Why do bad things happen to good fans? Whether it’s atrocious art, ridiculous writing or something else entirely – some crimes against fandom cannot go unanswered. When that happens, it’s time to say “BLAARGH!”
It has been a long time since I’ve done this kind of a column but some things piled up on my mind and I must let them out, so here we go.
– The current state of the X-books doesn’t make me want to read them. I’ve stopped reading many ongoing mainstream books I’ve been following, but with the X-Men the impact seems so much bigger. First of all, I started reading comics mostly thanks to the X-Men. From the late ’90s to mid-2007 I’ve been a devoted fan and even after quitting buying comics altogether due to financial problems that year, I still thought of myself as an X-fan. Months later and I got a gig at Wizard that brought me back to reading the X-books right in the middle of “Messiah Complex.” I think my doubts officially started then and there, but I’ve ignored them. Over a year later, my column was dead and PoP! was founded. I continued reading X-books via… alternative channels, until I’ve started pushing back new issues and piling up digital copies, then by the end of 2009 I just stopped caring (circa the beginning of “Necrosha”). And now… now Marvel is publishing what seems like an upcoming Mutants vs. Vampires storyline. Yeah… Wake me up when the X-Men editors grow up.
- It ain’t news that comic book prices are high and many fans can’t afford any longer buying the amounts of weekly books they used to buy two or three years ago. It has been discussed numerous times, but still: As of last year (exactly one year; FCBD, to be precise) I’m back to buying comic books on a regular basis (I’m going to my “LCS” – 30 miles from home – once a month) but rarely are they floppies, as nowadays I prefer buying trades and graphic novels. I usually spend 350-500 NIS (about 100-140$) on each purchase, which is 4-7 books. Some I pre-order, most I pick from the shelf. Last week I’ve been to the store for my monthly visit and just skipped on most of Marvel and DC’s (not including Vertigo) books for one reason: The price. A five-issue trade of a Batman story for 20$ or a trade of Alias (only the first part) for 35$, seriously? For the same price I can buy two trades of Fables, each containing the same amount of pages and chapters. Many retailers offer discounts and that’s admirable in this time of troubled economy, but that’s beside the point, because the fact we need discounts in the first place is not okay.
- Speaking of which, several years ago when I was still reading monthly comic books on a regular basis, there were lots of complaints about Marvel’s advertisement policy, selling 40-page issues with only 22 of them containing story material; or their product placements in the stories themselves. Seeing how readers eventually went outrageous when Marvel raised the price of their products awhile later and then again last year (without much of a negative affect on their sales, despite the commotion), would it have been so bad nowadays to see Marvel or any other publisher selling dozens of pages to sponsors or shoving products placements so they could keep the prices at a reasonable level? And believe me, they don’t lie about the price of paper going up (while not being an expert, I work in the industry and know for a fact that the international paper industry is struggling). With so many North American newspapers closing down, it’s good to see the comics industry doing relatively good. For now.
- Bone. Apparently, it’s bad for kids. BONE!!!
– Mark Millar. So I was wrong and Kick-Ass (the movie, not your comic book) was entertaining. But you’re still an idiot and a dickhead. If you really came first with that vampires stuff that you now claim someone stole from you for the X-books, then quit now and just go write movies for Michael Bay (he’ll probably shit on your scripts but Uwe Boll will eventually buy them; for the shit, of course, because he collects Michael Bay’s shit, but then he’ll see your scripts and do his magic on them). And what was that Photoshop “scheme” with Nemesis? I thought your shticks were funny 8-9 years ago. Now, your infantilism really fits Marvel.
- All Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder or as it is now known (now = summer 2011), Dark Robin with a Mustache. Or something like that. Just… stop it. Please, DC. Let Frank Miller go and Jim Lee focus on his new managerial duties (i.e. two covers a year for a new Batman book and publicity photoshoots in the pool with Dan and Geoff).
- Lady Gaga. Just because. No, really. If I can say I hate something, it must be her. Her extravagated “style”, so-called singing and dumb lyrics haunt me in my sleep. I can’t like her even for the sake of camp, and I consider myself open minded. I’ve been planning a lengthy “BLAARGH!” about her, but these five lines are too much already and sum up my feelings.
- Haven’t been following the Buffyverse since 2007, but man, that last issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer sounds like that franchise has just jumped the shark boned the fish. Literally. And Buffy was the fish. If you haven’t heard, Brad “I kill characters because it’s fun and pretend like going through rape is ‘growing up’” Meltzer got Buffy and the shocking (if you haven’t been following the news three months ago) new villain/old flame Angel to do the nasty in some cosmic ritual. Mr. Whedon, I know you’re very busy right now with not writing the rumored Avengers movie script, but you can’t let people that pretend to be your friends ruin your creations like that. I mean, if you’re doing such thing, why not at least have sex with Faith? Isn’t Buffy a lesbian or something now?
- I’ve read Jonah Hex #1 back when it was released several years ago. Last year I got back to the series and read the second volume trade, but was unimpressed. Despite that, I had some hopes for the upcoming movie (June 18) based on the character, starring Josh Brolin and John Malkovich. Megan Fox’s presence bothered me (can’t stand her, as an actress and as a celebrity) but I kept my hopes. Then it seemed like the movie went underground and I forgot about it, until this week several websites brought the topic up again, noticing that less than two months before the release and there’s no trailer for it. No announcements from the studio and reshooting parts of the film earlier this year, shows that movies based on the DCU are still not out of the hellish loophole they’ve been in for the most part of the last two decades. While Jonah Hex doesn’t have the big following of other DC icons, I still have doubts about Green Lantern and only when I see a trailer I’ll probably let go of my worries.