Archive for July, 2008

Hero Happy Hour Goes Worldwide With WOWIO

July 31, 2008

WOWIO is back on line, and now they’re offering books and comic books available for download worldwide — including six Hero Happy Hour titles. Previously, only readers in the United States were able to download the PDF titles, now everybody around the globe can enjoy Hero Happy Hour. In addition to being available for download, readers can also read the comics with a new online viewer option. So now there’s no reason for you to catch up with all of the available Hero Happy Hour issues, including the Hero Happy Hour Super Special Flashback which features the talents of Tom Beland (True Story, Swear To God), Dave Crosland (Everybody’s Dead), Scott Morse (Soulwind, Southpaw), Todd Nauck (Wildguard, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man), Steve Niles (30 Days of Night, Batman: Gotham County Line), Gail Simone (Birds of Prey, Wonder Woman), Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night, Wormwood Gentleman Corpse), Dan Wickline (1001 Arabian Nights: The Adventures of Sinbad), and many other comic book writers and artists.

I’m looking at you, Zambia. You’ve got no more excuses. Get your Hero Happy Hour today.

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Devil Dogs! The One SDCC Announcement That I Wish Had Been Made

July 31, 2008

thundarrcomicmockcover.jpgThe year 1994… From out of space comes a runaway planet, hurtling between the Earth and the Moon, unleashing cosmic destruction. Man’s civilization is cast in ruin. Two thousand years later, Earth is reborn… A strange new world rises from the old–a world of savagery, super science, and sorcery. But one man bursts his bonds to fight for justice! With his companions, Ookla the Mok and Princess Ariel, he pits his strength, his courage, and his fabulous Sunsword against the forces of evil. He is Thundarr the Barbarian!

Not that there was any indication that any sort of announcement about a Thundarr the Barbarian comic book was in the works, but it sure as hell would’ve been cool if it had been made.

Yeah, I’m back on my “Thundarr the Barbarian needs to be published as a comic book” kick. A while back I wrote a post about the top five properties I thought were most deserving of a comic book series. They were Blade Runner, Jonny Quest, Mad Max/The Road Warrior, Land of the Lost and Thundarr the Barbarian. (Note: Other than Land of the Lost, I believe all of the fore mentioned properties are property of Warner Bros.)

A Thundarr the Barbarian comic book just seems like a no-brainer, and I’m honestly surprised that a series doesn’t exist considering the legacy of great comic book creators that were associated with the original creation of the popular early 80’s Saturday morning cartoon series. We’re talking the likes of Steve Gerber, Jack Kirby, and Alex Toth — now that’s a legacy!

Earlier this year I went ahead and sent an email to Ruby-Spears Productions, Inc. to inquire about the rights to Thundarr the Barbarian. They were quick to respond to my request by directing me to an individual to speak to at Warner Bros. — the current rights owners. I sent out another email, and that’s where my quest ended. Now, being a Warner Bros. property it would seem that DC Comics would be the natural publisher of a Thundarr the Barbarian comic book. But, if it could be worked out, I’m sure any number of publishers would jump at the chance to publish the new adventures of Thundarr, Princess Ariel, and Ookla the Mok.

If DC Comics, or any publisher out there that can acquire the rights and wants to publish a Thundarr the Barbarian comic book I’ll save you a couple of dollars by offering to write the book for uber-cheap — like a dollar an issue.

Or, if you’re a comic book reader, and like myself you feel that a Thudarr the Barbarian comic book would be a regular addition to your comic book retailer pull-list, head on over and sign the Thundarr the Barbarian Comic Book Petition.

Maybe after that we can work on letting them know that we want to see a Thundarr the Barbarian movie. Ariel, Ookla, riiiiide!

August Pick Flix

July 30, 2008

Fresh from all the hoopla that is the San Diego Comic-Con, it’s time to take a look at the Pick Flix of August — the movies that I want to see, think I might want to see, and what will probably wait until DVD or DirecTV.

