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#601694 - 01/01/13 02:38 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: shjonescrk]
IvanJim Offline
Member

Registered: 06/16/01
Posts: 2865
Loc: Los Angeles
"There's probably never been a better time to be a comics fan."

I'm afraid that I have to disagree with this statement. There may be more books out there, but the storytelling in the vast bulk of them seems to have been corporatized (where the content is dictated by the corporation instead of by the imagination of the writer) and the focus of most of them seems calculated to either to shock rather than surprise the reader, or is exceedingly derivative of earlier comic book writing.

There'll always be some good or interesting stuff out there (hopefully) but I think that there's not only less brilliant work out there than in previous decades, there are also fewer emerging talents that aren't following the corporate blueprints in their writing or drawing.

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#601695 - 01/01/13 06:01 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: IvanJim]
Allen Montgomery Offline
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Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7087
Mike Grell is not drawing Starslayer or Jon Sable or Shaman's Tears today. He is drawing the CW version of Green Arrow.

Colleen Doran doesn't want to finish A Distant Soil, an epic she started in her teens.

Neal Adams is drawing Batman and the X-Men.

And so on.



The only old guy doing original work now is John Byrne. And that's because Marvel and DC won't hire him.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
Bob Kane

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#601703 - 01/02/13 11:05 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: shjonescrk]
MBunge Offline
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Registered: 07/19/01
Posts: 3386
Loc: Waterloo, Iowa, United States
Originally Posted By: shjonescrk
There's probably never been a better time to be a comics fan.


Have you ever looked at what the comic biz had to offer fans in the 60s, 70s or 80s? And I suspect the casual comic fan who used to be able to pick up CONAN, STAR WARS, G.I. JOE and such at the newsstand might disagree with you.

Mike

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#601704 - 01/02/13 12:51 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Charles Reece Offline
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Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 10013
Loc: us of fuckin' a
I see a wider variety of genre now than I ever did when I was kid. The writing's better on the whole, too. Look at the orignal Omega the Unknown versus the new one from a couple of years ago to get a idea of just how much the literary possibilities have improved. The Marvel and DC universe titles are about as fucked and micromanaged as someone like Shooter once wanted.
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#601705 - 01/02/13 01:01 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Charles Reece]
MBunge Offline
Member

Registered: 07/19/01
Posts: 3386
Loc: Waterloo, Iowa, United States
Originally Posted By: Charles Reece
The writing's better on the whole, too. Look at the orignal Omega the Unknown versus the new one from a couple of years ago to get a idea of just how much the literary possibilities have improved.


But being more "literary" isn't the same thing as being better.

There are certain styles of writing that are present in comics today that rarely if ever used to show up in the past and if you're a fan of those styles, you're happy. I got the new Omega the Unknown trade for somebody this Christmas. I haven't gotten any response but I wouldn't be all that surprised if he thought it was crap and would have more enjoyed the trade of the original series. But only one was on sale.

Mike

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#601715 - 01/03/13 04:04 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Allen Montgomery Offline
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7087
Nite Owl #4...

Three months for this one to come out as well. Kubert the lesser and Boleslav Sienkiewicz are very fast, so it's obviously DC editorial just trying to stretch this thing out as long as possible.

Okay, so the unnecessary fleshing out of the story behind the "Twilight Lady" photo from Watchmen #7, page 5, panel 4 draws to an inevitably dismal and sappy close. Panel two of that same page also gets cleared up by showing how Dan killed his father. Along the way, we get an owlship ride to a building on fire, Rorschach busting out of a burning door, a Gumpism predicting GPS, a madman trying to make the world a better place by killing a bunch of people (last issue's Ginsberg-quoting preacher) and Hollis foreshadowing his own death.

Turns out the "THE END IS NIGH" sign needed a secret origin, because Rorschach impales the preacher with it. This was apparently the "you went soft" moment that ended the Rorschach-Nite Owl team. Good to know, good to know. Twilight Lady leaves Dan because he "deserves a good woman," but she still loves him and she's still out there... Bleh.

A word about continuity. There's a flashback of Dan killing his father by setting a trip cord on the stairs. Dan is much younger in this scene than he was in previous flashbacks to his father, and their house is much more delapidated. Maybe his dad didn't die in the fall, lived on for another ten years and made a lot of money and then died of a heart attack (as was shown in a previous issue). The insinuation, the purpose of that flashback, was to show that Dan could kill if he had to, so if that's not an error then it's just objectively bad storytelling. Also, the preacher's name changes from Taylor Dean to Taylor Stone at one point. So I have to ask again: How many editors were involved in this shit?

