Thursday, May 14, 2009

5 Quick Questions with Carl Potts

Carl Potts is an American comic-book writer, artist, and editor best known for creating the series Alien Legion for the Marvel Comics imprint Epic Comics.

After contributing to such comics fanzines as the anthology Venture, Potts drew backgrounds and some secondary figures for a late fill-in issue of DC Comics' Richard Dragon: Kung Fu Fighter, being drawn by comics artists Jim Starlin and Alan Weiss.

Potts freelanced briefly until joining Neal Adams' commercial-art company and comic-book packager Continuity Studios. He was involved with storyboard and comp art for major New York ad agencies. He also produced finished-illustration for magazines and books for several years before joining Marvel's editorial staff in 1983.

At Marvel as an editor, Potts worked with such notable comics creators as Jon Bogdanove, Jim Lee, Mike Okamoto, Whilce Portacio, Steve Skroce, Larry Stroman, and Scott Williams early in their careers. He oversaw the development of The Punisher from guest star to franchise character, and edited such titles as The Incredible Hulk, Doctor Strange, Alpha Flight, The Defenders as well as the newly created Power Pack and Strikeforce: Morituri.

After hours, Potts continued to write and produce occasional art for Marvel, and in 1983 teamed with Alan Zelenetz and Frank Cirocco to co-create the series Alien Legion, conceived as "the French Foreign Legion in space." Two ongoing series and several miniseries and one-shots were produced.

In 1989, Potts was named executive editor in charge of the Epic imprint, and about a third of the mainstream Marvel titles. Five years later, he became editor-in-chief of the "General Entertainment" and Epic Comics divisions.

After 13 years at Marvel, Potts left to become Creative Director at VR-1, a massively multiplayer online game company. He then worked with Gary Winnick and Cirocco's Lightsource Studios before become senior creative director of the New York City office of He also consults for publishing, entertainment and interactive clients including HarperCollins, Tokyopop, Mainframe Entertainment, The Learning Company and Funrise Toys.

He agreed to answer 5 Quick Questions:

1) What would you say is your greatest achievement in comics?

As an editor, I can probably boil it down to two. One, developing the Punisher from a second-string character into a publishing franchise that also spawned numerous licensed merchandise deals, games and major media productions. Two, finding and developing a lot of quality comics talent including Jim Lee, Whilce Portacio, Scott Williams, Larry Stroman, Chris Warner, Jon Bogdanov…

As a creator, creating Alien Legion would be the choice. An Alien Legion screenplay has been optioned to a major studio. Waiting to see if it’ll end up in front of the cameras. A new comprehensive set of trade paperbacks will collect all of the Alien Legion comics done in the past and work has begun on a new series as well.

2) Who was your favorite writer or artist that you worked with & why?

Writer: Louise “Weezie” Simonson was a real pleasure to work with on Power Pack. Denny O’Neil on Last of the Dragons would be right up there too.

Artist: Jim Lee

3) What character you have never worked .., would you like to do & why?

I grew up as a Steve Ditko fan. I only got to write/draw one Spider-Man story (for Marvel Fanfare) but that was with the black costume so I’d like to draw one in the traditional costume. I did get to write and draw an issue of Dr. Strange. I guess The Creeper and The Questions would be the other main Ditko characters I’d like to have a crack at.

4) Who are your influences?

Ditko was my first big comic book artist influence. Later Neal Adams and Steranko were influences. A lot of American Illustrators including Dean Cornwell, Norman Rockwell, Mead Schaeffer, etc. Many other influences too numerous to list.

5) What hero or villain would you like to change if you could and why?

For the most part, the Punisher has been handled very poorly in the films. He’s a simple character. That simplicity, ironically, makes him easy to screw up. The Punisher films have also exhibited an amazing lack of internal story logic. I’d like to write a screenplay that fulfills the character’s potential for the big screen.

Check out Carl's blog at

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The mega-popular superstar brings his unique creative vision to Image Comics this August!

Tyrese Gibson, the Multi-Platinum selling R&B singer and mega-star behind Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Death Race and 2 Fast 2 Furious, comes full force to comics with ANGEL artist Tone Rodriguez and co-writers Mike Le & William Wilson in August's three-issue action packed thriller, MAYHEM!

"I am extremely excited to be working with Image Comics on the launching my debut comic book MAYHEM," Gibson said. "Image has a long and rich history of great titles and I am honored to be apart of that history. Robert Kirkman's and Eric Stepheson's input throughout this creative process has been invaluable and I know we've produced a special comic book for all fans to enjoy."

