Tagged: Mike Gold

Mike Gold: 20 Ways To Procrastinate – Comic Book Pro’s Edition

WimpySure, you’re on a deadline. You’ve got more deadlines than you have socks. So what are you going to do about it? If you are a genuine comic book professional, or you hanker to be a genuine comic book professional, you’ve got to learn how to procrastinate like a genuine comic book professional.

Please note, these tips apply to freelancers of all stripes and not just to cartoonists, artists, writers and/or sloths.

1. You find yourself thinking you should wash the dishes.

2. You find yourself thinking you should take out the garbage.

3. Your abode is not going to paint itself.

4. You’re fiddling through your DVD and DVR library looking for “reference.”

5. You are convinced your editor won’t get around to your assignment for a while anyway.

6. Your cat ate your Internet connection.

7. Your quarterly estimated taxes were due a couple days ago. You really need to find an accountant. Ask around.

8. Damn, if you don’t read these 78 comic books in a pile on your nightstand, you won’t be up on continuity and you’re script/artwork/whatever will have to be completely revised anyway so instead of working, you really should be reading comic books.

9. You realize you haven’t backed-up your computer since Jack Kirby invented the Mother Box.

10. You find yourself wondering, “What would Barry Windsor-Smith do?”

11. Hey, that crossword puzzle isn’t going to solve itself.

12. Your crack dealer doesn’t deliver.

13. You’ll get to your work just as soon as your computer’s countdown clock hits “O seconds.” You won’t have long to wait, as right now it says it will be done in six minutes and six minutes isn’t very long, is it?

14. It’s new comics Wednesday. Or, at least, it was in the past six days.

15. You still haven’t done your homework.

16. You can always backdate your Fed-Ex waybill.

17. You really should take your dog for a walk. After all, you don’t want to be interrupted while you’re working.

18. After trying most or all of the above, you’re way too depressed to work.

19. You find yourself writing a piece about “20 ways to procrastinate.”

20. You’ll start working just as soon as you come up with the 20th item on your list.


Marc Alan Fishman’s Snarky Synopsis: Amazing X-Men Annual #1

Amazing X-Men Annual #1Written by Monty Nero.  Art by Salvador Larroca, Juan Vlasco and Sonia Oback

It’s fitting to me that this week Mike Gold pontificated on how mainstream comics are either targeting either the kiddies or the adulties. OK, technically, he was ranting – rightfully so – that the industry at large is seemingly devoid of wonder. Well, Mr. Gold, Monty Nero got at least half right. Amazing X-Men Annual #1 could only be targeting that sect of fans that exist between youngsters and the snarky old. Here’s a book that sets out to cover the smallest ground possible, tell a quick and potent adventure, and wrap up on a deep character moment.

Of course, what we get is a by the book, seen-it-before plot-by-numbers that leaves one wondering what purpose the book serves in the greater scheme of things. Then again, that may just be my inner-old-guy being a d-bag. So, I’m going to make every attempt now to smile my way through what might have once been an angry review. Chins up kiddos!

Nero’s script revolves around Ororo Monroe, also known as Storm (and several dozen other names, as we learn mid-battle cry!). We find out that during her adolescence, a great sandstorm was ravaging a village. Ororo made way to save T’Challa – the Black Panther – but could do nothing else. Flash forward to the present, where a world-weary survivor of that devastation has recently gained mutant (or mystic?) powers. Meruda, now an angry god of the sand, lays waste to his homeland, whilst stealing away a distant cousin of Storm. Cue the opening titles!

Soon thereafter, the X-men arrive on scene, and what follows is a ton of fighting. For what it’s worth, the battle here is at least meaningful, in so much that our villain has just cause to want to hurt the mohawked veteran of Charles Xavier’s school. And while she faces Meruda, Wolverine, Firestorm, Iceman, and the Beast battle an ancient god – resurrected, and holding the soul of Storm’s brethren in check. All in all, if it were a cartoon, there’s be plenty of punching to enjoy.

