Funnybook Babylon

August 28, 2009

Liveblogging Toronto Fan Expo 2009!

Filed under: Events — Tags: , , — David Uzumeri @ 1:16 pm

The title speaks for itself. I’m here, and I’m going to be trying my hand at Newsrama/CBR-style liveblogging of all of the Big Two’s panels I can make it to. Wish me luck!


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July 23, 2009

Fanboy, Twihard, Otaku: Obsession is Never Good

Filed under: Articles — Tags: , , — David Uzumeri @ 1:43 pm
Camp Twilight (from movieset.com)

Camp Twilight (from movieset.com)

I just read an editorial by Sarah Jaffe of Blog@Newsarama that largely centered around the negative reaction we’re seeing to the Twilight fans practically storming San Diego as we speak. I don’t disagree that a lot of the negative reaction to their presence this year is instigated by either overt or covert sexism, nor do I disagree that, say, G.I. Joe fans should probably not be throwing stones about literary merit in their glass house. There’s certainly a segment of the commenting population that’s pissed off that girls are invading their boys’ club. I don’t deny that.
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January 6, 2009

This Is Not A Review

Filed under: Blurbs — Tags: , , , , , — Jamaal Thomas @ 11:31 am

Why? Because I’m far from qualified to review anything this good. I almost want to hire Kakutani or Hitchens for this one. One of the things that I tend to forget when innundated by the flood of mediocre or terrible comics that will always have a disproportionately large place in our discussion is that we (as comics fans) are blessed with access to a wider array of amazing work than ever before. In earlier eras, ‘mainstream’ creators may have had more latitude to be formally innovative, or introduce themes and concepts that were unfamiliar to most comics readers of the time. Nowadays, the comics industry has become far more professional, and this kind of experimentation is far less common, especially in superhero books. There’s a romance that’s just not there anymore. But at the same time, I also remember an era when most books published by any non-Marvel or DC company were almost completely unavailable to the average reader. All of this is to say that an era that produces Berlin: City of Stone can’t be all bad.
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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 22, 2008

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 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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September 30, 2008

Pull List Analysis for October 1, 2008

I figured we might try doing these again. Here are some potentially interesting books hitting the shelves tomorrow!

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August 19, 2008

FBBP’s solicitations for episode #67

Filed under: Blurbs — Tags: , , , — Joseph Mastantuono @ 12:53 pm

This is a bit when the mics were on during the pre-show rundown. Enjoy. The full show should be up later today. Contact your LCS that you want FBBP! Limited Run!

July 9, 2008

The Morrison Batman Notes Part 3 – From Here We Go Sublime

Filed under: Annotations — Tags: , , , , — David Uzumeri @ 12:48 pm

Part one

Part two

Part three is HERE:

Batman #676

Batman #676

Batman #676 – “Batman R.I.P. Part 1: Midnight in the House of Hurt”

(art: Tony Daniel, Sandu Florea & Guy Major)

Page 1: We shoot forward in time for a page. The background, with red skies and lightning, fairly definitely dates this page as being during or around Final Crisis. Batman and Robin’s identities are vague; Robin looks smaller, like Damian, and seems to have a white cape, while Batman is completely ambiguous (but, given Final Crisis itself, is likely Bruce).

Page 3: Hurt’s description of their coverup for Le Bossu’s murder sets a clear precedent for the Black Glove’s methodology, falsifying documents and destroying reputations. It’s certainly in line with the framing of Mangrove Pierce for Mayhew’s murder of his fifth wife, and the way they destroy Bruce Wayne.

Pages 4-5: We meet the rest of the Club of Villains – Charlie Caligula (Legionary), King Kraken (Wingman), El Sombrero (the real one this time – El Gaucho), Pierrot Lunaire (Musketeer), Scorpiana (El Gaucho) and Springheeled Jack (the Knight). Dark Ranger appears to be unrepresented by a nemesis in the group.

Pages 8-9: Finally we see the new Batmobile, under construction since #655. It’s shockingly functional.

Page 11: The hobo with the shopping cart is Honor Jackson, who plays a very important role in #678. The money Bruce gives him is used to buy heroin, which he overdoses on. The Green Vulture is yet to reappear, but may; he could simply be a representative of what Alfred calls on the next page “the American Idol era of equal opportunity supercrime.”

Page 13: “Miss St. Cloud” was Bruce’s love interest from the Englehart/Rogers Detective run; much like Jezebel, she was a smart lady who figured out who Bruce was, but ended up driven away. “Miss Bordeaux” is Sasha Bordeaux from Greg Rucka’s Detective Comics run, who similarly found out but got burned (by taking a murder rap) and ended up becoming the Black Queen of Checkmate after playing a huge role in 2005’s OMAC Project.

Page 14: Here, Alfred’s manner of speech becomes much more learned and curious – not subservient, but especially the “His is a mind like NO OTHER” speech seems to evoke Hurt’s scientific study of Batman.

Page 15: Note, also, how he practically goads Tim on to feeling insecure about Damian, sowing discord in the ranks of Batman’s trusted.

