Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Four images.

I was pretty surprised to see the above image staring up at me from a rolled-up newspaper on a relative's porch on Sunday morning.

Funky Winkerbean cartoonist Tom Batiuk and/or whoever helps produce his comic strip (I can't imagine he does it all by himself; surely he must at least have a couple of sadness experts advising him on the scripts) has long incorporated superhero allusions and homages into his and/or their work, but I think Deadman is perhaps the most obscure of 'em I've seen before (Not that I've read every installment of Funky Winkerbean or anything; for all I know DC superheroes who have never had their own TV shows or movies appear in Sunday strips regularly).

I mean we know who Deadman is, but how big a portion of the total Funky Winkerbean reading audience do we account for?

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Somehow I forgot to highlight the above cover for What If? Wolverine: Father, which in many months would probably be Marvel's most awesome cover of the month, but then, this month the month this particular cover is being released is the same one during which Ivan Brunetti's image of cute little Marvels all using the gym together is also planned for release).

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Let me tell you a very sad story. Somewhere, someone created this image, and was paid money for it, while someone else, who probably got paid even more money, looked at it and said "Yes, yes this is an acceptable image. I can't think of anything about it that should be changed."

Actually, that's the most positive way to look at that image.

The more cynical way to look at it is that those involved with its existence were all quite aware that it is a terrible, terrible image, but made it that particular type and level of terrible to cater to a particular audience with terrible taste. That is, they were thinking, "Hey, we have this prose urban-fantasy series we'd like to sell to those goofy people who read comic books...what do the things they like look like? Like this? Okay fine, make this look as much like that crap as possible."

Pardon me a moment, I need to go weep quietly in the closet....

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Oh say, look at the cover of JSA All-Stars #10, which came out a few weeks ago: I haven't seen Power Girl's blood-splattered breasts in a while, and I can't remember the last time I've seen them on the cover of a comic book.

Oh Comics, you sure do cater to some very specific fetishes!

10 comments:

Hdefined said...

Watch out, DC. Caleb is monitoring the breasts of your characters.

Eyz said...

Deadman getting some spotlight!
nice^^

Joe said...

nice attempted take down, if only you were able to proof your own work, it really would have put us in our place!

"That is, they were thinking, "Hey, we have this prose urban-fantasy series we'd like to see to those goofy people who read comic books...what do the things they like look like?"

Caleb said...

nice attempted take down, if only you were able to proof your own work, it really would have put us in our place!

Oh snap! The spell-checking and auto-correcting elves in my computer changed a mistyped "sell" into "see" in this amateur blog that you read for free! And now I've corrected it anyway! That's almost the exact same as creating and selling not-very-good comic book art!

(And speaking of typos, don't look now, but you failed to capitalize the first word in your sentence!)

Also, who's "us?" I'm afraid I don't know who you are...are you the artist or a Dynamite employee? Your profile thing just says "Joe."

Joe said...

"amateur" being the key word here I think, also someone that is the arbiter of all art. Bravo! I hope you bring the same professionalism to Newsarama...

And yes, I work for Dynamite, tho my dismissal of you, here, is my own...

Caleb said...

EDILW is an amateur comics blog (i.e. I don't get paid to do it). Blog@Newsarama is a professional blog (I do).

Now if I were the arbiter of all art, I might have asked the artist to turn the figure's body or head a bit at the sketch stage, so the woman looked more like a human being.

But then, I've never read the book...maybe it stars a woman with an owl-like neck-spinning ability...or she's possessed by the demon from The Exorcist or something...

Anyway, thanks for stopping by to criticize my criticism, I guess...

A Hero said...

I think Tom Batiuk pretty much writes and draws whatever he wants without too much concern for mainstream audience. There is no other way I can explain why he decided to turn a comic strip named "Funky Winkerbean" into a never-ending chronicle despair.

I can only assume at some point he realized the newspapers (with their strong aversion to change in the comics section) weren't going to drop him no matter what he did.

I respect the hell out of him for this.

Jeff said...

Oh, Joe! Do you realize your criticisms are even better when read aloud in Comic Book Guy voice?

Great job of criticizing, Comic Book Guy!

Hdefined said...

I always enjoy the argument, "Your criticisms mean nothing if you can't do it better." I'd like someone to tell that to Roger Ebert.

Dara said...

Joe, Joe, Joe. Maybe instead of trying to put down Caleb, who writes a smart, entertaining, and often insightful blog FOR FREE, you could spend a fraction of that energy talking to your employer about not producing such shit work that they CHARGE MONEY FOR.

But maybe you're just too busy proofing the 17 different Green Hornet series with a combined total of 35 variant covers for Dynamite.