The Comic Books thread, for talking about Comics in Books


#583

There was a mix-up early today on the comixology version of Mister Miracle, so I was missing the last two pages. Ya know, the ones with Orion and Darkseid? I just thought the book ended on a sweet note…


#584

Yeah same, I didn’t know about it til King started tweeting about it.


#585

So, why does Marvel hate Dark Horse so much?


#586

Satania, Vehlmann and Kerascoet.


Reccomended in the GILM awards thread, this comic finally came in.
Beautiful hard cover edition, translated from French. An adventure story about a woman looking for her brother, who theorized that all the folklore and legends about Hell orginated from an actual physical place deep below the earth. Wonderful extremely detailed art, especially when they discover the bio-mass the “demons” live in. Reminds me a bit of the Tintin books by Herge in general sensibilities and style.
…just noticed a translation error, or maybe printing in that page I took a pic of… “ux should probably be ‘flux’.


#587

Generation X is still very good I’m so sad it’s ending I love these ridiculous children.
(Presumably, as a writer, you need to get official permission from Marvel HQ to do something like, say, giving Jubilee her mutant powers back)


#588

Batman was real purdy this week, and Zdarsky Co’s Spidey was pretty solid. Oh and I picked up the new Mighty Thor trade, which was neat but I miss Russel’s art.


#589

Japanese Notebooks: A Journey to the Empire of Signs by Igort. Beautiful book made by a French cartoonist who travelled to Japan in the 90’s to work on manga. It’s a series of vignettes about his various illustrated reflections on the culture and his travels. He’s obviously an admirer of Japan, but at the same time pulls no punches about the negative aspects that he sees.
For example, he describes “…an explosion of ‘kawaii’ or cuteness, as we would say. A childlike comforting way of seeing the world. A philosophical category, which obviously concealed its dangers. During wartime, it was used to make everything seem cute, and the involvement of children not just acceptable, but right.”

Saga vol 8 has come in, can’t wait


#590

Watchmen spoilers ahead: So I’m rereading Watchmen. It seemed appropriate with Doomsday Clock out and flailing with its big unethical jazz hands. Thoughts on Chapter VI:

Summary

I just got to the Rorschach-In-Prison issue and I have to say I’m disappointed. I remember really liking it when I was a teenager, but something feels off. It may be the benefit of years and perspective, but I see how the comics industry could take the wrong cues from Watchmen after this issue. It reads like the grim anti-hero fantasies which were inspired by DKR and Watchmen.

It really comes down to the rules of the comic’s world breaking down. Everything comes far too easy for Rorschach in prison. The prison psychologist is a glory-hounding impotent simpleton. He takes Rorschach’s initial inkblot tests – he knows Rorschach is a murderer, though he was recently framed – on good faith and thinks he’s getting better. That is the least believable thing that has happened in the comic so far. Then Rorschach describes one bad thing that happened to him and the dude starts unraveling? What? There’s handwaving with the psychologist’s wife saying he’s the nicest guy around or whatever, but that doesn’t excuse his cracking at a simple interview. It should also be noted this is one of maybe six black characters with dialogue, and definitely the one with most on-panel time. To have a simple, unthinking caricature in place of the most prominent black face in the book is pretty frustrating and a sign of how well Moore knew his subjects-- not very.

Another problem with this issue: Rorschach is proven completely right. Rorschach’s absolutist morality is a dangerous, wrong-headed set of principles which only leads to isolation, pain, and death. There is nothing wrong with a character having this mindset, but the issue itself seems to take it on as well. The other prisoners are little more than stereotypes of the violent criminal thug. From the moment he walks toward his cell they, scream at Rorschach about the horrible things they’ll do to his family and friends and dog and how they’re going to violate him. It’s a striking scene as it transitions to a flashback of similar adversity in his life, but we never see the prisoners’ faces or who is doing the shouting. It’s just the hegemonic 1980’s image of American prisons, which are full of violent bad guys only. There is no depth here. Rorschach’s black and white view of the world is reinforced when the first interaction he has with a prisoner is an attempted shanking and subsequent brawl. No one is on Rorschach’s side, which is how he lives his life. This isn’t a consequence of Rorschach’s worldview, but a consequence of his location. This issue would have us believe no one is capable of rehabilitation and everyone in jail deserves it, if not worse.

In some ways, this is the closest a Watchmen character comes to their source material. Rorschach was based on The Question, who Steve Ditko created as a comics code acceptable version of his objectivist hero Mr. A. He would leave half white-half black calling cards on criminals. Obviously Alan Moore is not some objectivist psychopath and I’m not saying he is. What I am saying is the psychologist’s downward spiral as he writes his notes about Rorschach’s life might be unintentionally autobiographical.

So yeah it’s definitely my least favorite chapter of the reread so far. It’s too indulgent to a worldview which was previously displayed as cruel, ignorant, and isolating. In this issue I see the roots of the edgy 90’s anti-hero and a writer stretching a little too far to justify a solid premise.


