Friday, July 31, 2009

Original Good Rats Reunion

At long last... October 24 at The Crazy Donkey in Long Island.

The only question is how do you fit all of Long Island in one room?

And if you haven't seen Peppi and the Good Rats new commercial yet, you should click here.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Curb Reunites Seinfeld


For more than a decade, Larry David has said a "Seinfeld" reunion wouldn't happen. Now it's here--but only within the fictional universe of "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

The seventh season of "Curb" returns on Sept. 20 and will center around Larry finally "agreeing" to do a reunion of the defining '90s sitcom. All four "Seinfeld" cast members will play themselves in multiple episodes, and the season finale will feature extensive snippets of the show-within-the-show. Can't wait!

Marv Wolfman Tweets (It goes with the sweater)


He created Blade and the Teen Titans. And although he'll never admit it, I taught him to Tweet. You can follow him here.

Harlan Ellison vs. Frank Sinatra

I've heard the story from Harlan but just came across this. Gay Talese remembers the incident:



That night I’m sitting at a bar around ten o’clock, watching people, and sure enough I notice Frank Sinatra sitting down the corner of the bar with two blondes. Sinatra goes to play pool and I witness a scene between Sinatra and a guy named Harlan Ellison, and I write it down on a shirt board. But I don’t get it all, so I go up to Ellison and ask him if I can talk to him the next day. He gives me his phone number and address. When we speak in person I ask him not just what everyone said, but what he was thinking. I always ask people what was on their mind. Were you surprised by Sinatra? Had you me him before? Did you think he was going to hit you, or did you want to pop him?


From what I recall, Sinatra made a Jew crack at Harlan. From what I recall, no one created a petition to protest the matter.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Gene Colan: Trying to Top Jack Kirby

Everyone's back from SDCC now. The phone keeps ringing. Where were you, they ask?

Gene Colan, who arrived home Monday, says he felt Hollywood had encroached too much on the con for his taste. "Kind of takes away from the whole experience," he said. "They trot in stars and it's no longer about comics... But I still had a great time!"


Gene's new Captain America #601 has apparantly sold out. This was the first comic I've bought in many years. Really brought me back. Gene may be 80+ years old now but he's never looked better on paper.

Recently, I promised more of Gene's unedited thoughts on the characters/books that he worked on. Here's Gene on Captain America:

Cliff: Was it particularly challenging following Jack Kirby on Captain America?

Gene: I certainly admired Jack Kirby's work tremendously. I really was weaned on his work. His work prepared me for the comic book world in a significant way. His action was very compelling and dynamic and I wanted to use it as a springboard to do even more--to see how much further I could take my action... beyond where Kirby took his. Certainly, it was a big challenge. Like if he had bricks and rocks coming at the reader, which he did very often and very dynamically, I tried to will the rocks to actually hit the reader (laughs). I wanted the reader to actually feel the blow from the rocks and fists... Of course, I couldn't really do that, but I tried.

I was intimidated by Jack's work, yes, but it made me a better artist. I became more of an artist and less of a cartoonist by trying to top Jack.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Harlan Ellison: Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood

His entire career and the body of his work have been about taking responsibility and the gold-standard of human decency and the quest for personal justice and the pursuit of bald truth, regardless of how it feels when you find it. And those of us fortunate enough to know him have experienced these things along with the colossus of his charisma, for better or worse. But some folks who don't know him, who are ignorant of his important life's work and his genuine character, can't fathom these multitudes, so they join the hanging party in an attempt to still a great voice. How silly they look when the lights are turned on.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Help Save John Ostrander's Eyesight


I'm not hard-wired into the comics community like I once was, alas, so apparantly this news made the rounds and I missed it. But my friend, writer Gail Simone, just clued me in and in the event that you're also in the dark:

Writer John Ostrander recently underwent numeroues surgeries for his Glaucoma--procedures that were an expensive, however tentative solutions. To make matters worse, his costly health insurance didn’t cover all the costs of saving his eyesight--not even near. The procedure was done in Boston, requiring two separate week-long trips to Boston, as well as repeated follow-up trips to track his progress and make adjustments. I remember when Gene Colan went through this some dozen years ago. It was miserable and frightening.

Once again, the comics community is rallying to help one of its own. "Too often in the comics world we find ourselves holding events after we’ve lost a creator who has given us so many years of joy," says the website Comix4Sight. "Now we have a chance to help one before its too late--after all, it would be terribly hard for John to write dialog for pages he cannot see."

The goal is to raise sufficient funds to help cover the costs of John’s treatments. Please visit this site for more information. I'm in. Please do something, small or big, but something.

Dog's Best Friend


David Grounds, a man with real guts, went after an alligator that was holding his 45 lbs. Wheaten terrier Mandy in its jaws. It cost him but he's fine with that. "It wasn’t a bad trade," says the 66-year-old Foridian. "Mandy for two fingers." See the video here.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Gencon, for you Game Geeks


My 14 year old plays games. Me? I prefer to put the gloves on. But Matt Fobeck will be there, and that's worth the trip. And Katrina the official "GenCon Girl" (pictured) asked me to say something, and I'm a sucker for pretty gals. Which is why they hire them. Have a look.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Gene Colan: Should I Stay or Should I Go?


