Sunday, April 17, 2005

So What's This 'Good' Stuff All About Then?

Okay. Me first entry was a little 'niche'ey, in fact, commentary on an obscure late 80's/early 90's series that lasted 16 issues and maybe a dozen people read... hrm.

So let's try something a little more general, if no less personal for entry #2.

Comics Should Be Good. What does that mean to me?

Let's start off by saying that I believe in Sturgeon's Law, that 90% of everything is bullshit. Of course there are standard deviations and all that bollocks, but there you have it. Most people who like that statement tend to be negative and cynical about it, but I find it tremendously liberating.

And a source of considerable optimism.

Once you accept that 90% of everything is bullshit and pretty much will always BE bullshit, you can shunt it safely and hygeinically off to the side, not worry about it, and focus exclusively on the 10% of GOOD stuff.

Admittedly, your 10% may be different to my 10% and that's cool. I read comics for MY enjoyment, and so should you. If you enjoy different things to me, more power to ya. However, if our tastes happen to converge over a gloriously minimalist Paul Grist cityscape, an over the top Kagan MacLeod magical kung fu fight scene, or a piece of 30's-by-way-of-Kurtzmann-style Eric Powell thuggery-muggery, then Yay! Knife to the freakin' eye!

You see, I'm a glass is 10% full, not a glass is 90% empty sorta guy. And there's a lot of 90% empty people out there. I've seen 'em. I've been 'em at times. But seriously, at the end of the day, it's tilting at windmills. The glass is 90% empty. It always will be. It rather concern myself with getting to know the 10% that's there and recommending it to all my friends rather than ordering the 90% full glass of terrible stuff and moaning about the taste to all who'll listen.

Yes, yes, I know, it's the job of critics to read everything.

But seriously, how many times do we need to be told that a lot of modern comics suck arse.

Of course they do!

90% of EVERYTHING sucks!

Modern comics, old comics, music, fashion, criticism, pontifications by fat, red-haired Australian geeks who work in comic shops and wear Hawaiian shirts on why their ideas are so legitimate...Get over it.

There's a point where it stops being criticism and starts being masochism. "You're complaining about Witchblade again? Why?"

Stop poking yourself in the eye with the sharp stick. You didn't enjoy it last time, and you're not enjoying it now. Why do you think it'll be different tomorrow?

If I'm gonna do this, I'm going to do it for other people. For an audience. For the people reading it. And to a lesser extent, for people who create comics I like who I'd like to see get fat paid. I don't need to tell myself what I think. I know it. And if I tell you that everything is crap, I can get three responses.

1) Yeah, I know it's crap. I don't read it.
2) I don't really care. I don't read it.
3) Hey! I LIKE that! How DARE you! ...prick.

Hrm. The apathetic responses that ignore what I'm saying or the indignant response that rejects what I'm saying. So yeah, Gary Groth's not really doing it for me. I'm gonna go the huckster route like Gareb Shamus and Stan Lee. I'm gonna tell you what I really like. I'm gonna smile a lot and try and share a little bit of the joy that I get from comics. And I hope that that joy is infectious.

In the words of Mark Mothersbaugh: "I'm through being cool. Forget about the ninnies and the twits."

Read 'Jack Staff'.


Blogger Pól Rua said...

Damn, I forgot to do the joke where I referred to my first post as 'niche'y. I was gonna say I haven't read anything quite as 'niche'y since 'Beyond Good and Evil'.

Ah well, I suppose I'll manage to put that joke in somewhere else. hrm.

4/17/2005 08:47:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

If you want to use your entries on Comics Should Be Good to only talk about books that you like, then that's totally cool by me.

4/17/2005 09:18:00 PM  
Blogger Pól Rua said...

It's not so much ONLY talking about books that I like, it's trying not to dwell on books that I hate.
Because there's a difference in what I like and what's good.
Because in the end, seriously, what kind of arbiter of what's good am I? One who likes Doc Savage paperbacks.

4/17/2005 09:59:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Fair enough.

That is also coolness.

4/17/2005 10:16:00 PM  
Blogger Bill Reed said...

Er... Hoo-hah!?

4/18/2005 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger Ronald Bryan said...

Pol, it's funny you mention bitching about Witchblade, as I finally dropped it a few weeks ago. Trying to trim out some of that 90%.

4/18/2005 09:05:00 PM  

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