Tuesday, April 24, 2007
If everything goes as planned, it'll work like a "Dear Abby" style advice column with me responding to light-hearted and humorous lifestyle and relationship questions sent in by actual comics guys and girls, with me creating the occasional set-up "question" so I can work in a rant or two.
I've been working on getting them something for a few weeks now, but with all of the other stuff - Doc Impossible, Danger Ace for Small Press Idol, Comic Book Challenge, etc... - I needed a way for this thing to generate content on its own instead of coming up with something new every week, so this's what I came up with.
We'll see, I guess.
Friday, April 20, 2007
Because of the weird timing and everything, we need to go back to print on what was previously Doctor Impossible #1, but we're retitling it Doctor Impossible Special #1. This new one will feature some preliminary artwork by both me and Chris, script pages, a few pin-ups by 2 or 3 comics pros, and (hopefully) a pull quote by the man himself, Rascally Roy Thomas.
Here's what I've worked up for the new (2nd printing) cover... did it tonight, so I don't really feel like thinking about it too much - I'll probably hate it in the morning.
52 editor Mike Siglain gives fans a walk through of week 50 and WWIII.
Wouldn't it be great if you didn't have to read after the fact interviews to get the whole story and find out exactly how things work?
"Just read Aquaman #51… and I have to confess I’m confused.
Aquaman must have gotten seriously gypped on his attempt to raise Sub Diego since in [this week's issue of] the ongoing series, it’s still submerged, with no mention it was ever raised. But hey, at least the people living there are still all alright, and breathing the water as fine as can be."
It's not the I don't believe Jason, because I do... but can you? I mean, in the same week that DC "issues" their cureall fix, WWIII, they publish a comic where Sub Diego is not only still under water, but it's being under water plays a part in the plot?
But y'know, maybe I'm being to hard on 'em. Who knows, maybe next week, in 52 week 51, they'll reveal how Sub Diego sank for a second time, just one week after it was raised.
Be sure to come back tomorrow, when I launch the Bad Simian's first official meme, and ask:
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Back when we originally planned the story for our year long weekly saga 52, our goal was to explain the multiple changes in character and story that occurred throughout our line with the One Year Later jumps. (Goal of 52: Explain multiple changes in character and story that occurred with line wide One Year Later jumps. Okay, got it. Continue.)
And to tell those stories we would use characters like John Henry Irons, Renee Montoya, Ralph Dibny, Booster Gold, Black Adam and Adam Strange to be our guides through the DCU. But a funny thing happened on the way to One Year Later: (Uh-oh.) The four talented writers of 52 took hold of our guide characters and began to realize the untold potential in all of them. As their stories grew, it became clear by the second issue (...by the second issue? Way to stick to that goal, Dan.) of 52 that the series would be about them and their trials and tribulations. But, as I'm sure you're wondering, what about OYL? (Not really... but I guess that's the problem right there. I mean, I was supposed to be the one "wondering" about OYL this whole time, and here I was thinking you had it under control... y'know, since you're the Executive Editor and all. My bad, DD.)
As with any creative process, even with the best of planning (c'mon... he couldn't have possibly typed that with a straight face, could he?), things change and evolve as a story takes on a life of its own. When we all recognized that the series had taken a new and exciting turn (Issue two, remember? It was out of their hands by that point.), a summit meeting was held to discuss the new direction of our lead characters and, more important, how we would address the One Year Laters in the story as originally promised. (I'm listening.)
In reviewing all the OYL changes, we realized that most could be tied to one massive event. One thing that could affect all our heroes on a global level. (Hmmm... something like an INFINITE CRISIS, maybe? BTW, this is kind of where I lose it.) And that's where World War Three was born. You'll have to forgive my memory—I'm always at a loss for the old "who said what" —but I remember Greg Rucka discussing the implications of a World War fought by super-heroes.
(Greg Rucka, huh? I know you mentioned not really being any good at remembering "who said what", but are you sure that wasn't Grant Morrison?
Why do I ask?
