Special Caleb Slept In So This is Super-Late Edition!
And you thought Earth-Prime had a rough decade…: If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Graeme McMillan’s “The Most Important Events of 2000-2009, Comic Style,” a sort of timeline listing all of the various world-threatening crises to impact the WildStorm, Marvel and DC Universes in comics published during those years. So 2000 began with “Part of America literally becomes city of the future thanks to time-traveling evil robot” and ends with “Lex Luthor becomes President of the United States of America”…and those are among the calmest, least traumatic experiences.
I got exhausted by around 2001 or so, but the list is well worth a read (or at least a scan), if only to try imagine actually living in one of those places for a civilian (And it also serves a nice reminder that all of those message board posters who say things like “Dr. Light should rape because that’s totally realistic” should probably just shut up about realism in their super-comics). I’m not sure which universe is a worse one to be a citizen of—the DCU or the Marvel Universe. The scale of the problems facing the former are much greater—all of reality was re-written several times this decade there, while only Spider-Man and those who knew him had their realities re-written in the MU—which makes it seem more stressful. But then, on the other hand, reality being rewritten seems like a handy excuse. Like, “Hi boss, sorry I’m late. When history was re-written yesterday, I no longer worked here, and it took a while for my memories to return after Superman and his gang recreated the universe” or “No honey, you’ve got it all wrong! She was my wife on Earth-2, and now our continuities have all been merged!”
“Still here? Good, because now it gets more complicated”: The sales analysis at The Beat is always worth a read for super-comics fans, but Marc-Oliver Frisch’s look at DC Comics sales for November of 2009 is particularly fascinating, if only to watch Frisch wrestle with DC’s plastic lantern ring promotion in an attempt to discern how much they boosted sales, or even if they did so at all (evidence seems to suggest that Blackest Night itself did a bunch of the sales-boosting, rings or no rings). Also, holy crap did that work! Some of the books more than doubled their sales. That’s great news for DC, but for some reason I don’t think it bodes well for comics, given the industry’s habit of noting something works inexplicably well, and then repeating it until it’s stopped working and started hurting.
“Historical look and gay stereotypes in comic books and cartoon strips”: Metro Weekly picked up on Jeet Heer’s essay from earlier in the month about the early portrayal of gays in the comics. R. Fiore responded at The Comics Journal, and a conversation broke out in the comments.
“For some reason, the comic-book character Tintin, beloved just about everywhere else, has never quite caught on in America”: That’s the lead in a New York Times books section piece about Hergé: The Man Who Created Tintin. That would make Tintin the comic book equivalent of soccer then, huh?
Attach some faces to some of your favorite bylines: Sure you’ve always enjoyed the work of David Mazzucchelli and Hope Larson, but did you know what a dapper dreser the former was, and how cute the latter’s haircut is? Find out, in Calvin Reid and Heidi MacDonald’s photo round-up. (Link via Dirk Deppey)