Man of the Moment

Sean William Scott

Kindly direct email to:
dorianwright [at] gmail[dot]com

"Reading his blog is like watching a beloved 50's Rat Pack Vegas act"--Larry Young
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"Absolutely huggable."--Bully
"It's always fun to see Dorian be bitchy."--Chris Butcher
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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Aquaman, Master of Observation 

I mean, how was he supposed to understand the significance of that swastika and iron eagle he'd been staring at for the last three pages...


Monday, January 30, 2006


I thought about putting the list into some kind of order, but frankly, I'm beginning to like the long, rambling look of it.

Also, as it prepares to move its way off the front page, remember that you can always find it by clicking this image on my side-bar:

Plus, over at Lady, That's My Skull, Sleestak is having a contest to come up with the best caption for a banner. You've got Wonder Woman and Bloodstone to choose from, so get cracking wise.


In honor of the day 

Last one from me, I think.

Always Remember


Sometimes They Make It Too Easy 

Yeah, there are some elements of Wonder Woman's back-story that I don't think anyone misses.

Oh, the irony...


Friday, January 27, 2006

Short Updates 

I've been enjoying the heck out of Kalinara's Pretty, Fizzy Paradise lately, as well as Bully Says: Comics Oughta Be Fun!

Pal John has a new article up on AlterNet, focusing on "Child Rehab" groups that habitually engage in abusive and criminal behavior. It's an important subject, and one that the mainstream news media pays little attention to.

Blizzard, publishers of the World of Warcraft MMORPG apparently have an unwritten policy that creating gay-friendly guilds is a violation of their terms of service. Given the casual homophobia on display in this thread, I'm not terribly surprised. Stories like this make me appreciate the gay-friendly community of City of Heroes even more.

Let me summarize the comment thread to this Newsarama article about 52's price point: "What! $2.50 for an extra-length comic! How dare DC engage in this gross price gouging!"
Because, yeah, given that your average comic fan already spends about $20 to $30 a week, minimum, that extra $2.50 a week is going to be a real wallet-buster.

While I'm taling about comics, the highlights of my purchases this week were the latest issue of Local, which after a start I found a little rocky has started to settle into a nice groove; Nextwave, which is the sort of fun book I'm increasingly surprised to see come out from Marvel; and Genus Male which is excellent gay porn and contains a couple of Pet Shop Boys reprints.
Yes, my recommendations for this week are a hip indie book, a super-hero satire and gay porn. That almost says something profound about me, I think.


Thursday, January 26, 2006

A Few More 

A few more little banners have come my way that, for a variety of reasons, I'm hosting myself.

Ron Hogan of Beatrice.Com sent Mike and I a couple.

Here's a few made for me by those who wish to remain nameless:

And this is my new personal favorite. I don't care if no one but me and Mike get the joke:


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

That Time of Year Again 

GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, hasreleased their list of nominees for their annual awards, and surprisingly, for once, it isn't the usual celebrity worship list GLAAD usually trots out. I have...a problem with GLAAD as an organization. They always seem more preoccupied with getting publicity by going after easy targets and kissing up to famous people to get them to appear in photo ops than in actually working to improve the image of gay and lesbian people in the mass media. But this year they seem to have actually gone out of their way to nominate those who don't have a high media profile. Let's take a look, shall we?


Brokeback Mountain (Focus Features)
Capote (Sony Pictures Classics)
The Family Stone (20th Century Fox)
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Warner Bros.)
Rent (Sony Pictures)


Beautiful Boxer (Regent Releasing/here! Films)
Mysterious Skin (TLA Releasing)
Saving Face (Sony Pictures Classics)
Transamerica (The Weinstein Company)
Walk On Water (Samuel Goldwyn Films)

Granted, Brokeback Mountain and Rent are almost painfully obvious choices, but there are still some films on that list that could actually be considered "by gay people for gay people," rather than the "movies for straight people that happen to have gay people in them" that GLAAD usually recognizes.


Commander in Chief (ABC)
The L Word (Showtime)
Queer as Folk (Showtime)
Six Feet Under (HBO)
South of Nowhere (The N)


Out of Practice (CBS)
Shameless (BBC America)
Will & Grace (NBC)

I pretty much don't watch much TV anymore, so I don't have much to say about these choices, other than to reiterate my impressions that The L Word is more about titillating straight men than anything else and that we should all be very, very ashamed of ourselves for allowing the gay version of Amos and Andy, Will & Grace, to last as long as it has.


