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Fanzing Mailroom graphic by Jeremy Greene

The Brothers Grinn leave readers grinning
Dear FANZING,

I am an aficionado of The Brothers Grinn work on their 'Supermegatopia' web/comic site, and was lead from there to your presentation of their three-page DC submission for a revival of Scott Shaw's 'Captain Carrot & his Amazing Zoo Crew' comic.

I see that the Brothers are in top form, as usual, with their three pages, and I found myself wanting more (which isn't so unusual, since I simply cannot get enough of their work…)

To explain, I am a dyed-in-the-wool Furryphile (A lover of all things Anthropomorphic), and have been steeped in the world of 'furry' comics and animation, since a small child (Disney's 'Robin Hood' anyone?).

I became interested in Scot Shaw's CC&AZC when it first arrived in comic stores, and actually managed to obtain the first three issues. However, I quickly lost interest, because at the time, I had a more 'refined' taste in Anthopormorphics, and generally required a more 'realistic' edge to my fare (Albedo? Erma Felna EDF?), which CC&AZC wasn't providing, being much too 'cartoony' for my taste…

I, too, also gave up on the both the 'Mainstream' comic producers, since neither DC or Marvel were providing fare that interested me in the slightest… (I mean, Come on! "Bouncing Ball Boy" from JLA!?! You expect me to actually swallow that tripe! And Marvel had me going for a while with Dr. Strange, until they loused up that perfectly good character, and the fact that they continued to go over the same old hash, over and over again, ad nauseam…)

However, if DC actually manages to break precedent (like that will happen in a million years), and provide these talented individuals a chance to present their work to a wider audience (i.e. printed comics), then I will be one of the first, clamoring in line for a copy.
Sincerely yours,
- Wayne Powers

P.S. -> Just as a side note, I do have some reservation of TBG actually negotiating with DC over a Limited, or not-so-Limited series of their version of CC&AZC… Since DC and Marvel are famous for 'retaining' all and exclusive rights to other people's creations, then I fear any new characters that TBG introduce, or the very individualistic art style itself will fall under DC's malevolent legal claw, which would be a travesty, and continues to remain a travesty of copyright and creator's privilege/ownership… It is my personal opinion and recommendation that the Brothers Grinn enter the DC negotiation arena wearing the legalistic equivalent of flac/riot gear and pungy sticks, in preservation of their very souls… Have I stressed the point enough?… Or do you think it needs more?… Think I am joking?…)
WP

FANZING Editor-in-Chief Michael Hutchison replies: Thanks for the comments! I've forwarded them to the BG's as well. I hope you did manage to read all of the Captain Carrot comics at some point, as they are pretty funny.

BTW: I think you're referring to Bouncing Boy in the Legion of Super-Heroes, as there was no Bouncing Ball Boy in the JLA. I, for one, have no problem with silliness in comic books, so I can hardly consider Bouncing Boy a low point.

    TBG kick ass! Why these guys haven't been hired already, to do two or three books at least, is beyond me… someone get these people on books, _now_!
Ian Parmenter <infinity@WPI.EDU>

OH LORDY!!!!!  THIS IS AMAZING!!!!  This is so much like my dreams, it's scary.  Anyway, hooray for the Bros. Grimm and may they get the popularity they deserve.  Punchline:  I'd buy this.
Scott Randall <srandall@chat.carleton.ca>

I, as a loyal fan of both the Brothers Grinn, and CCAHAZC, (whom I MISS terribly!), I must say that this comic warrants a 10 on a scale of one - to - three, and If DC isn't gonna wise up and bring back CCAHAZC, ('specially since the whole HYPERTIME thing…) then they should just GIVE the characters to TBG and let us poor deprived fans rejoice!!
Excellent!!
Noni Perkins

The Brothers Grinn did fantastic!!! I would indeed buy this one!
Beverly Martin

I think Captain Carrot & the Zoo Crew is great! These guys should
definitely get a permanent gig! Check out some of their other work at www.supermegatopia.com: it's all excellent!
Scott Blackwell <sblackwe@home.com>

Not only would I burn Brother Power the Geek, but Superman as well. The Brothers Grinn RULE, dammit!
William Earl Haskell <forban@hal-pc.org>

I loved the Brothers Grinn Zoo Crew springboard. It's nice to see the
gang in some brand new edgy adventures. BTW, I didn't even realize that
Yankee Poodle had nipples.
Brad Simpson <deathpie@midwest.net>

That was hilarious!

