I wasn’t going to do an end-of-the-year post. In fact, this post has already been up for about half-an-hour as I’m typing this. I was just going to wish everyone a happy and safe New Years Eve and be done with it.
In fact, I’ve also got to edit my post for tomorrow because it says something about not really being ready for the New Year and that’s not quite how I’m feeling anymore either.
I’ve never been big on New Year’s Resolutions and this year-end, more than ever, I’ve been of the philosophy that we make lifestyle changes incrementally, not all at once and not because of something as superficial as a calendar change. Also, I’m a little worn out from Christmas and haven’t been feeling like celebrating another holiday, even if the celebration is just thinking over the last year and making plans for the next one.
But I spent some time today catching up with the Internet and you guys have been busy. The last few days have been pretty quiet, but today I read post after post of people talking about the year that was and what they’re looking forward to in the year to come. And I guess it’s gotten me in the New Year Spirit.
I’m still not making a bunch of resolutions, but tomorrow I’ll do some thinking about what I’d like to accomplish in 2009. For tonight though, I’m preparing for that by mulling over 2008. It was a disappointing year in a lot of ways. I still haven’t finished my novel, Jesse James vs. Machine Gun Kelly was canceled before it was even published, and Kill All Monsters is moving more slowly than Jason and I would like.
But there’s also been some good movement. I still love my novel (unfinished though it is), I’m confident that Jesse vs. Kelly will see life again, the Kill All Monsters pitch is done and in the hands of some publishers (with more to follow soon), and there’s a great team working on the Cownt comic. I may not have accomplished everything that I’d hoped to for this year, but there’s forward progression, so I’m happy about that.
Good night, Internet, and Happy New Year. Be safe and I’ll talk to you tomorrow.
There’s one more Black Canary comic that’s been causing a stir, so I should mention it. Folks seem to be having a problem with a scene in which JLA Chairwoman Black Canary confronts Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman for holding secret meetings in a hidden room.
A lot of the commentary is around Ed Benes’ art and I get that. I find it pretty easy to ignore, but yes, he does like to draw booties and crotches. The panel above isn’t at all indicative of most of Benes’ poses in the scene.
Where I disagree with critics though is about Dwayne McDuffie’s writing. Black Canary does accuse the “trinity” of undermining her authority as leader of the JLA and I’ve read a couple of posts questioning exactly how they’re doing that. After all, they’re not countermanding her orders in battle and none of the other members know about the secret meetings. Black Canary herself had to do some serious detective work to find out about them.
So, yeah, I agree that they’re not really undermining her authority as far as the rest of the team is concerned. But Canary’s response here isn’t really about the rest of the team. It’s about her. It’s an emotional response to finding out that the three heavy-hitters of the superhero community in general and the JLA in particular don’t trust her enough to include her in their little club. “Undermining” may be a poor choice of words on Canary’s part, but I don’t think they necessarily are on McDuffie’s. It’s exactly the kind of thing someone would say out of their emotion when they feel personally and professionally threatened. I like it. It humanizes Canary.
In a perfect world, I’d have much more to say about the return of the Milestone characters in this issue. I’ve been waiting for this day and I’m twelve kinds of excited about seeing where this goes. But the sad fact is that it’s been so long since I’ve read these guys’ adventures that I don’t remember much about all but a couple of them. I really need to dig out my old Milestones again. And probably post about them.
This is one of those “cartoons in the 1960s and 1970s” DiDio was talking about in that last post. Notice the distinct lack of crime-fighting. I’ve got to get the DVD set and see if they were all this way. (Edited to add: Now that I’ve watched the whole thing, I’m uncertain about watching more of these. It’s kind of creepy how much the makers of that cartoon hated Mera.)
Coming on the heels of a couple ofother cancellations of series that starred female heroes, some folkshave wondered if this isn’t some kind of backlash against super-heroines in general and if series like She-Hulk should be worried. Of course not, says Johanna (and, to be fair, Valerie in the link above as well, though after a rather sensationalistic title and opening paragraph). And I agree.
