Liefeld and Valiant and Dredd: OH SH*T!

A column article by: Steve Saunders



[A very special heads-up: Hi, there. You may know who I am. You may not. Probably not. That’s cool! We can totally be awesome friends. Here’s the thing, though: I can be pretty harsh, profane, and downright ridiculous. I’m really a nice person, or so my mom keeps telling me. But—and I stress this—if you offend pretty easily, or insist that life is always Serious Business, or if excessive profanity and semi-coherent ranting and rambling bug the shit out of you, well, this is not the Internet article you are looking for. I’ll still send you Xmas cards if you want. Wait. Did I just use “article” in a sentence to describe this here STD? Oh, I kill me.]

Thanks to the miracle of medication, I am able to sit down and focus on getting this stuff done for a change. I won’t lie to you, between some health issues and a pile of work, I’ve had a heckuva time trying to ratchet down my time and attention span and get this shit done. So, to Jason and Nick, I apologize. And, uh, sorry to the other three people who were wanting this second installment for the last few months (have you taken your meds today, fans?).
Here’s how STD goes: My stalwart and most awesome editor Nick tosses me some subjects, whether they are all his ideas or mine—but I make them look like his ideas because it’s better for entertainment value; writing is all lies, right?—and I address each one briefly. Then I pick one subject and expand on it a bit. This “being more succinct” thing should be a bit easier for me now, thanks to modern chemistry. We start with THE RAMBLE and make our way to THE POINT. This way you can skip the pre-ramble and get to whatever subject I want to dronethump* on about. Let’s go find out, shall we?
(*Please Note: I won’t be using that “word” again for the rest of this piece. What the hell is up with me and trying to neologismize everything? Damn my neolexican eyes!)
Or I may throw that format out of the goddamn window and do something else; like an interview… or talk about My Little Pony.


Now, I will be completely honest with you, I haven’t been keeping up with the comics industry much. I won’t launch into my disinterest in superhero comics, etc, but my interests swing more towards role-playing games, sci-fi, fantasy, your mom and anything undead. But enough explaining and justifying. Let’s get to entertaining you and/or pissing you off somehow. (Not that I want to piss you off, but chances are you’re a comic nerd, and come on, if shit with Superman can piss you off…)
I took some time to read up on these issues, and let me tell you, my time is incredibly valuable. I could be writing a gaming adventure or a Cthulhu comic or something; but no, here I am for YOU, dear reader. Where’s my bitchin’ parade already?




(“Hey, Steve, hasn’t the ramble already started?” Oh, you readers are so, so funnysauce.)

Diamond Gets Dropped by Comic Publisher...It's Bluewater

Ah, Bluewater. I remember this bunch. Nice folks from what I recall. You may know them as the company who publish biographic comics that connoisseurs of sequential art love, like Michelle Obama, Princess Di, your mom, and other such things that all comic nerds are climbing the walls for (surely!). They also publish Vincent Price Presents, which is a title I enjoy. In fact, my good pal Matthew McLean wrote an excellent story called “The Dunkirk Horror” for one issue.

Hey, just doing my part to bring Palin jokes back.

Hey, just doing my part to bring Palin jokes back.

I suppose I could research this one more. I suppose I could spend more than three seconds thinking on it. Was Diamond dropped because Bluewater are saying “Screw you, The Man!”? Or is it something to do with Diamond’s end of things. I’ll leave that to the actual really real “comic book journalists” out there to deal with; you know, the types who probably tire of writing about the history of comics, or the 131st prize-winning piece on how important Maus is as sequential art. They need love, my friends. I love them very much, and I would love to say that’s why I’m not bothering with this one… but really it’s because that beyond a few (possibly) blithely witty quips from me, I would be most likely bored out of my goddamned mind.

Next subject.



Rob Liefeld Leaves DC Because of Editorial Interference


Oh, dear. Rob Liefeld.
Years ago, I wrote All the Rage. As a matter of fact, I was the final writer of All the Rage. I quit for a variety of reasons, the top one being that I wasn’t paid enough to deal with all the shit I did (then again, I was paid nothing—unless you include the currency of fuckballs-crazy emails, John Byrne fans sacrificing babies to the dark gods in hope that I die, and other wonderful things that made my now ex-wife oh-so-pleased at the time… in which case I became a goddamn millionaire overnight). Not that I was the best writer for the ATR job, mind (HAH! Beat you to the punch!). Long story short, I interviewed Liefeld as a result of my first looong-winded column, and I guess that angered many a Newsarama reader, I guess. They were easy to rile up. But I actually liked Rob and my interview with him turned out to be -- dare I say it? -- FUN.

