Category Archives: Newsarama

Interview and Review: David Pepose and SPENCER & LOCKE

SPENCER & LOCKE #1

One thing that you need to know about David Pepose is that he’s energetic and dedicated to his work. I know David from the time we both contributed to Newsarama. That was a good time. David was in New York and actually working at the home office. It was a full fledged job for him. He began as an intern at DC Comics, then came Newsarama, and other positions followed. All the while, David was considering what he wanted to do with his very own comics project. As he stated to me, “Writing is a skill that everyone has a chance at learning. In a lot of ways, it’s just like building a chair. You go out and do it.” Ultimately, what David did was create a noir mashup tribute to the work of Frank Miller and Bill Watterson. Okay, the “Calvin and Hobbes” influence is unmistakable. But just one page in, and the Dark Knight Miller influence is quite evident as well.

A subversive mashup!

Let’s take a look at the comic in question. The first issue of SPENCER & LOCKE is available at your local comics shop as of April 12th. What can you expect? Well, as I began to say, this is definitely a mashup of two distinct and very different sensibilities. Going back to that first page, I think it’s safe to say that it will be emotionally jarring for some loyal readers of the “Calvin and Hobbes” comic strip. Here you have a similar little boy and his stuffed animal (alive and real companion only to him) but they are trapped in a dysfunctional hell! The mom in the Pepose comic book doesn’t cuddle up to her son at all. No, she smacks him across the room! That’s pretty subversive to say the least. It does get our attention, and deservedly so. Onto the very next page, and that little boy, Locke, is all grown up. So is his stuffed animal, Spencer, a very much alive blue panther, at least in Locke’s eyes.

On the case.

So, you get the conceit. Now, where does it go from there? Well, that’s the beauty of this comic. As David told me during our chat, this is a wonderful opportunity to deconstruct what is going on in a dynamic involving a person who relies upon an inanimate object for support. Our hero, Locke, is a young man who has chosen a career as a police detective. He’s got that hard-boiled swagger about him, a la Dashiell Hammett. And yet he also carries around a stuffed animal toy. It’s PTSD. Locke has got it bad. And it goes back to not having a mom who cuddled with him but, instead, smacked him across the room. It’s this experience that gives Locke a sixth sense about others who have been abused and actually helps him on his way to solving cases.

Something about gumshoes and greasy spoons.

The title of this arc is “You Can’t Go Home Again.” Maybe you can’t go home again. But why is it that the past can still come back and haunt you? Doesn’t seem fair, does it? Returning home? Nope. No way. Haunted by the past? Yeah, that one you get to play with whether you care to or not. And so it is in this comic. Locke is on a case that forces him in confront his past big time: the murder of Sophie Jenkins, his childhood sweetheart. You can’t get much more cruel in a mashup of Sin City with Calvin Hobbes!

David Pepose is our creator and writer for this four-issue comic book series published by Action Lab Entertainment. As David told me, he sees the role of the creator/writer as a leadership role. It’s up to him to keep the project moving forward and finding the best talent to jump on board. David is very excited about the creative team he has assembled. David says it was a long search to find just the right artist. Once he saw his portfolio, David knew he’d found the perfect match with Jorge Santiago Jr. Another long search finally led to just the right colorist, Jasen Smith. And, of course, a spot on letterer, Colin Bell, rounds out the team. Well worth the search indeed! Overall, readers will find this comic to be that something different they’ve been looking for: a tribute to comics in general and a solid story with compelling characters.

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Filed under Action Lab Entertainment, Comics, Comics Reviews, Crime Fiction, Dashiell Hammett, David Pepose, Newsarama, Noir

Wondering About Wonder Woman


Wonder Woman is fast becoming the new Spider-Man in my view. Considering the Amazon princess only has one monthly comic book that she’s featured in, she is capable of creating a lot of buzz. She’s got loyal fans, name recognition and is a powerful symbol. So, in the coming weeks, months, years, I’ll be doing by share of writing about Wonder Woman. Right now, as you probably know, is a golden time for WW with Gail Simone as the ongoing writer. And it’s a great time to speculate on what’s going to happen to that Wonder Woman movie.

Well, sadly, I get the sense that Megan Fox’s negatives are so way up regarding Wonder Woman that it’s not funny. Her comments that the character is lame do not sit well with a lot of fans. And, I don’t know, maybe she’s made one too many careless comments. But I remain a fan since you’re only really a fan when things start to go south for your star. I still maintain that there’s something about Megan that would propel a Wonder Woman movie into a hit. She could even take back what she said, upon further study of the character, and that alone could turn things back in her favor.

Lately, there’s been some buzz in support of Erica Cerra (SyFy’s Eureka) to play Wonder Woman. Jenna Busch, over at Newsarama, got a chance to talk with Erica and I was impressed. Erica came off sounding like a sweet and capable person. No doubt, she’s a beautiful and assertive woman that could play the role.

For now, the thing to keep in mind is that it’s all way up in the air and comments from anywhere could help decide who plays Wonder Woman. The official line from Warner Brothers is that, first, they’re doing a Justice League moive, which includes Wonder Woman, and then they do the Wonder Woman movie. It stands to reason that who they pick for WW in the first movie gets to play the role in the next. That would make sense. Anyway, I still hold out hope for Megan Fox until I finally see the definitive Megan Fox alternative. And, just wait, we still have her role in “Jonah Hex” to look forward to and see how that bolsters her cred.

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Filed under Erica Cerra, Megan Fox, Newsarama, Warner Brothers, Wonder Woman