See! Alan Moore being polite to a kid’s show host!
Witness! Gaz Top’s ridiculous haircut!
Hear! “This is Swamp Thing, who’s a walking compost pile that haunts the Louisiana bayous.”
(Found on LinkMachineGo.)
See! Alan Moore being polite to a kid’s show host!
Witness! Gaz Top’s ridiculous haircut!
Hear! “This is Swamp Thing, who’s a walking compost pile that haunts the Louisiana bayous.”
You know, I’ve not seen Superman Returns nor have I read most of this week’s comics yet – is my nerditude slipping?
Sadly, no – I’ve just been rather busy the last couple of days. I’ll go over what has been read real fast, ok?
Oni’s Love The Way You Love shows Jamie S Rich’s slight, if affable script being completely betrayed by the miserable art of Marc Ellerby. I hate to be cruel, as I generally like Rich’s work (even if he feels like he’s very comfortable digging a particular ditch) and Oni consistently gets good artists on their books, but Ellerby’s flat, ugly cartooning and inability to use more than four or five stock shots for any character is just plain depressing. If his line was a bit more sophisticated and I actually got the impression that the lead were as handsome as the script purports, then maybe I’d feel differently, but this is a pass, even if Erasure song titles were used as chapter headings.
PS> I know she’s all famous now, but if you’re going to get Chynna Clugston-Major to do part of the cover, then the interiors better step it up.
DC: Brave New Word basically continues the trend of one in five books from the publisher being remotely readable, but it only costs the reader $1 to find out which one this time.. My pick is Gail Simone and John Byrne on The Atom; despite the ugly (and I suspect Morrison-designed) costume and the past-its-prime art, the scientist-as-action-hero angle sells me. Einstein meets Indiana Jones meets Jackie Chan (the hero explicitely mentions his training in a Chinese opera company)? I can dig it. Everything else, I give a big ol’ pass to.
NextWave: Agents Of HATE #6 is the sort of comic you love now or you will love in the future. It is that simple.
The fourth issue of Blue Beetle manages to entertain and set up a few things, but I’m wondering if we’re going to get a glimpse of the answers soon. There’s something about the pacing on this title I can’t quite put my finger on, but it’s not quite clicking for me as much as I want it to.
Normally, I avoid the Bendis-penned New Avengers like each issue was anthrax-soaked, but with Howard Chaykin on board to draw Captain America, I rather had to pick it up. They probably won me over by page 3 where Cap delivers the most succinct expression of the complacency that the current administration wants the citizenry of our country to experience:
They want to be comfortable – not safe.
I won’t go into how accurately this reflects the current fear climate created by FOX News and the like, but I can honestly believe Captain America could see the flaws in what passes as security in this country. While I ended up enjoying this issue more than I should, the weaknesses were pretty obvious. Content was stick-thin, even if it had more plot than the usual Bendis book: Cap fights SHIELD, runs to the Falcon, goes to talk to Henry Pym, fights SHIELD again. I will say that the dialogue tics were barely there and were much more enjoyable than the “Did you—” “Yeah.” “That thing? “Sure.” stuff that has plagued his work.
And now I go to the office and post this. I’m sure I’ll review more later.
Oh, and about that free bonus? I lied.
In this thread at Newsarama about Tom Beland’s True Story Swear To God moving to Image, the man himself shows up after Josh Richardson from AiT
(his former publisher) (who are publishing his books in trade paperback form for the next two years) posts the following, which was quickly edited down:
I asked ol’ Lar what he thought of Tom’s interview, and he just sort of laughed. ‘I don’t know what Tom’s talking about,’ he said. ‘All our books are available in book stores, and you know with ASTRONAUTS IN TROUBLE and SCURVY DOGS and DEMO and even this fall’s upcoming THE BLACK DIAMOND that we do monthlies. But Tom never asked us if we wanted to do his monthly. Go figure, but that’s what happens when you don’t call Mimi back.’
