web stats

CSBG Archive

Newsweek Can Be Good

Check out this article at Newsweek.com about the Spider-Man situation, featuring quotes from Greg Hatcher and yours truly. Note that my quote is an explanation of the standpoint of the writers and editors over the years, not my personal position on the marriage!

25 Comments

That’s pretty cool.

Except for the part where they quoted you out of context and failed to distinguish between here and the CBR Main site.

*Eyeroll*

FunkyGreenJerusalem

January 10, 2008 at 9:24 pm

This is an industry blog???

Greg writes for Comic Book Resources and not the blog?

Bizarro world!

(Although I do like Spider-Girl getting a plug – it’s been feeling a little ‘U-Decide’ with Joe saying if fans want Spidey and MJ together to pick that book up, but never mentioning it in non-comic site interviews… even if it is a strawman argument.

The Greg thing I had already passed along to them, so I was hoping it would be fixed by now, but they did say that they’d fix it.

As for the quote, I don’t know if it is necessarily taking my quote out of context. It sorta appears that way, but I think it could be read as it was intended – me explaining what the logic of the writers and editors were.

I’d call that a fairly-written mainstream article. I’ve been reading Newsweek longer than I’ve been a comic book fan (since 1991, if it matters), and I trust them to get it right. It seems to come down a little more on the side of the fan(atics) more than the artists (lazy way to change continuity vs. losing an easy source of creative conflict), but it doesn’t paint one side as “right”.

It’s odd that I’ve always read Peter Parker as being married, even if I didn’t know he was when I started reading Spider-Man. There were stories about the complications and/or security of Parker having to come home to after his nights out as Spider-Man, but there were just as many that were just stark good vs. evil/survival tales. Maybe I need to revisit those issues.

The bottom line is, I haven’t collected any Spider-Man titles since before Maximum Carnage, and while I’ve enjoyed his appearance in other titles I have collected since then, OMD and BND won’t bring me back, despite all the recent noise. I’ve always loved the character, but the books just haven’t been good for too long.

I’ll echo joshchr’s comments and say that the article was surprisingly informed and balanced, given what often passes for mainstream media coverage of comic books.

I realize it’s only an online article, but it still rises to a good solid standard.

“Death, sure. (That’s how Parker’s ex-girlfriend Gwen Stacy died).”

As opposed to the non-death methods of dying, I suppose.

Newsweek also had a full page article in this week’s print edition about Gail Simone taking over Wonder Woman. Good for them.

I hope this doesn’t come off as a “knock” on you guys, because it isn’t.

These are just some random thoughts/impressions I got from reading the article…

1- I think the story was “soften” a bit. You know, breaking up with your WIFE is not the same thing as breaking up with your sweetheart.

Me thinks that the casual reader (who knows Spidey from the Movies) is just going to glance over it and move on thinking “Spidey got a new girlfriend and fanboys are just being FANBOYS”.

Hate to say it, but the word “wife” doesn’t appear in the article at all; and the word “marriage” is only mentioned twice.

2- The other thing that sort of… bothers me is this “nerd/loser” stigma. I mean, didn’t Spider-Man stopped being a high-school nerd around Amazing Spider-Man #28. I think he stopped getting picked on after that. Everybody does. His story, I think, was about having bad luck and more bad luck. But once in a while, he would have some good luck.

So I guess, what I’m trying to say is this… It’s not unrealistic, in any way, for a smart boy to land a beautiful girl like Mary Jane in college. It’s the easiest thing in the world. All he has to say is:

“Yes, I’ll help with Calculus”
“Oh, I already took Macro-Economics”
“Yeah, Physics is hard; but don’t worry, I’ll help you out.”
“We can get free beer, I know the bartender.”

Now Peter, a photographer, dating a model… what’s absurd about that?

I don’t know, I guess the character is a reflection of us; and we see him as we see ourselves. I you feel like the world is throwing rocks at you when you walk down the street, then I guess that’s how you see him. If you feel like a cool dude in a world where every thing that can go wrong, does go wrong; then, that’s what you see in him.

