‘Four Color Musing’ - by K. Patrick Glover - Installment the Second


Four color Musings

By K. Patrick Glover

Installment the Second

I’ll let you in on a little secret, the one that explains why you rarely see me reviewing current comics.

I don’t read them as they come out. None of them.

This was not always the case. Back in the day, as us old codgers say, I use to devour the new books every week, usually the very night I bought them. But that was a different time, in terms of story telling. Most books were single issue stories (or at most, two-parters) and not the complex arcs that are common today. They were also denser and more of a complete experience.

Today’s books are often just a chapter out of a larger story. You don’t need me to tell you that, this has all been discussed before, ad nauseum.

But I read a pretty large variety of books and my memory isn’t what it once was. I can’t keep that many plot lines in my head from month to month. So, I let stacks build up and I read books in chunks. The added benefit is that the stories often read much better in chunks than they do singly. The downfall is, of course, I’m always behind on my reading.

All of which is to explain why I just got around to reading Blackest Night this week.

Now, generally speaking, I prefer to read these massive crossovers after the book is done and the smoke has cleared. They usually seem much cleaner and better constructed when taken apart from the various spin-offs and the hype machine. (Note my use of the word usually. I’m not very fond of adverbs, but sometimes nothing else will do the trick.)

What did I think?

Blackest Night did something unique to me in all my years of reading comics. It made me want to take a very long, very hot shower. I never knew my brain could feel dirty.

After reading it and pondering it a great deal, I’m still not sure I even get the point of the book. The first few issues read like a super-hero snuff book, the rest like a single action sequence extended to fill issue after issue with lots of shouting. Characters, both hero and villain, did things that seemed totally random, jumped to conclusions that made no sense and traded colored rings like they were baseball cards.

And yet it sold in huge numbers and people seemed to like it.

I’m filing this in the same category as Avatar, Lady Gaga and ‘So You Think You Can Dance’. The label on the file reads ‘I Don’t Get It!’

I also read two of Vertigo’s new line of crime graphic novels, Area 10 by Christos Gage & Chris Samnee and The Bronx Kill by Peter Milligan & James Romberger [Ed note: Just picked this one up today!]. Both books were thoroughly entertaining and the packaging and feel of the books was pleasantly pulpy. If prodded, I’ll admit that the prose sections of The Bronx Kill were a bit tedious, but it really wasn’t enough to detract from the overall experience.

I hope the Vertigo Crime line stays with us a good, long time.

I had intended to read through all of DC’s ‘Red Circle’ books this week, but it seems I’m missing a few and the local shop didn’t have copies around. Still, they’re searching for me, so maybe next week [Ed note: Better be quick, DC has just canceled the entire line!].

The Losers movie opened and I’m once again left with a feeling of massive meh. Jimmy Palmiotti made a point over on Twitter of saying that comic fans should support comic movies and I almost agree with him, but blindly supporting any comic movie will only convince Hollywood that the movies don’t have to be good, we’ll go see them anyway. That’s sending the wrong message, unless you actually enjoy dreck like Catwoman.

If there was any other news in the comic industry this week, it was drowned out by the cacophony of thousands of geeks rising as one and smoting Roger Ebert for daring to say that video games could not be art. Tycho over at Penny Arcade went as far as to call Ebert a “wretched, ancient warlock” and referred to his original statement as “reeking ejaculate”.

What is it in the geek psyche that causes that kind of unpleasant and mean hyperbole? To disagree with someone is one thing, to defend your opinion is perfectly fine, but to strike out with that sort of vitriol against someone who’s sole crime is to have a different opinion than yours?

There is a bitter, mean spirited under current in fandom that often leaves me feeling uncomfortable at even being associated with it. It’s the flip side of the same coin as those obnoxious people who ridicule anything and everyone associated with comics or fandom.

Even though comics (and the wider culture of fandom that includes gamers and science fiction enthusiasts) have made great strides over the last decade, pushing out of the ghetto and into the cultural mainstream with films like The Dark Knight and Iron Man, this attitude on the part of fans is exactly what’s going to cause a cultural backlash against us.

So, not to be too demanding or anything, but knock it off!

See ya next time,

K. Patrick Glover

Related posts:

  1. ‘Four Color Musing’ - by K. Patrick Glover - Installment the First
  2. ‘Four Color Memories’ by K. Patrick Glover - Installment the Second, in Which Fear and Loathing is Entirely Appropriate
  3. ‘Four Color Memories’ – by K. Patrick Glover – Installment the Fourteenth, In Which a Crisis is Brewing
  4. ‘Four Color Memories’ by K. Patrick Glover - Installment The First, In Which Parameters Are Set
  5. ‘Four Color Memories’ – by K. Patrick Glover – Installment the Ninth, in Which Who is Most Definitely Not on First

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