Monday, April 30, 2007

abstract--Pre-Postmodern Heroes

In October I might be attending the Midwest Popular Culture Association/Midwest American Culture Association Conference in Kansas City, MO. I say "might" because my attendance is dependent on if the abstract I submitted today is approved or not.

I had originally not paid enough attention to the call for papers, and I planned on submitting the analysis of the conclusion of The Long Halloween which I posted here ages ago. However the call was for papers to be on a panel entitled "The Postmodern Comic Book Hero" and clearly my original topic would not work for that panel. so I scrambled this past weekend, came up with a new idea, and submitted it instead.

and here is the abstract I sent:

Plastic Man and the Spirit: Pre-Postmodern Heroes of the Golden Age

In the modern era of comics, the influence of postmodernism can be felt far and wide. Daniel Clowes, Charles Burns, or Kevin Huizenga spring to mind as obvious examples of indie comic artists that delve into the bizarre. More mainstream works inspired by postmodernism can easily be found in Alan Moore’s classic deconstruction of the superhero Watchmen or the metafiction of Grant Morrison’s Animal Man.

But postmodernism’s roots in comics stretch back all the way to the medium’s infancy. Even in the Golden Age as the genre of the superhero was still forming, it was already being deconstructed. Plastic Man, with his origins as a reformed criminal and his lighthearted attitude toward fighting crime, defied the conventions of the genre at the time. Meanwhile, The Spirit, a crimefighter whose “costume” consisted solely of a domino mask, seemed to refuse the categorization as a superhero not only in his appearance but in his approach towards his role as well.

Beyond the characters themselves, both comics and their creators were known for pushing the boundaries of what superhero comics could be. Eisner’s various experiments with form in the Spirit comics are well-documented, from his incorporation of the comics logo in his splash pages to his shifting the comic’s point of view from The Spirit to relatively minor characters. Jack Cole on the other hand experimented with his art style in his Plastic Man stories, coupling very realistic figure work with other characters who looked quite cartoonish.

Both Cole and Eisner then could be seen as the progenitors of postmodernism in comics. These artists paved the way for the experimentation with form prevalent in indie comics of the ‘60s and ‘70s, and their creations acted as predecessors and precursors to the eventual acceptance of postmodernism into the mainstream seen in the 1980s.

(Should the proposal be accepted, I intend to spend the summer reading Plastic Man and Spirit comics, so that I might actually know what I'm talking about come October.)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Brief details on the guest lecture

Pictures from the lecture can be found here.

Here also is a brief video of the after-lecture signing.

And I should soon be able to post a link to a place where you can download the audio from the lecture too.

The lecture went very well. We had about 65 students show up, and the students hung around after the lecture--asking questions, buying books, getting sketches--for about two hours.

And each one of them, when they would get a sketch, would run over to me and say, "Mr. Higgins! Check out the sketch I got!" I felt like a proud parent; I wanted to ruffle their hair and pat them on the head afterward.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Special Guest Lecture this Friday

This Friday I am hosting a special guest lecture on comics at Lewis and Clark Community College, the school where I teach. I will be leading a panel discussion with Cullen Bunn, the writer of Oni's The Damned, current Queen and Country artist Chris Samnee, and Pistolwhip creator Matt Kindt. The discussion will focus on the medium of comics, how it differs from other methods of storytelling both creatively and logistically and why they chose to tell their stories in this manner.

The lecture will start at 2pm and will be held in the Olin Theatre of Hatheway Hall. (For directions, you can check my school's website here.) It will last until 3pm, with some brief time for Q&A at the end and a meet-and-greet/book signing in the lobby afterwards.

The event is open to the public and completely free, so if you have any inclination to attend, please do so. You can contact me with any questions at

Monday, April 16, 2007

meta-education and V for Vendetta

In my Comic Books as Lit course we're in the middle of our discussion of V for Vendetta and we just reached the prison scenes. So I had them write today about how they felt about what V did to Evey. I asked them, "Do you support his actions or decry them? Is he justified in what he does or not? Are you for or against what he did?" and then I suggested that you could call what V does brainwashing. I then had them write half a page to a page in response.

