Sunday, January 08, 2012


It was either a remarkably slow week in comics—You know how many comics were released this Wednesday that I read? None!—or I just wasn't paying as much attention as usual, as the file I have marked "links" that I gradually fill between Monday and Saturday of each week, and then consult Sunday afternoon to put together a post has hardly anything in it. So this will probably be brief. And being brief isn't something I'm too terribly comfortable with.

First, I hope you will indulge me in some self-linking. Here' s a new thingee I'm going to be contributing to ComicsAlliance, a one-stop shopping post that recounts much of what CA covered throughout the previous week. So if you don't read CA religiously already—and you should!—then give this a look (and give me your page views!). Personally I found it pretty interesting to condense a whole week's coverage like that, and see just what we're covering and in what amounts. I was really pleasantly surprised, for example, how much attention gets paid to artists.

Speaking of ComicsAlliance, editor Laura Hudson was one of the subject featured in the third (and final?) week of Tom Spurgeon's holiday interview series. Also featured were Jeff Smith and Chester Brown, whose Paying For It was by far one of the most talked about books of 2011. I haven't read that last one yet, but I can't wait to do so as soon as I push "Publish Post" on this post...

UPDATE: Spurgeon has posted a post linking to all the interviews from all three weeks. It's here. Do check it out.


I thought this Todd Allen piece for The Beat was kind of weird in that the headline referred to both "DC" and "the Spectre," but he wasn't talking about that guy above. The full headline was "DC Talks Changes—$3.99 Bat-books and the Spectre of Cancellation Looms." It's essentially a recapping and response to a Newsarama interview with DC's John Rood and Bob Wayne regarding some tweaks to the new New 52 line, including upping the price of two more books (and bolstering them with content) and talking a little more frankly about how many issues the poorer-selling New 52 might have to live.

There seemed to be a lot of speculation, in the article and in the comments, regarding what is meant by "editorial content," and that it might be something other than "comics." It's still an open question, I guess—will DC's $4 books have back-up features, like the flirted-with-but-abandoned $3.95/32-page books like Booster Gold (With Blue Beetle back-ups), Doom Patrol (With Metal Men back-ups) and so on, or will they just charge an extra buck for the same 20 pages, and stick in some lame-o sketches and quasi-advertising material, like they've been doing with Justice League, and call that "editorial material' the equivalent of as many pages of Geoff Johns-written, Jim-Lee drawn comics pages?

Obviously, I hope they will justify higher prices with higher page counts (and pages of comics, not not-comics), as they seem poised to (belatedly) do with Action Comics, which is getting a Steel back-up, and Justice League, which is getting a Curse of Shazam back-up. I assumed DC didn't care for the results of those co-features, though, given how quickly abandoned them (For my part, I was unable to find any books where I liked both the title feature and the back-up, and found not liking either reason to drop the book and trade-wait the portions I did like) . I do think DC has to take the higher road than the one Marvel's been traveling down for so long now. Not only because Being Less Scummy Than Marvel seems like a reasonable goal for DC Comics, but because their "Drawing The Line at $2.99" ad campaign is only about a year old now. I went into a new comic shop a few weeks ago, and they had the poster from the campaign hanging on the counter below the cash register. To trumpet a promise like that so loudly is only going to make DC reneging on it so soon after make them look like huge assholes. I know I got, like, actively angry about some of the $3.99/20-page issues of Flashpoint and Justice League precisely because DC had promised not to do that sort of thing.


I really like the drawing of Kermit in the last panel of this comic strip. It's pretty off-model, but in a delightful sort of way.


I didn't notice in September, because I don't really know or care much about the Wolfman/Perez era Titans (aside from liking Perez's art), but isn't it pretty weird that DC finally published Games the exact same month they (temporarily...?) excised the Wolfman/Perez era of Titans comics from their universe's fictional history, with many of the characters disappearing completely, two being rebooted so as to be entirely new characters divorced from their creators' original stories involving them, and only Dick Grayson's codename "Nightwing" remaining in tact? In The New 52, are the names "Nightwing," "Starfire" and "Cyborg" all that survived from the once popular and influential Wolfman/Perez collaboration...?


I only reviewed one of the six books on this "The six most criminally ignored books of 2011" (Lynda Barry's Everything Vol. 1), and only read one other (Marc Bell's Pure Pajamas, which I woulda reviewed, but couldn't really make heads-or-tails of, and I don't generally like to review books I either hate or don't have a good handle on—not counting corporate super-comics, obviously; I'll write about those when I hate 'em no problem—and I couldn't get a good enough grasp on Bell's book to write it up). So I'm as guilty as criminally overlooking as everyone else, I guess. (As for Barry's book not getting more attention, I think it was because it wasn't anywhere near as great as her last two, and thus was more of a publishing initiative sort of story than something critics could conceivably gush over. )

Anyway, a neat list of books to see how many you've read...and how many you might want to hunt down now...


I might buy and try an Axe Cop body spray, but don't think I'd wanna read an Axe Body Spray comic.


Wait, Axe's whole image is beautiful women throwing themselves at guys who wear a particular spray, right? Plus junior high sex jokes? I guess I might buy a comic, depending on who drew the beautiful women. Like, if they got Richard Sala or Paul Pope or Colleen Coover, that might be cool.


Beautiful women throwing themselves at a man for no discernable, logical reason, saving perhaps the way he smells...that's, like, Wolverine's love life, isn't it? Minus the claws and body hair and ninjas and and X-Men missions and stabbing and occasionally running around with wolves in the nude when he needs some him time?


Akilles said...

I haven`t read any of those 6 books. But I would probably wanna red them all.

The axe-comics have really nice art. But the plots may be quite clichéic...

Nick Ahlhelm said...

There are still a lot of claims that at least some of the Wolfman/Perez Titans happened, though nothing in continuity has stated it as so outside of a few references by Starfire to her "old team" and that Nightwing, Arsenal and her clearly worked together at some point.

Like many of the books though they seem to be establishing the fact that it really isn't vital to know whether that was in continuity or not.

J. L. Bell said...

To add to the irony, Teen Titans: Games fits neither the continuity Wolfman and Pérez began to tell it in (between Crisis on Infinite Earths and Zero Hour) nor any other DC continuity. It's a pocket universe all its own.

David Charles Bitterbaum said...

You forgot it also is a bit different from the Wolverine comics in that the women he loves don't all die terribly to get across some contrived plot. At least, I don't think Axe has a comic with that. If they have a comic with hot women dying I'm seriously concerned about who Axe is marketing to besides sex-starved youth who think smelling terrible will attract women.