§ Chris Butcher is on a tear this week, first with a calling-a-spade-a-spade . post
So yeah, most of the 3300 graphic novels released in 2007 sucked. Godwin’s Law Sturgeon’s Law is that 95% of everything is crap, and that’s about right in this case. Of course, the fact that there’s a “Godwin’s Law” “Sturgeon’s Law” at all should tell me that this is no surprise to any of you, but I just feel like someone had to come out and say it: There are a lot of awful, awful graphic novels coming out these days. Whoever’s guarding the gate, be it retailers, journalists, “journalists”, whatever, I beg you; be discerning in your praise, don’t pass along PR without having vetted the project yourself, stand behind your recommendations and, if you can’t, own up to your mistakes.
He followed it up with a post where is picked up the spade and did some digging to put his money where his mouth is:
That said, I just read the new Amazing Spider-Man, #552, and it’s awful. That’s no surprise, I read about 20 comics this week and half of them were pretty bad, but this one is written by Bob Gale, who wrote Back to the Future. Why is that important? Other than the failure of the writer on this one, there’s the failure of the editor as well for hiring him… This is the same Bob Gale who wrote Daredevil #19-25 (current series). A story-arc so mediocre that they didn’t even bother to collect it in trade paperback, and considering Marvel was collecting nearly everything at that point, including every Daredevil story, that’s saying a lot.
§ HARBINGER, a long ago title from the great Valiant Age of comics may get the movie treatment courtesy of director Brett Ratner. Ratner had fun with X-MEN 3, but now he wants his OWN comics movie franchise to get rolling. The deal was negotiated via the Valiant Entertainment Group, a privately financed company headed by CEO Jason Kothari and chief creative officer Dinesh Shamdasani, both of whom will be co-producers on the film. Apparently more Valiant comics and movie deals are on the way.
§ SLG head Dan Vado presents his March line-up in this slide-show webcast. The internet makes all things possible.
§ Marvel EIC Joe Quesada’s popular feature Cup O’ Joe in which he takes on fan questions will be returning as a regular feature at MySpace:
Every week, Quesada will tackle questions posed directly by True Believers on the world’s most popular social network in this brand new weekly feature on MySpace Comic Books. Like a might Marvel team-up, the online community known for connecting legions of fans with the most exciting creators, projects, and events in the industry comes together with the leading comics publisher to present your chance to get inside the mind of one of comics’ most popular personalities.
Cup o’ Joe was long a regular feature at Newsarama, but word on the street has it that Marvel and the comics news giant had a falling out over a broken embargo.
§ Via the Vanity Fair blog (!) comes a little piece of comics history we had just forgotten about. Radio host Joe Franklin’s appearance at last week’s MOREOLD JEWISH COMEDIANS event was a burying of the hatchet — and not in someone’s back:
That Franklin was in attendance at all, let alone getting laughs, was a big surprise to a number of people at the party, given that, in 1984, he sued Friedman for $40 million after the cartoonist published a hilarious comic strip called “The Incredible Shrinking Joe Franklin” in Heavy Metal magazine. The case was dismissed because the comic strip was an obvious parody, and almost 25 years later Franklin has apparently gotten over his anger. Friedman emailed me this morning to let me know that one of the highlights of his party was when Franklin walked up and embraced him.
Franklin was clearly an early adapter in the cartoon legal battle derby but it’s great to see old feuds left behind in the dustbin where they belong.