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
“That was DC Comics, now we have DC Entertainment. It is a different beast, being run by different people.” -Neil Gaiman.
- HeroesCon is happening this weekend in Charlotte NC USA. It is one of my favorite shows. I can't go this year but you should go if you are able. Exile on Plain street has some info on the annual Drink and Draw benefit. And if you are one of those people that likes to eat food then Exile has that covered as well. They also have a list of 10 things to do at the show. My main recommendations are to go check out the art auction and to go to Indie Island and Artist Alley and spend all of the money you have. I specifically recommend that you track down Patrick Dean on Indie Island. I think Dean has put out at least three new minicomics in the past 18 months and they are probably the very best three minicomics that have been put in that time. What I'm saying is that they are good and you should buy them. He is also doing commissions and selling original art a insanely low prices. He's great y'all. Here, check out this Doctor Strange he did for me.
See? Now you are probably jealous of me for having such an awesome piece of art. And you should be because it is great. But don't get down on yourself. You can own art like that too. Cheap! Too cheap. You should be ashamed of yourself for how little you are going to pay for great art on Indie Island. Disgusted. How can you even look at yourself in your two-way camera phone screen?
If you find Patrick then Robert Newsome is probably nearby. I suggest you buy his The Atomic Elbow wrestling zines. Even if you don't like wrestling. Wait, ESPECIALLY if you don't like wrestling. I wrote a thing for one of those so double buy that one.
And if you could find those two guys then you are pretty close to J. Chris Campbell, WAP, Adhouse, Top Shelf, Rob Ullman, Rich Tommaso and a bunch of fine folks ready to sell you fine things.
Here just look at this image I stole from Joey Weiser...
Just go there and throw all your money in the air. Trust me.
(Oh man, that Dungeons and Dragons thing Weiser and the Athens/Fluke put together looks like a lot of fun. You probably want to buy me a copy of that one.)
Another thing I'd do if I were going is carry the short box of comics I've bought that were written by Robert Venditti over the past year and make him sign them all. HeroesCon is his 1st big show just days after his first issue of Green Lantern hits the stands. (Just read it. SPOILERS... it's good.) Rob is a pal so I hate not being able to go and give him a high five for kicking so much ass lately. (And seriously, I would make him sign all my X-O Manowar comics.)
And don't forget Artist Alley. Go there and buy Jeremy Massie's latest and marvel at the weirdness of Battle Babies.
Oh man, I could spend hours going through the guest list and naming off folks I'd suggest you check out but I don't have the time. People. Jim Steranko is going to be at HeroesCon.
Somebody come get me!
- Alright kids. Let's talk about important grown up stuff. Let's talk about Superman. A couple of months late to the party, Time Warner/DC Entertainment have decided to go ahead and celebrate the 75th anniversary of swindling away Superman from Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. DC is going into this anniversary celebration the way a grown man goes into the grocery store to buy tampons for his wife. Head down. Full of shame and embarrassment. It's either shame and embarrassment or just pure hatred. Because only shame, embarrassment or hatred could allow an art director to sign off on this gawd awful logo. Everything about it is wrong. As Sean Kleeflied points out, they don't even put the numbers together right. There is a razor blade shaped space between the seven and the five that can only be an error. Nothing about that thing is good. Awful. Just look at this 5 on its own...
How can anyone on Earth look at that 5 and not realize that it is a mistake. Why is a huge chunk of it missing? How do you F up a 5? It's like the fifth letter you ever learn to write!
- In other Superman news, the producers of the new Superman move are desperate for you to understand that Superman is not a comic book character. Because movies about comic book characters have been making billions and billions of dollars so if you are Time Warner the very last thing you want to do is a make a movie about comic book characters.
- In other other Superman news, Tom Spurgeon would like to remind you that Superman is a comic book character.
- In other DC
ComicsEntertainment news... they published a comic book where one of my little girl's favorite characters gets her brains blown out the side of her head. There are days when I think taking my kids into a comic book store was the stupidest thing I've ever done. Thank God the Lego versions of these characters can put their heads back on.
- And hey, DC, I say these things not because I root against you. I root for you. I want you to be good. Not because I'm a fan. I'm better than a fan. I'm the most important person in your world. I'm the customer.
- Hey, remember when the cast of Comics Alliance was murdered? Well they came back! And just like Pet Cemetery they came back weird and scary.
- Just kidding. They are still all dead. That was just those wacky kids Tucker and Abhay funnin' us y'all. Tee hee.
- Wait what. They are not dead? Comics Alliance is alive? Well, gosh. Congratulations. That Joe Hughes must be really smart at the whole making things succeed and not giving up thing. I mean I guess this is smart. I don't know business but yeah, buying a successful thing from a company that has no intention of using it and keeping that branding going seems to be a safe play. I just kinda get scared when things make sense. Not that it might not work out but, I mean look at me, if things sounds like a good idea to me...
- Craft is an ingnorant slut who will leave you to die on a park bench destitute and blind.
- Katie and her god-damn drawings.
