DC News & Views 08.03.04

So I am back and hopefully missing me for a week has made you all respect me the more. Doubtful, but a man can dream.

I am, in a lot of ways, very tired of talking about San Diego. I did it for a week before I went, while I was there every night til about 6:30 in the morning (which was 9:30 according to my body’s internal clock), and about a week after, nonstop. Thus, no me in the Roundtable this past week. Even a comic book freak, pardon me, a comic book super freak actually, like myself needs to stop for air for a second.

All that being said, it was an amazing time that I cannot recommend enough. Being there as press is certainly cool, but even if you have to go without the talisman of a press badge I greatly recommend it. Whether it being in a bar with Frank Miller, Joe Quesada, Dan Buckley, and who knows how many other comic book types, sitting in on the Eisners, watching a sketch artist sexually harass every woman who could, or having polite conversation mistaken for a come-on, (By the way, Ben, thanks for telling that story. Janelle also thanks you. Actually, my thanks is sarcasm, hers is real. She loves to mock me.), there was hardly a moment that I was not in awe of the whole thing (especially the waitress thinking I was trying to pick her up and agreeing to be picked up. A stud, I am not.). Truly an excellent time.

Anyway, do it if you can. Trust Uncle Tim, he’ll never steer you wrong.

Because of the Convention connected deluge of news, there is not much new on my plate this week. Therefore, I was initially going to do one of my patented essays on important (emphasis on the pretentious) issues in comics that are being focused on as of late. However, I have now rewritten the damn thing 3 times and I still don’t love it. So look for that next week. Instead, this week, you’ll get the news and views with a generous helping of knowledge. Knowledge about Paraguay that is (I know, I know, Paraguay isn’t as exciting as Uruguay…deal with it).

For example: Although Paraguay may boost a diverse populations in some ways, religions is not one of them. Some 90% of its citizens call themselves Roman Catholic.


Morrison Projects Blanket the Earth; I Rejoice

You didn’t think that Seaguy, Vinamarama, and We3 was going to be it from Grant Morrison at DC, did you? If you did, go stand in the corner. For those left, Morrison stopped by Newsarama for a chat about his two rapidly approaching DCU projects, Seven Soldiers and the first arc of JLA: Classified.

Hey remember when I was the one who asked the question that broke the JLA: Classified news. Yeah, that rocked. Too bad they don’t mention it at Newsarama. Buncha jerks.

First off, despite my mockery of them mere moments above (see, oh, I don’t know, an inch or so up on this page), much love to Newsarama. They got hacked last night and, having had that happen to us on this very site as well, all of us here at DCNV send our condolences. They have gotten themselves up and running again lickety-split, too, so that link above works just fine.

And now, onto what you care about.

“Yes. Seven Soldiers will own 2005.” What a great quote. I don’t even believe that it was intended arrogantly, (as it would have been when I said it. For examples, once, twice a week, I proclaim, “DC News and Views will own the 21 Century.” And I mean it too. Like a hundred and twenty percent). Sorry, that was another silly deviation from actually discussing the announcement.

The Seven Soldiers project (the series of minis, maxi, whatever you wanna call it, it will consume your city and your home series) is just massive. Massive in size, (obviously), massive in ambition, and…just…friggin’…massive. It has got me psyched and I don’t even know why (well, I mean, besides Grant Morrison writing it). I cannot wait to see how this thing actually plays out.

“There are robots, liquid men and jet apes and we get to see the Batman’s “science fiction closet.” I wanted this book to taste like rocket fuel and make the reader feel like a beam of coherent light fired from the barrel of a laser gun. Don’t expect slow-paced character build-up in this one…” Another great quote. Man, he blows me away when he even speaks.

I very much enjoyed the Ultramarines their first time out (one of those not often mentioned gems of the Morrison run) and have awaited their return since it was sort of teased by the ending of that first arc. However, from Morrison’s description this may not be, exactly, that Ultramarines. Which is too bad. Still, the idea of Morrison trying his weird mojo on a “fight book” is plenty exciting and I loved his JLA more than enough to get me to pick this up. I will say it here and now, no one writes a better “Batman as uber hero” better than Morrison. NO ONE!

By the way, did you know that in the War of the Triple Alliance Paraguay lost 2/3 of its adult male population? It’s true.


Garza Reporting for Duty, Sir!

After the events of Batman: War Games a new team is going to be taking the Batgirl reins this November, writer Andersen Gabrych and artist Ale Garza. Although he couldn’t reveal a lot, since that would spoil some points in Batman: War Games, Garza is very jazzed to be working on this project. Not only has he given us some details about his inspirations for Batgirl, but the artist’s also provided us with a ton of art.

The headline was a War Games joke. Get it? Like soldiers reporting in, except it is a creative team? Look, these are the jokes people. Fine, just go on over to The Pulse Oh, and screw you.

Garza lists Joe Mad, Jim Lee, Art Adams, J Scott Campbell as direct influences and one quick glance at his pencils proves him to be no liar. In particular, the Joe Mad/ J. Scott Campbell stylings are very obvious. I’d even toss a little Humberto Ramos in there, as evidenced by how Garza renders hands and feet.

Those styles are not often my cup of tea, but when they fit, they fit. Ramos on Impulse, Campbell on Danger, Joe Mad on…Battle Chasers(?). Alright, so I am not so familiar with Mad. Sorry.

