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CSBG Archive

Sunday Brunch: 5/30/10

Not too much going on around the comics blogosphere this week, so let’s take a tour through some lovely webcomics!

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: DC’s been asking its creators to name their favorite DC covers. Let’s go one better. What’s your favorite comics cover, from anybody, anywhen? I think you all know what mine is.

DEATH OF COMICS DEPT: Brian Hibbs reads his personal “worst comic ever,” one so vile it made him say this:

This comic was gross. Everyone involved in its production, especially the editor, Brian Cunningham, and publishers Dan Didio and Jim Lee should be deeply ashamed of what they’ve done here. It actually has me sitting here, stunned, thinking “Wait, why am I in this business again?”

What is it? Click the link to find out!

ITEM! Also at the Savage Critics: New Abhay! Okay, I haven’t read it yet, it just went up as I was finishing this post, but hey, Abhay is always good reading. Here’s a random sample:

I didn’t really have a very interesting reaction to it, though, other than it really made me feel for Alan Moore.  He must think books like this are his “legacy”… They’re not but he probably feels that way– I think I would feel that way for him.  I stopped halfway through this book, and just thought, “that poor man.”  People get angry when Alan Moore complains about the state of comics– “But: has he ever heard of Hellen Jo?!?”  But put yourself in his place– how much would you like comics if you felt responsible for things like this?  The shame would be overwhelming.

That’s right, he’s discussing the same Awful Mystery Comic from the above article.

WEALTH AND FAME, HE’S IGNORED, AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IS HIS REWARD: Over at io9, Marc Bernardin declares the next person to play Spider-Man on film shouldn’t be yet another white guy:

In no way is Peter Parker defined by his whiteness in the same way that too many black characters are defined by their blackness. He’s defined by the people he cares for, by his career, by his identity as a New Yorker (incidentally, one of the most diverse cities in the world) — as too many good people died to prove, a man is defined by his choices, not by the color of his skin.

RANDOM THOUGHT! That gross of comics I bought last week? Still working my way through them. The All New Atom was a solid little series, though not spectacular, but Ryan Choi has infinitely more personality than Ray Palmer. The Incredible Hercules is a book I’ve been meaning to catch up on; now that I’ve read the Secret Invasion arc, this is a necessity. It’s everything I want out of adventure comics. I also nabbed a few more Loebs and Waid Flash issues. Man, Wally’s my Flash. I don’t know who this Barry guy is, but he can’t hold a candle to Wally West.

ITEM! Webcomics collective Spacedock 7 has just launched, bringing together such fine, gorgeous strips as Escape from Planet Nowhere and Cleopatra in Space, among others. Check ‘em out:

Planet NowhereCleopatra in space

OBLIGATORY CHRIS SIMS DEPT: This week, Sims have given us the varied thesis statements and professor’s remarks for a variety of superhero term papers. Here’s my favorite, from class dunderhead Hal Jordan:

superhero term paper

ITEM! So, DC is doing a series of one-shots based on their old war comics, and Darwyn Cooke is among the creators. Sometimes, they comics just for me– or do they? Trademark renewal or blogger fan service? U-Decide! (Is it too much to hope for some G.I. Robot action?)

Cooke's Weird War

Click for gihugism.

AXE COP MOMENT OF THE WEEK: Could it be anything less than the Baby Man dance?

Baby Dance

Axe Cop has the raddest band ever.

ITEM! Kate Beaton draws some pirates. What more dost thou need?

Beaton pirates

ITEM! Have I linked to Let’s Be Friends Again before? Because it’s a good strip, basically Penny Arcade by way of the comics industry. Here’s a classic from a couple weeks ago:

Let's Be Geoff Again

ITEM! It’s also high time I linked to the eerie brilliance of Dan White’s new Insomnia strip, found at the Mindless Ones blog:

Insomnia 6

Click the link for the full experience.

REMAKE/REMODEL: The Ellis challenge of the week is to create the cover of the next issue of New Worlds, the currently defunct but previously premiere science fiction magazine. Some great ones this week, courtesy of Fred Greiner, Raid71, and robb. Yeah, I dig minimalist astronauts,  okay?

