Pioneer comic book and newspaper strip artist George Tuska
died yesterday at the age of 93.
It’s hard to imagine an artist with a greater pedigree.
Beginning in 1939, George worked on such features as The Avengers, Black
Terror, Buck Rogers, Captain America, Captain Marvel (both Fawcett and Marvel), Challengers of the Unknown,
Doc Savage, Green Lantern, The Hulk, Iron Man, Justice League of America
(a.k.a. “The World’s Greatest Superheroes” newspaper stip), Luke Cage, Planet
of the Apes, Scorchy Smith, Sub-Mariner, Superboy, Superman, T.H.U.N.D.E.R.
Agents, Teen Titans, Uncle Sam… and that merely scratches the surface.
George was a gentle man who once had taken the
extraordinary step of punching out well-known wiseass cartoonist Bob Powell
while working in the Eisner-Iger shop. Will Eisner said Powell, as brilliant an
artist as anybody in that hallowed shop, absolutely deserved it. The stuff of
On a personal note, George was drawing the Buck Rogers
newspaper strip during its final years, from 1959 to 1967. During that last
year, I was an unpaid intern at the National Newspaper Syndicate and was
allowed to contribute story concepts and ideas. As a 16 year-old, I was amazed
and thrilled to be working anywhere near
Michael Dougherty (X2, SUPERMAN RETURNS) has managed to turn his obsession for his favorite holiday into a feature film. TRICK ‘R TREAT is a horror anthology just released on DVD and we get the scary details from Michael and star Lauren Lee Smith. Plus Brian Bendis is plunging ahead full steam on POWERS in comics and TV as well as bringing back the Original AVENGERS to Marvel.
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Columbia Pictures just bought a spec script for a movie called Supermax, about a prison full of people with creepy superpowers. The problem is that they’ve also been developing Super Max, a vehicle for DC Comics hero Green Arrow, also about a prison for people with powers. Now, the rumor is that even if it gets a name change, the thematic similarities may kill the comic book-flavored movie in favor of the new one. How fair is that?
Every year, Beloit College puts together a list of facts regarding the mindset of the class entering college this Fall—the Class of 2013. Their list, as always, is well worth a read, but this is ComicMix, and we’re here to talk about comics, by gum.
So as we get ready to send them off to college, we wondered: what constitutes the comics status quo for them? What’s normal to these kids born in 1991 (he asks, knowing that being born in 1986 puts him in largely the same boat)? So glad you asked.
So the mouse is eating the spider. What does it all mean?
Poke around the Internets and you’ll see a lot of hysteria. Comics fans aren’t happy; they’re worried Disney will Disnify the whole thing. Movie fans are worried the Marvel flicks will have all the weight and depth of your average Disney movie. Theme park fans are concerned about Universal losing their franchise just so Ant-Man and the Wasp can fit into “It’s A Small World After All.”
Calm down. Assuming the deal gets approved by Marvel’s stockholders – which is likely – and the government – which is likely but not as certain – contracts are contracts and Disney would rather spend the next five years buying other things than paying for litigation. Paramount will still release those next five Marvel Films films, Universal will continue to maintain their current lifespan (however long that might be) with the Marvel rides and that fat lady who’s knocking the poo out of Captain America’s winged head in those commercials, and the comic books will continue to be published.
Well, most likely.
Marvel’s been trying to pattern itself after the Disney business model for at least the past four or five owners, so it’s no surprise that the House of Mouse took preemptive measures. Disney can’t mess with their theme parks right now – I mentioned the contractual obligations and, quite frankly, business ain’t what it used to be. The Disney characters and the Marvel characters are not a good theme park fit: the latter are not grandmother-friendly.
I doubt Disney will interfere with publishing very much, at least not in the short run. They have a very bad track record in the publishing fields, and the racks are littered with their cancelled product. They’re in the licensing business; that’s what they do and what they know. If the overall comic book publishing field continues to deteriorate they might do what they did with their other product and simply license it all out. It would be wonderfully ironic if Mark Waid’s Boom Studios gets the franchise, and I’ll bet you Mark feels the same way.
If there are any changes, they are likely to take the form of a reorientation of the Marvel characters towards the teen-age male market. Disney is weak in that demographic and can use some bolstering up. And bringing Marvel Comics back to the teen-ager friendly arena isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It worked for Lee and Kirby and Ditko and Thomas and Buscema; today there are more than enough really good writers and artists to address that market in a contemporary manner.
So I don’t think we’ll see Doctor Doom threatening The Little Mermaid. Don’t hold your breath for that Sinister Seven Dwarves movie. The Hulk probably will not stomp Goofy. Stan Lee will not be frozen and placed on the shelf next to Walt Disney and Jim Henson. All that’s a pity. Disney has no sense of humor. Just ask the Air Pirates.
The fact is, big business has never, ever been able to understand the American comic book industry. We defy the Harvard MBA mentality, and I’m proud of that. If DIsney does what Disney does best and the publishing business doesn’t implode, nobody will notice a thing. The Avengers 3 will make more money than publishing could lose.
Unless Dean Jones is cast as Nick Fury.
A 33 year veteran of the comic book industry, Mike Gold is ComicMix’s editor-in-chief. Portions of this blather appeared in today’s The Point podcast.
In the second episode of Crazy Sexy Geeks, our new weekly series meant for both die-hard fans and people new to comics, hosts Alan Kistler and Carrie Wright head to Barnes & Noble and then Midtown Comics for a two-pronged celebration.
It’s been 70 years since Marvel Mystery Comics #1 came out in 1939, featuring the Sub-Mariner and the original android Human Torch. Since then, hundreds of heroes and villains have been brought to the world through the pages of Marvel comic books.
