Saturday, November 18, 2006


Welcome to another edition of the BLOG EXTRA. This week, part two of our long look at recent releases from Dynamite Entertainment!

DARKMAN VS. ARMY OF DARKNESS #1 is written by the veteran combo of Kurt Busiek and Roger Stern and drawn by another vet, James Fry. This first issue is really mostly a Darkman tale, which is a pretty smart idea; the character isn’t currently being published in his own series, so by re-introducing his character and cast, the readers who have been buying the AOD series get necessary knowledge. And Darkman fans will be happy to see the “screen time” Dr. Westlake gets. But what makes this a worthy read for anyone who picks it up is the old school way that Busiek and Stern present the tale, and the sturdy art delivered by Fry. I’m on record as not really enjoying the ARMY OF DARKNESS book, but I was completely sucked in to what was going on here. This is precisely how to put together a crossover of this nature and looks like it should be a lot of fun over the course of the series.

Over at the main site, I made pretty good sport of SAVAGE RED SONJA: QUEEN OF THE FROZEN WASTES’s first and second issues. I found Frank Cho and Doug Murray’s story to be a little on the silly side, and the lesbian text (no subtext to be found) was extraneous. But issue #3 is a distinct improvement over the first two. Why? The writers step aside and let artist Homs cut loose with page after page of Sonja in action. Whether she’s battling yetis, or armored warriors, Sonja reads much more like the character we have come to know in her regular book, and the story gets streamlined into something that makes a bit more sense. The Ice Queen is still hot to put Sonja on her side and in her bed, but the focus comes on breaking the red headed warrior’s spirit and putting an end to her attempts to free herself and the Queen’s slaves. With one issue to go, I’m not sure whether or not the series as a whole will turn out to be a worthy effort, but I credit this issue for a fine go at turning it around.

Speaking of the main RED SONJA title, issue #16 continues the strong run by writer Mike Oeming and artists Mel Rubi and Stephen Sadowski. Part five of “The Return of Kulan Gath” sees Sonja and her allies drawn back together for a large-scale battle versus Gath’s agents on Hyboria. Gods, beasts, bards… all are in the fray, and Sonja finally faces her foe’s worldly agent, to boot. What continues to impress about SONJA is how well rounded a character she has become; Sonja isn’t just a fighter without purpose or drive here. She’s a woman on a quest, but that quest is just as much spiritual as it is physical. Oeming also shows some smarts in keeping the pace moving along quickly, as a story of length always runs the risk of becoming tedious and drawn out. There are still two chapters to go in this current saga, but it feels like we’ve gotten to them quite quickly. The art and production quality remain top-notch as well, and when you throw in the amazing covers, you understand why this is the company’s flagship title. Good stuff.
John Layman writes, and Fabiano Neves draws, XENA #4, the conclusion of the book’s opening story arc. When last we left off, Xena’s old foe Callisto had killed her and her ally Autolycus, leaving Gabrielle and Joxer alone with the villainess and stuck in the middle of a war between two pantheons. But as to whether or not even the clutches of death can hold Xena… well, she is the star of the book, after all. Snark aside, you could fairly guess at the end of issue three what was really going on, but that doesn’t mean that Layman doesn’t make the journey damned entertaining. As someone who didn’t watch the show or have any investment in the characters, I have been pleasantly surprised at how much I’ve enjoyed this book (editorial admission: Layman is a friend, but you couldn’t pay me to read, say, THUNDERCATS); Xena and the cast really come across as dynamic and intriguing personalities. I’d read a comic about these people stopping to drink a beer, let alone an action extravaganza like this one. Take into consideration Neves, who is one of the best finds of the year, and this one is simply a keeper.

That’s it for this week. Check back Monday through Wednesday for main site updates (we’ll be off for the long weekend), and be here next weekend for another CWR WEEKEND BLOG EXTRA!


Friday, November 17, 2006


Papercutz Books and
the Cartoon Networks....


KIDS COMPETE IN VIDEO CONTEST FOR TOTALLY SPIES! Send In Your Entry Before December 31st, 2006

New York, NY (October 26, 2006) – Calling all young film-makers! Now is your chance to show your movie making skill! If you can make a trailer for the Totally Spies, you may be the grand prize winner of a package of fun stuff!

