By special guest Dorian!
The art of linkblogging is a delicate and underappreciated one. It takes a certain kind of tolerant patience and enthusiasm for the thoughts and insights of others to do it well. Shane Bailey, who recently retired from this column, was one of the few true masters of the craft. I was somewhat humbled when I was asked to do a fill-in spot until a more permanent replacement can be found. Especially as my site, (postmodernbarney.com) is far more focused on those things about comics and popular entertainments that amuse me for no good reason or annoy me far more than they should. When I’m not preoccupied with staring at attractive men or waging my one-man campaign to have Wildcat recognized as the greatest, and sexiest, character in comics today.
Chris Sims is one of those folks who is funnier and more talented than any single person has a right to be. Lord, how I despise him for it. And he’s a braver soul than many others, and made of sterner stuff, as he recently took it upon himself to go back and do a thorough examination of the history of the original Gen 13 comic book in two parts. In the first part he looked at the characters who inexplicably made the book a fan favorite, while in part two he gives us as detailed a breakdown of the major periods and storylines as anyone could ever want. There’s a truly frightening “live-action” photo of the characters in there as well. Inspired by Sims, Jon over at Facedown in the Gutters offers some choice scans for the thirteenth issue of the original series, featuring the character of the not at all embarrassingly dated name “Grunge” in a cross-universal jaunt with other comic companies characters.
The more manga-focused comics blogs were chatting heavily about yaoi manga this week. I realize that most regular readers of this column are probably mostly familiar with American comics, so the nuts-and-bolts (so to speak) definition of yaoi is “romance comics featuring gay men, aimed at a female readership.” It’s a popular genre in Japanese girls comics, and it’s growing more popular in the U.S. as well. This latest round started when Jason Thompson, a former editor for Shonen Jump discussed his reactions to a number of yaoi titles as a reader new to the genre. Then David Taylor over at Love Manga had some mild critiques of Jason’s piece, focusing mostly on the rather limited sampling of stories that were looked at. At Crocodile Caucus Lyle had some thoughts on the subject as well, wondering if the “formula”-ness of yaoi we see in America is really emblematic of the genre, or just of what’s managed to appeal to American manga editors. The folks at Yaoi 911 wrap the discussion up satisfyingly by noting that yaoi is one of those comics genres where the fans might be better served by sticking to comic shops, rather than the idealized book-store market so many other pundits have been longing for.
While we’re on the subject of manga, Pata at Irresponsible Pictures has a style-guide for those writing about manga that every “style” reporter at every local newspaper in the country should really be forced to sit down and read.
My gruntled ex-coworker, Mike Sterling, has been slacking off on his blogging duties with a low content mode, which needs to be seen to be believed. Luckily, there was purpose to his madness, as the break from comics blogging allowed him to get started on a new project: saving us from the forces of credulity.
In another “weeklong” experiment, Dave of “as featured in Newsweek” and “Blogger Blog of Note” fame Dave’s Long Box has been giving us “Alternate Reality Where Everybody Dies Week.” My favorite of the group has been his post on Infinity Gauntlet #4, which breaks Dave’s rule as it’s an in-continuity example of everybody dying. They just all happen to come back to life before the end of the series.
James Powell at The Collector’s Mentality is going for rather longer than a week in his just begun cold-turkey month, in which he will buy nothing that could be considered a collector’s item. I’m sure we all wish him well, because hey, less competition means more stuff for the rest of us, right?
Convention season is still upon us, and One Hundred Little Dolls has a report from this last weekend’s Wizard World Chicago. Johanna went as well and she shares with us both the good and the bad.
Chris Butcher, one of the smartest guys around, has a detailed review, and reaction to, the latest issue of The Comics Journal (that’s the comic magazine without a price guide, for those unfamiliar with it). Chris has a knack for seeing through comics publisher’s “wishful thinking” and he offers a wonderful rebuttal to Dark Horse’s insistence that they’re “always going back to press” on their popular books.
Blockade Boy is a regular must-read for me, especially when he takes a character and tries to redesign them to reflect the comics aesthetic of another time, or change their gender, or just change the costume of one of villain-killer Scourge’s victims, in case fashion-victim-hood was one of the causes of their demise. This last week he transfromed Dazzler into Flapper, the ‘20s newspaper strip character she always should have been.
Scipio of The Absorbascon has determined one of the crucial differences between Marvel and DC: Marvel’s villains are just flat out no fun.
Ever polite Scott brings us the colors of disease.
Jog reminds us all why he’s one of the best comics reviewers out there, and Marc Singer (no, not that one) has an insightful review of the latest Astro City special.
Nobody Laughs at Mister Fish looks at the recent “outing” of Peter Parker, and the consequences for Marvel if the idea tanks. (I know, I know…”if?”)
Carla at Snap Judgments ponders what was lost by turning Northstar into an evil undead assassin.
King of Linkbloggers, Neilalien, scares us all with this Doctor Strange image, Chris Tamarri reveals Kitty Pryde’s politically incorrect lack of tact, Spencer Carnage shows us that Iron Fist’s impersonation lacked a certain je ne sais quoi and Sleestak reminds us of the glory days when kids were lucky to survive playing with their toys.
Michael Hartney of So I Like Superman, in addition to consistently good reviews from a fan perspective, also explains some of the lesser powers on display in 1960s Superman comics.
At Random Happenstance, Googum finds that Hawkman is a bit less altruistic than the rest of the Justice League. His thorough reviews are stellar examples of taking the material he’s reading as seriously as it sometimes deserves to be.
Web comic Pass Fail Studios is a great satire of superhero comics. The latest strip looks at one character who we probably won’t be seeing resurrected anytime soon.
Via Suspension of Disbelief, Loren explains why Booster Gold should be in jail. You know, to editorialize just a bit (I know, I know…”a bit?”), every time I hear, or rather read, a complaint about Booster Gold being written as “a jerk” in 52 I think to myself, “Did you never read his comic? Did you never read the Giffen-era Justice League? Booster Gold is supposed to be a jerk!” So I’m glad to see a reminder that Booster isn’t just a jerk, but a criminal jerk as well.
And since I’m loathe to break tradition, your Illustration Site of the Week is the occasionally updated Man’s Adventure. Comics artist J. Bone shares his renditions of the best-looking men in comics (character-wise, that is) as well as his own beefcake inspired work. I particularly enjoy his Monster Beach series.