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Hamster Rage

By Steven G Saunders
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Howdy, folks! The new “Doctor” is in. I hope you had a good week and that the upcoming one treats you well. As always I love to hear from you! The response I’ve received since taking over at All the Rage has been overwhelmingly positive and great all around. I thank those of you who have contacted me for it, for everything from kind words to poignant and helpful criticisms. I strongly encourage you to have your voice heard either via email or in Steve’s Rage Cage. A new thing I would like to introduce is the ATR version of a letters section. Let’s say you don’t want to start a thread in the forums yourself, or you wish to maintain your privacy, or you are just plain lazy; email me and state what you wish (about whatever you think is appropriate for ATR; be it a complaint, idea, whacked speculation, opinion—whatever!) and I shall post it in the forums (sans your identity if you so wish). Sound good? Good. Let’s see if we can get our own fine frothing community of obsessive nerds, eh? All I ask is that you try to at least attempt at playing nice, or you will get the hose again.

Here’s what’s in store for you: Some words I typed up on that DC Teaser Image that popped up a few days back; some babble on a NYCC video; my take on The Boys being cancelled; me yapping about some things over on the Marvel side; a little in the way of UK comics tidbits; a fantastic installment of Indie Front; and more!

Now get reading. And be glad you aren’t a hamster.


A Picture Worth 52,000 Multi-Words



As I’m sure many of you already know, DC sent out a “teaser” (which you see above) that means… Something. All that accompanied this image to the various news outlets was “Let the battle cry be heard in the land, a shout of great destruction”. What does it mean? That’s something oodles of you have been contemplating and debating passionately about for days now. Then there was that cracked code which says, “The secret of Fifty-Two is that the Multiverse still exists”. Very interesting. Destruction, the Multiverse, Batman looking all snazzy…
What do I know? Glad you asked!

Probably nothing you haven’t guessed already, BUT unlike many of you I have marmots trained in the sneaky ways ninjitsu. DC’s sentry droids messily dispatched most of them, but a few got out with some possibly useful data. What I know is the following: Expect more teasers up to when DC announces something big at the upcoming New York Comic Con (Feb. 23rd-25th); that announcement will most probably be a weekly Multiverse book. Does the teaser image have anything to do with World War III? That’s uncertain, since WW3 was put together rather quickly. I’m sure there’ll be crossover with them, though. See Superman being all emo, there? Why is he like that? Other than being able to get so close to Wonder Woman, I mean (what?). Is it because Lois dies? Pa Kent? Did he switch to Geico? Hmmm… Lois dying would sure be interesting, wouldn’t it? You never know, but I’d put my money on that. Then again, I’ve never liked Lois Lane much at all.

‘Rama also have this in regards to the above image: http://www.newsarama.com/dcnew/WWIII/bigteaserimage.html

Can you out figure out its secrets?

This Has A “Needs More Hamsters” Factor Of Seven Out Of Ten


Video Ramped Up the Comic Book Star

There’s this video going around that’s an advert for New York Comic Con. Have you seen it? It’s great! Watch it HERE. Rampant rumour speculates that DC helped fund this video because some of their people are in it and that you see some indie folks that DC supposedly wants to work with. However, my kobolds tell me another story… One in which NYCC hired Neal Adams’ production company (Continuity Studios: http://www.nealadams.com/) to do the nifty vid and since he’s tight with DC these days, that’s why you see who you see. Or so I hear…

Oh, and what of the certain attractive woman in the video a few of you are talking about? I hear that she’s someone’s girlfriend and that she was included to up the “sex factor” a bit. But, really, that’s pure conjecture on my kobold’s part (and mine now, as well).

This Has A “Will We Ever See Banderas Voice A Hamster-Bee?” Factor Of Seven Out Of Ten


The Boys Will Be The Boys, But Not With DC

Terrible news. This week a rumour broke that DC was cancelling Wildstorm title The Boys. I was taken aback (and not just because of what you might think *wink*). The Boys was the title I looked most forward to picking up! #7 was advertised! It was supposed to be out… like anytime now! ARRRGGHH!! DC apparently declined to comment or even confirm the cancellation. And no, they won’t talk to me. I guess I shouldn’t have eaten their babies, huh? (Kidding-- Aiiieeee!)

Anyway, yeah, The Boys is canned. That sucks. Speculation abounds over why, of course. Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson are being wisely tight-lipped about this for the time being, but they both did state the following (all statements found in Robertson’s forum http://www.darickr.com/speak/)...

