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#563938 - 01/06/10 02:23 PM Re: Superman as American Icon by Gary Groth [Re: IvanJim]
shjonescrk Offline
Member

Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
Originally Posted By: IvanJim
My sense is that, generally, Gary writes about what he enjoys and is impressed by. Just as your hypothetical vegetarian chefs have to deal with customers who prefer meat, Groth often has to deal with folks who prefer superhero comics. Just as those dedicated chefs try to show their diners that Vegetarian cooking is healthier for both the individual and the planet, Groth attempts to show his metaphorical diners that there's something far healthier, exciting and creative about the intellectual cuisine he's convinced is healthier both for the consumer's health (of mind) and for the greater whole (the medium).

In both cases part of the process is to compare and contrast, and to try and show that ingrained behavior patterns are actually causing long term problems even if they're incredibly difficult to change. In reality, comic books aren't being bought primarily by kids anymore, and perhaps that's because the actual needs of the adult market have been stunted for so long that primarily what's left is a rapidly dwindling niche market primarily for former teenagers who weren't able to break the addiction cycle of no longer age appropriate power fantasies.

Groth may be trying to keep a candle lit in a wind tunnel, but I think there's something noble about the attempt even if the failure is probable. He loves the medium for what it could be, for what he thinks it should be, and that will always entail recognizing the faults of how it actually exists in it's current form.


The comparison with Vegeterianism doesn't work as you can provide scientific proof that it is better - see the China Study - but you can't prove Love & Rockets is better than Youngblood.

There's an awful lot of assumptions in there - addiction, power fantasies etc - but the truth is probably that most people who still read superhero comics (and I do from time to time) just enjoy them as escapist entertainment nothing more, nothing less. What should they do? Perhaps they've tried the other stuff and just not found it to their taste. Give me a well told story with nice art and I don't really care what the genre is.

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#563939 - 01/06/10 02:24 PM Re: Superman as American Icon by Gary Groth [Re: Lawson]
Lawson Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Ivan (and Charles, etc.), I think we can agree that Gary Groth has published some great stuff, new and reprinted, some intelligent comics that raised the bar for the whole industry. By demanding that we recognize what comics potentially can be, rather than settling for more of the same okey-doke, he's made the comic book world a better place.

I'll simply say, he impresses me a lot more with what he does in this regard than what he says.

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#563954 - 01/06/10 03:13 PM Re: Superman as American Icon by Gary Groth [Re: Lawson]
IvanJim Offline
Member

Registered: 06/16/01
Posts: 2865
Loc: Los Angeles
Personally I'm impressed by both, but I'm perfectly willing to admit that it's just a matter of perspective.I might think that you're wrong in your estimation of Groth, but while disagreeing with you I'm able to respect your assessment that you don't like his take on things or the way he expresses himself.

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#563959 - 01/06/10 03:29 PM Re: Superman as American Icon by Gary Groth [Re: Lawson]
Dean R Milburn Offline
Member

Registered: 07/06/99
Posts: 2043
Loc: Indianapolis
He's got a way of getting in every possible cheap shot that I think hurts his position more than helps it.

I've got a friend like that. Everything is turned up to 11, all the time. It's not bad pizza, it's the worst goddamn pizza he's ever eaten. Stuff like that.

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#563964 - 01/06/10 03:45 PM Re: Superman as American Icon by Gary Groth [Re: Dean R Milburn]
Lawson Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Originally Posted By: Dean R Milburn
He's got a way of getting in every possible cheap shot that I think hurts his position more than helps it.

I've got a friend like that. Everything is turned up to 11, all the time. It's not bad pizza, it's the worst goddamn pizza he's ever eaten. Stuff like that.


Yeah, exactly.

When I was in college, the best pizza joint in town was just off-campus. Fantastic pizza. A little locally owned place. I still miss it.

Right across the street was a Domino's Pizza.

Everyone knew the local pizzeria was a hundred times better than Domino's. Went without saying. What would be the point of the local pizzeria guy standing at the door of his place and shouting all day about that crappy-ass Domino's food? I mean, he's right, but lead by example, not by diatribe.

Anyway, Groth is deliberately provocative, he says things especially nasty and pokes at particularly sacred cows in order to provoke a reaction. Which is fine, but when people then say, "Eh, he sounds like an asshole," he shouldn't be too surprised.

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#563968 - 01/06/10 05:06 PM Re: Superman as American Icon by Gary Groth [Re: Lawson]
IvanJim Offline
Member

Registered: 06/16/01
Posts: 2865
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: Lawson

Anyway, Groth is deliberately provocative, he says things especially nasty and pokes at particularly sacred cows in order to provoke a reaction. Which is fine, but when people then say, "Eh, he sounds like an asshole," he shouldn't be too surprised.


Y'know, considering how many wretched DC cross-overs you read so that we didn't have to (and, boy, did I appreciate not having to read that dreck), and considering how often you post about DanDidiot ruining the DC comic book characters with his fondness for mutilation, molestation and murder (and, man, do I agree with you), I'd think that you'd be a little more sympathetic towards someone objecting strongly, loudly and vociferously about taking something with tremendous potential and creating toxic waste.

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#563969 - 01/06/10 05:13 PM Re: Superman as American Icon by Gary Groth [Re: IvanJim]
Lawson Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Oh my goodness, I'd be the first to admit that I'm no better.

I didn't even think that was in dispute!

But I'm not the publisher of a long-running magazine and all the rest. I'm just an idiot who posts his half-baked thoughts on a message board. Frankly, nobody expects better of me.

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#563970 - 01/06/10 05:47 PM Re: Superman as American Icon by Gary Groth [Re: Lawson]
IvanJim Offline
Member

Registered: 06/16/01
Posts: 2865
Loc: Los Angeles
Now here we hit an area of almost complete disagreement.

You're most certainly better than the type of person you're characterizing Groth as (inaccurately in my eyes), and folks here expect quite a bit from you. A modicum of intelligence, a touch of utter snottiness, a certain amount of appropriate bile, and an occasionally wry sense of humor. My guess is that you expect about the same from yourself.

If you were the publisher of a long running magazine I'd hope that you wouldn't blanderize your personality for the sake of trying to avoid irking people that you have no qualms about offending.

So while it's true that you're possibly no better than Groth (I don't know, I've never met either of you), in your own way you're as good as Groth at being offensive towards the folks that need a little offending.

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