Random Thoughts! (May 1, 2012)

Random Thought! Batman buries his opponents in "Knightfall" more than Triple H at his peak of power. It's Random Thoughts time! Get excited!

Link Thought! GraphiContent for comics. butterbeatleblog for popculture. 411mania for wrestling reviews and the occasional CD review.

Random Thought! The second Direct Message is up. Alec Berry and I get together and talk about Sleeper by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. Part one is on Alec's blog and part two is on mine. This discussion took FAR too long. Months upon months, because we are lazy, lazy men. Our next discussion will be on the concluded-last-week Moon Knight series by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev.

Random Thought! I'm struggling a little to find my groove with my "Riding the Gravy Train" posts on Avengers vs. X-Men, but did enjoy doing last week's post on AVX: VS #1. Hey, I said I would be discussing that title in terms of wrestling... Also, I always laughed every time someone called that book 'review proof' because it was what it claimed to be: a comic featuring nothing but two fights. Yes, let's ignore the actual quality of those fights. Shit, by those standards, most everything is 'review proof.' Except for New Avengers #25, because it didn't feature any of the New Avengers.

Random Thought! I bought the first volume of the new Batman: Knightfall trades and highly recommend you check out these new volumes. The previous collections of the story took place over three volumes; the first two collected "Knightfall" and the third collected "KnightsEnd." This first volume collects all of "Knightfall" with the addition of The Vengeance of Bane, which I don't remember being collected before. The second volume will have "Knightquest," while the third will have "KnightsEnd" and the aftermath stuff like "Prodigal." Good on DC for doing these rereleases right (and at $30 per trade -- collecting 24 issues). Though, I am a little disappointed that the third trade won't end with The Vengeance of Bane II since the first trade began with the first special... Then again, I recall that second special not being that great. Mostly because it didn't involve Batman breaking Bane's back for fun and pleasure.

Random Thought Sometimes, I hear people talk about page count versus cover price and can't help but wonder if people talked about any other artistic medium that way consistently. "That movie is only 90 minutes? I want at least 110 minutes for that price!" "I don't waste money on books that aren't at least 300 pages..." "A TV shows has to have at least 22 episodes in a season to be worth my time..." Obviously, not perfect analogies -- but, still...

Random Thought! By the same token, I was a little confused over people getting upset when some of Marvel's upcoming trades cost more than the price of the original issues. Considering trades are usually cheaper, we can assume that pricing has little to do with the cost of the original series. In fact, if Marvel (or any publisher) were to notice that people preferred trades more than singles because of the format, why not change more for what could be viewed as a 'premium' format? Most people who wait for the trades do so because it's more convient, which would imply that they would be more willing to pay for that convenience. And what about the difference between hardcovers and trades? I guess I just find this idea that a more convient and desireable format should be cheaper automatically a little strange -- and one that publishers have cultivated.

Random Thought! Christ, two 'business' thoughts in one column... I hate myself.

Random Thought! Yesterday was the final day to submit a proposal package for the 33 1/3 book series. I was going to do something after coming up with what I thought was a good idea. However, when trying to plan it out, I realised that I wasn't the guy to execute the idea I had. I don't have the knowledge, resources, skill -- or, most importantly, passion. I got hung up on a clever idea and didn't realise that it was an idea better suited for someone else until it was too late. Really, it came down to my not wanting to spend my time seeing it through. Ah well...

Random Thought! Every goddamn week, there's at least one comment for my Instant Analysis of Raw that basically says "Stop reviewing the show so much in your review of the show." Fuck me.

Random Thought! Thanks to Bleeding Cool pointing it out this weekend, I purchased Farscape: The Complete Series for a cheap price on Amazon.com that's still in effect. So, if you're interested, I'd buy it while the sale lasts. And then, of course, buy the The Peacekeeper Wars since that's not in the complete series set because of different studios owning the rights to each. But, thankfully, that DVD is cheap.

Random Thought! You know, for a supposedly tough guy, Bane sure is a chickenshit pussy in "Knightfall." We see numerous scenes of his flunkies going "Hey, there's Batman -- go kick his ass!" and Bane responding "No. He's not weakened enough yet. I'll let all of his enemies soften him up enough for me to break him. Because I'm actually kind of shit."

Random Thought! If Jonathan Hickman keeps this up, Sam Humphries isn't going to have much of an Ultimates to take over. Seriously, the way things are going in that book, I wouldn't be surprised if it were renamed "Reed Richards and the Children of Tomorrow" in two issues...

Random Thought! Now that the half issues of The Unwritten are done, it feels weird to have to wait a whole month for a new issue of the series.

