Tagged: Robert Kirkman

Marc Alan Fishman: Rebooted, Rewritten, Revolting

I gave up buying comics monthly basically two years ago. The New52 let me down. Marvel’s events didn’t grab my gaze either. With Marvel’s TV and movies being excellent alternatives, and DC’s archives of animated adventures at my beck and call, I was as comically sated as I needed to be. And seemingly, I’ve not missed much in the down time since.

And then, seemingly out of nowhere, a whole mess of news hit the wires. The two biggest ones to note: Eric Stephenson of Image Comics had the same rant Robert Kirkman had five years ago, and Grant Morrison, Warren Ellis, Garth Ennis, Alan Moore, and plenty of other big names have had prior to them. My ComicMix compatriot Molly Jackson covered it well. For those who are afraid of clicking? Stephenson came out to proclaim it was time to stop cutting corners for short term success, and to celebrate our collective creativity to build new characters and such. You can’t see it, obviously, but I’ve only got one eyebrow and one corner of my mouth in the “up” position.

Stephenson’s call to arms aside, DC went ahead and announced their next short term success gamble “DC REBIRTH”. What is it exactly? It’s not a reboot. It’s not a retcon. It’s not a reshaping of their universe. No, they don’t want you to think any of that. What it is, according to their own newspost, is a line-wide title relaunch. Which is so not a reboot, guys. The non-event begins in June with REBIRTH Specials for Aquaman, Batman, The Flash, Green Lanterns, Superman, Titans, and Wonder Woman. In the same month, there will be $2.99 releases – two times a month – for Aquaman, Batman, The Flash, Green Arrow, Green Lanterns, Superman, and Wonder Woman. Oh, and Action Comics and Detective Comics.

I’d like to stop right here to denote that during an interview about this so totally not a reboot, seriously dudes, DC Co-Publisher Dan DiDio said (and he speaks FAST, so I’m paraphrasing):

“I thought that was a big issue (the price drop). We’ve seen a lot of resistance to the prices creeping up. And it was a great thing for us to get people to reinvest in DC Comics, with these double ships.”

So, if you like Batman (and who doesn’t!)… and you’re ready to reinvest in DC Comics? Well then! Get ready for a REBIRTH special, and 4 issues of Batman between his self-titled release and Detective Comics. Five books in a month. And DiDio was quick to note that REBIRTH brings with it a “return to continuity” and “universe building”. That’s code for you’ll want to buy all the books to see the bigger picture. If that doesn’t set Eric Stephenson on fire from frustration, I don’t know what would.

Therein lay the rub. Every so often, our best and brightest scream to the heavens with desire to change the world. But they seemingly forget their success doesn’t work the same for everyone else. DC Comics won’t invest in new characters, stories, and ideas when they can mine their history in an unending loop. When they hit the reset button twice a decade – or more – it equals short term sales spikes they then attempt to clutch to in order to reach that brass ring of sales they haven’t seen since their last short term spike effort.

And don’t think I’m not looking with a crooked eye at Marvel. Because it’s a whole ‘nother article for me to write about choking your coffers with continuity. All-New All-Different Superior Spider-Verse I’m looking at you.

The fact is no speech will change the way our medium works. The movies and TV shows will rake in the real profits, while the comics continue to build, destroy, and re-release in perpetuity. For better or worse… this is the way of world.

If you don’t like it? Wait 6 months. It’ll reboot soon enough.

(Image hat-tip to Super-Team Family: The Lost Issues!)

The Point Radio: Z NATION Gets More Life

SyFy has renewed their light hearted zombie drama, Z NATION, and we talk to showrunner Craig Engler and (former) star Tom Everett Scott on how they plot their path to be different than that OTHER zombie series. Plus actor Mark Consuelos gets us set up for the new season of ALPHA HOUSE, premiering today on Amazon Prime Video.

THE POINT covers it 24/7! Take us ANYWHERE on ANY mobile device (Apple or Android). Just  get the free app, iNet Radio in The  iTunes App store – and it’s FREE!  The Point Radio  – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE  – and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.

The Point Radio: The Town That Loves Zombies

For six years, the town of Jasper, Alabama has been struggling to complete an independent zombie film. Now SyFy is shining a light on their plight with the docu-series, TOWN OF LIVING DEAD and we talk with resident Tina Teeter on how her life has been eaten up by they project. Plus BAR RESCUE star, Jon Taffer, is back with checkbook in hand but is there anyone who deserves his help?

