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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Mark, with you the question was: Why do you KEEP buying it if you don't like it? There's a difference between giving something a fair chance and banging your head against the wall because it feels good when you stop.
What Clark said.
George said:

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.


Yes, but there are ways to do criticism that don't leave the impression that the critic hates movies/TV/music/comic books/whatever. To offer one glaring example: The Comics Journal. In its later years, any reader reading any issue would come away with little doubt that its editors and writers do, in fact, hate mainstream superhero comics, and were freely blunt and abrasive in saying so.

One thing that always stuck with me: Once, I read the letters page in a music magazine, and a letter writer was commenting on a review from a previous issue of a Michael Bolton album. The review had good, snarky fun declaring his dislike for Michael Bolton's work, but the letter writer pointed out that he could have served the readers better had he not belittled Michael Bolton and his fans, but spent a little time steering readers to better stuff AND saying WHY it's better.

Way too many critics don't do that.

So true!  I'd like a lot more explanation and a lot less snark from those who choose to criticize others' works for a living. 

Ah, but I'm with Rob in that, with so much drivel put out there, especially duff movies and TV deliberately aimed at the lowest common denominator, witty and well-turned pieces ripping the guts out of them at least ensures they've contributed to entertainment in some way.

 

When I used to read more movie review columns, I'd skip those on films I wasn't interested in, but then I realised that the reviews of duff movies were often much more fun to read than reviews of movies I might like, and which the reviewer merely wnated to get across an earnest appriciation of why we should go and see it.

 

it's about explaining the body of work, its cultural significance, if any, the genre, the meaning, whats it about, reactions to the work and then the reflections, and the overall impressions. Is it new? A breakthrough? Is it personal? A magnum opus? An attempt to mimic past success or a more influential performer? An ongoing narrative with the performer/writer? Is it worth someone's time and money? Does it reach the mark or miss it -- why or why not?

 

Hmmm!  It's a pity that the comics we love aren't deserving of this kind of analysis, according to your earlier statement, Kitty.  - "They're only comics so I switch my brain off", kind of thing.

Alexandra Kitty said: "Because a lot of critics try to elevate themselves by putting down someone else -- snark is filler."

 

Give us some examples. Cite some critics by name, instead of posting a sweeping, blanket denunciation. "A lot of critics"? Which critics?

 

There have been critics over the years I've disagreed with -- but, as Roger Ebert would tell you, their job is not to make people agree with them. Their job is to make people think. The fanboys and fangirls did themselves no favors when they went berserk and ballistic over any critic who didn't praise "Dark Knight" as the greatest movie ever made. And the online nastiness keeps getting nastier. Ask any critic who panned "The Passion of the Christ."

 

Anyway, arguing about critics is a bit moot, as most newspapers and magazines are cutting loose their critics and replacing them with box-office numbers and fluffy "celebrity profiles" that read like press releases. Is that an improvement? Sorry, but I don't think so.

Some comments by director Martin Scorsese, from about a decade ago (but still relevant):

 

"Since I've been making movies, the worst thing to have happened is the tyranny of the box-office statistics. Every Monday you can turn on the television or pick up a newspaper and read which films were successful over the weekend. You're no longer reading think pieces or what the critics have to say.

 

"I've disagreed vehemently with critics in the past. But they made me think. What have we got now? Numbers. It's shocking that people base their decision to go to a movie on how many other people did or did not pay to see it. It's a different value system, a different world."

Wow, it's like that comment was pulled straight from my brain (even though I haven't seen it before). Box-office statistics used to be available only in trade journals when I was growing up: Billboard, Variety, etc. Commentary on movies and other popular arts centered around the content, and the critic's response to the content. A classic example would be the Siskel & Ebert TV show. Now, cultural news is business news. Reporting which movie got the highest box office doesn't require any aesthetic judgment. Personally, I'm interested in what's good, not what sold the most tickets.

George said:

Some comments by director Martin Scorsese, from about a decade ago (but still relevant):

 

"Since I've been making movies, the worst thing to have happened is the tyranny of the box-office statistics. Every Monday you can turn on the television or pick up a newspaper and read which films were successful over the weekend. You're no longer reading think pieces or what the critics have to say.

 

"I've disagreed vehemently with critics in the past. But they made me think. What have we got now? Numbers. It's shocking that people base their decision to go to a movie on how many other people did or did not pay to see it. It's a different value system, a different world."

Mark Sullivan said: "Personally, I'm interested in what's good, not what sold the most tickets."

 

Seems you're on the same wave-length as film historian Leonard Maltin. Here's a comment of his from about a decade ago. He mentions "Phantom Menace" by way of example, but you could sub "Dark Knight," "Avatar" or any recent blockbuster.

 

"The near-obsession that has developed over `weekend grosses' is one of the real curiosities of the recent past. ... When average people start laying odds about whether or not `Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace' will make more money, quicker, than `Titanic,' it's clear that for many people, `the play's the thing' no longer holds true. The `pay' is what they really care about.

 

 "I'm much more interested in whether the films are good, and that's a topic I don't hear discussed nearly enough."

What is one generation's lowest common denominator turns into high satire and commentary for another

 

Well, I wish the next generation will hurry up and point out the high satire and social commentary that I missed in Wishmaster and Twister.

"I could not really believe how turning half of the marvel superheroes into government thugs and half into outlaws could be a good story, but I was willing to hang in there and hope that there was some reasoning behind it."

 

A lot of the "major" superhero plotlines smack of desperation -- a desperate attempt to drum up interest in characters that have been around for 50 years or more. I guess it started in the early '90s with the "Death of Superman." Then Batman's back was broken for a year. At least it seemed like a year.

Mark S. Ogilvie wrote: "On the other hand while comic book companies don't hate the fans or don't listen to them I can't help but think-or thought as I mentioned Mr Whacker was pretty persuasive-that some of the writers and editors just love to needle the old fans to get them angry."

 

Reminds me of the Star Wars fans who think Lucas should turn that franchise (and Indiana Jones) over to them, because the fans think they understand this world better than its creator. I remember "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" fans saying the same thing when Joss Whedon took the series in directions they didn't approve of -- making Willow gay, for instance.

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