Friday, August 17, 2007

Free Form Comments

Say whatever you want to in the comments to this post -- random, off topic thoughts, ideas, suggestions, questions, recommendations, criticisms (which can be anonymous), surveys, personal news, self-promotion, requests to be added to the blog roll and so on. If a week goes by and I have failed to add you to the blog roll TELL ME TO DO IT AGAIN, and KEEP TELLING ME UNTIL IT GETS DONE. I can be lazy about updating the non-post parts of this site.

ALSO. You can use this space to re-ask me questions you asked me before that I failed to answer because I was too busy (but now might not be). That is often the reason I fail to get back to people, and on a blog, after a few days, the comments thread dies and I just kind of forget about it. Let's use this space to fix that, because it does need to be fixed; I look like a jackass sometimes, leaving people hanging. I will TRY to respond to any questions here.

AND you can use this space to comment on posts that are old enough that no one is reading the comments threads anymore. For example, if you thought of a great quote for the great quote commonplace book, but now no one is reading that, you could put it here.


Jonathan said...

Hey Geoff and everyone. I'm rather ignorant of how one gets readers for one's blog. Anyway...I have a blog....

It is yet to have a consistent theme. If anything it's random information based. So far.

Bill D. said...

Well, I mean, if you're gonna ask people to plug their blogs, I'd just like to point out that Trusty Plinko Stick ( ) makes you popular and heals all wounds.

James said...

Someone had a great idea for a thread on Mark Millar's forum, asking readers if they were to "reset the Big Two", what ten titles would they have each publish, and who would write/draw them? This Geek Fantasy Football stuff is fun - mine were:

The Amazing Spider-Man - Brian Michael Bendis/Chris Bachalo
The Fantastic Four - Mark Millar/Stuart Immonen
Daredevil - Brian Michael Bendis/Leinil Francis Yu
The Uncanny X-Men - Joss Whedon/John Cassaday
Captain America - Mark Millar/Michael Lark
Iron Man - Brian Michael BendisBendis/Bryan Hitch
The Mighty Thor - Mike Mignola/Mike Mignola
The Incredible Hulk - Mark Millar/John Romita Jr.
Ant-Man - Brian K. Vaughan/Tony Harris
The Avengers - Brian Michael Bendis/Olivier Coipel (Guess the line-up!)

Action Comics - Geoff Johns & Richard Donner/Jim Lee
Detective Comics - Grant Morrison/Andy & Adam Kubert (rotating)
The Flash - Grant Morrison/Karl Kerschl
Green Lantern - Geoff Johns/Patrick Gleason
Wonder Woman - Joss Whedon/Terry Dodson
Aquaman - J. Michael Straczynski/Eric Canete
Green Arrow - Brad Meltzer/Ryan Sook
Justice League - Grant Morrison/Ed McGuinness
Hellblazer - Warren Ellis/J. H. Williams III (A Vertigo title set in the DCU)
Sandman - Neil Gaiman/Alex Maleev (As above, but with Wesley Dodds as opposed to Morpheus)

Anyone else?

Geoff Klock said...

I will have to give this a lot more thought. This is all I can come up with right now.


Uncanny X-Men: Joss Whedon and Chris Bachalo

Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane: Sean McKeever and Takeshi Miyazawa

Iron Fist: Matt Fraction, Ed Brubaker and David Aja

Fantastic Four: written by the people who do Lost and drawn by Fabio Moon


Superman: Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely

Batman: Frank Miller on story and art

Justice League: Grant Morrison and EdMcGuinnes

Dark Horse could just put out one book: Mignola on Hellboy

Image could just put out Casanova

Jason Powell said...

Geoff, a statement and a question for you.

Statement: I finally got and read my copy of the Cassanova Vol. 1 hardcover. Obviously you've raved about it many times in many forums but the single line that had really made me curious was your saying that its "surface is too dense to pick apart in a single reading." Very evocatively worded sentence, I thought, and I wanted to read the book that inspired it. I was happy to discover that it was true. There really is a lot going on, and in such a way where you glide along the surface picking up as much as you can on the way and hope you didn't miss anything TOO important. I haven't re-read it a second time to see all the stuff I missed yet.

