Sunday, August 16, 2009

DC movies : the good, the bad and the ugly

Lately I haven´t had the time to write as much about the comics I´ve read because of the new job I´m trying to get.

I have finished with the DAREDEVIL trades and the last issues of 100 BULLETS but that´s material for a longer post than I have the time today. Still I want to write about something to get some new content on this blog ( to show my readers I´m still doing it ) so I thought that I should write about comic movies.

There are a lot of movies - comic related or not - that I have seen and not commented on - yet. But for this edition I am taking a look at the latest DC animated movies that go directly to home video since I have just seen the Wonder Woman movie this week.

One of my brothers just returned from Spain this week and had a lot of movies in his luggage as Spain is one of the few places where you can buy uncensored movies. Here in Germany I almost never buy DVDs because everything gets censored here....even LILO & STITCH. So the three movies I going to talk about are WONDER WOMAN, SUPERMAN : DOOMSDAY and BATMAN : GOTHAM KNIGHT with which I´ll start.


Batman Gotham Knight ( or BATMAN GUARDIAN DE GOTHAM how the spanish version is called ) is a 73 minute film made up of six short episodes from different creative teams. On the disc it says " done by the world´s greatest animation visionaries " but I´m not sure if that´s really true since most of the episodes have a manga look or at least a manga - influenced look. You would think that if you collected artists from all over the world they would look more different. But maybe it´s the same as with the german scientists. After World War two the Americans had their german scientists, Russia had their german scientists and so on. And maybe they asked the french anime artist and the english anime artist and so on.

Now the idea of such projects is nothing new namely to take the best of the best and let them do their interpretations of one subject. However the end result vary from pure genius to rather meeh or disastrous. Sometimes you get something like Marvel´s SHADOW AND LIGHT, sometimes something like BATMAN BLACK AND WHITE and on very rare occasions you get a real gem like DC´s SOLO. The problem with this movie - at least for me - is that while the artists involved may be the best there is in animation but I´m not sure if they really had a Batman story to tell.

Just because someone´s a good animation guy doesn´t mean he also has a good Batman story to tell. Now everybody has a different taste but for me the whole movie just looked ugly. Some people may find the Mangabatman exciting but I was rather turned off. As for the stories they range form " I´ve seen better " to " boring " all the way to " I can´t for the hell of me remember what the story was all about ".

The idea behind the movie seems to be to get more background information to people who saw BATMAN RETURNS and THE DARK KNIGHT and help them submerge more deeply into the world of the caped crusader. And to hopefully get them to read some comics. Since I´m not one of those comicmuggels I can´t speculate how successful it is in that departement. As a comic reader who has followed Batman over long periods of time I have to say I have seen better stories and ideas in the pages of the comics.

If you buy a movie it seems to me that you should have either something that is unique or that collects at least the best ideas. This movie does neither and the fact that the makers of the movie didn´t even bother to connect the random short stories with a overlaying story makes it seem as they were just too lazy. As it is it just presents a collection of short stories that have no connection and of which the first one has a story idea that was done better in the pages of the 70s comic that I read as a kid in which it first appeared.

As for the extra content there is one documentary about Batman creator Bob Kane that´s very interesting as well as one about the foes of Batman which just adds to the feeling that with all those great characters to choose from the producers could have come up with something better.

But there is also something good about this DVD which are the four episodes of BATMAN ADVENTURES handpicked by Bruce Timm one of which adapts the first story on Batman Gotham Knight in a much better way. Maybe they should have watched the episodes before doing the other stuff. Oh, and they have resisted to show Deadshot without the costume. Kudos for that.

My resume : if you like japanese animation or must have every Bat - item for your collection you should get the disc. To comic readers and all others I recommend to watch it first and then decide if you really have to add this to your collection. As A COMICBOOK ORANGE would say : one orange. And that is for the BATMAN ADVENTURE episodes.


