Nothing much to say -- just thought it was cool that I'm writing this on a free internet terminal in Singapore. Normal blogging should resume next week. That is all.
Votes & Vacation
Well, the votes are in and they were pretty much unanimous: Do
not buy the Marvel Age books. The closest I got to a response in
favor of the Marvel Age books was an email from a reader in Japan who
suggested buying the FF comic and selling it off to him if I didn't
like it. I considered doing this, but ultimately I decided I
should follow the rules of my
and abide by the majority decision.
(NOTE: If any reader outside the US is interested in sampling the
Marvel Age books cheaply, the
I use does offer international shipping
And, remember, this blog will be inactive for the next two weeks while
I'm on vacation. I should be back blogging again sometime around
the first week of March.
Finally, I was just as surprised by Dirk's
today as anyone else, but I'd like to be the first to thank
Dirk for putting Journalista
on hiatus: It'll mean
less catch-up reading when I return from my own hiatus in two
weeks! So thanks, Dirk, and congrats on the new position.
I promised a couple
that I would report back with my thoughts on Palomar
after I finished reading it. I've been putting off blogging my
reactions to the book for a while, mainly because I don't think I've
sorted my thoughts and feelings into anything satisfying yet. But
with an extended vacation looming, I figured I'd better get some of my
thoughts out there before I forget them. Plus, there's always the
hope that my rambling rumination will prompt others to discuss this
work in more detail, perhaps uncovering something that's eluding me.
While I really liked Palomar
overall, towards the end I
started to feel as though the focus or tone of the series changed
somehow. I haven't put my finger on it yet, but it was as though
the stories went from being believable/identifiable/human/real to more
surreal -- as though the focus shifted from the characters to the
situations they found themselves in, and those situations felt
artificial or abstracted somehow -- less grounded or recognizable.
Granted, the work was created across discrete points in time, not in
one large chunk, and my own reading of the book was broken up into
multiple sittings, so maybe these factors play into my feeling of
"disconnectedness" about the work. At some point I'd like to sit
down with Palomar
for a second reading and see if I feel
the same way, and if I do, why I feel that way.
Other thoughts? (And, hey, even though the collection came out
last year, most of the stories were originally published in the 80s, so
it would be right in line with other
Blogosphere has been focused on recently...)
If I Had A Million Dollars
Ed Cunard (yeah, that guy again) has written a fun column where he daydreams
about what kind of comic shop he would run
if money were no
object. I enjoyed Ed's ideas, and I certainly understand the
impulse behind today's column: There are many days at work where
I fantasize about opening a comic shop. (I also have a recurring
fantasy about starting up a comic magazine, but that's even more
pie-in-the-sky.) About the only thing I'd add to Ed's list would
be a suggestion to sell used books (trade paperbacks and
hardcovers). I don't know how Ed feels about back issues
(personally, I think that market has been undercut by the popularity of
eBay), but I think used trades would be a great draw for a comic
shop. I know it would succeed in drawing in bargain hunters like
me: I'm always dropping into used bookstores looking for great
deals on used comics (like the copy of Drawn & Quarterly
I got for $8 at a local Half Price Books). Are
there any retailers out there who already do this?
DC + CMX = $$$?
Anime News Network
link to a
Time magazine article
reporting that DC Comics will be
launching a manga imprint called CMX later this year.
Meanwhile, Marvel is busy reworking old Hulk
they read like DragonBall Z
COW = Cash Owed Workers
I like: Every subscriber to CrossGen's Comics on the Web
should take the money they would have spent on renewing their
membership and give it to a freelancer who still hasn't been paid by
Now, anyone have any ideas on how to implement this great idea?
Markets Really Do Work Better at Information Aggregation
You readers have been good to me. I've asked you for feedback or
advice several times and you've never let me down. Example:
When I was fretting
over whether I should get the Moth special or wait for
, you told me to get
(which also meant that I would get the individual
issues for the subsequent mini-series). Now it turns out that my online shop
is offering the first issue of the Moth
75% off cover price, so I'm glad that I'm getting the singles after
all. (If it later turns out that there is a trade and my shop
offers that at 95% off, my outlook might change.)
