Friday, September 21, 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, introductions if you have never commented before, 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.

You do not have to have a blogger account or gmail account to post a comment -- you can write a comment, write your name at the bottom of your comment like an e mail, and then post using the "anonymous" option.


Geoff Klock said...

It is funny how my mood on the blog is not connected at all to my mood in real life. I have been in a great mood lately, but the blog posts have been a bit grumpy. I think it is because I am back to teaching, and it takes a lot out of me.

Christian said...

So did you ever try out Bioshock? For curiosity's sake.

Geoff Klock said...

I would love to try it but I do not own a videogame machine of any kind. I keep wanting to get one, but the games are so time consuming I do not know where the time would come from.

My friend Jill, who works for this gamers magazine, sent me an article about this game Shadow of the Colossus that sounded really cool, but again, no video games over here.

actually that is a lie. I have a borrowed playstation2 and Dance Dance Revolution.

Roger said...

Bioshock RULES. It is a little bit repetitive (in terms of the enemies you have to fight), but everything else is amazing.

But now I feel guilty because I should be writing my dissertation and not wasting my time killing splicer mutants beneath the sea...sigh.

Jason Powell said...

You should blog about "Chicken Run" soon.

Also, The Maxx.

Geoff Klock said...

CHICKEN RUN! Yeah, I LOVE that movie. I want to do the Maxx but I have to get the comics out of storage, and they are kinda hard to get to.

Jason Powell said...

Yeah, you mentioned you loved it when you blogged about Ratatoullie. I was reminded of it because me and some friends were talking about all the different Aardman projects and which ones are our favorites. I'd really like to read your take on it. (I should watch it again first, so I'm ready for it when it comes.)

Oh, I was reminded of another thing: I paged through Douglas Wolk's new book in the store last week. I didn't like it at all. Almost immediately after reading just a few pages I was reminded of your complaints about the recent Onion AV Club cross-talk about comics. How it was all stuff that comic book fans already know and non-fans don't really care about.

That's what the Wolk book is. I honestly can't see anybody who isn't already immersed in the culture of comics picking it up -- but then the book is all stuff that that culture knows. As you pointed out in the thread below, comics has a hardcore fanbase of people who know *everything.* So if you're gonna do a book about it, you really have to dig deeper or do something new. (For example, a thesis that applies Bloom's poetic theory to comics, and that's just off the top of my head.)

I started to read the chapter on Alan Moore, figuring "I love Alan Moore, so this is the chapter that will intrigue me." It was paragraph after paragraph of stuff I already know, interspersed occasionally with opinions (not backed up) that I disagree with and even one factual error, as well as some really, really basic observations about Moore's writing style.

So yeah, I really strongly disliked it. This seemed like the place to air that grievance.

Eric (APredator) Bloxsom said...

You happen to see the Iron Man trailer over at I don't know how it will be but i'm already excited to see it next year. Hollywood makes me plan my life years in advance, lol.

Christian said...

Shadow of the Collosus is great as well, even if I haven't found time to finish it yet. I lent it to a friend and just got it back a month ago.

Otherwise I'm looking forward to Team Fortress 2, based on the rave reviews and the great ads.

(Heavy Weapons Guy)

There's one for the ponderous Engineer, who explains the differece between solving philosophical problems and practical ones, and the demented Soldier, who explains where the term Zoo comes from, as well. They're equally hilarious.

Ping33 said...

Top 10 Games of all time (no order)

Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker (yeah bitch! better than Ocarina of Time, the graphics are timeless and all zelda games are basically the same anyway)


Jet Set Radio Future



Nights: Into Dreams

Super Metroid

Every Extend Extra


RESERVED FOR THE NOW (Bioshock... Hopefully Mass Effect)

neilshyminsky said...

Jason: And this sort of wasting-our-time-with-stuff-we-already-know or peddling-it-to-folks-that-don't-care (while advertising to both) crap isn't limited to the Onion and Wolk. Aside from Geoff's book and maybe Jeff McLaughlin's 'Comics as Philosophy', I can't even recall a Book About Comics that approaches the standards of serious criticism. Anyone here ever read the Len Wein edited 'Unauthorized X-Men'? It is absolutely the worst sort offender in this regard.

I can recall talking to a former professor of mine who taught an undergraduate course on comics - he told me that the most common mistakes his students make is to approach comics as if they're wholly undiscovered, as if no one has ever approached them in a critical way. And this mistake is hardly limited to undergraduate students. In fact, it's the same mistake that most published academics seem to make with their own books. And it just shouldn't still be happening.

Jason Powell said...

Neil, you may or may not remember that we traded a few words on "The Unauthorized X-Men" back in the day. For some reason, that book annoyed me less than Wolk's -- perhaps because TUX didn't have the same air of pretention to it.

Have you read the Wolk book? Would you agree that it's pretty bad, or am I perhaps being unduly harsh? I tried to jump around to see if other parts would annoy me less, but it was more of the same. For instance, I learned in the Dave Sim chapter that the last third of Cerebus is mired in a lot of misogynist ranting. Gosh, what an insight! I had never heard that except in every other article anyone's ever written about Cerebus ...


neilshyminsky said...

Jason: Right! You were the one who responded when I asked for opinions before I bought it, right? Perhaps Wein's book is unpretentious (I haven't taken a look at the Wolk book), but the book is no less forgivable, to my mind. It makes the same sorts of banal, oft-repeated observations that I think you're attributing to Wolk's book, but its lack of even the appearance of academic rigor makes it seem as if these writers believe themselves to be the first people to ever notice that, say, a super-hero team resembles a pantheon of gods, or that mutants could be a metaphor for teenagers. This is what passes for comics criticism? I make fun of this stuff to my students, to my friends, and in my writing - and someone published an entire book of it?!

Mitch said...

Neil and Jason-

I too flipped through Wolk's book too and wasn't impressed enough to buy it. I like that he does "profiles" of different creators (Moore, Morrison), but disliked his reading of almost everyone. I mean, how many times can you read someone gush over Invisibles by saying stuff like: "Mind-blowing! Marque de Sade and John Lennon in ONE place! Whoa!" Not that he actually says that, but that's the sorts of observations he made.

Neil- Good point that people often treat comics as "undiscovered". Ridiculous.

Ping- Joust is being made into a MOVIE! Can you believe that!?? Also, Nights: Into Dreams was SO FAR beyond the other stuff coming out for Sega Saturn.

Jason Powell said...

Neil, yeah, you had said at the time that I was being perhaps too forgiving of TUX. And I probably was. Ah well. What can I say? I don't always have the lasers on, I guess.

neilshyminsky said...

Jason: Lasers? Hell, sometimes I think I overuse the death ray. :)

Ping33 said...

Mitch: I could actually are Joust being a good basis for a movie. But then, I didn't see how Lair could possibly be bad so...

Timothy Callahan said...

Hitman/JLA #1 was the best portrayal of the Justice League in years.

Mitch said...


I don't know if you've seen this yet, it's a LOST Season 4 Preview...

... in only the way LOST can do it:

After you watch it once, go through and look at all the single frame flashes-- AWESOME!

Then after you're done that, try googling "Casimir Effect"-- it's mentioned in the video. Let the fun begin!

I can't believe we have to wait till January.

Geoff Klock said...


I am going to have to do a spoiler thread at some point but that explains a couple of things.


What do you think the significance of the Casmir Effect is. I read the Wiki entry on it but did not get much out of it.

Geoff Klock said...

you know what -- that is getting its own post right now.