Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Don Kramer, Barry Windsor-Smith; what's the difference?

-Graeme McMillan seems to be mocking Comics Journal board posters who want illustrations to go with online reviews. I'm a little torn here. I really enjoy the Savage Critic(s) and Jog the Blog; they're two of the first blogs I followed regularly. I can understand why each blog omits illustrations. The Savage Critics is the gatling gun of review blogs, typically delivering several mini-reviews (often based on initial impressions, often because the comics being reviewed don't really deserve much more than that) in every post. It's that immediacy that makes it an interesting read for me; if Lester, Hibbs, and McMillan took the time to scan some illustrations, I think we'd be back to getting 1-2 entries a week. Jog's reviews, on the other hand, are usually longer and deeper, focusing on one work at a time. Although this seems like a natural fit for art samples, my understanding is that Jog does most of his blogging in the morning before heading to work (though I assume he does at least some of the writing the night before). Again, I worry that his output would dwindle to maybe half of the current rate if he took the time to scan and post illustrations.

So Jog and the Savage Critics get excused because of the frequency and nature of their reviews. Having said that, I would like their reviews 100% more if they had the time, energy, and inclination to include some samples of the art. McMillan's choice of headline, "TCJ: I don't understand without pictures," is absolutely stunning given that comics really is a visual medium; if it doesn't have pictures, it's NOT A COMIC. What's really depressing, though, is the first comment:

"Depends on the reviewer. Most comic reviewers I’ve seen on the net tend to focus a lot more on the story than the art, so why show art?"

AAAARRRGGHHHH. This is exactly why (mainstream) comics art sucks--we (meaning those of us who write stuff about comics on the internet) are training readers to ignore it. Maybe online reviewers are just following DC and Marvel's lead*, but that's no excuse. The absolute idiocy of that comment provides a much more compelling reason for including art samples than anything the TCJ board posters mentioned.

*Especially DC, I would say.

-Does Bahlactus typically call women "chickenheads?" Is that part of his gimmick or something?

-To those of you confused by the upcoming Green Arrow in Oz movie: I realize that, sans costume, it could be any old superhero, including a new intellectual property. But isn't Warner looking to bring a version of Justice League to theaters? Wouldn't this be a good way to introduce Green Arrow to movie audiences, thus making his inclusion in a hypothetical Justice League movie a much more attractive proposition?

-I think painting a huge bulge in Commandant Steel's pants is the coolest thing Alex Ross has ever done.

30 comments:

Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

I still haven't gotten a good enough handle on Bahlactus' schtick to know how much of it is an act, but it's pretty ironic that he and Church are calling someone out for having an off-putting style. Pot and kettle there, I'd say, in both cases.

And yeah, scans are good. My scanner's been on the fritz since I upgraded to Vista and I haven't had a chance to figure it out, so reviews have been even lighter than usual for me!

shane said...

Did you even look at the blog, Guy? You can't compare Kevin and Bahlactus and Ami. At least Kevin and Bahlactus write where people can understand them clearly. You have to admit her grammar is terrible. My grammar is horrible and I can see that.

I know someone that both writes and talks that way in real life. They spend so much time online that they actually think that's the way people are supposed to communicate.

I could see using that style if she was going for some kind of strange E.E. Cummings stylistic poetry or literature, but on a comics blog? I just don't see the point. Why write like that.

-Shane

Bahlactus said...

Dick, 'preciate the shout out, bruh!

Matthew E said...

You have to admit her grammar is terrible.

It's not, though! I mean, sometimes it is, but if you check it out carefully, you'll find that (especially in the longer passages) some perfectly straightforward, lucid, grammatical English writing pokes through the camouflage of emoticons and netspeak.

I'm finding it very amusing that so many people are getting their panties in a wad because someone's doing something a little different with her comic-book blog.

And you're saying it here, where Dick is (as far as I can tell) doing largely the same thing! Dick is trying to sell us all the idea that he's this guy who's out to slam everybody in the world and take a bunch of cheap shots, when in fact that's not what he's up to at all.

Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

Yes, Shane, I've checked out all three blogs at various times, and while Ami's style of writing was initially jarring, I realized that it's also a style that many others are comfortable with. Once I got past that, I've found her to be an interesting read, a blogger with a unique perspective on things. Church making fun of her comes off sounding like the old guy complaining how he doesn't understand rap lyrics.

I'll struggle with the internet shorthand in a good post over sanctimonious dickery any day.

Kevin Church said...

I'll struggle with the internet shorthand in a good post over sanctimonious dickery any day.

Excuse me, Guy?

Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

Translation: I'm not a fan of your style. But you know that already.

Different strokes, and all that fun stuff...

Dick Hyacinth said...

So, Bahlactus (if that is your real name), do you go around calling women you've never met "chickenheads" in real life, or is this a blog-only thing? I'm still confused.

Also, I was unaware that Kevin Church had an objectionable style. I mean, he posts a lot of scans, but before I took up the incredibly burdensome responsibility of maintaining this blog, I used to get him confused with a lot of other bloggers. BTW, Mr. Church, I'm going to have to withdraw my offer to moderate on your message board if I don't hear from you soon. At this point, I'm going to have to increase my asking price to include the ability to give people insulting member titles like "guy who won't shut up" or "guy who is incapable of shutting up."

Dick Hyacinth said...

I'm also a bit confused by Matthew E.'s comment. Is this a comment on my grammar? Is the blog difficult to read, largely due to an abundance of parenthetical asides and the occasional footnote? Are there too many rhetorical questions?

Kevin Church said...

Guy:
Thanks for the clarification. You'll be relieved to know I feel very much the same way, I'm sure.

In the future, might I suggest you simply not read my blog or comment about me? I've managed to do the same with you and yours for quite some time and it's worked splendidly.

Ed said...

I could see using that style if she was going for some kind of strange E.E. Cummings stylistic poetry or literature, but on a comics blog? I just don't see the point. Why write like that.

Ack, Shane--pet peeve. There's nothing vaguely like cummings in people's use of lowercase letters online, no matter how they try to play it off like there is. And, if they're trying to, they're guilty of what most people following Watchmen did with superhero comics--taking just the surface elements and ignoring the themes and structures that underly them.

Matthew E said...

I'm also a bit confused by Matthew E.'s comment. Is this a comment on my grammar? Is the blog difficult to read, largely due to an abundance of parenthetical asides and the occasional footnote?

No, nothing like that. But if I were to believe what it says in the title of your blog, you hate my blog, and, by extrapolation, everyone else's blog. I just went back and reread your first post prior to posting this comment, and it supports the promise of the title. Plus there're the polls you had going for a while there. It's like you're trying to brand yourself as 'the hating guy'.

But when I actually read what you write, it's not particularly hateful. It's just, you know, analysis. And the hate is your camouflage the way Ami Angelwings' camouflage is emoticons and netspeak.

My impression, anyway; obviously you know more than I do about what it is you're up to.

Bahlactus said...


So, Bahlactus (if that is your real name), do you go around calling women you've never met "chickenheads" in real life, or is this a blog-only thing? I'm still confused.


"Chickenhead" applies in this scenario involving Ami's post.

Play the gender card if that's how you feel you need to get down. I don't exclusively reserve the use of the term for women.

No, Bahlactus is obviously not my real name, bruh. I suspect Dick Hyacinth isn't the moniker you were originally branded with :)

Dick Hyacinth said...

Matthew--ah, I see. I suppose a better title for the blog would be "Dick Rather Holds Your Blog (And the Comments Left On It) in Contempt," but then it wouldn't have that connection to the song by the Dicks I was listening to the day I started the blog.

About the Hate Polls: I was getting feedback that people were kind of sick of them. I thought about bringing them back a few times--I was real close to doing a Wizard vs. New Joe Fridays poll, but I didn't for whatever reason. Does anyone miss them?

Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

Kevin, you'll be glad to know that I only check your blog when it's been linked to by Hyacinth, or to a lesser degree, Deppey. No guarantee on the commenting part, though. Dumb shit will sometimes elicit a comment or three from me.

As for the mutual feelings, um, who cares? Are you still in high school or something? I am curious, though, who the "yours" is in the "you and yours"? Dicey statement there, Imus; easy to misread.

Dick Hyacinth said...

Bahlactus (which I guess isn't your real name): My family doesn't brand its children, actually.

I'm glad you've reclaimed "chickenhead"! I still don't get how exactly you're using it, but it's good to see other bloggers taking an interest in sociolinguistics. Do you mind elaborating on this a little?

Anonymous said...

To everyone except Dick H.,
(especially Kevin and "Bahlactus")

Where are the snipers?!!!!

Oh, and an extra aside to Matthew E., defending this chick's way of writting, does not mean that you might fuck her in the future.

Unless you already are.

But I doubt that.

When will this blogging maddness cease?!!

Peace,
Steve Ebbling

Kevin Church said...

"Yours" refers to your blog, actually, Guy. My apologies if you thought I was including all internet trolls in that statement.

Dick Hyacinth said...

With all due respect, I think you're overreacting, Guy. The "yours" clearly refers to Pop Culture Shock, I think. (Looks like Church has confirmed this.)

Honestly, I just don't get how people can get worked up about Kevin Church. It's like getting angry at sponge cake or something.

Matthew E said...

I'd just like to point out that Ebbling posted that little gem after I mentioned this discussion on another site.

Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

I think you're overreacting... It's like getting angry at sponge cake or something.

True, true, true. X8

Back to work now!

Ed said...

Just so I get my scorecard right... Kevin is Mary, and Steve is the lamb, right?

Anonymous said...

Spoken like a true cell-block bitch from The World of Awesome!
That site sounds like a 8 yr. old japanese girl discovering manga for the first time. and you seem to be the power bottom on the pecking order on that one, Ed.


Oh and Matthew,
Sorry I don't have all day to post comments on everyone's blog! Some of us have real jobs, doughboy!

Peace,
Steve

Dick Hyacinth said...

Steve, at the risk of becoming another target of yours, would you lay off the insults alluding to prison rape? I mean, we're all excited about that Green Arrow movie, but still, man.

Anonymous said...

O.K.
That's cool.

Keep up the good work,!

Peace,
Steve

Greg said...

I think reviewers should talk more about the art, or, failing that, post scans. That's what I do, because I don't know enough about art to talk knowledgeably about it. I agree with you that I don't mind quick reviews not posting scans, but a sentence or two about the art isn't out of the reach of half-decent comics reviewers. I am usually much more honed in on the writing, but bad art CAN really ruin a comic, and it deserves to be noted.

Joe Rice said...

Kevin, if you want Guy to respect you, maybe you should publish more rumor-mongering, horribly irresponsible bullshit and masquerade it at journalism.

Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

Ah, Joe, you sad little man. Who rattled your cage? Considering how misinformed your take on that unfortunate situation was every step of the way -- your comments on the CBR forums were quite entertaining in their vitriolic pettiness -- you really need to move on and let it go. You're nothing more than a rubber-necker without a clue, and you embarass yourself every time you bring it up.

As for my respect, something I'm sure Kevin nor you are actually interested in earning, trying not to be such a dick on the internet would be a good start. Of course, other than lauding Grant Morrison's every bowel movement, that's pretty much your whole schtick, so I guess that's not an option.

C'est la vie!

Ed said...

Sorry I don't have all day to post comments on everyone's blog! Some of us have real jobs, doughboy!

Well, not everyone blogs about Kevin Church, "Steve."

I'm sorry he gave your comic book a bad review or whatever. Christ.

Dick Hyacinth said...

Okay, that's probably enough.