Man of the Moment

Sean William Scott

Kindly direct email to:
dorianwright [at] gmail[dot]com

"Reading his blog is like watching a beloved 50's Rat Pack Vegas act"--Larry Young
"One of the few comics blogs I always make time for"--Antony Johnston
"Dorian Wright is intelligent and slightly bitter, like a fine coffee."--Kevin Church
"Absolutely huggable."--Bully
"It's always fun to see Dorian be bitchy."--Chris Butcher
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Friday, September 28, 2007

Friday Night Fights 

Every brutal hit

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Metaphor Fire Sale 

Fill in the blank: Winnie the Pooh Explains _______________________

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Just Give Him Something To Do, Already! 

Hey, check out this cute scene from the most recent issue of Justice Society of America:

It's the JSA having a pancake breakfast with a bunch of firemen and kids. Only, someone's missing. Give it a moment's thought, I'm sure it will occur to you.

That's right, where's Obsidian?
What really drove home his absence for me, though, was this panel:

So...firemen hitting on an underage Stargirl is played for laughs, but Obsidian is, yet again, a no show.

Now, setting aside that unfortunate "saving Obsidian from being further molested by other writers" talk before the series launched, and setting aside the creepy symbolism of putting a gay character in the book and then never showing his face and (almost) never having him talk (I think he's said all of two sentences in nine issues)...Geoff Johns apparently expects us to believe that Obsidian turned down a chance to have breakfast with hunky firemen!

So Johns has no clue how to write gay characters is what I'm getting from that. It's time to either give him more to do in the book than imitate wallpaper or let other writers use him.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Silk Purses 

The film The Wild Women of Wongo may have been deservedly forgotten by history, but it did have one very important thing going for it:
Ed Fury

There is nothing Ed Fury cannot improve.

(He's kind of like Carol Channing in that respect...)

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It Doesn't Matter What "They" Think 

This year's ad for the Folsom Street Fair (site probably NSFW) has generated some controversy. Well, I say it's generated controversy. Really, the only significant complaints I've found have been from the (male) spokesman of the Concerned Women of America, Matt Barber, who said of the ad "Scripture says that God is not mocked, yet it doesn't stop people from trying. As evidenced by this latest stunt, open ridicule of Christianity is unfortunately very common within much of the homosexual community. Gay' activists disingenuously call Christians 'haters' and 'homophobes' for honoring the Bible, but then lash out in this hateful manner toward the very people they accuse. In their version of The Last Supper, Christ, Who gave His life for our sins, is despicably replaced by sin itself as the object of worship." You can read a press-release about it here, but I don't recommend investigating that site too much.

Now, outrage from the hard-right Christian fundamentalist community is nothing new, and nothing to be surprised at. But what I always find interesting, and depressing, enough to find the term "interpressing" appropriate, is the number of (apparently) gay people who find offense in the ad. Andrew Sullivan doesn't like it, but Andrew Sullivan is a notorious right-wing crank and hypocrite, so fuck what he thinks, frankly. But if you look at the comments section at popular gay blog sites like Towleroad and Joe.My.God, you'll see lots of everyday-gays attacking the ad.

The basic complaints all boil down to one thing: ads like this make us look bad to "them." Ad like this alienate "them" and that hurts gay rights. You see variations of this argument all the time. Drag queens in Pride parades make us look bad to "them." We should distance ourselves from that married politician who had an affair with another man because it makes us look bad to "them." Effeminate teenage drama queens on the Internet should be scolded for making us look bad to "them." I'd like to chalk these arguments up to internalized homophobia, but more often than not they simply seem myopic to me. Because the counter-argument I'd like to propose is that it really doesn't matter what we, as the gay community, say or do in our efforts not to offend "them." Because "they" hate us. Not for what we do, but for who we are. It doesn't matter what we do, "they" are going to be offended. Things like kinky ads, drag queens, closeted politicians and effeminate teens just give "them" a convenient excuse.

