Before you read this, don't be the idiot that I am. Things felt a little disjointed at first, and when I looked into it I figured out this is a webcom...moreBefore you read this, don't be the idiot that I am. Things felt a little disjointed at first, and when I looked into it I figured out this is a webcomic that got bookified. So each page is its own standalone comic. Yeah, they contribute to a larger whole quite nicely, but it's meant to be read as a regular serial in its original form.
Like I said, don't be the idiot that I am.
This would be a good PSA.
Hi. I'm an idiot. And I'm here to tell you that Don't Be An Idiot Like Me. Don't believe me? What if I told you that I frequently run to Target for a specific item and leave with things like wooden spoons and zebra duct tape and WITHOUT the one item I actually needed? What if I told you that a dedication to a new pair of sweatpants with a hole in the pocket the size of my fist has caused me to do what I call the Cold Keys Dance at least a dozen times, a dance which is the series of hip and thigh movements a person makes when he puts a cold set of keys in his pocket and then feels the rush of them down his bare thigh? What if I told you that I've been using an iPod with a severely cracked screen for about a year and that the screen became cracked after I ran it over with my own car on accident? What if I told you that a few weeks ago I spilled almost an entire box of Mike&Ikes under a dryer at the laundromat and was convinced I could smell a cooked fruitiness in my washed clothes after they dried and the dryer heated up the candy?
Ah, Jeffrey Brown. For quite some time Mr. Brown was writing and drawing some of my favorite comics. His autobiographical stuff was great. Honestly, I...moreAh, Jeffrey Brown. For quite some time Mr. Brown was writing and drawing some of my favorite comics. His autobiographical stuff was great. Honestly, I've never watched someone grow up on the page the way I have with Jeffrey Brown. His first few books, a common complaint was that they were somewhat similar, all about a relationship he had with a girl that had so many feels. For me, it was great. For an artist to do these similar books, it meant you could almost watch him refine and redraft his earlier works, a really interesting process that doesn't always happen on the page or on the bookstore shelves.
Not to mention that things written about girls that involve emotions are kind of my thing. It's a symbiotic relationship. You have a book where a grown man reflects on the most significant relationship of his mid-20's? Just so happens that I have an afternoon of bath tub weeping to fill. Coincidence can be beautiful, or at least as beautiful as possible when we're talking about an adult male with questionable grooming eating Starburst jelly beans in the bathtub while reading comics.
In the last few years Jeffrey Brown seems to be mining cute family material rather than the corpses of relationships long gone. It's got to be a natural progression. In a way, it's nice. After reading some pretty sad stuff for a decade or so, it looks like things are working out for Jeffrey Brown. But again, and I don't want to get more detailed on this bathtub business because it may cross over from embarrassing to downright humiliating, I prefer the sadder stuff.
The work's still got a heart to it, and Brown's getting even better as an artist. But I think it's time for Jeffrey Brown and I to ride off into our respective sunsets, his being fatherhood, mine being a journey of the soul accompanied by candle with the obnoxious fragrance name "Sunset" sitting on the side of the bathtub.
I'm not going to lie, this is the only David Foster Wallace thing I've ever finished. I loaned Infinite Jest to my sister before I'd ever read it, and...moreI'm not going to lie, this is the only David Foster Wallace thing I've ever finished. I loaned Infinite Jest to my sister before I'd ever read it, and even as I loaned it I knew I'd never see it again. It's been about 5 years now, and so far time has proven me right.
I tried Consider The Lobster. His writing felt very...academic to me. Just a little cold, or maybe like the essays were trying quite hard to convince me of a thesis every time. The footnotes killed me. I feel a little like someone who refuses to watch movies with subtitles, but I don't see myself reading many footnoted texts during the remainder of my life. If you don't have time to incorporate your points into your text, then I won't make the time to read them. You're the writer, do the work. And by the way, I do not buy into the idea behind "Big Red Son" that porn stars hold some sort of true power at porn conventions. Interesting thesis, yes. Good social science, no.
