Tuesday, December 25, 2007

On the first day of Christmas

In Spain you don´t get any presents today. At least in the more traditonal families. Since the holy three kings brought Jesus his presents you don´t get presents in Spain till the 6th of Januar which is the day of the three kings.

On christmas you also celebrate but it´s much more a day for the family to be together than for presents. And you don´t lock your door on christmas so anyone who wants can come to your house. Over the years we have changed our habits a little since here in Germany it is the norm to make Bescherung ( the oficial exchange of presents ) on the first day of Christmas.

For my sister I got the new german edition of KRAVEN´S LAST HUNT since it´s one of the best Spider - Man stories ever written. And at least she finds out how Spider - Man´s costume is supposed to look.

Her husband got the HACK SLASH book from CrossCult. You can´t go wrong with horror books especially when they´re done by CrossCult. They always deliver a nice package with the shiny hardcover and the extra pages. The format was even so successful that Dark Horse adapted it for all new releases of their cult books like HELLBOY and SIN CITY. Which is one of the reasons why I´m glad to have the original trades since the new ones are much smaller.

Like most of the other titles from CrossCult HACK SLASH was a good read although for my taste there was something missing. Not that the art was bad - the first story was done wonderful. The other stories were done in that " it looks like cels but there is no anime " - look that has already prevented me from reading RUNAWAYS but that´s not what´s bugging me. For my taste the stories don´t " breathe " it all seems much too compressed and the story is at an end before it is really told. So both of these books I got from the Comicbörse in Stuttgart ended up as christmas presents.

My younger brother got the second WOLVERINE ORIGINS trade.

Like I said in my last post : I couldn´t get the IMMORTAL IRON FIST trade and at least I know he bought the first trade a few weeks ago. Maybe he´s going to put the book on his pull list.

And the easiest is always my older brother. Since he buys almost no comics I just give him the newest Hellboy book that´s available.

Or the newest B.U.A.P. book.

He never follows up on series. Never. Anyway, I got him the first B.U.A.P. book for his last birthday......no wait, I got him the first WALKING DEAD book for his birthday and when I got the first B.U.A.P. book I swapped it for WALKING DEAD.

My brother doesn´t like the WALKING DEAD as much as me and since I already had the second WALKING DEAD book it was a good trade. And they had the same price tag so everybody wins. Like I said I got him the second B.U.A.P. book and I hope he likes it although it´s in color and he usually doesn´t like the Hellboy stuff coloured.

Here in Germany there have been big debates if Hellboy should be published in black and white like CrossCult does or in colour like Dark Horse does. One fraction says it looks best in black and white so that´s how it should be published. Another fraction says since the Dark Horse version is the original version it should be published in color since the big black spaces build a nice contrast to the big red and yellow splashes of blood and fire. The last fraction argues that Mike Mignola never intended Hellboy to be in colour and it was only done because although SIN CITY was a huge success they felt they couldn´t sell it as a black and white book. Me I just don´t care. I´ve grown accustomed to the coloured version since that´s how I began to read Hellboy but I have since then gone over to reading the black and white german version. Yes, I miss the red and yellow and whatnot. But it also works very well as a black and white book so.....whatever.

For some people it´s very important to read a comic in the original version but usually I just pick the version I can get my hands on and which one is the cheapest. With WATCHMEN I prefer the original trade size to the blown up german version because the art by Dave Gibbons does not profit from the larger format. It looses most of it´s density and intensity. So as a rule I don´t much care which version I read except in a few cases when I really care for the series or the artist like Carlos Pacheco.

This year we decided to make no present for our Mom. Usually she starts giving little subtle hints two weeks before christmas like " I would really like something like new earrings. Golden.....not that silver stuff...yes, gold with some nice stones. " This year she decided that what we really wanted was a projector so that´s what we got. We had to improvise a little but yesterday we watched TRANSFORMERS with Megan Fox ( Massita )

and today we watched FANTASTIC FOUR - RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER which I hadn´t seen before.

We also watched PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN AT WORLD´S END which was one of the things I got for christmas this year. The other things were an astrology book for LEO ( which is my sign ) with a quote for every day, a little Santa Claus, chocolate and the new Harry Potter book in the german translation HARRY POTTER UND DIE HEILIGTÜMER DES TODES. I prefer the original version since I heard that the german translation is not very good. Which is not very hard to believe if you know some of the horrifying german translations for comics - which most people would call not that bad. Well, I´m just happy I can read the new book no matter in which way, shape or form. I had intended to wait till you can get it pretty cheap at amazon - which is how I bought the last two books - but now I don´t have to wait that long.

I also got two new discworld books from Terry Pratchet which means that now I have to start reading the damn books since I already got four of them. Today they showed HOGFATHER on german tv which by the way is also from Terry Pratchet but since I only caught the second half of the second part of the rerun ( try saying that twenty times ) I didn´t watch it.

So all in all this first day of christmas wasn´t so bad.

Now in my last post I mentioned Ultimates and digital inking. I wanted to add that I´m not a big fan of using computers for stuff that looks better when done by hand. For me a computer is only a tool and only as good as the artist. And I really think that the comic industry has benefitted from it. Just think about how all the other companies had to switch to computer coloring because image was flooding the market with all this glossy, shiny computer colored comics. When they finally came out.

What I don´t like is some half - assed book that not really computer rendered and not really drawn. Or when they put 3d - objects in a flat drawn comic. It just destroys the look. And I also don´t like painted comics that look like computer animations. If you do computer just go all the way. Just do a comic with everything done on the computer. Why not ? And if you´re doing one you can do a Power Girl comic since it seems impossible for DC to get a halfway decent babe artist to draw their most popular female character.

You know, sometimes it seems like they´re afraid to make money. I think a Power Girl comic done on the computer could sell.

Here is my dummy version of what a Power Girl comic could look like. Yes, there is Rogue in it but it´s only to give you an idea.

Power Girl is on the way to the topless beach when she suddenly encounters Rogue who seems to be going her way. Startled to find a DC character in her backyard they soon begin to pace each other.

Rogue is also confused to find herself suddenly smackdab in the DC universe and starts dissing PG. The tension is rising. Anybody could explode at any minute. But after realizing that none of the two had anything to do with Rogue being in the wrong universe they compare cup sizes and decide to head to the beach together where they take their tops off.

Happy End. You see how easy it can be ?

Of course the proportions don´t have to be that exaggerated but that´s how it could look like.

Since I mentioned the german translations of Hellboy and B.U.A.P. I aslso wanted to say something about the PANINI version of MIGHTY AVENGERS.

I was a bit surprised that they translated the title to DIE RUHMREICHEN RÄCHER instead of DIE MÄCHTIGEN RÄCHER but since the first title has already history in Germany it is understandable. What´s not so understandable is that in a market that has to fight for every reader the price tag for a comic with 3 issues is 13 EURO. That´s 13 bucks for 3 issues that together cost less than 9 bucks when you buy the single US issues. That´s much money for a publisher that always tells it´s readers that they have to keep fighting for the german translations instead of switching to the american originals.

I don´t know how they calculate this but the way I see it nobody is going to pay 4 bucks more only to have the pleasure to read it in german. Especially with the quality problems PANINI has had in the last few months. No sir. The way I see it the customers are going to read the US version where they can buy 4 issues for the same money and even have 1 EURO left to buy a Snickers bar or an Hamburger in the nearest Mc Donald´s.

So I hope you had a nice first day of christmas, got some nice presents and didn´t drink to much. And that´s all for today.

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