I can’t believe I made it in on time after last night’s party. The Friends of Lulu meeting was at ten thirty in the morning and I had to bring people up to date on the FoL Internet Site—since Internet Coordinator Johanna Draper flaked out and left the con early. You’d think she had a life or something. Me, I’d be hung over if I’d gotten enough sleep for a hangover to kick in.
Friends of Lulu may be sponsoring a Women in Comics convention next year. The idea is to join up with another small convention so as not to get lost in the din of something as big as San Diego. The Alternative Press Expo was one of the options voiced.
Lots of things coming up in DC’s Vertigo line.
- Garth Ennis will have a flashback to Vietnam in the next issue of Preacher.
- Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing issues will be reprinted as an “Essential Vertigo” series. They’ll be reprinted issue by issue, not as a trade. Swamp Thing itself will be ending soon. Mark Millar’s response: “Got any spare change?”
- Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess will be teaming up for Stardust, a prose and illustration work due out next year.
- Volume 1 of The Invisibles ends at issue 25. The next set will pretty much continue with the current characters. We’re even going to find out where Ragged Robin came from soon.
- Vertigo is also coming out with House of Secrets (unrelated to the “in-Universe” House). “It’s an angsty negative dark book. Go figure.”
- Lee Marrs will be doing Fault Lines. “Look forward to being disgusted out of your gourd.”
- Neil Gaiman and Jill Thompson will have a Delirium book or series out by the end of next year.
- Matt Howarth will be writing Dr. 13 as soon as he can find an illustrator.
- The Unknown Soldier will arrive in early 1997, to be followed shortly afterwards by Weird War Tales.
- Steven Seagle will be showing us how Blackhawk became Howard Chaykin’s depraved Blackhawk, in Sandman Mystery Theatre. Or whatever it is that he writes.
- We’re not likely to see the Swamp Thing Jesus Christ story. The powers-that-be at DC still don’t want to let it loose. It’s stored in Area 51. Grant will be telling us more in the Invisibles: Jesus will be getting his own miniseries this year.
- “What’s your favorite conspiracy?” “Why are you asking?”
- Jeff Nichols will be writing and drawing a one-shot Merv Pumpkinhead story.
- To Grant: “Any other artists you’d like to work with?” “The usual, Picasso, Rembrandt.”
- Garth Ennis will be crossing the states, spending a week in Texas. Mark: “There’s lots of farm animals there. It’ll take at least a week.” Garth: “It’s research, it’s genuine research.”
- There’s some resentment from Brit retailers about the Brit comic brain-drain, with Brit creators jumping ship. Garth: “The people we were working for were loathsome toads… We’ve come to America, and British comics are falling apart… Brian Bolland once said that if they could make money with Judge Dredd in a tutu, they would. They practically did.”
- Grant is writing an Invisibles TV show for British television.
- The current director on the Sandman movie is Roger Avery.
Grant Morrison and the JLA
According to Mike Carlin they were looking for a new direction, but they needed someone willing to put up with all the baloney involved with writing a team in a tight universe.
Spoilers abound once I get past the quotes. Well, maybe not abound. One or two.
- “Vast biblical scope”
- “Apocalyptic paranoia”
- “God-like beings in our midst is kind of a spooky thing.”
- “There’s a feeling in the superhero community that there’s this elitist superhero group forming, but too bad.”
- The Batman’s an interesting character in a team like this. Someone like Wally (the Flash) can wear a flashy costume and just get out of the way under fire. “Batman can’t afford to stand next to someone so bright as a target.”
- “There is another layer for readers who have been with the DC Universe for quite a while.”
- “Wendy and Marvin. They’re the big guns.”
- The First Issue (Spoilers)
They handed out free previews of the first issue as we left. God I love these cons! It’s basically the entire comic unedited and uncolored. Penciler is Howard Porter and Inker is John Dell.
There are elements of many things in this issue. The antagonists initially borrow from Wandjina, Blue Jay, and the Silver Sorceress. They’re here to save our planet because they destroyed theirs. Later on vague memories of the Defenders in Antarctica come to mind. There’s also quite a bit of similarity with Kingdom Come, no doubt because similar themes are being explored.
