Friday, February 09, 2007

Free Form Comments

Anonymous personal attacks, shameless self-promotion, random thoughts, questions, suggestions, recommendations, requests to be added to the blog roll, introductions (if you have never posted a comment before please do) -- whatever -- put it in the comments to this post.

For my part, I am thinking instead of a weekly post on Lost, maybe a TV week in review post (like the comics out post) every Friday or something, in addition to free form comments. Let me know. The only new shows I watch, in addition to Lost, are Ugly Betty, 30 Rock, and Studio 60 (which I will just complain about every week, apparently), but obviously you guys who watch other stuff will talk to each other.

54 comments:

Mitch said...

I have a new article at Silver Bullet Comics called Funny Pages from a Harsh Continent, which is about an exhibit of comics from Africa at the Studio Museum in Harlem. I highly recommend that anyone in the NY area check it out.

Stephen said...

"...shameless self-promotion..."

Oh, well, if you insist. :)

I've been doing a series of blog posts about Cerebus. So far I've done four installments: the first two are general background, the second two are analyses of the covers of the first 45% or so of the run. There will be future installments at some point, but it may be a week or two. So in the meantime check out what I've got up: part one, part two, part three & part four.

Oh, and I love the idea of a weekly TV roundup, btw.

brad said...

Only a few more hours to vote for Angela's next decision in Satacracy 88 episode 7 at itsallinyourhands.com

Matt Brady said...

Stephen, I'll definitely be reading your Cerebus articles; I've read a little of the series, and I'm interested in discussion of it. I just read a similar introduction by someone else, but I can't remember where. Huh. If I find it, I'll let you know.

As for self-promotion, I've got a new feature on my blog (http://warren-peace.blogspot.com) in which I point out stuff to watch out for that will be showing on TV. I hope to do it about once a week. I'll probably mostly be mentioning movies, especially ones playing on IFC or TCM. I also recently reviewed some manga, along with Becky Cloonan's East Coast Rising, which I really liked. It's all still on the front page of the blog.

As for your "TV week in review" posts, Geoff, I'm for it. You could include Lost in this, or separate it out into its own post; I don't watch the show, so it doesn't really matter to me. But I'd love to have a forum to discuss other shows. In fact, I'll do another blogplug and say that I just did some reviews of recent TV on my blog today, so anyone, please check them out and comment if you like.

Jason Powell said...

Inspired by this blog, I have a new post up at mine:

http://oceandoot.livejournal.com/

Geoff, please check it out -- there's a bit where I talk about something I didn't like in your book. (Which is a weird way to try to entice someone, but I figured it was all right since we're all civilized hereabouts ...)

sara d. reiss said...

BUY MY PARROT TRANQUILIZERS!!!

no but seriously, my grad school
reject-- er, I mean -- acceptance letters should be coming out soon, so everyone send positive beams of energy my way or your favorite comics/poetry/tv/pop culture blogger might suffer dire consquences...

Mitch said...

Jason--

I don't think anyone here, especially Geoff, would say that Claremont doesn't deserve credit for creating the central formula for X-Men, or for writing nearly all the "essential" X-Men stories like Dark Phoenix and Days of Future Past. Claremont did some good, groundbreaking work back in those days.

The issue everyone has now is that his writing style hasn't aged well. Claremont's once wonderful, revolutionary take on the X-Men has become the stale status quo.

To make an unfair analogy in the music business take a look at Paul McCartney's post-Beatles work. He's still well loved for the Beatles songs he performs live, but he lost the innovation that made his Beatles work great and started repeating himself.

PS: Weekly TV roundup is a great idea.

Madd_Hadder said...

Tv is right up my alley. I watch about 9 or 10 shows every week, but sadly Lost is not one of them. I fell behind early in season 2 and am doing the tv season on dvd thing for that one.

I know you and a lot of other people have turned complaining about studio 60 into an artform but I still love it in spite of the faults. It isn't my favorite show on tv right now but it is in my top 5.

