storylines of all time, and Savage one of its greatest performers. In recent years, Savage has served as a spokesman for Slim JIm meat snacks, so let’s all raise one in his memory today.
By now you have all seen the above image, which swept through social media yesterday with the tagline “Macho Man prevented the Rapture.” In a world seemingly without order, connecting the senseless (and very sad) death of Randy Macho Man Savage, and the impending rapture predicting by Harold Camping (inexplicably still alive) would seem to give us some joy.
But where did it come from? Such viral images come and go so quickly on the internet, we thought it would be informative to see what we could come up with as an origin story.
Unsurprisingly, the image first surfaced on Reddit, and it seems to be the work of cartoonistBobby Campbell, aided by Photoshop and Google Image search. Campbell has some other unusual stuff on his site, like the below image of Alan Moore reading the Illuminati, but nothing to match the grandeur of this mash-up. Campbell even made some desktop-sized versions of the image, here and here.
Macho Man himself has been the subject of a few works of fine art, such as Suzanne with the Macho Man by Suzanne Marie Leclair. Prints are available for purchase in the link. We predict a healthy afterlife for the Macho Man as an iconic figure.
We couldn’t find the original of the Macho Man part of the picture, but the Jesus part seems to be this uncredited image.
While we were poking around we found lots of amazing apocalyptic Christian art, all sadly uncredited. Come on people, don’t be shy, like the Master of the St George Altarpiece! They didn’t have Reddit in the Middle Ages but they do now. It’s called progress.
We especially liked his one, of Jesus and the Devil arm wrestling for our souls.
Liu Dali spent three years in one such labor camp, and claims that after a hard day’s work was completed, he and up to 300 of his fellow detainees were forced to make virtual money in online games like World of Warcraft, for the benefit of prison guards. The guards would then use the virtual cash for their own means, including trading it for real-world money. Dali claims he overheard guards bragging that they could make close to $1,000 a day off of the efforts of the inmates, none of which ever made its way into the hands of the workers. He also claims that certain quotas were set, and that those who didn’t raise enough virtual cash would be physically beaten.
Although gold farming, as it is called, was banned a few years ago in China, it still goes on. Although everyone assumes that the prisoners were playing WORLD OF WARCRACK, as we reported a while ago, free MMORGs like PERFECT WORLD are a $5 billion dollar a year business in China–the games are free but many items must be purchased to excel at the games.
The feud between dueling comics movies COWBOYS & ALIENS and THE SMURFS erupted in violence last night when COWBOYS star Harrison Ford ripped the head off a stuffed Papa Smurf handed to him my late night chat host Conan O’Brien.
Ford’s rage may have been misplaced, as COWBOYS AND ALIENS eventually edged SMURFS at the box office by a million buckaroonies or so.
If nothing else, the incident set up a dandy idea for a sequel: COWBOYS VS LITTLE BLUE PEOPLE.
Well, not really a fight, more of a strafing run, since it’s unlikely Chris Ware will ever be asked about Grant Morrison in an interview. While on his voluble book publicity tour, Scottish superstar Grant Morrison continues to drop quotable bombs to be picked up by websites worldwide. Today the battlefield is Rolling Stone, where he comes clean on Chris Ware; the Acme Novelty Library genius, known for his grim vivisection of human futility, is not Morrison’s cuppa Earl Grey tea.
I can appreciate someone like Chris Ware for his artistry, which I think is beautiful, but I think his attitude stinks, it just seems to be the attitude of somebody really privileged, and honestly, try living here, try living on an Indian reservation and shut up, and really seeing all that nihilistic stuff, it really makes me angry, it’s unhelpful to all of us, and it’s coming from people who have money and success to talk like that and bring those aspects of the way we live in favor of all the others, and it’s indefensible.
So I never liked that stuff, I always thought that I had a real Scottish working class thing against the fact that these were done by privileged American college kids, and they were telling me the world was flat. “You’re telling me the world is flat, pal?” And it’s not helpful, it doesn’t get us anywhere. OK, so it is, then what? What are you going to do about it, college kid? My book wasn’t academic. I can’t take on those Comics Journal guys, they flattened me, as they did, it’s just defensive, smartass kids.
Later on, Morrison is asked again about his actual feud with Mark Millar:
He still lives in Glasgow, is there a chance of bumping into him?
There’s a very good chance of running into him, and I hope I’m going 100 miles an hour when it happens.
Oh no, he didn’t!
