An Open Conspiracy

Let’s do a little peculiar comics-centric Wold Newton from Arena Planet Z, Bloggers.

I need a team: a team of four comics writers, to be like the JLA.

And a team: a team of four comics artists, to be like the JSA.

Because they’re going to have a crossover. A crossover in which they first fight each other, and then team up to fight a common enemy…

Your pick of five comics bloggers from the anti-matter universe!

Which, of course, this is.

No, Cary Bates does not have a blog, so he’s not allowed. You know damn well who’s allowed and not allowed, anyway! So use your head!

Anyway, here’s mine:

The Writers

1. Kurt Busiek! Contortionist-Master of Dispassionate Time and Continuity! Christ, he’s practically a Silver-Age Batman villain himself! I half expect him to toss me into a pit of wolves! The man is Hugo Strange! He will make all things conform, even if he has to use his toe to shove his eye into his nostril to do it! Kang? Did I hear you say Kang? YOU DON’T KNOW NOTHING ABOUT KANG! WHY I MET STEVE ENGLEHART ONCE AT A COMICS-CON…!

2. Chris Claremont! They call him The Clutterer: beware, he’ll dump buckets of words on you like so many cargoloads of Tribbles on Captain Kirk in that [reference] episode, you know the one I’m [reference] talking about, but anyway I’m damn proud to [reference] so many [reference] in that [reference] ! With his [reference] sword, he’ll make you rue the day you [referenced] his [reference] ! Truly, he doth [reference] that book The White Dragon by that Pern [reference] somewhat over-[reference]! For lo! And woe betide! Ever wonder what you’ve been thinking? HE HAS THE ANSWERS! AND HIS [REFERENCE] BELIES HIS SIZE…!

4. Gerry Conway! The Fizzicist, yo! Oh, he’ll get in the corners with ya, just like Gordie Howe! LIKE A GORDIE HOWE OF PHYSICS! Look out, Radioactive Man! Stop, my friction just made me read your mind! Astral projection? Why, it’s just a matter of me looking in the mirror, alien visitor! But…WAIT! Holy…! Can it be…? Mister, you just made me MAD…and now all laws of physics are OFF…!

5. Alan Moore! The Frustrated Magus! He is out of this whole place! Out of the Universe! Out of the Multiverse! Out of the Omniverse! Why, by gum, he is gonna use hand gestures you haven’t even THOUGHT of! Haven’t even yet CONCEIVED of! Hand-gestures that will simply BLOW YOUR MIND…

Or is it that you use them every day, these gestures?

OHMYFUCKINGGOD…! FREAKOUT! NNNNNNAAAAAAA! I TOTALLY DO USE THOSE HAND GESTURES…!

The Artists

1. Dave Gibbons. The Chameleon! Sure, you’re never exactly fooled by it…but something in you wants to believe, and that’s when he POUNCES! Like a…um, you know, freakin’ CHAMELEON! Like that fuckin’ song! Or something! Look, I forget! And you will too, when he gets his hands on you! You’ll become your own pastiche, your own homage…

2. Chris Ware. Iron Chef Pivoting 5-Dimensional Axis Of Remorse-Man! Behold as he dissects the schematic of your life, peeling it, chopping it finely, putting it under the salamander, pouring it into the ice-cream machine, mixing it with a little boiled dikon or some sea-urchin liver, putting it into historical context…MMM, SO TASTY! IS DESSERT SOME KIND OF CANDY NOOSE, PERCHANCE?

3. Ivan Brunetti! The Shadowy King of Self-Loathing! Can depress any adversary, even a bar of soap or the New Yorker! Even in summertime! Even a rubber ducky! Oh God, I hate myself!

4. Sal Buscema. The De-Identifier! Square jaw, blue eyes, blond hair…that’s the Falcon, as drawn by Sal Buscema! He will strip you of everything you are…Bruce Banner, Future Peter Parker, MODOK…ALL IDENTITY WILL BE SUBMERGED…!

The Bloggers

1. Chris Sims. Ironic Butterfly Waffle-Iron: if he can find a picture of you, he can give it some sizzle…BUT THIS KIND OF SIZZLE YOU DON’T WANT!

2. Shane Bailey. Anti-Polly. Look out, you’ll get into it with him…and then he’ll give you some bushwah about how he’e getting married inside a giant transparent snail, and how he can talk to animals, and if you really just THOUGHT about design issues…pretty soon you’re sucked into his web of lies, ’til you begin to live them yourself, and soon you find you can’t talk to ANYBODY. At least, not without them walking away…

3. Dick Hyacinth. Fully Five Characters From The Phantom Tollbooth. Not only can’t you take a step, but you’re sinking, Not only that, but you’re piloting a bumper car that isn’t bumping into anything. And not only that, but you’re jumping to conclusions and finding yourself back where you began. Yes, BEGAN! Sorry, but we’ve changed all the rules. Numbers are actually colours, now. Because, I mean, you know… MILO, GET THE FUCK OUT OF THERE…!

