Thursday, May 7, 2009

2009 Willamette Writers Conference 5/6/09

Willamette Writers is the largest writers’ organization in Oregon and one of the largest in the United States. Founded in Portland in 1965, it has grown to nearly 1,600 members with branches in Eugene, Medford, Newport and Salem. The 2009 Willamette Writers conference is August 7-9th 2009 at the Portland Airport Sheraton Hotel and features guest speakers, writing workshops, and agent consultations.

For more information visit:

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Hasbro launches new G.I. Joe web site!

Hello G.I. Joe Fans!

We have some exciting news to share. As you all know, 2009 is the year of G.I. Joe and now there’s a web site that will be your one stop location for everything G.I. Joe leading into the release of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

GIJOE.COM, launches today, exactly 3 months from the movie’s premiere, will be filled with great content, exclusive news and announcements and sneak peeks at upcoming products and footage. We hope you will share this with all of your readers.

Yo Joe!

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I.M.O. Review: The Flash: Rebirth #2 (DC Comics) By Eddie R.

Keeping the pace.

I must admit I do enjoy a good mystery with a bit of science behind it. I guess that’s why I have always been fond of The Flash. There was always a “Flash Fact” thrown in for good measure now and then, and I always seemed to come out feeling more knowledgeable after I had read the story. For a while, that form of comic book writing seemed to be out of style. But not anymore.

Thanks to the introduction of TV shows like C.S.I., this type of storyline is much more understood and accepted by a broader audience. And what’s great is people now understand the job that goes with it. So seeing Barry Allen at work as a Forensic Scientist, and using those skills he has mastered over the years, in collaboration with his superpowers, goes to show how both writers and the audience have matured.

The Flash: Rebirth #2 manages to keep the pace set in issue one, with the mystery behind the return of Barry Allen growing ever deeper. Along the way, we continue to visit Barry’s past, stopping along the way to show brief moments into our hero’s humble beginnings. We learn more about how Barry met the love of his life, Iris West. We also learn the reason why Barry wore a bow tie. It might seem trivial to some, but I like how this symbol, the bow tie, is something which Barry is saddled with, and not of his own choosing. For me, this seems like a prelude to the whole double identity thing.

As the story continues, we begin to learn the after effects of the recent power surge concerning all the Speedsters. While most of the Speedsters come unharmed from the event, one does suffer a personal loss, and tries to go after those deemed responsible for this crime. As the mystery deepens, Wally West asks his uncle to help him investigate the charred remains of the Flash, found in a field from the first issue. Both events tie into a revelation which has me wondering if there is more to this Black Death than meets the eye?

One can hope that the third issue of this series will be just as revealing as the first two.


Eddie R.
Review Editor.

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MOTUC subscription news

Good Great news, MOTU fans!

Nothing bums me out more than fans not getting the figures they want. So, to make sure you get all your fave MOTU figures, I'm starting a subscription service! All the details will be on the sign-up page when it launches, but here's how it's basically gonna work:

From May 18th through May 22nd (five days only), come to to sign up for the 2009 service. Every month, from September through December, you'll be guaranteed to get the figure of the month at current prices, for a total of four. Once you sign up, you're in for the whole period (subscriptions can't be cancelled). Exact figures will be announced approximately three months from each on-sale date. Figures can either be shipped and charged once per month as they become available, or they can be held for the year, and charged and shipped together on December 15th. You can sign up for as many subscriptions as you want during the five day period. No limit! Figures will also be available at on the 15th of each month without the subscription. So, if you want extras of some figures, you'll still have the option to buy more — but availability won't be guaranteed. The subscription will only be for the figure of the month, and won't include convention figures, or other special figures. Subscriptions for the full year 2010 will be available in August 2009.

It doesn't get a whole lot easier. Sign up once and you're done… MOTU figures just show up at your door! No worrying about being logged in when a sale starts, or a figure selling out before you get one.

Again, complete details (including all the legal mumbo-jumbo) will be on the sign-up page. And remember, you can get as many as you want but subscriptions will only be available for five days, so mark your calendars for Monday, May 18th!


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Dabel Brothers Publishing presents 5 pg preview to Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson: Homecoming #3

Dabel Brothers Publishing is pleased to present a 5 pg preview to Mercy Thompson: Homecoming #3, written by Patricia Briggs and David Lawrence, with painted art by Amelia Woo.

In this issue:

Mercy Thompson has no where to turn as she's drawn further into the conflict between the rival werewolf packs while struggling to make her way in a new life in the Tri-Cities. Is there any place this shifter can call home?

Patricia Briggs adventures of coyote shapeshifter Mercy Thompson, in Moon Called, Blood Bound and Iron Kissed, topped the New York Times best-seller list. Now, Mercy's first comic adventure continues in this all-new story created by the author!

Look for the book to hit stores everywhere May 20th.


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Science fiction and noir crime combine like never before in July's EXISTENCE 2.0!

