Month: May 2011

This Friday is brought to you by Roly-Poly Kitteh

That kitty kinda looks like my kitty!

Unrelated news: There’s an update to the status of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Stan Lee and The Governator.

Things to do in LA this weekend:

COMEDYThe X-ecution continues and the Magic Meathands‘ Kathie Bostian has made it to the Final 9! Last week, she won immunity thanks to audience support, which meant she was automatically safe and performed with the improv group The Board. Will she make it this week?  It’s elimination-style improv comedy with $500 and meetings with top talent agencies at stake. Find out at The Improv Space in Westwood, Friday, 8-9 PM. Tickets are $10.

END TIMES – The Rapture is supposed to happen on Saturday, everywhere. 3% of the population will be called to heaven. Earthquakes will spread across the planet “as the sun advances”. Life will be generally crummy for the remaining 97%, presumably, until the world will finally sputter to an end on October 21, 2011. So, stock up on water, I guess. If you’re one of the Left Behind and looking for something to do, there’s always Post Rapture Looting.

ENTERTAINMENT – The 2nd Annual Silver Lake Jubilee is this weekend with tons of music, comedy, comics reading event, interactive theater games, and lots more, Saturday and Sunday. Performances will be held under the bridge at Sunset and Santa Monica Blvds. in Silver Lake, starting at 10 am each day and going late into the night.

BENEFIT – A collection of 20 scantily clad women will be washing cars in their bikinis to raise money for the victims of the tornado in Alabama. There will also be live DJs spinning music and a live podcast noon to 3. The Alabama Tornado Victims Charity Fundraiser Bikini Car Wash will be at Norm’s 76 gas station on Sunset in West Hollywood, Sunday, 10am – 6pm. 100% of the proceeds will go to the Tuscaloosa Disaster Relief Fund, run by the Tuscaloosa Chamber of Commerce. Suggested donation: $10 & up.

Comic Book Storytellers on How They Became Pro

Comics writer Michael “Frick” Weber (The Field on the Edge of the Woods) has partnered with digital comics provider Cloud 9 Comix to create a series of quick interview videos with a plethora of mega-talented comics artists and writers talking about how they discovered they wanted to work in comics and how they broke into comics.

The first two episodes were posted last week, and are made up of on-camera conversations held at last month’s Pittsburg Comicon.

Interviewees, in order of appearance:

  • Loran Skinkis (writer/artist, Electric Owl; artist, Star & Stripes)
  • Sean McKeever (writer, The Waiting Place, Marvel Adventures Spider-Man, Teen Titans, Funky Winkerbean)
  • Pat Olliffe (artist, Amazing Spider-Man, Spider-Girl, JSA Classified)
  • Scott McDaniel (artist, Batman, Daredevil, Green Arrow)
  • Chris Yambar (writer, Bart Simpson Comics; writer/artist, Mr. Beat)
  • Terry Moore (writer/artist, Strangers in Paradise, Echo; writer, Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane)
  • George Pérez (artist, Crisis on Infinite Earths, New Teen Titans, Avengers)
  • Louis Small, Jr. (artist, Vampirella, Codename: Knockout)
  • Talent Caldwell (artist, Fathom, Wildcats: Nemesis, Gen13)
  • Gary Morgan (artist, The Field on the Edge of the Woods, Henry)
  • Ron Frenz (artist, Amazing Spider-Man, Thor, Superman)

(via Robot 6)

Now That Arnold’s Scandal Is Out, What of The Governator? [UPDATE]

The Governator, developed by Stan Lee (artist unknown, unimportant)

In case you haven’t heard, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger secretly fathered a child with a member of his household staff nearly a decade ago. That secret was kept even from his wife, former First Lady of California Maria Shriver, until just recently. The two had announced a separation following 25 years of marriage last week just prior to the information being made public.

Yes this makes for sudsy gossip for some but what does it mean for Schwarzenegger’s plans to enter the world of comic books? At the end of March, he announced through Entertainment Weekly that a combination comic book and animated TV series would launch starring the former Hollywood action hero as a crime fighter. The character and concepts were created in collaboration with Stan Lee, co-creator of such flawed and troubled superheroes as Spider-Man and tons of other Marvel Comics characters. While Stan Lee will forever be remembered for his classic work with seminal artists like Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko in the early 1960s, he remains remarkably active today. Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment helped develop a new line of superhero comics for Boom! Studios and even superheroes for the NHL, to name just two recent projects. He’s even a prolific Twitterer.

So will this scandal sink The Governator? Perhaps cause Stan Lee to distance himself from the flawed and troubled Arnold who may no longer be the best example of a real world hero? According to the LA Times today, probably not.

An outline obtained by The Times says the lead character was to juggle the responsibilities of being an “action hero” and “family man.” One potential theme was to have been when Arnold’s mission was complicated by “remembering to buy Maria a gift for their anniversary.”

After the couple confirmed their separation last week, [Stan] Lee told the Associated Press that plans to include Shriver had been dropped, and that the break-up wouldn’t affect “anything at all, except we can probably have a lot of girls having crushes on our hero as the story goes on — which we probably would have done anyway.”

