REVIEW: "Avengers: Age of Ultron" is a Lot of Fun, a Little Flawed, and Whedon All the Way
Comic Books, Film
Back in April, writer/artist Matthew Loux released the fourth volume in his all ages Salt Water Taffy series for Oni Press, Caldera’s Revenge (Part 1). This installment (as detailed by Oni): “Part 1 of Jack and Benny’s first multi-volume adventure! The boys are having a hard time reading The Hidden History of Chowder Bay, given to them by Captain Hollister. So when a spooky whaling ship appears in the bay, it’s no time at all before the boys abandon the tome and find themselves in the middle of the action, searching for the fiercest whale that ever lived: Caldera!” The advantage of an interview like this is the fact that back in June 2009 Loux and I discussed the early days of Salt Water Taffy for Robot 6–and this second go-round allowed me to consider Loux’s work then and now (when developing my questions). Thanks to Loux for his time and thoughts. As happens periodically with these discussions, Loux has a question for his readers at the end.
Tim O’Shea: The most recent volume (Vol. 4/Caldera’s Revenge) of Salt Water Taffy was the first part of a two-parter tale (to be completed with Volume 5). Was there any trepidation on your part to do a two-parter split between two volumes, or in fact are you hoping it will draw readers even more into the story than if the two volumes were standalones?
Matthew Loux: When I was working out the story for Caldera’s Revenge I had originally figured it to be one volume like the previous three Salt Water Taffy‘s, but once the script was finished and I started laying out pages, I quickly realized that there was no way I could fit it all and still do the storytelling justice. We were faced with the option of doing a larger book and breaking from the original format, or splitting it into two. I was in favor of keeping the original format and doing two books instead of one. Luckily I was able to end Caldera pt. 1 on a really nice cliffhanger which became a perfect place leave off, and it will be a great spot to pick up again in Caldera pt. 2. Even though I didn’t originally write the story with that in mind, I think It works extremely well for both books.
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading? Our special guest today is Ryan Cody, creator of Icarus and illustrator of Villains and Jesus Christ: In the Name of the Gun. You’ll be seeing more of Icarus around these parts starting very soon …
To see what Ryan and the Robot 6 crew have been reading lately, click below.
As Graeme noted yesterday, Oni Press is releasing two Yo Gabba Gabba! “board comics” today, for which they released a press release and preview pages yesterday. So what exactly is a board comic — or for that matter, a board book? Not having kids, I wasn’t familiar with the term, so I reached out to the Robot 6 crew for an explanation.
“A board book is a book with cardboard pages, suitable for babies and very young children, as they take longer to eat than a regular paper book,” Robot 6’s Brigid Alverson told me.
So there you go. Paper books are snacks, board books are meals. You can find the preview pages and the press release after the jump.
Welcome to another installment of “Food or Comics?” Every week we set certain hypothetical spending limits on ourselves and go through the agony of trying to determine what comes home and what stays on the shelves. So join us as we run down what comics we’d buy if they only had $15 and $30 to spend, as well as what we’d get if we had some “mad money” to splurge with.
Check out Diamond’s full release list for this week if you’d like to play along in our comments section.
If I had $15:
I’d pick up Salimba ($9.99), because it’s Paul Chadwick drawing a jungle girl who fights pirates. Then I’d add Chaos War: Alpha Flight #1 ($3.99) to that pile. I’m a huge Alpha Flight fan and can’t wait to read about the original team’s new adventure, even if they are dead.
I keep getting caught up in thoughts about mainstream comics. I might be imagining it, but I seem to remember a movement some years ago that tried to rebrand certain indie publishers (Maybe just one publisher? For some reason, I’m convinced that it was Oni Press, but I don’t want to tar them with this brush if I’m wrong) as The Real Mainstream, or The New Mainstream, or some variation on that idea. The thinking, as far as I remember it, was that what we call “mainstream comics” – i.e., Marvel and DC – don’t really reflect mainstream pop culture, and that the books that do come from the publishers somewhat ostracized by the comics industry. Nowadays, of course, I’m not sure that you can really make the same argument.
It’s not that publishers like Oni or IDW or BOOM! or whomever aren’t continuing to put out material that’s in tune with whatever pop zeitgeist is out there at any given opportunity, because they are (Albeit with different methodologies; Oni by, for the most part, creating all-new series and stories that reflect or anticipate trends, IDW by licensing movies and TV shows like Transformers or True Blood. Sure, they sometimes swap – The very idea of Oni’s upcoming Yo Gabba Gabba comic makes my head spin as much as it makes my heart swell, I have to admit – but generally, it’s a relatively safe rule of thumb), but more that… Well, you can’t really discount superheroes as part of the popular culture conversation anymore. I mean, seriously: Who in the US isn’t at least considering going to see Iron Man 2 (International fans: I wouldn’t presume your desires, now that the movie’s been out in many countries for the last week or so)?
For those playing along at home, here are highlights of the announcements (and confirmations) coming out of the inaugural Chicago Comics & Entertainment Expo today:
• Marvel confirmed the long-awaited third volume of Casanova, the critically acclaimed spy-fi series by Matt Fraction, Gabriel Bá and Fabio Moon, will debut in July through its Icon imprint. The issues originally published in the Image Comics “slimline” format — 16 pages of story for $1.99 — will be re-colored, re-lettered and repackaged. “It’s going to be in full color,” Fraction told Comic Book Resources. “It’s hand-lettered by Dustin Harbin, who’s an amazing cartoonist and a very old friend of mine. So it’s really an entirely new presentation of the material. The color is absolutely gorgeous, and it’s going to be produced at full size. So what was once Casanova #2-3 will now be issue #2 of the Icon Casanova, and so on. You’ll be getting 32 full color pages for full price.”
• Via video, writer Allan Heinberg provided details of Marvel’s Avengers: The Children’s Crusade, the miniseries announced in October that reunites him with Young Avengers artist Jimmy Cheung. The bimonthly, nine-issue limited series that builds on plot threads dating back to House of M, and involves Wiccan attempting to find and redeem the Scarlet Witch.
• Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada revealed that “O.M.I.T.” — the mysterious acronym we’ve seen on guitar picks and in comic-book ads — stands for “One Moment In Time,” and deals with the controversial “One More Day” story that erased the wedding day of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson. Serialized in The Amazing Spider-Man #637-640, the new arc by Joe Quesada and Paolo Rivera will turn back the clock to show the events on what should have been the couple’s wedding day.
• Oni Press announced Yo Gabba Gabba! Story Comic Book Time, an anthology based on the wildly popular preschool television series. The 128-page hardcover will be released this fall.