Friday, June 29, 2007

Movin' on up (and away)!

Just to let you know, I'm moving the blog over to, where it will be powered by Wordpress instead of blogger. The new RSS feed is here.

The new site needs some serious work, especially in the design department, but I am currently making some new content, so I thought I'd let people know where they can get more Continuity Error.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Three Types of Fans

The way I see it, there are three types of comic book fans.* There are those who read comics because they enjoy the medium, those who read because they like superheroes, and then there are those who are more concerned with collecting rather than actually reading anything.

Fans of the Medium: These people love comics because there is just something about them fundamentally that appeals to them. These are the people who only use "graphic novel" instead of "comic book." They've read Understanding Comics more than once. They have also read at least half of Reinventing Comics. Their pull lists always include Y: The Last Man or The Walking Dead, or both if they know that's good for them. They read some superhero comics, but they often restrict this habit to those written by Grant Morrison, Brian K. Vaughan and Niel Gaiman. They may not have read many Batman comics, but they can tell you exactly why Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns is the quintessential Batman story. They also tend to be suckers for the Marvel Essentials line, in that they can get a motherload of comic for very little money, regardless of whether the stories are at all tolerable. Despite their obvious faults, these fans do have one thing going for them: when they bring a date home, they don't need to hide their collection of hardcovers, indie graphic novels and critically acclaimed manga.

Superhero Fans: These fans read almost nothing but superhero comics. They enjoy rich, and often times ridiculous, mythologies attached to their favorite characters. The best of them can name off at least ten members of the Legion of Super-Heroes. The problem they have is that anti-intellectualism seems to run wild in their ranks. They don't bother reading non-superhero comics because they think they don't like "smart comics" or "comics that make you think," even though I've told them to read It's A Bird a hundred times because I know they will love it! They also tend to get excited about things that are clearly stupid, just because they involve superheroes, like shitty movies or breakfast cereals.

The Collectors: Out of the three, these are the guys I just cannot understand. Rather than being a distinct group from the previous two, Collectors are a mutation of the Medium Fan and the Superhero Fan. Rather than buying comics to read them, Collectors buy them to have them. To see one, just wait at any comic shop on a Wednesday and wait for a guy to walk in with two dozen pre-boarded bags. Watch them grab every comic from every major publisher (regardless of quality or demographic) and place those comics neatly in the bags. Either these people are all rich or they still live with their parents, because it is insane how much money they drop on comics each week.

Of course, I'm not saying that people can't be a little of each, a lover of the medium and a superhero nerd. It's sort of like being gay or straight: it just depends on where in the spectrum to fall on. But in the case of Collectors, it's basically just sex addiction.

*Please note that I am restricting my generalizations to the American comics scene. I'm sure that the dynamics are different in other countries, especially Japan, where mainstream comics are more diverse.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I just noticed this in the Marvel Sept solicitations

Mobsters, terrorists, neo-Nazis, religious fanatics, armored killers; no one's too tough for the Punisher! Follow the trail of blood as Frank Castle's war on crime takes him across the country, south of the border, back to school and Down Under! Plus: The Man With Lots Of Guns vs. the Man Without Fear in a crossover with Daredevil! And who will live and die when the Punisher leads what might be the world's shortest-lived crime-fighting team against the Kingpin of Crime? With Typhoid Mary and a cameo by the
X-Men! Collecting PUNISHER #1-20 and ANNUAL #1, and DAREDEVIL #257

I love you again, Marvel.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Checking in...

Just letting you know I'm not dead yet.

Wow, it's only been a month since I last blogged. Let me think what's new in my life...

-I'm still tired of superhero comics. The only superhero comics I buy currently are World War Hulk, Batman, and Runaways (which now has a very Weadonesque release schedule). The rest I just download. I know, it's awful of me, but the major American publishers just aren't putting out much of anything I see worth putting money down for.

-The death of Bart Allen pisses me off. Not because I liked him, but rather I'm just sick and tired of characters being killed in order to a) drum up sales and b) get them out of the way without having to com up with something more creative. Death has become boring in comic books, and therefor there is very little at stake.

-I've been looking into manga lately. I used to think it was all lame but it's really kind of cool if you find the right stuff for you. This book by Paul Gravett is a really good introduction to the stuff. Astro Boy is neat, although a little too kiddie for me. Death Note is awesome, as is Battle Angel Alita. Rorouni Kenshin isn't bad. Golgo 13 is fun. Hellsing, on the other hand, is terrible.

-Oh, and I started up a satirical blog called The Fandamentalist. It's basically me doing to comics what the Cobert Report does to politics. I must be really cynical right now. It's a secret that the Fandamentalist is a joke, so don't tell anyone it's me or else I won't get anymore angry comments.

-Time for me to go to bed and cuddle up with a nice manga.

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Joker revealed

Soon after beginning the viral marketing campaign attached to The Dark Knight, the upcoming sequel to Batman Begins, Warner Bros has released an official photograph of Heath Ledger's Joker by way of

That is incredible. Of course, I wonder what parents' groups will think of such a grotesque and fundamentally violent character in what they still believe is a francise of "children's movies."

And I'm sure that the internet is tearing at the seams with fans complaining about how this is "not the real Joker" (as if there is real Joker at all) and already claiming to boycott the film. For me, the grisly, no-holds-barred approach to the Joker is perfect and will fit neatly into the new Batman film continuity.

But, I am afraid I will start thinking I'm watching Ichi the Killer at times.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Mary Jane is not a supermodel, Mr. Hodges.

Until now I have kept my blog shut on this ridiculous Mary Jane statue issue, but after this statement by Tom Hodges, defending the statue's design, I couldn't keep quiet. What really stood out to me was this part:

If you're upset she's not portraying MJ like Dunst in the movies... then you obviously have no idea who the MJ character really is. She's a supermodel, not some whiny waive thin tone deaf little girl. She's supposed to be stacked.
Here's the deal: Mary Jane is not a supermodel. She is a fictional character who was written as a supermodel for a small time, but she does not in any way resemble an actual supermodel. In fact, other than plus size models and Trya Banks, most supermodels are "whiny, waif-thin little girls."

This is Kate Moss. This is a supermodel. For a time she was THE supermodel.

Kate Moss makes for a great clothes hanger. That's what supermodels are.

Somehow there has managed to be a disconnect between Hodge's definition of hotness with the fashion industry's already disconnected definition of hotness. Not only do comic creators not know what real women look like, they evidentially don't even know what supermodels look like. It's this sort of denial of reality and acceptance of the sexist status quo that makes people think that this sort of thing is perfectly innocent, inoffensive and fun.

Looking at that statue, I can only assume that Mary Jane is a slut. That's it. Is that what her character is? I must have no idea.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Sorry superheroes...

I'd love to write something cynical and witty about Countdown or World War Hulk or even Amazons Attack, but I'm not reading any of them. In fact, I haven't read too many superhero comics in the last few weeks. Instead, I've been reading Death Note. Don't expect too much mainstream love from me until I'm finished with all 12 volumes.