COLUMNS

Comics of the Weak Comics of the Weak

Things Don’t Look So Bright And Chummy Round Here

Nathan Bulmer, doing the dirty. He’s doing these every single day, people. My dad is a dentist, so you’d think I should send him this cartoon, right? I’m not going to. He wouldn’t look at it, and the disappointment of his disinterest to even click a link would bring up what some might call “the original wound.” I’ve learned it’s best not to request that kind of pain. Some people keep going back to the well. Take a look at this, it’s from Abhay’s Tumblr.

Fun, right? Abhay went on to point out that “the word masterfully gets 58,500 hits.” I love this little image. One response I liked a considerable amount was when someone said “we get exactly what we deserve,” something I’d furiously shake my head in agreement with. That is also, in part, why it’s perfectly fine that CBR and the rest of its peer group read the way they do. If a bunch of adult men want to make My Little Pony comics a sales bonanza, why pretend that the industry deserves a Pauline Kael or a Gay Talese? Wizard‘s leftovers will work just fine, that’s about all the intelligence we can handle.

REVIEWS, AND THEN ABHAY WILL EXPLAIN GRANT MORRISON

Scrublands
By Joe Daly
Published by Fantagraphics, 2005
An anthology of shorter works by the Dungeon Quest cartoonist compiled alongside a wordless 70-pager called “Prebaby” that reimagines procreation and birth in Daly fashion. Healthy range of humor on display–weed buddy comedy, nudity and sex humor. Daly is a much more interesting cartoonist than most of the names that are brought up during the comedy conversation, he’s also an actual artist to boot.

Pope Hats #3
By Ethan Rilly
Published by Adhouse
I’d love to dislike this comic, to use it as an example of the empty sterility of design porn comics, but it refuses to fit into that category, allowing the worst aspects of its fans to slide off. Its general plot and character concerns couldn’t be more slight–list them on paper, you’ve got a feminized version of one of the male character arcs from The Good Wife; from another angle, it’s indistinct from parts of that Keanu Reeves movie where Satan is a lawyer. And yet, Rilly is able to burrow around in the lives of his two protagonists enough to make stale tropes his own, ultimately using these worlds–of a lawyer, of an actor–to insert a bit of richness into the black and white alt-genre, while being its prettiest as well.

Black Lung
By Chris Wright
Published by Fantagraphics
Oversized pirate comics, the big, trippy brother to Drew Weing’s Segar influenced Set To Sea. Marketed well by the dropping of the name Peckinpah as compliment, Wright can unnerve and terrify with the best of them, and there’s multiple passages within the page where the panels seem about to seep into the gutters. Gore saturates this comic, and while it ends up more Young Guns than Wild Bunch–entertaining, but pointlessly so, with its aimless tripped out sections going on way too long–the experience still leaves a mark. Brutality for its own sake is the point of some entertaining movies, no reason it can’t be the point of some entertaining comics as well.

Windowpane
By Joe Kessler
Published by Breakdown Press
One of the best looking comics to emerge out of the UK that isn’t from Nobrow, Windowpane is a mixed up collection of one off stories, some of the standard young people talking variety, some from the here’s-a-real-story. Joe Kessler’s use of color is what holds the whole thing together, there’s a sense of composition and thought that, when contrasted with the vaguely crude fluidity of his unpredictable line, results in a comic that seems like its construction crowds out narrative. This isn’t a book that reads, it moves, and Kessler’s variety of style is the beating heart. This is a great comic.

Daredevil #20
By Mark Waid, Chris Samnee
Published by Marvel Comics
It turns out that the bad guy Daredevil has been fighting for these last few issues runs a gigantic slavery ring (one that covers both sex slaves and regular-old-slaves) by decapitating the slaves with teleportation radio and keeping their still living heads in an underground cell while their bodies are used for sex and/or harvesting type duties. Chris Samnee–who apparently can’t turn off “cute” even in a situation like this, when turning it off would help tremendously–goes ahead and delivers the goods, and the whole thing is as gross as it sounds. This one’s a stinker, folks.

Orion The Gates of Apokolips
By Walt Simonson
Published by DC Comics, 2001
Certain superhero comics read as fan fiction, no matter how extraordinarily well made they are, and there’s bits of these Orion comics that fall deep into that trap. Maybe the love is just too strong, but whatever it is, these are more like the documents of an exercise than they are a pulsating story, and while Kirby’s characters have never looked better than they do here, they still come across exactly the same. It’s a great try, nonetheless…

Copra #1
By Michel Fiffe
Published by Copra Press
I like this more than anything else. Comics are a constant disappointment, their failings so rarely spectacular, their banalities so consistent and indistinguishable. True successes are rare, and to make it worse, those successes are often ignored, wasted on an audience bred in the fields of disinterest and stupidity. I hate you so much more than you could possibly imagine. Copra for life!

