Random Thoughts! (November 6, 2012)

Random Thought! "Gonna get me a hip hop haircut." It's Random Thoughts time! Get excited!

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! New Riding the Gravy Train on AVX: Consequences #4 and how it's more like Uncanny X-Men #24 as Gillen continues to focus on Cyclops and the Extinction Team. Also, how Cyclops is the new Magneto in part because Wolverine is the new Professor X.

Random Thought! About last week's post, I have a quick clarification: the paragraph that begins "I remember once getting the implication..." was in reference to the previous paragraph about e-mails from creators, not anything I was told by anyone at CBR while I was employed there. As I've said many, many times before, I had little to no contact with Jonah and he never dictated content. In fact, in an e-mail telling me that some were misinterpretting that paragraph as having to do with CBR, he said, "While I take issue with the way you handled your dislike of an article you were asked to participate in -- you're certainly welcome to your opinion..." That's the sort of person Jonah has always shown himself to be to me and I respect him a lot for that. The same goes for Augie, the reviews editor I worked under for all but the final month of my time at CBR. He never dictated content, made changes only for grammar/clarity/not-letting-a-writer-go-over-the-top-with-hyperbolic-negativity. Of all the things that people complain about when it comes to CBR, editorial mandates about praising certain books or creators is not one of them. If you think that is the case, then reread my post from last week and ask yourself how in the world it is still up on a CBR-run blog and how in the world I'm writing another post this week.

Random Thought! And because this won't seem to die: I turned off comments because I don't like comments. I don't like the idea that anyone gets to respond to something that I write in a way that those responses are shown directly following my writing. There is no obligation on my part to assist responses in being made public on the same page as my writing. I've felt this way for a long time and have tried to handle it in other ways than simply shutting off comments, but they were unsatisfactory. I wish I'd turned them off long ago. If that bothers you, I don't really care. If you were here just for the comments, I especially don't care and there are many, many other places you can go to find discussions and that same sense of 'community' that you are lacking now that the comments here are shut off. Now, let's get to some actual Random Thoughts...

Random Thought! The end of Kieron Gillen's time on Journey into Mystery was quite good. The end of Ed Brubaker's Captain America run wasn't as good, but it was fitting in its own way. The end of Matt Fraction's run on The Mighty Thor was the sort of thing that reminds you that, given enough time, all corporate-owned superheroes turn into villains accidentally. So... it was interesting, but not really any good. All that remains now is the end of the Brian Michael Bendis Avengers and New Avengers. I won't lie to you: there's a chance that I will cry like a baby. A small, small, less than 0.0001% chance. But, a chance.

Random Thought! On Saturday, I read the complete Metabarons hardcover. Actually, I read the first book the previous night before bed, but still. That is a glorious book. Truly insane and fucked up. I have a weak spot for stories centred on family like that -- stories where the main motive is the family line, the name, and everything else being secondary. I didn't even know that I had a weakness for that until recently. The lengths that characters in that story go to in order to carry on the family, to ensure that there is another Metabaron... insane. I had read part of the story when it was originally being serialised in English since my dad bought the series (it's how I was introduced to The Incal as well) and something I never got a sense of at the time was how the framing device was its own story. The way that it developed was really engaging -- at first, I thought it would be a simple repetition of Tonto telling the next part of the story. Instead, it became apparent that it mattered as it went on. I didn't need to be told that The Incal was a dream, though. We haven't gotten After the Incal in English yet! Why tell us? WHY?

Random Thought! My copy of Orion by Ryan Adams arrived this week. It's an album he released in 2010 on vinyl. I downloaded shortly after it came out and swore that, if I ever got a stereo that played records, I'd buy it. Well, we got a stereo with a record player from my mom at the bridal shower, so I bought it. Compared to the way that CDs sound on that stereo, there isn't a great improvement, but it does sound pretty damn good. The stereo itself is quite good. I've greatly enjoyed listening to Psychedelic Pill, the new Neil Young & Crazy Horse album, on it. It's a great album -- probably the best album that Young has released while I've been a fan (I got into his music about six months before Prarie Wind was released). Expansive and more natural sounding than some of his other recent stuff. I've spent more time listening to it than Orion for four reasons: 1) It's longer. 2) Records are annoying, because you have to flip them over. 3) I've heard Orion many times before. 4) It's better than Orion.

Random Thought! As bad as I get it, I never get it as bad as David Brothers does.

Random Thought! I got Down at my comic shop for five bucks a couple of weeks back. That's another unread Warren Ellis comic to check off the list. I don't have much to say about it otherwise. Something about it never seemed to click right. Some nice scenes, some great art by Cully Hamner, and... well, they can't all be winners and Ellis knows that.

