Comics have come a long way since I was a kid. Back then, it was all about heroes battling villains. Nowadays, in addition to villains, the heroes are battling themselves, each other, and the types of everyday problems usually reserved for the likes of regular Joe’s like you and me (but especially me). The stories have shifted from action-adventure to an exploration of their lives, not only as high-flying public defenders, but as friends, lovers, and private citizens who don’t always save the day, much less their romantic relationships. Writers like Bendis, Busiek, and Waid have deconstructed the traditional superhero concept, reshaping it into a stronger, far more vibrant reimagining. Gone is the simple focus on good vs. evil. Instead, today’s comic books examine the live of their protagonists, both personal and professional, as well as their far-reaching influences on society as a whole.

All too often, when people think of adult comics, they automatically envision topless statuesque women or over-the-top violence. However, were they to dig a little deeper, actually spend a little time looking through the wide selection available, they’d discover a host of titles that are termed “adult” not so much because of their subject matter but because they are written to appeal to educated readers. They are intelligent and subversive, challenging our accepted notions of the genre.

Which brings us to Powers: Who Killed Retro Girl? The book’s hero is Christian Walker, a homicide detective tasked with investigating the mysterious death of superhero Retro Girl. Complicating matters for him are his new rookie partner Deena Pilgrim, a fellow officer intent on horning in on the case, and a precocious young girl who has fallen into his lap following a domestic disturbance call. While the high-strung medical examiner bemoans his inability to perform a proper autopsy on the victim (he is forced to take a blowtorch to her impervious skin) and the media outlets cover the story with sensationalist fervor, the investigation uncovers a shocking secret about the All-American-Heroine. The mystery deepens, leads and suspects pursued, and we ultimately learn that Detective Walker is hiding a few secrets of his own…

Yes, it’s a noir detective superhero thriller, and a highly accomplished one at that. Bendis’s dialogue is quick and clever, the setting he has created well-imagined. The bits and pieces of Retro Girl’s past that come to light over the course of the narrative paint a surprisingly sharp picture of a world in which superpowers are an accepted part of life, so much so that the police have set up a special department to deal with powers-related crime. The characters of Walker and Pilgrim are also nicely developed, charming despite their obvious faults, and very likable. The story is intriguing and, although the ending did feel a little abrupt, the narrative offered more than enough twists to make for a very satisfying the read. In particular, I appreciated the book’s sense of humor. Oeming’s artwork, somewhat reminiscent of the WB’s Batman cartoon, contrasts nicely with the dark subject matter, while the book’s untraditional layout (juxtaposing the investigation with media coverage of the event, panels stacked precariously like building blocks occasionally running the lengths of both pages) forces the reader’s attention.

A very different type of superhero tale, but one well worth checking out as an introduction to what is, in my opinion, one of the best series of its kind.

So, those are my preliminary thoughts. What did you all think? Let’s hear your take on Powers. And let’s see those questions for author Brian Michael Bendis.

Alas, it’s late and I’m barely coherent, so tune in to tomorrow when I’ll weigh in on the two Stargate Universe rough cuts we watched today (Air I and II, and Fire), give you the what’s what on the Atlantis movie, and maybe even offer up a new episode title.


36 thoughts on “April 6, 2009: Powers: Who Killed Retro Girl?, written by Brian Michael Bendis, Illustrated by Michael Avon Oeming

  1. It is late indeed!
    I am also barely coherent. Working on my paper on black holes and then I have to outline my final project. *Sigh* I’ll prolly be up until 3 again 🙂

    Can’t wait for updates tomorrow 😉

  2. Hey Joe, its been a long time since I commented.
    I am also barely coherent…it must be that time of year again. Yep! Final project time. It will be a late night for me also.

    Did you catch House tonight. WTF? is all I have to say. Also, FOX put up a obit for the character on their website. What do you think about it? Personally I think its creepy.

    Anyways, better get back to my term paper. Cannot wait for the updates for tomorrow.

