PLANET GRIFFIN WEEKEND EDITION returns with THE BIG BUZZ, the latest news on the hottest word in pop culture! Today, the Buzz focuses on the long-whispered STRANGE TALES MAX unveiling next month from MARVEL COMICS... This go round, Marvel opens its doors to 'the indie cartoonist' to gain 'wider interpretations' of their universe. STRANGE TALES MAX will be released as three 48 page comics, featuring work by JUNKO MIZUNO, NICK BERTOZZI, PAUL POPE, DASH SHAW, and MOLLY CRABAPPLE, as well as a host of others, in what Editor John Barber calls, "... The apex of human artistic achievement..."
Barber continues, "The philosophy of the book was to have these creators from 'Indy' or 'Alternative' or 'Literary' or 'Art' comics come in and do what they do best. I think Marvel readers will really dig seeing radically different versions of their favorite characters, and fans of these cartoonists will get to see the creators work in a milieu they never thought they'd get to see. It's win-win. It's really the best of both worlds."
Editor Jody LeHeup chimes in saying, "This book is a metric ton of solid gold awesome. The talent we've got lined up are without hyperbole some of the greatest creative minds working in comics today. I mean, who wouldn't want to read a Spider-Man story by Jason? Or an Iron Man story by Tony Millionaire? Or anything by any of the contributors we've got attached to the project? I've been reading independent comics my whole life and I've always wanted to see what those creators could do with Marvel characters if they were given free reign to tell their stories. Well, now that vision's becoming a reality and I can't tell you what an incredibly special thing it is to see the final result. If you're a fan of comics of any school, do yourself a favor and pick this up."
The series is being hyped right now as "...A chance to experience the Marvel U. through the eyes of the best and the brightest indie talents!" At a glance, it does seem similar to what DC did with Bizarro Comics/ Bizarro World... It also looks like Marvel is doing Wednesdays without the newsprint and USAToday hype. All truth told, when I wanted 'Best and Brightest', I would pick up a copy of MEATHAUS (one of the best indie pubs for the up-and-coming indie creator, hands down!!) and absorb the goodness!
Now, PLANET GRIFFIN is not immune to criticism (I welcome the viewpoints, actually), and I do recall the laughter when the comment was made about 'The Big Boys don't care to notice us independents unless they're making a profit off our pockets...' Couple that with the Wednesday comment, and it's like they said--- the best of both worlds. It IS funny now, right?
I know... I should stop. Paul Pope even took time from the Wednesday schedule to do covers for Strange Tales. Maybe it's too early to say, but out of the endless numbers of 'indie' artists out there, Marvel focuses on 'certain indie talents' as opposed to others (Jim Rugg, for example, would've knocked it out of the park! Lol)... But, I digress. The jury is still out on this one, but for now, PLANET GRIFFIN says that the BUZZ stands... What do you think?