Archive for the ‘Teh suk’ Category

There really is no accounting for taste

May 23, 2012

Original version:


Original version:

…and so on, for 140 or so pages.

I find it — no exaggeration — genuinely hard to read Laura Martin’s recolouring of Dave Stevens’ Rocketeer, as it appears in the 2011 reprint volume from IDW. I cannot understand how anyone could possibly look at something like this:

and decide that what it needs is a bunch of slick, plastic-looking colour gradients to muddy up Dave Stevens’ linework.

My critical motto has become “different strokes for different folks”, but I look at this reprint and my mind just boggles. The people who published this — and according to the internet, Laura Martin was hand-picked by Stevens himself to recolour the work — thought this was an improvement? Some readers prefer it? Fuck it, any readers prefer it?

Are you shitting me?

Kuhn was right: I literally live in a different world from these people; it is impossible for us to understand one another.

[Images pilfered from: IDW preview art, Chris Sims — one of the readers who, mirabile dictu, actually prefers the recolouring, and Wil Pfiefer]


Zap! Pow! Comics aren’t just etc.

April 10, 2012

Adam is in a place where he really has to reconnect with what it means to be a Master of the Universe

“Writer” James Robinson, discussing a forthcoming comic book about the adventures of a popular children’s toy from the 1980s.

This post is flawed because it doesn’t contain several paragraphs on Norbert Weiner

December 19, 2011

So the great psychologist, and “Nobel” laureate, Daniel Kahneman has written a pop science book summing up his prodigious life of research — good for him. If he’d started his research career thirty years later, he would have written a dozen such books by now; so much of his research lends itself to the genre of  “Title/Subtitle: How One Half-Baked Idea Based on Other People’s Research Can Sell a Million Books”…except that Kahneman himself did all the research (with collaborators, of course), and his ideas are so very, very far from half-baked. We can only be grateful that we have the one pop book that he’s given us now. I hope he sells a zillion books.

Anyway, Freeman Dyson has a review of Kahneman’s book in the New York Review of Books, and his big criticism is…Kahneman never mentions Freud!

Not even in the footnotes!!!!!!

Shit, man, what about Skinner??? Does Kahneman have nothing to say about the humoral theory? Where my Robert Burton at, homeboy? I thought A Brief History of Time should have had at least two chapters on Ptolemy; The Selfish Gene, two on Georges Cuvier.

On the other hand, Dyson’s review doesn’t name-drop Malcolm Gladwell or David fucking Brooks, so there is that. (Speaking of “Title/Subtitle”…)

PS: Bonus points for Dyson for repeating the furphy that William James and Sigmund Freud were not scientists. Just because a lot of their theories were false, doesn’t mean they weren’t scientists — they were just unlucky!

Regression to the mean

January 19, 2009

Final Crisis #6. Grant Morrison and the entire Bullpen Bulletin. $3.99, 34 pages.

Warning: There will be SPOILERS in this review

This is a comic with plenty of sturm, lots of drang but precious little und. I mean, there’s a lot happening but very little connective tissue to tie it together. By my count, there’s over a dozen different plotlines running through this thing;* the reader is expected to give a damn about any of them because — well, let’s face it, it’s not clear why the reader is expected to give a damn. Most of the subplots over the course of this series certainly haven’t  earned any of the emotional heft that the similarly fractured threads in Seven Soldiers #1 had.

Given the way the series is constructed — all jump-cuts and tiny bursts of scenes — it seems almost inappropriate to give it a standard review. To match its pace and confusion, I should instead just write a series of declarative outbursts: Ungood! Rushed! Morrison better! and let the reader fill in the details. Morrison hasn’t really given us a story throughout the series; he’s given us a set of story notes in the form of bullet points: and then this happens! And then this! Oh, and did I mention this! And what about this! Oh, and I forgot to tell you this!

It must all be very Important and Meaningful to the DC Universe because characters keep telling us that it is. Indeed, without the occasional bit of expository dialogue this series would be even less coherent. For instance, the Big Bad for the series — Darkseid — apparently dies three-quarters of the way through, so you would think that the threat was over. Apparently not, though; it’s still “the end of the world” although God knows why, and we certainly wouldn’t have known that except for the helpful Hourman telling us. Thanks, Hourman!

