Tagged: Ed Catto

Mike Gold: What? A Long Strange Trip?

I believe the first comics convention I attended was in 1967. That means I’ve been chasing these puppies for 50 years. Indeed, it often feels my entire life has been one long, never-ending comicon. Talk about getting a life – or, at least, another act.

I continue to do ‘em because I enjoy seeing my friends a hell of a lot more than I enjoy eating vulcanized chicken fingers. Better still, I enjoy meeting the fans, talking about what they like and don’t like (this is not a good time to defend the event comic), discovering new trends and talent, and blathering on and on at panels. For the past, oh, maybe two dozen years that means I’ve vastly preferred the smaller comicons; it’s hard to have meaningful conversations at the overcrowded, underoxygenated megashows such as San Diego and New York. To tell you the truth, I avoid those clusterfucks like the plague because I’m certain someday soon some clown is going to pivot and knock me over with his backpack, and I’m going to have to shoot somebody once again.

So when fellow ComicMixer Ed Catto invited me to the Syracuse show, held last week, I gleefully agreed. It’s only a four-hour drive according to GPS, or five-and-one-half hours according to the weekend reality of Northeast Quadrant motoring. Yes, driving back I encountered no less than three serious accidents and one abandoned SUV that blocked two lanes on the infamous Tappen Zee Bridge. Rule of thumb: during a long drive, when the number of accidents exceeds the number of dead deer, just pull over and cry.

The show was great fun. I was reunited with Graham Nolan, an old friend that I haven’t seen in a million years. We worked on Hawkworld back in the day; his current Bane miniseries is a serious contribution of DC’s present circulation dominance over Marvel Comics. Joe Rubenstein, who has no home and merely travels to different comicons each and every week, had a cold and was hell-bent on turning it into a plague.

I have long enjoyed Chris Giarrusso’s work (G-Man, Mini Marvels, Tales from the Con) and was happy to see he had the table to my immediate right. To my left was Frank Cammuso, writer/artist of such books as Knights of the Lunch Table, Salem Hyde, and one of my all-time favorites, Max Hamm Fairy Tale Detective. Frank had collaborated with my old pal Jay Lynch on several books; as I’ve noted Jayze and I went back to the hallowed days of the Chicago Mirror, which evolved into Bijou Comix. It’s great to make new friends.

Of course, the show was full of innovative cosplayers – to no one’s surprise, virtually every female toddler was adorably swathed in Wonder Woman gear, making Syracuse the cutest place on Earth last weekend. The show was at the city’s convention center, specifically in their hockey arena, home to the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch, the first hockey team to be named after a candy bar.

08As is often the case at these “smaller” shows, the fans were wonderful, eager to converse and remarkably polite… “remarkable,” at least, to this New Yorker. Graham and I did a panel about how comics evolved in the 1980s and 90s that was hosted by Ed, and the questions were the sort I enjoy the most: those that initiate conversation among the fans and the panel members.

I’m always curious to see which books are presented to me for autographing (unlike fellow convention attendee Neal Adams, I do not charge for my autographs because, well, the Sharpie I borrowed from Chris would have dried out). This year, it seems almost half were issues of The Question, which I found to be both surprising and really cool. Them folks in Syracuse have taste.

I deeply appreciate Ed’s inviting me and that, at long last, I got the chance to meet and hang out with Kathe Catto, a person as intelligent and as charming as her name is alliterative. I also want to thank convention honcho Thomas Yeldon and the wonderful, helpful and professional staff for a show that was so much fun I forgot that I’ve been doing this since Lyndon Johnson was president.

(With apologies to Jerome J. Garcia, Robert Hall Weir, Philip Lesh, and Robert C. Hunter for the title, and to my ol’ co-conspirator Ed Sanders who purportedly coined the word “clusterfuck.” Remember that when you take your American History class final next year.)

Ed Catto: The Old Order Changeth

There’s a certain comfortable absurdity that an activity that is most likely enjoyed on a solitary basis – reading comics – kicks into high gear every day at comics shops and just about every weekend at comic conventions and every minute in social media. Recently at a comic convention, I was surrounded by some old friends who really like comics, and by a bunch of new faces who do too. And the new faces look so different from my familiar compatriots.

First a little background. I’m ComicMix’s newest columnist, and although a basic fanboy at heart, I come at it with a little different perspective. I’m an advertising and marketing guy. Yes, you could say I’m kind of like a character from Mad Men, but without the coolness, glamour and skinny ties. So when I worked at Nabisco I brought Marvel heroes to Oreo and ChipsAhoy! for a marketing team-up. I developed a “Spot Spidey” promotion for a candy company. At the world’s largest trade show company, I helped grow New York Comic Con in its sophomore year. And now at my own agency, we help brands connect with geek culture.  Unfortunately, I still haven’t figured out how to have afternoon cocktails in the office like they did at Sterling Cooper.

