The comic blogosphere seems to grow larger every day and just like comics, sometimes it’s pretty easy to get a little lost. “Meanwhile…” will act as your map pointing out what interesting discussions are happening out there while you’re reading Blog@Newsarama.
A lot happened this past week here at Blog@Newsarama, but we can’t cover everything that’s on everyone’s minds this past week. That’s what the blogosphere is for, so lets see what everyone is thinking about.
Always a Hearty Meal
Dave Campbell returned to his old schenanigans this week with not one, but two posts coming out of his back issue pile. This week he covered the caverns (!) underneath New Orleans in X-men #8 and Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Duhh in Wonder Woman #4.
It looks like Dream Team is the blogosphere meme that never dies. I expect it to make another round after it popped up yet again at Yet Another Comic Book Blog. To be honest it’s a pretty fun meme. I know I’ll be participating again.
Movies: Comics and Otherwise
We had a few people with movies on the mind this week. Our buddy Plok at A Trout in The Milk seems to think Watchman is basically unfilmable. I’m going to have to agree with him there. That’s not going to stop Hollywood from trying though.
You can’t turn Watchmen into a movie at all, because you can’t leave in what you have to leave in, and you can’t take out what you have to take out, either! Watchmen is a work of impressive formal complexity, full of recursion and reimaginings, soaked to the knees in the strange…it already blends comic-booky fantasia with the bleakest of bleak realism, and all the tricks of competent cinematization that could be pulled on it are already deeply worked into the fabric of the thing. So there are no loose ends; there are no characters who are just there to move the plot along; there are no accidental features at all. Even the physics of Watchmen is not loosey-goosey: there’s simply no room to play around, because everything is a story beat, from the police strike riots to the crazy old Mothman guy. And yet you can’t film those beats! It’s impossible!
Meanwhile other’s have had horror movies on the mind. Jim Roeg takes time out to talk about the Omen remake.
Turns out, a few things have changed since 1976! This might not matter for a pseudo-religious horror pic like this, except that Seltzer’s script is so rooted in the details, dilemmas, and sexual politics of the 1970s that many of its incidents simply don’t translate well into their new 2006 context. I was puzzled, for instance, by the awkward prominence (and seeming irrelevance) of Katherine’s announcement that she intended to have an abortion, and by her equally surprising conclusion, after a bad day in the monkey house, that she “need[ed] to see someone” about her disturbing feelings for Damien.
Ken Lowery sets his sites on both Night and Dawn of the Dead.
It’s such a murderously simple concept: Trap a bunch of people in a house, keep them confronting each other with few distractions, and watch the whole situation implode. But horror fans, being detail fetishists, disregard what purpose the zombies serve and instead just fixate on the zombies themselves. This is how we end up with completely inane debates about whether fast or slow zombies are the “real” ones, or if it’s “right” to have zombies that think. You know, the important things.
Double the DRAMA
Kalinara and Ragnell have teamed up for a special project lately. They’re looking through comic history to find all of the male and female superhero characters from DC and Marvel that fit underneath one of these categories:
I. Explicit Instances of Actual/Attempted Sexual Assault
A. Rape/Sexual Assault of Adult Victims (Actual)
B. Rape/Sexual Assault of Adult Victims (Attempted)
C. Sexual Assault/Abuse/Molestation of Minors (Actual)
II. Implications, Subtext, and Symbolism
A. Implied/Subtextual Sexual Assault of an Adult Victim
B. Implied/Subtextual Sexual Assault of a Minor
C. Symbolic Rape/Violation that are not sexual in nature
This isn’t all Ragnell’s been up to lately though. She re-examines the “Women in Refrigerators” issue of Green Lantern, coins The No-Prize Attitude, and posts her Weekly Women’s Geek-Out#4 too.
Gail Simone is blogging as I’m sure you know. Thanks Graeme! He was a little remiss as he failed to point out to you her excellent writing tips. Check out The Best Advice Ever About Writing, Period, Part One and Part Two.
