Archive for May, 2012

Interview with actress Yvonne Craig

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Yvonne Craig is an actress who appeared in such films such as Kissin Cousins and Mars Needs Women. However, she is best known for her role on the 1966 Batman show as Barbara Gordon/Batgirl. She was nice enough to loan me some of her time to speak to me about her past acting career.

Tommy Zimmer: Why did you decide to do the Batman series?

Yvonne Craig: I wanted to do a series. I had been doing pilots. They called, and I said I was interested. If you are a guest on a television show, people recognize you. By doing a series, they connect you with your tale. When I read the original five minute presentation, I thought she was strong, independent, and spunky.

TZ: Did you read comics as a child?

YC: I read one comic as a kid. It was an Archie comic. I got an allowance each week, and could only buy certain thing. I could read a comic in record-breaking time. Books lasted longer for me. I never swaped comics with other kids.

TZ: What was your reaction to playing the role?

YC: I am really happy. I couldn’t believe to play this wonderfulrole. People said I was a role model. A man said he chose his wife based on my role.

TZ: Was their an attraction to the duality of the role?

YC: I thought duality made it more rounded than other roles.

TZ: Was there a difference in the way you approached playing Barbara Gordon versus Batgirl?

YC: No. Not really. She did not have much a difference. She was more proper because her father was the commissioner. She was just fun-loving. How much fun do have as a librarian?

TZ: How does it feel to have left a mark on the character and franchise as a whole?

YC: I am pleased to have inspired them. If I hadn’t, they are so talented, and they would’ve found a way. It’s inspiring but people have their talents too.

TZ: Was it fun working with Adam West?

YC: He was. I don’t see much of him today. He was very welcoming, and I always was appreciative.

TZ: Who was your favorite actor to work with on set?

YC: Alan Napier and I had our dogs. Both were set dogs, and would never make a noise. My favorite guest was Vincent Price. He was a very smart and sophisticated man. He had trained as a fine artist, and was an artist. He was curious about everything to his dying day.

Thanks Ms. Craig, and stay tuned for my final interviews this week from MCCC!!



New links to old reviews

Saturday, May 26th, 2012

Batgirl #9-

Batman #9-

Batman Incorporated #1 review

Saturday, May 26th, 2012

It took DC awhile to give fans of Batman Incorporated the book again. Lucky enough for us, this past week, Grant Morrison returned to the Bat-universe.

The first issue starts in a not so distant future with Bruce Wayne declaring to Alfred he is giving up being Batman. He is standing near what appears to be his parents’ graves. Suddenly, the Gotham PD comes announcing that Wayne is under arrest. However, that is one month into the future. We move back one month into the past where Bruce and Damian are back in action. They are taking down what appear to be Goatmen in usual Grant Morrison-Batman fashion. As Bruce and Damian take the gang down, we start to hear the words of Leviathan in the background. We also move to a lone sniper hired by Leviathan to take down Damian. He is responding to the bounty they placed on him in the one-shot in December. As Damian is interrogating one of the goatmen, the sniper with the goat-mask on shoots Damian. Luckily, Bruce saves him in time as they see the sniper. He escapes however as Bruce interrogates the head of the goatmen, and Damian declares one of the cows inside the slaughterhouse the goatmen are in Bat-Cow. The issue moves back to Leviathan where the group is meeting with different Gotham mobs. They are discussing who runs what. As one of the mob guys speaks out, two Man-Bats devour him as all declare their allegiance to Leviathan. Damian tries to wear his hood as Bruce tells him to take it off after Damian and Bruce catch up after what has transpired in Final Crisis and The Return of Bruce Wayne along with Batman and Robin. Next, we see The Hood, Batwing, and others at the Batcave West meeting for the Dead Heroes’ Club. It is a club where groups of heroes gather. Leviathan thinks they are all dead, and Wingman reveals himself to be the one in charge. As Bruce and Damian take down the Mutant gang, Goatboy, the assassin from before, tries again. Damian takes down the gang as Bruce sneaks up behind the assassin. Unfortunately, Bruce is shot, and Damian is……

This issue is nothing but awesomeness. Grant Morrison seems to be putting the focus of the narrative back on the main Bat family where his grand Bat epic began. Chris Burnham is just killing this issue. He is nothing but awesome. This is an intelligent and action-packed start to the series, and I cannot wait to see what resolves the cliffhanger……


Superman #9 review

Saturday, May 26th, 2012

After their first arc, the team of Dan Jurgens, Keith Giffen, and Jesus Merino bring us an interesting opening to their next arc. What transpires brings Superman a challenge he has never faced before.

