Tim Daly and his son Sam Daly have a show on YouTube called The Daly Show. Their latest episode involves Tim's work as the voice of Superman in the animated DC series. It's hysterical and has a couple of great cameos. Check it out below.
In another ‘Hell Freezes Over’ moment, prog rockers UK have reformed featuring the classic line up of John Wetton (bass/vocals), Eddie Jobson (keyboards and violin) and Terry Bozzio (drummer).
The trio is hitting the road in May for a small American / Canadian tour who and then a quick trip to Japan!
“When ASIA hit in 1982 I went out and got the back catalog of every member of the band,” Matman said humming ‘Heat of the Moment’! Since I was a big fan of John Wetton the band I really fell for was UK. It was ASIA before there was ASIA.”
The band formed in 1977 around Wetton and drummer Bill Bruford who both were together in King Crimson. Both brought in one musician (Wetton brought in Eddie Jobson and Bruford took guitarist Allan Holdsworth). Following one album and tour, Holdsworth and Bruford split. Wetton and Jobson returned in 1978 with drummer Bozzio and the now classic album ‘Danger Money’!
After a tour and live album ‘Night After Night’ the trio disbanded. Wetton went onto ASIA, Jobson to Jethro Tull and Bozzio went onto to form the incredibly underrated Missing Persons.
Now the Press Release…
“Now, 33 years after their farewell concert, the three legendary players of the original trio - Jobson, Wetton, & Bozzio - have reunited to reenact that final tour one last time.
The music of UK has influenced progressive bands from Yes to Rush; guitar heroes from Malmsteen to Vai; and hard-rock bands from Van Halen to Dream Theater, leaving the individual members of UK with unsurpassed reputations as the definitive “musicians’ musicians.”
For tour dates and info please go to http://www.ukreunion.com.
by Brian LeTendre
Anyone who has listened to Secret Identity for any length of time is likely familiar with the name Antony Johnston. The mastermind behind the wonderful post-apocalyptic Wasteland series has also made quite a name for himself in the video game industry the past few years. Antony has written extensively for the Dead Space franchise of games, and wrote the comics set in the Dead Space universe as well. He also gave an amazing talk at GDC a couple of years ago, which everyone should check out.
This week, Antony's latest game writing endeavor arrives in US stores. Binary Domain is a a third-person squad-based shooter for the PS3 and Xbox 360 that takes place in a future where human-like robots have become a reality. We caught up with Antony this week to talk about his experience with writing the game, working with the famed Yakuza Studio and how the process for Binary Domain differed from his work on Dead Space.
SI: How did you end up working on Binary Domain? Was the developer familiar with your work on the Dead Space series?
Antony Johnston: I don’t think they were at first, no. Sega Europe contacted my agent and outlined what they were planning -- a Japanese game that felt like it was made in the West. I was one of several writers my agent put forward, and we all did some tryout samples. So obviously Sega must have known when they saw my resume, and maybe that influenced their final decision, but I don’t know for sure. Either way, they offered me the gig, and it sounded like something completely new and unique, which I always find hard to resist.
We know that Binary Domain is a third-person, squad-based shooter. Can you give us the premise of the game's story?
It’s 2080, and after a series of global floods, much of the world -- including Tokyo -- is under water. At the same time, advances in robotics and a decline in human population have led to most hard labour and/or hazardous jobs now being performed by robots. As part of this evolution in society and technology, the New Geneva Convention was signed, including a clause that made the development of human-like robots a serious crime.
Cue the (rather violent) revelation that someone is, indeed, building “Hollow Children” -- human-looking robots. International suspicion falls on the Amada Corporation of Japan, but Japan at this time is completely insular and protectionist, so there’s no chance of sending neutral inspectors in.
Instead, the authorities assemble and activate a clandestine Rust Crew -- soldiers trained specifically to eliminate robots, or “scrap-heads” -- and send them to infiltrate Tokyo and find out if Amada really is responsible for the Hollow Children. You play the leader of this team, an ex-US Marine Sergeant called Dan Marshall.
