Pay Attention! Comics News Round-Up 05/03/10

Liz Sherman is hot. (Get it?)

Buy BPRD Mike Mignola, John Arcudi, and Guy Davis are on the cusp of wrapping up their "Plague of Frogs" cycle in BPRD. The name of the next cycle is the not-foreboding-at-all "Hell on Earth." Abe and Johann appear on the cover of the first miniseries of the new cycle, "New World," but the fate of the rest of the cast is up in the air. Liz Sherman is kicking around with monstrous (or godlike?) power, Abe is finding out how his past relates to the planet's future, and Johann is struggling with the spirit of Lobster Johnson. What's next? Mignola teases a few details in this interview with Kiel Phegley at CBR, which focuses mostly on the way BPRD is structured, rather than specific plot teases. There are no mysterious silhouettes here, folks, just a great interview. And how freaking great is Guy Davis's art?

Zuda Hero Zuda is cutting out the competition and going to a format that is fully curated by editors. Lauren Davis has some great analysis of the situation. I tend to agree with Lauren–voting is great and all, but someone with a crappy comic with four thousand Facebook friends has a better chance of winning than someone fantastic, but reclusive? Boooooo. Hopefully this new format will lead to more strips like Bayou.

Batman & Robin: The Bomb

Not So Mindless, Huh I haven't really been a fan of Alex Sinclair's coloring on Batman & Robin. It looks posterized, for the Photoshop-inclined among you, or like a lo-res animated GIF. Zom of the Mindless Ones puts some thought to it, though, and comes up with a very good defense for Sinclair's work. It's still not to my taste, though I loved Lynn Varley's palette in Dark Knight Strikes Again, but I get it. Good show.

Tom Spurgeon x Glen Brunswick Tom Spurgeon's resurrecting his Sunday Interview at Comics Reporter, and Glen Brunswick is his first subject. You might know Brunswick from The Grey Area, his creator-owned title with John Romita Jr that Icon is republishing this year, or Jersey Gods, a comic with a hardcore dose of Jack Kirby running in its veins. I've only read a few issues, but those were pretty good. This interview goes into some of the trials of doing your own comics, with the various pitfalls that can trip up an otherwise worthwhile comic. He also nails the appeal of high concept storytelling. Definitely worth reading.

O Captain John Seavey pens a killer Captain America pitch over at MightyGodKing's spot. Or rather, a great Steve Rogers pitch.

Mushishi Manga Moveable Feast Ed Sizemore at Manga Worth Reading recently masterminded a Manga Moveable Feast, a kind of round-robin review/analysis party across several blogs. The topic this time around was Yuki Urushibara's Mushishi, a series about Japanese folklore and a fellow who walks around solving problems that have to do with those folkloric entities. There are thirty-two (!) links in there, so there's plenty to read up on. This kind of concentrated criticism is always fascinating to me, and the sort of thing that's generally lacking in the comics press/blogosphere. Being able to get together and just really dig into a book, with everyone's biases and tastes and interests clashing and not even pretending to find consensus is a fantastic thing. More like this, please.

The Truth is Back Aaron McGruder's The Boondocks returned to TV after a couple years off last night. The Washington Post has a review of the first episode, which focused on the Obama campaign of 2008. I haven't seen the episode as of this writing, but the first two seasons have some of my favorite moments to ever air on television. Did I mention that the episode is narrated by Werner Herzog?

Hetalia Axis Powers... Yeah, I don't even know.

Whotalia? Tokyopop just recently announced a big license grab: Hetalia: Axis Powers. Brigid Alverson at Robot 6 has the details. If you want a summary… imagine if the Italy, Germany, and Japan were turned into pretty boy cartoon characters and thrown into wacky situations with other stereotyped versions of other countries, including a fictionalized World War II. It is weird and funny. I'm curious to see how it is received over here, since it is fairly politically incorrect. FUNimation has a few subtitled episodes up for viewing on Youtube. They come in five minute chunks, so watch them now and tell your friends how passe it is when they finally discover it months down the line. It is weird, but not… inaccurate for varying values of inaccuracy.

The Knight Life Keith Knight has been around the block, as far as controversies go. The most recent one involved a strip where he satirized the idea of the use of the "race card" in modern political discourse. Students at Slippery Rock University in Western PA took offense and, er, came to school wearing nooses in protest? Because that symbolizes how lynching isn't funny? Something something racism? Anyway, Knight took a trip out to SRU this past week and wrote about his experiences there. I was surprised to see that there are thirty-three registered hate groups up there. The meeting sounds kind of nice, actually, the sort of thing where differing opinions meet in the middle and talk things out, rather than just shouting at each other. He also makes some excellent points about why his strips tend to raise a ruckus, and it's not even necessarily about the content.


  1. I expect "Hell on Earth" to be very enjoyable.  I’m looking forward to it.

  2. Boondocks was great. Already a step up from the last season. 

    "Look," Obama says at a news conference, "I have many, many friends on MySpace. I pretty much add anybody. I don’t know who this Huey Freeman is. I denounce [him]. I repudiate. I condemn him. Basically fuck him."

  3. Man Keith Knight’s strip seems like every other political cartoon; too on the nose to be funny. Except Boondocks, its funny regardless.

  4. People, read that treatise on B&R colo(u)r.  There’s so much going on in comics worthy of examination that it passes us by, and that’s just a hell of a lot of thouht into something most haven’t thought about at all.

  5. I have always thought of Sinclair’s coloring on that title to be excellent. I never knew there to be any dislike of it.

    The Keith Knight strip was not funny.

  6. I completely agree with ZUDA on this. I’ve seen some pretty good things on there, but i’ve seen some complete garbage, with horrible art and weak story telling that seems to have hundreds of supporters. Its obvious that its more of a popularity contest and an exercise in who can play "viral social networking vote getting" the best instead of a forum for true talent to be discovered and supported. 

    Perhaps next they can make the format actual comic proportions 

  7. I love Sinclair’s colors on B&R. Need to watch last night’s ep of The Boondocks.

  8. Sinclair is a colorist I am always iffy about. His work on Batman and Robin is fine, actually pretty good even. But some of his other work is pretty ‘blah’ in general. Like in Blackest Night, I mean Ivan Reis drew the hell out of it. Somehow though, the coloring just didn’t seem that good.

  9. man I missed Boondocks…hopefully they replay the 1st episode

  10. I just started picking up B&R and I thought the coloring was a printing mishap. It annoyed me.

  11. Cant wait to read the BPRD story; it has been a true treat to read such a well crafted story.

  12. I think Sinclair won me over on Flash Rebirth. The issues he colors vs the ones he doesn’t, have a drastic change in quality.

  13. I didn’t know that anyone had a problem with the coloring on Batman and Robin. That was one of my favorite parts of the first 3 issues. It lent such an interesting feeling to the book. It was like nothing else on the shelves. Really drove home the fact that Damian and Dick were in a very different Gotham post RIP.