The issue begins where Superman is stopping a Russian sub. He picks it up out of the water, and the issue returns to Lois. She is presented with evidence of someone being Superman by a blogger. She is skeptical, and dismisses him. Jimmy opines about her choice but she sticks to her guns. Superman starts talking to the Russian sub team as he wants to know what they are searching for so close to his Fortress of Solitude. As more Russian military arrive and at the behest of the sub’s captain, Superman returns himself home as he continues to wonder what they are doing. Next, a super-powered girl robs the Metropolis National Bank. One of the bank men tries to stop her but she knows that’s what her daddy is trying to do. As the police arrive and try to shoot her, the bullets go right through her ending up in the bank man. The blogger ponders the way he presented himself speaking to Lois, and knows he will correct himself. Although, he sees someone who he thinks is Superman. Meanwhile, Clark returns to the Daily Planet. Lois isn’t too happy he wasn’t at the airport to pick up her sister. Luckily, she gives him another shot to impress her albeit at the loss of lots of money. As Jimmy hears of the aforementioned bank robbery, he tells him to tell Perry he will be covering it. The blogger tries again. This time, he goes to Lois’ boss Mr. Edge. He decides instead they’ll run the story. Superman flies into action only to realize he cannot touch the girl. They do battle while the man who is thought to be Superman is recognized by his colleagues after the blogger broke the story to Edge. He is shocked, and Clark is too. The media notes the man has a father, and the girl he is fighting notes that as they fight….

This issue feels to be lacking a little bit. While Dan Jurgens and Keith Giffen wrote a great arc last time around, this feels to be lacking the uniqueness the last one had. While the story is good, this issue seems to be executed wrong as the issue seems to not know what direction it’s headed in. Dan Jurgens and Jesus Merino do an excellent job with the art as usual. They bring dynamism as usual to Superman, and make the story come alive. Hopefully, the next issue explains a little more of what is going on with this super powered girl….


Interview with writer Todd Dezago

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Todd Dezago got his start in comics writing for Marvel and DC. As he progressed through different projects such as as X-Factor and Impulse, he moved into independent comics through Dark Horse and Image Comics. Known recently for his work on the series Perhapanauts, Mr. Dezago was kind enough to lend me some of his time.

Tommy Zimmer: When did you realize you wanted to write comics?

Todd Dezago: I always loved comics. I always told stories, and did comics as a kid.

TZ: How did your writing career begin?

TD: I went to school for theatre. I acted in and directed a lot of plays. Everytime I write, I feel like I am writing a lot of plays.

TZ: What was your first project that broke you into the industry?

TD: X-Factor was my first story I ever wrote an end to. It wasn’t until Marvel paid me for the comic that I wrote an end to them.

TZ: What was your favorite project you worked on at Marvel?

TD: I loved working on Sensational Spider-Man. I worked on the Clone Saga with JM Dematteis and Tom DeFalco.

TZ: Is it difficult to break into those larger companies?

TD: The door is always open for freelance, and there are no set rules for them.

TZ: How much creative freedom do have with the larger companies?

TD: You write what Marvel/DC wants you to write; not what you want. You are also responsible to an editor.

TZ: When did you begin working at DC?

TD: I first worked on JLA: World Without Grown-ups which brings Robin, Impulse, and Superboy together in preparation for Young Justice.

TZ: How did you come to work on Young Justice?

TD: DC came to me, and asked whether I would do it. They liked how I wrote kids. I wrote them with a young voice.

TZ: Why did you end up leaving?

TD: I left because I did not see eye to eye with them on the direction of the series [Young Justice].

TZ: How did you come up with the idea for Perhapanauts?

TD: I always loved weird creatures. The characters go around the world looking for weird creatures.

TZ: What’s the future for these characters?

TD: I love what we are doing with the new series. The story is awesome, and Craig is getting better as an artist.

TZ: What projects do have coming up?

TD: The Perhapanauts is what I’m putting a lot of effort into. I’m lucky with my job. Last year, we [and Craig] worked for a motion comics company that filed for bankruptcy. Unfortunately, a lot of our work there won’t be seen. I am also might have some projects coming up with DC. I am talking with DC editors about it but cannot talk about it more though.

Thanks Mr. Dezago!!! I hope you all continue to watch right here as more writers, artists, and celebrities are featured this week from Motor City Comic Con in Detroit, MI!!


