The title is top-flight too.

*I have decided that what internet columns really need is action action action, three times the action. Thus, this week’s affair features a rocking fight scene as its white-knuckled centerpiece. I also came up with an alternate ending for the piece after I sent it in, to replace the somewhat obscure final line. If you so choose, the shop owner might actually say:

You know, Heroes World would have only had you fight a giant squid.”

It’s up to you, dear reader.

*Ah, advance word on Eddie Campbell's April release The Fate of the Artist is looking good. I can't wait.

*Useful(?) Quotes Dept: As you might have heard on the nightly chat shows or in the morning news, Batman will be fighting terrorists soon (apparently Letterman got hold of it - tonight didn’t have anything, though there were multiple cartoon riot jokes: “If you‘re going to riot over cartoons, why not Marmaduke?”). This has naturally led to much discussion over the intent of the tome’s author. He has discussed related topics in the past:

Comedy can be political or not… [c]omedies can be damn scary; Herblock’s best Washington Post cartoons in the Nixon era were brutal jokes. Much as I love the wild adventure of superheroes, they have a comedic aspect. They’re over the top. Even silly. Using them to jump all over the current political situation is irresistible. Look, we’ve got John Ashcroft as attorney general. You can’t make this shit up.”

I think right now that if I did anything about religion there’d be some kind of Catholic fatwah… [later] …[w]hat I couldn’t stand was that I was all of a sudden hearing the president talk about a crusade. That’s medieval thinking… I don’t think that you can answer religious fundamentalism with the same thing and get a good result… [later still] … I was sick of seeing American flags everywhere. We’ve had this horrible thing happen, and we’ve got to retaliate and we need retribution and we need to solve a global problem. We’re in World War III, and everybody’s standing around thinking that if they put a flag on their bumper they’re doing something.”

I think that the president has done a very, very bad job of explaining things, but the more I research it, the more I think the war with Iraq makes sense - which I didn’t at first think. I see this Bush as a guy who thinks like a street fighter. He’s going into a very bad neighborhood and taking out the biggest bully in order to make the rest of them back off. That’s how I see the psychology… I feel that we’re all in WWIII and it’s an existential war just like WWII was, and it’s one that has to be won. I think how to get there is a totally debatable topic, but I don’t think we can exactly say that if we stop being so mean, Osama bin Laden will like us. The guy’s a psychopath… [s]o I guess I define my position as being a liberal hawk.”

- Frank Miller, discussing his personal politics at length, interviewed by Gary Groth in 2003 for The Comics Journal Library, Volume Two: Frank Miller. Much more where that came from.

I also have the strange feeling that Holy Terror, Batman! is going to sell a number of copies.

*Maybe I wasn’t reading closely enough, but there was no Frank Miller-related news in the new Entertainment Weekly (#865). There were recommendations for the recent storyline in Optic Nerve (oddly, including the not-released issue #11) and the Top Shelf miniseries The Surrogates in the mostly music-oriented Listen to This supplement. Also, future Wanted movie director Timur Bekmambetov’s current film Night Watch got an ‘F’ in the Movies section. This is actually a very rare occurrence among the magazine’s omni-media grading format, though it’s the second one attributed to a film review in a pretty short time (the other: Lars von Trier’s Manderlay, both reviews by Owen Gleiberman).

*And just to make it a Miller trilogy of blips today, I am right now admiring his amusing cover to Archer & Armstrong #1, which was actually not the first issue of the Barry Windsor-Smith-powered series (that would be issue #0). Initially written by Jim Shooter, and launched as part of the 1992 Valiant crossover Unity, Archer & Armstrong would be penciled by Windsor-Smith through issue #12 (with the exception of #9); BWS would also take over the writing beginning with issue #3, though he’s tagged with a ‘story’ credit on issue #2. I mention this because I recently picked up most of Windsor-Smith’s issues on the book, plus his Eternal Warrior stuff (#6-8) and the actual Unity bookend one-shots (which he penciled) for under $10 total - couldn’t resist, as I’d heard very good things about the run. I also scored a copy of the SPX ’97 anthology (I didn’t even know these things went back that far - was this the first one?) for fifty cents, so it was a good haul in sum.