Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Is this better?

-Poll is still open, and it's the most popular one to date.

-Aw christ, I think we have a new ubiquitous meme contender. For those who haven't been paying attention, "Youtube > Captain America" is the reigning champ. "Radioactive spider jism" seems to have completely dropped off the charts. "I cried for 93 minutes" never really took off, but "Emo/Crying Superman" and "Supergirl is messed up" are starting to look like evergreens. If you want deeper, up-to-the-minute information, the Dick Hyacinth Meme Investor Newswatch is a bargain at $149 for a full year of issues.

-Memes actually worthy of discussion: Free Comic Book Day is proving to be more problematic than one would have guessed. I think there was a similar discussion last year (and probably the year before), right? I'm guessing there weren't 30+ publishers then, though.

-Guy reads GI Joe? Also, I don't believe that's quite the right use of the word "sycophant" there--every definition I've encountered suggests that a sycophant seeks "favor" or "advantage;" to put it more colloquially, he or she "sucks up" to the subject of their fawning. I would describe those people who are interested in buying a Lone Ranger comic just for Cassaday cover art more as "fanatics," or perhaps "zealots" or even "partisans." But they're not really sycophants, unless Cassaday has a message board with a bunch of servile, fawning admirers who defend his every move. And really, that's more of a writer thing.

Also: (1) That is a shitload of stuff to buy, but I generally think that whenever anyone posts a personal shopping list. And I think I'm kind of cheap. (2) You probably don't want to start with Dungeon Parade--the one to get first is volume 1 of Zenith.

-Heidi McDonald has some depressing observations about what Marvel/DC fans want. (Everyone knows you were talking about Geoff Johns, BTW. No need to protect his identity.) This is one of the things that makes the the comics-related internet tragically funny; even as people (okay, bloggers) are complaining about crossovers, many more are combing the transcripts of convention panels for clues about the upcoming mega-event(s). Have you ever read any of these Q&A sessions on Newsarama? Half the questions are somehow related to obscure points of continuity. The other half ask, "When is ________ coming back?"

Even the allegedly more sophisticated fans engage in this. The continued success of Ultimate Spider-Man is due in large part to the slow trickle of Ultimized characters appearing month after month. Justice League Unlimited shared this dynamic--part of its appeal was the audience's desire to see Bruce Timm-ized versions of obscure DC characters. (The worst offender? Modern Gasoline Alley, where Uncle Walt is constantly interacting with old comic strip characters. It's shameless, and it's been going on for at least 20 years.)

As I've said before, DC and Marvel both seem to be moving towards a publishing model which gives popular creators the opportunity to use their intellectual properties in a continuity-agnostic setting. Meanwhile, their regular line of comics are getting more incestuous, their success determined by how well the tie in to the larger universe. Thankfully, the audience for the latter will probably atrophy due to age and fatigue. (And lack of reproduction! Right? Right?)

-Heidi also wants me to be meaner. Then post something stupid, damn it. Pick some fights. Post some scans with "AQUAMAN SUXXXORS"-type commentary. I can only work with what I'm given.

-Dan Nadel demonstrates the kind of decisiveness which has made art/literary comics such a major force in the publishing world. (Semi-funny aside: I was talking to my comics dealer the other day as he was unpacking some of his weekly shipment. He got out Comics Comics and wondered aloud what-the-hell-is-this and why-did-I-order-it. I reminded him of Art Out of Time and he kind of shrugged and moved on.)

-I'm starting to think Shane Bailey doesn't get it. Remember, I won't start compiling the Wavers of the Bloody Shirt list until Thursday. I'm sure the sharper employees of the Outrage Mill will be busy with some fresher controversy by then.


Shane Bailey said...

I just talk about what everyone else is talking about. It wouldn't be a very good blog roundup if I didn't mention it.

I actually do get that you're tired of hearing about it and you're tired of event after event, but it is true that you can't talk about any of Marvel's current 616 universe titles without mentioning it at least in passing.

Is talking about not talking about Civil War still talking about Civil War? If so, then you should probably stop mentioning it.

Shane Bailey said...

Besides, the title alluded to your point.

"But we swallow it, and we see nothing change"

It's from Bad Religion.

Dick Hyacinth said...

I'm actually only tired of hearing the same criticism of it over and over. If anyone has anything new or insightful to say about it, I'll be happy to hear it. And obviously it must be mentioned in passing in order to discuss Marvel's current line up.

With the latest post-CW one-shot apparently coming out tomorrow, bloggers now have a chance to prove that they can talk about what's going on in Marvel's fictional universe without resorting to a recitation of the same talking points I've read over and over. (That's assuming Marvel is playing fair and this is actually a forward-looking comic, rather than a recap of the miniseries. If it's the latter, I see no reason to do much more than dismiss it out of hand and move on to a more interesting subject.)

Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

I used "sycophant" because I was referring to the many suck-ups in the blogiverse, the wannabe creators who uncritically fawn over certain established creators. It's a step to the right of fanatics, whose fawning is usually unconditional.

As for the size of the "On the Shelves" list -- What's wrong with GI Joe? I'm a man of varied tastes! -- that's always a mix of comics I'm actually planning to buy and others I have just have something to say about. My final weekly tally is always an emotional response, driven as much by what I do and don't feel like reading at that moment as by an appealing cover or favorite character.

As for FCBD, retailer participation has stagnated the past couple of years at just under 2,000 accounts, but considering the vague definition of a Diamond account -- the bodega down the street from me carries about 10-15 different Marvel/DC titles, handful of copies of each, but they're not an FCBD candidate -- it may be that it's actually maxed out. If that's the case, it's even more imperative that the model changes towards something like what I suggested at Johanna's blog.

Shane Bailey said...

That makes more sense than not talking about it at all. Thanks for clarifying.

Dick Hyacinth said...

The problem with publicizing this distinction is that I fear everyone thinks they have something new or insightful to say, when in reality they don't. So please, fellow bloggers, when you're considering writing yet another piece on Civil War, think about whether or not you actually have anything worthwhile to say. Most of you won't.

Guy, I still don't think sycophant is the word, unless there's a bunch of people I don't know about who are all, "j-cass is my dogg i'm hella buyin this loen ranger cuz his composition is soooo tight." (This is how I imagine John Cassaday sycophants would talk--like a poor emulation of the dialogue from Achewood.) Also, most aspiring creator type bloggers are would-be writers, not artists, cause writing is something anyone can do, but art is an arcane subject upon which the uninitiated should not comment. It involves mysterious concepts like perspective and light sources, whereas writers don't have to learn any craft other than touch typing.

Jones, one of the Jones boys said...

I've got to learn to touch-type?! But I've already written a fifty-page proposal for what DC must do to save Booster Gold. Dan Didio--if you're reading, call me!

Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

It involves mysterious concepts like perspective and light sources, whereas writers don't have to learn any craft other than touch typing.

LOL! Dick wins. ;-)

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