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CSBG Archive

What I bought – 22 August 2012

We have done as much with the matter of birth and parenting, dividing ourselves into different teams – pro-Thisers or pro-Thaters – with no middle ground, as there seldom is in matters of life and death. The debate is controlled by the extremes, each side shouting answers and accusations over the heads of the people in between, who are kept from formulating questions by the din of the argument all around them. Each paints the other with a broader brush. Each has an arsenal of names and adjectives to deploy against the other side. No one listens. Everyone screams. (Thomas Lynch, from The Undertaking)

It's Ramos-tastic! All you need is booze! Well, that's certainly something It's funny AND insulting to veterans! How did that dolphin write that? Jodhpurs! This is kind of a misleading cover, but whatever I can't stop staring at Logan's mismatched eyes! It really is too much awesome I'm not sure how this has gotten more disturbing, BUT IT HAS! Well, this looks cool I'm glad this LOOKS insane - let's hope it reads like that!

Amazing Spider-Man #692. “Point of Origin Part 1: Alpha” by Dan Slott (writer), Humberto Ramos (penciler), Victor Olazaba (inker), Edgar Delgado (colorist), and Chris Eliopoulos (letterer); “Spider-Man For a Night” by Dean Haspiel (writer/artist), Giulia Brusco (colorist), and Chris Eliopoulos (letterer); “Just Right” by Joshua Hale Fialkov (writer), Nuno Plati (artist), and Clayton Cowles (letterer). $5.99, 55 pgs, FC, Marvel.

This is the “fifty year celebration” of Spider-Man issue, and I figured it would be a good one to check out, both because it features a few different stories and also to get a sense of Slott’s work on the title. I’ve heard some good things about Slott’s writing of Spidey, but I had no interest in the rotating creative teams after Spidey made a deal with Satan and even after that ended, I’m just not a fan of Ramos, so I didn’t want to get the book then. It’s been a decade since I bought Spider-Man comics with any regularity, so I thought this might be a nice place to check in. Plus, this is the highest-numbered comic left, right, since Marvel decided it needed to pass Fantastic Four, and for some reason, buying issue #692 makes me feel good. I know Our Dread Lord and Master has written before about not caring about renumbering, but I’m actually of the opinion that it does matter a bit, even though both DC and Marvel have made it irrelevant with their constant reboots and renumberings and shipping books more than once a month. I know DC cheated to get Detective Comics #600 out 50 years after the first issue (as the book was bi-monthly for a time), but it was still impressive that it synced up so well. Oh well – I’m an old fogey; sue me.

Moving back to the issue, this is a thoroughly mediocre comic book, and if this is typical of Slott’s work on the title, I haven’t missed much at all. Slott’s story will continue in future adventures of ASM, which is fine, but this introduction to a new hero is basically “What If Ben Parker Hadn’t Been Around To Give Crinkly-Eyed, Avuncular Advice To A Young Peter Parker?”, as Slott gives us Andy Maguire, a high school student who’s even more of a loser than Peter was and who gets even more fantastic powers than Peter got (basically, every clichéd “superhero” power you can name – he can fire bolts of energy, he’s strong, he’s fast, he has a force field, and he can fly … but he can only use one power at a time!). Not surprisingly, he turns into kind of a douchebag. He got the powers because an experiment Peter was working on blew up (I’ll get to that), so Peter feels responsible for him and tries to teach him not to be a douchebag. Yeah, good luck with that.

There’s a LOT wrong with this story. Andy’s parents are the stereotypical “We don’t care about our kid until something happens to him, and then we’ll think about how to make a buck off of him,” which means they’re terrible. Andy thinks that the girl on whom he has a crush is cute in a “nerdy/Asian/Tina Fey kind of way,” which struck me again as an adult man trying to write like a teenager and failing. As always, I’m not saying that teenagers don’t know who Tina Fey is or that she’s cute, but it feels off to me. Slott was born in 1967. Fey was born in 1970 (she’s a year and a day older than I am!). Maybe, just maybe, Andy is expressing Slott’s feelings, and not his own. In the 1980s, when I was Andy’s age (let’s just assume that Andy is 15, but he might be slightly older), I didn’t think many 42-year-olds were cute. I was too busy lusting after Heather Thomas or Phoebe Cates or Mia Sara or Amanda Peterson or Stephanie Seymour. But whatever. Let’s move on! (Yes, I know I’m being a bit gratuitous. I have to keep Travis happy, though!)

So Peter is showing off his experiment. I love how ONE guy, who appears to hate Peter (a douchebag co-worker), turns ONE knob and disengages the “safeties” on the experiment. Really? You’re showing off this thing that appears to be really, REALLY powerful and ONE guy can sabotage it so casually (he’s simply standing by the knob while he’s talking to Peter’s boss, and gives it a spin)? Then, because every writer in the world is incapable of writing Reed Richards so he’s not a tremendous knob, we find out that Reed actually discovered “Parker Particles” “years ago” but did nothing because he “knew that there are some genies you don’t let out of the bottle.” Well, you know, if anyone would know about performing experiments that endanger others, it would be giant dickhead Reed, but presumably Reed keeps up with scientific work, especially when it’s done by someone close to him, so you’d think he would have, you know, told Peter about that beforehand. The problem with superhero comics is that they’re cotton candy constructs, so if you introduce any little bit of “realism” – Reed realizes the destructive capacity of “Parker Particles” and decides not to pursue them – you need to examine everything through the lens of realism, and the entire thing falls apart. Reed has never let a little thing like “ethics” stop him before. Why now? Probably because he’s a douchebag.

Finally (no, I’m not done!), there’s this guy Jay, who I guess is May’s husband (his name is John, but I guess because he has three names that begin with “J” – he’s Jameson’s dad – everyone calls him “Jay”). Jay has the temerity – the audacity, even – to tell Peter that just because May has moved to Boston, “it’s like you’ve forgotten we exist.” The fact that Peter doesn’t punch him in the brain right there is impressive. Here’s my speech that Slott should have put in the book at that moment:

Seriously, douchebag? You’ve known her, what, two months, and just because you make her ancient toes curl every so often you think you can lecture me? Listen, fucko, I made a deal with Satan so that bitch could stay alive and get freaky with you. A motherfucking deal with motherfucking Satan!!!! I can’t tell you how many friendships I’ve ignored and how many relationships with actual young hotties I’ve fucked up because that old-timer was always whining that I didn’t spend enough time with her. Jesus, she could learn how to play mahjong or do water aerobics, but noooooo – she’s too busy writing letters to the editors bitching about Spider-Man, who’s saved her life a dozen times over and, oh by the way, IS ME! And then YOU move away to Boston and I’M supposed to keep in touch with her? Jesus, most people cut the apron strings a lot sooner in life and talk on the phone once a week or so with the people who raised them, but apparently I have to take the bus to Boston three times a week to give my aunt a foot massage! Fuck right off, Jay. I destroyed my marriage so I could save that bitch’s life, and she’s like 95 years old! Look at Mary Jane – she’s standing right over there. I gave up tapping that ass so I could save May’s life, so until you’ve done something even remotely that unselfish, you can crawl up your own bunghole and eat shit, pal.