We are covering New York Comic Con in a big way.  To see what we are up to, follow us on Twitter and Instagram. And if you can’t make the show, we are carrying LIVE video feeds from NYCC at our website, GetThePointRadio.Com starting on Thursday. Don’t miss a minute.

THE POINT covers it 24/7! Take us ANYWHERE on ANY mobile device (Apple or Android). Just  get the free app, iNet Radio in The  iTunes App store – and it’s FREE!  The Point Radio  – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE  – and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.

Marc Alan Fishman: Con Shopping Extravaganza!

While I am buried deep under a pile of production – completing “The Samurnauts: Curse of the Dreadnuts #3” in time for Wizard World Chicago later this month – Editor Mike reached out to inspire me. In other words, he didn’t want me to bore ya’ll one more time with my annual bitching session regarding the passion of the indie creator. Instead, he suggested I suggest to you, my adoring public, a few books that I’m reading and loving right now… that do not come from the big two publishers. There was only one problem with this prompt.

Since I’ve been knee-deep in digital art-ing, lettering, editing, coloring, and laying out(ing?) a comic for the last month or so… I’ve basically all but stopped reading comics.

Of course I could fall back on my staple suggestions: Touching Evil by Dan Dougherty, Solution Squad by Jim and Rose McClain, Product of Society by Cheeselord Comics, and Monkey Fist by Sun Bros. Studios. But then it dawned on me, I could kill two birds with one stone! I could excite the masses about the passion of indie comics without suggesting any particular book at all. Indeed kiddos, I could be that good.

When the book is off to the printers and my life is freed up once more to consume amazing comics, I’ll find myself at Wizard World Chicago. And where better than the annual comic con to take a chance to immerse myself in sequential fiction not otherwise touched by Mickey Mouse or Brother Warner. My plan is simple:

Seek books within Artist Alley, and Artist Alley alone.

Across dozens of tables will sit books built first and foremost out of passion. While it’s likely true that Scott Snyder is symbiotically betrothed to Batman, at the end of the day the caped crusader is not Mr. Snyder’s own creation. Not to get all Robert Kirkmanny here, but there’s something to be said when a book is wholly the idea of a given writer (and/or artist). Without the constraint of an editorial office, calendar, or marketing strategy, an indie title has the least weight on its shoulders to succeed. Of course the alley cat who peddles the pulp sure wants due-payment and fortune. Suffice to say though, there are far fewer hands in the cookie jar wanting their rightful crumbs. Because of that, I’ve found that the independent book tends to push the edge harder conceptually speaking. And because of that, the books may not be as polished on the page, but they read incredibly in the mind.

Set a budget, and buy a breadth of material – not pour a fortune down one well.

As a creator I want nothing more than passersby to be so enamored with The Samurnauts that they feel compelled to purchase every last ounce of material available at the table. But turn that table around and I’m often a misanthropic cheapskate. In a case of “Fool me once, shame on me…” a few times I got snookered into less-than-stellar indie titles in my early twenties. Because this was well before the near-affordable print-on-demand days, these indie rags went for double the price of a typical DC or Marvel book. And they weren’t in color. And they were poorly written, drawn schizophrenically, and sold to me under false pretense.

Well, a decade later, and I’ve crawled out from the behind the rock. My tactic is simple: Get the pitch, agree with the pitch, look over the product, ensure the product is priced appropriately, and make the damned purchase. But I digress.

The key to making the most out of exploring the Artist Alley is as I’ve noted above: it’s all about trying out a ton, not committing to an entire series without first enjoying only a taste. If an artist is worth their salt, they’ll make their line of work available to me after the show is over, or at very least offer up to me the next shows they’ll do. In the day and age in which we live, social media is the great uniter. And any artist in the alley not taking advantage of the free services that open their art and products to the world simply do not deserve my continued business.

In essence, my trip through the convention will be amassing an unencumbered anthology specific to the genres, art styles, and creators I find most akin to my wants and desires. And with an open mind (and an empty stomach…), I’m going to make it a mission to be social. To look every creator in the eye, and proudly ask them to tell me about their comic.

And in a few weeks, I’m going to let all of you know exactly how it went. Excelsior.


“The Walking Dead” Is Bigger Than Football

The Walking Dead

Late, but worth noting: nowadays, TV shows based on comics outscore the NFL. And that’s why there are seven new shows coming that are based on comics.

