Ilash's Recent Comments
March 14, 2019 5:34 pm Really fun show this week, guys. As it happens, I did some catching up with a bunch of titles so I also came into this feeling extremely positive about comics right now. Just in regards to Ken's question, I think it's always crucial to keep in mind that comics then were written very differently and usually for very different audiences. There's often a lot of imagination and bright fun in SIlver Age and Bronze Age comics but they're also aimed at a much younger audience and are usually more simplistic in terms of characterization and the dialogue and narration tend to be exposition heavy and clunky. That said, I would echo recommendations for Moore's brilliant run on Swamp Thing and I would definitely also throw out a recommendation for Steve Gerber's Howard the Duck, which was genuinely years ahead of its time. Also, a lot of these older comics may not read great but it's always worth checking out the art of guys like Kirby, Neal Adams, Jose Garcia Lopes and Bernie Wrightson in their prime. Hell, I even absolutely love Infantino's work on the Flash - at least his earlier, fluid work, rather than when he came back with a much stiffer style later on.
February 18, 2019 7:49 pm You and me both. What was once the home of Watchmen, Preacher and Sandman is now a company that caves to even the slightest controversy and seems intent to micromanage everything to death. I would say I don't know how something like Mister Miracle was published but even there, an M-rated book still had its swearing censored. Things are definitely not entirely right at DC right now.
February 10, 2019 3:30 pm I was one of the Patrons pushing for the Patron Pick so I have a few thoughts. And I say this despite not having read it yet. The Girl in the Bay may be total crap or a total masterpiece, I don't know, but I think you're undervaluing Dematteis somewhat. His working with Karen Berger is a bigger deal than you're suggesting, considering he writes the kind of comics that were the bread and butter of early Vertigo. Along with scripting JLI, Dematteis had a fairly notable Spider-man run (Kraven's Last Hunt, anyone?) and was an important name in terms of 80s and 90s creator-owned comics for both Marvel (Epic) and DC (Vertigo and Paradox) with titles like Moonshadow and Brooklyn Dreams. I don't think he ever got the respect he deserves for being, essentially, the American answer to the British Invasion of the '80s. In the early years of Vertigo, he was a mainstay for the imprint with a bunch of different mini and limited series to his name (The Last Ones, Seekers Into Mystery) and worked closely with Karen Berger on these books, apparently. Like Pete Townshend, he was a follower of Maher Baba and much of his work without Giffen was both pretty personal and full of mysticism and mostly Eastern spirituality. Not to say that everything he did was a smash hit but he has always been an interesting and fairly singular writer. Also worth checking out is his Dr Fate series from the early '90s that was virtually a Vertigo book in all but name (I've never understood why stuff like it or Ostrander's Spectre were never folded into Vertigo). As I say all this, though, I actually don't know if his stuff, even at its best, would appeal at all to you guys. It can get pretty esoteric. I've always found his stuff pretty interesting, though, and Brooklyn Dreams is flat out one of my all-time favourite comics. Speaking of Vertigo, really cool discussion and I largely agree with everything said but I think you're overlooking the same thing that Vertigo itself seems to be doing. When Vertigo started, they were not primarily about creator-owned comics but about doing "mature audience" takes on established DC characters or radical reinventions of them. It didn't take too long for Preacher to come along but the earliest Vertigo titles were Sandman, Shade: The Changing Man, Doom Patrol, Animal Man, Sandman: Mystery Theatre, Swamp Thing, Hellblazer, Black Orchid and collections of notable '80s runs like Moore's Swamp Thing and Morrison's runs on Animal Man and Doom Patrol. Creator-owned comics took over Vertigo by the late '90s and they released some of the all-time greatest comics ever during that period. With the massive rise of Image as a home to creator-owned comics and a number of smaller companies also going for similar models, Vertigo has indeed been left behind. To make Vertigo standout again, I would think the best thing they could do would be to go back to their original edict and release more stuff like the Sandman Universe comics (I've only read a bit so far but, man, the Dreaming is the most Vertigo-like comic in forever) and get top creators to do lengthy(ish) mature-readers runs on some of DC's more out there characters; allowing them to make their mark on these characters without worrying about corporate-driven interference. Mind you, considering how much of a mess the whole Black Label thing has been (a mature-readers Batman comic contained, would you know, it mature-readers content - what a scandal!), I do wonder if this is even possible anymore. This has to have more potential than Vertigo as an also-ran in creator-owned comics, surely? PS. The fact I'm totally in on the whole Around Comics joke just makes me feel really, really old. So thanks for that.