Beautiful art, and great dialogue. Just one minor thing: It's a kid's comic. Don't say "damn". Also, I know it was really cold in that ice and all, but we didn't have to know how it affected that patriotically garbed heroine, if you know what I mean. :)

But only take out the rather explicit stuff, the "he's been looking rather lonely lately" could be taken in a very sexual context, then again, it could be perfectly innocent. That's why it was so funny.

Yeah I'd buy this. Submit it!
Matt
BTW, interesting choice having the characters not be obvious duplicates of JLA characters.

Michael replies: I take it from your last comment that you didn't see the original Captain Carrot series from the early 1980s? We should make it clear that CCAHAZC is a DC Comics property, re-envisioned by the Brothers Grinn. The series began when Roy Thomas and Scott Shaw! wanted to do a JLA animal series called the Justa Lotta Animals, but couldn't get the permissions to do it. Thus, they created their own team. I'd REALLY love to see Captain Carrot as an animated property.

I think The Brothers Grinn are smart enough to know what in inappropriate for a kids comic; I don't think they see this AS a kids' comic! Everyone has their own interpretation. If I were doing Captain Carrot (and I still have my own CCAHAZC proposal), I'd make it a bit more serious and derive my jokes in other ways (more satirical).

 Hee-Hee! This is pretty good. hey, if James Robinsom could get away with the "Justice Critters" panel in JSA #4, why not the return of the Zoo Crew?

Geoff Johns on the DC Message boards expressed interest in doing a Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E./Zoo Crew meeting. And hey, the JLA and Supes are set to meet the Looney Tunes when that special goes back on schedule!

I repeat, why not? The success of Cartoon Network's "Power-Puff Girls" cartoon and comic issue shows that humorous Super-Heroes can be a hit if done right. I say more power to his proposal, and hope it gets sent in.
Chris Tynne

Well, it's about time. The Brothers Grinn should ask DC to bring this back. They should send some of their work on it in to show what this can achieve. Too bad this can't be finished, but them's the breaks, I guess.

My only complaint is a personal one. It's that I wish that they should've had Fastback (my fave character) in action, but guess the BG and I have differing tastes on fave characters, so that's just my thought. Great job, BG!
Trevor Lake

Michael replies: I was just talking with Scott Shaw online (at www.comicon.com) and he said that he meets people all the time who would LOVE to see Captain Carrot again…but none of them currently work for DC. He's tried proposals to bring them back, but to no avail. (Although there may be a one-page CC story soon.) I wonder if the overwhelming positive response to this little sample by the Brothers Grinn would make someone at DC think twice?

So, *I'd* love to write a new Captain Carrot comic book. The Brothers Grinn would love to write/draw a Captain Carrot comic book. And Captain Carrot's creator Scott Shaw! would love to draw (and write?) a Captain Carrot comic book. Which, unfortunately, is three Captain Carrot projects more than DC is willing to currently authorize! But you never know when DC will change its mind. Right now, what DC needs is a book that kids (AND older) can enjoy…ASIDE from its licensed properties and cartoon tie-ins. Captain Carrot seems made to order!

One final thing…the response to this sample has been amazing. You guys really seemed to respond to a real comic book. So much so that I wish we could do more like it…but DC tends to draw the line at doing full comic books, and I can't jeopardize FANZING's "approved" status by running any more like it. (Besides, those are big images!) I let this one squeak by just because it was too short to be a full story…and because it was already finished.

Thought I should make that clear, before you ALL start submitting full comic books!

"The Clock" fans chime in with praise
 Loved the new the Clock. I'd buy it!…just wanted to say that…
Martin Flodkvist <ghostbuster1000@hotmail.com>

Way cool idea and character.   Would love to see it done and would buy at least two copies.   Hope DC is listening and sensitive to a pretty neat concept and, at least from what I can tell from this precis, a gifted writer.
Stephen Richmond <srichmon@seidata.com>

Was the Elongated Man interview a bit of a stretch?
Finally got around to reading your EM interview. One major glitch.
 "Fanzing: I have some questions about that, if you don't mind stopping your mini-bio here. See, your need to use Gingold daily makes you the only metagene superhero whose powers are temporary. Rex Tyler, the late Hourman, didn't have a metagene; his miraclo pills would work for anybody. But you have the metagene. Can you explain that?"

This is inaccurate. Rex did have the metagene (in fact, his son Rick inherited it). In fact, during one of the later JSA series, he was able to trigger it without the Miraclo simply by chanting :Man of the Hour".
Good piece, anyway.
mdg
PS: What, if any, are the guidelines for a "Brainstorm's Corner" piece?