And among the people with real buying power, The Walking Dead won. Imagine that. We now have a new emblem of Americanness. “Oh, Cody was like the typical all-American kid in high school. Blonde hair, blue eyes, was president of the Walking Dead fan club.”

via ‘The Walking Dead’ Is Bigger Than Football – The Wire.

The Point Radio: THE WRITER’S ROOM Opens Again

COMMUNITY’s Jim Rash is back in THE WRITER’S ROOM for another season, and he previews it all here for us including an episode dedicated exclusively to comic book shows. Plus Tyler Labine talks about his new paranormal comedy, DEADBEAT, which is ready for your binge watching and Thanos will pull the Marvel Universe closer together.

THE POINT covers it 24/7! Take us ANYWHERE on ANY mobile device (Apple or Android). Just  get the free app, iNet Radio in The  iTunes App store – and it’s FREE!  The Point Radio  – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE  – and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.

Marc Alan Fishman: The Shoot Promo on Comics

Fishman Art 131123The professional wrestler C.M. Punk truly made his mark and broke free of the shackles of mid-card obscurity by way of his infamous pipe bomb shoot promo. For those not in-the-know, a shoot in wrestling is an interview (or soliloquy some of the time) wherein said grappler breaks the fourth wall. As relived in this week’s WTF podcast, Punk was vivid in saying that this promo was done because he was at the end of his rope.

With the WWE wanting him to resign for three more years and Punk decidedly against continuing to not be the guy on the roster, Vince McMahon allowed him to air his grievances live on their Monday night broadcast. If Punk captured the zeitgeist, he’d be a made-man forever in wrestling (which, by my count, is a little over two years). If he failed, he’d be gone, buried back in VA halls wrestling for gas money, and be nothing more than a footnote in WWE’s now 50-year history.

The shoot worked. Punk resigned, and ruled the company with an iron fist until he literally could give no more. The glass ceiling was shattered on the “norm” of the product, and wrestling now is forever changed. Well, maybe not, but I’ll circle back round that idea in a bit.

Why do I bring this up? Well, for one, because it’s topical to me. I was just listening to the podcast on my way home from work tonight. Beyond that, it dawned on me that with all the coverage and snark that exists in the world of comics… there is no C.M. Punk. There is no shoot promo to cut, on any live broadcast. There’s only guys like me; indie creators and op-ed columnists chasing windmills and yelling into the wind. But this here is my stage. This here is my time. So, allow me to speak ill of the industry I wish every damned day I was a part of, but know full well I’ll never actually see.

The WWE’s CEO lives a double life as an on-screen performer. He enjoys his product not only for the money it makes but for the crafted product it actually is. Warner Bros and Disney are just faceless boardrooms ruled not by the glee in little kids’ faces, but cold hard cash. Their publishing branches exist for one reason, and one reason only: to keep the movie and TV machines churning. Don’t think for a second that your issues of Batman mean any more to the execs in Burbank than a roll of teepee. It doesn’t. That rag in your hands? The one that has the blood, sweat, and tears of a dozen hard working men and women broiled into its pulp? It’s an incubator of ideas for a movie or cartoon show. It’s a crockpot keeping the license warm. It’s a mosquito light that keeps the most vocal fans distracted. Go ahead, post your death threats if we make Afflec Batman… but hey! Look over there! It’s Zero Year!

We all desire the notion that those behind the rich mahogany desks (being packed up in Midtown Manhattan in 18 months) lie overgrown fanboys and girls that just want to knock the socks off us, the ever-enduring fans of a dying medium. But it too is just a pipedream. The suits that run your comic book publishing companies are shackled to boulders far too big to drag up the mountain. Beyond the goodwill garnered by our little niche market, and the fervent fans that exist at comic cons lie those aforementioned suits in bigger boardrooms that still demand that at the end of the day everything be profitable. Profits occur when sales increase. Sales increase when gimmicks, #1s, and creators that draw a crowd are given the top spots. When a book stops earning what meager profits it can when it’s hot, it’s tossed out with the bathwater and things start again. The era of continuity is long dead. All hail the retcon.