At a Q&A panel at Barnes & Noble, fans got to speak with Joe Quesada, Klaus Janson, Fred Van Lente, Greg Pak and Chris Claremont. The gang gave some advice on artists and writers trying to make a career out of their hobbies and also spoke about recent projects such as Magneto: Testament, X-Men Forever and attempts to create a new Avengers ongoing cartoon series.
The party then continued at Midtown Comics (Times Square location) where Iron Man and Spider-Man mingled with fans as they looked over the newly-released The Marvels Project #1.
Enough talk. Now watch!
Alan Kistler has been recognized by major media outlets as a comic book historian. Along with writing freelance for ComicMix.com and MTV.com, he hopes to one day write for DC, Marvel and Doctor Who. He also intends to time travel. His web-site can be found at: http://KistlerUniverse.com
The Chicago Comic-Con ( or The Convention Formerly Known As Wizard World Chicago) was this past weekend, positing that you can never have too many comic conventions in one summer.
It shouldn’t come as a shock that, this soon after San Diego Comic Con, publishers didn’t have much to announce, but here’s a quick roundup of our favorite news to come out of CCC, mostly from Marvel:
Jeff Parker (Agents of Atlas) will write Thunderbolts starting later this year. (Link)
“Assault on New Olympus” is the next major Incredible Hercules arc, and sees the Prince of Power leading a team of heroes, including members of both the Mighty and New Avengers, in an assault on Wall Street. A one-shot prologue will herald the start of the arc. (Link)
Spider-Man and the Secret Wars, an in-continuity retelling of the original Marvel crossover from the perspective of everyone’s favorite wall-crawler, will be a four-issue miniseries written by Paul Tobin (Marvel Adventures Spider-Man) with art by Patrick Scherberger (GeNext).
From the X-Men Panel: Paul Cornell will be writing a five-issue Dark X-Men miniseries with art by Leonard Kirk, involving the return of Nate Grey, perhaps better known as X-Man. Moreover, Kieron Gillen (Beta Ray Bill: Godhunter, Phonogram) will be writing a S.W.O.R.D. ongoing series about the adventures of Agent Brandt, spinning off from Joss Whedon and John Cassaday’s Astonishing X-Men run.
DC’s only real announcement sounds like a lot of fun: Batman/Doc Savage, written by Brian Azzarello with art by Phil Noto and a cover by J.G. Jones.
Last, but certainly not least, the Comix4Sight auction was a smashing success, raising over $13,000 towards writer John Ostrander’s glaucoma treatment costs. We’re still waiting for the final tally of cash donations over the weekend, plus new photos of the art that was donated on
The streets have erupted in violence and the safe haven that mutants thought they’d found is in turmoil. The Dark Avengers have put Daken in Wolverine’s place, and there’s an all-out war tearing through space and time with a certain red-haired green-eyed girl at the center of it. In other words, it’s another Wednesday in the life of the X-Men.
X-Men group editor Axel Alonso was joined by panelists include Matt Fraction (Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia), Craig Kyle and Chris Yost (X-Force), Marjorie Liu (Dark Wolverine), Daniel Way (Deadpool), Jason Aaron (Wolverine: Weapon X), and several special guests to share the news about what the future holds for Marvel’s band of merry mutants. Marvel’s got their own liveblog going, and here are the highlights:
Daniel Acuna joins X-Men: Legacy as the ongoing artist.
Magneto is back in the upcoming Nation X storyline, presumably in Uncanny X-Men.
Necrosha is an upcoming crossover between X-Force, New Mutants, and X-Men: Legacy featuring the evil priestess Selene, led into by a one-shot. Starts in October. 16 million mutants promised to return, but it’s not an M-Day fix or reversal. “Suck it, Blackest Night,” quoth UXM scribe Matt Fraction.CBR has more about the crossover here.
On a note very near and dear to my heart — the cover to New Mutants #6 features Magik hugging someone who looks very much like the long-dead Doug Ramsey. Of course, he looks like a zombie, but we take what is given.
Daken’s sexuality is brought up, only to be met with a resounding “shrug” from the panelists. “When you see him involved with women and men, it isn’t about sexuality, it is about power and manipulation,” said Marjorie Liu.
X-Statix mascot Doop will be returning, though no word on how, when, or in what title.
If it’s a major convention, it must be Mondo Marvel. Panelists included Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada, Jason Aaron (Wolverine: Weapon X), Dennis Calero (X-Men Noir), Matt Fraction (Invincible Iron Man), Paul Tobin (Models, Inc.), Frank Tieri (Dark Reign: Lethal Legion), Steve Wacker (Spider-Man editor), Jim McCann (New Avengers: The Reunion), and C.B. Cebulski (Marvel talent liaison) gathered to discuss Dark Reign, Marvel Adventures, and pretty much everything else the House of Ideas has on its plate. Newsarama’s got the liveblog, but here are some highlights:
Black Widow: Deadly Origin by Paul Cornell and Rom Raney is four issues, starting in October. “Some deep, dark secrets from her past,” said Quesada.
X-Men Noir: Mark of Cain is out in November, featuring the same team of Fred Van Lente and Dennis Calero.
Captain America/Black Panther is a 4-issue series by Reggie Hudlin and Denys Cowan, involving Black Panther’s father.
Paul Tobin talked about the “bold new direction” for the Marvel Adventures line, with Quesada saying that they’re bringing “cohesion” to those books.
Andy Diggle and Roberto de la Torre on Daredevil, starting in September.
Matt Fraction got a compliment for “giving Colossus his balls back.” Yep.
Quesada said that Allan Heinberg is in the midst of writing a “massive” story involving the Young Avengers.