Thursday, October 09, 2003

 
Hiatus -- I appreciate the reception this new effort has gotten in the blogosphere, but I think I may have taken this public too early. I am still unable to get the goddamned archives or blog entry links to function properly, and three of my most web-wise friends have also had no luck getting this thing to work properly. So until I have the time and intelligence to get this to work the way I want it to, we'll have a brief hiatus.

Anyone with serious Blogger-Fu who can volunteer to help me is desperately invited to e-mail me.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

 
Henley Destroys Byrne -- Boy, am I glad Jim Henley reads this blog. His destruction of John Byne's arrogant wrongheadedness makes it all seem worthwhile.

 
Getting it Wrong -- You know me, I hate to disagree with anybody, but Scott Tipton gets it all wrong in this week's Comics 101 at Movie Poop Shoot. He says critics are being elitist when they pan JLA/Avengers for centering around a set of 12 objects all with historical significance to the Marvel and DC universes.

I agree with Scott that utilizing a book's history to tell a compelling story can, indeed, generate interest in the backstory for new readers. Where his thesis falls apart is in using this theory to defend the rote, banal storytelling on display in JLA/A #1. It's not the fact that The Wand of Watoomb is unknown to new readers that makes it a bad comic, it's the total and complete lack of genuine drama and storytelling that earned my disinterest and passive contempt.

 
New Comics Day -- My favourite new column about comics has updated. Bryan Miller's New Comics Day at ContinuityPages.com has looks at the big (ha!) controversy over full-body felching in The Avengers, Mark Millar's Orson Welles hoax (go watch F is for Fake if you're wondering how Orson would feel about it) and some reviews, too. Good stuff.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

 
Gadabout All About American Splendor -- Bill Sherman reviews the new movie based on Harvey Pekar's autobio comics over at Pop Culture Gadabout. This is a great movie that you don't have to be a comics fan to enjoy; ask my wife, who was all teary-eyed at the ending.

Monday, October 06, 2003

 
Watchmen Should Never Have Been -- At least, not according to good ol' John Byrne (ninth post in the thread). I certainly agree with what he says, except for the word "Watchmen" substitute "Lab Rats," "Spider-Man Chapter One," or the Dismal Byrne Failure of your choice. How is it possible one country is large enough to contain his arrogant wrongheadedness? Is this the real reason for NAFTA?

 

The Week in Comics -- It looks like a small week for me at the comics shop, but thankfully The Comics Journal is among the items on my retailer's invoice. Here's what I'm picking up this week:

FANTAGRAPHICS

COMICS JOURNAL #255 $6.95 -- You can check out the full list of contents at the magazine's website, but news pieces on CrossGen's downward spiral, and the MOCCA festival, and Rich Kreiner's review of the godawful Cusp are among the items I am most interested in. How much do I love The Comics Journal? If I were on a deserted island could only get TCJ and Forlorn Funnies, I would still be a happy comics reader. That's how much.

THE NORM

THE NORM MAGAZINE #1 $4.95 -- I always enjoy The Norm, a sardonic and occasionally insightful look at romance and life in Our Modern Times. It's a fun strip, and I hope this new magazine is a huge success.

DARK HORSE

DRAWING ON YOUR NIGHTMARES HALLOWEEN 2003 SPECIAL $2.99 -- I think there's some Steve Niles in here, which is reason enough to pick this up. There's no better writer doing horror in comics right now.

DC COMICS

BATMAN DEATH AND THE MAIDENS #3 (Of 9) $2.95 -- Ra's al Ghul is the only Batman villain that doesn't make me cringe when I see him on the page, and I really like the work of both Greg Rucka and Klaus Janson. So far this series is keeping me entertained and intrigued.

TOM STRONG #22 $2.95 -- If I were on that deserted island, and got the chance to widen that circle of comics by one creator, Alan Moore would be the one. ABC titles like Tom Strong, Promethea, and Smax show that Moore is retiring at the very top of his abilities, with recent issues of each being among the very best he's done.

WORLDS BEST COMICS THE GOLDEN AGE DC ARCHIVES SAMPLER $.99 -- Picking up a few of these for my kids and for general activism purposes. While my activism goals (getting kids to read comics) are different than DC's here (getting adults to plop down $50.00 for the upscale hardcover editions), I still appreciate this being available. It collects four classic stories featuring Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Plastic Man, in case you were wondering.

MARVEL

KINGPIN #5 $2.50 -- Other than the art, I really am not enjoying this book at all. And I really wanted to.

ULTIMATE SIX #3 (Of 6) $2.25 -- Last issue had some nice, creepy moments in it, although it's clearly paced for the trade paperback collection, as nothing much happens in any one given issue. This sea change in mainstream comics is perhaps the most shameful thing about the current state of affairs, guaranteed to turn off casual readers and really not much more encouraging even for longtime dorks like myself. I miss the days when every, single issue was required to have a satisfactory set of dramatic beats that made every comic you bought at least moderately entertaining most of the time. Now, that type of thinking can generally only be counted upon in books like Optic Nerve or Peanutbutter and Jeremy. Gee, I wonder why those titles have such devoted fans, while I debate every month whether to pick up this or that Marvel or DC title, and more and more drop off the pull list every month?

ULTIMATE X-MEN #38 $2.25 -- Ditto.

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