An Open Letter to Warren Ellis

May 10, 2007 at 5:25 pm (Comic Books)

Dear Mr. Ellis,

Look, I’m sorry about what happened between us. In all honesty, i just like checking your blog regularly, and needed to track something for my Convergence Journalism class here at the University of Massachusetts. It was not some vendetta-driven towards you, or any such thing, though i did try to tear apart your work from day one. I think it was the fact that you recycle so many of your ideas that got me all sanctimonious.

First, I just want you to understand that everything seen in this blog was posted for a class of mine: meaning i’m writing for my grade and don’t really worry about material in this blog beyond that. For God’s sake, look 5 entries back and you’ll see me pulling a rookie blogger mistake by cutting and pasting sections from newsblogs directly into the rich text editor here. My point is, don’t go thinking i started some Warren Ellis fan site every time i used the “Ellis Watch” category in a post.

There’s just a whole lot of crazy shit going on in your site, so i wanted to further it’s reach and bit and get my homework done at the same time. For example, you’ve got to admit that the amount of attention you allot Katie West’s crappy contrived photos is staggering. Do you really have a series called The Weekly Katie West? Can you even tell me why she deserves my attention? Are you gonna get her on Suicide Girls or something? Did she maybe give you brains at a ComicCon 5 years ago, then threatening to go public with it if u didn’t do as she said? How else could you explain the presence of pictures like this?

Like i said, contrived, sex-kitten bullshit.

I did appreciate the attention you gave me on your blog all those weeks ago. I was certainly very flattered by it. But it did suck to have a bunch of your flunkies try to tear me a new one since i don’t know shit about the inner workings of comic book selling.

And i swear, if that was really Tony Beddard who tried to scold me after that whole Doktor Sleepless coupon fiasco i’m gonna shoot myself, because that means i got talked down to by the stupid shit head who helped ruin Exiles. Oh, and if you’re reading this: fuck you for killing off Morph behind my back, Tony.

Yeah, and fuck Chris Claremont’s old ass to. Much like pizza, the older he gets the worse anything that comes out of him is. When will someone cut his hands off, anyway? It’d be the only way to stop him from writing anymore bad comic books.

Sorry where was I…oh Warren, maybe you’re still there. I was just saying how much i liked tracking your blog. Keep in mind, dude, without you i’d have never discovered Ideal or Regenesis, which are hands down my favorite shows. Hell, I’ve been buying nearly everything with you name on it since i first read The Authority and Transmet when i was 18 maybe? Shit, i even bought one of your Edison Hate Future T-Shirts (The revenge one i think). I’m wearing it in my videoblog which is attached to my profile, like you’ll check it.

At any rate, i hope things won’t be awkward and that you’ll come to my Christmas party like last year. I’d had no idea you knew that many hookers until they all came down the chimney and infected everyone’s gennies with the clap. Keep writing, old boy. I’ll keep buying.

Love, Caleb

(By the way, this entry itself was just another assignment for the class.)

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CNN Dropped the Ball! Captain American is Dead!

March 8, 2007 at 4:27 am (Comic Books)

Wow is today the right day to be blogging about comic books! Before i get into the meat of this post, i wanna go over some quick comic book background, so bare with me.

Marvel Comics, 1 of the world’s 2 biggest comic book publishers, just finished a 7-part mini-series titled Civil War. The premise was as follows: you know how every time you see super-heros fighting super-villains, there’s a pant load of collateral damage and citizen deaths? Well, one superhero group really dropped the ball and got the entire town of Stamford, Connecticut killed. With an elementary school full of kids at ground zero. After that, the government then decides no more, and instills a law stating that no superhuman can function without government sanction, official training and revealing their identity. If they refuse, they face the penalty of incarceration and even death if they resist arrest. This leads to the entire Marvel universe full of superheros to take sides and cause, duh, a civil war of sorts with Captain American against the registration act and Iron Man for it. Spider-Man unmasks himself publicly, Goliath is murdered by a cyborg/clone of Thor and a ton of fighting ensues.

