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Pay Your Share for Free Speech

(This Stripped column originally appeared in the May 28-June 3, 1998 Long Island Voice. Click on the artwork for a larger image.)


"When this bloody war is over, only one set of prayers will have been heard. The other side will live under the shadow of conquest — and every Johnny Reb and every damn Yankee will be told to forget the last four years ever happened. You remember firing on Fort Sumter? You remember burning Atlanta? Hey, forget! We're a nation again!"

 — Thoughts on the scars left by the Civil War in Uncle Sam #1

by Beth Hannan Rimmels

Get out your wallets for a good cause. Starting June 1, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund will debut an online auction that will run all month. Frank Miller kicks off the program by donating a 30-by-24-inch pen-and-ink drawing in his high-contrast Sin City style. The piece envisions Sin City's Marv back from the dead as the new Spawn peering out through torrential rain. Those interested in bidding can register online or by phone at 1-800-99-CBLDF. After that, participants can bid over a secure online connection or by phone. The action starts at $500 and the piece will go to the highest bidder as of midnight June 30.

HELIX AXED   DC Comics' science-fiction imprint is dead and its only successful series, Transmetropolitan, will move to the Vertigo line. As a die-hard fan of science fiction, I'm disappointed. I also have to confess that very few of the Helix titles grabbed me. But if you're looking for a good SF-comics fix, try Galaxion (Helicon). It's a good book. I'll plug in detail some other time. Recently solicited Helix titles will still be released.

WEB-SLINGING   In lighter news, you may have missed (but can still see) the first Internet comic-book crossover when Wolff & Byrd gave a vampire some legal advice in Don Simpson's Fiascoverse. Check out chapters 79 and 80. Trivia note: Don Simpson designed the logo for Batton Lash's Wolff & Byrd: Counselors of the Macabre.

Miller's Marv as Spawn

FAST-MOVING MOVIE     Can't say they're not ambitious: John Green and Dave Roman of the North Babylon, NY, Cryptic Press are filming the first issue of their comic-book series Quicken Forbidden.This small-budget production is being directed by Matt Hawkins, who worked on the short film Clear, and features animation sequences by Becky Wible, who has done award-winning work for the Sci-Fi Channel and Nickelodeon. Series writer Roman is assistant director while storyboard artist Green is production designer. What began as a half-hour short has grown into a full-length, live-action feature with two animated sequences, one 2-D and one 3-D, and an original score. Filming should wrap in June with a target release date of late summer. The QF trade paperback compiling issues #1-5 should debut in August at the San Diego International Comic Con.

TICKED OFF    The long-rumored Tick film has been pushed back from its original 1998 production schedule due to creator Ben Edlund's commitment to direct Santa Claus vs. The Martians, a remake of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. So the Tick film has now been bumped to one or two years from now.

MAD ABOUT GRENDEL    Dark Horse is doing a major Grendel push in November. Kicking it off will be the first issue, Grendel: Black, White & Red, of a four-issue miniseries detailing some of the many untold tales of Hunter Rose Grendel. Grendel creator Matt Wagner will write all 20 of the eight-page short stories while artwork will be provided by Mike Allred, Paul Chadwick, David Mack, Tim Sale, Teddy Kristianson, Jason Pearson, Tim Bradstreet, John Paul Leon, Guy Davis, Ho Anderson, Duncan Fedrego, C. Scott Morese, Bernie Mireault, John K. Snyder, d'Israeli, Jay Gelhdof, Woodrow Phoenix, The Pander Brothers, Chris Sprouse and Stan Shaw. Wagner also will paint each cover. Other Grendel items will follow. Wagner can't discuss details yet, but promises they will be cool.

Wagner also has been involved in the Big Blast action figures of Mage (Kevin Matchstick) and Grendel (Hunter Rose version), both of which debuted in April, along with a Madman figure. Big Blast's next set of figures feature Kevin Smith's Jay & Silent Bob, designed by Smith-friend Wagner and sculpted by Norm DeCarlo. They'll come with a variety of rude accessories and sound chips that produce various slogans, except for Silent Bob's, which won't say anything.


Column 1998 Long Island Voice. Marv as Spawn artwork 1998 Frank Miller. Grendel artwork 1998 Matt Wagner.