QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Every comic you own is magically redrawn overnight by one particular artist. Who is it?
ITEM! Neil “Scary Trousers” Gaiman talks to Entertainment Weekly about vampires. Does Gaiman sparkle in the sunlight? I wonder…
ITEM! Karen Green explains why medieval historians should be big fans of comics. Why? Because they both deal in sequential art.
I LOVE YOU, MAN: Chris Sims chronicles the eleven greatest man-crushes in comics. Unfortunately, the Brad Curran/Chris Sims man-crush is not on the list… probably because it’s unrequited.
ITEM! Cameron Stewart to draw third Batman & Robin arc. Internet rejoices:
ITEM! Ng Suat Tong writes a super-interesting article over at the Comics Reporter on writer/artist collaboration, using examples from Y the Last Man to Daredevil: Born Again to Bendis and his cohorts to From Hell and Seaguy. Definitely worth a read.
BONG! Chris Butcher rings the death knell of the direct comics market. Again. Look at the vine! It withers!:
What happens when Direct Market retailers can’t trust Diamond to keep them stocked?
For us, it means going elsewhere with surprising frequency. It means that the Direct Market has started to fade, losing relevancy, immediacy, its massive buying power and its ability to be heard. Instead of comic book retailers asking Diamond to bargain with pubs on their behalf for the common good, it becomes up to those same retailers to bargain for themselves with the great big publishers of material.
And he’s right, and stuff, but you all knew that already.
ITEM! Scott Harris sits down with Kurt Busiek for seven questions. They’re good ones. Also, Busiek’s upcoming American Gothic series sounds very good:
AMERICAN GOTHIC starts off with a number of single issue stories — it’s a series about magic all around us, in the modern-day real world, and we’ll see a wide range of things from a vampire in Alcoholics Anonymous, a long-haul trucker driving the ghost of his late wife to her eternal reward, a night in the life of a tooth fairy, the exorcism of a murdered business, and more. After the opening batch of stories, we have a longer arc planned, about a young girl in a fishing village in Rhode Island that’s fallen on hard times, and what happens when the Norse god Thor takes up residence on a nearby island. And again, plenty more.
ITEM! Also at the Vault, they’re counting down the real Top 70 Marvel covers, opposed to the lopsided list Marvel itself put out. The first ten are here, and you can find more on the site’s frontpage.
DEPPEY VS. LEVITZ: So you probably heard DC honcho Paul Levitz is stepping down, and many are mourning this loss. But not the purveyor of Journalista!:
The damage that Paul Levitz did to comics over the years wasn’t by any means restricted to one company or format: If Marvel’s mid-1990s decision to buy Heroes World was the first shot in the Distributor Wars that ultimately crippled the Direct Market, DC’s exclusivity deal with Diamond Comics Distributors — the first such deal signed, and the one that kicked said war into high gear — was the second. Had that deal not been made, it’s entirely likely that Diamond might not be the de-facto monopoly that it is today, to say nothing of the many people who might still be in business had it not been for the catastrophic orgy of fear and greed that followed Marvel and DC’s collective stupidity.
And then he gets mean.
HAWKAAAA! The good Dr. K introduces Blackhawk Wingsdays, and it is spectacular:
One of the common problems with Blackhawk adventures, as we see in the above panel, is that one person, usually Blackhawk, gets in on the action, while the others stand around and provide play-by-play or blurt out their ethno-specific expressions, like “Ach du lieber!” or “Py yiminy!” or “Sacre bleu!” or “Dagnabbit!” or “Dios mio!” or “Bozhemoi!” or “Frak!” or “Shiny!” or “Airwolf!” or whatever.
NOT COMICS DEPT: Chuck Klosterman takes a look at this big ol’ compilation of music by some old band called the Beetles or something. It is cheeky and fun:
Like most people, I was initially confused by EMI’s decision to release remastered versions of all 13 albums by the Liverpool pop group Beatles, a 1960s band so obscure that their music is not even available on iTunes. The entire proposition seems like a boondoggle. I mean, who is interested in old music? And who would want to listen to anything so inconveniently delivered on massive four-inch metal discs with sharp, dangerous edges? The answer: no one.
STILL NOT COMICS DEPT: This week saw me become completely obsessed with the game Spelunky, downloadable for free. It’s the coolest Super Nintendo game that never existed, and hard as hell. Finally beat it after 461 tries! Hurray!