A New Universe

A New Universe;
or, “Bye Bye Blogosphere”

It’s 1991 again!

All of a sudden, I just don’t care about comics anymore! ‘Ceptin Cerebus, of course, which I’m more determined than ever to process, from beginning to end, in front of your very eyes, dear readers! But…arguments about New Frontier? Squadron Supreme? What on earth was I thinking? There are a lot of really cool people out there writing about comics–they’re still on my sidebar, and I plan to keep reading them, because I like them a lot… However–film, literature, politics, philosophy–that’s what you’re going to get from me, more often than not, for the foreseeable future… (I’m also having a lot of fun discussing the quotidian over at Milescoverdale.)

Okay–back to my paper!

Goodnight friends!



  1. “However–film, literature, politics, philosophy–that’s what you’re going to get from me”

    No objection about this from me, Dave although I can’t believe this:

    “arguments about […] Squadron Supreme?”

    You must be kidding! SS (rather awkward acronym) is one of your ur-texts. That’s at least the impression that I got…

    It’s probably not fair to direct your attention to this piece because I know you had your disagreements with Ninth Art. I just want to say that I like your selective reading of superhero comics as romance a lot more than this rather glib overview of spandex people as power fantasy.

    That’s also the reason why I didn’t find The Amazing Aventures of Lethem And Chabon very funny.

    Oh, btw, this is one of my favourite quotes from “Motime” (May 27th, 2004):

    Whenever I see a superhero movie, I’m always disappointed! Why? Because they didn’t “stick to continuity”? No way! You know I don’t care about that stuff! The problem with the movies is that they’re invariably simplified into action movies–and I pretty much hate action movies… I don’t appreciate novels, films, or anything else that deals with “larger than life heroes”, and part of my ongoing point is that I don’t think superhero comics have anything in common with Die Hard…

    The play of the words against the pictures–and of the present issue against its predecessors–neutralizes awe and chastens every display of power. These aren’t paeans to the will, they’re about clinging for dear life to the merry-go-round of the “eternal recurrence”–once you’ve read enough superhero comics, you know that none of the “victories” are “for keeps” and that there aren’t any real “triumphs” in a cyclical world. (except in an Alex Ross comic–which is like an action movie…those chins crush every hint of complexity that gets in their path!) There’s so much narrative wonderment going on in long-running serial comics that just does not translate into any other medium… That’s the glory of the form, and probably its death-knell too–because who has the time to get up to speed with Marvel and DC history, other than a kid? And the kids are otherwise engaged at present. Oh well–so be it!



  2. Hm, there’s a nice line in the Ninth Art piece that I’ve linked to :

    In soap opera, a happy character is generally one who’s between storylines at that moment.


  3. thanks a lot Franz!

    you’re right–that Paul O’Brien article is pretty good…

    and I’m certainly no less enamoured of Squadron Supreme (or superhero comics as neo-existentialist romance) than I ever was–it’s just that, well, I think I’ve done all I can to make my opinions known on that subject… Time for somethin’ new!


  4. Then you thesis on Marvel and the letter columns won’t happen? That would be a surprising development for the readers of your blog as you have been writing about it on and off for the last year.

    My point about Paul O’Brien’s piece was – to the contary – that it isn’t very good. He writes that until the 70s (and with Punisher’s and Wolverine’s ascendency ironically) superhero comics were indeed power fantasies. About Spider-Man:

    The psychology here is pretty obvious. The reader is meant to identify with the unjustly hassled hero, and the fantasy is that you too could actually beat the crap out of everyone and get what you wanted if only you weren’t so damnably good and decent. It’s the “if only they knew…” version of a power fantasy.

    And so I thought: Dave won’t agree with this as the “power fantasy fallacy”, as he’d put it,is one of his pet peeves.

    Best regards


  5. oh yeah–for sure–his chronology is ridiculously off… at this point, I tend to filter out any statements which grow out of the (as far as I’m concerned) misperception that the Silver Age Marvels are “simple”… Also, his claim that Wolverine and the Punisher aren’t power fantasies makes no sense at all… They are, in fact, the revenge of the power fantasy against twenty years of neo-existentialist romance… But you take what you can get–and O’Brien’s understanding of the way that soap opera works is not bad at all…

    the dissertation–not sure, I’m taking a hiatus from the PhD program next year… got too many other things I want to accomplish (fiction!), and the lettercol book may not happen, or I may sit down to write it (once Chimera Lucida is done) in a more freewheeling style and send it out to publishers… who knows?

    but Motime will never die! (although I may not have easy access to the internet in May and June)

    I hope you’ll always be here!


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