Confessions of a Comic Book Guy is a weekly column by Steve Bennett of Super-Fly Comics and Games in Yellow Springs, Ohio. This week, Bennett shares a confession and talks about a couple of projects he's been really looking forward to.
Here's a confession for you. I don't read everything any more. Well, even when I was working retail full time and had instant gratification access to every comic book, manga and graphic novel our store ordered I didn't read absolutely everything, though I sure did try. It's one of the perks of working in a comic book shop but I also felt it was also part of my job. Not so much the reading as the knowing what was in them; which comics might appeal to which readers and, when it came to our younger customers, which ones were age appropriate or would most likely be mother disapproved.
I don't any more, partially because I don’t have that unlimited availability any more but also, admittedly, due to a lack of interest. Not in comics, my soul hasn't grown quite that cold, but when I look at a lot of what’s being published today I can't help but think "I've already read that." And frequently it feels like I have. Our market is awash in revamps, remakes and revivals and I'm always looking for what's new, what's next, something (in the words of the pundits of Monty Python once put it) "other than else."
Happily it's a good week for other than else. First up, a couple of projects I've been really looking to and, oddly enough, both are upscale format takes on superheroes specifically intended for kids that are in no way kid stuff. There’s Paul Pope's Battling Boy which shears away all of the genre's current overbearing baggage to find the pure mythology lurking at its core. It's also visually stunning and unlike anything else; this is what superhero comics will look like--twenty years from now. If you want to see for yourself the publisher FirstSecond has allowed the web site Boing Boing to post thirty (!) pages from it.
Then there's Jamal Yaseem Ingle's Molly Danger: Book One--Mighty. Earlier this year I talked up the Molly Danger/Princeless Free Comic Book Day comic (see "Confessions of a Comic Book Guy--The True Meaning of FCBD") and now the graphic novel is finally here and I literally can't wait to read it. This one is more of a conventional superhero story and while it adheres to all of the genre's tropes and types they're done in a fresh, fun fashion. I've long said the only people with powers who would actually want to be superheroes are children and Ingle makes a powerful case for that argument with his ten year old protagonist, Molly.
I've been interested in Bande Dessinee, European comics, ever since my brother, God Rest His Soul, armed only with his high school French took it upon himself to translate an import volume of Philippe Druillet's Lone Sloane. So naturally I've long been a fan of the UK publisher Cinebook and their translated versions of such great European comics series as Valerian, XIII, Spirou & Fantastico, Lucky Luke, etc. However I've also wished I could read some of their titles on my iPad, and after visiting their website I found that indeed there was an app for that. Available at both the iStore and at Google Play is app for BD Comics by izine where you can download a select number of their books in English. I say "select" because right now there are far much volumes available in French than English, but hopefully that will change as more English readers discover the app.
Marvel Announces 'Disney Kingdom: Seeks of the Weird' Comic") that are to be based around Disney park attractions. Having grown up in a world where movies were traditionally based on, you know, stories, it's hard not to find this faintly ridiculous but it makes sense, given every Disney ride has the potential of becoming a hit movie franchise. Ordinarily this would warrant some sort of snark remark on my part but I'm already looking forward to seeing director Brad Bird's Tomorrowland next Christmas.
First up in January is the five-issue miniseries titled Seekers of the Weird based on a never made The Haunted Mansion annex called Museum of the Weird which was intended to be full of "a collection of mystical curiosities." Which to me sounds an awful lot like one of Robert Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Odditoriums which date back to the 1930's. It's not the Disney Infinity/ Marvel Infinity crossover I was hoping for (or even Mickey Mouse, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.) but it is definitely something I've seen before.
I do find all sorts of interesting things when I go to my local Kroge's. This week's discovery was on their discount shelves where I found something I could never have imagined existed. A severely damaged 2012 Hot Wheels Super Nostalgia DC Comics "Darkseid" Dream Van featuring artwork showing Darkseid sporting his optional Super Powers Collections dress cape. I could have lived a long, happy life not knowing that existed.
The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.
Column by Steve Bennett
Posted by ICv2 on October 10, 2013 @ 2:48 am CT
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