As you may have noticed I´ve turned around the " good, bad and ugly " theme so that I start with the worst one and end with the best. I just don´t like to end on a sour note. Now SUPERMAN DOOMSDAY ( or LA MUERTE DE SUPERMAN ) is not as bad as BATMAN GOTHAM KNIGHT which may have something to do with the fact that it tells one story but there are still some things that keep it from being a really good movie. There may be some spoilers for those who have not seen the movie ( even if I tried to stay away from them for the most part ) so be warned.

The first thing that springs to mind are the weird lines in Superman´s face throughout the whole movie. I don´t know what that´s supposed to be - a hommage to the look of the old Superman comics - but it just looks weird. But that´s just a visual thing which most viewers probably won´t even notice. No the main problem is that they changed the story.

I don´t think that I will live to see the day when guys in Hollywood stop thinking they know better then the people who write comics their whole life. I don´t even know if that will ever happen. And I know that to turn a storyline into a 78 minute feature film you have to keep a few things out and to make some changes. My only problem is the kind of changes they made.

The fact that they have eliminated the whole DC universe may make sense from a business standpoint. But keeping in mind that it is from the same guys that had this huge success with JUSTICE LEAGUE it just makes you wonder what they were smoking. It´s just too weird that Superman dies ( that´s no spoiler it´s right there in the spanish title ) and no other hero shows up to his funeral. It just diminishes the story.

In the comics the SUPERMAN DOOMSDAY / WORLD WITHOUT SUPERMAN / REIGN OF THE SUPERMAN epic had huge ramifications and showed who Superman really was and how important he was to the world and the superhero community. Okay, maybe they didn´t want to distract from the main story by inserting more heroes or Superman was afraid of someone like Blue Beetle stealing his thunder. But they could have mentioned the other heroes in the news or through some soundbites on tv. This way it seems that Superman dies and nobody outside of Metropolis seems to care. I guess Superman´s not very popular in the rest of the world.

Another problem is that they brought him back too soon. It seems that he´s just been laid to rest a few days ago before he returns to the land of the living. Would it have really been so much effort to do a " a few months later / one year later " sequence that would have lasted like....I don´t know.....ten seconds ? And what´s up with Lois ? I mean she can be a bitch in the comics but here she takes the cake. When Jimmy Olsen moves on with a life and becomes a successful paparazzi ( okay, that kind of people are scum but it was his decision ) she´s like totally pissed off at him and nags him constantly till he becomes her gopher again. Lois, you suck !

On the other hand Jimmy doesn´t offer too much resistance so he probably deserves it. Now reading all this stuff it may seem that I didn´t like the movie at all. The truth is that there were a few things I didn´t like - the things I have mentioned above - but there are also a lot of good things. While they have kept the movie from reaching it´s true potential and grandeur the changes give you a story you haven´t read before and there are some interesting scenes that explore facets of what it means to be Superman.

The fight between Superman and Doomsday is a drag out slugfest that´s just fun to watch.

And we even get " black bodysuit hippie Superman ". Who shoots a gun with kryptonite bullets which is always a plus.

The are some funny scenes, some really touching scenes and even some that show the relation between Superman and Lois in a very realistic way. All in all a good way to spend 78 minutes.

The extras on the DVD include a documentary about the whole storyline in the comics that just shows you what the producers missed when they decided not to go with the original story. It has some weak spots but all things considered it´s okay. This movie gets three oranges.

  • superman doomsday review by screenrant


    Now I have kept the best of the three movie for last. WONDER WOMAN ( la Mujer Maravilla ) also is a full length movie ( 71 minutes ) that tells the origin story of Wonder Woman.

    The life action Wonder Woman movie is still in the works and I think one of the reasons is that it´s hard to cast someone as Wonder Woman after Lynda Carter cemented the character for generations of tv viewers. With the animated version there are no such problems although I don´t know why they went away from the Wonder Woman look of the JUSTICE LEAGUE cartoon

    and opted for a look that is reminiscent of AEON FLUX.

    There may also be some spoilers in this review so be warned.