Oh, no reason in particular.)
And while everyone debated how it would be fought (Surely someone suggested "with fists", I hope.), they all agreed on one thing: the war would definitely be fast (?). One week fast (Really? Because what I just read happened in more like one day, with a few standard superhero fights taking place a few days before.). One week, one issue—that's the way it works with 52 (Okay, "One week, one issue" - got it!). Unfortunately in this case, 22 pages is just not enough time to cover the full implications of a World War and all the changes forced on our heroes by this event. (Uh... wait, w-what? I mean, "one week, one issue", uh, remember? "That's the way it works with 52", right?)
That's why this week, in conjunction with 52 #50, we have four one-shots ("one week, one issue") designed to cover the deep-reaching changes the war caused. In these books, you can see the effects of the war on the Teen Titans, Firestorm, Supergirl, Batgirl, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter and so many others. (And much like 52 , which was designed to cover the deep-reaching changes the Crisis caused, they each fail miserably.)
So let's go back to the old expression, "Change is good"(Screw you!)— and in this case, it's better than we could ever have imagined. Not only did we get an amazing series in 52 (Uh, still two issues left, you goon - don't count your chickens before they're done screwing over your hapless fans, Dan-O!) where we elevated some supporting characters to A-list status ("A-list status?"I mean, in as much as you're the Executive Editor and can therefore kind of decide who's going to be featured in books and who's not, yeah...), but we also created a massive, world-changing event that will have long-term implications. (Wait... do you mean Infinite Crisis, 52, or World War III?)
All in all, not a bad day's work." (Eh, depends on who you ask.)
I quite reading DC comics today.
I know, I know... there're only two issues of 52 left, but that's not quite true, is it? 52 spills right into Countdown, another mini-series that's sure to be just as unmanagable and dishonest as 52, One Year Later, and Infinite Crisis.
Go on, laugh, but I'm really hurt by it all.
I'm disappointed in DC comics. Not to be dramatic, but I kind of feel like I just found out that favorite uncle was a convicted criminal. Sure, you always thought there was something kind of weird about him, and weren't quite sure you could completely trust him, but he let you smoke, and damn if he didn't tell some pretty kickass war stories.
I've been pretty suspicious of DC for a few years now. Since Superman: Birthright, I guess. But loyalty, and a childhood fascination with comics' oldest and boldest characters kept me involved, even after the non-sensical trainwreck that was Infinite Crisis.
But now, I'm just tired of being lied to by DC.
The cover blurb of this week's 52 # 50 read, "WORLD WAR III Begins Here!" Begins AND ends, they mean. I've read comics long enough to know when I'm being had, and figured out what was going on months ago, but I feel bad for the "control group" comics readers, who, unless they were smart enough to read the issue in store or rip it off the internet, could have never guessed that WWIII simply exists to do what 4 writers, an army of artists, more than 1100 pages and $125 dollars worth of comics couldn't in a year's time.
For months now, we've watched DC talk about 52 building to this sad little four part mini-seires, embarrassingly titled World War III, and by god, if it didn't just completely blow up in all of our faces.
I'll freely admit, I'm not innocent. I bought it. I fell for it. Face first.
But you know what, Dan... you might've won a war, but you lost a reader.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
REALLY good post, and if you continue here without checking it out, I'm going to sound like a nut on a rant, so I'll wait...
See - good post.
Still, I disagree with him that superheroes are for kids, and that adults shouldn't concern themselves with continuity, and that in and of itself has started me thinking about continuity in general.
Okay... first, let's address something I call The Continuity Myth.
My biggest continuity complaint lately has been about Superman and how his history/origin works post Infinite Crisis and One Year Later. I think it's pretty clear that DC doesn't have a good, solid idea of what's what, and the seams are really starting to show. Multiple Phantom Zones, multiple Zods, inconsistent characterizations, flip-flopping creators, etc... are all good examples of it.
