That's That Shit 06/12/13: Addicted to XA comics news article
Last Week's News, This Week's Comics for 06/12/13
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 SOME MUSIC
THIS TALK IS DANGEROUS
Vince Vaughn Set to Star in Adaptation of AJ Lieberman & Nick Thornborrow’s Image Series Term Life
More importantly, has anyone introduced Change to Gregg Araki yet?
Nick Hanover: The Hollywood Reporter recently broke the news that Vince Vaughn would be starring in and producing an adaptation of the Image Comics series Term Life, by A.J. Lieberman and Nick Thornborrow. The comic is about a hitman who has to keep himself alive for at least 21 days so that a life insurance policy he set up to benefit his daughter will kick in. Anyone who has read Lieberman’s work before knows that it’s a pretty good fit for an actor like Vaughn. Lieberman’s writing tends to skew towards dark humor and tight plotting and it’s easy to see why Vaughn, who co-starred in Mr. & Mrs. Smith, would be drawn towards Term Life, as it would provide him an opportunity to show off more of his range as a lead. This is just one of the many Image series that have attracted Hollywood attention as of late, though it seems to have more of a chance of finishing production, as both Chew and Powers ran into several obstacles, with the former getting shelved while the latter languishes in production limbo.
Danny: Why is Vince Vaughn a name I’m hearing? Have we already cycled to mid-aughts nostalgia? Cool premise, though, and I find it hilarious that, in light of the Chew/Powers thing, the first (recent) Image adaptation is a high-concept story about a hitman. Image always has at least one high-concept hitman comic out.
Andrew: Yeah, I'm actually wondering the same thing about Vaughn. Does the character have similarities to him in Swingers or to just about every other movie he's been in? Either way, good on Image for providing an outlet for creators to make money off their projects.
Archie is Coming to the Big Screen
Definitely does NOT involve zombies, you idiots
Nick: Deadline reported late last week that the forevergoing Archie universe is getting a live action adaptation to be penned by comics vet Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who has also written for Glee and, uh, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. In a truly breathtaking leap of logic, Deadline also decided that because Aguirre-Sacasa has an upcoming Archie with zombies series, this new film will therefore also feature zombies. Because zombies.
Of course, as anyone with any brains whatsoever suspected (ZOMBIE JOKE COULDN’T RESIST), the Archie film will not involve zombies, according to Archie Comics itself. Instead, it will feature Pitch Perfect director Jason Moore at the helm, which is a pretty clear sign that the film will attempt to feed off the current public interest in crazy high school shenanigans and maybe some music. Like, you know, Glee, that other world Aguirre-Sacasa has combined the Archieverse with. Or maybe it will feature the Punisher, because that’s also a thing that happened. Or perhaps KISS.
Far scarier than any zombie could ever be
Danny: The Archie/KISS crossover is unparalleled joy, and I’m all about an Archie movie -- I like teen comedies, I dug Pitch Perfect, it’s a great combination. Oh hey, you know what Archie movie’s really good? Josie and the Pussycats. People really discount this subset of comics, but they’re really fun stuff and I think their comic book roots could make for a massively entertaining film.
Nick: Dylan Garsee and I have spent way too much time trying to convince people that Josie and the Pussycats is actually a great satire, glad to hear you’re one of the chosen people, too, Djeljosevic.
No, seriously, it's awesome
Andrew: I remember going through the Archie exhibit with a friend at the Cartoon Art Museum. I can only hope for a strangely meta moment where Archie SEES HIS OWN PAST AND IS BAFFLED AT OLD AMERICAN VALUES.
Diamond Sales Numbers for May Are In, They’re Good
Maybe the sky isn’t falling anymore
Nick: It’s that time, again-- time for Diamond sales numbers based off a weird system where Batman is the center of everything, that is. Most of it is the same old, same old-- Marvel is still at the top, with 33% market share, DC is second with 28% and then Image, IDW and Dark Horse in the 3rd, 4th and 5th spots respectively. Marvel also had the highest selling individual comic with Brian Wood and Olivier Coipel’s X-Men #1, proving once and for all that no one anywhere has any interest whatsoever in a female-centric superteam. In even better news, BOOM!’s Adventure Time was the highest selling trade and the market in general is up more than 15% over last May. If things continue like this, we might be looking at a very positive year for comics, sales-wise.
Danny: Oh thank fuck, finally some decent news in the comics industry.
Andrew: Having just finished the second Adventure Time trade, anything that gets more eyes on how great Ryan North is makes me happy.
