Tagged: Stan Lee

Marc Alan Fishman… “and now a word from my sponsor.”

Samurnauts 2Hello all. I freely admit that this week I’m in production hell. I have 11 pages of my own story to letter. 18 more to letter when I get pages in from Matt and Kyle. And then we have to make sure Matt’s beautiful sepia ink washed pages are properly flatted, and carry a steampunk look worthy of Samurnauts quality. All of this needs to be done by the time we’re supposed to be clocking in to our day jobs, come Monday morning.

This is if we’re lucky enough to have some copies of said new book in time for this week’s Wizard World Chicago. Simply put? We have to have the book done. Why? Because issue one debuted at Wally World last year. To show up literally a year later with nothing new in hand, save for a couple Adventure Time/Star Wars posters? Not our style.

So, when in need of inspiration this week to submit a column (instead of phoning in one, like Michael Davis did this week. What?)… I turned to my rock. My redeemer. The one person who above all else makes me a better man. My lovely, intelligent, not-standing-right-behind-me-feeding-me-adjectives wife. I asked her to compile some thoughts of our now 10 years of courtship-turned-marriage. So, I present to you now, my ComicMix brethren… a little sub-article action from Mrs. Kathy Fishman.

Kathy Fishman: So I Married A Comic Book Maker

When I first started dating Marc back in 2001, I wasn’t big into comics. My knowledge didn’t go beyond recognition of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. I didn’t know about the Justice League. I didn’t know there were companies called DC and Marvel. Not to say I wasn’t a nerd in my own right, mind you. I’m a big movie and pop culture nerd. I retain facts that normal people don’t. Marc likes to joke that I can name certain production people like best boys and key grips, accountants and caterers. I’m actually pretty passionate about movies and it irks me to no end when people don’t get a quote just right. But that’s me.

When Marc first told me that he wanted to make comics for a living, I won’t lie: I was skeptical. I thought he would get bored with it or completely abandon the project when things didn’t quite take off. Little did I know about Marc’s perseverance and commitment to this idea. With the help of his “brothers from other mothers”, Matt and Kyle, Unshaven Comics took a few years to really get off the ground. In 2008, they started with a commissioned piece entitled The March, which after years of attending Wizard World as fans, they were now on the other side of the table. It did decent enough and I ran after Dan DiDio to give him a copy and ask him to visit the table. I did corner him, but he never did come to the table that year. I was mortified.

Since those humble beginnings, I’ve watched Unshaven Comics come to create something that all ages can enjoy. C’mon, who doesn’t love an immortal kung-fu monkey? Each year, old fans ask when the next one is coming out, and I’ve seen first hand how each con attended by Marc and the boys garners a wealth of new fans. And each year, we get closer to San Diego, the holy grail of comic conventions. I admit it; I’m in this game for the eventual vacation to visit Michael Davis (What?).

So what has it been like for me to watch my husband try to live out his dream while juggling a day job, a wife, a toddler, freelance work, bills and just life in general? Well, it certainly has not a bowl of cherries. It’s annoying because we don’t spend a lot of time together. It’s frustrating because something will get in the way of production like an emergency freelance job which leaves poor Marc frustrated. But, at the same time, it’s awesome to watch the process. It’s awesome to watch little faces (and big faces) light up at the mention of the word “monkey”. It’s precious when our son Bennett sits on daddy’s lap, and proceeds to steal his Wacom pen, and runs around the basement to Marc’s chagrin.

If this endeavor takes time away from his family and there’s no guarantee it’ll be lucrative, then why do I let him do it? Because I like seeing him happy. Because I know he’s passionate about something. Because I promised to support him. Because I believe in the end product. Because I love him. Who am I to take away something he loves? It’s not some hobby for Marc. This is what he wants to do. It’s not my place to squash that.

To Marc, and really to all the Comic Makers out there: I say keep on keeping on. Frustrating or not, I will support you and Unshaven Comics until the day you decide to no longer make comics (Marc: which is never!). In the immortal words of Stan Lee, with whom you share a birthday: Excelsior!

SUNDAY: John Ostrander

MONDAY: Mindy Newell


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!

