Thursday, January 31, 2008

The OS Hot Ten For 1/31/08

10. Catwoman Lip-Ripping Cat-Fight Cover

9. Batman: Rest In Peace?

8. Marjorie Satrapi

7. Spider-Bitch
6. Joe Quesada on Colbert Report


4. Transformers Anniversary Ad: "They Were Always Real To Me"

3. Return Of Ambush Bug

(If only Ambush Bug had his own series on the Cartoon Network! *sigh*)

2. Y: The Last Issue / Season Four of "Lost"

(Picture of Matthew Fox barely trumps picture of the awesome Brian K. Vaughan)

1. The Return of Captain America

There it is, the Hot List
Let the debating begin...

Uhhhhh...Am I Supposed To Care About This Batman Death?

Help me out here. Am I supposed to care about this death? This Batman #500,000 from Earth Pi, right? Or is this a Batman I'm supposed to feel emotion for?

Is this one of the old Batmen? Kingdom Come? Is that it? Is that why he looks so fat in this issue?

And Jason Todd finally got his revenge on the Joker...

Wow, this is really emotional. Let's have a moment, shall we?

In all seriousness, this series could have been much better, could have moved past the more cartoonish elements, had the art not looked so rushed. The art on this series has looked continually rushed. DC was better of just literally having 20 different artists working on issues at the same time, 20 different artists.

And, as someone on scans daily pointed out,
"Brain punching does not work that way!"

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

What Should Be On The OS Hot List This Week?

What comic news moved you?

Is there a hot artist or writer who deserves attention this week?

What comic is burning up the charts?

I'm open to suggestions, the list goes up tomorrow!

Occasional Interviews: BUCKAROO BANZAI's Amin Amat

Amin Amat is the new artist on Moonstone Books' BUCKAROO BANZAI series, based on the classic cult film. I had a chance to catch up with Amin and discuss Banzai, Kolchak The Nightstalker, and more.

Were you a big comic book fan as a child?

Yeah I was. My first comic books were the Marvel GI Joe comics. Loved those. From those I ended up getting Conan and Transformers. Years later, I transitioned to Avengers which got me to view comics as a possible career but I didn't take that seriously until much much later. I still read the occasional issue here and there, although most of the time I may just pick up a graphic novel instead.
Who are your artistic influences?

My top tier influences are Klaus Janson, John Romita Jr., Marc Silvestri, Jim Lee, Travis Charest, Moebius, Dan Barry, Alex Toth and Alex Raymond. Of course this list expands depending on what project I'm working on and my mood and could include Amedeo Modigliani, Tiepolo, Edward Gorey, Toulouse Latrec, John Singer Sargent, to name a few.

What was your first professional comic book work?

My first pro work was doing a graphic novel for Cyberosia Publishing called "Second Soul". It was also my first real world dealings on what one can and cannot do as an artist and my limitations at the time in terms of achieving particular goals within a set time frame. That little novel taught me a lot about myself as an artist. Yet all in all it was a lot of a fun.

Acclaimed inker Klaus Janson taught you at SVA -- what was that like?

One of the best experiences of my life. Hell I'm still learning stuff he taught me, that's how good he is. Learning form someone with the professional and artistic caliber that is Klaus Janson was and still is incredibly rewarding. Even now when I draw I can feel him looking over my shoulder and making me question my decisions on design, composition, line work, why is this here and that there, layout, everything. I also owe a lot of my persistence and motivation to his brutal honesty when it came to improving one's work.

What brought you to Moonstone Books?

Well I had been doing smaller projects and pinups for sometime with Dave Ulanski at Moonstone. I did a short story for them that ended up being unpublished and I kept in touch with them over the years. After I came back from my 2 year sabbatical, they were doing a talent search for Captain Action. I sent in some pages I recently did for a local magazine and instead of getting Captain Action they offered me to tryout for Kolchak which I did. A short time after I became the
new Kolchak artist. While I was waiting for an approved script, Joe Gentile Moonstone's Editor in
Chief emailed me and asked if I'd be interested in doing Buckaroo Banzai. And, of course, I said "yes"!

You have worked on adaptations of TV & movies like Kolchak and now Buckaroo Banzai. Do you have to draw the original likenesses of those characters? Is that hard to do? Is there an approval process involved?

For any type of project where there is an established likeness, look or style you need to be true to the source. On both Kolchak and Buckaroo I kept all my sketches and studies using the actors as my main guideline. There is some room for one's interpretation but that room is very small. I personally don't find it hard, it's just a matter of drawing and sketching until you find your own click and everything makes sense. For both projects I have to get everything submitted for approval. On the Buckaroo Banzai book I'm working on, the character designs as well as every page has to be approved by not just my editor (Joe Gentile again!!) but of both the writer and director of the Buckaroo Banzai film, J.D. Richter and Earl Mac. I actually enjoy the approval process so if they
ask for changes or not, it's ok with me and besides they really like what I'm doing.

What advice would you give an aspiring young comic book artist?

