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Thoughts on the Ending to Last Night’s Walking Dead Fall Finale…

Two roads diverged in a wood, and Walking Dead took the one less traveled by. SPOILERS for last night’s episode, “Pretty Much Dead Already” as well as for issues #1-91 of the Walking Dead comic book ahead!!

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Thoughts on Ann Nocenti Taking Over Green Arrow

Wow, I don’t think ANYONE could have predicted THAT!

Ann Nocenti is returning to monthly comics for the first time since the mid 1990s to take over Green Arrow from the interim writing team of Keith Giffen and Dan Jurgens (who presumably chose to stick with Superman when that position opened up).

Click the above link to read a really charming interview with Nocenti. I love the approach she is taking to it all. She is really and truly fresh to the character and it is fascinating to see her sort of work through ideas as she speaks to the interviewer. She plans on taking Ollie out on the road, and I imagine fans of her Daredevil run fondly remember the storyline where she took Daredevil out on the road.

And, obviously, it is interesting to see another female writer get hired to do an ongoing for DC. I wonder who will draw the book?

Thoughts on the Super-Marriage Officially Being Erased

With the official word now confirming what we all knew was about a 99% certainty (I think I even went with 100% certainty at one point), that Clark Kent and Lois Lane’s marriage will be erased with the reboot, something I find myself thinking is, “Wait, they were married?”

We are nearing the finish of a two-year span where the Clark Kent/Lois Lane marriage was featured with extreme infrequency (heck, two years according to the comics – it’s actually been longer than that, right?). First, Superman goes to New Krypton for a year. When he returns, he goes on the road for a year.

Think about that for a moment, two VERY different sets of Superman writers with VERY different ideas of what to do with the Superman title, both came up with the SAME idea – separate Superman from Lois Lane for a year. Then, when planning the new DC reboot, Dan DiDio talks to the incoming Superman writers, and THEY also want to separate Superman from Lois Lane. And again, we’re talking a goodly variety of creative types here, and they are all coming to the same conclusion – Superman works best as, if not a LONER exactly, certainly somewhat disconnected from the rest of society (the dude has a Fortress of Solitude, for crying out loud!). While I personally never had a problem with the marriage (heck, I was okay with the Peter/MJ marriage, too), I can certainly see where the creators are coming from, and I am totally supportive of this decision.

Also, early Superman stories in Action Comics and current Superman stories in Superman? Sounds like a plan (although I still can’t get behind the armor).

Thoughts on Tim Drake’s Origin…

I was talking to my pal Jake the other day, and he was complaining about the relative treatment from online fans about Tim Drake and Damian Wayne. He noted that Tim Drake appears to be disproportionally popular on the internet, and he felt that Damian Wayne’s initial treatment of Tim (not to mention the fact that he effectively replaced Tim) is what made so many fans hostile towards Damian online (at least at first. Eventually the awesomeness of Damian Wayne has won over most people).

I have noticed the same thing, that Tim Drake does seem to be a bit of a “sacred cow” on the ‘net. Jake had an interesting theory about this in relation to Tim’s origin.

As we all know, the idea of a kid sidekick was done so that kids reading the comics would have someone to associate with in the comic. You know, sort of like audience insertion in the story. Of course, as (I want to say Mark Waid, but it might have been Marv Wolfman or I might have just imagined that I read it entirely) rightly noted, the kids probably didn’t need to have a kid to see themselves as, as they already were seeing themselves as Batman! But still, that was the idea, at least, give someone for the kids reading the books to identify with (and obviously it was a popular idea, as young sidekicks or groups of young boys soon became all the rage in comic books of the early 1940s).

So it hits Jake, and as he describes it to me, it hits me, as well (even beyond what Jake first had in mind). Continue Reading »

Thoughts on Wizard Closing Down…

If you used to work for Wizard, and they fired you, I can see how you would enjoy some schadenfreude at the magazine announcing that they are closing down. That makes sense to me.

Otherwise, why the heck would anyone else be happy about a magazine about comic books closing down and a bunch of people losing their jobs?

We see this a lot, like stuff like this is a zero sum game. “If book/magazine I don’t like gets canceled, then that is a net positive for me,” when it really is not – it does not affect you at all.

