Welcome to Comic Rack! My pick of the top five comic news stories in no particular order…
Boom Studio’s & Paul Jenkins Teaser
Boom studios is one of the many indie comics studios that has found a niche audience with their select few titles of popularity. Arguably their most popular was Mark Waid’s Irredeemable, but they’re also known for their Hellraiser, Planet Of The Apes, and Adventure Time comics. Personally I really loved Irredeemable, and thought it was a great book, even if it’s ending was the same ending from All Star Superman #10. But that’s such a brilliant ending I’ll take it again anyway. When it comes to Boom Studios, there’s not much they do make that I can say anything negatively about, so the fact that Paul Jenkins is working on a project with them, is something I’m looking forward to upon announcement alone. So here comes the teaser for the project, whatever it may be:
So yeah, not a whole lot to go on there at all. But hell, Jenkins has done incredible work on Hellblazer, Wolverine: Origin, and my personal favorite, The Sentry. Not that I like who The Sentry became, but that first 6 issues that introduced us to the character were so creatively meta, well written, and emotional that I still love it greatly, even if The Sentry turned into a whiny crybaby Mary Sue piece of shit. To this day I still think that story of The Sentry could be adapted into one of the best original superhero movies ever made, if you just changed it to an original superhero, and make it a bunch of Marvel analogues, ala Planetary, or The Authority. It’d be a great story about superheroes, rather than just being about superheroes.
As for the teaser? Is it a comic about death? Maybe. I know I’ll be looking forward to hearing just what the hell it is.
Greg Rucka Tells It Like It Is
Greg Rucka, probably most famously known for his Batman related work, and his New Krypton storyline for the Old DCU, has been pretty vocal lately with his dislike of the way creator relations are currently being handled by BOTH of the big two, voicing his displeasure in a revealing quote over at [ComicsAlliance].
Rucka said that he’s “reached the end of my Work For Hire rope,” adding that “I have spent a lot of my comics career in service of other masters, and I’ve had enough of that for now. I’m sick to death of the way the Big Two treat people.”
He goes on to add some more details about the mistreatment he’s received from both camps, expressing his displeasure pretty pointedly. As a comics fan, it’s hard to disagree with him, because the points he makes are so prevalent, especially with DC. I’ve heard plenty of horror stories over the years about the way writers are treated like meat into a grinder, especially since there’s so many that are chomping at the bit to break into any sort of comics writing mold. The most obvious and glaring point is that the companies keep trying to compete with each other, and play catch up, rather than strive to innovate or go their own way. The most obvious example is the whole Marvel NOW! thing, which is so blatantly a transparent lift of the concept of New 52, it’s maddening. At least with DC, it made sense, because they had a bowl of spaghetti for continuity, but Marvel seems to be doing this purely for marketing reasons, rather than anything creative.
An industry that only looks to constantly play catch up, is inevitably going to stagnate. As innovation dwindles, and brilliant books that try things differently go by the wayside, you’re in danger of having an industry bubble burst. I don’t mean to go all “THE SKY IS FALLING” on anybody, but I’ve found that generally being a pessimist about these kind of things doesn’t hurt. Expect a kick in the balls, and if you get slapped in the face, you win, I always say. Hopefully, Rucka’s words will wake up some abject comics executive, who’ll help creative minds establish their work in a way that’s beneficial to everyone, rather than threaten them with losing their job to 10 more hungry writers, who’ll work for scraps off the DC table.
Brian Wood’s New Original Title From Image Comics!
Brian Wood is a curious writer for me, personally. First off, the guy has written some of my most favorite comics of all time. Issue #10 of his masterpiece, Local, brought me to tears, and touched me in ways I can barely explain to most people. His other work, is all of differing quality and style, from his massive work on DMZ, to the shockingly different tone of his work on Northlanders, the guy undoubtedly has range.
However, he’s a guy who I’ve met in real life, more than once, both times I went to Comic-Con. It’s one thing to meet someone who’s obviously stressed and trying to cope with the zoo that is CCI, and it’s another to meet a guy who clearly doesn’t really like his fans. I remember being in line, and watching the guy be kind of openly rude to multiple people, begrudgingly signing things, and just generally seeming like he didn’t want to be there. I’d like to think I’m a very understanding person, and I get that after a while it’d be very difficult to be super enthusiastic for each fan you come across when your main prerogative is just getting back to your hotel room and getting some sleep. But it’s another thing when you’re there first thing in the morning, and still have attitude. I gave the guy the benefit of the doubt though, and came back next year, to get him to sign my copy of The New York Four (which is great mind you), only to see him acting the same way again. It was disheartening to say the least.
