I’m dreaming of a Brown Christmas…
THE DISCERNING PIRATE
Amazing Spider-Man #700 and Avenging Spider-Man #15.1 have both been torrented. Justice League #15 and Aquaman #15, not so much.
Dan DiDio has Facebooked that DC Comics no longer own the rights to Doc Savage, Avenger and The Spirit. But not who does. Hmmm… Dynamite?
Hannah Berry discovers Team Comics.
And the wonderful, fabulous, horrifically Disney-esqe truth of it is that most people in the comics world are very willing to help each other out for the good of comics. We all know how tough things are, how many obstacles are in the way, and how much of an uphill struggle it is to gain recognition inside and outside of the immediate comics circle, but when one of us does exceptionally well we see it as an individual triumph and a group triumph. Any doors kicked down by one trailblazer will stay open for all of us. It’s the system of mutual advancement favoured by organised crime syndicates, but used in a nicer way. Like a lovely mafia.
EYE OF SUCCESS
Matt Fraction may be kicking off a new Black Widow comic in the manner of Hawkeye.
LOVE AT FIRST PINT
Such creator-pairing is not unique to British collaborations, but British-borne relationships have typically proven more enduring than those formed inside the US. Proximity certainly plays its part, but perhaps the important part of the equation is the dynamic of the UK’s comics scene. Perhaps when partnerships form before commercial success they’re more likely endure beyond it. Or maybe it’s just that in the UK, the partnerships are formed in pubs and hotel bars, rather than offices.
Still, Gillen and McKelvie, who partnered on the nascent Phonogram after meeting at a comic convention in Bristol, are living proof of the tradition however it’s incited, and their rise from indie obscurity to mainstream dominance can stand as an inspiration to any British comic creators who have a pen, a dream, and the audacity to think that a kid from the suburbs of nowheresville, UK, might one day write and draw the likes of Iron Man, Spider-Man and Wolverine.
Ask yourself where you can see that? Not in a film, certainly. Not even in a novel, or not without a wordy confluence of streams of consciousness. But in Building Stories, you can see it as easily as you can look at a picture. In one small, separate strip-booklet, without any thought-bubbles or explicatory text, we see the woman in a darkened room, in that state between wakefulness and sleep. In one panel, she is alone and heavily pregnant in the double bed, in the next sharing it with her lover, then waking up in hospital, then looking at a tiny bundle in the cot, then bringing her baby into bed. Then it’s daylight, and she is making her child breakfast, playing with it in the garden in spring; then it’s autumn, and she is hugging her daughter, who is now seven, helping her with her homework, watching her draw. Then time seems to reverse. She is back in the hospital bed, then back in bed with her lover. She sees an open door in the darkness. A silhouetted figure of an adult walks through it. Is it her? Is it her daughter in the future? Is it all of them, in all their lives? She opens her eyes, puzzled.
George Weber always was a plonker. The way Posy Simmonds drew him in her cartoon strip in the Guardian for a decade from 1977, that was the point. A senior lecturer in liberal studies at a north London polytechnic, he was the kind of man who would pick up a porn mag and ask his friend “Can you find me a better example of polysemic image discourse?”. Wife Wendy was as bad too: a writer of children’s books who patronised all the other parents in the neighbourhood, who lay into private education while employing a private tutor for her children, a brown rice-and-lentils former hippie whose daughter Belinda was in full-on rebellion against all that peace and love.