Various fans and comrades have launched efforts to help out. And now the Hero Initiative, a non-profit organization created to help comic book creators in need, and Marvel Comics--where Gene did much of his best work on titles ranging from "Iron Man," and "Daredevil" to "Tomb of Dracula" and "Howard the Duck"--is joining in.
Here are details from the press release:
The Hero Initiative in conjunction with Marvel Comics is launching a series of Gene Colan-themed products, starting with a limited edition print of Gene's cover art to Invincible Iron Man #1, available at Wizard World Philadelphia, May 30-June 1. Only 200 prints will be available at the show at a cost of $25 each. Net proceeds from sales of these prints by The Hero Initiative will benefit Gene Colan. Another 50 prints will be available at a later date, with plans to have them autographed by both Gene Colan and Stan Lee.
Also at Wizard World Philadelphia, guest writers and artists at the Marvel Comics booth will be signing and sketching two large poster-sized boards, which Hero will auction benefiting Gene at a later date.
And that's just the start. Wizard World Chicago, June 26-29, will see the release of a second print featuring the cover art to Daredevil #47, the legendary "Brother, Take My Hand" story by Stan Lee and Gene Colan. A third print will be available later in the year, along with other products.
For August, a Gene Colan Tomb of Dracula poster will be available for order via Marvel Previews with proceeds routed to Gene; and in September, a special book reprinting some of Gene's greatest stories will be made available. In addition to these items, The Hero Initiative will take additional steps to help Gene in his convalescence.
"Gene Colan," said Roy Thomas, longtime Marvel Comics writer and Hero Initiative Board member, "is one of the most amazingly talented comic book artists in the history of the field. When I was scripting one of his stories, there was no one-not even Neal Adams or John Buscema-whose pencils could make me feel more strongly as if I were looking into a real world. He combines often-photographic realism with dynamism worth of a Kirby...and that makes him unique."
Cartoonist Fred Hembeck has made some new additions to his cool Across the Page gallery.
Today in sharity:
The Los Angeles Times asks Mel Brooks what he thinks about the upcoming "Get Smart" movie.
It's got a good director, Peter Segal. Wonderful director. The writers were great. The producers were young and aggressive and smart. But the brilliance is Steve Carell. To choose a guy who's right in the Don Adams groove. You couldn't get a better guy than Steve Carell. And yet he doesn't do Don Adams. He does none of his delivery. He just does Steve Carell.
Golden Age Comic Book Stories presents Roy C. Krenkel art for Edgar Rice Burroughs' "Tarzan and the Tarzan Twins." Pt. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
USA Today reports on Sebastian Faulks' new James Bond novel "Devil May Care."
$432: That's how much it's gonna set you back to buy all the comics involved in Marvel and DC Comics' latest "big event" crossovers. Does it make sense to expect comic book fans to shell out that much dough when the country's in a recession (not verge of, as some folks keep saying. We're there guys.)? Occasional Superheroine doesn't think so.
Do I ever buy "big event" books? No, I do not. Are they a cheap gimmick to hook gotta-have-it-all fans into buying titles that are actually of exceedingly poor quality? Yes they are. Should you send the publishers a message to cut this crap out buy not buying them? That's your call, but I bet you can figure out what I think.
The 'toon was a fun homage to the King, but didn't credit its original source. But now, thanks to Kirby fan Tom Lammers, it does! Check out the new attribution:
Way to go Tom! I'm hoping the Kirby Kredit also appears in the print edition of The New Yorker when the winning caption is selected.
UPDATE! The New York Post has an article about Lammers' efforts to get Kirby kredited by The New Yorker.
Thomas Lammers, a professor at the University of Wisconsin in Oshkosh, said he thought the cartoon looked familiar.
He then dug out the original from his collection, which had the same monster as the New Yorker cartoon and the same background.
He said he e-mailed the magazine about the similarities two weeks ago, but never heard back. He said the editors "probably had no idea what the source" of the image was when they saw the cartoon, but the lack of any credit to Kirby in the piece stuck in his craw.
"This is a guy who was a very popular comic-book artist. He co-created the Fantastic Four and a lot of other things people made a lot of money off of, and never got proper credit then, and isn't getting proper credit now," he said.
New Yorker spokeswoman Alexa Cassanos said the magazine contacted Bliss, a Kirby fan who said he'd done the piece as an homage to the artist nicknamed "King."