The Libertarian
By Nick Maandag
Published by Nick Maandag, 2012
Definitely on the short list for funniest comic, so good one wishes there was a nasty comedy industry bent on ignoring it so that one could praise this work by lambasting the lack of attention Those People have paid it. No worries–Maandag found his audience with his Streakers comic, he’ll have no problem finding one again with this. While it’s his script that will receive deserved praise–you could film this thing without changing a word and what you’d have would be better than the last five years of televised sketch comedy–it’s the way Maandag draws his fervid lead, chomping on his knuckle to stifle a scream, that you’ll remember best.

Batman Special #1
By Mike W. Barr, Michael Golden, Mike DeCarlo
Published by DC Comics, 1984
A mediocre idea–a young boy’s parents are killed by a young James Gordon the same night Bruce Wayne lost his parents; one orphan became Batman, the other a cop-killer in a lookalike costume–stretched to 40 pages, the main point of interest with this mostly forgotten miscellany is the art by Michael Golden, one of those influential ’80s artists condemned for the sin of working at his peak when all the interesting writers were in cold storage. This wasn’t his best, some panels don’t look like him at all, but there’s a glimpse or two of a man enjoying himself.

Batman Incorporated #5
By Grant Morrison, Chris Burnham, Nathan Fairbairn
Published by DC Comics
The last great Batman comic that Grant Morrison wrote was Batman #666, and while this issue of Batman Incorporated–which is as close to a sequel as that issue is ever to receive, thematically –could coast on ones fond memories of 666, the truth is that there’s actually enough here to please even the most jaded of the Morrison Batman readers … assuming, ridiculously, that the most jaded Morrison Batman readers are still around, when in reality they are, to a man, long gone. This isn’t a comic for dilettantes or drop-ins, but Morrison can’t be lambasted for that too harshly (unless you want to talk about Action Comics, the title where he was supposed to write for a fabled casual reader, a task which he proved himself hysterically incapable of), because nearly all superhero comics operate in place where the casual passerby is viewed with a mix of contempt and hostility that’s basically no different from racial or gender hatred in terms of its bewildering unexplainability, which is why it so often appears like some form of religious mania, complete with ritual, xenophobia, and tremendously fucked up attitudes about sex. Batman Incorporated is a mix of all kinds of the same self-referential crimes that Morrison’s contemporaries build languages out of–there’s even a bit of meta-victimhood in the way the entire story is about a solitary genius, guilty of ethical shortcomings only because he’s the only true believer left, living in a giant playpen populated by things his strength and intelligence give him mastery over, under siege by morons and maniacs, all of whom wear the same face and probably wouldn’t change if they could–but, like the Morrison of old, the mixture works here, and his partnership (one of the most rewarding ones Morrison has had) with Chris Burnham results in a comic that, compared to the rest of the character’s recent appearances, is almost as entertaining as watching one of the movies.

Prophet #31
By Brandon Graham, Giannis Milonogiannis, Simon Roy, Joseph Bergin III
Published by Image Comics
Although the continued slide in quality of the BPRD has made it somewhat easy for Prophet to slip in as the one pop genre comic that non-genre fans like, the ease of that explanation ignores how good this series has become, and how much better at writing Graham has gotten, even since the beginning of the series. In this issue, the growing cast (each member growing more engaging as the pages mount up) fends off the hoariest of sci-fi tricks, with Graham withholding the gravity until after the situation reaches conclusion, and that’s only a few pages of what’s on offer. Everyone is permitted a favorite, for this reader nothing tops the panel where a headless trashcan informs the young female that she’s wearing an alien’s jock strap on her face. No one matches the deft, miniscule touches with which Milonogiannis displays the emotions of these bizarre, inhuman characters–it’s flash totally without ego, and one of the best looking books available.

Fatale #10
By Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips, Dave Stewart
Published by Image Comics
Previous issues of this have seemed off, but this one worked out fine, simply because Brubaker accepted one of life’s general truths: there is no character less interesting to follow than one who obsessively follows another, and it gets even worse when the one being followed doesn’t particularly enjoy the process. What first seemed dull–he loves her unreservedly, insanely, but boringly–became irritating when she didn’t enjoy the process. The sequence of events that concluded this issue–begun when the fatale of the title embraced what she is, what she can be, and used it–were the first time in this arc when we were witness to active purpose, instead of the treacly whining of the desperate.

Thor God Of Thunder # 2
By Jason Aaron, Esad Ribic, Ive Svorcina
Published by Marvel Comics
“Ive Svorcina”–if there’s a name that belongs on a Thor comic, it’s totally that name right there. Most of the Marvel Now stuff is relatively fine, harmless bullshit, few of them are as incompetent as what DC started the New 52 line with. This one is the best of the bunch, and it deserves stronger praise than that.

