The bursting entrails. The decapitations. The rape. The sodomy.
This isn’t comics. This is BULLSHIT.
I used this overused Sentry two-page spread just to get your attention. Much of comic book violence is so overdone now. All so mind-numbingly stupid. And you know why? For cheap SHOCK VALUE… And mainly because the current crop of creators CANNOT think of anything BETTER to do.
I tweeted the other day that “Violence has become the LAZY WRITER’S crutch.” Since there’s only so much you can say in Twitter’s allotted 140 characters, I’ll add another thought here:
Violence is also the CREATIVELY BANKRUPT writer’s choice.
How boring this has all become. Comics as torture-porn. All heroes seem to be anti-heroes… And the ones who aren’t are tainted by their association with the assholes that are. Next thing you know, Captain (Shazam!) Marvel will be playing grab-ass with Mary Marvel… And she’ll bat her eyes and throw him a come-hither look.
In the corner, Mr. Tawny will be grinning like the Cheshire Cat and all the pervs.
It’s like almost all our heroes have gone the way of Alan Moore’s The Watchmen… Except it’s NOT the 1980s and NOBODY is sitting back amazed and intrigued… Reading this current shit thinking how brilliant it is. (Except maybe Tom Brevoort that is.)
And, to be clear, I am not the least bit against realism in superhero (or any other) comics. Given the Spandex Context™ of the tights & capes crowd, I’m all for making the stories as rooted in reality as possible. Nothing wrong with being able to believe in what’s happening while you’re enjoying it.
Still, there’s a reason why people are so jaded with superheroes nowadays: Most of their “Heroes” are now FELONS… Or much, much WORSE.
Here’s hoping that DC takes the hint and that their NEW 52 books bring the realism without overdoing the evisceration. I’m no pussy when it comes to blood or guts. I have true life stories of each that would curl your toes and make you want to hurl. Yet, I still don’t sit down to dinner and watch an episode of True Blood. I have a girlfriend who winces and turns away at the first sight of a BOXING MATCH (and I used to be a boxer)… So you can imagine that I have LONG SINCE stopped trying to interest her in reading a comic book past, uh, Andy Runton’s superb Owly.
Whatever happened to the adage “less is more” in horror… And that true suspense and gravitas lies in what you DON’T see? I watched six minutes of a Saw film once. Don’t know which one. Some girl, who was apparently a drug addict, had to walk across a floor covered with USED hypodermic needles to spare her life– I think. I don’t know, I stopped watching after that little bit of overtly manipulative and gruesome horseshit…
… Just like the HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of once avid comic book fans that have stopped READING all these “grim & gritty” horseshit comic books.
Jose and I gave this superb Manga series a thorough going over in IMJ Podcast #8.
Several volumes later, it’s getting even better.
Amulet Vol 4 Last Council
Anita Blake Circus of the Damned Ingenue HC
Astro City Life in the Big City HC (New Print) – Own the Original Trade
Astro City Life in the Big City (New Print) – Own the Original Trade
Avenger Justice Inc Files
Avenger Justice Inc Files Limited Edition HC
Avengers Assault on Olympus HC – Old School. Eh… Why not?
Awakening Omnibus – Own the Original Trades
Battlestar Galactic Season Zero Omnibus – Own the Original Trades
Brightest Day Vol 3 HC – POS* for TWO WEEKS!
Charmed Vol 2 – If I was going to READ this, I would WATCH it instead
Code Word Geronimo HC
Conquering Everest Campfire
Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes HC (Prose)
Cuba My Revolution – Own the Original Hardcover
Dales Comic Fanzine Price Guide 2011 – I was so tempted (having published a few myself)
Dark Tower Omnibus HC Slipcase Set – Own the Original Hardcovers
Discord – I tend to STAY AWAY from publisher Markosia’s entire line
Disney Four Color Adventures Vol 1
Doc Savage Double Novel Vol 50
Doctor Who Classics Vol 7
Don Quixote Vol 2 Campfire
Dungeon & Dragons FR Drizzt Omnibus – Own the Original Trades & Hardcovers
Enders Game Formic Wars Burning Earth HC
Essential Spider-man Vol 2 (New Print)
Fantastic Four Worlds Greatest Comics Magazine HC
GI Joe Origins Vol 5
GI Joe Special Missions Vol 4
Grimm Fairy Tales Myths & Legend Vol 1
Grimm Fairy Tales Vol 10
iZombie Vol 2 UVampire
Legion of Super Heroes Vol 2 Consequences HC
Little Lulu Giant Size Vol 4
Mega Man Vol 1
Missionary Man Bad Moon Rising
New Avengers Vol 7 HC – More repurposing from original HCs & GNs
Oliver Twist Campfire
Oz: Ozma of Oz HC
Pilot & Huxley Vol 2
Potters Field – Own the Original Hardcovers
Powers Vol 2 Roleplay HC – Own the “Definitive Hardcover” Collections
Savage Sword of Conan Vol 10
Shadow Double Novel Vol 52
Slaine the Wanderer – I am a total sucker for Titan/2000AD stuff
Sonic Universe Vol 1
Stephen King The Stand Vol 1 Captain Trips – Own the Original Hardcover
Temptations Pelaez Gallery
Thor for Asgard – This is my 9,276th Thor trade– in just the last 5 months!
Transformers Classics Vol 1
Wolverine Goes to Hell – Been there, done that with the Original Hardcover
Wonderland House of Liddie Vol 1
Animal Land Vol 1
Black Bird Vol 10
Bleach Vol 36
Bloody Monday Vol 1
Butterflies Flowers Vol 9
Cage of Eden Vol 1
Death Note Black Edition Vol 5 – HOT PICK FOR TWO WEEKS!