"Harry did it with all good intentions. He thought it was an overt reference, and not an attempt to plagiarize. He thought it was a tribute," Cassanos said. "To people in the comic world, it's a recognizable image."
Baddies including the Joker, Lex Luthor, the Riddler, Blockbuster, the Calculator(!) and more are among the inmates of the titular prison, where Green Arrow/Oliver Queen ends up being incarcerated.
According to Goyer:
“[Queen is] Green Arrow for the first 10 minutes of the movie, and then he’s arrested and his secret identity is revealed. They shave his goatee and they take his costume and send him to prison for life, and he has to escape. It’s like ‘Alcatraz,’ and he has to team up with, in some cases, some of the very same villains he is responsible for incarcerating in order to get out and clear his name. Of course, tons of people try to kill him while he’s in there. We’ve populated the prison with all sorts of B and C villains from the DC Universe. For the fans, there will be all sorts of characters the hardcore comic book junkies will know, but they’re all going to be there under their human names and no one is wearing a costume, but there will be a lot of characters with powers and things like that.”
A reunion for UK ska group The Specials is a go, says Billboard.
At present, the band only intends to play a series of theatre-sized venues in the U.K. "That's the kind of venue where we started," explains [singer Terry] Hall. "I don't like arena dates, at all. They're just soulless. The very nature of this band, we shouldn't go and play sit-down theatres. It would just be weird. I think we should carry on where we left off."
Screenwriter Steven Moffat will succeed Russell T Davies as lead writer and executive producer of "Doctor Who" for the series' fifth season, the BBC reports.
Jane Tranter, Controller, BBC Fiction, says: "Scripts and writers are at the heart of what BBC Drama is all about, and especially at the heart of Doctor Who. The past four series have been brilliantly helmed by the spectacularly talented Russell T Davies.
"As Lead Writer and Executive Producer, he has overseen the creative direction and detail of the 21st century relaunch of Doctor Who and we are delighted to have his continued presence on the specials over the next 18 months.
"But the challenge and excitement of the fifth series is now being handed to Steven Moffat. The Tardis couldn't be in safer hands. Steven's talents on both Doctor Who and beyond are well known. He is a writer of glittering brilliance, comedy and depth, with an extraordinary imagination and a unique voice.
"Steven has a wonderful mix of being a committed Doctor Who fan and a true artist, and his plans for the next series are totally thrilling."
DARK HORSE COMICS
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TOMB OF DRACULA OMNIBUS VOL. 1 HC
Written by GERRY CONWAY, ARCHIE GOODWIN, GARDNER F. FOX, MARV WOLFMAN, CHRIS CLAREMONT & DAVID KRAFT
Penciled by GENE COLAN, MIKE PLOOG & DON HECK
Covers by JOHN BUSCEMA & GENE COLAN
Dracula rises from the grave and steps into the Marvel Universe – facing a disembodied brain, a gigantic heart and a ghost with the nerve to steal Dracula's victims! The lord of vampires visits a horrible fate upon the daughter of a long-time enemy, but will his worst enemy prove to be his own daughter? Plus: voodoo, time travel and motorcycle gangs! The cosmic-powered Chimera and a Legion of Doom unlike any other! And who's the tough guy with the knives that snuffs out vampires' lives? BLADE! Can you dig it? Also featuring Werewolf by Night and Hannibal King, Vampire Detective! Collecting TOMB OF DRACULA #1-31, WEREWOLF BY NIGHT #15, GIANT-SIZE CHILLERS #1 and GIANT-SIZE DRACULA #2-4.
768 PGS./Rated T+ …$99.99
TOMB OF DRACULA OMNIBUS VOL. 1 HC – VARIANT EDITION
768 PGS./Rated T+ …$99.99
MARVEL MASTERWORKS: GOLDEN AGE MARVEL COMICS VOL. 3
Written by JOHN COMPTON, STOCKBRIDGE WINSLOW, RAY GILL & VARIOUS
Penciled by CARL BURGOS, BILL EVERETT, PAUL GUSTAVSON, STEVE DAHLMAN, BEN THOMPSON, AL ANDERS, IRWIN HASEN & BOB OSKNER
Cover by ALEX SCHOMBURG
The wait is over, and the stage is set. It’s fire vs. water in the most famous battle of comics’ Golden Age! Breaking new ground like none other, MARVEL MYSTERY COMICS, the flagship title of Marvel’s earliest days, started a craze that defines super-hero comic books to this day. With hero pitted against hero in a fight to the finish, you’d better place those bets and settle into your seats. ’Cause it’s the final round of the Human Torch vs. the Sub-Mariner!
