Monday, December 29, 2008

AS LAST CONVERSATIONS GO...

As I've noted in other posts, my dad, Jim Vaughn, passed away on December 6, 2008.

The day before that, Friday, December 5, Billy Tucci's Sgt. Rock: The Lost Battalion was profiled by the Air Force Times and the other military newspapers in a feature article by Chris Lawson, Staff Writer. The article provided me the subject of the last lengthy conversation I would have with my dad, and it was a fun one.

My father was never much of a comic book guy. For the most part, he never really gave me any grief about collecting them, but he didn't really get why I was so into them either. He could much more readily relate to my brother Scott's military career (he was a former USAF guy himself), but this didn't really have any impact on our relationship that I ever detected. He was more interested in my brother and I as people than what we did for a living anyway.

Dad had been in the travel industry for most of his post Air Force working days, and I had an upbringing steeped in it. We traveled like people with money and saw the world. The travel was amazing, but he really wanted to make sure we understood the nuts and bolts of the business, too. He took a great deal of his identity from his work and wanted to share that with us.

That said, it wasn't that he never read comics. As a kid, in the days before antibiotics, Dad had Scarlet Fever. It kept him out of school and mostly in bed for a year when was about 10 or 11 (this is one of those moments when I'd love to just pick up the phone and ask him for some clarification...). During that time he read comics. Marvel Comics #1, Human Torch #1, some others that are now worth some serious money.

He remembered throwing them away.

Long before I witnessed the transaction in which the Pay Copy of Marvel #1 sold for $350,000 or wrote about many other record prices, he was busy helping create those record prices by shrinking the supply. Thinking about him tossing away those prizes made my head spin the first time I found out about it. Of course, that's why the things are so pricey these days to start with. So few copies survived.

That was about the limit of Dad's comic book exposure until I picked up the bug while I was sick with my first real go-around with heavy duty allergies at age 11. As I progressed as a collector, he would good naturedly listen to me, but none of it took. That's just how it was.

As I became a professional, first writing about comics and then writing them, he really only seemed to care about two things: Did I love what I was doing, and was I any good at it?

Even in his late 70s, my father never lost his curiosity. He read voraciously, including the online editions of many newspapers, particularly those from the UK. If he came across the obituary of someone from the entertainment world, I could count on a telephone quiz about them. If it was someone from the comic book world specifically, I would be expected to know even more (he was generally pleased with the results, I should point out).

After a week in which I talked to him just about every day and had enjoyable chats, that Friday morning I called him and told him to check his email. I had sent him the link to the Air Force Times story about Billy's Sgt. Rock. By this point he knew that I didn't have anything to do with the series other than really enjoying the tremendous effort Billy was putting forth for it, so he might have just skimmed the article. Instead, I told him to make sure he read all of it.

In the feature, Billy talked about his interaction with the real life members of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the American-born Japanse who weren't allowed to serve in the Pacific Theater during World War II and ended up as the most decorated unit in Army history. It was something Dad had told me about many times growing up. He had been pleased when, through Billy, I met several of the gentlemen-heroes at the San Diego convention this past summer.

“It was the honor of my life to have lived, followed and been awed by these great men who dream not of conquest but of getting back home alive,” Billy was quoted as writing in Sgt. Rock: The Lost Battalion #1. “Master Sergeant Frank Rock, 300 Moore Ave., Pittsburgh, PA, is one such man. And within every ‘GI’ the world over, there is a Sergeant Rock.”

That was it! That was what I wanted my father to read. I knew he wouldn't read the comic, but here it was in an article...

Back when Billy was traveling all over Europe and researching the real-life elements of his story, he had asked during one of our regular phone calls where Sgt. Rock would be from.

After first suggesting "1060 West Addison, Chicago, Illinois," (Wriggley Field, a Blues Brothers movie reference), I suggested Pittsburgh, my home town. Billy asked what kind of address I could get there. I gave him 300 Moore Avenue.

That was my grandparents' house, the home my dad grew up in. It wasn't any big deal, but Dad knew that I never stopped trying to connect him to what I did for a living. We talked about it briefly as I filled in some more of the context for him. He didn't have to say a lot to let me know that he both genuinely appreciated the sentiment and the weird comic book enshrinement.

We talked a bit longer and then that conversation ended. I spoke with him again very briefly that night, but I had called to talk to my mom, so that was it.

As last conversations, it wasn't anything profound, but it was honest, real and heartfelt.

Then then next day he was gone.

