ATTACK OF THE SO-CALLED ONE-LINERS
I’ve fallen a bit under the weather this week, so please enjoy this week’s mind dump, random links, and tweets a plenty. We should be back to fighting shape next week.
DC’s Favorite Sign: “This Way to the Egress”
- Gail Simone is laid off from “Batgirl” by email and it reminds me of the time DC fired people by fax. Was that the Superman team of creators or the Batman team? My Google Fu is being weak, but surely someone other than me remembers that. Right?
- Will Karen Berger move to Marvel to relaunch “Sleepwalker” under its original mandate of being “Sandman done right?” No, probably not. Another missed opportunity for comics.
- In case you don’t know the story, here’s the story behind the title for this section.
Looking Back at CBR
- Prurient of me, I admit, but I sometimes wonder how many of the stories Mark Millar teased at the end of this column were true? And how many have had names attached to them since?
- It’s been thirteen years now since Warren Ellis began writing “Come In Alone” at CBR. We also had a major site design that month, as I recall.
- I hope you read Ron Marz’s columns remembering his days at CrossGen. Fun stories. And, yes, Ron, I want to read more.
Dragon On and On
- Happy Birthday to Erik Larsen, who turned the big Five-Oh this past week. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it still strikes me as strange to see all the artists whose work I loved when I first got into comics are now in that age range. They were just slightly older kids than me when they started, weren’t they? Crazy.
- “Savage Dragon” is the ONLY series I’ve been reading continuously for 20 years. Or even 10 years, I bet. The closest is likely “The Walking Dead.” Those might even be the only two on-going series I’ve read for 100 continuous issues, come to think of it. The next closest would be Peter David’s run on “The Incredible Hulk,” but I didn’t get to that until a couple of years into his run.
The World of Animation
- Sadly, Rusty Mills passed away last week. Many in my generation likely recognize the name, but aren’t sure where it came from. He directed the “Pinky and the Brain Christmas Special,” amongst a slew of other great early-90s Warner Bros cartoons from that family of shows.
- As big as the comics book in the early 90s was, I think the quality of daytime animated series was just as big at that time. Just after “DuckTales” proved that a daily series could work, the gates opened wide. The Disney Afternoon competed with the pack of titles Warner Bros put out, giving us some great shows like “Batman: The Animated Series,” “Tiny Toons Adventures,” “Animaniacs,” and “Freakazoid.” Those were good times.
- Except for “Bonkers.” Nobody liked that show.
Quotes of the Week
- “If you’re waiting to have a good idea before you have any ideas, you won’t have many ideas.” – David Allen, with solid advice for wannabe comics creators
- The awesome and highly technical blogger, Dr. Drang, reviews Sean Howe’s “Marvel Comics: The Untold Story” by comparison with another book that gives us Bell Labs’ history. One is the House of Ideas, while the other is The Idea Factory. I love this paragraph:
The biggest difference between the two organizations-apart from the obvious difference in the importance of what they produced-was in their management. Bell Labs was guided by an exceptionally talented group who kept most of their employees engaged in fruitful research while still giving them the freedom that made them both happy and productive. Marvel was run by a succession of B-movie villains who alienated all of their creators.
- William Gibson dishes out words of wisdom on Twitter for comic fans, as well as novelists:
The assumption that a film adaption is the final and/or highest state, for a novel, is as woefully wrong as any assumption can be.
- Nate Piekos’ new webcomic, “The Beserker’s Daughter” has officially started. I love the look of this strip, and hope it does well.
- I’m not necessarily a big fan of TheOatmeal.com, but his response to a recent hit piece is about the greatest takedown issued in modern internet history. It’s filled with adult language, so consider yourself warned. Do read all the way to the end, though, for the final twist that pushes the knife all the way in. Glorious! (Also, slightly disgusting.)
- I wish I could read prose as fast as I can read comics.
- Stan Sakai explains his “Usagi Yojimbo” hiatus, in comics form. I love this style when Sakai uses it. If he ever takes another “Usagi” sabbatical, I hope it’s to do a project in this sketchier/looser style.
- If comics don’t work out for Juan Jose Ryp, he could still get a job drawing portraits for the Wall Street Journal. That style, I learned in researching this column, is called “hedcut.”
- iPhone dictation correctly heard me dictate “Tom Orzechowski” the other day. Color me impressed.
- Fun factoid from Wikipedia regarding Orzechowski’s work history: He “lettered something on the order of 6,000 pages of Claremont’s scripts over a 25-year period.” It still wasn’t enough. Those fill-in issues were painful. Shamefully, there’s no reference to Orzechowski’s current work on “The Savage Dragon” in the entry. I guess there’s a citation needed there?
Recent, Current, and Future Comics
- Caught up on “Guarding the Globe” this past week, with the third and fourth issues. I’m enjoying it for being so large and sprawling. Plus, it has some cool moments in there. Reminds me in some ways of Chris Claremont’s “X-Men” in that it’s a constant juggling act in search of breakout moments. That makes it fun for me.
- This week from Image Comics, one of the titles incorrectly lays out a double page spread, starting it on the odd page. You don’t see too much of that anymore. Back in the day when ads ran nearly randomly in the middle of stories at Marvel/DC, it was understandable. It’s not the end of the world and I’m sure a page will be inserted before the inevitable trade to sort it out, but it is an oddity to see these days.
- It’s hard to believe that Brian Wood’s “The Couriers” graphic novels started over a decade ago now. Image is reprinting all three of them in one trade paperback this week, along with “Couscous Express”, which I reviewed in 2001. I reviewed the first “Couriers” volume in 2003 and the third, “The Ballad of Johnny Funwrecker”, in 2005. Sadly, in retrospect, I never reviewed the middle volume, “Dirtbike Manifesto.”
- The DC solicitations for March are now up.. The most interesting release for me is the “Batman Noir: Eduardo Risso Deluxe Edition.” It collects the “Wednesday Comics” storyline Risso did, along with the “Flashpoint: Batman” mini and the “Batman” #620-#625 storyline, plus the short story from “Batman: Gotham Knights” #8. All of this was done with Brian Azzarello. It’s $25 for the 224 pages, which are all in black and white. I hope this means they’re printing the original line art and lettering and not doing something silly like gray toning the colors. (Remember when the “Sam and Twitch” collection tried that, and failed miserably? Ick.)