- Biff! Bam! Pow! Comics aren't just for kids anymore because the New York Post is going to occasionally mention them in a video game article. But they are never going to say Bif Bam Pow again because they are super mature and would never say Bif Bam Pow again no mater how Bif Bam Powtacular the video game the post about is.
- Ya know what New York Post? Eat a hot bag of Bif! Bam! Pow!
- (Not sure why the New York Post doing exactly what every other news/magazine blog does makes me angry. I'm gonna blame it on the vending machine apple fritter I had for breakfast. Sorry. Good luck with your new pop culture blog thing.)
- Aw jeeziz. "Dynamic Canvas". F me. Ya know what, go ahead and F up your comics to compete with video games. Video games will win 10000000% of the time.
- Please don't tell my kids about this. I'd like to be able to use my computer from time to time.
- Grant Morrison and Steve Yeowell's Zenith is returning to print. I should be excited about this but I tend to agree with David Brothers when he says, "On a basic level, just as a consumer — it sucks. That’s a buck fifty for 400 pages of story, limited to 1000 copies, plus shipping. It’s actually worse than Humanoids’ limited releases of Moebius’s work, I think. If it were a fat TPB or a series of digital collections, basically anything that would result in a wide release, that would be much cooler." See, I, me, Shannon Smith, I AM the target audience for this thing. I'm a Grant Morrison fan. I'm familiar with Zenith but was never able to round up more than a few of the comics. I've wanted these comics for years. I want to give someone money for them. I do NOT want to give someone £100 (about $150) for a hardcover collection of it. Who can afford these hardback things? The second your book costs more than a used DC Showcase or Marvel Essential collection on eBay is the second your book no long exists for me. If you are the person that can afford these hardback things then please give me a job. I'll mow the lawn on your cruise ship or something.
- And here is a beautiful looking collection of early Simon and Kirby comics that I can't even afford to be aware of.
- Wow. Wouldja just look at panel 3 of page 26. Just look at that thing.
- My kids and I watch a lot of the Hub channel. They show better DC/Warner cartoons than the Warner owned Cartoon Network. This new cartoon about a boy that turns into a girl super hero sounds neat. Damn shame they couldn't call he/her She-zam though.
- Don't buy the ramen that comes in it's own cup. It's too expensive. Just buy the ramen packs. All you need to do with them is put them in a bowl with hot water and they are ready just as quick as the cup-o-soup kind. Basically, you are just paying extra for a Styrofoam cup you are just going to throw away.
- Josh Simmons is selling some original art. I'd love to have some of that stuff.
- I really like that Dean Haspiel Batman. Gonna buy the crap out of those comics.
- Speaking of Batpants, this Clock King history is fascinating.
- "When you're connected to everyone and everything, it'll be the end of privacy, of the dual self. It'll be like a snowflake, and the snowfall is more important than the flake. Everybody will have seen your naked pictures, and nobody will care. There's no terror at all, it'll just be the way things are. It'll change the way that people will look at themselves as an organism, a human organism."
- Alan Moore talked to The Believer.
- This is a great read about "the Star Wars theater" back in the day.
- We are all going to die.
- Ashley Holt hates you and your children. But mostly you.
- The Star Wars logo most deeply burned into my mind/soul/retinas would be the Marvel version.
- A gossip column sees Mark Hamill digging through the trash for cigarette butts and acts like he's some desperate broken man. I see him as a human being fighting the good fight to make himself better by giving up cigarettes. (Because digging through the trash for cigarette butts is an essential part of giving up cigarettes. Really, you can't succeed without that step. And hamburgers. The hamburgers are critical.)
- Who killed Vertigo? Obama?
- Hearing that the villain in Guardians of the Galaxy will be a lady makes me wonder if this whole big sci-fi super hero blockbuster era is transitioning into it's Willow phase now.
- If you are in the Atlanta GA area on June 14th you should go check out Patrick Dean, Jackie Lewis and Justin Colussy-Estes reading some comics.
- I liked that new all female line-up X-Men comic well enough. My daughter really liked it. She has action figures of almost all of the characters and the... SPOILER... Dazzler reveal was a big deal for her as she has a bunch of Dazzler comics. She's lucky. When I was a kid all we had was that one Wolverine toy from the Secret Wars line. But it does point to how savvy Marvel is as at reaching out to multiple audiences. On the one hand, it is insane how many X-Men comics there are but on the other, yeah, there totally should be and all girl X-Men. And Brian Wood pulls it off. Oh, and I'll never pass up a chance to mention that Kitty Pryde is the most important of all the X-Men.
- Back when I worked at Borders I got to read a lot of those Paul books and, I just don't like them. Sure, there were worse ways I could have spent those lunch breaks but those books left me almost angry with the guy. The cartooning works and they look nice but nothing happens. Those things are like the more boring less edgy diary comics version of an episode of Caillou.
- When? Tell me when will the Batman bring the Penguin to justice?
- And finally...can an XBox kill a zombie?
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,
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.