The Cipher 10/20/10

October 20th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

leave with lifeless lungs or come in peace
-Remember when I said “You should be reading it” in relation to the Fraction/Ferry Thor? I take it back. I was okay with the first issue being empty, what with it being essentially the first chapter in what is meant to be a book, but the second is just as empty. All of the goodwill I had for it was instantly sapped by the pace and plot. Check out Tim O’Neil’s pretty good review of the issue. I agree with everything he said, I think. Pretty art, I dig the letters, but you’re cashews if you think I’m gonna pay four dollars a month for that.

-I’m slowly working my way through the books I bought at NYCC… and the books I bought after NYCC, and the books I’m probably gonna buy tonight. Time to scale back the insanity some, maybe? Who knows.

-I went to APE. It was okay. I liked the Writers Old Fashioned panel on Sunday. I bought a couple pages of art from Steve Oliff, the incredible colorist who did Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira.

akira color guides

One of the best comics ever, seriously. I’m happy to own two bits of it. These are also the first two pages I’ve bought that don’t feature colored folks.

-Disc-less Netflix on PS3 > Netflix on 360. The interface is smooth as silk.

-I deleted like ten gigs of mp3s last night. Goodbye, Canibus and Cassidy. You overstayed your welcomes. Drake, you’re next.

-If all goes well, I’ll have both a new Pretty Girls for Friday and a good post for tomorrow.

-You ever feel like there’s something you’re forgetting, even though it’s consumed your thoughts for days? I’m having that feeling right now. It was definitely something to do with comical books.

i would rather have you fear me than have you respect me
wrote: Ehh, light week. Just a preview. You should watch the footage of our panel from NYCC, though, and leave comments about my looks.

read: One Piece, Vol. 55, Gunsmith Cats Revised Edition Volume 4, and Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys, Vol. 11. OP was great, as expected. GSC flagged a little toward the end there by introducing a major character and then ignoring him for the rest of the book. It stumbled, but other than all the pedo stuff, it was pretty great. (Ugh.) 20thCB11 introduced a staple of adventure comics (crippling self-doubt!) and resolved it over the course of a chapter (I am invincible.), so that was nice. I like it more now, but it’s still threatening to spin off into absurdity (more than it already has, I mean). I hope the guessing games are mostly done. The stuff about Kanna was really strong this time around. More of that, please!

watched: I ordered The Night of the Hunter and received Seven Samurai. Why? Because Robert Mitchum and Akira Kurosawa, that’s why.

listened: It is positively absurd how much I’m feeling Rick Ross’s Teflon Don. Who knew? I’ve mostly been listening to Kanye and old joints, though.

laws and rules don’t apply to me
david: Hellblazer 272, New Mutants 18
esther: Possibly, but not likely: Batman the Road Home: Catwoman, Commissioner Gordon. Possibly: Batman and Robin 15, DCU Halloween Special, Tiny Titans 33. Probably: Superman/Batman 77
gavin: Azrael 13, Batman And Robin 15, Green Lantern Corps 53, Carnage 1, Chaos War 2, Deadpool 28, Hulk 26, Shadowland Power Man 3, Steve Rogers Super-Soldier 4, Darkwing Duck 5

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Fourcast! 66: Dead Wrong at New York Comic Con

October 18th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

-New York Comic Con Special Edition Fourcast!
-I borrowed my main man Pedro Tejeda from Funnybook Babylon and grabbed Gavin for a true FBB4l! connection.
-We talk about the con.
-I predict the cancellation of Young Allies, though I have it eight issues rather than six.
-We sing.
-We say mean things.
-We say hilarious things.
-There are music clips.
-Big ups to Joe from FBB for editing and recording this one for us.
-This is one of my favorites.
-6th Sense’s 4a.m. Instrumental for the theme music.
-If we want to talk to you, you better not listen, you might wind up in critical condition… we’re American Males.
-See you, space cowboy!

Subscribe to the Fourcast! via:
Podcast Alley feed!
RSS feed via Feedburner
iTunes Store

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The Cipher 10/13/10

October 13th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

keys open doors
-NYCC shouts: Witzke, Jared, Tucker, the whole FBB4l! death squad, Tim Callahan, Sims, Julian, Deb Aoki, Ed Chavez, Laura Hudson, Prof Gray, Kiel Phegley, Caleb and Anna, Bergen St Tom and Bergen St Amy, Cheryl Lynn, the iFanboys, and everyone else I met whose name I instantly forgot when I blinked my eyes after being introduced. I’m sorry, it’s just that my brain is so full of cut-n-paste snark blogging that I can’t even build short-term memory any more.

-Anybody else attend the X-Men panel? I thought it was funny when PAD showed up and announced that whoever placed the panels so far from either the show floor or Artist’s Alley should die? A couple years back he was going off on people online for that, but I guess it’s all to the good in person!

