Just Newsprint
The Simple Comic Newsletter
Issue #25 - February 14, 2001

 

Table of Contents
  01. Spiderman the Movie Update
  02. Holoman, the Update!
  03. Bargain Bin Bonanza
  04. Sites of the Month
  06. New Section
  07. Silent Jury
  08. On the Shrink's Couch
  08. Conclusion

 

Spiderman The Movie Update

With the huge success of the X-Men, the Spider-man movie is not only in the works, but it is getting a good budget as well as some decent actors.  Gone are the days of Dolph Lundgren as your star power.  Check out the list of actors and actresses lined up for the movie and a few unconfirmed ones!  Is this looking good or what?  Add in a good director and a nice budget and you have the makings of another hit for Marvel!

Tobey McGuire as Peter Parker/Spider-man 
Cliff Robertson as Uncle Ben. 
Rosemary Harris as Aunt May. 
Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane. 
Wllem Dafoe as Norman Osbourne A.K.A The Green Goblin.

 These are unconfirmed, AKA rumors
 Randy (Macho Man) Savage as The Crush? 
J.K Simmons as J.Jonah  Jameson. 

All this info and more can be found at the following sites:

http://www.spidermanhype.com
http://www.spidermancrawlspace.com

Also, they are in the works on the Incredible Hulk movie!  And there is the Fox new show based on the Tick!  It is really becoming a great time to be a comic book fan!

Holoman, the Update!

A while back (Just Newsprint #11), I mentioned Holoman, a very colorful looking superhero and one that I was very compelled to read as I could never find the comic for sale.  Well, I received a letter from a relative of one of the people who did the book.  Here it is:

"To let you know my father created Holo-man with Joe. G
They were hired by peter pan to create a super hero, and holoman was created. He also worked on Weird wars, storylines for Superman and bat man. He also created the storyline for the revival of the Flash giving him his name "Barry Allen", my fathers frist and middle name. As far as Holo-man goes there was only one issue. The rights were bought after the first issue by a Japanese company and it was turned into a weekly cartoon overseas. Since peter pan was owned by Marvel it lists as a Marvel pub depending at the guide you are reading.
Hope this helps,

Warren A. Van Name"

I then emailed him about the show, seeing if it was under another name or if it was actually called Holoman and here is what he said:

"Reply to: Re: Holo- Man
As far as I know is ran in Japan only as Holoman. Not sure because my father turned down to offer to write for the series. He didn't want to relocate to CA. From what he told me it ran for at least 1 season and that he saw a few clips. There was never an english translation that I know of. I have looked for it too since it build on the storyline he created. Also the junk that you could order in the comic is very rare. 75% of the orders were returned since the rights were bought just prior to its release and only a limited number of the merchandise was produced."

A cartoon show!  Now I want to find a tape of these cartoons as well as the comic book.  Does anyone out there have a copy or know of a place that sells Holoman cartoons (or if it is under another name).  This is one story that keeps getting more interesting.

By the way, if you read my original article and are a Holoman fan, don't take offense to anything I said.  I may poke fun at Holoman and with such a loud costume, it is hard not to, but I am just having fun.  I do hope to one day read an issue and find that the story is very compelling (of course it will probably end with a cliffhanger and since there is only one issue, I will forever be stuck not knowing the outcome).  

Bargain Bin Bonanza

A comic that most people are familiar with is the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, one of the biggest merchandising machines to ever evolve from a comic book.  The chances of going into a store during the 1980's and not being deluged by action figures, comics, video tapes, video games, Halloween costumes and more would be very, very slim.  But this column is not about the TMNT, instead it is about one of the first copycats.  This is about a book that once had value and now you can find (with some searching) in the bargain bins.  It is the Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters, a crudely drawn, but very funny book that came out from Eclipse, soon after the TMNT hit it big.

While the TMNT named their characters after Italian artists, the ARBBH (I like abbreviations as they save me time), are named after action heroes.  Instead of Leonardo and Raphael, you instead get Clint, Chuck, Jackie and Bruce.  If you cannot figure out who these are named after, here is some clues (Eastwood, Norris, Chan and Lee).  One big difference is the hamsters had alot of attitude.  No "cowabunga" here.  These guys were crude, rude and obnoxious.  Think of the Rolling Stones as compared to the Beatles in the early 60's.  

The stories were pretty good and there is alot of small jokes and bad puns.  About the only real turnoff for the book is the artwork, which is very crude and borders on bad.  I guess you could write if off as a style, but I personally think it is a lack of talent.  But the stories and the in your face attitude of these guys make the book worth checking out, especially now that it is a bargain book.

