Pay Attention! Comics News Round-Up 06/14/10

Poor Annie. It's a hard knock life for her :(Tomorrow… Heidi MacDonald has the last Little Orphan Annie strip and, wow. Click here and read this. Is the ending of this strip seriously "And then she lived in captivity forever? Maybe she escaped, maybe she didn't, who knows. Goodbye."? Did any of you watch Dinosaurs? "Not the mama?" The ending of that show was similarly baffling. Here's the YouTube video of it, but in short, the ice age comes and they all die. Not on-screen, of course, but it's pretty well implied. The closest thing I can think of in comics is the end of Suicide Squad, maybe. There is a long-awaited standoff between two characters, and then they both decide not to kill each other and walk away. No closure, no nothing. Maybe they'll relaunch Annie in a couple years. Give her a cyborg arm, a couple of twin .45s… you could get another 80 years out of that.

Matt's the Surgeon Reviewing comics! Reviews that talk about what happened in a book don't really interest me. Reviews that talk about how well a book was done is the thing that really revs my motor. So when Matt Seneca opened a post about Batman #700 (which came courtesy of Grant Morrison and a host of artists) with "Aw man, only five pages of Morrison/Quitely?? You'd almost have to go panel-by-panel to say anything interesting about it–" I was already nodding my head in agreement… and then dang if he didn't go right out there and do it. This is good reading, the sort of thing I'd love to see more often. Seneca talks a lot the storytelling, the art techniques, and the body language Quitely uses. I especially love his comments on page 3, panel 2, which is the hands-down best Batman-related panel since "Striking terror. Best part of the job." in Frank Miller and Lynn Varley's Dark Knight Strikes Again. Also, while I'm making proclamations that people are going to probably disagree with: Frank Quitely is fantastic at drawing Batman and should probably do it forever.


Nah, we're here. You're cool.


Dealin in my cipher I revolve around sciences Let's talk more about Batman 700 and criticism! Botswana Beast of the Mindless Ones goes in on the anniversary issue and comes up with something different. There's a fine line to walk when doing really personal examinations of things. It's been called "new journalism" elsewhere, and I honestly hate most of it. Talk about the book, not yourself, you know? But Botswana Beast delivers a good post here. It's very personal and stream-of-consciousness-ish, asks a lot of worthwhile questions, answers a few of them, and leaves enough space for you to come to conclusions of your own. I like that not every question has an answer, if only because it means that there's still digging to be done. Not everything has to be a completely thought out and footnoted essay. Sometimes going "This bit is good, but this other bit, what is this?" is more interesting than "Here's what everything means."

This is GNN CNN did a story on Grant Morrison's run on Batman. Here's the opening paragraph:

"As everyone but the citizens of Gotham City knows, Batman is Bruce Wayne. But lately, he's been Dick Grayson. And this month, he's also Damian Wayne and Terry McGinnis. Will the real Batman please stand up?"

Bless you, comic books. Sometimes you're the best.

Masters of Manga Heidi MacDonald has another good link, this time on the Masters of Manga website. Long story short–Marc Bernabé is interviewing several manga greats and posting the results online. Does that sound like something you'd want to watch? Of course it does. Click through, watch the video.

Blog Projects! The internet has irrevocably altered the way we consume comics. For a lot of us, the Wednesday evening comic shop bull session is a thing of the past, whether due to time or living near a comic shop that's gross or Online, though, the conversation goes 24/7. Want to talk to somebody about the time Luke Cage tried to use ninjutsu to sneak into a building in the '70s? Sure, get on Twitter! I'm ready and waiting. Melinda Beasi and Michelle Smith, a couple of manga-reviewing all-stars, have teamed up to do Shouen Sundays, a month-long project where they trade books and review each other's favorite books, new books, and other books. The product so far has been quite good, and their reviews are well worth your time in general. (I'm looking forward to the One Piece review, since that is the best adventure comic.) This is the kind of thing you just couldn't have done pre-internet. If you did it in fanzines, it'd take a year and cost you actual money. Beasi and Smith aren't doing anything other than posting as usual, but this time they're posting toward a particular goal. More like this, too, please.

One Piece... on Youtube?