Dennis O’Neil: Marvel Movie Munchkin

O'Neil Art 130523Short people got no reason

Short people got no reason

Short people got no reason

To live

Randy Newman

 Obviously, the honchos at the multi-media behemoth that Marvel Comics has become don’t agree with Mr. Newman’s lyricized sentiment. There was an item on Yahoo’s news site that told all of us who care about such information that Mighty Marvel is planning an Ant-Man movie.

Well, this could be a real creative challenge, because Ant Man was never what you’d consider a game-changing creation. His superpower was…he could shrink, like a cheat suit. But he did retain the strength he had as a full-size dude. Okay, that doesn’t seem like a trope that would suggest myriad storylines and that may be one of the reasons that the original Ant Man didn’t last too long, at least not as Ant Man. After sharing one of Marvel’s Tales to Astonish with the Hulk for a bit, Ant-Man switched personae and became Giant Man, who later called himself Goliath. He was big.

The little-guy-with-big-muscles idea wasn’t originated by Ant-Man’s creative team, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Marvel’s rival, DC, had several heroes who were known, individually, as The Atom. The first, who trod DC’s pages way back in 1940, was Al Pratt and he didn’t change size. He was just not very large, but, boy, was he tough! The second of DC’s Atoms, brought to life during Julius Schwartz’s wholesale reinvention of DC’s superhero pantheon, was Ray Palmer, a scientist whose futzing with some white dwarf star stuff that somehow landed on Earth enabled him to shrink while retaining his molecular mass, a stunt he apparently shared with Ant-Man. (This, by the way,explains what happens to the mass that’s apparently lost in the shrinkage. It doesn’t go anywhere, it just gets more dense. You science lovers satisfied now?)

There have been several additional versions of both Ant-Man and the Atom since the originals moved on. But I’m a silver age guy so I’ll ignore them. (And if any of them don’t like it, they can just go get shrunk.)

Back to the movie. The film makers told a convention audience that, though the flick will have humor, it won’t be a spoof. And that causes me to want to see it. The other superhero entertainments, past and present, delivered what we expected. Some of them delivered it extraordinarily well, but they didn’t stray too far from the basic good guy’s-powers-defeat-bad-guy’s powers structure, nor should they. But Ant-Man might prompt a different approach – present a challenge to which the film guys can rise. Watching them do that might be worth a trip to the multiplex.

RECOMMENDED READING: (You thought we were done with Iron Man? Not quite, Bucko.) Inventing Iron Man, by E. Paul Zehr and Warren Ellis.

FRIDAY: Martha Thomases

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman


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


See Iron Man 3 in IMAX and get an Exclusive Poster

IM3If you can’t wait to see Iron Man 3 and are lining up for the 12:01 a.m. IMAX screening on May 3, know that you will be rewarded with an exclusive one-sheet. The artwork is by Jock, the British artist better know for Vertigo’s  The Losers than he is Marvel heroes. This is a three-way collaboration between Marvel Studios, IMAX and Mondo.

Marvel’s Iron Man 3 pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test hismettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Stephanie Szostak, James Badge Dale with Jon Favreau and Ben Kingsley, Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” is directed by Shane Black from a screenplay by Drew Pearce & Shane Black and is based on Marvel’s iconic Super Hero Iron Man, who first appeared on the pages of Tales of Suspense #39 in 1963 and had his solo comic book debut with The Invincible Iron Man #1 in May of 1968.

Iron Man 3 is presented by Marvel Studios in association with Paramount Pictures and DMG Entertainment. Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige is producing and Jon Favreau, Louis D’Esposito, Charles Newirth, Victoria Alonso, Stephen Broussard, Alan Fine, Stan Lee and Dan Mintz are executive producers. The film releases May 3, 2013, and is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.Watch the new trailer on Tuesday exclusively on iTunes Movie Trailers!

Catch the new Iron Man 3 Trailer

For those who can’t wait to see it on the big screen with Oz the Great and Powerful this weekend, Disney has released the new Iron Man 3 trailer online.

Iron Man in his Bleeding Edge armor. Cover art...