Even though this suffers from some of the same issues, I think he makes good points and does it in a meaningful way. I can relate to what he's saying, how the world is sort of wonderful and terrible when one considers that every person has his or her own demons.
Yesterday I helped troubleshoot a woman's computer. The problem was clear from the get-go. She was paying AOL $15 a month for...I don't know what. AOL isn't her ISP. It's just some sort of software. Paying for a browser, in essence.
Before I could even try to lightly encourage that she consider abandoning AOL and saving a few bucks, she said, "Everyone keeps telling me to get rid of AOL and to use [Chrome]. But my husband has Alzheimer's. He knows how to use AOL because he knew that from before. He can't learn how to use anything else.
What can you do at that point? This frustrated woman, who had bad breath and spent a lot of time almost blaming me for the state of her computer, had a problem that was a lot bigger than just switching over to Chrome. As painful as it was for me, her side of the problem was a lot worse. The only option was to fix the problem within AOL, which took about an hour or so. But we did it.
My point here is Fuck AOL. Fuck you. Seriously, you're just taking advantage of people at this point. It's insane that you are charging a monthly fee for your product. I can't even really understand how that works.
Okay, no. The real point here is that I've always been sure that there was an emotional, heart appeal from David Foster Wallace. It had to be there. I just hadn't found a piece where I managed to battle through to it. This one is short, and it's a nice introduction to the guy if you haven't read anything (or completed anything) by him before. I'm glad I came into it (Thanks to Karen's review) and maybe I'll keep up steam and send my sister a very nasty text regarding a book she borrowed about 100 years ago.
It's probably better to read the .pdf than the book. It's come to my attention that the book version has made an edit.
The original text:
“It is not the least bit coincidental that adults who commit suicide with firearms almost always shoot themselves in: the head. They shoot the terrible master.”
In the book version, that second sentence is omitted. An interesting choice. I get it, Wallace killed himself and the reference to suicide is hard. What I don't get is why they would take out the second sentence as opposed to the whole section.
I did also read a comment I found a bit disturbing regarding Mr. Wallace's suicide. Along the lines of "I thought he was more enlightened than that."
Suicide is a very strange thing. And I've really come to believe that speculating on suicide in terms other than those meant to dig up ways to help others in the future is extremely pointless and hurtful to a person's memory. Speculating on why is bad. Assigning a value judgment to a person's final act, to me is abhorrent. Saying that if a person only had this or that good quality they'd still be alive? Shame on you. Read this speech and then read it again if that's how you feel.(less)
I have a hard time reviewing poetry. Every collection, it'll have a few you love, a few you hate, and a bunch you won't remember. It's the most horrib...moreI have a hard time reviewing poetry. Every collection, it'll have a few you love, a few you hate, and a bunch you won't remember. It's the most horrible thing I can think to say about something that someone pours their heart into. Imagine someone saying this about his three children. I love the one, the other one I hate, and the middle one I barely even remember.
I'll include a favorite here. Maybe that will help anyone on the fence make a decision.
Drawing You From Memory
I seem to have forgotten several features crucial to the doing of this, for instance, how your lower lip meets your upper lip besides just being below it, and what happens at the end of the nose, how much does it shade the plane of your cheek, and would even a bit of nostril be visible from this angle? Chinese eyes, you call them which could be the difficulty I have in showing the flash of light in your iris, and being so far away from you for so long, I cannot remember what direction it flows, the deep river of your hair.
But all of this will come together the minute I see you again at the station, my notebook and pens packed away, your face smiling as I cup it in my hands, or frowning later when we are home and you are berating me in the kitchen waving the pages in my face demanding to know the name of this latest little whore.
On this topic, I have a weird dilemma that I'm hoping the Goodreads world might be able to help me out with.
This involves dreams. So if you hate hearing about dreams, just re-read that poem again.
