[This was originally supposed to go up on Wednesday, as usual, but the delay is entirely my fault! –Ed.]
Douglas Wolk and the Techland crew discuss the hardcover edition of Wednesday Comics (so does the Comics Alliance crew, by the way).
I’m in the liked-it-in-theory camp on Wednesday Comics. I bought all the issues, but found most of the strips so mind-numbingly dull and nostalgia-driven that I lost interest after the first one. Wednesday Comics has some great art by Paul Pope, Karl Kerschl, Ryan Sook, Kyle Baker and many others. But with few exceptions, it reads like a bunch of people paying homage to the kinds of comics strips they liked as kids, rather than some of the most promising storytellers in the field making a serious attempt at exploring an off-beat format.
At his blog, Kurt Busiek talked about a new project titled Batman: Creature of the Night last week.
According to Busiek, the book is similar to Superman: Secret Identity and will have art by John Paul Leon and letters by Todd Klein. It won’t be scheduled for while, though, “until a lot more of it is done.”
Also, Busiek had a small glimpse at the Arrowsmith sequel, which he says will be “a heavily-illustrated prose novel, sort of like Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess’s Stardust.” The artist is Carlos Pacheco, who drew the initial miniseries but is currently exclusive to Marvel. So this is another one that’ll take some time.
Newsarama gives Grant Morrison the opportunity to promote his new fantasy comic with Mukesh Singh, 18 Days.
How many mainstream comics writers you know say things like “emotionally real” when they pitch a new project in one line?
Prominent comics retailer and Savage-Critic-in-chief Brian Hibbs shares his thoughts reading a recent DC comic whose title always makes me think of soccer. And if Hibbs’s assessment isn’t quite enough for you, Chris Sims over at Comics Alliance has a more in-depth look.
Well, if nothing else, Mark Millar knows how to market comics. Somebody should hire him as a consultant.
This year’s International Comic-Salon Erlangen opens its doors on Thursday.
I’ll be at the Comicgate booth—please stop by and say hi, then we’ll try to sell you something.
Douglas Wolk has a reader’s guide to Final Crisis, the 2008 comic by Grant Morrison, J. G. Jones, Doug Mahnke, et al., which comes out as a paperback this week.
Final Crisis is a huge clusterfunk that ultimately fails as a story, but it’s also a very confident, ambitious and progressive superhero comic that’s absolutely made well enough to be a helluva lot of fun if you enjoy that sort of thing. The story is Morrison’s very personal response to Watchmen, in a sense, with a result that’s much less tightly controlled and comes with a lot more passion and chaos than its binovular twin All Star Superman. In the end, it seems even the creators fail to keep up with, let alone keep together, the narrative they have wrought in Final Crisis, but I still applaud them and DC for the chutzpa to even attempt something like this in a high-profile “event” book.
The people who say that understanding Final Crisis requires familiarity with a lot of DC comics are wrong, by the way. The story and the way it’s told are complex and require some effort, certainly. But knowing a lot about DC continuity won’t help you: It’s not the specific references that matter, but rather the fact that there’s an overwhelming, virtually unmanageable amount of them. Believe me, you will get that from the comic, no matter how well you know your way around the DC Universe—the less you know, the more stunning the effect.
Have no illusions: Morrison’s story doesn’t really come together in the end, and you’ll have a hard time understanding what’s happening on your first reading (I’ve read it three times, and I’m still not quite sure). If that doesn’t necessarily turn you off in a story, though, there’s every chance you might enjoy Final Crisis.