Silver Surfer #18
By Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Herb Trimpe
Published by Marvel Comics, 1970
The centerpiece of a particular strong paragraph in Sean Howe’s gleefully populist look at the underbelly of Marvel Comics, this Silver Surfer issue’s real conclusion is in “Stan’s Soapbox”, where Stan announces Kirby’s resignation with the same air of oh-well, what-a-drag that he probably whipped out when the breakfast man ran out of donuts. The comic itself is pretty thin gruel, even by the low standards one extends to the Surfer title, but Howe’s right: a Kirby drawing yelling at the reader for disrespect is a pretty stirring experience.

Metabarons: Ultimate Collection
By Alexandro/Alejandro Jodorowsky & Juan Gimenez
Published by Humanoids
This isn’t the best edition of a comic Humanoids has published–its so similar to a high school chemistry textbook that it doesn’t hesitate to smell like one–but it’s still a brilliant way to read the Jodorowsky/Gimenez Metabarons comics, one drunkenly after the other. Incest and bloodlust, bad jokes and foot-stamping galactic-encompassing misanthropy. Going through these comics more than once is the best way to find out how good Gimenez is, the first time through, the main thing that registers is how in touch with the lizard Jodorowsky can get.

Ayako
By Osamu Tezuka
Published by Vertical, 2010
To those unable to make it past the opening lineAyako is a must-read for comics connoisseurs and curious literati”–no worries, that kept me from sitting down with this book for nearly two years–go for it, question mark? Ayako is well sold as being like a Russian novel, not because it’s as good as a Tolstoy or Dosteovsky, but because it’s like those things in a vague, categorical way. It’s long, and it’s about a family, and the ending isn’t particularly happy. But despite its length, Tezuka is never really able to make you care about any of these people, and they never do anything without it seeming like they are characters under the control of a intermittently malevolent force. For those who only read comics, Ayako might be a big deal, but if you’ve had any exposure to a torrid television miniseries set on a giant estate, or if you’ve ever tripped over a doorstopping bit of lurid historical fiction, you’ve seen this type of thing before. The aforementioned “comics connoisseurs” will be able to find some excitement in Tezuka’s occasional experiments with thick-lined abstractions for action, but the human race–a group that Ayako fails to represent with any real consistency–will find that this experience nothing more than a clock-killer.

AND NOW, GET OUT THE POPCORN. ABHAY KHOSLA BRINGS YOU

ALAN MOORE VS GRANT MORRISON

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, while those of us in the U.S. were busy attending elementary school plays about the Nativity of the Baby Thanksey, Grant Morrison finally dropped his latest Internet Spectacle, after having almost gone an entire lonely week without internet drama in his life. ”The internet is so terrible– it’s like the Phantom Zone,” whispered Grant Morrison to his LiveJournal.

This time: Morrison– whose mainstream superhero comics are frequently the subject of annotations– is now himself annotating articles about Grant Morrison. The specific articles are about his relationship to Alan Moore.

The annotations began with an introduction by Morrison hagiographer Laura Sneddon: “While Moore has previously spoken out about his thoughts on Morrison in various interviews, Morrison has generally kept quiet on the issue.” Among many other things, this utter horseshit overlooks the sizable portion of the article that follows recounting the time Grant Morrison, in the documentary film of his life story, spoke at length about Moore. Specifically, Morrison claimed Moore sent him a sinister letter threatening to end his comics career (and which story was wholly unaccompanied by visual evidence of the actual letter in question, the specific text therefrom, corroboration from any other people who had seen the letter, and so on).

But except for the part where his feud with Moore was prominently explained by Morrison in Morrison: Under the Cherry Moon, mum has been the word– mum, not the bird, mum is the word, the word is not bird. ”Grant Morrison has been so quiet about Alan Moore,” Laura Sneddon declared, forgetting her own interview with Morrison from the distant mists of September 2012 in which Morrison defended his corporate benefactors at DC Comics from Moore’s criticism of their handling of Watchmen: “I don’t understand how you could get yourself into the position where you don’t own [a comic] and you’re angry about it.”

Still, to be fair, Morrison has only talked about his feelings about Moore on paper and on screen, but as of time of press, has yet to mount a Broadway musical about his feelings about Alan Moore featuring Julie Taymor African headmasks. This is basically the same exact kind of silence that let AIDS kill so many people, so it’s a good thing it’s finally over.

Morrison then began a super-slow-motion nitpick tour through a quotation of an Alan Moore webchat. Morrison’s nitpicks, condensed as best as I can, are as follows:

1) Moore recalls having met Morrison while the latter was an “aspiring comics writer.”

