Random Thoughts! (July 31, 2012)

Random Thought! Working five days in a row is just weird, man. 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! This week's Riding the Gravy Train is one of my favourites because of one paragraph. I've been dancing around these points quite a bit and really nail my feelings on the subject this week.

Random Thought! I have begun preparations for my fifth Blogathon. It will be my last one. I wasn't sure if I'd do another one after last year, but since I'm shutting down GraphiContent at the end of January and this will be Blogathon number five, it seemed like I couldn't walk away without hitting that magic number. I came up with an idea last Monday night that I immediately e-mailed Tim Callahan about to see what he thought given how crazy it is. His response: "Love it! Yes, it's a good one." No date yet, but, trust me, this will be the one to pay attention to.

Random Thought! I still think Marvel not turning Exiles into a book where Warren Ellis, Garth Ennis, and other writers like that are let loose to reimagine the Marvel Univese as they see fit every month was a failure on a level I can barely comprehend. Oh, and X-Treme X-Men #1 was shit, reading like Exiles when the novelty wore off. You have to work hard for me to look at your alternate reality comic and dismiss it a third of the way through the first issue.

Random Thought! I am excited for Jonathan Hickman's Avengers and New Avengers.

Random Thought! I am excited for Esad Ribic on a Thor comic. Hopefully, Dean White will provide colours. Jason Aaron writing should be pretty damn good, too. Awesome line-up.

Random Thought! Saturday was a great day. My buddy Adam and his wonderful girlfriend Kaitlynn came down, we hung out for a few hours, and then went to Taylor to watch Dragon Gate USA's Untouchable 2012 live. Fantastic show. I bought a few DVDs, watched as Michelle got incredibly excited to be in the front row (thankfully not facing the hard camera because I don't want to rewatch this on DVD and be distracted by myself for 90% of the show), and really just had a wonderful time. I even review the show for 411's 4Rs where you can see myself and Larry Csonka deliver two reviews that seem to be in total agreement until the final rating. Apparently, being there live adds around 1.5 to the final score.

Random Thought! I cannot believe that anyone would pay more than cover price for Batman, Incorporated #3. That is the most recent example of STUPID FUCKING COMICS READERS. Not that I'm telling anyone how to spend their money, but, if you paid more than cover price for that comic because your shop won't get it for a month or is respecting DC's request to wait a month and you bitch about the cost of comics, you're an asshole. Learn to have some patience.

Random Thought! I was flipping through that Counter-X X-Man trade the other day and... Marvel, I'm still disappointed. I still cannot see why that book was cancelled given that it fit perfectly into the mentality of Marvel under Jemas and Quesada and was genuinely engaging and different. Nor do I understand anything that's been done with Nate Grey since. He's been beaten down and made worthless like Noh-Varr.

Random Thought! My struggle over what to do about that Thanos mini-series has been solved.

Random Thought! This weekend is cottage weekend with Michelle's friends. I will spend my time between swimming and reading. I will finally begin Against the Day by Thomas Pynchon unless the order I placed with Chapters today arrives before then: the complete "Underworld USA" trilogy by James Ellroy. Time to get some serious reading done, son.

Random Thought! To Rome with Love is playing here. I think I need to see that.

Random Thought! Seriously, I love the things I can count on each year: new Neil Young album and new Woody Allen movie. A new Paul Auster book is almost guaranteed too it seems these days.

Random Thought! Free or not, I have no interest in a Cyber Force comic.

Random Thought! New idea: Brian Azzarello writing Grifter and not giving a fuck about anything outside of that comic.


Random Thought! This week: Hawkeye and Black Kiss II begin, RASL ends, and many books continue including Fury MAX, The Boys, and Avengers vs. X-Men. Plus, a NEW ISSUE OF GØDLAND! Good week for comics.

Random Thought! Cottage weekend and working Monday 4pm-midnight means no Random Thoughts next week.

Random Brian Cronin Quote of the Week! "Imagine if DC had put a full day's worth of thought into their 52 comics."


Random Joe Casey Question! What is your view on Before Watchmen and the controversy surrounding Jack Kirby and the Avengers movie? You've worked for both DC and Marvel (you had an Avengers comic and a trade collecting two Avengers minis you wrote come out in the past few months to boot) and probably will in the future. Is either a situation you find hard to deal with ethically? Do ethics necessarily enter into it?

Random Joe Casey Answer! I think they do, but maybe not in the obvious, "Let's pick up a sign and protest"-kind of way. I don't know if Kirby (if he were still with us) or Moore (who I don't know personally) -- both who've been tremendous influences on my own work -- would want any dedicated comicbook creator to take up arms on their behalf or sacrifice their ability to make a living. I'd like to think they'd want those of us who came after them to learn from their mistakes, which I think a lot of us have. It's definitely a sad thing, but that's the way any given art form tends to evolve, where you have important figures -- seminal, visionary individuals -- that, unfortunately, end up being the pioneers that sacrifice parts of themselves so the rest of us can forge ahead.

I guess I can say this, in terms of the ethics involved that mean something to me personally: If I were offered one of the Before Watchmen titles to write (which, I should stress, would not have happened in a million fucking years), I would've turned down the gig simply on the basis of Moore having stated unequivocally that he'd rather this specific project didn't exist. On a personal level, that's enough for me. Now, I don't recall Jack Kirby ever railing against other freelancers who worked on the Marvel books he helped create. Am I splitting hairs again there? Maybe. But, again, you asked...

I would think that my philosophical reaction to the notion that, "Hey, big publishers tend to screw over individual creators on a regular basis" should be fairly obvious to anyone who's paying attention. Just look at the amount of creator-owned material I've put out in the past ten years or so. Now more than ever, the ratio of comics I get paid to write vs. the ones I get no money for making paints a pretty clear picture. But I guess I am one of those assholes that tend to value ownership over money. I'd like to think that, in some ways, I'm following Kirby's example... which, to me, is simply this: create... and keep on creating. Ultimately, that's gotta be the best way to honor someone's legacy.


That's it for this week. Thanks for reading. Later.

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