//X-Men: First Class Title Sequence from Joe D! on Vimeo.
//What Is Pop? by Colin Smith. Why aren't comics pop anymore? That's it, Colin. Get angry.
Competency and caution is the name of the game in 2011, with occasional brilliant exceptions and pathetic collapses of craft serving to make the sub-genre at times seem more dynamic than it is. Mostly, I read unambitiously well-structured and utterly predictable stories written for the trade. Often this means that I'm paying for complacent rubbish churned out by folks who surely should know better, but who apparently don't, although they do produce a story in the requisite number of pages. I read stories written by folks with no apparent concept of the genre's long history and the skills developed by generation upon generation of comic book professionals, but who know how to tell a four issue arc perfectly adequately, as if creating comics was a mechanical rather than a creative endeavour. I experience page after page of shoddily designed and executed storytelling, packed with money-shots of be-muscled costumes and porn-actress "super-heroines" parading as if their function is as masturbationary aids for young prospective metrosexuals prevented by their parents from using a search engine and the "start private browsing" button on the family computer. I see not Pop, but aspects of exploitation and complacency which could be fascinating if they were part of a brilliant creation rather than lazy unquestioned examples of shallow thinking and practise.
... is that what Private Browsing does!??!? I mean, uh...
//The Spaces Between Stars by Warren Ellis:
So when I write science fiction I’m a crime writer, and when I write crime fiction I’m an sf writer. I’m talking about our lives, and the way I see the world. I’m writing about the new thing, the disruptive event that enters that world, its repercussions and the attempts to deal with it. But I’m talking about where I think I am today, and what I think it looks like.//Lois Lane, Girl Reporter - a pitch by Dean Trippe and friends. I would buy this. Is anyone listening? I am far from the target audience, but I can tell from the pitch that this is a caring, considered thing that would open up new doors for new audiences into our little world, and it needs to happen.
//Chris Sims writes a nice little essay on one of my very favorite comics, Jack Kirby's New Gods:
Kirby, a veteran of World War II who had nightmares about the horrors he saw for the rest of his life, created a mythology where there's no such thing as a god of war, because the very act of war itself is a losing proposition. Orion himself refers to it as "packaged murder," and at best, it's shown to be a regrettable necessity that can never truly be won through the temporary solution provided by, but by eliminating the root causes of hatred and fear.//Remake/Remodel is Aquaman for HBO, so of course I loved it. (Pia Guerra; Craig Payne)