Tagged: Dark Horse

Michael Davis: Milestone Media Announces Static Shock is Gay

Davis Art 130913No.

No we didn’t.

I was sent the accompanying image by a fan that asked me, as co-creator of the character, what I thought of it. The image is of Virgil Hawkins (Static) making out with his best friend Richie. Frankly, it didn’t bother me and I was much more concerned with how this woman got my personal email.

Turns out I gave it to her at the end of my Black Panel at the San Diego Comic Con, which struck me as suspect because she’s not Asian.

Shit, I said I would no longer do Asian girl joke references. OK, let me try that again… turns out I gave it to her at the end of my Black Panel at the San Diego Comic Con, which stuck me as suspect because she’s not pretty.


Actually she’s very pretty so let me try that one more time, turns out I gave it to her at the end of my Black Panel at Comic Con, which struck me as suspect because she’s fat as shit.


Frankly I don’t remember what she looks like and I don’t care. She could have had one eye and weighted 500 pounds. I still wouldn’t care. I see the person I don’t see anything else but the person. I don’t see color, sexual orientation or

religious beliefs.  She must have been way cool because I gave her my personal email.

I guard my personal email like my social security number. There are people who think they have my personal email but they don’t. I answer every single email I get from every email address but some take a lot longer than others. In my mind giving my personal email to everybody would be like giving my social security number to a telemarketer.


Speaking of stupid, I posted the image on my Facebook page with the following caption:

Sooooooooo, someone asked me what I thought of this image of my character Vigil Hawkins (Static) kissing his best friend Richie.

It’s fine with me and if it’s not with anyone else I could give a fuck.

A few people assumed I was saying Static was gay. I never said that. In fact one of my friends posted the following, so let me get this straight, Static is gay? To which I replied, no, but I’d be cool with it if he was.

Still even after that a few folk thought I said he was gay.

Nope, never said that.

Just so we are clear Virgil is not gay just so we are crystal clear, when he becomes Static he doesn’t become gay. That would be… wait for it… wait for it… Wait for it… a shock.

Damn, I’m witty.

Derek Dingle, Denys Cowan, Dwayne McDuffie and I created Static. I was lucky enough to be chosen to write the Static bible. That means I created most of the major and supporting characters for the series. There is an expression, writers write what they know and that’s what I did. I based Static on my childhood and my family.

My mother’s name is Jean, father, Robert, sister, Sharon. The family name “Hawkins” is my cousin’s, most of Virgil’s friends were named after members of my Bad Boy Studio mentor program mine, Brett, Kevin and Thor. Their real names were Brett Lewis, Kevin McCarty and Thor Badendyck.

Yeah, I had a student named Thor.

All of those guys are fantastic creators now. Don’t take my word for it, Goggle those Bad Boys (damn, I’m witty) and see for yourself. Brett & Thor’s work will be easy to find, Kevin on the other hand will take a bit more effort. Kevin is like me, you need a key word like “comics” or “Dark Horse” if not then you will end up with about a zillion murderers all named Kevin McCarthy.

Bad Boys Studio has an alumni like that you will never believe. One day I’ll write about it just as soon as I have a heart to heart with Brett about some stuff.

But, (sorry Peter) I digress.

As I was saying, I based Static on my life growing up and as far as I remember I did not grow up gay. I am gay now, I’m a lesbian. I do so love me some women.

Damn, I’m witty.

Static is not gay but he is black. I do remember growing up black. Some black people especially those in the church have a real problem with homosexually.

Every single time I write anything in support of gay rights some in the black church take me to task. It’s always an angry email, which almost always mentions “role model” for black boys.

I get it. I’m not mad at people for having their beliefs. Really.


Static is based on my life. Mine. Not anyone else’s, mine. Role model? Gay people can’t be role models? Really, shit I guess I have to stop using Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci as examples of great artists.

If I’m okay with Virgil coming out as gay does anyone really think I give a fuck what he or she think?