But I'm a bit of a geek when it comes to Superman, no doubt, and I tend to be a little overly critical of this sort of thing... so imagine if the NBA decided to start omitting the Lakers worst games because it "made them better", or, let's take it a step farther and imagine that there were multiple teams calling themselves the Lakers, but nobody that played 'em ever mentioned it, or even seemed to notice. Basketball fans would flip the FUCK out, and everybody would wonder why on Earth the people most closely involved were pretending like it wasn't happening.
Or, imagine if several main characters on Days of Our Lives, or General Hospital, who's origins were integral to their personalities, kept referring to their individual backstories differently every time, sometimes adding or deleting established "facts" with every recollection. You know your grandma would completely loose it, and trust me, life would never be the same for any of us.
I could play this game forever, but you see where I'm going.
When it comes to entertainment and interests, adults are not strangers to complicated rules and stories when you stop and think about it. To say that adult comics fans don't have time or reason to worry about continuity because they've got a light bill or kids with a piano concert kind of ignores all of the other stuff adult men and women are into beside work and family.
- ...talented, but jaded creators not paying attention to it, or deliberately ignoring it is.
- ...the big two choosing to sacrifice a loyal fan base in exchange for big name wannabes who don't think they should "waste their talent" on "doing the work" is.
- ...cluttering the market with multiple, somewhat pointless alternate continuities and characters instead of really digging in and focusing on the ones they've already got is.
But Marvel Adventures Avengers #9 featured Modoc (with a "c") and was without a doubt, the most celebrated issue of the series so far, and as much as I enjoyed it, it wouldn't really say it was new reader friendly.
"The Avengers As An Army of Modocs!" - that's one of the biggest in-jokes I've ever seen.
C'mon, I doubt any new readers "got it", but we all know that the Internet crowd ate it up... and with due right - hell, it was a fun comic.
But just because it took place in an easy to define continuity doesn't mean it's not really kind of tangentially playing in the Marvel sandbox - the difference is that this one gets to keep the good stuff and ignore the "bad" stuff without anybody throwing a fit, because the rules are different.
I can't help but think that if Jeff Parker and Co. had done this one in the 616 Marvel U, more people would've read it, those of us who love it, would love it about 1000 times more, and it would've been considered an instant classic the week it hit shelves.
But, hey... it sold out, so what do I know?
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Bought some comics today, and here they are (in no particular order).
All Star Superman #7
Madman Atomic Comics #1
Spider-man and the Fantastic Four #1 (of 4)
New Avengers #29
Punisher War Journal #6
She-Hulk #17 (don't download it, yo!)
Superman # 661 (carry over from last week)
Collections and Trades:
Essential Peter Parker Spider-man Vol. 3 TP
Garage Band TP (really looking forward to this one)
Oh, and a quick blog update... I'll be sticking with Bad Simian, I guess, even though I really like the title "I Heart Comic Books".
Looks like you're safe David, but I'll be keeping an eye on you, bro (smiles).
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Guess I'm making up for lost time, but I just followed a link to a Grindhouse discussion thread over at Brian Wood's blog and thought I'd share it.
Am I the only one that remembers Brian Wood as the whiny, heavy-handed, emo comics guy?
I'll be up front about his work, I'm not a fan. I've given him a try several times - read Generation X, Fight for Tomorrow, Couscous Express, DEMO, Local, and tried DMZ and none of it was my thing. Didn't read his Vampirella/Witchblade story though, and I'm sure that's the one that would have probably sold me on him, but oh well...
My opinions of his comics work aside, I think he makes some pretty good points regarding Death Proof and enjoyed the discussion that it's seem to have sparked.
Still, we've all got our filters, and I can't help but wonder how much of what Wood says is said just to pander to his fan base. God, reading that just now, I realize that it sounds a lot harsher than I mean it too(and if you happen to find this and read it, Mr. Wood, don't start no shit, all right?).
I think it's real easy to zero in on Tarantino's misogyny, since it's kind of been at the forefront of his last 3 (4?) films, but let's not forget that his subject of choice is usually crime or revenge, and since most people understand that going in, what do they expect?
