Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Subway Embarassment Comics

Living in Brooklyn with a fiancee in Manhattan, I do a lot of subway travelling. A lot. Hell, the ride to and from my comic shop is a subway-driven one. SO, with all that travel time on my hands, I tend to do some reading on the subway. But not all comics are equally readable on the subway, sadly. Some I stuff way down deep into my bag and don't even read if there's nothing else.

Now, I'm not an easily embarassed fellow. I casually wear a helmet plastered with nerdy stickers. I've performed various acts of public ridiculosity over the years and been rather happy with that. But some comics . . .yikes. Not even I will be caught with them in public. An easy example is anything with a Greg Horn cover. Even when the insides are good (Deadline) the outsides are a humiliating mess of sexual frustration.

I'd recently read a lot of online talk about Greg Pak's Phoenix book. Now, I hate me some Jean Grey but, from the sounds of it, Pak was the only X-Writer with the cajones to actually work with Morrison's changes rather than saying "NEVER HAPPENED EW DIFFERENT YUCKY!" So, yeah, the story's pretty cool, even if you hate the Phoenix.

But that ART!

Is it the name "Greg"? Because Greg Land seems just a few pervometers away from Greg Horn. About 75% of the female poses seem to be taken out of some dumb laddie mag like FHM or Maxim or Lonely Ugly Man Monthly. (On a side note, how long until all those pieces of crap die off? I guess it could be a while. Wizard is to Maxim as TCJ is to GQ and all that . . .there will always be idiots to buy crap magazines. Anyway.) "Hello, Jean Grey! How nice of you to come back from the dead and immediately start feeling yourself up!"

I started reading the things on the subway and put them away in shame. That's not good storytelling. That's not even good T&A. It's like airbrushed loneliness personified.

13 Comments:

Anonymous Brad Curran said...

"I'd recently read a lot of online talk about Greg Pak's Phoenix book. Now, I hate me some Jean Grey but, from the sounds of it, Pak was the only X-Writer with the cajones to actually work with Morrison's changes rather than saying "NEVER HAPPENED EW DIFFERENT YUCKY!" So, yeah, the story's pretty cool, even if you hate the Phoenix."

I got the feeling you didn't care for it much when you were reviewing it, but Astonishing X-Men is working with Morrison's changes (well, other than the costumes). Emma's still with Scott, the school is still actually a school for mutants, and Hank still has his Quitely-designed look. So that's two books that aren't washing their hands of New X-Men.

As far as the meat of your post goes, well, I've never really experienced the phenomenon you're speaking of because I don't live in an area where mass transit is an option or a neccessity. I get why you'd be embarassed about the Horn covers, though. I have a wider tolerance for t&a than you do and his stuff makes me naseous. Land, I'm not too familiar with, but I do know that his Crossgen and DC cover work has been criticized for essentially being traced from magazine covers. Ninth Art had a comparison between one of his Sojourn covers and an Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue to make that case. It was pretty persuasive.

3/02/2005 04:02:00 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

I get Horn and Land mixed up too.

And I doubt the laddie mags are going anywhere soon. I'm still immature enough that FHM, the least dumb of them, is entertaining to me, and there will always be a new crop of 18-25's right around the corner. Unless they perfect immortality technology, in which case the generation currently being born or the one after it will be the last (barring, of course, some unforeseen catastrophe that severely depletes the population).

But, as some writer or other said, I digress. Lad mags will, in all likelihood, never die out completely. I see their fortunes as like those of pro wrestling: their overall popularity and cultural saturation may ebb and flow, but they'll always be around, because that core market will always be there.

3/02/2005 05:39:00 PM  
Blogger Christopher Burton said...

While I certainly don't read Maxim, FHM and their ilk, I don't care for GQ either. The guys in that mag seem a little too pouty to me. For my money, I like Men's Health and Outside.

3/02/2005 09:32:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Rice said...