Since things have turned out well in the past when I've put things to a
vote, I'm going to ask you to help me with another ordering
decision: Should I get Marvel Age Fantastic Four
and the Marvel Age Spider-Man
vol. 1 digest? My
shop is offering them at a pretty good discount (75% and 40% off,
respectively) so I'm tempted to try them out. I figure I've been
so cynical about the books before they've even seen print that maybe I
should give them a fair chance. Then again, it's Marvel we're
talking about, so maybe "cynical" is the appropriate response in the
So, because I'm feeling ambivalent about this, and because I need to
place my order soon, I'm going to let you decide once again. Let
me know: Should I get Marvel Age Fantastic Four
and the Marvel Age Spider-Man
vol. 1 digest? Vote
either on the comment thread below or via
by Thursday, Feb. 12. Feel free to respond however you
want -- "No"; "Yes, both"; "Yes, but only one"; "Buy the originals
instead." I'll tally up the responses and let your collective
wisdom guide me. (In the event of a tie, Ed Cunard will once
again cast the deciding vote.)
Incongruous Statement of The Week
"Well that’s all we have for this month! We hope you enjoyed the column
and we hope that we helped you find new and interesting titles for the
Yes, thank you so much for scouring through the latest Previews
and reporting on such "new and interesting" finds as obscure publishers
Marvel and DC, unknown titles Superman
and up-and-coming talents Mark Millar and Jim Lee.
Isn't Graeme Always On A Rampage?
Spotted this while reading an
article over at CBR
about a forthcoming anthology titled Flight
I think this should be Graeme
new logo. (Oh, and the anthology looks interesting, but it's
still a ways off: No publisher, no price, no release date.
But it does have a
new Derek Kirk Kim story
, so I'll be looking for it if it ever
EW Sez Escapist Not Escapist Enough
In the February 13, 2004 edition of Entertainment
(#751), the subscribers-only supplement "Listen2This"
covers some comics. For the second time, the comics section is
single page, so only four comics
are reviewed, and there's no "a comics creator discusses his favorite
comic" feature. The four comics reviewed are:
- The Amazing Adventures of the Escapist: C-
- The Pulse: A-
- Mother, Come Home: A+
- Plastic Man: A
Upcoming comics mentioned are: The Punisher: Born
Silent Hill: Dying Inside
, Savage Dragon: Worlds at
, and Van Helsing's Night Off
The review of The Amazing Adventures of the Escapist
struck me as strange: The comic is basically criticized
for not being the novel it was based on. I suppose it's hard to
ignore the source material when examining a spin-off, but I would think
a reviewer would want to review a work on its own merits, not on how
well it captures the context of the original novel.
Ed Summarizes: Because You Like Superheroes, You Really Like Superheroes
It looks like I updated my blog too soon after all: Ed
has written a column following up on his question from last
week (boy, these columnists and their lackadaisical weekly schedules)
and in it he kindly links to this blog. So if you're looking for
the entries where people discuss why they (or others) only read
superhero comics, scroll down or click here
Incidentally, Ed does a bang-up job summarizing and responding to the
many thoughts raised in the monster comment threads below, and he does
so in a fair, even-handed manner. It's definitely worth a read.
Newsarama Asks: WHY IS THERE A COLUMN DISCUSSING MANGA ON THIS SITE????
Wow, look at that -- almost a week went by since I last updated this blog. I'd like to pretend it was all part of some
master plan (wouldja believe I was seeing if the comment threads for
the "Why Just Superheroes?"/"Why Not
Just Superheroes?" posts
would break 50 comments if I just let them sit there at the top of the
blog?), but really it's just been a combination of me being busier than
work and as lazy as usual at home.
So, my apologies for not updating the blog for so long, or at least
warning you about the lack of updates. (In that vein:
Advance Warning -- I may not blog at all next week (project deadline
looming) and I definitely won't blog at all the two weeks after that
There's probably a lot of interesting stuff I've missed or overlooked
in the past week, but this caught my eye today: Newsarama
has a column discussing manga
! The first installment of Troy
Brownfield's "Your Manga
Minute" gives short overviews for three manga -- Dark Angel Vol.
Kenshin Vol. 1
, and Record of Lodoss War: The Lady of
. Of these, I've only read Rurouni
, which didn't do much for me. It'll be interesting
to see how this feature is received. I found the information too
cursory to be of much use, but perhaps others will get more out of
it. And if nothing else, it's amusing to read the reactions of
the mangaphobic Newsarama posters:
- Outside of Akira, the first few Appleseed years, 2001 Nights and
Area 88, I've found very little manga in print that does anything for
me other than go "do they all think we gaijin run around with stupid
gapes and wide eyes?"
- THERE IS TOO MUCH MANGA JUNK. UGH. It's like a flood, wiping away
much of the trully good stuff. And much of it looks exactly the same
which is sad, sad, sad. I feel like, I dont know, like it's the DISCO
of American Comic books.
Luckily, several posters have joined in to counter the "manga is crap"
line of thought. Is it cynical of me to think that this positive
direction can't possibly last for long on Newsarama?
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