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  • Re: Classic Comic Ads (are awesome too)

    Not an ad. This image is from the 1981 SDCC program guide. Back then, artists who weren’t going to make it out to the show would often do a piece of art and send it in their stead. These days most of the artwork in the program guide is submitted by amateurs or guys still trying to break in, but in the early years of the con the program guides were filled with a real Who’s Who of talent.
  • Re: The Inescapable... MISTER MIRACLE Thread!!! (Also, to know them is to hate them--SPOILERS!)

    I love the way Gerads portrays Barda's size.
    I'm right there with you. I think Barda was in some ways a projection of how he saw Roz, his wife. Not in terms of Barda’s size, but as a fortress of strength he could always rely on. But I may be reading too much into it. Regardless, yeah, Gerads does a really nice job with her, keeping her proportions looking natural rather than freakish.
  • Re: The Inescapable... MISTER MIRACLE Thread!!! (Also, to know them is to hate them--SPOILERS!)

    Another observation.
    Under Orion's leadership, New Genesis might as well be Apokolips.
    I see Kirby’s Orion as a case study in Nature versus Nurture. Orion was always at war with himself, but his nurturing always won out in the end.
    So then, what if this is a story about Scott's "nurturing" winning out?
    In the case of Scott, there would really be no difference in his “nurturing” winning out and the Anti-Life Equation winning out. The results would be exactly the same: Scott becomes a loyal, obedient, unquestioning slave of Darkseid’s will. Granny’s training was the closest substitute Darkseid had for the Anti-Life Equation at the time Scott was raised on Apokolips.

    Whereas I think Orion’s situation was an analogy for Kirby’s own upbringing—where being raised by a strong, loving family gave him the strength to resist falling into a life of crime, unlike many of the kids he grew up with in his neighborhood—I think Scott’s situation was an analogy for Kirby’s desire to be in control of his own destiny, and his belief that through hard work and determination one can improve their lot in life. On the surface you might say that it's a case of Nature winning out over Nurture, which is seemingly in conflict with Orion’s character arc. But within the overall context of the Fourth World saga, I think it all boils down to Kirby’s belief that love is stronger than hate. Scott recognizes that Granny’s “love” is false, and that the help and affection shown to him by HImon and Barda is real and uplifting. Without them, Scott doesn’t escape Apokolips.

    Tom did throw a monkey wrench into this when he has Granny basically tell Scott that he is Darkseid’s true heir as foretold in the prophecy. If Scott is Darkseid’s true heir, then wouldn’t succumbing to Darkseid’s will be in Scott’s Nature? (Although Darkseid killed his own father, so maybe not.) But that’s assuming that Granny was being honest—which is not her strong suit. It also assumes that scene was “real life”, and not something happening inside Scott’s mind, which I'm not convinced is the case.

    So, I don’t think the story is about Scott’s Nurturing, per se. I think the Anti-Life Equation is simply using Scott’s training as a weapon (among others) against him as it tries to break him down.
  • Re: What comics did you read and like this week?

    Reading the preview solicitation for The Family Trade #1, I wasn’t all that interested in the book. But flipping through it at the store, the artwork was enough to make me give it a try, and I'm glad I did. It’s actually a fun story, despite being about a family of thieves, spies, and assassins (albeit for the good of their society). But the highlight for me is the artwork of Morgan Beem. She has a style that lies somewhere between Noelle Stevenson and David Rubín—dynamic and expressive, while being very stylized—and her watercolors are fantastic. This one is going onto my list. Good stuff.
  • Re: What comics did you read and like this week?

    Fu Jitsu #1 is a pretty good read. I don't think the execution quite lived up to the concept—love the sub-atomic kung fu—but it’s good enough that I'll give it another two or three issues. Nitz’s writing is fast-paced, which I like, but sometimes it comes across feeling a little fractured and herky-jerky. Occasionally it feels like it’s trying a little too hard to be wacky, but overall it’s entertaining enough.

    St. Claire’s art (he pencils and inks) is kind of like Sam Kieth if he was inked by Scott Williams—or rather someone with the sensibilities of Sam Kieth, but not quite as good, if he was inked by someone emulating Scott Williams. It’s not bad—nothing wrong with the storytelling—but it’s not quite gelling for me. It’s almost there though. I think it’s mostly the inking I'm having problems with. St. Claire does some very fine linework, and there are places where it just doesn’t reproduce well. Some of his heavier blacks, on the other hand, don't seem like they’re very thought out. There’s a fair amount of energy in his approach, which is a good thing, but sometimes it comes at the expense of the overall quality of the drawing.

    All in all, I give the book a solid B. And, like I said, the premise is cool, and the potential for both the writing and artwork to improve is certainly there, so I'm going to give it a few more issues to see where it goes.