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Monday, July 23, 2007

The Monday Briefing -- And we're back. If you're wondering what I did all weekend, well, I ran for President, but was met at dawn by angry villagers carrying pitchforks and torches. It wasn't pretty.

* I don't know what to think about The Next Issue Project, which Image Comics announced late last week. It seems like kind of a cool idea to me, and the format freak in me loves the idea of using non-glossy paper stock and adhering to the original specs of Golden Age comics. But. Even if the copyrights have lapsed, it still seems to me a bit ethically questionable; like, some of the works they're following up on, their creators may very well still be alive, and certainly a greater number will have living descendants. So while legally they can do it, I wonder if ethically they should?

There's a part of me that really wants to see what they do, and another part that would like to see them establish a fund of some type to benefit the original
creators or their families. It seems to me like that might be the right thing to do.

* I made some adjustments to my pull list last week. Two books I dropped have been on the bubble virtually since they began, Punisher War Journal and Midnighter. The former's storytelling just isn't working for me, so I'll retreat back into my Ennis-Only Punisher Paradise for the time being. On the latter, if Ennis and Chris Sprouse had stuck to the title more than three or four issues, I'd probably have kept reading, but almost from the beginning it's been compromised, and not really very good. Which saddens me, because I think The Midnighter is a great character who still possesses a lot of untapped potential, not necessarily in any direction he's already been handled in. (Anyone interested in trading for complete sets of either Midnighter #1-9 or Punisher War Journal #1-9, or both, email me).

In a related note, two other titles I dropped won't financially affect my wallet or my comic shop's budget at all, as they have just been vaporware since their first issues: The Authority and Wildcats, both to have been written by Grant Morrison. If these had kept up their schedules, they would likely have been my favourite two superhero comics currently running. As it stands, they are two major embarrassments, and DC, Wildstorm and all involved ought to be ashamed of themselves.

* Hey, James Kochalka's new book comes out August 28th. I feel like I should call it his "first children's book," but given how long ago Peanutbutter and Jeremy came out, that seems wrong. His first children's book from a major-publisher? I have no doubt that all the aging children in my house will love it, in any case.

* Related: James Kochalka made Monkey Covers Day at Yet Another Comics Blog. Neat. Also, Comics and More reviewed American Elf Vol. 2 last week, where you'll also find a good review of Mome Vol. 8, the most recent volume.

* I just found out (via the Blog@Newsarama) that Jim Rugg has a LiveJournal, and it has tons of gorgeous art posted to it. Like this Superman drawing. Have a look.

* Over the weekend, Christopher Butcher posted some comics reviews, which is increasingly rare for him, as usually he's more commentator-y than review-y. But I was delighted to see what he thought of recent releases, and agree with him on a lot, like World War Hulk and All-Flash and The Programme, and phew, now I don't have to review any of those, thankfully.

Butcher did mention the entirely bizarre Tom Crippen-written piece on superhero fetishism that appeared in the new Comics Journal. Like Chris, I totally fell for it, and now I feel like I should go back and read it again, but I'm exhausted just thinking about that prospect. I did find the analogy about cut-out superhero figures being tiny like walnuts, here in the real world, extremely powerful and thought-provoking. Maybe because, like the I-Guess-He's-Fake subject of Crippen's piece, I remember clipping out superheroes from my comics when I was 6, 7, 8 years old, and using the resulting paper dolls like one-dimensional action figures. I got over that habit pretty quickly, as you might imagine.

* Tom Spurgeon's Sunday Interview with Adrian Tomine is another in an excellent series of conversations. Being 117 years old, I still think of Tomine as a relative newcomer, so it's odd to me to see him reflect on a "new talent" like Dan Zettwoch (whose work, I agree with Tomine, is exceptional). Tomine also talks to The Spurge about keeping Optic Nerve as one of the last floppy artcomix, making the great point that it's one of the few (if not the last) left that is still recognizable if you held it next to its first issue from years ago. That's certainly not true of Eightball or Acme Novelty Library, so I thought that was a thought worth noting. They also talk about Tomine's work on the Yoshihiro Tatsumi series of hardcovers from Drawn and Quarterly, and it comes as no surprise how much Tomine loves working on those fantastic collections. Go read the whole interview, it's fascinating reading.

* Over at The Savage Critic, Johanna nails an ongoing problem with Ed Brubaker's Captain America series, the visuals: "Visually dull" and "gloomy" are the descriptors she invokes, and they are apt, indeed. As I said in the comments section, "I always buy the book, because I think Brubaker's scripting is very good on Cap, almost as good as Sleeper or Criminal, but the art is so flat and dreary that I often find myself reconsidering keeping the title on my monthly pull list." If one could harness the energy I expend worrying about the titles on my pull list, you could provide a year's worth of power to, well, a small, dimly-lit comics shop.

* Not comics, but fun: I remember when Lora and I took the kids to Canada back in 2005 (hi, Canada!), she ate at McDonald's once and told me the food was far superior to the U.S. offerings. I think it was d. emerson eddy who told me that was because of stricter health regulations? Which, you know, of course. Anyway, check out these McDonald's entrees across the globe. Some of those look pretty good, certainly better than what they serve in the United States.


Blogger CHunter said...

"As it stands, they are two major embarrassments, and DC, Wildstorm and all involved ought to be ashamed of themselves."

Darn straight.

I just want to know this: What was the rush with these issues? What kind of freaking timetable had to be adhered to for these books to need to see print so fast.

Same for All Star Batman. These are standalone series. They're not tying into any major event or campaign. The issues should have been stockpiled and only released when a complete storyarc was finished.

23 July, 2007 03:46  

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