Wednesday, July 16, 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.

26 comments:

scott91777 said...

A few things, some of which I'm sure I'll forget and have to come back and add later:

Geoff,

As I'd mentioned to you I picked up the first volume in that Deluxe New X-men edition and have since been going back and reading your post along with it. First of all, you're totally right... Quitely's art seems to instantly elevate a story. Secondly, do you think that maybe Millar managed to pull off the post-human cool and sexiness better in his run on Ultimate X-men? It seems he may have outdone Morrison in most respects of Morrison's own manifesto. Granted, the costumes weren't nearly as cool as Quitely's... but as far as making Wolverine a desirable hunk a la Hugh Jackman, Millar wins.

Jason,

I should be getting essential X-men Volume 4 (which covers the entire Paul Smith run as well as God Loves, Man Kills and some of the stuff from before and after) in the mail in the next couple of days (68 cents on amazon!). A pity it won't be in color because, from what I've seen, the Paul smith run has beautiful art.

Oh, and do you hate me and Geoff for getting you to buy All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder Vol. 1 yet?

I picked up the trade myself (just to have all the issues in a nice handy volume) I also re-read the whole run (taking my time it still takes only about 90 minutes... about 10 minutes an issue) and, more than before, I'm really noticing Lee's art. I mean, even the critics have been saying Lee's art is good but I don't think they've been emphasizing how GOOD... this is, possibly, the best art of his career...not just in terms of line work or the way the characters look but visual storytelling as well. I've actually heard a lot of the delays are because Lee, usually pretty dependable in terms of deadlines, has been scrapping stuff and re-drawing stuff to get things just right. I'd say it's working.

Geoff Klock said...

Scott: Yeah, I really liked Millars UXM, and I argued exactly that in my essay on Millar's run which you can find in the toolbar (X-Men, Emerson, Gnosticism.)

Jason said...

Scott,

Cool about Essential X-Men #4. I wonder what the Paul Smith artwork looks like in black-and-white ... it's true that it looks pretty dazzling with Glynis Oliver's colors.

As far as All-Star Batman goes ... I don't regret buying it. :) That said, I'm not sure I love it. I like what you and Geoff have written about the series, but in practice I'm finding a lot of Miller's writing tricks/tics to be pretty grating.

I agree with you about Jim Lee's artwork, though. I mean, I've always liked his stuff anyway.

Overall, it's intriguing enough that I will buy a second collection when it comes ...

James said...

Geoff: Star Wars has come up a few times, and what little comment you make is not complimentary. Just curious, do you
a) feel the original film(s) have been diminished as the "universe" has expanded
or
b) think it was never any good to begin with.

If b), did you arrive at your dislike/disinterest
i) after the release of the special editions and prequels etc.
or
ii) from the get go.

I'm an a), I guess.

Christian said...

Jim Lee has also been making sweet video game money by providing most of the designs for the new Superhero MMORPG, DC Universe.

http://www.gametrailers.com/player/usermovies/240452.html

And did you guys watch the first arc of Whedon's free web-movie, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog?

http://www.drhorrible.com/act_I.html

Geoff Klock said...

James: The original Star Wars films never really grabbed my imagination the way they seem to have with other people. I mean I like the original Star Wars I guess: certainly at the time I had all the toys and stuff, and loved them. But as I got older I found myself interested in other things: fantasy novels, then D&D, then comics. The interest in comics has persisted. An interest is Star Wars just did not. I never really got into Star Trek either. I never thought about it this way, but I was really bookish as a child, even more so than I am now, and I wonder if i just preferred reading to movies, and that was why Star Wars never really stuck. It is only in the last 10 years that I have tried to balance my interests by focusing on visual stuff more. I saw the new Star Wars movies, but only out of a kind of shared cultural thing: everyone was seeing them so I saw them. Like most people -- sane people (I am looking at you Scott :)) I hated them. But I hated them because they were bad movies, not because they trampled the memory of blah blah blah.

Christian: I am "waiting for the trade" with the musical, I think.

Christian said...

You're hurtin' the industry, Geoff. But I like you so I can forgive it.

(To be serious, act one does work on its own, but I do think, if you can wait, watching it all collectively is a better idea.)

Anonymous said...

Jason, have you tried All-Star Superman? It's uneven (the Bizarro issues are downright clunky) but most of it's very good and a couple of issues -- "The Harvest" leaps to mind -- are brilliant.

Yes, I know you lack the Morrison Appreciation Gene. But check it out anyway.

(And We3, man. You really have to read We3.)


Doug M.

Jason said...

If anyone cares, I think a friend of mine is an actress in that Joss Whedon sing-along blog thing.

