Thursday, July 27, 2006

CON SWAG: San Diego Comic Con 06 #1

I always try and list the cool stuff I pick up at shows on TSL, to share in the hidden treasures of the cons, but I often don't make it through my list... This time, I'll try and put a scan and quick note about stuff, with links for all to learn more.

First up is Sideshow Monkey Volume One - The Art of David Hartman David Hartman has an active Deviant Art page that showcases his passion for horror centric pin up artwork, and since I was amazed by his work, I'd vowed to pick up a sketchbook at the con. It took til the closing minutes of Sunday, and the last "display" copy of the sold out first volume, but I got one in my hands.

It's oversized and chocked full of full color pages of pinups, with a large sketch section in the back, all for $30.
David's worked with Rob Zombie (who does the forward) as well as various hollywood jobs. His work, while dark in scope, is always vibrant in color or approach.

You can see more of his work at his website or his deviant art page

For more SAN DIEGO COMIC CON coverage, see my con wrap up HERE

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

IN CASE U MISSED IT: Adam Warren Returns!

One of the brief times I was on the con floor during open hours at San Diego Comic Con, I found myself by the Antarctic Press booth and swung by looking for Ryan Kinnaird, I love his work and have always wanted to pick up one of his sketchbooks...
Anyways, I saw a Kinnaird sketchbook so I glanced up to see if the gentlemen behind the table was him, I was pleasantly surprised to find a badge that said "Adam Warren"... Adam is only one of my all time favorite creators. Not only is his artwork inspiring and a ton of fun, but the man can seriously write, with ideas by the page and dialogue that's up there with the best of them. His Livewires from Marvel last year was a sheer delight, and his back catalog includes some of my all time favorites!

My point?

Oh yeah, he mentioned EMPOWERED when I asked what the heck he's been doin... turns out he's written ad drawn a few 100 pages that are due out next year from Dark Horse (lucky bastards), and I just discovered that Newsarama had a nice write up on it last week HERE

Check it out.
I can't wait!

Oh yeah, and I was so glad to talk with Adam, I totally forgot to snag a Kinnaird sketchbook... Maybe next year!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

SUPER REAL NOTES - San Diego Comic Con wrap up

How I Spent My Summer Vacation
This Con Wrap-Up's So Good, it's got 2 Shaun of the Deads!!

San Diego Comic Con is where I debuted Super Real, back in 2003. Yes, 2003. Back then I compiled a preview ash can, secured a small press table, and made the trip to sunny San Diego with dreams of comic book success in my head. To be honest, I don't recall how well I did that first year, but it was well under my expectations, of course looking back, it was my first step at comic book publishing, and I've come a long way since then, but the con has come a long way since then too. I think 2003 was the first year they expanded to the full size of the hall, and I don't remember, but attendance back then was somewhere between 60 to 80 thousand, with 2005 at over 100k, and this year, attendance was up again, with estimates as high as 125k. So although I was in my early stages of self publishing that first year, one thing was clear, San Diego Comic Con was the place to be, and simply a must every year, either as a publisher, creator, or simply a fan. Comic Con is like nothing else on earth for a comic book fan, it's truly amazing!

So in the time since that first con, I've developed Super Real, set up distribution into comic shops, and published two issues. It's been a long road, but one thing has been constant, the annual trek to southern California. The other constant is that I've exhibited in the small press area, and while the time is coming where I need more space and presence, it's been great being located in that area with other similar creators. I've made some great friends and had some cool neighbors among the many creators along the way, and you can't beat the opportunity the promoters of this event provide upcoming talent by making this space available at low cost, amidst the increasing Hollywood and media presence. To be able to exhibit in the industries largest, best attended, and highest profile event is a privlidge, and an exciting endeavor. 2006 was no different in that regard.

What was different for 2006 was the noticeably heavier crowds. Traditionally the Saturday of the show is the heaviest day, with crowds spreading wall to wall in all of the aisles, but this year things were busier from the get go, with Wednesday's preview night being heavily attended. The show runs 5 days, 9 hours most days, but it's never near enough time to take it all in. Especially when you consider the increasing number of panels and celebrity attendance among those. As I've seen others note, you really don't have a feel for the scope of all that's happening unless you read about it around the web. The announced appearances paled in comparison to the laundry list of stars and moguls that turned out. Who knew the director and ENTIRE cast of Spider-Man 3 would show up? Tarantino, Rodriguez, Superman's Brandon Routh, were among the many luminaries that I've heard appeared after the fact. The list goes on and on. It's an overload in every sense.