Several times in the above linked thread, posters throw Kill Bill to the man-eating/man-hating wolves due to the Bride's abuse (the bullet to the head, raped in a coma, etc...), but fail to mention the context in which that she and the film's other characters live - most of the cast are killers-for-hire... so are we supposed to ignore that since she turns over a new leaf.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not condoning Tarantino's violence towards women, just like I wouldn't feel comfortable 100% condoning his violence against men, African Americans, humans in general, dogs, cars, store windows, etc....
But I do feel like Wood's argument veers slightly too close to his own biases, and it seems like they're kind of choosing to ignore about 50% of the movie(s) they're talking about.
Yeah, I know Marvel's got a Thor relaunch on the way by JMS and Olivier Coipel, but c'mon... I can't be the only one that's a little worried about it.
Oh, sure it's going to look pretty and no doubt it's going to be structured and paced well, but I can't help but wonder, especially having read about some of the changes they're making.
But I feel confident that if Marvel put Parker in the writer's seat and let Sprouse and Gordon handle the art chores, they'd have one FOOM-tastic Thor book on their hands, and isn't that what we're all looking for?
I don't think I really need to go into why Sprouse and Gordon would be a great fit. I've loved Sprouse's stuff since I first noticed him on Batman Annual # 14 back when I was just a wee lad of 11... in fact, he's one of the first artists I remember recognizing. He's worked with Alan Moore on Supreme and Tom Strong, and now with Garth Ennis on the Midnighter, and I can think of some pretty outragous things that he's been asked to draw. Handling Asgard and everything that comes with it should be no problem for the guy.
If you read Agents of Atlas, you know Parker's got a good handle on the Marvel U, both past and present. He doesn't take his work so seriously that he can't have a good time, and that's something I sorely miss about many of the mainstream Marvel books. For instance, I LOVE Brubaker's and Epting's Captain America, but I'll admit, I can't remember the last time I thought it was a fun read.
But don't get me wrong, I don't think Thor should be a laugh-a-minute kind of book. I mean, afterall, he is the guy that had his bones shattered by the Midgard serpent, and plucked his own eyes out... so, there's that to consider. Parker has a knack for bringing in some pretty weighty stuff when you least expect it, and I have a lot of faith in his ability to find the perfect balance on a book like Thor.
Bottomline it: I want Thor to be good, and if I was in charge of the ol' Idea House at 417 5th Avenue, these would be my boys - Parker, Sprouse, and Gordon.
CAN YOU MAKE IT HAPPEN, MARVEL?
Monday, April 9, 2007
This time, they take some shots at Avengers: The Initiative # 1 in their Sunday Slugfest, and even though I liked the first issue, I will admit, there are a few interesting points made here.
But out of the four reviews done, it's gotta be Thom Young's assessment of the protestor's chant that seals this up as honest to goodness SBCB review.
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
If any of you saw my Best of '06 post in January, you'll remember I'm running about two years behind on movie watching, maybe farther.
Want to see The Departed, Dream Girls, The Good Shepherd, The Prestige, Volver, Bobby, A Scanner Darkly, Science Of Sleep, etc...
I have Netflix, but I just haven't been using it like I should. Kind of wasteful on my part, I guess.
What got me thinking about movies?
I saw Kung Fu Hustle last night. Really enjoyed it, and started thinking about just how much time I spend watching crap TV instead of cool movies that, in the end, would mean a lot more to me than another episode of DATELINE: To Catch and ID Thief.
Lots of thinking going on... I've mentioned these comics here once or twice - The Family Dynamic and Outnumbered. The artists (the very talented Ricardo Cabrerra and Pedro Hermosilla) are both really busy with other projects, and don't look like they're getting a break anytime soon. I'm really proud of both stories and would hate to see them disappear into idea-limbo... trying to figure out what I need to do with those. Any suggestions?
In addition to Danger Ace, I'm working on two other comics ideas, one web-specific and another for an upcoming comics contest.