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Christian

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Christian last won the day on September 17

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About Christian

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    The Last One
  • Birthday 02/22/1975

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    I work as a short fiction writer
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  1. Just Got into Hellblazer...

    Rick Veitch was in the middle of a story-arc in which Swamp Thing was being cast backwards in time. He was stopping in different time periods....World War I, the Middle Ages, etc. Veitch's next planned issue was to see him arriving in the time of Jesus Christ. The story was going to be about how Jesus Christ was a ritual magician, involved with Hermetic and Kabbalistic esoteric magic. DC's editors decided there was no way they were going to publish a story like that, completely rejected it, and Rick Veitch left DC Comics, not returning again until the 21st century. While it might generate some controversy, it's hardly something beyond the realms of being publishable, especially if you look at a novel like The Man Who Died by D.H. Lawrence (for example), which is considered a classical work of literature (although certainly it is controversial also). DC Comics was basically laying down the case that comic books cannot deal with sensitive subject matter in a similar way to Literature.
  2. Just Got into Hellblazer...

    Unfortunately, deciding to write a story where the conclusion seems to say, "Hey, these kids are asking for it!" is probably not the way to go about addressing a serious issue, even though, as I said, Ellis did make some good points in the story. There's also a question as to whether such a heavy work of social criticism, at the expense of the character of the series, actually belongs in the Hellblazer comic book. Look at how well Delano usually managed to blend characterization and a sense of the series moving forward with politically aware commentary, compared to something like "Shoot". It was the equivalent of Delano's heavy-handed "Don't Eat Meat!" two-parter, which was the low point of Delano's run. You could argue (and I'd agree with) a commentary about the way we humans treat animals and barbarity of factory farming is an important message. Yet, the way Delano went about that story was moving away from "this is a story about John Constantine and it shows how he feels about an issue" to "I'm Jamie Delano and I have something very important to tell you!". Anyway, you could go back to see how DC censored Rick Veitch's Swamp Thing story as a more egregious example, pre-dating "Shoot". Yes, you could argue that happened before Vertigo existed, but I'm pretty sure the same editors were involved with the decisions, and Swamp Thing was a "mature readers" comic book, and the issue being addressed in Veitch's comic was far less contentious than a school shooting story which almost seemed to blame the victims in the end (and I'm not saying that everyone who died was innocent either). Plus, I'm sure Veitch's story was probably a better actual story than Ellis' "after school special" approach to speaking on an issue. So, it's not without precedent, I would argue. EDIT: I'm not favouring censorship in any way, in case that comes out as the point of what I wrote above about "Shoot". I believe that the story should have been published originally. I'm just saying that "Shoot" really isn't an important story, and I can understand why DC (a corporation) did what it did, even though I completely disagree with the decision.
  3. Marvel's One World Order

    I'm not really sure what you're looking for in comic books, but a lot of the newer Marvel stuff isn't worth reading. Most of the newer Marvel titles that are really good are ones that flew more under-the-radar, rather than their more popular books (like Avengers or X-Men*), and definitely not their "big event" cross-overs. *Grant Morrison on X-Men from way back in 2001 or Jonathan Hickman on Avengers being the most notable exceptions. Also, avoiding most of Millar and Bendis' work at Marvel is usually for the best, although they did each write a few books worth reading (Bendis on Ultimate Spider Man, Alias, and half of his run on Daredevil, or Millar's Ultimates). I enjoy older Marvel Comics, myself. I am a huge fan of Marvel from the 1960s through the 1980s. I'm not sure if that's to your tastes or not as a comic book reader though.
  4. Librarians, Liberals and Lesbians* (Books)

    I have never come across a copy of Sarah Canary. I thought the name was really stupid and never actually bothered to even look into it, until I saw it included in Lethem's book, even though I am a fan of Fowler. I would probably have to order a copy used from Amazon. It does sound like an interesting plot and theme. Truthfully, I've never come across any of Fowler's novels, except We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. I've only read her short fiction otherwise.
  5. Marvel's One World Order

    The concentration camps I was referring to with Jason were the ones from Secret Empire, where Hydra put all the Inhumans in America. No, I agree with you that Civil War is an awful comic book. I didn't really like it, and don't recommend that other people should read it. I really feel like it was the beginning of Marvel's downhill slide, doing stories like Civil War. And, it pretty much culminated in Secret Empire. While not quite as awful a read as Civil War, Secret Empire was a pretty awful comic book also, and I don't recommend it as a Marvel comic that someone should read either.
  6. Marvel's One World Order

