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Underpants Dot Com
3.14.2002 by Scott, every Thursday.

Welcome to March. It’s possibly the worst month of the year, where the snow melts and people who didn’t pick up after their dogs all winter long wonder why their neighbourhood smells like decaying feces. There’s not enough snow to ski and it’s still too cold to run through the sprinkler. It could snow or rain at any time, and the sky is still that winter-grey most of the time. And it’s named after a God of war. Fun.

Anyway, now that I’ve got my rant out of the way, let’s get on with the comics talk. I can tell you’re burning with anticipation over what gems I’ve dug up on the biz this week, so I might as well get it out of the way right away. I’m gonna take a look at the resources I use to dig up information on what’s going on in the comics world, on and off the newsprint. That’s right, comics on the web.

Let’s dive right in with the biggies. Marvel's site used to be pretty cool, with a message board where the editor in chief, Joe Quesada used to post, along with writers Brian Michael Bendis (Ultimate Spider-Man, Powers) and Frank Tieri (Wolverine). But they canned it, and now the site is basically one big ad. Also, there is a semi-frequent column call “Your man @ Marvel” which is full of pompous bragging, so just skip it. Do however check out Chris Giarrusso’s Hawkeye cartoons , it cracks me up every time.

Next up is the newly redone DC Comics web site. Not a lot of frills here, just the straight dope on the coming books. Lots of cool art to download, but not much if you’re looking for the inside scoop.

Image’s site is also pretty straightforward. Look for the submissions guide if you want to get into the biz. Image publishes creator owned stuff, and if you think you and your buddies have the chops for it, this is a good place to start. Also, Pat Lee’s Dreamwave Productions sorta flies under the Image banner, and their site is a slick-looking shmorgasborg of Flash animation and wicked cool anime-style art. Check out the Transformers stuff coming up from them. Soooo cool.

Also there are some pretty cool magazine and e-zine sites there that offer some cool stuff. Wizard magazine has a site that has breaking news and industry gossip mixed in with sports card stuff, and has a huge message board that you can bitch the publishers out on. I’ve seen a few industry guys skulking around there now and again, and managed to chat with Steve Lieber (Batman, Whiteout) and Brian Michael Bendis there. Comic Book Resources is a plethora of comic info. Not really for the beginner, the CBR site features reports on almost everything being published, from huge corporate titles to the smallest independent books. In depth interviews and columns are smart and thorough. I like this site a lot, and check it fairly often.

Some comics exist only on the web. GettoSake has some neat web and Flash comics that leave you wanting more. Sluggy Freelance is probably the funniest serial comic on the web, and is oft imitated. Also in the comedy domain is 8-Bit Theater which uses sprites from Final Fantasy I to make me get in trouble at work as I laugh and get caught browsing instead of working.

Lastly, the Internet is a magnet for fans. And fans make fan-sites. Some of the ones I’d suggest going to take a look at are:

Wonder Man : This guy loves Wonder Man, and really, who wouldn’t. The bios section is solid and the home made animations are funky.

DC Fanpage : I love this site. Clean and easy to navigate, the pictures are all really cool. Too bad it’s all in German though.

Avengers Assemble : Love the Avengers? Not as much as these guys do.

Uncanny X-Men dot Net : The best resource for X-Men information on the net. This site is frequently updated and goes into such detail with every one of their reports; it even amazes me, a cynical fanboy. This site gets my major approval.

So that’s it for now, go and check out a few of these sites, and it should tide you over till next week. Chau fer now.

Scott MacIver

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