Said Darick:
    It became obvious that DC was not the right home for 'The Boys'. DC is being good about reverting our rights so we can find a new publisher and we're in the process of doing that now. I'm continuing to work exclusively for DC in the meantime. I want to thank Scott Dunbier and Ben Abernathy at Wildstorm for all their hard work.
And…
    We've been flooded with great offers and will be deciding soon on the new home for 'the Boys'. We will be back and soon. Hopefully everyone will be there to welcome us back.
Annnnd…
    I can't really discuss the details of all of this as I am remaining under contract with DC who overall are being very cool about this. Other than the awkwardness of the BOYS being cancelled abruptly (and no 7 wasn't printed) I am enjoying my work with DC very much. Being that the book is creator owned from the start, we are working to amicably get our rights reverted to us and choosing our new publisher. I'm still working with Wildstorm for the foreseeable future and doing a couple issues of ‘52’ for DCU, with more projects on the way after that. Once The Boys gets a new home, I'll be doing the book and projects for DCU and WS as long as every one's happy with that arrangement.
Then Garth:
    Thank you to everyone who's bought and supported The Boys to date. I've gotten a real kick out of the response we've gotten over the first six issues, and I'm looking forward to getting stuck into the next fifty-four. Believe me, what we've got coming up will make #1-6 look like a quiet evening on Sesame Street. One other thing: I want to say thank you to Ben Abernathy, Scott Dunbier and Jim Lee for all their help and support. Good guys, pleasant to deal with, never anything less than gentlemen. I'm going to miss doing the book with them.
So, yeah, it seems everything will go fine and we should expect The Boys up and running in no time.

Who will pick it up? That’s a great question! It’s not like the Boys is a terrible seller (considering the content), and I’m sure that several publishers are clambering to have it on their roster. The fan favourite I have seen so far is Avatar, since Ennis does stuff and has good relations with them. My picks are either Image or Dark Horse, both having the “push” power I feel The Boys needs. Some folks have said that The Boys will go to Marvel’s MAX or Icon imprints. Trust me when I say that this is the most unlikely of options, and isn’t going to happen (anything is possible, however).

Just WHY was The Boys cancelled anyway? It seemed quite out of the blue. Was it the violence? Surely not… Look at the other Wildstorm titles and DC’s Vertigo imprint. Was it the sexual content? Maybe. I’m sure that bit with the hamster was worried over by someone. I even thought one issue was a bit gratuitous with the sex, but it didn’t change my mind on the comic, you know? I’m quite certain that the cancellation has nothing to do with Robertson or Ennis personally. The Wildstorm bunch seems like a good lot, as do the folks at DC. Maybe this was all for the best then.

I’d like to wish Darick and Garth all the best from ATR and I hope to speak to them when The Boys finds a new home. *does “call me” gesture*

This Has A “Hamster Humpty Dance” Factor Of Two Out Of Ten


(Yeah, I’m still bummed… What? I said I was bummed… What’s so funny?)


Marvel Noodlings

Here are some Marvel odds and ends my gnomes have managed to dig up (or throw out there), some of which are reader requests…

The super-talented Phil Jimenez, who is doing the Free Comic Book Day offering Spider-Man: Swing Shift (with Dan Slott), won’t be doing any more work for Marvel. Right now, anyway…

Having noticed that I’m seeing more of Bucky, Jack Flag, Patriot and U.S. Agent around and that Marvel has big plans for Captain America I just had to have my gnomes go deep undercover and find out more. They managed to dig up that Marvel plans for red, white and blue to be the new colours for 2007. Could this mean everyone taking turns being Cap? I’ve had a feeling something like this might happen. I don’t know if I’ll bet on it quite yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

Show of hands of who read Civil War: The Return. Anyone else go “Aw, $%#^! Captain Marvel? I was hoping against hope they wouldn— Hey, this isn’t so bad…” like I did? Yes, Mar-vell is back, and they managed to do it without it sucking (least I thought so). He will die again, folks, just so you are aware (or rather, he knows he will die… he may yet live a long life; we’ll see how it’s worked out). Looks like the beginning to something interesting. I will keep my ear to the ground, don’t you worry.

I directly pestered Marvel for this one, actually (which was also submitted by a reader): "When is Tony Stark going to wake up in the shower and realize Civil War has just been a dream?"

The answer, from someone at Marvel not wishing for anyone to know that I talked to them (maybe they have tasty babies?): “When Patrick Duffy is cast in the Iron Man movie.”

