A Beginning of Summer Rumination

Hot time, summer in the city, back of my neck gettin’–

You know, I am above cliché openings at this point, I really am. Well, usually. Today I am, anyway.

There’s no two ways about it, folks, it’s the summer and so far this week it’s been damn hot. I was out in the world on Monday and where I was it was up over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, which is like 37 degrees Celsius for all of you people with the confusing units of measurement. On Saturday it was slightly less hot but I was at a wedding which meant I was in a suit which meant I was sweaty and uncomfortable. The ceremony was outside and I don’t remember much of it beyond the fact that the music was super loud at one point and the couple ended up saying “I do.” At least, I assume they did – why else would we have had the big party afterwards?

But I’m starting to ramble which is what happens when my brain is baked inside my skull like a chicken in an oven.

What else does summer mean besides the sun and its attempts to slowly finish me off? Summer means lots of crossovers and events. It’s the summer event season! When I was younger, summer always, always, always meant it was summer event time and that those events would take place within the pages of Annuals. Not so much anymore as DC and Marvel have pretty much relegated Annuals to the woodshed out back where they sleep on a cot next to Elseworlds Books.

I miss those Annuals events, some of my fondest memories are wrapped up in the pages of stories like Armageddon 2001. And what was great about those events were that they took place solely in the pages of the Annuals. The stories were still in continuity for those who cared, but if you didn’t want the big crossovers infringing on your favorite book you just kept on buying that book and ignored the Annuals altogether. It was like having the best of both worlds and it seems to me that a system like that would solve a lot of problems that some people have these days vis a vis summer crossovers seeming to dominate all of DC and Marvel’s books.

Of course, that wouldn’t solve every problem because people would complain about having to buy the Annuals in addition to the regular books for the simple fact that people always need something to complain about.

That leads me to my next point about summer. There’s nothing people who are overheated like to do more than complain. Complaining is something that we, as a species, excel at. We got the opposable thumbs and the higher cognitive reasoning and that lead to people eventually standing around the water cooler wondering why, in Final Crisis #1 Superman appeared to not remember any of the events of The Death of the New Gods of which he was an active participant. And by wondering I mean complaining.

The temperatures rise and the tempers shorten, and suddenly everything pisses you off and the little things that might roll off your back in the cool, brisk air of Fall suddenly feel like a hot, stabbing pain in your eyeball. Or perhaps that’s just me.

Either way, I find that in the summer time my tolerance is much lower for crap. Bad writing? Get outta here! Bad art? Beat it! Bad characters who cry about The Void? GO AWAY! I think I am probably much more likely to drop books in the summer when life is generally more miserable for me.  Look, I don’t want to be this way – it’s just what happens to me when the thermostat hits 85. I get angry like the Lou Ferrigno version of the Hulk.

Is any of this good? Is any of this healthy? No, probably not. Complaining isn’t productive and it keeps you/me/everyone from sitting back, relaxing, and enjoying life. At the end of the day, does it really matter if Final Crisis doesn’t exactly match up the the hundreds of books that DC put out this year if the story it’s telling is good? But while complaining may not be healthy or productive it sure is fun, isn’t it? Hell yes it is, especially when it’s… say, 88 degrees Fahrenheit at 4am. That right there is just not right.

Perhaps I’ll go read Whiteout to cool off.


  1. Would we complain as much about comics if they were still $1.00, or 60 cents for that matter? Hmm…probably

  2. I think complaining about something just shows how much you care about it. If you didn’t moan every now and again, it’d just be because it didn’t mean enough to you. Plus, as Conor said, complaining’s fun!

    4am, dude? That’s dedication to complaining! 

  3. Now I’m sitting here wondering, as I peruse the Newsarama boards, "Do most comic fans just live someplace where it’s uncomfortably hot all year? Is that what’s going on with the mood swings?"

    "my brain is baked inside my skull like a chicken in an oven" made me laugh aloud; that one’s getting stolen. 

