How much did the “Number 1″ Batmobile go for at auction? What Oni Press book just got picked up for an NBC pilot? Stan Lee ill? Which characters might be featured in the upcoming Justice League film? Learn the answers to these questions and more in this week’s News Round-up!
Holy Bank Balance, Batman! Original TV Batmobile sells for $4.2 million
The “Number 1″ Batmobile, the first of four Batmobiles that custom car designer George Barris and his Barris Kustom City team built for the 1966 Batman TV show, has been sold at auction to 56 year-old car collector and logistics industry tycoon Rick Champagne for a whopping $4.2 million after an intense bidding war. Champagne, who started his career in the transportation business as a salesperson with Mayflower Van Lines in the late 1970s before eventually founding Champagne Logistics in 1996, said that his purchase of the iconic, comic book-inspired vehicle was “a dream come true.” There’s no word yet if he has plans to hire a teen sidekick to go with his latest acquisition. (Heck, for the kind of crazy tycoon money Champagne drops on his big boy toys, I’d dress up in green shorts and a yellow cape and let him slap me around World’s Finest #153-style — ed.)
The task of crafting a Batmobile for the Batman TV series was originally assigned by executive producer William Dozier to custom fabricator and hot rodder Dean Jeffries, who started work on a custom 1959 Cadillac in late summer of 1965. As the show’s January 1966 broadcast debut loomed and it became clear that Jeffries would not be able to meet the deadline for delivery of the car, the project was re-assigned to custom car designer George Barris. With design input from 20th Century Fox production artist Eddie Graves, Barris and his Barris Kustom City crew spent three weeks and $30,000 on modifying a 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car Barris had bought from the Ford Motor Company for one dollar and turning it into the classic Batmobile that we know today. Three fiberglass-bodied exhibition replicas based on the 1965/1966 Ford Galaxie chassis were built by Barris Kustom City in October of 1966. News of the Number 1 Batmobile going on sale was first announced at a Scottsdale, Arizona Barrett-Jackson car show in November of last year. The Batmobile’s three official replicas and a number of licensed and unlicensed fan-made recreations continue to be popular draws in the car show and comic convention circuit (click here to see images of one such project displayed at last year’s Fan Expo Vancouver).
The Sixth Gun gets first episode order
From the Deadline report:
Based on the Oni Press graphic novel, Sixth Gun is the story of six mythical guns in the Old West. When the Sixth Gun, the most powerful and dangerous of the group, resurfaces in the hands of an innocent girl named Becky Montcrief, dark forces reawaken. Vile men thought long dead set their sights on retrieving the gun and killing Becky. Only Drake Sinclair, a self-serving gunfighter, stands in evil’s way. Feature writer Ryan Condal wrote the script and will executive produce with Cuse as well as Eric Gitter and Andy Bourne of Oni Press’s sister company, film/TV producer Closed on Mondays Entertainment. The order adds to an already full plate for Cuse, who also executive produces the A&E series Bates Motel and the FX pilot The Strain, his collaboration with Guillermo del Toro.
DC and Andrew Kreisberg really, really want you to buy Vibe
Writer Andrew Kreisberg has been on a remarkable tear promoting the upcoming Vibe title since it was first announced last November, but is there such a thing as too much push behind a title launch? We obviously didn’t expect anything less than a full-blown stream of promises and hype in his latest interview with Newsarama‘s Vaneta Rogers, but what we didn’t expect was what reads like a very slight touch of desperation in the latest promo piece. (I haven’t read page one of any preview and I’m already a little sick of reading about how amazing and cool and important and groundbreaking he’s supposed to be… will he really live up to the billing of someone we “can’t imagine the DC Universe without”? — ed.)
Marvel’s MAX imprint titles finally available on Comixology
MAX, Marvel’s line of mature readers comics, finally made its debut on the digital distributor site Comixology this past Wednesday. Our suggestion for those of you who are interested in the idea of mixing nudity, sex, and swearing with the stylized violence of superhero action but aren’t ready to invest in following yet another line of books? Just play a porn video in the background while reading your regular old superhero comics, it pretty much adds up to the same thing.
