Hello. My name is Mike Phillips. I’m the new Blotter guy and I am very excited to Blot. No kidding. As I finished reading the e-mail from Julian saying, “Welcome aboard,” I caught myself pumping my fist in elation. I stopped myself (the same way you do when you embarrassingly realize you’re talking to yourself out loud) mid-pump thinking, Whoa, you’re getting pretty worked up here over listing some news on a comic book website for some guy you’ve never met? So what gives? Why get so excited over a “childish” thing that isn’t to be taken so seriously? Because here at Sequart it is taken seriously. Serious enough to make its readers feel like adults browsing archives of important and entertaining literature. I honestly believe that this site is significant, if not essential, in that same way.
Not to mention rare. This is the site you’ve always been looking for. The site about which you’ve said to yourself a million times, “There should be a site like that. I would go to that site.” And I do… 3 times a day.
Now I write for it.
It shouldn’t seem like a big deal but, hey, my unconscious fist-pumps seem to say something to the contrary.
Anywho, I plan on following in Julian’s footsteps here by getting you the relevant information that you’ve come to expect. Please be gentle with the newbie as I get my feet wet. Here, then, is the news:
X-Statix Ends, Mormon Adventures Begin!
Sadly, it is official: X-Statix will be ending with issue #26, but Mike Allred isn’t taking much of a breather. In fact, for his next project, The Golden Plates: The Shape of All Things, it seems (from the pages I’ve seen) as though he is putting in the extra effort.
Golden Plates, to be published by his own AAA Pop Comics label, is a self-contained story that revolves solely around events found in the Book of Mormon. You heard me. But Allred urges you not to turn your other cheek from its seemingly religious characteristics (sorry, I couldn’t pass that up). On his message board he says that there is more to the Book of Mormon than that, “There’s no other book that is so rich with adventure, action, romance, courage, beauty, and spiritual enlightenment; at least, none that I’m aware of. At the very least it’s a phenomenal story rich with visual power. So, if I pull it off, It’ll be the most significant thing I’ll ever be a part of.”
Look for a sellout in Utah stores when it comes out this Fall.
It’s Not Over Yet, Micah
Rich Johnston is reporting that DC, in a very uncommon move, has removed Micah Ian Wright from writing chores on a single issue: the final one of his Stormwatch: Team Achilles. For those of you who haven’t yet heard, recently on his website, Wright poured his heart out to his remaining fans regarding his growing lies about being an Army Ranger. DC did what you might expect by dropping Wright, but for only one issue? And the FINAL issue of the series at that. This may be a first. Not the type of “first” DC will be happy about though; this could lose DC a bit of cash if they don’t find another writer and re-solicit the issue. If it isn’t re-solicited, retailers could return the newly written version of issue #24 for a refund.
With the news earlier in the year of this book being cancelled within a week of Wildcats 3.0‘s cancellation, all of this extra talk of Wright’s indiscretions has been a slap in the face to diehard fans of both books and Wildstorm in general.
Imprints, Imprints, Imprints
To go along with the recent news of Marvel’s Icon imprint debuting and Wildstorm streamlining all of theirs, more imprints are popping up. What’s more, they’re creatively titled!
Within the past five days both Dark Horse and Marvel have announced a launch to their own prose imprints. Dark Horse has announced two: one imprint, “M Press,” is releasing a non-fiction book this fall and the other one, “DH Press,” is going to be geared more toward pop-culture-ish material. Marvel’s imprint, “Marvel Press,” will focus on their arsenal of characters to create a library of “good fiction.” Both companies have had novels released in the past based on their characters (i.e. Hellboy and Spider-man) but, for some reason, we now have imprints to take care of that.
Anyone else getting sick of that word?
FOUND: More Info Out There for a Sophisticated Look at Comics
Comic books and sequential art have a friend in Washington. Georgetown University has announced that it is offering two comic book related courses during its summer program. Course listings XLIT-162-01, “Examining Comic Books as Literature” and XWRI-104-01, “Comic Book Scriptwriting” will both be taught by writer / lecturer A. David Lewis.
