Author: Karl Cramer

Atari Comics Receive Digital Reprint

Atari Comics Receive Digital Reprint

The Steam online digital distrubution system announced that Atari PC games would be added to their catalog of programs. One of the games, Atari 80 Classics in 1, is more of a bargain then meets the eye. A collection of retro Atari games from the arcades and the Atari 2600 game system, the package includes a bonus not listed in any of the marketing materials.

Each game in the collection has an Extras bonus content section. Usually this includes box art and original manuals. But the Atari archivists were very thorough and included the bonus mini-comics that were published in conjunction with DC Comics. These comics, while never valuable, do entertain on a cult status level. Atari comics had surprisingly high quality for what was essentially a marketing pack-in item.

Comics included in the collection are as follows:

Swordquest #1-3. Written by Roy Thomas and Gerry Conway, but the real star of these comics is the amazingly great art by George Perez and Dick Giordano. Swordquest was intended to be an epic multi-part adventure game. Each game in the series would include a comic to explain the story while the games would be puzzle adventures based on mythology.

Atari Force #3. Sci-fi from Gerry Conway and Roy Thomas. Artists included Ross Andru, Gil Kane, Dick Giordano and Mike DeCarlo. Atari Force proved popular enough that DC Comics published a second volume in the regular, monthly comic format. Unfortunately, the games collection only includes one of the issues since the rights for the other games that included the comics are no longer held by Atari.

Centipede #1. A light-hearted kids’ book in the style of Harvey Comics. An evil wizard turns Oliver the Elf’s forest friends into monsters. Who knew Centipede had a deep back story? We thought we were just shooting bugs.

Atari 80 Classics in 1 is available at for $18.95. That’s 80 games and five hard-to-find comics… Why not?

‘Grand Theft Auto IV’ Carjacks ‘Iron Man’ Film?

‘Grand Theft Auto IV’ Carjacks ‘Iron Man’ Film?

In a bit of chilling news for Marvel Entertainment stockholders, industry analyst Mike Hickey of Janco Parters offered up the following assessment this week regarding the impact of the upcoming Grand Theft Auto IV videogame release on ticket sales for the Iron Man feature film:

We anticipate the video game release of GTA IV on April 29 could dampen the potential from Iron Man’s theatrical release on May 2.

In a story reported by, Hollywood executives are citing last year’s release of the videogame Halo 3 as a major factor in poor ticket sales for September 2007 and fear the same thing will happen when the virtual crime spree of Grand Theft Auto IV hits shelves. However, as many have pointed out, the quality of the month’s films could also be blamed (for reference, see Good Luck Chuck and Mr. Woodcock).

Hickey went on to state:

The last significant video game release, Halo 3, generated over $300 million in sales from its first week in the market. Halo 3 was released on just one platform, the Xbox 360, and attached nearly 50 percent of the installed base. GTA IV will be released on both the Xbox 360 and PS3, which have both significantly increased their installed bases since the release of Halo 3.  A GTA IV 25 percent attach rate to a combined Xbox 360 and PS3 installed base at its April 29 release would imply 5.8 million units sold or roughly $360 million in retail sales the first week of the game’s release.

ComicMix would like to point out the best-selling game of 2007 was Call of Duty 4: Modern Combat. It was released in December and movie box office sales were just fine that month. If the buzz and reviews for the Iron Man movie are good, we’ll stop playing games, steal a car and go see the film.

Free ‘Incredible Hulk’ and ’30 Days of Night’ TV Goes Online

Free ‘Incredible Hulk’ and ’30 Days of Night’ TV Goes Online

The Incredible Hulk. Hulu.

Now that you have a silly Hawaiian image stuck in your head, here’s the scoop: We’re talking about, the online streaming service that lets online viewers watch entire television episodes legally and, most importantly, without cost. Hulu is the product of a cooperative effort by several movie and TV studios in the wake of YouTube and other services where users frequently uploaded copyrighted content. The service was in private beta form until now, but recently went public.

For comic book fans, the top program offered on the site will likely be the entire first season of the classic 1970s series The Incredible Hulk. The show followed Dr. David Banner (the late Bill Bixby) in his search for a cure to his rampaging alter-ego, the Hulk (played by Lou Ferrigno). The show is considered one of the best comic book adaptations in mainstream media because it was faithful to the spirit of the character and treated its subject matter seriously. Lou Ferrigno, looking as impressive as ever, is a popular fixture at comic book conventions to this day.