    The story uses the best elements from Wonder Woman´s various origin stories throughout the decades as well as the best of George Perez´run on the title when he re - imagined it after CRISIS ON INFINITE WORLDS. The general idea behind CRISIS was to restart all the DC titles and do a much better version with less baggage than before. But only a few writers really used that opportunity like Byrne on SUPERMAN or Perez on WONDER WOMAN.

    Beside the typical story of Wonder Woman winning the tournament to become Themiscaria´s ambassador in the world of men and the love story with Steve Trevor they have also included a story about Ares trying to conquer the world with an army of zombies which is always a plus. The zombies I mean. In the original story it was Herkules who had a fling with Hyppolita thus becoming a potential father for Wonder Woman but here it is Ares and instead of just turning the amazons into slaves he wants to conquer the world. After killing everybody of course. There are various elements from newer stories like the character of Artemis intertwined with the classic aspects of Wonder Woman lore which makes the movie not so connected to a certain period. It seems some people learn from ALL STAR SUPERMAN.

    The movie has a lot of action, some interesting clashes of cultures that provide the funny scenes ( I mean what would your reaction be if you crashlanded on an island full of amazons who look like centerfolds ? ) as well as some commentary on our society or societies in general. A Wonder Woman story always has the opportunity to take a look at the strange things that go in in man´s world as well as what happens when feminism is taken to the extreme.

    Both Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor are interesting characters especially Wonder Woman who has a few prejudices about men which stem from the things her mother told her after her relationship with Ares. Too bad the movie doesn´t take the time necessary to really explore them. I don´t know if I´m just more used to the pacing of JUSTICE LEAGUE but for my taste some things felt rushed in the movie. Not as bad as the resurrection of Superman in SUPERMAN DOOMSDAY but in a few scenes things whappened to quickly. Like in one scene Steve is drinking Tequila after Tequila till he can barely stand but five minutes later he´s sober all of a sudden. Or maybe that´s just business as usual for Air Force pilots.

    Apart from that I really liked the movie that has some decapitations and also Alfred Molina as the voice of Ares. And the greek environment does look greek not like in the HERKULES tv series. This movie gets four and a half oranges because there are some scenes in which I whish it had a more adult rating.

    The edition I saw was the normal one that has just a short special about the making of the movie. All in all this is the best of the three movies and if the first look at the GREEN LANTERN FIRST FLIGHT movie is any indication the next DC movies are just getting better.

    Now they only have to manage to do some good real life movies about Wonder Woman and Green Lantern. And maybe they will even do a Superman movie that doesn´t suck.

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    Sunday, August 09, 2009

    Fanboy rant - german original version

    As usual with my translation ( click here for english version ) of previously written posts here´s the german version for my readers in Germany :

    So, wieder sind einige Tage vorbei und ich wollte mal wieder meine Gedanken zu Papier bringen. Die letzten paar Tage war ich mit verschiedenen Dingen beschäftigt.

    Zuerst einmal werde ich wahrscheinlich meinen Computer neu formatieren müssen und habe deshalb die letzten paar Tage alle meine Dateien auf CDs gebrannt. Gestern habe ich alle Musikdateien gelöscht die ich schon auf anderen CDs habe so dass mir nur noch an die 300 MB mp3s zum Brennen bleiben. Ausserdem habe ich nun endlich die Dienstprogramme gefunden und konnte gestern erfolgreich meinen Computer defragmentieren. Dann bin ich immer noch mit dem Sortieren der Videokassetten im Wohnzimmer beschäftigt. Heute habe ich auch wieder eine Menge alter und unbrauchbarer Videokassetten entsorgt. Und ich habe wieder einige unserer alten Catchkassetten gefunden, die mein alter Herr teilweise mit seinem Telekollegzeug gelöscht hat. Dabei ist mir eingefallen, dass einer meiner Exkollegen noch eine ganze Tasche Catchkassetten haben muss. Aber alles zu seiner Zeit. Und ausserdem bin ich ausserdem mit dem Anhören der Sendungen von comicgeekspeak beschäftigt. Bis jetzt habe ich die Folgen 31 bis 49 angehört. Eine wirklich tolle Show. Was mich am meissten überrascht hat war, wie viele e-mails von Zuhörern kommen die vor einiger Zeit aus Frustration mit Comiclesen aufgehört haben und dank der Show wieder damit begonnen haben. Es scheint fast so, als gäbe es tief in jedem Menschen drinnen einen Comicfreak der nur darauf wartet entfesselt zu werden.