I was as careful as I could be in my wording leading into the prompt, so I could put it to them in as many ways as possible without my own bias creeping in. I didn't want them to know what I thought before they told me what they thought. I was trying to avoid leading them in a particular direction, pointing them towards a particular answer, because... doing so fits with the subject matter I was asking them about.

After they wrote we jumped into our discussion, taking a step back from the question and talking about Evey's evolution as a character, the change she undergoes in the story and how she essentially grows up before our very eyes. That idea then led us naturally to the prison scenes, which is that linchpin moment in which she goes from innocence to experience, becomes Eve not Evey.

But is that transformation worth what she had to go through to get there? Do the ends justify the means? These questions led to some very lively discussion from the class. I talked to them about it being a matter of perspective in some ways, whether or not we see the book as V's story or Evey's. If we think of Evey as the main character, then this is a horrible thing that she goes through, abominable. but if we tend to think of V as the main character, then we understand the motivations because it is something he himself went through as well.

Many of my students made just that point, that V did not create the experience himself and instead is simply demonstrating to her what both he and Evey's father had to go through. One student compared it to the Holocaust, saying, "you can hear about the Holocaust in class and not really comprehend its scope. but if you hear the story from a survivor, if you visit the site, then you can really know what it's like." In a way then, they argued, V is simply showing her the true methods of the government she lives under.

Another student said that Evey wasn't being brainwashed but rather deprogrammed. She had been brainwashed for years before by the government into thinking this was all she could get out of life, that she was happy where she was. All V did was to reveal to her the dark underbelly. A third student referred to it as an anti-venom, that the government had left her paralyzed from snake bites over the years and now she's receiving the antidote.

Finally they also raised the very valid point that Evey was, at the moment she was abducted, about to kill a man, something she surely would have been captured after doing. And after this capture, she would have been treated exactly the same way by the real Fingermen, except that they WOULD have killed her in the end. All V did is let her have the experience without paying the ultimate price for it, let her learn the lesson and live to tell the tale. All V did was save her from herself.

There were a few students who did raise the question of what gave V the right to do such a thing? One student said, "all parents tell their children not to touch a hot stove, and to a degree the children don't listen and have to learn for themselves. But what V is doing here is essentially building the stove." I then replied, "worse than that, he's grabbing her hand and making her touch it." Also, the question was raised that, by V putting Evey through the exact same things he's gone through, is he trying to free her mind so she can be an individual, or is he giving something new to follow? The words "Disciple" and "carbon-copy" came up in this point of the discussion more than once.

One student had raised the point that V asks her if she wants to pluck the rose and hand it to him, thus signifiying that he will kill the man who killed her lover Gordon. This student mentioned it as evidence of it not being brainwashing, because he gives her a choice, but I countered with the idea that maybe he wanted her to make that particular decision and manipulated her into it.

Finally it was explored that no matter what we do in life, we will be influenced by the thoughts, opinions, and actions of others. We are educated by teachers and parents alike, and the whole scene ties into Evey's parental issues, her search for a father figure. V is educating her, but he goes about it in a horrible way. And I mentioned then that, placing the story in a real world context, if we were forced to go through what Evey does, we would NOT be as supportive of what happens, but because it's a piece of fiction and because our sympathies lie with V, we look at the message and what he's trying to teach her rather than his methodology.

This brought me around to explaining why I had them write their responses first before I gave them mine, why I played devil's advocate often during the discussion, and why I tried to let them lead the discussion and argue it out back and forth. I did not want to forcefeed them a lesson and have them regurgitate it. I wanted them to really analyze it on their own and come to their own conclusions based on their own filters.

