In this episode, the boys talk about comics derailed by the monthly schedule. We dive into Secret Invasion and Spider-Man New Ways to Die. Ben recaps the Granite Con and continues to be confused by Batman RIP. Josh gives us news including Denny Oneil and Stephen Colbert. Reviews and Previews include Ultimate Origins, Mighty Avengers, DC Last Will and Testament, War Heroes, Captain America and more.
Some newsbits out of this past weekend’s Baltimore Comic-Con for you… (Some comic fan I am…I was in Baltimore flying and out of BWI after speaking at a conference Saturday and had no idea the Con was going on. Damn it!!!)
News on a public Bendis/Kirkman debate, who is taking over on Mighty Avengers and another Mark Millar project going to the big screen after the jump…
Why? … WHY must it end?!
Finishing the 10th and final volume of Y: the Last Man, was bittersweet, but it was a fitting end to a fantastic series. Y: is the tale of Yorick Brown – the only man to survive a plague that wipes out every male creature on earth (except, that is, for Yorick and his monkey, Ampersand). With it’s final chapter told, Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra‘s 6-year opus might be the best comic series ever written. Why you ask?
Here’s an A-Y of why Y: a must-read (CAUTION: Thar be spoilers ahead) …
A few mid-week news notes for our faithful listeners and readers:
-First, we are recording our new p’cast as I type this. Ben tends to talk a lot! (Just kidding, bud.)
-Steven Colbert to appear in Amazing Spider-Man #573: Comedy Central host Colbert, seen as a presidential candiate throughout the Marvel titles over the past year, will meet up with our favorite wall-crawler in an eight-page backup story in ASM #573. The issue is the final part of the New Ways To Die arc, but will be unrelated to the storyline…we hope. And of course, there will be a Colbert variant. Hooray!
-Denny O’Neil returns to Batman for two issues: The long-term Batman scribe will return to write the man he knows so well for a two-issue run in December…except Bats won’t be in the story thanks to Grant Morrison’s Batman R.I.P. run. From his Newsarama interview:
“Batman really isn’t in the story…Batman is the great unseen presence in the story, the way that Hamlet’s father is the great unseen presence (except for a few minutes in Act I) in that story.”
-Liquid Comics buys out Virgin Comics: The long-awaited end of Virgin Comics has come as Liquid Comics has completed their buyout of management. Apparently, they will continue to work on some of the existing characters that Virgin had worked on, but I’m not sure where Stan Lee’s deal fits into all of this. Poor Stan, but this was to be expected.
Amidst the wave of teaser images, house ads and other clever marketing gimmicks, Marvel comics reached back into it’s 1980’s playbook and pulled out something it hadn’t used in a long time – traditional on-air TV advertising. This 30-second TV spot promoting Marvel’s Secret Invasion aired last night during the Minor League Baseball Championships on ESPN2. The ad leads viewers to embracechange.org, which is really just a link to the Secret Invasion page on marvel.com. With Secret Invasion already 6 issues in, this ad is presumably aimed to boost sales on trade paperback which will be released once the mini-series concludes in November. While it remains to be seen how effective the TV campaign will be, it’s nice to see Marvel pushing their core product – comic books – in a mainstream media venue. That’s something we haven’t seen since the 1980’s ads for G.I. Joe comics.
We’re pleased to announce the launch of the Near Mint Art Gallery. The Art Gallery is a chance for the hosts, fans, and friends of the program to show off their talent. We got the ball rolling with some sketches and desktop wallpapers of our own but this page is really for you. Are you an aspiring comic artist? Want to show off that sweet new Green Lantern tattoo? Got a convention sketch you’re dying to show off to the world? Now’s you chance!
Send your artwork to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll post it in the Art Gallery. Provide us with your name, hometown, age (optional) and any caption info to go along with your work. Please submit original artwork only. We reserve the right to deny or remove art submissions at any time.
Despite our society’s push to rely more and more on technical excellence rather than human know-how, we should never forget that the human touch provides a lot more to laugh at.
