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Showing posts with label Marvel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marvel. Show all posts

28 April 2013

Other Comics News Parade-O-Links 04282013

(Crazy Cartoon Nutsy Squirrel cover stolen from DC Comics.)

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 04282013:

"There's no easy way to say this, Shannon. You're a crazy cartoon squirrel. You always have been. It's time you knew the truth."  -Robert Newsome.

  • In his occasional Comics Group Think series, Tom Spurgeon asked "In What Ways Does The Culture Of Comics Have An Impact On How Business Is Done?"  I answered.  As did several smarty pants people.  It is worth a read. Bob Temuka's response got me to thinking that, on the bright side, at least it is now easier for we the fans customers to call out the companies when their practices are not so great.  If twitter had been around when Jack Kirby was trying to get his pages back from Marvel I think he would have had them in a couple of weeks.  Maybe a couple of days.  And that in turn would have actually improved the relationship between Marvel and Kirby.  And maybe Kirby would have done more work for them.  More money for Kirby, more profit for the company and more comics for the fans customers.  So, maybe if you do the right thing you win.  And maybe if you screw over everyone you lose.  But what do I know?  I had a banana and a pack of "Toast Chee" crackers for lunch.  Food for people so broke they can't even afford their fake cheese flavored food stuffs to have an S and an E on the end. 
  • Oh, and here is the smoking gun. 
  • This article (which I also saw first at The Comics Reporter) about the shuttering of Graphic Smash got me thinking about the early 2000s when there was so much discussion and worrying on the message boards (message boards are how you complained about how you were wronged by entertainment products before twitter and facebook) about the best platform/model for webcomics.  And I'm not just thinking about Joey Manley and his subscription based sites.  (Shaenon Garrity talks about her experience with that here and it is a must read if you want to walk down webcomics memory lane.)  Thank God for people like Manley that said, hey, maybe we should try to figure out a way to get paid.  But I'm thinking more about the different webcomics community platforms that came and went.  There were so many different platforms that people invested so much time and money into.  "This will be the MySpace for Comics!"  "This will be the facebook for Comics!"  And we were all so frantic to get on board.  Oh the horror of all the stalls being filled in the new digital shopping mall before we got ours.  I'm sure I created a login for every upstart webcomics platform between 1998 and.... yesterday.  

(This is a Star Wars piece by Jack Kirby.  It is amazing.  I don't know where it came from or why it exists.)

(They read the comments.)
Oh, and one more last thing!  Did you know you can leave comments on these posts here at file under other?  It's true!  And, I'll probably respond.  Twitter and facebook killed the message boards but that's no reason why you can't argue with me, praise me or leave me recipes.  It's your intronet.  Have fun!

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,

Shannon Smith

Oh wait.  What?  Francis?  Oh alright.

p.s. Say you want a leader but you can't seem to make up your mind. I think you'd better close it and let me guide you to my twitter feed.
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.

25 April 2013

Top 10 actors that should play Daredevil in the next Marvel movie.

It was announced/mentioned this week that yes, the film rights to Daredevil have returned to Marvel.  Therefore it's time to get serious about some link baiting fan speculation on who should be the next Daredevil actor.  My cat Our crack team of pop culture experts has but together the following list so that you don't have to.

10.  That guy from that Homeland show.
Pros: Is a talented actor with red hair and looks exactly like Matt Murdoch.
Cons:  Already played Captain America in Band of Brothers.
Likelihood: 4%

9.  Louis C.K.
Pros:  Has red hair.
Cons:  Not a lot of it.
Likelihood:  17%

8.  Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Pros:  Has red hair.  Has is own super hero like race car driver fire suits and helmets.  Once won a race in a car with Batman painted on the hood.
Cons:  Hollywood could not afford him.
Likelihood:  8%

7.  Sheamus.
Pros:  Has red hair.
Cons:  Sheamus sucks.
Likelihood: 48%

6.  Christina Hendricks
Pros:  Has red hair.  Is Christina Hendricks.
Cons:  Not a man.
Likelihood: 73%

5.  Prince Harry of Wales.
Pros: Has red hair.  Probably has Kung Fu Grip.
Cons:  I don't think he is an American.
Likelihood: 2%

4.  President Barack Obama
Pros:  Irish.
Cons:  Not Catholic.
Likelihood: 26%
Pros:  Has red hair.  Has superpowers far beyond Daredevil's wildest dreams.
Cons:  Apparently no long exists thanks to Vince McMahon.
Likelihood: 4%

Pros:  Once dyed his hair red.
Cons:  None.
Likelihood:  100%

1.  Walton Goggins
Pros:  Best actor on the planet.
Cons:  Does not have red hair.
Likelihood: 0%

So there you have it.  Do you have thoughts and ideas and opinions?  Well, they are wrong.  But, you can still share them on the new official file under other message board.  Tell us what you think!

