Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Blogroll Roundup

Jacque Nodell is back from the San Diego Comic-Con, with reports on the panels she sat on, including her handout discussing several romance artists, including Jim Steranko's lone romance story. Definitely an interesting pair of posts.

While we're on the subject of the con, 4th Letter covers a panel on making comics more relevant to the youth of today. There are so many terrific points made in this post, but this was where I knew I had to link it:

And even then, should we be looking at superheroes for racial sensitivity, anyway? This past year has convinced me that the only sensible answer is… no. Superhero comics, by and large, aren’t built for nuance. They are built to punch bad guys, be deconstructed occasionally, and to have large explosions. Nine times out of ten, superheroes are going to approach a subject from a black and white point of view, there is right and there is wrong, and that really isn’t how race and racism works. You can’t beat up racism. There are too many shades of gray, too many varied experiences, and too much baggage for that to ever happen. Sorry. Time to look elsewhere. There’ll be the occasional gem, but then there will also be Superman making proclamations and an entire generation rolling their eyes so hard that they go blind.

Amen. I like an occasional "message" story, but there are few writers that can carry it off gracefully, without making it seem like a "lecture". And I did have to laugh at the idea that "This panel explores one reason for this shrinking market: the divergence between the identities of mainstream comic icons, who are typically straight, white, male, and American, and the demographic makeup of a new generation of readers."

Of course, comics companies have labored mightily to introduce gay, ethnically diverse, female and international characters for years, only to see them not sell. DC right now has a lesbian Batwoman as the headliner in Detective. I'm not objecting, but I am saying that the idea that comics don't sell because they don't have enough gay, female or ethnically diverse lead characters is silly.

H at the Comic Treadmill covers five Brave & Bold issues, including two issues that I have reviewed in the past, B&B #64, and B&B #69. As H points out, Bob Haney did improve quite a bit from those issues, but those particular stories were worse than even the depths of the Jack Schiff era.

I wholeheartedly second the thoughts of Nashville Beatle on why he's not much of a fan of modern comic books.

When I finished reading I didn't feel entertained. I felt bad. Movies like Saw and Hostel have the same affect. They aren't entertainment, they are an all out assault. My opinion is that if comics are to survive they need to be more like Brian K Vaughn's "Runaways" and Grant Morrison's "All Star Superman" which are everything that has been and will be great about comic books. In the mean time I will be happy to re-read my Silver Age comics.

This is in regards to the new "Black Hand" storyline in Green Lantern; I should break out my copy of the first Black Hand appearance back in the Silver Age and do a review.