Re: I Leave You Human Cockroaches To Discuss Your Heroin And Child Pornography

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Ozymandias is behind the mask murders!


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03- 6-09 5:38 PM
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I was about to write "I met a traveler from an antique land who told me the ending sucked", but on preview it doesn't work so well.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03- 6-09 5:39 PM
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I used to read Alan Moore before he was fashionable. This was when I was about eight or nine, though, so I wasn't aware of how cutting edge I was. Skizz, D.R. & Quinch, and Future Shocks. Good Times.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03- 6-09 7:41 PM
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Oh yeah, and Halo Jones, the best of the lot.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03- 6-09 7:42 PM
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My child pornography features Wendy from Peter Pan, Dorothy from the Oz books, and a slightly altered version of Alice Liddel.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03- 6-09 7:47 PM
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I found myself avoiding spoilers, even though I a) read the comic, and b) have no plans to see the movie. Because the very existence of a Watchmen movie has driven me insane.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03- 6-09 8:00 PM
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You don't understand. I'm not trapped on this discussion thread with you. You're trapped in here with me.


Posted by: rm | Link to this comment | 03- 6-09 10:05 PM
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I just got back, and I honestly don't know what to think of it. It followed the graphic novel so closely that my mind was always putting the movie side-by-side with the original. I found it very difficult to consider on its own terms.

I think there's something about the original twelve-issue structure that feels muddy when transferred to the screen. I.e., you have a twenty-minute portion narrated by Rorschach, and another by Manhattan, but neither feels like a chapter; they just move from one to the next.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03- 6-09 10:08 PM
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Marvelman/Miracleman were my first Alan Moore; in the late Eighties, after Eclipse was republishing, and then publishing new ones, and I borrowed a friend's run. I was around 29.


Posted by: Gary Farber | Link to this comment | 03- 6-09 10:10 PM
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It followed the graphic novel so closely that my mind was always putting the movie side-by-side with the original. I found it very difficult to consider on its own terms.

ie, It sucked.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03- 6-09 10:12 PM
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10: Very possibly! Just hard for me to say.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03- 6-09 10:16 PM
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10: That goes without saying, Gonerill. Everyone says so, even without seeing it.

I first encountered Moore with Swamp Thing et al. I figured out that the Miracleman comics I happened to come into I should probably hang onto. There they sit.

And wow, the photo of Moore on wikipedia is quite something.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03- 6-09 10:23 PM
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Apologies to Minivet, who is not prepared to say that the movie sucks.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03- 6-09 10:26 PM
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Hurm. refresh the thread. compulsive like whores turning tricks in the night. hurm.

Haven't seen it yet.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03- 6-09 10:40 PM
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Really rather off-topic at this point, but reviewing the Alan Moore article on wikipedia has got me smiling: late 80s is when I was reading a lot of that stuff, and I recognize so many of those comics-related names. I never read Watchmen.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03- 6-09 10:41 PM
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Cockroaches, heroin, and pornography on one hand. Sex and food on another. Interesting.


Posted by: froz gobo | Link to this comment | 03- 6-09 11:24 PM
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I, for one, demand authentic Becks-style commenting on Watchmen, which I heard was shitty, but, hey, I've never even read a comic book.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03- 6-09 11:56 PM
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I think that Becks means "complete with spoilers".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 12:19 AM
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Cockroaches, heroin, and pornography on one hand. Sex and food on another. Interesting.

Froz gobo contemplates the differences between the master bedrooms of Nr. 10 Downing Street and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 12:23 AM
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Becks is asleep. I was Becks stylish when I went into the movie and pretty much hungover when I left.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 1:11 AM
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Are you replete, 'smasher?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 1:14 AM
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I had a couple Budweisers, if that's what you mean.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 1:26 AM
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||

Go 'Tute!

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 2:33 AM
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i reread halo jones recently and was disappointed; the first series it has some nice ideas about urban life of the future (they're throwaway dark-funny, like a lot of the best 2000AD), but AM was too dazzled by his crush on halo (and so i think was i when i first read it), and looking back, out of the context of 2000AD, the story's strength was its change of tone from the surrounding stories, and its melancholy feels trowelled on: it never became a story that would have been ballad-worthy, because she's so passive and sulky

i was never been caught up in the alan moore cult, and was very underwhelmed by watchmen (i like the pastiche of the pirate comic but the rest of it seemed more about formalist and minimalist pacing than about an idea worth taking such time about): i am going to see it this afternoon with my pals who lo-o-ove the comicbook and we shall see how things fall out


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 4:12 AM
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I can be definite about the fact that the music sucked.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 5:56 AM
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@24 I haven't read it since I was 13 or so, but I can believe this. At the time it was a real departure to see a 2000AD story that had any kind of female protagonist, especially one who wasn't some busty wench. Once I stopped reading 2000AD I also stopped reading comics in general so I've never read anything else Moore has done, including Watchmen.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 7:48 AM
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This was when I was about eight or nine, though, so I wasn't aware of how cutting edge I was. Skizz, D.R. & Quinch, and Future Shocks. Good Times.

I still have my DR & Quinch's Guide to Life. Fun, not important. I think Alan Moore's rep should basically be 'he writes a bunch of non-sucky comic books'. Or it would have been, until I read the Extraordinarily Awful League of Stupid People, or whatever it was called. Man, that was just fucking bad. I don't mean the movie, I mean the comic book.

Also, people should just face it: all the movies adaptations have sucked.
'It's an adaptation of an Alan Moore comic.'
'Oh, well, it's going to suck then.'
'How can you say that?!?'
'Have a good time.'

max
['See! Easy.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:23 AM
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I think Watchmen, the comic, is fine, but, as Tom Spurgeon put it, it's probably the fifth best comic to come out in 1986. It's a little depressing when it's held up as an example of a great comic.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:50 AM
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It's a very, remarkable and impressive comic, but at the same time meaningless and dumb.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:52 AM
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But it's so meta!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 9:27 AM
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No it's not!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 9:28 AM
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28: And the better four would be...?

Geez, mineshaft, you keep pulling me back in with posts about Watchmen, Serenity, and breasts, but it's all hatin' all the time.

Well, okay, I guess y'all were pro-breast.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 12:01 PM
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27: the Extraordinarily Awful League of Stupid People, or whatever it was called. Man, that was just fucking bad. I don't mean the movie, I mean the comic book.

No worries, the movie was really, really bad. You don't (or I don't, anyway) consider walking out often, but that one came close. Which, in a way, made it marvelous to behold.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 12:40 PM
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I am still uncertain whether the part which I most want never to have seen is the bit where the fat felon's hands are cut off at the wrists or the bit where Rorshach dumps boiling oil on the tall felon's face.

On the other hand, the part where Silk Spectre beats up muggers in an alley was kinda watchable.

Really, the whole thing was visually so close to the comic book that, well, it was the comic book. Only with live actors and a soundtrack with entirely too much Leonard Cohen, which is not a thing I would have believed I would ever say before yesterday evening.

It did not suck.

It swallowed.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 3:49 PM
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visually so close to the comic book that, well, it was the comic book

There was an interview on Fresh Air with a film critic who said he had low hopes for the film after he learned that the director had intentionally limited camera movement to try to mimic the panel-to-panel experience of reading a comic book.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 4:15 PM
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I really don't know what comics came out in 86. Maus and that years Love and Rockets were better. I think Jaka's Story was partly serialized that year.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 5:38 PM
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The Dark Nigh Returns is even more overrated.

