Tagged: The Walking Dead

Mindy Newell: It’s All About The Image

The first thing that popped into my mind when I turned on MSNBC’s Way Too Early With Willie Geist – yes, I get up for work “way too early”– and saw, instead of Mr. Geist talking about the Presidential campaign or Jon Stewart’s latest and brilliant riff on the newest foolishness in this nation’s ongoing political foibles, a deployment of cop cars and ambulances flashing red, white, and blue – an ironic picture, actually, now that I think about it – in the parking lot of a movie theatre complex in Aurora, Colorado was, “Oh, shit, now what?”

Then, as I discovered that a mass shooting had taken place at the first showing of The Dark Knight Rises, my second thought was, “Wonder how soon it’ll be before they (the media) connect it to comics?”

Not long.

By the time I got to work, changed into scrubs, and was in the staff lounge sipping my tea and watching the television along with everyone else – which was 6:55 A.M. EDT – FOX News was already claiming that the alleged shooter, James Holmes, had stated that he had done it because “I am the Joker.”

*Note: Never saw or heard this supposed statement repeated on any other TV or radio news show. FOX News stopped running this bit of faux information, but also never retracted or apologized for it.  

“But Heath Ledger’s dead,” said a staff member.

“Oh, shit,“ I said to myself again.  Out loud I said, “The Joker’s not even in this one. Bane’s the villain.”

“Who’s Bane?” another staff member asked me.

“Stupid fucking comic book people,” said another. Then she looked at me and remembered that I had worked in comics and that I write this column. “Sorry,” she muttered.

I bring this up because of Mike’s column.

Yeah, San Diego got a lot of “mainstream” press, but how much of it was about comics? Not much. Most of it, even in Entertainment Weekly, covered movies and television. The stuff that was about comics was of the usual KA-POW! BAM! variety about the fans showing up in costumes. Except for the announcement of a new Sandman story by my friend Neil (Gaiman), which made the pages of the “old grey lady,” i.e., the New York Times.

It doesn’t surprise me that the Times got the story of the origin of comics publishers and creators’ rights wrong.  The paper also got it wrong when it did a story about Gail Simone being the first woman to write Wonder Woman.  Gail called me to apologize, saying that someone (I forget who) had told her “you’re not the first, Mindy Newell was.” She also told me that she tried to tell the reporter this, but that the reporter didn’t want to hear it.

“Of course,” I said. “Because if DC admits you weren’t the first woman to write Diana’s stories, then where’s the publicity for DC, and where’s story for the New York Times to print?”

The point is that the story about Image was a publicity thing, Mike. Their P.R. department did their work, and the New York Times picked up the story. And if – that’s a big if – the Times reporter did his due diligence, as a good reporter should, and discovered that ‘the creators’ rights movement on a publishing level started with Denis Kitchen and his fellow underground comix providers and that ‘the actual creators’ rights movement pretty much started…when folks like Will Eisner, Bob Kane, William Moulton Marston and Joe Simon and Jack Kirby negotiated their own deals with the existing publishers and retained certain rights and/or received cover billing and/or creator credit and/or royalties and that First, Eclipse, Comico, Now, Malibu, and the rest – took all that several steps further. Creators received certain ownership rights, cover billing, creator credit and royalties,’” and if that reporter took this information to his editor, and if his editor had given the go-ahead to write all this…

Well, then, where’s the story about Image?

Well, yeah, the story could have still been about Image, and about how it’s following in the steps of its predecessors, but that not what the P.R. department of Image started.

And also, imho, the Times would not have cared about Image’s twentieth anniversary except for two things: The Walking Dead being such a huge hit on AMC, and the award-winning (rightly so) Neil Gaiman’s much publicized lawsuit with Todd MacFarlane.

‘Cause it’s all about the image.

And just for the record (and this has absolutely nothing to do with Gail herself)…

That article about Gail being the first woman to write Wonder Woman?

It really pissed me off.





This week, the Earth Station One crew travels back to the heyday of the pulps as the Hardest Working Man in New Pulp, Tommy Hancock joins us to talk about the newly released Tales of The Rook and other Pro Se Productions goodies.