4. Sean Witzke, Mechablogzilla. Doesn’t care how big or small you are, he will CRUSH you under the weight of his Wu-Tang PJ Fear of W-H-Y-Question-Mark Merry Christmas 007 Gene-Wilder-In-Blackface Ray Harryhausen Magic Castle Seventh Seal Cars Harrison Orphee Spike Jones Being There Ape Lincoln Mozart Gojira Lascaux Atticus Asterix Shoe Fleisher Pogo Psycho Killer Wren Bach Miro Coltrane Keats Michelin Picasso Jaime Einstein Kool-Aid Leonardo Hula-Hoop Fibonacci Days Of Our Lives Godel Gramsci Disney Carl Hutchins Plato Pluto Questor Schismatrix Abner Newton Granny Smith Silly Putty Buscema…”Then doesn’t that mean God doesn’t exist…?

Quiet, Adso.

But now CUT LOOSE on the attackers…oh, attackers, you won’t know what to do… this is X-Men TIMES TEN, this is MESSED UP…

5. Adam Star. Blue Mandala. Hello?

Hello?

Context?

No one?

No context, huh.

Actually, if I have to I can live without context. Say, why don’t you join me! It’s not too bad. Sun-eyes everywhere. Inescapable, don’t you know. Water doors everywhere. Bloop.

Magic mirror.

The truth will out. No one can stop it. Superheroes can’t stop it.

No one can stop it.

You can’t stop it.

Tomorrow I will describe the full story of who beats up whom, and how. And I invite all readers to make up their own writer/artist/blogger bogus conflict. So far I’ve had great fun out of mine. But NO LINKS, except to back here, if you please. I don’t mind if the idea spreads far and wide, but I think the linking could be done in the comments. Last thing I want is the A-grade bloggers to come back around here. I eschew those links, I really do. Nothing against ’em. But I’d rather not have ’em.

And oh yeah, who do YOU think would win? Would Dick Hyacinth bore the FUCK out of Alan Moore, or would Alan freak the SHIT out of Dick? And does it matter who starts first?

Official rules: you can re-use people (ANY people, even the ones I’ve used), but you’ve got to have some patter for it that makes it worthwhile, and you can’t put in links to the people you mention. Because I would much prefer this to slip under the ordinary blogging radar, if you even like it at all. And as far as the writers and the artists go, try to do the dirt only to the ones you love, like I did.

Okay, I think I’m starting to say things twice. If no one likes this game, I’ll do another iteration tomorrow which will be sure to finish it. I don’t know. It seemed like a good idea an hour ago.

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25 responses to “An Open Conspiracy

  1. You nearly killed me laughing reading that, you bastard.
    And Chris Sims should get to do his own dialog like Stan Lee in 90s marvel comics.

  2. Let’s have it then Sean. Sharpish.

    Four writers.

    Four artists.

    Five bloggers.

    I’ll give you the standstill battles: Gerry = Ivan, Chris C. = Sal, Kurt = Dave, and Chris W. = Alan…but Chris W. and Alan like each other so much that they can’t fight…

    But they get carried away and zone off, which leaves Kurt and Dave the ones who have to bust up the fight/unify the team…but only after they’ve figured they can’t beat each other, which wastes valuable time…

    Thanks a lot, Alan and Chris!

    “Sorry…?”

    “Wha…?”

    They are concentrating on something else. A cool idea, unrelated to the fight. Meanwhile Gerry and Ivan have almost killed each other! And Chris C. and Sal have grown to hate each other.

    Eh? Eh? Now that is some Marvel Magic right there. That IS the X-Men, and no mistake.

    And I’d be pleased to tell you how they fare against Chris, Shane, Dick, Adam, and you…as soon as you give me some stuff on your own recognizance. I deliberately left a couple SUPER-OBVIOUS ones dark, but they’re not worth any more points than the regular ones, because it’s the Iron Chef America scale we’re working with here: ten for taste, five for plating, five for originality.

    And yes: I am building up to something. The last few posts have been building up to something, hopefully cleverly (although if Kurt were here I’m sure he’d see it in an instant…meanwhile Alan probably thought of and disposed of it in 1985…), and we’re due to detonate in January if a certain number of people play along…

    By the way, Sean…you’ve read “The Napoleon Of Notting Hill”? I’ll warn you that it starts way slow — not “Island Of The Day Before” slow, but slow. However worth the effort if you can tolerate Chesterton’s paradoxes, or keep the vision of Nigel Hawthorne as Auberon in front of you…

    But I’ve said too much, I think. Kindly proffer them superteams.

  3. Well Gerry Conway and Ivan Brunetti are blind spots for me. I only know them by name, I’m sad to say. So I think I’m ill qualified for input.

    But I do think Alan Moore would kick the living shit out of Chris Ware, as I seem to remember him saying that no matter how pretty his work is it has no heart. And we all know how Alan Moore feels about heart.

    And I think that Kurt Busiek is totally Captain America as drawn by George Perez – he’s here to solve the problem, not fight damnit! I’ve never seen a conversation on the internet where Busiek doesn’t ask everyone to cool off and refocus. Him fighting Gibbons would be like the Morrison Grifter/Batman fight. Remember? When Grifter sat downon the ground and talked shit until the fight is over.

    Is there a Legion of of Writer/Artist Doom in this? Plotting in the background?

    And while I’ve not read any Chesterton (I will, I will), from the sound of it I think you would dig the hell out of Azzarello and Chiang’s Dr. 13 book.

  4. You insult/compliment me in the most delightful ways. I like all the little walls you build around things. I’m sure you have a very orderly garden. But I know you know the water doors are there. Every comic book reader wants to take a trip through the magic mirror. Isn’t that how we arrived here on Qward to begin with?

