Sunday Brunch: 8/30/09
I asked for things more worthy of linkage, and the comics internet responded! Truly, I am King of the Intertubes.
Also, I like this QUESTION OF THE WEEK business, so I’ll try to keep this up. This week’s: Which comic character do you find completely uninteresting, no matter who writes or draws him/her? And (a two-parter!) what would make you change your mind about them?
BATTLE ROYALE: Gail Simone versus Rich Johnston, for all the marbles! Sorta. Gail wonders if gossip journalism is necessary in comics. The answer? No, but it’s nice to have someone who occasionally forgets to pull his punches, and who enjoys stoking the flames of fandom. And hey, he uncovers Josh Hoopes’ scams and company’s lack of payments, so that’s nice. We need it more than we need Twitter, I imagine. U-Decide!
Anyway, Rich naturally picked the story up at his site, Bleeding Cool, and it soon spilled over to The Beat, and lots of people got angry and decided to post about it on the internet. Controversy breeds comments.
I don’t think anyone’s particularly wrong here, but I also never understood the persecution of Rich Johnston.
ITEM! Two lovely articles at the Mindless Ones recently. The first is amypoodle’s excellent essay on Ghost World and the spectre of nostalgia:
The past will seduce and then reject us. Ghost world is all about this tension. It recognizes the sweetness of memory – or the idea of memory – in spite of its ready willingness to undermine it. And that’s why it’s a truly romantic work, because nostalgia is always bittersweet.
And the second is a cool Heroic Hype piece on the Batcave by none other than the mighty Zom:
What’s particularly enjoyable is that throughout the years the Batcave has frequently denied rock solid continuity and consequently has a kind of in built narrative potential. Despite the dinosaur and the computer and the lab and the cars, no two Batcaves look the same, and creators are, within reason, always free to add or subtract details as they see fit. … There’s a sense in which their efforts work to deconstruct themselves – new chambers gape open, old ones buried as it’s shape and and form twist to the whims of a capricious earth.
ITEM! David Brothers of 4thletter! takes DC to task over their mishandling of Static and the Milestone characters, as perceived by creator Dwayne McDuffie and his refreshing honesty.
So, what happened here? DC picks up one of the more marketable cartoons in recent memory, and a fondly-remembered and ahead of its time universe, and fumbles the ball. The universe is shuffled off to a brief series of one-shots in Brave & the Bold, Static ends up in a comic no one likes (if you like Teen Titans, you like a bad comic, this is gospel truth), and the guy who is the face of the deal ends up shuffled off a book he was writing with handcuffs, out of the DCU, and off into cartoonland.
ITEM! That dastardly Justin Zyduck (any relation to Psyduck, the Pokemon?) does it again with a post on Superman, explaining why good Superman stories are good, and how to write the character effectively. Of course, I’ve been saying this for years, because I am a genius. But don’t take my word for it:
[Superman]’s the ultimate survivor – he escaped what killed the last planet he lived on, and ever since he’s been almost completely invulnerable. For him, failure doesn’t come with the sweet release of death. He’s going to have to live with it. He’s going to have to see that plane crash, that dead body, that burnt-out Earth. And that’s the sort of thing that would actually hurt Superman, not kryptonite lasers.You can’t pierce his skin because he was born on Krypton, but because he was raised on Earth you can break his heart.
ITEM! In a similarly character-investigating manner, Tim O’Neil looks at how The Thing is the most versatile character in the Marvel Universe. And he’s right. I think it’s because Ben Grimm is simply the most human superhero they’ve got, despite his rough exterior:
[The Thing's] main character trait is perspective. It’s what he does. He’s the kid from the Lower East Side who became jaded before he even knew how to walk – it makes as much sense for him to fight Galactus for the fate of the planet as to fight some drug pushers down on Yancy Street. He’s seen it all and even if he puts on a good show he never loses his capacity to be surprised for both good and ill.
ITEM! Garth Ennis writes a loving, geeky remembrance of the glory days of 2000AD at Bleeding Cool:
It cost 7p Earth money, it was printed on recycled bog roll, and it made Friday afternoons that little bit better: it was 2000AD, and in those first ten years- before they got desperate and started employing people like me- it was like lightning in a bottle.
ITEM! The Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer dudes are holding a fun contest to win original art and signed copies of the upcoming, sure-to-be-awesome graphic novel– all you have to do is tell the best lie. So Bill Clinton probably has a good shot at this.
ITEM! This week’s Terminus might be my new favorite.
EVER-LOVIN’ ITEM! Friday would have been Jack Kirby’s 92nd birthday, and the internet’s favorite stuffed bull, Bully, did a 24 posts in 24 hours tribute to the King. Check it out.
ITEM! Mike Sterling’s End of Civilization reveals that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle “party van” toy is being re-released. Awesome. I’ve still got this one somewhere in the basement, however; but if they put the Turtle Blimp back on the shelves, I will be sorely tempted to own the toy I desperately wanted when I was five.
SPOON! Benito Cereno will be writing a new Tick series. This is what we in the business call “awesome news.”
GOOD EVENING, YOU ELECTRICAL SEX OCELOTS OF THE INTERNET: And more phrases, now available automatically at Talk Like Warren Ellis.
ITEM! Lane Brown and Frank Stockton produced this really neat comic for New York Magazine about Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig’s new Broadway team-up. It is neat. And really:
HEY, IT’S NEW TO ME: Okay, so the pictures are from last year, but, c’mon. A “RoboCop on a unicorn” meme? Was this taken from my dreams?
RoboCop is a many splendored thing.
NOT COMICS DEPT: Patton Oswalt interviews are usually brilliant, and this week’s AV Club one is no exception. My favorite quote:
I think everyone in the future is going to be allowed to be obscure for 15 minutes. You’ll have 15 minutes where no one is watching you, and then you’ll be shoved back onto your reality show. I think Andy Warhol got it wrong.
And lo, another week bites the dust.