So I asked him if we had anything official to say about this, and you could see him put on his press release hat. ‘Of course we wish our pals at Image and Tom continued success with the book, and like the third stage of a Saturn rocket, we’ve helped boost him into the sky! And, of course, TSSTG trades (Volume One, CHANCES ARE… DEC022403; Volume Two, THIS ONE GOES TO ELEVEN MAR05 2503; and the strip collection, 100 STORIES, MAR042166) are and will be available from AiT for years to come!’
In regards to Larry’s quote where he said “Tell Tom that this is what happens when you don’t call Mimi back.” I’d also advise Larry that this is the feeling an artist/writer gets when you cannot contact the man who RUNS the publishing company because he screens his calls.
Now, with regards to my books being in finer bookstores everywhere..? Well, I can’t find them at Barnes & Noble, can’t find them at Boarders, can’t go down the street to my local bookstores who’ve tried to order them from Ingrahm and they keep saying they’re out of stock and have been so for ages. Other stores who can find them keep saying it’s slow to get.
I’ve contact both of you about this problem and I’m constantly told “what store did you talk to?” Then, when I say who they are, there’s no response.
If I can FIND my books everywhere… what’s the deal with my checks averaging $70 per fiscal quarter? I’m having trouble wrapping my head around that one.
Hey, I’ll always be grateful for AiT making my first trades, as I’ve stated several times before. But when I have a full page ad on the back of my books, telling them how to get the trades, pricing and ordering codes… and stores STILL have a problem getting the books, I should have better answers. That’s been the spot of my angst and my constant head banging against the wall. I never get that answer.
Just adding my two-cents. I was asked a question in an interview and I answered it. If Larry’s going to give a quote, don’t yank it out of the thread two nano-seconds later.
To everyone else, thanks for the support, I appreciate it. I’m going to talk with Image about the numbering system, I think you’ve made some great points on that.
New issue comes out in late July, then we go monthly in September!! See y’all then!
(Thanks to Josh for the catch.)
I’m shocked, nay, appalled that Mr. Sterling, a veritable patron saint of comics blogging and a man who knows his way around an easy joke, neglected to pick up on the odd bit of capitalization in the very first post in the thread:
I’m sure we all have. I remember this one dude who got a government [crazy] check who once was afraid to leave the house because, as he said it, “The Incredible Hulk was after me.”. And he claimed I was Nick Fury because I had on an eye patch to correct my vision problems from a diabetic attack- and he’d met me several times before!! And he once jumped off a bridge to commit suicide but changed his mind and swam to shore–where The Police were waiting on him.
That’s right – Gordon Sumner, Andy Summers, and Stewart Copeland were waiting to help the crazy dude.
That’s pretty damned cool of them.
There’s a new, super-brilliant (and I’m not just saying that because I wrote it while drunk) Nitroglycerin at the BOOM! Studios page.
Those of you who desire such a thing in a larger format can read it at Birdie’s Web Comics Nation page.
Ross Richie has stated that I’ll be autographing something at the BOOM! booth at SDCC.
It’s rather obvious that he’s lost his mind, isn’t it?
I love the complex moral and psychological landscape of Alan Moore’s material, particularly From Hell, and am thrilled that longform graphic novels as diverse as Epileptic and Tricked are available in “regular” bookstores.
But none of these, no matter how much I want them to, thrill me as much as the phrase “The Anti-Superman Gang.”
I tell you what to buy.
You know how it works.
MAY060002 MARVEL PREVIEWS JULY 2006 EXTRAS PI
MAY060005 PREVIEWS ADULT VOL XVI #7 PI
MAY060006 PREVIEWS CATALOG PACK EXTRAS VOL XVI #7 PI
MAY060001 PREVIEWS VOL XVI #7 PI
APR060200 CRISIS AFTERMATH THE SPECTRE #2 (OF 3) $2.99
The first issue was really, really pretty thanks to Cliff Chiang, but it was way, way more setup than I think it needed.
