(The Bill Sienkiewicz drawn cover of Marvel Comics Return of the Jedi #1 from 1983. Image stolen from Marvel Comics of the 1980s.)
Here are some things I found interesting in the world of minicomics, comic books, graphic novels, small press, self publishing, zines, webcomics, cartoons, digital comics, other, etc. during the week ending 05282013:
"I accept it, but I don’t like it." -Lawrence Kasdan.
"I accept it, but I don’t like it." -Lawrence Kasdan.
- Return of the Jedi came out 30 years ago this past Memorial day weekend. It was a big deal. I was nine when it came out and it was one of the first movies where I was fully engaged as a fan and a consumer. Probably the first film I remember in my life where there was a tangible nerd culture waiting for the thing. Or at least one that I was old enough to perceive. Sure, I saw Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back in the theater and bought the toys and beach towels but, Jedi was different. By 1983 I was a big boy. I'd been reading the Marvel Star Wars comics for a few years. There was a Lucasfilm Fan Club and I was in it. I had the behind the scenes info. I had the news letter! I had the fan club patches and posters that said "Revenge of the Jedi". All most other people had were the TV commercials in that pre-internet world. It was the first movie I ever had "spoiled". I saw the photo picture book weeks before so I know all about what would happen with Yoda. I remember the first time I saw Luke's green lightsaber like it happened five minutes ago. My brains were blown. I've seen the movie at least a half million times since then. I like it. It is a move with a space ship battle and guys fight each other with laser swords. That is as good as movies get. I honestly have very little use for movies without space ships and laser swords. Blah blah blah, talking words and feelings. Pfft. Jedi, for me is also the end of an era of film making. The last great monster movie with stop motion animation. The last great effects movie with models and practical effects. In a lot of ways, Return of the Jedi was the last PG action movie. There were a lot of kid's fantasy films in the 80s. Most of which got greenlit because of Star Wars success. But those movies were usually safe, puppet driven pieces for little kids. I loved those movies too but they were never Star Wars. Star Wars was space cowboys that shot the bad guys with guns and slashed them with swords. And Jedi was the last of those movies that a kid could go to. After that everything was real bullets and blood and guts. And sex! And curse words! The aliens got nasty and became horror monsters after that. Once PG-13 was out of the box there was no looking back. And all the movies today are still stuck in that same formula that took over after Star Wars went away. They are all either Aliens or Terminator 2. Even Harry Potter and Revenge of the Sith were PG-13. All that changes now is that they look more and more like video games. I'll stick with my puppets and model kits.
- Oh, and in the spirit of pretending this thing is a link blog and not just my diary, there is a new making of book about Return of the Jedi.
- Here is a really neat piece about the formative days and earliest appearances of what would become Lois Lane.
- I've had recurring dreams since I was a boy where I would be digging through an attic or closet and find things like Action Comics No. 1. It seems I should have been tearing holes in the walls.
- The Beat spent 24 hours looking at webcomics. I don't have 24 hours to look at webcomics but if I ever do then now I know where to start.
- TCAF was a big happy wonderful thing that happened. I can't even afford to think about it. If I start thinking about airfare and hotel prices my checking account automatically kicks in with the overdraft fees. But other people went and took pictures.
- Speaking of things I can't afford to think about, Tom Spurgeon has this list of 483,396 things you need to know to get ready for SDCC.
- Those Freakwave comics are a lot of fun. Sure the art and writing are mad but what gets me about them is the color. Just look at those colors.
- Dan Zettwoch made a crazy skull rocket.
- Geoff Johns got a big send off for leaving Green Lantern. He's not going anywhere though. His desk is probably exactly where it was on the day before that comic came out. On the other hand, all James Robinson, the man that wrote all of Geoff Johns best comics, got was a bit of time to take his dog for a walk. All jokes aside, I cannot overstate how important James Robinson has been to DC comics over the past 20 years. For me personally, I never would have picked up a DC Comic book post 1989 if not for James Robinson, Mark Waid and Grant Morrison. Those guys, along with Neil Gaiman on The Sandman, picked that company up and carried it on their backs out of the 90s and into the new millennium. The "DC Universe" as it has existed for the past decade and all of the good bits that still exist now came out of Morrison and Waid's resurrection of the Justice League and Robinson's resurrection of, well JSA and all the other characters. And don't even get me started on how great Starman was.
- I don't know if I mentioned this before or not but back around the same time Susan Lyne murdered the entire staff of Comics Alliance and all of their neighbors, Valerie Gallaher left her editorial position with MTV Geek. I don't know if that is good for her or bad for her but it's good for me because it seems to have resulted in Gallaher writing a lot more for her own blog. I like her writing a lot. (Not just because she said some nice things about my comics once.) She brings a lot to the table. She's worked in and around comics from almost every angle. She's worked in shops, been a comics editor, a comics writer, a writer about comics and an editor of a site that writes about comics (and other nerdy junk). I like that she's not afraid to attack things from multiple angles and play devil's advocate. I read a LOT of teh comics intronets. Most writers, I don't even remember their names. She's one of the good ones. Here is a good read from her about her Cloak and Dagger comic that was not to be.
