Thursday, February 5, 2009

Also: have been playing too much Persona 4

I was going to write something about Final Crisis #7, since what the world really needs right now is yet another post about that subject. But what I'd have to say is largely solipistic, I'm so sick of superheroes stuff, plus a little about how I can't take Morrison's grand themes seriously because I look at Superman and see a mascot used to sell peanut butter, and not a serious socio-religious figure. I would like to echo the comments from Sean Collins (who, just to be clear, is one of the greatest advocates of Final Crisis #7 on my RSS feed) and others that Grant Morrison might consider actually reading some comics by people who are actually doing the revolutionary storytelling he thinks he's doing. Morrison is much, much closer to Geoff Johns or Brian Bendis than Kevin Huizenga or Yuichi Yokoyama, or even NYT Funny Pages mainstays like Jaime Hernandez or Dan Clowes. Given what I think of contemporary superhero comics, I consider Morrison kind of irrelevant to any discussions of what constitutes truly great comics. But then again, I thought All Star Superman was more "nice" than "mind-blowing," so what do I know?

In any event, I'm off to the land of dial-up at my parents' house for about a week so that I can attend my brother's wedding. So no posts for a while (I've been working on something about books I hadn't considered for the best of 2008 list--which, yes, I will eventually post someday--so expect that once I've returned and had a chance to read The Alcoholic). I'll still be checking email and stuff like that, though. Meta-list will be up whenever the year-in-review issue of TCJ is out and I manage to get a copy. And there should be some other Hyacinth-related news out next week, too. Excitement~!

17 comments:

Sandy said...

I know you love getting your digs in on All Star Superman whenever you can, but I'll stand by my pick for the best comic of the year. Mind-blowing? Maybe not. But those are few and far between, and I'm not sure my mind was blown by anything else this year.

I just finished Breakdowns, by the way, and I liked it a lot (although not as much as you, I think).

jeffk said...

Man, Persona 4 is fantastic, isn't it? I'm 15 hours in and just about to finish the first real dungeon - normally, that kind of pacing would kill a game for me, but it doesn't bother me at all here. I wish I were ten years younger and could still get away with weekend gaming binges, because this is the kind of game that almost demands them.

Dick Hyacinth said...

Yeah, I'm really going to miss Persona while I'm away from home. How am I going to remember the answers when it comes exam time? I'm planning to play The World Ends With You on the plane; hopefully I won't OD on dating sim/RPG hybrids.

Sandy: I would have to admit that there's a big difference between All Star Superman and Final Crisis, in terms of craft if nothing else. And I don't mean to use "mind-blowing" as the best way to determine quality, but it did seem to be what Morrison was going for (and what he perpetually goes for).

BTW, I wrote this post before reading Tom Spurgeon's review of Final Crisis, which further obviates any need for me to write a more detailed review. I especially liked the bits about Jack Kirby's vision vs. Morrison's; I do think part of what makes Kirby so much more satisfying is that there's a core of real, honest emotion rather than pop culture chaos magick or whatever. Not that Kirby's approach is the only one worth taking, but there really is an emptiness to Final Crisis that Morrison and his collaborators fail to make up for in other ways.

MarkAndrew said...

I'm not sure it's entirely fair to judge Morrison, who's firmly entrenched in the studio system, against guys like Jaime H. or Huizenga who have complete control over their own works.

Lynda Barry wins the quality Olympics, Grant Morrison wins the quality Special Olympics.

Brian said...

The issue is Morrison talking like he is some class by himself, when the work he's doing is inferior to a large chunk of comics. It would probably benefit him to be thinking in terms of doing a comic that could compete with Powr Mastrs or Bodyworld (to name two comics he would probably love) rather than assuming he's top of the heap for what he does with Jack Kirby characters.

Michael said...

Yeah, when any of those guys you've mentioned creates a Doom Patrol, or an Invisibles, or a We3, or an Animal Man, or even a JLA, let me know.

And your criticism that Morrison should start reading your indie loves so he can, what, write more like them? is a stupid statement to say the least.

Dick Hyacinth said...

If any of those guys wrote an Animal Man, Doom Patrol, etc, it would signal a precipitous decline in quality. Comparing their work to JLA suggests rank ignorance or maybe mental illness.

Out of curiosity: have you ever actually read any of the authors I mentioned in the post?

Michael said...

I haven't, but I had my period of reading indie comics and, like art films, they are 90% indulgent and amateurish crap.

I hate pretentiousness and people who try and harp on about high art, and what doesn't qualify.

Dick Hyacinth said...

So basically you've admitted you don't know what you're talking about. Look, I'll leave aside your misreading of what I originally wrote to make this point: anyone who thinks Morrison's JLA is more worthy of consideration as "high art" (whatever that's supposed to mean) than the work of the cartoonists I mentioned really isn't adding anything useful to the conversation. And they probably don't add a lot of useful things to any conversation about any subject.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't label Morrison's work as high art, or anyone else's. I don't like those kind of labels. I realise you didn't use them either, but your blog seems based around the 'fact' that the guys you cover are somehow artistically superior to the likes of Morrison and other because they also write superheroes. Which is total bs.

There's a reason that guys like Morrison, Moore, Gaiman etc. are pop culture icons, while most of these independent guys are not - it's because they are better writers. Plain and simple.

And the fact that I'd much rather read an issue of Uncanny X-Men than the latest independent guy dicking on about his childhood and the lost innocence of his youth, complete with scratchy drawings that are, of course, way more 'artistic', probably makes me a plebe in your eye. Which is fine, really.

Dick Hyacinth said...

"A plebe?" Seriously?

I assume, based on what you've written, that you'd agree that Brian Michael Bendis or Geoff Johns are better writers than Morrison, Gaiman, etc. For that matter, so are all the people who outsold them by monstrous amounts in the 90s: Liefeld, McFarlane, etc. Seriously: Todd McFarlane, even in retirement, is bigger than Grant Morrison ever will be. So he's got to be the more talented creator, right?

Say, how about trying to construct an argument that engages what I actually said, rather than relying on your ability to read my mind?

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