With what may be the slowest news week since I started paying attention to how slow the news is – Seriously, beyond the announcement of DC simultaneously cashing in on 52′s success and Countdown’s brand name and the fact that that means that Adam Beechen doesn’t end up writing Teen Titans after all, the only news this week was the reaction to that Mary Jane statue, and the mothership didn’t go anywhere near that cluster-word-that-rhymes-with-muck. Well, okay, Top Cow announced that they’re going to be doing a line of prose novels which was, um, unexpected, but still – this week on the main site was, unsurprisingly, all about the interviews.
Vaneta Rogers interviewed Rags Morales, who talked about how real life intrudes on the dream of being a comic book professional:
It’s a sad day when your hobby becomes your career — when things are being done by demand. The urge to do it when I was younger was that I did it when I wanted to, if I wanted to. It’s fun when you’re inspired to do stuff and you have all the time in the world to do it. But when you sit down and you have deadlines and bills to pay and demands and there are all kinds of expectations from editors and the fan base, then it becomes pressure… [Towards the end of my Wonder Woman run] when my divorce was basically inevitable [...] I was dealing with a whole lot of, struggle with that, internally. And when you have someone that you admire so much become your model for a character and having to do that character … I never thought it would be so difficult. But it was. It was exceptionally difficult for me. Having to keep the peace with my ex and, at that point, we had a daughter, and that was a priority. Unfortunately, I was not able to maintain a monthly schedule. So I had done fine for 10 years since my unemployment after the speculation boom, but I just couldn’t at that time, and it all came down to … just … a sad part of my life.
Along similar lines, Steve Rude discussed current mainstream comic book art:
It’s not fun! It doesn’t look like anything! It looks like some kind of distorted reality! That’s not what I want to look at! I want to look at artists who have their own style, and I’m a superhero guy, so I love the mythology of the superhero, what he’s here to do, and the problems he has trying to do it, and they’ve gotten so reality-based that the fantasy element seems to have been completely stripped from them.
And that’s not what I want out of a comic book. I don’t know if it’s some kind of a weird long-term reaction to, “We want to make sure that comic books are never thought of as being for kids any more,” or…hell, I can’t imagine a kid walking into a comic book shop, like when…it was ’66, so I would have been 10…’66, oh man, that was the year. In 1966, Kirby was putting out his greatest works, and I was just a young kid. Everything was exciting, and everything cool was on TV, and that’s the part that is so internalized for me. It defined who I am and what I like.
Equally interested in moving away from darkness in comic books – after a fashion – is Doug Tennapel:
Idon’t go into genres and say, “How do I Christianify this story?” because it degrades both the literary history of the genre as well as what the Christian enterprise should be. So making Black Cherry “safe” was not on the table.
At the same time, I have a duty as a man who follows Christ where my understanding is that I’m not to just camouflage myself with my culture and bury the light of Christ so that it’s indiscernible from that which is non-Christ. I’m not hiding anything faith-based in my writing either. That’s also not on the table when it comes to my stories that address religion (and I love to take a break from telling stories about religion whenever possible).
From the religious to the sacreligious, Josh Fialkov and Kody Chamberlin are punks. They popped up on the mothership to sell you on their new Punks: The Comic:
It’s like Friends but not shitty?
That was actually an early tag line, but we realized we were going to alienate the ‘shitty taste’ market. So, our new tagline is It’s like Everybody Loves Raymond, but not shitty. We’re perfectly willing to alienate that audience.
Talking of unshitty, Dan Hipp wants to tell you about his Tokyopop series, Gyakushu:
Originally I just saw the story as a 3 Volume blood-fest of all out action. Nothing but revenge. But as I started to lay out the story and develop the characters, more background and story points revealed themselves. So while I maintain that it’s still a story rooted in revenge, there’s a whole lot of other stuff on the side of the road along the way. I’m working on Volume Two and I think it will be interesting to see if anyone has any idea where this is going. But in case it’s obvious, I still have plenty of decapitating, blood-letting, chomping, slicing, smashing and general acts of cannibalism in there too. HOORAY FOR VIOLENCE!! Aww crums, that one sounded wrong too, didn’t it?
Hooray for violence isn’t the rallying call of Les Dabel, who explained this week on the mothership that Dabel Brothers is about something else entirely:
Simply put, [our mission statement is] “To become the literary arm of the comic book industry.” We love the medium, and we love most of what it has to offer!
And the best way that to do that is to adapt material from another medium, apparently. I’m sure there’s something wrong there… Almost as wrong as the two surprise-shipping books of this week. Brian Hibbs, take it away:
Ultimates, the “Ultimate Universe” version of The Avengers by Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch, started in 2002. Over the intervening five years, they’ve managed to release all of 26 issues – thirteen each of “seasons” 1 and 2. Twenty-six issues in sixty-four months. Not exactly speedy release. When each “season” launched, it started as nearly monthly, before slowing down to quarterly-or-so for the final issues. Issue #12 of Ultimates 2, the previous issue, shipped in September of 2006 – making it eight months between that issue and the newest one.
All-Star Batman, and Robin the Boy Wonder started in July of 2005. The first three issue shipped more-or-less bi-monthly, while #4 shipped in May of 2006 – making it a full year since they’ve bothered to ship an issue.
Funny, then, that both of these show up the exact same week.
Not “Funny ha-ha”, but “Funny sad”.
There’s something about that last line that seems to sum up the entire world of comics some weeks, isn’t there…?