-I finally got around to reading Girl Comics and it's--not really surprisingly--good. Haters is gunna hate though, and no matter how good this series is, there are going to continue to be people who are mad that it's not "Women Comics" or that She Hulk has big boobs or that there's an energy drink on "her side" of the table. This is something you can give to your daughters and sisters and say "THESE WERE ALL DONE BY GIRLS" and that kind of shit goes a long way. TRUTH: girls sometimes don't know that they can be in a band until they see or hear an all girl band. This book is important, let's all just get on that. -s


-Whatever is going on with the Inkstuds website is really frustrating. It seems to work for some people fine and others it doesn't load at all. Oh well, it just means my apartment doesn't get cleaned and work doesn't get done because I spend way too long trying to find something other than Inkstuds to stream.-b

-Zelda has never looked so fucking awesome.-k

-Maybe you read this ridiculous Nicolas Sparks interview where he compares himself to the Greek tragedians and disses Cormac McCarthy? If you didn't, do so. Here's the dumb stuff in one big quote:
"There's a difference between drama and melodrama; evoking genuine emotion, or manipulating emotion. It's a very fine eye-of-the-needle to thread. And it's very rare that it works. That's why I tend to dominate this particular genre. There is this fine line. And I do not verge into melodrama. It's all drama. I try to generate authentic emotional power...I write in a genre that was not defined by me. The examples were not set out by me. They were set out 2,000 years ago by Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides. They were called the Greek tragedies. A thriller is supposed to thrill. A horror novel is supposed to scare you. A mystery is supposed to keep you turning the pages, guessing 'whodunit?...A romance novel is supposed to make you escape into a fantasy of romance. What is the purpose of what I do? These are love stories. They went from (Greek tragedies), to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, then Jane Austen did it, put a new human twist on it. Hemingway did it with A Farewell to Arms."
I live in North Carolina--Sparks' home-state--and never tire of tales of how big of a prick this guy is, but I also think what Sparks is babbling about has a lot to do with comics. Namely, that Sparks' work isn't mythic or universal and has nothing to do with the stuff he references, but many comics writers have said what Sparks is trying to say, without being douches about it. Comics are often mythic, especially superhero comics, mythic by default even. Sparks' understanding of the mythic, the universal is "this character I created is like lots of people in the real world in the 2000s" which is insanely myopic. But you know, if you're a dopey-ass white guy from North Carolina, that's your universe.

This is especially funny because the Village Voice this week posted "The Eight Tired Themes of Nicolas Sparks Love Stories". Best point from that essay: "Sparks movies are almost completely devoid of classic drama. Conflicts between individuals—or between individuals and society—are nominal and easily resolved. Sparks plots are instead dependent upon circumstance. Characters grapple with external forces (nor'easters, cancer, 9/11), not inner demons or desires."-b

-It may have only moved across the street and a couple of store fronts over, but the new Collectors Corner is everything a comic store should be. It's clean, organized, well stocked and actually enjoyable to be in. The owner Randy will take the time to talk to all of his customers and give them deals, cover price is sorta never what you'll be paying. The new issue wall is always packed with big titles and weird indie stuff and tons of local books, it's like he orders at least 5 of everything. He always has sales going on and purchases so much there's always something new. It's really awesome to see this dude's store evolving, if you're in Baltimore or even Maryland for that matter, you have to check out his store. -s


david e. ford, jr said...

oh man, why did you have to put that sparks interview up? i know it's not really about comics and i KNOW it's obvious and doesn't need to be said but this guy doesn't know the first thing about literature. greek tragedies are not love stories. can anyone tell me one play written by aeschylus, sophokles, or euripides that is a love story? i haven't read all of them, but i've read more than a few and there isn't a love story in the bunch. even aristotle understood that what the tragedians (and all poets/writers) were doing was manipulating emotion: that's the point of tragedy, to evoke fear and pity, but not GENUINE fear and pity, we seek out tragedies, according t aristotle, precisely because GENUINE fear and pity are AWFUL. and his bit about how in romance you know what's going to happen but in love stories (which vaguely he equates with tragedy, which makes no sense at all) you don't . . . has he read romeo and juliet lately? does he remember that you find out that they die in LINE 6 OF THE PROLOGUE? you know what's going to happen before Act I Scene 1. ugh, and even his bit about melodrama . . . clearly he's never seen a sirk movie or even learned what makes melodrama melodrama (it's music). and jane austen? she wrote satires, drawing room comedies, but what she wrote never approaches anything near or reminiscent of greek tragedy. guh, fuck this guy. at least when you see james patterson give an interview it is clear he has no illusions about what he does: he creates a product, he is a business person who just happens to be selling stories.

wait, but comics, yeah. your point is totally germane, brandon. good comics are mythic and do the things that tragedy or epic or myth do and it isn't necessarily this rarefied, refined thing. it doesn't have to be . . . it's the same reason why writers like poe or simenon or, indeed, cormac mccarthy are great . . . they have that classic american self-effacing quality . . . there's no pretension to doing something revolutionary or brilliant, even when it is . . .

thanks, brandon . . . now i'm all pissed off. HA!

Vee (Scratch) said...

The Zelda artwork is cool. Brings back memories.

Girl Comics? It's a start, well another start. I've been studying the old romance comics, Archie, etc. and I'm trying to figure out what the heck happened with American comics. I know what happened per se, but I'm wondering why the American comic book industry has been slowly making strides towards correcting their huge problems. At least, the horror genre is making a comeback. Some one even managed to turn Jane Austen's work into a horror title. Odd, but at least its not men in tights. Marvel has been awkwardly making strides in getting the attention of the other 50% of the population. Recently there was Marvel Divas, Models Inc. and some other so-so efforts. I've heard many of the complaints about 'Girl Comics' and many of them are justified. Hopefully Marvel, DC, Image, etc. will be able to build upon this effort and make great better comics.