I really do have a few things to post about besides comics, you know?
But Blogorama just keeps poking me in the eye, and I don’t know why. I thought they’d settled down. Well, not exactly settled down: but I thought they’d chanced upon a different sort of a strategy for saying “you fuckers aren’t wanted here”, that wasn’t so in-your-face. Observe, with a mixture of admiration, horror, and amusement, this link! Wherein you can not only find people saying things that are funny and inclusive and even respectably opinionated, but also people saying things which are shockingly cross-wired, like “I think Kirby and Miller and Moore and Spiegelman and the rest of them are overrated; I loved Secret Wars, and Greg Land rocks”…to the point where some people reveal that their guilty secret is something like “not digging Spawn”, or “liking Silver Age comics”.
And yet all in good fun, it seems to me. And yet, and yet…all in good fun, absolutely, but also as clear a communication as could be wished for that the new Blogorama is not the old, and that those who liked the old one will find themselves in a very tiny minority now so they better get used to it.
And, you know…that’s fair enough. The people reading this blog are all like “ugh, Kirby’s so weird” and “I hate the way Ditko draws fingers” and “Maus wasn’t very good” and “I thought as a big dumb superhero movie Spider-Man 3 was just fine”, and that’s…well, that’s just the way it is.
Caveat: I am by no means intending to say that everyone on Blogorama has really bad taste, or is stupid, or anything like that. Plenty of people answered this post with things like “I have a full run of Kickers, Inc., which I still think is awesome so all you bitches can kiss my ass!!!”, and that’s not bad, that’s funny. The people who nodded off while reading Watchmen…hey, tastes differ. It doesn’t automatically mean a person is a grazer just because they prefer Twinkies over Gateau St.-Honore. Because there’s a big difference between preferring shit (I’ve been known to prefer it myself), and not knowing the difference between it and Shinola, you know? So this is very far from a blanket condemnation — we all have some shit that we like, and there’s nothing wrong with that…
Caveat ends. …But it’s instructive to consider a lot of these responses as a mild rebuke, intentional or unintentional, from the new Blogorama posters to the old. “We don’t have anything to apologize for”, it seems to say in a rather affable, mostly non-confrontational way. “We’re here too, now, and we like what we like. Moreover, there’s not that much difference between us all, you like shitty comics too…”
And then one by one, the hands are raised. “We have news for the beautiful people“, one could interpret those hands as saying…but it’s not necessary to adopt such an adversarial posture, is it? No, probably not; the new Blogorama has already been so marred by accusations of condescension, tag-teaming, and dogpiling on those who seem not to be foursquare behind The Firm, that when offered a graceful elision over reader differences like this one, it’d probably be stupid not to take it for what it’s worth, and thereby defuse whatever feelings of hostility might have been built up by poor PR and micromanagement of comments. Everybody deserves a place. Somebody said something harsh to someone without having a good reason to do so, somebody else stormed off in a state of high dudgeon…
…Somebody else yet was all prepared to write a blistering condemnation of somebody or somebodies for their really very bad attitudes…
But to look at this post is to see, I think, that that’s all unnecessary, just a lot of wasted energy. Why do it? Why expend so much effort creating an “other side” just to paint them as horrible snobs, whether lowbrow or highbrow?
That’s about how I was thinking. Breathing a little sigh of relief…
…And then I have to read this fucking shit:
“Before the floor is opened up to responses, I want to ask (ha ha) that the art comix crowd, who usually respond to things like this with their opinion that periodical comics are doomed and that we’re all stupid/immature/whatever we are for reading superhero books, please refrain. Those comments are not relevant to the question at hand, which is aimed at those who read and enjoy the floppies. I’m a pretentious bastich myself, so there’s little doubt in my mind that I’ll offend the popcorn comics crowd, too, in time. Right now, though, I’m trying to talk to those folks. Yes, I know—most of the monthlies are about steroid cases who dress in tights and punch stuff. But the reality is, there are some very compelling narratives being told in those comics if you’ve got a receptive frame of mind.”
So, message received, Blogorama. Tell you what, let’s not all get along, you’re right, that would be much better. The “art-comix crowd”, really…yes, they really do tend to get above themselves, don’t they? Them and their stupid art comix like fucking All-Star Superman or Silver Age Flash. Or do you really think Spiegelman is trolling your blog? Jesus Christ, like you can’t tell good stories while including multiple foregrounded ass-shots of Black Canary, or having Spider-Man ponder how the Japanese Internment is like a metaphor for the plight of superheroes in these difficult times, ho-lee SHIT. Yes, Maus was so overrated, I mean what’s the big deal, eh? And that fucker James Joyce can kiss my ass with his stupid Dubliners, too, I mean why do I have to read this crap? Why isn’t anyone wearing a circus outfit? Why isn’t anyone doing the slo-mo walk or kicking butt, for heaven’s sake? Meh, I thought “Brideshead Revisited” was just okay…but I’ll take that episode of MASH where Hawkeye thinks the baby is a chicken over it any day. Because I’m a fucking grazer, I can’t tell the difference between shit and Shinola, say what is this, a video game? Some kinda book? A movie? Can you eat it? No? Is it for putting up your ass? Whuh? Never mind, wrap it up…I’ll take it!
