Eye on Comics

Comics criticism and commentary from Don MacPherson

Archive for the 'Features' Category

Digital Discounts

Posted by Don MacPherson on 30th March 2013

The era of the $3.99 standard-sized comic book is upon us, and there’s no sign of it going anywhere. In some cases, it’s an understandable development. When smaller publishers — such as Oni Press or IDW Publishing — ask a higher price for its wares, I can see why it’s needed. They don’t post the numbers larger publishers such as DC and Marvel do, and to ensure the viability of a project and remuneration for the creative talent, it’s easy to get behind such a scenario.

But when it’s Marvel and DC, it’s a bitter pill to swallow. Actually, sometimes, it can feel more like a suppository than a pill. However, when it comes to Marvel’s more expensive, 20-page titles, there’s a way to eliminate the discomfort and even bring your out-of-pocket expense down below the typical $2.99 price many comics customers would prefer. Read the rest of this entry »

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2012 Glass Eye Awards – Best Writer & Artist

Posted by Don MacPherson on 31st January 2013

When one writes these best-of lists early in the following year, it’s interesting how one starts spotting potential “candidates” for the next list of the top comics and creators. There have been a couple of comics released in January that already have me excited for what the year ahead has in store. Of course, I need to focus my attention right to past comics, not what lies ahead. This is the fourth and final entry in my picks for the best of comics and creators in 2012, specifically dwelling on the best writers and artists of the year.

This installment of the 2012 Glass Eye Awards is brought to you by snot. Snot — it fills your head (and the heads of those you love) and makes the most basic thought process seem like a Herculean task, bringing about delays in just about every aspect of your life.

Ahem… Read the rest of this entry »

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2012 Glass Eye Awards – Best Cover Artist & Colorist

Posted by Don MacPherson on 15th January 2013

Man, you think the Oscars show tends to drag on? The Glass Eye Awards got underway more than a week ago, and here we are, still picking away to my selections for the best from the world of comics in 2012. In this installment, I turn my attention toward the men and women responsible for the strongest storytelling of the year. Again, my picks are limited by what I found the time to read, and there’s no way for anyone to cover all the industry has to offer (or even a majority).

Winners of the Glass Eye Awards can expect rare certificates of achievement in the mail, including a cash prize (both of which are invisible and intangible). Read the rest of this entry »

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2012 Glass Eye Awards – Best Series & Graphic Novel

Posted by Don MacPherson on 5th January 2013

In the first part of the 2012 Glass Eye Awards, I offered up picks for the best limited series and new ongoing titles of the past year. I meant to get to the next items on my best-of list right away, but I guess I dragged my feet. A couple of prominent comics-news sites have linked to that opening salvo of praise, though, so I figured I’d better get my butt in gear and get writing some more about the year that was.

This time, I delve into my thoughts of the top established ongoing series and graphic novels of 2012, but again, readers should bear in mind these are my picks based on what I read (and recall), determined by personal taste, access, free time and affordability. Read the rest of this entry »

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2012 Glass Eye Awards – Best Limited & New Series

Posted by Don MacPherson on 1st January 2013

With 2013 upon us, it’s time here at Eye on Comics to observe our (mostly) annual tradition of spotlighting the high points of the past year. Perhaps the most exciting one came when my wife and I found and closed the deal on our first house. We can’t wait to move in and… Oh, the Glass Eye Awards are about picking the best comics of 2012 and the creators who stood out from the crowd with their stellar efforts in the medium. Right, got it.

Before I delve into my selections for the best work and artists of the year, I would urge readers to seek out as many best-of lists as they can on other websites as well. No one list is going to be definitive or even comprehensive. My comments about the Glass Eyes are merely made up of my best recollections of the comics I read in the past year, and there’s no way for anyone to read everything new in the medium. My comics reading in 2012 (as in the years before) would only have scratched the surface. With that in mind, let’s celebrate comics… Read the rest of this entry »

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The Con of the Art

Posted by Don MacPherson on 3rd September 2012

Super-hero comics artist Aaron Lopresti made an interesting and disconcerting discovery late last month when browsing through listings on eBay. He happened upon an online auction for a piece of original comic art he’d crafted — the cover for New X-Men #19 (2005), featuring the characters Magik and Hellion. The seller described the piece as being pencilled and inked by Lopresti and as being “published original art on 11×17 comic art board.”

