AICN COMICS SHOOT THE MESSENGER: DARK HORSE GOES TO COLLEGE! Q&@ w STEVE NILES on CITY OF DUST, WORKING w JOHN CARPENTER & MORE!
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 @$$y goodness. It’s also the place for interviews, previews, and special reports.
And speaking of special reports, one of the Original @$$Holes, Vroom Socko, visited Portland State University last week to attend a special Dark Horse event. Let’s see what Vroom has to say.One of the things that fascinates me about comics as seen by the general public is the way some people will cling to the long outdated idea that the entire medium is inherently juvenile. (If I see another review for a bad movie that uses “comic book storytelling” as a pejorative I’m going to find the reviewer and beat them.) Along with that, one of my joys is seeing this idea crumble by ever increasing inches. No, I’m not talking about the half a billion box office for The Dark Knight, or the latest TV or movie writer to get signed by Marvel. No, the REAL relevant change in perception of comics comes in more interesting and subtle ways. Take Thursday, October 16th, for instance.
At an event that night on campus, Portland State University formally received a donation from Dark Horse comics of every single comic published in the company’s 22 year existence. As a part of the school library, the Dark Horse Archive will be available to students, as well as pop culture and historical researchers. While there are collegiate archives dedicated to comics, this is the first one in the United States dedicated to a single publisher which also contains the entirety of that publisher’s output.
Inches, hell! The perception of comics as kids stuff fell apart by a foot with this.
The highlight of the event last Thursday was a speech from Dark Horse founder Mike Richardson, the biggest man in comics. (I mean that literally; I’m six foot five, and he makes me look like Billy Barty.) The speech, which was recorded and will soon be available on the PSU library website, covered much of the history of comics, with much of the focus on the place of Dark Horse in that history. The most interest elements, for me at any rate, were Richardson’s thoughts about the future of comics. In particular, his analysis of the physical form of monthly comics, the function that dictated that form in the 1930’s, and why both the form and the content no longer fulfill that function today. Also of interest was Richardson’s take on the internet. While posting print comics online was a bust, creators making their own work in webcomics and then moving to print will be a success. But what else would you expect from the people who put PENNY ARCADE in print?
As for the value of the Archive itself, this is where those inches crumble into feet. For years now geeks like me have been saying that comics are a valuable, legitimate form of art and narrative. Publishers have been saying that. Writers and artists have been saying that. And now an academic institution, a major university, is saying that we’re right.
Click here to visit the PSU Library website.
Click here to read an interview with Mike Richardson about the Archive.
Click here to buy PENNY ARCADE: ATTACK OF THE BACON ROBOTS from Dark Horse. What, like you’ve never seen a shopping link on Ain’t It Cool before?
Vroom Socko (aka Aaron Button) has written for AICN Comics for seven years; writing reviews and reports about "comics that fell through the crack" in his TALES FROM THE CREVICE articles often found at the bottom of this column.
Ambush Bug Chats with
CITY OF DUST Writer Steve Niles
Hey folks, Ambush Bug here. I had a chance to sit and chat with Steve Niles about his new CITY OF DUST miniseries, horror vs sci fi, screenwriting plans with John Carpenter, and tons of other stuff. I’ll clue you in to a little secret here at AICN. We usually do interviews via email since they are easier to transcribe, but because of Mr. Niles’ hectic schedule, he was only able to do this interview live. Now, I’ve done tons of interviews here at AICN, and a few with Mr. Niles, but believe it or not, this was my first actual live interview. Of course, the interview started out with massive problems. The computer transcribing device I installed into my computer went wonky, causing annoying feedback and reverb echoes on Mr. Niles’ end of the line, so we had to do this one the hard way with the old speaker phone and tape recorder. Despite the technical difficulties, Mr. Niles was a true gent and gave a really great interview. And here we go…
AMBUSH BUG (BUG): My apologies about getting off to a rocky start. It’s a new computer program for me.STEVE NILES (SN): Not a problem. Believe me, I wouldn’t have done any better with that stuff.
