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Messages - positronic

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Books & Comics / Re: New Comic Book Day Megathread
« on: Today at 06:55:42 pm »
Positronic, I had burned out a little on Lobster Johnson (after the calamitous events of BPRD the stakes just seemed too small) but the promise of some small insight into the enigma of the man himself is luring me back!

I've just recently figured out that the one-shot (and maybe even 2-issue) stories are real stand-alone stories that they can slot into the long hiatuses between Tonci Zonjic's 3- or 4-issue story arcs. Those are the only ones where you'll find the advancement of any clues or character developments.

On the other hand, it would be wrong to read LJ just for some kind of overall advancement on the mystery angle. I've a feeling the ultimate resolution to that may not really come until John Arcudi is within arm's length of the end of the Lobster's career.

I don't even KNOW for sure if those clues are in the offing in this story, but reporter Cindy was working on researching some clues, and the bad guys have somehow figured out she's important. One of the things she had found had to do with a pirate, and this arc has a pirate's ghost, so it seems likely there might be some connection. Whether it will be enough for anyone to formulate any viable theories is up in the air. I have some vague ideas myself, but they might have something to do with it, or be way out in left field.

There's still room for a lot of false trails or red herrings before anything resembling a real "origin story" might be realized. Somehow, the fact that the reader knows as little about the Lobster as the criminals he fights is part of the successful formula of this title. I think Arcudi's trying to emulate the mysterioso quality of the early 1930s Shadow novels, when readers spent years guessing about small clues about the Shadow's past that were peppered through various pulp novels.

General / Re: I may get shot for this...
« on: Today at 04:39:51 pm »
I couldn't say what passes for shop talk among comic artists, but you'd think they'd spare the fans (who else is going to be reading Thrill-Power Overload?) the brass tacks of boiling "the art of comics" down to a fine accounting of X#-pounds per hour. I've read plenty of interviews, and I've heard artists gripe about pay rates, deadlines, etc. Not all of them were happy with the jobs they got assigned or the characters or genres they were drawing, and some of them hated editors with a burning passion, but they carried on, because they were being paid for what they loved doing.

I didn't get any sense of that at all from Smith's comments.  I get the sense that Smith had no special attachment to the work itself. It was almost as if the breakdown of accounting would have had him painting signs, if it turned out he could have gotten a better hourly rate for it. It just really offended me -- not that he can't do whatever he likes, but is that the kind of thing comic fans really want to read in an artist's interview? ... 'I'm only in it for the money' ? If that's the way you really feel, have the decency to keep it to yourself.

General / Re: Do the Rogue trooper tales of Nu earth....
« on: Today at 04:28:54 pm »
I haven't read that since its first American printing in HEAVY METAL (and subsequent re-reprinting as a hardcover graphic novel under the War Machine title). It was a long time ago. Guess I'll have to put that into the re-read stack. I don't think it includes anything beyond the Gibbons-written original story arc, but I doubt if I can justify buying another reprinting.

Books & Comics / Re: Comics you are excited about in 2017
« on: Today at 04:24:56 pm »
I believe Phillips was privy to this story before hand, and is now presumably completed to some degree, and acquired this piece from Burns for his collection. The dude love him some painted comic art.

He's already acquiring the original artwork, and the series hasn't even been announced (presumably by Dynamite) yet?

There was a full-page DE ad in the back of this week's Batman/The Shadow #1... just the silhouette of the Shadow, with the gun in a gloved, girasol-ringed hand, pointing straight at the viewer. Typography reads simply THE SHADOW and at the bottom of the page SUMMER 2017. Artwork isn't signed, but unless I miss my guess it's Francisco Francavilla.

I would assume John Burns isn't involved in The Spirit/Green Hornet crossover miniseries that DE already announced, so... ??

Books & Comics / Re: New Comic Book Day Megathread
« on: Today at 04:17:50 pm »
I have neglected this thread for too long...comic book dump incoming!

