I have decided to post this final item after replies I've received about some of my own posts - most recently from Dagwan, on the "Thor material published 2009-2011" and "Fear Itself."


My great sorrow is seeing things happening on this board that I wouldn't have countenanced when I was Admin... ah, but we all know that what's done is what's done, and "shut up and get out" was the order of the day.

 

Regarding my comments and Dagwan's:

 

Interesting that I haven't heard from any of the admins yet... well, except for Dagwan, of course.  (Still an admin, Dags?  I know that when I was leader of the band, we extended you an invite.)

 

ELS (from Fear Itself thread):  Another summer crossover event, to go with Avengers books crossing over into Avengers books, FF crossing into Spider-Man (at least), Spider Island, and all these books requiring mini-series...  Wow, I am SO glad I'm not collecting this crap anymore.  And from the look of the posted panels above, I'm obviously not cool enough to get them anyhow.  Good luck to Marvel Comics, the house of idea.

 

Dagwan:  You went out of your way to post in a thread about Fear Itself that you're not reading it, and that it's crap. If you want to read something and don't like it, that's fine. Post about how you didn't enjoy it. What didn't work for you. Calling something that others on this board enjoyed quite a bit crap -especially sight unseen- is not just a judgment on the comic but on the opinions of the other members of the board who did like it.

 

You're right.  I DID go out of my way to post something, because I didn't have to come to the Captain Comics board, didn't have to read that posting, and didn't have to comment on it.  Same as anyone else who posts anything on this board.

 

But so we get our facts straight:  I wasn't criticizing Fear Itself as I haven't read it (which you very accurately noted.)  And I criticized Spider Island, and the FF/Spider-Man crossover, and Marvel's general concept of company wide crossovers - which you obviously didn't infer.  Okay, that happens.  I was criticizing the trend of mini-series, and crossing  through several issues of several titles, requiring readers to pick them up as well. I have said the same thing about Secret Invasion, Seige, that Avengers junk, etc.  Shucks, I wasn't all that fond of it back in Secret Wars (and, to be fair, not so hot on it in Crisis on Infinite Earths either.)

 

As to the opinions of those who did like it - what, is it the rule now to not upset the sensibilities of other posters by disagreeing with them?  Then shame on me.

 

Dagwan:  On a related note, do you have anything nice to say about any comics anymore?

 

This was in response to a comic which I think would have failed the standards of a lot of comic book companies, and I thought I gave the reason - characters out of sync with the current continuity (and damn ME for a fool for expecting continuity, right?), art that I really think is little better than high school level... y'know, a critical observation instead of "It sucks because I say it sucks!"  But again, you might not have gotten that - it happens, and although not everyone is happy and pleased with comics today, it seems to be the mandate on this board anymore.

 

Is this mean?  Some people might think it's mean, and some people - like, y'know, those who used to post on these boards - consider it discussion.  I was posting strongly about it because I feel strongly about it... my opinion, and it used to be implicit that that included " YMMV".  But I guess Dagwan didn't get that - okay, that happens.

 

I could go on, but this is obviously a comment on my postings, and, I think, a comment on my presence on the board from Dagwan and, implicitly (even by their silence) from the Admins.  What I think, due to whatever is going on with me, is what I think, and people used to be able to post such around here.

 

Instead, when I asked for what I thought was a reasonable action - if you think I've gone over the line, get the Admins to contact me about it, and if it really upsets you, please ignore it - got a biting, sarcastic reply, and a "don't tell us, go tell the comic book publishers, and stop whining."

 

Nice.  I probably wasn't going to be able to post here for a lot longer anyhow, but this does make it a little easier to decide.

 

So, after everything that has happened to me on this board - Dagwan's comments, the Administrator crap, etc. etc. etc., I will go away with one last comment for the admins.

 

Good riddance to every last one of you.

 

I remain,

  VERY disappointendly,

Eric L. Sofer

The Silver Age Fogey

x<]:o){

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That the crux of this discussion;  Most of us now recognize the inherent flaws of stories from our childhood that we cherish, but we're reluctant to critique them as adults because to do so would ruin the cherished memories we have of them.  In short, many of us older fans who would argue for modern story telling would be battling with an arm tied behind us voluntarily.

