NO USE CRYING OVER SPILLED BEANS DEPT: Everybody else linked to it already, but I write these ahead of time, dangit. The Ain't It Cool News crew interviews Mark Waid, and it's a fascinating and candid piece that may or may not take a few torches to a few bridges. Marvelous first-person retrospective of the man's career, yes, but it's stuff like this that gets passed around the internet water cooler:
On CrossGen: [Mark Alessi] would, and I'm not joking, make (admittedly spineless) grown men stand in the corner when they displeased him. I'm sure some of them still wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night hollering "Sir, yes, Sir!" His idea of creative guidance was to; quite literally, scream until he was red in the face that there wasn't enough detail on the page and that he wanted to see every single blade of grass, Goddamnit! ... Despite his inappropriate behavior, which was deservedly notorious, there were some damn good Crossgen books put out--but I swear to you, none of them were issued by Crossgen so much as escaped FROM Crossgen.
On the "Getting fired and then un-fired from Fantastic Four" debacle: Bill [Jemas] had a rep by that time among the fans for making bonehead plays, but this seemed to them to be the proverbial straw, and it melted the internet. Almost literally. Every major comics newssite crashed. CRASHED. As in, couldn't handle the traffic of the outraged. Newsarama was down for nearly 48 hours. It was incredible. And when these sites did limp back to life, the outpouring...I felt like Tom Sawyer at his own funeral.
On 52: The biggest challenge was actually, wisely, kept from us by Steve. EIC Dan Didio, who first championed the concept, hated what we were doing. H-A-T-E-D 52. Would storm up and down the halls telling everyone how much he hated it.
On being EIC of Boom!: It's about teaching craft. It's about being able to explain to newcomers what's unique about the medium and how best to use its strengths and how to avoid its weaknesses, because I don't care how big your Hollywood budget is, there are still things that comics can do that no other medium will be able to do...
Etc. Lots of great stuff-- go read it.
FINGER-LICKIN' GOOD! Blackest Night is going to have fetishized necrophiliac cannibalism? Well, count me in!
BUSINESS ACUMEN! Sean Kleefeld discusses the marketing strategies or lack thereof of the newspaper and fast food industries and compares 'em to comics:
These folks are putting together comics and graphic novels under the same operating strategies as were being used 50 years ago. The specifics of production have changed (digital coloring, electronic file transfers, etc.) but the basic mindset is the same: to put together a series of comic pages stapled together for a large audience. But that is NOT what they are selling.
NOTHIN'S GONNA EVER KEEP YOU DOWN! Tom Spurgeon lists the ten best long-running comics series of all time. And, you know, even though I bet none of these would be on the list I'd make, he's probably right. Trust in the Spurge, for he trusts in you.
JUMPIN' JIMINY! Here's a preview of an upcoming graphic novel that only a madman could have come up with-- Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer! Brilliant. Wish I'd thought of it.
PURTY! Paul Pope's Adam Strange is reason enough to buy Wednesday Comics, no?
REMAKE/REMODEL...: Over at Whitechapel this week, it's Detective Eye. Here's Felipe Sobreiro's version:
...AND REVAMP: New Project: Rooftop contest! Revamp Wolverine and win fabulous prizes.
VA-VA-VOOM! David Lapham chats with the Mindless Ones about his brilliant, doomed Young Liars series as well as what's on the horizon.
NOT A LINK DEPT: Having just seen Frank Miller's Will Eisner's The Spirit on DVD, I was planning on posting some kind of review about it-- but this movie defies any attempt to review it. It's the bastard child of Sin City and Tex Avery with the trappings of Eisner's most popular work. It is absolutely, mind-blowingly terrible, but not in the so-bad-it's-good way, rather in the so-bad-I-want-to-run-screaming way. Avoid! Avoid at all costs! This movie would kill a lesser man.
That's all for this week, kids. This column may not appear next Sunday; this week looks like it'll be busy and internet-free for moi. Catch you later.