I mean, we all know that Steve Wacker is too busy picking on reviewers who don’t like the comics he “edits,” so it’s not like he’d even see that if it showed up, right?

So, yeah. This is a dumb story. Oh, and Peter acts like an idiot too, as he actually tells the immature teenager that he’s the most powerful person on the planet, so I’m not letting him off the hook.

The next two stories aren’t all that great, either. I mean, they’re not as stupid as the first one, but they’re variations on stories we’ve seen many, many times before. “Spider-Man For a Night” is an amalgam of “The Kid Who Collected Spider-Man” and the Sandman’s origin from the third movie, as some old dude finds Spider-Man’s costume in the trash (after he put it there in issue #50), puts it on, tries to rob a store, and then goes home, where we find out is very sick granddaughter is a huge Spider-Man fan and the dude (still dressed as Spidey) comforts her. It’s a nice little story, but that’s about it. Fialkov’s story is slightly better, but still slight, as we get one of those “days when nothing goes right for Spidey” tales that show up every so often. Both of the back-up stories basically show what it means to be a hero even when life sucks for you, and they’re charming, I guess, but forgettable.

At least they don’t piss me off, like the lead story. Man, if that’s the kind of stuff Slott has been writing, I think I can safely skip it. Oh well.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Well, of course it is, because we have to have sex humor in this comic!

Dark Horse Presents #15. “Wild Rover Chapter 2″ by Michael Avon Oeming (writer/artist) and *Aaron Walker (letterer); “Ghost: Resurrection Mary” by Kelly Sue DeConnick (writer), Phil Noto (artist), and Richard Starkings (letterer); “Finder: Third World Chapter 13″ by Carla Speed McNeil (writer/artist/letterer), Jenn Manley Lee (colorist), and Bill Mudron (colorist); “The Girl With the Keyhole Eyes Chapter 1″ by David Chelsea (writer/artist); “Concrete Park Chapter 5″ by Tony Puryear (writer/artist/letterer) and Erika Alexander (writer); “Aliens: Inhuman Condition Chapter 4″ by John Layman (writer/letterer), Sam Kieth (artist/colorist), and John Kalisz (colorist); “Riven Chapter 2″ by Bo Hampton (writer/artist/letterer) and Robert Tinnell (writer); “Rex Mundi: A Lurker in the Temple” by Arvid Nelson (writer/letterer) and Juan Ferreyra (artist); “Buddy Cops Chapter 2″ by Nate Cosby (writer), Evan Shaner (artist), Rus Wooton (letterer); “Nexus: The Insect Under the Stone” by Mike Baron (writer), The Dude (artist/letterer), and Glenn Whitmore (colorist); “Love Hurts” by Kim W. Andersson (writer/artist); “Ride of the Sabretooth Vampire” by Mike Russell (writer/artist/letterer) and Bill Mudron (colorist). $7.99, 88 pgs, FC, Dark Horse.

As usual with DHP, even the lesser stories have things to recommend them, which makes this a good comic even when the stories might not measure up. So it’s nice to see Oeming’s artwork even if I’m not clear why his protagonist needs to drink a lot of alcohol to defeat some kind of evil thing. It’s nice to see Noto’s artwork even though Dark Horse is cutting the “Ghost” story short so that they can launch it as an ongoing. Puryear’s artwork is fascinating even though I still have no idea what’s going on in “Concrete Park.” The “Rex Mundi” story takes place before the actual series begins and it’s a bit unnecessary, but Ferreyra’s art is absolutely beautiful (man, I wish Ferreyra would work on higher-profile stuff!).

Meanwhile, McNeil’s “Finder” story is tremendous, as Jaeger willingly becomes a scapegoat and McNeil gives us a brutal visual of what happens next; Chelsea’s weird story moves through various layers of reality and does it well; Layman reveals some interesting stuff in the “Aliens” story; weird shit continues to occur in “Riven,” although I’m not sure how it connects to the previous chapter; and the Nexus story is batshit insane but absolutely gorgeous. My favorite story is the “Buddy Cops” one, because it’s so clichéd but Cosby cranks everything up to 11, so it overpowers you with wackiness. So, yeah, on the whole, this is a pretty typical issue of the anthology, which means it’s a pretty good issue of the anthology. Yay, good anthologies!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Thank goodness for the "your"!

Fables #120 (“Cubs in Toyland Chapter 7: Beach Toys”/”A Revolution in Oz Chapter Seven: A Single Loose Rock”) by Bill Willingham (writer), Mark Buckingham (penciller, “Cubs”), Steve Leialoha (inker, “Cubs”), Shawn McManus (artist, “Oz”), Lee Loughridge (colorist, “Cubs”), and Todd Klein (letterer). $2.99, 20 pgs, FC, DC/Vertigo.

After the sixth chapter of this arc, in which things finally started to, you know, happen, we get the seventh chapter, in which more things happen! It’s a Festivus miracle! Darien is hanging out in Toyland trying to figure out how to save his sister, when he’s confronted by a horrible choice: sacrifice himself to save her. Oh dear. Meanwhile, Therese is still in the dark about the toys’ purpose for her, which is unfortunate. Most of the issue, however, is taken by Darien trying to figure out what to do. He obviously doesn’t want to sacrifice himself, but can he find another way? Willingham does a wonderful job showing how he arrives at his answer, and presumably next issue – the final issue of the arc – will deal with the fallout. I haven’t loved this arc because it’s moved very slowly, but when Willingham wants to write some very good comic book prose, he can. I’m still thinking of switching to trades after this arc, because I imagine the pacing won’t bother me as much if it’s all in one package, but at least this isn’t as dreadfully dull as it was for the first few issues. That’s always nice!

Oh, and things get bloody in Oz. As we knew they might. So sad!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

It's reverse psychology!

Mars Attacks #3 by John Layman (writer/letterer), John McCrea (artist), and Andrew Elder (colorist). $3.99, 22 pgs, FC, IDW.

Here’s something odd. This is a very bloody comic, as Layman shows the Martians killing a lot of people with their giant insects and a man who owns a flea circus tries to escape the carnage. However, even though it’s very bloody and we know at least some women die, no women die graphically in this issue. The closest example is on Page 2, where we see a headless corpse, but as the person is sitting down in a row and the seats in front block the body and the head is nowhere to be seen, we can’t really tell it’s a woman (we only know because McCrea showed her in the exact same spot wearing the exact same shirt on Page 1). It’s very interesting. I don’t know what it says about this comic, but it’s very interesting.