I think with all my heart people should be allowed to love whoever they want to love.

With all due respect, if you create a world famous character based on your life you can get as mad as you want when someone draws a picture of your character kissing someone of the same sex.

However, until you create that world famous character based on your life I suggest you get a life.

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman

SUNDAY: John Ostrander


Zone 4 Spotlights the Indies

The Zone 4 podcast crew of Brant Fowler, Gordon Dymowski, and Captain Ron Fortier, return. Episode #230 shines a light on some books and online comics they are enjoying that are not from the “big two,” Marvel and DC. Everything from Dark Horse, to Thrillbent, to Action Lab, to Bottled Lightning and more!

But before all that, there are some headlines. Some of them are pretty heavy, like the Kevin Maguire and Kirby Heirs situations. And some are light, like an actor interested in taking over Iron Man, and Groot being cast. And the crew has some words for Dan DiDio… again! And there are new shout-outs again this week! Plus some plugs.

So hunker down with some bacon bits, put aside your mainstream books, and get ready for some indie goodness. It’s time to enter the Zone!

You can listen to Zone 4 – Episode #230: Non-Big Two Spotlight! here.
You can now find Zone 4 on Stitcher as well!

Mike Gold: Let’s Get Small!

Gold Art 130814First, the bad news: According to Diamond Distributors, Marvel and DC combine to dominate about two-thirds of the total comic book hardcopy sales.

And now, the good news: According to Diamond Distributors, Marvel and DC combined possess only about two-thirds of the total comic book hardcopy sales.

Everybody else shares in that last third: Diamond, Image, Dark Horse, IDW, Archie, Boom and about, I dunno, maybe three thousand others. But they’ve achieved something that a decade ago would have daunted Sisyphus. Even at one-third of the market, these folks have torn down the wall. It wasn’t that long ago when DC and Marvel enjoyed a duopoly in excess of 80% of the market.

The really cool thing about this news is that these “other” publishers have succeeded by doing the types of comics that The Huge Two haven’t done successfully in decades. Dynamite’s line of pulp and pulp-inspired characters is exciting and largely of solid quality. Image brings to life the independent comics myth, often with material produced by some of The Huge Two’s top talent. Dark Horse and IDW have pulled a couple chapters out of the old Dell Comics textbook. Archie continues to let their renown characters grow and adapt to contemporary times; they don’t compete with Marvel, they cooperate with Glee. And Boom has the courage to industriously pursue the younger end of the market, establishing a desperately needed next generation for our medium.

Of course, timing is everything and the Little Guys are thriving as The Huge Two are pissing their readers off left and right. I believe the only Marvel Comic published in the past six months that didn’t feature Captain America, Wolverine and/or Iron Man was the Modeling With Millie Summer Spectacular… and somehow they manage to publish what seems like 75 monthlies with the word “Avengers” in the title that read exactly the same.

DC’s Few52 has become a dizzying game of musical chairs, with talent not being allowed to put any substantial creative investment in their work. Of course, we all read about Paul Pope being told by Co-Publisher Dan DiDio DC produces comics for 45 year olds, as though such a ridiculously narrow focus is the way things should be. Correct me if I’m wrong, but hasn’t DC launched 104 titles in the Few52 line over the past two years? It sure seems like it.

All this is great news for American comics readers. We have a greater diversity of material in the stores and available for e-books. Add the graphic novel publishers and we’re finally approaching the broad spectrum of material we’ve seen in Europe and Asia the past 70 years.

We’ve got a long way to go, but I’m finally beginning to feel as though the promise of the so-called independent comics movement that started in the early 1980s is finally planting some roots. Maybe this whole thing has a future after all.

 (A tip of the brainpan to my pal JimWiz for inadvertently supplying the art.)




The Book Cave Presents Panel Fest Episode 26: Pulpfest 2013 Jim Beard

Jim Beard

New Pulp Author Jim Beard does a reading from his books at PulpFest 2013. Recorded by The Book Cave’s Art Sippo.

