Friday, February 10, 2006

New Comics You Should Own

If you're at all interested, you can head over to my latest Comics You Should Own column about James O'Barr's gothic masterpiece, The Crow. If you've only seen the movie, you're missing out on a visceral and disturbing experience (and I like the movie, by the way).

Read and learn!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought it went out of print whne kitchen sink went under?

2/11/2006 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

I'm not sure - the Kitchen Sink web site has O'Barr's name on it, so maybe you can get it there. It's a mystery of that only Cronin can solve!

2/11/2006 11:15:00 AM  
Anonymous thekamisama said...

Simon & Schuster publishes a new edition of it that you can get at most bookstores. I hope the local comic shop could too but I do not know how S+S deal with Diamond on backorders.

2/11/2006 05:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being that James O'Barr wrote the story as a way to deal with his real-life fiancee killed by a drunk driver, I find myself disagreeing with the whole misogyny angle. Granted, I first read this when I was 15 and just going goth, but I find Shelly as well developed as anyone else is in the book. She's a perfected image in some ways, yes, but I chalk that down more to only learning about her in flashback, and memories are always perfect.

In other words, while I'm in full agreement that rape is overused as a plot device this days, and it's usually purely to evoke anger in the readers so that the man can go save the day (or mindwipe the villain), it doesn't mean it can't ever be used. I have an idea James O'Barr dramatized the incident just so people wouldn't say, "Dude, it was an accident. Why all this murderous angst?" I don't take it as a sign of latent misogyny in the man. I take it as him working out some serious grief.

It's quite fascinating to watch this debate unfold recently. It's refreshing to see so many people embrace the idea that using rape as plot device only is pretty bad and that it needs to stop being used so often. And that when it is used, it should have more meaning than reducing a character to a victimized foil for the hero to play off of. But it doesn't mean it can't ever be used. Is Strangers in Paradise misogynist? I think not.

People are starting to claim Greg Rucka's got issues with women because he uses them as main characters so often, and then bad things happen to them. Bad things always happen to the main characters in action and adventure stories, though. It's great that people want women to step beyond the perpetual role of victim, but they can't then be off-limits to anything violent despite being asskickers. They have to take the hits too.

So let's just call for some more man rape from here on out to balance everything out. I promise it will be tasteful.

I kid. I kid.

Long post short: not every rape or lack of characterization = misogyny. As you point out, everyone in The Crow is more representative than relatable. That's just the way he chose to write it. He seems to have been more interested in creating comic book poetry than a literal story and treats everyone the same.

And that's what I got for now.

-- Anun

2/11/2006 07:43:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

You can also purchase it from Amazon.

2/12/2006 05:36:00 AM  

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