    Worüber ich mir in letzter Zeit einige Gedanken gemacht habe ist das Image der Comics und besonders der Comicfreaks. Wenn man sich mal andere ehemalige Randgruppen anschaut so steht fest dass die meissten anderen inzwischen sich entweder erfolgreich in die Gesellschaft integriert haben oder gar die breite Masse gezwungen haben sich anzupassen oder an die Wand gedrückt zu werden.

    Waren die Computerfreaks früher dürre, pickelige Weicheier die nie eine Freundin abkriegen sind sie heute die megacoolen Oberchecker die den Tag retten wenn es am Schlimmsten steht. Früher war man ein Aussenseiter wenn man von Frogger oder Space Invader geschwärmt hat, heute ist man der Oberloser wenn man RESIDENT EVIL, SILENT HILL, METAL GEAR SOLID oder DEVIL MAY CARE nicht kennt. Wurde man früher noch als Spinner angesehen wenn man sein Taschengeld in eine Spielekonsole investiert hat so gehört man heute zu einer vom Aussterben bedrohten Art wenn man keine Splaystation 2, Dreamcast oder Gamecube sein eigen nennen kann. Es gibt Leute die werden nur für´s Spielen bezahlt - total unabhängig davon ob sie gewinnen oder verlieren.

    Das Image der Comics und der Comicleser hat sich hingegen innerhalb der letzten 20 bis 30 Jahre nicht geändert. Und das schlimme daran ist dass die Comicfreaks nicht nur von aussenstehenden keine Liebe fühlen - auch innerhalb der Comicszene werden sie nur abschätzig behandelt und als Fanboys beschimpft. Das ist auf einigen Comicinternetforen schon so weit fortgeschritten, dass Comicleser die mal Kritik äussern oder von den Comicmachern verlangen sich etwas anzustrengen für die hartverdienten Mäuse die man sich vom Munde abspart gleich als Fanboys abgewertet werden. Wenn ich bei einer Serie mit einer weibliche Hauptperson gerne einen Zeichner hätte der auch Frauen zeichnen kann - bin ich ein Fanboy. Wenn ich bei einer Serie nicht nur gerne einen guten Schreiber sondern auch einen guten Zeichner hätte - bin ich ein Fanboy. Wenn ich es nicht mag wenn sich ein Charakter nach 20 Jahren plötzlich ganz anders verhält und total unlogisch handelt - bin ich ein Fanboy. Wenn ich nicht nur die Serien lese die von Comickritikern gelobt werden sondern mir das gerne selber aussuche weil, hallo, für mich Allan Moore nicht das Alpha und Omega des Comicschaffens darstellt da schon vor ihm gute Comics geschrieben wurden - bin ich ein Fanboy. Wenn ich in einer Diskussion mal eine andere Meinung habe und für mich Schwadron Supreme die innovativere Serie ist und nicht Watchmen - dann bin ich ein Fanboy.

