Archive for the ‘IDW Publishing’ Category

I Can FEEL Your Anger! It Gives You Focus! Makes You Stronger!


You know what? As a writer, often I really try to get into the heads of my characters. And sometimes, I take it too far. For example…

Oh, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s a couple of announcements (and THEN, as usual, I’ll tell you an embarrassing anecdote from my writing career).

  • MAD Magazine: I wrote a humor piece called “The Bad Roommate,” which was illustrated by David DeGrand. It appears in MAD #7, on sale now!
  • Last month my Avengers Little Golden Book The Threat of Thanos (illustrated by Shane Clester) appeared in a Barnes & Noble ad in celebration of the film Avengers: Endgame! (Click on the thumbnail to see the whole ad)
  • Hungry Shark: The Official Shark-Tastic Guide, written by yours truly, comes out on June 25th, 2019 from Scholastic. Barnes & Noble included the book on their list of “Guides & Novels for Your Gamer.” (Seriously, what’s with Barnes & Noble hyping all of my books lately? Not that I’m complaining…)
  • Star Wars Adventures: Recently I wrote a Tales from Wild Space comic book story called “Majordomo, Major Problems,” which was illustrated by Drew Moss. “Majordomo” is an 8-page backup tale in Star Wars Adventures #23, which comes out on June 26th, 2019 from IDW Publishing.

Now that that’s out of the way, I believe you’re owed a humiliating anecdote about my writing career. And you shall have it:

As a writer, often I really try to get into the heads of my characters. For example, when I was a staff writer on the television series TruTV Presents: World’s Dumbest, I found that in order to write jokes for Gilbert Gottfried (who was one of the cast members), you had to yell the jokes out loud AS Gilbert Gottfried. In other words, you had to do an impression of Gilbert Gottfried, to figure out how he would say a particular joke.

And that’s something I’ve done quite a few times in my career. When I was writing the scripts for the House M.D. video game, I did an impression of Hugh Laurie, in his “Gregory House” voice. As “Hugh Laurie,” I acted out each scene, talking into a digital recorder. Then I played it back in order to see if it sounded like something the character would actually say.

When I used to write Bart Simpson comic book stories for Bongo Comics, whenever Krusty the Clown was in a story, I found that it was really helpful to brainstorm one-liners for Krusty by doing a terrible Krusty impression and ad-lib some jokes while talking into the digital recorder. More recently, when I wrote my LEGO Star Wars books for Scholastic, I liked to put a few Emperor Palpatine jokes in each book. And sometimes the jokes were written IN Palpatine’s voice, especially if Palpatine was narrating a section of the book. That meant doing a really terrible, over-the-top Ian McDiarmid impression, and it really helped make the Palpatine jokes and Palpatine narration even funnier.

But what I’m really getting at is that – as I type this – there’s a digital recorder right next to my laptop. On that digital recorder’s files there’s hours and hours of audio of me doing the absolute WORST Hugh Laurie, Krusty the Clown, and Ian McDiarmid impressions. And when I was writing the House scripts, I was also doing impressions of the OTHER House cast members. So there’s audio of me doing awful Omar Epps impressions, awful Lisa Edelstein impressions, awful Robert Sean Leonard impressions. Oh, you have no idea. And you WILL CONTINUE TO have no idea. Because nobody will ever hear those audio files. I guess this isn’t really a humiliating anecdote as much as it’s a POTENTIALLY humiliating anecdote.

But if you ever need something to blackmail me with, just steal the digital recorder, okay?


The Once and Future Speed


Hello everyone,

It is written: “He Who Pulls the Fuel-Injected V8 Out From the Stone Shall Henceforth Be King of All England!”

Well, okay, that brilliant bit of writing never actually appears in the second issue of the IDW Publishing miniseries SPEED RACER: CHRONICLES OF THE RACER – which was written by yours truly – and which went on sale at comics shops everywhere Wednesday March 5th. (March 5th sounds suspiciously like “Mach 5,” doesn’t it?) But the story IS a riff on the Arthurian legend. And it boasts incredible art by Robby Musso and German Torres. Here’s the promo copy:

“Arie Kaplan and Robby Musso continue to tell the story of past Racers throughout history. In medieval England, inexperienced teenager Sprint Rackham must outrace a madman who’s kidnapped Lady Beatrix via his giant mechanical dragon. Even with a suit of armor designed by a wizard, can Sprint rescue her in time? Meanwhile in the present, Speed, Racer X, and Trixie find themselves one step closer to the mystery carjacker, as they come under attack in a super-garage beneath Mercury Pictures!”