Aaaaand, cue guns. Lots of ‘em.
You've mentioned that you were flown to Tokyo to meet with the team at Yakuza Studio. The Yakuza games have a huge following, and the dev team is well known, especially in Japan. What was it like actually sitting down with them and engaging in the creative process?
It was interesting. Game developers, being “wacky creative types”, are given a lot more freedom in how they work compared to most Japanese employees, and I could see glimpses of that during my time there, but it’s all relative; compared to how game devs operate in the US and UK, it was extremely structured and formal. I didn’t have a problem with that at all, but it was certainly different.
The thing is, even though everyone involved had plenty of experience in games, this was nevertheless new and strange territory. Sega Japan had never worked with a non-Japanese writer before, and only rarely with writers who weren’t Sega staff. At the same time, I’d never worked with a Japanese studio before. And to top it all off, Nagoshi-san was determined to make a kind of game they’d never attempted before. So we were all kind of fumbling our way through the fog together.
But it was good; I always felt welcome, and was treated with respect, even when we disagreed (which was often!) Overall, I can’t complain.
How did the writing process on this game differ from some of the work you've done with Dead Space?
Every game’s different, so it’s really hard to compare and quantify.
There was already a story in place for Binary Domain before I came on board, but it was very rough and needed a lot of work, not least because there were a lot of tropes and cultural references which simply don’t make sense outside of Japan.
The script itself then went through a huge amount of revision, going back and forth between myself and Sega, and there were a lot of story changes. We had characters disappear, new characters appear, whole levels and cutscenes change and change again, right the way through development. That’s fairly normal for game development, but because everything else about BD was so different as well, it just added to the stress.
And then came the squad command lines, which was an enormous database of all the possible permutations of a combat scene depending on who did what, which characters the player had selected for the team, how high the character’s trust level was with each AI character, and so on. So for the first time ever I enlisted the help of a few other writers, turning to people in my agents’ stable, and we split those lines up between us.
In short, it was really hard work!
You began working on the game back in 2010. Now that the game is finally hitting shelves (it debuts here in the US on 2/28), what do you take away from the whole experience?
Overall, it was definitely a positive experience for me, and I think for Sega as well.
There were parts that were difficult; the language and culture barriers presented problems, and there are aspects of the game, script, and acting that I wish I’d had more influence over (mainly to avoid certain Japanese stereotypes about Westerners creeping in). But writers are always our own worst critics, because we know what went on behind the scenes, and we’re *never* 100% happy with the end result! It’s much easier to focus on the things you wish you’d done better, than to step back and realise you did a lot of good stuff as well. And there really is a lot to like.
So perhaps I’d do things differently if something like this came up again, but despite all the difficulties, we pulled it off. Binary Domain is an absolutely unique game, and the product of a unique process. Considering the odds that were stacked against us, I’m very pleased with the result.
Secret Identity would like to thank Antony for taking time to chat with us about Binary Domain, which arrives in US stores on February 28, 2012. You can download a demo of the game right now on both the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live. Check out the latest trailer below (for mature audiences only) and for more info, head over to tha game's official website.
You can keep up with all of Antony's projects on his official website, www.antonyjohnston.com.
by Brian LeTendre
Over the past few months, I've been discussing my transition from print comics to digital. By the end of 2012, I expect to be buying almost all of my monthly comics digitally, and only purchasing a few longtime favorites (and back issues to fill holes in my collection) in print. You can read my first couple of posts about this transition here and here.
Anyway, this past weekend I got a big box of comics from DCBS (Discount Comic Book Service) that comprised about three months worth of comics. As I pulled the huge stack out of the box, it dawned on me that this was the last big batch of print comics I would be getting. I've already pared my last couple DCBS orders to a fraction of what they used to be, and the snafu that caused the delay in this shipment likely won't happen again.
For a moment I was sad, but when I started going through the pile, I realized that it was for the best. Because this order was a few months worth of comics, a good chunk of the issues I recevied were from titles that I have since stopped reading. In fact, I would say that almost half of them were from series that I gave the axe, for no other reason than they just weren't worth the money I was spending on them.