Every gay person in the country could be a white, middle-class Republican, living in the suburbs, not ever dreaming of doing anything remotely kinky or "gross", up to and including actually have sex with a person of the same sex, violently insisting that no, really, we don't want equal rights, equal protection under the law or to be treated with basic human decency, and "they" would still hate us. What makes me so sure of this? Because there was a time, not so long ago, within the living memory of many gay men certainly, where the idea of a kinky leather festival was unheard of. Not just unheard of, unimaginable. When there were no such things as Pride parades, much less drag queens marching in them. When closeted politician's careers were over, and quite possibly their freedom. When effeminate teenage queens might as well just kill themselves, because they had nothing to live for. A time when the only homosexuals were "good" homosexuals, living in the closet, in fear and shame, and risking their jobs, homes and livelihoods just to go to a gay bar. Because if the police decided to raid it the night you happen to be there, well, kiss everything you have and know goodbye.
And "they" hated us then. Quite possibly more so than "they" do now.

So no, ads like this don't hurt gay rights. Gay people sniping at other gay people to "behave, look presentable, and for God's sake stop acting gay" hurt gay rights. The failure of people in our community to support one another against hateful outside pressures hurts gay rights more than all the kinky leather daddies, drag queens, closeted politicians and teenage queens ever could. So you don't personally approve of any of those things. So what. Find a gay cause or group you feel you can support, and simply sigh and move on when one of those horrible, evil leather daddies or drag queens comes into view. It's far past time that gay people stop worrying about making "them" happy.

Two slight codas, one visual allusions to the Last Supper are nothing new. And they haven't elicited controversy or complaints in significance before. This, I think, really drives home the point that this outrage and controversy is manufactured, and driven more by homophobia than any sincere religious feeling.

Also, one of Matt Barber's comments bears closer scrutiny: "We further challenge the media to cover this affront to Christianity with the same vigor as recent stories about cartoon depictions of Mohammed and other items offensive to the Muslim community."
Ah, so Matt, you want the Christian community to be portrayed as a bunch of small-minded, ignorant, backwards fundamentalists, who threaten people with murder if they don't get their way, all because you're not culturally sophisticated enough to understand the principles of free speech, artistic expression, and learning to live and let live? Because, I got to say, you guys are doing a bang-up job of that all on your own.

Plus, all those guys in that ad? Hot. Heck, even that woman on the left gives me a funny feeling...

Extra Note: I really hate playing the "Pete card" but in the context of this discussion I thought it worth mentioning. So, Pete, my boyfriend, of nine years? The minister in his church and director of a gospel choir? That Pete?
Cool with the picture. Kind of likes it, actually.
So let's cool it on both the "Christians are evil" and the "gays are irreligious" talk, shall we?
Actual quote: "I think it's great they used a black Jesus."

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

As It Ever Was 

That's from Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane #124, dated July 1972. All it needs is a "you're raping my childhood by making Lucy Lane a dead crook" whine to be virtually indistinguishable from an average post on a contemporary comic book message board.
Well, and worse grammar and spelling.

Anyway, two issues later, came this missive:

Man, I'd love to know what this guy thought of the story from 128, where Lois and Marsha Mallow get trapped on the Isle of Lesbos...
Oh, because as if you couldn't tell, that was a man who wrote that letter. A man not at all comfortable with being reminded that, hey, women have opinions and there are people who aren't white in this world, while reading his "Emasculating Shrew and her Asshole Boyfriend Monthly" Lois Lane comics.

