Tagged: Dave Cockrum

Joe Corallo: The New X-Men Blues

Last week I wrote an open letter to Marvel about what the X-Men mean to me, primarily as a reaction to X-Men Gold #1. If you missed it, you can read it here. Since then, X-Men Blue #1 has come out. I read it, so now you get to read me talking about it.

Although I’ll be avoiding the biggest spoilers, if you are looking to avoid any and all spoilers for this comic I suggest you go give it a read before you continue.

Oh, you already read it and can keep going? That’s great!

X-Men Blue #1 is written by Cullen Bunn, drawn by Jorge Molina and Matteo Buffagni, colored by Matt Milla and lettered by Joe Caramagna. Cullen Bunn is someone I’ve been a fan of for a while now; it’s really hard not to enjoy Bunn’s writing. I’m really looking forward to reading his, Danny Luckert and Marie Enger’s Regression over at Image Comics. You can read an interview with them on this new series here. It was Cullen Bunn’s involvement in this series that made me excited about this particular X title.

After reading it I have to say that Cullen Bunn did not disappoint. He took what could have easily been a rough start to a series and crafted a tight, fun story that didn’t take itself too seriously throughout. That way, when the reveal at the end of the issue is made, it hits you harder. Tone is important and Cullen Bunn knows how to make you feel every panel of every page without feeling pandered to.

The art of Jorge Molina and Matteo Buffagni creates exciting page layouts the move the story along at breakneck speed when it needs to and is aided by the primary use of wide across panels and tall thin panels. My only complaints are that everyone looks too young and pretty –especially Black Tom Cassidy – and I don’t care for the new Juggernaut design. It’s too Bane.

Matt Milla’s colors are bright and really pop. It only gets dark mostly when dealing with Juggernaut and on the last couple of pages, which helps the mood greatly and in particular moves the reader on the second to last page of the main story to start feeling the sense of dread before they even get to the reveal. Excellent coloring.

There are two problems that jump out to me from this book that are no fault of the creative team. First, that the book doesn’t necessarily fit with the 90s nostalgia that these X books represent. This isn’t the old Blue team, but rather the original team of the Stan Lee and Jack Kirby years minus Professor X. While it made sense in the 80s to bring the original team back in X-Factor as the Lee and Kirby run was on only two decades old, it makes less sense when it’s five decades old. Anyway, after a few years they completely changed the X-Factor team back. You have so many great, compelling X characters to have a team limited like this seems entirely unnecessary. Now maybe the team will change in the next few issues or do, but the issue #1 is where you wanna grab people and it’d be a shame if people skip out on this because of this particular team, with the team on X-Men Gold being far more interesting character wise.

The second problem spins out of the first. We end up with a team that’s all cis white characters. A major problem with some of these older comics is that they are straighter, more cis, more male and more white than what people today would often expect. Even straight cis white male readers who are against diversity in comics at least expect their to be diversity, or else what are they going to yell about on Twitter?

That’s the danger with nostalgia. You can often go the route of nostalgia or go the route of diversity, but it becomes difficult to wed the two – particularly when the property in question is over fifty years old. There is a reason people like Len Wein, Chris Claremont, and Dave Cockrum made the team more diverse, and it seems silly to be taking steps back like this.

Despite how some people have reported on the Marvel Retailer Summit, Marvel has not come out and said they are anti-diversity. This particular team doesn’t ring true to what many X books have stood for the past few decades. You can’t point to Jean Grey being the leader as being terribly progressive when she’s the only woman on a team of five, and it’s hard to point to Iceman as being particularly progressive here when his orientation isn’t really discussed. That won’t be the case in Sina Grace’s Iceman, which I’m really looking forward to reading.

Look, nostalgia can be complicated, and can often be very, very white. That doesn’t make it bad reading. Like I said, I enjoyed reading this book. These problems with nostalgia still need to be looked at, and maybe a few issues or so down we will have a shake up with this team to have it feel more like a book in the spirit of the X-Men. And with Cullen Bunn at the helm and the reveal at the end of this issue, I feel like that’s a very real possibility.

