no cape no mask

who needs a costume when you have words?

Month: April, 2014

Need To Know 21.04.14

only what you need

only what you need

Did I miss a week? I’m so sorry!

Okay, everybody, I hope you’re having a great Easter Monday, and that your week-end was good, because we have a couple serious things to talk about today. This well-argued criticism of a proposed DC launch cover, from critic Janelle Asselin, generated a response that began as defensive, and developed into full-blown misogyny. It’s easy to shrug and say “trolls gonna troll”, but perhaps this incident is closer to a tipping point, as suggested by the wealth of commentary it’s generated, from Ulises Farinas (in two parts), from Comics Alliance (whose advice is pretty on the nose: don’t be a fake geek guy), and numerous other sources excellently gathered by The Comics Reporter. So last week there was a lot of talk. Let’s hope this week is about thought, and maybe every week after can be about people taking positive personal actions. Just not this one.

Alright, on the sunnier side of gender relations and parity in comics, there’s insight over at Wired (hot week for them) on the importance of the Carol Corps, courtesy of Rachel Edidin, while Laura Hudson gave Sex Criminals the attention it deserves. And a positive, go anywhere, do anything comic to put the sparkle in your smile? Well, look no further than Natalie Nourigat’s travelogue! It’s awesome.

Comics Oscars time! The Eisner nominations were announced, leading to accusations of neglect, the predictable CBR puff-piece, and a typically balanced Multiversity take. If you think the Eisners run on a Usual Suspects-type process, then check out the Inkwell awards. Small world, comics, apparently. It could leave you at your wit’s end, but to save you, here’s a generous peek at Witzend, coming soon (but not soon enough!) from Fantagraphics.

WonderCon happened again, and the CBR directory of coverage is here, with the announcement of even more Artist’s Editions to come. There’s something here about how arcs/titles people don’t normally speak of often become special, coveted even, when they’re available in this format, almost as if this was the only way people could really appreciate the art. Is the rise of the artist’s edition a parallel to the fall of the marquee artist? Do they say something about the mainstream/superhero comics market’s fetishisation of visual art in contrast to its commoditisation of writing comics? Either way, for our money, Linework sounds like the place to be this time next year! After all, it’s co-founded by Study Group’s own Zack Soto, and by the way, have you heard the word about Study Group 3D? The word is GOOD.

Talking alt-comix for a minute, Oily’s Spring season looks slick, while the FP blog shares a sweet preview of how awesome the new Owen Johnson comic is, and Zainab wants you to know that NoBrow #9 should be in your stack if you like pictures, art, paper, or colours.

Does this remind anyone else of Black Science #1, but with less eye-boggling art, and more fun? While questions are flying, this “Multiversity” thing that bald Scotsman is rabbiting about… will it actually ship? And have you ever encountered the Brothers of Blood?

We end with proof, if it were needed, that Bendis’s best work is his Tumblr.

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Alex Alice and The Terrorizing Scale of Beauty

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Siegfried is a comic book adaption by Alex Alice of Wagner’s classic Norse Mythos inspired opera Ring of the Nibelung, it follows the titular Siegfried on his archetypal journey toward destiny. It has been published by Archaia and volumes 1 and 2 are available now wherever fine comic books are sold.

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The other day I got into a conversation online a bit about what I see are the intrinsic failures of digital comics despite their huge advantages of accessibility(anything that allows me not to go to the shitty LCS and get treated like a childish idiot is a good thing for my money and sanity).  Basically what I said was that for the most part because of the size of the tablets on which most of this work is displayed for the reader, much of the oomph and awe that a comic can produce has been removed.  I have a…

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Need To Know… 09.04.14

only what you need

only what you need

Bruce Timm returned for Batman’s 75th, which is a darn sight more than any of these heroes will get for their anniversaries. Honestly, I found the short underwhelming (and here’s a handy chart to explain that), but the interview is pretty solid, and you can catch both here. However, good news for Big Blue, who’s getting the Rude treatment in DC’s best Superman title. Go check it out, unless you mind giving money to Amazon, the new owners of Comixology; and if you’re not sure whether to mind (or care), here are the 6 thoughts worth mulling about this news.

