WDb // Trivia Tuesdays (cont’d)

A few Tuesdays have passed, and with them, new episodes of my Trivia Tuesdays segment on the Watchtower Database channel on YouTube. I narrate a fact related to the DC Animated Universe, such as easter eggs or behind-the-scenes info on cast and crew. Clips and pics are edited in accompaniment by James Strecker and Mark Daniel Martinez. All are roughly one minute long, and drop every other week.

First, we take a walk on the dark side, and dive into the similarities between the SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES episode “Legacy” and SUPERMAN: THE DARK SIDE graphic novel from the Elseworlds imprint. Both stories feature a Superman who never grew up on Earth, but was raised by Darkseid on Apokilips instead.

Next, we analyze the actors who have portrayed DC Comics characters in both the DC Animated Universe and CBS’ THE FLASH from the early 1990s. Most notably would be Mark Hamill, who played the Trickster on THE FLASH, and also reprised the character in JLU. Hamill also played Solomon Grundy in JUSTICE LEAGUE, and his most famous role as the Joker, which Hamill has provided for over twenty years.

Last, we look at BATMAN: THE LOST YEARS, which was a comic book tie-in to the BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES. Several chapters of the series were later produced as episodes of THE NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES. Though the art from THE LOST YEARS used designs from the previous incarnation of the series, the comic was actually based off scripts for the show, and not the other way around.

12th Level Intellects on iTunes!

12th Level Intellects, the bi-weekly geek entertainment podcast hosted by James Strecker and myself, is now available for streaming and download over iTunes!

The podcast will continue to retain its affiliation with the Watchtower Database YouTube channel where all episodes will be uploaded per usual. The iTunes platform will allow for a smoother streaming experience on mobile devices, especially since iOS users already have the Podcast app included on their phones. Be sure to subscribe, give us a 5-star rating, and write a review if you feel inclined.

Click the logo for the podcast!

 

Trivia Tuesdays with Ted

In an effort to create steady and ongoing content, the Watchtower Database has tapped me for its new Trivia Tuesdays segment. Every other week, we release a one-minute video relating a random fact about the DC Animated Universe, usually pertaining to behind-the-scenes elements such as voice acting or production.

Our first installment was entitled “Tim Drake, Boy Wonder of Many Voices” where we look at the five different voice actors to lend their talents to the second Robin.

Next, we look at Superman and his cheekbones of steel, digging into why Superman’s appearance changed so drastically between his look on SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES and JUSTICE LEAGUE, and the subsequent redesign for the latter series’ second season, and beyond into JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED.

LEGACIES #4: “Destroyed, Part 3”

Another issue of LEGACIES OF THE DCAU dropped on Saturday, November 25th. Issue #4 concludes the first major story arc “Destroyed”, which takes place days after the conclusion of the JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED series finale episode “Destroyer”, and sets the stage for LEGACIES’ future as it ventures into uncharted territory, setting up a confrontation between the Justice League and black ops agency Checkmate, led in part by the political powerhouse Amanda Waller.

This issue is essentially a love letter and homage to the Fourth World characters created by comic book legendary creator Jack Kirby. After an action packed intro where Mister Miracle saves the day, Superman leads a peace treaty between the New Gods and the World Assembly of Earth. Orion is the focus of one sequence where he reclaims the throne of Apokolips after his father Darkseid’s apparent demise at the end of the JLU animated series, which was one of my favorite scenes to write so far. Read the full issue linked below on the webcomic’s official website.

 

Click the cover to read LEGACIES #4!

Six-page special “Powers That Be” is coming soon, following up on last summer’s “Asylum”, both of which were written by myself and drawn by Marcello Millicay. These Gotham based specials will culminate in a thematic series of issues leading into the eventual aesthetic of the BATMAN BEYOND animated series.

