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CSBG Archive

Random Thoughts! (July 7, 2009)

Another week, another collection of whatever. It’s random thoughts time! Get excited!

Random Thought! It is currently Wednesday July 1 and it feels weird to not be buying comics today. It’s Wednesday! I didn’t always buy comics every Wednesday, but got into the habit when I began doing the Splash Page column with Tim Callahan, but, even then, I’d often buy comics on Thursday since that suited my schedule at the time more. Eventually, I shifted to Wednesday, in a big way because of my CBR reviewing gig. No comics until tomorrow though. Odd.

Random Thought! Was just on CBR’s message board, which I check from time to time, mainly to see if one of my reviews get mentioned in the book’s thread (only if I trash it, usually), and came across a thread about Black Summer where the writer praised artist Juan Jose Ryp and, then, wished that he could do Avengers or JLA or something like that. WHY??? What is with these people and their obsession that writers and artist service the corporate trademark characters instead of just doing new stuff? It constantly amazes me that this is how people think and I’ve been reading comics before I could actually read. If, using Ryp as the example here, he wants to go draw one of those books, good on him, but do we need to clamour for it? Can we not just appreciate his art on those Avatar books? Why must there be the not-so-subtle implication that the work he’s currently doing with Warren Ellis is good and all, but not really worth appreciating, because it’s not for Marvel or DC? I don’t mean to single that poster out since his statement isn’t new and it just happens to be the one that I saw today, but, come on, people! What even worse is that these people would actually be happier to see a guy like Ryp on an Avengers title written by oh let’s say Tony Daniel since everyone seemed to dislike his writing on Battle for the Cowl than something original written by Warren Ellis. I hate comics sometimes.

Random Thought! As of today (still July 1), CBR has a poll up on their Cup O’ Joe page that asks “Which of These X-Men Deserve Their Own Ongoing Series?” The options: Iceman, Warpath, Hellion, Cannonball, Marvel Girl (Rachel Summers), and Chamber. I want a ‘none of the above’ option, if only because, well, none of these characters deserve their own ongoing series because no character really does. But, beyond that, none of these characters could support an ongoing series. They could support a limited series that began as an ongoing series until the sales came in and, surprise surprise, the results are not good. When well-known X-characters can’t support ongoing series, what chance do any of the D-list ones have? And, yes, despite being a founding member of the X-Men, Iceman is a D-list character.

Random Thought! I was very amused/dismayed at the reaction to the idea that Marvel raised the prices on some books to $3.99 (US) in order to make a larger profit. Marvel is a business — what do you expect them to do? If they aren’t trying to make more money every day, then they would be a rather ass-backwards business, don’t you think?

Random Thought! Oh, and comics are luxury items, not necessities. If you don’t want to pay $3.99 (US) for a comic then don’t. And that’s not me suggesting you download books you don’t buy or anything illegal, that’s me saying that if you’re not willing to pay for it, don’t buy the comic and learn to *GASP!* not read that comic each month.

Random Thought! Also, Americans, remember that pretty much everyone else in the world has been paying more for their comics for many, many years, (The Monarchy #5 from September 2001, for example, cost $2.50 US/$4.25 Canadian) and we feel little sympathy for your bitching over this price increase that we feel more. For every dollar the American price goes up, I pay, what, somewhere between $1.10 and $1.20 more. And, as a Canadian, I’m lucky to have one of the more favourable exchange rates — and you don’t hear me bitching about the price increases (and, no, me pointing out the difference is not bitching, it’s stating a fact).

Random Thought! I didn’t buy Cry for Justice #1 and feel like I’m missing out even though I’d certainly hate it and rue wasting my money on it. I mentioned this on Twitter and David Uzumeri responded, “It’s like finding out you missed a crazy party, except it was crazy because the host publicly nailed his dick to a baby’s balls.” Except what he doesn’t know is that I tend to hate all parties. Every single one of them. And, yet, if a friend is having one, I’ll go, because I’m afraid I’ll miss something. I never have a good time, I always consider it a waste of my time, but if I don’t go, I can’t but feel that I’ve missed out on something that I should have experienced. That’s Cry for Justice #1.

Random Thought! People in the range of Detroit/Windsor may know about Jack Van Impe, but he is my favourite TV preacher, because it doesn’t matter what’s going on in the world, it means the Second Coming is going to happen next week. A poli-sci professor in undergrad showed us some footage from his show back when the Berlin Wall came down and how that was a sign that Jesus was a’comin’ and the guy is just a joy to watch. Particularly when he prays to Jesus and you get the impression that the guy loves Jesus in a way that you wish you could love someone. Plus, his wife’s name is Rexella. How has that name not shown up in a comic yet? But, yeah, Jack Van Impe: quite entertaining.

