Saturday, December 06, 2003

Not a Gag -- Sorry, Laura, I wasn't kidding about Seth's Coober Skeber cover being the best superhero cover of the past decade.

Seth's subtle, post-iconic treatment captures the lost innocence of the Silver Age with grace and an appealing sentimentality, being far kinder to the characters and their fans than anyone who has been officially charged with maintaining the franchise in the past 15 years or so.

For another example of the same thing, there's more entertainment quality and sense of wonder in this Seth JSA drawing than in every issue of the current DC series combined. (This one comes from the sublime and beautiful Vernacular Drawings book published by Drawn and Quarterly.)

Friday, December 05, 2003

Jeffrey Brown -- The graphic novels of one of the best autobiographical cartoonists of 2003 are discussed in this article by Zack Smith at Ninth Art.

Jeff Mason's Evangelism -- My thanks to Jeff Mason for spreading the word about the ADD Blog. Nice to be noticed, especially in a week when Jeff is dealing with some problems. I hope the error is made right quickly enough for people to pick up Peanutbutter and Jeremy's Best Book Ever in time for the holidays, because it's certainly one of the best gifts for readers of all ages this year.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Mortal Souls Movie News -- Big congratulations to writer Steven Grant on the latest Mortal Souls movie news. Mortal Souls was a fun read and would make a terrific movie, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Which makes it harder to type than you might think, but, anyway...

First Reload, then Revolution -- Looks like Marvel is getting the forumla backwards with its planned X-Men Reload "event." I'm sure it'll be as successful as the last one.

Anyone who's been around comics more than a couple of years will, of course, recognize the emptiness of this latest announcement.

On the face of it, the idea of Chris Claremont and Alan Davis teaming up for a(nother) new take on the X-Franchise might be intriguing -- until you remember that Claremont's been writing X-Men comics for a few years now, and no one's exactly been shouting from the rooftops how great X-Treme X-Men is.

Davis is, of course, a terrific craftsman, but whether it's his Avengers or Killraven or just about anything he's done in the past decade, there's an overriding sense that he's way too good for the material, but not ambitious enough to make a true leap to comics for adults.

Given those parameters, I'm far from excited about this news, although I do think it's worth noting for its Emporer's New Clothes nature, and to say that I wish Alan Davis would be teamed with a writer worthy of his talents, like Ed Brubaker, say. Someone who can provide quality writing to take a little of the sting out of the franchise maintenance that Davis seems satisfied to perform.

Thursday Reading -- Chris Allen has updated Breakdowns, and it's a good one, with reviews of Persepolis and Ripple and some insights into his own reviewing process. Oh, and, AK kinda/sorta looks at The Year in Review. This has been your AK Stalking Moment of the Day.

Cover Blind -- Whether it's last month's fangasms over George Perez's truly grotesque JLA/Avengers #3 cover, or the ridiculous "Best Covers of the Year" feature in the most recent Wizard, it's apparent to me that most comics readers don't have a goddamned clue when it comes to what makes a good comic book cover. Here is the best superhero cover of the last decade.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Advance Warning -- If you enjoyed my comics reviews at Comic Book Galaxy, you might want to be aware that the archive will be coming down permanently in the next few days. If you'd like to take one last look, go here.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

I Admit It -- I suppose I am stalking AK, as Dirk points out in the 12th item down in today's iJournalista!. Looking for good posts from the former Title Bout writer is really the only reason I ever go to the Pop Culture Bored anymore.

Understanding Black Lightning -- Tony Isabella is the subject of a lengthy, informative interview at Silver Bullet Comics that should serve to dispel some incorrect assumptions many have made about the issues surrounding DC's ongoing mistreatment of the character. Check it out.

Por Vous -- AK points the way to some interesting artwork. I particularly like the watercolour pieces, about halfway down?

The Week in Comics -- Previews Reviews has updated their listings for this week's new releases, and it's always worth a look. The most significant book this week is Peanutbutter and Jeremy's Best Book Ever, although due to a printing snafu I don't know if it arrives for sure this week or next. Either way, it's a huge value with tons of new material and great appeal to both kids and adults. You might want to grab an extra copy or two for holiday gift-giving.

Sunday, November 30, 2003

The Value of Palomar -- Earlier today I mentioned that Palomar would be a bargain at twice its $40.00 price. AK seems to agree, in a post filled with appreciation for Gilbert Hernandez's magnum opus.

Calvin's Reclusive Creator -- Ever wonder what happened to Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson? I have to say, this subject comes up at least a couple of times every year. As Mark Evanier notes, this article doesn't tell you much, but it's worth reading for what little is there.

Johnny Bacardi Reviews -- Nice batch of reviews at the Johnny Bacardi Show. I agree with him on all the titles he reviews that I've read, including, unfortunately, his decision to drop Catwoman. The new Gulacy-drawn issue is a sad jumping-off point, but I can't bring myself to support such a bad creative change for even one more issue.

Do Comics Cost Too Much? -- --- Not the good ones. The problem is, there aren't enough good comics.

Speaking as an adult with a decent discretionary income, rarely does a week go by that I spend as much as I'd like to on comics, because I don't buy the ones that don't consistently entertain me and fire my imagination. So I often leave the comics shop having spent less than I could have, because there's simply not enough good comics worth buying.

Of the titles I get the most excited about, say, Eightball, Forlorn Funnies, Acme Novelty Library, Love and Rockets and a select few others, they could easily double their cover price and I wouldn't blink. THEY'RE THAT GOOD. Anyone who's read Palomar will tell you they'd still have bought it, knowing how good it is, if it was double the price, assuming their rent and groceries were covered that month.

Cost only is a factor when you are suffering truly bad financial hard times, or when the books are so marginal (i.e., most "good" Marvel and DC titles) that you'd drop them if they cost a quarter more. If that quarter makes that much difference, either you're at the limits of your budget or the comic probably isn't very good. Truly good comics, to quote a friend, are worth every penny.

Update: -- Mick Martin has a gratifyingly thoughtful response.

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