Watering The Milk, Part 1

By the way, Marvel?  Little thing that bugs me, that I haven’t mentioned up ’til now.

Your “Previously, On Buffy The Vampire Slayer” intro pages?  Fuck off with those already.  It’s just one less page of story, and yes:  I noticed.

Wanna know how many super-convoluted inter-Marvel crossover stories I managed to follow as a little kid without benefit of those pages?  All of them, jackasses.  And now you’re doing decompression and losing a page?  You really think your new storytelling is so complex that a new reader can’t be brought up to date with about fifty words of exposition, tops?

You guys just think you’re so fucking cool, don’t you?

Well, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:  you’re losing me as a reader, bit by bit.  I don’t even read those intro pages, they bore the crap out of me.  They’re useless.  And how goddamn useless are you, if you can’t even bring a reader up to speed in-story?  Feh.  The freakin’ Clone Saga didn’t even have these intro pages, did it?

For Christ’s sake get your shit together.

By the way, Joss Whedon:  using those “Previously…” intros on the Buffy TV series was a sensible and intelligent move.  Due to the fact of it being a TV series.  I admired the way you went for a recreation of a comics vibe, there.  I thank you for that;  it made me watch more avidly.

But by the way, Marvel:  this isn’t TV, and you’re de-creating a comics vibe for me with this bullshit.  Kindly pull your head out of your ass and stop it.

Also, subcaptioning is a coward’s captioning.  Ellis made it work on his Authority, but he had a specific reason for doing it.  You don’t.  Also, the Meltzer-style “identified” captions…yeah, they could go, too.  Man, you’re just lousy with tics and crutches these days, aren’t you Marvel?  Do you even know how to plain tell a story anymore?

…Christ, I sound like John Byrne, don’t I.

See what you’ve driven me to, Marvel?!


11 responses to “Watering The Milk, Part 1

  1. Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention…I don’t want to alarm you, but I think your EIC may be sexually retarded. That cover thing everybody’s talking about? Listen, I’m almost at the point where I don’t care what the fuck you do, but if you could just try not to insult my fucking intelligence, that would be great. Listen, it’s only us, here. Every one of us knows what that cover’s all about, you and me and the lamppost as well. There’s no sense fucking lying about it, it’s just us, man! And there is no one, not one single person anywhere on earth, who thinks or would think that that cover’s innocent.

    Except, Joe Q. says it is.

    So, what am I to conclude? He’s either lying, or he somehow just doesn’t get the sexual content of the picture.

    And he’s left it up to me, and I happen to be feeling in a mean mood, so I’m going to go with “he somehow just doesn’t get it”.

    Poor little man-child Joe Q.! Don’t tell any off-colour jokes around him, he may blush and/or stammer!

    I don’t really care about the picture, except I think it’s in magnificently poor taste. But that Joe Q. says he doesn’t see that it’s in any kind of poor taste at all?

    Joe, who is it, exactly, that you think you are addressing when you say that? Who do you think could possibly be convinced by that? Seriously, name me one person who you think believes you.

    You can’t do it, can you. It’s like asking a devout Christian person if they believe that God lives literally in the sky…no one believes that, for the simple reason that being devout doesn’t automatically equate to being a fucking moron.

    Okay, I’m done. Online comic feminists, please oblige Joe by tightening the screws he has as much as asked you to tighten. Screw him right to the wall, please. What nonsense. What bullshit. This guy’s fucking asking for it. He’s wasting our time, with his silly de rigeur corporate denial of what anyone over the age of ten knows to be true. Let him have it.

    And please: show no mercy. After all, he hasn’t asked for any mercy, has he? So don’t you go showing him any.

  2. I believe you’re forgetting that you’re dealing with QMB here! And, naturally, he’s going to take a cue from his namesake, Diamond Joe Quimby, by saying, “You’re all a bunch of fickle mush-heads!”

