Random Thoughts! (November 9, 2010)

Random Thought! Maybe life can be less busy now, yes? It's random thoughts time! Get excited!

Link Thought! GraphiContent for comics. butterbeatleblog for popculture.

Random Thought! Two comments from the CBR forums with regards to my review of Iron Man/Thor #1: "You might be seeing the disconnect between critics and fans there." and "No secret CBR doesn't like cosmic." Okay, I hate comments like these, because they show a fundamental lack of... well, paying attention. First off, don't assume every CBR reviewer thinks the same way. One look at Doug's reviews tells you that Doug is Doug, while one look at my reviews tells you that I'm me. Same goes for the other guys. We all think on our own and, yes, disagree/don't share the same views when it comes to comics. Moving on from there, go take a look at my last couple of months of reviews... notice anything like a shitload of Thor-related reviews? And many of them positive? Hell, read the opening paragraph of my review of Iron Man/Thor #1 where I say that I've been enjoying the Thor books Marvel has been putting out. I'm a Thor fan... and I'm also a critic. Yes, the two can co-exist. Then, take a look at my reviews and notice that I've reviewed a few issues of The Thanos Imperative, which is a cosmic book AND written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning (who wrote Iron Man/Thor #1) and... holy shit, I gave those positive reviews, too! (Hell, go to my blog where there's a nice category of posts dedicated to Jim Starlin's cosmic work...) This is just a short little rant/case study: don't assume the same bullshit these two idiots did. Maybe, just maybe, when a reviewer doesn't like a comic, it's because he or she simply thought it was a bad comic. Not because they hate the character(s), the creator(s), the genre(s), the publisher, or any other outside factor. Some of us are able to judge an issue on its own merits. And I was thoroughly bored by Iron Man/Thor #1.

Random Thought! Same goes for when we like books you didn't like. And if you think we're getting kick-backs or instructions to write positive reviews, you're a moron. I've been reviewing comics for CBR for over two years and you know what contact I've had with Jonah? Minimal and never about the content of my reviews. Hell, the only indication I have that Jonah even thinks my reviews are good is that I still get to write them. He's never said anything about them to me. Nor has Augie ever dictated content. He's suggested I not use the word 'as' too much since that's one of my stupid writing tics, but that's about it. I know, it's much easier to think there's some sinister/immoral/seedy reason why someone may disagree with you, but it's just a different opinion. They happen.

Random Thought! Also, no matter how many times Tim, myself, or my fellow reviewers say this stuff in public, people still accuse us of this crap. I should just stop caring... but I care about what I do. You don't write 4-9 reviews every week for over two years if you don't care. I've got better things to do with my time than spend that much time on something I don't care about. (Reviewing-related discussion over...)

Random Thought! Yesterday was a Good Day, because I finished my first weekend shift at work (8am-8pm Sat/Sun) that also involved two final days of training on Thursday and Friday, and, then, received a lovely package from IDW containing The Art of Jim Starlin: A Life in Words and Pictures for reviewing purposes. A review should be up on CBR later tonight. The short version: I love this book.

Random Thought! I also finished Peter David's work on Dreadstar last week. The abrupt end of his initial run kind of sucked, but the six-issue Malibu mini helped. Though, it felt a little oddly paced. Despite liking David's work with the characters, I'm not sure it will 'count' in my mind. I may have to think of his run as related-yet-separate. Stories that happened and I enjoy well enough, but not canon.

Random Thought! Scarlet is underwhelming. What's missing, for me, is a sense of rage/anger. That passion doesn't come through, so the book remains oddly sterile. Not helped by Alex Maleev's art, which is about as static as static can get.

Random Thought! Batman/Catwoman: Follow the Money #1 was totally worth getting. Fun little one-shot with Howard Chaykin just goofing around.

Random Thought! You know what I would have liked more of in Warriors Three #1? THE WARRIORS THREE. Considering their approach to finding Fenris is like a detective, wouldn't that have been a good enough way to enter the story instead of the AIM narration and backstory?

Random Thought! Døgland! (That's just funny.)

Random Thought! DV8: Gods and Monsters #8... oh, that ending is just such a let down. Unless there's a guarantee of a follow-up, I don't get it. I don't.

Random Thought! The pullquote Dynamite used from my review of The Boys #47 is my favourite pullquote of one of my reviews: "It's a comic that can break your heart, even when you can see it coming a mile away." Usually, I hate what I write, but I like that sentence.

