Funnybook Babylon

April 30, 2008

Pull List Analysis/Reviews for April 30, 2008

Filed under: Pull List Analysis,Reviews — Chris Eckert @ 10:00 pm

Hey everybody, Free Comic Book Day is nigh, but if you want to pay for your comics, here’s what to expect on the shelves this week! (This got delayed a bit by technical difficulties, so it’s now a combination of analysis and review!)

A lot of books one or more of us approve are out: Action Comics, Ex Machina, Green Lantern, Immortal Iron Fist, New Avengers and X-Men Legacy all have new issues out that I don’t really have anything to say about. Elsewhere, creators we like (David Lapham, Tony Harris, Karl Kerschl) are on books we’re probably just buying because we like them. Plus there are a ton of trades/graphic novels/squarebound funnybooks out this week that deserve your attention. (more…)

FBBP #56 – No More Posse Cuts

Yeah, we are never doing a podcast like the last ones. 

Yeah, we are never doing a podcast like the last ones.

Batman can be nicer than you think and Pedro talks about the last issue of Checkmate. Archaia Studios Press attempts to steal our hearts from First Second. Jamaal discusses the merits of what has to be the best written collection of essays on the Legion of Superheroes. We then go into a recap of the con and also discuss Spurgeon and Neufield’s opinions of what NYCC should be like in the future. Also, learn about the Looming Shelving Concern and how it can affect you. We finish off with a word from Chris on why we need the CBLDF.

April 29, 2008

FBB Ten Cent Plague Convo Part 2: I like watching Rome burn, does that make me a bad person?

Filed under: Articles — Pedro Tejeda @ 12:20 pm

The end is nearTen Cent Plague didn’t feel like an origin story to me. It felt like one of Marvel’s “The End” stories, “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow”, or the flashbacks in Bendis’s “Golden Age” story arc in Daredevil. Hell, I can imagine Stan Lee as a young Wilson Fisk deciding to take over the action on the West Side after the old guard fell (even if he was writing watered down horror stuff long after EC’s downfall).

You are right Jamaal, Hadju does a great job of giving you an origin of comic books as an art form. It’s not one of those traditional 8 page Marvel origins, he goes all Geoff Johns on you and reveals the secret history of past events, so that when the industry begins to fall apart, you really care for what is lost. All my previous knowledge of the early days of comics was limited to the world of superheroes, so I really enjoyed each new bit of information about the other more successful genres and the creators behind them.


April 28, 2008

This Month in FBB on PopCultureShock

Filed under: Blurbs — Pedro Tejeda @ 6:25 am

As Jamaal pointed out a few weeks ago, we’ve shared some talent with PopCultureShock. David Brothers and his people have borrowed our best writers and let them go all out on their site.

I’m still trying to figure out how this deal benefits FBB, but David distracted me with oversized hardcovers and the promise of original art of gay mutants. When Jamaal gets free from his other legal duties, he’ll have to look into this. In the meantime, here are some links to work that the FBB crew has on PCS. I highly recommended the rest of their content too, even though ours is the flyest.

David is now in the Picks and Pans regular rotation. Here is his latest.

We’re apparently been drafted for Secret Invasion Braintrust duty:

Joe, Jamaal, Chris, and David talked about the first issue of Secret Invasion, and Joe, Jamaal, Chris, Pedro, and David followed up on Captain Marvel #5 and Mighty Avengers #12 here.

For a deeper read on the whole thing, Jamaal touched upon the similarities between Skrulls in the Marvel Universe and Muslims in America.

Finally, several of our writers have taken part in a new feature at PCS called Alternate Current, a rotating selection of thinkpieces about comics. David did one exploring the properties of long term serial narratives, Jon defended the honor of All-Star Batman and Robin, and David returned to talk positively of FBB Podcast whipping boy, Geoff Johns.

Keep an eye out for more FBB on PCS Secret Invasion Discussion this week, as New Avengers #40 drops, and stay tuned for more FBB/PCS collabos in general.

April 26, 2008

Fantagraphics Are Cruel Teasing Pranksters

Filed under: Blurbs — Chris Eckert @ 2:00 am

Seriously fellows, it is not very nice to post headlines like “Steve Ditko at MOCCA Festival?” on your website for me to look at when I get home on a Friday night!

Yes, I realize you posted this back on Tuesday, so part of this is my fault. And yes, it is insane to assume Ditko will break his Salingeresque reclusiveness in order to show up at the Puck building. But look at what you said!

