Name: Jeff Black
JeffromOhio's Recent Comments
June 13, 2013 9:43 am I have always had the impression that Supes is a good fighter, regardless of powers, because he spends so much time duking it out with others with powers almost as great as his. I mean, how many times has he been tossed into the gladiatorial ring on Apokolips? It's not like he spends most of his patrols smacking around jaywalkers. Though that would be an issue I'd make sure not to miss.
June 12, 2013 4:31 pm I'm in agreement with this pick, in a big way. This particular comic came along right at a time when I'd begun to pull away from comics in general, and superhero comics in specific. This one, though, grabbed me before I even realized it. A cursory look when the storyline started indicated to me that it seemed similar to earlier storylines, some still rather fresh in memory. But it began to worm its way into my mind, making me think about it days and weeks after I'd finished an issue. There definitely is a tension inherent to the book - the sheer fun and occasional lunacy of comics at their classic juvenile best vs an increasing streak of doubt on the part of the reader, and, perhaps, the protagonist himself, that the bad guy may actually have a good point. I don't like Gorr, and hope the Thor triumvirate bash him good, but that's more due to his methods rather than his reasons concerning what he does. I'd gotten more than a little tired of all the crossovers in Thor books and Journey into Mystery. Thor: God of Thunder came along and gave us what is not just a self-contained storyline, but almost a self-contained universe. I, too, felt much the same way, that I could read this story forever. That's tempered by the knowledge that it won't last that long, of course, and the events in it will be ephemeral in the larger Marvel Universe scheme of things. But I think this storyline and art will stick with me long after the comic has moved far beyond them.
May 24, 2013 1:25 pm My phone does, indeed, make a snap sound when it takes a picture.
May 10, 2013 2:47 pm Most of the books on my pull list have been canceled. Nowadays, I'm very choosy about putting a new book on the list. Thor: God of Thunder has been stunningly good, good enough to make it a must-read for me. Everytime a new Thor book, creative team, or story arc comes along, I brace myself; so far, though, every change has been engaging and surprising, even when some of the same concepts have been covered again. This book is no exception; I look forward to it every month. Great final panels seem to be a matter of course for it.
April 1, 2013 1:47 pm Oh, by the way, Jim Mroczkowski, wouldn't you want to ask Obama about Conan the Barbarian? That's the book he collects, as I recall.
April 1, 2013 1:30 pm This article pretty much encapsulates my feelings about ROM for the past decade or two. I never laid eyes on the toy until longer after the comic. I remember buying the first issue at a convenience store, walking home, and getting caught in a sudden downpour so torrential that I, and everything I was carrying, was drenched thoroughly, to the point that I turned around after drying off, went back to that convenience store, and bought another copy. I was hooked. Yeah, that book definitely was bonkers. That's why it has stuck out in my memory 30-some-odd years after it ended its run. ROM remains one of my favorite comic book heroes. Spaceknights and Dire Wraiths may still lurk in the Marvel U, but the absence of ROM himself makes their presence frustratingly tantalizing. The rights must be as labyrinthine as mentioned by dfstell. Seems so silly to think that a relatively obscure toy, which Marvel fleshed out so thoroughly as a character, could have its rights hidden away and jealously guarded (or so it seems) like a piece of Smaug's hoard.
March 8, 2013 4:38 pm I'm 47. I have a pull list. A very short one, but nevertheless, I have one. The comic shop I go to has a stream of customers from their mid-30s into their 60s. Some may be older, but it's not my business to ask or guess. The (few) kids I see in there are with their parents. Wondering if you'll be reading comics at 50 seems bizarre to me, as if you think you'll somehow turn into another person entirely. You should be able to tell right now if the medium will still hold your interest. By this point in your life, assuming you're at least in your mid-20s or early 30s, your personality is fully cooked. You are now who you'll be. Certainly your tastes will shift. But the major parts of your personality are pretty much set. Our culture has been gradually changing so that "geek" and "nerd" hobby pursuits don't suffer the same kind of peer pressure to quit that they once did. The real question is what kinds of comics you'll want to read at 50. I can say that my tastes have changed a lot since I was, say, 25. Then, I was still interested in following a large number of titles, the newer and edgier the better. Not for me then were the silly, colorful books of the '70s, the ones I grew up reading. Now, I find myself drawn back to those old Marvel Two-in-Ones, or anything that reminds me of that era - Hickman's run on the Fantastic Four, for example. I now tend to gravitate towards more colorful, fun books; I get enough doom and gloom from the news. That doesn't mean I don't appreciate more literate comic books, especially graphic novels. I do. But nostalgia is now a draw, too, a powerful one. I don't mean to imply your tastes will become like mine. Of course they won't. But they will evolve. Not become "better" or "more refined." Just different. You might burn out on comics from time to time. I did. I stopped reading for at least a decade...mostly. I still felt like a comic fan. I'd just overloaded on them. I'd grab one or two a few times a year. Now, they're like old friends, that I don't need to see every week, but with whom I like to hang out once or twice a month. Now, you could find yourself feeling peer pressure to drop comics as you get older. "A grown man reading those kinds of books!" some will say. A grown man, or woman, reads what they want. Peer pressure was bad enough when we were high schoolers, and is even more pointless in our adulthood. Read what you want. Do what you want. And stop thinking in ageist terms - "when I'm fifty I'll be too old to..." Someday you'll be fifty, and wondering why you thought you'd be so different.
