Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
Random Thought! “You said you didn’t give a fuck about hockey and I never saw someone say that before.” It’s Random Thoughts time! Get excited!
Random Thought! Now that ‘Breed III is over and also had Jim Starlin write and draw Vanth Dreadstar again, there really needs to be a new Dreadstar comic. Starlin needs to tell that final story he mentioned in an interview with Epic Illustrated way back in the day…
Random Thought! “Don’t tell me how the universe is altered when you find out how he gets paid, alright?”
Random Thought! I just enjoy reading Moon Knight. It’s become my friend, that comic.
Random Thought! “Disappointing you’s getting me down…”
Random Thought! Last week, I finished Trailer Park Boys. Seven seasons, two TV specials, and two movies… And, goddamn, that was one fine television show. A show that, on the surface, was crude and insane in its cartoonish humour, but, underneath, was rooted in very real human emotions. Probably the best crime series I’ve ever seen presented as a comedy. These criminals aren’t even big enough to qualify as smalltime — they’re shittime. I miss them.
Random Thought! “Could’ve been the Willie Nelson… could’ve been the wine…”
Random Thought! The second Direct Message will be in Sleeper.
Random Thought! “But it’s because you’re too either them or me. Well, it’s either them or it’s us.”
Random Thought! The news that Brian Michael Bendis will be leaving the Avengers titles in 2012 has left me feeling empty in a way. Those comics have been a constant for me the past five years. I started reading New Avengers in the fall after I moved to Windsor for grad school and the two have been linked to a degree. Bendis Avengers comics is what living in this town is all about — at least as far as comics go. If the timing works out, my next Blogathon will pick up where the 2009 Blogathon left off and cover the rest of his Avengers comics. And, then, I’ll write a book about them. And no one will read it.
Random Thought! “Look at though you’re standing at the station long after the train came in.”
Random Thought! Defenders #1 didn’t knock me over or anything, but I did find it enjoyable. It was efficient in the way it presented characters and I liked how Fraction didn’t even try to disguise Iron Fist’s reason for being on the team (he wants to write the character again). I will be sticking with it for the next few issues.
Random Thought! “They don’t know how old I am if I’m armouring my belly…”
Random Thought! Not sure if I’ll be sticking with Stormwatch once Paul Cornell leaves. I haven’t been loving it and don’t have much faith in Paul Jenkins. Men of War will be dropped after issue six.
Random Thought! “We hung out together every single moment, because that’s what we thought married people do.”
Random Thought! I have an odd tendency to look for hidden meanings in Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes. I’ve been watching some of that show with Michelle through the DVD set of Q episodes I have. Two hidden meanings I wish were true:
1. In “Encounter at Farpoint,” when Riker meets Data on the Holodeck, there’s a moment where Riker basically says, “It sounds like you think you’re superior to humans” and Data responds “I am superior, but I would give it up to be human.” There’s a real moment of Riker going from “Fuck you, machine!” to “Aw, you’re awesome, dude!” there that makes me think that Data’s quest for humanity is really a part of his programming to keep humans off his back. If he didn’t sometimes make it seem like he thinks they’re better, they’d hate him and eventually destroy him. By pretending he wants to be them, he undercuts their prejudice.
2. In “Tapestry,” Picard is in that alternate present for such a short time that I think it would be great if he never saw that, in that time, because he wasn’t so focused on his career, he actually had a wife and kids. He was basically a middleclass Starfleet officer that was happy with his dreary job because he’s got a great home life. Except, Picard flips out over being a dude in a blue uniform and demands to go back that he never learns about that other element to that life. (Then again, the way that Troi talks to Picard in that alternate presents, there’s a sense that he spends a LOT of time in therapy. Apparently, there’s a cut scene from the script with LaForge that suggests that Picard there is sort of like Barclay… so I guess that would fit.)
Random Thought! “Two fifty for an eyeball and a buck and a half for an ear!”
Random Thought! Also, the ‘morning after’ scene in “Qpid” is just about the most awkward thing I’ve ever seen. Partly because you just know, when Crusher showed up, Picard was thinking “Well, that adds on a couple more years before I get to see her naked…” The amount of weird sexual subtext in episodes with Q is astonishing…
Random Thought! “It would seem to me I remember every single fucking thing I know.”
Random Thought! How much a comic costs rarely enters into my thought process. Sometimes, it does; just not usually. Part of that comes from comics costing more in Canada ten years ago than they do now thanks to paying the US cover price instead of the horribly inflated Canadian cover price they inflicted upon us then. Part of it is my comics buying being subsidized heavily by my reviewing gig. Part of it is… I just don’t think about comics like that. I’m not offended or even annoyed that Marvel has many books priced at four bucks. I like those comics and buy them because I like them. I’m sure there’s a line where it would be too much, but a dollar more isn’t it. There are plenty of comics I wouldn’t read for free — and some that I would gladly pay more than cover price for. Applying a specific standard to price instead of content… I don’t know. Not my style. (But I understand those that do. My first two points relate to that.)
Random Thought! “Well, I ain’t no movie star, but I can get behind anything. Yeah, I can get behind anything.”
Random Thought! When Kane returned on Raw last night, he was totally wearing Xorn’s mask.
Random Thought! “Late-breaking story on the CBC: a nation whispers, ‘We always knew that he’d go free.'”
Random Thought! What I love most about Animal Man right now is watching Travel Foreman refine his style for that book. It started out a lot more disjointed than it was in issue four last week. He’s really honing in on something special.
