Not too much going on around the comics blogosphere this week, so let's take a tour through some lovely webcomics!
DEATH OF COMICS DEPT: Brian Hibbs reads his personal "worst comic ever," one so vile it made him say this:
This comic was gross. Everyone involved in its production, especially the editor, Brian Cunningham, and publishers Dan Didio and Jim Lee should be deeply ashamed of what they’ve done here. It actually has me sitting here, stunned, thinking “Wait, why am I in this business again?”
What is it? Click the link to find out!
ITEM! Also at the Savage Critics: New Abhay! Okay, I haven't read it yet, it just went up as I was finishing this post, but hey, Abhay is always good reading. Here's a random sample:
I didn’t really have a very interesting reaction to it, though, other than it really made me feel for Alan Moore. He must think books like this are his “legacy”… They’re not but he probably feels that way– I think I would feel that way for him. I stopped halfway through this book, and just thought, “that poor man.” People get angry when Alan Moore complains about the state of comics– “But: has he ever heard of Hellen Jo?!?” But put yourself in his place– how much would you like comics if you felt responsible for things like this? The shame would be overwhelming.
That's right, he's discussing the same Awful Mystery Comic from the above article.
WEALTH AND FAME, HE'S IGNORED, AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IS HIS REWARD: Over at io9, Marc Bernardin declares the next person to play Spider-Man on film shouldn't be yet another white guy:
In no way is Peter Parker defined by his whiteness in the same way that too many black characters are defined by their blackness. He's defined by the people he cares for, by his career, by his identity as a New Yorker (incidentally, one of the most diverse cities in the world) — as too many good people died to prove, a man is defined by his choices, not by the color of his skin.
RANDOM THOUGHT! That gross of comics I bought last week? Still working my way through them. The All New Atom was a solid little series, though not spectacular, but Ryan Choi has infinitely more personality than Ray Palmer. The Incredible Hercules is a book I've been meaning to catch up on; now that I've read the Secret Invasion arc, this is a necessity. It's everything I want out of adventure comics. I also nabbed a few more Loebs and Waid Flash issues. Man, Wally's my Flash. I don't know who this Barry guy is, but he can't hold a candle to Wally West.
ITEM! Webcomics collective Spacedock 7 has just launched, bringing together such fine, gorgeous strips as Escape from Planet Nowhere and Cleopatra in Space, among others. Check 'em out:
OBLIGATORY CHRIS SIMS DEPT: This week, Sims have given us the varied thesis statements and professor's remarks for a variety of superhero term papers. Here's my favorite, from class dunderhead Hal Jordan:
ITEM! So, DC is doing a series of one-shots based on their old war comics, and Darwyn Cooke is among the creators. Sometimes, they comics just for me-- or do they? Trademark renewal or blogger fan service? U-Decide! (Is it too much to hope for some G.I. Robot action?)
Click for gihugism.
AXE COP MOMENT OF THE WEEK: Could it be anything less than the Baby Man dance?
Axe Cop has the raddest band ever.
ITEM! Kate Beaton draws some pirates. What more dost thou need?
ITEM! Have I linked to Let's Be Friends Again before? Because it's a good strip, basically Penny Arcade by way of the comics industry. Here's a classic from a couple weeks ago:
ITEM! It's also high time I linked to the eerie brilliance of Dan White's new Insomnia strip, found at the Mindless Ones blog:
Click the link for the full experience.
REMAKE/REMODEL: The Ellis challenge of the week is to create the cover of the next issue of New Worlds, the currently defunct but previously premiere science fiction magazine. Some great ones this week, courtesy of Fred Greiner, Raid71, and robb. Yeah, I dig minimalist astronauts, okay?
DOCTOR WHO DEPT: "The Hungry Earth"/"Cold Blood" Written by Chris Chibnall
Right, then. So they brought back the Silurians for this two-parter, on the strength of the idea alone, if not the previous execution. However, one could argue that the execution wasn't very strong on this particular tale, either, and owed a great deal to the original Pertwee story that introduced our reptilian neighbors downstairs, to such a degree that you could play a drinking game to it, throwing back a shot every time there was a riff on an old Third Doctor story. It's basically a remake of the seven-parter from 1970, with most of the dead weight sheared away. And yet, it still drags, with a first part that takes a good long while to get going, and a second part that never really gains any momentum. This doesn't feel like Doctor Who, it feels like Star Trek: The Next Generation, with folks sitting around tables and being all diplomatic at one another.
The Silurians-- or Eocenes, or Homo Reptilia, if you go by what the writers want to call them, despite that not making a damn bit of sense (they hate apes/men/humans; reptil-sapiens would be more correct, and sounds a lot cooler)-- have as much a right to the Earth as we do. They were here first, after all, but took a nap underground for thousands of years because they thought the moon was going to crash into them. Meanwhile, the apes evolved, into people. And people are dicks. This is the moral of the story, which clearly wants to set up an Israel/Palestine vibe to the proceedings. What we get, however, is a story that's missing something. At times, the story very much resembles a serial from the classic era, with a hefty supporting cast, each member of which has his or her own agenda, as well as scenes of folks getting captured and imprisoned and a lot of walking in circles and talking at one another, etc.-- but those are superficial resemblances. The plot never really achieves the density of those stories from bygone eras. It feels as if all the wrong scenes have been deleted, and all the iffy ones left in. A second pass at the script may have helped, or a few more takes in some places. The various bits of plot never congeal into something that entirely makes sense, the emotional throughline doesn't really line all the way through (leading to a Really Big Scene that feels botched), and a bit of season plot-arc appears shoved in, rather than daintily placed. Basically, what I'm saying is, the second two-parter of the year is supposed to be the awesome one, and they definitely appear to have flip-flopped that this year by running the awesome one first.
Matt Smith is still great, though. I completely buy him as the Doctor. They've done an excellent job at casting the lead since the show revived in 2005.
Next week: There might not be a column. By which I mean, I'll be a six hour drive away, in Cleveland, unless plans fall through, and might not have the time to prep a Brunch. We'll see, I suppose.