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MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING QUESTION OF THE WEEK: If you could have dinner with any comics creator, living or dead, who would it be, and, more importantly, what would you order?
ITEM! Congratulations to the internet's new favorite comics critic, Colin Smith, who is now writing a book about Mark Millar for Sequart. We can all curse his name later, and complain about how he won't return our calls now that he's hit the big time, but in the meantime, here's a neat piece on Morrison and Quitely and Tan's Batman & Robin, in which Mr. Smith exposes Batman and Commissioner Gordon for the filthy criminals and hypocrites they are! J. Jonah Jameson, take notes:
What I find myself feeling most uneasy about in "Mommy Made Of Nails" is how Mr Morrison has weighted the narrative so that the police grant this Batman their complete authority to torture Phosphorus Rex. It's as if it isn't enough for Mr Morrison to have the new Batman holding his victim's face an inch above the road, and then an inch above the passing cars. He also has to make the business of torture utterly necessary and morally sanctioned, and the key to this process is the rendering of Commissioner Gordon as a moral as well as an intellectual idiot.
I still think it's a good comic, though. I mean, it's got Batman fighting Conjoined Triplets.
RANDOM THOUGHT! I saw a couple comic book movies for the first time this week. The Losers was actually pretty good, better than the mixed reviews would have you believe-- heck, it's way, way better than The Expendables. And American Splendor is a brilliant flick, but everyone reading this probably knows that already. My favorite scene in the film is probably this one, which, at its heart, is the simplest scene of them all.
ITEM! Speaking of American Splendor, it finds its way onto surgin' Tom Spurgeon's list of 25 Emblematic 70s Comics, along with the Fourth World Saga by Jack Kirby, who would have celebrated his 93rd birthday yesterday.
ITEM! Speaking of Jack Kirby, Matt Seneca writes about a beautiful out-of-context Kirby panel, and extrapolates from there:
The conversation about whether or not Vince Coletta's inks served Kirby's pencils, and to what degree, is older than most of the people taking part in it. There's a medium's worth of thought about this one creator and his work, which ought to tell us something. Writ large: Kirby's art matters. Like it or not, the shapes and trails that bled out of his graphite are foundation stones of the comics medium, mortared in by the massive amount of work that's taken up direct from where he left off.
Seneca's also got a piece up on Brendan McCarthy's latest story for Marvel, in Age of Heroes, but I haven't read it yet (nor have I read the story). Both are probably good, though.
ITEM! The Hairy Green Eyeball leers at a 1973 publication called The Comic Book Guide for the Artist-Writer-Letterer. Cool stuff hidden within!
ITEM! Friend of CSBG Dean Trippe writes an open letter to the Maryland senator Nancy King, who is running on the anti-comic-book ticket:
Attacks on my industry have always come from those who haven’t picked up a comic, and the policies that have damaged our educational system always come from those who haven’t set foot in a classroom in decades. So let me recommend to you the anthology Reading with Pictures, part of a non-profit effort to offer students and teachers comics specifically suited to lesson plans on variety of subjects. Comics combine art and literature to create an incredible new art form. And in fact, telling stories in pictures predates the written word and is used in safety instruction labels precisely because of its ability to simply convey ideas and actions. Your offensive mailer is just another wrong-headed generalization, attacking a genre that gives children heroes that don’t kill (like Superman, seen in the image you used, likely without the rights to do so) and fight against intolerance (like the X-Men, also featured in your mailer, presumably without permission), as well as a medium that anyone, including children, can tell stories in with tools as simple as a pencil and paper.
Also, no one seemed to tell her that Maryland has a comic book reading initiative for schools.
ITEM! Gavok of the 4thletter! looks at those "Coming Up" pages from Johns/Jurgens/Morrison comics of the past few years to see what actually came up:
AXE COP MOMENT OF THE WEEK comes to us from Peoria, IL okay not really:
REMAKE/REMODEL this week features Weird Tales, the strange fiction magazine of which Cthulhu isn't just a board member, but also a customer! Lots of good ones this week-- click the link, damn you. As per usual, Raid71 does excellent work, as does Art Grafunkel:
Those are all the links I remembered to note down this week. What did you find?