Rounding up some random comic book thoughts

Posted: June 1st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Since I’ve been more or less inactive for the past few weeks, there has been some random comic book news floating around in my head that I’ll now share with you, all bullet-list style.

(If you’re going to do a list, it might has well be of high-caliber. *snert* Oh, I crack myself up.)

So I was disappointed to hear about the cancellation of Unknown Soldier, which will be ending with issue #25. The Vertigo book has been one of my favorite titles since its debut, thanks in large part to writer Joshua Dysart’s slow-burn story of one man’s tortured psyche smoldering away in the war-ravaged country of Uganda in 2002.

Dysart’s use of the brutality in Uganda to update the Bronze Age character has been masterful, and gives full dimension to the mysteriously lethal and psychologically damaged Dr. Moses Lwanga. The art was always solid, and I also appreciated the essays on what Uganda was like during this time that Dysart included in most issues. The scope of the real-life events helped give the story perspective, as well as being just a solid serving of information I think most American readers probably missed the first time around.

I’ve always wished more comics could  be like Unknown Soldier, and I’m disappointed that there’ll be one less now. dared the U.S. Department of Justice to shut it down for copyright infringment, saying that even though full issues of comics were being made available at the website for free and without permission, it was acting as a library and nyah nyah nyah.

Can you guess what happened?

I’ll be honest: I’ve downloaded things from shady sites. I’m not proud of it. But I will say (and here come the excuses) that it has always been a temporary fix – once I confirmed the storyline, found the single panel I was looking for, or read enough to decide whether I wanted to read more or not, the download was deleted. Period.

If I’m reading something regularly, or even if there is a back issue I want to own, I go out and buy it. Downloading because you don’t want to actually pay for something is stealing, and it hurts the artists and writers we as fans claim to love so much. Eventually it hurts the industry, which in turn will end up hurting the reader who suddenly is looking at yet another price hike for comics with less content and more ads.

Does the contradiction make me a hypocrite? Probably. Is there some sort of middle ground? You tell me. (Seriously – I’m interested in everyone’s opinion on this).

Finally, there was the sad and shocking news about the murder of ThunderCats writer Stephen Perry.

Perry (who also wrote the comics Timespirits, Psi-Force and Wally Wood’s THUNDER Agents) had been missing and the evidence, including a severed arm and then other dismembered body parts, painted a grim picture. Perry was unfortunately going through a hard time in his life, but had been getting some support from the Hero Initiative and seemed to be getting back on track.

Sadly, it was a recovery that was senselessly cut short.

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One Comment on “Rounding up some random comic book thoughts”

  1. 1 Dom said at 11:15 pm on June 15th, 2010:

    This Wednesday Joshua Dysart is going to be at my comic shop doing a signing. He is releasing his graphic novel based on the music of Niel Young titled, “Greendale.” I’ll let him know you are bummed out about his “Unknown Soldier” series ending.

    Also, is it a weird feeling to feel as if the Stephen Perry murderer is also a thief? I have given money to the Hero Initiative in the past, and to hear that the money was in a way wasted due to the beneficiary being murdered makes me angry. A killer is no doubt a bad person, but in this case, the killer is truly evil for basically wasting money from a charity that could have gone to a non-murdered person.

    Some killers are just…inconsiderate.

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