The con floor offers not just a selection of publisher's booths, but booths from ALL of them, each packed with high profile creators. Video game companies with demos. Manga publishers now bring in overseas creators. Tv studios, movie studios, the list goes on and on. I heard there were 3 major cable networks broadcasting live from the floor this year. Everything is bursting and growing, in every respect, every year.

Besides all of the panels and booths though, the coolest part about the con is that the majority of the industry is there. This year I had the pleasure of hanging out with issue 2 variant cover artist (and contributing artist on my upcoming Super Real Special), Edward Pun. Edward works for a video game publisher, and was lucky enough to be in attendance for work, so we put some of his new sketchbook (which is awesome) on the table and he sat in a little bit. (see side pic) Ed's a swell guy, and a really talented comic artist, so it was great seeing him.

Also at the show were the upcoming Super Real issue 3 variant artists, Felipe Smith (Tokyopop's MBQ - a real mad man on and off the page), and Hector Sevilla (Alias Comics LULLABY). Hector (see side pic) was a surprise because he came in from Mexico and just happened by my table (along with frequent collaborator/colorist Simon Bork) and we both slowly realized we knew each other. Issue 1 variant artist Josh Howard (DEAD@17, BLACK HARVEST) is also usually on hand at the VIPER booth, and we got to say hello, and he gave me a copy of his new sketchbook MOSH GIRLS & MONSTERS (it's really cool - thanks Josh!). Plus in the last year I've gotten set up on DeviantArt and MySpace, so there's always plenty of those friends to meet and see as well!

Which brings me to the fans new and old. It's truly an honor to have people who've picked up the book come by and get more, or bring in copies to sign, or request more sketches. Thank you so much to all of you! I also really appreciate the fans who spend their hard earned money on sketches, it's a lot of fun to see what themes and requests people come up with. Lately I've been doing lots of stylized portraits, and they usually turn out really nice. I'd have to say those are the most fun. But nothing beats getting a chance to look through a sketchbook you've been given and see all of the pages by other comic artists big and small! A couple stand outs would be an awesome Chris Bachalo in a bondage themed book, and Eric Larsen Thing! I also carry a sketchbook with me that I try and get a sketch from my friends and neighbors at cons that I'll have to share online someday...

I even had Shaun of the Dead drop by and pick up a copy of the book (well one of the Shaun's any ways)!

The biggest buzz of the con, and testament to it's growing media influence, was the upcoming movie SNAKES ON A PLANE. Tshirts and talk of it were everywhere. The display for the film featured a giant snake amidst the con floor, that people stood in line to walk through and see exclusive clips of the film! I even broke down and got one of the tshirts, as they had the con logo on them, and were, as my friend Scott Kinney put it, "The unofficial official shirt of the con!"
Regardless of how the movie is, you have to admire the marketing of Snakes, and frenzy it's stirring up over the simple, silly idea. Motherfuckin snakes on a plane indeed...

So outside the con, in the limited hours we exhibitors are given, there is networking, socializing, and sight seeing (and I suppose sleeping). The wife and I went down 2 days early and took in Seaport Village across from our hotel, and the San Diego Zoo, both firsts for us. There's no shortage of things to see and do in San Diego, and the city is small and accessible with plenty of restaurants and shops, plus the weather is usually sunny and mild (not this year though - yikes it was hot) a perfect destination. We stayed at a con sponsored hotel, The Embassy Suites (see side pic of atrium view from our floor), because not only are the rooms nice and spacious, but they offer free made to order breakfasts, and an open bar for 2 hours each evening. Yes, free breakfast - anything you want, and free booze! I repeat free booze... Can't beat that.

Wednesday night saw a quick trip to the Hyatt bar with Mario Gully (ANT) where we ran into Craig Taillefer (WAHOO MORRIS), whom I'd met last year at Wizard World Chicago. Mario was a nice guy even though I'd said something stupid to him on a message board once (and I never do that, no really, what was I thinking?). There wasn't much going on at the Hyatt that night, but we had a good talk over drinks and food.