(And by us I mean me and imaginary government internet police that monitor this site.)

Your best pal ever,

Shannon Smith

17 April 2013

Other Comics News Parade-O-Links 04172012

(One of my all time favorite covers by the late great Carmine Infantino.  Notice that you have your "Frazetta Pyramid" but the pyramid is turned on its side.  Which, I think says a lot about Infantino's style.  Super master level skills with everything tilted and skewed beyond expectations.  Just right outside the comfort zone.  Full of energy and a subtle edginess.  Image stolen from bipcomics.)

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 0417013:

"No more hurting people." -Martin Richard.
  • Hello brothers and sisters.  It has been a while since the last Parade-O-Links.  I've been making my little list throughout the days and working on the column but I've just not been able to get the thing together.  I'd love to have a new Parade-O-Links up for you every Sunday morning but, my life has been challenging lately.  Times is hard.  A lot of awful things have happened.  We mourn for those we've lost.  We pray for those that have had tragedy forced upon them.  And, it's sadder each time.  You don't really get used to it.  It just piles on.  Maybe the weight of it makes you stronger and maybe you can carry the burden but the weight is there.  Heavier and heavier.  But we press on.  Ya know, I'm a guy, staying up past midnight writing about a hobby I can not afford to have.  But here we are.  We press on.   I'm reminded of a gym teacher I had at Saint Paul Elementary School.  His name was Tom Payne.  He was a character.  I remember one day, I think it was sixth grade gym class, he stood up and he said, "Kids.  Do you want to know what the meaning of life is?  All through your life you are going to hear people talk about it.  What does it all mean?  Why are we here?  What is the meaning of life?"  He turns around and he grabs a piece of chalk.  He writes on the chalkboard.  Real big.  He writes to huge words.  "HAVE FUN."
  • And I don't even know what that means.  I think it's gotta be more than that.  But it's not a bad start.  Times is hard brothers and sisters.  But we press on.  If for no other reason that somewhere down the road we'll share some laughs.  And to those that try to keep us down...you've got to live with me breathin' baby.

