JOHN JONES: THREAT OR MENACE?

Does The Manhunter from Marathon, IL Have A Point…

Or Is This Just A Load Of Bullshit?

By "John Jones, The Manhunter from Marathon, IL"

[Darren Madigan]

 

 

Email the writer at martianmanhunter2@juno.com or docnebula01@juno.com

Enjoy his further work at http://www.angelfire.com/ny3/docnebula/index.html

Enjoy the brilliant, good girl super artwork of the Late Great Jeff Webb at http://communities.msn.com/TheJeffWebbArtSite

"I used to be disgusted. But now I try to be amused."

-- the other Elvis

Every once in a while you just have a really good day.

One of these really good days happened for me on Wednesday, February 20, 2002. On that day, I got the following email from a total stranger:

"Hello,

I've read your columns for a while and just thought I'd say I'm glad you keep doing them occasionally. You have an interesting point of view on comics etc.

What's prompted me finally to click on your address is this thread (http://forums.delphiforums.com/ellis/messages?msg=30301.1) just started in the Warren Ellis Forum at Delphi, where basically the massed toadies of Young Mr Ellis are having a go at you for not conforming to their bullyboy-hero's prescribed thought patterns.

I thought you ought to know - I'd want to know if it was me - but I wouldn't bother making any response there if I were you. Young Mr Ellis bans and verbally abuses anyone who violates the party line - anyone not in the business, that is: the shitty side of his personality is strictly reserved for people who aren't in a position to retaliate.

Yours, …"

Etc, etc.

I was thunderstruck!

And, frankly, delighted.

As we shall see.

First, though, I should take a moment to, once more, and as I always should, express my great and boundless appreciation for that man among men (this time it’s a compliment), Steve Tice. For many, many things, of course, but this time, especially, for not being Dave "I Am Never Wrong" LeBlanc, editor of the Comic Book Electronic Magazine, where the Martian Vision column first appeared, lo these many moons ago. Now, one could and probably should thank nearly anyone who is not Dave LeBlanc for merely not being Dave LeBlanc, since one Dave LeBlanc is not simply adequate for any infinite space-time continuum but actually comprises a super-abundance of Dave LeBlanc bordering on redundancy. But in the specific case of this particular column, I must, and all my readers certainly should, thank and praise Steve in his non-Daveness in an especially reverberant and enthusiastic manner, because, were Dave LeBlanc still somehow my editor (a possibility barely encompassed by actual physical law, since it is likelier to the point of near certainty that Dave or I would have long since killed each other, and/or everyone else within a hundred mile radius of us, with home made weapons of mass destruction, had we continued to associate in any fashion), this column could not exist. For under the Law of Dave and within the Sacred Land of CBEM, no writer may write about any subject matter not having to do with comic books, and no writer especially shall Answer His Mail or Talk Back To Anyone Who Said Anything About Their Work. (No writer save Dave; Dave may talk back to people who write in to CBEM at great length and with little actual sanity, and may foam at the mouth at even greater length and with even smaller amounts of reason regarding anything he likes, but especially, Presidential sex lives and whether or not one of his contributors wrote columns under a pseudonym, any time he likes, because he is Dave, and the Laws of Dave are for lesser mortals, and Not For Him To Be Bound By.)

So, let us praise Steve Tice, not merely for being Steve Tice, which quite sincerely is more than enough to praise him for, because he’s a pretty darned classy guy in his own right, but in this specific case, for Not Being Dave LeBlanc.

And now, on with our regularly scheduled program…

* * * *

Comics Theory & Discussion - Does this guy have a point? (Closed for Posting)

FROM: JackBrier 3:49 am To: ALL (1 of 20) 30301.1

Or is this just a load of bullshit:

http://www.geocities.com/calliopecomics/mv27.html

Some months ago, in the thread that announced the return of the Micronauts, Ming pointed out that watching some threads that dealt with ####, Micronauts, and Transformers allowed us to clearly see The Enemy. I brought up some site that had weird ranting nonsense from a fan and mentioned some weird opinions that this particular fan made, but couldn't find because it wasn't turning up on Google's results.

Now it's back, and you can finally see this guy's opinions like:

On V FOR VENDETTA: "Extraordinary evidence that Alan Moore truly needed to get laid a lot more, or, at least, a sterling example of what happens when you take the superhero thing waaaaaaaaay too seriously. Anyone who can create anything as charmingly goofy as hypermice, or the Five Swell Guys, pretty much has to look back on work like this, and even WATCHMEN, with some mild embarrassment at just how earnest and humorless he was about funny books back in the day. For myself, I simply find this whole particular miniseries unreadable. At least his early MARVELMAN stuff had a sense of humor."

On Frank Miller's DAREDEVIL (Not counting "Born Again"): "Ninjas, ninjas everywhere. Deadly ninjas, fearsome ninjas, lethal, sneaky, formidable ninjas, that after twenty issues or so of determined, fanatical, zealous attempts to kill someone, anyone, finally managed to wound an elderly, wheezing newspaper reporter. Oh, and a new true love ex-girlfriend for Matt Murdock we'd never heard of before, who also happened to be the finest and more dangerous ninja of all, and proved it by not killing anyone, either, including Foggy Nelson. Occasional guest appearances by the Punisher didn't help, and neither did a ret-conned origin in which a wheezing blind Yoda guy with a pool cue taught young Matt Murdock how to ignore his radar sense because tough blind guys don't rely on wussy stuff like that. All this, plus Turk and Grotto. What was I thinking, leaving this off the BEST OF list? Well, at least Miller apologized for this crap with the lovely BORN AGAIN story arc, years later."

Ahhhhhh.

Like Hannibal Lecter taking a long psychic sip of a fictional Senator’s grief and torment, I sit here, quietly reveling in the notion that people… people I actually don’t know!… have read my work, and been impacted enough by it to post a link to it for others to follow, and quote from it extensively, and, you know, call me horrible names about it.

I mean, honestly. You gotta love that shit.

And it’s not that I’m so utterly secure in my confidence regarding my own intelligence, wit, capacity for analytical thought, the general superiority of most of my reasoned points of view, and the overall astonishingly articulate, stylish, and entertaining way in which I set forth my views, whether they’re reasoned and analytical, or, as is sometimes the case, merely emotional.

Well, okay, it is, but honestly, only in this particular case, in comparison to these particular dweebs. Because, frankly, if I could pick a group of fanboys to sit down and write nasty things about me and my writing, I couldn’t have selected a better lot of twaddle-mongors to bolster my self esteem and puff up my ego.

I mean, these guys hate me.

And they’re morons.

Who couldn’t dig on THAT a while?

But, you know, let’s not just leave it at that. I wouldn’t want to simply make a bold statement like that and not support it. That, as we’ll see, would be BAD. So instead, let’s just take a look at this opening post, more or less line by line –

"Some months ago, in the thread that announced the return of the Micronauts, Ming pointed out that watching some threads that dealt with ####, Micronauts, and Transformers allowed us to clearly see The Enemy."

I positively fuggin’ love this guy. He is my idol. Well, okay, he’s not my idol, my idol is Steve Englehart, and occasionally Joss Whedon, and when I give it any thought, Roger Zelazney is in there somewhere, too, and I used to like Aaron Sorkin until I found out he was a total dick to the writers that work on his show, and therefore should be beaten in public. Oh, and Mark Twain. Can’t forget ol’ Sammy. But this guy, this JackBrier fella, I mean, honestly, I’m just FOND of him. I could have shopped for hours… nay, days… in every open air slave market still remaining in the Middle East, Asia, and Pan-Africa with an unlimited budget and still not found a better guy to ridicule me and call me names than this ignorant doofus. I couldn’t hire a more pronounced twit from the talent agency that supplies thugs to HYDRA, or represents John Travolta. This guy is priceless, a prizer chump than that all time champeen prize chump, Dave "I Am Never Wrong" LeBlanc himself.

Frankly, I ADMIRE this great big chunk o’ dumb.

And he brings it. I mean, doesn’t he? He just fetches it right to the door. He ain’t no party. He ain’t no disco. He ain’t no foolin’ around. I mean, one sentence into his opening post and he’s serving it right up on a silver platter and making no bones about it – He Is A Dolt, And Not Only Is He A Dolt, He’s A Paranoid, Pompous, Utterly Self Important Dolt Without The Slightest Shred Of A Sense Of Humor Who Has Never Had An Original Thought In His Life.

Whereof do I speak? Oh, the more discerning in the audience have already seen it, but I’m just lovin’ this guy so much I’ll point it out myself – he calls me… The Enemy.

Presumably, of All That Is Good And Right.

And, y’know, he does it without the slightest trace of irony.

