That's That Shit: Week of 9/19/2012: James Gunn Directing Marvel Movie We Knew He Was, Comic Show Becomes Comic and Super-AnimalsA comics news article
That's That Shit
Last Week's News, This Week's Comics for 9/19/2012
Hi. That's That Shit is exactly what it says above -- we talk in-depth about everything that happened in the comics world last week, and then look forward to some notable releases slated for this coming Wednesday.
Your panel of judges are Comics Bulletin Managing Editors Danny Djeljosevic and Nick Hanover, who pretty much have paper and ink in their blood, and CB Columns Editor Andrew Tan, who got his start in comics late in life through Adrian Tomine and is slowly dipping his toes into the broader aspects of the medium. So we deliver the news, Andrew asks the questions and hopefully everyone learns something.
But first, this week's theme music:
LAST WEEK'S NEWS (AND SOME BREAKING NEWS FROM THIS WEEK)
James Gunn Comes Out and Confirms He's Directing Guardians of the Galaxy
Nick: I don't care what any of you say about how raccoons with guns are going to ruin the "realism" of the current crop of Marvel movies (because, what, fucking Norse gods don't?), now that James Gunn has officially confirmed he's set to direct Guardians of the Galaxy I can officially confirm I am 100% behind this film.
Fantagraphics (Sort Of) Offers to Republish Cerebus, Dave Sim (sort of) Entertains That Notion
Nick: Official sayer of stupid things and legendary comics superstar Dave Sim published an editorial at the end of the last issue of glamourpuss wherein he outlined a plan to "just disappear," which included more or less ending any chance of Cerebus getting the reissue treatment. But then in swooped Fantagraphics Publisher Kim Thompson, who through the Fantagraphics-owned Comics Journal offered to reprint Sim's epic quasi-masterpiece Cerebus "in a more bookstore friendly format than those fucking phone books." Or to at least help convince another publisher to do so.
It mostly seemed like an open letter that would go unread by the person it addressed, but Sim actually responded in another open letter that was also published by the Comics Journal. The answer was kind of a no, kind of a "I'm going to give you a set of challenges and if you can get past them, maybe we'll talk" sort of thing. The gist of his argument, though, is that due to the epic nature of the work (6,000 pages!) and the way the publishing industry is changing due to technology and the economy, Sim is hesitant to commit to the kind of publishing deal that would be necessary for Fantagraphics to profit, specifically the need to have the rights to his entire catalogue.
Comics Alliance seems to believe that the whole thing is worth keeping an eye on especially since, as they pointed out in their original piece on Sim's planned "departure from comics," the Kickstarter campaign to make a digital version of Cerebus: High Society raised more than $60,000. So, uh, we'll see what happens.
Andrew: Oh man, was Sim’s editorial at the end of glamourpuss a surprise to the folks at Fantagraphics? Wouldn’t they have presumably seen it and contacted him before it went to print? I’m just curious as to how the process allows for something like this. It’s not like comics are a live art form.
Nick: Well, glamourpuss is self-published, Sim is probably the biggest self-publishing success story in comics, outside of Jeff Smith, who maybe doesn't count. Basically, Fantagraphics saw an opportunity, wanted to publicly state they were interested but also wanted to point out they were well aware of Sim's...issues. That way they had an out, just in case he said yes but had some ridiculous demands or tried to attack them.
Andrew: Also in regard to having large tomes, I had no idea that people were reacting against it so heavily. I’ve always seen trades in really lovely packaging, but I do specifically remember my copy of Jimmy Corrigan falling completely apart as I finished the last few pages. I suppose there’s some kind of metaphor one could make about the binding disintegrating and the overarching themes of Jimmy Corrigan, but I suspect that was not Chris Ware’s intent. But then again who knows, the dude does all that stuff barely touching a computer.
Nick: Chris Ware: the art comic version of Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe?
Arrow Show to Also Become Arrow Digital Comic
Nick: CBR broke the news that the forthcoming, CB approved CW show Arrow is now set to get its own digital comic, to be released through comiXology on the same day as the pilot premiers, which is October 10th. Comics vet and Arrow showrunner Marc Guggenheim will script the comic alongside fellow showrunner Andrew Kreisberg and-- perhaps most importantly for Green Arrow fans-- Mike Grell will be handling art duties for the first issue, before handing interior art responsibilities over to Sergio Sandoval and Jorge Jimenez. Guggenheim told CBR that the plan is for the digital comics to expand on the backstory of Oliver Queen in a way the show can't.
