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The Fifth Column:
Random Bitching
By Dwayne McDuffie

03/13/02


DUCK YOU SUCKER: AN UPDATE

As I mentioned last week, frustrated by the lack of copies at my local comic shop, I ordered THE ESSENTIAL HOWARD THE DUCK collection from Amazon.com (which next to Powell’s Books in Portland, is the place I love the best).

Well.

Amazon sent me an e-mail informing me that the book was not yet in print and that all orders were cancelled. Meanwhile, as promised (but I didn’t believe them), my local shop got a couple more copies. This Thursday, I bought their last one, along with the new DOOM PATROL ARCHIVES, so I’m mollified.

I still think I’m right about the browsing problem though. If I’d come back a day later, I would have missed it again.


THE ROAD TO HELL: UPDATE

Work continues apace on my self-destructive plan to self-publish THE ROAD TO HELL, a romantic comedy about an infernal triangle between a scientist, her would-be boyfriend and the guy of her dreams, Satan. The script, by Matt Wayne and myself is complete and artist Kris Dresen is hard at work on new character designs (which she still won’t show me).

We recently decided to publish the entire story as a single, 164 page black and white graphic novel (with a full color cover). We’ve also decided to do this without first publishing it as individual comics. We’ve chosen to publish the book in the size and shape of American collections of manga. We think this may help us get racking in bookstores, somewhere down the line. Even if it doesn’t, the format suits the material especially well. So what we’re going to end up with is basically a paperback original. Are we nuts? Sure we are. Aren’t you paying attention? We’re self-publishing. But I don’t think we’re extra nuts. Bypassing the mini series cuts our printing, advertising and promotional costs. It also means we’ve only got one product to sell and frankly, even that may be more than we can handle. We’ll find out together.


JUSTICE GEEKS?

I was watching Comedy Central’s terrific news/parody series THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART but when it went off I forgot to change the channel. As such, I was subjected to several minutes of a very bad game show called BEAT THE GEEKS. I’m not going to talk about the show, except to say it’s worse than the one where the remote-controlled robots utterly fail to do any significant damage to each other. I mention BEAT THE GEEKS only to discuss its theme music. Am I the only person who thinks it sounds just like the JUSTICE LEAGUE theme? This is very disorienting. I’ve only recently gotten out of the habit of trying to make Green Lantern say, "and now, your moment of Zen."


READER’S CHOICE

Here’s your chance to decide what next week’s column is going to be. Vote for one of two choices; FAQ, a column where I answer Frequently Asked Questions about myself and my work (a confession here. I’m doing this mostly so I can post it on my website at some point in the future. I’ve been meaning to get around to it for two years now); or PAPER DOLLS, where I tell you about both the tragic lack of super hero action figures during my childhood and the creepy extremes I went to in order to have some (warning, I may go off on a tangential bitch about the nonexistence of STATIC SHOCK toys versus the easy availability of say, for instance, Aquaman’s horse). Click the link for the column you want to see next and drop me an e-mail. If you choose "FAQ," you have to ask me at least one question, fair?


DWAYNE PLUGS HIMSELF

Part two of my first episode of JUSTICE LEAGUE, "The Brave and the Bold," airs this Sunday, March 17 at 7:00 PM EST on Cartoon Network. I scripted it from a story by Rich Fogel and Paul Dini. If you saw the first part, you already know that Flash and Green Lantern are dead. My bad. Still, there’s a half an hour of show left and five members of the Justice League still among alive, so you might want to check them out while you still can.

"Never Say Die," a Batman 8-pager that I wrote and Denys Cowan drew is the back up story in BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHTS #27, on sale March 20. Check out the nifty Brian Boland cover!

An anthology called PANEL ONE: COMIC BOOK SCRIPTS BY TOP WRITERS is now on sale. It includes work by Neil Gaiman, Kurt Busiek, Kevin Smith, Marv Wolfman, Trina Robbins, Greg Rucka, Nat Gertler, Jeff Smith and, unaccountably, me. My full script for "Deus Ex Machina," an issue of Marvel Comics’ DEATHLOK that I wrote as a young child, is right in there with the good stuff.


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