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Nov 2

House to Astonish Episode 113

Posted on Saturday, November 2, 2013 by Al in Podcast

We have a nice lean 75 minutes for you this time round, talking about DC relocating to Burbank, the end of Fables, the Daredevil Infinite comic, Winter Soldier: The Bitter March, Marvel’s Japanese animated show, the latest comings and goings in comics-related litigation and the Mighty Avengers 1 script release SNAFU. We’ve also got reviews of Sandman: Overture, Damian, Son of Batman and Velvet, and The Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe is trying not to hurt its stiff upper lip. All this plus Batman’s sexytime habits, a left hand pouring water on the carpet and someone being sued by their own trousers.

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Bring on the comments

  1. Odessasteps says:

    One year at SPX, i sat next to someone (sorry for not remembering their name, it was 10+ years ago) who did a book where the gimmick was the same short story drawn by (three?) different artists.

  2. Tom Shapira says:

    The is also “99 ways to tell a story” by Matt Madden were he doess 99 versions of the same one-page comics story – including different perspectives, genre parodies, aping different artists, doing it in a decompressed style etc….
    Of course he is just one guy so that’s not a complete fit.
    The one other exmaple I can think of is Paul Pope issue of SOLO in which he does Kirby’s 1st issue of OMAC almost down a note.

  3. Chad says:

    On the Sandman format question…

    I flipped through the issue at the store, and I’d agree the ad placement is egregious. Surprisingly so, as I’m used to reading comics with ads (even house ads not at the back), and Sandman was originally published with ads. I guess the difference here is that all the ads are placed face to face, and the overall glossy production of the comic, not to mention the price, gives it the feeling of a would-be art object, making the frequent and completely unnecessary interruptions especially irksome.

    On top of this, every issue of the series seems to have two regular covers, one by the interior artist (a major draw on the project), the other by Dave McKean, the regular Sandman cover artist and also a major draw. This is far from your standard Lego or Deadpool variant cover gimmick. Why should a consumer have to choose between the two, especially when all other formats will include both? So I didn’t purchase the issue.

    As Paul says, digital isn’t a great option (even for readers accustomed to buying digitally, which I’m not) given the number of double-page spreads and the fold-out pages.

    As for the eventual collection, keep in mind that this is DC, meaning that both the hardcover and the softcover will be published with very bad glued binding that will make the many, many double-page spreads in this series a pain to read.

    Perhaps one day there will be a deluxe edition with quality sewn binding? Perhaps it will cost under one hundred dollars?

    So, in sad conclusion, there appears to be no ideal format in which to purchase this favorably received series.

  4. Martin Smith says:

    Orange and teal wasn’t just about posters, but the movies themselves. It’s one of those things that once you notice it, it’s hard to ignore. This is an excellent blog post about it:

    If Kelsey Leigh had an arm amputated, would Scotland gain independence?
    I think you’re right that there are some usable concepts buried in Kelsey, but I’m not sure that ‘Britain reflects her physical/emotion state’ necessarily gels with ‘Captain Britain gone wrong’. The latter would be an excellent way of exploring the broad idea of patriotism, particularly British patriotism (which Paul Cornell touched on in MI13) and how it can lead to things like the EDL, while the former actually feels more suited to Brian Braddock and his mental health issues.

    I assume you were slyly referring to Harmony Gold when talking about IP blaggards. Their business plan for the past twenty years, after somehow being awarded ownership of somebody else’s work, seems to be a) not do much of anything with it and then b) sue people who do anything even vaguely related to it.

  5. Joseph says:

    I’ve stuck with the Unwritten, which though some of those post-crash story arcs did slow a bit has really maintained a high quality one expects from Carey. He always said they imagined the series lasting 50-60 issues, so I think it’s safe to assume there was always a plan for after the confrontation with the cabal. The Fables arc has been great, and the Tommy Taylor OGN helps get the broader point across. Worth checking out.

  6. Somebody says:

    Sentinel as new concept:

    Kordey put the pencils of his version of Exc v3 #1 (not New Excalibur, that was the next year) online, along with how far he got into #2. (Might still have it saved somewhere)

  7. Somebody says:

    Bru/Epting did the last Winter Soldier series, didn’t they? That wasn’t THAT long ago.

  8. Al says:

    Brubaker’s work on Winter Soldier v1 was with Guice and Lark. Bru/Epting’s been a while, AFAIK.

  9. The original Matt says:

    I had to go to the x axis archive and re-read the avengers review. That was hilarious.

  10. Neil Kapit says:

    I’m not sure why it seems so common for people to prefer Adam Kubert to Andy Kubert. Certainly Adam’s layouts and figures are more inventive and over-the-top, but Andy’s compositions are more solid and consistent. A lot of Adam’s pages, especially in recent years, are incredibly sketchy, to the point of characters in the background seeming outright unfinished and the story becoming difficulty to follow. Both Andy and Adam work in a very dynamic style, but I think Andy grounds it better in terms of storytelling, especially in recent years. I think Damian: Son of Batman sells this, since while it doesn’t have much action, the character scenes sell all the emotions.

    Both men are superb artists, and have improved dramatically since the 1990s. Especially Andy, who started on the X-Men as a Jim Lee imitator, but developed his own style over the course of the run. (And I don’t understand why the flyaway hair criticism is such a sticking point against Andy. A lot of successful comic artists have those sorts of quirks; is there this much objection against Byrne characters’ jowls, Dodson womens’ massive breasts, Allred characters’ eyeshadows, etc.)

  11. Dylan Angeline says:

    I know the prevailing school of thought says that having extra trades at the time of a movie release is for “new or lapsed” readers to get back into the hobby, but is there any merit to thinking the extra trades and miniseries published around the time of a film is for current readers to get an extra fix of something they want because of the publicity surrounding the film made them desire something extra to read?