Pineapple Express (August 8 ) — Lazy stoner Dale Denton has only one reason to visit his equally lazy dealer Saul Silver: to purchase weed, specifically, a rare new strain called Pineapple Express. But when Dale becomes the only witness to a murder by a crooked cop and the city’s most dangerous drug lord, he panics and dumps his roach of Pineapple Express at the scene.

Two words — Seth Rogan. That’s all that’s needed to make sure that my girlfriends sees to it that we see this movie. And, to be honest, I’m a Seth Rogan fan — he’s a likable guy that tends to play likable characters, even if they might not be great role models. The trailers for this film have been amusing, and the song that they use — “Paper Planes” by M.I.A — with the borrowed Clash track is damn catchy and has sucked me in. This will be one flick that I’ll catch in the theater.

Star Wars: The Clone War (August 15) — On the front lines of an intergalactic struggle between good and evil, fans young and old will join such favorite characters as Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Padmé Amidala, along with brand-new heroes like Anakin’s padawan learner, Ahsoka. Sinister villains–led by Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous–are poised to rule the galaxy.

This chapter of the Star Wars lore takes place between Episode II and Episode III. The release of the feature film kicks off an all-new animated television series also called Star Wars: The Clone Wars. What better way to fix the mistakes of two-dimensional acting and story of the second film than creating a 3D-looking animated movie to serve as a band-aid to affix over the boo boo. This looks like it’ll be entertaining eye-candy, to say the least, and will probably be best served on the big screen with a state of the art sound system. I’ll go check this flick out solo during the mid-week after the crowds have died.

Tropic Thunder (August 15) — A group of self-absorbed actors set out to make the most expensive war film. But after ballooning costs force the studio to cancel the movie, the frustrated director refuses to stop shooting, leading his cast into the jungles of Southeast Asia, where they encounter real bad guys.

This is probably the first Ben Stiller movie that I’ve ever eagerly anticipated. The flicks in which he has starred in have never really done anything for me, though he’s been fine in supporting roles when the spotlight wasn’t shining on him directly throughout the entire film. I hear this flick is worth it just for the “unrecognizable” Tom Cruise cameo — though this may more likely end up a DVD rental as opposed to actually humping it to the cineplex to see. If there’s real good word of mouth I might make the hump.

Death Race (August 22) — Terminal Island, New York: 2020. Overcrowding in the U.S. penal system has reached a breaking point. Prisons have been turned over to a monolithic Weyland Corporation, which sees jails full of thugs as an opportunity for televised sport. Adrenalized inmates, a global audience hungry for violence and a spectacular, enclosed arena come together to form the ‘Death Race’,

This movie can be either knock it out of the park — or be a complete swing and a miss. Not sure if I want to risk the eight plus dollar admission and twelve plus dollar popcorn and a coke — for a total of twenty plus dollars — on the chance of the latter. I’ll probably wait for DirecTV for this flick.

And, that wraps up the August Pick Flix, and the summer blockbuster season as well. Stay tuned for what’s in store for September.

SDCC08 Wrap-Up

July 29, 2008

The 2008 San Diego International Comic-Con has come and gone. Overall, I would have to say that this year has been one of the better pilgrimages to the ultimate hive of nerds and geekness. I offered up small updates during the con via Twitter via my cell phone — which I also tried to take and post pictures, but failed miserably. I was going to try to recap most of the events, exchanges, and encounters that I experienced during the five day excursion, but after a few days it’s already a little difficult to keep it all straight — so a quick condensed recap of my trip follows. (The reason why — alcohol or old age, you make the call.) My apologies to anybody or anything that I fail to mention.