Now, you get out on the Internet and people start to notice your work (that last bit being a part of my particular journalistic equation that has seemed lacking these last few years, but no more – NO MORE!!, he chortled in rampant glee) and you have to get used to some abuse. People are gonna call you names. Let us always remember that ‘fan’ is short for ‘fanatic’, and fanatics regard the actual process of rational thought with… well… dubiousness, to say the least. Fanatics are invested. They do not think, they feel. They do not have viewpoints, they have opinions, and they are generally not shy about sharing those opinions, and heaping scorn&derision on those who do not subscribe to those opinions, or worse, speak out articulately and persuasively against those opinions.

And, alas, most of the ‘fans’ in our particular little corner of ‘fan’ subculture, which is to say, superhero comics, are somewhat lacking in social skills.

Which is to say, their mommas did not raise them right.

So you expect to get called names. Screamed at. Cursed out. Threatened with death, torture, and Turkish legal penalties. And generally, you expect this stuff to come from people who can’t spell or form sentences well, who probably have yet to get their learner’s permits, and who, in general, give primates a fairly bad name.

However, most of these guys… even the self professed ‘trolls’ who state, in print, that they actually exult in other people’s emotional torment… fall somewhat short of the exalted standard of truly boneheaded, droolingly lackwitted, utterly conformist to some insanely cultish, twisted, absolutely idiosyncratic and thoroughly whacked out creed idiocy that JackBrier manages to attain in one… well, not short, no, but I’m hardly one to criticize him for THAT, now am I… sentence.

The Enemy?

I?

Oh, MY.

I may be banging this gong a little bit over loudly, but then, I am responding to a buncha Warren Ellis fans, and subtlety they’re just not gonna get. So let me state this plainly:

I expressed some opinions.

About superhero comic books.

Which apparently are at odds with some other opinions, held by other superhero comics fans.

About superhero comic books.

And for this, I am not merely labeled as vile, or obnoxious, or mentally impaired, or Someone Who Should Be Smacked Really Hard, as one would expect, were, say, a bunch of WIZARD readers to actually manage to get through one of my columns and be moved to respond. Oh, no. For writing down some of my opinions (on superhero comics) and posting them on the Web, I am labeled…

The Enemy.

Without a trace of irony, mind you.

Okay, let’s move on:

"I brought up some site that had weird ranting nonsense from a fan and mentioned some weird opinions that this particular fan made, but couldn't find because it wasn't turning up on Google's results. "

So much to ridicule here. So little time.

I was on South Beech Street one time, in Syracuse, NY, strolling along with, I believe, Mr. Silver Age Himself, Kurt Busiek (although we just called him Kurt back then) as well as the Late Great Jeff Webb (who wasn’t, at that moment, Late, and, you know, a good thing too, because otherwise I’d have been kinda freaked out) and, appropos of nearly nothing, Kurt informed me sagely that I was the weirdest person he had ever met.

This, mind you, coming from a chap who wasn’t exactly, at that moment in time, holding down the Mainstream Thinker of the Century title himself, and who would, a year or so later, go on to create the utterly lunatic bizarreness that is LAWMAKER-6, which one can see inscribed on my very own personal Angelfire website, if you care to go look. And leaving aside questions of Mssr. Busiek’s own eccentricity, we’re still left with the fact that Kurt’s life experience, at that time, embraced not only myself, and himself, and Scott McLeod and Rob Morrison (deeply weird fellows all) but, for God’s sake, Rich Howell, who has a scale model of Devil Dinosaur in his living room, or, at least, used to, and who created PORTIA PRINZ OF THE GLAMAZONS.

Now, I don’t say this to criticize Kurt, but merely to point out that when Kurt bestowed the sobriquet of Weirdest Person He’d Ever Met, well, by God, it MEANT something. This warn’t no Mouseketeer peering dimly at some kid named Scooter with his hat on backwards and saying "You’re really weird, fella, get the heck outta my malt shop". Nuh UH. This was a man who had plumbed well past mid level into the depths of weirdness himself, who had grown up amongst truly weird fellows, who had in fact been mentored by one of the world’s weirder men, whose father was kinda weird, whose sisters were pronouncedly weird, and whose mother’s name was Sydney… and this guy, this veritable Dalai Lama of Whackiness his damn self, was declaring unto yours truly that I was, indeed, the Weirdest Person He Had Ever Met.

Hell, Kurt knew Joel Cochin, and while you’ve never met Joel Cochin, I have, and trust me, to be weirder than Joel Cochin is distinction indeed.

I’ve always remembered that, and I tell you it now, for one simple reason: I was enormously flattered by it. And I say this by way of leading into my next point:

In my opinion, anyone who uses the word ‘weird’ as an insult is a pinhead, and will never amount to much.

That’s just my opinion, mind you, and many many really boring, conformist, herd dwelling pseudo-sentients in the world would differ with me stridently on it, and they’re welcome to, because honestly, it just helps me figure out more easily who I really don’t want to sit next to at lunch in the cafeteria.

In addition to all that, I also want to state that anyone who uses the word ‘weird’ as an insult twice in the same very long and poorly constructed sentence is not merely a tedious conformist herd dwelling pinhead, he’s also a dimwit who can’t write, and one of the many, many reasons why the Government should consider requiring people to be licensed as both literate and at least vestigially stylish before they sit down at any keyboard that connects in some way with the Internet.

(Before passing on, I do want to state that I’m sure Kurt’s mother is a lovely woman and fine human being, and I did not mean to even remotely imply that Kurt had used the word ‘weird’ in an attempt to insult me. I believe he was more commenting in a truly incredulous and wondering tone at the weirdness that was me. Nowadays, of course, Kurt only speaks of me to insult me and never speaks to me at all, but I doubt he’d use the word ‘weird’, because I AM weird, and it seems to be a point of particular honor with Kurt to speak as little actual TRUTH about me as he possibly can.)

From here, in his initial post, JackBrier merely goes on to copy and paste, verbatim, some of my opinions, which, through implication, we have to assume that not only does he find revolting and vile, but that he fully expects his gaggle of fellow Champions Of All That Is Good And Right to also find horrid and appalling. All of which would seem to help us narrow down the upright moral views of this particular sack o’ hammers, which is to say, those who in any way question the greatness of any two words ever strung together by Alan Moore, or in any way impute less than fully divine status to any work of Frank Miller but especially the stuff with ninjas in it… are Evil.

They are, in fact… The Enemy.

Are you starting to see why I just frickin’ adore having these guys hate my writing so much? I mean, honestly, could you pick a better bunch to have pissed off at you for your opinions on ANYthing? Validation like this should come printed on expensive vellum in gold ink with a decorative mahogany display case thrown in as a bonus.

As the animated Gambit is wont to say, ‘life don’ ged much bedda dan dis!’

And yet, it will… in just another few sentences:

* * * * * * *

From: JACKBRIER 3:55 am

To: JACKBRIER (2 of 20)

30301.2 in reply to 30301.1

Oh yeah, and I found another piece by this writer, where he bashes artists who write:

http://www.geocities.com/calliopecomics/mv12.html

Good Lord, I love this man. Not only does he post yet another link to yet another of my articles, he does it while talking to himself!

Beyond that, we can, once more, begin to discern the murky, glimmering outlines of what it means to be The Enemy of All That Is Good And Right. Clearly, anyone that ‘bashes artists who write’, as I do in my enormously witty, utterly inarguable, and entirely correct column "The Evil That Men Doodle", to be found at the very link so well enscribed by my good friend JackBrier above, is… The Enemy! For the stalwart forces of Good and Right, naturally, stand foresquare and forthright in favor of the absolute right of every goddam fan favorite artist in the history of comic books who has no clue how to construct a sentence, put together a plot, respect continuity, or enact interesting and/or consistent characterization, to, nonetheless, inflict truly wretched scripts on characters that many fans really care about, all so that many other fans who don’t give a shit about anything except drooling all over the pretty pictures can slam down their hard begged coinage for yet more, more, more, of this particular fan favorite’s slickly drawn, horribly written crapola. And anyone anywhere who might dare to venture forth the opinion that the writing of a comic book might just be a vital component of that comic book’s actual quality, perhaps even as important as the art, or, worse (heresy of heresies!) MORE important than the goddam friggin’ artwork, and that therefore the writer of the comic ought to, you know, be able to actually write, not just draw, and that, in fact, these two disciplines are entirely different, and while there are some creators who happen to be gifted in both of these wildly distinct areas, there are also just as many artists who can’t write as there are writers who can’t DRAW… well, that person is clearly, once more… The Enemy!

I admit, I’m puzzled as to why a group of self professed fans of an actual writer (albeit, from what I’ve seen, a mediocre to bad one) has incorporated this particular tenet into their own moral and ethical doctrine, but I’m not particularly surprised.