Artistically speaking, Salvador Larocca lends his formidable pencils to the cause. As I’d enjoyed much of his run previously on Iron Man, many of the same strengths continue on the page. His meaty figures are always placed dutifully in kinetic panels that keep the eye moving through his pages. Emotions are clear, and easily read. Backgrounds, whether they be ransacked deserts of Africa or high tech cabin shots of the latest X-Jet, are beautifully rendered. Inks and colors only add to the final product. I’m always apt to point out the Photoshoppery in today’s modern comics, but here Larocca and company are doing it right. Special effects like the knockouts on Nightcrawler’s ‘BAMFs’, or the almost painterly treatments on Meruda’s sand-constructs just look cool. Where others are quick to use filters and such to mask issues, Salvador does it right – using the tools of the digital art bin to elevate his work to the quasi-future sci-fi space to add to visual excitement of the comic.

If you’re looking to be sated with pleasantry, well, stop here. Amazing X-Men Annual #1 is good clean honest fun. It’s a one-and-done adventure that is worth a gander perhaps for the pretty art alone. And for fans of Storm, well, you’re getting her in rare form here. So, consider this issue a sunny day, clear of rain by a country mile!

Still with me? Good. I can’t take it any longer. Nero commits a sin of the industry that nearly pushed me out as a fan not that long ago. His script and plot are so duh-duh simple that I can’t look past it. Annuals in the modern era are usually used for one of very few purposes: to re-establish a baseline for the book, to give a young and upcoming creator a spotlight that doesn’t require a multi-issue arc, or to set the tone for the next arc to come. Here, we get the second. And with it, nails on a chalkboard to me. Nero to his credit, has had several great successes professionally. Here he dips his toe into the X-waters, but does so tepidly. I can’t help but lay a finger of blame less on him than Mike Marts, the editor.

When given essentially a blank slate and a simple goal (pick an X-Man and write an issue that celebrates them as a character), the possibilities are near endless. Nero picks Storm, one of the most powerful, nuanced, and meaty characters on the team – whomever is on the team this week, I suppose. His choice to use a bit of her past to create conflict is even better; it gives credence to the battle as I’d said. But his choice to deliver the story as a literal straight shot is what grinds my gears. When a plot is as simple as this, it’s a veritable invitation to a debutant ball for a writer! Nero could have played with time, with flashback, with sequencing, or even with the psuedo-science of Meruda and Storm’s comparable power sets.

But he delivers none of it. We literally go from the standard cold-open to the X-men reading about the cold-open to them traveling to Africa to fighting to resolution. I’m even apt to note when a book chooses to do things simply with the beats, it can be made up for with style. Nero though, learns the hard way the Achilles heel of all X-books: more members mean less opportunities.

Ultimately, Amazing X-Men Annual #1 is a book only a tweener could enjoy: simple in plot, heavy in action. But as Mike Gold would note: it’s devoid of wonder. Too engrained in familial angst, monologuing, and excuses for quips or violence. Normally I’d take the opportunity to lay waste to the book with a grand trail of snark behind me, perhaps declaring that this book represents all that’s wrong with modern comics (or some such line). But there’s no need: This book is simply a missed opportunity to be great. And that alone is enough shame for one week.


Mike Gold, Stripper – An Occasional Series

Wow, that sounds disgusting, doesn’t it? But as you might surmise from the accompanying artwork, those of us who are into newspaper comics strips are often called “strippers.” This is either self-deprecating or sophomoric. But there must be a lot of us, because there seems to be about a half-dozen high-quality reprint books being issued every month. Which means I am: a) happy, and b) broke.

In order to protect my ever-shrinking finances, I was going to pass over Titan Books’ Tarzan In The City of Gold, reprinting Burne Hogarth’s work from 1937 to 1940. This is because NBM reprinted all of Hogarth’s Sunday Tarzans (and the Hal Foster stuff that preceded it) back in 1994. I have those books, although I don’t fault Titan for putting the material back in print twenty years later. Besides, the NBM books were limited to 300 copies. But Titan fooled me and sent me a review copy, bless them. They truly understand the fanboy’s middle initials are “O.C.D.”

I’m glad they did. The book starts with Hogarth’s first effort, sort of mid-story although a thorough recap is provided. The reproduction is sharper, the volume is bigger, the cost is much lower, and the design is more attractive. The indicia says this is part of “The Complete Burne Hogarth Library,” which implies eventually they’ll be reprinting his short-lived, hard-to-find but even more amazing adventure series, Drago, as well as his even harder-to-find humor series Miracle Jones.