  4. Yeesterday, somebody swiped my sandwich from the dorm fridge.  Yesterday, I also went into a big rant about how Wanted sucked and completely mishandled its own potential.  Do they correlate?  Maybe a little.

    Still, a piece of crap stinks more in the sun.  And that’s not exactly my fault.  And if I smell a piece of crap in the summe, I’m going to complain because that’s what the Founding Fathers would do.

  5. I refuse to let go of the fact Superman acted like he never met the New Gods in Final Crisis. Even more perplexing is the fact the Justice League would not immediately associate their greatest foe, Darkseid, with the New Gods.

    Goddamnit. Mister Miracle, Orion and Barda were JLA-ers.

    JLA Condition: Amber?

    Should have been, “JLA Condition: Oh Fuck, Call The Spectre”.

    This is some straight up bullshit and you know it in your heart, Conor.

  6. Oh jesus, I love you Labor. Very nice post, sir. Very nice.

  7. Nice write up Conor.  Being uncomfortable definitely makes me more complain-y, and I’ll be damned if anybody is going to shill crap on me when I’m miserable in the sun. 

    The only place that crap is acceptable is in the cool seats of a movie theater, which is then complained about when entering the heat once again.

  8. That right there is a rant. I enjoyed it.

  9. It was 90 degrees all last week and I dropped three books.  I think Connor is on to something.

  10. Conor, ooops sorry.

  11. For the record…

    Celcius? Water freezes at 0 degrees and boils at 100.  IT MAKES SENSE!!!  Damn Farenhiet. 

  12. I’ll take Africa Hot over Siberia Cold any day of the year — and I teach in a classroom with no air conditioning!  I just choose to complain about having to listen to people complain all the time.

  13. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Telling a good story > immediate continuity

    And I think time agrees.  

  14. it’s like winter here in vancouver. rain rain rain.

  15. @CAM – You just voiced the thoughts of all of us us who live with confusing units of measurement! 🙂

  16. 88 degrees at 4 a.m. is not right…as you say Conor.  But as Josh would say:

     That’s fucked up.

  17. Poor Josh.

    I bet he thought he’d end up with a better catchphrase.

  18. This is what Grant Morrison said about the whole Death Of The New God’s/Final Crisis #1 business over at Newsarama:

    "Why didn’t Superman recount his experiences from DOTNG ? Because those experiences hadn’t been thought up or written when I completed Final Crisis #1. If there was only me involved, Orion would have been the first dead New God we saw in a DC comic, starting off the chain of events that we see in Final Crisis. As it is, the best I can do is suggest that the somewhat contradictory depictions of Orion and Darkseid’s last-last-last battle that we witnessed in Countdown and DOTNG recently were apocryphal attempts to describe an indescribable cosmic event.

    To reiterate, hopefully for the last time, when we started work on Final Crisis, J.G. and I had no idea what was going to happen in Countdown or Death Of The New Gods because neither of those books existed at that point. The Countdown writers were later asked to ‘seed’ material from Final Crisis and in some cases, probably due to the pressure of filling the pages of a weekly book, that seeding amounted to entire plotlines veering off in directions I had never envisaged, anticipated or planned for in Final Crisis.

    The way I see it readers can choose to spend the rest of the year fixating on the plot quirks of a series which has ended, or they can breathe a sight of relief, settle back and enjoy the shiny new DC universe status quo we’re setting up in the pages of Final Crisis and its satellite books. I’m sure both of these paths to enlightenment will find adherents of different temperaments."

  19. i’m alright with summer, but what the hell happened to spring this year?!

  20. I love Grant Morrison.

  21. @ohcaroline – There are worse catchphrases. It could be "whoops". 🙂

  22. I think I dug my own grave with that phrase. 

    Also, way to go Grant Morrison!

  23. That was a good answer!

  24. Conor, I really enjoyed this article.  Heat crazed Conor is a funny Conor.  Bring on the global warming!