Random Thoughts! (October 30, 2012)

Random Thought! My wife has a PhD! 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 post was mostly about the piece of shit that is A-Babies vs. X-Babies and how it's a cynical 'fuck you' from Marvel. But, hey, they got me to spend three bucks, so I guess they're right. Fuck me.

Random Thought! More and more, I'm looking forward to January 30th, the day after I quit writing on the internet until I feel like coming back. I announced it back on my 29th birthday that my 30th birthday would be the day that I shut down GraphiContent. That's January 29th, which, I think is a Tuesday this year, so that would also be the final Random Thoughts. The night before would be my final Raw Instant Analysis for 411mania (unless Larry finds someone who wants that gig before then, but I doubt it -- and I told him I was leaving, like two months ago or something insane like that, so... plenty of notice). I'm already pretty far removed from a lot of the shit that I don't want anything to do with thanks to quitting the CBR review team and turning off comments here and on my blog. I like having my distance and the ability to do what I feel like. Some of the things that I'm locked into are my own doing, like Riding the Gravy Train or the Before Watchmen thing with Cronin. I'm not sure where the weekly mini-reviews or Random Thoughts fall at this point. Something I do because it's expected? Because people, for some reason, seem to enjoy them in some small way? There's other stuff, like getting requests to review comics from genuinely well-meaning people... but, man, there aren't enough hours in the day and, even if there were, I'm not sure I'd want to spend any of them doing that. I barely want to say anything about most of the professionally-produced comics that I pay money to read -- sometimes, it feels like I'm paying money to have an opinion about them. Thankfully, the number of people who seem to care about that opinion drops by the week. That means fewer hassles.

I don't get a lot of people asking for advice about doing what I did for CBR, but, when I do or I see people seemingly on that path, I kind of want to do a post where it's just every e-mail I've received from a comic creator. And I didn't even get THAT many. I've heard of some people getting far more than me and what little I did get was enough to make me shake my head in disbelief. This is something I've talked about in a few different ways before and it's something I've never really gotten over. One exchange over a review where it was suggested that I'm too mean-spirited and don't consider the effect of my words on those I'm writing about... I mean, that's not entirely true. I do consider the effects and often pull back to stop from going over the top. But, at the same time, I usually don't care and I've never been able to figure out why I should, especially when I was being paid to review comics. I should be nicer because everyone is a human being and tried really hard? That's great. It really is. But, that doesn't hold much comfort when you produce a piece of shit that wastes my time and money. If only being a human being and working hard guaranteed a decent comic... I know, that's incredibly harsh. But, that's also what this is. I'm not reading comics for a personal relationship with anyone. The personal aspect is meaningless.

I remember once getting the implication (EDIT: this is in reference to an e-mail exchange with a comic writer, not anything that came from someone at CBR -- I never received any sort of directive, explicit or implicit, about the content of my writings and I want to clarify that so this portion of this post is not misinterpretted) (it was never said outright, but the message was clear) that negative reviews could cost someone work. It's the sort of idea that's supposed to make you step back, take stock, and not be such an asshole. All I could think was "Fuck, does anyone give me credit when my positive words help their career?" It's the endless odd dynamic comics (and everything else, honestly) has with positivity and negativity. One is fine, the other is not. How childish... Two statements: "Comic A is the greatest comic released this year!" and "Comic B is the worst comic released this year!" Which do you think would produce more of a reaction? Which one would produce a more passionate reaction? It's like no one ever gets the idea that a positive review is what happens when I read a good comic and a negative review is what happens when I read a bad comic.

I sure as hell won't miss getting requests to participate in articles where you list all of the Marvel NOW! books you're looking forward to and why. Oh, not a rundown of all of the titles and what you think of each. No, just what books you're looking forward to! Because it's a fun article! And it's only fun when it's positive and pretty flowers and free advertising for the largest comic publisher in North America! I don't know if I'd like it more or less if money had been offered. I guess getting paid to participate in an article like that would be more honest. I mean, it's a fucking ad for a bunch of comics -- an endorsement! And, usually, people get paid for endorsements, right? Then again, it's not like this is Marvel asking that this article happen, it's just something that someone came up with, because it's a 'fun idea.' How sad is that... 'Fun' equals 'free promotion.' Not actual balanced content -- not even the illusion of it. Hey, if you genuinely love something, then shout it from the roof. I've never shied away from that. But, this... this is shilling pure and simple. Sucking Marvel's cock and pretending it's journalism.

I'll probably still e-mail Cronin to laugh over his latest big participation thing, like the current 'greatest runs of all time' thing. You people are weird in your selections. Seeing some results, I gather that many of you are easily distracted by shiny objects and have trouble focusing for longer than four seconds at a time.

And don't mistake any of this for my being tired of comics. Actual comics. Those physical items that I buy every week. I won't ever be tired of them. The same way that I'm never tired of movies, books, TV shows, or music. Why would I tire of those? That's inane.

So, in three months, I'm out. That's where my mind is now. January 30th. The first day where I read comics just for me and try to forget most of the bullshit exists.


Random Joe Casey Question! Are there any plans/desires to return to some of your recent Image one-off books/minis like Officer Downe, Charlatan Ball, or Doc Bizarre?

Random Joe Casey Answer! There are no plans at the moment, but I never say never. Any original IP's are always built to be revisited, if we ever choose to. All of my creator-owned series are complete worlds that I've built with my artistic collaborators, they're all there for us to dive back into, if the timing were right and we had more stories to tell. Actually, it's interesting that you classified some of them as "one-off books", because I suppose I never look at them like that. Once these things are out in the world, they tend to have a life of their own. They're living, breathing work. Some of them might not be huge sellers right out of the box, but they exist to be discovered. I mean, come on, if OFFICER DOWNE ain't an evergreen title, one for the ages, I don't know what is...!


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

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