Anyway, as usual, this is just an excuse to show the Martians running wild and killing a lot of humans. Our “hero,” Sidney Rose, packs up his flea circus and tries to flee, but the people in a shelter he finds throw him out. If you think they’re all killed in the next minute, well, no gold stars for you! Then Sidney comes across a dying soldier who tells him that his unit managed to destroy the factory where the Martians were making the insects grow, and they managed to get a sample of it. Hmmm … Sidney has some insects … I think you can figure out the rest.

Layman cares not about anything but insanity on this comic, and McCrea and Elder are knocking it out of the park. Every once in a while, it’s just fun to read a comic like this, where it’s just balls-to-the-wall mayhem, brought to you by people who know what they’re doing. Mars Attacks certainly isn’t a classic for the ages, but damn, it’s a fun read.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Well, that's just too bad

Mind MGMT #4 by Matt Kindt (writer/artist). $3.99, 26 pgs, FC, Dark Horse.

Mind MGMT is getting better every issue even though the first issue was pretty good to begin with, and it’s partly because we’re getting to know the characters slightly more, but also because Kindt is showing us a bit of what’s behind the curtain, which makes the stuff we still don’t know about more intriguing. In this issue, Henry Lyme tells Meru a good chunk of his history, so we learn a bit about this weird agency as well, but it also continues a lot of the mysteries we’ve already encountered. It’s a sad issue, too, because Henry comes to realize that he can’t trust anything, and this depresses him. Kindt gets us to that point pretty well, although we do have to ignore the fact that a woman apparently never ages, but that’s just the way it is. As usual, it’s a fairly complex issue even though it doesn’t look it, as we get the brief two-page story on the inside front and back covers, plus a back-up story that ties into the main one more explicitly than the others seem to. In addition to that, the writing on the borders of the pages takes a strange turn, which is nice to see – I assumed Kindt was going to do more with that stuff, but I wasn’t sure what. It’s neat to see him trying to blend so many elements into a nifty package. There’s also some gorgeous panels of Henry trying to impress his lover, and it makes the theme of the issue even more heartbreaking.

I did like the first issue of this series, but I knew it had the potential to be better. It looks like Kindt is beginning to dig a bit deeper into this odd agency and its agenda, and I’m perfectly fine with that! Maybe the zero issue after next issue will entice more people to pick this up!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Man, that's a tough school

Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom #1 by Mark Waid (writer), Chris Samnee (artist), Jordie Bellaire (colorist), and Shawn Lee (letterer). $3.99, 22 pgs, FC, IDW.

Here’s another comic I’m going to nitpick to death. Before that, though, I will say that it’s a fun comic – Waid could write this kind of comic in his sleep, the bad guys are sufficiently villainous, the “cargo of doom” is freaky, and Chris Samnee draws the shit out of everything. I will read the entire mini-series, and I’m sure I’ll enjoy it. However …

So Cliff’s mechanic has a niece named Sally, and we begin with her flying a plane for some skeevy federal inspector, who of course makes a pass at her while she’s flying the plane. Really, Skeevy Federal Inspector Guy? Do you really think that’s the best idea? Anyway, Sally has a crush on Cliff, but I’m not sure how old she’s supposed to be. Cliff says he was dating Betty since Sally was a kid in pigtails, and Samnee draws her so that she looks very young, as in 15 or so. I can’t imagine she is, because she seems way to aggressive for that, but it’s a bit weird. And then Betty is jealous? I mean, she’s always going on about all these men who show an interest in her whenever Cliff doesn’t show up for a date (she does it again in this issue!), yet she gets pissed when Cliff is a little bit nice to what looks like a teenager? Betty knows that Sally has a crush on Cliff, but Cliff doesn’t really do anything to make her jealous. It just seems … weird. The entire Sally subplot feels weird, in fact.

Then there’s Skeevy Federal Inspector Guy. Sure, he’s unctuous, but when he tells Cliff that he’s a lousy pilot and grounds him, Cliff hauls off and punches him. Again, we see the ridiculous anger issues that Cliff has and which no one calls him on. I mean, this is BEFORE he finds out that SFIG tried to molest Sally, and he still punches him. Just because SFIG was doing his job? As obnoxious as SFIG was when he told Cliff he was grounded, is punching him really the best way to respond? If IDW was still doing the Rocketeer anthology, I would submit a story in which Cliff simply walks around town punching people because they look at him funny. “I’m sorry, Mr. Secord, you counted wrong – you need an extra dime to purchase this magazine.” “Why, you –” POW! “Excuse me, Mr. Secord, you threw your cigarette out the window of your car and it set my poodle on fire.” “Oh, yeah –?” WHAM! “Um, Mr. Secord, grease just doesn’t come out of jodhpurs, I’m sor –” BIFF! Man, that would be awesome. I do hope Waid has some plans for Cliff’s anger problems, because, I mean, Jeebus. It’s a bit ridiculous.

Overall, though, it’s an entertaining issue. We’ll see where it goes!

(Speaking of which, here’s a story about Disney remaking the movie. In the post, someone asks “Why?”, which seems like a dumb question. It’s a property that’s been sitting around for a while, it’s been over 20 years since the movie, the movie isn’t considered a classic by any means – it’s a perfectly fine movie, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not like remaking Gone With the Wind or Casablanca – and the technology could make it a pretty nifty-looking movie. No, it won’t have Jennifer Connelly, but that’s the price we’ll have to pay! I just think remaking Rocketeer is kind of a no-brainer.)

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Listen to the crazy person!

Scalped #60 (“Trail’s End: Conclusion”) by Jason Aaron (writer), R. M. Guéra (artist), Giulia Brusco (colorist), and Sal Cipriano (letterer). $2.99, 22 pgs, FC, DC/Vertigo.

Is there really anything I can say about the final issue of Scalped? It’s not the greatest ending of a series, but it’s a satisfying one, as Aaron does a good job wrapping things up but also leaving things open. I think parts of it were a bit too “Greek tragedy” in that the characters seemed to play roles ordained by God (or the gods, depending on your view) and I never like that kind of storytelling unless the book is completely allegorical, and I don’t think Aaron was necessarily going for that. That’s why Red Crow is one of the best characters of the decade, because he seems to be a fully realized character who makes choices not because it’s what fate is telling him to do but because that’s what he wants to do. The saddest panel in this book and maybe the series is the penultimate time we see Dino, because more than Dash, he’s completely ruled by fate. He has no say whatsoever over what happens to him, and he hasn’t in a long time (ever since that first issue showcasing him, in fact). Even Dash makes a choice – it’s a shitty choice, but it’s a choice. The end of Maggie’s story doesn’t work as well as Aaron wants it to, because she came into Dash’s life a bit too late for it to really have a good impact, but it’s another aspect of the book that is ruled by fate. So while I like the ending, I don’t know if it reflected the way Aaron had built up the characters throughout the series.

