Eat All the Dicks
– Daniel O’Brien
Like lots of other bloggers, I was shocked to come out of my post-Christmas turkey induced coma to the news, broken by Michael Sieply in the New York Times, that Twentieth Century Fox has succeeded in at least some of their lawsuit against Warner Brothers relating to â€œWatchmenâ€ – a ruling which now puts the proposed March 7th release of the film in jeopardy.
Now at midnight all the agents and the superhuman crew come out and round up everyone that knows more than they do.
– Bob Dylan
Like lots of comic fans, my initial reaction was annoyance â€“ Iâ€™m a tremendous fan of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons original work, and have been looking forward to the film with equal parts anticipation and dread. My bio notes that Iâ€™ve been hired three times to write about comic books for very disparate magazines (all three of which stopped publishing before my first columns ever saw print). It’s a testament to the depth and breadth of â€œWatchmenâ€ that I was able to reference it in all three of my initial columns despite the very different audiences and focus of each. Itâ€™s one of my â€œhookâ€ books to introduce adult readers to comics when they ask me to “recommend something” (although I do occasionally suggest that on first reading one can skip the supplementary text-pieces, and â€œtales from the black freighterâ€ sub-plot – both of which have caused friends of mine to “stall” and not finish the book).
My frustration quickly turned from Fox to the larger press given that since Justice Feess dropped his December 24th surprise order no one was actually reporting on what the case was about, except in vague banalities like “contract dispute”. For copyright and computer law Iâ€™ve been a little bit spoiled by resources like Groklaw â€“ wherein within moments of legal documents being available they have been widely made available and dissected into plain English by eagle-eyed legal beagles. Eaglebegles. Leaglebles.
I canâ€™t offer that, but since no one else seemed to be looking into this, I spent yesterday morning digging through the Byzantine labyrinth of PACER (the US courts electric document filing system) to bring (hopefully) a little meat to this discussion.
Just a little web-comic pimpage – Kris Straub (who writes something like forty seven thousand and eight different webcomics) has started a story-within-a-story plotline over at Starslip Crisis that I’m completely in love with.
The concept is that in the 34th Century “Concrete Universe” is a popular historical police procedural broadcast show which is set in our present day. However because of the time gap – the future has about as good a grasp of modern day life as we would have of, say, the 5th Century (do the math – it all works out). That is to say, not very well at all.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go defrag my daguerreotype.
Overcompensating is one of those sites I could pretty much link daily. Jeffrey Rowland is not only one of my favourite webcartoonists – he is also too mean to die.
However today’s instalment pretty much summarizes the entirety of the US political arena. It is like a fractal – every single element of it is a reduced size copy of the whole.
I missed this during my travels – but according to Christopher Butcher at the Beguiling the original artwork for a Seth cover has been stolen from the offices of Toronto’s Taddle Creek Magazine.
Look, I want original Seth art as much as the next guy (given statistical probability, probably more than the next guy) – but I don’t think anyone likes to see this kind of stuff. Any information on the theft would be appreciated and can be relayed through Christopher (his e-mail and phone can be found here.
You remember my previous post about letting kids dress up as comic characters? Kevin Church manages to express the same sentiment much more succinctly, proving why he is beaucoup, and I am merely moyenne.
I’ve been in Regina this week for the 9th Annual Canadian Comedy Awards and Festival, and let me tell you this city has an embarassment of great comic book shops. Within a five minute walk of my hotel I managed to plug a bunch of holes in some of my Silver-Age runs and then, mere minutes away, track down the third Yoshihiro Tasumi collection, “Good Bye” (link to pdf preview at D&Q), a copy of the “Girl Genius” omnibus, and snag a full run of Action Philosophers trades. I didn’t even broach the Tramps and their Calgary location was one of my favourite back-issue haunts in Cow-Town back in “the day”. Heck, there’s a strong possibility that I’d still be at Comic Readers if I didn’t need money to, you know, get a taxi back to the airport… oh and buy a cool hat. What good are comics without a cool hat to read them in?
Sadly all good things must come to an end, and there’s only so long I can pretend that there isn’t an election coming up with, you know, kind of a big impact on what I do. So I guess I better get back to the big smoke and back to work. Yup. Right now.
Can I just keep digging through great comics and hanging out with talented comedians for another day? Please!?
Wired’s Threat Level blog has a great write up about a non-profit comic distributed to 50,000 US students which reads suspiciously like RIAA propaganda about file sharing.
The goals may be admirable:
“The purpose is basically to educate kids — middle school and high school-aged about how the justice system operates and about what really goes on in the courtroom as opposed to what you see on television,” said Lorri Montgomery, the center’s communications director.
but as Threat Level points out, there’s a lot of questionable questionable interpretation of law in “The Case of Internet Piracy”. Plus, there’s a nice framing story about eminent domain. Because I know I’d buy a lot more comics if the Justice League kept getting evicted so the city could build public works. Read more
Hey Bryan Lee O’Malley and Hope Larson have unleashed a superstar-tag-team of a 16-page short story on the world. Even better it’s as much fun as a collaboration between those two should be.
[ Edit – I don’t really review comics here, but I keep meaning to mention that “Chiggers” is a great follow-up to “Gray Horses”, and highly recommended most-ages, gender-inclusive, comics reading! ]
Friday’s post about Scott Kurtz’s take on interpreting critical feedback eventually generated a couple very interesting comments.
One thing everyone agreed upon was that that the “signal to noise” ratio for feedback (incorporating all pro/amateur/literary critique/”you suck” e-mail) for any creative work on the Internet is astoundingly low. So the question remains – as a creator of any subjective work on the Internet (comics, films, poetry, bonsai kittens) – how can one filter the responses one gets to get useful information out of the mire? Read more