Michael replies: Well, thanks Mario (who you all may recognize as a past Fanzing staffer).

I realize that it's indeed possible that the two Hourmen had the metagene, but Miraclo has also given other individuals powers. Heck, even Hootie (the owl, not the singer) got powers in the recent All-Stars skip week book! So, while Rex may have had the metagene (and I'll admit to flubbing that in checking for veracity), it's not quite the same as the situation of true metahumans, nor is it the same situation Ralph is in.

What about Underdog, anyway? Are these guys all hanging out in clinics for addictions to "certain substances"?

As for "Brainstorm's Corner"…it's a page for proposals such as you'd send to DC Comics. While Kurt Belcher usually includes art, it's not a requirement. Although I don't count words and this is an electronic medium, it should be *about* a single page in length.

Excuse me for asking this silly question, but didn't WB air something very similar in the Batman Beyond episode " Heroes" ?

Just wanted to know.

Seems to me that's it's just another makeover of the Fantastic Four.
Regards, MrCod

Michael replies: I'm not sure which item you're saying looks like the "Heroes" episode. I don't think my E-Man interview resembles it.

The "Heroes" episode was, quite obviously, a parody of the Fantastic Four. It was far more of an homage than a rip-off.

Dear FANZING Staff

Just read Issue 20-My Hero. As always great stuff. Especially enjoyed the interview with Elongated Man. He's always been one of my favorites and the tantalizing hints of future adventures makes it clear how DC needs to publish an Elongated Man series.

I've noticed that the number of fiction stories and new comic reviews has increased while articles and columns like Vanishing Point seem to have disappeared. I realize how difficult and time consuming it must be to do the research necessary for such columns but I greatly enjoyed them and hope to see some more in-depth articles in the future. I've always found the strength of FANZING to be its rich appreciation of past stories and the careful dedication to research (a major reason why I find myself annoyed with the lack of any reasoned argument in the Gillin' with the Homeboys feature).

As for the subject of politics, as a Canadian currently living in Japan I look upon American politics with bemusement and think of the Simpsons Halloween episode where both Clinton and Dole turned out to be aliens but as they said; What are you going to do about it? It's a two-party system; you have to vote for one of us.

Located in Japan and far from any back-issue bins FANZING has provided me monthly entertainment and information about comics past and present.
Thank you for your time,
Eddy Takayanagi

Michael replies: Thank you for enjoying my Elongated Man interview; that makes my day! Yes, a lot of the material at the end was tempting tid-bits of what I'd do with the character if I could get a job with DC. In fact, much of the interview was my own backstory for him, as there hasn't been much depth to the character in the DC books. Gerard Jones and Mark Waid have done the best stories featuring Ralph.

And a BIG THANK YOU for your comments about our columns! I'm sure that comes as a big relief to the many writers who have been working on them without much of any feedback. Mario di Giacomo (writer of Vanishing Point) has decided to move on to other things because almost no one commented on his articles, and most of the contributors who are left have made rumblings about discontinuing their columns for the same reason. FANZING just may become an art-and-fiction-only magazine if we don't get more feedback. I try reassuring my staff and myself that the vast majority of web pages don't get positive feedback, and the small number of letters we do get is only a fraction of the audience. So we appreciate your comments.

What would you like to see us do with the Gillins column? Of course, if you ever disagree with something in the piece, why not write in and tell us?! That way, Mark knows that at least one person is reading it for sure!

I loved that Simpsons episode, too. It's also funny that, even when the choices are two alien dictators, Perot can't win.

More feelings on "Gillins"
 You say in this article that the identity of Bloodwynd has not been revealed. Actually, it was. He was the Martian Manhunter in a different guise!!!! I don't remember the issue it was revealed in, but the Wizard JLA special a few years back stated this in it's history, and in the JLA Secret Files special, MM states that he's been a member of EVERY incarnation of the JLA.
Kevin Riley

Michael replies : Yes, but Bloodwynd is more than just J'onn. There really is a Bloodwynd. J'onn was disguised as him for a time, but Bloodwynd still exists…and we don't know HIS secret identity.

Another "'Nut" comes out of her shell
 When I first got started as a computer nut I was known as "wngnut," but because I was still new at computers and there workings I was unaware that pages such as yours existed. Orm, maybe it was just foolishness on my part; I didn't think there were so many other wing nuts out there. To my shock someone who had read my email addy put two and two together and, walaa…. I was I introduced to the my first batman webpage… life has been worth living ever since …

Yours has been at the top of my list ever since I found it …. keep up the good work and great stories. I have written some fan fiction myself, mostly about the adventures of Sinbad. But I hope to spread my "wings" soon. Until then I am glad to have you guys around …. keep up the great work.
Cyndi /SLEA/ Smith

Thank you, Cyndi. Naturally I'm biased but I don't believe you can ever have too many Wingnuts around! -LFD.