I will say that while Guéra’s art is wonderful as usual, Brusco’s superb colors make the book even more beautiful. Recently, someone in the Vertigo offices must have figured out that “mud-brown” didn’t need to be the foundation of every comic, and Brusco’s work on this title has improved greatly. The opening scene of violence and death are beautifully red and orange with crucial swaths of black, and the sky at the end is almost painfully blue, it’s so gorgeous. This is really a phenomenal-looking comic, with Guéra’s rough pencils at the beginning giving us a visceral sense of the violence and his lighter lines with heavy inks at the end implying both the tragedy and hope of the ending. It’s a really wonderful book, visually.

I’m getting close to “S” in my journey through my long boxes, so I’ll be re-reading Scalped sooner rather than later. I may have more to say about it then!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Um ... can I plead the Fifth?

Wolverine Annual #1 (“The Greater Evil”) by Alan Davis (writer/penciler), Mark Farmer (inker), Javier Rodriguez (colorist), and Clayton Cowles (letterer). $4.99, 38 pgs, FC, Marvel.

The final of Davis’ three “ClanDestine” annuals of this summer wraps everything up somewhat tidily – we find out what Vincent is up to, which is the whole point, and while it’s a fairly standard “evil genius wants to change the world” plot, it’s drawn by Alan Motherfucking Davis, so it’s totally worth it. Actually, if you’re a long-time ClanDestine reader (and, I mean, who isn’t?), Davis does delve into the family dynamics a bit more in this annual than he did in the previous two, mostly because Pandora and Rory, the two youngest Destine kids, are in this one, and they’re always interested in playing superhero while Walter, their brother/guardian, doesn’t want to. This is the main theme of the series, and Davis does a nice job bringing it into play here. Plus, it’s drawn by Alan Motherfucking Davis. Did I already say that? You’re going to complain about over 100 pages of Alan Motherfucking Davis art for 15 bucks? Yeah, I don’t think so.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Not easily at all - he's Wolve-fucking-rine!

Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Omnibus volume 3 by Jack Kirby (writer/penciller), Mike Royer (inker/letterer), Drew R. Moore (color reconstruction), and Dave Tanguay (color reconstruction). $29.99, 383 pgs, FC, DC.

This is the third of the four omnibi that DC published of Kirby’s Fourth World stuff. I can’t wait until the fourth one comes out so I can read them all at once! It’s pretty keen-looking!

Gantz volume 24 by Hiroya Oku (writer/artist). $12.99, 209 pgs, BW, Dark Horse.

Man, there’s an alien in this composed of naked women, and it looks like it’s 20 feet tall. This is a fucked up series.

Prophet volume 1: Remission by Brandon Graham (writer/artist/colorist), Simon Roy (artist), Farel Dalrymple (artist), Giannis Milonogiannis (artist), Richard Ballerman (colorist), Joseph Bergin III (colorist), Emma Rios (back-up story writer/artist), and Ed Brisson (letterer). $9.99, 132 pgs, FC, Image.

Gosh, this looks cool. I’m looking forward to reading it. Plus, it’s TEN DOLLARS!

Swamp Thing volume 1: Raise Them Bones by Scott Snyder (writer), Yanick Paquette (artist), Marco Rudy (artist), Victor Ibañez (artist), Sean Parsons (inker), Michel Lacombe (inker), Nathan Fairbairn (colorist), David Baron (colorist), Val Staples (colorist), Lee Loughridge (colorist), John J. Hill (letterer), and Travis Lanham (letterer). $14.99, 142 pgs, FC, DC.

I know this got some love around yonder blogaxy, so I hope it’s good. I’m still not sure that Snyder is a good writer, but we’ll see. Paquette’s layouts are superb, though. It’s a very cool book to look at.

**********

I think I mentioned this last year, but if I didn’t, I’m doing it this year! Every October my lovely wife participates in a walking event to raise money for Polycystic Kidney Disease research, and she’s doing it again this year. She has PKD, which is a fairly nasty affliction, and as it’s inherited, my daughters will probably have it too. Good times! Anyway, if you’re at all interested in sponsoring her, follow this link and click “Donate to a participant.” As she has pointed out, even if you don’t have the money, she’s trying to educate people about PKD, because it ain’t fun and not a lot of people know about it. If we can go the entire month of October dealing with pink variant covers and pink sneakers on football players, we can learn about other, less publicized diseases, right? This year Norah will be walking with her mom (my mom is flying into town to walk, too, which is … bizarre, to say the least), and Krys would like to thank anyone who can spare a little bit to help her out. Thanks, everyone!

Moving on to less life-and-death things, here’s a story about a toddler fight club. Yes, you read that correctly. It’s a fairly horrible story (nobody has died, but it’s still a freakin’ toddler fight club!), but the comments are awesome.

Will Tim Burton’s Batman sell more tickets than The Dark Knight Rises? That’s an intriguing question. It’s pretty far ahead right now, based on some calculations, even though DKR has made more money. I wish that were how movies are judged – by the number of tickets sold rather than the box office, because of course modern movies will make more money – movies don’t cost a dime anymore! That would be rather strange if DKR doesn’t sell as many tickets as Batman.

I am still unsure if I’ve ever heard a Katy Perry song all the way through, but you can’t deny she’s worn some strange things, and here are things she’s worn on her breasts. It’s all very safe for work, fret not!

Speaking of my wife (and I was, if you’ll recall), this Sunday, the 26th of August, is the 20th anniversary of the day I met her. It was in a poetry class at Penn State, and I liked her instantly. I didn’t fall madly in love with her until later, but she was very cool from Day One. I just mention it because while I love my wife and have no interest in ever living without her, I find it very weird to think it’s been over 20 years (about 20 years and three months, to be exact) since I last had sex with anyone other than my wife. I mean, what if it’s changed a lot and we’re totally doing it wrong? How would we know? So our wedding anniversary is the 30th of July, but I always remember this anniversary too, because it’s fairly important!

All right, after a week off, let’s check out The Ten Most Recent Songs On My iPod (Which Is Always On Shuffle):

1. “The Show Must Go On”Queen (1991) “My soul is painted like the wings of butterflies; fairy tales of yesterday will grow but never die”1
2. “Bad”U2 (1984) “If I could, I would let it go: Surrender, dislocate”2
3. “Shine Like It Does”INXS (1985) “This is the power since time began; every single hour that we have known”
4. “The Standing Still” – Chumbawamba (2000) “Who said the story had to end this way?”3
5. “Drunken Boat”Pogues (1993) “An aria with the Russians at the piano in the bar, with icefloes through the window we raised glasses to the Czar”4
6. “Prelude/Angry Young Man”Billy Joel (1976) “And he’s never been able to learn from mistakes so he can’t understand why his heart always breaks”
7. “Breaking The Girl”Red Hot Chili Peppers (1991) “I don’t know what when or why; the twilight of love had arrived”
8. “Tits On The Radio”Scissor Sisters (2004) “Black haired tranny counts sheep with her bed turned down”
9. “How Much Fun”Robert Palmer (1974) “You got me scorched where I’d forgotten there was fire; you got me foxed and you know I ain’t a liar”
10. “Rio”Duran Duran (1982) “You know you’re something special and you look like you’re the best”

1 Damn, I love this song. I know I’ve said that before, but it’s worth repeating!
2 Back when I didn’t like U2 (which was before Achtung Baby, although I’ve since reconsidered The Joshua Tree), this was the only song by them I really liked. It’s still one of my favorite U2 songs.
3 By the way, Chumbawamba broke up. I know, it’s hard for you to take. Get yourself together and rejoin us when you’re ready!
4 It’s really strange that with all the great Pogues song when MacGowan was the lead singer, this song, after he left, might be my favorite Pogues song. It’s a close race between this and “Thousands Are Sailing” – it kind of depends on my mood. I love the lyrics of this one, culminating in “With the wainscot our horizon and the ceiling as the sky, you’d not expect that anyone would go and fucking die.” Gives me the chills, I tells ya!

