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About erroljr

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    Constanteen PG15

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    Boonies Beyond Providence
  1. OK, you got me on that one, "repeated each other's patterns" is not quite right--repeated the same pattern maybe. 'Swat happens when I write late at night. Of course, if you want to get reeally nitpicky and hair-splitty, remember they each came before and after each other--Delano coming in for 84 after Ennis was done, and then Ennis popping in for Son of Man after Jenkins was done! But fundamentally, good point.
  2. Movies are especially sterile in that sense. About twenty years ago, Hollywood scriptwriters discoverd Joseph Campbell's "Heroic Monomyth," his breakdown of all Western mythical hero-tales into ten basic elements (see The Heroic Monomyth Website; also of interest is the broader site of the Berkeley U. Comparative Mythology Workgroup; the latter even has materials for teaching the monomyth to seventh-graders). Ever since then, it's formula--like 99% of anime--just product. But there are all kinds of plots that are untapped. There are even other formulae based on folklore and myth that have not been fully explored, not to speak of non-Western mythical plots. Campbell tried to do it briefly with his dream-time stuff, not altogether successfully. Delano and Ennis did repeat each other's pattern--the group of friends, the demons, all the friends die, but somehow there was a freshness about it. Jenkins did the same but with the great innovation that the friends didn't die. I thought Ellis seemed to be bringing something fresh, that whole "occult geography of London" business. Then came Azzarello. Ack. Carey's good, but to me it doesn't seem to be breaking new ground, which is what Hellblazer did in its glory days. To go back to movies, sometimes I really like predictable plots; in fact well over half the time I prefer extremely predictable movies like action flics. I just want to rest my mind. But other times I like experiments, which is why I've been into WKarWai lately. Like everything else, Hollywood, being bereft of new ideas, has ripped him off (Tarantino, S.Coppola). Of course, I've tried my hand at writing comics. They come out like the wife's comic scripts in "American Splendor": verbose, boring, navel-gazing, slow-moving crap. I'm a much better critic. Still, I dunno, I sense something missing, a je ne sais quoi... I just realized, this post has no plot...
  3. Why do I always forget to log in? Bad Errol! Oh well, it's usually late at night (for me at any rate) when I peruse this board, and my mind deteriorates at night. While I'm at it, let me weigh in on this one-- Yes, yes, yes! John should age! Superheroes are corny, and the fact that they don't age is just one of many things I hate about them. I want to see my beloved characters grow old, like Gemma. And he should definitely be showing his age more than he is--he is 51 now, and I can't see him dyeing his hair. Btw, why didn't he have a big 50th birthday bash, like he had for his 40th?
  4. Great big stinky fifty pound elephant faeces! I forgot to log in again. The above was me.
  5. Since we all had the misfortune of being re-familiarized with Totems thanks to a recent thread, why not the precious if questionably drawn page 16 top left hand? "'Savva fuck."
  6. Not really a favorite--but how about this one for bringing back memories-- "Oh believe me, Stephen--I'm hardly naive. I can sense what's happening here and there. Indeed, my friend--I know what's happening to one and all--and especially to the Swamp Thing. Yes, especially to him." And for all you "don't ever cross over into the DCU" folk, just a few minutes later, but in a different comic book, Remember who: "It' dangerous out here. Most people are keeping indoors... We're not sure what's causing the disturbance, but it's in the best possible hands. In the meantime..." John's reply: "It's all right, squire. This gentleman is one of you." Oh well, I'll be the first to express a thorough distate for bright spandex and all those who wear it, but this is where all this came from. I wonder what strange forces twisted fate so John didn't become the male Zatanna, hobnobbing with the JLA for all eternity. Glad he didn't! Todos! Y todos jodidos en esta pinche vida! Como John... ¿Que vos no querés a los pibes, hu’on? :D We can all understand each other... usually. If we try... :rolleyes:
  7. Probablemente... Esos pinches gachupines hablan muy extraño... Y todo su slang es diferente. Pero al mismo tiempo a los Chilenos no se les entiende en España... huevones. For the English-speaking crowd: that was a series of jokes playing on the fact that different countries have different slangs. I criticized Spaniards in Mexican slang--then made fun of Chilean slang. But it's all in good fun--I don't think any nation is superior to any other. Btw, can someone explain how I get proper quotes in, with the name of the person I'm quoting and the time and date of the quote? Right now, I'm just opening quote, selecting, pressing "copy," then pasting in, then closing quote. There must be something I'm missing.
  8. Oh well. Fair enough, to each his own. Guess we'll have to start a "Freedom Mob--love it or hate it?" thread someday... :D