Random Thought! I’m not doing those “Judging Books by Their Covers” posts anymore. It’s a hassle, man. Both Marvel and DC put out 70-90 comics each month and maybe 15 of those comics have covers worth discussing. I didn’t enjoy doing the posts and can’t muster up the energy to do so. Sorry. (Besides, Brian’s top ten list posts are MUCH better.)

Random Thought! I want to verbally assault anyone who didn’t buy the $1 Greek Street #1 last week (especially if you’re the type to bitch about the price of comics), but it wasn’t that great. Still, worth checking out in case you wind up digging it. I think the promotion is a good one.

Random Thought! If you combined Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia #1 and Uncanny X-Men #513 into one comic, you’d have a very good beginning to a story. Apart, they both drag. I was reading Uncanny and thought, “Damn, this is how Utopia should have ended!”

Random Thought! Top Cow preparing three different covers for an issue so as to not spoil a big plot point is a good idea, but am I the only one very disturbed that they have three female characters with the exact same bodies? I know, I know, old joke about women in comics, but seriously… shouldn’t there be at least some difference between these three women? Or is this Top Cow’s subtle admission that all women in their books are actually clones with slightly altered faces?

Random Thought! As Tucker Stone said this week: “when comics aren’t sold in the serial format, they’ll get reviewed as full stories. until then, grow the fuck up.” I agree with him 100%.

Random Thought! While I admire all of those who only want to be positive and say nice things about comics, I’ve always come from the perspective that accentuating the positives is nice, but pointing out the horrible is how things get changed.

Random Thought! The DCU amazes me as it seems every couple of years, one of the books does a story where a hero has had enough of this waiting for supervillains to commit crimes shit and decides to be all proactive — only for the other heroes to stop them, deliver many speeches and eventually convince them that that’s the wrong way to go about being a hero. The best part? Never the same hero(es) doing it. It’s an odd, never-ending cycle of people who, two years ago, thought attacking people without direct provocation was evil now thinking that’s the only way to solve problems, while the hero they stopped from doing the same thing then is now trying to stop them.

Random Thought! Would it be better if Lex Luthor were more like Victor Newman or if Victor Newman were more like Lex Luthor?

Random Thought! Watch CBR later this week for something cool involving myself and Tim Callahan.

Random Thought! Wednesday Comics, people! YAY!

Random Thought! Rob Liefeld’s reaction to Peter David making Shattershot gay is interesting. The most common reaction is to attack Liefeld because his views can’t help but seem anti-gay, but that’s a simplistic reaction not really worth getting into. As the creator of the character, he obviously has a specific view of the character and if that view isn’t one where the character is gay, then that’s his view and there’s a lot of legitimacy in that view. But, he also hasn’t handled the character in years and it is a character owned by Marvel, so what right does he really have with regards to it? The best way to view this situation is to think of it as a change to a character that goes against its creator’s wishes, ignoring what the change is, because the change in question obviously stirs up many very personal reactions. Even thinking about that, I can’t help but view Liefeld’s comments as rather reactionary and, almost, laughable. It’s Marvel’s character and he’s smart enough to know that any sense of ownership he has is misplaced. He, along with others, started Image because he learned that lesson. I’m not sure why he would make these statements, mostly because of the possible interpretation that he’s being anti-gay, but also because he should know better.

Random Thought! It’s not a “devaluing of death” when the character doesn’t actually die and was always meant to return in the near future. Then it’s just a plot twist as part of a larger story.

Random Thought! After Tony Daniel’s writing on Battle for the Cowl made him a critical darling across the internet, how could DC not tap him to write Batman? Oh wait–!

Random Thought! That said, at this point, do people see Tony Daniel as a step up or a step down from Judd Winick?

Random Thought! It’s time for another story idea from my “Random Company Ideas Archive” file. This time, it’s the idea for a six-issue mini called “Justice Legion A: One Million Crises in Infinite Systems” and try to ignore that, when I conceived of this idea, my knowledge of DC history/continuity wasn’t that great. I know, this doesn’t line up with Crisis on Infinite Earths really, but… I don’t care. Enjoy.