March 4, 2013 1:14 pm There were a lot of cogent points in this column, not just about comics. I'd say, though, it's more about comics being dark rather than serious. Serious and fun can be combined - Hickman's recent run on Fantastic Four was mostly serious, but it sure was a lot of fun. It harkened back to when I first started reading comics in the '70s in its sheer exuberance for all the ideas and implied craziness inherent in a comic book world. It was usually played straight-faced, but it was a big, colorful playground of a world. Marvel Two-in-One is my personal go-to comic for fun comics. Sure, some of that comic's run now seems creaky and silly, but a lot of it still seems tinged with a crazy joy that shines out of the unabashed embracing of a comic universe's addled assumptions. Even when Mrs. Grimm's bouncing blue-eyed baby boy wisecracked or shouted his battle cry of "It's clobberin' time!" while battling the villain of the month, the characters, and by extension, the writers and artists, took their creations seriously. They took fun seriously, as a pursuit worthy of being pursued. I'm not putting down modern comics. I read and enjoy plenty of 'em, sometimes more than my wallet likes. But there does seem to be a perception among some other comic readers I've spoken to that seriousness and fun do not, or should not, mix, or that gritty and serious comics are the ones that deserve the most respect.
CANCELPOCALYPSE! DC Axes The Savage Hawkman, Deathstroke, The Fury of Firestorm, Team 7, The Ravagers, & Sword of Sorcery! [UPDATE]
February 7, 2013 7:54 pm I'm also disappointed to see Sword of Sorcery go so soon. I loved Flashpoint, and was excited to see what would come with the New 52. Since the initial debut of the New 52, DC has steadily canceled almost every book I liked. I get that sales weren't there for a lot of them, but I'd hoped that books like OMAC and now Sword of Sorcery, would have been given a bit more chance to flourish.
February 4, 2013 1:48 pm I understand the ironic tone of the article, and I have much the same opinion about comics today, especially from the Big Two. It seems like every book that has interested me in the past five years has been canned. This is especially true of the New 52; I went from having too many books on my pull list, to having a tentative one or two. So, the gist of the article is that the Powers That Be in comics seem more interested in pursuing the readers and fans who are more casual in their zeal for creators, which almost certainly means much, if not most, of the comic fans who are online are not the audience they want to depend on. The implied answer to the question "they must know what they're doing, right?" seems to be "probably not." It all depends on the sales figures. It's no secret that comic sales figures are a fraction of what they were 10, 15, 20 years ago. In the '70s and '80s, books would be canceled for the sales figures of many of today's successful books. So they try to pump up sales of the entire line by forcing crossovers that can be jarring to even the most devoted fans, spreading big name characters across multiple titles, and relaunching titles and lines every few months. They hope to draw back in the multitudes of yesteryear. The numbers of readers indicate it all may not be succeeding. But it's an impossible problem - make the books accessible to a broader audience, and alienate the most devoted fan core; or focus on the devoted fans, and the books become impenetrable to a casual reader. The loss of shelf space and spinner racks in convenience stores and newsstands helped close off comics from a once-enormous audience; electronic comics might have opened up another audience, but it doesn't seem they've caught on with any but those who were comic fans already. So, maybe DC is, indeed, trying to run off a lot of us. I'll include Marvel, too, because of its cyclical bouts of madness. But DC seems to be going through its Mr. Hyde/Wolfman phase at the moment, jettisoning books and creators, then bringing them back, and resurrecting concepts and characters only to quickly abandon them or alter them beyond recognition. That's not to say there aren't good books; most of the books I'm reading right now are DC. I've been more of a DC fan for a number of years now. But it does seem that a lot of decisions are being made without regard for what the hardcore clamors for. Then again, maybe it's not a matter of attempting to get rid of us; maybe it's just a matter of them finally deciding we're not that consequential to them. Personally, I think it's a bad mistake; there must be a happy medium between pleasing the core and attracting the more casual fan. But, hey, they must know what they're doing, huh?