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Free Speech, Humor & Other Curiosities

(This  Stripped column originally appeared in the January 29-February 4, 1998, Long Island Voice. Click on the artwork for a larger image.)

by Beth Hannan Rimmels


"This is why it makes me sick when we were putting up with hearing about some hack-shit artist like [Rob] Liefeld being so good when these guys don't get the recognition they deserve, or anywhere near it. One tree trunk by [Charles] Vess is worth all of Liefeld's career."

 — rant by Drew Hayes in the "Starting Note" for Poison Elves #29."

News and notes from the comics universe, starting with a good cause and an opportunity for creators:

n A second issue of the anthology No Justice! No Peace! is tentatively scheduled for release in late spring or early summer. The first issue, released by Head Press in late October as a fund-raiser for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, included contributions from Charles Vess (The Book of Ballads and Sagas, Stardust), Amanda Conner (Vampirella), Shannon Wheeler (Too Much Coffee Man) and others.

According to Publisher Robert Ludke, after production and promotion costs, the book raised $1,100. Ludke invites interested creators to write him at PO Box 299019, #380, Lewisville, Texas 75029. Those who have already agreed to participate include Janet Hetherington, Mike Legocki, Shon Bury, Trevor Scott, Mike Leonard, Dave Garcia, Stephen Bourne and M. Scott McCullough. Brian Stelfreeze will be doing cover chores once again.

n If you don't read Amazing Heroes with any regularity, pick up Teri Sue Wood's The Cartoonist (Dog Star Press, $2.95), a compilation of her strips for Amazing Heroes. Even though the strips refer to comics trends from the past few years, they're still very funny. Nothing is sacred, from Neil Gaiman's Sandman to Donna Barr's Desert Peach to Elfquest, the Ninja Turtles and Larry Marder's Beanworld. Note to all you obsessed Gaiman-philes: Neil contributes an amusing intro. Who says comics folks have no sense of humor?

n Now that Matt Wagner's Mage has been resurrected by Image, Hollywood interest is close behind. According to Wagner, comics fan/director Kevin Smith (Clerks) is tentatively set to write the script, which Wagner and Smith will then shop around Tinseltown.

Click panel to see full cartoon

n Forget last year's big-screen Wonder Woman rumor (and thankfully, with it, whispering about a Demi Moore casting). Warner Bros. has announced that it is developing a live-action Wonder Woman TV series in collaboration with Deborah Joy-Levine, original producer of Lois & Clark. WB, seeking an unknown for the lead, could have a show on the airwaves as soon as next fall (but I'm betting on a midseason replacement slot). I really liked the first season of Lois & Clark and, while some of the following seasons were nearly as good, its biggest problem was ABC and WB's impatience and constant fiddling with it. I'm hoping they'll leave Joy-Levine alone this time. Why hire talented people if you don't trust their judgment?

n Terry Moore reports that an animated version of Strangers in Paradise is in the "phone calls and conversations" stage with HBO. The project would be developed by the producers for the Spawn and Spicy City series.

n Can't call Tim Burton a slacker. While working on the Superman movie starring — shudder — Nicolas Cage, he signed a deal to produce a feature-film version of R.L. Stine's Goosebumps. Instead of using one or two of the books though, Burton plans to use a combination of characters and story ideas from the 62-book horror series for kids. While he's not slated to direct it himself, Goosebumps has a creepy, off-beat sensibility that fits perfectly into Burton's canon.

n Remember those "you pick the plot" books from when you were a kid? Today's technology adds a new wrinkle to the idea. DC Comics has just announced a team-up with Brilliant Digital Entertainment to produce Superman Multipath Adventures, a series of computer-based, interactive stories. DC and BDE promise three-dimensional, digitally animated stories with hundreds of plot choices and each adventure as long as a feature-length movie. DC will provide original scripts for the adventures, which should hit the stores in mid- to late-'98.


Column 1998 Long Island Voice. Artwork 1998 Teri Sue Wood.