Nor am I surprised that that these guys, for all their umbrage at those opinions of mine which have fallen within the narrow margins of their microscopic attention spans, have pretty much failed to read the vast majority of my writing. For example, the article that JackBrier quotes from twice in his first post is actually the third part of an extended column, and in the first two parts, I list My Favorite Superhero Comics Stories Of All Time, along with an Honorary Mention list, and within those hallowed ranks are detailed the works of several famous ‘artists who write’. I have nothing against artists who write, or, for that matter, writers who draw, as long as they do both jobs to a competent professional standard, and as I say, there are several artist/writers who are numbered among my favorite comics creators of all time, like Scott McCloud, and Frank Robbins, and Paul Chadwick, and Ron Randall, and, hmmm, what’s that guy’s name, you know, the really obscure one that hardly anyone has ever heard of… oh yeah, JACK KIRBY… I love those guys.

Anyway, in point of fact, my opinions on artists who can’t write and yet do anyway are made pretty clear in the article at the other end of that link, so there’s little point in restating them here. I simply find it amusing and entertaining that apparently, anyone who takes a position that the guy writing a comic book should, you know, actually be GOOD at writing comic books, and not just talented at DRAWING comic books, is considered to be… The Enemy.

And there’s more amusement and entertainment coming, hard though it is to believe! These guys are a non-stop carnival ride of fun, fun, fun, as we see when we proceed just a bit further and read the wise and witty semantic stylings of that fine fine fellow known as:

Jard (MILOBEDOUIN),

…who, at…

4:46 am

stated:

"Yes he has a point. It's on top of his head, but he's got one. "

Yowzer! Third grade insults, from the man who would be Milo, and a nomadic desert dweller, into the bargain. I have fallen among true intelligentsia and Illuminati, make no mistake, True Believer!

For what it’s worth, my ears are actually somewhat pointed, but my head is of a fairly conventional oblate shape.

"What his point is, is that he wants the old ways of doing comics to come back. Back when they where fun and light and entertaining and aimed especially for kids."

I swear, on a stack of Necronomicons, with my other hand on the heaving, pulsating back of the great World Wyrm Ouroubouros, that I simply could not hire actors to portray better philosophical opponents than these guys. Honestly, if I’d sat down to make up a group of complete wankers to validate my own viewpoints by putatively opposing them, I could not have done this fine a job. These guys are gems; they are gifts of the Magii, they are veritable Princes of the Earth and Air. I must keep them with me always, so if ever my confidence falters in any regard, I can just pull one of these plucky fellas out of my pocket, say "Elektra is a lousy character !" to him, and immediately have my self esteem restored as he shrieks in horror at my appalling blasphemy.

The intelligent members of my audience will by now have realized, as I did immediately upon first reading this, what this particular mackeralhead has done. For those who need to be graded on the curve, though, let me explicate: Jard, would be Scion of the Sandy Wastes, has just stated, not implicitly but pretty much directly, that all the comics he and his ilk enjoy… ALL of them, every single darned one… are miserable, dark, tedious, boring, and created ONLY and EXCLUSIVELY for adults.

Adults, that is, who want to read miserable, dark, tedious, boring comics. You know. Like these guys here.

Now, I could go into a whole long riff here about how just because something is capable of being enjoyed and appreciated by children that doesn’t mean it’s BAD, and furthermore, about how the very essential, conceptual, fundamental themes of superhero comics are such that if you take all the childishness out of them, what you’re left with is utter horrible depressing bullshit no sane person could ever possibly want to read, and even further than that, how the BEST writing in any fictional melodramatic fantasy adventure genre (like, you know, superhero comics) can always be read with both pleasure and comprehension by an audience that spans nearly all ages… but there’s little point in me saying all that HERE, because I’ve already written lengthy, very articulate, comprehensive, cogent, stylish, and entertaining articles making all these points at much greater length, that are available on the Calliope Comics website, under the titles (respectively) "I HAVE A DREAM: Why Childish Is An Insult In Our Society", "HEY, KIDS, COMICS! Absurd And Childish Elements of Superhero Comics And Why I Like Them Anyway", and "COUNTDOWN TO SENILITY: What To Do When You Run Out Of Column Ideas", the last two of which are in three parts each.

Yet, let me take the time to repeat one point I’ve made in several other articles, because apparently, my friends and admirers who’ve taken the time to beat me up here without even bothering with the courtesy of an email asking for my commentary and feedback, also haven’t bothered to do me the courtesy of reading the rest of my work, before they characterized all of it:

I don’t want comics to be marketed only to kids. Marvel started marketing their mainstream superhero comics only to kids… dumb kids… in the early 1980s, and I have a seven page typed letter from Fabian Nicieza to prove it. In that letter, which Fabe-o very kindly wrote to me in response to a loooooong letter I’d written him expressing my admiration for his work on PSI FORCE and general disappointment in the degenerate mucous he was churning out on NEW WARRIORS, Mr. Nicieza informed me at great length that Marvel wasn’t targeting any comics at adult readers any more; their average reader was 12 years old, their audience ‘churned’ every 4.5 years, and they were quite content with shooting for a continually recycling market of 10 to 14 year olds. If I expected sophisticated storylines, complex characterization, or anything that might be remotely expected to hold the interest of someone with an attention span longer than their own forearm, I needed to look elsewhere. Never mind the fact that STAR BRAND and PSI FORCE and even for God’s sake D.P. 7 had only recently presented extremely mature storylines that were, nonetheless, written in such a way that the books could equally appeal to adolescents and pre-adolescents; the New Universe hadn’t worked. And never mind the fact that three pages later in the same letter, Fabe-o was whining because his editor on ALPHA FLIGHT wouldn’t let him do a graphically violent and somewhat sexually suggestive storyline (apparently, F.N. had forgotten by this time that Marvel was aiming all its comics at 12 year olds now, and that’s just how it was, and I needed to get used to it). If I didn’t like it, Fabian advised me sagely, the best thing I could do was just walk away.

Now, let’s put aside for the moment my absolute goddam righteous outrage at being told that I, as a fan of some thirty years vintage of the Marvel Universe, which had been one of my favorite imaginary realms and had been peopled with some of my favorite imaginary friends since I was six years old or so, had absolutely no right whatsoever to expect any Marvel Comics to at that point or ever again be produced with the intention of providing me with something I’d enjoy reading. I mean, personally, I’m of the opinion that any smirking, sneering, preening prick of a publisher, editor, writer, artist, or fellow fan who says something like that to a person who’s invested decades and kilobucks into a particular company, simply because that’s the attitude they find to be personally or economically or corporately convenient at any given time, should be dragged out onto the sidewalk by their ears and kicked into a coma by Clydesdales. But that’s just an opinion, and it’s an emotional opinion, and we’ll put it to the side right now, yes, we will.

Suffice it to say, I’ve seen comics that are written for and targeted exclusively at kids, and I don’t like ‘em, and I don’t want to buy them, and I won’t read them. You want to see comics that can be read by both kids AND adults, with equal amounts, if different kinds, of enjoyment? Check out the first two parts of "COUNTDOWN TO SENILITY", where I list something like 75 of my all time favorite superhero comics stories. Not all of them make the multigenerational appeal cut, certainly… but a LOT of them do, and in fact, the BEST of them do. Virtually ALL Steve Englehart’s Silver Age work can be read by kids and adults with equal pleasure. Steve Gerber’s MAN-THING and OMEGA and DEFENDERS are some of the most sophisticated and ‘adult’ comics ever written and drawn, yet their primary audience was 13 year olds who snapped them up, found them relevant to their own experiences, and couldn’t get enough of them. KAMANDI THE LAST BOY ON EARTH can be enjoyed by a 9 year old for the fight scenes with the cool talking animals, but there’s a helluva lot there for the sophisticated adult reader, too.

Which brings up two points:

The best superhero comics, like the best of any form of melodramatic fictional entertainment, are well written, intelligent, have something important or at least meaningful to say, and can be enjoyed by an audience that covers a large age range.

You want to read nothing but LI’L DOT and CASPER and RICHIE RICH, what can I say? Have at it. But that’s the stuff that’s written exclusively for kids… along with pretty much Marvel and DC’s entire Modern Age output, outside the mostly boring and tedious and dark stuff marketed specifically to adults. And I don’t like that stuff.

But, hey, we’re becoming overly serious and solemn here, and we can’t have that – this is a party! A celebration of the wondrous wit and whacky warblings of these, my friends, my buddies, my pals, my FANS, who took the time to write about me and my writing on the Warren Ellis fanboy board!

I love these guys, and they deserve nothing but the very best, so let’s get back to their deathless words of pithy wisdom:

"Obviously, he's still failing to grasp the problem with that. Kids don't buy comics anymore. Adults do, and adults want adult oriented stories."

Well, for my response to much of this, see above. As to the rest, well, the statement that ‘kids don’t buy comics any more, adults do, and adults want adult oriented stories’ is an oversimplification so vast as to be both staggeringly ignorant and just plain out and out stupid. Kids do buy comics; kids have been primarily supporting the mainstream comics industry, such as it is, for the last sixty years. MORE adults are buying comics now than ever before, but the majority of comics buyers are still kids, and anyone who says differently needs to go interview four or five employees of four or five direct sales shops.

