Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Is It Wednesday Yet?

I feel like my "Is It Wednesday Yet?" column is getting a bit stale, so in an effort to keep things exciting, I'm changing the format AGAIN! The thing is, I'm not delusional. I know that I don't have a lot of regular readers. For a while, I thought maybe if I pretended to be a "real" comics news site that people who land here randomly might be fooled by it and start visiting regularly. If you build it, they will come, etc. And so I pretended that this weekly look at new comics wasn't just my personal pull list, but an informative survey of new and exciting books people might want to know about. But let's be honest. There are two dozen other blogs who do this EXACT SAME FEATURE EVERY WEEK and at least half of them probably do a better job of it than I do and a few of them probably get thousands of hits while I'm extremely lucky if I hit the 100 mark on a good day.

So, fuck that shit. This is not a comics news site. This is my blog. And I'm just some guy who happens to be into comics and, for whatever reason, isn't satisfied with just reading them and feels this perverse need to talk about them on the internet. I know, it's weird.

The point is, there is no point. I'm in a constant existential crisis over my relationship to language in general and written language in particular and I constantly alternate between manic, ambitious writing projects and absolute despair over my inability to write. Frustrated attempts to express myself are followed by shameful regrets at having wasted time and energy over such a pointless task.

On this blog in particular, I have attempted to maintain a facade of "professionalism" because I'm desperate for some kind of recognition from my "peers" (if I can even call them that), by which I mean fellow bloggers and critics, but I don't know if I really have it in me to be a serious comic book critic with ever-insightful commentary and clear prose and witty remarks and whatever else you need to "make it" as a blogger. Which, think about it for a minute, is probably the most pathetic and saddest ambition anyone could ever have. What do you want to be when you grow up? A guy whose blog posts get linked to from other blogs.

This post is supposed to be about this week's new comics, but what I'm trying to say is that it really isn't. It's always about me, and about my desperate need for attention and for approval and for recognition and for validation and, I suppose, for affection. I wish I had more followers on Twitter and that most of them were not spambots. I wish people would reply to everything I write and tell me how much they agree with me and how smart I am and how well put that was.

So this new format? There is no format. I'm just going to stream-of-consciousness it and rant about whatever the hell I want whether it's even related to comic books or not. Kind of like I've been doing for the past several paragraphs. And then, at the end of it, I'll post the list of books I may or may not buy this Wednesday.

(Don't worry. Not every post on this blog will turn into an unreadable mess like this one. This will mostly just affect the "Is It Wednesday Yet?" column.)

Go read something that actually makes sense

Like for example this post at DC Women Kicking Ass about race issues in comic books. I don't always agree completely with everything that Sue has to say (though I tend to agree more often than I disagree, and even when I disagree I usually think she brings up important points that need to be acknowledged), but when she's on, holy fucking shit, she's on. That's what I'm talking about.

I got involved in some of the discussion in the comments thread (hint: if you want to venture into that section of the post, start by selecting "Sort by Oldest first," otherwise Discus arranges the comments in order of "popularity" which makes it completely impossible to follow the thread), although I don't necessarily recommend you read anything other than what Sue says in the post itself. And that dude CharlesHB is really annoying.

Why is Thor plastered all over DC Comics' website?

I've been complaining about this for about a week, but nobody's been paying any attention to me, probably because they justifiably have much more important shit to worry about, but...

Every time I head over to the DC Comics website (which seems to happen several times a day, believe it or not) I am greeted with the same awful Thor video game animated banner advertisement. And it annoys me for two reasons. First, because it's advertisement and advertisement is generally annoying. And second, because I can't understand why DC is putting advertisement for their competitor's properties on its corporate website. It makes no sense to me.

I know. I know. Who cares?

