Archive for October, 2013


This Week in Panels: Week 214

October 28th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Hello, and welcome to the early morning edition of ThWiP. This week gave us the final issue of Venom, which was not only a disappointing finale, but it actually brought back crap from the Daniel Way run into continuity. That’ll have to wait for its own post within the week. On the other hand, Superior Carnage has been killing it, no pun intended. There’s one more issue left and I wouldn’t mind if the cliffhanger situation is Carnage’s new status quo.

In terms of backup, I have Gaijin Dan, Brobe, Space Jawa and Was Taters.

I had a bunch of stuff go up on Den of Geek US last week. The 13 Most Bizarre Appearances by Horror Icons in Media, which features Freddy Krueger being defeated by Dokken, Pinhead playing poker with Lemmy and Jason being a guest on Arsenio. The 25 Most Insane Rifftrax Shorts, which was especially fun to do research for. Then there’s the 15 Craziest Venom Moments, which is mostly just a Cliffnotes version of We Care a Lot. I was also tasked with gathering images for my friend Marc Buxton’s post on the 10 Greatest Supernatural Stephen King Villains and the entry for the Leatherheads is proof of that.

Now panels.

All-Star Western #24
Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and Moritat

Aquaman #24
Geoff Johns and Paul Pelletier

Batman ’66 #17
Tom Peyer and Ty Templeton

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Curse of the Bride of the Ghost of the Revenge of the Son of the Return of the Wrath of Comic Con

October 22nd, 2013 Posted by Gavok

And another New York Comic Con is in the can. Once again, I went all four days. The problem was, I had no real direction for this run. There was nothing I was especially looking forward to and a lot of stuff I used to be excited about have lost their luster. Panels went from something I’d schedule for to something I can take or leave. Hitting Artist Alley is always cool, but I’m doing the same thing with it I’ve always done. Plus I’m trying to spend less than previous years.

As someone who’s never exhibited or been part of a panel, I’ve run out of stuff to experience at NYCC. I mean, there’s that speed dating thing, but I keep forgetting to sign up for that and part of me is thankful for it. Maybe next year. This time I wanted to try something I’ve never done before on a day that wasn’t October 31st. I was going to try cosplay. Each day a different costume.

Well, not every day. About a week before the show, I was talking to Internet Superstar Chris Sims and I joked about getting a couple t-shirts made saying “I’M A DAVID BROTHERS GUY.” Chris said that I shouldn’t be joking. I should be doing. And so, I had them made just in time for the show.

Some context for the uninitiated: Paul Heyman is a staple in professional wrestling who used to run his own promotion Extreme Championship Wrestling before that went under and he became part of the WWE. He’s recognized by many as one of the top minds in the wrestling world, unless you bring finances into it. He understands talent and has a knack for good writing that shows off the strengths of performers while hiding their weaknesses. For a while, he existed on WWE TV as a manager and mouthpiece for various top-ranking bad guys (most notable being Brock Lesnar, who went on to have a successful UFC career after the fact) while behind the scenes, he was one of the head writers. He ended up being let go because he wasn’t the most agreeable with upper management.

Years later, on an episode of Raw, CM Punk was doing a storyline where he was preparing to win the WWE Championship on the same night his contract was ending with threats that he’d leave the company with the belt. During a scripted speech with ties into real life, he said, “I’ve been the best since day one when I walked into this company. And I’ve been vilified and hated since that day because Paul Heyman saw something in me that nobody else wanted to admit. That’s right, I’m a Paul Heyman guy. You know who else was a Paul Heyman guy? Brock Lesnar. And he split just like I’m splitting. But the biggest difference between me and Brock is I’m going to leave with the WWE Championship.”

About a year later, Brock Lesnar came back. Soon Heyman followed. Then they had Heyman become Punk’s manager. Anyone Heyman represented was referred to as, “a Paul Heyman guy.” Soon guys like Curtis Axel and Ryback joined the Paul Heyman Guy umbrella. T-shirts were made and while he’s a bad guy on TV, many wrestling fans wear them out of support for the man they consider to be a genius of the genre.

And that’s why Chris and I had to wear those shirts and mess with David’s head. Let me tell you, the reaction was completely and utterly worth it. The perfect mix of, “Fuck my life…” and, “Oh, you guys.”

