Thursday, July 23, 2009

Take the Onion's Advice on How to Enjoy Love and Rockets and Improve Your Life

The Onion A/V Club has been running a regular feature called "Gateways to Geekery," and writer Leonard Pierce just posted an entry telling you how to get into Los Bros Hernandez's Love and Rockets. It's a solid overview with some good advice, marred only by a strange admonition to avoid the monthly issues, as "[its] publishing schedule is erratic, and with no grounding in the characters and situations, you’ll be hopelessly lost one issue in."

No shit. It's an annual book now and hasn't been monthly since approximately 1996, when volume one ended. I don't know if it was even monthly before then. Sex, illegal narcotics, loud rock music and copious amounts of alcohol have removed from my memory almost all events prior to ten minutes ago and consequently I live in the now. Called out in the comments, Pierce recovers with a witty excuse so all's well on that front. I almost want to forgive him for characterizing Archie Goodwin as an "old hack" a while back in an A/V Club article on disastrous revamps.

Hmm... that part of the article seems also to have been revamped, so perhaps forgiveness is in order. Especially since I probably seem like an asshole now for bringing it up in the first place.

If I had to perpetually own up to every idiotic declaration out of my mouth during my life, the mea culpas would begin immediately run nonstop until my invevitable death five years from now-- forseen by my personal soothsayers-- while attempting to recreate Evel Knievel's Snake River Canyon rocket car jump. So forgiveness it is, especially in light of this Love and Rockets love.

After all, evangelizing for Love and Rockets-- which I consider the finest American comic series, period-- is one of my many hobbies (along with stunt motorcyclery, dentistry, hospital clowning and vintage biplane barnstorming, to name but a few). So I highly recommend you check out Pierce's article and then take his well-considered advice before reading anything else or going to work or even performing basic hygiene.

Now, dammit! Scoot!

PS-- Enjoy the lively comment section not only for Pierce's awesome retort to the "monthly" mistake, but also for the one ignoramus who brings up the band in an embarrassingly failed attempt at humor that should lead to a lifetime of shame and isolation.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bryan Q. Miller Still Playing It Cagey About Batgirl!

I have no idea what his writing's like (I'm as into Smallville as I'm into colonoscopies), but Bryan Q. Miller certainly knows how the play the game in interviews. Over at Comic Book Resources, he talks up his new Batgirl series and gives away virtually nothing beyond one measly little clue-- the new Batgirl will have "redemption" as part of her make-up.

We know "redemption" to be one of those Cassandra Cain-related buzzwords, so Miller hasn't eliminated her from the running. And yet the clever man also knows full well this term can be applied to any of the other candidates. He's also right about Phil Noto's teaser images; they're gorgeous. And yet as much as I admire his ability to talk about the series without telling us much of anything, these kinds of interviews smack of a guy emerging from behind a curtain and saying... well... nothing about what's going on behind it. A news story about nothing. They should do a TV show like that. A show about nothing.

Personally, I feel there's little to no chance it'll be Cassandra Cain in the Batgirl costume this time out, which means there's zero chance I'll be reading this book. But that doesn't stop me from following the news and hoping... And it also doesn't mean I can't wish the creative team all the best. A decent new book on the racks can only be a good thing. It's not like I read everything out there anyway!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hello, I'm a Doctor of Comic Bookology...

According to a report in The Japan Times Online, Kyoto Seika University will take the lead in comic art scholarship by offering graduate-level courses in creating comic books. While there are plenty of schools around the world teaching aspirants how to make with the funny books (I've often dreamed of attending the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art, just to name my favorite example), this new move opens up the possibility of referring to certain creators as "doctor." I mean, other than the supra-fabuloso Mike Allred, already known as "Doc" by friends and fans.

Comic book doctors. I heartily endorse this concept.

Actually, I believe if you're a manga assistant working for a manga-ka, you refer to your boss as sensei. This can mean teacher, coach or doctor. So I guess we already have a lot of Dr. Comicbooks roaming Japan, pencil in one hand, Winsor-Newton brush or Pigma Micron pen in the other, screentone sheet in the third. This course will just make it official. And in a further "I live in Japan" note, there's a design academy with its own brand new manga school right around the corner from where I live. If my Japanese language skills were up to snuff, I'd enroll there!

Japan-- where even the government promotes comic book culture. Yes, I love it here.