Headlined by the lavish, manic and truly amazing Sub-Mariner by Bill Everett and the high-flying Human Torch by Carl Burgos, MARVEL MYSTERY COMICS is a bona-fide treasure trove of Golden Age action and adventure. The awesome and idiosyncratic Steve Dahlman brings you Electro, the Marvel of the Age, the monster-stomping robot featured today in THE TWELVE, while Paul Gustavson’s Angel woos damsels in distress and battles the undead evils of the subterranean realm, and the jungle adventurer, Ka-Zar the Great, protects the Belgian Congo from the threats of the outside world.
Also featuring the wild Western tales of the Masked Raider, boy-adventurer Terry Vance and a host of four-color companions -- each painstakingly restored to provide you with the best experience of these truly classic tales.
Collecting MARVEL MYSTERY COMICS #9-12.
272 PGS./Rated A …$59.99
MARVEL MASTERWORKS: THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN VOL. 10 HC
Written by STAN LEE
Penciled by JOHN ROMITA & GIL KANE
Cover by GIL KANE
Prepare yourself for a collection of no-holds-barred Spider-Man classics that defined comicdom’s favorite super hero unlike any other! Starting off with the return of one of Spidey’s oldest foes, Doctor Octopus, the two archenemies set into motion a gut-wrenching series of events leading to the death of Captain George Stacy. Ally to Spider-Man and father to Peter Parker’s ladylove, Gwen, Captain Stacy’s death marks Spidey for murder and pits the entire city against him. Now with hero, villain and even the man-on-the-street after him, there’s no moment for rest for the ol’ web-slinger as he wriggles his way through threats from the X-Men’s Iceman to the politicking Sam Bullit and former friend the Prowler. And it all leads into one of the landmark moments of Marvel history, the Comics Code defying “drug” issues. There’s no question Stan Lee’s Marvel Comics strove for a relevance that the competition could only dream of – and with AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #96-98, that mission was placed front and center: Peter Parker’s best friend, Harry Osborn, was revealed to be a drug addict. Letting a battle with Spidey’s nemesis, the Green Goblin, take a back seat to the personal drama that scourged the real-life streets of the reader’s world, the Lee/Kane/Romita team set a new standard for the mainstream’s relevance. Stan Lee pens some of his greatest scripts, chock full of edge-of-your-seat drama and up-to-the-moment politics, while the incomparable artistic team-up of John Romita and Gil Kane launches into the most lavishly illustrated and panel-bursting artwork to ever grace the pages of a Marvel comic. There’s no denying it, True Believer, these are Masterworks one and all! Collecting THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #88-99.
256 PGS./All Ages …$54.99
HULK: HEART OF THE ATOM PREMIERE HC
Written by HARLAN ELLISON, ROY THOMAS, CHRIS CLAREMONT, ARCHIE GOODWIN, LEN WEIN, HERB TRIMPE, BILL MANTLO & PETER GILLIS
Penciled by HERB TRIMPE, SAL BUSCEMA & JOE STATON
Cover by HERB TRIMPE & DAVE COCKRUM
In the sub-atomic kingdom of K'ai, the Hulk gained Bruce Banner's brain, but lost his heart to the gorgeous green Grace: Jarella! After the sinister Psyklop gets their world in his hands, the atom-crossed couple seeks happiness on Earth, but the odds seem stacked against them in both dimensions! Will the Hulk save his emerald angel and her war-torn world? Can green hearts be broken? Find out in this saga that spans time, space, and [non]human emotion! Guest-starring Captain Marvel and the Avengers! Collecting INCREDIBLE HULK #140, #148, #156, #202-203, #205-207 and #246-248; and WHAT IF? #23.
240 PGS./All Ages …$29.99
Trim size: standard
TOMB OF DRACULA GENE COLAN POSTER
24x36 Color Poster…$7.99
Final Order Cut-Off 7/24, (On-Sale 8/20/08)
You can see Marvel's complete solicitations at Newsarama.
HAWKMAN SPECIAL #1
WRITTEN by Jim Starlin
Art and cover by Jim Starlin & Al Milgrom
Spiraling out of the events of RANN/THANAGAR: HOLY WAR! Hawkman finds himself face to face with a force of unspeakable evil: Synnar. The things Hawkman will learn in the course of their confrontation may lead him to question his very existence!