Random Thought! I read the end of Batman and Robin #16 and didn't think it was a big deal. Apparently, everyone else disagrees. I also didn't think the death of Captain America was that big a deal. I've been reading comics so long that the 'iconic' status of characters has lost its touch. Also, I've seen Morrison do this scene before and it's a little less impressive the second time around.

Random Thought! Fellow CBR reviewer Ryan K. Lindsay has taken to ripping me off on Tuesdays, so give those a look.

Random Thought! After reading Starlin's comments on Marvel and DC regarding his most recent experiences with the companies, I'm going to stop demanding "Infinity Forever."

Random Thought! Okay, Simon Hurt on the banana peel? That's just funny.

Random Thought! Minutes to Midnight: Twelve Essays on Watchmen is out this week. I have an essay in it as do other people who are less important than I am. It is the first of what I hope to be many books you will have to buy to read my writing. So, buy it, please.

Random Thought! Only two Starlin-drawn Dreadstar covers aren't shown in the chapter on the book in The Art of Jim Starlin: #18 and #21. I can understand #18 since it's pretty generic/bland, but #21 is just freakin' awesome! Still, strange that those two are the only ones out of the 32 covers Starlin drew for the series that didn't get shown in that chapter.

Random Thought! I could talk on and on and on about The Art of Jim Starlin. But I'll spare you and stop things now.


Random Comments! They're back, baby!

Travis Pelkie said: I like what I hope is your sarcastic take on democracy and voting. I’ll admit I’m overall fairly ignorant of specific things that certain candidates want to do, but then again, I think they are too.

An explanation on last week's random thought on voting: I understand wanting to preserve democracy, but simply telling people to vote is the laziest, most misguided way to do so. Ignorant, ill-informed voters coming out in droves doesn't help democracy, it hurts it. You want people to vote AND be informed. You want people to judge candidates on their positions and choose what they think will make their country/state/province/city/whatever better. Then again, I'm an idealist like that. I also kick an odd kick out of people wildly encouraging people to vote and the idea that those that listen will vote for the other guy... I'm realistic enough that I want people who would vote differently from me to stay home. The principles of democracy are great and all, but I'd rather have a government that shares my ideals. All democracy has ever gotten me since I turned 18 is a string of governments that I'm ashamed of. Aaaaaaaaaaaand I'm getting off the point. It's late, I'm tired, and horribly bitter when it comes to politics. Hard not to be.

funkygreenjerusalem said: Why does everyone assume everyone else is falling for the talking points they don’t?

Because I've met other people.

It takes 5mins research to find out which candidate suits you best – the idea of encouraging everyone to vote is that people will then look into it, before casting their vote. It seems to me, the governments where the more people voted are the more solid, and less lobbyist driven governments – the guys who work for corporations get in when no one cares.Discouraging people from voting is exactly what they want, because then it is only partisan idiots who vote. But fuck it ,eh? South Park had that message, and they are always 100% right.

You have far more faith in people than I do. You expect people to look into candidates and go beyond talking points... and I don't trust them to. Nothing to do with South Park. I don't think voting is useless, I just want informed, intelligent choices to be made. Glad you have more faith in people than I do, but... yeah, I don't know, man.

Mario said: I forgot as well, but now that you mention it I’m a little sad that Nostalgic November will not be happening. You should definitely do something special on the blog for December if your schedule permits. If not? Then give up sleep for a month, c’mon, do it for us, you like the attention.

How about Dreadstar December? The first 31 issues of Dreadstar (one per day) with a few bonus posts? Does that sound interesting to anyone?

Ed said: However, one of my staff (who is informed and is taking it seriously this year) tried voting over her lunch break but was turned back at the polls because her registration got screwed up when she moved earlier this year – so she ended up being disenfranchised and was really upset about it. On my way home, on a whim, I stopped at my polling place, went up to the booth, called her on my cell phone, and had her direct me on which candidates she would have voted for. So it was a win-win for us – my friend got her vote in after all, and I escaped all of the self-imposed guilt I would have otherwise had for not voting. I must admit though, this election year was really uninspiring for me.

US voter registration is insane to me. In Canada, all you need to do to register is check a box on your taxes when you're 18 and, if you move, just show up to the proper polling station (which you can find online very easily) with ID and proof of residence and you can vote. Never had a single problem voting. Then again, we don't have the same disconnect between our federal and provincial levels of government like you do between federal and state levels.

Dan said: Wait… you watched Southland Tales by choice?!?!

Yup. Twice.

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

x-men xavier magneto mansplaining
X-Mansplaining: Professor X & Magneto's New Mutant Power Is Being Pricks

More in Comics