In a longer profile, we get to see more of that Morrison magic:
In the center of Morrison’s high-ceilinged living room is a blood-red leather couch, paired with a fuzzy crimson rug that looks to have been made from the fur of a poached-and-skinned Elmo; a silkscreen image of what appears to be a female ghost hangs above the fireplace; on a table in the corner sits a hypnotic, unnerving painting of a pentagramish figure etched with quotes from both the Kabbalah and Orson Welles’ The Shadow radio drama – the work of a freaky outsider artist named Paul Laffoley. “He’s a fascinating guy,” Morrison says. “He had to have his foot amputated, and he wears a huge clawed lion’s foot that screws into his leg.”
If you have been around the nerdier sectors of the net in the last decade, you have surely seen The Brick Testament, by Brendan Powell Smith a loving fumetti recreation of the BIble’s most gruesome, perverted and vengeful moment rendered in Lego brick men and women.
Who says print is dead? This profoundly revelatory tome belongs on every book shelf in the nation for continued guidance.
But the Bible is not the only holy text that Smith has turned his posing prowess to. On his Flickr page, he has recently recast Road House with minifigs; the Patrick Swayze/Sam Elliott opus that might be called “The Gospel According to Barroom Brawls.”
Brendan Powell Smith lives by his creed: “Let there be Lego® Brick!”
So, as tempted as we here at Stately Beat Manor are, we will not be posting any such fictional news stories. (At least, not this year.)
Instead, we ask our erudite readers to propose their own comics-inspired hoaxes below, with the explicit understanding that they are fictional, and are not to be taken seriously. Since this is the first year of the New 52, we suggest our readers imagine the craziest reworking of established DC characters to appear in future issues. For example:
The Rogue Taxidermy 2012 Biennial, curated by Robert Marbury, features 24 of the most interesting artists working in taxidermy today. Rogue Taxidermy, a mixed-media art utilizing taxidermy materials, is more closely related to Surrealism than to mainstream taxidermy. The work in this show spans genres and materials to expresses the individual artist’s approach to and love of Natural History and preservation.
The link is probably NSFW and some of the pieces are VERY disturbing. And mesmerizing.
“Dark Dreams from the Horrible Mind of Thing 3″ by Mirmy Winn
Because there were not enough well-muscled guys in comic books, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino is getting his own comic book, to be published by Wizard World and MPS Entertainment. The cover for the book—which will be released at Wizard World Chicago—has just been revealed and it’s by Greg Horn. The interiors have been fashioned by Paul Jenkins, Talent Caldwell, and Paul Mounts.
While some will think this is a new low for the comics medium, Wizard World has a plan for it. We had a lovely breakfast with Wizard president John Macaluso a few weeks back and he explained that, unbeknownst to the nerd-unfriendly world of the Jersey Shore, Sorrentino has always been a comics fan, a love which he clearly sublimated to the kind of mind-bogglingly idiotic shenanigans as seen on The Jersey Shore and beyond.
Now however, he’s able to let his freak flag fly with the rest of the nerds. According to Macaluso, this is actually a way to market comics to that segment of the population that still doesn’t give a shit about them. “Why not expose his 1 million Twitter followers to comics?” Macaluso told us. Indeed, Sitch has already tweeted the details to his 1.3 million followers, who are doubtless scouring Previews now to pre-order.
“The Situation” as a superhero is about to become reality. Just weeks after announcing his latest venture, an “abs-first” foray into the world of comics, pop culture icon and reality television star Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino is unveiling the cover of his Situation comic book produced by Wizard World and MPS Entertainment and painted by superstar artist Greg Horn. The first books are due on shelves in time for Wizard World Chicago Comic Con, August 9-12, at which Sorrentino will make his first appearance in support of the new project.
The first artwork depicts “The Situation” fully charged and ready to go.
“I was confident that an amazing artist like Greg Horn would come up with a great look, but I was still blown away by his painting,” said Sorrentino. “It has me more excited than ever to see what’s coming next.”
The team of artists and writers collaborating on the effort include Eisner Award winning writer Paul Jenkins (Wolverine: Origins, Batman, Hulk, Spider-Man), pencil and inks by Talent Caldwell (Superman, X-Men, G.I. Joe), and coloring by Paul Mounts (Avengers, Ultimate X-Men, Wolverine, and Thor).
“This team we’ve assembled is our commitment to put out a comic book of the highest quality that will have a compelling story and amazing art,” said John Macaluso, Wizard World CEO. “Our creative team is hard at work creating a book that will appeal to a wide new audience, and will also interest long-time comic fans.”
