Flashbacks to What Never Was

Draculex™, N-Man™, Red Tails™ Faux-Comicbook Covers

Work continues on a number of projects—first and foremost, work (I can’t show you) on the S.R. Bissette’s How to Make a Monster art instructional book for Watson-Guptill/Random House; work (I won’t show you) on Tales of the Uncanny™, the N-Man™/Naut Comics™ project.

Oh, OK.

One peek…

Logo by Mark Bilokur; pencils by Josh Rosen; inks by S.R. Bissette; color and initial production (we’re still working on these faux-vintage cover images) by Max Riffner.

I’m damned lucky to be working with these folks.

There’s a ton of great images and text pieces we’ve completed for this project, and it’s coming together slowly (hey, I’m bankrolling this on money earned off SpiderBaby Store sales, which have been sluggish since mid-summer, and a teaching salary). But it is coming together. I’ll have more to share later this month, if all goes well.

On another matter altogether:

You know, money doesn’t guarantee visibility or even reaching an audience, ever. I keep that thought in mind as I grind away on my own projects, always.

Given the big news about Lucasfilms selling itself and Star Wars to Disney, it seems worth reminding everyone that one of the films George Lucas cited as a personal disappointment that led to his decision to get out now rather than later was this year’s Red Tails (2012), which barely got any theatrical play whatsoever.

Most disappointing to me, too, was that Lucas had commissioned an absolutely terrific Joe Kubert movie poster; Joe‘s first, I believe? And, alas, his last, now that Joe‘s left us.

But what a beauty; I wish this movie had played theaters hereabouts (it screened one night only at the Dartmouth Hopkins Center, that I know of, and we missed it).


The Unbelievable N-Man™, Tales of the Uncanny™, Naut Comics™ are trademarks of Stephen R. Bissette, all rights reserved; N-Man™ and Tales of the Uncanny™ and ©Stephen R. Bissette, by contractual arrangement with the original co-creator. N-Man logo by Mark Bilokur, artwork by Josh Rosen, Stephen R. Bissette, Max Riffner, ©2012 Stephen R. Bissette, all rights reserved. Red Tails™ poster art by Joe Kubert, ©2012 Lucasfilms, Ltd.—now, who? I’ve no clue.

Discussion (9) ¬

  1. Roger Green

    Red Tails played for at least a week in Albany, specifically at the Madison Theater, which I note because it’s not from my house and I happened to see more black people in their 60s and 70s going into a movie theater (it was a Saturday matinee c 4 pm) then I’ve ever seen in my life. Bringing along their children and grandchildren too.

  2. BobH

    Cool poster, I hadn’t seen that before. Good callback to this vintage ROCK cover:

    Just saw RED TAILS a few weeks ago. It had some really good bits, but was really uneven. Worth watching though, and a real shame such a compelling story had such a hard time being made and released even with a name like Lucas behind it.

  3. James Robert Smith

    Kubert had lost none of his edge, even toward the end.

    RED TAILS did play here in Charlotte, but I didn’t catch it. I just don’t watch as many films as I did in my youth.

  4. Roger Green

    I meant “not FAR from my house”. I never saw Red Tails myself.

  5. Mark Nelson

    I caught RED TAILS at a local theater, and quite enjoyed it. The dogfights were well-staged and exciting, and the rest felt like an old-time Hollywood studio film, which might be read as hokey to some, but worked for me.

  6. Mark Masztal

    Let me know when you need my assistance.

  7. Henry R. Kujawa

    I’m still shaking my head over George Lucas selling the company he built from scratch to Disney. I just cannot in my personal philosophy comprehend doing a thing like that for any reason, and giving up all control (and potential future profits). It’s the latest example of corporations swallowing up family-owned companies, which, to me, should be the backbone of the country. With corporations there is usually NO personal connection or involvement between those making decisions and those who create products or services. A sad commentary of our era.

    Of course, in Lucas’ case, he seems to have been on a self-destructive course, creatively speaking, for an awful long time now. All the while that “AMERICAN GRAFFITTI” belatedly became a favorite film of mine.

    This is actually the first I’ve even heard of “RED TAILS”. Then again, some of my favorite movies have gotten terrible reviews, bombed at the box office, vanished from theatres in a week or two, etc. I still feel lucky I got to see “THE MIRROR CRACK’D” with Angela Landsbury on the last day of 1980. The follow-up, “EVIL UNDER THE SUN” with Peter Ustinov, as far as I know NEVER played here, and I first heard of it when it appeared on HBO. I may watch “BAD CHANNELS” again tonight… I’m kind of in the mood for “stupid but funny”. (I wish Martha Quinn had done more movies!)

    Cool posted by Joe Kubert. I’ve found myself doing quite a few Joe Kubert cover “restorations” lately, as I closed in on the end of my “early-70′s Kirby DC” project at my blog. Be sure to check ‘em out– you won’t find better-looking images of them anywhere else online!

  8. John Pannozzi

    I would hope that Tales of the Uncanny doesn’t contradict the fiction history of the 1964 Sweatshop, or Jim Valentino’s “A Touch of Silver”, or the fake letters page in the Silver-Age section of the ShadowHawk Special- basically everything that forms a fictional history for the maker os Image Comics and related series.

  9. srbissette

    John: As I must (per his own wishes/demands) remove “Affable Al” and the 1963 series characters/concepts/titles I do not own from any and all fictional history I’m able to work with, I’ve had to reinvent the entire fictional universe my characters and comics exist within. Any hope Rick Veitch and I (and anyone) may have harbored for even a bare-bones reprint of the original 1963 series (sans finale) was buried for good with Alan’s own decision in the 11th hour to deep-six the whole affair; thus, I have to sever my characters completely from the fictional history of the 1963 sweatshop as presented in (real time) 1993+. I cannot refer to anything except The Fury, N-Man, Sky Solo, the Hypernaut, and their related characters/concepts; the only creator of the original sweatshop I can reference is myself.

    These aren’t necessarily my choices or my rules, John. It’s the hand I’ve been dealt, and must work with.

    Furthermore, my serious attempts to contractually engage with the real-world Image Comics in 2010-2011 (and Image’s failure to follow up and through, in any way, after seven months of what they may consider “negotiations,” but which were anything but, yielding nothing) further complicated matters. I cannot refer to Image Comics, or any aspect of the fictional history original 1963 co-creator Jim Valentino brought to the table subsequently, except as a “licensed offshoot” circa the 1990s—and leave it at that.

    I’ve essentially had to chuck everything—save for coy references diehards may be able to draw the links with and to—and reinvent the entire ‘Naut Comics’ universe and faux-history from scratch. There are strong legal and personal reasons for this overhaul. While I’ve been attentive as I can to what real-world came before, it’s not the conceptual card game I ever would have chosen to play—and anything and everything “that forms a fictional history for the maker of Image Comics and related series” are thus a fiction (which I cannot go into, but only obliquely reference) within my own fictional construct.

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