Another Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) shirt. This one by Chester Brown. I wrote about the CBLDF last in T-shirt #159: Save Smut!. I like the CBLDF shirts. I own several, and I am contemplating buying more (or asking for more as gifts).
Though I did not specifically mention the CBLDF in T-shirt #63: The Comics Code Authority, I added it to my CBLDF category because the learned that the shirt was produced by the CBLDF.
I also explored some of the issues related to banned comics in T-shirt #156: EC Comics.
I find it interesting that when I posed for a picture with my Save Smut shirt, I grabbed Chester Brown's most recent book Paying For It, which is a great graphic novel and treatise for legalization of sex work (namely prostitution).
I have always been a big fan of Chester Brown and have read everything he has produced, including collecting all the back issues of his comic book, Yummy Fur. Though many people point to Ed the Happy Clown as Brown's best work, I am most found of The Playboy, which I recommend highly. However, I do think that Paying For It, given the depth of his research and the exploration of the subject matter may be his best work now. I am going to reprint here what I wrote about Paying For It in the previous post and about the CBLDF in general. I am still sort of in holiday vacation mode. Though I do have some comic book round up and some comments on this week's comics to share. I promise more new content on CBLDF with the next CBLDF shirt (I currently have two more in the closet). But I do think there is value in presenting material I already wrote again. I know there are a few of you dear readers who have read everything (which blows my mind, thank you), but I know others are hit and miss. So maybe, you missed this other content. Here it is again.
Chester Brown's book Paying For It is an excellent graphic novel on Brown's experience as a "john," a customer of sex workers. It's a beautiful and compelling book with review quotes from Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, Robert Crumb (who wrote the introduction), Sasha, and Tracy Quan. It has an extensive afterword and appendix filled with notes, essays, and various content on issues related to sex work and legality. I give this book one of my highest recommendations. It is surely a book that would (and has) come under fire and needs the CBLDF to defend it. More on Chester Brown in a future blog.
I already featured one CBLDF T-shirt without realizing it. T-shirt #63: Comics Code Authority was produced by the CBLDF.
I already explored some of these issues with banned comics and censorship, especially as related to EC Comics in T-shirt #156 as well as T-shirt #63: Comics Code Authority.
If I have not made my position clear yet, I am very opposed to censorship in any form. Censorship is a slippery slope. Though being unequivocally against it may put me in shark-infested waters when it comes to some materials involving children or small animals, in general, I would rather uphold a strong anti-censorship stance to uphold the rights of everyone because there are far more products that others find objectionable--and are happy to censor or burn-- that I do not.
Check out these stories on CBLDF
Obscenity Case Files: Is a book store owner responsible for all the content in her shop?
New Zealand Library refuses to carry Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie's Lost Girls.
On the recent ban in Japan of the mangaBarefoot Gen
And, another thing, I like smut.
HISTORY OF COMICS AND CENSORSHIP (part of CBLDF) - Part One
(There are six parts in all and this is great reading!!)
EVERYTHING NEIL GAIMAN HAS POSTED ON CBLDF
Digital Commons Case Study on CBLDF
SOME COMIC BOOK ROUNDUP
I have been reading a lot of comic books lately. Big surprise. One book that fell into back log was Wolverine. I had SEVEN issues of the comic piled up in my back log, which I finally plowed through a week ago. Marvel has been going a bit "berserk" with its Wolverine products with three books devoted to the most popular of the mutants. I had been picking up issues of The Savage Wolverine, when they featured Frank Cho art and swiftly dropped the book when Cho left the book. I bought issues of Wolverine and the X-Men during the Battle for the Atom story as I mentioned in T-shirt #218 and T-shirt #229, in which I reviewed the last issue of the massive crossover.
Since Wolverine did not crossover with the Battle for the Atom story, and since artist Alan Davis stepped away from the comic for three issues, I let the title stack up in my back log. When I read all the issues, I found renewed interest in the storyline, in which Wolverine is fighting a mind-controlling virus from the microverse that manages to take away his mutant healing power. Suddenly mortal, Wolvie is in a world of hurt, quite literally. Alan Davis has always been one of my favorite artists and Mark Farmer's inks make Davis' pencils more beautiful, if that's possible. Paul Cornell's writing is deft and smart. Suddenly, this book has jumped high on my radar and hit near the top of the list next time the book comes out.
The New 52! Teen Titans comic book has been a dreadful disgrace. As I have reported on many occasions, I am a huge Teen Titans fan from way back. But this book is awful. Though not quite as awful as recent issues of Superman (because no comic could be as bad as that one), the comic has been a confusing mess. I am not even sure I understand what is going on, and the relationships and subplots have been handled with all the writing skill of a sledge hammer being used for cracking an egg. UGH. Stay away. Though I will keep buying the damn book because it's the Titans, and I am an insane geek.