This July writer Nick Spencer and illustrator Ronald Salas give one man the chance to start life anew after dying in the science fiction romp, EXISTENCE 2.0.

"I brought this book to Image, because in all my years of reading comics I've never quite seen anything like it," Image Comics Vice-President Jim Valentino said. "The way Nick and Ron combine the standard tropes of crime and science fiction to create something wholly new blew me away. It's a comic I had to read and I couldn't be happier to publish it."

EXISTENCE 2.0 begins moments after self-absorbed physicist Sylvester Baladine finds his consciousness transferred into the body of the hitman who murdered him. Settling into his anonymous new life in a younger, better looking body, Sylvester is pretty content until he discovers that the very people who plotted his assassination have kidnapped the one person he treasured most in his old life - his daughter. With only limited time before she dies, Sylvester must dig up and face the past he was happy to bury and figure out who tried to kill him and why they want his daughter, inadvertently making himself a target once more.

EXISTENCE 2.0 (MAY090303), a 32-page full color series for $3.50, will be in stores July 1st, 2009.


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Batman Demise explained..... - Trapp's Rap

Ever since I made a slight comment about Batman's demise, many people have been asking me "how can Batman be dead?" or "there's no way, I don't believe it. Superman didn't stayed dead for too long." It's actually quite a confusing story so let me attempt to explain how this seemingly "demise" of Bruce Wayne has come about. Be warned there are parts where you will have a long audible pause, then shake you head in disbelief, which will quickly be followed by vocalized "WHAT?!?!" which will cause a huge cacophony of echoes to sled through the hallways of your house shaking it causing the rest of your family to wake up from their naps.

Thanks to writer Grant Morrison, the demon writer of the DC comics universe, in issues #676 - 681, Batman was put into a sticky situation where an criminal organization called The Black Glove has a plot to not only put an end to the Dark Knights disruption of their evils ways, but ultimately kill him. Lead by the evil mastermind The Black Glove and Dr. Simon Hurt, a plot is concocted to test the Batman's limitation both psychologically and and physically. Batman, who seems to be prepared for anything, created an alter ego deep in his sub-conscious mind long ago in case psychological attacks of the magnitude the Black Glove organization was giving were to ever happen. This alter ego was called The Batman of Zur-En-Arrh, an alien world that Batman concocted. His suit was now different, red a purplish colors. With Batman's subconscious now emerged, the primary goal was to go after his attackers and put an end to the attacks on his life.

With everything going according to the Black Glove's plans, he is lead to Arkham Asylum, which has now been taken over by the criminals contained within it. This is where Batman has a final confrontation with the enemy of enemies, the Joker. Of course, this battle is just a diversion where the Black Glove traps Batman and seemingly kills him. Batman is buried and for a moment, everyone believes Batman is dead. So criminals run free in Gotham with the new found joy that they have with no Caped Crusader patrolling the streets of Gotham. However, this is not how Batman dies. (Get ready for confusion city!)

Back in the summer of '08, a series called Final Crisis (also written by Grant Morrison, ggrrrr) where evil being Darkseid plots to enslave humanity. In issue number #2, Batman is captured by Darkseid because Batman was trying to put an end to Darkseid's evil plot. So somewhere in between being buried and being captured by Darkseid, Batman learned of Darkseid's evil plot, dug himself out of the grave and made his way toward Darkseid mile and miles away from Gotham. (??????)

Batman escapes captivity in Issue number 6 of Final Crisis. Darkseid shoots batman with his Omega Beams. When shot by the Omega beams of Darkseid's, one is sent to what is called the Omega Sanction. So we can deduce from this, that Batman, once he was shot with the Omega Beams was sent to the Omega sanction correct?? NOPE! Batman at the last second shoots Darkseid with a special bullet that is designed to kill him, but the Omega beams still hit Batman's head. The last page of issue #6 of Final Crisis shows Batman's body burned to a crisp. You could see nothing but the skeleton. Superman is carrying Batman's bones. We know it's Batman's bones because they are clothed in the bat suit. So what we can deduce now is that because Batman shot Darkseid, Darkseid lost control of his omega beams, and the beams actually did kill Batman by completely frying Batman's body until nothing but the skeleton is left.

So, this is how Batman dies. But yet, the confusion is not quite over. Batman issue number 853 shows Batman's body in a coffin at a funeral. (wait, wasn't his body scorched to the bone?) No explanation for this, it just happens to be this way. However, the story finally gets good! Writer Neil Gaiman (Sandman, American Gods) writes a farewell to the Dark Knight that helps to explain Batman's life better than anyone could, in the two part series called "Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?", which can be found in Batman #686 and part 2 found in Detective Comics #853.

