Funnybook Babylon

October 29, 2008

FBBP #77 – A Spidery Meta-Argument About a Single Panel

Filed under: Podcasts — Tags: , , , , — Joseph Mastantuono @ 3:40 pm

Joe has returned from Korea to talk to Chris, Jamaal, and Pedro about Secret Invasion, Final Crisis, and the rumors that have been floating around the blogoverse. It’s followed it up with what was supposed to be a short discussion of Amazing Spider-Man #574, but became a long drawn out argument. Listeners Beware. Shockingly, Pedro comes in as the voice of reason. It is a troubling harbinger of the apocalypse.

As a side note: The new editors page is up with easier ways to contact us.

October 28, 2008

Pull List Analysis for October 29, 2008

Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #3 by Brian Michael Bendis & David Lafuente (Marvel Comics): There comes a time in every young superhero’s life when someone decides to do an issue about their sex life. These “very special” issues have come with a range of tasteful comments from the creators:

static25

I understand that teenage sexuality is a difficult subject for a lot of people. And, as is the custom, I won’t even mention black sexuality. But I don’t think that the people who read Static are afraid to explore storylines ground in the issues of contemporary life.

Dwayne McDuffie on the publication of Static #25

petenkitty

I called Bob Harras and said, “Excalibur #90, Kitty Pryde gets fucked.” He went deadly silent, then he said, “Just try and keep it tasteful.”

Warren Ellis on the publication of Excalibur #90

eab1 1 sbl

Where will USM Annual #3 fall along the axis? Who knows, though it has the “added bonus” of being part of the MARCH ON ULTIMATUM, though I’m still not entirely sure what that means besides having a really ugly banner along the top.

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October 26, 2008

Managing the Event: Then and Now

Here in the Year of Superhero Event Comics, we’ve by this point become pretty accustomed to the yearly cycle. Every year there’s a point where all the books in a shared universe intersect and stake a common ground, then separate again for a while, then come together the next year. Events have stopped merely being important simply for the sake of providing a sales tentpole; the event comic has become the glue that holds a shared universe together. Every year, something big happens that affects everybody, and this provides a framework whereby the different stories can coalesce and characters can touch base while also providing most writers and books the ability to simply continue with their own stories if they so desire.

We’re seeing two very structurally different events right now – Final Crisis takes place in a time period entirely separate from the rest of DC’s line (with the exception of Green Lantern). Reading Batman or Superman or Checkmate, you’d have absolutely no idea that there’s a Crisis on if not for the house ads. While every book staking a common ground has been hinted as occurring after this event, for the most part, it’s entirely self-contained, not unlike Morrison’s previous Seven Soldiers. By virtue of this, its structure is small – a main series, two ancillary series that so far seem more like they’re pushing their respective writer’s ongoing DC Universe plots than really interacting with Morrison’s story, and a handful of oneshots (including the cleft-in-two Superman Beyond). And an unofficial #35.5 of Green Lantern, and a three-issue build-up to Flash: Rebirth (not to knock Rogues’ Revenge, it was awesome, and it was greatly informed by Final Crisis, but it didn’t in any way seem to really inform the main narrative itself). This tight and controlled creative approach has led to many people calling it the “arthouse” take on an event; while it certainly matches previous Crises in scale, it’s paced like a horror movie and I really can’t imagine any logical way ongoing books could have been tied into this without getting, well, completely fucked up.
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October 24, 2008

Free Commasplice Day -or- Salvation Run-On Sentence

Filed under: Blurbs — Tags: , — Chris Eckert @ 11:37 pm

This week saw the release of DC Universe Halloween Special 2008. It wasn’t a very good comic, but the first page deserves some special attention. The framing sequence (starting on the page reproduced below) was written by DC Executive Editor Dan Didio, who also co-edited DCUHS08 alongside Eddie Berganza. Check it out:

poor-dibnys

Wow. So let’s look at this:

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Minx Post Mortem: New York Four

Filed under: Blurbs,Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , — Jamaal Thomas @ 3:12 pm