Do adults want adult oriented stories? Some adults do want some adult oriented stories, yes. The way the Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah puts it, though, is as an absolute statement… NO kids, EVER, buy ANY comics, EVER, any more, AT ALL… and ALL ADULTS, ALWAYS, want adult oriented stories, AND NOTHING ELSE.

Well, I’m 40 years old, and I don’t buy the same ‘adult oriented’ crap that Jard, or any of his fellow sycophantic cowards (my buddies!) buy. And I could be unique, but actually I’m not, or at least, guys like Kent Orlando sure seemed to be tapping into an audience somewhere. And someone is making stuff like TOM STRONG, and TERRIFIC TALES, and all the X-MEN titles, and all the ULTIMATE titles, and all the BATMAN titles, and all the SUPERMAN titles, profitable.

But of course, what we’re dealing with here is simply a colossal case of tunnel vision. Jard, like apparently the rest of my gentle, noble, pleasant admirers in this chat thread, is a Warren Ellis fan, and what he really means is "Kids don’t buy WARREN ELLIS comics. Adults buy WARREN ELLIS comics. And adults want WARREN ELLIS to write adult oriented comics." Of course, they don’t mean JUST Warren Ellis comics; these fellows are very broad minded and tolerant; they’ll buy anything by any self important British Alan Moore wannabe with a gigantic stick up his ass, as long as, of course, it’s no fun, dark, tedious, and aimed ONLY at ADULTS.

And, honestly, if there is a major point of disagreement between folks like me, and folks like those posting on this chatboard about me behind my back, well, it’s simply this: no matter what they say, they simply don’t want there to be any comic books in the world at all that aren’t written for them. And if there have to be comic books in the world that aren’t written for them, then by God, they’ll kind of more or less tolerate it, the same way fundamentalists of any other religion will kind of sort of tolerate sacrilege… but they won’t LIKE it, and they won’t like people who DO like it, and they will certainly under no circumstances EVER admit that any of those comics that aren’t written for them could ever possibly be worth reading.

I, on the other hand, admit there are probably many good comics out there I don’t care to buy. STRANGERS IN PARADISE is supposed to be excellent; it’s not something I really want to spend my time on, though. I keep hearing BONE was brilliant; I never bothered with it. I’m even willing to admit that if you’re the sort of person who LIKES Alan Moore wannabes who don’t have so much as a tenth of Alan Moore’s talent, behave like boorish bullies, and take themselves and their subgenre far, far too seriously, well, Warren Ellis’ work is really quite wonderful. It’s not for ME, but who cares? I’ve never said DARK KNIGHT RETURNS or WATCHMEN should never have been published just because I think they’re flawed works; the most I’ve said is that I wish such flawed, grim, humorless works had not become the template for the entire Modern Age of Superhero Comics… and, honestly, I’d prefer it if Alan Moore wannabes with gigantic sticks up their asses didn’t write my favorite childhood imaginary friends completely out of character and out of continuity, because they think they know better than the people who originally created the characters and the fans who’ve been buying them for thirty years.

(For what it’s worth, I think Warren Ellis is a perfect Moore-wanker. He writes relatively new characters that I have no emotional investment in, and therefore, as far as I’m concerned, he can do any damn thing he wants with them. Now, if he was shitting all over Hawkman or Green Lantern or the Fantastic Four, I’d be all over his ass for it, but as long as he keeps his grimNgritty Modern Age post-superheroic ska punk goth whateverthefugg hands off MY buddies, I’m just fine with him. And that opinion, however childishly I may have seemed to have phrased it, is far, far far more mature, wise, and enlightened than the opinions of those who briefly scanned some articles on the web that say some things they don’t like about comic books and then commenced throwing around words like ‘ranting’, ‘nonsense’, ‘Cat Piss Man’, ‘really fucking old’ and recriminatory references to the shape of my head.

* * *

"There's nothing wrong with him having that opinion. What's important is that you keep buying the comics that you like, weather you agree with him or not, or anyone else or not."

* * *

This is, I admit, the very height of wisdom and maturity, and I’d find it overwhelming and touching and even charming if it wasn’t coming at the end of a post which opened with a statement regarding my putative pinheadedness.

I also must ruefully confess that I’d find it even more persuasive if Jard knew how to spell ‘whether’.

Next batter…

* * *

" From: Kevin McClean (MCCLEAK) 6:15 am

To: JACKBRIER (4 of 20)

30301.4 in reply to 30301.1

I'm feeling generous, so I'll say he has a point.

Not a good one, but he has a point. "


* * *

This is, indeed, the height of generosity, of open handedness, of magnanimity, of pure humanitarianism, from a Modern Age, adult comics fan. He’ll admit I have a point, not because he really thinks I do, but, you know, because he’s just so darned KIND. Of course, it’s not a GOOD point, but still, he’s a swell guy, and therefore, he will condescend to state that yes, I have a point.

No, honestly, you guys are TOO kind.

But, wait! There’s more:

* * *

"Two points of my own:

  1. There is absolutely no reason why adult and children's comics can't exist side by side. No reason."

* * *

And of course, I agree; in fact, this is such an obvious point that I wonder why he bothered to make it. Of course, what he doesn’t admit to, and probably cannot even grasp, is that it is possible for adult’s and children’s comics to not only exist side by side, but AS THE SAME COMIC.


* * *

"And since he seems to spend an abnormal amount of time insulting Kurt Busiek,"

* * *

Aaaaaand we cry ‘Whoa there, big fella!’ Once again, The People Who Talk About My Work Without Actually Reading It have taken the field.

Just for the record:

  1. I have never insulted Kurt Busiek in a Martian Vision article. This is something that… well, Warren Ellis fans, apparently, and others like them… never seem to get. In Martian Vision articles, I talk about comic books. I have written articles in which I have mentioned the work of Kurt Busiek, yes, indeed I have. I write articles about comic books, especially Silver Age comic books, and while Kurt Busiek is not a Silver Age comics writer (he was a Silver Age comics fan and letterhack, but that’s different) he wants to BE a Silver Age comics writer, and he tries to write as if it were still the Silver Age, and frankly, I’m happy and pleased he does.
  2. The key thing here is: I write about the WORK. Now, immature morons just can’t grasp that, simply because I say something like "I don’t like Warren Ellis’ work", that isn’t any sort of insult. Mature people with a smidgen of self esteem would get that. They’d be secure in their own opinions, and they’d realize without even thinking about it that I’m just some guy and honestly, if I don’t like their favorite comics, who really cares? Similarly, mature people would also realize that even if I say "Warren Ellis is a lousy fricking comics writer", I still haven’t insulted WARREN ELLIS. I’ve stated a negative opinion of his work, sure. But this is work he does professionally, for the public, and that makes it fair game for discussion in any public forum. As long as I’ve read his work, I’m entitled to voice that opinion, and that opinion is not an insult to Mr. Ellis, or even to his fans. It’s just… my opinion.

    But getting back to the specific Kurt Busiek thing: I have written my opinion of a lot of the stuff Kurt Busiek has written in comics that I’ve read, and you can find those opinions elsewhere on this site. Some of them are glowing and positive, as in my article "SALVAGING THE SILVER AGE", in which I praise Kurt extravagantly for his work on the rebooted AVENGERS title, or in my lengthy bio of Hank Pym entitled "TEN FEET SMART: Super Scientist Henry Pym’s Tale To Astonish", in which I also praise Kurt’s specific work on Hank Pym.

    On the other hand, where I don’t like what Kurt’s done (AVENGERS FOREVER and ASTRO CITY) I say that. These are not personal insults. These are reviews of a professional’s work. I realize I’m talking to the deaf (and dumb) here, and there’s no way they’re going to get this, but nonetheless, the fact remains, I have NEVER, in ANY Martian Vision article, personally insulted Kurt Busiek.

  3. I had, at one time, a personal relationship with Kurt Busiek. I would have once said that was no one’s business, and in fact, that was a primary reason I created the "John Jones" psuedonym…so I could write about comics, including Kurt’s, without anyone, including Kurt, thinking I had a personal problem. And, before Kurt knew who "John Jones" was, he sent "John Jones" a few brief emails, thanking him for the nice comments on his work on AVENGERS. And I never, not once, not EVER, prior to Kurt doing so, mentioned my personal relationship with Kurt, or my personal opinion of him as a human being, in a Martian Vision column, on the Internet, or in any other public forum.

However, at the end of 2000, Kurt chose to respond to a professional criticism of his professional talent and integrity I posted under this name on an ASTRO CITY chatboard with a long, very personal attack on me that was, pretty much from top to bottom, a work of fantasy that Edgar Rice Burroughs would have been proud to have produced, except, no, he wouldn’t, because nearly any TARZAN or JOHN CARTER OF MARS story is more believable and better written than the fractured fairy tale Kurt excreted in regard to his and my and his wife’s mutual backgrounds and interactions.