I would say draw/sketch like there's no tomorrow. Study not just anatomy and other comicbook artists but artists from other fields/mediums. And be open to criticism. I've seen and heard of artists whose ego's were so inflated that any criticism made to their work was treated as an act of aggression against said artist. I guess I'm lucky enough to be able to separate myself from my art and look at it from another point of view other than just my own. Always keep an open mind and to not cease learning or questioning every decision you make when it comes time to draw.

What is your impression of the industry at the moment, in terms of opportunities for artists?
From where I'm at, it depends. The industry is definitely not able to offer a lot of work to artists as in the 90's. Then again a lot of the talent has maintained a higher level of quality than a majority
of the published work from the 90's. It's also a cutthroat industry as is any industry related to
entertainment. Your best bet besides talent is to be persistent, consistent and have good human relations (knowing how to communicate and work with others). All in all there are opportunities it's just realizing that each one is unique and what one did may not be the best for another to utilize.

Do you do other work besides comics?

Yes I work as a full-time web designer with a small design boutique in Ocean Park, Puerto Rico. Most of the time I'm swamped but I do sketch a lot during the day which has helped me to work better at night since my brain and hand have been in sync all day. Yet as those like me and those that came before me I do plan on illustrating comicbooks full-time in the near future.

If you could draw any character, who would it be?

Batman or anything Gotham city related, if DC asked; Spider-man, Cloak & Dagger or Power Pack if Marvel asked; and anything from the Valiant universe.

What's next for Amin Amat?

Right now, I'll be finishing up A Tomb with a View, the new Buckaroo Banzai book for Moonstone. Then hopefully some Kolchak and after that whatever

You can check out more art at's The Pulse Plot Point In Comic Mix's EZ-Street

click for full-size

Okay, this is a first --'s The Pulse, a popular comics news website, was recently featured as a plot point in Comic Mix's webcomic EZ-Street,

Plus, Neil Vokes is called an "asshole" by one of the characters.

You know what this means, don't you?

Petition Comic Mix to get my blog on EZ-Street as a plot point!


Occasional Links: The Capdickery Edition


Rags Morales: "I'm More Than Just Identity Crisis!"

New Nightwing artist Rags Morales laments to Newsarama about being pigeonholed as "that Identity Crisis guy":

"But I try to do better with every new project, so maybe you're seeing it like I feel everyone sees me -- as Identity Crisis. Please don't get me wrong, it's been a Godsend, and I loved what it's done for me. In some ways though, I feel like I may have failed the story a bit. That's something that kind of bug's me a little. I think most people don't think beyond that series when it comes to my work. I have a body of work, and there were some chances I took with Identity Crisis that I wouldn't want to do again, like the whole "casting" thing. From now on, I'm gonna think "character" instead of "who can play this character."

In Defense Of Tigra

Calvin Pitt writes:

"Bendis, please, stop writing about Tigra. I know Yu said she was gonna get a moment in the sun to make up for all the crap lately, but I have no faith in you to do right by the character. No faith whatsoever. If it was your pets, Luke Cage and Jessica Drew, then I might believe you were doing this with the purpose of showing what true heroes they are, and how they persevere. But since it's a character you've professed to hate, a character you have Edwin Jarvis, of all characters, calling an obscenity, I can't give you that benefit of the doubt (and we're gonna talk about that Jarvis thing tomorrow). Because you've given no indication you deserve it. The funny thing is, once upon a time (in Mexico) I wasn't prepared to buy that you did hate Tigra, thinking you just said that as a joke. I believe it now."

So what obscenity did Jarvis call Tigra, anyway? No cussing, please -- you can answer with the first letter and a dash and the word "word."

Tina Fey As "Tinkerbell"

From a Diesel Advertisement

She's a quirky, self-effacing fairy. Sexy because of her non-sexiness. Funny but like in this way that you don't really think she's funny, like you forgot she was funny.

Giving Tinabell a run for her money:

Meet "Duke" From "G.I. Joe"

Actor Channing Tatum has joined the 'G.I. Joe' team -- signing up to play Duke in the upcoming

In other news, here is my pick to play "Zarana" --

Video: Super-FRIENDS

Occasional Superheroine Reader Profile: Dan Grendell

Name: Dan Grendell


Comics you read: Oh, boy. I work in a comics store, and review them for a website, so it might be easier to ask me what I *don't* read. I tend to read as much as I can from publishers large and small each week, to best serve our customers. What I actually buy is much more limited, though. I tend to be pretty picky about what I'll actually take home. Current books that make it include:

Marvel Adventures: Avengers, Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, various Power Pack mini-series, Captain America, Fantastic Four, Immortal Iron Fist, Incredible Hulk, Nova, Annihilation: Conquest, The Order, She-Hulk, Thor, Thunderbolts, X-Men: First Class, X-Factor, Kabuki, and Criminal from Marvel.

Brave and the Bold, Blue Beetle, Birds of Prey, Manhunter, Batman and the Outsiders, Wonder Woman, Fables, and Northlanders from DC.