BUG: Very cool. Well, thanks a lot for taking the time out for talking to me about CITY OF DUST.SN: No problem. I think I’ve dropped you a line a couple of times and you guys have usually treated me really nice at AICN.
BUG: Yeah, I’m a big fan of your stuff. Usually, if it has your name on it, I pick it up and give it a shot.SN: Awww, thank you so much. It’s really cool. It cracks me up because I read Ain’t It Cool and Newsarama and places like that, I have to just look really quick and don’t glance down at the comments and get the hell out of there.
BUG: Yeah, they can be really brutal in the Talkbacks sometimes.SN: Yeah, man, they’ll go after your personal life.
BUG: Yeah, it’s not just the creators. They’ll sometimes go after the reviewers just as harshly.SN: I guess that’s part of the charm of it. In the past, other creators have gotten on there. And I’m sure other creators have gotten on there and I’m sure it was really entertaining. But I basically just steer clear of that. Didn’t Rob Zombie keep getting into arguments on there?
BUG: Yeah, I think it got pretty heavy back during the whole HALLOWEEN remake thing.SN: Yeah, I kept telling him. I was like, “Dude, don’t even read them. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter.” But he goes straight in there and starts arguing. But what are you going to do. I fall into it once and a while too.
BUG: It happens.SN: I usually jump in when my friends are getting trashed.
BUG: Hah, yeah. So let’s talk about CITY OF DUST. I got a copy of it yesterday and read it for this interview. It’s a really great story. Do you want to tell us a little about it?SN: Sure, I’m curious about what you think because the reviews have been coming in shockingly good. And I’m in this situation where I’m writing five or six books a month and it’s always the ones you don’t expect…you know, that people respond to.
BUG: Can you give us a brief synopsis of what it’s all about?SN: Sure, I mean, really what it is is me taking on science fiction a little bit. There’s definitely a lot of horror there, but it’s about a world where the control mechanisms we have today, like religion and things like that are all taken away. And when religion is taken away, so is imagination. It’s a world where Tipper Gore won. Where anything that could possibly influence our little children into doing bad things has been outlawed. And that includes religion, and comic books, and anything that is not reality, basically. It’s a reality based world. And it focuses on this one character Phillip Khrome, who is a cop who has to enforce a lot of these laws. He handles a lot of murder cases and things like that and every once in a while he’s got to bust a guy for chanting curses, which is actually what they call prayer. But my favorite part of it is that we have a situation which is very much what we rely on now, where everyone has their iPhones and their ATM cards and all these things and man, when we have a power outage suddenly people are crippled. And this is a situation where the police rely on robots to do a lot of their detective work, to do DNA samples. They can open and close a case right there on the scene. As these bizarre events start to happen, the cops call Khrome specifically, who is the biggest company boy of them all, and is going to be forced to become a real cop and track down physical evidence when these machines fail him. And that’s an angle that doesn’t come out so much in the first issue, but it will definitely show up in the second and third issues.
BUG: Yeah, it definitely seems like that’s where it’s going by the end of the issue where—I don’t want to give too much away—but the little drones are analyzing this dead body and they can’t find any real reason why the body is dead or who the suspects are.SN: Yeah, because there’s no second party DNA. The machines are saying the guy was completely slaughtered by himself in his own apartment. So the technology is the problem. And then, it’s been hundreds of years since anyone’s done good old fashioned detective work. And that’s a really fun angle for me because one of the toughest things with doing anything like horror and with police stuff is…you know, Khrome is getting to do this for the first time. You know, if I did like a modern story about a cop who finds someone with two holes in the neck, everybody would be like “That’s stupid, we’ve seen it a millions of times.” But if you set it in a world where it’s impossible and it’s never been heard of, it gives it a whole new energy.
BUG: There’s a sense of Bradbury’s FARENHEIGHT 451 in there. A little 1984 Big Brother stuff going on. Books are outlawed. It’s really great to see that put into more of a BLADE RUNNER-type setting.SN: Exactly. They were all influences.
