Is there nowhere in the world of culture which can stay positive for more than five minutes!? This week we found out that not even glam rock could provide us safety (now we’re firmly in the barren hair-straightened wastelands of the post-80s), with the news that Kiss and Aerosmith are now art war with each other. The opposing factions of all that is ROCK have apparently declared battle for no apparent reason, via a series of snide radio interviews. Sure, this all sounds like great material for the surely-inevitable IDW crossover miniseries between the two bands next year, but as things stand: Glam Rock is at war!
And it’s not like television is much safer right now. When not revealing sort-of-beloved children’s presenters to have been secretly monstrous paedophiles, television has spent the past week watching a number of prominent male politicians reveal to us the mysteries of the womb, and found it sorely lacking. Community still hasn’t returned to television, while CBS have decided to stick one in the face of anarchy by turning “Smells Like Teen Spirit” into a wacky sitcom. You can’t even have a quick tea with the Queen without having your Olympic medals stolen. Culture is in trouble again! Is anywhere safe?
Comics is Safe.
Every week a courier heads across to Hollywood with a stack of comics tied to the back of his vespa, and prays to God that he doesn’t get kidnapped by Patton Oswalt or Nicholas Cage on the way. His good work hasn’t been in vain, it turns out, because a stack of Kieron Gillen’s Journey Into Mystery issues appear to have made their way into the hands of Loki actor Tom Hiddleston, who this week had a letter published in the back of the very final issue of the book.
Even Gillen, who normally you can’t get to shut up, seemed silenced by the camp majesty of t’Hiddleston. Is there still time to get Hugh Jackman to do a song about Wolverine and have it available as an AR feature in the final issue of the book?
Did you know that self-publishing has increased dramatically since 2007? Perhaps now could be the time to launch something!
Elsewhere was some rather spiffy news about how The Beat is some fine fine work, while Fred Van Lente toiled away all Tuesday on Reddit. Skottie Young delivered some new covers for us all to delightedly gawp at, while the 2013 London Supercon announced a second wave of guests including Brian Bolland, J. Scott Campbell, David Finch and Gabriele Del-Otto. Emma Vieceli offered us all a hug and Allison Hoffman knitted us some adorable toy Wonder Womans.
Still not with flushed chest? How about an extended gallery of Ming Doyle artwork or an interview between Paul Tobin and Chris Roberson, then? And that’s before we even start to mention some of the great comics that came out this Wednesday. Here are my two personal recommendations from the week, and please leave a comment or tweet me to let me know what you enjoyed, too!
Multiple Warheads #1
By Brandon Graham, published by Image
The talk of the comics internet this week was the launch of Brandon Graham’s latest project, which he has written, drawn, coloured and probably stapled together too. It’s a comic showing you a world rather than telling you a particular story, and Graham’s singular strength lies in creating a fully-formed, organic, weird landscape for you to get utterly lost inside for twenty minutes at a time. Detailing the road trip adventures of a couple who have previously had some iffy dealings with magic organ transplantation, the series offers a whole realm of ludicrousness, fabulously created and expressed by Graham’s art and writing. This comic is also a must for fans of puns, because basically every single line in the comic is some kind of wordplay.
By Si Spurrier and V Ken Marion, published by Boom
(also by Michael Garland and Ed Dukeshire!)
Boom have seen a lot of success with their Kaboom! line of all-ages titles this year, but one of their strongest titles actually comes from the all-adult mind of Si Spurrier, lately of writing X-Men nonsense and 2000AD noir. Extermination has been a solid read where you’d typically expect a quick spiralling down of quality – the premise sees a Batman-esque hero and Lex Luthor-esque villain forced into a team up after Earth is destroyed and enslaved by multicoloured slime aliens. A high premise, but one which has managed to avoid any signs of faltering even as it heads into a second arc. Spurrier excellently conveys the slowly shifting moral boundary between his hero and villain, having great fun at the expense of the superhero genre at the same time.
But the comic isn’t just a pisstake on those perennial targets, the caped heroes of Marvel and DC. It’s also weirdly turning out to be a celebration of just how crazy and entertaining heroes can be, when utilised in unexpected ways. The star of this issue is a case in point – a baby with the powers of the human torch, who swoops majestically through the sky whilst also being a baby with the powers of the human torch.
There were also some great comics elsewhere, including several which I imagine will be highlighted in this section at some point in the near future – including Gambit, The Flash, Bravest Warriors, and Revival, along with some excellent news in the latest issue of Brian Michael Bendis’ Avengers. Finally, Brian!!
And so, now you’re once more feeling confident and happy that the world is a wonderful place where comics are brilliant things which are fun and crazy, we’ll leave on one final note. And that note is AVENGER BABIES EATING SHWARMA!
Have a great weekend, folks!