  9. I always say that John's prime value is individual autonomy--the right to live without anyone fucking with you. That's why he equally despises heaven and hell. Self-righteous do-gooders want to tell you what to do--evil dominators also want to tell you what to do. Therefore, one should be very wary of anyone trying to sell you anything--whether it be a physical object or an idea. After all, an idea is even more dangerous than a thing--it can occupy your whole being and control your whole life. So I always thought Venus of the Hardsell represents the allure of being controlled, of being told what to do... In my personal life, I have always thought people became heroin addicts because it was easier than making decisions for themselves. If you are an addict, you don't have to worry about what you are going to do with yourself. You just wake up, steal or con or prostitute yourself, and buy heroin, then do it again. It's the same if you let money or power or fame control you. It's all the Venus of the Hardsell. Of course, realistically, I would find it a lot easier to self-construct a different life if only I had John's skill at gambling... and yet even that is surprising: instead of getting rich and sitting on a fortune, which he could surely do, John only takes as much as he needs... Yes, John's character is interesting and multi-layered (isn't that why we're here) and Venus of the Hardsell is a key symbol of his outlook...
  10. Son of God: "You don't know what you have done--" John: "Yes I do. I've got this great threat worked out, see? It goes like this: I know it's going to sting for a while--the devil will have his due--but I can wait, see? I'm a stubborn, patient little bastard when I want to be. We both know I can outmaneuver that silly sod with half my brain tied behind my back. Five hundred years tops before I'm running the show. Imagine a sod like me let loose on god's pretty little creation, armed with reinforcements, all of them organized, for a change. Well, it'd be a right bloody mess, wouldn't it?..." (Issue 128, page 15) John clearly plans on living well after death... And in this issue there is also a multi-interpretable event that I'd be curious to know your opinions on... On page 16, does the Lord of Hosts clear John of his sold-my-soul-to-the-devil-ness? Or does the First still own him, as many people claim?
  11. John's death would unleash a shitstorm in hell, would it not? Doesn't everyone want a piece of his soul? I still can't quite untangle how many demons want a piece of him. I suggested once on the Vertigo board that if I were John I would be magically creating an alternative space in the afterworld, where neither heaven nor hell could get their hands on me. Anyway, it seems like all kinds of stories of John-after-dying could be told. However, I prefer to see him live to a ripe, cranky old age. We've seen a variety of future Johns. Aside from Bad Blood, which I love, there's issue 36, where he dreams he's eighty years old (so 2033) and living in some conformist future hell where he has to smoke homegrown tobacco and they expel him from the community. And there's my personal favorite, where I get my username, in issue 40 where his future self has produced twins with Mary, the daughter of the son of Errol and Merc, Errol Jr.... I kind of hope that prophecy will be fulfilled, although I despair of ever seeing the Freedom Mob characters again. I still think Zed and Merc are great characters. And Errol... he's the bollocks.
  12. In the US the term is often used to refer to car salesmens' tactics. They make you think there is a sale going on and unless you make a decision immediately you will have to pay five thousand dollars more: "our sale will be over tomorrow. We only have one of these cars left. The sale is so good that if you leave here now without buying it, I guarantee you it will be gone within the hour. If you go home to think about it or talk it over with your wife, you will end up losing this opportunity. You should buy immediately." In fact the whole thing is a con: there is no sale, there are many models, and no ill consequences will ensue from taking your time to think about it: it is merely a tactic to get you to buy. This is the hard sell. Some companies, such as Saturn and Scion, are trying to lure customers by advertising that all their cars are sold by low-pressure tactics. Personally, as soon as someone tells me that if I don't buy immediately I will not be able to get the "deal," I realize that I am being conned and I walk away. Like John, I ain't no mark for the Venus of the Hardsell. The art of conning and the concept of the hardsell are intimately linked: the hardsell is a key aspect of many con jobs. From the Oxford English Dictionary: hard sell orig. U.S., aggressive salesmanship or advertising; also attrib.; hard-sell v.; hard-selling; hard-sold ppl. a. 1952 Business Week 9 Aug. 40 A few months ago everyone had keyed himself up to the ‘*hard sell’. 1957 ‘E. MCBAIN’ Con Man (1960) iii. 31 It's the hard sell and the soft sell, anywhere you go. 1958 D. DELMAN (title) The hard sell. 1959 Times Lit. Suppl. 13 Nov. 662/3 One does not see any examples..of what is called ‘hard-sell’ advertising. 1961 Economist 14 Jan. 114/2 The need for the ‘hard sell’ is evident. 1963 Guardian 16 Nov. 14/7 It is difficult to hard-sell the honest song the way they do the contemporary counterfeit. 1963 New Scientist 19 Sept. 613/1 The reader cannot miss the hard-sell line of advertising copy. 1966 Ibid. 21 July 125/1 Whatever one may think of the ‘hard-sell’ methods employed by big American corporations, they obviously work. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1960 Economist 8 Oct. 158/2 The current slump in sales has also prompted many firms to return to the ‘*hard-selling’ practices of earlier recessions. Ibid. 172/1 The fuel-economy services offered by the coal and oil industries to sell their products may not prove serious competition for an independent organisation like Nifes, which may end up refereeing between them for hard-sold firms. Perhaps something like "pressure-sell"? Or "aggressive-sell"? It reminds one of missionaries around the year 1999: "the world will end next year, you better convert to Jesus now or you will be damned"; I actually heard this more than once. Good luck; I speak five languages and have occasionally been called upon to translate, and I find it very hard work and rarely is it compensated well enough.
  13. erroljr

