090908 Thealcoholicpg5Full-Copy§ Is the world really ending? It would seem so. Dean Haspiel, blogging about alcohol for the New York Times.

§ Brian Heater takes a stab at interviewing Kevin Huizenga. Does he fare better than the Pulse did?

He’s [Glenn Ganges]’s more of a starting place than a destination.

Yeah. I don’t have any plans to turn him into a complex, full-bodied, real character, at this point. At this point it’s like a how a cartoonist always draws panel boards a certain way and a certain width and he doesn’t vary that because he’s not interested in varying that. It’s similar to that. Drawing comics is really hard, and you have to make a lot of decision about whether this looks like this and does this change or stay the same? It’s helpful to have some certain decisions made for you, when you start out.

§ Area man thinks Mallard Fillmore should just move on.

§ Noah Berlatsky has some pointed and well-founded critiques against some Big Two kids’ comics, but blows it all when he admits his kid loves ’em anyway:

1. Why are you so obsessed with continuity? This is a book for kids right? Why do you keep throwing in plotlines that make only minimal sense if you haven’t been following the DCU for the past ten to fifteen years? One story centers around the Green Lantern Corps being mind-controlled by Braniac, without making anything but the most passing effort to explain what the Corps is, or who Braniac is, or why we should give a rat’s ass. Another is built around the Martian Manhunter’s backstory, but it’s just kind of assumed everyone knows all about the Martian Manhunter’s backstory already, because, hey, you’re eight, why wouldn’t you have already memorized the derivative tragedies of a thousand Superman knock-offs?

§ J. Caleb Mozzocco ponders Spurgeon’s ponderables.

§ Den of Geek wonders How Much Wolverine is too much?

Now, the problem with the newly announced “Wolverine: Weapon X” is that it appears to have an identical remit to “Wolverine: Origins”. Those complaining about “too much Wolverine” might have a point, but let’s think again – does it not seem fairly likely that “Wolverine: Origins” will be canned by the end of 2009? After all, Marvel have shown in the past that they’re not above cancelling profitable comics in order to avoid diluting their market – especially when one seems redundant.

Consider, too, that the writer of “Weapon X”, Jason Aaron, is undoubtedly considered much hotter property than current “Origins” writer Daniel Way. “Weapon X” will be the book getting the promotional push during the movie season if only because of its new #1 issue. The signs are all there – a very similar situation saw “Iron Man” getting re-purposed into a “War Machine” series a few months after the far more successful “Invincible Iron Man” was released by a critically renowned writer off the back of a movie.

§ The Village Voice reveals its comics Best ofs in a piece charmingly titled 2008’s Best Comics, Clip Art, and Pedophilia, because they go together like nuts, whipped cream and cherries.


  1. As an adult reader coming back to superhero comics about a decade ago, after two decades off, I was put off by the need for a continuity degree. I don’t think an eight year old is going to be put off by the kid’s comics mentioned above, though — because kids are already having to deal with gaps and riddles in “real world” continuity. For an eight-year-old, having to accept that there’s this Martian Manhunter backstory, without really understanding it, is no more daunting than accepting the weird difficult backstories of the adults, institutions, and conventions they have to face in their own home lives. That was my experience when I was eight, anyway. Dropping an unknown character, a necessary piece of untold history, or the tail end of an unfinished story, if done right, can actually appeal to kid’s sense of discovery and ownership of the world they’re reading about.

    If done right.

    And I could be wrong.

  2. Hey Heidi. You may have missed the comments, where I explain that my son doesn’t actually like the comic in question all that much:

    “If it’s got super-heroes in it, my son likes it. However, he likes some things more than others. I think we actually have read this, like, once, (maybe two times…I can’t remember for sure.) He sat quietly enough, but didn’t express any real enthusiasm; no laughing till he nearly chokes as he often does with the Jeff Parker Marvel titles. He seemed pretty bemused overall, and somewhat fidgety, even though I skipped large swaths of prose. The whole Martian Manhunter backstory, for example; just jumped over it. And he hasn’t been clamoring for a second run at it, which is unusual.

    He’s much more interested in Spider-Man J, a japanese version of Spider-Man, which is, as it happens, also terrible, but much more geared to kids.

    Comics in the 1970s weren’t in general as continuity obsessed as comics in the oughts are. Some continuity can be okay; it is possible to have too much of a mediocre thing, though.”

    Thanks for the link!

  3. Huizenga is the best talent working in comics today and maybe ever. Glenn Ganges is an ingenious way of framing Huizenga’s different comics. The comic where Glenn goes to the library and lets his mind wander into the surreal is one of my favorite comics ever. I feel he’s eventually going to become what Jamie Hernandez is today – a phenomenal talent putting out grand slam after grand slam and ultimately overlooked from being so consistently amazing.

  4. You probably noticed this, but just for the benefit of readers who might not follow the link to the Village Voice list: I suspect “pedophilia” refers to the inclusion of Most Outrageous on the list.

  5. NoahB said:

    “Comics in the 1970s weren’t in general as continuity obsessed as comics in the oughts are. Some continuity can be okay; it is possible to have too much of a mediocre thing, though.”

    That’s because they didn’t have 30+ years of continuity to deal with.