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Sunday Brunch: 4/22/12

What’s this? Could it be? Is this the return of Bill linking to cool stuff he found on the comics internet in an attempt to pass procrastination off as content? Why, maybe.

Below the fold: Art, writing, cool stuff, brief musings, and other things other people have created on the comics internet recently.

Image blatantly ripped from the article linked below

ITEM! The real reason I wanted to do this post was to link to Steven Brower’s article on Kirby’s use of collage throughout his comics career, so here is that link. (Brower is out of Scranton PA, so in country bumpkin terms he’s around the corner from me, or about an hour on the highway. All the best comics people on the internet are from Pennsylvania. It is a fact. Suck it, Brooklyn). Writes Brower (which image is he referring to? Click the link above!):

A disembodied eye floats below a half obscured castle, four headless women walk single file in Victorian era gowns, ghostly figures peer out from three windows, and a drawn nude male figure, back to the viewer, merges with a large rock formation. [...] What is interesting is the variation in tonality that creates the illusion of foreground and background. Considering the source is all found material, one gets a glimpse into how carefully constructed these collages are. Although rhythmic, Kirby’s approach to collage appears to have been careful consideration as opposed to unfettered spontaneity.

The art selections within the article are retina-bendingly beautiful, and just in time for the release of the hardcover Spirit World volume from DC. But that’s Kirby, still blowing minds decades later. This work comes off as far more impressive since it was done in a world without Photoshop, much the same way older movies somehow seem more real and magical because they pre-date CGI. We see a wonder on the page or screen now and say, “Oh, this was done by a computer.” We see the page above and think “Oh, this was done by Kirby.”

(This is not to denigrate CG artists or those Photoshoppers out in our audience. I know that stuff is just as time-consuming and hand-cramping, but in many ways imagery created via computer has less inherent limitations the ways of olde. There are always pros and cons.)

Via Rolling Stone

ARCHNEMESIS DEPT: My mortal enemy, Shia LaBeouf, has apparently gone and created himself some “comics,” thereby throwing down the gauntlet into my home territory. It’s on, The Beef. Meanwhile, the internet has naturally become fascinated with the works themselves.

Matt Wilson at ComicsAlliance says:

It sort of reads like a children’s book, in that almost nearly ever page has but one illustration and a line or two of accompanying text. LaBeouf isn’t big on panels. Or backgrounds, for that matter. Each page gives only the most basic illusion of the setting, with characters surrounded by a ubiquitous pink haze that seems to indicate everything that happens, even the indoor scenes, is occurring at sunset.

But Sean T. Collins over at The Comics Journal thinks:

I picked up these comics, and browsed them online, because they were by Shia LaBeouf. But LaBeouf could have, I dunno, plotted a Transformers miniseries and some would have feted him for it. Instead he hand-crafted a bunch of weirdo comics that leave him wide open for mockery when he hits notes too hard or takes ideas too far or makes drawings too sloppy (and he does on all counts, from time to time, inevitably), because he had something to say and had to say it with this particular art form.

God help us all, even Rolling Stone interviews Mutt himself:

If you’re a celebrity with a comic, it already has a residue of shit on it because so many shit celebrity slash wrestler slash race-car driver slash who-gives-a-fuck books have already tainted the possible audience for it. This is not a get-rich-quick thing, it’s not a way to prolong my career – I would like the same fans that I respect in comics to like my books, and I know the only way to get there is to earn it, and the only way to earn it is to come up the same way everybody else does, as much as I can.

More praise, faint and otherwise, and a bit of damning, or more accurately, darning, in the links above. (And then, to put the full stop on it, comes Let’s Be Friends Again, and then to put an ellipsis and then an exclamation point comes Rob Cantor’s song about Shia LaBeouf trying to kill and eat you, which is, as the kids say, my new jam.)

ITEM! David Brothers washes his hands of corporate comics over creators’ rights. Chris Roberson does the same thing with DC, then DC slams the door on him on the way out. We all should probably have seen that coming. Over on the Wait What!? podcast, my favorite comics podcast [of the podcasts not hosted on Comics Should Be Good, under penalty of death --ed.], Jeff Lester and Graeme McMillan have spent quite a bit of time hemming, and to a lesser degree, hawing, over Jeff’s decision to give up on Marvel Comics, also due to ethical reasons.

PARAGRAPH BREAK! I can understand the viewpoints of all of the above, and I can commend them for coming to those decisions, even as I continue to buy DC and Marvel Comics. I just don’t have that kind of ethical fortitude, which is also why I still eat red meat. If creators I enjoy are working on a comic, I will buy it, and I will ignore that it was once a live cow who just wanted to chill out and eat some grass. If it happens to be a delicious, uh, salad, or tofu… sandwich… whatever vegans eat, I will buy that, too. Image has been on fire recently. I like good comics.

