hushicho's forum posts

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#1 Posted by hushicho (35 posts) - - Show Bio

The Hobbit is a better-written and more cohesive story, the characters are more likable and more defined. To judge a story by its number and scope of battles is frankly puerile, and it's led to plenty of authors attempting to give a story 'legitimacy' by just tossing in conflict that doesn't really add anything.

Both stories overstay their welcome and end up having fairly unfulfilling endings (or, in the case of Return of the King, several serial unfulfilling endings); the Jackson films of the Hobbit have at least thus far played up some of the more minor aspects of the book, and some of those are really interesting played up, like Dol Guldur and the Necromancer. The Rankin-Bass work similarly did a good, if brief, adaptation keeping in the sense of music and adventure and not harping so much on blah blah warfare.

Lord of the Rings has been built up for decades by fans. I liked the story when I was a child, but as I grew older I realised that what I liked the most was what it stimulated in my imagination, rather than being very good itself. It started off strongly but couldn't keep it up. The Hobbit is, on the other hand, a pretty solid and consistent story with pretty solid and consistent characters. There are fewer in the cast of characters, but they are much less two-dimensional, one-note characters than the majority of the cast of Lord of the Rings.

My vote goes for The Hobbit on this one, even if I'm a little late in weighing in here. As someone who has read the books and seen almost every adaptation of each story, there's simply no comparison when it comes to telling a coherent and enjoyable story.

#2 Posted by hushicho (35 posts) - - Show Bio

Frankly the whole thing is just tasteless. I lived through the first stunt killing off Jason, my favourite Robin, whom they FUBARed with the Crisis on Infinite Earths reboot (after they said, just like this 'new 52' time, that Batman would remain the same), and the less said about that, the better. It's just pretentious, nothing more, and it proves that they have no new ideas. When they reached the first and most utter bankruptcy of creativity, they pulled a publicity stunt they knew would lead to Jason being killed off in one of the most revolting antics I have ever seen. It didn't work then, it doesn't work now: they were trying to isolate Batman, to concentrate on him as a character, but by that time they'd started the deterioration of his formerly stern-but-reasonable personality, a tormented man trying to do right, into the near-sociopath he is today. They failed to understand that it's his family, the supporting characters and other heroes around him, that make him more interesting. Batman was never a particularly nuanced character, but he was instead the figure that young readers hoped one day to grow into, whereas Robin was the character they either wished to befriend or saw a reflection of themselves in reality. They are a symbiotic gestalt, and dividing them doesn't work.

Hasn't anyone noticed that trying to have one without the other doesn't really work very well? Evidently no-one working for DC, least of all Grant Morrison, who perhaps should try writing without being on drugs, for once. Certainly, he's had a number of promising concepts, but his ability to actually realise those concepts is something I have never once seen exhibited in anything I've read of his. Like the rest of the crop of creative staff Marvel and DC both try to promote as if they were true celebrities, they have too many people drinking the kool-aid and ripping the flesh of anyone who dares criticise. Stunts like this don't exhibit integrity in any way whatsoever. They're nothing but tasteless stunts meant to milk money out of tragedy because they can't think of a creative or constructive way to bolster readership.

Killing off a character is one of the worst creative moves ever, especially in a story with unlimited scope. You are guaranteed to be killing off a character that is someone's favourite, and as such you are going to lose readers. They'll be reminded of the absence, it'll eat at them, and eventually -- even those Stockholm Syndrome-like drones that have dozens of titles in their pull list and never once read them -- they decide to stop. I did the same thing, back in the day. Marvel and DC apparently believe that the publicity will bring in new readers, but most are not retained. It's an extremely foolish decision, whether creatively or in terms of business, and they wonder why comic readership has hit all-time lows when they themselves don't respect their characters (and, through them, the readers).

The more people die as a result of Batman's inability to kill, the less he can be sympathised with as a hero. It would be one thing if many of his foes weren't proven serial killers, and especially when someone close to him is killed. He becomes not only unrealistic, but utterly unsympathetic; the Joker, for example, should have been dead a hundred times, but they don't dare. He's too valuable. So it's the rest of us that get the middle finger. Past a point, who cares what Batman goes through? It's not like he's going to actually do anything pro-active to stop it, is he? So what's the point? It's a concession of the superhero genre that, in cases like this, is an uncomfortably obvious elephant in the room.

I have my own concept of this world of superheroes, and it's a rare occasion I actually like something enough to accept it into that concept. Growing up reading comics taught me that there's a lot you have to toss out in order to enjoy things, but that's also part of the fun of reading, deciding what to make your own sort of personal story, your relationship with these characters. Since there's a revolving-door policy for creative teams on superhero stories, it's easy to toss out a team's work wholesale if it's not up to par...and with Marvel and DC since the 80s, there's been a lot of that. This? This is trash. What Morrison's done is trash, and it's a betrayal of Damian and all the readers as well. DC promised that this 'new 52' would be fresh and new and better, but I've yet to see it.

You can't make something better when you put it right back in the hands of the people that rendered it worthless in the first place.