(A panel from one of the issues of Carmine Infantino's water planet story in Marvel's Star Wars.  Image stolen from the Jedi Council at theforce.net.)
  • The great Carmine Infantino passed away earlier this month on April 4th at the age of 87.  He was a lot of things in his career.  Inker, penciler, designer, art director, editor and publisher.  But to me, he was the guy that drew the coolest looking, most exciting Star Wars comics.  And to me, when I was a kid, that meant that he had the most important job on Earth.  I met him, gosh, close to 10 years ago now, and he seemed to be a sweet man.  I had him sign some Star Wars comics and he had a story about each issue.  He remembered drawing them, and remembered conversations with Lucasfilm about what could and could not be in them.  He seemed to really enjoy the issues that took place on the water planet.  They were pre-Empire Strikes Back and were a huge contrast to the desert and sterile space station locations of the first Star Wars film.  (Years later we would see a Star Wars water planet and sea dragon type creatures in Attack of the Clones but it was nowhere near as cool as what Infantino did.) That work was a good example of what Infantino was in comics.  He took what you gave him, The Flash, Batman, Star Wars etc., and pushed it a bit further.  Turned it on its side.  Skewed the perspective so that it felt like you were falling into the image.  His drawings were like a broken mirror.  It felt like if you held the paper the wrong way it would cut you.  And those lips he drew on the female characters,  you knew if they kissed you it would be fatal.  He didn't draw the stuff "on model".  He drew it better than model.
  • Roger Ebert also passed away since last we met here on the Parade-O-Links. When I was a kid, Sneak Previews and At the Movies were a big deal.  Most of us just called them "Siskel and Ebert".  Other than stuff like Starlog and the TV commercials, Siskel and Ebert was about the only place you could get a look at new movies.  The main thing I took from Ebert as a critic and a writer was his enthusiasm.  A lot of critical writers hide their enthusiasm if they have any of all.  Never be ashamed of what you like.  That is just stupid.  The notion that you will get closer to the objective truth by denying your personal truth is just idiotic.  And always want the things you like to try and be better. 
  • All I knew about Margaret Thatcher I learned from comics and rock music.  The lady was ahead of her time.  And by that I mean she should be on Fox News right now
  • Another non-comics obituary I'd like to point to is that of Mrs. Ann Gregory.  She and her family bought the town newspaper from my family when I was just a baby.  She would be a great friend to my family and a positive presence in my life.  Saint Paul, Virginia is a very small town but reading her obituary I'm struck by how much she accomplished and how many people she reached through her work.  Sometimes, here in these hills, here in this valley, you feel like you can't reach beyond the hills to the rest of the world, but she did.  Her life was full of honors and titles but none of them were achieved out of ambition.  All she accomplished was out of a commitment to the service of others.  She was a very impressive person and will be missed. 
  • Congratulations to this year's Eisner Award nominees.  I've been paying attention to the Eisner's for a decade or more and this might be the first time where I have a work or a creator that I'm excited about in every category.  It's kind of like, dang, they nominated my twitter feed.  Are the Eisners getting more savvy in their awareness of indie comics and webcomics or is everything mainstream now?
  • The winner of comics kerfuffle of the month went to the "Saga saga".  First teh intronets thought Apple was banning things because they hate teh gays.  Then teh intronets decided maybe Apple did not hate teh gays but only hated boners.  Then the CBLDF reminded us that boners are totes legal.  But some retailers said, I don't care, I ain't selling boners.  Then Comixology came out and said my bad bro, my bad.  So now you can read all the boners you want.  I guess.  Which is kind of where we were before it all started but now a lot more people know about that Saga comic.  But it still kinda sucked.  Teh intronets everybody!  Seriously though, Tom Spurgeon summed up the more important parts of the story here.  One of the best things about this issue was that Spurgeon got to talk about boners in, I think, three separate blog posts.  So, that was a good week for me in my comics internet reading.  "Mostly, though, anyone that interprets the clumsy negotiation of a potentially troubling content policy by a corporate entity as some sort of failure to make sure that the PR image of involved business is treated with some perceived level of demanded respect is a scary person. Fuck that. Question everything. Tiny boners 4-ever."  Tiny boners 4-ever indeed.
  • Boners.
  • In other news, just last week, I became the owner of a cell pad pod phone for the first time ever.  That's right.  I have a "smartphone".  Mine is an android phone and the Comixology app was the first app I installed.  So no Apple store for me.  All the boners I want!
  • Boners.
  • Speaking of boners Comixology, remember that whole deal where Comixology and Marvel tried to give away over 700 comics to way over 700 people and it all blew up?  Well, just like they promised, they delivered this week.  I got the comics I wanted easy as pie.  Like, ridiculously easy.  Like, faster than I could eat my dinner.  I did not chose to own all of the comics but I got a lot.  A lot people.  And I'm loving it.  So, boners or no boners, high five Comixology.
(Doctor Who reads comics.  Of course.  Image stolen from Bleeding Cool.)
  • The Fluke Mini-Comics and Zine fest took place back on April 6th in Athens, Georgia USA.  Sadly, I missed it.  I was going to go but things occured.  So, I did what any hard working comics blogger would do and I called up the most dangerous man in the world, Henry Eudy on my email phone.  (Which does not exist.)  Our conversation went like this:
from the desk of file under other, April 3, 2013:
Dearest Bro Duder,
Are you still going to Fluke?  I unfortunately cannot go.  Again.  Due to the horrors of going through a separation/divorce and needing to use my spare time knocking over convenience stores to pay for my kid's braces.  
If you are going, would you be interested in writing another con report for file under other for absolutely no reward whatsoever? 
If so, please send the following fax to Dave Sim:
"Dear Mr. Sim,
No one has a fax machine anymore therefore you have received this via magic and you are either a wizard, elf or troll.   Please forward this fax to Shannon Smith via your magic ways so that he will know whether or not Henry Eudy can write a con report.
Sincerely,
Gloria Steinem"

from the desk of Agent Henry Eudy, April 3, 2013:
I received the following reply by way of it being taped to the topside of a badger that somehow appeared in my living room:
"Dearest sirs,
I can't be bothered to give a damn about your completely insignificant con report. Frankly, if yours truly and my amazingly underrated and misunderstood tracings of women from Vogue aren't the main attraction at a convention, then why bother anyway? It's all too insipid. Probably a woman is behind this. What kind of name is Shannon anyway? Humph. Anyhow, I got tracings to do and rants to write. You two pansies figure this our your own selves."
Graciously yours,
David Albert Sim"
Weird, huh? Plus I think it was all written with old cigarette butts. Anyhow, I am planning on making FLUKE although I already know I'll have to bail out a few hours early to get back home for an prior engagement. Still, I should be able to experience enough for a solid con report. Sorry I won't be seeing you there. Good luck with those robberies and such.
---- H.

Sadly, Agent Eudy's mission was to be aborted due to life events happening.  Like they do.  But all hope was not lost.

from the desk of Agent Henry Eudy. April 5, 2013:
Hold the phone! I did have an idea for a perfectly good con reporter. I believe all around good guy and fancy beard grower Adam Casey will be at FLUKE. Might make a pretty good Henry H. Eudy replacement, if you ask me. 

