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The Guide to the Guide to Comics – WIZARD #36 (August 1994)

Can Wizard do a promo piece on the Spider-Clone storyline while keeping a straight face?  Will Event Comics change comics forever?  Can Zero Hour keep DC’s continuity straight for at least five years?  Find out in this week’s Guide to the Guide to Comics!

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This cover convinced me as a teenager that Joe Quesada simply had to do Spider-Man.  Didn’t Spidey just need that kind of power and dynamism post-McFarlane?  Little did I know one day Quesada would actually be running Marvel Comics, and he’d orchestrate a Spider-Man story so utterly misguided it’d chase me away from the Marvel Universe.  C’est la vie.

In this month’s Wizard

Features on Marvel’s big clone plans for Spider-Man, the Zero Hour continuity clean up, Jae Lee’s Hellshock, and the after-effects of the Valiant crossover “The Chaos Effect.”  Plus, a tribute to Jack Kirby and a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the Maximum Carnage videogame.

The regular columns include Palmer’s Picks (a profile on Jim Woodring), Cut & Print, Bart Sears’ Brutes & Babes, Toying Around, Wizard of Cards, and Todd McFarlane’s E.G.O.

The Departments include the usual blend of letters, fan art, opinion pieces, trivia, Top 10 lists, the Wizard Profile, and market information.

Magic Words

Jim McLauchlin fields letters from readers who don’t understand why Spider-Man didn’t kill Carnage during “Maximum Carnage,” how reprints work, or why Wizard is allowing Magneto to do mean things to the X-Men.  It’s that kind of month.  One fan suggests interviewing comic strip artists like Bill Watterson; McLauchlin says they’ll look into it.  Good luck with that.

The Letter Art contest has some clever quips hidden in the legal print and copyright info.  One of the finalists has submitted a drawing of a dwarf, which may or may not be inspired by the Golden Axe videogame.  Just to be safe, Wizard copyrights the image to “Some Video Game Company.”

 

Wizard News

Wizard’s buddies Joe Quesada and Jimmy Palmiotti have announced the launch of Event Comics, and not only is this the top story of the month, it merits a full-page article.  I wonder how Bart Sears felt, given that the announcement of his new publishing company was previously buried in the “Other News” section, even though he produced far more work for Wizard, and his Brute & Babe characters are featured in this magazine every month.

While looking through those old issues, I kept wondering why so many artists at this time were eager to take on the demands of self-publishing.  It seems as if every issue during this period, someone has a new comics company or imprint to announce.  I realize money was flying around in a hurricane during these days, but it seemed crazy that so many artists actually wanted to run a company and publish comics, especially with Image already in existence, offering to take care of that burden for you.  I then realized that the Image of this era was firmly tied to the original founders, and after the Shaman’s Tears fiasco, many creators might’ve been reluctant to join up with the company.  So, in that light, self-publishing almost makes sense, but I still wonder why Dark Horse or even Epic didn’t pick up more of these titles.

In other news…Don Thompson has passed away, Kurt Busiek has dropped out of Marvels II (the implication being he left because Alex Ross wasn’t involved), Stan Lee is receiving a lifetime contract from Marvel, and Mike Diana has been jailed in Florida.  He’s the first cartoonist jailed for producing obscene material.

 

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A winning installment of “Wizard Makes Fun of People at Conventions.”

 

Send in the Clones

This is one for the ages…a hype piece for the upcoming Spider-Clone storyline.  The creative teams of the various Spider-titles acknowledge that many fans might be resistant to the concept, but encourage readers to give them a chance.  The writer of the piece even seems skeptical about the idea, emphasizing just how long ago the original clone issues were published, and cataloging a list of the ways Marvel had previously attempted to move away from the poorly received 1975 storyline.

One problem with the story is highlighted by the summaries of upcoming issues — Peter Parker is behaving like a madman (even physically abusing an elderly man, according to one solicit), and it’s up to his clone to set him straight.  Tearing down Peter in order to make fans more accepting of the “twist” that he was the clone was a remarkably cheap move, and I’m not surprised readers turned against Marvel for this. (And I also recognize that Ben Reilly developed a sizable fan following on his own, but this was always a large hurdle for me.)

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Wizard will come out as vehemently anti-Clone within just an issue or two.  This highlights the duality of Wizard; it’s there to hype whatever ridiculous story you’ve got in the works, but the editorial pages are quick to cut down anything the writers view as lame.

