Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I'm Walkin' in Memphis

Hey, all. Just a quick note to let everybody know that I'm going to be the Comics Guest of Honor this weekend at MidSouthCon 26 to be held in Memphis, Tennessee. Details about attending can be found here. I've never been to Memphis before, so I'm looking forward to experiencing Beale Street and Graceland and hopefully meeting some of you.

If you happen to be at the con this weekend, make it a point to find me and say hi, okay? I'll be looking for you.

Monday, March 24, 2008

It's an Honor Just to be Nominated

Wow. Imagine my surprise when I awoke this past weekend to discover that I have been nominated for my first ever Eisner Award. The Eisner Awards are, I suppose, the comics industry equivalent to the Motion Picture Academy's Oscar, and they are given out each year at the San Diego Comic-Con, which will be held this year from July 23-27. If you're planning to go to the Con, you have to register online (admissions are no longer sold at the door) and you can find out everything you need to know about that here.

What fascinates (and, I must admit, terrifies) me most about my nomination is that I'm nominated for the Hall of Fame, which either means that I'm being recognized for my considerable body of work over the years, or my career is officially over. I'm frankly not sure which.

By what may or may not be an odd coincidence, my 40th anniversary as a professional writer is this Friday, March 28th. Four decades ago on that date, I sold my first story to DC's House of Mystery title, a still-(thankfully)-unpublished little opus called "The Final Day of Nicholas Toombs."

Now I don't really expect to win the award, mind you. My considerable competition in the category this year includes classic Golden Age artist Matt Baker, legendary Green Lantern and Flash writer John Broome, Blackhawk artist Reed Crandall, Katzenjammer Kids creator Rudolph Dirks, Doom Patrol and Deadman writer/creator Arnold Drake, Terry and the Pirates illustrator George Evans, writer/artist of the newspaper strip David Crane (and the man who drew the cover to Detective Comics #1, fer pete's sake) Creig Flessel, EC artist "Ghastly" Graham Ingels, Vigilante artist Mort Meskin, Miss Fury creator/artist Tarpe Mills, The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers own Gilbert Shelton, Marvel master artist George Tuska, longtime Superman editor Mort Weisinger, and Conan the Barbarian's own Barry Windsor-Smith. Not a bad company to be counted among, I must admit.

If you're a comics professional or retailer and are interested in voting for the award, the polls are open until April 18th, and voting can be done online by clicking here. Regardless of the outcome, I truly am thrilled to have been thought of and remembered. Thanks to all who nominated me.

See ya at the Awards ceremony in July. I'll be the one with the silly grin pasted on my face.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring is Sprung!

At some moment this morning, when we least expected it, it became Spring once more. Instantly, grass began growing, birds began singing, flowers began blooming. Windows were flung open to let in the crisp new air and a great Huzzah was heard from the grateful gathering masses. One would think such a bright and eager omen would mean that the long, dark Winter of our discontent was at long last over.

Yes, one would certainly think so, wouldn't one?

Friday, March 14, 2008 MAN!

And while we're on the subject of characters I've written a time or two in my career, here's the most recent Iron Man trailer. I don't know about anyone else but based on this, it looks to be about as close an adaptation to the original book as anything I've ever seen. We've got about six weeks or so until it opens and, frankly, I'm counting the minutes. Could there be a better Tony Stark than Robert Downey Jr.? Your humble blogger doesn't think so. Enjoy.

Hulk Trailer Smash!

Since I wrote the big green galoot for more than four years, I figure the least I can do is share the trailer for this summer's new blockbuster movie with those of you who might not have seen it yet. Thus...

I think it looks pretty cool.What do all of you think?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Shameless Self-Promotion Meets Frankenstein

Well, since my comp copies of Showcase Presents The Phantom Stranger Vol. 2 just arrived via FedEx, I guess it's safe to assume that the book will indeed be on the stands this coming Wednesday, March 12th, as promised. This volume includes the second half of my run of the title, a run which not only helped to establish my reputation in the comic book biz, but also (or so he has so often told me) helped inspire a young Neil Gaiman to decide to become a writer as well. It also includes my Justice League of America issue which guest-starred the Phantom Stranger, a couple of Brave and Bold issues that guest-starred PS, and a lot of terrific work by the always-underestimated Jim Aparo, as well as contributions by such stalwarts as Marv Wolfman, Michael Kaluta, Arnold Drake, Gerry Talaoc, Ross Andru, Paul Levitz, and the proverbial host of others.

If you hang on till Wednesday, you can pick up the book at your local comics shop, but if you don't want to wait, and you'd like to save yourself a few bucks in the bargain, you might just want to click on the link to the right of this column, and order it from there. You can also pick up the first Showcase Phantom Stranger volume there as well, if you happened to have missed it. As I've mentioned here before, if you go through my link, Amazon will send me (literally) a few pennies from your sale, which helps to defray the cost of the time it takes me to maintain this here blog. The same goes for anything else you might ever want to order through Amazon; use my link and I'll see a taste of your sale.

Thanks in advance for your generosity, and do drop me a line next week to let me know what you think of the stories. I've been told they're seminal, which still sounds somehow dirty to me.

Monday, March 3, 2008

And We Have A Winner!

A few days back, here at the ol' blog, I asked the collective Uni-Mind if anyone recognized the music playing behind the current TV ads for the new film The Other Boleyn Girl. I received a number of earnest and eager replies, none of which gave me precisely the information I needed.

Until now.

Gentle Reader Dave Potts directed me to the message board of my old buddy, Black Lightning creator Tony Isabella, who rightly noticed that the aforementioned music I was wondering about is, in fact, the theme song to one of my favorite series, Cold Case. That explains why the music was stuck in my head. It does not, however, explain why I failed to recognize it. Let's just chalk it up to one of those so-called "Senior Moments" I seem to be having more and more often lately.

Now, if someone could just explain to me why dropped bread always lands butter-side-down, maybe we could sleep a little more soundly.

Excuse Me, Could You Please Repeat That?

Okay, I've got just two things to say about the following video. One, I just absolutely LOVE Pinky and the Brain and this is one of the major reasons why. Two, whatever they paid the voice actors for this, it wasn't nowhere nearly enough.


Saturday, March 1, 2008

A Question For The Uni-Mind

One of the coolest aspects of having a blog, I've learned, is the ability to ask a question about something that's bothering you, then send it out into the ether, and get an almost immediate response from a wide range of knowledgeable, learned people. My good friend Mark Evanier makes use of this ability often on his incredibly entertaining blog, and I've done it a time or two myself here. (Thanks for all that info on razor blades, BTW, gang.) So here's today's nagging question...

There is a trailer currently running all over television, promoting the new film The Other Boleyn Girl. This afternoon, I was more listening to the trailer than really watching it when I suddenly realized that the music playing in the background of the ad is the theme song to a current or very recent TV show. The music goes sort of like...

Ba-dum, ba-dum, ba-da-da-da-dum. Ba-dum, ba-dum, ba-da-da-da-dum. Ba-dum, ba-dum, ba-da-da-da-dum...DOINK!

Of course, it sounds a whole lot better if you actually hear it. If you do hear it, and if you recognize which show the song comes from, could you drop us a line here at the old blog? Having that stupid song going through my head over and over again is driving your humble blogger out of his everlovin' mind.

Thanks in advance for saving what little remains of our sanity.