But the Hulk isn’t the only comic-book monster on the site. 30 Days of Night: Blood Trails, the web-based miniseries based on the popular vampire comic by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith created as a prequel to the recent film adaptation, will also be available.

Other notable shows for comic book fans inculde Battlestar Galactica (both versions), Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Crow: Stairway to Heaven, Family Guy, Firefly, Heroes, and Spider-Man (the CGI-animated series). programs are free with limited commercial interruption, requiring only that users register.

Michael Chabon Talks Supersuits

Michael Chabon Talks Supersuits

Michael Chabon, the Pulitzer prize-winning author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, a novel about a Golden Age comic creator, is unabashadly a comic book and superhero fan himself. He even brought to life his fictional comic book from the novel, The Escapist, courtesy of publisher Dark Horse Comics.

In the latest issue of The New Yorker, Chabon authored an essay on superhero costumes that focuses on their genesis, evolution and what they mean about the character and the creator’s intent. If the idea of the litererary intelligentsia discussing the same topics as the local comic-shop crew makes you smile, make sure to listen to Chabon’s audio interview about why he wrote it.

NY Times Goes Behind the Scenes With ‘The Dark Knight’

NY Times Goes Behind the Scenes With ‘The Dark Knight’

The Sunday edition of The New York Times included a special bonus for comic book and movie fans: a great in-depth article with Christopher Nolan, director of Batman Begins and its upcoming sequel, The Dark Knight.

Feeling grim that you missed it? As the Joker would say in The Dark Knight promo poster "Why so serious?" You can read the article on the Times website.

Highlights from the article include:

  • The Dark Knight  cost $180 million
  • Nolan on the previous Batman films: "If the people who are making the film aren’t taking it seriously, why should we?"
  • The cast and crew commenting on the late Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker
  • Gotham will have a new bright, shiny look to contrast when the city is thrown into chaos
  • Nolan’s home is just down the street from 1960s TV Batcave entrance
  • 30 minutes of the movie were shot with IMAX cameras, including the entire opening (a first for any major motion picture)
The Science of Comics: Batman’s Gliding

The Science of Comics: Batman’s Gliding

The Dark Knight is overlooking the city from the ledge of a towering skyscraper when he spies a violent crime occurring in the streets below. Without even the hint of a pause, he jumps off the top of the building and uses his his outstretched cape to swoop down onto the crowd of evil-doers.

That familiar scene has been one of the staples of comic books for which readers have long suspended disbelief. But maybe fiction isn’t too far from reality. Could this be done? The ComicMix mythbusters say yes!

How, you ask? Well, just watch this footage of a mountain wingsuit. Substitute the gothic architecture of Gotham City for the mountains, and you have one impressive, bat-shaped figure ready to glide down from the night sky and strike fear into the hearts of a superstitious, cowardly lot of criminals.

UDON Makes Open Call for ‘Street Fighter Tribute’ Art

UDON Makes Open Call for ‘Street Fighter Tribute’ Art

Not only has comic studio UDON been tapped by videogame publisher Capcom to update the characters for the upcoming Super Street Fighter II HD Remix re-release of the classic 2D fighting game, they’ll be releasing an all-new, full-color art book for the 20th anniversary of the game.

Street Fighter Tribute will debut at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con featuring Street Fighter characters illustated by UDON artists and professional comic, videogame and freelance illustrators.

Recognizing that the Street Fighter empire couldn’t have lasted this long without the support of the fanbase, UDON is sending out an open call among the videogame fan art community to submit work for possible inclusion in the print collection. If you think your drawing of Ryu, Chun-Li or Cammy has what it takes to go down in history, then go to UDON Entertainment for submission guidelines. Hadouken!


‘KISS 4K’ Goes Digital

‘KISS 4K’ Goes Digital

KISS 4K, Platinum Studios’ comic about the magical adventures of the rock band KISS (adventures which, surprisingly, didn’t involve many groupies), will be leaving the world of comic shops and heading exclusively to cyberspace.

While 4K‘s main story was told in print, webcomic site had featured back-up stories that tied into the print series.

According to’s Adam Black:

The second story was available here, at my humble little webcomic site on Drunk Duck. The webcomic existed to tell backstories about the previous incarnations of the 4K spirits, and we took them a month at a time, starting with Casanova, then moving on to Yoshiie, Constantine and Shaka. I also snuck in a little Christmas special, which seemed to go over well with everyone.

