Infected Worldmind

Politics and Culture. A Tonic.

Who am I?

I'm general counsel for a medium-sized tax-exempt organization that helps court-involved and other at-risk populations clear barriers to success in the community.

I'm also a development/fundraising professional and provide legal advice and guidance to start-up entertainment firms.

I blog at Between the Stations and occasionally contribute to Funnybook Babylon. My ever-expanding bookshelf is here. I infrequently write about food and take pictures.

I'm also the happiest new dad in the world.

That's everything.
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Posts tagged "DC Comics"
[Greg] Capullo can be interesting at times, but these comics [Batman] are nothing more than a dictatorship of mediocrity, and it’s disappointing to continually see the keys to DC’s biggest kingdom handed off to a guy [Scott Snyder] whose only reference points seem to be the things that excited him in high school, and whose primary achievement seems to be the ability to convince the world that trying is a skill deserving of acclaim. This is swimming in a bathtub, and there shouldn’t be paychecks associated with that.
Tucker Stone speaks the truth about Batman. I was cautiously optimistic about the Snyder/Capullo run during their first arc, but the potential of those first few issues went almost entirely unrealized (which is something that could be said for almost all of the DC relaunch books).
I can’t imagine that the team at DC are doing anything other than feeding the superhero comics market what it wants. I honestly couldn’t care less. It’s not like DC are some huge cultural treasure that must be saved from itself. The current executive floor made their choices. If it turns out those choices negatively affect sales and the ability to exploit company properties, those people will simply be fired and a new executive staff will be appointed to try something else.
Warren Ellis, on DC’s ‘new direction’. I think this is pretty spot-on.

supersonicboombox:

JLA/Transformers // concept art by Phil Jimenez

From Chris Ryall (IDW) and Phil Jimenez’ pitch for a JLA/Transformers crossover. This would’ve been awesome. I wonder if DC rejected the pitch because of some concern about blurring the brands for their most popular characters post “new 52” relaunch. If so, they should’ve heeded my advice - reject canon, embrace variety.

(via chanzero)

agreeablecomics:

Alan Moore knows the score.From Superman Annual #11, art by Dave Gibbons.


The faux-controversy over the recent announcement that DC Comics will have two of their flagship characters pursue a romantic relationship is silly, but can be a great place to start a broader conversation about our relationship with superhero comics. 

Given the history of the publisher and the creators involved, I get why some people feel some trepidation about the union. I’m willing to give it a chance, but I don’t have a lot of confidence in Geoff Johns’ capacity to depict a believable romantic relationship in the context of an adventure comic. But that’s not such a big deal. Even if Johns does a mediocre job, I’m sure that writers on other DC books can find a way to make this interesting. 

I’m bothered by what this announcement suggests about the decision making process at DC - it’s just one more data point indicating that creative decisions are being made by sales and marketing. I know that creators/management will probably claim that the relationship arc is a creatively driven decision in the coming flood of interviews and profiles, but… the lack of buildup or foreshadowing or anything that would make a relationship seem like a natural next step in the relationship leaves me doubtful. If you’ve been following Justice League, Wonder Woman or any of the Superman books, this announcement came as a complete surprise. Even after having some time to reflect, it still doesn’t make any sense. Compare this to what Marvel’s doing with the X-family of books. Sure, a cynic might argue that the decision to make Wolverine the leader of the X-Men (which will be cemented at the end of AvX, imo) was a marketing/sales driven decision to have the status quo in the books align with the expectations of a broader, more casual audience. Wolverine’s the most popular X-Man, in the comics, the various animated series and the recent film trilogy. Why shouldn’t he be the leader of the X-Men? From a marketing/sales perspective, it’s the obvious choice. But the “Wolverine as leader of the X-Men” storyline worked because it was the culmination of about five years of the character’s arcs in his solo books and other x-titles. Wolverine regained his memories, found out that he used to be a manipulative bastard, and became more of a fully realized character, and his decision to move from follower to leader felt natural (even though the execution fell short in a number of ways). In contrast, there’s not much foundation for a Superman - Wonder Woman union in the post-52 DCU, so it feels more artificial, part of the company’s new ‘we aren’t leaving any money on the table’ strategy. 

That said, I strongly disagree with those who are categorically opposed to any depiction of a romantic relationship between the two characters. Yes, the relationship doesn’t align with my personal preferences about the two characters (which are shaped by Bronze Age and post-Crisis depictions), but it’s a mistake to impose that on creators. Creators have to be given the space to create, to tell their stories, to take characters in interesting and unexpected directions. Characters in superhero comics have endured precisely because they are so pliable and adaptable. When you take that away, they become far less compelling.