 

Less than Zero

Dan Jurgens discusses Zero Hour, DC’s second attempt to clean up continuity, following Crisis in the ‘80s.  Jurgens reveals that the inspiration for the story came from an editorial disagreement over whether Hawkman had ever met Superman, an event wiped from continuity in 1989, even though readers saw the “first” meeting between Hawkman and Superman only a year earlier in Action Comics.  Jurgens seems to realize all of these continuity clean-ups are ultimately futile, he just hopes this one lasts at least five years.  (Are we counting 1999’s creation of Hypertime?)

 

Cut & Print

We discover Batman III has been renamed Batman Forever, and Robin Williams is out as the Riddler.  Jim Carrey, now hot due to Ace Ventura and the upcoming The Mask film, has signed to play the villain, while Michael Keaton is still expected to return as Batman.

In other Hollywood news, Marvel is allegedly looking into a film starring the female Punisher who recently debuted in Punisher War Journal.  Hong Kong action star Sophia Crawford is rumored to star…Disney is in the early stages of flooding the market with direct-to-video sequels…and Seaquest DSV is somehow still on the air.

 

A Shock to the System

A promotional interview for Jae Lee’s new series Hellshock.  To say Hellshock was surrounded by controversy would be an understatement — not for the religious-themed material, though.  The first issue was panned for barely having any story content (even Todd McFarlane sided with a fan in the Spawn letters page who complained), and the proposed ongoing series never materialized.  Reading promotional interviews like this is always entertaining, since they leave you with the impression that the creator has waited his entire life to do this series and has a million ideas he can’t wait to dramatize.

 

Order from Chaos

Another hype piece!  Valiant’s still at it, promoting the don’t-call-it-a-crossover “The Chaos Effect” event.  These articles are all essentially the same, with creators promising that the event 1) isn’t like other crossovers, 2) will have real repercussions down the line, and 3) is entertaining as a story in its own right, and not just an event for an event’s sake.

 

The King

It’s hard to get mad at this one — an eight-page retrospective on the career of Jack Kirby, even including a few of his “in-between” drawings for Popeye.

 

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Commercial Break: Gang hierarchy goes like this: Crips, Bloods, then Otaku

 

Contests

Wizard is giving away an absurd amount of comics during this era, including every Image comic published at this point.  (You qualify as a potential winner if you can identify specific Image characters by the guns he or she has carried in previous issues.)  There’s also a Zero Hour-related contest, which promises you every individual issue of “Death of Superman,” “Emerald Twilight,” and “Knightfall.”  The legal print in that one is amusing; it’s obvious some lawyer had to find the precise wording to make sure Wizard stayed true to the promised prize, even though it would’ve been impossible to know if DC was going to add issues to those storylines in the future.  For example, is Wizard obligated to include Hunter/Prey, the bookshelf format sequel to “Death of Superman,” with the package?

 

Toying Around

New writer Sean Aune reports more rumors that Star Wars toys might be returning someday soon.  Also, the three-and-three-fourth-inch A Real American Hero iteration of G. I. Joe is rumored to be dying out.

 

CBIQ

This month’s “Stupid but True…”  is the Spider-Mobile.  Low hanging fruit, given that the original storyline featuring the Spider-Mobile also mocked its existence.

 

Wizard of Cards

These new Magic: The Gathering cards are getting pretty popular.  Also, Valiant’s latest card set has been cancelled due to low orders.

 

Top 10 Heroes & Villains of the Month

The usual suspects this month, with the addition of Vampirella at Number 10.  The text informs us “hot bad girls are newly popular in comics,” foreshadowing the next year or so of Wizard – more than enough T&A to make you uncomfortable reading it around your mother.  As for the Mort of the Month, it’s Composite Superman, a character that’s mocked years later on Robot Chicken.  The text doesn’t seem to match the character, by the way.  I’m not sure how a janitor being granted the Legion’s powers becomes a composite Batman/Superman.

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Comic Watch

The first appearance of the Spider-Clone in Amazing Spider-Man #149 is possibly “the biggest Comic Watch sleeper book of all time.”  The other pick this month is Evil Ernie #1, the first appearance of Lady Death.

