NO FIWOTTS ALLOWED!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

I'm only reviewing this thing once

So, yeah, a book came out and I keep reading and hearing about it. People seem to love it. It's not really my thing, but I thought I'd give it a chance. I want to review this book, I want to talk about it fairly. No hyperbole. No fanboy idiocy of any kind.

The thing is, as much as its fans like it, this book is not good. The art is completely inadequate. Some art I don't like but I can see why someone else would. I do not understand why anyone would ever look at this and like it. And the story? Well, there isn't really a story, is there? It's just a series of scenes meant to delight a small, insular audience. These pages here are pretty much everything this book is: cloying, poorly-drawn, and unappealing to pretty much anyone in the world outside of a select, tiny audience.

I'm talking, of course, about Will You Still Love Me if I Wet the Bed by Liz Prince. It's very sweet, yes. That's really all it is. It's like a whole book of those moments you never want to be around couples. It, in theory, has some jokes in it, but the punchlines are all on the "Your armpits smell like celery." "I know *CUDDLE*" variety.

People have liked this? This isn't comics. This is Liz Prince's diary, and not even the interesting parts. Just the part where she talks about how she and her boyfriend love each other. That's great, it really is. I guess there's no way to critique this book without sounding like a heartless jerk.

I don't want to be around my friends when they're behaving like this. If Lisa and I acted like this, I wouldn't want to be around us, either.

Avoid it, guys. Yikes. There's such a thing as "too personal" when it comes to some media.

There are some good comics out this week. Legends of the Dark Knight, Ex Machina, the Goon, and the Keep. Fun stuff, all. The last of those is kind of like if Guy Davis and Mike Mignola, during the making of BPRD, made sweet love and had a baby. I like.

Enjoy the good stuff, folks.

50 Love Letters:

Blogger Spencer Carnage said...

I concur. Independent doesn't always mean good.

8:00 PM

 
Blogger Joe Rice said...

I don't think anyone in the world would say otherwise. Groth rails against shitty indie comics just like he does Captain Supercape.

Whereas corporate almost always means bad.

8:07 PM

 
Blogger Kevin Church said...

Joe, you know I love you in a completely hetero, man-tastic way, right? OK.

See, your criticism falls apart with the phrase "This isn't comics." It certainly is comics - just not comics that you care to read. There's lots of jazz I outright loathe, but that doesn't mean it's not jazz, you know?

There's lots of comics I hate with a passion that are amateurish and ugly - there's a story in the most recent SPX book wherein after reading it, I actively wished that Michael Turner's cancer magically lept to this particular cartoonist's hands, but it's comics nonetheless.

Yeah, maybe Liz did use the medium as her diary, but so do Jeffrey Brown (her most obvious antecedent) and James Kochalka (who focuses on the little moments over at AmericanElf.com.) And while I liked the book, I can see every other point that you make except for the "It's not comics" line, which made me blink like you'd morphed into a certain neocon CBR columnist.

10:05 PM

 
Blogger Joe Rice said...

Of course it's comics. It's just really, really, really terrible comics. I'd rather have to read DC's monthly output than read something like this again.

Jeffrey Brown? More bad comics. And this, to quote a friend, was "Jeffrey Brown without the draftsmanship." Wow, that's really saying something.

Yeah, you can take that part of my criticism apart, because it was obvious hyperbole. But the fact remains: this is bad. This is a collection of things that should have remained private.

5:54 AM

 
Blogger alex said...

It reminds me of the episode of Seinfeld where Jerry is dating the girl that is always rubbing noses with him and they call each other "Shmoopie".

"You're Shmoopie!"

"No, you're Shmoopie!"

And no one could stand to be around them.

This book is Shmoopie.

-a

8:25 AM

 
Blogger Jhunt said...

Okay, I've heard in a few places that this book was pretty saccharine-infused, but seeing the sample pages has confirmed that I cannot, in good faith, buy this book as a Xmas gift for my fiance. Nuts.

Anyone have any other suggestions? She likes Andi Watson, almost to the point of exclusivity, but her disinterest in capes n' powers means that Love Fights would be a bad choice.

Help?

9:35 AM

 
Anonymous Andrew Weiss said...