    Wenn ich es lieber habe wenn Schreiber mit der Continuity arbeiteten statt dagegen oder sie einfach total ignorieren - dann bin ich ein Fanboy. Wenn ich nicht der Meinung bin das alle im Silver Age Schrott war und man einiges davon in den heutigen Comics verwenden könnte wenn man es interessant macht - bin ich ein Fanboy. Wenn ich Hal Jordan als Grüne Leuchte besser finde als Kyle Rayner - bin ich ein Fanboy. Wenn ich mir nicht ständig einen Kopf machen will wo welche Geschichte jetzt reinpasst wie All Star Superman und einfach nur eine gute Geschichte geniessen will - bin ich ein Fanboy. Wenn ich der Meinung bin dass die Marvelgeschichten in den 70ern besser, innovativer und politsch aktueller waren als vieles was heute erscheint - bin ich ein Fanboy. Wenn ich gern den Wizard lese weil ich in der Lage bin zwischen Artikeln die lediglich zur Unterhaltung dienen oder der Werbung und informativen Artikeln zu unterscheiden und weil ich Zeitschriften mag, die ihre Kunden kennen - bin ich ein Fanboy !


    Und wisst ihr was ? Ich bin stolz darauf ! Was die meissten Comicleser immer wieder vergessen ist die Tatsache, dass es ohne die Fanboys heute wahrscheinlich keine Comicindustrie mehr gäbe. Wer hat denn die schlecht geschriebenen Comics die so mies gezeichnet waren gekauft und eisern ihren geliebten Comichelden zur Seite gestanden als die Comicspekulanten den Comicmarkt fast total zerstört haben ? Wer hat denn die Comicverlage durch die harten Zeiten gebracht ? Bestimmt nicht die paar Comic - Möchtegern - Intullektuelle die alle paar Jubeljahre ein Comic gekauft haben. Es war die breite Masse die es Comicverlagen durch den Verkauf von ihren von den Comickritikern so verachteten Serien wie X- Men oder Spider - Man ermöglicht hat so Juwelen wie Starman oder Preacher zu veröffentlichen.

    Und die breite Masse das sind die Fanboys. Die Fanboys sind in der Comicszene das was die Alphaprimitiven in der Comicserie THE INHUMANS sind. Missgestaltete, hässliche Untermenschen die unter der Erde wohnen und ohne deren Schweiss, Blut und Tränen die grossen Maschinen nicht laufen würden die es den Inhumans ermöglichen in ihren schillernden Utopia zu leben. Sie werden dafür auch noch verachtet und sind Ausgestossene. Aber wisst ihr was ? Dieser Ausgestossene geht nicht still und friedlich in die Nacht, nein, dieser Ausgestossene verlangt seinen Platz am Tisch und nimmt sich sein Stück vom Kuchen.

    Aber es gibt ja nicht nur Fanboys unter den Comiclesern. Auch viele der Comichändler sind Fanboys und hätten schon längst ihre Läden dicht gemacht und sich finanziell ertragreicheren Gewerben zugewandt wenn sie die Comics nicht so sehr lieben würden. Denn seien wir mal ehrlich, wieviele reiche Comichändler gibt es ? Und was ist der Dank für all die Aufopferung und Entbehrung ? Sie werden bei den Simpson als Witzfigur verspottet. Na, danke !

    Doch auch in den meissten anderen Bereichen findet man Fanboys. Egal ob in den Chefetagen der Comicverlage oder bei den Zeichnern und Schreibern überall wimmelt es von Fanboys. Der Chef von Marvel ? Fanboy - man braucht sich nur mal das Büro anschauen - das Mekka für alle Fanboys.

    Die meissten Starzeichner ? Fanboys. Die meissten Schreiber ? Fanboys. Hollywoodautoren oder Fernsehautoren wie J.M.Straczinsky, Allan Heinberg, Reginald Hudlin, Joss Whedon oder Bestsellerautoren wie Brad Meltzer ? Fanboys. Es wimmelt überall von Fanboys die sich nicht trauen an´s Licht zu kommen und ihrem Comicfreak freien Lauf zu lassen. Und deshalb breche ich eine Lanze für die Comikgeeks und Comicfreaks und Fanboys in aller Welt und sage : Wehrt euch ! Verbündet euch ! Seid aktiv ! Macht eine eigen Webseite, einen eigenen Comicblog, eine eigene Comicradioshow. Hört euch Radiosendungen wie Comicgeekspeak, I read Comics oder Fanboyradio an denn ihr seid nicht allein. Comicgeeks aller Länder vereinigt euch !!!

