Thursday, November 30, 2006

Random Musings

Being out of town last week with limited internet access, and then being sick with a head cold this week has not allowed me the time or energy for the quality rants I have been wanting to make. It is starting to really bum me out, quite frankly. That is why I am hoping to spend this weekend working it all out of my system.

Rants to expect.... if it all works in my favor!

1. Wizard "Year End" awards. What a farce this crap is. I have a splendid little rant planned for this one.

2. Civil War is pushed back again. Another load of garbage. Your editor of the year and man of the year over at Wizard deserve an award... for what!? My only saving grace is that I feel sorry for artist Steve McNiven, who is fighting strep throat- a total nightmare.

3. Occasional Superheroine- the disturbing and enlightening entries that I have to finally sit down and read. This is a woman who has been in the trenches at Marvel and Valiant and is talking about it in "story" form, making for a compelling read . It is going to take some time to really search for the bottom line there for me, but in the meantime, head over if you haven't already. It is "must read" material for comic book readers. This is most likely not going to be a rant, but it is weighing heavily on my mind at any rate.

4. Wonder Woman's lateness- my favorite second tier hobby rant.

5. Comic book reviews.... short and sweet. This week didn't thrill me. I can't tell if it is because I am sick and impatient, or if what I am reading is simply dreck. Back at you on that later.

6. Wizard shake-up and the ramifications therein. Possibly a tie-in to the Wizard fan awards in rant form.

That is what is on my mind tonight, other then the usual panic about trying to make dinner and do laundry, that whole living my life deal.

If you haven't hit these stories, click on the links and head over. If nothing else, it is interesting reading.

Have a wonderful night!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Food for Thought: Wonder Woman's Lateness- LITG Style!

While perusing this week's installment of Lying In The Gutters over at Comic Book Resources, I found this piece of information about the lateness of the Wonder Woman title. Behold the genius and the madness:

"Two weeks ago on Wednesday, Allan Heinberg posted the following to his MySpace page, concerning "Wonder Woman."

The truth about WONDER WOMAN.

Hey, everybody,
According to the good people at DC Comics, WONDER WOMAN 3 is scheduled to arrive in stores next Wednesday, November 22. Please know that everyone involved (both creatively and editorially) regrets the delay between issues, but since WONDER WOMAN is a labor of love for all involved, we're extremely grateful to DC Comics for allowing us the extra time and to the book's loyal readers for their patience and understanding.

Hope you enjoy it,

Very shortly afterwards, it disappeared, without explanation. The delays I've been told are down to considerable rewriting - based in part on internet comments made by the same people who are now decrying its lateness. How's that for irony. "

Thank you Rich. I appreciate the honesty, while silently deploring the reason for the irony.

At this rate, if Heinberg is indeed looking to the internet, the fourth and fifth issues will never see the light of day.


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Christmas Comes Early!

Logitech mm50
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
When Jim and I were back East visiting his family, we exchanged Christmas gifts early. My brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and their respective fiance's pitched in to buy me this very fabulous Logitech mm50 portable speaker for my iPod.

Tonight I got it out of the box and charged it and am now listening to my iPod in stereo. The sound is great, and it plays at a loud enough volume to blow my ear drums out if I let it. Even cooler, I can also unplug and carry it and take it with me, so when I am folding laundry or doing other household chores, I can listen to my iPod without the tangle of headphones.

What a perfect gift! I am in bliss. If you are shopping for loved ones and know that they have an iPod, this could be the gift of the season! I know it is for me.

Monday, November 27, 2006

New Comics for November 29

Superman Batman #30
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
On this sad Monday, which brings news of the passing of Dave Cockrum and Dr. Jerry Bails, it is a time for reflection and a chance to take a moment to pay tribute to these incredible men. My hearts go out to their families.

It is strange to think about the books coming out this week with so much sadness, but I am going to do so here and now.

Books for the week are as follows:

52 Week 30
American Virgin #9
Batman #659
Deathblow #2
Flash The Fastest Man Alive #6
Green Lantern #15
Ion #8 (of 12)
Loveless #13
Superman Batman #30 (pictured)
Teen Titans #41
Wetworks #3
Black Panther #22
Captain America #24
Immortal Iron Fist #1
Powers #21
Punisher #41
Punisher Xmas Special
Ultimate Power #2 (of 9)
X-Men #193

Weird, but it is all DC and Marvel this week. God knows what that means.

Take care, and take that extra minute to tell your loved ones that you care.

Rest In Peace: Dave Cockrum

Uncanny X-Men 164
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
In very sad news, over at Newsarama it has been reported that Uncanny X-Men artist Dave Cockrum has passed away. For full details, peruse the article there.

Cockrum's art has touched my life, as I know it has touched many of yours. Any fan of the X-Men during the reboot that gave the world Storm, Nightcrawler, and Colossus knows of Cockrum's influence, which has lasted to this day. His renditions of Storm and Nightcrawler have especially stuck with me. To me, his is the definitive vision of those characters.

Cockrum is a legend, and I pray that he is in a better place now, where there is no pain and sorrow. God Speed Mr. Cockrum.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Quick Take Reviews for November 26

X-Factor 13
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.

After a week on the East Coast, Jim and I are back at home. We had a very nice time visiting his family, and enjoyed a change of scenery. With that in mind, I didn't get to look at my new comics until last night, so bear with me if I am a bit rummy. It is snowing here like crazy, and I shoveled with a head cold.

Wonder Woman #3- Finally, this book hits the shelves. While I find the premise interesting and inventive, nothing about this book is so special that it screams "3 month delay" to me. The book is okay, but it didn't knock my socks off. Grade B-

The Boys #5- Now this is a book worth talking about. The Boys is classic Garth Ennis goodness with a new school twist put on it. I love Darick Robertson's interpretation of Ennis' daring script, and would really like to see this become a longtime partnership. Filled with creamy goodness, The Boys is the freshest title on the shelves. Grade: A

X-Factor #13 (cover pictured)- Peter David brings Doc Samson back to interview the team for psychological purposes, and it works very well. After the last time around in X-Factory #87, I didn't think David could top himself, but he actually does it here. I laughed and shrieked, enjoying every last minute. This is THE X-title to read. Grade: A.