Wednesday — For the first time I took the train down to San Diego. Living in Costa Mesa it’s usually about an hour and a half plus drive to San Diego — I know this because I commuted to San Diego from Costa Mesa, Monday thru Friday, five days a week, for the nearly three years that I worked as an editor with IDW. The whole train ride took about an hour and twenty minutes and I felt much more relaxed than I ever had when I was making that commute for work. Checked about getting my professional badge around two o’clock and had no problems — in and out in about five minutes. I bumped into Ragnar (a.k.a. Brandon Johnson) and his wife, Jill, and son, Oliver — and had my first beer of the con. Mmmmm… Sweet nectar. After settling into the condo — just about three small blocks from the convention center — I headed over for Preview Night. I first checked in at the IDW Publishing booth to catch up with the gang that I used to work with. I also tried to get a quick “feel of the land” of the con, but Preview Night seemed just about as busy as any other normal con day. I checked in with Matt Gagnon at the Boom! Studios booth to see how the Pulp Tales: Josh Medors Benefit Comic Book (that I edited) turned out — and it turned out real nice. Eventually, Lance and I ended up at the Hyatt bar where we had drinks until last call with the likes of Tony Lee and Jacen Burrows, to name but a few.

Thursday — This was my day for meetings with editors and publishers, and I managed to get most of them all accomplished. For the most part, I think most of them went rather well — even if they were short. Having been an editor at a con before I understand how every freelancer wants a piece of your time to pitch and schmooze for work. Hopefully, I left a good impression with those that I met with. My good friend Chris Kirby rolled into town and we had lunch with Kody Chamberlain (who apparently had the best con ever!). At night was the IDW Publishing/Circle of Confusion party at the Witherby. Free bar equals a lot of people. Again, more catching up with the IDW gang. Also, my conspirators on Pop! Darlings of America, Neil Kleid and Chris Moreno, and I discussed how we were going to take over the world while throwing back free booze.

Friday — All though I claimed that I’d be missing on all of the panels that I wanted to attend, I did manage to hit two of them today. First off was The Big Bang Theory panel. I was under the impression that they were going to show a new episode from the upcoming season, but instead they offered a clip reel of “nerd and geek” moments from the show that pertained to the “typical” comic-con attendee. Afterward the cast and creators of the show spoke at the panel. As much as I dig the show, I probably could’ve missed it. The other panel that I took in was the Boom! Studios panel where I learned more about their plans with the Muppets and Pixar properties — Mark Waid writing The Invicibles, it should and could be none other. Had lunch with Kirby and Lee (how cool does that sound) — Chris and Tony that is. More talk of conquering the world. My girlfriend, Katie, rolled in late in the afternoon and after dinner with our condo-mates Lance and Jamie, we were off to socialize over cocktails. More drinking with Neil Kleid, Tony Lee, Chris Kirby, Tony Fleecs, Jason Rodriquez, and many others. I didn’t make it to the Eisner Awards (I never do), but was glad to hear that my pal Chuck BB took home an award.

Saturday — Still waking up rather “okay” after three consecutive nights of cocktailing. Tried to do a little bit more of the convention show floor, but Saturday is generally not the day to attempt this — though it really didn’t seem much busier than any other day or preview night. More hanging out in and around the IDW booth — it was well located for a central meeting place. Took in the IDW Publishing panel where among such announcements as the continuation of Locke & Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriquez, Ben Templesmith’s Welcome to Hoxford, and Darwyn Cooke’s and Richard Stark’s Parker, my two series Pirat Tales: The Legend of the Cat O’ Nine Tails and Pop! Darlings of America were announced. After the panel Katie and I had a quick lunch with Neil Kleid, then it was back to the con for random chats and catching up with folks that I only seem to see or talk to at these shows. Saturday night was much the same as the previous three nights — fill with alcohol, rinse, and repeat — except with the edition of a large dose of The Transformers team from IDW, including Denton Tipton, Shane McCarthy, Chris Mowry, Marcelo Matere, Robby Musso, Klaus Scherwinski, and others.