Morrison angrily retorts that he was not an aspiring comic writer because he first began working in comics in 1978, before Moore’s career had commenced; that he had a comic strip in three whole newspapers, and thus was hardly aspiring; that yes, Alan Moore “galvanized” him but that’s he grown tired, tired of this idea that Alan Moore was influential because he was just merely galvanizing not… Galvanizing is not a big deal because, like… Hey, Peter Milligan would have had a career even if Alan Moore never existed, and Bryan Talbot would have, and George Bailey could have had booze and hookers galore in Pottersville, and– and– Grant Morrison was submitting ideas for crossovers to DC in 1982, and… Billy Jean King beat Bobby Riggs, she beat him, so this whole male privilege can go and… And Mister Gorbachev, tear down that wall, and … And yeah, it’s already torn down but in 1981, Grant Morrison made a mini-comic about the wall coming down, which is really the foundation of Alan Moore’s whole … And five other things!

Note: in addition to that comic strip in three newspapers, Wikipedia lists about nine stories Morrison had published from 1978 to 1985, none that include the work he is remembered for at the moment. Alan Moore’s bibliography during that time period is too long for me to sit and count.

2) My favorite part of the “Grant Morrison Vs. The Word Aspiring” section was Morrison declaring, “I was even a guest on panels at comics conventions”, referring to a UK comic convention that took place somewhere between 1979 and 1982. We’ve all lived long enough where admitting you attended a comic convention in the UK between 1979 and 1982 is a strategy for winning an argument, and not character evidence being used against someone accused of interfering with preschoolers. Bam Pow. 

3) Moore mentions that he recommended Morrison to Karen Berger, but part of the transcript is garbled with the person preparing the transcript inserting a word he believed might be appropriate.

Morrison then begins a lengthy section on the garbled section and discusses how he is “insulted” by the word that maybe very well possibly might have been in the garbled section, potentially. This goes on and on, doesn’t really have a point, and is not entertaining. (That’s also my review of Morrison’s Batman comics– one stone, two birds! Only the one stone! I have achieved maximum stone efficiency).

4) Moore states that Morrison wrote some nasty things about him in fanzines.

Morrison angrily denies that he wrote nasty things about Alan Moore as a career move. This is contradicted further down where a portion of Morrison’s book Supergods is quoted at length where Morrison write about how he started his career with “trash talk” which “helped me carve out a niche for myself as comics’ enfant terrible.”

3) Moore mentions that he finds Morrison’s writing deriviative of his own.

Morrison then angrily, angrily admits that he spent a part of his career imitating Alan Moore. He insists he did so because that’s what comic companies were buying at the time: “I was trying to sell to companies who thought Moore was the sine qua non of the bees knees.”

Note that this is somehow immediately after angrily ranting that Alan Moore is delusional for perceiving Vertigo as being comprised of people imitating Alan Moore. So: yes, Morrison imitated Alan Moore and Morrison worked for Vertigo but how dare Alan Moore think that people who imitated Alan Moore worked for Vertigo? That son of a bitch!

2) Morrison claims that Moore’s unidentified “former collaborators” have told him that Moore reads Grant Morrison comics. 

So: Alan Moore is a terrible liar, a scoundrel, a stain on his industry, a misery of a human being and also he definitely reads Grant Morrison comics. So … quite an endorsement! Hey, by the way, what was the Green River Killer’s favorite Wu-Tang Clan song, do you think? Was it “Mystery of Chess-Boxin’”? That’s a good one– I could sure see how the Green River Killer would like to hear that one while he’s dumping strangled prostitutes into the Green River.

1) Fish learn to walk. Monkeys become Man. Man learns to make fire. Jesus buries Dinosaur bones all over the place to fuck with us. Morrison continues to go on and on. At no point does it become entertaining. It just goes on and on until… Dave… Dave? What are you doing, Dave? I’m not going to open the pod bay doors, Dave. I’m afraid, Dave. Dave, my mind is going…

0) Morrison angrily complains he met Moore on more than one occasion, so we now know that surely, Alan Moore’s entire life is a lie because who could ever possibly forget having met Grant Morrison for a few minutes at the Quids Inn in Scarborough in 1981.

-1) Morrison angrily complains that Alan Moore has omitted from a webchat response the fact that Morrison handed Alan Moore a copy of a zine Morrison had made, or to put it another way, Morrison angrily complains that Alan Moore didn’t talk about the time he acted as a bridge between Grant Morrison and a trash can.

