Every week I do a column full of comic book reviews as I've done since March 2003 and currently published at Comic Book Resources. Then, after the reviews post, I try to come over to Komplicated and expand on the thoughts and ideas listed there. Why talk about stuff at some other site? Oh, like you've never done any private projects when you're at work! Sometimes things get profound, sometimes it's gibberish, but it's always about comics … let's see what we get this week!
What? This week's reviews …
BIG BUCKS, NO WHAMMIES: Seven books is a lot in these trying economic times. It's a testament to more creative teams stepping up in times that are increasingly competitive. So much made me happy this week, and I put my money where my mouth is.
It's also a great week because I hear — increasingly — from lots of people that I "hate everything," which is clearly not true … but we can discuss that in a moment …
LIES, DAMNED LIES AND COMIC BOOKS: As I've noted in other arenas, I love hate mail. It invigorates me. Without spite, I'd barely have gotten anything done in life. So when I clicked over to CBR's Facebook page and found the rich stream of Haterade flowing, I was simply delighted … oh, and save bleeping the profanity, these remain unaltered …
- Marcus: No just …..no
- Danny: F*** Hannibal Tabu. The guy's whole column is about reading comics without buying them? Give me a f***ing break, D***head.
- Marc B: Hannibal Tabu is a hack and only likes book with african american protagonists. He is a simplistic douche that somehow has conned the online comic community to think snark=insight.
- Marc W: Yeah,sorry to say but if the guy didn't like Resurrection Man #1 or USM #1, yet liked Deathstroke, I'm not sure I value the rest of his opinions.
- Ian: every month Deadpool is the greatest comic ever made, according to him. there has been so many good books he has said are just ok, too many to name. i know comics are all personal preference but jesus christ man
I was so happy. This happy:
Thanks for the feedback Marcus.
Danny: Thanks for the feedback.
Marc B: Books this week that did not have African American protagonists & got purchased: Cobra, G.I. Joe, Journey Into Mystery, Criminal, Deathstroke, The Monkey King. Of seven purchases, one had a Black lead. Thanks for reading. Or, you know, not.
Cameron: Your mileage may vary. I enjoyed the simplicity of the Slade book. Sorry you didn't.
Marc W: I appreciate that we have different opinions. Thanks for reading.
Ian: I didn't buy the "Deadpool in a Psych Ward with Foolkiller" stuff because it was dull and I said so. But I appreciate you may not agree with previous issues I reviewed positively. Thanks for reading.
I was wondering why I wasn't getting hate mail anymore — you're all *here* — good to know! Thanks, everybody!
Oh, while I'm here, because I do so love this sort of thing, my retailer estimates that I've helped deliver thousands of dollars worth of customers to his door, ones who've directly referenced reading the column and clicking on the link. So that's what I'm doing to help comics. Excelsior!
In my experience, people talk a lot more trash when the person in question can't hear them. The tone shifted slightly …
- Marc W: Fair enough, Hannibal. I'm willing to agree to disagree with you on the specific books. At least you're contributing.
Sort of …
Marc B: Hannibal..while I do apologize for the way I worded my previous post, I do not apologize for the sentiment. You seem to go out of your way to bash whatever is experiencing mainstream success (Ex Ult Spider-Man, anything by Johns, or Morrison) yet you keep singing the praises of Deadpool and a number of other books. While these are your tastes (which is cool) what these books are do not define what the medium is, or what defines a success. You are dismissive and speak in little sound bites which is insulting to the months of work that go into books. You have agendas. As a critic, you fail on every level. You have no idea support past the "I was bored." Race does enter many of your opinions, and to deny it is insulting (your views on Ennis). In conclusion, I applaud your ability to turn mindless snark into a semi-successful career as a reviewer. But your little jabs hurt the medium you claim to lot.
So I said …
Marc: Thanks for your response, and I accept any apologies that come my way, as they're exceedingly rare.
That said, I am one of the biggest fans of Morrison's JLA run in the world, I lauded Johns' work on a Rogues book a year or two ago and the worst I've said about Ultimate Spider-Man is "meh."
