Funnybook Babylon

May 10, 2012

With Two Left Feet, It’s Hard To Walk The Straight Path

Filed under: Articles,Blurbs — Tags: , , , , , — Jamaal Thomas @ 3:00 pm

I. Everybody Talking About Changing the World, the World Ain’t Never Gonna Change

In the summer of 2011, I came up with a plan. I would collaborate with Chris Eckert on a post previewing DC’s relaunch of its line of superhero comics, and write a series of brief posts in subsequent months that would discuss the creative successes and failures of the initiative. I was cautiously optimistic about the initiative in the first few months, despite some early disappointments. Even a month ago, I still cared about five or six of these books. I was going to write a post on Brian Azzarello, Cliff Chiang and Tony Akins’ Wonder Woman and Francis Manapul’s Flash and follow that up with a post on the two stand-out miniseries of the post-relaunch period at DC – Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and Jamal Igle’s the Ray and James Robinson’s Shade.

I’m not sure that I can do that anymore without acknowledging my growing concerns about reading books from either publisher. I don’t think I can pretend that controversies about DC’s attitude towards the creators who work on the books it publishes don’t have an impact on whether I will buy (or can recommend) their books.

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February 14, 2009

FBB Valentine’s Day Weekend: 25 Things Pedro Loves about Comics

On the worst day of the year for single people and absent-minded married men, Team FBB stood back and thought of the things that we love about comics. We capped it at 25 so that this series of articles would be completed sometime this year. One interesting thing that I came across while compiling my list was how many of these selections were based on visual storytelling moments. I’m starting to realize that I enjoy the art side of comics more than the writing.
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January 15, 2009

How Comics Books Really Fell to the Liberals!

Filed under: Blurbs — Tags: , , , , — Chris Eckert @ 3:32 pm

As David posted earlier, Bill Willingham and others have used Spider-Man’s nod to Obamamania as a springboard to discuss how comic books have been taken over by liberals. You’d think that Ted Rall and Noam Chomsky are the current Editors-in-Chief at Marvel and DC the way they talk! Outspoken conservatives like Chuck Dixon and James Hudnall get no Big Two work, Mike S. Miller claims to be “pinklisted” because of his position against homosexuality, the publishers of Liberality for All position themselves as “publishers of the world’s first conservative comic book” (don’t tell the makers of 1990s indie Dittoman that!)… you’d think all of this Culture War enmity would keep noted conservatives from perusing these proselytizing pinko pamphlets!

You’d be wrong!

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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:

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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

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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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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 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.

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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 29, 2008

FBBP #69 – Explicit Invasion

Filed under: Podcasts — Tags: , , , , , — Funnybook Babylon @ 2:01 pm

Jon, Pedro, Chris, and Joe got together on Wednesday to discuss the current status of Marvel’s (not-so) Secret Invasion.

Enjoy your Labor Day weekend!

August 27, 2008

FBBP #68 – Out of Nowhere…

Filed under: Podcasts — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Joseph Mastantuono @ 9:29 am

With Pedro and Jamaal doing adult things, we brought in a ringer. Jon Bernhardt came up from Baltimore to chat about the first issue of Air, G. Willow Wilson & M.K. Perker’s new Vertigo ongoing.

Then, a surprise visitor arrived just in time for our discussion of Captain America #41 by Ed Brubaker & Steve Epting. I bet if you whisper “Captain America” three times in your bathroom mirror, Pedro will show up at your house too, looking for beer.
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March 13, 2008

FBBP #48 – Secrets of the Costume Party

This week we discussed new books from David Lapham and Terry Moore, Darwyn Cooke’s new New Frontier, Jamaal’s take on Stabby X-Men (a.k.a. X-Force, and more! Plus, a discussion of Michael Chabon’s great article in The New Yorker .

Podcast Notes after the jump:

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May 28, 2007

FBBP #13 – The Rage over Heroes for Hire #13

Filed under: Podcasts — Tags: , , , — Joseph Mastantuono @ 11:56 pm

On our thirteen podcast, Joe, Chris and Jamaal discuss the rage over Heroes for Hire #13’s cover. Spooky!

JOE NOTE, mk1: After the recording of this podcast we found out that the Joe Quesada denied everything. The denial is understandable, but for fuck’s sake Joe: I love you man, but that cover is tentacle porn.

JOE NOTE, mk2: I was having some technical issues, and due to Pedro’s wedding I was unable to finish editing the podcast until tonight. Long story short, I shake my fist at Apple.

So without further ado, episode 13. Enjoy.

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