Now, let’s be fair. Rob Liefeld’s art is… well, it’s just not my thing. I guess it’s lot of people’s not-thing, but he does do an occasional bit (usually Deadpool) that I enjoy.

Anyhowitzer, Rob Liefeld does jump on a bunch of projects and then leaves them it seems. I don’t know why. I’ll leave that to be another thing comics journos try to figure the hell out. The very fact that good ol’ God-lovin’ Rob is still in the comics news cycle on a regular basis is a feat of its own. I don’t mean to insult Mr. Liefeld, either. I actually, as I’ve said before all over the Internets, like him personally.
But I would be a spoilsport if I didn’t say “Editorial interference? Was he trying to draw boobs on Deathstroke or something? ‘It’s Boobstroke or I’m out!’ I’m pretty sure that’s how the editorial meeting went. Stick to your manboob guns, Rob!”
Also, Rob Liefeld at DC comics actually got me interested in DC comics again (Again? I guess I read Batman and Green Lantern once upon a time—Oh, and Vigilante; I really enjoyed that one). Take that how you will. But I will add that if DC ever did AD&D comics again, I would totally love to see Liefeld on them. Think about it: Liefeld does Drow and we bet B’reast-Me’n Do’urdteat. Imagine the bugbears and xorn (xorns?) he could draw. Spelljammer by Rob Liefeld.
I would buy the shit out of that title. And you think I’m kidding. Fools.

That logo is STILL sexay.

That logo is STILL sexay.

Also-also: What the heck is up with that terrible new logo, DC? Yikes.

For our amusement, I am reading through Liefeld’s Twitter feed -- I really should keep up on Twitter more -- and I guess he also had a bit of shit with Scott Snyder, who I guess wrote Batman? I dunno. I know he writes a kick ass Swamp Thing. I fucking love that book. And Marco Rudy is probably one of my top three fave art talents in the biz right now.

Hey, Marco, you reading this? You totally rule, sir. SWAMP THING (has to be ALLCAPS, kids) also (also, also) got me interested in DC comics again. I might even start reading this pile of Hellblazer comics I haven’t gotten around to. As long as Rob Liefeld doesn’t draw Hell--

Enough Liefeld (sorry, Rob). Next subject.

Kinda getting a little creepy, Steve—Ed.

Kinda getting a little creepy, Steve—Ed.


I still like you, too, Rob.



Marvel NOW! "New Coke" for the Comics Crowd?

What… what the poop is “Marvel NOW!”? I still think Ultimate Marvel is new, for Abnett’s Sake. I do remember New Coke. I don’t get why people hated it… I suppose it’s because soda pop is VERY FUCKWOW IMPORTANT. Seriously, to hell with landing on Mars. Was Dr. Pepper involved? WAS IT?

I don’t think so. Screw Mars. I bet Marvel hates Mars, anyway.

I heard Comic Sans was the most professional font to use.

I heard Comic Sans was the most professional font to use.

Looking up Marvel NOW! on Wikipedia

Right. So it’s launching everything from #1 again. Blah blah blah. Shifting of the Marvel Universe… blah blah blah… Ah, I see. I so don’t care about this. Like, ever. Maybe my kids will read it. Maybe there will be a title I dig. But I find is utterly impossible to give a single fuck otherwise. You may give a fuck—and that is totally cool. You have my permission.

Also (also, also): Fuck. Just in case you haven’t got enough of the word “fuck”. Here to serve, fucks. Er, folks.


Also, also, also-also: Now, If Marvel NOW!!!! was like the New Cocaine for the comics crowd, I would be more than on board that Crazytrain of Vorpal Awesome.

What? You look at me as if cocaine is a bad thing.

What’s wrong? Don’t you like Captain America?

What’s wrong? Don’t you like Captain America?

Just be glad I didn’t work in a Liefeld-boobies-Captain America + cocaine “joke”, okay? Remember: There is always something worse.

Next subject. NOW.





The New Hobo Superman Movie and What It Might Mean for the Future of DC Films


Hobo what? Superman? Does he have a shotgun? He better have a SHOTGUN. That shoots Hellfire. And he better ride a flaming motorcycle. And fight angry Kryptonian demon-guuls. And does Superman have a kickass sidekick who looks like Moon Knight, acts like Moon Knight, and is 457.37 times more Crazy? There: I just wrote you a good Ghost Rider film.