It’s just another day in the 853rd century and then certain parallel realities begin to disappear from the Hypertime continuum. One by one, all of the Justice Legion A’s allies from across Hypertime are dropping away and that is when Superman Prime has vague memories of this happening before. A Hypertime reboot is occurring once again and the Justice Legion A has to fight against the Anti-Monitor, the being responsible for the convergences of realities. But how can they defeat a being that cannot be defeated? They can’t and then a reboot occurs and we are given the new Justice Legion Alpha, led by a rookie hero named Superman, an orphan from Earth who is powered by the sun. But what happens when Hourman does not fit into the new reality and the entire Hypertime begins to collapse? The only hope is that another reboot can occur, but the new Anti-Monitor hasn’t been born yet. Can a rookie Superman lead his Justice Legion Alpha to not only destroy the current Hypertime, but also ensure a new one is created in the process?

Random Thought! Another Pilot Season! Hasn’t only one of the four past winning books actually gotten a series? I still love the idea, wish the follow through was better.

Random Thought! And let’s end this week with my choosing my favourite comic from last week. That seems like a good way to end these posts, right? Well, my choice this week is Batman and Robin #2, surprising no one at all. I may as well also point you to a a post I did last week on GraphiContent where I did a top ten list for halfway through 2009 just to give an indication what the first half fo the year has been like as well as mention a few possible books that I could see cracking the top ten before the year is out and I do the final list. See you next week.

47 Comments

A few years ago, I asked Jacen Burrows if he ever thought about working for the big guys because he’d get paid more. He said he’d had a few offers, but every time he thought about it, Avatar would offer him a book written by Ennis, Ellis, or Moore, and why would he? He also said he would have to pay a lot of dues at DC/Marvel, meaning doing shit mini-series that no one reads or fill-in issues on crap books. I can’t imagine why, if he’s making decent coin working for Avatar, he would make the jump. The same thing applies to Ryp, I would imagine. And I agree with you – why on earth don’t these people just read Black Summer if they want to see Ryp’s art? Sheesh.

Tony Daniel is a step down from Judd Winick.

Also, as I’ve told you before, while it’s too bad that you couldn’t keep up with the Judging Books by Their Covers, it certainly does do my mind good to know that there’s another person out there who knows just how mind-numbing that column is to write. :)

What’s the context of that Tucker Stone quote? I’m intrigued now.

- What Burgas said.

- Don’t you want to read a Chamber ongoing? It could start with a six-part epic about how he’s sad that he tries to eat ice cream and it just melts when it falls into the giant fiery pit that is his torso. Or did they change that with the 198 bullcrap? Is that still going on? Whatever.

- Parties are more fun when you’re drunk. The same would not apply to Cry for Justice.

- I am tempted to take over Judging etc. Covers just to prove you all wrong. It would probably end in disaster, though…

- I so bought Greek Street. Uh, from DCBS. Uh, for a quarter. Yes! It will let me know if I want the trade.

- You and Callahn aren’t doing Two Comics Reviewers, One Cup, are you? *shudder*

- I dunno what’s “top ten worthy” so far this year. Umbrella Academy, sure. Batman & Robin will probably get up there. Atomic Robo, yeah. But a lot of stuff has left me cold. I have to rethink Seaguy.

Greg — Or you can see Ryp’s art in No Hero; issue six of which comes out tomorrow.

Brian — That I couldn’t make it past two months of doing it says something about your determination and will. I really like the more focused top ten version.

Adam K — I actually don’t know the context. Does it matter?

I am not ready to give it up for good yet! Stress yet! ;)

“Jack Van Impe” — Although I’ve never watched his show, I have been, for most of my life, rather close to Detroit. That’s how I first saw Doctor Who on a Canadian channel (31?) many years ago. There was also a Mr. Dress-Up (or Dress Up) show and a Friendly Giant show. And the late night commercials for Belvedere Construction by the owner of the company. He had raccoon-type circles around his eyes.
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“…Marvel and DC put out 70-90 comics each month…” Lat time I looked (about a year ago), DC put out 95 titles one month and Marvel put out 115 that month. I wouldn’t be surprised if Marvel put out that many in June this year, what with the final week having 40.
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“The exchange rate” — The exchange rate goes both ways. When an American goes to Canada, he suddenly has more money. YAY! But when he comes back home, he suddenly has less. BOO! And even then, both Americans and Canadians get ripped off on the exchange rate because a fee is charged/taken out when you make the exchange. GRR! And remember that there was a short time where the exchange rate favored Canadians, so much so that there were Canadians coming across the border just to buy clothes. I saw in the newspaper that shopping malls were occasionally having to clean up piles of clothing from where the Canadians came over, bought new clothes, and threw the old ones away. They didn’t have to pay import tax to Canada if they were wearing the clothes. So, there are times when it does favor the Canadians.