Details on Mighty Avengers Emerge
Basically, Marvel is following X-Men up with a comic featuring a mostly black cast, written by a very white man
Nick: In another half-progressive move from Marvel, the details are out for Mighty Avengers and the big news is the diversity of the cast. The team will be led by Luke Cage and will also feature Falcon, Power Man (yes, yes, I know), Monica Rambeau (now named Spectrum), Superior Spider-Man, Adam the Blue Marvel, White Tiger, and She-Hulk, which is an inarguably varied group of supes. Less diverse is the creative team announced for the series, with 2000 A.D. vet Al Ewing attached as writer, while everyone’s favorite porn-influenced artist Greg Land is handling art. Again, as we spoke about before with X-Men, I’m glad Marvel is embracing diversity in its casting, but I really would like to see some of that diversity equally reflected in the creative teams.
Danny: Greg Land? God dammit. I keep forgetting he’s attached to this project. Regardless, I’m all about this idea and putting a big name like Spider-Man on the team is a great move to entice the readers who tend to write off characters that don’t have their own movies or cartoons. But I’m a little concerned that this is one Avengers too many -- in addition to the adjectiveless Avengers, they are currently New, Uncanny, Young, Secret and Assembling in an Arena, not to mention the upcoming robot-themed Avengers A.I. I think this would do fine if there were fewer Avengers titles, but the fact that this is the ninth or tenth ongoing in a massive franchise is really worrying for the book’s possible future. Even more so if this thing turns out to be a $3.99 title. I know it’s dumb to prognosticate a book that comes out all the way in fucking September but I’ll ride any good book until its bitter end and you readers should too.
On the diverse creative teams tip, you won’t get any argument from me. Not to disparage the established team, but there are tons of black creators with previous histories with Marvel who might be good for this. Well, at least in lieu of Greg Land I’d rather have ChrisCross or Keron Grant, as I am decidedly not a fan of Land’s art.
Andrew: Ugh. At least they're trying, even if it seems half assed and half thought out.
Danny: I don’t think it’s necessarily “half-assed.” This is pretty much what the comic companies always do -- divorce race and gender from this and X-Men and it’s just a publisher giving a new series to a creator who’s worked with them before on a similar property. Brian Wood did some X-Men comics, then they gave him a new X-Men that has an all-female cast. Al Ewing wrote some Avengers scripts over the past couple of months, and now he has his own Avengers book. Can’t blame them for working with the people they already have -- and say what you will about Greg Land, but he’s a slick artist who works on marquee titles, which is at least some vote of confidence on the project.
I dunno, I’m gonna check out Mighty Avengers on principle. It deserves a chance for trying to do something different.
Nick: I’m torn here, because I want to vote with my dollars and ensure Marvel continues to get diverse with its characters, but holy fuck do I hate Greg Land. He’s the reason why I stayed away from Kieron Gillen’s Iron Man until Dale Eaglesham came aboard.
Danny: Judging by previous Greg Land runs I think we can be assured he won’t be on this title for very long before there’s a much more palatable fill-in or replacement. The other, other interesting thing about this book is that it’s written in the classic “Marvel method” (first plot, then art, then back to the writer actual scripting) so I’m legitimately curious to see what somebody like Land does with that opportunity.
Nick: My guess is that it involves lot of porn referencing.
Matt Kindt Joins Marvel for Contest of Champions Revival
At least it’s not a Secret Wars reboot...yet
Nick: Marvel continues its trend of hiring hot indie creators with the announcement that Matt Kindt would be handling a new Contest of Champions miniseries, with Steven Sanders joining him on art duties, which will focus on Marvel’s “best and brightest” young heroes fighting one another due to something that transpires in the wake of the upcoming Infinity event. We at CB love Matt Kindt and his unique storytelling, but this is an odd partnership to say the least. Fans will remember that the original Contest of Champions was Marvel’s first foray into limited series and was penned by Mark Gruenwald, who had John Romita Jr. and Bob Layton backing him up on art. It involved a couple celestial figures forcing various Marvel heroes to fight each other to basically resolve an argument they were having and it was honestly kind of silly. But Kindt is a master at writing stories that aren’t quite what they seem and I’m willing to be cautiously optimistic here and assume this will be. At the least, the interview he did with CBR in the link above appears to indicate he’ll be mixing things up quite a bit, with 15 new characters from various “schools” around the world in the Marvel U.
Danny: I never read the original series, but I think that idea’s amazing. Obviously this new version won’t be as goofy, and I think the fact that Kindt’s coming up with a bunch of new characters means we can expect a pretty decent superhero comic with some oddball ideas in it.
Andrew: Man, you gotta snap up those indie creators before Pen Ward gives them a call to be on the best cartoon of the decade.
THIS WEEK’S HOTNESS
The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys
(Gerard Way, Shaun Simon, Becky Cloonan; Dark Horse)
Danny: Killjoys has been in the works for a long time. My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way’s album tie-in comic project was announced way back in in 2009, with the concept album Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys dropping the year after. Then for a long time nothing happened and the comic (itself a sequel to Danger Days) is finally coming out in 2013. Not great synergy, since My Chemical Romance broke up months ago, but I’ll take a new Gerard Way comic any which way I can.