Deathstroke strikes a chord
 I should tell you that I've been reading FANZING and I really enjoyed the Deathstroke story. I wish DC would do something to bring him back to his former self -- or just let him die. I think Rose could be an interesting character too if they handled her the way you do -- and gave her Joey's abilities like you did too. I always thought he had one of the coolest powers. If you haven't already, you ought to pitch them a Winter Lily 4-issue mini-series!
Neil Davidson

Well, A Rose in Bloom has officially been submitted, so I presume it's been filed someplace. Most likely someplace circular, *sigh*! -LFD

Crusaders capture nostalgic fans
 Easily the best piece of fiction you guys have ever had. 'The Crusaders' perfectly captured the essence of the Giffen Justice League while taking into account more recent developments in DC continuity. I love stories that reward the long-time reader but at the same time make it easy for the newcomer to catch up, and hopefully, this one did. Just an excellent story.
Josh Berlinsky

Wow! What else can I say about The Crusaders? It has everything. Action, adventure, romance. A healthy respect for the characters and consideration for continuity.

The characterization was spot-on and Linda didn't go the usual route of drastically altering a character.

Did you catch John Ostrander's take on Fire over in Martian Manhunter? Ouch!

I love the way it addresses the cold nature of the current JLA and how they never involve themselves in day to day activities as a team.

I would love to see The Crusaders head over to Gotham.

Personally I think that having Superman join took something away from JLA. Ever since Dan Jurgans put him in the League things fell apart. He never even carried a signal device and totally disrespected the members. Given how Jurgans turned Booster and Fire into bimbos, Ice into a little girl, Guy into an unrepentant psycho and Beetle into dark and brooding weirdo who crawled around like an insect all the time… Well.

Linda's take was respectful and intelligent and I hope that DC takes her on as a writer should they ever decide to start it as a regular title (subtle hint guys). Here's hoping we see more of Guy and co.
Martin


Specialty shops, lack of ads, hurt the industry
 If the problem with the comics industry is that not enough new readers are coming in (or not enough of them are being retained, perhaps) if, as Mark Waid and others suggest, the problem is that -kids- aren't reading them - then the problem is the comics shops.

No one except perhaps the close friend or significant other of an established fan is going to be introduced to comics via a comics shop. The fact that you're -there- means you've already been sold on the whole "funny books with word balloons" thing.

But where else can you go? Sure, Barnes and Noble has some TPBs. The grocery store or newsstand -might- have some of the mainstream titles; they might not. I don't know about other areas of the country, but I live in New Orleans, and I've lived in New Hampshire and Massachusetts for long periods … and there don't seem to be comics at the grocery stores anymore, which is where I used to get them on those days when I could convince my mother to spring for an issue of Batman or Marvel Team-Up (usually with the bargain struck that I wouldn't similarly beg for Boo Berry or Devil Dogs).

And like I said, even when you can find the latest Batman or Flash at the newsstand, grocery store, or pharmacy, the titles you're going to find represent the common denominator of the industry - but miss the subtleties. I was at Rite Aid recently, my local pharmacy, and glanced through the two-months-out-of-date selection to see what they had: Batman. Nightwing. Superman. Green Lantern. X-Men. Spider-Man. Buffy. Pretty traditional fare, with the latter being the exception that proves the rule. Not a single Vertigo title. No Astro City, no Top Cow or Image.

Sometimes I think half the readers of Sandman, if not more, are people who always thought they hated comics until their geeky friend got them to read "this cool comic about a guy auctioning off Hell" (it seems like everyone I know who read Sandman started with Seasons of Mist). These are not the people who will be swayed by an impulse purchase of Nightwing. But they are people who might be attracted to an Elseworlds, or Kingdom Come, or the Invisibles.

And, yes, advertise outside of the industry - by all means. Advertise on television! Man, who wouldn't want to revive the Cola wars of the 80s with DC and Marvel? :) Advertise the Invisibles during Roswell; those WB demo kids have a lot of spending money. Split a thirty-second spot between the Spectre and JLA during X-Files; hype Young Justice during the Simpsons.
Kte'pi <bwkF93@hampshire.edu>

Lifelong comic fan praises FANZING
 Just discovered your page and I love it.