There are so many things I could say about my father, his deep faith, his kindness, his stupid temper, his awful sense of humor (which he left me, by the way), his love of travel, his intense dislike of those who misused the language, his patriotic spirit, his love of aviation and disdain for most of the management and unions in the airline business today, and his tremendous capacity for laughter... but in this one single instance, for that one moment, he was a comic book guy.

And that remains a pretty sweet moment for me. Thanks, Pop.






Sunday, December 28, 2008

ZOMBE-PROOF: ZOMBIE ZOO

Zombie-Proof: Zombie Zoo is back in production. After a delay during which ace artist Vincent "Vinvent" Spencer provided the storyboards and more for the upcoming PBS series The Electric Company, we're already starting to crank up this one-shot follow-up to our three-issue mini-series Zombie-Proof. The one-shot will be published by Moonstone Books, the same great folks who released the original. We expect to offer a great litho, too.

We also have the short story "Zombie-Proof: Escape From Big D" almost completed, too.

Zombie-Proof: Zombie Zoo features guest art by Brendon and Brian Fraim, who are my partners on Antiques: The Comic Strip and on a new, soon-to-be-announced vampire project.

Stay tuned for more news!

REVIEW: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button


Rosina and I watched The Curious Case of Benjamin Button tonight and thoroughly enjoyed it. Given what I think of Brad Pitt as a "star" (which isn't much), it might surprise some of my friends that I think he is, at times, a superb actor.

This is one of those times.

The film is brilliant, insightful, spiritual, and hits pretty hard at the human condition. It is intellectually provacative and leaves some hard questions for the audience.

It was beautifully photographed, excellently cast, well-written, very nicely directed and superbly acted. See it!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

CHRISTMAS OBSERVATIONS

When folks talk about it being particularly sad to lose a loved one during the holidays, I've always understood it on an intellectual level. Now, of course, I understand it on a visceral level, but even if my dad hadn't passed away a couple weeks ago -- say it had been a few months back -- it would still be hard. It's my first Christmas without him, and regardless, Christmas was his birthday.

And plain and simple, it was going to be hard for me no matter when it happened.

That said, you can't believe what I believe about where he is and be downcast all of the time. It just doesn't work. My sadness is reserved for those of us missing him, not actually for him. He no longer needs a walker, and he's walking in truly superb company.

Again, thanks to all of my friends for listening to me during this time.

Photo: My dad, Jim Vaughn, in his USAF days.

GOOD REACTIONS TO BLUE BEETLE STORY

I've had some really nice reactions thus far to my story,
"Christmas With The Beetles," which is in the DC Universe Holiday Special 2008.

"'Christmas with the Beetles' tells a comparatively clever tale spanning the careers of all three Blue Beetles, as they come up against three generations of a family that has trouble walking the straight and narrow. It captures the heroes' different personalities and style, and offers hope that even the most pathetic can change their lives."
http://everything2.com

One of the posts in the Blue Beetle section of DC Comics' boards said, "The Blue Beetle story was good. They should have done something like this every 10 issues or so of Jaimes book. Kinda like the 'Times Past' stories of the Starman book." (Okay, that's pretty high praise in my book. I loved those issues of Starman.)

There have been some other nice posts, too, and even a few that took some digs at the book seemed to like the story. I normally don't worry about such things (I've ever done my work correctly or failed long before anyone sees it), but since it's my first DC work, I actually read some reviews. Never again, but at least they were enjoyable the one time I did read reviews!

BEAU SMITH IN THE NEWS. AGAIN.


My pal Beau Smith was profiled in his local newspaper in West Virginia. While the notion of West Virginia having newspapers may in and of itself be shocking to many of you, the idea that a newspaper would find Beau interesting enough to cover should come as absolutely no surprise at all.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

DC UNIVERSE HOLIDAY SPECIAL 2008

Okay, it’s here: my first DC Comics work!

My story, “Christmas With The Beetles” is featured in the DC Universe Holiday Special 2008 one-shot on sale Wednesday, December 17, 2008. The story is penciled by Lee Garbet (who did an awesome job), inked by Trevor Scott, colored by Pete Pantanzis and lettered by Travis Lanham (all of whom also rock, in my opinion).

It features all three Blue Beetles in their respective eras and was a blast to work on.

The rest of the issue has a lot of other Christmas- and holiday-themed tales written by Alan Burnett, Franco Aureliani and Art Baltazar, Dan DiDio and others, with art by Rodolfo Migliari, Kevin Maguire, Ian Churchill, Tim Levins, Yishan Li and others. The cover is by Frank Quitely.