You can listen to Panel Fest Episode 26: PulpFest 2013 Jim Beard here.

About The Beard . . . . New Fictioneer!:
Jim Beard was introduced to comic books by his father, who passed on to him a love for the medium and the pulp characters that preceded it. After decades of reading, collecting, and dissecting comics, Jim became a published writer when he sold a story to DC Comics in 2002. Since that time, he’s written comic stories for Dark Horse’s Star Wars and IDW’s Ghostbusters and contributed articles and essays to several volumes of comic book history.


A native of Toledo, Ohio where he is a regular columnist for the Toledo Free Press, Jim broke into the world of “New Pulp” in 2012 when Airship 27 published Sgt. Janus, Spirit-Breaker, a collection of ghost stories featuring an occult detective, and Captain Action: Riddle of the Glowing Men, the first prose novel based on the 1960s action figure. Jim provides regular content for Marvel.com, the official Marvel Comics website, and has new and forthcoming comic and prose work from Bluewater, TwoMorrows, Airship 27 and Pro Se Productions.

On Saturday, July 27th at PulpFest, “The Beard” did a reading from Sgt. Janus, Spirit-Breaker, Captain Action: Riddle of the Glowing Men, and “The Parade of Moments,” a story published in Monster Earth, a shared-world anthology of giant monster tales. And to learn more about this exciting new writer, please visit The Beard: The Jim Beard Fan Page.

You can listen to Panel Fest Episode 26: PulpFest 2013 Jim Beard here.

It’s The Midnight Hour at Dark Horse Comics

Dark Horse Comics has released new comic book stories featuring the classic pulp hero, Captain Midnight.

About Captain Midnight:
On the run from the US government after fleeing custody, Captain Midnight has been labeled a security risk. In the forties, he was an American hero, a daredevil fighter pilot, a technological genius . . . a superhero. But since he rifled out of the Bermuda Triangle into the present day, Captain Midnight doesn’t know what or who to trust!

A key title in Dark Horse’s new superhero initiative!

Written by Joshua Williamson (Masks and Mobsters, Voodoo, Uncharted) with art by Fernando Dagnino (Resurrection Man, Suicide Squad)!

Featured on Free Comic Book Day!

Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Fernando Dagnino
Colorist: Ego
Cover Artist: Felipe Massafera
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Genres: Action/Adventure, Superhero
Release date: 07/31/2013

Tarzan Swings in the Funny Pages

With Tarzan’s adventures beginning their second century, Dark Horse Comics and IDW Publishing are bringing back some of the Jungle Lord’s greatest comic strips in new collected editions.

Arriving in comic shops July 31:
George Carlin (Writer) and Hal Foster (Art)

Beautifully restored and printed at giant size, this first volume in Dark Horse’s comprehensive collections of Hal Foster’s Tarzan Sundays reprints over one hundred strips on high-quality paper and in eye-popping color, replicating their appearance when they were brand new! Featuring historical essays on Tarzan and Foster, this astonishing volume is a must for every collector! Collecting every Tarzan Sunday strip from September 1931 through September 1933!

* From Hal Foster, creator of Prince Valiant!
* Introduction by Mark Evanier!

Hardcover, 15″ x 20″, 120 pages, $125
Age range: 12
ISBN-10: 1-61655-117-8
ISBN-13: 978-1-61655-117-9

Learn more about Dark Horse Comics’ Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan: The Sunday Comics 1931-1933 HC here.

Coming December 2013:

IDW Publishing is proud to announce that the Library of American Comics will be collecting comics legend Russ Manning’s classic run with Edgar Rice Burroughs’ King of the Jungle in 2013! TARZAN: THE COMPLETE RUSS MANNING NEWSPAPER STRIPS is a four-volume series. The first three volumes will chronologically collect all of Manning’s daily black & white and full-color Sunday strips from 1967 to 1974, while the fourth volume will collect the remaining Sunday strips, which Manning continued to do until 1979.

