This is the first of what will hopefully be a weekly column about my thoughts on the week in comics and related stuff. It will be made up of mini op-ed pieces (don’t worry I will still be doing in depth op-ed pieces every so often), plus some mini-reviews of comics read during the week, some blog recommendations, maybe a book review here and there too.
1. Last week the Kirby family filed suit against Marvel for termination of copyrights and compensation for lack of credit in films for characters co-created by Jack Kirby. I did an op-ed piece on this a couple of months ago, you can read it here. My views since then haven’t changed one iota, Jack Kirby was Marvel comics dynamo and it’s time that his pride and joy, his family, get the rewards that he was due but never received.
My admiration for the King is not secret so I will unashamedly cheer on the Kirby family to their victory. So what will it mean for the characters in question? Well, Marvel will have to stop publishing the current versions and the family will be able to sell them to DC…..Actually the only people who think that might happen are retarded fanboys who have no clue about copyright law. What will happen is that Marvel will give a big settlement to the Kirby’s and pay royalties for future use.
Hopefully that will open the door for other writers/artists or their families to get their dues also, lets not forget other creators like Bill Everett, Don Heck, Steve Ditko and the rest.
2. Remember my other Op-ed piece about Captain America: Reborn? Well in case anyone thought there was no substance about my accusations against Hitch, just take a look at his art agent’s page. Big splash pages are going for $2000+ whereas “crappy” story pages only go for about $250, a pretty big incentive for him to throw the writer under the bus, eh?
3. Palmiotti and Gray aren’t writing Power Girl anymore and they replace them with Judd Winick??? Sorry but I fucking hate that guy’s writing, expect this book to turn into a train wreck. They should have given the book to Keith Giffen, then it might have continued to be Bwa-ha-ha funny, bad choice DC!
4. Dark Avengers #15, oh you better believe I fucking hate this book with a vengeance. I agree with Jose’s Op-ed piece 1000%, I’ll be doing an Op-ed piece of my own on related matters in the upcoming future but something did strike me when I was reading about the descriptions of Ultimate Comics Avengers #5 and Justice League: Cry for Justice #7…it’s a quote from the description of part of the Battle for Warsaw in 1944 between the SS and the polish resistance (I’m a bit of a history buff btw) which went as follows : “Favoured tactics during the siege reportedly included playing “bayonet catch” with live babies, and torturing captives to death by hacking off their arms, dousing them with gasoline, and setting them alight to run armless and flaming down the streets of Warsaw.” I guess now we get to read about this stuff happening to our favourite heroes now, what’s the world coming to?
5. Goddamn Kick-Ass trailers are on the tv here all the fucking time, there are even posters up on billboards for it, there is no way in hell that I will be going to see that piece of shit and if you have any taste at all you won’t be giving money to that ginger hack Millar.
6. IDW have been promoted by Diamond Comic Distributors to be one of their Premier Publishers which means that they will be out of the back section of Previews magazine and moved up to the front with Dark Horse, DC and Image (Marvel have their own separate Previews comic-sized magazine). They will have much more room to display their products, instead of being squeezed into the current 12 or so pages they will have up to 40 pages to display their wares and be able to promote their comics much better.
I recently previewed one of their comics, Mystery Society, and they normally have a knack of producing interesting comics along with their normal licensed stuff like GI Joe and Transformers. How long till Boom Studios make the transition to Premier Publisher status?
These are some reviews on comics I’ve read so far this week. I get my comics via mail order in one or two packages a month so these won’t be “new” comics per se but they are recent. I’ll be trying to mention ones that Jose, Elliot and Ironmuskrat don’t get around to doing full reviews on.
Justice Society of America #34 and #35
If you want a comic that tells good superhero stories without babies being thrown out of windows or rapes then this should be a comic for you. Swipes at Millar and Bendis aside, I really enjoyed these comics. The newly split JSA fought against Mordru, he sent them all into pocket dimensions where they faced their greatest fears then teamed back up to kick ass. This served to reintroduce the characters and bind them together, I think these issues would be a great jumping on point for new readers. The only minor niggle would be with fill in artist Travis Moore who can be a little weak with getting faces right but otherwise did a good job while Jesus Merino catches up.
Fantastic Four #576
This is the second issue of the Prime Elements arc and this story is just sumptuous. From Dale Eaglesham’s art which is reminiscent of Big John Buscema’s classic art to Paul Mounts gorgeous colours, this is just a feast for the eyes. As for Jonathan Hickman’s writing, well only half a dozen issues in and its already got the makings of a classic run up there with John Byrnes mid-80’s stuff, Walt Simonson’s underrated early 90’s run and Waid and Ringo’s epic run of the early noughties (nothing will ever beat Lee/Kirby of course). This episode the team goes under the Antarctic Ice cap to meet an unknown aquatic civilization, Hickman just throwing new ideas out on every few pages.