-2) Then, we came to the Red Meat for Shitheads part of the thing, the quote that really lit up the parts of the internet that care about this kinda shit and also generate revenue from getting hits plus have comment sections: the Alan Moore isn’t Nice Enough section. This is the part where Morrison, to the delight of meatheads, bemoans that Alan Moore isn’t nice enough to the comics industry in public, a sentiment expressed for about the 9 billionth time just this year alone. This is not news: fans of industrial comics– a broken septic tank on a good Wednesday– wishes Alan Moore would be its dim-witted cheerleader and regard his failure to do so as a betrayal. Everyone must be thrilled by “the generally improved standard of writing in all comic books” (which is apparently something that happened sometime, maybe in one of the Avengers Versus X-Men spin-offs about Nick Fury’s move-tie-in love baby or whatever, I didn’t read those).

And why wouldn’t Moore want to speak well of comics? His relationship with almost all of his former collaborators are in tatters, comic companies that he believes have exploited him are spraying graffiti over his artistic legacy, the mistreatment of the industry’s great artists is the subject of multiple history books at this point, and that industry’s dominant commercial strategy is to find one, single, super-rich, taste-free continuity obsessive who hates women, surround him in the bed he’s confined to, sink their teeth into his femoral artery, and drink deeply. What’s not to love?

-3) Morrison then talks about how the structure of his book Supergods is Qabalistic because he hadn’t talked about himself enough in a while and/or thrown himself a comic convention about himself in, like, a whole month.

-4) After a whole mess, Morrison finally states, “As I’ve said, it’s far easier to make the argument that Moore, along with powerful allies like Michael Moorcock, continues to indulge in clear, persistent, and often successful attempts to injure my reputation, for reasons of his own.” Morrison’s thoughts on what he believes the  “reasons of his own” are, which might be the only possible thing of interest here, are of course, never described, and no noticeable attempt is ever made to ascribe any motive whatsoever to Alan Moore for the nearly four-decade long vendetta Morrison has described at nauseating length. So what was the point? The finale of Seven Soldiers made more sense to me than this.

-5) Then at the end a random space vampire that hadn’t been mentioned in any of the rant up until that point shows up and it doesn’t make any fucking sense at all but it turns out you had to read a 3D rant from Grant Morrison that was sold separately.

And that was Thanksgiving.

I look forward to Christmas. I’m calling it now: Grant Morrison dick-pics on a MySpace blog with Colonel Mustard scrawling “Eat this, Alan Grant” on them. Toldja!


87 Responses to Things Don’t Look So Bright And Chummy Round Here

  1. “If a bunch of adult men want to make My Little Pony comics a sales bonanza, why pretend that the industry deserves a Pauline Kael or a Gay Talese? Wizard‘s leftovers will work just fine, that’s about all the intelligence we can handle.”

    THANK YOU.
    This column has totally become one of the highlights of my week.

    • MG says:

      I honestly don’t care about ponies, but better that than, let’s say, anything by Matt Seneca.

      • Matt Seneca says:

        I was actually hired a few months back to do a (pseudonymous) color job on MLP #’s 3 and 4, both of which are coming up for next year. I wasn’t going to publicize it just because that kind of work-for-hire assembly line stuff isn’t the work I want my name to be associated with – though it really helps with the bills – but now you’ve forced my hand. Hope you enjoy my issues as much as the first one!

      • MG says:

        That’s actually kind of funny.

        BTW, your comics are garbage.

      • Don Druid says:

        I guess it goes to show that attacking people apropos of nothing can really backfire. I hope everyone takes that to heart.

      • mateor says:

        Way funny, hopefully true.

        No matter your opinion of MG’s posts, I think that everyone can agree that pretty much everything that could have gone wrong for him, did.

      • MG says:

        How did it backfire? I find it amusing that someone who creates comics like “Hipster Chix” with a straight face is coloring a My Little Pony comic.

      • Briany Najar says:

        crayons or felt-tips?

      • Don Druid says:

        . . . oh, MG, honey.

  2. madbaumer37 says:

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  3. zack soto says:

    The only disappointing thing about that Thor comic was that the artist somehow got the design for the major new villain through the hands of the writer and at least one level of Editorial without ONE PERSON saying “oh hey, um we can’t just straight up steal the Voldemort design without changing it more.” Otherwise, a real fun read, but that took me right out of the reading experience.

  4. H says:

    “Then at the end a random space vampire that hadn’t been mentioned in any of the rant up until that point shows up and it doesn’t make any fucking sense at all but it turns out you had to read a 3D rant from Grant Morrison that was sold separately.”

    Game, set, match.

  5. Chubasqueiro says:

    “Wizard‘s leftovers will work just fine, that’s about all the intelligence we can handle.”

    Funny. This column always get that same exact feeling.

  6. Adam Ford says:

    “Then at the end a random space vampire that hadn’t been mentioned in any of the rant up until that point shows up and it doesn’t make any fucking sense at all but it turns out you had to read a 3D rant from Grant Morrison that was sold separately.”