Review: “Comic Book Babylon”

Comic Book Babylon

Comic book writer, editor, and raconteur Clifford Meth took to Kickstarter to fund the publication of Comic Book Babylon, a collection of essays, stories, and interviews drawn from the almost ten years worth of columns he had written for various comic book news sites across the Internet, including ComicMix itself. Promising an introduction by Stan Lee and illustrations by noted comic artist/political crackpot Michael Netzer, Comic Book Babylon almost quintupled its original funding goal with $11,219 in pledges. Last week, Meth delivered with the release of Comic Book Babylon, published in print by Meth’s own Aardwolf Publishing or digitally through the Amazon Kindle store. (more…)

Kickstarter Alert: “Comic Book Babylon: The Real Heroes and Villians of Comics”

If you’ve ever read anything from Clifford Meth, you know he can be a ferocious writer, and ferociously talented. We like that sort of thing here, and that’s why we’ve published his stuff in the past. He’s compiling his columns and essays into a book, and you have a few hours left to pre-order it on Kickstarter:

Comic Book Babylon gathers icons HARLAN ELLISON, STAN LEE, ALAN MOORE, FRANK MILLER, JOE KUBERT, GENE COLAN, DAVE COCKRUM, WALTER SIMONSON and NEAL ADAMS into a conversation with CLIFFORD METH where anything goes. Among other stories, you’ll learn how & why X-Men co-creator Dave Cockrum became the first Marvel artist to receive a monetary settlement and lifetime royalties for his creations after years of suffering and virtual banishment… You’ll meet a well-known Hollywood film producer who doesn’t like to pay his writers (until someone squeezes his face)… You’ll read Harlan Ellison saying things no one else would publish…

This fascinating book collects Meth’s decades of comics columns and essays–some too outrageous to publish in their day–and adds never-before-revealed material. Everything is brought to life with sensational illustrations by the celebrated and beloved Marvel/DC artist MICHAEL NETZER.

What’s achieved is a startling look at the REAL villains and heroes of comics. Introduction by STAN LEE. Art by NETZER. Rants by METH. Join us!

Scholarships Are NOT Entitlements!

As a student at Rutgers, FDU and Wroxton College in the U.K., I often competed for writing scholarships. The awards proved invaluable on numerous levels:
1) As an amateur/student, I was forced to bring my writing to the highest possible level, at that juncture in my development, without any assistance.
2) I learned to meet a deadlines and follow word-count parameters.
3) Winning awards for my writing increased my confidence and allowed me to envision life as a professional.
4) Awards are solid resume material for as-yet unemployed wannabes.
5) Any monies I won were enormously helpful to my father, who earned a meager living but was otherwise happily burdened with my tuition and upkeep.
Needs-based awards have some value but, let’s face it, everyone has needs.
Merit-based awards are far more valuable. And character building.
After Dave Cockrum’s passing, Paty Cockrum and I launched the Dave and Paty Cockrum Scholarship at the Joe Kubert School where we annually award a second-year student with some tuition assistance based on their ability to create seductive, sequential art. We designed the award for someone who has demonstrated a stick-to-itiveness by hanging in for that second term. The scholarship now enters its 6th year and is funded, in part, by sales of Dave Cockrum’s personal comics collection.
After Gene Colan’s passing, I began funding a second scholarship to a promising penciller at the school, also in his or her second year. I was pleased to be informed that these scholarships inspired the creation and private funding of other named scholarships, including one in Dave Stevens’ memory.
With Joe & Adam Kubert at 2012 Scholarship Ceremony

This year’s award ceremony will take place next month and I plan to be on-hand once again to meet and congratulate winning students. This will be the first year my friend Joe Kubert is not there to emcee the event. But in contemplating that loss, I’ve decided to add a third scholarship (as yet unamed), which will be funded by selling signed comics. Today’s collectors like their comics signed and, fortunately, I am able to pick up the phone and ask some old friends for signatures. Stan Lee, Walter Simonson and George Perez were among the first to offer help.

I invite your participation in this new scholarship, too. If you have any signed comics that you are willing to part with (even one), please send them to: Clifford Meth (attn: Kubert Scholarship), 179-9 Rt. 46 West, Rockaway, NJ 07866. Or email me at cliffmeth@aol.com  Donated items will be auctioned on Ebay under the account DaveCockrumEstate (which is currently in use to fund the Cockrum and Colan Awards).

Scholarships helped me and kept me going forward. I am delighted by the opportunity to maintain the circle of life.

