Friday, September 24, 2004

Follow The Leaders

Just finished polishing a "Post-Crisis Crisis" essay -- which may be one of the geekiest endeavors I've ever done, and that's saying a lot -- but in the interests of space and laziness, thought I'd jump on the latest meme bandwagon:

Use the comments to ask me 5 questions, and I'll give you answers. So simple, and yet so fraught with consequences....

5 comments:

iamza said...

Okay, I'll bite.

1) What is the most over-rated comic book (or collection) you've read?

2) If you could change one thing about comics, what would it be?

3) Who are your current favourite writers and/or artists?

4) What's the best collection/book you've read in the last year, and what was it about the book that so appealed?

5) Which writers/artists/creators do you think should be getting more recognition in the comics industry for their work?

Tom Bondurant said...

1) Supreme Power. It doesn't seem to have a real plot, just a series of character bits. There are some fascinating ideas, but they get lost in the process of explaining Every. Little. Detail. I'm also not too fond of how the series has been treating its female characters.

Probably close behind would be Superman/Batman. I didn't like "Hush"'s first-person narration, so I really don't like S/B's dueling narrations. Also, the book tends to go for spectacle over plausibility -- which I know sounds nonsensical when you're talking about superheroes, but still.

For what it's worth, I didn't much like the first Fables paperback either. It felt too much like Sandman Lite.

2) I'd make comics more disposable. This would reduce the price per issue, or perhaps cause some features to be collected in anthologies. TV is, for the most part, a disposable medium -- you watch a show, but by and large you don't accumulate tapes of it. (I do, but I'm a freak. Now I buy the DVDs.) Similarly, as far as I know, people don't clip each day's Doonesbury or For Better Or For Worse -- they read the dailies, they remember the basic plots, and if they're really into the strip, they buy the paperbacks.

3) Favorite writers currently putting out work: Mark Waid, Kurt Busiek, Grant Morrison, Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka, Darwyn Cooke, Howard Chaykin

Favorite artists currently working: Mike Wieringo, Darwyn Cooke, Michael Lark, Ivan Reis, Howard Chaykin

4) DC: The New Frontier. It's old-fashioned without being naive, and it does a masterful job of weaving together DC characters from the Golden and Silver Ages with "in-betweeners" like the Challengers and the Suicide Squad. It also establishes its own look, and therefore its own identity. This distinguishes it from the source material, but doesn't stop Cooke from aping (for example) the Dick Sprang-style Batman.

A close second would be JLA/Avengers. I know, it says nothing new about the human condition and has little redeeming social value, but boy was it fun. The love that those guys have for the Marvel and DC universes practically dripped off the page.

I also collect the Fantastic Four Masterwork volumes, and the latest one (#s 61-71) just shows Lee & Kirby shifting into a whole other gear. Even after introducing the Inhumans, Galactus, the Silver Surfer, the Negative Zone, and the Black Panther, they were still full of great ideas.

5) Which writers/artists/creators do you think should be getting more recognition in the comics industry for their work?That's hard to say, because I read so much mainstream stuff. For example, the first name that came to mind was Andersen Gabrych, the writer of Detective Comics. Chriscross is another -- a really expressive artist who brought a lot to Captain Marvel and Firestorm. John Paul Leon has been around for a long time (at least since Static in the early '90s), and probably got a lot of exposure on Earth X, but hasn't done a whole lot since then.

Thanks for asking!

Dave said...

1. What is your earliest childhood memory?

2. Not counting Crisis on Infinite Earths, which DC mega-crossover event is your favorite?

3. It is the year 2014--what does the comic market look like?

4. Which author is best suited to write the Bildungsroman based on your life?

And finally, the most important question of all time:

5. Hulk vs. Thor: who wins?

Tom Bondurant said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tom Bondurant said...

1. I'm in my grandmother's house, parked in front of the TV, watching a Moon mission.

2. DC One Million. It may be the only DC crossover that doesn't seek to make big changes to the status quo, so it can focus on being a centuries-spanning JLA adventure.

3. -- Paris Hilton buys Marvel Comics;
-- Jim Caveziel agrees to play Jor-El in the still-in-development Superman movie (so Mark Millar offers Harry Knowles double or nothing);
-- Mainstream comics fans consider manga "just a fad"...

I think you'll see more comics tied into products from other media, like toys and games. With the direction Marvel is going, I wonder if they won't have three distinct lines -- "classic," Ultimate, and "movie." DC's business model won't change appreciably, because it hasn't changed in the past 20 years.

What I'd like to see happen involves fewer monthly series and more periodical paperbacks. Each Harry Potter book is a big event unto itself; why shouldn't a trade paperback have the same importance?

4. (brief pause while I look up "Bildungsroman") Waid, probably. I'm not flashy enough to suggest Grant Morrison.

5. Hulk is strongest one there is! (Besides, didn't the Maestro kill Thor in Future Imperfect?) And, as we've seen, Superman can beat 'em both.