Thursday, November 12, 2009

Just a couple of links.

EDILW favorite J. Chris Campbell recently posted a big, huge gallery of monster images he created, and you can take a gander at it here. It's really great stuff, and if you're wondering how great, well, I stole the above two images from there, as they happen to be of a few subjects I like—scarecrows and people with pumpkins for heads. Do check it out if you haven't already (Link via The Comics Reporter).

—Here's your occasional reminder to read Tucker Stone's weekly "Comics of the Weak" column of reviews at The Factual Opinion. Here's Stone on Vampirella: The Second Coming #3:

Vampirella comics aren't bad, in and of themselves. They just make everything else around them look bad, because really, this sleazy hot girl horror comic is pretty much indistinguishable from a healthy crop of Big Two super-hero comics and most of the non-crime stuff Vertigo publishes. It's the same mediocre shit. The only difference is that Vampirella freely admits it, right on the cover. You're supposed to yell at it for that?
As per usual, Stone also tackles a bunch of the previous Wednesday's releases that I have neither the money nor the courage to read.

—Also always worth a read? Jog.

—I didn't mention it in my little review of Marvel's Assault on New Olympus last week, but reading Don MacPherson's excellent review of the same reminded me—aren't the plots of this Hercules mini-event and Marvel's upcoming Siege event awfully similar? In "Assault," Hercules apparently assembles a whole bunch of heroes to attack the bad guy Greek gods' home base of New Olympus. In Siege, Norman Osborn apparently leads his bunch of villains to attack the good guy Norse gods' home base in Asgard. Is "Assault" purposely foreshadowing Siege's plot, or is this just a weird coincidence no one at Marvel noticed until that Hercules one-shot hit shop shelves?

I may just be completely misreading what Siege is supposed to be about, of course. I just watched this stupid trailer, for example, and learned absolutely nothing about it. Aside from the fact that Dave at Living Between Wednesdays is totally right about the logo, that is.

—Todd Klein, the world's greatest comic book letterer in my humble opinion, also runs a swell blog, and his posts on logo history are always great reads. This latest is something of a must-read, though. Klein talks to Batman artist Jerry Robinson and determines that Robinson designed the Batman logo in which Batman's head and cape/wings form the backdrop of the word "Batman."

Why is this so important? Well obviously the logo stuck around a while—Klein said it was around until 1965—and it was the basis for many different updated versions ever since. The current flagship Batman title Batman and Robin, for example, boasts a version of it.

When I heard this though, my mind immediately jumped back to Paul Pope giving his lecture at the Wexner Center last year and explaining how he determined just who and what Batman was at his core: Batman is, in a sense, a logo and advertisement for himself.

While that might seem like a very artist point-of-view with which to approach a comic book character, I've been struck with how writer Grant Morrison's whole run on Batman/Batman and Robin has been something of a meditation on Batman as a living logo...a trademarked image being fought over and pirated...a powerful sigil. Yesterday's issue of Batman and Robin was, looked at from one angle, simply a conflict between Dick Grayson and Jason Todd over the appropriate use of that Batman logo.


Hdefined said...

Apparently Siege is about Norman Osborne attacking Asgard.

. . . because after a year of neither the Thor title crossing into Dark Reign nor Thor showing up in any Dark Reign books, apparently the climax of Dark Reign is about Thor and Asgard.

If Neil Gaiman heard about this complete lack of foreshadowing, I think he'd weep.

Tucker Stone said...

Doesn't Neil Gaiman cry regularly though? How could we tell that this was a bad-Marvel-planning cry and not a teabag-stuck-to-garbage-can-lid moment?

Hdefined said...

Does he? I always imagined him as just a real life British version of Morpheus, except a little more emo. Hmm, that would include crying, wouldn't it?