The Gutters is a comic written by comics fan and creator Ryan Sohmer that attempts to address current comic news and events. There is nothing wrong with this in and of itself, but ultimately Sohmer often seems confused with what the issue actual is failing both discerning readers and… well everyone who unfortunately chooses to read The Gutters.
Archive for Real Talk
DC has been having continuous problems keeping on writers and it was the Batwoman team dropping off today that made me go “man, screw DC policies I have no desire to write for the nu52 at all.” The Batwoman team should not be forced to complain about editorial mandates unless they went off the deep end. So I’m sharing my Superboy pitch that will now more than never, never be used.
A few weeks back my editor gave me the opportunity to pitch to DC. The previous writer had quit the series and because my editor has connections and no desire to write for them, I got the opportunity and was excited. I could make something fun and solid that even if it didn’t get picked up, might get me considered for writing something there. And what was the title? Superboy.
I decided to keep a stiff upper lip – I liked Superboy in Young Justice. I liked the angsty loner vibe dealing with powers and seclusion. Of course, I made some mistakes there because the current DC status and the realistic mix of emotions in Young Justice was very different. I was forgetting that this tied into the nu52 with it’s new confusing continuity and then trying to read the actual issues to get a background failed. They were pretty poorly written and well drawn but unattractive pages and I felt my eyes glazing over on the pages. Eventually I just went to a comics wikia and talked to friends who suffered through the series to understand what was happening so I can add in a throw away line relating to the current storyline/status. And then I made my next mistake – making what would have been an old DC story, instead a nu52 one.
Criticism falls into two categories, legitimate and illegitimate criticism. A legitimate concern is the airplane not having wings. An illegitimate criticism is the airplane not having a cool looking tail stripe. Being able to pick out between the two is important and sometimes what is legitimate and what is not is not easy to define. One person’s racial concerns over the depiction of a character might not be a legitimate issue to everyone.
I’ve been downing comics at horrifyingly high rates thanks to Marvel Unlimited (which probably means I’ll never do part 2 of my Exiles “review”. During the experience I’ve been getting opinions and thoughts and wishing I had more money to support all of the good books that came out or that are still coming out. But one thing I’ve been coming up against while in my binges is when pages stop readers in a bad way. When the elements of the page don’t come together it is problematic so I am gonna talk Wolverine and the X-men and King City at you.
So yesterday I wrote a long long long post about my issues with Earth X because I spent a lot of time reading it and it was just really flawed. It was too long with too many tangents, too many ideas that went nowhere and too many stories given equal billing, I can appreciate that it tried to go big and use all of these ideas, but it didn’t work. They say that better stories are made by what you can take out and that is my idea for Earth X; edit, cut and reorganize.
So following it up, I want to try and layout my plan to fix it.
I’m using someone else’s marvel account to read the unlimited comics and what they buy print. I also listen to them on what to read at least part of the time. So I’ve finally been reading Fraction’s Iron Man and I was shaky on it first. Larocca’s art took time to grow. Fraction took time to get in the grove but he knows how to play the long game, to make comics fun. And so I reached 500.1, right after that renumbering, right after the future skip issue.
500.1 came to me when I was working in the comic shop. I didn’t read Iron Man at the time. I heard 500 was good though and it was enjoyable though I missed out on stuff. Tony losing the memory of every Bendis event (insert joke about how if only we could all be so lucky, cheap punches).
I don’t like the current comic release format. Part of me wants to say it is because I spend a lot of money on comics but I can’t really say it because I haven’t been to the store in a few weeks (because I am poor – but I am employable! – but enough self woes). Comics are an expensive habit to have, at times books can be unrewarding (how many scenes of desolation without meaning were in Age of Ultron?). You pay $4 and if you get something to read for maybe 10 minutes, you got something good. And then it goes into the box till you read it again (or donate it to the children’s hospital- that’s what I do).
I live in the Midwest and a movies here don’t cost an arm and a leg. For $10 I can see a two hour long movie. That is equal to 2.5 big name comics I could buy or 3.3 normal comics. At most on the maybe 20 minute per comic I am just breaking even but honestly some of those comics might take 5 minutes to read just to fill time waiting for the plot.
So what if for those $10 you could get something more out of the comic release format?
A few weeks ago, a speech by the Marvel character Havok in UNCANNY AVENGERS stirred up a lot of animosity for it’s seemingly downplaying of cultural/ethnic pride in favor of homogeneity. The scene, written by Rick Remender, could be taken as a Havok wanting the general public to see mutants as humans first instead of some outside species, but he refers to the word “mutant’ as “the m-word,” drawing obvious comparisons to “the n-word” as a stand-in for “nigger.”
[Spoilers Ahead For Jason Aaron's Wolverine Run]
I grew up around Wolverine and was never a super big fan of him. My friends liked him on the X-men but it was that Sega Genesis game that made me not care for him.
In a game where you got to choose between Wolverine, Gambit, Cyclops and Nightcrawler he was the weak choice. He was the guy who you had to take risks to use. He was the guy who hurt himself when he used his power. He didn’t do awesome kicks and teleport around. He didn’t get to throw cards and use a staff. Even Scott Summers had his optic blasts – but Wolverine you had to run in there. You had to risk everything and punch guys and you had to hide to heal to punch more. That game made me like Gambit and that is a pretty astounding task – though I always liked Nightcrawler the most before.
Digital comics are still coming along and learning to adapt to the medium. The way that Mark Waid’s Thrillbent works – reducing everything to a single panel that can change is fantastic. It won’t necessarily work for everyone to start and it still doesn’t address the thousands of other comics we have being formatted digitally. After finishing a major Marvel Unlimited binge, I want to talk about what works and what doesn’t on digital comics for computers (as opposed to tablets).