Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mission: Be Better Fans

Recently quite a bit of attention has been given to so comic book industry professionals who have found ways to simultaneously toss a nerd hand grenade and then throw themselves on the same hand grenade.

I'm finding it all to be sort of tiresome and I'm not posting links. You can find it yourself.

One minute we're all having a good time bitching about the quality of our comics and the next we're making each other prove their loyalty to the genre itself.

One minute we're pissed that Magneto is breaking up threesomes and the next, we're mad that some little know film maker said a few years ago that he'd love to have sex with some fictional characters but not others, in a way that makes me pretty sure I never want to see his search history or look in that box in his closet behind his old luggage.

I'm pretty sure there was a time when these things didn't happen in public but I can't tell you when that was.

I'm not really one to want to take a bullet for jack asses in our business but I will say it might be time for us all to help kill this before it grows.

Can we become better fans?

I own a comic book retail shop and when I hear someone in the shop making juvenile comments about characters (or worse, actual people), I pretty much let them know that we're really not in the mood for it.

There's a certain level of discourse I can deal with and believe me the bar is NOT very high but I don't need to constantly hear jokes about Power Girl's boobs or Batwoman's sexual orientation.

If you have friends who read comics and all they want to talk about is having their way with Thor, feel free to  change the conversation to something like the current market value of Avengers Mansion or whether or not Nightwing is the sort of guy who'd get to a crime scene in a hybrid.

I already have standard responses for when someone tells me DC hates women or that the comics industry hates Black characters and people.

I do realize for us to all be consistent, we'll have to cut our fanfic consumption WAY down. You fans of Sherlock are SCREWED if you want things to get better.

Make no mistake, I like when we fans can think outside the box. I like when we deconstruct our favorite hobbies and cobble them back together in our own image. Ask me how often I recreate wrestling stables of the past with current wrestlers! We love to engage in dumb navel gazing nerd pursuits. It just seems that now we've hit a point where the things we'd have just said to our friends when drunk in the back yard are coming out of our mouths sober and on the Internet.

Can all of you help all of us be better fans? When you see a chick cosplaying Zatanna, Phoenix, Black Cat, American Maid, Batwoman, Maria Hill, Spider-Woman, Harley Quinn, Misty Knight, She Hulk, Firestar, or Dawnstar, just respond like you do when you see that dude cosplaying Fat Punisher or Fat Superman, Fat Shazam or Granny Goodness:

"Hey, nice job."  - Meaning it

"Hey, nice job." - Totally faking it

"Scuse me Bro, can I check and see if there's a decent copy of Legion of Super-Heroes #294 in that box behind you?"  - Meaning that shit because that's really what we're all at the show for.

At the next C2E2, I'm gonna post up somewhere and thank all of you geeks just for showing up. I won't even talk mad shit about that giant ass statue of Lorne Greene as Adama that you are wheeling out of the show or call too much attention to the fact that you stood in line for 2 hours and paid a lot of money to see "Celebrity X" when for the price of a martini you could have waited and met them at the bar.

I used to think that we needed to do all we could to make sure we even had a generation of comic book fans after us. Now I'm a bit more concerned about whether or not we can have decent conversations with the ones we still have right now!

Lets be better fans so I don't have to see people openly declaring that NOW they can't BARE to pay actual money for Guardians of the Galaxy while at the same time asking me if there will ever be a hard cover for All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder...

Yes...I'm leaving that right there....

Me and you...better fans...for our FUTURE!


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Recent Reads #2: Earth 2 #0

I can remember when this particular wave of DC New 52 comics was announced months ago, being told by many people that they didn't think it would work. I know some folks just aren't so happy with James Robinson in the last few years and I have been defending his work for I can't even tell you how long.

The most common comment is that everyone LOVED Starman. My most common follow-up is Get over it.

I really thing James Robinson is an amazing writer that I'd love to see work with a small core cast and get the space to tell sprawling stories about everything from Legacy to Regret to Acceptance of the roles of heroes.

Please, Mr Robinson, take me through the 12 steps of becoming a super person!

Full disclosure: I couldn't get through his JLA run. I felt it was wordier than a latter day Chris Claremont Comic and that penciller Mark Bagley was not the best fit.

Not trying to bitch about it  but I will do another post about what I;d have LOVED to see in that run.

On to why you should be reading Earth Two (start at #0 if you have to).