DEC050363 DC NEW FRONTIER SER 1 GREEN ARROW AF PI
DEC050360 DC NEW FRONTIER SER 1 GREEN LANTERN AF PI
DEC050358 DC NEW FRONTIER SER 1 INNER CASE PI
DEC050359 DC NEW FRONTIER SER 1 MASTER CASE PI
DEC050361 DC NEW FRONTIER SER 1 SUPERMAN AF PI
DEC050362 DC NEW FRONTIER SER 1 WONDER WOMAN AF PI
I…er…I ordered these.
I know, I know.
APR060209 DCU BRAVE NEW WORLD #1 $1.00
For a buck, I may buy it.
So I can sell it on eBay for $10 in a week.
Seriously, don’t give me that fucking look. I’ll scoop your eyes out with my solid-gold spoon.
APR060220 HAWKGIRL #53 $2.99
With Chaykin off the title to draw Blade, I’m wondering who’s going to take over. In my dreams, it’d be an all-Simonson joint.
APR060232 SOLO #11 $4.99
APR061822 DOWN WARREN ELLIS TP $15.99
Like I said ages ago, it’s Grand Theft Auto: The Comic. It’s good, but pretty inessential.
APR062078 ETERNALS BY JACK KIRBY HC $75.00
I ordered this on Amazon because with the discount and free shipping, I’m paying like $5 over my shop’s cost.
That’s marvelously depressing, innit?
APR062051 NEW AVENGERS #21 CW $2.99
I don’t care that outside of the main book, I don’t give two farts about Civil War. I don’t care that Brian Michael Bendis has cashed his last check with me. Howard. Chaykin. Drawing. Captain. America.
Seriously, I’ve been waiting for this since the mid-80s.
APR062052 NEXTWAVE AGENTS OF HATE #6 $2.99
I this comic.
It’s a disturbingly light week for me and the indies.
MAR063819 SOUTHLAND TALES BK 1 TWO ROADS DIVERGE $12.95
I spend far too much time on YouTube and am quite sure it’s going to shut down real soon unless they figure out how to monetize it tout suite. Anyway, I thought I’d
inflict upon you give you all the chance to check out some of my favorite Japanese music, which is a difficult and expensive thing to get into, in convenient internet video form.
I rate “Technopolis” by Yellow Magic Orchestra (Japan’s poppier answer to Kraftwerk) very, very highly. The video for the song is approved because of my affection for analogue video effect futurism.
I freely admit that there’s probably no reason to like the Kick The Can Crew as much as I do, but if you tell me that the backing on “Sayonara, Sayonara” is not brilliant, I will have you stabbed and beaten and then stabbed again.
Not only are my fellow Americans lucky enough to get to purchase the new Pet Shop Boys album Fundamental (with bonus disc Fundamentalism) this coming Tuesday at a domestic price, the smartest men in pop have announced a tour that will, indeed, visit the US and Canada.
And if you’d like a schedule, here is a schedule:
10 // Montreal // Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier
11 // Toronto // Hummingbird Centre
13 // Boston // The Opera House
14 // New York City // Radio City Music Hall
15 // Washington, DC // DAR Constitution
17 // Miami // Jackie Gleason Theater
18 // Orlando // Hard Rock Cafe
19 // Atlanta // The Tabernacle
21 // Austin // The Backyard
22 // Dallas // Nokia Theater
24 // St Louis // The Pageant
26 // Detroit // State Theater
27 // Chicago // The Chicago Theater
28 // Minneapolis // The Orpheum
30 // Denver // Paramount Theater
1 // Phoenix // Arizona State Fair
3 // West Valley // The Ford Theater at the E Center
5 // Seattle // Paramount Theater
7 // San Francisco // Bill Graham Civic Audoriam
8 // Los Angeles // The Wiltern LG
9 // Los Angeles // The Wiltern LG
When I get sale dates, I will post those and you will all purchase tickets, of course.