Then again, the comic book companies are really slow to react to any change in the exchange rate. There were recent times when the exchange rate was almost even, yet the comic books were still priced a $1 or more higher.

Whats wrong with wanting a cool artist you found to do artwork for some of your favorite characters? I don’t see the problem in that. Is this one of those “whoo indie cred” things?

I guess it doesn’t matter too much, but googling yielded no results, and I’m intrigued regardless.

But that might just be because I’m the guy that spends more time reading about comics than actually reading comics themselves.

Random Thought! I’m not doing those “Judging Books by Their Covers” posts anymore. It’s a hassle, man. Both Marvel and DC put out 70-90 comics each month and maybe 15 of those comics have covers worth discussing. I didn’t enjoy doing the posts and can’t muster up the energy to do so. Sorry. (Besides, Brian’s top ten list posts are MUCH better.)
A Top Ten/Bottom Five is probably the best way to go. Cut out all the middling, mediocre covers and focus on the best and the worst.

- Don’t you want to read a Chamber ongoing? It could start with a six-part epic about how he’s sad that he tries to eat ice cream and it just melts when it falls into the giant fiery pit that is his torso. Or did they change that with the 198 bullcrap? Is that still going on? Whatever.

Chamber is now Apocalypse, Jr. He’s got purple skin and weird lips and the whole bit.

Alan — I was just going by the number of covers each one had for their solicits when I was doing those judging posts. As well, the exchange rate did favour Canadians for a bit and has made publishers simply put one price on the cover, leaving it up to individual stores to charge the current rate. My store is pretty good about that, adjusting it each week depending on the new figures — which is only fair, of course.

“do people see Tony Daniel as a step up or a step down from Judd Winick?”

Thank you.

Eliot Johnson

July 7, 2009 at 4:03 pm

I’m more hyped about Wednesday Comics than I have been for anything from DC since All-Star Superman.

Right now, as a Canadian, I’m paying less for a comic that sells for $3.99 US than I did for a comic that sold for $2.99 US in the early-to-mid 00′s.

Is Shatterstar being gay a new thing? Jeez. I stopped reading the original X-Force over a decade ago, from what I’d read about it online I just assumed him and Rictor were an official couple all along.

Why must there be the not-so-subtle implication that the work he’s currently doing with Warren Ellis is good and all, but not really worth appreciating, because it’s not for Marvel or DC?

Because to a huge segment of comic fandom, comics *are* DC and Marvel. They see superhero comics in a baseball league system: Marvel & DC (the two major leagues), Image & Dark Horse (Triple-A), and everyone else (Double A & lower), if they even bother acknowledging non-DC/Marvel books at all. And no matter how good an Image or a Dark Horse superhero comic might be, it will NEVER be as good as a DC or Marvel book because it doesn’t feature a “big league” character. There are probably legions of Superman fans who would never read Alan Moore’s Supreme simply because it isn’t Superman even though it basically IS Superman. Whereas some comic fans are fans of creators, I’d say a majority of comic fans are fans of characters. This is why a crappy Wolverine mini-series by a terrible writer and/or artist usually has strong sales despite the fact that it’s terrible, and a well-written Morrison book with a creator-owned character won’t sell anywhere close.

That said, at this point, do people see Tony Daniel as a step up or a step down from Judd Winick?

I don’t see why they wouldn’t. Whereas Battle for the Cowl was unnecessary and a waste of paper, it wasn’t offensively bad because you could just ignore it. Yes, Winick’s latest issue was promising, but this is the guy who unnecessarily brought back Jason Todd with one of the most illogical resurrections ever, and has (overall) written some really bad comics involving Dick Grayson (Outsiders and Titans, anyone?) DC still hasn’t found anything interesting for Jason Todd to do, so that’s rather hard to ignore, and Winick’s Grayson has been terrible (with the exception of his latest Batman issue) for years. His latest superhero comics (Green Arrow/Black Canary and, again, Titans) have been among the worst he’s ever written, and that’s saying a lot.

“And no matter how good an Image or a Dark Horse superhero comic might be, it will NEVER be as good as a DC or Marvel book because it doesn’t feature a “big league” character.”

I should probably point out that this isn’t MY opinion, but the opinion of others. I love me some Alan Moore Supreme.

“Random Thought! Another Pilot Season! Hasn’t only one of the four past winning books actually gotten a series? I still love the idea, wish the follow through was better.”

