Archive for November, 2007

this isn’t fun anymore

Wait. Seriously?


History in the making; or, silly comics journalism

Steve Murray reviews an Avengers comic book for Comics Nexus.

Whether you realize it or not, it’s rare that someone can actually stand in the middle of an event that is going to be truly world-changing, and think to themselves: “Wow, that is going to change the entire world.” Oh sure, everyone loves to throw around the “9/11 changed everything” rhetoric — but honestly, has your day-to-day life changed in any significant manner since then (besides the fact that you can’t bring a bottle of breast milk onto a cross-country flight now)? But conversely, how many people do you think that were eyewitnesses to the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in 1914 thought to themselves, “Yes, this is definitely the kind of act that will cause the deaths of 20 million people by the time this all plays out”? (20 million. Try wrapping your mind around that number sometime.)

So, to witness the beginning of something big, and realize just how big it’s going to be: it should be considered a rare treat. And here, in this issue, you will get just that.

You heard it here first: New Avengers: Illuminati #5 = more important than the First World War.
PS. Also September 11th.

My promo text isn’t this over-the-top, and I work for a publisher. Come on, guy.

Somehow I’m reminded of this scene from The Princess Bride:

MAN IN BLACK: You’re that smart?
VIZZINI: Let me put it this way. Have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates?
VIZZINI: Morons!

Try wrapping your mind around that number sometime!

“Bigger fish to fry”

panel from This American Strife by J. Longo

Abhay is tearing apart most of the launch titles of DC’s webcomic experiment Zuda. I’m still forming my own reactions, but poking around has turned over one interesting new piece of the story:

One of the more common complaints I’ve seen so far (aside from the amount of T&A midriff exposure) has been about J. Longo’s This American Strife, a “random gag” strip that people are finding unfunny. Like most commentators, I don’t think the strip is “ready for prime time,” but I noticed in the comment section (unfortunately, Zuda’s emulation of YouTube extends to this feature as well) that Longo posted a link to his blog “to advertise, explain and promote This American Strife.” The blog contains an entry which reveals that This American Strife got chopped up a fair amount by Zuda editorial: requiring changes for inappropriate content, cutting one screen into two (and rather clumsily — the “skeleton” panel and the “car crash” panel were apparently two halves of a single screen) and completely omitting the third page of the “J & Jesus” story. The first time Longo saw his work in its final form? On the web, at the NYC release party, after the site had gone public.

THEY OMITTED THE LAST AND FINAL PAGE OF THE JESUS COMIC. In the comic, I’m being handed a towel by the Savior and then—nothing. It’s bad enough that already complaint-comments are coming in about how disjointed ‘This American Strife’ is when it’s meant to have no continuity (particularly compared to all the other competitors). That page gave finality and resolution to what can otherwise be interpreted as offensive and I really feel that I should have been informed that the final page wouldn’t make the final cut.

Feels like a lot of balls got dropped here, by several parties:

  • a “random gag” just random I guess strip nestled amongst fantasy serials and insufficiently distinguished from them
  • a few head-scratchingly obtuse oblique gags (see above, and below too I guess)
  • the confusing decision to include both single-panel gags and multi-page gags
  • and Zuda’s clumsy editorial hackjob (both cutting up one page into two, and cutting the last page out of a three-page strip — all, apparently, without consulting the artist).

Longo again: “To clarify, I did get an explanation which said the last Jesus page [of the Jesus story] was taken out upon the request of the higher-ups and god knows everyone below was scrambling to get Zuda off the ground with much bigger fish to fry.”

another panel from This American Strife by J. Longo
And what’s up with the pixels along the bottom here? Just more image noise from the Flash interface, or signs of a hastily-executed reformatting?

cosmos and color

Nic Klein - Annihilation Conquest Starlord #4

Take a look at this! I’ve never heard of German artist Nic Klein before, but his cover for Annihilation colon Conquest em dash Starlord #4 is WAY too nice to be a Marvel book!

Browsing through, it looks like his covers aren’t uniformly this great — that he’s much more appealing with bright colors than dark ones, and for some reason he often goes dark. But this one made my day. And look! Pretty on the inside too! I may actually check out this whole Annihilation mess.

On second thought, some other parts of it are really uninspiring. How is it possible to make GIANT ALIEN CENTAUR DEATH ROBOTS look so boring? I cannot comprehend it. I acknowledge not everybody has the cojones to pull of a giant kilted space pimp, but come on, let’s have a little zing.

Galactus, giant kilted space pimp
fig. 1: Giant kilted space pimp.

fig. 2: A little zing.

Leigh Walton talks comics and maybe other arts. (RSS)
He also works for the very excellent publisher Top Shelf Productions (which does not necessarily endorse the views and opinions, etc, herein).


Header by me. Contains an interpolation of the final panel from All-Star Superman #1 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. Speaking of which.