§ J. Caleb Mozzocco uncovers the little-known fact that Brian Bendis was once a cartoonist too! And not a bad one, either.
§ The mildly opinionated comics retailer Chris Butcher has jsut started blogging for Tor.com, and in his first post, he rounds up L’Affaire de Blue Beetle:
The axiom that every comic is someone’s favourite? That’s true in this case. While Blue Beetle may have had an estimated monthly sales of only 15,000 copies or so (most DC superhero titles average at least 30k monthly sales), that’s still 15,000 people buying a comic every month, many of whom will be sad to see it go, and thanks to the internet no one has to let things go quietly. Following the cancellation announcement, dozens of blog posts and hundreds of comments have been left lamenting the death of the series, many castigating DC Comics for not handling the series “correctly.
§ BTW, Butcher links to Abhay Khosla’s BLUE BEETLE obit, which is sorta the final statement:
So, your 12 year old nephew is now supposed to understand that:
1) This is a reference to the DC character, the Elongated Man, a former Justice League member who dates back to 1960.
2) Traci 13 was apparently raised by the Elongated Man and his wife Sue Dibny.
3) Sue Dibny was murdered by Jean Loring, the Silver Age ex-wife of the Atom.
4) Jean Loring became Eclipso in some issue of something sometime, for some reason. I don’t know when or why myself, but that apparently happened.
This issue is all about the character of Traci 13 and her revenge on Jean Loring / Eclipso for the events of 2004’s IDENTITY CRISIS (which your 12 year old nephew would love since it’s wall-to-wall rape and dead pregnant women).
HOW DID THIS COMIC EVER GET CANCELED???
Khosla gets into the whole “death of the pamphlet’ thing in stark and brutal terms. And no one has the answers for the questions he raises.
§ Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Mike Luckovich echoes the general consensus among ‘toon types that Obama is hard to make fun of so far.
Presidential caricatures seem to evolve unflatteringly. Do all presidents eventually disappoint us?
Whether you agree with a president or not, the longer they’re out there, the more likely it is you’ll have a cynical view of them. I’m worried about Obama, though, because the more I see him, the more I like him. For me, that’s scary. I watched the Barbara Walters Special last week and the Obamas seemed so real. They were joking around, and they appeared to really like each other. This is miserable news if you’re an editorial cartoonist.
§ Don’t mess with Ike! According to this story, Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter is licensed to carry a concealed weapon! Just pray he stays away from midtown night clubs.
§ Famed novelist Michael Chabon’s interest in comics is examined yet again:
“At different times, I’ve had various favorites,” he said. “I’ll just say one of the ones I’ve most enjoyed recently is ‘Planetary,’ a series by Warren Ellis, drawn by John Cassaday. It’s wonderful stuff, very self-aware. My 14-year old is into Manga. My 11-year-old son is totally into ‘Usagi Yojimbo,’ an on-going series about samurais in feudal Japan.
§ Oddity of the day: This rather sweet story
from Clayton, NC, starts out like many profiles of local men we read. Phil Pyle wanted to be an artist as a kid, but he gave up…until his daughter got him drawing again. Now, he paints comic book covers.
“If I see something I like, I get almost drug-induced,” Pyle said. “I just have to do it. I will look for something that just catches my eye.”
Since 2006, Pyle has drawn around a dozen comic book covers. A “Detective Comics” cover shows Bat-Woman racing ahead of Batman and sidekick Robin to a mission. Another cover, “G.I. Combat,” highlights soldiers, some badly wounded, firing a tank gun at an exploding airplane. A “Spiderman” cover features the superhero trying to escape from a net thrown on him by Kraven the Hunter.
A success story, right? Except that as you read the story you realize he’s just doing them for his own happiness. Which is swell in its own way, but the headline “Area man paints fan art” might have not gone down quite as well. But you know, the ending is nice, like we said.
Drawing may have escaped Pyle once, but it will likely not happen again. “I am glad I found it again before I got too old and couldn’t see anymore to draw,” he said.
§ Van Jensen revisits WATCHMEN:
For an aspiring writer who was just beginning to understand the possibilities of comics, Watchmen was a revelation, an immaculately realized story that took the conventional world of heroes and spun narrative gold. If I didn’t say, “Oh, shit,” I certainly thought it.
It has grace, rhythm, subtlety, darkness and depth in spades, and the characters all pull away from stereotypes to become, if not believable, then relatable. It is immediately and infinitely visible just how much effort went into the book from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.
Keep reading, though — Jensen also has some pointed criticisms.