…a series of odd little scraps that shouldn’t have had the impact they did. And yet, I wouldn’t trade them for all the writing seminars and scholarly manuals on the subect that have ever existed. These are bits that stuck with me, or that hit me like a hammer in the brain.
The Filing Cabinet After School Special
Marvel Comics used to exploit fads like crazy. The mid-seventies craze for martial arts led to Shang-Chi and Iron Fist. The early seventies craze for blaxploitation movies led to Luke Cage, Hero for Hire. The disco fad led to Dazzler.
What would happen if they revived this approach today? What fad would they exploit?
Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #54! The All Grell Issue!
Chris Arrant Interviews! Talented Newsarama Journalist!
Speaking of Interviews, Graphic Language Interviews Brian Wood!
Kevin Church’s MoCCA Photos! Zdarsky a New York Princess!
Mark Fossen is a little angry with Civil War: Frontline #1 for contrasting images of Spider-Man feeling sad and swinging around on his web a bit with Japanese Concentration Camps. Marvel, a little heavy handed? No…
Not only is it cheap manipulation, but it cuts off the Civil War debate at it’s knees. All those “I’m With” banners can be thrown away, because Jenkins makes his point too baldly: you’re with Captain America, or you’re with those who imprisoned Japanese-Americans. It’s as manipulative as the right-wing journalism Jenkins is attacking with his portrayal of J. Jonah Jameson, and if this smash-bang summer crossover starts to become a soapbox, I’m out.
More scenes of Captain America kicking a fighter jet’s ass? Yes, sir. Sign me up.
More pathos and drama cheaply trotting out historical tragedy to make a point about superheroes? No, thank you.
Jog takes a look at Valiants first crossover, Unity, and finds it stands up pretty well compared to today’s crossovers.
What really gets to me, though, is how damn many of the things decried today as ‘inappropriate’ for all-ages superhero books are fully present in these 1992 books, all of them presented as essentially ‘all ages’ material. There’s head-crushings, eye-gougings, dinosaurs literally split in half down the middle (their internal organs left fully visible in cross-section), the hero of X-O Manowar struggling with limited success to hold his guts inside his body after he’s split open, time-travel semi-incest as a major plot point, a mentally ill woman seeking to remake reality with near-magical power, two scenes of superheroes having the hair burnt off their bodies and their flesh cooked, a necrophilia dream sequence… I wonder what the reactions were among readers of the time, since there’s very little record around of instant feedback?
Well, we found out that Marvel has started blogging this week, but where are all the Marvel blogs? Scipio wants to know and so do I! Do you have a blog that mostly focuses on Marvel books? If so let me know in the comments section of this post.
While your over at Scipio’s place you might as well read his hilarious Fun Things to Do With “Action Philosophers”. If you haven’t picked up the book yet, what are you waiting for it’s a huge slice of fun for $8!
Nemesi and Batman vs. Hulk
Remember last time I told you that Sims is all about finding the fun in comics? Well he’s still at it with two posts involving A Brief History of Nemesis, and one highlighting the magnificence of Batman vs. The Hulk.
I’d go through it for the usual ISB rundown, but honestly: when it comes to something this awesome, words fail me. Instead, I’ll just hit the high point.
Longtime ISB readers will no doubt be aware of the Single Greatest Moment in Comics History, as designated by me at age six, wherein Batman takes out an uzi-toting thug by chucking a car battery at him resulting in a brutal and satisfying “Ka-tunk!” Imagine my joy, then, when the sinister manipulations of the Joker and the Shaper of Worlds force Batman and the Hulk into combat, at which time the Hulk throws a car battery at Batman.
It is, of course, still in the car at the time.
Contests and Niche Sites
In honor of our new look and impending relaunch (and in a shameless attempt at generating some traffic to bear witness), I’m giving away a sampler of comics from Wizard Magazine’s “Best New Publisher,” Boom! Studios.
Illustration Site of The Week
This week’s Illustration Site is…
Andrew Bell was born in england in the late 70′s and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NYC. “Creatures” started out as a daily illustration exercise and just kept going.