A recent podcast featured a brief discussion about collectors of original art, during which I opined that I didn’t personally feel a need to collect original pencils or uncolored art. I can certainly understand wanting to own a physical piece handled and created by the likes of Neal Adams or Dave Cockrum, but I’d much rather spend that money on the finished product. My boss at the store (Gatekeeper Hobbies, Huntoon & Gage, Topeka! Ask us about our CGC graded Strange Sports Stories #1!) on the other hand, has an extensive collection of pages from the early days of the original Valiant Comics, a universe that he enjoys and feels a personal connection to. In the grand scheme of things, I think I prefer the idea of a commissioned sketch, wherein I could ask Barry Windsor-Smith to draw Machine Man or perhaps Neal Adams to draw Angel in his cool blue jumpsuit. Given unlimited funding and a time machine, I wouldn’t mind a Curt Swan Legion sketch, either…
The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) reminds you that inking adds depth and shading to the penciler’s work, and is an art unto itself, but will be happy to trace a chalk line around your $&@#in’ body, asking:
If you could commission any artist to create a work featuring any character, who, which and why?
Nothing makes one feel older than watching TV Land, the cable equivalent of the oldies station, and seeing shows that you watched in their first run. So it was for me, recently, with the episode of ‘Friends’ featuring Ross and Rachel discovering which celebrities are on their “No Strings Attached” list. Though I have never seen the appeal in Isabella Rosellini (she looks eerily like Dave Foley, for one thing) I can get behind the theoretical idea/game at the heart of the episode. But, since we are a pop culture website, if the Faithful Spoilerites were to play, we’d probably have to alter the rules a bit. James T. Kirk was always a hit with the ladies in-universe, but would he appeal to today’s audiences? Thus, I came up with three
rules guidelines for harmonious living regarding today’s query:
- Rule 1: The person must be come from another universe (read “must be imaginary.”) You may choose Tony Stark, but NOT Robert Downey Junior, unless you’re in the DC Universe. (Which you are not.)
- Rule 2: You may choose a certain timeframe of their life (i.e. “Han in ‘A New Hope’”) but they must remain true to their character. No upgrades or personality swaps, unless you can make a canonical argument (i.e. “Mirror Universe Spock.”)
- Rule 3: There is ABSOLUTELY NO… Rule 3.
- Rule 4: One imaginary paramour per customer, no choosing R2-D2 AND C-3PO, unless there is no way to separate (i.e. Chang & Eng Bunker, who are not imaginary, and thus make a terrible example.)
The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) won’t use Ross’ 5 celebrities idea, because that’s another show entirely, asking: What one “alternate universe” person would you choose for a no-strings-attached (unless you’re into that sort of thing) romantic fling?
Around the turn of the century (a phrase that I dearly love to say), I found myself engaged in “e-fedding,” a collective writing process where wrestling fans would create shared narratives of their own self-created wrestlers. Thanks to the revolutionary computing power of the N64 (SIXTY-FOUR BITS OF IMAGE-MAKING POWER!) we could even trade the specific builds and movesets of our guys back and forth over the nascent intarwebz, all the better to simulate character combat and “prove” that our guys were the best. And, of course, EVERYONE wanted to run the character with the unbeaten streak, an unstoppable force like the legendary Undertaker, but nobody wanted to actually lay the groundwork to make such a character work. (Moreover, nobody wanted to be the guy who LOST to the unstoppable force, causing for some issues in match formulation for the writing staff.) I am always reminded of this when I read late-90s-era Batman comics, where it seems that the expectation is that Batman should always be one-step ahead of everyone, but it’s a characterization problem that plagues everyone from Dilton Doily to Brainiac Five to Morgan Freeman’s character in the Nolan Batman movies: An infallible character can easily become a dull character, or worse, a strident jackwagon whose entire raison d’être is “I told you so!”
The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always “misquoted”) doesn’t think Marvel fans should get a ‘bye’ on this either, as Captain America often falls into the same character trap, asking: CAN an unstoppable/infallible character be interesting? (Examples, please!)
Looking for something to read this week? The Major Spoilers staff has gone through the list of comics arriving in stores this week, and pick the titles they are most looking forward to.
More After the Jump
Want to see the full art of the new Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts card? How about a cosplay of it? Well here’s part of it:
Take the jump for full card art!
More After the Jump
In my travels about comics fandom, one of the most common complaints seems to be about how humorless and grim they’ve become. Murderous psychopaths and slavering lunatics are everywhere (and that’s just the fanbase!) This weekend, I was disturbed to read a story wherein a beloved character of my youth was crushed to death and his corpse eaten by scavengers during the course of the story. While this development was effective in conveying the hopelessness of the heroes’ dilemma, in the long run I suspect the death will long overshadow the story itself, much as the rumors of John Stewart’s demise have overshadowed whatever has been happening in ‘Green Lantern Corps.’ At this point, it seems that any and all characters are subject to debasement, corruption, maiming and death as regularly as fistfights and alien invasions.
The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) doesn’t get why people would want to read about the corruption of a character like Mary Marvel anyway, asking: Are the majority of modern audiences really unable to appreciate stories that aren’t brutal and ultra-violent?
During a recent evening of television, the Widget and I took in an episode of Transformers, during which she asked me which ones were the Democrats and which the Aristocats. This was quite possibly the funniest thing I had heard all day (and, it should be noted, that this was a day during which I burped while using voice text and laughed for half an hour as my Android dutifully spelled out “burp” in my tweet.) These sort of malapropisms have been the bread and butter of many public figures from Yogi Berry (who famously remarked that “I really didn’t say most of the things I said”) to Ringo Starr, whose misappropriation of language led to one of the most famous songs in rock history, ‘A Hard Day’s Night.’
