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@@@@ Kirkman to Everybody: “HEY EVERYBODY! LEAVE MARVEL & DC!” Everybody not reached for comment. @@@@ Spinner Rack To the Future previews Niles’ CITY OF DUST and Red 5’s ATOMIC ROBO! @@@@


Well, AICN COMICS: SHOOT THE MESSENGER is your weekly one stop shop for comic book news that’s dropped in the previous week. Thanks to Newsarama, CBR, Wizard, etc. for reporting it as it breaks. Click on the links for the original stories. This column cuts the crap to run down all the vital information for those of you who don’t follow it as it comes in, and serves it all up with that special ingredient of @$$y goodness. It’s also the place for interviews, previews, and special reports. Hey folks, Ambush Bug here filling the anchor chair this week with a few news tidbits.

@ If you haven’t heard, the internet has cracked in half regarding a rant from Robert Kirkman, who urged creators to leave Marvel and DC and focus on creator-owned work in order to better the comic book industry. Personally, I don’t see what the hubbub is all about, but apparently, it’s got people talking all over the place.
@ There’s a video on YouTube promoting ZOMBIE HAIKU that is pretty damn sweet. The book was highly recommended by Ambush Bug a few weeks back.
@ A guy who wishes to be called Dark Piranha made a parody video of the WATCHMEN trailer. You can check it out here.
@ On a sad note, artist Carlos Meglia passed away. The Argentinean artist worked on ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN, SPYBOY, and ELEKTRA.

Now that we’ve got you all newsed up, let’s take a trip on the Spinner Rack To the Future, shall we?

First we have another preview from those guys at Radical Comics, the same folks that bought you FREEDOM FORMULA, CALIBER, and HERCULES. This time, the Radical guys have Steve Niles on tap with CITY OF DUST: A PHILIP KHROME STORY. Here’s what Radical has to say about the book

From the dark mind of STEVE NILES (30 Days of Night) comes a story set in the aftermath of our world's collapse. This chilling vision of the future unveils a world where the police now patrol for crimes of the imagination. Religious beliefs, along with any tales of false heroes, idols or gods, are illegal. The world is anew and the enemy adapts.
Detective Philip Khrome doesn't enforce Imagination, he works homicide; that's where the action is, and he's seen it all before. But criminals evolve and the world's forever changing. When a killing spree hits his city sector, Khrome finds himself face to face with killers born of grim reality with old world superstition and everything is not what it seems.

Sounds cool. CITY OF DUST hits the stands on October 1st, but below we have the preview that was only available at this year’s SDCC. Enjoy!

The art (by Zid) on this one looks freaking fantastic. I can’t wait till October 1st to see Steve Niles doing what he does best; horrific noir, only this time it’s set in the future. The first issue sports 5 different covers to choose from and 48 pages of post-apocalyptic brilliance. Below is the Diamond order info if you need to pre-order this bad boy.

City of Dust #1 cover A: Lucio Parrillo – Diamond Order Code: AUG084256 City of Dust #1 cover B: Frederick Rambaud – Diamond Order Code: AUG084257 City of Dust #1 cover C: Clint Langley – Diamond Order Code: AUG084258 City of Dust #1 cover D: Arthur Suydam – Diamond Order Code: AUG084259 City of Dust #1 cover E: Zid – Diamond Order Code: AUG084260

Next up is ATOMIC ROBO: DOGS OF WAR #1 from Red 5 Comics. I had a chance to read the last ATOMIC ROBO series from writer Brian Clevinger and artist Scott Wegener and found it to be an extremely fun comic. Atomic Robo has been fighting the good fight for ages. Each miniseries focuses on a different period of history and Atomic Robo’s involvement in it. Wegener’s cool Robo designs and vivid panels make this book a treat. This time around Atomic Robo battles Nazis. Check out the first few pages from this new 5 issue miniseries.

ATOMIC ROBO: DOGS OF WAR #1 marches into comic shops in August from Red 5 Comics.

So what do you guys think of Kirkman’s rant? Good idea? Bad idea? Don’t give a poopin’ crap?

Readers Talkback
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  • Aug. 18, 2008, 1:34 a.m. CST

    No way...

    by KCViking

    No ones posted yet?

  • Aug. 18, 2008, 4:05 a.m. CST


    by zombieslayer

    just you, dude.

  • Aug. 18, 2008, 6:03 a.m. CST

    Never able to find a copy of AR

    by Gearfree

    They never have any copys at the on or two stores that "carry" them in my city.

