I’ve been doing this long enough for some productive recursion, both in content and real life. My very first post at this blog concerned the political context for Doctor Doom in the early 60s, once the creators bumped him up out of generic or improvised foe status into genuine villainy. Soon after that, I posted about my acquaintance with Joe Culp in high school, in tenuous reference to his role as Doom in the 1994 movie.
It’s Jerry Grayson’s fault. He knows all these people with opinions about comics and culture, and as the geek social fallacies would advise, said, “Hey, if I get all my friends together, they’ll be friends too!!” Which actually worked this time, for a jam let’s-all-try-it discussion for his own 1972 Project.
Death of the author, say the students of the Big D, it’s the text, stay with the text … yet in my experience, all too often, the text is abandoned along with the author. Instead, the eager young scholar is distracted by the cultural gestalt, a mélange of multiple derivatives, the shared “is” that “everyone knows.” The sizzle that sold once and can be referenced as having sold, in order to hawk its echo. Worse, instead of critiquing it, they adopt it, so that all the verbiage and Foucaltian Hegelian Derridan whatnot add up to nothing more than its own consumerized and recondite fandom, in which academic employment and careerism have replaced anything resembling inquiry.
Ha! I managed to utilize the characteristic prose of said academic movement and spoof it at the same time. That’s a bucket list moment.
Today it’s about semi-autobiographical comics – fiction pieces that depict things close to the author, drawing heavily upon their immediate concerns, small press almost by definition, but not featuring the author as a character or claiming to depict their actual life. They loot freely from themselves and their kin and acquaintances, but put it into just enough of a fictional blender to be its own thing. Read the rest of this entry