iainpj: (Default)
( Mar. 6th, 2009 12:45 pm)
Beacon press seeks artist for graphic novel of Octavia Butler's Kindred | Nalo Hopkinson

Interesting. I would have thought that to be something that was incredibly difficult to adapt. I know that I've read it once, listened to a very good audio dramatization featuring Alfre Woodard once, and then never gone near it again. It's a very good story, but very hard to get through -- especially a re-reading/experiencing where you know what happens in the end.

I also wonder if, after the artistic and critical success of Nat Turner, they tried approaching Kyle Baker. That would seem an almost perfect match of artist and material. (Though, that said, given that Beacon is nonprofit and small, they might not have been able to afford him.)

(Purely a side note: the small corner of me that remains from my webmaster days just wants to have a small headdesk moment regarding Beacon's website. Not the design, per se -- though part of me would like to have a very firm word with them regarding the blue text on blue squares with a blue background for the side and top links. No, the issue is that they don't have their own complete press releases on their own website. They have some things on their Beacon Broadside weblog -- and again, if I were a designer god, we would be having some very firm words about the utility of making the only discernable link to your weblog look like exactly the sort of ad people have been long trained to ignore. On the other hand, they have resisted the urge to Flash; THAT said, I have a sneaky suspicion that the Javascript menus at the top do not degrade gracefully if you have Javascript turned of. [Which, granted, almost nobody does these days -- but that said, if you've got a chunk of your press devoted to Disability Studies, as they seem to, wouldn't you want your site to reflect a commitment to that?] Nonethless, all the preceeding aside, Beacon also doesn't have complete press releases on their weblog. They sent the complete press release out -- it's up at Racialicious, to which I declined to link because the pop-up survey ad thingie they've got going now annoys the snot out of me, and a few other places. But still, most people who are truly interested will want to come back to the Beacon site, since it should be authoritative, and you want to make sure the other places didn't leave out anything important. Seriously, they're a small press already. Why handicap their website from doing what it's supposed to be doing, which is publicising and selling their stuff?)
Fables 72 (Willingham/Buckingham): So on the one hand, Cinderella is, once again, unspeakably awesome. On the other hand ... we've been hearing about the war for two issues now, and it would be kind of nice to just, well, get there already. And yet, I can't quite say that I'd want to have seen less of Cinderella. In any event, I expect that we'll finally get around to seeing how the war got started next issue. One can but hope, anyway.

Batman 675 (Morrison/Benjamin): In which Jezebel Jet tries to get Bruce to open up to her, and instead he breaks up with her, sort of, and she also gets A Clew. We also discover that she has enemies of her own (...but really, the Ten Eyed Men? Really?), and that Talia has finally decided that she should take Jezebel seriously as a rival. At this point, it's clear that Jezebel has what could politely be called colliding refrigerators headed her way; the only question really is going to be which one gets there first, whether she'll survive the experience, and what role this plays in the upcoming RIP storyline. And also, why on earth we should even care. Seriously, she's had a total of maybe -- maybe -- 20 pages of face time in about a year's worth of issues. That's not enough time for the reader to get to know her, and it's certainly not enough face time for us to care. I actually don't object all that much to characters being created for the express purpose of being developed so that you can kill them off and get all sorts of reader angst ... but you actually have to get around to the whole "development" part before that works.
It's interesting, in a weird way, to see how things have changed, and how they haven't. In the late 1950s, early 1960s, you simply couldn't have had an icon like Bruce Wayne/Batman dating a black woman. The public would have burned DC to the ground for the very idea. In the 1970s, 1980s, you could have done it, but there would have been Publicity To Beat The Band. "Bruce Wayne Dating A Black Woman! A first for Comics!" Now? It just happens, and nobody really notices. Which, really, is probably a good thing.

On the other hand, "Jezebel Jet" is a peculiarly tone deaf name to give a character in this country. Granted, Morrison is British, and not American, and granted that Jezebel herself appears not to be American -- her father is apparently the ruler of a starving African country (she herself mentions that some of her people are starving, in a terribly odd context in this issue) -- even so, you'd think that someone at DC might have stepped in and said, "Um, Grant, perhaps you should give this character a different first name, especially as you don't appear to want to imply that she's a prostitute."

Apart from the Jezebel issue, there's the fact that the art is, honestly, kind of butt-ugly, for some reason. They've also done something with the character design for Damien; he's gone from being about 10 years old in his previous appearances to being about 15 now. Seriously, just how old is the kid, anyway?