-See?! It’s a compulsion! I can barely type a whole sentence without mentioning how there hasn’t been a good Typhoid Mary story since Ann Nocenti left the character!

-Special shouts to everyone who said that they a) listened to, b) enjoyed, c) loved, or d) all of the above the Fourcast!. That was pretty flattering. Also everyone who mentioned the posts where I say things about race and comical books. This was a super flattering con. Good thing my ego’s already as big as humanly possible, you know?

-Kicked off the con weekend by giving a guest lecture to two classes and two and a half hours of karaoke.

-How good is The Outfit? I’ll have to hire a 4l! intern to scan some pages out of it so I can talk about it some.

-What was up with fans behaving badly at NYCC? Apparently some Lian Harper cosplayer got invited up onto a DC panel and then went on to complain about Jason Todd’s hair color and some other crap? There was also a belligerent Sgt Rock cosplay who was real upset about Frankencastle and accosted another panel. I’m sure there was some OMD/BND strife, too. C’mon, son. It’s just comics. It’s not that serious.

-Every year I go to one of these, I end up adjusting how I interact with comics as a whole. The first year, I was greedy guts, thirsty for signatures and books and panels. Attending a World War Hulk panel killed all that noise real quick, though, and now I only attend corporate comics panels if I gotta. They’re awful. The panels to go to are ones featuring either smaller publishers, like Oni or Top Shelf, or focused on a specific creator. Creator spotlights are great.

-Last year, it was all about original art and sketches. I got a Risso sketch and a gang of others.

-This year, I realized that I don’t care about signatures (though I do still like sketches/art) and it was all about 1) books and 2) my friends. Meeting creators at a con is nice and all, but it’s too one-sided for me. “Hi I like your books it’s nice to meet you can you make this out to David?” I don’t really get anything out of that.

-I’d rather meet someone at a bar or somewhere less formal than stand in a line to shake their hands and then catch them hand sanitizing it up thirty seconds later, you know? Email, over drinks, anywhere outside of the context of a comics convention is great. Within the building, though? I’d rather talk and walk with my friends.

-I do like those brief moments where you run into a creator you know or a friend on the floor while traveling in opposite directions, though. I saw Tim & Ryan Callahan, Geoff Johns, Kate Dacey, Marc Bernardin, and a few others that way.

-There was a super fine Ramona Flowers running around the con on Friday. She was quickly dubbed Ethnically Ambigious Ramona Flowers by the crew, and if you’re reading this: you won the con. Don’t let anybody tell you different.

-We gotta get rid of the Sexy Jailbait Anime Costume cosplays, though. If you needed to get parental permission to attend the con, please put some clothes on.

-I wore a three piece suit on Saturday.

-Sims talking about how he would kill Stephanie Brown “9 times” on the Comics Alliance panel killed me. Hopefully the video will be up soon, and hopefully I didn’t make too many stupid faces.

-Oh yeah, from the preview for ASM this week:

Bringing back Hypno Hustler, however briefly? Mark Waid, you are the dreamiest. Truly.

keys open doors
Wrote: I wrote a bunch of panel recaps while I was at NYCC, but there’s not a single bit of news in there I thought was ground breaking or worth paying attention to. Instead, read about Chi’s Sweet Home, 7 Billion Needles, and Redline, an anime that makes the Wachowski Speed Racer flick look like a fraud.

I’ve got a column at Moviefone now, too. The first is about five non-cape comic movies we need to see.

Read: I bought a gang of French and Alan Davis comics at NYCC, including an ill Eduardo Risso/Carlos Trillo book I’ve never seen before. On the plane, I read Twin Spica 01, Twin Spica 02, Twin Spica 03, Power Girl Vol. 2: Aliens & Apes, and Spin Angels. All of them were good to very good, and I’ll have longer bits on them later. And now that the Palmiotti/Gray/Conner Power Girl is done, I can go back to pretending like Power Girl doesn’t exist.

keys keys open doors
David: Amazing Spider-Man 645, Thor 616
Esther: Definitely: Knight and Squire 1, Maybe: Return of Bruce Wayne 5, Bruce Wayne: The Road Home – Batgirl, The Outsiders, Batman and Robin, Red Robin, Doc Savage 7
Gavin: Batman Return Of Bruce Wayne 5, Booster Gold 37, Green Lantern 58
Justice League Generation Lost 11, Knight & Squire 1, Welcome To Tranquility One Foot Grave 4, Daken Dark Wolverine 2, Deadpool Corps 7, Incredible Hulks 614, New Avengers 5, Irredeemable 18

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The Venom Plus Prop Challenge

October 12th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

As I talked about in my article about NYCC ’10, I decided to make use of Artist Alley after three years of passing it by. The question was, what did I want out of it? Asking for a sketch of just a comic character wasn’t enticing enough for me. I needed something just a little extra.

