Friday, July 21, 2006

Book-A-Day #5 (7/21): Bizarro World edited by (probably) Joey Cavalieri

This is a thematic sequel to 2001's Bizarro Comics, in which a gaggle of the least-likely alternative comics creators were allowed to do just about whatever they wanted to DC's biggest icons (or the already-bizarre sidebar characters), and it was all loosely shoehorned into a thin over-arching story.

Since then, a lot of "alternative" folks have been doing quite a bit of work for DC (and Marvel), so just having their names on a spandex book is no longer new and shocking. I'm also afraid that most of this book didn't thrill me. Bizarro Comics had a few low spots, but it was generally funny and anarchic; Bizarro World feels much more reined-in, as if these folks had already said the one crazy thing they'd wanted to say about long-underwear types or (perhaps) DC was pushing down more heavily with the editorial thumb this time.

Still, it was pleasant to read, though I am happy I waited for the paperback. Anyone who really liked Bizarro Comics should at least flip through it in a store (and will probably end up buying it), but those who are just intrigued by the idea should go get Bizarro Comics first.

I also have to tweak DC's nose a bit about book design. The book opens with a nice half-title page, and then a decent two-page table of contents (no front ad card or real title page, but I can forgive that), but then their copyright page is filled up with a list of DC's High Muckety-Mucks, for no apparent reason other than that fact that they like seeing their own names in print. Pssst, DC: real book publishers don't do that. Real book publishers credit the people who actually worked on the book (such as the actual editor of this volume -- I think it's Joey Cavalieri, but it's hard to tell), but not their entire corporate structure. I mean: I'm sure Cheryl Rubin is a wonderful person and a joy to work with, but there's really no reason to credit the Senior VP-Brand Management in your books. Credit the real editor, credit the book designer, credit the people whose work is included -- then you're done.

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