Friday, January 29, 2010

Is It Just Me...

or has returning to regular work with Geoff Johns coincided with Scott Kolins' style reverting back to what it was like when he first made a name for himself?

I'm not complaining here. I've been hoping he'd return more to a cleaner finished product for awhile now. His work on Blackest Night: Flash has seemed to be just that, when compared to his Solomon Grundy and other recent work.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Well, Now That The NFL Is Finished...

Hi. I'm Kevin H. and I'm a NY Jets fan.

(waits for the AA type response from the crowd)

I've been a NY Jets fan for as long as I can remember. It is a problem that tends to dominate so much of my day, until I have a moment of clarity (or the off-season hits).

The NY Jets were finally eliminated by the Indianapolis Colts, temporarily relieving or reducing my addiction to NFL product. Sure, the withdrawal symptoms will be rough in the coming weeks and months, probably leading to a relapse on Super Bowl Sunday and NFL Draft Weekend, but I'm going to enjoy the peace this brings me, one day at a time.

But, before I completely turn away, the a little Super Bowl ad promotion caught my eye. I got an e-mail about the CRASH THE SUPER BOWL commercial contest that Doritos is running. Apparently, since I occasionally cover sports here at SCHWAPP!!!, I made it on to the distribution list for asking bloggers to give some time and attention to it.

Now, I don't generally like to get involved in free advertising too much. But they went so far as to follow-up on the original e-mail to see if I might be interested in talking about this. That led me to take a look...and the fan-made commercials (competing for $5m prize) are pretty funny.

Below, I've attached a montage. I still haven't decided which I think is funniest, but I'll probably share a few of them (if not all six) on the blog during the course of the week. You can see all of them now, if you're impatient, by going to the CRASH THE SUPER BOWL site.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Much Ballyhooed Blackest Night Trade-In Siege Variant Cover

Some of the reaction to this cover is enough to make me sympathize with Marvel. It's been referred to as sexist and racist, when it is clearly parody and one that really fits the character that it uses.

It still seems entirely too unrelated to the event comic it is slapped on, though. Seems more like a variant cover made for Deadpool comics that they decided would be better used as part of a publicity stunt. But, then again, maybe it is a misunderstanding that this is the cover to that Siege issue.

(cover found via ifanboy)

Shame On HBO

So, HBO has gotten into some genre programming with True Blood. What type of merchandising seems unavoidable with horror genre product? Busts and figurines.

Look at the figurines. Well, first of all, they're busts, not figurines. They seem to use the two terms interchangeably.

But no, really, take a look at them. Anything seem off?

Like, I don't know, the faces of the actors clearly photoshopped on to the busts? That level of detail is not consistent with some bits in the busts.

While it is less clear on the Bill & Eric busts, it couldn't be clearer on Sookie. See the typical bust level of detail on Sookie's hair? Very much less detailed than the face, no?

Now compare it to the hair hanging down in Bill's face (the brunette of the bunch, if you're not a fan of the show). His hair detail that you can make out (which is, really, only what dangles in front of his forehead) is much more picture perfect than you get out of a sculpture.

It is clear that the face details are simply works of Photoshop. But nowhere on the pre-order pages do they warn that the images shown may differ from the final product. In fact, they urge people to order soon so they don't miss out...or, one might imagine, see a realistic representation of what the busts will actually look like.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

This Is "Getting It Right"?

OK, I just read this after someone linked to a review savaging Joe the Barbarian #1. The review, in turn, linked to an interview with the artist. What caught my eye was this exchange:

Murphy: I have gotten a lot of comments on that post. And in person, people will tell me that I’m controversial—which I’m not. When I think of true controversy I think of MLK, Rickard Dawkins and Karl Marx. But I understand what they’re getting at. In the context of comics it is, for some reason, considered controversial for someone to blow the whistle when part of the industry isn’t working efficiently.

For younger guys, I can understand them being timid. They’re hitting cons and meeting their favorite creators—often times artist, editors and companies whom they grew up admiring. For a newbie to rock the boat is risky. But there are a lot of established guys who have really great styles which almost guarantees them work for as long as they want it. And I’ve sat among them at shows and heard them complaining, and I always wonder why they don’t make their thoughts public. Their readers are thirsty for information on how to become a professional, so why not give them a list of people, companies and situations to avoid?


And as far as “the press” goes, you’re a perfect example of someone who’s doing it right. When I first met you, it was in Atlanta after an hour of telling a room full of students about my negative experiences with DC. I didn’t hold back at all, basically given everyone my hate-list of certain people at DC. So when you came up and told me you were at Robot 6 I thought, “great, now he’s gonna print all that shit I would have never said in an interview.” But then you told me that all that stuff would be off the record, which I of course appreciate. It’s more rare to find someone who takes it seriously and who genuinely wants what’s best for everyone. You could have easily gone for the ratings and the drama and spilled all the beans but you didn’t.