And so it would come to pass that Adam Casey and his beard would journey to Fluke and record the important details of this most important event.  And now, dear reader, you can read the whole thing here
(Glorp mania takes over Fluke.  Image stolen from Shawn Daughhetee's facebook.)
  • Here is a comic about how it is apparently hard to openly like things if you are a girl.  Honestly, this notion has never made any sense to me.  I just don't get being insecure about the things you like.  And I also just don't get that there have apparently been generations of girls around this world afraid to openly like video games.  I guess everyone's perception is different but I thought pretty much every girl on post-industrial electricity having Earth since the Atari 2600 played video games.  My high school girlfriend and her little sister both beat my ass at Super Mario Bros y'all.  For those of you that do not live in my reality, I offer you both condolences and congratulations depending on which you would prefer.
  • There have been several of transgendered comics characters before.  You people are aware that things happened prior to six months ago right?  But, either way, high five transgendered folks!
  • Above is a picture of the world's happiest illustrator Ashley Holt with his head on a stuffed version of The Demon.  I think Ashley had a birthday since our last Parade-O-Links.  That's as good a reason as any to post this picture.  (But I was going to post it anyway.  I think Josh Latta made it.)  I believe Robert Newsome also had a birthday since our last P-O-L.  And according to the facebook, April 16 was Brad McGinty's birthday.  Happy birthday y'all buncha geezers. 
  • Josh Latta:  Social Media Queen.
  • I've never been to MoCCA but I liked this piece Darryl Ayo Brathwaite wrote about it
  • How about instead of step 5 we just slash your tires and burn your house to the ground you ignorant douche face?
  • BREAKING:  Producers of the upcoming film adaptation of Dave Sim's Last Girlfriend have announced that the role of the fax machine will be played by Bradley Cooper. 
  • Here's a tip for all you young copywriters: stop sucking so hard.
  • Tom Spurgeon does some very interesting talking about comics at Deconstructing Comics
  • A while back, Tucker Stone (still not dead) talked about Thanos and Judge Dredd and other things.  That Thanos comic sure looks weird.  Speaking of Thanos, one day earlier this month I was driving down the road listening to a sports talk radio station and I heard a radio commercial for Marvel's Thanos Rising.  That happened.  I swear to you that I was not under the influence.  Speaking of Judge Dredd, I watched that Dredd movie.  I liked it a lot.  Liked the look of it.  Loved the sound design.  I could listen to motors and gadgets for hours. 
  • And finally...Iron Man's a drunk ya know.
Oh, and one more last thing!  Did you know you can leave comments on these posts here at file under other?  It's true!  And, I'll probably respond.  Twitter and facebook killed the message boards but that's no reason why you can't argue with me, praise me or leave me recipes.  It's your intronet.  Have fun!

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,

Shannon Smith

p.s. Say you want a leader but you can't seem to make up your mind. I think you'd better close it and let me guide you to my twitter feed.
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.

17 March 2013

Other Comics News Parade-O-Links 03172103


(Conan #15 cover corrected and improved by juvenile delinquent Patrick Dean.  Stolen without permission from the Bizzaro-Wuxtry facebook page.)

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 03172013:

"Curation just isn't in our DNA. How are the kids gonna learn, man? You can't shut em out."  -Whoever pilots the SPX twitter account 



