Again, these aren’t resolutions; they’re just plans. And vague ones at that.
Kill All Monsters and The Cownt are priorities on the comics front. Kill All Monsters just needs a publisher, so I need to be more diligent about that. We’re just about ready to submit to a couple of more companies who needed a little more in their pitches than some of the others required. Not that we’ve heard back from everyone we initially sent it to, so there may be some following up to do if I can figure out how not to be a pest about it.
I want to get the Cownt one-shot finished and pitched by the end of the year. I’d love to see it in stores by then, and I think that’s possible, but let’s not get ahead ourselves just yet. Finishing the novel is another writing focus. Being smarter about business and marketing in general. Seeing if we can get Jesse vs. Machine Gun going again.
I think that’s enough writing goals.
Except that I’m very excited about the new digs that the old Blogarama crew have staked out. It’s going to be fun. And I’m changing the focus of my column over there slightly so that I can talk more about the kinds of comics I like most. There should be announcements by the end of the week. Maybe as soon as tomorrow.
As for this blog, I’m gonna keep on keeping on. I promised myself I wouldn’t make any more Announcements about the direction, so I won’t except to say that as my interests fluctuate, Adventureblog content probably will too.
On a personal level, I’m hoping to take Diane and David to Tallahassee this year. That’s where I grew up, but I haven’t been back in about 20 years. Yikes. Doesn’t seem that long. It’s way past time I introduced my family to those folks.
That should do it, eh? Like I said yesterday, 2008 had some disappointments and I’m still feeling that a bit. I don’t want to load 2009 up with too many expectations right away. If we keep things reasonable and just strive to make a little more progress, it’ll be a good year.
There’s one more Black Canary comic that’s been causing a stir, so I should mention it. Folks seem to be having a problem with a scene in which JLA Chairwoman Black Canary confronts Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman for holding secret meetings in a hidden room.
A lot of the commentary is around Ed Benes’ art and I get that. I find it pretty easy to ignore, but yes, he does like to draw booties and crotches. The panel above isn’t at all indicative of most of Benes’ poses in the scene.
Where I disagree with critics though is about Dwayne McDuffie’s writing. Black Canary does accuse the “trinity” of undermining her authority as leader of the JLA and I’ve read a couple of posts questioning exactly how they’re doing that. After all, they’re not countermanding her orders in battle and none of the other members know about the secret meetings. Black Canary herself had to do some serious detective work to find out about them.
So, yeah, I agree that they’re not really undermining her authority as far as the rest of the team is concerned. But Canary’s response here isn’t really about the rest of the team. It’s about her. It’s an emotional response to finding out that the three heavy-hitters of the superhero community in general and the JLA in particular don’t trust her enough to include her in their little club. “Undermining” may be a poor choice of words on Canary’s part, but I don’t think they necessarily are on McDuffie’s. It’s exactly the kind of thing someone would say out of their emotion when they feel personally and professionally threatened. I like it. It humanizes Canary.
In a perfect world, I’d have much more to say about the return of the Milestone characters in this issue. I’ve been waiting for this day and I’m twelve kinds of excited about seeing where this goes. But the sad fact is that it’s been so long since I’ve read these guys’ adventures that I don’t remember much about all but a couple of them. I really need to dig out my old Milestones again. And probably post about them.
What Kent wanted was just that which Superman didn’t want to be bothered with. Kent wanted Lois, Superman didn’t—thus marking the difference between a sissy and a man. A sissy wanted girls who scorned him; a man scorned girls who wanted him. Our cultural opposite of the man who didn’t make out with women has never been the man who did—but rather the man who could if he wanted to, but still didn’t. The ideal of masculine strength, whether Gary Cooper’s, Lil Abner’s, or Superman’s, was for one to be so virile and handsome, to be in such a position of strength, that he need never go near girls. Except to help them. And then get the hell out.
Understanding that I haven’t read any more context than what Caleb posted, I couldn’t disagree more. Not about our cultural ideals, but about the psychology that created the Clark/Lois/Superman triangle. Feiffer makes Clark sound like he’s got a split personality. Is Clark/Superman a sort of Jekyll/Hyde who desperately loves Lois until he takes off his glasses and then doesn’t care anymore?
I agree with Feiffer that people are more attractive when they’re confident instead of desperate for attention and approval, but that applies to both men and women. Lois Lane didn’t like Clark Kent because he went out of his way to make sure she didn’t. He had a secret identity to maintain and he intentionally held back whenever he had the opportunity to impress her as Clark.
Lois is sometimes mean to Clark for no reason, but I can’t fault her for not being interested in him. In the panels just before the ones I posted above, the big thug demands that Lois dance with him and Clark’s response is to suggest that she just do as the man wants. We see him privately cheering her on as she stands up to the bully, but in public he cowers and yells for her not to make things worse. I wonder why she consented to go out with Clark in the first place, but I don’t have any doubts about why she leaves.
