August 4th, 2007


[Wo]Men In Tights

A while ago, I was in Waterstone's picking up some Punisher collections. Punisher is generally the only Marvel title i read, and that mostly because it's written by Garth Ennis (Preacher). I've read Gaiman's 1602 as well, but that might be it. [No, wait -- Anita Blake's Marvel too, but that's the lot. ]

Anyhoo, Waterstone's only had two collections I wanted, but they were both "3 for 2", so I needed a third. So I tried Heroes For Hire:  Civil War.

Now, here's the thing. Civil War, itself, has impinged on my consciousness through news reports - Slashdot and the mainstream press - because (a) it had Peter Parker revealing his true identity, and (b) They Killed Kenny Captain America. But Marvel generally had been getting a hammering because of this Mary Jane statue, and then I'd heard about Heroes For Hire only because of the outrage over this hentaiesque cover.

So I figured: I'm not paying for it, so Marvel aren't getting my cash. So why not? So I bought HfH:CW.

And y'know what? It's not very good. Yes, there's cheesecake in there, with more emphasis on the females than the males (I counted). But generally, the art wasn't particularly well-done either way. There's not a lot of pictures where characters have natural posture -- they're mostly in exaggerated postures. And I'm not just talking about the sexual posturing either; the majority aren't specifically sexually framed, they're just not good at showing characters at rest. It's not naturalistic.

And the writing? Horrible. Really, really bad.

Generally speaking, I don't know the characters, so I don't know whether they're well represented here, but I didn't feel inclined to want to know any of them, from this. Gah.

More recently still, I weakened and bought Civil War, itself. And it's okay, I suppose. Certainly, it's a lot better written and drawn than HfH:CW, but it's still not up there with, say, Mike Carey. And mainly, I was thinking: there's little that looks as silly as a room full of costumed superheroes trying to be dramatic. With Batman, there's a gravitas to get away with it - particularly as a lone vigilante. Punisher's the same - even more so, because there's no mask, and Frank Castle's outfit isn't particularly removed from special forces. But put a lot of them together, in masks, and it's, well, sad.

Looking back at my favorite comics (Preacher, Sandman, Transmetropolitan, Hellblazer, Invisibles), I avoid superheroes and their costumes, and I don't think that's likely to change.
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    guilty guilty
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What's good?

So I know some of you read comics. I'm kinda between series, since all the good stuff I was reading has finished. Any recommendations for stuff to pick up? It has to be available in collected form, since I'm not one for getting individual issues. And, ideally, not of the superhero genre, since I don't seem to connect well with that.

Any thoughts?
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    curious curious
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howler monkey


We have a power problem in the study; twice in ten minutes, the desktop's just died. First time, the router went with it, and this time, the router's rebooting. I think we're getting momentary drop-outs.