New Worlds, FredNew Worlds, raidNew World, robb

DOCTOR WHO DEPT: “The Hungry Earth”/”Cold Blood” Written by Chris Chibnall

Wholurians

Right, then. So they brought back the Silurians for this two-parter, on the strength of the idea alone, if not the previous execution. However, one could argue that the execution wasn’t very strong on this particular tale, either, and owed a great deal to the original Pertwee story that introduced our reptilian neighbors downstairs, to such a degree that you could play a drinking game to it, throwing back a shot every time there was a riff on an old Third Doctor story. It’s basically a remake of the seven-parter from 1970, with most of the dead weight sheared away. And yet, it still drags, with a first part that takes a good long while to get going, and a second part that never really gains any momentum. This doesn’t feel like Doctor Who, it feels like Star Trek: The Next Generation, with folks sitting around tables and being all diplomatic at one another.

The Silurians– or Eocenes, or Homo Reptilia, if you go by what the writers want to call them, despite that not making a damn bit of sense (they hate apes/men/humans; reptil-sapiens would be more correct, and sounds a lot cooler)– have as much a right to the Earth as we do. They were here first, after all, but took a nap underground for thousands of years because they thought the moon was going to crash into them. Meanwhile, the apes evolved, into people. And people are dicks. This is the moral of the story, which clearly wants to set up an Israel/Palestine vibe to the proceedings. What we get, however, is a story that’s missing something. At times, the story very much resembles a serial from the classic era, with a hefty supporting cast, each member of which has his or her own agenda, as well as scenes of folks getting captured and imprisoned and a lot of walking in circles and talking at one another, etc.– but those are superficial resemblances. The plot never really achieves the density of those stories from bygone eras. It feels as if all the wrong scenes have been deleted, and all the iffy ones left in. A second pass at the script may have helped, or a few more takes in some places. The various bits of plot never congeal into something that entirely makes sense, the emotional throughline doesn’t really line all the way through (leading to a Really Big Scene that feels botched), and a bit of season plot-arc appears shoved in, rather than daintily placed. Basically, what I’m saying is, the second two-parter of the year is supposed to be the awesome one, and they definitely appear to have flip-flopped that this year by running the awesome one first.

Matt Smith is still great, though. I completely buy him as the Doctor. They’ve done an excellent job at casting the lead since the show revived in 2005.

Next week: There might not be a column. By which I mean, I’ll be a six hour drive away, in Cleveland, unless plans fall through, and might not have the time to prep a Brunch. We’ll see, I suppose.

30 Comments

Im sure I’ve seen better covers, but off hand I cant think of anything except the cover to Batman & Robin #10

See, I’ve actually enjoyed Rise of Arsenal a lot. This may be because I don’t particularly care about Roy Harper, and find the audacity in which they’re completely and utterly destroying him darkly humorous. If that’s the intent, it’s a brilliant comic. If not….well….I can see Hibbs’ point.

My favorite cover is EC’s Crime Suspenstories #22 by the brilliant Johnny Craig.

Unless the character has defining characteristics that require massive changes in appearance to work (eg., No white man can be as imposing and large as the Kingpin is supposed to be, or Wolverine’s classic costume lookign silly in live action.) they should endeavor to make the characters appear in as close appearance to the source material as possible. I would be just as annoyed with a blond Peter Parker as a black Peter Parker, because it’s a pointless change from the source material.

Fave cover ? Uncanny X-Men 141. New X-Men 113 is pretty good too.

Nitz got a point…it is like a carwreck…you know how bad it is..but you can’t look away…. but you know DC fans will say critics are hating on the book for no reason….

Of course after losing my loved daughter, the way I would cope with that is fighting with her assassin mother…then in lust try to #### her…failing because of “limp rod” syndrome…Guess Roy has no viagra or extenze in his “Arsenal”…THIS is what passes for competent writing at DC…lol

Anytime someone tells me Spidey can’t be of another ethnicity, I always point to the remake of the “Fan who loved Spider-Man” that Paul Jenkins did in Peter Parker Spider-Man…Honestly, under the mask it could be anyone so what you are saying is that it’s Peter who can’t be another race… I find that kinda funny from the comic medium who is supposed to be open-minded….

