§ “Manga, anime growing in southeast Kansas “ — The National Guard has been dispatched, but can they halt this growing threat?
§ In comics history this may well go down as “The Symposium Era”. Add the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books to the list of bookish confabs spotlighting GRAPHIC NOVELS.
For the first time, the Festival of Books will offer “The Comix Strip,” an entirely new comic book, graphic novel and Manga-devoted event area, offering attendees access to the genres’ exhibitors, retailers and newest issues. Mike Mignola, creator of the Hellboy comic series, and other comics luminaries are slated to participate in special panels, programming and autograph sessions.
§ Over at Comics Comics, the critics don’t mince their words, and that’s how we like it, but Dan Nadel, who also runs ultra-high art publisher PictureBox, shows he has some refreshingly catholic taste in a recent review column:
Punisher War Journal: Matt Fraction writes it and Howard Chaykin draws it. I have to say, I really like this title. Fraction is firmly in the Morrison/Milligan self aware tradition, but he has a sarcastic, easy style — somehow more casual than the the Brits. I like his work here, which so far concerns washed super villains going about their daily lives. Basically these are noir slice of life stories, like a riff on Eisner’s Spirit, where The Punisher only appears at the end to, well, make it a Punisher comic. Chaykin’s art is awfully fun. He’s never been the most subtle of artists, but he’s using photoshop is some very curious/possibly retarded ways and I like it. In any case, can you believe Howard Chaykin is drawing the Punisher? Remember American Flagg? Or Cody Starbuck?
§ What’s J. Michael Straczynski doing at DC? He can’t talk about it, but CBR guesses
JMS told CBR News, “In my talks with [DCU Executive Editor] Dan [DiDio], the writing on the project they want me to do would start probably July, so it won’t come out until the fall, most likely.” And while JMS said it was still too early to reveal what titles he will be working on, he did share a few details. “I’m not at liberty to divulge [which titles] at this time,” teased JMS. “What I can say, in general, is that I’ll be starting on one established title in July, and folding into a new title that would be launched in early 2009 that will be very highly visible.” JMS also shared that both titles are ongoing and “set inside the DC Universe.”
§ Bangladesh cartoonist Mohammed Arifur Rahman, who was charged with some cartoon-related offense, has been freed. The police official bringing charges against him repeatedly failed to appear in court.
§ Chris Evans, who played Johnny Storm, says there will probably be no FF3 movie.
“I’m pretty sure we won’t do [another] one,” insisted “Fantastic Four” star Chris Evans, who excelled in two films as the Human Torch. “I’m assuming that one is a closed book.” What gives? In recent months, both Jessica Alba and Michael Chiklis have expressed a strong desire to come back for “FF3,” each one even going so far as to offer up a preferred storyline.
Normally, we would be much relieved to hear this, but thinking of all the lost opportunities for extended scenes of Evans only wearing a towel, it is to cry.
§ Tom Brevoort looks at one of the dangers of the Too Much Information Era:
It’s a plain fact of life: every comic book has a mistake in it of some kind. That’s just the luck of the draw. Some comics have multiple mistakes. (Some comics simply ARE mistakes, from one end to the other.) And these days, the audience takes these mistakes, regardless of what they are, much more seriously. Time was, Stan Lee could just joke about making “another boneheaded mistake” and that’d be the end of it. But in 2008, people are looking for more. Maybe it’s the whole post-Watergate, post-9/11 conspiracy mentality, but there are often times when readers make more out of a mistake than what is actually there.
§ The Daily Cross Hatch has added columnist Oliver East to blog about British comics:
Small press in the States can include D+Q and Fantagraphics. In the UK, the term usually means self-published stuff, which I love. I love the idea of someone beavering away in their studio/bedroom/kitchen table to produce something they hope strangers will like. There are a few boutique publishers and people with beards keeping the dream alive over here, but the comics that we like aren’t appreciated in the same way as over on your side. They all need a bigger audience, and the States and the Internet are as big as they come, so I’ll search for the good amongst the bad and let you know when I find them. I won’t do a bad review of something I’ve found myself, that’s unfair. This is a new column and I wouldn’t mind making a few new friends here and there.