Real talk, though. It was really great getting to see David and Chris. It’s been years since I’ve seen David in person and he’s seriously the coolest, chilliest, nicest guy. Chris is also an upstanding gentleman and was really cool by introducing me to various people, including Kieron Gillen.
Also on Thursday, I came across a vendor booth at the far end of the showroom floor. They had a bunch of stuff on sale, including the X-Statix Omnibus. That series is already something I’ve been meaning to read, but the deal made it a must-have. Normally priced at $150, they sold it for only $39. I had to lug it around with me all day because I wasn’t going to let them sell out of it without me.

On Friday, it was time for costume #1: Fred Flintstone.

Here’s me with DW Cycloptopus from Kaiju Big Battel. He’s a lot bigger on TV.

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This Week in Panels: Week 213

October 20th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Why, hello! Big week of panels, including Two-Face’s lame-ass New 52 origin. Because who cares about Two-Face when Tomasi needs to push his forgettable female gangster character?

I’ve shown up in a couple little features at Den of Geek US over the past couple of days based on my Comic Con experiences. Here’s me as Wreck-It Ralph photobombing people and here’s me as Wreck-It Ralph just hanging out with other cosplayers with commentary by me as Ralph.

Help comes from Matlock, Gaijin Dan, Brobe and Space Jawa. Let’s get to it.

Animal Man #24 (Gavin’s pick)
Jeff Lemire and Rafael Albuquerque

Animal Man #24 (Matlock’s pick)
Jeff Lemire and Rafael Albuquerque

Avengers #21 (Matlock’s pick)
Jonathan Hickman and Leinil Francis Yu

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The Mike Haggar Plus Prop Challenge

October 18th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Another year of New York Comic Con bites the dust and with it comes the fourth installment of the Plus Prop Challenge. Started in 2010, the Plus Prop Challenge is based on walking around Artist Alley and getting various artists to draw the same character… with a prop. That character with another object. What that object is is completely up to the artist, making it a fun creative exercise.

In previous years, we’ve seen Venom Plus Prop, Juggernaut Plus Prop and “Macho Man” Randy Savage Plus Prop. This year I went with a more video game route with Mike Haggar Plus Prop.

For those of you who have no idea who Mayor Mike Haggar is, he comes from the Capcom video game series Final Fight. In it, he’s a semi-retired professional wrestler who went into politics and got elected Mayor of Metro City. The place is overrun with street crime, so Haggar’s gotten tough on it while proving that he won’t be swayed by bribes or threats. Then one day, he gets a message that his daughter Jessica has been kidnapped by the Mad Gear Gang. Rather than give into the ransom or bowing to the Mad Gear and their leader Belger, Haggar decides to take action. He gets Jessica’s boyfriend Cody and their mutual ninja friend Guy to join him in taking the streets and beating the shit out of everyone getting in their way, from militant nutjobs with grenades to transvestites to an entire family of Andre the Giants.

Haggar would go on to appear in a couple Final Fight sequels and a one-on-one fighting game spinoff for the Sega Saturn that nobody played. He showed up as a playable character in Capcom’s wrestling classic Saturday Night Slam Masters and its sequel. For years he’s only shown up in cameos until being brought back into the spotlight with Marvel vs. Capcom 3.

I’ve found that about 2/3 of the artists were familiar with Mike Haggar. Let’s see what they came up with.

Mike Haggar with Q-Bert Arcade Machine
By Chris Giarrusso

Mike Haggar with Phone Booth
By Jacob Chabot

(note: this is the other side of this conversation)

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October 14th, 2013 Posted by david brothers

I try to keep 4l! pretty clean on my part. Outside of quotes—which admittedly is a huge thing to be like “let’s set aside this thing” thanks to how much rap music I talk about but bear with me—I try to avoid cussing in posts. It’s too easy, I think, but also not effective enough in my hands to be worthwhile as anything but an ultra-rare zap.

In real life, though, I could turn the air blue if I had to, and have probably done that even when I didn’t need to. Yeah, I like to say “fuck,” I got a fuckin problem. I know it doesn’t matter or whatever, profanity is just another facet of language with its own strengths and weaknesses, but I’ve gotten into the habit of avoiding it when writing, and I sort of like giving myself the extra challenge. “Can I get my strong feelings across without going profane?”

However, while I worked New York Comic Con this past weekend, my good friends Gavin Jasper and Chris Sims walked up to my booth and stood there for a moment where I could see them. I was distracted, so I just looked at Gavin, a fast up and down glance to see what he was wearing before saying hey, and then I did the same to Chris, and then time slowed down and I looked from Chris to Gavin and back again and realized I was seeing this:

chris x gav

And let me tell you what, I was struck completely speechless, and when I got my words back, the only words I could string together were “You’ve got to be FUCKING kidding me” 100% on instinct.