I have a problem with dreams. Sex dreams in particular. The problem isn't what you might be thinking, though. The problem is that it is impossible for me to have a dream that's remotely sexy.
I have the LEAD UP to a sex dream all the time. Me, a lady. I assume it's a human lady, sometimes it's hard to remember when I wake up, but let's just say.
Things are about to happen, and then in the dream I think to myself, "Wait, I can't do this. I have a girlfriend. This is wrong. I'm putting a stop to this." Then I do. Then I wake up.
This happens regardless of whether I'm knee-deep in a long term relationship or have been single for years. There is no difference. I've never been married, and I've never cheated either. So I don't know where this is coming from.
So, Goodreads peeps, any ideas?
Oh, and I'm not super interested in the interpretation of these dreams. I should have mentioned that up front. I'm really looking for advice on becoming a better...uh..."closer" in the dream world. Because at the moment, this is as good as things get. She may be a faceless dream mistress, but damn it, she's MY faceless dream mistress who I really, really hope doesn't turn out to be a cat woman or demon.(less)
Last night I went to do laundry at my apartment and all three washers were filled with fluid. I'm not calling it "liquid." "Liquids" do not smell the...moreLast night I went to do laundry at my apartment and all three washers were filled with fluid. I'm not calling it "liquid." "Liquids" do not smell the way those washers smelled.
This is a long explanation of why I was at the laundromat at 11:30 PM on a Thursday skimming He's Just Not That Into You.
I guess it explains the locale more than the reading choice.
I ALSO have to give a presentation about books that might help a person's business. And because you can only read so much of that shit before you pray to Krom for the strength to squeeze your own head and crush your own life to pieces, I wanted to throw in some other books that might help business-y people too. I figured, hell, maybe there's some lessons to learn about customer relations here. Maybe your customers are just not that into you.
That's the excuse portion of the reasoning. The other thing, I've found myself to be a man who, though kind, sometimes struggles making a lady feel really and truly wanted. So I thought, Maybe I'll see some glimmers of things in here that I do and try to avoid some of those pitfalls. I mean, let's face it, we all know our foibles. Sometimes it's just good to see how other people deal with them, not to mention consider some alternative strategies. I'd be very embarrassed if anyone ever asked me how much I learned from skimming the 5 Love Languages.
To borrow a phrase from every 4th grade in America: You're just a big girl, Pete.
I need to stop asking 4th graders what they think of me and allowing them to respond via email.
Because business is boring, I just want to talk about this book in terms of relationships. To summarize the business advice gleaned from this and about 50 titles: If you work your ass off and do something you're passionate about as opposed to interested in using as a money pipeline, and if you can maintain a human level of empathy throughout, you have as good a shot as anyone. If you open up a coffee shop but hate people and mornings, you're fucked. If you open up a comic store and love comics and the publishing industry, you're probably still fucked, but you'll have a good few years and you won't regret it. Think about it, very few people look back and say, "The one time I took a chance on something I really wanted, I totes regret that shit." So there you go, food for thought.
I gave this book a 3-er because it's written nicely. It's funny. It's light, and it does something tough in that it's acting as a wake-up call without being overly angry at the readers. Like any good artist, the writers here seem to take what they do seriously, but don't necessarily take themselves seriously. It's a good combo.
This book is a roadmap for ladies to find a man to marry and be with forever. If that's what you want, then this might not be a bad choice.
I think the ideas here are based on a false premise. Let me explain.
The idea throughout the book is that a man will pursue a woman he is interested in. Therefore, if a man is not pursuing you, dear reader, then he's not interested. Simple.
And yes, I agree with the idea that men, people in fact, don't want to dump anyone. Nobody wants to hurt someone else, calling to say what's wrong with them in order to break up. A lot of people, if they go on a date and find you repulsive for whatever reason, whether it's your personality or your weird butt or your political stance or that weird butt, or possibly a weird butt, a lot of people would rather just never call again then call and say, "You have a weird butt."
