SENIOR EDITOR CALEB GOELLNER LEAVES COMICS ALLIANCE TO SAVE THE UNIVERSE
By Andy Khouri
Today is Caleb Goellner’s final shift as Senior Editor of ComicsAlliance. He leaves the site after five intense years of hard work, sacrifice and success for the great mysteries beyond comics blogging — specifically, comics making.
Many of you who follow the CA staff’s activities outside the site are already familiar with Caleb’s brilliant creations Mermaid Evolution, the story of a dude who got cut in half by a pirate, fell into the sea and evolved into a mermaid; and Task Force Rad Squad, his tribute to Power Rangers-style tokusatsu with Buster Moody. The good news is that stepping down from his full-time duties at CA will give Caleb more time to devote to these projects and even more to come, not to mention the good we know he’ll do at his new position at Wacom, purveyors of fine digital comics making equipment.
The bad news is that we are saying goodbye to the daily contributions of an editor, writer and artist whose influence on ComicsAlliance cannot be overstated. Brought onboard by founder Laura Hudson not long after launching CA, Caleb has in many ways been the heart and soul of this website, infusing it with his singular style of wit, professionalism, kindness, irreverence, silliness, hilariously bad Photoshopping, and of course his passion for comics, toys, and cartoons of all kinds. There is no doubt in my mind that Caleb Goellner is hugely responsible for the resurgence of super sentai in the collective media consciousness we all inhabit, and his insights into the dramatic potential and innate radness, to use a Caleb-ism, of so many childhood entertainments like the Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers and Adventure Time has provided this site with some of its most enjoyable and endearing features.
While CA readers are familiar with Caleb from the pieces which carry his byline as well as his contributions to War Rocket Ajax and the ComicsAlliance Podcast, what many don’t realize is the role Caleb’s played behind the scenes. A media pro since right out of college, Caleb has served as CA’s own version of Lando Calrissian’s thankless cyborg sysop Lobot, always jacked into the matrix of schedules and stats as well as overseeing most of CA’s news content, making sure the trains run on time and the site stays online while the rest of us take our sweet time working on more personal long form content like the post you’re reading right now.
Indeed, there’s no one who’s benefited more from Caleb’s tireless work than me. For years Caleb has been my partner, friend and brother. We’ve been in constant communication for 8-12 hours a day nearly every day for the last four years. Much of that time was spent co-dictating the site together after Laura left, leading to all kinds of exhilarating strategy sessions, serious arguments, bitter resentments and euphoric ridiculousness. Together we’ve traversed the rifts between lowly AOL freelancers, Huffington Post staffers, masterless media ronin and Townsquare team players, and it’s a set of experiences and bonds that I share with no one else. He’s been my roommate at conventions. He’s covered for me when I needed to take time off. He’s been a sounding board for all my thoughts and writing. As a freelancer he’s going to contribute work here and there, but we are just as a matter of course going to decouple our brains, and it’s just such a weird thing to imagine. I’m honestly not sure what I’m even going to do with myself when work begins again on Monday, but I know I’m going to miss my partner.
Caleb leaves ComicsAlliance with three Eisner nominations and record-breaking site traffic, but more importantly with the satisfaction of a job well done and the love of friends and colleagues who will have his back for life.
COMICS ALLIANCE PRESENTS HERE’S THE THING EPISODE 3: CHRIS AND CALEB TALK TOKUSATSU
This week, Chris has gone to Portland, Oregon for a discussion of tokusatsu with ComicsAlliance Senior Editor Caleb Goellner! In a 20-minute conversation, they explain why they’re fans of the Japanese live-action supehero genre, what their favorite Power Rangers knockoffs were, and give curious viewers a place to start if they’re interested in learning more about super sentai and Kamen Rider.
He’s spent most of his career protecting California — first as an angsty teen on The O.C. and more recently as a cop on South LAnd, but it seems Benjamin McKenzie‘s next stop is Gotham as a young James “Jim” Gordon. This isn’t McKenzie’s first rodeo either, as he voiced a young Bruce Wayne in Warner Bros. Animation’s 2011 Batman Year One animated feature, which adapted the comic of the same name by writer Frank Miller, artist David Mazzucchelli, colorist Richmond Lewis and letterer Todd Klein.
