Alex de Campi

Alex de Campi did a Q&A via Escape Pod Comics, and my question was posed!

My questions: How has video production and filmmaking informed the way you construct a comic book story? Also, who'd win a cage match between Sour Skittles and Sour Patch Kids?

Her response: Haribo Sour Mix is the undisputed king of sour sweets. Accept no imitations.

As for the video production, hell yes. A director composes a shot list before filming, of all the shots/angles... that, and working with film frame composition and lighting, has made me so much better at visual storytelling. Also made me somewhat annoying to artists and colourists. I often specify shot sizes and angles in panel descriptions (which artists are, of course, free to ignore if they have a better way, just as a cinematographer is).

Check out Grindhouse: Doors Open At Midnight #5 - Bride of Blood Part One, on sale TODAY.

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Deadly Class: Issue One convo, spoiler-friendly

I wrote a review of Deadly Class #1 today, which I am kind of proud of. I like feeling ownership over my writing, and even more than the Milligan &McCarthy review Blank Fiction published, I think I hit all the bases here. Anyway, I wrote it without any spoilers, but there are things that made me chuckle and talk to my CV friends about.

1. Mr. Lin lays down the law as he leads Marcus and his pupils back to the school. "No sex," he says. "No drugs."

a) How soon do you think it'll be before one or more of these taboos gets broken?

b) He also says no unsanctioned killing, and so I wonder if Saya will receive a wrist-slap for the dead "cop." Was she apparently shocked at killing him because of Marcus' reaction, because it was her first kill, or because of consequences for breaking Lin's rules?

2. In my review, I didn't give DC four or five stars because it seemed very derivative of other stories. What did y'all think? What would you have done differently had you written this comic?

3. Finally, how did you like it in general? The letters page confessional won me over, showing how deeply personal this project was for Remender and promising something in tone and content a lot more engaging than some of the other books and films I mentioned in my review. What won you over ...or pushed you away? Will this be an addition to your pull list?

The copy I got from my friendly-neighborhood comic retailer has a tear in the back cover. If this series turns out to be one of those enduring titles I read through its duration, I'm not going to replace it with a mint copy. Like well-loved paperbacks, comic books that touch you are characterized by signs of wear, signs of love.

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Why I Love New Bizarro

By and large, the New 52 reinterpretation of the Superman mythos leaves me cold. However, with the introduction of Project B-Zero in Forever Evil #2 - Rats, I am completely taken with the new imagining of Bizarro.

At his core, Bizarro is the antithesis of Superman. For some reason, the Pre-52 portrayal was a consciously evil creature with an awful understanding of grammar; I say awful rather than opposite because not all writers were successful at writing completely opposite dialogue, and continuity let it fly. However, in the New 52, readers get a daringly original version of this character that makes him much more sympathetic than his predecessor(s).

This is not just the story of good versus evil. Superman, in any of his alter egos, is a mature adult male who feels accountable for the whole planet. His existence is a projection of his selfless desire to protect others, an extension of the values passed to him by both the Kents and the legacy of his Kryptonian parents. The new Bizarro, on the other hand, is a child, who sees Lex Luthor as his mother-God. He has no violent urges unless either he or his "mother" are threatened. This is demonstrated in both his debut and in Forever Evil #3 - Prisoners when Lex Luthor is threatened and we see Bizarro stirred to anger. However, we also see child-like desire to be acknowledged. Bizarro is not a creature without will, and he does not feel compelled to carry out his maker's will until Luthor acknowledges the flower the clone has picked for him. Where Superman is a parent to the world, Bizarro is a child, an entity who has not developed a sense of right or wrong, good or evil. This opens up many storytelling possibilities.

1. When (not if) Luthor abandons his "child," who will "raise" Bizarro? Paulo Freire posits that traditional education uses the "banking model," where students are empty accounts that teachers make deposits of information into. Potentially, anyone could supplant Luthor as an authority, heroic or villainous, and either way the results are going to be awesome.

2. Will Superman be as offended by Bizarro's creation as Thor was when Tony Stark and Co. cloned him during Civil War? If so, the Man of Steel may be bent on his destruction, ignoring the creature's fundamental rights as a living creature. If not, the conflict between Superman and Bizarro may transcend just physical battles. Either way, wonderful characterization opportunity for Superman.

3. How will Superman's engagement with Bizarro affect his perceptions of his own roles and values?

Finally, I also really like that Bizarro's logo is backwards because he couldn't figure out how to put on his shirt correctly.

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Amanda Palmer Kickstarter Critics

The Guardian posted this essay exploring the question of whether or not Amanda Palmer (Dresden Dolls, Neil Gaiman's wife) is an egotist. Personally, I suspect she took advantage of an opportunity, and it paid off: the new album is brilliant. Nonetheless, I've posted this as the foundation of your own research and to form your own opinions. Feel free to discuss here. Discourse only; asshats need not apply.

