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Wednesday, Dec 19, 2012
Today on the cards: is transmedia the unparalleled liberation it's hyped to be? We don't answer that question without getting into the Old West, Mark Twain and Walt Whitman, Green Lantern Simon Baz and Ultimate Spidey, and, naming a candidate for Writer-of-the-Year…

@MichaelDStewart: I think, we get into here the inverse of transmedia, where as another media version is so dominant that the other creators are left humbled to find ways to connect to that version.
@uu3y324rdry: YES! The “dark age of transmedia”.
@MichaelDStewart: Or the stalling of transmedia.

@uu3y324rdry: We’ve spoken about this quite a bit over the year…and your view of this stalling really hit home for me with the new issue of Hawkeye (#5, released either this week or last). We see mainstream Marvel, Earth-616, and we see an African-American Nick Fury. Like the Fury from Whedon’s movieverse Avengers, itself based on the Fury from Mark Millar’s Ultimates.

It’s the eye-patch-wearing Fury and everything…and suddenly, on that page in Hawkeye…I’m just out to sea…WHAT’S GOING ON HERE?!…and in the dialogue…whaddaya know…he’s the “son of the original Nick Fury”.

@MichaelDStewart: Yeah, in comics, unlike some other media, they just don’t recast all that much. They give a storyline explanation, even fairly preposterous ones.

But Marvel has during this year and the last few tried to realign their comic universe with their movie universe. Their are still plenty of hiccups, and some disconnects. But that how it has to be or else you lose two audiences.

DC hasn’t been able to do that. One, their more recent movies have been more about art as opposed to adventure, and they just haven’t invested in the properties in that way.
@uu3y324rdry: I say thee aye!, as they say. On both your points. The thing that smarts about an African-American Nick Fury in Marvel’s Earth-616, is that it robs Ultimate Marvel of something unique. And it almost seems to render the Ultimate line as something of a failed experiment.
@MichaelDStewart: Yeah, but we don’t want the kids going to the Marvel movies reading Ultimate Marvel.

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Tuesday, Dec 18, 2012
Shathley and Mike, Editor and Associate Editor on PopMatters Comics pick up on Episode Two, exactly where they left off yesterday…with meditations of art versus commerce. But the conversation quickly turns to the breakout Hawkeye, to Batman and on to Marvel NOW!.

@MichaelDStewart: Before we get to that, let me ask you this: This money vs. art talk, in more immediate terms, would you look at the big news of the year, DC’s New 52 and Marvel NOW!, as money grabs or creative revolutions?

@uu3y324rdry: Interesting…
I’m in that neither-neither place…
@MichaelDStewart: Ah, good call. I did set that up as some sort of fallacy. False choice.

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Monday, Dec 17, 2012
PopMatters Comics Editor Shathley Q and Associate Editor Michael D. Stewart begin this first episode of their review of 2012 nearly at the end -- with New York Comic Con, with Marvel NOW!, and with the phenomenal Arrow.

We begin nearly at the end; with New York Comic Con and with Hurricane Sandy hitting the East Coast. And with the coming through slaughter of both those. Has it been a good year for comics? PopMatters Comics Editor Shathley Q and Associate Editor Michael D. Stewart get into philosophical questions around the medium of comics, and none-too-soon fall into talking about Batman and Arrow—but not before talking about Hemingway…

@uu3y324rdry: Here’s an opening salvo: Has it been a Good Year for comics?

@MichaelDStewart: That’s a really tough question. Like asking “has it been a good year for democracy.” Sure their are many democratic countries still here, but have the rights of the many improved any?
@uu3y324rdry: [:

See now…I like your framing of the idea…
It repositions comics as a kind of public good, as a shared wealth, something that everyone can participate in. I think my question does conflate the idea of comics as an abstract notion, with the manifestation of comics as products issued by the industry.
@MichaelDStewart: Comics, to get all universal, are a fostering of imagination and necessary part of the telling of the human story. But if looked at from that industrial-product view, it’s been another transition year.

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Friday, Dec 14, 2012
It's hard to shake memories of the series finale of House while reading this issue of Nite Owl, even if Warren Zevon's "Keep Me in Your Heart" isn't playing in the background…

There’s certainly an overture of casual connections between “Everybody Dies” the season eight finale and series finale to the nearly decade-long odyssey of the cantankerous MD who loathes patients but loves puzzles. There’s the abandoned building set on fire, there’re dire consequences for both House and his pardner-in-crime Wilson, just as there are for Rorschach and his crimefighting partner, Nite Owl.

But whereas “Everybody Dies” was a quiet moment for us to leave the story of House, Nite Owl’s story is just getting started.


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Wednesday, Dec 12, 2012
It was evil and pointless and stupid, casual and cowardly, but it was also Dumb…the sinking of the Costa Concordia and the cowardly captain who caused it are in at #15 on the MAD 20 Dumbest of 2012. Enjoy an exclusive preview…

It’s the long drag of Dumb. MAD Editor John Ficarra talks about this with me at length a number of times over the course of the year—that from day one of the new year, he opens a book and shortlists all the Dumb. It’s no surprise then, that the sinking of the Costa Concordia would make the list, even if it played out in the January of 2012.

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