Indeed, the fate of Darkseid is a low point in an issue filled with low points. IIRC, I’ve heard Morrison in the past say that he wanted to make the New Gods seem truly awesome, truly like gods, since they’d been cheapened by their usual appearances in the DC Universe. Accordingly, the coming of Darkseid was made out to be this great and terrible thing, the catastrophic peak to which the series was building; and so he only came onto the stage in issue 5. And then he’s apparently dispatched in two pages by a guy with no powers. Yeah, that was some awesome threat there. He came, he appeared in about three panels, and was conquered.

And what was the point of the Flash scene about how they’re going to race to Darkseid, if Batman could breach his singularity and take him down like a punk? And what’s up with that cover, promising a match-up between Darkseid and Superman? And, while I’m on it, what the hell does DC have against people of colour — viz. Renee Montoya and Shilo Norman?

As a superhero comic, this is bad stuff. As a superhero comic written by Grant Morrison, who can do so much better than this trash, it’s just fucking awful.

Recommended? Hell, no.

* Superman and Brainiac 5; the last stand of Black Canary and the Tattooed Man; Supergirl and the Marvel Family versus Mary Marvel; the JSA et al. holding the line; Tawky Tawny versus Kalibak; Mister Miracle and his Japanese pals; Renee Montoya, the Atoms and the Omega Offensive; Luthor versus Libra; the Flashes; Batman versus Darkseid; Nix Uotan and Metron; and the return of Superman. And that’s not even including the the Hawkpeople or Green Lantern bits.

Most disappointing of 2008

January 12, 2009

Any idiot can do a best-of list. In keeping with the relentless negativity of this site, here’s my list of the biggest disappointments of 2008:

10. Final Crisis

It only started to get readable with #4, and #5 was actually quite good. Shame #1-3 were all teh suk.

9. Acme Novelty Library #19

After branching out into other voices with the last two volumes, Chris Ware takes a step back into familiar territory with this depressing study of a fat, nerdish social misfit. Which is totally not the same as any of his other studies of fat, nerdish social misfits. I’ve been reading Ware since 1996, and this is the first time I’ve felt like he was spinning his wheels.

8. Bourbon Island 1730

Trondheim’s line was too chaotic for me; I found — or rather, couldn’t find — the characters tangled up in the sameness of lines.

7. Dungeon Monstres 2: The Dark Lord

Not so much a reflection of its intrinsic quality, as of the insanely high expectations built up by previous volumes. This is the first volume in the entire series that has felt less than essential. Maybe the Dungeon formula is starting to wear thin; maybe I was in a bad mood when I read it.

6. Naoki Urasawa’s Monster Vol 18

Speaking of insanely high expectations… Good on its own rights, but a little anti-climactic compared with what went before.

5. Cat-Eyed Boy Vol. 1

As I recounted here, I was disappointed with the first volume. It’s no Drifting Classroom, that’s for sure.

4. No new volumes of Little Lulu from Dark Horse.

Although apparently they’re starting up again in 2009. Don’t toy with my affections, Dark Horse.

3. No new English volumes of Cromartie High School.

‘Nuff said.

2. Later volumes of Welcome to the NHK

I liked the first few volumes of this series a LOT, for reasons I might get into one day. The rest, not so much.

1. Only nine posts all year.

Seriously, Jones, what the fuck?

On the cutting edge of relevance

March 8, 2007

Dick Hyacinth asked people last week for more hilarious and original parodies of Marvel’s recent cross-over Civil War. One week later, the best entries would win a prize!

Well, I think that’s what he said; I don’t read too good. Anyway, my picture below is all the more relevant now that there’s a new “meme” sweeping the interblogosphere (someone died, I guess?) and everyone’s already forgotten how much they hated/loved Civil War #7.

BTW, you probably can’t tell, but this was created in MS Paint, not Photoshop. I hope it still counts!


It’s been a week now, Dick, so how about it–do I win a Bloody Shirt? Or at least a No-Prize?

Next week: I post panels from Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen with humorous commentary, and prove that bold text is always funny. Also–did somebody say “Green Goblin ‘o’ face”?*

* NB: I am lying.