CASANOVA: ACEDIA #1
STORY: MATT FRACTION & MICHAEL CHABON
ART / COVER: FÁBIO MOON & GABRIEL BÁ
JANUARY 7 / 32 PAGES / FC / M / $3.99
Marooned in Los Angeles with no memory of his past, Casanova Quinn takes on the mystery of his criminal benefactor’s tangled and bloody history—as strange occult forces from the future conspire to… do stuff? To him? To Los Angeles? To you? YES.
Featuring the first in a series of backup stories by Pulitzer Prize winner MICHAEL CHABON and CASANOVA co-creator GABRIEL BÁ.
the candle lit cover.
Mister Sun did not like Los Angeles. He could never find a center to it. It seemed to him to hang on top of the world like a fallen constellation resting on a rickety scaffold of endless, maddening road. In Los Angeles, Mister Sun only ever arrived anywhere by surprise, unable to find any sense of structure in the route. —
from Dead Pig Collector by warrenellis.
Every year, after a long hiatus, I circle back into Warren’s atmosphere and see what he’s working on and I binge on it. I’ve been reading Moon Knight on Marvel Unlimited and Supreme: Blue Rose. The latter is some wonderfully weird shit.
A birthday card from Archie Goodwin to Jim Shooter.
I’ve been copying a lot of Goodwin’s cartooning style with some of my classroom materials—like drawing caricatures of myself with word balloons on the board to outline what we’re talking about in class that day. Then drawing myself on students’ papers to highlight some things to work on in their essays. I’m finding his cartooning style refreshing and easy-going. It’s relaxing for me to start cartooning.
The Bronze Age Of Blogs: Archie Goodwin’s Sinner. A strip Archie Goodwin wrote and drew for Epic Illustrated in 1980.
The Hidden Language of Comic Book Writers at VICE United States:
GLOSSARY OF TERMS
Brackets denote paraphrasing. Everything else is in Fred Van Lente’s words.
Done-in-one: n. A single-issue story.
Anthology: n. A collection of stories by a variety of creative teams.
Miniseries: n. A comics title with a definitive endpoint, usually three to six issues.
Maxiseries: n. The same as a mini-series, only eight to 12 issues. Usage: Used heavily in the 1980s. The most famous maxiseries of all time is Watchmen, which originally ran as 12 serialized issues.
Title: n. Synonym for “series,” e.g., Amazing Spider-Man, Detective Comics.
Line: n. An imprint connecting a particular set of titles under a specific form of branding, e.g., Marvel Adventures [presents stories for] younger readers.
Universe: n. A set of titles connected by the characters all operating in the same world.
Crossover: n. A storyline that goes across multiple titles. Usually, these days, a crossover has its own title (an “event book”) as well. The first comic book crossover was 1940’s Marvel Mystery Comics #8. The two most popular features, Human Torch and Submariner, fought each other. From that moment on, [crossovers] became standard operating procedure.
Classical crossover: n. Two books [intersecting]
Event: n. [A crossover] that’s happening to the entire universe, the entire line, simultaneously. Almost all the titles participate in that.
Event Book: n. A miniseries or maxiseries [containing the central story of an event].
Tie-in: n. The individual issue or issues of an [ongoing] title that link into a specific event (unique to events as opposed to crossovers).
Red Skies Event: n. A disparaging term meaning [a book is linked to] a tie-in just to trick somebody into buying it. Etymology: A reference to Crisis on Infinite Earths, when all the skies in the DC titles [became] red.
Continuity: n. The idea that each story is a building block of a larger fictional universe.
Reboot: n. When take a pre-existing franchise [or fictional universe] and you wipe everything that happened clean and you start from scratch [usually with the same characters]. Most reboots are also a relaunch. e.g., Casino Royale [is a reboot of the James Bond franchise.]
Soft Reboot (or In-Continuity Reboot): n. When you change some [details] but not others. It’s usually contained to certain characters within an ongoing continuity, e.g., Spider-Man: One More Day, where Mephisto, using his demonic powers, managed to undo Mary Jane and Peter’s marriage so that nobody had memory of it.
Full Reboot: n. Rebooting the entire line.
Relaunch: n. When you take an existing franchise—you do not break from continuity—and you start it over with a new #1, usually just an excuse to get new eyes on the series.
Retcon: n. Short for “retroactive continuity.” A “fix” or “patch” to continuity that smooths over something that happened that either the writer doesn’t like, or wasn’t interesting, or doesn’t support the current story.
Death (of a character): n. A kick in the ass to continuity. It’s peaks and valleys. You kill somebody off, you’re getting a lot of eyes on that. Then when you bring them back, you’re getting a lot of eyes on that. The only unkillable character is the one with extremely good sales.
First Appearance: n. [The comic in which a character is] first seen, e.g., in Batman’s first appearance, called “The Case of the Criminal Syndicate,” it was never explained who he was.
Origin Story: n. [The story in which we see] where a character came from. (Note: Many origins are also first appearances. In Spider-Man’s first appearance, [Amazing Fantasy #15], you meet Peter Parker, he gets bitten by a radioactive spider, and Uncle Ben gets shot.)
Pacing: n. The rate at which storytellers dole out “beats,” or distinct movements of story progression. [Early] comics were about 64 pages long and had four to eight stories per issue. In the mid 60s, [Marvel] pioneered stretching out stories across multiple issues when their heavy hitters, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, wanted to flex their storytelling muscles in titles like Fantastic Four and Dr. Strange. Now story pacing is set by the current economics of the market, which is four to six issues followed by a collected edition.
Decompression: n. Dragging the story out way longer than it really [deserves], partly to sell more comics, partly to lessen the burden of the creative team.
Idle: n. The curse word of comics. Idle means no one’s working, meaning a penciller doesn’t have script, an inker doesn’t have pencils, a colorist doesn’t have inks, a letterer doesn’t have pencils. It almost always results in a domino effect.
Six-Month Week: n. It takes a penciller six weeks to finish [each] issue. You start 12 weeks in advance. What that means is that, in four to five issues, that artist will have to be replaced.
As popular culture continues to recycle and regurgitate itself, knowing the difference between a reboot and a soft relaunch might come in handy. These narrative terms are also fun to apply in the real world: Compare your friend’s first appearances to their origin stories. Or relaunch your life by quitting your job, moving to a new apartment, and legally changing your name. And idle is a handy way to describe any workflow problem that throws a whole system off, resulting in a waste of time or a late, cold pizza.
Co-founder T.J. Brearton’s new novel has been released!
Derek Jeter said his last game felt like his funeral!
I’m gonna be honest: I was thinking that exact thing all season. Thanks for everything, Captain.
From SHE-HULK #2 by Charles Soule, Javier Pulido, and Munsta Vicente.
I love this elaborate double-page spreads that have sprung up out of recent Marvel books. You see things like this in HAWKEYE, SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN and other quirky books. Just beautiful layout.
Print this up and get it to your comic store!
Here’s a handy-dandy Retailer Order Form for COPRA: ROUND ONE! Print this sucker out at home and bring it to your local comic shop. Easy!
Also, in case the above JPG gives you any grief, here’s a higher-quality PDF: http://tinyurl.com/copraform
Finally, finally, finally. I’ve been struggling up here in the mountains to get my hands on a copy of this book. [David runs to Fantastic Planet.]
Before he made his second “appearance” on The Simpsons in 2004, Thomas Pynchon made a few edits to the teleplay—he crossed out a pejorative line of dialogue about Homer’s ample posterior. “Homer is my role model,” he wrote in the margins, “and I won’t speak ill of him.”
For more of this morning’s roundup, click here.