Stuff you should be reading! #3

Hey everyone it’s time for another edition of THINGS I THINK YOU MIGHT LIKE BECAUSE I REALLY DO -A-THON! Hopefully all of you read that in your best cartoon or old science fiction movies announcer voice because if you didn’t it really loses all the excitement and then I just look like a sad, strange, lonely man.  Honestly though I really need to think of a better title for these things. That being said, it’s been a huge week for comics already and we aren’t even to Wednesday yet. We begin this edition with the end of an Era.

Karen Berger, the executive editor of Vertigo has stepped down. I’ll be writing another short post to talk about what this amazing editor has meant to me personally but until then you should read all the nice things Comic Industry Professionals had to say about her and her tenure at Vertigo over the last 25 years, at Comics Alliance. Here

iFanboy takes a look at the already blooming career of one of my favorite artists Aaron Kuder. Eliciting memories of another of my favorites Art Adams, Aaron Kuder’s work is uniquely his own and along with Chris Burnham, Chris Samnee, David Aja, Fiona Staples, Becky Cloonan, and  Nick Pitarra, he is a part of my top artists of the decade. Look at all his amazing art and a great article by iFanboy at this link right here.

Moving right along to TV news for a moment. My favorite character in The Walking Dead comic book series is finally becoming a part of the award winning TV series. Chad L. Coleman, best known for his work on The Wire, has been cast as Tyreese and I couldn’t be more excited than I already am. Comic Book Resources talks with the actor about the rest of the season. Here

Back in the world of Comics that I never leave for very long, CBR looks at the history of Green Arrow, from his conception to Arrow the somewhat promising but not that great show on the CW. Click here because you know you want to know more.

In the why these people are awesome and will continue to receive my money news. Writer Matt Fraction has pledged his entire royalty check from the upcoming Hawkeye #7 to the Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy relief, the issue in question deals with how the Title’s namesakes deal with the hurricane and it’s aftermath in their own version of the Atlantic Northeast. You can read more about the awesomeness that is Matt Fraction at Newsarama. 

Last but not least over at The Mary Sue, Anne Hathaway talks about her love for Catwoman and the possibility of reprising the character. Full disclosure, I loved Anne Hathaway as Selena Kyle, she was one of the best parts of TDKR in my personal opinion. So you should go a read this if you don’t read anything else. Because Anne Hathaway is amazing and perfect and nothing you say will convince me otherwise. 

That’s all she wrote for today folks, once again please keep in mind that everything I am sending you to is the intellectual property of the respective sites and I just want to show you things I love in the hope that you will love it too.

Keep reading.

-Sam

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Looking Back #2 – Astro City

Do you wish that Superheroes were just like us? That they had down to earth problems like worrying about dates, or having alternate universe children trying to hunt you down and kill you? Do you ever wonder what the day in the life of a citizen just trying to make it in a city where dozens if not hundreds of super beings fight it out on a daily basis? Welcome to Astro City a comic anthology with the stories set primarily in fictional scenic Astro City, an amalgam of every major comic book city ever created. It was within the boundaries of this city that Kurt Busiek would create some of the most poignant super hero tales ever put to the page.

I find it difficult to put together my thoughts on Astro City in a coherent fashion. That is how much of an effect those stories had on me. The tapestry that Busiek lays out for the reader is simultaneously violently colorful and uncomfortably relevant. Hidden in a super hero tale is a mirror that reveals how high we can go before we fall, the depths we will go to for approval, and the consequences our actions can have on the bigger picture. This is an examination of the humanity in these stories, and how humanity, or lack of humanity drives these characters.

Short side note, for those of you who are not quite sure what anthology means or what it means in this context. According to Dictionary.com it defines Anthology as 1. a book or other collection of selected writings by various authors, usually in the same literary form, of the sameperiod, or on the same subject: an anthology of Elizabethan drama; an anthology of modern philosophy. 2. a collection of selected writings by one author. What it means in this context is multiple finite stories in a shared universe. Just thought we should get that out of the way.

Back to the good stuff, while one could argue that the true beauty of Astro City lies in it’s intricacies, I would argue that the true value is in the broad strokes it paints. The understanding that life even for the best of us can be banal and trying at times. That suffering, doubt, corruption, curiosity, passion, and love are not emotions that anyone can rise above. Not even our heroes, Busiek gave us a world in Astro City that was simultaneously coming apart at the seams and pulling itself back together.

Hopeful in it’s prose and dark in the astounding art by Brent Anderson, inspired by Alex Ross covers. Astro City should stand as one of Comics modern classics. It is one of my favorite worlds that has ever been created outside of the Big 2 and this is why my second looking back is Astro City.

