Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Two Big Comics PDFs

In the last week or so, two long-time bloggers have published some of their work in pdf form; anyone who's interested in comics should check them out (and possibly some others of you for the first one; read on...).

Andrew Rilstone -- a fabulous writer who's works I've had occasion to recommend before -- just published a... well, what would you call it? Ebook? Booklet? Zine? I'm not quite sure. But it's called Who Sent the Sentinels?, it's 60 pages long (formatted for printing if you feel like it) and it's composed of a series of short essays which add up to an extended analysis of Watchmen, both the comic and the movie, with a lot of interesting things to say about earlier comics (particularly Marvel during the era of Stan Lee (which Rilstone has written about previously)). I don't know if I'd go so far as Eddie Campbell and say that it was "the finest analysis of Watchmen that I have so far read," but it's pretty damn good, filled with insights, and very well written to boot. (Although I could have done without the first section, frankly... or at least with less of it. Maybe I need to reread it.) Anyone with an interest in Watchmen -- which, properly, goes far beyond people with an interest in comics -- should check out Rilstone's fabulous work. The post to download his work is here; this is a direct pdf link. (Perhaps I should note I haven't seen the movie yet, and don't plan to, so my reading of his work is based mostly on his reading of the comic; if you know the movie, you'll have a different take on it. Doesn't matter; it's a fabulous whatever-it-is.)

The second pdf is of somewhat more specialized interest, but really anyone who is interested in comics should check it out. Alan David Doane has been blogging and writing about comics for a long time now, and among other things he's interviewed a very large number of top comics creators over the last decade. He's just collected a decade's worth of interviews into a single 291 page (!) ebook, nicely formatted, and available for free at his blog (this is a direct pdf link). I haven't read them all yet, but they're fascinating to browse, and the odd line dating the interview (e.g. Bendis, "...I'm doing a little arc on Daredevil...") adds to the charm of the thing. If you are interested in interviews with comics creators, check it out.

Finally, while it's almost certainly a coincidence, it's hard not to pause on the fact that two big, important pdfs appeared so close upon each other, and wonder if this is a format poised for future growth as far as free-internet writing goes. The pdf book does seem (for odd psychological reasons having little or nothing to do with practical access) more substantial than a series of blog posts.

1 comment:

Alan David Doane said...

Thanks a lot for the link and the kind words, Stephen! I agree with you on the seeming "weight" of a PDF, it's odd, maybe the option you have to print it out. I know I have printed and saved eBooks and long articles I never would have if they were "just" blog posts or online articles.