Then, the ESO crew rolls a hard six as they join a rag-tag fugitive fleet fleeing Cylon tyranny, search for a shining beacon known as Earth, and try to figure out just exactly if the Cylons really had a plan.

And finally, ESO co-hosts Mike Gordon and Bobby Nash announce their new graphic novel project, Strong Will, on this week’s podcast as well as the release of Bobby’s latest novel, Earthstrike Agenda.

Find out all the scoop on these stories and more at www.esopodcast.com episode 117: Making Our Escape on the Battlestar Galactica!
Direct link: http://erthstationone.wordpress.com/2012/06/27/earth-station-one-podcast-episode-117-making-our-escape-on-the-battlestar-galactica/


This week marked fifteen years since the death of my sometime writing partner and lovely wife, Kimberly Ann Yale. Since here we talk about pop culture in so many different forms, I thought I would pose myself a question – WWKL? What Would Kim Like? What has come out since her death that she would really have gotten into?

Let’s start right here – on the Internet. First of all, she would have loved ComicMix and probably would have had her own column here. Kim was a terrific essayist – much better at it than me, I think. She was thoughtful, she picked words with care and grammar and punctuation really mattered to her. Me? If it gets past spellchek, I’m good.

In fact, I think Kim would have been all over the Internet. She would have had a blog or two or three, she would have been answering other peoples’ blogs, she would have been Queen of Facebook. Facebook was invented for someone like Kim. She would have had a bazillion friends on FB. I would have had to pry the computer from her.

Kim was also big into monsters and horror, vampires being her especial faves. I think she would have favored True Blood over the others because of the sex and the melodrama and the Southern-fried aspects of it all. (Kim’s mom was Southern and Kim fancied herself as a Southern belle. Kind of hard to do when you’re born up North but her mind worked it around.) The Dark Shadows movie starring Johnny Depp? Eeeeeeeeee! She would be camped out for it right now.

I think both The Walking Dead comic and TV series would have sucked her in but she would have been tickled by Shaun Of The Dead. Kim had a terrific sense of humor and the world’s most infectious laugh. Trust me – if you were a stand-up comic or doing a comedy in the theater, you wanted Kim in the audience.

I wonder what she would have made of Cowboys And Aliens? She was the one who got me started watching westerns and they were among her favorite genre films and, of course, adding sci/fi to it would have really intrigued her but I’m not sure what she would have made of the execution. I only give it two stars and I think she would have agreed (Kim also worked as a movie critic back in Chicago for a small suburban newspaper, so she could really knew how to dissect a movie.)

On the cowboys and spaceships mode, I think she would have been into both Firefly and the movie tie-up, Serenity. And Nathan Fillion would have led her to the Castle TV series (she also loved fun mysteries and strong female characters).

Then there’s Doctor Who. Kim and I met at a Doctor Who con (actually, a combined Doctor Who / Chicago Comic Con) and she would have rejoiced at the Doctor’s return. I think she would have liked David Tennant’s Doctor the best; she would have described him as a “creamie” – as in cream your jeans. However, she would have liked all three incarnations that have come out since the series’ return and, as a writer, would really enjoyed Stephen Moffat’s writing and now running of the franchise. She would have also liked his take on Sherlock Holmes and on Jekyll and Hyde. I stopped watching the latter during its first season; not because it wasn’t good but because it really creeped me out too much.

On movies, she would have been amazed and ecstatic with The Lord of the Rings trilogy and would, as Mary and I are doing, been waiting impatiently for The Hobbit movies coming out. Viggo Mortensen would also have been counted as a creamie.

She would have been fascinated by how CGI made superhero movies possible and what happened as a result. Christopher Nolan’s Batman films, especially The Dark Knight, would have sucked her in and, come Hallowe’en, she would have dressed up as Ledger’s Joker, no question in my mind about it.  I think, however, she would have been even more taken with Inception – Kim had an active dreamscape and tried to spend as much time in it as possible so the movie’s setting would have fascinated her.

She would have liked Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man (less so the sequel) not only because he was so good (and he was) but because she was also a sucker for redemption stories and Downey’s reclamation of his career would have stirred her. She would also have really liked Chris Hemsworth as Thor (creamie) and the whole Captain America film and she would really be anticipating The Avengers, not the least because Joss Whedon is helming it.

