Did Santa forget to bring you a Turbo Man doll? He’s senile Commie Pinko pedo, George Baily killing, Fortress of Solitude stealing, Deniro deer hunter slaver, and a shameless Coke fiend promoter. Sure it’s a cliché to say, but Xmas is truly the most cynical time of the year! Welcome to Christmas in July all the way from rain soaked Japan. Let’s “organize some distance” cause “I won’t be home for Christmas”… but that’s BS since LYCO BOND WILL RETURN IN LYCO’S FAMILY CHRISTMAS VACATION coming out in December, 2013.
I can spit on Jolly Nick, Black Friday, and radio season songs (With the exceptions being Springsteen’s “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” & Tom Petty’s “Christmas All Over Again". I hope that reindeer backed over Granny after the head on collision), but I enjoy plenty of eggnog, A Christmas Carol (The black & white one and Muppets!), and spending time with loved ones as much as anyone.
Being home for the holidays made me really appreciate Amazon domestic delivery prices, comic shops, and the wonderful socialist services provided by my local public library. I also got to reread a lot of my favorite collections from the dusty bookshelf in my stately suburban home.
Below is a list of books I got while stateside that I had never read, which I brought back with me to enjoy. The books that made the list have kind of been forgotten or not talked about enough. Well, that ends now! Run run, REDRUM Rudolph after the jump!
By Steve Ditko & various
Most famous for co creating Spider-Man and many of the most enduring aspects of the character’s world, Ditko left Marvel in the mid 60s and went on to create Capt. Atom, Blue Beetle, Nightshade, and the Question over at Charlton Publishing, which was later acquired by DC. One can say after working on something as massively popular as Spidey that it would be quite difficult to score another pop hit. Although the Charlton cast didn’t break the bank, their influence is obvious when you take a gander at a little known comic called Watchmen.
What motivated me to get this pricey edition was my affection for Ditko's psychedelic art and compelling stories, despite the hard on he has for Ayn Rand and his hatred of 60s counter culture youth as evident in "Destroyer of Heroes". Besides being a big fan of the Question, I also got this volume because I'm pumped for Grant Morrison’s upcoming Mutiversity which will have the Charlton characters and their world alongside some of the other multiple alternate worlds in the DCU.
By Robert Mayer
A smart and layered satirical novel of the American superhero genre from 1977 and years before Frank Miller and Alan Moore played off the same riff, but left fun by the wayside for super serial dark seriousness. Who says deconstruction can’t be funny and childish, while still being informative and thought provoking like The Simpsons or South Park?
The main character is a Superman stand that’s living a boring suburban life with a beer belly and family, until conspiracy and Armageddon faces NYC, a city filled with cameos and parodies of famous and obscure fictional and historical figures. Plenty of Superman mythos gets filtered through 70’s pop culture.
Superfolks may be a forgotten little gem, but it left quite an impact for the decade that followed it. See Watchmen, Miracleman, and Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow.
Supreme: The Story of the Year and The Return
By Alan Moore, Rick Veitch, Chris Sprouse, & various
By now you may have guessed that I don’t worship at the altar of “Sir” Moore. I have a lot of opinions about him for another post in the future. I do think he’s a very capable and memorable writer, but I don’t have a fondness for seeing Batgirl being gut shot and undressed, or seeing a legion of female characters getting raped every now and then in his comics.
What if Alan Moore had an extended run on a Superman comic? Supreme is what you get. He took a Rob Liefeld Superman knock off and provided Supreme with a knock off Superman convulted editorial continuity spanning fictional decades. The substitution of names to avoid copyright infringement is shameless and unapologetic. The structure of most of the stories is the rebooted 90s Supreme relearning his previous continuity of the Golden and Silver Age via flashbacks. The flashback episodes are mostly recycled Silver Age Superman comics without much poignancy delivered by Moore. The exception being, “The Allies’ Last Case”, involving the Supreme version of the Justice Society from the 40s traveling into the future and realizing they’re all useless against nuclear fears, moral degradation, drug use, racism, and Mad magazine parodies, and "New Jack City", in which Moore equates Jack Kirby with God. For once I am in total agreement.
As a fan of the humanity present in Moore’s Swamp Thing and the revolutionary lyricism of V for Vendetta, I was hoping for a little more from a gifted writer. One thing that surprised me involved the Supergirl knock off only being beaten and enduring the threat of rape, until the male hero swooped in to save her. Score one for feminism.
Part 2 will conclude my Xmas list and holiday cheer later this month. There will be no Moore... until I see fit.