Weekly Comic for 1408.20
"If you want to concentrate, if you want to write in your own mind, write with a typewriter. You see the words hit the paper. There’s no distractions.” - Paul Schweitzer, Typewriter Repairman
The capital letters on the name "Typewriter Repairman" are not necessary.
A problem (one of many) with my recent blog work is that often these entries are developed haphazardly over a long period of time (in the case of this one, more than thirty days), and so it's easy for me to lose focus. Also, I am not sure that a review (and not even a very in depth review) of comics from six months ago interests anyone who may click over to this environment.
And yet, in addition to writing about comics that I have quite forgotten about reading, I want to share some thoughts on typewriters hence the lead quote, which came to me long after I started this entry, hence the comments on development over a long period of time. Inserting can be achieved so easily with the computer, which also makes me think about typewriters because insertion was not easy with words typed to the page in ink. Cut and paste were quite literal back then in the typewriter era. I know many of you know this, even those who lived through it, and yet, I feel we need to remind ourselves of how far we have evolved in just a few decades.
Thoughts about typewriters also seem in line with the Supreme Blue Rose comic, which is somewhat futuristic but in a washed out and retro-themed way. The color washes (yes, I used that word on purpose) are breath-taking. And yet, the whole comic has a bombed-out, post-war feel. The landscapes are desolate and lonely. The character styles are retro of the Art Deco period updated with space-faring chic. It's all very intriguing. More on this topic farther down in the comics section. Read on.
So, continuing something I mentioned in the last post. It's the 1970s, some time either during my seventh grade year or my eighth grade year (I am not sure), so that would place it around 1974-1976, I decided I wanted to be a publisher. Learning that the school would let me use the mimeograph machine for a "school project," I decided that I wanted to create a magazine, which I would publish and sell. I managed to gather several people who would write articles in whatever frequency we could manage (monthly?); we were not sure. It would focus on hobbies, so we had articles ranging from stamp collecting to wood work to electronics.
Given my increased seriousness, my parents bought a typewriter for the family to use. This was a manual typewriter, but a nice Smith-Corona. In this part of the 1970s, electric typewriters were still very expensive. I coveted the IBM Selectric at my father's office and used it when we visited, especially when visiting after hours, as it was likely in use during business hours. The IBM Selectric allowed for different typefaces with switchable balls that contained the type. My sturdy old, manual Smith-Corona, and even my upgrade to the electric version my senior year of high school, when, as I prepared for college, my parents could also see that I was serious about writing, both of these could only produce regular typeface from keys on levers that struck the page one at a time. The Selectric's balls of type -- which IBM called a "golf ball sized typing element" -- could be switched out for italics or other type effects. Oh Heaven!! These simple utilities are available today with a hot-key (ctrl-i for instance) directly from the key board. But then, in the 1970s, and even for most of the 1980s, such a feature was special and expensive. By 1987-88, I had my own PC in my home office/ bed room. My phone has at least ten times the CPU speed, memory, and storage of that original machine. My current desktop, on which I am writing this, has even more computing power in total. My first two machines didn't even have hard drives.
I love the Internet. In reminiscing about early type-writer work, I found this old advertisement for the IBM Selectric online.
And of course there was also a commercial on YOU TUBE. We live in a world of magical access to information.
Speaking of typing machines, because obviously I have typing machines on the brain, I discovered this article (linked) recently about a man who still repairs the machines as well as refurbishes them for re-sale.
PAUL SCHWEITZER REPAIRS TYPEWRITERS - FROM BOING BOING
But as you can see in the photo, Paul Schweitzer also owns a computer.
And yet, I digress, distracted by the evolution of my own ability to type words.
I was reminiscing about said ability because I remember spending one whole weekend writing a very lengthy (30 typed and single spaced pages before I finished) review of new comic books with keen insights by yours truly.
I am amused that 40-some years later, I am still doing the same thing, the same writing, though my machine for producing the writing has evolved.
And so on to this subject of comics books from August 2014 as I sit writing this entry in February of 2015.... OOPs, I started in February. It's now March.
SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
RE: SPOILERS: I don't have to explain that you read at your own risk, right?
CBR FOR AUGUST 13 2014
IGN FOR AUGUST 13 2014
WEEKLY COMICS LIST
Double whammy of Warren Ellis books this week with both Trees and the beautifully rendered though somewhat inscrutable Supreme Blue Rose #2, which I chose for the banner art atop the entry for this week.
As much as I love the Warren Ellis books, they often take a back seat to other comics that are either easier to read or more eagerly anticipated. Often I want to give myself time to thoroughly digest Ellis' comics. Often I reread the previous issues before delving into the new stuff, that is, if I can find the previous issues. I had to perform this reread function for both Ellis books from this week. I will return to this issue presently, but first the ordering.
The Wicked + the Divine #3 earns top ranks again, like in its debut week, after the second issue was bumped from the top slot by Original Sin # 6 (of 8), Savage Hulk #002, Teen Titans #1, and Robin Rises Omega #1 in comics for July 16th, 2014. Notice how Teen Titans has fallen. That book is dreadful.
I have written about many of these comics before, and I am sure I will again, so I will restrict my comments to the two Warren Ellis comics before I post this very late entry.
The art for Supreme Blue Rose is gorgeous.
I had not heard of Tula Lotay until Warren Ellis started messaging about her in preparation for their work on Supreme Blue Rose published by Image.
However, as much as I like Ellis' writing and find Lotay's art gorgeous, Supreme Blue Rose is a bit inscrutable to me simply because I had not read any of the previous Supreme comics. Ellis wastes no narrative on explanations. So, the stories lack resonance, and yet they are enjoyable as a stand alone project with much back story left unexplained.
Trees is easier to grasp, though I find I have to review each comic's past issues when the new issue arrives because I have forgotten details and Ellis is not one for recap.
The art of Supreme Blue Rose has greater impact but both are worthy of a look, especially in the soon to come trade volumes (Trees actually came out while I was still completing this entry with Supreme Blue Rose soon to follow).
Check out these gorgeous pages...
And think about typewriters.
Until next time.
SUPREME BLUE ROSE #2 - PAGES
RANKED COMICS from AUGUST 20, 2014
The Wicked + the Divine #3
The Fade Out #1 ---------------- decided to read in trade (which just arrived in the comic store months later in February)
Mighty Avengers #013
Infinity Man and the Forever People #3
Batman and Robin #34
Nova: Original Sin #20
New Avengers #023
Stray Bullets: Killers #6
Supreme Blue Rose #2
Ms. Marvel #007
Sensation Comics: Wonder Woman #1
Teen Titans #2
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 10 #6
Secret Avengers #007
The New 52: Futures End #16
Batman Eternal #20