No, I don’t speak Spanish. I’m just thinking of that old musical number from Sesame Street with Luis and Maria:
“When you say Hola! Hola! people are friendly —
People say “Hola”
When you say “Hola”…”
Now every one of my real-life friends is going to know it’s me behind this pseudonym, oh no. But I can’t help it you see, because I was that white middle-class kid from another country who sat glued glued GLUED to Jim Henson’s educational idea of a program aimed at kids from the ghet-to…
And got brought up by it, totally accidentally.
Well, who knew.
Wow, Jim. The instant I saw Guy Smiley, and heard the “mnah mnah” song, you changed my life.
And so, you Bloggers…!
Who changed your life, as a comics fan?
I’ll give you two categories of this, both fast, as I was converted to Hensonism fast…
1. What creator(s), in a single issue, blew your mind so much that you can still quote the dialogue. still see the art, in fact you think about it probably more than makes sense…! In other words what creator(s) made you love a character suddenly and unreasonably, like I loved Cookie Monster suddenly and unreasonably, or Ernie? Or Grover.
2. What creators(s) went on a title, blew your little mind, and then went almost immediately (and unfairly) off it, just as you were getting revved up?
Okay, I’ll give a couple of mine.
1. Flash #51: Nobody Dies, by Messner-Loebs and LaRoque. It’s been too long since we’ve given this issue props, Internet — I mean it’s been like two years, come on. I was, I confess, already deeply into Messner-Loebs’ Flash by this time, but even if I hadn’t been, Jesus Christ this would’ve been my Kermit The Frog Moment. I gave this issue to comics-hating punker girls of my acquaintance…and they literally screamed for more. This comic actually got me into a relationship; this is the one and only superhero comic that generates HUGE FEELINGS just on its way to showing that the Flash is cool. Forget Watchmen; if you want a BANG moment, this is it. And anybody can feel it. Even highly sexy disillusioned punker girls with green hair and a grudge against their father,, who are past caring about anything. Even they have been heard to say things like “Gee, I hope Wally’s all right!”
Go out and buy it. Read it now. If you’re unmoved by it, I’ll buy your copy for twice what you paid, and that’s a promise (NOTE: Plok does not need more than three copies of this comic).
2. William Messner-Loebs on Green Arrow. Sorry, it’s Messner-Loebs day here at Trout In The Milk...but if you ever wanted some strong circumstantial evidence, in the time when Ed was doing all the buying for our collection, and I had no money, I actually went out and bought a Green Arrow comic, because the previous issue had been written by Messner-Loebs. Quoth me: “fucker, this Green Arrow — and I hate Green Arrow! — comic wasn’t written by Messner-Loebs at all!”
Quoth Ed: “Yes…I knew that. That’s why I didn’t buy it.”
Quoth Me: “But what the fuck, then?”
Ed: “Yes…yes, I know. I know all about it. The genius Bill just was given a gig, that’s all.”
Me: “But then why…”
Ed: “Why didn’t they just give it to him? Don’t ask me for answers to your questions; I don’t know. Yes, Messner-Loebs on an aging, womanizing Ollie Queen — holy jumpin’ catfish [NOTE: Ed did not say this, I’m only reconstructing from memory — obviously a person with a sense of self-worth like Ed would never utter the words “holy jumpin’ catfish”], that would be SWELL [Uh…ditto], but they DIDN’T give it to him, and yes it DOESN’T make sense, and STOP ASKING, because I’m mad TOO!”
Yes. Well, whatever. Well, so what if Messner-Loebs believes the most powerful motivator of human action is LOVE? And so what if Green Arrow’s character arc for the last thirty years has been about LOVE? And so what if everyone else has written him as if he a) doesn’t understand it, or b) would rather do without it?
Messner-Loebs, people. I want him to write Fantastic Four. I want him to write Spider-Man. Can you believe they never even asked him? I want him to write a Speedball mini. The thing is, they say these characters don’t work. But they never ask freakin’ professionals to write them. Just guys who need a lot of excuses.
Bendis on Powers?
Or on Alias?
Or just about every single issue of the first twenty of USM?
Yes, good God. That’s a 1. The brilliance of Bendis.
Just in case anyone thought I was beating up on Bendis with my Messner-Loebs remarks. Although truthfully they are two different galaxies of talent and craft, and I kind of was. Bendis is really (let’s be honest) very good at some things, but not so good at others. He’s precocious! But he’s not fucking Mozart. But who said he had to be? Christ, you criticize someone for a minute, and all of a sudden it’s all “Mozart-hating-scum, you must DIE!! for criticizing Bendis!!!” But I like Bendis. He’s not all that good, though. But I like him. He does some things excellently well…even so…I mean I’m not trying to be a bad guy, here…
Oh and oh shit, fine, you douchebags, why don’t I just give another 1. BENDIS! (The one where Jessica turns down Ka-Zar!!!!), so I guess that means I have to give another 2.
So check it, scaredy-cats: 2. Doug Moench and Bill Sienkiewicz on Fantastic Four. Yeah, that’s right: I wish they’d been given a thirty-issue run. Woulda tripped you out. Woulda been like Kirby’s final Cap run: all science fiction slash horror, all the time. And does anyone seriously imagine, can anyone seriously imagine who’s read Moon Knight, that FF would’ve been just some boring book with Moench and Sienkiewicz at the helm?
These guys were always super-pros, and never needed any excuses. But, they only got four issues. So whatever. I liked Byrne’s run a lot. But at the time, I remember thinking he’d make a freaking mess of it when he got there (thankfully that wasn’t the case), and I was a bit pissed that the always-progressive, always super-creative Moench/Sienkiewicz team didn’t get a chance to fly.
Later, I learned they weren’t really asking for that chance.
But even so.
I mean, come on. It stands.
So to recap, my #1 picks are Flash #51 and Alias #whateverthatnumberwaswhereJessicatriestogetitonwiththeMormonSheriff…
And my #2 picks are: Messner-Loebs Green Arrow, and Moench/Sienkiewicz FF.
Let’s go to war, Bloggers!
It’ll be fun.
#1: Rock Your Mind Issue!
#2: The Great Creator Didn’t Stay Long Enough!
And pardon my ramble.