here’s some interviews i read and liked

July 6th, 2011 by | Tags: , , ,

Mindless Ones interview Grant Morrison:

Bobsy: So obviously you can’t walk down the high street without seeing someone in a Batman t-shirt or a Superman t-shirt , but why are there no domino masks? Why no capes? Why no trunks on the outside? What is it that’s topping the fashion world from being hungry enough to go that extra mile?

Grant: I don’t know, because I thought super-fashion would look more like Zenith: Fashion clothes but with a little mask on. But that hasn’t happened. It’s just really hard to say where all this is going. The Internet offers up the idea that everyone is a superhero, every life story is a saga, everyone has a style, every love story is a magnificent adventure. We’ve all got our pages of our likes and dislikes. There’s osmething about the symbol of the superhero and what it represents… Clearly something is happening. People are trying to unite the imaginary and the real in a way using the Internet, so we might yet see the masks.

I just like the idea of this, how the internet is infecting real life with the idea that everyone is a superhero and important. Superhero as seductive meme, right?

I also like how it contrasts with this from Morrison’s DisInfo speech from around 2000:

“Beyond that, I find that we’re deluding ourselves in the worst way of all by believing in the individual. Stay with me on this. Kafka, Orwell, Patrick McGoohan in The Prisoner, everyone told us the individual is the most important thing you can be. Everyone is fucking quirky these days. Every shit in the window of MTV is quirky. Everyone’s cool, everyone’s smart… it’s not true.”

My main man Sean Witzke interviews Brandon Graham:

SW: When you talk about the idea of comics that haven’t been done – that’s kind of hard to actually achieve. Branching out of the moves you know work , and the idea that everything has been done – is it possible to actually make something new in comics? Not just in the “webcomics are the future” way, but just in paper comics – from page layouts to subject matter – is it possible to keep finding new ground?

BG: I can’t say with certainty what has and hasn’t been done since there’s so much unseen out there but there’s a hell of a lot that I’ve never seen tried in comics.

Emily Carrol just put out a set of zines with each one showing one page moments from a different member of a family’s life leading up to a big fire. and you get different sides and different clues deepening on which zine you read. Or there’s that Pat McEwan short in the back of Weasle #1 where each panel is a room and you don’t read left to right — you follow individual characters. I think that idea could be pushed even farther. — you could combine both those ideas and have choose your own adventures that read what direction the reader chooses to look and have it jump books or have pages fold out like posters in it.

I had this idea for a book that starts as a Scott McCloud how to draw comics or how to do perspective or draw manga book– hosted by a guy and his beautiful assistant. 3 chapters in to a standard how book to the assistant is found dead and then the learning comics part gets dropped and it switches to a murder mystery.

Or like, I’ve never seen a serious comic showing the life cycle of a fungus

Even if stories come from the old roots I think doing them in new ways creates something bigger than just the root idea. plus as a reader or an artist I feel like you have to have hope for undiscovered country. You can’t be an explorer that already expects every mountain to have a flag planted on it– there are still mountains on mars.

Longer quote than I wanted to post, but I wanted to get Sean’s question in there, too. There’s plenty more to read, including a great bonus round.

“There are still mountains are mars” is so good, because it then makes you wonder why so many comics are content with climbing Everest over and over again at best. Other than Morrison’s Batman & Robin (specifically the Irving/Stewart/Quitely trinity), which has definitely had its share of crap art, are there any visually challenging major books at Marvel or DC? Brian Bendis got Chris Bachalo for an Avengers comic and wasted him on a bunch of talking heads. Sure, Bachalo draws great heads, but is that really what you want him to do? I mean… that’s like getting Brendan McCarthy to draw your crime noir story, or Jack Kirby to do an adaptation of High & Low. I mean, sure, it’d look nice, but seriously: who cares? Who wants that? Work to these people’s strengths and show us something new instead of throwing all these square pegs into round holes. Figure out a new way to do talking heads or Batman standing on a gargoyle or Daredevil crying about his crappy life like a big fat baby on a rooftop in the rain.

Eric Wallace on DC’s upcoming Mr. Terrific:

Michael’s entire supporting cast will be new. One of the most important figures in his life is ALEEKA OKAFUR. Black and brilliant, Aleeka keeps Michael on the straight and narrow while running a billion dollar corporation, Holt Industries. When Michael makes mistakes and everyone else is afraid to speak up, she’ll be the one who tells it like it is. She’s the “heart” to Michael’s “head” when it comes to business affairs, and together they make quite a team. Another new character I’m excited about is JAMAAL, a sixteen-year-old intern at Holt Industries, who also just happens to have an I.Q. of 192. Needless to say, Michael sees a lot of himself when he was a boy in Jamaal, which makes Jamaal’s life really tough, really fast. Yes, he might be a genius, but Jamaal still has a lot of growing up to do. The problem is that Michael often forgets this fact.

I like the sound of Mr. Terrific the more I hear about it, and Eric Wallace acquits himself well in this interview, some bizarre phrasing featuring the word “diverse” aside. I mean, you’ve got a cape comic with a high tech angle, a supersmart protagonist who’s going to be going on dates, and what sounds like an actual supporting cast, a rare creature in modern cape comics. A black lady, too! How rare is THAT, I ask you?