Thank you in advance for your kind support.

Read the original at The Clifford Method.

MIKE GOLD: John Carter Returns To Earth

I was about 14 years old when Ballantine Books started their reprint series of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars. Being a science fiction fan, a character fiction fan, and fan who’s attracted to anything numbered sequentially, I devoured the series. I re-read the first five books about 12 years ago and I enjoyed them, albeit with a nostalgically jaundiced eye.

I was both amazed and, oddly, not surprised (they’re two different emotions) when my father told me he was a John Carter fan. He started reading them around 1928 – by then, the first book was about 16 years old. Sharing this bond was quite comforting: both John Carter, my father, and I were created in Chicago over a 38 year span.

There have been numerous comics adaptations. The first was for the newspapers and for Dell Comics, created by Burroughs’ son John Coleman Burroughs. Gold Key tried a few issues; despite Jesse Marsh’s art, they were pretty lackluster. Later on, both DC and Marvel got into the John Carter business – sequentially – and those projects attracted an amazing line-up of artists, including Murphy Anderson, Dave Cockrum, Ernie Colón, Larry Hama, Carmine Infantino, Gil Kane, Frank Miller, Walt Simonson, and Mike Vosburg. Whereas the latter Marvel issues were written by Chris Claremont and Peter Gillis, the majority of the DC/Marvel runs (by far) were penned by Marv Wolfman, and that stuff is among my favorite of his. And that says a lot. Later on, Dark Horse did some crossovers with Tarzan, and John Carter even popped up in the waning days of the classic Tarzan newspaper strip. Currently, both Dynamite Comics and Marvel are publishing the character – the latter is tied into the new movie, and the former is tied into a lawsuit.

There had been a great many attempts to bring John Carter to the screen, both large and small. If you dig around, you’ll find the legendary cartoonist Bob Clampett’s test footage and sketches – they were amazing, and I wish he was able to sell the project. I remember going to the International Licensing Show in the early part of this century and seeing a huge display for an upcoming movie adaptation – some stunning artwork, particularly in their mammoth backdrop. Sadly, none of these projects came to be. There was a movie released just a couple years ago starring Antonio Sabàto, Jr. and Traci Lords, but because I’m a nice guy who always maintains a civil tongue, I won’t mention it again.

This Friday, John Carter of Mars finally makes his big-time movie debut. Produced by Disney – not coincidentally the owner of Marvel Comics – if you haven’t seen any of the trailers, commercials or ads for the movie you just might be Stevie Wonder. For many, many reasons, I have set the bar for John Carter pretty high. My dad died six years ago, so I won’t be able to see it with him. But I notice my daughter Adriane is pretty excited about the movie, and I hope to extend the family bond to her this weekend.

By the way, this is John Carter’s 100th anniversary. If you’re planning on sneaking a cake into the theater, please, don’t light the candles.

THURSDAY: Dennis O’Neil


Preview: “Darkwing Duck” #18 — Like A Fenton From The Ashes!


…oh, we lose the Disney license after this issue? Maybe not so much on the forever, then.

The DARKWING DUCK/DUCKTALES crossover event twenty years in the making continues right here! Picking up from DUCKTALES #6, this issue marks Part 4 of “Dangerous Currency.” This is it fans — the last Disney single issue from KABOOM! has arrived. It’s the end of an era as we say goodbye to Disney at KABOOM! Don’t miss this landmark final issue from the relationship that put kids comics back on the map!

Written by Ian Brill
Drawn by James Silvani
SC, 24pgs, FC, SRP: $3.99
COVER A: James Silvani
COVER B: Sabrina Alberghetti
Diamond Code: AUG110926



5th, 2011
2.0 Press

Pulp 2.0 Press Acquires Publishing Rights to Big Bang Universe

Pulp Publisher to reprint classic Big Bang Comics as Collector’s Volumes

Los Angeles, CA – Pulp 2.0 Press CEO Bill Cunningham today announced that the company has acquired the publishing and media licensing rights to the library of work by creators Gary Carlson and Chris Ecker under their Big Bang Comics imprint.  This deal signals another expansion for the company’s library of graphic novels. “I’ve always loved the history and the classic sensibility of the Big Bang Comics characters like Knight Watchman, Ultiman, Thunder Girl and others that Gary and Chris have created.  I’m very pleased we have a chance to bring their work and the work of celebrated giants like Curt Swan, Murphy Anderson, Shelly Moldoff, and Marty Nodell out in collector’s editions that capture that four color fun we all enjoyed when we were kids.”