I thought it was sort of cute, but I don't thing I could stand being in the same room with that couple in real life.

jhunt: My wife is also a huge Andi Watson fan, and recommends you take a look at "Courtney Crumrin", "Scary Godmother", or "Sugar Buzz". (I'm not certain if the latter ever made it into trade format, though.)

9:56 AM

 
Blogger Kevin Church said...

Sugar Buzz is totally cracktastic. There's this absurd Britishness to the whole thing that I find to be charming and disconcerting at the same time. Ants with giant robot pants, octopi seducing island women, etc.

11:05 AM

 
Blogger Joe Rice said...

Yeah, I miss Sugar Buzz. It was so great and it made me so uncomfortable at least once and issue. Amazing.

11:38 AM

 
Blogger Chris said...

I had a pretty similar reaction to the book, which, if you so desire, you can read here:

http://panelsandpixels.blogspot.com/2005/10/i-am-not-dove.html

It's nice to know I'm not alone.

3:01 PM

 
Blogger Eliot Johnson said...

Joe, Joe, Joe...

I realized long ago that you were a heartless bastard when you didn't like Owly...I disagreed with you there and I disagree again.

James Kochalka says the "craft is the enemy" and I couldn't agree with him more, though you apparently do not. Yeah...I suppose that Liz Prince's art is "poorly-drawn," but that you even say that means that you completely missed the entire point of the book and you're very view on art is slightly skewed.

Liz Prince seeks to do nothing other than show how much she loves her boyfriend. She may not have the artistic skills of Stan Sakai, but she does the best with what she has. It makes it even better, actually. Yeah...love is the grand story of books like True Story Swear to God, but it's also this...the every day stuff that Prince captures perfectly.

And it's not like she just shows the good times...she gets in some of the sadder moments, too. Not to mention her totally honest style (reminiscent of Kochalka and Brown of course) which is utterly charming and occasionally quite funny.

Maybe I'm just binded because I'm one of the "select" few who was meant to enjoy this book, but I just think that you didn't give it a chance. You say "I don't want to be around my friends when they're behaving like this" and that's the beauty of it all...Liz and Kevin aren't the people that do that...these moments are made up of their private lives, and it's a wonderful view into love.

For the people who've felt love like that, it should bring a wide smile to your face.

As for her art, it gets the job done, no? It's appealing to look at in its simplicity and the characters have distinct emotions and their movements are fluid.

Is Liz Prince the next great cartoonist? no. And "Will You Still Love Me If I Wet The Bed" is little more than an enjoyable little book...but that's just it...it's an enjoyable little love letter, showing off her love as best she can...and she captures it perfectly in my eyes.

I suppose a book can become "too personal," but "Will You Still Lvoe Me?" doesn't go anywhere near crossing that line. It shows the little moments that make up love...that's all. It certainly never gets as personal as Kochalka, for example.

Lighten up, Joe..it'll do you some good. This is a fun book that accurately portrays love...its wonderful.

1:10 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eliot-

Your review made me like the book even less.

That's weird!

Anyway, I could care less how much these two are in love, and I certainly don't ever again want to read 40 pages of "shmoopie".

That said, it's good to see you in the comments again!

-a

8:49 AM

 
Blogger Joe Rice said...

Elliot, I don't think even Kochalka himself completely believes that craft is the enemy. Sure, craft CAN be the enemy. When you've got Perezclones working on showing every possible detail that could ever be shown, that's craft gone awry. But there's nothing wrong with being able to draw or being able to write. There's nothing wrong with presenting your piece the best way you can. Prince didn't. Prince's book looks like a collection of bar napkin drawings. I can see that she probably can draw. But she didn't for these. They're doodles, more of a sketchbook than a series of pieces.

I don't think my view on art is skewed. I can appreciate all styles and all levels of talent. I can appreciate Frank Miller, Adrian Tomine, or James Kochalka. This was poorly-presented and rather pablum-y.

It was not a study on love. It was not about love at all. It was a navel-gazing focus on infatuation, on the immature early stages of what often becomes love. There's no way to say this without sounding condescending, but I doubt very much that a teenager can tell me what accurately portrays love. The book lacks the depth of love, the highs and lows. This book is a skimming of the surface of infatuation. Two people in the annoying stages of a relationship presented for all 15 people in the livejournal/cutesthetic indie scene to read and praise.

