Fynch has been keeping himself occupied. It’s really best; idle hands and all that. Apparently the gentlemen currently slumped against the blood-spattered wall had been watching the news on a cheap portable TV when he entered; Fynch was ignoring it, but now it’s attracted his attention.

And in the grand tradition of heroic comics, Max’s character finally gets a name.

HOLIDAY BREAK TIME! We’re off to wassail, and we hope you enjoy your festivities as well! We’ll be back on Monday, January 5th, 2015 to reveal what our hero is planning!

And of course upvotes means Santa will be extra good to you this year!

More below!


What’s In A Name?


During the 80’s and 90’s, comics were booming. The success of comic-based films such as Mask and Men In Black made it seem as though comic books were more than just an entertainment art form, they were an investment opportunity. Collectors swarmed from the woodwork, driving up prices in an absurd spiral much the same way as Pogs and Beanie Babies had done earlier. Smaller independent houses like WildStorm and Highbrow were churning out comics like crazy; sometimes even the same comic but printed with multiple different covers. And people — often people who knew next to nothing about comics, but were in it for the investment value — were buying them by the truckload.

Creators like Lee, Liefeld, and Larson were churning out books that were surprisingly entertaining given how fast they were being produced, but one thing they all had in common was that they were filled with new characters. Characters that were introduced and often killed off in the same book. Sometimes the same page. Occasionally even the same panel. As a person who had been hired to work on animation based on these books, I asked what the reason was for such a wasteful-seeming practice. I was told that it was because once the names were professionally published in book form, they could be copyrighted and even trademarked; basically locked down by that creator, who could then re-invent them at leisure if they so desired.

Rather the way people were grabbing domain names for a while. It was an investment.

Well, I could understand this. One thing I’d learned as a writer was that Stan Lee had already hammered down many really great names. If it was a cool word with a hard consonant and a long vowel, Stan Lee had probably already used it as a character name. And any he’d missed were being taken by the creators mentioned above.

It’s not like it really matters unless there is lots of money involved anyway. Which lets out webcomics, I assure you. Or even comic books, these days. The comic book investment bubble eventually burst, as such things tend to do.

But when we decided the news media needed to give Max a nickname, we were going to start out with “Countdown Commando” and eventually shorten it to “Countdown.” The media/police have a tradition of naming notorious types, such at the “Baseball Cap Bandit,” the “Night Stalker” and “The Hillside Strangler.” “Countdown Commando” seemed right up their alley, given the cyalume timer on Max’s chestpiece and his obvious military training. And I’ve been admiring the way that shows like Arrow and Flash have taken their time about naming their heroes; with “The Vigilante” becoming “The Hood” and then finally “The Arrow.” And Flash started as “The Streak” and “The Blur” before settling on “The Flash.”

But as Max and I were working out how to bring 3MM to a nice break point for the holidays, we decided to just skip all the interval stuff. Just say the name. No waffling. It’ll start being used by the media via the simple leap-of-consciousness that seems to take place throughout the everyday world.

He’s still 3 Minute Max. But from now on, he’ll also be known as Countdown.

Unless, of course, it turns out that Stan Lee used that name already. Damn, that man was prolific!

Join us after the break — we’ve got people to save!

Happy Holidays! — Bob out


Artist’s Notes:  Wanted to leave you guys with some nice artwork to carry you through the harsh winter break.  However, we are not slipping into a hibernation here, we are plowing ahead with a serious attempt to Build A Buffer so that my schedule next year can have a little more breathing room.   Also, we’re participating in the Collective of Heroes Secret Santa project, and that artwork will be posted here and elsewhere around Xmastime.  I’m also going to be doing some Fan Artworks for a few titles I’m fond of, so I’ll post those links… on monday 🙂  In short, this break is going to be less break-y than most, so if you’re curious, stop by and smell what’s cookin’.