    Well, so far we haven't put anybody in concentration camps..... It would be closer to what happened in Nazi Germany after the war. Except, I expect that Marvel won't ever mention it again going forward. Which is sort of awkward. Nor do I really want them to, honestly. I'd rather the Marvel Universe be a place I can escape to, not a place where I have to be reminded of things like Donald Trump or Charlottesville again. Where the hell am I supposed to transmogrify myself to in 2012 when the world ends? I guess there is some precedent with the Japanese-American citizens put in to interment camps in the US, where after WWII, everyone just sort of pretended that it never happened.
  7. Marvel's One World Order

    Eh, that wouldn't fit with Steve Rogers either. They used the fascist mind-set with Steve Rogers just now with Secret Empire anyway. Rogers was never a blind patriot who followed whatever the government said. You can go back to the Steven Engelhart run on Captain America, when Steve Rogers gave up being Captain America after the events of Watergate with Nixon. Then, in the 1980s, Steve Rogers gave up being Cap again, when Reagan wanted him to work for the federal government. The "super-patriot" US Agent took up the mantle of Captain America.
  8. Marvel's One World Order

    Sure, sure. I'm pretty sure we already had this argument about Civil War. It's an imperfect metaphor, but it's to be read as an analogy, in a fictional universe. Otherwise, the stories would just be social realism stories about people dealing with real world issues. You have to use your suspension of disbelief. Tony Stark was George W. Bush. Civil War was September 11th, 2001 and the Patriot Act. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Oh, and mutants work within the context of comics because people are so scared about mutants in their midst, but yet, they treat characters like the Avengers as shining icons. Iron Man might destroy half of New York City fighting a super-villain, but Iron Man still gets cheered. Yet, when it comes to mutants, they're the "Other" and to be feared and hated. So, it does work. It's not just that people are afraid because a mutant could have a destructive power (unlike, say, a gay person). Otherwise, they'd be just as afraid of any superheroes with vast powers.
  9. Marvel's One World Order

    I guess I can see you point about Frank Castle. I'm not that big a fan of the character myself. It's my same feelings when a character like Tony Stark or Steve Rogers is written so out of character. I don't remember that scene with the Punisher and Steve Rogers....maybe it was in one of the spin-off books I didn't read. I do remember that Frank Castle said something about how he was working with Hydra, because once Rogers had the Cosmic Cube he was going to establish Order in the world, by changing history so that everyone was loyal to Hydra. In that sense, Frank Castle would accept that, as it would finally end his war. Steve Rogers said he was going to set everything right, so that everyone who died in Hydra's invasion of America would be brought back to life. Rogers also believed in the Red Skull's lie that the Axis powers were going to win World War II, but then the Allies created the Cosmic Cube, and used it to change history, making it so that Steve Rogers was loyal to liberalism and democracy. Rogers told everyone loyal to him this lie, believing it to be true, and then said that he was just setting history right by using the Cosmic Cube to make it so that everyone was loyal to Hydra. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The first Civil War drove me insane, with its character-assassination of Tony Stark. I'm not the biggest Tony Stark fan (CEOs of transnational corporations usually aren't my favourite people), but I have read the majority of Iron Man comic books. While I can appreciate Millar wanting to use a corporate figure to represent W. Bush's plutocracy, going against a true patriot in Captain America....it was wildly out of character for Stark. It would have worked better had he used someone like Norman Osbourne. I guess that's the problem when a writer wants to tell a story about how easy it is to fall for authoritarianism, some superhero has to take the fall in the name of The Story. I mean, Tony Stark spent the 1980s fighting against the federal government for over-reach and his refusal to get involved with government corruption and weapons manufacturing again. Marvel worked so hard in the 1970s to try to turn this selfish asshole character accidentally created by Stan Lee (hey, he was a Cold War liberal, anyone fighting Commies must be worth cheering for, right?) in to a somewhat sympathetic character. Then, Millar shreds all of that. See? We can all rant!
  10. Marvel's One World Order

    No, I stopped reading during the Ennis run. I was needing to make some cuts in my new comic buying for cash reasons at the time, and then I never really went back to finish the Ennis run even. Oh, and Beast has also been tarnished by this, because he said that at least Hydra's America allowed mutants to have their own homeland. Even though mutants had their own homeland with Utopia under Cyclops' leadership, and a number of X-Men questioned whether Cyclops mutant segregation policies were the best way to accomplish Xavier's dream....Yet, Hydra didn't give mutants a choice and forced them to move to New Tian. Beast didn't seem to have a problem with any of this, even though it makes zero sense. Why would a bunch of X-Men have problems with the idea of Utopia, where mutants could make the choice to live if they freely chose, and yet, Beast saw no problem with a Hydra government enforced mutant homeland?
  11. Librarians, Liberals and Lesbians* (Books)

