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Saturday April 28, 2012 11:50 pm

Weekend Reading: Avengers, Alan Moore, Before Watchmen, and Don McGregor

MinutemenI once met Alan Moore, had dinner with him in fact. A dinner that included Stephen Bissette and John Totleben.

I must stress that they did not have dinner with me at my invitation - I was at the table as a guest of Gary Groth and Kim Thompson from Fantagraphics. Also in attendance was Dave Olbrich. The creative trio - currently on DC’s Swamp Thing - was on their way to NY and had stopped in at the Fantagraphics offices to meet with Gary and Kim and head for Chinese food. And I got to tag along.

I spent a couple of hours listening to Moore and his companions regale the group with story after story. At no point did I ever think of Alan Moore as crazy. In fact, I thought he was one of the smartest guys I’d ever met. He was also not like anyone I’d met either before or since. He was different, alright. But crazy? No. Weird? Hardly.

Which brings me to this:

Heidi at Comics Beat has a great breakdown of Alan Moore, Before Watchmen, DC Comics and the fans who are somehow upset at Alan. There’s a point that she makes about book publishing where the publishers do everything they can to keep their top talent happy, and it probably has a lot to do with the fact that at some point the talent can go elsewhere because they own the books and the publisher only has a grant of certain rights. That’s the exact opposite of corporate comics who are perfectly willing to let their top talent walk out the door. Her well-written post sparked a ton of debate with everyone from producer Don Murphy to Ed Brubaker to Kurt Busiek weighing in to try to straighten things out with facts and clean out the trolls. It was well over 350 comments before Heidi closed it up. It's all must-reading.

Now let's see what else the internets offer up:

Ricky Sprague has some thoughts about Alan Moore and Before Watchmen as well.

Don McGregor talks about Nathaniel Dusk and his collaboration with Gene Colan and the beautiful coloring of Tom Ziuko.

My old friend Peter Sanderson has restarted his column, Comics In Context at A Site Called Fred. In this new installment, he takes a look at Joss Whedon’s Cabin In The Woods.

PvP welcomes Mark Waid and John Rogers to the webcomics community with both open arms and a warning to the competition.

Novelist James Reasoner likes Brian Wood’s Northlanders: Book Two: The Cross And The Hammer. “This is a fine piece of gritty historical fiction,” and I’m in agreement.

Mark Frauenfelder at Boing Boing reviews Leviathan by Ian Edginton and D’Israeli. “But that's also a testament to the skill of the comic's creators, who were able to render an impressive sense of dimensionality and atmosphere in a 56-page story. Maybe someone will make it into a movie -- it could be terrific as long as it was faithful to the comic book.” I’ve got to pick this up at San Diego this year!

To celebrate the arrival of The Avengers movie, Paul O’Connor at Longbox Graveyard hosts multiple images of Avengers assembling.

Amid at Cartoon Brew looks at a bunch of new cartoon books coming from Chronicle Books. The one I most want? Imagination Illustrated: The Jim Henson Journal by Karen Falk.

I love looking at these sci-fi/movie magazines first issue covers, courtesy of Weimar World Service.

And finally, here’s a little bit about one of the actors to played Doctor Who: Patrick Troughton. Bonus: clips.

Use your internets responsibly!

[Artwork: Before Watchmen, © DC Comics]

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