I gave up on this when Jason Aaron’s RIPCLAW didn’t make it to series.

Although the Casey/Maguire’s VELOCITY was a close second. Sad, that although that won, what made it special was the amazing Maguire art.

k

Whenever a top notch creator takes on an established character it’s rarely as good as you want it to be. I like Jeff Smith’s Captain Marvel book all right but it’s not nearly as good as Bone. It’s fun to see Paul Pope draw Marvel and DC characters but I’d rather see one of his own weird opuses.

If there’s an exception I’d say Frank Quitely and Grant Morrison but even looking at something as good as “Batman and Robin” and “All Star Superman” I still rather see something along the lines of WE3 or Flex Mentallo.

Sooo…Shatterstar’s officially gay now? Good. I always felt bad that Fabian Nicieza seemed to be taking Shatterstar and Rictor in that direction, but got X-Force taken from him before he could do anything. So, nice that Peter David gets to follow up on that, considering he’s had Rictor as a supporting character for years now.

And boy, I’m pro-creators’ rights, until it comes from a guy whose version of “creating” a character is to draw a sketch, let the writer fill in the actual “charactery” bits, work on the character for less than a year, and then have opinions on how he’s being handled.

Actually, I’d like to hear what Nicieza thinks of the whole thing!

Sorry, I know nobody else really gave a crap, it’s just…I dunno. Kinda think it’s neat that Shatterstar’s in an X-book written by a capable writer.

” I don’t see why they wouldn’t. Whereas Battle for the Cowl was unnecessary and a waste of paper, it wasn’t offensively bad because you could just ignore it. Yes, Winick’s latest issue was promising, but this is the guy who unnecessarily brought back Jason Todd with one of the most illogical resurrections ever, and has (overall) written some really bad comics involving Dick Grayson (Outsiders and Titans, anyone?) DC still hasn’t found anything interesting for Jason Todd to do, so that’s rather hard to ignore, and Winick’s Grayson has been terrible (with the exception of his latest Batman issue) for years. His latest superhero comics (Green Arrow/Black Canary and, again, Titans) have been among the worst he’s ever written, and that’s saying a lot. ”

I’ll go on record as saying that ” Under the Hood ” is one of the few resurrection stories I’ve actually LIKED, not because it’s a logical way to bring back a dead character ( though hardly the only consequence of the Retcon Hundred Hand Slap ), but because it was done with a clear story purpose beyond status quo– Jason wasn’t brought back as a member of the Bat-Family, but as the kind of dangerous outlaw Bruce tried to prevent him from becoming in the first place. Given how Jason’s story wasn’t really resolved on account of him being blown up by reader survey, Jason’s return gives us a chance to see more of the character.

And Winick also has the early Exiles on his track record, as well as the excellent work he did with Kyle Rayner ( excluding that preachy homophobia story ), the Juniper Lee cartoon, and best of all, BARRY EFFING WEEN.

Yeah, Winick has written a lot of good stories over the years.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

July 7, 2009 at 5:46 pm

Why must there be the not-so-subtle implication that the work he’s currently doing with Warren Ellis is good and all, but not really worth appreciating, because it’s not for Marvel or DC?

Well, in the case of Black Summer, it’s not really good and all – nothing to do with Marvel And DC, except there there’s the off chance an editor will say ‘ummm, you’re missing a story’.

But yeah, I get the point – why do you want to see how he draws Namor, when you could see him drawing whatever is in his head at the time?
Ain’t no way you’re going to get to see him let lose like he did in that first Apparat book he did with Ellis if he’s at Marvel.

nd, as a Canadian, I’m lucky to have one of the more favourable exchange rates — and you don’t hear me bitching about the price increases (and, no, me pointing out the difference is not bitching, it’s stating a fact).

Those of us further away get a little more tacked on for shipping as well.

Except that awesome year where the US dollar tanked and the Aussie dollar rose… I was paying less than US cover price on some trades!

But, he also hasn’t handled the character in years and it is a character owned by Marvel, so what right does he really have with regards to it?

It’s also kind of amusing that he’s missed all the references to the two characters being gay made by every other writer after he left.
Shows what a surface level kind of guy he is – at least we know that’s how he reads his stories, not just how he writes them.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

July 7, 2009 at 5:49 pm

Whats wrong with wanting a cool artist you found to do artwork for some of your favorite characters? I don’t see the problem in that. Is this one of those “whoo indie cred” things?