I think these Totally Random Lyrics are easy, but I thought of them when I heard the song this week, because when you try to find out the most conservative rock songs (and you can easily find people who make those sorts of lists), this song is nowhere to be found. I mean, some of the choices of conservatives are a bit weak, but this is clearly a “conservative” song. Maybe it’s not rocking enough? Anyway, if I type anything else I’ll give it away. Glory in these wonderful lyrics!

“I started my life in an old, cold run down tenement slum
My father left, he never even married mom
I shared the guilt my mama knew
So afraid that others knew I had no name

This love we’re contemplating
Is worth the pain of waiting
We’ll only end up hating
The child we may be creating”

Yeah, I know. Anyway, have a wonderful day, everyone. Be excellent to each other!

55 Comments

You know, Alan Davis is living proof that superhero costumes don’t need to be updated to be more realistic. Give that man any horrible golden or silver-age character, and he’ll draw him/her completely accurately and still very appealingly.

Man, I hate the modern Wolverine costume and would love him to go back to his classic “tiger stripe” or Frank Miller browns. But he makes even the costume above look fine.

I am so close to dropping Amazing Spider-Man.

It’s basically been the only constant thing I’ve read, I was pumped when Slott came on board because his Spider-Man/Human Torch mini was excellent, but the run has been so underwhelming to me.

There has been no real human drama that has got my attention, there’s no real-man struggle left.

“Love child, never meant to be”. I remember they used to play this all the time on a classics station my Dad used to listen to when he was building

Also, I’m always happy when I see Scissor Sisters on your list.

Wondering what your thoughts might be on Magic Hour.

I was fairly unimpressed on the first few listens, I’ve come around on a handful of songs, but I found it to be a fairly shallow album, doesn’t seem to carry the emotional weight of the first 3. Just feels like a party album and nothing more.

Man, that Wolverine drawing really sticks out. The main thing I noticed is the proportions and the perspective. Everything about the physique is in proportion with the rest of the body. THAT is how you draw a superhero.

Tom Fitzpatrick

August 23, 2012 at 8:18 pm

I’m sad. SCALPED’s over and done with.

It’s the only Jason Aaron book I’m reading these days.

I’m sad. ;-(

Oz: I still have to get Night Work, which I’ll probably pick up soon. I’ve only heard a few snippets of stuff from Magic Hour, so I can’t really say much about it yet!

I’m a huge defender of Slott’s Spider-Man. His writing is corny as hell sometimes, and Ramos is Ramos, but the book has a hell of a lot of heart.

Man, I hate the modern Wolverine costume and would love him to go back to his classic “tiger stripe” or Frank Miller browns. But he makes even the costume above look fine.

I’m pretty sure the brown costume, my fave too, debuted in UXM 139 so is John Byrne’s not Frank Miller’s…. tho it is the one he’s using in the first Wolverine Limited Series that Miller drew.

Slott’s Spider-man is never the best comic of the week, but it is always entertaining. (And Ramos is great.) (Well, he is good anyway.)

The problem with this issue of Amazing is that it is an anniversary issue and yet is not really representative of the fine work Slott has been doing on the book at all. Which was an odd choice.

Rusty: I know Ramos has his defenders and fans, but I’ve never been one of them. At the best of times, I tolerate his art because I like the stories. I just have too many issues with it to like it, although I do appreciate that he actually draws it, so there is that!

Brian: See, I don’t get that. He’s going to continue the story in the next issue, so it’s obvious that he’s writing this as part of his ongoing serial. I agree; if you’re going to do a big anniversary story, do a one-and-done that showcases the character a bit more. I’m not a huge fan of the anniversary “This is what the character stands for!” kind of thing, but they’re usually a pretty decent read. I don’t know – I like a good deal of Slott’s writing, but this issue just struck every wrong note for me.

“I destroyed my marriage so I could save that bitch’s life, and she’s like 95 years old! Look at Mary Jane – she’s standing right over there. I gave up tapping that ass so I could save May’s life, so until you’ve done something even remotely that unselfish, you can crawl up your own bunghole and eat shit, pal.”

Bravo sir!

I agree with your comments on Rocketeer and Scalped, particularly the “Greek tragedy” aspect of that series. That’s where the second half of the book really “suffered” (if a book as fuggin’ awesome as Scalped really “suffered”), in that you knew where things had to end up, and there was a bit too much plot over character in making that happen.

And Brusco’s colors really started to pop with the last 15 issues or so. Someone even mentioned it in the letters page (in one of the, what, 6 issues they were in?).

I’ve got a couple other comments on Scalped, but they’re going on Brian’s post about it.

Yeah, that’s all I’ve got.

“I mean, we all know that Steve Wacker is too busy picking on reviewers who don’t like the comics he “edits,” so it’s not like he’d even see that if it showed up, right?”

What is this “picking on reviewers” thing in reference to?

And why are there quotes around “edits”? Do I not really edit this book and no one told me?

SW

Not to presume to speak for Burgas, but I have a feeling he mixed you up with someone else, if he’s referring to what *cough* Fear Itself 1 *cough* I think he’s referring to.

Why DO you have time to comment here? Doesn’t Amazing come out every 2 weeks? Back to work!!! :)

It doesn’t take that long to comment. I’m at a con this week, but checked out the doings online. Hope thats cool.

I’m pretty sure he meant me specifically as I like the blog and know this writer writer isn’t fond of my work or that I promote it.

It’s just a weird hit considering I don’t pick on reviewers and actually am the editor of the books I edit.

SW

I have to admit, Dan Slott’s Spider-Man is a little too old-school for me. It feels very much like an mid-to-late ’70s Marvel comic, with some “new” stuff attached, like Peter’s new job and many new costumes.

I was reading the collection of Scott McCloud’s black and white issues of ZOT! recently, and McCloud’s reminiscences are pretty interesting. In his introduction to one of the issues, he mentions that he and Kurt Busiek made comics with their own superhero, Ultra Boy, who had all the powers of Superboy but could only use them one at a time. Does this mean that Dan Slott stole an idea that a couple of twelve-year-olds came up with?