I've received a number of "Dear John" or rather "Dear Weird Butt" letters. It's hurtful, being reduced to one (weird) part.
So in a way, the authors are right.
Where they go wrong is in saying that a woman should never, absolutely never, ask out a man, initiate a phone call to a man in early stages, or do any of that shit. Because if he calls you, you know he's in. If he doesn't, he's not.
There are a lot of problems with this.
First and most obvious, ladies are advised to kiss goodbye their right to pursue people they like. The co-author says she was mad about this at first and later felt like it was empowering, that she was holding the cards. I call total bullshit on that. Why? Sadly, as a species, I don't think we're very good at giving people more rights, respect, or cred if they don't ask for it. Did women get the right to vote because men just felt like they were sweethearts and had earned it? Did white guys stop firehosing black people because they just sort of realized how fucked up that was? Are we working on gay rights in a painfully slow fashion without them making a peep about it? NO! No, I don't think we've gotten a whole lot of anything without asking.
I say fuck that. Being asked out is empowering, but surrendering power is really not the way to gain more of it.
Let's talk about the kind of person who will respond to this as well. Yes, you can be pretty certain that a guy who pursued you through hell and high water does like you. But, BUT, if YOU refuse to make any headway, there's a pretty good chance you're going to attract a guy who wouldn't WANT a woman who takes any sort of control. I'm not saying he'll never let you be topsies in the sex times (I am so bad at sex that I do not know the terminology and constantly embarrass myself), but I'm saying that if you go by tradition A, don't be surprised if you attract a man who also subscribes to tradition A AND traditions B-K. He won't be a wifebeater just because he wouldn't like being asked out by a woman. But hey, maybe you would like to be the breadwinner. Maybe you're into him staying home with a baby. Maybe you think he drives like a loser and prefer to take the wheel now and then.
Fuck me, my mom would be so proud of me right now.
Another thing. Isn't it everyone's goal to be with someone who they think, "Christ. Why is this person with me?" I mean, not every waking moment or anything. But in a weird, terrible way, saying to yourself that you feel like you lucked out big time. Sure, you've got good qualities. You've read a lot of Amazing Spider-Man. You have a vague sense of furniture placement rules. But come on, this partner could do a little better on some level.
With that in mind, you might get someone shooting way above his bracket, but in all likelihood you're going to get guys asking you out who are thinking, "She looks attainable." That's a terrible way to think about a person, but most guys don't really shoot for the moon on this stuff.
I recently met a good friend who told me how he started dating his wife. Basically, he was moving out of town, so he figured he'd just ask out the prettiest, nicest girls that he thought were way out of his league. Because fuck it. He'd be gone forever, so why not go for broke? It worked, and they're married. They have kids. More than one for chrissakes. My point: Under normal circumstances, a guy isn't super likely to go for broke when it comes to asking out a girl he considers out of his league. Especially not a nice, realistic guy like this friend.
The system in this book, it allows men to try and bat out of order, but not women. You can't go after someone you consider out of your league. You just have to hope they come to you. That seems like a sad way to live. I rarely say this, but I think it applies to relationships. It's not about getting what you deserve. It's about getting a little bit more.
Last thing, and why I think the premise is flawed. This book makes an assumption. The assumption, that the opposite of a man who is interested and pursues a woman is a man who is uninterested and does not. That if Rule A is true, and Rule A states "A man who does not pursue you is not interested in you" then it's opposite is true, "A man who does pursue you is interested."
But is the opposite of a pursuer who is not pursuing a pursuer who IS pursuing? Or is the opposite a non-pursuer?
I know, this sounds like the logic they use with Bizarro Superman. He flies backwards, feet first, but shouldn't he also be upside-down? Or underground or something?
I'm just trying to say that I think the opposite of a man who is not pursuing you is not a passionate, interested man that is. Setting up any group of humans as either one or the other, on/off switch, is a mistake.