Bump-ump a dump! So what happened?

Books & Comics / Re: New Comic Book Day Megathread
« on: Today at 03:53:05 pm »
What, nobody read anything this week?

Here's mine (yes, I read far too many, I know):

WEEK OF 04-26-17:

JUDGE DREDD: JUDGMENT DAY TP - Not the greatest Dredd story. Suffers from the same kind of "event burnout" as Marvel and DC crossover stories... trying to up the stakes, the scope, the mass destruction with every new one. FIVE whole Mega-Cities got wiped out! Lucky thing they were the ones which hadn't any characters with their own series set in them, eh? This isn't the more careful, mature Garth Ennis, and it also suffers from the old "too many artists spoil the broth comic" syndrome.

FLASH #21 - This was the first actual issue of The Flash I've read since September 2011. Part 2 (of 4) of "The Button". What do the Watchmen have to do with the DC multiverse? Oh yeah, I guess they got an entry in Grant Morrison's Multiversity Handbook, so they're connected now. No idea where Psycho-Pirate popped back in from, but presumably the same place as Wally West and Eobard Thawne, (a.k.a. Professor Zoom, a.k.a. The Reverse-Flash) were hiding out for 5 years. Or maybe it had something to do Mr. Mxyzptlk? Johnny Thunder? Who knows, it's probably not leading anywhere anyway, if it's anything like those Superman crossovers that teased that something big was in the offing.

DETECTIVE COMICS #955 - "The League of Shadows" arc continues. Not as good as the previous 2 stories (now TPs) in this title. I may drop it if the next arc isn't better.

WONDER WOMAN #21 - Still haven't figured out what's going on in this book. Also wonder if Greg Rucka has. Nice artwork, though.

THANOS #6 - Not bad. Not as interesting as Jim Starlin's stories. But far more interesting than Jason Aaron's. Still, considering what else Marvel is publishing these days, this is far from the worst.

BEN REILLY THE SCARLET SPIDER #1 - Oh, the humanity! (Or the clonity! or something.) Forget it. It's junk.

MAN-THING #3 (of 5) - I was pretty dubious about this from the first issue, but I'm actually liking it more than I thought. More of a tongue-in-cheek approach than most Marvel readers would be willing to put up with though, I'd guess. This would be the very first of R. L. Stine's work I've read. I reckon it bears more of a kinship with Steve Gerber's work on the character than might be immediately obvious.

DOOM PATROL #6 - First issue I've read since #2. Nick Derinton turns in some nice artwork here. I can't really get into Gerard Way's writing, though. I always wind up feeling like I'm reading "Diet Grant Morrison".

GREAT LAKES AVENGERS #7 (of 7) - Another lighthearted, if inconsequential romp. Knew it wouldn't last. Deadpool shows up at the end to razz them when their franchise gets pulled.

KILL OR BE KILLED #8 - If you like Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips' work, you're probably already reading this. If you don't, then you don't, I guess. Always a good read for me. See, you don't really need TV. Just Brubaker/Phillips comics, which are like a good HBO or Showtime series.

SAVAGE DRAGON #223 - It's hard to see it unless you actually read it, but this is actually a pretty different superhero comic. Hard to overcome the decades of continuity to get onboard with it, though.

DOLLFACE #4 (of 4) - Alright, you got me. This miniseries turned out to be a waste of time.

FOREVER WAR #3 (of 6) - Pretty good, if a little dated now, SF story. Nice artwork.

BATMAN THE SHADOW #1 (of 6) - Why is The Shadow going around murdering people? Not criminals, just regular people. ??? That IS the mystery, I guess.