Marvel’s Iron Man 3 pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Stephanie Szostak, James Badge Dale with Jon Favreau and Ben Kingsley, Marvel’s Iron Man 3 is directed by Shane Black from a screenplay by Drew Pearce & Shane Black and is based on Marvel’s iconic Super Hero Iron Man, who first appeared on the pages of Tales of Suspense” #39 in 1963 and had his solo comic book debut with The Invincible Iron Man #1 in May of 1968.

Genre: Action-adventure
U.S. Release date: May 3, 2013

Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Stephanie Szostak, James Badge Dale with Jon Favreau and Ben Kingsley
Director: Shane Black
Producer: Kevin Feige
Executive Producers: Jon Favreau, Louis D’Esposito, Charles Newirth, Victoria Alonso, Stephen Broussard, Alan Fine, Stan Lee, Dan Mintz
Screenplay by: Drew Pearce & Shane Black

Dennis O’Neil: Fredric Wertham, Superhero?

O''Neil Art 130328Did Fredric Wertham imitate superheroes? And if so, did he realize that he was doing it?

But let’s back up and give you latecomers an establishing shot or two. Way back in the early 50s, Dr. Wertham, a New York City psychiatrist, wrote a book provocatively titled Seduction of the Innocent which claimed to use science to demonstrate that comic books were corrupting the nation’s youth. Comics were already being attacked by editorial writers and at about the same time as the book’s publication, a senator named Estes Kefauver was convening hearings to investigate the same charge. The result of all this accusing was twofold: comics publishers went out of business leaving over 800 people suddenly unemployed, and the ragtag remnants of the business created The Comics Code Authority to censor their publications and thus placate the witch hunters. The comic book enterprise went into sharp decline, both financially and artistically until the late 50s, when Julius Schwartz and Stan Lee reinvented the superhero genre.

A sorry story. But ancient history. Well, not quite. Dr. Wertham was back in the news last week. According to the New York Times, Carol L. Tilley of the University of Illinois, examined Wertham’s papers and found numerous examples of research that were “manipulated, overstated, compromised and fabricated.”

Wow. And ouch. Not only did the doctor help put hundreds of decent folk out of work and, arguably, cripple an American art form, but he cooked the books to do it. There have been, for decades, doubts about Wertham’s methods, perhaps the most prevalent of which was that he ignored the validity of control groups. (Okay, goes the narrative, the doc found a hundred young lawbreakers who read comics, but he disregarded the thousands of Eagle Scouts who were also comics readers.) But until now, nobody has accused him of outright lying

Apparently he did lie.

I wonder why. Did he find these entertainments so unutterably vulgar that he was able to convince himself that they were also malign? Was he a zealot who honestly believed that these comic books were pernicious! and corrupt! and evil! and were obliterating the decency of American youth? And did he feel that he was justified in using any means available to quell this menace? That seems to be how zealots like to think.

Or was he a superhero? Consider: the bad guys in superhero stories may blather about ruling the world or getting rich or attaining revenge or, like zealots, proving that they’re right, but the real reason they exist is to give the hero a chance to show his stuff. We like heroes, and we like them to do magnificent deeds, and villains provide the circumstances for superheroic action.  So, Dr. Wertham: did he see, in the anti-comic book excitement, a chance to get famous and cement his reputation and maybe grab a royalty check? Were comics his supervillains, giving him his big opportunity? He was already respected and, on the whole, he seemed to be a pretty decent guy, but maybe he had his share of hidden demons.

I don’t know. I’ll probably never know, and neither will you. But we might find a lesson in the Wertham saga: don’t trust authority figures. I hope that isn’t news to you.

FRIDAY: Martha Thomases

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman


Michael Davis: Your Comics Suck

Davis Art 130115When I was a kid, comics were all I thought about. There was no better time in my day than when I was finished all my crap schoolwork and was able to turn my attention to the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man or Batman

I was a child of DC but soon I was just as vested in Marvel as I was in DC. I remember when Kirby left Marvel to do the Fourth World books at DC. That to me at the time was as big a deal as Obama becoming the first black President is now.


Kirby coming to DC was Huge. I’ll never forget when I got my first issue of the Forever People and saw Kirby’s Here on the cover.