Random Thought! Michelle asked me last night if I was excited for The Avengers after seeing a commercial for it. I said no. But that's only because I probably won't be seeing it for a couple of weeks -- wait for the crowds to die down a little -- and there's no way I'm going to try and maintain enthusiasm for that movie for that long. I'll begin getting excited on, like, the day I go to see it. Maybe during the previews.

Random Thought! Cyclops is a master of media spin, conveniently forgetting to include in his press release the part of the giant cosmic fire bird that's been destroying planets on its way to Earth to possibly possess the girl the Avengers are trying to get the fuck away from the planet...

Random Thought! This week and next week (especially next week) are big weeks of comics to buy. No doubt the following week will somehow work out to, like, three comics. And I will continue to complain about too many comics and trades I want to buy!

Random Thought! I kind of wish there was an Avenging Spider-Man tie-in to Avengers vs. X-Men where Kraven the Hunter tries to stalk and kill the Phoenix.

Random Thought! We watched the documentary on the new Rock DVD this weekend and it's good. It did make me wonder why the Rock didn't get the four-disc treatment ala "Stone Cold" Steve Austin given how much of the Rock's popularity was tied to his promos. He definitely deserved a fourth disc of just promos like Austin got. The DVD decision making by the WWE often puzzles me. Hell, I'd love to see the four-disc model become more used. That Edge set I got earlier this month could have easily supported an all-promo disc. The structure of one disc for the documentary, two discs for matches, and one for promos is a strong one.

Random Thought! Speaking of wrestling, Rob Schamberger has a Kickstarter project going to fund painting every world champion in wrestling. It's a cool idea and the rewards for support are also cool, so, if you're interested, throw a little money his way.

Random Thought! In five years, every single person in the Marvel Universe will have been an Avengers. In a related thought, I've long wanted to see the Justice Society of America concept be taken into the realm of the old heroes actively trying to promote the 'JSA lifestyle' to the public at large. Basically, create a real Justice Society. Oddly, the Avengers seem to be doing that. After all, we did just see a fight where it was Namor as an X-Men fighting the Thing as an Avenger. That's weird.

Random Thought! I will miss Irredeemable. I really will.


Random Joe Casey Question! In the short semi-autobiographical story you did with Sean Phillips, "Autopilot," you seem to talk around the idea that, working as a writer in mainstream comics, you basically have three areas you have to service: your own creative interests, your professional interests/the interests of your employer, and the interests of the audience. The conclusion you come to suggests that it's near impossible to satisfy all three (hell, it's difficult to satisfy one of them completely, I imagine). Do you place any of them as your priority usually? What's the closest you've come to satisfying all three do you think? Hell... do you care about satisfying all three? (Also, did I just miss the point completely and am creating a question off of a false assumption?)

Random Joe Casey Answer! I really don’t think I’ve ever satisfied all three. And, really, you miss out on a lot of the fun involved in the creative process when you're chasing any of them. If your artistic sensibilities happen to cross over with the sensibilities of the audience, then good for you. As for my "professional interests", it's been a good long while since those have been any real consideration for me. Which is how it should be.

These days, I’m usually out to service my own creative interests exclusively. I figure, if I can do that to a satisfactory degree, then at the very least I’m being honest with myself… and if an audience is receptive to that work, then I guess I win. And I’d rather connect with an audience in a genuine way rather than blatantly pander to them to get them on my side. I already work in mass entertainment media, where you're trying to please everyone and their picky-ass mother. So I know the goddamn difference from first-hand experience.

I'm quite content with comicbooks being a niche market, like poetry or jazz. I didn't used to feel that way. Ten or twelve years ago, I really wanted comicbooks to be on par with movies and TV. Then I came to my senses... because they're obviously so much better than those other entertainment mediums...!


Random Comments! Will Travis Pelkie get a comment in this week? Answer below!

Chris Hargett said: The way I interpreted this one, was that the COURT knows, but that the Talons they sent werent briefed on this. Why would the Court relay anything to a bunch of reanimated dead anyway, right?

Because not mentioning that to your soldiers seems like a really, really stupid strategy. They think they're going after some harmless trust fund idiot and, instead, it's Batman. Awful strategy.

wil said: Garth Ennis Oral History of John Constantine. Or the Punisher for that matter.

Punisher would be interesting. I'd tap Mike Carey for John Constantine, if only because his run displayed a strong knowledge of the character's history. It was the most 'continuity heavy' run I've read -- and usually in ways that felt organic. It's not my favourite run, but it's one that shows him to be my first choice to try to tell the entire story of the character.

Travis Pelkie said: OK, enough of that. Will any of THAT get me into Random Comments, big boy?


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

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