Wednesday, October 01, 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.


Troy Wilson said...

October 2008 is International School Library Month, so I'm launching my year-long Be A Book Hero campaign (
Hopefully, it'll draw attention to both my writing and to the needs of
school libraries across North America.

For each donation of $20 (US or CAD) I receive, I will:

A) mail a personalized copy of my acclaimed picture book, Perfect
Man, to the North American school library of the donor's choice;
B) mail the school a cartoony 8 1/2 x 11 sketch of me as the
superhero of the donor's choosing, with a caption that reads, "What
are your super powers?";
and C) give $7.50 to Love of Reading (Canada) or Reader to Reader(US).

Love of Reading and Reader to Reader both do great work to help
school libraries.

Perfect Man has been praised by everyone from the Florida Reading Association to Stan "The Man" Lee. It's about a boy whose favorite superhero retires, leaving him to discover his own super power (the ability to write very, very, very well) with the help of a wonderful teacher.

Anyway, feel free to partipate and/or spread the word.

Mikey said...

I read this essay on Stan Lee when it was first printed in TCJ and stumbled across it again today.

I think it's great, and gets at why so many (myself included) have always had such mixed feelings towards Stan (he'd want you to call him Stan).

Ultimate Matt said...

Shameless self-promotion: I restarted my blog and put up a few posts this week, with some more to come. Go read if you feel like seeing me babble about comic books, I love comments.

Streebo said...

Geoff - If you were going to write a sequel to your book How to Read Super Hero Comics and Why today - what comics would you use for examples?

To everyone: If the last Age of Superheroes was the Dark Age - what age are we in now? You do realize that we're halfway through the twenty year cycle?

scott91777 said...


I've totally been meaning to mention the idea of a "More How To Read Super Hero comics and Why"

I definitely think AS Superman and ASBARTBW (as well as DKSA) would be definite inclusions, perhaps, also Astonishing X-men... even going back and looking at the Claremont Era X-men (as well as the Miller Daredevil) would be a good opening to the book.

I would say that we are in the 'Nostalgic Age'... a predominant theme over the last 10 years has been the 'going back to the Silver Age ' theme that, perhaps, gained its greatest expression in AS Superman... Then again, that's mainly just DC... Stuff like the Authority and Marvel's Ultimates have taken the 'Dark Age' ideals to their most extreme.

scott91777 said...

Geoff and Mikey,

In case you missed it, I've posted another response to our 'Batman-Robin-Gordon-love-triangle' discussion below.


We request your expertise in relation to things homosocial and homosexual.

Also, check out AJ Jacob's The Year of Living Biblically... great read.

I also picked up Scott McCloud's 'The Complete Black & White ZOT!'... that's next on my list.

If you like U2, Under a Blood Red Sky: Live at Red Rocks was just released remastered and, for the first time, on DVD along with the accompanying EP. Looks and sounds great and Effectively brings to a close the remastering of 'phase one U2'

sara d. reiss said...

I've been thinking a lot lately about the status of beauty and romance in visual art. I'm not talking about spectacle or ironic hipster rock-and-roller stuff. nor nihilistic punk trash aesthetics. Gondry is criticized (esp. in the most recent "My Year of Flops" on the AV Club) for tapping too much in to his inner-child and for having " little use for cynicism or protective irony." And yes, certainly things that have too much "magic" (or child-like wonder, etc) without any weight, any adult anxiety at all, can threaten to float away or just simply be boring.

however, why can visual art be more about timeless emotion, not located temporally and not detached from humanity?

anyway. this is just a boring rant by a boring artist. I know that visual art has very little real-estate in pop culture. hell, in all culture. but i thought if i went public with this confusing and niggling idea i've been mulling over, perhaps I'd find a new thought.

Geoff Klock said...

Streebo -- all the comics in my favorites list that were not in How to Read Superhero Comics and Why. And also New X-Men since I already wrote so much on it. But the truth is that in many ways this blog is kind of the sequel to the superhero book.

Mikey said...

Scott - the 'Nostalgic Age' re-termed with a forward-motion that 'nostalgia' doesn't quite allow for (in its accepted definition):

We're in The Prismatic Age!. (I love this.)

"The ideology of the Prismatic Age, what it insistently moves toward, is that all parts are active, all of the time."

Actually, this may already have started to recede.....

neilshyminsky said...

scott: Done.

mikey: Maybe the prismatic age isn't receding so much as refracting? I'm not even being snarky - a prism can refract/reflect light in different directions, so it makes sense that we could redirect our attention from one beam to another. Still coming from the same prism, though.

Streebo said...

I would like to challenge this blog to name this Age of Superheroes. We're over halfway through it and it needs proper direction.

I've been referring to it as the Diamond Age. I use that term for the obvious reference to the monopoly Diamond holds over comic distribution and two for the Buddhist (or was it Hindu?) symbolism of the diamond as a symbol of truth. There's a quote from Geoff's favorite writer Joseph Campbell that gave me the idea. I need to dig it up for you.

Streebo said...

Thanks for the link, Mikey!

Mikey said...

Streebo - good challenge.

Neil - I stuck in an answer to why I'm not keen on Lex/Leo. Put another, shorter way: I am not a 'look for the twist' kind of guy, I guess.

neilshyminsky said...

mikey: I don't know that I would call it a "twist", though. A twist forces you to radically reorient your relation to the text and its message - but the Leo/Lex revelation only strengthens Superman's argument and faith in humanity to improve upon itself. If Lex isn't Leo, then Lex remains a counter-argument to Superman's message of hope; but if they're the same person, Lex actually becomes emblematic of humanity's ability to exceed its limits.

scott91777 said...


a diamond is also a prism!

Mikey said...

Scott for the win!

Neil - yeah, I realised that (it isn't a twist unlesss it's revealed on the last page!), but I didn't want to put "I'm not a 'look for underlying layers of meaning that expand the narrative, the plot and central themes in a coherent and apt manner' kind of guy I guess." Mainly cos often (usually) I am.

I do take your point, and it is right, whether the Leo-Lex thing is there or not. The idea of Lex transcending his limits and reinforcing Superman's benign message is totally coherent with and nicely caps off the book's plot and (potential) message. And him proving Superman's point is a nice twist on the character's position as arch-nemesis to boot, and kind of typically Morrisonian I'd wager.

But I don't think Superman's argument needs to be or should be strengthened or proved. The point of Luthor is he's the bad guy and as such he's always going to run counter to Superman's argument because, well, someone has to (and Superman knows this).

But I’d like to think the story ends simply - ultimately the good guy punches out the bad guy. Because, y'know, superheroes. And I get that what you’re suggesting is outwith the text – the story does end simply but this additional layer is there if you want it, even if it’s outside the diegesis. For me I guess it just doesn’t need the additional – totally appropriate – frisson Leo-as-Lex brings.

Oh for the days when Luthor was simply the guy who hated everything because he was bald.....

Streebo said...

I've been digging through the Hero With A Thousand Faces for the passage by Campbell but I'm not having any luck. I wish I had written it down at the time - but I never planned to make a thesis out of it. It was just an idea. :(

Kyle said...

regarding the movie music post:

In "That Thing You Do" the new Play-tone band The Wonders are starstruck before a concert for their label. They begin singing an artist's song to him. He walks away as they keep singing, and we cut to him performing the song. (Sort of the muzak transition backwards via Cameron Crowe's sing-alongs.)