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Archive for March, 2008

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Next week’s Walt Disney’s Comics #689 solicitation information from The Scoop:

“After wak-worthy printing delays in November and December, Geppi’s Entertainment’s Gemstone Publishing continues its return to comic shops with new $7.99, 64-page Disney trade paperbacks. Shipping next week you’ll find Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories #689, featuring prime Donald and Mickey tales with a special focus on love. (Back before Gemstone’s hold-up, this was to be the WDC&S Valentine’s Day issue. Good thing all of springtime is for dating, so things are still season-specific!)

In Marco Rota’s “Burning Hearts,” Donald is blindsided when a Saudi nobleman arrives in Duckburg, and seemingly starts a rapturous romance with Daisy. Everywhere she goes, the slick sheik is alongside. And when Don tries to intervene, three stooge-ish bodyguards get rather destructively in the way. Can things really be as bad as they seem? Maybe worse!

Next up is part two of WDC&S’ ongoing Mickey adventure, “The Gleam” by Floyd Gottfredson. The classic 1941 Mickey tale finds our mouse struggling to deal with the Mousegomeries, rich relatives of Minnie who insist on attending various swanky social gatherings. Alas, these parties are also the focus of the Gleam, a villainous swami who’s jonesing to steal jewels. Nobody knows how he gets into the parties…or gets out…or gets away with it! Can Mickey stop him before Minnie’s family gets robbed?

Then, it’s more romance with “Marriage Mountain-Style,” a new-to-North America tale by old-school Disney team Dick Kinney and Al Hubbard. Mad hillbilly Hard Haid Moe wants Donald to marry his geeky niece, Amy Lou. But Amy only has eyes for another notorious geek, Donald’s cousin Fethry. It doesn’t matter what the Ducks themselves think, and soon shotgun blasts are a-flyin’!

Following on is Big Bad Wolf in “The No-Good Deeder,” a classic by Carl Fallberg and Jack Bradbury. Big Bad wants his goody-goody son, Li’l Wolf, to impress the low-down Badfellows’ lodge. But this doesn’t seem likely until rotten nephew Izzy visits, and Zeke gets the idea to put him in a costume as his cousin Li’l Wolf!

Two more romantic misadventures finish off the issue. In Sarah Kinney’s and Cesar Ferioli’s “Schoolgirls,” it’s gang leader Pegleg Pete who falls in love, with crimebustin’ Mickey Mouse in some rather outrageous drag. And then in Carl Barks’ “Jet Rescue,” Donald’s in his own unlikely romance with bubbly flower collector Swansdown Swoonsudden. (You’d think Donald would hesitate to cheat on Daisy after that episode with the sheik, but you know Donald. Do as he says, not as he does.)”

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With Valiant on the brain this morning, I wanted to take a second to remind folks that the X-O Manowar: Birth HC is solicited to arrive April, 30 2008 in the case that you’d like to pre-order it (which is most beneficial to the company). Here’s an excerpt from the Valiant Entertainment solicitation announcement:

“Aric Dacia is a Visigoth barbarian captured by spider aliens and enslaved aboard their starship until he steals their ultimate weapon – the X-O Manowar armor. Aric returns to Earth only to find that 1600 years have past. Now the most primitive man on the planet wields the most technologically advanced weapon in existence! X-O MANOWAR: BIRTH is one of the finest collaborations in comics ever – featuring art by legendary illustrators Barry Windsor-Smith and Joe Quesada, and a story by legendary writers Bob Layton and Jim Shooter.

Dinesh Shamdasani, Chief Creative Officer of Valiant Entertainment said, “We are pleased to be following the success of Harbinger: The Beginning with X-O Manowar: Birth, which includes an incredible new epic story ‘The Rise of Lydia’ by legendary creator Bob Layton.”