In any case, when the style fits with the tone of the book, the results are often excellent. Garza has a style that is comparable to Scott’s (as in Damion) without aping it, a good sign for the book. The sketches and cover of his first issue show that he has a good grasp of Cassandra in drawing and his interview revealed an appreciation of her as a character. Well, he did feel the need to throw in “sexy” as an adjective to describe her. I think Batgirl is a very viable character and maybe she is sexy, maybe she isn’t, but I feel like, unless the book is going in a different way, her sex appeal has very little to do with Cassandra at all. However, in fairness to Garza, I do believe I read about there being a rule about writing or drawing female characters. You must believe or, at the very least, call them sexy. Even Ma Hunkle. Actually…especially Ma Hunkle.

Sadly, in Paraguay, women would not be able to stage an uprising against such oppressive attitudes as the female to male ratio is roughly one to one. However, they can take comfort in an over five years longer life expectancy.


10 Cannot Contain Ex Machina. Only 12 Will Do! 12!

Tony Harris and the rest of the Ex Machina team got the news before San Diego Comicon that their series was being bumped from ten issues a year on the Wildstorm schedule to twelve issues. Co-creator and artist Tony Harris gave us a few details about what’s coming up and why the series was increased.

Check out the way of two more months of sweet political and superhero drama at The Pulse

What great news. A great series and two more issues of it to boot. I could not be more pleased. Well, if Grant Morrison decided to go back to the Aztek well, then maybe. But until that unlikely event, this will do.

In Paraguay, politics is something that is unavoidable from 18-75 years old as voting is universal and compulsory during those years. Wonder how Mitch would have faired I that environment.


Joe Casey and Matt Fraction: Thy Name is Depression

Sometimes, this is what happens when two writers e-mail each other:

An ongoing conversation behind closed doors, equal parts experience, opinion, critique, and outright rambling, THE BASEMENT TAPES are an attempt to present somewhat serious discussion about the somewhat serious business of comicbooks between two writers waist-deep in the perplexing and ever-evolving morass of their own careers.

Hey, kids, feel like feeling bleak about comics. Well, be sure to head on over to Comic Book Resources then. Cause, boy oh boy, they have a heaping help of the bleakness there.

So, I saw this on Comic Book Resources and I admit that I got a touch excited. An insider’s look at comics. Damn, I dig that stuff.

As it turns out, maybe I don’t. Or maybe I just don’t when it is Joe Casey and Matt Fraction talking about them…I’m not sure. In any case, the duo do their damnedest to bring me down from my post-San Diego (damn it, I mentioned San Diego again, sorry folks) high. That trip had truly made me optimistic about comics and the people who work with them. I knew it was still a job for them, but it seemed to be a job they really enjoyed.

This article, however, kind of came in and said, “Remember that whole optimism and happy to be involved thing. Yeah…kidding!”

In fairness, there are some signs of happiness in this column but it is so surrounded by disappointment that they seem to drown in it. Much like I did while reading this.

It is worth reading, sure, but steel yourself. This is not a Bendis letter column or a Johns interview.

What does make me optimistic is that 99.9% of Paraguay’s electricity is provided by hydro-electric plants.


A Look at Some of Hal’s Greatest Hits

Ladies and gentlemen, guardians and ringbearers, the Silver Age Green Lantern is coming back to the modern DC Universe. Hal Jordan will be reinstated as Green Lantern this October in a five-part miniseries, Green Lantern: The Return, written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Ethan Van Sciver. For us long-time Hal Jordan fans who watched in horror the complete degradation of his character 10 years ago in Green Lantern #s 48-50, Hal’s return to heroic glory is exciting. So exciting that I look forward to spending the summer catching up on my favorite superhero’s history, and that means reading and enjoying hundreds of Green Lantern comic books. For starters, I’ve pulled out my favorite comic book of all time, Green Lantern/Green Arrow #89 (April-May, 1972).

Wait, Hal Jordan is coming back as Green Lantern? When the hell did this happen? Huh, guess I better check out Silver Bullet Comics and so should you.

This is just a quick little synopsis of Hal Jordan’s journey, through various titles, until now. I am basically including it because, a.)a week without a Reborn story gives me the DTs hella bad and b.)the article starts off with a quick write up of a truly great story from the Denny O’Neill era when Hal was cavorting with that liberal firebrand Ollie. Since both are back (well, will be shortly) from the dead, what a fine time to catch up with some of the Denny stuff, before this next resurrection milestone takes place.

And speaking of milestones, Paraguay and I happen to share one: May 14th. For me, my birthday, to the people of Paraguay, their Independence Day. But not from aliens, like in that hit film, but rather from the oppressive folk of the Spanish. Sadly, aliens continue to threaten Paraguay to this day.


One way or another, I will see you next week. And it will be excellent.

And while these are Marvel solicitations, they are so good, I just had to share it all with you:

In a world on the brink, humankind’s time is running out, but deep in the jungles of South America a solution is being forged, a solution that will bring about a grand new utopia – and that solution is Adam Warlock!

And

The birth of a new era! Created in the depths of “The Beehive,” Adam Warlock is the final solution to the madness of a world caught on the brink, but can this artificial man become a god?

So good!

Tall, funny, sexy. That’s Un Gajje

(special thanks to Tim Sheridan who I stole the sign off from)