From the Idle Musings Department
Why do so many people have such a resistance to admitting mistakes? I've run into this phenomenon a few times recently, where people doggedly refuse to acknowledge errors and even lies, when confronted with solid evidence. They wriggle around like worms on a hook, desperately seeking to avoid culpability and responsibility.
The kicker is that all of these incidents are so damn minor. Inconsequential stuff, but they act as if accepting responsibility for the mistakes, small as they might be, is tantamount to guaranteeing a reserved seat in the inferno.
I can't count the number of situations that could have been resolved in seconds, with something along the lines of, "Hey, I'm sorry, I didn't realize. Won't happen again." Instead, we keep getting variations on a theme: "It wasn't me." "It's my ISP's fault." Deny, deny, deny. Blame, blame, blame.
I should start carrying my trusty old Business Ethics textbook around with me, just so that I can start whacking offenders upside the head with it.
I've been looking around at various comics-related message boards and online forums lately.
My assessment? Lots of people need anger management therapy. There's a remarkable amount of vitriol out there that isn't warranted, and reflects very poorly upon the people who make those posts. A big thumbs up to the forum moderators who work very hard, for little thanks, to keep the boards as clean as they are.
From the folks at TwoMorrows Publishing comes a collection of comic book essays by comics/animation writer Mark Evanier. Great, great stuff, and he's really good at bringing the funny, too. Cover and interior illustrations by the legendary and newly minted Eisner Awards Hall of Famer Sergio AragonÚs. You can get this puppy either by way of Evanier's POVOnline site (which I check out at least a few times each week), or from the TwoMorrows site. Warning to the faint of heart (or faint of wallet): TwoMorrows publishes some absolutely incredible comics-based magazines, books, and collections, so don't be surprised if you feel yourself wanting to give your credit cards a nice workout.
If you're in the Seattle area on August 26th, 2002, please make a point of attending the 'William & Nadine Messner-Loebs Seattle Rent Party'. Bill Loebs is a long-time comics writer-artist (he created the wonderful 'Journey: Adventures of Wolverine MacAlistaire' series, worked on 'Doc Stearn... Mr. Monster' with Michael Gilbert, and wrote loads of super-hero books for the Big Two) who has fallen on massively hard times lately. The fine folks at The Comics Journal have organized a number of fund-raising efforts, this rent party being the most recent addition to the list. If you can get to the party, you can mingle with people who not only love comics, but who also exhibit compassion and generosity towards those in need. Two bands will be playing, Fantagraphics will be selling off a variety of cool swag, and the admission charge is only five bucks.
I'm halfway through the Spirit Archives Volumes 3 as I write this (finished Volume 2 the other night). I also read the final issue of Kevin Smith's run on Green Arrow (#15, if you must know). Smith, with artist Paul Hester, took some 22 pages to tell a story that Eisner would have told in eight. (Same goes for the Hawkman/Hawkgirl/Green Arrow/Spider throwdown in the most recent issue of Hawkman, actually. Maybe it's just a Green Arrow thing.)
There's been a trend - perhaps a conscious one - to stretch an issue's story pages by making the panels larger, effectively reducing the panels-per-page ratio. Sure, it makes the writer's job easier on each issue, lets him stretch a single story out over multiple issues, probably simplifies the artist's job, and helps the artist sell the original art pages for higher prices at conventions. Unfortunately, the reader ends up getting less story-per-issue and paying more dollars-per-story.
This trend of making the panels so large that the story essentially is told through splash pages and over-sized dramatic poses really deserves some kind of name. I propose calling it "Jurgensation".
(My first instinct was to go with "Jurgens-off", but then I sobered up, and it wasn't quite so funny anymore.)
This reminds me of the time when John Byrne wrote and drew an issue of the Incredible Hulk entirely in splash pages. As I recall, Denny O'Neil spiked the story on the basis that he didn't feel that the readers would be getting their money's worth for what was essentially an indulgence on Byrne's part. Of course, the story ended up running several months later as an issue of Marvel Fanfare at twice the price, which just goes to show that editorial judgment varies from editor to editor. Incidentally, I'm pretty sure that O'Neil had departed Marvel for the Bat-Office at DC by that point. Read into all of this what you will.
Finally, Phil and Kaja Foglio are selling nifty-looking goggles and laboratory specs in connection with Phil's you-should-buy-it-now 'Girl Genius' series. I want.