Thursday, March 29, 2007

Tell me what I want to hear

-Dirk vs. Heidi now looks something like tenured professors debating the similarities between Dutch and American Quaker abolitionists. (History quiz: anyone know what I'm referring to right there?). There's something important buried underneath all this, but I'm not really eager to dig it out. I need more personal invective or denunciations of each other's approach to journalism. Implications of ethical shortcomings would also be welcome.

But wait! McDonald's response broadens the scope of the argument to manga vs. non-manga (she's calling them "Occidental" comics; I'm going to stay away from that terminology cause it seems problematic in a way that I can't quite put my finger on at this time). But then the scope of the argument narrows again at the end to something along the lines of "Dirk Deppey is prejudiced against non-manga comics, to the point of denying their apparent success." I do take issue with this, however:

"I’m all for a return in Occidental comics to accessible, populist work that is driven by a single creator’s vision."

I don't know. This seems to be setting up a golden age* that didn't actually exist. My understanding is that DC's editors always had a pretty heavy hand in plotting, while at Marvel Stan Lee was both editing AND plotting. Plus all these comics were collaborative. I guess McDonald could be referring to newspaper comics or Underground Comix, but I have the sneaking suspicion she's actually referring to Jim Starlin or something.

*By which I don't mean THE Golden Age.

-Do we really have to call non-comics readers "civilians?" I think I've heard Brian Hibbs use this term as well. It's just so haughty-geeky. Can't we call them "normal people" or "squarejohns" or something?

-Something about linking to comments I made on other blogs strikes me as unhealthy, but here we go. Greg Burgas wanted a bit more detail on my complaints about Andy Kubert's art. My poorly-worded thoughts are in comments 14 and 16.

-Great tragedy we can do nothing about of the day which has nothing to do with comics: I've been listening to a lot of Dils lately, wishing that they'd managed to record better versions of their best songs in the studio. Their best studio work was probably the "I Hate the Rich"/"You're Not Blank" single, but this was recorded before they had matured into a really great band (their later re-working of "You're Not Blank" is far superior to the original, for instance). I love the existing live material, and after listening to it for 10 years I can almost imagine what they would have sounded like if they were playing in a venue with better sound and actual monitors. There are a few existing studio tracks from their later period, but they lack the energy of the live material ("Red Rockers" is probably the best of the bunch, maybe their best studio recording aside from "You're Not Blank"). And there's no studio versions of "Give Me a Break" or "Tell Me What I Want to Hear," at least as far as I know. It just doesn't seem fair, especially when I remember that there are enough terrible UK Subs studio albums to fill a small record store.

-I try to stay a little updated on manga, but the title to this post (NSFW) looks like it was written by someone doing the 22nd century equivalent of text messaging.

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