Ultimate Spider-Man #102- Now this book is out there, big time. The plot is far-fetched as heck, and the multiple things going on are a bit hard to track, but I find myself liking it anyway. It's got to be the... well, I don't want to spoil it other then to say "opposite sex clone". Yikes! Grade: B.

Daredevil #91- This is a book that lives up to the Wizard hype of getting named title of the year. With Matt in Europe hot on the trail of Foggy's "murderer", the plot gets even thicker in this issue. This is incredible. For great reading and consistently excellent art, Daredevil is an easy pick. Grade: B+.

JSA Classified #19- part one of a two parter focusing on Dr. Midnite. Written by Scott Beatty with art by Rags Morales and Michael Bair, this book works well all the way through. Dr. Midnite interacts with the DC universe to solve a crime involving metas being robbed of crucial body parts that their powers hinge on. Creepy but interesting. Grade: B.

Connor Hawke: Dragon's Blood #1- The reason I picked this book up can be summed up in two words: Eddie Fyers. Sometime nemesis and sometime friend to Oliver Queen, Eddie played a seminal role in Connor's turn as Green Arrow. He is a great second tier character, and the fact that he was popping up here was enough to sell me. That aside, I quite enjoyed the first issue, and look forward to seeing Lady Shado as this six issue mini-series continues. Good stuff. Grade: B-.

Uncle Sam & the Freedom Fighters #5 (of 8)- This book is trippy but interesting. Pitting old school Freedom Fighters against new characters is a great way to go. The surprise return of a character long forgotten gives this comic that extra something special. Grade: C+.

Jack of Fables #5- the end of the first story arc is here. Jack must escape from the home he has been captured and brought to. There is so much irony and wicked humor in this book that it is almost impossible to digest it all in one reading. This is a great spin-off of Fables, and I am enjoying it greatly. Grade: B-.

That's it for the week. Have a wonderful Sunday evening and great week back at work!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Creator Interview: Luis Alonzo of Cody Coyote

Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.

Here at Comics Fairplay, we were fortunate enough to interview Luis Alonzo, the inker on the new mini-series Cody Coyote. Luis has a great site to look at his art, so if you get a chance, wander on over.
Comics Fairplay: How did you get into the industry?
Luis Alonzo: Going to all the shows that I can here in Florida, visiting Digital Webbing talent search.

CF: Tell me about your influences?
LA: I’m old school, so I would say, Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, John Byrne, Frank Miller, Bob Layton, Bart Sears, Rick Magyar, Dick Giordano, Tim Vigil, George Perez, Rob Liefeld, and a host of today’s talent.

CF: What audience are you hoping to reach with your work?
LA: All ages, the artwork is really clean, and should appeal to a vast audience.

CF: What unique qualities do you possess that make you stand out from your peers?
LA: I meet all my deadlines, and strive to do better, and learn more about my craft.

CF: What project are you currently working on?
LA: Just finished wrapping up 4 issues of Cody Coyote from QEW Publishing, and will be getting another project from them shortly. Did a few short stories for Arcana Studios, but am right now waiting for the next project.

CF: How many issues is your project and when do you foresee it being solicited?
LA: Cody Coyote, 4 issues.

CF: Any thing special you can mention right now?
LA: To please pick up this title, help a buddy out.

CF: What do you think about the industry today?
LA: It’s in great shape, there a lot of new talent, just a bit harder to break into it though.

CF: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
LA: Doing what I love, creating more comics.

CF: Tell me something about yourself that has nothing to do with comic books but that people might find interesting or surprising?
LA: After a long lay-off from college, I have returned, and plan on taking a Nursing degree.

CF: Any closing comments?
LA: It’s been a pleasure talking about myself, but please feel free to share my website with your readers, and drop by, and leave comments on all the inked samples that I have there, Again Thanks.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Hey there! I sincerely hope that you all have a peaceful and special Thanksgiving Day. Jim and I are fortunate enough to spend the day with loved ones, and it is our hope that you can as well.

Things I am thankful for!

My beloved husband Jim, who has been by my side for 10 years.
My family, who prop me up when I don't think I can bear a minute more.
Friends who make me laugh and understand my strange idiosincracies, and embrace them anyway.
A job that allows me to bring home a paycheck that allows me to support myself and my home and hearth.
All of you who come visit me here and make me laugh and make me think. I appreciate you so much.
The fact that Wonder Woman #3 made it to stores yesterday!!

There are so many things to be thankful for, but those stand out to me this morning. My best wishes for a wonderful Turkey Day!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A New Black Canary Series?

Black Canary by Emberlin
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
Wow, this could be great news! According to Lying in The Gutters over at Comic Book Resources, DC has a new Black Canary Series in the works that will start sometime after 52 has finished, and the new weekly series has begun. Go over to CBR and check it out.

I would love to see Black Canary get her own series and see it done right. It has been on my wish list for quite some time. To see it come to fruition, and see it done correctly, would be the ultimate.

Tomorrow is already Thanksgiving. Where has the time gone?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Creator Interview: Gabriel Armenta; Colorist of The Gifted

Gifted page
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.

Gabriel Armenta is the colorist on the upcoming The Gifted mini-series being published by Angel Gate Press. From what I have seen of his work so far, it is hard to beat. Just looking at the page pictured here, I can see that the book is going to be gorgeous.

It was with great pleasure that I exchanged Q&A’s with Armenta, the results of which are below. Take a gander!

Comics Fairplay: How did you get into the industry?
Gabriel Armenta: San Diego Comic Con 2005, QEW Publishing. Yes, this is my first job in the industry!

CF: Tell me about your influences?
GA: As a child Bob Larkin and Joe Jusko really brought the heroes I loved to life. Today, Alex Ross for carrying the torch and David Mack for great design work.

CF: What audience are you hoping to reach with your work?
GA: All comic book fans who appreciate comic art as a true art form!

CF: What unique qualities do you possess that make you stand out from your peers?
GA: I like to switch back and forth with traditional media and digital. I like to see if I can still paint with a paint brush as well as painting something digital. There is just something with traditional media that captures your soul that gets lost with digital.

CF: What project are you currently working on?
GA: Aside from The Gifted, I'm currently working on a horror movie poster for a local director, a cover illustration for a fictional novel, and completing my final semester for my BA in illustration at The Art Center Design College in Tucson, AZ.