It was cool to work with Eddie Berganza and Adam Schlagman on this project, too, I should add. Good experience.

DC Comics, 80 pages
Color, $5.99 US

MY DAD

My dad, James F. Vaughn, passed away suddenly on Saturday, December 6, 2008.

He was a tremendous guy. How much better would this existence be if every kid got to grow up thinking that their father was the greatest guy in the world, and then, at the end, people came by and told them, “Yeah, you were right. He was pretty awesome.” That’s the experience my brother and I had.

We last got to be together in person a few months ago for my brother’s retirement ceremony after 20 years in the U.S. Air Force, but we talked on the phone nearly every day. Despite being slowed by injuries and ailments in the last few years, he never lost his sense of humor, his compassion, or his faith.

I’ll write more in a few days about this, I’m sure, but I want to thank my extended group of friends who been so kind during this time.

In the photo, from the right: Major Scott Vaughn, USAF (Ret.), my dad, my cousin Richard Earl Vaughn III, and me.

Friday, December 05, 2008

SUPERMAN in TCM's December '08 issue.... FREE!

The December 2008 issue of Toy Collector Magazine is, as always, simply packed with fun, insightful and timely information for collectors. This issue I had the honor of contributing the cover feature on Superman at 70. Can we really have had seven decades of the Man of Steel? Yep! Check it out!

Also on tap this time are still banks, plenty of auction results, Breygent’s Saucer Men (based on the 1957 science fiction epic Invasion of the Saucer-Men), a review of Hopalong Cassidy: An American Legend, Zig-Zag Trains, pre-World War I Tootsie Toy aircraft, and more.

Each issue of TCM is available free of charge. It can either be read online or downloaded as a print quality PDF.

SGT. ROCK: THE LOST BATTALION #2 Now On Sale
























Billy Tucci's second issue of Sgt. Rock: The Lost Battalion came out yesterday. He had a brief signing at Best Comics International in New Hyde Park, New York before heading right back to the the proverbial drawing board.

What's really cool is that the Army Times (and its sister publications for the other services) ran a short feature about the project. Great news.

Additionally, The Oklahoman's website, NewsOK.com, ran a nice feature on it, too.

For those pieces and a bit more, check out the article from today's Scoop.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

ARCHER & ARMSTRONG: FIRST IMPRESSIONS

While some of the original Valiant’s first hits were updated versions Gold Key characters such as Magnus, Turok, and Solar, others such as Harbinger were original creations. Out of their core eight titles, Archer & Armstrong was the seventh released and it was one of the most original. It was conceived as a buddy action-comedy that would confront some of the more common clich├ęs of the genre.

The first three issues (Archer & Armstrong #0-2) tied into the Unity event and were written by Jim Shooter.

After his tenure, artist Barry Windsor-Smith took over the scripting duties as well. The result, at least for the stories collected in this volume, is a really enjoyable romp with two distinctly different characters who are getting to know each other amid non-stop calamity.

Perhaps because of Windsor-Smith’s art style or perhaps simply because they did a better job, this is the best of hardcover collections from the new Valiant in terms of production. The colors are vibrant and consistent, and of course the stories stand up just fine.

In addition to an interview with him, the collection includes a new short story featuring the origin of The Sect (the group that was seemingly destined to plague Archer and Armstrong during the series’ original run) written by Shooter and illustrated by Sal Velluto. A highly enjoyable read and a must for anyone who wonders what all the fuss was about back in the day.

Archer & Armstrong: First Impressions
Valiant Entertainment
HC, $24.95

This article appeared in slightly different form in Scoop. Both reviews were written by yours truly.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

TOP FIVE PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW 007 FILM

6. I'm not even mentioning the title. It doesn't bother me, even if I don't know what a Quantum of Solace is. I mean, I have a screenplay called Desperate Fences, so who am I to talk?

5. One of the least memorable actors to ever play a Bond villain.

4. Lackluster cinematography. It's Bond. The location-hopping is supposed to be part of the experience. It was boring.

3. No Moneypenny. Why? This can't be something they're building up to, can it?

2. Horrible, horrible action sequence direction. Everything is in close-up in lieu of being actually, oh, I don't know... any good? Pathetic. This from the same guy who directed the stunning action scene in Casino Royale with the spectacular fight in the construction scene and atop the crane?