#591

Haven’t read Watchmen for a while! But a few thoughts:

With the benefit of now reading a lot of Alan Moore, this chapter is Moore’s nod to the abyss within all of us, or the “cosmic horror” moment that permeates so much of his work (to be honest, as a cosmic horror fan that’s probably one of the draws for me to his stuff.).
Your criticisms all make sense to me, and actually I can recall reading that Watchmen had an large influence on the edgy 90s style superheroes that were to come.
You could argue that this is “Rorschach’s chapter”, and elements are …paved over, simplified, to reinforce his point of view, make the reader really empathize with him ( though what benefit is empathy with a nihilist?)


#592

Good points all. I hadn’t considered the cosmic horror angle of this chapter, but that makes a lot of sense in hindsight. It’s even presented as the classic ‘Good Man Is Corrupted Through Malignant Contact’ genre trope. In that light, the shallow nature of the issue’s presentation doesn’t chafe quite as much, though it is still mildly irritating.


#593

You’ve got got me thinking about Watchmen (and Alan Moore), I remembered that he had negative feelings about its impact on the comic world in general, dug up this quote :
"I think that what a lot of people saw when they read Watchmen was a high degree of violence, a bleaker and more pessimistic political perspective, perhaps a bit more sex, more swearing. And to some degree there has been, in the 15 years sinceWatchmen, an awful lot of the comics field devoted to these grim, pessimistic, nasty, violent stories which kind of use Watchmen to validate what are, in effect, often just some very nasty stories that don’t have a lot to recommend them. …The gritty, deconstructivist postmodern superhero comic, as exemplified by Watchmen, also became a genre. It was never meant to. It was meant to be one work on its own. I’d have liked to have seen more people trying to do something that was as technically complex as Watchmen, or as ambitious, but which wasn’t strumming the same chords that Watchmen had strummed so repetitively. The apocalyptic bleakness of comics over the past 15 years sometimes seems odd to me, because it’s like that was a bad mood that I was in 15 years ago. It was the 1980s, we’d got this insane right-wing voter fear running the country, and I was in a bad mood, politically and socially and in most other ways. But it was a genuine bad mood, and it was mine. I’ve seen a lot of things over the past 15 years that have been a bizarre echo of somebody else’s bad mood. It’s not even their bad mood, it’s mine."
Alan Moore, 2003


#594

All this Alan Moore talk has got me thinking about how depressing it is that they’re trying to fold Promethea into main DC continuity. Like, leave that book alone, ya turds. Don’t get your Batman stink all over it.

And that just reminds me how sad I am that we’ll never get the Immateria edition of that book with all the double-page spreads printed landscape style, one to a (large) page. Reading that book in collection is a bummer because you miss so much of the beauty of it, unable to lay it flat and see the whole spread at once!


#595

They didn’t even give JH Williams a heads up before they printed it. With Moore it’s be expected at this point, but not even the artist? Dave Gibbons is presented with every post-Watchmen project. This should be no different.


#596

Did the same with Tim Sprouse who was the artist that co-created Tom Strong.


#597

Hey, this looks interesting:

Anyone else following the release or who read this when it was serialised?

(To get somewhat cross-thread-y with the commentary, I have to wonder when games will be able to cover material like this and find an ecosystem that wouldn’t just try to shred it - for a start I’d not be surprised if all consoles & Steam declined to allow it on their stores so it’d be itch.io only, maybe Humble, possibly GOG?)


#598

I have yet to read Island, but I’ve heard good stuff about this story. I’m looking forward to its release!

As for games, yeah I think itch.io is the only place something with this subject matter could exist unhindered right now. Maybe Google Play? It’s still the wild west over there, right? I could see that changing in the near future as games about sensitive, adult issues come to the forefront.


#599

This week:
Batgirl: Wholesome and nice and good.
Doom Patrol: Brilliant. Gorgeous. I have absolutely no idea what’s going on.


#600

Ah, the beauty of Doom Patrol.


#601

Had a mildly frustrating conversation about the more diverse Marvel comics on my pull list (Iceman, America, etc). Like, I’m sure they’re not doing the numbers like he said, but he got really close to saying Marvel shouldn’t try to be diverse just to be diverse. I dunno. I have just loved America so much in this short run. As for Iceman, it kind of lost me in the most recent issue where Draken goes and kills Bobby’s boyfriend who has been around for 4-ish issues.
I just know my pull list is gonna change a lot soon and I don’t know what will replace these cancellations.


#602

I’d be lying if I said America didn’t disappoint me, but it’s still a valid title and the love is clearly there. Marvel’s latest push for character diversity unfortunately happened when their editorial pool was at its weakest in recent memory and their corporate interests were at their most predatory. These three factors are conflated (usually by internet jerks) into What Marvel Is Doing, when really it’s three separate entities working under the same brand name for wildly different goals. I think the push for diverse representations in their characters is a good thing. It could have been executed better in some cases, but the reaction and the passion from fans is undeniable.

I hope we get another volume of Young Avengers with an updated crew. Champions is fine-ish, but I don’t really care for the lineup. Something between Champions and Ultimates (the Ewing one) would be ideal.