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.
I’ve really been enjoying blogging lately both here and on my own blog. There’s a lot of good stuff out there in the midst of all the controversy and arguing. All this yelling and screaming is just the same old thing all over again, both from the companies and the fans. Time heals all wounds, or they kill ya, either way you don’t have to worry about them for very long.
20th Century Danny Boy revisits an old interview with Jim Starlin about “A Death In The Family” the storyline that killed Jason Todd.
JS: Well, I always thought that the whole idea of a kid side-kick was sheer insanity. So when I started writing Batman, I immediately started lobbying to kill off Robin. At one point DC had this AIDS book they wanted to do. They sent around memos to everybody saying “What character do you think we should, you know, have him get AIDS and do this dramatic thing” and they never ended up doing this project. I kept sending them things saying “Oh, do Robin! Do Robin!” And Denny O’Neil said “We can’t kill Robin off”. Then Denny one night got this flash that “Hey, if we get this number where people call in and they can vote on it, they can decide whether Robin lives or dies.” So that’s how it started. I wrote up two endings and the readers came in and voted and I think it was 93 or something, it was this negligible amount, the difference for him to be put to death. And the death won out of course. So we did this and the book came out, Denny was on all these talk shows across the country that day saying, it’s kind of funny because he was taking credit for the whole project. But as soon as the book came out and Robin died, the executives up at DC started going “Whoof!” because they had all these lunch pails with Robin’s picture on it – suddenly it was all my idea again.
Speaking of old interviews I was flipping through old issues of Amazing Heroes and came across #58, from November 1984, which featured an interview with Alan Moore.
Me and Kevin O’Neil would really love to do a Bizarro mini-series, examing this whole Bizarro world. I mean, it’s square. Hot do the physics work on a world like that? What about the people who live on the corners? If you look at the pictures of the Bizarro world, there are continents that fold around the corners, so presumably you must have people living at right angles to each other. I just want to see Kevin draw it. I’m sure he’d be up to it.
And we’re going to have the Solid Zone, instead of the Phantom Zone, which is a gigantic block of concrete, and every so often Bizarro Superman will go up and tap on it and say “Am you all right in there, Solid Zone criminals?” And they’d say, “We am fine, Bizarro.” And we’re going to have the Bizarro Bottle City of Kandor which is about six times as big as the actual planet, and has to stand upon some vast constructed platform that reaches into space. And we thought about having a Bizarro Earth-2 which exists in exactly the same continuum as Bizarro Earth-1 and is just another square earth balanced upon the corner of Bizarro Earth so that the inhabitants of these worlds can wave to each other across the gap.
I just want to take the Bizarro idea to its ultimate extreme, actually think this thing through and see what sort of absurdity you can come up with. But that’s a possibility. I don’t know when or where we’re goign to get around to that.
June 22nd – Friday Night Fights starts again. Be prepared.
Meanwhile… Here’s Thursday Night Thinking.
3 for $1 back issues. I wish they still had sales like that. Every once in a while I find some dollar or 50 cent boxes in stores, but not that often.
An Open Letter to the London Eye by Bully.
Eye, Eye, Eye. I know you’re a working Londoner. Like everybody else in my favorite city, you have to pull in extra jobs to make ends meet. Everyone’s proud of that neo-Churchillian “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” philosophy. But honestly, Miss Eye…renting yourself out as a billboard to promote a superhero movie? Oh, my, Eye. Oh my.
Also FF related is this week’s Ten of a Kind. Bully does a great job explaining how Galactus was portrayed in the recent FF movie too.
Do you like Time Travel stories? Plok has a meme that’s right up your alley then.
So…my challenge to you…!
Your own brilliant time-travel based TV series. I’m not saying it would have to succeed…although that would be nice, too. But, it’s gotta be brilliant. And, it’s gotta have a little depth to it. And, there may be a prize. Now, I’m not guaranteeing anything, I’ll have to look around, and I’m a starving artist type, so seriously no guarantees. But for this meme, since the subject’s so thankless in the first place, it seems like there oughtta be a prize, and therefore I’ll work to dig one up, and update you as soon as I possibly can on said prize’s readiness…okay, screw it, there will be a prize.
Here’s my entry. Tell me you wouldn’t want to watch a Rip Hunter: Time Master TV Series.
Steve Leiber reposts last years Father’s Day strip and it still brings a tear to my eye.
James Jean shows us his process for creating the cover to Fables #65.
In the morning in D.C.,
When I read a great metropolitan newspaper,
Over fresh coffee, two sugars, no cream,
it all seems so clear;
What is right
and what is wrong with the world
Is all laid out in tidy little type
Hurray! My wish finally came true as Ringo finally has a blog with permalinks! Thanks!!!!!
I’ve been wanting to get my web site redesigned for a while now. After somewhere around 4 years of the original design, I had been thinking it was time for a change. That opportunity came a few months back when my buddy (and SPIDER-MAN/FANTASTIC FOUR writer) Jeff Parker forwarded me an email from Steven Gettis, who was interested in buying three HARRY POTTER sketches and a DON QUIXOTE sketch I’d done. Steven collects sketches of literary figures– writers and their creations… and he’s got a wonderful online gallery of these pieces you can find here. I knew that Steven had redesigned Parker’s site and did a really terrific job, and so I asked him if he’d be willing to do the same for me in exchange for those sketches.