The comic reads and feels much like an early Marvel with better dialogue. The story and the art are straight superhero. Good for all that, but nothing yet that tells you this is the writer of Animal Man or Doom Patrol or St. Swithin’s Day. The illustrations include all the bulging muscles we’ve come to expect from superhero comics. The story is hurried; I get the feeling that Grant has somewhere he wants to be and he wants to get there fast.
If it weren’t Grant Morrison I probably wouldn’t recommend it. But it is, and there are few writers in comics today I trust more to tell a good and entertaining story.
Finds (Sunday 1996)
- The 1,001 Nights of Bacchus, Eddie Campbell: “You see, throughout my life I was blind and had to take people’s words for things that they said they saw.”
- 1776, Joe Gill, Tony Tallarico: “I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is called a disgrace, that two are called a law firm, and that three or more become a congress.”
- Amazing Adventures Featuring the X-Men, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Paul Reinman: “Mmm, whoever designed this uniform could have given Christian Dior a run for his money!”
- Artbabe, Jessica Abel: “To be consistent, I should point out that I hate the winter. I hate to be cold, I hate the wind, I hate all the bulky clothes and the grey sky and the monotony. But sometimes it gives me a thrill, like when it’s 40 degrees below zero, I feel like Jack London. We are a city full of arctic pioneers, bonded by the harsh conditions.”
- Avengers, David Michelinie, John Byrne, Klaus Janson: “I think you’d be wise, Mr. Gyrich, to have your overzealous agent here remove his clammy paw from my wrist. Unless, of course, the National Security Council plans on opening a special branch for one-handed operatives.”
- Berlin, Jason Lutes: “Why do I feel protective of her? Why not let her go, let it drag her under and shake her up a little? She sways, and I fear her collapse. I try to hold her up with words, things both pointless and empty.”
- The Champions, Tony Isabella, George Tuska, Vince Colletta: “By the shattering shafts of Apollo! The earthly conveyance doth rush at me with a speed that doth rival Hermes’ own. But I am sworn to avenge the loyal friend who hath been most cowardly struck down.” Long words to say Herc doesn’t feel like getting out of the way of a car that Rampage threw at him.
- Foolkiller, Steve Gerber, J.J. Birch, Tony DeZuniga: “Go ahead Minneapolis. You’re on the air with the Foolkiller.” “Uh, yeah—I wanna know if he thinks the media isn’t makin’ people more violent an’ all.” “Greg, what about that?” “I think fools affix blame everywhere but where it belongs.”
- Girl Hero, Megan Kelso: “What?! I’m risking my life to support us and you two can’t even cook dinner??” (If you haven’t seen Girl Hero yet, buy this book!
- Miracleman, Alan Moore, Alan Davis: “He has outlived his usefulness. It seems harsh, but then we are all of us prepared to commit atrocity in the pursuit of beatification…”
- Oddville!, Jay Stephens: “Th-that ss-sounded like the grunge-rock band that I m-m-murdered!” “Yesss! It’s us!!! We are… zombies! Oooooooo!!!” “If he weren’t a robot, I’d swear he’d pooped his pants.”
- Silly Daddy, Joe Chiapetta: “Common! Joe is older than you. Besides, he’ll have his daughter with him this time. How crazy can he get?”
- Social Skills, John C. Sulak: “If you want to go to hell after you die of lung cancer, go ahead!”
- Strangers in Paradise, Terry Moore: “You make me sick! You’re everything I hate about men all wrapped up in one big bloated wart!”
- Waste LA, Bill O’Neil, John Gaushell: “I know I survived a car crash, but my melon’s missing a few seeds. What happened before the crash?”
Sunday Grab Bag 1996
- Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean will be coming out with The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish, $21.99 in October. Publisher isn’t listed.
- Mars Attacks, December 1996. Who doesn’t already know this?
- Cyberforce: The Fate of the Team is Depending on You, from Top Cow.
- Einsteins is still around in mail order.
- Small Publishers Co-op: (941) 922-0844: “Your comic printed wicked cheap”.
- Joe Ekaitis