  3. Overall I enjoyed the concept of a mysteriously de-powered superhero becoming a detective and using his old superhero connections in his cases. Walker is a likable character and Pilgrim is OK. The whole thing with the little girl falling into his lap is highly cliched but I could overlook it. I did have a few problems with this book; I’ll try to go in order in which they appear:

    1. Highly cliched small child already mentioned.

    2. Pilgrim’s clothing. This was the major WTF? thing for me in this book. I didn’t see Johnny Depp anywhere so this can’t be 21 Jump Street so, why is she dressed as though she just went shopping with the high school senior class? Yes, her clothes are highly conservative when looked at by comic book standard but the belly shirts are not age appropriate nor are they appropriate work attire. Everyone else is dressed in Uniform or suits. I find it hard to swallow that a police department doesn’t have a dress code. The fact that she actually says: “And these Belly shirts I wear. Those have got to do something for you” just bugged the hell out of me.

    3. Zora and her ‘there is no God I am my own God’ deal. I get tired of anti-religion digs.

    4. To skip to the end the interrogation scene really got my hackles up. The whole ‘He’s intimidated by boobies. Pilgrim, you have boobies, go stick your scary boobies in his face and he’ll tell us everything’. GAG!

    5. Oh, and Triphammer felt a little too much like a poor-man’s Tony Stark.

    I do have two questions for Mr. Bendis:

    1. Which do you prefer: writing for Marvel with it’s established characters but stricter guidelines that must be followed (ie: Wolverine can be shown being incinerated down to his Adamantium skeleton but he can’t be shown smoking a cigar) or an independent publisher with your own characters and less guidelines?

    2. 99.9% of the comics I read are Marvel and, sadly, I’ve gotten used to female characters with their breasts cinched up to their chins or their asses hanging out all-together (*cough*Ms. Marvel*cough*) so I really shouldn’t complain all that much about Pilgrim’s outfit in ‘Powers’. But I’ve gotta ask why you dressed her like she’s on her way to cheer on the local high school football team? Those crop-tops work for a teenaged crime fighter like Kim Possible but Pilgrim is supposed to be a grown woman in a professional job. Couldn’t she have been dressed professionally and age appropriately?

  4. So looking forward to tomorrow’s post!

    I guess thats one of the good things about living in Australia (related to Stargate, seems as it is shown either really late at night, or shown years after being shown in the US, but thats another matter) cause we get to read it when it is still during the day!! I have checked about 5 times today waiting for a blog… I’m obsessed now I have come across this!!!

    Your post has opened my eyes. I didn’t realise comics are now for adults, not just children. I will have to keep an eye out. But to be honest, I dont think I have ever seen a comic store… Maybe there isn’t a big market in Australia?? Weird…

    Daniel (how am I going to sleep!!!)

  5. Couple of thoughts/questions

    1) How did Mr. Bendis enjoy his minor role in the novel “The Amazing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl”? (That should be one of your bookclub entries)

    2) One of the things I truly loved about this book was the incidental scenes that reminded us that we were in a superpowered universe. The best example was when Deena and Christian were talking and you see a battle between villain and hero happening above them. The hero and villain crash into a building and there is a huge explosion and the superpowered team fly on. Christian and Deena watch it happen and then go right back to their conversation without batting an eye. Brilliant!

  6. I first read Powers: Who Killed Retro Girl? a few years ago, and while I enjoyed it quite a bit, I had one piece of cognitive dissonance that I couldn’t get around. For me, the juxtaposition of the artwork with the more adult themes just didn’t work for me. I kept expecting a more PG-rated kind of story, and the first use of adult language kind of threw me for a loop.

    That said, I’ve since re-read it many times and been able to get past that, but I’ve always wondered if Bendis and Oeming were trying to make some sort of point with this juxtaposition. (To contract with that, the artwork for Alias fits the story line much better, to my way of thinking.)

    So my question is: what were you going for with that juxtaposition of adult themes and “cartoonish” artwork?