Friday night the wife and I went out for dinner with a large group that included David Montoya (MOHO) my neighbor from the con last year, Clayton Hollifield (ALIEN BOY) a local Portland area webcomic creator, Ed Pun (Suckerpunch), Hector Sevilla (LULLABY), and Simon Bork (colorist). We ended up at the House of Blues, but that's a story for another entry... :)

Saturday was reserved for my good buddy Javier Hernandez (El Muerto) and his friends. Jav was just down as an attendee Saturday and Sunday, so we had him over in our suite on the spare bed, and had dinner. They'd picked out a Mexican restaurant in Old Town with good food and drinks that was just a train ride away. Of course it was like 108 that day, and the train picks up in front of the con so it was a capacity filled sauna of a train ride, but a train ride none the less. We all had a good time over margarita (but we skipped the $20 bucket-o-guacamole), and then Jav and I had a never ending journey back to the hotel that included an impromptu train exit at Little Italy, trek by foot across town, and a midnight freight train barring our access to the hotel a mere half block away... good times!

Sunday night was our last in town, for once not having to catch a flight directly following the show, so Tami and I headed back to the hotel for one last shot at the open bar and snacks. While there, we were sitting next to a larger group of Marvel artists and their friends. Mark McKenna (Banana Tails) and uber friendly Englander Malcom Bourne (occasional graphic novel writer and comic art collector) were nice enough to chat with us.

As it turned out, my friend Hector was not only at our hotel (along with half the other people I mentioned it seems), but he and Simon were only a couple doors down on the same floor with a large group of various other creators. So that night we got together in the room for some authentic Mexican tequila and talked con, comics, and anime till we all about passed out from exhaustion!
The final capper on the best Comic Con yet!

Thanks again to all my friends and fans that I met and saw at the con, it was great!

So there you have it!
My exploits in San Diego condensed into one handy blog entry with pics and details.
It's hard to believe it's only a memory now...
but my Comic Con content for you isn't over yet! I'll have some Con Swag entries, showing off goodies from the show, and the wrap up from the awesome dinner at House of Blues, complete with a sketches from all the artists at dinner!



Just popping in real quick to say updates from the big San Diego con are coming, and that it was a huge success of a show overall, both in general, and for me!

However, we returned mid day Monday in the midst of a heatwave here in Portland, with 3 or more days of 100+ temperatures... So I was a bit lethargic yesterday...


Pop on over to the websites main page to check out the all new flash trailer for the series!!!



Sunday, July 16, 2006


It's that time of year again, time for the big one... San Diego Comic Con International. You can find Super Real once again this year in the small press pavilion space S 16 (the same space we had last year).

This year, as always, I’ll have some special products just for the show:

  • The world debut of the Super Real Flash animation trailer - Check out the characters and concept of our reality TV/super power mash-up brought to life in this new movie style animated trailer, running all week at the show! (The trailer will be available online at the website, after the con - 7/24)
  • The Super Real Enhanced Preview Book - Offered exclusively at the show this year will be a special preview book, limited to only 100 copies. The preview will feature two upcoming Super Real books; Super Real issue number 3 (due in stores August 2006), and the upcoming, first ever, Super Real Special! To catch your fist glimpse of next month’s eagerly anticipated new issue of the book, or find out what our first ever Special is all about, you have to pick up this preview book!!

    The preview books are 20 pages and feature 9 pages each of story from the respective upcoming titles. They’re black and white, limited to 100 copies, and sell for $3 each.
    (This is your chance to get the full details on the upcoming special I've been teasing about here, otherwise stay tuned after the con for the big reveal!)

Of course in addition to the new trailer, and the preview books, we’ll have the current Super Real Sketchbook (2006 vol.2), and all versions of issues 1 and 2, as well as prints and t-shirts. We'll also have issue 2 variant (and upcoming Super Real Special) artist Edward Pun on hand at some point to do signings!

Hope to see you at the show starting this Wednesday 7/19, and running through Sunday the 23rd!! Stop by and say hi if you're a TSL reader, and I'll be sure to get you a free sketch!