Antony and the Johnsons, I Am a Bird Now
Melissa Etheridge, Greatest Hits: The Road Less Traveled
Girlyman, Little Star
Sharon Isbin, Rodrigo, Villa-Lobos, Ponce: Guitar Concertos
Amy Ray, Prom

This is truly remarkable. Only one token gay pop celebrity on the list!


Gotham Central by Greg Rucka and Ed Brubaker (DC Comics)
Strangers in Paradise by Terry Moore (Abstract Studio)
Top Ten: The Forty-Niners by Alan Moore (ABC Comics/Wildstorm)
Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughn (Vertigo/DC Comics)
Young Avengers by Allan Heinberg (Marvel)

I'm glad that Heinberg finally stopped playing coy in Young Avengers. I'm still baffled as to how anyone can think of Strangers in Paradise as a positive portrayal of lesbian relationships. And, while I enjoy Rucka's work, and Brubaker's (non-Marvel) work, and Gotham Central itself, I do have to say that my reaction to the outing of Renee Montoya is still "Gosh! The tough female cop with a drinking problem turns out to be a lesbian! How unexpected and original!" At least they've successfully avoided making her mannish.

Of course, I still have plenty of fault to find with GLAAD, despite the good choices for the awards this year. For example, applauding Gene Shalit's "I'm sorry if you were offended by my statements, but how dare you criticize me" "apology" for his homophobic misrepresentation of Brokeback Mountain is the kind of "don't piss off the famous people" nonsense I really hate seeing a prominent gay group engage in.

While I'm on my Queer Soapbox, guess what the United States, Iran, Egypt, Zimbabwe, China and Cameroon have in common:

They're all countries that voted to deny gay groups membership in a UN organization devoted to economic and social issues.

Hey, GLAAD, want a project? Track how that story gets reported in the mainstream American news.


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Short Thoughts 

I've got a couple of longer-type posts rattling around in the back of my head. I've got some thoughts on the role of sex and sexuality in computer games I need to get out at some point, as well as some thoughts on all the misanthropic television I've been watching on DVD lately, but I don't quite have anything I want to share with the public just yet on those subjects.

I'm tempted to talk about the list of Free Comic Book Day titles, but I think I'd rather wait until I actually can take a look at them to talk about them in depth. Though I do feel rather confident in saying that I really would rather wish that Arcana and Wizard wouldn't bother with contributions this year. I also find it curious that Claypool is listed as participating, given the possibility of Diamond dropping them from the catalogue.

I'm half-tempted to write about the new Flash series, but given how little content is actually in that article ("It's a bold new direction!" Again?), I can't work up the enthusiasm.
(The article also makes me want to create a little banner that reads "Barry Allen is still dead. Get over it.")

I'm also sorely tempted to talk about the latest leaked "exclusives" from Wizard, if for no other reason than to share the shame I feel at the prospect of buying a Wildcats comic in the near future.

Instead, to fill up space, I'm going to make an observation about C.S.I.
Nick Stokes should be gay. Let's face it, the characters on this show have only the barest hints of personalities. You've got the ex-stripper single mom whose dad is a mobster, the snotty girl with an Electra Complex, the geeky kid, the geeky boss, the grizzled veteran cop, the good-looking black guy and the good looking white guy. Nick is practically a cipher as it is. The only things we've learned about him in five years is that he's from Texas, he was sexually molested as a kid, and he once had sex with a hooker.
I mean, given the way the show works, it would only be brought up once and used as an excuse for the character to get indignant over a case, then never brought up again, so what could it hurt?


Monday, January 23, 2006

Things That Made Me Happy In Last Weeks Comics 

Wolverine finally gets what's coming to him.

After years of writers dancing around the issue, Obsidian finally comes out.

Lady Blackhawk finally gets a clue.

And Wildcat finally remembered that he has medical training.

And, well, all of All Star Superman but I'm not going to scan the entire book.

Prism Comics is having a pre-sale on their 2006 guide to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender comics and creators. And, for a limited time, pre-orders will get a bonus book with work by Stephen Sadowski, Paige Braddock, Matt Fagan, Donna Barr, Craig Hamilton and others.

The Prism guides and specials are always full of good material, and at 144 pages this is their biggest guide yet.


