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Comics of the Weak Comics of the Weak

Here’s Hoping They Buried Your Dreams With Him

The metaphor fails to work, you know, because she’s physically attractive.

Let’s get down to business, and by that, I mean funny business. TAKE IT AWAY, ABHAY:

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I just thought this week was sad. You expect jokes? This week was horrifying. Just in a raw, “Oh, the humanity” sort of way.

Cartoonist Matthew Inman was sued this week. Inman apparently hadn’t waited for Mark Waid and the professional comic community to rewrite all of the rules of digital comics, and has said that he earns a half-million dollars a year from his webcomic The Oatmeal, which made a business three years ago. Imagine the egg on Inman’s face the first time he saw Whatsitsnuts and found out he’d been doing everything all wrong. Anyways, Inman got sued by attorney Charles Carreon, who was previously working for a website called … called Funnyjunk, which is a website that people apparently go to … to find something to laugh about, and heck, it’s got funny in the name, so— Imagine those people real quick. That’s just a sad little Richard Ford short story in and of itself, the kind where a middle-aged man stands in a Motel 6 parking lot clutching the USA Today sports section and thinking about his blind grandmother, except with websites because this is what the future turned out to be, Asimov.

Inman had previously complained that his webcomics were being copied without his consent on the Funnyjunk site and that Funnyjunk had not done enough to cease the infringement. In response, Carreon demanded that Inman pay Funnyjunk $20,000 for this “defamation.” In return, Inman drew a picture of the “owner of Funnyjunk”‘s mom” attempting to have sex with a disinterested bear, and asked his fans to donate $20,000 to charity through his website (more than $220,000 was collected); Inman stated he would take a photo with the money raised, send that photo to Carreon and Funnyjunk with the aforementioned bear drawing, and then donate the money to various charities like the American Cancer Society.

Who is Charles Carreon? Wikipedia notes (a) that he won the Sex.com domain-name case, and (b) that he’s thereafter been in trouble with, e.g., the State Bar of California, for “practicing without a license in Canada.”

Upset by being mocked by … basically everyone (an experience which he compared to racism towards the Japanese during World War II), Carreon has now filed a lawsuit against everyone in arm’s reach of this story, including the American Cancer Society, and issued subpoeanas throughout the universe, all based on the legal precedent of What the Hell v. Is He Thinking.

Meanwhile, the Bleeding Cool website is tormenting a young Moroccan boy who HATES the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon for not being more like the Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon (!?). The boy, known only as Nabil, allegedly had  set up a website called Marvel TV News through which he spread false news stories about the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon, which other news outlets had picked up on and re-reported as true.  After catching him in this whatever-you-call-this, Bleeding Cool is now printing tragic, bizarre letters from this Moroccan boy, where he begs for Bleeding Cool to leave him alone and claims that an unidentified OTHER Moroccan boy is actually responsible; it’s just like a Hitchcock movie, basically, if a Hitchcock movie made you want to get a vasectomy. Nabil has threatened to contact a lawyer; Charles Carreon, Nabil, Nabil, Charles Carreon… Reading these stories is like watching little kids burn ants with a magnifying glass. In all this hullabaloo about Ultimate Spider-Man and websites not checking their sources properly, what Bleeding Cool has failed to appreciate are the immense pressures these guys are under– it’s really a dramatic situation. At least according to my research. Now, I’m no expert, but according to my research, Nabil and his unidentified friend have to stay one jump ahead of the breadline, one swing ahead of the sword, they steal only what they can’t afford (that’s everything!). One jump ahead of the lawmen– that’s all, and that’s no joke. Bleeding Cool doesn’t appreciate they’re broke. ”Riffraff! Street rat! Soundrel! Take that!” Just a little snack, guys! They can take a hint, gotta face the facts. You’re my only friend… unidentified Moroccan. Nabil, all he has to do is juuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuump….

Shit, man. This is all just sad, sad, sad. This week is like a Richard Ford short story about a Raymond Carver short story trying to have sex with a Sylvia Plath poem. This week is like a darker version of that episode of Punky Brewster about how little girls shouldn’t play in refrigerators– except in this version, Cherie never comes out of that fridge, you guys.