I ended saying that it's a very morally ambiguous scene and that really the whole book is morally ambiguous. V is no saint by any means, and the level to which we support him or decry his actions (also the level to which the characters in the book do the same) is a matter of personal ethics. these questions of V's methodology (terrorist or freedom fighter) and how Eve accepts or denounces them (protege or disciple) are of course especially important in the finale of the book, so I asked them to continue mulling these ideas over as they finished reading.

All in all, it was a tremendous and thought-provoking class period, one that even challenged me and what I thought, and I wanted to share it in the hopes it would do the same for you.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Friday the 13th lasts two days.

In more news on how Marvel are price-gouging assholes with regards to their Civil War trade, I was out at a bookstore today and they happened to have a copy of DC’s Infinite Crisis hardcover that cost . . . $24.99 US, which, if you’ll remember from yesterday is the exact same price of the Civil War softcover. And, if you’ll remember, both series were seven issues, so the page count should be pretty similar. Of more interest to me was the fact that the Canadian price for the Infinite Crisis hardcover was, oh, $33.50, not $40 like Civil War. Wow. Price-gouging at its finest, eh?

On with the reviews . . .

Batman #664

Am I the only one who read this issue and thought “Okay, so where’s the other half of the story?” The first bit with Bruce is useless and the second half with Batman versus Bat-Bane is much too short. I did like the idea of Bat-Bane, though.

All-Star Superman #7

Shouldn’t this issue have come out around Halloween? It could have been called “Superman V. Zombies” since that’s what it is. Bizarro zombies. My main problem with the series, that it skims along the surface and doesn’t actually give me anything remains.

Jog suggests that the series is all about Superman encountering versions of himself, which it very well be, but . . . so what? What do these versions of Superman actually say about him? Because I’m drawing a blank.

Too pseudo-smart to be very entertaining, too vapid and superficial to be enlightening.

Army@Love #1

I was looking forward to this series ever since it was announced and this is it? It’s a one-note joke! Yeah, the army recruits the war as a video game with orgies . . . and? I can’t even say it’s that entertaining. It reads like the sort of satire I would have wrote in high school. If you want something intelligent on current US politics, there’s DMZ. I’ll give this a few issues to see if it goes anywhere, but, really, I’m quite disappointed.

Deathblow #4

Holy crap, Brian Azzarello wrote in a cyborg dinosaur that tries to kill Cray. I did not see that coming. It also looks like next issue will involve Cray in a gun fight against his kids. This series is a lot more fun than I expected.

Midnighter #5-6

First up, issue five concludes the first storyarc where Midnighter was kidnapped, implanted with a bomb and told to kill Hitler. So, Midnighter returns to the present and takes revenge in typical Ennis fashion.

Then, issue six is a story involving a Japanese samurai very similar to our hero who fell in love with another swordsman who “looked like the sun.” It’s entertaining in its way.

Both stories attempt to make the same point about Midnighter, which is that he’s a killing machine and that’s all. You can’t give him a conscience about it, or make him into a pseudo-good guy or anything. He kills people, that’s all.

Isn’t Ennis off the book now? Hmm, I’ll probably pick up the next issue anyway, see what’s what.

Gødland #17

Now, there’s an issue! For the past while, I’ve felt this series hasn’t been firing on all cylinders, but something about this issue worked quite well. The US government makes its move against the Archer family, invoking the Infinity Protocols, which means sealing up the Infinity Tower where our hero Adam Archer lives. The Tormentor is back in business. The Triad is building some major cosmic machine that’s probably going to kill us all. And next issue: Crashman versus Adam Archer. Hell yes.

Now, I’ve got Bryan Talbot’s Alice in Sunderland sitting there along with a couple of books I bought today, so much reading to do.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday the 13th was good to me.

So, back in London for a week. Classes are over and I don’t need to be back on campus until the twenty-third, so I figured I’d come home for a little vacation. And to get comics.

Two things stood out in the whole experience today.