ITEM! Tom Hiddleston, the trickster god Loki himself, writes a charming article about the magic and power of the cinematic superhero.

ITEM! Warren Ellis totally has a new email newsletter. Remember email newsletters, you guys? They are back.

EARTH DAY STUFF! The Massive free, only today. Swamp Thing sale at Comixology. Joe Casey sale through the weekend at same.

SELECTIVE SELLECK DEPT: Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 is objectively better than Girls.

READING: King City by Brandon Graham; Legends of the Dark Knight: Jim Aparo by Bob Haney and Jim Aparo; VALIS by Philip K. Dick

WATCHING: The Aquabats! Super Show!; Community; Awake; Mad Men; Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

LISTENING (TO): Scandalous by Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears; Comedy Bang Bang with Scott Aukerman; The Nerdist Writer’s Panel with Ben Blacker; WTF with Marc Maron; The Thrilling Adventure Hour by Bens Blacker & Acker

PLAYING: Realm of the Mad God

DRINKING: Rogue Mocha Porter, Left Hand Milk Stout, Pepsi Next

WRITING: This post. And another one, actually, which this post was created during the procrastination thereof. (Don’t expect the Brunch to become a regular thing again.)

What out there has been firing your brazier, grinding your gears, sizzling your steak, patting down your excess grease? Leave word in the comments.

6 Comments

I genuinely appreciate that Shia LeBouf is doing these art comics, since it’s a good act of atonement for starring in a trilogy that almost single-handedly dumbed down America.

• Man, it’s been too long since the last Brunch.

• Wait, so Tyrese and LaBeouf are both making comics now? I guess the whole cast needs contingency plans since none of them are coming back for Transformers 4. Poor Josh Duhamel. He doesn’t even have a soap to return to.

• DC’s knee-jerk reaction to Roberson’s comments was fully expected. It’s a shame we won’t get to see his Fairest arc until the next regime change, though. I heard his Cinderella minis were pretty good. The ending of Starborn certainly was.

• I read the free Massive offering, collecting the three preludes that ran in Dark Horse Presents. I wasn’t expecting there to be a subtle supernatural bent to the series, with all three leads saved or spared by the ocean they now protect. I’m not quite sure what to make of that, but I remain intrigued. On the other hand, I was fully expecting to be wowed by the art, and I was not disappointed. Donaldson’s lines are so crisp and smooth, his storytelling so clear, his characters immediately identifiable (dig Callum’s sunglasses!). And, Stewart’s colors? Jesus, they’re immaculate. After reading the issue, I went back over the pages and stared at the art for a while. It’s a great looking book.

• ComiXology’s 4/20 Joe Casey sale is the cleverest goddamn thing I’ve seen in a long while. I took full advantage of those reduced prices and bought, like, twenty issues of Godland.

• In addition to those digital comics, I tore through a stack of singles this weekend. Prophet #24 felt like a step-down after the incredible conclusion to the first arc, but anything would have. Speaking of thrilling conclusions, Thunderbolts delivered a great time-travel paradox cliffhanger. I’ll probably switch to trades when the title changes to Dark Avengers, but it’s been a fun ride. Since Kev Walker will only be drawing half the issues of that series, I hope his dance card’s free for more issues of Venom; his art is so simpatico with Tony Moore’s that he makes an ideal fill-in artist. On that note, why hasn’t Phil Noto been rotating on Uncanny X-Force all along? He and Dean White were paired brilliantly on #24. Anyone know who’s gonna be coloring Ghost?

• The second episode of Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 was better than the first. Will episode three make it a trend?

• I didn’t realize, until yesterday, there was all this controversy swirling around Girls. After watching the first ep, I thought it was just another low-stakes half-hour slice-of-life drama that was wrongly billed as a comedy, like so many other half-hour shows on HBO. According to the internet, it’s actually a racist, nepotistic crapfest. Huh.

• When I saw Ben Acker and Ben Blacker credited as co-writers on an episode of Supernatural, I did not think they were real people.

Aw, I miss “Selective Selleck” and all the other intermittent CSBG characters (especially the We3 ones).

Bring back the brunch!!

Dammit, I go away from CSBG for the weekend and here you are for the first time in god knows how long. And you didn’t even mention Atomic Robo or Axe Cop! How the hell did that happen?

Come back to the CSBG team, Billy Reed, Billy Reed!!!!

I too am about an hour from Scranton, but the other way (that gets into the Southern Tier of NY). So I am presumably about 2 hours away from you. Be grateful my car sucks, or I would visit you.

I didn’t read the Kirby post, but I wonder how much Kirby might have been familiar with Max Ernst’s collages. Sounds like there’s at least some similarity.

I just finally started reading my comics again, after amassing stacks and stacks. Favorites so far, Resident Alien #0 and Reset #1. Dark Horse is on a tear. Of course, I haven’t read my EXTREME comics yet, so we’ll see what they do for me.

Come back, Bill!!!

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