Garth Ennis’ 60-issue stint on Punisher MAX remains one of our favorite writer runs of the past decade and Brian Michael Bendis’ Alias as well as Doug Moench and Paul Gulacy’s Shang-Chi, Master of Kung-Fu were all-around enjoyable works (Chuck Austen’s U.S. War Machine was terrible, though). The current selection right now is pretty sparse, with none of the earlier MAX material available for purchase but we’re fairly certain that the MAX digital library will expand with time. As it stands, only issues of the current Punisher MAX series, Fury: My War Gone By (a.k.a. Fury MAX), and Wolverine MAX can be purchased by Comixology customers.
Stan Lee too ill to attend the Amazing Arizona Comic-Con
Just a week removed from joining YouTube and posting his first user-uploaded video, industry legend Stan Lee is apparently too ill to attend this weekend’s Amazing Arizona Comic Convention, as per an announcement on the organizer’s website:
We here at Amazing Arizona Comic Con regret to announce that we have been informed by Mr. Stan Lee’s representatives that he is physically unable to travel and appear for this weekend’s events due to illness. Fortunately, we have a full weekend of great programming, over hundred of comic creators coming to the convention, and nearly 300 exhibitors on the main floor. Further headline guest Jim Lee, the Best Selling comic artist of all time, will be on hand at the event to meet with attendees, sign FREE autographs, and share in the spirit of comics and pop culture. Amazing Arizona Comic Con apologizes for the inconvenience and wishes Mr. Stan Lee a speedy recovery.
For those attendees who purchased Stan Lee Photo Ops or Stan Lee Packages, you may contact INFO@AmazingArizonaComicCon.com to inquire about refund eligibility. Please contact us no later than Friday, January 25, 2013 for more information. Amazing Arizona Comic Con reserves the right to process and issue refunds for eligible and qualified attendees, which will be dispersed from February 18 through 28.
Previously confirmed special guests Jim Lee, Scott Lobdell, Brian Bucellatto, John Layman and others are still a go for the event. For more details on refund eligibility and refund options, as well as to view the complete list of guests and events, go to AmazingArizonaComicCon.com.
Anyway, to cheer you up, here’s a picture of professional cosplay model and Arizona transplant Jessica Nigri (dressed up as Marvel’s Black Cat), who will be in attendance at the Con:
Colorists: the unknown amazing backup singers who make every track awesome
Colorist Jordie Bellaire (The Manhattan Projects) took to her blog to express her ire at an unnamed comic book convention organizer who has apparently decided to de-list colorists as convention guests, writing that
Refusal of professional colorists to be listed as guests at your convention is extremely ignorant. Your archaic view of creatives is part of what keeps jobs of this industry undervalued. Congratulations, you’ve officially locked out a great percentage of talented, friendly, hard working creatives who would originally have had great interest in attending your convention. Your one sentence, “this is not a colorists thing”, was surely the most pigheaded and dismissive thing I’ve been told since I began professional coloring. This is a seriously small-minded view of the way things work. Let me explain why:
Colorists make or break a book: Colorists are extremely essential to the medium of colored comics. I don’t think I need to explain to most any fan, the value of a colorist like Laura Martin or Dave Stewart. Colorists create form for figures and their environments, mood, tone and “Effects” like, blurring, flares, glows, color holds, etc. If any of this is done badly or doesn’t give clarity to an artist’s work, the artwork fails.
Colorists are the unknown amazing backup singer who makes every track awesome BUT-Colorists are not compensated nearly as much as artists: Colorists, while paid in some instances very fairly, are never compensated even half of what the artist on the title is generally making. Colorists work because they love COMICS.
Colorists have no way to sell artwork or originals: On top of being paid less than an artist, colorists usually have no way to sell any of their original work they’ve done, making con appearances an important area of their self promotion where they get to see fans, sign comics, sell color sketches and possibly sell prints of their own work or paintings.
