That's That Shit: 10/10/2012: Cerebus, McFarlane and Bravest Warriors

A comics news article


That's That Shit

Last Week's News, This Week's Comics for 9/26/2012


Hi. That's That Shit is exactly what it says above -- we talk in-depth about everything that happened in the comics world last week, and then look forward to some notable releases slated for this coming Wednesday.

Your panel of judges are Comics Bulletin Managing Editors Danny Djeljosevic and Nick Hanover, who pretty much have paper and ink in their blood, and CB Columns Editor Andrew Tan, who got his start in comics late in life through Adrian Tomine and is slowly dipping his toes into the broader aspects of the medium. So we deliver the news, Andrew asks the questions and hopefully everyone learns something.

Bang on.







IDW to Publish Cerebus Covers Collection




Danny: Remember a while ago when we talked about Fantagraphics offering to republish Dave Sim's seminal self-published series Cerebus in a newer, friendlier format? Well, now IDW is working with Sim to put out a collection of each of the covers of his 300-issue series. Which is a cool, completist-y, art appreciation kind of move, considering none of the covers show up in the "phonebook" collections of Cerebus that Sim put out.

But what we're all wondering is if this is a step towards IDW putting out new Cerebus collections? Me, I'm not too concerned because you can buy the phonebooks for pretty cheap on Amazon.

Nick: I'm really holding back from launching into a spiel about why supporting Amazon is one of the worst things you can do if you care about independent publishing, but that aside, I hope that IDW or Fantagraphics or any publisher that actually cares about presentation and detail will take on Cerebus. Because for the most part, Cerebus is one of the most important comic series ever created and Sim is his own worst enemy when it comes to allowing others to recognize that.

Danny: I'm just being a cheapskate. DAMN CAN I LIVE

Andrew: This is just making me think that the complete Cerebus will be issued in the good old fashioned World Book format where kids will use the covers to find the right volume of the comic they want to read. Also, it'll be issued out to schools for kids to peruse in their local libraries.



Todd McFarlane Sues Al Simmons for Having the Gall to be Named Al Simmons

Danny Djeljosevic still roams the streets, content in his knowledge that no one will ever name a character after him



Nick: Lawsuit aficionado Todd McFarlane, restless after settling yet another lawsuit with Neil Gaiman, has decided to sue his former employee Al Simmons for being Al Simmons. Actually, it's a bit more complicated than that. The gist is that McFarlane is taking Simmons to court over Simmons' memoirs, The Art of Being Spawn, wherein he claims he was the inspiration for the character, something that McFarlane denies...despite the fact that McFarlane did indeed name the character after Simmons, had Simmons dress up as Spawn at conventions and sign autographs for fans, and gave Simmons permission to write the book. The case essentially hangs on whether McFarlane's lawyers can prove that Simmons took that permission in a different direction than McFarlane intended and if his claims have thus negatively impacted McFarlane and the character of Spawn. The best part? The damages sought total up to a (relatively) measly $70,000.

Danny: Yikes. This is, like, at least the second lawsuit that involves McFarlane naming a character after someone. Also I have absolutely no opinion on this, except maybe thinking of that Slick Rick line, "Surely hope that we can fix our differences soon!"

Andrew: An SF comic artist made a vague joke about McFarlane being a "douche bag" but quite frankly I've never understood it. Is this kind of behavior typical for him?

Danny: I can't really speak to his quality as a human being, but he was in a lengthy lawsuit with Neil Gaiman over the rights to Miracleman, among other things. So I imagine a lot of people in the comics community sided with the guy who made Sandman as opposed to the guy who made Spawn. Anyway, McFarlane's life has involved a lot of litigation over the years.


Bravest Warriors Will Now be an Ongoing

To be honest, we had no idea it WASN'T an ongoing.



Danny: Bravest Warriors is the next property from Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward, an online cartoon series that, like its predecessor, also originally debuted as a Random! Cartoon on Nickelodeon. There's already an upcoming comic adaptation planned from BOOM! Studios by Joey Comeau and Mike Holmes, a miniseries that has just been upgraded to an ongoing. 