 

Picks from the Wizard’s Hat

The top three picks are the Zero Hour miniseries, the long-awaited Wetworks #1, and the Brute & Babe: “It Begins” Monument Set #1.  This is the debut comic from Bart Sears’ Ominous Press, which features unstapled “tablet” pages that are kept inside the cover, which also works as a folder.  Other hot picks include Fantastic Four #392 (the debut of the Fantastic Force), and Uncanny X-Men #316, which is paving the way for Generation X #1.

 

Top 100 – June 1994

Adjective-less X-Men tops the list again, followed by more X-books, Image titles like Spawn and the final issue of the Gen 13 mini (which is growing in popularity every month, at least in part due to Wizard’s hype machine), the Batman/Punisher crossover, and…Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1!

 

Top 10 – July 1994

Oh, bite me, Wizard.  The top back issue in the country is not Stephen Platt’s variant cover for Supreme #12.  I’m willing to accept that a certain number of readers where drawn in by Platt’s McFarlane-esque pencils on Moon Knight, and maybe some fans just had to have his preview variant Prophet cover, but this is just too much.  The three highest-ranked books on the Top 10 list are all Image books with variant covers, by the way.  The rest of the list consists of a few Bad Girl books, early issues of Gen 13, and Marvels #1.

 

Okay, Wizard...now I'm getting suspicious.

Okay, Wizard…now I’m getting suspicious.

Wizard Market Watch

Retailers are now gun-shy after being stuck with excess product, creating high demand for books with limited print runs, like (of course) Lady Death.

Wizard’s Ten Hottest Artists are…

  1. Todd McFarlane
  2. Stephen Platt
  3. Jim Lee
  4. Joe Quesada
  5. Frank Miller
  6. Bart Sears
  7. Andy Kubert
  8. Greg Capullo
  9. Marc Silvestri
  10. Jeff Smith

 

Wizard’s Top Ten Hottest Writers are…

  1. Frank Miller
  2. Neil Gaiman
  3. Peter David
  4. John Byrne
  5. Fabian Nicieza
  6. Alan Moore
  7. Chris Claremont
  8. John Ostrander
  9. Ron Marz
  10. Jeff Smith

(Wizard features pretty much the same writers each month, alternating their ranking seemingly at random.)

 

E G O (Everyone’s Got Opinions)

Todd McFarlane asks readers for advice on how to improve his current autograph system, which has conventions assigning tickets to fans and McFarlane only signing one autograph per fan.  It already seems like a fair system to me — you don’t even have to wait in line for that long, since the ticket numbers are called in order.

 

So, what did we learn today?

Money Quotes:

  • “I was the writer who threw the body into the incinerator.  It was the first thing I did, because I didn’t want him around anymore.” – Len Wein, on the original Spider-Clone storyline.  (Send in the Clone)
  • “My initial reaction was boy, we better do this right or this is going to stink.” – Tom Lyle (Send in the Clone)
  • “We’re sitting here in the Wizard Top 10 Headquarters readin’ comics, eating Twinkies, watching Cindy Crawford workout videos, playing Mortal Kombat II, and wondering if this (variant covers) is the start of a trend.” – Top 10, July 1994
  • “Though Mr. Platt’s art is still selling books like nobody’s business, the variant book craze has been kind of milked dry.  (Here’s a hint to all the variant cover-loving publishers, including us:  try something new.)” – Top 10, July 1994 (this quote’s on the very next page after the previous one!)

Nope:  DC assures us Jason Todd is dead and the alternate pages from his death scene will never be published…Youngblood: Year One by Busiek/Liefeld doesn’t happen, but Liefeld does use Busiek’s plot years later on a renamed Youngblood miniseries…the project currently being called Marvels II is eventually released as Code of Honor…and a Richard Donner-produced, live-action Jonny Quest film never happens.

Stuff Wizard Likes:  The same picks as last issue, such as Bone, and the upcoming Action Comics annual, which is an Elseworlds tale by John Byrne.

Stuff Wizard Doesn’t Like:  Wizard wants you to know just how much it hated Spawn/Batman — I counted six shots at it during the course of the issue.  Other targets include the Golden Age Green Lantern, the Frightful Four, Archer & Armstrong, and Motley Crue’s cover of “Anarchy in the UK.”

I Love the ‘90s:  References to The Crying Game, Bill Clinton’s mistresses, and Tom and Roseanne’s marriage appear throughout the mag.  Valiant hero Geomancer is also receiving a “grunge look” after the upcoming “mega-event” is over.