More information is available on the exceedingly annoying, newly-redesigned Pet Shop Boys site.
Here’s the rather nice video for “Minimal,” the new single that’s due out July 24th.
Originally presented in My Greatest Adventure #15, written by someone whose name has been lost to the sands of time, and drawn by Kirby, this scan comes from the rather excellent Mystery in Space trade paperback. It’s a shame that volume didn’t sell enough to warrant a continuation of the Pulp Fiction Library series – I’d love to see similar crime and horror collections in the same full-color format.
Previous Complete Stories:
The Three Rocketeers in “The Lunar Goliaths!”
The Fighting American in “Operation Wolf!”
Space Cabby in “The Luxury Limousine Of Space!”
“Little” Joe Little in “The Three-Foot Sleuth!”
His reaction to getting print made me laugh and laugh and laugh.
It’s the end of the week that saw the result of me somehow convincing Ross Richie that I could write a comic strip that he’d be willing to put into print.
That’s pretty cool.
My Five Favorite Superman Artists:
- Curt Swan – An unassuming master. His version of Superman is the one I see when people talk about the character.
- Kurt Schaffenberger – Really, it’s about Lois and Lana in his art, but like Swan he defines my favorite era for the character. I’ve always liked the humor that was omnipresent, always showing us the outrageous with a slight wink.
- Jerry Ordway – Yes, there’s something slightly off with that chin he puts on Kal-El, but his 40′s influenced work on Adventures Of Superman ranks very highly with me. He consistenly manages to make sure you believe a man can smash through brick walls without blinking.
- John Byrne – The cape being torn was needlessly irritating and the slight smugness that Superman possessed in his scripts is distracting, but I love the broad-chested, handsome look he gave the character. Hs haircuts for Lois Lane were crimes against humanity, though.
- Jose-Lois Garcia Lopez – The man. A superior draftsman with an amazing ability to add just enough detail that you believed in what you saw.
My Five Favorite Superman Cast Members That Aren’t Superman or Lois:
- Jimmy Olsen – If the latest All-Star Superman didn’t prove to you that he’s essential, I’ll beat you about the head and shoulders until you acknowledge that he’s Mister Action. I have a brick and I’m totally willing to throw down over this.
- Perry White – He knows The Secret. He has to. There’s no excuse for any man letting one of his best journalists wander off with a stomach/headache whenever something nasty happens in Metropolis.
- Pa Kent – Removing the deaths of Superman’s second parents may detract from the character’s tragedy – no matter what he does, those that he loves die – but there’s some moments I consider solid gold featuring Clark and Jonathan Kent. See the wheatfield scene in Superman For All Season, written by the exceedingly lousy-of-late Jeph Loeb for a prime example.
- Batman – The reverse angle to Superman, the night to the Last Son Of Krypton’s day. I just wish he and our favorite Kryptonian would be brave enough to tell the world of their forbidden love.
- Steve Lombard – The office bully gets his comeuppance a few dozen times a month. An entire nation of nerds cheers.
I was tempted to scan in the one about The Avengers, but that’s the sort of thing that can get a man into trouble that rhymes with “lynch mob.” Just go get it. So many genius gags of very, very little merit.
For the second time since we started making it a thing, I’m going to be missing out on a Wednesday Night Nerd Crew meal and while it’s for an exceptional reason – My Morning Jacket is playing with the Boston Pops and the lovely Linda has secured a pair of tickets for me – I’m going to miss this regular gathering that combines two favored events: New Comics Day and Dinner With Friends. This meal usually takes place at an outlet of the loathsome Pizzeria Uno chain and fairly recent changes in my diet (I’ve dropped all dairy due to a sudden manifestation of allergy and decided now was as good a time as ever to clean up the rest of my bad culinary habits, meaning I consume sushi every couple of weeks and that’s the only animal product that crosses my lips) finds me at an impasse. Yes, I’ve gone vegan, albeit badly and not for anything resembling a concern for animals; I’d still punch the shit out of a cow if it gave me the googly eye.
