Monday, May 28, 2012

(links)

Today is Memorial Day, which means it's a Monday holiday (at least here in the United States), which means it feels more like Sunday today than Sunday did yesterday, so I'm going to go ahead and do my weekly links post, which I usually do on Sundays, today instead.

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Speaking of Memorial Day, I have a piece on ComicsAlliance today remembering some of our fallen superheroes, if you'd like to read it.

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I also still put together that "Week-in-Review" post for ComicsAlliance.

In doing so, I always see Bethany Fong's weekly feature "Best Cosplay Ever (This Week)," a gallery of particularly striking examples of cosplay, and this week I saw two gals dressed as two fan-favorite but rebooted out of existence characters from the extended Bat-family (At least, I think they no longer exists; if Batman Inc is still in continuity, I'm not sure how Barbara Gordon can still be the only Batgirl who ever existed).

It made me wonder, do all of the ladies who dress up as particular characters from, say, Marvel or DC comics read the comics featuring the characters they dress up as? Or, more likely, is it a case of some do and some don't? Because if they all do, it seems like the female readership for Big Two super-comics must be huge.

I'm sure I've seen at least 20,000 images of girls dressed up as Batgirl II Cassandra Cain at this point, for example...

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I found this page on dccomics.com very, very, very, very interesting, in large part because in his Comics Journal "exit interview", freelance writer Chris Roberson had this to say at one point:

I can’t speak for Marvel because I’ve never worked there, but at least at DC over the course of paying attention as a reader over the course of the last decade, and then definitely as someone employed by them over the course of the last few years, a culture has arisen which seems to devalue the role of the creator and prize the creation. The most telling examples I could point to are things like if you go to the DC website, there are categories for titles, there are categories for characters, and there are categories for movies or films. There is no category for creator...In many cases, there are listings for the the creative teams on individual titles and individual collections, but even there in many cases the names are wrong.
Does the one thing have something to do with the other, or did DC decide to maybe still a marketing idea from Image, who had house ads featuring their creators, or Marvel, who did that stupid "architects" photo shoot a while ago?

I don't know, but I hope it means DC is at least paying attention to the conversation about creators and creators rights that has emerged this spring as DC announced Before Watchmen and The Avengers saw release...

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It is nice to see some of the faces behind some of DC's comics, although one of the unfortunate side effects of this little project is that it sure underscores how few ladies they have writing and drawing for them.

Beyond Batgirl writer Gail Simone, the only two included in that post are Amanda Conner (whose last regular work for DC was a year's worth of Power Girl ending in 2010, although she has a controversial miniseries coming up pretty soon), and Jill Thompson (who has had a long relationship with DC's Veritgo imprint, but unless I"m missing something, hasn't done any DCU work save a single issue of The Shade, in...I don't know, a million years...?)

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It does make a sense to have something like that on dccomics.com, though, and it would serve DC well to compliment those bios with a list of clickable links to trade collections featuring the work of those creators, and/or maybe links to some of their digital comics DC is selling. I can't speak for all comics readers everywhere but, let's see, every single one I know personally shops for comics by creator rather than character or title.

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I wouldn't actually want to get hit in the face by anything thrown by Batman, but, were I to compile a list of Things Batman Could Throw At My Face, in descending order from things I would least like to get hit in the face with to things it might not be so bad to get hit in the face with, these would be near the top.

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I really like the term "Proto-Tubby."

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The other day I was driving to work and an SUV in the next lane passed me, and I noticed its license plate read "ROBEAST." I spent some time trying to remember where the term "robeast," as in a robot beast, is originally from—Was it the TV-headed gorilla in Robot Monster? The collective name of those silly, size-changing monsters the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers used to fight? The things that the effeminate evil elf-looking guy from Voltron used to have fight our heroes...? (It was the things that the effeminate evil elf-looking guy from Voltron used to have fight our heroes).

Off and on throughout the day I wondered who would pay to have a vanity license plate reading "ROBEAST" made to put on their car, and why they would do so.