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Peter and Nathan: Totally Hetero 

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I Review In The Nude 

Kurohime; by Masanori Ookamigumi Katakura, published by Viz

A book like this straddles the fine line between "parody of the form" and "completely sincere example of," the form here being your typical young man's "let's fight to become better fighters so we can win more fights" comic from Japan. All the ingredients are here; the eager young novice, the annoying side-kick, the ridiculously busty femme-fatale, the comic-relief villains, the Macguffin-quest, and the escalating stakes from battle to battle. It's the twists on the forumla that make this interesting to me. For example, the annoying side-kick and the busty femme-fatale are one and the same, the titular Kurohime, and the Macguffin focuses on her quest to have her curse undone. That her curse requires her to fall in love, and her apprentice/bodyguard/stooge is already in love with her, gives us our excuse for over-the-top violence, heroic self-sacrifice, and silly scenes of people shooting at each other with magic bullets with impressive sounding names. It doesn't take itself seriously, and it comes with an appealing style, to make a package that, while unambitious, is at least entertaining.

Devilish Greetings: Vintage Devil Postcards; by Monte Beauchamp, published by Fantagraphics

This is an appealing little collection of vintage devil-themed post-cards, assembled into an attractive book that showcases the artistry and kooky appeal of these older items of forgotten commercial artistry. That's what I think I find most appealing about this book, that it's focus is not on "high art" but on cheap and disposable commercial art, rarely if ever given a second thought in its own time, but elevated to something more now by age and a renewed interest in the study of cultural artifacts such as these. It's almost that these works become "Art" by the mere act of being bound together and presented as a collection of material worthy of serious study and inquiry.

XXX Scumbag Party; by JOhnny Ryan, published by Fantagraphics

To paraphrase what a better critic than I once wrote, if you like incest, rape, sodomy, cannibalism, degenerency, then this is the comic for you. However, it is not the comic for me. It's not that anything Ryan writes or draws here offends me. No, for me, Ryan commits a far greater sin; he isn't funny. At all. His cartooning is unremarkable and imitative of better artists, and while straddling that fine line that sick and gross-out humor must always walk, Ryan takes so much time trying to be as offensive as possible, to top the last outrageous thing he drew, that he completely forgets that he's supposed to be drawing a humor book.

Shortpacked! Brings Back the Eighties; by David Willis, published by Moral Team Asia

Shortpacked! is easily one of my favorite web-comics, especially of those that deal with geek-centric humor. Given that David Willis' strip holds no romantic fantasies about the basic goodness or rationality of "fandom", it shouldn't be hard to guess why. Willis is able to balance both character driven drama, and humor, and still manages to mix in brilliantly surreal jokes about Batman, Transformers, and other geeky obsessions. The primary emphasis is on toys and toy collectors, but there's more than enough comic and video game overlap to make those jokes enjoyable and appropriate as well.
Hey, look, bottom line: it's something I enthusastically and unreservedly dig. You realize how rare that is?



Thursday, September 20, 2007

Queer News 

So, let's look again at that William Friedkin quote about Cruising:
. A lot of the protests against the film in ‘80 said that it seemed to indicate that the gay lifestyle brought about murder, death, violence… and strangely, you know I find that so off-base. I never got the same criticism from the French government when I made The French Connection and the dope smuggler is a French guy and the guy working for him as his hit man is another French guy. And I never heard from French people that I was accusing all French people of smuggling heroin into America, but that was one of the tacks taken by the protests in 1980. And I think they were reaching – I think there was an enormous reach to find a foundation for the criticism.

The obvious point is this: in 1980, if you wanted to find a film with positive portrayals of French people, you could. But at that same point in time you really couldn't find many positive portrayals of gay people. And many of the ones you did find were problematic for other reasons: sissies and queens tended to be the dominant image of gay men in film and television. So it's a laughably absurd false equivalence that Friedkin is building there. Secondly, on the off chance that some person of French ancestry was offended by The French Connection there was an entire French film industry that person could turn to in order to find less offensive portrayals. But in 1980, we were still about ten years away from the "Queer Cinema" days (for good or ill). There were pretty much no mass media portrayals of gay people other than the homophobic or otherwise problematic portrayals in mainstream films. And lastly, Friedkin is apparently the least text-aware director of all time, because both his film and the novel it is based on do rather explicitly make a case that all gay people are deranged predators.