    Okay, so the Justice League of Writers:

    Jack Kirby, because the team needs a Himon to teach us the fine art of escapism. Because when we talk about super heroes we’re talking about gods and when we’re talking about gods we’re talking about the stars and when we’re talking about the stars we’re talking about the quality of time. And no one beats the King. And since he’s here with the writers, everyone on the Justice Society of Artists will know in their heart of hearts that it was He who imbibed them with their super powers to begin with. The anti-matter bloggers will crawl before him in awe and wonderment like cavemen before the Monolith. Because he’s full of Stars.

    Grant Morrison, because synchronicity is magic and the team needs a magician. Because he’ll blow it all up if he feels like it just to see the pretty colors, and the casualties will be the kind of metaphors you’d like to have a pint with. Because Magneto was right and Mr. Nobody was exactly right. Because context is for suckers who think skimming the surface alone makes them a Seaguy.

    Neil Gaiman, because this is the stuff that Dream is made of. Do you (the general you) think you have the sum of all things? Go back to sleep and dream some more and see if Morpheus shares your opinion. Or even cares. And because a meteor becomes the woman of your dreams if it falls in the proper territory.

    Chris Claremont, because controlling the weather for so long takes great power, great precision, and even self-sacrifice. When it’s done right everyone just takes it for granted and complains because sometimes it has to drizzle. But most of the time the atmosphere is just right, the obscuring fog makes what comes near seem stark and clear by comparison, and because the lightning only stuns when it could obliterate, there’s mercy there, and respect for the sanctity of all living things.

    The Justice Society of Artists:

    Dave Cockrum, because we like our cartoons Baroque, thank you. Because he revitalizes. Because his near limitless energy is contained by the best designed super suits of all time. Because the heroes of today were really seeded from the future. And though his outer form may be destroyed, his energy just needs time to coalesce and rise again like a Phoenix from Jamaica Bay.

    Alan Davis, because his line is the sublime. Because someone needs to draw out all the parallel heroes of all the parallel worlds to stop the Jaspers Warp, even if they all must eventually fall to the Fury. Because even something as simple as a nail can change everything in ways walls of anti-matter never conceived, and still take things back to the purity of their essence. Because the secret of the family must be kept clandestine. With senses that highly attuned even a simple drawing can be a powerful intoxicant. Because the mind is a butterfly.

    Bill Sienkiewicz, because realism and expressionism are sometimes the same thing. Because the shadows are alive and the light is intelligent. Because even empty limbo is complex. Because the bears of the psyche have irregular form. Because the sword and armor of the soul varies in design from moment to moment. Because we’re dealing in big numbers and the toasters have gone feral.

    Curt Swan- Because order is beauty. Because we need the Superman to be perfectly realized. Because we want to live clean in the 30th century. Because he is a one man Legion who fought through all the wars without a scratch. Because he showed us what really happened to the Man of Tomorrow.

    And then, the Secret Society of Super Bloggers (the Legion of Blog?)

    I don’t think I know five comic book blogs, but I’ll try.

    Adam Star of Inside the Cosmic Cube. Because I can’t quite grasp his agenda. Because he’s playing games with other people’s toys. Because he’s the Anti-Mikey who likes everything. This is significant because Life Cereal is made by a Quaker who looks like his grandmother and Cereal is the product of Ceres obviously, so the connotations of Life Cereal are easily apparent. This is interesting because it means that if Adam Star is the Anti-Mikey then he’s also the Anti-Life Equation, and it will take the Gods of New Genesis, Darkseid, Superman, Batman, J’onn J’onzz, Starfire, John Stewart, Adam Strange, Etrigan and Doctor Fate to shut him up. Or down. Directions are metaphors.

    Chris Knowles of The Secret Sun, because he makes more sense then Adam Star and does not seem to have quite the same attitude of discordianism. Which makes him maybe even more dangerous, as his mythological parallels and study of secret society history is that much more concise and thus far more legible. And he wrote a book about it illustrated by Joseph Michael Lisner, so he has access to an ally that can paralyze opponents with metaphysical cheese cake.

    Matthew E of the Legion Abstract because his focus on a single topic
    makes for a laser beam that cuts through anything. Because he kindly sends us post cards from the 30th century that lets us know what’s happening in the far future without having to take the trip, and the joy he describes from his forays there is often better then the first hand experience might be. And because he can analyze generational archetypes on an intuitive level, giving him a Karate Kid-like sense of weak points. Combined with that laser he’s deadly. And though I’ve never seen him I like to imagine he looks like the Cosmic Boy of the Silver Age (though I sincerely hope not in the Grell-version of the costume, it is cold in Canada).

    Pillok of A Trout In Milk, because there’s so much that’s wrong in pop-entertainment and he’ll tell you why. Because a trout poached in milk is a nice enough meal but the smell takes days to leave the kitchen. Because he loves through the hate and back again. Because he’s too damn ambidexterous. Because he frames every little thing in contextual boxes and lays them out like a comic book page for everyone to read. Because the Fantastic Four is the World’s Greatest Comic Magazine even when it painfully isn’t. Because he’d rather sweat the details of artificial continuities then shrug his shoulders and turn the page.