Feel free to not enjoy Wizard or Toy Fare, but to be openly pleased about them going out of business? That doesn’t seem right to me.

Thoughts on the Fantastic Four Death…

I’ll eventually review the issue in question (I’m thinking of just doing a big ol’ review on Hickman’s whole run), but I just wanted to make a note about the death in today’s Fantastic Four #587 (don’t read any further if you don’t want to be spoiled about who dies in the issue)…
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Couple Pieces of Housecleaning…

Here’s a couple of bits o’ business I figured here is as good a place to address as any.

First off, commenter T. wanted me to link to this piece on Kerry Callen’s blog where he mixes the stories of DC during the 1960s (wacky weird stuff happening to the heroes) with the stories of Marvel at the same time (melodrama).

Very cute stuff.

Secondly, Manny Aguilera sent me a finished piece of his Deadman meets the Ghostbusters for this month’s Reader Art Gallery, but I didn’t see the attachment before I put the gallery up.

So here it is, in its finished glory…

Check out Manny’s website here.

Thoughts on the Latest Addition to Wizard’s Family of Comic Cons

Don MacPherson has an interesting editorial up about the news that Wizard has purchased another convention to add to the 10 cons they already had in their Wizard World family of conventions.

Do you agree with Don’s reservations?

Thoughts on Jeff Parker Being the New Thunderbolts Writer

Boy, talk about being torn!

Andy Diggle is doing fabulous work on Thunderbolts right now, so it’s a shame to see him go, but Jeff Parker is a very good comic book writer, as well, so I guess it is good news!

It’s a BIT of a shame, though, to see Parker seemingly taking over Diggle’s story rather than starting his own (Ellis started fresh with his run, as did Diggle).

Still, it’s nice to see the book maintain a strong continuity of top level writers working on it.

Did I miss the reason why Diggle is leaving? Did he get a new book that I don’t remember (besides Daredevil, as I would imagine he can write at least two books a month)?

Thoughts on Marvel’s Purchase of Marvelman

It’s rare to see a news story this big that has such a gaping hole in what most fans want to know about the story.

Marvel now, apparently, owns the rights to Marvelman, after working out a deal with Mick Anglo, creator of Marvelman.

That, in and of itself, is notable, of course.

However, the thing everyone really wants to know is what this means for the Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman stories, and Marvel, reasonably enough, has been mum on that.

So we have this weird situation where we have a “big” story, but no one knows the key part of the story.

Because while, sure, it’s big news for Marvel to now have Marvelman, but if you don’t have the Moore or Gaiman stories, it’s sort of like announcing that you have Morpheus, but not the rights to print Gaiman’s Sandman or Rorschach, but not the rights to print Watchmen, or V, but not the rights to print V for Vendetta, etc.

There are a lot of various people who need to give their permission to have these old issues reprinted, and while I am sure that when all is said and done, we WILL see those earlier issues (especially the Gaiman/Buckingham issues), it’s interesting to note that we haven’t heard word of it yet.

Thoughts on TV Advertising of Comics

Don MacPherson has an interesting post looking at Radical Comics’ new comic book, Incarnate, which is written by Gene Simmons’ son, Nick, and was promoted on the Simmons family reality show, Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels, as well as on A&E’s website.

Thoughts on News Made Public on People’s Blogs/Twitter

The previous post reminded me of another thing I meant to talk about awhile ago.

The internet is an awesome place for comic book creators to interact with their fans. It’s neat that they can share stuff with fans – their insight into the books they are making, news about their upcoming work, etc.

However, if you are interacting with people publicly, you have to understand that if you say something newsworthy, it not only WILL be spread around, there really is nothing wrong with the fact that it is spread around.

If you post on your twitter account, “Hey guys, I’m the new writer on Teen Titans!” then that will make the rounds of the comic blogosphere, and it likely will end up at a place like CBR’s Robot 6 comic news blog or wherever (heck, maybe even on Comics Should Be Good!).

There’s nothing wrong with that.