This Ain’t HuffPo:  Wizard wants dibs on Mary Jane if Spidey and his clone abandon her, more jokes about Whoopi Goldberg’s physical appearance, another crack about Lord Emp’s height (he’s got the perfect view at a strip club), and a reminder that Gen 13 features “a whole bunch of scantily-clad babes.”  Finally, the loser of an office weight-loss competition has to dress in drag for the entire day in the Wizard Bulletin.

Pathological Scatological:  A giant Ripclaw balloon wants Gareb Shamus to pull his finger, more fart jokes in the card inserts, and a reference to Thor giving you an enema in the legal print of one of the contests.

Cheap and Stupid and Trashy?:  Compared to the last issue I reviewed, the pubescent attitude is a bit less abrasive, which makes this installment more readable.  I think my enjoyment of Wizard is largely based on who’s writing all of the hidden jokes throughout the magazine; most of the ones this issue were actually pretty funny.  So many hype articles, though…it’s hard to get through this thing at times.  Also, the early attempts to sell Stephen Platt (someone who’d probably drawn less than 10 comics at this date) as a comics superstar made me laugh a bit a few issues ago.  Now, it’s actively getting on my nerves.

That’s all for now.  Find me at Not Blog X or on Twitter in the meantime, and let me know if you have any specific Wizard moments you’d like to see covered.

43 Comments

When did the Good and Cheap column start in Wizard? I’ve been hoping to see you comment on what that column listed, as I first discovered a lot of great back issues from there.

Sounding repetitive, but thank you for the post, G.

The issue before this one, #35, has an actual Stephen Platt cover (which I did not buy; I got the awesome Wolverine by Mark Texeira instead) and an interview with the guy. So if this one is getting on your nerves, glad you skipped #35.

Plus, Wizard TRASHED the Spider-Man Clone Saga anytime they could; wonder how they could keep a straight face dealing with Marvel.

And the seeds of Quesada worshipping are being planted…

I’m not sure if Marvel had decided at this point to replace Peter with Ben; the Clone Saga really was written by the seat of their pants. And I think Peter going loco started before they decided to do the initial clone story (which was initially just supposed to last one month).

I don’t understand how getting the complete powers of the Legion makes a guy look like a half-Batman, half-Superman, but that is indeed what happened. No error in the copy or image.

I missed the whole Platt thing because there was no force on Earth that was going to get me to read Moon Knight. (And that held true for 20 years. Thanks, Warren Ellis!)

Yeah, the Mort Of The Month was correct.

At some point in the Silver Age a story appeared, I think, in World’s Finest about a janitor who worked in a Superman Museum, who one night was standing in front of a display of the LOS near an open window when it was struck by lightning. The lightning strike transferred the latent powers of the LOS present for some comic book logic reason in the statues to the janitor. He went mad, decided he needed to get revenge on Superman and Batman, and used Chameleon Boys powers to transform half his body to Batman and the other half to Superman, and made his skin green. He then used the combined powers of the LOS ineffectively against our heroes.

Wizard wants you to know just how much it hated Spawn/Batman — I counted six shots at it during the course of the issue.

Hmm. Maybe Wizard wasn’t ALL bad after all!

But hating Alan Scott is just crazy talk.

Also, the Composite Superman was awesome, so maybe Wizard was ALMOST all bad, with the exception of hating Spawn/Batman, which is just good sense.

It’s showed up by now; I don’t think I’ve mentioned it yet since it only runs for half of a page. I know they’ve recommended LEGION’s Great Darkness Saga by now.

…I like the sheer visual madness of Composite Superman.

Man, a Donner-directed Jonny Quest would have been so sweet! Also, the aborted John McTiernan A Princess of Mars.

A lot of artists were going the self published route because they wanted Image money and those guys had cut off the outsiders after they got in dutch with the distributors. Epic was pretty much in freefall without Archie Goodwin and I always had the feeling he was the only one who supported it at Marvel. Carl Potts carried on with it; but, the quality of product wasn’t the same. You weren’t seeing things like Generation Zero or The One come through there. When they launched the Heavy Hitters array of books, Chaykin’s Midnight Men and Kubert’s Tor were the only books I really enjoyed, though Trouble With Girls had a few moments (not quite up to previous standards, though). Dark Horse made the most sense, as an alternative to Image. Malibu’s Bravura could have been, if they hadn’t have blown so much money trying to sell the Ultraverse.

