Saturday, November 27th, 2004

Days Of Future Past

Comic Book Resources readers pick their best of 2004. I’m not nearly the fanboy I once was, but I can still offer my suggestions for their categories:

1) What’s your favorite comic of 2004? – Joss Whedon and John Cassaday’s Astonishing X-Men. I’ve never claimed to be much of a comic snob – my tastes run very much to the mainstream, but that doesn’t mean I can’t tell good spandex comics from bad. And Whedon/Cassaday are doing X-Men very very well – Whedon has a real feel for the characters, with the excellent characterization that was a hallmark of the Claremont era but with a suitably modern feel. And Cassaday’s artwork is just gorgeous – just six issues in and this creative team may be one of the best on any X-title, ever. And this is coming from someone who’s been reading X-Men for over twenty years.

Runner up goes to Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s We3. It’s The Incredible Journey with lethal cybernetic animals, and it’s heartbreaking (and ultra-violent, of course).

2) What’s your favorite comics-related moment of 2004? Seeing as how for the last few years I’ve only been reading a small handful of titles, the best moment for me was discovering comics on bit-torrent. Besides allowing me to read titles outside my usual X-ghetto (I’d never read Fantastic Four before. It’s actually not bad), it made me realize that the quality of comics at large was far superiour to where things were when I had largely gotten out of comics years ago – far better writers and artists, more coherent plotting, far less dependence on Byzantine continuity and crossovers… Just all around better reading. And no one drew like Rob Leifield anymore (though he actually came out of semi-retirement to remind me just how bad things were with his X-Force revival).

But aside from that, the Hulk eating that dude in The Ultimates 13 was pretty cool.

3) What’s the worst thing to happen in comics in 2004? I’m not an industry-follower, so I can only comment on what goes on inside the funny pages. But on that end, definitely Avengers Disassembled. Completely absurd, illogical, sensationalist and unnecessary, there may well have been a seed of a good idea in there somewhere (I’ve never understood what the hell the Scarlet Witch’s powers were anyway), but the execution was god-awful and incoherent. Bendis not only dropped the ball on this one, but he recovered it, ran in the wrong direction and into his own end-zone, spiked the ball and did the worst victory dance ever. Embarressing.

CBR also poses their next set of year-end questions, these ones more forward looking:

1) What’s your most fervid hope for comics in 2005?

2) What aspect of comics in 2005 are you most looking forward to?

3) What’s your worst fear for comics in 2005?

I will have to ponder these and save my thoughts for another post.

It’s a “peek behind the curtains” theme for today – the New York Observer looks at the history of Pitchfork, the little indie rock snarkfest that could, and talks to founder Ryan Schrieber about PF’s influence and being drunk with power (from Donewaiting). I’ve been called a ‘one-man Pitchfork’ on more than one occasion and can never tell if I should be flattered or offended. I like to think I’m… nicer.

Meanwhile, Zulkey has an interview with Ben Carlin, former Senior Editor of The Onion and current Executive Producer of The Daily Show. Hilarity ensues.

The Shins have a new website. After more than a year since Chutes Too Narrow came out, we wait for a Toronto tour date… and wait… and wait…

Exclaim talks to a post-election Ted Leo who admits that he’s not actually moving to Canada… but he is coming to visit December 5 at the Mod Club.

Travelled to the dark side of Toronto (read: east of the Don Valley Parkway) to attend Kate Thrown Askew’s going-away bash as she’s leaving the Big Smoke to return to the sunny Northwest Territories for a while. Kate was one of the very first people I ever met via blog two years ago and I’m sorry to see her go.

There you go, Kate. Blog mention! Take care.

np – Will Johnson / Vultures Await

By : Frank Yang at 9:22 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. Kate says:

    Aww, thanks Frank. sorry for drunkenly pestering you to mention it, but as long as you came over to the dark side and enjoyed yourself, I’m very happy. Every once in a while go to Fran’s and have some pancakes for me, ok?

  2. Juan says:

    I have to agree with you on "Astonishing X-Men", it has blown me away.

  3. Fla Fla Fo Fo says:

    Why don’t you grow up and stop reading comic books?

  4. Frank says:

    because then people might start expecting me to act my age, and we can’t have that.