    I’m telling you — it’s more apt of an analogy than you realized! ;)

  3. Well, it’s typical of the age. Current media practices ensure that anybody who says anything will be taken completely seriously and not challenged. My favourite example was back when the Leafs and Raptors were arguing/negotiating about whether to get together on a new arena. The Raptors proposed the site that is now the Air Canada Centre; the Leafs responded (publicly) by saying that that was the worst possible site in the city, but that the Leafs had the best site: perched on Q-tips over top of the train station that was right next door to the Raptors’ site!

    And they expected us to swallow this. Or maybe they didn’t; maybe they didn’t care whether anybody swallowed it, the important thing is that they had a public position, and since nobody was going to challenge it, it didn’t matter if it made any sense or not.

    Same thing with Quesada, I guess.

  4. If you’re Quesada, you’ve made a serious error in judgement. Perhaps you thought the cover was no different than 100 other damsel-in-distress covers. Maybe you thought a specific type of titilation would bring in more sales. It could be you never saw the cover, or only gave it a cursory glance. Whatever the case, you now have to justify the existence of a cover perceived as tentacle rape by the vocal majority (including myself. What can you do?

    Apologize and replace the cover? Nope. Deny and belittle, cuz ya can’t be all weak n’ shit.

    I’m almost glad I can’t afford to buy comics regularly.

    By the way, Peter David makes good use of the recap pages in X-Factor; they’re usually funny. I liked the fold-out cover recaps of the late-’90s. I found myself having difficulty remembering what went on in most of the Marvels I read from month to month. I wonder why…

  5. What you said. Especially the “this isn’t TV, and you’re de-creating a comics vibe for me with this bullshit” part. I’m so tired of everything they do in the presentation to say “we’re not those nerdy old comic books, we’re cool and grown up like police procedural shows and action movies!”

  6. Speaking of police procedural shows, a few of Gotham Central‘s first-page recaps were done in regular comic-book style, with panels of uniform size and shaped like TV screens. It was a clever way to do a recap, because GC was clearly meant to be the NYPD Blue of superhero comics.

    Still, that was the exception which proved the rule. The footnote and the omniscient narrator are our friends.

  7. Spot on, RAB. Seriously, is there anything nerdier than a nerd trying not to be perceived as nerdy? When I look at contemporary superhero comics, that’s what I see! A nerd awkwardly trying to pass as not-nerd.

  8. I’m guessing the Joss Whedon thing is for Runaways and whichever X-Men book he does? Because the Buffy comic is published by Dark Horse…

    But spot on with the P.S. on Joey Q. And the overuse of decompressed storylines. Remember when an ENTIRE STORY could be told in a single issue?

  9. Nah, I mean the actual “Previously…” thing he started doing on Buffy the show. I liked that, because it emphasized subplots in an almost comic-book level way, somehow it just screamed “comics!” to me…

    Hmm, actually I don’t know if I’m totally sure why that is, after all…must think on it…

  10. I wouldn’t mind an intro page that just included a cast list. Especially with Marvel’s current ‘house’ art style, it’s sometimes hard to tell who each character is supposed to be when you’re first jumping into a title. I don’t think it’s fair to expect new readers (especially kids) to really be able to follow what’s going on from scratch these days compared to 30, 20, even 10 years ago. Comics have gotten too expensive for most people to follow the whole universe (especially casual readers), and continuity has gotten tremendously more complex. If the intro page were to go (and I agree, they usually don’t provide much), there should at least be captions in early panels identifying who these people are supposed to be and why we care about them.

    As far as the Quesada thing goes, the most benefit of the doubt you could give the guy is that he thought the cover was a standard “damsels in distress” cheesecake/semi-S&M cover and didn’t really get the hentai connection. But man, when that’s the charitable reading of your actions, you’ve got problems.

  11. That’s true…these days I have a little bit of a problem with “muddy” art at Marvel and DC, at least in some books — just because things aren’t glaringly ludicrous in the style of Liefeld, it doesn’t mean what’s on the page is necessarily any easier to follow than it was in the Nineties, and I think we’re in danger of overlooking this sometimes. There are current DC and Marvel books that to my eye are all-but-unreadable, and a big part of that is to do with having characters in some sort of focus on the page.

    But y’know, if they just started using captions and thought-balloons again, they could do all that set-up stuff in the actual script!

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