While Civil War is Marvel’s answer to DC’s recent Infinite Crisis, which was another “reality altering” miniseries finished last year, it does have some redeeming qualities. Civil War is meant to be a pseudo-political 7-issue series about the war on terror, and whether we should be giving away our rights for the betterment of the country. Currently the Marvel universe is recovering from the aftermath of the series, which ended with Captain America surrendered after realizing that while he’d beaten Iron Man physically, he was winning “Everything except the argument.”

Back to the present, when i first heard my girlfriend tell me about the CNN story, i had to check to see if April first moved up 24 days on me. I work at Newbury Comics, so when i heard that Captain America died and i wasn’t the first person to know, i was jolted obviously. But it’s true: in issue #25 of his title series, Captain America is assassinated on his way up the steps to his trial. Here’s the proof:

Who cares, right? My point is this: the minute the issue where Captain America dies hit shelves across the country (This very morning, March 7th,) CNN.com posted a story on the front page announcing it. Now what sucks about that is anybody who reads Captain America on a monthly basis, didn’t pick up their new comic book first thing this morning and reads CNN for their news, had the comfy wool of suspense pulled from their eyes. Now honestly, screw Captain American and nearly any superhero book in general; they kill creativity and make good comics look bad. But it does suck if you wanted to be able to enjoy that comic today without being told the ending.

In defense of CNN’s stupid jumping of the gun, Marvel’s web site did have this as their main article for the day:

I should mention that Marvel’s Editor-In-Chief, Joe Quesada, has stated that he is dead and that his death isn’t some comic book nonsense where the character will come back and have no real effect in the long run. At any rate, it’s a cool day when comic books hit the headlines.

Anybody got any reactions to Cap’s death, or does no one give a damn like I’d expect?

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PLEASE DIE CHRIS CLAREMONT!

March 5, 2007 at 4:59 pm (Comic Books)

Claremont Smiling Like A Twit

Okay, so the X-Men comic books are certainly some of the most famous in the whole damn world, and the X-Men as we know them were reinvisioned by a man named Chris Claremont. Now without a doubt, Claremont is an important person in the history of comic books, and without him, superhero comics would still be as silly and ridiculous as they were in the “Silver Age” Claremont wrote Uncanny X-Men, a huge title at its time, for 16 consecutive years. In that time, he wrote numerous story arcs with are both legendary and household knowledge (Dark Phoenix Saga and Days of Future Past to name a few) and made his mark as a comicbook legend, hands down.

But regrettably, Claremont did what many musicians do: instead of exploding ina blaze of glory while at their peak, they simmer down into a predictable and ignorable shadow of them former selves. Much like no one gives 2 shit about when Robert Plant releases a new album, Claremont has been on and off of X-Men titles for decades now, still using his same played out style over and over again.

What’s worse is this. One of the most imaginative and eccentric writers in comics today, a Scot named Grant Morrison, wrote a modernizing 4 year run on the X-Men that made what had become a cycle of cookie-cutter storylines into a believable and stylized book anyone could enjoy. Morrison's New X-Men via the pencils of Frank Quitely
In those 4 years, Morrison killed the X-Men’s main villain Magneto, turned Beast into a bear-like form, caused leader Cyclops to have an affair, murdered Jean Grey and killed 16 million mutants in a massive genocidal attack. He put the X-Men in practical black leather outfits padded with kevlar, and used artists who would take away the fantastic and flashy look of superheros, replacing it with heros with imperfections you can relate to. It was amazing and probably the best super-hero run i’d every read. Then once Morrison was done, Claremont took no time to start fucking it up.

He brought back everything Morrison worked hard to replace. The costumed, the boring dialogue and even Magneto, to which marvel has never fully explained. Claremont now writes many X-Men books, and is holding the industry back to an age where comics are self-contained, silly anecdotes where everything turns around in the end.

In summation, please leave comics, Chris Claremont. You’re influence is appreciated, but leave it to the kids to make things interesting. Thanks for the Wolverine mini-series with Frank Miller, and all the other great stuff, but no more please! Know your role!

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