 



George said:

Maybe people should develop more of a historical perspective, and learn that every decade has produced great entertainment. That's more interesting than wallowing in nostalgia.


Like this?

Rich Lane said: "Most of us now recognize the inherent flaws of stories from our childhood that we cherish, but we're reluctant to critique them as adults because to do so would ruin the cherished memories we have of them."

 

I remember seeing "Dark Shadows" on home video as an adult, and noticing the flubbed lines, technical mistakes and cheap production values that went unnoticed (by me) at the age of 8 or 9. But the show is still oddly compelling. And Nancy Barrett (Carolyn) is still hot. So I'm keeping my DVD set of the first 8 weeks of Barnabas episodes.

 

OTOH, there's a lot of stuff I enjoyed as a child that I have NO interest in revisiting as an adult. That includes just about every TV sitcom of the late '60s and early '70s. And there's a lot of stuff from that era (like the films of Robert Altman and Stanley Kubrick) that was over my head as a kid, but I love after discovering it as an adult.

Historical perspective vs. nostalgia:

 

I should mention that I grew up at a time when old movies (mainly from the '30s, '40s and '50s) were a regular part of TV entertainment. They aired in the morning, the afternoon and late at night. Memphis was a great city for watching old black & white movies on the local TV stations. (They weren't called "classics" then. They were just "old movies.")

 

So I didn't grow up entirely tied to the era of my childhood or teen years. I always had a foot in past decades. I grew up with some knowledge of what people were watching long before my birth. I knew who Gable and Bogart and Cagney and Garbo and Karloff were. My parents already knew who these people were, having watching their movies while THEY were growing up. When I watched "Dark Shadows," they would point out that Joan Bennett had been a famous movie star when they were kids.

 

And it didn't take long before I got interested in comics from before my time: the work of Caniff, Gould, Raymond, Foster, Eisner, etc. My guides were the books about comics history by Jim Steranko and Jules Feiffer.

 

That's historical perspective: knowing that a lot of interesting stuff was going on many years before you were conceived. It appalls me to meet a 20-something (or even a 30-something) who has never heard of Steve McQueen or Paul Newman. And I have met people who claim such ignorance. When I was their age, I knew the names of movie stars from earlier eras. And so did just about everyone else my age. We weren't any smarter than current young people. We just had more awareness of the past -- including its pop culture.

I agree. I had to explain to a 20 year old at work who Elizabeth Taylor and George Harrison were.

As for the "modern comics vs older comics" debate, if (God willing) we're all here 10-15 years from now, will we hear from the Bendis/Morrison/Johns/Brubaker advocates bemoaning the future crop of "hot writers", trying to explain to the next generation how they missed out "the best comics ever"?

Food for thought.

Mark, before I forget, I'd love to hear what you have to say about Tarot's new business model. Since it's an adult comic, maybe it could go in the Comics and Grown Up Stuff forum?

George said:

 

That's historical perspective: knowing that a lot of interesting stuff was going on many years before you were conceived. It appalls me to meet a 20-something (or even a 30-something) who has never heard of Steve McQueen or Paul Newman. And I have met people who claim such ignorance. When I was their age, I knew the names of movie stars from earlier eras. And so did just about everyone else my age. We weren't any smarter than current young people. We just had more awareness of the past -- including its pop culture.

Part of it might be that pop culture today is so much broader that the pop culture of years past. There are zillions of channels with zillions of TV shows. Music has splintered in a thousand different directions -- accessible through Pandora and internet radio, but also filesharing, etc. Not only are there movies, but there are tons of things to watch online. 

 

The reason you (and I) knew the names of the stars of the past is that they were relevant to us: Bogart, Lorre, etc. were still an active part of our entertainment landscape, even though they'd died years before. Their movies were on TV, on one of the six channels we had access to. The current generation has to seek out such films -- they aren't handed to them as one of a handful of choices available to watch at that moment. With DVDs, time-shifting, etc, they can watch anything that's ever been made. 


That's why I've taken the tone I have with my column on Silver Age comics. Some of it just makes no sense, but I still love it because I was the right age for it. So it's kind of an attitude of "I can't believe how much I like this nonsense!" rather than "There have never been any better comics produced!"