I haven't read Miracleman, also by Moore.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 5:41 PM
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While Secret Wars was awesome, I have to concede Watchmen's better.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 5:42 PM
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From this list I'd add Concrete.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:1986_comic_debuts
I haven't read Woodring's Jim, but it's a classic. I haven't read Lords of the Ultra-Realm, Aristocratic Xtraterrestrial Time-Traveling Thieves or Hamster Vice.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 5:47 PM
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It depends a little of how you define "a comic", but I'm sure at least four creators combined output in 86 surpassed Watchmen. Of course, I think parts of Miracleman came out that year, so it's a little unfair.

Watterson's output in 86 was surely better than Wathchmen.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 5:57 PM
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Fellini's and Manaras Trip to Tulum came out in 86. That's an interesting comic. It's merely fairly good, however.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 6:01 PM
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Charles Burn's Big Baby was published in 86, but I haven't read it. Parts of El Borbah was serialized that year. I haven't read that one in a long while, but at the time I did'nt think they were as good as Watchmen.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 6:04 PM
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Specifically 'Miracleman: Book III OLYMPUS' came out in 86, art by Totleben.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 6:06 PM
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86 was apparently the year Don Rosa made his first duck comic.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 6:08 PM
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I've been reading Swamp Thing in order and really loving them. The combination of old school horror comics with ST's cosmic vegetal consciousness is particularly inspiring to me regarding some SFish turns I'm working on for a TV pilot. (Just a sample script, no Wrongshore TV coming soon.)


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 6:11 PM
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Whatever Crumb, Campbell and maybe Miyazaki put out in 86 probably was better than Watchmen.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 6:14 PM
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I've been reading Swamp Thing in order and really loving them.

Yay.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 6:15 PM
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Having seen the movie this afternoon, I've tossed up a couple of quick and superficial thoughts here.


Posted by: Gary Farber | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 6:22 PM
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I've read the first Swamp Thing collection and I didn't think it lived up to the hype at all, except for the issue where swamp thing and his girl walks around in the forest, which I found amazing when I read it, though I don't remember much about it. One wishes more of Moore's stuff had that human element or warmth.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 6:22 PM
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"I am still uncertain whether the part which I most want never to have seen is the bit where the fat felon's hands are cut off at the wrists or the bit where Rorshach dumps boiling oil on the tall felon's face."

Oh, I cover my eyes when that sort of thing happens. I'm a wuss.


Posted by: Gary Farber | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 6:24 PM
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ST's cosmic vegetal consciousness

Dude, I'm so high.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 6:24 PM
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Also in 1986: Crisis on Infinite Earths. The end of it, anyway. (I gather from that Crooked Timber thread recently that this was all David K. Lewis's idea, or something.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 6:26 PM
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How could Watchmen even really rate that high in the year Marvel launched the New Universe?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 6:31 PM
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Some random internet sci-fi nerds argue that Watchmen comes in at an unsurpassed number four.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 6:34 PM
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"Fellini's and Manaras Trip to Tulum came out in 86. That's an interesting comic. It's merely fairly good, however." That's Federico Fellini. Other people who's made comccs: Gondry and David Lynch.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 6:34 PM
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49: David, I'm not sure what the Swamp Thing collections are; I happened to read them issue by issue back in the day, and yeah, there was quite a bit of human element and warmth. The series did go on for years and years. If the collections are selected issues or sub-storylines, someone may have selected with an eye toward ignoring the sappy stuff.

I really haven't read much of Moore's work beyond Swamp Thing, Hellblazer, some of The Dark Knight. If the film versions of his later stuff (V for Vendetta, etc.) are any indication -- Moore changed his style a bit, it seems.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 6:35 PM
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some of The Dark Knight

What does that have to do with Alan Moore?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 6:36 PM
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Eisner's Spirit clocks in at 49, which may seem low until you realize it hadn't come out since the early 50s.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 6:36 PM
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Thinking about DC crossovers has led me to remember (with the help of The Internets) what may have been the first superhero comic I ever read: Justice League International #9 in 1988, which I picked up impulsively at a supermarket, which led to my having to have every issue in the Millennium crossover, which introduced me to the whole DC cast of characters. I would have been about 6 at the time. (I'm pretty sure I was already reading G. I. Joe well before that, though, but my memory isn't so good for things back then.) So, um, I wasn't so aware of Watchmen or Maus at the time. Such non-SWPL taste, six-year-old-me.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 6:37 PM
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Power Pack is on the list? Well, who could argue?

(Yay for Omaha the Cat Dancer; Reed contributed illos to my fanzines back in the early Seventies....)


Posted by: Gary Farber | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 6:39 PM
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54: Elektra Assassin is freakin' great. I've held on to those.

Some of the rest of that list seems overly wedded to the past (the past as of 1986): all the X-Men, New Mutants ... X-Factor, Classic X-Men (that's a reprint, dudes). Those things were getting tired by '86.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 6:41 PM
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50: Man, I was unhappy as anything watching the latest Batman. I don't want to see people get pencils stuck in their eyes - not even a little.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 6:42 PM
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Assume the italics in 61.1 are correct.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 6:42 PM
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Morre's vrious comics are very different from each other. I think From Hell is the only thing I've read of him I'd call a masterpiece.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 6:44 PM
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Oh rght, it was Secret Wars II that came out in 86. A different kind of awesome.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 6:45 PM
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I actually reread old Power Pack comics last year, and I'm more fond of them than Watchmen, frankly. Clearly I'm nostalgic, but they certainly have more of warmth and the human element. They're good comics.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 6:48 PM
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Oh rght, it was Secret Wars II that came out in 86. A different kind of awesome.

The kind where a godlike superbeing decides to become a normal human being, so appears on Earth modeling himself after Michael Jackson?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 6:48 PM
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57: What does that have to do with Alan Moore?

Sorry, I just saw this. You're right. I had it in my head that he was involved in The Dark Knight Returns -- but not so. I guess I just read that around the time I was reading Moore, and it was in a ... dark? ... spirit, the artwork as well, such that I conflated the whole shebang. Sorry.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 6:51 PM
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"Clearly I'm nostalgic"

Nothing wrong with nostalgia, so long as one is aware it's nostalgia. I would never defend my fondness for original Star Trek, or a lot of crap science fiction, or my fondness for old superhero comics in general as otherwise, for instance. God knows that the Sixties comics of my childhood were unbelievable crap (at least prior to 1968 or so), and Mort Weisinger's in particular were lunatic, but who isn't nostalgic about stuff they read when 4 or 6 or 9 or 12?


Posted by: Gary Farber | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 6:53 PM
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69: Geez, Gary, I'm nostalgic about stuff I read when I was 20.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 6:57 PM
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I was reading some crap-ass comics in 1986. I read some crap-ass comics generally, as a matter of fact. However! Thanks to this thread, I just revisited my one moment of comic collecting glory, which is when I decided it was a good idea to pick up the numbered special edition first issue of The Tick, which is apparently still worth a bunch of money. Go 12 year old me!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 6:58 PM
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Unfogged comics people would probably like http://hoodedutilitarian.blogspot.com/ They have a pretty unfogged-like sensibilty. And LB can read the Moulton Wonder Woman series.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 6:58 PM
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The Weisinger era Superman comics are actually pretty highly regarded by some art comics people, some of whom are too young to be nostalgic for them.

