My Best Articles Catch-Up Compilation

My continuing tendency to get distracted and work on things not posted online means that I haven’t updated in a spell. Let’s rectify that with some of the better articles I’ve done over the last couple of months. As I’m posting this on Halloween, here’s an article I wrote about some crazy haunted house events […]

Catch-Up: Recent Articles!

Though I’ve had a number of big pieces the last few months, I haven’t taken the time to update them here!  Let’s rectify that. Here’s some of my best pieces from the last few months. Here is a two-part interview with Jim Starlin on his run on Marvel’s WARLOCK — including his creations Drax, Gamora […]

Oscar Shorts Review

The Oscar shorts return by Zack Smith @thezacksmith Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures Helium Oscar shorts Carolina Theatre Opens Jan. 31 There’s an international flavor to the short films nominated for Academy Awards this year, with no American entries in live-action and only two in animation (one of which is by Disney). Though there’s a predictable quality to […]

William Shatner — Extended Interview

Did a short interview with William Shatner for a local paper — you can read it here Here’s the extended version of our talk. # He’ll forever be known as Star Trek’s Captain Kirk, but William Shatner’s willingness to embrace his campy persona has made him more prolific than most actors a quarter of his […]

Aaron Becker on JOURNEY

Going back to old policy of posting links to individual articles I publish this year.  Let’s see how long this lasts…   READING / INTERVIEWSAaron Becker takes children on an illustrated Journey Posted by Zack Smith @thezacksmith on Wed, Jan 1, 2014 at 10:36 AM   Aaron Becker Journey Cover Aaron Becker has worked on such big-budget CGI-animated films asThe Polar Express and A Christmas Carol. But […]

Best Articles of 2013 Compilation

Here are the most best things I wrote this past year.  I think this averages out to one great piece per week.  I am pleased by this. COMIC BOOKS The Strange History of Marvel Comics’ ULTIMATE ADVENTURES with Hawk-Owl and Woody Peter Milligan and Brendan McCarthy, Pt.1 Milligan and McCarthy, Pt.2 Jeffrey Brown on VADER’S […]

Best Interviews from August-October

Doing a clean-up and wanted to link some recent work.  I got to talk with some really brilliant people for a couple places.  My ego is inflated! A chat with BONE Creator Jeff Smith on his work and being a self-publisher in the 1990s Got to talk with Caldecott Winner David Wiesner on his new […]

Things I Wrote in May and June!

Realized I hadn’t done a compilation of all the stuff I’d had posted in a while.  Here’s a quick gathering. INDY WEEK: Mitch O’Connell Interview Comic Book Events in the Triangle In-Depth Look at Television Production in North Carolina with UNDER THE DOME, BANSHEE, HOMELAND and More NEWSARAMA: Micahel Kaluta on STARSTRUCK Graham Nolan on […]

Collection of Published Articles for 2013, Pt.2

As I’ve had some articles published all over the place recently, figured it was time to start a new compilation post. Very Sad: Beloved local used bookstore Nice Price Books is closing, and I talked to them and several other used bookstores to get the reasons why. Here’s an interview I did with reporter Jonathan M. […]

ORIGINAL ESSAY: The History of Marvel Comics’ ULTIMATE ADVENTURES, with Special Guest Duncan Fegredo

On October 25, 2001, Marvel Comics issued a press release heralding the hiring of Ron Zimmerman, a TV writer best known as a regular contributor to Howard Stern’s radio program, as a writer on a variety of freelance projects. “Welcome to The House, Ron – we think you’ll find it even more strange than Hollywood!” it extolled.

Little did he know.

Two and a half years later, Zimmerman would be one of the most reviled names at Marvel, inciting a degree of Internet hatred so great that Joe Quesada himself would step in to publicly defend him. His legacy would be some of the strangest comics ever put out by the House of Ideas, including perhaps the most obscure Ultimate Universe book, Ultimate Adventures.

The true story of Ultimate Adventures is one that represents the nexus of Marvel’s output and attitude in the early 2000s, a combination of creativity and aggression that proved both admirable and regrettable.