Grotesque Anatomy
Thursday, April 01, 2004
  Bullpen Soapbox
Lots to cover this week, so let's get right down to it!

ITEM!  Seems like everyone and their teen sidekick is up in arms about superhero comics again.  Fellas, let's just try to remember what sequential art is all about:  Good-looking guys and gorgeous gals in tight, tight spandex!  I'm tired of hearing so-called comic book fans complain about poorly-written dialogue, corny plots, or inconsistent characterization.  Instead of bringing everyone down with your negativity, accentuate the positive:  If the story's bad, that just makes it easier to focus on the pretty pictures!  (I for one have always been disappointed that more comic book artists didn't follow Dan Jurgen's ground-breaking "all splash-page" experiment from Superman #75.  Now THAT was a comic book.  Maybe Jim Lee should consider doing something bold like this during his upcoming run on Superman!)

ITEM!  Did you know that DC stands for "Detective Comics"?  This is funny on two levels:  When people say they like DC comics, they're really saying they like Detective Comics comics.  How redundant!  (Don't even get me started on people who say things like, "My favorite comics are from DC Comics"!)  Also, I don't think DC actually puts out any comics about detectives, so I'm not sure why they chose that name.

ITEM!  Why are so many people down on Marvel?  I thought I was familiar with all the complaints one could possibly make about Marvel:  They're flooding the market.  They don't allow reorders.  They're creatively and artistically bankrupt, feasting off the corpse of Kirby.  Well, today I was in the shop and I heard a new one:  They're shipping all four issues of various mini-series in a single month.  OK, now we've entered the Twilight Zone.  How is this a BAD thing?  Weekly comics just means less time between issues of your favorite characters' adventures.  Sheesh.  Next thing you know, people will start complaining that Wolverine is overexposed or something.  (OK, maybe that's a bit unrealistic:  Even the biggest Marvel-basher couldn't have too much of everyone's favorite feral mutant!!)

ITEM!  Lord knows I try to be positive on this blog.  Upbeat.  Perky even.  Well, I'm sorry, but I just have to "go negative" for a bit here.  WHAT is the deal with this..."manga"?  Has anyone else heard of this?  I guess it's like comics from Japan or something and it's supposed to be really popular.  Ha!  If it's so "popular" then why haven't I ever seen any manga in my comics shop?  I looked it up online and it doesn't look like anything that would interest any comic fans I know:  It all involves books about schoolgirls and their panties, books about giant robots, and books about schoolgirls who pilot giant robots in their panties.  (Actually, that may have all been the same book; I think the page I found was in Japanese or something.)

What's really weird is that no one I know reads this manga stuff yet there are all these companies springing up and putting out more and more manga.  Here's a company named ADV Manga that brags about 37 new manga they'll be publishing.  And people complain about Marvel flooding the market with too many X-Men comics!  Just imagine how confusing (and expensive) a crossover will be in the ADV-Universe!  Who can possibly afford to keep up with 37 titles, especially if they're weekly?

Also, manga art is...well, I won't say it's ugly, because that would just be mean.  But it's certainly not attractive, what with all the big eyes and funny hair.  And as someone who runs a blog dedicated to the gorgeous in comics, I simply have no interest in non-beautiful art.  Maybe it's just the patriot in me talking, but I'll stick with good ol' American comics with their good ol' American characters rendered in good ol' American art.  Give me realistic characters like the Thing, the Hulk, or the Sub-Mariner any day!


ITEM!  So how come we haven't seen a fundraiser for poor old CrossGeneration Comics yet?  Apparently they've fallen on such hard times that CG owner Mark Alessi was unable to beat the winning bid in a recent Frazetta original art auction.   C'mon, people!  It's not like Alessi has millions of dollars at his disposal!  Do you want to risk not seeing an ongoing American Power series?  Me, I can't wait for the issue where Ivictus is shown punching out José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero!

Well, that's all I have time for this time around. Join me back here next week when I review the first in Fantagraphics' new line of superhero comics, Foodboy! Excelsius Deo!
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Iron Fist

by John Jakala

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