We’re all alone in a universe devoid of intelligent life, surrounded by crazy monkeys who think they’re people. Enjoy your summer.

——————————————————————————————————

Okay, enough of the doom and gloom, right? We got two weeks of comics to suckle down, so let’s get lubed up, sucker.

Avengers Vs X-Men #6
By Jonathan Hickman, Olivier Coipel, Mark Morales, Laura Martin, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, Jason Aaron,
Published by Marvel Comics

I was on a panel with our beloved Rob Clough one time, and he introduced himself and said he sometimes wrote for a website called “Poopsheet”, and people giggled and Rob exasperatedly said something along the lines of “Get it out of your system.” Which is a bit unfair, right? It isn’t like saying Uranus or something, it’s the word “poop.” You put that in the title of a thing, you better expect people are going to react to it. “Poop.” That’s got freight. You drop that in a conversation, heads are gonna turn, chairs might get flipped. “Get your hand outta my pocket” might come next, Malcolm. Cyclops’s red thong thing is the same. “Okay, so a guy with infinite power, with self-described God-like omnipotence has just created a weird red brief in his groin area, right where it would be a bikini bottom, so get it out of your system and let’s move on to the more adult tale of absolute power corrupting absolutely except Scarlet Witch.” Pump the brakes, pal. You don’t get to move on quite yet: God just reinvented reality, and he created a red thong. This is just another variation on the old Power Girl argument, that old fucking horseshit where Gigantic Tit Window gets called a feminist power move and the part where people call that argument by its proper name–which is “fucking horseshit”–gets put on hold forever while everybody writes endlessly on the different ways that there’s “some truth to that” while some old EC Comics obsessive keeps admonishing each other to watch their “potty mouths.”

Of course: that’s comics as of late–everybody gives the lunatic his day in court, even though, no, actually, that isn’t how court works. That isn’t a democracy, either. When a guy shows up at the polling place wearing a tin foil hat with yellowed semen residue flaking off his pants and he starts screaming about how Jorge Muslim Obama stole his grandmother’s soul from the health insurance store to kill all the babies, they actually don’t let that guy vote. But in comics, you’re supposed to get over the way that guy smells, because he’s got some valid points, and he’s probably a really nice guy when he’s on his meds, and maybe if there was better “comics journalism” we all wouldn’t get bogged down in childish things like external red thongs on Cyclops, and what does that say about you anyway, hmm, etc. And this goes on forever. So let’s move on. There’s no point here. Julia Roberts isn’t going to write you a settlement check. The baby has a tumor. The glass is half empty. This isn’t a “cigar is sometimes a cigar” thing. A thong is a thong. That dude has the power of actual Big-G God, and he created a magical bondage thong. Closure isn’t real.

Batman Incorporated #2
By Grant Morrison, Chris Burnham, Nathan Fairbairn
Published by DC Comics

While the chronology of this narrative is fractured at first, it pretty much drops into a fast-forward recap of Who She Is and How She Came To Be (the she being Talia), and while some parts of it are going to be a little more familiar than others to those of us who have read way too many Batman comics, you can pretty easily fall into the rhythm of it if you’ve ever seen a training montage in a sports movie. She does one thing. Then she does something else. And while it all leads up to a riff on the old “Batman didn’t want to bang regularly, therefore Batman must suffer horribly” twist that doesn’t skirt stereotype so much as it pulls over to pick up the stereotype and then decides to let the stereotype drive wherever the hell its predictable droning ass wants to go, it’s still a clever, cutely drawn thing. Why not?

Gloriana
By Kevin Huizenga

Really good.

Birdseye Bristoe
By Dan Zettwoch

Also good.

Hit-Girl #1
By Mark Millar, John Romita Jr, Tom Palmer, Dean White

Not good.

End of the Fucking World #8
By Charles Forsman

Good again.

Kramers Ergot 1 & 2
By Various

Had never read these before. Pretty good.