One of the byproducts of this move to digital has been the realization of just how many comics I was collecting out of momentum or brand loyalty. Titles that weren't worth the $3 or $4 I was spending, but I kept reading because I was afraid I would miss something, or because I am a completionist.
But not anymore. By narrowing my list of comics I am still buying in print, I have also become much more discerning about what I am buying in general, be it print or digital. Even at a $.99 digital price point, a book needs to really grab me and hold onto me now in order for me to keep buying it. Granted, I'm much more willing to give new books a try at a lower digital price point, but they had better be good, or they get the axe.
I wonder if many other comic readers are now going through a similar thought process. I can't be the only one. And if comic readers across the board are starting to care less about brands and more about quality content, then publishers and creators will be under more pressure to ensure that what they put out is a quality product. In that way, the digital revolution may not be the death knell of the print comic industry, but instead a force for quality control.
More than anything else, I think what's in trouble in terms of the print industry is single issues. I would argue that the whole industry would be better off if single print issues went away altogether, and trades were the only print option. If managed correctly, publishers could potentially make more money this way, and readers would often pay twice for the same content--once digitally, and then again in print.
Take me, for example. I just read the first five issues of Animal Man digitally, paying $1.99 per issue on ComiXology. The book was such a good read that I decided it was worth getting in print, so I ordered the first trade. Essentially, I have rewarded both DC and the book's creative team for putting out a quality product by paying for it in two different formats. Of course, that assumes everyone is compensated appropriately for both print and digital sales, which is another discussion entirely. But the point is, I am living proof that offering a digital discount can lead directly to print sales.
So another thing I've learned through this transition so far is that while I will be moving away from buying monthly comics in print, I could end up buying more trades in addition to the monthly comics I buy digitally.
Get ready folks…
Do you remember that incredibly catchy song from the 1970’s?
“If your dreams have taken its toll,
than grab some lighting in a bowl
It turns your milk pink it’s a beautiful thing…
So get yourself a bowl of Strawberry Lighting!”
Over at www.matmancomics.org is the latest adventure of Strawberry Lightning, the greatest cereal mascot of the 1970’s.
Here you’ll see where it all began and how one teacher took a hold of the young man and gave him the love of the stage. But was it love or was it a delicious obsession!
The latest is written by Matman and drawn by the super awesome Glenn Pearce.
By JAMIE STENGLE
The Associated Press
DALLAS — When Michael Rorrer found 345 comic books neatly stacked in a basement closet as he cleaned out his great aunt's Virginia home after her death, he thought they were cool but didn't think much about their value.
He later discovered that his late great uncle Billy Wright had managed to assemble a remarkable comic book collection that included some of the most prized issues ever published, and kept them in good condition. The comics are expected to fetch more than $2 million when they are auctioned off Wednesday in New York City.
"This is just one of those collections that all the guys in the business think don't exist anymore," said Lon Allen, the managing director of comics for Heritage Auctions, the Dallas-based auction house overseeing the sale.
The collection includes 44 of The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide's list of top 100 issues from comics' golden age.
"The scope of this collection is, from a historian's perspective, dizzying," said J.C. Vaughn, associate publisher of Overstreet.
Rorrer, 31, of Oxnard, Calif., found the comics in his great aunt Ruby Wright's Martinsville, Va., home a few months after her death last February. His mother, Lisa Hernandez, 54, of League City, Texas, then divided the comics into two boxes — one for him and one for his younger brother.
After his box arrived in California in the fall, Rorrer mentioned the collection to a co-worker, telling him about seeing a Captain America No. 2, a 1941 issue in which the hero bursts in on Adolf Hitler. Rorrer, who works at a plant where oil is separated from water, said the co-worker mused that it would be something if he had Action Comics No. 1, in which Superman makes his first appearance.
"I went home and was looking through some of them, and there it was," said Rorrer, who then began researching the collection's value in earnest.
He found that his great uncle had managed as a boy to buy a staggering array of what became the most valuable comic books ever published.
