It was just over a month ago that Liz Wrightson announced that her husband, legendary artist Bernie Wrightson was retiring. Liz confirmed on Sunday that after a long battle with cancer, Bernie has passed away. Here is the full transcript from Liz. My condolences to the Wrightson family, Rest in Peace Bernie.
A Message from Liz Wrightson.
After a long battle with brain cancer, legendary artist Bernie Wrightson has passed away.
Bernie “Berni” Wrightson (born October 27, 1948, Baltimore, Maryland, USA) was an American artist known for his horror illustrations and comic books. He received training in art from reading comics, particularly those of EC, as well as through a correspondence course from the Famous Artists School. In 1966, Wrightson began working for The Baltimore Sun newspaper as an illustrator. The following year, after meeting artist Frank Frazetta at a comic-book convention in New York City, he was inspired to produce his own stories. In 1968, he showed copies of his sequential art to DC Comics editor Dick Giordano and was given a freelance assignment. Wrightson began spelling his name “Berni” in his professional work to distinguish himself from an Olympic diver named Bernie Wrightson, but later restored the final E to his name.
His first professional comic work appeared in House of Mystery #179 in 1968. He continued to work on a variety of mystery and anthology titles for both DC and its principal rival, Marvel Comics. In 1971, with writer Len Wein, Wrightson co-created the muck creature Swamp Thing for DC. He also co-created Destiny, later to become famous in the work of Neil Gaiman. By 1974 he had left DC to work at Warren Publishing who were publishing black-and-white horror-comics magazines. There he produced a series of original work as well as adaptations of stories by H. P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe. In 1975, Wrightson joined with fellow artists Jeff Jones, Michael Kaluta, and Barry Windsor-Smith to form “The Studio,” a shared loft in Manhattan where the group would pursue creative products outside the constraints of comic book commercialism. Though he continued to produce sequential art, Wrightson at this time began producing artwork for numerous posters, prints, calendars, and coloring books.
Wrightson spent seven years drawing approximately 50 detailed pen-and-ink illustrations to accompany an edition of Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, which the artist considers among his most personal work. Wrightson drew the poster for the Stephen King-penned horror film Creepshow, as well as illustrating the comic book adaptation of the film. This led to several other collaborations with King, including illustrations for the novella “Cycle of the Werewolf,” the restored edition of King’s apocalyptic horror epic, “The Stand,” and art for the hardcover editions of “From a Buick 8” and “Dark Tower V.” Wrightson has contributed album covers for a number of bands, including Meat Loaf. The “Captain Sternn” segment of the animated film Heavy Metal is based on the character created by Wrightson for his award-winning short comic series of the same name.
Characters he worked on included Spiderman, Batman and The Punisher, and he provided painted covers for the DC comics Nevermore and Toe Tags, among many others. Recent works include Frankenstein Alive Alive, Dead She Said , the Ghoul and Doc Macabre (IDW Publishing) all co-created with esteemed horror author Steve Niles, and several print/poster/sketchbooks series produced by Nakatomi.
As a conceptual artist, Bernie worked on many movies, particularly in the horror genre: well-known films include Ghostbusters, The Faculty, Galaxy Quest, Spiderman, and George Romero’s Land of the Dead, and Frank Darabont’s Stephen King film The Mist.
Bernie lived in Austin, Texas with his wife Liz and two corgis – Mortimer and Maximillian. In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, John and Jeffrey, one stepson, Thomas Adamson, and countless friends and fans. A celebration of his life is planned for later this year.
Just days before the Supreme Court was set to take the matter into conference, Marvel and the family of Jack Kirby have settled their long running legal dispute over the comic legend’s rights to the characters he created or co-created. Here’s their joint statement:
“Marvel and the family of Jack Kirby have amicably resolved their legal disputes, and are looking forward to advancing their shared goal of honoring Mr. Kirby’s significant role in Marvel’s history.”