    Robby Reed of Dial-B-For Blog because he remembers too clearly that the primary purpose of the super hero comic book is escapism and fun. Because he loves the in-house ads as much as the pages between them. Because he has Bob Kane’s number. Because he knows Reed Richards is Clark Savage Jr. Because he can become a seemingly infinite number of super heroes with his magic dial, all of them wonderfully absurd. Because we could all use a smart-ass Super Teacher and there’s a little Bizarro BEM in all of us. Because Junkie Speedy finally wins something for shooting up.

    Kirby will unite the JLW and JSA and they’ll confront the bloggers of Qward in a glorious splash page, perhaps a double spread. Then something happens. Something important. Something wonderful.

    Fun game.

  5. Pingback: “Mechablogzilla”. Damn. « supervillain·

  6. No, seriously Adam, that was screwed up! Lovely job, although the unevolved guy in me cringes when confronted with flattery. Did you notice, perhaps, how extremely Norse your Writers League of America was? Kirby as Odin, Morrison as Loki, Gaiman as Heimdall, Calremont as Frey. Really weirdly specific. And great. I do believe it’s all true.

    Wait. One sec…somethin’ burning…

  7. Writers

    01. Grant Morrison.

    02. Ed Burbaker.

    03. Joss Whedon.

    04. and Warren Ellis as “The Chief”

    Artists

    01. Becky Cloonan, Berserker Fury.

    02. Cully Hamner.

    03. Paul Gulacy.

    04. Chris Bachalo.

    Bloggers

    01. Mike Sizemore.

    02. Matthew Perpetua.

    03. Jog.

    04. Tim O’Neil.

    05. Bahlactus.

    There’s the lineup, anyway.

  8. Sorry, my computer had some sort of an anxiety attack there…probably not a good sign…

    Since I nagged Sean, unfortunate move when your computer then proceeds to spaz out…

    First of all, when you mention Becky “Rise From Your Grave” Cloonan, you are completely PAST having my attention, and on into the country of dreams…what is that line again, Sean…?

    Second of all, Paul Gulacy, I had forgotten that Sean was hep to the MoKF…this is a big a note as Adam’s Bill S., makes me punch the air…

    Third, the thought of Joss Whedon doing the Thor/Hulk Hulk.Thor thing with Tom O’Neill I think would make for great, if underground, comics…

    And of course Warren vs. the cosmic power of Bahlactus. Very fitting.

    I would give a lot to see a Gulacy-drawn Morrison script of MoKF, I must say. An Ellis/Gulacy book wouldn’t be bad either.

    Now you, Adam: it’s clear where I maintain a garden, you watch the Nile…you poor bastard! Here’s a tidbit from the world of astronomy, one of the first human-sky benchmarks was what we still call today The Helical Rising Of Sirius (some say “Heliacal” but I find that cumbersome) which means the rising of Sirius before the dawn…which for literally uncounted millenia signalled the flood season of the Nile delta. And of course the real Nile isn’t like that anymore, but the Nile of the imagination…

    Great stuff with Secret Sun and Dial B. There are elaborations of Keplerian geometry in there if one looks hard enough, nicely done, and after all what’s such an elaboration but an Abstract? I’d be wuite happy if you swapped me out for Double Articluation, though…not only better thematically, but smarter all around, and I presume to say you’d like it.

    But further blog-indications must wait, since I don’t want to steal anybody’s thunder. I link to Jim so frequently that it doesn’t matter, but for the rest we’ll see.

  9. By the way, I love the idea of Alan Moore kicking the shit out of Chris Ware…well, Alan’s a sizable gent, I think if Chris could get a cape ’round his neck and put him on the telephone though…

    But more than that, I love Brunetti’s hangover medication. You read about a guy repeatedly punching himself in the stomach in the shower, or telling his girlfriend he wants to splash acid over babies at the park…

    Suddenly life’s everyday problems seem a bit more bearable. For sure.

  10. Ah. Figured out the source of my computer’s spaz attack. Predictably, it was me who failed to understand ITS needs.

    Fair enough.

    And now something’s blinking at me.

    Good Lord, this day is becoming complicated. There is even some UNBELIEVABLE ASSHOLE outside wielding a rev-happy leaf-blower. It’s freakin’ December. There are no goddamn leaves.

    That’s it, I’m going down there. Let you know if I live.

  11. “Did you notice, perhaps, how extremely Norse your Writers League of America was?”

    No, I did not. But that’s really lovely and I’m feeling a little verklempt thinking about Chris Claremont riding a golden boar. That’s an inadvertent pun. And yes I quite enjoy Jim Roeg’s work which I did learn of from your site and I read his back articles as time allows. Really bright. I’d love to see his enlistments for this Secret Secret War. Unfortunately no new articles in nearly a month, which is more time then I was aware it existed, so it didn’t originally occur to me. I’ve pestered (Ambush Bug style), participated in contest of or bought book from everyone on my list, so, it stands. Sorry Charlie. And way to expose your weakness to Complimentonite. If I find some Red Complimentonite I’m going to mutate you cause I’m just like that. And I’m immune. In fact it makes me tingly.

    The Nile of the Imagination. That’s tops.