Once Rorrer realized how important the comics were, he called his mother, who still had the box for his brother at her house. He and his mother then went through their boxes, checking comic after comic off the list.
"I couldn't believe what I had sitting there upstairs at my house," Rorrer said.
Hernandez, who works in a chemical plant, said it really hit her how valuable the comics were when she saw the look on Allen's face after he came to her house to look through the comics she had there.
"It was kind of hard to wrap my head around it," Allen said.
Rorrer said he only remembers his aunt making a fleeting reference to the comics when she learned that he and his brother, Jonathan Rorrer, now 29 of Houston, liked comic books. He said his great uncle, who died in 1994 at age 66, never mentioned his collection.
The Action Comics No. 1 — which Wright bought when he was about 11 — is expected to sell for about $325,000. A Detective Comics No. 27, the 1939 issue that features the first appearance of Batman, is expected to get about $475,000. And the Captain America No. 2 with Hitler on the cover that had caught Rorrer's eye? That's expected to bring in about $100,000.
Allen, who called the collection "jaw-dropping," noted that Wright "seemed to have a knack" for picking up the ones that would be the most valuable. The core of his collection is from 1938 to 1941.
Hernandez said it makes sense that her uncle — even as a boy — had a discerning eye. The man who went to The College of William and Mary before having a long career as a chemical engineer for DuPont was smart, she said. And, she added, Wright was an only child whose mother kept most everything he had. She said that they found games from the 1930s that were still in their original boxes.
by Brian LeTendre
Welcome to the first installment of Season of the Witchblade! This a new series of articles I'm writing that was born out of a couple of things. First and foremost, our Required Reading segment that we did during the All-New Secret Identity shows was focused on learning more about comic characters we were unfamilliar with. Secondly, as I transition from print to digital comics, I am going back through comics I've collected in the past and re-reading them, filling in holes in my collection, etc.
While filing some comics away last week, I stumbled across a couple of issues of Witchblade: Takeru, a manga series involving a japanese teen who comes into posession of the Witchblade. The series was published in the US by Top Cow a few years ago. Seeing those issues got me to thinking about Witchblade, and how very little I knew about the American series. The more I thought about it, the more interested I became in delving into this series, as it seems somewhat underrated given how long it's been around. Witchblade has run for over 150 issues, it's been adapted into a live-action TV series, and it's inspired both manga and anime series of the same name. How many other comic series can say that?
My blueprint for this project is to read a bit about the early days, go through some of Ron Marz's recent run, and then catch up to the current storyline Seeley is writing. There are a ton of back issues available through Drive Thru, so I will be taking a look at some of them, and reviewing them both on the SI site and Drive Thru as I go along.
So, that's the setup for this series of articles that I'll be writing about Witchblade. In a couple of days I'll be back with a look at Witchbalde Origins: Volume One, a trade that features the first eight issues of the series.
In the meantime, I'd love to hear from any of you readers and listeners about your history with this series!
As many listeners of the show know, I grew up playing pen and paper roleplaying games like Dungeons & Dragons. I also know a lot of you comic fans out there didn't get into D&D, one of the reasons being that the fantasy setting (which is most often associated with roleplaying games) didn't really appeal to you.
So, if you've wanted to check out an RPG, but were waiting for a setting that resonated with you a little more, it may have just arrived.
Margaret Weis Productions, has just released the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Basic Game, and it's available for download on Drive Thru RPG right now. Margaret Weis is a legend in the industry for the Dragonlance novels she has writtern with Tracy Hickman, and her game company has put out some fantastic RPGs based on Firefly, Supernatural and Smallville, among others.
Here's the description of the game from the folks at MWP:
IT’S TIME TO STEP UP
The Avengers have been disassembled, the Fantastic Four are somewhere in space, and the X-Men aren’t answering their phone. When dozens of dangerous villains are sprung from the maximum-maximum security prison known as the Raft, who’s going to stop them? You are.
