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Damp Squibs

Why does a week that’s so short feel so long? Holidays on Wednesdays are just wrong. In any case, we have a your standard comic-book-related Friday distraction for you, with Tucker Stone’s weekly column. His guests this week include regulars Nate Bulmer and Abhay Khosla, along with a special visit from this week’s holiday-defying MVP, Joe McCulloch! Here’s Joe on the old (and new) Ozymandius story:

It’s a commentary on very act of staring into multiple television screens, positing a means of discerning some meaning from contemporary media overload; William Burroughs’s cut-up technique is cited, and, insofar as a wall of television screens is analogous to the stern grids of artist Dave Gibbons’s page layouts, the alert reader is duly congratulated for having sifted through the unorthodox POV shifts and fragmented character histories of the past ten issues to arrive at this point of a nefarious master plan’s gala revelation, though [Alan ]Moore, being Moore, slips in a final puckish joke through the issue’s title: a statement of bravado which the English majors among the readership will know is the last-standing legacy of a doomed ruler’s supreme plans. Basically, Moore is giving away the book’s ending, beyond even the seeming ambiguity of the famous corporate-owned ketchup dripping onto the world-renowned corporate-owned smiley face t-shirt of that fat guy whose childhood I am dying to explore.

Len Wein, in contrast, spends his opening page basically explaining the concept of ambiguity to the slower readers, via a block of metafictional rib-nudging wherein Ozy goes on about how very nearly flawless his crazy plan is, though history will be the judge in the end — because his plan totally might not stand up to history at all, that was the ending of the original book, remember? It’s dramatic irony!

Elsewhere on the internet, many things have been posted. Including…

—Our own Tucker Stone again, this time gushing over Carl Barks.

The New York Post tracked down Steve Ditko for an article, in which he makes it clear that he has not shared in the profits for the gajillion-dollar Spider-Man juggernaut:

“No,” he tells The Post, when asked if he was paid anything for the four recent Spider-Man movies.

“I haven’t been involved with Spider-Man since the ’60s.”

Whatever the case, the artist doesn’t seem much interested in money. Although he could make thousands doing commissions for fans, he consistently refuses. Instead, he forges ahead on black-and-white, self-published books with titles like “The Avenging Mind.”

“I do those because that’s all they’ll let me do,” he tells The Post, suggesting big publishers aren’t interested in his work anymore.

—The regular Alison Bechdel links are slowing down from daily to weekly, but here’s an interesting one: Lee Konstantinou at The New Inquiry.

—Your regular Jack Kirby link comes by way of Rodrigo Baeza’s look at Kirby’s Davy Crockett strips.

—Daniel Best has posted the transcript to an entertaining (as always) 1979 interview with Jim Steranko, which includes the new (to me) information that Steranko designed the sets and production for an unfinished Alain Resnais film!

—The magazine Guernica has an excerpt from Harvey Pekar & JT Waldman’s Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me.

—Donna Barstow is braver than I am. [I’m not taking a side on the argument, for the record.]

—Chris Pitzer has announced that AdHouse will no longer be in the distribution business.

Part two of the Mindless Ones’ extraordinarily thorough crosstalk on Moore & O’Neill’s LOEG: Century.


One Response to Damp Squibs

  1. Frank Santoro says:

    RE Ditko Post piece: That was nice… but now, of course, I’m worried that someone who reads it will get it into his head to break into Ditko’s studio in search of the “huge stacks of Spidey pages gathering dust that could be potentially worth millions.” Ditko will be there, sleeping, he will fight for the original art – solely on principle – leading to the next headline: “Spider-Man Creator Dies Defending Original Art.”

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