As for Superman, I, uh… It’s Superman. I better look this stuff up.

No. Wait. No. Wait, no. Fuck Superman. I’m done with Superman—UNLESS HE (OR SHE) (OR BETTER: HE/SHE) IS A COCAINE-FUELED HOBO SPIDER.

BAM—Have the money dump truck pull up to my front door.

BAM—Have the money dump truck pull up to my front door.


I’m sure the film will be a lot of fun…despite the lack of drug-crazed killer spiders; and I love that dude from The Tudors.

(No more cocaine jokes, Steve—ed.)
(Fine, fine; I probably overdid it a bit.)



Should we bring back Liberality For All?


(Note: This was my idea. Nick said when I suggested this, and I quote, “Man, I'd forgotten about Liberality for All, thanks for messing up my day.” Er, sorry, Nick.)


Of course I mean to add “we need more indie fetish marmot porn comics and less news pundits and convicted felons as superheroes”.

Seriously, who does this guy think he is?

Seriously, who does this guy think he is?

I was going to include an image with something funny on it. But go ahead and Google Image Search some pages of this masterpiece of comics literature. To be completely serious for a moment, there is no way I can top the comedy that is already within its pages. Sean Hannity is a freedom fighter. That’s all you need to know before you run off thanking me for giving you a good reason to stop reading all of this…



The Resurrection of Valiant Comics: A Viable Alternative to the Big Two?


I really wish I could go into an entire article on how much I’m loving Valiant Comics right now. In short, the answer is an atomically resounding YESX-O Manowar is, in the most eloquent of terms, fucking badass. Its story and art grab you and never let go. I have a little rave of the first issue here, if you’re interested. Harbinger is bringing it hardcore (I don’t even know if that makes sense, but go with me here) and Josh Dysart should be give a truckload of awards for being one of the best sequential storytellers ever. Trust me: Pick up some Valiant. You will not regret it. I loved Valiant back in the old days, too, so I may be biased.

But Gothic Buck Rogers? YES, PLEASE.

Sadly, no pictures of Alaric in space have survived.

Sadly, no pictures of Alaric in space have survived.

Ah, look! I’ve gotten to…




Dear Steve, can you please gush about 2000 AD and Judge Dredd?

To give you an idea in the chaotic, seat-of-my-pants-that-are-actually-attached-to-my-face style in which I write this sort of thing, this is actually the last bit I’m writing for it. That end part? Done days ago. I’ve had a birthday, a sickness, job interviews, a new job, and an interview I conducted for 2000 AD with actress Olivia Thirlby who plays Judge Anderson in the film Dredd 3D. Much of the above is probably out of date, or behind the curve, or whatever, but let’s leave it in there for the sake of poster—posterorir—something to do with posteriors, I’m sure.

Now, I mentioned I interviewed Olivia Thirlby. Yes, I’m quite excited about that! I have been a huge Judge Dredd fan ever since I first read the 2000 AD comics in 1982. I have a Judge Anderson figure -- you know, the one with severe scoliosis -- on my desk right here.

Yes, I pointed that out to Olivia. No, she doesn’t know we’re on a first name basis.

Go ahead and read the interview here.

A new Judge Dredd film is gracing theatres… Already in Britain and then in North America come my mom’s birthday (that’s the 21st of September—why don’t you know when my mother’s birthday is, you jerks???). Dredd 3D is already wowing the hell out of 2000 ad fans and critics alike. People do compare it to another film that went into production around the same time, The Raid, and they also compare it to Die Hard, and you know what? Those awesome films are missing one important key element.


Here’s a hint.

Here’s a hint.

To me, there is no greater comic book than 2000 AD. I am a lifelong rabid fan of that whackjob anthology series. The comic writers who have influenced me the most come from there: Alan Moore, Dan Abnett, Gordon Rennie, Pat Mills, John Wagner and many more. Same goes for artists. I have such a nerd hard-on for 2000 AD that I decided Spaced was my favorite TV comedy of all time simply because they mentioned the death of Johnny Alpha.

And I’m not even remotely British. Seriously, I think the UK has preemptively disowned me.

Few things capture my imagination like the pages of 2000 AD did and still does. Whether it’s Judge DreddStrontium DogFiends of the Eastern FrontABC WarriorsRogue TrooperDurham Red (who’s also on my desk), Future Shocks, or even Big Dave, the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic has been providing my hungry brain and bitter soul with thrill power on a regular basis for thirty years. There’s only one problem… why aren’t more Americans, Canadians, and folks out there in love with this comic, too?

