Funnybook Babylon

July 29, 2010

Prelude to Number Crunching: A Heroic Skyline Reused

Filed under: Blurbs — Tags: , , , — Chris Eckert @ 1:17 am

While working on another sales analysis post, I started writing a brief aside about Marvel’s Heroic Age Pedestal Variant Covers. You’ve probably seen them, they all follow the same template:



July 26, 2010

Batman and Robin #13 – “Batman and Robin Must Die! Part 1: The Garden of Death”

Filed under: Annotations — Tags: , , , , — David Uzumeri @ 10:14 am
Brief Bloom.

Brief Bloom.

Batman and Robin continues, beginning the “Batman and Robin Must Die!” arc, which Morrison has stated is “R.I.P. as farce.” Each issue is named after a classic gothic painting; this one is “The Garden of Death” by Hugo Simberg, pictured above. Many shots and events in this book are deliberate evocations of events in “R.I.P.”, so I recommend a rereading before engaging in any close analysis of this story.

And, as usual, the links to my other annotations:

Stuff here (original Batman run, current Batman and Robin)

Stuff at Comics Alliance (Return of Bruce Wayne #1, #2, #3; Batman #700)

July 25, 2010

Avenging the Week – San Diego Special

Filed under: Avenging the Week — Jamaal Thomas @ 5:50 pm

So, another San Diego Comic Con’s come and gone, filled with tantalizing news and previews of the comic books, films, television shows and videogames that we will all discuss during the coming year. I’m here to provide you with a guide to some of the more interesting announcements and previews buried in the four day flood of information.


DC/Vertigo Custody Battle: Did Karen Berger Confirm DC Characters To Leave Vertigo?

Filed under: Articles — Tags: , , , , , , — Chris Eckert @ 3:53 am

As you may have noticed, I’ve been thinking a lot about Vertigo lately. So has Rich Johnston! In addition to the persistent hand-wringing about cancellations, there has been additional hand-wringing about how DC proper is going to “take back” all of the characters that originated in the DC Universe. According to Johnston, he told us all this would be happening, and posted of Karen Berger’s “confirmation” of the fact at Friday’s Vertigo panel.

I realize this isn’t blockbuster news on par with movies coming out or someone getting stabbed, but it’s been over twenty-four hours and I haven’t seen this reported anywhere else. Granted, none of the big sites have posted write-ups for this panel, which aside from Johnston’s bombshell didn’t contain any real news. But I’ve listened to audio of this panel (available at and can’t find any mention of this. The audio file is only fifty-seven minutes and thirty-three seconds, and trails off as Berger languidly polls the audience on their interest in different books being reprinted in the Absolute format, so it’s possible the panel ran one hour on the button and those final two minutes and twenty-seven seconds contained Berger’s confirmation. I realize it’s also equally possible that she confirmed it in a venue other than the official mic’d up portion of the panel.


July 21, 2010

Number Crunching: Looking at Vertigo Cancellations

Filed under: Articles — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Chris Eckert @ 2:23 am

Vertigo has recently announced the end of three titles: Air, Unknown Soldier, and most recently Greek Street. While comic fans have become inured to superhero cancellations — Agents of Atlas just got canned for what I believe is the nineteenth time in five years — many people feel special pain for the premature end of more personal creator-owned books like those at Vertigo. But it shouldn’t come as a surprise: the majority of Vertigo titles end within about two years, well before their creators’ projected endpoints:


I don’t wish to suggest people cannot lament their favorite underdogs: at least some of us at FBB are outspoken fans of Air and Young Liars, and while none of us cared much for Greek Street, I don’t wish to make light of its fans. But people — and I am focusing on the most prominent mourner, Rich Johnston — need to be realistic about their love of spectacularly unsuccessful projects.

July 20, 2010

Avenging the Week, pt. 8 – Knowing When He’s Home

Filed under: Avenging the Week — Jamaal Thomas @ 4:11 pm

Welcome back to Avenging the Week. This is a short one, in which we briefly discuss Daytripper and take a look at tomorrow’s comics today. As always, spoilers below!

July 15, 2010

FBBP #127 – Kanye + Kim Jong-Il = The Mandarin

Filed under: Podcasts — Tags: , , , — Chris Eckert @ 6:18 pm

This week, the gang reads <i>Invincible Iron Man Annual</i> #1  by Matt Fraction and Carmine DiGiandomenic! It features Fraction’s “autobio comix” take on stalwart Iron Man villain The Mandarin, borrowing from both Kim Jong-Il’s kidnapping of Shin Sang-ok and, more cryptically, Fraction’s MK12 work alongside Kanye West on Common’s “Go” video.

IIM Annual #1 was also Marvel’s first day-and-date digital release, so we take a look at that, which devolves into an argument about marginal value and price points. Maybe we were all coming off World Cup Fever, but it gets feisty.

FBB EXCLUSIVE! DC Announces New Title Spinning Out of Superman #701

Filed under: Blurbs — Tags: , , , , — Chris Eckert @ 12:27 am


Amazingly enough, I don’t think this sequence even cracked the Top Three for things that bothered me about this issue!

July 1, 2010

More DC Cover Grousing: BANNERMANIA is Running Wild!

Filed under: Articles — Chris Eckert @ 2:08 pm

My complaint about DC’s handling of interlocking covers a couple weeks ago got me thinking more about recent comic covers. Big Two superhero comics have long been a place for boilerplate standard cover layouts: title along the top, number and company logo in the top left cover, more recently creator credits running below the logo/number. In principle I applaud any attempt to expand the range of the covers, though more often than not that just seems to involve running some sort of design element across the top or side of the book, something that goes back to DC’s “Go Go Checks” or the little translucent bar along the spine of practically every Vertigo book in the 1990s. Whoever designed the covers for Ink and the Rise & Fall crossover went in for some blocking, and messed up the interlocking covers in the process.

To be sure there have been good recent examples of blocky cover design elements that instantly define a line of books:


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