I could go on much longer but I think I’ve tried everyone’s patience enough. I may be just projecting onto Kim what some of my own likes and dislikes are but it refreshes her memory in my own mind and heart, keeping the flame alive. She was full of life and she would have brought that with her into the future. Like all those we treasure, she lives on in me and in all those she loved and loved her.

Memory doesn’t die with the body, and neither does love.

MONDAY: Mindy Newell


‘The Walking Dead’s Robert Kirkman Sued By Co-Creator Tony Moore

‘The Walking Dead’s Robert Kirkman Sued By Co-Creator Tony Moore

The Walking Dead

With The Walking Dead returning to AMC tonight, there could be an even bigger threat to the series as we know it: Original artist Tony Moore, co-creator with Robert Kirkman on the first six issues of the series, has filed suit against his onetime partner accusing him of promissory fraud, breach of written contract and other charges.

Moore claims that Kirkman persuaded him to assign his rights on Walking Dead and other properties to a limited liability corporation controlled by Kirkman, who allegedly hasn’t shared any royalty or other payments for Walking Dead or any of the other works.

Moore asserts that in September 2005 he and Kirkman entered into the agreement which assigned Moore 60% of comic publishing net proceeds for The Walking Dead and another title Brit, 20% of all motion picture net proceeds for Walking Dead and Brit and 50% of all motion picture net proceeds in connection with another title Battle Pope. Moore says in the suit he was reluctant to enter into the agreement. But he claims Kirkman informed him that if he didn’t assign his rights as specified it would kill the “large television deal on the table” and no one would receive any money. Kirkman allegedly promised to pay Moore royalties and provide regular, accurate accountings. Moore claims that Kirkman has never paid any royalties or provided an accounting of profit or loss.

Moore seeks damages in association with his purported share of any money Kirkman has already received plus his any share of any money outstanding. He’s asking for a court order for Kirkman to provide complete and timely accounting as well as payment of accrued interest and court costs. You can read the lawsuit here.

via ‘The Walking Dead’s Robert Kirkman Sued By Former Partner Over AMC Series – Deadline.com.

Let’s unpack this a bit:

1. If, as a comic creator, you ever felt screwed over by an Image Comics deal before, you now have yet another reason to feel so. If you ever considered bringing your comic to Image, you now have to wonder if you can trust the partners to give you a fair accounting.

2. If Moore is correct that no monies have been paid under the contract, then the entire contract can be declared null and void, which means that Moore would then have a claim on both the comic series and, more crucially, the television series– and since the TV series would then have been made without his permission, he can extract a tremendous amount of money from the production company.

And remember– just like zombies, it takes a lot to kill a lawsuit.

The Point Radio: THE ROCK Talks FAST & FURIOUS 5, THE JOURNEY 2 & Boredom

We’ve got more with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson including why he chose Hawaii for the location of JOURNEY 2:MYSTERIOUS ISLAND, the scoop is on the next FAST & FURIOUS film and what it takes to keep him from getting bored. Plus WALKING DEAD and GHOST RIDER are both headed to see The Judge and SMALLVILLE SEASON 11 – really?

The Point Radio is on the air right now – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun for FREE. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE on any computer or mobile device– and please check us out on Facebook right here & toss us a “like” or follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.

Independent Comics Month-to-Month Sales: October 2011

Independent Comics Month-to-Month Sales: October 2011

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Buffy continues in the top spot, while a double-shipping Walking Dead takes second and third places. Turtles creeps back up to fourth, and Star Trek/ Legion of Superheroes gets off to a very promising start. Further down, Orchid benefits from a rock star contributor, Garth Ennis & John Byrne launch new titles and a remarkable success story finishes off the month.

This month everyone wants to know how DC’s New 52 has affected the sales of everyone else’s books. It’s a little too early to tell, the re-charting DC books have pushed a lot of indies off the charts, but while the indie publishers have a lot less titles charting this month, their market and dollar share have only dropped a little, suggesting that sales are up overall. The next three months will show the effects far more clearly.

Only 87 indie books charted this month, down from last month’s high of 127 and again the number 87 book sold around the same as the number 87 book last month. The bottom book sold 5,167 compared to last month’s 3,341. In total those books sold approximately 921,878, well down on last month’s 1,053,116. That said, last month the average sales were 8,292 per book, this month it’s 10,596.

