Archive for August, 2009


Jim Steranko – Block

August 31st, 2009 Posted by david brothers

Found this via Cheryl Lynn

Jim Steranko did a story called “Block” way back in the day. You can read it here. It’s pretty good, overall, and the Nick Fury shoutout was pretty cool.

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Here’s Your Obligatory Marvel/Disney Joke

August 31st, 2009 Posted by Gavok

Now it’s time to say hello to corporation say…

(When there’s trouble you call DW!)

(Brains are delicious!)


Ah, fun. Check in tonight for a new installment of We Care a Lot. Ha ha!

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Fourcast! 14: The Girlcast

August 31st, 2009 Posted by david brothers


(yeah, i don’t even know. we talk about girls and women and things in an extra-special almost-hour long show this time around. save me from myself by subscribing on itunes or straight up RSS.

apologies to jack kirby.)

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Vacation Slides: Trip to Orlando

August 29th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

Recently, I took a splendid little trip to Orlando to partake in Disney World and the Universal parks. How can I sum up my trip in one image?


I guess I should go in this day-by-day.

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Reasons Not to Buy a Comic

August 29th, 2009 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

When talking about books in the past, I’ve been confronted with a lot of readers talking about why they choose not to buy a particular book.  I keep wondering whether that kind of feedback is a marketer’s dream or nightmare.  So much of the reasons I’ve seen contradict each other.

I’ve started a list under the cut.  Feel free to add on to it.

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I Know Blog People Linkblogging

August 27th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

-Over at the Factual, I make jokes about interracial dating and Nina Stone delivers the best review of Batgirl #1 thus far. Nina’s POV is great, and she wrote up a pretty funny review, too.

-IDW Publishing is releasing Darwyn Cooke’s adaptation of Parker: The Hunter on iTunes. Five chapters, first hit’s free. Haven’t seen this news anywhere? You should watch more iFanboy. Ron Richards interviews him and he drops the bomb like it was nothing. Here’s the embed, as the interview is hilarious and full of true facts.

They’ve got a good (but quick) interview with Adam Warren, too.

-If you don’t think digital comics are the future… well, have fun with your phonograms, horse & carriages, and that dying from tuberculosis thing. Print will undoubtedly stick around, but all the smart money is on digital comics that aren’t based around tights and fights. I like superheroes as much as the next man, but it’s time for some diversification, and I’m not talking about putting some chocolate sprinkles on your vanilla ice cream or a wise latina on the Supreme Court. I’m talking about comics about vampires, nurses, fast food, slice of life, lies, World War II, science fiction, detectives, and everything else that’s not, or poorly, represented by the Direct Market-focused comics industry.

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Comics Mobsters is Dumb

August 26th, 2009 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

Cut for spoilers for the last issue of Batman and Robin.

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Yo Ho Hos, It’s Bachelor Girl!

August 26th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

il_430xn86953211I really like how Amy Martin draws comics. Not owning any kind of makes me a jerk, but I stay on her website!. I met her once, at a mutual friend’s poker party (I was there with my friend Jose Cuervo), and she was pretty nice to a total stranger, so there’s that.

She’s got a new book on sale, called Yo Ho Hos It’s Bachelor Girl. It’s two bucks, forty pages, and the excerpt makes it look pretty good. Her art is very cool and very cartoony. It’s funny to look at, which is pretty much number one on my preferred ingredients for funny funny books. The poses, the faces, all of it is something you can smile at before reading word one. She’s got a few comics up on her site, too, with this one being a personal favorite. Poke around on her site, she’s got more.

Go and check it out. It’s two bucks for the new Bachelor Girl, three dollars shipped. She’s got 20 copies on her Etsy store right now. Clean those on out. Do it… for the Gipper. Or because it’s funny. Do it for both, really.

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Click Moments

August 25th, 2009 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

I have said that I don’t warm up to new characters easily, and it’s true.  If anything, I find myself hostile to new characters.  Here’s a new person, taking up panels that could easily be devoted to characters that I already like.

Lately I’ve been examining what exactly causes a new character I hate to become someone I like.  It helps when they’re shown to be someone I can understand, but I understand plenty of people I don’t like.

What it comes down to are ‘click’ moments, moment when the character is so fantastic that I’m lifted out of my knee-jerk misanthropy and become a fan.  I haven’t found any particular common thread to these moments, but I’d like to share some with you.

Sasha Bordeaux:  She becomes Batman’s sidekick for a little while.  While sidekicking she meets up with Huntress during a crisis.  Huntress saves her, and snarkily says, “You can thank me later.”  Sasha replies, “Why wait?  Thanks!”  That’s when I began to like her, to cheer her on, and to follow her.  She’s a decent person.  Not a weak person.  Not a soft person.  A strong person with a level enough head not to answer rudeness with rudeness.  She exemplified the strategy of turning the other cheek.  In Gotham.  That takes some doing.

Cheshire:  In the Villains United miniseries, Mockingbird threatens to kill her child in order to keep her on the team.  Her strategy?  Immediately betray the team.  Oh, and sleep with a man to get pregnant so she can ‘replace’ her child.  When the other members rightly point out that his is sociopathic on a level never seen before, she says something like, ‘We were caught and only I managed to cut myself free.  Because I dared.’  Damn.  Just damn.  It’s horrible and it’s fantastic.