Therefore, I came up with the Venom Plus Prop Challenge, based on fulfilling my own typecast. Each artist would be tasked with drawing Venom along with another object. Any object. What will the prop be? That’s up to the artist his/herself. I had a lot of fun with this and got a good pile of sketches out of it.

Let the showcase begin.

Venom with Lobster Bib
by Todd Nauck

Venom with Handlebar Mustache
by Jacob Chabot

Read the rest of this entry �

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Revenge of the Son of the Return of the Wrath of Comic Con

October 12th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

My fourth New York Comic Con came to an end last weekend, so naturally, I’m compelled to tell you about it. While the earlier years were more based on seeing a million panels, scouring the trade floor and hanging around the Marvel and DC booths to get signed comics from whoever was nearby, I mostly went in a different direction this year.

I’ve been wanting to take this picture for quite a while. Would have been better with Esther there and maybe a fourth person with a question mark pasted over their face. If fighting games has taught me anything, always give the extra spot to the random select button.

Read the rest of this entry �

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FBB4l Crossover

February 11th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

I spent the weekend in New York, and all I have to show for it is this podcast with most of the FBB gang.

Go listen.

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4ch: NYCC: The Interviews, Part 2

August 29th, 2008 Posted by david brothers

Four Color Heroines interviews noted bloggers Cheryl Lynn and Valerie D’Orazio, among others, at New York Comic-con 08. I wish that the interviews went a little more in-depth or were just longer in general, as we don’t get much more than a taste of each interviewee.

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More Tiny Titans sketches

April 30th, 2008 Posted by david brothers

Art Baltazar at New York con really hooked me up. I got a grip of sketches for me and my friends. I’m having to trickle these out, ’cause I know that my friends read the blog and check my flickr. Here’s a few that I gave out last week:

Grifter Sketch Cloak & Dagger Sketch
Grifter for the Eisner Award-nominated Matt Silady, Cloak & Dagger for World Famous Runaways Fan Mindy Owens, both of which are my comrades in Writers Old Fashioned
Matt Murdock Sketch Doctor Strange Sketch
Matt Murdock for Kirsten, also of WOF, and Doc Strange for James Sime
Adam Strange and Miss Misery Sketch
Adam Strange (heart) Miss Misery, for Kirsten and James both.

It’s been quiet on 4l lately ’cause my day job needed a careful application of “work” applied to “projects.” That’ll change soon! Big things poppin’.

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2 Legit

April 22nd, 2008 Posted by david brothers

One of the Women in Comics panels at NYCC seemed kind of off to a lot of people. (Shot of Jenna Jameson in that one that may or may not be sfw?)

How do the ladies creating comics do it? They’re constantly blowing us away with the most outrageous and provocative titles. Jenna Jameson (Shadow Hunter), Colleen Doran (Distant Soil, Reign of the Zodiac), Amanda Connor (Birds of Prey, Painkiller Jane, Lois Lane ), Louise Simonson (New Mutants, X-Factor, Superman) and special guests reveal why they know what Fan-Boys want.

Yeah, Jenna Jameson is the odd man out there, so to speak. She’s got one comic under her belt, which she is credited with creating, rather than writing, so I can totally understand the consternation. If anything, I’d pay cash money just to see Louise Simonson talk. I’d pay extra if we could get a “Walt’n’Weezy Hour” where they just tell stories.

But, I kind of feel like the fan-based hostility toward writers or creators from outside the medium has run its course. It’s gotten stupid in its fervor. Case in point– Steve Bunche wrote a panel report on the Women Who Kick-Ass panel, which was subsequently reposted on The Beat.
Here’s a bit of it:

Billed as a sounding board for women in the funny books biz, the panel garnered a bit of controversy for its placement of former adult film star Jenna Jameson among the likes of Colleen Doran, Louise Simonson, and Amanda Conner. Jameson, a funny and intelligent speaker, is quite lively in her own right, but her presence was guaranteed to detract from the other panelists and attract a legion of devotees of “one-handed” cinema, many of whom couldn’t have cared less about the creative process of comics and paid their admission fee in hopes of worshipping at Jameson’s tenderloin flick altar. I have absolutely no problem with Jameson’s porn past, in fact I’m a staunch advocate of such fare, but the inherent sensationalism that comes with her simply doesn’t jibe with a panel aimed at women being taken seriously in the medium. No matter how sincere her intentions may be, the vast majority will most likely not be able to embrace Jameson in any real capacity as a creator and see her as anything other than a “tainted” woman who splayed her naughty bits on camera for the, er, amusement of folks living in a hypocritically anti-sexuality culture. Just ask Traci Lords.