    So, ich glaube damit hätte ich mir erst mal etwas von der Seele geschrieben was mich schon seit längerer Zeit nervt. Ich hatte mir ja schon seit längerem überlegt anlässlich meines 3 jährigen Jubiläums im April diesen Jahres einen eigenen Comicblog zu eröffnen und suche nach einem guten Titel. Die besten Namen wie Fanboyrampage sind ja schon vergeben aber angesichts der Tatsache wie die meissten Comicleser gerade auf die Fanboys ablästern schwebt mir etwas wie WHEN FANBOYS RULED THE EARTH oder FANBOYS UNITED vor.

    Mögliche Titel wären auch FANBOYS AN DIE MACHT oder ACHTUNG ! FANBOY ! Ich weiss nur noch nicht ob ich es auf deutsch, englisch, spanisch oder gleich mehrsprachig machen soll. Auf jeden Fall werde ich einige meiner bisherigen Artikel zum Thema Comics posten und wahrscheinlich als allererstes die DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE OF FANBOYS die ich bis dahin hoffentlich fertig haben werde.

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  • I have lived almost a hundred years Mikaal....I can do all sorts of things.

    Revenge of the geeks

    I really should do something else but right now my brother is watching something in the living room and my right hand is hurting anyway. So I´m sitting here and writing about comicgeeks and fanboys.

    The nice thing about comics is that the more things chamge the more they stay the same. Which is the reason why a fanboy rant I wrote over three years ago is up to date because of Grant Morrison. It seems that while he may get a lot of love from geeks and comic readers in general there´s no love coming back. I don´t know the full story but let´s start with the comment from Mr. Morrison that started it all :

    “I don’t care about geeks, you know ? Geeks shouldn’t be given power. When geeks get power, you get Hitler. There’s a lot of weird and angry geeks out there. But what (a comic book movie) does is it opens up comics as a medium. It stops being geekish. There’s comic books for everyone. There’s comic books for women, there’s comic books for kids, there’s comic books for teenage Goths. That is the important thing that movies are doing.”

    Now to me it sounds as if he is talking about some comic readers who deconstruct comic movies and tries to show the positive aspects of comic movies. It only sounds absolutely insulting to comic readers. Not to mention that Mr. Morrison seems to overestimate the effect comic movies have on comic sales. So far I have only heard that it has no visible effect on comic sales. Although there may be some persons who have a positive inclination towards comis because of comic movies - if a good comic should fall into their lap. Because god forbid they ever set foot in a comic book store. Or buy a comic at a book store.

    The only possible exceptions are manga and graphic novels due to the fact that the general audience don´t see them as comics per se. Anyway, over at ICV2 Steve Bennet wrote an answer to the statement of Grant Morrison in which he raises some valid points.

    But instead of just putting the link up I want to give my readers my two cents. I know that the links for my link posts are piling up and I can´t even remember when I did the last solicitation rundown but I just have to say a few words. Right now I may get a new job and the only thing that bugs me is that the people at my workplace seem to have the impression that reading comics is some kind of disease that I have to be cured from. They are wellmeaning people who I kind of pity because they probably haven´t read a good comic in their live but still it is strange. I mean they wouldn´t act that way if I read books or watched a lot of movies. Well I DO watch a lot of movies and that gets me some strange looks. But it doesn´t seem to be percieved as bad and unhealthy as reading comics.

    I have even been accused to live in a " comic world " by one friend but I think that has to do with all the negative propaganda my brother is spreading about me. Because of my shoulder injury I have to sleep on the sofa in the living room - it´s gotten better but I still can´t sleep in my bed - and sometimes I can´t sleep at night because my shoulder hurts. Which means that some days I used to sleep till very late while on some nights I couldn´t sleep and during which I read comics or watched tv or a movie.

