Making An Aardvark Of Oneself
Many, many others have already linked to the Onion A.V. Club's
interview with Dave Sim
, but I wanted to point out my favorite bit:
O: Are there parts of your
story that you would still like to address, or perspectives that you
feel you haven't yet had the chance to get across?
DS: Ever the oblique
leftist. I don't "feel." If I "felt," I would never have gotten the
book done. I'd be off "feeling" somewhere. My best intellectual
assessment of the completed work is that I said exactly what I wanted
to say, exactly the way I wanted to say it. What you want to know is if
I'm going to continue to attack feminism, and what sort of artillery I
have left. I have a lot of artillery left. My best guess would be that
I emptied one metaphorical clip from one metaphorical AK-47, mostly
firing over your heads and at the ground, although most of you are
feeling as if I dropped an atomic bomb on your house on Christmas
Leftist reactions are always
histrionic. If it becomes necessary to renew my attack, I'll renew my
attack. At this point, I think history will do most of the dirty work.
Feminists are in an untenable position, defending something they no
longer believe in, and which history will force them to recognize was
destructive of most of the central pillars of civilization. I'm just
the first one to point it out publicly. Everyone ignored Winston
Churchill's warnings in 1937, but the question for Churchill wasn't,
"What are you going to do to convince people you're right in 1938,
1939, and 1940?" If you perceive reality accurately—and I think I
perceive reality a lot more accurately than feminists do—then
ultimately, history will prove you right.
O: Again, I wasn't referring
specifically to your writings on feminism. You mentioned that you
should have made the series 250 issues, instead of 300. But if it took
300 issues to say exactly what you wanted to say as you wanted to say
it, presumably 250 issues wouldn't have been enough space. Did you ever
reach a point where 300 issues didn't seem like enough space?
DS: Oh, no. Sorry, I
Almost reads like a piece from the regular Onion, doesn't it?
"Crazed Comic Creator Who Accuses Everyone Else of Reacting
Histrionically Reacts Histrionically to Simple Questions"
#758 (April 2, 2004) names DC's Light
as one of its "Must List" picks for the week.
Hmm. I almost got this for Peter Snejbjerg's art, but I passed
because six bucks seemed a little steep to spend on a writer I'm
unfamiliar with. Maybe if there's a reasonably-priced
trade. Although the only review I can remember reading for Light
was Paul O'Brien's
and he didn't seem very enthused about it. Granted, Paul's
complaints seem to be centered around the religious aspects of the
story, but they sound like elements that would annoy me as well.
Maybe if I can find the set cheaply in a bargain bin...
And So It Begins
both link to an
from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
being pulled from Scholastic Inc.'s sales list due to
complaints about the anthology's "questionable material." The
The magazine, "Shonen Jump," an
offshoot of the Yu-Gi-Oh trading cards and television cartoon popular
among elementary and middle school students, showed a hero crediting
his defeat of an opponent with the power he gained from smoking
Other story lines included mild profanity, violence, a character with a
swastika on his forehead, and a female character who asks readers to
pick up the next issue to see which "hot guy" would be the next to die.
"This is a fifth- and sixth-grade building. These are 10- and
11-year-olds. It's against what we're teaching. It's against our DARE
(Drug Awareness Resistance Education) and the St. Vincent College
prevention program," [Hillcrest Intermediate School Principal Rosemarie
Dvorchak] said yesterday.
Suddenly Marvel's "No Smoking" policy starts to make more sense.
I've been wondering for a while when something like this would
happen. Back when I compared
the first issues
of Shonen Jump
, I wondered how fanservice elements like the ubiquitous
"panty shot" would go over with conservative American parents. To
be honest, I expected complaints, but I didn't expect companies like
Scholastic to back down so easily:
"Certainly we're concerned.
We're pulling the magazine," said Teryl McLane, meritor of publicity
for Scholastic Inc.'s corporate office in Lake Mary, Fla.
Maureen Burkey, sales consultant for the Scholastic's Pennsylvania,
Ohio and Michigan region, which is based in Cleveland, apologized for
the comic book's content.
"These are not the type of phone calls we want. We are definitely
pulling this. We are not about this. We are about promoting reading and
good literature," she said.
Apparently Scholastic is not
about promoting freedom of expression, however. Seriously, did
anyone consider any other alternatives besides removing Shonen
from Scholastic's sales list? The article states that
complaints were made about the "Captain Underpants" series in the past,
but those books were made "available upon request" instead of removing
them from the catalog completely. Why couldn't something like
that be done for Shonen Jump
, perhaps even requiring
parental permission in order to purchase the comic?
Part of me is wondering how much of this is because the comic is
Japanese. If it were an American comic with an American character
smoking, would there have been such an uproar? There's no way to
know for sure, of course, but statements like this make me uneasy:
"We do have an editorial board,
and it's a very lengthy and challenging process. We try to be thorough,
but there is a challenge with cultural differences. In Japanese
culture, some of these things are acceptable," she said.
For example, McLane said, to the Japanese, the swastika is an ancient
Hindu symbol of good will.
Then why not use the comic as a "teachable moment" about cultural
differences instead of banning the book altogether? After all,
it's not like Shonen Jump
isn't available in other
outlets for children to purchase. At least that way educators could
address the content they find "troubling" instead of having students
stumble upon it on their own.
I wonder how this will affect Shonen Jump
The cynic in me also wonders if American comic book publishers would
ever use tactics like this to undercut their manga-publishing
competitors. ("Did you know your children may be reading Japanese
comics that feature scenes of questionable moral character?")
Isn't that how some publishers allegedly went after EC's popular horror
comics in the Fifties?
The Ethics Of The Literature Of Ethics
In a nice example of the divide (or is it overlap?) between
considerations of art and considerations of commerce I touched on last
, CrossGen fans react to the
latest round of bad news regarding the company
being sued in small claims court by former The First
artist Andy Smith) by wondering whether
they can continue to buy CGE comics in good conscience
In Defense Of A Movie I Haven't Even Seen
has some strong words for Lars von Trier's latest film, Dogville
I haven't seen the movie yet, but I certainly plan to. Part of it
is that, ever since Moulin Rouge
, my wife and I have been
big Nicole Kidman fans (which doesn't mean I always enjoy her films
(hello, The Hours
and Cold Mountain
) but I
do think she choses interesting projects to be in). Another
reason is that I thought Dancer in the Dark
directed by von Trier) was an excellent movie. I'm a fan of
musicals, and I found von Trier's twists on the standard song-and-dance
conventions refreshing. Further, given how many movies have
sappy, unrealistic resolutions that come out out of nowhere, I also
appreciated the film's rather bleak outlook and ending. Sean, on
the other hand, views Dancer
as a "crassly manipulative" film
which "nearly drove its open-hearted genius of a star Bjork
insane." Now, I'm not quite up-to-date on my celebrity gossip,
but, yes, I do remember reading reports of Bjork and von Trier feuding
on the set of Dancer
. (I also remember reports
Bjork, several years before she collaborated with
Trier, assaulting a female television reporter who approached Bjork and
her son in the Thailand airport
I'm not sure how any of that really affects the resulting film one way
or the other, though. Do behind-the-scenes conflicts really
matter when judging the work itself? Does Hitchcock's reported
treatment of his actors diminish the appeal or impact of his
films? Does Cerebus
fail as a comic solely because
of creator Dave Sim's outlandish beliefs?
