Name: Drew Muldowney
Bio: Miscreant, malcontent, writer, editor, problem drinker, advanced degree collector, unprofessional bicycle racer. http://skunkworkslab.blogspot.com/
My point is probably that I was up too late working last night and I've been grading way too many comp/rhet entrance exams lately.
His point: it would have worked if he'd created a rhythm with the parentheses early on by stabilizing their tone from the start of the piece. Their (parenthetical clauses) use throughout the piece up to the Thor remark has them standing outside the main body, a more direct address to the reader. Use like that can create a sort of "these are my honest feelings" typographical climate for a reader. The Thor remark-- which isn't actually a big deal, but now we're talking about it, so I keep going back-- was jarring for me and, at least, one other reader.
His point was only made stronger if you already agree with him. I'm standing in the middle, bummed that T:MA was cancelled, still enjoying Fraction's book so, for me, it pulled me out of the article and made the conclusion seem bitchy and meandering.
I didn't say that T:MA was mainstream, I said Fraction's book wasn't, despite its status as the official ongoing Thor title. I have read every issue of Fraction's run and every issue of T:MA, I loved the crap out of them both. As far as broad appeal, if you quantify the disparate story elements, the art, dialogue, the books themselves are a wash.
Where T:MA was penetrable, Thor is not. Where T:MA was broadly funny, Thor required specific attention; it's like reading John Barth, sometimes a gag would pay off two pages later, but you'd miss it if you weren't careful. (This is not to say that T:MA wasn't wickedly subtle itself, it just manifested differently).
Their differences are all on measurable axes that, upon deeper inspection, reveal a rather remarkable inverse relationship, which, I'd say, is one of the reasons the books have had a subtle polarizing effect, e.g. Mike's snarky comment.
Which leads me into my actual point, the one that's wasn't addressed because you were too busy telling me I just didn't get the context:
Because of Mike's comment, and because of the emotional attachment fans of both books have picked up (like a snowball through a pile of leaves), it destabilized his subsequent remarks.
What followed was a fairly insightful look at the new reader v. older reader's perspective on major events, the confusion, the excitement, the cynicism, the burnout. Except he yanked his credibility with the initial parentheses, and the modified anacoenosic merism that concluded the paragraph didn't quite buy it back, highlighting it as a device.
(Stuff like that is the other half of my job).
On a personal note, iFanboy and its staff are some of the friendliest on the 'net, and you've all made this a welcoming place. However, your positions are not unassailable, nor is anyone that disagrees with you simply missing the point. You, in particular Conor, seem to have been forgetting that a lot lately. And I understand that doing this full time can wear you out, especially with some of the more, we'll say spirited members, but we are not all them.
Please try to remember that.
This is what I get for taking a thesis break at three AM and posting on the damn internet.
Panel for panel, there is nothing more mainstream, advertiser friendly, or easy to digest about Fraction's Thor than Thor: The Mighty Avenger.