Sunday — Katie and I got to the con shortly after it opened. Having completed all of my scheduled meetings and still fighting the urge to do any shopping, there wasn’t a lot that I had to do on the con-floor. Chatted it up with a few friends and colleagues. With little to do business or shopping wise Katie and I joined Chris Kirby for lunch at Joe’s Crab Shack. We took our time and avoided the chaos of the con.eturned to the con-floor for some last minute check ins with the IDW crew and others. We realized that we had to head out of dodge in order to catch the train back home, so I said my goodbyes and made my final escape from the San Diego Convention Center for 2008.K atie and I picked up our luggage at the condo we stayed at, then took a short trolley ride to the train station. About an hour later we we’re in a standing room only packed train-car with a herd of drunks from the Del Mar Racetrack.

I want to thank all of the editors, publishers, fellow creators, friends, and talent that I admire who took the time to chat with me over the course of the convention. Some of you can begin to expect my follow up emails as early as today. See you all next year.

5.8 Earthquake Rocked My World About 15 Minutes Ago

July 29, 2008

Well that was fun. An 6.8 earthquake occurred at 11:42 AM local time. A few items fell off of shelves and off of my computer monitor. There was some rolling, a big jolt, and then additional rolling. It seemed to have lasted about 10 or 12 seconds. The dog barked like crazy. The cat is in hiding. There doesn’t appear to be any damage. Don’t smell any gas leaks. Details below:

Magnitude: 5.8 – local magnitude (ML)
Time: Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 11:42:15 AM (PDT) Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 18:42:15 (UTC)
Distance from: Chino Hills, CA – 3 km (2 miles) SW (235 degrees), Diamond Bar, CA – 8 km (5 miles), SE (127 degrees), Yorba Linda, CA – 9 km (5 miles) NNE (23 degrees), Pomona, CA – 11 km (7 miles) S (178 degrees), Los Angeles Civic Center, CA – 47 km (29 miles) ESE (103 degrees)
Coordinates: 33 deg. 57.5 min. N (33.959N), 117 deg. 45.1 min. W (117.752W)
Depth: 12.3 km (7.6 miles)
Location Quality: Good
Location Quality: Parameters Nst=144, Nph=144, Dmin=8 km, Rmss=0.42 sec, Erho=0.3 km, Erzz=1.3 km, Gp=18 degrees

IDW Announces Pirat Tales And Pop! Darlings Of America

July 28, 2008

At the IDW Publishing: Ideas and Dreams 2008 panel Saturday morning at the San Diego Comic-Con two titles that I am writing were announced — Pirat Tales: The Legend of the Cat O’ Nine Tails and Pop! Darlings of America. The announcement was tucked neatly within some other major announcements by IDW publisher Chris Ryall, including the Locke & Key ongoing by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriquez, Ben Templesmith announcing Welcome to Hoxford, and Darwyn Cooke announcing Richard Stark’s Parker.

Pirat Tales: The Legend of the Cat O’ Nine Tails is a swashbuckling tale of rats sailing the high seas aboard the vessel the Vile Vermin — under the command of the infamous Captain Blacktail. It’s a classic buccaneer tale featuring the story of a young mouse named Pip who is thrust into the adventure of his lifetime. Pirat Tales is created and written by myself, with fantastic art by Orlando Baez and stunning colors by Juan Mar.

Pop! Darlings of America is a twisted tabloid tale of Tinsel Town featuring three major players — the Pop Star, the Starlet, and the Heiress (you know who we’re eluding to), and the Publicist that keeps the spin on the three ring circus that is Hollywood. Pop! Darlings of America is created and written by Neil Kleid and myself, with Chris Moreno beautifully handling the art and featuring awesome covers by Ragnar.

It’s not every con that I attend that features an announcement from a publisher such as IDW that I have two new comic book series debuting on the horizon. It was a good day.

San Diego Comic-Con Updates

July 22, 2008

Alright, so much for getting another post or two up before jumping on the train and heading down to San Diego for the Comic-Con. I did in fact see The Dark Knight yesterday, and I still have to post a review.

But, during my duration at the San Diego Comic-Con I’m going to try to share my experience by utilizing Twitter and Flickr. I’m not bringing my laptop with me, so my phone is all I have to work with — sending text messages and photos snapped with the camera option. So, until Monday — and if you’re interested in what’s going on at SDCC — you might want to check my Twitter and Flickr sites for updates.