    Swamp Thing

    Check out new author Joshua Dysart's commentaries and answers to criticisms at the DC/Vertigo/Swamp Thing message board, under the "Arcane's Back" thread. He seems pretty cool; I reckon I'll give him a chance, though I wasn't too happy with the elimination of swampy's multi-elemental powers. At least Dysart's willing to take the time to hobnob with regular readers, for which I give him kudos.
  14. erroljr

    Hellblazer #10-??

    Wow... That's exactly what happened to me. I always identified Swamp Thing as part of the DCU, and I wanted no part of men in tights or the odious self-righteousness of such characters. But my love of Hellblazer led to a visceral need to buy all Swamp Things. Like you, first I bought just the ones John appeared in. But I couldn't really understand the interaction between John and Swampy if I didn't understand what had been happening in Swampy's life since the previous appearance of Constantine, and so next thing I know I'm seizing all the Swamp Things from the used comix bin at my local shop. Luckily the owner was a friend and gave me huge discounts. But there are some very cool things in those issues. The one called "the thinker," where I think he gets the idea to conceive Tefe, is really cool. And the one where he turns into Mescalito and gives the depressed ex-underground-comix auteur a vision is also extremely cool. I haven't got the latest ST (#9, apparently) yet, but some guy named Joshua Dyson who seems to be the next writer or artist or something has been answering questions and making comments on the Vertigo board...
  15. erroljr

    Hellblazer #10-??

    Kewwwl... And it replaced the no-image in all my previous posts with the newly selected one. Very well done site--kudos. Incidentally, this is an image from a Sumerian clay tablet, circa 5000 years old.
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