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

September 22, 2011

Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Johanna Draper Carlson notes a format change for one of the Archie series, one that's aimed I think at really little kids. I kind of like Archie's current willingness to try a lot of stuff right now; that's an admirable use of their relative stability and perennial appeal. Johanna also writes a short post here about not-completed manga series that need to be rescued.

image* Adrian Tomine donates a nice-looking, unpublished drawing to the ongoing auctions to benefit the estate and loved ones of the late Dylan Williams.

* Kevin Pasquino on a cross-section of DC's New 52 titles. J. Caleb Mozzocco on two first volumes from the Shojo Beat line. Brian Hibbs on a completely different cross-section of DC's New 52 titles. Don MacPherson on Batman #1. Chris Sims on Daredevil #4. Hayley Campbell on Any Empire.

* we join Robert Boyd in sending birthday wishes to JIS.

* not comics: Chris Butcher talks at length about the band R.E.M. on the day they announced their termination. As I was a college student at a southern university in the late 1980s, I don't think it's possible for me to say anything of value about a band that had a presence like that one had in that world. One thing that's interesting to me as a comics fan is a few folks wailing about the band's demise. I can't imagine any interpretation of that group's long run that isn't a success story. Comics could use more projects with a beginning, middle and an end, and more fans willing to see things draw to a close.

* Cyriaque Lamar talks to Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang. Jesse Shedeen talks to Peter Milligan. Steve Sunu talks to Daniel Abraham. Mike Rhode talks to Mike Imboden. Felicity Gustafson talks to Sonny Liew. Someone with a fancy-looking site talks to Chris Pitzer.

* this Morpheus print by P. Craig Russell looks nice.

* here's a lengthy process post from Michel Fiffe, focused on his Zegas.

* the idea that the Image founders don't get enough respect seems absurd to me. To my eye, they received more than their fair share of respect at the time Image roared into being, and today are more respected as a group of creators and businessmen than any group of seven of their direct peers you could assemble. Image does enjoy a mixed legacy, but I think that's fair. On the one hand, their initial success and continued fealty to the Image model has and continues to be a positive for a number of creators. They also moved a lot of comics through a lot of stores. On the other hand, their horrific shipping habits early in the company's history severely damaged a lot of shops, and their decision to go in with Diamond in the mid-1990s set the industry on the course of an ultimately limiting and horizon-shortening, single-distributor Direct Market. The relative quality of their comics both to other comics and in terms of whether or not they live up to the opportunities presented those creators is an important issue to many people as well. In the end, if you define respect in bottom-line terms rather than some abstract "sense of the room" taken by a fan of those creators, the Image guys have done undeniably well -- it's hard for me to conceive of too many mainstream creators out there that wouldn't gladly trade their sum total of rewards from the industry for what the bulk of the Image founders have enjoyed.

* finally, yuck. Although if Slutty Starfire is joined by Junkie Speedy and a host of other stridently-portrayed, broad, unpleasant, teen stereotypes, that would be hilarious and awesome.
posted 10:00 am PST | Permalink

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