(Bear in mind, I’m not seriously accusing Slott of plagiarism. I hear that he’s a really nice guy, even if I am not a huge fan of his writing)

Steve: I was recalling the kerfuffle you got into over Colin Smith’s objection to Spider-Man torturing the Sandman. Maybe “picking on” is the wrong phrase – disagreeing with him, maybe? It seemed like it was more than just disagreeing with him, though.

I don’t mean to single you out with regard to the editing thing. I don’t read too many of the books you edit, but I’m very frustrated with both Marvel and DC editors these days, because there are far too many typographical errors and spelling mistakes in comics. There was nothing in this issue that was incorrect, though. I know that you like promoting your comics, which is fine as long as you also edit them, but honestly, I don’t remember any of your books really having big issues with those kinds of mistakes. While I’m not a fan of this issue, that was more with Slott’s writing than your editing. Although I’m still not sure where Hawkeye got 12 million dollars …

I was reading the collection of Scott McCloud’s black and white issues of ZOT! recently, and McCloud’s reminiscences are pretty interesting. In his introduction to one of the issues, he mentions that he and Kurt Busiek made comics with their own superhero, Ultra Boy, who had all the powers of Superboy but could only use them one at a time. Does this mean that Dan Slott stole an idea that a couple of twelve-year-olds came up with?

You mean like Ultra Boy, the Legionnaire who had the powers of Superboy but could only use them one at a time?

So are these re-releases of the Fourth World Omnibus? The fourth volume was published back in 2008.

Jamie: These are softcover versions. Sorry, I forgot to mention that. I didn’t want to spend 50 bucks for the hardcovers because of the paper quality, but I’m cool with spending 30 bucks on them. The fourth softcover version hasn’t come out yet. My bad!

Okay, that makes a lot more sense. Cuz I was pretty sure I had all four in my bookcase and you freaked me out a little bit!

“I’m very frustrated with both Marvel and DC editors these days, because there are far too many typographical errors and spelling mistakes in comics. There was nothing in this issue that was incorrect, though”

I dunno, someone seems to have managed to spell “It’s Clobberin’ Time” wrong in one of the central scenes of the issue (“It’s Cloberrin’ Time!”)…

bartscrivener: Dang, thanks a lot for that! I didn’t notice that, but it’s awesome that you did. This is what I’m talking about – I think I’m allowed to miss that misspelling, because it’s not my job to catch it (although I wish I hadn’t, because it’s too perfect). I think the most fundamental part of an editor’s job is to make sure the book doesn’t have any misspellings (I wish they’d clean up grammar, too, but grammar is far more mutable than spelling, so I’m not going to worry about it as much), and when they fail that, anything else they do doesn’t matter.

Thanks again for catching that. Man.

Greg: No problem. I missed it at first, then caught it on another read. You’re right about the editor’s job being to catch these things – on one level I know that mistakes can happen to anyone, but this is actually a key moment in the book – it’s a sign of Alpha’s cockiness, stealing Ben Grimm’s catchphrase out of his mouth (also one of the central catchphrases of the Marvel universe!) and it’s drawn BIG, so we read it’s key importance. If nobody along the line can spot that this key phrase isn’t spelled right, then what else are they missing?

If Steve Wacker is still around and up for commenting, it’d be great to hear from him on this.

When I was going through all of Hickman’s Fantastic Four and FF to review them on my blog, it drove me crazy that at least once every few issues, Artie Maddicks would be given a speech balloon. I don’t know if it was the artists or the letterer forgetting that he can’t talk, but I was like, good god, where are the editors?

bartscrivener: Maybe Alpha just had a really strong accent?

On a more positive note, my favorite Pogues song would probably be “Sally MacLennane”

Greg, I too loved your imaginary Peter Parker screed, “Listen, fucko” and “Fuck right off, Jay” in particular were hilarious, any Amazing Spider-Man comic book with Peter letting rip like that would be superior to a lot of the pizzle seen in the Spidey books for years. In fact a better anniversart issue woupd probably see Peter Parker become aware of his fictional status (a la Morrison’s Animal Man) and start ranting about apl the crappy things that have happened to him “Gwen slept with *Osborn*? Are you fucking kidding JMS?! I made a deal with the not-Devil? Gee, thanks for that Joey Q! I’m okay with torture now?! What have you done t me, Assmonkeys?!”, or maybe not!
As regards the Tina Fey thing, when I was 15 I was definitely thinking of the likes of Heather Thomas (I’ve been watching The Fall Guy again – oh yes! – and it’s weird how they use her so rarely, c’mon, she’s the archetypal Hollywood Blonde – erm, not the WCW wrestlers – and sooo HOT, weird move bunkies) and Mia Sara but also Adrienne Barbeau, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Helen Mirren; I was watching stuff from the decade previous but Ms Babeau was in her thirties *then* (I could also mention Cheryl Ladd, Erin Gray etc but they were in their twenties and you’ve not got al day!) while Helen Mirren looked great to me not just in the older films I was watching but also in the then-present day stuff and she was easily into her forties (The Chef, The Thief etc had a er great effect on me ;-) ahem) so I can well believe that a 15 year-old would find Tina Fey (who is lovely!) cute. The problem is I think the dialogue which is the kind of rote pseudo-witty stuff that too many writers try to cram into young characters mouths today (note how Peter has lost much of the induviduality of his speech, I really can’t see him saying “dude” he’s not one of those hateable chimps from How I Met…but that’s my bugbear, I’ll shut up about that! I am, unfortunately, weird :-)). As an aside, I think Dame Helen and Ms Barbeau still look good for their ages, and Julia Loius-Dreyfus is *gorgeous*!
Your comments on Scalped align with mine, a good series but the plot mechanism becomes slightly constraing late on. I also think that you were fair to Mr Wacker, he was too dismissive of Colin Smith in a slightly unpleasant way, Colin wasn’t *insulting* Mr Slott but pointing out the dubiousness of enploying torture in an unquestioned way as if it were hunky dory ( or, as if, even putting the repulsiveness of it aside it even fricking *works!). In tthat instance Mr Wacker did come across badly, I think, tho’he’s probably a nice chap usually.
I’m sorry to hear about your wife’s illness, I wish her all good health. Oh, and Happy Anniversary, what a sweet tale, Time does get away from us though, doesn’t it? I enjoyed the DKR review as well, spit-on about Nolan and the movie. Nice to see a dissenting but reasonable view. Kudos!

Brian: oh man, I’m an ignoramus. I never read Legion, and totally misread McCloud’s “liner notes.”

Hal: I think having Peter break the fourth wall would be fun, but it might permanently mess up the character. I do wish characters would whine more about all the crap they have to go through, though, because they do go through an awful lot.