On sale August 6 • 40 pg, FC, $3.50 US
Starlin and Milgrom--This will at least be fun to look at, even if I don't have the foggiest what's going on with "Holy War," yet another of DC's eternal cross-overing crossovers. In fact, I'm not sure exactly who Hawkman is these days, or how may Hawkmen there might be at the moment.
ALL STAR SUPERMAN #12
WRITTEN by Grant Morrison
Art by Frank Quitely & Jamie Grant
Cover by Frank Quitely
The Man of Steel has faced twelve super-challenges. Now, as Lex Luthor’s brilliant, criminal machinations come together, what fate awaits the doomed Superman? This is the final, dramatic chapter of the incredible, award-winning 12-issue run of ALL STAR SUPERMAN by Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely and Jamie Grant – don’t miss it!
On sale August 6 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Though Quitely's art is a bit stagnant for my tastes, it is nice to look at. And Morrison's take on the Super Mythos has been fun. It's very much a hip update of the Mort Weisinger era, but refreshingly free of post-modern irony and grim'n'grittiness.
Written by Michael Green & Mike Johnson
Art by Rafael Albuequerque
Cover by Ryan Sook
The Man of Steel and the Dark Knight are shocked to discover little versions of themselves fighting a threat in Metropolis. But where did these tiny heroes come from? As Superman and Batman search for answers, things get worse with the arrival of the Li’l League!
On sale August 20 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
I've never read an issue of Superman/Batman. The artwork has always looked hideous to me and the stories didn't seem like much fun. It's certainly not the World's Finest of my youth. But this storyline looks like it might actually be fun in an off-the-wall Silver Age-ish way. I'll give it a skim when it hits the comic shop and pick it up if it looks any good.
THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #16
Written by Mark Waid
Art and cover by Scott Kolins
Superman and Catwoman – together at last?! This team clearly won’t be held together with super-glue!
On sale August 20 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
What is this? "Comics are fun" month at DC? This another story that looks like it may actually have a sense of humor to it.
THE SPIRIT #20
Written by Sergio Aragones & Mark Evanier
Art by Paul Smith & Walden Wong
Cover by Paul Smith
The Spirit swims with the dolphins – but murder follows him even among these peaceful creatures!
On sale August 20 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
I worried, along with everyone else, when Darwyn Cooke left this title. Seeing his art on a monthly basis was a joy. But, you know what? As nice as his Spirit issues were to look at, the scripts of the issues that have followed Cooke's run are better. A lot better.
Cooke provided some great art and cool graphic storytelling techniques and did a wondrous job of updating the problematic Ebony White. But the ongoing storyline he imposed over his issues never gathered steam.
Aragones and Evanier, meanwhile, have produced some excellent done-in-one stories with tight plots and witty dialogue. Smith's pencils--though not as stylish as Cooke's--are excellent. I've always enjoyed his work.
I don't know how long this series will be published, but I intend to keep buying it while it's around.
DC COMICS GOES APE TP
Written by Otto Binder, John Broome, Gardner Fox and others
Art by Carmine Infantino, Wayne Boring, George Papp, Ross Andru, C.C. Beck, Jim Starlin and others
Cover by Arthur Adams
You’ll go bananas for this new title collecting simian stories from SUPERBOY #76, SUPERMAN #138, THE FLASH (VOL. 1) #127, DETECTIVE COMICS #339 and 482, HAWKMAN #16, WONDER WOMAN #170, STRANGE ADVENTURES #201, SHAZAM #9, SUPER FRIENDS #30 and THE FLASH (VOL. 2) #151!
Advance-solicited; on sale October 1 • 168 pg, FC, $19.99 US
It's taken a long, long time for DC to capitalize on the nostalgic affection we fans all seem to have for the Silver Age gorilla craze but, finally, here it is: a compilation of classic simian stories for us all to enjoy.
