Kickstarter is without a doubt one of the best things to happen to the independent comics industry. There are some publishers out there who will distribute independent comics to comic shops, but they don’t put any money into them—that has to come from elsewhere. It’s easy enough to write the script for a comic for free, hoping there will be some money later on if it becomes popular. But it takes all day to draw a comic, so the artist must have some form of income to be able to do it. And of course, to print out the comic books requires money. Promotion costs money. Thanks to Kickstarter, comic creators can now get that money from the very fans who would be purchasing it from the stores.
The first comic I supported is to get a new ongoing series started by one of my all time favorite artists, Amy Reeder. I fell in love with her art in Batwoman and Madame Xanadu. I supported her previous Kickstarter with writer/editor Brandon Montclare for Halloween Eve, and that turned out to be a wonderfully evocative book. And this series, Rocket Girl, has a very fun and interesting premise:
A teenage cop from a high-tech future is sent back to 1986. She’s investigating the Quintum Mechanics megacorporation for crimes against time. As she pieces together the clues, she discovers that the “future”—an alternate reality version of 2013 and the place she calls home—shouldn’t exist at all.
There’s a lot of attention to detail–with parts of the story being a veritable period piece on New York City in the mid-80s. There are also glimpses into a fantastic alternate future of teen police officers, laser guns, and jet packs. Action is everywhere and the cast is diverse.
Sounds like a winner, I’m in!
The second is the first graphic novel of a Steampunk webcomic called Lady Sabre & The Pirates of the Ineffable Aether by one of my very favorite novelists and comic writers, Greg Rucka. I’ve followed this since the beginning, although I’ve only read the webcomic sporadically. It creates a wonderfully immersive steampunk environment with heroes and villains and all the good stuff of legend. I bought the cloth covered graphic novel and I’m looking forward to it!
Yes I know…it’s been forever since our last podcast, and not much more recent since our last post. Unforeseen circumstances, blah blah blah. The good news is that we’ve got a plan for the future, and it’s related to Comic Con International in July. More on that later!
For now, here is my quick review of Iron Man 3 for you:
Last night, we saw Iron Man 3 in glorious 2D (I doubt we ever will be truly sold on 3D…sorry major studios). And it was thoroughly enjoyable. It was definitely a more coherent and cohesive movie than Iron Man 2. And it managed to walk the line between answering “serious” questions such as how would a “non-enhanced” human being react to the insanity of the alien invasion of The Avengers, what is Tony Stark without the suit, and so on—and maintaining the “comic book fun” that one expects from a movie like this. There are character moments, it goes dark at times, but there are also the action set pieces and quips and optimism that one expects.
Marvel really has the formula down: find the right lead actor to completely inhabit the part of the superhero. Surround him with an excellent cast of A-level actors whose talents lend plausibility and gravitas to even the most surreal story. Hire an extremely competent, edgy director (preferably one with art-house and/or geek cred) and the best special effects people you can afford. With all those elements, even if the story isn’t that great (see The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man 2) you’re still at least going to get a fun ride. But when the story is good, as with Iron Man 3, you get the full package. And this movie is definitely the full package—a fully engaging superhero movie that takes turns you don’t expect and delivers on all fronts.
It’s been a while, hasn’t it? We’ve been not just busy, but traveling, birthday season, add some colds, and it’s added up to no podcasts. We’ve kept up with our reading though, and we’ve been thinking about changing up the podcast, making it more dynamic, perhaps YouTubing it, etc. We’ll see! But I did want to take a moment on these pages to let you know that we pre-ordered Strangers In Paradise Omnibus, the 2400-page bible of Terry Moore’s Strangers In Paradise series.
I actually have read none of SiP, so it’s all new to me. But this is clearly the way to get it—the whole graphic story in one fell swoop. We have loved Terry Moore’s Echo and are currently loving Rachel Rising, so we were only too happy to support this omnibus. And speaking of support—Terry Moore is a true independent. He and his wife do everything themselves. There’s no publisher putting out his creator-owned work like Image or Dark Horse, it’s entirely his own studio. That makes me want to support him even more, to show him that we appreciate his output, and to give him the wherewithal to continue creating.
Anyway, if you’ve been at all curious about this series, I’d highly recommend you pre-order the omnibus now. Since he has to pay for it all, he needs every pre-order, and he’ll only be producing what he feels he can sell, there’s no second and third printing for this one. Get it while it’s hot!
Okay, we’ve really let this podcast go in a tragic way. Being busy, then being ill through December (Santa brought us the flu, yeay…) meant not only did we not have the voice for an end-of year podcast, but we couldn’t even muster the energy for an end-of-year blog. But we’re not abandoning Comics Corner, and we’ll have good stuff soon!
And speaking of good stuff, here’s the first clip of The Dark Knight Returns Part 2 has just gone live today. It’s release date is January 29th, 2013, less than a month away.
Needless to say, we’ve already preordered it. If you already own part one, it’s a must buy. If you like the original graphic novel, this is a very loving and literal adaption, and it’s definitely worth buying both of them.
I’ve been laying low on the blogging since Santa brought us both the Christmas Flu, but I couldn’t allow this milestone to go unheralded: Stan “The Man” Lee’s 90th birthday!
The Stan Lee story is well known: how in the 50s Stanley Lieber was tired of working in comics when he was asked to create a new superhero team. Wife Joan convinced him to just try his wackiest ideas since if he wanted to leave anyway, he had nothing to lose. And what followed were some of the most beloved comic characters and wildest stories ever told. Sure, there’s always going to be some Internet genius who wants to downplay Lee’s accomplishments but we know the truth: no matter how you slice it, without Stan Lee many of the most successful and beloved characters would not exist.
And it’s not just because of his writing ability and creativity. Stan Lee is a force of nature! His own salesmanship as much as anything else is what helped vault his characters from the funny books to the very pinnacle of pop culture and box office success. I’ve no intimate stories of meeting Stan myself, but having watched him in a panel at Comic Con 2010 it’s absolutely clear that Stan Lee wants to share his enthusiasm with everyone he possibly can. He not only has become the most visible and beloved champion of superheroes and comics, but he’s practically achieved superhero status himself. Or at least icon status.
Happy birthday Stan. May your energy and enthusiasm for life keep inspiring all of us for many, many years!
Warner Brothers has released the trailer for the forthcoming Superman reboot Man of Steel on the Interwebs today. Without further ado:
Superman was my first comic superhero when I was a kid, and I make no apologies for still loving his mythos and story to this day. I’ve always been cautiously optimistic about this movie. I love what Christopher Nolan’s team did for Batman, but I was never quite sold on the idea of trying to make the story of a guy in blue leotards and a red cape who can fly more “realistic.” The costume looks very modern, but again, not quite it somehow. And the first trailer seemed very moody, but didn’t really offer much.
I still have only the vaguest ideas of the plot points—but at least this trailer, unlike the first 30 second teaser, makes me want to find out what the plot is. I found the lonely take on Clark—truly, an “only child” in every sense—moving. And with a more action packed sequence of images it promised a more engaging movie: perhaps brooding, but still an adventure.
Once again, we’re behind in our Comics Corner podcasts, but we’re intending to get another one finished this holiday weekend (it’s Thanksgiving in the USA this Thursday…mmmm….turkey…).
Until then, here’s a fun trailer for an imaginary movie: Gotham High. It’s smartly cut together with clips from early roles from actors who were in Nolan’s Batman trilogy as well as some other actors. The way it nods to both the Nolan films and Batman’s comic history is really well done, complete with a bit of a stinger at the end. Enjoy!