Meanwhie, Topless Robot presents 16 Incredibly Impractical Superhero Costumes — the full list is well worth perusing — but we’ll confine our attention here to Codpiece who sports a similiar crotch rig, with a similar danger of loin-bursting recoil.
Jesus Christ, look at him. If you can’t tell what’s impractical about this costume, you’re either not a guy or don’t live in a place we like to call reality. This bazonkers costume traces back to Codpiece’s even more bazonkers origin story; basically, when this dude was in high school he asked out a girl who rejected him on the grounds that he wasn’t “big enough.” Now, she meant his height, but he took it as a blow to his manhood, which drove him crazy because there was no way for her to know that he was a few quarters short of a dollar. This self-conscious attitude continued to haunt him his entire life, to the point where his doctor suggested he get counseling and he took offense to getting his head “shrunk.” Instead of investing in an expensive car, he decided to hell with subtlety and went straight for blatant overcompensation.
While Rob Bricken is as hilarious as usual in his analysis, he does fail to mention that the character originally appeared in Doom Patrol #70, by Rachel Pollack, Scot Eaton and Tom Sutton, so it was quite probably that the issues inherent in strapping a big gun to your dingus were apparent to the creators involved. If you want to go the full monty of psychoanalysis, you might even recall that writer Pollack is transexual.
Head Injury Theater has a more thorough write-up on Codpiece, and is similarly alarmed by the story, even though it’s clearly written with a knowing eye (As the splash page shows, it’s also a nod to THE CRYING GAME, a film in which a man unwittingly dates a transexual.)
Looking at all this, one can’t help but regret that Vertigo and DCU characters don’t cross over, as Codpiece could have served many useful functions in 52, Countdown, or any of the Crisis books. Grant Morrison, why have you forsaken us?
As long as we’re on the topic, let’s salute Tom Savini’s Sex Machine from DUSK TO DAWN:
11 Comments on Spotlight on: putting things that explode near your junk, last added: 12/31/2009
From the moment Marvel sent out its DC-tweaking press release late on Wednesday afternoon, Siege-for-Lanterns is Topic A at BarCon and in private chatter.
Why? Why did Marvel turn the clock back to 2001-2, when Nü Marvel under Bill Jemas and Joe Quesada delighted in playing Scut Farkus to DC’s Ralphie at every opportunity — calling DC AOL Comics, and so on. Jemas also delighted in getting hostile with retailers. But in 2010, things with Marvel seem so be going pretty smooth with that whole Disney thing and all, so why now? Why such an aggressive in your face move here and now?
The move suggested that retailers were laboring so under the burden of having to order so many copies of lower selling Blackest Night tie-in books in order to get a few plastic rings that Marvel had to come to the rescue, offering a valuable SIEGE tie-in variant of their own. Adding insult to injury was that the returns had to be “stripped” — the covers torn off and mailed to Marvel. Defacing any comic is difficult for most of us, and the psychological damage of tearing apart stacks and stacks of Blackest Night tie-ins might have deep psychological repercussions for retailers.
Returnability in comics is rare enough these days. So why here, why now?
Comics Alliance rounded up some retailer reaction, and it was definitely more “Oh boy, a stunt,” than “Thank you Marvel for rescuing us from DC Blackest Night tie-ins!” especially given that the would have to destroy $200 worth of retail product — the SIEGE #3 Deadpool variant they got in return would have to sell for over $100 to make good on the deal. Here’s Andy Johnson of Cosmic Monkey in Portland, OR
“I think it’s completely obnoxious, but I also kinda love it at the same time. It seems like going out of your way to offend the other company, like a negative ad campaign… I can think of a customer that would want the variant, and it could be a nice way for some people to recoup on those unreturnable ‘Blackest Night’ covers, but it seems like poor sportsmanship. I actually wish Marvel would do something like this with their own titles, like ‘Dark Reign,’ because we seem to have a lot more problems with them than the ‘Blackest Night’ tie-ins. With the economy the way it is, it would be better for companies to focus on quality products than creating hype.”
We talked to one of our retailer pals, who suggested that some retailers were planning to buy MORE of the DC books in order to get the Marvel variant, so sort of a backfire there. This retailer also suggested that the whole thing was purely meant to be a funny dickish move. “Most the retailers I know either chuckled or rolled eyes and moved on — some are going to get a lot of money for the Marvel variant and potentially buy more DC 2nd prints.”