Let’s see how well this experiment works.

Update Soon?

July 22, 2008

The posts have been scarce lately, I know. Busy trying to get everything together for the San Diego Comic-Con, in addition to just regular life stuff going on. I hope to throw a solid post or two up later today. Stay tuned.

Let Me Introduce You To My Friend, Mike…

July 17, 2008

I’ve been meaning to introduce readers of my blog to my friend Mike Carano for quite awhile. Well, his Five Minutes With Mike video podcasts (or vidcasts, or vodcasts — your choice) to be more exact. I figure that since he’s been committed to this project long enough to post at least ten episodes that I could finally commit a blog post to promote them.

Mike covers a wide range of subjects including: his odd-ball collections, the Wax Museum, birthdays, Disneyland, the largest thermometer, cults, Father’s Day, Spock’s Brain (hence the reason I chose the screen capture displayed in the upper left), gay prostitutes and giraffe heads, and Tom Jones.

Mike has a unique perspective on most things that tend not to only be amusing, but insightful. The real magic of Mike is hanging out with him in said kitchen with a couple of beers during a friend’s kid’s birthday party (see Episode 3 “Happy Birthday”). But, until you find yourself on the Evite list, you can get your Mike Carano in roughly five minute doses via the magic of the internet.

Episode 1 is embedded below. You can find more Five Minutes With Mike at YouTube, iTunes Store, or mikecarano.com.

SDCC Panels I’ll Regret Missing — Sunday

July 17, 2008

Assuming that I’ve survived the Wednesday Preview Night, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, I’ll find myself ready to wrap things up on Sunday and get the hell out of Dodge. But, before I make my escape there are a few panels that I’m interested in that I’m likely to skip out on.

10:30-11:30 Zuda Online Comics— Read. Vote. Create. With those three little words, Zuda is changing the face of webcomics. Panel participants include Zuda staff Richard Bruning, Ron Perazza, Kwanza Johnson, and Dave McCullough, along with creators Jeremy Love (Bayou), Bobby & Peter Timony (The Night Owls), David Gallaher & Steve EllisHigh Moon), Nick Doan (Pray for Death), Johnny Zito & Tony TrovarelloThe Black Cherry Bombshells), Sheldon Vella (Supertron), and Caanan GrallCeladore). Listen as they ramble incoherently, pausing occasionally to make a good point. Room 4

Seeing how I currently have an entry submitted for the Zuda competition, there might be some useful nuggets of knowledge at this panel.

12:00-12:45 Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay Comedy legends Harold, Kumar, and NPH (Kal Penn, John Cho, and Neil Patrick Harris) appear live and in-person ato talk about the creation of their latest masterpiece—Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay—available on DVD on July 29. Don’t miss the stars of this cult classic comedy franchise as they talk about their experiences making the films and the plethora of extras features on the DVD including “Dude, Change the Movie!” where the viewer decides what Harold and Kumar do next. Ballroom 20

Having just recently seen this movie this might be a lot of fun. My admiration for Neil Patrick Harris has been growing steadily — and this flick just helped the cause.

12:00-2:00 Browncoats Fan Group— Calling all Browncoats! Fans of Firefly and Serenity are welcome to join the California Browncoats to hear about upcoming events and products that you’ll really love. Stop by and listen to some quality storytelling by ’verse-related and ’verse-friendly authors. And last but not least, come to meet and hang out with all the great Browncoats at Comic-Con! Room 24A

I’ve stated before that I’m a Firefly/Serenity fan though I’ve never participated in any Browncoat activities. It might be worthwhile to hang out in the back of the room and check it out.

And… That wraps up the San Diego Comic-Con panels that I’ll regret missing for the year 2008. It was revealed earlier today that the event is now completely sold-out. It should be a helluva year. Hopefully I might even make it to a panel or two this year. See you at the show.