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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Roger on the DD Omnibus -- Head over to Roger's place for the scoop on Marvel reprinting pages from the Daredevil Chronicles published a couple decades back by FantaCo.

You can occasionally find the Chronicles specials in the quarter bins, and they all are well worth picking up if you can find them, by the way.


Monday, April 23, 2007

Another Car Bites the Dust -- It was nearly two years ago this week that I chronicled the death of my beloved red car. This morning as she was driving me to work, my wife's car burst into flames.

We called 911 when the black smoke started pouring out from under the hood, and by the time the fire trucks arrived, flames were shooting three feet in the air.

No one was hurt, but it seems unlikely the car will be able to be repaired. Which leaves us, for the moment, a carless family.

On the bright side, hoping my luck would change, I bought a three dollars worth of scratch-off lottery tickets. I won ten bucks. See? Things are turning around already!


Thursday, April 19, 2007

My Eisner Picks -- The Eisner nominations are out (full list is at The Comics Reporter; thanks, Tom!), and I thought I'd run down my choices. "No choice" in a category means I either have not read any of the nominees, or don't think any of them are deserving of an award.

Best Short Story
No choice.

Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)
* Batman/The Spirit #1: "Crime Convention," by Jeph Loeb and Darwyn Cooke (DC)

Best Continuing Series
* All Star Superman, by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely (DC)

Best Limited Series
No choice.

Best New Series
* Criminal, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Marvel Icon)

Best Publication for a Younger Audience
No choice.

Best Humor Publication
* Schizo #4, by Ivan Brunetti (Fantagraphics)

Best Anthology
* Kramers Ergot 6, edited by Sammy Harkham (Buenaventura Press)

Best Digital Comic
No choice.

Best Reality-Based Work
* Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel (Houghton Mifflin)

Best Graphic Album--New
* The Ticking, by Renee French (Top Shelf)

Best Graphic Album--Reprint
No choice.

Best Archival Collection/Project--Strips

* The Complete Peanuts, 1959-1960, 1961-1962, by Charles Schulz (Fantagraphics)

Best Archival Collection/Project--Comic Books
* Abandon the Old In Tokyo, by Yoshihiro Tatsumi (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material
* Pizzeria Kamikaze, by Etgar Keret and Asaf Hanuka (Alternative)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material--Japan
* Walking Man, by Jiro Taniguchi (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)

Best Writer
* Ed Brubaker, Captain America, Daredevil (Marvel); Criminal (Marvel Icon)

Best Writer/Artist
* Renee French, The Ticking (Top Shelf)

Best Writer/Artist--Humor
* Michael Kupperman, Tales Designed to Thrizzle (Fantagraphics)

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team
No choice.

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)
* Melinda Gebbie, Lost Girls (Top Shelf)

Best Cover Artist
* John Cassaday, Astonishing X-Men (Marvel); The Escapists (Dark Horse); The Lone Ranger (Dynamite)

Best Coloring
* Dave Stewart, BPRD, Conan, The Escapists, Hellboy (Dark Horse); Action Comics, Batman/The Spirit, Superman (DC)

Best Lettering
* Ivan Brunetti, Schizo (Fantagraphics)

Special Recognition
No choice.

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism

* Comic Art 8, edited by Todd Hignite (Buenaventura Press)
* The Comics Journal, edited by Gary Groth, Dirk Deppey, Michael Dean, and Kristy Valenti (Fantagraphics)
* The Comics Reporter, produced by Tom Spurgeon and Jordan Raphael
* ¡Journalista!, produced by Dirk Deppey (Fantagraphics)

Best Comics-Related Book
* In the Studio: Visits with Contemporary Cartoonists, by Todd Hignite (Yale University Press)

Best Publication Design
* The Ticking, designed by Jordan Crane (Top Shelf)

Hall of Fame
* Ross Andru & Mike Esposito
* Matt Baker
(Judges' Choices: Robert Kanigher and Ogden Whitney)


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Bachelor Week -- Since last Friday night, my wife and kids have been vacationing in North Carolina with her parents and other family members, while the cat and I have been holding the fort in upstate New York.

Despite the fact that it is spring, it has snowed twice, the heaviest storm being last night and this morning, when five inches or so of heavy, wet snow dumped itself on our region. On my way to work this morning, I was making a right turn into traffic with my window open for better visibility, when a passing 18-wheeler threw a softball-size load of slush right into my face. That was fun, and reminded me once again of my desire to see it made illegal for anything bigger than a mid-size sedan to be on the roads when the weather is anything other than sunshine and 70 degrees.

Last night was probably the biggest event of Bachelor Week, and certainly the most expensive -- I finally scored a copy of the enormous hardcover Daredevil by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson Omnibus. I own two others in Marvel's Omnibus series, Fantastic Four Vol. 1 and Uncanny X-Men Vol. 1, and I have to say that while it is nicely designed as a book (I got the variant black-and-red version), it is a bit sloppily produced compared to the other two I have. The binding is quite tight, and no allowance was made for the reformatting, so a lot gets lost in the gutters of the book. It doesn't lie flat when reading it, so a good deal of force is needed, and I refuse to ply it back far enough to crack the spine, as that seems a bit stupid to do to a book this big and expensive.

Some of the features, like the reprint of a great Miller/Janson interview from the ancient Fantaco Chronicles special are shot from the printed book rather than re-done, so that seems a bit cheap and the pages a bit blurry, instead of the sharp blacks the outside design would lead you to expect inside.

I'm not sorry I got the book, just surprised that something that would have been so easy to get perfect was done a bit on the cheap. The lack of some stories, like the second Miller What If...?, wherein Elektra lived and Miller was delightfully inked by Terry Austin, makes me wonder if a second volume is planned. It could include:

That's gotta be around 18-20 issues worth of material, plus there's DD-themed covers Miller did for Amazing Heroes and The Comics Journal, and I'm sure other stuff I am not thinking of.

I wonder if Marvel got anyone's permission to reprint those Fantaco Chronicles pages whole? Did they ask folks like George Perez if it was okay to reprint his spot illo that illustrates the piece? I wonder if Roger would know? He used to work at Fantaco...

Update: Roger says the issue is complicated, and has promised to write about it on his blog soon. Looking forward to that, thanks, Roger!

Anyway, again, the book is not perfect, but I am glad to have it. I'd give it a B- or maybe even a C+ if I thought much more about the quality of some of the reproduction. Quite a surprise given how sterling the FF and X-Men Omnibus volumes were.

Back to Bachelor Week...today is my last full day, the gang should be back tomorrow night sometime. This is the longest I have ever been separated from my kids, and I miss the hell out of them.

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

April Showers -- And now it's April. Sorry once again for the lack of posting, which recently prompted a prominent (and even reputable!) comics journalist to drop me a line asking what the hell is going on. The short answer is, for me, online, not much. The long answer is mostly boring and involves work and family and blah blah blah, and hey, look, you're bored already.

So just to make it worth your while having stopped by, I thought I'd note that yes, it is still my desire to resume this blog full-time. I just need to find the time and wherewithal to make that happen.

I made that most painful of comics decisions this week, switching comics shops. Ever see that Seinfeld episode about switching barbers? It feels a lot like that, like leaving your girlfriend or cheating on your wife. It's made even harder because I love the staff at my old shop, and their selection is probably the best between New York City and Canada. But financially, having now not worked in Albany for close to three years, I can no longer justify the expense for gas to get there, which has in recent months kept my comic-shop visits to once a month (if that)...

On the bright side, the shop I'll now be getting my books at is close to home, so I will be able to better keep up on timely comics issues...you KNOW you were aching to hear my rant about Captain America's tragic demise, right?







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