It’s natural for me to try to understand who the audience is for a product, what type of people make up the most engaged consumers for an industry and how it’s changing and evolving. Call me crazy, but I find that fascinating.

So with the convention season upon us, I’m fascinated by the changing profile of convention attendees, and by extrapolation, how the comics industry is changing. How do the 87 million millennials fit into it all ? Last month, I didn’t go to Emerald City Comic Con, although I heard it was (another) great one, but instead was at a small local show in Hasbrouck Heights, N.J. It’s part of a network of rotating comic shows that an energetic guy named Jon Paul runs and has been running for the past 24 years. And the most interesting thing is – there’s a new crop of attendees! They aren’t just all the same people who have always gone to these shows.

Oh, sure, there’s a certain band-of-brothers element amongst the dealers and faithful fans. They’re close-knit communities who have developed relationships over the years “one Sunday at a time”.  But thankfully, like all good hosts, they also are very welcoming to new faces and fans.

This time around, I think the “gods of comics marketing” arranged to send perfect examples of some the new fans to this show for me to meet. Without exaggeration, these folks could have all come directly from central casting.  I’m not sure if there are any big, new ah-hah moments though. It was more a validation, and a personification, of the recent trends that the geek press has been chewing on.

Promethea Girl

There’s been a lot of talk about women in comics, but one young woman this weekend summed it all up for me. She was enthralled by a Promethea action figure for sale. DC Direct had created this figure a few years ago, based on Alan Moore’s brilliant Promethea and Sophie characters. This young woman proudly displayed her Promethea Tattoo, as well as her depth of knowledge and passion for comics. When she introduced us to her boyfriend (who was quickly dubbed “Promethea Boy”) I curiously asked who collected comics first. He shamefacedly admitted that even though he read some comics as a kid, it was his girlfriend’s passion that re-ignited his interest in comics.

New Kid On the Block

carls-comix-newsOne of the coolest fans was also one of the most impressive. Carl is a man on a mission. Or should I say, a young man on a mission. He’s only 8, but Carl knows comics and has a keen eye for what’s cool and what he likes. And he blogs about it on his Carl’s Comix blog. A polite and energetic kid, Carl was refreshingly optimistic and upbeat. And he’s blessed with one of those super-supportive dads, the kind of guy who watches out for his boy, but provides support, encouragement and long leash. Or maybe I should say a “long runway”, because it’s obvious that Carl is going to take off to great heights.

A shuffling iZealot

Larry's ComicsAnd then there was that type of selfless fan who’s looking to bring more folks to the party.  One fan bought a dozen copies of Roberson & Allred’s recent iZombie comic series for his girlfriend. She had enjoyed the first episode of the new CW series. Years ago, when I was dating, I always dreaded that moment when I had to tell a girl my dark, horrible secret – that I bought comics every week.

That doesn’t seem like such a horrible secret any longer. Now, there are so many ways to enjoy this slice of pop culture (movies, TV, comics, apparel, merchandise) and there’s so many ways to share it with those we care about. And this type of fan is anxious to spread the word about comics, not to just keep it to himself.

As a side note, I saw a banner on a Larry’s Comics email that said, “Friends Don’t Let Friends Read Junk.”

So I left Sunday’s comic show with a positive sense of who’s enjoying all this stuff, and how they’re all enjoying it. There are more roads into it than ever, and more ways to enjoy it than ever, and that’s pretty cool. I just hope I can keep up with all these new fans.

One last note – I always associate the title of this week’s column “The Old Order Changeth” with shakeups to the line-up of heroes in the Avengers, but it goes way back and I think it’s from an old Tennyson King Arthur poem. Those classics always get in the way of my comic book trivia.

Michael Davis: Deathlok Joins The Milestone Universe

Last week we ran part 1 of my ComicMix conversation with J. August Richards. Part two will print next Tuesday, on the same day as the season finale of Marvel’s Agents Of SHIELD.

Yeah, that’s a fucked-up misleading title, eh?

Well, ask anyone over at Bleeding Cool. I can be a dick sometimes and try as I might, just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in…to being a dick.

So, that happened.

So in the meantime I will answer more Milestone questions and deal with one bold statement, from Steve Chaput and Ryan Dean respectfully.

Please keep in mind these Milestone articles do not run sequentially (like some two part interviews), some questions may require a few sentences and others may require entire articles.