Sunday, January 22, 2006

Why I Have Trouble Taking Anime Insider seriously 

I noticed this the last time I was at the comic shop. The cover and every article inside refers to the CLAMP series xxxHolic as Holic.

See, I've noted before that AI, for a magazine devoted to a subject with a large number of female fans, does itself a disservice by maintaining the frat-boy attitude of every other Wizard publication. A "fan service" pin-up a month of an attractive bishonen does not a women-friendly magazine make.

I'm left with the impression that they just couldn't be bothered to actually get the name of their cover-featured title right because it's "for girls."


Friday, January 20, 2006

What Hath I Wrought? 


Jean Loring

Batman I


The Creeper

Lois Lane I






Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner)

John Byrne


Bizarro I

Jack Klugman

Wonder Woman

Blue Beetle

Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) I

Lex Luthor I

Sgt. Frog


Bob Violence


Green Lantern (G'Nort)

Lex Luthor II

Swamp Thing

Dave Foley


Desert Peach


Madame Xanadu

Dr Manhattan

Tom Kalmaku



Clock King




Red Monica

Joker, The Dirty Pair and Lex from Gloomcookie

Doctor Light

The cast of Naruto



Jimmy Olsen I

Mogo I

Space Cabby

Jesse Custer


Vandal Savage

The Thing


Midnighter I

Richie Rich I

Grant Morrison I

Lois Lane II

Mike Sterling

Brother I

Batman II

Black Bolt





Bizarro II

Matter-Eater Lad

Krypto I

The Doctor

The Calculator

Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) II

Queen Hippolyta

Mogo II

Valkyrie and Nightcrawler

Superman, Spider Jerusalem and the Justice League

Angel Love

Dirk Anger

Mr. A


Rob Liefeld

Frankenstein, B.A., Green Lantern (Soranik Natu), Martian Manhunter, Squirrel Girl, Persephone, Green Lantern (John Stewart), That Guy

Richie Rich II

Jimmy Olsen II, Sluggo, Sugar & Spike

Kryptonite Lightsaber

Dr. Strange I, Wong and Mr. Fuji

Karen Page

Tula and Aquababy

Rocket Racoon, Molly Hayes and Jennifer Walters

OMAC and Power Girl I

Wu-Tang Clan

Little Lotta

Freddie I

Freddie II

Mr. T

Super Hip

Robert Kirkman, Captain America, Spider-Man I, Jem, Optimus Prime

Jack Kirby

The Pro


Tim Hunter

Warren Ellis

Green Lantern (Kilowog) and Green Lantern (Guy Gardner)

Andy Martello, Jack Knight


Krypto II

Jorgen Von Strangle

Doc Samson


Grant Morrison II

Midnighter II

Dr. Strange II and H.A.T.E.

R. Crumb

Steve Ditko

Spider-Man II, Hate Monger, Captain America, Flash, Superman, Per Degaton, M.O.D.O.K.




Freddie III, Maeda's Mom, Mechazawa

Null the Living Darkness

Batman III


Beta Ray Bill, Cosplay, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) III, Mick Jagger, Those Pants, Trade Paperbacks, Ken Lowery

Chris Staros

Chuck Norris, Steve Ditko II

Spider-Man III

Power Girl II

Lex Luthor III


Fred Hembeck


The Goddamned Batman, Herbert West, Squirrel Girl II

Awesome Andy


Little Dot

Midnighter III

Forgetful Jones

Johnny 5, Black Canary, Jack Bauer, Veronica Mars, Beast Boy and Cyborg

Dr. Doom

Chase Stein

Bizarro III

Mr. Natural

Graeme, Joker II, Robin II, Grant Morrison III

Nightwing II

Dori Seda

Scott Pilgrim

Clive Owen


Superman, Roulette, Doom, Starman

Jimmy Olsen III


The Beetle


Gwen Stacy

Spider-Man IV

Frank Booth

Optimus Prime II


Inferior Five


Scarlet Witch

The Prisoner, Number 2

Dr. Doom, DDS and Kaylee Frye

Serenity, Anthony Stewart Head

Dr. Huxtable

Pee Wee Herman

Johnny, Fiver

Fantastic Planet

The DC Universe, Danger Girl, Power Girl

Zatanna II


Conor Oberst, the Dude, Jesus Quintana, Walter Sobchak


The DC Super Dictionary

Marvel Comics

Harvey Pekar


Batman & Superman, Bush & Bono, Dick Grayson, The Incredible Hulk, Wonder Girl

J. Jonah Jameson

Spider-Man 2099 x5



Peter David

Batman, Squirrel Girl, Dolph Lundgren

Joker, Batman, Aunt May, The Justice League, Julius Schwartz, Dr. Clayton Forrester, The Amalgam Universe, Supergirl, Dr. Moira MacTaggert, Superman