  12. OK, here’s how I envision this colossal event…

    For The Writers, we have: Kevin “Bluntman” Smith, Tom “Robot Rev” Brevoort, Warren “Doktor” Ellis, Charles “Atlas” Biro, and Will “Boss” Eisner

    For The Artists, we have: Jim “Escapist” Steranko, Jack “King” Kirby, Jan “Trooper” Duursema, John “Face” Cassaday, and — in a bizarre twist of multidimensional fate — Will “Boss” Eisner!

    Their battle goes like this…
    Ellis surprises no one by saying, “This is shiite!” and leaving the battle straight away. Duursema uses the immediate, but brief, lull to don a nearby Storm Trooper uniform and start blasting away at Smith, but he manages to deflect the blasts with his lightsaber. Kirby and Biro engage in hand-to-hand combat, each using every dirty trick in the book. Brevoort uses his telescoping, robotic arms to ensnare Steranko, but the man lives up to his code name admirably. Just as Eisner is about to direct Brevoort and Smith to switch sparring partners, he notices his counterpart across the field of battle. The two Eisners approach each other, and simultaneously realize the futility of the trying to fight one another — that they’re all trying to make headway towards the same goal. The immediately call off the attacks.

    But, as Cassaday emerges from his hiding place, they see coming over the hill: The Bloggers!

    The Bloggers: Valerie “Occasional Superheroine” D’Orazio, Rachelle “Barda” Goguen, Steve “The Brit” Flanagan, Jim “The Canuck” Roeg, and Sean “The Iconoclast” Kleefeld.

    The creators aren’t fearful at first, having superior numbers, but D’Orazio’s insider knowledge is able to help take down Brevoort and Cassaday in short order. Goguen focuses her direct attacks on Biro, while Flangan manages to confuse Kirby with his incantations (also known as “his British accent”) before turning his attention on Duursema. Roeg continues to hang back while Kleefeld tries vainly to ward off attacks from Steranko and both Eisners! D’Orazio is able to help diminish their strength by drawing out their blatant sexism, but The Bloggers are still finding themselves on the verge of being overpowered.

    Just as the battle looks to be lost, Roeg, standing on the sidelines this whole time, opens his mouth and lets out a roar of such voluminous proportions that it knocks all of The Blogger’s adversaries to the ground, unconscious.

    When The Creators come to, however, they find themselves sitting amidst a barren landscape with no sign of The Bloggers anywhere. It would seem that there’s nothing for them to do but pick up their battered egos, continue on the path they were on before, and curse Ellis for not playing fair…

  13. Writers

    01. Grant Morrison.
    Who is , like Adam Strange, a survivor through a journey into the unfathomable. And he controls holographic projections of reality.

    02. Ed Burbaker.
    A man who cannot be killed, and can reanimate the dead. Like Brother Voodoo. Wasn’t that Brother Voodoo’s power?

    03. Joss Whedon.
    Super-strong powerhouse of the team. Easily distracted by women. Carries ancient civil war pistols. Not quite the Hulk, not quite Frankenstein.

    04. and Warren Ellis as “The Chief”
    Calling the shots and plotting deviously without ever being involved in the super-shennanigans. The only one who knows what Morrison is talking about.

    Artists

    01. Becky Cloonan, Berserker Fury.
    Like if Wolverine and Conan and Brock Samson were all combined into a hyperintelligent young woman. She weilds an adamantium broadsword and hears a constant soundtrack of Norwegian black metal and NWA in her head while engaged in battle.

    02. Cully Hamner.
    Knows what you’re thinking and can probably thinking of a better, more dynamic way to draw it.

    03. Paul Gulacy. the Living Colosus
    Conversational and gregarious in person, yet the strongest in combat. Moves with superspeed and can smash through steel.

    04. Chris Bachalo,
    Bachalo can control his density, giving him powers ranging from superstrength to teleportation to phasing to control over his size.

    Bloggers

    01. Mike Sizemore.
    There’s really no reason for Mike to be here as he’s not a comics blogger. But in real life he’s smarter than you and could probably kick your ass.He’s the Punisher/Judge Dredd guy with a gun.

    02. Neilalien.
    Who, in a stunning upset, I’m writing as The Silver Surfer. (sticks out tongue).

    03. Jog.
    The random street observer who chronicles this tale of metahuman chaos.

    04. Tim O’Neil.
    Can see through your bullshit, and thus, psi-proof. Also he may/may not posess the Quantum Bands.

    05. Bahlactus. You should see where this is going.

    Uh and thats whee it falls apart and this is really gonna be crappy. Aw, here it goes…

    Ellis sends his team out to investigate a spacetime anomaly in NYC. He can’t go because he’s giving a lecture on transhumanism with Bruce Sterling in Austin Texas and has to hop a plane. And the X-Men — I mean, the artists are in the city today on their day off. They’re in plainclothes and everything. Mostly they’re trying to stop Becky from barfighting.

    The Doom Patrol — no wait, The Defenders — i mean the writers, yes the WRITERS (cough cough), investigate the tear in the structure of the universe caused by an errant coldwar technology gone awry. Probably, anyway. But they investiagate, ending up in a locked room with a dead body and a raging transdimensional portal freestanding over the body. Brubaker reanimates the body and asks him what happened. Instead of answering the dead man’s mouth opens and an otherworldly gurgle rattles out. The rift grows bigger, and Whedon protects his comrades from the blast by grabbing them and leaping out the nearest window. Morrison rattles off some giberish concerning the antimatter side of the multiverse and fractals as they fall.

