Thursday, August 14, 2008

A grab bag of links and miscellaneous stuff:

A story on NPR last weekend talked about the birthplace of Superman—the house where he was made-up, not Krypton—and featured interviews with Northeastern Ohioan comic book folks Mike Sangiocomo, Tom Batiuk and Harvey Pekar.


—Did you know Chris Claremont will be the guest of honor at this year’s Mid-Ohio-Con? Well, he will be.


Matt Fraction’s dream about trying to take a picture of Doctor Doom in the bathtub makes me feel less weird about the dreams I’ve had where I’m Robin helping Batman on cases.

Well, slightly less weird.


—My original intention for Tuesday night’s Raymond Briggs post was to take a look at every single Briggs book I could find, whether they seemed to be comics/sequential art or not.

That was before I realized that just within the few libraries around town there are actually millions and millions of Briggs books, so I just stuck to the ones I found that were particularly comic book-y, and cold skipped the ones that were straight-up picture books/illustrated prose.

But I had already scanned these images from Fee Fi Fo Fum, a collection of nursery rhymes illustrated by Briggs, which I will proceed to post simply because I like them so much:




—I got the new issue of So Super Duper in the mail this week, and it is intense, including the shocking scene of cryptosexual lead Psyche’s first-ever kiss:

Man, I did not see that particular kissing partner coming!

But the last page, that I totally saw coming. Like, the second I glanced at the cover of the first issue.

Aside from big plot twists, this issue is somewhat noteworthy because it contains this

a seven-page, fourteen-panel back-up story by some jack-ass named J. Caleb Mozzocco.

It is seriously not very good. I mean, look at this panel here:

See the character on the left half of the upper left-hand corner I’m gesturing too? See how her legs extend to the bottom of the panel? Where are the legs of the two characters on the right half of that panel?

The lazy artist tried to hide them under a dialogue bubble, but he didn’t make the bubble big enough, so they just look like floating torsos.

If for some reason you want to peruse this crudely drawn short story for yourself and/or follow the continuing adventures of the gayest superhero ever (who isn’t Batman), you can find out how to order it at Sosuperduper.com.

Here’s the first page of that back-up story:

So Super Duper creator Brian Andersen has also written a brand new comic called Reignbow and Dee-Va which is illustrated by Celina Hernandez, an artist who’s better than both Andersen and this Mozzocco joker, so you might want to order a copy of that too. I’ve been planning to review it here for a while now, and will hopefully get to it in the next week or so.


—I used to rail against Ed Benes’ entirely inappropriate choices for depicting the women in Justice League of America until I eventually just quit buying the damn book, but one of the (many) things that used to so bug me about it was the cut of Wonder Woman’s battle-briefs.

After seeing photos of the women’s beach volleyball players at the Olympics however, I realize maybe Wonder Woman’s tiny little bikini bottoms are actually kind of realistic.

I mean, some of those volleyball players seem downright Amazonian, dwarfing our Commander-in-Chief with their height, their bodies rippling with muscles.

If Wonder Woman were really real-real, might she not look a bit like a black-haired Kerri Walsh, with Walsh’s height, musculature and build and, therefore, maybe Walsh’s taste in extremely small bottoms? If they’re comfortable enough to play beach volleyball in, are they not also comfortable enough to fight crime in? Is fighting Amazo really so different from playing beach volleyball?

But then, Wonder Woman’s physical strength, speed and endurance are magical gifts from the Greek gods, not the result of working out, so I guess there’s no real reason for her to have killer abs and toned back muscles; it’s like when artists (like Benes) draw Superman as if he were a bodybuilder—he’s not super-strong because he has a 38-pack and six triceps in each arm, he’s super-strong because of, um, yellow sunlight and Kryptonian cells or Earth’s gravity or whatever (i.e. more magic).

So maybe Wonder Woman wouldn’t really share Walsh’s physical appearance, and thus wouldn’t share her taste in small bikini bottoms.

