Monday, June 15, 2009

Fear and Loathing in Overland Park pt 113

So it begins. The hype begins anew and all I can do is fan the

We all hype and gripe about certain things. We all see things
that we don't believe the hype on and other things we believe
all hype in.

Case in point a movie with a guy wearing bat-ears.

But there are other times where hype is not the answer. Where
hype just seems misplaced, mismatched, completely strange
and really out of the ordinary.

Case in point: Captain America.

Some of you may have seen the news today about a big event
and wondered, what the hell? Why is this news?

If you're a fan of comics, or just a fan of the movies they make
of them, you may have heard how Captain America was shot
and killed in 2007.

And the press had a field day with that comic. Making it sell out
super fast.

Now today, word comes in from news media around the New York
area (at the least), that Marvel Comics is "resurrecting" Steve
Rogers Captain America and bringing him back to the forefront
in a comic called Reborn.

My first reaction, and one most people will agree with, is

who cares?

In fiction, there are so many cases where people are killed
and resurrected that it almost defeats the purpose of the
original story.

And when I say almost, it's all but a certainty.

The first thing a comic fan thinks when their favorite hero or
villain is killed or their book is cancelled is so what, when do
they come back?

It's never a question of will they come back. It's always a
question of when.

DC did the same tactic back in 1992 when they "killed" Superman
and brought him back 6 months later.

They did the same thing this year by "killing" Batman and
revamping the comics to have a younger Batman take his place.

We all know Bruce Wayne will come back. It's only a matter of

So the fact that the New York Daily News and other news media
outlets have taken the bait and ran with it just seems completely


Why do they feel that this is news?

Isn't there some kind of news bit about Iran, Korea, or the world
teetering on the brink of annihilation they can run?

Instead they run news about a comic book character "returning"
from the dead.

I've been a comic fan for years and years and years now. One of
the first events I was party to was, in fact, the Death and Return
of Superman.

I had fun back then.

Now it just gets ridiculous.

And this is coming from a guy who not only reads and buys comics
monthly but writes them. This is coming from a guy who has an
entire run of a couple of his favorite comic books.

This is coming from a guy who has been burnt out on those
comics that he loved and the fatigue that comes with the
constant need for sensationalism and something bigger.

The big event comics that drive comic sales right now just are
killing the industry as a whole.

When a new and inventive idea or comic comes around, most
people don't see it because they are so entrenched in the world
and continuity of one single comic universe that they can't jump
the fence and try something new.

One in particular is Rasl.

This is a comic book that doesn't feel like a comic. It feels like
artificial history as told in comic book form with so much science
fiction thrown in that it puts the Sci-Fi channel to shame.

It's from Jeff Smith, the creator of Bone, one of the all-time
greatestcomics ever created and a long-running staple of the
independent comic book world.

It's the model by which I read my comics these days.

Most people hear about comic books and all they think about
are the muscle-bound heroes and heroines who wear super-tight
clothes and punch each other.

They don't see the crazy adventures of a character named Frank
Einstein who has existential problems and fights more with his
friends than he does actual enemies.

They don't see comics that tell the story of a warrior aardvark
and think anything of it.

They don't see comics about the Holocaust that feature mice
as the Jews and cats as the Nazis and think it could be high art.

They don't look past that initial glance and see what we comic
readers know.

There are so many comic books out there that each person
in this world could read and enjoy and love and just utterly fall
in love with that if you tried to tear yourself away from it you'd
be forced to read it even more.

Each and every person in this world has something they love.
Something that they fight for.

Something in them that needs to be told. A story.


Personal lessons learned. History.


And a lot of these comics that people don't pick up are
telling those stories.

That's what I hope for.

I'm currently involved in an endeavor that involves comics and
a specific comic book in general that I am very proud to
be a part of.

I'm supposed to be going to the big San Diego Comic-Con to
help promote this book and possible series.

It's crazy. My head swells with ego but also in anticipation of
what this means for me. For it. For us.

But then I worry.

I worry about all those comic books sitting and gathering
dust and I wonder.

I wonder.

What makes us different?

Is it the fact that I've seen failure on the faces of friends who
do create?

Is it the fact that I've read book after book after comic after
comic detailing the process and what it takes?


It's that I'm ready for failure. I'm prepared to make a mistake
and I'm ready for the negativity.

I'm prepared for someone to say no.

Because when I hear no, all I hear is another opportunity.

To show them what I mean.

If one person tells me no, a thousand people tell me no.

And I've heard them.

Being a writer trying to break into two all but impossible
industries prepares you for the nos.

But once that one yes comes, it's so glorious.

So as I said, the hype will begin.

My hype.

Some of the future installments will discuss the project
in detail and we will look at what is to become of this.

Our fingers are crossed.

Our choice has been made.

Now we must continue along that path.

No matter where it takes me.


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