‘The Walking Dead’ shambles to new TV ratings record

‘The Walking Dead’ shambles to new TV ratings record

For those who think the comics/Hollywood connection is played out, it seems there’s still life in something that’s dead.

Season two of “[[[The Walking Dead]]]” opened to an eye-popping 7.3 million viewers on Sunday, and it broke cable ratings records in the key demographic categories of adults 18-49 and adults 25-54.

The preem averaged 4.8 million adults 18-49 and 4.2 million in the 25-54 demo — a new record for a basic cable drama series. It also easily ranked as primetime’s No. 1 entertaiment series for the night, according to Nielsen, topping the 18-49 delivery of Fox’s special “The X Factor” (4.2 million adults 18-49), ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” (3.4 million) and CBS’ “CSI: Miami” (3 million). AMC

AMC prexy Charlie Collier called the numbers “staggering, just like our zombies.”

via ‘Walking’ sets cable ratings record – Entertainment News, TV News, Media – Variety.

MARTHA THOMASES: Confessions of an iPad Comics Virgin

Is that all there is?

I finally downloaded a few comics onto my iPad using the updated Comixology app. I mean, I’m on record as being a lover of comics on paper, as well as the comic book shops that sell them. However, I’m also a big fan of prose on paper, as well as the bookstores that sell them, and I love my Kindle, so I thought I should give the new delivery system a try.

Previously, I’d noticed a flaw in the iPad design as far as visual entertainment goes. The screen is too shiny. Reading a book on the iBook app is more difficult for me than reading a book on the Kindle because of the glare (the Kindle has a matte finish). It’s even more distracting when watching a movie. However, I enjoy having a movie downloaded if I’m flying somewhere, and I might also enjoy having a virtual stack of comics.

I started by scouting out the free comics, because what if I didn’t like it? And I wanted something I hadn’t read already, so my previous opinion wouldn’t influence me. My son loves Robert Kirkman, and I was a fan of the TV show, so I downloaded the first issue of The Walking Dead.

It was a good choice. The app was easy to use, even for an old fart like myself, and I enjoyed my experience.

So last week, when there was a shipment glitch at New York comic shops, and I couldn’t get two of the books I wanted at any of my local stores by Saturday, I went online and paid for content. Reading Detective Comics and Stormwatch was, oddly, more difficult than reading the indie comic with lower production values. The lettering was hard to read, too small, and when I made the image bigger, I lost the flow of the page.

Did I lose some strength in my optic nerves? I went back to read Walking Dead again (and why can’t you go back to the beginning with one touch?), and that still worked well for me.

Still the color of the DC books was brilliant, and there were no ads. There were also no letters pages or other DC editorial material. For my $2.99, I got my story, and that’s it.

As it happens those two books have a reasonable amount of story. If I’d read Justice League #1 in that format, I would have been irked.

Will I buy more? Maybe back issues, because I’d rather have the stuff on my computer than in storage. Or if I’m away on a long trip, where I’m unfamiliar with the local comic book shops. Or if it’s the middle of the night and I don’t want to get dressed and go walking the streets, looking for Superman (or, I suppose, Mr. Goodbar).

But otherwise? I’m sticking with paper, at least for the near term. I like my comics with some social interaction. I like folding back the cover – and watching the true collectors freak out.

There aren’t that many occasions when I can feel eight years old again, and reading comics lets me do it once a week. So I’ll stay with the format from last century for as long as I can.

Martha Thomases, Dominoed Daredoll, really really really liked the new Animal Man.

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman

Directing 101 By Zack Snyder

As we wind up our coverage of SUCKER PUNCH, director Zack Snyder talks about his directing style and why he chose not to jump on the 3-D Bandwagon. Plus no MADMEN until when and that WONDER WOMAN costume is a lot better!


Mad about no MAD MEN until 2012??  Drop us a comment below!


It seems like an eternity before we get new episodes of AMC’s WALKING DEAD. Series star Andrew Lincoln talks about the show’s huge success, the next run of episodes and that nifty new BluRay DVD. Plus…THIS is Ma Kent??