Talking to some of our other inside the beltway correspondents, however, and at DC itself, the mood was more “Who and why??!!” Some people wondered if such a bold, aggressive move wasn’t part of a scheme to find out what retailers were ordering from DC — although perhaps
A few items we missed during down time:
AMC has greenlit a pilot for a WALKING DEAD TV series, based on the Robert Kirkman-Tony Moore/Charlie Adlard Image comics staple about a bunch of folks surviving in the Zombie Apocalypse. Frank Darabont will write, direct and executive produce. AMC is looking to boost its slate of original programming following the massive success of Mad Men, and greenlit another pilot at the same time. Let the casting suggestions begin!
Momoa stands at 6-feet 4-inches, so he has the height to fit the part. Seeing him as Ronon on Stargate Atlantis, he also has a lot of similar qualities such as wielding a sword, the hunger to kill people, and a real brooding physicality that is perfect for the role — not to mention he can look like he has been through some battles!
While Wikipedia notes that he has since cut off his dreads, Momoa seems to be uniquely suited to the role. Along with girlfriend Bonet, he has a child named
Nakoa-Wolf Manakauapo Namakaeha Momoa
so properly enunciating lines such as “Thulsa Doom, you will not conquer Nemedia!” should be no problem.
§ Word has been going around that Mark Strong, who played the cult leader villain in SHERLOCK HOLMES, is in talks to play the villain Sinestro in the upcoming GREEN LANTERN film. Strong certainly has the right facial structure for the job, and in HOLMES, he looked like a Kevin O’Neill drawing brought to life.
As you may know, in recent years, the Padres are scheduled to be on the road during Comic-Con, to alleviate congestion down by the Convention Center and probably so studios can rent out Petco Park for promotional events, like the 300 screening a few years ago.
However, as it turns out, the Padres are having “Comic-Con Night,” as a promotional vehicle the Friday before the con starts, on July 19, versus Arizona.
One wonders (or perhaps fears) just what kind of things will be going at the stadium? Comic giveaway with Heath Bell or Tony Gwynn Junior as superheroes? Guys in funny costumes (not counting the one pictured above) running around on the field between innings? Jim Lee throwing out the first pitch?
Only time will tell.
When one of my favorites blogs, The House Next Door, began the Summer of '85 series of posts and asked for submissions, I decided to give it a try. I looked up a list of movies that had come out that summer to see if any were ones I could write about, and lo and behold, many were major films of my childhood. (One, Pumping Iron 2, was directed by George Butler, who lives a couple towns over from me and once took my father hunting with Arnold Schwartzenegger, or so my father claimed.)
Though I could have chosen many of the summer of '85's films to write about, one was so obvious I couldn't ignore it -- Rambo: First Blood Part II. I emailed House editor Keith Uhlich, and he said go for it.
I thought I might write 800 words or so. It got a bit longer than that. Despite the current length, the essay feels bare bones to me -- there's a lot more to say about Reagan and Rambo, about gender and masculinity, and about all four Rambo films together, because they're each quite different (First Blood is I think unquestionably the best film in terms of what most reasonable people think of as quality, and it remains utterly heartbreaking for me every time I watch it, but parts II and III are much more enjoyable, since they're closer to being superhero epics. The recent fourth part, just called Rambo, I've only watched once so far, but it didn't really do much for me -- Rambo beyond the 1980s just seems ... sad. Son of Rambow accomplished more.)
It's a thrill to see my byline on a site I read all the time and respect immensely, and I'm particularly pleased that I could appear there with this essay, which for obvious reasons for anybody who reads it means a lot to me -- it's the most personal thing I've published since the first Strange Horizons column I wrote after my father's death, a column that is also about my father and film, and mentions Rambo.
And now, for you loyal Mumpsimus readers, a special photo to accompany the essay -- this is me holding the MP5 I mention in the essay ... while wearing a Small Beer Press T-Shirt:
As you may have read, a gunman down in Panama City, Florida walked into a school board meeting, sprayed a V for Vendetta symbol on the wall, walked around with a gun, making a lot of statements, started shooting and eventually was shot by a deputy, then killed himself. (Reports differ on this, but the most credible reports are that he used his gun on himself.
This video is pretty unbelievable, especially the part where a woman sneaks behind him and whacks him with her purse. And gets worse from there.
Three reasons. First, I like the idea of picking from all periods of Tardi’s career and this, being just his third graphic novel, nicely extends the range. (The one after that will be literally his most recent book.) Second, I like the fact that it’s so visually distinctive, and I like its historical importance as an early steampunk — or “icepunk” as I like to call it — work of comics. And third… well, the third reason I can’t actually tell you. It will become clear eventually.