BOOM!'s Adventure Time series is one of the great success stories of licensed comics. The Cartoon Network series itself boasts a creative staff full of indie comics folk, and the comic adaptation reflects that by enlisting talent like Ryan North, Meredith Gran, Mike Holmes, Paul Pope and countless others I'm forgetting, to run wild with the property and deliver the rare licensed comic that doesn't feel subordinate to the source material. I have told you this before!

Will lightning strike twice? Yes. Yes it will.

Andrew: In particular, it's great to see an animation creator that has such regard for comics. I know Ward has hired great indie comics people for the show like Michael DeForge. It's definitely interesting how the show is, on the surface level, a kids' show, but it's definitely geared for teenagers and adults, although I'm curious if Bravest Warriors will be able to strike the same balance. 

Nick: I really need to get on this Adventure Time bandwagon, don't I?

Danny: Duhhhh.


Dynamite Gets Into the Crime Business with Garth Ennis

To make crime comics, I mean. Not to, like, do actual crimes.



Danny: Dynamite Comics, the people who put out Red Sonja, The Shadow and The Boys, is starting a new line of crime comics with Boys writer Garth Ennis and artist Craig Cermak's Red Team. The premise, as described by Ennis himself, sounds a bit like The Shield:


"Earlier this year, the four members of the NYPD's elite strike unit Red Team decided to murder a suspect, and the worst possible thing that could happen… happened!"


Crime comics are the thing now, I guess -- with crime-friendly creators like Brian Michael Bendis, Greg Rucka and Ed Brubaker becoming superhero staples last decade, they've brought more than a few readers into their non-superhero work like Jinx, Stumptown and Criminal, giving people a taste for the genre their favorite superhero writers worship. Which is great because it's a genre that doesn't involve any fucking superheroes.

Andrew: I'm slightly familiar with Ennis just by reputation, but I'm wondering how often does Ennis tackle material like this? Also, how deeply fucked up will this be?

Nick: Ennis has been kind of distracted with crafting fucked up apocalyptic scenarios lately (I'm looking at you, Crossed), but he's no stranger to crime lit. After all, this is a guy who is still perhaps best known for his work on The Punisher, which went a long way toward reviving interest in that character, plus he did Hitman, which is the Punisher plus alien blood powers, or something. Fucking Bloodlines. I can't be the only person who still remembers that crossover.

Danny: Never forget that Hitman debuted in The Demon. Never.




Scott Allie is Now the Editor-in-Chief of Dark Horse. Go Tell Him Congrats!




Once Upon a Time Machine

(A shitload of creators; Dark Horse)



Fairy tales have fueled our dreams and fired our imaginations for centuries. Step inside a time machine built by a collection of today's finest storytellers, and enter a range of futures where familiar tales are reimagined in an astonishing variety of styles. Editors Andrew Carl and Chris Stevens bring you the next wave of leading writers and illustrators working alongside superstar creators like Farel Dalrymple (Pop Gun War), Ryan Ottley (Invincible), Khoi Pham (Daredevil), and Brandon Graham (King City) to deliver a reading experience that will delight generations young and old.


Danny: I love comics anthologies like this -- there's a nice mix of established talent and people I've never heard of before, so I get some new material from some of my favorites while discovering new creators at the same time. I know I'm in the minority amongst comic book readership, though.


Dominique Laveau: Voodoo Child #7

(Selwyn Sefu Hinds, Denys Cowan, Rafael Grampa; Vertigo/DC)



FINAL ISSUE: In her journey from fugitive marked for death to Voodoo Queen, Dominique Laveau has run up against gangstas, gods, ghosts, and all manner of things that bump in the dark New Orleans night.

Now, at what may be the end of the road, she must make a final life-altering choice and confront her most inimical foe yet: the truth. 


Danny: Vertigo is hardly the non-superhero comics powerhouse it used to be, but it continues to chug along despite all that. It's always a bummer to see a Vertigo ongoing crash and burn, because so many of them do. Especially distinct stuff like Voodoo Child, which had the unfortunate distinction of sharing a name with a DC Universe comic about a stripper.

