No One Wins
Friday — February 21st, 2014

No One Wins

Don’t get us wrong, we’re all for making comics easily accessible for new and casual readers, but when everything seems to have a giant “#1″ on it, those of us that are keeping up with these things on a regular basis (but are also easily confused) start feeling a little bewildered.

We’d like to think that this is all done with good intentions, but more than once is the time we’ve accidentally bought an issue we didn’t mean to because of a deceptively confusing header or banner on a cover.

And don’t even get me started on those issues that were “#7.INFINITY” or whatever.

Lotta good comics out there though.

Lotta crappy ones too, I guess.

There’s a new New Warriors #1 that just came out this week. Can you believe that? I thought it was pretty good.

That “last” issue of Daredevil that just came out this week was great.

If you’ve got something you’re really enjoying reading lately or can explain all the crazy numbering, feel free to drop us a comment.

Extra special thanks to our friend Jessica for coloring this!

Check out Euge’s tour schedule. He’s a travelling maniac.

If you want to buy some original art from me, that would be awesome!

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Listen to us on that podcast we do until we unleash these LBFA podcasts we’ve been recording in not very much secret!

Have a great weekend, everybody!

xo
ch



In Hue Manatees

PostAvatar_Euge I’ve been trying to figure out what I think of this upcoming Inhumanity event and title from Marvel. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love The Inhumans. I believe that Black Bolt is one of the most fascinating, formerly underrated characters around, and I’m totally stoked to read stories in their universe. But I guess the confluence of Infnity before it, and the news that Marvel is grooming The Inhumans as the new mutants, largely because they don’t have the X-Men movie rights, and well, the idea that all these Inhumans are activated across the galaxy kinda slides into that mutant revolution ethos nicely, without all the hassle of things like contracts and the such.

marvel-comics-inhumanity-are-you-inhuman-promo

This coming on the heels of the largely reactive Marvel Now! event that occurred oh, a year ago (shit has it really been a year already!?!), it seemed like one of those planet aligning moments where even largely being reactive to DC’s New 52 and a total grab to bring in those sweet #1 issue dollaz,, it still took great pains and care to make a unified, editorially controlled, and artfully crafted relaunch of all the major titles. Out of the smoke of this barnburning, we’ve seen a revitalized Hulk title, a Thor title that at the moment, has the amazing distinction being slightly a movie tie-in while maybe doing the villain better justice in the book itself; and yeah I’ll say it – the best X-Men books that have ever been written. Underline it. Bold text. Color font something bright. Gifs.

After several consecutive years of maddening, frustrating, overly bloated summer event comics (hey guys, remember Siege?), Hickman has made Infinity into a title that accomplishes the seemingly impossible – being understated and leaving major story moments to the tie-ins, while not sacrificing the central narrative of the main storyline. As we storm the doors of the final Infinity issues, though – it’s a bit frustrating to see the earmarks of what seems to be a ramp-up to Inhumanity. None of us should be surprised – if any of us read Hickman’s FF, we all know that he plays the long game; and Infinity was never going to be the zip-bam-boom “now it’s like this!” kind of event (not his style) – I guess considering Inhumanity in the context of being a push for more movie franchises, maybe it’s possible that the end and point of Infinity is colored a bit by the idea that this was all to serve the movie gods.

This all becomes a moot point if Inhumanity is AWESOME – which I mean, it could totally be. I guess we reserve judgment for that later. Some fantastic comics have come at the behest of the Marvel movie machine (see Invincible Iron Man). And it’s true that yes, big two comics serve the shareholders, just like television shows have always served their sponsors. We’re here to make money. Cha ching, cha ching.

But I guess that with how GOOD comics have been lately in the Marvel universe, a part of me thinks it’s unnecessary to tie their movie hopes and dreams to this kind of creative reverse engineering. I guess Marvel Now! surprised me so much, that rare moment of thinking a move by big two comics was a reactive cash grab, and instead it turning into something awesome. Something about Inhumanity smells of the opposite. Something that should be awesome, but hopefully, is not just the pathway to make more money at the box office at the expense of the comics we love.

But what do I know? I’m the guy that still loves Darkhawk.

