Neilalien : A Doctor Strange Fansite : A Comic Book Weblog  

Current X-Factor "Hell On Earth War" story-arc antagonists are the Hell Lords (Mephisto, Satannish, Hela, Pluto, etc.) [competing to kill the seven-billionth person, Wolfsbane's son Tier, in a gambit for dominance] [X-Factor #252, out today, is Part 3] [Dr. Strange's rogues gallery, without Doc, once again; he's not even suggested when they consider getting help from the Avengers or X-Men] [if you haven't heard, writer Peter David suffered a stroke over the holidays [] [How You Can Help Peter David Recover]] [20 February 02013]

Anti-comics crusader seduced himself [new research and found notes show infamous 01950's children-protector Fredric Wertham (Seduction of the Innocent) basically fabricated the link between comics and juvenile delinquency] [Franklin Harris' Culture Shock] [NY Times: Scholar Finds Flaws in Work by Archenemy of Comics] [19 February 02013]

The weekend's light reading while buried under snow:

1: Colin Smith of Too Busy Thinking About My Comics is (re-)writing about Dr. Strange again in a massive series of posts at Seqart

2: Fantagraphics publisher Gary Groth on what EC accomplished and what it didn't; in an era when High Art wasn't on the agenda, EC gave a damn; artist craft often elevated obviously inconsistent formulaic writing [note Fanta reprints EC] [how artistic values apply to comics: "The key is to understand that the visual element is every bit as much a part of its literary expression as the words (and often more so) and that the medium has to use its own unique properties to embody what we may loosely refer to as literary values."] [Kim Thompson: "Looking for literary content... that can in any way stand toe to toe with contemporary actual literature, in any mainstream comic is an exercise in futility... The stories are at best a crude libretto that allows the graphic side (illustration, design, narration) of the comic to sing."] [Creator Eddie Campbell (From Hell) on how the art-drawings, and the alchemy of the comics experience, are losing in the current comics-as-literature criticism paradigm and separating-focusing on story-plot (like judging a song by the lyric-text alone)] [the above due to recent comics-as-High-Art and/or story-focused peeing on the EC idol: a re-read of Ng Suat Tong's The Comics Journal #250 (02003) essay that EC Comics sucked because they weren't Aristophanes, and Chris Mautner's wondering where the Emperor's clothes are] [update R. Fiore: don't ignore EC or other "down payments" comics have made towards the medium's potential]

Update/Thoughts: The criteria by which a comic is assessed (1) must include both art/drawing and text/story, the Gestalt, not the pieces in isolation; and (2) a comic doesn't need Shakespearean literary-quality writing to be good; a pop song doesn't have to be Mozart. But that doesn't mean aesthetics is 50-50. The comic book is 100-100, like other art like movies (cinematography/story) and songs (music/lyrics). Both have to be good. If the art is great but the story sucks, it's probably still a bad comic. "Crude librettos" drawn by Michelangelos shouldn't get a pass in any medium.

Relevant: Kirby and Ditko, great artists, but poor wordsmiths; why? [Stan Lee Meets F. A. Hayek by Edward Feser] [Stan Lee was the needed Gilbert (or was he the Sullivan?)]

Genre/lowbrow footnotes: [White Elephant Art vs. Termite Art: Manny Farber's B-film termites can burrow into topics better than bloated pretentious art] [It's Genre. Not That There's Anything Wrong With It!] [Junk Aesthetics]

3: The cyberpragmatics of bounding asterisks [*laugh*, *sigh*, *hangs upside down like a bat*: it came from comics, and now it's the self-stage-direction we all use to describe real-world actions online] [via CR]

4: Missouri Man Christjan Bee Sentenced To Three Years In Federal Prison [CBLDF from October when he pled guilty to possessing an obscene image of the sexual abuse of children; CBLDF wasn't consulted] [wife turns in husband for owning comics depicting incest] [law states "a visual depiction of any kind, including a drawing" of minors engaging] [no distinction made vs. child pr0n]

[9 February 02013]

Ray Felix, the little guy who dared to use the word 'superhero' [creator of A World Without Superheroes becomes the latest legal casualty and press story re: Marvel/DC's joint ownership of word 'superhero'] ["It seems as silly as Microsoft and Apple co-owning the word 'PC'."] [Games Workshop owns "space marine"] [8 February 02013]

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