Originality|Progress|Legends in the Making|”Batman Superman” #2 |Joe Hill’s “Thumbprint” #2

July 25th, 20130 Comments »
Thumbprint #2

Thumbprint #2


Greg Pak opens “Superman Batman” #2, or does Jae Lee? I can never tell. Lee’s art is one of a kind. Great color by June Chung

The amazing combination of artistic originality and creative story telling freedom flows and bleeds across the pages of Batman/Superman.  Feeling as free as the heroes we’re following.
Since “Before Watchmen: Ozymandias” I was absolutely addicted to Jae Lee’s art.  Len Wein wove an incredible story of insight and adventure.  But Jae brought that stuff to LIFE.

Writers are gifted people, modern shamans, manipulating words and letters like a magician casting a spell.  The artists are no different.  Manipulating symbols and lines, shapes and surfaces, the artist can even dictate the manner or direction our eyes move across the page, capturing the attention and forcing it into this area, that corner and rinse, repeat.  The layout of the panels in Ozymandias was flooring.  I felt more free to enjoy the story as the layout flowed more circular and continuously than a typical, or should I say, traditional layout.

I’m never sure who’s leading who with some of these books, y’all…Does Jae dictate the flow and the letter placement?  An artist manipulating words?  Does Joe Hill, with his visceral, incomparable writing dictate the artists hand?  Is his influence as far reaching as to dictate even the paper the comic is printed on?  Because I really love the cut of paper that IDW is printing “Thumprint” onto.  Comic lovers understand.  We love the WHOLE comic, not only the story, not only the art, everything that makes it up, down to the paper it’s printed on.  Down to the way it smells when it comes home only a few days off of a real print press.  I’ll never enjoy digital half as a much as the real thing.  Digital is a copy read by a computer.  Print is a copy read by a reader.

On Joe Hill: Incomparable.  Check out Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft.  I put it off for so long until Orel at A Comic Shop insisted I try the first issue.  Joe Hill is Stephen King’s son.  Who chose to use the pseudonym Joe Hill in order to stake his claim in the magical realm of story telling all on his own.  Believing in his stories so much he knew he didn’t have to ride his father’s coattails.  But I expect him to surpass his father in every way.  Hey Luke Skywalker did, and besides, what fun is it if a generation cannot surpass it’s predecessors? It goes against the natural progression of things.  There must be progress.  We evolve and adapt and ascend…lest we breed in complacency and become stagnant like water which just sits and never ventures outside it’s comfort zone.

We’re honored to be a part of this golden age of comic books, readers of innovators like Joe Hill, Jae Lee, Greg Pak, Ben Templesmith…J. Michael Straczynski…Si Spurrier, among my favorites. Every single month it seems like somebody is trying to do something different.  Even if it gets bad reception, so what.

Failure only comes to those who give up completely, or never try in the first place.  Joe Hill may potentially be our generation’s finest story teller…time will tell.  Writers like Si Spurrier or Christos Gage may end up being the next Grant Morrison or Alan Moore. I’ve even met local guys doing original stories and saying “Forget the status quo, I want to write what the readers need, not what I think they want.”  Concepts from guys like Tampa-based writer Martin Dunn of Con Artist Entertainment (http://www.comicconartists.net) Taking traditional notions or ideas, but then showing the world those ideas and concepts through a unique lens, his. Check out “Joshua Black #1”.

Hell, Geoff Johns was nobody when he started, just like all the other nobodies.   But he wrote and conceived of worlds only Geoff Johns was capable of…and there in lies the secret, dear reader:  Those men didn’t set out to be like their influences, they loved their influences, we ALL do. But the ones who are successful, the ones who are remembered wrote and dreamed stories that no one could manifest except for THEM…

To Be Continued


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About Jay

Jay was born July 8th 1986 and is an aspiring adult who is versed in several writing styles from poetry to short stories to hip-hop. He holds black belts in two different martial arts but has been self-trained to eat sleep and breathe comics and the people who make them. He started Inside Comic Books to get closer to the people in the comic book industry and find out if they're real or if they're all the result of his hyperactive imagination. He currently resides in Orlando, Florida. The O-Zone, if you will. If you're interested, you can email him at Jay@insidecomicbooks.com

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