Regardless of my shattered dreams, the Blake Bell book looks fun, and apparently Ditko himself is releasing something this year! That’s cool! I guess MoCCA will be pretty fun even if we don’t get the creator of Speedball… but come on, Fantagraphics!

April 24, 2008

FBB Ten Cent Plague Convo Part 1: Bring Us Out A Bottle, We’ll Have Some Laughs

The Spirit, by Will Eisner.

David Hadju’s Ten Cent Plague is likely to be the most talked about cultural studies book of this year that discusses the art form that we all love. At some point in the future (i.e., when Joe and Chris read the book), we plan on having a Very Special Podcast dedicated to a discussion of the book. But I’m a very impatient man. So, I’m jumping the gun a bit with the first in a series of posts that will discuss some of the themes, and interesting things in the book. So far, it’ll be between me and Pedro. The idea is to do something like those Slate conversations about the Wire, except, you know, good.


FBB Events – G. Willow Wilson and M.K. Perker at NYU

Filed under: Events — Tags: , , — Pedro Tejeda @ 11:24 am

Ever since I started grad school, I haven’t been able to go to many events in the city. But with school out this week, I had some spare time and noticed a posting on G. Willow Wilson’s blog about a talk she was giving and decided to check it out. I’m glad I did, because I had a blast. The panel was held in one of NYU’s swanky meeting rooms, and while they had free pizza and drinks, I had to go to dinner right afterwards, so I passed.

I took a seat on the left side of the room, which would apparently turn out to be the comics side of the audience, as the talk was sponsored by the Muslim Student Association, which was what brought in most of the attendees.

The Hand in the Black Glove

Filed under: Blurbs — David Uzumeri @ 9:54 am

I’m sorry to do this.

I was rereading Batman #675, and all of a sudden, the identity of the Black Glove slapped me in the face like a, uh, glove. I’m so positive on this one, to be honest, that I’m going to put this after the jump in case anyone wants to miss this – if I’m right, and I’m pretty damn sure I am, this is going to make the Xorn reveal look like finding out Stryfe has the same face as Cable.

You sure? Then click.

April 22, 2008

From Hong Kong with Love

Filed under: Blurbs — Joseph Mastantuono @ 2:44 pm

Found this in my Google reader today and it sparked a few things in my head about the whole blogiverse.

Darren DiLieto has been ripped off by some Hong Kong based publisher who has printed a bunch of copies of work that’s been on his website, and selling hard bound hardcovers for around $100 in various comic shops around the world. Pretty shitty if you’ve been working hard on a blog/website for precisely this sort of deal to fall into your lap, only to have someone do it, and simply not tell you about it. I bet if the Hong Kong company had approached him, he would have been happy to sign off on the book for peanuts.


Pull List Analysis for April 23, 2008

Filed under: Pull List Analysis — Chris Eckert @ 10:00 am

Hey fellows, no Pull List Analysis last week; we were busy getting things together for the con, and nothing incredibly exciting was coming out. Tomorrow isn’t the biggest release date in the world either, but there’s some interesting things. Warning: this is really long because I digressed into complaints about some trade policies. Just skip over the parts in blue if you get bored.

A portrait of characters that will be radioactive for years to come.For instance: the final issue of Countdown to Final Crisis is only one short day away! Our long national nightmare is over, and some sad post-mortems should be coming this weekend. Here is a preview: Jimmy is still banging a bug lady, but how long will their love last??? This is the sort of thing someone, somewhere, decided was the sort of tentpole plotline that carry a flagship event comic. I would love to meet that person.

April 21, 2008

FBBP #55 – NYCC Extravaganza: Posse Cut!

Filed under: Podcasts — Tags: , — Joseph Mastantuono @ 11:05 pm

After Saturday’s adventures we got a fair number of people together. The resulting podcast was a bit of a mess, but enjoyable to record, at least. Some of the people involved were giddy like little school girls because of this man:

BIG SHOUTOUT: The Whole 4L Crew, the people we met from PopCultureShock, the gracious New Yorkers who hosted our visiting contributors, plus our contributors who traveled in from other states and nations.

Next Week: We’ve got a lot of stuff on our hands to cover, and we discovered some amazing new comics at the con. We need a bit of time to recover to get our head straight.

