Tagged: The Spirit

The Point Radio: HANNIBAL Creeps Up On Us


The much anticipated HANNIBAL has finally made it to NBC, but fans are wondering how this version differs from the books and movies that we all know. Executive Producer Brian Filler and actor Hugh Dancy (“Will”) tackle that topic and more. Plus The Rocketeer meets The Spirit, cable ratings have a great weekend and we finally get to see the original STAR WARS.

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Will Eisner’S Soirit Teams with Dave Stevens’ Rocketeer at IDW

Art: Paul Smith

On their WonderCon panel, IDW Publishing announced the upcoming Rocketeer/Spirit crossover. Written by Mark Waid and illustrated by Paul Smith, the four-issue miniseries is called “Pulp Friction” and the first issue will premiere July, 2013.

This project marks the first time Will Eisner’s classic character The Spirit has appeared in new stories since DC Comics “Spirit” title ended in 2008.

Art: Dave Stevens

Art: Will eisner


Art: Neal Adams
Art: Jack Kirby

DC Comics Co-Publisher, Dan Didio was asked the following question on his Facebook page: “Are the Spirit, Doc Savage and the Avenger still at DC? Will we see them again?” A question many pulp fans have wondered since the less than satisfying First Wave series published by DC Comics in 2011.

Didio responded, “Sorry to say but none of these characters are still at DC but here’s hoping that another publisher gets them back in print soon.”

Okay, New Pulp comic book publishers, start your engines.

Where do you think these characters will end up?

Art: Darwyn Cooke

Michael Davis: Once You Go Black, Part 3

If you have not done, so please read last week’s article. Thanks.

I’ve encountered quite a few things in my Hollywood journey. Some great some not so great and some that really sucked.

Really sucked.

I once sold a show on a Monday morning and by Monday night the show was gone and so was my deal.

I once had a great idea for a reality show. I took the idea to a huge Hollywood player with the intention of making him the host of the show. He loved my idea. He loved my idea so much he tried to sue me and take the show. The show I created and asked him to be a part of.

One of the fun things about Hollywood is finding project financing. That’s always the highlight of any deal…not.

My partner in one particular deal was the fantastic writer, TV producer and now huge young adult novelist E. Van Lowe. E (yes, I call him E) and I spent a weekend in San Francisco securing funding for this great project.

We were a well-oiled money getting machine that weekend. We pitched the project like major league all stars and the money people were so impressed we had a yes before we left to go back to L.A. In fact, the meetings went so well that after we sold the idea and spent the rest of the weekend in the city by the bay just hanging out and celebrating our new fully financed deal!

Monday morning bright and early we boarded our flight secure in the knowledge that we were about to make television history!

When we touched down in LAX all was right in the world. E dropped me off at my house and before he left he took a phone call.

The deal was dead.

Dead like Lincoln. What happened? Or in hood speak, What had happened? Why hood speak? Because this is an article about blacks in the entertainment field and unless I throw in some hood speak many in Hollywood won’t take this seriously.

I know, I know. It’s pandering but you have to understand there are some in Hollywood that thinks my Ph.D. stands for pretty hard dick.

Well, continuing hood speak, what had happened was a third partner had decided she had not contributed enough to the closing of the deal so while E and I were happily flying to L.A. that bright Monday morning, she who must not be named was having a talk with the investors at breakfast.

Neither E nor I had any idea she was having this talk, and what a talk it was. She talked us right out of the deal.

Ah yes, there’s no business like show business!

I’ve got more horrible yet uplifting to my enemies stories but I’d best get to the point. In the blah blah years I’ve been doing the Hollywood thing I’ve had some great experiences and some (obviously) not so great experiences. Rather great or sucky I’ve never had a deal go south because I was black.

You would think that the way some in Hollywood react to black properties that would be the standard issue rejection.

Dear Michael Davis,

Thanks for coming in to pitch Negro Stories: Stories about black People.

Unfortunately, although we loved the concept, we could not help but notice there were many segments about black people in your pitch.

We completely understand the need for more diversity on TV but we are a business and everyone knows that black does not sell.

Sorry, homie.