Colorists work hard to help get comic books in on time: Without colorists, comics wouldn’t get done, plain and simple. Artists, I hate to break it to you, run late. Colorists are forced to pick up their slack and if they take any pride in what they do, they’ll make sure it looks great and worth reading anyways with no fault or consequence usually delivered to the artist in anyway, because this is how comics work.
Jordie Bellaire also did a recent interview with Multiversity Comics, where she goes into detail about her process as an artist and the article also features some unpublished original art. Go check it out!
Help bring The Death of Superman Lives to life
Metalocalypse director Jon Schnepp has launched a Kickstarter campaign for his documentary project about Superman Lives, the ill-fated Superman film that was originally supposed to start filming way back in 1998. Here are the first two paragraphs of the film’s Wikipedia entry to refresh your memory regarding what an absolute disaster the film would have been:
Kevin Smith pitched [to producer Jon Peters] his story outline in August 1996, and was allowed to write the screenplay under three conditions. Peters wanted Superman to wear an all-black suit, and also did not want Superman to fly, arguing that Superman would “look like an overgrown Boy Scout.” Smith wrote Superman flying as “a red-and-blue blur in flight, creating a sonic boom every time he flew.” Peters also wanted Superman to fight a giant spider for the climactic showdown. Smith accepted the terms, realizing that he was being hired to execute a pre-ordained idea. Peters and Warner Bros. also had Smith write a scene involving Brainiac fighting polar bears at the Fortress of Solitude, and Peters wanted Brainiac to give Lex Luthor a space dog, stating “Chewie’s cuddly, man. You could make a toy out of him, so you’ve got to give me a dog.” Peters’ additional Star Wars similarities were due to the recent re-release of the original Star Wars trilogy, such as Peters’ insistence that Brainiac’s robot assistant L-Ron was to be voiced by Dwight Ewell, calling the character, “a gay R2-D2 with attitude.” Peters was able to recycle his giant spider idea in Wild Wild West, a film he produced.
Smith’s draft (titled Superman Lives) had Brainiac sending Doomsday to kill Superman, as well as blocking out the sun to make Superman powerless, as Superman is fueled by sunlight. Brainiac teams with Lex Luthor, but Superman is resurrected by a Kryptonian robot, The Eradicator. Brainiac wishes to possess The Eradicator and its technology. Powerless, the resurrected Superman is sheathed in armor formed from The Eradicator itself until his powers return, courtesy of sunbeams, and defeats Brainiac. Smith’s casting choices included Ben Affleck as Clark Kent/Superman, Linda Fiorentino as Lois Lane, Jack Nicholson as Lex Luthor, Famke Janssen as Mercy, John Mahoney as Perry White, David Hyde Pierce as The Eradicator, Jason Lee as Brainiac and Jason Mewes as Jimmy Olsen.
The madness didn’t stop there. Nicolas Cage, not Ben Affleck, eventually signed on to play Superman, giving us this unforgettable screen-test shot (yes, we know Supes was rocking a pretty mean mullet in the comics back in the mid-/late-1990s, but still):
Let Schnepp convince you as to why this behind-the-scenes feature-length look at Superman Lives deserves to be made:
To learn more about the project’s unique backer incentives and to donate to the fundraising campaign, check out The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened? Kickstarter page.
Justice League movie roster leaked?
We’ve pretty much learned our lesson about disseminating supposed “exclusive” news regarding superhero movie casting and roster news after being led a merry chase by all those Joseph Gordon-Levitt rumors a few weeks back, but here’s a rumor all the same. Latino-Review, citing unnamed (i.e., potentially bullshit) sources, is reporting that the roster of the upcoming Justice League film will feature five characters: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and the Flash.
They’ve left themselves an out by saying that cameos by other characters have not been eliminated from consideration. So it’s basically still open to speculation, and none of this really means anything as far as the final film roster goes. How’s that for news that isn’t really news?