All personal experiences aside, the man undeniably is a genius and makes great comics, even if he is a bit of a douche. So of course, I’m totally stoked to see he’s working on a sci-fi title dealing with superpowers. The concept of an athlete discovering their superpowers live on television is A-1 dynamite. A stepping stone that could lead to excellence. It’s the sort of thing where I have to separate Brian Wood the man and Brian Wood the writer, and just take his work at face value for the brilliance it is. You can read more about the actual book here.
The Amazing Spider-Man Ends!
Those of you familiar with me here at GB, know I’m not the biggest Spider-Man fan in the world. I’ve said before time and time again, he’s my least favorite superhero, out of the big ones. Something about him I just can’t relate to, even when I was a teen struggling with… helping my weird Aunt, or responsibility, or some other boring shit.
Dammit, sorry. I promised myself I would try to stay as positive as possible for this part of the article.
Unlike some other people, of course. They see this as an attempt to revise, erase, and forget the legacy and history of their superheroes in favor of a cash grab. But that’s what the movies are for. I see this as a welcome change to the entirely shitty status quo that is Spider-Man.
I remember way back when Spider-Man was 3 different books a month and they decided to cancel the other 2. This of course meant Amazing came out 3 weeks in a row every month. Which forced Dan Slott to write weird, lame stories that amounted to mostly useless filler at best, and at worst, horrible retcon filled bullshit like the fallout from One More Day. Then they started introducing stupid villains like Mr. Negative and Anti-Venom, which the mere thought of, to me, screams UNCREATIVE.
I know, they’ll just print another Spider-Man title, and the re-numbering means nothing, and it’ll just be the same book with a different name, maybe with some new gimmicky team attached, or something or other. I don’t know, and I don’t care. It’s all pointless really, and in the meantime, i’ll just try to pretend like this is the end.
Shit. I failed at being positive didn’t I? Oh well.
[Supascoot here. My opinion varies greatly from Cheesebadger’s. Spider-Man is my favorite (Marvel) hero. I don’t like the end of Amazing, and some of the rumors about Spidey’s direction afterwards (Spidey with Doc Ock Arms… Seriously) aren’t filling me with confidence. I would be more upset, but Marvel already punched my love of Spidey history right in the balls with One More Day. So… whatever. Back to you, Cheese.]
Kirkman and Moore Lawsuits Arrive At Mutual Satisfaction
When I first heard about this, I was pretty shocked to hear about it. It seemed like something out of a bad made for TV movie:
Two buddies make a project together. Project gets big. One buddy gets all the credits, lets the fame change him. Leaves previous buddy by the wayside. Previous buddy asks for due credit and compensation, but is unable to reach his old buddy, as he’s now a megalomaniac monster, drunk on his own fame and power. Lawsuits are made, friendships ruined forever. Tragedy. Roll credits.
Which is more or less the situation with Kirkman and Moore, from my point of view anyway. It seems history has a way of repeating itself, what with this happening between Siegel, Shuster, and DC, or arguably even Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. When it comes to partner projects, it’s hard to tell if even your best friends since childhood, (literally in Kirkman/Moore’s case) can be trusted. Unlike those previous examples however, both Moore and Kirkman came to a resolution that seems to be good for all parties involved. I know I’m not privy to many of the personal details but having suffered from the fallout that can come from collaborating with friends on projects and watching those projects fall through, along with the friendships, this story hit a nerve for me. I’m glad they came to an agreement, but I can’t help believe it was at the cost of their friendship. Potentially anyway, but lord knows neither man will actually actively comment on their personal lives in this manner, because who else but me would care?
Regardless of how I feel personally on the matter, it’s good to know that credit is given where it is due, and all of the other particulars could be put by the wayside. Unfortunately, The Walking Dead is still a terrible TV show, and I’ve never looked to a new season of a show with regretful disdain more than the upcoming third season. I fully expect it to be shit, especially in contrast to the perpetually great comic book. Hopefully this sort of thing won’t happen again, and the comic won’t be affected in any way, because it’s still my #1 read at the top of my pull list every month, for 4 years straight.
You can read more about the actual details of the lawsuit and the settlement here.
That’s it for this edition of Comic Rack. We’ll see you next week.