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CrossGen's Solus #7
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Marvel Searches For She-Hulk
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Virtex Returns For Digital Webbing
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Marvel's Mutants Gains New Penciler
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Marvel Teams Up For A Good Cause
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Davis' Marquis Returns In December
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Marvel Unveils '04 FF Plans
Marvel plans three Fantastic Four series for 2004, and we've got the details and preview art. Check this out.
2F2F DVD Contest
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A View From The Cheap Seats:
Ultimate Cheap Seats!
By Rich Watson


"A View From The Cheap Seats" turns 100 today, so Rich decided to do a little something special. Don't worry, the bold lettering is intentional. No need to panic.

Article continued below advertisement

Rich here… welcoming you to the dawn of the All-New, All-Different, ULTIMATE CHEAP SEATS!! Now you may be wondering what inspired this daringly different turn-around in format. Well, let's face it - we love talking about what MIGHT happen in comics more than we do talking about what DOES happen! Who cares if it's true or not as long as it SOUNDS possible??? So in order to prove that I can sell out with the best in this business, I'm here to give you only the BEST in innuendo, hearsay, gossip, and plain ol' dirt to be found in those wild and wacky comics we (and only we) love so much! So face forward, True Believers, and let the speculation begin! And don't forget to vent your frustrations and flame your fellow Yakkity Yakkers anonymously afterwards! 'Cause remember, only by putting down other people can you validate your own rigidly-held and close-minded beliefs and justify your shallow existence! **wink**

To help you untangle the grapevine, so to speak, I've included with my items the patented ULTIMATE CHEAP SEATS DEFCON RUMOUR RATING! Yes, that's right, this is modeled after the warning system used by the Pentagon itself to let America know whether Iraq or North Korea is about to bomb us into oblivion or whether it's just another senator caught with his foot in his mouth! DEFCON 5 is the lowest rating, meaning it's probably a load of crap, and DEFCON 1 is the highest, meaning it's sure as shooting gonna happen! Anything in between means it could go either way. Got it? Good! 'Cause here we go…

One of the greatest stories from 2002 was the single-day rescue of TOP SHELF COMICS from oblivion by online fans who helped spread the word and bought a bunch of material from them, raising enough cash to keep the company afloat. Well, they're doing so well now that word on the street is that they're ready to expand their operations. A source within Top Shelf tells me head man Chris Staros is convinced the future hotbed of independent comics talent is in - Cheyenne, Wyoming??? Holy tumbleweeds, Batman! My mole says Staros flew out there on a fact-finding mission last November and came back dressed in a ten-gallon hat, spurs, leather boots and a rattlesnake tattoo and now he walks around bowlegged and spits for no apparent reason. Call me crazy, pilgrim, but I reckon this here dog won't hunt. DEFCON 5

Up and coming creator Clint Hollingsworth of the online series THE WANDERING ONES recently completed a trade paperback edition of his strip. However, as he posted on the message board at SequentialTart.com last month, he was turned down by Diamond. Well, he's not the only one who Diamond's given the shaft to lately, and from what I'm told, it looks like he's ready to do something about it. Giving new meaning to the saying, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade," Hollingsworth and a group of self-publishers are talking about creating a new distribution system utilizing - street corner lemonade stands! After all, according to these creators' reasoning, what's more irresistible and all-American than the sight of a couple of cute li'l kids hawking their clumsily made concoctions of mostly sugar and water (with a couple of lemons thrown in as an afterthought) in neighbourhoods across this great land of ours? And if they can shill this, then why can't they shill comics at the same time? 'Cause we all know how much kids enjoy comics today, right? Riiiiiiiiight… My source says this consortium is still gathering other people for their cause, but are currently being held up by discussions as to whether to use Snapple or Minute Maid lemonade, to which this reporter has only two words to say: Country Time. DEFCON 4

Now here's a report from our man inside Hollywood, Iago! Take it away, Iago!

Hey, everyone. Iago here with some Stirrings from the Vault.

This story has been making the rounds out here in La-La-Land for the past couple of months, and I wouldn't have believed it myself had I not spoken to the producer involved, who told it to me firsthand. It seems there was this down and out screenwriter who had been peddling his script for five years, with no success. He put it away and went back to his day job. Then, with the successes of BLADE and X-MEN and especially SPIDER-MAN, suddenly every studio was looking for a comic book to turn into a movie. So the Monday after SPIDER-MAN opened, he returned with his screenplay in hand and arranged a pitch session with a producer, telling him his screenplay was based on a popular comic book, only get this - it wasn't! But the producer had no idea - he was under direct orders to find the next SPIDER-MAN and he thought he had found it! So our screenwriter finally got a sale, except for one thing - the producer asked to see the original comic. What was he gonna do? There was no original comic! He kept stalling the producer, but the producer was getting impatient, and finally said either show him the comic or the deal's off! So get this - in desperation, he actually tried to make one himself, loosely based on his screenplay, only he didn't know the first thing about making comics, and the end result was a sloppy mishmash that barely looked like a comic! Here's the best part - when he showed it to the producer, he tried to pass it off as "artistic" - as a raw, unrefined, "underground" kind of comic - AND THE PRODUCER BELIEVED HIM!! He was all prepared to greenlight it until a higher-up who had seen the script years before found out and blew the whistle on the whole thing. So that was it for the down and out screenwriter. I hear THE COMICS JOURNAL gave his comic a great review though!