This isn't to suggest that knowledge external to a work of art (or
entertainment, if you prefer) can never enter into one's reactions to
said work. For example, reports about CrossGen's treatment of
creators (particularly the long-standing issue of non-payment) may give
one pause when one is putting together one's monthly comic order.
But those are considerations of commerce
, not art. Do I want to support this creator (or
company) by purchasing his (their) work?
not, Does this work, considered on its own,
have any artistic merit?
I suspect that what's really bugging Sean is the (in his view)
"anti-Americanism" that supposedly pervades Dogville
How accurate that label is I really can't say. Again, I haven't
seen the film yet, nor am I interested in reading any specific reviews
or criticism of the film until I have seen it. But in any event,
can't an artist create worthwhile (i.e., challenging,
thought-provoking) art even if his politics disagree with ours?
Or is it now the case that, in art as well as in politics, you're
either with us or against us?
to my entry.
Alan's An Aquaman Fan
that is, not David Doane
In an effort to satisfy my Alan Davis cravings without purchasing
either his Uncanny X-Men
or Another Nail
(I'll wait for the trade on the latter), I finally sat down to read Modern
Masters Volume One: Alan Davis
Publishing. Davis reveals his fondness for Aquaman in a passage
discussing how his first art assignment at DC was almost the
1986 Aquaman mini-series
(which later went to Craig
No, I'd been given the project, but I think that Aquaman was
considered to be of low importance which was why l'd been given it in
the first place. DC knew that I could do super-hero artwork from
having seen "(Captain Britain" and "Marvelman." I had seen it as being
important because I love the Aquaman character.
MM: He's always been one of my
favorites, as well.
ALAN: And if I had been given a
choice of any character to do at DC I
would have gone for Aquaman.
MM: That's a little odd.
Aquaman's probably not that high on many
ALAN: Well, when I was a kid I
could swim--I really enjoyed swimming
and still swim now. You can fantasize about being Aquaman swimming
because you've got that freedom of movement in water. Whereas you
can't fly, so you're not Superman. Aquaman is the easier hero to
That last bit reminded me of Laura
Gjovaag's explanation of why she likes Aquaman
. I wonder if
we'll ever see Davis move from simply being the current cover artist
to doing some interior art for the book?
Anyway, the Modern Masters
book is pretty good so
far. Davis is a great interview subject, giving insight into both
his artistic process and the behind-the-scenes politics that affect
comic book projects. Even better, Davis' discussion of these
incidents is never torrid or gossipy; it always feels very
even-handed. (I know, probably a strike against the book in some
people's eyes. "But I wanted the dirt on so-and-so. Bah,
what's the point of reading an interview if he's not going to name
names?") And of course, there is plenty of wonderful art
throughout the book, including sketches, thumbnails, and rejected cover
concepts. (Laura, if the image reproduced here isn't enough
incentive for you to get the book, three other character designs Davis
produced for the 1986 Aquaman
series are included as
Altcomix Creators in NY
The March 22, 2004 issue of The
features work by creators familiar to altcomix
fans: Adrian Tomine and Seth each provide an illustration in the
"Goings On About Town" section, and the Crumbs produce a three-page
comic strip about "Creeping Global Villagism."
So much for my dream of moving to France to escape the escalating
encroachment of S.U.V.s.
Be Careful What You Wish For
I lamented the fact that Marvel's June solicitations didn't include an
image of Rob Liefeld's cover to CABLE & DEADPOOL #4 for me to
mock. And now today I'm bombarded with more crappy Liefeld art than I can
shake a strange-looking spear at
. I'd make with the usual
snark, but I think I'm overwhelmed. Besides, a poster named MDC
over on The
has already done a nice job of tearing apart Rob's problems
backgrounds, continuity, etc.:
He's off to a fine start if the pages above are
anything to go by, appalling anatomy, perspectives and Cables morphing
hairline aside: Cable's bracelet changes to a wrist band on the 2nd
page by which stage Domino's grown a widow's peak and the baddies
eyewear looses it's bridge in the space of a panel, by page 3 Domino's
gloves have dissappeared and by page 4 Cable's Spine has dissapeared
and the Spearhead has changed appearance.
In other Wizard World LA news:
- Both The
Pulse and Newsarama have interviews with Liefeld about his upcoming X-Force mini, but only
Newsarama dares phrase their questions in the form of dialogue from Zero Wing:
NRAMA: But then, what you say yes to the offer?
I was extremely disappointed that Liefeld's answer wasn't
us up the bomb!" (Actually, that response would probably be more
appropriate coming from comic book fans learning that Liefeld was
starting a new series before finishing his uncompleted projects, or
from Marvel after they recalled Liefeld's track record with the
- Newsarama reported that Warren Ellis might be doing more work for
Marvel beyond Ultimate FF. When asked if the book
superheroes, Joe Quesada responded, "Of course it does."
Apparently Newsarama left off the tail end of Quesada's full
"Of course it does. It's a Marvel book, and all we do are
- Another fun Quesada quote: "In regards to Kevin Smith,
said that the day that he wants to finish his series, they’ll be
finished." Of course, by then there won't be any fans who are
in reading those stories, but, hey, at least Kevin Smith was able to
finish things on his schedule.
- Quesada also updated fans on when their favorite Marvel comics
appearing: “Not yet.” “Eventually.” “Not right
now.” Remember these answers in the future when you're wondering
when the next issue of the
"monthly" Ultimates Volume 2 is coming out.
- Favorite non sequitur from Newsarama's wrap-up:
Quesada also said that in the near future,
readers should see a
line-wide of a return to more Kirby-esque art.
Bonus points for the redundant "a return of a return" bit.
As for what that means perhaps one safe specualtion [sic] could be…four
words: Kirby didn’t draw manga.
- And the "When Movie Marketing Rots Your Brain" award goes to
Publisher Dan Buckley for this quote:
Marvel Publisher Dan Buckley added that from
August onwards, a
classic material, i.e., from the ‘70s and ‘80s, will see reprint action
as soft covers. Buckley said that Marvel is “reloading” many of its
classic heroes, for a lack of a better word.
Damn the paucity of the English language!