BATMAN 66 MEETS WONDER WOMAN 77 #4 (of 6) - This concludes Act 2 of a 3-act play. Act I (issues #1&2) took place in 1944, when the 1966 Batman was still an un-orphaned child, and Princess Diana was still Wonder Woman, fighting WWII; Act II is taking place in 1966, on Paradise Island (guest appearance by Diana's "little sister", Drusilla a.k.a. Wonder Girl); and for Act III, issues 5&6 will jump forward to 1977 (which explains how Batman '66 can meet Wonder Woman '77 without time-travel being involved). Tying all three acts together is the frequently-resurrected Ra's Al Ghul (and daughter Talia, a mere child in the first 2 issues), in his Batman '66 debut.

SCOOBY DOO TEAM UP #25 - Green Lantern/Green Arrow guest-star, and plenty of nose-tweaking of Denny O'Neil's "hard-travelling heroes" is had. Green Lantern is heard to say about Green Arrow, "Oh, here we go with the 'hideous moral cancer rotting our very souls' again..."

KAMANDI CHALLENGE #4 (of 12) - Not as interesting as I'd hoped. Luck of the draw when you've got a different creative team on each issue. But then you can't really follow the story if you don't buy all 12 of them, can you?

PATSY WALKER AKA HELLCAT #17 (of 17) - It was a fun book while it lasted. I wish there had been more with Hedy Wolfe and the whole thing about Patsy's mom turning her daughter into a series of comic book stories.

NICK FURY #1 - If I didn't hate the character*, I'd probably have liked this, since I generally enjoy James Robinson's work, and the art was good. *Trust me, you don't want to get me started.

X-MEN BLUE #1 & 2 - At least it's a little less grim than your typical X-Men comic. This is the Original 5, btw - "O5" for short. It's referenced in the comic. Still hard to care too much, but if you're not as jaded as I am about X-Men comics, then there's hope to be found here, I guess.

SPOOKHOUSE #4 - Lighthearted take on the classic-type horror comic short story. I like it, I like it a lot. Eric Powell masterminded this series, with help in this issue from Steve Mannion.

HILLBILLY #6 - Eric Powell is in full force here. He's got the ear for dialect. Backwoodsy horror drawn from an American folkloric tradition. Witches are traditional hags, but Rondel (hillbilly of the title) wields the Devil's Meat Cleaver (sort of like a hill-folk Thor). It's some fine stuff.

LOBSTER JOHNSON: THE PIRATE'S GHOST #2 (of 3) - Best of the "pulp hero"-style comics by longevity, although whenever Francavilla gets in the act with his Black Beetle or The Spirit, he's giving The Lobster (his name's not really Johnson; it's too complicated to explain) some serious competition. This story might just hold some small clues to The Lobster's origin and/or true identity, which up until now has remained a complete mystery.

ANNO DRACULA #2 (of 5) - This might be the best Titan comic I've seen yet. I'm a sucker for alt-history stories, though -- especially those with good writing and artwork, like this one has.

MICRONAUTS: WRATH OF KARZA #1 (of 5) - The previous IDW Micronauts series concluded with issue #11 last week, so this miniseries will carry on the story. Baron Karza wants the Earth as his new power base, and is prepared to wipe out humanity to replace the inhabitant with the survivors of the Microverse.

KONG OF SKULL ISLAND #10 (of 12) - It looks like we may have seen the young Kong's baptism of fire in this issue. Although it seems the natives of Skull Island still have to change their society somewhat before it resembles the one in the classic movie.

SPLITTING IMAGE! 80-PAGE GIANT (1-shot) - The parody here is dated (1993) in this all-reprint special, but Don Simpson is really an under-rated cartoonist whose work I sorely miss. And I have to give the Image founders credit for poking fun at themselves (or at least, Rob Liefeld and Jim Valentino for poking fun at the rest of them, along with themselves).

General / Re: I may get shot for this...
« on: Today at 04:57:18 am »
"Focus on the time demands of the work" ? What?!!!
I remember it was a multi-episode, interesting interview with a well-respected artist.
The time-keeping aspect is a modest, illuminating, side-bar. Can you see that?

