Unfortunate Confluence of Words

Fri, October 10th, 2008 at 9:58am PDT | Updated: October 10th, 2008 at 10:12am

Comic Books
Keith Giffen, Columnist

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Sigh... Every time I think I'm free and clear they reel me back in again. Which should, to my way of thinking, explain the monstrous lapses between these self-serving diatribes.

This time out it's gonna be a bit of this, a bit of that, a bit of the things that have really torqued me off since the last time I choked one of these columns out. My hat's off to Steve Grant. Every week without fail. Damn! I gotta get my ass in gear.

Anyway...

THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES

"Ambush Bug Year None" #2

Anyone out there read the second issue of “Ambush Bug Year None?” Anyone happen to notice that there was a page in there printed without the dialog? I think I saw one... ONE comment to that effect.

Now there are two ways I can take this.

  1. No one cared. Or, if hey did, they just wrote it off as a comic book snafu and moved on.
  2. No one wanted to admit that they didn't get the "joke." The joke, I suppose, being that the missing dialog was a deliberate omission. Sorry, gang, it was a screw-up, plain and simple. The odd thing about it is, Bob and I proof read that page and the dialog was there.

I just wanted to get that out in the open because, as is often the case when doing a book like ABYN, we decided to roll with the mistake and see if we couldn't, through deliberate "mishandling" turn a snafu into a full fledged disaster.

So, what we've got here is an error that's now become an integral part of the series which, if you think about it, means that those who thought the dialog bereft page was a deliberate gag were kinda, sorta right even though, at the time the book came out, it was a total FUBAR.

Yeah, my head hurts, too.

I still think #1 the more likely, though.

F**K! C**T! SH*T!

"All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder" #10

“All Star Batman and Robin.” Gotta love it. Actually, you don't.

Simply put, this has to be the single stupidest thing I've ever seen in better than thirty years in the comics biz. There is no excuse for this kind of idiocy. Period.

I don't care why it happened because it never should have happened. I don't care what went wrong because it never should have happened. Save the excuses because it never should have happened!

Who thought this was a good idea? The writer? The editor? Both? If that's the case, fire them.

And before anyone starts in, yes, I've heard all of the, so called, rationalizations, my favorite being; We needed the words so the black boxes would be the right size. Really? Can't figure out that c**t's a four letter word without lettering it on the page? How about this? Once you've carefully measured out the box, delete the word!

I guess an argument could be made that the book's a mature reader book, being, y'know, All Star 'n' all, so it's not all that big a deal. If that's the case, then why were the black boxes there at all? Because the imbeciles involved knew that the language was inappropriate for a Batman book. A Batman book that, last time I checked, didn't carry a mature reader label.

Don't get me wrong here. I'm not railing against the use of rough language. Some of my favorite films, books, etc. traffic pretty extensively in it, but in a Batman, or, for that matter, any mainstream superhero comic? What were they thinking!?

Unbelievable.

Again. Find those responsible and show them the door.

OOPS

On the first page of the latest Ambush Bug the word "fanboy" rears it's head again. Not my doing, gang. I swore off the word a few columns back and still think the term an unfair evaluation of a diverse comic fan base. I guess the obvious question would be, "don't you have any control over your own book?"

Maybe.

Well... Actually... um kinda...

No.

No, I don't.

THINGS THAT AREN'T REALLY ALL THAT FUNNY ANYMORE

File this one under "overstayed their welcome."

  1. FARTS: In “Blazing Saddles,” hysterical. Since then, diminished returns.
  2. ANYONE GETTING HIT IN THE NUTS BY ANYTHING: I think this one's pretty self explanatory.
  3. MAD MAGAZINE: I think its time to change that "M" to an "S".
  4. DANE COOK: No, wait. He was never all that funny to begin with.
  5. The REPUBLICAN PARTY: Veered off into genuinely scary a while back. The Democrats, however, are still a laugh riot.
  6. "I'M WITH STUPID" T-SHIRTS: Just point the arrow straight up and be done with it.
  7. HORROR / COMEDY MELDS: Usually neither horror nor comedy. “Shaun of the Dead” and “Return of the Living Dead” being two notable exceptions.
  8. BIZARRO ANYTHING: I get it. Backwards... Right. Can I go now?
  9. WHAZZZZUUUPPPP?: Or any other, for the moment, catchphrase. News flash, these things have a shelf life of about two weeks. I no longer care where the beef is, what yadda, yadda, yadda signifies, that Kenny died, whether or not you're a Pepper or a Mac or a PC. For the love of God, people, let go already!
  10. The GEICO CAVEMEN: See: Dane Cook.

SELF PUBLISH OR WORK FOR HIRE

This courtesy of Robert Kirkman. I briefly responded to Kirkman's manifesto on some web site or other and have only this to add; regardless of circumstance, are you getting paid? You are? Have a good life.

I'm going to wrap this up by answering the question I'm most often asked and, in doing so, serve my own self-interest. The question is: "Which characters would you like a solid shot at?" OK, not in those words, but you get the picture. In no particular order...

DOOM PATROL: No surprise here. I've stated as much before.

SUPERGIRL: Untapped potential up the wazoo. Once, that is, DC decides whether she's an innocent, a slut, an airhead or a well meaning klutz.

GIANT-MAN: My all time favorite superhero. I'm talking Tales to Astonish era Giant-man, not the wife beating moron currently in play.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: Huh. Bit late for that.

TOMMY TOMORROW: Or any of DC's lesser know sci-fi characters.

And last but not least…

FIRE and ICE: They're way overdue some prime time exposure.

Time to get some real work done. Catch you next time out.

TAGS:  ambush bug, all star batman and robin, keith giffen

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