    Thank you. Thank you SO much.

  7. For the uninitiated: Abhay is not kidding about the Nick Fury’s movie-tie-in baby; there really is such a comic.

    Also: Ayako may not have been any great shakes (I remember liking it, myself), but you can’t deny that Peter Mendelsun’s design on the book jacket is brilliant. I think it’s got the best-looking spine of any of the books on my shelves.

    • Ayo says:

      Best book spine design? Talk about damning with faint praise.

    • DasGeordie says:

      That Nick Fury tie-in comic (BATTLESCARS???) was one of the worst things I’ve ever seen. That and the NICK FURY’S BIG NIGHT OUT things they released to tie-in to the movies weren’t stories, they were merely bending 70 years of Marvel history to fit the whim of some Joss Whedon film. Ugh.

      Seriously, Nick Fury has a black son who is also called Nick Fury and is an ace soldier and happens to accidentally lose his eye and has a mate who is called Coulson. SMOOTH SEGUE, GUYS.

  8. BVS says:

    did anyone else find them selves hearing the voice of Rik from the young ones while reading Grant Morrison’s words?

  9. Paul Houston says:

    Great column this week, loved it.

  10. caleb says:

    Masterful job, guys. Wait, that’s not the right word. The word I want is…yeah, I guess I have to go with “masterful.” Can’t think of any others.

  11. Jayhawh says:

    This was worth waiting the extra week.

    How much more masterful could this be?

    And the answer is none.

    None… more masterful.

  12. Don Druid says:

    I think that “the generally improved standard of writing in all comic books” means that instead of reading like their own sort of shitty, they all now read like shitty unedited TV scripts. Take them seriously!

  13. MG says:

    Haha, go ahead and laugh, like the bitter old men wallowing in the burnt out remnants of the alt-comix scene that you are, at one of the few handfuls of mainstream successes the comic book industry has.

    • Ayo says:

      Hahaha your feelings are so hurt :)

      • MG says:

        Not at all. I just find the fact that TCJ is so insular (go ahead, show it so someone unschooled in small press or alt comics) yet calls out mainstream and genre comics for the same thing to be highly amusing.

        Like I said above, I don’t care about ponies, but if people want to read about them, more power to them. The comic looks like a well crafted piece of cartooning, but it’s not about the angst of a middle aged white man or actively trying to gross the reader out, so it must be garbage.

      • MG says:

        Go ahead and call the comic itself bad, I don’t care about that either. But Tucker’s fake “PONIES!? A COMIC ABOUT PONIES!!!!!!” reaction is so stupid. Yes, I know the cartoon does have a sizable adult male audience but many members of the target audience do watch it as well. I’m a student teacher, and I can tell you from firsthand experience that the reason this comic is #1 isn’t because of the bronies, but because 9 year old girls are reading it on their iPads and Samsung Galaxies.

        People whine and complain about children not reading comics anymore, but when they do, guess what it isn’t the right comic. Talk about moving the goalposts.

      • MG says:

        Hell, he doesn’t even actually review it, he uses the book’s mere existence as an example of – what, I don’t know really. That some comics are aimed at children and the fact that they may be read by adults as a tertiary audience means that the medium is not deserving of critical respect? Child-focused material is additionally consumed by adults in every medium there is. It’s meaningless. I guess the fact that I watched How to Train Your Dragon the other day means that movies aren’t worthy of respect. Does the fact that I study and read – and often enjoy – children’s books as part of my studies preclude literature from being respected?

        Whatever point Tucker was trying to get at is just bone-headed. And the invocation of Pauline Kael is laughable.

        TCJ really needs registered accounts and an edit function for comments. I look like a lunatic!

      • Chris Jones says:

        No, it kind of seems like your feelings are really fucking hurt.

      • MG says:

        Yeah, you’re right, obviously because I disagree with the Internet’s Greatest Critic, it’s all about hurt feelings.

      • Chris Jones says:

        No, but leaving like ten comments that range from being huffy to openly hostile does make it seem, maybe just a weensy bit, like somebody might have hit a nerve.

      • MG says:

        You’ve never had an additional thought about something occur to you later?

        I’m sorry, but one of the things I hate most about this column is how the comments are invariably gibberish about how Stone and Khosla have cured sick puppies by making fun of bad comics, or less amusing people chiming in to agree that yes, Avengers 5454 was crap. There’s no room for discussion, because most dissenting opinions are ignored. I mean damn, at least on say, Comics Alliance people will have discussions in the comments, even inane ones.

      • Chris Jones says:

        Because one-sentence putdowns are clearly an attempt at a reasoned discourse.

      • MG says:

        But Seneca’s comics are misogynist scumbaggery.

