What’s SHOOT THE MESSENGER?
Well, AICN COMICS: SHOOT THE MESSENGER is your weekly one stop shop for comic book news that’s dropped in the previous week. Thanks to Newsarama, CBR, Wizard, etc. for reporting it as it breaks. Click on the links for the original stories. This column cuts the crap to run down all the vital information for those of you who don’t follow it as it comes in, and serves it all up with that special ingredient of @$$y goodness. It’s also the place for interviews, previews, editorials, and special reports.
Hey folks, Ambush Bug here with another peek into the tomorrow with the old Spinner Rack to the Future. First up, we’ve got another peek at the Geoff Johns/Gary Frank “Brainiac” arc which tells the tale of a Brainiac that Superman has never faced before. Check out ACTION COMICS #870, the final issue of that arc…
Look for Superman bowling-balling Brainiac’s head in ACTION COMICS #870 in stores Wednesday!
We previewed Top Cow’s DRAGON PRINCE #1 by Ron Marz and Lee Moder a few weeks ago. The good folks at Top Cow want to let you all read it here for free before making your way to the comic store this Wednesday for issue two. Check out the entire first issue below.
If you like what you see here, look for DRAGON PRINCE #2 on the shelves this Wednesday.
Finally we have an extra special preview from a comic book documentary called DAD! This book from Th3rd World Studios documents the relationship between the book’s writer Scott King and his father who has a terminal illness. This is one of those projects that continues to show the versatility of the comic book medium. It yanks on the heartstrings and will make even the most cold-hearted hold back a tear. This mix of photorealism and actual photographs is a true gem deserving of an audience and I’m proud to be able to showcase it here.
Be sure to check out DAD! from Th3rd World Studios in stores in October.
Are Crossovers/Epic Events for the Casual Reader?
Regardless of whether it’s Marvel or DC, I can always count on the AICN Talkbacks to erupt with topics more violently than Ron Jeremy after snorting Viagra when a new crossover or universe shattering event takes place. As collectors we say we love all comics equally, and I have no idea why we fucking lie to ourselves. We’re supposed to care more about the stories that can’t simply be contained within one title since they have always required more of an economic and emotional investment to truly appreciate their grand scope.
In the past crossovers were doled out sparingly and lasted a mere few months. Any crossing of say more than three titles was never dared more than annually. Afterwards the heroes would go back to their own books and perhaps a few months later there would be a one or two issue spillover.
That was then, and we all are painfully “52, Countdown, Piper Corpse Hand, No More Mutants, Barry Allen is Alive, Tony Stark is a Douche Not an Alien” aware that the times have changed. But with this change and expansion of the crossover and epic event there seems to have been a souring amongst comic’s populace. As collectors in 2008, we are getting more of everything. Not only do stories transcend titles, but they spawn their own minis, maxis, and ultra-fucking-yearlong-gigundies. What I find most interesting amongst the defending and defiling is the rise in voices that actually seem confused and bewildered by the pages of a crossover when they haven’t been reading every title tied to it.
From a wide-eyed, utopian, naïve, child-like, mildly retarded perspective, yes, every comic book should be accessible to a new reader walking in for the first time. Whether the exposition is force fed through an intro paragraph or delicately weaved into the opening panels of the book, ideally the writer should get the reader up to speed so they can revel in the next 20 to 22 pages. Please excuse me while I Hoover out the collective pixie-dust from the asses of the deluded individuals that actually believe that tripe and smack them with my cockrod of reality.
These are comics. Even individual titles are serial in nature, which means you will always be at a loss until you have been with them for awhile. Crossovers and epic events extrapolate the serial concept across an entire universe, so as we look at SECRET INVASION and FINAL CRISIS it is naïve (and retarded) to think that you will get the full picture from merely the titles that bear those singular names. People that were born when Barry Allen died can finally rent a car this year, and there have been more “Secret Invasion” headlines emblazoned across monthlies than without as of late. FINAL CRISIS and SECRET INVASION are part of a bigger picture and if you want to understand every panel, if you want to be in the know for every subtle nuance and turn of phrase, then yes, quite simply, you need to buy all of the titles that tie in to these books. You need to be deeply invested in comics and have the ability to invest deeply if you are going to get the grand picture.
Now, I bailed on SI after issue three, simply because I did not "get" what was going on in the grand scheme of things. I didn’t bitch, I just bailed. Why? Frankly, I just don't read that many Marvel titles. This is hardly Marvel’s or Bendis' fault. I have never cared for the Avengers, the galactic titles do little to titillate me and my love affair with Spider-Man over the years runs as hot and cold as his relationship with the Osborn clan. I'm a mutant guy, and quite frankly my interest in mutants just did not provide enough continuity fodder for me to become truly immersed in the pages of SI. I’m really OK with this and I won’t fault the main SI title for not doing enough work. The fault of not liking SI falls squarely on the shoulders of my reading apathy.
Now, FINAL CRISIS I can speak to. There are a scant few books in the DC universe that I have not read over the past three years. Is this a beautiful crossover or epic event? No, far from it. Reading FINAL CRISIS as a solitary book is enjoyable, but the cross pollination into other titles feels as though as it has been handled by a swarm of retarded bees. This is counting the lead-up books as well as the books churning out during the throes of the main event. But at least I can say I understand what is going on…sorta.
When Optimous Douche isn’t reading comics and misspelling the names of 80’s icons, he “transforms” into a corporate communications guru. Optimous is looking for artistry help, critical feedback and a little industry insight to get his original book AVERAGE JOE up, up and on the shelves. What if the entire world had super powers? Find out in the blog section of Optimous’ MySpace page to see some preview pages and leave comments.