That quote, given prior to the recent revelation, seems a little harsh now in light of the scandal. For now, I’m sure all parties are waiting to see how public perception evolves, and with so much put into The Governator so far, will try to launch it anyway. If it lands on a network and makes it to print, how will it be received? Will it become the next Spider-Man, or the next Stripperella? I bet Maria Shriver has an opinion.

UPDATE, 5/20/11: This morning, as reported by Entertainment Weekly, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s lawyers released a statement that his acting career was now on hold while he dealt with “personal matters”. That was followed by another statement from the production companies behind The Governator:

“In light of recent events, A Squared Entertainment, POW, Stan Lee Comics, and Archie Comics, have chosen to not go forward with the Governator project.”

Less than two hours later, the statement was revised to saying the project was “on hold.”

My Comic Shop DocumentARy screens in NewFilmmakers: New York

Screening tomorrow at the Anthology Film Archives in New York City, My Comic Shop DocumentARy tells the story of a man and his comic book store.

The documentary features the comic shop Alternate Realities of Scarsdale, New York, and examines Steve Oto’s struggles to keep the business going. The shop first opened in 1992 when Oto left the luxurious world of law for comic books. The documentary also highlights the community that the store has helped create. The documentary was made by director Anthony Desiato.

Taking what looks like a good look at the realities of running a comic book store, the documentary should be a great spotlight on an often misunderstood part of the industry. It’s not all Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons, after all.

Like our award-winning documentary Dig Comics last year here in Los Angeles, the screening was arranged through NewFilmmakers Online.

Check it out and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, May 18th 6:00PM
Anthology Film Archives
32 2nd Avenue @ 2nd Street

Manga Publisher Go! Comi Returns… As Scam? To Re-Sell? – Owner Explains

The original Go! Comi logo, now used for nefarious purposes?

Defunct manga publisher Go! Comi has suddenly returned on the scene, but not exactly in the best way possible. Amid claims of scamming due to the new website’s appeal for donations, the domain name has been posted for sale at a domain auction house. The new owner spoke exclusively with me to tell his side.

As reported by Anime News Network last week, the publisher’s former creative director Audry Taylor posted on her Twitter and Facebook pages last week that the new website at GoComi.com asking for donations to help finance the publisher’s return is a hoax. Last Wednesday she tweeted, “WARNING: MY FORMER GOCOMI.COM WEBSITE HAS BEEN TURNED INTO A SCAM. IT IS NOT REAL. DO NOT DONATE. GONNA SICK MY LAWYERS ON THEM.” The same day she posted on Facebook, “WARNING: THE FORMER GOCOMI.COM WEBSITE THAT I USED TO RUN HAS BEEN TURNED INTO A SCAM BY UNIDENTIFIED CRIMINALS UNRELATED TO GO! COMI, A COMPANY WHICH NO LONGER EXISTS. IT IS NOT REAL. DO NOT DONATE. GONNA SICK MY LAWYERS ON THEM. PLEASE SHARE THIS POST WITH MANGA FANS AND READERS.”

The website uses language from the previous authentic GoComi.com website, and now includes a notice requesting help in relaunching.

News:

Go! Comi needs your Help!

Go! Comi is coming back! We take great efforts to rebuilt Go! Comi as a publisher for Manga & Comics.

Help us rebuilding Go! Comi.

This is followed by a PayPal link to donate any amount.

Also on the site is a contact form for comics and manga creators to submit their work for review with the hopes of future publication. The Contact Us page uses a similar contact form.

The site’s blogroll, links to other sites, is decidedly unrelated to comics or manga: BigBrotherWeb.com, CarInsuranceQuoteQuote.info, KleinerPreis.info, and LoansBadCreditLoans.info.

So just who is behind this? Down the rabbit hole we go:

(more…)

This Friday is brought to you by Shot In 3D Kitteh

Things to do in LA this weekend:

COMEDY: The X-ecution is down to the Final 10! It’s elimination-style improv comedy with $500 and meetings with top talent agencies at stake. Our own Kathie Bostian of the Magic Meathands is in the line-up, code-named The Snake. Cheer her on at The Improv Space in Westwood, Friday 8-9 PM. Tickets are $10.

ART / MUSIC: The first annual Atwater Art Walk debuts on Glendale Blvd., specifically with art at 55˚ Wine and Kaldi Coffee and Tea, and music at Revo Café in the LA neighborhood of Atwater Village on Saturday, 5-10 PM.

COMEDY: Family-friendly improv comedy featuring the Magic Meathands (with me!) and Jump Start Improv at The Spot Café in Culver City, Saturday, 8-10 PM. Tickets are $7.

Me on Tumblr: Breaking News on Comics and Random Inanity

If we’re friends on Facebook or you follow me on Twitter, you might’ve noticed a new feed coming in to those sites. Yes, I’m on Tumblr!

There I will be posting links to breaking news about comic book, graphic novels, manga, comic strips, web-comics, digital comics and other forms of sequential art. Yes, believe it or not, breaking comics news is actually a thing that happens in the world. For example, see this story. Or this story. There will also be a side dish of random silliness or oddities that amuse me to lighten things up, as well as a link to my weekday posts on my blog here, which tomorrow will create an internet loop from which we may never escape.

So if you’re on Tumblr, you should follow me! Or if you’re not on Tumblr, you can subscribe to my Tumblr’s RSS feed. It’ll make you a better person.