I value GQ's fashion stuff, and the journalism is often top notch. Men's Health is OK . . .a buddy of mine was actually in it recently, but it's never seemed to be quite . . .I hate to say it, but "urbane" enough for me.

I love diversions like this.

3/02/2005 09:44:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Rice said...

Oh, and SLIHGTLY more on topic . . .I suppose Whedon is playing with some of Morrison's toys, but he's just fitting them into the same old game. It's hard for me to see if he's doing the deeper changes (societal attitude, Scott's inner life, change as metaphor) because the goddam dull things lull me to sleep.

3/03/2005 07:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Morts said...

I know EXACTLY what you mean Joe. Right now I'm reading old Luke Cage, Hero for Hire comics on my bus commute. I've gotten a few odd looks, and seen the eyes of people next to me widden as they read over my shoulder.

Sure, my discomfort is caused by blatent racism, and your is from T&A, but the end result's pretty much the same.

3/03/2005 08:19:00 AM  
Anonymous GregCanu said...

I find Esquire to consistently be the best read .. though GQ has some worthwhile pieces each month. Fashion wise .. mens mags seem like confused teenagers these days .. at times demonstrating they truly understand 'style' while at other times desperately needing to prove that they are in fact quite the 'stylish' hipsters.

It makes me wonder when I see guys reading (looking at) books like FHM and Maxim in NYC ... um .. guys ... open your eyes .. beautiful woman .. real ones .. all around you .. what could you do with a magazine that you couldn't do with one of them if you had the chances .... ohhhhhhhh

3/03/2005 03:45:00 PM  
Blogger Christopher Burton said...

Joe Rice said:

"I value GQ's fashion stuff, and the journalism is often top notch. Men's Health is OK . . .a buddy of mine was actually in it recently, but it's never seemed to be quite . . .I hate to say it, but "urbane" enough for me."

Nothing wrong with that. These days, every man should be able to properly match a shirt and tie or know how to pick out a pair of quality shoes. Too few of us do. I saw someone on TV recently (I don't remember who it was) who was discussing the fact that men don't really dress up any more. Not like, say Cary Grant, used to. No, guys today wear khakis and a polo shirt and then wonder why they can't pick up someone at a bar. Not that nice clothes are all it takes, but, if you want to meet somebody great, sometimes you gots to play all the angles.

3/03/2005 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Rice said...

Right on, Mr. Burton. Rare is the day that I leave the house sans tie. Looking good is something everyone should aspire to.

3/03/2005 09:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Brad Curran said...

"Oh, and SLIHGTLY more on topic . . .I suppose Whedon is playing with some of Morrison's toys, but he's just fitting them into the same old game. It's hard for me to see if he's doing the deeper changes (societal attitude, Scott's inner life, change as metaphor) because the goddam dull things lull me to sleep."

It's still an example of someone not jettisoning every piece of Morrison's status quo they can afford to as quickly as possible. The deeper changes I don't think he has really worked with because he's doing a combination of Morrison and Claremont's run without their excesses and because it's straight ahead superhero book. I can understand why you'd be bored of all of it and I'd love it because he's tapping in to a lot of Claremont tropes that I have affection for and you loathe without spinning them in his own direction like Morrison did. But you hated Buffy, so I find your judgement suspect at best.

3/04/2005 02:05:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Rice said...

"But you hated Buffy, so I find your judgement suspect at best."

If I wanted to watch ugly people spout crappy dialogue I'd . . .I'd . . .shit, I hope I'd kill myself.

3/04/2005 03:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Brad Curran said...

"If I wanted to watch ugly people spout crappy dialogue I'd . . .I'd . . .shit, I hope I'd kill myself."

Fine, it's a good thing you hated it. Your suicide would have deprived us of vital posts like this. And love for Darwyn Cooke and Grant Morrison (I'm serious. Well, at least about the latter part).

3/05/2005 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

A little more on topic. I have the same experience here in D.C., reading comics on the Metro. It really does depend on the comic.

3/06/2005 09:25:00 PM  

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