Wednesday, March 26, 2008

More Cyborg!

My CYBORG special is not one, but SIX issues, and the second issue (on sale in JUNE), is available for pre-order now. Below is the solicit, which neglects to mention there’s a hell of a reveal on the last page of his issue for long time Cyborg fans.

Written by Mark Sable
Art and cover by Ken Lashley & Jonathan Glapion
Vic Stone has sworn that he'll never let anyone undergo the horrific process that transformed him into Cyborg. Now it appears he's on a nationwide rampage taking out S.T.A.R. Labs. Are not one, but TWO teams of Titans enough to stop this madness?
On sale June 18 • 2 of 5 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Monday, March 24, 2008


This Saturday at 8:00PM, March 29th, Meltdown Comics here in LA is hosting “Pledge Night!”, the official college-themed release party for HAZED (as well as Brian Lynch and Dave Crosland’s “Everybody’s Dead”, an hysterical book about the last fraternity on earth during a zombie invasion).

HAZED artist Robbi Rodriguez will be there, Jim Mahfood and Dave Crosland will be doing live art to the beat of DJ Expo.

And oh yeah…OPEN BAR courtesy of official sponsor Asahi Beer.

Meltdown (7522 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles CA 90047) is not only within stumbling distance of my apartment, it’s one of the cooler stores and party venues in LA (their Y: The Last Man Party was amazing). Which means it’s suitable for taking your non-comic fan friends and significant others.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Get Ready For Cyborg!

Who is Cyborg?

He’s the most popular superhero never to have his own series. Until now.

Why should you care?

Because starting May 21st, D.C. Comics is publishing the first ever solo series starring The Greatest Teen Titan of Them All, and I’m writing it.

But seriously, dude, who is Cyborg. I’ve never read a comic book before.

Where do I start? Before the horrific accident (or was it?) that transformed Victor Stone into Cyborg, he was an Olympic class athlete and a genius with an IQ above 160, torn. An African-American torn between his gang-member friends and the (then) emerging black middle class that his family represented. He was rife with conflict even before he had Molybdenum steel grafted to what was left of his maimed, scarred body.

Once he became Cyborg, both power and pathos were added to the mix. With an indestructible body and limbs capable of transforming into an assortment of weapons, he’s physically more than a match for most of the Justice League, let alone their villains. And because he’s half-machine, he still carries around the whole Ben Grimm/Thing angst about whether he’s a man or monster.

The analogy I like to use is that if the Teen Titans are DC’s X-Men (their group of young, edgy characters), he’s their Wolverine.

Follow my logic here. The New Teen Titans were created at about the same time as The All New, All Different X-Men. While others might have been content to keep the Titans a book of sidekicks like Robin and Kid Flash, creators Marv Wolfman and George Perez decided to create new characters. African Americans like Cyborg, women like Raven and…well, orange aliens with big breasts like Starfire.

Okay, I get it, he was a revolutionary character. But the revolution was never televised. What makes you think he’s interesting NOW?

When you read a superhero comic, we’re always being asked to suspend out disbelief. But for me, I’ve always had a nagging question. In a world with not just super-heroes but super science…why can’t everyone have a goddamn flying car?

A lot of creators have sought to answer that question. In Grant Morrison’s Fantastic Four run, he said posited that each of Reed Richard’s devices was a work of art that couldn’t be mimicked. In Warren Ellis’ Planetary, he answered that question by creating an evil FF analogue who purposefully kept their secrets to themselves so they alone could have the power. In GROUNDED, I just made the argument that superhero parents were selfish and self-absorbed.

The idea for my Cyborg run came by asking a more pointed question. In a world where Vic stone can lose his limbs and have them replaced by cybernetic weaponry, why don’t ordinary humans, particularly soldiers in this time of war, have access to Vic’s technology?

If I asked these questions, then certainly they must have occurred to greatest fictional minds in the DC universe…and possibly the more devious ones. Without giving too much away, Cyborg series is about what happens when someone uses Vic’s technology in a way that anathema to who he is and what he stands for.

Wow, that sounds deep. No, really. But I want to see him punch things.

Don’t worry, he punches lots of things. Fan favorite supervillains. “The Phantom Limbs”…an all new characters I’ve created who share Cyborg’s technology and may or may not be on Vic’s side. And not one, but TWO groups of teen Titans.

Oh yeah, and he also punches himself. Chew on that one for a while.

Okay, okay, you had me at African-American Cyborg. Where and how do I get this book?

You can pre-order it now at your local comics shop (comic shop locator link?) from March PREVIEWS. It’s called DC Special: Cyborg, and the order code (I think) is MAR08 135.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Prepare To Be Hazed!

Two years ago you were GROUNDED. Now…prepare to be HAZED!

On Wednesday, March 5, the comic world changes forever. On that day, HAZED, my masterwork, will be unleashed upon a largely unsuspecting public. Expect rioting to ensue.

A satiric graphic novel about sororities and eating disorders illustrated by Robbi Rodriguez, some have compared it to the films “Heathers” and “Mean Girls”. I find these comparisons to be shamefully inadequate. My work is incomparable.

Just where did this work of genius come from, you might ask? As many of you know, I attended Duke University as an undergraduate. Duke is known the home of the greatest college basketball program of all time, as well as the most infamous lacrosse team. It is also known as the “Harvard of the South”, on par with or better than many Ivy League schools.

But from the minute I set foot on campus, I found myself asking the following question: how is it that the some of the smartest women in the country, who have so much going for them besides their looks, decide to revolve their entire identity around their sexual desirability the second a frat boy asked looked their way?

HAZED is my politically incorrect answer to that question, in comic book form. I know I’m going to take a lot of hits on this, a male writer not just writing about issues like date rape and eating, but writing about them in an over-the-top comedy. But, as one reviewer put it, I’m not making fun of these issues; I’m making fun of the “people and societal pressures behind them.” That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Keep that in mind when you’re reading about girls circling each other’s fat, or purging so often that their dorm drains are clogged with vomit. Also keep this in mind: when I set out to write this book years ago, I used a lot of artistic license. I took the worst urban legends about sorority life and exaggerated them further. And yet sadly, often my imagination was matched, if not exceeded, by stories told to me by sorority sisters. Nothing hurts so much as the truth.

All hyperbole aside, this is a boundary pushing book. At the same time, I’d like to think it’s also hysterically funny, not least of which because of Robbi’s art. I think his cartoonish characters help soften the darkness of my writing, while at the same time he pushed the comedy to the very edge of good taste (Robbi’s favorite three words: abortion sight gag). This is “Animal House” with girls. How could that NOT be fun?

I hope you all will pick up the book this week. Whether you are repulsed, convulsing on the floor with laughter, or both, I’d love to hear what you think (there’s a comment’s section here, as well as a Mark Sable message board). I’m ready for anything. I hope you are.