Friday, May 27, 2011

"Baby It's You" part 2

I will start off by saying my Broadway experience is pretty limited.

I think in high school, when I came to New York City for the very first time, I saw Les Misérables. But it was so long ago I can't tell you where it was and if it was on or off that famous NYC street. When I actually moved to New York, and started volunteering at pretty gay library, really the only fringe benefit was being able to go to Shrek: The Musical for free. And it didn't suck. That's saying something... I mean, I kind of expected it to. My dad took me to see West Side Story during one of his visits, mainly because the first time he came to see me kept singing the music from it. When I saw it advertised, I figured we needed to see the show and he needed to pay.

In the last six months, my theater experience has expanded considerably. With my friend Jen, I saw both parts of Angels in America. Then I got to see Catch Me If You Can (I have a shameless crush on this guy) a few weeks later in the first Broadway show I actually paid for. Both were really, really good. It's hard to compare shows to one another because, like snowflakes, they really are all different. Shrek and Catch Me were both based on respective movies and included original music, while Angels was a straight dramatic piece. Baby It's You! is unique because unlike all the other shows I've seen, it was based in actual music that came out during a specific time period. I'll admit: I knew little music used in the show.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Shout Outs aka 'The Shamless Plugs'

I was finally timely in both my comic purchasing and reading this month, allowing me to achieve my long goal of actually contributing this week to the 'This Week in Panels' section of the 4thletter! blog. Y'all should be following, kids. I've been a fan for awhile now, especially Gavok, whose love of 'What If' comics and Spider-Man villain Venom rivals (if not exceeds) me own. Thanks for mentioning my blog, Gavok. You rock.

Also, head on over to Graphic Novel Reporter (which you should be checking at least weekly anyway) 'cause my ol' pal John posted the list of Graphic Novels both 'hot' and 'new' that I selected (along with many other great people, including Karen Green from comiXology blogging fame) for Book Expo America 2011 this past Wednesday. This list is amazing, and will aid not only libraries with upcoming collection development decisions to make, but also many comic readers who are looking for a good story.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Digital Comics Divide

So I have been pretty quiet when it comes to the topic of digital comics.

I was kind of blissfully ignorant on the topic until last year's NYCC, when I went to a few different presentations concerning them. I got to hear from one of the guys who runs ComiXology, a pretty cool website... if you have an iSomething or other. This website comes up pretty consistantly when you are searching for or reading about digital comics. Do you know what I take from that? There ain't a whole lot of anything else right now. So, I will be talking a little bit about them.

Jim Lee, who wields some kind of digital marketing power at DC Comics as well as drawing insanely cool superheroes, was quick to state that DC limits the platforms people can download on. They were planning on opening some sort of digital comics store (which I believe is already up) and, in addition to ComiXology and some sort of PSP compatibility, that's it. Marvel, on the flipside, is trying to make their comics available where ever they can. Both companies, as well as all the comic contenders, are on ComiXology. New titles are added, while back issues (referred to as "backlist titles" often) are being continually added every week.

As a comics enthusiast, I support what DC Comics is doing. I like the idea that they sort of can do damage control when it comes to, "Why isn't this DOWNLOADING!?" kind of questions. This is especially relevant if most of the comics in digital format will be purchased by their company directly. They know where their comics are, so they can answer questions about them pretty easily. As a librarian, I wholeheartedly appreciate what Marvel is doing 'cause, let's face it... I was able to get digital comics added to my library's Overdrive offerings because they are available there. There aren't even that many to choose from, but some is better than none. And DC? I don't even have the option to ASK for comics on Overdrive with those guys.

I am also not the type of person to embrace every new technology as it comes out. I'm not waiting in line for a new iPhone release and have no plans to buy an iPad or any of the similar slate-esque technologies. Honestly, I think it's kind of a waste of money with how often these things are updated and how trendy that they become. I guess I'm more old school when it comes to that type of stuff. I do have a B&N nook, but only because the library gave me one after I won a raffle. I doubt I would have spent money on it by my own volition. My own views of technology aside, I am really worried about comics becoming an entirely digital medium. Will the future of comics make them only available to digitally literate kids? Not everyone has a computer, man.

Have a I read digital comics? Yes. Did I enjoy it as much as in print? Hell to the no.

If you are a comic fan, and you are not having the same reaction as me, then... I don't really know what to tell you. From what I read, which is mostly on blogs and from tech-minded people, they keep talking about how awesome digital comics are. I feel like that's a pretty biased group. I should also admit I'm not that much of a webcomic guy, either. From what I hear, I'm kind of missing out. That's okay. I also don't buy every comic when I buy my monthly titles, either. In fact, I'm only buying two books on a regular basis right now. I'd prefer these not to be digital, either.

Maybe I am just stuck in the past... but if you ask a lot of comic writers and artists especially, I don't really think they necessarily are comfortable with the medium being interpreted digitally. I can already get a general plot synopsis for books as far late summer... haven't we already embraced the internet a little too much?