Random Thoughts! (January 8, 2013)
Random Thought! Seeing Django Unchained meant I could finally read the first issue of the Vertigo comic. It’s Random Thoughts time! Get excited!
Link Thought! GraphiContent for comics. butterbeatleblog for popculture. 411mania for wrestling reviews and the occasional CD review. My Twitter account for random thoughts as they happen in real time.
Random Thought! Well, my fifth and final Blogathon has finally been announced for Saturday January 26. It is once again being done to benefit the Hero Initiative, will span both GraphiContent and Comics Should be Good, and features 15 other writers joining me. All of the details are in the link if you missed it on my blog or here on CSBG (though, how would someone do that?). Topics have been settled with all buy four writers and two of the posts by those other writers have been turned in. As well, if you recall the When Words Collide column I did with Tim Callahan on Avengers vs. X-Men back in October? When Tim asked me to do that with him, it came with the promise that any proceeds he received from the column would go to the Blogathon and he’s kept his word like the gentleman and scholar that he is. (Yes, I’ve been planning this for quite some time now…) So, please follow his fine example and sponsor us by giving to the Hero Initiative in some way (and, then, tell me about it so I can keep track). All of the details are in the link.
Random Thought! When I asked people to participate, I asked for a few topic suggestions from each, so I could choose from some options. That way it wouldn’t be 15 people suggesting we discuss books I’ve never read and, then, have to spend a couple of hundred dollars to get them all. My favourite topic that I didn’t select came from Tucker Stone: “Which comic site is the worst.” I didn’t select it for fear he would name mine because it would be funny. (“Comics that were ruined by their supporters” was another good one from Tucker. As was “If Marvel tasked you with producing a new Marvel Age, how would you proceed? How does a promotional rag from two decades ago that featured the month’s solicitations get updated for 2012?” from Augie.”)
Random Thought! More self-serving news: Tim and I are recording a podcast on Saturday night. People like those still, right? On a related note, if someone out there has a collection of Splash Page Podcasts on their computer, Shawn Starr is missing, like, the first 20 episodes and would probably do anything you asked in exchange for copies of those episodes. So, if you have them, send me an e-mail and I’ll put you in touch with the Splash Page Podcast’s Late-to-the-Party Superfan.
Random Thought! I read Gun Machine by Warren Ellis over the course of Thursday night through Saturday morning. It’s better than Crooked Little Vein. Not as many places where he goes for the ‘cheap’ joke, which is something he did a bit too much in the first novel (to his credit, those times usually made me laugh). No three-sentence chapters that are basically a setup/punchline. Tallow is a well-drawn lead that seems one way at first, but offers more depth. I would have liked to spend more time with him before the book starts to better contrast who he was then and what he becomes during the book. We get told about him a lot, but we don’t see as much about it. As well (because my mind jumps to negatives), there are a few too many moments of coincidence. I tend not to mind coincidence in fiction, but… well, they happen. And the case at the heart of this book is so strange that, while it seems unsolveable, it’s clear that it isn’t — and wouldn’t be no matter where the police started with it. When they look into the guns, they get certain clues and the impression is you would get similar, different ones with other guns. No, the big coincidence, for me, was the incident outside of the sandwich shop that introduces Tallow to a related character that he wouldn’t have met any other way. That one, for some reason, seemed like a coincidence too far. It’s the only one that bugged me. Otherwise, no big complaints. Ellis’s prose is lively and engaging. The stuff with the police radio seemed like the prose version of those Transmet pages where you’d just get a glimpse of the world of the City briefly. Except more fucked up. And crime-oriented. It worked quite well. It was hard not to see Ellis’s portrayal of the police as strongly influenced by The Wire, where stats and avoiding hassles seems to be the biggest priority — and that’s great. It’s easy to see how this could be given more room to breathe as a TV show — and how it may work better with that extra room. Maybe not, too. Some elements of Ellis’s writing don’t seem suited to actors actually doing them. It’s hard to imagine an actress fully capturing Scarly — or getting the same effect of the Hunter’s portions of the book on screen. But, hey, I’m looking forward to seeing them try. So, yeah, it’s a very good book.
Random Thought! I’m just about halfway through Led Zeppelin: The Oral History of the World’s Greatest Rock Band and it’s very good as well. Everything is very good!
Random Thought! I do love oral histories. Someone needs to do one on CBR. Jonah, get someone on that. I’m sure an anniversary of some sort is coming up to justify it.
