Dare you say men are as gods? the shocked inquisitors in Rome would ask him. Can they change the stars in their courses? They can, Bruno answers; they can; they have already. (John Crowley from Ægypt)
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I was thinking a lot this past week about Young Avengers forthcoming end with issue #15, and how, as disappointed as I am to not be getting that book as a continued ongoing, there’s something wonderful about how Gillen and McKelvie’s Young Avengers will now exist as a nearly perfect 15 issue run, with limited guest artists, no phone-it-in-issues (which just happens over a long run, it’s only natural), one clear and concise vision, and most importantly, no damn crossover issues or messy event tie-ins. Young Avengers will be able to be collected into a few awesome trades, and if we’re lucky someday maybe a sweet little omnibus. It will be a great book to put on your shelf and go back to time and time again. Kind of like the wonder that is Nextwave Agents of H.A.T.E. – which I re-read at least once every year – and which stands out in the way that only the “brilliant but cancelled” can.
But maybe these things don’t have to be “cancelled,” maybe, instead, like Young Avengers they can just choose to be one smaller and more defined moment.
I’m feeling a little burned out both as a writer and as a comics reader. Add to that the fact that the focus of this column (women in comics) is sometimes too narrow a focus for my interests. Hell, it’s kind of amazing that I’ve been able to talk about such a thing for nearly 4 years (yup, 4 year anniversary coming up in November!). On the subject of women in comics, most of the time, you need only ask, and the comics gods will provide. Still, I’m a bit exhausted. So I thought maybe we could just talk. I’ll say some things, and I’ll ask some questions, and if I’m very lucky some of you will be interested enough in what I’m talking about to talk back in the comments.
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!
The old debate: Art and writing about art in reviews, with regard to some of this past week’s comics
I probably don’t have anything new to say, but what the heck, right? We’re all friends here!
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“Sotillo used to be very cordial to me at the Goulds’ and at the club. How that man’ll ever dare to look any of his friends here in the face I can’t imagine.”
“He’ll no doubt begin by shooting some of them to get over the first awkwardness,” said the doctor. “Nothing in this country serves better your military man who has changed sides than a few summary executions.” (Joseph Conrad, from Nostromo)
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‘I met Andy Warhol at a really chic party’ / Blow it out your hairdo, ’cause you work at Hardee’s!
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Every week, I will be sharing with you three comic book “easter eggs.” An easter egg is a joke/visual gag/in-joke that a comic book creator (typically the artist) has hidden in the pages of the comic for readers to find (just like an easter egg). They range from the not-so-obscure to the really obscure. So come check ‘em all out and enjoy! Also, click here for an archive of all the easter eggs featured so far! If you want to suggest an easter egg for a future column, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org (do not post your suggestion in the comments section!).
Today we look at an issue of Captain America by Mark Gruenwald, Rik Levins and Danny Bulanadi where Captain America, Hawkeye and Iron Man visit a bar that is packed to the gills with easter egg cameos.
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George looked at his granddaughter’s empty suit. He thought of Job. Satan lacked imagination. To crack a man’s faith, one need not resort to burning his flesh, ruining his finances, or any such obvious afflictions. One need only take a man’s species away from him. (James Morrow, This Is The Way The World Ends)
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Beginning now through Sunday, every day will see me feature a brand-new Cool Comic Book Moment. For this week only, I’ll be specifically featuring cool moments that happened in the last couple of years (basically since I last did the Year of Cool Comic Moments). Here is an archive of all the past cool comic moments that I’ve featured so far.
Today we take a look at a great moment from Matt Fraction, David Aja and Matt Hollingsworth’s Hawkeye #3…
In this feature I explore the context behind (using reader danjack’s term) “meta-messages.” A meta-message is where a comic book creator comments on/references the work of another comic book/comic book creator (or sometimes even themselves) in their comic. Each time around, I’ll give you the context behind one such “meta-message.” Here is an archive of the past installments!
Today we take a look at Chris Claremont’s resolution of the still-bizarre Ms. Marvel storyline from Avengers #200, where we see Claremont tear that story apart.
Like a lot of adult comic book readers do at some point, I’ve been taking stock of my reading choices and the type of mainstream, ongoing, monthly comic books which I read. It took me a while to figure out what was bothering me, but I found that I was making a couple of assumptions which, upon closer examination, were wrong.
1. I’ve been assuming that I read predominantly two types of comic books; fantasy and superhero (apart from the odd foray into horror, bios, and science fiction.)
2. Without thought and with quite some negative judgement about it, I’ve been thinking of the fantasy genre comic books as “girl” comics, and the superhero ones as “boy” comics (e.g. some weeks are “girl heavy”).
These are depressingly reductive ways to look at the comic books I enjoy, and the more I thought about it, the more I saw how wrong I was.
At this point one may note that men must be either pampered or annihilated. (Niccolo Machiavelli, from The Prince)
In 2012 a broader variety of author communicated their joy and intensity using the alchemy that is art and literature in comic books. The wealth of great comic books published in nearly every genre made me happier than I can say and when I put in my votes for the CBR Top 100 Comics of 2012 I was hard pressed to pick only 10 comic books to vote for. So for you, I’ve compiled 16 mini-reviews of my favorite comic books published in 2012. These books were enjoyable, intense, personal, and / or an evolution of the the comic book medium (and now I can’t wait to see what we’re going to get this year!) Continue Reading »
In an effort to piss off Greg Burgas (because what else in life is fun?!) I’m posting my best and worsts of 2012 before the year ends. As always, my feeling is that if I haven’t read it by the end of December (and there are MANY I have not read) then I’m not going to be able to get to it in time for it to make my bests and worsts lists anyway…so it’s all the same in the end.
Also as always, I didn’t get to nearly enough books this year. I especially failed on the Graphic Novel front, reading far too few on the whole and not getting to a ton that I’m really interested in – seriously, I’ve got a list as long as my arm to get to (and I have pretty long arms).
What’s going to be on the list? Well you can bet it’s going to be Hawkeye-Saga-rific! That’s of course not in an effort to piss off Burgas, but you know…BONUS! Seriously, I’ve never had a list so dominated by two titles…but what can I say? I really loved these books they did everything right and made me happy every time I read them.
Let’s get to it, shall we? And sound off in the comments about some of your favorites for the year.