Here is what I learned from the panel report:
-Jenna Jameson used to do porn.
-Colleen Doran and Louise Simonson didn’t show.
-There were more moderators than there were panelists.
-Jenna ain’t that interested in comics, no way, and probably didn’t even come up with the story for her book.

I can’t find any info on the Women Who Kick Ass panel online. All I’ve got is this report to go on, and it’s got no quality information in it. It’s got a lot of unsourced and specious conjecture, to be sure. Most of the crowd were Jenna fans, rather than comics fans? Really? It cost forty-odd dollars to get in the con for a day pass. You mean to tell me that you seriously think “about twenty or so comics enthusiasts” were the only comics fans in the audience? For really real?

Jenna was there to shill the comic “she supposedly created” is a huge claim to make– particularly when you aren’t privy to the inner-workings of Virgin Comics. A lot of their comics follow the format of (Celebrity Name)’s (Two Word Title). That’s their thing and it’s a formula they’ve worked to some success. Why throw in that jab about “supposedly created?” What’s the point? What does that have to do with the panel?

Conner’s efforts were valiant, but, for all intents and purposes, for what may have been the first time in her life, Amanda was the smart, talented, and funny wallflower in the eyes of a room full of wolves sniffing around the dance’s popular “hot” girl in a futile omega mating display.

This is the bit where I realized the post wasn’t a panel report at all. It’s a hit piece. The first paragraph is about how we don’t need a Women In Comics panel ’cause gender has nothing to do with nothing, the second paragraph is dissing Jenna’s fans and saying how she’ll be distracting, third paragraph disses the fans and moderators, fourth is dissing Jameson, fifth disses Jameson again and calls her comics illiterate, sixth mocks her movie, seventh is reproduced above and is basically a White Knight in action, eighth is dissing the audience, and then the ninth is a wrap-up that says the panel sucks.

The only paragraph I remotely agree with is the ninth one. I agree that the panel line-up was a bad idea and unbalanced. I disagree that Jenna Jameson being on the panel deserves an entire hit piece devoted to how she sucks, doesn’t know crap about comics, her fans are slavering fanboys who just want to touch the goddess’s hem (or i guess thong, whatever), and Amanda Conner got done dirty.

Conner did get done dirty, but that isn’t a good reason for the rest of that. I don’t even like Jenna Jameson and her comic is not my thing– so don’t even think that I’m just sitting here defending her. I don’t like the trend of “X person is coming from outside comics” with the subtext of “stealing jobs from worthy comics creators.” It’s crass.

I do agree with Johanna in her comment here, though.

I don’t think it’s her so much as cynicism towards famous names on comics. Remember Tekno’s Neil Gaiman’s whatever and how he had nothing to do with it besides the original concept? If someone licenses a name just to get PR value off of it, then I think readers are justifiably skeptical about that.

I just feel like the reaction is out of proportion. I’m sure that there was something funny or interesting or clever or new said on the panel. Bunche makes a big deal out of Conner’s quick wit and sense of humor (which considering her art, must be pretty awesome), but never actually gives us any anecdotes. It’s like what David Uzumeri said a while back.

What’s starting to disturb me more is the reaction to this that I see on a lot of the more moderated/respectable blogs – this conscious attempt to cut ties with the tastes of the hoi polloi and instead turn the topic to how cleverly you can savage a certain creator or book. Mike Choi is right – the switch is defaulted to “snark” all across the blogging community and everyone’s tripping over themselves to be the funniest guy to say something’s going to suck.

I’m tired of empty snark. You’re clever, you’re mean, you’re smart, you’re witty, you’re awesome, I get it– now tell me what you saw.

edit: Ragnell pointed me to Girl-Wonder’s Four Color Heroines podcast, which discusses the issue at around 12:00 in or so. I may not 100% agree, but they do make good points! Which, really, makes for a great post. Also, they just posted this new post which is all about the panel. I haven’t gotten a chance to check this one out, though, but it may warrant a followup post later!

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New York Con

April 21st, 2008 Posted by david brothers

Wrap-up coming after work. I’m playing catchup on too many projects right now to do that. I do want to do this, though–

Jubilee Sketch Ghost Rider Sketch
Jubilee Sketch by Julian Lytle, Ghost Rider by Art Balthazar
Static Shock and Blue Beetle Sketch Harley Quinn Sketch
Static Shock & Blue Beetle Sketch, Harley Quinn sketch by Art again. Virgil and Jaime are signed by Denys Cowan, Dwayne McDuffie, and Michael Davis.
Ron Wimberly and Julian Lytle
Ron “The Don” Wimberly and Julian “The Hooligan” Lytle. Me and Pedro talked rap with these dudes for like an hour on Friday night, easy. It was nice to meet the guy who drew Sentences and the guy who did this sketch I found last year.

Miscellany: I love how New York City looks. It’s still basically my idea of what a city is. So I took 57 photos of it and put them on flickr. Go scope it.

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