I'm fascinated by this, not because Cruising is a particularly good film or one worthy of commentary (it pretty much deserved all the negative reviews it's gotten over the years, to set aside the accusation of homophobia in the film), but because it's recent release on DVD is coincident with the return of an ever-popular media meme about gay men: the sexual predator.

Ironically, it was the disgrace of two conservative politicians, Bob Allen and Larry Craig, that got the media latched onto the gay sexual predator angle, with some help from the increasingly bizarre antics of Fort Lauderdale mayor Jim Naugle. Allen and Craig, for those living under a rock, were both arrested for soliciting undercover officers for sex in men's room, while Naugle has made keeping gay men out of public restrooms an obsession, much to the embarrassment of his constituents. These three men have kept the media talking about the idea of public sex, cruising, and the role of gay men in both. What's been over-looked, of course, is that these incidents aren't really about gay men. Craig and Allen both claim to be straight, and honestly, I believe them. For the most part, gay men don't resort to cruising for sex in bath rooms. Closeted "straight" men do, however. They do this because societal homophobia either keeps them in denial about their true sexuality, or they're self-hatred expresses itself in self-destructive ways. But "gay men have sex in public bathrooms; what freaks" is an easier story to sell to the public. More recent news stories, particularly a story about pre-adolescent boys engaging in school bus fellatio, seem to suggest that this kind of salacious and insulting news reporting is going to continue for awhile.



Want Him Back? 

From Falling in Love #135

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Little Things 

One more from Heart Throbs because it is fan-fucking-tastic:

Now that's how you tell off the emotionally abusive jerk who is blackmailing you into marriage with the threat of falsely accusing your room-mate of attempted murder, crazy green lady!

I plan on coming back to this, but since the comics blogosphere seems to be in the midst of another conversation about representation and privilege, I found this quote to be interesting:
A lot of the protests against the film in ‘80 said that it seemed to indicate that the gay lifestyle brought about murder, death, violence… and strangely, you know I find that so off-base. I never got the same criticism from the French government when I made The French Connection and the dope smuggler is a French guy and the guy working for him as his hit man is another French guy. And I never heard from French people that I was accusing all French people of smuggling heroin into America, but that was one of the tacks taken by the protests in 1980.--William Friedkin

Hey, how many problems with Friedkin's statement can you spot?

Short Thoughts on This Week's Comics

APOCALYPSE NERD #5 (OF 6)-- I prefer Bagge's earlier, funnier works. His current work is just further support of my theory that you can't put your politics before your art.

COUNTDOWN TO MYSTERY #1 (OF 8)-- I anticipate Steve Gerber's take on Dr. Fate more than having to hear more whining from the usual suspects about how DC is ill-serving Jeanclipso.


EX MACHINA #30 (MR)-- Dropped because, at this point, the book is quite clearly not going anywhere with it's premise or characters.

GREEN ARROW BLACK CANARY WEDDING SPECIAL #1-- If you value your sanity, or even just your basic faith in the worthiness of humanity, I suggest you avoid any message board or LiveJournal discussion of this title.

PENANCE RELENTLESS #1 (OF 5)-- Oh, 1990, I missed you.

GIRLS OF VIVID 2008 WALL CALENDAR (MR)-- Man, the things Diamond considers worthy of carrying...

This morning's mid-shower realization: zombie covers are the new pogs.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Breeder Problems 

The cover for Heart Throbs #121:

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking: "Man alive, Dorian, would you stop with the romance comics already and go back to making fun of washed up actors." But some of you are thinking: "There's no way that DC published a comic with a premise so horrible. Maybe Marvel or Charlton, but not DC!" But no, they did, and I'll break it down into plot beats for you:

Boy loses girl to best friend:

Boy blatantly foreshadows plot twist:

Boy may or may not have fragged his friend in a not at all homoerotic scene:

Boy makes worst grief counselor ever, apparently inspired by one too many readings of The Secret:

Boy makes suggestion that's more than a little creepy to the grieving single mom, in order to protect her from the stigma of raising a child alone:

Boy discovers the joys of young parenthood:

Seriously that, "the baby gets in the way of my hip lifestyle" thing went on for page after page...

