Random Thoughts! (May 5, 2009)

Another week, another batch of barely worthwhile ramblings written very late at night when I've stopped caring about everything. That's right, it's random thoughts time! Get excited!

Random Thought! The suggestion that good art is the only reason to buy a comic with bad writing has always baffled me despite my own use of it from time to time. Since I'm a very writer-focused reader, good art and bad writing just makes me angry that a good artist was wasted on a piece of shit comic. That the writing is horrible, while the art is great makes me hate the comic more, especially when I look at brilliantly written comics that feature ugly, godawful art, and think of what might have been.

Random Thought! Sometimes, I just don't feel like talking about comics anymore. What? It's true.

Random Thought! When I trash Dark Reign: The Cabal here, no one really disagrees with me or I'm thanked for allowing others to feel okay about skipping it. Yet, over in the thread on CBR's forums about the issue, the last time I checked, hardly a negative thing was said about it. I find that weird.

Random Thought! Actually, I find message boards weird. I used to post rather heavily on them from around April 2000 until sometime in 2005 or 2006. I can't remember exactly when I gave them up, but I do remember that it was great to be free of that bullshit. Even the well run message boards aren't to my tastes. I could go on a long rant about cliques and idiots and all of that stuff, but I won't. I returned, in a small way, to message boards after getting my CBR gig, because... well, it just seemed like the thing to do. I'm part of the CBR family, so sign me up on the message boards. I barely post. I sometimes post things I learn there on Twitter. Here are a couple of them: "I am an awful reviewer, a horrible person, and I kill little baby puppies." and "People think it's unfair to disallow posting complete summaries of comics they don't want to buy." After a while, I stopped, because the only thing I ever really learn is that I hate message boards.

Random Thought! I rather like the Sentry. Granted, I wish Bendis would actually do something with him after reintroducing him back at the beginning of his New Avengers run and constantly hinting about doing something with the character. But, on the whole, I like that this is a character that terrifies everyone else. Yes, he's a hero, but he could go off at any minute and that adds an interesting dynamic that you don't often get in superhero comics. I don't care what his powers are, because powers are just about the least interesting thing about a character (or, they should be). There's no such thing as "too powerful" just as there's no such thing as "not powerful enough."

Random Thought! I know the first Mary Jane appearance with her saying "Face it, tiger, you just hit the jackpot!" is well regarded and loved, but it always turned me off. Here we have a guy meet a girl for the first time and what does she say immediately? "You're damn lucky to be going out with me!" What an arrogant bitch.

Random Thought! Last week, I mentioned how I dislike reading comics on computers. As rightly stated by someone else in the comments (I would check who said it, but I'm lazy), that's more a complaint about how comics are delivered via computer. I'm all in favour of something that completely replicates the actual physical objects -- although, honestly, I'm not sure I'll ever get past my own fetishisation of said objects. I look around my room, knowing that I will be moving sometime in the next few months, and shudder at the thought of moving all of these comics and trades. Goddamn. (And then all of my regular books. And DVDs. And CDs. Honestly, that takes care of 90-95% of my possessions.)

Random Thought! "Will I ever reread those?" I think to myself, looking at the four volumes of 52 and I just can't say. It's certainly possible, especially if I feel like doing one trade each week for a month's worth of Reread Reviews (which actually isn't a bad idea), but... if I don't think I'll ever reread them, why do I keep them? Although, based on my experience of trading comics as a kid, I know that if I do ever get rid of them, sometime in the following ten years, I'll have a strong urge to reread them and then where will I be?

Random Thought! Back when there were four Spider-Man monthlies, did anyone else have a favourite for no real reason? I liked Web of Spider-Man and I can't say why. I think I looked at the four titles and decided that I would support Web of Spider-Man if given the choice. This was just before the "Clone Saga" began, so what stories were told in what book didn't affect my choice (as it did during "The Reign of the Supermen" in Superman's titles where I focused on Superman, because I liked the Cyborg Superman better than the other three). Now, I did like that my preference led to being able to follow the adventures of the Scarlet Spider since that was New and Exciting. But, yeah, Web of Spider-Man... now, you get Amazing Spider-Man and nothing else. I always liked the choice out of three or four options.

Random Thought! Speaking of "The Reign of the Supermen," I blame DC and that storyline for the death of my innocence as a comics reader. When they said one of those four replacements WOULD be Superman, I believed them. I knew it wouldn't be Steel or Superboy, but the Cyborg Superman and "the Last Son of Krypton" both seemed good candidates. But no, instead, the real Superman turns up in giant robot armour and gets "birthed" out of the armour's chest, complete with odd fluid. They lied to me and I've never forgotten. Older, it really annoys me, because the potential in "the Last Son of Krypton" character for stories was there. While he turned out to be the Eradicator, he was originally portrayed as a resurrected Superman changed by death. Sunlight hurt his eyes (a nice play on his power source), and he was colder and more violent -- more Kryptonian than human. Have the Cyborg Superman turn villain as planned, but have this Superman take him down and then you've got a good six months to a year of stories of him slowly relearning how to be the man he was before he died. Much better than the Superman-with-a-Mullet version they went with. And it wouldn't involve lying to 10-year-old kids. Bastards.

Random Thought! My definitive version of John Constantine is the Warren Ellis one with a bit of the Brian Azzarello one mixed in. The reason for that is simple: the first Hellblazer comics I read were by Ellis followed up with Azzarello's "Hard Time" story. Isn't that the way it works for everyone? The first version of a character you encounter will, most likely, be the one you consider "definitive"? If the past ten years of superhero comics has taught me anything, it's that.

Random Thought! Last Wednesday, I was excited because I purchased a much needed shortbox at the comics shop. Now, all my Grant Morrison singles have their own box. So does Joe Casey, although I'm going to need a second box for him it seems, judging by the side of the stack of Casey comics sitting on top of that box.

Random Thought! I didn't go to my shop on Free Comic Book Day. I never do. I'm already a regular customer who spends my money on Wednesdays. I don't really want or need any of the free comics and... it never seemed like an event aimed at me. Free Comic Book Day always seemed like an event aimed at more casual or new customers. A yearly open house if you will. A free sample day. I'm already hooked, so I'll make room for potential readers.

Random Thought! If I were an artist who relies heavily on photos for reference (or tracing) and I had to draw Namor, I'd use current WWE Champion Randy Orton as my reference:

Random Thought! I love backgammon.

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