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Top 5 Adjectives Used to Describe Samimista

5. "Web of..." (I know this is a noun clause, but Marvel uses it as an adjective to describe Spidey books occasionally)

4. Her psychiatrist says that she is "unabashedly and profoundly delightful." He was sweating an awful lot when he said it, though.

3. Other Comic Vine users describe her as "perky." Whether they are remarking on her personality or something else, only her undertaker knows.

2. BumpyBoo, in a New York Times review, called Samimista, "a squalid pit of despair, and by 'squalid pit of despair,' I mean a treasure trove of awesome."

1. Chuck Anderson, of the Made-Up Name Gazette, said Samimista is "Squirrel Girl-like in her complexity." When asked to be more succinct, he said, "Web of..."

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Harley Quinn vs. The Joker's Daughter

I originally poo-pooed The Joker's Daughter, her new image seeming to somehow provide nothing that DC readers couldn't already get from Harley Quinn. Then I read Batman: The Dark Knight #23.4 - The Meat & the Marrow, and so now I would offer this to people who, like I did, doubt the "new" character. Duela is everything Harley is not, the anti-Harley if you will.

Harley's agenda is always contingent upon someone else's approval, whether that person is the Joker, Poison Ivy, or the Suicide Squad. I will always prefer pre-52 Harley, visually and philosophically, but she's submissive, in spite of her psychosis. Meanwhile, Duela has literally taken the Joker's face, and subverted his image to her own agenda. In "The Meat & The Marrow," she fights to liberate the women of the Nevers, and wins. She is resourceful, but knows her limits. She has more practical concerns, where Harley has passion.

No doubt, eventually these two characters will come into conflict; I can't imagine the proximity they shared in Forever Evil #1 - Nightfall went unnoticed to one another, so it's only a matter of time. I further predict that Harley will triumph because she is unpredictable and crazy, always an edge over logical. Still, until she does choke the life from Duela, I'm going to enjoy the ride.

Thoughts? I don't necessarily like being in an echo chamber, so contrary opinions are always welcome.

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For Your Pleasure

To make up for the deleted blog post that used to be here, enjoy this pic of Hank Pym in West Coast Avengers #1 - Teammates. Does Hawkeye visualize all of Pym's personae when he sees him, or did the writer/editor not think the boldface "HANK PYM!" was enough for readers to i.d. the character? Why the different expressions? Are Ant-Man and Giant-Man shocked to be remembered? Goliath looks resigned. What's Yellowjacket have to be pissed about? Perhaps this was all a side effect of the Age of Ultron aftermath.

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Pro wrestling fans, please weigh in

So, I've noticed on twitter and on various female wrestlers' personal sites (as opposed to the sites of the professional wrestling promotions that they represent) invitations to their fans to buy them things from their Amazon wishlists. Sometimes, the wrestlers in question offer to reward the generous benefactor with a signed picture or a t-shirt or something, but not always.

I feel that women's presence in professional wrestling is transformative, creating strong images of women that America needs to see. However, their skills and paygrade are higher than that of a waitress, who may live paycheck to paycheck if not for gratuity. I don't understand this trend, and I'm inviting wrestling fans to weigh in, not because I am small-minded and don't think that fans shouldn't show appreciation to entertainers and athletes who put their bodies on the line for them, but because it doesn't seem to happen with male athletes or in any other entertainment industry.

Questions to help guide the conversation:

1. Do female professional wrestlers deserve tips or gifts?

2. Does soliciting gifts from fans negate call for gender equality in that industry?

3. Does this kind of thing exist elsewhere and I'm just not seeing it?

4. I asked indy wrestler Amber Gertner on Twitter for a response based on this curiosity. Do you think I crossed a line?

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Top 5 Things About BumpyBoo You May Not Have Known

@bumpyboo is my friend. I like her bunches, so here are five fun facts about her that you may not have previously known:

1. She has seen more cartoons than Uatu the Watcher.

2. BumpyBoo is not an acronym. She was not created for any nefarious purpose by any comic book cabal... just her parents perhaps while listening to "Afternoon Delight" like the rest of us.

3. Bumpy is a conjoined twin. She's the one on the left.

4. While she has helped flesh out the wiki for Beavis & Butt-Head among many other animated series, she probably wouldn't let them see her "thingees." You shouldn't ask to, either. It's rude.

5. Is the granddaughter of the man young Matt Murdock saved from being run over by a truck. Today, that man is governor of Cleveland, OH. This may not be true, but wouldn't it be cool if it were?

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