Keep on believing

-Sam

Let’s Talk About A Few Things.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I want to talk to you about a problem. A problem that attacks and offends the very core of who we are, of what we chose to believe in. Over the past couple forevers this hobby, industry or lifestyle. Whatever you choose to call it, has been under attack. Attacked by the government with the comic code, by hate groups, by people that didn’t understand the hobby or what to make of people who loved Superheros. We have railed against them, we have banded together. We have cried acceptance, and expected respect. But we have failed our own, we have failed our friends, our mothers, daughters, girlfriends, sisters, and any other female that has ever been attacked in the name of our hobby.

They have been labeled FemiNazis and been accused of misandry, all while asking questions that should never have to be asked if we were truly as respectful and inclusive as we claim to be. There are too many situations to name, too many times it has been ignored. We have reached an impasse as a sub culture, we are abusing part of what makes us a great community. We can tell ourselves that we aren’t the trolls, that we aren’t the attackers but we sit by and let it happen. Not doing anything to stop it, not standing up against is just as bad as approving.

Here is what it is not, it is not an issue of free speech, it is not an issue the first amendment. It is hate speech, it is harassment, it needs to stop. When someone asks “Why aren’t there more female writers, artists, creators?” It needs to be affirmed, then be asked again and again until changes are made. When misogyny and gender inequality are addressed by those same women we need to look at ourselves and realize that a change needs to be made in the way we do things.

I want strong female characters, I want writers and artists that give them a voice that is uniquely their own. I want characters of every shape, color, and size to populate these worlds I love. I want them to be a reflection of the cultures that inspire and show me that there is more to the world.

Every time a woman, a POC, or any other person is shouted down, threatened, belittled, or ignored for trying to bring equality to our little corner of the pop culture universe. I want you to stand up next to them, I want you to support them whether by words or actions. I want you to stand up for something that deserves to be stood up for. We are all humans, we are all equal, and this hatred that is spewed out of the mouths of children who haven’t learned to step outside of their box of male privilege has no place in our culture. It isn’t who we should strive to be.

We should be better.

-Sam

RIP Joe Kubert. 1926-2012

I have never been good at memorials or eulogies, especially when it is some whose work inspires and excites me. It’s a daunting task, describing how someone you never had the fortune to meet and thank for their profound effect on the industry you love will be sorely missed. Joe Kubert passed away yesterday August 12, he was 85 years old only a few weeks short of his 86 birthday. A legend in the comics industry, Kubert was famous for the creation Tor with writer Norman Maurer, his long association with Hawkman and Sgt. Rock, and the founder of The Kubert School.

His career in comics began at the ripe old age of 12, or 10, or 13, depending on how the story was told. But the important part of the story always remained the same, Kubert’s love affair with comics began at an early age. One day I hope to own on of his works that isn’t a reprint. But even in those his pencils and line work brought to life characters like Sgt. Rock in such a way that you could feel the grime and dirt of WWII. 

He was an amazing artist who gave us some of the most memorable depictions of amazing characters. His sons Adam and Andy, are amazing comic book artists in their own right, and The Kubert School continues to strengthen his legacy. My thoughts go out to his Family and Friends. Joe Kubert will be missed, there is nothing more to say except, Thank you Joe.

-Sam

Stuff you should be reading! #2

I have decided this is going to be a thing, mostly because I like sharing the things I find online. The secondary goal is hopefully to eventually turn this regular blog post/column thing into a fully functioning website. Like all the real boys do… Or grown ups, I always get my Peter Pan metaphors confused. Check out all of the sites under the links as well, they are usually some of my favorite or “Go to” sites for all my Comic Book movie/graphic novel/TV news/

Newsarama looks at the future of Batman on Film

Part 1

Part 2

One of my favorite DC character’s limited series is looked at.

 Gone! Gone! — the form of man — 

Rise, the Demon Etrigan!!

Tom Waits was the Joker, or Heath Ledger was Tom Waits, or they are both the Joker. (Although this popped up a few other places the link is to a Newsarama article. Looks like I love everyone over there.)

Heath Ledger was Tom Waits who was the Joker in TDK

Comics Alliance talks Aurora Rise, a charity event to help honor and support the Victims of the Aurora shooting.

Awesome people doing amazing things.

Keep in mind all the links you click are the intellectual property of those sites and I just love them bunches and bunches. Or at least I fairly tolerate them in a quest to find great things to share.

Till the next paragraph.

Sam