Sunday, January 18, 2009

Dead again

No, I haven't read it yet, and as noted earlier, I probably won't get around to it for awhile. As should be quite clear to even the most casual reader of this blog (and what other kind could there be?), I seriously don't read comics unless they contain images of a hunky man tied up or unshaven or in some sort of deathtrap or with his chest hair exposed--preferably all of the above. If this latest death-of-Batman installment contains enough of that, I'll read it, eventually. Lord knows the dude on the cover up there looks might-tee fine.

I don't really have anything to add to the conversations currently taking place in several hundred blogs, most of it pretty incoherent, misspelled, badly punctuated, and so on. For the record, I only know these conversations are taking place because, after stumbling upon this brief mention, I did a bit of googling to find out how many of my must-haves are included. I gather there is some torture. That's a plus.

Best thing I found was this interview with Grant Morrison about what he's up to. A few lines that struck me as interesting:

"I wanted this story to be mythical. It's on that scale. It's not meant to be about realism. It's not meant to be about politics and about stuff that's happening on the streets. It's the story about what happens when gods start interfering with life and life becomes mythical."

Nice comic timing here:
" The finale is pretty insane. Parallel universes. It's the end of the universe. Everything breaks down. I wanted to do something causality based. I don't think any of us have seen anything like this. It takes it to the point of real, nihilistic hopelessness.

I'm so pleased with it"

And, while I'm not always crazy about Morrison's aesthetic, I admit he's got a point here:
"Once you've seen [the films] Iron Man and The Dark Knight,why bother doing realistic superheroes because now the movies can do them better than anyone. I kind of feel that what it does is free up comics to be a little bit wilder. ... We shouldn't be following the storytelling techniques of Hollywood because they can do it really well. Comics can do all kinds of other things. They can be really crazy and wild and can really stretch the imagination and be really progressive."

Oh, and this recap/think piece seems to make the most sense to a non-comics-follower like me.

Finally, in my travels through cyberspace, I came across this very nice meditation from Ultrasparky on the appeal of superheroes to some of us. It was written well before any of this dead-Batman business, but these lines resonated with me as I read one outraged fan rant after another about Morrison: "A love of comics is just so personal. They've been part of our culture for so long now, pushed and pulled and reinvented in so many ways that they can be something different to everyone." (The Ultrasparky post is really a plug for this outstanding Michael Chabon essay in The New Yorker that I've been meaning to write about here for months. I really should still do that sometime, I guess.)

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