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Century 2009
By Alan Moore, Kevin O’Neill
Published by Top Shelf

The comic itself didn’t need to be good, although it was, but it didn’t have to be, because it had already come along right when we most needed it and united the entirety of the comics community–or at least, the only part this particular column gives even kind of a shit about, at all–in an absolutely glorious bone-cracking blood-dripping black-hearted vinyl-suited fuck-your-father contempt for every single jaw-slacked dumbass motherfucker who brought up Alan Moore’s usage of Harry Potter in this story in a Before Watchmen comment section, claiming that the two were the same thing. Hands were reached across the aisle. Sean T. Collins and Noah Berlatsky joined like Voltron, and they cooked meat together before watching Game of Thrones. For one beautiful moment, comics held fast at the breakers, all of us together as one, bound by a shared hatred. Remember that thing you heard about how the dudes in World War I trenches laid down their arms and joined each other for a game of two-hand touch in the no man’s land? It was like that. Except that while we played two hand-touch, we also talked about how awesome it would be if you could give the people who leave comments on Robot 6 AIDS by saying their name in the bathroom mirror three times, Candyman style.

Fatima: The Blood Spinners #1
By Gilbert Hernandez
Published by Dark Horse

According to the advertisement, Fatima: The Blood Spinners is the fourth installment of the Dark Horse-advertised “Genius Redefining Genre” campaign, which makes it official: I’m going to kill myself immediately. Before you do the same, take a dip in Lake Gilbert to see what he has to say about A Powerful Female Character With A Past, Fuck It, Let’s Also Do It In A Zombie Setting. It’s better than it sounds, although it could easily be better than it sounds based off one or two of its most striking images. And when you factor in that this column is so firmly in the camp of admiration for Gilbert’s commitment to not giving the widdle precious baby more Palomar comics for baby to suck on, there’s really no reason to bring this up beyond using it at as an opportunity to look at that one particular drawing for the 900th time, but this time in a different setting.

Spider-Men #1-2
By Brian Michael Bendis, Sara Pichelli, Justin Ponsor
Published by Marvel Comics

The first issue of this was just Peter Parker going WTF all over the Ultimate version of Marvel comics–not for the same reason Marvel’s accountants are jesus i’m sorry that wasn’t even trying to be funny–but because he was in the wrong dimension and that shit was mad confusing, and at the end of the comic, he finally met his Ultimate counterpart, a little kid named Miles Morales. Now, some people are going to complain because this first issue took the whole comic to get to the part where the two characters who are supposed to meet up actually do so. Some people are going to complain because, in the second issue, Miles Morales is able to get the upper hand on Peter Parker. Other than that though, this is the best comic book ever made. Everybody involved should feel really proud of themselves. See it’s called “Spider-Men” because there’s two of them. Think about it for a second.

B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth: Exorcism #1
By Mike Mignola, Cameron Stewart, Dave Stewart
Published by Dark Horse Comics

Although Mike Mignola’s decision to ramp up the production of B.P.R.D. comics despite the obvious lack of stories for those comics to contain stands as the most bewildering comics decision not related to those moments where Dan DiDio goes “I should ask J. Michael Straczynski if he’s got any ideas”, Exorcism shouldn’t bear the criticism its more deserving brethren have recently brought with them. Reading more like a Hellboy one-off than anything else, the story is simply engaging, heavily reliant on a talented art team, resulting in a comic that I enjoyed despite the fact that I would rather be dead and not have to feel things anymore.

Astonishing X-Men #51
By Marjorie Liu, Mike Perkins, Andrew Hennessy, Andy Troy, Jim Charalampidis, Rachelle Rosenberg
Published by Marvel Comics