CF: How many issues is your project and when do you foresee it being solicited? Anything special you can mention right now?
GA: I believe The Gifted is a 6 issue mini-series which is set for release next year 2007. Not sure what I can say about the comic but it sure is different than anything that's out now!

CF: What do you think about the industry today? Where do you see the industry five years from now?
GA: The industry has finally been recognized as true artistic entertainment! These are exciting times for comic fans, with movie being made and award shows (Spike TV) giving comics a category at their awards show. I feel that the comic industry will reach more fans with different types of media (movies, TV, etc), maybe striking their interest in picking up a comic.

CF: Tell me something about yourself that has nothing to do with comic books but that people might find interesting or surprising?
GA: I used to dance Native American pow-wow dances for conventions across the U.S.

CF: Where would you like to see yourself five years from now?
GA: Hopefully, having a successful career as a comic book illustrator.

CF: Any closing comments?
GA: "Never let your dreams die!"

Monday, November 20, 2006

New Comics for November 22

Boys 5
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
Happy almost Thanksgiving! It is another week of comic goodness to share! So many things in my life have happened since last year's turkey day that I feel like a completely different person. At least it is a Monday, and I have the day off.

Here is the list!

52 Week 29
Action Comics #845
Blue Beetle #9
Boys #5 (Cover pictured at right!)
Connor Hawke Dragons Blood #1 (of 6)
Hawkgirl #58
Jack of Fables #5
JSA Classified #19
Man Called Kev #4 (of 5)
Supergirl & the Legion of Super Heroes #24
Wonder Woman #3 - this I will believe when I see it.
Noble Causes #25
Daredevil #91
Exiles #88
Hellstorm Son of Satan #2 (of 5)
New Excalibur #13
Runaways #22
Ultimate Spider-Man #102
Wolverine #48
X-Factor #13
Fathom #11
Savage Red Sonja ROTFW #4 (of 4)
Snakewoman #5

My posting will be a bit intermittant this week with Thanksgiving and all the parties and fun that come with it. Take care!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Random Musings and Thoughts

Whew! Thank God it is Friday! I had a busy but good week at work, so it is good to be home.

Thank you to Lisa, for asking about how my local retailer's shipment went this week. I am happy to say that all the comics and collectibles got to the store in a timely manner. There were no problems this week, and I am very thrilled about that. I am crossing my fingers for many more weeks of excellence to come!

I have read around the blogosphere that Joe Quesada was named Wizard's Man of the Year, so I am very curious to see the new issue of Wizard and check out all the year end awards. Sometime after the issue comes out, I will probably post about it. Quesada is an interesting choice.

Redhead Fangirl and Shelly both have blog entries pertaining to Birds of Prey #100. I have to admit to mostly being pleasantly surprised, and looking forward to the future of the book.

In scary news, it just dawned on me that Thanksgiving is less then a week away now! Good Lord! Usually I spend the long weekend sorting through stuff and trying to start a Christmas letter, so I am bracing myself for the start of the very hectic holiday season. The good news is that we always spend the holiday with family or friends, so it is quite nice.

That is it for tonight! Have a wonderful evening, and a great weekend!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Great Hera! Wonder Woman #5 Might Come Out... Eventually

Wonder Woman #5
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.

I am a bit behind in reading February's DC Comics solicitations, but I of course noticed that Wonder Woman #5 is finally being given a shipping date. While I am very happy about this, I am also very skeptical. The bets are still on, as I originally posted.

Here is the facts, man:

Wonder Woman #5
Written by Allan Heinberg
Art and cover by Terry & Rachel Dodson
Concluding the 5-part story "Who is Wonder Woman?" The combined forces of Wonder Woman's transformed rogues gallery declare all-out war on the amazing Amazon, compelling the all-new Wonder Woman to mend fences and join forces with her predecessor and with Wonder Girl if she's going to survive to finally answer the question: "Who Is Wonder Woman?"
On sale February 14 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

According to Diamond Comics' shipping list, Wonder Woman #3 is supposed to ship next Wednesday. I will believe it when I see it.

By the way, I e-mailed DC Comics as originally planned and never heard back. Did anyone else get a reply?

Best Variant Cover I Have Ever Seen!

In searching through the upcoming solicitations for DC Comics, I stumbled upon this incredible variant cover for Justice League of America #6. Adam Hughes drew Black Canary the way I always envisioned her- kicking a little butt with attitude.

I love this.

February 2007 can't come soon enough.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Creator Interview: Chad Du Lac of The Gifted

The Gifted
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.

Chad Du Lac, artist on The Gifted, has a multi-faceted existence. Not only is he on active duty in the Navy, but he is also drawing The Gift mini-series, as well as being a dedicated family man. I was fortunate enough to meet him briefly this summer, before he left for a new tour. His art is mature and tells a story. If you are ever able to meet him, you will also find that he is exceptionally polite and has a good sense of humor. QEW Publishing and Angel Gate Press are lucky to have him.

Like Jason Reeves, I was impressed with Du Lac’s insight into the industry, and dedication and love of his craft. Read on to find out what I am talking about.

How did I get into the industry?
Originally in 1994 I was working at a Helicopter Squadron in San Diego, and had a friend of mine accidentally overhear a conversation about comic book creators at a Denny's in Chula Vista. She knew I was an artist and got the names of those people (Arnold Gordon, and Vincent White) passing it along to me the following day. I contacted them, and got pumped into their network of individuals (Committed Comics) with whom they'd been building relationships with.

Tom Doherty, and Alex Cruz the head of Committed Comics, had a meeting with me, liked the art they saw, and had me do smaller art jobs (8 page short stories, single page contributions for COMICON compilation books, an issue of Team Kaiju etc.) Around 2000-2001 Quenton Shaw (who'd been with Committed for a few years) decided to segway into QEW Publishing, and I followed him, being given the chance to pursue the creation of my own book "The Gifted". Quenton's network of people (to include Debbie Bishop of Angel Gate Press) were shown the various books QEW Publishing was creating and decided on a contract for The Gifted with a slated date of July 2007 now being the premiere for my comic.