Widely viewed as one of the Kings of Comics, Kirby created or co-created some of the biggest names on the page and now on the big screen in the superhero blockbusters that Hollywood has profited from in recent years. However, while his often partner Stan Lee was a Marvel employee, Kirby was a work for hire and had no rights to Captain America, The Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, the original X-Men and the plethora of other characters he played a pivotal part in bringing to life. The settlement between Marvel/Disney is confidential, but you don’t have to be a Supreme Court Justice to know that if a deal was reached this late in the process, it must be a healthy one for the Kirby’s – who were holding a lot of the cards for once.
It was a long legal road for them and Marvel to get to today’s deal. After failing repeatedly in lower courts, Lisa Kirby, Neal Kirby, Susan Kirby and Barbara Kirby petitioned the High Court on March 21 for a hearing on the matter. In their petition, the heirs wanted SCOTUS to rule in favor of their assertion that they had the right in 2009 to issue termination notices on 262 works that the comic legend helped create between 1958 and 1963. Those 45 notices went out to Marvel/Disney, Fox, Universal and Paramount Pictures and others who have made films based on the artist’s characters under the provisions of the 1976 Copyright Act. Marvel sued in 2010, after failing to reach an agreement back then with the Kirby family to invalidate the termination notices. Jack Kirby himself passed away in 1994.
Despite initial indifference and then objections from Disney-owned Marvel, SCOTUS agreed to take the case into conference to consider if they would actually hear it. That conference, where the nine Justices would ostensibly be sitting around talking about comic as well as copyright, was scheduled for September 29. The Kirby family and their legal point had a lot of support and not just among the fanboys. SAG, the WGA and the DGA back in June submitted a brief to the High Court in favour of having the Kirbys’ petition granted.
All things considered, and with the billions that Marvel/Disney have made off the films filled with characters Kirby created, this 11th hour deal should come as no great surprise – except for how long it took them. The bottom line and PR risk that the media giant was taking if SCOTUS had agreed to move the family’s petition up to an actual hearing would have sent a shudder through the market and the town. As well, if there had been a hearing and if then the High Court had found for the Kirbys, the results would have thrown Marvel/Disney into turmoil as they would have to negotiate for millions and millions with the family on everything from The Avengers, this summer’s big hit Guardians Of The Galaxy, with the popular Groot character a Kirby creation, and the all the characters in the notices if they wanted to keep the franchises going at Disney and other studios. And there would have been royalties on the already made movies like the 2008 hit Iron Man and 2012’s The Avengers with its billion dollar plus box office, to name a few. As well a wide variety of copyrights across the industry, including those at Warner Bros and DC Comics, would suddenly be in play as the work of writers, composers and others designated under a freelancer or the work for hire status could suddenly gain a piece of what they created in what would now be seen as a much more traditional employee/employer arrangement.
My son is desperate for this (Arkham Asylum and Arkham City are on constant rotation on his xbox). Here’s the blurb:
Batman: Arkham Origins lets players experience Batman’s transformation from an unrefined vigilante into the Dark Knight. Bruce Wayne’s journey to become a crime fighter and his steadfast morality began much earlier in his life, formed by tragedy, dedication, and honor. As you’ll see in this latest trailer, his quest was anything but easy.
Batman: Arkham Origins features an expanded Gotham City and introduces an original prequel storyline occurring several years before the events of Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City. Taking place before the rise of Gotham City’s most dangerous villains and assassins, the game showcases a young, raw, unrefined Batman as he faces a defining moment in his early career as a crime fighter that sets his path to becoming the Dark Knight. As the story unfolds, witness identities being formed and key relationships being forged.
After what seemed like thousands of requests, and reasons as to why he should be allowed to see it, I took my (almost) seven-year old son to see The Dark Knight Rises. He still hasn’t seen Batman Begins or The Dark Knight, so I prepped him with a little bit of back-story…
I like the Dark Knight because it is from a DC comics and I like DC comics. The Dark Knight Rises is about a dark storm coming to Gotham, and he’s called Bane. Bane is a big evil strong guy who wants to destroy Gotham and Batman.
