Graphic Novelties

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This blog has been superseded by my Culture Shock blog.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Cities would burn

Just imagine, if most Americans were like Islamic extremists, how many riots would have broken out over Rob Liefeld's depiction of Captain America?

Tiny footprints... in my brain!

Speak of the devil, ACTOR is auctioning off lunch with Brad Meltzer at the New York Comic-Con with proceeds to go to ACTOR's efforts to help comic-book creators in need.

I know it's a good cause, but I just know I'd spend the entire lunch thinking about tiny footprints in my brain.

Alas, poor Willie...?

The story about the impending deaths of two members of the Fantastic Four has led to much tongue-in-cheek speculation that one of the FF members to buy the farm will be lovable letter carrier Willie Lumpkin. (Perhaps after Willie "goes postal" and tries to kill the FF with an army of Doombots... wait, that's the kind of story Brad Meltzer would concoct.) But if Willie does die, won't the question be, why does Joe Quesada hate Stan Lee (at left as Willie Lumpkin in the FF movie)?

Fantastic, no; but fun...?

I finally watched Tim Story's Fantastic Four movie. It's not very good. I could go on all day about the script, the special effects, the costumes, the make-up, the bad acting (I'm looking at you, Miss Alba*), and the obvious fact that none of the suits responsible for making this movie had enough confidence in it to film it as the epic adventure it should have been (and still it is one of Marvel's bigger movie hits).

But, damn it, the whole cast of Fantastic Four clearly is having so much fun it's hard not to enjoy the movie, anyway.

* Mind you, looking at Jessica Alba isn't exactly a chore.

Initiate sensor scan

A new trailer (QuickTime format) for director Richard Linklater's is-it-live-or-is-it-animation adaptation of Philip K. Dick's A Scanner Darkly has hit the web. Enjoy.

"Phantom" artist speaks

Phantom comic-strip artist Graham Nolan (Detective Comics and Rex Morgan, M.D.) talks with Washington Times columnist Joseph Szadkowski about his comic book/comic strip career.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Peer 2 Prison

Three people, including the owner of a cyber cafe, were arrested in Tokyo on Tuesday on suspicion of violating copyright laws by posting manga online. As The Japan Times reports, "The arrests, the first in Japan related to the online distribution of 'manga,' came after the 'cyberpatrol' unit of Fukuoka Prefectural Police examined the Web site dubbed in October. The three are suspected of scanning comic books and storing the data in a computer server in the same building as the Ota Ward cafe so they could be viewed on the Internet."

Still an X-Man

Director Brett Ratner's upcoming X-Men 3 film has found a perhaps unlikely defender, former X-Men director Bryan Singer, who says, "I've known Brett a long time. We're good friends. He's extremely talented. ... I know he's very dedicated to the project, but it's daunting because you're trying to do something you haven't lived with for a number of years. ... My feeling is that it'll probably surprise you and be really, really good."

"Stars and Stripes Forever"

Stars & Stripes, the official U.S. military newspaper, has picked up on the story of Frank Miller's Batman vs. al-Qaida comic, Holy Terror, Batman!

Death be not fantastic

Joe Quesada tells us to expect two members of the Fantastic Four to take a dirt nap, as in "these people actually die," which is a problematic statement given how we're not talking about people at all but characters -- characters at a publisher that is known for resurrecting the dead on about a quarterly basis (e.g., Bucky).

The "Cat" won't come back

Halle Berry promises there will be no sequel to Catwoman. Well, that's one less thing to worry about.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Memo to Marvel

Dear Marvel Comics,

I had to disable part of my computer's firewall in order to get to work properly and download your nifty desktop wallpapers. This is very annoying.



Holy punchline, Batman!

Frank Miller's upcoming Batman story in which Batman goes after al Qaeda has made David Letterman's monologue. The punchline: "So that's Bush's plan!"

Japanese imports

Of course, the mainstream media is still, even at this late date, figuring out manga. Take for example this Washington Post story:

The big-eyed ones walk among us.

Without attracting much mainstream attention, such diverse Japanese 'toons as Astroboy, Puffy AmiYumi and Naruto have infiltrated American culture.

Ah, well.

Manga musings

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed the dearth of manga news of late? Is this an indication that the industry has found a happy level, down from its peak but still healthy enough to suggest that fears (hopes?) of a bubble bursting are unfounded? We still must see how the Suncoast/Musicland implosion shakes out, but I think manga is now chugging along at a respectable and sustainable pace.

That's in contrast to superhero comics, which seem to be getting by on an unsustainable glut of fanboy-pleasing "events" and multiple covers. Has DC Comics even had a comic in the past year make Diamond's Top 5 without sporting at least two covers? If so, it's news to me.

First things first

And so I inaugurate this, my third blog and the first devoted exclusively to comic books, graphic novels, and their multi-media spin-offs, with a simple question: Does anyone know what the delay is with Dynamic Forces' American Flagg! hardcover collection? I mean, really. We're approaching Kevin Smith levels of lateness. I'm sure Dynamic Forces has an excuse, but, really, there is no excuse for this nonsense.