You’re right about older women, I guess – I wasn’t aware of Helen Mirren until later in life, but yeah, in the 1980s (she turned 40 in 1985) she was smoking. I do think that a lot of adult writers have no idea how to write teenagers, and I think this is an example of it, but you’re not wrong that teens can lust after “older” women!

Thanks for the nice words about my wife – luckily she’s relatively healthy, and as long as she goes to the doctor and takes medication she’s generally fine. We can only hope she stays that way!

Brian, the thing you’re referring to was me taking issue with someone calling an issue of Spidey “torture porn”. If you want to defend that, that’s fine, but its a preposterously over-the-top accusation. It’s also one I take quite personally given my feelings on the subject matter.

It’s clearly not “picking on reviewers” by any stretch of the imagination. People like/dislike my books all time with little fanfare or reaction from me. That was me responding to an insulting charge that the person who made it immediately tried backing away from and reframing.

(It’s also an oddly selective real world standard to hold Spidey comics to. Do you also imagine that Marvel is pushing a pro-vigilante agenda?)

As to your high-handed concerns about grammatical errors, again I’m confused why they were aimed at me given what you wrote after or why you don’t think I really edit my books.

Regardless mistakes happen and no one’s happy when they do. But they aren’t new either. Humans make these books (except for the SlottBot writing Spidey) and humans make mistakes. The NY TImes runs a corrections section each day, but I’m not the kind of person who then jumps to the conclusion that that means the editors/writers at the Times are incompetent and not really “editing”.

Anyway, sorry you didn’t like the issue. Hope you like the next one.

SW

No wonder the “Cloberrin’” thing wasn’t caught — despite the fact that the top of this page says this post is by Greg Burgas, and the comment about the specific “picking on reviewers” bit in the piece was posted by Greg Burgas, the comment from Wacker here is addressed to Brian. Again, perhaps it would be better if less time was spent on comments on blog posts and more time was spent on making sure the comic books come out without major spelling errors like the “Cloberrin’ Time” one.

Stephen: Well, I didn’t read that issue of Spider-Man, so I don’t know how accurate Colin was, but he’s a fairly insightful writer and he seems pretty consistent. I don’t think he tried to back away from it and reframe it, but that’s a matter of opinion. I get that you were offended by his thoughts, but I thought he backed them up fairly well. Again, it’s a matter of opinion.

I was making a joke about editing. When mistakes routinely slip through, I made a joke about a big long speech that contains a lot of vulgarity and would never be allowed in a Spider-Man comic getting through as well. Was it a bad joke? That depends on the person reading it, and I guess you didn’t find it funny. That happens.

I will point out that yes, humans make mistakes all the time. My problem is that for most of these comics, four people at least presumably put eyes on them, so the chances of a mistake ought to be lessened. It’s one of my big bugbears, so it probably bothers me a bit more than it might bother others. I just wish the mistakes were more simple mistakes – I can forgive “cloberrin’” to a degree, because it’s obviously a typo – rather than everyone involved not knowing the correct word, which I’ve seen in the past. That really annoys me.

See, I thought Greg was referring to Steve Wacker attacking David Brothers for mildly criticizing books double-shipping and inferior fill-in artists. The more I know!

Greg,

Given this new admission, I’m afraid your original comments above make no real sense then and are even more obviously just a cheap and untrue dig at me and my books.

You’re free to do it if that’s the way your site rolls, I just don’t get it is all. I suspect you’d think it was wrong if the roles were reversed.

(And Sorry for calling you ‘Brian’. He’s the name I associate with the site is all probably because of the book. No slight meant.)

SW

Arkadin, the idea that I “attacked” David Brothers is ridiculous.

SW

It’s true that simple misspellings bother me a lot less than things like Bendis and his editors appearing not to know the difference between discreet and discrete, because those are almost never used correctly in his books, and yet they come up a lot.

Steve: Well, okay. I make no sense. But it was a joke, after all. Considering the book actually contains a misspelling, it’s even funnier to me. If you want to call it cheap and untrue, that’s your prerogative. I’m sure that it’s not going to affect your life or job, and it won’t even make me think “I’m never going to buy a book that Wacker edits EVER AGAIN!” (I’m sure I’ll be buying the trade of Hawkeye, and I might even buy it in single issues!) I do think that editing mistakes are more prevalent in comics these days (as buttler points out, these days it seems like the problem between “discreet” and “discrete” is more common than it’s been in the past), but that’s not the point. I was just making a joke. Obviously, I don’t have a career in front of me as a comedian!

What’s amusing about this whole thread is that in your original review of the ASM issue, you brought up several interesting points about how the story as a whole was awful and several premises (like the “sabotage the experiment by turning one damn knob” bit) were stupid, but we’re all caught up on one (admittedly lame and cheap shot, Greg) joke. So it’s not only that simple copy editing isn’t done, but that thinking a story’s internal logic through isn’t done either.

Hey, they should put that Alpha kid in Avengers Academy so he can get canned too!

Travis, Travis, Travis: All those links to attractive women, just for you, and you insult me?!?!? YOU’RE DEAD TO ME!!!!!

Yeah, I guess I won’t be writing for Jimmy Kimmel any time in the future. What can I say?

Hell, you could totally write for Jimmy Kimmel. Lame ass jokes are his specialty too.

Boo yah!!!

Aw, I do thank ya for the links, but I will say that the shot at Wacker was probably a bit too gratuitous without specifically referencing which incident involving a blogger you were referring to.

Which is why I thought you confused Wacker with someone else, as that someone else DID come to pick on you for having the nerve, the utter NERVE, to point out that since there were several people listed as “editor” on that book *cough cough*, maybe someone should learn the difference between “cachet” and “cache”. And so forth.

To go on to something else….

Your wife’s disease wrote A Scanner Darkly, right? Or is she a replicant? Wait, I’m so confused.

Sorry, saw the PKD, and as you know, I must make jokes! It is my curse!

If your mom walks to your place from PA, I’ll totally sponsor her!

But no, I kid but I’m not trying to trivialize it, so folks should clicky on the link and donate. I do hope all is well with your wife.

And despite the very disturbing pictures you put in my head (I did like the “what if sex has changed a lot” comment, hee hee, but ugh, I did not want to think about you baby makin’!), it’s very sweet that you remember when you first met the mrs. Does she remember too? But aww, how sweet.

I like to kid you, and I’m sure you have tough times with what you have on your plate, but the pics you post show us you’ve got a lovely family and you’re a very lucky guy. I hope someday I have a life like yours.

OK, too mushy. Must slag you again! Billy Joel on your ipod? Really? Oy!

Mr Burgas, Mr Wacker

apologies for intruding here. I can understand why Mr Wacker would mistake me for someone else. I say that with no attempt to be sarcastic. The amount of people Mr Wacker engages with would defeat my memory.

However the following statement is entirely untrue where it comes to my opinion on the use of torture in ASM earlier this year;.