Guy Gardner: Warrior

Mr. Mind

Soylent Green

Tommy the Gopher

Captain America


Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) IV

Bitchy Bitch, Fone Bone, Achilles, Little Lulu, Jaeger, Wedding Peach, Sailor Moon, Adam West, Emmylou Harris, Eddie

Rex Libris


Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) V



Monsieur Mallah and the Brain

Spider Jerusalem


Mr. Hyde

And one last little shot from me:


Thursday, January 19, 2006

Something to get you through difficult situations: 

Ted Grant me the Strength to pound Per Degaton's face in, the Courage to crack wise at Power Girl's expense, and the Wisdom to let Green Lantern go into the fight first.


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Catty Wildcat 

I thought Vandal Savage was the Scarlet Centurion. No, wait, Iron Lad! That's it!


Interesting Juxtaposition 

Someone at my Local Chain Bookstore has a sense of humor.
Not pictured: Michael Medved's latest book, Do As I Say, Or BURN IN HELL!!! and some book of photography.


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

April Comics 

Marvel Comics for April

I'm trying so hard to not be too harsh, but Marvel makes it difficult...

Ultimate Spider-Man features Ultimate Deadpool. The polite way to phrase my reaction is that Deadpool seems far too recent a character to be "ultimatized."

The last solicitation for Marvel Knights as it was are in this batch, and frankly, it's probably a long overdue move. The line hasn't really had a focus for a long time. The closest it's ever seemed to come is "more mature than the standard line, not as offensive as the Max line."

The Annihilation one-shot spins off into four minis, and Civil War serves as a subplot in on-going titles.
I'm biting my tongue on this one...

Yet another Marvel Romance book comes out...why are Valentine's Day tie-in comics being published in March and April? Or does Marvel seriously intend to try their hand at an ongoing romance line?

Marvel Zombies does apparently tie back into Ultimate Fantastic Four. So, what, it was a five-issue fill-in mini?

Spider-Woman: Origin concludes. Based on the first issue, I kind of wish they'd stuck with her original origin. You know, the one where she was a spider grown into a woman by the High Evolutionary.
Man, we don't see enough of the High Evolutionary, do we?

Wolverine: Origins. So, he appears in X-Men, Uncanny X-Men, Astonishing X-Men, New Avengers and two on-going solo titles, in addition to frequent guest appearances and obligatory appearances in minis.
Remember how sick people got of the Punisher and Lobo back in the day?

DC Comics in April

Regarding Robin #149, and the seeming spoiler on the cover...hoo-boy, Pete is not going to be happy.

Checkmate seems like a safe bet. I like Rucka's work, I like Saiz's work, and I've enjoyed their take on the covert aspects of the DC U.

I don't particularly care about what happens to Bludhaven in Crisis Aftermath: The Battle for Bludhaven, but I'll be picking it up anyway because:

Holy Cow, is that the Force of July?
(It's a stupid reason to buy a comic, I know, but Force of July is one of those deliriously cheesy concepts I love in super-hero comics. Plus, y'know, Palmiotti and Gray have written quite a few good comics at this point, and Dan Jurgens is can be very good as well.)

Pete is a huge fan of Kyle Rayner, so we'll definitely be picking up Ion. (Hopefully it'll make up for the seeming events in Robin...)

Showcase Presents Haunted Tank won't be making it into my purchase lists, but by God am I happy that DC is putting the book out.

The Infinite Crisis action figures seem painfully unnecessary to me. Plus, y'know:

Superboy Prime wearing what appears to be pieces of the Anti-Monitor's armor looks like a significant spoiler to me. And:

Powergirl looks like a guy in drag.


Sidebar Maintenance 

Paul Cornell, author of several fine Doctor Who novels and scripts.

Will Shetterley's Captain Confederacy

Ragnell's incisive Written World.