Bruce gets robbed by Catwoman, then Bruce Wayne goes to the doctors, the doctor tells him that he’s got lots of bruises on his legs, his arms, his back and his head. But he goes back to the Bat Cave and Alfred presses a button and his new bat suit and gadgets come out of a hole in a glass cage.
First Batman chases Bane on his motorbike, Batman catches Banes henchmen but not Bane, but Bane still has some henchmen left. Batman rescues Catwoman and they escape in Batman’s new Bat jet. Batman fights more of Bane’s henchmen before Bane and Batman fight. Bane knocks Batman down, he picks him up and puts Batman in a hole in the ground which is a jail. Batman has to climb up to get out, he falls first, then climbs out and gets his bat suit back.
SPOILER Bane trapped all of Gotham’s Police underground, but Batman explodes the concrete and the Police escape. All the Police fight Bane’s henchmen, but Bane has a huge bomb that is going off in twelve hours. Batman comes back and knocks some bad guys out, then Batman breaks Banes mask, and beats Bane.
I liked the movie, my favourite was Batman. Bane was good too. SPOILER The best bits were when Batman flew in his jet and exploded Banes tank and the bit when Catwoman shoots Bane with the guns on Batman’s motorbike. It is too scary for little kids.
Stars: 5 Stars
Lynda Jean Carter (born July 24, 1951) is an American actress and singer, best known for being Miss World USA 1972 and as the star of the 1970s television series The New Original Wonder Woman (1975–77) and The New Adventures of Wonder Woman (1977–79).
Carter was born in Phoenix, Arizona, her father, Colby Carter, is an art dealer and her mother, Juana Córdova. She went to Arcadia High School in Phoenix and Kachina Elementary School in Scottsdale, Arizona. In 1972, Carter entered a local beauty contest and gained national attention in the United States by winning Miss World USA, representing Arizona; in the international 1972 Miss World pageant, representing the U.S., she reached the semi-finals.
After taking acting classes at several New York acting schools, she began making appearances on such TV shows as Starsky and Hutch, Cos, and Nakia and in “B-movies,” including her only nude appearance, in Bobbie Jo and the Outlaw (1976).
Carter’s acting career took off when she landed the starring role in The New Adventures of Wonder Woman as Wonder Woman and her alter ego Diana Prince. The savings her parents had set aside for her to pursue acting in Los Angeles were almost depleted, and Carter was close to returning to Arizona when her manager informed her that she had won the part. Her earnest performance endeared her to fans and critics, and the series lasted three seasons. Thirty years after first taking on the role, Carter continues to be closely identified with Wonder Woman.
As the program was winding down, Carter told US magazine:
“I never meant to be a sexual object for anyone but my husband. I never thought a picture of my body would be tacked up in men’s bathrooms. I hate men looking at me and thinking what they think. And I know what they think. They write and tell me.”
She was referring to the feedback she had received for her poster as Wonder Woman.
In 1985, DC Comics named Carter as one of the honorees in the company’s 50th anniversary publication Fifty Who Made DC Great for her work on the Wonder Woman series. In 2007, toy company DC Direct released a 13″ full-figure statue of Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman, limited to 5,000 pieces; it was re-released in 2010. Also in 2010, DC Direct began selling a 5½-inch bust of Carter’s rendition of Wonder Woman to celebrate the DC Comics’ 75th anniversary.
Carter’s other credits include the title role in a biopic of actress Rita Hayworth, titled Rita Hayworth, Love Goddess (1983) and a variety of her own TV specials: Lynda Carter’s Special (1980), Encore! (1980), Celebration (1981), Street Life (1982), and Body And Soul (1984). Throughout the 1990s, Carter appeared in a string of tv movies that resulted in a resurgence in television appearances. Also, because of the re-syndication of Wonder Woman on such cable networks as FX and SyFy, Carter even participated in two scheduled on-line chat sessions with fans.