Craftmanship and inspired lunacy. I know reading reviews of them can be fun, at least. I didn't like the few I read when I was a kid, though.

As far as Power Pack, I don't regard them as fun trash, but as good kids comics.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 7:04 PM
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In response to 28, I started thinking about the other comics I was reading in '86, and if they were as cool as I remember, that was a good year. My favorite comics were Love and Rockets, Cerebus (and I think 36 is right to say that that's when the Jaka's story arc was happening) and American Flagg!, which no one has mentioned yet, and Watchmen.

The main difference between Watchmen and the others is that picked up Watchmen again a year ago, and found it was still good. I haven't looked at the others since the 80s, and don't know how they'd fair. I'd probably have even more appreciation for Dave Sim's art and even more disdain for his politics.

Many Love and Rockets arcs would make a good movie. I wonder how Los Hermanos Hernandez have been handling negotiations with Hollywood all these years.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 7:06 PM
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That's Federico Fellini.

Speaking of Fellini: At an Italian restaurant in JFK airport, they have five giant flatscreen televisions playing an endless loop of the last half hour of 8 1/2, the disturbing last scene of La Notte, and the beginning of Roman Holiday. So, so odd.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 7:08 PM
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"69: Geez, Gary, I'm nostalgic about stuff I read when I was 20."

I wasn't trying to put a delimiter on it, actually.

"As far as Power Pack, I don't regard them as fun trash, but as good kids comics."

Fair enough.

"...which is apparently still worth a bunch of money."

I once had a nearly complete run of Cerebus (all of which I'd inherited from a friend), but lost it in The Fire Of 1991. And don't get me started on the collection I had of Sixties comics up until the age of 12, when in accordance with law at the time, my father threw them all out while I was at summer camp.

But there were a lot of single digit, and numbered-under-20 Marvels and Silver Age DC comics from 1960-1964 comics in there.

Not in anything resembling mint condition, to be sure. But, still, the pile would have to be worth several thousand now. Oh, well. (After that, I didn't have the heart to start collecting again, and put all of my allowance into paperbacks.)

But as you doubtless can tell from superdickery, the Superman family (Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane, etc.) of the late fifties and early Sixties, and not to mention Batman's family of Bat-Mite and similar folk, were completely lunatic. I think Weisinger was on acid and no one knew.


Posted by: Gary Farber | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 7:11 PM
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Man, I'm so off in a comics reverie now. I can't believe I read 2000 A.D. at age 6. That was messed up!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 7:12 PM
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Never picked up the comics habit myself (I was too poor for comics when it might have taken). I liked Persepolis, but couldn't stand Metropolitan. Is there a series I should be looking at, or do I need to acquire an annoying aesthetic permissiveness to appreciate the genre?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 7:12 PM
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Parsimon, you'll be glad to know that I'm going to see Akron/Family.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 7:15 PM
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Never picked up the comics habit myself (I was too poor for comics when it might have taken).

I was always put off by the hassle factor -- you had to actually acquire, on a monthly basis or whatever, something that would take maybe 20 minutes to read. I always liked them when I had access to someone else's boxes of old comics, but the idea of being committed enough to actually buy them myself seemed implausible.

(I had a couple of Love and Rockets collections back in the day, and I actually bought Watchmen earlier this year. That probably would have had a lot of impact if I'd read it in the 80s.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 7:16 PM
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Sim was surely always a bit weird, but Jaka's Story was before he turned into a crank. I haven't read it since I was 20, and don't know if it would hold up. I almost think it wouldn't. However I read Melmoth (which followed Jaka's story) in 07, and it was a masterpiece, easily the best thing of him that I've read. It was actually written during the time he got divorced, which is probably part of what made him a misogynist.

I got the first of the new Palomar collections for christmas, which was the first time I read them in 6-7 years. It was as great as ever, maybe the greatest comics of all time.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 7:16 PM
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What ever happened to Bill Sienkiewicz, anyhow? Damn, but I liked his art.

(Yes, I googled. But why doesn't he do comics anymore?)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 7:18 PM
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I think he became creatively burnt out, but also he made more money doing other stuff. He's inked a lot of (crappy) comics the last decade, simply because it doesn't take him long, so he makes more money that way.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 7:22 PM
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I always liked them when I had access to someone else's boxes of old comics

This was me. I was deposited after school at the house of a neighbor whose eight-years-older son had a big ol' collection of 70s X-Men and Avengers comics, along with random Casper and Richie Rich books, along with some outliers like the aforementioned 2000 A.D. That was enough to get me hooked, but I never had the cash to actually follow anything regularly, and besides I was really disoriented when I jumped from the mid-seventies X-Men arcs to the mid-eighties ones.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 7:22 PM
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83: god knows he put an absurd amount of effort into that art. Using oil paintings in a comic book? Sheez.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 7:24 PM
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Because of this thread, I keep reading the title of the top post as "Spiegelman is Going Back to Prison."


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 7:26 PM
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"I always liked them when I had access to someone else's boxes of old comics, but the idea of being committed enough to actually buy them myself seemed implausible."

I wound up in the same place, but because of cost, and poverty. Generally I've periodically caught up to comics every few years by visiting a friend and borrowing, or sitting around for a weekend, reading a couple of boxes worth.

I actually splurged $9.99 the other month for access to the online Marvel digital comics, though. Which was nice, but also semi-frustrating, because while they have long runs of a lot of stuff, they also tend to leave lots of issues out.

I wish DC had a similar website, though.

And a lot of my comics knowledge in recent years comes from reading Wikipedia summaries. :-)


Posted by: Gary Farber | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 7:30 PM
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Sim was actually commited to a mental hospital by wife and family as early as the early 80s. He also did a lot of cocaine before he became a teetotalling chaste, non-masturbating misogynist Dick Cheney-loving sorta-muslim.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 7:30 PM
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I actually splurged $9.99 the other month for access to the online Marvel digital comics, though.

Wow. I didn't know they did that. That's... really tempting.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 7:35 PM
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Man, I'm so off in a comics reverie now.

Me too. Trying to figure out why I thought Moore might have anything to do with The Dark Knight ... around then, or so it seemed to me, characters were being written or rewritten with a great deal more complexity, dark sides, "for mature readers." Swampy wasn't always such a great guy, and I think his girlfriend left him, or he left her, because of it. He ruthlessly destroyed a few things (overgrew them with plant matter) in the name of something greater.

Batman suddenly remembered that he was kind of fucked up. The X-Men gave us a reborn Dark Phoenix. John Constantine of Hellblazer was a rather unapologetic asshole, sometime junkie of sorts. Pardon my language. Then Sandman showed up, just in case we didn't quite get yet that straightlaced heroes were no longer very interesting. By then we'd been through endless years of a Reagan administration, so anger and confusion didn't seem out of place.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 7:44 PM
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"I liked Persepolis, but couldn't stand Metropolitan. Is there a series I should be looking at, or do I need to acquire an annoying aesthetic permissiveness to appreciate the genre?"

It's not a genre. I don't say that to be pedantic, it's something you need to take on board if you'll explore further. The difference between various masters of the form are a lot starker than the difference between say Ingmar Bergman and Quentin Tarantino.

Still, if you like Persepolis, maybe David B's Epileptic, Palomar The Heartbreak Soup Storie by Gilbert Hernandez. There's no comic called Metropolitan that I know of.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 7:45 PM
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And Iron Man was a drunk!

Man, Dave Sim really is insane. I'm glad I stopped reading Cerebus before he decided to go with the full mystical-hatred-of-women angle.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 7:46 PM
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There's a lot of free stuff. check it out.

Also note that one can change formats to a certain degree. I find the "Single page" at a time option most congenial, but to each their own. Takes a minute or two for all of each comic to load, though.

Free samples here, boys and girls. And the gamut of the full set runs from ancient, the first 100 or so issues of classics, including Forties stuff, and Silver Age, both, and current stuff. But, as I said, there's, annoyingly, a lot of stuff missing if you want to follow recent storylines. Basically, the stuff they're still hoping people will go out and buy, I guess, or enough missing to make you want to buy some, anyway.

For instance, the issues where Captain America actually gets killed aren't available for now. Or most very recent stuff.

But even free stuff can keep an interested person busy for a while.

Oh, and you can read the exciting Spiderman meets Obama! comic hidden in the second part of this link, after the wacky Linocln story ends. God knows why they hid it that way.


Posted by: Gary Farber | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 7:49 PM
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82: What ever happened to Bill Sienkiewicz, anyhow?

Dude! I don't know. But damn he was good. I hope I hung on to the X-Men I had that he did. (I think I didn't.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 7:53 PM
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Worst use of Hallelujah, ever.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 7:56 PM
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"Man, Dave Sim really is insane."

And not in a good way.

"Trying to figure out why I thought Moore might have anything to do with The Dark Knight "

Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns (by Frank Miller, if anyone who doesn't know cares, which is unlikely) came out at more or less the same time, and were endlessly thereafter talked about in the same breath as "more grown-up comics with a new take on super-heroes!" Not a mystery.

Hellblazer was pretty cool at times. I'm a simple fanboy about some of the generally well-regarded comics writers, such as Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Kurt Busiek, Warren Ellis, and yes, at times, Alan Moore. (I quite liked the first volume of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, as well as Watchmen, as well as Miracleman, at least.)

Is it time to mention Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics yet? I think it is!


Posted by: Gary Farber | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 7:57 PM
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79: Parsimon, you'll be glad to know that I'm going to see Akron/Family.

Oh cool. I like those people. You should sign up for Young God Records mailing list, ben.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 7:57 PM
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92: By then, though, it was like this enormous train wreck that I couldn't look away from. But yes, insane.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 7:57 PM
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Really, the whole thing was visually so close to the comic book that, well, it was the comic book.

I think that's right. My impressions are that it was okay, but that it seems the director took "faithful to the text" to mean "have lots of scenes that match comic book panels" instead of "say something interesting about superheros."


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 7:58 PM
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Resolved: There are now more articles bemoaning articles titled "Bang! Pow! Zap! Comics Aren't Just For Kids Anymore!" than there are articles with that title or theme.

Even if that's not true, was there ever an article with that title? I mean, it's a good title, I hope it didn't just start out as a parody of a bad article.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:04 PM
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Oh, and you can read the exciting Spiderman meets Obama! comic hidden in the second part of this link, after the wacky Linocln story ends. God knows why they hid it that way.

Maybe to force everyone to see the "Fruit pie?" panel, which made me, at least, laugh.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:06 PM
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I think both Watchman and The Dark Knight Returns are great comic books, albeit dumb in certain ways.

My reaction to the thread is that there's something kind of cranky in having an argument about why something is bad, rather than about why something is good.

Can we just stipulate that Watchman was a tremendous success on some grounds and then, if necessary, argue about what those grounds are?

If I had to defend it, I think of the Yip Harburg quote about songwriting, "Words make you think thoughts, music makes you feel a feeling, but a song makes you feel a thought."

For me, that's part of the appeal of comics, as well as music, that they can convey an idea in a way that combines words and abstractions with direct visceral impact. If nothing else, and I think there are a variety of thoughts in Watchman it makes the argument that any world with Costumed Heroes in it is going to be an unpleasant world, simply because in a functional society people with those abilities will do something else with their time and talents rather than create a false identity and fight crime. Watchman presented that idea with sufficient force that nobody reading or writing super hero comics after Watchman could ignore it.

Beyond that, it's just a triumph of style, which counts.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:07 PM
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It's probably ungrateful of me to feel like the many well-considered thoughts in 102 are partly undermined by consistently getting the name of the comic wrong.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:11 PM
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I meant Transmetropolitan, of course.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:11 PM
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103: You're just the one who had to say it, since ben is, I guess, off watching a bunch of hippies sing.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:12 PM
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Boringly, I agree, NickS (with 102).


Posted by: Gary Farber | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:13 PM
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103, 105: Serves me right.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:13 PM
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And... :
Fruit pies, considered.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:14 PM
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No, I was just in the kitchen. The hippies probably won't take the stage much before 11.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:15 PM
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Until then I'm busy connecting rusty pipes with wire.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:15 PM
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Watchmen. It's a typo.


Posted by: Gary Farber | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:16 PM
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I'm not really sure how that'll hold books, ben.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:16 PM
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(Which I said because I thought it was me making the typo; never mind.)


Posted by: Gary Farber | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:17 PM
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Following the link, I just realized that 1986 was smack in the middle of my two- or three-year run with Marvel. I know I have X-Factor 1 and Web of Spider-Man 1 (which I think has the church bell scene used in the third movie). I gave Amazing Spider-Man #300 to a friend as a birthday present; I hope he put it in something nice, because it's worth 60 whole dollars now.

I had subscriptions to 2 or 3 of the Spidey books, 2 or 3 of the mutant books, Daredevil and the more white-bready Fantastic Four and Captain America. Occasional dips into Hulk, Thor, and some others. There's still a few hundred books taped in plastic sheaths in my mom's basement; I'm not sure what the most efficient way to get them appraised and sold would be, and I suspect that they aren't sealed well enough to be worth a lot.

Every now and then I go back and dip into the Daredevils, which remain awesome. Miller/Mazzuchelli and the Sienkewicz New Mutants have great effects that are totally other from Kirby's hyper-dimensional stuff (well, some of the DD artwork echoes it) and push the form onward.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:17 PM
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Also: Spider-Man. Boo, me.


Posted by: Gary Farber | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:18 PM
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Watchmen. It's a typo.

A thinko, really, since I repeated it throughout the comment.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:18 PM
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I'm not really sure how that'll hold books, ben.

You roll the scroll up and shove it down the pipe, duh.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:21 PM
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102 was a bad comment. Let's discuss that.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:23 PM
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113: surely we can agree that when NickS does it, it's fun to mock.

Lately I find that, while I have no interest in reading comics, I have lots of interest in reading blogs about comics. Like, I find the comics reviews on The Invincible Super Blog fascinating, even though I don't have any interest in the books reviewed therein. I even almost bought that Herbie collection on his say-so, even though I have no interest in it. What gives?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:23 PM
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118: I thought 102 was a swell comment. Jerk.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:24 PM
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"I even almost bought that Herbie collection on his say-so, even though I have no interest in it."

I bet you don't know that in the late Sixties, and early Seventies, LA (LASFS, specifically) sf fan Elst Weinstein and friends made up an entire (non-serious) religion based on worshipping Herbie, called "Herbangelism." There was a "Holy Babble," an amateur press association, and they really got quite elaborate about it. I bop you with my big lollipop.

Herbangelism.

My sf geek-fu roolz the multiverse.

Herbie!


Posted by: Gary Farber | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:28 PM
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I think 102 is superficially interesting, and makes some stylistic advances in commenting, but is ultimately meaningless and shallow.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:30 PM
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102 doesa good job in bringing out the inherent fascist tendencies of blogs.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:30 PM
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Lately I find that, while I have no interest in reading comment 102, I have lots of interest in reading blog comments about comment 102.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:31 PM
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102 is best appreciated in the context of its time. It's rather dated now.


Posted by: Gary Farber | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:32 PM
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But nobody after 102 can ignore it.


Posted by: Gary Farber | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:33 PM
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I thought it was odd that in the movie version of Watchmen, instead of banning superheroes, the government instead taxed their revenues at so high a rate that they decided to withhold their labors.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:33 PM
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I liked the original ending of 102 better.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:33 PM
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I liked the original ending of "I liked the original ending of 102 better." better.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:36 PM
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102 is not for kids anymore. I mean, I'm not the kind of person who would read it, but I understand that there's a certain kind of person who goes in for that sort of thing.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:36 PM
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On the contrary, 102 only tries to transcend its medium. It is, and can only be, for kids.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:38 PM
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I can think of at least four better comments from the year that 102 was written.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:38 PM
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102 was okay, but considering that it came out the same year as comment 99, it's hard to see why it's supposed to be so memorable.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:39 PM
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Can someone switch the order of 132 and 133 so that I can pwn Wrongshore? KTHXBAI.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:40 PM
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I think 102 is held in higher popular esteem than 99 in large part because it was more accessible to people who aren't regular readers of unfogged, and that it was more accessible because it conformed more closely to "standard" expectations regarding ambitious comments.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:41 PM
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I heard they filmed the comment-within-a-comment for 102, but it wouldn't fit in the comment box, so they'll be including it on the DVD of this thread.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:43 PM
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American Flagg, and also Grimjack and the one about the crazy badger guy.

I renounced Moore and all his works after the really icky scene in the middle of Promethea: the content is a skeevy old guy sexxing p an underage girl, which was a hundred kinds of unpleasant, but the rationalizations the girl makes are exactly opposite to a lot of the arguments she makes earlier and later about her avatar-nature. At this point I gave up on 'It's fiction, anything can be true' and only saw 'It's fiction, it's to get Moore's creepy rocks off.' Ew.

foolishmortal, while these are both fantastic as Persopolis was not, I like the current Girl Genius and Finder. GG is just silly, but F is a counterpoint to the skeeviness in Promethea; there's an early scene that could be entirely a setup to draw a priapic man fantasizing about an underage girl in a non-skeevy way, and it works.

And by the by; there's a current free-on-line comic in beautiful Arts and Crafts colors that I can't remember the name of. The main characters are a tall pale musician and a short dark-haired busty woman, and they're working their way between planets with dubious papers. Anyone?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:44 PM
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Free online comics that are awesome: Dr. McNinja!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:47 PM
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Did you know that NickS has taken his name off all adaptions of 102, because 102 stands as 102, and he believes all adaptions are inherently unfaithful?

Ben W-lfs-n remains credited as "co-creator," weirdly.


Posted by: Gary Farber | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:48 PM
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71: ..which is apparently still worth a bunch of money. Go 12 year old me!

And it is still in some manner of collectible condition? Similar to Gary's experience, anything of that sort that I ever "presciently" obtained was "used up", rotted, mildewed, lost, stolen or otherwise degraded. I particularly mourn a box of great old road maps (not that they were really worth that much) that our cat used as a litter box after my asshole friend shut the cat in my room while ostensibly looking after it while we were on vacation. (But then I defaced a lot of others myself by drawing new roads etc. on them.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:48 PM
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I thought it was odd that in the movie version of Watchmen, instead of banning superheroes, the government instead taxed their revenues at so high a rate that they decided to withhold their labors.

In the movie version? It's just following the source material, in which Dr. Manhattan announced he was "going Galt" and flew off to Mars.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:48 PM
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140: I don't really know; I haven't looked at it in like a decade, at least. It's been in an acid free box in a slipcover, and might even have a backing board, so you never know.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:50 PM
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WTF is with g77 not knowing what the "floor" function is?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:52 PM
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Wolverine. The caption there is wrong; Bill Oakley seems to be the artist.

I was looking for a Sienkiewicz, but even if I have one, don't feel like clearing off the scanner. Maybe his work is readily visible online anyway.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:53 PM
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In its defense, g102 has no problem with the floor function.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:53 PM
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Parsi, I had no idea you were into comics. That's a tickling revelation.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:54 PM
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Walt Simonson!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:54 PM
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144: hey! I have that comic! Neat.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:54 PM
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"Yields the last word on comment 102 when appended to its quotation" yields the last word on comment 102 when appended to its quotation.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 8:57 PM
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||

Is there any article in the New York Times that they can't find a way to turn into an embarrassing paean to wealth and consumerism? Apparently not:

Even if [The Rock] can't make the leap into the top echelon of Hollywood stars, his life is pretty good... He has a Louis Vuitton wallet with a American Express titanium card tucked inside. ("Want to hold it?" he asked an envious reporter. The answer was yes.)

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 9:02 PM
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Oh, just "int" works instead of "floor".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 9:08 PM
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Oh for God's sake, you people.

In serious response to 102 [glares at the regulars] -- (and I mean to agree with 102, of course, just add my bit, you know) -- W was a good superhero story (the interrogating-the-genre stuff that everyone's mentioned) but the grounds on which we can stand and say it was truly great were formal, and could have been done with any story. The choices to forgo some regular tools of the medium (like written sound effects and variable page layouts), and really innovative stuff like the pirate comic narration in conversation with the "real" characters or the way every panel is crammed with details that speak to each other and inform the story, were really new.

Sounds as if the movie gets the story wrong, and by definition cannot have the formal virtues of the book, so I am lowering expectations.

Also, I am much older now, and this is not the kind of movie I see, and not the kind of movie I bring into the house with the kids. Anyone else having that worry? Or do you liberals and intellectuals and smooth-talkers like staring into bloody hell?


Posted by: rm | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 9:10 PM
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on which we can stand and say it was truly great were formal

Like, formally formal?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 9:13 PM
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I feel like 152 really didn't grasp what 102 was about. It's a well meaning attempt to review a comment, but in order to truly understand 102 you have to remember the context of the time in which 102 was written. To treat 102 as a standalone entity now really misses a lot of what made 102 so great.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 9:15 PM
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146: I used to be into comics, in college and a bit after, but not much since. I still dig 'em, obviously. I was just pawing through what I have left after I gave most of them away, and there's Elektra Assassin again! I might like to reread that.

I can't figure out what ben is attempting to do in his picture at 110. It looks, sure enough, like some sticks on some foam pieces.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 9:17 PM
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They're not sticks, they're extremely rusting plumbing. The foam is there so that the pointy ends on the bottom don't mess up the floor.

It looks cool in real life!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 9:18 PM
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What if comment 102 had never been wr


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 9:19 PM
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Yeah, but Sifu, exactly the same argument applies to the 154/152 dynamic as does to the 152/102 dynamic. As a response to 102, 152 is utterly of its time.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 9:19 PM
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One thing that startled me is that at the 12:10 p.m. showing we saw, a little girl around 2 years old started wailing around 20 minutes before the end. I was more startled that the kid made it all the way through to that point without crying than I was startled that anyone would bring a little kid to the movie, but that's because a lot of people are apparently idiots (or desperate because they can't find a babysitter) about bringing really young kids to movies.

But one this violent? Sheesh.


Posted by: Gary Farber | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 9:21 PM
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158: I perceive all events as happening simultaneously, ben. What's the difference between a good comment like 154 and a less-good comment like 152? They're both made of electrons.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 9:21 PM
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What if comment 102 had never been wr

But it isn't wrong.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 9:21 PM
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158 out-of-datedly assumes static dynamics.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 9:22 PM
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159: violent, yes. But so life-affirming! And such a rewarding story for young minds to follow!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 9:22 PM
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What's the difference between a good comment like 154 and a less-good comment like 152? They're both made of electrons.

There's the matter, and then there's the form. I wouldn't expect a Tralfamadorian to understand.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 9:23 PM
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161: But it isn't wrong.

Of course not now it isn't.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 9:24 PM
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Is there any article in the New York Times that they can't find a way to turn into an embarrassing paean to wealth and consumerism?

In a word: No.

There is no trend, event, or just random blip on the screen, that the NYTimes cannot find a way to turn into an embarrassing paean to wealth and...well, "consumerism" is a bit crass, maybe, or so they would have us believe...it's a little more subtle than that, often, perhaps, and probably sometimes more like "a status-conscious version of consumption which self-consciously resists the label of 'consumerism' [even though that's what it really is]"...


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 9:27 PM
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166: I think breathlessly fondling The Rock's American Express card is aptly described as consumerism.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 9:28 PM
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Tweety, Shane Carwin just knocked Gabriel Gonzaga cold a minute into the first.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 9:33 PM
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|| I finally took Rory to Alinea. I would have come home in a delirious daze regardless, but then Rory smiled her way into an invite to see the kitchen where Grant Achatz introduced himself to us and now I think maybe I'm in love. |>


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 9:36 PM
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Hah, wow. Good gimmick, Shane!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 9:36 PM
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I want to go to Alinea.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 9:38 PM
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Chocolate, Prune, Olive, Pine!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 9:38 PM
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172: We had it! You must go. And get the suggested wine pairings. Oh man. Love.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 9:42 PM
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166, 167: Some days I await the New York Times story that comes clean with the fact that most everything that they have published since about the time of the Jeff Gerth Whitewater stuff has been a subtle and extended joke that only the most savvy and sophisticated New Yorkers have been in on. "We apologize for any wars, financial meltdowns or wankerific social trends that may have resulted, but trust us, it really was quite recherché.", said executive editor Bill Keller, "Compared to this, Andy Warhol was just some fucking punk from Pittsburgh."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 9:43 PM
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Wow. I recommend clicking through 169 to the cuisine gallery. That is some hardcore food porn.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 9:44 PM
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I want to go to Alinea.

I hear there's a famous confidence trick one can use to fund such things.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 9:44 PM
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And get the suggested wine pairings. Oh man. Love.

I would be able to do this, except I was honest in my tax return. (Accountant, to me: "This is a very honest return".)


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 9:46 PM
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I hear there's a famous confidence trick one can use to fund such things.

If I went for that trick I think I'd set my sights elsewhere.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 9:48 PM
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169: The first page at the menu link is very beautiful and sexy.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 9:49 PM
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178: Seriously, ben, Alinea is better. Do your own taxes next year and put what you would have spent on the accountant toward wine. The non-alcoholic cherry balsamic sparkling beverage infused with thyme that Rory ordered is a reasonable substitute. But if you're going to go, go all the way


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 9:53 PM
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No, see, I was the one who insisted on honesty.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 9:55 PM
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[Catches up.]

90: Me too. Trying to figure out why I thought Moore might have anything to do with The Dark Knight ... around then, or so it seemed to me, characters were being written or rewritten with a great deal more complexity, dark sides, "for mature readers." Swampy wasn't always such a great guy, and I think his girlfriend left him, or he left her, because of it. He ruthlessly destroyed a few things (overgrew them with plant matter) in the name of something greater.

Because both were coming out at the same time (the runs overlapped) and both were from DC, I expect. That is, what Farber said.

92: Man, Dave Sim really is insane.

Yeah, but I read the whole thing anyways. FTR, the first issue of Jaka's Story has an issue date of 11/88. '86 was when Chruch & State were running down, right before the massive direct market collapse.

Clew: American Flagg, and also Grimjack and the one about the crazy badger guy.

Hah. I have all those. Hell, somewhere I have Dave's sketch of Cerebus as Grimjack.

152: Anyone else having that worry?

To tie that together with Sifu's blog thing, no, because, well, I don't care anymore. I quit reading comics for the same reason I quit buying SF which was the same reason I basically gave up movies. Man, I have already seen this in another movie/comic/book. I'm not gonna watch this crap again. But yeah, it sounds the movie emphasized the stylistic elements of the comic at the expense of the story, so, enh.

max
['I liked Transmetropolitan, but I like Johnny the Homicidal Maniac too.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 9:56 PM
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You don't have to pay an accountant to file an honest return, you know.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 9:56 PM
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Indeed, I'm going to do them myself next year.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 9:58 PM
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Good. Then come to Chicago and we can have dinner at Alinea. Did I mention that I am in love. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to eat ordinary food again.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 10:00 PM
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Oh, the link in 178 makes me think of ogged as of a friend in the distant past, wrapped in fog, out there somewhere. Mists of time and all that, with fondness.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 10:03 PM
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The New Yorker's review of Watchmen was almost spot on. Except that the maximum age should have been 23. Which makes such a movie rather limited, considering that there was a rent-a-cop at the theater I went to checking IDs to make sure no one under 17 entered the theater!


Posted by: Willy Voet | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 10:03 PM
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"But yeah, it sounds the movie emphasized the stylistic elements of the comic at the expense of the story"

No, I think it got the story pretty well. And I think fans of the original will mostly like it.

What I'm unconvinced of is that the story will be interesting to many folks who aren't fans of the original. (As I wrote at my blog.) If you don't otherwise care, why care about the characters?

Fans of the original could answer that they cared about the form, and the argument the comic made with the genre of superheroes.

But if you don't care about that, what then?

Although I should note that Roger Ebert isn't at all a comics fan, and he thinks it's a masterpiece.

Critics overall are split.


Posted by: Gary Farber | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 10:09 PM
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"The New Yorker's review of Watchmen was almost spot on."

Anthony Lane hates all comics and sf movies. He simply has contempt for the latter genre, and what he thinks is a the former "genre."


Posted by: Gary Farber | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 10:11 PM
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Gary is of course correct, but never a pithier mortal enemy did a "genre" have.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 10:22 PM
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||

"In Sarah, Mencken, Christ and Beethoven There Were Men and Women" is kind of freaking me out.

|>


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 10:29 PM
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The New Yorker's Anthony Lane is often just annoyingly SWPL, whereas the NYTimes's A.O. Scott is just a really smart guy (who's also sometimes a bit SWPL, of course, and how could he not be?) who's also a true mensch.

Compare and contrast! Lane I feel I always have to read through some heavy-duty filters (of cultural pretensions/expectations and so forth), whereas Scott, even though I don't always agree with him, is someone whose reactions I can always basically trust.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 10:41 PM
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191: Sara. Sounds awesome. Tortoise apparently has a tribute to the original, with the same title, which seems both pretentious and pointless.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 10:48 PM
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193: why?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 10:54 PM
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No, I think Tortoise transposes the "Men" and "Women".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 10:55 PM
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I mean, far be it from me to claim that Tortoise isn't pretentious, but why pointless, necessarily?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 10:55 PM
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Because it's instrumental, and the text is key.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 10:59 PM
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Ah.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 11:03 PM
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Excerpt (of the original) here. I totally want this recording now.

I went to a Tortoise show once. My only memory of it is of being bored.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 11:10 PM
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Heh. Nice Moog!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 11:19 PM
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No, I think it got the story pretty well. And I think fans of the original will mostly like it.

Yeah, but you said in your blog post that they left out the octopus. Did they leave out Tales of the Black Freighter?

max
['?']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 11:35 PM
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"Tales of the Black Freighter?"

It's out as a separate DVD right now, and will be incorporated into a later version that will run, god helps, something on the order of 5 hours.

They also left out the murder of Hollis Mason, but none of these things are essential.

We do get Gunga Diner, and blimps in NYC, and lots and lots of jampacked frames, many of which will need DVD freeze to fully unpack.


Posted by: Gary Farber | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 11:44 PM
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I could do without the squid.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 11:52 PM
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Just got back. I enjoyed it, in that it took it's time wallowing in the melancholy. It certainly broke no new ground.

I love Grimjack! I came to it after it was done, but it's the only comic I always look for when I' m in a used comic store.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 03- 7-09 11:56 PM
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Oliver Willis's review seems to pretty much nail it:

I think Alan Moore's Watchmen is a creature of the comic book world. It is a masterful thing, but essentially of comics.

As a result, the movie is a chore for those who aren't diehard Watchmen fans... I just felt that it too often felt like a fan film with a giant budget - essentially impenetrable to an audience of non-fanboys. And that does not make for a great movie.
Like, it sounds like insofar as it is an exercise in bringing the comic book Watchmen as faithfully as possible to the big screen, it is extremely successful. But what an odd thing to do. What a transcendently odd thing to be given millions of dollars to do. The studio is going to lose a mint on this movie.
Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 8-09 12:04 AM
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" I think Alan Moore's Watchmen is a creature of the comic book world. It is a masterful thing, but essentially of comics.

As a result, the movie is a chore for those who aren't diehard Watchmen fans... "

This seems to be largely what I wrote, though I also laid emphasis on the crucialness of period.

"The studio is going to lose a mint on this movie."

It's making a lot so far:

Variety writes that "Watchmen" had one of the best opening days ever for an R-rated film, behind Friday openings for "The Matrix Reloaded" and "300," another Synder-helmed picture. The second "Matrix" film had an opening day of $37.5 million and "300" pulled in $28.1 million, according to figures available on the website for Box Office Mojo. The R-rated "Passion of the Christ" had a massive opening day as well, roping in $26.6 million on a Wednesday, according to the site.

Overall, Box Office Mojo reports, "Watchmen" had the fifth-highest opening for an R-rated movie. "Sex and the City" had a summer opening just ahead of the numbers posted by "Passion of the Christ" at $26.8 million. Among only superhero movies, the site reports that "Watchmen" had the eighth-highest opening day.
In 2007, Snyder's "300" went on to gross $70.9 million in its first three days, and it eventually brought in more than $210 million in tickets in North America. In discussing the box-office potential of "Watchmen," The Times' John Horn noted that "Warner Bros. and partners Paramount Pictures and Legendary Pictures have invested about $150 million in making 'Watchmen' -- more than twice the $64-million budget of '300.' "
"Watchmen," however, had a stellar showing in its Friday midnight shows. The film opened with a $4.55-million take, ahead of recent midnight openings of franchise films such as "Quantum of Solace" and "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," according to the Hollywood Reporter. The midnight numbers are included in the $25.1 million.
My guess is that it will make decent, but not record-breaking, money.
Posted by: Gary Farber | Link to this comment | 03- 8-09 12:23 AM
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Meanwhile I'm watching the DVD of Hulk Vs. (Thor and Wolverine) right now.


Posted by: Gary Farber | Link to this comment | 03- 8-09 12:25 AM
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They also left out the murder of Hollis Mason, but none of these things are essential.

Tales of the Black Freighter is the core of the story. (Consider: could you read the parts of Watchmen containing that and the scenes around the newstand and leave out the rest of it and still have the same effect?) With the tale of the only morally redeemable main character (that's the nut with the sandwich board) orbiting around it. The rest of the story is just flash to keep the butts planted in the seats.

max
['And the repeated motif in the 'main' story is that Moore is taunting the reader (that's you) with that.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 03- 8-09 12:27 AM
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I did read your review, Gary, and it also seemed right (except that the movie couldn't have been made in 1986). But that was yesterday and... whoah, shiny!

I think the long-term returns on Watchmen will be depressing for the studios. Internationally, DVD sales. I'd be happy to be proven wrong, as it would give studios an incentive to do wildly faithful panel-by-panel adaptations of, uh, let's say Concrete and, uh, hm. That other one.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 8-09 12:28 AM
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We just got back from it too. First reaction: dear *God* they wanted to make sure everyone knew just how much they spent on music licensing. That's the best explanation I can come up with for cranking the volume any time one of the spendy songs came on. It was distracting for most, but "Hallelujah" just made me laugh. Don't know if that's the reaction they were going for in that scene.

Gotta disagree with Willis. While I've read the book, I'm not a diehard fan, and the movie didn't feel like a chore to me. I thought the reworked ending stood up pretty well (and made more sense than the giant squid, not that that's a high bar), but the gore was over the top in a bunch of places. Stuff that was okay in the style of the book's artwork was just kinda stomach-churning in live-action.

Oh, and Ozymandias was way too much of a lightweight in the movie.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03- 8-09 12:31 AM
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Oh yeah, and *fuck* Tales of the Black Freighter.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03- 8-09 12:33 AM
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I'm glad somebody said 211. When I read the book, I found all of that kind of tiresome and distracting. Yeah yeah, blah blah, so sue me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 8-09 12:35 AM
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And one more thing: "Ride of the Valkyries"? Really?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03- 8-09 12:47 AM
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I totally want this recording now.

That can be arranged.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 8-09 2:01 AM
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214: hey rad.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 8-09 2:06 AM
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137: Dicebox is what you're thinking of, maybe?


Posted by: elemund | Link to this comment | 03- 8-09 3:47 AM
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210: Hallelujah made me laugh too.

Afterwards I thought, they were going for an Eighties vibe: they were clearly NOT expecting Leonard Cohen to make a comeback: but even so, they should have known better than to use Hallelujah.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 03- 8-09 7:28 AM
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I found the pirate interstitial to be the equivalent, in a regular novel, of the writer doing something writerly so the readers would say, gosh, this sure is artistic. That's perhaps an interesting commentary on what Watchmen accomplished, but I can't see a way to put it into the film.

