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

November 5, 2009

Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* let us all stop for ten seconds at some point this week and appreciate Stan Sakai.

image* Marvel is offering a couple recent issues of Fantastic Four featuring the new team of Jonathan Hickman and Dale Eaglesham. This is actually a bit more interesting than the average digital release in that this short run of issues is clearly the hot, cool, superhero comic book of exactly right now. That's a designation that used to take at least a few months to build for a certain comic or run. It's not the speed of the Internet that's the factor in accelerating this but that so many social media tools are available to so many people you can have quick consensus rather than simply a strong opinion here and there. Driving attention to a certain run of issues while they're still going on seems to me like something companies like this should be able to do now, and will do routinely in the next 18-24 months.

* by the way, I read those Fantastic Four comics in print form, and I think the comics themselves are pretty good. I have design quibbles. I'm not really hot about Reed Richards looking bigger and stronger than Bo Jackson. I get it, it just looks weird to me. It seems like everyone should be stopping and commenting on it. "Good God, Richards. You look massive." The plot reminds me of that strange Roy Thomas run in 1975 or so -- the one that began with Arkon and ended with a cosmic doppleganger Johnny Storm ice hockey goalie super-being? -- where everything is huge and cosmic and mind-boggling and sad and broken and matter-of-fact. A lot depends on if they stick the landing.

* I found this post interesting: it's by Colleen Doran on how her inking has changed during the stop and start process of doing A Distant Soil.

* the cartoonist Diana Tamblyn describes in detailed fashion attending a storytelling workshop taught by Darwyn Cooke.

* I kept trying to read this essay by Steven Grant about how comics have entered a disco era and how that sucks, but every other sentence I would stop to listen to various Pointer Sisters songs through YouTube and the next thing I knew I had spent the whole evening dancing.

* the writer and artist Charles Yoakum calls it as he sees it when it comes to a piece of modern superhero art. It is a dreadful-looking page.

* I think I pretty strongly disagree that it's unfair to hold employees accountable for the actions of the companies where they work, at least when all it involves is yelling at or insulting them for being a part of that company. I know that when I worked for Fantagraphics, I was complicit in what Fantagraphics did, at least to the point where my showing up for work was a vote of confidence in the company. Back then this meant people occasionally yelled at you or called you a pornographer or screeched at you on CompuServe about Carol Kalish or hung up on you when you called. You can hash out the degree of complicity, I guess, and the way some companies are structured into separate entities gives some institutional heft to being able to disavow a certain degree of involvement with certain matters. I don't think you get to pick and choose, though. If I were a Wizard employee, I'd expect Scott Kurtz to assume I'm a douchebag. There are some people out there that still hang up on me for whom it's always going to be 1996. That's okay, too.

* add Guttergeek to the list of web sites that will be moving their initial posting presence to the new

* finally, Evan Dorkin rhapsodizes about living in the golden age of reprints. It's hard not to agree with him.
posted 3:30 pm PST | Permalink

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