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Worst. Thread. Ever.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DrFrylock, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. DrFrylock

    DrFrylock
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    This weekend I finally got around to watching Iron Man, which was pretty good.

    I have never been a big fan of comic books and really never read them as a kid or otherwise. I did get a copy of Watchmen to read before the movie came out, and I enjoyed that. I think one of the reasons I liked it was that it was a self-contained story: you didn't have to have read 3000 other comic books to understand it (although, like most literature, you did have to know about cultural and historical events to fully appreciate it).

    After watching Iron Man I went to read a little more about the character on various Wikis around the Internet, and holy fuck. People say LOST is complicated, but anything comic-book related has become utterly fucking ridiculous. How do people keep track of this shit? The following is an excerpt of the Wikipedia entry describing the DC Universe's "Lord of the Rings," Final Crisis:

    WHAT THE FUCK? By the way, later on down in the same article:

    I am not shitting you. It actually says that.

    Here is how I imagine a meeting goes between the writers of these comic books:

    First, everyone gets in a room and hotboxes while ingesting copious quantities of Peyote dipped in LSD for fourteen hours straight. There is silence for this entire period.

    Then, Grant Morrison breaks the silence by saying something like this:

    "So what happens is that a time-traveling incarnation of George W. Bush genetically merges with a parallel-universe version of his brother Jeb to create a massive super-villain called The Cowpoke, who then wreaks havoc by undoing Merlin the Magician's telekinetic hold over Vagina Dentata and the Labia Majora corps while Hal Jordan is fucking Misty May Treanor in the ass with the Fuscia Lantern ring's thirty-fourth power from the 84th dimension..."

    and it gets worse from there.

    FOCUS: Comic books. Love'em? Like'em? Hate'em? If you're into comic books, how do you deal with the fact that your entire hobby has become utterly un-understandable to anyone who doesn't spend every waking moment of their lives reading and memorizing comic books?
     
  2. Nettdata

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    Like any broad subject, the answer is "it depends".

    I've long been a fan of some comic books; Todd McFarlane's Spawn, the original Wolverine, Sgt. Rock, the original DareDevil, and a few others.

    I've had a subscription to Heavy Metal for over 10 years.

    Do I obsess over them? No. Do I enjoy reading some of them every now and then? Yes.
     
  3. AlmostGaunt

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    I never got into comic books per se, but damn if I don't love their modern day incarnation - webcomics. Assuming this fits within the focus, check out:

    Sinfest - <a class="postlink" href="http://www.sinfest.net" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.sinfest.net</a> This is a brilliant comic, although I'm not quite sure how to describe it. It follows the adventure of sort of PUA wanna-be Slick, formerly slutty but optimistic Monique, anthropomorphic pot-smoking pig Squigley, religious zealot Seymour, and the nerdy Criminy. Oh, and a dog and a cat, and the Devil, and Buddha, and an eastern Dragon, and angels, and... it sort of defies rational explanation. The artwork is gorgeous, the humour is sharp, and the personal insight is surprisingly touching.

    Order of the Stick - <a class="postlink" href="http://www.giantitp.com/Comics.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.giantitp.com/Comics.html</a> . Hyper-nerdy dungeons and dragons satire with surprisingly complex character development. Anyone who likes medieval fantasy in general and dnd type stuff in particular will enjoy this.

    Looking For Group - <a class="postlink" href="http://www.lfgcomic.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.lfgcomic.com</a> . World of warcraft-styled fantasy adventure. Absolutely gorgeous artwork, and oddly compelling storyline. Also, downright hilarious. I actually laugh out loud at this fairly frequently.
     
  4. Nettdata

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    Overreact much?

    This is no different than any number of things people enjoy doing, like TV series (Lost, 24, etc), sports, books (Game of Thrones), cars, etc.

    ANYONE not familiar with the back story or history of any of those would have just as hard a time if they casually stepped in and tried to figure out what was going on.

    I've never seen Lost, ever... not one episode, and every now and then I stopped by the Lost thread and was totally confused by what was going on. Those NERDS!

    I don't follow baseball, and yet I hear guys going on about stats that they quote from years back, and I'm totally lost; I don't know the players, never mind their RBI's for the 2004 season, or when they were traded to the Iowa Bumfucks. What a bunch of fucking losers!

