Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Blog Worth Staring At For Long Periods Of Time

If you haven't been to it before today, it is a damn shame. But you shouldn't let that stop you from getting over to comictwart.blogspot.com to enjoy all the sketches of many talented artists that pick a subject a week and try to have them all turn in their version.

They're in the middle of a Batman week, but the picture to the left kinda highlights a few of the more recent selections. It's worth going back over the last several weeks to see all the different great works of artists like Chris Samnee, Declan Shalvey, Mitch Breitweiser, Mitch Gerads, Andy Kuhn and Dan McDaid (artist behind the image posted here), for example.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

It's Fun Watching Blogs Find Content Through Other Blogs

So, NerdyBird seemed to be the first blogger to discover the vintage DC posters by Michael Myers and LOST animated bits. Three poster images included.

Then I noticed Robot 6 tweet a link to their blog entry about it, complete with hat tip to NerdyBird. Two poster images included.

Then Comics Alliance posts it...with no hat tip, but every poster and a few of the LOST animated character bits milked. I know it is possible that Josh Wigler got turned on to the links by someone else, but you'd think there'd be a hat tip to someone.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Just So You Know...

I'm glad a lot of you are continuing to hit the site since the latest Mr. Anonymous bit of news. I do plan on trying to get back to regular blogging. The last few days have reignited things for me.

But Mr. Anonymous developments aren't a daily thing. They're not a weekly thing. They're not a monthly thing.

When he has something, he comes to me. That almost stopped because I kinda indicated that I wanted to layoff a bit. I didn't really feel passionate enough about things to stir shit up by spoiling the launch line-up of the Secret Avengers. In order to avoid Mr. Anonymous tips going to waste, I did try to pass it along to someone who might have felt more of a desire to spoil things, but they ultimately had some concern about the resulting blowback because it could effect access necessary for some of what they cover.

If there were another Secret Invasion situation without a horrible viral marketing campaign called marvel_b0y to expose, I might still try to pass on directly sharing the info. I'd like to avoid a situation where fans might unjustly judge the work of a creator because they know what is lurking around every corner, like what happened with Secret Invasion #1.

But stuff that just effects whether you're all buzzing about who might be in a teased project that doesn't give away plot points? Stuff that has to do with potential creative team or direction changes that, also, don't really spoil what is on the written page and, in some cases, might give fans a chance to express their displeasure before it is too late?

That stuff will generally get directly transcribed from my IM window or received text messages into a blog as soon as it comes in from Mr. A.

And just to make this perfectly clear: even though my contact information has been readily available to them (e-mail is listed on the front page and other contact info is available to them through third parties), I have never received a direct request from Marvel Comics to cease and desist. During the Secret Invasion reveals, I even directly stated that I would honor any official communication received that asked me to pull down the info and refrain from further postings of such details. Nothing ever came.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mr. Anonymous Reveals The 2010 Winner Of The EPIC FAIL Award

UPDATE/CLARIFICATION: Nothing below is meant to suggest that XMEN: LEGACY is ending. The teasers implied to me that there wold be a new X-MEN title, which is what I was going on. Mr. Anonymous has just reached out to me to clarify Carey's book and his run on it are not being ended. Also, I may have been too cute in saying "when you're the ArchAngel". Some are thinking this is editorially mandated; no, it is from David Gabriel (get it? archangel?). 

You know what rarely works out well? When the business-minded folks at the company force their "creative ideas" on their employees.

That's what is happening at Marvel.

When you're the Archangel at Marvel, there aren't a lot of people who can say no to you. When you decide that vampires are soooooooooooooooooooo "in", you can tell your people you have an idea that they just need to do and, well, who is going to tell the boss it sucks?

I speak of X-MEN. The adjective-free X-MEN book. The main focus of that book? Everyone's favorite mutants versus vampires. That's why there is blood dripping on the teasers. That's why you've seen Blade in one.

No one wants to be the one to edit it. The only creative team that would touch it is Victor Gischler and Paco Medina.