      • Ayo says:

        Ok, open a new tab on your browser. Google-search “brony.” Now you see what Tucker was talking about since you clearly need your hand held.

        EXTRA CREDIT IF YOU CAN DO IT WITH SAFE SEARCHED TURNED OFF.

        You have a chip on your shoulder for some mysterious reason but this isn’t contempt for children’s cartoons, it’s contempt for adult male PERVERTS who can’t leave children’s cartoons (the rare girl focused one at that) alone and have to grossly sexualize a nice little show that was made for kids.

        But you had to have it spelled out for you. Meanwhile you are crying about Matt Seneca who IS NOT EVEN A PART OF THIS DISCUSSION.

        So run on back to your precious Comics Alliance.

      • MG says:

        Yo, I know about bronies, I don’t care about bronies. The mere fact that they exist doesn’t somehow make IDW ‘s success any less important.

      • Jayhawh says:

        A person or two on TCJ said positive things about Prison Pit.

        MG read Prison Pit and was disgusted.

        Now MG is at war with TCJ for saying good things about icky comics that are gross.

        Hence every single comment by him on every Comics of the Weak, ever.

  14. Campos says:

    Abhay Khosla is an Alan Moore hagiographer (or a Morrison hater, many times is the same thing) and criticizes an article written by (what he calls) a Grant Morrison hagiographer. It must be fun to see who will be the best hagiographer…lololol…

    • bad wolf says:

      A point-by-point mockery of a point-by-point takedown of a point-by-point hagiography… Ouroborous thy name is Abhay. Isn’t this guy supposed to be a lawyer or something?

  15. Chris Jones says:

    It’s funny to me that a supervillain who cuts people’s heads off and runs a human trafficking ring is too bashful to say the word “prostitutes.” Is that a Marvel mandate like DC’s whole No One Can Masturbate thing, that thee are no hookers in the MU? But then that doesn’t make any sense because there are clearly IMPLIED prostitutes walking around under Spider-Man, as well as implied sheikhs. And where there are implied sheikhs there are implied hookers, clearly.

    I’m not a fan of any of this.

  16. George Bush (not that one) says:

    Well Thanksgiving is the traditional time for families to argue, but whats the deal with Moorcock being pissy over GM using an open source character?

    • JohnK (UK) says:

      I think (and I may be mistaken) that Moorcock is okay with people using Jerry Cornelius as long as they call him ‘Jerry Cornelius’. If they try and pass off a very Jerry Cornelius-esque character as something new and original then I think he takes umbrage. Gideon Stargrave isn’t sufficiently different in Moorcock’s eyes – hence his beef.

      • MG says:

        Moorcock is ok with Casanova and Luther Arkwright, entire comics based on the Cornelius character without actually being Cornelius, although there is obviously more to both. Gideon Stargrave only appears for a handful of pages in the Invisibles and is clearly meant to be nothing more than a loving pastiche, but Moorcock blows his top. Moorcock is my favorite author, but there’s something odd about that.

      • JohnK (UK) says:

        Clarification r.e. Moorcock’s attitude to Morrison’s Stargrave character and Morrison’s response to same can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gideon_Stargrave.

        Those are their words take ‘ em as you will for good or ill.

      • R. Fiore says:

        I believe it was that initially he was allowing others to use the Cornelius character freely, but at some point he asked people to stop doing it. Moebius, for instance, stopped using Jerry Cornelius in titles for the Airtight Garage after Moorcock asked him. I would imagine it had something to do with protecting (or not abandoning) Moorcock’s copyright.

      • MG says:

        According to Moorcock himself, the reason that JC was no longer used in the Airtight Garage wasn’t because permission was revoked. Apparently, Moebius heard a rumor from someone who knew Moorcock that MM didn’t like the strip, so he made changes for later reprints.

  17. George Bush (not that one) says:

    I guess cause I am older and knew Jerry C before reading The Invisibles I knew it was an obvious nod to Moorcock and not some blatant stealing as Moorcock suggests. And Morrison did mention it in the letters, so it does look like after GM publishes his Superfolks barb, that All-Beard combines forces with First Beard to make TWO-BEARD ™ and attack the shiny Scotsman with his own spell. Oh the problems and butthurt of this post-modern world.

  18. MG says:

    We can all agree that both Michael Fiffe and COPRA are great.

  19. Tom Spasic says:

    When I read this;
    “because nearly all superhero comics operate in place where the casual passerby is viewed with a mix of contempt and hostility that’s basically no different from racial or gender hatred in terms of its bewildering unexplainability, which is why it so often appears like some form of religious mania, complete with ritual, xenophobia, and tremendously fucked up attitudes about sex. ”

    I immediately thought this;
    because nearly all the comics journal writers operate in place where the superhero comic is viewed with a mix of contempt and hostility that’s basically no different from racial or gender hatred in terms of its bewildering unexplainability, which is why it so often appears like some form of religious mania, complete with ritual, xenophobia, and tremendously fucked up attitudes about sex.