- And yeah I just tried to trick you into reading some positive words about my comics. Look, if you come over to my house after school and eat my pop tarts you just have to accept that I'm going to make you play by my rules when we play Transformers versus G.I. Joe. (I'm the Transformers. Transformers win.)
- Erik Larsen has been writing, drawing, inking, coloring, lettering, folding, stapling and mailing a new issue of Savage Dragon every day of the year for 150 years. Give or take.
- Here's the thing. Throw your Apple device in the river and go get you an android powered cell pad pod phone. Then you can look at all the cartoon titties and vajayjays you want.
- Speaking of titties. Stan Lee is talking to Janette Kahn's boobs isn't he. He is! He can't take his eyes off them. Janette Kahn was great in that first Swamp Thing movie.
- Cartoonist Rich Barrett has a new column at Mental Floss where he'll be going over some of the stand out comics from each week along with some news highlights.
- Yahoo bought
a popular internet port sitetumblr. This may or may not destroy comics. Same as everything else I guess. In brighter news, “At the height of its power, the photography company Kodak employed more than 140,000 people and was worth $28 billion. They even invented the first digital camera. But today Kodak is bankrupt, and the new face of digital photography has become Instagram. When Instagram was sold to Facebook for a billion dollars in 2012, it employed only 13 people." Oh wait, that's awful. Oh well, we can't all have free internet porn and jobs too. Don't be so greedy.
- So before Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer starts going house to house and murdering anyone with more than one week's worth of Sunday funnies, go read this great comic by Boulet about New York. If it's the last comic you ever read then you and comics did okay for each other.
- The best cartoon based on a Marvel
comicproperty that has ever existed was Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes. But it is gone. And now there is a new Avengers cartoon. But you would probably not know much about that since Disney buried it on Sunday morning on Disney XD. Sunday morning is not for watching cartoons. Sunday morning is for sleeping late, watching reruns of Lost in Space on the super station and going to church. Clearly, Disney hates Jesus. Or Marvel. Possibly both. (My daughter stayed home from church to watch the new Avengers cartoon because we are occasionally heathens. I usually will let my kids skip out on things for important TV shows because I never forgave my mother for making me miss part of the the Star Wars episode of The Muppet Show to go to the grocery store. My daughter said the new cartoon was boring. Lots of talking. Nowhere near as good as Earth's Mightiest Heroes. But, we all knew that without even watching it didn't we. I think the important lesson here is that no one should ever make television without first consulting me or my family.)
- Seriously, I continue to be confounded by Disney's absolute lack of interest in using those Marvel characters they paid 4 billion dollars for on TV. Yeah, I know about that Joss Whedon show and there is Ultimate Spider-Man, The Avengers and the new Hulk cartoon in the works. But when Disney bought Marvel, Marvel already had 5, capitol F FIVE cartoons on the air or soon to premier. That's not even counting those crazy anime cartoons. Disney cancelled all that stuff and replaced them with inferior shows. But worst of all they bury the Marvel shows in bad time slots on Disney XD. Let me just explain to anyone out there that does not have children... Disney XD is horrible. Every show on there is awful. Every show on there will make you flop on the floor like a fish while you try to decide whether to claw your eyes out or to claw the screen off your TV. AWE. FULL. No one alive does not hate all those shows. They are bad. Any show from Marvel's history of TV cartoons shown at any time would be the best show on Disney XD's schedule. Spider-Woman is better than that garbage. My theory is that there is still a lot of animosity toward Marvel from existing Disney execs. Sure, we'll pay for you to have two or three cartoons. That don't mean anyone is ever going to see them.
- (p.s. How is there not an X-Men cartoon on TV now. That Wolverine and the X-Men show was really good. Is this just to spite Fox?) Awful.
- Who owns Marvelman, or who doesn't own Marvelman.
- Bigger on the inside. (I read that comic. I liked it a lot. Fun!)
- Eric Canete is the best y'alls. Check out these Teen Titans storyboards he did.
- We're all train wrecks and I love you all.
- Drawn is shutting down. This gave a lot of people the sads. It also made people say oh dang it all to hell blogging is dead social media killed us all there is no hope find a bridge and jump off. Whatever.
- And finally... I guess I'm just not their target demographic.
And that's just a taste of some of the interesting things going out there in the wonderful world of comics and things. I can't keep up with it all but I do keep up with a lot of it on twitter and I try to re-tweet the good stuff. You should probably follow me there. If you did something to make comics better this week then high-five!
Your best pal ever,
p.p.s. Let's pretend we went to high school together on facebook.
p.p.p.s. Google + is another place you can read the same thing I posted here.
p.p.p.p.s. I'll tumblr for ya.