Matt Brady said...

Mitch, your article on African comics is excellent. Really good stuff; thanks for informing us about it. I put an entry up on comicne.ws about it.

Mitch said...

Thanks Matt!

Stephen said...

Matt,

I hope you like 'em! Leave a comment if you do drop by.

By the way, I just checked your blog out for the first time: looks interesting! I'll be back.

SF

liam said...

Against my accountant's advice i have recently purchased and devoured all of Brian K. Vaughan's Y:The Last Man series. it was awesome in so many ways, i can not begin to elaborate. but to tie it in with this post, i found out vaughan is now executive story director for Lost.

mitch-
i think sir paul's post beatles career is more amazing than most give it credit for, but i agree that he lost a groundbreaking element to his music. i would argue that that element was lennon, who's avant-garde leanings were the perfect foil for mccartney's unerring pop sensibility.

precious roy said...

another topic for geoff: vaughan got his start at NYU in the stanhattan program, which also birthed Joe Kelly of Steampunk fame.

thank god for wikipedia.....

precious roy said...

another topic for geoff: vaughan got his start at NYU in the stanhattan program, which also birthed Joe Kelly of Steampunk fame.

thank god for wikipedia.....

Jason Powell said...

Mitch,

Thanks for reading the posting!

It's nice to see someone else crediting Claremont's contributions, as you just did. Mainly I just wish I would see a lot more of that. There's so much hate for Claremont these days, and so little love. To continue your analogy, it would be like reading ten or fiftteen articles about McCartney's bland solo career for every single mention of how good The Beatles are.

I just feel like online X-Men fandom is choked with anti-Claremontism. The guy doesn't deserve it!

Ultimate Matt said...

Hi there, Ive been following your blog for some time now but have never posted before. I can't really promise I'll post frequently since I rarely do so on any boards, but I wanted to take the opportunity to let you know I read "How To Read Superhero Comics & Why" a few years back and absolutely loved it; I've been following your blog since I discovered it. Also, just so you know, I've been loving the New X-Men reviews, if for no other reason that i enjoy hearing your insights. Take care, keep it up.

Pat Moler said...

Okay here's some questions. Everyone should give answers.

1) Who's the person you dislike most in the World?

-Kit Cope. haha

2) What's your favorite book that isn't a graphic Novel

-Ender's Game

3)Captain Kirk or Captain Pichard?

-Pichard's the superior Captain, but I like Kirk best.

4)Have you ever been in love? Give some insight if so.

-No

5)Who's the best Green Lantern?

-Hal Jordan. Typical answer, but he has an Epic Tragic hero feel to him.

6)Who's your favorite Villian?

-The Joker. By Far

7)Who's your favorite Superhero?

-It's a tough call, but I'd say Green Arrow.

8)If you could have one power what would it be?

-I'd love something cool and fun, but if given the choice of one power it'd be the power to heal(other not a healing factor thing, though that'd be peachy. haha)

9) Favorite member of the Legion of Superheroes?

-Ultra Boy.

10) Your Hero/Role Model growing up?

-Chris Benoit

------------------------

Question for Geoff. When are you going to be Doc Klock?

Matt Brady said...

1) Who's the person you dislike most in the World?

-I dunno, Dick Cheney? I think it used to be Donald Rumsfeld, but he got fired and is out of the spotlight now. Note: This is not intended to spark a political discussion.

2) What's your favorite book that isn't a graphic Novel

-Catch-22, probably. Maybe Snow Crash. Or Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut.

3)Captain Kirk or Captain Pichard?

-Kirk

4)Have you ever been in love? Give some insight if so.

-Yes, with my wife. The last five years since I met her have been the best of my life, by far.

5)Who's the best Green Lantern?

-Don't really care. I'll say Mogo. Why not?

6)Who's your favorite Villian?

-Dr. Doom!

7)Who's your favorite Superhero?

-Spider-Man, I suppose. Maybe the Thing?

