Small Press Expo Kicks My Ass

Yesterday, I hung out with Dern of “Yo’ Dern” and Hello With Cheese fame, Ananth and Yuko of Johnny Wander, and Ross from The System at the Small Press Expo which just happens to be right across the street from where I live. Apparently, this year SPX wanted to preserve the comic freshness of the attendees and exhibitors because the air conditioning in the hall was set to crispy and FREEZING. Even with hoodies and sweatshirts, comic creators and guests were shaking their booties like they were at a disco.

So. Fucking. Cold.

SPX is a difficult con for me to attend. On the one hand, it is filled with comics awesomeness. I didn’t plan on spending any money when I went, but somehow the greenies escaped the confines of my wallet and I came home with comic awesomeness. The sheer number of great comics even in these rough economic times tells me that there’s always room for comics. It’s great to see and it’s tremendously inspiring.

On the other hand, I was supremely annoyed with myself that I wasn’t a part of it. It’s not the day job that gets in the way (although, it really does get in the fucking way), it’s not all the other projects that get in the way, it’s not life that gets in the way, or any of a bajillion other fucking things that I can point to that get in my way. It’s me. I’m getting in my own fucking way. There are a fuck ton of people who are a fuck ton more busy than I am and they manage to crank out awesome indy comics of epic awesomeness. If they can level up and bring their A game to the SPX, so can I.

SPX was a great kick in the ass. Hopefully, this means you’ll be seeing more art work from me from now on. There’s a lot of shit that I want to get done and it’s been taking entirely too long for me to get to it. So fuck it, time to level up and art like a ninja.

If Rob Liefeld is Excited, I’m Ex– oh Wait

Deadpool Liefeld

It seems that Rob Liefeld is somehow involved with the Deadpool movie. At least, that’s the impression you get from his Twitter account:

Walking into Deadpool movie meeting!!! Yowza!

I guess it makes sense. He created Deadpool. I’m curious to know what kind of deal Rob got when he created the character. Marvel isn’t in the habit of giving their creators ownership of Marvel U characters they create, but it seems like Rob is always around when talk of Deadpool comes up. Maybe he’s being brought in as a consultant of some kind which doesn’t make much sense since Deadpool only got cool after he left for Image.

Anyway, it sounds like the meeting went well:

Great Deadpool movie meeting! Lauren Schuler Donner and her team are headed in the right direction!

Rob brought along his own personal check list of things he wants to see from the flick:

Deadpool movie checklist- DP in costume-check! Breaking 4th wall-check! Loads of killing-double check!

Oh, and he’s excited that Ryan Reynolds is returning to play the Merc with the Mouth:

Deadpool movie- YES! Ryan Reynolds is on board!!!

But unlike Rob, I’m not excited about this next bit:

Also excited to discuss possibilities of Cable in future X-films!!!

Does anyone really trust Fox to do right by Cable? Does anyone really trust Fox to do right by any of the X characters? I hope and pray that Marvel will ask uncle Walt to slap Fox with a giant load of cash so that they can get their X-movies back.

Disney White Washes the Weapon

The Weapon

What’s in a name?

Suppose you have a comic who’s main character is named Tommy Zhou. Zhou is a martial artist and inventor and has created a device that combines both of his passions, wrist bands that can focus his chi energy to make solid weapons out of holograms. I’m thinking something like a Green Lantern ring except with chi weapons. Of course, your comic needs a villain so let us also suppose that there’s an ancient society known as Lin Kuei that is very interested in Zhou’s invention and would like to use it for its own ends.

Sounds like you have an action packed, martial arts, chop socky kind of comic. It also sounds like you have a very Chinese comic. Zhou happens to be the name of the longest reigning dynasty in China’s history. Also, when you mention the emperor of China on page 2 of your first issue, that further leads me to believe you have a very Chinese comic.

If you were going to make a movie of said comic, who would you cast as the main character? Let’s see, he’s Asian (specifically Chinese), he knows his chop socky, sounds like a job for Donnie Yen, Jet Li, Andy Lau, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Korean Pop Sensation Rain, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, or Russell Wong (seriously, he needs to be in more films). And that’s just off the top of the dome. I’m there are a shit ton more Asian action stars who would be perfect for the role of Tommy Zhou in The Weapon.

Who does Disney pick to play Tommy Zhou, our very Chinese hero with a very Chinese name and a very Chinese heritage who was raised in Honolulu’s Chinatown? This guy:

David Henrie

This is David Henrie, star of The Wizards of Waverly Place, a Disney tweeny boppy sit com show about a family of wizards trying to fit into a non-magical society.

