§ The Comics Journal continues its look at veteran creators with an interview with Shaky Kane & David Hine the folks behind the delightfully off-kilter THE BULLETPROOF COFFIN.
Perhaps the unlikeliest of last year’s notable comics was The Bulletproof Coffin, a superhero-damaged, pop art-inflected monthly that carried, in equal measure, deep, yearning nostalgia for the Silver Age of the 1960s and cynical scorn for the current state of mainstream comics. Bulletproof was neither the work of remarkable new talents or all-time greats, but two footnote-level creators, artist Shaky Kane and writer David Hine, who seemingly couldn’t hold back what they had to give for a second longer. Over the second half of 2010 an almost unknown, psychedelic Jack Kirby acolyte and a solid-if-overlooked writer of B-grade Marvel and DC books were suddenly saying the most relevant things about superheroes and the comics industry that had been heard in quite some time.
§ What is Chris Ware doing this weekend? No really. What is Chris Ware doing this weekend??
§ Interviews with Image Publisher Eric Stephenson are always informative and so is this one at CBR:
I don’t know if Image’s role has changed, but I think the industry has changed around us. Presently, there are fewer opportunities for genuine creator-ownership than at any point since Image started. Creator-ownership is not a popular concept on a corporate level, and I don’t think I need to remind you that the two largest publishers in the industry are owned by gigantic media corporations. Image Comics was formed by creators, for creators, and we’re still here doing exactly what we’ve been doing for almost 20 years now. Going forward, I think that’s going to become more and more important. Although I guess if you were to ask someone at one of the other publishers, they’d tell you our role is find new talent for them.
Stephenson also points out that even though Image is currently riding a wave, it isn’t because their books in the recent past weren’t great as well:
But getting back to your main point — what drives interest in some books, while others go unnoticed — I think some of it comes down to timing. What we’re doing hasn’t changed all that much over the years. There was a point where we were doing “Casanova,” “The Nightly News,” “Fear Agent,” “Phonogram” and “Girls,” right alongside proven successes like “The Walking Dead￼,” “Fell” and “Invincible,” and while people were aware of them, they didn’t get nearly the same amount of buzz things like “Morning Glories” and “Nonplayer” have had recently. Is it because they weren’t as good? Well, that’s subjective, obviously, but just using “Casanova” as an example, I defy anyone to tell me that book is inferior to anything we’re putting out now. What Matt Fraction, Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon were (and are) doing on that book — that’s inspired stuff. Same with Jonathan Hickman on “The Nightly News” and Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie on “Phonogram.” It’s certainly not a question of regularly coming up with the goods on a creative basis.
§ If you haven’t been following the saga of how George R. R. Martin didn’t like the ending of Lost, said so and broke Damon Lindelof’s heart, a denouement of sorts has been recorded, as he went up to the other half of Darlton, Lost producer Carlton Cuse at a Time event and they hashed things out. But not without Martin delivering one last remark on why the Lost ending wasn’t all that:
The ending of Lost and what I said. We didn’t punch each other or anything. We were nice. I mean, obviously, he disagrees. But we loved Lost. We wouldn’t miss it. Every week. We were trying to figure out, how could it end. What’s the mystery? What’s the solution? It’s intriguing. And then when we got the solution, we were disappointed.
Dept of Weirdnesses:
§ Headline we wish we’d written: Post-Coital Thor Rises Anew in THE MIGHTY THOR #1
§ Some guy is going around trying to get websites to pay him a lot of money for
Obama’s birth certificate a purported shooting script for Joss Whedon’s THE AVENGERS.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.