Until next time… Iago out.

One of the most eagerly awaited debuts this year won't be a comic. It'll be that of AMY UNBOUNDED creator Rachel Hartman's first child. According to my online psychic buddy Strangefate56, the birth of this child was foretold long ago, and he promises that it will in fact be the Chosen One - the one who will lead comics out of the wilderness and into mainstream acceptance as a legitimate art form. Apparently, if you take a first edition copy of SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT, and you hold the endpages up to the light, you can see a hidden message - a prophecy, that reads, in part, "One shall rise, born in the third year of the third millennium of she who creates not the superhero nor the work-for-hire comic, who shall spread the light of truth about sequential art unto all the world and undo the works of the evildoer, and yea, all shall read comics once again and know gladness in their hearts." Now, I know this sounds crazy, but I've talked to the guy first hand, and he's never been surer of anything as he is of this. And even if it doesn't happen, with someone like Rachel Hartman for a mom, this kid's bound to be special anyway, so what the heck. DEFCON 2

I'm outta here, sports fans! Till next time!


FROM: Carl 2003-27-01 10:27.56
SUBJECT: first post!
MESSAGE: Yippee!!
"Promise me you won't drink and drive, Carl."
"I promise!"
FROM: Rambunny 2003-27-01 10:44.12
SUBJECT: Wyoming
MESSAGE: I hate it when people do that. >:-( Anyway, another fine column, Rich, but I gotta take serious issue with you on the state of Wyoming. We are not just some leftover relic from John Wayne movies, despite all the numerous images of Wyoming the media constantly feeds us on an almost hourly basis. There's a vital and thriving cultural scene here that most people don't even realize exists. Why, I myself am part of a club that meets after a long hard week of herding cattle, rustling up game, and riding across the prairie to discuss our screenplays! I would be more than happy, in fact, to get your opinion on mine - it's like a modern-day version of Stagecoach only with kungfu. (I think Clint Eastwood could direct it!) Anyway- just want to set the record straight about that! Keep up the good work!
FROM: Happy Scrappy Hero Pup 2003-27-01 10:55.20
SUBJECT: Country Time………..tastes like that good old fashioned lemonade!
MESSAGE: And no, Snapple or Minute Maid do not even enter into the picture so don't come here with any of that…… Now then, everyone knows Country Time, as the Rich-meister so plainly pointed out, is the superior lemonade drink. My mom made it for me when I was a kid, and I make it for my little cousins today because it's obviously the best. So if those self-publishers can't even agree on this, then I pity them! LOL
Did he say making f*ck?
FROM: Raven's_Love_Child 2003-27-01 10:56.51
SUBJECT: So wait - if Rachel Hartman's kid is the promised one…
MESSAGE: Does that make Rachel Sarah Connor? Excellent!
"This is a ****ty way to treat a ****in' DEMIGODDESS, *******!!"
FROM: HalJordanForever 2003-27-01 11:15.09
MESSAGE: hap u know I always ogt your back but I gotta disagree with u on this one I donttrust that powdered stuff never have They put all sortsa Chemicals and whatnot in there too yknow id rather have the finshed product infront of me yknow what Im sayin
FROM: Happy Scrappy Hero Pup 2003-27-01 11:17.22
SUBJECT: Are you serious? What makes MM any less guilty than CT of using chemicals?
MESSAGE: I mean, it's not like either product is 100 percent pure or anything. If you want that, then make your own damn lemonade. I'm just saying CT is better than MM because it's the one my mother used and it's the best. It's obvious.
Did he say making f*ck?
FROM: Radiation Man 2003-27-01 11:19.17
SUBJECT: so if Rachel's Sarah Connor then who's the Terminator?
MESSAGE: Bill Jemas?
FROM: HalJordanForever 2003-27-01 11:20.02
MESSAGE: I love how u use that word lik u know what u are talking about Well lemme tell u soemthing I read this article where they said that all Sorts of arificial additives and sweeteners go into the food we eat and nobody Knows anbout it They can get away with it to because the Government doesn't want anyone knowing about this kind of sutff That's why I don't trust those ingredient labels cuz They can put anything They want on there and noone will know the difference
FROM: Happy Scrappy Hero Pup 2003-27-01 11:22.38
SUBJECT: you my friend are smoking some serious dope.
