Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Okay, so I might (BIG might) be doing a monthly column for Silver Bullet Comics called This Is Embarrassing.

If everything goes as planned, it'll work like a "Dear Abby" style advice column with me responding to light-hearted and humorous lifestyle and relationship questions sent in by actual comics guys and girls, with me creating the occasional set-up "question" so I can work in a rant or two.

I've been working on getting them something for a few weeks now, but with all of the other stuff - Doc Impossible, Danger Ace for Small Press Idol, Comic Book Challenge, etc... - I needed a way for this thing to generate content on its own instead of coming up with something new every week, so this's what I came up with.

We'll see, I guess.

Friday, April 20, 2007


So Doctor Impossible's been offered a spot in July's Previews catalog, with Chris and me following that up in December with a brand new # 1 and a quarterly Doctor Impossible ongoing.

Because of the weird timing and everything, we need to go back to print on what was previously Doctor Impossible #1, but we're retitling it Doctor Impossible Special #1. This new one will feature some preliminary artwork by both me and Chris, script pages, a few pin-ups by 2 or 3 comics pros, and (hopefully) a pull quote by the man himself, Rascally Roy Thomas.

Here's what I've worked up for the new (2nd printing) cover... did it tonight, so I don't really feel like thinking about it too much - I'll probably hate it in the morning.

Doctor Impossible Special # 1


Additional reading:

52 editor Mike Siglain gives fans a walk through of week 50 and WWIII.

Wouldn't it be great if you didn't have to read after the fact interviews to get the whole story and find out exactly how things work?


My friend Jason sent me this email today.

"Just read Aquaman #51… and I have to confess I’m confused.

Aquaman must have gotten seriously gypped on his attempt to raise Sub Diego since in [this week's issue of] the ongoing series, it’s still submerged, with no mention it was ever raised. But hey, at least the people living there are still all alright, and breathing the water as fine as can be."

It's not the I don't believe Jason, because I do... but can you? I mean, in the same week that DC "issues" their cureall fix, WWIII, they publish a comic where Sub Diego is not only still under water, but it's being under water plays a part in the plot?

But y'know, maybe I'm being to hard on 'em. Who knows, maybe next week, in 52 week 51, they'll reveal how Sub Diego sank for a second time, just one week after it was raised.

Be sure to come back tomorrow, when I launch the Bad Simian's first official meme, and ask:

What Should DC's New Slogan Be?
Spread it around, invite your friends... this should be pretty good.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


I present to you this week's DC NATION column by Dan Didio... with my own impressions of what he wrote in red.

"A confession of sorts. (Uh-oh.)

Back when we originally planned the story for our year long weekly saga 52, our goal was to explain the multiple changes in character and story that occurred throughout our line with the One Year Later jumps. (Goal of 52: Explain multiple changes in character and story that occurred with line wide One Year Later jumps. Okay, got it. Continue.)

And to tell those stories we would use characters like John Henry Irons, Renee Montoya, Ralph Dibny, Booster Gold, Black Adam and Adam Strange to be our guides through the DCU. But a funny thing happened on the way to One Year Later: (Uh-oh.) The four talented writers of 52 took hold of our guide characters and began to realize the untold potential in all of them. As their stories grew, it became clear by the second issue (...by the second issue? Way to stick to that goal, Dan.) of 52 that the series would be about them and their trials and tribulations. But, as I'm sure you're wondering, what about OYL? (Not really... but I guess that's the problem right there. I mean, I was supposed to be the one "wondering" about OYL this whole time, and here I was thinking you had it under control... y'know, since you're the Executive Editor and all. My bad, DD.)

As with any creative process, even with the best of planning (c'mon... he couldn't have possibly typed that with a straight face, could he?), things change and evolve as a story takes on a life of its own. When we all recognized that the series had taken a new and exciting turn (Issue two, remember? It was out of their hands by that point.), a summit meeting was held to discuss the new direction of our lead characters and, more important, how we would address the One Year Laters in the story as originally promised. (I'm listening.)

In reviewing all the OYL changes, we realized that most could be tied to one massive event. One thing that could affect all our heroes on a global level. (Hmmm... something like an INFINITE CRISIS, maybe? BTW, this is kind of where I lose it.) And that's where World War Three was born. You'll have to forgive my memory—I'm always at a loss for the old "who said what" —but I remember Greg Rucka discussing the implications of a World War fought by super-heroes.