Web 2.0: How to E-Win Friends and E-Nuisance People

Filed under: Blurbs — Funnybook Babylon @ 11:00 pm

Now you can get more FBB on some gadget!I know the official face of Funnybook Babylon looks like an old dude, but he’s hip! He reads Kelly, so he knows that kids today are always into “some gizmo” or other, watching videos on their computer and generally Web 2.0ing it up. Come on kids, some older folks have barely figured out Web 1.0! What’s your rush?

But unlike Ward Sutton, our fictitious old man persona is no curmudgeon; he embraces these technological paradigm shifts, riding their waves to yet more bags with cartoon dollar signs on them. What I mean to say is, uh, we are on MySpace and Facebook now.

I don’t really know what this is going to mean, but I think it has something to do with synergy and SEO and the Marketplace of Ideas. But be our friends! I was only kidding about the nuisance part. We will only post a bulletin if something awesome happens. Like a LOLcat!

April 20, 2008

Thoughts from NYCC – Days 1 + 2 – Tryin’ to Save the Game

Filed under: Blurbs — Tags: , , , , , — Jamaal Thomas @ 4:00 pm

The interesting thing about my experience with going to some panels at this convention is that even when they’re lacking, they can sometimes help clarify some issues that are endlessly discussed in pop culture circles. Douglas Rushkoff, the author of Testament, and an upcoming book about corporations and modern society (hint: corporations are bad) and Scott McCloud, the world-famous author of Understanding Comics and Reinventing Comics engaged in a lively debate that lingered in my mind hours after it concluded. The panel was billed as a discussion between two theorists about the future of the comics industry. This drifted into a broad debate about the relationship between mainstream and underground culture, and the impact of technology on local communities. (more…)

April 19, 2008

Thoughts from NYCC – Day 1 – I Came for the Creators

Filed under: Blurbs — Pedro Tejeda @ 10:06 am

I hate panels. I can imagine they are funny or thought provoking discussions about the industry and the process. I can even see them being more than just press releases I can get off Newsarama and CBR. Creators can use that space to discuss ideas and topics that can’t be done anywhere else. The hope is you get something like Eisner/Miller but the truth is you get something more mediocre. I don’t know if that’s the job of a good panel moderator or discussion panels at a convention don’t lend themselves to exciting fun conversation.

My first issue with the first panel I went to was the fact the moderator kind of let the two panelists, Douglas Rushkoff (Testament) and Scott McCloud (X Comics book Guru) engage in long winding monologues with each other that were peppered with comments about how awesome they were. It was still a lively and funny panel even if Rushkoff rambled about things I totally didn’t agree or found a bit outdated in its thinking. If we are lucky, one of the smarter gentleman on this website will go into detail. I guess it was the way the panel was sold I was hope more of something that work towards being a dialogue. (more…)

Thoughts from NYCC – Day 1 – “Can We Have Your Job?”Con

Filed under: Blurbs,Reviews — Joseph Mastantuono @ 1:52 am

The first thing I can tell you about the con, was it’s been a long day, I’ll have more coherent stuff about this on a future podcast or article when I’m not dozing off as I type this.

First thing I hit was a screening of “Will Eisner: Portrait of a Sequential Artist“. I didn’t mind all the poorly shot sequences, still talking heads, and slow panning shots of panels. What really took me out of the movie was its poor structuring, glacial pace, and lack of insight into its subject. It was really a shame because I feel like they really had the footage to make something special. I felt they stopped short and made a pedantic History Channel biopic, when they could have said many things. It was a strange experience, because at every point where I started to really get interested in what Eisner or a collaborator was saying, they would cut away to something else. The filmmakers try to create some nuance or controversy by bringing up the Ebony minstrel character present in “The Spirit”, but then immediately bury the controversy as soon as a contemporary (I think it was Gil Kane) divulged that he felt it was inappropriate at the time. It was left unclear what happened at that particular sticking point, and the film quickly continued into it’s ‘rah-rah’ mode, simply honoring Eisner as opposed to giving us a portrait of who he really was.

The film asks more questions than it answers, and despite my trashing it, there was one section that deserves special mention as insight into what the film could have been. There is a segment where Eisner talks about the death of his daughter, and its effect on the book “A Contract with God”, which was such a genuinely moving and well created segment that it only draws more contrast with what a portrait film of this absolutely fascinating man could have been like. But the filmmakers played it safe by failing to make strong choices about their point of view, and failed the audience by doing so. However, Eisner himself remains inscrutable, and more can likely be gleaned from reading the man’s work. (more…)

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