This Has A “’Captain Hamster’ Certainly Has A Ring To It” Factor Of Five Out Of Ten


Indie Front: Scribbling Dice-Slinging Devils While Falling for Athena

Continuing on my quest for great independent comics and publishers, I offer you another installment of Indie Front! Remember, if you are an indie reader, publisher, or creator, feel free to contact me. I should also note that I have another column coming up soon called “Indiephile” in which I yabble even more about the metric tonnes of indies I read on a weekly basis.



The first thing up is something I must sing glorious praises for. Evenfall, by Pete Stathis, is an epic journey of fantasy, self-destruction, horror, mystery and redemption. It takes place over 3 books, 2 of which I have already read (the third being in production). If you are looking for something that is not the same as so many other comics out there, I implore you: please check out Evenfall. I was riveted while reading it, hooked into a great story with rollercoaster-like twists and turns. Not only that, but the “fantasy” presented is not the standard fare (Faire? Hehe) we are used to and yet it’s not too weird or over-the-top. Mr. Stathis really knows how to weave terrific tale, one that will have you on the edge of your seat the whole time. The characters, from the deeply troubled female lead to the supporting case are deep, complex and endearing. Once again, I implore you to read this comic. Much more information can be found here: http://www.petestathis.com/.

Keeping with the theme of stuff that is new, interesting and downright cool, I’d like to direct your attention to Silent Devil Productions. Perhaps you have heard of them? No? Shame on you, then!! Dracula vs. King Arthur should be required reading at Comic Fanboy/girl College; it’s one of the best things I’ve read in years. Other great comics like Furious Fist of the Drunken Monkey, Antigone, Death Comes to Dillinger, Dracula vs. Capone, The Devil’s Panties, Amerikan Freak, and more are published by Silent Devil. They put up some great webcomics, too, like Super Frat (which has been featured in ATR before), Fiction Clemens, After-Lifers and more! There are some great things to experience over here: http://www.silentdevil.com.



For you tabletop gamers out there, and I know there are a few reading, I would like to point you in the direction of Knights of the Dinner Table Magazine. This monthly publication is one of the top things on my pull list and I salivate in anticipation of each issue! KoDT is part comic book (detailing the uproarious lives of gamers B.A., Bob, Dave, Brian and Sara; as well as some others, like the Black Hands group) and part magazine (new rules for HackMaster and other gaming info, reviews, comics news, Noah Antwiler’s acerbically delightful movie rants, and more) which is balanced so perfectly that it would sicken most sane people. If you’re a gamer grognerd and aren’t reading KoDT, there is precious little time to save your soul from its current suffering. Get thee to http://www.kenzerco.com/ as quickly as possible!

I would like to make mention of the awesome and downright maddening (maddeningly awesome?) ride of an original graphic novel, The Scribbler by Dan Schaffer (out on Image). Dan brought us the rightly critically lauded Dogwitch a few years back and now pummels us with more of his outstanding twisted vision and concepts. This is what they say about the book:
    This 96-page, black-and-white sci-fi thriller looks into a future where technology has enabled humankind to eliminate multiple personalities. Called the ‘Siamese Burn,’ the process filters out unwanted personas, leaving the minds of the patients clear and free from disabling inner voices. But for Suki, a participant in the radical new program, the personality she’s left with is not the one she wanted. Has the machine liberated her – or condemned her to a life imprisoned by unwelcome character traits and feelings?
I don’t know if I’m a better person for reading The Scribbler, but I can say with certainty than my life is much more interesting for doing so. This is a highly enjoyable work that I sternly recommend. You read that? Sternly. Take it for a spin, I doubt you’ll be disappointed. Mr. Schaffer’s website: http://www.danielschaffer.com/.

Before we move on with the rest of ATR, I’d like to just say that Ape Entertainment’s Athena Voltaire: The Collected Webcomics is in stores this month! If you haven’t read Athena Voltaire, you are SO missing out. Go to http://www.ape-entertainment.com/ for more info on comics’ most beautiful, deadly, pre-WWII era, aviatrix adventurer and heroine, Athena Voltaire! Don’t forget to take a look at the other AV comics that are available, too.

