Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Thoughts: Voice of the Fire by Alan Moore

Finally got to read Alan Moore's prose book, Voice of the Fire, and I'm just going to give a few random scattershot thoughts, because when it comes to Alan Moore, I'm not sure I'm in a position to offer a review on this work.

-The first chapter of this book is one of the most challenging things I've ever read in my life.
-The "fires" are those of lust, of avarice, of fears and insecurities, and how they consume us.
-It's a book about Alan's hometown, given a pantina of fiction and drawn through thousands of years of development.
-Ultimately what probably holds me back from truly enjoying this work is that while I acknowledge Moore's insane level of talent, I don't care for his bleaker, darker tales - I acknowledge that this is probably a failing on my part and an inability to separate Moore's darkness from the nihilism of the "grim'n'gritty" modern corporate comics landscape that aped all of his tricks without any of his heart or brains.
-It is a book that questions everything, even itself
-It is a story about a place, and how people create their environments, and their environments in turn create (or destroy) them.

So, that's what I have to say on that. I do recommend the book as a challenge or for people who really really want to try to understand the properties of fiction the way Moore does. As for me, I think I prefer his more lighthearted stuff (such as Tom Strong above).

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Because Just once I want to get something cool like this posted before MightyGodKing.

Popular comics Myth busted

"Mark Millar's Superman Adventures run proves he can write good, positive super-comics."
I've heard this one a lot over the years - usually as some kind of back-handed defense of Millar's current output. I've even seen this one from my good friend and comics-blogging mentor, Alan David Doane. Pity it's not in any way, shape or form true.
Oh, on the surface, there's a degree of positivity. Superman does heroic stuff, fighting bad guys and so forth. One imagines that it's the bare minimum expectation for what a corporate super-comic should be, and I think the fact that this is considered extraordinary says alot about how degraded and depraved the corporate spandex hero genre has become. However, a look at the subtext displays a lot of what makes Mark Millar's writing absolutely insufferable.
There's the absolutely-out-of-nowhere fake-outs and deux-ex-machinas, showing his failure to play fair with the reader. There's the focus on villains doing really out-of-character actions (such as the Parasite) and the high level of nonsense covered by layers of "high stakes". But worst of all is the way Millar's budding cynicism just bleeds through even this heavily edited material. In the (much lauded, for some reason) "One Year Later" storyline, Superman finds that through a mad science accident, he's been transported one year into the future, where he finds that Lex Luthor has risen to the challenge and helped to solve all super-crime and make the world a better place. Of course, by the end of the storyline, we find out this is an alternate Earth, and Superman returns to his own world, but the damage is done and Millar's true face revealed. Not only does he heavily imply that Luthor is right, but in doing so, shows Superman as a vainglorious fool for not immediately leaving his own world to allow Lex to rise to power to make the world better.
And that's pure 100% Mark Millar folks. I'll stick with Scott McCloud's run on the book, thanks.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Just Sayin'

You know what would be awesome?

If in the run up to "Iron Man 2", Robert Downey Jr went on say, the Colbert Report and gave an interview IN CHARACTER as Tony Stark.

Marvel, be smart for once and make this happen.

Monday, April 19, 2010

I bring the Cute

And today, I introduce you to Armand Zefram Pogue, who's a brave little lad you can meet here. Thanks to his parents for giving me permission to put this up.

I think I'll just leave this one up for a few days, if that's alright?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Underused character giants!

Just some characters I like, in small, concentrated doses. None of them can probably sustain a long term series of their own, but when they show up, they are awesome? Agree? Disagree? Candidates of your own?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Comics "Journalism" Made Easy!

Hi everyone! Want to break into the exciting field of online comics journalism, but you lack the skill, the connections, or the ability to hold a conversation with anyone for more than 30 seconds at a time? Well, now it's easy! The "interview" template is easy to use! Just fill in the Blanks!
INTERVIEWER: Explain to me the appeal of (TITLE)?
WRITER: I've always loved (TITLE) ever since and his epic (WELL RECEIVED STORY FROM CHILDHOOD). The book has unlimited potential with the wide array of characters and settings available.
INTERVIEWER: Awesome. But what do you think of the characters?
WRITER: Well I've always liked how
(MAIN CHARACTER) is (MAIN CHARACTER TRAIT) and their interactions with (SECONDARY CHARACTER). That dynamic has always struck me as a strong one and it's one I want to explore. Something that I've always tried to make sense of is how (GENRE TROPE/INTERNAL CHARATER CONTRADICTION) works, so I think I'll look at that too.
INTERVIEWER: Tell us about your plans for the story
WRITER: Well in my first issue we're going to have (MAIN CHARACTER) in a new kind of situation. This is going to force to re-evaluate certain preconceptions and existing relationships, particularly with (SECONDARY CHARACTER).
INTERVIEWER: What can you tell us about (ARTIST)? What do you feel he brings to the series?
WRITER: He's a great guy and one of the best in the industry, a real diamond in the rough. He does some amazing work trying to (ARTIST STYLISTIC QUIRK) that is note perfect for where I want to take the series.
INTERVIEWER: Any final thoughts or spoilers?
WRITER: Two Words: Stay Tuned.
Give it a try today!