1. Probably the worst Bond theme song ever. I mean, we're talking worse than Moonraker, License to Kill, The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day. Think about what I'm saying here. They should have just used "I Know Your Name" from Casino Royale over again until they came up with something acceptable. Alicia Keys? Wasn't Wayne Newton available?

This is not to say I hated the film. I think most everyone gave excellent performances. The screenplay and story were fine. This one rests squarely in the director's lap. The financial success means the producers and/or the studio are less than likely to learn the lessons that need to be learned at that Casino Royale will remain the high water mark of the series. Too bad.

SECRET WARS RE-ENACTMENT


Not exactly something new on the web... It's been around for years. That said, it's still pretty funny!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Atlas, The Second Time Around

Recently I had the opportunity to revisit "Atlas, The Second Time Around," a feature I had written several years ago for Comic Book Marketplace with fellow contributors Mike Wilbur and Michael Naiman.

Besides the fact that it received a tremendously larger audience in Scoop compared with CBM's miniscule circulation, it was great to get the chance to correct some of the problems with my feature that I discovered only in the years after it was published.

The bulk of the article, though, wasn't changed. The descriptions of all the titles in the Atlas-Seaboard line (the part on which I collaborated with Mike and Michael the most) are pretty much as they were originally, minus an editorial comment or two we always thought inappropriate.

At any rate, if you want to read about an odd bit of comics history including Neal Adams, Larry Hama, LarryLieber, Jeff Rovin, Martin Goodman, Howard Chaykin, and many others, by all means check out the Scoop archives or click here.

We've had some really nice comments on it, too!

New, Free Superhero Film Online: THE LEAGUE

I wrote this for today's edition of Scoop, but I'm really taken with the project and want to continue spreading the word, so here ya go:

THE LEAGUE
What if superheroes formed a union at the end of the Golden Age? This bizarre question is the underpinning of a new project from filmmakers Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel. The duo has just announced the completion of The League, a brand new superhero noir short film.

The film can be viewed free of charge in High Definition at online at http://www.theleaguefilm.com/.

Produced under the banners of Windy City Pictures and the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, The League was mentored by acclaimed writer-director Tom Mankiewicz (Superman, Diamonds are Forever, Dragnet), and was created as a thesis film for Chapman University.

The plot centers around the 1946 formation of The League of Heroes in Chicago, which gives the country its first ever Superhero Labor Union. Founded by The Gray Raven, his kid sidekick Sparrow, and the amazing Blue Blaze, The League of Heroes gave the heroes real status with the police and the community. After 20 years, they’re about to expand nationally when an old foe shows up on the scene.

The poster for The League was illustrated with features artwork by outstanding comic book creator Eric Wight (Justice League of America, The Escapist, My Dead Girlfriend), who also notably provided art for the TV series The OC.

PLEASE PLEASE ME Still Rocks When Done Right

Probably the best performance I've ever seen of The Beatles' "Please Please Me" is by Paul McCartney. What's extra fun about it, for me, is that it's come to Paul after age 60 that he can get some guys together and really rock.

Pets.Com Sock Puppet Bailout?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

TUCCI'S SGT. ROCK... well, ROCKS!


My good friend Billy Tucci's new comic book mini-series, Sgt. Rock - The Lost Battalion, debuted today, November 5, 2008, and it's been worth the wait.

Taking DC Comics' most iconic war comics character, Sgt. Rock, and infusing his story with the real life heroism of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team (those Japanese-Americans who fought the Axis while there own families languished in FDR's internment camps without trials or even charges, simply for being of Japanese ancestry), Billy has done an amazing job.

He's been covered by a lot of online places, and he's written his own regular column for Newsarama. I've had the fortune to work with him on his own character, Shi, and in his film, some trouble of a seRRious nature, and I've been excited to see his drive and determination in taking on this project. I'm also happy to have written about this effort:

He poured his comic book experience and love of history into this one.

He became an ambassador from a region in France.

He hosted meetings with survivors of the 442nd.

He even got his hair cut for it.

Now he's on tour with the first issue.

JCV writes about CAPTAIN ACTION in November's TOY COLLECTOR MAGAZINE

The November 2008 issue of Toy Collector Magazine is now online and it features a look inside the world of Captain Action by yours truly. As always, the rest of the magazine's pretty cool, too, and you can either read it free online or download a free, print quality PDF version.

Monday, October 20, 2008

JCV in October Toy Collector Magazine


The October 2008 issue of Toy Collector Magazine includes my feature on ReelArt Studios and their incredible work in statues. Michael Hudson seems like a really good guy and was delight to interview.

