I mean, I like Frank Miller’s The Spirit movie, and you’re still reading this site.

§ December 16th, 2020 § Filed under question time § 6 Comments

I’m gonna do some more of your questions, if that’s okay with you:

Andrew-TLA sends me on an adventure with

“You, for whatever reason, suddenly find yourself the opportunity to launch your own line of comics. What genres do you choose, and what five creative teams do you hire to run them?”

Well, I’ll tell you what, that reason probably isn’t “making money.” But here, I’ll give it a shot…but five genres? Surely there aren’t that many!

Let’s see…let’s start off with “superhero” as this is comics we’re talking about, and as we all know “comics” = “superheroes.” Anyway, I’d pick Don Simpson to run this end of it, as I desperately miss Bizarre Heroes and Megaton Man and if I’m going to publish superheroes, I want ’em weird. …I once described Bizarre Heroes either on this site or somewhere as “what if all the stuff that happened in ’60s Marvel books took place in the same comic,” and boy that series was fun to read.

Next up, let’s say “science fiction.” Hmm. Gimme some Jeff Parker and Frank Quitely on that action. Mr. Parker for his light, breezy style (which is what I want from my science fiction adventure comics) and Mr. Quitely because his art is gorgeous and well-suited for spacey-type stuff.

Then there’s “horror,” naturally. I’d say we put my close personal friend Karla Pacheco on the typewriter for this, as anyone who knows her understands she’s more than capable of cooking with some real nightmare fuel. And on art chores…how ’bout Jim Woodring? There ain’t too many artists better at disturbing imagery than Mr. Woodring. Pacheco and Woodring…have I endangered the world by positing this most unholy of pairings? Eh, probably, the world deserves it.

For the fourth genre of books, “humor,” I would of course pick Sergio Aragones. Just give the man a monthly comic to do whatever. Also, I would pick up the reprint rights for all his previous comics and get them back into print, because it’s a crime that stuff is all unavailable. Hey, you know, so long as I’m dream-publishing.

The final genre is, as you probably already surmised, “Popeye,” truly a genre unto himself. Gail Simone on scripts, for her seemingly effortless balance between seriousness and sillyness, and for art…Art Adams. Boy, what a Popeye comic drawn by Art Adams would look like. I don’t care if the book would end up being an annual, it’d be worth it.

So, any of you rich investors out there, give me a call.

• • •

Eric points the camera at me with

“Speaking of Cerebus, how do you personally handle separating art from the artist? It’s a question I struggle with and I find my own takes sometimes vary, case by case.”

Yeah, that’s a good question. “Case by case” is a good way of dealing with it. Like, can I ever read a comic by Gerard Jones again? I enjoyed his Green Lantern, loved Green Lantern: Mosaic, and really liked The Trouble with Girls. Man, I even have comics he signed for me when he did an appearance at my former place of employment.

Finding out what he’d been up to later doesn’t mean I didn’t read and enjoy his comics before. But it certainly casts a pall over even thinking of revisiting them now. That’s definitely a case, at least for me, of not being able to separate the art from the artist.

Now compared to that example, John Byrne having cranky old man opinions on his message board doesn’t seem quite as bad as it did years ago when I swore I’d never mention his name on my site again. Doesn’t mean his opinions were any less dumb, it just means that when I look at his work, I try to enjoy it simply in the context of the work itself and try to forget, years after he drew this issue of Fantastic Four, he actually typed onto a website that he thought blond Latinas looked like hookers.

It’s a problem that permeates pretty much everything nowadays, but at the same time I don’t want to fall into that “stick to playing basketball, shut up about politics” mindset which is pretty stupid in its own right. People have the right to speak their mind about topics that are important to them, regardless of whatever their job may be and whatever their relation to you is, whether it’s a literal relation, like an uncle going on about whatever he heard on Fox News while everyone else is trying to enjoy Thanksgiving, or you just relate to them via what they produce, be it some form or entertainment or product. But you have to decide, is what they’re saying enough to turn me away from however I’m interacting with them or their work?

