Friday, January 18, 2013

New Mutants, Old Aardvarks

You Didn't Hit Your Demon Hard Enough!

If I've learned anything from this New Mutants project going on at Comics Bulletin it's that Bill Sienkiewicz and Chris Claremont were as potent an '80's duo as Murtaugh and Riggs, Walsh and Mardukas or, dare I say it, Neal Page and Del Griffith.

I pick these fictional duos because they were the epitome of mismatched 1980's buddy teams, lab-grown to achieve maximum effect. I don't know what Sienkiewicz and Claremont had in common other than chemistry. There isn't anything Claremont can imagine that Sienkiewicz can't draw. And for all the darkness and brooding, these two are a couple of comedians. Sometimes its indirect -- Magik telling Sunspot he didn't hit his demon hard enough -- and sometimes it's as plain as the dragon on your head. Sly humor has always been a part of theX-Men. That's got to be all Claremont, right?  Chris Claremont, ladies and gentleman, try the prime rib.

The other thing that I'm noodling through is how continuity mattered 'back in the day' and yet how it never distracted from the story at hand. It was O.K. if you didn't have The New Mutants # whatever because you got the gist of what happened through context; or you didn't and you moved on. We don't do that anymore, why? Continuity has readers in a stranglehold. A comic book series is looked at in the same way as a TV series like 'Lost' or 'Breaking Bad' or every HBO series ever. Why? What's the obsession with knowing what happened in every infinitesimal detail? Sometimes not knowing is O.K., isn't it?

A new installment goes up each Tuesday (or Wednesday).Here's what's been published so far:

The other piece that I'm proud of is an interview I did with Comics Bulletin publisher Jason Sacks about his love of Cerebus. The New Mutants and Cerebus, what am I twelve-years-old. Maybe It's not such a bad place to be, I guess.

How and why I came to talk to Jason for almost two hours over Skype about a comic book I haven't cared about for over twenty-five years gets covered in the piece. I think time will (eventually) be kind to Cerebus and Dave Sim, time is eternal,after all.

Fandom can easily/quickly become a solipsistic pursuit. WhatI learned about myself (yes, I'm being ironic) from talking with Jason was what it means when fandom bites back. What happens when your hobby, that the thing you do to relax, that thing that enriches your life to some extent doesn't  pass you by so much as confuse the hell out of you? What do you do when it ain't 'so it ain't so,' but 'what the hell am I supposed to do with this? Oh, and it all begins with a stuffed aardvark. Isn't it always the way?


1 comment:

  1. SERIOUSLY, Silva. You are wearing the big boy pants now as a writer. Your New Mutants and Cerebus pieces demonstrate a writer in command -- a thinker in the zone game -- an artist driving to the hoop.

    Fantastic work, sir.