Sign me up for the Miguel Spidey 2099 movie now….

Speaking of great covers..I always loved the superhero team “busting” out of the old mold (Uncanny X-Men, New Warriors, Exiles) or the hero walking away from his discarded costume (Spider Man, Invincible) but the one that always stuck with me was the “action” cover of New Teen Titans #1…Totally felt like the team was leaping off the cover to get me and that picture on top of the eerie silhouette of Raven’s effect gave it a touch of horror too…..

I am gonna cheat, I have 5 Fav covers: Avengers #58, 93, 141 (first series), Fantastic Four #243 (First series) and Justice League #197 (First Series). I like lotsa colors and lotsa heroes. I know that seems shallow, but the idea of a cover is to catch your eyes, and that is what these did for me.

damn, there is a sixth,,,,, Avengers #181 (First series)….when I cheat, I cheat all the way!

Best cover ever? New Warriors #39. I had never read New Warriors until that issue, and it didn’t sound interesting at all to me. But when I saw that cover I had to get it, without even knowing what the series was really like, or who the writer was.

I didn’t understand that Let’s Be Friends Again strip until I looked again just now. Somehow I failed to notice the Brightest Day title, or the name of the writer. Maybe it’s because I’m not a DC person.

Shouldn’t that be ‘What more needest thou?’ My Early-Modern English isn’t perfect, but that sounds a bit more ‘right’. I know they tended to use ‘do’ in places we wouldn’t, and didn’t use it in places we do.

I’m not sure, I only speak Stan Lee Faux-Shakespearian.

A tad modern but still a very worth cover: Spider-man #1 from Todd McFarlane.

http://www.xowcomics.com/issue_stories.htm?issue_id=83568

It is simple and direct. At the time it made very clear the impact Todd’s work was having on many of the Marvel titles.

Cheers!

Steven G. Willis
XOWComics.com

I really suspect that Rise of Arsenal is meant to be ironic on some level, since the extremes it goes to are so audacious. I don’t think that writer J.T. Krul, unless he’s one of the worst writers in the history of comics, is trying to do a serious, mature drama. I think he’s using it as an excuse to degrade a fictional character as brutally as possible. It’s like an emotional snuff film.

I mean, not only did he have grief sex with his villainous babymama, but he couldn’t get it up during the act. That’s the very definition of ” insult to injury “.

So perhaps the “Rise” in the title will be about his erection, and not at all about his moral center or heroic status.

@ The Mutt: GREAT COVER! Thanx.

I don’t know what it is but I have always been a sucker for Marvel Premiere #55. As well as Sergant Rock #349, The Mask #4, The Untold Legend of Batman #2, and Peter Parker The Spectacular Spiderman #27.

Todd Lawrence

May 30, 2010 at 5:15 pm

Tales to Astonish #34. Fave cover of all time.

“So perhaps the “Rise” in the title will be about his erection, and not at all about his moral center or heroic status”

HA!

“Sometimes, they comics just for me– or do they?”

Bill Reed – using “comics” as a verb since 2010! I dig it, man!

Verbs? Greg, where we’re going, we don’t need verbs.

Travis Pelkie

May 30, 2010 at 11:25 pm

All I gotta say is Wally is my Flash, too. Especially Waid-era. Good good stuff.

Where you at that Cleveland’s 6 hours away? And what did you do wrong that you have to go there? ;)

The verbs thing reminds me of a Get Fuzzy. Bucky sez “you can food anything if you just eat it” There’s more to the strip, but that’s all I remember right now.

Mike Loughlin

May 31, 2010 at 3:57 am

Incredible Hulk 372 – a massive green Hulk bursting through a half-Banner, half- grey Hulk face. It’s the cover that got me to read the series that got me into comics.