Random Thought! I do wonder how long it will be before one of the original X-Men join up with Cyclops’s crew. You need one of them to do it.
Random Thought! I have no idea what Space Godzilla’s name is. I’ve never really had anything to do with Godzilla before this Stokoe mini.
Random Thought! Daredevil: End of Days #4 really got me. I was mostly on board out of curiosity and because the comic was a bit of a laugh and because of the art. But, now, it’s got me.
Random Thought! I love that winter is here. I do.
Random Thought! Still haven’t decided if I’ll get Star Wars #1 tomorrow or not.
Random Thought! I am getting Superior Spider-Man #1. I’ll probably be disappointed. Little Slott has written has done anything for me in execution. I love the ideas sometime, but the execution is so bland, so workmanlike, so… unworthy of the ideas. But, I hope I’m wrong.
Random Thought! You know what’s awesome? Alec Berry (aka the sometimes Chad Nevett to my sometimes Tim Callahan) and Kaitlin Tremblay (aka my best friend’s ex-girlfriend-who-he-and-I-are-still-friends-with-because-she’s-really-cool-and-great) are writing for this blog.
Random Thought! Only the Boston Legal finale left in our grand rewatching. It’s my third time through the series, Michelle’s second. I am looking forward to the finale quite a bit. It’s one of my favourite finales. Audacious and bold, while remaining completely true to the characters.
Random Thought! New Avengers #1 was disappointing.
Random Thought! I couldn’t help but wonder how Beast had memories of Jean Grey from events where he wasn’t present.
Random Thought! I have never seen any two people over the age of five more excited during a movie than the two black ladies sitting in front of us during Django Unchained. That’s not meant to be a “See, black people love that movie” statement, just an observation of something that made seeing the movie more fun. Seeing anyone with their enthusiasm certainly puts you in a good frame of mind to enjoy what you’re seeing. Plus, the movie was great, of course.
Random Thought! Dammit, Jim Starlin and DC, just tell us what the comic is! FUCK!
Random Thought! I will be buying Kieron Gillen’s Über from Avatar.
Random Thought! I think I realised the other day why I like Superman, but not Captain America. Both characters occupy a similar role, but, I find Captain America almost impossible to take at times, while Superman doesn’t garner the same hate. I think it’s that Captain America doesn’t have a Batman. He doesn’t have someone of similar stature to call him on his bullshit, to stand in opposition. Captain America has Iron Man. No one gives a fuck what Iron Man has to say. Iron Man is not Batman. Does that make any sense?
Random Joe Casey Question! So… Haunt #28 came out and you were replaced by Todd McFarlane at the end of the issue with it telling readers to check out Spawn for more Haunt. He then said that Haunt is being retooled. Does that mean your time on the book has come to an (unexpected) end? Beyond the way that the run (possibly) ended, how do you view your time on that book?
Random Joe Casey Answer! In terms of the “unexpected” part, believe me when I tell you that when it comes to any and all WFH gigs, nothing surprises me anymore. Nathan and I were having a ball playing with those toys and we had some crazy fucking plans coming up… but the fact is, they’re Todd’s toys and he can do whatever he wants with them. He’s more than earned the right. I did love the idea of him ending the book in the middle of a goddamn flashback. Those last few pages that Todd wrote — I’m assuming it was him, as they were credited to him — to get out of it were fun to read. Although, I’m not 100% certain that Todd knew it was a flashback. Hell, I’m sure the editor told him.
I think the uphill battle of Todd’s monthlies — all two of them — is that no one really seems to pay attention on a regular basis. No one takes them too seriously. Unless he pulls some cover stunt or invents a pseudonym to write under, no one seems to regard Spawn very much, even though it’s got a pretty great artist, Szymon Kudranski, drawing it on a regular basis. But Todd’s books just don’t seem to be part of the conversation anymore, and I guess I thought that what we were doing on Haunt — and especially where we were going with it — deserved to be part of the conversation. Of course, I’m no dummy… I knew about all the baggage going in. It was part of why I was interested in doing it.
But ultimately, I took the gig to work with Nathan and have a bit of fun and I accomplished both of those goals, so it’s a win for me, no matter how anyone else wants to look at it. The folks at TMP treated me well and, best of all, Nathan and I got paid to make some wild-ass comics together and we’ll take that experience with us to the next project, which we’ve already started talking about.
That’s it for this week. Thanks for reading. Later.