Hellboy, BPRD, Empowered, Grendel, Usagi Yojimbo, Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, Satsuma Gishiden, and Path of the Assassin from Dark Horse.

Proof, Invincible, Special Forces, Age of Bronze, Godland, Dynamo 5, True Story Swear to God, and Fell from Image.

Punks, Scott Pilgrim, Courtney Crumrin, Love and Rockets, Arsenic Lullaby, Finder, Order of the Stick, Nocturnals, Queen and Country, Fallen Angel, Local, Wormwood, PS 238, The Killer, Robotika, Mouse Guard, Artesia, and Modesty Blaise from various indy publishers.

Kindaichi Case Files, Yotsuba&!, Miki Falls, Hollow Fields, Monster, Pantheon High, and King City by various manga publishers.

Fave artist: Dan Brereton. His creepy style of painting has always just done it for me.

Fave writer: This is a tough one. It's a toss-up between Gail Simone and Jeff Parker right now, I think, though this changes all the time as I discover new people.

Fave character: Probably Lady Shiva, from DC. Somewhat obscure, and not all that important, but I've just always liked her. Can't really explain why.

First comic you ever read: I dunno about the first one I read, but the first one I actually remember reading was "Saga of the Swamp Thing" #21, 'The Anatomy Lesson', by Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette, Rick Veitch, and John Totleben. I was maybe ten when I read it, and it had a huge impact on me. The issue scared me, intrigued me, and delighted me, all at the same time.

Your favorite comic book "memory": (either related to comics or actually in a comic) The scene from near the end of "Lone Wolf and Cub", where Daigoro protects the swords of his father and Yagyu from all comers, including a runaway wagon, showing such devotion that he inspires the surrounding people to form a ring of protection around the blades.

Most frustrating comic book "moment": When I realized that most comics fans are not into the same things I am, and as a result many of the books I enjoy will be canceled early due to low sales.

Where/how do you buy your comics?: At the store where I work each week.

Floppies or trades?: Both, though I prefer trades.

Marvel or DC?: Again, both. I don't care who publishes a comic so long as it's good.

Star Wars or Star Trek?: Star Wars.

Non-comic book hobbies: Reading 'real' books, watching movies, playing role-playing and board games

Personal motto: Be honest, with yourself and everyone else.

How did you start reading "Occasional Superheroine?": I followed a link from Tom Beland's blog.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Occasional Previews: What I'm Buying This Week

Use this handy-dandy list from Diamond and add your picks to the comments section!






Oddball Comic Of The Week:


God, I remember this was like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles parody, right?

No, there aren't any DC Comics on the list, but I'm open to suggestions...

Occasional Links: The Surprising Spider-Man Edition

Your friendly Neighborhood Occasional Links

Wonder Woman Vs. Namor In A Swordfight

Who would win?


"She can decapitate with her tiara."

"I meant for this to only be a swordfight. No other weapons (like tiaras and lassos and such.)"

Got that? Stop screwing around. This is a serious debate!

Fortuna: Another Caped Do-Gooder Roaming The Streets, Making Multimedia Art Installations

"Masked, caped and packing a staple gun, a do-gooder known by the moniker Fortuna stalks the Wicker Park streets, tagging barren walls with posters announcing her dominance over evil. She's literally your friendly neighborhood superhero."

I heard Top Cow might be getting the rights to this, but they're going to have to add some cybernetic demon-hand pasties.

Gwen Stacy: Mexican Pinup Queen

Again With The Comics explores the Mexican 60's/70's reprint series "The Surprising Spider-Man":

I also have to wonder, are these stories considered canon to Mexican collectors? Is "Misterio del vampiro de la playa del bikiní" held in the same esteem as, say, the Master Planner arc or the Stone Tablet Saga? Inquiring, idiotic minds want to know!

As you can see, there was some effort made by the editors of "The Surprising Spider-Man" to capitalize on Gwen Stacy's... (don't say "assets," don't say "assets"...)

I like the idea that somebody on their staff actually had to draw a big ass onto Gwen. Like, that was an actual instruction that person received. "More ass! We've got to sell these damn comics!"

Gay and Bisexual Characters In Comics

Clip n' save this handy list, take it with you to your local comic book store, courtesy of The Gay League.

Some reflections on the list:

1) The "Bi" list seems to be made up of a lot of hot women and Mephisto. Draw your own conclusions.

2) "Doctor Stingaree" is gay. In case you were wondering.

3) Anybody remember back in Morrison's "Doom Patrol" when "Danny The Street" turned out to be gay? He was a friggin' street. He was a street with a distinct sexual orientation. Welcome to highbrow comix.

4) "Tlaango" is gay. Just in case you were debating it.

5) Is it a rule of comics that all gay characters have to have wacky names? Like you'll have a lesbian couple in some Vertigo book with the names "Pussywillow and Hotbox." Oh, that's clever. Welcome to highbrow comix.

6) Skyppi The Skrull has an "uncertain sexual orientation." Just in case you were wondering. Actually, I heard they are going to retcon that; he was really Black Bolt in disguise.

Video: "The Fantastic Four Song"


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