Friday, September 6, 2013

The Comic Pusher Weekend Roundup for September 6

This week on The Comic Pusher I briefly reviewed the Mathemusical Cartooning Magic of Vi Hart and Jaques Tardi's It Was The War of the Trenches.

In the Wednesday Review for September 4 I look at a bunch of this week's books including Infinity, Battle of the Atom, Villains Month and a bunch more. I also rebut some of Alan Moore's gibberish from last week's Occupy Comics, which a few folks have noticed. Tim Holder at The Journal thinks I should have provided some more examples of mainstream quality in my essay, and he's not wrong. But you can just poke around this blog for plenty of examples, if you want, they're all over the place.

And stay tuned Sunday for my advance review of Avengers: Endless Wartime, a new superhero OGN by Warren Ellis and Mike McKone coming this October from Marvel.

Comics News and Notes

Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples won a Hugo for Saga, well deserved. The World Science Fiction Society, who administers the Hugos, has long been completely out of touch when it comes to comics, so it is both surprising and about damn time that the actual best science fiction work actually won.

The talented illustrators Rebekie Bennington and Anna-Maria Jung have been making a very cool looking graphic novel, and providing regular updates along the way. Follow along on The Pepper Chronicles Facebook page.

The Pepper Chronicles
Lots of folks reporting on the winding down of iFanboy as a daily concern; they'll still be doing periodic podcasts, though. J.H. Williams III leaves Batwoman because of last second editorial clusterfuckery, sadly an unsurprising and all-too common state of affairs at DC. J. Michael Straczynski fires Ben Templesmith for no-showing Ten Grand. And, ah, another installment of my favorite comic column on the interwebs, Chris Sims' Funkywatch.

Please visit Greg Pak's page on Bill Mantlo and consider giving to Mantlo's care.

#FollowFriday Noah Berlatsky's smart pop culture review site The Hooded Utilitarian, featuring some of the best writing on comics online or in print.

Mark Waid bought a comic store in his home of Muncie, Indiana. He's not the first creator to do so (Geoff Johns is an in-name-only partner at Earth-2 in California), and quite a few creators cut their teeth working in the trenches of Direct Market Retail (Matt Fraction being the best). But his specific dedication to the nuts and bolts of comic retailing - working behind the register, doing the comic order and processing new books - might be unique for a creator of his caliber at this point in his life and career. (And not only that, he is going into a partnership with nearby semi-retailers and all-age creators Franco and Baltazar.)

But also unique is part of his specific reasoning, to put his money where his mouth is in brick-and-mortar comic retailing while at the same time running his Thrillbent digital comics venture. He has received criticism from reactionary forces in the Direct Market for Thrillbent. Some retailers need to lay off: ventures like Thrillbent and especially Panel Syndicate are not taking dollars out of your pockets, and to reject and work against those ventures shows a backwards narrow-mindedness that will do more to sink your livelihood than a creator making a webcomic and trying to make a few bucks off it.

As someone who works in the trenches of comic retailing, its pretty cool to see Waid wading into the mud and muck with the rest of us, and to take this original and eye-opening step. At a point in his career where most creators would just play it safe, Waid is going to great lengths to take risks across all ends of the modern comics spectrum, from digital to print, and that is decidedly very, very cool.

But hopefully Waid has heard that old adage that the quickest way to earn a dollar in comics is to start with ten.

Not Comics

There was a Babylon 5 reference on Breaking Bad, officially making my life complete. This reference did have the interesting effect of waking up a good chunk of B5 fandom to the basic inequity of the show's lack of access on television and streaming platforms. It's frankly criminal that one of the best television shows of all time has been kept off syndication and off services like Netflix for no discernible reason. If you are a fan of the show or want to get into it, I highly recommend Rowan Kaiser's superb AV Club write-ups of the show and especially checking out #FreeBabylon5 on Facebook.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter @B5Jeff, Like The Comic Pusher On Facebook, and subscribe to The Comic Pusher by RSS and Email.

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