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.
Wow, almost everything on the web is either some type of controversy or a review of Superman Returns this week. I guess people don’t like talking about happy things right before long holiday weekends. Lets get all the reviews and arguments out of the way and then we can get to the other topics that stood out this week.
Johanna has a good round up of the response to the recent Publisher Weekly Roundtable kerfuffle (I like that word) involving bad fact checking and typographical errors.
The Original Roundtable included the error Central Park Medium instead of Central Park Media, which CPM stands for.
The original column said:
There’s a deceptive ease to working with only one distributor on both the retail and production ends of the business, but that deception disappears as soon as anyone asks a question or, say, wants a book from say, Central Park Medium [whose books are not carried by Diamond].
It has since been corrected.
Chris Butcher points out errors between what he said and what was posted.
Heidi responds by saying that it boils down to “not having enough time” and “tough titty”.
Precocious Curmudgeon responds as well.
Not long ago, MacDonald posted a dead-on screed at The Beat about the journalistic failings of another comics news and commentary site. And while whatever problems there might be with PWCW don’t reach anywhere near the magnitude of the other situation, the bottom line is that journalistic standards are journalistic standards.
And finally, at least for now, Chris Butcher posts a follow-up.
It wasn’t a good article. It was a really good idea though, and the calibre of the participants is totally there (I feel like a dick saying that, but it’s true). It suffered from a lack of editing and a lack of follow-up though, and I say this as a participant. Heidi, you’ve really got to take criticism better.
He goes on to talk about the three main problems with the article: Interviews are edited. Interviews need follow-up. PWCW gets hit harder because it is an outlet of a professional newsgathering organization.
Where’s The Beat?
Following all this talk about editing and fact checking, Heidi announces that she’s moving her popular blog The Beat to PWCW on July 5th. There hasn’t been much follow up from the comic blogosphere besides a few congratulations. I’m suprised as this is a major move for The Beat with possibly some pretty big changes for both The Pulse and PWCW. Why so quiet, blogosphere? Is this backlash from the typogate controversy?
Where’s The Old Larry?
AiT/PlanetLar is back in the news, but I’m not sure if this is the way they wanted to show up. It all started when Kevin Church pointed out a message board conversation between Josh Richardson and Tom Beland over his move to Image. First Richardson posted this message (which he later edited):
I asked ol’ Lar what he thought of Tom’s interview, and he just sort of laughed. ‘I don’t know what Tom’s talking about,’ he said. ‘All our books are available in book stores, and you know with ASTRONAUTS IN TROUBLE and SCURVY DOGS and DEMO and even this fall’s upcoming THE BLACK DIAMOND that we do monthlies. But Tom never asked us if we wanted to do his monthly. Go figure, but that’s what happens when you don’t call Mimi back.’
So I asked him if we had anything official to say about this, and you could see him put on his press release hat. ‘Of course we wish our pals at Image and Tom continued success with the book, and like the third stage of a Saturn rocket, we’ve helped boost him into the sky! And, of course, TSSTG trades (Volume One, CHANCES ARE… DEC022403; Volume Two, THIS ONE GOES TO ELEVEN MAR05 2503; and the strip collection, 100 STORIES, MAR042166) are and will be available from AiT for years to come!’
Then came the response from Beland:
In regards to Larry’s quote where he said “Tell Tom that this is what happens when you don’t call Mimi back.” I’d also advise Larry that this is the feeling an artist/writer gets when you cannot contact the man who RUNS the publishing company because he screens his calls.
Now, with regards to my books being in finer bookstores everywhere..? Well, I can’t find them at Barnes & Noble, can’t find them at Boarders, can’t go down the street to my local bookstores who’ve tried to order them from Ingrahm and they keep saying they’re out of stock and have been so for ages. Other stores who can find them keep saying it’s slow to get.
I’ve contact both of you about this problem and I’m constantly told “what store did you talk to?” Then, when I say who they are, there’s no response.
If I can FIND my books everywhere… what’s the deal with my checks averaging $70 per fiscal quarter? I’m having trouble wrapping my head around that one.
