In honour of MLK day, I’ve posted my essay “Frederick Douglass and the Complexion of Liberalism” at PleaseMo… it’s an exploration of the Douglass-Garrison relationship, “double consciousness”, and Douglass’ immortal “July 5th (1852) Speech”…
Odin Son wonders:
…tell me how any new comic book since Watchmen or Born Again has done anything but either try to conform, rebel or turn the clock back on those books?
This is the Geoff Klock thesis–which I’ve dealt with before–all over again… And again I say–it’s all true, if you read comics the “Jack Kirby way”… But you don’t have to read superheroes that way! You can read them as a subgenre of the American Romance tradition–and that tradition ain’t dead by a long shot…
And with all due respect to Shawn Fumo and Jim Henley–“closure” is the last thing that will save the superhero! What we really need is for Grant Morrison to return to his Animal Man form (possibly with some help from Roy Thomas on letters pages/historiography and Stan Lee on bulletins… I know, I know–this is starting to sound like the Public Enemy line-up: who gets to be media assassin?) The genre’s greatest strength is its capacity to embed the “Uncanny” (through recurrence) in a skewed “continuity” that collapses an entire human life span into a zone of prime awareness… (we get to deal loss and memory–unobscured by the tired narratives of aging and “progressing toward wisdom”–on a scale that no finite medium can approach) Every new monthly issue has the potential to add to the greatness of a series, and there’s no reason ever to stop the cycle (because it never really gets started)–it’s a serial “jam session”! As I was saying yesterday–the Gwen Stacy clone is the corpse-Image that the early modernists were seeking!
As Ezra Pound would say: “See, they return”.
I’d like to engage this in more detail, but I’m about to begin reading an awful monstrosity of a poem called The Saint-Lawrence and the Saguenay–pity me!
Good night friends