  • Aug. 18, 2008, 12:12 p.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    I agree with Kirkman, for the most part. I always like seeing new ideas and things in comics, that’s always fun whether they succeed or not, BUT I bristle at the implication that you are somehow stagnating creatively if you spend your time on one of the big 2's superheroes… which isn't exactly what he's saying, sure, he's being very diplomatic in that sense, but at a basic level that IS his message: that true creative work is only to be found in the non-superhero world. Yes, that’s an oversimplification, I know, but come on, that’s exactly what Marvel/DC is: a superhero world and a superhero world only<br><br> And I really can't help but suspect that Kirkman might only be saying this now because honestly, his Marvel/DC work has been pretty sub-par, mostly uninteresting, all cancelled and generally poorly received both by fans and critics. Don't get me wrong, I love Walking Dead and Invincible, but most of his other stuff... ppppffffbbbtt. I’m not hating on the guy, its just… I just find this all some what suspect at this point…<br><br>Also, that whole "appealing to kids" thing is just bullshit. Kids aren't going to come back to comics en masse, alright? Just give it up! Its just not going to happen! Its not. They've changed, the golden age is over, with the internet and movies and video games and all that shit... The party is over, man, and comics are going to have to just go on like they go on, for good or for ill, because this mythical untapped youth market is just that... a myth. They don’t exist, changing comics to suit them is asinine. <br><br>The only thing about comics that may need to change, maybe, MAYBE, is that the weekly pamphlet might need to be on the way out and maybe trades should become the regular thing and personally I myself, I REALLY wouldn't mind seeing a big move away from the stupid, choking, constraining bonds of absolute continuity, BUT... whatever…<br><br> Anyway, the idea of kids wandering wide eyed and innocent into some magical comic store somewhere and picking up various titles with some smiling clerk looking on, only to be stymied by big, complex and too adult stories is… idiotic. This isn’t the 1950s <br><br>Kids don't want to be treated like retards and the idea of a story about a happy, spandex clad Batman walking down the street smiling and telling them to stay in school and not to do drugs burning like wildfire through their ranks and igniting this massive love of all things comics… what the hell is he smoking? Look at the Dark Knight’s box office for christ’s sake! Dark! Complex! Involved! Real! Fantastic! Fun! This is what kids want. This is where George Lucas lost his mind. See, I loved Star Wars on first viewing… when I was 3, I ate that shit up with a spoon and begged for more. “But how, there wasn’t a single “kid friendly” douchebag character like Jar-Jar involved at all, how could a kid like that? <br><br>It was because it was good, it was fun, it was scary and it didn’t treat me like an idiot. When I was a kid, I wanted adult tales, especially at 13. I wanted blood and violence and cool, involved stories and more than a little bit of tit thrown in for good measure. The idea that now, in this modern day world, that comics should regress back to some drooling and helmeted silver age world of "family friendly" fair is a poor one. I mean, have you people ever seen GTA and Halo? Let me clue you in... 13 years love the hell out of those games. Comics should take note. <br><br>I'm not advocating that comics should become titty and violence gore porn, I’m saying they need to stay the course and that they should keep telling good, smart stories. I think the main reason people loved Iron man and Dark Knight, besides being the fact that they were good, was that people just assumed the movies would be retarded since they were based on comic books and they were floored when that turned out to not be the case and I’d say: yeah… why do you think I read them? Its because they’re good, not because they’re simple. Comics need to shake this stupid notion, they need to forget about attracting kids specifically and only, because its either going to happen or it isn't on a case by case basis, instead, they need to focus on attracting fans through quality work. (fire Winnick and Loeb… just throwing that out there… ahem…) Dumbing down comics isn't the answer.<br><br>Now the idea of more creator owned work? That interests me.

  • Aug. 18, 2008, 8:27 p.m. CST

    I was gonna complain about

    by KCViking

    not shouting "first" this morning but then I read Joenathans post.<p>Pretty much summed up my feelings 'bout Kirkman message far more eloquently than I ever could.<p>If I could add one small thing...comics aren't 12 cents anymore.When I first started reading(I'm 43)I could walk into the 7-11 with my money earned from chores & allowance and buy almost everything on the spinner rack that I wanted!Some of it was shit some of it was great and it didn't cost that much.<p>So yeah,kids coming back en masse ain't gonna happen.It's all about quality not quantity nowadays.Thank god for books like Proof,Walking Dead and any other quality creator owned book out there.They keep some semblance of hope for the industry alive!

  • Aug. 19, 2008, 7:58 a.m. CST

    mostly agreeing with JoeNathan

    by Arkhangelsk

    about the kids comics stuff. The last comic book aimed at kids that was a critical and sales success was Mouse Guard, and it did good because the parents were enjoying them, not the other way around. <br><br>And in a variation of why Kirkman is claiming Independant superiority over working at the Big 2 might not be because he's justifying his poor efforts at Marvel (did he do anything for DC?) but because he's just not the kind of guy who can do great work under these conditions. Or are we saying the same thing here...