Sites of the Month
 

Time to acknowledge a few sites that deserve to be spotlighted.  So take a look at these sites!  

Reading Room
What you can find here is a extensive and I mean extensive list of all kinds of comics and different appearances in comics.  While it is all text, the amount of information you can derive from this list is immense!  Check it out!

http://www.lib.msu.edu/comics/rri/index.htm

Comics on CD Rom
A few issues ago, I was talking about putting older comics on CD Rom and lo and behold, someone has done it and is selling them!  While these aren't Marvels and DC, there is lots of great stuff here!  Whether you are looking for vintage super-heroes, crime or science fiction, you can find some great books here!  Check it out at the following URL:

http://www.comicsoncdrom.com/

New Section!

2001 is the year I try to increase the amount of content on the website for comic fans.  In the past, the site has been more slighted for classic game fans than comic fans, but I have taken the first step of many to change that.  I added a section where you can find all the issues that are part of crossovers.  I currently have over 50 different crossovers covered, but there are still a ton of holes that I hope to slowly fill in the coming months.

This is where you, the comic fan come in.  If  you know of any issues that I missed, feel free to send them along and I will gladly give you credit at the bottom of the page.  I hope that this along with other pages I am planning, will give comic fans a great body of resources to draw from.  Plus, it is and will remain free to all fans.  

Check out the new section by clicking here!

Silent Jury 

Chapter Two: Hidden Pasts
As the fire begins to maintain itself, Robert gets up from in front of the fireplace where he has spent the last hour building the fire and heads over to the dining room table.   He heads there to get his father's journal with the sole intent of destroying it and hopefully all it represents.  The shock of finding out his father was a psychotic vigilante still shakes him up inside.  As he picks up the book and looks at the very plain cover, his curiosity begins to get the best of him.  He fights the urge as he slowly walks towards the growing fire.  Still in the back of his mind, he cannot but wonder what would possess a man, especially one who seemed so normal like his father, to don a costume and attack people.  Sure they were criminals and maybe they did slip through the cracks of justice, but that didn't give his father the right to harass them.   He then stops right in front of the fireplace and looks into the flames.  As he is getting ready to throw the book into the awaiting flames, a picture falls from it.   As the picture lands on the ground, he reaches over to pick it up.  It is a picture of his mom, holding him in her lap.  He appears to be about six months old.   It is only the second picture Robert ever seen of his mother, who his father always told him, died in childbirth.  He looks longingly at the picture and then turns it over to read the back.  In faded pencil, it reads "Donna and Little Rob".   Suddenly he begins to wonder how a picture of both of them could be taken if she died during childbirth, especially one where he is at least six months old.  All of sudden, he decides to not burn the journal, but rather read it and find out what other lies his father has told him. 

As Robert sits down at the table, he slowly opens the front cover.  He isn't sure what he will find and if that knowledge will improve or ruin his life and the memories he has of his father.  As he opens it up and gets to the first journal, he swallows hard.  As much as he must know the whole story, there is a part of him that doesn't want to find out.  There is the boy in him that remembers a very strict, but loving father.  A father that may have pushed him to excel, but was also there to praise his accomplishments.  He doesn't want to diminish this loving image he has of his father, but he knows that he will not be able to rest until the truth is revealed.  He already knows too much to stop now.  So Robert begins to read the first journal.

Journal 0001 March 17 1968-"I still cannot believe that Donna is gone.  How such a warm and caring person could just be so violently killed, is still beyond me.  I know that I will never be able to replace her and the thought of Robbie growing up without a mother just kills me inside.  At least the trial is coming up and hopefully there will be some vengeance".

Journal 0002 May 14 1968-"Been awhile since I wrote anything.  The trial is coming to a close and a sentencing should be by week's end.   While the evidence is overwhelming, I cannot help but feel that the defense has something up their sleeves.  The smug looks on their faces infuriates me as much as it worries me".

Journal 0003 May 17 1968-"I cannot believe it!   The bastard was released on a technicality.  Because of some minor problem, he is able to just rape and butcher my wife and then walk free.  Today I am ashamed to be an American.  I have lost all faith in the legal system".

Journal 0004 July 12 1968-"I know that writing this down is probably a dumb idea.  I know it could be used as evidence one day, but I just have to tell someone.  Today, I decided to do what the courts and the law couldn't.  I got my vengeance.  That bastard will never kill anyone again.   I made sure of that.  He sure was tough when it came to attacking women, but against a real man, he folded like a house of cards.  Not only did I make sure he suffered for the pain he has caused me and my family, but I made sure he would never do it again.  While I will admit to killing him, I will not, even in this journal, tell where the body is.  I made sure that it vanished, for good".