  7. Congrats on the Leo Awards Nominations. : )

    The Nominees for Best Screenwriting
    in a Dramatic Series are…

    Joseph Mallozzi, Paul Mullie – Stargate Atlantis – Remnants
    Brad Wright – Stargate Atlantis – The Shrine

    The Nominees for Best Dramatic Series are…

    Stargate Atlantis

    Joseph Mallozzi, Paul Mullie, Brad Wright, Robert Cooper,
    Carl Binder, Martin Gero, Alan McCullough, John Smith – Producers

    The Nominees for Best Direction
    in a Feature Length Drama are…

    Martin Wood – Stargate Continuum

    The Nominees for Best Screenwriting
    in a Feature Length Drama are…

    Brad Wright – Stargate Continuum

    The Nominees for Best Cinematography
    in a Feature Length Drama are…

    Peter Woeste – Stargate Continuum

    The Nominees for Best Picture Editing
    in a Feature Length Drama are…

    Brad Rines – Stargate Continuum

    The Nominees for Best Overall Sound
    in a Feature Length Drama are…

    Paul Sharpe, Iain Pattison, Graeme Hughes – Stargate Continuum

    The Nominees for Best Sound Editing
    in a Feature Length Drama are…

    Devan Kraushar, James Wallace, Kirby Jinnah, Jay Cheetham,
    Dario DiSanto – Stargate Continuum

    The Nominees for Best Production Design
    in a Feature Length Drama are…

    James Robbins – Stargate Continuum

    The Nominees for Best Costume Design
    in a Feature Length Drama are…

    Christina McQuarrie – Stargate Continuum

    The Nominees for Best Visual Effects
    in a Feature Length Drama are…

    Michelle Commens, Stephen Bahr, Christopher Stewart
    Krista McLean, James Kawano – Stargate Continuum

    The Nominees for Lead Performance by a Male
    in a Feature Length Drama are…

    Michael Shanks – Stargate Continuum

    The Nominees for Lead Performance by a Female
    in a Feature Length Drama are…

    Amanda Tapping – Stargate Continuum

    The Nominees for Best Direction
    in a Dramatic Series are…

    Robert Cooper – Stargate Atlantis – Vegas

    The Nominees for Best Cinematography
    in a Dramatic Series are…

    Michael Blundell – Stargate Atlantis – Vegas
    Jim Menard – Stargate Atlantis – The Shrine

    The Nominees for Best Picture Editing
    in a Dramatic Series are

    Mike Banas – Stargate Atlantis – Vegas
    Brad Rines – Stargate Atlantis – The Shrine

    The Nominees for Best Overall Sound
    in a Dramatic Series are…

    Kelly Cole, Bill Mellow, Joe Watts, Hugo De Le Cerda, Kevin Belen
    Stargate Atlantis – Enemy at the Gate

    The Nominees for Best Sound Editing
    in a Dramatic Series are…

    Steve Smith, Matthew Wilson, Kirby Jinnah, Jay Cheetham
    Stargate Atlantis – Enemy at the Gate

    The Nominees for Best Production Design
    in a Dramatic Series are…

    James Robbins – Stargate Atlantis – Search and Rescue

    The Nominees for Best Costume Design
    in a Dramatic Series are…

    Valerie Halverson – Stargate Atlantis – The Queen

    The Nominees for Best Make-Up
    in a Dramatic Series are…

    Todd Masters, Holland Miller, Kyla-Rose Tremblay, Nicholas Podbrey, Brad Proctor
    Stargate Atlantis – Vegas

    The Nominees for Best Visual Effects
    in a Dramatic Series are…

    Mark Savela, Shannon Gurney, Kodie MacKenzie, Vivian Jim, Dan Wier
    Stargate Atlantis – First Contact

    The Nominees for Best Lead Performance by a Male
    in a Dramatic Series are…

    David Hewlett – Stargate Atlantis – The Shrine

    The Nominees for Best Lead Performance by a Female
    in a Dramatic Series are…

    Jewel Staite – Stargate Atlantis – Tracker

    WOOHOOO!!!!!!!!!!! : )

  8. You forgotsies the ‘g’ in Oeming. 😉

    Whew…glad I went to bed early…

    RE: Powers. Well, not sure where to start. There were elements that I really liked, and some things that just left me flat. As far as the story goes, I was fine (for the most part) right up to the end, when I was left scratching my head, wondering what the conversation between Walker and Calista was all about. I had a few suspicions, but eventually I had to ask some folks who have read the entire series what the ending meant, and they explained that all is revealed in later issues. That’s fine – if you’re reading the entire series – but it was a bit too crytic for me reading just this one arc.

