Cranky Old Man (Comics!)

Every week (about) Sam and I go to the video rental.  It’s part of a larger bookstore area and has a big ol’ comic book rack.  So that’s how I get my comic fix.  I’m a browser, I’ll admit.  But considering the amount of story I get for the amount I would have to pay, I just don’t feel comfortable shelling out the cash for a comic these days.  Especially with the amount of trash I could get.  There aren’t really any I feel are worth it right now.

I’ve been trying to keep up with Hulk mostly.  It is a fairly entertaining read, but they’ve been milking the same “Who is this guy?” question for far too long.  It’s not done suspensefully either.  It’s just the Red Hulk beating people up.  I find the storyline crazy but fun, but I’m still pretty sick of it.

In the DC Universe, things continue very confusingly.  They’re on something like their hundredth Crisis right now so I don’t even know what books apply to what.  The bulk of the universe seems to be ignoring the whole thing, so that’s kind of weird.  The standout from what I’ve read is Green Lantern, which is pretty cool to me since I’ve been a big fan for a long time.  Apparently Batman is dead or MIA right now, so that’s stupid.

What really grinds my gears is that Barry Allen, silver age Flash, is being brought back to life.  This is jackassery on a high level, right up there with the recent retconning of Spider-Man (don’t get me started!).  I find the Flash to be pretty damn entertaining, especially from a sci-fi perspective.  And when Barry Allen died in the Crisis on Infinite Earths, it was pretty sad to read.  Even if it was pretty eighties to read.  He’s been dead for over twenty years, so it’s really, really stupid.  I actually grew up reading Flash with Flash being Wally West.

The main demographic right now?  Wally West.  Barry Allen has been dead for over twenty years.  All the kiddies that comics needs to pull in to the books so they can keep replenishing a purchasing base?  They don’t give a crap who Barry Allen is.  I think it’s pretty obvious I don’t think we need to direct comics toward a younger set, but this isn’t about that.  It’s about inclusion.  It’s about setting up books that the average new reader can get into without having to know an entire fifty year history.  It was confusing enough without people

“Who is this guy, Comic Reading Friend?”

“That’s the Flash.”

“Oh yeah?  What’s his deal?”

(This should be where you can just say “fastest man alive.”)  “The Fastest Man Alive.”

“Whose that?”

“That is also the Flash.”

“What?”

“Yeah, but he’s the first Flash.  He’s from the forties.”

“Whose this?”

“That’s the Flash.”

“There’s Three Flashes?”

“Well, there were two, but then one died over twenty years ago, it was pretty pathos filled.  But then his sidekick became the Flash, but then DC had the original Flash’s great-grandson come back in time and he became the Flash but then he died and so there were two Flashes but now the original Flash, I mean the second one, is back to life.”

“That’s a yes, then.”

“Yeah, but there’s also a few other speedsters.”

“Speedster?”

“Yeah, that’s a…”

“Screw this man.  I’m getting into indie rock.”

And that’s verbatim what will happen DC!

Personal Thought – I should outline these posts sometimes.   Because I’m really not hitting all the points I want to.  But I think you get my gist.

Anyway, I caught The Brave and the Bold on CN today and it’s trash.  After an amazingly awesome big screen treatment and and excellent cartoon series in The Batman, they’ve brought back some sort of SuperFriends version.  I can get behind that somewhat, because it’s obviously marketed at kids.  Kind of like the Spectacular Spider-Man which was pretty sweet.  Unfortunately I caught the episode with Wildcat, a hero no one who reads my blog has ever heard of.

Wildcat’s deal is that he dresses like a cat and used to be a boxer.  That’s how he fights crime.  But in a respectful sort of treatment in the comics.  In the television program he’s this old, sad boxer.  Still pretty cool, but they’ve given him an old man hump and geezer voice.  Stop it, you guys.  Just stop it.

Thank God for webcomics, or the genre would be gone in no time.

Ded Jimmy Gets a Haircut

This is an almost-finished poem for my poetry book “Ded Jimmy: Poems with Illy-strations.” The drawings turned out well, especially with the barber. The poem itself is still being reworked. Please feel free to comment on your impression of it as a whole. I can’t format it right with the pictures full size, so you’ll need to click through.

Ded Jimmy Gets a Haircut

“What about a haircut?” Ded Jimmy said,
Patting the hair on his round curly head.
“In such a short time my crown’s gone askew
It must be time to procure a new do.”
jimmy-wig.png
The man was not far, it was quite a short walk
Jimmy sat in the chair and they started to talk
About sports and items political, too.
“I’m right,” said the barber. “I’ll prove it to you.”

He hmmed and he hummed over Ded Jimmy’s hair
And asked him politely what was wrong with it there.
“It’s lovely,” he said. “You really look good.”
Ded Jimmy replied “Why thank you, dude!”

But I wish it were shorn, for it’s really quite hot.
It makes my head sweaty. It itches a lot!
I thank you for your kind words and all that you’ve said,
But please do this for me and shave my poor head.
barber-chair1.png
“I shall,” said the man. “Though it pains me a bit”
And he fussed with the comb as his brows knit
In thought and ideas as he readied the scissors.
“If I had this hair, my true love would I kiss her.”

“I am jealous, it’s true. You don’t know how lucky
You are. But too bad, I better start plucking.”
With a frown on his face he plunged the comb in
To the thick vibrant locks much to his chagrin.

But as he pulled up a lock to make the first snip,
He felt not a tug, not a stop, not a rip.
For skelling-tons do not grow hair like us folk
Someone had played on Ded Jimmy a joke.

For to the amazed barber’s eyes the hair lifted off
Leaving a bony white head in need of a buff.
He blinked in surprise and showed the dead boy
“Someone has fooled you,” he said, hiding his joy.

“The wig is undamaged! Beautiful, too!”
“Why it is,” Jimmy said, “So I’ll give it to you.
“Use it tonight, surprise your one true.”
“Why,” said the barber, “I must thank you.”

He took a fresh cloth and wetted it down
And swept over and on and around
Young Ded Jimmy’s head until it positively shone
Bright white and shiny. An enviable dome.

They shook hands and Jim left with a spring in his feet
Whistling a tune as he hopped down the street.
The barber looked after, standing outside the store.
He smiled, walked in, and shut the wide door.