(Greg Rucka, huh? I know you mentioned not really being any good at remembering "who said what", but are you sure that wasn't Grant Morrison?

Why do I ask?

Oh, no reason in particular.)

And while everyone debated how it would be fought (Surely someone suggested "with fists", I hope.), they all agreed on one thing: the war would definitely be fast (?). One week fast (Really? Because what I just read happened in more like one day, with a few standard superhero fights taking place a few days before.). One week, one issue—that's the way it works with 52 (Okay, "One week, one issue" - got it!). Unfortunately in this case, 22 pages is just not enough time to cover the full implications of a World War and all the changes forced on our heroes by this event. (Uh... wait, w-what? I mean, "one week, one issue", uh, remember? "That's the way it works with 52", right?)

That's why this week, in conjunction with 52 #50, we have four one-shots ("one week, one issue") designed to cover the deep-reaching changes the war caused. In these books, you can see the effects of the war on the Teen Titans, Firestorm, Supergirl, Batgirl, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter and so many others. (And much like 52 , which was designed to cover the deep-reaching changes the Crisis caused, they each fail miserably.)

So let's go back to the old expression, "Change is good"(Screw you!)— and in this case, it's better than we could ever have imagined. Not only did we get an amazing series in 52 (Uh, still two issues left, you goon - don't count your chickens before they're done screwing over your hapless fans, Dan-O!) where we elevated some supporting characters to A-list status ("A-list status?"I mean, in as much as you're the Executive Editor and can therefore kind of decide who's going to be featured in books and who's not, yeah...), but we also created a massive, world-changing event that will have long-term implications. (Wait... do you mean Infinite Crisis, 52, or World War III?)

All in all, not a bad day's work." (Eh, depends on who you ask.)

I quite reading DC comics today.

I know, I know... there're only two issues of 52 left, but that's not quite true, is it? 52 spills right into Countdown, another mini-series that's sure to be just as unmanagable and dishonest as 52, One Year Later, and Infinite Crisis.

Go on, laugh, but I'm really hurt by it all.

I'm disappointed in DC comics. Not to be dramatic, but I kind of feel like I just found out that favorite uncle was a convicted criminal. Sure, you always thought there was something kind of weird about him, and weren't quite sure you could completely trust him, but he let you smoke, and damn if he didn't tell some pretty kickass war stories.

I've been pretty suspicious of DC for a few years now. Since Superman: Birthright, I guess. But loyalty, and a childhood fascination with comics' oldest and boldest characters kept me involved, even after the non-sensical trainwreck that was Infinite Crisis.

But now, I'm just tired of being lied to by DC.

The cover blurb of this week's 52 # 50 read, "WORLD WAR III Begins Here!" Begins AND ends, they mean. I've read comics long enough to know when I'm being had, and figured out what was going on months ago, but I feel bad for the "control group" comics readers, who, unless they were smart enough to read the issue in store or rip it off the internet, could have never guessed that WWIII simply exists to do what 4 writers, an army of artists, more than 1100 pages and $125 dollars worth of comics couldn't in a year's time.

For months now, we've watched DC talk about 52 building to this sad little four part mini-seires, embarrassingly titled World War III, and by god, if it didn't just completely blow up in all of our faces.

I'll freely admit, I'm not innocent. I bought it. I fell for it. Face first.

But you know what, Dan... you might've won a war, but you lost a reader.

Sunday, April 15, 2007



Over on his Poptown blog, my pal Phil talks about the relevance of superhero comics in relation to adult fans' obsession with continuity.

REALLY good post, and if you continue here without checking it out, I'm going to sound like a nut on a rant, so I'll wait...


See - good post.

Still, I disagree with him that superheroes are for kids, and that adults shouldn't concern themselves with continuity, and that in and of itself has started me thinking about continuity in general.
Does continuity really keep new readers out? If so, why? I mean, continuity is going to always exist, not just in comics, but in everything.
Why is it such a big deal among the comics community? Is it because comics fans are just so damn vocal about that those who aren't get tired of listening to it?

Okay... first, let's address something I call The Continuity Myth.
Make no mistake, no matter what Marvel and DC say, they want fans to pay attention to continuity.
DC's biggest (but not best) stories of the last three years have been about guaranteeing that we watch their continuity, and Marvel won't let anything "major" happen without it spinning into 50 titles, or at least get mentioned in the other books.
And it's understandable... they're both big companies that have a overhead and a bottom line just like everyone else - they've got to sell books. The problem is, they're not really being honest with us, and have perfecting turning issues about continuity around on the fans, making anyone that catches (or watches for) mistakes into a booger eater, thus sending them away in shame because MARK MILLAR WROTE IT AND STEVE MCNIVEN DREW IT - WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT?