Demand Better…

PostAvatar_Euge It’s impossible to talk about anything going on in the comics world without having to at least consider touching upon the controversy that erupted yesterday (and the subsequent response). So I’ll just say if you haven’t read up on those, you should take a second and check it out. Whatever the truth is, I think the accused behavior is obviously disgusting, unacceptable, and totally heinous behavior towards another human being. Whether it’s true or not, I choose to believe one thing based on what I’ve heard and what others tell me, knowing full well it’s all second-hand accounts. You may believe another. That’s totally fine. That’s not what I really want to talk about.

When I posted this story, and a status on my facebook yesterday, about how I’d basically have to stop buying the new all-female X-Men book, someone raised the point (non-contentiously) about why I would abandon a book that did not just involve the writer: it involved artists, inkers, colorists, etc. Basically how one person’s objectionable behavior would negatively affect a bunch of innocents who just happen to get caught in the blowback. I raised the point that I have refused to see Ender’s Game, which involves a whole lot more people than the staff of a comic book; I refuse to eat at Chick-Fil-A now, which is a corporation that employs thousands of innocent people who are just trying to make a living. And while I’m fully aware that my $3.99, my movie ticket, my “whatever the price of a chicken biscuit is” — this will in no way cripple a corporation. It will in no way sink a movie studio. It will not matter to a book that, most likely, will keep being written and published for a long, long time. It doesn’t matter. I’m not an idiot. I get that.

So why do we do things like this? Because it’s the principle of the matter. And it’s not simply the principle of boycotting objectionable behavior (which is important too, mind you). It’s the principle of the fact that we live in a time where quite frankly, we should demand better from the people who make the stuff we love. We follow them on twitter; we read their blogs; we hear them on podcasts. We are in an Internet age where the walls have broken down, and it’s not just a monolithic, faceless corporation who churns out the pop cultural stuff we enjoy. The creators aren’t in a cave somewhere, they’re not inaccessible – they are in front of us, at cons, via email, via tumblr. They are people, and I believe that art and media is inextricably intertwined with the creator at the center of it.

We have only ever been able to vote with our wallet. We can bitch, whine, comment, moan, scream on websites, reddit, forums, wherever – about how much we hate something, about how we wish things would change. But most of us are powerless to affect any change. All we can do is vote with our wallet, and say simply, “I’m not going to buy this.” I choose not to support this with the money that I’ve earned with the precious hours of my life. One person doesn’t make a difference; but if we all acted like this, trust me – it would make a difference. This isn’t new, you’ve heard this before. But the mindset I propose to you may be. About the why.

We don’t live in a time where, if we choose to pass up one X-Men book, there isn’t an alternative. Back in the 80s, maybe if you for some reason DETESTED the person Chris Claremont was – you were kinda shit out of luck if you loved the X-Men. Today? That’s not really the case. And not only that, but there’s just SO MUCH stuff out there – Netflix, movies, books, comics, video games, whatever – there’s a lot out there we can do that excite us, that move us, that make our day to day lives better. You have access to a sea of indie creators, good people who answer emails and shake hands at cons – who are scraping by for every dollar they make for this thing that they pour their hearts into. You can support them. You can find something else. You should demand better.

I know what you’ll say. But Eugene, Apple and Nike and etc. These are bad corporations. They employ horrible labor practices, they harm the environment. Agreed. You can’t demand better of a corporation. I’m willing to say (as the owner of a pair of Nikes on his feet and an iphone and macbook in front of him) that there’s such a thing as fighting the good fight. This is not the good fight. This is a fight for government agencies, for organizations, for something you yourself can contribute to, but not execute yourself. But a singular creator’s whose intolerant beliefs, whose objectionable behavior, trust me when I say you can point at them and demand better. You can vote with your dollar and make their employers notice. You can teach them the meaning of deterrence. It’s not an all-out, immediate solution. But it’s a start. And you can do it by simply sacrificing one thing on top of a mountain of other things you love and cherish. THIS is the good fight.

I’m not talking about Brian Wood (even though I’d be happy to say it to him). I’m talking about you. About us. I’m talking about how we should not only demand great art from creators; we should demand good creators themselves. We should demand people who at the base minimum, share our beliefs of tolerance, of fairness, of equality, of progressivism. Because in the end, the total package of satisfaction you, that we get, from experiencing art, from experiencing the voice and the passion of a creator does in fact stem from our enjoyment of them as the person they are. That B- product from an A+ creator will, at least to me, always outweigh A+ art from a D- soul.

Fight the good fight. Demand better. Because comics deserve better creators. Because pop culture deserves a better community of creators.

Because you deserve better.