3- Finally, the more interviews I read (USA Today, Newsweek), the more convinced I am that what Quesada really wanted was a reboot.

So why not give Mary Jane and Peter Parker a proper send off, the way Alan Moore did with the Silver Age Superman, and reboot? Was he afraid of the riots? Is the current situation considered “tame”? ‘Cause let me tell you, I was around when Ben Reilly was ousted after 11 issues and I don’t remember the fans ever being this mad or vocal.

And yes, it wasn’t that long ago.

And yes Al Gore had already invented the internet.

And yes, Jonah Weiland already had his website… but it was called “The Kingdom Come Message Boards.”

It wouldn’t be a knock on us, as we didn’t write the article. :)

Captain Qwert Jr

January 11, 2008 at 7:03 am

Not bad luck, hard luck. As in given a choice between the easy profitable path and the hard moral one.

“…says Brian Cronin, the producer of Comics Should Be Good, an industry blog.”

a producer? is that what you are, Brian?

what do you call the proprietor of a blog, anyway? i tend towards “publisher,” though it sounds bit pretentious to me.

(i notice the article also said that CBR “puts out” CSBG… is a blog “put out”?)

(i notice the article also said that CBR “puts out” CSBG… is a blog “put out”?)

It can be, if you say somethign hurtful to it.

I still find it funny that somehow we can’t feel for Peter just because he had a beautiful wife. Has no one else read Mick Foley’s Have a Nice Day? The guy’s wife is gorgeous, but he was taking worse beatings than Spidey most days of the week, and he’s far from unsympathetic/unrelatable.

“I still find it funny that somehow we can’t feel for Peter just because he had a beautiful wife.”

He didn’t just have a beautiful wife, though; he had a wife who was world-famous for her beauty. Having a wife who’s a supermodel is an entirely different level from having a wife who’s an attractive woman from his neighborhood.

Having a wife who’s a supermodel is an entirely different level…

Again…

Model!!

Photographer!!!

I would think they go together like…

“bread & butter”.

Isn’t this basic Sesame Street stuff? :D

“…says Brian Cronin, the producer of Comics Should Be Good, an industry blog.”

a producer? is that what you are, Brian?

what do you call the proprietor of a blog, anyway? i tend towards “publisher,” though it sounds bit pretentious to me.

(i notice the article also said that CBR “puts out” CSBG… is a blog “put out”?)

Yeah, I’ll cop to being flummoxed by the name one one a bit myself. I ended up asking Jonah awhile back, and he said to go with “Producer,” so that’s what I’ve used since (I believe Jonah uses “Producer of Comic Book Resources,” himself), but yeah, it’s definitely an odd thing.

Pretty much all the choices sound sort of pretentious, ya know? Director, Publisher, Editor-in-Chief, Dread Lord and Master…

As to CBR “putting out” Comics Should Be Good, I think hosting a blog counts as “putting it out.”

I suppose I am partially responsible for the confusion about titles. When Jennifer asked me what my function was here, I said, “Honestly, I think of myself as a columnist. I try to have something up every Friday for the blog.” I don’t always make it — like this weekend, I am late again — but that’s where she got ‘column’ from.

It should be noted that Greg Burgas and Bill Reed also gave her a lot of really cool stuff about the State of the Industry that didn’t make it in.

As for the article itself, I thought it was a nice job.

Me thinks that the casual reader (who knows Spidey from the Movies) is just going to glance over it and move on thinking “Spidey got a new girlfriend and fanboys are just being FANBOYS”.

Honestly, I think that’s a pretty fair assessment. That IS what it looks like from the outside. The amount of rage I’ve seen over this OMD stuff is insanely out of proportion. It’s a clumsy reboot. Period. It’s not as if we haven’t ever seen that in superhero comics before.

Oh, you’re definitely a columnist, Greg. That part is right.