“That was me responding to an insulting charge that the person who made it immediately tried backing away from and reframing.”

Never. Never once. I did not back away. I did not try. I never once attempted to reframe anything of what I’d written about that issue. That’s a misunderstanding on Mr Wacker’s part. I believe there’s not a scrap of evidence to support that charge. Everything remains posted at TooBusyThinking as it was, and nothing’s been said by me since to suggest that I’ve changed my mind about what’s there.

I have only responded once to Mr Wacker on the issue, and that was over a single matter to do with the label of “Wertham”, which Mr Wacker may recall. Beyond that, and having had my say, I stayed out of the debate as it occurred beyond my blog.. And I intend to continue to do so from this point onwards too. The only thing I want to add here is my assurance to Mr Wacker is that he’s made a mistake. That was someone else he’s remembering.

When I do “reframe” my position on things, I sign them up. If I’ve done something wrong, if I’ve given an impression I never intended, if I change my mind; I say it. If I feel I’ve been unfair, I’ll apologise. If I’m even confused about the response that I’ve kicked up, then I’ll withdraw the post and express my confusion.

I haven’t changed an atom of what I feel about the use of the noble super-torturer trope in that issue of ASM. But then, I haven’t changed my mind about the positive reviews of ASM up on the blog either, or the 4 star review of Daredevil in Q Magazine, or the presence of several of Mr Wacker’s family of books in the recent posts at TooBusyThinking on comics which prove 2012 is a New Golden Age. By which I mean, for good or ill, If it’s up on the blog or in any of the work I’ve had posted and printed elsewhere, then I stand by what I’ve said.

I’m sorry to intrude on your discussion, gentlemen, I really am. And I know how difficult a thing memory can be. But I do assure you, Mr Wacker, for whatever little it’s worth, thatI stand my previous statement – which I believe you read on Twitter – in which I said that the post itself says all I want to say on the matter. It did then, It does now. I had nothing to add to it then, and there’s nothing I care to take away either.

I have no illusions about my status as a little league blogger writing a little league blog. But I would prefer not to appear to have attempted to weasel away from a contentious position which I believe wholeheartedly in.

Travis: I figured that we all kind of suspect that some people around here are, in fact, having sex every once in a while! Sorry to upset you! ;)

Yeah, I suppose if a certain Tom B. had edited ASM, I would have been more justified in joking. Oh well. I don’t watch Kimmel, so I’ll take your word for it. I’m submitting my resume today!!!!

I realize that people have the sex, and I’m fine with people in general having the sex, but what make me feel icky is the notion of YOU having the sex. I’ve seen your picture, man! ;)

I don’t watch Kimmel either, but anything I’ve seen of him, you out-funny him, so go ahead!

Hell, I bet that Bru leaving Marvel is your fault for featuring him in “scratching out the lines”. Yeah, I said it!

I was underwhelemed by Rocketeer. I am loving the same team on Daredevil a lot, so not sure what didn’t quite work for me (maybe it’s because Wacker is not “‘editing” ;-P), but oh well. I wasn’t sure how old Sally was supposed to be either and it felt a bit off.

Scalped was a fitting end, though I am shocked Red Crow didn’t die. I am going to have to reread the whole series now. Weird to think I will never see anything new about Red Crow again – I can’t think of any fictional characters I would place ahead of him; one of the best fictional characters of the decade is an understatement if anything. I had a very different reaction to Dino though. He has had plenty of chances to get on the right path. Remember when Red Crow damned Gina’s soul (and his own) to save Dino’s life? When Dino drifted back into crime after that I lost sympathy for him.

Oh, totally agreed. Dino is a loser. I actually like that about Dino. He’s this guy that everyone has such high hopes for and he just doesn’t care enough to live up to it. Sort of like, “I never asked you to put your neck out for me.”

Dino has a bit of “Greek tragedy hubris”, too. He’s GIVEN a way off the rez by Red Crow fairly early on, and instead of taking his daughter and going, he sticks with the losers he hangs out with, then gets robbed of a quarter of the cash Red Crow gave him. So yeah, he definitely is a disappointment as a person. As he’s supposed to be.

Even when he did something “noble” (involving the hit and run), he still did it basically for his own gain.

Hmm, you think that disappointment is what finished off a certain person? Hmm.

The, uh, hubris part being that he thinks he’ll be able to get off the rez just fine in the future, so he doesn’t have to go right away. I forgot to explicate that part.

In regard to your point about how tickets sold is the important metric in deciding movie success when comparing movies of today versus yesterday. I agree it’s good to know, but it’s not as useful as you think.

While I agree it’s important to know the tickets sold as well as the money made when comparing box office performances of movies, I don’t think it’s as great a metric for measuring all-time success as many people think. Back in the days there was no VHS or DVD or even cable TV after-market for movies, just network TV airings if you were lucky, so there was a lot more urgency to view movies in the theater when they came out. Even in 1988 when Burton’s Batman came out and there were VHS players in existence, they were not as ubiquitous a household staple as VHS and DVD players are today, and the wait for a movie to hit video felt excruciatingly long in comparison to today. I remember when we missed a movie in the theater it felt like absolute torture to wait for it on video. Plus there was so much less competing entertainment option. Hardly any cable channels in comparison to today. Only one HBO. Only one Showtime. Only one Cinemax. The gap between when a movie left the last theater and when the first VHS copy popped up was well over a year. I remember how urgent it felt to see Burton’s Batman back then. If you missed it in a theater, you had no chances to see it for at least a year and a half. No bootleg VHS or DVD market at the time either. Also, even if you did get to see it on TV or VHS, you were stuck with pan-and-scan over the widescreen letterbox, so if you were a purist who wanted to see the letterbox version (and believe it or not, even back in the day there were purists who were insistent on seeing movies in widescreen glory) the theater was your ONLY option for seeing a movie.

Also, a lot of those old movies, because there were no VHS, DVDs, or cable TV airings to allow people to see the real movies, also had multiple theatrical runs over the decades. The tickets and money made from these multiple theatrical runs from different decades gets factored into overall take when tallying money the movie made and tickets the movie sold.

The point of all this is to say there really isn’t any truly objective apples-to-apples system for perfectly judging the comparative success of movies from different generations. Dollar amount made doesn’t work because of inflation, 3-D showings and IMax showings, while tickets sold doesn’t perfectly work because of the various factors I mentioned.

T.: Sure, I get that. There has to be a better way than just judging movies on money they’ve made, though, because it’s silly. I think a lot of people know that, but some, surprisingly, don’t.

Yeah, I gotta agree on the whys of a Rocketeer remake…. But thats only because, like you mentioned, it wont have Jennifer Connelly! haha… She is AMAZING in everything she does!

Everyone reading this needs to watch (as a start!) – House of Sand and Fog, A beautiful Mind, Dark Water, Dark City …. and Career Opportunities (thats a quilty pleasure) :)

But I guess I could still watch both!

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