Wednesday, February 27, 2008

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. Remember these comments can be directed at all the readers, not just me.

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.

WRITING FOR THIS BLOG. If you think your free form comment here might be better as its own post, but you do not want it to be public yet, email it to me. My email address is available on my blogger profile page. If I think it will work on this site, your post will be published here with your name in the title of the post. You can propose what you will, I am always looking for reviews of games, tv, movies, music and books.

If you think what you have to say -- new topic or comment on an existing topic -- would be better to hear than to read, use the CALL ME button on the toolbar on the right.


sara d. reiss said...


Mario said...

So, have you thought more on Morrison's compressed history of Batman?

Casey Malone said...

About 5 years ago, I read the first volume of Preacher at a friend's insistence, and was immediately turned off. Volume one, if you haven't read it, is somewhat clumsy and is full of Garth Ennis' particular sensabilities; the super cool or super-funny type of violence that I tend to get turned off by if I don't sense something deeper going on.

Recently, after arguing a great deal about Ennis' with a friend, he insisted I give Preacher a second try - this time reading the first and second trade. This requirement opened my eyes, as the second trade is full of amazing character moments and a genuinely touching and horrifying story of the main character's background.

However, Ennis then chooses to follow this up with more of his signature features: a bisexual pedophile named Jesus DeSade, "Sex Detectives", male-on-male rape played for comedy...

I'm now four trades in, and this pattern of really well written character work alternating with shocking the reader for what appears to be no other reason than shocking them.

I guess I want to know if I'm missing something here. Have you read Preacher, and if so, what do you think of it? Do you think that Ennis creates these situations and characters named Arseface for some greater literary/thematic purpose, or just so the pubescent boy inside of him can giggle at it?

Voice Of The Eagle said...

I'm sure you're aware of Ridley Scott's upcomining adaptation of Blood Meridian. Roger Ebert wrote that the only actor he could imagine playing the Judge is Tom Noonan (Kane from Robocop 2). Agree?

Geoffrey said...

Given the constant Whedon-love, I thought everyone would appreciate this blog post I found on what Doctor Who would be like if Whedon wrote it:

Casey McMahon said...

I recently re-read millars ultimate fantastic four and I realized that my favourite part of the whole marvel zombies (then called ultimate crossover) arcis the end of the first issue. After a whole issue of set up to crossover into the 616 universe reed ends up face to face with the zombie reed richards. It is at this point zombie richards say "ever get the feeling you've been had"? I love this line because i feel that zombie richards isnt just speaking to ultimate richards but the reader as well. I remember for months before this issue came out everyone thought that the 616 and ultimate would meet but it was never actually stated. thoughts?

Ping33 said...

happy real birthday my interweb psudo-friend!

Geoff Klock said...

I am now as old as Batman (29) -- it was at this age that Frank Miller decided to do Dark Knight Returns, because the idea that he was as old as Batman was absurd. I am also now ineligible for the Navy Seals, whose pre boot camp workout I have been following for two years. I mean I was never really going to be a Navy Seal, but still. Crazy.

Mario -- I have decided I love Morrison's Batman because he says Batman is 35, which I can handle. :) Seriously, I enjoyed his most recent issue which I will review tomorrow, but I think his Batman run is as flawed -- and in spots almost as good -- as his X-Men run.

Casey -- I read the first two or three trades of Preacher and could NOT get into it. I tried. I seriously tried. The thing I remember most was that vulgar Irish vampire, who bothered me because it just invoked, in my mind, the whole demographic of high school students who would have thought he was HILARIOUS. Also the Sadism. So for years I stayed away from him. But Punisher: The End, a single issue, turned me around completely, and demonstrated to me that Ennis can write like no mans business. I still have not read his whole Punisher Max thing, but i plan to some day.

VoE -- it has been a long time since I saw Robocop 2 -- written by Frank Miller, for anyone who did not know (it is NOT a good movie, and I know he was not happy with the way they messed with his script). I am not a great Ridley Scott fan, and there seems to me to be something a little cynical about adapting Blood Meridian after the success of No Country for Old Men. But at least it will get people to read the book, which is one of the best novels I have ever read.

Casey -- I agree 100%. That was the only thing I just loved about Millar's UFF run. It was really funny, and smart.

hcduvall said...

Geoff: Happy Birthday sir.