NC Comicon Oak City 2017

I joined Jarrett Rutland in Raleigh, NC over the weekend of March 18th for the two day NC Comicon Oak City event to promote the all-ages ESCAPIST COMIX brand. We worked a table in Artist Alley where we sold copies of the first four issues of ROBOT SAMURAI PENGUINS, and first issues of new releases LITTLE PREACHER and DARK PLOTTER, along with extra swag like stickers, high quality prints, and T-shirts. It was a great success and so much fun to get feedback directly from fans.

NC Comicon

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Jarrett has been building his line of books over the last two years, but I came onboard as the Marketing Director only a few months ago to help with the technical aspects, hone in on the branding such as the name and logo, and develop an online presence, primarily through Patreon for monthly crowdfunding and ComiXology for digital sales. I’ve also started writing an upcoming series that will be announced down the road, but I can say it has a very exciting premise. I’ll come up with a fun Project Codename whenever I discuss the development process in a later post.

comical comics creators @nccomicon #artistalley #escapistcomix #comics #comicon #ncart #kidslit

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As this was my first convention on the other side of a table, I learned all about the patience required by artists when waiting for crowds to both arrive in the morning and leave in the afternoon. Comic conventions are always colorful, exciting, but sometimes overwhelming events, especially when high profile creators are involved. I briefly said hello to Neil Adams, known for his work on characters like Batman, Green Arrow, and Green Lantern in the 1970s, also had my issues of MOTHER PANIC signed by artist Tommy Lee Edwards, and picked up multiple signed copies of the BATMAN / TMNT ADVENTURES #1 Director’s Cut as gifts.

Attending discussion panels is also a fun element, and I found myself at two this time around. One was an action choreography panel from BEAT DOWN BOOGIE, the Raleigh based YouTube channel known for MARIO WARFARE, and the other was a discussion by the BATMAN / TMNT ADVENTURES team of Matt Manning, an Asheville based writer and friend who I had previously interviewed about the book for the WATCHTOWER DATABASE, and Jon Sommariva, an Australian based artist who had flown all the way to Raleigh to meet Matt in person (after completing the 6-issue mini-series together) and hang out with their publishers at IDW Comics.

While on the topic of Jon Sommariva, I commissioned him for a sketch on a blank cover of Superman / Batman #30. As the cheapskate I am, I couldn’t afford two characters, so I compromised for the oddball Composite Superman mashup villain whose face is half Superman, half Batman, as a way to cheat the system.

NC Comicon was an incredible event. Since they hold two per year, Oak City in March, and Bull City in October, I have no doubt I will surely return soon enough.

WDb // History of the Supersuits

I recently provided research and narration on another video essay through the WATCHTOWER DATABASE channel on YouTube. The DCAU has such a rich history after its long run of various interconnecting animated series, and Superman appeared more often than anyone, aside from perhaps Batman. THE SUPERSUITS is a follow up to similar THE BATSUITS video that went online last October, and provides an excellent look into the evolution of Superman’s design over the years using explanations and evidence provided from the animated series themselves.

MillarWorld 2017 Annual Contest

I’ve made the habit now of participating in various writing contests over the last three years, though comic contests have always been my favorite. MillarWorld’s 2017 Annual Contest was both the second year it’s been held and my second year to participate. MillarWorld is an imprint of comics from writer Mark Millar, known for the KICK-ASS series, Marvel’s CIVIL WAR, and SUPERMAN: RED SON. Millar is also the creative liaison between Marvel Comics and 20th Century FOX’s superhero film franchises such as X-MEN, FANTASTIC FOUR, and DEADPOOL.


MillarWorld’s Annual Contest asks writers and artists to take Mark Millar’s intellectual properties and write a short story set around the events of the original series. Though I suspect the contest is an avenue for MillarWorld to sell more comics, I have always found it a satisfying test in terms of the research involved required to write characters who are slightly more obscure and unfamiliar to the casual reader. In 2015, I entered a script entitled CHRONONAUTS: THINK DIFFERENT about a pair of time travelers who give Steve Jobs the idea for the iPod.

