Hello. *sips coffee* Please, join me. *sips brandy* Welcome to the first, and possibly only (we’ll see!), installment of Spinner Rack. *sips the blood of my enemies from a goblet made of their ancestors’ bones* Below you’ll find my musings of the week on comics and comics-accoutrement that’s been spinning around in the old head brain. *sips orange juice* Are my methods unsound?
- I’ve been in something of a comics rut as of late, which has been a bummer. Nothing’s been tingling my jingling, but it’s most definitely a “me” problem and not any of the works themselves. My brain’s been elsewhere and when I’ve sat down to dig into the latest stuff, my attention’s been about as focused as a Mitch Hedberg stand-up special – god, he was so great. And that’s fine. Our interests in our longtime hobbies often wane from one to another, and the idea of trying to force myself to get in to this thing I’m supposed to be “in to” is silly. Something will stoke the flames of my comic love again, I just gotta sit back and let it happen when it happens. I remember when I was a kid I’d be all about one thing like Legos or Transformers or video games or Police Academy movies ( heads-up: I was a weird kid) and everything else I normally totally loved fell to the wayside, as if I could only be thoroughly invested in one hobby or interest at a time. The same thing definitely still happens now, especially in our on-demand, binge-watch culture where you can thoroughly divest yourself in watching all of Buffy in like four days, responsibilities and basic self-care be damned!
- On top of that, I don’t really read many comics in real time either because I prefer to read a chunk (like so much aforementioned binge watching) at a time. When I’m asked “what are you reading?” or “what’s on your pull list?” my answer is basically, “um…nothing?” or “the entire run of this series that just ended but everyone loved when it was coming out so I made a point to make sure to eventually read it.” This kinda sucks not because I’m not reading along with everyone else, but because of the impact on the creators and all that jazz that bums me out. I do make a point to buy (digitally) the single issues of comics I want to support as they come out and just read them later, but that’s only a handful of series. However, then I get frustrated that this is an industry that basically dictates to its consumers how to conform to its model and not adapt to the consumers’ preferences. I wrote about this a while back here, and it’s something that still has me conflicted every week because I want to support individuals, but not the model that they have to operate in. It sounds like you’re working for your car. Simplify maaaaaaannnn!
- The Civil War movie: I’s seen its. Really enjoyed myself in a way I haven’t with a Marvel film in the theatre since The Avengers. To date, I think it’s the most accurate translation of the spirit of superhero comics to the screen (for better and worse) and it’s almost entirely because it’s built on a foundation eight years in the making starting with the first Iron Man As such, there’s no way to honestly compare it to BvS which seems to be a requirement in every review of Civil War and one that I just adhered to as well, apparently. Damn.
- Speaking of Civil War, check this insanely in-depth (and yeah, okay, really long) discussion over at Nerdspan by noted very smart guys, Robert Mackenzie and David Walker. Take the time to really dig into it because it’s a sharp approach at the idea of ‘System vs Self’ running throughout the entire MCU, including Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Netflix shows.
- Because my only real print purchases are collected editions, my “to-read” pile is both plentiful and massively heavy, and almost always a re-read of something I loved in digital format. The past few weeks I’ve been rummaging through the Age of Apocalypse Omnibus and what a mixed bag that is. Like many a 90’s comic fan, this was (at the time) considered a pinnacle of modern event storytelling. While its scope is still pretty bold, the stories contained inside through the lens of 2016 are pretty hit-or-miss. The opening arc, “Legion Quest” was damn near unreadable to me now between the unnecessarily verbose dialogue and over-stuffed visuals. There’s no natural flow at all to the story and panels operate as a sequence of pin-ups loaded with word balloons. Once the actual “Age of Apocalypse” gets going, however, there’s some sweet nostalgia juice that’ll sizzle your bacon and a lot of the creators enthusiasm for the sheer joy of reinventing these characters and this universe. Of particular highlight this go-round is the moribund setting in each book and the uncomfortable dynamics of the Generation Next
- I miss Joe Mad. The elasticity of his figures was/is rad as hell.
- Sure do wish DC would in some way, any way at all, acknowledge the Eddie Berganza situation. Staying quiet on this is perpetuating the same culture that created it. Staying silent, sweeping things under the rug, heads in the sand, maneuvering pieces around like a certain religious institution…not good and not the way to get better. It’s impossible for me to shift any enthusiasm into Rebirth when this much more important issue is just sitting there, like a lump of poop coal. I’m not sure what should be done, but I do think it needs to be acknowledged. If nothing else comes from this, I truly hope it is a safer, smarter, and better because it wants to be better, industry.
- For anyone who just want to “make this about the comics, not the behind the scenes stuff”, I’d say 1) develop some sort of basic civil human decency and 2) take a look at Jordie Bellaire’s tweet that lays out how this sort of grossness affects the products:
I chose not to work with someone who had a bad reputation with women and upon doing that, was fired from other work I was lined up for.
— jordie (@whoajordie) April 21, 2016
Imagine how many quality books could have been produced from the countless creators who were denied work because of their very understandable requests. Maybe your favorite ever run on a title never came to be because of this shit. So, yeah, you can only want to focus on the books, but this ugliness seeps into every facet of the industry. By no means is that the actual fucking thing we should be concerned about when there are actual victims that exist well outside of the imaginary worlds of the comics, but none of it exists in a vacuum.
- Also re-reading The Private Eye in its published form from Image. Part of me is still kinda indignant that they went and actually printed this series at all because of how it undermines the impact of its themes being presented in strictly digital format and another part of me is like ‘yeah, true, but I want to read that shit in hardcover so whatevs.’ It’s so damn good and the commentary on privacy is simultaneously inescapable yet subtly done and balanced with just good, engrossing neo-noir storytelling. A+ Five Stars Excellent Seller Would Do Business with Again.
- Was on a Marvel movie high after Civil War so I’ve been trying to track down that Phase One Box Set and that thing is more expensive than an actual tesseract at this point. Plus, it would be doubly stupid of me because I already own three of those six films in another format (Iron Man, Captain America: The First Avenger, and The Avengers (a.k.a. the best Phase One movies – fight me, Thor fans!). Hi, it’s me: the height of privilege. Ugh, grow up, Mansfield and worry about your fucking mortgage instead of which format and how many copies you “need” to own of your costume hooligan talkies.
- Everyone go re-read Daytripper. Then give it to someone who’s never read it. Now. Go.
Okay, that’s enough. Thanks for spending time with me today. I feel like Mr. Rogers, but way grumpier and cynical and not as well dressed and I hate everyone. Moe Szyslak, essentially. I’m Moe. I was born a snake handler and I’ll die a snake handler. See you next week for more random comic thoughts. Or maybe not. I don’t know, commitment scares me.