X-O MANOWAR: BIRTH (FEB084088), published by Valiant Entertainment, is solicited in the February Previews (Volume XVIII #2) and scheduled to arrive in comic book stores nationwide on April 30, 2008. It collects the full X-O Manowar origin story (X-O Manowar #0-6) for the first time and includes an all-new epic story “The Rise of Lydia” by comics legend Bob Layton! The book is a full-color 192 page deluxe hardcover edition with a suggested retail price of $24.95.”

This has been a long time coming. I’ve been a Valiant fan ever since I picked up those vintage Magnus, Robot fighter & Rai issues those many years ago. It was Manning’s original Magnus work that really turned my head, but Valiant’s own Rai was also fantastic so I was pretty much hooked on what they were putting out at that point. I followed Solar, X-O Manowar, Shadowman and a couple of others with enthusiasm until around the time that Jim Shooter was let go. And after Unity, some of the magic began to fade for me so for years now I’ve simply had to make do with the great memories of those early runs with the hopes that we’d not seen the last of them.

Thankfully, we haven’t.

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While we’re on the subject of the Golden-Age, here’s another “timely” golden-age project that I’m really excited about. From Comic Book Resources:

“’Avengers/Invaders,’ the Invaders team of Captain America, Bucky, the original Human Torch, Toro, and the Sub-Mariner are transported from the battlefields of World War II to the modern day Marvel Universe, where they encounter a multitude of heroes including both the Mighty and New Avengers. How the Invaders were sent forward is a mystery but it soon becomes very clear their presence in the present puts it in dire peril.”

I’m hoping that this serves as another a breath of fresh air at Marvel, something that ClanDestine, Nova & Annihliation have become for me. In all honesty, I haven’t been to impressed or enthused when visiting the Marvel Universe over the last several years so my visits there have become briefer and briefer. But recently there have been some bright spots and this appears to be one of them — particularly if Krueger, Ross & Sadowski can manage to skirt their way around Marvel’s recent Civil War (which I was less than satisfied with to say the least) or at least provide a satisfying commentary about as it ties into the process of them telling their own story (I’d by lying if I didn’t say I was a little nervous about that being that I come from a different side of the political isle than, say Alex Ross, but I loved their work on the recent 12-issue Justice mini-series so they instantly get the benefit of the doubt on this project). I love Marvel’s Invaders (go get ’em Robbins!) so I’m already excited about seeing them again fresh from the battlefront, and I’m really looking forward to seeing Captain America back in action again! If you know me at all from other boards then you’ll know that he’s my favorite comics character, and while I really enjoy what Brubaker has been doing with the book, I definitely miss cheering on my favorite character from month to month and simply wait for his eventual return. Here I can see the original Star-Spangled Avenger for at least a year while I patiently await his…uh…modern continuity return!

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Dang I hope this is good. I’d like to see the Invaders become prominent again, and according to Ross that’s a possibility if this is well done & well received:

“Ross and Krueger have enjoyed their first assignment back at Marvel and hopes “Avengers/Invaders” strikes a chord with fans because they’d love to tell more stories for the publisher, especially featuring the Invaders. ‘We’ll take it as it comes but we do have a lifelong fandom that we respond to with this group of characters,” Ross stated. “So we hope to see further opportunities come from this. It all depends on how people like it. But as far as where we’re coming from, we’ve always loved these guys. They’re a unique group.'”

More on the series at Comic Book Resources.

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I don’t know exactly what Geoff Johns has in store for the JSA, Power-Girl & Earth-2 this summer, but I have to admit that I’m pretty excited about the possibilities given that he’s running the show. I’ve enjoyed Johns’ JSA titles for years now and I’ve got high hopes for this, particularly if there are more positive ramifications for Earth-2 and its heroes.

Here’s hoping.

And Ordway on pencils?! Heck yea! I welcome any chance to see him illustrating the JSA’ers that he once put so much care and effort into within the pages of The All-Star Squadron and Infinity Inc. those many years ago. We had a brief return several years back in JSA #63-64, and I’m gratified that we’re seeing his work again on what I hope is a significant and worthwhile Justice Society story.

Good luck & congratulations to all those involved with this! Can’t wait.

