With Tom and Dirk both out of commission we’re feeling the pressure to link blog! Luckily not much is going on, because everyone is as focused on the holidays as we are! However, here are things from the past two weeks or so that we had bookmarked:
§ John Ostrander’s obit for Paul “Zeus” Grant has become a de facto CompuServe online wake and reunion, bor those who recall the early days on online comics fandom and community.
§ Mark Waid, whose coming to the Flash was marked by some controversy, is leaving and Tom Peyer is taking over.
§ Inside Pulse writer Matt Morrison memorializes the closing of his favorite comics shop:
Yes, the place was a pit. But for the three years before I moved back home to Dallas, it was my pit. And I stopped by there at least once a year whenever I came to visit, just to see how the place had changed. And changed it did. The owner changed at least twice over the years. The staff somewhat more frequently than that. And the last time I went in the shop had branched out and become equal parts comic shop, skate store and weapons dealer. Only in America, ladies and gentlemen, could you get a custom skateboard, a pair of nunchucks and the latest issue of Action Comics in one store. Maybe such a thing is only possible in Texas, for that matter.
§ Item! Is Crossing Midnight by Mike Carey and JIm Fern to end? Blog@ originally reported that artist JH Williams has said it was, but he subsequently amended his blog post to say that his participation was ending, not the comic:
Just finished my last 3 covers to Crossing Midnight and my single interior page contribution to issue 16, fully colored by myself as well (click on image below). It saddens me that my participation in this series is ending so soon. I really enjoy working on it and really tried to give the covers an unusual perspective while still being creatively dynamic. Overall I think I was successful at that, though there is a couple weak spots in my opinion. This series is fantastic in every way. Please pick up the trades as they come out. You won’t be disappointed by the creator’s efforts.
§ Another old fashioned RUMOR! reported by Rich Watson: musician MF Grimm (Sentences) may be writing Green Lantern comic featuring John Stewart.
§ Polite Dissent has the Worst Comic Book Medicine of 2007
§ Speaking of rumors, there’s one going around (that we haven’t actually seen a link to) that Comics Buyers Guide is ceasing publication in 2008. Both a letter from editor Brent Frankenhoff and a blog post by Maggie Thompson say this rumor is rated HOOEY.
§ K. Parille analyses four great comics of 2007 at Blog Flume.
§ How did we miss THIS: NYT Book Review of The Best American Comics 2007 by Hugo Lindgren:
A good number of the entries in “The Best American Comics 2007” show the pitfalls of this. Take, for instance, Jeffrey Brown’s “These Things, These Things,” a lo-fi slice of life involving a guy named Jeff who fails at romance with a girl named Sophia and finds meaning in the music of Andrew Bird. It’s competent enough but oh so slight. Puzzling over what might qualify it as among the best of the year, I read Brown’s brief statement in the back of the book. “I found that over a fairly short period of time, the music of Andrew Bird seemed to have crept in and infiltrated my life in a number of ways, and then I realized this had been happening long before I was aware of it,” he said. “Somehow his music had become a kind of map to part of my life.”
And from that, a best American comic was born. It would be wrong to expect comics to provide the highly constructed, didactic narratives that are supplied in abundance by other art forms, like, say, television. But reading through this book, you see how autobiography becomes a trap, a limit on creativity. Readers have their own existential torpor to sort through; they don’t necessarily need someone else’s.
§An artist in Singapore from nearly 1000 caricatures in 24 hours to raise money for charity. We would not like to have ben caricature #934.