- Wait a second? Wasn't there any interesting DC news at this
convention? Well, it's not really news, but here's a piece from CBR that caught my attention:
DC Comics' forthcoming "Identity Crisis" event may
not remake the
Universe, but it should shake things up. At least, it's shaking up
employees at the company: One veteran staffer recounted reading the
script for first four issues, punching the wall and then calling up
series writer Brad Meltzer to curse him out for ripping the reader's
heart out. And when said staffer later read the finished pages, it
provoked the same reaction all over again.
Finally, a bit of encouraging news about the "new" Larsen-led Image
(also from CBR
With Image Comics now under the guidance of Erik
Larsen for the
last month or so, we're now hearing about new projects that Erik's
bringing to the "i." Last month CBR News told you about a new indy
anthology called "Flight"
headed up by Kazu Kibuishi. Sunday afternoon, CBR News ran into
Kibuishi at Wizard World: Los Angeles who was excited to report that
he's found a publisher and, you guessed it, it'll be Image Comics.
Larsen saw the work of "Flight's" contributors at last months Alternative
Press Expo in San Francisco and was impressed by what he saw. We'll bring you more
on this story later this week.
Wow, that's good news on two fronts: That "Flight" found a
publisher, and that Image under Larsen is interested in putting out
Marvel Team-Up Themed Solicitation Conspiracy Unveiled!
Others have already offered their takes
June 2004 solicitations
, but I couldn't resist adding my own
- Mike Deodato Jr. is the new artist on Amazing Spider-Man,
cover of which indicates a return to the strange head-in-crotch
anatomy first popularized by Todd McFarlane back in the eighties.
- What the heck is going on in that cover
to Amazing Fantasy #1? Is that a tiny spaceship
the cover character is chasing? If not, why does there appear to
be a very small person trapped beneath the glass dome of whatever the
heck that thing is?
- Spider-Man 2: The Movie comic-book adaptation.
Because it really doesn't matter who the creators adapting this are.
- OHOTMUSM04 - Best. Acronym. Ever. Or at least
- SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #15 & #16: I'm such a sucker for
Spider-Man team-ups, especially ones with Captain America, so I'll
probably check this 2-parter out. I only wish Steve Epting were
doing the interior art as well -- what a stunning
cover. (Is that based on an old Spider-Man model kit, or is
my memory playing tricks on me?)
- Glad to see that Electro (one of my favorite Spidey villains) is back
to his classic costume. Too bad he's appearing in an
overpriced, "hyper-realistic" book written by Mark Millar.
- In ASTONISHING X-MEN #2, "Cyclops and Emma Frost re-form the
X-Men with the express purpose of astonishing the world."
Huh? "The express purpose of astonishing the world"? I'm almost tempted to pick up the book to see what that
means. For some reason, I'm thinking of that flamboyant kid from School
of Rock: "With these FAB-U-LOUS new costumes, you X-Men
will finally be able to ASTONISH the world properly!"
- UNCANNY X-MEN #445: Must...not...let...love of Alan
art override rationality.
- "Yeah, that
pose does look a little impractical, and maybe she would lose her
left leg if she tried that move, but you have to admit that it does show off her breasts really well. And isn't that what's really important?"
- CABLE & DEADPOOL #4: What?? No sample of the
cover by Liefeld for me to mock?? It's an outrage!! (But I
did like the line about the puppies.)
- IDENTITY DISC #1: I can't wait for next month's "special
event" from Marvel, "Marvel Comics Presents," a tribute to the
from a to-be-determined Marvel editor whose initials start with "J" and
"S" -- maybe Jim Salicrup?
- SHE-HULK #4: Ok, now
I'm convinced that Marvel knows about
my fondness for Marvel Team-Up style stories and is preying on that
weakness. This series seems to be getting decent reviews so far,
but I'm reluctant to pay $3 for any Marvel comic. So I guess I'll
gamble and wait for the trade. (If Marvel's general TPB program
is any indication, it's not much of a gamble, and I'll probably save
money in the long run: Looking at this month's trades, TPBs
collecting six issues range in price from $12.99 (INCREDIBLE HULK VOL.
7) to $14.99 (ELEKTRA VOL. 4, MYSTIQUE VOL. 1), which works out to
between $2.17 and $2.50 an issue.)
Finally, this cover is great:
What a brilliant Road Runner-inspired homage to cartoon-style
violence. It'll be even better if Mister Sensitive is able to
knock out Iron Man with an anvil in the actual comic. And when
are we going to get an X-Statix
(And to end on the theme of my unholy love for Marvel Team-Up
am I the only one who would be excited about an Essential or Marvel Age
collection of those old Spidey
comics? C'mon! Marc
, you're with me, right? Right??)
Manga Fans Not Immune To Shitstorm Season Either
thread over on Anime News Network
starts out discussing where
Raijin Comics went wrong but quickly devolves into an argument over
which is stupider, shoujo or shonen manga:
GATSU: Raijin just doesn't appeal to
shallow and vapid girls, like whatever Viz and TP churn out by the
dozen, but it does appeal to girls. I guess it's a cultural thing,
though, cus girls over here eat up whatever's pretty, and girls in
Japan, well, they end up doing videos for J-list. But all kidding
aside, I'd tap into that market, but I really wouldn't rely on it for
the long term, because girls are as likely to change manga as they
change boyfriends(and occasionally girlfriends) and clothes.
Schunoko: I find that insulting! How dare you generalize
me as shallow and vapid because I don't like watching big beefy guys
beat each other up or a very blah romantic comedy whose premise reminds
me too much of Ah! My Goddess?
I'm one of the girls who Raijin didn't appeal to. Hopefully they'll
retool something so that they have a title that will stand out more
than "Oooh, prequel to Fist of the North Star" Nothing stood out as
horribly original. Nothing made me want to read it. They just need to
get something that will appeal to everyone. Not just visually
stimulated guys (you really can be just as shallow and vapid as some of
the girls you were insulting), not just bishonen obsessed girls, but to
as many as possible.
GATSU: In a market where every other comic has some
blonde anorexic schoolgirl/schoolboy on the cover, or some tart with a
short skirt, how exactly doesn't Blue Sky stand out?
littlegreenwolf: Hmm... so girls who don't like the
shonen manga that Rajin had to offer are automatically "shallow and
vapid"? Eheheh... isn't that a bit... out there? I am also a
female who reads manga every single day across many genres, but Rajin
also didn't appeal to me. I one of those who go with what Schunoko
said; I don't know seeing those big muscled guys go at it, or reading
romance that is crap compared to other manga written by female manga-ka
who make a living off romance manga.
Replace "shonen" vs. "shoujo" with "new characters" vs. "old
characters" or "corporate-owned" vs. "creator-owned" and it's just like
wandering into a DC
or the comics
lately. Why is it comic fans have such a hard
time liking one thing without putting something else down?
People I Agree With
When you're too tired and lazy to do your own writing, link to stuff
others have written that you agree with:
de Guzman has one of the best responses to the whole "those
Socialist Spaniards are appeasing the terrorists" outcry I've read so
Isabella has some great thoughts on manga in a recent column.