I can only hope that maybe, just maybe, they'll realise their mistake and backpedal. Because as it stands, there's not a single thing that keeps me coming back to any of the Batman titles. A fanboyish approach to the writing, mediocre art more times than not, needlessly protracted stories...the comics I grew up with weren't all perfect, far from it. But they were overwhelmingly superior to the drek belched out especially in the past 15 years to try and wring a few bucks out of the customers still buying from the difficult condition known as nostalgia.

#3 Edited by hushicho (35 posts) - - Show Bio

Using House of M as a 'look what happens if mutants get rights' argument is about like using Rob Liefeld's art for a course on accurate human anatomy.

Mutants are entitled to human rights, because a human mutant is still human. Mutants are mutated humans. If they were another species, they would be called something else. A mutant is so called because it has mutated but is still a member of the species. The whole reason why ignorant anti-mutant idiots in comics are characters people hate is because they're wrong and they're stupid; they are judging by external appearances, rather than by the quality of one's character, and furthermore they're not using any accurate scientific thought to differentiate between perceived species. They're just hating on something that's different, because they don't understand it and thus are afraid of it. They do it in the real world just as in the comics, it's nothing new.

As comic geeks (at least some of the people here) we really should recognise that is why X-Men was, in better-written days, an appealing comic: we ourselves were often judged by external appearances, or by petty differences from the glorified 'norm', and many of us were happier not being like everyone else, even if we had fewer friends or less social life. Being identifiably the 'uncool kids' or the outcasts, the people who are fantastic but aren't usually given a chance, has been the raison d'être of the X-titles since their inception. Anyone in any sort of minority or ostracised group could identify with their situation, which gave them an appeal that kept readers holding on for even little victories.

So this really isn't a question. Mutants are human, otherwise they would be called something else entirely. On every level, it's ludicrous to debate. And frankly, as some others have pointed out, in the Marvel Universe even anti-mutant hysteria is rather nonsensical when you have exactly the same sort of superhuman powers shown by world celebrities like the Avengers and the Fantastic Four.

#4 Posted by hushicho (35 posts) - - Show Bio

Pretty much all of the stupid controversies are just exploitation of 'controversial' groups and tend to cheapen that group's struggles for equality because Marvel or DC want to get free publicity due to someone thinking it's 'shocking'. If they didn't think it would sell a few more comics for a little while, we'd never even have 'out' characters, and that is really telling.

You haven't even scratched the surface of the other transgender characters that exist (and existed long before these) in comics, not to mention gay and lesbian characters that were out and far predated Marvel and DC's attempts to be 'trendy' and 'timely' and of course sell more comics by exploiting a group. Northstar getting married? Cheap. It was only done because Marvel wanted to effectively end the character's use and hadn't been able to kill him off despite several attempts. Today, marriage of any kind is dull and tends to spell the essential nadir of a character. In the 80s it was a big thing, today it's ho-hum because nobody cares...unless it's gay marriage. That's still novel enough and enough of a discussion issue that they knew they could get the free publicity. And at the same time, since it's marriage they can write off the character and mate -- who cares about them now?

Even Archie's Kevin Keller character is, at his root, nothing but an overtly gay Jughead whose stories are a parade of embarrassing gay stereotypes and hot topics, without any real novelty or wit added to them. And Archie, though hailed for being 'progressive', just jump on whatever bandwagon happens to be hot at the moment, then eventually it's forgotten. Look at the (for a while genuinely amusing) Cheryl Blossom.Good luck finding her anywhere now.

The big companies have more or less inured people to sensationalistically killing off characters, and they're tired of it. So now they have to move to other things they haven't beaten like a dead horse.

Essentially what needs to be considered here is, if one of the big companies like Marvel, DC, or Archie are doing anything, it's probably just to pull the spotlight onto themselves. It isn't for any humanitarian reason, nor artistic; it's just them trying to exploit a group of people and make a buck doing it, and if they can fool some gullible (if often well-meaning) people desperate for recognition and validation from others, all the better. That's how they've managed to justify plenty of execrable stories, characters, and members of their not-so-creative teams.

Smaller press and independent comics don't tend to do that. And frankly the US is just about the only major comic publishing country in the world where GLBTQ characters are that much of an exploitable issue. Because it's the big companies like Marvel and DC that keep sequential art dragging behind thanks to their own example. They haven't learned anything. And thanks to their visibility, it's easy for them to influence others' perceptions of sequential art and comics as a whole, as a puerile, childish, and opportunistic medium.

And that, to me, is a shame. Honestly, it's a tragedy.

Don't be fooled by these companies. They're out to make a buck, they're not out to champion any real causes or further any social progress. They're out to exploit causes and ride on the coattails of any progress.

#5 Posted by hushicho (35 posts) - - Show Bio

Killing off characters in general is usually a bad idea, especially if the story has unlimited scope like most Western superhero-genre comics. Inevitably a character is going to appeal to a writer that takes the reins of a series, and that character will inevitably return; it would be much easier and less cheapening if the character were simply incapacitated or seriously injured than a huge event made out of killing them off, which is additionally very tacky.

When any character is killed off, you lose readers because that character is always someone's favourite. Every character is someone's favourite, somewhere.