Take the signals, pay goddamn attention, but don't take any advice as gospel, especially when it's based on a "Men be all like this..." premise. That's not science. That's just the experience of one man. And yes, many many people have written in and agreed with this book, however if you're thinking about this scientifically, most people who read this probably already suspect that He's Just Not That Into them. That's why they picked up the book. So it stands to reason.
At the end of The Elements of Style, the Strunk & White book that tells you how to write the right way, these bastions of proper English lay it out there, saying that although these are the rules, many, many great writer has found greatness specifically by breaking these rules. They tell you straight-up that there are rules, but if you break them at the right time and the right way, you'll connect with someone on a different level.
That's my advice, after reading this book. Nearly everyone I know has said that he or she doesn't want to be in a long-distance relationship. And nearly everyone I know HAS been after making that declaration.
It's simple. I don't want to be in a long-distance relationship with a woman. But that's A woman. When it comes to the question of being in a long-distance relationship with Anastasia (I tried to pick a name associated with NOBODY I know, but if I remember I DO know one this is going to be extra fucked-up because it'll seem really, really pointed) it's a different discussion.
Rules are there for the masses, and they're broken by individuals. Especially when it comes to love.
Have high standards, go after what you want, but don't be an idiot. Don't impose rules on yourself that limit your own happiness. (less)
Listened to on audio, read by the author. The guy's done enough podcasting that it works pretty well.
If you're not really familiar with Kevin Smith, t...moreListened to on audio, read by the author. The guy's done enough podcasting that it works pretty well.
If you're not really familiar with Kevin Smith, this is an awesome point of entry.
Do me a favor, if I ever write a book someday, don't refer to it as a Point of Entry. Sorry, Mr. Smith.
But really, he goes through his whole career here, the interesting parts, the weird parts, and some of the funniest.
One of my favorites, the oft-told tale where Kevin and friends decided to protest the churchy protesters of his movie by making asinine protest signs, including one of the funniest ever written onto a placard: "Cock is Yummy"
If you've been following Kevin Smith and listening to him for some time, you've probably heard most of what's in here. If not, you'll dig it.
Especially effective to this ol' softy, the afterward, an essay written by his daughter, is also READ by his daughter in the audiobook version. I don't know what's going on with me. Some kind of male version of just wanting to be a mommy or something. Whatever chemicals is in my body, they fucked up. But I found the reading really touching.(less)
I really like when things in comics change. When characters change and things happen. I'm not big on status quo. I may, MAY be the only f...moreFanboy alert.
I really like when things in comics change. When characters change and things happen. I'm not big on status quo. I may, MAY be the only fan of Kyle Rayner who ever existed.
But this Punisher...it just doesn't do it for me.
It's not that there's anything wrong with the writing. I just don't like a Punisher who says things like, "Tonight's gonna suck" and "Hey, weapon. Bonus."
It has to be sort of boring to write the stoic, angry killing machine. Christ, you get the impression sometimes that you could do the whole series free of dialogue altogether.
And I really do like funny characters. You know, the ones who take their work seriously and don't take themselves seriously. Your quipsters like Spider-Man, lovable slackers like Scott Pilgrim.
I think I really just enjoyed the Punisher as the scary bogeyman.
This book has strong moments. In particular, when the Punisher is embroiled in a fight between two ridiculously-powered villains, a fire guy and a guy who controls bees, and comments on how much he hates super powers. It's funny, and it's also part of the crux of that character that makes him interesting, I think. The Punisher could exist in the real world. But he doesn't. He exists in a world of Captain America and Beta Ray Bill. But that's what makes it interesting, right? They can throw in a Daredevil if they want to.
Ultimately, though, I like that Punisher exists in that world, but not when he participates in it. When you put the Venom symbiote on Punisher, he's not the Punisher anymore. He's not my Punisher, anyway. With the added yuks, he's not really the Punisher anymore either. Not for me.