January 27, 2019 4:20 pm No worries, Josh. It happens.
January 27, 2019 2:58 pm Yoiks that is annoying. Easy enough to fix, though. I just downloaded it and played it in Potplayer with the audio speakers set to "mono".
December 15, 2018 3:28 pm I liked this even more than you guys - Ryan aside, perhaps. Really interesting discussion but it made me realize just how few, if any, reservations I have about this film. I already thought 2018 was a top-notch year for superhero movies but I truly feel that this is probably the best of them. Yup, better even than Infinity War, which blew me away. I thought the pacing was pretty spot on - and I do think it did slow down just enough for those more emotional moments - and I don't think the extra Spider characters did anything to take away from Miles, who was always the centre of attention, but just solidified the overall theme that anyone (or, really, any outsider) could be Spider-man. Plus, they were funny as hell and, as someone who is a John Mulaney super-fan, I couldn't get enough of his Spider-ham. This is a pure 5-star film for me and one of my very favourite films of the year.
December 10, 2018 10:49 am Thanks for another year of awesome POTW shows guys. Great show as always. I have been loving Doomsday Clock, specifically because it's such a strange beast. I haven't read this issue yet but I'm sure I'll feel about it exactly the same as I have about the rest of it. First, I'm absolutely with you on the matter of this series clearly being Johns' vision for the future of the DCU that will probably be treated as an Elseworlds project because of the way the power structure at DC has shifted, As a piece of work, though, it's fascinating and incredibly compelling. Even when I haven't liked the stories he's told or his characterization (you know me and my feelings on Flash: Rebirth), I've always thought that Geoff Johns was one of the best craftsmen in the business. He has outdone himself here, though, working on levels that I never would have imagined he was capable of: taking on Watchmen and actually capturing at least some of Moore's peerless craft for his own story. I'm starting to think there's something to those nine-panel grids... What's interesting, though, is that even with the exceptional writing in terms of plotting, characterization and even dialogue (not something for which Johns is generally known) and non-more-incredible art, there's still a sort of shallowness to this story that means it doesn't quite reach the levels of Watchmen or King's Mister Miracle. This is true of Johns' work, in general, I think. He's the ultimate fanboy writer who generally has an impressive understanding of the DCU and its characters (Barry Allen aside) and armed with real writing chops, he can do this sort of fictional-universe-defining stuff better than almost anyone. What he doesn't do is put much of himself into his work; he has seldom done creator-owned comics and most of his superhero work doesn't feel like it has much to say about anything beyond the characters and stories themselves. He's the very opposite of someone like Tom King, basically. At least that's how I read it. Either way, it's ironic that Doomsday Clock so perfectly encapsulates Johns' strengths and weaknesses when, on the surface, it's such a departure for him! The reason I say this is interesting, incidentally, is because none of this changes how much I have been loving this series. I look forward to new issues of this about as much as I look(ed) forward to new issues of Mister Miracle and Lazarus. And it's really nice to say that about a Geoff Johns book again. As for your audience question, as someone who has been paid to write film reviews for the better part of a decade and who still feels like I've only just begun to learn the craft, my best advice pretty much mirror's yours: read a lot of comics; read a lot of reviews (of all sorts of media but especially comics, obviously) and, most importantly, just keep writing those reviews/long-form criticism. Like any form of writing, practice may not make "perfect" but it certainly does make "better". Learning about the craft of comics is essential but you can probably get that as much from reading different kinds of comics (I love superhero comics but don't limit yourselves to them) as from books specifically dedicated to dissecting the craft. Though, of course, that said, McCloud's Understanding Comics is a must-read - but then, it's a must-read for all comics fans. Thanks to Chadwpost, though, for that recommendation. Reading Comics sounds like a fascinating read.
November 25, 2018 9:22 pm I see... Cool, that's just what sprung immediately to mind while you guys were discussing it. Either way, though, it does like a promising series. I'll probably wait for the trade, though.
November 25, 2018 8:12 pm American Carnage, which I haven't read, sounds an awful lot like BlacKKlansman (I think that's how you spell it), which was based on an insane true story of a pair of cops, one black, one Jewish, who infiltrated the KKK. Have you guys seen it? It's fantastic.
November 18, 2018 4:47 pm Ah, OK, fair enough. I actually don't agree at all but I do see where you're coming from, at least.