Doug M., it'll be a while before I hit WE3, but I'll get to it eventually. All-Star Superman doesn't really interest me at all.

scott91777 said...

Geoff,

No love for Empire even? Actually, I will admit, Episode I is a truly terrible movie and downright unwatchable. Episode II I like because, well, it was everything I WANTED to see as a kid: Obi-Wan and Anakin fighting side by side, a whole group of Jedi fighting together, the Clone Wars, and Yoda weilding a lightsaber (what I loved is that the first time I saw it people started cheering as soon as they heard his cane tapping as he was coming around the corner) and, as for Episode III... It's really just a greek tragedy isn't it? The acting was stiff in places and a lot of the dialogue dreadful (if you're watching any Star Wars movie other than Empire for either of these... you're going to be disapointed) but I like it better than Jedi; it accomplishes all that it needs to accomplish storywise. But, yeah, a lot of my love for the prequels is fannish... and I am also insane.

Oh, read over your Ultimate X-men/gnosticism essay. Good stuff. Did you also notice that there were times kind of out-morrisoned Morrison? The whole Xavier reading the minds of his favorite authors as they are typing? very morrison. As were those later volumes where the Brotherhood lets in mutants from OTHER species.

Also, in a follow-up to last week's X-files post, Sci-Fi is now up to the Agent Dogget (Robert Patrick) episodes and I'm noticing how much the Monster Of The Week episodes lose something without the chemistry between Mulder and Scully. Scully is always reluctant to say what she has to say when cast in the role of the believer whereas Mulder always rattled off his theories to Scully with an almost childlike glee to which she, in a semi-motherly sort of way, offered logical explanations for.

And how cheesy was that 'Mulder falling through the credits' thing they used to open that season's shows? (Jason, since you seem to like little moments of kismet like this: When Sci-Fi aired the first of the Dogget episodes last week, the very first commercial was that new real TV commercial with Robert Patrick as the T-1000)

Jason,

I wish I could get those Paul Smith issues in color, the only collection they did was From The Ashes which is currently out of print (there aren't even any used copies listed on amazon)and I don't have the energy to track down individual issues.

Are there any good collections from the John Romita,Jr run? Didn't he draw Mutant Massacre? Hasn't that been collected at some point?

Madd_Hadder said...

Scott,

I am in the midst of the Dogget episodes myself on DVD. I like the chemistry between the two, but it is just such a different chemistry it still feels weird watching it. At times I almost forget I am watching The X-Files.

On The Star Wars front, I always get all kinds of heat for hating "Empire." Everyone loves how dark it is and what not, but Hammill's acting at the end is so unbelievably bad, it takes that last moment away from me and reminds me how silly the whole thing kind of is.

neilshyminsky said...

Am I the only person who has no interest in Jim Lee's art. The guy can do detail and pretty figures, but everything looks and feels like a statue - I've never felt any sort of movement in even his most action-y panels. It's polished in the same way that Greek sculpture is polished - beautiful, but just so much dead weight.

Streebo said...

I was 4 years old when I first saw Star Wars in the theater. The moment that Obi Wan handed Luke Skywalker his father's lightsaber, literally catalyzed my own life's path as a storyteller. That first blue lightsaber ignited and with it my imagination burst into being. I have vivid memories from one year later, riding my bicycle to the local theater to watch the anniversary re-release of Star Wars. I rode my bike and paid my buck fifty and watched Star Wars every weekend of it's second theatrical run.

Flash forward sixteen years later and my interest in Lucas leads me to Akira Kurosawa, Sergio Leone, and Joseph Campbell. The Zen concepts behind Jedi teachings are useful when studying martial arts - so there were always times when Yoda would creep into training sessions at the dojo and remind me to do or do not. . . I could go on but I will spare you all the details.

In short, all of the Star Wars films satisfy my basic requirement in that they provide me with an above acceptable level of satisfactory entertainment. In the case of the Original films, they provided shifting life experiences. I have a deep psycho-spiritual connection with the Original Star Wars Trilogy. I will admit my approval of the prequels. I'm a sucker for lightsaber fights of any kind. They represent the Angelina Jolie of melee weapons to me. The Original Trilogy was modeled after samurai films while the fights in the Prequels were closer to Hong Kong Kung Fu films. I don't know why I love them so. I suppose that's a question for my psychiatrist.

Streebo said...

Neil - You are not alone. I was always one of Jim Lee's biggest fans, but his work in recent years has seemed so stiff and lifeless. I thought the run on Batman (2003?) was pretty good - but ever since, he seems to be running on auto-pilot.

Jason said...