  • Aug. 19, 2008, 9:29 a.m. CST

    I'd say yes....

    by Joenathan

    I don't blame him or think ill of him, I bought the very first issue of Walking Dead blind and have been with him ever since, but the fact remains, his Marvel work paled compared to his creator owned stuff. (I don't think he's actually done any DC stuff, but I was just genralizing for type.)And I think its easy to say (basically): "Fuck Marvel, I'm through with them!" when you haven't really had a successful series with them.<br><br>To me, it seems like Kirkman's got just a little bit of geek self loathing going on here, like you're cooler because you're writing a comic about a girl skateboarder, with abusive parents and a jerk boyfirend, discovering who she is and all done in water coolers than someone writing a really tense Batman thriller or a rock 'em sock 'em Avengers yarn. A. I don't think thats true and B. I don't think the distinction is nessecary. Love what you love, you don't have to justify it with hipster swagger. Its the difference between the people featured in Trekkies and the people featured in Trekkies 2. The first group = awesome for their unabashed geek love and willingness to share. The second group = lame douchebags for their "ironic" poser-ness. I just don't believe that the idea of "talent" ditching the marquee characters or the big money concepts in any way whatsoever, could possibly be the answer to "saving" comics.<br><br>I want to see new stories and new ideas and new characters and I want my favorite creators to make some bank, but I also want to see my old favorites doing new stuff too.

  • Aug. 19, 2008, 11:49 a.m. CST

    Joenathan, what has happened to you?

    by Homer Sexual

    That Kirkman post is just so....good! <p> Kirkman's Ultimate X-Men was just wretched. I had to drop the book and wait patiently for a new writer to come aboard. His Marvel Zombies, initially so fresh, ended up kind of....whatever. So I am no big fan of whatever Kirkman has to say. <p> And your whole post about kids and comics...really right on. Kudos to you. <p> But I like Winnick, sex-obsessed characters though he writes. I can even deal with Aidsy. His Exiles was awesome, and I even like the current Green Arrow/Black Canary, and I think I'd probably find them boring by most writers.

  • Aug. 19, 2008, 12:24 p.m. CST

    I am not a fan of Winnick

    by Joenathan

    And I've recently lumped Loeb in there too, despite his past efforts. Him, Claremont, Byrne... bleeeeeh. Yeah, you used to be good, USED TO BE...<br><br>Another thing that occured to me about Kirkman... just to make doublly sure the horse is beat to death... What does he think brings in new readers? Does he think someone is going to walk in to a comic shop and say: "Excuse me, good sir, but I just saw Dark Knight and Iron Man and I was wondering... do you have any comics about a young girl who delivers Indian food on her motor scooter and runs afoul with the mob and has to rely on her mercenary/courier boyfriend to bail her out?" I mean, come on, new readers might EVENTUALLY seek out such books (Couscous Express) but they're going to start at the big titles and whether or not those big titles are retarded is going to be a big determination on whether or not they STAY with comics and eventually seek out those smaller, independantly published creator owned work. I don't think he thought this through too much.<br><br>Anyway, Homer, to answer your question: I was born this way, baby... I was born this way...

  • Aug. 19, 2008, 8:55 p.m. CST

    Tom Cruise... Sleeper... NO!!!!

    by Arkhangelsk

    I just can't believe this. Even if he doesn't end up playing Holden... just his involvement in getting it done... it upsets me so much I'm staring to write like Harry. I'm ignoring Watchmen The Movie on principle, but I really don't care. When you threaten to mess with what is probably y favorite comic book series ever, well, someone will have to pay.<br><br>Do people who liked Iron Man or The Dark Knight really go out of their way to buy Iron Man or Batman comics, or are they more likely to be on the lookout for the next Robert Downey Jr movie or dig out their old copies of 10 Things I Hate About you? If box office success really did translate into an economic upswing for the comic book industry, shouldn't your LCS be out of Batman issues right now, wouldn't people be clamoring for those superhero graphic novels as we speak. Or is there really a link here between the two that I'm missing?

  • Aug. 20, 2008, 8:34 a.m. CST

    Watchman is apparently selling out recently...

    by Joenathan

    due to the trailer, but I wasn't claiming that seeing the movie actually does drive them in in droves, I was saying that if non-readers were coming in, that they were more likely to start with the more readily familiar stuff than the obscure stuff. Kind of like how non Star Wars fans know Darth Vader but have no idea who Wedge Antilles is.