    The art was effective, though Oeming’s style is not cuppa, with the exception of his amazing work on Mice Templar. Otherwise, it’s a bit too austere for me. However, in this story the starkness – combined with a great play of shadows – worked quite effectively, rounding out the whole noir feel of the book.

    Now, onto the characters. As you know I am not a fan of female characters, but I have to say that I loved Deena Pilgrim very much, right from the start. This is what I’ve been saying about Bendis’ handling of female characters – how can he be called a misogynist when he writes some of the best female characters in all of comicverse?? He knows how to write a strong woman without sacrificing her femininity, while at the same time not turning her into a froufrou girly-girl. As I was introduced to Deena, all I could envision was the plucky little Natalie Teeger (Traylor Howard) from Monk. Very similar characters in appearance and personality, and perhaps that’s why I instantly liked her. For me, she was the highlight of the book, although I must admit I enjoyed the oh-so-obnoxious Kutter, and slippery Johnny Royalle, too. Both of these latter characters were perfectly depicted for me, and I found them quite entertaining.

    However, not so much love for Walker. Perhaps – if I read the entire series – he’d grow on me, especially once his demons are revealed. But, basically – and pardon my French – he was a bit of a prick. Then again, I guess that’s what he’s supposed to be, but I have a lot of trouble warming to that sort of character…a bit like how I’ve never been able to like Scott Summers/Cyclops. When I feel that way about a character, they just sort of ‘disappear’ into the story – I don’t pay attention to them at all, and that started to happen with Walker as I read through the story. I pushed him to the side, not really all that interested in getting to know him better at this point.

    And then there was Calista. My biggest complaint with the book comes right at the beginning, when we’re first introduced to Calista. This is about the only example of how Bendis’ handling of females sort of backfires for me. I found Calista’s dialogue too mature and unnatural in the beginning for a kid her age, and it threw me off at first. However, her conversation with Walker at the end was done very well, and even though I didn’t comprehend what it was all about, at least it wasn’t the dialogue that was throwing me off. I still had a bit of a time liking the kid, though, and there were a couple of times I just wanted to smack her in the mouth. 😀

    That all said, there were quite a few funny moments, I think my favorite being Kutter’s ‘Glad I don’t have to do the paper work’ at the end. Loved it because that is so me! When I was a kid – about 5 – our nippy little toy fox terrier died, and as we were all standing silent around her grave, I bared my teeth like I was gonna bite, and piped up with, ‘Well, at least she can’t go ‘nee-nee-nee’ anymore’.

    Dad slapped me in mouth. 😛 Guess we know where I get it from, eh?

    Okay – that’s all for now. I have to think of questions for Bendis…this is going to be harder than I thought.

    Just a side note: Wolverine’s creator – Len Wein – lost his home to a fire, and with it some original Wolverine artwork. The family is okay, though their dog died in the fire:


    A real shame. 🙁

    On a happier note, another dog comes out a true survivor:



    Love that last story…


  9. I enjoyed reading this a lot. I have to admit I’m new to the genre – the only other comic I’ve read is Watchmen. Obviously this comic was a little less epic, but I still thought it held up very well in comparison, considering its different aims. I’m going to pick up the next few books.

    One major annoyance was the physical construction of the book – a lot of the artwork was spread across two pages, and the stuff in the middle was impossible to see or read. In one or two cases, there was even dialogue completely lost to the binding.

    One question for Bendis: What inspired you to combine a superhero world with a police procedural? I’m afraid I haven’t read enough comics to know if this is a common subject.

  10. Hey Joe,

    Just passing on my congratulations to the cast and crew that worked incredibly hard on Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Continuum. The noms were well deserved. One notable absence though. Joe Flanigan totally deserved one for Vegas.

    I had to laugh at the following article though from the Vancouver Sun. Are they for real? If 4 or 6 nominations is a load, then what would 11 and 17 nominations be? Way to miss the REAL STORY Vancouver Sun. Turkeys!

