Alan David Doane has long been an interesting and strong voice in the world of comic criticism on the internet at the Comic Book Galaxy. Thoughtful, passionate, a scholar and a gentleman, he has been putting his money where his mouth is by spending his own money on the site to promote excellence in comic books, for which he deserves nothing but respect.
His latest expression of that can be found, in visual form, in ‘100 Things I Love About Comics‘. It is a delightful trawl through his comic book tastes, experiences and sensibilities, and should be the new meme for all comic blogs.
Now, I don’t always agree with Alan; I have trouble with the notion of ‘art’ that plays a strong part in his views. Not that I disagree with the concept of comics as art, just that, after trying some of the things that are classified in that area of the comics spectrum, I was left untouched by them. This could be due to my lack of taste, but it’s something I have a problem with in other forms of entertainment. In films and in books, those promoted as ‘art’ I tend to find either very dull, very rarefied or so far up their own posteriors, their hair is being bleached blonde by their own stomach acids. This doesn’t interest me in the slightest; autobiographical tales of bleakness aren’t my cup of tea. I want there to be a reason for the story: something has to happen, a plot, a story, an idea, a concept. It should exist because it has to, not because someone thinks it is art. At least, this is my opinion.
So, Alan has his tastes, and I have mine, but I will continue to read his various discourses on the comic book form because it will always be of the highest calibre, even if I have no intention of reading it myself.
Talking of people who don’t always agree, Mark Waid’s opinion of Rich Johnston and his rumour-mongering isn’t very nice, although it is very well written. Rich has a rumour column at CBR where he dishes the dirt on the world of comics and those who make them, as well as lets cats our of their bags in advance of carefully planned promotional campaigns. Joe Quesada and Brian Bendis discuss him this week over at Newsarama, so it might be a case of timing.
Waid talks about how Rich’s rumour, about Marc Silvestri abandoning Hunter-Killer after two issues, caused grief, anger and hassle to those involved in making the book in response to it. Waid has a point; Rich should have checked some facts first before reporting it. Admittedly, it is a rumour column, but that’s no excuse. Rich is a strange chap, who has always been about himself, and he comes from an advertising background, so that should tell you all you need to know about him.
An aside. Quite a few years back, when Rich didn’t have quite the position of internet fame he has now, but was very vocal on comics-based newsgroups, I almost met up with him at a comic convention. However, I chickened out when I heard him doing his ‘jokes’ at a panel at the convention, trying to turn it into The Rich Johnston Show, and I made an instant judgement call on his personality which meant that I never wanted to meet him in person. My loss, perhaps.
Anyway, I won’t be clicking on Rich’s site so often, knowing that there is the distinct possibility that he only writes things knowing that he is doing it to get more hits on his site and therefore more money in his pocket.