After a weekend of tragic news surrounding the midnight screenings of The Dark Knight Rises, it feels slightly pointless to post this image from Madrid on the eve of the film’s opening there, however, it’s such a joyful image of people celebrating the release with style, that I wanted to share it.
Clarence J. “Clancy” Brown III (born January 5, 1959) is an American actor and voice actor. Brown was born in Urbana, Ohio. He graduated from St. Albans School in Washington, D.C., and earned a scholarship to Northwestern University. He was inspired to become an actor by a neighbor who showed him Shakespeare’s works.
Brown’s defining role as the Kurgan in Highlander (1986) brought him fame, and a role to which he would be forever linked. Other well-known roles include Captain Byron Hadley in ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ (1994), Viking Lofgren in the 1983 hit drama movie ‘Bad Boys’, Rawhide in ‘The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension’ (1984), Frankenstein’s monster in ‘The Bride’ (1985), Army mercenary Larry McRose in Walter Hill’s ‘Extreme Prejudice’ (1987), vicious killer Steve in ‘Shoot to Kill’ (1988), the police officer in Michael Jackson’s short movie ‘Speed Demon’ (1988), ‘Dead Man Walking’ (cameo only), ‘Pet Semetary Two’ (1992) as Gus, Career Sergeant Zim in ‘Starship Troopers’ (a role he would reprise in the animated television series ‘Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles), and a role in ‘Fubber’ as one of the evil henchmen that get harmed by uncontrollably bouncing sports equipment.
Brown has three times played senior prison officers in movies dealing with miscarriages of justice: in The Shawshank Redemption, the tyrannical Capt. Byron Hadley; in ‘The Hurricane’ (1999), the sympathetic Lt. Williams; and in ‘Last Light’ as Lt. McMannis. In 2007, he played the Viking leader opposite Karl Urban in ‘Pathfinder’. He also voiced Mr. Krabs in ‘The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie’. He featured in the HBO series ‘Carnivale’ and underrated ‘Earth 2’ from th mid-nineties.
He starred in several independent films in 2008: ‘The Burrowers’, screened at the Toronto Film Festival in 2008, and released in the US on DVD in April 2009, and The Twenty, which is currently awaiting screening. One of his most recent roles was in Steven Soderbergh’s 2009 film ‘The Informant!’ opposite Matt Damon in which he played an attorney. He also portrayed Alan Smith in Samuel Bayer’s woeful 2010 remake of the horror film ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’. In 2011 he starred in ‘Cowboys and Aliens’ alongside Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford. He also voiced the astral supervillain Parallax in the film ‘The Green Lantern’. He will be the voice of ‘The Goon’ in the upcoming (and long-awaited) animated feature film.
Brown also works extensively as a voice actor in animated films and TV series, notably portraying Mr Eugene H. Krabs in the animated series SpongeBob SquarePants. He also voiced Lex Luthor in the DC Animated Universe and the film ‘Superman/Batman: Public Enemies’, Captain Black and Ratso in ‘Jackie Chan Adventures’, ‘The Spectacular Spiderman’, ‘Wolverine & the X-men’, ‘The Batman’ among countless others, after all, he possesses an incredible voice.
The viral marketing campaign for Chris Nolan’s final chapter in the Batman trilogy is up and underway, with Warner releasing of a pair of leaked “CIA documents” referring to a certain Dr. Leonid Pavel.
The first document shows a mug-shot of actor Alon Abutbul, alongside a potted profile of nuclear physicist Pavel. Much of the accompanying information has been blacked out, but the second document sheds a little more light on proceedings.
The document is a transcript between a CIA official and a militia unit, concerning possible asylum for the Doctor, who apparently fears for his life. Is Bane after him? Is Batman?
Take a look at the pair of documents on the Total Film website.