MESSAGE: If you knew half as much as you claim to about the way the Food and Drug Administration operates, I might be inclined to vote for you if you ever ran for office! LOL I wonder if you've even drank CT.
Did he say making f*ck?
FROM: The Holy Cruller 2003-27-01 11:25.59
SUBJECT: Is SOTI still in print?
MESSAGE: Though I would imagine a first-edition is well-nigh impossible to obtain at a reasonable price.
FROM: Radiation Man 2003-27-01 11:28.40
MESSAGE: I've never even seen a first-edition of SOTI. Can't be too many left.
FROM: Mr. Zebra 2003-27-01 11:30.34
MESSAGE: Aw, man, my dad might've had a copy a long time ago before we moved. I'll have to check.
If you need me
Me and Neil'll be hanging out with the Dream King
Neil says hi by the way
FROM: HalJordanForever 2003-27-01 11:51.03
MESSAGE: unlike u iactually know more about the World than what I read in Wizard I may not have a Masters degree or anything but I dont believe everything people tell me maybe u should do the same and not be sucha judgemental little fanboy
FROM: Happy Scrappy Hero Pup 2003-27-01 11:55.27
SUBJECT: Who said anything about being president?
MESSAGE: See, HJF, that's just like you to take an off-the-cuff remark and blow it all out of proportion. Where are you getting your information from? You always claim to be so well-read and erudite (not that anyone can tell from the way you type), well then let us in on how we can be as smart as you! That is, if you're not GOD FORBID making this stuff up? Smart guy like you wouldn't do that, would you now?
Did he say making f*ck?
FROM: HalJordanForever 2003-27-01 12:24.11
MESSAGE: facts are facts and if you cant see that then theres no ppint in me explaining anything to you because I know what imtalking about and your just some nobody on a message board
FROM: homogal69 2003-27-01 12:39.55
SUBJECT: Does anybody know if Top Shelf ships overseas?
MESSAGE: There are no comic shops in my neighbourhood and I really wanna try some of their stuff.
FROM: The Holy Cruller 2003-27-01 12:45.26
SUBJECT: check the website
MESSAGE: topshelfcomix.com. I'm pretty sure that they do.
FROM: Happy Scrappy Hero Pup 2003-27-01 1:09.12
SUBJECT: You're breaking my heart HJF……..
MESSAGE: Didn't you tell me before that you always had my back? Oh, but I guess that's only the case when you agree with me on something. Why don't you just admit you don't know what you're talking about? That you only act like you're smart in order to make yourself look special? THAT YOU NEVER EVEN DRANK COUNTRY TIME LEMONADE? God, I can't believe that's what started all this…
Did he say making f*ck?
FROM: christinaaguilerastolemysocks 2003-27-01 1:15.34
SUBJECT: Terminator 1 ruled but Terminator 2 sucked!
MESSAGE: They should've kept Arnie as a bad guy!
FROM: HalJordanForever 2003-27-01 1:19.41
MESSAGE: just because I read and im educated and yuor not doesn't mean I never drank contrytime Lemonade and dont ASSume just because I dont bother to check every single word in my posts for mistakes like u do that im any less intelligent for your information I got a fiftyk a year job and have great sex with my girlfreind every night I know who I am and I dont need the approval of anyone on a message board
FROM: Mark Radinsky 2003-27-01 1:21.50
SUBJECT: Now I know you're full of crap.
MESSAGE: Hal, if you need to brag about your job and your girlfriend (both of which I seriously doubt you possess), especially on a message board, then you've got bigger problems than I thought. I always considered you amusing at best, but now I think I just pity you. And would it kill you to run a spellcheck once in awhile? That's what the button is there for!
FROM: HalJordanForever 2003-27-01 1:24.21
MESSAGE: I Got more gooing for me than youll ever dream of nerfherder
FROM: Mark Radinsky 2003-27-01 1:26.14
SUBJECT: You suck.
MESSAGE: You can't even insult people without sounding like a fanboy geek. Grow up you loser.
FROM: Phantos 2003-27-01 1:30.32
SUBJECT: What I don't get is…
MESSAGE: …who would sell lemonade in the winter anyway?

* * *

Okay, this is the real me coming at you. All of this is obviously one huge parody and is not meant to be taken seriously at all. All of these "rumors" are totally fake. I got the approval of all the real people I mentioned here before I did this, and I want to thank them for being such good sports. Things will return to normal now. And do check out The Wandering Ones (wanderingones.com) - it's a rather unique tale that incorporates Native American culture into a post-apocalyptic action adventure story.


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