Wednesday, September 17, 2014

All the Comics

I've spoken about comics before in this blog.

In my post about damaged nerd cred, I lamented my limited experience with recent comics. In a more recent post, I mentioned attending a recent comic con, and reading a book or two some time later.

My first order of business is to retract some of my statements in the latter post. I talked a bit about the Ghost Rider book from the early 90's, which was my jam. I've gone back and re-read up to about issue 25. It's a decent series, but it's pretty dark. The thing is, I wrote in my previous post about Ghost Rider dispensing "lethal justice" and being a "Supernatural Punisher". This is far from true.

Though they do team up once or twice.

the 1990-96 run of Ghost Rider features a spirit of vengeance with principles. He doesn't kill. At least that is not his goal. He gives the baddies a dose of his "penance stare" which forces them to experience all the pain that they themselves have caused others. This typically tends to be an effective deterrent for most lowlifes that Ghost Rider gets his hands on.

So, with that correction out of the way, let me also say something about new comics. I mentioned later in that same Ghost Rider post, that the new Ghost Rider is not for me, and postulate that maybe Comics have either passed me by or I have outgrown them.

No and no.

Now that is not to say that I like the new Ghost Rider. I don't. The art style by Tradd Moore is not to my taste. He is a pretty great artist, but I don't feel like his style fits with Ghost Rider. His characters are exaggerated and cartoony. It's kind of a surreal style, and the spirit of vengeance should be, in my opinion, more on the realistic side. I could see Tradd Moore taking a stab at one of the lighter characters, or ones that are out in space or something and it working out extremely well.

He already looks kind of like a space alien.

Rocket Raccoon would be a fine choice. My lack of enthusiasm for the all-new Ghost Rider aside, I have gotten back into comics in a big way. There are some really great series out there by some fantastic creative teams.

A lot has happened in comics since the 90s. That goes without saying, since there seems to be a "NOTHING WILL EVER BE THE SAME" crossover event every summer from the big two, Marvel and DC. DC Comics even went so far as to reboot their entire continuity back in 2011 with the "New 52". I have seen more negative than positive feelings on this from the comics community, but like it or not, that's what is out there now. It's actually a pretty good time to get into comics. There are many new titles coming out from Marvel and DC alike as well as some of the smaller publishers. There are also some good jumping-on points coming up in existing titles like Captain America, Batgirl, and Thor who are all either changing creative teams or shaking things up in a major way.

My current favorite titles that started this year are Ms. Marvel, Captain Marvel, She-Hulk, Secret Avengers, and Grayson. If I had all the money in the world, I would grab up any number of series that began recently, but these ones are what I'm following now, for better or worse. I've also jumped on board Guardians of the Galaxy, which just finished a story arc, Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman, a new anthology series, Copperhead, a new space western from Image Comics, and Amazing Spider Man, which recently rebooted, and was an easy number 1 to grab, but I think I'm going to drop it after the upcoming Ms. Marvel crossover.

Aww yeah...

The thing is, Marvel (and DC is guilty of this as well) is still doing the thing that turned me off in the first place by running these big cross-title events. There are two this fall from Marvel, Axis and Spider-verse. I have no hope of keeping up with either, because it's just too much and too costly. So I think I'm done with Spiderman for now, because there's no way I'm going to get all the supplemental issues to follow the crossover.

I hear great things about the new Daredevil (which I've read a bit) and Silver Surfer which also began new #1's this year, but I'm just not really attracted to those characters. It's the same old story. I want to read it all, and I get this weird kind of anxiety about the stuff I haven't read. At the same time, there is only so much time and money to devote so I have to be selective. So I'll read and enjoy the titles I have now, and if I drop one, then I'll jump on another.

Film Series: Dead in the Water

No, this is not a review for a film entitled Dead in the Water. (though there are several films by that name in IMDB.)

Looks Good.

This is a post to say that the previous post about an ongoing series of film reviews written by your truly was over before it even started. I just can't do it. My heart's not in it.

I did actually watch Paths of Glory with the intention of reviewing it here. While I do still enjoy that movie, when it came time to write a review, I just couldn't. It felt entirely too pretentious, too stilted. I tried to talk about Kubrick's work as an auteur and how this fits in, about the cinematography, the mise-en-scène. I just can't.

There was a time back in film classes when I would have been happy to go on and on about the film as art, but my brain just isn't wired that way anymore. That is not to take away from critics or film buffs who are really into that sort of thing. The whole point I'm trying to make is that no one should be able to dictate the hows and whys that make a movie enjoyable to you. All I can try to do is explain what I do like. My brain isn't wired for the mechanics of what makes a film good. My brain is wired for story.

In addition to that, I simply don't have time.

So, I guess pretend the last post didn't happen? I may from time to time review a movie here or there, or book, or whatever, but I make no promises.