The ironic things is that it would be around this time, or within a couple of years that a lot of the self-publishers got out of the game and found patrons for their books, like Bone at Image (though Smith went back on his own, after a bit) and Colleen Doran’s A Distant Soil (Image, again) and Martin Wagner’s Hepcats (Antaarctic). Jim Valentino was instrumental in bringing a lot of those guys to Image, which certainly helped improve their, well, image as a publisher of things other than Marvel clones. Larry Marder probably had a hand in there, too.

This was the first ever issue of Wizard I owned, and I remembered all these details from my repeated readings. Thanks for this feature about Wizard, please keep it going. I have a ton of nostalgia for Wizard magazine, love it or hate it it was THE source for comic information in the 90s, and I was the right age to appreciate its juvenile humor. It kind of makes me sad that the magazine is completely gone, and that it failed to evolve with the times.

Composite Superman was awesome!

I wasn’t following Image that much back then, would someone please elucidate what the “Shaman’s Tears fiasco” was exactly?

Oh FFS Ronnie, stop being lazy and google it! Whats wrong with you? Do we have to do it for you?

Len Wein really wrote that issue where clone Spidey was thrown into the chimney? I may misremember this but totally I thought that it was the end of Gerry Conway’s run (before that issue when surviving Spidey finds out that he is really the one and only Peter Parker because he loves Mary Jane and not Gwen – I always liked that issue – AMZ #150?).

I wasn’t following Image that much back then, would someone please elucidate what the “Shaman’s Tears fiasco” was exactly?

To clarify, wwk5d is joking about some complaints people had about earlier instances of this column, where G. Kendall asked the readers questions about stuff.

Anyhow, as to Shaman’s Tears, early on, Image added a bunch of outside books to their line and then canceled a bunch of them all at once, under the argument that the books were late. They likely were, but it was weird since so many Image books were late at the time. It seemed more like they didn’t want to have these outside books drawing their line down, as the books canceled tended to be off-brand titles, like Shaman’s Years, Tribe and Trencher.

Len Wein really wrote that issue where clone Spidey was thrown into the chimney? I may misremember this but totally I thought that it was the end of Gerry Conway’s run (before that issue when surviving Spidey finds out that he is really the one and only Peter Parker because he loves Mary Jane and not Gwen – I always liked that issue – AMZ #150?).

Wein wrote the issue (Amazing Spider-Man #151) with the clone thrown into the chimney to tie up all the pieces left over from Conway’s run. In addition, though, he used that moment to set up a future plot point (as someone photographs Spidey throwing the dead body into the chimney).

Slightly off-topic, but just yesterday I was reading an old issue of Marvel Team-Up where Spidey said, “…or have I flipped?” And I just knew it had to have been written by Gerry Conway, because he used that expression all the time (his Green Arrow especially said it a lot), and I don’t recall anybody else ever using it.

I had this issue! So that whole Spider-Clone saga…how’d that work out?

As for Shaman’s Tears, basically what had happened was that most of Image’s books were late (this was hardly anything new for them at this time) but Image cancelled the books that weren’t done by the founders and didn’t fit the Image “mold” (namely, big, muscle-bound guys with big guns and lots of pouches). The excuse the Image founders gave at the time, as reported by Wizard, was that because they had other responsibilities besides just drawing and writing comics, they had good excuses for why THEIR books were late whereas these other creators did not. A lot of artists made one issue and never had any others lined up waiting in the wings so you ended up waiting a year or more for issue 2 to come out because they had published the first one and hadn’t even started on the second one yet! One of the books that was cancelled was an Image parody comic and one of the accusations leveled at it was that the Image founders didn’t like that they were being made fun of.

One More Day *drove you away* from Marvel? Couldn’t take the article seriously after reading that. Where’s your sense of perspective? I’d take any one of the Spider-Man books published after that story over the entire twenty years of Spider-Man books that preceded it. Any day. And anyone with the slightest grasp of events knew this was a story from an outgoing creative team.

Stephen Platt did a much better job later on in his career with his Soul Saga book. I don’t know what it was about, but it looked fantastic. As for Platt and Quesada, I don’t think you can copy Todd McFarlane, his work is unique to me. All of them are talented, but you really can’t replicate what he can do. Not a whole lot, anyway.

I understand they considered they were considering doing a story about everyone finding out Spider-man was Peter Parker, however, they went with the clone saga. Imagine that story, because after the Unmasking thing they lazily wrote I had to stop reading the books because it was so bad. They actually put their work in back then. That being said, I think the Ben Reilly as Spider-man is more Spider-man than anything they’ve put out in at least the last 10 years.