    Cheers, Chev

  11. And don’t think I didn’t see you and Paul there for Remnants. Congratulations Joe! It’s so very cool. Personally I think Brad’s got it in the bag (is that bad luck to say?)……so, what’s your evil plan to snatch it from him?

    Cheers, Chev

  12. Of course if you win I dare you to shout out, “Go you big red fire engine”.


    Cheers, Chev
    p.s. Google it if you’re curious about the origin.

  13. As I see it, graphic novels need to engage the reader on two levels – the story and the drawing style. Just picking it up and flipping through the pages of “Who Killed Retro Girl?”, neither one really appealed to me. I’m not a fan of crime dramas, superhero or otherwise, so this was not a genre that I would select to read for my own enjoyment. But the biggest barrier for me was the style of the art. I was never a fan of Batman and the big, square-jawed hero type is just not appealing to me. But I gave it a shot anyway. Spoilers ahead.

    As crime stories go, this one was interesting. The plot was good. I liked all the little secrets that were gradually revealed as the story progressed. Walker’s character was well developed as the crime-fighting superhero who lost his powers. I wasn’t as impressed by Deena Pilgrim – she seemed to be there more as a foil for Walker. I thought that her reasons for working with Walker were well stated in the beginning, but then she became a mere sidekick. The Kaotic Chic nerds were an unlikely choice as the villains, especially with so many super-powered villains running around the city, but that element and the “drainer” worked out pretty well in the context of the story. And the motive for the murder was kind of sad and romantic, in a sick, twisted sort of way. I liked Calista. I thought she was just going to be the annoying little kid that shows up in superhero stories just to give them someone to rescue, but she was a lot more than that. And the little twist at the end when we finally understand that Retro Girl is sort of an eternal heroine was very nice.

    The format with the investigative reporting scenes running along the bottom margin while the rest of the story continued above was distracting to me. I had to keep reading through one, then flipping back to read the other – maybe it’s because I don’t read graphic novels as a rule and haven’t developed the necessary skill set to follow two separate visual story lines running in parallel. But I can see how this novel approach might appear to more experienced readers.

    This book has not really won me over and converted me to a graphic novel reader. It was o.k. but I don’t feel a great desire to run out and pick up another one. I’m not saying that this is not a good graphic novel; just that it didn’t appeal to me. Maybe a different art style and a different theme would be better for me.

    Questions. I don’t really have any. Okay, well maybe I have just one. I know that I’m not supposed to ask questions like this because it is fantasy and I’m supposed to suspend my disbelief, but I’ll ask anyway because things like this bug me: If the police used “drainers” to keep criminals with superpowers under control in prison, why didn’t the forensic pathologist just use one to conduct his examination?

    Well, now I’m late for work – again. I’ll be interested to read how the graphic novel fans in the crowd liked this one.

  14. Powers: Who Killed Retro Girl? was the first graphic novel I’ve ever read. When I ordered it, I didn’t know it was a graphic novel (missed that in the description); I just liked the premise Joe posted here.

    Overall, I liked it. The story was interesting, it created an interesting world where superpowers are just like any other skill – can they really be spontaneously created or lost? – up until the ending, which like Joe said was abrupt, and to me seemed trite? Done before? Maybe it was the normalness that put me off, which should actually be OK with me, as anyone, even a superhero, can be bumped off by the whackjob down the street.

    The passing of the power to the little girl was nice, and seems like a graphic novel convention(?), so it fit in the story.

    I found the flow of the story difficult to read. Since I’m not used to reading graphic novels, having to follow the dialogue and check out the graphics drew me out of the story too much. What I found rather annoying is probably another graphic novel convention – sometimes having the dialogue flow across both pages and sometimes have it flow down one page, then go to the next. Several times, the conversation seemed disjointed til I realized I had missed half of it!

    The one visual element I did like, and this is something that could not be accomplished in written word story, was having the TV commentary flow along the bottom while the story progressed above. The hyperbolic schmaltziness and “local hick” soundbites were dead-on to today’s TV. (This is why I listen to NPR.)

    The artwork was good, but still had that comic book “thang,” women have bodies that would make Barbie jealous and Ken wouldn’t stand a chance against the massive shoulders of the hero. It really does nothing for me, which is one reason I’ve never gotten into comic books or graphic novels (not even Buffy! 😮 ).