No, it’s exactly what it is – why would someone want the guy to give up what he is doing, and doing well, to go draw other characters?

It’s actually an anti-indie thing – why is the yard stick for action/adventure artists working at Marvel or DC?
Why isn’t it just drawing awesome looking books?

It’d be like saying ‘Matt Fraction has really made it now that he’s on X-Men and Iron Man’ – ‘he really made it’ when he wrote Cassanova, which absolutely blew the shit out of either of those titles, and everything else from Marvel the year it came out.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

July 7, 2009 at 5:51 pm

And Winick also has the early Exiles on his track record, as well as the excellent work he did with Kyle Rayner ( excluding that preachy homophobia story ), the Juniper Lee cartoon, and best of all, BARRY EFFING WEEN.

And yet, his Green Arrow was so bad that I’ve been put off him for life.

I’ll go on record as saying that ” Under the Hood ” is one of the few resurrection stories I’ve actually LIKED, not because it’s a logical way to bring back a dead character ( though hardly the only consequence of the Retcon Hundred Hand Slap ), but because it was done with a clear story purpose beyond status quo– Jason wasn’t brought back as a member of the Bat-Family, but as the kind of dangerous outlaw Bruce tried to prevent him from becoming in the first place.

Okay, the intention is good, but has Jason Todd been used in any sort of way to justify his return? Bruce Jones used him as a terrible “foil” for Nightwing before he was removed from the book because the story was so bad. Then he appeared in the horrid Countdown and became Red Robin for about eight issues… then changed his mind. He’s been virtually disowned by most of the Bat-books – he hasn’t appeared in Batman since before the One Year Later jump (and he has NEVER actually appeared in Detective Comics since his “big return”). Finally, Todd appeared in Robin to have a fringe appearance in the RIP crossover, then became a (wooo… big surprise) a renegade Batman in Battle For The Cowl. While none of these involved Winick, it shows that many writers don’t know what to do with Jason Todd.

It’s not that story arc couldn’t have been told with any random Gotham renegade vigilante. Instead we got a wacky resurrection of a character that was much more interesting as a dead symbol than an alive character.

Yeah, Winick has written a lot of good stories over the years.

Yes, but recently? I think his best work, by far, is his non-DC, non-superhero stuff. I’ll give you his recent Batman issue, which was very good, but his handling of DC superheroes over the last few years (particularly Nightwing) has been really poor, and that’s who he is going to be writing for the next six months.

“And yet, his Green Arrow was so bad that I’ve been put off him for life.”

His GA/Black Canary quickly became “which character will suffer a fake death this issue”? Jeez, dood, find a different shtick. Don’t use the same one every month.

His GA/Black Canary quickly became “which character will suffer a fake death this issue”?

Not to mention turning Connor Hawke into a now strangely super-powered character so uninteresting that the current writer put him on the fastest bus to limbo, a perfect example of “outgoing writer setting up a maddening and difficult status quo and incoming writer has no idea how to even approach it.”

Granted, Winick never knew what to do with Connor Hawke from the moment he started to write Green Arrow, but everything from the wedding on was just unbearable.

Michael “McK” Xavier — I know how some fans view Marvel and DC. My question was more in the rhetorical/asking to point out how stupid it is vein.

FGJ — I have a fondness for Black Summer, particularly the final issue.

I love “Judging Books by Their Covers.” It’s so educational. I will miss it greatly if no one takes it over.

I know how some fans view Marvel and DC. My question was more in the rhetorical/asking to point out how stupid it is vein.

I figured it was rhetorical, but I never turn down the chance to make additional commentary about comic book fans who will read anything simply because Wolverine or Batman are on the cover and nothing else!

It’s definitely odd. While the content of comics/graphic novels are so much more diverse in the 21st century, many hardcore superhero fans refuse to look at anything that doesn’t feature a main character created by DC or Marvel before the Bicentennial. Which is even odd because even as late as the end of the 80s the core superhero fans were willing to try something in a different genre (western, horror) or at the very least was superheroes in a different style (Watchmen, Sandman). Granted the hardcore superhero fanbase is sadly the majority of comics buyers today, but most comics fans I knew back in the 1990s seemed far more interested in trying a superhero book by Image or Dark Horse or whoever than they do today, even though the quality of writing/art in today’s books is generally far better than the 90s. Perhaps this is related to price increases and less willingness to trying new titles? Lack of decades of continuity to obsess over? Who knows, but the extreme dismissal of non-DC/Marvel superhero books really surprises me because of the diversity of titles out there.