DC UNIVERSE ILLUSTRATED BY NEAL ADAMS VOL. 1 HC
Written by Robert Kanigher, Bob Haney, Gardner Fox, Neal Adams, Cary Bates, Len Wein and Howard Liss
Art by Neal Adams, Joe Kubert, Nick Cardy, Dick Dillin, Steve Harper and Vince Colletta
Cover by Neal Adams
At last, it’s here – the first of three hardcover volumes collecting nearly every DC Comics story and cover by Neal Adams not already collected in GREEN LANTERN/GREEN ARROW, BATMAN or DEADMAN titles! Featuring rarely seen stories from OUR ARMY AT WAR #182, 183 and 186, STAR SPANGLED WAR STORIES #134 and 144, DETECTIVE COMICS #369, TEEN TITANS #20-22, ACTION COMICS #425, SUPERMAN #254, WEIRD WAR TALES #12 and 13 and more!
Advance-solicited; on sale October 22 • 192 pg, FC, $39.99 US
This one's a no-brainer. What's not to be excited about? Except, perhaps, the possibility that Neal insisted on re-coloring these tales as he did with some of the hardcover collections of his Batman stuff. Those gaudy, computer colors overpowered the original artwork. But if this is good old flat color, I can't wait to see it.
THE NEW TEEN TITANS ARCHIVES VOL. 4 HC
Written by Marv Wolfman
Art and cover by George Pérez & Romeo Tanghal
The 1980s adventures continue in this final Archive edition, collecting NEW TEEN TITANS #21-27 and NEW TEEN TITANS ANNUAL #1! Don’t miss the Titans’ struggle against the hordes of Brother Blood, Starfire’s confrontation with her evil sister and more! Retailers: Please see this month’s Order Form for a special Archives ordering incentive.
Advance-solicited; on sale October 29 • 224 pg, FC, $49.99 US
As I recall, this was the era when Wolfman and Perez pretty much peaked on this title, which was a favorite of mine and many other fans at the time. Boring cover on this Archive, though, eh?
THE PHANTOM STRANGER: THE HEART OF A STRANGER TP
Written by Paul Kupperberg, Mike W. Barr, Paul Levitz, Alan Moore and Dan Mishkin
Art by Mike Mignola, P. Craig Russell, Jim Aparo, Gene Colan, Joe Orlando and others
Cover by Mignola & Russell
The celebrated 1987 miniseries featuring art by Mike Mignola (Hellboy) is the centerpiece of this new collected edition, which also includes tales from SECRET ORIGINS #10!
Advance-solicited; on sale September 17 • 144 pg, FC, $19.99 US
I never read this mini, and don't even remember it being out. Lots of talented creators were involved. Was it a collection of anthology stories or what?
SHOWCASE PRESENTS: METAL MEN VOL. 2 TP
Written by Robert Kanigher and Bob Haney
Art and cover by Ross Andru, Mike Esposito, Gil Kane, Mike Sekowsky and George Roussos
Cover by Andru & Esposito
The Metal Men return in this SHOWCASE PRESENTS volume collecting their adventures from METAL MEN #16-36 and THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #66.
Advance-solicited; on sale September 17 • 528 pg, B&W, $16.99 US
More good, fun stuff.
SHOWCASE PRESENTS: BLACKHAWK VOL. 1 TP
Written by Various
Art by Dick Dillin, Charles Cuidera and Sheldon Moldoff
Cover by Dillin
The 1950s adventures of The Blackhawks are collected for the first time in this new volume featuring stories from BLACKHAWK #108-127!
Advance-solicited; on sale October 1 • 512 pg, B&W, $16.99 US
These stories are from way before my comic-reading time and generally aren't held in high regard. But, hey, it's the sort of stuff Showcase was created for, and they may be fun to read. Plus, I'm all in favor of having more Dick Dillin artwork back in print.
Newsarama has DC's complete solicitations here.
Hey, Rick over at the cool, very specialized Comic Book Letterhead Museum needs letter column artwork for Marvel's Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos. If you have a scan, please send it his way.
(I have to admit that I'm a little annoyed at Rick, as I'd been planning to do a big post, or series of posts, spotlighting letter column art from various comics. But his blog beat me to the punch. On the bright side, it has saved me a lot of time and work...)
If I'm ever in Emeryville, Calif., I need to go to this store.
Finalists for The New Yorker's caption-a-cartoon contest are in, and they didn't pick my idea, which played off the Jack Kirby roots of Harry Bliss' drawing.
That's not too surprising. And neither is the fact that none of the entries they did choose are funny. That's usually the case with this contest: Entrants tend to go with obvious descriptions of what's going on in the pictures instead letting their imaginations roam. But, if the results fail to amuse, they sure provide renewed appreciation for how difficult cartooning is.
I posted a second Marvel Comics-themed idea here.
This cracks me up.