Central City is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to Central City. (With apologies to Douglas Adams.)

It’s an old post, but I just found the Absorbascon’s take on Central City, looking at the wide expanses depicted in Carmine Infantino’s Silver-Age drawings of the Flash’s hometown.

What is this vast complex? The National Science Center? NIH? STARLabs HQ? No. It’s Barry Allen’s back room. In his APARTMENT. In your house, this sort of room is barely big enough to hold the Cybex machine you don’t use. In a Central City apartment, it’s about the size of a bowling alley.

On a related, but more serious note, letterer Todd Klein has posted a 4-part study of the Flash Logo from 1940 through the present day: Part 1 · Part 2 · Part 3 · Part 4. With his insider knowledge, it’s far more thorough than the study I did a few years ago. (via Wallyoeste)

They're Everywhere!I just discovered that They’re Everywhere, the album featuring the Flash-themed song, “The Ballad of Barry Allen,” is now available on Amazon’s MP3 store. The band, Jim’s Big Ego, is headed by the nephew of legendary Flash artist Carmine Infantino, who did the cover artwork on the album.

And yes, the song’s actually good!

It’s been available on iTunes (which is how I originally bought it) and CD before, but it’s worth mentioning since Amazon’s music downloads, like Slabster’s, are just plain MP3s. No DRM, no account activation, no need to authorize computers or stick with one company’s player—hardware or software.

There’s also a fan music video, “Seems so slow,” that uses clips from the Justice League and Teen Titans cartoons:

See also: Flash Music.

P.S. Would you believe this is the first time I’ve actually embedded a YouTube video in this blog? I’m so behind the times, I know…

Discussion has erupted over a teaser image that DC Comics has just released for an upcoming crossover between Countdown and The Flash:

Flash: The Fastest Man (Alive).... The Countdown Continues

The image, with the battered Flash at the mercy of his Rogues Gallery and his name shown in giant stone letters, has been widely recognized as an homage to the classic Flash v.1 #174 cover by Carmine Infantino & Murphy Anderson (1967). What you may not know is that it’s not the first time that cover has been referenced. In 1989, Mike Mignola revisited the cover for Secret Origins #41, featuring the origins of the main Rogues.

Flash v.1 #174 Secret Origins #41

I have a list of 15 26 Flash cover homages online. Admittedly, it’s due for an update. Aside from this, there was at least one in Rogue War, and people have pointed out a few that I’ve missed.

Meanwhile, does anyone know who did the art on the Countdown image? My first thought was Brian Bolland, but on seeing the full sized image it doesn’t look like his style. Edit: It turns out it’s Ryan Sook.

(via Crimson Lightning)

Update: Wizard has an interview with Marc Guggenheim [archive.org] on the significance of the teaser, and the relationship between Countdown and Flash: The Fastest Man Alive.

[Picture of the Flash (Barry Allen) from Showcase #4]I missed the first half of Saturday’s “50 Years of the Flash” panel because we missed the red line and got stuck waiting to transfer at America Plaza. The shuttle might have gotten us there faster (maybe even on time), but we were pretty sure they wouldn’t let us on with our coffee.

What I did see of the panel was still mostly retrospective, and mainly Mark Waid, Geoff Johns, and Danny Bilson. Carmine Infantino told a couple of stories (one of which he’d told at Thursday’s panel, about the “war” between him and Julius Schwartz: he’d try to draw ever-more-nasty cliffhangers on his covers, and every time, Julie would come up with a story to go with it. So finally he drew one with the Flash and the Golden Age Flash both racing to save some guy, and said, “There! Top that!” The rest, of course, is history).

After a while they started talking about the new Flash book. While the most common answer in the Q&A session was, “Wait and see,” Bilson and DeMeo did answer a couple of questions that I’ve seen people asking about.

For the “legacy pages” in the first two issues, they did a whole bunch of research, sometimes finding conflicting info. (They didn’t mention this one, but the issue of “Who named Impulse” is probably one of those cases.) Any changes in continuity are accidental, and not intentional.

The reason Bart’s acting so morose in these first few issues is that he’s got this problem to deal with, and once he starts to work through it, his impulsive nature will start taking over again.

I almost got the new #1 signed, but staff kept telling everyone to clear the room, and as near as I can tell, Bilson and DeMeo took a different exit than I did.

Update: I forgot to mention some of the other stories. There was a good one Bilson and DeMeo told about how when they pitched the TV show, the powers that be wanted the Flash to be running around in a gray sweat suit. So they got Dave Stevens to design a suit and his rendering convinced them to go with it. Even then, the network resisted bringing costumed villains in until they showed it could work. And apparently what killed it wasn’t bad ratings, but network politics. Someone wanted his show, so he could get a better bonus. A real pity, as the second season opener would have been a two-hour special with the Trickster, Captain Cold, and Mirror Master—a Rogues Gallery episode.

Update 2: Adding more stuff as I remember it (and have time to type). Continue reading

Not that I saw anyone dressed as Thor, but it seemed an appropriate description for a Thursday at Comic-Con.

[Picture of Carmine Infantino]No earth-shattering news so far, but then it was only a Thursday. Katie went to the voice acting panel and the Animaniacs panel (mostly in connection with next week’s DVD release. I went to the Carmine Infantino retrospective. Other than that, we both roamed the floor.

Be sure to check out the back of the Snakes on a Plane booth. There’s a wonderful flight safety card on “what to do in the event of snakes on a plane.”

When I was in high school, I remember there being tons of comic book retailers. They aren’t gone, but there are a lot fewer, and listening to people at the booths, they have the same feeling: not only is the percentage of the con focused on comics shrinking, the number of comic sellers is shrinking too. I managed to pick up a couple of leads on my back-issue hunt. I also sold a couple of random Golden Age and Silver Age books I had picked up, freeing up some space in my backpack (though there’s plenty of stuff left that I didn’t bring).

I spoke with Phil Foglio briefly, and got him to autograph the remaining three Girl Genius volumes (amazingly, volume 5 showed up the the mail the day before we left) and got a photo of Sergio Aragonés holding up a little Groo statuette.

[Picture of Kelson with magician Misty Lee]At one point I started to take a picture of a woman in what I thought was a good Zatanna-style costume (though it evoked the look rather than copying the look). As I was setting up the shot, I realized that it was magician Misty Lee. I told her I’d seen her show in Burbank a few months ago, and she insisted on posing for a second photo with me in the shot. The guy who took the photo? Paul Dini. We talked for a few minutes (“You weren’t there on Saturday, were you?” “Uh, I don’t think so…”)

We ended up leaving around 6:00, went back to our hotel, showered, changed, and went out to dinner at the Indigo Grill (which we had walked past on our way to and from the con two years ago). It turned out to be very good. Highly recommended.