Like I said, Patrick, I haven’t given up on the concept yet!

FunkyGreenJerusalem

July 7, 2009 at 9:14 pm

FGJ — I have a fondness for Black Summer, particularly the final issue.

May I inquire as to why?

For me, it was just endless fighting, and not very exciting fighting at that.

AND, it committed the ultimate sin – possibly as a cliffhanger – where it showed the army about to burst into the room where they were, intercut with them talking/preparing, the army kicks the door down AND…. they were outside a different place.
For shame.

His GA/Black Canary quickly became “which character will suffer a fake death this issue”? Jeez, dood, find a different shtick. Don’t use the same one every month.

You were still reading it then?

I was out after the third story with trolls, and I only lasted that long because I’d re-read the Smith and Metzler issues and got all ‘I love Green Arrow’ and brought a bunch of trades.

FGJ — I did a post back when the final issue came out explaining why I dug it quite it a bit: http://graphicontent.blogspot.com/2008/10/book-of-week-6-black-summer-7.html

FunkyGreenJerusalem

July 7, 2009 at 10:36 pm

Had it been a one or two issue story, that moral/statement would have seemed a little more fresh, after six (or seven?) issues of nothing but hitting… well, I was so bored to tears at the waste of the concept that the writer acknowledging that… didn’t really make up for it.

To link it to last week it was Millar’s Authority all over again – except in that they talked about how they were going to do things different to everyone else, and then spent eleven issues being the same as everyone else – this one spent six issues being the same and then one saying why the same sucks.

I’d have just rather Ellis just shown us a better way to do superheroes, or, if he finds them that irredeemable, just not do them.

Not to mention turning Connor Hawke into a now strangely super-powered character so uninteresting that the current writer put him on the fastest bus to limbo, a perfect example of “outgoing writer setting up a maddening and difficult status quo and incoming writer has no idea how to even approach it.”

This paragraph gives Kreisberg too much credit (especially since his run makes Winick’s look like Shakespeare). Kreisberg likely would have made Connor disappear independent of his status quo at the start of the run. Kriesberg also ran off Speedy, who had no confusing issue with her status quo whatsoever.

Yeah, my favorite posts on the blog were those Covers things. And, yes the bad ones have to be there, cause you have to make fun of something.

Fanboy Time: I was breaking a pretty long spread (starting a little before Hush) of Batman, when I decided not to support a second Winnick run at the title (I had bought the first in bulk online, explaining why I didn’t drop the first time around). Reading the mostly positive reviews of 687, I was beginning to regret it, but this news means I couldn’t be any more pleased with my decision. The only more dreadful prospect than monthly Bat-Winnick is monthly Bat-Daniel.

While this is probably super obvious, I think DC is taking a really smart tactic with these Bat books, putting the star creators on the new titles while shuffling the sort of journeyman workers onto the book people will feel committed to buy anyway since their run goes back to No Man’s Land or Knightfall or whatever. It’s similar to when they consolidated the Spider-Man books under the “Amazing” banner, exploiting that fact that fans still actively COLLECT that title. From a business perspective, why have a book like Tangled Web (which was a great series, don’t get me wrong) when you can bring on guest creators and lace the one shots between arcs of ASM, moving three times as many units in the process? Likewise, why have Morrison on Batman, which like 90% of the readership was going to buy regardless, when you can rope the fans on two titles? Superman, same thing. Why is Superman not in Superman? Sneaky, sneaky stuff.

Dudes. Serious offer from me?

I’LL take over Judging Books By Their Covers. I took Art History in high school, I’ve been reading comics since 2005. I’ve got the credentials!

Thanks for the offer, Chris, but if we do bring it back, it’ll be, for better or for worse, by me (or perhaps someone else here, but most likely me).

Forget Rexella, its amazing someone hasn’t used the name “Jack Van Impe” in comics before. The name sounds like a perfect one for a trickster villain.

The “proactive superhero” thing is interesting. I think the problem is that the concept that really can’t be properly explored in an in-continuity comic from the Big Two, because it creates an unsustainable status quo. It is kind of weird that writers keep going back to the well with their take on it, though, because: a) it is impossible to do right in a shared universe that has to keep pumping out stories; and b) while it was an idea that was cutting edge and cool around the time the Authority was first coming out, its a little played out by now even if it COULD be done properly within the constraints of the DCU.