Question: Would maybe be answered by the aforementioned re-read-that-hasn't-happened-yet, BUT -- what I didn't get was the warm-fuzzy-toned ending with him and his sister. Their relationship was pretty insane and not at all warm throughout the book, but then they seem to share this heartfelt, familial good-bye at the end. If there was a place where the transition occurred, somewhere amidst the densely-packed information, that's one I missed.

troy wilson said...

There's another Dr. K. who blogs about comics. He's an English professor at a small Southern university. Worth checking out and worth adding to the blog roll.

scott s said...

Clearly the av club has a lame-o hipster bias against superhero comics, and they're way overenthusiastic about some of the independent crap. nevertheless i think most of the people who read this blog have a similar bias aginst harsh-your-boner indy comics. i certainly do

but i ignore the av club superhero comics reviews, and end up finding some cool or interesting "indy" (non-superhero) stuff that i wouldnt normally follow or know about on my own.

Geoff: flipping around the av club discussion, why don't you review or discuss any hipster "indy" comics?

Geoff Klock said...

JP: I love me some Casanova. It is my favorite comic book of all time. I have gone on and on and on and on about how great it is, perhaps to the point of mind-numbing stupidity. I also know Matt Fraction reads this blog, and occasionally comments here. I hope this bit next bit will not offend him, but I am not about to avoid good, direct questions from people who post here.

I did not realize how much "heart" matters to Fraction in Casanova until I heard Fraction talk about it in the Comic Geek Speak interview we did. He did not like the comparison of Kill Bill vol 1 to Casanova because he felt Kill Bill vol 1 had no heart. That kind of surprised me. It wasn't that I thought of Casanova (the book) as heartless; it is just that there was so much right with it I did not think the heart Fraction was talking about was vital to the book's success. I did not notice he was going for that effect so much. You can see heart I think in both Kill Bill vol 1 and in Casanova but in both cases I think the heart of both is how much FUN the creators are having, and how clearly they LOVE what they are doing, and the influences they are drawing on. That Fraction's personal heart is the heart of the book is clear to me from the backmatter to issue 7.

When I got to that moment in 7 where the tone goes warm and fuzzy I just read it as one more of-the-wall surface effect: monks fused together in a wad! floating head exposition! hot girls! an emotional ending! robots! But from the interview I did with Fraction it was clear that he did not see it like that -- he sees emotional moments like that as the core that anchors the surface. If I am right that he sees it that way, and if you read it that way, you might call that brother-sister good bye a small error, an un-earned emotional weight. But if you read it like me it's just one more pure surface crazy throw everything at the wall and -- MY GOD --EVERYTHING sticks moment that makes Casanova fun.

Or I just need to re-read Casanova again with this in mind: there may be more justification for their good-bye than I remember. You can always argue that their antagonism is displaced love, that brothers and sisters always fight but really love each other through and through, but that it not what I would argue. I would argue the emotion is just one more nutzo surface effect, one more thing to add to the mix at the close of the book because -- as the narration of a fight scene in issue 2 reads -- THE GENRE DEMANDS IT!

[This is a good enought topic maybe I should copy and paste it to a post, then alert Fraction to weigh in...]

Geoff Klock said...

Troy: thanks

Scott: cause I don't know anything about them.

troy wilson said...

Scott S: As far as indy comics go, Geoff has easily been one of Casanova's most enthusiastic and articulate proponents. But you probably mean non-genre indy material, a la Chris Ware, Dan Clowes, the Hernandez Bros, etc.

(Back to genre material, though: if anyone of you haven't read Jim Rugg's Street Angel, you've gotta check it out. "Orphan of the streets and skateboarding daughter of justice, Jesse Sanchez fights a never ending battle against the forces of evil, nepotism, ninjas, and hunger as Street Angel." It's tons of fun. Doesn't skim well, but it reads like a dream. Check out rave reviews and preview pages at

By the way, here's a question I've been meaning to ask everyone here for awhile: what do you want out of your comics, and is it significantly different from what you want out of other forms of entertainment? For instance, are there kinds of material you would watch on TV, but wouldn't check out in comics form and vice versa? I've just read the first two Y: The Last Man trades and, while it's very good at what it does, I can't help but think it would be even better as a TV show with the actors' performances selling it.

scott s said...

yeah troy, that was kinda my point. i feel like the chances of finding something to match the experimental coolness, fun or heart of casanova are better the further you get from superhero maxi-events. And geoff's chances of freelance comics reviews in mainstream publications increase the further he gets from superhero comics

fraction. said...

