Thursday, August 31, 2023

Ten Things I'm Sick Of

 1. "Bat" & "Cat". It's a stupid, childish attempt to Sound Cool.

Zdarksy. Of course.  Who else would think imitating Tom King is a way to sound cool?

2 & 3.  Japanese Manga's weird fetish/obsession for nymphettes in sailor costumes and Corgis/Shiba Inus.
It's creepy in its relentlessness. Why can't they fixate on circus boys in swimming trunks, like normal Americans?

4. The continued Wink&Nod sexualization of Catwoman.

"Uncovered"; oh, it's not naughty ambiguity, it's a genuine exploration of her as feminist anti-hero icon, blah blah blah.  At least in the Golden Age when she wore a split-skirt and plunging neckline, they were more honest about it.

5. Yaoi.
Look, I suppose we gay people have a right to creepy trash as much as anyone, but I don't have to like it.  If this stuff is even FOR gay people, rather than just female readers who get off on watching male characters treat other male characters as badly as female characters are usually treated.

6 & 7. G'nort. And "swimsuit issues".
Who is this FOR?! People who fetishize grown-up circus boys in swimming trunks?

You know, the Fat Funny Friends of the Golden Age may be mostly gone, but don't convince yourself that the contemporary equivalent, the Lore-Riffing Parody Meta-Character (I'm looking at you, Dr. Quinzel) is any way more sophisticated (OR funny).

8. Oh So Clever Parodies/Satires/Homages that try to excuse themselves by lampshading that that's what they are.

Although ever time you DON"T lampshade it, some fool who missed the joke will inevitably start to take it seriously (e.g., Lobo, Sentry, the Extremists, the Watchmen), and, inevitably, that will include not just readers but writers.

9 & 10.  Chip Zdarsky and The League of Overused XXXtreme Batman Tropes.

"Batman descends on Gotham City, full of rage and force, more driven than ever to save his home. But the new landscape has turned friends into foes. Can anyone stop his reign of terror? Should they? The Gotham War continues in this second chapter!"


Anonymous said...


Ugh, I am so sick of writers who feel the need to lampshade everything. If you're too embarrassed to write the adventures of people whose hobby is dressing in unitards and saving the world, I'm sure there's some other pursuit out there you'll consider worthy of your efforts.

But to those writers whose problem isn't the genre so much as shame over their trope-heavy writing ... just write better. You think it's a bit much that you had Batman crash through yet another skylight? Take a minute to come up with a more inventive way for him to enter the building. You're the writer; the world bends to your will.

- HJF1

Bryan L said...

I had the same thought when I saw the "swimsuit issue" in the comic shop this week (well, right after "ugh, who brought this back"): Who is this for? I assume there must be comic buyers who are ... er ,,, stimulated by drawings. But there's a whole Internet out there filled with stuff like this (and far, far more, uh, detailed) if that's where your interests lie. And you don't have to embarrass yourself by plopping down actual money for it.

Anonymous said...

Thirty years ago, Marvel also used to do non-pinup magazines like Sports Illustrated, where they'd do articles about the results of the superhero Olympics. I liked those. So for example, in the parallel bars, Nightcrawler took the gold, Daredevil the silver, Spider-Man the bronze. While they all handled the bars like champs, Nightcrawler had showmanship on his side, while Spidey wasn't exactly given to elegance.

And yeah, I don't see the point of the pinup issue these days. I'll allow that drawn art can be ... effective, but there are much better outlets, especially when comic books are already a somewhat disrespected art.

- HJF1

Anonymous said...

I never bought a ‘90s Swimsuit issue, but the direct parody of the SI Swimsuit issues and accompanying captions resulted in some funny individual pages. There was a pin-up of Captain America reading on the beach that made me laugh. The various comic book publishers ran the joke into the ground (big surprise), but doing a one-off revival could have been fun.

The G’Nort special, however, isn’t that. The campy prose was missing from the pin-ups, and the stories within looked skippable. Instead of a goofy parody, we got something even lamer. I put the thing back on the shelf.

- Mike Loughlin

Scipio said...

The ability of comics readers and writer to miss the point of the (original) joke in any circumstance is...

Bryan-Mitchell said...

I agree with most of these. I've never been a big Batman fan so thankfully I don't run into many of these regularly and I've only read a handful of manga in my life mostly because the depiction of women in so many is off-putting to me. The few I have read have a less traditional manga art style.

Fortuna said...

Thanks for your thoughtful and thorough content