Friday, October 10, 2008

My Life in Comics

Borrowed from Rol...

Favourite regular series right now?
I'm not reading many regular series right now, because I'm tired of all the crap. Sorry. But I'm still really enjoying Invincible; it's a simple, solid superhero title that reminds me a lot of the old Stern/Frenz Amazing Spider-Man, only with more gratuitous violence. I could do without that bit, although I understand its inclusion.

Comic book character you only recently discovered/started reading?
Er... the only title I'm reading from the Big Two (and what a joke that concept has become) is Captain Britain and MI:13, but he's been knocking around for decades, so I wouldn't say I've "discovered" him.

If you could draw/write one character who would it be?
The Avengers. I know it's a cheat, but I don't care.

Alternatively, Death's Head.

Are you a fan of the big multi-issue crossover extravaganzas?
In theory, but they're never any good, are they? They're done far too often nowadays; both Marvel and DC have been in a constant state of crossover for about three years now. They always seem to confuse "epic" with "long", and they always promise much but deliver little. I think the last crossover I actually enjoyed was Operation: Galactic Storm, and that was 1992.

Last comic book series that you dropped and why?
Ha. Pretty much all of them. I finally gave up on the Avengers titles because I couldn't justify paying money to see Bendis (puttup!) run them into the ground; I even stopped accepting the free review copies I got through Comics Bulletin because I got worn out by the interminable awfulness of it all.

And then there's Spider-Man. The recent reboot was as wrong-headed, inane, and smug as Boris Johnson at the Olympics, and I couldn't go on reading.

I never thought I'd drop Spidey and the Avengers, but Marvel proved me wrong. However, Bendis (puttup!) is leaving Mighty Avengers, the series he created but proved unable to actually write properly; taking over is Dan Slott, who was one of the Spidey reboot writers, but that mess was editorially-mandated, so I'm cautiously optimistic about his Avengers. It will probably be rendered unreadable by being forced to participate in the braindead crossover of the moment, but I can hope.

Favourite character?
Spider-Man, Death's Head, Rocket Raccoon, Thor. In that order. I think.

Are you a DC or a Marvel fan?
I really don't get DC's heroes. They all seem so stiff and conservative, your grandad's superheroes, if you will. Also, DC reprints weren't nearly as plentiful as Marvel's when I was a nipper, so I grew up on the latter.

Do you remember your first comic/series?

I remember it from a reprint in a Grandreams Spider-Man annual in the early 80's. While I'm sure I read comics before, that story stuck with me all my life, and is largely responsible for me swapping the Black Cat in for the simpering Gwen Stacy in the classic Spidey love triangle.

Is Watchmen the movie going to be as good as the comic book?
Nowhere nearly. The thing is, Watchmen isn't a great story; there's a decent twist, and it's a nicely layered mystery, but it's not a brilliant plot. What's great about Watchmen is the density of the storytelling, the repeated motifs, the playing with the structure and format of the comic book, the focus on aging superheroes past their prime, and the examination of the superhero psyche. All that structural stuff will, by definition, be chucked out in an adaptation (to me, the film looks less realistic than the comic), and I'm not expecting in-depth character psychoanalysis from the director of the Dawn of the Dead remake...

Favourite comic book movie?
Spider-Man 2 without a doubt.

Worst comic book movie?
It's either Batman and Robin or LXG. I'm tempted to put Batman Begins in there too, but it's partially redeemed by Gary Oldman and Michael Caine.

Character you’d like to see in a movie?
Thor. I hear it's in the works, but it'll probably be awful. They should do it either as a gloriously over the top fantasy, pulling liberally from Kirby and Simonson, or drench it rain, blood and mud and play up the viking aspect.

Series that you’d like to see on TV?
I'm not a fan of Daredevil, but it baffles me that there hasn't been a TV show already. You can do the superhero stuff, and since he's low powered, it'll be cheap on the special effects; you're not going to need to spend millions on a cgi Galactus, for example. You can do plenty of the soap opera love life stuff, since Matt Murdock's got more than a couple of notches on his bedpost. And then there's the courtroom stuff. There's enough material for three shows in there.


  1. Um, what does "puttup" mean? Is it a shortening of "put up or shut up", telling Bendis to get somewhere with his stories or get lost?

    I am completely with you on putting Felicia hardy in place of Gwen in the ole' Spider-Man love triangle.

    On the plus side, I have this vague sense there aren't as many stories these days focusing on how much Pete loves and misses Gwen as there were 3-4 years ago, which is good, because that was kind of starting to drive me insane.

    You know, I didn't hate LXG as much as a lot of people seem to have. I didn't think it was great, and I really would have preferred it as a TV mini-series or ongoing series, but I've spent that length of time watching much worse movies.Probably helps I haven't read the source material.

  2. "Puttup" is, I think, an onomatopoeia for spitting. They used it in the letters page of the old UK Transformers comic whenever the host (Soundwave at the time) was talking about a subject they found distasteful. Usually this would be Autobots.

    LXG isn't the worst film ever, not by a long shot, but among the small group of comic adaptations, it's certainly up/down there with the worst.

    Part of me wonders if Peter even remembers Gwen after One Big Quesada Ego Trip.

  3. Just to clarify, I don't think "puttup" means I'm spitting on Bendis, just that I'm trying to get a nasty taste out of my mouth after talking about him. I think.