It’s amazing that the Mask was coming out and was yet another hit for Jim Carrey in his big 3 movies at the time (we went and saw all 3 and loved ‘em), but that Dark Horse would produce the most comic book adaptions where the big companies like DC and Marvel had relatively few. DC had about 4 (3 Batman’s and one Steel) and Marvel had one (Blade). I think Dark Horse had at least 6 movie adaptions including The Mask, Barb Wire, The big monster hit Virus. :)

Hellshock did have an ongoing series. It just only lasted three issues (with the third issue coming out a year after the second). It was actually incredibly story driven and almost completely different than the fluff that was the limited series, but Jae disappeared until he started on Inhumans years later.

I believe Dynamite released a fourth chapter that concluded it in a hardcover a few years back, but I never read it.

G. Kendall: did you mean to say that Wizard would trash what the readers, not writers, were trashing? That seems like it would fit them.

Michael P: I dunno if you had skipped all of Moon Knights up until Ellis, but the only really bad period for the character was that volume, and even then it wasn’t always bad.

The Composite Superman was a memorable–if somewhat unimpressive–villain. With the combined powers of the Legion of Super-Heroes, he should have been powerful to take out the entire JLA, but he couldn’t even handle Superman and Batman. The reason he got the powers from the Legion statues was because the statues were created by some sort of duplicator/miniaturization ray that made tiny replicas of the Legionnaires and copied their cell structure, so their powers were also duplicated. As I recall, the janitor who became CS was sort of down on his luck; Superman saved his life and gave him a job at the Superman Museum, which only caused him to resent Superman for some reason. I don’t recall that he had ANY reason to hate Batman (other than he was Superman’s friend), so why he chose to make himself look like half-Superman/half-Batman was always a mystery to me (since he made his first appearance in WORLD’S FINEST I guess he had no other choice). They got him wrong in ROBOT CHICKEN, because he did NOT have half the powers of Superman and half of Batman, even though that’s what you would think from looking at him…although several of the Legionnaires, like Mon-El and Ultra Boy, had Superman-level powers anyway. I always thought he was more impressive than the similarly-powered but not as visually interesting Amazo. Seeing him and Amazo against the Legion and JLA would have been cool, though!

Tom –

“I’d take any one of the Spider-Man books published after that story over the entire twenty years of Spider-Man books that preceded it.”

Tough choice. But I think the first portion of JMS’s run, before he got to Sins Past and other travesties was better than the post-One More Way period. Brand New Day had a certain quality, from a purely technical sense, but it felt off to me. In a way, hard reboots always feel off to people who were very invested in the dropped period, even if the stories are good. But these stories felt… I dunno. Like some pre-fabricated, calculated essence of classic Spider-Man. Strangely enough, it felt a little like Busiek’s Avengers, that everybody loves, but to me it feels too much like an exercise in nostalgia.

See, I had always heard that the Shaman’s Tears fiasco was this: The early Image books were all marketed heavily to kids in the 11-15 age group, and that’s who was buying a lot of them. Then the first issue of Shaman’s Tears rolls around, the same kids buy it, except it has nudity, which the retailers didn’t know about and didn’t look for. So the parents freaked out at the retailers for selling a book with nudity to their 12-year olds, and the retailers freaked out at Image for putting out a book with nudity and not saying anything. And that was actually what led to image canceling all of their non-core books in one sweep, except for The Maxx and Pitt.

But, again, that was all just what I’d heard from people at the time. Though it certainly makes since and seems like it would be factual. Brian, maybe there’s a CLR piece in there?

Anyway, @ G. Kendall- I’d really love if, in the future of these columns, you mention what the Good and Cheap picks are. I missed several issues of Wizard back in the day, and that was one of my favorite columns.

I always chuckle when I hear Stephen Platt’s name. Since he all but vanished from the comic industry and I always considered his jump to Image as his downfall.

Also I love later when Image would guarantee “On time delivery.” I always asked the question, “Guaranteed on time or what?” Since they never said.

Third Man,
Jae Lee mentions the nudity issue in his interview this issue, implying it might be a reason why Image let Shaman’s Tears go. The common belief at the time, or at least the reason given most often, was that Mike Grell’s book was cancelled due to lateness issues.
I’ll try to mention the Good & Cheap picks if people would like to hear them. These posts already run long, but I guess I could add a sentence or two on them.