He did what? This kid 14-year old kid got arrested for scanning and uploading chapters of several hit manga to the internet before their release date. The biggest question mark in this story isn't how he got them ahead of time. No, it's "why did he photograph the pages and upload them to YouTube of all places?" I'm a huge booster of digital comics (electrons up, dead trees down) and I'm pretty fond of reading comics on the screen. Despite that, reading comics on YouTube sounds like an exercise in frustration.

Not Safe For Work Don't click this if you're at work or near children, but Babe Lab is a pretty interesting site. I thought about linking to a specific post, but I'd rather link to the main site. In short, Babe Lab has a series of informative posts on cheesecake art. If you read superhero books, you clearly know what cheesecake is. Some of it is good (Frank Cho), some of it is bad, but I found reading about the theory and, for lack of a better word, science behind the art of cheesecake really, really interesting. This examination of Frank Frazetta's sexy art showed how much actual skill is needed to do good cheesecake. Not all of the art is to my taste, but it's cool to see people thinking about it beyond "Hey, make those bigger." High schoolers can do that sort of thinking on their binders, you know? Or was that just me? Never mind.

New Adam Warren Sketch Click here. 'nuff said, folks.

Hellcat vs Einstein... brains vs brawn.

A brief review Kathryn Immonen, Tonci Zonjic, and James Harren's Heralds is a fantastic comic book that you should absolutely be buying.

Not Comics NPR is streaming Herbie Hancock's The Imagine Project for free until June 22. Hancock is a legend, so get up on this ASAP.


David Brothers writes at 4thletter! when he isn't listening to every OutKast record ever on repeat. Remember when Aquemini got 5 mics in The Source, back when The Source mattered? Good times. Greatest rap duo of all time.


  1. When I was a kid, I used to draw in the pupils in those LOA strips. I was a pretty apt pupiler.

  2. I agree.  Give me Morrison/Quietly on Batman for the rest of my life.  I don’t care if we only get four issues a year.  I’m willing to wait. 

    When I read that panel I felt like it should have been Damian saying "Nah, you won’t get hurt. We’re here." 

  3. Space: Above and Beyond did the same sour grapes type ending. SPOILER: half the cast died and the remainder were left to face the end of the human race as the alien race won. The Annie Strip seems particularly petulant, though. "We only had 70+ years of clogging newspapers with our boring yet overwrought comic. Let’s punish the few fans we have with THIS."

  4. In regard to Frazetta’s work, and the comments and analysis of his women on the Babe Lab site, I’m pretty sure it’s common knowledge that Frank’s muse was his lovely wife Ellie (who tragically passed away last year).×379/2/45/65/19/album2/frank_frazetta_the_muse.jpg 

  5. OK Mr. Brothers! You have convinced me to check out One Piece. Now it must not suck!

  6. @muddi900 Amazon’s got a collection of the first three volumes in one set for 15 bucks. Here’s a series of posts I’ve written about the series if you need more motivation:


  7. One Piece is surprisingly good.  Read the first 5 volumes and I couldn’t believe how interested I was in all the characters.  If its been completed I really need to pick up the whole run and spend a weekend with it.

  8. This is one of my favortite weekly columns. Appreciate it David!

  9. re: Frank Frazetta, some beautiful cover scans here: 

  10. Also, while I’m making proclamations that people are going to probably disagree with: Frank Quitely is fantastic at drawing Batman and should probably do it forever.

    Allow me to NOT be one of those people.  He shouldn’t be allowed to draw anything BUT Batman and Robin. 


  11. @DavidBrothers:

    -This is GNN: Notice how Grant Morrison says "and people like that". You can tell it’s not without a little disdain towards the masses. I love this fellow and his subtle messages.

    –Not Safe For Work: Thanks for that, never heard of this site before now.

    -He did what?: Being well inversed in manga culture it has come to my observation that scanlations of manga pages is seen as an act of manga fandom by likewise people and so many sites that do this in groups have a wide following. Some sites have a donation & ad system very similar to Waitaminute, now that I mention it, the design scheme of one site is slightly similar to
    connection? Probably not, but very juicy speculation nontheless ;p

    -Blog Projects!: I’m surprised you like One Piece. It’s the only one of the top 10 manga I can’t stand.
    @muddi900: I wouldn’t hold my breath. It falls apart in the 300’s. Quickly. Which means your first 300 should be pretty enjoyable.