There was just one problem. Lopresti knew the seller didn’t have the piece in question because he still had it. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Cup of DCAF

Posted by Don MacPherson on 20th August 2012

Eye on Comics hit the road Sunday and headed to the capital of the neighboring province for the debut of a new comics festival. Held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the Dartmouth Comic Arts Festival — or DCAF for short — was the brainchild of comics retailer and 2012 Eisner Awards judge Calum Johnston.

“The opportunity was there,” Johnston said at the free show Sunday, noting his store, Strange Adventures, didn’t have any significant events in August. “We always wanted to put on something like this.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Comic Artist Admits to Child-Porn Charge

Posted by Don MacPherson on 20th July 2012

Two years to the day after child pornography was found on a thumb drive linked to him, Josue Rivera, 39, better known as artist Justiniano to comics readers, has admitted to the crime.

Rivera was arrested in May 2011 and charged with illegal possession of child pornography in the second degree after an investigation by the police department in Bridgeport, Connecticut, that began July 16, 2010. The pending case detail listing on the State of Connecticut’s judicial branch website indicates Rivera has pleaded guilty to the charge after original pleaded not guilty. His sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 5, according to the website.

The charge arose after images depicting child pornography were discovered on a thumb drive that had been provided to the staff of a funeral home that was handling Rivera’s father’s funeral arrangements. Read the rest of this entry »

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Comic Artist’s Motion to Suppress Denied in Child-Porn Case

Posted by Don MacPherson on 3rd June 2012

Josue Rivera, 40, better known to the comics industry and readers as the artist Justiniano, has failed in his effort to have evidence in the child-pornography prosecution against him tossed out.

The Connecticut resident was arrested May 10, 2011, and charged with illegal possession of child pornography in the second degree. The charge arose as a result of a discovery on a thumb drive the artist allegedly provided to the staff of a funeral home that was handling his father’s funeral arrangements.

A search of court documents revealed Rivera’s defence filed a motion with a court to suppress the thumb drive evidence, arguing it was obtained by police by way of an illegal, warrantless search. Hearings on the motion were held Feb. 23 and March 8, and Superior Court of Connecticut Judge Robert Devlin denied the motion in a decision issued March 19. Devlin’s written decision sets out the facts of the case, revealing how the images of child pornography were discovered. Read the rest of this entry »

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Eye on the Eisners: Flashbacks

Posted by Don MacPherson on 1st June 2012

The 2012 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards are set to be presented in about a month and a half. Earlier this month, I posted a review of one of the nominated works, having just picked it up a short while before. Of course, I’ve written about a lot of comics released in 2011, and I figured this would be a good time to reproduce some relevant comments and link back to the original reviews of what would turn out to be Eisner-nominated work.

This is but a small sample of some strong work that was done in the field in 2011, and all of the nominated works and creators are worth checking out. Read the rest of this entry »

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Holy Moley!

Posted by Don MacPherson on 8th March 2012

DC Comics and Geoff Johns have been criticized recently after it began to spread the word about plans for its Shazam! property in its New 52 lineup. A backup feature (penned by Johns and illustrated by Gary Frank) introducing the new take on the World’s Mightiest Mortal is set to begin in Justice League later this month. The backup will be titled “The Curse of Shazam!” and as Johns has revealed in interviews, he and DC are renaming the super-hero character. Instead of Captain Marvel, the hero will be called Shazam. Johns argued many people outside of the niche market of super-hero comics know DC’s Captain Marvel by his magic word anyway. It can be presumed DC isn’t comfortable with “Marvel” being in the name of one of its iconic heroes anyway. Purists will no doubt be disappointed, but I see the logic behind the decision (even if I think Johns is selling readers short).

