Pay Attention! Comics News Round-Up 04/19/10

Five for Five Every week, Tom Spurgeon of Comics Reporter posts a prompt for people to write in with ideas about comics. This week, "CR readers were asked to "Name Five Superpowers You'd Like To Have That Are NOT On The Following List Of Standard Choices: Flying, Invisibility, Super-Strength, Super-Speed, Reading Minds." This is how they responded." The results are pretty great. Pros like Scott Dunbier and Chris Eliopoulos wrote in, in addition to comics fans and journalists. Some of the powers are your usual fare, but others are off-beat and wonderful. I think my favorite is Grant Goggans's "Reprint whatever I command, publishers!" power. First on my list would be an oversized Flex Mentallo hardcover. Just saying. I think Daniel Mata's "power flatulating" power would be pretty hilarious, but rude. Maybe that's just me?

Bobby Digital Keeping it in Spurgeon's neighborhood for a bit– he sat down to write an essay on digital comics. He failed, but he did find several writers with interesting points. This is a good piece with several links to quality writers. I've found that a lot of the conversation about digital comics tends to run toward the absurd, with either/or declarations ringing out from both sides. I tend to stand in the middle: I want digital comics right here, right now with day and date releases of print comics, and I also want to be able to buy trades and oversized (and sometimes overpriced) fancypants hardcovers. In the end, digital and print are going to stick around, but I think that any major publisher who neglects digital comics is leaving money in pockets. Tom makes a good point when he says that the third time he wanted access to online comics, it was when he "thought how it would be nice to read a bunch of Ka-Zar." There are times when I want to just sit down and read all of, say, Force Works, but I don't want them in my house, tainting the air. Marvel! Let's talk, we need to make this happen. I need to re-read that one series with Cyclops and Jean Grey in the future as Slym and Red and I don't want my friends to know.

New for '62! One more digital note: Darwyn Cooke's The Hunter is on iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. The four chapters cost two bucks a piece, which means that if you somehow managed to miss it last year… you've got no excuse now. Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips's excellent crime series Criminal has hit the various digital comics apps, too. Just FYI, baby.

Men Lie, Women Lie, Numbers Don't Comics sales aren't an indicator of quality, but they are a good judge of popularity. So, sometimes, it's kind of interesting to see where the companies stand, even though it nearly always starts some kind of fight. With that said, Heidi MacDonald has a list of the top five publishers for March. Marvel, as expected, dominated the month with 47.12% of the market share, as they have dominated most months for the past several years. DC, again, as expected, came in second with 29.92% of the market share. The rest of the top five are a big surprise, though, with IDW, Dark Horse, and Dynamite coming in third, fourth, and fifth, respectively. Image came in sixth, and Boom! seventh. While Marvel and DC controlling some 77% of the market is a little depressing to me ("I really, really like variety" is what it boils down to), seeing the other publishers on the rise is really very cool. Dark Horse has been publishing BPRD, which is genuinely the best-kept secret in comics and heads and shoulders above most books I read. IDW has been really aggressive in recruiting talent and licenses, and even managed to pull Frank Miller into doing a Jurassic Park cover. Then again, if there's one thing I've learned from reading comics, it's that everyone loves to draw dinosaurs. Dynamite, of course, has become home to Garth Ennis's The Boys which is good fun, and Battlefields, his fantastic war comics series. Viva variety!

No Cheaters Keith Knight takes on the Tiger Woods cheating scandal with a confession of his own. Shame on you, Mr. Knight! However, the previous strip has a spider-baby, so maybe we'll forgive you this time.

Children of the Night You may have seen news last week that Mark Millar was pissed at Marvel for ripping off his idea about superheroes fighting zombies. Luckily, Chris Eckert of Funnybook Babylon is here to ask a question that needed to be asked: "Why won't people stop swiping Mark Millar?" He has several examples of people hijacking Millar's ideas in the link. On a related, and equally funny, note, Chris also takes a look at the mystery that formed the heart of Identity Crisis. Good laughs for a Monday morning, I think.

American Soldier Robot 6 posted a sketch by Rick Burchett from Greg Rucka's blog. I see it, and immediately flashback to the awesome Greg Rucka panel I attended at Wondercon, where he discussed a possible series called American Soldier. In Rucka's own words:

Another thing I wanted to do is called "American Soldier." I'm still doing research on this. The idea is… it starts in 1750, follows the service of a man, probably from Pennsylvania, in the Revolutionary War. That's the first volume. The second volume is the War of 1812, and it's sister's grandson. And then, say, the Civil War, and then the Spanish-American War. To take this family's tree as described by their service to their country all the way up the present. That's a ten-year project! So I don't know if I'm even going to get that thing off the ground, let alone find some poor son of a bitch willing to publish it. Or worse, who wants to be the guy or gal who has to draw that? Because I'd love to have the same artist all the way through. That would be so cool!

Who's excited? I am! Burchett worked with Rucka on Queen & Country back in 2005, and I'm having trouble coming up with a more recent book they collaborated on. Regardless, more Rucka, more Burchett, and both of them doing a war comic? C'mon. You know you want it.

