I just learned that my friend David Scheve died Saturday morning. I'm not quite sure I've processed it yet.
If you've seen any of my posts on facebook in the last few years, then you've probably seen David's name in the comments. He was an up-and-coming filmmaker who'd recently started his own series, Hard Knock Rock. Animated shorts that took the style of Schoolhouse Rock and combined it with modern topics, David's work used humor to mask the seriousness of the subjects he was discussing.
But years before all that, he was a salesperson at the 57th and 5th Warner Brothers Studio Store, selling animation art with a borderline obsession for the art form. I was just a college kid at the time, and my similar passion for all things comic books instantly gave us something to talk about in between trying to get tourists to buy portraits of Bugs Bunny. But it was our similar sense of humor that made us friends.
One of my fondest memories of David was when the two of us went to see the remastered version of The Exorcist when it hit theaters years ago. There weren't many people in that particular daytime screening, which was probably for the best, as David had decided to add to the script here and there. Now normally I'm a stickler for complete silence during a movie, but there wasn't much I could do to curtail David's impulses, and to his credit, he only chimed in now and again.
At one point during the movie, there was a scratching, shuffling sound coming from the family's attic. David leaned over to me and said, "I think it's Jawas." We started laughing and for no reason whatsoever, so did the rest of the theater. And during the unique scene when the main character is repeatedly stabbing herself in a very sensitive region with a crucifix, David shouted, "Oh no she didn't!" instantly turning a disturbing moment of film into a excerpt from The Ricki Lake Show.
David and I lost touch for a while, but had reconnected over facebook in recent years. He was incredibly supportive of my career, and I don't think I repaid the favor as much as I should have. The truth is, I was always proud of David, and enjoyed watching him do the very thing he set out in life to do. It was clear he was just getting started, which makes this whole thing all the more frustrating.
If you're interested in seeing some of David's work, you can watch one of his movies here. Warning: it's very much not safe for work. But neither was David.
Monday, November 25, 2013
The doorbell rang at 7:30 this morning. While I'm not a big fan of any kind of activity that requires me to get out of bed before my daughters (or before it's time for lunch, to be honest), it was a nice surprise to find a package full of issues of Beware the Batman # 2 waiting for me.
Although it's the second issue of this ongoing series set in the world of Cartoon Network's new cartoon, like many all-ages books, Beware the Batman offers self-contained stand-alone stories, making it easy for readers to jump on board at any time. I had a lot of freedom and support from my editors at DC on this one, and I think our artist, Dario Brizuela, really captured the essence of the show and the issue's villain, Professor Pyg.
The comic comes out this Wednesday, so if you get a chance, stop by your local comic shop and pick up a copy. Then go take a nap. You've earned it.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
I've been a fan of the DC Chess Collection from Eaglemoss ever since they were first released in the UK. When they hit the States, it didn't take me long to amass way too big of a collection of these great little figurines.
As anyone who has purchased one of these pieces can attest to, half the fun of collecting the series is due to the great magazines that accompany each figure. So when I was contacted to write a few of their new DC Universe magazines, I jumped at the chance.
This month, my first magazine in the series is up for pre-order at your local comic shop or favorite online toy retailer. It stars Ocean Master, and offers plenty of info about the modern version of this classic Aquaman foe.
Keep checking back as I have a few more of these magazines coming out soon, and I'll be sure to update as soon as a I can.
Thursday, November 7, 2013
This book is a complete modern history of the life of the Man of Steel written in the far future by Brainiac 5 and illustrated with the use of journal entries, faux newspaper articles, "photographs" from the comics, newly commissioned artwork and more.
Here are a few sample pages to give you an idea of what's inside:
While it tells Superman's story first and foremost, the book is chock full of Easter Eggs for the fans, and even contains a few nods to our previous book, The Batman Files. Covering everything in Superman's life from John Byrne's revamp to the revisions of New 52 and even into the 31st Century, we attempted to make The Superman Files the most comprehensive life story of Superman to ever see print. I hope you all agree.
Saturday, October 5, 2013
I'm very happy to report that this coming Thursday I'll be headed to the New York Comic Con once again. I'm also pleased to announce that my newest book is hitting shelves, Marvel: Year by Year. For anyone familiar with the Marvel Chronicle, this is the newest version of that massive hardcover, streamlined and as up to date as we could possibly make it. This 384-page hardcover (also written by fellow historians Peter Sanderson, Tom Brevoort, and Tom DeFalco) features a detailed month by month history of Marvel Comics from the 1930s until today. Here's an example of one of the newer spreads in the updated section:
I'll be signing copies of this book at DK's booth during NYCC, so be sure to check out the signing times below.
I'll also be promoting The Superman Files at the show, with two signings at the Andrews McMeel booth. I'm not sure if we'll have actual copies of The Superman Files for sale by the convention, but I'm told we should have a poster or post card of some sort. Be sure to swing by either way, as you won't want to miss your chance to flip through this great scrapbook-style history of the life of the Man of Steel.
Here's my signing schedule for the show:
Andrews McMeel Booth (#2219) from 2:00-3:00 pm
DK Booth (#1829) from 5:00-6:00 pm
DK Booth (#1829) 1:00-2:00 pm
Andrews McMeel Booth (#2219) from 3:00-4:00 pm
Thursday, September 12, 2013
You can find all the information about the one-day convention on their site:
If you're in town, stop by my table and say "hello." Especially if you're from Asheville. I've been spending way too many hours behind my desk, and it's about time I met some of my neighbors...
Monday, August 12, 2013
I'm very happy to report that I wrote the November issue of Beware the Batman. I've been enjoying the new animated series that this comic is based on, so it was a lot of fun to write a story set in that world.
Plus it has Katana. And Katana is awesome.
Here's the official solicit from DC Comics:
BEWARE THE BATMAN #2
Written by MATT MANNING
Art and cover by DARIO BRIZUELA
On sale NOVEMBER 27 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED E
Professor Pyg has planned a series of heists—and Batman needs reinforcements! But even as Alfred and Katana take on two of Pyg’s targets, the Professor himself careens around the city, threatening the lives of a young boy and his parents. Will Batman rescue him in time?