Also, no, she does NOT get in sadder moments. Every single pages is an "awwwww." Even if they start in a fight, they end up cuddling schmoopies. That's dull.

This book is a fluffy nothing, a cotton candy that doesn't even taste good. It will dissolve over time and never be mentioned again after a few months.

And as for Owly, I never said it wasn't good. It's a decent children's book. But as someone who reads children's books for a living, I read better ones every day. Owly would not make the cut in my class. It's good, but as the class credo goes, "Good enough is not good enough."

"Wet the Bed" isn't even good enough.

4:49 PM

 
Blogger alex said...

You're Shmoopie!

5:16 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BLORK! BLARRGHGHG! BLAAAAH! BARFFF!

5:31 PM

 
Blogger Eliot Johnson said...

First of all...there's no need for the frivilous 'l' in my name.

Secondly, I have to apologize a bit for my previous post. It was almost late and I was rather high. "Wet the Bed" is definitely NOT an accurate portrayal of love. It is, however, an accurate, entertaining portrayal of infatuation likely on its way to love.

And of course I don't believe that craft is entirely the enemy. No one is that stupid. Even a teenager like me. To use Kochalka's words, "there is nothing wrong with trying to draw well, but it's not of primary importance." Which is where I think your view on Prince's art is skewed...your problem is that her art is not well-crafted. Her art gets the job done. It is sufficiently cute to match her story and it has the scratchy feel of a love-note. Prince's art makes me smile 'cause it's an artist doing the best she can with what ability she has. She puts all the right emotion into it, if not the skill.

Yes, this book is for a specific sub-culture.

Yes, this book is not for you.

No, the sub-culture for which this book is intended is NOT small. Further, you not being part of that sub-culture does not give you the right to totally disregard the book's merit.

"Wet the Bed" is fun and honest love note...and yeah maybe it's a little cutesy. But it put a smile on my face. I didn't actually buy it ('twas sent to me), but I gladly would have.

Owly is awesome. Sorry that you don't get it 'cause it's made me and so many of my friends so very happy.

Despite my "even a teenager like me" comment above, I'm not really bothered by your "I highly doubt a teenager can tell me..." remark, I just couldn't resist the opportunity. However...fuck agism. It's almost like a cop hassling me 'cause I'm a teenager with long hair. One's age does not invalidate one's experiences. A teenager definitely could tell you (or anyone) about love. That's not to say that my comments above were appropriate (they were wrong), but I'm just saying...I don't really agree with you that age has anything to do with anything when it comes to love. If you've felt it, you've felt it.

Though I still don't agree with you, I have to give you credit for saying "pablum-y."

alex,

Thanks...yeah, I don't scan the blogosphere too much these days, but when I do, this blog is always one I check. If I'm ever in NYC, I'll check out your store. Looks cool.

9:33 PM

 
Blogger Eliot Johnson said...

Oh yeah...and, if you want a great study on love...don't come to "Wet the Bed." You're trying to make it more than it is. As I said...It's a cute little love note and nothing more.

And I remember a couple of the pages being sad, but I can't say for sure 'cause I don't have the book in front of me.

9:35 PM

 
Blogger Joe Rice said...

I like the two "l"s.

Some of your points. "Getting the job done" isn't good enough for me. It just isn't. The artist doesn't have to be greatly talented, but they have to do more than "get the job done." Johnny Ryan is no Charles Schulz, but his art does more than gets the job done. It fits the story perfectly and adds to it.

I get Owly. I don't dislike Owly. I just read better children's books all the time. The work of Mo Willems blows Owly away. I used to think all children's books were garbage, but there's a lot of great ones. Owly isn't one of them. It's a "good" one.

If I'm ageist, I'm ageist, but I know I would have felt the exact same way as you at your age. I would have felt I understood love just as much as someone who is my age now.

I didn't.

You don't.

And, no, there are not any sad pages.

And I know it's a cute little love note and nothing more. I don't think cute little love notes are worth reading unless they're written to you or by you.

10:28 AM

 
Blogger alex said...

