Notable Links for 04/09
This is getting ridiculous. I seriously need an editor here. It might have just a little something to do with the fact that I usually post these damn things as the sun is coming up, but ultimately that's no excuse.
I remember thinking to myself yesterday evening: "Self, you know, it's really confusing that we have two Daves here in the Comics Blogosphere, one of these days you're going to screw up and get them confused." Boy, was that little voice in the back of my head prophetic. Because - heh - what did I do? I linked to Dave at Intermittent when I said I was linking to David Fiore at Motime Like The Present. That's about the worst thing I can imagine doing, only slightly less bad than linking to Marvel like this.
So, mea culpa. I'm just sort of not watching when the gnomes come in and tinker with these things... yeah, that's it, blame the gnomes.
In other news, I also misspelled the country of Colombia. Yes, Dave (Intermittent Dave, not Motime Dave) wrote in to point out that Columbia is a university in New York, and not the setting of Gabriel Garcia- Marquez's masterful "100 Years of Solitude." Admittedly, I don't think this is probably that uncommon a mistake. My spell checker accepts both so it wasn't likely to call me on it. But again, I'm stupid.
Now that I'm done flagellating myself, it's time to get to the Reader Mail portion of the program. And let's see who's poking out of the ol' mailbag today - why, it's Dave at Intermittent!
Thanks for the link; (No Problem!) and you're right, I wasn't really trying to poke holes in your larger argument regarding the industry, only the smaller argument relating to whether good art can look at the world through a fantastic lens. I hope I was clear on that...I mean, I love Gravity's Rainbow, and can't trying to force Pynchon into retelling of World War II, but I wouldn't want all books on the war to ape Pynchon. So, in any event, assuming I'm not missing some snark, thanks for the fair handed treatment of what was intended on my part to be some fair handed criticism. (Nope, no snark intended. It'd be a pretty poor world - or at least a pretty poor art world - if we couldn't use fantastic elements in fiction however we wanted. But, again, it'd be a pretty poor world if every book about America's dependency on foreign energy with environmental themes had to also include giant spice worms.)
I keep meaning to eventually put up a post just summing up everything I think on this whole stupid superhero debate. Superhero's as genre: Fine. Superhero's for Adults: Fine. Not like superhero's: Fine, if that's your bag. Direct Market: Fucked. It gets so tiring having to elucidate all these points every time we round this particular corner...the whole "if you think that good superhero books are possible you must support the whole direct market" (or vice versa) thing is just so played out now.(Agreed, couldn't have put it better myself.)
Lastly (and sorry to take up this much of your time) (What, you think I have something I need to be doing? Heh, if I had something to do I wouldn't be doing this... [That was a joke, by the way.]): in your post re: the whole Millar/Cooke nonsense, you link to me when you mean to link to Dave Fiore. (Yeah, covered that.) Also, and I am the absolute last person in the whole wide world who should be point out spelling errors, but Columbia is a university in New York, Colombia is a country in Central America. (I think we covered this point too...)
And thank you for taking the time to write. Wouldn't it be nice if all disagreements could be settled this amicably?
(By the way, is he Dave at Intermittent or is he Dave Intermittently? Is he Occasionally Doug? But I digress...)
And to Dave: you're very welcome for the "Damage Control" cover. Mile High Comics are the real heroes, though, for without them most of us would be unable to find fun comic book covers to throw into our blogs and message board posts for no real reason. Such as this:
Betcha forgot that Mignola did a cover for "Kickers, Inc," didn't you?
But seriously, I'd love to see Damage Control back pretty much in whatever shape I could. For some odd reason I just love the hell out of that series - all three of them - and I think they still stand up pretty damn well. I have a hard time thinking how you could really mess up the concept, seeing as how McDuffie was pretty fast and loose with it himself - I mean, one issue you have Dr. Doom defaulting on an overdue contractor's bill, the next you have She-Hulk telling Speedball that "drugs aren't the answer" - classic, classic stuff. (OK, they weren't subsequently published - the Doom issue was Vol. 1 #2, and She-Hulk was Vol. 2 #3, but you get the drift). The characters even used to show up now and again in the MU, but the last I recall is a brief cameo in Carlos Pacheco's "Fantastic Four." If they've shown up since then I missed it.
Finally, Mr. Larry Young over at his kinda-sorta blog said some nice things about my recent reviews of Ait/Planet Lar books, in particular yesterday's glowing look at the underrated "Codeflesh." But I'd like to clear up something I could perhaps have explained better: I think I understand why Codeflesh's mask is a UPC code - the satire intended, the dig at bland corporate super-characters. As I said, it's a brilliant visual, but I just don't see how it specifically fits with this particular character. Perhaps if the series had took off that is a story that would have been written, but as it is, it's something of an anomalous element. If I were to walk into the world of "Codeflesh" and ask Cameron why he wears that mask, I doubt he would say "because the guy who writes me thought it would be a clever dig at all generic superheroes that flood the stands." He would have a reason and hopefully it would be an interesting and compelling reason. I think this is one of those situations where unless the satirical element is addressed to some degree in the context of the story itself, it falls flat - like a joke without a punchline. But, again, this is an extremely minor quibble. I don't want anything to think that I didn't just love this book to hell - one or two qualms aside.