I find your accusations of condescension incredibly insulting. I can condescend much better than that, actually, I mean if I really must, if you will really have it no other way. You guys will excuse any piece of shit so long as it is a superhero piece of shit, it seems…and I won’t, so you want to say I just think I’m too good for superheroes. But that’s fucking stupid: I’m not too good for them. Or rather…I shouldn’t be, but you can’t keep shoving this heap of decomposing goldfish in my face and telling me it’s caviar, and expect me to go along with it just because the goldfish are wearing capes! Meanwhile it’s you who thinks the superheroes are juvenile and stupid and worthless, isn’t it? That’s why you Blogorama bastards are always trash-talking the “art-comix crowd” (ha!), who want to treat comics like movies, like books, like art…like anything where you can have good things and bad things and so-so things, and know the difference between all of them, and know them for what they are, and enjoy them for what they are. Because you think if ever one of them is shown to be worthless, then that will mean they all are worthless, and that you really are an imbecile for liking them. So, “art comix”: BAD! BAD FOR SUPERHEROES, BAD FOR COMICS! But how can comics be bad for comics, jackass? You know, not too long ago somebody called Sean Kleefeld an art-comix snob, if you can believe that…you know, the old proprietor of FFPlaza.com? Art snob. And, how silly is that?
Because obviously, they really meant: turncoat!
Sad to think you’d probably agree with that, Blogorama. Oh, no, did I just put words in your mouth? Well, all’s fair in love and war, I guess. And turnabout’s fair play too, I’ve heard. Please show some respect and leave us alone while we discuss comics, art snobs…we’ll tell you when we think you have something to say, but right now you’re just being rude. Man, you cannot even go over there and say “hey, what about these other comics, that were made into movies…?” They will jump you if you do that. Shocking! An outrage! Landru commands the outlanders be punished for their insolence! Jee-ZUS.
Here’s something you all might want to get straight: we (meaning you and me) are not an oppressed people. Just because most regular people naturally assume that Thor is gay (by the way: he totally is), does not mean you and I are oppressed. So what’s the reason for me to back up Thor stories (say) that look like they were written and drawn by a pack of retarded chimpanzees with their thumbs glued together, just because doing so makes you look slightly less than uniquely illiterate for not knowing it ain’t no Brothers Karamazov? Oh, no, but if I don’t back up your foolish exaltation of shit, then it’ll be me who becomes your oppressor, right?
You really need one that badly, don’t you?
You really need someone to look down on you, so that when Daniel-Day Lewis does a Gambit movie, or John Goodman finally plays Mr. Sinister (fingers crossed, everybody!), you can have someone to say “in your face!” to. Is that it? Because obviously no one else is ever going to give a shit. So you need me to be a snob, so when the magical day comes you can say:
Screw you and your Stuck Rubber Baby and your Krazy Kat, turncoat! Batman always wins!
But of course that day will never come, and meanwhile this is not rational behaviour. If you’re trying to gain acceptance by preferring shit because it’s not shitty, and then to prove it’s not shitty you’re elevating it more and more the shittier it gets…it’s like betting on the same busted hand twice, isn’t it? Oh, sorry, I forgot: you don’t want us to get along. Hold on, let me just slip into something a little more contemptuous for you…
(ahem) Look, I know Alan Moore fucked up a perfectly good superhero detective story by having it be about something, but do you have to shout it from the rooftops like that? I mean, he doesn’t come around your place and tell you how to blow on your jug, does he? Moron. With you, it’s always “Will Eisner was a hack” this, and “Pogo’s hard to read” that, always with the Ultimate Sue porn-face = AWESOME and the need for bigger shoulderpads and the where the hell are all the guns, man, yo where my big penises be at…!
But really, have you seen this new Derrida bande-dessinee? It is SO COOL, I’m telling you. Much cooler than a man dressed in a big condom wrestling another man in a big condom, I mean it is to laugh, no? Ah, you Americans, you are such children…all-ways wis you eet ees zee BANG! and zee POW!, n’est-ce pas? Papa, I want to keel you! Mama, I want to…ZUT ALORS!
Was it good for you, you fucking gutless passive-aggressive SNOBS?
I admit, I was kinda faking it that time. Maybe next time I could get into it for real?
Stop being so insulting.
Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go re-read some old Roy Thomas Avengers. Oooh, lookit me, I’m Mr. Art-Comix…!
Hey, like Spike Lee said: wake up.