He also outlines events for today's INTERNATIONAL DAVE COCKRUM DAY in today's
column, so check it out if you want to be part of the festivities.
Sterling samples the latest issue of Wizard Edge and
finds that it's really not all that edgy. And he fires off some
quick one-word reviews. (Damn that Mike: He managed to
one-up my One-Line
Too tired to come up with snappy closing even.
Here's A Case Where I'm Glad I Didn't Wait For The Collection
I completely missed this earlier, but the DC
solicitations for June 2004
list a hardcover JLA/Avengers
collection...that costs seventy-five bucks
JLA/AVENGERS: THE COLLECTOR'S EDITION
OVERSIZED, SLIPCASED HARDCOVER
It’s an event that will
never be forgotten.
That’s why the
once-in-a-lifetime crossover event that brought these two historic
super-teams together and rocked the comics world receives the deluxe
treatment it deserves in August! JLA/AVENGERS: THE COLLECTOR’S
EDITION is an oversized, slipcased two-volume set collecting
the legendary 4-issue miniseries with a full complement of bonus
The 224-page first volume
in the slipcase contains the 4-issue miniseries written by Kurt Busiek
(ASTRO CITY, SUPERMAN: SECRET IDENTITY) with stunning art by George
Pérez (WONDER WOMAN) and introductions by Stan Lee and the late
Julius Schwartz, the architects of the original iterations of the
Avengers and the Justice League of America, respectively. This volume
also features a key to the characters on the intricately detailed cover
of JLA/AVENGERS #3.
The 64-page Compendium,
featuring a new cover by Pérez, contains the original 21 pages
of pencils from cancelled 1980s crossover by Pérez and writer
Gerry Conway, plus an article on it by former DC editor K.C. Carlson, a
look at several other unofficial crossovers, and more! But that’s not
all — this volume also features the JLA/AVENGERS miniseries proposal
and plot synopses, and annotated notes from Busiek for all the obscure
characters and creatures crammed into the pages.
There are no plans to
reprint this historical set, so this is the only opportunity to own the
material reprinted in the Compendium. Don’t miss out on what’s sure to
be a crown jewel in any comics collection!
This project is supported
with house ads.
in stores August 11
- $75.00 U.S
with Marvel Comics
$75? For 224 pages of material? Yipes! And of course
DC is pulling the old "there are no plans to reprint this set" trick to
scare fans into coughing up the dough for this "once-in-a-lifetime"
collection. (I wonder if DC could get in trouble if any of the
material in the Compendium is ever published outside this expensive
"collector's edition"? DC isn't as evasive in that
statement: "this is
the only opportunity to own the
material reprinted in the Compendium," not this "might be" or this
And are they really going to use that
floating heads shot
for the cover of the collection?
Meanwhile, the fourth and final issue of the mini is supposed to hit
stores on March 31st according to the revised countdown clock on GeorgePerez.com
DC Smacks Fan On Head
In a thread titled "Upset
with DC's Focus Line
" over on Broken Frontier's DC board, poster
Kristopher states his displeasure with DC's new line of books:
I almost feel sorry to say this, as I'm sure there
are people that enjoy these books, but I'm put off by all these Focus
books that DC is putting out.
I feel they have some great characters that aren't even being used
that, with the right effort behind them, could make some great books
When I go through the solicitations and start to see all these Focus
books, it feels like DC is smacking me on the back of the head.
Not sure why I feel that way. I just do. Am I alone?
DC is smacking him on the head by publishing the Focus books?
What does that even mean? Kristopher attempts to explicate his
feelings further in a later post:
I guess I'd just rather see DC dig into their huge
pile of DCU characters and produce some titles that way, rather than
put out all these books.
Oh, I get it: DC is neglecting long-time readers by putting out
comics focused on new characters instead of endlessly
Several other posters respond to this Demand For (Devotion To?) The
Old, including Broken Frontier's Review Editor, Mike
I think both Marvel and DC need to put more effort
into creating new characters. Who knows, trhey may actually get another
hit that rivals Superman or Spider-Man. I don't know if it'll happen,
but we'll never know if all they do is dust off the same old characters
again and again...
If all anyone ever did was rely on old characters (like they seem to do
nowadays), we'd never have seen Wolverine, Punisher, Firestorm or
several other fan favorites.
Makes me want to travel back in time and see how fans reacted when
those characters were first introduced. ("Who is this lame new
character 'The Punisher'? What kind of threat is a guy WITH A GUN
to Spider-Man?? Instead of creating boring bad guys like this,
Marvel needs to bring back classic villains like Doctor Octopus, who we
haven't seen fight Spidey for over a year!") The obvious
disanalogy for two of those examples is that they were introduced as
throwaway characters in ongoing series and were only given their own
books later on as their popularity grew, but Firestorm
debuted in his own book back in 1978
and now he's a "fan-favorite"
character whose comic is perennially relaunched
Comics About 3/11
A reader from Spain (Raúl Barrantes, who writes his own weblog about
comics, Comics Asylum
sent me the following email:
Writing also a weblog about comics (www.comics-asylum.com), i have
thought that maybe - just maybe - you´d like to know that there
have been opened a pair of web sites to express our anger, frustrations
or whatever thoughts and feelings through comics and ilustrations. Web
sites where people, comics pros or not, are called to send their
contributions in a claim for peace. You can find them here:
I'm sure there's a lot I'm not catching in these drawings, but I still find it
interesting to see how Spaniards are expressing themselves through
their art. (And I found it especially interesting that there
seems to be a fair amount of manga influence in many of the drawings.)
Thanks for the links, Raúl!
Raijin Comics On Hiatus
Manga publisher Raijin Comics
has announced that its entire publishing lineup (including all trade
paperback collections in addition to the monthly anthology) is going on
Over the past 18 months, we have tested the market
to see how well a weekly and monthly manga magazine would fare with an
American audience. Based on our research with readers, retailers and
distributors, we have come to a conclusion – our publications, though
appreciated by hard-core manga fans, are not penetrating a larger
In order for us to reach a broader market, RAIJIN COMICS, RAIJIN
GRAPHIC NOVELS, and MASTER EDITION will be placed on hiatus for the
time being. We will be taking time out to come up with ways to broaden
the appeal of our publications, retooling stories and overall editorial
content. RAIJIN COMICS Issue 46 and the June GRAPHIC NOVELS will be the
last issue you will be printing [sic].
I'm really sorry to hear this. While I'd stopped getting the
anthology, I was still enjoying several of their series in collected
form, especially the wonderful Slam Dunk
. I hope
they can come back with a stronger presence after regrouping and
refocusing their efforts.
