Hal Pictures Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!: Why I Hate Comics

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Why I Hate Comics

Let us for one moment forget that I am a mild-mannered mild-aged Mother of Four, and let me don my secret disguise of wild-eyed Fangirl. Oh, and let me dip my feather quill in acid, and list the things about comics that just drive me into a frenzy sometimes.

DC/Marvel Rivalry

For years, the two companies coexisted in relative harmony. Lately, their rivalry has been taken up a notch, and I'm getting a bit tired of it. Marvel, you're beating DC practically every month. Stop letting your old insecurities keep showing and lighten up a bit. Sheesh! Enough of the idiotic offers to rip off covers and the tit-for-tat sniping. It's juvenile, and I'm sick of it.

Bad Writing

Man oh man, there has been a crapload of really awful writing lately, and it's starting to wear on my nerves. I really can't single out any one company for this, when it comes to making terrible editorial decisions and just plain dreadful ideas, there is plenty of blame to go around. From Civil War, to One More Day, to infinite Skrullery, not to mention Justice League Cry for Justice, there has been some really abysmal stuff put out there.

Death

Enough is enough already. Stop killing off good and viable characters for nothing more than shock value. It's Old and it's Tired, and none of us are shocked anymore, just disgusted. When you kill off a good established character you are taking away all kinds of future stories. It is unbelievably short-sighted, and it has been done so very very often, that when the character is resurrected, it too has lost any impact. If you are killing someone for shock value, and nobody is shocked then what is the point? This goes right back to bad writing. It's LAZY writing, and I despise lazy writing.

Refridgeraters

And while we are at it, could we please stop shoving little girls into the fridge? I'm getting sick and tired of women characters being tortured, killed and otherwise messed with, just to give the doughty hero some angst. It's boring and trite and again...lazy writing.

Bad Art

That's pretty obvious. I realize that art is very subjective. Some people just love an artist, while other people hate the very same, it is all a matter of taste. But there are some things that really should be universal. A mild grasp of anatomy would be much appreciated. Depicting women in a slighly less graphically sexy manner would also be appreciated. It is actually very hard to fight someone while wearing stiletto heels and a thong. Or, if you insist on showing women this way, then make it fair, and show the men running around half-naked as well. Tit for Tat, if you'll pardon a pun.

And while I'm ranting, how about some backgrounds? I understand that it takes a longer amount of time to do more detailed drawings, but something other than a bland orange background would be appreciated once in a while. A consistant lighting source is always nice. Pornface is not.

Trolling

I realize that this is the height of hypocrisy on my part, but boy am I sick of reading all the bitching and moaning that goes on every message board and blog. A little bit of criticism is perfectly fine, we all do it. I'm doing it right now, and it feels GREAT! But there are some people who seem to be incapable of ever enjoying their comics, and that's rather sad. Why on earth would you read something you hate so much? What would posess someone to go on someone else's blog and make mean-spirited comments about something that that blogger enjoyed? That is an aspect of the Internet that continues to baffle me. I don't understand the appeal of trolling, but there must BE some sort of thrill to it, or there wouldn't be so many people doing it. It's rude, and uncalled for, and quite frankly, I think your mothers would be ashamed of you, so grow up.

Cancellations

It seems that every time I really like a book, it gets cancelled. Either I have really rotten taste, or I'm a jinx, I not sure which. But Blue Beetle, Manhunter, Aquaman, Birds of Prey, Nextwave, and countless others, there are a lot of books that I wish were still being published. Again, this is a purely personal beef on my part, but I'm sure that you have all had a favorite book that was suddenly and tragically cancelled. It's just sad.

Musical Artists and Writers

Just when you get used to a certain combination on one of your favorite books, they start switching everybody around again. In the OLD days, it used to be that the same writer stayed with a book for years, not months. Same thing with an artist. Now it seems as though every six months or so, everyone plays musical chairs. It's annoying.

Huge Crossovers

Enough already. How about letting the writers tell their own stories on their own books without having to worry about how to fit into some OTHER writer's giant crossover? A few done-in-one issues would be a nice palate cleanser as well.

Editing

How about trying it once in a while? I believe in letting the writer do their job, but sometimes, that writer hasn't got a clue about the past history of a certain hero which leads to hideously out-of-character portrayals. An Editor needs to know when to step up and say to the writer, that no, So-and-So would NEVER behave in that particular way, no matter HOW edgy it would make your tale. Stuff like that just drives me nuts sometimes.

Retcons

When used judiciously, they can work very well, but years and years of continuity shouldn't be thrown out of the window for the sake of telling ONE story. Again, this goes back to lazy writing. If you're going to do a retcon, then do your research and make it plausible...not jarring or improbable.