So, someone burying public statements in order to not lose a creator as a future contact for interviews and what not is an example of "doing it right" when it comes to being willing to blow the whistle on parts of the industry not working efficiently? He's relieved and appreciative of a journo who's first instinct was NOT to share Sean's whistle-blowing? Wow.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I Hate Press Releases

I sometimes share press releases here when there's something that interests me. It is a very small percentage of those releases that I share in a positive light. Most times, if I do anything with them, it is to quote a bit that just demonstrates how annoying the information contained within is.

This is one of those cases.

Wizard sent out a press release touting their continued partnership with Diamond. The partnership? Diamond distributing their stuff, like they do for so many other publishers. You know...nothing worth touting in a press release, really.

But contained in the release is this little gem:

Wizard’s Philadelphia Comic Con is scheduled for June 11-13, 2010 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Retailers will join with tens of thousands of fans to converge at Philadelphia Comic Con 2010 to celebrate what’s great in pop culture: Movies, Comics, Toys, Video Gaming, Games, TV, Anime, Manga, Horror, Wrestling, MMA, Original Art, Collectibles, and more!

Look, I get that casting a wider net for customers is smart. But when you're calling your event a "comic con" and can't even be bothered to pay continued lip service to that idea by saying "to celebrate what's great in comics" and give comics the top billing in all the crap you rattle off as being covered at the event, it is time to stop calling it a comic con.

Friday, January 01, 2010

CBR's Interview With Thomas Jane

I'm a fan of Thomas Jane's work. I even liked him in the Punisher and thought it was a shame that they made some poor choices in the script and didn't get a chance to make a sequel. HUNG, for which he has received a Golden Globe nomination, was a heckuva fun show on HBO, too.

I've never really sat down to hear about his comic book credentials. When I saw this pop up in my iTunes, I decided to play it. I was about to just comment on this to bust on the fact that they label him in the video as THOMAS JAYNE, but then it kept playing. Seeing him talk about growing up wanting to be a comic book artist as he started talking about Dave Stevens...and then seeing his eyes well up as he expressed what kind of man his friend and creator of The Rocketeer was...I thought this was worthy of attention for far better reasons then joking about a typo.

Geoff Johns: Angry DC Fanboy Target In 2010?

My buds in the Best Shots crew did their Best of 2009 list, along with looking forward to 2010.

One of the selections to watch in 2010 was Geoff Johns. I agree, but not for the same reasons.

I think Geoff has put himself into a spot where he can't satisfy expectations. He's performed at such a high level for a long time now. Normally, that is a case where fans give creators MORE benefit of the doubt. But when you've been going on as long as he has, it can often be the point where fans are LESS forgiving.

Writing four books a month and one of them was a bit of a disappointment? Must be losing his talent.

I think that his being on Infinite Crisis, Sinestro Corps War, and Blackest Night, on top of being the driving force behind Superman's current direction, has put him firmly in the cross-hairs of any fan disappointed with DC product in general. That's probably been a bit of a problem even before 2010, but the ending to Blackest Night and direction that DC propels its line in afterward can only take it to the Nth degree.

With Hollywood pulling him a little more each day, it increases the chances that his schedule impacts the quality of a comic book script here and there. The Flash movie pre-production is ramping up, Smallville might go another season that begs for more Johns' scripts and God only knows what other non-comic-book opportunities present themselves.

One of the few things shielding him from fans turning on him more is that he is a moving target. Over the last year, Johns dropped out of JSA and the main Superman titles. In 2010, while Johns returns to Flash, it is with Barry Allen and he moves on to new ground altogether (for him) with the Earth One take on Batman. I think it shows that he enjoys a challenge and still puts his all into his work, personally, but I believe it, also, helps him to avoid the whole "familiarity breeds contempt" (both for himself and fans of his work).

I think the angry fanboys are going to dial up their angry-fanboy-ness several notches in the coming year, even if Johns performs just as well as he did in the past year. Judging by Adventure Comics #5, I'd say he was able to deal comfortably with what has come his way.

I'm interested in seeing where things stand this time next year. Honestly, I hope I'm wrong, because I've enjoyed a great deal of his work over the years and, from listening to interviews and catching his panel appearances at conventions, just strikes me as one of the creators least deserving of catching grief from the fans (really, if more fans got to conventions and saw the passion the creators have for the characters and the medium, they'd shit on them much less on the internet, but that's a whole 'nother topic).