And on a related note, everyone who still thinks that Larry hates us Bloggers, here's a post over at Millarworld where he goes out of his way to say nice things about a good number of us. To paraphrase someone much more famous than me:
"He likes us, he really likes us!!!"
Aw, hell. I really wanted to get another chapter of "Travels With Larry" out tonight, but it's just too damn late. Hopefully I'll get some free time this weekend to spend on the series, so I can get a few in the can before Monday. Here's hoping - I really don't want to spend the rest of my life on this. But, you know, I'll probably get it finished before the next "Ultimates" volume comes out...
* This year's Eisner Award nominees have been announced, and Newsarama has the skinny here.
* "A TEENAGER and his father were jailed yesterday for an attack which left the son of Scotland’s top cartoonist with brain damage. Gordon Gibb, 19, was jailed for three years and nine months when he appeared for sentence at the High Court in Glasgow, for the assault on Sean McCormick, 20. Gibb’s father, also Gordon, 38, was jailed for six months for his part in the unprovoked attack in Finnie Street, Kilmarnock on 21 April, 2003. The victim’s father, the cartoonist Malky McCormick, who attended the court yesterday to see the sentence being passed, was furious at the length of terms handed out." Read more here, courtesy of News.Scotsman.com.
* "ABOUT 30 years ago, two redheaded 6-year-olds got into a frightful scrape in Surrey, England. One, Andrew Murphy, had come up with a potty-humor poem about the queen. The other, Matt Davies, had illustrated it. Despite the rumpus it caused ("I found myself on the receiving end of Britain's now-defunct corporal punishment system," Mr. Davies recalls), even his mother thought the picture quite good.
"Fast-forward to 2002, to a drawing board in White Plains, in the offices of The Journal News. There is Mr. Davies getting paid to . . . illustrate potty humor. About the queen, no less. His cartoon depicts graffiti in a Buckingham Palace bathroom stall, regarding who did what to whom among the Windsor entourage. The drawing was titled 'The Royal Throne, 2002.'
"His mother, he reports, still likes the cartoons. Even the cheeky ones. And so did the judges on the 2004 Pulitzer Prize committee, who gave Mr. Davies, 37, the highest honor in American journalism. This week, they awarded him the Pulitzer for editorial cartooning, the first for him and for The Journal News, a Gannett newspaper in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam Counties. The prize was for a group of 20 political cartoons." Read more here, courtesy of the New York Times. Meanwhile, the Stamford Advocate takes another look at Davies' win here.
* "Sayonara, Bugs. See you later, Mickey. Animè , the Japanese cartoon art form, and its offbeat series featuring everything from demon fighters to gangs of talking hamsters, are moving in. Once marooned on the fringes of the U.S. television scene, animè is now on the cutting edge of cartooning. Enthusiasts say the art form's popularity has been driven by the Cartoon Network's programming, video games and the Internet, where thousands of Web sites are dedicated to animè , animè series, the games and the characters from each." Read more here, courtesy of the Baton Rouge, LA Advocate.
* "David Youngblood began the Typewriter anthology five years ago. Top Shelf has been supporting Youngblood's endeavors all along, purchasing copies and distributing them at conventions. Staros offered Youngblood the chance to have the anthology published at Top Shelf and the team up appears to be working. 24 cartoonists contributed to the newest issue of Typewriter, Sammy Harkham, Josh Simmons, Chris Wright, David Youngblood,
Richard Hahn, Lily Lau, Dylan Williams, Marc Bell, Nick Bertozzi, Stefan Gruber, Jonathan Russell, Scott Mills, Aaron Renier, Paul Hornshemeire, Nicolas Robel, Neil Fitzpatrick, Kurt Wolfgang, Lance Simmons, Farel Dalrymple, Jim Rugg, Nylso, Andrice Arp, Souther Salazar, and Michael Bonfiglio." Read more here, courtesy of The Pulse.
* The BBC News takes a look at how the print media has reacted to recent events in Iraq and the general "War on Terror," including the reaction of editorial cartoonists, here.
* Courtesy of Fanboy Rampage, we have the ve-e-e-ry interesting - but as of yet totally unsanctioned - whispers that Epic might not be so dead after all. This might go a long way to explain these recurring "Powers" and "Kabuki" rumors, which, while rampant, have yet to be officially denied by any of the principles. Millarworld is a wealth of information if you have time to sift through it.
* "On Tuesday, April 6 at 5:30 pm, McConomy Auditorium became a site of anger, frustration, and disappointment as the staff of The Tartan struggled to justify the publication of this year’s Natrat. The forum was intended for members of the campus community to pose questions to the writers and editors who contributed to the April Fools’ issue of the newspaper. However, questions were juggled and accountability circumvented. Though many voices were heard, one question remains unanswered: what is the future of The Tartan?
