Saturday, January 27, 2007

Chapter 4 marathon -- finished.

Eight more inks. Chapter 4 marathon finished. Now there's chapters 5 and 6, plus the chap. 4-6 tone marathons. I don't know if I'll be blogging photos of those, but I have to say thank you to everyone that replied with encouragement, enthusiasm, and interest while I documented this one. It really bolstered my morale for working to finish this project in so many ways, and I'm very grateful. =)

I'm also very grateful for Sorcerers & Secretaries accolades. The first book made it onto ALA/YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens 2007 list, an honorable mention on Publisher's Weekly first annual critic's poll,'s Best of Year list, and a nomination for the Cybil awards. Thank you for tipping your hats at my first book! There were so many great graphic novels that came out this year, so check out those lists if you want recommendations! Some of the lists are old news, but I was too embarrassed to post about it earlier...

Also an interesting discussion on the John Byrne forum that Kazu pointed out to me. Here's an excerpt from one of John Byrne's posts:

Once upon a time, comics used to be able to offer something Hollywood couldn't. The way I expressed it was that when George Lucas wanted to film an alien planet, he had to take his crew to Tunisia, whereas I shot on location.

Comics had a "bigness" that the movies didn't. To do in a movie what Jack Kirby did in a comic would either cost most of the production budget, or run the risk of looking incredibly cheesy. But that's not so, anymore. Computer graphics have provided moviemakers with essentially the same "pallette" Kirby had -- if you want that alien cityscape, or that starship, or that incredible parallel dimension, you simply create it in the computer.

So, when we see something like STAR WARS, or SKY CAPTAIN, or SPIDER-MAN, we see the stuff that used to be strictly the province of comics -- and we see it bigger and better.

What's odd, tho, is that the current crop of comic creators seems largely to have responded to this challenge by backing down. They have effectively surrendered to Hollywood, saying "I can't do what they do, so I will do less." So we get painted panels of Tony Stark talking on his cell phone. We get heroes standing around arguing with each other. We get whole issues in which the title character does not appear in costume. (We are, after all, embarassed by costumes. Hollywood told us we should be.)

What we don't get, except very rarely, is the kind of over-the-top stuff that used to be the cornerstone of superhero comics. We don't get Superman smashing thru walls, we get him sitting on clouds. We don't get the Hulk ripping tanks apart, we get page after page of Bruce Banner feeling sorry for himself.

I don't feel like I have any expertise in the area of superhero comics, I stopped reading them around the time Gen13 came out, and to be honest I have only the vaguest notion of who John Byrne is. But I thought it was an intriguing insight.

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