Archive for the 'superman' Category

this isn’t fun anymore

Wait. Seriously?


Forgive me. I’ve been reading nothing but comics blogs for about 48 hours.

Some of the conversation that resulted:

(01:02:53) me:
(01:09:24) james nye: ‘ The only side a comic falls on that really matter is good comics vs. bad comics. It doesn’t matter who publishes them.’
(01:09:31) james nye: but of course that isn’t true
(01:11:23) james nye: in the same way that, say, bands on major labels can still write great songs, and indie-rockers with devout followings can still write terrible songs, but for those who support one ethos over another, who’s writing the songs is still tantamount
(01:12:59) me: there’s the temptation, for me at least, to try to vote with my dollar
(01:13:13) me: and pick up something because it represents a trend i want to encourage
(01:13:24) me: rather than because it’s outstandingly good
(01:14:07) james nye: right
(01:14:28) james nye: of course, once you remember that indie music (and indie comics) are in no real danger of ‘dying’ per se, you’re no longer obligated to do so
(01:14:46) james nye: and can instead choose quality, rather than feeling you have to support the movement as a bloc
(01:14:48) me: right
(01:15:21) me: and i can buy much more for the MLLL than i’d consider getting for myself
(01:15:35) james nye: haha
(01:15:38) james nye: yeah, that must come in handy
(01:16:25) me: i got both volumes of Flight because I thought it was diverse enough that lots of people could find something to enjoy, then form an individual interest in those particular creators and follow them online, etc.
(01:16:56) me: plus its possible historical importance (made a little too explicit by Scott McCloud’s introduction)
(01:17:09) me: but I don’t think I’d get either one on my own
(01:17:36) james nye: well, that’s your prerogative as comics ambassador to reed college
(01:18:40) me: :)

(01:19:26) me:
(01:20:11) james nye: heh

(01:20:46) me:
(01:21:00) me: holy shit
(01:21:34) me: CARTÜNNEL
(01:21:51) james nye: !
(01:23:13) james nye: it’s like 5-Card Nancy, except you walk through it

(01:36:06) me:
(01:36:20) me: I remember the episode of Batman Beyond he mentions
(01:36:55) me: I hadn’t really thought about the depth of transformation that occurs in Bruce Wayne – hopefully the film will inspire similar thoughts
(01:37:19) me: but that episode of the show suggests that he even calls himself “Batman” in his head, not “Bruce”
(01:38:03) me: he was renamed that night. every single part of his mind and soul became directed to the mission.
(01:38:37) me: his creation of “Bruce Wayne” is almost the most disturbing thing of all
(01:39:10) me: because behind every single dopey smirk and wink is an absolutely soulless, calculating warrior
(01:39:46) james nye: yeah–in the movie, there are a couple scenes where we clearly see him doing a tone-deaf parody of how a billionaire playboy is supposed to act
(01:39:58) me: i imagine that he doesn’t sleep. he perfected some kind of Eastern meditation that fulfils the biological necessity in like two hours per day
(01:40:24) me: he strives for absolute efficiency in all aspects of his life
(01:40:36) me: and he gets incredibly close
(01:40:42) me: but he’s not a robot.
(01:40:52) me: he slips occasionally
(01:41:15) me: after all, behind all of this is a scared and incredibly pissed-off little boy that wants his parents back
(01:41:45) me: and that is the great tragedy.
(01:42:38) me: see, Superman really is Clark Kent. He is an alien, but every aspect of his life comes from being raised on a farm in Kansas by Ma and Pa Kent.
(01:43:22) me: Superman is an alien who was raised a human. Batman was a human who has transformed himself into an alien.
(01:43:50) james nye: but they both create personae with the intention of fitting in
(01:44:10) james nye: bruce wayne is a parody of gotham’s elite that did nothing to stop the crime wave that killed his parents: rich, ineffectual, aloof
(01:44:24) james nye: clark kent is a parody of humanity at large, the humanity that s-man is charged with protecting
(01:44:34) me: no. Superman’s is entirely genuine. he hides only insofar as he has to keep people from realizing his secret
(01:45:21) me: he might occasionally flirt with thinking that he’s better than all of us, but that’s not the core of who he is.
(01:45:37) james nye: now, hang on
(01:46:20) james nye: my understanding is that he knows that he’s better than all of us–in terms of moral goodness as well as physical ability–and what’s interesting about his character is that that knowledge never grinds him down and he never gives up
(01:47:00) me: no. he’s relentlessly idealistic in the face of mountains of evidence that humanity is shit and maybe doesn’t even deserve saving.
(01:47:08) me: because that’s just how you do it in Kansas.
(01:49:16) me: which is why it was so powerful to read Kingdom Come where his world crumbles, he can’t deal with the cognitive dissonance, and he retreats from the world to his holodeck – not a holo-representation of Krypton, but a Kansas farm where he spends years in isolation
(01:49:41) me: because it takes a lot to disillusion Superman
(01:51:03) me: then Wonder Woman comes and makes him realize that he’s just childishly trying to block it out, and it doesn’t take her five minutes to persuade him to go out and make things right
(01:52:03) me: but that all comes from Ma & Pa. that’s the source of everything. That’s where he retreats when he has nothing left in the world, and that’s what makes him get off his ass and rejoin humanity.

Leigh Walton talks comics and maybe other arts. (RSS)
He also works for the very excellent publisher Top Shelf Productions (which does not necessarily endorse the views and opinions, etc, herein).


Header by me. Contains an interpolation of the final panel from All-Star Superman #1 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. Speaking of which.