The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) once saw an allegory on the banks of The Nile, which apparently IS just a river in Egypt, which makes this deja vu all over again, asking: What’s the most awesome and/or ridiculous slip of the tongue you’ve ever made/heard?
The recent return of Vibe kind of puzzles me. On the one hand, Vibe is something of a one-note gimmick character, “the break-dancing superhero,” a street kid straight out of the youth center that Ozone and Turbo saved in ‘Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo, with a limited power-set and some truly stupid stories in his catalogue. On the other, I’ve always kind of liked him, and found his bravado and his original horrible Reagan-era puffy fashion victim costume to be kind of endearing, in a way. Of course, there are a lot of really bad fashions in comics, anyway, what with Batman’s “trunks on the outside” (an affectation adapted from Superman, who took it from the carnival strongman costumes of the Great Depression), Storm’s early 80s punk phase (leather and a mohawk actually work for her, depending on the artist) and the various high-top fades of the 1990s. (Bonus points if they shaved their superhero symbol INTO them!) There’s a large chunk of late 60s/early 70s Supergirl and Wonder Woman comics that I only ever want to read to see what abomination they’ve stuck Kara Zor-El in this week, and perhaps imagine Michael Kors declaring her to be “a girl scout den-mother at a hooker’s funeral in Milan!” (Supergirl’s Michael Turner jailbait suit should probably also get a name check, here.)
The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) will confer with you vis a vis those things that it is interested in and/or seeking, asking: What’s the most ridiculous fashion trend to affect pop culture?
There is a saying in Kansas, regarding seasonal change: If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes. Never has that been more true than during the last week, where I went from 80 degree temps to slow flurries in a matter of days. Still, with Kansas officially entering the season of Spring on Wednesday, my co-workers have already begun commenting on how it shouldn’t be cold anymore, as though we’ve crossed a meridian from lion to lamb and the weather patterns should be forced to comply. Still, given that the warming months also bring with them severe weather (including our legendary tornadoes, so powerful they’ll knock your @$$ from sepia-tone to Technicolor), I have no problem dealing with a little more cool weather. Still and all, part of my ever-analytical forebrain watches as the world around me transitions from snow removal to road repair, and anticipates the return of the sundresses and window-rollin’-down weather.
The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) had something clever to say here, but found that Sonnet 18 is all about a SUMMER’S day, which totally hoses the metaphor, asking: What’s the most wonderful time of the year in your eyes?
For those of you who follow my Twitter feed (@mightykingcobra), first of all, I apologize for whatever offended you, as the odds are I said something that did. But, secondly, you will probably also be aware of and/or sick of hearing about my latest collection obsession, Bandai Ranger Keys from a television series that I shan’t mention because it always provokes mockery from Stephen. As a comic book collector, I always found the real fun to be in the thrill of the hunt, haunting used bookstores and yard sales in the hopes of finding that elusive Action #374 or Hulk #161. In the modern era of Ebay, I don’t even have to leave my Sofa Of Solitude to get a copy of Miracleman #24, which leaves me somehow saddened at change. Still, I still get a thrill when I can find an item at a decent price, like yesterday’s acquisition of a Black Condor Ranger Key at less than 1/4th of the going (or is that gauging?) rate.
The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) hates the tricksy hobbitses, rotten tricksy hobbiteses all, who would steal his preeeciousssss, asking: What item have you acquired (or would you WISH to acquire) as the crown jewel of your collection?
Recently, I found myself amused by events in my hometown, during which a not-for-profit group bought AN ENTIRE HOUSE for the sole purpose of trolling the city’s resident hate group. While I’m uncertain whether said group will actually care, I have to respect the chutzpah of whomever chose to make that statement. Were I rich myself, I could see myself dedicating a portion of my treasure to annoying in creative ways those who offend me (after bankrolling a certain pop-culture website, of course.) Of course, once that’s budgeted, I’d also get a Ferrari and an ugly shirt and re-enact episodes of ‘Magnum: PI’ with an all-ferret cast…
The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) thinks we should ask for *more* than a million dollars. After all, million dollars isn’t exactly a lot of money these days. Virtucon alone makes over 9 billion dollars a year, asking: What would you choose to do as a full-time “job” if you had unlimited funds?
The Power Trio in pop culture is a force to be reckoned with, from the trinity of Ricky, Lucky and Ethel (Fred was a Sixth Ranger) to Kirk, Spock, McCoy and beyond. The Widget’s recent fascination with Super Sentai has reminded me how many different variations on the theme there can be, from the Blonde/Brunette/Redhead combination to the Land/Sea/Sky to the Two Guys And A Girl combination (pizza place optional.) When you look around the worlds of TV, comics and film, you see the interpersonal triangles everywhere, and I especially relish those shows (like ‘How I Met Your Mother’) where there are actually multiple triads with a central character in common. Sadly, none of our podcasts fit the trope any longer, thanks to Young Zach being all, “I’m Zach and this is how I taaaalk!” He does, however, make a great Michelangelo for our upcoming Ninja Turtles cosplay. (Nobody is allowed to ask why Raph’s shell is so much bigger around than the others!)
The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) can’t decide whether Mother, Maiden & Crone beats Rock, Paper & Scissors, asking: What’s the greatest three-character-combination in pop culture history?