Weekend Pattering for October 14th, 2016-- Sean Phillips Revisited

Previously on Panel Patter

Cover of the Next Week

O.k.  It's actually two covers. I believe the top tier may be a variant and the bottom tier is the front and back cover of the regular edition of the new quarterly Love And Rockets #1.  I love the push and pull that exists between these covers, showing us almost the same things just from different angles and perspectives in time.  Even though they've done some iconic covers over the past 30+ years, sometimes I think that Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez just don't get enough credit for their compositions.  

Love and Rockets #1 is out on October 19th, 2016.


** Ed Brubaker on Westworld, The Fade Out, and his immersion into Hollywood (The A.V. Club)-- Oliver Sava talks to Ed Brubaker about a lot of his work lately, including the HBO show that he's currently working on.  I particularly enjoyed the point where he talks about the evolution of Sean Phillips' artwork in Kill or Be Killed.
I came up with the idea at some point during the first issue of doing those pages that are like splash pages with text running down the side, which you’ve seen in European comics, and I think Frank Miller did it in Sin City sometimes. It was something I’d never tried before, and I wanted to do it in a way to free up the narrative from necessarily having to tie in with every moment of the pictures. And then Sean, when we were first talking about the design of the book, sent over his idea for having every page be a full-page bleed. He’s still using the three-tier structure that we’ve been using since we started Criminal, but he’s experimenting a bit more with how he handles the page.
Brubaker's most recent "From the Desk Of..." newsletter this week previewed the just-released third issue and featured a stunning black-and-white page from the upcoming fourth issue.

Sean is almost done with issue 4, which looks amazing even in black and white so far, and I'll give you a secret tease to that here, with one of my favorite pages that doesn't spoil anything:

I'm in love with this page and Phillips' artwork from this series.  I see a lot of  Al Williamson and Alex Raymond (and even Dave Sim doing his best Alex Raymond impersonation) on this page.  It's beautiful.  Few comic artists have ever been able to make me believe in their snowy drawings the way that Phillips is doing it here.  Part of me wants to see a black&white edition of any of the Brubaker/Phillips joints but then you'd end up missing the coloring of Elizabeth Breitweiser, Val Staples or Dave Stewart.  I think if you see anything here it's how great of an image and foundation Phillips lays down for the final printed page.

 ** “And It Lasted Forever”: An Interview with Tom Spurgeon (The Comics Journal)-- As a leadup to this weekend's CXC show in Columbus, OH., Tim Hodler interviewed the show's festival director Tom Spurgeon about his many ventures such as the show, The Comic Reporter, his time at Fantagraphics as the editor of The Comics Journal and his upcoming book about the history of Fantagraphics.  Spurgeon has a unique view of comics because of the various roles he's played in it during his lifetime.

There's a lot of great stuff to dig through that interview for but this is the part that particularly stuck me.  Hodler asked Spurgeon about the evolution of comics and Tom answered:
Still, without some sort of structure… well, right now it just feels like we’re making comics and then throwing them into the ocean. I don’t even know when people I like are going to have comics out, and this is my job. I can’t imagine how soul-killing it is to work on something for two years, have it out, get one review and maybe a convention out of it, and then never hear anyone talk about what you did ever again. I see it as a systemic failure: we’ve had all the things happen to most media businesses decentralizing and spreading out cost, and ours was never that strong to begin with.

This and That

** That's Not Who We Are (The Nib)-- Mike Dawson's latest comic at the Nib is kind of scary when you stop to think about how long white people have tried to justify that they know what's best for black people.

** What Is It Like To Raise Kids In Malaysia When You're LGBT? (The Nib)-- Kazimir Lee's explores the troubles of LGBT parents in Malaysia.  It's a stunning look at a conservative country's view of parenting.

Your Moment of... Batman?

** SNYDER & CAPULLO To Reunite for 2017 DC Summer Event... And Yes, BATMAN Is In It (Newsarama)-- George Marston reports that at NYCC Scott Snyder announced that he and Greg Capullo will be working on DC's next summer event.  And all I can say to that is...




You see, that means that Greg Capullo is returning to DC and getting away from Mark Millar's grubby little hands.

Millar and Capullo's Reborn came out this week and it was... alright I guess?  After Capullo made such a splash on the New 52 Batman with Snyder, his storytelling with Millar feels really off and I guess I'm more than willing to blame the author for that.

Basically, my review of Reborn #1 would have been, "well, it's just another Mark Millar comic."  And I don't think that's saying too much as most of Millar's stuff lately has been really just kind of bland, saccharine, Hollywood blockbuster comics.  At Sequart, Ian Dawe kind of hits the nail on the head for me about a lot of Millar's recent comics.
The book... mines familiar Millar thematic territory, namely the transformation of ordinary people into superheroes.
Wanted.  Kick-Ass.  Huck.  Starlight.  Kingsman.  MPH.  The Chosen.

It is the through-line of so many of Millar's comics and I don't think he has a lot of variation between these stories.  And that's what gets me to think, "it's just another Mark Millar comic." 

And Hollywood loves it.

I hope that Capullo gets a huge payday out of this when the movie gets made.  I hope Capullo can go back to drawing fun and interesting comics after this because Reborn #1 wasn't really it.  Capullo's art seemed a bit off to me.  Even though this is the penciler, inker, and colorist from Batman, something felt different here. It didn't pulse like those issues of Batman did.  It didn't sing.  

It was just another Mark Millar comic.

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