    Across the street the artists hear a massive explosion. Chris Bachalo goes to investigate. He sees the writers standing underneath the gigantic blue lightning thing where the top of the building used to be. He shouts at them and runs toward them, not knowing what the hell is going on. Morrison throws up a protective barrier of hard light (with the Dr. Strange hand motions), knocking him back unexpectedly. Grant is trying to devise a plan to reverse what they just did, cursing out Brubaker the whole time he does it. Bachalo phases through it and punches Morrison in the head, knocking him out. So Whedon takes a swing at Bachalo and misses.

    Then Gulacy throws Becky Cloonan in a fastball special at Joss Whedon. Whedon is transfixed as an obviously strong woman, both figuratively and literally (she’s got a goddamn four foot broadsword), flying at him in a manner he remembers from his favorite comics when he was growing up. And then she slams him in the head with the hilt of the weapon, throwing him to the ground. Battle royale begins for a double page spread of writer on artist destruction! Mostly centered on Gulacy and Whedon in a Hulk/Thing hand to hand struggle.

    The random people on the street start freaking out, Godzilla movie style. Cully Hamner uses his mental abilities to calm the crowd, all of them begin to leave. Except two Tim O’Neil, who wasn’t really freaking out to begin with, and Jog who is standing in the corner scribbling down the events as they happen. Tim O’Neil just stands there looking angry.

    Suddenly Mike Sizemore, who heard the commotion and came running from two blocks over, pulls out his Lawgiver and begins firing at all the poncey superheroes. Which is ironic, as he knows Warren Ellis personally.

    TIm O’Neil yells at the top of his lungs for all these idiots to quit it. And the violence stops, except for Becky Cloonan who takes the opportunity to chop Ed Brubaker’s arm off. Despite the fact he can regenrate it he still screams “DAMNIT!”. Tim explains what Morrison was trying to tell them earlier, that this is a tear in this vibrational plane of reality and they’ve got to seal it before they’re all torn out of existence. He then uses his Quantum Bands, as given to him in his role as Protector of the Universe, to seal the rift. All while taking the time to call every single one of them out on their ineffectual bullshit. Then he storms off, problem solved.

    The writers and artists stand around semi apoligizing to one another for the frackas. Jog calls the local paper to explain his scoop, then walks around for post-fight interviews with everyone. Mike Sizemore strikes up a conversation with Becky Cloonan and Ed Brubaker. Oddly enough, about the Throwing Muses Reunion show they were apparently all at the previous night (Brubaker’s arm growing back as they talk). Without warning, Grant Morrison looks up and says “Oh bloody fuck, not again”.

    Everyone looks up and a shimmering silver presence identifies itself as Neilalien (which Whedon points out is a palindrome), who has traveled here to prepare this planet for whats coming, and to possbily talk to Steve Ditko in person while he’s in the city.

    Next issue: the return of Warren Ellis from his lecture abroad, as he and Cully Hamner face the world destroying power of Bahlactus in “Fear of a Bahlactus Planet!”

  14. Okay, well, I’m not going to do it *exactly* like you wanted it. I don’t see the writers and artists as the JLA and JSA any more than I see the bloggers as Qwardians. I see them more as a D&D adventuring party, and the bloggers as monsters. Or, at least, I think I can organize my thoughts that way.

    Bold Adventurers

    Ernie Colon: Colon, to me, is was and will always be the Amethyst artist. Nobody can evoke the sylvan better than Colon, with is lush greenery and playful circles. He is the group’s elven sorceror.

    Barry Kitson: Some may call his work a little stiff, but it’s obvious on every page that he draws that he understands nobility. So he would be playing a human paladin.

    Sergio Aragones: Sergio (on here as a writer/artist) is the master. He doesn’t do what anybody else does and nobody else does what he does. So how can we tell how great he is? He is the human monk of the group.

    Bill Amend: Amend, the creator of the comic strip Foxtrot, is also on here as a writer/artist. Amend is the nerd hero of this list. I don’t claim he’s unique in this, but he knows how to present the geeky underbelly of popular culture to the readership, and he does so with a remarkably large and well-distinguished cast of characters, illustrated simply but likeably. I also like the way he sneaks himself into the strip all the time (i.e. a character will be reading a newspaper headlined, “Cartoonist Amend Wins Super Bowl”). Amend is therefore the halfling thief of the group.

    Gail Simone: Simone has yet to let me down. Why hasn’t DC turned a major crossover over to her yet? The All-New Atom is a barrel of laughs, Villains United was the best thing about the whole Infinite Crisis melange, and her four-issue arc of The Legion had more heroic moments in it than just about any other Legion story I know. Her solution to writing seems to be to clap the main character(s) on the back, hand them a flagon of mead, and point them at the bulletin board where all the adventures are advertised. She is the dwarven fighter.

    Roy Thomas: I’ve stated before that Thomas is the one comics writer whose mindset I’ve most absorbed in my youth. It’s still his approach to continuity (the approach that created All-Star Squadron) that makes the most sense to me. Thomas is a guy who has the information at his fingertips, who can combine it and make it make sense and use it. That’s not the only kind of wizardry, but it’s one kind. Human wizard.

