Pay Attention! Comics News Round-Up – 04/12/10

Pay Attention! is a work in progress! Do you want more links, less commentary? More commentary, more links? Image-heavy posts? More traditional comics news? Let me know. We can grow together. Isn't that exciting? We're friends, right? We should hang out more often.

Meet Atom, better known as Astro Boy.

Oh, villans fear him, so we cheer him! Viz's Pluto wrapped up recently, and Danielle Leigh at Comics Should Be Good! has an interesting look back at the series. It is fairly light on spoilers, so if you didn't read the best comic series not named The Hunter of 2009, click through and see why you should. It's a series that has some pretty amazing emotional highs and lows. You know how We3 is a bad book to read on public transit, because you're bawling your eyes out by the end of it? Pluto ends similarly. The awesome cartoonist Faith Erin Hicks has another look at the series, examining Naoki Urasawa's approach to storytelling and comparing it to Osamu Tezuka's methods. Bonus Kate Beaton mention, too!

Made Man-ga Fresh from Japan! Anime News Network reports that Manabu Miyazaki is suing Fukuoka police for 5.5 million yen. Why? It appears that they've taken several dozen volumes of crime manga off the shelves of local convenience stories. Miyazaki says that this violates free speech laws. Miyazaki also wrote a few memoirs based on his experiences as a "freelance Yakuza," which are among the volumes forbidden to be sold. My verdict? This is the unintentionally funniest comic-related news story in ages. Imagine if Jimmy Hoffa wrote a comic starring "Lemmy Roffa" who worked for the Beamsters. Who wouldn't read that? (That may be an inaccurate descriptoin of Miyazaki's book.)

Konami Code Also via ANN- Hiroshi Sakurazaka's All You Need Is Kill (published stateside by Viz Media) has been optioned by Warner Brothers, possibly even fast-tracked for a quick production cycle. It isn't strictly comic-related, but the book is about a soldier who goes to war, dies, and then wakes up on the previous day, just before he has to go off to fight again. It happens again, and again, and again. The best description of the book is that it is structured something like a video game. You know how when you die in games these days, you restart at a checkpoint a few minutes before where you died? It's like that. It's good.

Creepy and Eerie Richard Cook wonders if if comics can be scary. He ends up more or less saying that they have the potential to be scary, though in a different way from most horror movies, but that they haven't quite measured up yet. Charles Burns and Junji Ito's body horror work in Black Hole and Uzumaki get name-checked in the comments. The hands-down scariest comic I've ever read, though, was Stray Bullets #7. There were no monsters, no frights, just the story of what happens to a family when someone begins dying. If We3 is in the "Don't read in public" box, that issue is in the "Read once every two years at most" box.

I Used to Love Her Jacque Nodell posts a booklet about romance comics from a presentation she gave at a conference. This is a great read, and Nodell looks at exactly how the old romance comics worked. This is the kind of excellent look at the past I love to see. Dig those crazy crying covers, too.

Paul Cornell Rules Dot Com Paul Cornell was nominated for a couple of Hugo Awards, and in fit of happiness, he put his nominated novella 'One Of Our Bastards Is Missing' up in PDF form for free. His Captain Britain work was his other nominated work and (wait for it) Marvel put that up for free, too. I don't really have much to say about this one. I mean, "Free Paul Cornell!" is a pretty big deal, right?

Bizarro Con! Tom Spurgeon posts a quick and entertaining con report from MOCCA this weekend. There's no news here or fancy announcements, but I think it's a great example of what conventions are to a lot of people. You go, you mill around a little, a few things happen, then you go home. It's not life-changing, just a good time that results in a few fun anecdotes.

Seller Beware Working for free, or next to free, is how I got into my career. What's important to remember, though, is that once you reach the point where you feel you should be paid for your work… you should be paid for your work. Steve Almond shares a story of the time someone tried to dupe him, and then instead of just saying, "Yeah, dude, here's who gets what," tried to dance around the issue. I'm not saying "Don't give out freebies," because that'd make me a hypocrite. But, when working for free… keep your eyes open. Don't let yourself be taken advantage of.

Just Plain Cool Dept. Artist Francesco Francavilla is a pulp fan, and it shows in his blog's header, which depicts a laughing Shadow dropping down onto a poor thug. He has a new Sunday feature called Nightmare Town, where he takes pulp stories and designs a page around them. This week's installment looks fantastic, and the previous installment was also pretty great. How talented is this guy?

Doom Patrol has the greatest villains.

