July 30, 2006

Today I Am a Man?

"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." ‑ 1 Corinthians 13:11

I still read comics -- a habit I developed in high school and never felt the need to abandon. Sometimes the stories are quite good (I don't just read the superhero stuff), but more often it's about the nostalgia and, again, the habit. Which reminds me a little uncomfortably about this notion of kickball-playing adults: rejuveniles, but anyway....

Shannon and I just spent the better part of the day driving a bulldozer through my collection. This has been a real purge. Titles I'd enjoyed over the years are heading to the local comic shop, if not eBay. (Once upon a time, there was a comics collectors' market, but that turned out to be mainly a tulip craze that nearly destroyed the whole publishing sector. So I'm not expecting a lot of cash.)

Eight Eleven long-boxes of comics whittled down to three. The biggest surprise for me was how easy it was for me to let go of twenty years' worth of Superman comics. It was a practically uninterrupted run from John Byrne's 1986 reimagining of the character all the way through 2002, with a few later issues here and there. Today's Superman doesn't resemble that one too much, and I've discovered that the only thing that gave those old comics value to me was the sense that the story was continuing. In the end, they're not worth as much as some reclaimed closet space.

Tomorrow, some recommendations based on what I'm still reading and keeping. And yes, I'm keeping the Walt Simonson Thors.

October 11, 2004


August 2, 2004

Where Comics Should Go From Here

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon gave the keynote address at San Diego's Comic-Con International last month on the subversive, revolutionary notion that comic book publishers should try publishing some comics for children again! It's a great speech, encapsulating everything that the publishers could and should be doing to get the Harry Potter (and, several years ago, the Goosebumps) kids.

Children did not abandon comics; comics, in their drive to attain respect and artistic accomplishment, abandoned children. And for a long time we as lovers and partisans of comics were afraid, after so many long years of struggle and hard work and incremental gains, to pick up that old jar of greasy kid stuff again, and risk undoing it all. Comics have always been an arriviste art form, and all upstarts are to some degree ashamed of their beginnings. But frankly, I dont think thats whats going on in comics anymore.

Now, I think, we have simply lost the habit of telling stories to children. And how sad is that?

It's pretty telling that the non-comics programming at Comic-Con, the sci-fi movies and computer games, continues to grow compared to the medium which gives that convention its name.

January 29, 2004

Someone Thought This Was a Good Idea

Quick, who's this?

Time's up! It's Space Ghost, buffed for the 21st century by DC Comics! From the preview article at Newsarama:

Initially, Kelly explained, DC was reluctant to explore the possibilities of Space Ghost as an action character in comics, but to his continued surprise, winds shifted. I cant believe they actually went for it, Kelly said. Its really a hardcore, pulp-feel story, with him being betrayed by the police force and taking his revenge. Its really dark, and its going to be a blueprint for them to revamp the character and keep it going.


So the character from the cheery happy '60s adventure cartoon and the bizarre comedy/talk show Space Ghost Coast to Coast is now getting the nostalgic revamp treatment so popular in comics today.

Hard to believe that the readership of comic books is simultaneously aging and shrinking, isn't it? I'm not saying that Space Ghost is a sacrosanct character by any means. I don't care about the character. But what's next? Charlie Brown packing heat? I've already seen a modern comic book based on the '80s toys The Transformers featuring a person being stomped flat -- yes, killed with a faint red mist in the air -- by a giant robot.

Statistically speaking, was anyone in America clamoring for a Schwarzeneggerean Space Ghost?

Oh, wait, maybe it was this guy.

January 27, 2004

Low Carb = Healthy, Right?

Dork Tower's John Kovalic, also a talented political cartoonist and game illustrator, pokes fun at the marketing excesses around low carb foods. Read this and the next two comics, and especially note the Lord of the Rings riff in the third one.

(I have been cutting down on my sugars and carbs a bit -- but anyone who automatically assumes that a 1/3-pound cheeseburger is health food....)

The holiday season is in full swing and diets everywhere are being tossed aside in favor of eggnog and cookies. Want to get back on track without feeling denied of the yummy indulgences of the season? Now you can. Introducing The Low Carb Thickburger from Hardee's the newest version of the Angus beef Thickburger.

August 24, 2003

Thor Visionaries: Walt Simonson Vol. 1

Here's an unpublished review I wrote a couple of years ago about one of my Favorite Comics Ever. (In fact, this is probably the one that I picked up in high school that cemented my expensive return to the hobby.) Volume 2 was just released.

Continue reading "Thor Visionaries: Walt Simonson Vol. 1" »

December 11, 2002

Paging Dr. Freud

Look closely at the promo art for Marvel's upcoming Rawhide Kid western miniseries. Can you spot the subtext here? No fair if you've already read the coverage in the New York Post or Newsarama.