Daily Archives: November 29, 2010

For Sale: The Ruins of Comico

Comico: The Comic Company was something of a publishing force in the comic-book market in the 1980s. Though perhaps little more than footnote in industry history now, it was noteworthy for the talent and properties it fostered. Perhaps best known as the home of the Robotech licence at the time, it was also noteworthy as the original home of Matt Wagner’s Mage and Grendel, as well as Bill Willingham’s The Elementals. Among its editing talent are two of the most respected figures in comics today: Bob Schreck, formerly of Dark Horse, DC and IDW; and Dark Horse’s Diana Schutz.

I was browsing the original comic art auctions on eBay the other day, and I happened upon an unusual listing dealing specifically with Comico’s history.

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Quick Critiques – Nov. 29, 2010

Variant coverBatwoman #0 (DC Comics)
by J.H. Williams III, W. Haden Blackman & Amy Reeder

J.H. Williams III has been wowing comics readers for years with his inventive layouts and haunting, detailed style. Interest in his work spiked last year when he signed on as the regular artist on the Greg Rucka-penned, Batwoman-starring stint on Detective Comics. Here, the artist returns to the character, sharing not only the artistic duties but the writing chores as well. Again, he impresses with his novel layouts, splitting many pages with artist Amy Reeder. Each artist handles a different aspect of the script — Williams illustrates the Batwoman bits, and Reeder the Kate Kane segments — and despite their different styles, the end result is a surprisingly seamless exercise in storytelling.

DC missed a great opportunity to experiment with format. this zero issue contains only 16 pages of new story and art. The rest of the comic is filled out with preview art and a teaser from another Batman family comic. It’s a shame that DC didn’t just publish the 16 pages on their own and price this promotional/introductory issue at $1.99. Others have experimented with the format; Image Comics published Warren Ellis and Ben Templesmith’s Fell and Matt Fraction and Gabriel Ba’s Casanova that way, and they were well received. DC has made an important step away from the $3.99 price point and format. A cheaper, 16-page comic might’ve been another step in the right direction. Oh, and the logo… definitely a misstep as well. 7/10

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