I Got Your Agenda Right Here

I Got Your Agenda Right Here

Over at Peiratikos, Alan David Doane had this to say, in response to Rose’s (admittedly, rather pointed) criticisms of Comic Book Galaxy (and of the minds of those whom she perceived to be behind that site’s present state):

Considering the women who I have had personal interaction with who have commented on this very thread as to their experience with me and CBG, your comments are truly laughable. Hate to break it to both of you like this, but not only is your agenda showing, but you’ve painted a big red target on its ass.

I’m not sure what he means by this, exactly, but I do agree that everyone who writes for an audience (even an audience of one) has an agenda. In Alan’s case, the agenda is clear–get people excited!!!!!!!!!! (about 1. “the medium”, and 2. Alan David Doane) He’s a huckster (which is not the same thing as a charlatan), and he plays his role well. I think he’s good for the ‘sphere, even though I don’t think I’ve ever taken anything he has written very seriously. Why should I? He isn’t writing for me. He knows his audience and he’s giving them what they want. If Rose erred at all, it was in asking him (and Chris Allen) to be something he is not… Although I’m not sure that she did even that–after all, she doesn’t really seem to be expecting Comic Book Galaxy to change…she merely expressed the (hardly disputable) notion that, when it comes to online comics criticism, and no matter how expansive CBG might be (or deem itself to be), many Galaxies remain unexplored!

I, of course, have my own idea of what I want comics criticism to be (MORE CLOSE-READING!!!!!! more speculative criticism….In my own way, I’m sure many would agree, I’m even more obnoxious than ADD), and I think I’m finally at peace with the fact that ADD, the Comics Journal, Johanna Draper Carlson, Ninth Art,Tim O’Neil, etc. are going to pursue their own agendas, regardless of how much I’d like to alter their respective courses. You’ve gotta build a consensus from the ground up. Which is why I get so excited when I find a site like Double Articulation! I think Jim has outdone himself in his essay (and, unlike my own scattershot posts, Jim really does write essays) on comics-to-film adaptations. Jim is doing some really interesting thinking about these texts (I love his discussion of Raimi’s dangerous “Batmanning” of spider-man–and I quite agree with him on that score) and I can’t wait to see where he goes next!

Anyway–bon weekend les amis!


  1. I don’t really understand what the problem is with any of these people. I like reading various stuff, but if I don’t like it, I don’t read it. And if I think something is deficient, I write it myself. I like reading Rose’s blog, but I’m not entirely sure what she was trying to say with that post or what she wants. Alan didn’t have to be such a jerk, however. It’s strange how people get so bent out of shape about these things. I like reading comic book criticism, but I understand that every writer has an agenda, even Rose. Everyone’s so weird.

    Are you back to regular posting? You seem to be, and that will be nice.


  2. I agree with you, and I agree with Rose to a point as well, the only problem was in how she presented her argument makes people automatically go on the defensive. I know you’ve had experience with this kind of reaction as well in your criticisms and discussions. One sentence taken the wrong way can derail or be used to denounce a whole argument.

  3. Sometimes you frustrate the fuck out of me but I am glad you’re back in at least a semi-regular poisition. I look forward to seeing the brain melt from your cranium when you get to Cerebus #289-290.

  4. Greg–no question about it–everyone is, indeed, so very weird! I like reading a lot of different types of blogs too, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I want to see more more more close-reading of comics!

    Shane–your point is well-taken…as you say, I myself have often been accused of baiting interlocutors, and once that happens (whether the offended party has “real” grounds for taking offense or not), you have failed in your primary mission as a blogger and as a human being (to promote dialogue!)

    of course, we’re all going to fail some of the time, and there’s nothing to do but forge on!

    Tim–thanks…I’m hoping to get back to posting several times a week, but it’s hard these days!–at the moment, I’m afraid to go any further with Cerebus, but I’ll do it eventually! (do you mean to say that #289-290 are actually more despicable than #265? I can’t even imagine what Sim has in store for me…)


  5. Yeah. 289-290 are one of Sim’s famous combined issues… the culmination of his incredibly boring / bad / insane exegisis of Genesis. I bought the damn thing but I’ll be damned if I could read it.

  6. I read all of the Genesis commentary in Cerebus. Every. Damn. Word. It was especially frustrating for me, as a somewhat devout Jew because I actually like Bible commentary, but the perspective Sim comes to it, in terms of taking everything in a dualistic male/female battle, made me hate reading it. Still havn’t read the final graphic novel of Cerebus yet, but at least I’m past the inane commentary.



  7. I love biblical commentary too Ben–but after enduring the horror of Sim’s Hemingway commentary (which I usually enjoy too!), I’m not sure how quickly I’ll be proceeding with my Cerebus reading… his gender thing really is too stupid for words…


  8. “of course, we’re all going to fail some of the time, and there’s nothing to do but forge on! ”

    Oh of course. I wouldn’t want to stop reading the Peiratikos crew or your commentary just because of one argument or anything like that. I believe that people can disagree and still go on with their lives and learn from each other. Why anyone would stop reading someone that has a valid statement just because they disagree on one particular issue is beyond me. Anyway, I’m glad you’re back doing comics commentary again, even though I’m not that interested in Cerebus. How about a return to Morrison’s Doom Patrol sometime?

  9. I think you’re right Shane–I ought to get back to Grant Morrison… I’ve been thinking of re-reading Flex Mentallo anyway, and that will almost certainly put me in the right frame of mind to finish the Doom Patrol musings…


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