Sunday, January 30, 2011

In Memoriam - Seth Fisher

Writer(s): Zeb Wells, Joe Hill
Artist(s): Seth Fisher

FANBOYZ from Spider-Man Unlimited #8
Fantastic Four/Iron Man: Big in Japan #1 #2 #3 #4

Collecting Spider-Man Unlimited #8, Fantastic Four/Iron Man: Big in Japan #1-#4

(I wish I was even remotely decent at writing than I am now, but here goes anyway)

In a sense, I consider Seth Fisher's work on Big in Japan (and Zeb Wells', by extension) partially responsible for why I got back into comics back in 2006-2007. I remember while browsing on gaming website IGN one day and came across the image of what I would later know as the cover to Civil War: Front Line #1.

By that point I had been out of reading comics for quite some time (my last issue of ASM at the time was literally the one before JMS took over the title in 2001). A lot had changed: Big things like Avengers Disassembled and House of M, to smaller things like Mac Gargan becoming Venom and Luke Cage having any kind of prominence (and without his tiara, no less). Other things like the popularity of the Ultimate Universe and Marvel Zombies. And then, of course, the then upcoming Civil War.

You'll notice above there's quite a few things Mark Millar had a hand or two in. Even though I didn't know his name at the time, in hindsight I more or less consider him the other reason why I got back into comics. Mark Millar gave me the comics that I wanted (the kind of big stories that couldn't be as easily replicated in the movies or video games) but Seth Fisher gave me the story that I needed.*

The most I remember from the time is that I nearly became one of those readers. You know, the ones that only care about The. Next. Big Thing. To. Change. EVERYTHING. But then I came across Hilary Goldstein's review for Big in Japan, leaving readers with this near the end:

Those interested only in continuity-affecting, "serious" comic books can turn the other way. But for those who want to be reminded that comic books are supposed to be fun, Big in Japan is perfect reader for a Saturday afternoon.

I'd like to say a statement like this is completely obvious, but at the time when I was so wrapped up in finding the next big thing, I nearly forgot what was most important: really good stories, 'importance' be damned. I remember in the following months I became exposed to the works of Warren Ellis and Fred Van Lente, specifically Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. and M.O.D.O.K.'s 11 (respectively); two series of minimal continuity importance, but incredibly fun and worthy stories to read for sheer entertainment. Sometimes I wonder if I would have missed out on some great stories if it wasn't for Seth's crazy kaiju-infused FF/Iron Man story.

Five years ago today the industry lost a massive talent long before his time. Seth, you are missed.

*Or simply, Mark Millar is the X, Seth Fisher is the Y.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

And now for something completely different...

1) As far as further MDCU coverage goes, I've been considering revising things a bit and making it just one big work in progress (gaps and all). I've got enough content for about another week or so based on my normal standards, but beyond that it's getting trickier. It's looking like Marvel is focusing on comics from the past year or two rather than making any effort for filling in any of the past gaps they currently have for the foreseeable future. Then again maybe my formspring question to Tom Brevoort, the recently appointed Senior Vice President of Publishing, might help just a little bit.

2) I've been considering branching out to coverage of other sites. Namely comiXology, hopefully Dark Horse later this month (if their site offers direct linking), and maybe even webcomics. I'm hoping I could be a bit helpful with the recent additions from the crossover-heavy Batman 101 on 1/01 sale or the previous Blackest Friday sale.

That would likely involve a site name change. If nothing else, consider today's selection of posts a test run.

EDIT 1/7/10: I've decided, for the time being at least, to keep things strictly to the MDCU.

3) Twitter. I admit it's not something I've used all that much, but it's there and I figured I'd mention it since it seems I haven't before.

4) Perhaps something resembling a more 'proper' site is in order, maybe even a message board, instead of using a blog.