“The addition of Tarzan to the Library of American Comics amplifies even further that the imprint is the premier archival home for comic strip reprints and collections,” says IDW’s President and Chief Operating Officer Greg Goldstein. “Russ Manning’s Tarzan run is one of the real highlights of the modern age of adventure strips and we are extremely excited to be the home of its long-anticipated return to print.”
The series of hardcover volumes will commence May 29th with Tarzan: The Complete Russ Manning Newspaper Strips, Vol. 1: 1967 – 1969. Fans will be treated to the first-ever collection of a historic turning point in Tarzan history: when Russ Manning was handpicked by the Burroughs estate to return the strip to its creator’s original vision. Manning put together a dream team of assistants in this historic endeavor, including future comics greats Dave Stevens, William Stout, and Mike Royer, creating one of the most loaded rosters in comics history, and a perfect opportunity for new fans to discover the adventures of Viscount Greystoke.

In his introduction to Volume One, William Stout writes, “Russ Manning was a natural storyteller. He may also be one of the most underrated writers in comics. His beautiful art is so captivating that it’s easy to understand how it might overshadow his scripts. He was as adept with telling Tarzan tales in contemporary Africa as he was setting Ape Man stories in dinosaur-infested Pal-ul-don.”

Reproduced from the Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. file copies, fans can expect TARZAN: THE COMPLETE RUSS MANNING NEWSPAPER STRIPS to receive the same critically acclaimed, award-winning treatment that Dean Mullaney, The Library of American Comics, and IDW Publishing have become renowned for.

Tarzan: The Complete Russ Manning Newspaper Strips, Vol. 1: 1967 – 1969
HC, B&W, $49.99, 288 pages.
ISBN: 978-1-61377-694-0

Learn more about IDW Publishing’s Tarzan: The Complete Russ Manning Newspaper Strips Volume 2 (1969-1971) here.

Learn more about Tarzan here.
Learn more about Edgar Rice Burroughs here.


Eisner Awards Presented at Comic Con

All Pulp congratulates the winners of the 2013 EISNER Awards.


The winners of the 2013 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards were announced at a gala ceremony held during Comic-Con International: San Diego, at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, on Friday, July 19.

Best Short Story: “Moon 1969: The True Story of the 1969 Moon Launch,” by Michael Kupperman, in Tales Designed to Thrizzle #8 (Fantagraphics)

Best Single Issue (or One-Shot): The Mire, by Becky Cloonan (self-published)

Best Continuing Series: Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image)

Best New Series: Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image)

Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 7): Babymouse for President, by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm (Random House)

Best Publication for Kids (ages 8–12): Adventure Time, by Ryan North, Shelli Paroline, and Braden Lamb (kaboom!)

Best Publication for Teens (ages 13–17): A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle, adapted by Hope Larson (FSG)

Best Humor Publication: Darth Vader and Son, by Jeffrey Brown (Chronicle)

Best Digital Comic: Bandette, by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover (Monkeybrain)

Best Anthology: Dark Horse Presents, edited by Mike Richardson (Dark Horse)

Best Reality-Based Work (tie): Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller, by Joseph Lambert (Center for Cartoon Studies/Disney Hyperion); The Carter Family: Don’t Forget This Song, by Frank M. Young and David Lasky (Abrams ComicArts)

Best Graphic Album—New: Building Stories, by Chris Ware (Pantheon)

Best Adaptation from Another Medium: Richard Stark’s Parker: The Score, adapted by Darwyn Cooke (IDW)

Best Graphic Album—Reprint: King City, by Brandon Graham (TokyoPop/Image)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips: Pogo, vol. 2: Bona Fide Balderdash, by Walt Kelly, edited by Carolyn Kelly and Kim Thompson (Fantagraphics)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books: David Mazzucchelli’s Daredevil Born Again: Artist’s Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW

Best U.S. Edition of International Material: Blacksad: Silent Hell, by Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido (Dark Horse)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia: Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys, by Naoki Urasawa (VIZ Media)

