-So long to Johnny Bacardi. Hope you stick around leaving comments across the blogosphere. I also hope you reconsider at some point and come back.
-You need Powr Mastrs. Especially if you liked Mourning Star or Multiple Warheadz, cause there's a similar narrative device at work--you're plopped down in the middle of a very strange world with no information about how anything there works. Plus the characters are engaging and their designs interesting. It also reminds me of Leila Marzocchi's Niger, which I reviewed a few months back.* In the review, I said that Niger compared unfavorably with Larry Marder's Beanworld, a comparison I drew because they both were ecological fantasies. I thought Marzocchi's work suffered from an inadequate explanation of what was going on. What I didn't mention (but should have) is that Marzocchi might have intended to shroud the actual working of her ecosystem in mystery, in order to stir a sense of wonder or curiosity from her readers. It doesn't really work on that level either, I'm sorry to say--the weirdness isn't particularly compelling or entertaining. I'm not interested in the mysterious workings of her ecosystem, and said mystery doesn't supply enough atmosphere to make her characters more interesting.
Powr Mastrs, however, succeeds where Niger fails. There are clearly economic, political, and social relationships between the characters, but we have no idea how this system or systems work. Unlike Marder, I don't imagine that CF is interested symbiosis and dependencies in and of themselves; instead, he uses them as an effective way to bring greater texture to the world he's creating. I like that a lot. I don't know that we as readers will ever be privy to the laws which govern the world of Powr Mastrs, and I certainly can't make any claims about how much of this kind of thinking CF has done. It doesn't really matter. The hints of a complex system of obligations and dependencies are the exact right amoun to make CF's fictional universe richer, providing his vibrant characters with an equally vibrant environment. Like practically everyone else who's reviewed Powr Mastrs, I can't wait for the next volume.
*Sorry I never got around to reviewing the second issue, but I really didn't have much to say about it. I actually think the art was better in the first issue, and that was the main reason to buy it in the first place. I haven't decided if I'll buy the third issue.
-I finally got Jason Thompson's Manga: The Complete Guide yesterday, and somehow this led to me trying to explain Dragonball Z to my wife. In doing so, I came to realize that I liked that cartoon a lot more than the vast majority of superhero comics I've ever read. At least as far as plot and characterization go--when you start to factor in my preference for comics versus animation, it gets a little more complicated. But putting all that aside, it's not really close--watching Dragonball Z was a more entertaining experience than reading Lee and Claremont's X-Men (to choose something I liked as an adolescent) or Waid and Kitson's LSH (to choose something I liked as an adult). I don't know if there's any deeper statement to be made beyond this. I will add that I like Dr. Slump better than any variation on Dragonball, which thus means I like Dr. Slump more than almost any superhero comic I've ever read. But that's just common sense.
(Yes, I am aware of this. It's probably what sparked this line of thinking in the first place.)
-I also flipped through Best American Comics 2007 yesterday.* I don't know, looked pretty good to me. I mean, I'd probably get if I didn't already have a lot of this stuff. The main impression it left on me was the overwhelming desire to get Alias the Cat.
*Okay, I read a few of the stories while drinking coffee in Barnes & Noble. I bought Manga: The Complete Guide, so it's not like I was completely freeloading.
-I implore you, Steven Grant, to start naming names, or at least get a bit more specific. I'll limit myself to one criticism for now: "mainstream" and "indie" (by which I assume he means "real indie"--see the actual article for more on that) aren't just marketing, simply because the method of production is different. For DC and Marvel (and to a lesser extent Image and Dark Horse), the assembly line method is normative. This is not the case for "condescending," low-selling publishers. But then again, I think criticisms of the assembly line method of production are something of a sore spot for Grant. Anyway, if anyone wants to annotate his column for me, I'd appreciate it.