    I think if this story had been written as a prose short story, I really would have enjoyed it. I would have given it an A, but as a graphic novel, even a great graphic novel, the best I can do is give it a B. (That’s still pretty darn good!)


  15. Bonjour joseph!
    Vous allez bien? Moi j’ai beaucoup de control avant les vacance snif, je suis fatiguer.

    Moi quand j’était petite j’adorer les BD mais maintenant je n’ai plus trop le temp, mais sa fait toujour du bien de se replonger dans ses souvenir d’enfant! =)
    Bonne journée. Bisou

  16. Haven’t read the book but it looks coo. I’m not really a huge reader and I already have books to read for school but still, I might try to read it sometime. Yea, look forward to hearing what you think of the cuts of air and fire and a update on the atlantis movie and mabye another universe title. YEA!!!! I’m excited things are shaping up.

    So I have 4 harmless questions

    1. Will Andy be directing Life?

    2. I just found out there will be gay characters on SGU. Will the fact that they are gay come up in the story often or will it be an every few episode occurrence.

    3. Will Richard Woosley make an guest appearance in Universe?

    4. Will Universe have a lot of straight out relationships or will it be subtle like in Sg-1 and Atlantis?

    Thanks so much,
    Major D. Davis

  17. @ Daniel Willis – what state do you live in? I’m sure I can find a store for you. If you’re in Melbourne be sure to drop by Minotaur in the city. Not only will you find comics, but science fiction books, action figures and other pop culture items. I love Minotaur.

    Cheers, Chev

  18. @das You already know my stance when it comes to Bendis and his treatment of women. The problem with him is that he takes strong female characters and puts them in mysoginistic situations. The specific for Powers being the interrogation scene. They didn’t send Pilgrim in there with the suspect because she’s a good detective. They sent her in there strictly because she’s a woman. It wasn’t a “Hey we gave it our best go. Pilgrim why don’t you give it a shot?” It was “He’s intimidated by women. Hey, Pilgrim, You’re a woman… go stick your tits in his face and he’ll sing like a bird”

  19. @chevron7

    Don’t think Joe Flanigan is eligible for Leo Awards – individuals have to be Canadian or permanent resident and live in BC. David Hewlett was nominated but he said he’s ineligible (on twitter) because he doesn’t live in BC.


  20. @ Lisa S. – Ah, yes – they sent her in because she was a woman – but wasn’t that appropriate for the situation? They were going after the sexual repression angle, so it makes sense for her to use her sex to try to trigger some response from him. To me, it was a good tactic since I don’t think Walker flashing his crotch would have been nearly as effective. 😉

    I’m at work right now – hopefully when I get home I can spend some more time – and thought – on this.


  21. Looks like I’ll get my review in under the wire after all. An insane, but fun day at worked stretched into a long night with sleep winning out over going online to post.
    I’ll admit that Who Killed Retro Girl was a hard novel to get into at first. The first few pages left me feeling like was watching a season 5 episode of a show I’d never seen before. It seemed as if there were things I was missing well into the novel, for lack of a proper knowledge of the background information that regular fans would be familiar with. The next big setback was the artwork (” panels stacked precariously like building blocks..” was an materpiece of understatement). Trying to follow the diaglogue balloons was made more difficult by putting so many ultra-narrow panels of art on a page, and kept me from bothering to take the time to actually dwell on the art. I felt a sense of relief on the occasions where we were treated to full page panels, where I literally paused to try and sort out the pages before. I also enjoyed the pages with the “snapshot” pictures of the various heroes and villians denying any knowledge. Despite feeling left out because none of the faces were familiar to me, I enjoyed the sampling of how varied the powered beings were. It will be because of those two pages that i will end up trying out some of the other Powers graphic novels.
    As for the characters, well, mixed feelings there. Christian Walker starts out as an intruiging character. Why is a supervillian recommending Walker to other villians? Why would this particular detective be sympathetic to powered people? As the story moves on, I found the slow reveals to be satisfying for the most part. Strangely, I lost most of my empathy for the character fade once I learned he had once been one of the powered. I’m not sure why, but I developed an attitude of “he needs to get over it”. Perhaps it’s because his character has used his knowledge of the powered to do his job.
    As for Pilgrim, well, she won my vote she tried her suckerpunch move. As for the intergoration scene that seems to have upset so many people, I really didn’t have a problem with that. the read I took on the situation was the perp was just waiting for the right excuse to wax eloquent on his reasons for commiting his crime. Pilgrim was professional enough to recognise she was able to push buttons her coworkers and partner could not. Triphammer’s straighforward but brutal solution to the “problem” of an attention seeking killer may not have been justice, but it certain resolved it.
    So, my final take on this graphic novel? Put me down as indifferent. It wasn’t a waste of my time, and there were a number of bright moments in the novel. But neither do I feel that it was the best investment of that time, given the backlog of other reading materials at hand. Will I read another Powers graphic novel? Yes. Will I rush out to buy it? No, I’ll get around to it at some point, but it’s not a priority to me.