White House Also Unveils New Witch-Finding Techniques
The Bush administration, responding
to claims by Senator John Kerry
that some foreign leaders want him
to beat Bush in November, unveiled its new form of logic:
"If Senator Kerry is going to say he has support
from foreign leaders, then he needs to be straightforward with the
American people and say who it is that he has spoken with and who it is
that supports him," [White House spokesman Scott] McClellan told
If not, the spokesman added, "Then the only alternative is that he
is making it up to attack the president of the United
States." [Emphasis added.]
McClellan did not respond to questions whether under this new system of
logic President Bush was guilty of making
Axis of Cool
is the latest reviewer to discover the joys of Street Angel
Street Angel is a mix of deadpan but
affectionate superhero pastiche, mild absurdity (Jesse insisting on
talking through a megaphone for a whole scene, for no reason
whatsoever, or Dr Pangea berating his ninja henchmen for failure to
wear their name badges) and just plain Cool Stuff (ninjas and
skateboarding). It's completely ridiculous, but creators Jim Rugg
and Brian Maruca get the balance right where Street Angel is genuinely
cool in her own right and not just a vehicle for jokes at the expense
of other people.
I was going to hold off on linking to more Street Angel
reviews, but Paul's long been one of my favorite reviewers, so I was
happy to see that he enjoyed the book. Plus, Paul picked up on an
important influence in Street Angel
that everyone else
missed: Night Thrasher.
started reading The Adam Strange Archives
weekend. Flipping to the back to read the biographies, I noticed
that there was no entry for Mike Sekowsky. Nice. The
character's co-creator, who chronicled his first six adventures (two
stories in each issue of Showcase
s 17 through 19),
doesn't rate a bio. This is an even bigger insult than the bio
they ran for Sekowsky in the back of the Justice League of
Archives ("Though never considered one of comics' more
In other Sekowsky-related news, I ran across the following passage in
the Sekowsky-focused Alter Ego
MARK EVANIER [discussing his "filth"-themed
sketchbook]: And then I made the mistake, I guess, of giving it
to Mike Sekowsky. And I thought he would draw a naked Supergirl,
or something of this sort in the pattern. Instead, he drew a
16-page story of the Justice League of America gang-banging Wonder
Woman. [chuckles] And it was brilliant! And it
was not only brilliant in terms of the artwork, but it was brilliant in
the way the story was told and structured. And Mike admitted that
he'd had it on his mind for years and was looking for an excuse to draw
it. It was very elaborate, it was very detailed, and he probably
did it in about an hour, knowing him.
SCOTT SHAW!: And then smoked a cigarette.
"Brilliant in the way the story was told and structured"? For a
story about Wonder Woman getting gang-banged by the rest of the Justice
League for 16 pages? I guess we'll just have to take Evanier's
word for it, since he later mentions that he'll never allow the story
to be printed.
EW Listens2Pulse Re: Manga
In the March 19, 2004 edition of Entertainment
(#756), the subscribers-only supplement "Listen2This" is
taken over by The Pulse
Jennifer M. Contino, who provides an overview of manga along with three
- Rurouni Kenshin: A-
- The Ring: B+
- Joan Book 1: A-
Upcoming comics mentioned are: Scars
, 30 Days of Night: Return to Barrow
and Hellboy: The Corpse
And I completely forgot to mention that last week's EW
(#755; 3/12/04) placed Mother, Come Home
at #9 on "The
I figured ADD
would want to know.
"Why Is This Gorilla Crying?"
Thanks to Neilalien
for brightening my day a bit with this
. Goofy stuff like this always makes me smile:
I guess I didn't realize how much I was jonesing for silly simian comic
book covers after Graeme
sparked the craving
a couple days ago. Thanks for scratching
that itch, O Palindromic One.UPDATE
: I'm having a blast browsing through Comic
's cover galleries
How can you not love these
And here's the original version of the cover Graeme
earlier this week:
Genius. I wonder what it would take to get DC to reprint a bunch
of their best (i.e., weirdest) ape-related stories into a cheap, thick
The Cost of Stupidity
On top of the tragic news from Spain
put me in a really foul mood this morning:
A proposal to amend the constitution to ban gay
zipped through a second House committee with little opposition. The
Ways and Means Committee, however, dealt only with finances of the
The bill is estimated to cost the state $2,000 for reporting votes,
canvassing the results and preparing a sample ballot. Local governments
would be on the hook for about $122,000 to add the amendment to the
I know those amounts are really small in the grand
scheme of things, but it still annoys me that my state government is
money on an effort to codify intolerance into the Minnesota
Sadness, Anger, Frustration
I'm upset by the news of yesterday's
terrorist attacks in Spain
expresses the sentiment better than I ever could.
Back in October 2000, my wife and I were in Madrid (on our way back to
the airport, actually) when a car
bombing killed three people
. I still remember the confusion
and anger that resulted from that incident, which was much smaller in
comparison. I can't even imagine what the people there must be
going through right now, but my thoughts are certainly with them.
Vacation Pic Blowout!
Final Day!! Everything must go!!
And finally, a picture that nicely sums up what our trip really
revolved around: FOOD!
Reviews I Disagree With
Sometimes it's easier just to react to others' reactions:
- Newsweek (link courtesy Kevin
Melrose) gives an overall positive review to the first issue of Michael
Chabon Presents: The Amazing Adventures of the Escapist.
It's a somewhat schizophrenic review, opening with effusive praise such
as " [t]he new Escapist comic takes this celebration [of the real-life
Kavaliers and Clays] to the next level" but then petering out into
more guarded evaluations such as "in trying to introduce us to the
comic’s characters and fictionalized history, the collection almost
forgets one of the most important things about Kavalier and Clay’s work
together: their openness to experimentation and innovation."
Personally, I thought the comic was dull. There's really no
innovation to speak of: Putting a new character into tired old
scenarios does not count as "innovation." Then again, I was never
that big a fan of the original novel, nor am I very tickled by the
"novel" conceit of pretending that these fictional comics once actually
existed, so I might not be the most receptive reader for this project.
Sherman and Neilalien both liked Epic Anthology #1 (or at least two out of the
three serials). Me, I thought it was lousy, and I only paid $1.50
for it. The nicest things I can say about the book are (1) I
liked Andy Kuhn's art in "Young Ancient One" and (2) Greg Scott's art
in "Strange Magic" was stronger than his fill-in art in Gotham
Central #16. But aside from the art, none of the stories
interested me in the slightest so I can't say I'm sorry to see this
title end. Yes, I'm someone who has often called for more comic
publishers to experiment with anthology formats, but the material has
to be stronger than this for the effort to have a chance of success.
