Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Few things feel as good

As doing your part to help out a book or creator you love. To that end, here's ADD's new James Kochalkaholic blog.

Also, the promo art from Amazing Joy Buzzards Vol.2 #2.

Buy the trade, here!

Group Think

So Dorian over at postmodern Barney is irritated at the comics internet again. Ranting critics, superhero naysayers, and people being looked down upon for enjoying mainstream or crossover fare. He's grumbled about this topic, or similar ones, quite a few times before, and I'm left slightly baffled every time. What blogs are he reading? I can honestly say that the ones I read with any diligence haven't even mentioned all this House of Infinite stuff. I haven't even picked one up since the first issues.

I'm sure there probably are people ranting about these books. I'd rant a bit if I had any interest. But really, it's just some talented people being asked to fill in the editorial blanks and help sell books. It's not worth reading, really, but it's not worth getting upset about, either; especially not when there's such good stuff out there elsewhere.

But his post had hints of arguments I've seen a lot of times. About the "group think" or "clique mindset" or what have you. The idea that a bunch of people tend to agree with each other in order to fit in and form a common bond. I used to throw in the unimind concept when irritated with specific creator's message boards. But it follows that if creator A has a board, his or her deep fans will search it out and post there. If they are all that dedicated to creator A, they're probably going to have similar tastes overall. If they tend to agree a lot, that's because they think alike anyway, hence their shared love of creator A.

The same goes for the blogosphere. It is comprised mainly of writerly-type critics who take their comics seriously in a critical way. The very idea of using their time and resources to type about comics online tends to point to that fact. So it follows that there WOULD be strong trends of opinion. But it's not designed, it's not some conspiracy. If the blogosphere seems to almost unanimously be down on something, it's probably a comic that people who take their criticism fairly seriously and focus on writing just aren't going to like. I can enjoy superheroes, I can enjoy babies, I can enjoy any type of story with any type of mood. But if the writing is hackneyed, cliched, or just not interesting, I'm probably not going to like it, no matter what.

Mind you, Dorian's not necessarily making that accusation. His complaint simply reminded me of it.

But, really, I don't see any internerd bullies in the blogosphere. Some blogs are rife with DC editorial love. I don't tend to read them because I disagree pretty intrinsically with a lot of them. But they're out there.

It's like the old message board argument standby, the "hipster conspiracy." A reader who doesn't like something he sees as popular usually pulls it out. Morrison anti-fans are big on this, or anti-indie folks. "You only like it because it makes you feel cool/because other people do." It's a bullshit argument that just means, "Not liking this makes me feel really uncool and that's YOUR FAULT!" People don't like Grant Morrison to fit in. They like him because he writes great stories. People don't like Scott Pilgrim to be cool. They like it because it's fun. And people don't read indie comics because they think they're cooler than lame old cape books. They read them because some of them are good.

It's time to kill the idea of the "hipster conspiracy." If you think there's an "elitist hipster" out there who, by his liking of something you don't like, is trying to make you feel bad or lame, you're wrong. Deal with it. You're the one that apparently has worries about something's acceptability. Read what you like, or, better, try something new and see if you like that even more. There is no hipster conspiracy.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Hey, how come I hadn't heard anything about this?

Marvel Team-Up 14

Kirkman's best superhero work crossing over into his Marvel Universe title? I don't see how this won't be fun.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

I really don't mind being that guy at all.

Just so you know.

So it's mid-month-Monday, that means there's a new Make-Believe War up at Comic Book Galaxy. This one's a doozy in which I tackle DC, manga, the New Mainstream, and some more poetry. Hope you all enjoy.