-Oh man, am I not looking forward to the San Diego convention. Not that I'm going or anything like it--I'm just dreading the avalanche of news and accounts of assorted schmoozings which it will inevitably produce. It's just too much shit. Is it possible someone could just start emailing me press releases? I don't mean the actual companies, since I don't want to have to sift through announcements of sell-outs and reprintings. What I'm looking for is kind of a reverse press secretary. In other words, someone who will retrieve the news for me and determine which items are most worthy of snide commentary. And then I would comment on probably about a third of these collected items, probably about three days after everyone else quit caring.
I guess this means I've reached the point where the Google Reader isn't convenient enough. There are so many unread items, friends. It's actually progressed beyond being a burden--it's more of one of those festering problems which nobody really cares about anymore. Like the massive pile of junk in our basement or the Direct Market's march towards oblivion.
-So DC apparently is going to start publishing webcomics or something, all in some kind of attempt to stockpile intellectual properties. Of course this is stupid, since webcomics are pretty cheap to produce. In fact, they're free if you're unpopular enough. (I'm pretty sure I could publish my forthcoming webcomic, General Forrest's Howling Klansmen, on this very blog.) But any idiot could tell you that. It hardly needs be said.
Instead, I'd like to remind everyone that, a few months ago, I proposed a solution to online comics piracy in which DC/Marvel would allow unauthorized works using their intellectual properties to circulate on the internet. The creators of these comics would not be paid for their work, but they wouldn't be sued either. Any creator who produced work of sufficient quality to be exploited in media which people actually pay for (ie, everything but comics) might be paid a retainer. Clever creators might see this glorified fan fiction as a way to advertise their "real" work, the stuff which doesn't feature corporate intellectual properties. As for the Brad Meltzers and J. Micheal Stazynskis of the world, this would give them a chance to really push their imaginations to the limits. Batman could be reimagined as a lapsed Trappist monk possessed by the ghost of the Marquis de Sade who punishes criminals by raping them! That might not sound like good reading, but it would allow us once and for all to figure out what motivates the fanboy psyche: anal retentiveness or extreme sexual perversion. (If it's the former, the rape comics will die on the vine because they're not officially in continuity; if the latter, then we're in for some highly unpleasant rounds of stake-raising.) And yet I still think the quality of comics featuring Marvel/DC characters would improve under my plan.
So Paul Levitz and other dudes I've never heard of, which side of history are you on? You might be able to trick aspiring creators whose naiveté rivals that of a three year old child, but what kind of intellectual properties are they going to submit? Probably just recycled versions of the same shit you already publish. My plan is the way of the future--it will eliminate virtually all costs except lawyers' fees. Actually, I really should be taking this plan to someone who isn't going to be encumbered by a familiarity with/fondness for Matter-Eater Lad. Who is Paul Levitz' boss, anyway? That's the dude I should be talking to (and bear in mind I mean "dude" in a non-gender-specific way, naturally).
-Things I Never Manage to Follow Up On Dept: I think I promised to say something more about the comics industry in the 90s about a month ago, and proceeded to ignore said promise. I don't think I'm quite up to the task of rehabilitating the decade; I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want to do so anyway. Those really were some dreadful comics, even more so now that I'm not reading them with a 14-year-old's eyes. Still, I do want to say something about the current stereotypes circulating about comics in the 90s. Unfortunately, I really can only speak from personal experience. None of my junior high/high school friends read comics--as a group, we were more into fantasy football and destroying mailboxes.
Nevertheless, starting tomorrow (hopefully), I'm going to start a series of reminiscences/confessions about that most hated of decades. I'll probably call it Dick Hyacinth's 90s, unless I come to my senses sometime in the next 24 hours. I can't promise that anyone will learn anything, but maybe we can reconsider the existing discourse concerning the 90s. Then maybe I'll retitle this blog "Dick Facilitates Discourse," or (perhaps more likely) "Dick Fails to Facilitate Discourse."