First, whoever decides the price for Marvel’s trades is an asshole. Saw the Civil War trade and thought I’d pick it up, but then I saw the cover price. $24.99 US and $40.00 Canadian. Insert my standard “someone needs to get those idiots a fucking currency converter!” rant. What also annoys me is the fact that it shouldn’t be $25 US either. I bought a copy of Alice in Sunderland, which looks to have more pages, bound in hardcover and not have the cushion of individual issues selling in the hundreds of thousands for only five bucks more. Seems about right.

(On a slight tangent: buying Talbot’s book is what prevented me from getting Civil War as I know the guy at my shop would have altered the Canadian price, so I would have paid maybe thirty bucks at the most. I love that guy. I mean, I paid $29.95 CANADIAN for Alice in Sunderland, which is the American price. Damn good guy that Tim.)

Second, they were sold out of every Ellis issue of Thunderbolts except for 113, which was released this week. The shitty thing? I only had 110-111, meaning no 112. I debated in the shop whether to bother with 113 and just wait for a trade, but got it anyway, who cares, I’d find 112 elsewhere.

And I did.

At the convenience store I stopped at on the way home for a slushy and some chips. They had one comic with their magazines and that was Thunderbolts #112 (three copies, I think). Take THAT, direct market!

Anyway, on to reviews . . .

Punisher War Journal #5-6

And so begins “Reign of the Captains America” . . . so far, we’ve got Hate Monger Captain America and Punisher Captain America. All we need is two more, months of them fighting with one another and then the return of the real one for Marvel to fully rip-off DC circa 1993. Although, I don’t think that’s what’s going on here, I kid because I love. I trust Fraction to do good things here. I also trust him to get rid of the whole Punisher versus SHIELD storyline soon, because, goddamn, I find it boring as hell.

Immortal Iron Fist #4

Holy fuck, Iron Fist is cool! Who saw that coming?

Civil War: The Confession

I’m actually amazed at how well Bendis pulled off the first story in this issue. For a man known for his dialogue, he writes a pretty good monologue here. But, the really interesting thing here is how the two stories work in dialogue with one another. And, there’s the obvious connection between “Was it worth it?” but there’s also everyone’s favourite topic of discussion: Iron Man is an asshole versus Iron Man isn’t an asshole.

What makes this issue work so well is that Bendis brings back Tony’s humanity in a way that hasn’t been seen since Civil War began (and probably before).


But, we’ve seen stories involving him that take place after this issue that show him in the same asshole light, so I’m left wondering what the point here was. It’s written well, drawn well and all of that; in and of itself, The Confession works. However, if you place it within the context of the Marvel universe as a whole, the first story doesn’t seem to work, in my mind. The second one fits in quite nicely, but the first . . . it just doesn’t fit. It should signal a shift, of sorts, but it doesn’t.

Goddamn, I wish I wasn’t in London and my copy of American Psycho was handy, because it has a quote that sums this up. I’ll paraphrase: “In the end, this confession has meant nothing.”

(And that’s when they all groaned.)

New Avengers #28-29

I found myself loving these issues far more than I expected. The time jumps, the dialogue, the action, the art, it’s all working here. Nothing much else to say.

Thunderbolts #112-113

I’m mixed about this book. I enjoy it, but it’s also so utterly unsubtle that I can barely stand it sometimes. Norman is crazy in an over-the-top way. Moonstone is manipulative in an over-the-top way. Also, not much happened. Still, I’m very pleased that I stumbled into #112.

Fell #8

The only thing that bothered me about this issue is the tension between photograph and objective narrative viewpoint. When is what we see a photograph taken by Fell and when is it just an objective viewpoint? The framing panels obviously are the usual objective narration viewpoint, but what about that middle panel on page six that shows Fell and other cops from an overhead position?

The fact that I’m picking on something this minor says something about the quality of this issue.

newuniversal #5

And the beat goes on. I have a feeling this series could turn out to be really great once the pieces all get laid out. Right now, though, it feels too much like tedious work on Ellis’ part. It’s still entertaining, but there’s too much process about it to be completely absorbing.

