Man of the Moment

Sean William Scott

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Sunday, July 23, 2006

Sunday Sundry 

(or, Dorian is too lazy to write reviews or make fun of old comics...)

Pete and I spend the better part of Saturday morning cleaning out my mother's garage. I suppose you could say that it's only fair, since the bulk of the material in there that needed to be dealt with is either mine or the remnants of a failed business venture of one of my sister's friends.

Most of my stuff that we had time to deal with was boxed neatly and set aside for eventual removal to either a storage unit or our apartment. Most of that "failed business venture" stuff was left out on the curb in the hopes that what doesn't get stolen will be picked up on garbage day. After five years we feel justified in assuming that it's been abandoned, and as we have no possible use for thirty year old movie theater seats, home-made candles, and drag racing souvenirs, out it went.

The glimpses into my own past were a bit revelatory. Apparently I have a full run of Top Dog. DON'T YOU JUDGE ME! I was also apparently wasting a lot of money on terrible, terrible Marvel comics in the eighties that, while nowhere near as bad as what Marvel put out in the nineties or, well, today, were still absolutely and unmitigatedly terrible. People nostalgic for the Jim Shooter period of Marvel should be viewed with great suspicion. I really should have been buying more DC books back then.

For the curious, here's a 16 or 17 year old photo of me that I found.

As you can see, I'm wearing one of my several dozen Bloom County t-shirts. I think if I could have gotten away with it, I would have worn a Bloom County shirt every day, back then. These days it's almost unheard of for me to be out in public in a t-shirt, much less one with a, ick, picture on it. You're also not likely to catch me wearing a watch or jewelry either, both of which I wore back then.

For the sake of comparison, here's Pete from about the same period.

In more recent comic news, I keep thinking I should write up some reactions to the Elongated Man Showcase book DC released a couple of weeks ago. The short, one-off mysteries was a nice format, and there's certainly a charm to the stories. But to call them "mysteries" is a bit misleading, as the stories follow a pattern of "Ralph notices something out of place and ends up beating up petty crooks after over-hearing them talk about their plans." What I wasn't prepared for was the slightly disturbing uses to which Ralph put his powers. Punching people with his kneecaps, elbows, nose,'s just a bit off-putting, somehow.

Also, and not at all surprising, I found that a character's past has been a bit romanticised by current fans. Sue Dibny isn't really all that terribly interesting as a character. She's pretty much just dumped into the story as Ralph suddenly acquires a wife between stories, and she spends most of what little screen time she has being surprisingly passive-aggressive and materialistic. That is, when she's not too busy being condescended to by Ralph. Which might explain the passive-aggressiveness.

Oh, and I never quite realized how homoerotic the Ralph and Barry relationship was.

I was weak and I bought the DC super-hero stamps. DON'T YOU JUDGE ME! There's a certain logic to their choices, in that they're probably the ten most recognizable characters owned by DC. Well, I might have swapped out Green Lantern for Swamp Thing. Thanks to those horrible, horrible movies, Swamp Thing has a certain degree of public notoriety. Back in comic-shop days, whenever a lay-person looked at the Green Lantern poster we had up, the response was usually either "Hey! Green Hornet!" or "When did Green Lantern become a white guy?"

Of course, most people called Hawkman "Bird Man", so...

For useless trivia purposes, three of the pictures used are by Curt Swan.

I did something extraordinarily rare and bought a magazine published by TwoMorrows, the "super girls" issue of Back Issue. DON'T YOU JUDGE ME!. I was curious enough to pick it up, despite my usual lack of patience for the nostalgia fetish and obsession with minor trivia the magazines typically display. I feel like I've let down the cause a bit, after not realizing that Samuel Delany wrote Wonder Woman during the "relevancy" period before now. For me, of all people, to have not known that a gay black man wrote DC's most significant female character during the "woman's lib" period of the magazine...I'm ashamed of my lack of research into that era of the book now.

I also bought Justice League of America #0. I liked it quite a bit. Good dialogue, and a strong take on the characters sketched out in brief scenes. It's a promising start to the new series. Now if only they could get a new cover artist...

I also decided against buying a comic that's been horribly over-praised by people who really should know better and stopped buying a book that started out well but has quickly sunk to "treading water" status and an over-reliance on tying in to events in other books.

So, uh, am I the only person who got the impression that nothing new got announced at the San Diego Comic-Con except for manga licenses. It feels like everything the major comics publishers announced were either old news, already leaked news, or expected news. I mean, Mike will certainly be happy to know that the Zatanna/Black Canary cross-over he's been wanting is close to happening, but when the only truly surprising announcement is Oni getting the comics rights to a running gag from The Colbert Report, well...maybe the publishers shouldn't focus so much on springing "the big news" at cons if this is the best they're going to be able to muster.

God bless Grant Morrison:

"The Joker gets shot in the face, point blank in the first issue," Morrison said, saying that a new Joker will appear in his fifth issue, and will fuel a new Batman-Joker dynamic."


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© 2007 Dorian Wright. Some images are © their respective copyright holders. They appear here for the purposes of review or satire only.