Tell me about your influences? My influences range from multiple comic artists to fantasy painters. My comic influences are Alex Ross, Todd Mc Farlane, Jim Lee, Chris Bachalo, Adam Hughes, Arthur Adams, Terry Dodson, Brian Hitch, Carey Nord, and Greg Land. My fantasy artist influences are Larry Elmore, and (the late) Keith Parkinson. Other influences (as a writer) has been Margarett Weis and Tracey Hickman (DragonLance series), and Terry Goodkind (Sword of Truth series.)

What audiences are you hoping to reach with your work? Due to the fact my comic book is a fantasy Genre, I'm hoping to appeal to the Dungeons and Dragons generation, and the tolkienites (followers of the Lord of the Rings etc:) While all comic book readers are welcome to read, the medieval swords & sorcery area is most suited to my book.

What unique qualities do you possess that make you stand out from your peers? Dedication, tenacity, the ability to work with deadlines, a meticulous attention to detail and the ability to make decisions in relation to the title. I can draw, as many other people can (some much better than I), but I've also been an Illustrator Draftsman in the Navy for the last decade making art of all forms, not just comics, that give me a wealth of mediums, styles and techniques to implement if I desire. Couple that with a wide knowledge for how to ink, do digital coloring, and having good time management I think I'm a little bit ahead (albeit older) than most.

The project I am currently working on is a comic book called "The Gifted". It will start as a six issue mini series that will be published through Angel Gate Press Summer of 07'.

The only special thing I can mention about my comic is that I've quickly come to the realization of how much work goes into making, what I feel, is a professional quality comic book. Not just on my part, but all of my team. My inker Eric Richter adds so much more weight and feel to the lines I've penciled that the end line art is better than either of us could have done individually. That in itself increases the level of art in the book. Slide that onto Gabriel Armenta, the colorist for The Gifted, and he brings the next level of dimension to the book putting warmth or cool tones to the pages to set the mood more and add life to the characters and their environment. Each page he colors defines the world that, up till that point, was only flat black and white. The last person of significant note is Eric Bell; the wizard letterer putting the words I've written into the cascading sequence for the reader to follow. With his placement and utilization of dead space on the pages he makes the book easy to read, as well as placing the final link in providing the reader with the information (text) hopefully shown by the art in the paneled pages. Eric Bell is also responsible for all the special sound effects (graphics) in the book for which it would be a much less dramatic book without the feel and heart pounding pulse that is brought with his text additions.

What do you think about the industry today? Where do you see the industry five years from now? I think the industry today is a fairly good market though at times it seems that covers sell more than they should. To pick up a title with your favorite character on it drawn by one of your influences is misleading when the interior art is substandard and not anything like the cover. Granted I understand there are cameo cover artists (Adam Hughes for example has been drawing Cat Woman, and used to do covers for Wonder Woman exclusively without internal art.) The gimmicks also from the industry to make so many spin offs during the summer months of a single event are becoming overwhelming to a purchaser with little to no real entertainment. For example there is the comic title CIVIL WAR by Marvel right now and the main story line is outstanding. Great art, cover done by the interior artist with a good continuity to it. All the other books in the marvel world though are making spin off civil war books that aren't coinciding with their own title. Meaning that the Amazing Spiderman has Spidery affected during civil war, and an "additional" civil war issue or mini-series of Spider-man also comes out. It starts getting expensive and confusing at times to collect. And often times the spin off is substandard art and plots.

In five years
I think the industry will be about the same. Just like the era of Jack Kirby and Stan Lee new artists arise as others move one. New blood, new technology for coloring and the evolution of old characters introduced to the new will keep comics fresh. One thing that also seems to elude the current consumer of comics is that there are new kids born every day who get turned onto the comic genre. For that reason alone, the desire to have comics and the demand will endure for some time.

The most interesting thing about me that has nothing to do with comic books is that I am a United States Naval Officer. I've served in the Navy for 14 years of active duty service being involved in Operation Enduring Freedom shortly after the World Trade Center Terrorist attack of Sept 11th. I am 4th generation Navy, and I am the only one in my family history to ever earn a Commission.

Five years from now I "Know" I'll still be serving in the Navy. I have a commitment for 9 1/2 more years to retire (at a very young 42 :) as an Officer at which point I'll begin my second career. Being able to pursue comic art as a side occupation, doing commission work for Dungeon Magazine and Dragon Magazine has likewise opened doors for me into the industry. In relation to comic books I hope to have had several mini-series of The Gifted, with my pursuits branching out possibly into video game art/ design, and storyboarding. I'm pursuing my BS in Game Art and Design from The Art Institute Online with only a few more years to go, at which point I'll make a more educated decision as to my artistic path that I'd like to follow professionally, following my service in the Navy.

Closing comments? I wouldn't have any of the joy or happiness in my life without the support, compassion, caring and love of my lovely wife Della (to whom I've been married 13 years) my two children Elizabeth, and Erik (who will grow up to be superhero children:), and my parents who, while not particularly fond of comic books, always supported my ambitions to do anything I wanted in life. Their faith, trust, and belief in me, just like my wife and kids, is an invaluable set of morals and values I keep today making me positive and hopeful for whatever is to come.

I would like to thank Chad Du Lac for taking the time out of an immensely busy schedule to reply to my questions. I was very impressed to learn more, and highly anticipate his upcoming work being published in 2007.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Transparent as Glass: Marvel's Post-Civil War Spider-Man Plans

Amazing Spider-Man 539
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
At the end of Civil War, Peter Parker is going underground and on the run, according to an article over at As the solicitations verify, a multiple issue event titled Spider-Man: Back In Black will run through the Spidey titles.

Here is the scoop as told by

"November 14, 2006
Starting in February Marvel is putting its most famous superhero through a mandatory costume change in Spider-Man: Back in Black, a coordinated event that runs through a number of issues of three different Spidey books including Amazing Spider-Man #539-#542 (written by J. Michael Stracynski), Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #17-21 (written by Peter David), and Sensational Spider-Man (written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa).

Following the traumatic events chronicled in Civil War with his identity revealed (see "Marvel's Civil War Gets Major Media Attention"), Spidey is on the run from the "authorities" and forced to go underground and back to his black duds. Excitement ensues in this comic book event that is big enough to require its own explanatory title, the Spider-Man: Back in Black Handbook, which features a plethora of writers including Mike Fichera, Ronald Byrd, Al Sjoerdsma, Stuart Vandal, Anthony Flamini, Michael Hoskin, Jeff Christianson, Sean McQuaid, and Madison Carter."

