Peter Parker is dead leaving Marvel Comics to make a significant announcement this week about the New Webslinger in Ultimate Spiderman – Miles Morales, a half-black, half-Hispanic teen. Since the announcement it has been a deluge of comments on the interwebs and in the media about the development. Unfortunately much of the criticism has been racially charged leaving one to wonder if fan and commentator reaction would have been the same if Peter Parker had been replaced by a Caucasian. The fact is Peter Parker is dead in Ultimate Comics and that’s a big deal. His replacement will have large, sticky shoes to fill no matter who they are. I for one am impressed by Marvel’s choice. I used to be bothered by changes in the status quo in comics but the truth is things can’t always be the same or the stories we love will become bland and boring. I hated the idea of Steve Rogers being killed but then grew to love Brubaker’s Bucky as Cap. Likewise I was sure Bruce Wayne could never be replaced but was delighted that DC gave Dick Grayson a shot. This fact is not lost on writer Brian Michael Bendis who seems eager with new and fresh stories to tell. (Read more on Newsarama) Furthermore I’m glad he kept the alliteration of the title characters name – Miles Morales. Besides I’m ready to see someone else carry the mantle of Spider-Man. Hey, Peter has been carrying the weight of it for 50 years, it’s about time he be given a break. Looks like they found a new kid on the block from Brooklyn who deserves a chance to become a hero.
Archive for ‘Floppy Talk’
It’s been a while since I’ve posted some comments about what I’ve been reading so I thought now would be a good time to do so. The truth is I haven’t had the time to read as much as I would like to but I’m hoping to change that. This summer I met Matt Kindt and I was so impressed by him that I picked up all his books. I regret to say I haven’t finished reading them all but I have spent lots of time thumbing through and admiring the art. Today I just finished reading “3 Story: The Secret History of the Giant Man” aside from it being a somber read, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
One of the first things you notice about Matt’s books is they are all unique. He takes every opportunity, whether it’s the die cut cover, the inner pages, etc. to tell a good story. As a graphic designer I really appreciate that. It’s more than just your average hardcover design. Another thing I think he does really well is paneling and layout design. He does a very good job of interweaving story elements and juxtaposing story lines in what Scott McCloud would call Aspect to Aspect pacing. Another story device he uses is a visual footnote. With a tiny asterix in a text balloon he indicates an additional set of panels at the bottom of the page which tell another hidden story. I think these additions are brilliant and add great depth to the overall narrative.
Another subtle device he uses that I enjoy is word play. I love the double meaning of the word “story.” It’s used both to describe the main character’s height and to define chapters in the book. Each chapter is divided into “stories” 1, 2 and 3 which also represent his current height as being 1, 2, or 3 stories tall. I love those types of clever parallels that come from careful word play. It shows how thoughtful the creator was in developing his story.
I could go on but it’s time to wrap up my little review. Great work Matt, I look forward to reading more.
My name is Patrick and I’m a comic book collector. The first step is to admit it right? Well I do, but I’m not sure how much longer I can keep it up. Comic books are getting more expensive, digital comic books are here, and trade collections are everywhere. With that in mind, is it really necessary to keep religiously collecting and bagging and boarding monthly comics? For the first time I’m actually getting serious about cutting out monthly titles and waiting for trades. Marvel’s decision to switch up the status quo and introduce the Heroic age also gives me a convenient opportunity to make a clean break and “jump off.”
This isn’t the first time I’ve tried to do this, every time I get right to the edge and before I can “jump” the collector in me talks me out of it. Your collection won’t be complete, he tells me. You’ll miss out on important stories and be behind the times, he says. The collector mentality is my Kryptonite. Every time I come to a rational and practical decision about changing my purchasing and collecting habits it comes along and forces me to do something crazy. Hey, complete run of “Web of Spiderman” I’m looking at you! Besides, it’s not like my collection is really worth anything. Rarity is what makes books valuable. This post comes out the same week that an original Superman broke all sales records at auction fetching 1.5 million. Why? Because it’s old and there are only a handful in existence. My favorite comics stored in my long boxes are anything but rare. With publication rates in the millions of copies during the 70s, 80s and 90s there are very few modern “rare” books.
If financial value isn’t the reason to collect, then what’s left is entertainment value. So it doesn’t matter what format my comics arrive in as long as they entertain me they’re worth it. Be they digital, trade hardcover, or paper backs if I enjoy them I’ll buy them and long box be damned! But wait, if I and others stop buying monthly, won’t publication rates go down and won’t that make current floppies more rare? Crap…