Dengeki Daisy Vol 6
Gon Kondansha Edition Vol 1
Grand Guignol Orchestra Vol 4
Kekkaishi 3-in-1 Edition Vol 3
Kimi ni Todke Vol 10 – I love it when new Manga comes out I’ve NEVER heard of
La Corda d Oro Vol 14
Library Wars Love & War Vol 6
Madrock Scramble Vol 1
Naruto 3-in-1 Edition Vol 3
Naruto Vol 52
Oh My Goddess RTL Vol 39
One Piece Vol 58
Oresama Teacher Vol 4
Phoenix Wright Vol 2
Pokemon Black & White Vol 3
Toriko Vol 6
Ultimo Vol 6
Until the Full Moon Vol 1
Velveteen & Mandala
Anne Steelyard Garden of Emptiness Vol 3
Any Empire HC
Artesia Vol 3 Artesia Afire HC
Batman Mad Love And Other Stories – Softcover, Hardcover, now Softcover… WTF?
Big City Otto
Binky Vol 3 Under Pressure
Bone One Volume Color HC Signed/20th Anniversary Edition – Uh… Pricey
Book of Extreme Facts
Boy Who Loved Batman
Chimichanga HC – From that gloriously ballsy GOON guy!
Creepy Presents Bernie Wrightston HC – RUNNER-UP PICK FOR TWO WEEKS!
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep Vol 5 HC
Do It Yourself Doodler
Eerie Archives Vol 8 HC
Essential Web Of Spider-Man Vol 1
Giasol Pulp Doubles The Spider Vol 20
Goon Vol 3 Heaps of Ruination (2nd Edition) – Own the Original Trade
Graphic Classics Vol 21 Poe Mystery
Green Goblin A Lighter Shade of Green
Green River Killer True Detective Story HC
Infestation Vol 2
Inspector Gadget Vol 1 Gadget on the Orient Express
Invincible Iron Man Vol 6 Unfixable HC
Johnny Test Vol 1 Once & Future Johnny
Judge Dredd Restricted Files Vol 3
Last Dragon HC
Let Me In Vol 1 Crossroads
Like a Sniper Lining Up His Shot HC
Little Lulu Pal Tubby volume 4 Atomic Violin & Other Stories
Little Nemo in Slumberland So Many Splendid Sundays
Marvelman Classic Vol 3 HC
MOME Vol 22
Namor First Mutant Vol 2 Namor Goes to Hell – Hey, I thought Wolverine…
New Teen Titans Omnibus Vol 1 HC
Nikolai Dante Hero of the Revolution
Planet Of The Apes Vol 1
Randomveus Vol 1 HC
Richelle Mead Vampire Academy
Sketch: Fantasy Art
Sandman Vol 6 Fables & Reflections (New Print) – Own the Original Trade
Spider-Girl Family Values
Star Wars Advs Chewbacca & Slavers Of The Shadowland
Steve Ditko Omnibus Vol 1 Starring Shade HC
Subculture Webstrips Vol 1 Wrath of the Geek
Three Thieves Vol 2
Thunderbolts by Ellis and Deodato Ultimate Collection – Own the Original Hardcovers
Tick Bargain Summer Specials
Uncanny X-Force Vol 1 Apocalypse Solution – Own the Original Trade
Vanguard Frazetta Classics Deluxe HC Volume 1 Johnny Comet – Own the 1st Hardcover
Vanguard Frazetta Classics Deluxe HC Volume 2 White Indian – Own the 1st Hardcover
X-Men Phoenix Rising (New Print) – Own the Original Hardcover
X-Men Prelude to Schism HC
Air Gear Vol 19
Drifters Vol 1
Eden It’s an Endless World Vol 13
Monster Hunter Orage Vol 2
Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei Vol 10
Vagabond Vizbig Edition Vol 10
If all you know about Bernie Wrightson is that he’s that guy that seems to be drawing a lot of Steve Niles’ comics nowadays… You are SO missing out.
Bernie Wrightson is the PREMIERE HORROR ARTIST of this– or any other– generation.
Yes, that’s right. I basically just wrote that Bernie Wrightson is the BEST HORROR ARTIST of ALL TIME… And his work in the old Black & White Creepy & Eerie mags from Warren Publishing represent some of the best work of his career. I love his stuff so much, that even though I own every volume of Dark Horse Comics Eerie & Creepy Hardcover reprints (They ain’t cheap!), I bought this book anyway.
If you like Horror comics done right… If you don’t know Wrightson’s work (or only know him from his latter day efforts), I strongly urge you to pick up this wonderfully pulpy, gaudy collection. (There’s even a FULL COLOR tale in the back.)
Fall’s in the air. Halloween’s around the corner. Sit back with something meant to scare (not sicken) you. One warning though: I bet you’ll like this special volume so much, you’ll want to starting reading the other Dark Horse Warren Publishing Hardcover collections. (And like I just wrote: They ain’t cheap!)
Every friggin’ time one of these Brightest Day Hardcovers comes out from DC Comics, I get deluged with emails, tweets and IMs from people asking me why I didn’t choose one of these books as my Piece O’ Shit pickof the week.
Simple: There always seemed to be something shittier to jump on.
Well Brightest Day haterz, it’s your “lucky” week! Not only am I saying this book is bad enough to be picked as one of our weekly POS* Picks… It’s bad enough that I have picked it as WORST IN SHOW for TWO ENTIRE WEEKS.