and Dead Tree Comics

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Thad
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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Thad » Sun Jun 05, 2016 1:30 pm

I'm not saying I see anything inherently wrong with trivializing Nazis. Not every story about WWII or the Holocaust has to be Maus or Schindler's List. There are plenty of examples of great entertainment that treat Nazis as one-dimensional villains or as jokes, from Raiders of the Lost Ark to The Producers.

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Thad
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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Thad » Thu Jun 09, 2016 1:46 am

The biggest flaw with Gerry Duggan's run on Deadpool is that there are too many irons in the fire -- about every fourth issue, he reminds us that oh yeah, Deadpool's married to Shiklah in the Monster Metropolis, and the story has never really gone anywhere.

That complaint aside, though, he may be the best writer Deadpool's ever had. Things got a little rocky after Brian Posehn left the co-writer position and the book went from screwball comedy to a story about concentration camps, and then to the obligatory Deadpool-tries-to-kill-himself arc that every run seems to get around to eventually. It was a pretty abrupt tonal shift.

But it was all part of the balance that's been part of the character for decades. Whether you want to look at Deadpool as bipolar, or a sad clown who makes jokes to hide his pain, or a cartoonish psychopath who experiences occasional moments of lucidity, or how exactly you want to interpret it, he's pretty consistently been characterized as a guy who's pretty fucking miserable when he's not dispensing wisecracks while shooting people in the face, and has good reason to be.

And I think Duggan's done a really fantastic job of walking that line. He's got a great handle on all the different elements of Deadpool's character: the Itchy & Scratchy cartoon violence, the loneliness and need to belong and be liked, the guilt and fear about his own past, the desire to do the right thing but the constant temptation toward vengeance over justice. It's a lot of balls to juggle, and while some of them just seem to be hanging there, overall he's done and continues to do a really impressive job.

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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Sharkey » Thu Jun 09, 2016 4:13 pm

Just gotta say I finally got around to seeing that Deadpool flick and holy balls, they actually got every one of those things absolutely correct. Sure, underneath it all it's a boilerplate romance-revenge plot, but hell if it's not consistently entertaining. Even after the endorsement of pretty much everyone whose opinion I actually respect I still expected it to be dumb as hell (in the wrong way.) I've wanted to introduce the Des to the comic, but damned if I could ever find exactly the right point for that because even once you get past the dork ages, the characterization is just so fucking erratic. Short of some kind of Jokeresque "All of them are canon because he's CRAZY" sort of bullshit it's kind of hard to reconcile. Also I haven't even looked at the book in forever, but it sounds like Duggan's run is a good jumping in point.

Meanwhile, I still love the phenomenon of going back to creatively bankrupt Liefeld characters and somehow making them actually interesting. Whether that's a long, iterative process like with Deadpool, or a fully-formed single story like they did with Glory, it's always gratifying to see good writing applied to something that at first blush is just utterly vacuous.
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Thad
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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Thad » Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:36 pm

Yeah, Duggan's run's a great jumping-on point. Of course, given that it's already had two #1's, that's a little ambiguous; I'd say start with the first #1. It has zombie Presidents.

ETA: Oh, and Deadpool's a case where Liefeld's co-creator was pretty much immediately making fun of how derivative he was. Liefeld insists to this day that he never intended for Deadpool to be anything like Deathstroke; Nicieza took one look at him, said "Hey, it's Deathstroke," and named him Wade Wilson.

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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Destynova » Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:05 pm

Mothra wrote:Ahhh, classic internet...



If the pic is of him he has the proper trillby for certain.

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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Mongrel » Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:35 pm

So - APPARENTLY - this is canon as of Batman Inc #6:

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Thad
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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Thad » Sat Jul 23, 2016 2:40 pm

the Thad of 2013 wrote:Saucer Country is cancelled.

On his blog, Cornell states that he’s “heartbroken” Saucer Country is ending and knows fans will be disappointed that book’s mysteries weren’t all answered. “So I make this promise to you: I will, one day, finish Saucer Country, in one way or another, in a dramatically satisfying way,” he wrote. “That is to say, I won’t just put up the remainder of the plot on my blog or something, I’ll find a professional means to actually complete the story, ideally in comic book form, or as a novel or, hey, go on, a movie. The rights revert to me reasonably soon. We’ll work from there. “


So that's good. It would sure be nice if Image or somebody picked it up.