  • Happy belated Birthday to my daughter Kassidy Smith. She turned 11 last Sunday which was why I was too busy to ever post last week's Parade-O-Links.  She did the drawing above.  Yesterday (actually last Saturday when I started putting this post together) she worked on painting a huge Adventure Time tree house she built and she created a custom case for her iPod touch using multicolored duct tape.  Yes, multicolored duct tape is a thing that exists. 
  • So, who wants some free comics?  Apparently everyone!  So, Marvel and Comixology got together to try and give way over 700 free digital comics to anyone that was paying attention.  I'm a big advocate for Comixology.  At least since my daughter got the Comixology app on her iPod touch.  So I think it was a great move for both Comixology and Marvel.  Of course it was going to crash.  I got in for a few minutes and you could add about 25 comics to your cart at the same time.  I'm sure there were people trying to checkout with hundreds of items in their cart at once.  Crash is the only way that ends.   The great and powerful Jog talked about the whole deal here and wrote about some other digital offerings.  I've checked out Panel Nine a few times but never pulled the trigger on any of it.  I'm cheap and busy.  I mainly buy and/or redeem digital comics that I can share with my daughter.  I don't think the Panel Nine stuff falls in that category.  Maybe one day when I grow up and get my own cell pad pod phone I might give it a spin. 
  • And speaking of Comixology- this Submit self publishing deal through their site could be a big deal.  I've already added Too Much Coffee Man and Nathan Sorry to "My Comics".  I'm excited about it.  Lots of potential there for the self publisher.  I don't know if it's going to create any self publishing break out starts but you gotta be in the game to win and this is a nice start. 
  • And speaking of digital digitalings- Codes man codes.  Bluray codes, comics, codes... I live for the codes!  Seriously.  If you don't want your codes, don't sell them, email them to me!  To pull up my comics and movies on whatever device is closest to me is great for me.  My life is a train wreck but it is awesome to be able to watch and read wherever my post crash cadaver lands. 
  • But ya know, paper is still pretty great too.  Oh if only there were a way to read paper comic books for free. 
  • I'd like to take a moment to beg you to do things.  Do you like file under other?  Do you like the Other Comics News Parade-O-Links?  I sure do.  And I'd like to keep them going.  But dang, the way my life is right now, I probably have less than four hours a week not consumed by my job and parenting duties.  (And I'm gonna spend one of those watching Justified.)  So, it would mean a lot to me to feel like there was a point in spending that time writing about other people's comic books.  Especially when the only thing in life that holds any real interest for me other than my kids is the dream of making my own comics.  So, hey, um maybe share this website on twitter, or the facebook, or G+, or the tumblr, or the reddit or maybe even the next time you come in contact with one of the flesh humans you might use your talking parts to share the news.  I know it sounds pathetic and desperate to ask you to do this but, trust me, I don't know anything about "driving traffic" or "building an audience" or any of that crap.  Maybe you do.  Maybe you can help.

(The best magazine cover ever stolen from Plaid Stallions.)
  • If by some miracle I get this posted on time and if by some miracle you got out of bed and read this on Sunday morning... you might still have a shot at getting a table at SPX.  Online registration starts at noon.  I suspect all the tables will be gone by, oh say... noon.  So, good luck.  If it is not yet noon when you are reading this, here is the registration walk through.  I believe that this will be the registration link.  But don't take my word for it.  You should have probably already been following SPX on the twudder.  It's a great show and I hope to go.  I can't afford the table at the moment.  One of the kids needs braces so I guess I'll pay for that instead.  But I do hope to make the show so good luck getting a table and make sure to bring some cool stuff for me to look at.
 
(People.  I really love this drawing of Speedball by Daniel Spottswood.  This is not a news link or anything.  I just really like it.)
  • The cast and crew of file under other wish Kim Thompson all the best.  We met him at SPX once and he was swell.  Plus, he herded all the cats at the Comics Journal message board for years.  I appreciated that. Oh, and comics.  Comics are good too.  We need Kim Thompson.  Get better real soon. 
  • A lot of thoughts were thunked, discussions were discussed and blogs were blogged after the great comics creator Jerry Ordway posted some thoughts on how hard it is to get work in comics at his age.  Which is just stupid, because there are probably less than three comics published by DC right now that would not be instantly 200% better if Ordway were either the artist or the writer on the book.  The Challengers of the Unknown comics Ordway did last year were, in my opinion, the best looking comics the New 52 has produced so far.  With the exception of Capullo's Batman, I think they may be the only comics in the new 52 where the characters have had the same faces in panel five as they did in panel 3 on any given page.
  • Mark Evanier also had some thoughts on the issue.
  • And Tom Bondurant said some smart things. 
  • And Gerry Conway, he thinks things too. 
  • Look, there were a ton of links to the Ordway thing.  I'm late on this but let me just say Ordway is great and literally, no crap, I have and I will buy whatever you the comics publisher people of the world hire him to draw.  Love his stuff.  I'm not going to hunt the link but some editor said something to the effect that they could not imagine Ordway drawing all those lines on Superman's current garbage sack costume.  There is so much about that statement that is infuriating to me.  For one, if the job is to draw stupid lines on a costume then Jerry Ordway will draw the lines and make them look great because the man is going to deliver.  Secondly, that's your freaking problem for giving Superman a crap Jim Lee costume.  Thirdly, that's just your lack of imagination and CAPITOL F YOU IDIOT you are mentally disabled.  If you can't imagine a guy that has delivered at the highest level for 30 years delivering one more time then what the FFFF is wrong with your thinking box and how the FFFF are you in your job?  So your customers are going to lose out on great work because of your lack of imagination?
  • F!
  • Tumblr is the enemy and must be destroyed at all costs.  (But in the meantime, please follow my tumblr.) 
  • Kickstarter will save us all.  (Except that it probably won't.)
  • Those Bill Sienkiewcz New Mutant comics were amazing looking.  I had not idea what to make of them when I was a kid but I've been trying to get as many of them as I can find when I dig through the dollar boxes at shops and cons. 
  • Here is a great story about a 60s commercial artist getting hired to do 60s commercial art in the year 2013.  
  • Hey.  If you ever get to make a movie about a huge group of characters, all of which were created by one man... please, please, remember to invite that guy to the premier of the movie.  

