Thursday, February 15, 2007

Just one last little post

I have a new blog and a new moniker.

You can find me at Just a Hand, Not a Mystery.


The Clone has left the building.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Some final words. Part One: How Joe Quesada killed my blog

I short-changed you all yesterday. You shouldn't write a blog for a year and a half and then splurge out a mumbly "I quit".

So, breaking my golden rule,

Never write about why you write

I shall give it a pop.

First off: comics.

If I hadn't read Joe Fridays at Newsarama, this blog would still exist. I direct you down to the paragraph with SPOILER HEAVY MODE. Obviously, I'm going to be talking spoilers here.

This blog was always a comics blog. Even when I stopped blogging solely about comics, I still wanted to post about them. But I discovered half-way through a post about Peter Milligan's X-Men that I had no interest in the story. It wasn't bad, wasn't good. Just a mundane arc spread over five months. A reviewer should write as well about the average as the great or the horrible. I'm not a natural reviewer.

So just write about the good things then, I thought. Two years ago, Marvel was at the tail-end of a great half-decade. Even if some had recently been cancelled, I could still enthuse about Priest's Black Panther, or David's Captain Marvel, or Bendis' Daredevil. I'll get on to Thunderbolts shortly.

These were great comics and I'll look back in fifteen years and think, "Marvel had something going in those days".

Then, as a steamroller might career through a model village, the big crossovers returned. All the gems got crushed.

Thunderbolts was important to me because it was the last comic which made me want to rip open my monthly parcel. It was a special, acquired-taste book, but it was beautiful. They fired Nicieza and gave it to Warren Ellis. How could they?

Then there's the turgid Civil War, of course: a reasonable idea made horrible by disastrous characterisation. When I blogged about this, the always-pertinent Tim O'Neill pointed out I shouldn't buy it.

He's right, of course. I shouldn't. But these crossovers loom over every title. Nothing makes sense without their context.

Then yesterday I read that they've bringing back Captain Marvel. The one who died in Jim Starlin's epic. Mar-Vell wasn't Starlin's best-realised character: that was Adam Warlock. Mar-Vell died because he was a superfluous character. His death was important because of its ordinariness. He didn't commit cosmic suicide or get splattered across twelve dimensions. He got cancer. He died a death like we all will. Bringing him back should be unthinkable.

Jean Grey. Colossus. Aunt May. Bucky. Foggy Nelson. Joe thinks this is "giving fans the unexpected". If only.

So don't read it, right? Joe's got a business to run, and it's his decision. This is mine. Marvel's quality has plummeted, and these comics are not worth buying. I'm butchering my pull-list.

And you can't blog about comics you're not reading.

Anyway, here are the subjects I should have blogged more about:

Howard the Duck.
Howard the Duck.
Howard the Duck.
I should have done more Gerber. Sorry, Plok.

I should have told you all about the time I was reading Swamp-Thing and my daughter stopped breathing. That would have been a good post, but by the time my hands had stopped trembling, the moment for it had passed.

And finally, the phrase I'm most proud of is calling Warren Ellis a shy little coquette. You shouldn't laugh at your own jokes, but that one still has me sniggering.