Why did she go out with him anyway? I can think of only two possible reasons. She was either reluctantly willing to give the poor sap a chance and see if there was something there she wasn’t seeing at work, or she was bored and was playing with him. From the way she usually treats him, I’ve always suspected that she’s just playing with him, but what if that’s not the case? What if she’s giving him his shot here, however half-heartedly she may be doing it. You can’t really blame her for not being excited about it. I think that’s a valid interpretation and it makes the relationship a lot more interesting. Clark must see some kind of possibility with her. Otherwise why does he pursue her?
Now, let’s look at that for a minute. Clark apparently wants Lois to like him, but he wants her to like him as the simpering toadie he pretends to be. As Feiffer observed, whenever he’s Superman, he doesn’t give Lois the time of day.
Recently, a big deal has been made in the comics about how vulnerable the loved ones of superheroes are to villains. I don’t think that’s what’s going on in Superman’s mind though. It’s too early in his career and the only villains he fights are common mobsters. There aren’t any masterminds. There’s no Lex Luthor. As a reporter, Lois gets into way more trouble than she would as Superman’s girlfriend.
I think what’s going on in Superman’s mind is that he’s deeply attracted to Lois, but feels that she needs to mellow out a bit. I think he’s playing games with her. If he can get her to fall for Clark Kent, that means she’s softened to the point that he can start to trust her with his heart and maybe one day his secret. It’s really a cruel game though and makes Superman no nicer than Lois.
And I think that’s the really interesting thing about this relationship. On one side, you’ve got Lois who’s very tough, but not inhuman. On the other side, you’ve got Clark, who’s not a bad persion either, but finds himself in this weird position where he likes someone he can’t trust and he doesn’t handle it very well. That makes both of them heavily flawed, but we can still root for them to work out their individual issues and get together as a couple.
And it’s much, much better than Clark’s just being mentally ill.
I haven’t read it all the way through yet, but I’ve got Joe DeVito’s book Kong: King of Skull Island. There was nothing really wrong with the book to make me put it down, but I was trying to read it directly after the disappointing prequel novel, King Kong: The Island of the Skull and the Thoroughly Awesome Peter Jackson movie. The prequel novel burned me out on anything that wasn’t the movie and unfortunately, DeVito’s book fell into that category.
Of course it’s not news that Marvel would love to have Brad Pitt play Thor. I’m sure Marvel would love to have Brad Pitt play Batroc the Leaper if they could get him. What’s important about this no-brainer is that it’s made me realize that yes, someone like Brad Pitt would make a good Thor and that no, it doesn’t have to be a no-acting muscle-man in the role.
Super hero movies rule right now because they’re starring real actors and I’m confident that whoever they get to play Thor will be able to hold his own next to Robert Downey Jr., Ed Norton, and Samuel L. Jackson in the Avengers movie.
Mystery of the Crystal Skulls
The SciFi Channel’s currently running a documentary on the crystal skulls legends. Gotta set my TiVo. Looks like the next showings are tomorrow at 4:00 PM and May 28 at 10:00 AM. I’m assuming those are Eastern Times.
Why I’m not at all excited to see the Star Wars: Clone Wars cartoon
Because Topless Robot is totally right that we don’t need more Jabba and Tatooine stories. I think Lucas is as tired of Star Wars as I am. I saw the trailer before Speed Racer and I was actually bored. I never thought I’d say that about Star Wars.
Seriously? Victor Garber is probably my favorite actor right now. He’s “sinnnnfully delicious.” (My undying love to you if you get that reference.) And it occurs to me that his daughter on Alias used to be married to Dreamy Noel, so… small world.
The Book of Lies Brad Meltzer’s new book will feature the search for two murder weapons: the gun that killed the father of Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel, and the item that Cain used to kill Abel. Sounds very, very cool.
Indiana Jones makes everything better, ad infinitum
Here’s some new stuff that looks good from DC in June.
I’m not completely sold on this yet. One the one hand, I’m not a big fan of the art there and I didn’t enjoy Countdown as much as I wanted to. On the other, it’s effectively a new, weekly Wonder Woman series co-starring Superman and Batman and written by Kurt Busiek. Gotta at least try it out.
Birds of Prey #119
Even if it’s just for one issue, Black Canary’s returning to Birds of Prey makes me want to read it. And look! Manhunter!
“The first one was a romantic film and a nostalgic film … now that the characters are established, there’s really an opportunity to up the threat levels. … All those teenage girls who found the movie and mooned over James Marsden or Brandon? Well, I’m going to wake them up!”
Now you’re talkin’, Bryan.
Christopher Mills has discovered a book I really want to read: a lady pirate story by the guy who created the Justice Society of America. And look, you can buy it here.