All, as of today, all that’s changed. The two have merged into one. The storyline from the print comic will now be told here, exclusively. There’ll be no more backstories or side-stories–those have all been told. So, when you’re done reading issue 6 and are ready for issue 7, you don’t drive to your friendly neighborhood comic shop. You come here.

So why the move? Dan Forcey, VP of Content Development at Platinum provided the following explanation in a news posting on the official KISS website:

The print book has been selling really well for us here at Platinum and we’re very excited about it. There are several reasons why we’re doing this.

First and foremost is that Gene, Paul and Scott (Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, CEO of Platinum Studios) are trend-setters and usually at the forefront of what is hot. (KISS was in comics back in the 70’s, thirty years before a lot of rock stars like Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance and all the other bands "discovering" the comics medium right now.) Scott and Gene both see the world moving towards the digital distribution, like DD and websites like Wowio (hint, hint), and they want to be on the trailblazers like they always have been.(Remember when everyone said iTunes wouldn’t work?)

Secondly, Gene and Paul plain love Adam’s work and want HIM to be the vision that guides 4K from here on out. You guys may not know this, but Gene and Paul both insist on their approval over every printed page of KISS 4K, but they let Adam, and only Adam, do what he wants on the title here online. Actually, I’m kind of jealous of the guy sometimes because they give him more free reign than me. :-)

New KISS4K pages will be published Monday, Wednesday and Friday spreading over two months for the complete issue. The first page is scheduled to come out the evening of March 5.

To rock n’ roll all night online, visit the official online home of the KISS4K webcomic.


Rumor: Who is Making the ‘Dark Knight’ Videogame?

Rumor: Who is Making the ‘Dark Knight’ Videogame?

As sure as peanut butter and jelly, when a big-budget summer movie comes out, there’s usually a videogame tie-in. Images and footage of the Iron Man movie game have made the rounds as early as last July’s Electronic Entertainment Expo and San Diego Comic-Con. But we’ve heard nothing about the game based on the upcoming The Dark Knight movie — which is odd, given that Batman Begins sold well and received decent reviews.

Posters on the DC Comics message boards have wondered the same thing. The speculation is that Electronic Arts will once again publish the game based on Christian Bale’s version of the Caped Crusader. EA recently acquired developer Pandemic Studios, who’ve bucked the industry trend by producing decent licensed games (such as the Star Wars: Battlefront series). While searching Pandemic’s site, you can find a page recruiting for people to work on a mysterious "Project B."

"B" as in "Batman," maybe?

"Somewhere out there, someone’s working on my game."

‘Justice League: The New Frontier’ Tops Xbox LIVE Videos

‘Justice League: The New Frontier’ Tops Xbox LIVE Videos

Justice League: The New Frontier, DC Comics and Warner Bros. Animation’s direct-to-DVD adaptation of Darwyn Cooke’s critically praised miniseries, was the top movie rental last week on Xbox LIVE’s Video Marketplace. The film, which imagines the DC superteam in the midst of the Cold War, took the top spot on most days since its release on on February 26.

Scott Nocas, a Marketing Manager for LIVE’s Video Store said, "With the great success of Superman: Doomsday on Xbox LIVE just after last year’s Comic-Con, Warner Bros. and Xbox were excited to bring another DC Universe animated movie to our consumers. We continue to see great engagement with the movie, and other DC Comics content on Xbox Marketplace."

Currently available at no charge on the service is a bonus feature that includes interviews with comic luminaries Jim Krueger, Mark Waid, Marv Wolfman, Rich Fogel and Darwyn Cooke himself.

Retail sales numbers for New Frontier have not been released yet but the film is expected to have done well. In fact, some retailers are actually having a difficult time keeping the film in stock, making the Xbox LIVE film an even more attractive option.

Wombat, a gamer from the popular CAGcast podcast, recently recounted his own experience trying to buy the Blu-Ray version of the film at a Circuit City in Union Square, NYC. "Naw, man. I bought the last one yesterday, sucka," an employee told him.


If you’re still waiting on your copy, feel free to spend some time reading the ComicMix review of Justice League: New Frontier, checking out photos of the Series 2 line of "New Frontier" toys, or just watching the trailer for the film posted after the jump: