Why? Because I can.
Let me know what you liked here, or what you think I missed:
I’ve talked before about the voice of a generation – I feel like Lorde has the potential to be that for folks younger than me. You know, kids these day. Me? Coming in at a round 30, the prophet of my generation would have to be graphic novelist Bryan Lee O’Malley.
Who’s that, you ask? Why, none other than the guy who penned Scott Pilgrim and his precious little life. I honestly already pretty much felt this way after reading Scott Pilgrim the first time. Actually, probably after the second time. Because you want to know what I did as soon as I was done with book 6, Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour? I picked up book 1, Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life and read the whole series again.
What does the best fighter in the Province have to do with my generation? I think it’s more the aimlessness. The suburbs. The needing to get it together – and it feeling like that’s taking longer that before. And the feeling that we really wish something more epic (but manageable) would happen – though in the Scott Pilgrim universe, epic comic book/video game style fights are the norm. Emotional baggage become manifest, and battle ensues!
Honestly, I feel like I need a reread – I’ve been holding off until the full color edition was out, which only just finished releasing recently. If you’re looking for an amazing comic to pick up in all its color glory, this might be what you’re looking for.
But if you’re looking for just one graphic novel, then you’re looking for his most recent one, a stand alone story about the now-30 crowd. It’s called Seconds, and it’s about a chef who opened a restaurant with all her friends, who by 30 have all left and she’s alone. She’s tired of the place and wants to move on, and is working on opening a new restaurant – the purchase and repair for which is a nightmare.
At least, that’s what it’s about until she starts rewriting history.
Seconds is about, I suppose, second chances. And third, and fifth, and on from there. And how, if we could do it all again, maybe we shouldn’t. About how my generation was promised that we could have it all, and how the real world does not seem to actually work that way – and even if you had the power to try to make it so, it still wouldn’t work.
Seconds was amazing, and I highly recommend it. Holly will be writing a reaction to it later today on Comparative Geeks. But until then, what do you think? Love Scott Pilgrim? Thoughts on Seconds? Other selections for the voice of our generation? I would love to know – join the conversation in the comments below!
Tired of your comics continuity coming apart? Of DC and Convergence, of Marvel and Secret Wars? Looking for a character who can effect real, lasting change? Who matters more than all the others? Then of course you are looking for none other than Deadpool, and the comic of choice this week is What If Venom Possessed Deadpool?
I originally picked up this comic because I was like “Hey, I like Venom and I like Deadpool.” But you’ll notice in the discussion to come there’s not a lot of Venom. Yeah… wasn’t really the relevant part of all of this! Venom, through the symbiote suit, is a connection to the original Secret Wars, which is the real point here!
What If? is a longstanding occasional Marvel comic, looking at (you guessed it) the “what ifs?” of comic events and happenings. However, it’s usually a bit more serious… this one is 100% parody. Possibly more percents.
So what happens? Continue reading
I’m not sure if “conspiracy” is the best term for it, but it’s catchy, right? The question has been bouncing around, and I really got to reading about it after a link from Cirsova. The question is whether Marvel comics has been suppressing the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, in terms of merchandising and in the comics. The thought on the motivation is mixed, from basic business sense (Marvel isn’t making much on the X-Men and Fantastic Four movies developed by Fox) to far more sinister decisions to undermine these movies and make them fail.
I’m not sure I have the answers, either. Certainly I’m not holding the smoking gun. But for your comics Wednesday enjoyment, I can consider several of the recent series, and what they might mean in terms of the idea of a conspiracy. Sinister motives? Or writing themselves into a corner? The questions I have for you as we consider the X-Men Conspiracy!
I guess I’m not sure which merchandise people are considering, when they talk about there not being any merchandise for non-Marvel-rights-owned characters. Potentially action figures, and I’ve been out of that market a while – though I did see an action figure of Hyperion recently, and that’s one heck of an obscure character, who’s currently an Avenger in the comics.
The merchandise we have gotten recently has been Lego: Marvel Superheroes, which was full of characters from throughout Marvel (and the very most powerful ones were Super Skrull, a definite Fantastic Four character, and Phoenix, very much so of the X-Men). That, and we’ve been looking down the dangerous road which is Funko Pop bobble heads, which include a number of Marvel characters (I got Ghost Rider!).
Then again, thinking of the advertising we’ve seen… there’s Disney Infinity, with the Marvel heroes. The only character I have seen for that outside of Marvel Studios movies is Iron Fist. Well, and kind of Nova. But both of those are Marvel Studios-owned as well, I’m pretty sure.
So, what do I think? The merchandising is almost pure money-making business, and you make decisions for that based on where you make the most money. That’s why Disney Infinity (and Skylanders before that) exist in the first place! So are they focusing on their own properties with that. Conspiracy? Or just really obvious business decision-making, being made by sales sorts of people who make business decisions? I say the latter.
Here’s where it gets much harder. Who knows what’s happening in the writer’s room at Marvel? Well, we all kind of do – well after the fact, when we see the story arcs in their fullness. But the comics about the different teams of heroes, or even about many of the specific heroes, are written by a number of different writers at one time, much less over the course of time!
Here’s some of my thought on this question, from reading the comics. Especially last year’s 50-year anniversary of the X-Men crossover event: “Battle of the Atom.” This crossover included the past – in the form of the All New X-Men, which I’ll get to in a minute – the present X-Men, fractured into two camps, and the future. The future they worked in reminiscent to Days of Future Past, which made sense to me also with the movie on the way…
In this future, there’s some advance for mutant rights. A mutant president is elected! And, at the inauguration, is killed by sentinels.
And really, all I got out of the whole crossover was the thought that, after fifty years of writing, after struggling all that time with rights issues and building the battle between mutants and humans – they never get anywhere. They are still envisioning a future where the mutants are losing.
I guess you look at the news today, and it makes sense for the battle for civil rights to be never ending. It’s hard to pick the day where you look up and say, “it’s over! We’re all equal now!” Still, I would understand how, as a writer, you’d kind of want to go back to the drawing board at that point. Think harder. Approach the issues from new angles.
The event was, overall, depressing and not that great. I wrote more of a review of it here. But even thinking about it through the lens of the conspiracy, I don’t think it’s that. I think it’s 50-year writer’s block.
Alright, that was my focus, let’s do a lightning round of other series and crossover events of the last few years! Then you decide.
You can see why I don’t feel like I have the answers: lots of the plots lately make some story sense beyond the idea of locking-out the X-Men and Fantastic Four. Who’s to say? Feel free to weigh in in the comments below!
As a final thought, I find it hard to even see the figures on comics sales. But we know the movies are all making bank, and there’s a lot more planned where these came from! Have the comics become the gold mine for producing future movie plots? That one I find it much harder to answer, and that one is a really big, long-term business decision that deserves a reminder that Disney bought Marvel.
by Philip N. Cohen
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