Hey, I’ll always be grateful for AiT making my first trades, as I’ve stated several times before. But when I have a full page ad on the back of my books, telling them how to get the trades, pricing and ordering codes… and stores STILL have a problem getting the books, I should have better answers. That’s been the spot of my angst and my constant head banging against the wall. I never get that answer.
Just adding my two-cents. I was asked a question in an interview and I answered it. If Larry’s going to give a quote, don’t yank it out of the thread two nano-seconds later.
To everyone else, thanks for the support, I appreciate it. I’m going to talk with Image about the numbering system, I think you’ve made some great points on that.
New issue comes out in late July, then we go monthly in September!! See y’all then!
Then Johanna follows up the situation with some speculation on the future of AiT…
A few years ago, Larry Young used to be all over the internet, getting the word out and setting an example of, rightly or wrongly, how to get attention. (Even his reputation in certain circles for picking fights and overreacting at times didn’t seem to hurt sales much.) Now, he’s stepped back at a time that I mostly hear people talking about AIT in terms of which titles they’re losing to Image, or which books were announced as coming from them but now published elsewhere.
Maybe that’s why they’ve now announced how they’re listening to pitches in San Diego.
Marv(el) Hates Women
Joe Quesada got caught with his pants down with a nonsensical answer to a question at last week’s New Joe Fridays.
NRAMA: Noticeably absent (and for some time) is a female creator in that group. Big picture wise, why hasn’t a women creator made it into the tight circle of Marvel creators?
JQ: Because currently there aren’t any female writers working on any of our major titles. That said there are female editors at the summit.
The first in the blogosphere to take notice was Dorian of Postmodern Barney, who said:
I think that’s right up there with “we can’t publish comics with gay leads without making them adults only.”
Others soon followed:
It’s a weak evasion, and a weak piece of interviewing to let it stand.
there aren’t enough comics female writers working on comics period, and in the select ranks of The Big Two there are even fewer. I’d really rather not hear from DC fans that Dan Didio is somehow more enlightened due to the presence of Gail Simone and Devin Grayson: two exceptions does not parity make.
Written World (Ragnell, our very own Lisa Fortuner) takes him to task:
So basically you didn’t invite any female creators to the editorial meeting that plans your creative direction, because you haven’t hired any female creators?
Excuse me, I need to go dig out my clue-bat.
Having satisfied the eager reporter with the information that the reason there were no female creators at Marvel was because Marvel didn’t have any female creators working for them, big Joe went on to inform him that water was wet and fire was hot.
I’m sure When Fangirls Attack will be following this story closely.
Diamonds aren’t a publisher’s best friend.
Diamond recently told Picture Box, Inc. that they will not carry their books because “The format you have chosen for your title is unpopular with collectors and retailers.” This is the same Picture Box, Inc. that won a Grammy for working with Wilco on The Wilco Book. This is the same Picture Box, Inc. that was featured in LA Weekly, The Washington Post, was mentioned on BBC Radio by Wilco, who has books available from Amazon, who’s served as a juror for The International Design Magazine, and who’s work was profiled by The American Institute of Graphic Arts. I could go on, but yeah, I can understand how no one would be interested in the direct market (that was sarcasm for those that can’t tell). Tom Spurgeon has some thoughts about the topic as well.
More on The Damned List
You may remember me mentioning Kalinara and Ragnell’s Male and Female Damned Lists a while back. Well, it’s finally getting some attention from fans, but that attention might not be so good. Some responses haven’t been so civil and Kalinara speaks out against them in Thoughts on the Damned List: Responses. She takes to task the fact that while rape might not have been implied by the original author of a comic, authorial intent doesn’t always matter as much as how the readers percieve the scene.
after a certain point, after the thing is published, authorial intent DOES NOT MATTER. This is a harsh fact but true, the finished product is “owned” as much by the reader as by the writer, and thus the reader interpretations really do have as much legitimacy as the writer’s.