"At the onset, Dan Gilman, Student Body President, and Gilbert Dussek, Vice President, requested that everyone be respectful of the community. Seated behind a table on McConomy's stage were Jim Puls, Managing Editor, Bob Rost, the author of the questionable comic strip, and Alexander Meseguer, Editor-in-Chief.
"Meseguer began by stating that prior to the forum, the editorial board of The Tartan asked him to take a leave of absence, which he was prepared to honor immediately." Read more here, courtesy of the Carnegie Pulse.
* The Jewish Journal takes a look at The Escapist, Michael Chabon's meta-fictional Golden Age comic character, through the prism of Jewish history here.
* Chris Allen has a new edition of Breakdowns up over at Movie Poop Shoot. This week he ... oh, hell, let's just say he reviews a big-ass pile of comics, including extended looks at Marvel's "Essential Punisher" and Alan Moore's work in the Liefeld-verse.
* Also at the Shoot this week, Professor Scott Tipton schools you on the history of Marvel's Captain Marvel here.
* "I was a big fan of 'Garfield' when it was still a new comic strip, back when he barely resembled the character of today. But over time I drifted away from the comic because it had lost its edge. When new it was a fun read because Davis had a way of turning typical cat traits into a distinct personality that made it all seem deliberate and somewhat condescending to people. I suppose if you read the strip now without having read it before, you can still find that to be somewhat of the case. But, for the long time reader, it seemed as if Davis had gone on autopilot, the strip was just the same jokes recycled incessantly." Read more here, courtesy of Filmjerk.
* Courtesy of Poopsheet: News, we have this gem of an interview with "Angry Youth Comics" creator Johnny Ryan - available both in english and en espanol! (Link via Dolby Surrender)
* Also courtesy of Poopsheet: News, we have word of a couple gems from The Stranger: an autobio story illustrated by Alison Bechdel and a food article with spot illos by Rick Altergott.
* And lets go for three: once again thanks to Poopsheet: News, Guy Leshinski reviews a pile of recent 'zines here for The Eye.
* "New comic companies come along all the time. Take a glance in the second half of Previews catalogue you'll find several new companies each month that tend to blend into one huge, somewhat undistinguishable blur. It seems to make a dent into the world of comics, you need to provide something unique. That's where Variance Press hopes to come in. A new comic company, Variance Press's first book is an anthology, aptly titled Variance Press Anthology #1." Read more here, courtesy of Newsarama.
* Jeff Smith talks to the Pulse about the end of "Bone" and his upcoming work on DC's "Captain Marvel" (which will undoubtedly be officially titled "Shazam!") here.
* Dave over at Motime explains how Grant Morrison snuck the unauthorized origin of the Care Bears into his run on "Doom Patrol." Makes me want to go find that old Care Bears 12" we have sitting around here somewhere in The Wife's stacks of vinyl...
* Marc Singer over at I Am Not The Beastmaster writes a particularly cogent and well-thought-out defense of the superhero here, on the thesis that superhero stories don't necessarily have to be metaphorical.
* Hey you. Yeah, you I think you probably want to buy this.
* There's always a lot of noise coming out from the mainstream hype machine - useless press releases and idiotic Q&A interviews. You don't need to read it, I don't need to read it. But every now and again and interview coems along that really is pretty interesting. Silver Bullet Comics talks to Chuck Austen here. I wish everyone put as much thought into their work as he obviously does. Now, you may or may not like what he does, but at least he's honest about why he does it.
* Flat Earth continues its tribute to all things Bob Haney here.
* "Ohio-born humorist, writer and cartoonist James Thurber is one of America's most beloved and eccentric characters. Comparisons to predecessor Mark Twain are fully justified. Both filtered the mundane details of their worlds through a decidedly skewed, and sometimes dark, comic perception. Both delivered keen-eyed, wry and laugh-out-loud-funny tales that are truly timeless in their ability to illuminate the human condition. And both weren't above poking fun at their own foibles and crotchets. The author pops up in an eye patch (he suffered partial blindness as the result of a childhood injury) in a couple of the sketches in the delightfully droll revue 'A Thurber Carnival,' the Tony Award-winning dramatic adaptation of Thurber's twisted whimsy. The original 1960 Broadway production was directed by Burgess Meredith and featured Peggy Cass, Alice Ghostley and Tom Ewell. Thurber appeared as himself for 88 performances." Read more here, courtesy of the Tallahassee Democrat. Whenever I think abotu James Thurber these days, I can't help but thinking of Ivan Brunetti, one of the great unsung cartoonists of our time. He's done a series of strips about Thurber, apparently in preparation for a book the man, and some of them can be found here, here, and here, courtesy of Highwater Books.
* The Pulse takes a look at the recent ... odd ... phenomenon of digging up dead people like Nathanial Hawthorne to write "The Flash" here. (It's satire, kids, they didn't really dig Hawthorne up. He's all moldy and stuff by now.)
* Courtesy of Eat More People: I would totally buy this.