Now I will say that a last name does not an Asian make. My wife and my sister-in-law both have my family’s last name, Noguchi. They are not Asian. At all. Not even close. So you could make the argument that just because the character’s last name is Zhou, that doesn’t mean he’s Asian.

However, in the context of the comic, Tommy Zhou is most assuredly Asian. His grandfather is Chinese, he was raised in Chinatown, he uses his Chinese heritage in his sales pitch at the trade show. I mean, you would actively have to go out of your way not to look at a cover image or actually read the thing to think that you could get away with casting a non-Asian as Tommy Zhou.

I really don’t get this. If they’re going to ignore the source material, why bother doing a movie “loosely” based on The Weapon? Reading through the thing, Tommy practically wears his Chinese heritage on his sleeve. It’s not even like this comic has a built-in fan base. I’ve never heard of the thing before this announcement. So why stick this Henrie kid in a franchise that doesn’t exist? Why not give him his own stupid MMA movie and give The Weapon to an Asian? This is just a dumb fuck move.

The shitty thing is that no matter how loud we shout about this blatant white washing of a character, Disney won’t give two fucks. They don’t care about diversity or integrity or ethnicity. They care about money. At the end of the day, they’re not selling The Weapon to us action movie fans. They’re selling it to the teeny bopping kiddies who made David Henrie a “star” in the first place. They think that tweeny audience doesn’t give a shit about diversity and so they’re passing this goofy fuck off as an action star. He’s made money for them on that Wizards show and he’s sure to make money for them in this. Even if the rest of us think it’s a pile of dog shit, that Wizards audience will almost guarantee decent box office sales.

Seems to me that Hollywood doesn’t believe a movie starring an Asian lead will perform well. Never mind that Slumdog Millionaire won 8 Oscars. That must have been a fluke. Until more Asian lead films win awards or destroy box offices with their feats of cashing in, Hollywood will pass over solid Asian actors in favor of mediocre white ones. Russell Wong, Donnie Yen, Andy Lau, any one of them would be perfect for Tommy Zhou. Any one of them can out act David Henrie on a bad day and kick his scrawny ass without breaking a sweat. But we won’t get to see them in The Weapon. And that makes me very sad.

Thanks to Angry Zen Minion Nathan Yuen and AZM Ally Jen Starling for sending this my way.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

Joe Q Takes Us on a Tour of the Marvel Offices

I would like the cover wall, please. Since the wall changes every month, I’d like all the covers that get chucked to make room for the new ones. Yes, that is what I’d like right now.

It’s kind of interesting to see the modern Marvel bullpen. It looks much more like a regular office than I would have expected. I had visions of drafting tables and buckets of pens and pencils with scruffy artists huddling over their pages. But it looks like so many other offices around town. Don’t think the bullpen is for me.

I am kind of interested in Margarita Vaisman’s job as the social media ninja for Marvel. Managing Marvel’s web presence sounds like it’d be pretty fun. Lots of work, but a lot of fun. You get paid to facebook for Marvel all day! How freaking awesome!

Marvel Animated Comic Trailers Galore

Alrighty, we’ve got some exclusive preview clips from some upcoming Marvel motion comics. First up is the trailer for Astonishing X-Men: Gifted.

[flv: 550 309]

Marvel is proud to unveil the first full-length trailer to the hotly anticipated Astonishing X-Men: Gifted motion comic, based on the seminal comic story by superstar scribe Joss Whedon (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer) and renowned artist John Cassaday (Captain America). Now you can get your first look at Marvel’s newest original motion comic (available October 28th on iTunes) as the X-Men embark on a bold new mission! Discover more at, bub!

Next up, Jessica Drew escapes in episode 2 of Spider-Woman, the motion comic.

[flv: 550 309]

Marvel is proud to unveil new footage from the critically acclaimed Spider-Woman motion comic! The New York Times Best-Selling team of Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev (Halo Uprising) continue Marvel’s first ever original motion comic as Spider-Woman finds herself at odds with the law in Madripoor and that may spell the end of her mission as an Agent of S.W.O.R.D.! Spider-Woman Episode 2 hits iTunes on September 2nd and no True Believer can afford to miss it! Discover more at!

The X-Men one bothers me a bit. Cassaday’s artwork is fantastic on the page. But it doesn’t really lend itself well to this style of animation. I really wish they didn’t feel the need to animate so much of his figures. That scene with the X-Men walking in the hangar to the Blackbird is really disconcerting. Looks really off. And every time the mouths are animated, I can’t help but giggle a bit. Too much is sometimes too much.

