That’s a really pretentious title for a little back-and-forth email chat about some comics stuff right now, but there you go. As far as DVD-type extras, it’s interesting to note that I was eating a snack of cheese and crackers with sharp cheddar as we were emailing each other, when Chris threw sharp cheddar into the discussion. Eerie! — Alan David Doane
CA: Reading Robot 6’s long piece asking comics people about 2010, it’s funny to me that when given the opportunity to give a shout-out to an overlooked book, many pick mediocre books that got normal attention but were rightly unheralded (Ultimate Mystery? Siege: Loki?). Thor the Mighty Avenger was the most talked about Thor book before it was even canceled, but the people who blog about comics aren’t exactly the same demo that buys the same ol’ sooperhero stuff. And I guess everyone felt digital comics was the big deal of 2010, even though it hasn’t made much of an impact yet as far as I can tell.
ADD: I read the first issue of Langridge’s Thor but it didn’t blow me away. I may or may not go back and read the rest of the run. It just didn’t strike me as amazing or outstanding in any way.
CA: I suspected as much. I think there are just too many books that are very samey, so when someone does something just a little different, it’s often overpraised. I’m not quite ready to crown a Chris Roberson, Paul Cornell, Nick Spencer or Cristos Gage geniuses yet, y’know? They have some flair. An all-ages Thor book drawing from decades of stories and hundreds of years of mythology, with clean art, shouldn’t be that difficult to pull off, and no offense to Langridge, but so should Muppet Show. Mark Evanier could probably crank out just as good a version, but who talks about Evanier as a writer these days? Action Comics, Avengers Academy, Secret Avengers — these are fine books but they really should be the bog-standard in superhero comics. We’re just used to accepting so much less and gutting it out.
ADD: I honestly don’t think anyone ever talked about Evanier as a writer, except perhaps for six months when DNAGents was around, and honestly the most entertaining thing about both that and its spinoff book Crossfire was the letters pages. And I am not belittling the comics, which were above-average superhero stuff for the time, but the letters pages were pure gold, in much the same way his very best blog posts are today.
CA: Right. But based on Groo, he can be pretty great. I liked the Langridge Muppet Show TPB, the first one, but haven’t felt the need to keep up with the rest. It hit the marks of what you would expect of an adaptation of the show and was drawn well, but it’s not like it made me feel I need more Kermit and Piggy in my life.
ADD: Right, I read the first four issues and was blown away by the technical excellence of it, but would much, MUCH rather see Langridge free to do his own thing. His 13th Floor online GN was BRILLIANT, but no one has ever put it into print. It would be a perfect fit at Top Shelf. Oh, and, agreed that Secret Avengers should be the bare-minimum acceptable level of quality, with the exception being #5, which was just spectacular and makes me wish the entire series would get that good. It would help if Lark were the regular artist, of course — Deodato’s fine, in the same way mac and cheese for dinner is fine. I’ll eat it but I won’t remember it next week.
CA: Ha ha. I got these mac-n-cheese bites for lunch last Saturday. For the kids but I ate them, too — basically mac-n-cheese rolled in a crunchy coating like a hush puppy. When you stop and think about it, it’s still pretty bland, but I sure ate a lot of ‘em.
I like Deodato a little better than that — maybe mac-n-cheese with sharp cheddar? His Shang-Chi was pretty nice, and the way he draws Sharon Carter, Steve Rogers should be sporting wood in every scene. But it’s just pretty pictures.
I’m through three issues (of five so far) of Hickman’s S.H.I.E.L.D. and wondering what the point is. It’s fun to use DaVinci and Galileo and Newton and come up with all the secret history stuff, but I’m not sure why I should care. I’m not seeing a story there yet and it has a curious lack of narrative oomph. You would think the previously untold story of Galactus attacking the Vatican 400 years ago and being repelled by Galileo would be cool but it’s like getting history from a textbook.
ADD: My kids have ordered those mac and cheese nuggets occasionally. I don’t think I could bear putting one in my mouth. I read Hickman’s first S.H.I.E.L.D. and as I recall the art was nice, but yeah, damn, it was BORING.
CA: Hickman seems to like to add bonus features to comics like this and Secret Warriors — text-heavy things — and that’s nice, but I wish he’d get a little more push from his editor to amp up the conflict, action and tension in the actual comics themselves. Just having every old genius also be some kind of secret superhero isn’t enough.
- troublewithcomics posted this