Start with generic opening text. Add pun, or, if allergic, ’80s pop culture reference. Sprinkle on some snark. Stir vigorously and serve over the jump.
FLASH FACT FLASHBACK: At GraphicNYC (one of the best comics blogs out there), Christopher Irving talks with Carmine Infantino in what the artist declares will be his last interview. It’s a fascinating piece that delves into Infantino’s side of the story– as an artist, editor, and publisher– from Black Canary to the birth of the Silver Age to Jack Kirby’s DC tenure and the DC Implosion, to his uncredited work on the Superman films:
“We gave superheroes up and tried romance, science fiction, and everything else, but nothing worked,” he recalls. “I went into the office one day and Julie said ‘We’re going to do superheroes again.’ I said ‘That’s nice.’ He said ‘You’re going to draw them!’ I created the costume for the Flash, and we went on from there.
“Three issues of [Showcase with] the Flash, and the numbers were so good that no one believed them. We thought that would have been the end of it, but it was just the beginning.”
RANDOM THOUGHT! (heh) Infantino talks about “haunting” editorial offices, portfolio under his arm, searching for his big break. And man, the stories he can tell– swordfights with Irwin Hasen! In the internet age, and the future to come, we’re gonna lose that mentality, that atmosphere. I know Sergio Aragones has a helluva lot of stories to tell about his “breaking into the biz” travails, as detailed in his Solo issue. But what’s it gonna be like years from now? When asked how they broke into the business, someone will say “Well, I was doing a webcomic, and I got a phone call.” That makes for a boring memoir.
CITIES ON THE EDGE OF FOREVER: A kindly intern sent me a link to the British Architecture Journal’s list of Top 10 Comic Book Cities. It’s a wonderful article that pulls its choices from all corners of the comics landscape– Batman, Tintin, Chris Ware, Judge Dredd, and more! Check it out.
TITLE TBD: There’s a fun little interview at the Newsarama Blog with your favorite and mine, Cameron Stewart, about his webcomic, Sin Titulo. Go. Read.
TRULY, THE END TIMES ARE NIGH! At least, that’s what I thought when I heard Marvel was bringing back holofoil covers for the new new Ultimate line. Wait, sorry, no– “foilogram,” according to the press release. But the best quote– by which I mean the worst– comes from VP David Gabriel:
This is Marvel doing the nineties right.
Yep. We’re doomed.
WEDNESDAY ON A SUNDAY: Of course, the big launch of the week was DC’s Wednesday Comics, and our favorite reviewers from across the land have chimed in with their thoughts. Jog, of course, is the best there is at what he does, and his review is well worth reading, as always:
It’s wistful, even a tiny bit melancholic, way down deep – it trades the old pamphlet format for the much older newspaper strip style, as if to relive the glory days of when comics were the strongest thing going, where like rainbow tints in the spray were the hues that splashed and poured from the cylinders of the New York World, like how life with like then, and then now, for now.
Our own Chad Nevett reviewed the book for the CBR mothership, and, in the process, wrote the following sentences:
The one flaw with this issue is the writing, none of which comes close to the art, mostly hampered by the single page that, in every case, acts as the first part of the story. Not many of the pages work as a whole on a pure story level, which is a shame since you would hope the writers would rise to the challenge of the format the same way that the artists have.
The ineffable Mike Sterling (He Who Cannot Be Effed) looks at it from a retailing perspective, and sees the series as a chance to maybe reach a wider audience, for once:
Anyway, the reason I laid all that out on you was to suggest that Wednesday Comics at least has the small potential of, if not being a “breakout comic,” at least being a bit more appealing to the average non-weekly-comic-shop-visiting person. Primarily it’s the packaging: most people are pretty familiar with the Sunday funnies format, which may make the content more attractive than the standard stigmatized comic book format.
NOT SO RANDOM THOUGHT! I’m kinda disappointed there isn’t a Spirit page in Wednesday Comics, for obvious reasons (though who would do it justice?), and also saddened there isn’t an Aquaman strip, because I like Aquaman. I also think there should be more standalone pages, or even a rotating feature. But I guess we can just wait for Wednesday Comics Deux for those!
FOLLOW-UP RANDOM THOUGHT THAT IS NOT RANDOM, BY DEFINITION! If I was writing a Wednesday Comics strip, which I am not and almost certainly never will be, I would totally pick the Atom. Or maybe Swing with Scooter. But with the Atom’s shrinking nature, a lot could be done with the giant page’s layout– having the Atom be “actual size” in regards to his surroundings, or using a lot of really small panels, etc. Of course, I’d want J.H. Williams III to draw it. Each page would be its own standalone story told in a different format and/or homage to classical strips, like Little Nemo in Slumberland, or even those Family Circus panels that trace Billy’s destructive path through the backyard… that kinda thing. Williams could draw each one in a different style. It’d be the business.
THE DAY CHAD NEVETT WENT MAD: Since I’ve stolen his Random Thought bits, I might as well link to his blog, right? Well, it appears the combination of Dark X-Men and No Hero has given Chad cosmic awareness. We are all substitute phalluses in the money machine:
Does Warren Ellis know something about my superhero-loving brain that I don’t? Because Josh is me and I’m Josh, so I secretly want my penis to fall off and then replace it with a superhero’s spine? Of course I do, because I just realised that superheroes are just about money.
THE A-Z OF AWESOMENESS from Neill Cameron has nearly finished, with only Z to go. But sometimes Y is all you need:
That’s all for this week!
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