1. Fantagraphics launches COPRA for Dummies
Holy hell, can you even believe it? Gary Groth is doing superheroes?!?
Well, yeah, actually, I totally believe that, because COPRA has been literally the best thing going for years and Gary Groth is nothing if not the Ghost of Christmas Past, except 1000% more white and sexist.
I'd like to share with you my fantasy: Gary Groth is on the phone in the Fantagraphics basement, gripping a big old-fashioned handset. It is made of red plastic, and it is not connected to a phone line, nor even the base of a phone. NO MATTER: This is the conference call that will decide which white dudes will be on the Fanta All Time Comics team.
GARY: Listen, fella. Gotta put the Fantagraphics stamp on this. Who's our biggest piece of shit satire guy?
GARY (in a different pair of sunglasses): Well, we already got the clown who does the rap comics. But listen, we gotta get Johnny, Gar.
GARY: Who? Keep in mind this guy should be somewhat shitty at drawing.
GARY (in a third pair of sunglasses): I'm telling you Johnny Ryan's our guy.
GARY: Does he hate women tho? The idea is that this should be as status quo as possible, yet "punk"
GARY: No one knows, Gar Bear. Johnny's our finest Post-Dumb.
GARY: Perfect. Hey, is Comics Sufjan available? This thing is going to need some sort of credibility.
(NB: Noah VS...wat? why?)
Look...COPRA is a comic that borrows, so I'm not going to go in on All Time Comics too hard for being a ripoff. Ripping off COPRA is fair, and anyway this project has been in the works for a while, so who knows what happened when. Also? I actually want it to be good. (I mean...it won't be good. But if it is, I'll be the first to admit it. I'm certainly going to read it with interest.) I think the cover has some good stuff going on, though I will note that even the color palette strongly echoes COPRA #1.
Bottom line, I'm willing to extend the benefit of the doubt. I will say this: I read an interview with All Time Comics creator/head writer Josh Bayer over at CBR, and I felt pretty confused reading all that without ever once seeing the words "Michel Fiffe."
Me being me, you can just about guess how much I laughed about the one-dimensional the Fanta*stic™ lady superhero, Bullwhip, who appears on the cover in one of those S&M leotards from American Apparel, is. Says Bayer:
Bullwhip is really interesting because she’s like Cher or Madonna. She doesn’t have a backstory or a secret identity, she just is Bullwhip. This lack of history actually makes her more exciting to write about because her personality as Bullwhip just seems to glow brighter, knowing she’s not concealing one personality behind another.FYI, Bullwhip's nemesis is called "The Misogynist."
GARY (urgently, to GARY): The Misogynist is calling from inside the house.2. God bless Colin Spacetwinks for explaining the direct market to me
I'm really very fond of twitter user Colin Spacetwinks, the author of what may well be my second favorite tweet of all time:
Until yesterday, it probably would've been my favorite tweet of all time, but then this happened:
I should quit twitter now, and maybe the internet altogether, because i will never see anything funnier than Kurt Eichenwald bragging about his large sons. My god, one of them does kung fu. It's definitely all downhill from here.
Anyway, Colin's epic explainer was quite helpful to me personally, as a comics ignoramus. I've always assumed, perhaps incorrectly, that all Big Comics fans carry this level of knowledge in their hearts, so I'm not 100% sure who the intended audience is here. That said: this is good. I fell asleep in the middle where the numbers got real granular, but at least 75% of comics people love that type of shit, right?
I was born to love a novella-length rant titled "The Problem with Comics," but also I learned some stuff. I recommend it.
3. J.A. Micheline on bias
Based on the totally unscientific sample of the few times a day I scroll through Twitter, I've been surprised to see (polite) pushback on this piece on bias by J.A. Micheline. 100% cosigned, J.A. Micheline. IMO "bias" in comics is usually gendered or racist or both. Mostly a useless construct.
There is no such thing as objective criticism. People who act like they're neutral scientists of comics? Those are the ones you have to watch.
4. Roman Muradov Alert
NEW ROMAN MURADOV!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Roman Muradov is too good and pure for this nightmare world, so there's no way in hell he's going to tell you that his new book is out early on Amazon dot com. Luckily ya girl is a dirtbag whose copy is scheduled to arrive on Sunday--fucking Sunday, because I'm not going to read this comic unless it's delivered by an orphan piloting an Uber drone that drops this book in my actual bed.
If I were a better person I'd pre-order it from Uncivilized, though. Uncivilized is great.