Publicly admitting you read comics means you’re willing to put up with a perplexingly persistent notion of the medium as the exclusive domain of the super heroes. Even in the current realm of savvy pop art dabblers as likely to pray at the altar of independents like Image Comics as they are the Big Two there’s this lingering idea that in the beginning there was only the cape and spandex set and it’s just in the past three decades that we’ve really let in the serious Graphic Novelists and autobio peddlers. Sneering intellectual jokesters will spit at the funnybooks without recognizing the origins of that alternate name and basement dwelling dilettantes will tell you it was only when the bearded British men came to our shores that we got hip. But comics have always been weird. Comics have always contained multitudes.On a weekly basis at the start of the 20th century, Winsor McCay cranked out surrealist panel breaking masterpieces lushly detailed enough to inspire both Dali and Moebius decades down the line, with nary a cape in sight. Before Marvel was even an idea, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby created romance comics, presaging the soap operas that would eventually inspire Chris Claremont’s convoluted narratives in that other misbegotten Kirby co-creation X-Men. And then there was Herbie. Continue reading…
Posted November 17, 2005
Those of you that know me fairly well know that I adore making lists. I get a serious thrill out of it. In that light, here are “25 Cinematic Cliches I never wanna see again.” Enjoy!
25. That in period pieces, vintage cars are always freshly polished, painted, and clean. They never have scratches, dents or any signs of use.
24. Every time we’re introduced to a police precinct house, one or more colourfully dressed prostitutes are being brought in while bickering with their arresting officer.
23. Chinese food takeout in a movie always comes in those little white boxes, which I have never, in my life, seen chinese food arrive at my door in. I desperately want it to, but it never does.
22. If a bar or clubhouse has a pinball machine, it’s gonna get fucking trashed during a fight scene. (I’ve ALWAYS wanted my own pinball machine, so this one makes me wince)
21. That it’s only after the detective has been suspended (and obligatorily forced to place his badge and gun on the lieutenant’s desk) that he can properly crack the case.
20. That in war, only the enemy (usually the Viet Cong) were ever low-down enough to stoop to using booby traps.
19. People being chased by a car who run top speed down the middle of the street instead of simply ducking somewhere where a car can’t follow, which happens to be pretty much anywhere except the middle of the street.
18. Young gorgeous women constantly falling in love with men much, much older than they are. In other words: Fuck you Jack Nicholson and Clint Eastwood.
17. Chess players are always always brilliant, charming, upper class people, while card players are always sneaky, foul mouthed, and prone to cheating.
16. When an innocent cough is always a symptom of terminal illness.
15. Women that never have enough sense to keep running while being chased by an enemy unless a guy is pulling her along by her hand or wrist — despite the fact that this takes them far below the speed either one could go on their own.
14. That somehow singing in a moving vehicle always makes something terrible happen.
13. If someone dies with their eyes open, someone will close them by effortlessly moving their hand over the deceased face — and they will remain tightly shut.
12. If our protagonist goes to a sporting event, no matter who he is, his face will always end up on the fucking jumbotron.
11. Women that don’t sweat during sex.
10. That every helicopter shutting down emits the chirp-chirp-chirp sound, in spite of the fact that only the Bell 47G (the chopper on MASH) actually makes this noise.
9. If a hero is divorced (and most are), that he’ll have some contact with his ex-wife who will still have strong feelings for him even if she’s remarried.
8. All computer keyboards or control panels have thousands of volts just underneath their surface, and their malfunctions are indicated by a puff of smoke and a cartoonish shower of sparks.
7. That Native Americans invariably have mystical knowledge that can obtusely predict the future, or have a fundamental understanding of all things in nature .
6. That when a phone line is broken unexpectedly, someone will always frantically press the phone cradle button and yell “Hello? HELLO!?” with an emphasis on the second hello.
5. A splash of cold water in face will render the most inebriated person stone cold sober in a faction of a second. I’ve tried it. It doesn’t work.
4. When someone yells “You never backed away from everything in your life, now fight!!” while giving someone CPR or working to resuscitate a stopped heart.
3. Girls are always instantly attractive to every male if they take off their glasses and/or let down their hair, never mind that they were totally gorgeous actresses failing to physically portray a nerd in the first place.
2. Children or retards that are wise beyond their years/capabilities and that humble the adults around them.
1. Dogs who always know who is evil, and bark at them.