Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Incredible Internet Guide to Comic Books & Superheroes

So, today, Jessi and I headed up to Tacoma to visit my dad in the hospital, who's recovering from having his appendix removed (he's doing fine, by the way). Before stopping at the hospital, we stopped at Half-Price Books in Tacoma to get him some Zane Grey western novels to read while he recuperates.

Well, while we were there, Jessi found a few items of interest to me in the Super Buy section... such as the above-mentioned book for $1.00! Naturally, I picked it up.

Now, for a buck, I didn't expect much. And boy, was I not disappointed! This was part of a while series of books that supposedly found sites that you couldn't find with a search engine... and this one in particular was pretty darn lame, if you ask me! Fully half the book was devoted to a chronological listing of appearances of different comic book characters (not having a thing to do with the internet, save that they must've pulled it from one site or another).

Of course, the problem with doing a book like this is that from the time it goes to press to the time it goes on sale, many sites will end up being abandoned or just plain go missing! Heck, even this book's own website is pretty much gone (it appears they abandoned the site, and it's now a generic ad site these days).

But, just for the heck of it, I figured I'd try out some of the URL's this book lists, and see what's actually still left standing! Any site that's still active will be represented with a link you can click... otherwise, it'll just appear as text.

Introduction

The first site mentioned is www.crawlspace.com, which the book promises you can go to to chat with other comic fans and download images. That site is gone.

Next up is comicspriceguide.com, which still exists. Of course, like with all price guides, it's merely a guide -- the real value of any comic book is, naturally, what someone else is willing to pay for it!

I decided, on a whim, to see what a NM copy of Power of Shazam! #1 is listed at... and they have it for $4.00 (with, naturally, a copy for sale). I once bought a copy of this issue that would at least grade at VF+ for 50 cents at a comics show.

The next site they mention is www.spidermanhype.com -- but that site has been absorbed into Superhero Hype, and you can find the real page at http://superherohype.com/spider-man/. It seems to still be pretty active, as one would consider a sub-site of Superhero Hype to be!

At the end of the introduction, they also list some publisher's websites (presumably as a way of not getting into trouble with said publishers). The publisher sites they list are for Asylum Press, Caliber Comics, Chaos Comics, Dark Horse Comics, DC Comics, Diamond Comic Distributors, Event Comics, Gemstone Publishing, Marvel Comics, and Top Cow Productions. Event Comics I've never heard of, and that website is gone. They've got an outdated listing for Dark Horse's website.

I find it strangely amusing that there's no listing at all for Image Comics... very strange, considering the book was published in 2000. Heck, they don't even list Archie Comics, and I'm sure there are other publishers more prominent than some they listed who weren't included, either.

Batman Films

Most of the movie and tv show listings in this book begin with a link to the allmovie.compage, with lots of long URLs that don't work anymore anyway... so I won't mention any of those with the rest of these.

I've never checked out allmovie.com before (my usual website I go to is the Internet Movie Database), and from what I've seen there, they appear to be sort of an Amazon.com wannabe, except that the "buy" link doesn't work at all.

So... moving on... next up on their list of Batman Films & TV is www.batgirl.com/main.html -- but whatever was originaly there, it now redirects you to the Warner Bros. Online website. The website after that was supposed to be a link to the Batman Forever script at God Among Directors.com, but that page doesn't exist anymore. A similar link to a different page with a Batman Returns script is gone these days, too (as is the entire site that hosted it). Next was "Catwman's Torture Chamber" at http://elekktra.net/cat, but that entire site is also gone.

But never fear... the next link still actually exists -- kind of. It's the Comics2Film entry on Batman 5 (as it was referred to back when this book was published), but the URL provided is redirected to the proper Batman Begins page -- but it's simpler to just to to C2F and search for the movie you want to read about, right?

The same goes for the IMDB links they provide in this book for the Batman movies. And I won't even bother looking at any other "Batman 5" links (which there was just two others). The final entry in this section was for an AOL Hometown page that doesn't exist, either.

Surely, there had to be some active, valid websites about the Batman movies somewhere, eh? But none are to be found in this book.

Blade

So, skipping the Allmovie.com, comics2film and IMDB sites they list (which are probably outdated links anyway -- they could've just said, "Go to the front page and search for the movie you're interested in" and be done with it)... the link provided for the "Official Film Site" takes you to a generic Lycos front page (which, seriously, I had no idea was still around). The link provided for the New Line Cinema page also doesn't work at all. So, no valid Blade sites to be had here!

Casting Calls

Oh, this should be amusing, if any of them still exist! These sites offer people the chance to voice their opinion as to who should be cast for which character in movies that aren't even announced.

Amazingly enough, the very first item, The Alpha Flight Casting Call Page, is still up... although it hasn't been updated since December of 1999!

The next site listed was "Casting the Birds of Prey" -- and while the host site, canarynoir.com is still running, that casting page is not.

The Comic Book/Movie Connection Casting Couch page is completely missing. So is the Young Justice Casting Call (it seems like sites hosted on Xoom and att.net go away quickly).

Comic Book Film News

So... the first item they list is the main Comic Book/Movie Connection site, which is history. The next site they mention is a newsgroup (who reads newsgroups these days?), and I won't even worry about listing any newsgroups at all here.

Then there's three entries in a row for Comics2Film -- the main page, the index and glossary page, and the link to the columns hosted at Comic Book Resources -- again, much simpler to just go to the main page and then click on the column...

The Dark Horizons page still works, although I don't see that it's especially geared towards comic book-based movies.

Next offered is "Generation Grrl" -- but that's an AOL Hometown page, and those seem to disappear as fast as the Xoom and ATT pages do! The Mr. Showbiz: Comic Book Cinema page is listed next, but that ends up redirecting you to movies.go.com.

The Crow

Not a single Crow website listed properly works -- just go to AllMovie.com or the IMDB to look it up if you need to.

Miscellaneous Comic Book Film Sites

Skipping the lame allmovie.com link, the Captain America in Movies page is history (as is the hosting site), the Gen13.com movie site redirects you to the DC Comics Wildstorm page, the Mystery Men movie website redirects to Universal Pictures, the Punisher movie page can't be found (nor can the host), and then there's the Unofficial Tank Girl Website -- which still works, but is just a Tank Girl fan site, mostly focusing on the comics.

Spawn

Amazingly enough, the Spawn - The Movie fan site on geocities they list is still up... even if the "Spawn Zone" (also on geocities) is long gone.

Superman

OK, I know -- KNOW -- there are, and have been, lots of excellent websites focusing on the Superman movies with Christopher Reeve. None of them are listed here. There's AllMovie links, IMDB links, a C2F link... and aside from that, a link to a Geocities page that purported to have Kevin Smith's original script for Superman Lives, but that page is gone forever.

X-Men

Aside from the lame AllMovie, IMDB and C2F links (not that those sites are lame, but providing links to specific pages on them is), there's not a single X-Men Movie page that's still around.

The book's movie section also has a section on "Future Feature Films," but the only page listed here that's a) not previously listed in this chapter or b) isn't dead is the Green Lantern Movie News Page, which actually is a Casting Call page, believe it or not!

Yeah, I know... this is all so incredibly lame. But at least I'll get my $1's worth out of this by making fun of the book!

Next time, I'll "feature" the comics-based TV show websites section -- or at least part of it!

Jon

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