Every week I do a column full of comic book reviews as I've done since March 2003 and currently published at Comic Book Resources. Then, after the reviews post, I try to come over to Komplicated and expand on the thoughts and ideas listed there. Why talk about stuff at some other site? Oh, like you've never done any private projects when you're at work! Sometimes things get profound, sometimes it's gibberish, but it's always about comics … let's see what we get this week!
WHAT THE HELL? First of all, shut up. The Commentary Track is supposed to be online within 24 hours of the reviews column. Life caught up with me and getting a Commentary Track done this week (and, it seems, last week) wasn’t easy. We’re here now, and you didn't pay for any of this (especially if you're on RSS). Let’s not quibble.
THE SHORT CUT: Comics are slowly trying to adapt to a new periodical paradigm. For decades, the 22 page story has been de rigueur — ten pages for ads/editorial material, yay. Many writers and artists have spent the better part of their career working in this format, the same way a truck driver gets used to the physics of turns and handling a vehicle of that size.
The new paradigm is "twenty pages for the same cost" (between three and four bucks). Ignoring the feeling of being ripped off for a second, let’s look at the technical considerations involved. Let’s look at that truck driver. S/he has the same truck. The same cargo, but suddenly all the lanes on the road are two feet thinner. How does that affect her or him? Does it go well the first day, the first week? Of course not — there will be curbs overrun by rear tires, mirrors scraped and what have you. For a while, it’ll be a little bit of a mess. Newer drivers will learn as part of their life to give these trucks a little more room, but for people who’ve been on the road, the will be misunderstandings.
Same thing with comics. As shown in Rogues' Revenge, Geoff Johns can craft a twenty two pager that can almost levitate. Not always, sure, but he can do it. However, for example, the latest issue of Justice League plays like the second twenty minutes of an hour-long TV show, in between commercial breaks. Is that part of the show a story? No. Should you pay four bucks for part of a story? Many people think so. I am not among their number, leaning more towards the wisdom of Warren Ellis, believing each comic book should feel like “a significant chunk of culture,” giving enough of an experience that it should sate. Many recent comics, including the preponderance of New 52 books, are missing those last two pages. It shows. Not all — despite sentence structure problems, George Perez’ first Superman comic was a solid single issue, driving towards what was next while giving almost all elements room to thrive (save the antagonist, but we covered that already).
ERRATA: In a fit of late night blather, I apparently missed a “close italics” tag in last week’s column, making the end of it look rather ironic. Oops. If the were three things I had to remember, I missed the last one. Clearly, not only is that okay, it apparently qualifies me to run for president as a Repulican.
NO ASGARD FOR YOUNG GODS: The idea that Young Loki (who lost in the first round of The #whodwin Wednesday playoffs to Doctor Doom) will serve as a Mara Jade figure to the newly minted All-Mother triumvirate (Freya, Idunn and Gaea) is simply intoxicating. The fact that it never happened before is like one of those "d'oh" moments. Kieron Gillen has found a real muse with Loki, but I’ve fawned over him enough already.
ODDS AND ENDS: Gotta bullet-point blog/lazy susan my way outta here …
- I want a team up book with Logan, Ken Hale and Fat Cobra. Make that happen. I’d write that for free.
- I still can't get over the shock of that "most cherished memory" from Jason Todd in the last issue of Red Hood and the Outlaws. It was so unlike the rest of the comic. It was actually good.
- PINO: Panther in name only. ’Nuff said. I'd rather never read about Wakanda again than to let this travesty continue.
- As much as I love John Rozum's writing … I'm jonesing for Marc Bernardin to come in on Static Shock.
- Outside of Asgard, Fear Itself has been mostly rolled back by its decimal post scripts. This is annoying. You’re better than that, Fraction!
- I need Dark Horse Presents to be a cheaper digital comic book.
- Don't forget the "Sweet Sixteen" round of the #whodwin Wednesday playoffs hit today, and some match ups are crazy! Thor versus Dormammu? I'd pay to see that.
THAT'S THE NEWS, AND I AM OUTTA HERE: Back to the grind.
Playing (Music): "Sound of Da Police" by KRS-ONE
[Source: Comic Book Resources]