Of Mice and Multi-Billion-Dollar Buyouts


Man, I wish I could figure out what it is about Preacher that people like. I've read the whole thing and it just doesn't do it for me.
@1: Did you grow up reading superhero comics? I think that's part of it. It really appeals to the four-year-old in me who can enjoy both the superhero-style morality and romance of the book and the dick jokes.
Paul, the first half of that made sense: Corporations sometimes deliver quality art, but often it is ruined by greed.

Here's the part that contradicts the first part: I don't want to even look at anything from a corporation because they're evil. I'll only consider independent works, even though I know much of that is crap. Except when I find that a corporation has somehow made something good, like the Muppets, then I'll buy it but feel ashamed because it undermines my already weak theory that everything corporate is bad.

You are aware that Pixar has always been a corporation, right?

Seems like you could save yourself a lot of angst by skipping the ad hominem and instead judge everything on its merits alone.
Maybe Disney will buy out Rob Liefeld and teach him how to draw. That fucking Captain America drawing...Ahhhrrrggg. That man gets paid for what he does!!!?
The problem I have always had with comics is all the comic book fans (and I'm a nerd so I know a few) seem to bitch and moan about the stupids things, whether that may be a movie deviating from a cliche storyline that happens to be 'cannon' or some other equally mundane detail. I remember sitting with two friends eating pizza as they discouraged uninteresting back-stories for the X-Men or something and being board out of my mind and realizing that by not reading them I would not have to get involved in conversations like that (same reason I haven't seen films like Dark Knight or Watchmen).
Pasteyboy beat me to it. Cap's tits are ridiculous and lopsided. And yes, somehow, he gets paid for it.
@3 - I think what Paul is saying is that once Marvel became "successful" again, the product became mediocre and they stopped taking editorial risks. Marvel books have been boring for a LONG time, but they still move huge numbers compared to other publishers. A buyout from a larger company, like Sony or Universal, has been coming for a long time - most people are surprised because Disney wasn't really on anyone's radar.

The difference now is that a conglomerate-owned Marvel will probably never take editorial risks again, regardless of what the market is doing. Not that anyone will notice because that wouldn't be that different than what Marvel does now.
@3: It's a sadly common occurrence that in a profit-driven corporate climate, true merit often takes a back seat to that "safe" route of re-doing what they've done before.

Sure, it's a knee-jerk reaction to be angsty about a juggernaut like Disney gobbling up a beloved comics mainstay, but it's appropriate to react that way to a death knell for the possibility that any or Marvel's major IPs will ever get good again.

That Cap'n A hurts me to look at. Like the voices of a thousand art teachers crying out in pain... and suddenly silenced.
Yeah, I grew up on superhero comics. I think it is the really over the top gross outness of Preacher. It seems as though Garth Ennis is just trying to be as OUTRAGEOUS!!! as possible even though it doesn't necessarily need to be.
Paul, I know you posted that Rob Liefeld "illustration" (if you can call it that) just to piss us off, stop doing that! Actually it's now a funny joke I look forward to when you post about comic books, but I still feel the need to cry out, "MY EYES! WHY WHY WHY!? AGONY!"
I'm pretty disappointed that you are enjoy the Muppet Show comix.
The art is very cheap and the dialogue is tired.

What I'm most worried about here is that the press release was entirely about building brand, increasing licensed product and so on and so forth. Disney is known for copyrighting the shit out of everything it has anything to do with and then protecting that tooth and nail, filing dilution suits and their ilk. I have the feeling that this is the end of fling story lines and interesting comics from Marvel and the beginning of a the churning of a massive corporate scheme. They've been known to oppress artists and animators who work with them and keep them from producing independent work, seeking copyrights and creating their own characters.

I'm just worried about the general fanboy creations that come with comics and what will happen as Disney makes moves to reel in Marvel and re-create the brand, which from the press release is obviously what they're going to do.

I'm seeing a lot of FANTASTICIRONSPIDERHULKAVENGERS comics in the future, a lot more attention to detail paid to the correlation between film, video games and comics. They're looking to fill the hole of the 10-25 year old male and with these characters under their belt they will not have any trouble plugging it. Marvel has already shot itself in the foot by ruining the momentum they'd been building (fuck, they've even let titles like Ultimate Spiderman quickly run out of steam) and with their customers and fans already uneasy this Disney venture will only cause shakier ground to follow suit.