In response to that tissue of lies, canards, malicious falsehoods, and laughably absurd nonsense, I wrote the truth, and in that truth, I suppose I probably called Kurt some things that probably seem like personal insults. However, when someone is a lying backstabbing credit-hogging plagiarizing grandstanding piece of shit, and you call him a lying backstabbing credit-hogging plagiarizing grandstanding piece of shit, I myself tend to think that it’s not so much a personal insult as it is a simple public service in the interests of journalistic accuracy and the general integrity of world history.

Beyond that, my truthful response to Kurt’s tapestry of deceit was not posted as a Martian Vision article; instead, you can find it on my personal website at http://www.angelfire.com/ny3/docnebula/lyingkurt.html

where it currently has fewer than 300 hits on it. On the other hand, Kurt’s wildly inappropriate, entirely personal, and utterly fabricated attack on me was published on a public DC chatboard with a potential audience in the hundreds of thousands, the vast majority of whom Kurt was well aware would be vehemently biased towards believing any word Their Hero wrote as if it were holy scripture, while disregarding everything The Foe of Busiek stated as vile and insane ravings. And we’ll see that last inclination gorgeously illustrated by one of my fans here in this chat thread, just a little bit further down, too.

::taking a DEEP breath:: And that’s enough of THAT for now.

"I'd like to point out that he's the only person's whose superhero comics intrest me anymore. "

I myself am a fairly enthusiastic admirer of much of what Kurt has done on AVENGERS and am sorry to see him leaving the book in a few issues. I’ve been enjoying what I’ve seen of POWER COMPANY so far, although I think trying to do a continuity-intense comic book in the continuity-challenged Modern DC Universe is… problematic, to say the least, and Kurt obviously isn’t putting his heart into original character design these days… but hell, I can’t blame him for either of those two problems.

On the other hand, I think ASTRO CITY is an unforgivable ongoing act of mass creative larceny and AVENGERS FOREVER was… well, never mind; see "BREAK: REFLECTIONS OF THE MANHUNTER" elsewhere on this site if you really care.

There are a lot of other writers of superhero comics whose work interests me these days… hmmm… well, okay, maybe not a LOT… but still, I’ll look at anything Alan Moore writes, am really enjoying JSA, love Chris Priest’s BLACK PANTHER, and would give a serious shot to anything that came out by Roger Stern or Tom Peyer. Steve Englehart’s CELESTIAL QUEST has so far been pretty cool, too.

I am, at heart, a superhero comics fan. It’s what I like, it’s what I read, it’s what I write about.

"B) He never bothers to back up anything, either the opinions about specific comic runs or his attacks on writers/artists, with information. He just says "they suck."

There’s a lot I could say about this, but why bother? I’ve published well over a million words simply in MARTIAN VISION alone, and clearly, my friend and fan here has read maybe a thousand of them.

However, I will say this: even in the brief, admittedly snide and snotty passages first quoted in this thread’s opening post (which are taken from an article written entirely for fun and simply to express negative opinions, which seems to be the only one most of these folks have bothered to read, even partially), I simply straight out did not do what my buddy and pal says I do, above. The particular article quoted from is about the most straightforward negative attack article I’ve ever written in Martian Vision, and even here, I do NOT ‘just say they suck’. Scroll back up and reread those excerpts. I may be being snippy and nasty, but I tell you why I don’t like V FOR VENDETTA, and I tell you why I don’t like Frank Miller’s first run on DAREDEVIL. Now, clearly, the guys in this thread don’t agree with my opinions, and even more clearly, they don’t LIKE what they disagree with and they don’t like ME for disagreeing with them… but when this particular fishbrain opines ‘he never bothers to back up anything’, he seems to have been smoking crack or in some way ingesting some other powerful hallucinogen. I mean, I can’t expect these guys to actually read all, or most, or even enough of my work to form an actual informed opinion on it, obviously (since, among other things, their lips would get too tired if they tried) but I’d think they could at least write a coherent, somewhat rational response to the brief excerpts that open this thread.

What am I talking about? Of course I wouldn’t think they could write a coherent, somewhat rational response to the brief excerpts that open this thread. I mean, they’re Modern Age Comics Fans…!

* * *

"-Life's not required to be fun. It's not supposed to be nice. Life's meant to be interesting.

"Listen carefully. Fuck Jesus." - Warren Ellis "

* * *

And… ah yes… THIS is their God. The man who simply knows, absolutely and without question, what life is required to be, supposed to be, and meant to be, and who finishes off his celestial pronouncements with a witless, meaningless conjunction of two vulgarities meant to do nothing but shock the conventional and impress the gullible.

Well, honestly. No wonder.

On with the show…

* * *

"From: PAUL_POGUE 6:38 am

To: Kevin McClean (MCCLEAK) unread (5 of 20)

30301.5 in reply to 30301.4

One quote from, er, the Manhunter that says it all:

"Morrison made up a couple of truly lousy characters to stuff into the League instead of bringing back Hawkman like he should have."

* * *

Well, thank you.

Honestly, I was being a bit ironic and somewhat self-parodying with that quote, but hey, who am I to argue if one of my most ardent admirers wants to characterize something I wrote as ‘saying it all’? And to think, I didn’t even have to fuck Jesus. Damn, I must be brilliant.

* * *

"And the wacky little rant in italics at the end was just precious."

* * *

How lovely. My comrades from this thread aren’t just Modern Age Warren Ellis fans who revile anyone with the temerity to voice opinions they disagree with, they’re homophobic Modern Age Warren Ellis fans who revile anyone with the temerity to voice opinions they disagree with.

* * *

From: Joe Gualtieri (ESNOW2) 6:41 am

To: JACKBRIER unread (6 of 20)

30301.6 in reply to 30301.1

Yes this:

>>>I'm serious. Home videos shot by 9 year olds about baloney vampires would have to be better than SUPERMAN IV.<<<

I was amused, anyway.

 

Be seeing you,

Joe Gualtieri

* * *

Anyone who quotes from THE PRISONER can’t be all bad, so I’ll just say I’m happy to have amused Joe.

But then we come to this…

* * *

From: PAUL_POGUE 6:46 am

To: JACKBRIER unread (8 of 20)

30301.8 in reply to 30301.2

What I find most alarming is some of the commentary at the top that seems to indicate that he's an older fellow, maybe in his 40s or older. Reading through the whole list, I was getting a thoroughly "Pretentious 15-year-old" vibe from it. It's even more frightening coming from an older Cat Piss Man.

And now that I've expended entirely too much energy even thinking about Mr. Jones, I'm bailing out before I get sucked in again.

* * *

Honestly, I really think that speaks for itself. We start off with double age-ism, indicating that here’s a guy who has nothing but contempt for anyone of any age outside the narrow confines of where he happens to be at any given moment in his own personal entropy-line… after which, he finishes the paragraph with a vulgar non-sequitur very nearly worthy of Adam Sandler, or any unusually witty fourth grader. I reiterate: I could not hire, could not buy, could not create nor devise nor in any way set into motion, more entertaining, enabling, exalting opponents. I can’t remember who it was that said ‘the greatest accolade any thinking person can ever receive is the approbation of the weak minded’, but whoever it was must have been experiencing a psychic vision of this chat thread at the time.

And just when you’re afraid these fine folks might turn reasonable, however briefly:

* * *

"From: Jeremy Forbing (KSLIDERULE) 7:15 am

To: JACKBRIER unread (10 of 20)

30301.10 in reply to 30301.1

No, it's just a load of bullshit.

Translate most of his rant as a long-winded way of saying "I'm really fucking old."

* * *

Please! My rant is a long winded, stylish, entertaining, and funny as hell way of saying ‘I’m really fucking old’, thank you – as this particular Friend of the Manhunter is just about to admit:

* * *

"Sure I found a little of his rant on Dark Knight funny (" 'If thinking about Sarah is what lets Jim Gordon easily gun down teenage hoodlums without giving them a chance to surrender, what in the name of God does thinking about his first wife let him do?' ") but as we all know by now, BEING FUNNY NEVER PROVES YOUR POINT."

* * *

I get a rash when people say ‘never’ and ‘we all know’. Beyond that, while being funny may not always prove your point, it’s certainly true that nothing else will ever prove your point, either, when you’re speaking to narrowminded bigots who already have their minds firmly nailed shut on every conceivable subject. Which, of course, couldn’t possibly apply to these guys, who, of course, would never write anything like:

 

* * *

"Mr. Manhunter here also wrote such small-mindedness as "Grant Morrison first began building a well deserved reputation for writing weird, pretentious crap that a lot of not very smart fans desperately wanted to believe was meaningful with (Doom Patrol)." * * *

Clearly, my ‘small mindedness’, while not being proven simply by being funny, is, nonetheless, correct, since, just as clearly, we have at least one not very smart fan here who desperately wanted to believe that Grant Morrison’s weird, pretentious crap on DOOM PATROL was meaningful.

