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.
With pride, I say I was an original adopter of Elfquest in 1978. Yes, it was a purchase of Fantasy Quarterly #1, black-and-white on swiftly-browning newsprint, with clearly visible dots in the cover color separations, thus you did best to pull your head back and blur your focus a little. Read the rest of this entry
There is, in so many of the cosmic-y comics I like so much, the notion of a “node,” or “critical turning point.” It can be an object, it can be a person, it can be an event or set of events. Maybe it’s Hegelian or Nietzschean or some other 19th-century German-ian – as in its operation, there’s reconciliation with the past, but also a distinct discontinuity; there’s redemption and transformation and realization, but also a dramatic necessity for blood-and-guts violent confrontation; there’s the sense of throwing off all the taboos to find both the depths of depravity and the chorus of angels all in the same moment. It’s idealism and excess, horror and exaltation. Plus boobies. Read the rest of this entry
Where to start? It’s not too surprising that Marvel featured an in-fiction parody character, right? There have been quite a few of them, and in an era of constantly-launched and constantly-canceled comics titles, of complete editorial chaos, of plummeting sales in the obsolete newsstand venue, and badly-stumbling attempts to get superheroes into other media, Howard was a solid hit. Read the rest of this entry
Hey, I kept this post mostly SFW but most of the links in it go to a great big NOT SFW, so go ahead and click on those and lose your job, if you want.
There were a lot of other comics around during my childhood besides the ones I bought at the newsstand, spelled a wee bit differently. Read the rest of this entry