    I have read all of the Game of Throne books, and am following the series. And yet even people who HAVE read all the books can be easily confused with the back stories of shit that has happened, so much so that web sites have popped up just to give people a hand in figuring it out. Yeah, we must all be anti-social fags living in our mom's basement, right? Oh, wait... that's only BL1Y.

    Personally, I could care less what somebody's hobby or passion is, or how much time they take doing it, I just like the fact that they HAVE PASSION, and are DOING SOMETHING.

    This kind of judgment on hobbies that don't add up to someone's arbitrary approval is petty.

    So what if someone like comic books?

    You probably like computers, right?

    You fucking nerd.

     
    #4 Nettdata, Jun 13, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2015
  5. AlmostGaunt

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    Offtopic but interesting, George R.R. Martin himself is confused by the Game of Thrones backstory, and has hired an obsessive fan to help him keep the details straight.

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/04/11/110411fa_fact_miller?currentPage=4
     
  6. Nettdata

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    Adam Carolla has someone similar; Superfan Giovanni



    This guy basically archived all of the Loveline and ACE Broadcasting shows that he could get his hands on, and is insanely obsessed with Carolla's on-air content. He's even parlayed it into his own podcast.
     
    #6 Nettdata, Jun 13, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2015
  7. DrFrylock

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    I am just utterly fascinated by the fact that nearly every description I read of a modern comic book hero or plotline eventually seems to devolve into an elaborate multiverse-crossover with everything else that has ever happened in 50 years of comic-book history. Even when they try to simplify things by rebooting series into alternate continuities or whatever, the alternate continuities end up eventually mixing it up with the classic continuities through a combination of time travel, quantum realities, and black holes.

    If you watch LOST, yes, it gets complicated. But there's 6 seasons of it, and you can conceivably watch it all if you want to understand it. You certainly don't have to watch 40 other TV series over a 50-year period. Even Dr. Who is suitably episodic that a newbie can sort of get into it and basically understand the backstory from a Wikipedia article. The X-Files was probably 60% monster-of-the-week and 40% mythology. And these are outliers - whereas with comic books it seems like ultra-complexity has become the norm.

    The only other media I can think of with myth-arcs as long are soap operas, and I confess to not watching these either. I wonder how much more a 40-year fan of a given soap opera understands/gets out of it than one who's been watching 6 months.
     
  8. Roxanne

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    Loooooooove comic books. Just love them. X-Men and Batman are two of my favorites, and they are two of the most confusing, in my opinion.

    To get by, I read story lines I find interesting and disregard the rest. If I don't understand something, I look it up, and if it makes no goddamn sense, I forget about it and move on to the next. I've always thought of it like comics are extended fan fiction, only the fans doing the writing are actual professionals.

    And of course, if the art is fantastic and the writing is shit, I will buy it and ogle the pages for hours anyway.
     
  9. Crown Royal

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    As a kid I collected and enjoyed them to a non-obsessive degree, but "outgrew" around the beginning of high school (When Superman died and came back as four different weirdos after his dad rescued him form hell by killing a demon with an imaginary shovel. You heard me). I liked Batman especially because of it's dark-light shadow look invented by Bob Kane (plus it had neat villains), and I liked X-Men beasically because every issue was senseless, graphic slaughter (Seriously. Every fucking issue). I never liked Marvel's meal ticket, Spider-Man except for the year Todd McFarlane drew and wrote it. I always thought Spider-Man was an annoying, cocky little shit that never shut his mouth. And I was right.

    As for the movies, Jesus FUCKING Christ slow down already. Let OTHER types of movies be made, please. We don't need FIVE comic book movies a year. Really.
     
  10. Dude

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    The only real comic that I ever read obsessively was The Adventures of Tintin. In my mind, there's nothing that comes close.
     
  11. Blue Dog

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    All I'll say is this: comic books officially reached the pinnacle of everything that is awesome between 1992 and 1997:


    It's all down hill from there.
     
    #11 Blue Dog, Jun 13, 2011
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  12. mad5427

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    I used to be a huge collector growing up. I bought and sold quite a bit in high school. It paid for most concerts, music, all sorts of stuff. I treated it like the stock market. The early to mid-90's was at the tail end of a really great time for comics. I'd research price trends based on print run sizes, characters, writers and artists and would buy based on that. I'd wait a few months and turn some books for 4-5 dollar profit each. Not bad when dealing with 20-50 different books at a time. I'd buy directly from the distributors and by buying 10 or more of a book you'd get a good deal. This was before the instant internet access and ebay, etc. so it was harder to come across books once they were sold out. I'd resell to a few local stores, set up a booth at small local conventions.

