Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Best of 2007 FEVER!!! (no, this is not my list)

-Just wanted to pay my respects to Al Scaduto. Like most people who've commented on the passing, I mostly came to know of his work from The Comics Curmudgeon's Josh Fruhlinger (who has a nice writeup here). Sounds like a nice guy, someone who made a career out of being a cartoonist in a way that may not be possible in today's industry. Mike Lynch has more details on Scaduto's professional career. And it's kind of nice that a comics blog put Scaduto on the radar for a lot of people, including me. That's why I don't hate every blog.

-I hadn't seen this mentioned elsewhere (except Jason Aaron's blog): the Washington Post's Best of 2007 list:

Army@Love #1
Exit Wounds
Luxuria: Casanova, Vol. 1
The Other Side
The Plain Janes
Sentences: The Life of M.F. Grimm

My own thoughts, in convenient list form:
1. That's a whole lot of Vertigo, man.
2. It's awfully strange to see a single issue (Army@Love #1) among all the collections and OGNs.
3. Is it too early to declare that Exit Wounds is going to be on more best of lists than anything else published this year? I mean, I don't think it's at a Fun Home level of saturation, but I don't see anything else unseating it.
4. Not the worst list I've seen so far, but one written from a perspective very different from my own.

Other recent lists include this one from Time which is sure to have people bitching about the inclusion of Marvel Zombies (but which I like a lot better than the list printed above), and this rather idiosyncratic one from New York Magazine--but didn't Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms come out last year? (both lists courtesy Flog). And guess which book is on both those lists as well?

Meanwhile, none of these lists really bear any resemblance to my own, which is coming along pretty nicely now. Still need to read Exit Wounds, though. Maybe I'll pick it up this week, since I won't be getting anything else except maybe the new Hate Annual. But that's not actually on Diamond's shipping list for this week. Hmm.

-Most of you have already seen this, but Chris Mautner has begun a multi-part interview with Joe "Jog" McCulloch. Like everyone else with a comics-related blog, I'm a great admirer of Jog's work. It's one of the shining examples of the potential of blogs to make the comics industry better. Jog's a great advocate for comics, and a better ambassador for comics blogs than anyone I can think of. I'm eager to see where the interview goes.

-Cedric Daniels is in a Cadillac commercial? Anyone else think that was weird?

-Tom Brevoort on the the old "three bag" format of merchandising older comics. I'm not sure if I remember ever seeing any Marvel comics in this kind of package--maybe the Star Wars books, but I'm not sure. What I do remember are Whitman three packs. Whitman, if you don't know, was the successor to Gold Key. I used to see these Whitman three packs in one particular grocery store chain (Community Cash), where there was usually a rather motley assortment available. The most desirable were the old Disney books, followed by the packs featuring other cartoon characters (I remember Pink Panther and Bugs Bunny in particular). I'm not absolutely certain, but I seem to recall some packs had issues of Solar and Magnus; I definitely was already familiar with both characters when I saw them in my father's massive Silver Age collection.

The weirdest of the bunch, though, was the old licensed SF show pack. The Whitman stock at Community Cash never seemed to rotate, and I distinctly remember that particular three pack sitting around for months and months before I finally asked for it. I can't even remember which comics were in that pack. I want to say that Battlestar Galactica was one of them, but that might be because repeats of it were running on Saturday afternoons around the same time (plus I'm not sure Western ever had the rights to Battlestar Galactica, or even that there was a Battlestar Galactica comic from the 70s/80s). Ditto for Buck Rogers, except I'm pretty sure that Western did have that license. The one thing I'm sure of was there was an issue of Space Family Robinson with a weird feature on the Zodiac. I'd never heard of astrology before then, but it was instantly fascinating because it was another system of classification. I never really believed in it, but I always loved taxonomical systems. And the Zodiac was especially neat because it also intersected with astronomy and mythology, sort of. Don't remember anything about the actual comic, though.

Mostly I remember those three packs as the sort of thing I didn't really want that bad, but which I'd occasionally beg for out of boredom while at the grocery store. Kind of like those packages of all the little individual serving boxes of cereal. Mom never wanted to buy us those things because my brother and I would only eat the sugary stuff, leaving us with a pantry full of Grape Nuts and Alpha-Bits. There was no real Grape Nuts equivalent in those three packs--I read every comic bought for me, no matter how boring or incomprehensible--but the money probably would have been better spent on comics I'd actually re-read later.


Tom Bondurant said...

I saw the 3-packs at Kmart all the time. One of the Marvel packs I remember had an Avengers issue as the headliner.

Also, Marvel produced a Battlestar Galactica comic from 1979-1981. It started with adaptations of the first couple of episodes and then went off on its own, eventually winding up written and drawn by Walt Simonson.

Anonymous said...

Town/Country came out in early March of this year, I think.

Todd C. Murry said...

Yeah, Marvel had the Galactica licence and I never saw one in a 3 pack, but Western had the Black Hole (that Disney movie with Max von Sydow and some cute robots) that were definately in 3 packs. I had gotten a 3 pack with the first 3 issues of Black Hole (which I remember as unusual... the three packs were usually mixed not several issues of the same comic) - the first 2 were the movie adaptation, and the third was post-movie adventure, which was also odd cause' the end of the movie has eveyone fall into the black hole without indicating whether they would survive.

I remember 2 different 3-packs with the Avengers, issues 185 and 186 (I think... both were the Quicksilver/Scarlet Witch Wondegore origin related issues of Byrne's run) which were in different packs.

Anonymous said...

It's pretty obvious that WaPo is on the DC comp list.

JK Parkin said...

I remember buying a lot of those Marvel three-packs back in the day. Any road trip we went on meant a stop at Stuckey's, where I remember getting several issues of Uncanny X-Men circa the Dark Phoenix saga.

At the time, those issues were hard to find on the spinner racks at the local 7-Eleven, and since I hadn't yet discovered my first comic shop, it was a way to find "back issues" that I otherwise wouldn't have had.

Jack Norris said...

I remember 3-packs of DCs at the local corner store, when the next closest source of comics and closest source of single issues was too far for me to get to without parental assistance (for a couple of years, anyway). They're how I ended up with like 4 copies of that one Batman (or was it Detective?) issue with the two -panel thing showing Batman shooting Talia in the first panel and Gordon shooting Batman in the second.
Also, on which Earth do you class Alpha-Bits as not a sugary cereal? Shouldn't you have listed Total or All-Bran or something?

Jack Norris said...

Also, as a hardcore Marvel type at the time, it was a total sign of desperation when I ended up buying them, because a) I was buying DC and b) I was buying 3-packs which could have duplicates or something shitty in the middle. Just had to have some kind of superhero fix.

Dick Hyacinth said...

I didn't like any cereal that described its flavor as "sugar" or "honey." So I never liked Honey Combs, Smacks, Sugar/Golden Crisp, or anything like that. I did like Frosted Flakes, though.

And thanks to David for the clarification on Town/Country. I actually checked the book and there's no copyright data for the American edition.

Anonymous said...

No problem, Dick. I've been grumbling to myself over why it hasn't shown up on more lists, so I had to check to make sure I wasn't a year off.

Lambo said...

I've noticed whenever I see someone from The Wire doing something outside the show, it feels really weird. I'm almost disappointed, because it's like I feel they should never be associated with something else because The Wire is so great. Prez was on an episode of CSI I had endure with family over Thanksgiving. I felt sorry for him, like he was mucking about in the bottom of the barrel or something. The worse part is, we've only got ten episodes left.