Casey: My own two unsolicited bits about Preacher. The first issue I read of that series was a beautiful single issue about Jesse Cutler's dad in Vietnam and John Wayne. Imagine my surprise when I tried the series proper. I've glommed most of the rest of the series and I think there are more great moments to be had, the mix of material in Preacher is still uneven, though not bad. I think though if Areseface and the like are going to annoy you, you don't want to meet the grail people. If you want to try more Ennis, religion as a topicwise, his Hellblazer run is worth a look--that series has always had strong writers.

Like Geoff mentioned, he writes good Punisher (and War Stories in general). Just a note though, his Punisher runs I'd divide into three parts: Punisher Looney Tunes, where he punches a polar bear while killing the mafia; the Punisher in the Marvel U, with guest stars--still cartoony, and your mileage may vary when you read Ennis writing "straight" super-heroes. It's not The Boys obviously, since he's not going to treat Spider-Man that way, but still; and the Punisher in soldier/war stories like The End. That's the bulk of it, and I think the best of his takes.

Matthew J. Brady said...

I happen to like Preacher, but I came upon it at a time in my life when that type of gross-out humor struck the perfect balance of funny and transgressive. I don't think I would have the same reaction if I read it for the first time now, but because of that I have really fond memories of the series. If that sort of humor turns you off, I would definitely not recommend the series. But if you like it/can tolerate it, the series is sublime, full of nice character moments, observations about religion and morality, and great drama. And the ending is beautiful and romantic (the relationship part, that is. But I also dug the resolution of the main plot, which was especially fun for an atheist/former Christian like me).

Ennis is an interesting writer. He creates really good characters (or uses existing characters really well) and comes up with great stories, especially when dealing with war, honor, and such topics. But he also loves that gross-out humor, which can turn people off. Then there's the propensity for gore and horrific violence, which can be weird when played for comedy, but really effective in a war setting or a horror story. So, I don't know, I guess he's not for everybody, but if you're in tune with his idiosyncrasies, he's great.

Matthew J. Brady said...

Oh, and nobody had anything else to add to the discussions of movie/TV previews? Man, I thought I had some really good thoughts there, and I wanted to see what anybody else would add to the discussion. So I'm all for reviving that thread here.

Voice Of The Eagle said...

"But at least it will get people to read the book, which is one of the best novels I have ever read."

Totally agree. It's up there with Huck Finn and Ulysses.

For the record-I am not a Preacher fan. Not because my worldviews are being mocked, but because my worldviews are being mocked in the most asinine way possible.

Josh Hechinger said...

Anyone who doesn't think they can/will dig Preacher should check out Ennis/McCrea's Hitman.

It's basically everything people seem to like about Preacher (the characterization, the themes of honor and friendship), minus the religion and Vertigo-level gore.

As a DC book, the gross out humor is toned back, which forces Ennis to go for more snappy banter and John-Woo-meets-Tex-Avery slapstick.

Also: Batman, ten-armed gun demons, zombie baby seals, and one of the best Superman stories of all time.

It's probably tied with Starman as the best practically-creator-owned character introduced into DC in the 90s.

Streebo said...

Happy birthday, Geoff!

Mikey said...

Happy Birthday sir.

For what it's worth, there's some neat character work intermittently in Preacher. The two issue history of Tulip O'Hare in particular. Also the arc that takes itself entirely out of the greater plot and sticks Jesse in a small town as sheriff managed to combine both aspects. It's the trade called "Salvation" I think, and it always reminded me of a version of Shane/Palerider.

And the last issue, where you realise that this whole big, funny, gross thing you've been reading wasn't about the violence and profanity and the quest for god at all, which is why that bit of the narrative was always so unsatisfying. It was a love story about Jesse and Tulip's relationship all along. (I followed it monthly in high school for the record. Loved it then, but it doesn't hold up now).

I'm wondering if you'll see Be Kind, Rewind...?

Geoff Klock said...

Mikey: The reviews are confirming my expectations: Gondrey is smart, but he is not that gifted a storyteller. That has moved this from a theater viewing to the netflix que I think.

Casey McMahon said...

I havn't read preacher but i just picked up the boys by ennis and it seems like it has the same problems. The concept and the main characters are great, but there is way to much gore and sex thrown in just for the hell of it. Do we honestly need 3 pages of super heroes running around in a whore house?