The next teaser? I'll have Nate Grey and Jubilee in it. Now, I don't know about Nate, but Ms. Lee?

Total bloodsucker.

That's right...Jubilee is being made into a vampire. The vocal minority that has lamented Marvel's handling (or lack of handling) of the character has GOTTA love that.

Oh...and all of the above? Brought to you by Mr. Anonymous. He, also, posted the first group shot of the Secret Avengers up on 4chan today. He wanted to be able to post it anonymously and thought I was still in my "I don't know that I want to catch shit from Marvel" phase. Lately? In the words of Mr. Mathers: I just don't give a fuck.

Now, word is that Marvel has completely rescinded advance review PDFs due to the Secret Avengers image getting out. As far as I know, Mr. Anonymous didn't get his stuff from PDFs dispersed to comic book "news" and review sites. So, their decision to shit on the people that more or less give them free advertisement? Not going to have an effect on keeping this shit locked down.

Mind you: if Marvel didn't insist on giving reviewers PDF copies that contain all of the ads that will run in the print version of the book, their wouldn't be spoilery house ads for them to worry about. Of course, the lineup was leaked long before this house ad, but don't expect facts and logic to get in the way of the Mighty Marvel Spiteful Brigade.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

You Know...

When you are the company that is publishing the projects, there are some statements you shouldn't make...like:

"So, wait — we get an ongoing ACTION COMICS series from Cornell, Woods and Finch and a top-secret Guggenheim series? Sold."
Fans get to say that. News sites get to say that. Sites that suckle at your teat as to maintain unfettered access for interviews, previews and early heads up on announcements get to say that. You who are already publishing the projects and that any enthusiasm from is better called "marketing"? You don't get to say stuff like that without sounding stupid or pathetic.

Ironically...Cornell, Woods & Finch on Action Comics? Sold.

No slight to Guggenheim. I'm just not sold on something that is still "top-secret".

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Some Won't Get That They Mean The NFL Team

I'm pretty sure that an NFL linebacker won't be the first kind of bear many seeing that ad will think of.

Given the occasional message left in the comments of my YouTube videos, I can verify that it has long been true that both bears and bear lovers read comics.

I doubt that many will decide to pick up a ticket because they've been convinced by this ad that the con will be great for bear cruising. They probably already figured that without the ad.

I have to say, though, that having an NFL player is the biggest stretch I've seen in a long time for having a featured guest that doesn't suit the event. Which is disappointing. More than being located in the city instead of the suburbs, I thought this whole "the convention you deserve" cry meant one that focused more on the proper genres and media. At least he's apparently just there on Sunday and his for-pay autographs are for charity

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Offered Without Comment

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Let Me Get This Straight...

Jim Lee is, apparently, more excited about the iPad as a content CREATION device than he is about it being a content DELIVERY device? That's what his responses about digital comics on the iPad and his posting a step-by-step sketch done on the iPad via his Twitter account would suggest.

With the quality of that Wonder Woman sketch, I guess you can't blame him...

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Really Late, Yet Spoiler Free Blackest Night #8 Review

(I originally wrote the review below for the Newsarama Best Shots Extra coverage, but I got it in just a little too late for it to be included. I'm not going to flesh it out with specific plot point references and the like. Feel free to discuss "spoiler" bits in the comments section, as it has been out for 2 weeks now.)

Well, Blackest Night is over. That’s probably the only thing that everyone reading this issue will agree on. As conclusions go, I think this issue was rather weak and that it exposes some weaknesses in the event overall.

I normally strive to judge an issue on its own merits, rather than putting the weight of the rest of its arc on top of it. But, in this case, there are some elements of the larger story that you can’t ignore in looking at this individual issue.