I’m looking at you Doctor.

Ryan asks:

Last time we saw animated versions of Milestone characters was in the great Young Justice series. What are the chances of seeing them pop up in any of the upcoming DC animated features or the DC Nation shorts?

Ryan, I can’t say when but I can say I’m pretty certain that will happen. More than one conversation about Milestone animated has happened. DC Animation is just kicking ass and taking names. The stuff that comes out of that studio just gets better and better. Not too long ago when it came to live action movies, Marvel was DC’s bitch.

Now? Errr, no.

Today Marvel, maybe not by much, makes the best superhero movies. Possibly they are making the best superhero movies ever made.

Animation? They still be DC’s bitch.

I recently saw the Avengers Confidential: Black Widow and Punisher animated movie. I felt I was the one being punished. It was, in my opinion, god-awful. If you’re not sure what that means in this case, it means almighty God said it was awful.

Steve really didn’t have a question but he had quite the point of view:

I’m with Paul Smith on this one. It just seems to me that it DC, for whatever reason, that is holding things back. I think any other company (Image, Dark Horse, IDW, etc.) would love to have the Milestone characters published under their banner. This would totally separate them from the DCU and the Milestone books could either start over fresh or take up where they left off when the initial titles were ended.

You can’t tell me, either, that there aren’t number directors, producers and actors that would not love to bring Icon & Rocket or Static to the big screen. Personally, I’d love to see Hardware in 3-D action.

Steve, I answered Paul’s question in detail last week. Perhaps you’ve read it, if not please do. It addresses all of your observations. Because those observations are widespread and considered by many a certainty, I’d like to use your post to underscore a point if I may.

With all due respect, what something seems to some seems entirely different to others. Many people see Ted Cruz and Allen West as reasonable public servants who will only make this country better.

I don’t see that.

I see two men who will stop at nothing to roll back civil rights, discard the poor like trash and take away health care from those who most need it.

I see them this way because of what they have done and said. I see them this way because of what I read and witness with my own eyes via media news outlets.

From what I see, these men seem to be at war against anyone that does not think like them. In the case of Mr. West, I see a self-hating Negro giving racists everywhere another reason to believe black people are indeed the shiftless, lazy coons they always thought they were.

But…

I could be wrong. It’s possible what I’ve heard and the context in which I heard it were not how they were intended to be. Perhaps if I met them my opinion would change. I’m not above making judgments only to be proven wrong.

As an example, Ed Catto is a friend of mine who also just happens to be one of the people behind the return of what is to me my favorite thing ever, Captain Action.

Not the greatest toy ever; the greatest thing ever. Ed is not nor did he become a friend because of his Captain Action connection. I don’t do that.

A year or so ago before he and I became friends, I spotted something on his Captain Action Facebook page which to me seemed racist.

You could not tell me it wasn’t.

I then proceeded to say so on his page and ended up making a complete and utter fool of myself. It was in no way racist and I feel like shit each and every time I think of what I did.

Let me be very, very, very clear. My examples were meant to communicate the earnestness in which I write this. I am in no way suggesting your statement has any semblance whatsoever to the instances I set forth.

They do not.

Your assertion that DC is holding back Milestone suggests there is intent there to do such a thing.

There is not.

I give details on the what, when, how and why I think that in my last article.

I’m confident that Ted Cruz and Allen West are what they appear to be. Having said that I will concede I may be wrong. I don’t know them; I certainly was not privy to the genesis of an idea, which by the time it reached me may have became something different.

I wasn’t there.

Steve, I’m using your post to say as loudly and as clearly to as many people as I can, DC Comics has no organized agenda to hold Milestone back. I know this my friend as well as I know my own name.

I was there dude, really, I was.

Now you were spot on when you surmised directors, producers and actors would love to bring Icon & Rocket or Static to the big screen. In fact, a film about Milestone

In a meeting at Warner Bros Studios, Chris Rock was mentioned as the actor chosen to play me. DC suggested that role go to Bernie Mac or no one.

That meeting was yesterday. Give that a sec.

Captain Action Explodes at Dyamite

Dynamite Entertainment adds a new Captain Action comic book series, Codename: Action to their line of pulp heroes.

PRESS RELEASE:

June 11, 2013, Mt. Laurel, NJ-
Dynamite Entertainment, in conjunction with Captain Action Enterprises, proudly announces the September launch of CODENAME: ACTION, a six-issue comic book event that unites the ultimate super-spy, Captain Action, with classic pulp heroes including Green Hornet, Kato, the Spider, and Black Venus.  Written by Chris Roberson (Masks, Superman) and featuring artwork by Jonathan Lau (Kevin Smith’s Green Hornet), the debut #1 issues will include variant covers by accomplished illustrators Jae Lee, Francesco Francavilla, Jonathan Lau, Johnny Desjardins, and Art Baltazar.