Could this be timed to coincide with the movie??? Hmm... let me think....Oh yeah, it is. No doubt there at all.

I am interested to see how this plan works, and to see if it draws in new readers. Only time will tell, and I will be there watching!

Monday, November 13, 2006

New Comics for November 15

Happy Monday evening all! Can you believe that next week is Thanksgiving? It just occurred to me that before I know it the panic for Christmas will be in full effect!

There are a lot of excellent comics coming out this week, so I am crossing my fingers that there are no Diamond shipping problems this week. Cross them with me!

Here is my list for the week..

Samurai Heaven & Earth Vol 2 #1 (pictured)
100 Bullets #78
52 Week 28
Aquaman Sword of Atlantis #45
Astro City The Dark Age Book 2 #1
Birds of Prey #100
Catwoman #61
Checkmate #8
Green Lantern Corps #6
Hellblazer #226
Robin #156
Supergirl #11
Girls #19
Invincible #36
PVP #29
Sidekick #4 (of 5)
Anita Blake Guilty Pleasures #2 (of 12)
Astonishing X-Men #18
Cable Deadpool #34
Squadron Supreme #7
Thunderbolts #108
Ultimate Fantastic Four #36
Union Jack #3 (of 4)
Ramayan 3392 AD #3

That is it for the week. No wonder I look forward to Wednesdays- not only is it hump day for the work week, but when things go well, I get comic books too!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Quick Take Reviews for November 12

Stormwatch PHD 1
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
Rather then focus on one comic book to review this week, I had a hankering to touch on several titles, in the order in which I read them. It kinda sounded like a fun experiment, so bear with me!

52 Week 27: I totally loved the main story here, especially the focus on Ralph and the helm of Fate. This weekly series has been a successful experiment so far. I HATED the Black Canary two page back up. How in the heck can you make Black Canary look ugly? Evidently it is possible.

Y The Last Man #51: Yay! We figure out who killed the men, and more light is shed on the events that made it happen. I LOVE this book. The only bad thing here is that there are only nine issues left.

Fables #55: Another great Vertigo title. As the adversary and his circle plan the upcoming war, insight is shed onto characters that haven't had a lot of focus lately. Things are shaping up for another crescendo.

Teen Titans #40: Things are making more sense. I was really hating on the "One Year Later" storyline, but now events are coming to light that are sharpening the focus on a major knockdown-drag out in the next few months.

Batman #656: Grant Morrison rules! Part four of the Talia/Son of the Bat storyline comes to fruition here.

New X-Men #32: How can this book just keep getting better? Along with X-Factor, this is THE X-title to read.

Ultimate X-Men #76: The Ultimate Cable storyline feels like it is dragging out a bit. I do like the identity of this Cable though. Interesting twists on an old school tale make me forgive Kirkman.

Stormwatch PHD #1: Along with Deathblow, this is my other early favorite in the "new" Wildstorm universe. Christos Gage and Doug Mahnke have potential as a new team supreme in the making. Great dialogue and sinister art pair up to tell an interesting tale.

Gen 13 #2: I still can't make a decision here. Having been a diehard of the old Gen 13 series, a total overhaul is taking some getting used to. I am giving it one more issue to see if it sticks.

Green Arrow #68: The end of the "island saga" and it is about time. We see how Ollie makes an important decision, and refuses to compromise on his values. You gotta love Good Ol' Ollie.

Eternals #5: Argh! I have never read anything to do with the Eternals before so I have been consistently lost throughout the duration of this mini series. Hopefully next month's conclusion will make me understand. I feel bad being so lukewarm on a Gaiman/Romita Jr. team up, but I can't help it.

Superman #657: I feel no passion for this title. I try and read it and just can't get interested. One more month and I will decide whether to keep reading it or drop it.

The Punisher #40: After loving the last story arc, this one is a bit underwhelming. This issue was a step in the right direction of getting serious action going, but I am really tired of all the long story arcs in this book. It would do me a big favor if Ennis could do a few one-offs.

Martian Manhunter #4: I officially don't get this book. I hate this take on John. It just doesn't work for me. Can anyone explain to me why to like this title?

That's it for today. Thoughts?

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Creator Interview: Jason Reeves

One look at Jason Reeve's website

Blood & Silver cover
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.

and you can tell he is one of those up and comers that you will be seeing much more from in the future. Jason is currently working on the art for Blood & Silver, six issue mini-series due to come out at Angel Gate Press in 2007. It is with great honor that we present this Q&Q session with the talented Mr. Reeves.

Comics Fairplay: How did you get into the industry?

Jason Reeves: Basically, Comicon. I cobbled together my monetary resources and made the trip from New Orleans to San Diego, where I spent most of my time in the portfolio reviews- one of which happened to be for Mr. Quenton Shaw and QEW Publishing. After five days of portfolio critiques, the sights and sounds of Comicon and an all- around great time I departed San Diego feeling pretty good about the experience. I was only home for a few days when Quenton called me about the “Blood & Silver” project, which I am still working on to this day.

CF: Tell me about your influences?

JR: I’m influenced by any form of art that speaks to me on a kinetic or spiritual level.

I’m really influenced by action-oriented, gritty and realistic movies ~ Films by Quentin Tarantino, Ridley Scott, the Wachoski Bros., Spike Lee, or Martin Scorsese ~ I love these guys!

I have great respect for writers as diverse as Grant Morrison, Robert Kirkman, Chinua Ashby, and Chuck Palahniuk.

Illustrators who I admire include Alphonse Mucha, Jim Lee, Bryan Hitch, Eduardo Risso ~ those are the biggest names.

There are several less well-known illustrators ~ John-Ruben Milton, Rashad Doucet, Adam Gillespie and Lee Moyer ~ these are the artists who influence me every day!

CF: What audience are you hoping to reach with your work?

JR: Everyone. The more people, the better. Hopefully, the messages I choose to convey with my work (through writing or drawing) are things that will provoke thought and dialogue For me its not so much about a specific audience, I believe that think everyone should make it a point to read and thoroughly digest all types of art and genres. I believe in being well-rounded and open to new ideas. Also I’m very interested in others thoughts on my work, I feel that the more feedback I receive, the better my work becomes. Other peoples' thoughts are fuel to me.