I WATCH ANIME: Street Fighter II (uncut) - advance review

Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie
Released by: Manga Video
Available: 7/18/06
Length: 99/101 minutes
Rating: Unrated/PG-13

After doing a review for Manga Video's previous anime release, KARAS (an incredible feast for the eyes), I was also lucky enough to receive a review copy of the upcoming Street Fighter II - Uncut, Uncensored, Unleashed DVD due in stores next week!
Street Fighter II The Animated Movie was originally released stateside in 1994, and was the true adaptation of the smash hit arcade series (unlike the woeful live action Hollywood version). I'm a bit of a Street Fighter II fan, as I fondly recall my days facing off against my friends at the local 7-11's, or beating down unsuspecting strangers at the arcade with Chun Li's patented turbo kicks, so I rented the original VHS release of SFII around a decade ago. I still recall, even before hearing of this new release, how impressed I was by the animation, direct translation of the Capcom designed source material, and the cutting edge visuals. Japanese anime always had a leg up in all of those regards over US animation, and even Hollywood in terms of true translation. Of course in the years since, anime and manga culture has exploded stateside, and most of anime's strong points are now common knowledge to those in the know. Anyway, as I said, I remembered this movie fondly, and had always wanted to rewatch it (especially with the release of the SFII comic series), but I'd also always remembered the version I'd seen, seemed edited for content. As much as it was in your face, it was obviously toned down for US consumption.
So this new release looked to not only remedy my need to rewatch this classic anime, but to also cure my disdain for heavy handed editing upon translation (something I avoid for any import - give it to me straight, or not at all), by serving it up uncensored with never before seen scenes.

So how does the anime feature hold up 12 years later?
And just what were we missing in the original translation?
The answers can be found below...

The first thing that stands out about the Street Fighter II feature, is the excellent quality of the animation throughout ,perfectly capturing the amazing original designs and style of the Capcom video game characters. SFII the arcade game was a mega hit, not only for it's unprecedented and genre defining fighting controls, but even more so for it's unique and rich character designs. Any adaptation that holds true to those, has a leg up on it's audience. SFII the animated movie stays completely true to those characters, and showcases ALL OF THEM, both in well choreographed fight sequences straight from the games, or fleshing out their personas via the story. For it's time, I'm sure SFII offered the highest quality and techniques in animation. Visually it holds up very well, especially since most characters are featured in their iconic costumes, and not bogged down by contemporary fashions (though we do catch some characters, especially Ken, in goofy duds). The movie takes around the globe, and serves up plenty of candy for the retinas along the way. Scenes come to life with mood and style, like the best anime, it's the attentions to details such as blades of grass bending in the wind, or lightning streaking across the sky, that helps immerse the viewer in the experience.

The story, while pretty simplistic, serves it's purpose, highlighting all of the popular characters and pitting them against each other, while raising the stakes to give the movie an overall story arc, that takes the main character Ryu on a journey, true to the mythos. Street Fighter is a world where normal people can control unlimited power, through discipline and training. These super powered heroes, can accomplish amazing physical feats, simply by force of will (no radioactive spider bite required)! That's perhaps the biggest charm of the Street Fighter universe, it has a broad appeal, to video gamers, action movie fans, fight buffs, or comic book and superhero nuts.

As far as the new scenes, or uncensored content? It's seemed pretty light. As I said, I hadn't watched the original in a decade or so, so nothing stood out to me as a new scene or something I hadn't seen before, but I haven't seen mention anywhere of just what may have been added (or how much) in this new uncut version. In the promotion, it lists that this version is more graphic, and there are a few scenes with mild language, one with mild nudity, and the fights are overall only mildly bloody. Nothing excessive, you'd almost wonder why they bothered cleaning it up in the first place. Of course, I'm sure it had to do with expanding the audience (before the general public understood that anime content skewed more mature), but the core target for this film are old enough to handle it's slightly edgy themes.

The new release includes a package that features two versions; the original Japanese on one side, and the uncensored UK version on the other. As for bonus features, it's a little light, there are some trailers, and a cast/character menu that give info on all the characters, with links to little loops of them from the film. Also included is a mini comic by Udon, makers of the current well produced batch of SF comics, that ties into the film. A great tie in to turn SF fans onto the existence of the comics, but not much more. The title menu is a fun arcade themed interface, and the content offered is alright, but the features could stand to be a bit more extensive. A guide to the new uncensored content, or explaining the differences from the original would've been nice, for example.

Overall, I'd say Street Fighter II the uncut edition is a great anime, perfect for fans of the Street Fighter universe, and this would be the version to add to your collection. It's also a great watch for any anime, action, fighting, or comic book fans that holds up well to the tests of time.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, a true festival of fighting in the Street Fighter mold!

Be sure and check out Street Fighter II when it hits stores this week!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


A couple weeks back now, I had another 4 day weekend camp trip. The first trip, I just brought comics, and plowed through about 45, but this trip I brought some work too, and only got through a handful of books.

