-We still have plenty of pie left, several days after Thanksgiving. I'd offer you a piece if file sharing technology were advanced enough to include foodstuffs. Maybe one day, if the Pillsbury people ever learn that pastries want to be free, man.
And in one other piece of non-comics related news, I think I've moved up from "terrible" to "mediocre" on the drums in Rock Band. Still can't handle those songs with sixteenth note beats (I think) alternating between snare + tom and snare + bass. Those are haaarrrddd.
-Over the holiday, Tim O'Neil posted about a problem in a recent comic (follow-up here). I didn't catch it myself, but I think he's basically right--the writer (Matt Fraction) neglected a pretty central element of the character (spider sense). And no, it's not a terribly obscure point--it's something that anyone who's ever seen any of the Spider-Man movies would know. And after three movies and countless television broadcasts, that's probably about half of the total US population. Okay, I guess that maybe only a quarter of those people were paying enough attention and have a good enough memory to recall "spider sense." And maybe 10% of those people would be on the ball enough to recognize this error. That's still nearly four million people in the US alone. So we're not talking arcane knowledge.
So I started thinking--maybe we should think of these character/continuity errors on a sliding scale. Here's a rough draft of that scale:
Isn't His Costume Supposed to Be Red? Level: An error which is so obvious that even my mother (who, to my knowledge has never read any superhero comic in her life except those she read to me or my brother in our preliterate days) could pick it out. Examples: any comic from before 1990 where the colorist was overworked, underpaid, and/or drunk.
Big Gulp Level: Error contradicts a fact about a character that one would know by reading the brief bio on the side of a "collectible" plastic cup depicting said character. Examples: the spider sense snafu mentioned above.
1965 No Prize Level: Error contradicts a facet of the character established relatively early in the character's history (and thus, presumably, fairly integral to the character). Please note: I'm using 1965 just as an example. If you're more of a Claremont X-Men type, you could call this the 1978 No Prize Level. Examples: Captain America talks about watching Sgt. Bilko or voting for Adlai Stevenson.
If You're Not Using Wikipedia, You're Not Making a Good Faith Effort to Understand This Book Level: Error contradicts something alien to the core concept of the character, possibly from an era largely forgotten by today's readership. However, the error will be obvious to anyone who read comics featuring said character from said era. Examples: the Hulk's brief career working as an enforcer in Las Vegas, the brief existence of a branch of the Justice League headquartered in Detroit, Thor's brief residence in Oklahoma (I'm using my crystal ball here).
Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe Level: Error contradicts some aspect of continuity minute enough that one would need to fact check it against an encyclopedia in order to assure oneself that one's claim was justified. Examples: Cyclops misidentifies his place of birth; Wolverine incorrectly states his weight.
And Yet I Can't Remember My Spouse's Birthday Level: Error contradicts a fact obscure enough that the writers of Who's Who or OHTMU found worthy of omission. Examples: I have no idea.
Late 90s X-Men Continuity Level: Error may or may not contradict some aspect of continuity that is in doubt due to multiple instances of time travel, parallel earths, or clones. Hence, the claim is largely a matter of conjecture, thus making complaints about the hypothetical error even more pointless. Examples: Anything involving DC continuity in the last year or so.
It's a slippery slope, isn't it? I have no sympathy for anyone whose comics-reading experience is ruined by contradiction of obscure facts, like Aunt May's maiden name. Still, at what point do writers get to ignore stories written 20 years ago by burnouts and hacks? Answer: NEVER! Those were the formative years of my comics reading, goddammit! Those stories are sacrosanct, you're raping my childhood, etc, etc.
-If Bill Reed is going to do a series on great inkers, he'd better mention Tom Palmer at some point. I mean it, dude.
-Why did nobody mention that those Fourth World omnibuses look so nice underneath the dust jacket? Or is it only the first volume that looks that way? I'm tempted to just toss out the dust cover.
Other thoughts on the treasure trove of birthday comics I just received:
Phoenix volumes 10 and 11 are probably the wiser investment than MW for those seeking recently-translated Tezuka. The story is much more bizarre, entertaining, and thought provoking; the art is absolutely stunning; and there's still an element of cross dressing for espionage purposes.
New Engineering is larger than I expected, and very nicely packaged.
I accidentally received an extra copy of Chance in Hell, if anyone needs it and wants to trade for something of similar value. I still have that extra copy of Pyongyang, too.