Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Current Comic Conversation for 1/11

The shtick here is that I and a friend (or friends) look at the shipping list for this comic week and riff, using the books that are coming out for inspiration for the discussion. This week, I am talking with my pal Justin Davis as well as my pal Fabian (F=Fabian, J=Justin and B=Brian). There very likely WILL be some spoilers mentioned in the discussion, so be forewarned!

Let's begin!


F: Because Lucas can't screw up the Star Wars universe on his own, we have a new issue. It can't be worse than episode I because at least you won't hear Jar Jar talking through a comic

B: I do not think that Jar Jar has ever appeared in a comic

B: Thank heaven for small favors!

J: I think he has. I've only purchased one Star Wars comic. The indy creator jam Star Wars did a while back.

B: That doesn't count!

J: I won't have a whole lot to say then. Not a Star Wars guy. I'm more a Star Trek nerd.

B: Star Trek has had better comics.

B: Peter David even seems to rein in his style when he writes Star Trek comics.

J: Everyone always says some of the best Star Trek books are by David.

B: I think he had so much respect for Star Trek.

J: We can discuss why people refer to Peter David as PAD.

F: Because it's easier

B: and because he calls himself that, too!

F: Like John Romita jr is JRJr

J: I guess the A stands for PAD's middle name. We can make up goofy names for it. Peter Apollo David.

F: Peter Alfredo David

J: Peter Antagonistic David.

B: Or hahaha...imagine...hahah...Peter ALLEN David! Hahahahah.


B: Captain Atom Armageddon is a decent book, but it is weird.

B: There are a lot of jokes in it that you would only get if you read a lot of 90s Wildstorm comics.

J: I like it too. Surprisingly good read. I didn't read a lot of Wildstorm books in the 90s though.


J: Sadly, I haven't picked up any issues of Amazing Joy Buzzards.

B: You should.

B: It is a really fun book.

B: Last issue had fill-in artist, but even the fill-in artists were all top notch.

J: I've heard.

B: And one of the dudes is half-YETI!


F: What's with the title of the Marvel Knights book? "Impossible Things Happen Everyday"? Well yes if you're in the Marvel Universe. Unless they mean it in our world in which case people will buy the book and won't say Joe Q is the latest scapegoat of comic book suckage

J: I think that's the name of the story arc in 4, the Marvel Knights FF book.

B: Yeah, that is just the name of the trade.

F: Still an odd title

B: Marvel Knights 4, by the by, is a great book.

B: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is one of the best mainstream superhero comic writers out there.

J: It's always looked interesting. The art is said to be impressive too.

B: It WAS awesome when it was drawn by Steve McNiven

F: What does he write?

F: The Roberto guy?

B: He writes Marvel Knights 4.

B: And he will soon write Marvel Knigsts Spider-Man

J: Fabian's a little slow. You have to forgive him.

B: He is one of those guys that got a comic gig because he did something good outside of comics.

B: He was a playwright

B: Who wrote a play about the Archie characters grown up, with the topic "What if Archie came out as gay and moved to New York?"

J: What was the big hoopla over Sacasa taking over FF, again? I've forgotten.

B: Jemas liked the play a lot, so he fired Mark Waid and made Sacasa the new writer

B: People freaked out, so he instead kept Waid and gave Sacasa his own title.

F: Is he a good outsider writing comics like early Geoff Johns was or is he a Ron ZImmerman writing Jay Leno beating up the hand?

F: THat's an odd thing to do

J: Oh, yeah, Waid got fired.

B: His early stuff, I think, suffered in translation.

B: But he's adapted to the form, and is now one of the best writers out there, I think.

B: He also has a new play coming out this year - about a gay comic writer.

F: "THat man writes a great gay read. Brokeback Mountain with Archie! Waid bitch, you're off your title. Don't be laughing PAD, I've been reading some pretty good THundercat furry love stories and he could take your title"

J: So, you could skip the first 4 trade?

B: Yes, you could skip the first one.

B: The PROBLEM, and it's a big one, is that McNiven's art was amazing.

B: On the first trade

J: Yes, ... that's a problem....

B: And he left after that.

J: Oh. Who took over?

B: When the writing got good.

B: Jim Muniz for awhile, then a bunch of fill-in artists.

B: And, well, Jim Muniz is no Steve McNiven.

J: "I knew Steve Mcniven. Sir, you are no Steve McNiven."

F: Maybe you cant have too many good things on one Marvel title unless it ships 6 months late

J: I think that's a general rule.

B: Fabian even knows McNiven's art!

B: He drew New Avengers #7, the last issue you read, Fabe!

F: Is he the guy where he drew a New Avengers cover with Spider-Woman on the front and you had me/us blast it?

F: We found like 10 things wrong with it

B: No.

B: That was Frank Cho.

B: Who did a very good interior job on the latest New Avengers.

J: Is that the one where she had big breasts or the one where she had big breasts?

B: Hehe.

B: The interior work was much better.

B: Surprisingly very good.

F: All comic book females have big breasts

J: Not true. Supergirl never has.