- What's with all the Hard Time hate? Granted, I've only read the first issue so far, but I
didn't think the story was "terrible." Christopher
that "[a]nyone who’s ever seen an episode of LAW & ORDER can see
right through this piece of crap." I'm not sure what that means,
but I'm guessing that Butcher had problems with some of the procedural
elements of this story. Yeah, I was wondering how Ethan could be
convicted when it's made clear that there's little or no evidence
against him (in fact, Ethan's lawyer states that even the police admit
that Ethan's gun was never fired), but knowing how screwed up
our real-world legal system can be (thanks to books like Closed
Chambers and movies like Capturing
the Friedmans), I don't find it that implausible that a jury
judge would convict and sentence based on emotion rather than
Another complaint I've read is that the book is overly
side characters often reduced to mere caricatures. I understand
where this criticism is coming from (the panel that Greg McElhatton reproduces of the jock insulting the assailants on camera is an example
out to me as well) but it doesn't bother me as much as it does
others. Yes, I agree that the dialogue isn't very realistic (it's
hard to believe that even the dumbest of dumb jocks would be clueless
enough to say something like that on camera), but I don't know if
Gerber intended for the dialogue to come across as naturalistic.
I'm assuming Gerber is using Hard Time as a platform from
which to offer some pessimistic observations about contemporary
culture. Thus, some characters are going to be used as
mouthpieces for various points of view in much the same way that Frank
Miller employed his "talking heads" device in Dark Knight Returns.
I can see how it's distracting, but I also think it works when viewed
from another perspective. (For example, the jock's line
about Ethan and his friend being "a couple of nothin's" who "had no
reason" to do what they did reveals a lack of empathy that might
underlie actual bullying)
Personally, I enjoyed Hard Time and I'm looking
forward to seeing how the series develops. I think Gerber has
succeeded in creating a complex and intriguing character in Ethan --
one who's sympathetic but also obviously flawed. I'm not sure
Gerber is going to invest any more time in Ethan's backstory, but I'd
be interested to learn what events drove him and his friend to
threatening the entire school. (Perhaps Gerber will just leave
those events unspecified, allowing the readers to fill in the blanks on
Plus, Brian Hurtt's artwork is great.
(For other positive takes on Hard Time, check out
the reviews from Paul
O'Brien and Don
Finally, here's the feature that (by now) needs no introduction:
Double Your Vacation Pic Pleasure!
Work's been brutal lately, so I probably won't have time for any
reviews or snarky comments today. But there's always time for the
Vacation Photo of the Day
(oh, heck - since I'm being lazy,
let's make it two
"These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things"
A couple of my favorite comic creators are featured in interviews
around the net:
- Steve Rude (and inker Gary Martin) are interviewed by Newsarama
about their upcoming Dark Horse series The Moth.
- James Rugg and Brian Muruca are interviewed over at SBC
about their comic Street Angel. (Remember: It
hits shelves tomorrow!) Favorite line: Brian Muruca,
answering the question, "Who do you see as the target audience for your
work?": "I see the target audience as anyone with $3.00 to burn.
Excluding my dad, he hates this crap." (I was surprised to see
coverage of a small press book over at SBC, but it turns out they have a
whole section devoted to Small Press comics. It's just buried
at the very bottom of the section listings on the left.)
If only there had been an interview with Carla Speed McNeil
somewhere, my day would have been complete. (Well, I can always
cheat and pretend this excellent
interview with McNeil
Subtly Promoting The Forum
For those of you following the
Jeff Parker story
, I thought I should point out that Steve
weighed in with some thoughts on the matter over at the
Grotesque Rampage forum.
Also, it's time for the Vacation Photo of the Day
Street Angel #1 Review
after writing so much
about the comic months ago, I finally got
it. Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca were kind enough to send me a
preview copy of Street Angel
#1 (due in stores this
week). Back in their CBR
, Rugg and Maruca stated that their main goal with Street
was to put the fun back in comics. They've
certainly succeeded: Street
is Monty Python meets Madman
the British comedy troupe, Street Angel
off-kilter humor, such as a scene where our teenaged heroine Jesse
infiltrates a pickup game of ninja basketball by wearing a ninja outfit
that's much too big for her. None of the bad guys notice that
their teammate has suddenly shrunk and changed genders. It sounds
a bit silly on paper, but the gag works in the context of the
environment Rugg and Maruca have crafted for their comic. That
environment goes by the name of Angel City, and it's reminiscent of Madman
Snap City. It's by no means a carbon copy of that setting -- for
one thing, Angel City seems a bit grittier and tougher than I ever
remember Snap City being -- but Street Angel's nemesis Dr. Pangea
(whose diabolical criminal plan is to reunite the earth's continents
into one land mass) would probably feel at home in either city.
connection may be entirely in my own
anyone else think Jesse looks like a younger, tougher version of Joe,
Separated at Birth?
has a lot more going for it than just goofy
fun. I don't want to spoil the ending, but I was surprised by the
authenticity of the emotion in the final scene. Let's just say
that the creators provide insight into what may motivate Jesse into
adopting such a gruff, angry exterior. The book also benefits
from some great artwork. In an
I touched on how different commentators see different
artistic influences in Rugg's work, so I won't rehash the bit where I
rattle off whose styles Rugg's reminds me of. I did want to
comment on Rugg's storytelling skills, though: On my first read
through the comic, I simply enjoyed the story and art. It wasn't
until I went back and re-read the comic a couple times that I noticed
how Rugg's attention to detail enhanced the narrative flow. Case
in point: In her big battle with dozens of ninjas, Jesse loses
one of her shoes. In subsequent panels, Jesse's shoe is still
missing, and, what's more, it's always missing from the same foot.
This may seem like a trivial matter, but it's something you come to
appreciate when other comic reading experiences are interrupted by
distracting continuity gaffes.
All in all, I was really impressed with Street Angel
The cover caught my eye when I first saw it back in the January
, and the solicitation copy sounded like a lot
of fun. Still, I had no idea what the actual book would be
like. And plenty of creators swear up and down that their comic
will be a return to the enjoyment comics used to provide, only for the
actual product to be rather dull. Street Angel
the entertainment, and I look forward to following the fun in future
(For more info on Street Angel
, check out this preview
at Aweful Books
There's also a new interview with Jim Rugg over at The
. And remember: That back cover
is just a gag
cover parodying Jim Lee's style.)
Quick Cuts: Goons, Ghosts, and Gods
THE GOON #5
- This issue was interesting because it involved the
most continuity I recall seeing in the series thus far: Several
characters who were introduced earlier (The Zombie Priest, Buzzard, Dr.
Alloy) appear in this issue, but Powell handles their re-introductions
well, giving the readers everything they need to know about the
characters without being too tedious about it. Of course, since
this is The Goon
, there's plenty of Powell's trademark
humor on display (my favorite sequence involves a psychic seal who just
doesn't know when to leave well enough alone), but there's also
some touching sentiment to be found as a character attempts to escape
anguish caused by mistakes he made long ago.