    See my response to most of Lethem's choices, as far as Sarah Canary.... Sheckley is about the only name who could really be considered "just a genre writer" in the contents list....as someone like PKD, as I said about Aldiss, is now accepted by the literati as an Existential writer and not "just a genre writer". Although, Sheckley is more of a hipster choice. He's someone who is on that edge, who people are starting to look back on his writing more fondly, and not just another Asimov or Heinlen. So, Lethem could be trying to push for more "mainstream" acceptance of Sheckley by even including him.
  12. Marvel's One World Order

    I don't know....It is sort of the Punisher I know. I know that Ennis decided to take Castle in a different direction*, but really, the character's whole raison d'etre is the police aren't doing their jobs effectively enough, the justice system is hand-tied by rules that prohibit it from effectively enforcing "law and order" policies, so he's out there fighting the Vietnam War against domestic criminals. That's pretty much fascist ideology. That the liberal State has hand-tied people from effectively enforcing the laws of the land. The fascist State isn't hamstrung by the "rule of law", and fascists can have the State do what Punisher is being forced to do as a "one man army". The fact that most of Marvel's superheroes have had to stop a crazed vigilante gunman who feels "he is the law", because "heroes don't kill" pretty effectively should be seen as a commentary on the Punisher. *Even Ennis' Punisher wasn't supposed to be seen as heroic, if you consider the plot of the "Born" mini-series, where Frank Castle doesn't ever want the bloodshed to end. Although, I agree that coming out saying that the Punisher is just a fascist is a character killing moment.
  13. Librarians, Liberals and Lesbians* (Books)

    Nah, those are too genre-oriented for Lethem, I think. He includes a reading list of other literature that features the amnesia theme, and he doesn't even give any of those stories a mention. There are a large amount of excerpts in the anthology, a lot of them only even tangentially related to the theme. Most of the novels I'm not even familiar with, honestly. Dream Science by Thomas Palmer Other People by Martin Amis Memories of Amnesia by Lawrence Shainberg Cowboys Don't Cry by LJ Davis Public Eye by Brian Fawcett The Second Coming by Walker Percy The Black Curtain by Cornell Woolrich The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien-I'd imagine it would be hard to find an excerpt from this novel that would make sense as a story in its own right.... Forgetting Elena by Edmund White Sarah Canary by Karen Joy Fowler Notes Towards a History of the Seventies by Geoffrey O'Brien Ticket to Ride by Dennis Potter Louse by David Grand Kleinzeit by Russell Hoban The Affirmation by Christopher Priest- I've read this novel. Days Between Stations by Steve Erickson The Deadly Percheron by John Franklin Bardin
  14. Test & forum update noise

    I apparently have three secret admirers. So, I'm pretty excited about that, I guess.
  15. Marvel's One World Order

    Black Widow is apparently still going to be dead. Marvel announced a Tales of Suspense mini-series which will be a non-team-up story featuring Hawkeye and Winter Solider who both believe that Black Widow is still alive and will be trying to find her. Yeah, the whole "a large percentage of America supported Hydra Cap" thing is what really makes me feel distaste about Marvel not hitting the reset button. The Inhumans in society were put in freakin' concentration camps! How do you deal with that in a shared comic book universe? "Gee, sorry about all that. I mean, I still wish you were in a concentration camp, but now that you're not, well, welcome back to your home. No hard feelings....unless I decide to lynch you in the middle of the night or something, in which case, yeah....." Hawkeye even made comments a few times during Secret Empire about how the superheroes shouldn't care about the public anymore, due to the fact that the public so readily decided to side with something like Hydra. Like people are really going to believe that Captain America was an alternate version created by a Cosmic Cube changing history. For all intents and purposes, the legacy of Captain America is tarnished beyond repair, I don't care what hand-waving Marvel wants to use. It destroyed the character of Tony Stark by turning him in to neocon during the original Civil War. I refused to read any comics starring Iron Man for years after Civil War, because Iron Man was no longer a hero, he should have been treated as a super-villain. It destroyed the character of Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) by showing her as an authoritarian during the Civil War II. Yeah, let's lock up people before they commit any crimes, there's nothing wrong with that idea, is there? I refuse to read any comics starring Carol Danvers now. The situation with Steve Rogers is far worse. I won't be reading any comics starring Steve Rogers probably ever after this point. And, it's ruined the Punisher as a character. Yes, you could say he's already done that for himself, but to openly admit that he's a fascist, and not just pretend that he's somehow different than all those other lone-gunman vigilantes that Marvel superheroes actively fight.....Yeah, he claims he was "misled" by Steve Rogers because he thought he was the "real Captain America". Like Frank Castle really gave a fuck! He knew what was going on, he just had a State backing his "law and order" bullshit. He hasn't changed. Sure, they showed him shooting some Hydra agents now....well, isn't that just because the regime has changed and now Hydra are classified as "terrorists" again? It's just bad in so many ways.
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