The setup, what little info we’ve been given thus far, puts me in mind of McDuffie and Cowan’s Hardware, which in turn made me realize that Hardware and Terrific are basically perfect rivals. Brilliant and idealistic vs Brilliant and gruff? Easy conflict right there. Wallace teases a surprise cameo in issue one, and it’s probably Steel, but Hardware would be fun, too.

Not to mention their approaches to technology. Holt always struck me as a soft, sensitive dude–he can speak to electronics and finesse his way to innovation. He’s got a subtle touch, like a three pointer with half a second left, nothing but net. Hardware is rougher, with armor that looks cobbled together and is clearly a weapon. You turn the corner and run into Hardware and you aren’t even scared. You’re in awe, and then you’re scared when you realize exactly how many different ways he has to kill you. Hardware is that slam dunk that ends the game and posterizes somebody for eternity.

Like, basically, after you and your crew go up against Hardware, your grandkids would come at you like “I saw that picture of the time you got away from Hardware, granddad, and that’s what you call winning?”

“I’d hate to see what you call losing.”

Mr Terrific looks good, though. DC just needs to tighten up its PR game.

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11 comments to “here’s some interviews i read and liked”

  1. While not visually challenging, I love the look of the new Daredevil starting this month. It breaks out of the dark, noir holding that Matt Murdock has been in for over a decade, and it really feels like a breath of fresh air for the series. I love how the gutters and the girl’s arms cover his eyes, or how Daredevil “sees” people with his powers, or how Matt’s vision of The Spot isn’t that goofy D-List villain he normally is, but this twisted creepy abomination.


    I also don’t think “visually challenging” is the best thing to promote, since its the flipside of “visually incoherent”. For comic book narratives to work, the readers needs to look at a panel and instantly know what’s going on. So maybe not challenging but…interesting? David Aja, Chris Bachalo, Marcos Martin, artists that Marvel has that are instantly recognizable and have a style that’s clearly different from just about anything else out there in mainstream superhero comics.

  2. Terrific will succeed or fail simply on which Eric Wallace shows up to the game, the guy who wrote those atrocious Deathstroke comics or the guy who wrote the surprisingly good Tattooed Man mini.

    I don’t think I’ve seen your thoughts, but what did you think of Rozum on Static David?

  3. @Jeremy: Visually challenging isn’t the flipside of visually incoherent. It’s a progression from visually regular or whatever.

    Challenging is… it’s like going from coloring books to picture books to Goosebumps books to adult novels. It doesn’t mean “hard to read” so much as “rewards added effort.” Hard for hard’s sake is stupid.

    And I would say that Daredevil is exactly what I’m talking about! That book looks like it might be the best looking Marvel comic on the stands when it hits.

    @Debaser: Rozum on Static–Pleased. I like Xombi, and I trust him as a writer. McDaniel looks to be using a new style, too, which is a huge plus.

    And I agree with you on Wallace, 2011%.

  4. I have to say that while I don’t like some of the directions DC has taken or some of the new looks of the characters, the legwork that Eric Wallace, Scott Lobell, and Gail Simone are doing is going a long way to convince me to give their books a look. I wish them luck…

    Now I was ready to disregard the Mr. Terrific book on the first look, but the more I hear, the more I will get it a shot for 2 or 3 issues. I just wonder how DC will botch this up…. :raise:

  5. I’d say JH Williams III usually does visually challenging pretty well.

    And yeah, I thought Wallace was using “diverse” in a weird way, too. I don’t think one individual character can be diverse in himself… Mr. Terrific is looking good, though. I’m more and more excited with every interview, just hoping the execution holds up.

  6. Another interesting looking Marvel book I think you’d like David is the new Spider-Island: Cloak and Dagger mini-series, by Emma Rios. Gone are the angst-filled narration about their tortured lives and origin story, Emma lets the artwork tell the story. In a visual medium, no less!


  7. big fan of Michael Holt as a character. Am i the only one who hears a lot of echoes of Kurt Busiek’s character arc for jack-In-The-Box on Astro City?

    not complaining, mind you. gather your good ideas where you may. just curious.

    not familiar with Wallace’s work, but those ideas do lend a certain cautious optimism to my expectations for this series.

  8. what was Michael Holt’s business before he became a superhero in the DCU? I know the Earth-2 version when they recreated the multiverse was a professor of advanced physics.

    Are there as many companies in the real world named in the comics style of “owner/founders name” followed by industries/Enterprises/International etc?

  9. I know I’m taking the wrong message here, but I would read the dogshit out of both a Brendan McCarthy noir and Kirby doing High & Low.

  10. Some of Heralds was pretty visually thrilling. You know which parts I mean and which I don’t. If we’re counting Morrison’s B&R then that counts too.

  11. A lot of the early interviews about other books I wanted had me dropping them, but Wallace’s words on Mr. Terrific were reassuring. I really hope this book takes off.