” Okay, the intention is good, but has Jason Todd been used in any sort of way to justify his return? Bruce Jones used him as a terrible “foil” for Nightwing before he was removed from the book because the story was so bad. Then he appeared in the horrid Countdown and became Red Robin for about eight issues… then changed his mind. He’s been virtually disowned by most of the Bat-books – he hasn’t appeared in Batman since before the One Year Later jump (and he has NEVER actually appeared in Detective Comics since his “big return”). Finally, Todd appeared in Robin to have a fringe appearance in the RIP crossover, then became a (wooo… big surprise) a renegade Batman in Battle For The Cowl. While none of these involved Winick, it shows that many writers don’t know what to do with Jason Todd.

It’s not that story arc couldn’t have been told with any random Gotham renegade vigilante. Instead we got a wacky resurrection of a character that was much more interesting as a dead symbol than an alive character. ”

The Red Hood story couldn’t have been told with a random vigilante, because the whole point of the story was the conflict between Bruce and the recently returned, dangerously unhinged Jason. Try to forget about wether or not Jason Todd works as an ongoing character in other writers’ books, and just think about the value of Winick’s ” Under the Hood “, which picks up on the character after he was Put On A Bus and uses it as a story to really challenge Batman.

The worst case scenario is that it’s a bad story, though that’s something I would disagree with. But Winick made clear that the dynamic for Batman himself isn’t changed; Jason’s Robin suit is still on display in the Batcave, and is still there as a reminder of Bruce’s failure. That the failure is more about Bruce’s inability to keep Jason from going rogue instead of saving his live works within the same dynamic, perhaps better ( isn’t it a pet peeve of us CSBGers that characters are killed off for cannon fodder when there’s still stories in them, especially when there are plenty of fates more cruel and creative than death? )

Think of it as giving Jason a send-off better than ” exploded in reader survey ” could offer, and ignore what other writers did with him.

“Yes, but recently? I think his best work, by far, is his non-DC, non-superhero stuff. I’ll give you his recent Batman issue, which was very good, but his handling of DC superheroes over the last few years (particularly Nightwing) has been really poor, and that’s who he is going to be writing for the next six months. ”

I remembered that I did read the first few years of Outsiders via trade, and found it to be perfectly decent, if not particularly exciting ( since it was just another super-team without a particularly important reason for existing ). I didn’t read his Green Arrow, but I tend to think that if you go into a Titans series ( re: Teen Titans, except not Teens anymore ) expecting more than mediocrity, you’re bound for disappointment.

Winick may have some blemishes on his record, but he’s still got plenty of goodwill from me at least for his better works, and he’s far from the ” lost cause ” category that, say, Chris Claremont now inhabits.

it was an idea that was cutting edge and cool around the time the Authority was first coming out, its a little played out by now

Except the JLA had done it years before with Extreme Justice, and before then Avengers with Force Works and before then X-Men during the Australia years, and before that Squadron Supreme and before that…and so on and so on…

As for Winnick, I’m willing to blame all Jason Todd/Greeen Arrow etc problems on Didio interfearance.

I loved judging books by their covers, but reading it I got the distinct impression that it was mind numbing pain in the ass and thought you were a little crazy(or getting mad coin) for trying it.

I disagree about ryp and wondering why not work somewhere else, the artwork on Black Summer was glorious, some of the best I can remember(I don’t care for artwork as an appeal to a book, I just notice whether it’s good or bad but rarely bother to remember how good or bad, with exceptions being on the extremes) I wouldn’t bag on him for not choosing to work more mainstream, but yes I would love to see him doing an Avengers book(it would be weird seeing an Avengers book with good art) or a Justice League or Society book(at least DC is smart enough to put good artist on those books) If he draws for other books with as good of a story like Black Summer then I would still be happy, but if somehow he ends up drawing a crappy undead book or something that is just not appealing to me, then of course I would feel that it is a waste of his talent (even if he is happy and making money) because I wouldn’t get the chance to enjoy it.

Iceman is at worse a C-list character because of Spidey and his amazing friends. Mind you in my opinion nearly all the x-men nowadays are C list characters outside of wolvie, cyclops, storm and (barf) emma.

I don’t get the love for Batman and Robin, it’s a good book but not anything special.

Speaking of Winick, it’s announced he and Bagley are already leaving Batman and being replaced with Tony Daniel. So this makes the second time he was pulled off a Batman book in favor of Daniel. Hm.

Found some more of his work here, along with an interview:

http://dan-panosian-interview.blogspot.com/

you seem to be BLIND. some spiritual glasses would help. The second coming is at the door. Knock

I frankly don’t care who sleeps with whom, it’s none of my business unless it’s close family.

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