This just in from da horse's mouth (so to speak): Despite blogged rumors to the contrary, Gene Colan and his lovely wife Adrienne (Guest of Honor at this year's FaceBook ComicCon! woo-hoo!) will be attending San Diego ComicCon.

There were some health concerns but the Dean has been cleared by his doctors and is good to go. When you see him, send my love.

More of Gene looking back on his Marvel character runs later tonight.

(art montage courtesy of Michael Netzer)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Gene Colan: High on Daredevil


I'm behind a personal deadline on THE INVINCIBLE GENE COLAN, which I'm editing for Marvel, but we're in the home stretch, and to get there I've posed some questions to Gene. His answers will be edited for the book, but readers of this blog get the unabridged version. Check back this week (or subscribe to this blog--it's free!) for Gene on Capt. America, on Sub-Mariner, on Iron Man, etc.

"I always wanted my own full length book and Daredevil was my first opportunity. I was thrilled to get my own character. I never thought that would come about because John Romita had it for a while. No one stuck with it and I just knew whatever book they gave me, if it was a full length book, I would stick with it.

"What made Daredevil special for me was he couldn't see and yet he could see better than people with sight. That intrigued me because that challenged me to show the reader how things might be without sight: How he sensed things a split second before they happened. It allowed me to be very dramatic with a different kind of artwork. One way was depicting reality; the other was by using effects to show how I thought a blind person might picture life--maybe through his other senses. Also, all the acrobatics he had to employ were challenging and exciting for me to choreograph in order to capture the audience's interest.

"Daredevil was also the first character I ever drew that fought injustice. And I liked that. I liked to portray how he would battle crime... I honed my craft on Daredevil for anything else that followed. I was high on the challenge of making and keeping this a successful book!"

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Hulk 181 - Wolverine's First Appearance

I have two copies of Hulk 181 that just went up for sale, along with some other Silver Age gems. Click here for the list.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Teen Titans. Go!


My kids and I have always been huge fans of the Teen Titans--from the original comics by my pal Marv Wolfman to the animated series. And I always held a secret affection for the show's theme song. But I only just discovered who sang it. Yow!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Sweet Call When I Needed One


Gene and Adrienne Colan just called. Wanted to know if I'd be joining them in San Diego for ComicCon. I explained why I can't make it this year. They even offered to let me share their room... And they meant it.

And this, my droogs, means more to me than ComicCon.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hacked at Facebook

Susan Ellison phoned this morning to ask if I was in a London hotel, stuck with neither credit cards nor cash. "Not I," I assured her. "Then you've been hacked, dear," said Susan.

Some troll was IM'ing people from FaceBook using my name, trying to beat them out of a few bucks. Thanks to Brian Siano for the quick catch, and to Faisal Qureshi, Rick Wyatt and Matt Forbeck for also bringing the matter to my attention and helping resolve it.

Facebook has removed my page. Not sure if I'll bother to put it back up. Wasn't good for much anyway.

In my paranoia, I imagined that this might have something to do with someone in San Diego or Lawrence who might be stupid enough to pull my tail for telling little white truths. In their paranoia, they should understand that if they start this, there will be no rules.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Buried Treasure


Usually, when someone writes about me or mentions me in an article, they drop a line or a link. Collin David, however, wrote a splendid little article about Dave Cockrum's comic collection, and my involvement with Dave, in an article for CollectorsQuest that I only just discovered 18 months after its posting! Thank you, Collin.

(pictured from left to right: Marv Wolfman, Jo Duffy and Dave Cockrum)

Henderson Drops Bisping Like a Bad Habit

There was a houseful of wrestlers & martial artists at the Meth home Saturday night hootin' and hollering for our boy Dan Henderson in UFC 100. And no one hooted louder than I when Dan dropped Michael Bisping in the 2nd.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Three of These Things are Just Like the Others

On my way to the bakery today, I paid a visit to Rabbi Boruch Klar at his Lubavitch Center of Essex County in Livingston, NJ. Boruch, before he was Boruch, was Brian Klar, an activist in Ceasar Chevez's band of quasi-militant unionists. There's a photo of Klar in his office--sandwiched between a bumper sticker welcoming Moshiach and a deli menu--of a hippie Klar circa 1967 with a sign imploring one not to eat grapes.

I first encountered Klar in '82 as he did shlichus at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, NJ, where I was an undergrad. Some dickhead had kicked down his sukkah and I kicked down the dickhead. So Klar and I became pals. Then, eleven years later, he stopped talking to me because I turned in one of his colleagues at the Rabbinical College of America in Morristown for abusing children (though it was Klar who first complained to me how this teacher was hurting kids; people are strange). But despite all that I like Klar. It's hard to dislike him; believe me, I tried. Sincerity, regardless of its pole, tends to tug my heart strings. If I'd known Klar in '67, I'd likely have flushed my grapes. At age six, I flushed all sorts of shit.

Klar's boss, on the other hand, is Moshe Herson. Moshe Herson is what Kurt Vonnegut described as a wrang-wrang, a person who steers people away from a line of speculation by reducing that line, with the example of the wrang-wrang's own life, to an absurdity. Observing Herson in action, it was only too easy to say good-bye to Lubavitch forever. Well done, Moshe Herson, well done.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Silver Age Comics for Sale


Visit this link. Many comics just added. Prices reflect Overstreet but are negotiable and will give multi-book discounts. PLEASE pass this link along.