Need To Know… 12.8.13

by capelesst

only what you need

only what you need

Hey everybody, it’s a big week for the Orbital crew, what with the new Dead Cats exhibition from Christian Ward opening Thursday, Peter Hogan signing on Saturday, and the pop-up stall at the Ritzy for their Kick-Ass Cape party on Saturday night!

But this could be a big week for you, too, because everything seems aligned to help you become the next great comics creator. First off, Antony Johnston clarifies the illusory Artist vs Writer debate, then Andrei Molotiu has a glossary of comics terms so you can speak the lingo, coupled with some venerable examples for your learning ease. Once that’s done, conquer your fear of the blank page, learn how to make your drawings speak without words, and then ensure you have the proper attitude to the inevitable, but by no means insurmountable, rejection, courtesy of Evan Dorkin. Or you could just pony up $2000 for the Sean Murphy apprenticeship. Good to go! Just beware the Tyranny of the Muse.

But it’s paragraph 3 and DC hasn’t done anything dumb yet! Oh, wait. They either rejected a Paul Pope Kamandi pitch, or said they make comics for 45 year-olds. Or both. But that did at least contribute in some infinitesimal way to Battling Boy‘s existence, so that’s not a total fail. They fired Kevin Maguire from Justice League 3000 in usual tacky fashion, but that gave Bendis the chance to play shining knight in armour, so we get a Maguire issue of Guardians of the Galaxy. Ah, this is more like it, they screwed up their biggest 2013 event, and screwed retailers and readers over in the process. Oh, DC. But on a more thoughtful note, J. Caleb Mozzocco considers the current state of the New 52, its latent potential, the myth-making that accompanies rejected pitches, and many other things. It’s a great post. What are DC doing right, though? That’s The Question.

Catching even more flak than DC last week was Mark Millar, whose press junket pre-Kick-Ass 2 launch lead to a surge in coverage of the negative kind, catching a snowball effect from a controversial panel featuring McFarlane, Wein, and Conway (which Conway had further, more developed thoughts on afterward) to spark fierce and thoughtful criticism from Comics Alliance, CBR, The Comics Reporter, and io9. That’s what you get for saying rape is “the same as, like, a decapitation”.

Okay, enough with the criticisms, let’s get back to celebrating comics, shall we? Look, a Saga preview! East of West still looks best! DC still make great cartoons, and of the Metal Men, no less! Benjamin Marra has combined Blades and Lazers, to make the ultimate 80’s comic! This almost certainly hasn’t happened to you! Dan Berry hasn’t quit comics! More Hellboy is approaching! Its almost Love and Rockets time again! 2000AD looks like the place to be on 18th September!

All better?

Also worth celebrating are the mind-bending colour bombs of Niv Bavarsky, the ever-awesome and still improving pencils of Mitch Gerads, an unleashed renegade sex machine (well, maybe not “celebrating” so much as “keeping a watchful eye on”), and definitely, definitely, Wally Wood’s designs for Daredevil and his supporting cast. They could not feel fresher.

For your edification, let Steven T Seagle share his Genius with you, take a whirlwind video tour of manga history (8 minutes is all you need), and for those of you who are currently without any “unicorn” comics to quest after, Ron Marz shares his “secret handshake” titles. We’re ecstatic to have received the Koyama Press books we ordered at Orbital, and this interview should help you understand why. If you don’t understand after reading, well, its not like its the end of the fucking world.

Regular listeners of The Orbiting Pod will recognise this phrase: Backmatter matters. It’s true!

Until next week, what do you collect? And should you be collecting answers instead?