Lowest Denomination

I got into a "fight" with Rich Johnston on Twitter because I think it's stupid that he routinely includes art that has clearly not been "swiped" in his regular feature Swipe File on his blog, Bleeding Cool. My point was that it doesn't matter if there's a disclaimer that says Swipe File includes homages, parodies, etc. The title of the post is still Swipe File and for most people in the comics world, "swiping" means "tracing" or "copying without acknowledgement."

His reply: "I'm not changing the title of something that's been used successfully for thirty years because of knee jerk reactions. I certain refuse to pander to the lowest denomination. I like to presume a certain intelligence and desire to read in readers."

Fair enough. But I think he meant lowest common denominator.

New comics this week

  • Hellboy: Being Human (one shot) (Dark Horse)
  • Batgirl #21 (DC)
  • Batman Incorporated #6 (DC)
  • Birds of Prey #12 (DC)
  • Flash #12 (DC)
  • Flashpoint #1 (DC)
  • Northlanders #40 (Vertigo)
  • Amazing Spider-Man #660 (Marvel)
  • FF #3 (Marvel)
  • Journey Into Mystery #623 (Marvel)
  • Magus #4 (12-Gauge)
  • Mega Man #1 (Archie)
Yep, that's a lot of comics, and since I'm not a millionaire, I probably won't buy all of them.

What's Batman, Inc doing on this list, you ask? That's right, I didn't bother picking up the last issue and I'm kind of sick of Grant Morrison. But it's on the list mostly because I want to check out the new artist, Chris Burnham. Also, I'm curious to find out this nonsense about Red Robin becoming the leader of the Outsiders. I'll probably just flip through the book at the store.

Flash #12 is the last issue of that series, and Flashpoint #1 presumably picks up right where it leaves off and kicks off the big humongous giant overwhelming summer blockbuster event. I will try the first issue, but depending on how unreadable it ends up being, I may not follow through with it.

Northlanders #40 is a one-shot with art by Matthew Woodson and should be pretty good.

Journey into Mystery... I just know I'm going to get burned by that one, because it has a "Fear Itself" trade dress and that presumably means that the story will tie into whatever's going on in that event, which I'm not interested in at all. But the first issue was all right, so we'll see.

Mega Man looks like it's aimed at young kids, so I'm probably not going to stick with it. But I'm curious enough to give the first issue a try.

2 comments:

Derek Brink May 11, 2011 at 10:51 PM  

How are you feeling about FF? It's not quite as dark as I was hoping it would be after the events in Fantastic Four. It feels almost like a comic book attempt at a family-based comedic drama or something to me. I'm not saying that's bad. I'm just saying I was expecting something darker, and I'm not sure what I think of it one way or another. I usually give a newer title about 5 issues...but I'm starting to feel like this one's not quite my cup of tea (but it doesn't suck either).

Anyway, I read your reviews a lot and you've got some similar thoughts to mine on some of the bigger arcs in comics (though I've been really enjoying Fear Itself), so I was just wondering how you feel about FF so far.

...and y'know...keep writing, even though you've got your doubts. Those of us who like it really DO like it.

Yan Basque May 12, 2011 at 12:32 PM  

Thanks for your comment and encouragement, Derek.

About FF, the reason I haven't said anything about it yet is that I haven't been reading it, though I did buy the first three issues. I'm trying to catch up on the trades of Hickman's run on Fantastic Four before I get into it. Which I realize may not be the smartest thing in the world, as it could mean having to buy a lot of issues without reading them, and once I do start reading them, there's a chance I won't even like it.

But I have a lot of hope for it. What I've read of Hickman's run so far has been really good. I'm also enjoying the FF adventure in the last two issues of Amazing Spider-Man.

I don't really expect FF to be dark, so if it isn't, that won't be a problem for me. I understand that after such a major death you might expect that, but I see it more as a fresh reboot with bright new costumes and a focus on the future rather than brooding about the past. ("Future Foundation" and all that.) I love that there are kids involved, too, as it's pretty rare to get well written and engaging child characters in comics these days. All of that makes the title unique and appealing to me. I'm looking forward to it.

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