Fallen Angel 26 (David/Woodward): In which the war for Bete Noire comes to an unexpected (if apparently temporary) conclusion, and we end up back at the beginning in more than one way. I have to admit, I'm kind of astonished; I really didn't expect that result, and certain not in quite so thorough a way. I also can't remember ever seeing an ongoing series kill off as many of its continuing characters as this series has in the past two. Woodward's art was very good, as usual, although everyone gets peculiarly wide-eyed at the end, and because his art is generally more delicately shaded, it kind of stands out. I'm really curious to see where it goes from here. From the looks of the cover of the next issue, we'll probably be taking a small break to regroup. Still, a pretty impressive storyline, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it continues.

The Spirit 14-16 (Evanier/Aragones/Cook): ... Yeah, OK, done here. I really haven't liked this title since Evanier and Agagones took over from Darwyn Cooke, and I'm finally dropping it from my pull list until/unless it gets new writers. What Darwyn Cooke and Bone managed to do was to make The Spirit its own thing, very modern yet aware of its origins. The Evanier/Aragones edition feels like a retread of Eisner's Spirit. Despite the presence of some modern trappings -- the odd computer or miniskirt in the pictures -- the stories themselves just feel terribly old fashioned. Issue 14 was actually the worst in this regard, using Eisner-style layouts. Those haven't appeared again, but the stories still seem quaint and antique.

Dynamo 5 #12: In which the kids group together to rescue Maddie and Hector's mother from Brains, Brawn and the other bad guys, albeit possibly not in time. And another secret is discovered on the very last page. Honestly, that last page puzzles me, and possibly not in the way intended. I'm not at all sure what it really means. Which is probably the intent. Anyway, still a fun and entertaining (if puzzling) issue.

Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag #8 (Ostrander): In which the mission reaches a satisfactorily gory and explosive end. And another person is recruited to the team; said person is (1) a terribly, terribly bad idea, and (2) ought to produce all sorts of other difficulties, depending on when this arc ends, relative to Checkmate. I have to admit, I do love this series. I love that one of the baddest badasses in the DCU is a big black woman with no discernable superpowers whatsoever. The only thing I minded is that Waller doesn't get herself out of the mess at the end, but needs the help of someone on the Squad. Mind, it's entirely reasonable that she'd have needed help; it just would have been more interesting for her to get herself out of the mess. Anyway, way more fun than I expected, and I hope there's a Suicide Squad miniseries done by Ostrander every year.

Space Doubles #3: I love this series, published by Th3rd World. (The "3" is used advisedly.) I like that they can do these short, pulpy half-issue flipovers, and each story works on its own, and isn't connected to umpteen thousand other stories. You can just read each story on its own, and enjoy it for what it is. "Escape Pod" by Mark Smith and Matthew Huynh tells the story of a young man who was in an accident and developed traumatic amnesia as a result. The tiger in the tale is exactly why he developed amnesia and what happens once he gets his memory back. "Everywhere I Look ... Bugs!" by Closter and Schaufelberger, is a bit less successful, if only because the revelation of quite why the man is having hallucinations about bugs just doesn't quite work. Nonetheless, overall, both stories were very enjoyable. (Now, if only http://th3rdworld.com/ would develop an RSS feed for their online comics, which I keep forgetting are even there...)
With spoilers a-go-go, no doubt, so let's stick the whole thing behind a cut.

Included: Buffy season 8 #1, Girls 22, Dynamo 5 #1, maybe a few other things.

Insert Buffy opening theme music ... HERE. )
Reviews of graphic novels and individual issues, including: Captain Gravity and the Power of the Vril; Captain Gravity; The American Way; Sam Noir: Ronin Holiday #1; Fell #7, Nextwave #12, 7 Brothers #5. No big spoilers this time (except for the one as noted), but in order to keep from hammering friends lists, everything is behind the cut.

Walk this way... No, not THAT way, THIS way... )
STORMBRINGERS: coming April 2007
Interesting. I don't think I've ever seen a title with an all ethnic minority superhero squad before. Apparently self-published (although I saw the ad in IDW's Fallen Angel), so probably appearing only irregularly. According to the latest Glyphs, there may also be a financial issue; publication may be pushed back.
Noticed somewhat late, via another weblog: The Absorbascon profiles various black comic book heroes and heroines for Black History Month. (Seriously, despite -- or maybe because of -- the death of Coretta Scott King this month, aside from the usual various debates on the utility, insultingness, or superfluity of Black History Month ... hasn't it been unusually invisible, even for it?)

(Yes, I know "insultingness" isn't a word, but I can't think of the right one.)

Independent of the BHM profiles, there's also a certain entry that a Certain Someone (and you know who you are) might find interesting, albeit a bit late. Unless I'm completely wrong and then the hate mail will commence, of course.


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