Friday, December 8, 2006

Attention Defecit?

If Whedon is doing Buffy Season 8 as a limited comic book series - how is he going to have the time, energy and creativity to work on Runaways?

He's already doing Astonishing X-Men, isn't he still? That makes three books on his plate, not counting any possible involvement he might have in the Firefly comic series. And Buffy is his baby; one of them at any rate.

And wasn't there also a Slayer in the Future? Didn't have some kind of control or involvement in that too?

I'd already decided I wasn't going to follow Runaways when Joss took over. My days of 'Joss is God!' are long over. Even though I don't blame him for Angel's early cancellation. That's all on the WB/ CW and it's need to teen drama and pregnancies and soap opera kitsch.

But with so much drawing his attention away, how's he supposed to focus on something as beloved as his baby? Any guesses?

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Truly Wonderful (Wonder Woman)

Wonder Woman: Princess in Paradise

I jump in with both feet to talk about what a brilliant idea this is. The artwork is stunning. The premise is remarkable. And along with Ares, I find myself wondering what Hephestus would look like kind of bishie.

My favourite WW so far has been Greg Rucka's depiction of the strong, sometimes not pc but always independent and thoughtful ambassador from Themyscira. I loved the whole aspect and theme of Athena's Champion and Diana become Grey-Eyed Diana. But I'd love to see how she got to be that strong. I'd love to see the civilization that raised a woman of that caliber. I'd love to know about her childhood adventures and how she tempered her stubbornness, curiosity and what it's like to live and breathe in a world where the Gods are only an invocation away. The proposed Manga would do that.

Diana looks feisty and young and curious. And while perhaps such an early meeting with Steve Trevor confuses things in terms of George Perez's 'Bright Eyed Innocent in Man's World', it makes me think much better of Diana the myth. Because Diana hunting demons gives her a very good reason to connect to man's world and the plight of man's world more than her fellow Amazon sisters. They're the ones who're insular due to being protected and sheltered in thought, word and deed from anything different from what they've known. Diana thinks in broader terms. And I think it'd be lovely to find out what inspired her to look at the world that way.

There's also the prospect of fun in Hermes representing himself as a mischievous child. It seems perfect. Diana was the only child among her people. How much would she have longed for a playmate? And what trouble would she and Hermes have gotten themselves into and would that explain why she's as close to one of her male patrons as her female ones; and he to her.

I recently came across 'The Babysitter's Club' graphic novel. That's right, a graphic novel to appeal to girls. In a pink candy-striped dustjacket and all I could think about is that it seemed a pretty cool way to appeal to a new generation. I never much cared for the TBC. I may have only read one book, if I read any at all. But I would follow a graphic novel representation, because of the style, if nothing else. If this had been out when I was a kid, it'd have been a doorway to an unexpected world. One which I originally thought of as boring, too girly and formulaic; just based on the book title, colors and occasionally the summaries. The artwork, as I flipped through the book, helped me realize some of the appeal I'd missed as a young girl.

DC of course will do whatever it is DC decides works best for their finances. But the world is changing, and fast. Manga doesn't look to be a fad that'll die out as much as it's become a new part of popular culture and conscienceness. I have to wonder how many girls who aren't originally attracted to comics, or who want to venture into Manga (or comics) and wouldn't know where to start would appreciate a familiar icon. In one swoop you've got magical girl genre, and superhero genre and something that appeals to the 'pink double x's'.

It's times like this I wish America had a concept of Do-jinsh.

Quick Add: I realize that what appeals to me about this is something that other people might get out of WonderGirl. But I never knew much about Cassie until I read the Rucka run. And so she interests me more as Zeus' daughter and Ares' sister than as a part of the Wonder Woman legacy.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

A Love That Dare Not Speak...?

I used to be fairly certain the love that dare not speak its name was same sex loving; homosexuality. However the more I follow comic blogs and comic news articles, the more I see guys, because it's almost always guys, talking about how they've seen it all before and how they wish the writer and or artist would turn their considerable attentions to something not super hero related. While they say this, there's a list of other superhero comics that get mentioned and matched, detail for detail against the current offering, proving that once upon a time this was something worth memorizing or at least being able to quick research and lay hands on. But the talk down continues.

Movies, tv, and books are doing cross genre, genre evolution and even genre revolution; they're expanding to new audiences while appealing to the old (even when their publicity machines suck at honoring where they come from: BattleStar Galatica). But in comics so many people I stumble across seem to be convinced that Superhero Comics Are Dead. They'll buy Action Comics and Civil War, Aqua Man and All Star Superman etc... But they sound so grey about it all. It's routine. They're going through four color motions and reading for the sense of community, but they're not really expecting anything.

An acquaintance suggested that maybe they're ashamed they still love it. Which made me think that they think they've outgrown it somehow. To which I say 'Bzuh?!' because how can you outgrow something you love? If you liked Mysteries growing up, then you graduated from Encyclopedia Brown to Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew and from there to Agatha Christie's Miss Marple or Poriot, or maybe to current contemporaries like Sue Grafton or whomever else. I can understand outgrowing the type of mystery novel, or the language in the mystery novel, but not the love of mysteries themselves.

I think the same goes for those who love Romance or Spy Novels. Isn't it easy to imagine some small one moving on from Spy Kids to Le Carre? Wouldn't it fit to see someone with a love of horses move from My Little Pony stories to 'The Horse Whisperer' or maybe to watch them grow and combine Hardy Boys and little boy horse stories into a love of Dick Francis?

Why then is it hard to imagine that someone who loves Superhero Comics might outgrow the smash ups and mash ups, (or maybe not - see Invincible Super-Blog) and want more out of the genre they love so much? Is all the talking down coming about because these lovers of the craft don't know how to ask for more? Do they not believe in more? Are Astro City and Invincible flukes? Should those writers not be encouraged? Should the industry not be told how much they're enjoyed? And how much they mean to someone wanting to soak in Superhero comics at the level of entertainment and satisfaction that they demand from everything else now as adults?

Because I'm confused.

Though I admit it's not a total confusion. Because I also read in these varied articles about how depressed the fans(fanboys) have gotten at consistently flawed heroes. At heroic mistakes and heroic misapprehension and their distaste at how dysfunction has become a norm for humanizing heroes instead of those heroes being exemplars of what humanity should strive for. I know personally that I always bristled alongside Batman whenever someone in panel told him he was only human, in order to excuse some loss he was feeling or some mistake or misread clue. I agreed with the gravel voice growl that that wasn't good enough. I could both see that Batman felt the loss and that he wouldn't let it wear him down or make him give up and that he didn't accept it as final. That's superheroic to me. That's stuff that kept me alive during a pretty shitty childhood. So I can understand if the concept of these beloved icons as perpetually flawed makes them small in a way they weren't meant to be - being our modern mythology; our gods of urban olympus.

But to give up? To look at new arrivals to that pantheon and not try as readers to find something to say to the authors so that they'll know that we love their ideas we just want our heroes back? Doesn't it seem to weaken the very memories that are the source of the complaints? Or is that just me?

I mean, I know I'm a weird little freak who calls herself a happy priestess at the temple of the Bat. So, y'know, it's entirely possible I'm not empathizing on the right level as regular human beings without that brand of crazy. And yet, does it take that kind of crazy to not give up hope and to strive to get what I want written for me?