You’d think they’d pull out all of the creative stops for a comic they plan to push on The View, which is a television show designed by Satan featuring female celebrities who seem intent on training American women to believe that the best one can hope for in life is that you “conjure” up a couple of girlfriends willing to play Cynthia Nixon to your Kim Catrall until the skin cancer starts picking you off like the D.C. Sniper. And yet Marvel can’t even plan far enough ahead to ensure that their View-appearing comic’s creative team doesn’t exceed the number of fingers on one of their stupid fat hands. (Apparently it didn’t matter anyway, because Whoopi Goldberg heard “gay” and “comic books” and immediately reminded everybody in the comics community that the concept of Batman having sex with Robin will mean more to the outside world than Jack Kirby ever could, but in Whoopi’s defense, she’s a subhuman monster incapable of empathy.) But whatever, right? The mere existence of a gay marriage in a comic book, no matter how shitty–and this turned out so much shittier than expected, so shitty in fact that Gary Groth was even heard to say “Jesus, really?” while taking a break from stacking up that Stephen Dixon money, Beagle Boys style–is somehow supposed to increase tolerance or maybe change lives in a myriad of ways, despite the fact that all evidence, history, and human reason implies the exact opposite, and that, in actuality, this comic, like every half-ass attempt by Marvel or DC to get some media attention by shoehorning … wait a second, does Rogue mean that her mom was gay? Is that true?

that would be so hot

2 chicks is hot


29 Responses to Here’s Hoping They Buried Your Dreams With Him

  1. wiegle says:

    I can’t believe I’m nitpicking this, but Yellow Springs would legitimately annoy the sort of person who gets bent out of shape about “homosexual indoctrination.” Also their book shop has a decent comics section.

  2. Michel Fiffe says:

    Mystique’s gay? I guess she dated old blind lady Destiny from Freedom Force.

  3. Derik Badman says:

    The new League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was good? It read like a long epilogue that went nowhere. Maybe my reading of it was stunted because had trouble identifying most of the characters.

  4. Ayo says:

    The story was once planned to reveal that Mystique is Nightcrawler’s father rather than mother. The editors apparently told Chris Claremont “no.”

  5. jafabrit says:

    You made an assumption about the woman being from yellow springs, but nobody who lives here would state” “I don’t even know of a shop on this side of town (upper northeast) although I’m sure there must be one. ” . Our town is way too small for anyone to make a comment like that.
    And as someone else pointed out somebody like her wouldn’t last five seconds in Yellow Springs, especially this month with the upcoming Rainbow Pride events ;) and rainbow pride yarnbombing and decorations.

  6. Shady McShade says:

    What is Yellow Springs and why does it suddenly have a large enough population that there can be an overlap between its citizens and TCJ readers? Be honest: are you just here because you have Google Alerts set up to tell you when your town is mentioned?

    “how awesome it would be if you could give the people who leave comments on Robot 6 AIDS by saying their name in the bathroom mirror three times, Candyman style.”

    What did Kurt Busiek ever do to you?

  7. Abhay says:

    I grew up in Cincinnati– I missed out on hearing about all the yarnbombing when I grew up. My apologies to Yellow Springs– I’d lumped you together with Dayton.

  8. Abhay says:

    Though I stand 100% behind any comment present, past or future that Ohio is a terrible place.

  9. Sarcastro says:

    Big deal: AIDS is a chronic disease.

  10. wiegle says:

    There’s at least an overlap between “people whose ex-girlfriends were from near Yellow Springs and so they went there a couple of times” and “TCJ readers,” which is a slightly larger population sample to draw from.

  11. Pat Kastner says:

    Can we all stop hating on Ohio and remember who the real enemy is here: Alan Moore.

    (Or was is “cynicsim”?)

  12. I always had a blast the times I was in Dayton

  13. Cincinnati too. Little Kings!

  14. SAN DIEGO COMIC CON
    INTERNATIONAL 2012:

    See the sights.
    Talk the talk.
    Meet the makers.

    “When a guy shows up at the polling place wearing a tin foil hat with yellowed semen residue flaking off his pants and he starts screaming about how Jorge Muslim Obama stole his grandmother’s soul from the health insurance store to kill all the babies, they actually don’t let that guy vote. But in comics, you’re supposed to get over the way that guy smells, because he’s got some valid points, and he’s probably a really nice guy when he’s on his meds, and maybe if there was better “comics journalism” we all wouldn’t get bogged down in childish things like external red thongs on Cyclops, and what does that say about you anyway, hmm, etc. And this goes on forever.”

    –Tucker Stone, comics critic, “Comics of the Weak”

  15. “That dude has the power of actual Big-G God, and he created a magical bondage thong”

    That actually sounds — no joke — more faithful to Claremont’s vision than anything else I’ve heard.