The hardest thing I ever had to do was forgive someone that broke my heart.

"This / Is the process whereby pain of the past in its pastness / May be converted into the future tense / Of joy," as Robert Penn Warren wrote.

Or "War is over," as Casanova/I stole&said, at the instant when he saw the truth in it. And what's the follow-up to that classic line? "If you want it."

I wanted it, or needed it, maybe, as did Casanova. And thus did the pain of the past begin its miraculous transmutation through time.

You might choose to see how that motif exists throughout the rest of the work if you wish or, as you do now, as an unearned (or at least questionable) gratuity, or, as Geoff does, yet another Nouvelle Vague-style crescendo piled upon crescendo that achieves subversiveness by being exactly the kind of traditional third-act payoff CASANOVA had set one up to not expect, or, most simply, just flip the page to where the villain of the piece and three naked women are preparing to eat a guy for laffs. I'm just happy you read it at all, and loaned it space in your head, even for a little while.

I don't know how anybody forgives anybody, but I believe in its power and profundity.

Geoff Klock said...

Fraction: I think it is really nice that you quote poetry accurately, with the slashes to show line breaks. English major?

Jason Powell said...

I don't mean to imply that I thought it was "unearned" or "unjustified." More like, incongruous. But really -- when I said it was something I "didn't get," I really was putting the onus on myself -- it wasn't one of those disingenuous "I'm sorry, but I just don't get this" ploys that critics sometimes use to try and take the edge off the fact that they hate something.

So I wasn't sure if maybe there was a thread buried among the crazy latticework of Cassanova that set me up properly for the warm, fuzzy ending and I just missed it. (I read it all in one night, and I really was thinking periodically as I was reading, thoughts like, "Okay, I think I've got it all straight so far -- no, wait -- what? Oh yeah, right, I remember that.")

Maybe a good way of explaining my reaction is not to say that I wondered whether the ending was "earned" or not, but rather whether this was the ending I was supposed to want. Like, should I have been rooting all along for the brother and sister to reconcile?

Hmm. Now after all this talk I think I'll just have to read it again to see how it strikes me on the second go-round.

Anyway, cool to have both Geoff and the author himself weigh in. And P.S. to Mr. Fraction -- I love the bit where that one guy shoots the other guy for saying that The Beatles are overrated. Honestly, who among us hasn't wanted to do that?

Jason Powell said...

My picks for Big Two "reset" titles:

Fantastic Four
Alan Moore and Chris Sprouse. The team from "Tom Strong" -- which most of the time pretty much WAS the Fantastic Four.

Sean McKeever and Takeshi Miyazawa, the team from Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane. Good call, Geoff.

Reboot to the original five and just get the guys from First Class, Jeff Parker and Roger Cruz. Keep everything about First Class, but MINUS the implication that these stories are fitting between the cracks of the original silver age stuff by Lee, Kirby, Thomas, et al.

Peter David and Gary Frank. Nostalgic choice. But they're both still doing stuff -- and both still doing Hulk stuff now and then. Put 'em back together!

Ann Nocenti and JH Williams III

Agents of Atlas
Jeff Parker and Leonard Kirk. The miniseries was fun, and it would be a cool ongoing. And these characters could justifiably survive a re-boot because they're all from the '50s.

(Great Lakes) Avengers
Dan Slott and Kyle Baker.
I have no use for the "real" Avengers, and there need to be more superhero comics set in Milwaukee. These guys shouldn't justifiably survive a reboot, since they were born in the late '80s. But I don't care. We Milwaukeeans don't play by the rules.

Chris Claremont and Jim Lee. Gotta fit my main man Claremont somewhere into the new regime.

Jim Kreuger and Travis Charest

Wonder Woman
Isn't Adam Hughes going to be writing and drawing the All-Star version? That sounds cool, I'd go with that.

Justice League
Mark Waid and Marc Silvestri

James said...

Yeah, I don't know what I'm doing picking the Kuberts when people like Travis Charest, Gabriel Bá and Fabio Moon are in the world (sorry, Kuberts!) Got too hung up on what's being published now, I guess.

Re: Casanova, I felt that just at it earned every nipple, it earned the emotional moments too. (If you want unearned emotional weight, check out post-Napoleon Dynamite indie flick, Eagle Vs. Shark. Yowser.)

