Welcome to another round of FBB linkblogging, brought to you by your friendly Jamaal. All opinions expressed below are those of the author, and do not reflect the official position of the FBB mob.
(1) True Stories of the Core Marvel Universe , in which Chris Sims points out that the Marvel Universe is wacky! I really like most of Sims’ work, but I don’t see the big deal here. I like the Frankenstein version of the Punisher too, but I think it’s okay if other people don’t. There’s nothing wrong with the fact that a segment of the superhero comics reading audience is obsessed with continuity. I’m not in that crowd, but I don’t begrudge people their preferences.
(2) A great interview with Farel Darlymple conducted by Nick Gazin of Vice Magazine (hat tip to the Beat). Darlymple is a brilliant artist who should definitely get more attention. His new project (“The Wrenchies”) seems pretty intriguing.
(3) A jaw-droppingly great meditation on J.H. Williams III by Charles Hatfield of the Thought Balloonists. You should bookmark their blog.
(4) Two potentially interesting corporate comics stories:
(a) Rich Johnston reports that Marvel is initiating a ‘special character policy’ to prevent intellectual property ownership disputes with creators.
(b) ICv2 notes that some Marvel execs will personally profit from the merger deal when it finally goes through, to the tune of millions of dollars in cash and stock. Tom Spurgeon writes what I think – ‘[t]he system works, sure, but for whom?’
I’d love to see someone explore both of these stories in more detail, especially the first one, which leaves a ton of unanswered questions: What’s are the terms of these Special Character Agreement contract? Does Marvel discourage/encourage creators to consult with attorneys prior to signing? Are any of these terms negotiable?
(5) Read this great interview with Eddie Campbell, conducted by The Rumpus. As always, Campbell’s views on publishing, comics, and art are fascinating to read.
(6) The Onion A/V Club brings you a list of the best comics of the aughts. This article has been poked at a bit for having some gaping holes, but to be fair, these kinds of lists always have some kind of glaring omission. They are always deeply personal, and reflect the evolution of ones’ tastes, expectations, and preferences over a decade. Some of the books that I’d put on my personal list, like Planetary, Authority, or the New Frontier, reflect a period in which I was excited that mainstream superhero comics could tell a truly intelligent story. Others, like Box Office Poison, or Bob Fingerman’s work, represent a time when I was still surprised to read good middlebrow comics. If those comics were published this week, would they still hold a cherished place in my heart? Probably not. But I’d still put them on the list.
With all that said, Heidi MacDonald, Sean Collins and David Pepose are totally correct about the absence of manga. That’s a pretty glaring omission. I’m embarrased to admit that I couldn’t put manga on my list either. Why? Because I don’t read manga, which is the one part of the comics universe that I know almost nothing about. I’ve heard Pluto is brilliant, and plan to start picking up volumes over the winter holiday. Any other suggestions?
Note: I do not like anything that’s even remotely cute.