8)If you could have one power what would it be?

-Superspeed? I could get a lot done that way. Might be tiring though.

9) Favorite member of the Legion of Superheroes?

-I don't read it; never have. Impulse? He's probably not officially a member.

10) Your Hero/Role Model growing up?

-Wow, no idea. Maybe Franklin W. Dixon, the author of the Hardy Boys books. I used to love those. I remember liking Nolan Ryan a lot. Maybe either Spock or Data from Star Trek?

Marc Caputo said...

Stephen: I'm DEFINITELY going to read your Cerebus columns as well - Cerebus was the book I picked up when I made my first comics comeback in 1991 (I'm on my second, but last)

Geoff: TV's a good way to go. DVD is actually turning out to be a better format than even imagined because of the turn to TV repackaging.

All: I've got a blog over at http://marcscomichut.blogspot.com/ but you can link to it on Geoff's blogroll at "Marc Caputo". I'd like to be more current so I'd like more visitors/posters to keep me inspired!

Pat: I've been waiting for the next round.
1. A woman I work with who just exudes incompetence and represents all that is unholy about teaching.
2. The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever. A fantasy that grounds itself in the complications of personal morality.
3. Picard.
4. Good Christ, have I. I'm married now (with 2 daughters) and it's great, but God, did I think love was gonna kill me.
5. Jordan. Others have had their moments and they all have a place he IS the greatest.
6. Kang. No contest.
7. Superman. It may sound cheap and easy, but I believe. Hawkman's a damn close second and Flash is too close to measure.
8. Time travel. See answer to no. 6 for why.
9. Cosmic Boy. Despite (but maybe because of) that costume from the 1970s, but because in one timeline/universe he went to the end of time (pattern anyone?), became the Legion's greatest enemy to make them capable of being the best they could be. Unbreakable did a great job of interpolating that dynamic.
10. Springsteen. No shit - man remains an inspiration.

Marc Caputo said...

Edit on 5 - I'm totally OCD with spelling/grammar/punctuation

"...they all have a place BUT he IS the greatest."

Matt Brady said...

Jason, I read your Claremont "defense", and I agree with it for the most part. Maybe the reason people don't praise him more is because the best part of his run (if you can call it that; 17 years is a hell of a "run") was a good 25-30 years ago and people pretty much take it for granted. I often hear the complaint that the subplots got overly convoluted sometime around "Inferno", if not earlier. I haven't read beyond the first two "Essential" collections myself, but I'm familiar with a lot of the plots. It seems he did tend to get overly melodramatic, and started a LOT of dangling plot threads that he never really resolved. Unfortunately, this is the style that subsequent writers (especially Fabian Nicieza and Scott Lobdell) copied, rather than his earlier work, and many of the complaints against Claremont are really complaints against this "legacy". I'm actually very interested in this issue-by-issue examination you're planning. That's one hell of an undertaking. If you do it, I'll read it!

Jason P said...

Matt,

Thank you! That's very kind, and gives me the motivation to get on with it.

I 100% agree with you that a lot of the complaints against Claremont are actually against the terrible copycatting done by Lobdell and Nicieza immediately upon Claremont's departure.
It was the worst elements of Claremont's writing without any of the heart.

I also agree with you that all that work is taken for granted, which I think is awful. 17 years of entertaining stories (and that's not just me talkin' -- X-Men was the #1 comic during almost that entire time!). It's just a towering accomplishment.

Finally, I don't think the "Inferno"-era stories are AS convoluted as their reputation, but -- well, I don't know, I suppose it could be subjective. Do you plan on continuing to read through the rest of CC's run, Matt? If so, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts when you eventually get to those latter-day stories.

Jason Powell said...

Stephen,

I read your blogs about Cerebus. Good stuff. I'm always happy to see something singing Sim's praises, because I think he is a true comics genius. (In my opinion, there are only two true comics geniuses in the entire history of comics genius-ness, and Sim is one of them.)