  22. Jean said:

    Don’t think Joe Flanigan is eligible for Leo Awards – individuals have to be Canadian or permanent resident and live in BC. David Hewlett was nominated but he said he’s ineligible (on twitter) because he doesn’t live in BC.

    My point exactly. It didn’t stop them nominating David Hewlett, even though he’s ineligible as a US citizen like Joe.

    Personally I don’t think it should matter. If you do a fantastic job it shouldn’t matter where you live.

    Cheers, Chev

  23. Joe – Congrats on the nominations!

    Sparrow_hawk – I’ve been able to find the Quantum Gravity books in hard copy but still no luck in e-format. **waves fist at sky**

    Chev – I haven’t been to Minotaur since High School! And that’s going back **cough**13 years**cough**. Used to love it! Then walk to the Virgin Megastore and check out the latest band T-Shirt Imports before heading off to Goo. Good times, good times.

  24. Chevron7:

    Unfortunately I live in Adelaide! I know, its a hell hole. LOL. At least for the film and tv production industry. I plan on moving away as soon as I can!

    I have been on their website previously: http://www.minotaur.com.au/ so will have to check it out some more.


  25. So Powers…

    Its been a long time since I read a comic book and I have to say I’m out of practice. I found myself reading through the text, flipping the page, then stopping myself and going back to look at the pictures. When I first saw that you were doing a graphic novel for the BoTM, I was excited because I thought that I’d actually get to read two books this month, but honestly I had a hard time getting into the story. I am also having a hard time finding a way to discuss it.

    I think my biggest issue was that I felt that the story should have been told in three times the pages. The characterization and plot points felt rushed and disjointed. Though I did appreciate the running “news broadcast” along the bottom of the pages. It was an interesting plot device and went a long way towards my understanding of Retro Girl.

    Of the artwork, I think Calista said it best. “Sometimes the backgrounds and the people don’t look right. Sometimes the backgrounds are all cool looking and nicely colored in or something. But the people aren’t. They- They’re just flat looking. Sucky.” The layouts were beautiful, amazing really, but the Samurai Jack style of the characters didn’t do anything for me.

    I don’t know, this one just didn’t work for me.

    As for questions, I hate to waste an opportunity to ask questions of any writer, but honestly I got nuthin’.

    Have a great evening Joe.

  26. re: Powers: Who Killed Retro Girl

    I have yet to talk to a comic book fan who hasn’t liked Powers. When I picked it up from POW Comics (on Victoria Dr., here in Vancouver), the owner told me it was one of his all time favorites. It was shorter than I expected, but I must say I enjoyed the extra stuff at the back.

    I love the play between the artwork and the story. The art didn’t just reiterate what the dialogue was saying, but added to the overall story. And I love the subtle way the artist (Oeming) did this. The frames served to move the story forward as opposed to a lot of comics where dialogue-free frames merely show action sequences. Will I read the rest of the series? I am picking them up tomorrow (from a buddy who has them all).

  27. @ Shawna – First, haven’t heard anything about Gambit being Wolverine’s brother – though I think they’re going to portray Sabretooth as his half-brother. But whatever they do, I’m not going to let it bug me…I mean, I already have to deal with him being a foot taller in the movie than he is in the comics, which makes all those runt jokes – a favorite part of the comics for me – null and void. So, if I can deal with a tall Wolverine, not to mention the absence of back hair and a doggy smell 😉 , then I can deal with most anything they decide to do with him in the movie.