Silent Accomplice, which I can't believe has escaped my notice for so long.

Chris's Invincible Super-Blog, which is really quite good. Reminds me of Mike, oddly.

And remember, all these people are loved by Wildcat.


Monday, January 16, 2006

Finally Getting Around to January Previews 

(plus, thoughts on manga orders)

Dark Horse
I was going to get Conan: Book of Thoth, but at $4.99 for four issues, I can wait for the trade.
Lullabies from Hell is the "new" Hideshi Hino collection. He's got a great cute/horror style and I've enjoyed all his other work, but it's been a real hard sell to get your average manga reader to look at something that looks old-fashioned compared to more recent manga.
Space Pinchy still looks awful to me.
I'd consider getting Star Wars: The Return of Tag and Bink, but I think I'd much rather just have a collection of all the Tag and Bink stories.

I think I'm just about the only fan of Aaron Williams' work who isn't at all interested in Truth, Justin and the American Way. Part of it may be that Scott Kurtz is involved and I don't enjoy his work at all. Part of it is probably that I don't much like the art. But mostly it's probably the strong Greatest American Hero vibe it gives off.
Man, I hated that show...
Oh, and I'll probably wait for the trade on the second series of Lions, Tigers and Bears.

Gosh, wouldn't it be an actually interesting twist if Ultimate Extinction ends with Galactus eating the Ultimate Marvel Universe...
I really liked the New Universe books at the time. Of course, I was, what, ten? Yet, I'm really not interested in any of these one-shots. They just have the air of perfunctoryness about them. I suppose I might pick up the DP7 one, as that was always my favorite of the New U titles.

I've found all of Scott Morse's work to be worthwhile and enjoyable, and I expect his latest, Noble Boy to be no exception.

ADV Films
Anne Freaks looks to be the kind of dramatic noir/mystery manga series I've been enjoying lately, so I'm going to give it a shot.

AIT/Planet Lar
Skyape: King of Girls. New Skyape.
I'm a happy boy. Skyape brings me all kinds of joy.

Antarctic Press
Mischief and Mayhem looks eerily like a Love Is strip with heavy weaponry.

Archie #565 features Archie writing an essay about manga. Morbid curiosity may compel me to purchase that issue.

Drawn and Quarterly
Maurice Vellekoop has a new book coming out, A Nut at the Opera. His art is gorgeous, but $20 may be a stretch for my budget

Shockingly, the ratio of "looks good" to "looks god-awfully pretentious" is very good this month.

At this point, I'd like to mention that our former Diamond rep, in the "Staff Picks" section, is recommending Red Sonja.
I'm not quite sure what to say about that, but it makes me sad for some reason...

Ignite Entertainment
The second volume of Jayson comes out, as well as Ralf Konig's sequel to Maybe...Maybe Not, Maybe...Maybe Not Again.

The charming Banana Sunday has a collected edition on the schedule. Buy it and you too can learn of the greatness that is Go-Go.

Radio Comix
A new issue of gay-porn anthology Dangerous is solicited. Come on, everybody likes gay porn!

Seven Seas
I understand this Boogiepop thing is rather popular.

Terra Major
Gunned Down is a collection of short western stories by Brazilian artists, including Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba. Come on, everybody likes westerns by Brazilians!

Life has over-serious after-school special written all over it.
East Coast Rising is Becky Cloonan's original graphic novel, and I've enjoyed her work quite a bit in the past, so this one should make it onto the purchase list. Sunken treasure and sea monsters should make for a good combo.
X-Kai may be good, but I'll actually have to take a look at it first. It sounds very pretty and moody, but Tokyopop's solicitations have burned me before.
Yubisaki Milk Tea, the "fan service" title about a cross-dressing boy sounds absolutely dreadful. It's like every horrible thing I hate about certain genres of manga mashed into one book.

Monster has been delayed so many times now I'm half suspecting that it'll never come out...

And lastly, in the international section is another Ralf Konig book, Like Rabbits, which is solicited as having English text, though its presence in the "Spanish Imports" section makes me leery.


Always Remember: 

Even if you: read Wizard, don't like All Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder, like Ultimate Wolverine vs the Hulk, pick fights on message-boards and blogs, read Orson Scott Card comics, read Mark Millar comics, read Frank Miller comics as if there is no subtext at all, are unable to detect [name removed to prevent a fight I really don't feel like getting into right now, but trust me on this one]'s utter contempt for you, think Michael Turner is a good artist, are unable to recognize Grant Morrison's genius, still think "Superman is a dick" jokes are funny, are still complaining about Identity Crisis, are still trying to defend the second half of Cerebus or fail to acknowledge that Wildcat is a sex god.


