[Editor’s note: we enjoyed Marc-Oliver’s blogging and reviewing so much at his own site we asked him to contribute something once a week here, as well. Welcome again, M-O. ]

o “The Weight of Dead Plot”

New Yorker film critic Anthony Lane reviews Iron Man 2 and is relieved, “to find a comic-book hero who doesnt agonize over his supergifts, and would defend his constitutional right to get a kick out of them.” Lane still has his problems with the movie, though. (Not surprisingly, the cast aren’t one of them.)

o “A Perfectly Regular Editorial Decision”

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, German newspaper of record, reports that Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, famous for his controversial Mohammed cartoons, was recently disinvited from a popular talk show by ZDF, one of the country’s two leading TV channels. Westergaard’s art dealer says he was told by someone at ZDF that the decision was made because of security concerns, wereas ZDF says it was a regular editorial decision.

o “Fantasias Built from Pop Memories”

Over in the “Poptimist” column at Pitchfork, Tom Ewing explains why Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s Phonogram is one of the boldest, most innovative and compelling comics of the last decade.

Do yourself a favor and get copies of Phonogram: Rue Britannia and Phonogram: The Singles Club, if you haven’t already. The former — in black & white & grey — is the difficult concept album, the latter — in beautiful color by Matthew Wilson — is the collection of killer hits, and they both have the emotional character beats to root and earn back the intellectual fireworks and rhythmic storytelling beats.

o “The Kind of Repulsion That’s Driven Me to Read It Three Times”

Douglas Wolk is taking part in this discussion of Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca’s Invincible Iron Man #25 and Daniel Clowes’ Wilson at Techland, which is evidently the first in a new regular feature.

Douglas Wolk, in case you were wondering, is your indispensable comics critic of 2010. He’s knowledgeable in the field of comics and beyond, he’s got a surgical critical eye that makes old Hostess Pie ads seem more substantial than most of his colleagues manage to with Chris Ware hardcovers, and he knows to string together sentences that wield insights like boxing gloves.

So: Please click on this stuff and read it and tell the people at Time that you’d like to see more of it, if you’ve got a minute.

Also, this is Wolk providing a 101 guide on the Hernandez brothers for people like myself, who were born fifteen years too late to get into them when everybody else did. And here he is again, previewing, and providing a bit of history to, the very first collaboration between American comics titans Chris Claremont and Mike Grell. And because that’s not nearly enough Douglas Wolk for one week, he’s at Comics Alliance, too, with his weekly new-comics recommendation column.

o “Find Out All You Can, and See What You Can Do with It.”

Not comics, but quite: Roger Ebert on what he calls “The Golden Age of Movie Critics.” If what he says is true for film criticism, it’s true times one hundred for comics criticism. It’s an inspirational, true little piece.

o “Man Insisting He Is a Space Alien Prompts Plane Diversion”

Not comics, but still: It pays to keep watching my old stomping grounds.

o “A Gravedigger in an Eco-Friendly Cemetery”

Comic of the Week: iZombie #1, by writer Chris Roberson (Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love) and artist Mike Allred (Madman).

This is another one of those introductory issues sold at $ 1.00 with which Vertigo’s had some great success lately. A Mike Allred comic is fun to look at by default, so you can’t go wrong with this one. (I gather the title had to be changed from “I, Zombie” due to some copyright issue, but DC’s Web site still has the old one in some places.)

The solicitation copy sounds mental, in a very agreeable way: “A were-terrier, a swinging ’60s ghost and a pack of paintball blasting vampires complete the cast of I, Zombie.” No further questions.

Marc-Oliver Frisch writes about comics at his weblog and at Comicgate. You can also follow him on Twitter.


  1. “Douglas Wolk, in case you were wondering, is your indispensable comics critic of 2010.”

    I feel like the last two bits can be struck from this sentence. I really appreciate Wolk’s incisive and articulate commentary on comics– and great taste, to boot!

    Looking forward to your regular posts, M-O.

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