The Moviehunter

Pulp Culture
Comic book projects
support disaster relief


September 20, 2001
By Franklin Harris

Friday afternoon, comic book artist Mike Deodato released a sketch of a grief-stricken Captain America standing over a smoldering New York skyline, aptly expressing what an entire nation was feeling.

Illustration by Mike Deodato
Illustration by Mike Deodato
The two largest comic book companies, Marvel and DC, are both in Manhattan. Editors and staff at both have seen the devastation close up.

DC Comics has announced that it will indefinitely delay publication of "Goddess," a graphic novel by Garth Ennis ("Preacher") and Phil Winslade. The story, originally published in mini-series form, depicts a 747 jumbo jet crashing onto a crowded beach.

DC joins a long list of entertainment companies shuffling schedules to avoid releasing potentially sensitive material during this time of grieving and recovery.

Hollywood studios have pushed back the premieres of several movies and TV series, including Arnold Schwarzenegger's latest action film, "Collateral Damage."

Cartoon Network has removed the Japanese war drama "Mobile Suit Gundam" from its afternoon line-up and suspended "Cowboy Bebop," another Japanese anime series, from its Adult Swim block on Thursdays and Sundays.

"Cowboy Bebop" is on hiatus because the next pending episode deals with a terrorist group.

Cartoon Network has not announced when either series will return.

Marvel Comics is one of two publishers so far planning a benefit comic book, with proceeds going to various disaster relief organizations.

Marvel's project, "Heroes," will be a poster book.

"While there will be some 'superhero' drawings, for the most part the illustrations will portray Americans doing what they do," Marvel Editor-In-Chief Joe Quesada told the Newsarama Web site. "It'll be firemen, EMS workers and citizens on the street. Just artists' interpretations of what's going on at this moment."

The lengthy list of contributors includes Frank Miller, Todd McFarlane, George Perez, Alex Ross, Stan Lee, David Mack and Alan Davis.

Marvel hopes "Heroes" will go to press in a few weeks. It will sell for $3.50, with all the proceeds going to relief efforts.

According to Quesada, "Heroes" will also include Deodato's sketch.

Also, in conjunction with Dynamic Forces, Marvel is offering a Captain America lithograph by artists Dan Jurgens and Jerry Ordway, with all proceeds going to the American Red Cross.

You can purchase the lithograph directly from Dynamic Forces at www.dynamicforces.com. It costs $24.99.

Smaller publishers are also pitching in.

9-11 Emergency Relief
In January, Alternative Press will release "9-11 Emergency Relief," with all profits going to the Red Cross. The thick, 128-page volume will retail for $14.95.

Contributors to "9-11 Emergency Relief" include the legendary Will Eisner ("The Spirit") and younger artists and writers like Frank Cho, James Kochalka, Scott Morse and Gail Simone.

For more information, see www.indyworld.com/relief.

Meanwhile, Oni Press, in conjunction with GrayHavenMagazine.com, has its own benefit project in the works.

Oni will hold an auction through eBay.com, offering items donated by comic book creators, including Warren Ellis ("Transmetropolitan"), Greg Rucka ("Detective Comics") and Lea Hernandez, among many others.

All proceeds after eBay fees and shipping costs will go to the Red Cross. The auction is scheduled to begin Oct. 8.

Now for some sad news unrelated to last week's terrorist attacks.

Movie producer Samuel Z. Arkoff died Sunday at 83.

Along with his late partner, Jim Nicholson, Arkoff founded American International Pictures, known for its string of successful low-budget movies.

AIP produced such drive-in classics as "I Was Teenage Werewolf" and "The Amityville Horror." It also was the North American distributor for Mel Gibson's post-apocalyptic action flick, "Mad Max," and Italian horror director Mario Bava.

Arkoff helped launch the careers of Brian De Palma, Jack Nicholson, Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese before he sold AIP in 1979.

Next week, we will return to our regular, frivolous programming. I hope.

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