Sue Storm of the Fantastic Four had a miscarriage

One of my goals for Comic Con 2008 was to track down Fantastic Four issues 276-278 from the early 80's. I had read weird whispers that Sue Storm, the Invisible Woman had suffered a miscarriage in the pages of these funny books years ago but I was skeptical that this had indeed happened. For one, it seemed that this was too serious and adult a subject to have been in a comic book back in these relatively old days. Also this was the most famous family in the Marvel Universe and if they had a second child who died I'm sure I would have heard about it before.

Well after searching high and low across the floor of Comic Con I finally found the books that were rumored to contain these dramatic moments, and the rumors were true.

Possibly the reason this event is not often spoken about is that it isn't handled particularity well. The writing seems a bit childish given the circumstances. On one page Johny Storm is comforting his devastated family but then he promptly heads off to give She-Hulk a tour of the Baxter Building (seriously.) Still, the story is of curious interest simply because of the nature of its subject matter. The immature writing style seem to be exemplary of the unique period in comic writing. The stories were beginning to grow up, and deal with more sophisticated ideas but the market was still aimed very much at the attention of casual and very young readers.

One reason I was so skeptical that this event ever happened was that a couple of years earlier I had heard something similar and went to comic con to investigate. I asked some knowledgeable gentlemen there about the Richards family's other kid. They looked at me with incredulity and laughed me out of the con. Well I am back now with the proof (you bastards.) Here are some selected scanned pages from the original comics.

Here is a page from issue #267 where She-Hulk's thoughts give some back story to the difficulties with Sue's pregnancy (cosmic radiation is involved.)
And here is the final splash page from that same issue, where Reed Richards is given the devastating news. (Click to enlarge.)The beginning of issue #268 starts with this single page image:
And finally here is the majority of the aftermath, right before Doctor Octopus goes nuts and other cliche comic book action ensues:
(Thanks to Sue Ghoulsby with research assistance.)


WATCHMEN trailer to comic comparison

I'm trying not to post too much about WATCHMEN either but who am I kidding? I should just go ahead and create a tag for it.

Some guy posted some pics here
comparing the new trailer to the images from the comic. I have to admit it's pretty thrilling seeing these characters move around on the screen, despite me being very cautious in my optimism for this movie.

Fish nibble you pedicure

I try not to re-blog from Boing Boing too often but I've got a local angle on this.

A salon in Alexandria Virgina has imported the exotic technique of having tiny live fish nibble the dead skin off the feet of paying customers. Will any of my Virgina based IZ readers have the guts to go try this out please? I'd do it if I was there and I bet my feet would be the most delicious.

Oh yeah, and CNN's got video.


Boing Boing visits Secret Headquarters

Talk about two great tastes that taste great together, Boing Boing (the world's greatest website) visits Secret Headquarters (the world's greatest comic shop) in the video below.

What a fantastic thing, and next week: San Diego.


Horrible Blog leads to internet weirdness

The interwebs are all a twitter with Joss Whedon's latest creation, Dr Horrible's Sing Along Blog. It's a wonderful little venture for all, unless you are a crotchety spoilsport type who hates everything fun. And the fun does not stop there, you can cruise over to Dr. Horrible star Felicia Day's site for her own clever blog and web series The Guild.

Dr. Horrible also led to this interview with Mr. Whedon which is very funny. And inexplicably in the middle of the interview there is a weird link to the website of Handlebar Harry, "the world's most magnificent moustache." That in itself is a rabbit hole of the arcane. Strange and hilarious internet ephemera is everywhere today...

Server fire knocks AFI Fest offline

On Monday there was a fire in an underground bunker in Vancouver Canada that houses the server for AFI FEST's submission system. As the final deadline is a week away, the timing was pretty bad for us. However it was worse for Outfest which is going on now and went completely dark. Additionally I heard that Michael Moore's Traverse City Film Festival was knocked down for their first day of sales. It's pretty funny to think that a part of the internet fell down. It's back up and running now but you can read the angry thread over on the Peer 1 message board here.


Miracleman experimental theatre

People sometimes ask me what my favorite comic book is and I want to sounds like a snobby asshole so I usually respond Miracleman. The reason this response makes me an asshole is that despite it being a superdude in tights title and being written by Alan Moore almost no one has read it. That's because its been out of print forever, and it was only released on a relatively small print run when it was available. I wrote more about it here.

The reason I get to bring up MM today is that IO9 reports there is an Australian stage production being put up based on the comic. (?!?!?!?) So basically all I need now is a ticket to Australia and my obsession will be complete. (In case you were wondering, I already own a complete run of the original comic, complied with much difficulty and cost over the years--see how snobby I am?)


Bruce Conner passes away

I was just talking with a co-worker yesterday about how great it was that Bruce Conner was still making films and how cool it would be to invite him to our festival. I had just seen his latest film at Cinevegas. Later that afternoon, I read the sad news that he has passed away at age 74. He is the father/inventor of collage or found footage filmmaking. Here is his most famous film the groundbreaking 1958 work, A MOVIE.

My first contact with Conner's amazing films was in film school. I remember a professor saying that if there was any justice in the world MTV would be sending Conner a check for a million dollars every year. Conner was among the first to use pop music for film sound tracks. His films have inspired generations of filmmakers, and are now considered to be the precursors of the music video genre. Here is his film for the Devo song "Mongoloid"

A few years later in Los Angeles I was lucky enough to see the Conner exhibition at the Kohn Gallery. Wandering into the back of that small space I found a small screen showing TAKE THE 5:10 TO DREAMLAND. Stumbling into that film in such a unusual way was purely magical. Take a look:

On a side note, the book "2000 BC: The Bruce Conner Story part II" was a dearly a treasured object, my own copy has alas slipped through my fingers. I'm sure it must have been passed to a dearly loved one, and lost in the sands of time.

Saying goodbye to this towering figure in art and cinema is heartbreaking. Now it is our sad duty to update all biographies and profiles from "one of our greatest living artists" to simply one of our greatest.


Bush being protested in Charlottesville

The "Worst POTUS in History" visited my hometown on the 4th of July this year. He had the gall to give a speech at Monticello to celebrate the holiday. Well the locals did a good job of stepping up and protesting the speech and you can see it on CNN right here. Unfortunately the cameras were not able to capture zombie Jefferson rising from the grave to throttle the life out of Bush.


Fritz Lang's unseen METROPOLIS is found

The original version of the 1927 film METROPOLIS has not been seen since it's initial German premiere. Up to a quarter of the film was believed to have been permanently lost. But now a film museum in Buenos Aires reports that they have found a copy of the complete film. This classic dystopian film had previously seemed a bit disjointed and difficult to comprehend but the researchers say the complete version of the film answers questions audiences have had for 90 years.


Dark horse political candidate

Well this was certainly unexpected:


Pizza shortage!

According to Boing Boing, the global food crisis has lead to Italians choosing to eat pasta over pizza. I blame the Global Warming and pretty much view this as a major sign of the apocalypse.

btw--I have ended my self imposed pizza ban. I lasted about 3 weeks but had to order one this weekend to celebrate my new kittens!