    I was a huge fan of Spider-Man growing up. Liked a lot of Image comics, Spawn at the top. Sandman by Neil Gaiman is still my favorite comics series ever. I loved the darker independent books by Slave Labor Graphics and the like. Milk and Cheese, Johnny the Homicidal Maniac. I jumped around genres quite a bit.

    I stopped right around leaving for college as money became really tight and my attention was elsewhere. I have a nook color and have found some decent torrents with pdf files of some great old and new comics. I try to read a few when time permits.

    I do love when books that I really loved as a kid are made into a movie. Well, as long as the movie is done well. Spawn was shit and could have been great. The first Spider Man was good. The rebooted Batman movies have been really good. I think the Avenger's movie could be good.
     
  13. Trakiel

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    That's pretty much the spot-on analogy, but with one crucial difference that leads to the storyline mess you're talking about: In soap operas, the actors eventually grow older or move on to other projects, so the writers are forced to wrap up storylines and begin new ones with new characters. With comic books that's not necessary, which creates the problem of convoluted canon. Really, X-Men for example has been going on for 50+ years, yet is still using some of the orginal characters. How many potential strories left with the original characters are there that haven't been told?

    Focus: I've never cared for superhero comics, a large reason being is that many are relics from the days of the comic book code. I want sex and swearing and other mature fare in my entertainment (well, most of it anyway). My friend got me hooked on Fables and The Walking Dead, which represent my first foray into seriously following a work of the medium.
     
  14. lostalldoubt86

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    I'm a huge fan of movies based on comic books, but I've only read a few graphic novels (Watchmen, Maus, Persepholis, Ghost World, one based on the Dean Koontz character Odd Thomas, and one that I can't remember the name of.) All of the comic books in my house belong to one of my brothers, and they are cataloged and kept in a Tupperware container. All I really know about the Tupperware container is that it contains, among other comics, a copy of Amazing Spider Man #129, which I'm told is extremely rare. Obviously, all of my knowledge of the comic book world comes from my brother and my father, who would not let me enjoy the third X-Men movie because the battle between Iceman and Pyro was not epic enough.
     
  15. lust4life

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    Comic books: Not really. Even as a kid, they weren't all that popular where I lived (though, I can really only recall one store in town that carried a large variety of them, and it was a greeting card and gift-wrap store). When I spent allowance money on pulp reading material, it was one of the wrestling magazines. But I did watch the classic comic-hero cartoons on TV--Fantastic Four, Captain American, Ironman, Thor, Aquaman, Spiderman, and even some of the earliest Japanese anime like Gigantor and Speed Racer.

    Movies based on comic books: Oh, yeah. I had never even heard of the Watchmen until I saw the trailer posted in the pop-culture board. I've probably watched the movie at least 6 times in its entirety, at least twice that partially. They're just a fun way to escape for a few hours and one of the few genres my kids, wife and I can all agree on.

    Not sure if it was NatGeo, Smithsonian TV or the History Channel, but one of them aired a two-hour quasi-documentary on the history of comic books and their social impact which was really interesting. If you get the chance, watch it.

    Agreed. I spend a lot of time finding and reading research on substance abuse, psychopathology and their co-occurrence. This is above and beyond what I'm doing for school. For me, it's an enjoyable fascination.
     
  16. Popped Cherries

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    Interestingly there is going to be a bit of a shake up in the comic world in the coming months.

    The Uncanny X-men is ending their run. Apparently in the comic, Cyclops and Wolverine are the new leaders of the mutants and the ending issue there is going to be a "superhero world event" that is going to bring about a mutant civil war and there are hints that Cyclops and Wolverine will be split into warring factions and sort of take over the Dr. X and Magneto feud. Marvel hasn't decided what is going to come out of the ending of X-men, but I'm guessing they are going to start a new X-men comic or X-men offshoot and start at book one. However, the actual Uncanny X-men comic will have a final issue and while it may exist in a new offshoot, their won't be any more books with that title.