Tyrese Gibson's MAYHEM begins on the streets of Los Angeles, wherein a brutal crime wave led by the mysterious Big X has the entire city in a state of perpetual fear. With even the police force unable to stop him, MAYHEM, a faceless vigilante with only his partner Malice and an unrelenting vengeance to back him up, strikes back against the criminal hordes. Within three issues of non-stop action, they will take on Big X to dismantle his organization and restore peace to the City of Angels.

Image Comics Chief Operating Officer and WALKING DEAD writer Robert Kirkman added, "With the entertainment world at large currently bowing at the feet of comics and its ideas, it's incredibly exciting to have a media mastermind like Tyrese Gibson turning his attention our way. MAYHEM is a unique, engaging comic-book experience that could only come from the mind of someone who's risen to the top of so many different fields--anxious to take another by storm. Ready or not, Tyrese Gibson is in the house--and it's going to be MAYHEM!"

MAYHEM #1, a thirty-two page full color comic book for $2.99, will be in stores August 5th.


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I.M.O. Review: Green Lantern Corps #36 (DC Comics) By Eddie R.

Rallying the troops.

This issue of Green Lantern Corps #36 opens with both confrontations and revelations. As we learn about the twisted since of fatherly duty Sinestro seems to have for his daughter Soranik, we also learn of his plan to save Korugar, and ultimately the universe, from the influence of the Guardians. Once this is revealed, Sinestro tries to see if Soranik is truly her father’s daughter. Is she willing to become what Sinestro desires, or will she continue to rebel against her father’s legacy?

On Oa, we witness the continued riot which has engulfed the Sciencells, via the point-of- view of a recording drone. The drone notes the fighting has spread beyond the prison walls and across the Oan surface, with the GLC trying to suppress the fighting. With all measures of force being used and the amount of casualties and destruction mounting, one wonders where all this fighting will lead to?

Finally on the planet Daxam, we continue to follow the Green Lantern’s Sodam Yat and Arisia, as they devise a plan to attack Mongul. Seeing no choice but to tap into the Ion entities power, Sodam attempts to make a solo full frontal assault on Mongul. But this action is thwarted by a higher power who denies Sodam from accessing the Ion energy, requiring him to make a fateful choice, and an ultimate sacrifice.

The outcome of all these decisions will certainly have readers wanting more, with these events possibly creating new complications, as the prelude to Blackest Night continues.


Eddie R.
Review Editor

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I.M.O. Review: Booster Gold #20 (DC Comics) By Eddie R.

Just Killing time.

Sometimes there are issues of a comic book which are basically filler for changing story arcs. Most of the time, these small stories are just something to basically kill the passage of time, not having any real effect on anything of major importance. But there are some fill in the blank stories which actually do what they say. And this issue of Booster Gold #20 does just that.

What starts off as Booster wanting to go back and experience the “Happier days” of 1950’s America, while waiting for Rip Hunter to fix a stalled time sphere, turns into a much more serious adventure.

Ending up in 1952, just after the disbandment of the Justice Society of America, Booster sets in motion a series of events which allows readers to glimpse at what happened in the DCU during this time period. What’s even more amazing is how Booster manages to run into a certain secret governmental group, which only Rip Hunter knew to exist. After being captured and questioned by this “task force”, Booster gets blackmailed into helping them deal with a threat towards national security. Now the leader of this group will be familiar to alot of readers of DC’s War themed comics. I am not going to ruin the surprise, but yes, it is him.

As the story progresses, we learn the reasons behind this threat to national security. I must admit the plot is very well suited for this time period, mixing elements of both the space race and the cold war, as well as tying it all together with Booster own timeline. This story is also very straight forward and concise. It could have easily been extended to last another issue or two, but thankfully it wasn’t. I especially enjoyed the twist on the crew who exit the rocket, which Booster prevents from being launched. If you look closely, they appear to look like another super team who got their start by being launched into space, especially when one of the crew makes the comment he feels really burnt up about the experience.

Of course at the end of the issue, when Booster returns to the Time Sphere and Rip, we learn how this trip has played out and affected the current timeline. Booster mentioned earlier in the story how he always winds up where he is most needed, whether he likes it or not. And this story is no exception.


Eddie R.
Review Editor.

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Green Lantern: First Flight Q&A With Director Lauren Montgomery


Fresh off her triumphant solo directorial debut of Wonder Woman, Lauren Montgomery shifts gears from Amazons and mythology to intergalactic intrigue as the director of Green Lantern: First Flight, the fifth in the ongoing series of DC Universe animated original PG-13 movies.