This is one of the most amusing trips down memory lane that I’ve come across. Thank you so much for doing these retrospectives! I cringe when I recall being jealous of a friend who had several of the variant covers for gen13 and how proudly I displayed my copy of prophet 4a in a near industructible plastic, uv protected wall mount! I counted the bullets on the prophet cover and couldn’t wait for the 1/2 issues to arrive in the mail. Ah, the halcyon days…

I do have a request, though ( if you’ve covered this already, please repost the link, I must’ve over looked it ). I remember an issue that had a 2 page spread detailing how to create your own character. It featured a mix and match name maker, ( 2 columns of words to pair together, both identical, that had things like blood, strike, doom etc.,) 3 identical body shapes and an array of weapons and pouches to fully customize the character. In the issue or so following, a reader comments in Magic Words that the “article” should have been titled something along the lines of “how to draw comics, the liefeld way.”

If you can find and post that image, I’d greatly appreciate it! It was beyond funny! Thanks in advance!

Count me as another person who, while not liking the actual one more day story, have really enjoyed the Spidey comics that came after. The Spidey comics had gotten kinda stale since the 80’s and that was the kick in the pants the book needed. Slott’s run has really been fun.

Isn’t CBR similar to Wizard?
Just reading the reviews and the massive coverage of excessive comic films, series etc. falls into the same way of Wizard’s promoting certain creators and books.
I can’t see why you hold it against them being mates of Quesada or others.
Stephen Platt was hot at the time, his variants flowing around for absurd prices, nevertheless did I ever purchase one. And yes, I still enjoy his work, totally over the top, unrestrained.
For me Wizard was the only source inside a new comic market. Until recently I read only European comics, due to my thirst for more I discovered the superheroes. Together with Image, Wizard was totally rocking it.

If Zero Hour was fresh at this point then I was still a brat.

Those Cindy Crawford workout videos were awesome.

dimo1 –

“falls into the same way of Wizard’s promoting certain creators and books. I can’t see why you hold it against them being mates of Quesada or others.”

It’s just a matter of taste. It isn’t wrong to promote certain creators and books, it’s just that Wizard often promoted the stuff I hated it, like the Image guys. Older fans who weren’t crazy about Image felt alienated.

One More Day was a horrible idea, Brand New Day was mostly good. Too bad a complete universe recreation like Secret Crisis Wars didn’t happen then, would have been a better explanation than Mephisto.

Todd McFarlane still uses the same autograph system to this day.

Where did that new header image come from? A decent McFarlane clone attempt at the Spider-clone – John Cleary?

Why would Claremont be on a list of hottest writers in the middle of 1994? He barely did any writing at that time, right?

Claremont was writing ALIEN VS. PREDATOR at this point: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aliens/Predator:_Deadliest_of_the_Species
Also, I think the earliest hints that he would be doing a DC monthly had already begun.

@Nick – that article about creating your own character was from Wizard 31.

I really think Max Bemis used it to compose his Oh Killstrike series!

Nick —
I didn’t cover issue #31 because I didn’t see a whole lot to comment on. I have posted that article on my site, if you’d like to see it:
http://notblogx.blogspot.com/

“To clarify, wwk5d is joking about some complaints people had about earlier instances of this column, where G. Kendall asked the readers questions about stuff.”

I WANT to like this column. I really do. However, it’s not Flippin’ Through Previews. We aren’t all holding a copy of what’s being discussed. This column is a legitimate opportunity to take a close look at the 90’s comic culture that is (often unfairly) vilified and mocked. Unfortunately, week after week, it looks less like this will turn into a researched column and more like it’ll just be G. Kendall writing down snarky non-sequiturs. Too bad.

more like it’ll just be G. Kendall writing down snarky non-sequiturs.

That doesn’t remotely describe the actual posts. He goes over the contents of every issue thoroughly, and you’re going to pooh-pooh it because he doesn’t know all the context of every article in the magazine every installment? He does fine with context overall. He misses a couple of things while looking at hundreds of pages, and you kvetch about some minor details missed. Your expectations for the column are unreasonable.

Great posts! Keep em coming!

Additional info regarding Sophia Crawford
She was a British actress who learned martial arts while working in Hong Kong
She went onto do stunt work for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Power Rangers and the like.
The Punisher film in question was never made but, apparently, one fan of the comic started stalking her due to her association with the Lady Punisher role..

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