Another San Diego Comic Con has come and gone. With each passing year, the event gains momentum and further entrenches itself into the mainstream, gaining new fans with it’s continued focus on film and non-genre topics and alienating long-time comic fans who feel that their favorite medium continues to be marginalized. Whichever side of the fence you fall on, it’s impossible to deny: the geek has inherited the earth. Comic-Con is, by now, known for having a little something for everyone, whether you’re into anime, superheroes, big budget blockbuster movies, toys, gaming or just checking out the booth babes.
And contrary to the prevailing belief held by many of our brethren, there are plenty of comic books to be found at Comic-Con. Yes, Hollywood has taken over, but that doesn’t mean the event’s namesake has been forgotten. In fact, today’s Comicscape looks back on our favorite comic announcements from SDCC 2010. So while the Tron Legacy footage looked awesome and it’s wonderful to know that Joss Whedon has been confirmed to direct Avengers – this is Comicscape. We’ll let Rob handle the Comics2Film and focus on the printed page today.
While you were busy watching the Avengers Assemble, IDW dropped what we consider a pretty fancy bomb on us: 2011 will see the release of the Definitive Flash Gordon and Jungle Jim. Reprinting every Sunday strip from these two legendary series (both of which were created by Alex Raymond) in an oversized 12x16 format, restored and recolored and printed in their original format.
While we aren’t quite as familiar with Jungle Jim, to say that we’re Flash Gordon fans would be something of an understatement. And if you’re unfamiliar with the lush artwork of Alex Raymond, there likely won’t be a better way to experience it for the first time… especially since the Checker Books collections are out of print and rather pricey on eBay. It doesn’t matter what the lyrics of the song say; as far as we’re concerned, this news makes IDW the real saviors of the universe!
We have a dictionary and we know that nepotism is defined as favoritism given to friends or family with no regard to merit. So we understand that you might be concerned that we’re showing favoritism by mentioning Mania’s own Rob Worley and the launch of his new title Scratch9 (with artist Jason T. Kruse) in our San Diego wrap-up column.
But if you’ve been reading Comicscape for any length of time, you know of our love of kids’ comics and our respect for quality. Folks, its only nepotism if there’s no regard to merit… and believe us when we say that this book has plenty of merit. Having read the first couple of issues, we can attest to the fact that Scratch9 is an absolute blast and we’re pleased as punch (and a little bit jealous) that Con-goers got an advance look at the completed first issue. And yeah… maybe we’re a little proud of Rob too.
Last fall, the coolest crossover didn’t feature heroes from two different companies meeting for the first time or an entire universe of costumed adventurers teaming up to take on a threat that none of them could handle on their own. It was Strange Tales, which featured a host of indie comics creators taking a stab at classic Marvel characters. Featuring such luminaries as Jason, Jim Rugg, Stan Sakai, Tony Millionaire and many more, Strange Tales got the pretentious art fans to take notice of the tights n’ flights and let the cape fans in on the worst kept secret in the industry: there’s a lot more out there than just superheores.
If you didn’t read Strange Tales, pick up the trade. And get ready for the sequel, which was announced at SDCC. With names such as Alex Robinson, Jeff Lemire, Terry Moore, Rafael Grampa, Gilbert Hernandez and the late Harvey Pekar attached to this upcoming series, it may very well outshine the first one.
Vertigo’s Executive Editor Karen Berger confirmed that DC characters currently inhabiting the Vertigo universe will return home to the DCU proper. Naturally, this has been met with a rather large amount of controversy from fans with concerns that they’ll see John Constantine end up in tights and a cape or the eventual demise of the Vertigo line as a whole.
While this is undoubtedly huge news, we’re honestly not all that concerned. The backbone of Vertigo is formed by stuff like Fables, Joe the Barbarian and other creator-owned works, so we’re not worried about the line disappearing any time soon. Hellblazer in the JSA? We doubt it. The folks running DC are showing us that they’re willing to take some chances, but we don’t think they’re stupid. We’ll admit that seeing Death pop up in Action Comics is a bit disconcerting, but the bottom line is whether or not the stories are any good. And even if John Constantine quits smoking and teams up with Superman, the important thing is to keep reminding yourself “They’re all imaginary stories… they’re all imaginary stories.”
Okay, so this one isn’t exactly comic news, per se, but we can’t resist mentioning it. The Westboro Baptist Church has made a name for themselves as hate-mongering, bigoted jerks. They don’t seem to be attempting to convert new followers or save any souls; they just like to remind those of us with common sense and tolerant viewpoints that we’re all going to burn in Hell. These small-minded losers enjoy picketing soldiers’ funerals and Holocaust museums and this year, they decided to pick on the San Diego Comic Con.
And how did we fire back? Rather than shout any angry epithets or threaten violence, the folks at the Con dressed up in skintight spandex and mocked the Westboro Baptist folks – which is exactly what they deserved. To insult them or argue with them would be showing far too much respect and while simply ignoring them might’ve been the smarter approach, prancing around in a Robin costume with a sign that says “Superman Loves Fags” just seems like a lot more fun.
It reminds us of a quote from Mr. Spock: “Infinite diversity in infinite combinations… symbolizing the elements of truth and beauty.” After seeing the footage from the Con and witnessing the way our fellow fanboys and girls responded to these purveyors of hatred and intolerance, we’ve never been prouder to be geeks.