* * *

"But this was priceless:

 

* * *

Certainly, the Manhunter said dryly, no one PAID me for it…

* * *

"There seems to be a legion of fans out there who simply don't understand why it's just flat out WRONG (emphasis his) for a super-powered Clark Kent to use his powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men to excel in high school athletics, who simply don't seem to grasp how shallow, selfish, and egotistical anyone who could possibly take pride and pleasure in such unfair and easy honors and achievements would have to be... but I'm not one of them. Neither is the Classic Superman, who would be utterly appalled by how badly his post-Crisis surrogate behaved throughout the late 80s and 90s."

Let us be clear, fanboys: the Classic Superman does not approve of you."

* * *

As I say… clearly, we have here at least one not very smart fan.

But I do love it when they quote from my work.

Those with functional brain cells will already have realized, but I’ll explicate regardless: I stated that the Classic Superman would be appalled with the Byrne-revised MAN OF STEEL. (And he would be. The Classic Superman would kick the post Crisis Ass of Steel so fast neither he nor any of his fans would even see the after images of the ‘fight’, and then send that preening smug genocide-enacting raggedy caped cappucino drinking yuppie fuck pretender hurtling off to the Negative Zone before Byrne could finish applying zippitone to the panel where it happened .) I didn’t say a word about how the Classic Superman would feel about those fans who do not understand why its wrong to use your superpowers to cheat at athletics. Personally, I suspect the Classic Superman would just kind of shake his head at all this nonsense and then go save Hawaii from a giant tidal wave or something. But I didn’t say a single darned word about anything remotely having to do with that, and any conjecture otherwise is just plain addled.

* * *

" From: PAUL_POGUE 7:24 am

To: Jeremy Forbing (KSLIDERULE) (11 of 20)

30301.11 in reply to 30301.10

Even after I promised myself I wouldn't, I took a look at the rest of his site.

* * *

Again, the kindliness of the enlightened, Modern Age comics fan. He’s already spent a hundred words or more insulting my work, and yet, he takes the time to actually go look at a little bit of it. Gosh! What an exemplar of humanity he is. I’m humbled, sir.

* * *

"This guy has ISSUES,

* * *

Translation: ‘This man has interests and opinions that do not accord or coincide with mine, so I, being tolerant and mature, shall question his sanity and emotional balance.’ I swear, if I filled out a detailed request form and filed it with Loki himself I couldn’t possibly have gotten better straw-opponents than these guys…

* * *

"not the least of which is a willingness to devote several thousand words of text to an exhaustive analysis of the physics of the Buffy world (I couldn't actually slog through that one.) "

* * *

Translation: I haven’t read it, but I’ll use it to insult him, anyway. And please, let’s ignore that I’m a superhero comics fan who spends a great deal of time on the Internet talking about people wearing tights and capes, and just try to take seriously the fact that I’m insulting someone else, who writes far better than I do, because he’s a superhero comics fan who spends a great deal of time on the Internet talking about a girl who slays vampires, and that makes him stupid and wrong, because I don’t like her.

* * *

"His irrational hatred of Kurt Busiek

* * *

First, my dislike of Kurt Busiek is quite rational and based on the fact that Kurt has done a great many dislikable things that I’m aware of, up to and including telling lies about me (and his wife) on the Internet that have apparently greatly damaged my credibility with pig ignorant morons.

Second, no one but me, Kurt, and maybe his wife Annie is in a position to judge whether my dislike of Kurt is rational or irrational. I don’t mind that Paul here is continuing to demonstrate what a gigantic ass he is, but I will point out that he’s doing it.

* * *

"and the fact that he knew Busiek way back when, in a time when both were sending pitches to comic companies, is probably not a coincidence. I rather suspect the fact that Kurt is a massive success and "Doc Nebula" is not has at least a little to do with it as well."

* * *

Okay.

They just HAD to get me started.

Get out the Snickers bars. We’re not goin’ anywhere for a while.

First, to the best of my recollection, Kurt never sent any pitches to comic book companies back when I knew him. He moved to New York City after he graduated from Syracuse University, where the father that he despised nonetheless paid his rent for a year while Kurt haunted the offices of whichever editors Kurt’s good friend Carol Kalish, Marvel’s then Direct Sales Manager, gave him the inside dope were most likely to need a fill in writer quickly. Not surprisingly, with a father willing to pay all his bills while Kurt personally haunted Denny O’Neil and Archie Goodwin’s offices all day every day, and a close friend working inside Marvel Comics in an influential position, Kurt landed a few fill ins and then a regular writing assignment in about a year’s time.

Simple. Nothing to it. Any poor fellow with no resources but a little talent and the will to work hard could do it. Absolutely.

Often during the year following that, after Kurt moved back to Syracuse and we were all hanging around again, he seemed to imply, without ever clearly stating, that none of his buddies who wanted to get into the business should expect any kind of special help from him, because he’d done it the hard way, and we should all do it the hard way, too. As neither I nor any of the others had rich fathers who would put us up in New York City for a year, or were particularly close friends with Marvel’s Direct Sales Manager, we couldn’t quite manage to do it the hard way the way Kurt had… you know, with the wealthy family support and the friend inside to grease the skids. Certainly, KURT was bound and determined that he himself would never be a friend inside greasing the skids for any of US.

Hmmm. Well, actually, looking back to 1980 or so, I can see that I’m vaguely wrong. Kurt and Scott McLeod and Jeff Webb and I did all send pitches in to a comics company together… New Media Irjax… and we all had two proposals each accepted for publication. So perhaps that’s what Kurt is talking about. I don’t know. However, NMI went under before any of those projects were published, so what the point of bringing that up would be, I couldn’t tell you.

As for the implication that I’m jealous of Kurt’s success in comparison to my failure, I won’t argue, merely add a slight semantic correction and a few details:

I’m resentful (not jealous) of Kurt’s success in comparison to my failure, for two reasons:

Now, mind you, I adore these guys on this chat thread, I really do. They’re great, they’re wonderful, they’re the very cat’s ass itself, and normally, I find their staggering ignorance on their chosen subject (the writings and viewpoints and cranial configuration of, ahem, yours truly) to be charming and endearing. But in this particular case, where they’re clearly so badly misinformed, I just felt it was kind of my duty, as someone they clearly look up to and revere, to try to set them straight.

But now let’s get back to the main event here:

* * *

"Sad, really. If it were a 15-year-old kid I'd be tempted to pay him on the head and tell him to run off, grow up some more, and hey, keep pluggin' away at those submissions. But a 41-year-old man ... there's nothing to say.

* * *

Yet he says it at such great and condescending length. Of course, he has no idea what he’s talking about, but that’s only because he hasn’t bothered to read anything I’ve written about it. Still, that doesn’t keep him, or any of my other fans from this chat thread, from nattering along like experts on the subject. And I love them all for it, I truly, truly do.

* * *

From: Zen Scottie (SIRSCOTTIE) 8:23 am

To: JACKBRIER unread (12 of 20)

30301.12 in reply to 30301.1

Uhm, who cares? The guy is shitting this stuff out on Geocities. Why take him seriously?

--Scott J Grunewald

* * *

And, at long last, some words of wisdom, albeit rather profanely put.

Why, Scott… why, indeed, take me seriously?

I am, after all, just writing about comic books.

But, you know, these guys, they just seem to be getting all bent out of shape…

***

" From: John LesCamela (MOJORAISIN) 9:06 am

To: PAUL_POGUE (13 of 20)

30301.13 in reply to 30301.11

Oh, it's THAT guy. Kurt posted the whys and wherefores behind that situation a few months ago in the "DC Stops Taking Unsolicited Submissions" thread. The guy is a human trainwreck of fascinating and sad.

* * *

Er… thank you. I’m always happy to be fascinating.

Again, we have the enlightened pronouncements of a Modern Age Comics & Kurt Busiek fan. He’s read one side of a very complex subject (and it happens to be the side that’s all lies, but I’ll admit, he has no way of knowing that) and he’s an expert, and I’m a human trainwreck, and that’s that.

After all, his hero KURT said so.

But again, thanks for letting me be fascinating.

 

***

From: Brenz (BRENZ59) 2:53 pm

To: JACKBRIER unread (19 of 20)

30301.19 in reply to 30301.1

<CRISIS - Supergirl's heroic death scene, which Wolfman doubtless intended to be moving and touching, but which just made me vaguely nauseous. >

I'm sure he meant "nauseated," but that doesn't make him incorrect.

***

Thanks.

My copy of Webster’s tells me that ‘nauseous’ has taken on a secondary, modern meaning identical with ‘nauseated’, "although purists still differentiate between the two uses".

I can respect anyone who’s a purist about language, so again, I’ll just thank this happy little fella for coming the closest of anyone in this thread to actually managing to agree with something I said.

