Tuesday, January 12, 2010

That endless Krona folly

This is what I was going on about, when I talked up the positive effects of strong and robust comic discussion on the internet:

Over the holidays, Tom Spurgeon has been hosting a fine series of interviews with comic folk on his Comics Reporter website, including some meaty discussions of the last decade’s worth of comics with some excellent web writers.

Sean T Collins still found something to say new to say about Blankets after already contributing a small mountain of words about the book, while Tucker Stone turned a discussion of Ganges into a plea for some goddamn genre tolerance and the joy of snuggling up to a wife at the end of the day.

I really, really wish Jog had done the Punisher like he thought about, because he didn’t really sell me on Death Note, and hearing about the horror of getting 2000ad in the US from Grant Goggans was a right downer. But Douglas Wolk scored a fucking home run during his bit about Matt Fraction’s current Iron Man series.

Wolk makes some great points about Iron Man, but it’s a brief aside talking about storytelling density that blasted out at me. Mentioning a key panel right at the end of Final Crisis - in Doug’s own words -

“My favorite recent example of that is the image near the end of Final Crisis that alludes to Krona's vision of the beginning of time in a 45-year-old issue of Green Lantern: if you don't recognize it, you'd never even think it was significant, but I think I actually jumped back in my seat when I realized what I was looking at and what it meant to the story.”

That’s the bit where I had to stop reading, sit back and think a bit. Brain: please assume crash position. Wolk has said something worth thinking about.

By the time Final Crisis finished, it was easy to get annotated out. So much talk, over three quarters of a year, by the time the overwhelming climax hit, everybody moved on pretty quickly. It was easy to miss things in the sheer density of the final issue, and easier still to miss crucial points.


If it means it’s Superman’s hand at the creation of all things, that’s an interesting thought. Superman as God, filling the universe with strange and wonderful things. Superman’s good decency, encoded into the universe itself. That’s why the Crime Syndicate never win in Superman’s world.

And that makes Superman a self-fufilling prophecy, something Morrison has touched on before, especially in the All Star incarnation. Superman as creator, ensuring his own survival, no matter how unlikely it all is.

And the places these lines of thought drive off to are even more interesting, and requires a bit more thought. Years of it.

So that’s why I love the internet, and why I loves all of ya, everywhere, contributing it all. A decent exchange between two big comic thinkers about smart comics. In his interview, Doug shows he is a man of taste and perception, and contributes to the intellectual perception of comics.

(He also puts in a good word for Wagner’s last ten years of Judge Dredd stories - which deserve all the good words they can get – and that makes him tops in my book.)

And that's just one of 20 interviews that appeared over the past couple of weeks on the Comics Reporter, there were also good discussions over Fun Home and Scott Pilgrim and Louis Riel and tonnes more.

So that’s why I blog, even though it’s a pain in the arse, and tiring, and a bit embarrassing. Because sitting in the dark and thinking about comic books is a singular and genuine pleasure, and sharing those thoughts help us all.

Either that, or it’s intellectual masturbation and I don’t have a problem with that.. It might not be as satisfying as the real thing, but it’s a lot less sticky.

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