CF: What unique qualities do you possess that make you stand out from your peers?

JR: I'm still early enough in my career that it any answer I gave you would be unsatisfactory. I'd much rather hear your thoughts on that and hope to learn from your observation.

CF: What project are you currently working on?

JR: “Blood & Silver” for QEW Publishing,

Design work for Wizards of the Coast.

Designing work Illustration and design for a superhero role-playing game called “Gestalt”. Ideally, a nine page short comic story for Image Comics “Negative Burn”.

And my website continues to evolve at:

CF: How many issues is your project and when do you foresee it being solicited? Anything special you can mention right now?

JR: “Blood&Silver” is a six issue mini-series do out in ’07. As far as any thing special I can only say it’s gonna rock! And I should know, I’ve seen the pages.

CF: What do you think about the industry today? Where do you see the industry five years from now?

JR: It’s so diverse now from the content it has assimilated ~ all forms of art from cinematography to expressionism. Finally people are starting to realize the potential this medium has. Manga sales are booming right now, the movies are doing very well, there are several hit TV. shows, and comics are showing up in major publications ~ we’re all over the place! I believe that these advances will continue to make our industry thrive. It’s an exciting time.I hope that five years from now, greater attention, a larger readership, and more companies looking to diversify and create bold new content will continue to reinvigorate the medium. Today I see some of the most creative sequential artists waiting to take comics to the next level on sites like Deviantart. Five years hence it will be wonderful to see many of them at their professional peak.

CF: Tell me something about yourself that has nothing to do with comic books but that people might find interesting or surprising?

JR: I’m a native of New Orleans, LA who stayed through the duration of Hurricane Katrina. I was stranded in a hotel for six days before being rescued via airboat. I stood in the hurricane winds, saw the flood waters rise, witnessed people loot a nearby gas station convenience store ~ basically I saw everything that you all saw on the news (and many things that were ignored) in person.

CF: Where would you like to see yourself five years from now?

JR: Working on some of my creator-owned properties as well as some mainstream stuff. I’d also like to test the waters of the film industry. I really want to make one of my stories into an anime, like “Ninja Scroll”. A live action movie of one of my stories would be cool too. I'd love to see what Hollywood has to offer.

CF: Any closing comments?

JR: I guess I’d just like to express my love for this field. I’ve been reading comics since I was ten years old. I’m so excited to be in the club I’ve revered for years which includes the likes of Jack Kirby, Grant Morrison, Alan Moore, and Alex Ross!I just hope I can add something to that rich tapestry.

Go check out Jason's website, and remember the name. I am sure it is one we will be hearing much more from.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Diamond Follow up and LinkBlogging

Updating yesterday's post with letter to Diamond, I went to my local retailer today, only to find that Diamond had contacted the owner first thing this morning. The contact from Diamond was allegedly in charge of their customer service. He wanted Joe to know that he had received a letter from one of his customers and wanted to know how to help rectify the problem. Evidently Diamond has a policy that they can't directly contact end user customers in case there may be some sensitive information about the retailer that they can't reveal.

At any rate, Joe and the Diamond contact came to an agreement of sorts. Diamond will try and rectify the shipping problem, and Joe won't turn around and send back the late books the next Monday. I will keep you posted as this story unfolds.

It was interesting to me that a letter I wrote actually got some response. I figured I would be ignored, like I am when I write DC. This was a nice change.

In links of interest, Redhead Fangirl talks about dropping Deadman and asks what books we as readers have on the chopping block as well. Head over there and check it out. I agree with her wholeheartedly about Deadman, and dropped it as well.

Newsarama has a two part interview with Jim Lee. Contained therein is some of the most honesty I have seen in an interview in a long time. Lee doesn't try and hide from his missed deadlines and his career. His answers are candid. While hating his missed deadlines, I at least apppreciate the truth instead of a spin that leaves my head hurting.

Over at Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog, Tegan is reading and reviewing every Aquaman story in order of publication. It is fantastic! Give it a look!

At Comic Book Thoughts, Ragtime has a fun-filled, excellent look at the Tales of the Unexpected #2 back up story on Dr. Thirteen. This is a must read.

Lisa at Sequentially Speaking takes a look at Wonder Woman with some fun facts and a reminder that our favorite Amazon is turning 65! Incredible!

If you get a chance, check out these links. It is great content from quality people.

Have a great evening! Thank God Tomorrow's Friday!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

My Open Letter to Diamond Comic Distributors: Late a Third Time is NOT A Charm

Today I walked into my local comic book retailer to find that for the third time in four weeks my books would be delayed. The owner of the store called Diamond and was told that it was a UPS problem. What a tired excuse that is! If UPS is doing such a poor job then why doesn't Diamond try using FedEx or one of the other nationwide carriors available?

I have had enough and I am not going to take it anymore. I e-mailed and am mailing a hard copy of the letter below to Diamond.

November 8, 2006

Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc.
1966 Greenspring Drive, Suite 300
Timonium, MD 21093

Dear Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc.,

I am writing to express my concern and disappointment with your service to my local comic shop retailer. For fifteen years I have been a customer of Ron’s Coin and Book in Yakima, WA. They are a quality shop with a proven track record of fine service. Unfortunately, the last three of four weeks they have had to wrestle with shipping issues that have made it impossible to provide the service I am used to.

The week of October 18, Ron’s received a partial shipment of comics and collectibles. They did not receive the rest of their shipment until the 20th, two days after the scheduled delivery date. The following week, on October 25, I arrived at the shop only to find that once again they had only received a partial shipment. The rest of the order arrived the next day. Both weeks I was required to shift my personal and business schedule to accommodate these gaffes.

Today I arrived at Ron’s only to find that they had once again had a shipping problem. They had received the collectibles but no comics. This dismays me very much. Once again I will have to shift my busy work schedule to accommodate this error. When I inquired as to what the problem was, for the third time I was told the same thing- the representative at Diamond informed the purchaser that it was a UPS problem. As a business professional, I find this unacceptable.

My company ships a large amount of packages with UPS on a daily basis, and we very rarely have problems. UPS tries to bend over backwards when there is a problem with our service. They correct the error and don’t make the same mistake twice. To hear that you are encountering this much of a problem leads me to question if it is truly a UPS issue, or just a cover story that your company uses to hide their errors.

