Geeky Friday: DC Delays Batman Comic Post Massacre, IDW Gil Kane Spidey/MAD Artist’s Editions, Orson Scott Card Talks Ender/Libraries

In a case of art imitating life, in lieu of last week’s midnight movie massacre at The Dark Knight Rises premiere, DC Comics is asking dealers to withhold its latest Batman issue. According to press reports, DC emailed comics sellers requesting they postpone this week’s release of Batman, Incorporated, No. 3 written by Grant Morrison with Chris Burnham art because the comic contains content that may be perceived as insensitive in light of recent events.”

Although DC wasn’t specific regarding the questionable content, Burnham later tweeted that the book was being held for “grim imagery that would seem wholly inappropriate given the Aurora killings,” adding that “it’s not just a Batman comic with guns in it. There’s a specific scene that made DC & the whole Bat-team say ‘Yikes.’ Too close for comfort.” The issue will be released on August 22.

Despite the Colorado horrors, The Dark Knight Rises has earned more than $211 million at the box office in its first week of release. That staggering sum, nonetheless, is $11 million less than the series’ previous installment for the same time period, and a whopping $46 million below The Avengers’ opening week figures. With no competition coming this weekend, Bats should retain current box office dominance.

MAD About Spidey
Our friends at IDW Publishing have some cool stuff coming this fall/winter. Silver Age Spidey fans will be waiting to get their sticky fingers on Gil Kane’s The Amazing Spider-Man: Artist’s Edition, which collects his work on The Amazing Spider-Man issues 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, and 121, including the infamous LSD storyline that ran without the Comics Code Authority; the six-arm storyline that also introduced Morbius, the Living Vampire; and The Night Gwen Stacy Died. The 216-page B&W book hits stores November 21. Buy it immediately and read it while waiting for your Thanksgiving dinner the next day for a double feast!

Before MAD Magazine became a household staple, there was Mad Comics. Written and edited by Harvey Kurtzman and drawn by top cartoonists‚ Wally Wood, Bill Elder, Jack Davis, and Basil Wolverton‚ Mad was the most innovative satirical publication ever unleashed upon the youth of America, says IDW (can’t argue with that).

Scheduled for a December release, the MAD: Artist’s Edition is approximately 160 pages and measures 15 x 22. According to the publisher, the book will include a dozen of the earliest covers and a selection of some of the finest and most memorable stories, including classics such as ‚ÄòBatboy and Rubin’ by Wood and Elder’s ‚ÄòHowdy Dooit.’ In the Artist’s Edition style, these covers and stories will be reproduced as very few people have ever seen them before.

Orson Scott Card: Thank heaven for libraries.
With Ray Bradbury’s recent passing, I’ve wondered what other authors out there have such an intense love of libraries as he did. I know all or at least most authors and other book heads swear by libraries (as they should), but Ray would light up like Times Square on New Year’s whenever discussing them. I’m happy to report that sf scribe Orson Scott Card falls into the Bradbury category.

My friend Esther Bochner at Macmillan sent over this video in which Card provides insight into his popular Enders series. He also declares, One of the things I’ve have always loved all my life is libraries. Check it out:

Good stuff, but he seriously gushes the library love in this companion clip in which he says:

Thank heaven for libraries. Thank heaven for hardbound books, books that are tactile that you can just bump into, that you can just see and pull of the shelf. Amazon does a pretty darn good job of steering you to possible other books that you might like, their algorithms are pretty good, but nothing compares to being there where the books are just stacked up and you can just see the titles, see the spine, pull it down, look at it, see what it feels like. I hope that never ends.

Amen, brother! Frame that quote and put it on a wall. For that, I pronounce library lover and book nerd extraordinaire Orson Scott Card the Geek of the Week! Big thanks to Esther for sending that in.

Olympic Bondage
England is pulling out all the stops for its stint as Summer Games host: Sir Patrick Stewart and Rupert Grint (Harry Potter‘s Ron Weasley) are among numerous celebrities running with the torch, and the opening ceremony reportedly will include a music set by Sir Paul McCartney (saw him at Yankee Stadium last summer and he still rocks hard) and a small film in which Queen Elizabeth knights James Bond. Daniel Craig and Dame Judi Dench reprise their film roles, respectively, as 007 and the stone-faced M. Great fun, but the coolest would be if Sean Connery was lured out of retirement to play Bond.

Here’s torchbearer Grint: (Dang, Weasley hasn’t exactly gotten better looking with age, has he?‚ bwahahahaha! Just kidding.).

(If you’re psyched for the London games, check out Neal Wyatt’s Olympic Reading list.)

Even a Man Who Is Pure in Heart…
Film Forum continues its wonderful Universal Studios centennial celebration today with The Bride of Frankenstein, which I think is even better than the original Frankie. Since it begins exactly where Frankenstein ends, you can consider them parts I & II of the same story. On Sunday, however, FF is running the triple feature of the year: The Wolf Man, The Invisible Man, and The Mummy. All that vintage horror goodness for a $12.50 ticket is nothing short of a modern miracle! The Wolf Man is worth that alone!

[Here’s a piece of Wolf Man trivia that will blow your mind. Screenwriter Curt Siodmak was a popular sf novelist and film scribe in Germany in the 1920s. He also was Jewish. When Hitler came into power, Siodmak was able to escape, while many friends and family members weren’t as fortunate. European Jews had all but invented the film industry, so when Siodmak landed in Hollywood he was welcomed into the studio system, where he specialized in scripting horror pictures.

Siodmak was hired to write The Wolf Man around 1940, and knew things were very bad for fellow Jews in Europe, who the Nazis ordered to wear a star on their clothes. One of the film’s themes is an innocent doomed to a horrible fate with death as the only escape. In the script, Siodmak had the werewolf’s body marked with a pentagram‚ a five-pointed star‚ and made him see that same symbol in his next victim’s palm. So, like European Jews back home, Siodmak had the werewolf and his victims‚ all doomed innocents suffering an underserved fate‚ marked for death with a star.]

I will take the Ring, he said
Big GF anniversary wishes to The Fellowship of the Ring, which debuted on July 29, 1954. And, on July 28, 1814, Shelley and Mary Godwin eloped to France (but don’t bother sending a card because they’re dead and buried, although not with each other).

Have a good weekend, all. Get your geek on!


Michael Rogers About Michael Rogers

Michael Rogers ( is Media Editor, Library Journal and Managing Editor of LJ Reviews.