Boy is resentful of total stranger's insinuations that his step-son is a bastard:

Boy becomes increasingly bitter over the fact that the baby is cramping his style, and starts to wish he'd maybe pointed out that sniper's nest to his buddy back in 'Nam:

Boy begins to trip out in a monstrously creepy panel:

Boy turns into a colossal dick. Yes, more so than before:

Boy, unable to get laid, what with the stench of marriage still clinging to him, goes back to the wife for the tritest ending known to man:

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Conversations with Mike 

"I thought of two more reasons not to go to comic conventions."
"Yeah, first, you know those people who show up to sign autographs because they were an extra in Star Wars or had a bit part in one episode of a Star Trek show?"
"I wouldn't be able to resist the temptation to go up to their tables and ask them if it was worth it."
"If it was worth it?"
"Yeah, you know, the acting classes, the voice and diction lessons, the years of auditions, the unspeakable things done with casting directors, all to get to a point where they can barely scrape by signing autographs at glorified flea markets."
"You're evil."
"No, evil was the other reason I shouldn't go. Knowing me, I'd try to bring in a couple of cases of the cheapest, rot-guttiest booze I could find."
"I'd trade it to surviving Golden and Silver age artists for sketches."
"No, no, rummy, no drinkie until you ink that Wildcat picture."
"You're going to hell."
"Maybe, but you laughed."



Subtext? What Subtext? 

What game would that be, exactly, Superman?

Ah, the "tiny handcuff" game. Of course.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Bored=New Game 

Taking panels out of context? So last year.
All the hip kids are putting panels into new contexts via dialogue swaps:

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Geek Bliss 

So, in my trawlings of the net yesterday, I came across this item:

That would be a Superman action figure based on Frank Quitely's character designs. And it's fantastic.

But not as fantastic as this:

That's the "Super Friends" Batman toy. I especially like how, in a toy meant for pre-schoolers, they still managed to make Batman look like a smugly superior SOB.

That toy came with this packaging:

He also makes a nifty weapon if you fling him hard enough at someone's head, what with his big, chunky plastic parts and sharp angles.

Also, if DC had told me that this was going to be the variant cover for the ninth issue of Justice Society of America, I would have ordered a bunch of copies:

Missed opportunity, guys.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Movies I Want To See 

But I Doubt Will Ever Get Made
(this applies to books, comics and tv shows, too)

A woman in the big city returns to the small town she grew up in and discovers that those homely "old time" values she was nostalgic for were just cover for petty, small minded bigotries, and that she was much better off in the city.

City folk get lost in the back-country and are shocked to discover that the people who live there are not evil, inbred, mutants, cannibals, or some combination of the above.

An espionage thriller in which the government conspiracy theory guy isn't taken seriously and is in fact proven to be consistently wrong, because a conspiracy implies competence on the part of the government.

A science-fiction film with internally consistent logic. We have faster than light travel, but we can't outrun a pursuing ship? Yeah, that makes perfect sense.

A horror film in which the gay character...doesn't die.

A horror film in which a set of rules that the killer/monster must follow are established, and then the killer/monster actually follows them, and doesn't deviate from them for the sake of a cheap shock.

A romantic comedy in which the "gay best friend" of the female lead tells her to fuck off and solve her own problems; he isn't some magical pixie that can fix everything for her with the power of homosexuality.

A mystery in which the resolution does not hinge on some fact with-held from the audience in order to make the detective look smarter.

A children's film without poop or fart jokes.

