October 7, 2016

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Weekend Pattering for October 7th, 2016-- NYCC State of Mind Part II

** So last week, it seems I was prematurely lamenting the lack of pre-news from NYCC so everyone tried to make up for it this week.



** EXCLUSIVE: JAMES STOKOE IS EAGER TO GIGER WITH ALIENS: DEAD ORBIT (CBR)-- At the still new-car smelling CBR, Paul Montgomery interviews James Stokoe about an upcoming Alien story that Stokoe is going to be writing.

“I always joke that when other kids were getting older and falling out with superhero comics, they went deep into [Dan] Clowes and Fantagraphics books and all that, but I got into ‘Aliens’ comics,” Sokoe tells CBR. “I got almost all of my comics at a local used book store, so I my selection was pretty limited, but I loved — and continue to love — a ton of those older series. So, on a personal note, this series is a chance to go digging around that specific area of my creative DNA.”
If there's any justice in this world, there will be some kind of oversized version of this comic similar to the recently released collection of Stokoe's Godzilla work.  But honestly, this seems like a great pairing of artist and story that I can't wait to get my hands on.

And can we throw a bit of love to Dark Horse right now?  They're quietly publishing some of the best comics on the stands today.



** WARREN ELLIS, WILDSTORM UNIVERSE RETURN TO DC! (DC Comics)-- So DC announced that Warren Ellis was returning to DC to head up the relaunch of Wildstorm.  I have a number of thoughts on it.

  • Was the last time Ellis did anything in the Wildstorm milieu the last part of the wildly inconsistent WildC.A.T.S X-Men crossover?  
  • (Editor's note:  How could I possibly forget The Authority and Planetary?)
  • So when does Brian Woods get the call from Ellis?
  • Hopefully he has better luck at this than Grant Morrison ever did?  That first and only issue of Morrison's Wildcats comic had some of the best Jim Lee artwork from this century.
  • Why does Ellis do this?  This just sounds like a 1990s era Ellis move, similar to when he "show-ran a number of X-Men comics.
** 6 Comics for Westworld Fans (Barnes and Noble)-- Last Sunday, HBO premiered their new Westworld television show, which was pretty intriguing and I plan on watching it some more.  But with such a strong genre show, there was bound to be someone who would step up to the plate and do a "If you like Westworld, you're going to love these comics..." article and it seems that it was B&N's turn to do that.

I'm sure that these types of articles are good for people who have no idea about comics and try to use the internet to find out about them.  But this list from B&N just seems odd to me.  It's a really superficial reading of the television show and the comic.  You like the robots of Westworld? Then you'll love The Vision.  Like the western settings?  The Sixth Gun is the comic for you.  Their recommendation of East of West seems like the best one here, more based on tone and complexity than on plot or characters.

And even after reading their blurb a number of times, I really don't get their connections between Westworld and The Fade Out.



** The Best American Comics 2016 (Bill Kartalopoulos)-- I'll admit that I haven't always been the greatest fan of The Best American Comics series that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing puts out annually but the last couple of volumes have been particularly strong and the 2016 volume looks to be a unique collection of comics from mid-2014 to mid-2015.

But it's the list of comics that almost made the cut which is far more interesting.  I want to take a look at this book more to read Chast's reasoning about what comics made it into the book and why a lot of them just made the honorable-mention list.  



** CALLA CTHULHU & DORK! Comes To Dark Horse (Newsarama)-- And going back to that first section of this week's column that was singing the praise of Dark Horse, he's more great news, a relatively complete collection of Evan Dorkin's Dork! (minus the Milk and Cheese stuff.)  So by this time next year, we'll have nice collections  Dorkin's Dork!, Milk and Cheese, and Eltingville Club. 

Dorkin is one of those cartoonists that I wish was doing more work today.  He's long been one of my favorite cartoonists and his place in the evolution of comics from the underground days through the alt-comic days and even to today is often under-sold.  He's got a great voice and a wonderful sense of humor that's often hidden under rage and anger.



 ** Comics Journalism is alive!!! Pt II: Akhtar kickstarts new zine, Critical Chips (The Beat)-- Heidi MacDonald reports on a great new Kickstarter-- Zainab Akhtar's zine Critical Chips!  Akhtar just launched the Kickstarter for the zine this week and is zeroing in on her goal.  

Here's how Akhtar describes her zine:
Critical Chips is a 55-page, perfect-bound, full-colour, A5 zine that gathers new writing from 10 of comics most vital and engaging contemporary commentators. Subject topics are wide and varying, from examining the ending of Tite Kubo's Bleach to The Question and corporatisation; the secularisation of Satan to queerness in Krazy Kat; creator self care to comics academia; Jessica Jones to omake; Copra to the curious joy to be found in imperfect work.
She's always shown an interest in different ways to present comics and writing about comics but she's always shown great judgment in her ventures so this should be a great collection of essays about comics.