There is actually a chemical in the brain that affects the emotional state in the late teens... it makes people feel things with much more intensity, but with less depth, right?

I read all this in Playboy, I think. This chemical reaction is why people always remember their first serious relationship (age 18-22 or so) as something very passionate and amazing, when typically those first relationships are awful, when you think back on them logically.

How condescending was that?!?! I suck!

-a

2:38 PM

 
Blogger Paul said...

Also, teenagers can't see right through their SLANTY EYES.

5:47 PM

 
Blogger alex said...

I want to "do sex" with you when you talk like that, Paul.

-a

6:21 PM

 
Blogger Eliot Johnson said...

Most famous one 'l': T.S. Eliot, greatest poet of the 20th Century

Most famous two 'l': Bill Elliott, NASCAR driver

The one l's have it.

I really don't care if your an internet comics ageist (how the hell do you spell that word anyway?), Joe. I mean, when a cop can just come up to me and search me 'cause I "look suspicious" (apparently being a teenager with long hair makes you a drug dealer), I've got a lot more important things to worry about in the age department. I just don't see how you can base your opinion of my understanding of love on what you felt when you were my age. Everyone is not the same. You haven't seen me say anything about love other than a high comment that I've already said was stupid. But I don't really care, so conversation over unless you want the last word.

Flipping through the book, i'd say that pg. 29 would qualify as sad, but that's beside the point.

Prince's art fits her story perfectly and adds to it as well. It's supposed to be a scratchy love note written on the back of a napkin of the newest local coffee shop.

I don't doubt that you get Owly...It's a children's book, of course you get it. (Admittedly, my phrasing was poor, but I meant "you don't get how awesome it is"). I've read plenty of children's books, including Leonardo, The Terrible Monster...I'd take Owly any day. Runton covers more universal emotions and he covers them more thoroughly.

I guess, as similar as our tastes often are, Joe, we've found where they part ways, because I'd love to read a "cute little love note" and I guess if you don't want to read that, then you shouldn't have read the book, because that's all it is and all it's advertised to be.

There is, too, far too broad of an audience for "cute little love notes" for you to dismiss the book so thoroughly. Dismiss it for those who don't want to read that type of book...I think you'll find there are many people who do want to read that kind of book.

I wouldn't want to read a book about a political superhero, but, I wouldn't go up there and say "avoid Ex Machina, folks" 'cause I know there's a wide audience for it and that it does what it's supposed to do.

6:55 PM

 
Blogger Joe Rice said...

You can, whether you like it or not, look at "Ex Machina" and see that it is written and drawn with appreciable skill. You can tell the difference between it and a 15 year old girl's diary.

I don't think people should pay for something where you can't tell that difference.

And it's nothing about you, Eliot, but teenagers know less about love than older people who've experienced more of it. You can't get around that fact. Don't forget about Alex's chemicals. We here at Listen To Us rely on science to be Right.

7:05 PM

 
Blogger Eliot Johnson said...

When you wake up with copies of Kochalka's "Craft is the Enemy" essay plastered over your entire body you'll know who did it.

Yes, it's nice that Ex Machina's creators have a good bit of skill. I could give a flying fuck. I'd rather read "Wet the Bed" any day because it's got more emotion and personality put into it. Prince took what she had and said what she had to say.

Further, there's a difference between experience and age, Joe. I certainly do not know as much about love as you, but I'm sure I know more about love than a lot of people your age.

8:23 PM

 
Blogger Joe Rice said...

When you wake up with copies of Kochalka's "Craft is the Enemy" essay plastered over your entire body you'll know who did it.

Doane does this to me all the time.

Yes, it's nice that Ex Machina's creators have a good bit of skill. I could give a flying fuck. I'd rather read "Wet the Bed" any day because it's got more emotion and personality put into it. Prince took what she had and said what she had to say.

A three year old throwing a tantrum has a lot of emotion and personality, but it's not something worth looking at. Conversely, even in a genre book like Ex Machina, there's loads of personal material and emotion AND the people who did it know how to write and draw! I'll take skill and emotion over just emotion any day.

Further, there's a difference between experience and age, Joe. I certainly do not know as much about love as you, but I'm sure I know more about love than a lot of people your age.