Runner-up: There’s an Atom cover in which the Thinker (dressed in purple) uses the Ray Palmer Atom to bitch-slap the Al Pratt Atom. I’ve always found that hilarious.

” So perhaps the “Rise” in the title will be about his erection, and not at all about his moral center or heroic status. ”

Crowning Moment of Funny there, bud. :)

I’ve always loved everything about this cover: http://www.comics.org/issue/28777/cover/4/?style=default
It was one of the first comics I owned, it has word balloons, a dinosaur/dragon thing being ridden by someone who kind of looks like he’s a character on Thundarr the Barbarian and Aunt Petunia’s nephew making a baseball reference.

Wally West is my Flash, too. To paraphrase Bats by way of the great white re-animator himself, the best thing Barry Allen ever did was die.

Speaking of honkeys and cracker rights issues – didn’t Marvel themselves say that Peter Parker/Spider-man was about the character’s experience and motivations, not his culture or location? Wasn’t that the reasoning behind Spider-man J and the Indian version they released a few years back? I’ll buy three tickets right now for Zachary Williams as Pete.

LouReedRichards

May 31, 2010 at 9:30 pm

FF# 66 Is probably my favorite of all time – I love those funky colors on the 60’s Marvels.
Those reddish browns are outta sight!
http://www.comics.org/issue/21283/cover/4/?style=default

Though this is the cover that turned me into a comics junkie – hard to deny it’s charm.
http://www.comics.org/issue/76319/cover/4/?style=default

"O" the Humanatee!

June 1, 2010 at 8:55 pm

At one point in my high school/college years I put up on a bulletin board bagged copies of some of my favorite covers. The one that still stands out the most of those is issue #4 of DC’s first version of The Shadow:

http://www.comics.org/issue/27300/cover/4/?style=default

Mike Kaluta brilliantly draws and paints the hero, who looks for all the world like a villain, looming terrifyingly over a car careening out of control – something that pretty much occurs in the story, unlike so many of today’s narratively irrelevant covers.

It’s hard to resist naming some more favorites. Here are a few I also had on my bulletin board:

http://www.comics.org/issue/25628/cover/4/?style=default
http://www.comics.org/issue/27554/cover/4/?style=default
http://www.comics.org/issue/27067/cover/4/?style=default
(or it might have been the next issue: http://www.comics.org/issue/27224/cover/4/?style=default)

Kaluta was an excellent cover artist; here’s one that even before I really started collecting comics, I bought on the strength of the cover alone:

http://www.comics.org/issue/25126/cover/4/?style=default

What a daring and effective composition!

It’s hard to discuss great covers without including one by Carmine Infantino. Here’s one of his most amazing:

http://www.comics.org/issue/21247/cover/4/?style=default

And speaking of Batman covers incorporating the logo, what about Walt Simonson’s Batman #376:

http://www.comics.org/issue/38010/cover/4/?style=default

And one last Batman favorite. I don’t know if I saw it when it came out – if I did, I was awfully young – but I found it very moving, despite what we may now see as Silver Age silliness. The comic apparently made a deep impression on Grant Morrison too:

http://www.comics.org/issue/17693/cover/4/?style=default

I had to turn off episode one of this dreary story, it was trampling on my memories. Watching was like a water torture, gradually drip by drip I was loosing the will to live. Was it the idea that a family in Wales had pooled their savings to buy the world’s most sophisticated drill to mine for rare blue grass minerals or was it the way it briefly became dark to save too much night filming (where has that all gone?). pPuses were that this was a rare new series glimpse of specially designed sets/environments eg the decontamination tables, tunnels etc and the kid being stalked was really scarey). But although the silurian make up was in many ways excellent it failed to capture anything of the Pertwee original. Dino-Sapian would also have been a cooler name. The first story this season I have really disliked. A painting by numbers cast of characters and plot situations. The Dialogue was weak and seemed to consist of people endlessly explaining the plot mechanics.

My favourite comic book cover of all time is easily The Invisible #5, which was their special “de-hanced” cover printed in brown and orange ink on tatty-looking brown paper.

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