There’s a whole story behind this, about the return of Paul Heyman to the WWE, but honestly, I didn’t know that when it happened to me. It was just the funniest thing I’d seen in forever. These two guys totally made my con, as you can see in this picture taken by Kevin Church:

sims-brothers-gavok-by kevin church

Thanks, fellas. Gavin’s gonna write about this too, he wants to explain the wrasslin stuff, but I wanted to get my side of the story out there FIRST.

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This Week in Panels: Week 212

October 14th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Hoo boy. Latest edition of ThWiP yet, not counting power outages. After a lengthy weekend with the Comic Con, it all caught up to me at once and I completely and utterly crashed. On one hand, it sucks to miss my self-created deadline. On the other hand, that was the best sleep ever.

More on NYCC in the next couple days, including THE PICTURE DAVID BROTHERS DOESN’T WANT YOU TO SEE!

Small week for me. Gaijin Dan ends up supplying more panels than me and Space Jawa combined. Despite the lack of quantity, there was a lot of quality. Infinity, Deadpool and Afterlife with Archie were all fantastic, the latter shockingly so. The current arc of Deadpool has the potential to be one of the all-time best stories for the character and the last few pages of #18 are haunting as hell.

Afterlife with Archie #1
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

Batman #24
Scott Snyder, James Tynion, Greg Capullo and Rafael Albuquerque

Batman: L’il Gotham #7
Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs

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David’s at New York Comic Con!

October 10th, 2013 Posted by david brothers

I’m at New York Comic Con! Literally, I mean—I’m at Image’s booth, #1444, doing work, so this is going to be short.

I’m going to be super busy at the con, but I’m running a few panels I’m pretty stoked for:

Eat, Read, Love: CHEW’s Ascendance
Friday, October 11th / 4:15pm – 5:15 pm / Location: 1A10

ROCKET GIRL! Here From The Future To Save Us All!
Saturday, October 12th / 11:15 am – 12:15 pm / Location: 1A08

LAZARUS: Family, Wealth, and Violence in the Near-Future
Sunday, October 13th / 1:15 PM – 2:15 PM / Location: 1A14

I like all of these people a lot, so it’ll be fun to get to pick their brain live on stage. If you’re around, stop by and ask some good questions.

ALSO, a book I worked on that I’m really proud of came out yesterday: Greg Rucka & Michael Lark’s first Lazarus collected edition. It’s on pre-order at Amazon for eight bucks and a 10/22 release, but your local comic shops should have copies. I edited this one, and I enjoyed working with the creative team a great deal.

That’s it! Back to work.

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This Week in Panels: Week 211

October 6th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Hello, my little chicken sandwiches. It’s time for another edition of This Week in Panels. This time, I’m helped out by Gaijin Dan, Matlock and Space Jawa. This week brings the last installment of Jaco the Galactic Patrolman, which means that I’ll no longer look at that title and start thinking about that “Jacko on his Backo” skit from mid-90’s Saturday Night Live. Yeah, uh… even if I try to explain it, it would be one of those “had to be there” things.

This week I’ll be heading to New York Comic Con for all four days. David will be there too, hanging out at the Image booth and doing whatever it is he does. Other than running. I know he does that, but he can’t do that there. Me? I have no plans at the moment. I’m going there for the sake of going there. Den of Geek US is going to give me some assignments, but I have no clue what that entails yet. I’m also going to dress up for at least one day and maybe get a new set of Plus Prop Challenge sketches done.

Action Comics #24
Mike Johnson, Tyler Kirkham and Jesus Merino

All-New X-Men #17 (Matlock’s pick)
Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen

All-New X-Men #17 (Gavin’s pick)
Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen

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4 Elements: Scarlet Spider

October 4th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Recently, it’s been announced that Christopher Yost’s Scarlet Spider is on its way out, ending in December at issue #25. Even with the news that Venom is ending at the end of this month, Scarlet Spider‘s cancellation hits harder. It was really a better book, starring a character who will probably fade into obscurity, while Venom will continue to be a staple in the Marvel Universe.

Scarlet Spider stars Kaine, clone of Peter Parker and co-star of the infamous Clone Saga from the 90’s. After that editorial horror ended, Kaine vanished in the public eye, only appearing in the alternate future series Spider-Girl as the grizzled mentor character. A few years ago, Kaine reappeared during Spider-Man’s Grim Hunt storyline for the sake of being killed off immediately. Then he was resurrected as some kind of spider creature during Spider-Island and when everyone was cured of their spider powers, it reduced him to a less scarred and super-jacked version of Peter Parker for the first time since his birth, curing him of his madness.