BUG: And then we have all of these horror elements just hinted at during this first issue, but given your reputation, you just know they are going to be showing up.SN: Yeah, that little monster ABC book is going to cause a lot of trouble.
BUG: Was there a book you read as a kid, as in CITY OF DUST where Phillip Khrome is cursed by a story read to him by his father as a child, that corrupted you into the writer you are today?SN: The only book that corrupted me is the book that got me reading which was I AM LEGEND. Up until then, everyone tried to get me to read the male JUDY BLUME books and HUCKLEBERRY FINN and I had no interest. I would pass out trying to read them. Then I got my hands on I AM LEGEND and I just devoured it. It just sort of lit a fuse. I was like, “I want to read more books like this.” Then I became a voracious reader.
BUG: It does seem like you do a lot of detective fiction with Cal McDonald, and you have DEAD SHE SAID at IDW, and even Batman over at DC. Now we have Phillip Khrome. What is it that draws you to write so many detective stories?SN: Just the fact that you have a character that is willing to throw himself into any situation instead of waiting for it to come to him. If I’m doing a horror story, a family is driving around and the horror comes to them and they have to try to escape it. The thing about detectives is that they’re the only guys that go out looking for trouble. It gives you a really unique set of tools to work with that I find really fun. I think in a lot of ways, my use of detectives is the way a lot of writers use superheroes.
BUG: Is there a lot of research involved in bringing these detectives to life?SN: I have cop friends that I play X-Box live with, actually.
BUG: Hahaha.SN: In the latest BATMAN: GOTHAM AFTER MIDNIGHT issue, I have a police funeral and I’ll go ask them about what clothes are worn and do they do the 21 gun salute for all areas of the police department. So if I feel like I have hit a wall and I don’t know something, I do enough research to at least fake my way through it. I do like to be accurate. I used to get a lot of letters because I had Cal shooting a .45 for a while, and I would get letters telling my, “Y’know, you might want to update that to a Glock.” I’ve got cop fans out there, so I listen to them. So I’ve familiarized myself a little more with firearms. So I’m not always giving them a .38 or a .45. You know, I don’t know anything about guns. But some of the readers do, so I have to be accurate.
BUG: How has it been working with Radical?SN: So far, so great. If it’s possible for someone to be over-enthusiastic, it’s these guys. I’m not complaining. Like I said, I’m getting reviews that I really haven’t seen since 30 DAYS OF NIGHT or FREAKS OF THE HEARTLAND. Stuff from years ago. They are really out there selling it. And at the same time, they are pushing me really hard to make sure that the book is what they’re selling, that it’s up to quality. I honestly couldn’t be any happier.
BUG: They have a great track record so far with Bryan Singer on FREEDOM FORMULA, and all of these other directors attached to some of their other projects. It seems like as soon as their projects are out, they have these long-term multi-media plans. Has anything like that happened with CITY OF DUST yet?SN: It was really funny. It was one of those times when I glanced down to the comments. And it said, I think it was optioned two minutes after it was announced. I think something is happening with that. I just kind of leave that to Barry [Levine, Radical’s President/Publisher]. He wants to do the entertainment stuff. I am up to my eyeballs in what I’ve got to do trying to get my own films off the ground.
BUG: If you were to cast CITY OF DUST, would you go with Thomas Jane again?SN: I’d pretty much cast Tom in anything. I just think he’s just a great actor when it comes down to it. Everyone knows him from THE PUNISHER and this genre piece or that, but I thought he was just amazing in 61, when he played Mickey Mantle. Literally, I’d be hard pressed, especially since I do a lot of cop characters who are in their thirties…he fits. He just fits so many characters.
BUG: A lot of your books have been opted for film. When you’re writing these stories, do you take this into consideration? Does that influence the way you write?SN: I’m always just focused on the story. My way of thinking has always been, if it’s a good enough comic, it’ll be a good enough movie. Generally, I try not to get distracted. I try not to do things specifically thinking that it will be a movie. I’ve only done that once, with WAKE THE DEAD. Which, as I was writing it, I was like, “God, this is the way to do it!” I was definitely thinking about a movie as I was writing that one.