For the record -- and this is a bit parallel to my assertion that Claremont's first X-Men run was solid right up to his last issue in 1991 -- I never thought Sim "lost it." I enjoyed Cerebus right up to issue 300. Some issues more than others, most definitely (or, some TPBs more than others, you could say), but I think it's a shame that everybody talks about Cerebus as if it has a great first half and a terrible second half. I quite like the second half. One of the latter trades ("Going Home," I think ...? I'd have to look it up.) is among Sim's very best, in my opinion. Just a heartbreaking work. I won't say more, in case you're not that far along yet in your reading.

Stephen said...

Jason,

Glad you liked the posts.

So far I've read through Melmoth -- half the series. I've got a couple more of the trades on order. So far I've liked them all.

When I said he lost it, I was -- and I think (I hope!) I made this clear -- doing two things: 1) reporting common opinion, and 2) going by his infamous misogynistic essay in issue #186 (IIRC). That, to me, is pretty much proof of having lost it in either a moral sense (misogyny being an evil) and in a philosophic sense (his worldview seeming pretty clearly batshit insane). But I will grant you that people with odious beliefs, and those with wacko beliefs, can make great art. So I am hoping to enjoy the next batch of trades. (My fifth post is waiting on them to arrive & be read, btw.)

So far I am planning to skip Reads -- the one that's half essay, including the misogynistic rant -- and read up to about Guys or so. Given what I've heard from others, I'll take some convincing to read much beyond that. But I am open to the idea that his comic remained good throughout.

SF

PS: So who do you think is the other comics genius, anyway? I have a bunch of candidates, but I'm curious about yours.

Matt Brady said...

Jason,

I don't know if I'll ever read any more of Claremont's X-Men. I suppose I might get volume 3-whatever of the Essentials if I found them cheap. I have a lot of comics to read, and while I'm a little bit interested in these, there's plenty in line before them. To tell the truth, I'm happy reading summaries of the plots, so your series might come in handy! ;-)

Jason Powell said...

Stephen,

Alan Moore is the other one. That guy is my hero. Who are your candidates?

I was going to suggest you not skip "Reads," then I remembered my copy of that trade has all the essay pages torn out (by me!). In my defense, Sim has said (somewhere) that he is okay with people doing that. I DO highly recommend "Form and Void." That's the one I find to be just heartwrenching -- and it has some of Sim's most beautiful illustrations in the entire series. And it can be enjoyed apart from the books preceding it, must like "Jaka's Story."

Regarding "losing it," I understand what you mean. But you had said early on that there must be a few people out there who like the whole 6,000-page epic, and so I was just confirming your assumption that yes, there are indeed a few of us! :)

I actually did an essay for my local paper here in Milwaukee about how I felt that in spite of Sim's philosophies bending in weird directions outside of the comic, the actual comic book narrative itself was more consistent than its reputation. Unfortunately (for me, anyway) I don't think the article exists online...

Anyway, when I first read the comic, I had the same thoughts as you, wondering "Oh, is this the one where he goes nuts?" I kind of wish I had been able to read the series WITHOUT that nagging worry, so I guess that's part of why I wanted to express my opinion to you.

Jason Powell said...

Matt -- well, there ya go. Perfect! I hope you're still interested in a few months, when I finally get around to doing this! :)

Stephen said...

Jason,

Alan Moore leapt to the top of my mind. But so does Scott McCloud, Art Spiegelman... probably others, but the truth is that "genius" is an overused word, one that I am hesitant to try to flog.

Anyway, thanks for the info on Cerebus -- I'm always interested in new views. At this point I have volumes 7, 8, 10 & 11 on order, so I will almost certainly skip Reads this time around. I'd probably pick it up if I saw it cheap, but I'm reluctant to lay out the money for a book I know I'm going to skip half of.

As for volumes past 11... well, we'll see how I feel when I get there. But again, recommendations pull in various directions, so I'm glad to hear countervailing views. And, as you say, I assumed that someone must like the whole thing, but it's good to know for certain!

