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October 14, 2011

Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Brett Warnock either reminds or announces that From Hell is now available in a wide variety of digital forms.

image* not to get all Grandpa Simpson about it, but there was a time when Prince Valiant was one of the great thrills of geek life, coming as it did once a week in a world that didn't cater to those interests every single moment of every single day. (If you were lucky, you got a PV in the morning with some fighting in it and Wide World Of Disney that night featured cartoons rather than some live-action movie.) Those Prince Valiants are still lovely, rewarding strips and the books are great; the artistic achievement's the same. It just strikes me that the change in context really alters the enthusiasm with which readers greet Hal Foster's work, maybe more than with any other comic in history.

* it's good to read that Gabrielle Bell will start posting new comics to her web site at some point. It's not like you can greet their absence with a complaint given that right before leaving the site for a while she did like umpty-billion comics in a row, but it's just nice to read some comics will be posted there. Her comic published on-line here I believe leads off the new Best American Comics volume.

* who is Stanley Martin Lieber?

* not comics: this piece about a potential decline in anchor franchises coming from works of fantasy is really scattered. It also fails to mention that we don't just live in the media world of the last 20 years where super-spending was merely frowned upon but in the post-Hangover world where cheaper movies may be outright preferred by studios. I also don't think general audiences make the same hard distinctions that the author or hardcore prose fantasy fans might make about whether something like the Harry Potter books really are fantasy or not -- I would imagine that if all you had was 10 years of multiple Harry Potter like films, most people would see that as a sustained fantasy-movie boom and I'd agree with them over the objections of some guy in a captain's hat at the used bookstore. Still, I think it's an article worth reading because any decline in big-time fantasy franchises no matter how they're defined could have a major impact on the conventions where these kinds of movies exhibit and promote.

* bear and rabbit, rabbit and bear, friends forever and never a care.

* Nicole Rudick talks to Kate Beaton. Andy Burns talks to Robin Furth. Bart Croonenborghs profiles Peter Pontiac. Dwight Garner profiles Art Spiegelman and his new MetaMaus.

image* there's a very long article here about the depiction of women in superhero comics. The best parts are the nuts and bolts of how to execute certain effects in the midst of one of those stories; the worst parts careen into lectures of the obvious. It's a nice snapshot of each creative person as well as an extended essay on the subject. I still stand by my minor confusion caused by a gut feeling that just creating good comics might be the overriding issue and that it's odd to kind of separate out aspects like this as if they were distinct, stand-alone issues to the extent that this kind of treatment of the images and portrayals suggests they are. It doesn't seem to me like any creative choice is off the table if compelling art is the result, and that the first and foremost result of the criticized portrayals in those DC Comics is that they fail to contribute to anything resembling that end. In other words, to say it once again: maybe these are just bad comics. Update: Gabe Roth sent in a letter disagreeing with this position here. It's very heartfelt and eloquently stated, and I urge you to read it.

* someone out there might find it interesting that the ad for that next Kindle features two DC offerings. Speaking of DC, they're getting a lot of mileage out of this press release that says they sold 5 million comics in 6 weeks. That's a lot of comics. And I have to admit, that is an actual number for a change.

* Win Wiacek on Nuts. Rob Clough on something or other by Ben Horak. Sean T. Collins on Daybreak. Ted Brown on Graveyard Of Empires #1. Erica Friedman on Oshioki!. Katherine Dacey on The Legend Of Mother Sarah. David P. Welsh on Stargazing Dog.

* finally, I'm sure it wasn't intended in a way that made me laugh, but this Immonens post on NYCC got a laugh out of me anyway.
posted 10:00 am PST | Permalink

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