As Robert finishes reading the fourth entry, he has to put the book down and take a few deep breaths.  At least now he has an idea why his father became a vigilante.  But before he can get back to the book, he hears a knock on the back door.  Who could be bothering him at this time of the night?  Is it some other kook from his father's past?  The only way to find out is to answer the door.  So he cautiously walks over to the door and looks out.  What he sees is a black woman in a strange getup.  He has never seen her before, but has an idea why she is here.  He reluctantly opens the door.  "What do you want?" he says to her as he gets ready to slam the door shut.  "Can you just hear me out before you shut that door?" she pleads with him.  "Why should I?" he asks her as he slowly pushes the door shut.  "Because my father gave his whole life for this moment and it is killing him that you won't even give the armor a try" she says in a sullen voice.  "Why should I even care?  This is something that was planned without my opinion" he responds in a harsh voice.  "How about this reason, I will continue to bother you until you finally give in" she smugly says with a wicked smile coming across her face.  The door then shuts and she hears a few locks being undone.  Then the door opens and he welcomes her in.  As she walks past, he says "You really would keep bothering me, wouldn't you?"   She smiles back at him and says in a low, almost seductive voice "I have ways to wear down any man's resistance".

As they sit and talk, Robert finally agrees to go back to the school and give the armor a test.  They finally come to an agreement that once he tries it on and if he them doesn't like it, he can reject it and it will be the end of the story.  Figuring it is the only way to get any peace, he reluctantly agrees to the deal and they seal it with a handshake.  She then leaves and takes to the air in her getup.  Robert watches her fly away and suddenly looks around to make sure there is noone around to see this.  While there are no immediate neighbors, one cannot be too careful.  It would be tough to explain a woman flying from your home.  He then walks back into the house and prepares himself for bed.  Knowing that he has a long day ahead of him and some rest would probably do him good, he heads up the stairs.

The next day, Robert arrives at noon, the time they both agreed upon.  As he arrives, he is warmly greeted by Gadget, the man from the day before and his daughter,
Vanessa.  "I must apologize for my daughter's behavior" he politely says as Robert enters the door.  "Oh Daddy, it did get him here didn't it?" she proudly boasts.  "Yes, it did, but it will take more than persistence to get him to stay for any length of time" he says as he heads down the stairs.  As the walk down, Robert grabs Vanessa's arm and whispers to her  "Remember our deal, I give it a try and you leave me alone" he sternly reminds her.  She places her hand upon his and gives it a tap, before removing it from her arm.   "I know, I know.  But let us test the suit out before making any rash decisions"

As they enter the room, Robert sees that the armor is already out of the glass enclosure.  It is laying on a table and as he walks over and takes a look at it, he cannot help but feel a certain amount of excitement.  The same excitement that a child feels upon receiving a new bike.  There is always the presence of danger, but the sense of awe is enough to subside the fears.  Robert tries hard to fight back this exuberance.   Before he can do this, his thoughts are interrupted by Gadget as he begins to describe the suit to Robert.  "This part is the body suit.  As you can see from the sensors located around the suit, it will respond to your every movement".  "Go ahead and pick it up.   Notice the lightweight design.  This is from very advanced plastics that are both very pliable and also extremely strong.  It is a formula that I have spent the better part of twenty years perfecting" he proudly acknowledges.  As Robert picks up the armor, he is amazed at the light weight design.  It really is as light as Gadget described it.  "Now go into the room over there and put the suit on.   Then we will attach the rest of it and boot up the computer" he says as he points to a door off to the left.  Robert picks up the suit and heads into the other room. 

After several minutes, he reemerges in the very tight and form fitting suit.  As he walks over, Vanessa whistles and yells out at him "Not bad" and "That suit doesn't hide anything".  Gadget turns and glares at her "Young lady, this is not some fashion show, so please keep your comments to yourself".  "Oh Daddy, I was just having some fun with Robert, you know trying to keep things light".  "This is serious business and not some joke, so please let us concentrate on the task at hand" he sternly says as he begins to but the other pieces of the armor onto Robert.  As each piece is put on, he bolts it into place.  A good fifteen minutes later, the armor is fully in place.  Robert looks at him and asks "How am I supposed to fight crime if it takes this long to get the suit on?"  Before Gadget has a chance to answer, Robert adds "It isn't like the criminals will wait for me to go to a phone booth and change".  "With practice and a few modifications, we can easily cut the time in half, possibly even less".  Robert just rolls his eyes.  Vanessa is trying to hold back her laughter.  It is not everyday someone questions one of her father's inventions and it is almost never that they find a major flaw in one of them.

