Comics Disassembled: Ten Things of Note from the Past Week in Comics, Led by the End of a Favorite

It was a light week over in my other regular column, The Pull, and it’s a light week in Comics Disassembled as well, as the world of comics has a rare quiet stretch. I’m here for it, as that gives me room to talk about some things I wouldn’t normally talk about. So let’s look at ten things of note from the past week of comics, including yet another Image favorite coming to a conclusion.

1. Happy Trails, East of West

With its co-creator and writer getting rather busy, it makes sense that East of West would be coming to an end. That said, I didn’t realize Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta’s brilliant apocalyptic tale would be concluding so soon, even though we’ve known for a while it was ending in the near future. Speculation said it would come to an end with #46 or #47. Instead, it’s finishing with the 45th issue in December.

And I am completely here for it. East of West has been an exceptional series throughout, and I’m sure however Hickman, Dragotta, colorist Frank Martin and letterer Rus Wooton say goodbye, it will be the right way for it to go down. Especially if they kill Balloon, Babylon’s teacher/A.I./general dirtbag monster machine. I hate that…thing. Whatever you’d call it. #DownWithBalloon

I will say this, though: it feels like they’re going to have some ground to cover at the end. There’s just two issues left and issue #43 left us with some rather notable things still to do. I felt like I saw somewhere that the final issue would be double-sized, and even though I can’t find any proof of that, my fingers are crossed for that all the same. Part of that is just selfishness – I just want more East of West! – but it could make a substantial difference for concluding the narrative in a satisfactory way. We’ll see when the issue drops. I’m sure whatever it is will be the right way, if only because it’s Hickman and, as previously noted, he is rarely lacking in a plan.

2. ComicBookDB No More, For Now

There are a few key resources I turn to over and over as I write about comics and research for podcasts. Comichron is an obvious one. ComicVine is another one, as its tracking of the work creators do is invaluable. Yet it’s not the quickest site to dive into, and it has a certain rigidity I’m not overly fond of. That’s where ComicBookDB steps in, as it’s endlessly useful when I need to find information about projects people have done, particularly if I whether something specific came out before something else (in which case its chronological order functionality is essential).

Unfortunately, the gravy train is coming to an end…for now. It’s “closing its doors” on December 16th, as it says in a notification on the front page of hte site, at which point they’re going to be developing a “new and improved tool for collectors to utilize.” That sounds great, but I have to admit, I don’t understand why they can’t have the current version still working while they’re developing the new one. It’s very strange to me. Maybe it’s because it’s all related to the same database. It’s unclear.

My hopes are they’re willing to willing to close completely because it’s going to be a speedy turnaround. Either way, best of luck to the team over there. It’s a valuable resource, and one I’m eager to how they improve the platform. It’s a great idea that could use some superficial upgrades, even if I hope the usability is similarly effective.

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