When Funko announced that they’d be teaming with Super7 to mass produce and distribute the 3.75″ ReAction line, it seemed fan dreams of owing toys in the style of Kenner’s 1977 Star Wars figures across both classic and contemporary pop culture licenses were going to come true. Little did anyone know just HOW true. Thanks to new images at Entertainment Earth, collectors can now have a look at what’s going to be a busy 2014, with more than 60 total ReAction figures planned from movies including The Rocketeer, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Predator, The Terminator, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Back to the Future, Escape from New York, Firefly, Scream, The Goonies, Universal Monsters, Pulp Fiction, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Hellraiser, Trick ‘R Treat, Halloween and The Crow.
Former LOST star Evangeline Lilly could soon be blowing up in the size-changing world of Marvel’s Ant-Man movie. According to Variety, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug star could follow Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas and Michel Pena as an official cast member, although her specific role hasn’t been announced. The “insider” word is that Lilly’s character could be Pym’s daughter and Lang’s love interest. If true, that could mean a dramatic reworking of Janet Van Dyne‘s character — a founding member of The Avengers who has until now been left out of the Marvel movie universe. Of course, it could be an original character and Janet could remain left out of Ant-Man’s movie lore.
There are a lot of toy options on the market, but only QMx has been putting a customizable word balloon spin on franchises such as Star Trek and other comics-friendly fare with its unique Q-Pop line. This month at Toy Fair, the company will officially unveil its furthest foray into the world of superhero pop culture yet, with the release of four new DC Comics Q-Pop figures. But you don’t have to wait until next Sunday to see the upcoming toys, ComicsAlliance has been provided with a first-look at an unpainted prototype of the Catwoman Q-Pop, along with color concept art of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.
Q-Pops are roughly 3.75″ PVC figures that stand atop special mini-diorama bases, complete with optional word balloon effect parts. The word balloons act as a dry-erase board, giving collectors the chance to personalize the figure’s dialogue with a given Q-Pop’s included marker. It’s a clever accessory that I’m honestly surprised I haven’t seen pop up until now.
We’ve known that James Spader will star as the titular evil Tony Stark-created artificial intelligence of Avengers: Age of Ultron for months, but what we didn’t know is that the evil robot’s son would also be joining the fray. That’s right, The Vision is set to join the film, which begins production next month, as played by actor Paul Bettany — AKA The voice of Jarvis in the Iron Man films.
Ectoplasmic entities have much to fear from the toy world this year. Not only is LEGO introducing a massive new Ghostbusters set sometime in 2014, but Funko is rolling out a full line of 3.75″ Pop! Vinyl figures. This May, an initial Ghostbusters lineup of Egon Spengler, Raymond Stantz and Peter Venkman will be busting a Slimer (with a righteous translucent base), plus an extra-tall 6″ Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.
Following last week’s statements regarding the transition of the Star Wars comic book license from Dark Horse Comics to Marvel, the biggest questions weren’t whether Darth Vader would meet Doctor Doom or who The House of Ideas would hire to helm its presumed projects in 2015. Many were curious about Dark Horse’s backlist — some 20 years of comic book stories by hundreds of prominent writers, artists and other creators —and the continuity they’d built outside that of the canon established in Lucasfilm’s six features and related tie-ins (those two Ewok movies were wild, man). Also in question was the future of Dark Horse Comics V.P. of Publishing and Star Wars editor Randy Stradley. Now, thanks to a response from Dark Horse, we have at least a few more answers.
Fans hurting for a fully articulated Luigi action figure since Toy Biz’s notable Mario Kart 64 line in circa 1999-2000 can finally snag something arguably even cooler from Good Smile Company in July of 2014. Even as Nintendo’s “Year of Luigi” draws to a close, GS has announced a Nendoroid action figure version of Super Mario’s taller, higher-jumping brother.