Ian White

Executive, Fox Studios

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard that black doesn’t sell or black is death and many more asinine statements regarding black properties in the entertainment business.

Think about this for a moment. There are people running studios, networks and comic book companies in 2012 that think that black doesn’t sell. These people think that America will not pay to watch black people entertain them.

That’s as stupid as thinking that just because I’m a black man I have a huge peni…nope, wrong example. That’s as stupid as thinking global warming is a myth. Global warming has been proven without a shadow of a doubt. Those people who refuse to believe in it despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary do so, in my opinion, because they simply don’t want to believe it.

Who denies facts? Well the GOP for one, and many in the entertainment business for sure.

Black doesn’t sell?


Here’s a news flash, Hollywood. Young people drive Hollywood revenue. Young people decide what’s hot and what’s not. Pop culture is a young person’s playground.

Here’s the kicker. Black culture is youth culture. Let me be clear, African American culture is youth culture all over the world.

It’s our swagger that drives pop culture. That’s our music your kids are listening too. That’s our style of dress you kids are wearing, that slang you don’t understand comes from us. That’s us who dominates sports, that’s our dance your daughter is trying to do…badly.

The film Heaven’s Gate was made for what was in 1980 an unheard of budget of 50 million dollars. That’s like 75 billion dollars in 2012 money. OK, maybe I’m a tad off but it’s not a stretch to think that in 2012 dollars that 50 million would be upwards of 300 million or more even.

Heaven’s Gate made three million dollars.

Damn! That, as they say in the hood, is ghetto!

Now that would be bad enough if the lost was just 47 million but the lost was much more. The budget was 50 million to make the movie. The adverting and marketing costs added millions more to that sum.


Heaven’s Gate just may be the worst box office disaster in the history of the world…that and The Spirit. Sorry, Frank.

Using the Hollywood formula applied to black movies that box office performance should have prevented another western from being made for years and years. When a black movie fails Hollywood loses its mind and then it’s years before another black movie is made because black means death and black doesn’t sell.

Here’s what I think, when any movie fails, black or white it’s because the movie could not find its audience for whatever reason… or perhaps it’s because the movie sucked.

George Lucas wrote a $58 million dollar check to produce Red Tails, an all black film about the Tuskegee Airmen. He said in an interview that Hollywood did not want to fund the movie because they did not know how to market it.

Translation: black equals death.

The movie did not do well. Here’s my guess why that was. It wasn’t a great movie.


I wanted to like it but there were too many plot issues for me and the film seemed a bit contrived. The movie was the problem, not the racial element.

According to some in Hollywood, when a black movie fails its because it was a black movie – when any other movie fails it’s because of a zillion other reasons.

If that’s not the world is flat thinking then I really don’t know what is.

I’m amazed at the sheer idiotic thinking of some in Hollywood.

Black doesn’t sell?

Will Smith.

Black doesn’t sell?

Oprah Winfrey.

Black doesn’t sell?

Tyler Perry.

Black doesn’t sell?


Black doesn’t sell?


Black doesn’t sell?

Jamie Foxx.

Black doesn’t sell?


Black doesn’t sell?

Denzel Washington

Black doesn’t sell? Bullshit, Mr. Hollywood, simply bullshit. The above list is a very short one to be sure but I think it makes the point rather well.

I think the problem is not that black doesn’t sell Mr. Hollywood but rather you don’t know how to sell black.

End, part 3.

TUESDAY AFTERNOON: Emily S. Whitten wants stuff!

WEDNESDAY MORNING: Mike Gold takes on Secret Identities!