Then those people don't need to be writing about love much, either.

8:27 PM

 
Blogger Joe Rice said...

Look, if it is between a polished corporate blues song and an old arthritic man wailing on his busted guitar, I'll take the latter. But don't confuse giggles and infatuation with real emotion.

8:29 PM

 
Blogger Eliot Johnson said...

Yeah, but I'll plaster the essays to your body without giving you a blow job first. And I won't be wearing the creepy mask.

Fair enough, though. I'd take emotion w/skill over just plain emotion any day. But emotion carries much more wait than skill. I can enjoy a book w/o skill. I can't enjoy a book w/o emotion. Your musical analogy puts my mind at ease as far as your stance on that front.

I never, in a sober state of mind anyway, said the emotion portrayed in "Wet the Bed" was love. I just want to make that clear 'cause I definitely know that's infatuation, not love (and it surprises me that Paul Hornschemeier, one of the greatest cartoonists of our time, would say it was love). But how much I know or don't know about love really doesn't matter. I mean...fuck, this isn't about me.

It's about a book that has a wide appeal to a wide audience...neither the audience or the appeal you recognize.

12:32 AM

 
Blogger alex said...

Eliot- we fuck with you alot, but you're a good kid and we like you.

But I have to say, you're the only person I know that has read this and not either made a "barf" noise or rolled their eyes and set it back down angrily.

I'm not sure you can defend it by saying it has a "wide audience". Even in the small world of indie comics, it has slim appeal.

But YOU like it, and that's enough reason to defend it. Defend it wildly, if you must, because YOU love it, but don't look to a legion of other fans behind you. They ain't there. (Not that it matters.)

Anyway, as far as age discrimination goes, take comfort in the fact that EVERYONE has to put up with it. Hell, I'm damn near 30, but I look young, so I still deal with assholes who talk down to me.

Someday I'll tell you about being 18 and being detained in a jail in South Georgia for ten hours, having all my shit searched, and being piss-tested because my car mighta kinda smelled something kinda like pot. (Or was it the enormous abstact painting of The Crucifiction in the back seat? I'll never forget how I knew I was fucked when the patrolman said "Just what the hell kinda ahht do yew dew?)

-a

7:33 AM

 
Blogger Eliot Johnson said...

It's not like "Will You Still Love Me If I Wet the Bed?" won an Ignatz or anything like that. That definitely did not happen.

In all seriousness, though, Alex, I mean, I know everybody has to deal with age discrimination (nice way to put it...avoids the confusing spelling of age-ism) and that's a pretty cool story you have there. As corrupt as Atlanta cops are...just plain stay out of anywhere in my home state except Atlanta.

8:27 AM

 
Anonymous markus said...

I'd like to jump to Eliot's defense. While the book (or rather the samples linked to) are not about love, they are not (only) about infatuation either. IMHO they are about a need for comfort, feeling secure in someone else's arms and a need to cuddle and snuggle. The degree to which these are celebrated in this comic puts it pretty firmly in the immature category IMHO, since it's presented as the only (and best) form of intimacy (and partially commitement) and it simply isn't. Nonetheless, in my personal experience I have found this particular form of immaturity (elevating cuddly comfort above all else) to be very prevalent (among girls), almost on par with e.g. male adolescent dominance struggles. IOW, she gets to make the slice of life excuse. OTOH, the apparent failure to recognise the shortcoming as such is damning from a critical perspective. Then again, lots of people appear to enjoy irony-free depictions of their own youthful follies.

In summary, I think the comic is poorly written (and by an immature person), but I believe there is a considerable audience for it, if only because the need for re-affirmation of the above needs is not met by large segments of popular culture. The art is poor, but then again, if one is only catering to an audience that (for whatever reasons) enjoys seing a failure/misunderstanding exercised in different variants, there is presumably no need to provide better art.
FWIW, I'll be thirty in 2 months, don't claim any great expertise in love matters but have a degree in psychology.

11:07 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

those who can't do...

review.

10:28 AM

 
Blogger Joe Rice said...

Well played, anonymous person who doesn't like that I didn't like something they liked.

(That is good writing there.)

