The Mix : What are people talking about today?

The Dark Tower: interview with Peter David

Dark Tower 1Peter David, writer of stuff, was able to take a few minutes between bowling, barfing babies, and boarding a plane to Maine to explain what’s germaine and urbane (and other words in the same vein) about the new Dark Tower series, going on sale tonight at midnight. Oddly, even though I’ve known Peter for over two decades and have been his webmaster for almost five years, this is the first time I’ve ever interviewed him…

Q. Assume I know nothing (always a fair assumption) about The Dark Tower. For those folks out there who’ve never read The Dark Tower or any other works by Stephen King, or just know his works from the movies, can you sum up what the heck’s going on here? What things do I need to know about the story that will make it accessible to me? Or will the comic be fully accessible to those who know nothing about The Dark Tower or even Stephen King?

A. You don’t really need to know anything about the series (well, aside from how to read) than anyone required when the very first Gunslinger novel was published. Basically, Dark Tower is a blend of fantasy and iconic western heroes, detailing the life’s story of Roland, the last of the Gunslingers of a long-ago city called Gilead, and the circumstances that forged him into the hero he eventually became.

Q. So this is more of a true dark fantasy than King’s usual horror?

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Len Wein – Thumbs up on 300

300Len Wein went to a preview of the movie based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel 300, and has a very positive review of it up on his blog. "The story is one of history’s great tales of heroism and sacrifice and this film definitely does it justice… One word of caution, though: this film is as graphically violent as any I’ve seen."

Graphic violence, from a Frank Miller graphic novel? How unexpected!

A bissel schmoozing at NYCC

A bissel schmoozing at NYCC

Neil Kleid reports on the panel in which he’ll be participating at the New York Comic Con, "The Jewish Side of Comics." Guess what they’ll be talking about? Don’t worry, it’s not on shabbos. On the other hand, nu, would it hurt them to have bagels? Or a maidele or two like Leela Corman (to talk about Unterzachen, her graphic novel in progress about twin sisters in the turn-of-the-last-century Lower East Side)?

Conventional Wisdom

Conventional Wisdom

As we all gear up for the 2007 convention season, what with Len Wein’s Phoenix Cactus Comicon report and Heidi MacDonald’s heads-up regarding a rumor of limited NYCC publisher passes for pros and the news that the San Diego Comic Con International’s Artist’s Alley is already at capacity, the one post I found most buoying was Kathleen David’s about appreciating all the effort that goes into organizing a convention. Granted, Kath is more likely discussing smaller, non-professional cons, but it’s a good set of rules to remember no matter where you find yourself traveling this year.

Warren Ellis and Tom Spurgeon talk about certain instances where there’s no love lost between attendees and organizers, particularly regarding a certain upcoming event.

Comics companies gear up for Toy Fair

Comics companies gear up for Toy Fair

Prior to becoming the center of the comic book world with the New York Comic Con, the Javits Center plays host to the 2007 American International Toy Fair this week (from February 11-14), and companies with comic-book tie-in toys are gearing up for their presentations. Hasbro has various Marvel-related offerings, Diamond and Dark Horse have exhibiting booths, but curiously the Toy Fair website makes no mention of McFarlane’s vast array of merchandise.

Could Todd & co. be a no-show? 

The Beat has Day 1 pictures.

Mike Gold: The Editor Babbles

Welcome to ComicMix — well, phase one of ComicMix.

This is the part where I’m supposed to explain who and what we are. In order to do so, I’m going to have to do something I rarely do and generally avoid: I’m going to speak seriously.

I’d like to say "welcome to the 21st Century," but I’m seven years late and not quite that pretentious. So I’ll get down to the details. Phase one of ComicMix is a community based around news, information, opinion and blogging, covering the entire range of the comic art medium and those elements in the broader media that we all tend to enjoy. We add this because, contrary to old-time fan thinking, we do not live in a vacuum.

We post the news continuously, we post our columns daily, we post our information and background stuff incessantly, we post our all-new podcasts thrice-weekly (starting Tuesday, February 13th; as they used to say in Pogo, "Friday the 13th falls on a Tuesday this month"), and we run our blogs continuously and irrepressibly.

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Bear no longer with us

Here’s part of what happened: there was a security hole from one of our vendor’s products that exposed a lot of private company data that would only have gotten worse after launching. So rather than put all that at risk, we waited until we could completely fix the problem. Now that we’re safe and secure, we’re happy to say hi.

Special thanks to Steve Horton for pointing out the initial problem. Take a look at his strip, Grounded Angel.

On coming a long way

On coming a long way

Cheryl Lynn decides to commemorate Black History Month by making "a list of all of the fabulous black women writers, artists and editors I know of who are kicking ass and taking names at Marvel, MAX, DC, MINX, CMX, Vertigo, Wildstorm, Image, Dark Horse, Oni Press, Fantagraphics, First Second, Avatar, SLG, Devil’s Due, Drawn & Quarterly, Tokyopop, VIZ and Del Rey."

The entire list is two names.

Can anyone else add to it? I’m out of practice since moving on from my Women Doing Comics list maintenance, but dang, there have to be more than two black women working for or at these companies.

Stardust reappears

Catch it whilst you can! Neil Gaiman reports that the more-or-less authorized Stardust movie website is back up. Stardust, of course, ties into Stardust the graphic novel by Neil and artist Charles Vess. Neil has also announced that Paramount has moved up the official release date of the Stardust movie to August 10 of this year. Considering the San Diego Comic-Con International is on July 26-29, I should think a debut showing there isn’t entirely out of the question.

And speaking of works by Neil, IESB’s Robert Sanchez asked director Joel Schumacher yesterday which comic book character he’d most love to tackle. "The response – Neil Gaiman’s Sandman!"