Here's what I read:

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA 0 - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Probably the best show on TV, and the comic maintains the strong writing with Pak, and the art is very impressive. This looks to be a great compliment to the show!

GREEN LANTERN CORPS 1 - RECOMMENDED: I'm not a GL fan (or even DC really), but I do love super hero sci-fi when it's done with a contemporary flare. Since DNA and crew left Legion of Superheroes I've bailed on that, and I love Gleason's art, but hadn't seen him on a book that interests me... so GLCorps looked to be a good fit. And so far, so good. A really strong first issue, that has me anxious for more, all around.

X-STATIX PRESENTS: DEAD GIRL 5 - MILDLY RECOMMENDED: Huge fan of X-Statix, really liked some of the earlier issues of this, but it just seemed to be a ho-hum finish. Fun overall, but not really an X-Statix book, and not really that great (besides the art).

BATMAN & ROBIN 4 - MILDLY RECOMMENDED: I'm enjoying this story, and take on Batman. Not loving it, but enjoying it.

SKYE RUNNER 2 - NOT RECOMMENDED: I like Garza's art, but so far on this title it's a bit off overall (still pretty to look at though), and the story is passable, but I'm not thrilled by anything.

LOCAL 5 - MILDLY RECOMMENDED: Now that we've settled into the direction this series is heading, I'm still really enjoying it. If only for the unique, quiet, thoughtful, character driven excellence of it's author (and Kelly is impressive too).

BLACKGAS 3 - MILDLY RECOMMENDED: This one really saved the series for me. It's really better off as a short OGN than a mini. Nothing new here as far as zombie fair, but solid when looked at overall. I'm on board for the sequel.

THE LEXIAN CHRONICLES 1-5 - RECOMMENDED: I'd been anxious to check these out as they featured the artwork of Inaki Miranda, who'd caught my eye on a previous APC/Markosia book... Turns out Lexian is an adaptation of a fantasy novel, and it's broad story is fun to watch unfold. Good stuff.

WOLVERINE ORIGINS 2-3 - MILDLY RECOMMENDED: I've never been a fan of Wolverine solo books, love the character, but since his first mini, and the brief Eric Larsen run, I've never found his solo outing too intriguing. But since this was tied to Origin, thought I'd check it out. I'm still on the fence, I enjoy it alright, but not wild about it. I'd have canceled with these except for the upcoming Wolvie VS Cap... gotta check that out!

BATMAN YEAR 100 2-4 - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Loved the first issue, and these were also a treat. I'm a huge Paul Pope fan, so hopefully the profile of this book will bring him more deserved attention. Great story, some really fun moments, and of course incredible art/storytelling. The climax was a tad low key for me, but it's an otherwise stellar work.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


Tales From Netflix used to be my regular posting with quick reviews for all the DVD's we watch, now though, I think I'll change it to simply highlight discs that are off the beaten path and well worth the effort...

This time we have HOUSE OF 9

House of 9 is perfect for anyone who's enjoyed the SAW or CUBE movies, with a similar premise, pitting 9 strangers against each other in a controled environment. It's been done before, and with Saw it was ultra violent, with gory traps, and in Cube it was a sci-fi puzzler, but this time it's a band of Brits who simply unravel on each other. Character driven and well acted, Ho9 is also very well directed, with great cinematography, music, and a simple but attractive set (like the similar Cube movies).

And hey, how can a movie with a setup where 9 strangers come together, get filmed, with the survivor to win 5 million dollars, not appeal to me?

Oh yeah, and Dennis Hopper is featured as well.

(And if you read this and wondered what the CUBE movies were, do yourself a favor and rent one post haste!)


MATADOR - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Pierce is brilliant!
SYRIANA - RECOMMENDED: Solid stuff all around (but complex).
SARAH SILVERMAN: JESUS IS MAGIC - MILDLY RECOMMENDED: Has some really funny moments, but is otherwise okay.
KISS KISS BANG BANG - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Great cast, great plot, great movie!!

Saturday, July 08, 2006



As I mentioned in yesterday's notes, the full court press, last minute blitz, for Comic Con preperation is in full swing, with the production of the first Super Real flash trailer. Well, I also recently sent out a print job to the new POD (print on demand) service Ka-Blam.

I'd always intended to do a preview book for San Diego, however I thought it would be focused on the top secret project I've alluded to here on TSL, turns out it's now a flip book. With one side focused on the top secret upcoming Super Real project, and the other now featuring a preview of Super Real issue 3.

