IFMagazine has an interview with Doug Jones, who played Abe Sapien in the first Hellboy feature film and returns in several roles (including Abe) in the sequel, Hellboy 2: The Golden Army. According to Jones, Abe will have a much more prominent role in The Golden Army, including a larger share of the action scenes.
You’re going to see [Abe] with a gun in his hand firing at things. No sword, but you’ll also see him with no weapon in his hands doing a certain fighting style that Guillermo called ‘the way of the water’ and would be most reminiscent of Capeoira, that Brazilian dancing fighting style that everyone seems at least somewhat familiar with.
Jones goes on to discuss the addition of a love interest for his character, the possibility of a "Director’s Cut," and the influence of Hellboy creator Mike Mignola on the film.
If you thought the "Harry Potter is evil" furor had ended with the publication of the final installment of the series, think again. L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, recently published a pair of essays claiming to examine "The Double Face of Harry Potter."
According to one of the essays, authored by University of Florence literature critic Edoardo Rialti, the dangerous, "subtle seductions" of the Potter series blur the line between good and evil.
Since his debut in 1971, Swamp Thing has remained the king of the hill when it comes to comics’ heroic muck-monsters. Granted, there hasn’t been too much competition in that category, but there’s something to be said for the fact that DC’s sad story of a scientist-turned-swamp creature has spawned not one, but two feature films, as well as a relatively successful television series. On January 22, Shout! Factory will release Swamp Thing: the Series on DVD, collecting all three seasons of the Swamp Thing television series that aired on USA Network from 1990-1993, with the episodes organized in the order they were intended to be viewed.
Comics2Film has a discussion with Dick Durock, the actor who donned the Swamp Thing costume for all three live-action iterations of the character, providing some explanation of how he got roped into wearing the monster suit and why he stuck around for more… much more, in fact.
"The costume of course was zip-on and zip-off, but all the appliances and the makeup had to stay on. In the first feature it took close to four hours. In the second feature it took close to two hours. By the time we did the series, which ironically was by far the best makeup and costume, we had it down to about 45 minutes," the actor said.
"But it was still tough. At the end of the day you’re wearing eighty pounds of wet latex, plus all the chemicals on your face. It sure isn’t sunglasses and autographs, I’ll tell ya."
Also of note is the late-paragraph mention of a new Swamp Thing film in the works, with a script by the character’s creator, Len Wein.
The St. Petersburg Times reports that on Feb. 10, a group of notable black cartoonists will be running variations of the same joke in each of their comic strips in order to shed light on a perceived "lumping together" of cartoonists by ethnicity. With many newspapers looking to shake up their format by making changes to the comics section, many of the creators involved in the protest argue that their strips are only included at the expense of other strips created by people of color. This is due to an unwritten rule in the newspaper industry prohibiting more than a certain number of "ethnic" strips in a single issue, the creators claim.
"…each of them will draw the same strip featuring their own characters – a joke about how readers and some newspaper editors see their work as interchangeable, simply because of the ethnicity of the characters they draw."
Creators named as participants in the protest include Darrin Bell (Candorville), Charlos Gary (Cafe con Leche and Working It Out), Cory Thomas (Watch Your Head), Stephen Bentley (Herb and Jamaal), Jerry Craft (Mama’s Boyz), Stephen Watkins (Housebroken), editorial cartoonist Tim Jackson and Keith Knight (K-Chronicles).
Over at Comic Book Resources, Rick Remender chats it up about his critically praised, post-apocalyptic superhero saga The End League, as well as his other post-apocalyptic saga, the creator-owned Fear Agent series.
"I guess I’m a bit bleak in my worldview. That and I always tend to make sure Earth is in a state of shit,” quipped Remender. “I like post-apocalyptic stories, what are you gonna do? I like hopelessness. It brings out the grit inside a character. Might as well get right to it and see how someone reacts when faced with a stacked deck and insurmountable obstacles. In my shitty opinion, that’s the good stuff. Unlike most books of this nature, these characters are all dealing with the prospect of real extinction that’s always waiting around every corner.”
