SPECTATORS - Part 67
Plus, BKV x Hasbro?!
Well, that weekend could have gone either way, huh?
Brian here, wondering if you also spent much of this past Friday night/Saturday morning hopelessly glued to screens, unable to do anything but watch and wonder if whatever passes for “global order” was once again about to unravel into even more violent and unknowable chaos?
If so, have I got just the comic for you!
In this week’s new vignette of Spectators, voyeuristic spirits Sam and Val continue to haunt a world still perpetually on the brink of destroying itself… but at least our nuclear-fueled nightmare has exquisite art from co-creator Niko Henrichon and flawless lettering from Fonografiks.
Exploding Giraffe welcomed a lot of new subscribers after our ad in the back of the latest Saga (thanks for the kind words and/or hopefully satirical death threats about that issue), so if you need to get caught up on this serialized, sporadically not-safe-for-work graphic novel, our entire story so far is always free to read in these handy Archives.
Up to speed? Then let’s proceed…
Despite depressing closing thoughts like that, Exploding Giraffe somehow just broke past 16,000 subscribers, and a healthy percentage of you readers have been generous enough to join as paid members of what we call The Tower (definitely not a pyramid scheme or volleyball-playing cult), so thanks very much for making all of this beautiful misery possible.
Along with getting some weekly bonus nonsense (like today’s look back at my unexpected time in the Hasbro Writers’ Room), Tower types also have exclusive access to our delightful chat threads, where we give away a lot of dumb prizes to our brilliant commenters.
Last week, in honor of the late John Romita Sr., we were discussing who you would put on your Mount Rushmore of all-time favorite Spidey artists. A lot of love for the usual suspects, as well as for some more recent contributors to the Spider-Verse (especially Sara Pichelli), but our intern Genesis the Exploded Giraffe randomly selected these two opinion-havers to receive signed comics:
Ditko, Romita Sr., Romita Jr., and Sal Buscema.
No insult to Todd McFarlane, who deserves strong consideration, but Sal illustrated more issues of Spectacular Spider-Man than anyone, and his run with JM DeMatteis is the best Spider-Man run of the 90s (AND ISN’T AVAILABLE AS A TRADE OR ON COMIXOLOGY OR MARVEL UNLIMITED FOR COMPLETELY UNFATHOMABLE REASONS).
The second mountain would have Bagley, Todd McFarlane, Ross Andru, and then it’s a toss-off between Ron Frenz, Marcos Martin, and Erik Larsen.
JRJR (nobody sells action and impact like JRJR)
Darwyn Cooke (drew two of the most perfect Spider-Man stories with his Valentines and Christmas one-shots)
Paolo Rivera (who draws my favorite Spider-Man [it’s all in the eyes], in stories like ASM 577 and ASM Extra 2)
Lee Weeks (I love how human his Peter feels with Lee’s rendering & acting)
Honorable mention: Sean Galloway, principal character designer of the best Spider-Man show, Spectacular Spider-Man (which I was delighted to see made an appearance in Across the Spider-Verse)
And since we wanted readers who somehow might not hold an opinion about such vitally important matters to also have a shot at signed books, Genesis promised a prize to a Tower member who simply hit our thirsty “like” button instead of commenting, and this week’s lucky liker is… Nikki H.
Congrats to our winners, and we’ll be giving away my last few copies of Saga #65 to more Tower members this week, so you cool cats know what to do:
Forgive this brief interruption, but the following is a message only for you Exploding Giraffe readers lucky enough to reside in Canada:
My friends at Image Comics have asked me to share that Indigo has included the upcoming collection SAGA, VOL. 11 (co-created with the incomparable Fiona Staples) in their “Most Anticipated Canadian” offer—this week only—at 20% off, at the following link: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/our-most-anticipated-canadian-books/942391-cat.html
Ends July 2, 2023, exclusions apply, and so on. Wherever you live, thanks for also supporting your local independent comic/book shops!
And now, back to our irregularly scheduled programming.
Recently, I received the following note from fellow Substacker Dan Koller:
Because you referenced a need for content, here’s a suggestion for a future edition: I’d love to hear stories from inside the writers room for the Hasbro cinematic universe that you and Michael Chabon were reportedly involved in.
Whoa, the Hasbro Writers’ Room?
That was more than seven years ago, an eternity for my gin-addled brain. I’m still not quite sure why I was asked to join such a murderers’ row of screenwriting talent, but that room was one of the more fun gigs of my weird time in Hollywood.
And more than one person has asked about it recently, probably because of (vague spoilers ahead!) the shocking end of the most recent Transformers movie, not to mention the blockbuster reveal in Void Rivals, my pal Robert Kirkman’s new Image comic with the awesome Lorenzo De Felici.
Or maybe it was this Tweet and its alarming number of views:
Wait, did I write a ROM Spaceknight script?
NDAs mean I can’t reveal too much about that particular job, but after the jump, I can at least tell you exactly which Hasbro toys I was lucky enough to play with, and even share a photo or two, like this swell swag I just pulled out of the BKVault (sorry for the wrinkly shirt):
If you want to know which of the above codenames was mine… I’m afraid that top-secret information is for Tower members only.
Everyone else, stay safe out there, have a great week, and Niko and I will see you back here for a slightly less depressing installment of Spectators next Monday.
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