Interview with Ethan Van Sciver

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Ethan Van Sciver is one of the most well-known artists in comics. Known mostly for his work on Green Lantern, Mr. Van Sciver has also worked on book such as Superman/Batman and The Flash: Rebirth. Mr. Van Sciver was nice enough to lend me some of his time at the con to let me ask him some questions I have been wondering and fanboys have as well.

Tommy Zimmer: Where did you grow up?

Ethan Van Sciver: I grew up in Camden, NJ, and now live in North Carolina.

TZ: When did you begin drawing?

EVS: I have been drawing since I was a little kid to make kids laugh and pass the time. Adults told me I was good, and when adults tell you that, you tend to want to continue on doing that.

TZ: What was your first big project?

EVS: My first big project was Cyberfrog published by Harris Comics. I do that for a few years, and I realized I wanted to work at DC. All the artists I admired worked there. So, I sort of realized that after awhile.

TZ: What was your first DC project?

EVS: My first book was Impulse, a book about Flash’s nephew Bart Allen.

TZ: Did they come to you to do it? Or did you come to them?

EVS: I came to them. I decided Impulse was the best book for me to break in on. I sent them art samples, and they loved it.

TZ: When did you begin working for DC Comics?

EVS: 1997 is when I began.

TZ: When did you meet Geoff Johns?

EVS: I met Geoff when he was doing Stars and STRIPE. We became friends, and eventually worked on a book together called Flash: Iron Heights.

TZ: When did you begin work on Green Lantern?

EVS: It was 2004 when I first began working on it. Geoff and I formed a partnership. Geoff was assigned to write the book, and it was determined I would be the best to draw it.

TZ: How did you want to draw Hal Jordon?

EVS: I wanted him to look traditional minus the haircut, and to recall to all the readers that the suit is made of energy.

TZ: How did you begin work on The Fury of Firestorm?

EVS: I had some ideas with the Firestorms being analagous to nuclear arms proliferation. They wanted to make sure my attitude was backing the direction of the book, and I also became the co-plotter.

TZ: Why did Gail [Simone] leave the book?

EVS: Gail left because of adapting to the story being told.

TZ: What does Joe Harris bring to the book?

EVS: Joe gets it.

TZ: What do have coming in the Green Lantern Annual you are working on with Geoff Johns?

EVS: It concludes Black Hand’s story, and starts Geoff’s new story.

TZ: What do have coming up?

EVS: I am working on a DCU original graphic novel with Gail Simone, and Geoff says he has some more stuff for me. It’s good to be open and flexible.

Thanks Mr. Van Sciver, and to all readers tune in the rest of this week as I post more interviews from MCCC.


Tall Tales From the Badlands: Easy Livin review

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Tall Tales From the Badlands concludes with “Easy Livin.”

The issue starts off with Caleb and Hank reuniting after a while. They then trade some goods. Caleb recalls his long winter. Caleb leaves wishing Hank farewell and quite astonished at how short his stay was. The issue then follows Caleb as he goes hunting. Time passes as he does more hunting, and he comes to the conclusion he loves the life he’s living out in the wilderness.

Writer Sean Fahey sets the story up as if two friends are coming back to see each other. Then, he does a total left turn with the story focusing on one character. I feel he could have given us more about who Hank was beyond just Caleb. While the narrative ends nicely focusing on Caleb, it leaves the reader confused as the story drifts too far away from the premise. The art by Borch Pena is anything but. He knows how to draw the west, and gives us some great sequential art. He is definitely an artist who knows what he’s doing even with a weak script. As this anthology concludes, I cannot help feeling disappointed in what could have been in this Western anthology.


Batgirl #9 review

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

In what seemed in the beginning to be an interesting and different take on a talon in Batgirl, played out quite differently.

