Incredible as it may seem, a dozen Labor Days have gone by since
's tragic death in a car crash during that holiday weekend in 1997.
At the time, Comics Guy felt the media attention was overplayed. Diana was famous for being famous, part of a royal family with no real power, and she was lauded for visiting AIDS patients as if she was Mother Teresa.
In fact, Mother Teresa herself died a few days later and her passing received only a fraction of the coverage Diana's death received.
A huge part of it was Diana's beauty - if she had looked like Margaret Thatcher or Camilla Parker Bowles, Comics Guy doubts her death would have received such massive coverage.
However, all this time later, Comics Guy is more understanding of the coverage. What appealed to people was that her story was like a fairy tale, with soap- opera elements thrown in.
The story of Diana, the most photographed woman in the world, is told expertly in the just-released "Female Force: Princess Diana" from Bluewater Comics.
Drawing on 25 sources, writer Chris Arrant writes the best comics biography from Bluewater to date.
And artist Andrew Yerrakadu provides a stunningly accurate portrayal of the late princess.
"I feel it's important to take a respectful approach to the subject matter," Yerrakadu told Comics Guy. "As an artist I try to be as accurate as possible, and I try to avoid being gratuitous or prurient. While Princess Diana was a public figure, she was still a person, and we have to remember that she didn't set out to become a mega celebrity or an icon. She first married Prince Charles as a very young, inexperienced girl, and I don't think she could have imagined what her life would become."
"She used her celebrity to benefit others," he added. "She tried to be the best mother she could and I believe it's important to honor those aspects of her life by representing her in a way that hopefully she herself would have been satisfied with."
Reaction to Marvel buyout
The huge news of the week was the Disney takeover of Marvel Entertainment. Here's what some comics insiders had to say to Comics Guy about how it will affect the industry.
"The entertainment industry is a business and, from a business standpoint, Disney does much better business than Marvel," said J.S. Earls ("Pistolfist"). "For example, after the commercially successful 'Iron Man' movie - which appealed to all ages - I don't think Disney would've been so narrow-minded as to release an all-new, yet very adult-oriented 'Iron Man' comic right after they introduced all these kids to a character most had never heard of.
"What a stupid, idiotic blunder - and typical Marvel pandering to foulmouthed, dirty-minded, middle-aged fanboys. Rather than expanding their franchise, they limited it - yet again."
"Regardless," Earls continued, "I don't think you'll see many major changes for a year or so . . . Disney will assess and make changes at that time."
Fort Washington-based Zenescope VP Ralph Tedesco said: "As a publisher, the positive I want to take out of this is that I hope Disney continues to help bring this industry more into [the] mainstream. Obviously a company like Marvel was already mainstream, but with a presence as powerful as Disney now in the game, it hopefully helps bring graphic novels to a new level."
Said artist Rusty Gilligan: "Will they change Marvel? I feel they will add to it. Think about it - if you buy a successful restaurant but then you change the name, the menu, hire a new cook, what sense does that make? Why tamper with success?"
Said writer Christos Gage: "I think Disney is smart enough to continue to let Marvel do what they do so well. Down the road, if Disney is able to do things like get comics into Disney stores or enable Marvel to widen the types, formats and genres of comics they publish - perhaps with some of Disney's existing properties - that's all to the good."
"The only potential downside I could foresee is if Disney were to interfere in Marvel's publishing and editorial operations, but every indication I have seen strongly suggests that will not happen."
One of the more popular comics creations of the past quarter-century is about to gain a lot more notoriety.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Guy Ritchie has signed on to direct a "Lobo" film, which already has a script by Don Payne.
Lobo, who is basically an alien mercenary with the strength of Superman and the attitude of Wolverine, will be portrayed in the movie as a 7-foot tall, pale-skinned and heavily muscled antihero who drives a pimped-out motorcycle and lands on Earth in search of four fugitives who are bent on wreaking havoc. He will do all of this with a teenage girl as a sidekick. Warner Bros. is looking to begin production early next year.
As if that weren't enough, the character with a heavy-metal edge now has a writer to prove it. Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian has written two issues of "Lobo" that will be drawn by the legendary Sam Kieth and released this fall.
Rogen gets 'Green'-lit
After months in limbo, production is under way and Seth Rogen is set to star as vigilante crime-fighter "The Green Hornet."
Fondly remembered in previous film, television, radio and comic- book incarnations, the film will be directed by Michael Gondry ("Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind") and produced by Neal H. Moritz ("I Am Legend"). Rogen and Evan Goldberg have written the screenplay, based on "The Green Hornet" radio series created by George W. Trendle.
The release date for the film, which also stars Jay Chou as Kato, Cameron Diaz, Edward James Olmos, David Harbour and Tom Wilkinson - and maybe Nicolas Cage - is Dec. 17, 2010.