Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

















December 17, 2009


Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Mike Lynch is having one of those book sales that makes me wish I had unlimited disposable income.

image* the comics critic and cultural historian Jeet Heer writes a long and well-illustrated post about gay characters in comics before the comics of five years ago that seemed to piss off a certain brand of conservative culture-watcher.

* it's Swann Fellowship time.

* an update on the Editor & Publisher closing indicates there may be some half-life involved after the site shuts down after the January issue, or a new venture altogether. It sounds kind of grim. I don't understand how a shift to a new on-line site would have to be totally unpaid work unless the E&P site was running on no money for a while, which I guess could be true, or if they have no chance to attract advertisers to a same-service site.

* it looks like Marvel doesn't know what to do with its Incredible Hercules series. I hate to backseat drive companies because I've barely made like sixteen dimes from working in comic books, but at some point it seems that if well-regarded series after well-regarded series is broken on the rocks of a market that won't respond to them, you should start to look at changing the game board to be more receptive to such series as opposed to picking up a game piece you think might work better.

* I really want to get behind the book industry in some fashion when they criticize the rise of e-book 1) because I'm fundamentally conservative and 2) because I think the rhetoric of on-line media triumphalists is frequently full of it. Still, it's hard to support in any way a statement that a $9.95 e-book is predatory pricing -- that just sounds like an industry wanting to protect a certain kind of infrastructure, not someone looking at new technology with wide-open eyes.

* not comics: so I guess the FBI finally made an arrest of a person they suspect distributed a screener for the movie Wolverine. As someone who saw Wolverine yesterday, I wish the accused had sent the screener to me. That was a strange movie. It was the first movie of this generation of superhero movies that seemed to be solely for people that had really, really bought into the previous superhero movies. If you weren't into previous X-Men movies or the way Hugh Jackman played the title lead just on principle, I'm not sure what you'd grab onto. The lead character was fiercely uninteresting and the fights were dull as dirt... the problem was that as you sat there you remembered the comics from which they drew a lot of this stuff were equally mediocre. That was kind of humbling, in a way, like the movie had asked for a better story than 20 years of comics could provide. I did like Gambit's helicopter stick; Ryan Reynolds seemed like he was in the movie for having made fun of the Fox Studio chairman's daughter at a charity dinner or something.

* not quite comics: Borders has its e-books team together.

* TCJ continues its interview series roll-out with David Mazzucchelli and Dash Shaw.

* the mainstream-focused web site Newsarama talks to the writer Kurt Busiek about creating characters you will never own for a company that may or may not take a shine to them.

* not comics: as was pretty clearly obvious from the start, it looks like the robbery at the Frazetta Museum has to do with the family fighting over control of the ailing Frank Frazetta Sr.'s treasure trove of paintings more than it was the accused son of the painter flipping out and hoping to steal the paintings for re-sale. I wish the Frazettas all the luck in working things out. I can't imagine working through those kinds of family issues with this kind of attention, and it doesn't seem to me there's a whole lot that's wacky or exciting about the bond between brothers and sisters and daughters and sons imploding during a noted patriarch's final days.

* finally, the comics business news and analysis site ICv2.com makes note of how a couple of groups are stepping into the forthcoming "Week Without A Diamond Shipment" with sales initiatives designed to draw that diverted attention to the things they're doing.
 
posted 11:00 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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