My bottom line is that I am very dissatisfied with the service my retailer is receiving from your company. I believe that stringent and timely methods need to be employed to correct this problem so that it does not happen in the future. It troubles me to consider that your company just might not care about my local shop’s needs. They are certainly no “Mile High Comics” or “Midtown Comics”, but they are my retailer, and I know that I and my local consumers are very unhappy with the service that Diamond is providing them.

Please take immediate steps to correct this chronic problem. If you have any questions, please call me at (ZZZ) XXX-YYYY. My continued patronage is in your hands; I would appreciate your care and concern. Thank you for your time.

Heidi Meeley

I also included my address and my blog URL.

I have no false illusions that my letter will change things drastically, but I feel it is important that Diamond know that I have a problem with the way they are doing business. My retailer is losing money not having the books in a timely manner. My husband and I have to constantly change our business and personal schedules to make time to go back the next day or days. It is a bunch of crap, and I am sick of it. Diamond is a business, and though they are basically a monopoly, it wouldn't kill them to be more careful.

If I get a response, I will let you know.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Random Musings and Thoughts

Britney & Kevin
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.

In yet another sign of the apocalypse, it has been reported that Britney Spears has filed for divorce from husband of two years Kevin Federline. What about the children?? Yikes.

First Bobby and Whitney, now this. I shudder to think of what is coming next. Please don't let it be Ben and Jen. I couldn't take it!

In other random thoughts, I really miss the good old voting booth. Absentee ballot voting feels so clinical. I love getting out there with my fellow humanity and making a time of it. Sigh.

There is a great interview with Gail Simone over at Newsarama. She discusses Birds of Prey hitting issue 100, which is truly a milestone for readers like myself who picked up the very first one shot and clamored for more. Go check out Gail's insightful and funny comments here.

Over at Lying In The Gutters, Rich Johnston has a major Civil War spoiler and the real word on Sin City 2. Head over here to check it out. Rich's column is my favorite guilty pleasure- a guy who gets to the bottom of the seedy underbelly of comicdom without apology.

Nothing more going on for the moment. I hope to have another creator interview up before the end of the week. E-mail me or comment and tell me what you think so far!

Have a wonderful evening!

Monday, November 06, 2006

New Comics for November 8

Devi 5
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
We are back from Portland tonight, and are happy to have made the trip in one piece. It was raining terribly hard and the visibility was poor, so it was a white-knuckle journey. It is great to be back home!

There is a lot of great stuff on this week's comic list. Wednesday will definitely be one to look forward to.

The list is as follows:

52 Week 27
Batman #658
Fables #55
Firestorm the Nuclear Man #31
Gen 13 #2
Green Arrow #68
Green Lantern #14
Martian Manhunter #4
Stormwatch PHD #1
Tales of the Unexpected #2 (of 8)
Teen Titans #40
Y The Last Man #51
Hunter Killer #9
Doctor Strange Oath #2 (of 5)
Eternals #5 (of 7)
New X-Men #32
Punisher #40
Ultimate X-Men #76
Wisdom #1 (of 6)
Wolverine Origins #8
CSI: Dying In The Gutters #4
Devi #5- see cover pictured
Red Sonja #16
Xena #4

Tomorrow it is back to work like normal. I hope you all had a happy Monday and have a wonderful week!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Variant Cover Survey: Results Part Two

My third and final question concerned the future of variant covers.

3. What is the future of variant covers?
a. There will continue to be more- they are here to stay. 8 chose this
b. People will only buy one of the covers offered. 2 chose this
c. Speculators will cherry pick the market and offer said covers on eBay. 7 chose this
d. I hope they go away… forever this time. 4 chose this
e. Other- explain please! No responses

I had a comment that “the ones that are “rarer” than the others will have some short-term speculator interest.” Another person remarked that “you have to be obsessive-compulsive to buy the same thing twice.”

I had a respondent pick A, C, and D. The comment made there is “I’ll have to say all three. I think that there will always be variant covers, but they will probably decline in numbers from what we’ve seen this year- at least that’s what I HOPE. Personally, I don’t like the speculation they breed, the way they continue to prop up comics, and I’d rather not deal with them. But, as long as people continue to want them, I will continue to buy and sell them.”

CONCLUDING REMARKS by the respondents were well articulated.

“Personally, I just take the cover with the more appealing artwork if given a choice, with no knowledge of scarcity. (And not caring all that much because most covers these days are mediocre-to-poor and not much fun anyhow, but that’s another story.)”

“I think most of the people that are attracted to your blog are of the same mindset. If you were to poll the typical Wizard-fanboy, this poll would have a more diverse outcome.”

“I don’t like variant covers, but I will buy them for my favorite book (and only my favorite book). I never expected my favorite book to ever have a variant cover… but that happened recently. I did buy them, and my reaction was ‘Crap! Now I have to buy them all.’ But usually I ignore them.”

“The comic shop guys as well as the speculators cherry pick the “variant” cover, the ones we can’t buy unless by accident. After the issues come in, they get the variant or the “reward” or “premium” issues we never see until they are on the wall behind the counter for anywhere from $9.99 to as much as $80 dollars. When the new “Astonishing X-Men” came in, a premium was on the wall later that week for $80 bucks. I am really offended by such gouging douchbaggy. So, I buy the cover I want and while that interesting variant on the wall might look good, have gold trim or have an actual real sketch made by the artist, for anything over $10 bucks, they can bite me…”


Variant covers are most definitely a marketing ploy, and one that works well. As fans, we are choosing to purchase multiple covers, whether because we like more then one artist’s interpretation or because we think there may be resale value. While the majority doesn’t like them, it is also an opportunity for artists to get more work, so therein lies the rub.

Is it possible to only buy one cover? Using Red Sonja as an example, my husband and I know that there will be three or four covers to choose from. We usually talk about which one we would like, and if it is there at the store, great. If not, we pick what is there. We don’t buy all the covers because it is not financially feasible to do so. My exception was Wonder Woman, my favorite book. I bought both covers to number one because I loved them both and wanted to support the book. It sounds like most of you feel this way as well.