I’m comparing two different things here, I realize: a person committing an actual crime versus someone being dumb on the internet or whatever. It’s not an easy topic and one I can’t resolve here on my silly funnybook blog. I really can’t get more specific than what you said, Eric: take it case by case. Everyone is flawed in this fallen world, and only you can decide for yourself if those flaws (whether they’re actual flaws or differing opinions) are enough to turn you off, or if you can just kinda not pay attention to whatever nonsense they’re spouting. Ask some of the more aware fans of The Mandalorian how they’re dealing with it. Mostly I just kind of sigh.

Also, I used to be really into Dilbert, but man that guy, enough was enough.

Anyway, I’m not sure if that was much of an answer, Eric, and I don’t really address how I, as a cisgender white male, can overlook or shrug off bad creator opinions that can be far more impactful on other folks. Just wanted to note that I know that’s an omission from my response and it’s a consideration of which I personally need to be more aware.

• • •

A BRIEF CONTENT NOTE: I am getting a wisdom tooth (and one or two others) yanked on Friday, and expect I’ll be out of commission for a couple of days. One of the members of the Legion of Substitute Mikes will be running my shop, but my online presence will likely be greatly diminished over the weekend. I have a post ready to go for Friday, and with any luck I’ll be back on Monday. Any emails or comments sent my way will be dealt with then. Thanks for reading, pals, and everyone be good to each other.

6 Responses to “I mean, I like Frank Miller’s The Spirit movie, and you’re still reading this site.”

  • Thelonious_Nick says:

    I swear to God, I would buy every one of the comics your company would put out, Mike.

    “I would of course pick Sergio Aragones. Just give the man a monthly comic to do whatever.”

    His Sergio’s Funnies comics from several years ago was basically that and it’s one of the greatest things I’ve ever read. Plus, you could make Sergio’s comic weekly and he’d still probably not miss a deadline.

  • Cassandra Miller says:

    Re: The Mandalorian: I just went cold turkey. Not watching any more, can’t watch any more. Same goes for the new Ahsoka series, which is a damn shame.

  • Chris V says:

    The problem with Cerebus is that the longer the book was published, the more Sim started using it as his own personal soapbox. The story he was telling would get hijacked so he could explicitly place his blooming socio-political views in to the comic.
    I don’t mind if a writer puts their own views in to a comic, like making subtle libertarian points within the context of said story, or whatever.
    Sim would simply make the entire story revolve around telling us how horrible females are throughout the series after a certain point though.

    The genius of “Church & State” had been left far behind.
    I enjoyed Sim’s tangents at times about things like his interpretations of religion. I didn’t mind that, even though it did start to take away from the plot.
    There were a lot of times where the misogyny just completely took over the story, and that really hurt those last, say, 150 issues of Cerebus.
    You couldn’t just ignore the author’s socio-political views and enjoy the story anymore.

    I can ignore a person’s personal lives versus their creative ability.
    Even if a person is a horrible excuse for a human being, if their creative output is high quality and their work isn’t about issues like race, I can enjoy their creativity while realizing that these are people I would never want to be around.
    However, if the creator insists on making their racial views, or whatever, apparent in their work, then I have zero tolerance and want nothing to do with anything they create.

    I did not know about Gerard Jones. It’s a shame, but he is facing the real-life consequences for his actions.
    As far as Jones as a creator, I would have no problem with his comic work.
    He never wrote a comic where he glorified the wonders of child pornography, so I can easily separate the fact that Jones is a person with very real problems and that Jones also wrote some quality comics.

  • Allan Hoffman says:

    I had all my wisdom teeth out when they were just coming in. You have my sympathies.

  • Snark Shark says:

    *Wonders what Gerard Jones did.*

    *Looks it up.*

    YIKES.

    “WISDOM TEETH”

    I had mine out a LONG time ago! Good luck on a speedy recovery!

  • Mikester says:

    Had to delete a tweet from someone who apparently only comes to my site to be a dick. Sigh. Sorry if anyone saw that comment.

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