Booster Gold:  When he tried to save Ted Kord despite knowing the world would suck because of it.  That’s just self-explanatory.  What?  I’m not made of stone! 

Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown:  These two entirely won me over when they spar until both of them vomit and then decide to do it again the next day.  Their friendship is literally my lead-in to both characters.  It features everything I like, people being kind to each other, being loyal, helping each other out, and a broken jaw every now and then.  Really, it’s a chick flick waiting to happen.

Share your own ‘click’ moments, if you have them, below.

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“He paints pictures beautifully, but comics is nearsighted”

August 25th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

I saw some screwy news courtesy of Rich Watson’s Glyphs about another entry in the DC vs Dwayne McDuffie saga. An excerpt:

Plans for a Static monthly were scrapped by DC last spring. Based on their actions, they never really wanted to publish the Milestone stuff, they wasted my time. We could have done a little deal for them to use Static without me having to spend so much money on lawyers.

I checked his message board, and wait, there’s more!

Static Shock currently runs on Disney XD four times a day. I know that’s somehow not as good as appearing in Teen Titans, a comic with over 20 thousand readers, but I’m not sure why.

From another thread:

No. I did not accept the offer. I have completed the script to a Milestone mini-series that is currently being drawn. DC has also given the go ahead to a major project about their black characters and their place in the DCU, but I’m no longer sure I want to do it as I’m increasingly concerned about their posture on racial matters. I hope I’m wrong. I’m sure we’ll talk about it in the next few months.

-Static Shock was the #1 or #2 rated show on KidsWB for most of its run. I think it was trading top spots with whichever variation of Pokemon at the time.
-Static Shock’s cartoon, which is around ten years old, runs on a Disney channel four times. It’s reasonable to assume that Static Shock has more fans than, say, all of the Superman comic books put together.
-DC’s shown no interest in solo Milestone books, despite undoubtedly shelling out a lot of money and paperwork on the characters.
-Instead, they’d rather have Teen Titans feature Static, even though Titans is a book that has been of poor quality and a laughing stock for two or more years.

So, what happened here? DC picks up one of the more marketable cartoons in recent memory, and a fondly-remembered and ahead of its time universe, and fumbles the ball. The universe is shuffled off to a brief series of one-shots in Brave & the Bold, Static ends up in a comic no one likes (if you like Teen Titans, you like a bad comic, this is gospel truth), and the guy who is the face of the deal ends up shuffled off a book he was writing with handcuffs, out of the DCU, and off into cartoonland.

What happened?

DC needed new toys to put into the meatgrinder. They’re getting consistently outshined by their biggest competitor, which can’t look good in front of their bosses. They have exactly one respected and profitable movie franchise, but Marvel’s buckshot approach has seen some success. By tapping Milestone, or rather, Static, they get the bonus of a built-in fanbase, a pedigree, and a little check on the Minority Box. That’s a Triple Word Score.

So, like a toy collector buying cases of crap he doesn’t want, they get their action figure, the one they think will make them money, and toss the rest. They think that Static himself won’t sell on his own, because they’ve trained their audience to view new characters with distrust, if not outright malice, and non-event stories as Not Necessary, so they botch any plans of a solo series. Stick him in a team book and you get all the benefits, none of the minuses!

And then, at some point in the future, they’re going to put Static back in their toy chest, ready to spring out again when they need a young black kid (who is drawn like a grown man) to talk about how cool someone else is, take a dive for a new hero/villain, or catch a hot one in the next Crisis.

All of the drama, all of the hoopla, is about money. It’s about being able to make a profit on the short-term, and hoping that that keeps you going enough that you can catch more later on. It’s an extraordinarily near-sighted way to do business. According to McDuffie, a number of comics creators, ones with names, ones who sell books, wanted to do Milestone work. They remembered the universe, they wanted in on what looked like a good thing. But, money talks, and if you aren’t looking at an immediate profit, well, sorry. You aren’t talking loud enough.

But when arts meets commerce, commerce eventually wins out. It doesn’t matter how groundbreaking (original, cool, artistic, awesome, whatever) a character is. For the companies, and this includes Marvel, they are products to be sold, and whatever gets them sold is the right thing to do. DC dicking McDuffie isn’t about a grudge. It’s about having more action figures in the toybox that you can pull out, rather than creating new ones. It’s about being able to point and say “This is a comic for _______ people!” and expecting them to come just because you built some mediocre, at best, story.

DC saw that a character was successful elsewhere, hunted it down, and didn’t care about the consequences of that act. So now there’s a creator, one who has proven that he can do popular work amongst comics fans in at least two mediums, who is pretty much thoroughly alienated, a gang of savvy fans who are pissed, and a character who is going to slowly disappear into the ether.

I don’t get it. It seems like you have a ready-made formula for success. You have characters people like, creators who actually care about doing stories with them, and an audience who just might be receptive. Instead, you instantly shuffle most of the characters off into Nowheresville, put the one you like in a lame duck that no one, not even the writers, enjoys, and shut it down before it even gets started.

Well done. You’ve succeeded in completely playing yourself.

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