* * *

" From: John McMahon (JMCMAHON) 2:56 pm

To: JACKBRIER unread (20 of 20)

30301.20 in reply to 30301.1

Are you sure that "John Jones" isn't just a pseudoname used by Gail to continue writing her parody pieces in relative obscurity ? "

* * *

Well, I’m sure, but I sure can’t see how any of these guys can be. <grin> But then, that’s sort of the essence of the solipsist enigma, isn’t it?

***

"After reading half a dozen paragraphs dedicated to explaining how the Vision really does have a penis, I'm not comfortable acknowledging these writings as anything but obvious parody."

* * *

Cogent point. Only for someone who has absolutely no clue as to what comprises humanistic characterization, and apparently no interest, mind you, but still, elegantly phrased, at the very least. I’ll merely state that whether or not the Vision had a penis was sure as hell important to John Byrne, who wrote and drew several hundred panels of really obnoxiously awful comics for no reason other than to establish that not only didn’t he now, but he never actually had, either.

Beyond that, given that the essence of the Vision’s characterization for 30+ years has come down to whether or not he is or isn’t actually a human being, regardless of his material substance and originating generative methodology, it seems to me that the question of whether or not he has gender and functional sexuality is rather an important one. And, again, John Byrne agreed, as has every writer who has ever portrayed the Vision as having any kind of physical relationship with a woman… and that gamut includes such stalwarts as Steve Englehart, Roy Thomas, Roger Stern… and these fellows’ hero, The Great Man himself, Kurt Busiek.

But hell, Warren Ellis has never written the Vision, so honestly, I’m shocked anyone in this thread would even comment on the character, or acknowledge his existence.

And here we come, much much too soon, to the end.

What can this mean? Has a bold new day dawned for Martian Vision, where Warren Ellis fans throughout America and Europe (all six or seven of them), thousands of Kurt Busiek Zombies, and perhaps even a few people who can actually finish reading one of my articles without succumbing to an overwhelming urge to go kiss a print-out of Alicia Silverstone in a Batgirl costume instead, will somehow become aware of my work and discuss it openly, with zeal and mad abandon and perhaps not overwhelmingly colossal amounts of ignorance, on websites and in hard copy fanzines from Yalu to Timbuktoo?

Well, I doubt it, because the hit counter on my Angelfire site is still in stasis, and no one’s exactly lighting up my Juno account with incoming email.

Still… I have to admit… sometimes you have a good day… and last Wednesday was a good day for me.

Thanks, fellas. I really mean it. You made my week.

Now get out there and buy up those back issues of RONIN, dammit! How are all those stacks of unsold copies ever going to turn into collectibles if you don’t get on the stick? Geez!

 

NOTE:

The full, unexpurgated text of the chat thread I’ve taken so much material from is below, right under my usual smart ass sign off paragraph. I didn’t want anyone saying I’d taken stuff out of context, simply because I chose not to spend any time answering in detail the particular weeble who, for example, went on and on about Terrence Stamp in SUPERMAN II.

* * * *

John Jones, the Manhunter from Marathon, IL, just plain darned loves everyone. EVERYONE! Well, okay, he doesn’t love Matt LeBlanc or Lisa Kudrow, but it’s only because (I admit it) he judges them unfairly based on the truly obnoxious characters they portray on FRIENDS, and who knows, in real life they might be just the sweetest people he’s ever met. But he doubts that, because he’s met Kurt Busiek’s wife Ann, back before she gave in to the Dark Side of the Force, and she was pretty darned sweet back then, lemme tell you. And no, that’s not a double entendre, merely a statement as to her one time warm, generous, and affectionate nature. Geez, you people. Get your heads out of the gutter.

 

 

 

Comics Theory & Discussion - Does this guy have a point? (Closed for Posting)

FROM: JackBrier 3:49 am To: ALL (1 of 20) 30301.1

Or is this just a load of bullshit:

http://www.geocities.com/calliopecomics/mv27.html

Some months ago, in the thread that announced the return of the Micronauts, Ming pointed out that watching some threads that dealt with ####, Micronauts, and Transformers allowed us to clearly see The Enemy. I brought up some site that had weird ranting nonsense from a fan and mentioned some weird opinions that this particular fan made, but couldn't find because it wasn't turning up on Google's results.

Now it's back, and you can finally see this guy's opinions like:

On V FOR VENDETTA: "Extraordinary evidence that Alan Moore truly needed to get laid a lot more, or, at least, a sterling example of what happens when you take the superhero thing waaaaaaaaay too seriously. Anyone who can create anything as charmingly goofy as hypermice, or the Five Swell Guys, pretty much has to look back on work like this, and even WATCHMEN, with some mild embarrassment at just how earnest and humorless he was about funny books back in the day. For myself, I simply find this whole particular miniseries unreadable. At least his early MARVELMAN stuff had a sense of humor."

On Frank Miller's DAREDEVIL (Not counting "Born Again"): "Ninjas, ninjas everywhere. Deadly ninjas, fearsome ninjas, lethal, sneaky, formidable ninjas, that after twenty issues or so of determined, fanatical, zealous attempts to kill someone, anyone, finally managed to wound an elderly, wheezing newspaper reporter. Oh, and a new true love ex-girlfriend for Matt Murdock we'd never heard of before, who also happened to be the finest and more dangerous ninja of all, and proved it by not killing anyone, either, including Foggy Nelson. Occasional guest appearances by the Punisher didn't help, and neither did a ret-conned origin in which a wheezing blind Yoda guy with a pool cue taught young Matt Murdock how to ignore his radar sense because tough blind guys don't rely on wussy stuff like that. All this, plus Turk and Grotto. What was I thinking, leaving this off the BEST OF list? Well, at least Miller apologized for this crap with the lovely BORN AGAIN story arc, years later."

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From: JACKBRIER 3:55 am

To: JACKBRIER (2 of 20)

30301.2 in reply to 30301.1

Oh yeah, and I found another piece by this writer, where he bashes artists who write:

http://www.geocities.com/calliopecomics/mv12.html

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From: Jard (MILOBEDOUIN) 4:46 am

To: JACKBRIER (3 of 20)

30301.3 in reply to 30301.1

Yes he has a point. It's on top of his head, but he's got one.

What his point is, is that he wants the old ways of doing comics to come back. Back when they where fun and light and entertaining and aimed especially for kids.

Obviously, he's still failing to grasp the problem with that. Kids don't buy comics anymore. Adults do, and adults want adult oriented stories.

There's nothing wrong with him having that opinion. What's important is that you keep buying the comics that you like, weather you agree with him or not, or anyone else or not.

--

Milo Bedouin (Jard Davis)

"I think you ought to know I'm feeling very depressed. Pass the ammunition."

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From: Kevin McClean (MCCLEAK) 6:15 am

To: JACKBRIER (4 of 20)

30301.4 in reply to 30301.1

I'm feeling generous, so I'll say he has a point.

Not a good one, but he has a point.

Two points of my own:

A) There is absolutely no reason why adult and children's comics can't exist side by side. No reason. And since he seems to spend an abnormal amount of time insulting Kurt Busiek, I'd like to point out that he's the only person's whose superhero comics intrest me anymore.

B) He never bothers to back up anything, either the opinions about specific comic runs or his attacks on writers/artists, with information. He just says "they suck."

------------------------------

Hail Mitchum.

Kevin McClean. Ignorant Bastard.

-Life's not required to be fun. It's not supposed to be nice. Life's meant to be interesting.

"Listen carefully. Fuck Jesus." - Warren Ellis

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From: PAUL_POGUE 6:38 am

To: Kevin McClean (MCCLEAK) unread (5 of 20)

30301.5 in reply to 30301.4

One quote from, er, the Manhunter that says it all:

"Morrison made up a couple of truly lousy characters to stuff into the League instead of bringing back Hawkman like he should have."

And the wacky little rant in italics at the end was just precious.

Paul

Sanity Assassinations

The forum where the strange get much, much stranger

Managing editor, NUVO online and Eroticzone

Groovy gonzo journalist of the weird

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From: Joe Gualtieri (ESNOW2) 6:41 am

To: JACKBRIER unread (6 of 20)

30301.6 in reply to 30301.1

Yes this:

>>>I'm serious. Home videos shot by 9 year olds about baloney vampires would have to be better than SUPERMAN IV.<<<

I was amused, anyway.

 

Be seeing you,

Joe Gualtieri

"Are you implying Warren isn't a religious figure?"- Fnord Prefect (IANGOULD)

"I very seldom even leave this end of the living room. The other end of the living room is a foreign place where they do things differently, and where I feel a bit nervous."- Alan Moore

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From: PAUL_POGUE 6:42 am

To: Joe Gualtieri (ESNOW2) (7 of 20)

30301.7 in reply to 30301.6

Kid-made flicks about baloney vampires would grab my attention faster than any spandex comic flick. Let's not dismiss THAT idea out of hand so quickly.