I'm not saying there's no room in the world for this Punisher. I'm sure people dig it. It's just not for me. This fanboy has to reconcile the fact that what he wants isn't always what's right, and what's right isn't so just because it's the way it's always been. Sounds like a no-brainer, but ask any comics nerd, this is hard-won thinking at work here.(less)
Nice, serious, old man Punisher. And betrayed by his only friend in the world. Very nicely done. Garth Ennis even manages, well, almost manages...moreDig it.
Nice, serious, old man Punisher. And betrayed by his only friend in the world. Very nicely done. Garth Ennis even manages, well, almost manages to go down his regular pathways he uses to make characters seem nutso.
You know, the one thing, I didn't think the idea of "hunting" Bin Laden would age so poorly. Somehow it turned from a crazy, but legit, legitimately crazy idea to sounding like a novelty.
He's not exactly the type you might picture. No Marky-Mark, that's for sure. No Eric Bana. But then again, who IS an Eric Bana? Only Eric Bana. And that's why he's Eric Bana.
Armed with a pistol, sword, dagger, and night-vision goggles, this semi-employed construction worker made half a dozen trips to Pakistan to root out Bin Laden in the early and mid 2000's.
The more you look into it, the more you have to wonder. What the fuck was this guy's plan?
I mean, sure, points for enthusiasm. But as far as I know, he doesn't speak the language, isn't any sort of trained killer, and oh yeah, he has to be on dialysis three times a week.
Now, there were rumors that Bin Laden was on dialysis as well. Maybe he's in the mouth of madness there, so that's an advantage. You know, hire a killer to catch a killer? Hire a guy with renal failure to...well, you get the idea. It's a lot less sexy as taglines go, but sometimes the most sexy things aren't the most effective ones. My grandmother put it best: "Damnation, these huge jugs of mine are so impractical, but there too sexy to let go. Feel free to quote me on that when you're writing things about goddamn comic books."
Maybe the Punisher got to Bin Laden after all. The Bin Laden Hunter of Greeley, sadly he didn't manage to finish the battle started all those years ago. But he showed one last bit of courage and honor in asking for a mere quarter of the $25 million bounty, figuring that his presence is what rousted Bin Laden from his hidey-hole.
I love some of your stuff. Then you get cosmic and I can't love you anymore. It's like we're dating. Y...moreGrant Morrison, why do you make my life so hard!
I love some of your stuff. Then you get cosmic and I can't love you anymore. It's like we're dating. You're a super hot Scottish lady (for readers here, Grant Morrison is Scottish. So I've decided to turn his work into a Scottish woman I'm dating. I kept the geography, lopped off the anatomy)and you're great, but every three days you drop acid and then I can't fucking stand hanging out with you because while you're still sort of sexy and interesting (god, I'm lonely) and look really great in the nude (ew, lonelier than I thought!)I just can't have one more conversation about how the planets and the moon and something something. I just can't.
Here's the thing. This volume starts strong. Grant Morrison does some pretty interesting stuff with Animal Man, who is a total second-stringer. Which doesn't sound so bad, but when the first string is Superman, you aren't going to get a lot of time on the field. In fact, this book makes some arguments about the badness of eating meat that I wouldn't hear in the rest of the world for another ten or fifteen years. So it's pretty far ahead of its time there.
And then this train derails and goes all Trial of Galactus on us.
Once upon a time there was this guy named John Byrne. A controversial figure in comics, he wrote some great stories and some not so great stories. He also had a habit of getting himself in trouble by saying things like, well, when they asked him about Jessica Alba playing Sue Storm in the Fantastic Four movie, his reaction was: "Personal prejudice: Hispanic and Latino women with blond hair look like hookers to me, no matter how clean or 'cute' they are."
I mean, WOOF.
But, y'know. Orson Scott Card says fucked up shit about gay people that would twist your head clean off your body, so this isn't new.