In 2005 (the band’s heyday, pretty much) this would have seemed like a joke, but through his comic Umbrella Academy Way’s established himself as a really fun comics writer in the vein of Grant Morrison and other weird geniuses. Did you know Moz actually played the bad guy in the Danger Days videos? Yeah, this is gonna be great.
Nick: I remember it took you a while to convince me that the My Chemical Romance guy was actually a good comics writer, but once I picked up The Umbrella Academy, I was converted. I’m admittedly a little more skeptical of this project since it ties into an actual MCR album and I don’t know that I’m all that interested in that aspect, but Way has proven himself as a writer, and the involvement of Becky Cloonan would have made this a must-own for me anyway.
Danny: I wouldn’t expect too much characteristic MCR in this comic, considering that the Killjoys record was this colorful post-apocalyptic story and a huge departure from their morbid pop-punk image.
Andrew: Nick, do you see it Gerard's way now?
Danny: GOD DAMMIT.
Nick: Sorry, Danny, but Andrew does provide a much better argument than you. And the win goes to Tan.
(Anders Nilsen; Fantagraphics)
Danny: Anders Nilsen draws some amazing looking comics, and The End is sure to be a bummer as well as a fascinating look into the mind of a grieving artist as it collects work from Nilsen’s sketchbooks in the year after his fiancée’s death. Fantagraphics has a preview of it and Jesus Christ I already feel terrible.
Nick: THANKS DANNY IMMA GO LISTEN TO SOME SMIFFS NOW
Danny: So gonna call them “the Smiffs” now.
Andrew: The Smiffs fronted by Mowwisee?
Nick: We obviously need to start a cartoon together, fellas.
Superman Unchained #1
(Scott Snyder, Jim Lee; DC)
Danny: This has got to be DC’s best decision since someone said “digital-first Batman ‘66 comic” -- rolling out a new Superman #1 the week Man of Steel comes out. It’s the thing Marvel figured out to do when the first Iron Man came out, and DC’s made this debut an even bigger deal by pairing their biggest artistic draw (Jim Lee) with their only top-name writer that the fans haven’t yet turned against (Scott Snyder).
I’m not sure what separates this from other Superman books except its marquee value, but I am curious to see how the more horror-focused Snyder handles a brighter character like Supeman. We’ve already seen how Jim Lee handles Superman. This will look great until a bunch of non-Scott Williams inkers need to jump in to make deadlines.
Nick: Nothing in the world can convince me to spend money on a Jim Lee comic, let alone a Superman one. I’ve enjoyed a decent portion of Snyder’s indie comics work, particularly his horror series, but I honestly haven’t been all that impressed with any of his superhero comics. His initial Batman run had its moments, and his Swamp Thing started out strong, but I’ve noticed he struggles to keep a series interesting after the first handful of issues. Between the artist pairing, the character and the comic’s sort of connection to the Zack Snyder film, I have my doubts that this will be worth the cover price. Count me out on this one.
Danny: Jim Lee’s art kind of tickles my brain in a nice way because I’m a host for a parasitic interest in X-Men. I was even stoked for Justice League kind of (we know how that turned out). With Snyder, I can only imagine the thing about Swamp Thing is the same about Animal Man -- that crossover lasted forever. And, while Snyder’s pre-52 Detective Comics run was the ballerest superhero thing Snyder’s done, “Death of the Family” was pretty amazing, especially if you read it all in one go.
Andrew: Nick, can you give me a haiku or a line about why you hate Jim Lee? A five-sentence paragraph with a topic sentence will also suffice.
Jim Lee draws eyes and
faces like Vanilla Ice
does punk: shittily.
Jim Lee’s sole rival
for the title of blandest
comics star is Land.
Real talk: Jim Lee is the comics star I hate the most because of his pervasive influence as an artist and now an executive. While he’s technically more talented than, say, Rob Liefeld, he’s such a lazy artist that I dare you to differentiate a randomly selected group of faces from any comic he’s done. It’s impossible. This would be fine if he was just a generic fill-in artist that no one thought much of, but he’s still somehow held up as the premier artist in mainstream comics. He has influenced legions of current Big Two artists, and in his current role at DC, he’s arguably as responsible for the blandness of the New 52 as DiDio thanks to that influence and his ability to make everything he touches look as though it warped in directly from 1993.
Danny: As a counterpoint to that entire paragraph and preceding haikus, I submit: 1991’s X-Men #1, the single greatest comic book ever made.
Nick: I think it’s time for that intervention, Danny. Which is why Andrew and I have gathered you here today to talk about your addiction to X.