I see the author of the work has linked to the blog and misread at least me, maybe others.

You are not immature to my knowledge, and I've no idea if you're in love, I assume you are.

My point is that the work isn't mature (it doesn't need to be, don't worry) and that the book isn't about love. It doesn't really need to be that, either.

It does need to be good, and I just don't think it was. More power to you, though.

But, yeah, you and your pals can assume what they want about me and my pals or whatever. I'll stick to critiquing the work, not the person, who I'm sure rocks the house or whatever kids say these days.

9:00 PM

 
Anonymous Liz Prince said...

I don't think misread you Joe, I didn't say anything about what you wrote, I said the review was terrible, not as a comment on your written work, but that it was not favorable of my book, which, like I said, is fine. The fanmail I recieve on a daily basis, and my ignatz award, are enough to assure me that for all the people who dislike my book, there are plenty of others who enjoy it emmensely.

I was refering, almost entirely, to the comment that Markus had made, where, because he has a "degree in psychology" he feels he has rightly pegged me as "immature".

I did not mean to open up the forum for people to slander you, I just wanted to point out that I think it is incredibly irresponsible (and strange, perhaps?) for someone to try to psychoanalyze me based on this book, which, as you have all figured out already, is a completely one-sided portrayal of *gasp, yes it's true!* young love. I felt that I had a right to gripe about it if he had a right to say it in the first place.

Maybe you guys will like my next book better, it has a lot of heartbreak and hurt feelings.

12:12 AM

 
Blogger Emily said...

i think many of the commenters here have missed the boat on the correct and polite way to critique.
critique, review, whatever you'd like to call it- any analysis of artwork should be devoid of malice and focus on constructive objective examination of the work.
i see very little evidence in this review of any sort of objectivity, it seems much more like a rant- and an uninspired one at that.

personally, i do like this style of comic, and i see the merit in it. it's honest, raw and unpretentious- which is rare among most comics i see.

10:54 AM

 
Blogger alex said...

Goddammit!

I wrote a whole long thing abiout how we're assholes and most people hate us and how Liz Prince has some big talent but this book was just too cutesy and lot of people don't like cutesy. It looks like blogger ate it.

I'm so sick over this whole thing that my butthole is bleeding from my ulcer. Literally. Is it really so bad to not like a book? Is it okay for my girlfriend to not like it becasue she won't blog about it? So many questions. I don't want Norman Mailer to punch me in the face over a bad review. He's done that you know. We're not even real reviewers- we're just two jerks who read comics.

We don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but shit, sometimes we don't really like stuff and we get carried away.

Anyway, hopefully my old response comes back. It was really good and pretty much sums up my self loathing and shame all that shit.

-a

4:12 PM

 
Blogger jacksonpritt said...

Even though I have no idea who she is, I agree with everything Emily had to say about this in her comment above.

It's all fine and well that you don't like the comic, but trying to butcher it an misrepresenting the book while pretending to review it is disingenuous and unfair.

A small insular audience?
I guess if you consider the number of people who've ever been in puppy-dog love with someone small and insular, you're right. Maybe I'm being overly optimistic, but I'd like to think that most people have had a chance to experience a relationship like that at some point in their life.

Bad punchlines?
Well, given that she's trying to capture the warm, fuzzy parts of a new relationship, and that she's trying to capture real life, there just plain ain't any punchlines at all. Real life isn't about jokes and punchlines, and making a comic that was wouldn't adequately represent what she's trying to capture.


I feel like you focus too much on your idea that the book is supposed to be about Prince's relationship with her boyfriend, when really I think it's supposed to be more about trying to accurately capture the silly, dorky moments that make up any relationship. Sure, the moments in her book are from her relationship, but she manages to convey the way those moments feel to anyone who's ever experienced similar ones.

But maybe you're right, and maybe most people have never been in a relationship like that and have no idea what Prince is talking about. But if you are, well, that's just sad.

10:35 PM

 
Blogger jacksonpritt said...

PS: Some people like cotton candy. Mmmm! Delicious! Putting together all the best things of candy and of things that are fluffy, in a product that can still be eaten!

10:40 PM

 
Blogger Joe Rice said...

Excellent misreading of my point, Jackson.