I loved Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ take on the Superman/Wonder Woman relationship in that annual - it’s a sly joke that serves to briefly humanize two larger than life characters. I love that Alan Moore reminds us that Superman is a man in one speech bubble: “Mmm. Why don’t we do that more often?” Says it all, doesn’t it?

I also loved how John Byrne used the romantic tension between the two characters to highlight Superman’s essential ordinariness and Wonder Woman’s divinity in Action Comics #600. It was a cute way of addressing the issue - for all of his power, Superman’s just a dude from Kansas who feels a bit intimidated by the Amazonian diplomat who addresses the Olympian Gods as equals.The awkwardness of their first kiss was fantastic. 

I loved both of those takes, but they shouldn’t be the ‘last word’ on the relationship. Subsequent generations of creators are supposed to go in a different direction, even if it disappoints or annoys people like me. If we want superhero comics to thrive for another generation, we need to embrace change, even if it appears to be unwise. After all, if things don’t work out, they could always change things back…. 

NB: Amy and David Brothers have also commented on this story, and as usual, both are right.

agreeablecomics:

Alan Moore knows the score.

From Superman Annual #11, art by Dave Gibbons.

The faux-controversy over the recent announcement that DC Comics will have two of their flagship characters pursue a romantic relationship is silly, but can be a great place to start a broader conversation about our relationship with superhero comics.

Given the history of the publisher and the creators involved, I get why some people feel some trepidation about the union. I’m willing to give it a chance, but I don’t have a lot of confidence in Geoff Johns’ capacity to depict a believable romantic relationship in the context of an adventure comic. But that’s not such a big deal. Even if Johns does a mediocre job, I’m sure that writers on other DC books can find a way to make this interesting.

I’m bothered by what this announcement suggests about the decision making process at DC - it’s just one more data point indicating that creative decisions are being made by sales and marketing. I know that creators/management will probably claim that the relationship arc is a creatively driven decision in the coming flood of interviews and profiles, but… the lack of buildup or foreshadowing or anything that would make a relationship seem like a natural next step in the relationship leaves me doubtful. If you’ve been following Justice League, Wonder Woman or any of the Superman books, this announcement came as a complete surprise. Even after having some time to reflect, it still doesn’t make any sense. Compare this to what Marvel’s doing with the X-family of books. Sure, a cynic might argue that the decision to make Wolverine the leader of the X-Men (which will be cemented at the end of AvX, imo) was a marketing/sales driven decision to have the status quo in the books align with the expectations of a broader, more casual audience. Wolverine’s the most popular X-Man, in the comics, the various animated series and the recent film trilogy. Why shouldn’t he be the leader of the X-Men? From a marketing/sales perspective, it’s the obvious choice. But the “Wolverine as leader of the X-Men” storyline worked because it was the culmination of about five years of the character’s arcs in his solo books and other x-titles. Wolverine regained his memories, found out that he used to be a manipulative bastard, and became more of a fully realized character, and his decision to move from follower to leader felt natural (even though the execution fell short in a number of ways). In contrast, there’s not much foundation for a Superman - Wonder Woman union in the post-52 DCU, so it feels more artificial, part of the company’s new ‘we aren’t leaving any money on the table’ strategy.

That said, I strongly disagree with those who are categorically opposed to any depiction of a romantic relationship between the two characters. Yes, the relationship doesn’t align with my personal preferences about the two characters (which are shaped by Bronze Age and post-Crisis depictions), but it’s a mistake to impose that on creators. Creators have to be given the space to create, to tell their stories, to take characters in interesting and unexpected directions. Characters in superhero comics have endured precisely because they are so pliable and adaptable. When you take that away, they become far less compelling.

I loved Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ take on the Superman/Wonder Woman relationship in that annual - it’s a sly joke that serves to briefly humanize two larger than life characters. I love that Alan Moore reminds us that Superman is a man in one speech bubble: “Mmm. Why don’t we do that more often?” Says it all, doesn’t it?

I also loved how John Byrne used the romantic tension between the two characters to highlight Superman’s essential ordinariness and Wonder Woman’s divinity in Action Comics #600. It was a cute way of addressing the issue - for all of his power, Superman’s just a dude from Kansas who feels a bit intimidated by the Amazonian diplomat who addresses the Olympian Gods as equals.The awkwardness of their first kiss was fantastic.

I loved both of those takes, but they shouldn’t be the ‘last word’ on the relationship. Subsequent generations of creators are supposed to go in a different direction, even if it disappoints or annoys people like me. If we want superhero comics to thrive for another generation, we need to embrace change, even if it appears to be unwise. After all, if things don’t work out, they could always change things back….

NB: Amy and David Brothers have also commented on this story, and as usual, both are right.