Frankly, I think that it's just weak writing using tactics like apparent character death in order to make some sort of sensationalised appeal to readers. It takes far more talent and skill to write a compelling story without using stunts guaranteed to have an emotional response...and one thing they never seem to consider is that the emotional response cultivated is not always a positive one. In fact, it almost never is.

#6 Posted by hushicho (35 posts) - - Show Bio

The 'Crisis on New Genesis' story was one of the best of the Justice League title's history, in my opinion. However, I think it would require too much to be changed in order to make it a viable stand-alone film. I don't think that necessarily makes it impossible that they would do it, but if they do, it will not turn out well. It's not a story that was meant to stand alone in and of itself, because it was one of the exciting regular JLA-JSA crossovers...very much something made to appeal to the fans. To take it out of context and pare it down to only a handful of JLA members would rob it of significant thrill and largely of meaning.

It would also be necessary for the story to involve the New Gods, at least to some extent, and that also would seem to make it even more unlikely; with a 2-2.5-hour limit for most films of this type, that would just complicate the story more than a casual audience is ready to attempt to understand. And if they don't, it will just make the story seem flimsy and incoherent, or rely too much on what will seem to a casual audience to be endless deus ex machina.

It's an interesting possibility, and I'm really glad this story was brought up because I hope it will encourage people to read it who never have before, but as far as it being a great basis for the upcoming film, I can't agree. I hope not, at least, because I think it would not adapt well, especially with the requisite changes that would need to be in the story.

#7 Posted by hushicho (35 posts) - - Show Bio

I miss them too. I think Marvel and DC both take themselves far too seriously, so much so that most of the comics just aren't fun anymore. What The--?! was a product of when they actually could laugh at themselves (and each other!) sometimes.

#8 Posted by hushicho (35 posts) - - Show Bio

As an artist and creator, I attend as many shows as I can, and I do best of all when people know these basics. I'm really glad this article is here, and I hope it will help con attendees to get the most out of their experience.

And as sixdemonbag said, don't neglect an artist even if you haven't heard of him or her. Look over the stuff they've got, check their prices, and you might just find yourself with a new favourite artist. Of course, as has been said, bigger-name artists may not even be doing convention sketches, or their prices may be prohibitively high, especially for someone who hasn't attended many conventions. There are also people who open up convention art bookings before the convention itself, so their list may be full even before the show, and many other artists will have their schedule fill up quickly. Out of courtesy it's usually good to go fairly early so that they will have adequate time to give you the best work possible.
 
Of course, if it's a multi-day convention, most artists will also be willing to take on as many works as they can, then take them back to the hotel room to finish and bring them back the next day to pick up. These are usually paid up front though.
 
Another thing to consider is that independent creators will often do a wider range of things than most of the Marvel and DC crowd, so there's also that to consider. Many artists these days contract with different companies regularly and do plenty of independent work as well, but when you're contracted with a certain company, sometimes there are restrictions on what you are and aren't able to do. If you want that art of Satana dressed as Sexy Santa Claus, spanking Wolverine bare-bottomed under the mistletoe, you may not be able to get it from some of the big-name companies' contracted employees.

#9 Posted by hushicho (35 posts) - - Show Bio

Nice idea, but there are just too many problems with the writing of the X-series over the years to make this work. At first when I saw this headline I thought someone had proposed an actual X-Men museum, and my first thought was an immediate ' god no!' I think really it can only show ably how implausible the whole anti-mutant hysteria is, and how the writers have to keep upping the ante to even have it keep going.
 
It's kind of sad, but the writing over the years, especially in the last decade, has shown fairly ably that if people are that dedicated to hating mutants, maybe humans really are too stupid to be reasoned with. Despite the X-Men's repeated and constant heroic actions, some members and former members being associated with the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, and other groups (who tend to be exempt from super-power paranoia, outside of gimmicky storylines like Civil War, which just reused an old X-Men plot that had been done to death anyway), why exactly is mutant paranoia so high? It doesn't make sense anymore. It was, once upon a time, an interesting study in ideological differences between extremes striving towards the rights of a minority. Nowadays, it's just the same tired motions.
 
Though to sum it up, as I was saying to a friend a little while ago, if I were a mutant, I would give peace a chance...until government-produced giant killer robots were sent out after me, then I'd be a little less eager to embrace peaceful coexistence.
 
What I'm trying to say, really, is that even though any one of the tragedies the X-Men have suffered through should be enough to turn mass public opinion to their side, the writing over the years has zealously kept the majority of humanity surrounding them joyfully and willfully ignorant...perhaps a commentary on American culture? Who knows.
 
The answer to the question specifically is that if people are as dumb as a bag of hammers, as they are now written in the X-titles, a museum is probably a bad idea. But so were a lot of things. Kind of odd that they haven't (to my knowledge) explored the unquestionably existing world of mutant fetishists, people so fascinated with mutants that they're turned into a desire.

#10 Posted by hushicho (35 posts) - - Show Bio

I like him. Unfortunately he's often badly-written or shuffled to the background. He's kind of a cute hunky brick type who may not be the sharpest stick in the bunch, but he's nice to look at and genuinely a nice guy, under it all.

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