The Third Coming
Tons of Superman Returns reviews on the web this week as everyone and their mother weighs in on what they thought of the latest movie. Here’s the list:
In a way, it’s actually kind of funny – everyone thought Bryan Singer was going to make Superman gay, but it turns out he’s the Christ! Gotcha!
Overall, then, kudos to the movie makers. They’ve outdone that which they modeled their film on.
In conclusion…good film, even if not quite what I was expecting. My criticisms are minor, and I’d expect that, now that I know the kind of film I’m getting, I’d enjoy the film more during a second viewing.
I’d rank Superman Returns up there with first Spider-Man and X-Men films as the way to do a comic book movie right. It had flaws, namely the slavish devotion to the Donner/Salkind style, but I still recommend it. That said, it will be a crime if Krypto the Super-Dog isn’t in the sequel.
I walked out of the theatre thinking “That was good!”, and by the end of the bus ride home, I was way down to “That was merely OK”. Today I’m at a VERY low OK, and by this time next week, I could be well down to AWFUL.
All three of the books I mentioned up top are full of hope, they thrive on it and seek to inspire anyone who reads them. The movie? Superman Returns just swells full of light and joy and that awesome John Williams(-inspired) score: Danh, dun dun dun dahn! The reveal will bring a tear to your eye.
First off, I enjoyed the movie very much. I thought Brandon Routh did an excellent job as Superman and the rest of the cast were quite good as well (Jimmy’s bow tie/plaid shirt combinations were too much though; no man is that color blind). The airplane/shuttle rescue scene was probably the best pure superhero scene I’ve seen in a movie yet. My main complaint is the villain. I just don’t think the movie Lex or his real estate plots are villainous enough to make him the needed supervillain. Or to put it more bluntly, as my wife did, the movie “needs more punching scenes.”
Superman Returns is a boring, dull and depressing kid’s movie made by people who know nothing of kids, a Christ metaphor made by people who know nothing of Christ, and, ultimately, a Superman movie made by people who know nothing of Superman.
First off for my money I would rather rent one of the old Christopher Reeve movies then see this film again. Now don’t get me wrong the actors did well and the directing of the shots was very good. I did have a problem with two scenes in the film. One actually made me want to throw up.
I actually liked the casting. Mr. Routh was charming, Ms. Bosworth actually didn’t look as terribly young as I feared she would. I thought Clark and Lois looked about the same age, a little too young, but tolerable. I thought the kid chosen for Jimmy was great. Mr. Spacey’s Lex was very menacing. Not a man I could see elected president, but well, that’s not an issue in the movies.
Superman Returns is better than Batman Returns, but not as good as Batman Begins. It’s also not as good as X-Men 2, but it is better than The Fantastic Four and is about a third as good as both Superman and Superman II combined. It’s not up there with Blade, but it’s twice as good as Daredevil and…
The film was good but not without its flaws. Hopefully those will be fixed in the sequel now that Bryan Singer and crew have already made the point that Superman is Jesus or whatever the were trying to do. This film had re-worked material of Marlon Brando, is too much to hope for that Richard Pryor gets similar treatment next?
Eh, it was okay. Considering the train wreck it could have been it was outstanding, but as it was, to me at least, it was just okay.
Surely the most entertaining comic book movie of the year, at least until I see the Cromartie High School adaptation.
Happy Blogoversary to:
Tom The Dog
Celebrates two years of blogging.
Also celebrates two years of blogging. It was also his birthday, he’s 23.
Celebrates one year of blogging.
New Blog Watch: POW!BANG!ZOOM!WHAM! Comics are Mainstream
A Collective What the…? The Xorn Plotline
Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #57 India Rubber Man, Darkseid vs. Galactus, and Doomsday.
Is Power Girl Still Considered A Blood Relative If She’s From Another Universe? The things a DC Citizen has to worry about… Sigh.
Illustration Blog of The Week
This week’s blog comes from the folks at Drawn yet again. They just keep finding the best artists and pointing them out to me before I have a chance to find them myself. Thanks for making my job easier!