Comics golden age for me was the second silver age. That second silver age was Walt Simonson’s Thor, Howard Chaykin’s American Flagg!, Frank Miller’s Daredevil, Marvel’s Secret Wars, The Killing Joke, the Dark Knight, The Watchmen and about another dozen or so titles.

I freely admit that I’m biased in my thinking about comics and what’s important and what’s not. I also freely admit that I have no right nor do have any influence over what you may think.


In my day I think comics were better than they are today.

That’s my opinion and I’m welcome to it but consider the following before you dismiss me, are you tired of new universes and new number ones?

In my day a number one was the Holy Grail of the comic book world.


New number ones are as common as a new Kardashian lover and just as relevant.

While I’m on the subject, Kim Kardashian has no talent and contributes nothing to the world, yet millions of people hang on her every stupid move.  Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing but respect for her milking America for millions of dollars when she has no value whatsoever.

That’s not a joke, I respect anyone who can figure out a way to milk millions from people with absolutely no talent or value. Again I’m not kidding I respect that kind of moxey.


Come the (bad word here) on, what does she or her family contribute except some of them have really nice tits? Oh and yes, I’d hit that but that’s beside the point. She and her family really have no significance in the real world.

Comics on the other hand do have significance in the real world.

How so you ask?

A hundred years from now Superman will still be relevant. Kim? She may not be relevant in two years. I know this for sure because America has a way of waking up to bullshit. It may take a moment but soon perhaps very soon the country and world will see that the Emperor (Empress?) has no clothes.

How do I know this for sure? Two words: Paris Hilton.

But I digress (thinking about you, Peter). I maintain that the comics in my day were better than the comics today and what follows are my admittedly flawed arguments.

When ever a comic universe goes to a new number one that erases the vast history of what was gone before. It’s a ‘do over’ and a ‘screw you’ to fans that loved the universe at the same time. When Marvel did Secret Wars and DC did Crisis those were really massive events but they were not do overs or a screw you to fans. Those were events that changed the universe not events that discarded the universe.

They were also the kind of events you talked about for years because they really were events.

Now an event is talked about until the next event, two, three weeks later.

B L A M!! R I M S H O T !! I’m here all week! Try the veal! Herman Cain, try the watermelon!

When Marv Wolfman killed Barry Allen (something to this day I have not forgiven him for) I felt that lost. When Stan Lee killed Gwen Stacy I felt I had lost a girlfriend. Now these sort of deaths are commonplace and it my humble opinion it’s because of Superman.

When Superman “died” no one and I mean no one in the comic book world thought for a second he was really dead. The only people who thought he was really dead were the suckers who brought 50 copies thinking one day they would be worth millions.


If you can kill the most important superhero in the history of the industry then everything and I mean everything is fair game.


That fair game seems to be monthly now. When DC killed Superman it, at the time, was a bold move designed to boost the icon’s lagging sales. Now characters dying, coming out of the closet, going over to the dark side, etc. is no longer an event it’s as common as the Cubs not making the World Series. The Cubs suck; that’s why they don’t make the series. Comic book creators don’t suck; comic book creators are better than the bullshit event like Archie kissing a black girl.

What the heck was that anyway? Archie Andrews pulling a black girl? Talk about imaginary stories.

Yes, I’m quite aware that the audience today is not me. Yes, there are books being done today that quite frankly are works of art and literary genius. Yes, some books today have transcended comics, TV and film and become part of what fuels movements.


Forget all of that. In my day comics were better and that is that.

Bottom line your comics suck and mine don’t.

So there.

WEDNESDAY: Mike Gold Babbles On and On…


Happy 90th birthday, Stan Lee!

Happy birthday to Stan the Man! (If you don’t know who he is, we can’t imagine why you’re even reading this website.)

Excelsior from all of us true believers! May you keep making cameos in Marvel films for decades to come…

…in fact, we have most of them here.



The Point Radio: ARROW’s Aim Is Still True

As ARROW  hits the halfway mark of the TV season, fans and critics alike say it keeps getting better. We go backstage with the creators and cast to find out how they got this far, and what lies ahead for new characters including one played by fan favorite John Barrowman. Plus How about Captain Kirk, Ron Burgundy or Spock doing your voice mail message? It can happen if you hurry.

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.