Granted, the comic is still well written by Bendis, who, as I have said, is in such a renaissance for his career that I think he is doing his best work ever, and lovingly drawn by Stuart Immomen, but the stories are losing their punch. Though having the originals confront Magneto, who when the originals last met him he was trying to kill them, is worth exploring, other stories like the Cukoos harassing Jean Grey seem rather pointless. And then, in the recent issue, #018, they give the originals new costumes, which sort of violates the whole idea of having the old costumes around as a means of keeping trademarked images alive and current.
I like Immomen (and Bendis) too much to stop buying it and reading it. But send them home already. Enough is enough. This is like the HOUSE GUESTS THAT WOULD NOT LEAVE.
Send these annoying teenagers packing.
I would not say I am a big fan of the Luna brothers. I like Ultra enough to teach it in my last semester as a Media and the Sexes instructor. But I had mixed feelings about Girls, which I may or may not explore sometime in the blog.
With the newest offering, Alex + Ada, one Luna brother is out and replaced, ostensibly, by Jonathan Luna's girlfriend, Sarah Vaughn. Okay, fine. The story involves a future world in which robots have become common place in servile and manual labor jobs but can also be purchased as companions as Alex's boozy old tart of a mother explains "Who knew an android might be the best lover I ever had."
My reaction: Eeeeewwwww. And: "Oh relax. He's kind and attentive and says all the right things."
At the end of the comic, Alex arrives home from his birthday party, alone and single, mourning the loss of his last girlfriend, to discover that his mother bought him an android, a beautiful woman named "Ada."
Again Jonathan Luna is playing with male fantasies in much the same way as he did in Ultra and especially with the beautiful, naked clone women of Girls, and though this is more sophisticated and less exploitative than Girls (most any story would be), it's still quite a bit the stuff of fan boy masturbation. Stay tuned. I will keep reading and keep reporting.
I like JMS also known as Joe Straczynski. I liked his Spider-Man, I liked his Thor, I liked his Superman stuff. I adored Babylon Five.
So far, I am not thrilled with his Joe's Comics line.
Granted, I have Ten Grand in my back log, which may be the best of the bunch. Sidekick has art by Tom Mandrake, which is a plus, but the story is a bit dodgy and has more Femme Fatale type manipulation, which will get most fan boy's rocks off. Tom Mandrake, who draws in Gene Colan vein (one of my favorites as I have made a category all his own) almost makes the experience worth it. Almost. I have seen JMS do better writing. Likewise Protectors Inc. is also ho-hum. I added this comic to my stack of comics to recap and just glancing at the cover, I cannot think of one thing I remember of it. Gordon Purcell art looks nice. Purcell is swiping Dan Jurgens, which he does well enough. I flip through the comic and I only have the vaguest sense of having read it. Not too engaged.
Lastly, Batman #25. I wrote about the previous issue in T-shirt #217.
I love the Zero Year thing. DC was very smart to start New 52 a few years in and fill in back story with zero issues and Zero Year tie-ins as well as books like Action Comics, which originally explored the early years of Superman's career. Batman #25 continues the early years of Batman's career, after the Joker's origin, detailing the first Riddler story, an early version of the Bat mobile (seen below), the inspiration for the Bat Signal (by Jim Gordon), and a great final twist, which I will not reveal here (though it deals with Lucius Fox). You have to read the comic.
Batman continues to be among the best DC titles.
WEEKLY COMICS LIST
Because The Walking Dead is coming out every two weeks, issue 117 lands the same week as Aquaman, and I have to make the tough choice. The Walking Dead continues to win the top spot in my stacks. Kick Ass drops from its previous spot because of the two aforementioned books (it was second back in T-shirt #225). Likewise, following from the previous posted link for 225, Superior Spider-Man stays highly ranked because the story is strong. I liked the end of Infinity well enough but it's hardly the best idea for a crossover in Marvel history. It was all right, but I am glad it's over. The whole thing left me a bit underwhelmed. Likewise, with New Avengers, I think Hickman is trying to do too much and not doing anything well enough.
And that's all I have read so far. More later. Tomorrow's a big reading day.
COMICS FOR 1311.27
The Walking Dead #117
Kick-Ass 3 #5
The Superior Spider-Man #022
Infinity part six of six
New Avengers #12
The Flash #25
Tom Strong and the Planet of Peril #5 of 6
Black Science #1Uncanny Avengers #014
Nova #010 (supposedly #100)All New X-Men #019
Avengers Arena #018
Cataclysm: Ultimate X-Men #001
Teen Titans #25
Uncanny X-Force #014
Sandman Overture Special Edition #1
Buck Rogers #2
Buck Rogers #3
Indestructible Hulk #016
Codename Action #2
Atomic Robo and the Fightin' Scientists of Tesladyne (volume one)
Nowhere Men volume one
Stark Industries R&D T-shirt (Preview of a future shirt!!)
COUNTDOWN TO THE END OF THE BLOG YEAR: 111 shirts remaining
- chris tower - 1311.30 - 13:49