Now, I wasn’t thinking this makes Benes a “good” artist or anything. The guy still can’t tell a story or differentiate his characters from one another. Nor does this make his JLoA comics less creepily obsessed with his characters’ boobs and butts. Just that his giving Wonder Woman tiny, tiny, tiny little bottoms seems less unrealistic to me than it did a couple weeks ago.


Here’s an extremely well-written review of the last issue of Batman by an extremely good writer. Not a single mention of the art; and this is only the latest time I’ve seen critics talking about how great Grant Morrison’s Batman is without mentioning the fact that it is so terribly illustrated some parts of each issue barely make any sense visually.

Is there something wrong with me? Is Tony Daniel a perfectly competent artist that I for some reason can’t appreciate at all? That is, maybe it’s not him, it’s me?


—PSA: When Fangirls Attack is back.


—The best reason to read Secret Invasion continues to be that doing so makes it easier to get all of Abhay Khosla’s jokes about it.


—Mike Sterling posts one of the best panels of Millennium #5, in which the heroes of the DCU congratulate Batman on the phenomenal success of his latest movie. Or something. Go check it out.


—Not comics: I have a review of Star Wars: Clone Wars up at Donewaiting today. Short version: Just rewatch the 2003 2D Cartoon Network version, as the new movie is much, much, much worse than its trailers would lead one to believe. And man, those trailers made it look awful.

Plus, no one says “Kit Fisto” out loud.


—Also not comics: If you live in Columbus (or nearby) and are looking for something to do tomorrow night, Caleb-approved band Miranda Sound is playing their final (Columbus) show before wussing out and breaking up.

Details are on their website, as are some downloads of ten of their songs, so you can listen to them, realize they’re pretty good and then you too can be disappointed that they’re quitting like a bunch of little girls.

And if you live further south, then their very last show ever is the following night, in Newport, KY.

The only good thing about Miranda Sound (maybe temporarily…?) calling it quits? Clint Reno drew a kick-ass poster for the show involving dinosaurs:



—Presuming I get it drawn in time, tomorrow will the last installment of the Justice League Ice Cream Social (although since it’s after 9 p.m. haven’t even started yet, something tells me I won’t make it), after which I will have drawn every single Justice Leaguer ever—plus a few of the honorary members—doing something ice cream-related.

In retrospect, this was a terrible, terrible idea and a huge waste of time on my part, but I did like essentially betting myself that I couldn’t draw a few pictures a day for so long. It’s a great motivator.

Now if only I could channel that motivation into something more positive than lame-ass gags about obscure DC superheroes…

15 comments:

gummi48 said...

I've been meaning to say "Hi" as another Columbusite.

I'm really really tempted to go see Miranda Sound. I missed them at Comfest (saw Hug & Kisses though) and even though I probably shouldn't miss this chance.

I want one of those posters too...

Jog said...

Oh no, it's definitely not just you... reading around, a lot of people don't like Daniel's stuff at all. I didn't mention it in that review since... well, I found it totally unremarkable. It didn't impede my reading (like that coloring gaffe in the Joker bit at the end of part 1 did), or strike me as especially offensive... just kinda sat there conveying the story in a DC 'house' type of Wildstorm-ish style, maybe pinging off the '90s motif a tiny bit...

RAB said...

I've been enjoying the heck out of the Ice Cream Social strips and several of them have been extremely witty. If you persist in calling them "lame-ass" I can only interpret this as a personal slur against my tastes and be hurt. On the other hand, if you say instead "thanks for the compliment, I'm glad you enjoyed them" I will feel good. The choice is yours!

a said...

But what about future justice league members?
Will you draw more when like...whichever Milestone character who's introduced joins?

Jim Azelvandre said...

