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

June 17, 2011

Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Brian Fies reports on the Comics & Medicine conference held in the Windy City last weekend.

image* so apparently there are a lot of head injuries in Asterix and apparently this is a subject of medial research.

* CBR conducted a poll of its readership about DC's forthcoming title re-launch and the results seem fairly brutal even by the really generous allowances you have to make for that kind of thing.

* the first question in this Q+A at Progressive Ruin really gets at the heart of modern comics.

* Jen Vaughn takes a long look at Bus Griffiths' Now You're Logging, one of the odder comics artifacts of the last 35 years or so. It's a 1930s-style drama about logging, done by a man -- the late Griffiths -- who knew his logging. We profiled him and the book when I worked at The Comics Journal and my memory was he couldn't have been nicer.

* Steven Heller interviews Matt Madden for Imprint about his 99 Ways To Tell A Story.

* it's unclear whether I just missed the fun piece of art featuring Doctor Strange at the top of this con report, or whether I saw it and merely blanked on it. It's worth noting again, though.

* it's further unclear exactly what fight about Jim Shooter this post is supposed to be informed by, but it looks like maybe it's the assertion that draconian editorial methods at the company came during his time as Head Honcho as supposed to being all over the place during several of the previous Editor-In-Chief tenures.

image* not comics: the Green Lantern movie opens today, which is noteworthy not because it's a superhero film but because it's the first DC attempt in the modern-movie sense to launch a full-blown summer, toy-friendly movie franchise based on someone other than familiar icons Batman and Superman. It's also the first movie to come out via the benefit of the new synergistic relationship DC Comics is supposed to have with Warners, in which what works in the comics is intended to inform what might work on screen and the DC superheroes generally are expected to be a regular, reliable source for franchise movie-making in the post-Harry Potter world. Reviews have been poor.

I still wouldn't count Green Lantern out, both in terms of it becoming the kind of moderate success that a film company and its comics division can argue was a hit, or it becoming an actual hit. The want-to-see has been consistently high; it has the opening weekend essentially all to itself; it's a new concept in a summer where the vast majority of movies in the multiplex have numbers after the title (Super 8 is new but purposefully reminiscent of older films), which is something that's helped Marvel's similar efforts in the recent past; and one can argue that it appeals to a number of key demographics -- my brother says my mom wants to see it. Warners has also played the expectations game in smart fashion on this one, right down to some super-modest box-office predictions. So I think it still has a 15-20 percent chance of performing well enough to save face until the next Christopher Nolan Batman juggernaut hits. I think it even has a chance to be a legitimate, no-context-necessary hit, too -- maybe it's only a 1-in-10 chance, but it's not out of the realm of possibility. Certainly all the power that a media company can muster to convince us of the best possible interpretation will come to bear on Monday. It should be intriguing to see.

* I believe I am the last person that looks at comics stuff on-line as part of their living to find this Life Magazine slideshow on MAD. Nothing wrong with being stylishly late when the link is that good.

* over at Daily Cartoonist, Alan Gardner would like to know how you get your news and read your comics.

* finally, congratulations to Frank Santoro.
posted 3:00 am PST | Permalink

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