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I'm so excited, the new Captain Scarlet series (Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons) is in production! Not much info is out on it yet, but I saw some promo stuff for it a while back that looked very faithful to the original. Captain Scarlet is by far my favorite Anderson series, and one of my favorite shows of all time, probably (we have very few DVDs of TV shows: The Prisoner, the Emma Peel Avengers and my Captain Scarlet box set. I heart Costco!)

In comics news, Variety this week had what was probably the most accurate San Diego report, portraying it as the most important sci-fi/genre convention and place for studios to market their films to fans. About the only mention of comics was when they said Mike Mignola was "trotted out" to promote Hellboy since they had no stars there. (Do you think he really "trotted"?) They did do a big web special on comics and animation which is pretty interesting reading. (Sorry, can't link to their stories, unfortunately, their site is not free. In fact, it's frighteningly expensive. Thank goodness for free magazine offers!)

One of my favorite tidbits is this quote about Marvel: "Marvel decided to retrain its storytellers from their traditional binary good guy-bad guy storylines. Now they will use a more Japanese sensibility, with themes of self-sacrifice for the greater group's good." I'm not sure which sentence I find funniest. Another good one: " 'I don't think we're the most skilled businessmen in terms of marketing,' says Todd McFarlane". No, really? I also learned that there are "600 superstores" in the direct market which is where almost all non-superhero books are sold. And in the "voice of reason" department, in one of the side articles about licensing big characters to Hollywood (and how it's not really working so well) Mike Richardson said, "If the material is good, it doesn't matter where it comes from." Hear, hear!

Comments

Between "The Prisoner," "The New Avengers," "Space: 1999," "Hammer House of Horror" and the upcoming "Neverwhere" set, I think A&E Home Video is trying to bankrupt me.

"Marvel decided to retrain its storytellers from their traditional binary good guy-bad guy storylines. Now they will use a more Japanese sensibility, with themes of self-sacrifice for the greater group's good." I'm not sure which sentence I find funniest.


Um, er does anyone know what that Marvel guy is talking about? I haven't a clue

A&E home video -- no kidding. Luckily they always show up at Costco. And luckily we can restrain ourselves from most of them. It is rough, though...

On the Marvel thing -- god only knows what that actually means. Especially since most Marvel characters aren't really part of a group, are they? I wonder how the "storytellers" they have left feel about being "retrained" yet again?

Hi, Sarah: Glad you enjoyed our Comic-Con coverage in Variety.

The comment on the binary storylines was a prominent point made by Marvel's Bill Jemas, who said he wants very much to diversify the type of comics Marvel publishes into other genres. The point wass binary characters (where they are either good guys or bad guys with no shades of gray) aren't believable to today's audiences, especially kids. The real world isn't full of people who go around intentionally doing "bad things" the way a typical supervillain does, it's more like everyone thinks they're doing the right thing and has understandable reasons for their actions, making the conflicts much more engaging and realistic. So the basic idea of moving away from binary storytelling is to create more believable conflicts than you traditionally have in superhero comics, which can be a hard thing to sell to writers and fans who grew up with the binary mentality and think that's what comics stories are. There was not space to really expand on this point in the story, and you're right in that it's not the clearest point we made.

As for the 600 superstores number, that figure was quoted to me by more than one publishing exec, some of them quoted in the story, some not. Since accurate numbers are hard to come by in this business, it was as accurate a figure as I believe exists.

Take care.

Tom -- if you check back here; yes, I did enjoy the coverage, I think Variety covers comics very intelligently (and in general I like it a great deal -- I couldn't stand the H'wood Reporter and dropped it finally this year after we started getting Variety).

I think the bemusement everyone I know feels about Jemas' comment is because there aren't actually many "binary" characters left, most Marvel character have been 'tweeners for a while, and it's a concept people have been working with for a very long time. Also, I'm reading that in context of Jemas' every-6-months-there-is-a-new-way-to-write-comics-and-everyone-must-learn-it thing, which is a little hard to take after your friends have all lived through a few of the about-faces. (Not to mention it's one of the main reasons everyone who's mainly in comics seems to be rushing to DC these days.) Hearing about yet another one just cracked me up.

And the 600-store figure I wasn't actually disputing, although Dirk Deppey did -- I have no idea how many stores like that there are. 600 does sound a bit high, but I don't deal with the stores, and I don't really discuss it with our publisher. Most of what I do lately is in Barnes & Noble anyway...

thanks for stopping by, and keep up the good work!

Hi Sarah: I'm glad to hear you're such a major Captain Scarlet fan. I was one of the lucky ones who managed to see the good Captain in his initial American release about 1970-71. It's remained one of my very favorite shows to this day.

On that note, I think you'll be pleased to hear that an all-new Captain Scarlet comic book is in the works. It's being produced by Misc!MAYHEM Productions (www.miscmayhemprods.com), a Dallas-based comic publishing company. I'm writing the book, and, while we're still finalizing the art team, I can tell you that the uber-talented Scott Rosema will be contributing painted covers. Check out the Misc!MAYHEM site (currently being updated) and my own weblog at http://miscmayhemcaptainscarlet.blogeasy.com/ for more info. We're also doing the comic versions of SUPERCAR, FIREBALL XL5, UFO and possibly STINGRAY.

It's truly a dream come true to be able to work on this book, and I hope you'll enjoy it.

Best,

John

John,
I hate to tell you this, but I remember when Supercar, Fireball and Thunderbird's first TV runs on TV in NYC in the 60's!


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