Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Grant Morrison vs. Alan Moore and Republican Mobs vs. Civilized People

James Call: Expert, having blown his "month of sobriety" pledge (after a week of sobriety) with drinks last night, is a bit hungover, and therefore will mostly be providing links and brief commentary today. But he's back on the wagon now, so expect more productivity soon!

Today in Very Good but Still Overestimated Comics Writers

You may have heard that Marvel Comics has acquired the rights to "Marvelman," a character made famous by Alan Moore's revisionist, dystopian run on the character in the 1980s in "Warrior" magazine. For those of you not in the know, Moore is the author of Watchmen, V for Vendetta, and From Hell, amongst other works, all of which are top-notch, and none of which have been made into especially good movies. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is in fact an actively terrible movie, although the comics are excellent.

As good as Moore's writing is, when discussing him, many comics fans tend to go a bit overboard, praising Moore as the One True God who can do no wrong, against whom all other comics writers "epically fail". Moore's definitely up there, but there a lot of great comics writers floating around: Dave Sim, Charles Burns, Robert Crumb, Joe Sacco, just to name a few.

Another great writer who is a tad overhyped is Grant Morrison, known for his work on the "X-Men," "Batman," and "Doom Patrol," as well as numerous independent projects: The Filth, We3, and more. Both Moore and Morrison consistently produce "hits". Four times out of five, reading a Moore or Morrison comic, especially a superhero comic, is going to be the equivalent of watching a good hollywood flick, like Die Hard or Back to the Future, and so forth.

Still, rarely is a comic from either writer going to change your life or broaden your intellectual horizons, unless you haven't read ANY literature whatsoever. Every "big concept" that Moore and Morrison touch on have been done to death by authors of books you were assigned in high school, or at least college, long before. Still: judging by a lot of comics fans' praise of the two writers, said fans haven't been doing a lot of fancy book larnin'.

Given the excessive level of praise for the two writers, I therefore find it highly amusing to read a young Grant Morrison rip Alan Moore a new asshole.

Today in Health Care Reform

Well, it's August recess time, so it's time for the GOP to hit the campaign trail and just constantly tear into health reform, screaming "socialism," while Democrats in turn tear into insurance companies, which should be good tit-for-tat.

Except Democrats play nice and Republicans play dirty, so don't expect this to be an even brawl. The chief GOP tactic? Mobs! Bring disruptive little mobs to town hall meetings where Dem legislators are trying to explain health care reform, and ruin them by just screaming the whole time. It worked during the 2000 recount down in Florida, where screaming mobs intimidated the recounters... why not use this tactic to ruin health care reform?

It's gonna be a long, and shitty, 5 weeks.

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