Tarzan has attracted the efforts of a great many of comics’ finest artists, including (in politically convenient alphabetical order) Neal Adams, John Buscema, Frank Frazetta, José Louis Garcia-Lopez, Mike Grell, Jeffrey Catherine Jones, Joe Jusko, Gil Kane, Joe Kubert, Roy G. Krenkel, Russ Manning, Grey Morrow, Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell, and Tom Yeates. That is breathtaking. That is amazing. That is adjective-defying. And, in many circles, Hogarth’s work is regarded as the best of the lot. Personally, I couldn’t make a choice if my life depended upon it.

Hogarth is properly regarded as a true master of the medium, and even though it reprints his earlier work, Tarzan In The City of Gold shows us how he earned that reputation. He revisited the property in 1972 with an original hardcover graphic novel (thereby stirring up the “who did the first graphic novel” debate decades later) adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ seminal Tarzan of the Apes. Four years later, Hogarth did a sequel adapting four of Burroughs’ prequel short stories published as Jungle Tales of Tarzan. Perhaps these titles will be part of this series as well.

Be warned. I’d kill for Drago.

Tarzan In The City of Gold by Burne Hogarth with Don Garden, Titan Books, 208 pages, $39.95 hardcover.


Marc Alan Fishman: I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

When I made the leap to the other side of the aisle, I did so because I had my brothers from other mothers right next to me. And because of both of them I’ve continued to push myself to do things I honestly didn’t think I’d be capable of. Thanks to Kyle Gnepper, I write this column. (OK, it helps that Mike Gold lets me.) Because of Matt Wright, I’ve gone from gingerly tiptoeing around 12 pages of simple interior art to crashing my way through 18 pages of the most complicated, action-packed work I’ve ever done. It’s because of those friends I smiled at complete strangers and pitched my wares with a steely grin, confident that the product on our li’l eight footer could stand next to anything else on the convention floor, and be considering a quality book.

I made that leap, and figured that the world of independent comic bookery was a lone-wolf business. DC and Marvel, Image, Avatar, Boom, and others – places I’d kill to be a card-carrying employee of – but knowledgable enough to know that it takes them coming to me (and me being worthy of them) that would make that dream come true. And given how cutthroat the industry felt from the outside looking in, I always assumed that the introverted artists holed up in the Alleys were happy to sell you a book, and drown their sorrows at BeerCon when the show ended; alone. Now, after half a decade in the trenches? I know now how very wrong I was.

I started in this business alone with my logo-mates in tow. I type before you now, amongst a veritable community of cohorts – all of whom share in my successes, and console me in my failures. It’s only fitting I take time out to give them their due. My column this morning is an affirmation that the Artist Alley is not a dark and scary place. In fact, it’s the most inclusive and sobering reminder that my dreams are what crush the perception of loneliness I’d anticipated long ago.


Mindy Newell: The Patient Nurse Conversation

I had a good conversation with Mr. Gold on the phone yesterday, as in Mike, editor and columnist here at ComicMix and a columnist over at Michael Davis World, as in Michael Davis who is also a columnist on this site.  Did I ever mention that the comics industry can be a bit professionally incestuous?

Back to Mike, the gourmet of invisible doughnuts (here)—oh, and btw, although once in a while I’ve seen patients respond to anesthesia the way Mike did, I’ve never seen or heard of, and no one I spoke to at work has ever seen or heard of, anyone munching down on invisible donuts while in the ICU—I apologized for not warning him about just how miserable shoulder replacement surgery, and its immediate aftermath, can be.  “I didn’t want to scare you,” I said.  “Especially after seeing the X-ray you sent me.  To be perfectly honest, Michael, my professional reaction was, “HOLY SHIT!” (In other words, guys, Mike had no shoulder left.)

Mike, surprisingly, at least to me, said, and with no malice at all, “Why not?”  I guess better the devil you know, y’know?


Mike Gold and His Invisible Donuts

(For reasons that will become obvious, this, my first column in about a month, is to be run both on www.MichaelDavisWorld.com and on www.ComicMix.com. Go nuts; read it twice and offer contradictory comments!)

I have a friend named Larry Schlam, a noted child’s rights advocate and a former Bronx street-corner singer. Back around 1973 he and I were cutting through the Montgomery Ward store in downtown Chicago and I wanted to stop at their donut shop, which was excellent. Larry, who is prone to eating frog’s legs and sushi (not necessarily together), explained the concept of “empty calories.” This past month, I learned the concept of invisible donuts.