All that said, I'm kind of hoping they do something adult and interesting with Miracleman, perhaps via a Miramax venture.
I'm looking forward to the Disney online games with little baby Captain America and Baby Hulk.
The quality of Marvel Comics has always been meh...the goal is to find the diamonds in the rough. The first hundred Xmen were garbage, the Claremont took over. Compare the classic Lee/Kirby run on FF to the tripe that came after they left the book. Captain America, consistently the worst book coming out of the Marvel Bullpen for the last 30 years, was taken over by Brubaker (i'm sure I spelled that wrong) and the son of a bitch knocked it out of the park.

I will reserve my judgment and see how the buyout affects the quality of Marvel comics. Methinks it will be the same as it always has been...some really good stuff floating in an sea of shit.

Also, if there is a god ,Liefield will one day be raped by demon cock in hell.
Like the marketing of Marvel characters wasn’t already obnoxious and annoying?

@14 “Baby Hulk” is the most adorable thing I have ever heard.
I'm with josher. Preacher just wasn't that good.

Most of it was either Garth Ennis writing like a third grader (if someone gets shot, odds are what, 60% that they'll get shot in the dick or the asshole or somesuch?) or Garth Ennis possessing one of his characters to rant about how much he loves Bill Hicks, or how much it annoys him when people refer to their significant other as their "partner" instead of their "girlfriend" or "boyfriend," or hargle blargle grargle.

Tiresome, juvenile, and predictable.
My, Captain America has put on a lot of weight.

I heard that he died, but I didn't know it was from over-eating.
@13: If you're going to say Roger Landridge isn't a good cartoonist, I have nothing left to say to you. You're wrong.
@18 he died from Cross-over-event-itis
GOD that's a bad Cap. I mean, I'm used to the musculature being ridiculous, but that just defies physics...
@ Paul
I didn't say that Roger isn't a great illustrator, per say.

The truth is that as a comic and animation (each comes into play for whatever reason) nerd I think that Langridge is phenomenal and I appreciate him and his work with Fred the Clown, Doctor Sputnik, Batman, Abe Sapien and Mugwhump. I hunted down his Comics Journal for cryin' out jeeze. I enjoy his work immensely.

I just think that in the instance of The Muppet Show ... something isn't translating there. The Muppets appear lifeless, crude and flat. Cartoonish and ripe for Muppet gags? Yes Interesting and dynamic? No! I grew up watching the Muppets and I wanted to know what was up with these awesome looking creatures.

They aren't vibrant or interesting characters to behold under his pen (nor anyone's pen I believe) for whatever reason. It is like he is missing the essence of the characters, their "Muppetness" if you will.
They behave and look like those awkward finger puppets you used to be able to get from fifty-cent vending machines. This shocks me and I'm saddened by it.

I do not know why, Paul all I can say is that it just is!

I am a torn woman over here, Paul. I hope you understand my struggles in my need to protect the Muppets and absolute desire to love everything that Langridge does (mostly because of my giant nerd-crush on him) but the truth is that I do not love this no matter how much everyone else seems to and that The Muppets did not need to be a comic book. Ever.

Perhaps it is because Pepe De Prawn has a character so rich and a soul so deep that his actions be corralled into a single frame nor his voice a fleeting word bubble, he must be allowed to thrive in his natural live-action environment.
It could also be that I cannot imagine Miss Piggy agreeing to the likeness of her that has been tacked into the pages of The Muppet show, she looks like a veteran alcoholic. I believe there would be much 'Hi-Yah'ing to be had.
Lastly, it is because they are Muppets and Muppets were made for television, for live-action, reaction and enjoyment.

Even Muppet Babies, while cute, entertaining and animated could do not justice to our favorite cloth creations.

