The iFanboy Letter Column – 08/07/2009

Friday means many things to many people. For some, Friday means it’s time to really give some thought to how much food you can eat in one 48 hour period without moving. For others, Friday means it’s time to spend every waking moment in their own personal editing bay.

At iFanboy, Friday means it’s letter column time.

You write. We answer. Very simple.

As always, if you want to have your e-mail read on the any of our shows or answered here, keep them coming —


Would you support and/or accept the idea of a comic book movie, meaning a theatrical release, done in 3D CGI similar to Beowulf or Appleseed or do you think live action is a must for theaters??

Jose C.

I think that if you want mainstream acceptance for a comic book film it has to be live action. That’s the only format that the general public seems to accept as “legitimate.” Animation is still pretty much ghettoized. Look at The Incredibles, which was an — dare I say it? — incredible super hero movie. But it’s not considered alongside your Dark Knights or your Iron Men because it was animated. It is considered a Pixar movie.

It gets even worse for the type of CGI animation used for Beowulf. It seems to me that that kind of movie i seen as a subset of animation and is looked at more as a curiosity than anything else. As for my opinion, I wouldn’t be too thrilled with a comic book movie done in the Beowulf style. I saw it, but wasn’t sure if I liked it or not. That type of animation is very stiff and lifeless. It’s not quite live action and it’s not quite the kind of animation that we’re used to for films. It’s actually kinda weird/creepy.

I think for mainstream superhero success you need live action. And for me personally, if you can’t make a live action film (which truly brings these wonderful characters to life) then I’d rather see traditional animation styles. I don’t think this Beowulf style of motion-capture based animation is far enough along yet to truly do comic book characters justice.

Conor Kilpatrick


Do you think conventions are a good place for a young writer to try and meet artists to collaborate with?


This is a great question, Chris, and I actually have some experience with it. A few years ago, I was going through one of my early “Let’s make comics!” periods, which ultimately ended up without finding any artists, and retreating back into lethargy for a couple more years of self-doubt. I went to San Diego and combed the various aisles of artists alley and the indie section looking for art that looked like I thought my book should look. I only found a few guys in my travels who I thought were right, and tried to speak with them. To a man, they all turned me down and either politely brushed me off, or were outright rude. “I write my own stuff…” It should be noted that these were not established professionals, and to this day, you still wouldn’t ever have heard of a single one of them. Perhaps this was a fluke, and I was creepy, or maybe my story sucked, but I don’t think I ever got that far. I think my pitch got about as far as, “Are you at all interested in working with a writing collaborator?” Back in those days, it was before the podcasts, so I was a super-nobody, as opposed to just a semi-wannabe-nobody like I am today. It was fairly defeating. That doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work for you, and at smaller conventions, it might be a different story.

This all brings it back to the point that when making comics, one of the hardest things you can do is make relationships, but at the end of the day, knowing people is almost as important as producing great work. You have to know people. You either need them as an artist, or as someone to publish your work, or retailers to order your work. For a lot of writers, yet not all, introversion is the blessing that gives us words, as well as the curse that stops us from being able to do anything with those words. Everybody makes connections in different ways. It turns out, I inadvertently co-created a very popular comic book podcast, and thereby, met a lot of people. I can’t recommend that course for everyone, but it did put me in touch with collaborators, and get me the ears of some industry folks. It’s still up to me and my partners to produce great work, and the outcome is yet to be seen. But if I didn’t have a show like this, I would go to where artists are. Find message boards with these guys and gals and participate. Get to know people, and hope you make a love connection. It’s not a quick, easy, or efficient process, but it can work. Or you can just pay people. That also works.

Before I leave you with no hope. It actually can happen. There’s a book coming out from Ben Templesmith and new writer Ben McCool called Choker. Legend has it that McCool met Templesmith at a convention or party or somesuch, and pitched him the idea. Templesmith liked it, and they made a comic, coming out soon. Look for both of them in an upcoming SDCC show. Then again, it can’t hurt to be named McCool.

