Thursday, February 7, 2019

If Gary has given up….

After reading a whole lot of old issues of The Comics Journal recently, it was genuinely a bit sad to see that Gary Groth didn’t have that much to say after the death of Stan Lee.

Once upon a time, all it would take would someone like Bill Mantlo to say something snide at the Comic-Con urinal, and Groth would devote seven pages of the Journal to a polemic about how Mantlo's comment represents the dire state of comics, and he certainly had plenty to say about Stan Lee’s place in modern culture over the years.

But after The Man passed away late last year, all we got from Groth was 500 words (including two sizable quotes), with some vague ideas about Lee’s legacy, and that was it.

That’s obviously Groth’s prerogative, and after spending so much of his life beating his head against the mainstream perception of comics, you can’t blame him for being completely bloody sick of it all. He doesn’t moan about anything like he used to, and in an age when long, rage-fuelled rants have been replaced by 140-character snark and putdowns, that’s to be expected.

But after reading all those old TCJ issues, it’s a shame to see that beautifully fiery rhetoric that once filled pages and pages of the magazine has been doused. It’s as necessary as it ever was. How are we going to build something new if there isn't anybody to burn all the old shit down?

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