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[Scene from JSA #63.  “It was a dream.”)

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Just last night I had the good fortune of reading “For School the Bell Tolls” by Paul Halas & Unn Printz-Pahlson in WDC&S #684, an entertaining story where Donald once again finds “gainful employment” at Cornelius Coot Elementary as a Truant Officer (not the first time) due to his experience as a truant himself those many years ago. The perfect job! Anyway, in one scene Donald searches for clues to the whereabouts of a couple of chronic “absentees,” ultimately finding fishing line & lure in one of the boy’s desk. With a devilish grin, Donald immediately remembers his own days of “Fish Hookey” and is apparently so skilled in the art that he knows the exact location of the pond they’re slacking at due to the unique lure which Donald recalled using himself in his younger days to attract one particular fish. From that point he’s off — successfully pin-pointing the boys whereabouts.

Well, this evening I was watching the 1938 short, “Donald’s Better Self,” and I had to smile when we see an animated glimpse of those younger days when Donald’s devilish side convinces him to do just that — to play a little Fish Hookey. It’s something he did, and something that he’d later catch his nephews doing. For me it’s just one of those many details that help to make the Duckverse so rich.

And of course, the more important lessons of right and wrong certainly aren’t lost.

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I’ve been following the information through the DCML Digest, and have mentioned it elsewhere, but please keep Duck creator Don Rosa in your thoughts and prayers. He recently underwent eye surgery for a detached retina and faces a 6-week recovery following. From Rosa’s friend Barry Branvold:

“I spoke with Don Rosa this week.
He is home and resting but he must remain in a prone position.
Which means no email or responding to email.
He was able to watch a video on a small machine below him.
He seemed to be in good spirit but his recovery time will be about 6 months.
He talked like I would see him at a show this fall.
He has always been optimistic, but I could tell he is also concerned about his recovery.
Eyes are so important to him as an artist.
Thank you for all of your well wishes and I am confident we will see him again in the fall.”

[Update: This was just posted at the DCML concerning Don]

“To all DCML members:

Don has communicated to me that on Tuesday he had a follow-up visit to the
eye doctor to check the progress of his recent surgery. It was discovered
that his “good” eye was developing some tears that foretold the same retinal
detachment he experienced in his left eye, so he again had an immediate
operation – this time laser surgery to mend the tears. His doctor feared
that the retina in his right eye might also detach before his left eye had
healed, rendering him blind in both eyes for months.

Don’s vision has been suffering for many years, and the level of detail he
puts into his long stories most certainly contributed to it. I have watched
him hovering closely over his work and was often reminded of the character
played by Donald Pleasence in THE GREAT ESCAPE. He portrayed an excellent
forger who also lost his vision when the constant hours of highly detailed
paperwork aggravated his myopia to the point of blindness.

Fortunately Don’s condition has not reached that point, but it would be
unrealistic to think that his vision will actually improve. The best we can
all hope for is that his situation does not worsen. It is more likely that
his vision problems can only be slowed. He has known (obviously) that his
eyes are not what they used to be, and it probably helps explain the
reduction in his output in recent years .

I know everyone on DCML hopes that the coming weeks will see Don recover
most of his vision so he can pursue either further work or whatever
interests him. He has told me he genuinely appreciates the concern you
have expressed and that I have relayed to him.”

– Dan Shane

All the best to the man who has driven the ship so well for so long.

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I was both surprised and impressed this morning to find out that DC will be collecting The Monster Society of Evil storyline from Captain Marvel Adventures #22-46 (originally published from 1943-1945) in a single HC collection. That’s an awful lot of classic “Big Red Cheese” reprint material between one cover and given the fact that I haven’t yet had the good fortune of reading this legendary storyline I’m definitely going to pre-order this. Incidentally, I’ve also been waiting for the right time to pick up Jeff Smith’s Shazam: The Monster Society of Evil mini-series which ties into this story so that worked out pretty darn well.

Well, not for my wallet…

…or you know who…

“Nightmares from now on.” – Mr. Mind

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