Josh Flanagan


I hope this doesn’t sound stupid but I don’t understand what is going on with Hulk. I get how ongoing series go like Captain America and Thor where there are various “volumes” and when they get to a number like 600 or 500 they jump back to the big numbers like Fantastic Four and The Amazing Spider-Man.

I was under the impression that the Jeph Loeb Hulk series was the main book and they just jumped back to The Incredible Hulk and the bigger numbering with issue 600. Why then are they releasing The Incredible Hulk #601 and Hulk #14 on the same day. WHAT DO I BUY?

What is proper ongoing Hulk series?



You and me both, Tom. You and me both. Now I’m going to preface this with the fact that I do not read any of the Hulk titles. At all. Yet, when I heard Loeb discussing on Word Balloon about how Hulk #600 would be a “one-shot” to play along with the 70th anniversary of Marvel, and not interrupt the numbering of the Hulk book, I scratched my head as well. And then when I saw the news that Th Incredible Hulk #601 had been solicited, I simply shrugged.

As far as I can tell, here’s what’s happened and is happening:

• A while back the main Hulk book, The Incredible Hulk was renamed to The Incredible Herc, as Hulk disappeared and Loeb’s adjective-less Hulk book launched. The Incredible Herc would later become The Incredible Hercules as it followed Hercules and Amadeus Cho in a series that everyone who reads it seems to love.

• At the same time, as mentioned, Loeb launched the adjective-less Hulk, starring the Red Hulk, which is then the “main” Hulk book.

Hulk should have gone back to the original numbering for the The Incredible Hulk #600, but for whatever reason, the 600th issue did not interrupt the Hulk run and it’s keeping it’s numbering.

• And now we see that The Incredible Hulk #601 is solicited and seems to be an ongoing focusing on Bruce Banner and this Skaar: son of Hulk character that has had it’s own series (or miniseries, I forget – again, I don’t read this family of books).

So your question of “What is the main Hulk book?” does not have any easy answer. The purist in me says it’s The Incredible Hulk #601, although technically, The Incredible Hercules is the original ongoing series, just renamed. At this point, the renaming the book to The Incredible Hercules causes a fork in the publishing volumes that if we try to wrap our heads around, will just cause a headache.

My advice to you? It seems as if there are at least three Hulk related books (Hercules is questionable I suppose, but I consider it part of the Hulk family). Pick the title you’re interested in the most and go from there and try not to sweat the details. It’s sad that they put us complete-ists in this position of confusion, but sadly it’s not the first time there’s been a publishing decision that made no sense.

NOTE: I could be completely wrong in the facts & opinions above, and in my defense, I’m just as confused as Tom, which I think is the point here after all… feel free to correct me in the comments below!

Ron Richards


  1. @Ron and Tom: While Incredible Hercules spun out of World War Hulk, and the idea was that it was just Incred. Hulk renamed, it’s about as much a Hulk book as say, Amazing Spider-Man, which is to say, not really.  Amadeus Cho’s involvement is really the only thing keeping it in the Hulk family, and with the exception of a back-up in a recent issue, his relationship with Banner hasn’t been touched on at all.  It’s really about Hercules and the Olympians, and if you are into Greco/Roman mythology, READ THIS BOOK!  It’s awesome!  If you’re looking for a Hulk book, however, other than it involving a super-strong character, this isn’t the book for you.

    To be fair, bringing out an Incred. Hulk #600 and #601 makes about as much sense as anything else in Loeb’s run, so just shrug it off and read what you like.  Let’s face it: Except for Action and Detective, numbering really means very little anymore.  It’s been manipulated and reset for so many books so many times it doesn’t have much real value, so again, read what you like.  

