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

June 16, 2008

Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Doonesbury is back in the newspapers today after a hiatus, and a lot of editors have decisions like these to make.

image* I went to Incredible Hulk on Friday, which has to be the first time I've consciously gone to a movie on opening day in six years, let alone a superhero summer blockbuster. It was dull as dirt. These superhero movies tend to work when they're a) really slickly done, like Iron Man; or b) contain one or more evocative moments that bring to life the emotional yearnings that lie at the heart of those kinds of stories. This wasn't the first, and didn't have the second. In fact, it almost seemed to willfully ignore any opportunity for the second. For instance, they might have done something with the way Hulk moved during his final escape that supported the change in attitude/orientation suggested in the film's final Ed Norton moment. Or, you know, they could have tried to communicate anything other than not-great CGI being put through its paces. I'm certain the movie will do well with the target fans, but it sure wasn't for me. Let me put it to you like this: I watched the 2005 Sammo Hung comeback vehicle SPL on the same day I saw the Hulk movie, and it was so superior in every way as an undemanding piece of pulpy entertainment -- its huge monster in purple pants was a lot more fun to watch move, that's for sure -- that I wanted to retroactively throw a blanket over the Hulk movie and rush it out of the room.

* in case you were wondering, Incredible Hulk continues Marvel's weird Summer 2008 conversational subtext on creators' rights issues, as General Thunderbolt Ross demands ownership of Bruce Banner's body of work and licensing rights, and turns the Super-Soldier formula over to another work-for-hire creator. I can hardly wait for Thor's exegesis on trademarks and public domain.

* the ADV magazine PiQ will cease publication after a reasonably well-hyped launch earlier this year. The article kind of takes their word on how awesome they were, although there must have been something about the magazine that didn't inspire confidence because I don't remember hearing anything other than dire predictions in private conversations with people that watch that end of the publishing business.

* back in the slightly less odd real world, Hervé St-Louis worries about privacy concerns with the information Marvel's been collecting in its early on-line initiatives and where they might go from here.

* James Owen remembers his comics industry history.

* finally, GalleyCat looks at the first quarter of 2008 in terms of bookstore sales.
posted 7:30 am PST | Permalink

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