ALL THE RULES, ALL THE ACTION
Experience all of the pulse-pounding action and nail-biting drama of the Marvel Universe at your gaming table. It’s one thing to stop an alien invasion or throw down with the Juggernaut, but sometimes you've got to make the hard choices—will you let a dangerous villain escape in order to save an innocent life?. With the MARVEL HEROIC ROLEPLAYING Basic Game, that great power and great responsibility is yours.
The Basic Rulebook Includes:
Operations Manual: Easy to learn game rules for playing characters from the Marvel Universe and playing out your favorite Marvel Blockbuster Events!
Breakout: Based on the acclaimed story arc from Brian Michael Bendis’ New Avengers, including a super villain prison break and a perilous journey to the Savage Land!
Hero Datafiles: Game play sheets for many of your favorite Marvel Super Heroes, from Captain America and Spider-Man to the X-Men and Fantastic Four!
For two to eight players, ages 13 and up. Requires game dice.
You can download the Marvel Heroic Roeplaying Basic Game now for $12.99 DriveThruComics.com.
The print version of the game will be realeasing at the end of the month, and you can preorder it over at www.margaretweis.com.
I look forward to checking this one out and discussing it on the podcast.
Boston Comic Con is pleased to announce several new additions to the guest list for the 2012 convention! Joining an already stellar line up are Joe Sinnott, Kevin Eastman, Eric Canete, Keu Cha, Todd Dezago, Ian Glaubinger, Daniel Govar, Mark Morales, Sara Richard, Stephane Roux, Matteo Scalera, Thomas E. Sniegoski, Charles P. Wilson III, and Dexter Vines. This year's event is shaping up to be the biggest in our five year history!
Silver Age legend Joe Sinnott's inks have embellished the pages of innumerable titles including Thor, Silver Surfer, Captain America, and The Avengers. His favorite character to draw is The Thing of the Fantastic Four, the comic for which he is best known. Don’t miss this opportunity to shake hands with an industry giant!
Kevin Eastman is best known as the co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a comic book phenomenon which was founded in Northampton, MA! For the past twenty years Eastman has owned, edited, and published the magazine Heavy Metal. Boston Comic Con is thrilled to bring this comic book icon back to the Bay State!
Eric Canete is an illustrator and designer working in the animation and comic book industries. As an animator he has worked on shows including Aeon Flux, Exo Squad, and X-Men. He has drawn many titles for Marvel and DC Comics such as Amazing Spider-Man, Luke Cage, and Iron Man. Currently he is working on a creator-owned project for Image Comics.
Keu Cha is an artist who has worked extensively with Top Cow Productions on titles including The Darkness, Fathom, Rising Stars, and Witchblade.
Todd Dezago is an American comic book writer. He is best known for his collaborations with penciller Mike Wieringo on Sensational Spider-Man and their creator-owned fantasy series Tellos. Dezago is also know for co-creating Young Justice with artist Todd Nauck in the one-shot Young Justice: The Secret. His other Young Justice work includes the miniseries JLA: World Without Grown-ups.
Ian Glaubinger is an illustrator inspired by all things in pop culture: the cartoons of the 1950's, Walt Disney, movies, comics, typography, vintage advertising, all things retro, his wife Kim, and his cat to name a few. He is a featured artist at Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles, a very popular pop-culture based art gallery.
Daniel Govar is the co-founder of ThereAndBackAgain.net, a Tolkien and Lord of the Rings website dedicated to illustrating all facets of the world created by J.R.R. Tolkien. In 2010, Daniel’s sci-fi epic comic Azure was published by DC Comics, now available via DC and ComiXology’s digital apps.
Mark Morales is an inker best known for his works at Marvel Comics such as Secret Invasion, Siege, and Thor. Most recently he embellished the pages of Young Avengers over the pencils of fellow Boston Comic Con guest Jim Cheung.
Sara Richard's work has appeared in Atomic Robo, Pre-Historic Times Magazine, several Marvel trading card sets, Zombie Bomb, and in her new children's book Kitty and Dino. She has also worked as a toy designer for Hasbro.