Fortunately for me, he went for it.
Eddie Campbell: nitey nite, Phil Leotartdi; nitey nite, Silvio Dante; Christopher Moltesante; Bobby Baccala; nitey nite, Sopraners.
may you all Rest In Pizzas.
Asaf Hanuka created a haunting image for a newspaper in Israel as well as posting some pages from a 10 page story from the upcoming SOS anthology by meathaus.
Dr. Strange has his Sanctum Sanctorum. Batman has his Batcave. Superman has his Fortress of Solitude. Nerds? We have our nerdrooms.
Jog reviews The Black Diamond Detective Agency.
Dick should change the blog title to Dick Doesn’t Have Time to Hate Your Blog. This week is pretty tough for me too.
Dave Campbell posts about G-8 And His Battle Aces. Those are some fine covers. I love pulpy goodness.
These jobs have an important social component. People always talk about being in the “right place at the right time” and it’s very true. What they don’t tell you is if you create enough interactions with industry people on a social level, you’ll create those right places and right times.
Free Comic Book Month finally ends. I hope you got something this time.
Ragnell runs through the numbers.
Chris Butcher made a post about a Marvel cover.
Since he made that post, there have been:
- 7 posts of outright agreement that the cover is offensive.
- 2 posts noting that the cover was part of an odd trend from Marvel lately.
- 9 posts linking Butcher’s complaint as an interesting happening in the blogosphere, but either not giving a discernible opinion either way or commenting only on the fan interaction.
- 6 posts politely stating that they find the cover inoffensive and can’t see the offense. Several of these are from bloggers who regularly discuss women in comics.
- 8 posts proclaiming that the idea that the cover may be offensive is absurd. Several of these decry Butcher’s post as just another example of fans being hysterical and overreacting to every little thing as an example of sexism.
- 1 post linking Butcher’s posts with a phrase in Finnish that translated to “hysterical symptoms.” I was unable to tell the rest of the context from the translator I used.
There are 82 comments on Blog@Newsarama and 86 comments on Mr. Butcher’s blog.
Jeff Lester covers the pros and cons of DC’s recent New Gods Omnibus.
The book exists, you see, in a very strange state–caught between high and low production values–that seems, unfortunately, fitting for Kirby’s Fourth World titles. There’s lovely, spongy blue cotton paper separating the cover from the innards that feels pleasingly swank to the fingertips, but the paper on which the stories themselves reside is barely a few steps up from newsprint. Weirdly, that’s initially satisfying–reading Grant Morrison’s introduction, or the ending essay by Mark Evanier, it seems eerily so, catching the odd tingle one gets from reading Kirby’s books now as they manage to be timelessly futuristic and charmingly anachronistic simultaneously–and gives you the feeling that you really are reading (to badly paraphrase Morrison) a pulp gnostic text. But that feeling quickly fades: it works in the beginning- and end-papers because the graphics are carefully crafted to show the tiny dots of the long-abandoned coloring process. But the stories themselves have been carefully recolored so there are no dots to be found anywhere, which would be fine if the paper was as glossy as the coloring but it’s not. The effect makes the book into an odd literary design sandwich–two thick slices of design-savvy nostalgia in which a power-point presentation of Kirby’s Fourth World stories is only semi-comfortably nestled.
The Roar of Comics talks about late books and thinks that DC should raid Warner Brother’s old animation department for talent.
Come to think of it, so has Paul Dini on Detective Comics and Darwyn Cooke on The Spirit. Guys who were good enough to be paid animation money for their work also seem to have gone through a superhero writing boot camp and come out sharper, brighter, and more entertaining for their time in Burbank.
Since Warner Bros. has shuttered their main animation studio in favor of cheaper product, it might be time for Didio and Quesada to just raid raid raid their roster of writers and artists and get them to bring their “A” game to comics.
I mean, in general I think ongoing comics are closer to TV shows than they are to novels, and it would be great to have writers who understand that an issue is an episode, not a chapter.
I’ll leave you with some words from Stan Lee circa 1978 on the difference between Marvel and DC.
Basically it seems to me that we write about people while they write about things. We’re concerned with the psychological problems and urges that motivate our characters, while the other company prefers to dwell on what happened, how did it happen, and how do we catch the bad guy? Perhaps another way of saying it is, we write for the older reader, for those who are interested in true-to-life dialogue, in absorbing sub-plots and secondary story lines, and in provocative, imaginative themes to boggle the mind. We like to flavor out yarns with satire, with offbeat philosophical concepts, and with controversial subjects. On the other hand, our competitor’s mags are aimed at a younger market, which is the reason their stories are generally simplet and more basic in approach.
Did you know the Marvel Bullpen partied with John Belushi (not Jim, that’s totally different, like RAB says in the comments.) and the rest of the SNL cast? You can read about it in the same post.