Sunday, August 19, 2007

A Handful Of Things

So I'm making my way through the comic blogs, seeing what (if anything) I've missed this week while concentrating on my erstwhile life, and I just thought I'd share my thoughts on some of it with you.

First thing I notice is that Harlan Ellison and Gary Groth called a draw in their pissing contest over some interviews or other that Ellison didn't want published. It doesn't really matter what they were fighting over, as it was just an excuse for them to fight. Reading the details of the settlement (available many places, including The Beat and Comics Should be Good), it looks like Ellison got more of what he wanted than Groth, but I doubt either man is really happy with it, so you know it's a good compromise. And really, the whole thing comes down to an excuse for these two volatile personas to flex their egos at one another and remind all of us how crotchety they are. I don't know how Ellison could possibly think anyone's forgotten, given that all accounts report he's been a bitter old man since his mid-twenties, but there you go. Hopefully now these two can get back to actually producing work.

In other legal news, the Gordon Lee trial was postponed yet again, this time because the judge got sick. At this point, you have to wonder why the prosecutor is even bothering. The botching of the original charges (they apparently proceeded for nearly a year on the assumption that the offending comic in question had been given to the wrong child, something you think they could have cleared up through the simple expedient of talking to the kids they claim to be protecting) would almost certainly give the defense grounds for a mistrial in the progressively less likely event that they lose the case, and whatever election the DA's office was stumping for has surely passed by now. Their determination to hold their fastly crumbling ground borders on the Bushian. Actually, given that even Karl "Turd Blossom" Rove has jumped off that ship, it goes perhaps beyond that into some Platonic realm of cluelessness the likes of which man can only imagine. But it makes for good schadenfreude.

Marvel and the Dabel Bros. split this week, a decision that doesn't even affect those who care about the licenses (I'm looking forward to the next Hedge Knight trade, but that's it). Nonetheless, the blogosphere was all ready for a good round of "Let's you and him fight," its favorite pasttime, especially when "you" is the Brave Little Independent Creator and "him" is the Evil, All-Consuming Corporate Giant. It's something I like to call "Skywalker Syndrome," symptoms of which include Pavlovian mocking and disdain of whichever side is more powerful in a dispute, tendency to liken "the establishment" to the evil antideity of one's choice, identification of self with and as a small, besieged force of goodness and light in a hopelessly black universe, and superimposition of one's unresolved issues with one's father onto any and every situation one encounters. There was, as it turns out, no smoking Death Star in this case, as both Marvel and Dabel are nothing but pleased with the turnout of events, and you could almost hear the frustrated sigh of thousands of nerds who were sure it was gonna be "on." Me, I just play Grand Theft Auto to work out my extraneous anger, so I don't know what all the fuss was.

In actual comics events (i.e., fictional stuff), the Black Canary miniseries ended this week, with the predictable dual endings of Canary accepting Green Arrow's marriage proposal and Canary's adopted daughter Sin being shipped off to Abu Dhabi... er, character limbo. Surprisingly, it turns out there is someone DC won't kill off when they don't know what to do with her, as Green Arrow simply sends Sin to an undisclosed location for her own safety (without Dinah's knowledge or approval, which oughta make *that* honeymoon fun). So at least she'll be available should a writer who wants to do more with Canary than make her GA's arm candy come along. In the meantime, I'm having fun imagining her engaging in an unofficial crossover with Wolverine's adopted daughter Amiko. (Anyone else remember her?)

Lastly, I came to the realization a couple days ago that any "tribute" I might do to Mike Wieringo would be meaningless next to the words and images of the many people who knew and worked with him over the past week. So, in lieu of that, I'm simply going to urge the humble reader to go out there and read his work. His Flash, his Impulse, his Robin. His Spider-Man, his Fantastic Four. Especially his Tellos (the hardback compendium is out on Wednesday). Drag through the back-issue bins for any of the numerous titles he provided guest covers for. Visit his website and check out the voluminous and varied sketch output. He was a great artist, so go enjoy his stuff.

That's all for now. Be good to the world.

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