    Apart from going to the physio therapy ( which now has stopped because they don´t want to pay for it anymore and I have to figure out a way to do it myself ) and the occasional shopping tour I didn´t leave the house very often. Because let´s face it : I didn´t leave the house before if I didn´t have to and a painful shoulder injury doesn´t really motivate you to move that much. On some days I was just totally useless and had to drink lots of water and go to the toilet.

    Now my brother just sees that he can´t watch his movies whenever he wants - like three o clock in the morning - because somebody has occupied the living room. And so he´s been telling everyone who doesn´t want to hear it that I´m just a lazy fart who spends his days cooped up in the living room watching tv and reading comics all day. No wonder my friend is worried. But now let´s get to the fanboy rant I wrote more than three years ago. At that time everybody was on the fanboy´s case and not much seems to have changed since then. There are a few things that sound strange today but when it was written that was how it was. As always it´s not a 100 percent word for word translation because I don´t " translate " my own writings. I just write them in english. And you can find the original german version right here. So here it is :


    Lately I have been thinking about the image comics and especially comicfreaks have in our culture. If you look at other outcasts it´s a fact that most other groups have succeeded in integrating themselves into society or even forced the big crowds to adapt to their lifestyle or be crushed.

    Computerfreaks for example used to be skinny, pimpleinfested milksops who never got a girlfriend and now they are the megacool powerdudes with mad skills who save the day when push comes to shove. In my youth you were an outcast if you mentioned games like FROGGER or SPACE INVADER and nowadays you´re a total loser if you don´t know games like RESIDENT EVIL, SILENT HILL, METAL GEAR SOLID or DEVIL MAY CARE. Back then people tough you were crazy if you spent all your money on arcade games but now you´re part of a dying breed if you don´t have a Playstation 3, Dreamcast, Gamecube or at least a Wii. There are people who get payed just to play - no matter if they win or loose.

    The image of comics or comicreaders on the other hand hasn´t changed in the last twenty, thirty years. And the worst part is that not only do comicfreaks get no love from people outside the comicbusiness - even within the comic industry they are treated badly and are insulted as fanboys. It has even come so far that when you are on a messageboard and critique anything or try to hold a publisher responsible to put an effort into the comics you spend your hardearned money on you are instantly called a fanboy and ridiculed. If I want an artist who can actually draw women on a book with a female lead character - then I´m a fanboy. If I would like to have a good artist on a book with a good writer - then I´m a fanboy. If I don´t like it when a character suddenly starts to act totally different and out of character after 20 years without any reason or explanation - then I´m a fanboy. If I´m not content with only reading series the comic critics advise but rather would like to make up my own mind because - hello - Alan Moore is not the Alpha and Omega of comics because there have been good comics before him - then I´m a fanboy. If I dare to have a different opinion because for me SQUADRON SUPREME was waaay more innovative than WATCHMEN - then I´m a fanboy.

    If I prefer writers who work with continuity instead of against it or who totally ignore it - then I´m a fanboy. If I don´t think everything was crap in the Silver Age but rather that there were some mindblowing concepts that could be applied to todays comics if you can put a cool spin on it - then I´m a fanboy. If I think Hal Jordan is a better Lantern than Kyle Rayner ( of course Guy Gardner is the best of them all ) - then I´m a fanboy. If I don´t want to constantly think about where something fits into continuity but rather would like to just enjoy great works like ALL STAR SUPERMAN - then I´m a fanboy. If I think that the Marvel comics of the 70s were better, more innovative and had more politic relevance than most of the stuff they publish today - then I´m a fanboy. If I like to read the WIZARD magazine ( this was back when they were still a comic magazine ) because I can discern between articles that are just there for their entertainment value or as advertisements and informative reviews and I like magazines that know their clients - then I´m a fanboy !


    And you know what ? I´m proud of it ! What most comic readers ( at least those who call others fanboys ) continually forget is the fact that without fanboys there wouldn´t even be a comic industry today. Who do you think kept buying those badly written and badly drawn comics and who do you think kept on supporting their favorite characters when the comic market almost selfdestructed because of the speculator craze ? Surely not the handfull of wannabe comic intellectuals who bought a comic every few years. It was the masses that bought titles like X - Men or Spider - Man ( even if it was just mindless drivel ) the books that are shunned by critics and who gave the publishers the money to produce such jewels like PREACHER or STARMAN ( still not published in Germany by the way ).