It wasn't until about the end of the work day that I realized it might just have been some dude named Rob East driving that SUV.

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Oh shit, can John DiMaggio read all of the audiobooks I listen to in the voice of Aquaman...?

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So, PVP cartoonist Scott Kurtz said something dumb (well, actually, a whole bunch of different dumb things, on the subject of how everyone should quit talking about creator's rights and Jack Kirby in relation to The Avengers movie. Christopher Bird and Leonard Pierce took Kurtz to task.

Re-reading these pieces before posting these links, one thing that really jumps out at me is Kurtz's general argument (or is it an "argument...?) that things are better now and that the screwing of Jack Kirby (and other creators) out of credit and/or money is all in the past, so there's no point in fretting over it now are kind of silly given the fact that it's obviously not in the past.

The Avengers is in theaters right now the heirs of Kirby and Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster are in court right now. These fights might have began a lont time ago, but they're still going on; they're still occurring in the present tense and they haven't yet been resolved.

Also, quick reminder: Scott Kurtz is in idiot, as the comments section of this 2008 post pretty thoroughly demonstrates.

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Say, this is some mighty fine comics-reviewing right here...

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You know what's weird? I found this trailer for Lego Batman 2 much more exciting and visually compelling than I found the trailer for Dark Knight Rises....and I've never even played Lego Batman, nor do I imagine I'll ever play this new one.

Maybe it's the Elfman music in it...?

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You've probably seen the cover for Astonishing X-Men #51 featuring the ceremony of Northstar to his boyfriend already, right?

I like how some of the X-people decided to get dressed up for the ceremony, while Psylocke is just like, "Fuck it, I'm just going to wear my liquid latex bathing suit, and Puck wears his fetish wear, and he sits right in the front row, next to boyfriend's parents.

Shame on the artist for not drawing a tie around Doop, though...

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This comic strip is sad/funny/horrible/true.

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If this turns out to be true, then I think that particular character does fit the "iconic", if not necessarily "major," criteria, although like I said before, having the major, iconic character be a secondary version of a character, and one who now exists in an alternate dimension that has only been around for, let's see, one month now, and may only last until the point at which DC decides to de-boot their reboot to enjoy the sales bump doing so would trigger, is kind of a cheat.

I think it would have been a much, much, much bigger deal before the reboot, although using that particular character for that particular coming out might have been somewhat difficult given his history of not being totally, 100% cool with loved ones who turn out to be gay.

5 comments:

Diabolu Frank said...

I was waiting a long time to see if Jamal Igle was going to be "the black guy," but Ryan Benjamin and Tony Akins finally showed up. DC appears to be fairly well stocked on Latinos and Asians. Shame they all only get to draw the pictures, since art isn't the area where my interest in comics in waning due to homogeneity.

Diabolu Frank said...

Also: My interest in Alan Scott began in the mid-90s, when he was turned into Sentinel. I was very interested in the dynamic of the super-heroic elder statesman Gregory Peck type suddenly revitalized and faced with the temptation of a seductive new Harlequin while he had his beloved but still elderly wife at home. Molly's fear of losing her husband (and her life, surely) led her to literally make a deal with the devil (Neron) which compromised her soul and further burdened Alan's. DC blew off the possibilities this opened up, and re-aged them both. My interest faded, although I did have an interest in Alan struggling with his tortured son's mental instability and eventual salvation through accepting his sexual identity.

To summarize, what I liked about Sentinel were his difficulties with age, historical significance, and family. He is now a childless, unmarried twentysomething homosexual just starting out as a hero on a parallel Earth. I guess it's good that he's gay, because there's nothing else about him of note for me, and "iconic" is still a reach and a half.

Anthony Strand said...

I know this wasn't really the point of your question, but -

The woman on the left *is* Bethany Fong, so it's probably a pretty safe bet that she reads comics.

Kevin McHugh said...

According to Bethany Fong, that's Betty Felon.

jheaton said...

Thanks for the link to that Eleanor Davis comic. She packs a remarkable amount of power into those 14 panels.