F: She's an alien

F: She doesn't count and she's still a kid

J: Well, it's doubtful she'll ever be Superwoman anytime soon.

B: Too much coffee has stunted her growth

B: He even threw in a self-mocking joke.

B: Where he shows Spider-Woman having surgery to get her new powers.

B: And he shows them putting breast implants in her, too.

J: Wait..... Spider-Woman has breast implants.

J: ...I"m not sure what to think of that.

B: It was just a joke.

B: By Cho.

J: Hilarious? Smart? Disappointing?

B: To make fun of how big he draws her breasts.

J: ........ So, she doesn't have breast implants?

B: He drew her getting breast implants.

B: One little panel.

F: Smart. If a bullet hits her i the chest it's better if it takes out a chunk of silicone rather than flesh

B: You can barely notice it.

F: Unlike her breasts?

J: But, oddly enough, you did.

B: Just like how Batman had the bulletproof yellow signal!

B: Frank Cho pointed it out somewhere.

J: Riiiight.

B: He did!

J: Bulletproof boobs.

F: Those scare me

EXILES #75 $2.99

J: I liked the first trade enough and this World Tour thing sounds entertaining.

B: I dunno.

B: Seems sorta nerd pandering to me.

F: Exiles always held a special place for me.

B: Why's that?

F: You calling me a nerd?

J: Then again, I like What if/Elseworld type stories and that's basically what Exiles is except with continuing characters.

F: Exiles was what brought me into X-men

J: Is it wrong to pander?

F: Gave me a differnet spin on characters I hated

F: To nerds? Yes

J: You're a nerd. I don't care how much crap you put in you hair.

B: I do think it is wrong to pander.

B: That being said, I think I am being too harsh on Bedard.

B: I think he honestly IS interested in these alternate universes.

B: So I take it back.

J: Ok, pandering isn't good. How about another word? Cater?

B: I am sorry, Tony Bedard, you are not nerd pandering!

F: That's not good either

F: Appeals is good enough

B: Yeah, if someone writes something that appeals to nerds, that's fine.

B: It's when you start writing stories specifically FOR the nerds.

B: That you have a problem.

F: Otherwise it makes it sound all fancy and we know nothing is fancy nerd wise unless it's in a minth condition holofoil limited edition variant signed by Moore, Morrison, or Claremont

J: Isn't that just another way of saying the writer caters to a specific audience?

B: Sure.

B: Which is lame, no?

B: You shouldn't be catering. You should just be writing what you think is a good story.

F: What if he is a nerd and he thinks that's an awesome story?

B: Haha.

B: Touche.

B: Fair point.

B: I think that describes Gruenwald.

B: I do not think Mark Gruenwald wrote his continuity-dripped stories to appeal to continuity nerds. I think he just was really into it.

F: Would that be self nerd cater-master-pandering?

J: I like time travel stories. If I pick up a book just because a book involves time travel stories in it, is it catering to me because it's written for an audience that likes time travel stories?

B: Who writes a time-travel story for time-travel fans?

B: Is that a thing?

F: Yes

J: I think you can cater and write awesome stories. Pandering is a different topic. Pandering is when you throw in certain emotional and plot twists simply to make a key demographic squirm.

B: "I hate this shit, but those time-travel freaks eat this shit up, so I will write one."

F: If there's a pervert for every type of porn out there, there's a geek for every type of sci-fi out there

B: I guess I'm still looking at cater and pander as basically the same thing.

J: No one does that though. I doubt seriously someone is going to think, "I hate this stuff, but the fans like it."

B: I agree.

F: All those Image swimsuit artists probably did

B: Haha.

B: I dunno.

B: I think those dudes DID like drawing those things.

J: They do. I've seen some of their personal portfolios. Women in skimpy to no clothing all over them.

B: Yeah, they really do like drawing the female form.

F: Yeah but what about the poor saps who got stuck doing the "Grunge" pin-up in the Gen13 swimsuit special?

J: Grunge was hot.

J: .....

J: oops

B: Don't worry, we can edit that out so you won't look like a fifi boy.

B: Man...I loved that Ali G moment.

B: Where he tells James Lipton that he will redo the point where Lipton admits to crying at movies.

J: People who write time travel stories write them for time travel fans, including themselves. Same for other types of stories. Usually.

F: What if they have to use time travel?

J: Have to?

J: "Yes, as your editor, I'm demanding you show time travel used in this next book/issue."

ARES #1 (OF 5) $2.99

B: Marvel is doing a comic about Ares.

F: Is this because God of War was a popular video game?

J: They did a comic about Thor, so why not Ares?

F: Cause Marvel did a texas hold'em comic.

B: I think it's actually a Thor sequel.

B: Written by Mike Oeming.

F: So the greek Gods take over now?

B: I saw a quote that I did not like by Oeming.

B: Something like "My Thor run will always be remembered."

B: And I just thought, "Duh. You killed him."

B: "Of COURSE they'll remember your run. That's not a sign of talent."

J: I think it's because Oeming wanted to do a comic about Ares.