But the most interesting tidbit is that the comic will be sold for $.99 a chapter, with a month's worth of stories bundled for $3.99. There's no word yet on how long each chapter will be, but it stands to reason that the bundle will be around the length of a regular comic, since it's at the same price point. If that's the case, the price point may be a little too steep to lure in casual fans from the show, but if DC and the CW play this right, maybe they'll be able to get the casual fans that do stick around to explore other titles through comiXology and in print.
Andrew: Generally I’ve always assumed comic tie ins to TV shows are terrible. It’s kind of like picking the novelization of Jurassic Park to do your third grade book report on, which I feel no shame in admitting I did. Because of the showrunner’s involvement does this one look to be above average?
Nick: Marc Guggenheim is pretty legit and has a long history in comics, so while it's not guaranteed that this will be any good, his presence alongside a legend like Mike Grell bodes fairly well. It's also an intriguing format so they may get fans tuning just to get the extra insight on what isn't directly explained on the show; I actually wish more shows would take an approach like this, because then it gives fans who need to know everything what they want while fans who just want to enjoy the show without getting a bunch of exposition and backstory for backstory's sake can do their thing.
Andrew: Also, does this mean that comics are being taken seriously as a medium again? Of course the phenomenal Adventure Time comics come to mind as an example where a lot of effort clearly went into producing the comic and that it’s more than just a way to make money.
Nick: That remains to be seen. But the digital element will go a long way towards winning over casual fans since they can literally download as they watch the show. Never underestimate the power of convenience.
Cartoon Network Unveils JLAnimals
Nick: Come September 29th, Cartoon Network will unleash a series of shorts titled JLAnimals that feature animalized versions of the iconic super team. I could try to describe this insanity for you, or you could just check this out:
Andrew: *Standard joke about how Cartoon Network should just sell those frosted sugar cookies because their main market really appears to be stoners.* Have any racist comic book fans got all bent out of shape because Superman doesn’t have blue eyes? And is a dog.
Nick: Racists hate dogs now? That's downright unpatriotic.
Funky Winkerbean Tackles JMS and the Abandonment Issues He Gives Fans
Nick: You might not realize it, but ComicsAlliance or, more specifically Chris Sims, has an obsession with Funky Winkerbean, the chronically unfunny comic strip. It's at the point where Sims has a feature called "FunkyWatch" where he, well, you get the picture. Anyway, thanks to Sims' vigilance comic fans everywhere got to discover the joy of Funky Winkerbean taking a potshot at J. Michael Straczynski's "Grounded" arc of Superman, which he notably failed to finish. You really just need to see it for yourself:
And yes, it was a slow news week.
Andrew: Wouldn’t it be hilarious if Funky Winkerbean turned out to be just a medium to review comics news and insert some jokes. WAIT. DON’T DO THAT.
THIS WEEK'S COMICS
Sword of Sorcery #0
(Christy Marx, Tony Bedard, Aaron Lopresti, Jesus Saiz, DC)
Nick: I'm not 100% certain that Sword of Sorcery #0 will be great, but I am glad to see something a little different come out of the #0 issues. In this case, it's a story about a young woman who finds out that her mother has been moving her around because she's actually Amethyst, a powerful magical figure. It's a little like something from the sorely missed Minx line.
Hypo: The Melancholic Young Lincoln
(Noah van Sciver, Fantagraphics)
Nick: Why am I excited for this book? This review is why I am excited for this book.
Andrew Tan spends his days working on a bunch of different stuff he can't really explain here. Before that, he majored in Journalism at the University of Florida, where he worked for a few newspapers. He loves comics (obviously), sad music, duck confit and San Francisco. He also has a sentence published in McSweeney's that he is proud of. He was also mocked in Gawker for said sentence, which brings him roughly the same level of pride.
Andrew is one of the many people on the internet vying for the moniker of Tandrew. Some are him, some are not. You can find him on Twitter at @TandrewTan.