Anyway, John Byrne writes this story. And actually, it's good. I might go so far as to say great. In it, Mr. Fantastic saves Galactus, a giant creature that eats whole planets and wears a purple tuning fork helmet thing. I mention the getup because he has committed many crimes against various races, but fashion crimes are EVERYONE'S jurisdiction.
So the setup is that Mr. Fantastic somehow saves Galactus from dying, and then some Council of Weird Aliens (there's always one of these, right?) puts Reed Richards on trial, asking the question of whether or not he should be held responsible for the destruction of planets that follows his saving of Galactus.
Okay, makes sense. Pretty good story, really.
Here's how it ends.
In the final issue, John Byrne shows up in the comic. Yes, the writer, for no real reason, is drawn into the comic, and all the characters seem to know him. "Hey, John." "Sup, John."
Now, reading this, it's not really in tone with what's been happening. You're thinking, super serious trial, what's going to happen, holy shit!?
I'm going to spoil the ending here. So if you were planning to read this, I guess stop now. Or skip to the next part. The ending is total bullshit, so in a way I think I'm saving you some wasted pages, but that's for you to decide for yourself, not me.
What happens is, and this is narrated by John Byrne, is that some crazy eternal creature is summoned, and this creature uses some bizarre psychic mind meld shit to explain to everyone why Galactus must continue and cannot be allowed to die. HE DOES NOT ACTUALLY SHARE THIS REASONING ON ANY LEVEL. John Byrne just tells us that it's some very compelling shit, and we're pretty much left to understand that we could never understand. Even if he tried to explain it.
I feel like he could have tried, but hey, that's me. I thought I was reading some sort of narrative that hinged on the ending here.
Anyway, if you want to talk to me about John Byrne, I will ALSO rage for hours at a time about the machine Lex Luthor built to discover Superman's secret identity. My father left our family when I was in my early teens, and I still can't summon the emotion for that whole thing that I can for the Lex Luthor Secret Identity Gizmo of Shit.
So back to Animal Man.
At the end of his run, Grant Morrison writes himself into the comic. Animal Man is pretty confused, and so is the reader. But basically, Grant Morrison is himself, Animal Man is still the character, and somehow Animal Man has traveled into the real world and is now talking to his creator.
Here's what I didn't like about it.
It's not really a comic book anymore. Or it's not an Animal Man comic book. It's Grant Morrison Man. Who doesn't have a lot of super powers or anything, but there he is on the page. Also, I didn't care for the way this happened over the course of three issues. At some point, Animal Man is outside the panels, fighting bad guys by pulling them outside the panels and shit. I just...it's cute, but it's not for me.
Here's what I did like about it.
The final issue, the one where Grant Morrison shows up? It works. Sort of. The premise is insane, and it's still a bit of a cop out. But what happens is that he handles it differently than Byrne did. Instead of making him a character in the story, he uses the page to do a few things. He explains how he felt like the way he was writing Animal Man was getting stale, that basically he had Animal Man addressing whatever animal-cruelty-related issue had come up that day. He told a story from his real life that had been incorporated into the comic earlier.
One of the most interesting parts, he tells about his cat dying. It's horrible, and he admits in the comic that the way his life was, his cat dying was terrible, but he caught himself saying, "Well, at least I can incorporate this into Animal Man somehow." He was almost excited about it, and that didn't sit well with him.
It's a big reversal. Oftentimes you'll hear a writer say that he or she used pain to create a story. Channeled pain into something great. But rarely do you hear someone admit that they're starting to feel like a vulture, picking at the bones of their dead pets and relationships and the corpses of the selves that they've left behind. You don't usually hear about the guilty part, the part that feels bad about living life that way.
So while I don't appreciate how we got there, I think the final issue was a success. It was a very different ending than I've seen in a lot of comics. And the way it differed from Trial of Galactus, I didn't get the idea whatsoever that Grant Morrison was trying to glorify himself by including himself in the comic. Instead, the tone was far more confessional and heartbreaking in some ways.
