Friday, July 30, 2010

Shame on DC for abandoning kids comics

I was surprised and sad to see, via the publisher's solicitations for upcoming comics, that DC is phasing out its superhero comics for young readers: Batman: Brave and the Bold, Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam and DC Super Friends. It looks as if, after a team-up mini-series with characters from the Archie Comics universe, that Tiny Titans may no long run as a regular title either.

I'm sad because these titles provided a way for younger kids to enjoy characters they see on TV and in ads for PG-13 movies they're too young to see but get excited about anyway because of all the ads and fast food toys. And I'm especially sad because my own children enjoyed these titles. My 12-year-old son, a big fan of cartooning, enjoyed the manic, imaginatively illustrated Billy Batson title. And my 6-year-old daughter loved DC Super Friends. Not only that, the title has been a big boost in helping her learn how to read.

Sure, there are other -- and even better --- comics out there for kids. My son has become a fan of Bone, Asterix, Calvin & Hobbes, Amulet, Tintin and other titles far afield of the mainstream superhero world. My daughter loves Owly and Dark Horse's reprints of Little Lulu. But she also loves Wonder Woman. And now it looks as if there won't be any age-appropriate way for her to enjoy the amazon's exploits.

When I was 9 or 10, I had a whole spinner rack of stuff I could pick up an enjoy. But the mainstream Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, etc., titles are no longer really geared or appropriate to that age group. I'd be ok with my daughter reading 1970s-era Wonder Woman tales, and maybe I'll pick up some DC Showcase volumes for her to enjoy. But I think it's a little sad that we live in the world where most comics featuring characters that were created for children are no longer appropriate for children.

Valerie D'Orazio, over at Occasional Superheroine, nicely sums up this pitiful paradigm:

Having comics be essentially "taken over" by hardcore male fans -- blocking out women, and eventually children -- is ultimately the worst thing that ever happened to this industry. I'm not talking "worst" in terms of the ethical reasons -- but just from a simple business standpoint alone. The "fanboy revolution" killed not only the female market, but also the children's market. Alienating 1/2 of the population is one thing -- but then to knowingly cut off the future generation of readers as well! Remarkably short-sighted and selfish.
I'm glad my children share my love of comics, that they there are titles out there for them to enjoy. But it's too bad they'll be losing out on these DC titles they enjoyed so much. I don't know that my son -- now that he's getting into his teens and the demographic Marvel and DC gear most of their books to (well, actually, I think the demo may be more 30s and 40s and getting rapidly older) -- will develop an interest in mainstream superhero titles or not. Given the dearth of female-friendly and kid-friendly super-titles, I'm pretty doubtful my daughter ever will.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Green Lantern movie character posters



2010 Eisner Award winners

Here's a list of top winners in this year's Eisner comics awards:

Best Short Story
"Urgent Request," by Gene Luen Yang and Derek Kirk Kim, in The Eternal Smile (First Second)

Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)
Captain America #601: "Red, White, and Blue-Blood," by Ed Brubaker and Gene Colan (Marvel)

Best Continuing Series
The Walking Dead, by Robert Kirkman and Charles Adlard (Image)

Best Limited Series or Story Arc

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by Eric Shanower and Skottie Young (Marvel)

Best New Series
Chew, by John Layman and Rob Guillory (Image)

Best Publication for Kids
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz hardcover, by L. Frank Baum, Eric Shanower and Skottie Young (Marvel)

Best Publication for Teens
Beasts of Burden, by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson (Dark Horse)

Best Humor Publication
Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 5: Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe, by Bryan Lee O'Malley (Oni Press)

Best Anthology
Popgun, Vol. 3, edited by Mark Andrew Smith, D. J. Kirkbride and Joe Keatinge (Image)

Best Digital Comic
Sin Titulo, by Cameron Stewart

Best Reality-Based Work
A Drifting Life, by Yoshihiro Tatsumi (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Adaptation from Another Work
Richard Stark's Parker: The Hunter, adapted by Darwyn Cooke (IDW Publishing)

Best Graphic Album — New
Asterios Polyp, by David Mazzucchelli (Pantheon)

Best Graphic Album — Reprint
Absolute Justice, by Alex Ross, Jim Krueger and Doug Braithewaite (DC Comics)


Best Archival Collection/Project — Strips
Bloom County: The Complete Library, Vol. 1, by Berkeley Breathed, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW Publishing)

Best Archival Collection/Project — Comic Books
The Rocketeer: The Complete Adventures deluxe edition, by Dave Stevens, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW Publishing)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material
The Photographer, by Emmanuel Guibert, Didier Lefèvre and Frédéric Lemerier (First Second)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material — Asia
A Drifting Life, by Yoshihiro Tatsumi (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Writer
Ed Brubaker, Captain America, Daredevil, Marvels Project (Marvel) Criminal, Incognito (Icon)

Best Writer/Artist
David Mazzucchelli, Asterios Polyp (Pantheon)

Best Writer/Artist–Nonfiction
Joe Sacco, Footnotes in Gaza (Metropolitan/Holt)

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team
J. H. Williams III, Detective Comics (DC Comics)


Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)
Jill Thompson, Beasts of Burden (Dark Horse); Magic Trixie and the Dragon (HarperCollins Children's Books)

Best Cover Artist
J. H. Williams III, Detective Comics (DC Comics)

Best Coloring
Dave Stewart, Abe Sapien, B.P.R.D., The Goon, Hellboy, Solomon Kane, Umbrella Academy, Zero Killer (Dark Horse); Detective Comics (DC Comics); Luna Park (Vertigo)


Best Lettering
David Mazzucchelli, Asterios Polyp (Pantheon)


Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism
The Comics Reporter, produced by Tom Spurgeon

Best Comics-Related Book
The Art of Harvey Kurtzman: The Mad Genius of Comics, by Denis Kitchen and Paul Buhle (Abrams ComicArts)

Best Publication Design
Absolute Justice, designed by Curtis King and Josh Beatman (DC Comics)

Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award
Vault of Midnight, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Hall of Fame
• Burne Hogarth
• Bob Montana
• Steve Gerber
• Dick Giordano
• Michael Kaluta
• Mort Weisinger

Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award
Jeannie Schulz

Bill Finger Award for Achievement in Comic Book Writing
Otto Binder, Gary Friedrich


Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award
Marian Churchland (Beast)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Movie poster: One Million Years B.C. and She

Discounted DVD new releases July 27, 2010: Clash of the Titans, Batman Under the Hood, Agatha Christie Hour, Ringo, Sgt. Bilko, Hannie Caulder, Stephen Fry in America, I Need That Record

Click the pics to order discounted DVDs from Amazon:

Clash of the TitansBatman: Under the Red Hood (Amazon Exclusive Limited Edition with Litho Cel) [Blu-ray]Agatha Christie Hour Set 1Live at the Greek Theatre 2008Sgt. Bilko: The Phil Silvers Show - First SeasonHannie Caulder (1971)Stephen Fry in America (2pc)I Need That Record! The Death (or Possible Survival) of the Independent Record Store

Discounted CD new releases July 27, 2010: Ringo, Judy Collins, Mark Olson

Click the pics to order discounted CDs from Amazon:

Live at the Greek Theatre 2008In My LifeMany Colored Kite (Dig)