8 ½ GHOSTS
- A charming story about a filmmaker of
questionable scruples who stumbles upon the ultimate special effect for
his new horror movie -- real live ghosts! (Well, "live" probably
isn't the right word, but you know what I mean...) Rich Tommaso
has crafted a great comic with delightful art (I like how the mean
poltergeists are distinguished from the nice ghosts by the "tough-guy"
hats they wear), and Alternative Comics has put everything together in
an attractive oversized package. I'd try to describe the basic
plot, but I'd probably botch it or give too much away. Go here
if you want a quick
summary of what the book's about, and to see a large image of the
book's wonderful cover
MY FAITH IN FRANKIE #2
- Not as good as the first issue, but
of fun. My biggest disappointment was that Dean Baxter (Frankie's
back-from-the-dead boyfriend) turned out to be eeee-vil. I think
it would have been more interesting to pit deity against regular ol'
mortal, but I'm still interested in seeing where Carey goes with
this. And the art by Liew and Hempel continues to be a treat.
And since I was on vacation for two weeks, I've decided to run the Vacation
Photo of the Day
feature for another week. (Plus, I know
how much Rick
has been enjoying the photos.) Enjoy!
Maybe They're Mutants: Only Mutants Could Stack And Glow In The Dark Like That...
Well, I don't have anything comic-related to say, but I didn't want to
let that stop me from posting today's Vacation Photo of the Day
Have a good weekend, everyone!
Quick & Dirty Blogging (Plus The Obligatory Vacation Pic)
I was planning on doing more reviews today, but there's some other
stuff I have to work on that's eating up my time. Before I do
that, though, here are some things I noticed online today:
- Fanboy Rampage has become so popular that it's ironically starting to resemble what
Graeme covers: An out-of-control message board. As I write
this, a couple
of Graeme's recent entries have over thirty comments. (The
counters don't always seem to be accurate, but most of the threads have over a dozen comments apiece, even if it only shows numbers in
the single digits). Bizarre. I'll really start to worry
when Graeme starts to post blog entries mocking message threads on his
own blog. (Perhaps I could avert such a self-referential turn of
events by starting a new blog -- call it Fanboy Rampage Rampage --
where I track the sillier comment threads on Graeme's blog.)
- Shawn Hoke sings the praises of The Comics Journal in his latest
column [not a permalink; when, oh, when will Broken Frontier
implement permalinks???]. I'm not as big a TCJ booster
as Shawn is -- over the years I've been turned off by the various
things he glosses over (the lack of timeliness in both news and
reviews; the excessive fanboy baiting; the grating "I was a grad school
candidate, dang it" writing style) -- but I do certainly prefer it to
most of the other comic magazines out there. And based on my
cursory glance of it, TCJ #258 looks like a standout
issue with its diverse coverage of mainstream comics, altcomix, manga,
- Newsarama has an interview with the new writer & artist on
del Rio, who will be giving the book an Amerimanga
look As she points out in the interview, giving Sabrina a
manga makeover isn't that much of a stretch, since there's "no shortage
of magical school-girl characters in Japan."
And here it is, your Vacation Photo of the Day
Quick Cuts, DCU Edition
- Not much Aquaman in it, although perhaps that's a
good strategy: Since not many people think of the character
fondly, place the character in an interesting situation and go from
there. Unfortunately, the situation surrounding Aquaman isn't that
interesting: It's disjointed (the jumps in time are abrupt and
jarring); unengaging (because we didn't know any of the victims, it's
hard to care about them beyond the abstract); and predictable (it was
obvious what the answer to the "mystery" was as soon as the kid
appeared). All in all, not a great start for the new creative
team. I'm considering dropping this before the first story arc is
HERO #13 - Will Pfeifer's other DC work is better, but it's still a
mixed bag, mainly because it wants to have its cake and eat it
too. While there were moments where I thought Pfeifer was making
good use of the gender-bending premise, there are also times when he
just seems to be going for the easy
"men-are-pigs-who-don't-understand-women" jokes, such as when Joe, now
trapped in a female form, assumes that he should wear lingerie all the
time. Ha ha ha. (If Joe was living with his girlfriend all
this time, wouldn't he know that women generally like to wear more
practical undergarments?) Still, I enjoyed the issue overall, if
only because I continue to be surprised by the material DC is allowing
to be published in one of its mainstream comics. (Joe is
date-raped by his sleazy co-worker? Yeah, I'd say that qualifies
as a "disturbing encounter.")
WONDER WOMAN #201
- A bit of an uneven issue. As I noted the
other day, I'm not someone who demands action every issue, but even I
felt as though this issue was padded. Example: The opening
sequence, in which it takes Stheno two pages to pull Circe out of the
water. Other things that distracted or annoyed: The cameo
by the "bug" from the first Matrix movie; Wonder Woman using
questionable Silver-Age science to disperse a tsunami (although the
scene did trigger fond memories of the first Superman/Spider-Man
crossover); Artemis' sudden mood swing across the span of two panels
("Oh, those warships are only here to provide assistance." "What
the $%@# are those warships doing off our coast???"). I also
missed the regular pencils of Drew Johnson, although Shane Davis' art
did have some nice moments. (Some of his facial expressions were
priceless, especially Circe's in the last sequence.)
GOTHAM CENTRAL #16 - A solid issue with some great character
interaction and dialogue from Brubaker. (This is how
banter should be written.) Unfortunately, the art from Greg Scott
isn't up to Michael Lark's usual standards: Heads and faces often
seem distorted, and a couple panel transitions had me scratching my
head. Also, although this was solicited as a stand-alone story,
the main plot continues into next issue (although apparently different
cast members will be featured).
Finally, today's Vacation Photo of the Day is a
classic. Who could resist Angry Asian Shopkeeper?
OK, I've slowly been making my way through the backlog of writing I
missed during my two weeks of vacation. It's kind of strange
coming back and looking at some of the "controversies" that consumed
the blogosphere while I was away (reaction to Brian Hibbs' column on bookstore
and manga sales
; whether or not superheroes are a genre worthy
of serious criticism
; whether or not superheroes are even
in the first place; the anticlimax that is X-Men
; whether or not the
blogosphere has become the
; just how
crazy is Dave Sim
; and so on). I feel somewhat detached
reading all of these
topics -- more an intrigued anthropologist than an active
participant. Even the discussions touching on one of my favorite
topics to pontificate on, manga, don't really move me to join in.
None of this is to say that I feel above any of the discussions that
took place, or that I've now suddenly come to the conclusion that
writing about comics is meaningless. It's just an observation
that it feels very different to view topics with a bit more distance
than one might normally have if one were actively engaged in the
ongoing conversations. A big part of it is probably the
"expiration date" factor: Given the immediacy of blogging, a lot
of this probably doesn't read as well when it's not as fresh.
It's kind of like when my parents visit and they bring me a stack of
s: It's odd to page through them
and think, "This is what the media was so obsessed about a couple
weeks ago? Huh."
Now I'm tempted to look back through my old blog entries and see how
odd my own old writing comes across. I'm sure I never wrote
anything I'd regret or be embarrassed about, right? Right??
