Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
It’s taken me very many years to realize this about myself, but basically funny sells me over just about anything else. I mean, we almost universally all love to laugh and so we naturally like funny things, but I have realized I prize it more highly than I understood, and more highly than do a lot of others. I find time and again, what can keep me hooked when it comes to media – especially serialized media like comics and television – is if something is funny. If I can get good laughs week to week (or month to month), out of your creation you have a really good shot at keeping me invested and perhaps even more impressively, becoming a die hard fan.
This was just one of those weeks that makes you want to stop the planet and get off. While I was feeling as if there was no escape from the horrible crap happening, I happened across this old Daniel Clowes 2009 New Yorker cover — one of my favorites — and decided to focus on some positive comics stuff as a coping mechanism.
Here is your assignment, should you choose to accept it:
Create the ultimate comics time capsule that aliens will someday discover. Show them the best of comics (and the world? your call!) with the 22* comics you’re allowed to put inside the capsule. Are they the 22 comics you think are the greatest of all time? Or are they the best and strongest representation of what we had to offer in quality and breadth? Are they just the ones you can read over and over again? Are all of those the same thing? Again, your call!
A few simple rules:
#1. You can put in an omnibus if it exists, as 1 entry (example: The Planetary Omnibus – in it goes!)
#2. It has to be already out, as of today (example: The Planetary Omnibus does not come out until January 2014. Damnit! Out it goes).
#3. You cannot put in all the individual trades of a book’s run in the capsule as 1 entry (example Y: The Last Man). You CAN fill the capsule with 22 volumes of the same thing, but even *I* have to question your judgement there!
#4. We’ll make an exception for special books bound together in a case/collection (example: The Collected Calvin & Hobbes can go in, or Bryan Lee O’Malley’s complete Scott Pilgrim series, as well as unique one of kind comics experiments of the form – like Chris Ware’s Building Stories). Unfortunately, something like all the gorgeous Wednesdays Comics in their original format would not work (unless you wanted to use it as multiple entries), but you could put in the collected edition…man, I wish I had room for that. Damn!
#5. Only comics. So, no, as much as you’re dying to put in my brilliant take on female superheroes in prose form (cough>The Girl Who Would Be King<cough), it’s a novel and thus is not eligible. Double damn!
#6. Yes, you can put in single issues, but man that single issue better be good!
For the rest, you guys decide, they’re your lists, I don’t have our fearless leader’s skills or devotion, so I’m not going to make individual rulings beyond the above. Have at it!
Yesterday, amongst some media attention, Marvel announced an impending gay wedding. I can’t help but notice that there are no fairytales that begin with the main characters’ wedding. When there are weddings, they are the payoff, the money shot, and definitely the grand finale of the fairytale. No one wants to read a fairytale that begins with a wedding, because then it would be about domestic tedium, heated discussions about whose turn it is to fold the laundry or change the diapers. Weddings are how fairytales end. The exciting part of the story is how we get there, how people meet and surmount obstacles. No fairytales begin with the line “and they lived happily ever after”, because that is not as interesting as all the parts before they settle down. The wedding is the clear sign to the reader to stop paying attention because the story is over.
Apparently there are journalists who are so naive as to think that the reason more women comic book creators aren’t successful is because they don’t feel comfortable with the aggressive subject matter of superhero comic books. It has been suggested lately by a number of people (who should know better) that the main reason women aren’t well known, mainstream comic book artists, writers and creators is because women prefer stories about their feelings with more dialogue and less action.
At times it seems as if writing a comic about an established character is some sort of twisted game. Writers are asked to not only write compelling storylines, but also honor the existing character of the heroes depicted, have them speak with their own voice and language, and behave as people expect them to. While I love the freedom my favorite writers get when they create their own characters, I’m much more curious to read how they deal with well established characters. Continue Reading »
Yep, today’s my birthday.
You can figure out how old I am by figuring out how many columns I’ve done for She Has No Head! and then subtracting ten. I WISH! Yeah, no, it’s just the number of columns…no subtraction. Man I’m old. ANYWAY…
Inspired in part by Chad Nevett’s always fun Random Thoughts and my sincere desire not to do a big serious post on my birthday…I bring you a list of 12 comics related ways in which I would like to bend the universe to my will in honor of ME. Also, some cool shit I want people to buy for me.
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