(Maybe the coolest Spider-Man I've ever seen.  And I've looked at Spider-Man every day for over three decades.  Drawn by Rafael Grampá.  Stolen from Dean Trippe.)
Oh, and happy Saint Patrick's day and all that.  Totally forgot.  (Since it was not Saint Patrick's day when I originally typed all this.)

Oh, and one more last thing!  Did you know you can leave comments on these posts here at file under other?  It's true!  And, I'll probably respond.  Twitter and facebook killed the message boards but that's no reason why you can't argue with me, praise me or leave me recipes.  It's your intronet.  Have fun!

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,

Shannon Smith

p.s. Say you want a leader but you can't seem to make up your mind. I think you'd better close it and let me guide you to my twitter feed.
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.

30 December 2012

Other Comics News Parade-O-Links 12302012

(Image stolen from The Visual Exegesis.)

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 12302012:

“Spider-Man is such a whiny loser.” - Stephanie Meyer.
  • Stuff I got for Christmas:  A Doctor Who t-shirt.  DC Showcase Presents The  Brave and the Bold volume one in a package labeled "from Bat-Mite".  (I bought that one for myself, used off eBay for a few dollars.  I'm Bat-Mite.)  Some clothes.  Some money.  My kids got a lot of fun things including Legos and video games and the new Batman Lego video game.  I've had fun but I'm very tired with my daughter's birthday left to go before the new year.  
THE BEST SINGLE NEW PRINT COMIC I READ THIS WEEK
(Image stolen from Newsarama.)