    Also, on the shittiness of media-grabbing comics: this is a totally banal point, but surely they don’t actually care about getting more people to buy the comics, right? They just made a zillion dollars on The Walt Disney Company’s Marvel Entertainment Group’s The Avengers, why would they give a shit about selling more comics? Marvel doesn’t sell comics, it sells the Marvel “brand”, and that’s what the View thing was about, surely.

  16. Mike Mancini says:

    I feel dumb. I don’t understand Tucker’s opening comment. What does the girl’s attractiveness have to do with the metaphor not working?

  17. Jayhawh says:

    When there was no Comics of the Weak last week first I was angry then confused then upset and then I gave up.

  18. Kit says:

    There’re about nine actual characters in the book and five of them are directly continuing on from the previous issue. Plus Peel, Prospero, Poppins and An Antichrist Moonchild End Of Level Boss.

  19. Jay Evans says:

    It’s all fun and games until you start knocking Richard Ford. I usually like it when you are mean like that………

  20. Frank Santoro says:

    “Nabil has threatened to contact a lawyer; Charles Carreon, Nabil, Nabil, Charles Carreon… ”

    I howled at this bit. Scared the neighbors.

  21. David says:

    That oatmeal site is some lame schtick, I read the one about website design going to hell…. I gotta say, his points were tiresome, unfunny & uninsightful. I preferred the original website of the client, because it was dumb lo fi n fun….all small business websites should like like that…you know by looking at at it if you buy some thing off them…it goes to them…not some ceo who pays Asians 2p an hour to make. His beautiful example was some tedious dry arse shite that any one with dreamweaver would make….kind of like most Hollywood films…a soul less professional void…the after disaster example of his ‘hilarious’ skit (which you could buy as a poster! presumely to put up in your oatmeal office cube to help you count the days until you bring a gun in and take everyone n yourself out) was WAY better as well.

    I so look foward to Tucker Stones Friday columns. It kind of reminds of way back in the day when Paul Morley n Julie Burchill would write a column for the NME where they would basically just slag every new release off and then just rave about one thing that they liked even if it had been released a thousand years ago and there was no reason at all to bring it up except that they could.

    Hail Tucker Stone. You are beautiful. Save yourself, kill them all!

  22. David says:

    Y’know what I didn’t like about it, the colouring. More traditional flat colouring, would of made stand out more.

    I got to say, I love it, the book that is. So great that its come out just in the thick of the Before Watchmen hoopla. When they come out, just compare them next to this book.

    Y’know in an alternate universe, DC treated Moore & Gibbons really well, renegotiated the contract when Watchemen continued to sell. Gave them better Royalties and there pair of them were happy for DC to keep printing.

    I’m almost certain Moore would have been quite happy to even consider exploring the characters in further books.

    Moore is entrenched and rock solid black & white in his opinions and actions BECAUSE OF THE WAY DC TREATED THEM. I really don’t think that is that obvious to most people. To start waffling about Charlton and League/Lostgirls not his characters blah blah is to entirely miss the point.

    The League book and the Shaky Kane image book(brilliant flat colouring on that) are the only two ‘non alternative’ or not ‘funny books’ being published real time worth reading for me. I’m just here because I like to watch Tucker slaughter everything mercilessly.

  23. TimR says:

    I had almost the exact same reaction to his website examples, I liked the “bad” one for its lo-fi fun as you say and didn’t care for the supposedly smart/clever one. However… I think there *are* terrible amateur sites out there that would fit his argument. Sites where you can’t read the text, or really are annoyed by the shittiness. Likewise, there are “nice” sites out there too that I like, put together by fastidious designers. (Not disputing there’s a lot of “professional-looking” bilge, of course. way of the world etc.)

    Also his main argument about designers vs. clients is not at all without merit, though probably a commonplace complaint for anyone working in those fields. It really is amazing how clients assume that while on the one hand they “can’t draw a stick figure” (the universal modest disclaimer) on the other hand they can tell someone with years of experience in commercial design to “add some more red here” or whatever. Whereas they wouldn’t walk up to a plumber and say, “Hey, how about twisting that bolt over there? See what that does.” No, you just tell them what problem to solve and they solve it.