TCM can be viewed online or downloaded in a print-quality PDF, both free of charge. It's a great publication for collectors and you should already be reading it!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

DCU Holiday Special 2008

DCU Holiday Special 2008
80 pages, $5.99, on sale December 17, 2008

Written by Alan Burnett, Franco Aureliani & Art Baltazar, Dan DiDio and others (see below for one of the "others") Art by Rodolfo Migliari, Kevin Maguire, Ian Churchill, Tim Levins, Yishan Li and others Cover by Frank Quitely Celebrate the holiday as the Justice League of America host a surprise party guest! Dr. Light aids with the Festival of Lights and Nightwing delivers a special gift to Robin. Plus the super-secret origin of Santa Claus!

Okay, so I like Christmas comics. Why the extra plug for this one? Because it has my first work for DC Comics in it, that's why.

"Chritmas with the Beetles"
is a Blue Beetle Christmas tale with not one, not two, but three (count 'em) Blue Beetles, written by me, and illustrated by Lee Garbett, whose work I love.

So, hey, any extra support you can give this issue is deeply appreciated. The Diamond Comic Distributors product code is OCT08 0145, and it's featured on Page 85 of the October 2008 PREVIEWS catalog.

Long time no posts?

Uh, yeah.

On the plus side, I'm actually okay, but it's been a weird year health-wise. Nothing majorly serious, but just about the time I'd get better from one thing the next one was on me. I finally decided that maybe some rest was in order, so I quit blogging and MySpacing and everything else except writing.

The big plus is that now I'm healthy again and have done a bunch of writing. So, hey, if you're actually still tuning in, thanks.

Monday, March 24, 2008

ZOMBIE-PROOF #3 On Sale MARCH 26, 2008

Finally! Zombie-Proof #3 will be in comic book shops on on Wednesday, March 26, 2008.









ZOMBIE-PROOF MySpace Update

The Zombie-Proof page on MySpace, which we started just a few weeks ago, already has almost 1,100 members. Both Vincent and I hope you'll stop by and check it out. Check out past blogs for interviews, making of, and other behind-the-scenes type stuff. Every Friday we also recommend other great horror or action-oriented comics.

Friday, March 07, 2008

JOIN ZOMBIE-PROOF on MySpace

The MySpace page we started for Zombie-Proof is up and running, with both comic book fans and zombie fans joning in. There are regular (almost daily) posts there and a lot of great behind-the-scenes material. Join us!

MIKE SOLOF PHOTO EXHIBITION























Every year, my pal Mike Solof heads out to Comic-Con International: San Diego and a few other shows and takes many of the photos you see in Scoop. He really does a terrific job, too. So, over on our Zombie-Proof MySpace page, right on the main profile, we have an exhibit running of just some of his great shots. Included are Billy Tucci, Jim Lee, Brian Michael Bendis, Frank Cho, Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, and many others. Check it out! We've included a few of his great atmosphere shots as well.

ZOMBIE-PROOF #3 Covers!















Zombie-Proof #3 should be on sale within the next couple weeks. The covers are as follows: First is Vincent Spencer's latest masterpiece (Cover A). Second is David Michael Beck's awesome variant cover (Cover B). Third is our ultra-rare convention cover, limited to 100 copies (Cover C).

Sunday, February 10, 2008

DEAD INSPECTOR SNEAK PEAK

Filip Sablik is simply ROCKING on our project, Dead Inspector. He's one of his latest sketches. He's posting them pretty regularly over on his blog, so check it out! We hope to have some interesting news on this one soon.

ZOMBIE-PROOF Screenplay?

The third and final issue of the first Zombie-Proof mini-series is due out in a couple of weeks from Moonstone, so on my weekly train trips I've been working on the screenplay version of it.

Now the first draft is done and it's out to some of my regular readers for notes, and I'm pretty excited about that!

The fun thing is finishing a first draft. The un-fun thing is that now the serious work begins. Numerous wisemen have pointed out that writing is re-writing, and that's very true. What isn't written can't be re-written. To be sure, one has to celebrate getting down on paper, but that's short-lived. There is a lot of work ahead.

And I'm looking forward to it. It's easily one of most film-ready ideas I've ever had and the path that Vincent Spencer and I created for it in the comic just simply screams for a movie.

BARRY LYGA's Second Novel: BOY TOY

First, I have to admit I might have never read Barry Lyga's novel, Boy Toy, if it wasn't written by a good friend, but that doesn't have anything to do with the quality of the work, rather the time in which we live -- in this day and age when you see a guy my age without kids in the YA section of your local bookstore, it sends the wrong message.