A thriller about a serial killer who isn't a suave, debonair genius, always able to outsmart his pursuers, but actually acts the way real people with violent, schizophrenic paranoia act.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

And Then There Was That Time Betty Got Kidnapped By Hillbillies 

Life With Archie, the "serious" Archie book, for it's 149th issue featured this apparently Deliverance inspired cover:

It starts out innocently enough, with Archie and Betty poling (no pun intended) their way through Federal wetlands (are there any bits of geography Riverdale doesn't have?).

Shack: a rough cabin or shanty. So, yes, Betty, well done, all that studying for the SATs paid off. "Shack" is the right word.
Unless of course this is the meaning of "shack" that Archie meant, and you just weren't clued in to the hip slang of the youth of today...

Of course, the shack dwellers don't take kindly to strangers...

Which gave the anonymous Archie artist an excuse to draw Betty's sweet, sweet ass...

That's right carrot-top, argue with the man with a gun to your girl-friend's head...

And then, it all goes horribly, horribly wrong, as the implied subtext goes places not even the Earth-Christian Archie would go to...


Luckily, Ronnie comes along, in her souped-up speedboat which can't be legal to be driving around in those shallow Federal wetlands...

"Wow, Ronnie, your dad sure has a lot of emergency supplies! First aid kits, flood lights, life jackets, fire extinguishers...hey, what's this packet?"
"Oh, those are fake IDs in case Daddy needs to make a run for it and he doesn't have enough gas in the boat to reach a country that doesn't extradite."

Archie hatches a clever plan...I know, it's not really plausible, but run with it, we're almost out of story pages...

For the large number of you who are coming here from that foot-fetishist site, that panel was for you.

"Think the police will get here before they drown, Ronnie?"
"Not a chance, Archie!"

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Oh, Marvel... 

Hey, look, it's the cast of the newest attempt to keep the X-Force trade-mark viable:

And it looks like we've cycled back to the 90s in the nostalgia wave. A team of "hard-core" badasses in black leather, all with sharp objects.

I'm not sure "hysterical giggle fit" was what Marvel was trying to evoke with that picture, but in my case, that's what they got.

And now, for something that may shock some of you: the trailer for Iron Man looks pretty good. And since I'm still not sold on Jon Favreau as a director, it's pretty clear as to why it looks good. Good actors. Good actors make an incredible difference. And, apart from the X-Men films, this is the first Marvel movie featuring people who can actually act in the cast.
I I, for one, didn't imagine it could happen.



Monday Morning Nightmare Fuel 



Thursday, September 06, 2007

Clever Previews Related Title 

I'm not sure what boggles my mind most in this month's Dark Horse solicitations; the $100 Batman vs. Grendel hard-cover, the book of toy ray-guns that ties into a Weta Workshop "give us money between films" toy-line, or the trade collecting the original "Comics Greatest World" comics.
Or maybe it's Playboy Interviews: The Actors, as Dark Horse shows a particular understanding of why people read Playboy...
Nah, it's probably "glue huffing Winnie the Pooh":

I quite like the cover for Search for Ray Palmer: Gotham By Gaslight:

But then, I'm one of those horrible, horrible people who actually kinda likes the DCU at the moment.

Oh my gosh, DC hates fun they made Bat Mite a villain!

That's right, I'm calling the reaction to Gotham Underground #2 now.

I'm honestly surprised there hasn't been a Harley Quinn collection before now. I remember that character used to be immensely popular. I think Harley Quinn merchandise was probably the second most requested item by "civilians" in the store, after Wonder Woman merchandise.

A collection of Bob Haney's "super son" stories is on the list as well. These...aren't good. No, not even by Haney's standards. But look for selected panels to show up on your favorite blogs this holiday season!
(I mean, honestly, it's almost as if DC publishes some of this stuff for the sole benefit of bloggers.)