  12. Butts says:

    “Andy Kubert’s compositions are more solid and consistent.”

    You mean that he draws everyone the same way with little to no variety?

  13. The original Matt says:

    One of the Kuberts had a run on Wolverine back in the day. Loved the art. (Back when Larry Hama was writing)

  14. Reboot says:

    > I know the prevailing school of thought says that having extra trades at the time of a movie release is for “new or lapsed” readers to get back into the hobby, but is there any merit to thinking the extra trades and miniseries published around the time of a film is for current readers to get an extra fix of something they want because of the publicity surrounding the film made them desire something extra to read?

    Well, it would make more sense. For Cap: TWS, they should absolutely focus all their mainstream efforts on a twelve-issue collection of the Brubaker/Epting Cap (2005) #1-6, #8-9, #11-14*. Comics associated with movies sell best when there is ONE book being pushed, and that’s the logical one there.

    *#7 was the Nomad flashback/fill-in issue that was added after initial solicit when Epting fell behind. #10 was the HoM issue that had nothing to do with anything.

  15. Odessasteps says:

    I wish there had been more Thor the Mighty Avengers to coincide with the new movie

  16. Si says:

    Your description of the Son of Batman comic reminds me of the Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe comic. Everyone raved about it, so I picked up a couple of issues. I was expecting inventive ways to kill superheroes, but mostly it was just piles of corpses and somebody saying “oh no, now Frog Man and Maggott are dead too. We have to stop him!” There was very little actual action.

    The Official Handbook of the Official Handbook segment was interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever heard one that had no jokes in it, played straight. By the way, I think I read a What If once where Captain Britain chose both the sceptre and the sword at the same time, which was kind of clever.

  17. ZZZ says:

    @Si, that’s a pretty accurate description of Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe, but the two follow-up series – Deadpool Killustrated and Deadpool Kills Deadpool – were, in my opinion, big improvements.

    You still get the occasional “battle montage” sequence, but when you have, say, an army of good Deadpools fighting an army of evil Deadpools, it makes more sense to only get a series of moments from the fight than it does when it’s just Deadpool fighting the X-Men. And there’s an actual plot stringing the fight scenes together, with the important fights done as actual fights instead of montages. Plus, you don’t get the “he killed them by building a machine that kills them” stuff they had to do in the original series to handwave Deadpool beating people he shouldn’t be able to beat.

  18. Paul says:

    Regarding the Sandman house ads, I see Brian Hibbs has said he was told that the plan was to put them all at the back, and that they ended up being rejigged in order to accommodate the gatefold spread. Not sure I see why that would be necessary (it wasn’t in the centre of the book, was it?), but at any rate it supposedly won’t be repeated in future issues.

  19. Si says:

    I think I’d like a comic that had regular, proper 60s-style choreographed fight scenes where every punch gets its own panel. It’d have to have a story as well of course, but that sort of thing used sparingly can be good fun.

  20. When I first read about the japanese animated Avengers, my reaction was “Great, I can’t wait to see how they do it.” When I was a kid, japanese animated series were huge in all French-speaking countries: sci-fi pirates, giant robots, girl drama, talking animals, litterature adaptations… So diverse and so well done.
    Animation travels so well. I wrote a few episodes at the beginning of my career and I’m always amazed by the various countries I get residuals from. I look at what my kids watch today on TV and it comes from all over the world: Canada, UK, France, Russia, New Zealand… Iceland, for god’s sake!!! So really, there is no reason that we can’t get Japan’s Avengers.

    I like Andy Kubert’s art! I have fond memories of Kubert and Waid’s run on Ka-Zar. Definitely want to reread that.

  21. Dave says:

    It was Adam Kubert on Wolverine. I always slightly preferred Andy. Yes, there’s samefacing, but lots of artists have that to varying degrees (it’s mentioned above he began imitating Jim Lee, who definitely has it to a great degree).

    The New Excalibur story with Lionheart had a whole corps of Captain Britains who chose the sword, didn’t it? Don’t remember for sure, but the main bad guy, Albion, was definitely an alternate Brian Braddock who chose the sword. And there was plenty of mind control – the shadow X-Men were all ‘posessed’ and Sage forgot she was one of the good guys.

  22. ZZZ says:

    Yeah, one thing I didn’t like about Lionheart was that I always thought it was implicit in Captain Britain’s origin story that choosing the sword (i.e., choosing might over right) meant you were unworthy of being Britain’s defender and didn’t get any powers, just a “You chose … poorly.”

    And the revalation that there was a corps composed entirely of people who chose the sword – in addition to the fact that it made no sense that they’d never been mentioned in any previous Captain Britain Corps story – compounded the problem by implying that everyone in the Captain Britain Corps – including Hauptman Englande and Enforcer Capone – chose the amulet over the sword. I’d always assumed that either whether the amulet or the sword was the correct choice depended on the morality of your home world, or that each Captain Britain was given a different choice determined by his home world (e.g., Enforcer Capone chose the Gun of Action over the Hip Flask of Indifference or something).

    It occurs to me that if Austen was determined to do the “what if you chose the sword?” story and to have a Captain Britain operating outside Britain, a more sensible approach might have been to combine those two elements. Make it an MI-5/MI-6 (or FBI/CIA kind of thing): you choose the Amulet of Right, you become the defender of Britain and have to stay there to keep your powers. You choose the Sword of Might, you become the Avenger of Britain or the Swordarm of Britain, and have to leave and pursue the nation’s interests overseas.

  23. Daibhid Ceannaideach says:

    Oh, hey, on the subject of what two different artists would do with the same script, I’ve just discovered this comparison of five pages of a GI Joe story drawn by Todd McFarlane with the same story drawn by Marshall Rogers.:

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