This year, I wrote about HUCK, a small-time superhero composite of Superman and Forest Gump. HUCK was originally created by writer Mark Millar and artist Rafael Albuquerque. The series log line is described as such: “In a quiet seaside town, Huck uses his special gifts to do a good deed each day. His neighbors return the favors by keeping his abilities a secret. But when a newcomer alerts the media, a firestorm erupts, sending Huck on an adventure that will change everything.”


My entry entitled HUCK: FROM SOUP TO NUTS featured Huck in a soup kitchen where he serves everyone at super-speed. One man asks for monetary assistance, and Huck obliges only to watch him throw it away on pointless pursuits. It was difficult to present Huck in a light that didn’t come across as bully, but genuinely upset that people waste his help. Fortunately, I was lucky to have constructive feedback from editors Jason Buchanan, James Strecker, and Adam Mullen.

HUCK: FROM SOUP TO NUTS was not a winner, but I still found it a worthy effort and challenging assignment. The script is available to read upon request.

LEGACIES OF THE DCAU // webcomic

A few years ago, artist and filmmaker James Strecker of JTS Entertainment was deliberating on the relaunch of the WATCHTOWER DATABASE, his fan-made tribute to everything regarding the DC Animated Universe (DCAU), a series of interlocking cartoons which began with the Emmy award-winning BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES, and continued into SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES, BATMAN BEYOND, STATIC SHOCK, and JUSTICE LEAGUE to name a few.

After seeing James’ designs for how characters may have appeared during the time period between JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED and BATMAN BEYOND, I proposed an ongoing webcomic on the lost years of the DCAU. This concept grew into the LEGACIES OF THE DC ANIMATED UNIVERSE webcomic, written by myself, illustrated by James Strecker, and hosted by the WATCHTOWER DATABASE.

Though the tribute website is still in development, the WATCHTOWER DATABASE has since become a hub for all fans of the DC Animated Universe on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. We’ve grown in notoriety from our recent interviews with industry professionals like Matthew Manning and Alan Burnett.

As long as our followers enjoy reminiscing about the DCAU as much as we do, I’m sure the content will keep on flowing. Over the last year, we have released three installments of LEGACIES with more to come. Find the issues linked below:

cover_0cover_1cover_2

S.T.A.R. Labs Confidential

When The CW launched the new seasons of their superhero shows last fall, YouTube channel host Zizzoro aka Brian Day and I reviewed each premiere. First we talked about THE FLASH, which was fun because the first episode was adapted from a familiar comic book storyline called FLASHPOINT, written by one of my favorite writers Geoff Johns. Zizzoro and I dive into the similarities between the episode and its source material and speculate on the future of the current season.

Next we talked about the season 5 premiere of ARROW where we discussed the new villain Prometheus (one of my favorite comic book villains, an Anti-Batman), last season’s death of the Black Canary and her potential return, and whether the temporal tampering of the aforementioned “Flashpoint” will also affect ARROW which we’ve already seen some evidence in regards to John Diggle’s child.

Although I haven’t followed the show in full, in the review on SUPERGIRL’s season 2 premiere, Zizzoro and I discussed the presence of Martian Manhunter and a new Superman, the change in networks from CBS to The CW, Supergirl’s love life in the comics, how her relationship with Jimmy Olsen might evolve, the virtues of Calista Flockhart as Cat Grant, and the possibility of more crossover episodes.

To round out the discussion, Zizzoro and I discussed the season 2 premiere of LEGENDS OF TOMORROW. This show has always had the most potential to explore the vast corners of the DC Universe, and with somewhat obscure characters like Firestorm and Vixen on their team roster, there’s no arguing that they do. This season saw the introduction of the Justice Society, one of my favorite superhero teams from the WWII era, as well as a new incarnation of the Legion of Doom.

I had a great time geeking out about DC TV on S.T.A.R. Labs Confidential and welcome the opportunity to do so again with Zizzoro or another host.  I’ve also been known to conduct interviews, so I’m sure there will be many more to come.