The company plans to issue their editions as showcases to each individual Big Bang Comics character by collecting all of that character’s work under one cover, and adding historical reference, essays and rare, behind-the-scenes photos, sketches, covers, and memorabilia.  Formerly published by Image comics, Big Bang made a reputation for itself as the place where comics were fun again by creating the classic comics work of BB giants like Tom King and Jack Kingler.
“Big Bang Comics is an example of the kind of of fun we want to inject back into book publishing,” said Cunningham.  “I grew up reading books like
The Great Comic Book Heroes and
From the 30’s to the 70’s.
Each Big Bang character deserves the same sort of presentation so fans old and new can read and appreciate both the comics and the history behind the company just
like I did.”

“Big Bang Comics began in 1992 when Chris Ecker told me that he was tired of comic book publishers and art directors telling him that he drew like an “old guy” and that he was going to sit down and draw an old style comic book story and that I was going to write it.  We talked his ideaover at a small comic convention in Elgin, Illinois where we both lived. Then we got Gary Reed  at Caliber Press involved as our first publisher and the rest is history. With Big Bang I got to write stories about the characters I had loved and even got to work with some of my favorite creators: Shelly Moldoff, Mart Nodell, Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson (they even signed it “Swanderson”!), Dave Cockrum and Rich Buckler,” said Big Bang Creator Gary Carlson.
Big Bang Co-Creator Chris Ecker adds, “If the Golden Age and Silver Age creators had the opportunity to see their work available on “space aged” digital devices (like, say a Kindle or Nook), they’d have jumped at it. With Pulp2.0, we’re able to do things with our “vintage” comic universe that they could only dream–and write or draw–about. I also think there’s an untapped group of potential fans that aren’t familiar with Big Bang out there, and the digital and print on demand capabilities that our Pulp 2.0 partnership presents will allow them total access. “

Individual editions in Pulp 2.0’s Big Bang Comics Collector’s series will be announced as they become available.  The first editions are scheduled for 2nd quarter 2012. For more information on Big Bang go to: www.bigbangcomics.com

About Pulp 2.0:
Pulp 2.0 is a publishing and media company that creates and distributes quality pulp entertainment media in every manner possible for its audience all over the world to enjoy. The company licenses, redesigns and republishes classic pulp, exploitation paperbacks and magazines through a variety of print and digital media; breathing new life into many of these ‘lost’ properties.

The company also creates new pulp entertainment for its target audience including the original vampire blaxploitation novel Brother Blood by Donald F. Glut, the internet radio adventure serial   “The Murder Legion Strikes at Midnight” (produced in association with Toronto’s  Decoder Ring Theater), and the tribute to legendary radio adventure historian Jim Harmon, Radio Western Adventures that features a lost western tale by Doc Savage creator Lester Dent.  In addition, the company is developing the re-release of Glut’s widely acclaimed horror-adventure book series The
New Adventures of Frankenstein
in collectible editions for print and digital.  For more information go to:

Clifford Meth: Welcome to Hollywood, Part Deux

Clifford Meth: Welcome to Hollywood, Part Deux

Glenn Hauman promised yesterday that I’d deliver a “fuller explanation of what’s been going on” vis-à-vis my piece “Welcome to Hollywood.” So in the interests of keeping this story alive (because you haven’t lived until you’ve heard the words, “You’ll never work in this town again”) I’ll try to squeeze in another few inches.

Jason Brice and his site Comics Bulletin (formerly Silver Bullet Comic Books) have run my “Meth Addict” (formerly “Past Masters”) column without interference since 2004. Among other things, the column was a linchpin in helping secure an important financial settlement for Dave Cockrum that allowed the X-Men co-creator to live his last few years in relative comfort. Good for you, Jason Brice. If we never do another good deed together again in our wretched little lives, that may have been enough.

The yanking of “Welcome to Hollywood” after CB’s EiC Jason Sacks (the other Jason) had already accepted it and promoted it was a joint decision between the two Jasons shortly after the column was live. I wasn’t in the room when things got weird, but I imagine the conversation was fairly tame and thoroughly professional and went something like this:

Jason: Are you crazy?!
Jason: Huh?

