New 52 Still New, Still 52
So DC has announced another round of cancellations and replacement titles for September. Only four series total are getting the axe this time, including the already-announced Justice League International, and it's all tied into the fact that in September, all of DC's titles will come out with a "zero issue" that takes place before the events of their debuts. It's been interesting to watch the ongoing publishing strategies of the company since the universe-wide reboot last year, and even though I don't fully understand their devotion to the number 52, I actually quite enjoy the idea that any cancellation means a new series begins and vice versa. The practice of regularly bringing in new blood and sweeping up the ideas which aren't working is a good one, and in my mind right now it's the largest difference between Marvel and DC. The specific titles launching in September don't really thrill me, although I'm definitely going to read Sword of Sorcery #0 and see what an updated Amethyst is like. And I think it's too bad Resurrection Man is going away, but I'm sure the character will show up elsewhere. Conceptually, though, I support the whole mess. Well...I do not support numbering the issues with #0, since that's just one more example of the Big Two's incessant campaign to render issue numbers entirely meaningless.
Legal Battles End & Begin
Yesterday, the news came out that Stan Lee had settled one of the several lawsuits he was involved in, the one over control of POW! Entertainment. So that's one down for Stan the Man, who's been embroiled in various legal troubles for years.
Meanwhile, cartoonist Matthew Inman, creator of TheOatmeal.com, was recently threatened with a defamation lawsuit by Funnyjunk.com for his (correct) claims that they had posted his material without his permission or giving him credit. Inman's awesome, hilarious response to this threat was to raise a whole bunch of money for other, better causes and rub it in Funnyjunk's face. Also there's a drawing of Funnyjunk's owner's mom making love to a bear involved. It all seems pretty silly to me, and Inman obviously has the approach of highlighting that silliness, but sadly Funnyjunk's lawyer isn't so amused. So this may well not be the end of this bizarre story, though I'd honestly be surprised if there was much more anyone could do about the situation at this point.
Seriously, Too Many Deaths This Year
So, this week, two great men died, adding to the ever-increasing list of incredible artists we've lost this year. Although not really a comicbook creator, Ray Bradbury's death is a huge blow to creativity and fiction in general, so I wanted to take a moment to pay my respects to him on this site. Others have already said more about him than I ever could, but his influence on science fiction and, truthfully, on the world at large cannot be denied and should never be forgotten. Most writers struggle their entire careers to put something together as powerful, timeless, and intelligent as Fahrenheit 451, but for Bradbury that book is just the largest of many such triumphs.
Robert L. Washington, III, co-creator of Static, one of the best, coolest, most important comicbook characters of the past twenty years, also died this week. There has been an outpouring of sadness and respect for this talented creator, who had seen some incredibly hard times even while alive. I especially want to mention the really great donation program set up by Hero Initiative to raise money for a proper burial. Static was the most popular character of an excellent, admirable comicbook company, Milestone, and being a part of his creation is no small accomplishment. Washington and Bradbury both deserve our reverence, and even in the wake of their deaths, their work's lasting impact and importance is clear.