This winter, the convention has been to slip on the massive ice floe that has engulfed most of this nation east of the Rocky Mountains. That’s not for me. I don’t roll that way. A month ago I took a fall about thirty feet below the ice, at the Times Square subway station. Had this not been an accident, I would have had the foresight to bring along a coffee can to collect contributions. Intention aside, I managed to pulverize my left shoulder – and, of course, I’m left-handed. I’m damn near left-everything.

But I say “pulverize” instead of “break” because that’s exactly what happened. Several X-Ray technicians, emergency room personnel, and my surgeon-to-be all wondered why I wasn’t on a morphine drip. Nonetheless, my shoulder replacement surgery was scheduled for about two weeks later, doubtlessly so I had time to reflect upon my behavior. However, I was given Oxycodone and Vicodin to battle the pain. They said I was stoic. I said it hurt.

Both are opiates and are taken recreationally by some. Contrary to common wisdom medicine is an art form and not a science – what works for you could be no more effective than a Skittle for me. The meds helped with the pain, but the concurrent high was insufficient for me to break out my Jimi Hendrix albums. So it goes.

When it finally came time to go under the knife, I was told I’d be in hospital for one night, maybe two. Surgery was scheduled for the last Monday in February. But I woke up on Thursday with a bit of grogginess and that whole unmentionable catheter thing (yes, guys, you too can squirm). Being in compos mentis, I figured I was wrong and the surgery must have happened on Wednesday.

Well, I was wrong. The new shoulder went in on Monday, and Tuesday evening I had a severe reaction to the anesthesia. My blood oxygen was down to a near-lethal level and I was acting like – in the words of my gifted daughter Adriane – a 220 pound drunken three year old. Evidently I was funny and charming, but I scared the hell out of the assembled medical practitioners. As I do not drink alcohol and do not have a street drug problem (they called around to confirm this), they were dumbfounded.

Meanwhile, I was having a blast. Prior to my blood oxygen train wreck I announced to the assembled masses that two boxes of invisible donuts had just materialized on my chest. Given the circumstances, I believe there was some attempt to quantify the humor of my revelation. A short time later, Adriane saw me pantomiming eating those donuts. She asked “Are you, ah, eating those donuts?” I responded mouth-closed (even in my condo in Wackyland, I endeavor to remain polite) by opening my eyes brightly and nodding happily.

I’m told I spent Wednesday in the ICU until my numbers recovered, and I was discharged the following Friday. My new shoulder has more chrome in it than a ’57 Buick and I still can’t use my left arm for more than a few minutes – this piece will have taken me about six times as long to write. After a few more doctors, I’ll be starting physical therapy in a couple weeks. Larry Hama, who’s been through this type of thing and just had a hip replacement, advised me “Whatever the therapist tells you to do, do it.” That’s good enough for me.

So I haven’t quite disappeared from the planet as of yet. I’m blessed with good friends, comrades who cover for me without squawking, a wonderful slew of professionals at Norwalk and Stamford Hospitals, and a daughter so awesome and self-sacrificing I wonder what I did in a prior life to deserve her.

Invisible donuts are just as satisfying as the real thing – but getting them is a bitch.

Mike Gold will get back to performing his weekly two-hour Weird Sounds Inside The Gold Mind ass-kicking rock, blues and blather radio show on The Point, www.getthepointradio.com and on iNetRadio, www.iNetRadio.com as part of “Hit Oldies” every Sunday at 7:00 PM Eastern, rebroadcast three times during the week – check www.getthepointradio.com above for times and on-demand streaming information. He thinks this will happen on Sunday, March 16th. Gold also joins MDW’s Marc Alan Fishman, Martha Thomases and Michael Davis as a weekly columnist at www.comicmix.com where he pontificates on matters of four-color. Gold also joins ComicMix’s Marc Alan Fishman, Martha Thomases and Michael Davis as a weekly columnist at www.michaeldavisworld.com, and chances are you’re presently reading these words at one of those two venues.

Harold Ramis: 1944-2014

Harold Ramis: 1944-2014

Actor, writer, producer and director Harold Ramis, who made many of the most iconic comedy hits of the 1980s and 1990s, died today at his home in Chicago. He was 69. The award-winning comedy filmmaker who co-starred in and co-wrote [[[Ghostbusters]]], [[[Ghostbusters II]]], and [[[Stripes]]] passed away from complications related to auto-immune inflammatory vasculitis which he’d battled for four years.