Best Writer: Brian K. Vaughan, Saga (Image)

Best Writer/Artist: Chris Ware, Building Stories (Pantheon)

Best Penciler/Inker (tie): David Aja, Hawkeye (Marvel), Chris Samnee, Daredevil (Marvel); Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom (IDW)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art): Juanjo Guarnido, Blacksad (Dark Horse)

Best Cover Artist: David Aja, Hawkeye (Marvel)

Best Coloring: Dave Stewart, Batwoman (DC); Fatale (Image); BPRD, Conan the Barbarian, Hellboy in Hell, Lobster Johnson, The Massive (Dark Horse)

Best Lettering: Chris Ware, Building Stories (Pantheon)

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism: The Comics Reporter, edited by Tom Spurgeon, www.comicsreporter.com

Best Comics-Related Book: Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, by Sean Howe (HarperCollins)

Best Educational/Academic Work: Lynda Barry: Girlhood Through the Looking Glass, by Susan E. Kirtley (University Press of Mississippi)

Best Publication Design: Building Stories, designed by Chris Ware (Pantheon)

Hall of Fame: Lee Falk, Al Jaffee, Mort Meskin, Trina Robbins, Spain Rodriguez, Joe Sinnott

Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award: Russel Roehling

Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award: Chris Sparks and Team Cul deSac

Bill Finger Excellence in Comic Book Writing Award: Steve Gerber, Don Rosa

Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award: Challengers Comics + Conversation, Chicago, IL

See more at http://www.comic-con.org/awards/eisners-current-info#sthash.7hRCavEx.dpuf

Harvey Awards 2013 Final Ballot Announced, “Hawkeye” Gets 7 Noms

harvey-logo-2010-brown-300x2852-7421006The final ballot for the 2013 Harvey Awards is now available. Named in honor of the late Harvey Kurtzman, one of the industry’s most innovative talents, the Harvey Awards recognize outstanding work in comics and sequential art. The 26th Annual Harvey Awards will be presented Saturday, September 7th, 2013 as part of the Baltimore Comic-Con.

If you are a comics professional, you can vote online at harveyawards.org/2013-final-ballot/.  This will enable easier and faster methods for the professional community to submit their nominees. Ballots are due by Monday, August 19, 2013.

And the nominees are… (more…)

Martha Thomases: California, Here I Come – Except…

Thomases Art 130712In a few days, I’ll be in California. Not in San Diego, but in California. I’ll get the good weather without the mobs.

It is the habit of old farts (check out our editor-in-chief’s tirade in this space next Wednesday morning) such as myself to complain about the San Diego Comic Convention. It’s too big. It’s not about comics anymore. Nobody kisses my ass anymore. I don’t have an expense account. (Those last two might be unique to me.)

My major philosophical objection is that a fine, non-profit educational organization has been completely co-opted by Hollywood. True, comic book companies used the occasion of the convention to promote their books, but the convention was at least about comics. Now, it’s a stop on the promotional train for television, movies and video games, complete with red carpets and stylists.

And, apparently, rock bands. Metallica will be performing a live concert for those lucky enough to get tickets (in case you haven’t waited in line for Hall H long enough), to promote their new movie.

Metallica is no doubt a fine group of people (although their music is not my genre), and, since they’ve been together since 1981, they aren’t exactly amateurs at attracting and keeping fans. They should live and be well.

But, as the New York Times story in the link reports, there is going to be a panel about rock music at the Con. And it will include people who score movies, but not the people behind the new Dark Horse graphic novel, The Fifth Beatle, which actually combines rock music and comics. It won’t include John Holmstrom who was combining rock’n’roll and comics even before Metallica was a band.

Look, I enjoy soundtracks as a musical form. Mark Knopfler did some of my favorites. It is an interesting and a demanding musical form with its own unique challenges and structures. There are lots of places that could host interesting panel discussions on the subject with a variety of experts, including composers, directors, and editors. I just don’t think the panel, as described in this article (and maybe it’s not accurate? Could happen) is that kind of conversation.

