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California, Stay Away From Here

This is it for me, ladies and gentlemen. All the more reason to go out with a bang. First up, it’s time to Break some News and talk with Secret Acres about their momentous changes.

“We started Secret Acres during a comics explosion, and I may not be the brightest light on the tree, but I never expected that to continue forever. I believe in ups and downs.”

What’s that? You’re not full? Well, get ready then–because it’s time for Katie Skelly to sit you down and provide The Journal’s official take on one of the most talked about manga of  2017: My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness.

“For Kabi, it’s less about experiencing the sensations of a sexual encounter with another person, and more about driving herself to have checked off certain notches in a sexual narrative (i.e., was I kissed, was I embraced, was I penetrated?). My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness itself may suffer a similar issue: in an almost desperate attempt to assemble all the blocks of Kabi’s story, the comic displaces its own need to find aesthetic purpose.”

And it wouldn’t be the Journal if we didn’t dive into another one of the news-of-the-day tarpits headfirst. We could’ve done another Rich Tommaso think piece (we already linked to a few of those on Monday), but figured hey–why not just grab the horse, open his mouth, and grab handfuls of whatever the hell he keeps in there? (In this tortured analogy, Rich Tommaso is a horse.)

“I don’t think it was unreasonable for me to think the numbers of initial orders would match somewhat those on She Wolf and Dark Corridor, both of which had ZERO promotion before their releases. And yes, those first two issues determine whether I can move forward with the next project, because they account for months of income.

ELSEWHERE? SURE!

Dick Sprang–who, I agree, has the best name in comics–doesn’t get talked about enough, but I think that’s probably for the same reason we don’t talk about how amazing constellations are: he’s part of the fabric, and his art tends to look as if it was rolled out onto the page like wallpaper. Look at this page. You just know that Brian Bolland looks at that red robot every couple of weeks and weeps tears of shame. “This was made by a human being”, he cries.

This review of a new Mister Miracle comic comes with a pretty extreme degree of hyperbole, but that isn’t particularly unusual–super-hero comics tend to garner extreme praise from a certain kind of reviewer when they color outside of the lines a bit–I should know, as i used to write the same kind of thing when Greg Rucka would put out a new issue of Checkmate. It did the trick, too–I went to a comic book store on a Wednesday for the first time since…well, it’s been a while. They were actually already sold out of that issue of Mister Miracle, and the boss rolled his eyes and said “they’re coming out of the woodwork for that one”. As I hadn’t seen him in at least four years, he had a point! In an amusing twist that I’m not going to try to read into, the 17-year-old who currently has the thankless role of alphabetizing and bagging the purchases of middle-aged comics buyers gave me his copy. I feebly protested, knowing full well that I was not being given a copy of Mister Miracle #1 because of my status as Comics Journal Guest Editor, but because I was an old, pathetic man and he could smell my flesh decaying.

It’s fine. It’s fine! The comic chooses to focus initially on the more real world elements of a Mister Miracle story–Scott Free at home kind of stuff, this time he’s sad, but that’s just a fake-out, they’re still going to do all that Darkseid’s-comin’ thing. The art is Alex Maleev-y stuff, with a bunch of stylistic flourishes that exist to call attention to themselves (during the portion of the comic where Mister Miracle is being interviewed on a nightly talk show by Glorious Godfrey, the images are filtered to look like VHS footage), and the comic is interspersed throughout with black panels that say “Darkseid is”. This reviewer found that to be “bone-chilling” and/or “harrowing.” I thought that word choice was a bit extreme, but that same reviewer compares the La La Land/Moonlight screw up at the Oscars to the assassination of John F. Kennedy, so maybe he’s just an enthusiastic guy! In keeping with their status as “the annoying comics website you’d like to write off that actually gets it right sometimes”, this Bleeding Cool review is sober and pretty accurate, whereas this io9 recap of each page makes the same dumb assumption that was made ten times over back when Grant Morrison was “reinventing” Fourth World characters, which is to claim that “there is no better way to honor Kirby’s contribution to the comics world” then to remix his characters for the umpteenth time. I’m sure that’s what he would have loved. I mean, Kirby’s entire career trajectory and life choices say the exact opposite, but I bet if he had lived to be 100 he would have gotten over his own personality. For what it’s worth, Mister Miracle #1 isn’t funny, and it isn’t pretty and it isn’t very exciting. But it is very serious and features someone attempting suicide while still prominently featuring super-hero costumes. It cost four dollars.

 


7 Responses to California, Stay Away From Here

  1. Jones, one of the Jones boys says:

    Aw shucks, I was hoping for a guest appearance by Abhay or Tegan, for old times’ sake. Excelsior, Tucker

    I read that Vision comic Tom King wrote and holy moley why was that so hyped? Even allowing for the extreme praise you mention, I just did not understand one bit why people lost their shit over it.

  2. Jack says:

    I know it is CBR and they have loose standards at best, but how many comics can you have really read if a black panel with text breaking up a sequence is somehow world shattering? Mister Miracle #1 is the Hawkeye #11 of 2017. Also really disturbed at how people gloss over King’s time in the CIA during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Who cares about war crimes when nerds want Batman comics?!?!

  3. @Jack
    It’s even worse. For a while there, King being a part of the CIA was a selling point to the comics he wrote.

    And Gerads isn’t spotless either https://twitter.com/MitchGerads/status/589126428383293440

  4. The Goon Googlemesh says:

    Vision was the” bad comic every shitty comics website declared was major” of 2016. I’m so tired of writers using robots as ways to conveniently get around complaints of verbose, shitty dialogue.

  5. sansansan says:

    “This reviewer found that to be “bone-chilling” and/or “harrowing.” I thought that word choice was a bit extreme, but that same reviewer compares the La La Land/Moonlight screw up at the Oscars to the assassination of John F. Kennedy, so maybe he’s just an enthusiastic guy!”

    bless you

  6. Max M. says:

    This was a great week on TCJ, thanks much!

  7. John says:

    Really great posts all week, thanks Tucker!

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