CODENAME: ACTION takes place during the Cold War, as unknown forces scheme to heat up the global conflict.  When key officials on both sides of the Iron Curtain are replaced with doppelgangers, the infiltration threatens to disrupt the precarious state of world affairs… until one young secret agent shapes the world’s masked heroes into a force with singular purpose and unyielding resolve!

“CODENAME: ACTION is a showcase of the things I love about jet-age superspies and Cold War-era superheroics,” says the World Fantasy Award-nominated author, Chris Roberson.  “In part, it functions as an origin story for Captain Action, reintroducing him to a modern audience while at the same time setting him firmly in the period in which the character first appeared.  Captain Action was a product of the time that gave us the James Bond films, and TV shows like Man From UNCLE and The Prisoner, and CODENAME: ACTION is very much an attempt to put the character in that kind of context.

Roberson, hot off of his stint as writer for the bestselling Masks series, knows how best to balance a handful of fan-favorite and highly independent characters.  “The main focus of the attention is on the spy and espionage characters like Operator 5, Black Venus, and Operative 1001 (the man who will become Captain Action).  Along the way, our heroes will encounter various masked heroes and vigilantes, like American Crusader, Green Hornet, and Kato.  It’s been an organic process, as I find the best places to fill in supporting or ‘guest star’ roles.”

Jonathan Lau, whose spirited artwork graced the pages of Dynamite titles Green Hornet and Black Terror, looks forward to drawing so many spies and superheroes with great enthusiasm.  “I’m excited!  Captain Action is sort of like Nick Fury, and there’s a dynamism in laying out the Green Hornet/Kato duo, especially when it comes to Kato making big motions to convey

action.  The American Crusader is another character I enjoy drawing again (after his appearance in Black Terror), since he’s the muscle of this series, and it’s always fun to draw super-powered beings doing super stuff.”

In a joint statement, Ed Catto and Joe Ahearn of licensor Captain Action Enterprises gave a shining endorsement:  “We’re big comic, spy and pulp fans, so it’s a thrill to see all those characters in one adventure together.  And we’re also big Chris Roberson fans from his work on iZombie and Monkeybrain Comics.  Captain Action is a spy, and impersonating others (especially superheroes) is an important part of what’s he all about… so to start the Captain’s adventures with heroes like the Green Hornet and Kato makes all the sense in the world.  We’re also honored that the baton was passed to Captain Action as he’s center stage in this mini-series.  Like a young quarterback given the opportunity to play in the big game, it’s both daunting and terribly exciting!”

LIKE” DYNAMITE’S FACEBOOK PAGE TODAY! http://www.facebook.com/dynamitecomics
Join the conversation on Dynamite Entertainment’s twitter page at http://twitter.com/DynamiteComics
To find a comic shop near you, call  1-888-comicbook or visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com/
For art and more information, please visit: http://www.dynamite.com/.

About Dynamite Entertainment:
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT was founded in 2004 and is home to several best-selling comic book titles and properties, including The Boys, The Shadow, Vampirella, Warlord of Mars, Bionic Man, A Game of Thrones, and more!

Dynamite owns and controls an extensive library with over 3,000 characters (which includes the Harris Comics and Chaos Comics properties), such as Vampirella, Pantha, Evil Ernie, Smiley the Psychotic Button, Chastity, Purgatori, and Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt.

In addition to their critically-acclaimed titles and bestselling comics, Dynamite works with some of the most high profile creators in comics and entertainment, including Kevin Smith, Alex Ross, John Cassaday, Garth Ennis, Jae Lee, Marc Guggenheim, Mike Carey, Jim Krueger, Greg Pak, Brett Matthews, Matt Wagner, and a host of up-and-coming new talent!

Page 1

Dynamite is consistently ranked in the upper tiers of comic book publishers and several of their titles – including Alex Ross and Jim Krueger’s Project Superpowers – have debuted in the Top Ten lists produced by Diamond Comics Distributors. In 2005, Diamond awarded the company a GEM award for Best New Publisher and another GEM in 2006 for Comics Publisher of the Year (under 5%) and again in 2011. The company has also been nominated for and won several industry awards, including the prestigious Harvey and Eisner Awards.