Especially since Snyder's idea of being faithful to the text was to try to re-create panels. We would have had someone flipping through a pirate comic.

I thought the decision to change the ending was very, very smart. I think Ozymandias should have been portrayed differently, but I can see what they were doing. In the book he comes across more as an all-American hero: more like the high school quarterback who is also a genius than a brooding loner. It's supposed to be a shock when we find out it's him.

There were also problems with the fight scenes. Way too much use of slow motion; if they'd made the fights go at normal speeds the movie would have been half the length. Also, and maybe this is just me, but I thought that it was important that the characters besides Manhattan weren't superheroes. Rorschach is just uncontrolled violence, and everyone else (with the exception of Ozy., somewhat) is the equivalent at best of a really fit soldier, and it's meant to be incredible that Ozy. catches a bullet. Yet they might as well have been the X-men.

The movie was okay; I'm surprised mostly that a movie that had that much action left me completely cold.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03- 8-09 7:33 AM
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I went to a Tortoise show once. My only memory of it is of being bored not stoned enough.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03- 8-09 7:49 AM
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That can be arranged.

Praise you, W-lfs-n.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03- 8-09 9:51 AM
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191: "In Sarah, Mencken, Christ and Beethoven There Were Men and Women" is kind of freaking me out.

It brings to mind the character in The Plague who has been working on the first sentence of his novel for years. But before that, he admitted, there was lots of hard work to be done. He'd never dream of handing that sentence to the printer in its present form.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 8-09 12:45 PM
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He had written two books, he told us, and was working on a third. "My first book was a complete failure." He had had the edition destroyed. "The second began to gallop." And then he murmured, "But wait till you see the next."

He had been working for thirty-odd years on his third book. I asked, hesitantly, if the third would have . . . for text . . . ? "Oh," he said, "same text, same text." But a brand new title page.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 8-09 12:55 PM
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222. The second began to gallop.

Nice. The sentence in The Plague involves horse locomotion. ... once my words have the exact tempo of this ride—the horse is trotting one-two-three, one-two-three, see what I mean?—the rest will come more easily...


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 8-09 1:10 PM
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"Tales of the Black Freighter is the core of the story"

I don't agree, but my opinion isn't more privileged than yours. In any case, go rent the DVD of it right now, if you like, and get the integrated 5 hour version in a few months, then.

"except that the movie couldn't have been made in 1986"

It could have been with puppets!

"And one more thing: 'Ride of the Valkyries'? Really?"

Since it's doing the scene from Apocalypse Now," yes.

The point of the historic, familiar, songs, otherwise, is to ground us in the fact that this is history (alternate history, but still an offshoot of ours (or vice versa).


Posted by: Gary Farber | Link to this comment | 03- 8-09 3:35 PM
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Slight correction: The Tales Of The Black Freighter DVD, along with the original "Under The Hood" documentary on the Minutemen (on the same disk), comes out March 24th.


Posted by: Gary Farber | Link to this comment | 03- 8-09 4:20 PM
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Since it's doing the scene from Apocalypse Now," yes.

Gosh, really, is that what it was referencing? Thank god we have you around to explain these things to us.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03- 8-09 6:49 PM
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Whenever anyone starts talking about "black freighters" I think of this.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03- 8-09 7:04 PM
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"Thank god we have you around to explain these things to us."

Well, why were you asking about the music, then? I beg your pardon for not reading your mind: why so pissy?


Posted by: Gary Farber | Link to this comment | 03- 8-09 7:12 PM
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Well, why were you asking about the music, then? I beg your pardon for not reading your mind: why so pissy?

Gary, have you ever heard of such a thing as a "rhetorical question"?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03- 8-09 7:19 PM
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205-206, 209: While I liked the film, it's almost certain to lose money since Warner is paying Fox up to 8.5% of the gross because of gross incompetence rights issues (and since another studio has international distribution rights), even if they would've made some under more normal circumstances.

Also, when comparing the film to 300, keep in mind that 300 cost about half as much and made more opening weekend.


Posted by: Mock Hare | Link to this comment | 03- 9-09 12:35 AM
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The movie was okay; I'm surprised mostly that a movie that had that much action left me completely cold.

Nah. Movies with lots of action that aren't well-paced and constructed often leave me cold [and I like action movies].

'The Dark Knight' completely left me cold, for example. 2 hours of constant one-tempo action scenes does not a movie make. It was like a 2 hour trailer.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03- 9-09 1:44 AM
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Kids went last night, pronounced it awesome. We stayed home and streamed Widows Peak. Not awesome.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03- 9-09 4:14 AM
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Josh: Gary, have you ever heard of such a thing as a "rhetorical question"?

I argued with Gary Farber over two threads of Obsidian Wings, some years ago, because he would not acknowledge that he had asked a leading question (which I had briskly deconstructed).

After wasting a couple of days on this, it occurred to me that my blogging life would be much quieter and simpler if I simply resolved never to respond to Gary in comments again, and except for occasional national or personal emergencies, I never have....


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03- 9-09 7:49 AM
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Curse Haloscan commenting! 233 is me.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 03- 9-09 7:50 AM
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233 -- It's fair to say that most of us have a list of people with whom we've learned never to engage on the internet. GF isn't on my list, but includes enough ObWi folks to keep me pretty focused in that forum.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03- 9-09 8:03 AM
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re: 235

Yeah, and sometimes a list of hot-button topics to avoid with people one otherwise enjoys engaging with.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03- 9-09 8:05 AM
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233, 235: While there's not a thing wrong with not choosing to engage with anyone you don't want to engage with, as a matter of personal taste I kind of hate reading discussions of who isn't engaging with who, particularly when both people are 'present'.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 9-09 8:10 AM
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I never engage with LB when she goes meta.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 9-09 8:38 AM
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I, meta blogger, from an antique band
Who said: Two vast and trunkless threads are grown
As I assert. Near them, understand,
Half junk, a scattered barrage flies, shout down,
And tinkled quip, and sneer of upper hand,
Tell that their writers well those passions read...

Also, about Watching the Watchmen: Geek Protocol.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 03- 9-09 9:19 AM
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Molly and I just saw Watchmen. Meh. They left out a lot of the stuff that gave it philosophical heft. Molly asked if anyone who had only seen the movie would be able to follow my essay on consequentialism and deontology in Watchmen. I think the answer is clearly "no."

They moved my favorite line, "In the end? It never ends" from Dr. Manhattan's mouth to Laurie's. She then has to say "I know what Jon would say. He'd say it never ends" which weakens everything.

At first, I didn't mind that they replaced the Space Squid with Dr. Manhattan, but now that I think about it, it really changes the philosophical tone of Veidt's plan. Instead of humans needing an outside enemy to unite them, they now need an angry God to be afraid of. This doesn't really mesh with Veidt's faux liberal utilitarianism.

And what was with the accent they gave him.

And Cala is right about the use of the song Hallelujah.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:00 PM
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I wan this thread to come back.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 8:14 AM
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||

I will have lived here for 20 years this November. The cockroaches arrived about two weeks ago. I am not pleased.

|>


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 06-21-10 1:40 PM
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