I'd have to re-check the book for his other comments. (I'm not sure if the book has an index, that would certainly make it easier). My initial impression was that those comments were the ones that stuck in my mind as what he had say to the interviewer in summarizing memories of his work on Dredd.

The quotes may or may not have been lifted from a lengthier interview which I never read, but whether he had other comments (extracted in Thrill-Power Overload) on things which just didn't register a strong impression one way or the other, that's the characterization of his attitude towards the work which I was left with, not a "side-bar", and one which I didn't find illuminating at all, at least not in any positive way.

Books & Comics / Re: Comics you are excited about in 2017
« on: Today at 01:16:37 am »
Only two forthcoming series I can think of that I'm eager to pick up- Volume 2 of Wytches by Snyder & Jock, and Bane: Conquest by the original creative team of Dixon & Nolan.
(Which is due to hit next week actually; http://www.dccomics.com/blog/2017/02/15/announcing-bane-conquest-by-dixon-and-nolan).

I sort of wonder what's left to be said about Bane at this point, or whether we're supposed to assume most (or some) of the pre-New 52 stories don't apply, or do, which would imply some sort of characterization arc. A typical example of what I find frustrating about DCU Batman stories since 2011.

Books & Comics / Re: Whats everyone reading?
« on: Today at 01:12:34 am »
I complain way too often about an adaptation being different from the source,but with American Gods,its quite the reverse.Its the same thing,but with pictures.I know that statement makes no sense,but Its kinda how I feel.So,for those who read the book,dont expect anything new here.Which isnt necessarily a bad thing...Anyway,sweet covers.

It's not necessarily a bad thing, unless the reader's expectation going into it was different. I'm not clear on why it would be unless someone was under the impression of a prequel/sequel, as opposed to a straight adaptation. Clearly not everyone reading the adaptation will have read the prose version beforehand.

General / Re: I may get shot for this...
« on: Today at 01:02:12 am »
I don't believe Ron Smith was 'biting the hand that feeds'.
Again, sheesh.

Of course all commercial artists have deadlines, and there's a point at which any one of them needs to declare the page as finished. That's understood.

Why in the world Smith should choose to focus on the time demands of the work as opposed to any other aspect (that presumably his fans would be more interested in focusing on) baffled me. He's making a distinct choice to not discuss the artistic aspects of his work, but purely the timeclock-punching involved from his perspective. It just seemed like a strange response to an interviewer with curiosity regarding the work under consideration, to be preserved for the edification of the magazine's history.

Creative Common / Re: Dredd Helmet Paint Job
« on: Today at 12:50:28 am »
It's not just the colour of the Helmet what about the texture in the drawings it looks like dimpled but is that supposed to be the paint job (camouflage)?
I've also seen the Bags as Brown or green. including a mixture (bag green and straps brown)

I think I have a long way till I get to Painting anyway. I've got Ideas on the Bag (box) and the body & butt of the gun. I'm also thinking of going for a steel army surplus Helmet and adding the "bumps" some how.
These are the problems I'm looking forward to solving  :)

I'm pretty sure the texture of the appearance of the helmet is in the actual metal surface, not any paint job. That goes for whatever other textures Gibbons indicated by shading, crosshatching, or stippling techniques -- I think it's safe to assume it's the actual texture of the materials used that he's conveying, not any indications of surface paint or dye.

And well, of course Gibbons didn't color his own penciled and inked work (that I know of, anyway), so you should just pick from among the color work you've seen that looks best or most natural or logical to you. Of course, should you discover that I'm wrong about this and Gibbons DID supply his own color work in some instances, those would probably be the most 'definitive' color guides, IMO.

General / Re: I may get shot for this...
« on: Today at 12:28:04 am »
If you didn't like Ron Smith's work, fair enough. But I'm struggling to see why it makes a difference that he have himself time limits to do it.
I work as a commercial artist myself - when you're working to a brief with a deadline, you have to get the job done. Ron Smith was a comic illustrator, not some independently rich Bohemian lounging about till the muse struck. He had bills to pay, just like the rest of us.