This fall, to celebrate Totally Spies, Beverly Hills’ hottest teens mixing international intrigue, fashion and homework, coming to bookstores everywhere, Papercutz is providing a star appearance in an upcoming article to be published in every Papercutz series of graphic novels, from Totally Spies to the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew plus various free Papercutz graphic novels and Totally Spies merchandise, as available! To win, young film-makers between the ages of eight and fourteen will create a 90-second trailer for the new graphic novels, starring Sam, Alex and Clover, three Beverly Hills high school girls who fight crime on an international scale as undercover agents for the World Organization of Human Protection. The winning entry will be posted all over the internet from Youtube to you name it and for everyone to pass along to friends. The winning entry will also win many other fun prizes...such as a 2-week summer camp workshop, with the New York Film Academy!!!!...“Through working on these books, I’ve discovered just how much they mean to their fans,” said Editor-in-chief Jim Salicrup. “We want to reward the creativity and imagination they inspire. We need a cool, fun video that shows the energy and humor of this series and that it’s now in comics. A video everyone will love to death! In return, we’ll immortalize you in hundreds of thousands of books!”Entrants will make a movie-style trailer, using the artwork available to them in two new graphic novels, The O.P. and I Hate the 80s, and the Papercutz website ( by December 31st, 2006. The winner will be determined by judges including editor Salicrup. The best films will be shown on the website starting in January 2007.

Totally Spies Competition Prizes:

NYFA 2-Week Tween Workshop / Summer Camp

The New York Film Academy is pleased to offer a two-week day summer camp programs for youth (ages 10-13) to learn filmmaking.

The Two-Week Filmmaking Camp meets Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm with a one-hour lunch break for two consecutive weeks.

*Travel and accommodations are not included; the prize winner is responsible for the travel and accommodations.

Rabble :: RAZR Cell Phone
RAZR Cellular telephone [with built in camera] from Intercasting, loaded with Rabble [ ]. Waiting on model number and image of product
Winner Feature Story on
Winning video posting, webstream
See Contest information on the Win! (sweepstakes) page.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. To enter the Totally Spies Video Contest write your name, telephone number, and full mailing address in an e-mail along with your 90 second video to or by mail on a 3” x 5” card and CD/DVD sent to: Papercutz, 40 Exchange Place, Ste. 1308, New York, NY 10005. Limit one entry per person. Not responsible for: late, lost, stolen, damaged, undelivered, mutilated, illegible, or misdirected entries; postage due; or typographical errors in the rules. Entries void if they are in whole or in part illegible, incomplete, or damaged. Contest starts November 1st, 2006. Entries must be postmarked by December 31, 2006 and received by January 6th, 2007.
All entries become the property of Papercutz and will not be acknowledged or returned. Papercutz (Sponsor) will award one (1) Grand Prize to an eligible U.S. or Canadian entrant. Grand Prize includes providing a star appearance in an upcoming article to be published in one volume of every Papercutz series of graphic novels and various free Papercutz graphic novels and Totally Spies merchandise, as available.
Contest is open to legal residents of the continental U.S. (excluding Puerto Rico) and Canada (except Quebec) ages 8-14 as of September 20th, 2006. Proof of age is required to claim prize. Void wherever prohibited or restricted by law. All provincial, federal, state, and local laws apply. Employees and family of employees of Papercutz (Sponsor), and its respective suppliers, parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, agencies, and participating retailers, and persons connected with the use, marketing, or conducting of this contest are not eligible.
Additionally, as a condition to receiving the Grand Prize, the winner and the winner’s parent or legal guardian shall be required to execute an assignment transferring and assigning all of his or her rights,
title, and interest, including but not limited to any copyrights or trademarks, in winner’s image, persona, name, and/or likeness, as embodied in the forthcoming Papercutz books. Winner’s parents or legal
guardians on behalf of winners agree to allow use of winner’s name, image, photograph, persona, likenesses, and entries for any advertising, promotion, and publicity purposes without further compensation to or permission from the entrants except where prohibited by law.
By participating in the contest, entrants agree to be bound by these rules and the decisions of the judges and the Sponsor, which are final in all matters relating to this contest. Failure to comply with these Official Rules may result in disqualification of your entry and prohibition of any further participation in this contest.
By entering, entrants release Sponsor and its subsidiaries; affiliates; divisions; and advertising, production, and promotion agencies from any and all liability for any loss, harm, damages, costs, or expenses, including without limitation property damages, personal injury, and /or death, arising out of participation in this contest, the acceptance, possession, use, or misuse of any prize, claims based on publicity rights, rights of privacy, intellectual property rights, defamation, or merchandise delivery.