More tomorrow.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Showcase Presents Superman Vol. 1 (Part 2)

Continuing the trip through Silver Age (although, is 1958-59 Silver Age?) goodness. I've read the first 176 pages. Here are some highlights:

* People from the 50th century control Superman in an effort to have him gather various artifacts from around the solar system for a time capsule that won't be opened until then. The places where he gets them from spell out SUPERMAN. Except Superman can't tell anyone that the future people did it because he's worried about seeming arrogant--except everyone thinks he was faking and is an arrogant prick anyway.

* When Jimmy imagines Superman as president, Clark Kent is his VP--and then resigns because THERE'S NO POINT IN BEING THE VP TO A PRESIDENT WHO CAN'T GET SHOT. And Superman's plan for eliminating the deficit? Sunken treasure. That's until Jimmy wakes up and Clark's all "HA! Superman's an alien and can't be president, you stupid punk!" But Clark Kent would be--"Not that he'd ever think to, though!"

* Superman had superpowers on Earth because it has lower gravity than Krypton, not the yellow sun.

* In a 3-part story, Jimmy gets an ancient token that grants three wishes every century if its jewel is rubbed under a full moon. His first wish? A Super-Girl for Superman. Take THAT, Lois Lane! Except this Super-Girl just gets in the way and exposes his secret identity. Thus, she must die. And she does. AND NO ONE CARES. Because Superman is so worried about protecting his secret identity that he proposes marriage to her as Clark Kent and she's all "PFT! Clark wouldn't propose to me if he were really Superman!"

* In the second story, the token is stolen and some criminals wish Superman's powers away and he gets Jimmy to help him fake it, including one scene where Jimmy manages to hold up Superman using a long piece of transparent plastic to make it look like he's flying in a parade. Apparently, Jimmy Olsen is one motherfucking strong dude. And they catch the crooks and Superman gets his powers back.

* The third story has Jimmy wish that Superman could meet his real parents, except he wants to surprise Supes, so he just types out the wish. Except he later discovers that there's a typo: he wrote "mate" instead of "meet." Cue the porn music. Sadly, all it means is that Ghost-Superman is sent back to before his parents were married and instead have been arrested for joining a radical political party beant on overthrowing the government. But wait! Jor-El is a secret agent but doesn't have any proof he is and the only person who knows DIED THAT MORNING! So, they get shot off into space and Superman is made real and they fight against the evil guy who ran the political group--and they've all got superpowers since they're no longer under Krypton's gravity. It looks like it will be a stalemate until Superman tricks the evil guy into accidentally making Kryptonite--since apparently, nuclear explosions are Earth science and Kryptonians don't know about that sort of thing being an advanced society in every conceivable way. And then Superman comes back home, having never mated with his parents. Damn token didn't do the job right.

* Superman gets turned into a lion by a descendent of Circe and Lois takes him to go see "Beauty and the Beast" because she's a fucking bitch.

* Superman gets wounded by a magic sword and everyone makes fun of him for being such a pussy.

* When Superman and Lois get stranded on an island that is then surrounded completely by Kryptonite particles, he shrugs and goes "Ah, what the fuck, if I'm going to be here for a few years, I may as well get me some" and asks Lois to marry him. But, right after he reveals his secret identity and sets up the marriage with the chief of the local tribe, there's an earthquake or something that gets rid of the Kryptonite, so he makes it look like Clark Kent tricked her into agreeing to marry him and then chickened out. And then Lois filled in all of the holes in THAT logic because she's so crazy over Superman, it never occurred to her that he's a lying bastard.

* Some alien crash in the ocean and plan to take over the world by killing everyone since they can only breathe under waster, so Superman stays with them, pretending to be in love with the woman alien. Everyone on the surface gets worried, so they try to capture Superman and, at one point, Superman evades capture by letting out crude oil from a sunken tanker to block their view. The moral of the story? SUPERMAN HATES SEALS.