Granted, some of it is really good, but that's not why Iike it. It's the associations and the notion that it opened doors to fantastic worlds I didn't know existed until then.

Not everyone has that realization that 1. the stuff they love may not hold up and 2. not everyone universally agrees with their opinion of it. It can be a shock to learn that.

To some extent, we have to look at the comics from our youth as "Favorites" as opposed to "Best," a key distinction. It also helps to realize that many of them fall into the category of "Guilty Pleasures," even if we don't feel all that guilty about liking them.

Explaining the appeal of a Lois Lane or Jimmy Olsen comic is a tough deal. I usually don't try, but it doesn't change the fact that seeing Jimmy with eight arms at a carnival shooting gallery brings a smile to my face.

I agree that today's culture is so fragmented that we only see the things we want, so we're exposed to far less that's outside of our comfort range.In the '60s, all the music was clumped onto AM or a few FM stations, and we'd hear Otis Redding, the Beatles, Led Zepplin and 1910 Fruitgum Company back to back. That won't happen today, and that's a loss as much as it is a gain in only hearing the stuff we already know we like. People know their interests deeper, but they're less broad and less accepting of other tastes, because they have the choice to avoid them.

-- MSA

To some extent, we have to look at the comics from our youth as "Favorites" as opposed to "Best," a key distinction. It also helps to realize that many of them fall into the category of "Guilty Pleasures," even if we don't feel all that guilty about liking them.

 

Exactly. The "Ringmaster" story from the 1970s Flash comics is one of my all-time favorites. To call it the best of anything would be a pretty ridiculous claim, but it doesn't make me love it any less.

Phillip Potelli said: " I had to explain to a 20 year old at work who Elizabeth Taylor and George Harrison were."

 

I have co-workers who only knew Liz Taylor as an old lady who sold perfume in TV commercials. They had never heard of her movies, let alone seen any of them.

 

Mr. Silver Age: "Granted, some of it is really good, but that's not why Iike it. It's the associations and the notion that it opened doors to fantastic worlds I didn't know existed until then."

 

I don't expect every comic to be a flawless, brilliant, groundbreaking work of art. I know a "Watchmen" (or a "Maus" or a "Fun House") doesn't come along every week -- or year. I do expect competent, well-crafted entertainment, with distinctive art (instead of the lookalike, cookie-cutter art that has become the norm), with intriguing characters and subplots that draw me back next month. From the early '60s until the early '90s, this didn't seem to be too much to ask. Now, apparently, it often is.

 

I'm starting to think Heidi MacDonald was right when she wrote that mainstream (i.e. supehero) comics now exist largely to publicize blockbuster movie franchises.

 

"I just cringe when I hear statements like "Marvel hates the fans" or "DC doesn't listen to the fans." or "They don't understand who character A is."

 

Agreed. I also cringe when people say "you must not like comics" whenever someone criticizes any modern-day comic book. That attitude has become increasingly common on this board.

 

It's just as disgusting when someone says movie critics "don't like movies" because they don't praise every single movie that comes out. They don't understand that critics are NOT supposed to be publicity shills for the studios. And unless you're on the payroll of Marvel, DC or another comic book company, you shouldn't hold  back from criticizing a comic book that doesn't work for you.

 

 

I don't think this is about anyone "criticizing a comic book that doesn't work for you." SAF made a blanket condemnation of something he hadn't even read. Lots of things about modern comics don't work for him, which is fine. They don't work for me, either! But my response was to read things other than superheroes, so I stay away from those threads. Nothing useful would be added by me dropping in and saying how glad I am that I stopped reading that crap. I do hope SAF decides to stick around and discuss the comics that interest him.

I read much of DC and Marvel's lines, in fact I'm hesitant to say how much I do get, so I can tell reasonably what works and doesn't work for me. Yes I've kept books that I barely glanced through (Superman comes to mind) because I know comics are cyclical in nature with peaks and valleys and books do get better.

Commenting on books that we don't like the way they're heading is part of the forum enviroment. We all have opinions and they can vary from adulation to dismissal on the same book! Even dropping a title is an opinion. I agree that there must be more than "Title X" sucks!" We have been reading comics for decades; we should have the ability to honestly, passionately, intelluctually, free from rancor critique a book without malice and with civility.

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