And yeah, Bill and Greg had good responses, as well. I really have to learn to hit “Reply All” on my group e-mails, though!!

Having a wife who’s a supermodel is an entirely different level from having a wife who’s an attractive woman from his neighborhood.

Not if she was an attractive woman from his neighborhood FIRST.

She didn’t meet him when she was a supermodel. That wouldn’t have an effect on their getting together.

I really feel it’s worse than a clumsy reboot, Greg. It’s a fundamental shift in the character, and a negation of the Peter Parker I used to read.

I like “Producer.”

And I think “reboot” implies a fundamental shift in the character.

Or at least I can’t think of an example of one without the other.

I like “Producer”

Yeah, ultimately, I think I agree.

It’s a fundamental shift in the character, and a negation of the Peter Parker I used to read.

Okay, I should know better than to get into this again — but WHAT exactly is ‘negated’ here?

I feel stupid defending something that I myself think is so clumsy and idiotically executed — but it seems to me that your complaint is the kind of hyperbole that gets fans laughed at in the press so often. The stories are there to be read, some of them are even in print in trade paperback form still, they EXIST. What’s ‘negated’ is their place in a fictional timeline that doesn’t even really exist in the first place. And that’s ALL.

If you don’t like “One More Day,” considering we all knew what it was going to end up doing and the mechanism for doing so was obvious from the get-go — why buy it? Why not just walk away and consider Spider-Man’s story to have concluded with the last story you actually enjoyed?

I will freely grant you that the story is dumb. I can even buy the idea that it presents a Peter Parker acting out of character. But the notion that it somehow affects other stories in the past that people enjoyed is incomprehensible to me. The fact that Marvel felt they had to even do this kind of continuity re-set story in the first place comes from this idea that they are obligated to create a seamless fictional history.

That’s a false premise. For one thing, it’s never been seamless. For another, it’s not obligatory. There are a half-dozen different Spider titles that came out in the last year with contradictory timelines and histories. no one cared or pitched a tantrum when Ultimate Spider-Man contradicted Spider-Girl which in turn didn’t match up with Reign, which in turn differed in continuity from…. you get the idea. To my mind, the mistake here was that Joe Quesada felt pressured to create One More Day to EXPLAIN his reboot, rather than just going ahead and DOING it.

Stories designed to explain a contradiction– just so you can get to the place where you can do the story you WANT to do– are almost always BAD. It’s fanfic thinking. And it’s embarrassing that Joe Quesada, the guy in charge of one of the major superhero publishers, is still in that fanfic mindset. But I don’t see where any of this idiocy somehow tarnishes stories that have already been published that you enjoyed.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

January 13, 2008 at 6:01 pm

Not if she was an attractive woman from his neighborhood FIRST.

She didn’t meet him when she was a supermodel. That wouldn’t have an effect on their getting together.

Or, they could just ignore that she was ever a ‘super’ model, and just have her as a struggling actress who’s done modeling work – be it catalogs, or as a girl who almost made it.
I’ve dated girls who have done modeling work, acting work etc, it’s not the hardest thing in the world.
Hell, it’s not hard to date outside your league in looks, if you’re a nice/interesting/funny guy – which Peter is meant to be.

Honestly, I think that’s a pretty fair assessment. That IS what it looks like from the outside. The amount of rage I’ve seen over this OMD stuff is insanely out of proportion. It’s a clumsy reboot. Period. It’s not as if we haven’t ever seen that in superhero comics before.

I think a lot of it has to do with the way editorial has handled it – not just the story, but years of them saying ‘it doesn’t work, we want it changed’, and then doing it so clumsily so that it’s just going back to the 70′s.
I mean with Superman, they at least had the balls to change things, for better or worse, so that it wasn’t just setting back the clock, but changing it completely.

i feel that the move wasnt the best one…but other possibilities can arise because of Peter’s freedom…for all we know they(Mary Jane and Peter) might still end up together for some LOVE reason…that’ll could create some story…i believe…

Leave a Comment

 

Categories

Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives