Sunday, February 12, 2006

An Open Letter to all of the people that love Flex Mentallo so much they want to marry it

I won an auction for Flex Mentallo 1 and 4 on E-Bay. It cost me $33. I now own half of the series. If the other half costs me as much, I will have paid $66. At any rate, considering how much money I am likely to spend on this comic, it had better be at least 75% as good as you all think it is. If I find out it was some elaborate prank on your parts, and it turns out that Morrison and Quitely can actually make a bad comic (god forbid!), or at least an overrated one, there will be consequences. Of some sort. Of a fashion I have not decided yet. I never have been good at the threats. Anyway,it better be pretty damn amazing, and also hopefully not collected as soon as I finish reading it. It was bad enough when that happened with something like My Faith in Frankie, when I only spent $12 on it. So I include DC in my list of parties to whom my vague threat, too. You're all on notice!




Anonymous David Golding said...

Were they togther or separate auctions? Were the other two issues on sale?

I feel for you - I got my Flex issues off of EBay, put up by the same person, but through individual auctions. It was stressful, I'm sure I don't need to tell you. I won, but it cost me about $US120 in total... and I'm an Australian with a horrible exchange rate, plus postage, it ended up costing me $200...

And it was worth every cent.

And I'd buy a TPB in a second. Hell, I'd buy it twice!

2/12/2006 11:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Iron Lungfish said...

I'm terribly sorry. Flex Mentallo is quite enjoyable overall, but it's wildly overrated. Beautiful art with a fun, solid premise and a great central character, but every time Morrison's personal mouthpiece pops up (you know, the wildly adored yet tortured artist who's in the middle of breaking up with his girlfriend because she just doesn't understand how awesome the Silver Age was) to rant on for pages about What's Wrong With Modern Comics and how it's ruined his life, I just want to reach through the pages and smack him. I'd buy it as a trade, but paying through the nose on Ebay is out of the question.

2/13/2006 12:38:00 AM  
Blogger Bill Reed said...

Flex Mentallo is the best comic ever made and it totally changed my view of the universe. Methinks IL missed the point.

2/13/2006 07:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Omar Karindu said...


That "wildly adored and tortured artist" turns out to be the villain, remember, at least as his adolescent self. He ruined comics, but they're gonna save him anyway.

The whole rock-star thing, the interminable narcissism of his pseudo-suicide, the nostalgia-as-clutter in which he (literally) wallows, those are to be replaced by bold new imaginings that make the world new. And "Wallace Sage" has to learn that lesson as well as anyone else does. Flex saves him, not vice versa.

As a side note, I was a lucky bastard who read -- of all things -- a big looseleaf Who's Who page on Flex not long before Invisibles broke big and saw the mini in my LCS. Bought all four issues for a total of 10 bucks, and I can't go a month without reading it again to refresh myself with its brilliance.

(Man, if not for those Who's Who comics of yore I'd never have gotten through the late 80s/early 90s. Knowing that Tawky Tawny and J. Wilbur Wolfingham were out there, somewhere, helped sooo much.)

2/13/2006 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

I wouldn't say Lungfish is missing the point, because I don't like it when people say it about me. He didn't think it was as great as others, and that's cool.

I have to disagree with him, though. It's excellent. It's one of those Morrison stories that isn't overwhelmed by the craziness.

Of course, now that DC is willing to collect the Doom Patrol issues with Flex in them, maybe they'll be willing to publish a trade of this. I'm just saying ...

2/13/2006 10:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The story is good, as I expect of Morrison and Quitely, but the extreme superlatives applied to the work do it a disservice. I think that at least upon first reading most people would be disappointed in a "that's it?" kind of way.

I managed to pick it up for $35 on a non-eBay auction site.

-Ralf Haring

2/13/2006 10:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Iron Lungfish said...

I got the point - I mean, I did read it through to the end - I just thought the guy's rants went on way too long and overwhelmed the wacky Mentalloriffic goodness. I wanted a lot more Flex and way less of the whining weenie. I did almost cheer out loud at the end when he gives his "Gamble a stamp!" speech, which made it a very frustrating book for me - with a little more self-editing, I think it could've been my favorite Morrison project. Sometimes I think what I'd like to see in a mainstream comic writer is the bastard child of Morrison and Ellis - Morrison sometimes can't restrain himself, while Ellis is way too calculated and controlled for his own good (Nextwave being the exception that proves the rule). The happy medium between the two, shooting out crazed ideas with just the right amount of control and focus, would be quite a thing to see.

2/13/2006 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger solipsistnation said...

Wow, people are paying that much for it? My local comic shop had it in the back-issue bins for about a total of ten bucks.

And I liked it, yeah, but I don't think I two-hundred-bucks liked it...

2/13/2006 01:22:00 PM  
Blogger Bully said...

Man, I guess I better put my four issues up for sale on eBay!

2/13/2006 02:28:00 PM  
Anonymous The Cosh said...

I'm with Bully. I was planning to get rid of a few things anyway, but hearing people paying this much for FM has sold me. The artwork is pretty nice, but storywise it's fairly tiresome.

In the great Morrison scheme of things I'd put it somewhere between Sebastian O and Really & Truly.

2/13/2006 06:07:00 PM  
Anonymous thekamisama said...

While I am saddened to see people are paying this much for something DC could easily be selling people for 20 bucks total...
Part of me thinks that there is some irony that some of these sit in the boxes of comic shop assholes who think its worthless while they are trying to hawk the newest multiple cover pablum.
If only there was a way to redistribute all the wayward and lost Flex Mentallo comics into the hands of READERS so they don't have to pay artifically inflated gouger prices.

2/13/2006 06:42:00 PM  
Anonymous The "No 'There' There" Alex Freakin' W. said...

This is sort of turning into a vote thread right?

I didn't pay anywhere near $200, but I paid a lot a couple of years ago and was a little worried afterward that it might be traded, but having read some of the (probably wildly inaccurate) summaries of the Atlas Estate vs DC ruling, this is my understanding:

The suit came out sort of in favour of DC right? Or rather they didn't have to pay Atlas any money if they didn't try to make any more money off the character. They can reprint the Doom Patrol version because he's only a supporting character in that but they can't reprint the Flex series. Which is silly because the specific section they objected to was the Flex origin, a nasty satire of the old Charles Atlas ads that was in Doom Patrol. In the Flex mini, Flex is never portrayed in a negative light, but since that's the one with his name on, that's the one they can't reprint.

I might be utterly, utterly wrong about all that.

And for me, it's well worth $200. It's one of the best things ever. It's very much a personal view of course, but if my house was burning down... after saving my wife I'd save Flex.

2/13/2006 07:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Iron Lungfish said...

I was under the impression that DC could reprint the Flex Mentallo series, but they'd have to pay royalties to the Atlas estate, which has lowered the potential profit margin on a Flex TPB enough for DC not to care.

2/13/2006 08:24:00 PM  
Blogger Bill Reed said...

And *I* heard they could reprint it all they want but couldn't actually title it "Flex Mentallo," which is why it's rumored they're gonna shove it in the last Doom Patrol trade along with Doom Force.

So God knows what the truth is.

2/13/2006 08:32:00 PM  
Blogger solipsistnation said...

My local shop isn't made up of "comic shop assholes." They just don't gouge. Plus I bought them a few years ago, so maybe they weren't in as much demand then...

2/13/2006 10:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't search for scans first before bleed all that cash.
Personally I think FM is way overrated.

2/14/2006 08:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoyed Flex Mentallo in the Doom Patrol, so I bought each issue of the mini-series as it came out. It was, and still is, my Favorite Comic Ever.


2/14/2006 09:28:00 AM  
Anonymous The Cosh said...

I'd say you'd all be a lot better off trying to get Morrison to sort out his contractual wrangles with Fleetway/ Egmont/ Rebellion/ Titan/ whoever so someone somewhere can reprint Zenith.

That's a comic that's worth paying a lot of money for.

2/14/2006 10:28:00 AM  
Blogger Bill Reed said...

Zenith is one of my least-favorite Morrison works, actually. I didn't see the big deal, as it was all fairly generic and even *gasp* pedestrian. Plus I don't know crap about all the British superheroes he was referencing.

2/14/2006 01:13:00 PM  
Blogger Johnny B said...

I consider Flex one of the best comics series I've ever read, and it really struck a chord as someone who has continued to enjoy funnybooks well after he passed from childhood and into theoretical adulthood.

And that ending, where the Morrison stand-in figures out that word, fills in the blanks, and looks at you and goes "heh" never fails to give me a charge. You'll see what I mean when you read it.

I loaned it once to an X-Men loving friend back in the mid-90s, and he gave it back to me weeks later with the warning: "Don't EVER loan me anything like this again!" And he was (mostly) serious...

2/16/2006 09:33:00 PM  
Blogger kelvingreen said...

Yeah, I'd have to say I'd prefer the legal wranglings over Zenith be cleared up before Flex Mentallo.

2/17/2006 12:35:00 AM  

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