* A "renegade scientist" (coolest job ever) escapes from the Bottle City of Whatever after Lois cracks the bottle and uses Superman's electronic plastic surgeon to make himself look like Superman. So, Lois quizzes the two Supermen on something and when one answers wrong, she shrinks him and put him in the bottle--except the real Superman is the one that answered wrong--ON PURPOSE. See, he wanted to avoid a fight, but then realises once in the bottle that he doesn't know how to get out. But, no worries because the fake Superman does everything the real Superman would do because he likes the fame and adoration of everyone--and this way, he can bang Lois. Except after they're married, Lois wants to know his secret identity finally AND HE DOESN'T KNOW! But, no worries because the real Superman has escaped and the fake one tries to escape by dressing up in regular clothes and glasses and Superman catches him right away because he looks just like Clark Kent. It ends with no one going "Hey, wait, if Superman knew that was the fake and he looked just like Clark Kent, that means--" Seriously, Lois Lane is the shittiest gal reporter ever.

* That story ends with the best panel ever.


CLARK (with a total "you're a dumb bitch, you know that?" look on his face): ER...HOW WOULD I KNOW, LOIS?


* Lois has a dream after she mistakenly thinks she's getting a blood transfusion from Superman where she has superpowers and instead of dreaming of team-ups and marriage with Superman, she dreams that Clark gets injured and she gives him superpowers through a blood transfusion. Clark then proceeds to be a shitty superhero and she nags him throughout for being such an idiot. See, she claims to love Superman, but this dream clearly proves she really wants to marry Clark and boss him around since she's a strong woman and doesn't really want to be subordinate to Superman. Strangely feminist story, in a way.

* Clark Kent once beat a lie detector test in college when asked if he was Superboy because it was then that he began thinking of himself as Superman. LYING BASTARD.

* The last story I read was the one where Superman can make a tiny Superman-like creature shoot out of his hands and do his bidding. Except, he then gets jealous of it until it dies saving him from Kryptonite. Grant Morrison mentioned this story once or twice in interviews for All-Star Superman as some sort of genius story. All I learned is that when criminals see miniature versions of Superman, they're so freaked out that they immediately give up. That's really weird.

To be continued . . .

Friday, April 06, 2007

Showcase Presents Superman Vol. 1 (Part One)

I just finished reading the first story in Showcase Presents Superman Volume 1 and, wow, that's some messed up shit.

The cover is to Action Comics #241 and has Superman carrying this giant key to a place called "Fort Superman"--which you know because it's written in the ground right in front of the giant door--claiming that he's the only one who can lift it, but someone has managed to break into his hang-out and he's kind of freaked out. Who can do such a thing? My first thought was that it was 100 men since that's how many men it would take to lift the key according to Supes.

The issue opens with a splash page of Superman sitting in a chair, using his heat vision to write in "MY DIARY." Apparently, Superman is a teenage girl. Like a teenage girl, he taunts any readers by being all "I'm going to do some top secret stuff, so I'm going to write it down--BUT I'M DOING IT IN THE LANGUAGE OF KRYPTON, SO TAKE THAT, MOM!" I'm mostly disturbed by the fact that he doesn't just have a diary, he has a giant diary.

The actual story begins with Clark, Lois and Jimmy out walking around and Lois sees a pearl necklace she wants and Jimmy sees a car he wants and Clark just keeps thinking "Maybe you guys will get those sooner than you think."

So, then he goes off and finds some pearls and goes to his Fortress of Solitude where he has rooms devoted to his friends complete with lifesize statues of them. Seriously, it is really fucking freaky. I'm mostly disturbed by the fact that Jimmy is posed with his hands in his pockets and winking.

