Unfortunate Confluence of Words

Fri, March 21st, 2008 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
Keith Giffen, Columnist

I'm pulling out of the tail end of this year's flu variant so bear with me if this column meanders a bit more than usual.

Once again I find myself mulling over random bits of this and that, none of which warrant full column space so I guess that means it's potpourri time.

Maybe a few lists. For the record, I love lists. Top tens, worst of, love 'em all. I still miss those Book of Lists compilations that used to hit the bookstores semi-regularly; not that I have to know "Seven Animals That Eat Their Young" in order to get on with my life, but it's nice to know the information's out there. Just in case.

Before I go any further, let's all take a moment to reflect on that age old adage, "Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one." We square? Good. Let's get to it then...

FIVE WORDS THAT HAVE OVERSTAYED THEIR WELCOME

CRISIS. Do the math.

ULTIMATE. See above.

GRIM and / or GRITTY. We get it. You're a badass.

CONTINUITY. Anyone not see that one coming?

CREATOR. Way too liberally applied to one and all. If you're writing or drawing say, "X-Men," aren't you more a facilitator than a creator? Unless of course you happen to have created the X-Men or significantly contributed to the mythos with new characters, concepts, etc. Trawling out stories rooted in past continuity just doesn't cut it.

I suppose an argument could be made that one creates the story being told, but, I dunno, that strikes me as slim argument. I didn't create the Four Horsemen, I just pushed them through a story. That makes me more writer / facilitator than creator and that's just fine by me.

FOUR MOVIES I CAN'T BELIEVE I STILL HAVEN'T GOTTEN AROUND TO SEEING

CASABLANCA. Bits and pieces, but the whole thing? Nope.

VERTIGO. And I really like Hitchcock. Well, before the French screwed him up with all of that auteur crap.

ON THE WATERFRONT. Not the biggest Brando fan, but still...

GONE WITH THE WIND. Again, bits and pieces but never as a whole.

NOT QUITE JUMPING THE SHARK, BUT CLOSE

RED HULK. Do we really need a Republican Hulk?

THAT SUPER-KID HANGING WITH THE KENTS. And I thought Krypto was ill advised.

SON OF BATMAN. Didn't we get this kind of thing out of our systems with that Sons of Superman / Batman debacle?

SKRULL SURPRISE! AKA continuity retcon follies. See? I told you continuity was problematic.

ANY MOBILE THAT DOESN'T START WITH "BAT." If you want to make a toy, make it. Don't saddle us with trying to shoehorn it into a book.

ANY TEAM BOOK THAT CARRIES A FAMILIAR NAME PRECEDED BY EAST, WEST, NORTH, WHATEVER. Here's a radical idea, howzabout coming up with a new team concept?

FOUR COMICBOOKS I ACTUALLY MAKE TIME TO READ (as opposed to having to read them to keep on top of things)

GREEN LANTERN. And I really don't like Green Lantern as a character, so go figure.

100 BULLETS. Vertigo's gem.

CHECKMATE. That's right. A Rucka book. No one is more surprised than me.

ALL STAR SUPERMAN. Grant's having fun and it's contagious.

I'm tempted to throw in a Marvel title, if only for balance, but... I got nothing.

SIX BRAIN FARTS (being useless things that are stuck in my head that I really wish would go away)

"CROSS AT THE GREEN, NOT IN-BETWEEN." Anyone else remember this old grade school safety rhyme? I can't seem to get rid of it.

"THERE'S A SCOUT TROOP SHORT A CHILD." The "missing" line from the old "Car 54 Where Are You?" TV show theme song. Why? Someone please tell me why it won't go away?

"PREPOSITIONS, GERUNDS, ETC." English class mainstays, the definitions of which are locked into memory even though I have zero use for them. C'mon, honestly, when's the last time someone even mentioned the word "gerund" to you? Nada for me and I'm, allegedly, a writer.

THE ORIGIN OF COMET THE SUPER-HORSE. Just... Just shoot me.

ANY LIMERICK WITH THE WORD "NANTUCKET" IN IT. See above.

THE HOME PLANETS OF EVERY SINGLE MEMBER OF THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES. Proof positive that I exceeded my tolerances on that particular book.

And finally...

MY FOURTEEN ALL TIME FAVORITE COMMENTS TOSSED MY WAY BY PEOPLE WHO SHOULD KNOW BETTER (all guaranteed 100 percent true)

"You can draw!?"

"I thought you'd be younger. I thought you'd be your son."

"The problem with your writing is, you have to read it to know what's going on."

"I'm glad you're not dead yet."

"This revised page three, it still goes after page two?"

"There's only one Frank Miller. You should write more like him."

"Someone actually married you?"

"Nine panels per page? When'd you get so lazy?"

"You should bring back (insert character name) but let someone else do it."

"We're looking for something new and dynamic and cutting edge but familiar."

"I know you created the character but I just don't think you're right for him."

"A little more testosterone on the page wouldn't hurt."

"This reminds me of that Giffen guy's work." Followed almost immediately by, "Oh. Right."

"Dumb it down. Our readers aren't that bright."

Huh... Meds are kicking in...

Till next time.

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