You might be fooled if you come from out of town.
Snoop Dogg

9578_400x600Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly
New York Four
Minx

New Yorkers born in the outer boroughs live in a city unfamiliar to newcomers (in my mind, newcomers are people who’ve lived here for less than thirty years) and most native Manhattanites. To some, it’s a lost dystopia, a place where risk and uncertainty have been replaced by bland commercialism. To others, it’s not a unified city at all, but a loose collection of insular neighborhood tribes. You’ll hear a lot of different visions of New York from natives, but the one you’re least likely to hear from them is the one presented by Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly in their contribution to the defunct Minx line, The New York Four.

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October 23, 2008

Jamilti and Other Stories

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , , , , — Pedro Tejeda @ 6:25 pm

Jamilti and Other Stories

Rutu Modan
Jamilti and Other Stories
Drawn and Quarterly

I walked away from Exit Wounds enjoying Modan’s dialogue, her coloring, and the expressiveness of her faces but feeling mixed about the overall story. Maybe I was too attached to her short form slice of life style from her New York Times work. These small stories were overflowing with aspects and ideas of family which felt sparse in the longer length of Exit Wounds.

It was my attachment to that blog work that made me pick up her current anthology from Drawn and Quarterly, Jamilti and Other Stories. Jamilti contains several of Modan’s short story work between ’98 to ’07, many occurring in modern Israel and based around families. Several use family photographs as ways to advance the plot.

I have to say even though nearly every one of the stories have some negative aspects to them, Modan’s other strengths were enough to make me enjoy each of them. One particular shortcoming in Modan’s earlier work is how ugly it can be. I love Modan’s current art style. Her backgrounds are quite strong and she is able to convey so many different emotions with simple line work. Her characters’ body shapes are quite fantastic, each character is drawn in a unique way that is more than age and sex appropriate but just natural. It makes it easier to realize them as actualized people instead of characters in a story.
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October 22, 2008

Final Crisis #4 – “Darkseid Says”

Quick Comments before the rundown:

1. Grant Morrison absolutely needs to take over Green Arrow/Black Canary, as all of his scenes with both of these characters throughout this series have been fantastic, especially any time Ollie even approaches a rant.

2. Make sure, if you got it, to read Submit before, not after, this issue. It’s a great book (albeit very straightforward and not especially begging to be annotated), and I know my experience (at least) was sort of lessened by reading #4 first.

With that out of the way, let’s get into the fourth issue of Final Crisis. Which is shockingly different from the original solicitation, now that I look at it, and I am really sad they did not actually go with the title “How to Murder the Earth,” because that rules.
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Pull List Analysis for October 22, 2008

It’s a big week for known quantities at Marvel and DC, as their respective Summer Blockbusters stretch into sweaterweather.

finalcrisis4

After last week’s Rogues’ Revenge and Legion of Three Worlds tie-ins, the fourth issue of the core Final Crisis title by Grant Morrison and JG Jones (and Carlo Pacheco, and Doug Mahnke… what up’s, Jonesy?) drops, its “gap month” extended to ten weeks. We’re also getting Submit, a one-shot by Grant Morrison and Matthew Clark. David will be stepping up with annotations later today.

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October 20, 2008

Re-Coloring Moebius

Filed under: Blurbs,Reviews — Tags: , , , , , — Joseph Mastantuono @ 2:58 pm

I saw this over at The Beat and was pretty disappointed. Les Humanoïdes Associeés have re-released all of Moebius & Jodorowski’s L’Incal with a completely new coloring style. Unfortunately, the new style removes much of what made Moebius’s line-work special.

Incal orginalIncal recolor
Colors by Yves Chaland                                        Colors by Valerie Beltran

Make sure you click on the images to see the large versions, at a glance thumbnails don’t tell the whole story.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with Valerie Beltran’s digital color shading style used in these reprints; it’s a style that’s been used to good effect in plenty of books. The problem is that her colors obscure much of Moebius’s line work.

