So far this year, comics news has been like dancing: Quick, slow, quick quick slow. Sadly, this isn’t one of those Quick weeks. When one of the more interesting stories this week was that Civil War #7 won’t be late, then you can tell that things aren’t exactly hopping.
More proof that it’s slow? Interviews that focus on trade releases of previously released work – like John Ridley’s The American Way, or the Essential Painkiller Jane – or DVD releases of movies with comic connections like the two connected to George Reeves death movie Hollywoodland. Interviews with actresses who have appeared in X2 are a bit of a giveaway as well.
Not that it’s been an entirely dead week – Spurned Wildstorm title The Boys found a new home, for one thing, as Dynamite Entertainment announced that it would be publishing the newly-controversial series from its sixth issue very soon. Looking to fill the gap such a series will leave behind, DC announced that they’re moving into the realm of licensed toys, with a new line called DC Unlimited. The first products of the line? Something to make the South Park cast happy:
DC Unlimited, the new brand launched by DC Comics to license and promote the world ‘ s greatest pop culture characters and stories, is proud to announce the release of a line of action figures based on World of Warcraft, the popular Blizzard Entertainment Massively-Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG). The collectibles will be unveiled next month at New York ‘ s American International Toy Fair and will be distributed worldwide in both mass market and specialty channels.
(The second set was also announced this week: Action figures based on Star Trek rerun channel Spike’s “Afro Samurai” cartoon Unless I’ve missed something, I’m not sure how a month-old cartoon on a minor channel rates as “the world’s greatest pop culture characters and stories,” but I’m not DC Comics…). Sure, it’s not an obvious replacement for a monthly comic series by the writer of Preacher and the artist of Transmetropolitan, but that’s because you’re not looking close enough.
Someone who’ll now have time to look closer at… well, almost everything, really, is former Cartoon Network head Jim Samples, who quit this week as the fallout from the Boston terrorist scare continues. If he’s looking for something to do, he could maybe start fill-in blogging for Heidi MacDonald, whose new gig as editor for Fox Atomic was essentially broken with a one-line comment in an interview with Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray about their work on Fox’s new The Hills Have Eyes comic; she talked about it in more depth over at The Beat.
The big story of the week, mind you, was Marvel’s release of their Stephen King tie-in, The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born – The first comic to have a midnight release, which went well for Atomic Comics amongst others. Not that it was the best comic released this week – for me, at least – because Bone’s Jeff Smith returned to stores with a revival of DC’s version of Captain Marvel with “Shazam!: The Monster Society of Evil”. I’m not alone in loving it, as Troy Brownfield also dug the hell out’ve it, as all good people should (If nothing else, it’s proof that not all DC superhero comics are all about the continuity porn right now).
Elsewhere, Tokyopop brought the world grumpy cats, Gilbert Hernandez asked you to take a Chance in Hell, Eric Wight talked about his DC work and why manga is just comics, Nick Bertozzi talked about his April double-whammy, as The Salon and his Harry Houdini biography both ship, Ed Brubaker showed off how great he is at planning, and Ale Garza showed me that he is the man to be drawing Supergirl:
I see her as being one of these cool, I don’t give a shiz, emo type kids you see running around. I mean obviously, how emo can she be wearing, red, yellow, and blue, and sporting a ton of blonde hair, and blue eyes? But I think if she could she’d dye her hair black, and sit in her room listening to songs about crying over old NES games.
Thankfully, in a week like this, there are still some people willing to say things that you don’t expect, whether it’s Gail Simone explaining her secret agenda (“See, there’s a secret we know we’re not telling you. Sure, you look at the women in comics with their parasols, mint juleps and hoop skirts, and you think, ‘Aw, that’s nice, the she-folk are reading comics just like people.’ But what we didn’t happen to mention is our worldwide plan to take over comics and get COOTIES all over them. HA! Superman? Cooties! Clor? Cooties! Bendis? Well, maybe not Bendis. We have to have some standards.”) or Paul Jenkins responding to fan criticism over his Civil War: The Return:
For those of you who have been pissing and moaning all week about the massive waste of time and money that is The Return, I would like to give you a brief insight into the major planning session behind it. The following is a transcript of the extensive telephone conversation between myself and Marvel Editor, Steve Wacker (formerly of DC’s 52 series, now bolted to a desk in Tom Brevoort’s “Hazing” wing of Marvel Entertainment).
“Wacker! How’s the leopard?”
“A lot less snippy since they fed him an intern. I need something from you. They want you to bring back Captain Marvel.”
“Captain Marvel. He’s dead. We want to bring him back because it is our sincere intention to alienate every single Marvel fan as part of a major promotional campaign leading into next summer. Can you write something horrible by Monday?”
“Okay. Send me reference for this guy. Was his death quick?”
“No. Slow and painful.”
“But you want a quickie resurrection?”
“Yeah. Thirteen pages. Tops.”
“No problem. I’m your man.”
“Oh, and a Sentry story. Ten Pages. Don’t think too hard – it’s just the Sentry.”
Those of you who have professed your loathing for The Return – and there are hundreds of thousands of you by your own estimate – will take some small comfort in the fact that this comic was, by design, intended to insult you. I will admit though, that it came a quite a shock to wake from my pain-induced coma to the shit-storm of hatred aimed in my general direction.
That’s what we need: More shit-storms of hatred aimed at creators. That’ll keep things from being this quiet ever again.