    Geoff Johns: Johns is DC’s guy they go to when they need a character fixed up, rehabilitated. Or so I understand. Hasn’t he resurrected a few comics, gotten them going after they had been moribund for a while? That’s my impression. That makes him the human cleric of the team, albeit one with a really big mace that can absolutely tear someone’s face off.

    Wandering Monsters

    Mike Sterling: due to his love of Swamp Thing, and also because he just keeps coming at you relentlessly, with one great post after another, day after day… when he interfaces with the internet, which is after all basically a system of electricity, he just gets more powerful. He is therefore a shambling mound.

    Ami Angelwings: because of the wings, because of how her voice is high and squeaky even if it isn’t, because of how rapidly she can turn her attention from this to that to the other, and because she has the mental candlepower necessary to wield the powerful magic that goes along with the role, is a pixie.

    Bully: minotaur. Easy one!

    Dick Hyacinth: Dick’s writing is quite insidious. He’s very persuasive, and makes a lot of sense… but is he using his powers for good or for evil? Dick Hyacinth is a vampire.

    Bill D (of Trusty Plinko Stick): Bill is the one guy who seems to always share my opinions about just about everything (except that he has the bad taste to be a Red Sox fan). Obviously Bill must be a doppleganger.

    I have no idea how this adventure would play out. Presumably it would be set in a Native-American casino, cast back in time to a prehistoric tar pit and buried for centuries (until its skylight is unearthed by the denizens of this strange pseudo-medieval-magical society), populated by undead smilodons and haunted by the glow of the strange golden spheres endlessly circling in the roulette wheels…

    By the way: I am more blond, but less athletic, than Cosmic Boy. And, by now, older.

  15. Well that wasn’t easy. Sometime I might flesh out the horrible ricochet notion that this clash of titans inspired, but better to play it straight, it’s weird enough already. Almost straight anyway.

    Felt I should stick with the creators I’ve been applauding in prior threads; but I decided to send George Herriman home early. Some things really are too gentle and precious for this kind of scrap.

    For the Okeefenokee Glee, Perloo and Comic Drawing Society:

    1. Richard and Wendy Pini, counting as one. The Galahad, the Steve Rogers, the heart of the team. For their clear constructive vision, and because, even though they make ElfQuest look easy, almost cliched, when you really look back at it, every new image was unexpected.

    2. Harvey Kurtzmann. You don’t see him coming either, and he has the power of making you look like a complete idiot. This will be required.

    3. Wally Wood. How I miss him, he was the Duke of Fun and that’s just how he made everything look. His lines are sharper, his shadows are darker, his machines are shinier, his BEMs are ooglier and by god is it even legal to draw women like that? If I need to justify anything, I’ll only need to write a couple of purple paragraphs about the Wallyness of it, and you will believe, oh yes you will.

    4. Walt Kelly, of course. Although it’s funny to say this, he’s the team’s technician, bringing the discipline and exact timing of Vaudeville and Disney. Kelly would rather disarm you with swamp punts and tall stories than fight you; but he can put on the creeps at need..

    In fact, the whole gang would rather have you round for a clambake, than the carnage that’s probably about to ensue. But don’t underestimate any of them.

    And in the other corner, it’s …

    Write And/Or Die (we’ve got f—ing lawyers, man), Inc:

    1. Howard Chaykin. Sure, American Flagg! was the only target he ever hit. But his dialogue there was so spare, so apt, so candid, you could hardly question the preposterous world he was hustling you around.

    2. Jhonen Vasquez. Because the Hell Dimension he’s writing his way through, is this one. Stare at the Illiterate Piggy.

    3. Dave Sim. Doesn’t maintain even the distance from his own insanity that Vasquez does. His technique is as compelling as his conviction.

    4. Robert Crumb. Because he didn’t invent a thing. When you investigate his life, it was all right there.

    There we have it. The funhouse and fish fry meets the looming, crumbling Gothic pile of contemporary awfulness. Can we be serious? Probably not.

    So who in Comics Blogs Beyond the Quark Barrier can stand against this lot? I’d have to ask them, and they might very well decline. But my provisional pick, under suitable Qwardian names…

    1. RENEDRAG YUG. Scipio, of the Absorbascon. Look what he just said about Doctor Doom! (Dec. 11) He’s got a kick in the pants for everyone, and never seems to tire of it.

    2. ENAL SIOL: Kalinara, standing for When Fangirls Attack. How many people do you know who’ve founded a culture-politics institution? She and Ragnell didn’t have to define an ideology, just started gathering links and said, “Let there be debating.” They’ve had to take heat for it, though of course not as much as trying to make a living writing you own comics.

    3. RETNUH PIR.: Scott Shaw, of Oddball Comics. He’s been at it for years, he unearths things no ordinary person has ever heard of, and then documents them exhaustively.

    4. ZZ’NOJ NNO’J: Jim Roeg, of Double Articulation. Qward Force’s humane philosophical analyst. Speaks for himself better than I could.

    5. OOBOOB (as in “Stern %$^*ing Judgement”): Peter B. Gillis, Yes The, of No Time To Explain. Because he’s been there and done the writing thing, and it’s so fine that he’s online, and because I approve of his strongly-voiced opinions.

    Righto, Plok, the pieces are set up. Now somebody go and see what it is we’re playing!

