Pull quote link-blogging! I read some good things this past week, and I am here, sharing them, because I love you.
Here’s how it works. Sarting on the 16th, there will be a form field on this site where you can enter your name, address and age. Choose what general type of manga you want (shojo, shonen, seinen, yaoi, etc.), submit the form, and you’ll be entered for a random drawing. Each day, one person will receive 5 graphic novels. A winner is only allowed to win once… BUT! Post a photo of yourself with your manga, and send me the link at “firstname.lastname@example.org”, and we will cross-post it on this blog and send you 5 more graphic novels.
Gonzo’s “There’s not a word yet, for old friends who just met” is an absolutely gnostic maxim. You are old friends because the spark of god comes from the same ancient source, but you have not yet met in the fallen world.
Geoff Klock examines gnosticism and The Muppets? I was skeptical when I saw the title, but dang if he doesn’t convince me over the course of the essay. It’s a fun read, and a nice way to look at a classic.
Third, there is no such thing as a “universal” canon. This is what I call the “Gershwin” rule. From the perspective of an American historian, George Gershwin is a canonic composer, profoundly influencing the development of American music with his distinctive marriage of black vernacular styles to European art forms. But from a Russian or Italian perspective, Gershwin is a local anomaly, a decent American composer who enjoys a far greater reputation among his fellow countrymen than in the international community. (Translation: he ain’t no Stravinsky or Verdi.)
Kate Dacey takes on the question of what belongs in the manga canon, to great effect. She approaches it from an angle I never would’ve expected, in depth, and wow– it’s totally worth the read. Also, she’s in it for the long haul down in her comments. Good golly. One of my favorite reads from last week.
The women on vintage and even contemporary mystery covers are, more often than not, busty blondes that generally fall into one or another simple category: Victim or Vixen. You’d think you’d be able to tell the V-Blondes apart by how scanitly dressed they are, but another pattern is that both types are often pretty disheveled in the clothing department. (Who knew ghosts and murderers loved fabric so much!) The true way to tell if they are a Victim or a Vixen is by their gaze. If they are looking directly at the reader they are a Vixen and are not to be trusted.
Colleen AF Venable at First Second goes in on one of my favorite things: book design. She discusses a few tropes of old school book covers, approaching the design for a new book, and has generally written a piece that’s absolutely worth reading if you care about things like “how books look.”
I’m just glad to find out that I’m not the only person who will spend an hour or two poring over old book covers.
The simple answer is that it is often necessary to emphasize immediate sales in an industry with tight profit margins, and that’s understandable. But if you have the financial backing to shift your priorities slightly — which is the question Quesada was asked — why wouldn’t you? If you could afford to invest in the best creators up front and give them the creative freedom that original graphic novels offer, or allow yourself gauge the success of more monthly comics as longer-term investments, why wouldn’t you?
Laura Hudson, czar of AOL’s Comics Alliance blog, digs right into Joe Quesada’s position on why Marvel doesn’t do OGNs. Another great read, and when I say “digs right into” what I really mean is that she “obliterates his wishy-washy answer.” C’mon Marvel, you got to do better.
It just makes it another crappy Big Two super-hero comic. It will sit on the shelf for awhile, eventually go out of print, and someday exist as little more than a reminder that yes, this is what they thought we’d want. A repellent, juvenile product–lazy in design, ignorant in preparation, and blind to the response it would create.
Tucker Stone looks at the online reaction to a certain comic book, and the comic book itself, and comes to a few conclusions. Which comic? JLA: Cry for Justice #3. He puts a few things into perspective, and wraps it up very well. Some whiny jerk shows up in the comments, too, having clearly missed the point of the editorial, but hey kids! Comics writing!