F: Well you could all be wrong and some editor told Oeming, "No, you write about Ares because the fans want it. And put in some time travel in that. It's gonna be hot!"

B: "He better be in a bathing suit!"

B: "This will outsell X-Men!"

J: "Don't forget to have him hop to some alternate universe!"

F: "Not enough nerd pandering! I want more nerd pandering!"

J: Ok, actually, Ares looks interesting. Never read the solicit until now.

F: what's it about?

B: It seems odd to me that Marvel seems to approve pretty much any pitch right now, so long as it involves a property that could CONCEIVABLY be made into a movie.


J: Ares info there.

J: That's pretty funny since I was just thinking that I could see Ares as a movie at some point.

J: Probably starring Vin Diesel.

B: Haha.

B: Or The Rock.

J: No, not the Rock. Sorry, even jokingly, no.

F: Keanu?

J: No, Vin Diesel. Look at Ares in the picture. That's Diesel.

F: You sound more and more like a Fifi boy

B: That's gotta be the only reason


B: was approved.

B: Because they think it would make a decent TV show.

J: The guy doing the art on Ares is the same guy who did (will do?) the art on Doctor Spectrum. Never read any of the new Squadron Supreme stuff, Supreme Power.

F: Supreme Power was amazing even if it was "realistic JLA" take 4

J: I have a friend that asks me why or complains about books using JLA archtypes every time he sees something about Supreme Power

J: Or Invincible.

B: What's the problem?

B: He doesn't like the idea of using archetypes?

J: I think he considers it lazy.

J: Maybe it's that there's been an abundance of those stories coming out in the last few years.

J: "LIke the JLA, but in a way you've never seen them before."

B: That IS true.

J: I just point them out as archetypes like Mr. Hyde and Dracula.

B: Sorta like something Alex Robinson was talking about a month or so ago.

B: Where he was discussing his plan to do a "different" take on traditional superheroes.

B: And people mentioned a bunch of other comics with that same idea.

B: That had come out recently.

B: I guess there IS something to be said for zeitgeist.

J: Exactly.

J: And seriously, how often do you get to casually use the word zeitgeist in conversation?

B: I try using it at least once a day.

J: I learn my big words from porn spam emails now.

B: I do not get any porn spam e-mails.

B: I feel deprived.

B: All my spam e-mails are all business-y stuff.

J: This word showd up in one the other day: pulchritudinous

B: Haw.

J: Characterized by or having great physical beauty and appeal.

B: Right.

B: I've heard of pulchritude.

B: Never heard of pulchritduinous, though.

B: Good stuff.

J: I rarely get porn spam emails in my inbox, but the ones I do are tricky ones that use words like the one above or literary quotes to get through filters.

B: Comic books should use spam to advertise.

J: "Draw more pulchritudinous shots of Spider-Woman. The fans demand it."

J: They should package comics with potted meat.

B: No way.

J: That's probably not what you meant, is it?

B: Tinned meat.

J: Tanned meat?

B: Is Spam trademarked still?

B: If Spam is NOT trademarked, then superhero should not, either.

SHE-HULK 2 #4 $2.99

B: Have you been enjoying She-Hulk?

J: Yes, I like She-Hulk.

B: This latest issue was guest-written by Geoff Johns.

J: I think it's #4 that has the appearance of the Green Cross.

J: Oh. Well, I missed the third issue so I have to pick up that sometime.

J: Ha, it has time travel in it!

B: Or rather, it is writtn by Dan Slott.

B: In the style of Geoff Johns.

B: As it explains some continuity minutae that no one should care about.

J: Continuity minutae or ..... character building moment?

B: I don't know about you, but I was prepared to douse myslef with gaosline and light my self aflame if they did not explain what happened to She-Hulk after "The Search for She-Hulk" story in Avengers.

J: Maybe he's not pandering or catering. Maybe he just thinks he's writing a good story. Maybe "Let's find out what happened to her during this moment in her life" isn't the same thing as "Let's find out what happened to her during this moment in her life so we can fill in a missing gap because it's necessary that we know what happened next".

J: I'm snarky.

B: Bah.

B: That was barely snark.

B: Still, that is as good a time as any to draw to a close.

B: Thank you, sir.

Okay, that's it for us, folks!

Feel free to stop by tomorrow, to see if we know what we're talking about, at all.

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Anonymous Charlie Anders said...

The Star Wars comics by Ostrander have been fantastic and way better than any of the movies.

1/11/2006 02:12:00 PM  
Blogger Mercurie said...

LOL. Love the Star Wars discussion. I must say that even though I am a big Star Wars fan, I never really got into the comic books. They just lack something for me.

1/11/2006 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger Justin Davis said...

That J guy sure is smart and funny. He should show up more often.

1/11/2006 06:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Fabian said...

I loved it. BJ were great with the comic info and helped out an outsider like me know what is happening. More BJ action is definitely a good thing

Although I'm not realy an outsider, but I took a one year long absence from comics. I beat DC at their own marketing game.

Eat it Warner Brothers. Now promote Seven Soldiers

1/16/2006 08:51:00 AM  

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