Tuesday, November 23, 2004


The always great Steven Grant asked these questions in one of his recent columns, and I have answered:

1) What's your favorite comic of 2004?

Tough one. As far as trades or graphic novels go, I’ll go off the beaten path and say EGG STORY, OWLY, and B. KRIEGSTEIN COMICS really floated my boat. Also the fine manga, REMOTE. As far as floppies go, Peter David’s MADROX and Mark Waid’s underappreciated EMPIRE both gave me much enjoyment.

2) What's your favorite comics related moment?

It happened on screen. Batman singing for the life of Wonder Woman in the JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED cartoon. Paul Dini’s sly and hilarious middle finger to the people who take Bats way too seriously, as he slipped out the door to write for the excellent LOST.

3) What's the worst thing to happen in comics in 2004?

Marvel is beginning to flood the market again. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

4) What's your most fervid hope for comics in 2005?

Innovation. More original graphic novels. Material that attempts to broaden the audience. An industry that appeals more to women and young girls.

5) What aspect of comics in 2005 are you most looking forward to?

Finding more quality works by unknown creators and small press entities. Every time I find a book like STYX TAXI, it gives me hope for comics’ future.

6) What's your worst fear for comics in 2005?

That we’ll continue to see more of the same shit. That comics will continue to be unfriendly towards the fairer sex. That we are headed for another market collapse.

I was also pondering the always outstanding Fanboy Rampage today when I had an epiphany about what the site really is:

It's BEST WEEK EVER for comics. The motley collection of folks who post and rant about the foibles of the comics industry and the stupidity of fans are the comics equals to Jessi Klein, Sherrod Small, Patton Oswalt and the rest. It puts the site into perfect context and explains why I love it so much.


Sunday, November 21, 2004


I suck, and I have no excuses. There is absolutely no reason for me to have been silent for three weeks. I will flagellate myself in repentance.

Written by Dan Danko and Tom Mason
Published by
Little, Brown

Book four of this series of young adults novels is, happily, just as charming as the first three. Guy Martin, the teen sidekick known as Speedy, is still dealing with his cowardly idiot mentor Pumpkin Pete, the absurd thought processes of his fellow heroes in training, and bizarre supervillains, all the while trying to make the football team and impress the prettiest girl in school. It’s all very universal- I still deal with that kind of crap every day I get out of bed and head to work.

All kidding aside, what makes these novels work is the fact that there is a universality to the nonsense that Guy is going through. He is a young boy dealing with the changes in his body, pressures from school, struggles with his destiny, and adults who are less than helpful or honest about what his life is supposed to be.

However, while these may be the underlying issues at the heart of these books, Danko and Mason never let that overwhelm or stunt the humor that carries the pace of the story along. Like the first three books, CANDY MAN is littered with sidesplitting dialogue, outlandish characters, and situations that leave the reader in stitches. For instance, this book adds a new sidekick to the group: Super Vision Lad. From his name, you might guess he can see through walls, but nope; instead, his mother brings him to sidekick tryouts because he’s a hyperactive pain in the ass that has chased away all her potential babysitters. Hence… his name… and the $10 an hour she offers Pumpkin Pete to keep an eye on him.

Former comics scribes Danko and Mason continue to show a deft touch in creating a series that is truly entertaining for child and adult alike. According to a recent missive from Mason, the series may now continue on past the originally scheduled six books; I think that’s a capital idea. It’s clear two-thirds of the way through their original plan that they have plenty of imaginative ideas left in the tank, and there should be no hurry for them to end Speedy’s comical adventures.