Pricing

I realize that comics don't cost 25 cents anymore, but the recent price hikes have just been ridiculous. Most items don't suddenly jump in price by more than 30 percent, and when you have an ever-dwindling audience for your wares, you shouldn't go and stick it to them. They may find less-expensive ways of entertaining themselves.

Whew! I was crankier than I thought.

12 Comments:

At 3:21 PM, Blogger ticknart said...

On cancellations:
After I get over the initial anger of a low(er) selling, favorite book getting the axe, I try to be happy that it was at least published for a while and I got the back issues.

However, when it's something like Birds of Prey, all I can do is wonder what the hell is going on! Canceling that book didn't even serve a story purpose. And although I'm glad it's coming back with Simone I have to ask, Ed Benes? Seriously? I mean, come on!

 
At 4:12 PM, Blogger Sea-of-Green said...

>>if you insist on showing women this way, then make it fair, and show the men running around half-naked as well.<<

Hear, hear! :-D

 
At 5:04 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

Some books that are cancelled really do have low sales, so I suppose I can see it from a business point of view, although it is still disappointing. Then there are cancellations like Mosaic, which actually had quite decent sales, but they were getting rid of everything Green Lantern related at the time, which just infuriates me.

I just get so tired of looking at women's butt cheeks constantly. I want to look at MEN's butt cheeks!

 
At 6:18 PM, Blogger GF said...

I think we gotta name names, here. I'll start. Phil Jimenez never gets called out for his bad anatomy simply because his work superficially imitates Perez.
Anyone want to name the first writer? Is Winick too easy?

 
At 8:09 PM, Blogger LissBirds said...

Sally, I love you.

This should be distributed as an Open Letter to All Comics Creators because it hits the nail on the head just perfectly.

"Enough of the idiotic offers to rip off covers and the tit-for-tat sniping." Yes! Thank you! I hated that promotion. It was just so mean-spirited.

And some people just don't know how to enjoy their comics. Somewhere they forgot they're supposed to be entertainment...you know, fun. And some creators forgot that their main job is to tell a story rather than shock us. This is why I'm surrounded by a pile of Showcase Presents.

 
At 8:36 PM, Blogger Shelly said...

Well put. Of course, I like Ed Benes' art and I'm fond of Phil Jimenez' work, too, so yes, personal taste is a major factor. Even Judd Winick has written good stories when he writes characters he has an affinity for.

My main gripe is that comics aren't as much fun now. Sure, things were tense and edgy in the past, but they were still fun. All this death and things done to shock have simply sucked the joy out of comics.

 
At 6:15 AM, Blogger Bruce said...

Hear hear, Sally. Well said.

 
At 9:33 AM, Blogger MetFanMac said...

Good points, one and all.

Particularly galling about the constant grimark death stuff in the comics is that they can't resist from plotting more and more of it even while supposedly moving in a lighter direction (with "Brightest Day" and "Heroic Age").

 
At 10:17 AM, Blogger Dwayne "the canoe guy" said...

Thumbs up Sal.

Back in the 80's there was soooo much buttage & bosomage being thrown about I refer to those years as "Jugs & Demons" because every storyline was either demonic or surrounded by cleavage (or both)

 
At 10:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exactly in agreement with everything you said! :-)))

- Seafire

 
At 11:18 AM, Blogger Your Obedient Serpent said...

The "Bad Writing" and "Crossover" factors, well, cross over. A lot of the recent Big Events have had strong central threads, surrounded by a lot of editorially-mandated peripheral stories of wildly varying quality.

If you can identify the central threads, you've gone a long way toward separating the wheat from the chaff. Working in a comic store for the last two years of Constant Crossover Crises, I've had the luxury of deciphering this particular DaVinci Code without having to BUY everything.

Blackest Night, for instance, is a Green Lantern story; the real action is taking place in GL, GLC, and the Blackest Night miniseries. The rest of it, good or bad, you can pretty much blow off without losing anything important to the real plot.

By the same token, Secret Invasion was really an Avengers story. Sure, there were half a dozen Avengers titles, and the Big Names on the team had their own books, but they contained the real heart of the story. The further you got from those titles, the more distracting the crossovers became, and the more the whole thing just looked like a mess -- but, again, you could blow them off and read the real story as a Thing In Itself.

 
At 11:53 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

Serpent, what you say is absolutely true, certainly in the case of Blackest Night and Secret Invasion. And as a Green Lantern fan, I have been quite happy with this particular crossover. If you wanted to buy the other ancillary books, it was fine, but no giant or necessary reveals were in them.

The ones that drive me nuts, are the crossovers that have key elements in the additional books, that make it necessary to the whole story...but you don't necessarily know WHICH book that may be. Millenium for example had pretty good additional books, in some cases better than the main mini-series...but you wouldn't have known that if you hadn't waded through all the extra issues.

 

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