  2. As someone who does not usually care about that sort of thing, the Hulk numbering thing gives me a headache. 

  3. What you should do is get mad and not buy any Hulk…go buy Chew 1,2 and 3 instead. 

  4. I’d surmise that Incredibles isn’t taken seriously as a superhero movie because it’s not a comic movie. I could be wrong, my figners not exactly on the pulse of the kids these days (in spite of being just old enough to no longer be considered one of said kids), but I for one can’t name a superhero character that’s taken as seriously as a comics-superhero character (and I’d assume that we’re talking about from the point of view of comic-readers, since the capes & tights movies still get an undercurrent of "BIF! BAM! POW!" thinking).

  5. The Hulk numbering situation is enough to make Hulk mad…and SMASH!

  6. I’d actually argue at this point that Pixar movies are taken more "seriously" by the movie-going public at large — and certainly by the critical community — than superhero movies as a genre.   Though they are literally viewed as a separate category for the purposes of the Oscars, so that might be a factor.   

  7. @ohcaroline – I agree that Pixar’s work is treated differently than other "cartoons" and is probably more respected than most superhero movies by the critical community, but I think the perceived quality of (and critical reaction to) The Dark Knight and Ironman may have swayed much of the general public.  I think that if someone attempted to make a Pixar quality version of a mainstream superhero comic, it could earn both critical and commercial sucess. 

    I certainly wouldn’t mind a very nicely done JLA Pixar quality movie made using some of the material from early in Mr. Morrison’s run. I’d love to see what Zauriel and Aztek would look like in Pixar’s animation style.

  8. Pixar’s respect is hard fought though, and unless Pixar made the movie, it would suffer the same consequences as features like Titan AE and Beowulf, and other "serious" animted features. 

  9. "Bolt" is also a great superhero movie.  It’s a dog who thinks he’s a superhero because he plays one on tv.  And it’s excellent, not a throwaway like some other animated films.

  10. @Crucio: clap, clap, clap  you are correct sir!!!

    The only "Hulk" book I’m reading any more is Skaar or Skaar: Son of Hulk or Son of Hulk or whatever the hell it’s called now!

  11. I’m DONE with Hulk…I’m tired of Marvel having their cake and eating it too with renumbering just to have anniversary events w/higher sales figures or yet another #1 issue.  I’m selling my whole run except for Peter David’s issues and 181.  F ’em .

  12. @ overcommitter – Listen to you, you’ve gone crazy man!  It’s just numbers, yet you’re falling into insanity!  It doesn’t matter what numbers they are, as long as you enjoy the stories.  Don’t let numbers affect your enjoyment. 

    If the story sucks, then yes drop it.  But you’re talking crazy.

  13. Marvel pushes the renumbering and anniversary issues because those tend to sell more.  Remember, comics=business.  Everything they do is to try and generate more sales.

  14. Thanks for the input on my question. I only asked because i have always been a massive trade hater but have very recently come around. I’ve decided (for my bank acocunt’s sake) to only buy my favourite ongoing series in issue form and any mini series in trade form (if it comes out). I realised i hate having mini series and one shots in issue format. When they end i always just want to sell them or remove them from my longbox.

  15. I was excited about Pak’s return to Hulk, because Planet Hulk was amazing. But with the announcement of WWHulks, the excitement has dwindled into "might try". I was reading Skaar, now Son of Hulk, I’ll continue because the new direction looks exciting.


    Incredible Hercules is great for anyone who like Atlanteans punching Titans in the nuts. Just get the trade that follows the Secret Invasion one and you will love it.


    BTW, before Plante Hulk, I used to think Hulk was lame. Marvel really loves the lame hulk.

  16. I don’t know if anyone mentioned this, having just read the questions, so sorry if I repeat but… The renumbering of the Hulk is made even worse when a few fans crunched the numbers and figured out… Hulk #600 isn’t the 600th issue! It’s actually the 599th issue. This apparently has been pointed out to the Marvel people and it resulted in "Who cares." Incredible Hercules is awesome, though.  