Andrew: One of the benefits of starting out in alt. comics is the fact that it's pretty rare for a story to be incomplete. Usually it's a complete standalone story. And since I've only read completed trades of superhero stuff, I'm wondering how do comics usually deal with early death if they get a chance? Does it turn out well? Does it end up feeling like a marathon for the last few issues?

Nick: If only someone had made a top 10 about that...

Andrew: Oh. Whoops. Well this is embarrassing.



Nick: Kidding aside, the first issue of this series left me extremely unimpressed. I know a lot of Vertigo series take a while to reach their potential, but I was not inspired to check out any more of this comic whatsoever after that absolutely blah debut. So maybe in this instance the early demise isn't a bad thing. And to answer your question, Andrew, with series like this, the early endings typically wind up closer to Carnivale than Six Feet Under, which is to say they make no sense, feel rushed and disappointing and generally piss everyone off.

Danny: That's how I felt about Air. One of my favorite Vertigo books of recent years, but cancellation forced an ending so rushed that it's just depressing to think about.


Halloween Eve

(Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare; Image)



Eve has an imagination that's more than active - it can be downright dangerous!

Working late at the costume super-store Halloween Land, she gets lost in her own thoughts until something goes bump in the night. The rubber masks and plastic novelties are coming to life, and Eve must face ghosts, goblins, and gorilla suits made real.

High fantasy and heartbreak in an oversized holiday one-shot by BRANDON MONTCLARE (Fear Itself: Fearsome Four) and Eisner Award nominee Amy Reeder (Batwoman, Madame Xanadu).


Danny: Remember when this was a Kickstarter? Now it's a real thing! And, to boot, a well-timed, self-contained thing. Good to see Amy Reeder bounce back from that Batwoman bullshit.

Andrew: It's always fantastic to see a Kickstarter project come to fruition, but what's the Batwoman bullshit? 

Nick: I can't believe I get to do this twice, but here you go, Andrew, Kyrax actually wrote about the "Batwoman bullshit" for us.

Anyway, I'd be excited for this even if Reeder wasn't involved because it sounds like the comic book version of Costume Quest and that game is the shit. I'm always happy to see material like this come out with a lot of anticipation because it helps show that comics can be enjoyed equally by adults and kids. And the fact that they were able to crowd fund it is even better.



Uncanny Avengers #1

(Rick Remender, John Cassaday; Marvel)



THIS IS IT! The greatest era of the Marvel Universe starts here! From the ashes of AvX an all-new, all-different Avengers assemble!

Dive headfirst into Marvel NOW! as the superstar dream team of Rick Remender (Uncanny X-Force, Venom) and John Cassaday (Astonishing X-Men, Captain America) deliver high stakes action in UNCANNY AVENGERS #1 - sporting a jaw-dropping cover by Cassaday!

No fan can miss the blockbuster debut of an all-new Avengers team featuring members from all across the Marvel Universe...a team uniting Avenger and X-Man alike!

Captain America begins his quest to create a sanctioned Avengers unit comprised of Avengers and X-Men, humans and mutants working together - so why is Professor Xavier's dream more at risk than ever?

The funeral of one of Marvel's greatest heroes! The first attack of the most loathsome villain in history will quake the Marvel Universe forever! But following the devastating events of Avengers VS X-Men, can Captain America pull together a team that can get along for its first mission?


Danny: Goddamn that's a lot of solicit copy. This is an obvious choice this week, but I'm actually pretty excited for this one. It's noted crazy person Rick Remender officially graduating to the big leagues of Marvel with the apparent flagship book of Marvel NOW! and joined by John Cassaday who draws things real nice. As long as Remender's allowed to retain that killer knack for life-changing twists and line-crossing moments that made Fear Agent and Uncanny X-Force so great, I think we might have a real contender on our hands.

Also, Remender and Jonathan Hickman are forcing me to buy Avengers comics and I will hate them forever for this.

Andrew: I haven't actually gotten to read much on the Avengers and X-Men crossover, but what exactly is the point of contention between the two? Are the Avengers just xenophobic? Also, DANNY Y U HATIN?

