This week I focus on two topics for the most part.
All Star Superman 12 came out this week, and as far as I can tell, everyone loved it. I mean some reviews were on the verge of claiming the book cured cancer. And here’s my challenge for the week, find me a negative review. I could not find one, except the one in my head. The last time I liked Frank Quitely’s art was on Flex Mentallo. Ever since then, his art style has always made me feel that to live in a Quitely universe is to live in a place where everyone is constipated. So, as much as I appreciate Morrison’s writing, I never really enjoyed this Superman take.
The second theme for the week is reaction to last week’s Bucket of Quesada (oops, I mean Cup o’ Joe) on the subject of work-for-hire. Not surprisingly, people reacted to it this week.
I also tossed in a few random quotes on other topics for good measure.
All Star Superman
“I look forward to reading through this whole series again, carefully, from start to finish; I’m sure there’s plenty of variations lurking around, not to mention one million allusions to other works that I’ve missed. Yet I also think it’s a very simple story, one that certainly doesn’t need every last image to be puzzled over and indexed.”
“Each panel is set up like a photograph or movie still: there’s no cartoon clichés like speed lines or sound effects…but read ‘em as sequential art and the movement is so smoothly natural and so intensely commanding that you begin to realize we sometimes take for granted the power and versatility of comic panel art.”
“One of the critical contributors to All Star Superman’s landmark success is of course the work of Frank Quitely and digital inker and colorist Jamie Grant. As immediately impressive as Quitely’s work is, Grant is just as strong a factor in the book’s artistic accomplishment, if a bit more subtly impactful. The colors of this book, throughout the series, have added a dayglow pop to the culture of Krypton and an unmistakable concreteness to the city of Metropolis and its inhabitants. Quitely gets most of the press, art-wise, but Grant’s work is just as critical to making this book so visually staggering.”
- Benjamin Birdie
“It’s not just one of the greatest Superman stories ever told, it’s one of the greatest superhero tales of our time.”
“The elevated language and scientific jargon mix beautifully against the nostalgic overtones, creating a story at the same time smart and encouraging.”
Work-for-Hire (Or Ideas Springing from That Topic)
“Basically, it’s very hard to create recognizable creators/stars, or recognizable titles, when it’s difficult for a layperson to identify a recognizable style. People like Frank Miller and Grant Morrison are rock stars in the comics world — but they’re name-brand appeal beyond that has to be limited by the fact that in their most famous efforts they tend to be dwarfed by the star power of characters they didn’t create.”
- Noah Berlatsky
“…while Joe correctly proclaims that work-for-hire is still in regular use across the entertainment board, his implication that ‘everyone’s doing it, so that’s the way it is’ is a bit… cynical. C’mon, Joe, if everyone in the entertainment business jumped off a bridge, would you too?
- Steven Grant
“As a writer and occasional editor, I wish the market were more open to original properties. It takes a hell of a lot of work and time to get a creator-owned project going these days. But work for hire can be sharp, clever work too. It all depends on what you bring to it.”
- Stuart Moore
“Quesada’s idea of work for hire being the only way to go only works if you’re going backwards from here. And I think that we’re going anywhere but.”
- Charles Yoakum
“The New Universe was previewed for the fans in a dedicated room at the 1986 Chicago Comic Con. The walls were covered with art from the upcoming titles. I watched the reactions of the fans visiting the room. Few seemed impressed.”
- Carl Potts reflecting on the birth of a New Universe
“Even before the release of this limited series, DC Comics announced it was cutting its length in half. That sends a message of non-confidence, which is unfortunate, as the creators deliver a solid, fun super-hero read appropriate for all ages.”
- Don MacPherson lamenting the not-so-dynamic support for The Family Dynamic (by J. Torres, Tim Levins & Dan Davis). Congrats to MacPherson for his blog (Eye on Comics) celebrating its second anniversary and on his upcoming wedding. MacPherson is a critical eye (pun intended) that I have always respected immensely.
“Some wonderful, talented people are behind Wowio. It’s one more reason why I’m sorry to see traffic on the decline, following the controversial changes in the ad-supported site. In fact, Wowio is now actually a bit of a bookstore in disguise.”
- David Rothman on the perceived woes of Wowio.
“Tomb of Dracula ran for many issues, far beyond expectations, mainly due to Gene’s extraordinary artistic abilities. I not only enjoyed every minute and panel of it all, but was very fortunate to be included for the ride.”
- Tom Palmer in a piece included in A Tribute to Gene Colan. Before you balk at the $9.99 cover price for the 96-page collection (from Marvel in conjunction with the Hero Initiative), remember that the net proceeds are going to directly benefit Mr. Colan–so I would consider this money well spent. I was never a fan of Tomb of Dracula myself, but I’m a huge fan of Colan, and with stories featuring Daredevil, Doctor Strange, Iron Man and Doctor Doom– there is a little of something for everyone.