    The even bigger news is D.C. Comics is ending ALL of their books once their current runs are finished and are rebooting every one of their major superheros. This means all of the major characters going back to book #1 and from there... D.C. hasn't really released what they are planning to do in full, but it's been hinted that they are going to re-tell all of the superhero stories so you don't have to go back through 600 issues to figure out what's happening and who is enemies with who and so forth.
     
  17. Judas

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    Only comic I ever read is the one in my avatar. Watterson was a fucking genius.

    Never touched the superhero comics for reasons unbeknownst to me. I still don't really care for the comic book based movies like some of my friends.
     
  18. Kubla Kahn

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    I collected Mad magazine growing up stopping just before they started selling hella adds and changing up the format. As I was young and didn't know shit Id tear off the subscription only "collectable" dust jacket because I didn't like the way they looked over the real cover.


    I never got into superhero comics but I did fucking love The X-Men tv show Blue Dog posted and Batman The Animated Series. They were really well done shows.
     
  19. D26

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    I like comics, and I've developed a decent little collection of trade paperbacks of my favorite story arcs and other books (i.e. Watchmen, DC's Identity Crisis, Neil Gaiman's Marvel: 1602, and multiple Batman and DareDevil books, as they're my favorite DC and Marvel heroes, respectively).

    I totally understand being frustrated by things being confusing. I wasn't ever into comic books at all as a kid, and only started reading some when I went to college and was friends with a huge comic nerd. He answered questions for me, which allowed me to get caught up enough to know what was going on.

    Identity Crisis is a perfect example of a decent book to start with: The gist of the book is that the wife of one of the members of the Justice League (elongated man, Ralph Dibney, a 19th string hero), is brutally murdered, and the Justice League seeks vengeance and also freaks out that someone who knows their secret identities is out to kill their loved ones. The book focuses on mostly "2nd tier" DC heroes, like Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Flash, Hawkman, and the Atom. Batman plays a pretty significant role, considering he isn't in the book that much, and Superman shows up for about eight frames, but otherwise he and Wonder Woman barely play a role (I think Wonder Woman makes one appearance in the book). If you don't know the main DC heroes, you'll probably get at least a little lost. Basically, it is a murder mystery in the DC Universe, but they rattle off names that I've never heard of as suspects (i.e. who the FUCK is Dr. Light? And Boomerang? Seriously? That is a fucking villain?). It's written by Niel Gaiman, and it is an excellent book that got me back into comics, because it managed to simplify those backstory things and explain a lot of stuff within the book. It introduced a lot of people you might not otherwise know.

    The polar opposite was the Blackest Night event. Holy shit was that a clusterfuck of epic proportions. I know DC's history pretty well, and I could barely keep up. The main focus of this story is that a black lantern is sending black lantern rings to animate the dead, and it is up to Green Lantern and the Flash to stop it. Green Lantern has to get help from the other colored corps, because apparently they've split into several colors now: Red (Rage), Orange (Avarice), Yellow (Fear), Blue (Love), Indigo (Compassion), and Violet (Love), to go along with Green (Willpower). If you don't know all of that going in, along with knowing the vast majority of the dead superheroes that get reanimated, you're going to be completely lost. A pretty extensive history of the Green Lantern stories helps tremendously. I just barely made it through, and I had to look up wikis to figure shit out.

    DC, of course, is known for fucking up their continuity for the sake of "simplicity." They're doing it again soon: they plan to reboot the entire universe, eliminate a lot of lesser known and useless heroes, and just focus on the original Justice League. Probably the best way to go, although damned if it isn't pissing off a LOT of comic book fanboys. They're literally just starting back on issue number 1 for books like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, and Green Lantern. They're trying to appeal to new readers, although I don't know how successful they'll be. (Popped Cherries beat me to the punch)
     
  20. MoreCowbell

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    I never read a lot of comic books growing up, but I actually enjoy them for a very similar reason to why Frylock dislikes them. Personally, I love mythologies. Comic book heroes are sort of the modern analogue to Greek mythology: there's complex origin stories and explanations of why things are so, weaving in various characters and events. For whatever reason, I find this fascinating. I can spend hours learning about the backstories of various X-Men on Wikipedia, without growing tired of it. The only reason I'm not surrounded by comic books is the sheer volume necessary; like Frylock says, having to read 3000 comics is sort of daunting.