Funnybook Babylon

November 27, 2009

Linkblogging for Black Friday

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.

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

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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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September 25, 2008

FBBP #74 – Review: The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard

Filed under: Podcasts — Tags: , , — Joseph Mastantuono @ 10:01 am

Eddie Campbell and Dan Best’s new graphic novel from First Second is reviewed, alongside this week’s “Yes, This is Being Published” subject, DC Decisions #1.

John McCain isn’t running for president in the DCU, so it’s Leotard, not Decisions that makes Joe think of his grandpa and his heroic yarns. Barack Obama isn’t running in the DCU either, so Chris is left comparing the band of eternally hopeful dreamers in Leotard to the characters of Terry Gilliam.

May 6, 2008

FBB Ten Cent Plague Convo Pt. 3: Burnin’ Bright

Burn!

Pedro,

The accounts of the book burning were easily the most chilling aspect of the book. For me, it really undermined the moral authority claimed by comics critics of the time. Although it’s hard to ignore the legitimacy of some of the arguments, namely that comics of the time weren’t very good, were often made in bad and exploitative working conditions, I wonder why Dr. Wertham, Senator Estevauer and other critics paid so little attention to the actions of some of the people that adopted their cause. This was particularly the case with the extra-governmental wing of the anti-comics movement.

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