    I poked around his site some and I had mixed reactions. There’s some funny ideas, funny lines. Like in his piece about how to redesign movie theatres, his diagram presents a branching yes/no tree and if you answer “yes” and belong to any of the offending categories you go “INTO THE DOME MOTHERFUCKERS” – a giant clear dome down at the bottom. It has the crude irreverence of something you’d draw in your notebook as a kid. Maybe a little knowingly crude & playful, but entertaining. However, then he replays the line later, for those out in the “civilized” area, one is still on thin ice apparently and can be sent INTO THE DOME MOTHERFUCKER at any time. Fair enough for the joke, but his bit about microphones that monitor your noise level and give you a credit score equivalent for how noisy you are, and this is presented as (humorously, but still) a positive, is a little creepy to me. Maybe moreso when taken with other laffs & gags elsewhere on the site.

  24. Strangefate says:

    Seriously, I was thinking the same thing. That reads like a pure distillation of Claremont’s run. The twin engines upon which he drove the whole contraption — fetish shoots and cosmic nonsense, all framed with people whining about their awesome powers and the terrible alienation they feel as a result.

    So clearly, Cyclops as leather daddy space Jesus in a cherry red thong is the logical culmination of five decades of X-Men storytelling. This is where it’s all been leading True Believers!

  25. Zeh Ryan says:

    I just went to that Bleeding Cool post, and poor Nabil’s name might have been redacted, but his full name is in his unaltered e-mail address.

  26. Zeh Ryan says:

    A red thong would wrap around both the front and the back. That, my friends, is a diagram of Cyclops’ uterus.

  27. Pingback: When Falls the Coliseum

  28. moose n squirrel says:

    The most hilarious thing about the new League of Extraordinary Gentlemen – other than the fact that Alan Moore manages to squeeze in a few totally gratuitous instances of sexual assault yet again (cue chorus of “That’s Our Moore!”) – is that for a book that’s ostensibly supposed to be about the fiction of the early 21st century, it revolves almost entirely around characters and concepts from the mid-20th century, the 19th century, and earlier. There’s a chunk of Harry Potter at the end, of course, which seems to be there largely for Moore to grumble and whine at the philistine universe for reading J.K. Rowling instead of whatever tarot card commentary he jacked off to last week, and other than that there’s hilariously misplaced references to everything from the West Wing to The Thick of It to The Lion King which indicate that Moore may have at least looked some shit up on Wikipedia in lieu of exposing himself to any piece of culture created after 1980.

    The most telling moment in the whole book, though, is when one of the characters says, in a sweeping commentary on Today’s World, “It’s not just the poverty. People were desperately poor in 1910, but at least they felt things had a purpose.” To which I’d like to ask… what the fucking fuck? I guess Alan Moore was around in 1910, in the slums and ghettos of industrial England, scuffing it up with the working class, who may have been getting worked to death in factories on a daily basis, but at least had those charming old-timey pulp adventures to keep their spirits up! Moore follows that up, of course, with his character rhetorically asking “How did culture fall apart in just a hundred years?”, summing up every Alan Moore interview in which he essentially says that he hasn’t read a book or listened to a song or watched a movie made in the last decade or so, but he just knows they’re awful, and let him tell you why they need to get off his lawn! Really, fuck you, Alan Moore, you crotchety old has-been.

    (Really, if you have not picked up this book – first of all, don’t, it’s terrible. But flip through it, just for the last page, where Moore essentially farts all over what I’m guessing is supposed to be a big emotional moment by splattering it with one of his yuk-yuk pop culture cameos in a way that’s so incongruous it needs to be seen to be believed.)

  29. Joe McCulloch says:

    Ha, I’m of the opinion that Moore seriously didn’t realize the potential reference point in that last page image, and only intended it as a symbol of dauntless courage… although it’d be even better if Moore didn’t get it and O’Neill did. I can see him now, shaking his head at the drawing board going holy shit holy shit in between chortles…

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