By contrast, I think the Spider-Woman gets it right. Not overly animated, no moving mouths. There’s a sense of mood. The animation seems less like a gimmick and more like a real story-telling method. No wonder episode 1 performed so well on iTunes. I think if Astonishing X-Men had a similar treatment, I’d be more excited about it.

What do you all think?

Consolidation of Media is Never a Good Thing

I’ve had some time to chew on the Disney/Marvel deal. It sounds great for Marvel. The deal is sort of structured like Pixar’s where Disney distributes their awesome stuff and keeps their hands out of the creative process. It sounds great for Disney. There’s no telling what will happen when the copyrights to their characters run out this time around. Will Disney have the clout to change copyright law once again? Doubtful. In that case, they need a stable of new intellectual property to draw from and Marvel is the perfect place to go dumpster diving. Wins all around. Right?

Not really.

We’re getting to the point where a handful of giant mega corporations control our entertainment media. Competition breeds awesomeness, but when everyone is making fuck tons of cash because they have the backing of a giant cash machine, the drive for awesomeness wanes. Media producers are now beholden to investors and boards of directors who are only interested in making more money. So instead of taking risks and breaking conventions, they stick with what works. That’s why for the foreseeable future, we will constantly be faced with sequels, remakes, reboots, reality. It’s all easy junky crap. Our entertainment is becoming a homogenized mess and it sucks.

DC has had the backing of Warner Brothers for quite some time now. And we’ve seen them pretty much fuck things up for themselves without interference from the big shield (Infinite Looping Final but Not Really Crisis on a Bunch of Infinitely Infinite Worlds Countdown). So it might very well be the case that Marvel will be the same Marvel that we’ve known and loved for all these years. I’m sure the publishing side of Marvel won’t be affected much since it astonishingly makes up so little of their business these days. But it feels all wrong.

Homogenization of the music industry has destroyed music. It’s almost impossible to listen to the radio on purpose these days without wanting to chuck your stereo at the nearest kitten. Homogenization of network and cable television ensures that reality television is here to stay. And it’s made networks like Syfy and Cartoon Network do things to completely alienate their audiences. Yeah, there’s still quite a lot of entertaining stuff out there on the major media networks. But there’s quite a lot more shit. I don’t want my comics being thrown into that mess. Even if Marvel manages to stay somewhat independent, there’s no doubt in my mind that no matter how slight, we’ll notice a change.

I truly think Marvel is getting the better part of this deal. But I still worry. This heralds something bigger than I think we might realize. I hope Marvel is able to retain its awesomeness when all is said and done.

Make Mine Disney?

Disney is buying Marvel.


I’m kind of stunned. While I try to collect my thoughts, let’s hear from the President and CEO of Disney, Robert A. Iger:

This transaction combines Marvel’s strong global brand and world-renowned library of characters including Iron Man, Spider-Man, X-Men, Captain America, Fantastic Four and Thor with Disney’s creative skills, unparalleled global portfolio of entertainment properties, and a business structure that maximizes the value of creative properties across multiple platforms and territories. Ike Perlmutter and his team have done an impressive job of nurturing these properties and have created significant value. We are pleased to bring this talent and these great assets to Disney.

We believe that adding Marvel to Disney’s unique portfolio of brands provides significant opportunities for long-term growth and value creation.

Nope, still not stunned. Let’s hear from Marvel’s CEO, Ike Permutter:

Disney is the perfect home for Marvel’s fantastic library of characters given its proven ability to expand content creation and licensing businesses. This is an unparalleled opportunity for Marvel to build upon its vibrant brand and character properties by accessing Disney’s tremendous global organization and infrastructure around the world.

I… I can’t… what the… WHUT?!

I am so horribly confused. Okay, sure, when Disney comes a callin’ with their giant-sized check book in tow, you kind of sit up and listen. And when they offer you approximately $4 billion with a capitol B for your funny-book characters, I imagine that the word “NO” magically vanishes from your vocabulary. It’s not just the money they bring to the table. Disney has worldwide retail distribution into markets that Marvel could only dream of. Disney also brings television with dedicated channels that could leverage the Marvel brand like never before. At the same time, I can’t see Disney releasing movies like Iron Man or Incredible Hulk. And there’s a lot of Marvel content that isn’t exactly Hanna Montana friendly.

What kind of partner will Disney be? Will they be heavy handed and rebrand Marvel comics to fit in more closely with their established, kid-friendly, tweeny bopping branding or will they leave Marvel alone and let them do what they do best? Much more so than any move in the history of comics, I believe this acquisition is a true game changer.

Source: Market Watch

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