Chicago native Ramis graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, MO and worked as a joke editor for Playboy Magazine before launching his career as a writer for The National Lampoon Radio Hour, the radio show that was a launching pad for a who’s who of future comedy stars and collaborators including Chevy Chase, John Belushi, Richard Belzer, Bill Murray, and Gilda Radner. Rising alongside his peers in the late-’70s comedy scene, Ramis came up through Chicago’s Second City improv troupe and was head writer on sketch comedy show SCTV before breaking into Hollywood as the co-writer of 1978′s [[[National Lampoon’s Animal House]]]. The campus comedy sparked his hot streak through the ’80s and Ramis’s career as a writer, director and actor skyrocketed from there. He wrote camp comedy [[[Meatballs]]] (1979) the next year before making his directorial debut with the Chevy Chase-Rodney Dangerfield classic [[[Caddyshack]]] (1980), which he also wrote with Douglas Kenney and Brian Doyle-Murray. Caddyshack went on to become a cult hit and was named one of AFI’s Top 100 Funniest Films of all time.

via Ghostbusters’ Ramis Dead at 69.

Mike Gold will have his own stories about Harold Ramis later. Our condolences to his family and friends.

John Ostrander: The Scar-Faced Cupid of Comics

Writing this on Valentine’s Day, I’m drawn back to consider comics and my love life. Not my love of comics, although there is that, but as an active part of my love life.  There are two great loves in my life, my late wife Kim Yale and my current partner, Mary Mitchell. Oddly enough, I met both of them at comic book conventions.

When I first met Kim, she was married and I didn’t mess with married women. Eventually, that marriage didn’t work out but Kim and I didn’t get together right away. Truth to tell, before Kim and I did start going out, I hadn’t been on a date in over two years. For me, the whole dating/mating scene had become too painful. Getting my hopes up, excited by a possibility, only to have each relationship bottom out – it was too much.

Kim and I had worked on my Doctor Who play project together (that also crashed and burned) so we were friendly and at that point she lived about 16 blocks from me on the north side of Chicago. One day, I got a letter from her; she had read a GrimJack issue, “My Sins Remembered”, and it had really affected her, bringing up memories of her brother. I was touched but also confused and called her on the phone; I wondered why she had written, why didn’t she just call me to talk about it. She said that sometimes these things were better written. As a writer, I could only agree. Still, I asked her if she wanted to go out and have a cup of coffee or something and talk about it some more; I sensed there was more she needed to discuss. She said yes, we met, and that night was the start of us together.

We later referred to John Gaunt (GrimJack) as our “scar faced Cupid”. He brought us together and was part of our life thereafter. Eventually, Kim and I would write together about his early life in the “Young Blood” series that ran in the back of GrimJack for the final 12 issues. She was the only person I’ve ever allowed to co-write GrimJack with me.

Kim became very involved in the comic scene as well. We co-wrote other books together – Suicide Squad and Manhunter. She became an assistant editor at DC Comics working for my buddy Mike Gold, something that took us out of the Midwest and to the East Coast. Kim loved comic book conventions and for years hosted the Women In Comics panel at the Chicago Comic Con which was consistently well attended and was both entertaining and intelligent. She also loved the parties at conventions and could dance the socks off just about anybody; I know I couldn’t keep up and usually went to bed early.

Mary I also met at a Chicago Con; actually, I discovered her when she showed me her portfolio. I was floored by her talent and skill; I still am. She was also a Midwest girl, living on the family farm, and Kim and I urged her to move to the East Coast to try and get more work.

She did but she had a hard time of it for a while so Kim and I suggested that she move in with us in the house we were buying. She agreed. Any favor we did for her was more than paid back when Kim contracted breast cancer. All through the illness, the surgeries, the chemo, and Kim’s decline and death, Mary stood by us, by Kim, and helped.

When Kim died, my world ended. It’s a cliché, I know, but true. My future had always included Kim; we had discussed which one of us was the most likely to pass first and we both thought it would be me. Instead it was Kim who died first and my whole idea of what my future would be was gone. There was no longer a future.

