Tag Archives: Kurt Busiek

American Chibi, the Uncanny Valley, and the Grotesque Genius of Astro City

You ever heard the term “uncanny valley”? It’s generally used to describe animated computer renderings of humans that achieve an amount of realism that just falls short of believable, causing people to find it revolting. The arch example of this is probably Tom Hanks’ animated vehicle The Polar Express, but there are many others to be found. But not generally in comics*, which tend to conform to house styles or individual artist styles, and the 2-D probably helps prevent even the most realistically rendered art from approaching uncanny valley territory. But then Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson, in the new iteration of their classic title Astro City #1, had to introduce their newest hero “American Chibi.” And we all say “yuck.” Because it works.

Continue reading American Chibi, the Uncanny Valley, and the Grotesque Genius of Astro City

Comic Rack! Superman News, Infinite Wolverine, & Astro City Returns!

Welcome to Comic Rack! My pick of the top five comic news stories in no particular order…

Marvel’s Infinite Comics Launches New Weekly Wolverine Title!

Digital comics are weird. On one hand, they’re obviously the future of the medium, and I don’t mind them per se, but I’ve always preferred the idea of trades being released digitally, rather than individual issues. The bang per buck of a digital trade makes a lot more sense to me than a single issue for $2 or whatever the price may be. I can appreciate the attempt to give digital comics some added value over the printed page, specifically by utilizing the medium of a digital format in creative ways. That doesn’t mean I like it, exactly, and in my opinion I find it a bit redundant. It’s why I never liked “motion comics” or anything, because to me the beauty and simplicity of comics was the utilization of static images to convey motion and a sense of movement in every scene. It’s one of those things that sounds a bit fluffy when you describe it, but it’s a legitimate complaint, I believe. It’s yet to be seen if Infinite Comics will prove to otherwise be successful, but for not it’s an interesting idea, and this Wolverine comic will probably prove if Infinite Comics has legs or not.

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Find out more here.

Chris Sprouse Leaves Adventures Of Superman!

A lot has been said about Orson Scott Card and his planned Superman story. The thing about it is, I truly can’t get behind reading the work of a man that vile and terrible. He’s pretty (obviously) famous for his vitriolic and terrible political opinions, and while at heart I think that shouldn’t affect the work itself, it definitely does. I’ve had a couple of discussions about separating the art from the artist and have generally come to the resolution that it’s amicable to do so, but ultimately impossible. A great piece of art can and will be tainted by the real life nature of the person who created it. It’s the focal point in some cases, as with serial killers and their art that is occasionally sold or displayed in museums. Did I just compare Orson Scott Card indirectly with the likes of John Wayne Gacy? Yes, but you know, F the both of them. A brilliant character who stands for acceptance, love and hope like Superman doesn’t need to be written by a hateful bigot like Card anyway, so good on Sprouse for deciding to leave the story. Obviously he can’t full on come out and admit exactly why, but c’mon, we all know why. A side of me is curious as to what Card’s story would have been though. Curious, but glad it didn’t happen.

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Find out more here.

Scott Snyder and Jim Lee Unchain Superman

In other, much better Superman news, there’s the wonderful announcement that Scott Snyder and Jim Lee are taking over Superman soon with Superman Unchained, a new book coming out just in time to coincide with Zack Snyder’s Man Of Steel. Aside from there obviously being a terrifying conspiracy between all those named Snyder working on Superman projects, this sounds and seems pretty damn amazing. For those who haven’t or aren’t reading Scott Snyder’s work on Batman right now, he’s absolutely killing it. Just balls out, hands down killing it every damn month. Normally I’d be pretty worried by a book with just the mere idea and title of a book called Superman Unchained‘, because let’s be honest, that’s kind of a lame title. But the Snyder’s (Scott and Zack, respectively) seem to understand that you can inject some of that tried and true Gritty Edge™ the kids love these days and still keep the Superman character intact. Hopefully they will, anyway. I have more faith in Scott Snyder because he’s a pretty brilliant writer, and the idea of trying new things with the character is an interesting mission statement for the book. I’m looking forward to reading it in line for Man Of Steel come April.

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Find out more here.

Astro City Returns!

I’m not terribly familiar with Astro City,  I am pretty familiar with Kurt Busiek’s myriad DC works. He’s written a ton of great story arcs in the past and is one of those names that I see on books all the time. He’s not a super notable stand out for me, but I do know the name and know he means quality. It’s not like you’d jump into a book of his and find yourself reading something awful. That being said, perhaps it’s my own ignorance of Astro City that’s kept Busiek from joining the list of names that I immediately gravitate towards every time I approach the wall at my local comic shop. Here’s the description of the book, via [ComicsAlliance]:

[quote]Astro City began as a sort of anthology series in 1995 and followed the superheroes, supervillains and everyday citizens who lived in the eponymous city. Critically-acclaimed, and the recipient of a number of Eisner and Harvey-awards, the series has been on an indefinite hiatus since May of 2010.

The new series will be available in June, but you can find the original series collected at your local comic shop or public library.[/quote]

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It certainly sounds interesting, and is yet another title to put on my increasingly longer list of books to read, when I have the time and money.

Marvel’s New Teasers Showcase New Savage Wolverine Creators!

New teasers from Marvel are no surprise, and lately have been hitting pretty much every other day. These new ones are unique in the fact that they are both promoting a new book with very minimal taglines that are very vague… which actually makes them not unique at all and well in line with the rest of Marvel’s teasers.

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So the teasers obviously showcase both Wolverine and Spider-Man, along with the creative team of Zeb Wells and Joe Maduiera. It just so happens that this story, which had been previously teased as a Wolverine/Spidey/Elektra mini-series, will now follow Frank Cho’s arc over in The Savage Wolverine, which is apparently aiming to be a team-up book like Avenging Spider-Man. Wells and mad previously worked together on the opening arc of Avenging, and I am looking forward to this new arc for Savage. Seeing Joe Mad draw Wolverine always takes me back to the 90s X-Men stories like Onslaught that I remember so fondly, and I am definitely interested in this new story. – S. Fraser

Find out more here.

That’s all for this week’s edition! We’ll see you next time at the Comic Rack!