Copyright © 2006 Marathon-MYSTERY Animation INC. "Totally Spies" is a trademark of Marathon-MYSTERY Animation INC. All rights reserved. No video of the Totally Spies may be sent in e-mail to anyone or posted to any site without the express consent of the Sponsor.
For the name of the prize winners (available after January 15th, 2007) send a separate, stamped, self-addressed envelope to Winners’ List TS Video Contest, Papercutz, 40 Exchange Place, Ste. 1308, New York, NY 10005.Sponsor: Papercutz, 40 Exchange Place, Ste. 1308, New York, NY 10005.

ABOUT Papercutz:
Papercutz is a new graphic novel publishing company for tweens ages 8 to14. Launched in the Spring of 2005 with the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, the company also publishes the adventures of Totally Spies, and Zorro. In this short period of time, it has sold over 250,000 Nancy Drew and 200,000 Hardy Boys graphic novels. With writers that include Scott Lobdell and Stefan Petrucha, and artists such as Lulu Award winner Lea Hernandez and Sho Murase on board, Papercutz is uniquely positioned to bring exciting characters and inspiring stories to a new generation of readers.

For more information about Papercutz, you may visit

Media Contact:
Release: [publicity_pr]
Tracie Lynn Tucker

40 Exchange Pl., Ste. 1308New York, NY 10005

ABOUT New York Film Academy:
The Academy was founded in 1992 on a belief that a top quality education in filmmaking should be accessible to anyone with the drive and ambition to make films. The Academy opened its doors in 1992 in Robert DeNiro‘s Tribeca Film Center. Since that time NYFA has grown into their own facilities in Manhattan’s Union Square and Soho. They have also opened Film Academies at Universal Studios in Los Angeles and London UK, England. NYFA holds One-Year and short-term programs throughout the year in these locations. During the summer they offer their short-term programs at a number of additional locations, including Harvard University; Princeton University; Disney-MGM Studios-Florida; Paris, France; and Florence, Italy.

Each year hundreds of students of all occupations, races, ethnicities, and of a wide range of ages from around the world benefit from the extraordinary education offered at the New York Film Academy. Today, little more than a decade after the first students graduated, the New York Film Academy is considered one of the most prominent fixtures of film education in the world.

The New York Film Academy was designed for a new generation of filmmakers, screenwriters, actors, producers and animators who share a passion for motion pictures and want to learn by making their own projects in a hands-on, intensive program.

The New York Film Academy believes that the correct paths for filmmakers is to immediately start making their own films in a hands-on intensive working environment.

Towards this end, all students begin making their own films in the first week of all our workshops.

"Every film has a beginning, a middle, and an end... but not necessarily in that order." - Jean Luc Godard

For more information, visit .

Rabble is a fun and useful tool that connects you with other people and the world around you using text, camera phones and location. Part blogging, part location-based personal networking, Rabble helps you find and interact with other people and get information you won’t find in the yellow pages through bits of location-tagged media.

For more information, visit .


Kidzworld publishes contemporary, engaging, and original content for kids and tweens - ages six through 14 - on a daily basis. As a leading kid's knowledge and entertainment channel, Kidzworld is committed to providing an inclusive, age appropriate, online home for our users.

For more information, visit .
We're back! Absent due to the day job since Tuesday, the Waiting Room is here to close the week out with two questions: is SIDESCROLLERS the spiritual sequel to MALLRATS, and has Phil Hester written the best VAMPIRELLA story ever? The only way to get those answers?

Clicking here, of course.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Waiting Room is heading into a mid-week break for work-related matters, so there will be no updates Wednesday or Thursday.

For today: a double dose! New reviews of UNHOLY KINSHIP from NBM and the manga AIRGEAR from Del Rey! Go check them out!

