§ By now if you are at all interested in Batman you have seen This and the above intro of Bluebird by Dustin Nguyen. If you’re NOT into Batman suffice to say that Batman will be going into a year long weekly series called BATMAN ETERNAL in which the role of the outwardly-tough but secretly-vulnerable youthful companions to Batman who will eventually get killed or maimed will be played by young women.
PLUS, one good thing about the New 52 universe is that Stephanie Brown was no longer tortured to death with a drill! Progress!
§ Speaking of Batman, The Comics Journal online has a new writer named Greg Hunter who engages in a takedown review of Batman: Death of the Family, which for most people is one of the few bright spots in the editorial driven era of comics. That’s what we need the Comics Journal for! The kid is back.
(Art by Terry Dodson.)
§ Along the same lines, Vanessa Gabriel finds Marvel’s all-lady X-Men book wanting,
You know what I hate even more? Crossovers that don’t layer well into the existing story of a book. At least make it so your story continues along its path. Then, reading other titles in the crossover gives you a broader, more complete story. Don’t make it so you have to read a bunch of different books to barely understand the one story in your comic that will be abandoned as soon as the event is through. Anyway, Battle of the Atom monopolized two issues of X-Men. I endured it. Erika didn’t make it to the other side and she dropped the book.
§ Multiversity’s David Harper has another solid piece on tips for looking at the art when reviewing comics, with help from three of the best, Declan Shalvey, Sean Gordon Murphy and Gabriel Hardman. I must admit here are a lot of common traps here that we all fall into from time to time:
– In the ghetto: While we are often guilty of this ourselves, art analysis does not belong at the end of every review. We don’t need to create a second-to-last paragraph ghetto for art review just because we don’t know what to do with it. Mix it up, lead with your art section, put it in the middle, or better yet, weave it into your discussion about the story and issue itself. As we said above, they are one and the same.
§ There were some solid observations in the comments to my comments on Harpers previous piece, on the devaluation of the comics book artist, and I had a few brief Twitter discussions about it as well. I know this has been going on for a while, but I’ve had my head stuck in the indie/GN wold where Cartoonists—those who write AND draw comics—rule to roost. It’s a much simpler world most of the time, and often a better world.
§ Here’s another great process piece, Steve Lieber on world building with comics art.
§ Sunderland is a city in England that is probably only known to a) extreme Anglophiles b) EPL fans and c) readers of Bryan Talbot’s Alice in Sunderland. Well, anyway Sunderland is getting a comic-con! Show runners are starting small, with hopes for around 1,600 people to attend. The show will be held. August 9 and 10 at Sunderland Software Centre in Tavistock Place. I’m guessing that’s near the High Street.
§ Klaus Janson is working at DC again for the first time in a decade, inking the John/ JRJr Superman, and here is a nice interview where he dishes on stuff.
§ Ng Suat Tong has his annual list of Best Online Comics Criticism 2013—there are some real gems in there and also some dense twaddle, but you’ll need to follow all the links and decide for yourself which is which.
§ The LA Comic Book And Science Fiction Convention has been running monthly for…30 years or so? Here’s a brief profile. The show has declined a bit from the days when Arnold and Vin Diesel were guests to, the third Ewok to the left headling but it’s still going!
§ I liked this LSU college paper interview with former LSU student JG Jones because a) it is nice to see a “comics alumnus” story and b) who does’t like “Gentleman” JG Jones?
§ Comics are saved! David Hockney likes Joe Sacco.
§ I spent hours with this Upworthy Generator, and the good stuff starts at 0:30. Make sure to stick around till 1:34.