Tuesday, November 04, 2003

What's new

Thanks for those whom participated in my ebay auctions. I hope to have more for you next time.

Martial Arts practices are cancelled for the week on account of a lack of a floor. This is generally a good reason not to practice, as falling a solid story on to concrete is likely to hurt the little kids. On the plus side, I found out that I did pass my test, meaning that I'm nearly ready to take my orange belt test in January.

Tonite, I'm reading my entire PLANETARY run (excluding the god-forsaken JLA 'crossover') in preparation for my big PLANETARY REVIEW BLOG, which should be out by week's end.

Michael's Pet Theories: Byrne Syndrome

A lot of comic fans have noted and mocked John Byrne's artistic stagnacy (and degeneration, depending on the commentator). I've taken the time to look at other high-profile comic creators, and I've noted several of them suffer from variants of what I refer to as Byrne Syndrome.

These poor infected individuals include

J. M. Straczynski - that he's so pissed at the clusterfuck that happened to "Crusade" (and now "Rising Stars") that he refused to do anything progressive in Hollywood, and is slumming at Marvel.
Jim Valentino - whom at one point had Kurt Busiek on his pride and joy, ShadowHawk, and managed to screw it up.
Erik Larsen - OK, I appreciate that he's working on the only project that he cares about, but it also seems to me that he's pissed over his faux-Kirby Fanatastic Four mini-series
Howard Chaykin - who was at one point pleased by the success of the Mutant X T.V. series saying that it was a number one T.V. show, and his whole "comics are a dead medium bit". An interesting quote, considering what a truly terrible T.V. series we are talking about, the only saving grace of which was the fact that Victoria Pratt is one of the sexiest women I have ever seen.
Mark Waid - whom I guessing is very very very pissed at his frustration at not being able to save the modern incarnation of Superman, despite his many many failed attempts.
Alex Ross - OK, we get it. You like drawing superheroes. You also like taking too damn much credit. You get heavy doseages of nerd-ons. Despite the fact that you could be one of the best spokespersons for comics, you carry on in ways that would make Comic Book Store Guy from the Simpsons blush. Yeesh.
Todd McFarlane - Who carries his "too cool for comics" attitude to such ridiculous (and insulting) extremes that I'm surprised that anyone is willing to deal with him or his 'properties' (given how much he owes to the likes of Moore and Miller for Spawn's popularity, I hesitate to give him proper ownership rights. Rob Liefeld looks positively angelic next to this twit.)
Chris Claremont - Here, I'm a bit torn, because, hey, I liked X-MEN when I was in my teen years, and there's no doubt he set the standard and wrote some seriously progressive stuff....but he didn't progress very much AFTER he left the title, and when he did (i.e. Sovereign Seven), it didn't to very well in the collapsing comics market. I think he then made the decision to stick to his guns, and that choice has limited him. Here's hoping that he will try to move on and evolve his style. It seems from some accounts of his most recent work in the last year or so that he has begun...so of this list, I'm going to consider him as being 'in remission' for the time being.
Chuck Dixon - "I put three fight scenes into each and every comic I write." Great....but so what? Since when is that the sign of a good writer? More like a formulaic one.