I believe some of the confusion comes from the format of the review. It was written in a silly attempt to make the mainstream nerds think I was talking about this big huge crossover book that came out the same day. A few people had asked me to review it and I didn't want to read it, so I did a silly format that left it in question what I was talking about.

The "small audience" was supposed to be a typical anti-superhero insult.

I hold that there's still not a whole lot of people interested in the infatuation of two young people portrayed in this way and this format. Certainly there are some. There's Eliot and the dozens of folks who love Liz and her blog and her webcomics or whatever.

A small insular audience?
I guess if you consider the number of people who've ever been in puppy-dog love with someone small and insular, you're right. Maybe I'm being overly optimistic, but I'd like to think that most people have had a chance to experience a relationship like that at some point in their life.


A lot of people have stepped in mud or gone to the movies or had a nice glass of wine, but they don't necessarily want to read about it for pages and pages.

Listen, if you guys have decided I'm mean Mr. Nolove, that's fine with me, I don't really give a shit. That doesn't change the fact that this was a slight book beloved by a small audience and uninteresting to most other folks; a showing of potential talent but not current quality.

10:52 PM

 
Blogger ADD said...

Just to fuck with your head a bit, Joe, my wife is currently reading both Wet the Bed AND Eightball #22 and enjoying them both.

5:29 AM

 
Anonymous Ana said...

wow. i didnt think there were still people out there like you...

just because Wolverine doesn't have a starring role, does not mean it's not a comic.

and Liz Prince does AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL work. it's her choice to include those moments in her book. she doesn't have the option to portray her boyfriend in tights and underwear, but she does portray him as her own type of superhero.

hell, just deal with it!

10:01 AM

 
Blogger Joe Rice said...

Ana,

You kind of missed the boat with this one. I like autobio comix. Most of my favorite works are either autobio or realistic fiction. Sure, there's a lot of superhero talk here, but if Tomine and Clowes made stuff as often as Grant Morrison, then it would be more equal.

Autobio comix are great . . .when they're great. When they're navel-gazing, shoddily-made journal entries, they're no better than any other kind of bad comic.

4:18 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

some asshole said:

"just because Wolverine doesn't have a starring role, does not mean it's not a comic."

Please, please, please go fuck yourself.

Please.

The assumption that just because someon didn't enjoy this book, they MUST love Wolverine... that assumption enrages me. These guys are always writing up indie books... you just tried to insult them with the Worst Possible ammunition. You suck at internerd flaming.

PLEASE go fuck yourself. All of you. If your shmoopie little emo egos are so frail that you can't handle a negative view of a book that you like, you need to grow the fuck up.

And by the way- those Wolverine fans that you find so detestable? Like it or not, they spend big piles of cash on comics, keeping an industry afloat so that twee, aimless little autobio epics can exist.

-jason

5:28 PM

 
Anonymous ana said...

i over-dramatized for the sake of making a point. i'm sorry you didn't get that either.

i just disagree with the point made that just because the book is about 'young love', it's not an acceptable comic.

and i love Wolverine. i'll go fuck myself whilst thinking of him, thanks.

jesus H., so much anger - tsk tsk

9:34 PM

 
Blogger Joe Rice said...

I didn't make that comment, though, Ana. There can be great comics about young love, no doubt.

The point of my criticism is that this isn't a great comic about young love. It's a poorly-made comic about young love.

9:38 PM

 
Anonymous Ana said...

This is what I'm responding to:

"This isn't comics. This is Liz Prince's diary..."

And that's a totally acceptable criticism. But that's what was INTENDED, i think. She's documenting her true moments with her boyfriend. It may not be what you feel is romance. It may not be your idea of good comics material, but it is comics.

Comics you don't like, which is fine, but comics nevertheless.

9:30 AM

 
Blogger Joe Rice said...

Yeah, I've copped to the bad hyperbole on that one way up in the comments somewhere. You're totally right there.

3:33 PM

 
Anonymous Ana said...

Ok, that's the only thing that made me mad. Thanks for owning up to that.

5:42 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

can i vote late? i found her work cute for a bit and then yeah, i got grossed out by the same cuteness. -- andrew

12:17 PM

 
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