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Friday, July 06, 2007

The Friday Briefing -- I haven't gotten to the comic shop yet this week -- I'm hoping today's the day -- so let's see what everyone else is reading, shall we?

* Chris Allen reviews Two_Fisted Tales Vol. 1. One of the luckiest parts of my early teenage years was my mother's gift to me of the Russ Cochran hardcover, slipcased EC Comics sets. Decades later, not having those anymore is probably my biggest comics-related regret, so I'm glad to see that these new reprints are being released. Chris's take is interesting, in that he recognizes the greatness found in the book without paying automatic, reverent homage to Kurtzman and his crew. Chris's lack of reverence and respect is one of his major strengths as a comics critic.

* Rog observes the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the most important creative partnership in history. Roger's thoughts on music (or anything else, really) are always a great read.

* Rob Vollmar reviews Dragon Head Vol. 1-3 for Comics Worth Reading. This series was recommended to me by Jim Crocker of the great western Mass comic shop Modern Myths during my recent trip there with my daughter. Unfortunately, by then, my money was committing itself to buying enough gas to limp home after a great day of spending adventuring in Northampton. Jim and Rob are both people with impeccable taste (go ahead, I dare you to try to peck their taste!), so I have a feeling Dragon Head may be one to check out.

* Also of interest at CWR is Johanna's piece on adult-male-targeted manga not finding its audience. I'll be honest and say that while the manga revolution is a delight to me -- hey, I've waited all my life to find teenagers lounging about bookstores reading comics, I'm not gonna quibble about where the comics are coming from -- few manga series have grabbed and kept my attention. I like the horror manga of Junji Ito, but it seems like even in Japanese comics, my tastes tend to the artcomix fringe. My favourites tend to be stuff like Tatsumi's Push Man and Abandon the Old in Tokyo, and some of Ponent Mon's releases like The Walking Man. I do believe there's a manga for anyone who loves comics (and probably for anyone who loves to read, period), but there's probably not a manga for anyone who only loves superhero comics, and specifically North American corporate superhero comics. The core audience for those is too xenophobic, and trying to market manga to them through Previews while they lust after Geoff Johns continuity porn is like trying to sell a delicious cut of filet mignon to a vegan.

* I have a feeling there's much more hay to be made out of further exploration of the vegan/corporate superhero junkie comparison. I really do.

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