As we know, Batman has had many, many, MANY different incarnations. Throughout the years Batman has seemed older, younger, different styles of costumes, different takes on his origin, and different takes on his enemies origins. Batman's history never seems to stay constant. Even the death of his parents. At one time the killer is an unknown, another we discover it's the Joker. Sometimes the Waynes are shot in an alley way, sometimes out on the street. We can never keep it straight. What Neil Gaiman has done is add to Bruce Wayne's curse of being Batman. Throughout the story we discover that Batman is looking at himself in the coffin. People are there for the service, but people only see Batman's dead corpse. Batman, while looking at himself, tries to figure out what is going on and is consulted by another mysterious figure of whom I will refrain from giving away. (you'll have to read Batman #686 and Detective Comics #853 to find who he is talking to, it's so good!!!) But we know that Batman's soul and another soul with whom he has a deep connection too are talking together during the funeral service.

Batman starts to figure out what has happened to him. He has all the different incarnations of himself. So many different stories about him were told at the funeral service by his enemies and friends as Batman. The stories weren't the same and the only constant was Batman. But Batman seemed different in each story. The question in Batman's mind now while this is happening, while he is hovering over himself is "Do I relive my life over and over again, each time differently?" The mysterious figure that is with him tells him this...""You don't get Heaven or Hell. Do you know the only reward you get for being Batman? You get to be Batman." the next page shows Bruce Wayne, being born in a hospital with his mother Martha Wayne holding him, saying hello to him.

So there we have it, Batman is cursed. He doesn't technically die. He lives his life, dies, and is reborn into another dimension and becomes Batman again. I can only assume that every time he is born, he forgets his previous life and lives the new one as if it were the only life he has ever lived. Now there was something about Bruce Wayne being stuck in the past, but that was never clear to me.

It is to start off very confusing and strange, but with Neil Gaiman coming on board for those two issues, he helps to make sense of Batman's always changing lifestyle throughout the years. I for one don't see Bruce Wayne ever returning as Batman. However, that doesn't mean he won't come back. But its an almost spiritual, yet cursed way of ending Bruce Wayne's time as Batman, and allow for someone else to take up the mantle as the Dark Knight.

Who will it be????

Senior Reviewer

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5 Quick Questions with Cameron Stewart

Cameron Stewart is an Eisner Award-nominated Canadian comic book artist who has worked for DC, Marvel, and Dark Horse Comics.

Stewart is best known for his work on Catwoman with writer Ed Brubaker, and Seaguy and Seven Soldiers: The Manhattan Guardian with writer Grant Morrison.

October 2006 saw the release of The Other Side, a miniseres about the Vietnam war illustrated by Stewart (and written by Jason Aaron), for which he travelled to Vietnam for research. The Other Side was nominated for an Eisner Award in the Best Limited Series category of 2007.

In 2007, Stewart created drawings which appeared in a comic book-style animation sequence at the end of the music video for Canadian pop singer Skye Sweetnam's song "Human", the first single off of her sophomore album Sound Soldier. Stewart also created the drawings that appear on Sweetnam's relaunched official website.

Recent projects include The Apocalipstix a series of digest comic books for Oni Press, written by Ray Fawkes.

He agreed to answer 5 Quick Questions

1) What would you say is your greatest achievement in comics?

Jason Aaron, writer of The Other Side, let me know of a letter he received from the son of a Vietnam vet. The son said that his father was wounded in the war and since then had difficulty standing for long periods of time without great discomfort. He then related a story of how his father had noticed a copy of The Other Side sitting on a table and asked what it was about. Told that it was a comic about the Vietnam war, the father flipped it open and started reading it, and apparently became so engrossed in it that he read the whole thing, standing at the table the whole time.

That's only one of the stories we heard, we had a lot of positive response from vets of the war who felt that we did a very good job with the details of the story, that it felt authentic, convincing, effective and respectful. As two guys who didn't fight in the war, this was extremely important to us and we were very pleased to know that we'd achieved it.

2) Who was your favorite writer or artist that you worked with & why?

It's difficult to choose one, as Jason's script is one of the very best I've read and I've been fortunate enough to work with many other fantastic writers, but I'll have to go with Grant Morrison, for the simple fact that I've been a fan of his since I was quite young, and at age 13 stood in line to get his autograph. So now, as an adult, to be sharing cover credits with him is extremely exciting and gratifying.

3) What character you have never worked on ... would you like to do & why?

I'm assuming that you mean Marvel or DC characters, and to be frank there's none that really hold much interest for me....I have a lot of love for many of those characters but I don't really feel the need to work with them. The only characters I haven't yet worked on that create any kind of real enthusiasm are ones of my own that I haven't created yet.

4) Who are your influences?

Will Eisner, Frank Quitely, Mort Drucker, Jack Kirby, Bruce Timm, Darwyn Cooke, Alex Toth, Pierre Alary, Katsuhiro Otomo, Didier Conrad, David Mazzuchelli, Daniel Clowes ...too many more to mention, and those are just the comics artists. We'd be here all day if I went into my filmic influences.

5) What hero or villain would you like to change if you could and why?

Again, not really invested enough in them to care to change them. I'm far less interested in superhero comics these days than I am in other genres and so I'll leave the changes to others.

You can check out Cameron's blog at


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