Most of the time, though, I just really try to put it out of my head because I love comics. I first and foremost want to make entertaining comics.
BUG: The artist of CITY OF DUST, Zid, he’s got this imagery that is just really beautiful. Can you talk a bit about your relationship with him as this comic was coming together?SN: It’s very odd. He’s out of Singapore and my contact with him has been very limited. We aren’t awake at the same time. But I couldn’t be more impressed with what his work. What I like to do is write the first script as detailed as possible so that everyone kind of gets what I’m going for. And from there I sort of like to write shorthand. And he is just taking everything I’ve written and just running with it. And in a lot of cases, I think he’s really improving on it. It’s one of those sorts of instant partnerships. As soon as I saw what he was doing, I had no more worries. He’s doing exactly what I wanted and more.
BUG: How descriptive do you get in your scripts? Do you have a vague outline of panels and then send it to the artist to create an environment or look? Or are you pretty specific as to what you want to see in your comics?SN: I’m pretty specific. I write very detailed scripts, writing every panel, every page, as much as I can. I always look at it as, my role is to sort of cheer the artist on. Give them too much information to work with, and then slowly back off as the series goes on. Once they get a handle on it, I back off. I work with Kelley Jones now. My BATMAN: GOTHAM AFTER MIDNIGHT scripts are like 14 pages now, and the first issue was 30 pages. It really varies.
BUG: And what’s the reaction you get from artists after you hand in an ultra-detailed script?SN: Most of the time, they love it. I get a lot of guys that ask, “Why don’t you use your descriptions in your captions?” because I get really flowery with it. I almost break into prose. Generally, they really like it. And by the way, when I say detailed, I’m not within a million miles like what Alan Moore does. He literally describes every inch of the panel. I generally lay off angles, unless it’s very specific. I don’t do a lot of camera direction. What I do is just say what the characters are doing, what they need to be doing, if there is background action, just what I need in there. Than I always leave a note saying if you need an extra panel or if this isn’t quite feeling right, just go ahead and play with it a little bit. At the end of the day, I’m not an artist. I’m just not going to think of things that they are.
BUG: When you sit down to write a story, where do you begin? Do you come up with a specific scene, a cool ending, a good premise, a fun character? What is it that really fires you up and gets you ready for a new story?SN: With [CITY OF DUST] it was definitely the premise, the idea of this world and a character that completely buys into it. I really wanted to start with that. A lot of times it starts with a high concept. Actually, 30 DAYS began with a high concept and the story elements came in later. It really, really does vary. I just had a new book that came out called EPILOGUE, which is basically a vampire superhero. And that’s what it was from the beginning. I was like, “I want to come up with a good reason for a vampire to want to be a hero.” And the first thing I had to come up with was that he had to have a reason to hate vampires. He had to be a moral person who has to come up with ways to feed rather than the conventional way vampires do it. So why not fight crime? And if he has to have human blood, he might as well kill people who are already trying to take other people’s lives.
BUG: I know writers and artists are often their own worst critics. Can you indulge us in a critique of your own writing? Are there aspects of writing that you find difficult or challenging?SN: Y’know, I never look back. I’m really self conscious of my stuff, which is why I avoid the more brutal reviews. I had someone who wanted me to attend this convention and asked me if I was willing to read my stuff out loud. And I said, “No way. My blood would curdle. Absolutely not.” I’d be so embarrassed. I guess that’s why I’m a writer. I like the quiet in my own house. And then I send my stuff out there. And the people who like it, like it and there’s not a whole hell of a lot I can do about the people that don’t.
BUG: Speaking of writing and the writing of prose, are there going to more Cal McDonald short stories in the works?SN: Yes, definitely. That’s my favorite. My absolute favorite thing to do, but the one thing that makes the least amount of money. So, it’s been a little tough to balance, but I get more letters asking that than just about anything else.
