A Unified Theory of Superman's Powers by Ben Tippett [PDF; lives with Dinosaur Comics] [via MetaFilter]
One of Neilalien's reasons why he finds Superman such a noncompelling character is his nonsensical mishmash of powers, but apparently, they all come from Superman's ability to alter the inertial mass of objects near him or touched by him.
Results for Five For Friday: Name Five Great Things About Steve Ditko [Comics Reporter]
Neilalien's list of Ten Great Ditko Things:
1. All his Doctor Strange designs, especially the extradimensional landscapes and people, the magical bolts/manifestations/astral forms and hand gestures for spells, the Eye of Agamotto and the Eye floating to the forehead, the G'uranthic Guardian, etc.
2. Spider-Man costume/mask/eyes design, more hands, contorted body angles, the Spider-Sense tingle lines and half-mask, etc.; Amazing Fantasy #15; the Spider-Man Annual splash pages; his New York City
3. His Warren horror work, those ink-washes
4. All his horror/monster work, those eyes, those depictions of fear, depictions of going insane, those shadows
5. Mr. A and The Question's ruthlessness with criminals
6. His cars, men's hats and clothing, diplomats and women never changed, never got modernized
7. His use of comics and the superhero genre for politics and polemics, Hawk & Dove, Mr. A and The Question, Avenging World, etc.
8. He never sold out; he never bent over for The Man; his principles, integrity, stubbornness (except maybe for his denials that he ever worked on Stanton's porn when it's fairly obvious he did?)
9. Obviously he's a very private person, yet he's in the phone book
10. He's still working
(As revealed here, Neilalien is slightly less into Ditko's work at Charlton (Blue Beetle, Captain Atom, etc.) and Shade The Changing Man than the above, but that's 12 items right off the top of the head!)
Comics company business practices coming back to bite them; describing the terms Kirby worked under; response to the crazy vitriol people are spewing at the Kirbys [Permanent Damage]
Wow, the big comics news stories just keep on hitting. Developing and adding links as found...
Marvel Comics December solicitations include Strange #2, Doctor Strange in Invincible Iron Man #21 [Comic Book Resources]
The good news on that Iron Man appearance: We get Doc written by Matt Fraction. The potential bad news: The solicit text makes it sound like another one of those 'Doc brings a 'dead' or otherwise disembodied/beaten hero back from the nether regions' appearances. Didn't we just get that again recently in Wolverine? We shall see.
Is This The Beginning Of The End Of The Direct Market? [Bleeding Cool]
Marvel/Disney and DC Entertainment leading to new book distribution and sales venue ideas, Diamond cutting off its own long tail with order minimums, increased focus on digital/internet models, etc., etc.
Marvel-investor class-action suits crawling out of woodwork that Disney got Marvel for too cheap [Robot 6 #1; #2]
Strange Tales #1 sells out at distributor level; second printing with black-and-white cover on the way [Comics Bulletin]
Neilalien really enjoyed Strange Tales #1, with several laugh-out-louds- and great to finally see Dash Shaw's Dr. Strange in print. Check it out! Although Neilalien does agree with several reviewers lamenting that all the indie creators went for laughs- or maybe those are the only stories Marvel editors picked?- wouldn't have minded some engagement with the superhero genre, instead of just jokes. And was the $4.99 price tag necessary?
The main thrust of the series is that it's told from the point of view of Stephen's newest student, a young, somewhat nerdy woman who knows nothing about him and isn't sure she even believes in the magic he represents. Plus, to her and to our eyes, he's not exactly at the top of his game anymore; he's a little broken-down, a little more unpredictable.
"Triumph and Torment stands in my mind as one of the seminal moments for one of Marvel's richest characters." [The Alternative Chronicle]
Oh wait, the writer means Dr. Doom...
Must read: I Am Cynical (Orange): The Direct Market won't end with a bang, but a whimper [Comics212]
Comics distributor Diamond's raised order minimums and stocking failures nuke the Direct Market's immediacy and relevancy; retailers and consumers getting anything that isn't Diamond's Marvel/DC anywhere else slow-deaths the notion of the Direct Market.
Quesada's dismissal of original graphic novels (even now with Disney financial backstop) seriously questioned [Comics Alliance]
Content-thin Joey Quesada interview- his only one before the Marvel-Disney deal is done [Comic Book Resources]
Marvel has a difficult time selling comics with female leads, or African-American leads, or leads of any other particular cultural bent, or most critically, non-American leads, to its audience [Tom Brevoort] [Robot 6]
More from Fan Expo 02009; Cup O' Joey Q panel [Newsarama]
As usual, Doctor Strange and his current status was brought up... "I've always said magic stories are some of the toughest stories to tell because it's very hard to establish the rules of the universe," explained Quesada. "For me, the problem with Doctor Strange is there's always a way out. You back Spider-Man into a corner and you wonder how he's going to get out of the situation with the villain. You know Spider-Man will get out of it, the trick is how is he going to out smart the villain and get out of the predicament. With Doctor Strange, it's as simple as 'Crimson bands of whatever' and he's done. Without establishing really good rules for the world of magic, it makes it much tougher to tell those stories in a way that eventually engages people."... That doesn't mean there aren't plans for the old and new Sorcerer Supremes... "In Brother Voodoo: Avenger of the Supernatural #1 in October, you are going to get some hints as to what's going on with magic in the Marvel Universe," says Singh. "I can't say the scene or characters involved, other than Brother Voodoo. Also, if you want of the most unique Doctor Strange stories you will ever read, read Strange Tales #1."
Retailer Ilan Strasser of Fat Moose Comics on Declining Sales [ICv2]
(1) Stop the big event with the multi-part crossover storylines. (2) Price comics back down to an affordable level based on real costs and not short-term greed -- comics pricing has far exceeded the increase in inflation over the last decade. (3) Solicit and publish their books on a timely basis. There is a world of talented writers and artists out there -- use the ones who can deliver product (let's call it what it is) on time and forget the big name, prima donna basis for utilizing talent, and create a system that punishes said talent when it fails to live up to its commitments. (4) Stop publishing more than one monthly title of your major characters and don't produce miniseries that aren't exceptionally high in quality. Stop clogging the shelves with shit. (5) Work TOGETHER to raise the health of the industry. Stop endlessly fighting to be first. You will always be one or two and within reasonable percentages in terms of volume and dollar sales. Wouldn't a scenario where a publisher isn't always first, but makes exponentially more money overall be better for either publisher? (6) Start treating your retail partners like they really matter instead of conduits for your cash flow.
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