Over at The Comics Journal, Tucker reviewed Butcher Baker The Righteous Maker, which is a comic totally worth reading even though it always feels a little disappointing after doing so. While you're there, there's an excerpt from Tim Kriedler's upcoming article on Cerberus (which must be a monster in terms of length) which is pretty fucking awesome, as everything else Kriedler's done for the Journal has been.
At The Straddler, Marty Brown delivers what we hope will be the first amongst many articles regarding Rick Ross, Nothing's Been Authenticated. We will accept other subjects, but our preference is, like any real American, a permanent run of Rick Ross related texts.
At comiXology, Tucker finally sat down to write something serious about X-Force, but then he ended up changing his mind and just talked about formatting.
At the Savage Critics, Tucker teamed up with Joe "Jog" McCulloch, Jeff "Dog" Lester, Chris "Rog" Eckert, Brian "Glog" Hibbs, David "My Dick Is A Calculator" Uzumeri and Abhay "Titties" Khosla to talk about Flashpoint and Fear Itself. Graeme was on drool-wiping detail at the Newsarama compound and Wolk refuses to accept that nobody is ever going to read that Techland website, but they did send an email saying that it was tough being scared. Part One! Part Two! Part Three!
Here at TFO, we had Matt Seneca on Marvel Movies, Comics of the Weak with a Gina Gerson reference Nina had to come up with herself, a throw-your-hands-up look at Emperor Aquaman, and another batch of book reviews.
Over at Supervillain, Sean Witzke wrote up BPRD 1946 (which was one of our "best of year" comics in 2008). Hopefully this piece might convince the doubters to lay down their arms and allow Joshua Dysart to enter their hearts, or at least betwixt their loins. He'll cup the balls, it's the American way.
There's a lot of great things in this post from Michel Fiffe, so let's only single out two of them. The first is the badassness of the late 80's Suicide Squad (which also shows up as a "read this one" recommendation in one of Joe Casey's Butcher Baker essays) and the second is Fiffe's claim that Jim Aparo was "the best Batman artist in the history of the entire world". That's a claim that doesn't get made often enough, which is fucked up only until you remember that the only people talking about water being wet are small children. When you grow up, indisputable facts become silent facts, and nobody mentions them anymore because they've just become the fabric of existence. It's worth remembering out loud in these days of change that one thing never will: Jim Aparo was born to change your entire life, and he'll be doing that forever, one perfect Batman drawing at a time.
The Hooded Utilitarian and Robert Stanley Martin asked for TFO's participation in their upcoming Best Of All Time aggregate, and while Nina refused--she thought it would be disrespectful, go figure--Tucker did not. The actual list follows, and the plan (or maybe that should be "hope") is that there will be some more substantive explanations behind these choices going up over the next year. As with any of these lists, any excitement on the part of the audience is going to be where connections (or disagreement) can be found, so keep an eye on the Hooded for the rest to appear.
*A few things to clarify about this list: Lone Wolf is a comic I'm still reeling from after experiencing the first time (reading doesn't really describe what going through that comic was like), so affection may lessen over the course of time. The Acme Novelty Library mention goes out to the individual issues of that series as an ultimate (and unfinished) work of art, the same way that "Krazy Kat" or "Jimbo" means, you got it, the whole fucking enterprise. Making an ultimate canon of comics strikes me as most interesting (for me) when it's treated as a personal exercise, one that will fluctuate over time. I'm less and less excited by comics-as-literature and more into dealing with them the way one does music, and that means that a large part of how "great" they are to me has to do with where I'm at as an audience member the moment my hand goes out to grab them. I'd still rather read the tenth issue of Acme or the portion of Calvin and Hobbes where their house gets broken into while they're away on vacation than I would decide which one of the two goes with me on an imaginary desert island (I really don't need any comics if I'm living on a desert island, thanks), but I ain't gonna pretend this wasn't fun to think about, and as it's spurred a re-read of all of the titles listed above, that fun will probably continue for a while longer. Looking forward to seeing who else those cantankerous cats pulled together.