On this day in 1985, a man walked into a bar. It was a punk bar; this was 1985 in comic-book London, after all. The man was named John Constantine, and he was there looking for a friend who had information about the end of the world. It all happened in the pages of Swamp Thing #37, written by Alan Moore with art by Rick Veitch and John Totleben; the "American Gothic" storyline was beginning in earnest, and Moore's legendary run was kicking into high gear.
According to Moore, the character of Constantine owes his debut to the fact that Swamp Thing's regular artists, Totleben and Stephen R. Bissette, were big fans of the band The Police, and they wanted to draw a character who looked like the lead singer, Sting. Even though it ended up being Veitch on the pencils for Constantine's first appearance, he is unmistakably a dead ringer for the British musician.
Any look back over Alan Moore's career is likely to overlook a lot of really great comics. Beyond the usual works that are typically rattled off as the highlights of his career are British works that never got big in America, independent comics that never got wide distribution, and reams of short stories that have fallen between the cracks. You might have read a few of them, but they're all worth a look.
Alan Moore's greatest hits include Watchmen, Saga of the Swamp Thing, From Hell, Marvelman, The Killing Joke, V for Vendetta, Tom Strong, Supreme, Top Ten, Promethea, the hundreds of pages of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and a couple of the best Superman stories of all time, but as this list proves, there's a lot more to Moore.
The success of Jurassic World means that superhero movies are over! Forever! Why, we wouldn't be surprised if Fantastic Four and Ant-Man went straight to DVD and studios pulled the plug on the dozens of superhero movies already in production. Dinosaurs are the new superheroes, and in the future we expect all big-budget, would-be blockbuster films to be dinosaur movies.
Does this mean that comic books and graphic novels will lose their coveted place as the breeding ground for Hollywood's favorite source material? Not at all; there are plenty of dinosaur comics, ripe for film adaptation. Let's take a look at some of the more popular ones, and how likely it is that they may be coming to a theater near you... instead of Wonder Woman, Doctor Strange, or Justice League.
The late Jack Kirby's heirs were denied any share of the copyright to his Marvel Comics creations in federal court last week -- including Thor, the Fantastic Four, and the Hulk, the Avengers and the X-Men...
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