Friday, November 18, 2005

And then he came back

I haven't disintegrated just yet. I've just been out in the wilderness beyond internet-land, in a corner of Germany where the locals speak a form of Cardassian. Nine days of attempting to decipher four or five in-laws pushing out 180 words a minute in a who can put on the thickest accent? competition has left me a little bewildered. Even the sound of the world's worst estuary accent left me wanting to kiss Stansted airport's tarmac. But has anyone else noticed that Germany is actually a great country? Rather better, I suspect, than Britain.

Anyway, while I've been away, my oldest and fiercest critic, anonymous, has with some accuracy accused me of writing stupid posts and neglecting to review comic books.

Well, "Blogger writes stupid post" isn't going to make the headlines on News 24, but I'll nevertheless plead guilty to that charge. Not that there's nothing necessarily wrong with stupid. And what branches grow out of this stony rubbish? I would write more comic reviews, but this whole House of Infinite Identity Crisis Disassembled crossover malarkey has drained the enthusiasm out of me like so much sump oil. I haven't even finished last month's comics yet, and this month's are about to plop uninterestingly onto my doormat.

But let's be honest, it's not as if there's any shortage of comic book blogs out there, is it?

Still, my brain abhors a vacuum, and I've chewed my way through two novels, Peter F Hamilton's bloated Judas Unchained and Neil Gaiman's classy American Gods. I'm tempted to review the former, if only to give away the ending to an America where it isn't (I think) released until February, giving me a perfectly formed revenge on all those reviewers who get their comics two months before me.

Gaiman, meanwhile, provided me with my daily ration of smugness by dropping in a quote from The Waste Land. We poetry readers, hated and feared by a world which doesn't understand us, use TS Eliot quotes as a form of mutual self-identification in the same way the Crips and Blood flick gang signs - although I admit the LAPD probably don't have the same interest in our activities.

In the meantime, I still have twenty-one thousand words of novel to knock off in the next twelve days, so I'll have to delay the publication of my master thesis a little while longer: I have proof that John Byrne's unpleasant and grouchy internet persona is actually a creation of arch-schemer Chris Claremont, the Magneto to Byrne's Xavier. Byrne in real life is a lovely wee bloke who lives up in the Saskatchewan mountains bashing out unpublished Uncanny X-Men scripts on his Imperial typewriter.

In the meantime, here's a musical interlude.