Alt cover by Ethan Van Sciver. Even more weird perspective and wonky anatomy than is the norm for EVS. I'm guessing it took him four hours, no preparatory sketch. No "Crimson Corsair" backup this time, strangely.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
Bob Kane

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#601728 - 01/04/13 11:39 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Peter Urkowitz Offline
Member

Registered: 08/28/00
Posts: 3231
Loc: Salem, MA, USA
I was confused by that kid-tripping-the-bad-dad scene too. The dilapidated house made me think that maybe this was Young Rorschach killing one of his mom's boyfriends, rather than Young Dan killing his dad. Though that doesn't make much sense as a counter to the established continuity, so why even include it? Was it just reinforcing the point that Rorschach was good at taking violent action, while Dan was too timid? I dunno.

There was also a scene of Dan burning Hollis's manuscript. So we never learn what was so shocking in it? Maybe that's revealed in one of the other series?

Skimming one of the Moloch books in the store a few weeks ago, I noted it had the last episode of the Crimson Corsair in it. So either the added Moloch issues made them run out of Corsair pages earlier, or they just didn't plan the length of the Corsair serial very carefully.

Overall, the NiteOwl series was pretty rotten. The twist of Dan pining for Twilight Lady, contrary to his assertion in the original Watchmen than she was obsessed with him, that was decent enough. That's a plausible piece of self-delusion in line with his character. But the story built around it wasn't worth it.

I wish Joe Kubert's last inking job had been something other than this turkey.

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#601732 - 01/05/13 11:44 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
shjonescrk Offline
Member

Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
Originally Posted By: MBunge
Originally Posted By: shjonescrk
There's probably never been a better time to be a comics fan.


Have you ever looked at what the comic biz had to offer fans in the 60s, 70s or 80s? And I suspect the casual comic fan who used to be able to pick up CONAN, STAR WARS, G.I. JOE and such at the newsstand might disagree with you.

Mike


The good ol' days of the newsagents (that's what we call them in Britain). I'd go down to get my latest comics and not all the ones I want are there. It means I'll have to go around all the newsagents to see if I can find them and maybe I am out of luck. Many gave up at this point and stopped reading comics altogether. DC comics were the worst for this.

At least, nowadays your local comic shop will have them all and even if, the shops sells out, Marvel/DC will reprint them anyway and even then if you can't get it, the tpb will be out.

I don't read many comics these days but in terms of storytelling/plotting, they are more coherent and more professional.

As for Before Watchmen, I've not read one or bought one and Forbidden Planet in Glasgow has lots and lots of them for sale. I'll probably be able to pickup them up rather cheaply in the near future if I wanted too.

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#601733 - 01/05/13 12:22 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: shjonescrk]
Allen Montgomery Offline
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7087
Kids didn't stop reading comics because of the hit-and-miss distribution. Quite the contrary, in fact. I enjoyed hunting all over town at every grocery and drug store to find stuff, and I know I wasn't alone in experiencing that thrill of the chase.

Maybe the lazy Internet kids today might demand an easier distribution model, but that's not what drove readers away in the 90's.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
Bob Kane

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#601737 - 01/06/13 07:38 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Peter Urkowitz]
Allen Montgomery Offline
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7087
Originally Posted By: Peter Urkowitz
I was confused by that kid-tripping-the-bad-dad scene too.

Looking back at it again, yeah, that had to be Kovacs. Ambiguous and a very poor narrative choice.


Originally Posted By: Peter Urkowitz
There was also a scene of Dan burning Hollis's manuscript. So we never learn what was so shocking in it? Maybe that's revealed in one of the other series?

My guess is it's Hollis' involvement in the death of Hooded Justice. That would require editorial coordination with Cooke's Minutemen sotry, though, so I can't be sure. There's also Hollis' affair with Sally.


Originally Posted By: Peter Urkowitz
Skimming one of the Moloch books in the store a few weeks ago, I noted it had the last episode of the Crimson Corsair in it.

I must confess that I haven't bothered to read the Crimson Corsair serial.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
Bob Kane

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