My biggest continuity complaint lately has been about Superman and how his history/origin works post Infinite Crisis and One Year Later. I think it's pretty clear that DC doesn't have a good, solid idea of what's what, and the seams are really starting to show. Multiple Phantom Zones, multiple Zods, inconsistent characterizations, flip-flopping creators, etc... are all good examples of it.

But I'm a bit of a geek when it comes to Superman, no doubt, and I tend to be a little overly critical of this sort of thing... so imagine if the NBA decided to start omitting the Lakers worst games because it "made them better", or, let's take it a step farther and imagine that there were multiple teams calling themselves the Lakers, but nobody that played 'em ever mentioned it, or even seemed to notice. Basketball fans would flip the FUCK out, and everybody would wonder why on Earth the people most closely involved were pretending like it wasn't happening.

Or, imagine if several main characters on Days of Our Lives, or General Hospital, who's origins were integral to their personalities, kept referring to their individual backstories differently every time, sometimes adding or deleting established "facts" with every recollection. You know your grandma would completely loose it, and trust me, life would never be the same for any of us.

I could play this game forever, but you see where I'm going.

When it comes to entertainment and interests, adults are not strangers to complicated rules and stories when you stop and think about it. To say that adult comics fans don't have time or reason to worry about continuity because they've got a light bill or kids with a piano concert kind of ignores all of the other stuff adult men and women are into beside work and family.
Here's what I think. Comics continuity isn't a problem. However...
  • ...talented, but jaded creators not paying attention to it, or deliberately ignoring it is.
  • ...the big two choosing to sacrifice a loyal fan base in exchange for big name wannabes who don't think they should "waste their talent" on "doing the work" is.
  • ...cluttering the market with multiple, somewhat pointless alternate continuities and characters instead of really digging in and focusing on the ones they've already got is.
Phil and Chris really like the Marvel Adventures line, as do I... but I realize we don't think about those comics in the same way. To me, they're sort of a consolation prize to those of us who aren't really happy with the core Marvel universe right now... a place to see the characters we love, doing things of little consequence that don't pose any real danger of breaking things. The books are praised for being "continuity free" and "new reader friendly".

But Marvel Adventures Avengers #9 featured Modoc (with a "c") and was without a doubt, the most celebrated issue of the series so far, and as much as I enjoyed it, it wouldn't really say it was new reader friendly.

"The Avengers As An Army of Modocs!" - that's one of the biggest in-jokes I've ever seen.

C'mon, I doubt any new readers "got it", but we all know that the Internet crowd ate it up... and with due right - hell, it was a fun comic.

But just because it took place in an easy to define continuity doesn't mean it's not really kind of tangentially playing in the Marvel sandbox - the difference is that this one gets to keep the good stuff and ignore the "bad" stuff without anybody throwing a fit, because the rules are different.

I can't help but think that if Jeff Parker and Co. had done this one in the 616 Marvel U, more people would've read it, those of us who love it, would love it about 1000 times more, and it would've been considered an instant classic the week it hit shelves.

But, hey... it sold out, so what do I know?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


(ASS # 7)

Bought some comics today, and here they are (in no particular order).

All Star Superman #7

Madman Atomic Comics #1

Spider-man and the Fantastic Four #1 (of 4)

52 #49

New Avengers #29

Punisher War Journal #6

She-Hulk #17 (don't download it, yo!)

Superman # 661 (carry over from last week)

Collections and Trades:

Essential Peter Parker Spider-man Vol. 3 TP

Garage Band TP (really looking forward to this one)

Oh, and a quick blog update... I'll be sticking with Bad Simian, I guess, even though I really like the title "I Heart Comic Books".

Looks like you're safe David, but I'll be keeping an eye on you, bro (smiles).

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Wow, three posts in a day!

Guess I'm making up for lost time, but I just followed a link to a Grindhouse discussion thread over at Brian Wood's blog and thought I'd share it.

Am I the only one that remembers Brian Wood as the whiny, heavy-handed, emo comics guy?