Danny La Rue Keith Giffen on Doom Patrol kind of rules these days. It's one of those under-the-radar books that occasionally sneak out. The latest issue spotlighted a few classic members of the team, and Johnathan from Living Between Wednesdays has several ideas for other characters who need to make grand returns. I support every single entry on his list.

This Actually Happened I heard that the latest issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer features an extended sex scene. Brad Meltzer goes into detail on it here at Comic Book Resources. Too much detail? I dunno, I'm not really reading the book, so all I know are the images in the piece.

New Young Warrior Avengers Are you guys ready for Young Avengers by Jim Valentino and Rob Liefeld? Were you ready for it in… 1983? Neither was Marvel, but Tom Brevoort found the pitch and put it up for us to read. It's pretty crazy how closely the lineup of the Valentino/Liefeld Young Avengers maps to the Fabian Nicieza/Mark Bagley New Warriors. This is before Nova became awesome, before Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning turned Marvel's cosmic setting from a place rife with potential but underutilized to the most interesting corner of the Marvel universe, and way, way, way before Speedball turned into Penance. Rick Jones as leader, though? Great call. I'd read that in an instant.

On Spoony Bards The Genji Press blog has a fantastic post up on issues with manga translation. I honestly don't have any commentary on it– it's just one of those thoroughly good reads that come across every now and then. All you can say is "amen."

Kids These Days Kids read manga. I mean, they really, really dig that stuff. On a related note, David Welsh wants to know what's up with the Best Publication for Teens category of the Eisners not having any manga. I mean, sure, Bleach may be somewhat less than good depending on your tastes, but One Piece is fantastic for teens or grownups alike. On a related note, everyone should read more One Piece.

King. Brandon Graham rules, King City rules, purchasing King City rules, and reading King City rules. If you aren't reading King City, check out CBR's preview of King City #7 and get started. Issue seven is the first issue of new material since the series was first released by Tokyopop a few years back. Get thee to a back issue dispensary and look these up. You're missing out on some great comics. Scott Pilgrim fans, you in particular need to get familiar.


David Brothers writes about comics at 4thletter!, loves making homemade pizza (today's special ingredient is shrimp), and thinks that Flex Mentallo is the greatest love letter to superheroes of all time.


  1. Avatar photo Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    I just ordered the last five volumes of PLUTO yesterday so I can do ’em in a marathon. If the first three are any indication, and I know they are, this series is a must-read. 

  2. I’m fine with the general layout.  Maybe a few more images?  Who doesn’t want to see a big pic of Paul Cornell’s grinning mug?

    I’m off to try to figure out when the new Doom Patrol trades will be released. (2027?) 

  3. The Steve Almond piece is amazing. I kinda wish he had sent the final email just to see what that guy’s reply would have been. Astounding.

  4. King City absolutely deserves more attention than I’ve seen it get.

  5. thanks to this feature, iFanboy has become the one-stop shop for all things comics! i love this column

  6. One Piece is fantastic.  While I started reading Naruto and Bleach years ago when they were first coming out, I’ve since fallen off of both series.  One Piece however, manages to always keep things fresh enough to keep coming back for more.  Not to mention that the series never feels daunting to jump on.  I’ve jumped on and fallen off at various points with no problems.  I’ve kept mainly to the anime, but with the new 3-in-1 volumes being released, I may be picking those up soon.

  7. @whoisfriend The 3in1s are awesome. Viz’s omnibus manga (3in1, Vizbig) are the best way to read chunks of manga. I hope they do more.

    One Piece is basically the best adventure comic. Case in point:

  8. That Steve Almond piece was definetly the entertainment of the day. Wow! Thanks.

  9. @brothers The only apprehension I have about buying the 3-in-1 One Piece volumes is that they are NOT of the VizBig brand. They’re regular digest size and they feel kind of flimsy. But seeing as how they aren’t doing OP VizBigs in lieu of the smaller ones, it seems like VizBigs are a long ways away (if ever).

  10. hmmm…. about New Young Warrior Avengers… They had Nefaria’s nephew as an actual main character in the proposal. That alone is grounds to turn it down. After all, Nefaria is that part of comics you laugh at now but subconsciously wished never happened in the mainstream.

  11. @whoisfriend: Onepiece is perhaps the least liked manga on my list. I started it early 2003 and barely got past the first volume. I hear they are in their 500’s and BLEACH and Naruto are slowly approaching, HOWEVER, those other series DON’T FEEL like it and that’s because they are (for the most part) always ramping up the narrative. From the scans I’ve seen in japan, they are currently  drawing near the end of both series which pumps me up for it when it hits the shores. I really know no one who actually enjoys One Piece as the plot is entirely encircled around comedy. It’s pretty much the Deadpool Corps Syndrome.