...was Amazing Spider-Man #700 by Dan Slott, Humberto Ramos, J.M. DeMatteis, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Jen Van Meter, Stephanie Buscema and several thousand other people.  Published by Marvel Comics and sold for the retail price of $7.99.  This comic wins my weekly "The Best Single Print Comic I Read This Week" honor by virtue of being a solid hour or so of entertainment and for being the only comic that came out this week.  Let's talk about what exactly this comic book is as the product that exists in my hands at this moment.  Well, not THIS moment.  I have to set it down to type but, ya know. Having folded and stapled as many comics as I have, I can guess the page count of a book just by holding it.  This sucker is 27 sheets of paper.  Folded in half and stapled that is 108 pages of comics.  52 of those pages are the main story by Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos.  Which, in this day and age would be considered and epic freaking graphic novel if you took out the staples and gave it a perfect bound spine.  16 of those pages are a back up story by J.M. DeMatteis and Giuseppe Camuncoli.  8 of those pages are a back up story by Jen Van Meter and Stephanie Buscema.  The rest is your cover, back pages, ads, a gallery of the variant covers, a copy of the Spider-Man-day proclamation by the Mayor of New York, a gallery of the covers from all 700 issues of The Amazing Spider-Man and a very long letters column featuring some responses from Spider-Man co-creator Stan "The Man" Lee.
The comic has been received with mixed opinions.
So yeah, this is an eight dollar comic and that is just and insane and absurd thing for a stack of paper to be.  But, I bought it.  I had read Amazing Spider-Man 699 and thought the thing was great comics.  And I loves me some Spider-Man.  I consider Spider-Man to be one of my only true friends.  There is not a point of my life in which I can remember not being aware of and a fan of Spider-Man.  He's just always been there for me.  Thanks Spidey!  So yeah, I paid eight dollars for a comic book.
In defense of that madness, it does contain 76 pages of comics.  So, that's what?  Three comics worth of comics?  Which would cost between nine and twelve dollars normally.  I spend around ten bucks on comics in a normal week.  This week I bought this one eight dollar thing and probably got more out of it than my normal ten bucks so, I'm okay with this thing.  No apologies.
And it feels nice pals.  I loves me a thick comic.  Like the big thick annuals Marvel and DC put out when I was a kid or the 80 Page Giants.  This sucker feels good.  I've said time and time again over the past ten years or so, don't give me five Spider-Man comics a month.  Give me one big thick one.  This comic hints at how right I am and how great that would be.  And now that I think about it, if Marvel could give me this much content for eight bucks every month I'd subscribe or put it on my pull list no questions asked.
Okay, so what happens in this comic and is it any good?  So the hype on this thing is that... SPOILERS ... Peter Parker dies.  Except he totally does not die at all.  He's totally not dead and I don't mean zombie.  The new Spider-Man is just the old Spider-Man with some Doctor Octopus personality added into the mix.  So, he's jerk Spider-Man.  Peter Parker's body.  Peter Parker's powers.  Peter Parker's life.  Peter Parker's memories.  And most importantly, Peter Parker's morals.  That's about 95% Peter Parker.  The real question in all of this is just what part of Peter Parker is dead?  And I think that could be a fun thing for Dan Slott to explore in the upcoming Superior Spider-Man.  I mean, I would.  This is science fiction folks.  This is a story where the hero and the villain swap bodies and or brains.  This is pure silver age comics hijinks and I enjoy it.  High five Dan Slott.  Good idea.  But again, now that you killed half of the swap duo before the standard sci-fi swap-back resolution, where did  that part of the character go and what was it?  His soul?  Is Peter in Heaven?  Does Heaven let you in if your body is totally still in better than human shape and still full of your personality?
And just a few issues into this brain swap, Peter Parker's morals and values have already taken over Doc Ock's own to the point that the villain is now committed to being  a hero and carrying on Spider-Man's legacy.  If Peter Parker's brain waves can flip the switch on Doc Ock in just three issues, by what issue do they just go ahead and push him out altogether?  At what issue does he just become 100% Peter Parker?  I'm guessing that issue will be a comic titled The Amazing Spider-Man #1.
All the fuss about this comic has been about the death of Peter Parker.  Partially because that is the gimmick that Marvel has hyped.  But I read this thing and what I see is the death of Doctor Octopus and Peter Parker carrying on with a minor jerk infection.
But enough speculation, back to the comic as it actually exists.  It's good.  Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos do a good job with this thing.  It feels a bit rushed and the intensity feels turned up to eleven but they are hitting all right notes.  All the right guest appearances are crammed in.  All the right homages to Ditko and Romita are in there.  Peter gets to have a near-death Heaven scene where all the people he thought he failed tell him he done good.  Slott knows what he's doing for sure.  This is a good Spider-Man comic.  And I mean that as more than a good comic with Spider-Man in it.  I mean that it does all the things that make Spider-Man comics good and unique to Marvel and to comics.
And I like Ramos here too.  He's not one of my favorite Spider-Man artists but I like the way he draws Spidey's eyes and  he draws the suit in action very well.  And I gotta say, that the three page sequence where Doc Ock is projecting himself into Peter Parker's memories and we see little boy Doc Ock's head on young Peter Parker's body complete with his Moe Howard hair and goggles it is effective, hilarious and adorable.  One of my favorite things in comics of 2012.  High five Humberto.  If Superior Spider-Man were Spider-Man's body with Doc Ock Moe Howard hair for a head I would buy two copies of every issue.
The coloring on this comic did not make me furious and that's about as nice a thing as I can say about the coloring in a Marvel comic.
So I enjoyed this big eight dollar thing.  Here are some more random thoughts about it in no particular order:
-This is a great jumping off point.  I hate to admit that I kind of like canceled comics.  It gives me an end to work toward as a reader and as a buyer of $1 comics at comic shops and conventions.  I like the idea of having a whole run of a thing to read through.  Not that I'll manage all 700 issues but, in theory.  So yeah, canceling comics is the absolute BEST way to make a reader stop reading a comic.