(via wolkin)

“Paul Kirk” was an exploitable piece of intellectual property even before Jack Kirby came along — which gives the “destroy all clones” part of mission an extra little ironic kick. Goodwin and Simonson’s “Manhunter” was the story of a man denied the death he thought he’d earned after a lifetime of adventure went horribly sour; but that story itself seems to argue that characters shouldn’t be brought back. It’s almost a twisted version of the Silver Age Captain America, if Cap had been revulsed to learn AIM or HYDRA had reactivated him. That Cap might also have had a short, tragic second life.

But I digress. The point is, Goodwin and Simonson got to give their version of Manhunter a pretty definite ending, wrapped in circumstances which discouraged further revivals. After all, every clone represented a slice of the original’s humanity, and not in a good way. In today’s corporate-comics environment, I can’t help but read their “Manhunter” as a powerful argument for the dignity of individual creations; and subsequent attempts to recreate that particular character, no matter how well-meaning, have had to deal with that admonition.

Tom Bondurant, from his great post on DC’s Manhunter.

dcwomenkickingass:

yasminliang:

Trinity Mothers

Happy Mother’s Day!

If you have a mother (or someone who is like a mother to you) who loves you and you love them, wish them a great day!

Yasmin Liang, with a DC Comics inspired Mother’s Day triptych (from left to right - Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman). I’m not familiar with her work, but I like this a lot.

I write about the first few issues of Chiang and Azzarello’s Wonder Woman. Beautiful art, interesting writing. I’m still trying to solve the problem that I discussed in my last post - I enjoy the book, but…

Chris Eckert honors the fifth anniversary DC’s horrifyingly bad mega-crossover/weekly series with a compelling oral history. Come watch the birth of the modern DC.

Lee: It’s interesting because in the Chris example, he alluded to an article in Comics Alliance that goes on about how Alan Moore has been unjustly treated. In this piece of journalism, it only cites interviews Alan has given. People will listen if it’s polarizing and one sided enough. This is not a situation where we have taken things from Alan. He signed an agreement and yet he said ‘I didn’t read the contract.’ I can’t force him to read his contract. So there’s all these things that people don’t know and Alan has said that explicitly – there are all these things that mitigate or go into the analysis. It’s not as clear-cut as people want to make it seem… It’s not a situation where we’re using the characters and Alan’s not being compensated. For everything that’s been done for Watchmen from the books to the movie, money has gone his way. The right amount that he deserves based on the contract. So we have honored that part of the agreement. It is something that can definitely be debated but to say that there is clearly one side that is right, I will dispute that.

Dan DiDio and Jim Lee BEFORE WATCHMEN Interview

Jim Lee, responding to this thing I wrote. Well, kind of. Or not really, I guess, since mine was about ethics, I don’t think I talked about compensation at all, and I’m pretty sure I only mentioned the contract in passing… but he mentioned an opinion piece I wrote while debunking someone else’s argument (?) and that’s fine. That’s the big time.

(via iamdavidbrothers)

Sigh.

Well, Jim Lee is both right and wrong.

Alan Moore did sign a contract. No one can force him to read said contract. Alan Moore has acknowledged that he received compensation owed him pursuant to that contract for Watchmen (with the exception of the dispute over the merchandise sales in the 1980’s).

There’s something almost admirable about Lee’s dissembling. The dispute was never about DC’s ability to fulfill its contractual agreements, its about the company’s lack of respect for its creators and willingness to exploit their properties in a crass manner.

I understand why Lee doesn’t identify David Brothers as the author of the piece - identifying him would only elevate his critique, and that goes against Lee’s economic interests. The co-publisher of DC Comics doesn’t want to have a conversation about DC’s ethics, because it doesn’t have any.

That’s why Lee is trying to shift the terms of debate. If it’s ‘a piece of journalism’ and not opinionated commentary (that’s clearly identified as such), then the conversation changes from one about amorphous notions of fairness to an unsentimental discussion of contractual obligations. He doesn’t want to talk about the fact that David wasn’t responding to interviews with Moore, but interviews with Before Watchmen creator J. Michael Straczynski, because then he’d have to talk about Straczynski’s contention that exploitative one-sided contracts are the norm.

(via iamdavidbrothers)

Newsarama: Brian, I know this is a little weird. But I’m going to do a Before Watchmen interview without talking about the so-called “controversy,” because I think we’ve covered that pretty well, don’t you?

Newsarama.com : BRIAN AZZARELLO Talks BEFORE WATCHMEN, After the Controversy | Before Watchmen

lovely scare quotes, there

(via iamdavidbrothers)

So, Brian Azzarello’s one of the bad guys. Good to know.

(via iamdavidbrothers)