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Monday, July 09, 2007

The Monday Briefing -- Back to work for me today after being off since the last half of last week. We had no major family events or trips planned, but I knew there wouldn't be much to do at work, and if I'm going to be bored, I'd rather be bored at home, frankly. That's where I keep my funnybooks, y'see.

* Internet-Breaker of the Week: At Casa Spurge, Tom Spurgeon gets the first headline on DC's newest new talent showcase, Zuda Comics. Or is that New Talent Showcase? DC and Marvel never do get tired of coming up with new schemes to let idealistic and untested creators do the heavy lifting for free (or close enough so as to not make a difference). (Maybe that guy in Ohio that did that awful book for Epic Comics before it crashed and burned can revive it online for DC! Yay, comics!).

Tom Spurgeon wonders (with tongue firmly in cheek, no doubt) if DC, a subsidiary of the Time Warner international entertainment megacorporation, will let new creators keep the rights to their work. I don't wonder that at all. Ask Alan Moore about DC's generous rights policies. Then duck.

Of course, nothing will apparently be online for readers to look at until well into this fall. I can see how announcing it now will allow them time to collect material from Epic Comics victims hopeful creators, but that's a long time for a whole lotta nuthin' to be sitting there driving away people who click over thinking there'll be comics to read. It's also long enough for savvy would-be creators to talk to, oh, a lawyer or two about their "deal," so, hopefully they'll do that going in, so they can't claim later on they had no idea that an international entertainment megacorporation might have the audacity to put its own needs and profits before those of would-be creators with stars in their eyes.

You can be sure the comics will be progressive as all hell, after reading this quote from DC's Ron Perazza: "If [creators want to do] a straight-on newspaper strip, like a Doonesbury or something like that, great. If [they] want to do something a little more abstract, like a Family Circus that’s all in a circle, fantastic." That's right folks, The Family Circus is abstract. Is their no boundary to their imagination?

At Journalista, the creators rights angle and chances of making a splash in the already-established webcomics nation are vetted by keen observer Dirk Deppey. I don't normally say things like "vetted," but since the Zuda Comics people like to say it, why not me?

The funniest quote in the New York Times article Spurgeon links to announcing the new initiative comes from DC Preznit Paul Levitz, who must have been shocked to learn: "We’ve seen a real wellspring of creativity [by people posting their online comics], and it’s been a different kind of material than publishers have been putting out." Of course, Levitz means different from the kind of comics superhero publishers have been putting out, because only the direct market is slavishly obsessed with superheroes to the exclusion of all other types of stories. The internet gets out to a far broader and more diverse audience, which is why there aren't many top-of-mind superhero webcomics out there. But don't hold your breath waiting for DC to bring you the new Achewood or Diesel Sweeties or American Elf. Here's a thought: Maybe they would have brought you the old ones if they were all that smart and interested in the future of comics.

* Also at The Comics Reporter, I enjoyed Tom Spurgeon's weekend interview with comics journalist Jeet Heer. Jeet is a fine writer, and even contributed a couple of items to Comic Book Galaxy a few years back. Here is Jeet Heer's review of McSweeney's #13, the comics anthology issue edited by Chris Ware.

* Unlike most comics bloggers, I did not take the weekend off; here's what I was up to: reviews of the new MOME Summer 2007, Douglas Wolk's Reading Comics and the fairly atrocious new Thor #1, as well as my thoughts on Nine Graphic Novels to Read Before You Die.

* Christopher Butcher weighs in on the whole what-manga-sells-and-does-not-sell-and-to-whom issue. Butcher knows more about selling comics than you or I do, so pay attention.

* Chris Allen recommends Patton Oswalt's new CD, and I could not agree more. I gave it a listen after reading his review, and I am not kidding when I tell you that I almost lost consciousness, I was laughing so hard.

* The fine folks at AiT/Planet Lar have posted a kind welcome back to The ADD Blog (thanks, gang!) and a handy roundup of links to my reviews of their books.

* Tony Isabella is back from hiatus with a new Tony's Online Tips. Glad to hear he's bouncing back from recent health problems -- click over for his story of trying to take a sleep apnea test, because I just know that's exactly how it would go for me as well. Get much better soon, Tony.

* By the way, here's a reminder that if you prefer to get The ADD Blog posts in your e-mail, you can subscribe through Google Groups. Also, if you have a blog or website and would like to set up a reciprocal link, e-mail me.

* Roger Green looks at nicknames he's been called. I'll plead guilty to having referred to him as "Rog," though I may not from here on out, insert smiley face here. As for myself, like Roger I will also eschew revealing nicknames I've been called in the context of romantic relationships, but in college a friend took to calling me "Webster" because he thought I knew every word in the dictionary (hardly; I just knew more words than he did). My friend Jake used to call me "DOANE" and it always seemed to be in all-caps, a blend of affection and exasperation: "Oh, DOANE." One ex-girlfriend's nickname for me (I'll reveal just this one, okay?) was "Doaney," which strangely I didn't mind. A girl I had a huge, utterly unreciprocated crush on in college called me "Al," as did the wonderful older gentleman who was our building manager from 1995 to 2004. Other than those two, though, that's where I differ from Paul Simon: You Can't Call Me Al.

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Blogger Rob said...

You said, "That's right folks, The Family Circus is abstract. Is their no boundary to their imagination?"

To be fair, Scott McCloud's definiton of comics doesn't even include Family Circus so maybe that is the source of its abstraction.

10 July, 2007 13:44  

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