The pair discussed the matter and decided that what I’d written was a little too dangerous for CB. Jason Sacks then pulled the short straw and sent me the following: “Jason and I have decided to pull the column out of concerns about CB’s exposure to potential legal action.”

Within moments, the story was live at Harlan Ellison’s site (“Read it…love it,” wrote Harlan) with offers from others, including comics pros Tony Isabella and Michael Netzer, to re-post. I called Glenn H. because I particularly admired how he’d pointed to the competitive website’s initial story on his own front page. “Want it?” I asked. “Yup,” said Glenn.

Did the Jasons abandon Mr. Meth in his hour of needful spleen venting? Not hardly. “I want to emphasize that as the editor of the piece and editor-in-chief at ComicsBulletin I both support and encourage Cliff to do everything he can to expose the horrible acts of this scumbag,” writes Jason Sacks at Harlan Ellison’s website. “It sounds like Richard Saperstein is the exemplar of exactly the sort of lowdown ripoffs of creative types to whom Mr. Ellison has dispatched his most scathing scorn.”

So where does that leave us? With a bunch of hyperlinks and meta-columns. Could be worse.

In conclusion, I’m sure you agree that it would be a case of chronic irony if the story of how my column was pulled and reposted somehow obscured the far-more-important tale of what occurred with The Futurians movie, the Snaked movie, and my brief love affair with Richard Saperstein.

And they lived happily ever after.

What happened to Clifford Meth’s column? Read it here

What happened to Clifford Meth’s column? Read it here

Editor’s note: This column, which was originally published at Comics Bulletin and which we pointed to on Friday, was taken down from their site yesterday. We’re a bit touchy when it comes to internet censorship and the hint of legal threats from movie people, so we asked Cliff what we could to do help. Clifford has graciously allowed us to republish the original column here, and he’ll be writing up a fuller explanation of what’s been going on tomorrow. –Glenn Hauman

“Welcome to Hollywood”
By Clifford Meth

I’ve been away from this column for so long that an explanation is in order. I’m tempted to say it was something like a summer vacation where, by virtue of missed flights, I didn’t come home for years…but the truth is I sank belly-deep into a myriad of projects, most of which were destined to fail. So before we go any further, let’s get some closure:

Dave Cockrum’s Futurians and I have been attached at the hip for what seems like a lifetime. Besides being a fan of the project, I penned a back-up story that Dave illustrated for Futurians #0 (1995, Aardwolf Publishing) then personally walked the intellectual property into Starz Entertainment (nee IDT Entertainment) a decade later. How excited was I—and how excited was Dave—when they optioned rights and Stephen Brown, executive producer of Showtime’s “Masters of Horror” series, asked me to write the treatment and first draft for what they planned as a theatrical release. This came back-to-back with a script-editing assignment working with Peter David on Gene Roddenberry’s “Starpoint Academy” as well as script vetting for Stan Lee’s POW Entertainment. Seriously fun stuff. And happening fast.

Then came the long fizzle.



Dave Cockrum estate donates comics to Newark Beth Israel Children’s Hospital

Dave Cockrum estate donates comics to Newark Beth Israel Children’s Hospital

Kars4Kids, the national
car-donation program that benefits children, and Newark Beth Israel
Children’s Hospital in Newark, NJ, distributed a generous,
unique donation from the estate of Dave Cockrum, co-creator of Marvel
Comics’ popular X-Men series. The donated comics were part of Cockrum’s
personal collection.

“My husband loved to help people—he was
generous to a fault,” said Paty Cockrum, widow of the popular artist
and creator who died in 2006 from complications resulting from
diabetes. “Dave was extremely happy that the characters he created—such
as Storm, Colossus and Nightcrawler—became a part of the childhood
memories of millions of children. He knew that was his legacy. Dave was
also an avid comic book collector. I’m delighted that kids in need will
benefit from his personal collection.”

The comics were given
out on February 19 to children who
are hospitalized.

is a national organization providing for the spiritual, emotional and
practical needs of children from impoverished or dysfunctional
families. The national, 501(c)3, non-profit organization was
established in 2000.

Hat tip (and happy birthday!) to Clifford Meth.