  16. Okay, here goes….

    My first two Writers are Mark Waid and Grant Morrison. They’re the Superman & Batman, Reed & Ben, Cap & Iron Man of the group. They work well together, and love the Silver Age of Comics madly, but where Morrison wants to channel the era’s anything-goes spirit, Waid seems content to tell his own stories using Silver Age trappings. Morrison works from the inside out; Waid from the outside in.

    Joining them in the Satellite Sanctuary are Evan Dorkin and Gail Simone. Dorkin brings the funny, of course, but he’s also got a good sense of pacing and a keen eye for what makes a character work. You have to have that when you traffic in short stories. Simone represents the fan-made-good, but it would be shortsighted to characterize her only as that. Like Dorkin, she filters those fannish impulses (Ice, resurrected! Wonder Woman fights apes — then Nazis!!) through the lens of practicality.

    So they’re sitting around at the weekly meeting, drawing straws for monitor duty, when the transporter starts humming and four unfamiliar forms leap out — the Artists!

    Roll call: George Perez, who commands not only detail and layout but expression and body language! Joe Kubert, two-fisted depicter of he-men from battlefield to jungle to Thanagarian skies! Walt Simonson, unparalleled in all things cosmic! And Cliff Chiang, the Firestorm of the group, whose appealing, almost whimsical style is a tonic for the slashes and speed lines of the Liefeldian!

    Of course they fight: Morrison takes on Kubert, Silver Age gonzo going head-to-head with brutal realism! Waid goes for Simonson, matching self-aware characterization against BRAKKATHAABOOOOOM spectacle! Dorkin flies at Perez, betting that the king of crowd scenes can’t be funny! That leaves Simone and Chiang, sizing each other up for weaknesses …

    … and quicker than you can say “Fox Maneuver,” they realize they should be working together against the menace of the Blog Syndicate:

    Douglas Wolk, old nemesis of Waid and Morrison from his 52-blogging days!

    Mag of the Comic Treadmill, who pits tiny superheroes against each other for sport!

    Christopher “Mightygodking” Bird, the last man these folks want to write Legion of Super-Heroes — because it might be fun; and

    Graeme “Savage Critic” McMillan, cataloguer of both fan and pro excesses! He knows your weaknesses, and he shares them with the world!!

    … So what’s this for, again?

  17. Ha ha, I have no idea what it’s for! I was staying up late waiting to get paid, destroying my mind with computer solitaire, and I got bored!

    At least, that’s what I thought at first, but now it appears this will be valuable laboratory research for a future post. About something perhaps rather obvious to guys like Jonathan and Adam, but anyway I’ve never written anything about it before…

    But that’s for later. As for now: good God, folks, what can I say about all of these mad efforts of yours? They’re fantastic. And I’d clearly go nuts if I took each one on in direct commentary (I thought I’d be able to do that, but I just can’t), so just the highlights then:

    Sean K.: ha, Valerie D’Orazio uses insider knowledge to take down Brevoort and Cassaday…also, ha again, Brevoort has telescoping robotic arms?! Well naturally he does…

    And then Jim Roeg flattening everybody with a single huge utterance, after standing around doing nothing the whole time! Ahhh…funny.

    Sean W.: I laughed out loud when I thought of Whedon transfixed and confused by a Strong Woman(tm) being fastball-specialled at him — that was like something out of Megaton Man, just awesome! And indeed, the whole scenario is loaded with little touches like that, nice bits of “power”-logic — Bachalo controls his density! Gulacy moves at super-speed! And of course Tim O’Neill being immune to mental control due to seeing through everyone’s bullshit. I believe this little piece could be deconstructed to show many things.

    Matthew: Oh, not at all, this totally fits! A very charming matching-game puzzle: I laughed, again, more than once. Love the inclusion of Ami Angelwings as a pixie! Haw. An elegant variation, as isomorphic as I could’ve wished for. Have you noticed how the things you think you’re just tossing off, I’m always rushing to pick up?

    Jonathan: I would’ve known this one was from you even without the byline, of course — as you say, this isn’t a slugfest in the making, it’s a very weird beach party! Or possibly a bizarre round-table debate. Or a little of both. Another one that would bear a little deeper analysis, I think! But more on that later…

    Tom: Aha, a full-on scrap between Types! Just what I was hoping for. Love Dorkin going for the King of Crowd Scenes…amusing!

    Ahhhhhh…

    Jesus, I can’t believe that worked.

    Hopefully I won’t have to keep you all in suspense for too long…

    Okay, more in a bit, must Christmas shop! One of the oldest and coolest comic and used-book places in Vancouver (where once upon a time I bought the Deadly Hands Of Kung Fu MTE — damn it WHERE IS THAT THING…?!) has just relocated to a new home a couple blocks down the street from me, so…there’s the rest of my day in a nutshell.

    Maybe I should just take the hammock with me…

  18. Ah, actually no, Matthew. I have to do a fair bit of writing-up first, in amongst the present-wrapping.

    Hopefully it won’t be long! And hopefully it won’t be a much better idea in my head than on paper.

  19. Also, my feeling is that when I bashed this out I gave rather short shrift to my pal Shane — but I loved the “married-inside-snail” bit so much, I didn’t bother finishing it off with anything half-decent…

    I’ll edit it!

  20. Good God, I just read this all again, and it’s still fantastic. Congratulations to you all, guys! Marvellous stuff.

    Shane, I still haven’t fixed yours. I will, before the follow-up post goes on.

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