Pay Attention! Comics News Round-Up 07/05/10

-Pulitzer Prize Winner? This summing up of Lois Lane's career by Tom Spurgeon is pretty great. There's probably some deeper issue you could wring out of this, but really, a joke about how old comics are funny is a pretty good way to start a Monday morning.

-Staying With Spurgeon Tom also links to Richard Corben's site, where you can watch the master paint and check out some of his animated work, including some Den pieces from 1969.

Unknown Soldier: AK-47

-I Knew The Unknown Soldier The most recent issue of Joshua Dysart's Unknown Soldier featured art from Rick Veitch. Rather than focusing on the ongoing trials of the title character, this issue is dedicated to one particular AK-47. It's told in first person, with the automatic rifle speaking about its history, lineage, and the way it feels about what it has been used to do. Chris Murphy at Comics Alliance has a pretty good review of it here. This issue is about 99% history lesson, with only the last couple pages taking place in the present. This is an interesting move, and one that could have easily fallen on its face, but Dysart and Veitch knocked it out of the park.

-Frank Quitely Pun Here Ever wanted to hear superstar artist Frank Quitely speak? Now's your chance, as he spoke at the West Port Book Festival in Edinburgh and some wonderful person recorded it so the world could listen in. Click here to give it a listen.

Black Comix

-Life is Illmatic GQ interviewed John Jennings and Damian Duffy, editors and curators of the upcoming Black Comix coffee table book. This is a fun interview, leapfrogging from black comics history to trends in comics to the relation of black people to superheroes to why a book like Black Comix has to exist. This is a good interview, and Jennings and Duffy acquit themselves well. I've gotten an advance look at Black Comix, and it's a pretty good primer for black indie books. A lot of the stuff they say in the interview is pretty common sense stuff, but the sort of common sense stuff that people clearly do not know or accept. I really like this being in GQ, in part because the comics press has largely ignored the book. Pay attention guys!

-Let's You And Him Fight I started a fight by accident this week! I wrote a post on my site where I said that the only comics I found enjoyable were ones with good writing and good art. Marc-Oliver Frisch at The Beat thought it was interesting enough to link on his Briefs & Boxers round-up, and added some commentary of his own. The fight comes down in the comments, and is over the roles of the writer and artist in creating a comic. Phil Hester and Peter Krause pop up to toss some common sense on the conversation. I thought I had some silliness in the comments on my post (I am "overly dogmatic" apparently), but some of the opinions in the comments for Frisch's post are so alien to me that I don't even understand how you would come to that conclusion. Regardless, it's worth a read, because it isn't quite your typical mud-slinging comments fight. Hester and Krause in particular might teach you something. There are a few good zingers in there, too, if that's your bag.

Cliff Chiang Golden Age Secret Files

-Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus Tucker Stone interviews Cliff Chiang, and it's a two-headed monster. Head one, head two. Rather than doing your usual interview, Tucker approaches it a little differently, and manages to make it an exciting read. Tucker sets the stage by explaining the history and context of Chiang's work, and then Chiang chimes in with personal thoughts. It's interesting to see commentary and interpretation right alongside interview responses, as most places avoid making value judgments when interviewing people. This sort of thing keeps comics news interesting. It's okay to read transcripts, but sometimes jazzing something up and doing an interview just because, rather than because there's a new book to buy, can be cool. More like this, please.

-Dress Up Cover design chat! Chris Eckert takes a look at the modern era of covers, going back a few years, and comes up with some shocking discoveries! I had no idea DC employed so many cover banners over the past two years (twenty-five, for the record), and when put all together like that, it does seem pretty silly. I don't even remember half of these–Deathtrap? Origins & Omens? There was a Rann-Thanagar banner? When did that even happen? And what is "Blackest Night?" (I'm kidding, don't answer that one.)

PAD vs Larsen-Let's You And Him Fight II Brian Cronin at Comics Should Be Good has the straight dope on a fight between Peter David and Erik Larsen. Not a fistfight or anything, no–they did battle in the pages of Incredible Hulk and Spider-Man. This is pretty goofy and kind of like watching The Simpsons take shots at Family Guy and vice versa. I guess if you're reading the books, you just get a slight speedbump on the way to the plot, but if you know the history… doesn't it kinda make you feel like those pages could've been put to better use? I know this sort of thing has happened quite a few times in comics history. I think John Byrne fired shots at Jim Shooter in a New Universe book when he took it over. Anyone got a favorite?

-Hail and Farewell It's always said when a site you like shuts down, but it is what it is. PopCultureShock is shutting down, and Manga Recon, one of the best and most thorough manga review sites, is going with it. The team did a farewell roundtable, and it's a pretty fun read. If you're looking to "get into" manga (they're just comics, folks, seriously, have at it), Manga Recon's archives should be a pretty great resource. The Manga Minis section alone is a treasure trove of brief, but valuable, impressions. The Manga Recon team were a group with diverse personalities and opinions. Go check it out.

David Brothers writes for 4thletter! and never sleeps, 'cause sleep is the cousin of death.


  1. Every time I hear something like this about Unknown Soldier I kick myself for not reading it.  I hope to remedy that problem.  I have just added it to my Amazon wishlist.

  2. Heh… "petty larceny."  I’ll always be entertained by Peter David and Erik Larsen’s battles.

  3. Great GQ article!  It is sad how little diversity makes up the super hero community….slowly changing i suppose but at a snail’s pace

  4. At the risk of sounding like a tool, isn’t it Frank QUITE-LEE and not QUI-ET-LEE like everyone seems to pronounce it?  It is a pun on Quite Frankly after all…