Now, when you go through all that backstory, it’s not hard to understand why the series didn’t last. Fresh take or not, he’s a toxic character with a longwinded origin. Still, Christopher Yost was able to make it into one of my favorite Marvel titles.

A lot of the fun is explained in the tagline of “All the Power and None of the Responsibility!” Superhero comics are about escapism, but sometimes it can be frustrated when you see your favorite character held back morally. It’s necessary, but when people call out Peter Parker for being a flake or a coward, there’s part of me that just wants him to go, “You know what?! I’m Spider-Man! That’s why I was late! Suck my balls!” Instead, he has to shut his mouth for the greater good. He lets people talk down to him, he refuses to ever kill and he’s overly selfless out of guilt. It’s what defines him and I would never want to change any of that, but there is that desire to see the catharsis of Spider-Man completely cutting loose.

That’s really what Scarlet Spider is. Kaine doesn’t really care about the Uncle Ben or Gwen Stacy situations because that wasn’t really him. He’s his own person and he’s selfish and doesn’t think of himself as a very good person. When he sees an old woman about to be hit by a car, he stomps down on the car’s hood (sending the driver flying out the windshield) and proceeds to scream in the old woman’s face and curse her out for being so stupid that she almost just died. All while he’s in his street clothes because he doesn’t care that he looks exactly like Peter Parker with a crew cut. After all, who’s going to care in Houston, Texas?

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We raised $1010 to combat cervical cancer!

October 4th, 2013 Posted by david brothers


I saw a bus ad for Prevention International: No Cervical Cancer‘s fifth annual walk/run event, a 5k around Lake Merritt, a few weeks ago. I decided to do it, despite never having run a 5k before. I posted about it here originally.

I believe in charity and I believe we should leave this Earth better than we received it. A moment of kindness can change a life, I know this for a fact, and I try to do my part. Largely this is a monetary thing—I donate to charities, I do school fund raisers, I try to donate to libraries, and I talk about race so much in part because what we have is broken and the only way to make it better is to spread the word.

But I rarely donate my time. I’ll help someone if I see they need help on a minor, person-to-person level, but I usually don’t show up at places that need help, outside of a church function, and I haven’t done that in years. Running a 5k for charity meant donating time, money, and energy, and when I saw the ad for it, I couldn’t think of a reason not to do it. All the reasons were thin.

When I run, I generally run a mile at a time. I’m aiming for speed, because I feel like if I can consistently hit a certain marker, hitting markers past that will be easier. It’s laying a foundation. Five kilometers is a little over three miles, roughly triple what I normally do, but it’s doable. I ran several in the weeks leading up to the event, with my first being my fastest and the ones closest to the event having the most consistent pace. I got sick in the lead-up to it, too, which was aggravating, but I still practiced.

Part of running the 5k was fund raising. I have a megaphone compared to most people in the form of my website and Twitter. I tweeted about it once a day over the two or so weeks I had to prepare for the run, wrote about it on my site, and did a Tumblr thing about it. In the end, the internet raised $1010 to fight cervical cancer, a nice chunk of the organization’s final total of $22030 for the event. It started raining around a mile into the run, and my time ended up being around thirty minutes.


I was the runner-up top fundraiser, which was nice to find out. I was hoping to double the goal, but we blew past that. I met the founders and board of the organization who were very gracious and marveled at the fact that I not only saw a bus ad and decided to join up, but that I managed to solicit donations from across the world. I got a tank top, a hat, a watch, and a hoodie for fundraising, and I got to see a bunch of other active, engaged people doing something they felt was right.

I keep wanting to close this out with a moral, some big discovery I made about myself or my life, but I don’t have one. I didn’t have a big epiphany, I’m not going to dedicate my life to charity like people do in movies… I’m still working out who I am. I’m not who or where I want to be yet, for reasons that are both under my control and completely outside it. I’m a work in progress, fueled by depression, self-loathing, and the desperate thirst to be better than I am, not just better than I was.

The closest thing I have to a moral is something I’ve tried to live by for a while. I feel like if you’re able to help, and willing to help, you should help. Offer your services and time. But if you’re not able, or not willing, that’s cool, too. Passing it along to someone else or speaking on it are enough. There’s a balance in there that’s different for everyone.

Thanks to everyone who donated or said encouraging things. I feel like we did a good thing.

Photos in this post were taken by Eugene Clendinen, and more can be found here.


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