IDW has picked it up.

Good. I haven't read much of Paul Cornell lately. Though he did that great Doctor Who crossover last year.

And I think the last thing by Ryan Kelly that I read was probably a couple of issues of Conan when Brian Wood was writing it.

Anyway. Saucer Country's good; glad to hear it's coming back.

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Thad
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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Thad » Sat Aug 20, 2016 4:05 pm

Bleeding Cool's got a good interview with Priest. If you're a Priest fan there's not really much that'll be new or surprising, but his stories are always entertaining.

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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Büge » Wed Aug 31, 2016 6:17 pm

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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Mongrel » Wed Aug 31, 2016 7:01 pm

God. At some point this all has to go to his head.

Old Pierre'd laughing his nut off though.
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Mothra
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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Mothra » Thu Sep 01, 2016 12:02 am

Been reading a lot of comics lately, thanks to a really cool comic store right around the corner from my new work.

Spider-Gwen is getting good. I was really underwhelmed by the first issue, and haven't picked up another until recently - a random issue in the ongoing Spider-Women arc. It's dimensional doppelganger shenanigans, which unfortunately Gwen doesn't look to be getting away from any time soon, but the evil alternates are cool and interesting so far. One was raised in a bunker after being bitten, since she was too radioactive to be near anyone, so she's all socially inept and weird, while another never got bit and ended up becoming an evil super-scientist. They're doing a lot of comic-booky stuff like shooting people with Pym particles and fighting tentacle robots, and I'm into it. I think I'm gonna pick this back up.

Squirrel Girl had a great arc with Mole Man basically being a villainous nice guy with the hots for Doreen, which they cut into a storyline about her trying online dating. It was pretty fun, but I've been on the fence about the series for a while now and this wasn't really good enough to keep me interested. The most recent issue was literally her teaching the reader basic computer science lessons while dream hopping, which sounds fun, but in practice, is annoying. I guess this is aimed a much younger audience, I just was hoping it had a broader appeal. Probably gonna drop it.

Volume 3 of Rat Queens is shockingly bland. The art has suddenly gone compleeeetely to shit, with everyone making the same stupid smug-ass Dreamworks face all the time, backgrounds looking like lazy shit, and action dropping several levels of quality. It's like night and day from volume 2. The storyline is also pretty shitty, the off cool touch here or there aside. They bring us to a Hogwarts-style magical university, then barely explore the place for a few pages before fucking off to a mountain for a waaaacky interlude with an unexpectedly friendly dragon~

It's just weirdly meandering and uninteresting and bleh, considering how into the first two volumes I was. Breaks my heart to say, but I'm gonna drop Rat Queens.

Saga continues to absolutely blow me away with every fucking volume they put out. I could not love this series more.

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Mothra
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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Mothra » Thu Sep 01, 2016 12:07 am

Oh, that explains it. Stjepan Sejic left the series after volume 2.

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Thad
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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Thad » Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:30 pm

By no means should you continue spending $4 a month on a book you don't like, but I'm still loving Squirrel Girl. I'm still laughing at the Mole Man "M'lady" cover. I thought the latest issue was fun too; sure, I already know binary, but on the other hand, it had Dean Kraven.

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Thad
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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Thad » Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:54 am

I'm working my way through some back issues of The Comics, Robin Snyder's oral history of the medium, consisting of recollections of people who were there, that he's been publishing in a monthly newsletter since the early 1990's. I've got a handful of issues that I've gotten as rewards for backing Snyder and Ditko's various Kickstarters.

I just happened across one from 1997, that featured a 1993 letter written by Alvin Schwartz. Schwartz complains about what's happened to the superhero genre and the trend toward more adult-oriented stories; obviously I have some sympathy for this point of view.

But he uses an example that fucking baffles me.

He talks about a then-recent story where Superman deals with a wife-beater. He says these sort of real-life stories aren't the kind of thing Superman was meant for, and he didn't deal with that kind of thing in the old Golden Age stories.