If you didn’t get your All-Star Batman and Robin #10 this week, there is a reason. DC asked retailers to destroy all copies sent to them because the issue contained uncensored obscenities due to a ‘printing gaffe’ with the various shades of black they were using. So, ol’ Batgirl was in full-color dropping f-bombs and the issue’s thugs had their colorful language appear with censoring as well. Oops.
The funniest part was DC noticed this after the books had been shipped and they asked their retailers to destroy the copies. Uhhh..ok. You’re a shop owner and in your hands, you have a potentially rare collectible that people will be jonesing for. You have spent years having to buy stuff you didn’t want to, put in orders months in advance and had to endure the current state of the economy. Yeah, I’m sure you’ll be rushing to burn those issues instead of selling them to people for $20 a pop.
You can find the issue on Ebay, ranging anywhere from $20-$60.
Monte cristo, it’s been a busy few days. Let’s jump into it:
-Bendis to launch Dark Reign storyline, leaving Mighty Avengers: Marvel uber writer Brian Michael Bendis made an unannounced appearance at the Diamond convention in Vegas last night and certainly left some big news in his wake. BMB said the post-Secret Invasion storyline will be called Dark Reign and will tie in some key Marvel Universe titles. A new title launched out of this includes Dark Avengers that he will write with art by Mike Deodato. As a result, BMB will leave Continue reading Bendis Leaving Avengers, Dark Reign coming, Marvel Noir, Ultimate Avengers, More
The third episode (which is actually a continuation of the second episode, but who’s counting) of Ben & Josh’s Near Mint Comic Show is live! Go to the Podcasts page to listen to this episode along with the first two, or subscribe to our feed through iTunes.
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DC’s Vertigo line has long claimed to be “the HBO of comics”. With the debut of HBO’s newest series, True Blood, it may prove to be just that. While there is no direct relationship, True Blood bears some striking similarities to Vertigo’s 2004 mini-series, Bite Club.
True Blood, the latest brainchild of writer/director Alan Ball (American Beauty, Six Feet Under), follows Louisiana waitress Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) through a world where Vampires have gone public and become part of society. Thanks to the invention of a synthetic blood substitute called – you guessed it – Tru Blood, vampires have made themselves known and are accepted (albeit hesitantly) into our culture. In the first episode we see a TV interview with Nan Flanagan, a spokesperson for the ‘American Vampire League.’
In Bite Club, co-written by Howard Chaykin and David Tischman with art by David Hahn, we’re introduced to the Del Toro crime family a vampire mafia operating in Miami. Vampires in Bite Club have similarly made themselves known and enjoy a place in society thanks to the blood substitute/illicit drug, ‘Plasmagoria’. The vampires of Bite Club have turned their hunger away from human flesh and towards money, power and fame. The tenuous relationship between vampires and humans leads to the development of the ‘Vampire Crime Unit’ – the subject of the second Bite Club mini-series.
Even the promotional art for True Blood looks familiar, when viewed alongside the cover of Bite Club‘s first issue, penciled by Frank Quietly (All Star Superman). Other promotional efforts behind True Blood include viral sites for both the Tru Blood beverage and the American Vampire League as well as an online comic.
True Blood is not based on Bite Club but rather on the novels of author Charlaine Harris. Still, the similarities are undeniable and fans of Bite Club will likely enjoy HBO’s latest original series. Moreover, if the masses respond to True Blood, Bite Club and Vertigo could provide a hook to turn TV viewers into comic readers. The serialized storytelling of comics and trade paperback collections will be very familiar to fans who’ve grown accustomed to HBO’s seasonal installments. And the Vertigo line serves up a similar buffet of sex, violence and adult themes that HBO fans will love.
The recently finished Vertigo series, Y: The Last Man was long-rumored to become and HBO series but will instead see a 2009 theatrical release. Marvel writer, Brian Michael Bendis (Avengers, Ultimate Spider-Man) is currently working on a pilot for HBO that, while not comic-based, could be another crossover opportunity to bring in new readers. And as comics continue to creep in to the mainstream, it’s clear that there are plenty of comics-fans-in-waiting. So the next time you’re at the water cooler, talking the Wire or Lost with coworkers, suggest a trade of your favorite series and see if anyone bites.