Airship 27 Productions is thrilled to announce the debut of the newest occult investigator in the grand tradition as such notable pulp heroes as William Hodgson Hope’s Carnacki, Seabury Quinn’s Jules de Grandin, Manly Wade Wellman’s John Thunstone and the popular Ravenwood, Stepson of Mystery.
Situated in the rural back country of Edwardian England is an old, mysterious house whose unique owner earns his living as a Spirit-Breaker, a hunter of ghosts.  A former military veteran, Sgt.Roman Janus has devoted his life to aid those haunted, both emotionally and physically by obsessive wraiths whose spirits are still anchored to our world.
Sgt.Janus – Spirit Breaker is the creation of new pulp writer Jim Beard.  Part detective, part occultist, Janus is himself a man of mystery whose own past is shrouded and the motivations behind his calling kept hidden.  Within this volume you will find eight tales as narrated by his clients, each with his or her own perspective on this uncanny hero and his amazing career. Filled with suspense, terror and agonizing pathos, each a solid mesmerizing journey into the unknown world beyond.
Featuring a cover by artist Jeff Herndon and eight stunning illustrations by Eric Johns, with design work by Pulp Factory Award winning Art Director, Rob Davis and edited by Managing Editor Ron Fortier, Sgt.Janus – Spirit Breaker is the first in a new series by one of today’s leading stars in New Pulp Fiction. 
“…Beard’s fiction is anything but pat and routine. While he may deliberately conjure the spirits of authors of Victorian and Edwardian occult fiction before him, Beard’s prose is fresh and entirely modern in his, at times, frank and unsettling tales of the wages of his characters’ past sins. Each story breezes by and like the best tales told round the campfire, it leaves the reader hungry for more.”   William Patrick Maynard (The Terror of Fu Manchu & The Destiny of Fu Manchu.)
Airship 27 Productions – Pulp Fiction For A New Generation!

Available from :
Airship 27 Digital Hangar as a $3 PDF (http://robmdavis.com/Airship27Hangar/airship27hangar.html)
And soon for $14.99 from (http://indyplanet.com/store/)

MICHAEL DAVIS: Shock To My System

I’ve spent the last few months praising the DC New 52 in one form or another. Months before the books came out, I was debating those who thought the reboot was anything from a simply bad idea to the end of the world, as we know it.

I defended the idea then and in fact over the last three weeks right here on ComicMix. I’ve supported the idea and got into a heated battle with Marc Alan Fishman over the new 52.

Yesterday was Marc’s lovely wife Kathy’s birthday. Happy birthday Kathy and here’s your present…

Marc was right.

The DC New 52 sucks.

Everything about the New 52 is horrible.

I’m going to take a random decision made by DC, a totally arbitrary completely chance judgment they have made to make my point that the entire New 52 is the worst thing to happen to comics since Fredric Wertham and the Spirit movie.

Now. What completely indiscriminate, unplanned, hit or miss just off the top of my head move has DC made with the New 52 that has made me see the light of their atrocious affront to the entire comics, nay, the entire entertainment industry!

Let’s see, lets see, what needle can I grab in a haystack of bad moves?




Got It!!!

DC comics cancelled Static Shock!!

Full disclosure: I co-created Static Shock and wrote the original Milestone bible and named all the characters after my family but that has nothing whatsoever to do with my deciding to use Static Shock as an example as to why I changed my mind about the DC 52. My history with the character is beside the point.

No, I did not like the new Static Shock book after John Rozum left and no, I did not say I didn’t like it before DC cancelled the book for fear that the opinion of one of the creators would affect the sales but that’s besides the point.

The point is DC cancelled Static Shock and that’s just one of the reasons I was wrong about the New 52.

My other reasons?

That’s beside the point.

The little support from the millions of Static Shock fans out there is no reason to cancel something I created! The reason it’s no reason is beside the point. Losing half the sales from issue one is no reason to cancel a book where my Mom was the inspiration for Static’s mom. The sheer audacity of DC comics to cancel a book where I have a vested interest in is why the DC New 52 is horrible. Why that matters is beside the point.

Why not cancel the Justice League? So what if the book is selling in the hundreds of thousands? I don’t like it anymore! The fact that I liked it (loved it) before they canceled Static Shock is beside the point.

There that is my unbiased and completely unprejudiced reasoning behind my change of heart regarding the DC New 52.

You were right, Marc. What was I thinking? Happy Birthday again Kathy, you are married to a very wise man.

WEDNESDAY: Now Mike Gold Takes On John Ostrander

Uneasy Lies The Crown on Anthony Head as Merlin Begins Fourth Season on Syfy Tomorrow

The poetic irony of Shakespeare’s phrasing is not lost on Anthony Head. When the Bard wrote that “uneasy lies the head that wears a crown,” even he could not have known what was in store for the actor Head’s royal character as the fourth season of MERLIN begins tomorrow at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Syfy.