Yes, the Batman movies were terrible! Warner Brothers is, are fools!

Over fifty, I grew up loving comics, but my 12-year old outgrew them five years ago. One of the problems is that the animation of the Big Names is infinitely better that most books and free! Who wants to spend $3 for a Batman book when you can watch better for free? Even worse, the book looks more and more like the cartoon rather than the other way around.

Superman never got any better than the 40s cartoons. Superman 1 was good, 2 was better, 3 was awful and the only reason 4 was made was to prove they couldn't possibly do worse then 3 and they did anyway!

I can't watch Lois and Clark.

The best Superman movie never made: Metropolis gets shrunken by Braniac and Superman gets out to discover a Krypton city aboard the spacecraft and falls for a Kryptonian woman whom he must leave behind. (And tiny) That would have been worth seeing.

A longtime comic character you didn't mention is making a comeback… BLACKHAWK is coming to the net in an unauthorized story that's got to be better that any Blackhawk written in nearly forty years.
When it appears, I let you know.
Keep at it!
Kevin Ahearn


Collectors and fans request help from readers
Hi,

I have a small series of 4 comic books from 1990 titled "The Adventures of Ford Fairlane," based on a movie starring Andrew Dice Clay. They were published by DC Comics, and I was told they are rare. When I first acquired them a few years back, none of the dealers could find them in their books.

Could you tell me where to go for information about their possible value?
Thanks for your time.
Candace Morrison

Michael replies: Overstreet is generally the accepted expert. They may have an online resource, but considering this would lower the value of the books they sell I couldn't guarantee it. Perhaps someone out there knows?

The Adventures of Ford Fairlane was based on that bomb of an Andrew Dice Clay movie. It may have sold poorly, but I doubt it's that rare. More likely, the comic shops that couldn't sell it have had a hard time giving it away. But that's just my guess, so don't grab your matches and kerosene until you get a firm answer on its value.

Going through my father's attic this weekend, I came across one of those shoeboxes that collectors only dream of finding. Among the thirty or so comic books from 1945-1950 it contained Batman #32, 33, 38, 42, 47, 48, 49 and 50 as well as Detective Comics #95,124-127, 138-140, 150, 151, and 161. It also had All Flash #29, Flash Comics #82 and 86 and World's Finest Comics #29, 35 and 50. Did I make the right move in putting them all in a safe deposit box?

Any idea what they are worth? Can they or should they be auctioned off? I would greatly appreciate a response.
TC

Michael replies: First off…on behalf of every comic collector everywhere, I'd like to paraphrase Patton and say, "TC, you magnificent bastard!" I'm envious. That is every comic fan's dream.

My advice is to hunt up your local comic shop (call 1-888-COMIC BOOK to find the nearest one) and go buy some protective sleeves if you haven't already. They'll have Golden Age-sized Mylar covers (if they're a good store) and should also have the latest version of the Overstreet Price Guide (or at the very least, Wizard Magazine). That will give you the best idea of what they're worth. Be sure to give the comics an honest appraisal as far as their condition; if they've been sitting in a shoebox unprotected, they're sure to have aged…and I have no clue what kind of condition they were in before they went into storage.

If your local comic shop is a good one, the proprietor should be able to help you appraise their condition and value. Don't sound too ignorant or an unscrupulous clerk may try to tell you they're in poor condition and then offer to buy them from you. Best thing to do is get multiple appraisals from collectors before you even think of selling them. Once you know their value…you can then decide whether to put them in the safe deposit box or sell them on www.ebay.com or take them to a show. Should you want to sell…my own personal advice is to put them on Ebay. Any pro collector looking at your treasure is going to go for a bargain (they've all seen a Batman #32 before), whereas a comic fan on Ebay may want Batman #32 so much that he'll empty his checking account and keep out-bidding everyone else until you get a price far above what you'd get for them at a convention.

I hope all this helps!

Hi, I'm a huge aqua man fan but i've looked and i cant find any pictures of the "old" Aquaman if you have any could you send me them please
Thanks a lot,
Rachael

Michael replies: I don't know if you are just looking for scans…or if you're looking for FANZING fan art of Aquaman. I'll assume it's the latter, since that is what our magazine is about.

I'm glad you wrote, as I hadn't noticed before…but you're right, no one has done ANY Aquaman artwork for FANZING I'll have to crack the whip (which basically means I get on my hands and knees and type a begging e-mail) for some of our artists to rectify this sad travesty. Look for some Aquaman art in one of our upcoming issues.

Many, many thanks for the many, many letters this month!-LFD.

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