The issue starts off with a young girl in 1944 Japan. She has left home, and seems to live at a boarding school. She is amongst many other young girls creating letters. These letters are attached to bombs which are planned to explode in different parts of America. The story transitions to Gotham City two years later. Mr. Haly finds himself a new aerialist who has tape over her face, and cannot speak because she does not have a tongue. Her name is Mary, and she proves to be quite an interesting character. We then move into the battle with the female talon Batgirl is facing. She notes it moves like Nightwing, and she gives us some background about what she has been investigating that night. She continues to fight, and finds a weird piece of paper after the talon vanishes. Looking like a man from the flashback with the young aerialist Mary, a man drops a talon coin near Jim Gordon. In a great fashion, the man questions whether Jim can survive as traumatic an event as Barbara could. As Barbara returns home, she gets something to eat, and remembers the piece of paper the talon left reading it. She gives us a history lesson on its use in 1944’s Japan. As Gordon calls his daughter to warn her of the talon threat he received, he walks outside police headquarters to find Gotham being bombarded with parachutes and bombs attached to them. Batgirl tries to get there in time but does not get there in time to stop the headquarters from blowing up. The talon then shows up, and the two women fight. She is quite scared as she has never fought someone like that. Her mask falls off as more bombs bombard the city. In a strange turn of events, it turns out to be the little girl from Japan. As Gordon gets to the top of police headquarters, he turns on the signal to find a talon has replaced the bat. Batgirl is upset about that, and she certainly has reason to be.

This is the first ever comic Gail Simone has wrote in which I found hard to follow. My first complaint is if Mary is that young girl, how the heck did the young girl get to America and why were their eyes different? I was greatly confused by that, and then the talon turns out to be that young girl from Japan when the young girl named Mary chosen to be a talon seemed to be African-American. Whatever. The writing was confusing, and it seemed Mrs. Simone was trying to do too much. Ardian Syaf however goes to town with this issue. As always, his art is great but Mrs. Simone really lets Mr. Syaf go to town illustrating this issue. This is the best work he has done on the series thus far. However, it’s unfortunate it is Ms. Simone’s worst work on the series……


Batman #9 review

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

While Gail Simone tried to do too much, Scott Snyder knows his limits in this fantastic ninth issue of Batman.

Bruce recalls how when Solomon and Joshua Wayne bought Wayne Manor, there was infestation of bats, and they brought in a number of animals to combat the infestation including owls. He then says how they disappeared then. The action now moves into the present with Bruce fighting the talons. While Alfred tries to remind Bruce about what they can do, Bruce refuses to give in fighting them where he can as he puts it: “let loose.” As the talons gain the upper hand, Bruce realizes Alfred is right. Yet, Bruce always has a contingency plan where the giant dinosaur in the cave is activated attacking the talons. While Alfred tries to open the armory doors to come help Bruce, Bruce re-seals them refusing to expose Alfred to any danger. Bruce then begins to recall the opening lines of the issue continuing his reminiscence on the past. He notes the bats simply went deeper into the cave when threatened by other animals. The owls could not operate there. The bats then came back with a vengeance. The talons are attacked by the incoming bats Bruce unleashed, and they run. One tries to escape, and is stopped by the Batmobile. Bruce goes out to stop the owl signal plagued on the Batsignal. We also get an update on everyone else. Bruce goes after Lincoln March after finishing up with Arkham from the last issue of Detective. He finds a half dead Mr. March with a handgun defending himself from one last talon. He tells Batman in his last dying breath his message to give to Bruce Wayne: Don’t give up on Gotham. Bruce then decides he is going to burn the Court of Owls to the ground….

The backup starts off quite nicely. Jarvis Pennyworth, Alfred’s father, recalls how he is frightened for his life. He reminds Alfred that Alfred must take over if Jarvis passes. Jarvis says he does not want this life for his son anymore. He reveals to Alfred in this note Wayne Manor is cursed. He remarks about how blinded he was by the grandeur of the Waynes, and he was unable to see the underlying darkness and danger of it all. What seems to be a talon starts to hunt him. As Jarvis is on the move, he jumps into his car, and the story returns to his relationship with the Waynes. He is playing with young Bruce, and having a good time with Mr. and Mrs. Wayne. She is disgusted about the mayor shutting down another five schools. She says to Thomas that they need to do more. Jarvis agrees but he remarks in his letter how wrong they were. He says what happened to the Waynes and what happens to him is his entire fault. He has doomed them all…..

Scott Snyder in both the main story and backup just does a fantastic job. He is in total control of his craft, and is re-writing the Batman mythos in the process. James Tynion IV is also able to demonstrate his writing talents alongside his teacher and mentor Mr. Snyder. Greg Capullo does probably his best issue yet, and he continues to hammer out better art (if it wasn’t already good enough) each issue. Rafael Albuqerque does some fantastic work, and I want to see more work from him at DC. His art in the backup is simply marvelous. This book is definitely one of my favorite books on the stand still…..


New links to older articles/reviews

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Detective Comics #9-

Batwing #9-