Random Thought! Someone at DC clearly saw my "I'm done in three months" post last week, became distraught, and made sure to get another Before Watchmen book into the pipeline. I mean, it surely cannot be a coincidence that the first issue of that Dollar Bill mini comes out on the day after I shut down my blog, right? I appreciate the love, fellas. Love you, too. (And, yes, even though I'm quitting everything then, that's everything except for the Before Watchmen discussions with Brian. Those will continue until those books end. Unless they never end. Then, we'll just decide to stop at some point most likely.)

Random Thought! We have a new bed. It took over two and a half hours to put together on Wednesday night. It's high. I almost have to hop up onto it. I like it a lot.

Random Thought! We're the sort of couple who see a two-pack DVD set featuring The Marine and 12 Rounds and decide that, yes, we'd rather get that than Moonrise Kingdom.

Random Thought! This week I also received my 'reward' package as part of the Dave Sim Cerebus digital High Society Kickstarter thing. I think I went with the $25 level, so I received signed copies of Cerebus #0 and Not the Cerebus World Tour Book 1995 along with the thank you card. I've also enjoyed the pdfs of the digital High Society so far -- I'm a little behind, though. All nice little teasers for Cerebus. I think 2013 will be the year when I finally begin trying to obtain the entire series and give it all a read.

Random Thought! Ah, what the fuck... My comments about the voting for the best runs of all time had nothing to do with the quality of any of the choices. I don't care about that; that's all difference of opinion. I did take issue with the lack of perspective in some of the votes. Voting for short runs that aren't over yet? Do they really warrant such votes? How do you know? How do they compare with runs that you've read many times at different points in your life? How can you really stack up 14 issues without a complete end, still in the middle of its story against runs that lasted for years and have managed to hold their own over decades? There simply isn't the perspective or weight there to justify those votes. Either you're short-sighted and cannot look beyond the moment, or you simply have not read enough. That sounds snobbish -- and it's supposed to. Because a list like that is snobbish and elitist by its very nature.

Random Thought! I want a new Frank Miller comic.

Random Thought! Prediction: after Bendis is done with the X-books, he'll move on to Fantastic Four and FF. I mean, he's got to, right? But, don't worry, that won't be until 2020 at the earliest, I imagine. And he'll still be writing Ultimate Spider-Man.

Random Thought! I have spent many minutes contemplating this question: Is The Metabarons more or less fucked up than Prison Pit? It's a hard question with no clear answer.

Random Thought! I have a papercut on my left index finger.

Random Thought! I sneeze quite loudly. There. Did you hear that?

Random Thought! We now own all but four Bond films. Those will be gotten this week. And, oh, we shall watch many Bond films. We have seen the Sean Connery, the George Lazenby, and the Daniel Craig and, soon... soon, we shall learn of the Roger Moore, the Timothy Dalton, and the Pierce Brosnan. Yea.

Random Thought! Thinking on it, I like how Spider-Man has become similar to James Bond in film. Batman is already there and, soon, Superman. In 40 years, we'll look back in a whole batch of Spider-Men and debate over who was the best. Something to anticipate and get excited about? Yes. Yes, it is.

Random Brian Cronin Quote of the Week! "I'll never get burnt out on comics. Comics are awesome."


Random Joe Casey Question! How do you view your relationship with letterers? You seem to gravitate towards working with the same letterers when you can (in recent years, Rus Wooton seems to be your preferred letterer), so I imagine you have some thoughts/preferences on how the lettering looks...

Random Joe Casey Answer! Working with a good letterer is all part of the collaboration, the meeting of the minds that occurs when you make comicbooks. For me, Rus is an ideal collaborator because, aside from his obvious skill as a letterer, he's someone I can talk to right at the outset of a project to discuss what kind of lettering we want, what's right for the overall look and style of the book, what kind of tone we want to set. We're doing that right now on a couple of things. And me being the annoying micro-manager that I am, Rus puts up with all my bullshit, sending him reference, asking him what's technologically possible, etc. I'm a total, uninformed font snob... and, stemming from that, a lettering snob. For me, reading a comicbook with bad lettering is like watching a movie with horrible sound. So we take a fair amount of time to make sure it's right. Again, I chalk it up to Rus' patience with me... I'll ask for the tiniest adjustments and he's right there, every time. In a lot of ways, I'm just grateful that every time I throw a party, Rus shows up to play DJ. At this point, it'd be difficult to imagine doing a comicbook without him. I honestly don't know how other writers interact with the letterers they work with, but I hope it's as smooth -- and as rewarding -- as it is for me with Rus.


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

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