Fans of the character also expressed their trepidation when DC released a preview of the new Shazam (seen at right). Now sporting a hood, the teaser image would seem to make it clear this is a darker, more intense take on the Big Red Cheese (who will no doubt no longer be referred to as such in the New 52 — if “Captain Marvel” throws people off, the cheesy slur hurled by his enemies must be perceived as befuddling as well). Of course, it’s been known for some time Frank would be the handling the art chores for this reinterpretation and revival. Given his involvement, it was a safe bet we’d be looking at a grittier Shazam.

Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve encountered a Darker Mightiest Mortal. Read the rest of this entry »

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I Wonder If Norman Osborn’s Middle Initial Is Dubya

Posted by Don MacPherson on 22nd January 2012

Ever since Norman Osborn, AKA the villainous Green Goblin, emerged as an American “hero” in the climax of Secret Invasion in 2008, some comics fans and pundits have considered what or Osborn was meant to represent. Many speculated he and a darker tone in the Marvel Universe represented George W. Bush’s U.S. presidency. Marvel writer Matt Fraction confirmed the analogy outright in an interview about his work on Invincible Iron Man (in which Osborn figured prominently for a time), but the last word really ought to be with writer Brian Michael Bendis, who seems to have used Osborn as a corrupt political and law-enforcement official in his various Avengers comics and events more than anyone else.

Bendis is at it again with his latest storylines in Avengers and New Avengers, bringing back Osborn and his “Dark Avengers” to oust the legitimate heroes. And in New Avengers v.2 #20 earlier this month, he and artist Mike Deodato seem to take a step closer to confirming the analogy. Read the rest of this entry »

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2011 Glass Eye Awards – Creators

Posted by Don MacPherson on 21st January 2012

As the Glass Eye winners for the best comics and graphic novel of 2011 get their pictures taken backstage and get scrummed by the Hollywood media, we ought to soldier on and continue to dole out these imaginary and meaningless awards. The time has come for Eye on Comics to turn its attention to the creators who crafted great comics, whose work was always at the top of our reading piles and who had a great year in 2011.

Obviously, readers should be cognizant of the fact these are just personal preferences based on the material I read through the year and what I recall. Furthermore, my choices are also based in part on how creators fared on multiple issues and/or projects in 2011. Your mileage not only may vary, it definitely will vary. As was the case with the first part of the Glass Eye Awards, I offer several “nominees” in each category with one singled out as the “best” of the short list. Read the rest of this entry »

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2011 Glass Eye Awards – Comics

Posted by Don MacPherson on 15th January 2012

We’re halfway through January already, so Eye on Comics is long overdue in presenting its picks for the best comics of 2011 and the creators who had the best year last year. Regular readers might note it’s been some time since the Glass Eye Awards were presented; there was no such feature on the site for 2010 comics and creators — just didn’t get around to it. But the Glass Eye Awards are back, starting here with the best comics of the year.

Now readers ought to bear in mind I’m a busy, busy man, and there’s no way for me to read all of the comics and graphic novels released over the course of a year. I haven’t even had a chance to read all of the comics and graphic novels I actually purchased. Furthermore, the “nominees” and “winners” as presented here are based on my best recollections, and my memory ain’t perfect. Now, with no further ado, the envelopes, please… Read the rest of this entry »

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I Can’t Believe We All Wore the Same Thing to Work

Posted by Don MacPherson on 5th December 2011

You’ve heard of crimes against fashion? Well, how you ever considered fashion for crime? Forget New York, Paris or Madrid. If you want to see the latest trends in super-villain fashion, you need to turn your attention to such unconventional locales as Gotham City and the Marvel Universe. Domino masks are so… Silver Age. One of the newer looks that’s in this season is Robotic-Insectoid Couture. Read the rest of this entry »

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