Scott,

I may have some extra copies of From the Ashes. I'll dig around.

Mutant Massacre reprints Romita Jr.'s last two issues, 210 and 211, but most of the JRJR stuff is -- tragically -- out of print, except in Essentials. As far as Marvel's reprints are concerned, it's as if the issues between Paul Smith's last (175) and Jim Lee's first (248) just don't exist. But there's a wealth of awesome material in that span -- a lot of my favorite stuff, in fact. Ah well.

(Of all things, i see that they are about to reprint the 1983 "Magik" miniseries by Claremont, in a deluxe hardcover. I'm all for giving some of Claremont's lesser known works the hardcover treatment, but ... wow. "Magik," of all things? (Note: I will probably still buy it.)

And yeah, I do like those serendipitous moments -- although that one is a little lost on me, since I'm not really an X-Files guy. (One of those phenomena that passed me by. Bad timing.)

scott91777 said...

Jason,

They're also doing the same thing for The Kitty Pryde and Wolverine mini-series

scott91777 said...

Streebo,

May the force be with you... always.

Mikey said...

Chiming in briefly - Star Wars satisfied everything I wanted from a story as a kid and still want as an adult. Satisfactory arcs, growth, emotional tumult, genuine scares, lows, highs, quasi-mythological nonsense that provides a bit of oomph, kick ass action, a wisecracking man's man who is far cooler than the nominal hero. Also, monsters, aliens, an evil empire and explosions (these are optional).

What's best, as a trilogy it was both epic and contained - it had everything tied up and completed by the end. The prequels are not only bad films but they also don't really add anything, which means there is no point to them (they are not entertaining as they are bad films). I am not bothered that they diminish the original, as I can simply pretend they didn't happen. But I do think they remove some of the dignity from the first trilogy and resent that on principle. (See also - Matrix and Pirates sequels).

James said...

The later films diminish the earlier for me in the sense that they highlight the flaws that were always there. Like, while the prequels are terrible from top to bottom, I see things like bad dialogue and plot-holes and go "shit, it was always kind of like this, wasn't it?"

Oh, Star Wars. What are we gonna do with you?

Paul said...

Rumor has is that Marvel reprinting the Magik mini in anticipation of some sort of event at the end of the year that should herald the return of Illyana Rasputin.

On a side note, the review and podcast site I'm an editor and writer for has changed its name from Comic Addiction to The Comic Addiction (www.thecomicaddiction.com). This has to do with some crazy domain name fiasco. We'll be getting the content up (new and old) over the course of the next week or two.

James said...

Yeah, if Marvel suddenly prints a collection of some obscure material, it's usually a safe bet that it relates to some upcoming story.

Shlomo said...

I just stumbled across this website if anybody is interested:

tvtropes.org/

It has lengthy lists of MANY tropes and MANY examples from all types of story-telling mediums

My favrorite section is the one that organizes them by history, the earliest being: "Older-than-dirt"
tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/OlderThanDirt

Geoff Klock said...

Scott: I liked the later X-files because I liked Dogget and have had a Big Crush on Anabeth Gish since Mystic Pizza.

Jason, Scott, Paul, James: I have the X-Men DVD Rom which costs 40 dollars and gives you ever issue of Uncanny from 1-400. The downside is that the quality is not wonderful: every page has just been chucked onto a scanner. Also, it is not good for crossovers, since all you get is the Uncanny issues. And you have to read it on your computer. On the plus side you get to see awesome adverts. I am really looking forward to Orca when it comes out.

Shlomo: thanks!

Geoff Klock said...

By the way Jason -- I am up to 1985 in my reading of Uncanny. It seems weird that I have now read 10 years of Claremont X-Men.

scott91777 said...

Geoff,

I liked Dogget as a character... I don't remember enough about the She-Mulder character to comment on that... A lot of people have said that it was a 'role reversal' when he came in, with him as Scully's skeptic, but, really, he wasn't a hardline skeptic the way Scully was his thing was always "the good cop who doesn't understand what's going on but wants to get to the bottom of it... regardless of how unbelievable the answer might be"... so, in a way, he was kind of the opposite of a skeptic (the word for which I'm forgetting right now) It was a different dynamic, which was nice, I justed liked the Scully/Mulder one better.

Streebo said...

I am prepared to take a beating for my comments above - but I refuse to sit on my hands and watch A New Hope being thrown under the bus with Phantom Menace.

"In short, all of the Star Wars films satisfy my basic requirement in that they provide me with an above acceptable level of satisfactory entertainment."

That has to be the single ugliest sentence that I've ever written.

Scott: The Force will be with us. Always.