    And the masses of comic readers - that´s us fanboys. Fanboys represent the Alpha Primitives from INHUMANS within the comic industry. Disfigured, ugly degenerates who live below the earth and who keep the big machines running through their tears, sweat and blood. Because of them the Inhumans can live in their Utopia city Attilan. And they are shunned for it and branded as outcasts. But you know what ? This outcast doesn´t go silently into the night, no, this outcast demands his seat at the table and takes his piece of the cake.

    But there are not only fanboys among comic readers. A lot of comic dealers are fanboys because if not they would have closed shop and taken a path that brings them more money. It´s only their love for comics that keeps them selling comic books. Because let´s be honest - how many rich comic dealers are there ? And what is the thanks for all the sacrifice and devotion ? They are ridiculed on THE SIMPSONS. Well, thanks for nothing, dude.

    But you can find fanboys everywhere. No matter if you look at the executives of comic companies or at the star artist or star writers there are dozens of fanboys everywhere. The boss of Marvel ? Fanboy. Just take a look at his office - it´s a virtual Mekka for fanboys.

    Most hot artists ? Fanboys. Writers who work for Hollywood or television like J. M. Straczinsky, Alan Heinberg, Reginald Hudlin, Joss Whedon or bestselling authors like Brad Meltzer ? Fanboy, fanboy, fanboy, fanboy. There are fanboys everywhere who are afraid to come out of the closet and give free reign to their inner fanboy. And that´s why the call to arms goes out to all the comicgeeks, comicfreaks and fanboys throughout the world and I shout out to them : Fight back ! Band together ! Do somethinhg ! Do your own website, your own comicblog or your own comic radio show or podcast. Listen to shows like Comicgeekspeak, Fanboyradio or I read Comics because you are not alone. Comicgeeks of all nations unite !

    Well, I guess with that I have gotten of my chest what´s been bugging me lately. I have been thinking about starting my own blog because of my three year anniversary on ELFENBEINTURM in April this year and I´m still looking for a good title. All the good names like FANBOYRAMPAGE are already taken but taking into account how people are downtalking fanboys at the moment I´m considering a name like WHEN FANBOYS RULED THE EARTH or FANBOYS UNITED. Or something like FANBOYS TO POWER or ACHTUNG ! FANBOY ! I just don´t know if I´m going to write it in german, spanish, english or all of the above. In any case I´m probably going to post some of my articles about comics as well as the FANBOY DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE - if I ever get to finish it.


    To end the topic here are two links that deal with the topic. First up is Steve Leiva who talks a bit about his comic book youth and ponders if the word fanboy really is an insult to todays comic readers and the second one is by Alyssa Rosenberg who tells us that fanboys have at least taken over Hollywood

    So the next time somebody calls me fanboy I wil just say : Why thank you. Remember : be a player not a hater.

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    Tuesday, August 04, 2009

    Proof of live

    Just a quick post to let you know I´m still alive. The reasons why I didn´t post the last three weeks was that number one : the computer was not working at all. For quite some time it has had various malfunctions but it seems the reason why the cursor was jumping up and down the pages, vanishing from the screen altogether, closing windows and erasing my work was that the mouse was kaputt. So I bought a new mouse which cost me unbelievable ten bucks but it was worth it. For now everything is working fine and I have my fingers crossed.

    Reason number two : it seems that I may become one of the working class heroes again. A friend of mine has made the connection and I may get a real job. Right now it´s a bit difficult for me to get accustomed to working and especially using the brain for 8 hours straight. There are times when my head just switches off and I almost fall asleep. I have to get my act together because the others are all like the Legion and I´m like the new kid trying to join. Well, I hope this works out.

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