It’s Tuesday, around five, so that means only one thing… it’s random thoughts time! Get excited!
Random Thought! I’ve been enjoying Incognito, but not as much as everyone else it seems. I realised why: I kept wanting/expecting Criminal, but this book was more akin to Captain America. Sometimes, mindset matters.
Random Thought! New comics for Americans on Thursday. New comics for me on Wednesday. I love weeks like this. I’m always tempted to walk down to the river and shout things at all of the comic fans in Detroit about how they have to until the next day for books. I’m a bit of an asshole sometimes. (What? I don’t do it…)
Random Thought! Had a fun e-mail exchange with Tim Callahan last week regarding recap pages. He doesn’t like them because they’re poorly written, he doesn’t read them, and thinks that if the comic itself doesn’t make you want to read more then it failed. I like them because they don’t detract from the comic, they provide information on past stories for those who need it, and, in this age of trades, most comics are piss-poor at making individual issues function on their own. What, are we supposed to expect people to wait for the beginning of new story every time they hear a book is great? They provide information at no cost to the story itself — for me, that’s where the argument begins and ends… They only help, they don’t hurt.
Random Thought! Of course, what brought on that discussion was Dan DiDio’s comments about DC not using recap pages, because he thinks it’s the writer’s job to catch up new readers in the comic. That would be fine, except the writers, as a rule, don’t do that well. And they don’t seem to be changing. As a reader and a reviewer, recap pages are great if you want to test out a series by grabbing the most recent issue. Why get in the way of that?
Random Thought! If you haven’t, read Ng Suat Tong’s piece on writing and art in superheroes comics over at the Comics Reporter. It’s a thoughtful, well-written piece that challenges a lot of givens inside the superhero comic book reading community. I’m still not sure exactly what I think, because I am much more writing-oriented than art-oriented. I can stomach even the worst art if the writing is superb and while there are certain artists that I follow, the list is short compared to the list of writers whose work I keep an eye out for. Even creators often singled out for their art like Chris Ware and Eddie Campbell, I follow, I think, more for their writing. It’s the way I’m geared, so I’m not sure I’ve given the ideas that Tong discusses here enough thought yet. Of course, writers are also more writing-oriented, so maybe this is a call back to the Marvel style of creating a comic? I love essays like this that just make you think.
Random Thought! Top five bands/musicians (well, as of today): 1) Ryan Adams 2) Neil Young 3) Velvet Underground/Lou Reed 4) Led Zeppelin 5) Hawksley Workman
Random Thought! I’ve been trying to wrap my head around an essay/post (or series of essays/posts) called “The Age of Awesome” and it just is not coming together. If anyone has seen my talent, please let me know. (And, with that, I open myself up to all sorts of insults, of course…)
Random Thought! If you don’t own a copy of Come in Alone by Warren Ellis, buy one. Or, just read the columns online at CBR. A better collection of writing about comics, you’d be hard-pressed to find. Ellis covers a lot of ground and I’ve read his two–part interview with Mark Waid a good dozen times. Come in Alone was collected by AiT/Planet Lar and damn good.
Random Thought! I’ve been thinking about the idea of using a username online that isn’t your real name and it seems that the argument that some have is that they don’t want people in the real world to track them down online because they’re afraid of the consequences… If that’s the case, shouldn’t you perhaps take a look at what you’re saying online that would have real world consequences? Isn’t that just an excuse to behave in a manner you would never think to in real life? Again, I’m speaking from experience as I used various handles before eventually settling on using my real name everywhere, and I did/said some things that I’m embarrassed by now. I remember switching to my real name because that was the rule at the Warren Ellis Forum and it makes sense. People, in general, are more polite, thoughtful, and nice when they’re signing their name to their posts. And all of this is coming from the only “Chad Nevett” in the world, so my activity is pretty visible if anyone I know wants to see what I’m up to online. If I can come online, speak my mind, and survive, the rest of you can.
Random Thought! Someone in my apartment building has a dog that won’t shut the hell up.
Random Thought! Recently came across some old posts on my Daily Journal Thing (which isn’t anywhere close to daily lately…) titled “Why Chad Will Never be Allowed to Write…” with each post a short pitch for a series demonstrating why I will never be allowed to write said books. I won’t share them because they really live up to the title. Wow. But, because people seem to enjoy it when I dip into my files, here is an Ultimates idea that I came up with before Civil War…
The Ultimates: State Of Emergency/Peacekeepers Alpha (twelve-issue arc)
The first issue features the story of “Nitro,” the human bomb as he comes to America with a simple mission: blow up the White House. He succeeds and kills everyone inside, including the president, vice-president and a shitload of people all down the line. The worst part is that “Nitro” walks away from the disaster totally unharmed. This is the first time he shows up on US intelligence’s radar because, previously, they never thought to look for suicide bombers who survive the bombings. Now that they know who he is, they discover that he has been responsible for thirty-eight suicide bombings already worldwide.
The US is plunged into a state of emergency and goes on full military alert with the Ultimates suddenly on the front lines, protecting national security. Their first mission is to hunt down “Nitro” and apprehend him — or kill him. This leads them to the Canadian border and a question of sovereignty where the Canadian government basically tells the US that they will handle the problem now and that they do not authorise the Ultimates’ authority on Canadian soil.
The Ultimates go in anyway and end up basically destroying Toronto in the process of trying to capture “Nitro” — and fail to do so. This action causes the Canadian government to form its own metahuman military group: Peacekeepers Alpha. We’ll focus on them for a few issues and build up to a conflict between the two groups with “Nitro” in the middle.
Actually, one issue should be about the Canadian super-soldier of World War II and his role. Throw in some Mackenzie King and conscription and shit like that.
An attempt to integrate my ideas for “Ultimate Alpha Flight,” which I call “Peacekeepers Alpha,” because I think the name is… well, better. Also, using Nitro as a suicide bomber who never dies in the process just seemed obvious. Civil War used a watered-down version of that idea, but I think going at it head-on in the Ultimate Universe would be fitting. As well, delving into Canadian history? Hells yes. (One Alpha Flight idea I had involved a new character who thought that Sir John Sparrow David Thompson, the fourth Prime Minister of Canada, talks to her… why I picked him, I can’t recall.)
Random Thought! To follow up something on last week: I don’t want Thunderstrike back from the dead really. I just think that if we’re going to bring everyone else back anyway, why not him since he’d fit in well as the ‘Urban Thor’ of the New Avengers?
Random Thought! I should also do an essay on realism in superhero comics since I have some specific thoughts there. For example, how is Norman Osborn so successful as director of HAMMER? The guy has never run an organisation that size and is fighting about twelve different wars on twelve different fronts against people who have far more experience in this area. Isn’t he playing way over his head? He’s got to contend with the New Avengers, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Nick Fury — NICK FURY! The man who had this job and did it better than anyone else ever! It seems like a convenient character change to justify a story and things like that bother me. We all know he’s going down, but I’m amazed he’s lasted this long, honestly.
Random Thought! Everyone picked up Sweet Tooth #1 last week for a dollar, right? Because if you’re passing up these dollar Vertigo #1s… what the hell are you reading comics for?
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