§ In comics it is traditional for the nerdlebrity “creator” to come on, append his/her name to some project they hope to star in and wave from a panel a time or two. When it doesn’t sell, they generally slink away in the night to their next project. (See: Virgin, Radical, etc.) Rare and praiseworthy is the barnstorming star who sticks around to comment, but then English chat show host Jonathan Ross has proven his comic book bona fides many times — from producing the documentary on Steve Ditko to several appearances at the Eisner Awards. Thus, it’s a pleasure to read his thoughts on his comic book year as he prepares to return to chatting via a new ITV show. Wossy found that witing [sic] comics was not as easy as it looks:
I’ve come to the conclusion that comics are a bit like golf, or Susan Boyle, or threesomes. You can find large sections of the population who can’t get enough of that kind of thing, while the rest of us just don’t see where the fun is supposed to lie. But when done right, for me, no other entertainment form can match the beautiful synthesis of hand-crafted art with lovingly chosen words. And as I discovered when I wrote my first comic book last year, in collaboration with Tommy Lee Edwards, less is most definitely more. “Newspaper headlines written by poets” was the description that the great Dennis O’Neil (Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman) used when asked to describe the art of writing for comics, and it’s as good a guideline as any I’ve encountered.
§ Speaking of Wossy, the above linked Guardian piece includes a link to an earlier review of Grant Morrison’s Supergods which includes a good sound bite:
Most comic books run to just 20 pages now, at least eight of which will feature giant panels with images of super-types punching each other. Maybe four pages will be devoted to setting up why they need to be punching each other. Two will be about how they get to bump into each other before they can have a big old punching party, and a couple more will be dedicated to tying up the loose ends after the last big fight. There isn’t really a lot of space left for complicated ideas and eloquent wordplay.
§ LA is a very peculiar market for comics shows, as the recent implosion of Wizard World showed, but this somewhat awkward think piece expresses hope that the new Comikaze Expo will be an answer:
As surprising as it may be to those living outside of California, LA has been without a prominent comic-con of any sort for quite a long time. In a world where Kansas City, Phoenix, and Seattle all have excellent shows, it is mind-boggling that LA was left vacant. However, Comikaze plans to change all of that, when their unique brand of fun comes to town. The Comikaze website, http://comikazeexpo.com/ gives us an insight into the philosophical approach of the organization
We wish the Carpinellis the best, but LA is just a weird place, and no one wants to go downtown if they can help it.
§ Speaking of Grant Morrison, Rodrigo Baeza digs up a 10-year-old interview to prove that Morrison’s recent comments about Chris Ware were not entirely new:
I really like Chris Ware formally, he’s formally brilliant. The black humour is at a pitch where I can enjoy it just for the sheer nastiness of it, the black depth of it. But what worries me is that there’s so many of those American guys – and I have this problem with the Fantagraphics books, not all of them, but most of them – is that there’s a lot of really bad ones, I think.
even if writing the FF as if Chris Ware had done so was once a good thing, too.
§ The name and identity of the “scary Korean webcomic” everyone was talking about last week has been found:
The title is “Bongcheon-Dong Ghost”, and the author goes by the name “Horang,” which is a pen name. (His real name is Jong-Ho Choi, and he’s 25 years old.) This work is the latest entry in a special summer series of short web comics (either done-in-one or two-parters) called “2011 Mystery Shorts,” with different creators taking turns each time. (“Mystery” is often used in Korea to mean “scary urban legend.”)
This one is Horang’s second short story in this summer’s series, and his first one, “Oksu Subway Station Ghost,” was a big hit in Korean web as well when it came out in July. “Oksu Subway Station Ghost” relies much more on the text for the storyline, and it uses Flash animation for shock effect. It also uses smartphones and mobile social networking services as a crucial story element, with real-time uploading of a photograph and other users’ comments on it providing an important plot twist.
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.