The New 52: Lemme Splain You -

Multiverse - It's a concept that's been around as long as any of you have been reading books aimed at nerds.  There are many universes. The writers focus on one and sometimes bounce you over to another where shit is just different. Like the Star Trek Mirror Universe or the Cosby Show after Lisa Bonet slept with Mickey Rourke.

DC has one of those again. There are 52 Universes in their Multiverse (so far) and Earth 2 is...the 2nd one...yeah...

Now, on this Earth, in this Universe, SUPERMAN, BATMAN, and WONDER WOMAN are DEAD!!!!

They died defending Earth and that left Earth with a void of heroes and SO Robinson is reintroducing characters from DC's past as modern day heroes who develop sans a Holy Trinity of Heroes!!!!

Here's why you should pay attention:

In a "normal" Multiversal situation the differences are generally rather subtle. Superman has salt and pepper grey and Batman has a dog named Ace.

In THIS Earth 2, Their new version of Terry Sloane (Mr Terrific) has adopted an Ozymandias like role of "I know what's best for you and yeah you may have to die" which is a perfect background for this title.

Think the Other Universe in Fringe!!!

I LOVE` this book and you should budget for it!

Recent Reads: Phantom Stranger #0

Dear Comic Book Fans: There is Hope - Stop Bitching

I don't really expect to keep this up but I'm gonna try and lets see how long it lasts.

The Internet has proven to be a place where fans can just rip everything endlessly but I'm feeling mad positive about my comics these days so I'm gonna try and give all of you my opinion of  books that MIGHT be on your shelves and why  you may want to give them a shot.

I'll start with books that came in recently and then in an update, I'll try and get to this week's books:

OK so yeah, the scuttlebutt is correct, THIS NEW`DC version of the Phantom Stranger is Judas, who is being made to atone for his crime by doing deeds in the service of what we can only assume to be some sort of "Lords of Order".

I have to tell you that the book was good anytime character were not actually speaking. I was wondering about what I could only see as foreshadowing of some possible story elements! That's a good thing. Then...dialog.

The dialog was distractedly bad BUT I'll give DC mad props for introducing the Spectre to the New 52 without attaching him to Earth 2 (which I LOVE). Go read it...just not too closely.

Friday, February 10, 2012

World's Finest Ways to Make Sure Fans are Never Happy

I'm gonna keep this short and sweet.

Well...I'm gonna keep this short and sweet for me...

DC's just released an image for World's Fines, starring Power Girl and Huntress, which is a lynchpin of DC's "Second Wave" of comics in their New 52 relaunch.


Fans have been clamoring for a return of fan fave Power Girl since the relaunch happened in September but now the internet is abuzz with "WTF" comments about the new look of Power Girl.

I can explain the look in a few different ways:

1) This look is VINTAGE George Perez. Perez is generally a product of the 70's and 80's in comics and in my mind he's a legend but if you hire a legend, you'll get what that legend does.

2) DC may be a bit self conscious about it's image as it relates to the ladies after last summer's kerfuffle about how they clearly don't like the ladies as evidenced by them working everywhere but DC, Catwoman's libido and whatever the shit was happening in Red Hood and the Outlaws #1 Featuring Starfire as played by Torrie Spelling.

Now Power Girl is back and it's possible that fandom has crawled so far up DC's crack that it has run away from the one thing that it had working for it.


Power Girl is sort of a breakout character of DC's last decade and while many casual fans didn't understand the "boob window", it was as much a part of her look as Batman's arm thingies or Superman's red undies. It was sort of like that rope around Captain Marvel's neck.

No one knows why it's there but they miss it when it's gone.

I don't really want to bash this outfit too much but I do know that the most important thing about Power Girl in this story is that she and Huntress are trying to find their way back to their own dimension and she doesn't need a new and totally foreign look to do that.

This outfit is a space suit with a cape and that "P" symbol screams 1985 to me. I'm a huge Legion of Super Heroes fan and I bet this suit would look GREAT on Phantom Girl. In fact, it's the sort of thing that folks will wear in the year 3012 when capes and monogram clothing are as much a part of our lives as zippers and cell phones.

DC needed to bring Power Girl back but they didn't need to scrap the old look so completely. Especially if they were allowing Perez to add those HR Geiger inspired bracelets and boots.

I don't know. I like the new 52 and I expect good things from this book but DC needs to stop battling itself when the internet screams "YOU HATE US" and stick to what works best for it, which is great characters being done by great creators.

Soon, this costume will, like many of the Jim Lee redesigned outfits of other New DC characters, look pretty dated.

Power Girl's outfit here is so off the mark that I'm shocked she doesn't have a high collar.