(Actually, I was thinking of an earlier thread on this very blog, when Geoff asked for people's top ten, and someone said something like "Cerebus, all 300 issues, critics be damned". I presume that was you? Or is there another all-300-er in the house?)

SF

PS: As I said in a note at your blog, I, too, am interested in reading a Claremont review. So do do it if you feel moved to; I bet you'll have an audience.

Geoff Klock said...

Mitch: thanks, that is cool.

Stephen: I didn't know what you said on your blog about the first trade: I started there and did not see the point. I am going to have to try again, obviously. Thanks for setting me straight.

Jason: you are right, we are all civilized, so much so that I am able to admit not only to spelling his name wrong, but to reducing Claremont to an unfair cartoon to make my point. That was not my best moment, and the only thing I can defend myself with is that, hey, I was only 20 when I wrote that. Which is not a great defence.

Claremont is huge but he has not always aged well given current standards -- his own refusal to change his style has not helped (he seems to have learned nothing from Alan Moore or Frank Miller), and neither have his imitators. And never forget, that writers write by attacking the past, and Morrison works hard to make Claremont the stale status quo he has arrived to break. But he is very important and I should not have spoken of him like I did.

Ultimate Matt: please post more often, we are glad to have you here. The more people who post the better -- look how quickly this post got 28 comments before I even showed up. Conversation around here is great.

Pat: 1) Wichowski bros (who I hate enough not to use spell check): I will never get over those Matrix sequels. 2) Favorite book is Wallace Stevens's The Palm at the End of the Mind. 3) I don't do Star Treck, but I do like Shatner. 4) Yes, but I have no insights, I don't think love is quite like that. 5) No opinion 6) The Judge from Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian. 7) Professor X 8) mind control 9) no opinion. 10) Professor x.

We have a great hub here for smart people.

Pat Moler said...

Geoff: I'll agree the Matrix Sequels were pretty crappy, but I still enjoyed the Philosophy. I often cite Neo's final line as one of my favorite qoutes, "Because I choose too...". Also you spelt Trek wrong. I guess you aren't as smart as I thought you were. hahaha..eh..I kid'.

Aww...and that thing about no insight to love is so adorable. You're as adorable as my Chihuahua Maximus, who just jumped on my lap. haha

You know that's definately a good pick for a role model by the way. Now that I think about it X-MEN has always been one of my greatest influences. With Wolverine and the other X-MEN characters I woulda probly grown up a pretty mean spirited person.
-----------------------------------

With that said I'd like to tell you about my web buddy Peter Zottolo. He's been doing the Sightspeed News of the Day, for a while, and has a new show coming to Direct TV. Here's his latest vid. talking about the new show among other. He also gives me a special thanks half way through. Check it out and his other vids. So check it out, along with his other stuff.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSyb8sMoj5o

Oh, and I might get a new job as a tutor soon. So, that's cool.

Oh, and when you gettin' your Phd Geoff?

Thacher said...

Hey Geoff, long time reader, first time commenter. I just wanted to say that I enjoy and appreciate your blog, even if I don't agree with it 100% of the time (I really enjoyed the Morrison run, despite its kind of falling apart at the end, and often I think he curse of the bambino'd the X-men, as it's been kinda crazy bad since he left). I'm a comic book store manager who's trying to publish his first novel and has been lax at the blogging lately.

Thacher said...

Oh, and I'm in favor of TV roundups. I watch mostly the same shows (with the exception of 30 Rock), as well as others. Maybe...*too many* others...

And bloggers being weird, so my home is www.demonweasel.com

Patrick said...

1) Joss Whedon. Not that he isn't a great creator/writer, I just can't stand his public persona.

2) Desire of the Everlasting Hills by Thomas Cahill.

3) Picard.

4)Yes. (Sound of heart tearing in two)

5)John Stewart.

6)Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

7)Miller's Batman.

8)Time/space manipulation.