Since the promotion I've alluded to with Diamond has drug the release date of issue 3 out past the con, which I'd always assumed I'd have available in time for the show, I went ahead and split the preview book between the two.

So, if you are one of the thousands of folks attending, be sure and snag a copy of the preview book. Not only does it feature previews of two upcoming, top rate Super Real books, it's very limited. Only 100 copies made.

Back to Ka-Blam, so far I'm very impressed with them. I'd used ComiXpress in the past, and still recommend them, but they've struggled with turn times in the past and Ka-Blam offers a 10 business day turnaround, so I had to go with them. Also, I've seen books printed by them at recent shows, and they've virtually the same (high quality) as ComiXpress, and both companies offer the same pricing.

As far as printers go, they've been perhaps the best in responsiveness and customer service, a real highlight, as all my experience with any level of comic book printer has been mostly to the contrary...

Now it's up for them to deliver and have the books there on time, and in the right order. As long as they come through there, I'll be sure and keep recommending them!

So just what are the details on the SDCC Preview Book, and this secret project??

Friday, July 07, 2006

IN CASE U MISSED IT: Sequential Smarts

I think I've mentioned this before, but it bares repeating, Eric Adams' column on Newsarama, SEQUENTIAL SMARTS, is a must read for any aspiring or practicing self publisher.

This week's column is web presence, with many tips on website development.
Great stuff!
You can find the latest installment HERE



As you may have noticed, I haven't been posting much lately... things have been really busy.
Wizard World Philly, a couple of 4 day camp trips, and mounting tasks for Super Real.

The latest thing that's filling my time has been the production of the first Super Real Flash trailer, something I've wanted to create, well, since I first started this project. I've always thought a movie-style trailer would be the perfect way to give folks a taste of what Super Real is really like. Talking about the concept, or previewing pages from the first issues only give a limited understanding of what the book is truly like. Short of actually reading it, a trailer seems the best way to convert folks to the madness that is Super Real. After lucking into contact with an eager Flash animator, the long dreamt of task was underway... or at least planned, but put on the back burner, with the target of completion for the pending comic book mecha that is San Diego Comic Con. With the con rapidly approaching, it was time to set aside everything else, and collaborate with my new friend Jeremy on this exciting project!

So, a couple weeks later, we're nearly completed (I should be working on the last shot as I'm writing this... don't tell), and just in time for the big show, and debut. I can't think of a better place to unveil a promotional trailer for the book than the media and crowd frenzy of SDCC!

If you can't make it to the show, the trailer will be available on the website afterwards, so stay tuned for that... it's a lot of fun!


While I've confirmed with Diamond that we will be doing the issue 3 promotion I spoke of last time, I still don't yet have the firm details. I will have those for you next week though...

As for the release date, that should stand as I mentioned last time as August 7th (give or take a week). So, very soon!

Again, more details to come next week, I promise.


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Superman soars!

Cheesy, I know......but emotionally, it did for me (plus, ya know, it's in the spirit of The Dailey Planet!)

I loved it!
Simply incredible.

I thought this source, and this story, provided Bryan Singer the extra emotional material necessary to not only take his quiet, character driven, super hero movie-making to the next level, but to the highest level. Singer's comic book movies have always been slow, rich, character studies, not slam bang comic books brought to life, and this is no exception. If you can surender to that though, it is superb.

The cast were great, the effects were awe inspiring, and the story moved me in many ways.

Now I don't think it was a flawless masterpiece, I can see it not connecting with everyone, but for me it really worked. That is to say, I was so strongly rewarded by the film emotionally, that I didn't care about the problems with the story, the direction it takes the franchise, or any number of potential weaknesses.

The main criticism I've heard involves the kid in the film, but that was the key element this film needed to work. It fuels everything... Having a child of Superman allows you to actually wonder if Superman will survive to the end of the movie, and pull off the amazing feats laid before him (something that generally never happens with this genre). Having the child allows you to carry the theme of the father to son, from Brando to Routh, and then from Supes to asthma boy... and so many other doors that would've otherwise been closed.

The other criticism I've read concerns casting. For me, it was great. I thought Spacey was fun and well cast as Luthor, with Posey another good choice as his girlfriend. I also thought Bosworth as Lois, while to me never really feeling like Lois, was superbly handled, balancing the many roles she plays in the script and making them also very convincing.