Jason Powell said...

Of course, the Kuberts would actually be able to maintain a monthly schedule, probably, unlike Charest. That was wishful thinking on my part, since it's all fantasy anyway.

To me, the quintessence of "unearned emotional moments" is Garden State.

Streebo said...

I'm so glad I got the chance to read this blog today. I felt that the warm fuzzy ending in Casanova was justified. Why? I couldn't tell you - I just thought it worked the first time I read through it. It's more than overdue for a re-reading.

I've been so busy with the recent horror convention and my own work that my time with comics has been slowly slipping away from me.

Now, for my shameless shilling. . .

For anyone interested, this past weekend, I recorded live coverage of the single largest horror convention on the East coast - the Horrorfind.

The videos are on Youtube.

For my dream reboot. . .


Fantastic Four - John Byrne on story, art, and inking.
Captain America - Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting
Power Man and Iron Fist - Fraction, Brubaker, and Aja
Shang Chi Master of Kung Fu - Fraction, Brubaker, and Aja
The Amazing Spider Man - Brian Michael Bendis and John Romita Jr.
The Incredible Hulk - Bruce Jones and John Romita Jr.
Mighty Thor - George Perez story and art
The Invincible Iron Man - Mark Millar and Steve McNiven
Astonishing X-Men - Joss WHedon and John Cassaday
The Order - Fraction and Kitson!

DC -

Superman - Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely
Batman - Frank Miller story and art with Klaus Janson inking and Lynn Varley colors.

JLA - Grant Morrison and Jim Lee
The Flash - Mark Waid and Mike Weiringo (RIP Ringo!)

I can't think of any other DC combos right now.

Vertigo -

The Invisibles - Grant Morrison with Phil Jiminez and Jill Thompson

Wildstorm -

Planetary - Warren Eliis and John Cassaday

Authority - Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch

Image - should continue to publish Casanova and Invincible!

Avatar -

Black Summer - Warren Ellis and Juan Joe Ryp.

fraction. said...


i didn't mean "unearned" as a perjorative there at all, or to correct you somehow if you did indeed feel that way-- i just didn't want to sound like Mr. Writer Guy coming down from on high and instructing you on THE way to interact with the text because you so clearly know nothing and blah blah. i hate hate hate that shit, and you see it on the internet all the time, you know?

anyway, it was a good question so i wanted to respond a little-- not correct you, but toss it out there for consideration.

the only invalid way to respond to the work-- mine, yours, anybody's-- is to say i don't get it, as that says nothing about the work and everything about you (the royal you, as it were, and not the you-you). because that's really just saying i like what i know. in which case you've nothing to say about anything new at all.

but that's another show, oprah.

Christian said...

Matt said it was okay a little above, so now I'll superimpose my thinking on Cass. You might say that the emotional payoff is unearned, but the entire catalyst for everything that goes on reaches back to Zeph's death in #1. I'd argue that everything Cass does in #1 is his way of dealing with that loss; I mean, he goes out, gets high, gets in a fight, gets laid and falls in with a bad crowd. That's certainly staples of the spy action genre in general, but it's all as a reaction to Zeph getting killed by her own evil twin and something not entirely uncommon when dealing with loss. When Zeph turns out to only be sorta-dead, he shuts off and goes back into juvenile sibling rivalry until about #3 when he slowly comes to the realisation that he might not like the person he's become and starts changing.

Of course I'm full of shit on a regular basis, but that's just how I see it.

Geoff Klock said...

Ok, I just isolated the Casanova conversation into a new post, which will be a better place to comment on the subject. Christian: I am moving this post to that comment thread for you since you posted while I was putting the new post together.

Geoff Klock said...

I added everyone who I was asked to add, and I also added Rotten Tomatoes, because I am about to teach a class on film reviews and need to be on that site like every day.

Ping33 said...


Geoff Klock said...

Ping is having some kind of medical emergency. Or Bioshock is the name of some kind of comic book.

I have to get whatever Ping recommends, because he recommended All Star Batman and Casanova.

Ping33 said...

Bioshock is a Video Game: Thematically based on Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, functionally it's set in an alternate past art deco city under the sea. Your character shoots guns and wields psyonic super-powers.
It's out this week and the Demo on XboxLive is the single greatest 20 minutes of videogaming I have ever experienced. Bar None.
It wholly consumes my Pop culture being.