9) No opinion.

10) Who's said I've grown up?

Mitch said...

1) Who's the person you dislike most in the World?

-Pat Moler. (haha)

2) What's your favorite book that isn't a graphic Novel

-Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Series

3)Captain Kirk or Captain Pichard?

-Kirk, you Klingon Bastard.

4)Have you ever been in love? Give some insight if so.

-Several times and each one has been better than the last.

5)Who's the best Green Lantern?

-Kyle Rayner.

6)Who's your favorite Villian?

-Lex Luthor when written properly, which he rarely is.

7)Who's your favorite Superhero?

-Green Arrow is close, but maybe the Silver Surfer, too.

8)If you could have one power what would it be?

-How bout the power to move you? That's telekinesis Kyle!

9) Favorite member of the Legion of Superheroes?

-Pat Moler Lad.

10) Your Hero/Role Model growing up?

Pat Moler Lad.

Matt Brady said...

Hey, I got a new comics-related game up on my blog. Come on by and leave an entry, everyone!

Ping33 said...

1) Who's the person you dislike most in the World?

- This art-fag I went to University with who's just a total douche.

2) What's your favorite book that isn't a graphic Novel

-The System of The World by Neil Stephenson


3)Captain Kirk or Captain Pichard?

-Pichard

4)Have you ever been in love? Give some insight if so.

- Yes, and moreso every day for about 7 years.

5)Who's the best Green Lantern?

- Mogo, and Kyle.


6)Who's your favorite Villian?


-The Joker is my favourite comics character


7)Who's your favorite Superhero?


- Superman


8)If you could have one power what would it be?

-Super Speed like the Flash not Quicksilver though.


9) Favorite member of the Legion of Superheroes?


-I kinda think they all suck. Brainiac5 is ok I guess


10) Your Hero/Role Model growing up?

- I don't remember ever not knowing that all people were flawed.

Pat Moler said...

Ping33: I don't see why you think in order to have a role model you have top believe that certain person is flawless. Suchj a notion is rediculous.

sara d. reiss said...

geoff: um, dearest, do we need to have a little talksie about your answer to #4 of this week's "pat moler's question-o-rama?"

1) Who's the person you dislike most in the World?

- Helena Bonham Carter. I totally hate that cunt.

2) What's your favorite book that isn't a graphic Novel

- lordy, I should say summat smart here... Let's just say anything by Haruki Murakami.


3)Captain Kirk or Captain Pichard?

- innit "Picard?"...I could prolly google that... whatever, Kirk is one of my people, but I'd love to rub Picard's bald head with my body so... toss up?


4)Have you ever been in love? Give some insight if so.

- Yes, and too freakin' much for my own good. But then again, I don't regret a single time. Take that as you wil.

5)Who's the best Green Lantern?

- er... uh... hm...


6)Who's your favorite Villian?

- Snidley P. Whiplash & Gargamel


7)Who's your favorite Superhero?

- Batman


8)If you could have one power what would it be?

- Telepathy. Cos then I could make people believe I had whatever other superpowers I wanted. And give me money.


9) Favorite member of the Legion of Superheroes?

- the whatnow? is this like the superfriends? cos I kinda had a crush on Aqua man of superfriends when I was like 4. And Jann of the wonder twins. Yep, I was like this even then.

10) Your Hero/Role Model growing up?

- oddly enuff, my older siblings, one sis, one bro, who were complete opposites, but I wanted to be just like them. Prolly why I turned out like I did, come to think of it...

Matt Brady said...

Geoff, you might be interested in this review of Casanova #1 by Chris Butcher.

Craig Taylor said...

1) Who's the person you dislike most in the World?

-No one comes immediately to mind.

2) What's your favorite book that isn't a graphic Novel

Bones of the Moon (Johnathon Carroll)

3)Captain Kirk or Captain Pichard?

Picard (Patrick Stewart is ace)

4)Have you ever been in love? Give some insight if so.

See Q1, I love everyone! But seriously ... Yes, I just might be in love with a gal named Justine

5)Who's the best Green Lantern?

Abin Sur

6)Who's your favorite Villian?

Harley Quinn, puddin.

7)Who's your favorite Superhero?

I can't narrow it done anymore. For me it would have to be either Mister Miracle (Scott Free) or Zatanna or The Spirit.

8)If you could have one power what would it be?

Superspeed, so I could have more done in a day

9) Favorite member of the Legion of Superheroes?

Dawnstar, apparently getting some screentime in an upcoming JSA story

10) Your Hero/Role Model growing up?

Spider-man when I was a kid, and from my teens Johnny Depp, always changing

Marc Caputo said...

Sara: if I'm not mistaken, I detect that you are either British or at the very least an Anglophile, given your use of "British slang". Have you listened to an album by a girl named Lily Allen, "Alright, Still"? It's very fresh, very funny and best of all, it's not afraid to be British.
iTunes has it for $7.99.

sara d. reiss said...

marc: 1. I'm not British, but after living there for two years I ended up with a lot of the colliquialism in my written/spoken languge

2. Lily Allen: way ahead of you, Mate. Was a fan of hers when we lived there and then saw her live in NYC, and stood in the front row. I love her, in a girl-crush way. She's rad.

Marc Caputo said...

Sara: this is what happens when you get your new music from SNL - a tad behind the curve. I'm just glad when I like ANY new music. When was she in NYC? Do you know if she's coming around again?

mitch said...

To Geoff and the panel in general:

Does everyone like Family Guy? I just like to make sure every once and a while. They've really created a new kind of smart "dumb humor". Nothing else ever makes me laugh as hard.

Jason Powell said...

"(Actually, I was thinking of an earlier thread on this very blog, when Geoff asked for people's top ten, and someone said something like "Cerebus, all 300 issues, critics be damned". I presume that was you? Or is there another all-300-er in the house?)"

Stephen: That was me! It's actually a friend of mine who for a while had taken on the affectation of adding "I don't care what the critics say!" every time he expressed an opinion, no matter how benign. It always made me laugh, so I ripped it off when I named "all-300 issues of Cerebus" in my top ten. In this case, of course, it was actually appropos. Regarding geniuses, it's true, it's a slippery slope. I hate to toss the word around as well, so that's why I limit myself to just the two in comics. (Two per medium, that's my rule.)

Geoff: You are a true gentleman, indeed. One thing I'm curious about based on what you've said -- when you say he hasn't aged well, do you mean that as he gets older his writing has been getting worse? (I agree.) Or do you mean that the old classics from the '80s (Dark Phoenix, Days of Future Past) haven't aged well? I've seen that argument made before, and I don't see it. It may be nostalgia talking, but the Claremont-Byrne X-Men stories still read as very tight when I re-read them today. I'll start thinking now about specific examples for when I do the piecemeal review.

One thing I'm realizing is that the reason I can't stand reading any X-Men published post-1992 (with a few exceptions, I'll grant) is because *everybody* just excavates the Claremont-Cockrum-Byrne era. The barrel was tapped out long ago, but everyone's still lapping from the bottom of it -- including modern-day Claremont. Scott Lobdell used to quote -- with irritating frequency -- old classic lines from old Cockrum issues. Morrison made a point of hitting all the same familiar points -- Imperial Guard, Phoenix, dystopian-Future -- because "you can't play the blues without a C chord." I crack open a Joss Whedon issue and Casaday has drawn Kitty Pryde in the famous sewer-image of Wolverine that Byrne is so well-known for. Naturally, the dialogue is a straight lift from Claremont's. And of course, Claremont quotes his old work constantly.