Random Thought! “I’m not a friend of Dylan’s! (Bob Dylan…)”
Random Thought! A week later, I’m a little more warm on the idea of Avengers vs. X-Men. What intrigues me most about this series is the creative set up: five writers over 12 issues. No co-writing or anything like 52 where there’s an attempt to hide who did the lion’s share of what. How well will this series flow and work as a cohesive narrative with those different styles dominating an issue at a time? I love shit like that. I’ve long been fascinated with the idea of doing comics like a TV series and this looks like it will come close. Will the five writers strive for a similar style? Will they say ‘fuck it’ and just do whatever? Funny that it’s not the characters, the ‘event’ nature of the story, or even the specific creators that appeal to me… it’s the way it’s being put together.
Random Thought! “How’d it get this late so early?”
Random Thought! I find reviews like Tom Spurgeon’s review of Avengers #19 far more interesting than reactions of people who don’t read comics at all. Spurgeon knows comics — he knows superhero comics — and, yet, he’s an outsider in a sense to this particular comic. That’s far more informative than the reaction of some random person who doesn’t read comics at all. Why would I trust (or, to an extent, care) what they have to say? Are you going to give my thoughts on ballet much weight given how little I know about it? No, you’d probably dismiss me as someone who doesn’t know what I’m talking about… And, yet, it’s never too long before I come across another post on some blog where comics are randomly shoved into the hands of people who have never picked one up and I’m supposed to pretend like their insights mean fuck all.
Random Thought! “Bring on the requisite strangeness. It always has to get a little weird, a little weird.”
Random Thought! I’m about halfway through the first Jack Kirby’s Fourth World omnibus and I’m noticing how much influence Kirby has had specifically on the Age of Awesome in comics. So many of his concepts fit perfectly into the “That’s awesome!” mentality we’ve had for much of the past half decade or so. Except without as much self-consciousness. I also love how the first appearance of Desaad looks like Crumb drew him… Out of the four titles presented, the one I’m enjoying the most so far is New Gods. I’m not as high on Forever People, though. That could have something to do with my general dislike of hippies. Damn hippies. If only volume two of the omnibus were scheduled sooner than April 4… come on, DC, ramp up that schedule!
Random Thought! “Now the struggle has a name: ‘We are the Same.’ It hasn’t changed. I still feel the same.”
Random Thought! I think 2012 needs a new Tragically Hip album.
Random Comments! Putting the spotlight on the seventeenth best comment section online!
sandwich eater said: If the Avengers are fighting the X-men, which side is Wolverine (and possibly Beast) going to fight on?
I believe this edition of Gutters answers that question. Or doesn’t…
Mario said: What I don’t understand is that why do other comic readers get upset when I react negatively to a book they really enjoyed. What’s it to you?
Pretty much. What bothers me is those people who think having a different opinion makes you a bad reader/reviewer/whatever. I’ve yet to find a person who I didn’t disagree with on a lot of things. Even someone like Tim, who I think we’ll all agree I agree with a lot, has a lot of opinions on comics (and everything else) that I don’t share in the slightest. It doesn’t make me respect him any less.
One last thing, don’t people pay attention to who writes the reviews they read?
No. No, they do not.
Seth T. Hahne said: RE fandom: It may be a matter of time prioritization. I’m a big fan of Murakami but I haven’t read all of his works. Maybe some wouldn’t consider me a true fan, but what I mean by fan is that I love his work. I’ll get around to reading it all eventually, but limited time and a multiplicity of interests means I can’t devote all of my time to him. I love the works of Satoshi Kon and considered myself a fan, but I found out about his death a year after he passed. Doesn’t mean I wasn’t a good fan. I’d seen everything he’d released, but didn’t look up news items about whatever he was doing at any moment. One last example: I’m a big fan of the Elder Scrolls series. Since Morrowind was released, I put hundreds of hours into the game. Put quite a bit into Oblivion and am currently enjoying Skyrim as time allows. But I never played Arena or Daggerfall or any of the Oblivion DLC. Doesn’t diminish my fandom. Just means that I have limited time to exercise my fandom.
Sorry, I was unclear. I was talking more about saying you’re a fan of someone’s work and, yet, being totally unaware of recent developments that were announced publically. The example that jumped out was someone mentioning that they didn’t know Warren Ellis was writing Secret Avengers. They’re interested enough in comics to read this blog and claim to be an Ellis fan and weren’t aware that he was writing a highly visable book for Marvel? All of us have things we’re fans of and haven’t experienced in totality. Shit, I own more Woody Allen movies than any other director and I’m still missing over a dozen. Same with Neil Young albums. Part of it is money. Part of it is accessibility. Part of it is balancing the various things I like. BUT: I am aware of what I haven’t seen/heard/read when it comes to all of those things that I love. That was the big thing to me: not even knowing about it. Especially in this day and age where something like Wikipedia will tell you everything anyone has ever done.
Travis Pelkie said: Actually, I saw elsewhere that the TPs are apparently only 10 bucks less than the HCs, so I’ll be going with the HCs, if I ever shell out that cash.
Good luck finding those hardcovers for cover price… Just buy the trades.
Do they have Canadian Idol? Why not, man?
They did, yeah. It was one of the first things my girlfriend made me watch with her — actually, it was on Monday nights from 8-9 when we first started dating, so I made her the deal that I would watch it if she watched wrestling after it. The end result: she enjoys wrestling and I fucking hate all Idol-like shows. I think I won that little deal…
Wally Strong said: That’s a shame. If you did, you wouldn’t have to wait 2 weeks to read Doc Bizarre.
Except I’m okay with that, because I’ll be reading it in a format that I find more enjoyable and aesthetically pleasing. There’s a reason why I haven’t gotten on board with digital comics. Sure, there’s a convenience factor, but it doesn’t outweigh the pleasure I obtain from reading physical books compared to their digital counterparts.
That’s it for this week. Thanks for reading. Later.
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