BUG: Yeah, I’m a huge fan. I got the collection from Dark Horse and it’s just a great compilation of stories.SN: I would love to get to the point where I could write Cal [McDonald from CRIMINAL MACABRE] novels and try to pay the rent.
BUG: I recently read an article that distinguished sci fi from horror. It said that with sci fi, at the end of the story, the world is forever changed. With horror, everything seemingly goes back to status quo. What do you think of the definitions of those genres?SN: I generally don’t buy formulas, but I will say that in CITY OF DUST, that definitely is the case. Our character and world will not be the same by the end of the story as they were when we first started out. It’s definitely sci fi with horror elements. Everyone keeps writing me and asking me, “What’s your obsession with jet-packs?” Haha.
BUG: Hahaha.SN: Because I wrote a Batman story a while back and gave him a jet pack and everyone gave me a lot of shit for it.
BUG: So what is your obsession with jet-packs?SN: It’s simple, I grew up in the 70’s. We were all promised jet-packs by the year 2000. I don’t have my jet-pack yet, so I’m mad.
BUG: Hahaha. I know that you’ve worked on independent comics and also mainstream DC stuff. Kirkman just recently released that rant about encouraging a mass creator exodus from the mainstream to the more indie/creator owned stuff. What are your thoughts on that?SN: Well, I’ve done both and you know, I’ve had success in both. So obviously, if I had to pick, I’ve had more luck with my own creator owned stuff. But I sell more when I do the bigger ones, y’know. Right now, my numbers on GOTHAM AFTER MIDNIGHT, even SIMON DARK, are better than anything I do with CRIMINAL MACABRE or EPILOGUE. So I’m on the fence. Part of the thing is that I’m such a fan. I want to do this mainstream stuff. I drive my agents insane. They want me to write screenplays, and I just want to do comics. I like doing comics as well. I have to say, I come from a creator owned background and there’s a lot of value to owning your own material. And you could do a lot more with it. But it’s going to be a lot harder to survive. It’s going to be a lot harder to pay the bills. That’s one reason why I do so many titles.
BUG: Do you find it taxing to do that many titles a month?SN: Yeah, I’m definitely right now, heading towards a slow down. It’s just because I have to. I’m going to die if I don’t. And I’ve got a big screenplay gig coming up. So basically I’m trying to clear my deck, so that when I do the screenplay, that’ll be the only thing I’m working on.
BUG: Writing all of those titles, do you experience writer’s block?SN: The only writers block I get now, and that basically comes from self publishing all of those years, is that you’re also running a small business. So if I don’t wake up and take the phone off the hook, I won’t get any work done. I’ll spend the whole day doing that. So I’ll have phone days, and meeting days, and writing days. And that part is what really gets tough. I just have days where it gets really tough.
BUG: It seems like after 30 DAYS OF NIGHT made it big in theaters, it opened a lot of doors for you. Did you see a shift in getting what you want done and seen and heard by the right people in Hollywood?SN: I’m having a little better grip on what’s happening. When 30 DAYS sold, I was like a deer in the headlights. Luckily, with that, I wound up with Sam Raimi and David Slade and Rob Tappert and guys like that watching over the property. And that’s where I learned a lot of stuff. Definitely, with Hollywood, I feel like I have a slightly better handle. I’m still probably the worst businessman ever to walk the earth, but y’know, I’m learning. I’m trying to get better.
BUG: When I last interviewed you, it was after “30 Days of Night” hit theaters. Then you said that your collaboration with Rob Zombie on BIGFOOT will probably be the next Niles project to make it to the big screen, and after that, CAL MCDONALD and possibly WAKE THE DEAD. Can you give us an update on these projects or anything else under development?SN: WAKE THE DEAD is moving full speed ahead. We’ve got J Russell directing, James V. Hart doing the writing, WETA is doing the effects, and we’re pushing forward on that one. CRIMINAL MACABRE and FREAKS OF THE HEARTLAND are my Dark Horse properties. And I’m working with Mike Richardson to get those set up. And yes, Tom Jane would make the best Cal McDonald in the world.
BUG: Absolutely.SN: And that’s how we met. He came up to me and growled, “I want to be Cal McDonald!” I was like, “Sure, you ARE Cal McDonald, dude.” So hopefully we’ll see some life in those soon. A lot of the stuff I sold right after 30 DAYS, I think people were just going to buy whatever I was going to put out and nothing ever became of them for whatever reason. I sold five properties and got 30 DAYS out of it. I’m pretty damn happy with 30 DAYS and now, since I’m making a shift into screenwriting, I announced at Comic Con, and I’ll be able to announce the title soon, but I’m going to be writing a movie for John Carpenter.
BUG: WOW! That’s awesome!SN: Yeah, so pretty much, I’ve worked with Richard Matheson, Sam Raimi, Bernie Wrightson, and now John Carpenter. So I’m pretty much ready to die. You have no idea how amazing it is. I got to sit down and pitch to John Carpenter. And I don’t think I’ve been that nervous in a long time. And he was fantastic. Everything I thought he was going to be. So that’s why I’m trying to clear my deck because I really want to concentrate on that.
BUG: What else can we look forward to from you in comics? Will there be sequels to CITY OF DUST down the pike?SN: If the reviews keep coming in, I tell ya, yeah. If the reviews keep coming in the way they are and I know how this story ends up, I think we might see some more. I’m having a great time with Radical.
BUG: So you would work with Radical again in the future?SN: Oh yeah. They’re pretty damn impressive right now. And they’ve given me the freedom to do this. And they’ve given me these great artists to work with. And so far the reaction has been really good. So I want to keep doing stuff there. Still at Dark Horse. I’ve got my IDW books. And Kelley Jones and I will hopefully be doing a lot more, I’m not sure it’ll be Batman, but we want to stay at DC as a team and figure out what to do next over there.
BUG: Do you ever plan on deviating from the horror genre? Or is it always going to be a part of your work?SN: I don’t know. I certainly love horror. I’m a big, it’s funny, because I grew up on superheroes and horror comics, so I certainly have a lot of other areas I’d like to go. But right now, it seems silly for me to go off and do a romantic comedy. It’d be like starting from scratch. I’m very lucky to have a fanbase readership. And I wouldn’t want to scare them off. I’ll just wait till an idea comes that is inspiring enough. Even when I’ve done kids stuff, it’s been horror related, but the tone and the way you go about writing are completely different.
BUG: Well, it sounds like you’re off to a good start at writing screenplays. But it’s good to hear that comics won’t lose you to Hollywood.SN: The thing is, you write a screenplay, and the chances of what you’ve written ending up in the final product is very slim. And in comics, it’s just me and the artist. And very few people mess with us. It’s a very direct form of communication at work. I’ll never walk away from that, much to my representation’s chagrin. They know how much time it takes for me to write these comics. But you know, I love it. Right now, I had someone coming up to me telling me, “You shouldn’t be writing Batman.” But I’m like, “BUT IT’S BATMAN! I’M WRITING BATMAN!”
BUG: Hahaha!SN:There are characters out there that I would actually die if I didn’t do it and I can’t believe I’m getting the chance to do it. I was talking with someone today, I just pulled it out of my ass, but I told him, “I want to do a story called ‘Blood on Green Hands’.” Y’know, a really dark Hulk story. But who knows. I love this stuff. It gets me really excited.
BUG: Well I think I whizzed through all the questions I had for you. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me. Is there anything else you wanted to talk about before we go?SN: Yeah, thank you, it’s was a lot of fun. Be sure to check out www.steveniles.com. You know, Halloween is a big month for me, so I have one contest every day where I put a picture from a movie or some weird clip up and the first person to guess it gets a signed book. And then I’m having these three big contests, literally it’s a random drawing and one of the prizes for one random drawing is a piece of original Bernie Wrightson artwork.
BUG: Wow, that’s cool.SN: And the other prizes for the other two, we’re doing a pumpkin carving contest and a costume contest, but for those I’ll give away the first paint prototypes of the 30 DAYS OF NIGHT toy.