With how many issues/pages were kept locked on the pitched battle with Nekron and his Black Lanterns, the resolution seems too neat, tidy, quick and unsatisfying. There are more costume changes that seem designed to sell action figures rather than service the story. The handling of the happy little side effects to the light beating the darkness, with each getting a few panels of attention, seems like just enough room to acknowledge that something happened and so little room as to boil down to kind of annoying quick hits. In a final issue of an event that already had a somewhat unmanageable number of characters and subplots to focus on, devoting eight (not always efficiently used) pages to reactions and “telling” instead of “showing” would appear to have hurt the ability for the first part of the issue to breathe and flow.

Now, I’m fully aware that the final issues of events often suffer due to having to tie a pretty bow on the wrap up. But I don’t know that it has to always be that way. In fact, I think that expectation has helped perpetuate the trend. Instead of languishing over making the flow tight, it is as if creators and editors are liberated by the idea that the audience will complain of a letdown to some degree regardless, so they put more of a priority on making sure they clearly spell out how everything has changed and what comes next. That they seemed to have failed to create much excitement for what comes next through how they presented it here just underscores the problems with this final issue.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Jim Lee: My Digital Comics Comments Were Misconstrued

At a Wonder Con panel, Jim Lee suggested that his comments on digital comics were taken to mean that DC had no interest in pursuing them.

Given that he said they were talking to software companies, I find it hard to understand how that happened.

What I took his comments to mean, though, was that DC's answer is the same as it has been for years: we're always looking into it, but we don't see anything all that exciting about it, so we're not making it a priority.

Would it be misconstruing his comments to think that DC Comics is, officially, still adverse to change and progress in how they make their product available?

How long has Marvel's digital offering been around while DC has made no apparent strides? When a killer device/app comes along, they still basically say that print is where it's at? That they can't just offer scans of books because that's already (illegally) out there?

I read Jim Lee's comments as being tone deaf on the issue of digital comics. Pretty sure I didn't misconstrue them.

Worst Con News EVAR!

Rucka leaving DC? Nah, because it is hard to call a creator moving on to prevent stagnation the "worst news". Sad that he leaves before he got to do everything with Batwoman that he wanted, but not the worst news.

This, though?

Will Robinson be on Justice League for a while? "I have ideas now for at least two years, maybe more. I can stay on the book until they drag me off," Robinson said. Sattler: "He's not going anywhere."



How Long Until This Gets Shut The Fuck Down?


This should make for interesting news over the next week or two...

Friday, April 02, 2010

Wow...For Such A High Tech Man, He Has Low Tech Vision

Jim Lee said, according to Newsarama coverage of the DC Nation panel, the following about digital comics:

Next question concerned "digital initiatives." Lee said he's never seen anything on the digital side that is as compelling for him as a printed comic, saying you can't replicate things like the four-page spread in Blackest Night #8.
Another advantage of printed comics, according to Lee: "You can read them on an airplane as you're taking off."
"They're not a huge part of anyone's business, regardless if you're on the iPad tomorrow or not," Lee said of digital comics.
"We're talking to a bunch of different vendors, software companies about it," Lee continued. "It's going to be more than, 'hey, here are some scanned comics,' because frankly, that's out there already."
Really? A gatefold, four page spread (that isn't really quite four pages) can't be replicated on a computer screen?

And I sincerely hope tongue was planted firmly in cheek with that "read them on an airplane" comment. Besides, that's really more of a trade paperback selling point than a periodical selling point. One clearly travels better than the other.

They aren't a huge part of anyone's business, even if they're on the iPad tomorrow...when the effects of being on the iPad haven't been seen yet? When the question was forward looking, not asking about how digital has performed thus far, seeing as how DC hasn't really even dipped their toe into the water yet?

The offerings have to be more than "hey, here are some scanned comics" because illegal scans are already out there? Seriously? Even when we're seeing that motion comics aren't setting the world on fire and the more bells and whistles that get added, the higher you have to price the content to make a profit, which inadvertently pushes readers back to the printed version?

This is the guy that just got promoted to one of the most important positions at DC Comics? All of a sudden, I'm much less enthused about that move.