Saturday, January 22, 2005

 
Confidential to Todd -- That's Todd at Thrillmer.com. Thanks, you made my day, with stuff I have really been wanting to see. I owe you one.

Friday, January 21, 2005

 
Friday Notes -- Man, the new Comics Journal is indeed dense reading -- right now I'm in the middle of the Eric Shanower interview, and I have to say that Dirk Deppey does a terrific job of delving into the life and art of the creator of Age of Bronze. Chalk up yet another top-notch interview in The Comics Journal; literally, no one does it better.

Up today on Comic Book Galaxy is Jason St. Claire's review of Wanted #6. Have a look.

Finally, I just got done adding the latest batch of entries into the pile for our Ultimate Street Angel Contest. It's amazing to me how quickly the entries are piling up -- we've run at least one big contest every year on CBG, and this one seems to have generated more interest and accumulated more entries than any in the site's history. Huge thanks to all the sites and bloggers who have helped get the word out about this terrific giveaway -- in which both YOU and YOUR COMICS SHOP can win signed sets of Street Angel, including the rare mini-comic that started it all, PLUS original art by co-creator Jim Rugg!

The contest is running through the month of February, so if you have a blog or message board or mailing list or next-door neighbour, I'd appreciate it if you'd let everybody know about the contest, to help spread the word about what is absolutely my favourite comic book right now.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

 
The New Comics Journal -- Go read my thoughts about The Comics Journal #265 over at The Great Curve.

Monday, January 17, 2005

 
CBG Wireless -- Starting today, you can read the best of Comic Book Galaxy on your wireless device: fire up your mobile web browser, go to winksite.com/cbg/wireless or go to winksite.com and enter WINKsite ID #7562.

I'm looking for feedback on this, so let me know if you like having CBG content available to you on your wireless device.

 
Ten to Grow On -- Head over to The Great Curve to read my inaugural posting there -- Ten to Grow On runs down ten titles everyone should be reading. And thanks to editor Alex Segura, Jr. for asking me to participate in one of the very few group comics blogs that seems to be working. Four Color Hell, we hardly knew ye...

Oh, and have you entered Comic Book Galaxy's Ultimate Street Angel Contest yet?

Sunday, January 16, 2005

 







 
Best Best of 2004 -- Well, it was inevitable that if Tom Spurgeon decided to do a Best of 2004 piece, he'd show us all up and do a wonderful job summarizing the year in comics as he saw it. His Best of 2004 went up this morning, and it is well worth your attention.

Tom's greatest strength as a writer -- and there are many -- is the way he makes the intersection of his life with reading comics so breezily personal. To read Tom's thoughts on comics is to feel that you've spent a few minutes chatting with an old friend about something you both love, and about which he just knows a whole hell of a lot about.

Among many small pleasures, I was happy to see Tom liked Waterwise in much the same way I did; more interesting, though, is his take on 2004 in superhero comics:

They read more than ever like unpacked movie pitches or series bibles designed to throw attention onto the creators rather than anything designed to exist on its own merits and make people want to read them a couple of years from now.


Now, Tom does mention that he enjoyed reading Street Angel in 2004, and if you've hung around Comic Book Galaxy much in the past year you certainly know that I think it's one of the very best series being published right now and one of my all-time favourite series. Tom seems to paint SA with the brush of "Enjoyable, but not impressive," if I am reading him right (and he'll correct me if I'm not, I am sure), but I have to say that Street Angel impresses the hell out of me, for just the reasons Tom suggests comics should be impressive. Every time I read Street Angel, my faith in the essential joy of comics is renewed, and I do indeed believe that the book is (intentionally or not) "designed to exist on its own merits and make people want to read [it] a couple of years from now." I have re-read every issue of Street Angel multiple times, and I get a laugh and a smile and a sense of fun and adventure out of the book every time I revisit it.

Hmm. I meant this to be a loving plug for Tom's excellent year-end piece, and ended up on a long digression, once again, about how much I love Street Angel. Well, head over to Tom's essay, then if you like, compare and contrast it to my own list. It's always interesting to me to see how my tastes compare to those of other critics I respect, and there's no critic I respect more than Tom Spurgeon.

(And there's no current comic I respect more than Street Angel, there, I said it. Nyah nyah!)

 
A Letter to Tom Nattell -- Back in December of 2004, I linked to an essay on the winter solstice by Albany-area writer Tom Nattell. In the current issue of Metroland, Nattell has revealed that he has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and has only months likely left to live.

What follows is a letter I sent to Metroland's editor, asking him to pass it on to Tom. I have never had any contact with the man until now, but I felt I had to send him this.

Dear Tom,

I read your essay this week with great dismay, and wanted to drop you a line to express my thanks for your willingness to discuss your illness so honestly.

I first really took note of your writing in Metroland last year, with your essay on the winter solstice of 2003. That piece stuck with me throughout 2004, and when the solstice came at the end of the year, I linked to the piece in my weblog and used some of your prose (crediting you, of course) for an e-card that I sent to friends to mark the occasion.

I am truly sorry to learn that you are ill, although I salute the forthright manner in which you seem to be dealing with it. It's nothing less than what I would expect, given the deep humanism that informs your writing.

I'm sure I'm not the only stranger to write you after the publication of this week's essay. Metroland has shined for me for the past few years as one of the very last remaining beacons of light in an increasingly dark world, and your writing has come to stand out for me as something that must always be paid attention to. I know I should have written before now, so I hope you'll forgive my lateness, but I could not wait another day after reading what you had to say this week.

I wish you all good luck, and please know you are in the thoughts and hearts of all who have been touched by your words. You've made our lives better by sharing of yourself, and you've truly been an inspiration to me to try to do the same. Thank you, and bless you.

Alan

I'd appreciate it if all of you reading this could remember Tom in your thoughts and prayers. His writing has really touched my life, and I hope yours, as well.

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