    The reason the thing with Spider-Man doesn’t bug me is because you know that – someday – those two will probably get back together. AND I’ve really been enjoying the comics without the relationship – without Peter being able to confide in anyone, but handling everything on his own. The only problem with it is that it’s been a 3-ish a month serial…all the stories connect together, so anyone just jumping in is going to be very lost. I came in near the beginning but saved up the issues without reading them, then read it all in one shot while I was sick, and I LOVED it! But if someone just picks up a single issue…well…like you, they’d be totally lost.

    I notice that the older comics were much wordier (one reason I have a bunch of back issues from the 80s and 90s that I haven’t even touched yet 😛 ), which slowed down the story and made you feel like you were really getting something for your money. But now you can just breeze through a comic in a few short minutes, wondering if it was worth the trouble even to pick it up. But when you sit down and read an arc all at once – wow…it can be a terrific ride! That’s why I’m considering switching to trades for some books – it’s just that you can never be guaranteed that everything you want to read will eventually be collected.

    Well, NCIS just came on – gotta run!


  28. @ Sparrow_hawk – I agree with what you said about “the format with the investigative reporting scenes running along the bottom margin while the rest of the story continued above was distracting to me.” That was the only thing that really bugged me about the page layouts (I also had a problem with words hidden in the crease as someone else did, but I think that’s a publication/binding issue, and nothing to do with the story at all). I ended up reading the reports at the bottom first, then went back and read the events taking place at the top.

    All in all, I can see where this would be a hard book to win over someone new to graphic novels. If you take a deeper look into it and appreciate the technical aspects of the writing and story, then perhaps it will mean something more to you. But taking it just at face value, it can seem a bit…lacking. Dammit…hubby is calling – I gotta go…

    But one last thing before I do – all of those who read it have been treated to one very important thing – Bendis’ infamous misspellings! They bring us much joy. 😀 (God, I hope he doesn’t read that… 😛 )


  29. Help! I am being held captive by my writing muse, Maer! XD

    I’ve managed to sneak away to say a) congrats to the crew for all the Leo nominations (you’ll have good luck becasue I’m a Leo — zodiac-wise — and I say so!) & to David for the Constellation nomination (ooh, that’s fun to say!) and b) thanks to Amanda Tapping for answering the qs, and to you, Joe, for hosting them! (Damn, I wish I’d found the time to submit some myself!)

    Also, I don’t know if you have ever met James Callis, but I had the pleasure of meeting him at MegaCon at the end of February and had a fantastic experience; he’s a very sweet, lovely person. I don’t suppose you might find some way to get him on SGU? He and Robert Carlyle are similar physical types — maybe he could be his brother in a flashback or something? Pleeeeease? *bats eyelashes* (Well, that’s assuming he’d even be interested, of course; I have no idea. But I figure it can’t hurt to toss the idea out there, no harm, no foul …)

    Eep! Maer is coming back, gotta go! Ja mata ne! (I hope!)

  30. Joe said: Well, I stopped by The Comic Shop this afternoon and went “all in”. And by “all in”, I mean ALL in. I picked up every new title in sight. I’ve got to say, nothing quite equals the burgeoning excitement of walking into a comic store.

    I’m like that with embroidery or quilting books; but I have become very good as saying “NO!” to myself, because I have a lot of books at home, and have yet to work any of the patterns. *sigh* roll on graduation.

  31. bonjour, je ne sais pas si vous aller comprendre ce que je vais ecrire mais bon, trop déçu qu’il ni ai pas de saison 6 de stargate atlantis.
    Jaurer aimer que sheppard et teyla sorte ensemble nous en france on n’aime ça. Em plus a la télé il fesai un bo couple.Si c’est vrai que stargate universe va ce faire sans SHEPPARD, TEYLA, RONON, MCKAY ET BEKET ça va ete nul j’ai pas envie de le regarder,ça donne pas envie.

    Bon sur ce je vous laisse une grande fan de stargate atlantis.


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