Warner Premiere, DC Comics and Warner Bros. Animation are set to release the all-new Green Lantern: First Flight on July 28, 2009. The Blu-Ray™ Hi-Def edition, the special edition 2-disc DVD, and a single disc DVD will be distributed by Warner Home Video. The action-packed movie will also be available OnDemand and Pay-Per-View as well as available for download day and date, July 28, 2009.

Montgomery has been a central force within the DC Universe animated original movies, directing one-third of the series’ initial film, Superman Doomsday, and wowing critics and fans alike with her solo directorial debut at the helm of Wonder Woman. With Green Lantern: First Flight, Montgomery takes the next step in her burgeoning career, directing the initial full-length story to feature the DC Comics super hero and an entire universe of fascinating characters. She is once again teamed with executive producer Bruce Timm, this time working from an Alan Burnett script that focuses on Hal Jordan’s recruitment to the Green Lantern Corps and his discovery of a secret conspiracy that threatens its philosophies, traditions and hierarchy.

There is no rest for the weary. Though Green Lantern: First Flight has just completed production, Montgomery has already begun directing her next project – another upcoming DCU that you’ll no doubt hear about in the not-too-distant future. Montgomery paused between recording sessions and storyboards to chat about the directorial learning curve, a new universe of astounding characters, a very cool quartet of key voiceover actors, and the tricks to avoiding greens and yellows for an entire background color palette.

Read on … it’s director Lauren Montgomery talking about Green Lantern: First Flight …

Will Green Lantern: First Flight be in the well-known design of Bruce Timm, or be more of the Lauren Montgomery vision from Wonder Woman?

We’re actually having a lot of fun trying different artistic styles on different movies – Bruce felt his style has been done enough, and I just had my turn – plus I knew there were many other character designers who are infinitely better at designing aliens that I am. We were lucky to get Jose Lopez to create the characters for Green Lantern. I think he even took a pay cut from his last job to do Green Lantern, but this project really allows him to let his animation go wild. You’ve never seen anything like some of his designs for this film. His take on the familiar characters is fairly true to form, but he’s designed – literally – an entire universe of completely new characters in the different Green Lanterns, aliens and background characters. There are a lot of awesome, fantastical creatures. Like me, Jose is trained in animation instead of comics, so his style really lends itself to being animated – and everything he's done has looked spectacular. I think it's really looking different from anything we've ever done.

Did Jose ever over-step any boundaries and need to be reined in?

Actually, his first designs were a little too stylized. For the main characters, the designs were a little too streamlined – we had to make Sinestro more like the comics. But once he got that figured out, he really went crazy. It was exciting to see him come in with these characters. Even his weaponer designer is far different than what we’ve seen before, but DC was okay with it. So we just let him run wild.

Were there any beyond-the-norm issues strategizing a color scheme for a film with an entire army of characters wearing the same color?

We tried desperately to avoid as much green as we could in backgrounds and supporting characters, so the Green Lanterns and the rings and their effects were the only green portions of the scene. We also tried to stay away from copious amounts of yellow – so that would make an impact later in the film. When you eliminate two of the main colors, it kind of limits you, so we had to utilize a lot of shades of blue, red and orange, and I think we were able to make it work. It was a really wise decision on Bruce's part to keep the green and the yellow to the characters that were defined by that color.

Did you learn anything directing Wonder Woman that you were able to apply and/or improve upon for Green Lantern: First Flight?

Wonder Woman taught me that you can't board the whole movie by yourself (she laughs), so I just let my storyboard artists do their job on Green Lantern. I let them come up with their ideas and I focused on keeping everything cohesive. Ultimately, I think the movie is better for it. I guess I learned to be more relaxed and to not be such a control freak. Which I think is good (laughs again). It certainly made my work load a lot easier.

How much origin story should Green Lantern fans expect to see?

As we had already done the origin story a few movies back in Justice League: The New Frontier, we really didn't want to spend a whole lot of time telling that same story over again. So in Green Lantern: First Flight, the origin story is over and done before the opening credits. That way we get right into Hal Jordan’s first adventure.

What do the four main voice cast members bring to their roles?

Christopher Meloni is a very serious actor and really got into the character to understand all the little nuances of exactly what Hal was thinking at every moment. He would ask very interesting, detailed, unexpected questions so he could totally get the mind set, and in doing so he was able to deliver an incredible performance that that really defines Hal as a confident hero, but not cocky or a jerk. Hal Jordan has a humor to him that isn't quite as big as the Flash, but still not stiff like Batman. Christopher was able to give us that fun side of Hal, too.

Victor Garber has this intimidating presence and power behind his deliveries where you can hear that Sinestro knows what he's doing, he's been through this before and he's pretty sure of himself. He gives Sinestro a very believable sense of suave sophistication. Sinestro is not your typical evil villain, and Victor Garber makes him seem like an incredibly intelligent, worldly guy who believes he is doing the right thing, even though he might not be doing it the correct way.