Outsiders #26 and #27
From the sublime to the ridiculous, Dan Didio takes over from Pete Tomasi and makes a complete dogs dinner of this comic. I really enjoyed Tomasi’s take on the team, which actually made sense but Didio has thrown out all the set up from that run and shipped the team off to Markovia where Brion has made peace with the Kryptonians who send the freakin Eradicator to be their peace envoy….can’t see any trouble with that can you?
I’m not criticising this book because I hate Dan Didio, I actually think he’s done a good job with DC editorial in the last year but unfortunately he’s just a terrible writer, these are only worth getting to laugh at how out of character everyone is and how ham fistedly every situation is handled, case in point being the cringe worthy advances of Owl Man towards Katana. Its not offensive in the same way as a Bendis or Millar comic is, just really poorly written and drawn.
Milestone Forever #1
This I guess is the formal reintroduction of the Milestone characters after the JLA arc of just over a year ago. The first thing that strikes me is the hideous cover on this, apparently DC editorial changed the cover and put this purple wash over the art, there’s no way that I would pick this off the shelf if I didn’t know what it was first, it looks so horrible. The first 8 pages of art by Jean Paul Leon though were very enjoyable, they reminded me of the Kirbyesque art of Shaky Kane.
The rest of the (expensive prestige format) issue was by MD Bright and Romeo Tanghal and sorry to say it but the art was so nineties that it hurt. And so to be honest so was the writing, considering they had 48 pages to work with I couldn’t tell you much more about the characters now than before I read it and that wasn’t much to start with.
Tails of the Pet Avengers #1
This is an anthology of Pet Avengers stories leading up to next months second Pet Avengers mini-series. Each of the pets gets a 5/6 page story which adds up to 30 pages of story/art for $3.99, not a bad deal. The stories range from the cute (Lockjaw) to the poignant (Lockheed) but as always Ms Lion and Frog Thor stole the show, Ms Lion doing some detective work on a cruise ship and the great Frog Thor leading his frogs in a fight against some alligators who were trying to invade their pond in Central Park. Nice writing and art by Chris Eliopoulous, Colleen Coover, Ig Guara, Gurihiro and more, this is truly a comic for all ages and a great break from all the angst-ridden ultra violence that seems to be popular amongst the fanboys now.
*BACK ISSUE BIN
DC Holiday Special ‘09
This came out back in November/December of last year, 80 pages for $5.99 with a Christmas/holiday theme. I don’t think this sold huge numbers, certainly not in the direct market anyway, which is a pity because its actually really good, it will probably be dirt cheap as a back issue.
Its worth tracking this down in the back issue bins of your LCS or Cons for the Sgt Rock story by Billy Tucci alone. Added to that are great short stories of Enemy Ace, Red Tornado, Flash, Batman and Martian Manhunter plus there’s an Angel and the Ape story so you can’t say no to that!
Perhaps like me you visit blogs other than the CCW one (I know, it’s a shock isn’t it?) Perhaps you too have idle time to fill at work, I know I do! So every column I’d like to recommend one or two I like, if you’ve got favourites then by all means let us know!
Grantbrigde Street and Other Adventures
I just love this blog, its got loads of stuff I’m interested in from the 60’s to the 90’s, obscure comic strips from the greats like Romita, Kirby, Toth, Charest, Ditko, Buscema, art gallery’s of favourite characters like Doctor Doom, Catwoman, Superman etc. Its got Superhero’s, bizarre sci-fi, horror comics, freaked out shit and lost comic strips like the great Brendan McCarthy’s Sooner or Later, a beautiful Daniel Torres’ story , some great Phillip Druillet art and what about this amazing crazy piece by The King!
Pats Fantasy Hotlist
This is another blog that I go to practically everyday as in addition to comics I’ve loved reading fantasy and sci-fi books for years and have really gotten back into reading novels in the last couple of years (Amazon is just so dirt cheap lol). Pats Fantasy Hotlist is easily the most popular F&SF literary blog out there because its accessible, down to earth (you know what I mean), and pretty easy going, somewhat like the CCW except not quite as community led as the CCW.
The content is consistently solid with writer interviews, excerpts from newly released and upcoming books (important if you’re undecided on what to read next), new Cover art and contests where you can win free books. If you like to read then this blog is worth checking.
I’m not going to comment too much on TV as I’m way behind on what is being currently shown in America, I just can’t be bothered downloading tv stuff now. One series I’ve enjoyed for years though is Mad Men, the story of advertising executives in 1960’s Manhattan, the scripts are witty, the styling is spot on and they’ve got Christina Hendricks, hubba hubba! This is my favourite scene from the current series, Season 3.
Ok, that’s it for this week, I hope you enjoyed it, let me know your opinions. See you next week for more!