-I like periodicals and I really hate to see a periodical canceled/re-named/re-numbered just as a gimmick.  And, forget Dan Slott, forget the story, from a publishing stand point, this is a sales gimmick.  I just think there should be more pride in that legacy.   I mean, The Amazing Spider-Man as a periodical outlasted Life Magazine for F's sake.  Gone for a gimmick.
-And theoretically, a new #1 is a good way to get new readers but, would a kid that likes the Spider-Man of the movies, cartoons, toys, video games, t-shirts, lunch boxes, beach towels, etc. want to read a comic about Doc Ock driving Spider-Man's body?  That remains to be seen.  And don't give me a single drop of that 'kids don't read comics anyway' bullshit.  Kids absolutely read comics.
-Was December 26 a very dumb day to release this book?  Who goes to a comic shop to spend money on the day AFTER Christmas?  Well, other than me?  I guess it's good for Marvel in that they get the guaranteed best seller of the end of the year and maybe good for the retailers because it gives people a reason to come in the shop on a normally dead day.  I just think it would have been a bigger deal on, oh, say any other Wednesday of the year.
-The J.M. DeMatteis back up story was weird to me.  Well executed but weird.  Are those characters from the Spider-Man comics?  Was I supposed to know who those guys were and who those Squadron Supreme like dudes were.  I'm confused. Please explain it to me.
-Loved the Jen Van Meter written and Stephanie Buscema drawn back-up.  Mainly for Buscema.  She's great people.  If your comic has a Stephanie Buscema drawn back-up story in it, I will probably buy your comic.
-The cover gallery thing was kind of neat.  I would need a magnifying glass to really appreciate all 700 covers but it is neat to scan through and see the progression of the comic.  I was really shocked to look at it and realize how quickly the Todd McFarlane era started after J.M. DeMatteis's great Kraven story. In my mind I thought those were years apart but it was only three months.  Also, the covers got really awful starting with Civil War.  Ugh.
-Speaking of covers.  I got the standard cover pictured above.  I dig it.  I've spent a fair amount of time looking through all the little pictures to see who everyone is.  I don't see Howard the Duck in there and that kind of bums me out for some reason.  The black suit and or Venom get a lot of attention on the cover taking up all of the black in the the outline of Spidey's eye.  Is the black costume and Venom that big a deal to people?  Really?  I mean, I bought those first black costume and Venom comics right off the spinner rack and I thought they were cool as a kid but in the grand scheme of things, the symbiote costume is like any random Fantastic Four subplot and Venom is a villain with just nothing going on character wise.  Nothing at all.  I guess it makes sense design wise for the cover though.
-I enjoyed the letters pages.  I have no problem with Stan Lee showing up to do his Stan Lee impersonation.  I thought some of the comments from previous Spider-Man contributors and industry folks were neat.  I was disappointed in editor Stephen Wacker's comments though.  His stuff reads as dashed off and uninterested.  Not really up to the weight of the moment at all.  Drink some coffee bro.  You worked hard on the book.  Don't sabotage the thing for yourself.    
-There has been some talk about IF Doc Ock has sex with Mary Jane WILL it be rape?  Jeezis Christmas people.  They had one single smooch in this comic.  One G movie level smooch.  And Doc Ock seems to now be governed by Peter Parker's moral code so, I just don't see him raping people.  I mean, how much in-panel sex did Peter Parker ever have?  He's not Matt Murdock.  Really people?  Can we hold off on freaking out about a thing until it actually happens?  (But yeah, if he and MJ get down with her thinking that he is 100% Peter Parker that will be some gross ehSS right there.  But doesn't that sort of thing happen in at least one new Hollywood movie every Friday?  I don't know.  I don't watch movies.  Not that rape is ever okay.  Not even totally fictional impossible to happen mind swap science fiction rape.  Just say no to rape fiction people.)
-And one last thing about the cancellation of Amazing Spider-Man and the launch of a new title.  This is a gimmick. There is no denying it.  But I'm okay with it.  For one, Spider-Man comics will continue and Peter Parker will be Spider-Man for as long as there is money in the Spider-Man business.  But I'm also okay with it because I feel like Marvel uses gimmicks in an appropriate way for a publisher of comic books to use gimmicks.  Their gimmicks exist to hype and promote their story ideas.  This cancellation and this "death" and all the hype around it serve as a way to promote and bring readers to the end of a story that Dan Slott had been working on for 100 issues give or take.  I feel that the Marvel guys come up with the story first then work on the gimmick to promote it.  Which, is why Marvel, despite their horrific coloring and ridiculous prices, makes better comics than DC.  DC puts the gimmick first and the comics are just an afterthought.  Who writes them, who draws them, and where the story goes does not matter.  The product has to match the marketing.  Advantage Marvel. 
  • My new years resolution is to get paid to write comics or to write about comics.  Do you know how I can make that happen?  Because honestly, I don't have a clue.  But I'd like to give it a try.  Let me know if you know how.  I've been writing about comics for over ten years now.  What you've seen of my writing has been dashed off.  It has been writing done on lunch breaks, on conference calls and way past bed time.  I've turned down a lot of opportunities over the past 5 or so years because I did not have the time but I'm ready to make the time.  I can do more.  Much more.  I have near infinite ideas but I can't take the time away from my kids and my day job to make them happen.  Unless!  Unless, there was some money involved.  So, what I'm saying is, are you a comics website, magazine, publisher, etceraer?  I am ready for you to pay me to write great things for you.  
  • And finally... Happy New Year!  May your new year be filled with good fortune, good health, love and much synth trumpet. 

Oh, and one more last thing!  Did you know you can leave comments on these posts here at file under other?  It's true!  And, I'll probably respond.  Twitter and facebook killed the message boards but that's no reason why you can't argue with me, praise me or leave me recipes.  It's your intronet.  Have fun!

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,

Shannon Smith

p.s. Say you want a leader but you can't seem to make up your mind. I think you'd better close it and let me guide you to my twitter feed.
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.