I'll be up front about his work, I'm not a fan. I've given him a try several times - read Generation X, Fight for Tomorrow, Couscous Express, DEMO, Local, and tried DMZ and none of it was my thing. Didn't read his Vampirella/Witchblade story though, and I'm sure that's the one that would have probably sold me on him, but oh well...

My opinions of his comics work aside, I think he makes some pretty good points regarding Death Proof and enjoyed the discussion that it's seem to have sparked.

Still, we've all got our filters, and I can't help but wonder how much of what Wood says is said just to pander to his fan base. God, reading that just now, I realize that it sounds a lot harsher than I mean it too(and if you happen to find this and read it, Mr. Wood, don't start no shit, all right?).

I think it's real easy to zero in on Tarantino's misogyny, since it's kind of been at the forefront of his last 3 (4?) films, but let's not forget that his subject of choice is usually crime or revenge, and since most people understand that going in, what do they expect?

Several times in the above linked thread, posters throw Kill Bill to the man-eating/man-hating wolves due to the Bride's abuse (the bullet to the head, raped in a coma, etc...), but fail to mention the context in which that she and the film's other characters live - most of the cast are killers-for-hire... so are we supposed to ignore that since she turns over a new leaf.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not condoning Tarantino's violence towards women, just like I wouldn't feel comfortable 100% condoning his violence against men, African Americans, humans in general, dogs, cars, store windows, etc....

But I do feel like Wood's argument veers slightly too close to his own biases, and it seems like they're kind of choosing to ignore about 50% of the movie(s) they're talking about.


Hey, real quick, I'm thinking of changing my blog again

Here's a test run of what I'm thinking about, but I need your feedback, so help me outm yo!

Should I...

A - Stay "Bad Simian Blog"!

B - Become "I Heart Comic Books"!

C - Don't make a damn to me, TCB!


All right, Joey Q - put yer ears on cause here's my comic dream team for...
Writer: Jeff Parker
Pencils: Chris Sprouse
Inker: Al Gordon

Yeah, I know Marvel's got a Thor relaunch on the way by JMS and Olivier Coipel, but c'mon... I can't be the only one that's a little worried about it.

Oh, sure it's going to look pretty and no doubt it's going to be structured and paced well, but I can't help but wonder, especially having read about some of the changes they're making.

But I feel confident that if Marvel put Parker in the writer's seat and let Sprouse and Gordon handle the art chores, they'd have one FOOM-tastic Thor book on their hands, and isn't that what we're all looking for?

I don't think I really need to go into why Sprouse and Gordon would be a great fit. I've loved Sprouse's stuff since I first noticed him on Batman Annual # 14 back when I was just a wee lad of 11... in fact, he's one of the first artists I remember recognizing. He's worked with Alan Moore on Supreme and Tom Strong, and now with Garth Ennis on the Midnighter, and I can think of some pretty outragous things that he's been asked to draw. Handling Asgard and everything that comes with it should be no problem for the guy.

If you read Agents of Atlas, you know Parker's got a good handle on the Marvel U, both past and present. He doesn't take his work so seriously that he can't have a good time, and that's something I sorely miss about many of the mainstream Marvel books. For instance, I LOVE Brubaker's and Epting's Captain America, but I'll admit, I can't remember the last time I thought it was a fun read.

But don't get me wrong, I don't think Thor should be a laugh-a-minute kind of book. I mean, afterall, he is the guy that had his bones shattered by the Midgard serpent, and plucked his own eyes out... so, there's that to consider. Parker has a knack for bringing in some pretty weighty stuff when you least expect it, and I have a lot of faith in his ability to find the perfect balance on a book like Thor.

Bottomline it: I want Thor to be good, and if I was in charge of the ol' Idea House at 417 5th Avenue, these would be my boys - Parker, Sprouse, and Gordon.


Monday, April 9, 2007


And it's another "great" review at silvebulletcomicbooks.com!

This time, they take some shots at Avengers: The Initiative # 1 in their Sunday Slugfest, and even though I liked the first issue, I will admit, there are a few interesting points made here.

But out of the four reviews done, it's gotta be Thom Young's assessment of the protestor's chant that seals this up as honest to goodness SBCB review.

Thom writes...

"Anti-Initiative protestors outside Initiative Headquarters in Stamford Connecticut have problems getting the proper rhythm to their protest chant:

One, two, three, four.

Not another Civil War.

Five, six, seven, eight.

Take your base out of our state.

