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

January 25, 2008

Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Marvel is apparently among a pair of studios to reach a settlement with the Writers Guild of America (WGA). This is worth noting despite its non-comics status because the larger Marvel corporate entity is entering into a phase where it is making its own movies, and not having that string interrupted by writing delays plus the ability to do rewrites while in production may be important to keeping that effort going. While the traditional comic book business is largely insulated in a risk sense from the success and failures of these movies, the publishing side kind of bends towards successful movie franchises, particularly those that are launching.

* the writer and editor Kristy Valenti finishes her two-part look at Bill Blackbeard with a look at The Smithsonian Collection of Newspaper Comics, one of the most influential comics ever published.

image* there are a lot of cartoonist profiles, but this one gets credit for picking a worthy subject and a worthy angle: Julie Doucet's career after leaving comic books.

* here's an example of something I was talking about the other day: a tendency by some to equate comics with mainstream American comic books. This is an innocuous article, but the claim is that it's about comics, when its focus is really on American mainstream comics and comics slightly to the side of American mainstream comics made by those companies.

* the writer Sean T. Collins caught this Ron Rege announcement of a new book and some of details concerning its publication. That's good news for the usual reasons and because some of Rege's best comics are found in the scattered, almost incidental work.

* it strikes me that there's something worth noting in an X-Men title being re-fashioned in order to actively feature X-Men adventures from the past. There's no superhero title that carries around the same level of nostalgic goodwill so close to its breast.

* it's only a rough notion that I have yet to develop, but this article by retailer Steve Bennett about his dissatisfaction with the content of certain comic book stories led me to think about the maturity of the comic book direct market and what that means in terms of that market developing its own, unique standards of good and bad. To look at it another way, I probably wouldn't agree with Steve Bennett about what makes a good comic, but at this point we may be talking about much different things than a similar critic may have been talking about with a retailer 25 years ago.
posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink

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