Too Many Long Boxes!

End of Summer

by Ye Olde Editor, Michael Hutchison

Discussed this month: Wizard World, FallCon and the new Birds of Prey TV series

It is with a heavy and cholesterol-clogged heart that I've decided not to attend WizardWorld this year. I've gone for the past three years, but they moved it up to the July 4th Weekend and that doesn't work for me for so many reasons.

As it's a holiday, my wife can't get off work at the hospital, so I'd have to go alone. I'd have to get a hotel room, which would be outrageously expensive at any time and especially so on a holiday weekend. And without my wife to help navigate, I can't imagine trying to tackle those Chicago tollways, and on a holiday highway travel would not be fun.

Plus, I hate to say it, but I wouldn't want to be going near Chicago on or near Independence Day while the war with Osama bin Laden is going on. Not that Chicago's much of a target; I doubt al Quaida even knows where Chicago is. And while New York is the financial capital of America, and D.C. is the actual capital and the military HQ, Chicago isn't really of any importance. Wipe out Chicago and the only effect on America is that our elections would be cleaner, which isn't really something that terrorists concern themselves with. So wartime worries may not really be high on my list of reasons.'s always in the back of my mind.

Instead, I'll be preparing for FallCon in Minneapolis on October 5 and 6. This year, the Con is being moved to the Minneapolis State Fairgrounds, which will provide much more room. I'm hoping to have either a vendor table or at least an artists table.

In addition to my being there, contributors Erik Burnham (of Shooting Star Comics), Kevin Voith (who is launching his own self-published book) and our Art Coordinator and Designer Phil Meadows will all be there. We're hoping to have a get-together on Saturday night. A Fanzing Feast, sort of our version of the Dixon Dinner at WizardWorld. If you can join us, e-mail us today and let us know. We're still making plans on where to have it.

I've downloaded and watched a five minute promo for the new Birds of Prey TV show.

Before I say any more, let me say that they could really pull this off. The production values look very good, the cast seems terrific and my only real complaints are with the overall concept. That said...

What the hell are they thinking?

The Black Canary as a 17-year-old runaway who has touch telepathy? The Huntress taking on BC's role from the comic books as Oracle's main operative? A Gotham City where Batman has fled and left behind a daughter? Why?

As far as I can tell from everything I've read, the "creator" of this new series has always liked the pre-Crisis Huntress and thus was bound and determined to put her in the book, so she re-invents the whole idea of the Birds of Prey.

I remember talking to Chuck Dixon three years ago at the Dixon Dinner about how great the Birds of Prey would be as a TV series. He said he wasn't allowed to comment on it, so I knew wheels were in motion even then. At the time, I envisioned a series totally divorced from the DCU and just keeping to the central concept of a paralyzed computer hacker named Barbara Gordon/Oracle and her field agent code-named Black Canary. Something in keeping with the original minis and one-shots that launched the series, with Dinah the world traveler fighting industrial spies and slavery rings, smuggling people out of dangerous countries and going up against ninjas and gunmen, something with helicopters and even car chases. Birds of Prey struck me as the kind of show that could go mainstream and bring in casual viewers who never knew it was a comic book.

Instead, this series really plays up the Batman connection even though there probably won't be any Batman in it. All the promo shows are scenes from "Batman Returns" mixed with footage of the Joker, who died at the end of the first movie, remember. So the show doesn't really mesh with the current DCU, or with the movies that it apes. And whereas "Smallville" is set in the current year so that Superman is in the future, "Birds of Prey" appears to also be set in the present and Batman's career is over, having left behind a 20-something daughter.

I just think people are going to be very confused.


is Editor-In-Chief of He is the world's biggest Elongated Man fan and runs the only EM fan site. He lives in Rochester, MN.
AIM: Fanzinger
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