As another "Columbusite" who's lurked for awhile...um...can't wait for our trolleys!

re. Tony Daniel. I'm sure you're not the only one who dislikes his Batman, but you sure are the most vocal. I take a perverse glee every month reading your thoughts about him. I, myself, don't really have a problem with him on this book, and actually kinda...gulp...like it.

Everybody has different tastes, so you go on and rip him, I say.

Now Benes, on the other hand. Gah! I could forgive the butt floss, but the freaking poses he puts all the heroines in? Give me a break!

SallyP said...

Awww...Caleb don't feel bad, your artwork is still LOADS better than Rob Liefelds. Although that probably doesn't sound as complimentary as it should.

I'm going to miss the Ice Cream Social. And yes, Benes is starting(starting?) to drive me nuts.

Michael said...

Not only does he do a terrible job hiding non-existent legs with a word balloon, but the lack of backgrounds is even worse.

I love daily dose of Leaguers and their delicious frozen treats, almost as much as I love Santa Batman.

Does this mean I shouldn't be looking forward to a Doom Patrol Ice Cream Social (with flavors like sauerkraut and thumb tacks)?

Gjskier (Kal) said...

Personal tastes aside, love him or hate him... you sure do rip into Tony and Ed pretty harshly at times... and frequently.

;-)

j dot domingo said...

i think you have the same problem with Tony Daniel that I have with John Romita, Jr.

Tony said...

Anything that keeps you drawing is a good use of your time.

Matthew J. Brady said...

I just wanted to say that the picture of you reading So Super Duper is awesome. If you just did a series of posts of you reacting to various comics, I think you might discover some sort of secret blogging recipe for success. Hmmm, I might have to steal that idea.

Brian said...

Haha! Caleb, your art rocks, your back-up story was amazing, and your blog is crazy great!! Thanks for being a part of So Super Duper!

Caleb said...

I want one of those posters too...

Did you check out Reno's site? He sells stuff there. If I were a millionaire, I would buy all of it and have it framed and have a Reno gallery in my mansion.


just kinda sat there conveying the story in a DC 'house' type of Wildstorm-ish style, maybe pinging off the '90s motif a tiny bit...

I seem to recall the Bat-books having okay art during the Azrael months (I remember Bret Blevins and Vince Giarranno for sure; maybe Graham Nolan and Mike Manley were around then too...?), but that's probably a good way to look at it. It will definitely help me get through the rest of the Morrison/Daniel run.


On the other hand, if you say instead "thanks for the compliment, I'm glad you enjoyed them" I will feel good. The choice is yours!

Thanks for the compliment, I'm glad you enjoyed them.


But what about future justice league members?
Will you draw more when like...whichever Milestone character who's introduced joins?


I didn't think of that, but yeah, I guess I would have to do annual summer updates to keep up with the evolving line-up.


Does this mean I shouldn't be looking forward to a Doom Patrol Ice Cream Social (with flavors like sauerkraut and thumb tacks)?

Maybe I'll do a more modest version of an Avengers one next summer, and just do 30, instead of, like, everyone who's ever been an Avenger.

I have a sketchblog theme month planned for October as well.

I just wanted to say that the picture of you reading So Super Duper is awesome. If you just did a series of posts of you reacting to various comics, I think you might discover some sort of secret blogging recipe for success. Hmmm, I might have to steal that idea.

Pantomime is the future of online comics criticism!

That or possibly spit-takes. I'll need to get a water-proof camera first...

The Pretentious Fool said...

You know, I have long thought the best interpretation of Superman would be one where he looks like a scrawny little guy. Since his power comes from his Kryptonian physiology interacting with our sun, and not from any working out...and since he has never had need to actually work out to gain muscle mass...it makes sense to me that he would be a smaller guy.

It would actually be kind of interesting to see a less muscular Wonder Woman and Superman, but a more muscular Batman.

Wild Goose said...

Since the theme is grab-baggery, I thought I'd offer another interesting/random thing to your list: this recent blog entry by Captain Marvel screenwriter John August: http://tinyurl.com/6otp6s