Nick: It's just the classic battle of the 1% sitting at the top of the alphabet versus the bottom dwellers down there at the end. Fucking A's, man. They're always all up in our shit.

Danny: A cosmic being called the Phoenix Force was heading for Earth, intending to possessed Hope, the first new mutant born since a magic spell reduced the mutant population to 198 people. The Avengers thought this spelled doom, the X-Men thought this meant restarting the mutant race. They fought, and it turns out the X-Men were right. The Avengers are major assholes.

Nick: I really don't know what to think about this series, though, because-- pardon me as I get all academic -- I find the Marvel NOW! concept to be stupid as all fuck. It's a thinly veiled Marvel take on the New 52, except less risky and it seems entirely arbitrary. On top of that, I love Cassaday, but given Marvel's desperate enforcement of getting their books out on a regular schedule, I just don't see how he can possibly be the artist on the series for very long unless they kidnapped him a year ahead of time and made him get a gigantic head start. Sure, this could do for the Avengers what Astonishing X-Men did for the X-Men (don't ask me what that means), but I think what's more likely is that we'll see a whole lot of creative juggling very quickly with this series.

Danny: I dunno, it's probably smarter for a comic book company to gradually roll out their relaunched titles instead of flooding the market with more than 50 substandard comic books and telling the only people who read their comics that their favorite stories no longer matter. The big creative team switcheroos seem a bit arbitrary, but if it leads to cape comics I can enjoy until I stop hating myself then I'm happy.


Paradise Kiss Vol. 1

(Ai Yazawa; Vertical)



One of the most popular comic artists in the world, Ai Yazawa, returns with a new edition of the fashion-inspired comic that made her an international sensation! High fashion and hot drama collide in Paradise Kiss. One of the manga to launch the global manga boom, Paradise Kiss combined stunning design work and YA-themed narratives that made it an international best-seller.


Danny: I get a lot of stuff from Vertical, and so far it's been a nice variety of strong material. I'mma review Paradise Kiss real soon, but it's a great example of a comic with an appeal broader than what our hemisphere attempts to offer.

Andrew: Yeah, I'm really curious about how the narrative thread (no pun intended, but actually kinda intended) of this will work. It's always good to see a comic or any other medium that tends to get a male-dominated reputation that can earnestly appeal to girls without condescending to them.

Nick: I feel like digital publishing is going to break down those barriers pretty soon, because most women I know who enjoy comics still don't buy them very often because they've had a terrible consumer experience. And for those of us who haven't yet immersed ourselves in manga, digital similarly offers a great gateway.



Danny Djeljosevic is a comic book creator, award-winning filmmaker (assuming you have absolutely no follow-up questions) and Co-Managing Editor of Comics Bulletin. Follow him on Twitter at @djeljosevic or find him somewhere in San Diego, often wearing a hat. Read his comic with Mike Prezzato, "Sgt. Death and his Metachromatic Men," over at Champion City Comics and check out his other comics at his Tumblr, Sequential Fuckery. His webcomic The Ghost Engine, with artist Eric Zawadzki, updates twice a week.



When he's not writing about the cape and spandex set and functioning as the Co-Managing Editor of Comics Bulletin, Nick Hanover is a book, film and music critic who has contributed to Spectrum Culture, No Tofu Magazine, Performer Magazine, Port City Lights and various other international publications. By which he means Canadian rags you have no reason to know anything about. He also translates for "Partytime" Lukash's Panel Panopticon and you can follow him on Twitter at @Nick_Hanover.



Andrew Tan spends his days working on a bunch of different stuff he can't really explain here. Before that, he majored in Journalism at the University of Florida, where he worked for a few newspapers. He loves comics (obviously), sad music, duck confit and San Francisco. He also has a sentence published in McSweeney's that he is proud of. He was also mocked in Gawker for said sentence, which brings him roughly the same level of pride.

Andrew is one of the many people on the internet vying for the moniker of Tandrew. Some are him, some are not. You can find him on Twitter at @TandrewTan.

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