Stephane Roux comes all the way from France as an illustrator of great renown. His sexy pinup-style art has graced the covers of Birds of Prey, Savage She-Hulk, and Countdown to Crisis. He has also illustrated Zatanna for DC Comics and is currently working on Star Wars: Agent of the Empire for Dark Horse.
Matteo Scalera is an Italian artist who was one of twelve discovered in Marvel's worldwide talent search in 2005. He is best known for his work with the character Deadpool and has drawn the titles Deadpool Team-Up, Deadpool Corps, and Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth. Additionally he has worked on Hyperkinetic, Dynamo 5, and PopGun for Image Comics.
Thomas E. Sniegoski is the writer of the New York Times best-selling The Fallen: Vol. 1 & 2, as well as Remy Chandler. He is also the only writer ever invited to work on Jeff Smith’s award winning series Bone, working with Smith on Bone: Tall Tales. Sniegoski has just finished writing Bone: Quest for the Spark, and a new additions to The Fallen series, The Fallen: End of Days and The Fallen: Forsaken.
Charles Paul Wilson III is the acclaimed illustrator and co-creator of the New York Times Best-Selling Graphic Novel, The Stuff of Legend, published by Th3rd World Studios. His work has also graced the covers and pages of the comic industry's top publishers such as IDW, DC, and Marvel Comics.
Dexter Vines is a comic book artist and inker best known for being one half of the "eDex" team, along with fellow Boston Comic Con guest Ed McGuiness. Dex has worked on titles for Marvel and DC including Civil War, Superman/Batman, JLA Classified, and Wolverine: Old Man Logan.
Previously announced guests include Al Feldstein, Paul Coker Jr., Al Jaffee, Brian Azzarello, Jeremy Bastian, Joe Benitez, Simon Bisley, Mark Brooks, Stephanie Buscema, Jim Cheung, Cliff Chiang, Becky Cloonan, Amanda Conner, Katie Cook, Geof Darrow, Renae De Liz, Steve Epting, Jamal Igle, Phil Jimenez, Alex Maleev, Ed McGuinness, Phil Noto, Jimmy Palmiotti, David Petersen, Tom Raney, Ivan Reis, Paolo Rivera, Tim Sale, Bill Sienkiewicz, Jill Thompson, Ben Templesmith, Joe Quinones, Bernie Wrightson, Skottie Young, Chrissie Zullo, and more!
Boston Comic Con is also happy to announce that we have SOLD OUT all artist alley tables. Anyone who submits a registration form from this point on will be added to a waiting list.
The Boston Comic Con is a 100% independently run comic book show committed to bringing the biggest and best comic creators to New England. Run by fans for fans, Boston Comic Con is not affiliated with any other convention tour or corporate interests. Hosting over 40,000 square feet of vendors selling comic books, toys, posters, trading cards, and other pop culture memorabilia, this is a destination event for geeks of any stripe. The convention will be held Saturday April 21st and Sunday April 22nd at the Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston Street, Boston, MA from 10am to 5pm each day. For more information please go to our website at www.bostoncomiccon.com and follow us on Twitter (@BostonComicCon) and Facebook!
A few months ago we got pretty down on Marvel when we heard that the Marvel Adventures line of comics was coming to an end. Well, it seems like they had a plan for their all-ages comics the whole time, and it's one that makes a lot of sense.
This April marks the return of The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes to Disney XD, as well as the launch of the brand new Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon. April will also see the launch of two new all-ages comics from Marvel, each tied to the shows that kids (and adults) will be seeing on TV.
Here's the solicits for the debut issues:
MARVEL UNIVERSE: THE AVENGERS: EARTH’S MIGHTIEST HEROES #1 (FEB120603)
Written by CHRIS YOST
Pencils by ADAM DEKRAKER
All Ages …$2.99
MARVEL UNIVERSE: ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #1 (FEB120604)
Written by MEN OF ACTION, DAN SLOTT & TY TEMPLETON
Art by NUNO PLATI
All Ages …$2.99
You can read the full press release on Marvel.com.