    Do you see what I’ve done there?
    It would seem that the hunter has become the hunter…
    No returns.

  20. George Bush (not that one) says:

    When I read Ayako I kept thinking ” I thought I liked Tezuka”. Not one of his best, at least on my first impression. Should give it another read.

  21. Paul Houston says:

    I did read My Little Pony #1. Plus I reviewed it here http://www.renderwrx.net/apps/blog/ for my weekly review blog. I’m only a little ashamed.

    • MG says:

      Not much of a review. Little girls, like I said above, are reading it digitally.

      • Kit says:

        I can tell you from firsthand experience that the reason this comic is #1 isn’t because of the bronies, but because 9 year old girls are reading it on their iPads and Samsung Galaxies.

        You have firsthand experience that the 100,000 print copies claimed as ordered by Diamond are a fabrication, a smokescreen, the casting of a rainbow by a scheming pegasister?

      • Zig Zag Zig says:

        Actually, yeah, that’s a really good point. Those numbers ain’t from digital sales. SOMEONE is buying these things from Direct Market shops. Not very likely to be little girls. It all adds up! Tucker Stone makes sense AGAIN!

        Great article Tucker. I love these things. Guys like MG are really the best part though. Your comments section is the shit!

      • MG says:

        I’m not trying to say that absolutely no bronies are reading this comic, but it wouldn’t be the runaway success it is if was just them.

      • moon mullins says:

        oy….those ’100, 000 print copies’ are gonna show up next year at my comic shop in the hands of crackheads lookng for a return on their ‘investment’………….the thing’s unreadable by anyone over 9

      • Kit says:

        But you’ve specifically argued that absolutely zero of the reported sales, by which its runaway success are measured, are to little girls.

  22. ZodiacFirebroom says:

    Grant Morrison and Alan Moore write comics I like very much and it makes me sad when they argue.

    GM’s annotations make both cogent and silly points – making out he’s been around as long as Moore is a technically correct argument that doesn’t convince anyone outside the Morrison household.

    Always thought the biggest difference between the two is one makes comics that get fucked over by Hollywood and the other can’t get his comics turned into films for love nor money – GM’s comments always seemed laden with the pragmatism of the corporate middle man keeping his options open whereas Affable Al is burning bridges long after the panzers have rolled over them

    • MG says:

      I feel that Morrison’s point with that was less that he had never been influenced by Alan Moore in any way and more that his career didn’t spring into being overnight because of Moore’s success, which is the common belief.

  23. ZodiacFirebroom says:

    Clearly his point – badly made notheless

  24. ZodiacFirebroom says:

    Nonetheless sorry

  25. Rafael says:

    This is, by far, the best summary of this whole one-sided “feud” anywhere on the internet. Funny that Pádraig’s original article, despite cutting Morrison a huge fucking slack, still managed to hurt the man’s disproportionate ego enough to launch him into this pathetic screed.

    As for plagiarism, one thing that doesn’t get kicked around enough and that I’d like to see Morrison worm his way around is his blatant rip-off of the epilogue in Lanark: a Life in Four Books, by his fellow countryman Alasdair Gray, at the end of his Animal Man run – which is precisely the kind of stuff that fanboy (or fangirl, *cough cough*) comics “journalists” heap those “masterful” adjectives on.

    • Paul Slade says:

      Could we have a “Swipe File” side by side comparison, please?

      • Rafael says:

        In Lanark’s Epilogue the eponymous character meets this guy who who tells him “I’m your author”, that his life and world is “print”, then proceeds to explain the narrative of the story and even his own metafictional devices. Lanark asks him for a happy ending, but is denied because it would be unconvincing.

        Compare that with the ending on Morrison’s Animal Man run. All this, remember, by the guy who cried “plagiarism” because of Kid Miracleman being defeated by accidentally using his magic word and shit like that.

  26. Don Druid says:

    I look forward to the wrong things, and so I look forward to what the gang has to say about what a little bird tells me was a 10/10 handed out by Newsarama this week to a certain #1 issue.

    A perfect comic, Tucker. Would they lie?

  27. ntqwerty says:

    I too do not understand what’s wrong with a My Little Pony comic selling well. 4chan will pervert anything, a google image search is a poor indication of the behavior of the adult fanbase.

  28. Pingback: To be Grant Morrison when you could’ve been Alan Moore | Wis[s]e Words

  29. Pingback: Michel Fiffe » C O P R A # 2

  30. George Bush (not that one) says:

    Looks like its off to the Library for some Alasdair Gray then .

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