I don't know why I keep torturing myself by skimming new X-Men issues in the store, but I do. I think Claremont unintentionally offered up a perfect emblem of the state of the X-Men these days, in "X-Men: The End" appropriately enough. SPOILERS, of course, as if anyone cares ... the climax of that story is Cassandra Nova merging with the Phoenix force (while quoting Phoenix's first line, "No longer am I the woman you knew, etc." from X-Men #101 -- and lord, is that an appropriate issue number) . I think that's just the quintessence of the self-cannibalization that X-Men has become, as new-Claremont uses a Morrison idea and merges it with an old-Claremont idea that was already cannibalized ad nauseum by Morrison et al.

Eventually the snake is not going to have anything left of itself to eat.

Geoff Klock said...

Pat: Oxford is slow processing my doctorate. After a seven month break I got my thesis back with minor revisions -- I will submit soon.

Thatcher: thanks for coming. keep commenting. Everyone here is cool.

Patrick: what public persona?

Matt: thanks for the link.

Mitch: Family Guy is funny, but that South Park episode where they went after family guy was very persuasive -- the jokes on that show are written by manatees pulling random balls out of a pool.

Jason: that is fasinating: I may have to pick up THE END just to see that. I meant that as Claremont gets older he refuses to adapt to survive.

Jason Powell said...

Definitely agree with that.

(You have GOT to post on THE END if you end up picking it up. I'd love to hear your take on it. Personally I think it's just a godawful mess, and at the moment I wish I could purge the memory of it from my brain...)

Ping33 said...

Pat: Doesn't the idea of a single Role Model dictate that you put someone on a pedestal? I guess I'm not really clear on the concept unless it does. Is it better to say that I have tried to adopt wisdom and cleverness from everybody I have met or to say that I have had no Role Model?

Patrick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mitch said...

Jason and Geoff-

I second your recommendation of a The End post, Jason. And yes, my goodness, what a mess. It's probably not much different from Chris Claremont's brain actually exploding.

But it might be a good bookend for your New X-Men series, Geoff. It was started right after Morrison's run and appropriates a lot of concepts from it.

Patrick said...

I read an article from Comic-Con '05 from the Serenity panel. Whedon was introducing the cast one-by-one with some short of snarky comment. When introducing Summer Glau, he added "Who I am totally sick of working with." When Glau came on stage, so the reporter writes, she looked genuinely hurt, so much so that Nathan Fillion made a point of pulling out her chair for her. Whedon when right ahead with his shtick.

Sometimes during his interviews or convention appearances, Whedon comes across as a total jackass. That's what I mean by "public persona" in hope that doesn't reflect his private pesonality .

sara d. reiss said...

Marc: I saw Lily Allen back in October at the Maritime Hotel in NYC - in the Hiro Ballroom (v.cool space, btw). Dunno if she'll be coming around again, but you can always check her website: www.lilyallenmusic.com

mitch: I agree with G about the SouthPark episode. At first I adored Family Guy, and Stewie is still a genius of a character but after awhile the random un-related joke becomes just as samey and boring as your standard sitcom trope. Yep, it's manatees alright.

unrelated to anyone: I've actually been v. suprised by my tv choices this year. Topping my list are 3 Nickelodeon shows: Avatar, Mr.Meaty and Kappa Mikey, 30 Rock and Ugly Betty. Not at all what I would've expected.

Geoff Klock said...

Ping: I am sorry to ruin the fact that this post has 52 comments, but I have not responded to some people, and also I hate 52. :)

Ping: this is why my role models are all fictional.

Mitch and Jason: I think I may go straight from Morrison to Whedon but I will find THE END and see what all this is about.

Patrick: That does not seem bad enough to make this guy your most hated person. Especially when balanced by the fact that he is such a good writer. I don’t know much about how he acts at events like Comic-con’s but I will keep my eyes peeled to see if this report is accurate; every time I have seen him he just seems like a nice, nerdy, guy.

Sara: Yeah, Avatar, Mr. Meaty and Kappa Mikey are great. If you guys have not seen those shows you should find them. Nick Toons has been doing great stuff lately.

Patrick said...

Hurting Summer Glau's feelings is sufficient to make me hate him forever. ^_^