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Monday, August 15, 2005
I'm not bored with comics. I'm not even really bored with comics news. There's too much unintended comedy to be found there for me to get bored. What I am finding myself increasingly bored with however is comics blogs. Specifically, certain personality types that seem to keep recurring on them. It's both the hyper-sensitive thin-skinned types and the self-appointed arbiters of merit, as both writers and commentators, that are working my nerves and killing my interest in reading many sites.
A thought I had while responding to a friend's post on another subject: Being a "high profile comics blogger" is kind of like being the world's tallest midget. Yeah, good for you, you got the recognition you sought; but only a very small subset of the population cares about the height of midgets, so it's not as if it's a title to be particularly proud of.
A parable, composed after looking at many of the books I've seen praised lately: There was a wonderful new comic released. At least, that's what the artist/writer said. He also said that only the most intelligent and discerning of readers would be able to recognize how good the work was. Many readers of comics, upon seeing the work, waxed poetic about the clarity of line and honesty of emotion and the originality of vision contained within this marvelous and stupendous comic. Clearly, they were the most discerning and intelligent readers of the land. Than a small boy looked at the comic. "Why," he said, "The art in this comic is sloppy and amateurish! I am but a small boy and my crayon scribblings show a greater understanding of artistic principles, not to mention basic drawing skills such as anatomy, lighting and perspective. The page composition is muddied and confused, making it almost impossible to follow the flow of the story. The characters are the basest and broadest of stereotypes and the plot, what little there is, is trite and cliched. This is a truly dreadful comic." "Little boy," the people replied, "Why do you hate the scene?"
So, I was going back and forth, and I've pretty much come to the conclusion that I'm not going to review any of the "event" comics that have come out from Marvel or DC. There's simply no point. Looking at those who have, I've seen a remarkable uniformity of response to reviews. Should someone have the audacity to actually say something positive about one of these comics, the response is usually seething indignation that someone should fail to see how a horribly wretched piece of filth the comic in question is. Should someone offer a reasonable and reasoned negative review of one of these comics, the response is usually seething indignation that the reviewer doesn't hate the horribly wretched piece of filth as much as they should. And that's when the reviewer is not being treated with sneering contempt for even reading a super-hero comic in the first place. (Naturally, I exclude the "attack reviews" from the category of "reasonable and reasoned" negative appraisals of a work. The intent in these pieces seem to be humor, but they're not funny. They're not even well written. You can write a good, horribly mean review. It's when all someone seems to be able to do is write over-the-top attacks on every single detail of a comic, often in page-by-page detail, and expanding out into other comics by the same company, writer or artist, that I've lost faith in that person's ability to offer any kind of sane response to anything, good or bad.) So, you know, screw it. I'm in a cranky enough mood as it is lately, I don't need to deal with that kind of grief. I get plenty of grief from people via this page as it is. You'll all just have to learn to live in blissful ignorance of what I happen to think about certain comics. Though, if you like super-hero comics, at this point in time you can't really go wrong with the work of Greg Rucka or Gail Simone. Particularly on Wonder Woman or Villains United.
What say you, Miss Channing?
"Why a fella's perfectly entitled to get upset when driven to distraction by nay-sayers! You keep your own counsel best, honey, and keep on doing what you're doing. You still enjoy it on the whole, don't ya? And you know other people do too, otherwise why would they keep coming back day after day! And those people who keep coming back just because they like to be upset, you can just pay them no mind! What kind of person wastes their time looking for things to be upset by, especially something as silly as what some other person thinks of an ol' funny-book?"
Carol Channing. Now, and always, the voice of reason.