We’ve tried moving this meal, to little success. We’ve gone to Christopher’s in Porter Square a few times and while the majority of the crowd seemed to have a fine, fine time of it, there was always one or two people who got a bum meal – usually the British person insisting on ordering fish and chips in a location that was not The Burren or another one of the thousand places in the Boston area known for frying up the perfect piece of white fish. There was also the trip to a steak chain that shall go unnamed that I rank among the ten worst meals of my life – and I’ve spent the night in jail before. While I know the folly of eating vegetables in a joint that’s blaring shitty “new country” music and promising you a steak the size of your grandma’s ass, there was no fucking excuse for what they managed to do to green beans. They’re green beans, people – steam them, toss on a bit of sesame seed and salt and drop it in front of me. Drenching them in beef broth of the lowest quality and placing them in a dirty bowl is just cruel.
This week, the gang’s heading to The Border Cafe in Harvard Square. Border Cafe’s an odd little duck – consistently decent Cajun and Mexican fare in a mid-sized chain that stretches up from the muck of New Jersey, getting a name change from something predictably dull like South Of The Border or Food That Brown People Eat or when it hits New England, and I quite like it, but probably would be very damned limited when it came to edible menu items. But here’s the thing – for these people and their company, I’d be happy eating steamed carrots (an item I fucking despise) and drinking watered-down iced tea. Mind you, it’d be lovely to go to a place like Capital Grille or Locke-Ober, but considering that a meal at those places could, you know, buy a week’s worth of comics for me (and you just got a hint of how much I spend each week on disposable four-color doses of pop culture), so I’ll just grin and bear the limp, lifeless salad and try to avoid thinking about how much the line cooks must hate my meticulously-constructed order.
Here’s the thing – and you knew I’d get around to this – the comics business, on the whole, is dominated by companies whose business plans more resemble McDonald’s and Burger King than anything else. DC and Marvel are, for the most part, putting out fast food – disposable comics featuring licensed characters – and while they may occasionally get a fairly-clever Mark Waid revamp of the Legion of Superheroes or experiment with something like 52, these moments are few and far between. Rarely do they let a Grant Morrison show up to tear down and rebuild a franchise – why risk alienating the fans when Chris Claremont can recycle the same four plotlines again and again to the hardcore fans that will buy X-Men no matter what?
Sure, there’s more craft involved in coming up with a comics story – I know I’d never want to write Nightwing and have to worry about making sure the hardcore fans are happy while hopefully bringing in new readers – but the end result is the same 95% of the time: a predictable, empty meal that occupies the audience for five to ten minutes. The great advantage to trying something new and different in comics versus dining out is that buying a book that does something interesting usually costs very little more versus paying $50 or more for an interesting meal. Sure, Queen And Country may not feature Greg Rucka trying to turn Fire into a superspy, but you’re going to get a more interesting result because the characters belong to him, not editorial mandates.
When you look at guys like Chris Pitzer (interviewed by Ed Cunard over at Graphic Language,) you’re looking at people who aren’t content managing four locations in the Sheboygan, Wisconsin area. Pitzer, along with Top Shelf’s Brett Warnock, Fantagraphic’s Gary Groth and Chris Oliveros over at Drawn and Quarterly – they want to serve tuna tartare instead of a Filet o’ Fish to a marketplace that doesn’t acknowledge that you can, you know, try something different. This is why bookstores and libraries mean more and more to these publishers – those venues are not narrowly focused on milking the fanboy dollar and something like Persepolis is going to find its audience among the same people that bought The Red Tent.
Ah, well. I ramble, and if you’ve read this far, I’m sorry. I’ve just been thinking a lot about comics lately and haven’t had a chance to codify a lot of it.
This one features the mysterious Grencia Mars, winner of our Haiku contest.