I agree with the comment made that if I were to poll the “fanboy” population or the speculator crowd that I may get a different response entirely. I am fortunate that so many intelligent, caring people comment here, and I value their opinions. At my local shop, a public forum of sorts, asking the same questions, I pretty much got the response that variants are crap and that they don’t buy them, while watching the stacks of books get rung up with variants to spare!

Variant covers are here to stay. They boost sales and annoy the readers who are more interested in the content of the book then the cover. Speculators rejoice, while eBay makes its fees back. Shop owners are forced to buy more, sometimes at a detriment to their business. Buyers will continue to cherry pick, and will buy multiple covers to support the books they love. It’s as simple as that after all.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Variant Cover Survey: Results Part One

I was going to try and post this as one entry until I saw how long it was, so bear with me. Herein is part one of two.

Before I posted the results tonight, I really hesitated. It occurred to me to give the poll one more week to get more respondents, but then I worried that more time may not make much of a difference, so I decided to post them. I got a total of 18 respondents, which does tickle me. Thank you for taking the time to help me understand the mindset and feelings on variant covers. After having a love-hate relationship with them for over a decade, it felt good to get some validation; it also made me really think. I appreciate your thoughts more then you will ever know.

Now down to business. The first question I asked was as follows:

1. What is your first reaction upon seeing variant covers?
a. Cool! Now I have a choice. 4 chose this
b. I wonder which will be the most valuable. No responses
c. Crap! Now I have to buy them all. 3 chose this
d. It doesn’t matter; I just want to read the book. 7 chose this
e. Other- explain please! 4 chose this

The predominant response to question one was that they just want to read the book. Another group liked having a choice, and another group felt the need to buy them all. Other responses were as follows:

“I buy my comics mail order; I get what they send me.”
“Great, two (or more) artists got work!”

“Ignore it and buy the cheapest version.”
“I will buy the one I like. Maybe more if I like the artist or comic and want to show support.”

I had a comment by a person who selected “A”, who said “I would never buy more than one, and usually will buy the cheaper one (but not always”. If no one’s forcing me to buy two copies, I don’t know why I should care that there are more choices there.”

A “C” respondent added this comment, which I found very illuminating: “As a store owner, I feel like I have to buy them in order to keep customers happy. I wouldn’t buy any if my customers weren’t asking for them.”

Question two had five responses, but an overwhelming answer. It is as follows:

2. How do you see variant covers?
a. An opportunity to showcase different artist’s work. 2 chose this
b. A marketing ploy. 15 chose this
c. A chance to bring in new readers. 1 chose this
d. A signal that this is a “special” issue. No responses
e. Other- explain please! No responses

The respondents overwhelmingly saw variants as a marketing ploy. One comment given was “the first variant cover shocked DC (and therefore everybody) when folks actually bought one of each.” The other comment, from a store owner was as follows: “It helps prop up book sales. Where I might only order 7 of an issue I’ll buy 10 to get the variant someone wants. I might only order 30 of an issue but I’ll get 50 to get that rare Michael Turner cover someone saw online and is begging me to get for them, no matter the cost.”

Part two follows soon..

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Creator Interview: Harry Thuran Jr. of Yo-Yo

WildC.A.T.s 23
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.

Harry T. Thuran, Jr. is an inking veteran of the comic book industry, having worked on books in the Wildstorm Universe while they were a part of Image Comics. He is no novice, having experienced art school and the business first hand. It was a great pleasure to have a question and answer session with him via e-mail.

Following a Q&A identical to my questioning of Braden Lamb, Thuran Jr. gave great answers that show a passion for inking. Keep reading to see what I mean.

Comics Fairplay: How did you get into the industry?
Harry Thuran, Jr.: I can't remember a time I wasn’t drawing one thing or another or reading comics throughout my childhood and through school. One day while over seas in the army I saw an ad for a cartoon and graphic art school in New Jersey. I attended for three years and came out to California to attempt to ink a book that a long time inker was pencilling , worked in his studio for a while until he decided I needed to work for studio space only - no thanks, the boy needs to eat .
CF: Tell me about your influences?
HT: I enjoy the top inkers work in the business; Scott Williams being one of the elite.
CF: What audience are you hoping to reach with your work?
HT: For myself as an inker I strive to put my best work out always and strive to make the pencilled pages jump out and add to the environment of what the penciler has tried to convey.
CF: What unique qualities do you possess that make you stand out from your peers?
HT: I think with the ability to try to keep true to the style of the penciller while adding what I’ve learned in technique to the illustrations.
CF: What project are you currently working on?
HT: At this time [Yo-Yo] is the only project I'm involved in, in-between the background work I've done I always continue to work on sample pages to improve my artwork and to show the different comic companies what I can do for them.
CF: What do you think about the industry today? Where do you see the industry five years from now?
HT: I’ve always loved the industry and after the last San Diego convention I went to, it’s alive and screaming.
CF: Tell me something about yourself that has nothing to do with comic books but that people might find interesting or surprising?
HT: I’m an electronic enthusiast, poet, black belt who’s into sports, etc a man of many talents.
CF: Where would you like to see yourself five years from now?
HT: A monthly book enjoying a great artistic relationship with the penciller I’m working with and the fans that enjoy our work.
CF: Any closing comments?
HT: Comics let us go to places and be things that some people only dream about.

Thank you for your time, Harry. We will be looking forward to seeing the four issue Yo-Yo mini-series in 2007.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Random Thoughts

This week marks the halfway point of 52. As much as I wasn't sure about the book, I am finding myself getting into the groove of it. Consistent production and compelling storylines have me hooked, and I plan to see it through until the end. I hope to bring a recap op-ed to the table before the end of next week.

The weather here has gotten very cold. It was 10 degrees this morning when I went to work. Brrr... that is too cold for me! Hopefully this weekend it will heat up a bit since the weatherman is calling for rain.

My comic book shop did NOT get in Strangers in Paradise #85 or Criminal #2. I am a bit crabby about that. I special ordered both books but got neither. Jim had to go pick up books solo today, so I didn't know this until tonight. This means a call to the lady that orders tomorrow. Super.

I am planning to post an interview with inker Harry Thuran Jr. tomorrow. Friday I am going to publish the variant cover survey results. If you haven't had a chance to participate, please do. I value your input.

Not much else to tell tonight. It is cold and I am tired and irritable. Lovely, huh?

Stay warm and have a nice evening!