Carnival of souls

* I thought this might have happened last week, and honestly I’m not sure it’s happenign this week either, but supposedly The Comics Journal #299, featuring my interview with Skyscrapers of the Midwest cartoonist Josh Cotter, comes out tomorrow.

* Meanwhile, the latest Strange Tales Spotlight interview I did is with John Leavitt.

* Here’s something an industry friend of mine said to me about the San Diego Comic-Con yesterday that I thought was really smart: While the complaint that “it’s not about comics” is a hardy perennial, the increased degree to which comics folks seem to have “discovered” this fact this year is probably attributable to the Hollywood component of this year’s show’s lack of big comics-centric movies to promote. I think his exact quote was “Last year, everyone was talking about Dark Knight and Watchmen, so it felt like comics were a bigger deal.” That sounds about right.

* You might recall me repeatedly defending Final Crisis‘s sales performance last year even as I criticized others for talking about it at all. This is because I’m an asshole, of course. (Okay, that’s not quite how it went down, but still.) But one of the specific arguments I remember both hearing and making in terms of Final Crisis #1’s second-place finish behind Secret Invasion #2 the month both came out was that that’s about the best you can expect out of a DC event versus a Marvel event at this point in time given the two companies’ positions in the marketplace. Well lookee here, Blackest Night #1 came in second to Captain America: Reborn #1. Unlike last time, where I loved Final Crisis and didn’t care for Secret Invasion, I don’t have a dog in this race: I’m not 100% sold on either Blackest Night or Cap Reborn but I like them well enough so far, and have greatly enjoyed their writers’ lengthy runs with these characters, and fully expect to enjoy both when all is said and done. Plus it’s not quite an apples-to-apples comparison: Reborn‘s a first issue that got a herculean PR push from Marvel. But while several pundits blamed Final Crisis‘s supposedly weak performance on its failure to give fanboys what they want, that’s clearly not an argument that’s being made about Blackest Night even by its detractors–quite the opposite, if anything. Meanwhile, reaction from those fanboys seems to be pretty positive. So all told, I think this bears out my theory that when pitted head to head, Marvel events will beat DC events irrespective of their actual content or quality, because right now Marvel is beating DC.

* Now that I’ve weighed in myself, I’m catching up on District 9 reviews. In the pop-culture sphere, Jason Adams offers a qualified rave, if there is such a thing, while The House Next Door’s Matt Maul offers a qualified pan. On the “nerds who have popular political blogs” end of things, Matthew Yglesias sees the film as a breath of Aliens-style smart-blockbuster air after a slew of astonishingly dopey sci-fi-action popcorn flicks this summer, while Spencer Ackerman casts a critical eye on the movie’s portrayal of various African nationalities (leading to a pretty interesting debate in the comments until, right on cue, someone shows up claiming that the orcs in The Lord of the Rings represent the dark-skinned Other).

* At PopMatters, Marco Lanzagorta takes a stab at identifying all the big horror-movie waves since the dawn of cinema: the German Expressionist films of the ’20s, the Universal monster movies of the ’30s and ’40s, Hammer horror in the ’50s and ’60s, gory American indie horror in the late ’60s and ’70s, Italian horror in the late ’70s and early ’90s, American slashers in the ’80s, Asian horror in the ’90s and early ’00s, American remakes in the mid-to-late ’00s, and brutal French horror throughout the ’00s. He obviously misses a few, from American sci-fi in the ’50s to the torture-porn cycle here in the States recently, but it’s a fun flow-chart-in-article-form, and moreover it’s skeptical about the whole “show me a horror-movie movement and I’ll show you a country in the grip of sociopolitical turmoil” school of thought, which I tend to appreciate. (Via CRwM.)

* Hans Rickheit posts the original 14-page story called “The Squirrel Machine,” though he says its resemblance to the forthcoming graphic novel of the same name is superficial: “In this premature version, I clearly shot my wad too soon. Sorry about the mess.”

* Nick Bertozzi’s been posting at his LiveJournal quite a bit lately, so go check it out. Meanwhile, here’s a Stuffed! preview and here’s an interview with Nick and his Stuffed! collaborator Glenn Eichler.

* Wowsers, lotta heavy hitters in Mome Vol. 16: Renee French, Archer Prewitt, and the cast and crew of Cold Heat just for starters.

* Got a pdf preview of Jacques Tardi’s You Are There if you want it…

* The Beguiling is now selling original art by alt-pop cartoonists Fabio Moon, Gabriel Ba, and Bryan Lee O’Malley. Quite a trio, and worth remembering every time you hear that no one’s doing personal genre comics anymore.

* Apparently The Omega Men was some freaky shit.

* Okay, yeah, this BBC news piece on scientists at a pair of Canadian universities who conducted a mathematical study of a theoretical zombie outbreak is pretty neat, but the funniest part has nothing to do with professors being paid to develop mathematical zombie-outbreak models and everything to do with one of the professors having a name like a member of the Slightly Silly Party:

Professor Robert Smith? (the question mark is part of his surname and not a typographical mistake) and colleagues wrote: “We model a zombie attack using biological assumptions based on popular zombie movies.”

What does Kevin Phillips-Bongggggggggg think of this? (Via Robot 6.)

* Dunno why I’ve never linked to this sort of thing before, but here’s a round-up of recent highlights from the illustrious group of horror bloggers known as the League of Tana Tea Drinkers, including posts from the Vault of Horror, Cinema Suicide, Classic-Horror, the Groovy Age of Horror, and yours truly.

* Go, look: Tom Neely draws Nancy and Yoda, and if you are familiar with all three then you’ve already clicked the link.

* A Station to Station reissue featuring a double-disc live performance from Nassua Coliseum in 1976? Yes please!

* Charles Burns drawing Pinhead, Freddy, Jason, and Michael. In the parlance of our times: This is relevant to my interests. (Poor Leatherface, always getting the shaft.)


* Your quote of the day comes from Tom Spurgeon re: Ross Campbell’s Wet Moon Vol. 5:

We’re between 11 to 23 months before the inevitable Ross Campbell reconsideration, so if you want to be cool this time Christmas 2010 start getting these volumes now.

Early adopter!

2 Responses to Carnival of souls

  1. David says:

    That NANCY sketchbook is rad.

  2. Josh says:

    That poker piece is by Ray Frenden.

    You can find prints of it here

Comments are closed.