If you were not supposed to tell anyone that you are the new writer on Teen Titans, then I’m sorry that you’re going to get yelled at for announcing it too early, but come on, how the heck can you blame a news site for running news?

If the end result is that less comic book professionals will be willing to share info with the public, then yeah, that’s too bad, but I don’t think you can (or rather, you should) blame the news sites for such a thing. If the information is publicly available, then the information is publicly available. There’s nothing wrong with posting publicly available information if it is newsworthy, like, say, Warren Ellis posting on his Twitter account that Planetary is finished.

Thoughts on Using Other People’s Twitter Posts

I see that using other people’s twitter posts has become a bit of an issue after Tom Brevoort noted that he was irked that a Blog@Newsarama post consisted of basically just a collection of C.B. Cebulski Twitter posts.

Regarding Twitter, first off, Twitter is a collection of mini-blog posts. That’s really all it is. It’s a quicker way of making ultra short blog posts (and replies to other people’s posts). I’ve seen some people try to argue that Twitter is more akin to a casual conversation, to which I say, only in the sense that a blog post is akin to a casual conversation. Twitter is just mini blog posts (or mini message board posts, whatever comparison you want to use). In all three cases, your Twitter posts, your blog posts and your forum posts, you’re talking about writings that are your intellectual property, no matter how short in length they might be.

That said, when it comes to citing Twitter posts, if you think of them as blog posts, it really makes it a lot simpler.

To wit, no one cares if you quote a hundred words from a blog post (with a link to the blog post you’re quoting, of course), because that’s just fair use.

However, if you posted an entire blog post without the blogger’s permission, I think we’d all agree that that is not good, right? That’s not fair use.

That was Brevoort’s complaint in this instance. If you collect a pile of CB Cebulski’s Twitter posts on how to break into the comic industry and post them as a piece “How to break into the comic industry,” you’ve basically just posted an entire blog post of Cebulski’s.

Now, as to this particular matter, David Pepose apparently asked for Cebulksi’s permission before doing the post. If so, then there’s no problem. Brevoort has even said that yes, there’s no issue if the person gives permission for you to republish their stuff in that manner.

So, really, this seems to be a pretty simple situation to me.

If you quote a public Twitter post that’s newsworthy (like Warren Ellis talking about Planetary being finished), then fine.

If you quote a whole pile of someone’s Twitter posts without permission (particularly if they are written like Cebulski’s, where it’s clear that it is all part of one larger piece – “how to break into the comic industry”), then not fine.

If you quote a whole pile of someone’s Twitter posts WITH permission, then fine.

I think that’s about that.

Thoughts on Andy Diggle, Exclusivity and Timing

If you can find it (lord knows I’m not going to go through the effort to look for it), you’ll see discussions between me and various people back in late 2004/early 2005 about what Andy Diggle should do after his awesome Adam Strange mini-series was ruined by being forced to tie-in with an Infinite Crisis lead-in.

At the time, it was interesting to note that the consensus (well, the consensus among the people I was talking with) was that his best fit, if he wanted to move into superhero territory, was to follow Brian Michael Bendis on Daredevil. However, even then, Ed Brubaker was rumored to be getting that gig (it is simply astonishing how long Brubaker was rumored to be following Bendis on Daredevil. He did not take over until 2006, but I assure you, it was already being talked about like a sure thing in late 2004).

But what was seen as a bit of a foregone conclusion at the time was that Diggle definitely should (and would) move to Marvel Comics when his exclusive contract expired at the end of 2005.

But then a funny thing happened on the way to the forum Continue Reading »

Thoughts on the Search for the Next Sorcerer Supreme

I find it pretty amusing that Marvel is actually doing stuff like “Odds on who will be the next Sorcerer Supreme,” because, really, folks, and I mean this with absolutely zero disrespect to Brian Michael Bendis, but come on, the guy doesn’t go by what “makes sense” for stuff like this. He goes by what he thinks makes for the most interesting story. Which is perfectly fine, of course, but it’s just funny to do “odds” as if there is some rhyme and reason to the decision who is the next Sorcerer Supreme, like “Ah, yes, that makes sense!” besides “wouldn’t it be interesting if Character X was Sorcerer Supreme?”

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