I didn't get an ending to Animal Man, not really. And in that way, the book is a failure. It also broke the rules in a way that doesn't really work for me, and that I also consider a failure. But on the other hand, I'll probably remember the things he said about his cat and his imaginary friend that he used to signal by flashlight. So as much as it pains me to say: You win this round, Morrison. And I hope you're doing better.(less)
Not my thing, poetry-wise. Although I go back and forth on the inclusion of modern elements like Skype in poems. It's definitely my personal idiocy th...moreNot my thing, poetry-wise. Although I go back and forth on the inclusion of modern elements like Skype in poems. It's definitely my personal idiocy that this bothers me for some reason.
She DID mention my favorite rock band, Lucero, in a poem. So on that hand, it does make me think there's room for modern elements. I mean, I'm pretty tired of reading poems that have a connection to some piece of classical music.
Here's a favorite from the book. I'm an idiot, so I'll just share the hard-earned knowledge of an idiot reader and tell you that Big Logos is a guy the narrator is into. Not a store where they sell giant signs. Because only an idiot would think that.
SEMI SEMI DASH
The last time I saw Big Logos he was walking to the Quantum Physics Store to buy magnets. He told me his intentions. He was wearing
a jumpsuit with frayed cuffs. I thought the cuffs got that way from him rubbing them against his lips but he said they got that way
with age. We had two more blocks to walk. “Once I do this, what are you going to do?” he asked. “I wish you wouldn’t do it,” I said.
Big Logos bought the magnets and a crane delivered them to his house. After he built the 900-megahertz superconductor, I couldn’t go
to his house anymore because I have all kinds of metal in my body. I think if you love someone, you shouldn’t do that, build something like that,
I dig it. The art is really great. Some people can't draw people, some people can draw faces and suck at action. This book has it all, and the art rea...moreI dig it. The art is really great. Some people can't draw people, some people can draw faces and suck at action. This book has it all, and the art really does some impossible things.
"Draw a drawing that expresses the fact that this person knows special ways to kick the living hot shit out of people."
"Draw a drawing that shows someone getting his heart ripped out like in goddamn Temple of Doom, but nothing like Temple of Doom."
The only thing, I didn't enjoy the second volume as much as the first. There's more mayhem, and I can't say I missed the portions of the origin story where we're all surprised that Luther Strode is developing powers and whatnot. Buuuut the whole Charles Atlas thing from the first arc is pretty undeniable and fun.
This volume feels like a middle point, where he's kicking ass, but it doesn't do a ton for the story as a whole. Which is fine by me.(less)
Really good re-imagining of the Batman origin. Actually, more than anything, it turns Alfred into a real dude, which might only SOUND exciting for fan...moreReally good re-imagining of the Batman origin. Actually, more than anything, it turns Alfred into a real dude, which might only SOUND exciting for fanboys like myself, but non-bat-fans might dig it too.
This book is a big departure from most of the Batman books from this time. The default Batman had become what comic nerds refer to as Bat-God. This is the Batman who is an unbeatable, untouchable force of nature.
The first memory I have of reading Bat-God was from the JLA relaunch of the late 90's. I'm sure this isn't where he first started, but it was the first time I really noticed. After a group of baddies beats up Superman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern, and Aquaman, AND Martian Manhunter, who is the one person who takes them down single-handedly? Batman.
I don't want to spoil this if you haven't read it. I really think it's one of the best Batman stories ever. Pick it up, JLA: New World Order.
And somewhere around here, we got a Batman that I like. But a Batman who is so exacting, so perfect, that he comes up with a contingency where he splits his own personality. Y'know, just in case.
So Earth One presents a much more fallible, real Batman. If you're a person who dabbles in comics, this one is probably a great choice. But it works as a fanboy nerd who hotly debates the value of Frank Miller as a human too.