Mary stayed on and we co-habited the house strictly as friends until, two years or so later, we became a couple. It caught us by surprise although, evidently, most of our friends saw it coming. Nobody said anything to ME, of course. I guess they thought I’d eventually figure it out although, in my past, I never could tell if a woman was interested with me. Generally they had to use a baseball bat. Mary just sat me down and told me. Once I was told, it seemed like a great idea. It was and is. And I had a future again.

The point of this – I hope you all had a lovely Valentine’s Day but some of you maybe didn’t. Maybe you were alone and lonely. I’ve been there; I know the feeling. Kim didn’t happen until I was well into my Thirties. Although I’m a big romantic, I was romantically inept.

And yet I found Kim. When she died, I thought that part of my life was over. I had someone and she was gone. And then my best friend became the woman I love. If it happened to me – twice – it can happen to you.

Just find your own scar-faced Cupid.

Marc Alan Fishman: Cutting the Cord, and Shredding the Book

The other day Mike Gold shot me a quick e-mail about the WWE Network making its way to Apple TV. I should take this time to note that Mike likes me more than Michael Davis because I give him my articles on Tuesday evening, and they don’t post until Saturday… allowing him optimal time to source images at his leisure. Suffice to say, nya nya nya boo boo. Maybe that’s mean of me, it is Black History Month, after all. According to Jay Pharoah, I should opt to hug MOTU, not take pot shots at his obviously racial laziness. Damn, I’m punchy tonight. But I digress.

I’m punchy, in part, because Mike’s friendly e-mail reminded me that in my own laziness, I’d allowed a whole new technological break-through to settle into near-mainstream amongst my peers without me even considering it. For a good long time  ‘cutting the cord’ on traditional cable was more a signifier of pro-active TV consumption than I cared to debate mentally. With new technology emerging, I simply didn’t ‘buy’ that I could enjoy all that I do via my traditional cable/DVR combo. I should note though that I grew up in a home without cable. When I made my way to college, faced with the sudden luxury of dozens of channels churning out reruns and crappy original programming I’d never been previously accustomed to led me down a dark and slovenly path. Frankly, it’s been the drug I couldn’t quit ever since. Well, that and carbohydrates.

I’d like to think it was my generation that started a small march towards technological freedom. I recall fondly upon signing my first lease for an apartment declaring no need to own a home phone. My parents gawked at the notion. “How will we get a hold of you?!” they’d scream. “Oh, I don’t know, you could call my cell phone, which is literally on my person at all times I’m not otherwise sleeping?” I’d retort like a hipster ordering a Miller Lite. And thus, did me and my kin take our first awkward steps from out of the cave. Soon, we were graduating from MySpace to Facebook, and getting real jobs. City-dwelling friends of mine ditched cars in lieu of state-of-the-art (smells a bit, but it’s cheaper than gas!) public transportation. And now, those who share in muh-muh-my generation are shunning Xfinity, Uverse and Ycable for a whole new shebang.

The future is now, and we better start dealing with it.

I turn back to the argument I started a few weeks prior. I postulated that if someone could figure a way to Netflix up a comic book database, it might very well be the way to take the leap into the next generation. Screw the motion comics, augmented reality links, and ultimate experiences. Deliver me a litany of comic book content on-demand, for a monthly fee so low I can’t possibly deny myself access. If my dream for ComicFlix were to come true… how long would it take to see the death of the local comic shop?

That is to say, the death of what few comic shops still are in business and making enough money to stay in business beyond the calendar year with sincerity.

Let’s ask the tough questions then. Did we all mourn the loss of Blockbusters around the country? When you go to the Comic Con and snag that graphic novel you really wanted for 50% off cover price, do you hide it under your jacket, and leave yourself a reminder to never bring it up at the comic shop for fear the counter jockey will shame you to tears as he eats his last bowl of cup-a-noodles? Doubtful on both counts. Do we come to grips with the moral dilemma of watching our medium take the necessary steps to grow… or do we cling to the past in hopes that somehow everything will just get better though sheer will power? I mean, all those successful movies will get the masses over to invest in pull boxes at some point, right? Right?

Sean Parker and the late Steve Jobs used technology to upend the music industry… services like Spotify, Pandora, and the like are set to revolutionize it. Google, Roku, Hulu, and Netflix are on their way to evolving television. All content delivery is evolving at a rapid pace. The antiquated world of comics is not an uncrackable nut. There’s money to be made, content to be shared, and new fans to convert. If we build it, they will come. It won’t be pretty. But what matters now more than ever is that we find a way to adapt. Pulp and paper can be as good as bytes and pixels. It’s time to put the books down, and flip the tablets on.