Likewise, I've bashed the last few issues of Deadpool (which hurt me personally, as I love the character).
I am not sure why you've gotten such an … interesting characterization of my work. I don't pick a position and remain intractable. If I think an issue's good, I say so. If I think it's bad, I say so. If I think it's "meh" I say so. Those are my opinions, and I'm as entitled to them as anybody else. Somebody chose to pay me for them, and I'm happy to take the opportunity. However, your criticisms of my actual work lack factual accuracy.
What's a success and what isn't is wholly irrelevant to me. Before it became a national phenomenon, my mother took me to see a largely indie film called Star Wars in theaters four times (final tally: 40 viewings in 1977). I like what I like, and I don't apologize for it. To say that I have an agenda with virtually zero personal knowledge of me is, at best, accusatory and at worst factually inaccurate.
Moreover, given how many people have told me they won't read Black books or that something is too "Black," sure, race comes into my readings of things because I live in the United States. Race comes into my life no less than once a day. Should I try to hide that to make somebody comfortable? No sir. I don't believe I should.
As well, in that my reviews largely fall under the categories of many things I learned getting my creative writing degree from USC — characterization, pacing, plot, ambiance, dialogue, balance, art work — I'm not sure where you could say I'm empirically doing anything a critic shouldn't do.
Finally, I love stories. I like comics. No fewer than three retailers have applauded my efforts to drive actual people into their doors, so they have a chance to sell them stuff. I don't just sit on the internet and make snarky comments, I donate books to libraries, I direct people towards the medium, because it helped me and can help other people (learning the speed of light from Doctor Solar at age 5, learning French from Iron Man at age 9, et cetera). Just because our opinions differ (and you'll note, I've said nothing negative about *anyone's* opinions) doesn't mean I don't know what I'm doing or that I should change. I'm *not* going to change, least of all from being told I should by — again — someone whose entire knowledge of me is in digital form.
However, I *love* responding to this sort of thing, because it amuses me to no end. So thanks for some laughs (inaccuracy never fails to entertain) and for reading the work. Ta!
- Jason B: I think it's important to point out the obvious : This is an opinion column. If you read it every week and always agree with every assessment then you're brain dead. I read it every week and I always disagree with his evaluation of one or more books ( I thought Batwing was the crown jewel of the overall dismal DC Reboot ). If you are a regular reader then I know that every once in awhile his column causes you to make that Friday or Saturday trip back to the LCS to pick up a comic that you left on the wall on Wednesday.
- Danny: Hannibal, I respect you for your work, but I think there's a mixed mesage being sent by suggesting that people should read the books but not buy them…thanks for responding, despite the 'd***head' remark.
So more from me …
Jason: Thank you for your mature commentary.
Danny: I'm not suggesting anybody do anything. I'm not saying they should buy what I buy. I'm not suggesting they should do what I do. I made a deal with a retailer: "If you let me stand here and review comics, buying some, I'll advertise your store to whoever reads." When I made the deal, maybe ten years ago, I worked at NextPlanetOver and at that time physically drove people to this store — great selection, solid staff (mostly) and a discount if you cross $20. Since then, he's seen business grow from my recommendation and even had people come in to buy where I buy.
Did I say, "I do this, you should too?" No. I don't need to evangelize, or as Special Ed said, "I don't need your respect, 'cause I've got it made." I do what I do, and people read about it, and some other people ask me to keep doing it. Nothing more, nothing less. So, hopefully we can be clear about what my message is: "I like some books and I don't like some books," as Jason noted here. I'm not advocating anything more than my own tastes.
Fantastic discussion, though, and great fodder for my commentary track on Komplicated.com tomorrow!
I know, I know, don't argue on "da intawebs." Pardon me for having some fun.
THAT'S THE NEWS, AND I AM OUTTA HERE: Back on the grind.
Playing (Music): "100 Days, 100 Nights" by Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings
[Source: Comic Book Resources]