And something else I have to get around to: Updating the blogroll
with all of the interesting new blogs that have sprung up
recently. Sounds as though Tim O'Neil
really ratcheted up his coverage in Dirk Deppey's absence. Plus,
Tim offers something that Dirk never did: Adorable pictures of
kittens too cute for words! Who says this isn't the Blogging Age
of Cute 'n' Cuddly Snark, True Believers?
Finally, your Vacation Photo of the Day
Won't Someone Please Think Of The Children?
has a great post on how same-sex marriages (considered in
the aggregate) could actually have an advantage over opposite-sex
marriages: No unplanned pregnancies. It's a great point,
and one I don't think I've ever heard expressed before, either.
Kimble also offers astute observations about why it might be that we
haven't heard this argument from SSM proponents before.
Interesting food for thought.
For This We Waited Two Weeks??
Gah. So tired. Just want to sleep, but I suppose I'd better
blog something otherwise I'm going to get in the habit of not
blogging. (As the nuns in Catholic school always said, if you do
something for three weeks, it'll become a habit.) Since I'm
feeling incoherent, this is going to be pretty scattered/sketchy.
First of all, I apologize to all those who emailed while I was
away: I know I haven't responded to everyone yet, but I plan
to. Strangely, the two-week period where I was gone may have been
the blog's busiest in terms of email. I blame The Beat!'s
inclusion of this blog in its "Crisis
On Infinite Blogospheres" roundup
. (A genuine thanks to The
Beat! for mentioning and linking to this blog. And even bigger
thanks for working my name into the construction "Mr. ________ could
not be reached for comment." It's been a life-long dream to see
myself referred to in that way.) And The Beat! is one savvy
scout: Stamina is something I always worry about with this whole
blogging thing. Personally, I'm surprised I've lasted this long
at it, given my flaky attention span.
Next, I just took a look at what's coming tomorrow in my Big Monthly
Box O' Comics and I'm pretty excited. Now, generally I don't list
out what comics I'm getting each month, but this time I figured what
the heck: It can serve as a glimpse into the comics I actually
read when I'm not busy making snarky comments about them.
Plus, I'm wiped out and desperate to fill space.
- 8 1/2 GHOSTS ONE SHOT (Not sure what to expect from this,
but the preview art has looked very nice.)
- ABSENT FRIENDS #1 (See preceding comment.)
- ADAM STRANGE ARCHIVES VOL 1 HC (Adam Strange has always
been one of those third/fourth/fifth-string characters that appeals to
me, but I don't think I've read many of his original comics, so this a
chance to see what his solo stories were like.)
- ALTER EGO #33 (What can I say? I have an
inexplicable love of Mike Sekowsky's artwork. Plus, the flip covers (one inserting the Silver Age JLA into the cover of FF #1, the other
inserting the Invaders into the cover of The Brave and The Bold #28)
really caught my eye.)
- AQUAMAN #15 (Aquaman? Hey, I've enjoyed new series
writer Will Pfeifer's work on HERO, so I thought I'd
check this out.)
- BACK ISSUE #2 (I believe I preordered this before I read
first issue. Ah well, at least the solicit promises
"rare artwork by [Adam] Hughes and ALAN DAVIS"; "rare art by STEVE
RUDE"; "and rare art by DAVE STEVENS, BO HAMPTON, MIKE HOFFMAN, and VAL
MAYERICK!" There's also "unpublished [but not rare?] DC Comics
art by STEVE DITKO, JIM APARO, and JOE KUBERT," so at least there
should be pretty pictures to look at.)
- COMIC ART MAGAZINE #5 (Always a slick, high-quality
- COMICS JOURNAL #258 (Originally ordered for the Ditko
coverage, but now most looking forward to reading the letter from Sean
Collins and the ensuing petty digs by the TCJ staff.)
- DIGITAL WEBBING PRESENTS #13 (Kevin Melrose turned
to this anthology and I've really enjoyed the two issues I've read so
- EPIC ANTHOLOGY #1 (This will one day be a highly-valued
collector's item, right?)
- GOON #5 (Always a fun read.)
- GOTHAM CENTRAL #16 (The solicit says this is "the first of
three stand-alone stories featuring the supporting cast." Good.
As much as I'm enjoying this series, many of the characters are
indistinguishable for me so far. It'll be nice to get a little
more characterization for the various cast members.)
- GYO VOL 2 (Wasn't that impressed with the first volume,
but it was still a better horror manga than Dark Horse's Ringu adaptation.)
- HARD TIME #1 (I think I'm the only person in the comics
blogosphere -- perhaps the entire online comics community -- interested
in the DC Focus books.)
- HERO #13 (I'm still worried that this "guy transformed
into gal" storyline is going to veer into gratuitously titillating
territory, but the first part wasn't bad.)
- HUMAN TARGET #7 (I'm beginning to lose interest in this
title. I'll probably decide whether or not to drop the series
based on this issue.)
- JACK STAFF VOL 1 EVERYTHING USED TO BE BLACK & WHITE TP
(I sampled the first color issue from Image and liked it. It
certainly helps that Union Jack is another one of my favorite
- LOSERS ANTE UP TP (I've been hearing good things about
this series and the trade was dirt cheap, so I'm checking it out.)
- MICHAEL CHABON PRESENTS ADVENTURES O/T ESCAPIST #1 (Should
have waited for the trade.)
- MY FAITH IN FRANKIE #2 (Really enjoyed the first issue of
- NAUSICAA OF VALLEY OF WIND VOL 1 TP 2ND ED (Shawn
Fumo seems awfully excited about this book. Me, I preordered it based
solely on the strength of Hayao Miyzaki's animated work, but it's nice
to know that bloggers whose opinion I respect are looking forward to
Butcher ranks it as "one of the best manga ever released into the
- TOM STRONG #25 (Erg. Forgot that this was written by
Geoff Johns (who I don't find as objectionable as certain other
bloggers, but he's still not Alan Moore). On the plus side, the
art's by the under-utilized John-Paul Leon. And where have I seen
- TOM STRONG'S TERRIFIC TALES #9 (Well, I'm looking forward
to 1/3 of this at least.)
- WONDER WOMAN #201 (I've been enjoying Rucka's run on this
book so far. I know a lot of fans have been complaining about the
"lack of action" in this book, but, frankly, I think the slow burn
Rucka's been working on is much more interesting than a series of
slugfests each month.)
Observations: A lot of magazines about comics (for me at
least). And a good number of trades (5), but three times as many
singles (15)! How did that happen? I thought I was supposed
to be one of the poster boys for "Waiting For The Trade."
Hmm. I guess that just goes to show that groupthink doesn't always translate into corresponding groupact.
Finally, here's your Vacation Photo of the Day:
CONTRACTUALLY OBLIGATORY BANNERS