Sunday, January 15, 2006

In Which Dorian Is Annoyed With Entertainment Culture 

Damon Lindelof, writer of that abominable Ultimate Wolverine Vs. Hulk comic, on the direction of Lost, a TV show he also writes for:

"If you're watching the show because you're waiting for the big answers to come, you have to understand that by the nature of what it is -- it's not a movie, it's not a series of movies, it's not a trilogy, it's not a miniseries -- it's going to be on the air for as long as ABC wants to keep it on the air.

"How can you ever possibly think that 'Lost' will end in a satisfying way?"

Way to sell your show guys. "There's no possible way it's going to end in a way that doesn't insult your intelligence or make sense in light of what has gone before, so just deal with it." At least now I know who is probably to blame for all the really, really dumb stuff on the show that makes it frustrating to watch: Lindelof.

So, instead of following the increasingly successful and profitable way of making dramatic television shows in which there is a finite story with a beginning, middle and end...they've decided to follow the Twin Peaks model and just make stuff up as they go along in order to pad out the show as long as possible.

Yeah, suddenly I'm thinking I'll be doing something else with my Wednesday nights.

Tim Burton to butcher Sondheim's Sweeney Todd.

Well, that may be a bit harsh, but Burton, as a director, has a notable weakness in the storytelling department. His films are visually interesting, but he's not good at all at telling a story. Further, his style isn't exactly subtle or modest. No, I'm already picturing a big, over-the-top recreation of a particularly squalid 19th century England. The show is a grand guignol in every sense of the word, but all the successful stagings it has had have been very minimal in staging. Burton isn't going to get that. The actors are going to be lost under the sets and special effects.

And Johnny Depp is a very good actor...usually. I can't see him as Sweeney though. And I certainly can't see him singing his way through the role.

And the sad thing is, Burton would have been an inspired choice of director for another Sondheim play, Into the Woods. That's a production that lends itself well to extravagant excess.

The good news is: a Discworld movie is finally going to be made. The bad news is, Sam Raimi is directing it.

Raimi's idea of comedy is too broad to really work with Pratchett's writing. And as a director he's shown an utter inability to get his actors to, well, act.

Come to think of it, even Burton would be a better choice on a project like this.

Naughty America: The world's first sexually themed massively multi-player on-line role-playing game.

Or, rather, The Sims Online with cartoon sex. That they expect you to pay for.

At least they either got Glen Hanson to do the art, or paid someone to make it look a lot like his work.


Friday, January 13, 2006

Two Things People Forget About Wildcat 

1: Boxing was his fall-back career

I'm always a little irritated when writers go for the "I'm just a dumb palooka who's only good for hitting things" characterization for Wildcat. Yes, he's got a working-class every-man vibe going for him. Yes, he's got a cocky, macho attitude. Yes, he's a smart-ass. But he's not an idiot. He's a smart, educated man.

2: It's all Green Lantern's fault

I love this sequence. Ted Grant decides to put on a gaudy outfit and fight crime because he feels sorry for a kid who lost his Green Lantern comic. I've got this little scenario in my head where the reason the Green Lantern comic is so confidant about GL having a secret identity is because Alan Scott's company is the one putting it out.
It's the most nonsensical explanation for becoming a super-hero I've ever seen, and it's handled like the most obvious, matter of fact thing in the world.


Thursday, January 12, 2006

Wildcat and Atom, Sitting In A Tree... 

Pete has a saying about short men...I think Ted has the same saying.


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Ted Grant: Comics Critic 

Wildcat doesn't much care for Grant Morrison's latest epic:

As you can see, he disliked it so much he managed to blot it out of his memory.

The Wonder Woman of Earth-2 has a slightly more positive response:

Granted, her hysterical over-reaction is a bit...odd. You can just hear Oracle sighing before he responds to her, can't you? I particularly like the "For God's sake, get a grip on yourself woman!" look on Hourman's face.