  17. The Iron Giant seems to have gotten plenty of (deserved) respect.

  18. Now that the universe-wide splatter film that was Ultimatum has finally ended, I will never buy anything by Jeph Loeb again.  This is my solemn vow.  So as much as I like Greg Pak and loved Planet Hulk, I will have to skip World War Hulks so as to keep a safe distance from Rulk.

  19. Another reason why DC is so much better?  I just don’t understand this industry sometimes.

  20. When I think of Animated Super Hero films, I look at Marvel Ultimate Alliance and the cineamatic sequences they had. I wouldn’t mind seeing a film like that, but that’s me, I’ll consume any kind of entertainment. 

  21. Hercules slowly, but surely, started in Incredible Hulk when World War Hulk was starting. By the time the fallout of that event occurred Hercules took over as the main character. The numbering stayed the same, which is pretty stupid on Marvel’s part, but changed the title to Incredible HERCULES. Then Loeb’s shitty Hulk series came along and I always thought that turned into the current Hulk series. Then this whole snafu with Incredible Hulk #600 came in and now this shit has turned to bananas.

    In my opinion: Incredible Hercules has nothing to do with Hulk now. In fact I remember someone at Marvel saying it will be renumbered to how many issues it has been Incred. Herc (20+ I believe). Loeb’s Hulk is now a title for Red Hulk. Finally, Incredible Hulk (by Greg Pak) will follow Bruce and Saakar in their journey as father/son. Which will probably mean the Saakar ongoing will probably get cancelled soon.

    Jesus, for a man who has little to no interest with Hulk in general I sure got my facts straight. Oh and time for my mandatory plug:


  22. Two pennies from an amateur writer-artist:

    A great quote that might explain the reticence of some artists to worth with a writer out of the blue comes from Warren Spectre (I think) who basically said: "People come up to me all the time and are like, ‘Hey man, I’ve got this great idea for a video game! I’ll let you have it, just make it into a videogame.’ and I can only respond with "dude, ideas are cheap! I’ve got a million ideas! it’s actually making the videogame that’s difficult. I’ve got a ton of ideas for games, but I’ve only got 24 hours in the day, and so many days in my life. There’s only so much time I’ll have to make stuff, and I’d rather spend it on mine."

    Not to say writing is the easy portion, and not to say that every young artist resents the idea of drawing from someone else’s script; that’s obviously not the case. However, just based off the top 20 writers in the industry vs. top 20 artists in the industry and how many of each have multiple books cooking, writing is a lot less time-intensive. An artist has to be extremely protective of his or her time since it’s essentially a 192 hour commitment per issue per month (roughly, and pencils only) when you say "yes." Trust me, having just coming out of a super-long-term commitment that turned into a monster after I said "yes," it’s really, really lame to blow your brains out for an idea that’s not yours, that you’re not mad in love with, and have little to nothing to show for it in the end.

    All this to say Josh I think hit the nail on the head – it’s all about relationships – getting out there and meeting people. If you don’t go to cons, or don’t know of any artists locally, I would recommend digging into any one of the comic creator community forums (Digital Webbing would be one, maybe Bendis or Millar’s forum for another). Get plugged in, get a rep for being a good writer who gets stuff done and I think you’ll eventually hook up with an artist who you can depend on (and who depends on you).

  23. @connor what’s your take on the upcoming Goon movie that’s in production? It’s all animation and I can’t think of a better way to have it?

  24. I would go running to see a well done CGI movie of Avengers, Thor or JLA or any superhero movie. I have seen Final Fantasy 7 Advent children, Resident Evil degeneration and just drool over the eye candy!!

  25. Did anyone see Beowulf in 3D? I saw it in an IMax theatre in 3D and it looked absolutely awesome. Everyone I know who saw it in normal theatres didn’t like it. Maybe 3D animated would be okay…

    I e-mailed an artist a pitch of mine and introduced myself. I haven’t got anything back. I wonder if it’s normal for artists to ignore e-mails. He wasn’t bad, but from his sight he wasn’t too busy either. I guess only millions more e-mails will tell.