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You WERE racist, back in the old days! How old were you in 1920?

Okay, here's a serious question: have comics EVER been heading in a direction that you'd like them to be heading?

Comics have always seemed to be mostly targeting a different audience then me, and when there are comics I really, deeply love, I see that as an anomaly. Sometimes there are a group of anomalies, but most times there are only one or two.

Right now, there are fewer than most. I actually read less comics than I did a few years ago, but I look at a lot of them.

Noooooo, you have to comment on this whole "Before Watchmen" nonsense! Everyone has! I spat venom at it myself but can never equal your absurdist-neo-intellectual style of writing which I adore giving a read whenever a post is made here. Tell me how to FEEL about all this, Tucker; tell me because all the snark and LOLCats on the web have made me kind of forget what emotions even are.

Also, I got the "My Friend Dahmer" comic long ago when it was a short one-shot comic. Is this new publishing full of more content or just the same (albeit very interesting same) stuff?

I'm actually pretty happy with the status of the content right now. A lot of my favorite cartoonists are people who are currently producing excellent work (Huizenga, Hernandez), and more than a few of my favorite comics (Gasoline Alley and Krazy Kat) are in the process of being re-released. There's a ton of great comics coming to English for the first time--Tardi, Tatsumi, Tezuka, other people whose names also start with T. There's some good shlock to read, at least one or two things every couple of weeks if you keep your eye out for it.

When I say comics are heading in a direction--I guess I'm just not as cynical on this one as you. I do think that there was a time where comics people were a lot less horrible to one another, a time when creators seemed to have other concerns beyond the purely financial--this is pure feeling, i'm not trying to create a post or ideology or any strict rule. I didn't used to feel like I was the odd man out for thinking that Kirby got a raw deal, or for thinking that Siegel and Shuster got hosed. Nowadays I do. Nowadays it feels like the industry's target consumer is a hyperconsuming lunatic fringe, and the rest of us can fuck right off.

I never expected the majority of this field to be the "comics as art" kind of thing--and I don't think it would be any better off if it were--but it sure seems like there's a huge Not Welcome sign being put up for anyone with the temerity to think that it might not be a great idea for comics to adopt all of the worst aspects of corporate culture.

I don't know Tim. You're closer to this than I am, you've probably thought about it a lot more deeply. I take a look at the things going around right now, the excuses and arguments being made--it all feels like a massively toxic environment. I don't think that it always was like that. If there was some huge financial rewards being reaped on the behalf of artists, it would be one thing....but that isn't the case, is it?

This release of Watchmen prequels is an implicit admission of creative bankrupcy. They’ve run out of new ideas because nobody wants to bring their new ideas to DC, and nobody wants to bring their new ideas to DC because nobody likes getting screwed. So DC is left scraping the bottom of the barrel, “relaunching” low-selling books and old copyrights while claiming that they’re really relaunching the whole line – a false claim that only survives as long as nobody mentions Batman or Green Lantern’s books. Let’s try to make something out of that old Kirby character we have and some bloggers love so hard, let’s see if we can dupe someone into buying that old Ditko concept again by bringing in Rob Liefeld, let’s see if we can bring back those books that Moore and Morrison made respectable back when DC still took chances, the leftover prestige of the previous series may attract some attention. No new ideas anywhere, just old copyrights being thrown at the wall and let’s see what sticks. At this point DC is as creative as my microwave, they’re both only good at reheating frozen properties.

The creators involved will doubtlessly get a respectable paycheck and since Alan Moore doesn’t want to play ball he’s being dismissed as a cranky old man, in a defensive reaction disturbingly similar to the fan outcry that was raised against those bad bad greedy heirs of golden-age creators who threatened to take our preciousss Superman away from non-greedy-at-all DC, thus jeopardizing comicdom’s regular fix of substandard Superman comics.

It’s just so sad. And I honestly hope this project doesn’t sell.

"At this point DC is as creative as my microwave, they’re both only good at reheating frozen properties."


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