As the new season opens, Head’s character – King Uther – is a mere shadow of himself, mired in bleak despair after realizing that his illegitimate daughter Morgana has arisen to become his greatest enemy, using dark magic to besiege Camelot and its leaders.

The first of a two-part episode, “The Darkest Hour, Part 1” finds Morgana’s blinkered determination threatening not only Arthur’s future, but the very balance of the world. With her magic stronger than ever, the sorceress summons the mighty Callieach (pronounced “kay-lix”) to tear open the veil between the worlds. Hellish creatures – the Derocha – pour forth, killing any who succumb to their touch. With King Uther in dire straights, it falls to Merlin, Arthur and his loyal Knights to protect the kingdom.

Head, the beloved Rupert Giles of Joss Whedon’s cult classic TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, enters his fourth season as Camelot’s monarch Uther Pendragon. The actor has been particularly busy for the past year working in television on both MERLIN and reprising his role
on NBC’s Free Agents, as well as appearing in feature films, including The Iron Lady alongside Meryl Streep and the upcoming sequel Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.

QUESTION: After all that happened in Season 3, how has Uther’s perspective changed entering Season 4 … and how does that change things in Camelot?

ANTHONY HEAD: Uther is broken man. Everything that he basically believed in and held
as reality has shifted. I’d say he’s not playing with a full set of marbles. And all of that means Arthur has more responsibility, and there is another – Nathaniel Parker has joined the cast as Agravaine – who has been drafted to act as the chancellor, to politically help
Arthur. It’s an interesting and kind of logical progression from where we were. (more…)

MIKE GOLD’s Holiday Trauma

Holiday-themed comics have long been a tradition, along with holiday-themed… everything else. That’s cool; if you can’t make a buck pushing Santy Claus, when can you?

As far as our four-color medium is concerned, we inherited the tradition from the newspaper strips. These guys went all-out, and back when there were still a lot of continuity strips stories would be interrupted for Christmas and New Years (Hanukkah rarely, Kwanza, Ramadan and Saturnalia never) or, better still, holiday themes would be incorporated into the ongoing story. This was carried over into proto-comic book form when Will Eisner and his largely Jewish crew produced their annual “Christmas Spirit” story.

Outside of Santy-themed covers, it took a while for the comic book publishers to reliably produce annual holiday fare. The two that lasted the longest where Archie’s Christmas Stocking (with variations on that title, including the all-embracing evil “holiday” word) which started in 1954, and DC’s Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, licensed from Robert L. May, who owned the glowing streetkill. That title commenced in 1950. Dell had special Christmas editions of the various Disney and Warner Bros. cartoon characters, and before long most other publishers jumped on the sleigh.

As a child, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer confused me. That’s a statement you don’t often read, but it’s true. The original series ran for twelve years, which meant twelve issues. All were unnumbered. At some point I understood DC didn’t number their first issues (I later discovered why), but I knew Rudolph to be an annual event. A collector even as a child, I wanted to know how many issues I had missed. The title continued in various formats – giants, tabloids – until it was no longer worth the licensing fee. Yet holiday-dedicated superhero comics continued; DC was way ahead of the curve with its Holiday Special (sic) going back at least to 1980.

This year, we continue to have holiday output from Archie – including a trade reprint of Stocking stories – and a pretty nifty tome from Marvel that first appeared as individual digital stories. This latter book is one of my favorite Marvels of 2011. But unless I overlooked a page in the Diamond catalog, nothing from DC Comics. No Christmas title, no Holiday title, nothing from the company that pretty much started it all.

At first I thought Mark Waid just didn’t need the money this year and is probably overbooked writing every seventh title published. But then it dawned on me.

Maybe Bill O’Reilly is right. Maybe there is a War On Christmas. After all, those bleeding hearts at Warner Bros. studios now have full control of the company, and Bill and his friends at the New York Post keep telling us they’re heartless bastards. I guess this is proof.

O.K. Fine. I’ve got my Marvel holiday comic, and my Archie reprints, and besides, I firmly believe there ain’t no sanity clause. But I’m sentimental enough to wish you-all a wonderful holiday season.