If you are going to San Diego, I hope you have a fabulous time. I hope you get into The Black Panel because it is so much fun.  I hope no one hits you in the face with a backpack.

And, if you’re really lucky, I hope you find some cool new comics.

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman

SUNDAY: John Ostrander


Geoffrey Thorne Talks About His New Thrillbent Series “Prodigal”


Prodigal, the globe-spanning tale of a team of fortune-hunters living on the edge of danger from writer Geoffrey Thorne and artist Todd Harris, debuted today on Thrillbent.com.

In addition to writing Prodigal, Geoff Thorne has written comics for Dark Horse, Spinner Rack and EZD Comics.  His TV credits include: Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Leverage, Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, and Ben 10: Omniverse.

Todd Harris is an accomplished artist for both comics and storyboards.  His credits include: X Men Origins: Wolverine, God of War II & III, In Time, Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, and Thrillbent’s own Arcanum.

Geoff was kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions for us.

ComicMix: Give us the Don-LaFontaine-movie-trailer speech for Prodigal. “In a world…”

Geoffrey Thorne: “In a world where psychotics and murderers are accepted as legitimate heroes, two creative professionals decided to reject that paradigm and put a little fun back into the comic book multiverse.”

CM: So literally, Prodigal returns?

GT: Prodigal is the nickname of Byron Lennox, one half of J & L Retrievals. He got it a long time before becoming a retrieval specialist because, for some reason, no matter what befell him on a mission, he always came back. Sometimes he’d be the only one to come back.

CM: Then who’s the “J” in J & L Retrievals?

GT: Pae Mei Jacinto.

CM: How did they decide who got top billing?

GT: Pae wins all arguments. Of the two of the two of them she is, by far, the more dangerous.

CM: Play out a little bit of Prodigal for us. Where are we starting from?

GT: The beginning of a case, the middle of Byron and Pae’s lives. We only tell the stories of the cases that go sideways in the middle. We only tell you as much as you need to know to keep up with the story.  another thing over which we’re not overly fond is ridiculously long and ponderous continuity chains. Everything you need to know is in the story you’re reading. No tricks, no zingers. Just straight-up fun.

CM: Why are these people doing it? Is it literally just the paycheck for them, or is there something else going on?

GT: Thrills. Money.Freedom. Beats the hell out of fighting Galactus.

CM: Isn’t Arcanum supposed to be running on Mondays on Thrillbent? For that matter, isn’t Todd Harris the artist on Arcanum? Have you stuffed John Rogers into a school locker and taken his pencils?

GT: Well. Yes, except it’s on hiatus. Anyone who tries to stuff John into anything is welcome to the butt whipping that will ensue. John can handle himself and so can his many friends.

CM: What’s it been like working with Todd Harris on the art?

GT: Working with Todd has been the most fun I’ve had creatively.

CM: What’s it like working for Thrillbent? What are the advantages, for you, of working for them?

GT: The advantages are… 100% ownership of our IP, a creator-friendly contract that must be read to be embraced an editorial and publishing team who really know what they’re doing. Plus, the founders of the company are not only writers, but fantastic ones. Working with them and the rest of the team, thus far, has been pretty damned awesome.

CM: How has your storytelling changed in writing for the sort of comics format that Thrillbent has?

GT: Hmmm. Not as much as you’d think. Mainly this format gives us better control of the tempo. Beyond that, it’s pretty much business-as-usual.

CM: You’re a loooongtime comics fan. How big was your collection, and how bad was your weekly habit?

GT: At its height my collection numbered in excess of 65,000. At my worst, and this was when comics cost a LOT less than they do now (and I was a lot richer), I was probably dropping between 60 and 100 bucks a week, depending on what was happening in “indie world.”

Lucky for you folks, Prodigal will be presented for free for the foreseeable future.

So what are you waiting for? Go read it!