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October 17, 2008

FBBP #76 – Wishes & Dreams

Filed under: Podcasts — Tags: , , , , , , — Chris Eckert @ 1:06 am

The gang plays God-Emperor a la Spurgeon, discusses a rumored Diamond buyout by DC, and heaps praise on Gilbert Hernandez’s Sloth.

Plus, a public service announcement: give Young Liars another chance. Turns out, they were all really big liars!

October 15, 2008

FBBP Rebroadcast – Sentences Review

Filed under: Blurbs — Tags: , , , , , , — Funnybook Babylon @ 1:28 pm

This week Vertigo releases two of its original graphic novels in softcover. This week’s podcast discusses Sloth by Gilbert Hernandez, and will be up later today. We reviewed the other book, Sentences by Percy Carey and Ronald Wimberly, on another podcast last November. If you haven’t already purchased it, I highly recommended doing so this week. If you are still on the fence about doing so, here is the original podcast review to hopefully change your mind. Enjoy.


This Book is hot

Pedro, Chris and Jamaal engage in a lengthy discussion about Sentences, the critically acclaimed ‘graphic novel’* written by Percy Carey, a/k/a M.F. Grimm with art by Ronald Wimberly. As a special bonus, this podcast also offers a FBB patented off-topic conversation about unverifiable hip-hop history from the mid ’90’s. We are Joeless again this week, for reasons that are classified. We hope you enjoy.

*Or a graphic memoir, if you prefer.

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October 14, 2008

Pull List Analysis for October 15, 2008

Going to try to skip past the obvious “big books” this week — if you’re following Astonishing X-Men, Final Crisis tie-ins or Amazing Spider-Man I bet you’ll notice the big stacks of them at your local shop tomorrow. Here are some things that might not be so well-stocked:

Are you excited for Halloween? Publishers sure are! Marvel’s gearing up for round eighty-two of ZOMBIE COVER VARIANTS, and DC is putting out the ridiculously titled Superman & Batman vs. Werewolves & Vampires mini-series, and I’m going to be uncharitable and assume the title is the first and last thing you need to read about that book. Here are two slightly more palatable haunts:

monster-hulkHulk Monster-Size Special by Jeff Parker & Gabriel Hardman (Marvel Comics): Yes, this is Superhero Property vs. Universal Monster Property, just like S/BvW/V. But HMSS is a standalone one-shot rather than a six issue mini-series, which gives me hope for a punchy fun story light on exposition and high on goofy slugfests. It also helps that it’s written by Jeff Parker, who has shown a knack for big goofy fun in various Marvel Adventures books. Hopefully everyone will overlook the lack of Red Hulk, who according to Jeph Loeb is “the most popular character since Wolverine”!

Dear Dracula by Joshua Williamson and Vinny Navarrete (Image Comics): Image/Shadowline is rolling out a series of all-ages/children’s graphic novels, starting with Dear Dracula. Everything I know about the book and its creators can be found alongside a preview of the book at Newsarama. Looks cute, and the timing of the release is right.

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October 10, 2008

New Mighty Avengers Team Revealed: Spoiler Warning!

Filed under: Blurbs — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Uzumeri @ 6:31 pm

Spoilers below the jump! Joe Q revealed the team!
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October 9, 2008

FBBP #75 – O Captain! My Captain!

Filed under: Podcasts — Tags: , , — Joseph Mastantuono @ 10:23 am

A lively discussion of Captain America is followed by an impromptu rambling eulogy for DC’s Minx line of graphic novels. None of us (and I’m guessing none of you) are the target young female audience for these books, but that doesn’t stop us from devolving into a McLaughlin Group style roundtable on how Minx succeeded and failed.

October 2, 2008

Batman #680 – “Batman R.I.P. Part 5: The Thin White Duke of Death”

Batman #680

Batman #680

I dunno what kind of overview to give here other than “holy shit, this issue was incredible.”

So holy shit, this issue was incredible. Annotations below, and Tim Callahan‘s got his take up on his site as well. (more…)

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