Word comes to me from Bill Roundy of the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, that the Museum will be hosting an exhibit of Wildcat creator Irwin Hasen's art from January 14 to February 20, with Hasen in attendance for two nights, January 14 at 7 PM and January 16 at 6:30 PM. Those of you lucky enough to be able to attend can get a look at Hasen's original Wildcat concept sketch, as well as a painting of what the cover to Wildcat Comics #1 would have looked like. And if Wildcat isn't your thing, there's all the Dondi art to check out as well.


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Wildcat Straddled Hawkman's Waist... 

And sublimated his unspoken desire by beating him in the face...


Monday, January 09, 2006


Wildcat continues to beat up on other good guys...though I rather suspect he doesn't mind being "tackled" by Robin all that much.


Sunday, January 08, 2006

Eh, He Had It Coming 

Wildcat and Mr. Terrific beating Hal Jordan into unconsciousness with sticks.



Friday, January 06, 2006

Searching for Content in Wizard 

One of the things that always bugged me about Wizard when I still worked in comics retail is how you can read through the entire magazine and come away feeling like you know less about comics than when you started. It's not because simply reading the magazine saps away brain cells (though I suspect that's true...), but because the bulk of the magazine is, well, fan-service fluff disguised as actual information. So, I've been meaning for awhile to sit down with an issue of Wizard and go through it and see what, if any, actual content the magazine has. I've even given them the benefit of the doubt and chosen their "2006 Preview" issue, in the expectation that this will at least contain information about comics I could buy in the next 12 months.

First of all, I'd like to say something about the cover. It's a close-up picture of Brandon Routh dressed up as Superman. This immediately brings two thoughts to my mind, neither of them inclining me positively towards the upcoming film. One, they're doing that thing I hate with super-hero costumes where they make all the seams visible in an attempt to make the costume look "realistic." And two, Brandon Routh's package has no definition in that outfit.

Secondly, let's look at the ratio of ad pages to editorial content pages. Not counting the covers, the magazine has 152 pages. 21 of those pages are out-right ads, counting the "shows and cons" and "classifieds" pages as paid advertisements. That's pretty good, better than I expected actually. But, wait, 10 of those ad pages are for Wizard-related events and publications (11 if they have anything to do with ToyWiz.Com), not actual paid advertising. And 13 of the editorial content pages have 1/3 to 1/2 page ads on them, again with Wizard-related ads making up the bulk of those. Still, that's a pretty good ratio of "content" to "ads." I can't help but take the noticeable lack of paid, outside advertising as a bad sign. The only non-comics related ad I saw was one for a video-game. This suggests to me that advertisers do not wish to court comic book fans or their money.

Now, on to the actual editorial content. We've got two pages serving as an index, and one more serving the "letter from the editor" and staff roster/copyright information. This counts as content, sort of, but it's not the slightest bit interesting and if the "funny jokes" were removed this could easily be condensed down to two pages. Next we've got six pages of letters to the editors. Again, this barely counts as content and I strongly suggest against reading the letters if you entertain any illusions that comic book fans are rational and level-headed.

And then there are 27 pages about the upcoming Superman Returns film. The first two pages are filler, serving as an introduction the film. Not, in the end, content. Next are several pages interviewing Brandon Routh, Bryan Singer and Kevin Spacey. My initial inclination is to discount these pages, because they're about a movie, not a comic book, but given that it's a film based on a comic book, I'm going to let it slide and judge these pages as content. Then we have two pages of discussion about Brandon Routh's costume. It's fan-wank, and therefore not real content. As is the two page poll. And the two page discussion of previous film incarnations of Superman. This sort of thing reeks of filler. Next we have two pages about the new Superman video game. This comes closest to fitting the category of "unpaid advertising." Again, not actual content. And finally we have a page of Superman trivia. It borders on fan-wank, but I'm not quite prepared to call it filler outright. There is a kind of postscript to the section, detailing upcoming films based on DC Comics properties. The information tends to be vague and brief, but it's mostly factual and informative, so it just barely counts as content.

We've got a two page discussion of one still from X-Men 3 next. There's no actual information here, so I have to declare this filler. We have a two page explanation of the DC Multiverse which isn't necessary information by a long shot. I have serious difficulty believing that anyone who reads Wizard doesn't already have some passing familiarity with this subject, so it's filler. We've got another two pages discussing, in as vague a manner as possible the "One Year Later" status quo for DC. It's too vague to be useful, and if you have an internet connection and know the URL of even one comics "news" site, none of it is revelatory, but it's still not quite filler. Content, barely. Moving on, we find a page about the upcoming Marvel "Civil War" event which tells me absolutely nothing about the event. So, I'm going to go ahead and call it an unpaid advertisement. The "Superhero Registration Form" is one of the magazine's occassional attempts at humor, but it's just sophomoric fan-wank filler.