The final criticism, and one I could share if I wanted to dwell on it, was the action pieces of the film... there was never anything much beyond Superman catching things, on a larger and larger scale. I too would hope that a sequel would provide conflicts that feature more than catastrophes showcasing his powers, just as the original sequel provided some super powered villains.

And while Routh never really shined character wise, I thought he perfectly embodied Superman and Clark Kent, while also being very similar to the late great Christopher Reeve's likeness.

So, for me, it was one of the best super hero (but not comic book) movies.

(But hey, everyone loved that conflicted mess of a movie called Batman Begins, and I didn't like it in the least...)



Okay, it's official, ARRRGHHHH! There I said it... as I've alluded to and danced around, issue three of Super Real is in the midst of a delay, and I've not spoken publicly as to the reasons why. Mainly, because at first, there were many, and I thought things would be resolved weeks ago, but also because I'm reliant on my distributor to work out a promotion I'd wanted to set up, and it's that factor that's now strung the release out far past where I thought possible, and has me completely and utterly frustrated.

I've kept from talking about it here, because on one hand it's business, and not something anyone but me really needs to know, but on the other, that's why I've created this forum, to share insights for the many of you out there working towards the same path I'm on. So I've decided to speak about it, while trying to also do it in as calm and nice a way as possible.

Basically, let me just say that I'm really struggling with Diamond on this situation, and I hope it's resolved soon. Just know that if you are a small press publisher, working with Diamond, in my experience so far, working with them on things outside the standard process can be rather challenging. I’m sure this is compounded by the fact that my rep recently changed, and you’ve got a new publisher (me) working with a new comics rep.

So, where does the book stand? (sans full details on the issues holding it up, as well as details of the promotion... because, folks, that's still not a done deal as far as I can tell...)
Well read on in the next section…


At this point all signs point to the fact that issue 3 will be available for order adjustments via retailers as of 7/12, with those orders due on 7/21, and a new PO being issued to me by 7/25.

If I hold off on printing till receipt of the PO, which I may or may not do, that would make the earliest date the book could hit the shops as Wednesday, August 9th.

Hopefully, the promotion I've worked to set up, which has caused the weeks long limbo with Diamond, will also work out, and I'll have details on that once it's confirmed by the end of the week. As I opted to push the book past late June via order adjustment, not for my schedule, but in the effort of a further promotional push since it was already past it's initial release of late May.

So, again, the bottom line is, for now, August 9th appears to be the release date on issue 3, and I will have more details one way or another by weeks end!


Monday, July 03, 2006

Superman anyone?

Any TSL'ers see Superman Returns yet?

I'm hoping to go today...
I'm not a huge Supes or Singer fan, but I do like both, and I'm excited to see it. Looks like if nothing else, there will be some INCREDIBLE effects!
I've tried to avoid most of the reviews etc till after I've seen it, but I've heard that it received very favorable critical response.

Let me know what you all thought!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

HEY DJ! - June playlist

Here were the discs I was listening too last month...

- Another remarkably solid outing from one of my favorite bands. Sonic Nurse, their previous, was a highlight for me, and this one doesn't seem quite as incredible, but it's still pure proof that Sonic Youth are aging like fine wine.

PAUL OAKENFOLD - A LIVELY MIND - Oakenfold the DJ is as big as they come, and also one of my faves (sort of). This is his second artist release, I never got around to picking up the first, and while the tracks here are all technically sound, not much breaks new ground, and most tracks never reach past their simple setups. Perhaps this track list will serve better as remix fodder for other dj/producers...

ZERO 7 - THE GARDEN - Whether you listen to electro chill music or not, you've heard Zero 7. They've had a couple monster tracks that've been in scores of commercials, movies, etc. Their latest album (and first for me) is a more musical departure, adding layers that echo the more mellow rock of the 60's and 70's, while maintaining their original funk electro downbeat sound.

VHS OR BETA - NIGHT ON FIRE - This disc was from last year, but in the rush of similar new stuff when it came out, I missed it. Interestingly, it's a balance of the post punk influenced tracks, like the radio releases, and some jam/funk/new wave via live instrumentation a la Daft Punk. A really good disc!

PORNO FOR PYROS - Porno for Pyros
LADYTRON - The Witching Hour
RACONTEURS - Broken Boy Soldiers
TOOL - 10,000 Days
WOLFMOTHER - Self titled