Sunday, August 4, 2013

Perfection, Poor-Parenting and Digging the Longbox

I'm thinking of the Seinfeld episode when Kramer, Jerry and Newman are arguing over which day(s) of the week have a 'feel,' answer: all of them, depends on the person. I feel August. In Vermont, August means the beginning of the harvest -- hot days (mostly), cool nights (always) and a feel of change around the corner. 

New comics come out all the time (thank Crom!), but I'll always cop a feel from August because that's when DC's 'New 52' kicked off and I wandered -- like a child, Donny, like a child -- back into the world of comic books. I've been writing a lot as of late and it has been too long between reprints, so my apologies for the dearth.

First, I hope you got a chance to read my review of Vertigo's Collider posted right here on this very blog. I really want this series to succeed. I have some issues with the execution, but not the overall concept and the art is exceptional. What can I say, support creator-owned comics.

Twitter is my go-to method to talk comics. Who knew the philosophical navel-gazing one can get into at only 140 characters a pop? I find co-writing articles so much fun because it allows for the 'Kirby Krackle' of conversation and for editing -- punctuation is a good thing.

My latest co-fabulation was with Taylor Lilley of Orbital Comics in London and one of the hosts of the Orbiting Pod podcast. We wrote about 'What Makes a (sort of) Perfect Mini-Series.' Taylor's comic book acumen is unparalled. Each time he sent me a response I could feel my sense of competiton rise. I hope Taylor and I can collaborate again and soon. This guy is so good, so smart and if he wanted to write about the merits of mainstream event books I might take the bait ... maybe.

The other collaboration I'm proud of was with Jessica Boyd who lent me her talents to write about daughters and X-Men. Jessica got me to understand it's less about the content and context and more about conversation and being present as a parent. If you're not a parent, read it anyhow for the genius that is Mrs. Boyd: 'Heroes Are Hard to Find, or 'Help!' My Daughter Wants Cape Comics.'

A few other team efforts from the usual suspects were Daniel Elkin lending his inestimable talents to a discussion of Eisner-winner (!) Becky Cloonan's Demeter. Elkin was also in on a review of Paul Pope's 'The Invincible Haggard West' along with Jason Sacks and Justin Giampaoli. I didn't fall as quick or as deep for this Pope like I did for 100%, Heavy Liquid or Batman Year 100. Jason, Justin and Daniel made me realize any Paul Pope is a revelation and Battling Boy will be no exception.

The other thing keeping me busy is 'Dig the Longbox' which continues to be a blast to write. My latest efforts have been about Hawkeye #1 (1983), The Tick #1, Planetary #13, Thor #126 and Cerebus #32. Special thanks to Read Comic Books' majordomo, Tyler Goulet, for his encouragement, support and foolish willingness to open any email from me with the word 'question' in the subject line.

As I write each 'Dig the Longbox' article I think a lot about 're-reading' comic books and why I don't 're-read' my comics often enough or at all. Hmmm, sounds like there's something there there maybe Taylor, Daniel, Jason, Jessica or Justin would like to follow me down yet another rabbit-hole.

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