Low sales are most likely due to readers just getting tired of the concepts. Spider-Girl and Manhunter (good as Manhunter has been; I haven’t read Spider-Girl) have had the same writers on them for pretty much their entire runs. Where She-Hulk (for example) has the advantage is that it’s made use of one of the strengths of corporate-owned comics: the ability to boost reader-interest by bringing in a new creative team with a fresh vision.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing but respect and admiration for Marvel and DC’s allowing Tom DeFalco and Marc Andreyko to shepherd their respective titles to the very end. But let’s face it, if DC handed Manhunter over Gail Simone or Geoff Johns, the series would get enough of a sales boost to keep it going for a while longer. I’m not saying that DC should do that; just saying that it would work.
She-Hulk on the other hand, wasn’t cancelled with Dan Slott’s leaving it. It was handed over to Peter David who’s doing just fine with it. That’s why it’s not in danger of being canceled, even though – like Spider-Girl and Manhunter – it’s been through a couple of hiatus periods in its history.
And what does this have to do with Birds of Prey? Absolutely nothing, except that that series’ demise also has nothing to do with its featuring women heroes. BoP is being “canceled” along with Robin and Nightwing in a publicity stunt tied into aftermath the “Batman RIP” storyline. DC’s already announced an Oracle mini-series to follow BoP and you can bet there will be something else directly after that once the dust settles in Gotham City.
By Frank Godwin. Which reminds me that I need to catch up on the new Crusoe show on TiVo and report on it. I really enjoyed the awesome, pirates- and treehouse-filled island-adventure in the pilot.
Cameron Crowe’s Tropical Romantic Comedy
Cameron Crowe will start production next year on a romantic adventure-comedy starring Ben Stiller and Reese Witherspoon and set in Hawaii. According to /Film, the plot features a native Hawaiian council, Hawaiian gods, and a volcano-sacrifice.
I’m gonna have to see a trailer on that one. The awesome-sounding elements are pretty much neck-and-neck with the questionable ones.
Writer Kevin Church is teasing a new comic that looks very island-adventurey. Looking forward to learning more about that one.
We’re a couple of episodes into the Burn Notice season, but this is still a good interview with Jeffrey Donovan and Bruce Campbell about the show and where this season is headed.
Not much about Fiona unfortunately, except to expect that her relationship with Mike will “go left, right and all around, and it’ll be exciting.” Donovan also says, “Some of the episodes I actually don’t read until I get on the day just so I can see what crazy thing she’s going to do to me that day.”
Sounds about right. I love Fiona and she’s continuing to show this season that she’s a strong character, not just in kickbuttability, but also in the way she’s growing emotionally. She’s still psychotic though, which is so cool.
Alan Moore on Sexism in Comics
This is an ancient series of articles and doesn’t shed any new light on the subject, but it’s written by Alan Moore which means that it’s thoughtful as well as entertaining as all get out.
New Black Canary writer
So, it’s true. Green Arrow/Black Canary does have a new writer as of issue #15. Andrew Kreisberg is one of the writers on Eli Stone, which bodes well since I really, really like that show. He also wrote that Helen Killer comic that Chris Sims likes so much, so there’s that too.
Still, I can’t help but be skeptical. I’ve really loved the globe-trotting adventures that Judd Winick’s been writing and I’ll be sorry to see Dinah and Ollie go home to Star City to focus on their marriage and the new bad guys Kreisberg’s creating. Still, there’s no reason that the series can’t continue to be awesome under those circumstances. Hopefully, it will be.
Now here’s a Black Canary doll the Christian Voice can get behind.
Here’s some footage of the trailer that someone nicked at San Diego.
I really hate the look of Hasbro’s Marvel Super Hero Squad. Especially the happy-as-pie Hulk and the disturbing and creepy Thing. It works pretty well on She-Hulk though, so I may have to pick up this two-pack. Anyone want a disturbing and creepy Thing toy?
Steve’s writing the best Batman comic being published right now. Gotham After Midnight is a 12-issue mini-series that not only pits Batman against a creepy, new menace, but also against some of his classic villains who are mysteriously deviating from their standard methods of operation. It’s super-fun and Kelley Jones is obviously having a great time drawing whatever insane things pop into his head. His Batman with the crazy-ass cape has never looked so awesome.
And then there’s the most recent issue.
Okay, first of all, that title “The Malleable Menace” is awesome. But even better is the story that has Clayface learning to increase his size by absorbing more and more of Gotham’s citizens. Eventually, he gets so big that there’s no way Batman’s going to be able to handle him the conventional way.
So of course Steve does the only rational thing and turns it into a giant robot vs. giant monster comic.
Ha! Look at Clayface’s face! Issue #4 is going to be goooooood.