In these rooms, Superman is building stuff for his friends. For Lois, that necklace. For Jimmy, that car. For Batman, a computer. BUT the catch is that they don't get any of this stuff until he dies. Wow, Superman is kind of a dick, isn't he? He can do all this, but then says they can't have any of it until he dies, which is god knows when AND it's trapped in his Fortress, which apparently only he can gain access to. What a cocktease.

He also has a room devoted to Clark Kent as well, because he wants to protect his secret identity even after he dies. The fuck?

Anyway, he does his thing and comes back the next day and inside, there's a note telling him that someone's been there and nah-nah-nah-NAH! he'll never guess who. Superman gets all worried and begins suspecting the animals he has caged up in some backroom and then starts having nightmares as more taunting notes show up. He gets so worried that passengers on a cruise ship heckle him for not carrying their damaged boat back to shore smoothly enough.

Finally, he discovers that the person who's been fucking with him is Batman, except Superman accidentally causes a cave in while carrying around some Kryptonite. Batman pops out and Superman is all "I trusted you and you've killed me, asshole!" So, Batman taunts the dying Superman by telling him step-by-step how he's been fucking with Superman.

And then Superman stands up, breaks them free because he was just faking. Take THAT, "World's Greatest Detective"!

When Superman asks why Batman was such an asshole, Batman reveals that it's because it's the anniversary of Superman arriving on Earth and Batman wanted to give him a puzzle to solve. And then they have a giant cake with candles featuring Superman and Clark Kent's heads set on fire.

What I learned from this story is that Batman and Superman NEVER liked each other, but hung out together because they felt they should. Batman is a detective, so he lords it over Superman and Superman has super-strength, which he then lords over Batman with the threat of death. They're both petty and jealous and like to fuck with each other's heads.

Oh, and there's a classic panel of Batman out shopping for a present for Superman. The guy is an insanely wealthy guy with a butler, but he still dresses up and GOES TO THE FUCKING MALL. There's a comic I want to read. "Batman Goes To The Mall." Every month, Batman goes shopping and we follow him from store to store. In the first issue, mall security hassles him. Brilliant. Put Grant Morrison on it, he loves these insanely retarded ideas from the Silver Age. But, then again, he did a lot of drugs, so we can't really blame him for thinking this stuff is good.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

It's Too Late To Be Late Again

Wow, it's been nearly a week since I last posted. Know why? Nothing to say really. Nothing in comics has gotten my attention this past week. But, here's some random stuff that I'm making up as I go.

* Reread All-Star Superman #1-6 last night, which is the equivalent of the first hardcover, which is out already or coming out sometime in the next couple of months. Yeah, it still does very little for me. In an effort to possibly correct this, I am going to finally read the first Showcase Presents Superman volume that I bought last year. And then I will make fun of it.

Although, I realised last night that in issue three (I think) of ASS (that acronym makes FAR too much sense) Lois asks Superman why her--and I have to admit I was wondering the same thing. At least, this version of Lois. Maybe that's my biggest flaw with the series: none of the characters have depth. Real depth. It's too steep within the idea of myth and legend to give any of the characters anything beyond a hint of depth that really isn't there. What you see is what you get.

* I'm not the only one who's beginning to mind George Perez's art. Was talking about comics with a friend today and he was saying how he's not a fan.

* I like the idea of Matt Fraction writing the Punisher as a new Captain America, I just think the costume is butt ugly. Is that really the best they could come up with?

* Why are comics always compared to movies when the more obvious comparison is television? At least, with regards to serialised, episodic comics. Graphic novels warrant comparisions to movies, but a monthly? Look to the idiot box then, friends.

* Seriously, my little rant on an issue of Green Lantern combined with my bitching about Superman OYL is still bothering me. Why would powerless Clark Kent warrant a Green Lantern ring, but Superman not?

* Dick Hyacinth makes a very good point of at the end of this post, but I must say that I grew up reading Spider-Man books mostly during the Clone Saga and I figured it out. AND I'm still here.

* I think I just made the argument for how big a geek I really am.