See you Friday!


Monday, November 13, 2006

Three newbies for Monday: RENFIELD, DRAIN, and HAWAIIAN DICK VOL.2 from Image Comics!

Please, for the love of all that is holy, go read.


Sunday, November 12, 2006


Welcome to the latest CWR WEEKEND BLOG EXTRA! This week, part one of two, as I take an extended look at some of the latest books from Dynamite Entertainment. Let’s get to it!

THE LONE RANGER #2 is written by Brett Matthews and drawn by Sergio Cariello. I described issue one of this origin story of the Ranger as being “Batman meets Brisco County, Jr.”; it was a good book, not a great one, but there was obvious potential waiting to be tapped. Nicely, issue two makes me look pretty smart: this is a huge leap forward from issue one. Right out of the gate, we’re introduced to Tonto, and he’s a fascinating guy, a warrior who will obviously play sidekick to no one. We also get a look at the conspiracy that killed John Reid’s family, and what will drive his becoming the west’s greatest hero. Throw Cariello’s excellent art into the mix, and this reads as one of the best books Dynamite has produced this year. I was never a fan of this character, but I’ll be a permanent convert if the creative team can keep up this level of quality.

Brandon Jerwa and Mike Oeming write, and Lee Moder draws, HIGHLANDER #1, which follows in the footsteps of the original 1986 cult classic. Now, given the quality of every other piece of HIGHLANDER material that came after Christopher Lambert’s career highlight, Jerwa and Oeming had to do very little to produce something clever; however, given that opening, they wisely don’t choose to coast and phone it in. Instead, they offer up a genuinely fascinating idea: the Kurgan, one of the most evil men to ever walk the Earth, left disciples in his wake, and they are more than willing to continue doing the dead immortal’s work… no matter how dirty it might be. Their latest act was to cause the Chernobyl meltdown. Worse is that many of the disciples were recruited and created by a special Russian government project. That means long and scary odds for Connor MacLeod and the allies he has cultivated over the last few hundred years. The one weakness here is that, like in the film, MacLeod is not a very interesting fellow when compared against the rest of his cast and has yet to come to life in the comic. Still, this is solid reading, especially when factoring in Moder’s usual terrific art.

The ARMY OF DARKNESS comic won a “Scream Award” for Best Screen-to-Comic Adaptation this autumn, so hats off to the creative team for that achievement. Issues #10-11 are written by James Kuhoric and drawn by Kevin Sharpe, and continues Ash’s quest to stop Dracula from achieving true immortality and ultimate power. Throw Frankenstein’s monster into the mix, and you get an almost deliriously goofy tale of time travel, werewolves, and other assorted nonsense. The AOD comic has never really grabbed me, and I gave that some thought a while back, trying to figure out why. What I realized is that, plot and storytelling ultimately take a back seat in Ash’s world. It is the journey that counts most, and the sillier the journey, the more the book is true to its roots. Kuhoric really excels at delivering the goofy elements that make Bruce Campbell so appealing on film, and Sharpe turns in some good-looking pages. But even with the analysis, I still can’t quite find my way into the book. That’s just the way things go.

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA #2-3 are written by Greg Pak and drawn by Nigel Raynor. The first couple of issues saw Pak setting up a story that had more than a bit of uncertainty; the Galactica crew found a drifting ship that contained what appeared to be the dead loved ones of many of the fleet’s survivors somehow alive and well… including Zak Adama. Smelling a Cylon plot, Commander Adama and the rest have been more than a bit wary, but the story hadn’t given the reader much to work with. That changes here, as we finally see the true plot get into motion. And as a pleasant surprise, it isn’t all as cut and dried as you might have believed. Instead, Pak delivers a story that plays surprisingly fair with your emotions and gets much closer in feeling to the series itself. Not only do we get all that, we also get a pleasantly surprising nod to the original series. I had enjoyed the first two issues of this book, mostly because I love the series, and getting more of the characters during the hiatus between seasons was nice. But this was the first time I really enjoyed the comic on its own merits, which bodes well as the book continues forward.

That’s it for Dynamite part one! I’ll be back with main site updates this week, and back next weekend with part two!