Kilowog is this big, hulking creature and he needed a voice that was really recognizable and had a strong presence. Michael Madsen was able to give us these line readings that we really didn’t expect – you can’t help laughing at his intonations – and he ends up with some of the funniest lines in the whole script. He even did some fake burps that are just ridiculous – you’ll actually hear a couple of those in the movie. It was just a match made in heaven, really.

Boodikka is not just your doe-eyed, token female – she has strength and believability without losing the feminine qualities of our primary female character. There aren’t a ton of women in the Green Lantern Corps – apparently it’s a male-dominated industry (she laughs). Tricia Helfer has a really sympathetic quality to her voice that captures the quieter side of Boodikka, but Tricia also has this amazing strength in her voice. She was able to make Boodikka this wonderful, relatable, three-dimensional character.

What made Alan Burnett’s script right for this first Green Lantern film?

Alan delivered a Green Lantern script that really explored what being a space cop is all about. He didn't focus purely on the heroic Hal super power approach – it’s more of an overall Green Lantern Corps story and Hal's existence within that group. And it’s not Hal on Earth being a super hero – we’re in space for virtually the entire movie, so Alan gave us multiple backgrounds and scene settings so we could explore the galaxy. That made it even more interesting – seeing and exploring different alien locales and lifestyles. Being away from Earth is incredibly liberating in terms of design possibilities.

Without any spoilers, do you have a favorite scene?

We have a scene about 17 minutes into the movie when Hal and Sinestro go into this establishment looking for a killer, and even though you’ve already seen some of the alien Green Lanterns, this is the first time you get an eyeful of the alien characters that Jose Lopez designed. The place is packed with all these really cool aliens, and they’re all so crazy looking. But you know their personalities immediately. It’s a very tense, cool scene and you really get to see how different that world is from Earth. That’s the defining scene from the movie that lets you know you’re not in Kansas anymore.

Director Lauren Montgomery said character designer Jose Lopez “ran wild” in creating a galaxy of new creatures for Green Lantern: First Flight, the all-new DC Universe animated original movie set for distribution July 28, 2009 by Warner Home Video.

Lauren Montgomery focused on the big picture in directing Green Lantern: First Flight, but she take the time to do the character design on Boodikka (voiced by Tricia Helfer) for the all-new DC Universe animated original movie set for distribution July 28, 2009 by Warner Home Video.

Director Lauren Montgomery addresses the WonderCon audience during the after the West Coast Premiere of Wonder Woman in February. Montgomery’s next film, Green Lantern: First Flight, an all-new DC Universe animated original movie, will be distributed July 28, 2009 by Warner Home Video. (photo courtesy of Gary Miereanu)

For more information, images and updates, please visit the film’s official website at

Green Lantern: First Flight, the fifth entry in the popular DVD series of DC Universe Animated Movies. Green Lantern: First Flight - 2 Disc Special Edition and Blu-Ray versions include more than three hours of incredible bonus features as well as a Digital Copy Download.


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Dark Horse Entertainment has announced the next picture to come out of its production pact with Universal Pictures: The Secret, an adaptation of 2007’s critically acclaimed graphic novel and comic series.

Scott Milam, who wrote the forthcoming remake of the horror classic Mother’s Day, has been signed to write this adaptation. Milam’s other projects currently in development include Bedlam for RKO/Twisted Pictures, Ab Tak Chhappan for Paramount Vantage with Jinks/Cohen producing, and Karnival at Rogue with Michael Zoumas producing.

The Secret tells of a group of high-school seniors who play a silly prank, only to see it backfire when one of their friends vanishes without a trace.

Mike Richardson, president and founder of Dark Horse, and writer of the comic on which the film is based, will produce for Dark Horse Entertainment alongside Scott Stuber, who will produce for Stuber Productions. Pam Abdy and Jared Pfeifer will oversee the project for Stuber Productions with Keith Goldberg and Chris Tongue overseeing for Dark Horse Entertainment.

Universal’s Senior Vice President of Production, Scott Bernstein, and Creative Executive Dave Targan will oversee the project for the studio.

“Scott is a terrific writer and we’re excited to be working with him on this project,” said Richardson. “The story is full of scares and surprises and goes places no one will expect.”

Scott Milam is represented by Endeavor. His manager is Brad Kaplan of Evolution, and his attorney is Adam Kaller of Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren & Richman, LLP.

Dark Horse Entertainment is represented by Endeavor and Gotham Group, with legal representation by attorney Keith Fleer.

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