That said, I'm really glad that I had the excuse to pick it up. And now, months after I packed it away right before I moved to New York, I finally found it... and made really quick work of it, too.

Barry is one of the freshest voices in fiction today. Considering how long I've known him and how long I've been reading his stuff, it's something that it's fresh at all to me, but it remains so because he knows who his characters are and goes to great lengths to put himself in their respective heads.

I was fortunate enough to see his previous book, The Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl, in several early stages, but circumstances weren't as permitting for this one, so I got to it cold. Didn't matter. The characters, action, and environment in Boy Toy scream realism, and much more so than the "ripped from the headlines" approach of certain TV shows these days. The vision is clear and the book is a serious page turner. Check it out!

MS. TREE IN RETURNS IN NOVEL FORM

One of my all-time favorite crime noir comic book series has turned into a novel. Here's my review from Scoop:

In the pages of Eclipse Magazine, the serialized first comic book adventures of Ms. Tree, private investigator Michael Tree, began appearing in 1981. It's been a long road since then, taking the tough-as-nails leading lady through Aardvark-Vanaheim, Renegade Press, First Comics, and DC Comics, movie options and more. During that time the character's co-creator and author Max Allan Collins (Road To Perdition) has sold more than his fair share of novels, but none about one of his favorite creations.
Cut from the same cloth as Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer, Spillane and Collins were close friends, Ms. Tree is the tough guy's tough girl. She is sharp, insightful, hard-nosed, somewhat caustic, and when called for, very deadly. This novel is a bit of a different take on her first two serialized stories ("I, For an Eye" and "Death Do Us Part"), but is mostly a new tale centering on how she became who she is now and what happened those negative elements who got in her way.
It's a synchopated tale of good gal vs. bad people and we're just along for the ride. Mike Hammer fans will find a resonating character that while clearly steeped in Spillane's mindset definitely has her own personality and style. Fans of the comics will definitely want to check this one out, as will crime fans in general. It's from Hard Case Crime and carries a $6.99 cover price.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

COVER FEATURE in TOY COLLECTOR MAGAZINE

Despite being a regular contributor to Toy Collector Magazine and numerous othe publications over the years, it's always cool to land the cover feature.

This month's TCM has my cover feature the work of sculptor Randy Bowen. As always with TCM, you can read it online or download a print quality PDF, either one free of charge.

Give it a whirl!

Friday, January 04, 2008

TOP COW'S NEW PUBLISHER is FILIP SABLIK!

I'm very happy to post the news (featured on Comic Book Resources just a short while ago) that Filip Sablik has been promoted to Publisher of Top Cow Productions. He's been Vice-President of Sales & Marketing until now. It's a great choice by Matt Hawkins and Top Cow founder Marc Silvestri, so my hearty congratulations to all involved!

Aside from be my collaborator on Dead Inspector, Filip is an engergetic, enthusiastic and talented promoter of the comic art form and it's great to see him being recognized as such.

DAVID MICHAEL BECK is ZOMBIE-PROOF!



Whether you know him from his stunning back covers to the early Devil's Due run of G.I. Joe (back when G.I. Joe was, you know, AMERICAN) or his stunning first sequential work in THE WICKED WEST 2 or his subsequent majestic JONAH HEX material, David Michael Beck is an incredible talent.

And now he's Zombie-Proof.

David just turned in his beautiful, fully-rendered pencils for his variant cover for Zombie-Proof#3, which is due out in January (and in all fairness to the fantastic people at Moonstone, if it's late it's our fault).

Vince and I are just blown away by this piece that really captures Billy Bob Driwahl in all his defiant glory. Blown. Away.

And David did this while dealing with a tough family illness, too. Isn't that incredible? If you'd like to see more of his work, check out his site or his upcoming (but as yet unscheduled) return visit to Jonah Hex.

24 Featured in TOY COLLECTOR MAGAZINE


The WGA strike may have nixed this season of 24, but that doesn't mean you can't get your Jack Bauer fix! Toy Collector Magazine's January '08 issue features an article by yours truly on all of the toys and other collectibles available based on the show. I talked with Beau Smith about the new IDW graphic novel and Todd McFarlane about his Jack Bauer toys. We have plenty of previews of the 24 mini-mates line from Diamond Select Toys, too.
You can either look at the whole thing free online or download a print-quality PDF, also free of charge, by visiting http://www.toycollectormagazine.com/.