A comparison between Astonishing X-men and All Star Superman is largely the kind of editorial content I'd expect from a magazine like Wizard. It's fairly non-offensive and it's designed to get the readership excited about the subject. The following ten pages are devoted to interviews with comics creators, namely Brad Meltzer, Jeph Loeb and Mark Millar, about their upcoming work. As with the AXM vs. ASS debate, it's the kind of editorial content I really should be expecting to find in a magazine like this. You'd expect the three pages (four if you content the full page of art) about 52 to be content, but in 52 paragraphs very little information is actually revealed. The closest descriptor I can find for this article is unpaid advertisement. Sadly, the next five pages, with their focus on Spider-Woman, New Avengers and Stephen King's 2007 Dark Tower comic also are more suggestive of unpaid advertising than actual informative content. The two pages Sentinel breakdown is mere filler, and the list of House of M spin-offs and depowered mutants is more unpaid advertising.

We've got three pages of unpaid advertising for the Ultimate Avengers DVD, and then we've got one of the things I really hate about Wizard. As a retailer, the fact that Wizard isn't very good at communicating the difference between factual information, speculation and crap they made up, and the "Casting Call" feature is one of the worst offenders. Every single time Wizard would run an article like this I'd get customers who just had to tell me how excited they were about the cast of the upcoming film that wasn't actually going to be in the film that wasn't going to be made.

Four pages of Alex Ross pictures tying into the Justice series crosses the line from "content" to "filler." There's barely enough information in the article to fill one page, and it gets four? The two page "interview" with Grant Morrison about his upcoming run on Wildcats is entertaining filler, but it's still filler. In fact, it probably amounts to more unpaid advertising. The two page interview with Michael Turner is just barely content, but its right on the border of filler given its lack of specificity.

The following fourteen pages with short snippets of news about upcoming comics counts as content, if only for the sheer volume of vague information it contains. The "index" for the 2006 preview section is flat-out filler, as is the examination of Thomas Church in his Sandman costume.

The ten pages of brief promos for this month's comics straddles the line between content and unpaid advertising. If there was more of a review-type approach to the material I'd be comfortable calling it content, but as it is...

Twenty pages of price guides probably make up the most contentious aspect of the magazine. I find that it encourages a speculator mentality in comic readers and is too unreliable and easily manipulated. But, to be honest, it's really what most people buy the magazine for. So...against my better judgment, content.
Except for the pages about slabbed comic prices. Those are just enticements to greed.

The last page joke makes me weep bitter, bloody tears at the folly of mankind. Filler.

So, in my final count, we've got about 50 pages of actual, informative content out of 152, removing the price guide from the tally. Or, about one-third of this issue of Wizard isn't filler or advertising material, paid or otherwise. Informative content you could just as easily find on-line. And, usually, without the sub-frat boy level humor.


Thursday, January 05, 2006


And some days, you lucky people get treated to the Human Bomb making up swear words because my boy-friend demands that I go play City of Villains with him tonight.


Wednesday, January 04, 2006

A Quiet Day 

There are times that I seriously consider just chucking the current focus of the site and rededicating it into a gay porn site.

I mean, to be honest, there are some days I can't even tell the difference between that and what I'm currently doing.

Via Party Boy Journalist John Gorenfeld comes this story, illustrating just how dark the comic book universe really is:

Town turns against its super-heroic protector.

Via Kyle's Bed and Breakfast, Infinite Crisis discussion moves into the world of gay comic strips.

Dammit! I took this new job to escape comic books!


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

You People Need To Read More Disney Comics 

And people complain about the DC Universe being "too dark" these days...


Sunday, January 01, 2006

2006 So Far 

1) Portuguese Harry Potter fans think I've insulted Stanislav Ianevski by saying that gay men find him attractive.

2) Someone I've never met threatened to kill me on his LiveJournal.

So, yeah, pretty much business as usual.


Out-Of-Context Beetle Bailey Panel 

(with profuse and profound apologies to Tim O'Neil


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