I could go on but I am drunk and I need to sleep because I have work in the morning like a rational person who doesn't spend all her time thinking about the failure of Muppets in 2D and the minute 'get-rid-of-it-with-some-spit' scratch it puts in Roger Langridge's armor should.
Paul, I guess you haven't anything to say to me either, because I think the Muppet Show comic is ass. Some of the worst art I've ever seen - scribby, lazy, horribly off-model. And the writing makes Archie look like P.G. Wodehouse. As kids' comics go, they're wayyy below par compared to works like Image's Lions, Tigers and Bears. The Muppet Show comic is just more evidence IMO that some things that are dead, really need to stay dead.
I don't think it's fair to say that the X-Men had always been a racial allegory until Morrison transformed it; it's true that he took it further and made it clearer with the whole visibility / "Out and Proud" angle, but there were always strong undercurrents of sexual-identity-allegory in Claremont's work on the titles, as well (and I'm not just talking about BDSM and mind control). Of course, there are many other things that make Morrison's run outstanding and many increasingly egregious flaws with Claremont's various X-outings, but while that freaky old mid-battle power-describing bastard's faults are many, avoidance (or unawareness) of gay rights parallels isn't one of them.
@15 Yeah, I agree with that, not just the Liefeld thing, but your general assessment of Marvel Comics. I could see that not really changing despite the Disney buyout.
I agree only with the part about Marvel putting out a bunch of crap. They hire big-name writers and artists (I mean the good ones, not Liefield) and put them to work, and then lobotomize their stories and art to make it more like the same homogeneous stuff the editors feel their readers are capable of digesting. Editors are necessary for coordinating "universes" of characters shared across multiple titles. They can even excel at that job. Marvel, however, has not for several years.

I was immersed in Charlie Huston's revival of Moon Knight. Taking it down a dark, psychological path that I didn't think Marvel was capable of. Bushman comes after Moon Knight, Moon Knight kills Bushman and carves off his face. Then he's haunted by the avatar of the moon god walking around as a faceless Bushman (might be a hallucination). The art by David Finch was also very dark, rough, and gritty to match the story. Even when Huston had to participate in the ridiculous Civil War, the tone of the book wasn't lost in some epic Tights vs. Tights fanboyism that was the hallmark of every Civil War story out there.

Then Marvel put some other guy on the book (Mike Benson), Moon Knight stopped being Huston's Moon Knight, and later Marvel canceled the book. When I found out it was canceled I was extremely disappointed because I liked Huston's work so much. Then it sank in that it probably was a good thing the book was canceled because it was no longer the Moon Knight book I wanted to read, no matter how hard I searched the pages of Benson and Paulo's book, or how many times I stepped in to a store hoping for a new issue.

Things change, Paul. The Marvel/Disney deal should have no bearing on what you do and do not purchase. Writers can write for characters they don't own (Grant Morrison's X-Men run). Something doesn't have to be indie to be cool, it just has to be good. Marvel just doesn't have anything good at the moment.

(And you should go grab the trade paperbacks of Moon Knight: The Bottom, Midnight Sun, and God & Country. The Death of Marc Spectre is really when Benson starts taking the reigns, and it's a bit over the top. When he gets to Mexico it goes downhill fast.)
@26 that is a perfect example of why I am more loyal to writers than titles these days.
If they start making the X-men ware god damn purity rings, no matter how irrelevent, then I'll be mad!
@26, I suppose I can't disagree that Huston's Moon Knight was gruesome and (I guess?) interesting, but it's just not accurate to chalk up all of the problems leading to its creative team change and eventual cancellation as "Writer Too Awesome for Bland Editorial Edict." (Then again, there's a good chance I'm just bitter because Huston's take on Taskmaster was so awful and unflattering.)
@29, I didn't know anything about Taskmaster before reading that Committee story arc, so I didn't have any attachment or preconceptions about Taskmaster. I do think he was an uninteresting villain. For me, the psychological personal conflicts were really what was driving my interest. The villains that came and went were mostly just OCD crazy people. I was sort of ok with that. The Barbershop Quartet gang was not a favorite.

Also, I wasn't saying "Writer Too Awesome for Bland Editorial Edict" - I was saying that despite what was going on with other Marvel properties he was still capable of writing the book in such a way that the book wasn't harmed by the Albatross of the the Marvel Civil War. Unlike the Spider-Man titles, the X-something titles, the Avengers titles, etc. While they were all participating in the Civil War arc, most of the participation felt forced and tacked on, and seemingly had little to do with the character's motivations. Mostly Quesada saying, "Have so and so fight so and so --because it'll be BAD ASS!"
@30, Well, I can't argue with that. I'd say there hasn't been much that's worse than Civil War, but unfortunately, that just isn't true.