Now that the suit is on and secured, Gadget hooks the computer up and begins to download the information to the system.  As the system begins to power up, Robert sees all kind of lights going on in the helmet.  Suddenly a voice comes on in the helmet "Time for voice imprint.  Please state your name, age,  and social security number".  Robert looks over at Gadget and asks, "What is this?"  "This is a security device.  Once the system has your voice print, only you can power it up.  This is to keep others from stealing and using the technology" Gadget replies and then adds "Right now it is also doing a retina scan and making an imprint of your fingers."  "But what if I decide I don't want to be a hero, won't the armor become useless?"  Upon hearing this, Gadget lowers his head and answers "Yes, the armor will be useless and have to be disposed of."  Vanessa then makes her way out of the room as Robert is doing the voice imprint.  After it is finished, he hears a voice in his head say "Hello, my name is Langston.  I will be here to assist you.  I can easily bring up any information you may need about the unit, from its weapons arsenal to its navigation system.  I can also take over and control the armor in times of duress or in the event of your loss of consciousness."  Robert looks over at Gadget and inquires "What is he talking about?"  "You must mean Langston, you must excuse the computer.  He tends to go a bit fast."  After a pause, Robert asks "Why did you call him Langston?"  Gadget answers back "I named him after my favorite poet, Langston Hughes.  If you don't like the name, you can change it to whatever you wish"  he replies.  "No, Langston is fine.  So when do we take this baby for a test drive?" he says as his exuberant side takes over.  "Just about ready" he says as he begins to disconnect all the wires.   He then dons a set of earphones and pulls a mike up to his lips.   "Robert, can you hear me?"  he says into the mike.  "The voice comes through the helmet and Robert replies "Loud and clear, can you hear me?"  "Yes Robert, you are coming in loud and clear".  As soon as he replies, Vanessa comes into the room wearing the outfit from the night before.   "I am all ready to accompany you on your maiden voyage" she says as she walks towards him.  Her voice is also coming into his helmet.  Suddenly, he hears her father's voice ring out "Young lady, will you get that suit off this instance.  No girl of mine will be wearing any suit, you know..."  "I know.  I know.  Women aren't supposed to be superheroes" she pouts as she lowers her head.  "Wait as minute!  If she doesn't go, then neither do I.   If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't even be here" he demands.  After a few minutes of contemplating, Gadget gives in and says "Alright, you can go.  But just one quick flight and then back here" he replies.  "Fine, we will just go out a little bit and head right back" she says, trying to mask her excitement.   He then hears in his helmet, "I owe you one".  As he looks over, she gives him a wink.  They then head over to prepare for their flight.

If you want to read more of the Silent Jury, then check out this and other comic prose stories at KZ Comics Prose Story section.

On the Shrink's Couch

If there is one thing that superheroes need, it is therapy.  These guys are so full of anger, resentment and guilt that a good trip to the shrink would do them a world of good.  So listen in as Batman visits our regional psychiatrist, Dr. I.M. Sane.  

Dr. Sane-So tell me a little about yourself.

Batman-When I was a kid, my parents were gunned down right in front of me.  So I decided to devote my life to hunting down the criminals and making them pay.

Dr. Sane-So you are hunting down the criminals that killed your parents?

Batman-No, I hunt down all criminals and make them pay.  No evildoer is safe from my wrath!

Dr. Sane-I see.  Have you ever "hunted down" an innocent man?

Batman-The Batman does not make mistakes.  I only hunt down and punish the guilty.

Dr. Sane-Very interesting, but how do you know they are all guilty?  

Batman-The Batman knows, he knows all.

Dr. Sane (muttering to himself) - "Switches from first to third person, delusional, has a God complex".

Batman-The Batman can hear you.  

Dr. Sane-I see, does it anger you?

Batman-Crime and the evil ways of man is what angers the Batman.  All evil must be eradicated.  

Dr. Sane-This will take longer than I thought, so let us set you up for weekly sessions.  Also, have you considered anger management classes and possibly some grief management?

Batman-The Batman does not need counseling, he needs to get out and fight crime.

Dr. Sane-So, let us make an appointment for next week, days better for you?

Conclusion

It has been a long time coming, but the 25th issue is finally wrapped up and delivered.  Hope you enjoy it and hopefully there will be a much smaller wait till the next issue.  

-Tom Zjaba

 

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