Page 17: Establishes the Black Glove as a group of “incredibly rich and mysterious people”, in line with Mayhew’s comment about how the wealthy are beyond law and morality.

Page 18: Arkham Asylum.

Page 19: This is all a creepy fantasy in Joker’s head.

Pages 20-21: Joker is utterly insane, surprise surprise. It’s shown this is his fantasy lookin gat a Rorschach blot held by an in-disguise Le Bossu, who’s apparently infiltrated Arkham (so this must take place a while after the opening scene ‘six months ago’ with Simon Hurt) and is inviting the Joker to work in the Glove’s plans.

Page 22: The blood on the Joker is a coloring error, according to Morrison; this is the real world, and the Joker hasn’t actually killed anybody. He’s still stuck in Arkham. Also notice his obsession with flowers, his instruments of death in #663.
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June 12, 2008

Pull List Analysis & Reviews for June 11, 2008

Filed under: Pull List Analysis,Reviews — Tags: , , — Chris Eckert @ 11:00 pm

Hey, lots of things happened (Memorial Day, Travel for a Wedding, MOCCA) that conspired against a Pull List last week. I trust everyone got to the store okay anyway. This week I am late enough that I actually got to the store before posting this, so reviews will be intermixed! A friendly reminder to Those That Like Them, these should be on the shelves:

  • 100 Bullets #92 by Brian Azzarello & Eduardo Risso
  • Booster Gold #10 by Geoff Johns, Jeff Katz & Dan Jurgens
  • Local #12 by Brian Wood & Ryan Kelly
  • Tiny Titans #5 by Balthazar & Franco
  • Young Liars #4 by David Lapham

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June 11, 2008

Salvation Run and Gotham Underground: Letters from the Edge of Failure

Today saw the end of the DCU-villains-are-mysteriously missing plot line that has been running since around the quarter mark of Countdown. Both of these stories were promised as major status quo modifications for the cadre of villains that DC has, of late, become increasingly enamored with. Both of these stories were, supposedly, born out of the planning sessions that led to the lead-up that led to Final Crisis, and the creative process behind these books must have been as circuitous as this sentence.

Salvation Run is like some sort of paragon of editorial mandate, the sum total of all unnecessary top-down plotting that, invariably, falls flat on its ass in the end. This is the end, and damn, has it fallen flat. Looking at Salvation Run as a project on its own merits, it started out as a decade-old Elseworlds pitch proposed by fantasy writer and geek paragon George R.R. Martin. His original plan was a long-term look at a society founded by the DCU’s villains on a sort of cosmic Australia. This pitch sat in DC’s “maybe we’ll use this shit sometime” files until it was inexplicably dragged out as part of the lead-up to Final Crisis. Of course, there’s one major problem with adapting the premise for this purpose: If it takes place before Final, and it’s in continuity, the villains sort of have to get back at some point. And if the villains get back, then they can’t do any of the long-term sociological view. And if they can’t do that, then what the fuck is the point of the book?
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March 5, 2008

White Tiger

Filed under: Blurbs,Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , — Pedro Tejeda @ 8:41 pm

Don’t let the art trick you. This book is no good.
Tamora Pierce, Timothy Liebe, Phil Briones, Al Rio
White Tiger: A Hero’s Compulsion
Marvel Comics

White Tiger isn’t a little bad, or a book that was marred with a few missteps. It is an outright handbook on how not to write a superhero comic. It seems to relish in a obscene number of cameos that will confuse new readers as to who these characters are and confound old readers who wonder why these guest stars are appearing so out character. It switches between a hyper compression and decompression, never finding a comfortable pace to tell its story. The first 3 issues are semi packed with story, but the next two issues meander into page wasting cameos that force way too much story in the last issue. I won’t even get how offensive the resolution to the story is. The story takes everything unique and special about the character and her nemesis from the Daredevil arc that introduced them and replaces them with cliches and stereotypes. I feel that Pierce and Lieber thought since they were writing a comic, they wrote what in their minds they imagine comics are supposed to be like, full of hokey dialogue, awful and nearly racist characterization and bad plots. I can’t fathom how a book that misses the quality increase in the superhero medium over the last 10 years could spin out of the definitive series of the era. This book is only worth picking up in singles out of the dollar bin for anyone who loves train wrecks or for any writer entering comics from another media. To the latter, if you find this story to be competently written, go back to writing CSI and leave comics alone.

This didn’t even happen the way it did in the other book, and that’s one of the least awful things in the book.

Preview available here.

March 23, 2007

Funnybooks your young niece or nephew would love!

Filed under: Articles — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Gabe Mariani @ 8:30 am

I’ve seen many recommendation lists that suggest a number of series (or original graphic novels) to loan to a friend that might get him interested in comics. They usually contain titles as varied as Watchmen by Alan Moore, Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan, and Fell by Warren Ellis. These are good introductions to the medium, but they don’t all appeal to the same type of reader. That’s where Funnybooks ___________ would love! comes in. This week: Funnybooks your young niece or nephew would love!

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