That being said, I have a review to do, and I need to crack open my copy of Avengers World. I know, I know… But I have an excuse. My wife has the iPad. Cheers to the future kiddos. Hop on the band wagon before it starts to pick up speed. Lest you have a man a decade or two older making you feel like a luddite. Natch.

Michael Davis: ComicMix Up?

26261My last ComicMix article ran Tuesday past, January 29, 2014. When first posted the image used was so small it almost unreadable. Mike Weber posted the following in the comment section

Heh. That S.H.I.E.L.D. cover you reproduce so illegibly small at the column head was knocked off in the ‘80s for the back glass on a pinball machine named “Blackout”.

I had nothing to do with the art, Mike.

I think since no other art on the site is in such a state, perhaps Mr. Gold did so purposely. He’s fed up with my stuff arriving with but a few minutes to spare and what better way to show me he’s not standing for my shit than sending me a “I’m not standing for your shit’”email this?

There are many reasons why the art is reproduced in such a manner. The top four are listed below:

a) He’s not standing for my shit.

b) Because I’m black.

c) He’s not standing for my shit and I’m black.

d) Or, maybe (and let this be real the actual reason), there’s an issue with the site.

Guess which reason won’t be mentioned during the annual Black Panel at the San Diego Comic Con?

Someone is bound (A Plant? No!) too ask the question, “why is ComicMix disrespecting the most influential and sexist black man who has ever worked in comics?” That person I have never met will certainly follow up with “how can ComicMix hate when he’s committed to finding a cure for sex addiction in pretty women between the ages of 18-21, feeding the hungry and preaching the gospel?”

Then the completely unknown to me person will undoubtedly bring up how each of those noble undertaking are more time consuming than the other (from last to first…give that a sec) and ComicMix should be boycotted.

The following was posted by Doctor R-Man

Hey, Michael.

A bit OT, but I have a question.

Exactly what licensing issues are preventing Milestone characters from seeing use in DC stories?

Could you guys please allow DC to continue to use the characters? I’m hoping you could give DC a chance and sort this out.

It really doesn’t help for a character like Static to be stuck in limbo.


Milestone has decided if DC wants to use our characters they are forbidden to use any person of color in any of their books. They must also stop using the word and the color black. Frankly, we don’t see what the big deal is. We see this as neither unreasonable nor racial.

What do I consider an unreasonable demand?

Let’s see…a letter from a lawyer telling me to stop doing something a million other people are doing. Well, I can’t stop doing it because I have no control over where it’s being done.

But! If I could stop it I would.

Not because I give a flying fuck about some lawyer that my lawyers would destroy like the Seahawks destroyed the Broncos, no, I’d do it just to see the realization of just how dumb a move this was dawn on those who had the letter sent.

That realization would come fast, hard and often when they have to answer the question of why send a cease and desist letter on the eve of Black History Month that demands the removal of a black iconic character from a place where that character is being recognized as a part of black history?

That’s what I would consider unreasonable and what the black press and public would consider racial. I don’t see it as racial but what I see can’t stop what people think.

But Doctor, I (sorry Peter) I digress.

The above two examples are just plain stupid and I’m sure you get the joke that they are two fictional (as of now) instances that illustrate just how wrong a wrong move could be.

To your question about Milestone and DC: other than non-compete clauses and then only when necessary, I don’t comment on contractual agreements when those agreements are still valid that has all the making of a wrong move.

I have no idea where you heard this from, but I’ve got a pretty good idea – if I’m right I feel it’s a bit of a bitch move to say a contract is preventing you from doing something as it always cast the other party as the bad guy. It’s like the police saying someone is a person of interest. Everyone thinks that person is guilty.

Consider the source, when one party feels it needs to speak on what they cannot do because of an agreement there is always a self-serving agenda.

I’ve heard everything from Milestone is preventing DC from using the characters, Milestone is going to Marvel, Milestone runs the east coast drug trade and DC owed us money so Doomsday was sent to kill Superman because of that debt.

My dear Doctor, even if something is true, until it’s confirmed it’s hearsay. On that note, I’d like to take this time and confirm rather or not it’s true or not. The hell with not commenting.

It’s all true. Doomsday worked for us.