Quite frankly, we deserve it.

THURSDAY: Dennis O’Neil


DENNIS O’NEIL: Prematurely White

By now you know, unless you’re a fan who really reads nothing but comics and sees/hears nothing that’s not comics related: we had us a storm, we north easterners, and it was a humdinger. Lots of snow – lots! – before Halloween which royally screwed things up hereabouts and drove Mari and me onto the wet and gleaming roads looking for a motel with a vacancy because our house had neither heat nor light. Main problem seemed to be that the trees still bore leaves and their weight, added to the weight of the snow, caused the timber to fall, much of it across power lines. Cue music:

Away in a manger

No crib for a bed,

Poor little Denny

Lay down his bald head…

Okay, wrong holiday and we did a bit better than Joe the Carpenter and his family. We found a Holiday Inn near the Jersey border that had suffered a cancellation and so we didn’t have to spend the dark hours in a cold house, a car, or a manger.

And you know, I’m not complaining! I choose to live here, partly because I like the seasons and, as Diana Ross admonished, “take the bitter with the sweet.” Mari and I can consider the whole thing an unexpected little adventure, though if the power hadn’t returned this morning, I’d probably be calling it something else.

Of course, if I lived in Peter Parker’s New York I wouldn’t be bothered by meteorological matters. Same would be true if I lived in Metropolis, Star City, Gotham City…anywhere in comicbookland. There’s seldom snow there, or much rain, not a lot of wind or heat or humidity, and that’s a minor league shame.  Not that I’d want Pete’s Spidey suit sticking to his armpits, or Batman have to put on galoshes over his boots. But in a story, weather can be a tool. It can add texture and realism to the fictional settings, complications to the hero’s various quests (and without complications, those quests aren’t terribly involving). It can even be a major plot point, one that drives the action of the narrative. Or a source of humor. Or a reflection of the protagonist’s psyche. It can establish mood and it can help to establish locale. It could give a city character, as fog does for London and San Francisco or rain does for Seattle.

What is the weather like in Star City? Does the local television weather guy begin every report with, “It looks like another bland day here in our area…”

The exception, as is so often the case, is Central City, the New York doppelganger where Will Eisner’s Spirit fought whatever Eisner thought up to give him problems. It rains there. And snows. And gets warm. And the stuff is a joy to read, and if you’re looking for some recommended reading, well…most, if not all, of the Spirit stories have been reprinted. What I’m saying is, no excuses.

But for now…Hey look! A tree has fallen across my front yard. That hasn’t happened since…the damn hurricane a few months ago.

Maybe I should move to Metropolis.

FRIDAY: Martha Thomases

ComicMix Six – Missing Golden Agers!

ComicMix Six – Missing Golden Agers!

The Golden Age of Comics usually refers to the first period of massive super-hero output, roughly 1938 to around 1950, give or take. Super-heroes lost their following, and desperate publishers rushed to replace capes with westerns, romance, and horror – or all three, if they could figure out how to do it. Sometimes, decisions were made hastily and work was stopped mid-production, more often they printed off their inventory and moved on… sometimes to oblivion.

But there was an interesting phenomenon in which the “lead” super-heroes featured in or above the logo failed to appear on their very final covers. Here’s the ComicMix Six top golden age missing heroes covers. If we missed yours, please write in and let us know!

Number One: The Marvel Family

This is the most blatant example of the inadvertent trend. The Marvel Family – Captain, Mary and Junior (who were more like siblings than The Three Bears) are not only missing, but there’s white silhouettes where they were supposed to be! Again, this was the last issue, so they never reappeared on the cover of that series. And before long, The Marvel Family would fade to limbo due to poor sales and the weight of an unending lawsuit from DC Comics. An unfortunate ending to a proud family.

Number Two: Green Lantern

Okay, this really sucks. Try and tind Green Lantern on this cover, the last of his solo-series of the 1940s. You can’t, except for in the logo, which doesn’t count. He’s not on the cover. But his dog is. Just…his…dog. No wonder Alan Scott didn’t walk the dog over to the Justice Society. But if you think that sucks, here’s comes the real embarrassment.