Which is a pretty fucking weird claim to make, because Superman intervenes and stops a man who's beating his wife on page five of his first appearance, in Action Comics #1, 1938.

There's definitely a case to be made that, because of how much Superman's powers grew and changed from those initial appearances, from a fairly straightforward strongman character to a godlike being, he's not a good fit for stories that tackle mundane, everyday man's-inhumanity-to-man evil anymore. I could get behind that angle. But don't say "that's not how they did it in the Golden Age" when it was one of the first fucking things they did in the Golden Age. Page 1: origin story; pages 2-4: Superman saves a falsely-convicted man on death row; page 5: Superman stops a wife-beater.

Take that, 19-year-old reprint of a 23-year-old letter from a guy who died 5 years ago.

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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby zaratustra » Mon Sep 26, 2016 5:29 am

seriously every superhero comic pre-world war 2 was basically Everett True

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Brentai
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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Brentai » Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:55 am

There were no supervillains; mankind was forced to create them.

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Thad
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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Thad » Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:58 am

Wildstorm is coming back as a "popup imprint" like Young Animal, curated by Warren Ellis.

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Thad
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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Thad » Wed Oct 05, 2016 11:55 am

So Greg Rucka, current writer of Wonder Woman, stated outright in an interview that she's bi. It still hasn't actually been said out loud in the comic; the subtext is pretty clear, but the subtext has been pretty clear for over 75 years now.

People are somehow surprised by this.

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I dunno, I guess I can understand casual fans being surprised. Wonder Woman, probably more than any other superhero, is easily recognized as a symbol but not particularly well-known in terms of her background and history. Everybody knows what Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man's deal is (so you can stop telling us their origin stories anytime, Hollywood), but when it comes to Wonder Woman, people know who she is, they know about the Lasso of Truth and maybe Paradise Island and the Invisible Jet, but they probably can't rattle off details of her origin like made of clay, Steve Trevor, battle tournament, etc., let alone the real-life details like William Moulton Marston being in a polyamorous relationship and intentionally sneaking queer/kinky stuff into the comics. Even if you show them examples, most people will probably think it's just goofy stuff taken out of context like the Joker's boner.

But then you get guys like this:

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Greg Rucka was born in 1969. How have you been reading comics since the 1960's and not gotten any impression that Wonder Woman likes girls?

Unless the next thing was "Oh, wait, you said bi? Sorry, I thought you said gay. Yeah, obviously she's bi."

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Thad
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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Thad » Sun Oct 30, 2016 2:15 pm

Love and Rockets is back to the magazine format with a new #1, but I really can't recommend it as a jumping-on point; the format's changed but the heavy serialization hasn't, and it's made up of three continuations of three stories that have been running through the past couple New Stories annuals.

The first story's the best; I'm really enjoying Maggie and Hopey's trip back to Hoppers to reunite with Daffy and the rest of their old friends. I think it's Love and Rockets at its best: characters we've grown up with over thirty-five years (well, okay, not in real-time in my case, since I'm 34 years old), who've aged and changed a lot in that time.

Then Beto gives us the next piece of the ongoing Fritz story, and man, the art's pretty I am really not digging the story. There is some real human experience in there -- Fritz and Pipo's separation, Fritz's estrangement from her daughters -- but it's buried under so much weird-for-the-sake-of-weird telenovela stuff at this point. (Fritz had twin daughters through a surrogate; the surrogate secretly kept one of them all these years, so Fritz has only just found out about her; the other daughter is an underaged porn star, alongside several other actresses who perform in porn as Fritz lookalikes, and boy we've sure come a long way since Heartbreak Soup, and I don't mean that in a good way.)

Beto's definitely got chops, and he's still putting out great work (I haven't read Marble Season except for an FCBD preview that went out a couple years ago, but I sure liked the part of it that I read), but his L&R work over the past few years has been very much WTF.

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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Thad » Thu Nov 10, 2016 1:26 am

...today I read a comic where Starscream becomes King of Cybertron in a legitimate, democratic election.

It is the most hair-raising example of fiction/real-life synergy since I finished reading 1984 on September 10, 2001.

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