Hal Pictures Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!: Is Too Much Enthusiasim a Good Thing?

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Is Too Much Enthusiasim a Good Thing?

It happens every month, in the pages of Preview, or on various sites, such as Newsarama and others, the enthusiastic blurg that heralds the arrival of the new books. Sometimes I pay attention, and sometimes not. Let me just show a couple of versions, one from Marvel and one from DC.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #563 .......Remember that joke that starts "So Spider-Man walks into a bar, and...?" Well, when it's the Villain-filled Bar with No Name, it's no joke! It's a barroom brawl as only Mike McCone can draw it! And that's only the beginning of one of the most maddening nights of Spidey's life! Throw in the Enforcers, the Bookie and a climax at Coney Island, and you've got a recipe for the nuttiest Spider-Man story this year! Gale didn't tell us what he was drinking when he wrote it, but it must have been good stuff!


FINAL CRISES #2.........Meet Japan's number one pop culture heroes, the Super Young Team and their languid leader, Most Excellent Superbat! Join legendary wrestler Sonny Sumo and super escape artist, Mister Miracle as they team to face the offspring of the Anti-Life Equation! See Earth's superheroes mourn one of their oldest allies! Witness costumed criminals sinking to new depths of cowardice and depravity as Libra takes things too far! Uncover the doomsday secret of the poisoned City of Bludhaven! Learn the shocking identity of the prime suspect in the murder of a God! And read on if you dare, as Batman becomes the first of Earth's champions to face the Fallen of Apokolips. All this and a spectacular return from the dead....

Just going by the introductions, which book would YOU want to read? Personally, all I really want is a brief description of the plot, no spoilers, or hoopla is actually necessary. A little bit of enthusiasm is ok, but when they start going into a threnody of hucksterism, my own enthusiasm comes to a crashing halt.

You see, I'm one of those really annoying type of person, who when you say that they are going to just LOOOOOOVEEEE something, my first reaction is...no I'm not. I'm just obnoxious that way. It doens't always apply, if somebody that I know and trust tells me that Blue Beetle is the greatest thing since sliced bread, I may be initially skeptical, but I WILL take a look at it. However, when the Company that is trying to sell me their product starts having orgasms all over the page about how sensational their product is, my innate crankiness kicks right in.

Marvel seems to be the worst offender. All that cutesy blurb about how caaraaazzzzy Spider-Man is going to be, and the sly digs at the creators, and the "gosh, aren't we just so hip" attitude leaves me cold. The DC blurb on the other hand I thought was rather clever in a pulpish sort of way. There was a ton of hyperbole of course, but it wasn't sly or self-referencing.

So...DOES all the "You Must READ THIS" type of hype really work? "You'll be Better off Slitting your Wrists, if you Miss this Issue!" "Joe Quesada will hunt you Down, and kidnap your Children if you miss this chapter!" "Dan Didio has a payment on his Boat!" "You have to READ everything we print, or you Won't Know What's Going On!"

Am I the only person who would like to see this..."The Skrulls Invade! Nothing will ever be the same! Iron Man realizes he was WRONG, they all sit down over tea, and work things OUT!"

Or am I just being too cranky?


At 8:56 AM, Blogger Stephen said...

yeah the you gotta read this were so wacky solicits annoy me, especially the cover of kick ass proclaiming that its the greatest comic ever i know it tongue in cheek but it still grates on me and it takes away from my ability to take a comics seriously

At 9:27 AM, Blogger Evie said...

I don't tend to read the solicitations much, but that Spider-Man one is just an extension of the self-referential cheese factory that is the current series. And I'm totally not a "you ruined everything with OMD!" purist, I really want to like Spider-Man right now, it's just getting on my last nerve. I'll still read it though, cuz I don't want to be out of the loop. :)

At 8:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It struck me recently (after reading some Marvel DVDs with old "Bullpen Bulletins") just how much Marvel hype has changed.

In the old days, Stan would get crazily hyperbolic... but it was all tongue in cheek, with a big dash of self-deprecation. Kinda "We're kidding around, and we know YOU know we're kidding around, but it's fun, right? And buy our magnificent comic mags, they're fun too!"

But lately (well, probably the last 10-15 years or something), Marvel hype has been really straight-faced, like when they say such-and-such is "The greatest event in comics history" or somesuch, you get the impression that either:

1. They believe that, or
2. They think their audience is dumb enough to believe that.

But the Final Crisis blurb there? That sounds like something Stan might've written back in the day....

At 1:50 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

I found the Final Crises blurb to be rather amusing. It's cheese, but it's good cheese. The Marvel stuff however, is just a bit TOO over the top.

As you say, Stan Lee was the master at hyperbole, but it WAS done tongue-in-cheek, with everyone in on the joke. Nowadays however, it is just a bit TOO fervid, and too self-aware. It's cheese too, but it's stinky cheese.

At 3:33 AM, Blogger nicodemus88 said...

Well a sollicit is sensed to arouse curiosity and as this it's a good thing for me as I like comics for their serial aspects, the fact that it ends with an to be continued and that I have a month to wonder what will happen.
Sollicit or preview play on this, when I read something like "a shadow of the past comes back haunt X" it's cheesy but I can try to think who it might be.

But you are totally true too hyperbolic sollicit become totally stupid unless the tongue in cheek aspect was clearly intended.

Finally I must say that this final crisis starts to make me curious...

At 1:48 AM, Blogger K. D. Bryan said...

Funnily enough, it's not the hyperbole that bothers me. I think I've grown immune to it over the years. But I've gotten so jaded now that whenever I read solicitations, I always answer every question they ask - hypothetical or not - with one of three randomly selected answers.

1. Magic Elves
2. Your Mom
3. Man-Thing and Howard the Duck

I find this action improves solicitations immensely. Observe:

Pencils & Cover by RON LIM

This is it! The comic series adapting Laurell K. Hamilton’s bestselling novel Guilty Pleasures comes to its pulse pounding conclusion! The first startling book of the Anita Blake series ends here! Who has been slaughtering the vampires? Magic Elves. Can Anita stop them? Man-Thing and Howard The Duck Who will live? Your Mom. Who will die? Magic Elves Who will remain undead? Man-Thing and Howard the Duck. It all comes to a head here, as the titular vampire hunter and her dangerous ally Edward face off against the forces of evil. Don’t miss it!
32 PGS./Parental Advisory …$2.99

At 6:26 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

K.D., you have the perfect solution.

At 3:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

See I had the oppostie reaction to most it seems. Spidey's solicit seems much more reasonable to sell to somebody because it actually describes what's going on. By the end we can tell Spidey will fight the bar with no name villains and it'll end up on coney island.

Thats cool with me.

At 9:37 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

...they had me at "Most Excellent Superbat."

...yeah, I'm easily amused.

At 8:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All this "greatest comic ever" "battle of the century" crap gets wheeled out so often that I hardly notice it anymore.

Remember when Captain America died and Marvel tried to say they'd warned the retailers it was going to be a special issue? The retailers all quite reasonably said that they said the same thing every month.

At 9:18 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

You raise an excellent point. This month's issue! Stiltman gets a lube job! Best Issue Ever!

It does get a bit old.


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