No Clever Title Needed | 02-06-2012

I’m alive, I assure you. Just trapped in this schedule of real life responsibilities and other online writing duties I’ve made for myself. But, hey, I’m not complaining. I could be waaaaay worse off. I like working. I just hate how bad I procrastinate because it’s beginning to bury me in all the work I have in front of me.

I updated this blog exactly one month ago, and since, nothing new from me has surfaced on here. I apologize. By now, my planned posts of Ultimate Spider-man nonsense should be long settled, yet I haven’t even begun essay #2. No fear. I haven’t given up. Not by a long shot. I’m just taking care of the priorities at the moment  – like wonderful school. As soon as the time presents itself, this blog will receive my full attention. I still love writing about comics. That shit still remains.

So where do I pick up? God, so much has happened in terms of comics. Ah, fuck, why don’t I just begin with some good old self promotion? I’ve been up to things.

I’m unsure whether I ever officially made the announcement here, but I am now an actual staff writer for I couldn’t be happier. Honest. I’ve dabbled in other site writing gigs before, *cough*PopMatters *cough*, and I can say Spandexless has yet to enforce a strict, tyrannical stance or tamper with my writing. Both Beth and Alex, the editors, are way cool, and seem to be open to anything I’d like to write. And better yet, they let my words go, only editing the necessary bits. I enjoy that. PopMatters completely rewrote shit and left my name on it to take the fall …

So, go check out a few of my favorite pieces posted over there thus far. Especially this interview I conducted with Twisted Savage Dragon Funnies editor Michel Fiffe in which we discussed process and his comic book Zegas. I had fun with this, and Michel is an ultra nice guy.

There’s also this review of The Black Forest, an anthology published by a Pittsburgh art collective.


I recently received a promotion at the college radio station I’m involved with, U92-FM, to head up their local music show known as The Morgantown Sound. While it’s certainly a radio show, Morgantown Sound also involves booking and recording live bands from the region for eventual broadcast. In fact, that aspect of the program is quickly becoming the main feature.

So far, I’ve had some success with it, and I’m quickly falling more and more into the project. As of now, I’m the show’s producer and receiving a pay check. Can’t complain there. More importantly though, I see this as an opportunity to actually have an affect on the local community and possibly build a hub for local music and add to the Morgantown culture.

There’s a great history there, and I’m looking to build Morgantown Sound into a living document of the city’s music scene, both past and present.

For now, you can check out this newspaper article I was interviewed for as well as the actual Morgantown Sound blog. Right now, it hosts a few recordings we’ve done. In the future, it will be home to much, much more, and I’m sure you’ll hear me mention it again.

Before Watchmen. I’m not into it. Here are my thoughts, which I posted on a forum after reading page after page of odd support for the project.

I’m going to sit in the cynics camp for this argument as well.

DC legally has every right to make this move, and I’m sure it’ll make them more money than I’ll ever personally make. That’s cool. I won’t even argue DC fucked over Alan Moore. I’m not subscribing to any thought that they slid their hands together and giggled as they signed the original deal. if anything, Moore thought Watchmen would be his after a year, and DC would have contractually given it to him if the book would have gone out of print. The drive of capitalism kept the book in print, though, so DC kept to their side of the deal. Moore’s smart enough to have possibly thought of such an outcome.

No, my beef is purely with what I think this announcement says about comics at this point. It shows that the industry has come as far to no longer honor anything. Nothing remains sacred. Not that anything has ever been sacred in comics. Ideas have been exploited for decades, but it seemed that even past that Comics had a little class to recognize and protect a few, specific ideas and works. Before Watchmen says that Comics has moved past that. There’s no longer any honor, not even a %. Instead, everything’s for sale, and comics is now entirely an industry rather than partially being one. In my eyes, at least.

I know. It’s cynical. it’s a childish stand to take, and I’m sure most will laugh as they read this post, but I honestly felt a bit sick when I read this thread because it even cemented the idea a little more in my head. No one cares anymore. Instead, everyone wants what they want at the end of the day. They want more Watchmen. They want sales. They want Darwyn Cooke. And it’ll all be justified any way possible.

And don’t even give me the argument that “comics are all about exploitation.” Yeah, that’s true, but I find it very sad when people seem to just except that idea rather than want to change it. Before Watchmen is just another mark in the long history of exploitation comics holds. And not just creator exploitation, but idea exploitation. Moore’s right when he says DC is running off his ideas from 25 years ago. Before Watchmen is completely derivative of something he made. And, yeah, he did make it. Sure, it’s inspired by Charlton, but I think Watchmen’s finished product stands so far from Charlton it’s its own idea.

And Moore’s not a hypocrite. Chris Mautner says it well:

“And the fact that Moore has frequently drawn upon classic literary material in works like Lost Girls and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is also irrelevant (although let me make an aside here to say that there’s a big difference between building a pastiche using familiar characters and motifs to create something new and original, and rehashing familiar material to make a quick and cynical cash grab).”

Basically, I feel Before Watchmen has taken Comics over the edge. The mainstream side of things has been dying away in my eyes for months now, and this has managed to kill it completely. It’s simply not a matter of “should they or shouldn’t” or even Watchmen itself. Instead, this is about something larger. Is Comic just enough cog in capitalism’s machine or is it the special, intimate, thoughtful industry we’ve all made it out to be? Before Watchmen surely says cog.

Later, after being called naive because I thought the comics industry was nice and rainbow-like, I posted:

It’s not about bubble bursting. It’s more about the acceptance. This seems like a clear instance where people could, understanding the circumstance of it, turn their backs on Before Watchmen. DC will publish it nontheless, but audience reaction will determine it’s success. From where it currently stands, it seems DC will win out.

I’m not sure if that would have been the case 5 years ago, but after Alan Moore’s code seemed to get in the way of everybody’s fun, people seemed ready to rebel against the old man. I guess this is the result.

I don’t know. The entire argument is dumb. If anything, read these two pieces.


I’m tired. Bye.

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