Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Comics


Jo sent me the first two issues of Dracula vs. King Arthur. She was mostly recommending the art, which is quite good. The whole concept is one that could have been a total mess, but actually I thought the writing was pretty solid. I ripped right through the first issue and right into the second. I would've read two equally good follow-ups if they'd been there, too. Unlike the writer, I would not have bothered with the silly time-travel aspect, but I enjoyed the parallels and once it got past that, it was fairly interesting stuff...

I also recently read Road to Perdition: On the Road by Max Allan Collins. It's not as good as the original book, Road To Perdition, but it is an interesting little read, telling more of what happens between the beginning and the end of the original story. Nice touch. In the introduction, Collins notes in passing that after the movie came out, the original made it onto the New York Times Bestseller List. I don't know how many books is required to hit that mark but I bet that means more people bought that book in that year than bought an X-Men or a Batman comic that year.

Is that an untapped market for commercial non-superhero comic stories? I kind of expect so. I mean, I believe the trade paperbacks of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen outsell either of those as well. Now, clearly having a moderately successful movie brings some hype here, but why aren't they bringing their own hype? DC seems prepared to sell more copies of A History of Violence to coincide with the hype that will surround the upcoming film adaptation by David Cronenberg, but seriously, they have Warner Communications behind them. Why haven't they been bringing their own goddamn hype?

Anyway...


I'm currently looking over Black Panther by Jack Kirby. Rather difficult to follow, like much of Kirby's '70s material... although not, as far as I can tell, worth the effort in the same way that, say, the New Gods stuff is. It still brims over with creativity and the color work only makes me wish all the more that DC would get their whole Kirby catalog fully restored and colored like that.


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