(Star Wars issue 103 published by Marvel in 1985. Cover art by Cynthia Martin. Stolen from ComicVine.)
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
"To hell with every greedhead operator who flocked here throughout history because you wanted what we had, but wanted us to go underground and get it for you. To hell with you for offering above-average wages in a place filled with workers who’d never had a decent shot at employment or education, and then treating the people you found here like just another material resource—suitable for exploiting and using up, and discarding when they’d outlived their usefulness. To hell with you for rigging the game so that those wages were paid in currency that was worthless everywhere but at the company store, so that all you did was let the workers hold it for a while, before they went into debt they couldn’t get out of." -Eric Waggoner speaking on the situation in West Virginia and/or the situations the majority of Americans are living in right this second.
- Hello brothers and sisters of teh intronets and welcome back to Your Other Comics News Parade-O-Links. My name is Shannon Smith and I'll be your host as we get through this thing called life, electric word life and that means forever and that's a mighty long time but I'm here to tell you, there's something else... comics.
- "Dear Ms. Smith, When will the Parade-O-Links return? I miss it so much. Since you stopped posting it, I've given up on comics and become a highly successful business person. Ted Cruz wont' stop asking me for money. It's a living hell. Come back. Where are you? I'll hang up and listen." First things first, I'm not a lady. Second things second, WHERE ARE YOU? Next question.
- Hoo boy. So, lots of people had beef with a variant cover for a Batgirl comic book having a drawing of the Joker doing Joker things to Batgirl. There are a lot of different points of interest in this story. I thought it was really cool for the creative team (including the artist that drew the thing) to come out and say we don't think this one works for our book and would like it pulled. I also thought it was cool for DC to say, well, okay. That's just basic politeness and professionalism and points out the fact that maybe we would not have as many of these issues if the creative teams driving a book would have more input on the cover options than some marketing bro that picks out what cover theme DC will use to flood the shops with that month. But I'm no the target audience for this stuff. Variants don't mean anything to me. Actually I'll say they are a pain in the ass because they make it a lot harder for me to remember if I already bought that comic or not. More often than not, when faced with that confusion I buy zero comic. As far as the cover itself; well, it's a horror cover. It think it would have been fine on the Snyder/Cappulo Batman comic because that comics is absolutely a horror comic and the Joker absolutely does that kind of stuff to people in that comic. Worse actually. Batgirl, on the other hand is not a horror comic. As best I can tell, it is a comic about college aged kids and their cell phones. (Yes, I actually read it.) I can't really speak to the gender driven discussions that the cover triggered. I'm a dude. I've seen people say the cover is everything from the glorification of violence against women to a straight up rape fantasy. I look at it and I see the Joker with a hostage and he is putting his red smile on the hostage. Like the Joker does. Like the Joker has done. Like the Joker will do again. I don't see blood. There isn't any red on the Joker's hands or clothes. My first thought was that it was paint because Joker has been painting smiles on hostages faces for a while, with, you know, paint. He also did that in a wildly successful movie. Another thought was that it might be lipstick because... the Joker is a clown standing right beside the hostage with red lipstick on his face. I've talked to folks about this and they say it is blood because it looks like blood. Well, okay. I've also heard that it is blood because it is the Killing Joke Joker and that Joker was bloody. Sure. But I don't look at that and see rape. And part of that is I just don't see the Joker as a sexual being. Look, it's a scary cover. The Joker in his most recent film appearance and the past... decades of comics is a horror monster. But that's the thing about art, the viewer does not have to justify their interpretation. And that's the thing about capitalism, the customer gets to say I don't want that thing.
- Fans cry and complain and occasionally get their way then the other fans cry and complain that those fans took away what they wanted because everything seems to be a zero sum game and we are all insane ridiculous babies. Fans get crapped on. Don't be a fan. Be a customer. The customer is always right.
- And finally... I don't wanna live in a world without Nintendo.
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.
p.p.p.p.p.s. Yeah, I do Instagram too now. I guess it's a law or something.