Despite some guy who looks like Carrot Top and who is called Slapstick proclaiming, “It’s got a beat and you can dance to it,” the rhythm of this protest chant is a mess. Granted, the first and third lines are two sets of spondees, and the second and fourth lines each have seven syllables.

However, the second line has down beats on the odd-numbered syllables and up beats on the even-numbered syllables while the fourth line is a confusion of heavy and light syllables with no discernable rhythm.

In fact, there is a variety of ways that the fourth line can be scanned."

Ummm... anyway, here's the link!


Yeah, I saw it. In fact, I saw it twice... well, 1/2 of it, at least.
"How's that?" you ask.
On Saturday, me, my wife and a couple of friends went to check out the 'House at our local theatre. So we get through Planet Terror ("Give him the gun... give him ALL the guns!") and just as Death Proof gets started, around the point when Girl Squad 1 sees the first Jungle Julia billboard, a big ol' cop walks in with a flashlight and starts saying something. Problem was, none of us could hear what he was saying over the movie, so he ended up having to shout.
"Everybody needs to get outta the theatre - you need to leave."
Alright. So we all got up in a very orderly fashion and began making our way out into the lobby area. Once there, Buford T. shows up again and says, "Keep moving outta the mall - ya'll need to get outta the mall." Which, of course, we did.
Most of my group had come in through the back entrance to the theatre so that's where we exited. Unfortunately, that was the side that the cops had seemingly forgotten about, because when we got outside, there was a small group of theatre-goers and mall employees just hanging out, smoking cigarettes, y'know... just chillin'.
By this time, we'd all figured out that this wasn't some Tarantino/Rodriguez-inspired movie gimmick, and that in fact, something was indeed up. Most of us had started formulating our own little theories as to what was going on, and bomb threat was #1 on everybody's list, which made us all a little nervous about being near the building.
So we all moved back a good bit and started working our way around to the front entrance where the cops and fire engines were, and to hopefully get some answers. On the way, some very nice theatre employees gave us complimentary passes to get back in when and if they opened the doors again.
Most of us had decided to just head home and come back later, but one of my friends who was visiting from Virginia had accidently left his jacket inside and was unwilling to leave it... it was a pretty cool Manchester United jacket that his sister had brought him back from London, and I wouldn't have left it either.
Anyway, long story short - it was a bomb threat, but ultimately, they never found anything and opened the mall back up later that night. I went back that night to cash in my re-admittance pass, and to see if my buddy's jacket had been picked up, which it hadn't. I went ahead and grabbed it for him, planning to give it to him the next morning before he and his wife left town. But when I went out to grab a snack, I saw him at the desk asking about it and was able to give it to him. He in turn decided to use his free pass too, so we both got to finish the flick.
Now, about the flick... I loved it.
Can't really say mcuh that hasn't been said better elsewhere, but I did enjoy both of 'em. Planet Terror was so over-the-top that I didn't know what to expect one minute to the next. And Death Proof was great fun.
I'm a huge fan of Vanishing Point and Dirty Mary Crazy Larry, having watched both with my dad something like 100 times on the ol' Fox Movie Machine when I was a kid, so the '70 Charger was nice to see.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


Trying to get back into posting something daily - obviously, I ain't quite there yet.

If any of you saw my Best of '06 post in January, you'll remember I'm running about two years behind on movie watching, maybe farther.

Want to see The Departed, Dream Girls, The Good Shepherd, The Prestige, Volver, Bobby, A Scanner Darkly, Science Of Sleep, etc...

I have Netflix, but I just haven't been using it like I should. Kind of wasteful on my part, I guess.

What got me thinking about movies?

I saw Kung Fu Hustle last night. Really enjoyed it, and started thinking about just how much time I spend watching crap TV instead of cool movies that, in the end, would mean a lot more to me than another episode of DATELINE: To Catch and ID Thief.

Lots of thinking going on... I've mentioned these comics here once or twice - The Family Dynamic and Outnumbered. The artists (the very talented Ricardo Cabrerra and Pedro Hermosilla) are both really busy with other projects, and don't look like they're getting a break anytime soon. I'm really proud of both stories and would hate to see them disappear into idea-limbo... trying to figure out what I need to do with those. Any suggestions?

In addition to Danger Ace, I'm working on two other comics ideas, one web-specific and another for an upcoming comics contest.

Monday, April 2, 2007


Big news from the foriegn film market.

Looks like 300 was knocked out of 1st place by Mr. Bean...

...wonder if Atkinson keeps his shirt on?