Stormy Weather and Comic Heroes

It's a wet and stormy day here in Cineville, and the gray skies actually have a weirdly beautiful, midwestern tinge to them.

Or they would, if I hadn't forgotten my umbrella, and hadn't had a class on the other side of campus this morning.

Hence, I'm sitting in my office drying off before class and warming myself with the Decaf's tomato basil soup. It seems like a good time to fight the cold and catch up on a number of bloggy topics that have escaped my attention amidst end-of-the-school-year work, with a special emphasis on four-color funnies. To wit:

-- Geez, it's about time.

--That superhero movie opens today, and is getting fairly positive reviews. There are the expected extremes, of course, ranging from Ain't It Cool's slobbering fanboy enthusiasm to David Denby's predictable nose-holding and condescension in The New Yorker (although even Denby, despite calling the film a "whooshing junk pile," has very kind words for Robert Downey, Jr.). It's early yet, but it currently has a 95% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, for folks who like to track movie openings like election results, and I quite like this quote from Steven D. Graydanus: "Smart, sardonic and more than a little silly, Iron Man is a successful super-hero movie that never takes itself too seriously." I will, of course, be back at some point soon with my own definitive review, but I'll leave you with this image, from comics blogger extraordinaire Mark Engblom, which you just might see real-life versions of in movie lines this weekend.

--Speaking of comics blogs, be sure to get over to Comics Should Be Good!, as they hurtle towards the final three picks of their Top 100 Comic Book Runs project. So far, everything from Transmet to the Lee/Kirby Fantastic Four has been covered, and the comments section is a wild and woolly delight, with posters debating and dismissing choices with the fervent enthusiasm of Democratic primary voters.

--Because of work, and because the proprietors of the excellent Infinite Monkey are taking a well-deserved vacation and have closed shop this week, my own comics reading has been sporadic. Sometime this summer, though, I would like to start a regular "what I'm reading" feature, just to keep my fans up-to-date, and to help with any purchasing options you might have. For now, I can recommend this month's issue of The Spirit (a delightfully retro Hollywood satire) and the ongoing fun of Ultimate Spider-Man.

--Finally, speaking once more of comics, Oberlin's own Wilder Voice publishes next week, and yours truly has a piece on Jack Kirby in it. If there's an online link, I'll post it then, just so you can see what I'm doing when I'm not doing this.


Anonymous said…
Bring on the "What I'm reading" section! I'd love to see what you're reading lately. My own comics reading has been sporadic lately at best, so it would be nice to know what's worth getting at my local comics shop.
Brian Doan said…
Hey Dave,
Yeah, I'm looking forward to starting that soon! Right now, I'm in the process of gathering a lot more than reading-- just kind of piling stuff up for the summer months (so, stuff by Jeffrey Brown, Love and Rockets collections, various marvel omnibuses/collections, stuff by eddie campbell, Fables (which everyone keeps telling me is great), stuff by Warren Ellis and Neil Gaiman, etc.). It's funny-- I thought that after a year of talking about this stuff in class, I'd be really burned out on comics, but the conversations have been so stimulating that I find myself more ravenous for good comics than ever.

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