About Captain Action Enterprises
As Retropreneurs, Captain Action Enterprises, LLC specializes in taking old properties and rejuvenating them for a new generation. Captain Action appears in an on-going action figure line, lithographs, statues, T-shirts, hoodies, model kits, pulp novels, drink ware, and ID cases. Currently, CAE is collaborating with G7 in order to develop a Captain Action animated series. Additional properties include the Zeroids and Savage Beauty. For additional information, please contact Ed Catto at edcatto@CaptainAction.com.

Page 2
Page 3

THE BOOK CAVE EPISODE 214: ED CATTO AND CAPTAIN ACTION RETURN!

Captain Action‘s Ed Catto joins Ric Croxton, Art Sippo, and Bruce Rosenberger in The Book Cave to update goings on in the Captain Action universe!

Listen to The Book Cave Episode 214: Ed Catto Returns with News and Updates on Captain Action now at http://thebookcave.libsyn.com/the-book-cave-episode-214-ed-catto-returns-with-news-and-updates-on-captain-action

CHOOSE LADY ACTIONS NEXT ALIAS!

Vote now!

Over on the Captain Action Facebook page, Joe Ahearn and Ed Catto, the founders of Captain Action Enterprises and the fine folks behind the action figure line have posted a poll. For the upcoming Lady Action figure, what Marvel Heroine costume sets would you most like to see?

This is your chance to let them know what you’d like to see next.

Your vote counts.

Learn more about Captain Action at www.CaptainAction.com.

Toys on the Hudson offers Holiday Shopping Alternative

Jersey City, NJ (November 8, 2012) – Toys on the Hudson is pleased to announce the tri-state area’s first family-focused toy fair. Developed as a shopping alternative to Black Friday, Toys on the Hudson offers families and collectors an opportunity to discover unique gifts, meet celebrities and enjoy photo opportunities in more than 18,000 square feet of floor space.

Featured will be over 100 tables of vintage and current hard-to-find toys, comics and collectibles covering unique gift ideas for lovers of movie memorabilia, DVDs, Disney, anime, small antiques, action figures, tin, sports & non-sports, Barbie, original art and classic monster collectibles.

“We’re excited to offer a fun, alternative family activity during the busy post-Thanksgiving weekend,” said Phil DeMario, co-promoter of Toys on the Hudson. “This is a great event for both families and seasoned collectors who are looking for a different shopping experience and unique gift after they’ve fought the mall crowds.”

Many celebrities will be on hand including Steve Savino from the Toy Hunter TV series with visits by Jordan Hembrough, The “Pizza Boss” TV Pizza Tossing sensation Michael Testa, The Brady Bunch’s Geri Reischl, A Christmas Story’s Ian Patrella and many more movie and TV celebrities. Toys on the Hudson will also offer great photo opportunities for families and fans with the Batmobile, the Joker, the Riddler, the Penguin and Star Wars costumed characters.

“Toys on the Hudson is the perfect place to shop for the comic collector on your holiday list, as the entire Grand Ballroom is transformed into a Comic Collectors dream with over 50 tables of vintage and collectible comics, artists, authors and related merchandise,” said Mike Spino, co-promoter of Toys on the Hudson.

There will be a mix of vintage and new toys at show.  “We’re excited to bring our newest Captain Action toys and collectibles to Toys on the Hudson for this exciting weekend,” said retropreneur Ed Catto, co-founder of Captain Action Enterprises.

“Toys on the Hudson might be a great way to sell your own treasures, too. Attendees can bring a toy or collectible and have it appraised by one of the many on site appraisers,” added Phil DeMario.

For the “serious-must-have-first” collector, the show opens Black Friday Evening with a Preview Night for anyone who wants a chance to shop while the dealers put the finishing touches to their booths.

The 3 day event starts on Black Friday, November 23, 2012 at 5:00 pm and continues all weekend. The event is held at the Westin Newport Hotel, on the banks of the Hudson River, adjacent to Newport Mall, 495 Washington Blvd Jersey City, N.J.  The hotel is accessible from PATH, NYC and all NJ public transit. Parking is adjacent to hotel and is validated by select local restaurants.  More detailed information can be found on Toys on the Hudson facebook page or at  www.toysonthehudson.com  .

ED CATTO RETURNS CAPTAIN ACTION TO THE BOOK CAVE!

Ed Catto visits the Book Cave and he’s bringing Captain Action news with him. Ed join hosts Ric Croxton and Art Sippo for another fantastic episode of The Book Cave podcast. You can listen now at http://thebookcave.libsyn.com

Learn more about Ed Catto at www.captainaction.com/about/ed-catto
Learn more about The Bonfire Agency at www.bonfireagency.com
Learn more about Captain Action at www.CaptainAction.com

Visit The Book Cave at http://thebookcave.libsyn.com