Paul

Sanity Assassinations

The forum where the strange get much, much stranger

Managing editor, NUVO online and Eroticzone

Groovy gonzo journalist of the weird

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From: PAUL_POGUE 6:46 am

To: JACKBRIER unread (8 of 20)

30301.8 in reply to 30301.2

What I find most alarming is some of the commentary at the top that seems to indicate that he's an older fellow, maybe in his 40s or older. Reading through the whole list, I was getting a thoroughly "Pretentious 15-year-old" vibe from it. It's even more frightening coming from an older Cat Piss Man.

And now that I've expended entirely too much energy even thinking about Mr. Jones, I'm bailing out before I get sucked in again.

Paul F. P. Pogue

Sanity Assassinations

The forum where the strange get much, much stranger

Managing editor, NUVO online and Eroticzone

Groovy gonzo journalist of the weird

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From: Joe Gualtieri (ESNOW2) 6:48 am

To: PAUL_POGUE (9 of 20)

30301.9 in reply to 30301.7

>>>Kid-made flicks about baloney vampires would grab my attention faster than any spandex comic flick. Let's not dismiss THAT idea out of hand so quickly.<<<

I didn't mean to be dismissive. I actually find the idea potentially entertaining. More so than most spandex films at the least (not more than Superman II though. Superman II has Terrence Stamp).

 

Be seeing you,

Joe Gualtieri

"Come son of Jor-El, kneel before Zod!"- Terrence Stamp

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From: Jeremy Forbing (KSLIDERULE) 7:15 am

To: JACKBRIER unread (10 of 20)

30301.10 in reply to 30301.1

No, it's just a load of bullshit.

Translate most of his rant as a long-winded way of saying "I'm really fucking old."

Sure I found a little of his rant on Dark Knight funny (" 'If thinking about Sarah is what lets Jim Gordon easily gun down teenage hoodlums without giving them a chance to surrender, what in the name of God does thinking about his first wife let him do?' ") but as we all know by now, BEING FUNNY NEVER PROVES YOUR POINT.

Mr. Manhunter here also wrote such small-mindedness as "Grant Morrison first began building a well deserved reputation for writing weird, pretentious crap that a lot of not very smart fans desperately wanted to believe was meaningful with (Doom Patrol)."

But this was priceless: "There seems to be a legion of fans out there who simply don't understand why it's just flat out WRONG (emphasis his) for a super-powered Clark Kent to use his powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men to excel in high school athletics, who simply don't seem to grasp how shallow, selfish, and egotistical anyone who could possibly take pride and pleasure in such unfair and easy honors and achievements would have to be... but I'm not one of them. Neither is the Classic Superman, who would be utterly appalled by how badly his post-Crisis surrogate behaved throughout the late 80s and 90s."

Let us be clear, fanboys: the Classic Superman does not approve of you.

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From: PAUL_POGUE 7:24 am

To: Jeremy Forbing (KSLIDERULE) (11 of 20)

30301.11 in reply to 30301.10

Even after I promised myself I wouldn't, I took a look at the rest of his site. This guy has ISSUES, not the least of which is a willingness to devote several thousand words of text to an exhaustive analysis of the physics of the Buffy world (I couldn't actually slog through that one.)

His irrational hatred of Kurt Busiek and the fact that he knew Busiek way back when, in a time when both were sending pitches to comic companies, is probably not a coincidence. I rather suspect the fact that Kurt is a massive success and "Doc Nebula" is not has at least a little to do with it as well.

Sad, really. If it were a 15-year-old kid I'd be tempted to pay him on the head and tell him to run off, grow up some more, and hey, keep pluggin' away at those submissions. But a 41-year-old man ... there's nothing to say.

Paul F. P. Pogue

Sanity Assassinations

The forum where the strange get much, much stranger

Managing editor, NUVO online and Eroticzone

Groovy gonzo journalist of the weird

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From: Zen Scottie (SIRSCOTTIE) 8:23 am

To: JACKBRIER unread (12 of 20)

30301.12 in reply to 30301.1

Uhm, who cares? The guy is shitting this stuff out on Geocities. Why take him seriously?

--Scott J Grunewald

"I'm queer. I'm gay. I'm homosexual. I'm a poof. I'm a poofter. I'm a ponce. I'm a bum-boy, batty-boy, backside-artist bugger. I'm bent. I am that arse bandit. I lift those shirts. I'm a faggot-assed, fudge-packin', shit-stabbin' uphill gardener. I dine at the downstairs restaurant. I dance at the other end of the ballroom. I'm Moses and the parting of the red cheeks. I fuck and I'm fucked. I suck and I'm sucked. I rim them and wank them and every single man's had the fuckin' time of his life. And I am not a pervert." - Stuart - Queer as Folk 2

Keep On Praising Jebus Forum! - Jebus has gone Zen.

- Something Different

PopImage: Vol. 1 - In stores in March!

Edited by Christopher Butcher

Cover by Aman Chaudhary

Introduction by Joe Quesada

Published by Cyberosia Publishing

January Previews page 270

192 pages

$14.95

Order Number: JAN022360

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From: John LesCamela (MOJORAISIN) 9:06 am

To: PAUL_POGUE (13 of 20)

30301.13 in reply to 30301.11

<<His irrational hatred of Kurt Busiek and the fact that he knew Busiek way back when, in a time when both were sending pitches to comic companies, is probably not a coincidence. I rather suspect the fact that Kurt is a massive success and "Doc Nebula" is not has at least a little to do with it as well.>>

Oh, it's THAT guy. Kurt posted the whys and wherefores behind that situation a few months ago in the "DC Stops Taking Unsolicited Submissions" thread. The guy is a human trainwreck of fascinating and sad.

 

 

 

 

John LesCamela

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From: Jeremy Forbing (KSLIDERULE) 9:10 am

To: Zen Scottie (SIRSCOTTIE) (14 of 20)

30301.14 in reply to 30301.12

Zen Scottie wrote:

"Uhm, who cares? The guy is shitting this stuff out on Geocities. Why take him seriously?"

I agree. Let us waste no more time on that site.

Instead, check out something a little less fucked up:

http://www.unicorn-dream.co.uk/destrier/index.html

"The site dedicated to human/equine transformation."

(I've checked out the whole site and this guy is *not* joking. Click on "Methods" for the real lunacy-- yes, they mean methods of physically becoming a horse.)

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From: Phil Girvan (SKRELA) 10:32 am

To: Jeremy Forbing (KSLIDERULE) unread (15 of 20)

30301.15 in reply to 30301.14

>>(I've checked out the whole site and this guy is *not* joking. Click on "Methods" for the real lunacy-- yes, they mean methods of physically becoming a horse.)

>>

Whoa there! Didn't you notice that "some" of those methods are "purely theoretical"?

____

Phil

Evil will rise again in no time, possibly in the form of a comic starring Wolverine and Elektra's spunky teenage daughter. --- Isaac Sher

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From: Alistair Kennedy (VOLUMEDIAL) 10:32 am

To: Jeremy Forbing (KSLIDERULE) unread (16 of 20)

30301.16 in reply to 30301.10

No, no! Classic Superman loves everybody! Remember - WWCSD?

-----------------

Alistair Kennedy

Staff Writer

The Smog

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From: Jon Overton (PREACHERJ) 12:41 pm

To: Joe Gualtieri (ESNOW2) (17 of 20)

30301.17 in reply to 30301.9

"Superman II has Terrence Stamp"

AND Sarah Douglas *purrrrr*

 

Cheers

PreacherJohn

Go read Toseinin - my new monthly, Superfast minicomic at:

http://www.preacherjohn.co.uk - Hit "Comics" or "Cartoons" & then "Toseinin"...

Beautiful and terrible.

Cunning like a fox.

Strong like a sumo.

Bigger than Buffy.

Badder than Jackie Brown.

Curvy, kinky and kickass.

There's music, poems, photos and writing of mine & other artists on there too... enjoy...

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From: Brenz (BRENZ59) 2:53 pm

To: JACKBRIER unread (19 of 20)

30301.19 in reply to 30301.1

<CRISIS - Supergirl's heroic death scene, which Wolfman doubtless intended to be moving and touching, but which just made me vaguely nauseous. >

I'm sure he meant "nauseated," but that doesn't make him incorrect.

--BrenZ

Super-Crazy Action Boy:Out of order, even when we're not.

"If one of your big impulses is to thumb your nose at common social mores and flip the bird at society, hitching your star to an "outlaw" medium and wallowing in pulp excess can be very satisfying." --Steven Grant, whom I apparently resemble ideologically.

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From: John McMahon (JMCMAHON) 2:56 pm

To: JACKBRIER unread (20 of 20)

30301.20 in reply to 30301.1

Are you sure that "John Jones" isn't just a pseudoname used by Gail to continue writing her parody pieces in relative obscurity ?

After reading half a dozen paragraphs dedicated to explaining how the Vision really does have a penis, I'm not comfortable acknowledging these writings as anything but obvious parody.

--

you used to tell the truth but now you're clever

Hellblazer Message Board : Chew the fat over all things Constantine

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InsaneRantings : Works Of Fiction

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