BUG: Very cool.
Well, look for CITY OF DUST from Radical. It really is a great book and check out more from Steve Niles at www.steveniles.com.
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Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
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Oct. 20, 2008, 8:16 a.m. CST
Hey kids, it's a great Monday morning pick-me-up!
Oct. 20, 2008, 8:38 a.m. CST
DRUGS get it?
Oct. 20, 2008, 8:45 a.m. CST
He can't donate anymore blood cause it's tainted with heroin. MACGRUBER!
Oct. 20, 2008, 9:51 a.m. CST
because heroin is so passè.<br><br>Dandy Warhols
Oct. 20, 2008, 10:05 a.m. CST
Oct. 20, 2008, 10:06 a.m. CST
Don't waste your fucking time. Carpenter is a lost cause. <p>Stay on track and give us a fucking Cal McDonald film! TOM FUCKING JANE!!
Oct. 20, 2008, 11:11 a.m. CST
by the milf lover
because he sucks at it! I didnt read his other Bat-attempts, but Gotham By Midnight is just awful, I dropped it after #4 with the big stupid Bat-Robot. Utter crap!
Oct. 20, 2008, 1:11 p.m. CST
Home, that is.
Oct. 20, 2008, 2:24 p.m. CST
by Olsen Twins_Fan
Oct. 20, 2008, 5:29 p.m. CST
Yeesh ya'll must get into it here when I miss a week of comic reviews... Niles found me on myspace once. Sent him a fanboy response and I think it traumatized him. It was pretty amusing for a Monday. Nice guy. It's also why guys like me get asked to leave comic conventions.
Oct. 20, 2008, 7:42 p.m. CST
I really enjoyed City of Dust #1. I actually pre-ordered it after seeing it mentioned on here.
Oct. 20, 2008, 10:21 p.m. CST
That's all nice and good, but I don't think this "crumbles" the comics are illegitimate argument at all. While it is nice that Dark Horse has made that kind of donation (which, decades from now WILL be worth more than a simple monetary donation) as you remarked, the place of comics in cultural studies has not been altered like some sort of revolution. It was nice, but not earth shaking.
Oct. 21, 2008, 12:48 a.m. CST
by vroom socko
Most of the time when the argument agains comics as capital A Art loses traction, it's by an inch or two. It's crumbled by a foot before: Maus winning the Pulitzer, Watchmen listed by TIME as one of the great novels of the 20th century, etc. But I'll be the first to admit, the remaining size of the anti-comic perception is about the size of a football field. Metaphorically speaking. This archive is still a very big deal, though.
Oct. 21, 2008, 8:36 a.m. CST
A. Its never going to happen.<br><br>B. Its not worth my time to try to convince people that comics have more to them then just some smiling, silver age, four color, homo erotic, slugfest bullshit. I already know about it, if they don't, its because they are stupid, so fuck them.<br><br>Besides, its not like they're going to rush out and start buying comic books. Books are ALREADY considered art and important and relevant to society and yet the majority of Americans sure as shit don't read those unless Oprah tells them to, so why bother? They're just going to wait for the movie anyway...
Oct. 21, 2008, 11:11 a.m. CST
I never understood this burning desire to have comics accepted by the mainstream art world - or the world at large. If people like and appreciate them, wonderful - if they don’t, who cares? I think a case could be made at this point that more Americans know Alan Moore's name or Frank Millers name then they do Dana Schutz, Damien Hirst, or any number of current art stars - so it’s less that people don't care about comics as art, it’s that they don’t give a shit about art at all. Who is the last household name artist? Warhol? Maybe David Hockney - ask a co-worker to name a contemporary artist, see who they tell you, it’ll be Warhol and he is dead – I’m not sure what I am arguing, except maybe just agreeing with Joen that if people don’t like comics then fuck em - who cares - I don’t care about knitting but you don't see a bunch of old ladies bitching about how no one give knitting any love... Also I am pretty sure that LA MOCA had a Jack Kirby show recently, so it’s not like people who know what they are talking about are not talking about comics as art.
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