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6 Rock Stars Turned Comic Writers (Article) - 8/20/2009 2:25:11 PM

Not to get into genre hairsplitting, but let's see: Gene Simmons is straight rock and roll (Kiss isn't metal; I will fight for that).  Jyrki 69 is Gothic rock.  Danzig is metal, as is Rob Zombie.  Niles played bass for a punk band.  Gerard Way sings for a pop-punk band.  That's one rock and roll, one Gothic rock, two metal, and two punk.  I didn't include MF Grimm, because he's a rapper.  The column is about rock music.  I didn't include people that started in comics and moved to music, like Alan Moore (who, in fact, performs in Northampton with a couple of different projects).  There simply aren't a whole lot of rock stars that have moved into comics.  These were the only ones I knew of, outside of Claudio Sanchez, whom I hadn't heard of until today.  If I missed some that are from other genres, feel free to let me know and I'll cover them in another column.

6 Rock Stars Turned Comic Writers (Article) - 8/20/2009 11:17:46 AM

Dude, plenty of people have heard of Gray Matter.  They were never as big as MCR, but they're popular in the underground.  Dischord Records is legendary in the hardcorse scene, and they're still around.  And, the connection was too good to pass up, even though Niles has obviously made more of a name for himself as a writer.

5 Comic Vampires That Kick TWILIGHT's Ass (Article) - 8/13/2009 9:47:14 AM

Oh, for Goth's sake.

Kurt here.  Look, I write serious critical pieces all the time.  Rarely do I indulge in this sort of Internet jackassery, but I know that people like this kind of stuff.  I thought I would do something fun for readers that slog through my usual doctoral theses on comics.  In a way, it's harder for me to write fluff like this week's piece than reams of serious commentary and analysis.  I don't actually hate Twilight all that much, because it seems like every generation has its crappy teen vampire novel.  For mine, it was Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite (who has since grown into a fine writer) and, to an extent, Interview with the Vampire (only because it's had amazing staying power; and Anne Rice has become a worse writer).  I read two or three pages out of Twilight and the writing was atrocious, so I don't have a lot of sympathy, though.  I thought the movie was sort of okay.  But, a lot of geeks can't stand the series, so--as someone who likes vampires in comics--I thought I'd give them something fun.  I promise we'll go back to school next week.


5 Movies That Should Be Comics (Article) - 7/23/2009 10:56:58 AM

Hey guys, Kurt here.  I didn't put the Matrix because it's had two volumes of comics based on it.  It's the same with Underworld--IDW has put out a some stuff, including a prequel miniseries that was basically invalidated by Rise of the Lycans.  Hancock isn't on there because, from what I understand, it's more or less Scientologist propaganda.  No, just no.  Dark City is a good suggestion.  Harry Potter I was kind of leary about because I haven't seen the last couple of movies (nor am I a huge fan of the series).  Regardless of my personal feelings, I didn't feel like I was qualified to make story suggestions.

5 Reasons New Comic Writers Fail (Article) - 7/2/2009 9:09:54 AM


I should clarify that while online comics are certainly a viable option, I mostly focus on print here.  There's nothing against going digital, but I'm going down with the paper boat right now.  I probably should've clarified that, but you know that I rarely deal with digital stuff outside of Freakangels and a couple of other exceptions (still need to do a piece about Zuda).

Most guys that I talk to that want to write comics want an actual comic book in their hands, despite the obvious benefits of going digital.  As far as keeping at it--fuck yes, do it until you're good at it and ignore the naysayers.  It sounds cynical, but no matter WHAT you do, someone will like it.  There are aspects of my own book that I think are pure ass but other people like for some reason.  Tastes vary.  

By all means, if you want to try your hand with less risk, digital is a good way to go.  If it works out, you can always drop your stuff into a PDF and send it off to the printer.  But, if you want to go straight to paper, then heed my warnings.  HEEEEEEED THEM!!!  Ahem.

On Price Hikes and Ripples (Article) - 6/25/2009 10:28:47 AM


As I said in the piece, Marvel's price increase wouldn't necessarily lead to a concurrent price increase among independent publishers.  But, independent comics are already $4 or $5, sometimes higher.  Now, Marvel's books are hitting a similar price point.  If market forces (the cost of hiring a penciller, the cost of paper, printing, et al) increase (which they will), they may push the cost of indy books into a range that most readers will find unacceptable under any circumstances.  For instance, Wizard costs $6 now.  I'm not paying that much for a magazine.  I might pay it for a comic, but unless Wizard comes packaged with some kind of goody I just must have, I don't need it that badly because I can get the same news and information from the web for free.  When a reader considers an independent comic, he is taking a risk on something that might be awful.  I've dropped $5 on small press books that were amateurish and borderline unreadable.  At $4, a Marvel book is more of a sure thing for some people, knowing there's a baseline of quality there.  With money being tight all around--and assuming that most people won't quit comics altogether--if someone has to decide between a new X-book for $4 and an unknown for $6, I think they're more likely to grab the Marvel title.

A New BATMAN In Town (Article) - 6/24/2009 3:22:18 PM

Yeah, I remember the listing. Moore's quote on Dead Souls #2 has really helped the book out a lot. Now, if only I had more of an advertising budget. I actually got my first really nasty review in a New Orleans free monthly rag called Antigravity. Check it out here:

It's pretty clear that they only skimmed the book and the review is more snark than constructive criticism. And, it's not that I'm suggesting you write them at or anything to let them know what you think, but that's how a person would do such a thing, if they (hypothetically) wanted to.

A New BATMAN In Town (Article) - 6/24/2009 10:12:56 AM

Hey guys, Kurt here.

Imagine my surprise when I saw Gothic Charm School on this week's release list.  I've known Jillian Venters for a while, and whenever the Seattle Goth scene is kind enough to put up with me for a few days, I always say hello.  She's a pretty amazing woman.

The No-Fly Zone has been written and is in the pipeline to go up soon.  I'm really sorry for the delay, but I had to DJ at the Peter Murphy show here in New Orleans the other night and didn't finish up until close to 2:00 a.m.  For those of you who don't know, Peter Murphy used to front Bauhaus.  It would probably be a bit simplified to say that they invented Gothic rock as we know it, but they were responsible for a lot of aspects of it, and for "Bela Lugosi's Dead"--probably the first song we could really label as such.

Call me a child of the '90s, but I'm really damn excited about the new Predator miniseries.  God I loved those Dark Horse licensed books when I was a kid.

Stay out of the daylight,


Unspecified Title (Article) - 5/7/2009 9:51:35 AM

I think they split the charge or something to get that total.  Or it might have actually been $66.66 with her other books.  I will update that.  Thanks for catching it.

Come Back, Cap! (Article) - 4/10/2009 8:40:24 PM

Hey guys, Kurt here.  Ben thanks for the spotlight for Dead Souls.  The second issue was and is by far the most difficult one for me to get together for a lot of reasons.  Thus far, the response has been really positive.  Thanks to everyone that has already checked it out.  Everyone else, I hope you'll give it a shot.  The third issue should be out by the summer.


Date Joined: October 4, 2006