The art on the World of Warcraft, or, DC's answer to Halo comics, is a LOT rougher than some of the preview materials suggested it would be. IS a fantasy comic written by Walt Simonson.
No, I'm still not telling you my character's name.
World of Warcraft also gives us this month's beefcake selection:

It's not like I was spoiled for choice...

That Todd McFarlane...he's all class:

The "Grendel's Mother" action figure should probably be considered a spoiler...

Oh, who are we kidding, it's not like anyone is going to see this...Hello, Uncanny Valley! I haven't seen you since you caused The Polar Express to bomb!

Pete: "God I hope not..."

Okay, Marvel Illustrated...the question's been bugging me, but I gotta ask it: these are clearly not intended for the direct market. This is Marvel hoping to corner some of that education/library market for graphic novels. So...why even bother with comic book versions for the direct market? Is their expected margin on these things so damn slim they need the pittance of sales these have in comic shops?

Do you think anyone will ever address the fact that both of Captain Marvel's kids are gay? Or am I the only one who wants to see that scene?
Also, no Rocket Raccoon on the cover...once again, Marvel ignores their greatest asset.

I can't believe Marvel is going back to the "House of M" well again with House of M: Avengers. Seriously, guys...let it go...

Marvel is re-releasing God Loves, Man Kills as a hard-cover. For $20. For 96 pages.
Now that's nerve.

Marvel's Beefcake for the month is Nova:

Can't...quite...put my finger on why this cover appeals to me...

ADV is coming out with an omnibus edition of Yotsuba creator Kiyohiko Azuma's series Azumanga Daioh. I don't know whether this should make me happy that now I don't need to buy the volumes I'm missing, or annoyed that I bought any individual volumes at all.

Classic Comics is putting out a collection of Irwin Hasen's Dondi stip. Irwin Hasen created Wildcat. Therefore, this book is fantastic!

Oh, Hack/Slash, your referencing of raunchy Archie gags only makes me want to like you more...

Dear Fangoria Comics;
Michael Madsen cannot "star" in a comic book. Oh sure, you can slap his name on it as a "co-creator" and draw the main character to vaguely resemble him...but a real, live, flesh-and-blood human being cannot "star" in a comic. It just can't be done. Sorry to have to break it to you.
Also, Michael Madsen? I thought Dee Snyder was scraping the barrell for celebrity tie-ins to your line...

Gemstone has another in their series of Barks/Rosa reprints, pairing a classic Carl Barks story with the Don Rosa sequel. This is a great idea for a series, and I'm incredibly glad to see more are coming.

Every month, I think "Surely this is the month in which Marvel has run out of minor, obscure characters to turn into statues" and every month...

Wendigo. Man...

Oh sure, every other blogger horrified you with that "high kick panty shot" statue, but me...

Bunny-eared, high-heeled, swim-suited pre-pubescent girls...yeah, panty shots just don't compare on the "skeeve me out" scale.

I don't want this:

I need this.

The Smurfs is coming out on DVD, but the original comics are still not available in English. This disappoints me.



Pointed Political Commentary 

From Madhouse Comics #102, Archie's "monster-humor" book which used to be a comic about a band and their wacky adventures.

And that's about as close as we're going to get to an explicit political statement in an Archie comic; those darn liberals are so soft on crime a super-hero couldn't do his job in today's society.
This is from 1976, mind you...

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Short Notes 

Nearly Timely Reviews

Brewster Rockit: Space Guy, by Tim Rickard

I usually try to keep my eyes open for interesting looking collections of newspaper strips I've never heard of; which isn't that hard, given the sorry state of newspaper comics pages. The satirical nature of this strip appealed to me. Given that even the mildly geeky humor of something like Foxtrot was too much for most newspapers, I was curious as to what an out and out parody of typical sci-fi adventure comics and films would be like. It's...actually pretty much what you would expect. The characters are well tread stereotypes: lunk-head captain, lazy engineer, somewhat evil scientist, annoying child sidekick. It's a minor blessing that the only regular female character in the collection turns out to be the only half-way competent member of the crew. The geek humor works in small doses, but in one big book it tends to drag on a little too long, especially in the longer storylines. So, it's a mildly entertaining diversion at best, which still puts it miles ahead of most of the other strips in the newspaper.

