We had a huge Kibbles ‘n’ Bits for the day but the browser ate it…so…
§ Tom Spurgeon delivers his own pep talk for the comics troops:
The first and most important reason why I’m hopeful for comics in a deepening recession is that comics is as great and valuable and deserving of attention as any popular art form out there right now, and better than most of them.
It’s absolutely true that if the current economic crisis deepens and widens to a certain point, no one will care about new comic books, comic strips or editorial cartoons. But I think it’s also true that if the economic crisis deepens to a certain point, no one will care about new movies, TV shows, movie or prose, either.
He reserves his harshest words for Steven Grant’s recent assessment of 2008 as a “dreary” year in comics, and I tend to agree. That said, if you’re looking at the world of the Big Two then dreariness might be a logical reaction. Also, 2008 wasn’t as good a year for original, groundbreaking comics as 2007 — almost every book that realy got me excited was a reissue, a translation or a Volume 2. But, in general, yeah, comics have never been healthier.
§ Speaking of dreary, Marc-Oliver Frisch looks at the state of Marvel and their recent event strategy:
Marvel are also evidently looking to tie their line of books more closely together, which is puzzling. If there’s one thing they’ve done much better than DC over the past eight years, it’s that they’ve been taking care to keep their books self-contained and accessible. With “Dark Reign,” though, that seems to be changing, and I don’t think it’s a very smart idea at all. Don’t get me wrong: They’ve got a lot of promising new titles coming up – I absolutely applaud Marvel for hiring fresh voices like Jonathan Hickman, Andy Diggle, Jeff Parker and Matt Fraction. But then again, I’m not very interested in reading material from them that plays a supporting role to what feels like the nineteenth monthly Avengers title cooked up by Brian Michael Bendis – especially a Brian Michael Bendis whose creative faculties seem to be in a recession so deep as to rival that of Iceland.
§ Some will find Geoff Boucher’s highly evenhanded profile of Radical Comics’s Barry Levine dreary, but it’s a good look at a publishing model that has had a lot of ups and downs in recent years.