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Friday, February 04, 2005

One inmate's opinion. 

As you may or may not remember, a little while ago I gave away some copies of the Hard Time TPB to whoever sent me in some funny prison and shiv names. Herein lies the opinion of one such winner, Nathan "Fartlips" Atkinson:

KL-
Thanks for the "Hard Time" trade... I just read it the other day (busy grad student/new dog/holiday/life-style shit) and really enjoyed it.

Smart writing and great art both made it easy to get into. The characters show bits of humanity without seeming too weak for the stir... that is Gerber manages to make their fears and insecurities seem real despite their poker faces. Better yet he never resorts to goofy interior monologues. The lead's lack of overt self-pity was a nice touch, though his "smart mouth" seemed too smart for a first week or so. I
don't care how disaffected the boy is, being in maximum security prison would scare the words right out of anybody. But that's my biggest gripe.

Loved the art. Hurt's work has a sort of Charles Burns meets Gilbert hernandez vibe but comes off fresh and original. He can draft like a mother fucker and the characters look too human for their own good. Couldn't have picked a better artist for the job.

So thanks a lot for sending the thing my way, and I'll pass it along to a deserving party.


Soooooo... reading it yet?

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Ding. 

The title is not meant to make sense.

1) The Sin City trailer. I'm sure anyone who's visiting this blog has seen it at least once, and more than likely a half dozen or dozen times. The major concern seems to be that the movie's just going to be plain too much for Middle America (whoever they are), that it will in fact be laughed out of the theatre in large part due to the make-up and the spot coloring. And, inevitably, Comics Will Be Shamed.

I remain unconvinced, largely because I don't buy into the generally accepted idea that 90% of all Americans are dumbasses who just want the same old, same old. I can qualify my judgement on that, too: I have spent a huge chunk of my life working at both a mainstream theatre and an arthouse theatre. I have seen movie-goers by the thousand. I have seen what they decide to see, and what they base those decisions on. And I have one firm belief about the artistic savvy of the American public:

PEOPLE ARE ONLY STUPID IF YOU TREAT THEM AS STUPID.

If you've got nothing but multiplexes booking 5 screens of the latest Will Smith movie, then sure, the tastes of the local populace aren't being cultivated very well. (Similar situation if you've got local comics shops only selling Superman/Batman and, if they're feeling daring, Rogue.) But that doesn't mean they can't be cultivated, and that doesn't mean audiences won't respond to a challenge. I think they will. No, the movie's not going to blow the hinges off the box office, but that cast list is too much to ignore... and the marketing is sharp. The movie looks like it'll beg for sharp responses of any kind, and I have no doubt that it will gain a good audience.

And I don't think Frank Miller or Robert Rodriguez particularly care about being easily digestible, anyway.

2) The Fantastic Four trailer. While I wouldn't go so far as to say the enterprise looks cheap, I will say the whole thing looks pretty fuckin' cheesy. And that... isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Full disclosure: I don't care about the Fantastic Four. Could not possibly care less, actually. I don't dislike Comics' First Family, but their general setup and premise is so far removed from anything that interests me that I could properly be described as an anti-fan. I don't think there's anything about them that could be remotely taken seriously, and this world has been subjected to enough so-serious-I-wanted-to-die comic movies as it is. (Hello, Daredevil.) Sure, make it bouncy. Sure, cast Jessica Alba as Aryan beauty Sue Storm... and watch the fanboys try to figure out whether they should be pissed or ecstatic about it.

If it were a "serious" movie, I would avoid it like a Sunday morning Southern Baptist tent revival. As it stands... hey, maybe at the dollar theatre.

3) For god's sake, Marvel and DC: enough with the video game ads featuring Sarah Michelle Gellar clones in armor-plated bikinis. The Magic: The Gathering tournament ads can go, too. Is this what you think of your audience? Do you want me flipping through a touching final issue of The Monolith and.. suddenly.. I feel like I just stepped into an RPG hobby shop? I know ad sales departments are the ones who seek out clients, so looking for these ads is a decision made by the publisher's ad sales people. They choose Magic: The Gathering wank-ads. And that fucking page-and-a-half Killzone thing. The profile of comics cannot be raised if the ads decorating every third page are aimed exclusively at 14 year old boys.

In answer to your question, Halle: I'm not particularly fond of bad girls... or of you, either. GET OUT OF MY FUCKING COMICS!

And take the "Truth" ads with you.

4) Fond farewell, Monolith.

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