Awards time in LA, and Ulli Lust gave a masterclass in the micro-genre of “Acceptance Speech Comics“. Meanwhile, Glyph nominations were announced, GLAAD tidings for Young Avengers (and kudos to Kieron Gillen for finding time amid the glad-handing to recommend British comics on Tumblr), and a reminder that hosting awards is expensive, and your help can make them extra-specially awesome.

Have some Chris Ware, and check whether you even register on the geek-o-meter compared to this guy.

There are many good comics incoming, like the return of Greg Smallwood’s delicious stylings on Dream Thief, what might well turn out to be your first Transformers comic (even James approves!), more from Mary Talbot (this time addressing suffragettes!), and a bunch of amateurs. The Amateurs. And Charles Burns is almost done with his trilogy! It has a cover!

Fiction and Real Life are different. But Death stalks both realms, and sometimes it’s worse than Death, it’s… Superdeath. Which is what’s happening to Archie sometime soon, right? Oh well, at least ROM’s getting a new lease of life, and helping Bill Mantlo in the process; and while we wait for new Prophet, Omni magazine are bringing the alien worlds eye candy we need. Although if you like your alien worlds a little stranger, Superworld should cover you. That art is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

What aliens say about us.

Need To Know… 7.4.14

only what you need

only what you need

Another week, another con, another bunch of comics you might want to hunt down after scrolling voyeuristically through these MOCCA reminiscences. Take comfort in the fact that the entire North American comics web has been slowed by some phenomenal ECCC crud. Still, if you got to attend interesting panels like this one on Realism in Comics, you’d probably deal with a little crud, right? Also, late-breaking but still interesting, here’s a nice run-down of the Seattle comics scene. And as if the cons weren’t enough, the 2013 Doug Wright Awards nominees are up, and they make for fun discoveries, check ’em out, check ’em ALL out!

Going DC/Marvel for a minute, do you understand just why Steranko’s Cap was so important, so pivotal? And would “political” be among the first words you’d use to describe Marvel comics? Across the continent, as Batman gets to 75, he gets an insightful write-up from Chris Sims at Comics Alliance, and Bruce Timm comes back, maybe to make up for Beware the Batman? That’ll take some doing.

There are a ton of projects worth backing this week, from 80’s action genius to Tank Girl (not that big a leap, really), to a new instalment of the always awesome Suspect Device! Oh, and that Study Group Kickstarter is still running, and this week there’s a Comics Reporter gabfest with Zack Soto and a Short Con (different kind of con, you’ll see) on the Study Group site, all to entice you… Ooh, and Superbitch is launching a Kickstarter imminently, too, which you might want to keep an eye out for!

Hey everyone, colorists matter and DC are a little backward! Wait, we knew this already… didn’t we? Oh, and the Bechdel Test might not just be a critical tool for equality, it might actually be a business booster. But you’re probably aware of all this. After all, you’re a rational person.

There’s a wealth of good stuff online, not least of which is a Grant Morrison/Rian Hughes silent collaboration for the BBC on Freedom (in what is perhaps the most unexpected combination of words you’ll see all week?). Paul Gravett profiles a creator who may tickle the fancies of the Lynch-ians among you. Jeff Smith has upgraded and revamped the site for his new webcomic, Tuki Save the Humans (that just wrapped Season One), so it’s actually a joy to read now, honest! There’s competition though, as Decrypting Rita may just become your new favourite webcomic. Oh, and that Fiffe guy who does COPRA? He just put #1 online for free. Excuses destroyed.

Things to look forward to? To live for? Fret not, Image has you covered with a slice of Southern sass you’ll be sucking on for some time, yes, Southern Bastards is almost here, and the early word is good! Frank Barbiere keeps coming up with good ideas, too, and answering questions raised long ago in Powers, while Mignola prepares you for more Hellboy with a guided tour of Big Red‘s evolution. But whatever you do, however big your right hand, don’t mess with Pinocchio.

This Ghostly Undertaking looks set to haunt the Summer, so why not peek at Danica Novgorodoff’s Cartoonist’s Diary to prepare yourself?

To finish, have some Toth.