I feel they should be. Then again, it always breaks down to “YMMV” and so I can understand if it’s not, and please pardon the expression, your cup of tea.

I don’t think I have a point here other than that I am super excited for DREDD 3D. I’m also super excited for Mongoose’s Judge Dredd Miniatures Block War Kickstarter.

More and more Non-British people are starting to get into Judge Dredd and 2000 AD. IDW in the States has an American version of Dredd hitting shelves soon, and all the positive press the new film is getting doesn’t hurt one bit. The Judge Dredd tabletop RPG is also doing decently, I hear, and Rebellion—the video game company who happily owns 2000 AD—have mentioned that they are considering a new Judge Dredd video game. Unless I hallucinated that? I don’t know, maybe I did. But there’s also Judge Dredd vs. Zombies for the iPad, which I can tell you is great fun!

Is it… is it possible that we are hitting the Dreddtimes? I hope to Grud we are. Judge Dredd is a comic that encapsulates action, great stories, social satire, pointed social commentary, parody and straight up comedy. It’s grimdark and cynical, to be sure, but it’s funny, as well. 2000 AD and the Dreddverse really do capture British observational culture at its heart, and I can’t get enough of it. Dredd has been with 2000 AD #2 on a weekly basis since 1977. Yes, before Star Wars in 1977. I wasn’t even two years old yet. He and the rest of Tooth have went through some pretty heavy changes cosmetically and owner-wise over the last 35 years. But the attitude of editor-in-chief, The Mighty Tharg, and his dedicated staff droids has always remained solid and consistent. I know a lot of you are Whovians out there, and that’s awesome—I love Doctor Who—but to me 2000 AD is the true British Empire, and not one single sun sets on the Betelgeusian Flag of Tharg, Quaequam Blag!!!

Go look for yourself, Earthlets. Just go here. And for more, well, Google is your friend. Or drop me a line and I’ll set your thrill-lacking ass straight. Happy to help.

Hey, I’ll go out on a dangerous limb here. I know I was taking the piss concerning Rob Liefeld earlier, but I would actually like to see him tackle a Dredd strip sometime. See, he’s influenced by Simon Bisley, and I know he’s a fan of Bisley’s work… so, seeing Rob take on Judge Dredd or Sláine would be pretty goddamned zarjaz.

Yes, I know a great many of you are, like, “ARE YOU HIGH, STEVE?”

Nope. Not high. I just love weird, cool, and kooky shit, is all. Hold on… someone is pounding on my door.



If you're interested in Judge Dredd and such, but don't know where to start, I recommend reading this excellent piece by my good friend Edward Kaye (Oh, um, sorry to out you as a friend of mine, Ed).



And there we go. Another STD down. Will there be another one? Who knows? I mean, Jason Sacks could be sending a hit squad out for me right now. I know how he’d have them nail me, too, as Jason is a cunning and smart bastard. The Stevesassins would show up at my house and offer me some bourbon. Then more bourbon. Then more. Then they would have me get on one of my girlfriend’s kids razor-scooters (or whatever the hell you call them) and I would be dead in seconds. Not like I would refuse, right? That shit seems super fun when you’re hammered. It’s the perfect kill.

So, is anyone left still reading this? Are you regretting it yet? Heck, I’m not sure if I’m still in the game anymore and this could very well be one of my kids typing this stuff.

If you are still one of those poor motherfuckers reading this, I invite suggestions as to what I should cover in STD. Email me, message me, leave a comment, throw a rock at me with a note attached (extra points if it’s written in blood), etc. I’ll consider them and even credit you if you want your name forever tarnished in the hallowed halls of the bullshit I write.

Oh, and to answer your question, it’s ADHD medication. Surprise! I know, right? Oh hey, have I told you about my squirrel collection dedicated to my favorite color blue—no, green—no, purple—no, airplane—

Be seeing you.

I’d read this comic.

I’d read this comic.





Steve Saunders writes and edits things when people let him. Sometimes they even pay him for it (damned fools). He has a variety of things going on at all times, and he mostly keeps his crappy website updated. Mostly. Quit being a lazypants and check it out, maybe. Here are some links for you to click on when you get bored with the rest of the internet.

Steve’s Page
Steve on Tumblr
Steve on Facebook
Steve on Twitter
Steve on your mom
Email Steve if you wanna!


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