Booster Gold #1, by Geoff Johns, Jeff Katz and Dan Jurgens, published by DC Comics

Speaking of mild diversions; the first issue of Booster Gold is darn near a textbook example of "harmless super-hero book." It's steeped in continuity, almost but not quite to the point of being about continuity, with appealing, easily defined characters. And while the book plays up a "the stakes are big" angle, it doesn't feel like a high-drama or high-angst book; it retains a light touch. The art is also the best work I've seen from Jurgens in years, bringing a suitably "heroic" look to the book.

In other comic news, Sticky writer Dale Lazarov and artist Delic Van Loond have a new adults-only web-comic called Fancy. It's a pantomime strip with beautiful line-work. The story so far could probably be called "gay barbarian fantasy" and if you're into that sort of thing you should definately check it out.

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Start Your Morning Right 

With Buck Duck, the cross-dressing cowboy duck:

From Li'l Pals #4, yet another in Marvel's long list of attempts to cash in on genres other publishers are having success with...
You don't remember all those Charlton and Whitman cross-dressing duck comics?

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Raggedy Ann Explains The Comics Internet 



Sunday, September 02, 2007

Overinterpreting Archie 

To get you through the long weekend:

In order for this gag to work, Betty must have been the recent victim of a serious head injury. How else to explain her reasoning that middle-class, suburban Archie would have meant the sport of fencing?

Archie and Reggie are playing ball inside the Lodge mansion. If you can guess how this story ends, congratulations, you can write Archie comics professionally.

Reggie is a strict Darwinist. This probably explains why he's a date rapist.

Archie may be a furry, but no matter how you bend the terminology, he is definitely a twink, not a bear.

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Saturday, September 01, 2007

Oh Please... 

If you know me, you know I have difficulty taking nerd outrage seriously. Partly, I think, it comes from having a low tolerance level for bullshit and insanity. But it also comes from working so long in comics retail, where week-in and week-out I'd see someone rant about how "Grant Morrison ruined the X-Men" and "I'm never buying another Marvel title until they fire Joe Quesada"...and then next week or the week after, there that person is, once again buying whatever it was they swore off of.

And so the latest comic target of fan anger that has me rolling my eyes is Amazons Attack. I'm not interested in defending the book; it is what it is, and I don't have the patience anymore to argue that point with people (i.e. what kind of quality did you expect for a mini tying into an upcoming event with some continuity patches thrown in?). But the here, here and here.

This situation reminds me of what I've referred to as the "Booster Gold Situation" and the "Blue Beetle Situation." That is:
If you really think Booster Gold is dead/Wonder Woman is ruined, well clearly you've never read a super-hero comic before. This is all set-up, and it's explicitly presented as set-up. Just as there was no way in hell DC was going to promote the heck out of Booster Gold in 52 and then kill him off before the series reached the half-way mark, there's no way in heck DC is going to make this "new status quo" for Wonder Woman, the Greek gods and the Amazons permanent.
Likewise, if all the people now lamenting the death of Blue Beetle/ruining of Wonder Woman had, you know, actually been reading comics with Blue Beetle or Wonder Woman before now, instead of reading about them on message boards and copyright infringing LiveJournal groups, they'd have had the best-selling books on the market. So pardon me if I view your insistence that no, really, you're a big Blue Beetle/Wonder Woman fan with a bit of skepticism.

But, you know, there I go again, expecting rational or logical behavior from super-hero fans. More fool me, I guess.
So, in any case, lay off Will Pfeifer. His other work is good enough we can forgive him the odd, editorially mandated clunker.

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© 2007 Dorian Wright. Some images are © their respective copyright holders. They appear here for the purposes of review or satire only.