The closest thing we had to C.M. Punk in comics was Robert Kirkman. He took his indie prowess and love of the craft and turned out The Walking Dead. Now, Kirkman is a suit. Behind a desk. Of a multi-media empire. He won the championship belt, and didn’t even have to work for the man to do it. Now, he is the man, and no longer a voice of the voiceless. Like so many though, atop his mountain of money many years ago he gave birth to his manifesto wherein he challenged the industry to veer towards creator-owned projects. Hey Robbie! Trickle-down economics don’t work in real life or in comics. If every known talent jumped off their pedestals at Marvel and DC to come make indie books at Dark Horse, Image, and Boom! the line to replace them would still be wrapped around the vacant Midtown offices and land somewhere in the opposite ocean. Everyone is replaceable when the end goal is product. Not good product. Just product.

The fact is this: After he changed the world and held the WWE title for longer than any wrestler in the last two decades or so, Punk took a much-needed break. When he returned, he was just as our resurrected Jean Greys, Steve Rogers, or Hal Jordans… a hero to be celebrated for what he was, not who he is now. A long and listless program against his on-screen mentor, and Punk is now booked right back in the mid-card where he started. The comic book industry has no panacea to cure itself of the ills we rally against. Just as the WWE fans buy their John Cena Fruity Pebbles Lunchboxes… so too do we comic fans flock to every worthless gimmick they shove on the racks. We make our excuses, we plunk down our money, and we bitch about it on the Internet later.

The only way to make change, is to make it. There is no utopia. There’s only revolution.

SUNDAY: John Ostrander

MONDAY: Mindy Newell


Mike Gold: Screw The Zombies!

Gold Art 130508OK, folks. It’s official. The zombie thing has gone on way too long. Time to stomp them back into the ground and move on.

Truth be told, and with all due respect to George Romero and Robert Kirkman, I was never much of a zombie fan. There’s not a lot you can do with the buggers, and even by stretching the rules and applying our contemporary wussification of the monster legends… there’s still not that much you can do with them.

There have been zombie stories that I’ve enjoyed, particularly Stan Lee and Bill Everett’s classic “Zombie!” from Menace #5, July 1953. Twenty years later this inspired something of a revival with Marvel’s black-and-white magazine Tales of the Zombie. Or, in other words, it took two decades and the combined talents of Roy Thomas, Steve Gerber, John Buscema and Tom Palmer to finally come up with a worthy sequel.

This is not to say that all subsequent zombie stories sucked. Not in the least. But the massive proliferation of zombies throughout our mass media has, you’ll forgive the expression, choked the life out of the concept. By definition, zombies have no personality and not all that much to say. Their diet is really boring: only in St. Louis can the population stomach so much brain meat.

(I’ve eaten brains… once. Once. Believe me, it sounds better than it tastes. To quote musician Steve Goodman, “Even the cockroaches moved next door.” However, it is more palatable than goat’s head soup.)

As we continue to sashay through the 2013 convention season, it is tedious to see that so many cosplayers have chosen this motif as the subject of their craft. It doesn’t take long to glaze over the horde; if you’ve seen one hundred zombies, you’ve seen them all. And by the time my second show of this year’s convention season concluded, believe me, I have seen them all.

It’s time for something new.

Maybe something that’s actually… alive!

THURSDAY: Dennis O’Neil

FRIDAY: Martha Thomases


The Point Radio: Carell, Carrey & Buscemi Make Magic Happen


THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE brings together Steve Carell, Jim Carrey and Steve Buscemi on a quest to bring stage magic to the big screen. They fill us in on how it all came about and how David Copperfield helped make it even better, plus Anna Silk and Kensea Solo talk about this season of SyFy‘s LOST GIRL and why the next season will be even hotter.

Take us ANYWHERE! The Point Radio App is now in the iTunes App store – and it’s FREE! Just search under “pop culture The Point”. The Point Radio  – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun for FREE. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE on any computer or on any other  mobile device with the Tune In Radio app – and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.

The Point Radio: Allison Brie on Annie’s Love Life


NBC’s COMMUNITY has had more than a few changes this run of episodes and series regular, Allison Brie, shares how her character “Annie” will be dealing with “Jeff” (Joel McHale), plus Danny Pudi talks about how the show is still an undiscovered gem to a lot of TV watchers. Plus get set for the biggest DOCTOR WHO Con ever – and zombies are headed to Riverdale.

Take us ANYWHERE! The Point Radio App is now in the iTunes App store – and it’s FREE! Just search under “pop culture The Point”. The Point Radio  – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun for FREE. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE on any computer or on any other  mobile device with the Tune In Radio app – and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.