Try to Remember. It's Only A Game Laura Hudson interviewed Grant Morrison last week and the results were predictably fantastic. Morrison's always a great interview subject, in part because ideas spill out of him and in part because he's prone to saying outlandish things because they're funny. He's one of the most interesting creators to hear talk these days, I think, though Garth Ennis's Battlefields letter columns give him a run for his money.

So… We Meet Again! Casanova remains my favorite work by Matt Fraction, Gabriel Ba, and/or Fabio Moon, and the news that it is coming back is great! Also, if you're into that sort of thing, Joe Quesada explains what "OMIT" means (One Moment In Time), Allan Heinberg announces Avengers: The Children's Crusade, a bi-monthly 9-issue series with Jim Cheung, and Hulk #23 is going to have work from "Adam Kubert, Herb Trimpe, Sal Buscema for the first time on pencils and inks, Dale Keown, Tim Sale, Ian Churchill, Mike Deodato, Lenil Yu and John Romita, Jr." But yeah: Casanova Quinn is back! Whooo!

And the award for best comics-related site… Brandon Graham's somewhat not safe for work blog is one of my favorite comics sites. He has an insane collection/thirst for weird art, and each new post is like a concentrated blast of amazing. Don't click that if you're at work, unless you happen to work at like, Eros Comics or something. You'll probably get fired. But it may be worth the firing. Buy King City, out now from Image Comics and Tokyopop.

Pro to Watch Lucy Knisley is great. You may know her from the short Doc Ock story in Girl Comics. If you don't, go buy Girl Comics and get back to me. Anyway, she does autobio comics, and they're sometimes sad, but they're mostly funny. She's well worth a look. Really cool art style, careful attention paid to clothes (i.e., people wear clothes that people would wear in real life), and quality humor. You definitely want to give her comics a look.

Self-promotion? I organized this thing last week called "Booze, Broads, & Bullets.". Basically, me and a handful of writers I like got together and spent a week talking about Frank Miller's work. We've got analysis of the whole Sin City library, some on-point observations and connections made about Frank Miller and his influences, and I guess I talk about some stuff, too. I'm pretty proud of the whole shebang, so give it a look if you're curious.

David Brothers writes for 4thletter!, iFanboy, and Comics Alliance. He has been telling people at bars that he is "1/15th Eisner Nominated Comics Journalist David Brothers" in an attempt to scam free drinks and dates. Follow him on Twitter if you want a concentrated dose of player hating!


  1. There’s no shame in wanting to re-read The Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix. Just Saying. 

  2. I would read that Greg Rucka series, especially if all of the art looks like that up there. Also, I’ve heard good things about Casanova, but never got around to reading it… is it just being reprinted or new stories?

  3. I’d like to second the suggestion of an oversized Flex Mentallo hardcover. +1

    I’d want whatever powers it would take to force King Hell to publish the entirety of the Heroica in one volume. Please, Mr. Veitch, supreme patience isn’t one of my powers. 😛

    I think I own it all, but it’s scattered into 4 different long boxes. 😀

    Maybe to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Brat Pack. Like, now. 😉

  4. I would stop reading all other comic books to read that Greg Rucka series.

  5. Great job sir!

  6. Man, people sure do LOVE to hate Mark Millar don’t they ? people are overreacting. (and by people, i mean particularly Comics Alliance) I doubt he’s claiming these creators "ripped him off," he’s probably just upset at the scheduling. and honestly, i’d be too. what would you think if you had been building to big payoff arc and a similar book is released by your own company at the smae time?

  7. I wasn’t aware that Greg Rucka series was coming (possibly).  Exciting.

  8. Am I the only one who thinks reading Parker: The Hunter on your iPhone/iPod is a sin? It’s one of the most beautiful comics I’ve EVER seen and should be experienced in the context Darwyn Cooke originally intended.

  9. Isn’t it funny that after one piece of art everyone is chomping at the bit to read a new Rucka book? I’m in too! Bring it on.

  10. @thinsafetypin Actually, there was a video interview, on this site, with Darwyn Cooke where he says Parker would be perfect for the iPhone. He draws most of his pages in a six panel grid, so it would translate, in his opinion, well.

  11. He’s not wrong. Darwyn told us that last year.

  12. @stulach You should definitely read the Wondercon transcript. He teases several possible books that he’ll be working on now that he’s free of DC.

     And I’m with Josh. The only way the Rucka book could be better is if he and Ennis just set up War Comics, Inc. and pumped out war books on a monthly basis as their own publisher. Bonus points if Joe Kubert or Chris Samnee (who I think would shine on a war book) does an issue or two.

     While I’m daydreaming about things that’ll never happen, I’d also like Ennis and Rucka to tell the story of the same battle, but from the viewpoint of opposing sides. I also want a unicorn.

  13. Well, then, I stand corrected! It’s a beautiful book no matter how you slice it, I suppose.

  14. The Frank Miller Week that a few of you guys did…was great. I particularly enjoyed the article on Spawn/Batman, and Chad Nevett’s articles on Sin City. You guys are great.

  15. @brothers – Thanks for the heads up, good sir.