Random Thoughts! (May 19, 2009)

Each week, it seems that one of these random thoughts spurs on heated debate while the rest go mostly ignored. If I knew which one it would be, I'd write a whole post on that and forget the rest, but I don't, so I won't. It's random thought time! Get excited!

Random Thought! In the battle of the first issues whose titles begin with "Un" last week, the best was The Unwritten #1 by Mike Carey and Peter Gross from Vertigo. $1.00, 40 pages, fantastic concept and execution? Consider me hooked. If you didn't check it out, what the fuck is wrong with you?

Random Thought! I usually enjoy hearing Mark Waid discuss comics more than I enjoy reading his comics. I really enjoy Warren Ellis's writings on comics and would have a very hard time choosing between them and his actual comics. Thankfully, I don't have to.

Random Thought! Final Crisis Aftermath: Escape #1 was a really strong comic that surprised me. Not least of all because it's the "Final Crisis Aftermath" book that Dan DiDio is most involved in. In my experience, comics that have heavy editorial involvement in conception are to be avoided with the avoidence increasing proportionately with the editor's importance within the company. But, Escape #1 is a weird, unnerving, trippy sort of book that doesn't belong at all in the DCU if you judge by the rest of the books they publish. It's a Grant Morrison wannabe book -- but a very good Grant Morrison wannabe book.

Random Thought! Reading .pdf previews on my new laptop and its larger screen is much better than my old laptop and it's smaller screen. Still not my preferred way to read comics, though.

Random Thought! I always thought Exiles should be turned into a title where the top creators could rotate and just go wild with the concept of alternate Marvel realities. I would buy that title.

Random Thought! At the end of his biweekly Q&A with Newsarama, Dan DiDio asked what recent event or story in comics surprised us. I'll run through a few things that have surprised me in comics recently. Final Crisis Aftermath: Escape #1 surprised me in that it got published -- and in how good it is. The current storyarc in Captain Britain and MI:13 has been nothing but surprises. The most recent arc in The Boys ended with a surprise. Young Liars is full of surprises on every page.

Random Thought! I will say that the cancellations of Young Liars and Captain Britain and MI:13 aren't surprises. They're damn shames.

Random Thought! Why is it that any time a book is cancelled, people who liked it use that as an excuse to trash everything they don't like? It's just tacky.

Random Thought! While I hate it when things I like get cancelled, there's a part of me now that appreciates it. I've seen far too many comics and TV shows keep going far beyond their time, resulting in an ever falling level of quality until its eventual end is more a mercy killing than anything else. I've found it's best to look at these things as chances to have small, fantastic works of art that you will love experiencing again and again in the future. Not really that much of a consolation, but you may as well take what you can get.

Random Thought! Okay, all of these thoughts aren't exactly 'random' per se...

Random Thought! I really like that Marvel is doing a "Young Guns" style push with writers called the Write Stuff. So far, three of the four writers involved have been announced: Jason Aaron, Jonathan Hickman, and Rick Remender. The fourth should be announced sometime today and they will all be working on a project together. As far as I'm concerned, this is a great idea and I like their choices so far. Since I'm a writer-oriented guy, it's really nice to see Marvel pushing some of their upcoming writing talents this way.

Random Thought! I'm currently reading the Rising Stars compendium and while it never really lives up to the hype that compared it to Watchmen, it's still pretty good. It's a shame that Straczynski was saddled with horribly ugly Top Cow house art for a huge chunk of the series. If he'd been working with a talented artist for the whole thing and it came out in a timely manner, it may actually hold some status with readers now. It may prove that delays and art changes and all of those fuck-ups that we tolerate in monthlies, because the real point is the final product, the eventual collection isn't always how it works out, and not forgetting that how you serialise your book (if you choose to serialise it) can have a lasting impact even after the book collection is out.

Until next week.

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