DENNIS O’NEIL: Universal Upheaval!
So the universe upheaved and a gap appeared in time and here we are, at the far end of that gap. (Or the near end, if we’re looking backwards. But never mind.) We’ve again grubbed residence in Comicmixland and vowed to deliver weekly blather.
But, with a deep bow to Bill Maher, we have new rules—or to be exact, just rules, since when I last did this nobody mentioned rules, though I did promise Mike Gold and myself to do at least 500 words per installment, lest I be mistaken for a carbuncle. The 500 word deal still holds, but Mike has added a new proviso; subject matter should be somehow related to comics.
Pretty draconian, huh?
Actually, Mike’s edict doesn’t much close any doors. First, a lot is happening in comics and related media per se and, second, virtually everything in our media-drenched, perpetual-news-cycling global civilization is connected. Always has been. Really. Remember the butterfly effect: The sumbitch flapping around a garden in Tokyo today will cause your hat to blow off next Tuesday and the breath I just took may have contained an atom that was once part of Cleopatra. (And, more painfully, the monetary crisis in Greece may bump your mortgage.) And we all come from the same place, out there among the stars in the baby cosmos.
So yeah, the world is a vast network of interconnections, and it’s a lot easier to see that now that it was a century ago. It shouldn’t be much of a rhetorical trick to write about comics and still acknowledge that other things exist, and are worthy our notice.
(I wonder: could you have a comprehensive knowledge of comics, beginning with [[[The Yellow Kid]]] and ending with…oh, I dunno – Chris Claremont’s run on [[[X-Men]]]? – could you know that and be ignorant of the history of the United States in the Twentieth Century? Maybe not.)
But where to begin?
Well, this week, nowhere. I’ve already burned away 329 of those 500 words and unless I want to content myself with knocking off a few haiku, there isn’t much room left for pontificating. But next week? Hey, this has been called the summer of the superhero movie, hasn’t it? And although I haven’t seen all of the films in question, and probably won’t in the next seven days (Thor has already hammered back to Asgard, which I think is somewhere just off Sunset Boulevard, and is not available for viewing) but doesn’t utter ignorance of my subject qualify me as a pundit? Darn right! And what’s happening behind the cameras—the changes in management—is worth a bit of uninformed opinionating, too.
A final note: In the previous incarnation of this feature, and in a comic book that the aforementioned Mike Gold and I worked on a couple of decades past, we recommended books we thought might amuse our readers. I’d like to continue recommending reading, but not every week, just when I come across something I think will be of particular interest to y’all.
FRIDAY… Martha Thomases