This Has A “The Hamster Joke Is Now Done So Let The Dice Fall Where They May” Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten


Comicarchy in the UK: Zombie Massacre

Slow week on my end with UK comics stuff, and no 2000AD offerings this time around, sorry. I’ll touch on some things of interest briefly…

Looking around the Internets I came across Massacre for Boys (http://www.massacreforboys.co.uk/), which seems to be a site for primarily webcomics (which seem rather interesting) and a print comic called Walking Wounded. These guys have a great sense of humour! Look for a new issue of Walking Wounded in March.



I happened upon Accent Comics (http://www.accentukcomics.com/), who like to put out anthologies (like Pirates and Monsters), the latest in the works concerns zombies. Yay! I love zombie comics. The sample pages look great. Some you are looking at right now, and the rest are here. I’m happy I shambled into Accent Comics! Now it is on my list of things to pick up when it comes out in the future.




Looking for some more great stuff? Take a gander at Rol Hirst’s The Jock. It’s been well received and for good reason! For more on it, go here: http://www.rolhirst.co.uk/thejock.htm.



Oh, yeah! Nominations are open for the 2006 Eagle Awards. Go HERE (hyperlink: http://www.eagleawards.co.uk/) and nominate away.

I know I said there was nothing regarding 2000AD this week, but I just thought I’d offer something Tooth related anyway (yes, yes, “Steve is a filthy liar”). You may have seen it before, but just in case you haven’t, here’s a link to a great article on what’s upcoming in 2007 with the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic.

Please send information or whatever you want regarding UK comics and the people who love them to me.

This Has A “Can Zombie Eagles Still Vote?” Factor Of Seven Out Of Ten


Comic Web: Optimus Wound Goes Ape For Rooster Teeth!

Here are some fun webcomics to dig your eyes into!

Want to read a funny comic about dastardly cute Transformers and their pals? Lil Formers is quite entertaining: http://www.lilformers.com/home.php



This is probably one of the best, and cutest, webcomics I have discovered in awhile. There’s some great wallpaper to be found, too.

Ever watch Red vs. Blue? I find it hilarious, usually. They also have started doing their own comics, which are also hilarious. Check it out: http://rvb.roosterteeth.com/home.php.

Optimum Wound provides two excellent comics, Memento Mori and Battles Without Living Witnesses. It’s always nice to see action or horror webcomics that are more serious in tone. Go here: http://www.webcomicsnation.com/optimumwound/

Last but not least by a long ways are Ape Entertainment’s webcomics! There’s a few HERE that you may like, including How I Met My Wife, Once Upon a Time in Manga Land, Birth of a Legend and a few more! Make sure to allow pop-ups so you can read the comics.

Seen a cool webcomic you think I would enjoy enough to share with others? Send it my way!

This Has A “Lil Shockwave Is Too Damn Cute!” Factor Of Eight Out Of Ten


Blogonaut: 2 Great Blogs

And now a quick jaunt through a couple links I’ve pulled from the “blogosphere”…

The Absorbascon (http://absorbascon.blogspot.com/) was recommended to me by a reader. Not bad at all! I like it. It’s well written and focuses on DC material, which is great; for I am always looking for more informational outlets that talk about DC. This is most definitely a blog worth reading.

Lost Property (http://lostpropertybybolt-01.blogspot.com/) is about, as it says at the top, “comics and ramblings from a UK small press publisher”. What great ramblings they are! The blog-author also does a strip called Jon & Gorath, which I’m finding to be quite nice. I recognise this fellow from the 2000AD boards… so, Dave if you’re reading: Great work, man!

This Has A “Bolts, Blogs, And Abs” Factor Of Eight Out Of Ten


There you have it. Another week down. It’s been a crazy week on my end with a whole lot of crap trying to keep me from getting this darned column done right. But I’m not one to just give up because of a few hassles (or psychotic robo-hamsters), so here you go.

One last plug: A good buddy of mine whom I do the MediaGauntlet site with (http://www.mediagauntlet.com), just turned the big three-oh. In recognition of this lofty geriatric landmark I want to link you to the novel/anthology he just put together: http://stores.lulu.com/ryanspeck. I’ve read “The Big Rusty Lie” and found it to be quite amusing. Then again, I’m partial to gnomes. Check it out if you get the chance. I know… it’s a book and not a comic, but maybe you’ll dig it.

I sincerely hope you had a good time reading this! Here are some other places I can be found:
Livejournal: http://synabetic.livejournal.com
ComicSpace: http://www.comicspace.com/steven_g_saunders/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/synabetic

Lest we forget, I write the column Manga Hunter S over at Manga Life (expect a new MHS soon!) and keep your eyes peeled for Indiephile.

Until next time dear readers…


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