The eternal optimist, eh? No fear, though. Remender goes on to discuss his work on other projects big and small – literally – including his run on DC’s Atom, as well as an upcoming Ultraman-meets-Truman Show project (his description, not ours) titled Gigantic.
As reported on Robots.net (and linked via BoingBoing), researchers at the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology have developed a mechanical exoskeleton that will provide greater strength to those who wear it. The suit is intended to help aging farmers with their daily routines, and is expected to cost 200,000 yen for the mass-produced model.
"The robotic suit relies on ultrasonic motors along with various sensors and wireless networking gear."
"Wireless networking gear," eh? One can only imagine the potential ramifications of a hacker gaining control over one of these exoskeletons. the results could be… alarming.
Over at Blog@Newsarama, The Fifth Color deconstructs the nature of a "Cult Classic" by examining the convoluted, often contradictory history of Marvel’s favorite "Merc with a Mouth," Deadpool.
"It’s not that they guy is simply funny; let’s face it, if pop culture quips and fourth wall humor was what it took to make a cult favorite, She-Hulk would be in a lot better position than she is right now. It’s not the violence either: note how Deadpool didn’t get an invite to Cyclops’s all new, all stabbing X-Force. I think both of those have caught our eye, but it’s what writers have given the character that makes him worth a second look and his own book."
It’s a thought-provoking analysis of a character who rarely gives his actions much thought… or so I thought. (Wait, now I’M confused… Anyways, just go and read it for yourself.)
Over at The Beat, Heidi MacDonald points us to a recent entry in Brian K. Vaughan’s blog in which the writer explains his cameo (playing himself) in Chris Ware’s Acme Novelty Library 18. Vaughan explains that the appearance wasn’t the result of any friendly arrangement, but rather a contest that he had entered and won. The Lost scribe goes on to explain that he hopes his appearance won’t bring down the overall quality of the project.
"Thankfully, it’s a small moment, but an unbelievably huge honor for this fanboy. I won’t tell you how and when I show up–not that you should be purchasing this modern classic to play Where’s Waldo? with my slaphead–but I will say that, even though I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting the author, the line of dialogue he gave me perfectly captures the way I haplessly fumble to articulate my feelings about true art, which is exactly how I feel whenever I try to describe my love for Acme Novelty Library."
Over the last few weeks, more than 80 percent of the stories in my long list of news feeds have somehow involved the mystical annulment of Spider-Man’s marriage. The Merry Marvel Marketing Machine is hitting on all cylinders, it seems, as the coverage from mainstream media has been overwhelming.
Over at The Beat, Heidi MacDonald assesses the hits and misses in mainstream media’s coverage of the event – at least as far headlines go – as well as some thoughts about how the rationale for the split has been presented by Joe Quesada and Co.
"… bringing the comics Spidey back in line with other media Spidey’s was the main factor. To be honest, there’s a lot to be said for this ‘core concept.’ It wasn’t until we were researching an earlier post that we remembered that Superman and Lois are STILL married."
A recent post on BoingBoing regarding comics based on the lives of sex workers has led to an interesting interview with Peter S. Conrad, a writer and artist whose latest project involves turning sex workers’ stories into comic strips. The interview, along with the four-page strip titled "Going Back" can be found at The Reverse Cowgirl.
RC: How did you create the artwork for the stories?
PSC: As much as possible, I don’t want to be in the way of the story. I print out the words typed by the person who told the story and use a pencil to make marks where I think page divisions will go. Sometimes I have to make a lot of cuts, or sometimes I replace a bunch of words with a picture that gets the idea across, so I know I am having an effect on the story, but I use as much as I can verbatim. My goal is to be invisible, because it’s not really my story to tell.
Keep in mind, the art and story are both of the NSFW variety, as they contain adult material.