And I was recently interviewed by the Internet podcast COMIC GEEK SPEAK. Here’s CGS co-host Peter Rios’ description of the interview: “The Speakers of Geek take a look at IDW’s new Speed Racer: Chronicles of the Racer series with writer Arie Kaplan as well as his work on MAD, his new book Krakow to Krypton: A History of Jews in Comicbooks, the Speed Racer cartoon, writing for all ages, Terry Gilliam and more.” Here’s a link to the interview (CGS Episode 377):

Scroll down to the “Monday, March 3rd” entry on IDW publisher Chris Ryall’s blog RYALLTIME to see the first page of SPEED RACER: CHRONICLES OF THE RACER #2:

Also, feel free to check out the “Comic Books” page of my website, which contains cover art for all four issues of my SPEED RACER: CHRONICLES OF THE RACER miniseries, as well as links to IDW’s press release for the series and B&W art promo for SPEED RACER: CHRONICLES OF THE RACER #1:

He’s A Demon On Wheels…Just Like His Father Before Him


Hello everyone,

The demon on wheels is back! Only this time, they’re chariot wheels.

I’ve recently written a new four-issue comic book miniseries for IDW Publishing called SPEED RACER: CHRONICLES OF THE RACER, and the first issue came out yesterday! It boasts amazing art by Robby Musso and German Torres, and turbo-injected variant covers by Alex Garner and E.J. Su.

In SPEED RACER: CHRONICLES OF THE RACER, Speed finds himself pursued by a mysterious stranger…and the stranger seems to know more about Speed’s family history than he does. Soon, Speed discovers that he’s the last in a long line of “Racers,” champions who were chosen by fate to out-race the evils of this world. The story alternates between the present-day adventures of Speed chasing after his cryptic foe, and the past Racers battling an eerily similar villain. Specifically, we see the Racers of Ancient Rome, Medieval England, the Golden Age of Piracy, and the Old West. Like TIME BANDITS or STAR WARS, SPEED RACER: CHRONICLES OF THE RACER is the ultimate childrens adventure story, chock full of chariot races, knights in shining armor, princesses, dragons, pirates, monsters, giant robots, and cowboys. And lots and lots of racing. Also, while its largely a childrens comic, there are also plenty of Easter Eggs and pop culture references for older, long-time SPEED RACER fans to enjoy.

Dont believe me? Check out this glowing review of SPEED RACER: CHRONICLES OF THE RACER #1 from Comicbloc:

And heres IDWs official press release for SPEED RACER: CHRONICLES OF THE RACER:

Here’s a link to a 5-page B&W preview of the art for SPEED RACER: CHRONICLES OF THE RACER #1, as well as a cover gallery for that issue:

Or you can just check out the “Comic Books” page of my website, where you can see cover art for all four issues of my SPEED RACER: CHRONICLES OF THE RACER miniseries, as well as links to the press release and other info on the mini:

I may also be signing copies of SPEED RACER: CHRONICLES OF THE RACER #1 at the IDW booth at WonderCon in San Francisco, which takes place from February 22-24th. However, Im not certain of the exact details. WonderCon is being held at Moscone Center South,747 Howard Street,San Francisco. Check out for more details on WonderCon, and check my website for more updates about SPEED RACER and news about other book signings/lectures/personal appearances. And speaking of which…

Something I definitely WILL be doing at WonderCon is the “History of Superhero Movies” event Ill be co-hosting with my colleague, Eddy Friedfeld. Well be showing lots of obscure (and not so obscure) clips from various superhero-themed films and TV shows. Do you like seeing your favoriteHollywood stars in ill-fitting tights? Then this is the event for you! Here are the details:

History of Superhero MoviesFRIDAY, FEB. 223:30-4:30pmRoom 236/238

Comic books started out modestly seven decades ago printed on pulp paper and appealing to a very young audience. Today, comics have become American mythology with a broad ranging audience, with legendary characters and stories that have transcended time and inspired generations of readers and artists in all different mediums. With movie companies now issuing bonds to finance the purchase of rights to characters, superhero movies have become an international multi-billion dollar industry. Through clips and discussion, Arie Kaplan and Eddy Friedfeld will analyze the history of the comic book movie, from the innovative Fleischer animated Superman cartoons and the Columbia Batman and Superman serials of the 1940s to George Reeves and Christopher Reeves Men of Steel, to the modern collection of Keaton, Kilmer, Clooney and Bale Batmans, Superman Returns, the Spiderman trilogy, and Ghost Rider and the upcoming Hulk and Iron Man.

Hope to see some of you there!


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