I didn't spend a lot of time thinking about Smith's work and had no particular axe to grind with him prior to having read his own comments about in Thrill-Power Overload. Smith was one of the list of regular or main Dredd artists in the first decade of 2000 AD. We all have our own rankings of which ones we prefer over others, so everyone's list is bound to have someone's name gravitate downwards below other artists' names who they prefer, and who they personally rank higher. My subjective impression (whether true or not) at the time of being exposed to his work was that Smith seemed perhaps some years older than many of the other Dredd artists, and that his work appeared to me to be somewhat less 'contemporary' for the times by comparison. Purely a subjective opinion. Surely I'm allowed that.

I only really thought lesser of him as an artist when he made those comments about his working method, since he knew full well they'd be read by his fans. It made me think he was sort of biting the hand that feeds. I can't help feeling that way about it.

Books & Comics / Re: Comics you are excited about in 2017
« on: 26 April, 2017, 01:34:14 pm »
Wait. What does Sean Phillips have to do with this? Is he traffic-managing English artists for Dynamite somehow? The way things are going, we may see that John Burns story in print before we see the end of Francisco Francavilla's current Spirit series.

And speaking of which, a Sean Phillips Spirit story doesn't sound like a bad idea, either. Realistically, the only chance I could ever see of that actually happening is if Ed Brubaker really badly wanted to write a Spirit story, or otherwise how could they justify not spending the same time on their creator-owned series like Kill or Be Killed?

General / Re: I may get shot for this...
« on: 26 April, 2017, 01:10:02 pm »
As for Ron Smith, well... he certainly drew a LOT of Judge Dredd. Somehow I never felt like he "fit in" with the other great Dredd artists, though (diverse though they may be). I think ultimately the most telling indictment of his work to me, was when I read in Thrill-Power Overload that he used to set himself a specific amount of time to work on each page, based on his page-rate from 2000 AD. When that time elapsed, he was done, regardless of what the page looked like at that point. Apparently it was a system that worked for him, in justifying his page-rate, but it seemed a bit mercenary to me, and hard for me to respect from the point of view of the-artist-as-craftsman.

Hmmm. That will probably cause far more offence than the OP.

Ron Smith absolutely was a craftsman. He was making an honest living by producing something to order for a customer in a timely manner. The fact that he did this to a pretty consistently high standard just demonstrates he was a very good craftsman.

Was he a great artist as well as good craftsman? Well, the proof lies in the admiration people still have for his work long after he stopped crafting it.

Well, perhaps what I felt odd about it is that this information was volunteered by Ron Smith when interviewed in regards to his work for 2000 AD. It's not like something most artists would have felt necessary to bring up, and he could very well have kept that aspect to himself. It just seemed like a very strange sort of attitude to take, considering that he knew that he was being interviewed and what he said for the record would be read by his fans as well as his non-fans. Almost as if he was making a point that "it was just work, that's all".

General / Re: I may get shot for this...
« on: 26 April, 2017, 12:55:25 pm »
I think ultimately the most telling indictment of his work to me, was when I read in Thrill-Power Overload that he used to set himself a specific amount of time to work on each page, based on his page-rate from 2000 AD. When that time elapsed, he was done, regardless of what the page looked like at that point. Apparently it was a system that worked for him, in justifying his page-rate, but it seemed a bit mercenary to me, and hard for me to respect from the point of view of the-artist-as-craftsman.

The fact that is true makes his level of artistry even more astonishing.

It depends on how you look at it, I guess. All I can see is an employee who cared more about making sure he got his calculated hourly wage, than an artist who cared more about what his work looked like in print -- it just seems more like a factory-worker mindset. His choice, of course. I don't know what kind of bills he had to pay every month.

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