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Showing posts from December, 2009

Proposed endings

...for comicbook villains. After all, who deserves it more?

-Doc Oc, in a retirement home, drives those around him nuts. Inevitably, he regains his tentacles, and breaks a hip. Convalescing, he continues to annoy those around him.

-The Joker, declaring, "It's just not worth it, anymore," goes straight (but remains unhinged) and realizes his dream of being in showbiz, as a radio DJ and late-night host. Batman doesn't believe it, and wastes an hour every night watching Joker's show, refusing to admit he likes it.

-Bullseye careens into a self destructive pattern that finally does him in. Everyone he's ever worked for or against tries in some way or another to talk him out of it, to no avail. Deadpool offers to make it quick and kill Bullseye himself, but is turned down. The man who can turn anything into a weapon is eventually slain by some no name punk in a foreign country, where no one knows him.

-Luthor, dying an inadvertent death, has his life flash before…

Longer comics series

Some recommendations for those interested in something longer lasting than a graphic novel:

Usagi Yojimbo - a heartfelt exploration of a society long gone by a masterful Japanese cartoonist, Stan Sakai, who has spent almost his whole life in Hawaii; deceptively simple and cartoonish on first glance, the art and storytelling share a strong sense of economy rare to comics; Sakai is an award winning letter, and his inking is some of the best in the business; 22 volumes and counting

Vagabond - perhaps the best comic being published anywhere today, this manga follows the lives of Miyamoto Mushashi, wandering swordsman, and his contemporaries (with a particular interest in two of his childhood friends); the art effortlessly slips between bold brush strokes to light line work, or watercolours to black and white; the layouts and transitions from panel to panel are excellent; the fight scenes progress logically and show a surprisingly realistic understanding of both the mental and physical sides…


I have now read three novels and one collection of essays by Michael Chabon, and a series of comics based around his character, the Escapist, created within the pages of The Amazing Adventures Kavalier and Clay. All were satisfying in their own way, and I admit I couldn't put down the aforementioned award winning book, but none were quite so compelling as The Yiddish Policemen's Union.

The later it gets, the more typos I make.

Not happy about the prospect of getting up early (especially with it being 3am) tomorrow to help my dad's church celebrate the politically chosen day of an ancient rabbi's birth.  Why couldn't the Catholics have decided to do this sometime when I wouldn't freeze my balls off waiting for the bus?

These is me, 9 years ago or more.

I have more of a beard, now.
But less hair.

Remakes, sequels, and originality in Hollywood

Many people decry Hollywood for its lack of originality, what with all the sequels, rehashed plots, adaptations, and remakes. I understand this critique. I feel its draw. But, when I think about it, I'm not against those things. Riffing on a theme is the basis for a lot of great art, including some movies. If we couldn't appreciate taking the same pieces through different moves (or different pieces through the same moves), we'd never retell our own stories, never play the same boardgame twice, and hate all music not based on random note choices.

I'd like to say I am simply against bad movies, but this is not entirely true. I can have fun with bad movies. Hell, I've seen They Live and Class of 1999 at least a dozen times each; Blade 2 is one of my favourite films; and while I didn't like Mission Impossible 2, I did like making fun of it.

What's more, even less than enjoyable material can offer us something, when it points to better works. I never would have…

Mark Millar brings loser chic to superheroes.

By using superheroes in titles like Wanted and Kick Ass, Millar has brought the navel gazing and Gen-X-style angst of self indulgent, pity-party indie comics to what may loosely be termed a mainstream audience. This would be pathetic enough by itself, but it gets worse.

Part of his popularity is based on dismantling the superhero (or supervillain, as the case may be) as fantasy fulfilment. Nevermind that this work was done with far more aplomb (and even subtlety) well over twenty years ago by the likes of Alan Moore, Frank Miller, John Ostrander, Mike Grell, Steve Ditko, and Howard Chaykin. Millar's protagonists exist in a hyperrealistic world where they remain scrawny cry-babies at heart, no matter how good they have it. This isn't deconstruction, it's embracing all that is wrong with nerd culture. Aggrandizing petty suffering and self doubt to such heroic heights as to make martyrs of geeks everywhere reinforces the need for fantasy fulfilment. Playing into and then gle…