“Examining Comic Books as Literature” will be a mixture of lit theory and some of the most popular comics of the past few decades. As a bonus, even non-Georgetown students can take the course at a Continuing Education Non-Credit tuition rate (maybe seats are still available!).
The second class offered is, “Comic Book Scriptwriting”. According to Lewis the course, “will take students of all experience levels through prime examples of excellence in comic book scriptwriting, a variety of styles and formats, advice from the experts, and through to a final draft of their very own comic book story.”
More information on Lewis’s work can be found at this thought-provoking site, Serious-About-Comics.com.
Industry Whipping-Boy Loses Another Title (or Three?)
For what seems like an eternity now, success-allergic CrossGen Entertainment has slowly deteriorated into the brunt of a million industry jokes… so what’s a few more:
One of the CGE’s few remaining cash cows, El Cazador, has [insert boat joke here] for what could be six months or longer. Writer / Representative Barbara Kesel was as upbeat as possible in her explanation, stating that penciler Steve Epting was, “kidnapped by the crew of the good ship Marvel,” (crickets chirping) and management is looking to replace him.
Two weeks ago it was Sojourn and now this. Even Kiss Kiss Bang Bang‘s future is questionable with word from Diamond Distribution that the publisher has canceled the title. Also, it is possible that the Negation War may be held up for a while due to alleged failure to pay artist Paul Pelletier, a slip-up that would force him to honor his paying commitments first.
The company that was founded on the continuity of the Sigil has managed to commit what appears to be a faux pas for every occasion, not to mention the ugly online weblog war of words going on between a bunch of former employees, engaging in a pointless argument of whether working for the upstart company was a good experience or a bad one. Too bad, you never know what could have been. I guess creating a good continuity isn’t all that easy.
Speaking of Continuity…
Hey CrossGen management! Listen up! Check out Matt Martin’s articlefor a critique of the Marvel Knights version of Spider-Man. Matt offers some quality insight regarding the confusing pitfalls of a convoluted continuity. We all know how good a story can be with a solid continuity behind it, but what if you have to pick up a few titles that you wouldn’t normally buy just so you can understand what’s going on?
What’s worse, what if those titles contradict each other?
- With recent buzz flying around Marvel’s creator-owned imprint Icon, there is a rumor in the wind that Neil Gaiman may be cooking something up for it. Oh, and Gaiman has been remarking lately about a film based on his Death character.
- After this year’s big Avengers Disassembled crossover some Avengers-related books will be cancelled. The problem is that I have no info as to which ones will be axed. Stay tuned.
- In Marvel’s Ultimate universe things are getting dark. Warren Ellis is in the midst of writing a five-issue mini-series, entitled Ultimate Nightmare, which will include many characters from all over the Ultimate line. As usual, we are told that we WON’T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENS!!!!!
- According to Diamond Indexes, Daredevil: Father #1 (of 5) by Marvel honcho Joe Quesada placed at #22 in sales rank for the month of April. Good by most standards but some speculate that the $3.50 price tag kept it from ranking higher. Another factor could have been the free preview that was posted on milehighcomics.com. The pages I saw were in a different style than most of Quesada’s previous endeavors and maybe that deterred some of his fans from taking the plunge. We’ll see how #2 does.
- Let me go on record and say that John Byrne’s upcoming Doom Patrol series looks like it is going to be an insult to Grant Morrison’s work on the previous incarnation of the title. Byrne seemingly will be ignoring the entire continuity that Morrison and his successors created. It turns out that, at the recent comic convention in Philadelphia, DC’s Dan Didio made an interesting comment about the new version’s direction, saying that it will all make sense eventually. It had better. Then again, maybe the remark was just a ploy to keep hardcore Morrison Doom Patrol fans from boycotting the title.
- Remember that book What If? from Marvel? Well, lucky / unlucky you, it’ll be back by the end of this year. Maybe it’ll work this time
- In What If? fashion, Chris Claremont is writing X-Men: The End due out this August. It will be eighteen issues in all, with six issues devoted to each of its three parts. Due to Claremont’s history with all of these characters, many readers will most likely view this storyline as the definitive finale to Charles Xavier’s dream.
- For those Hal Jordan fans who don’t already know, the old-school GL is making a big comeback in Green Lantern: Rebirth.