Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Humor and Missed Opportunities

I'm unhappy with myself today. I've been getting downright serious lately. A few months ago, for example, this post would have been:

Karma Comes to Fandom

After months of ruining Green Lantern for local fanboys, area Blogger Ragnell the Foul got a taste of her own medicine when she found out way more about a writer's sex life than she ever wanted to know.

"I was really creeped out. Even if it is a hoax (please, George, let it be a hoax), I can't look back at those Wonder Womans again. I'll be seeing it everywhere!"

"And forget arguing Diana as a feminist icon again," she lamented, "already we have Marston's wacky kinks thrown in our face whenever we ask that she be handled as more than just wank-off material. Now, they'll keep linking to that gawdawful site."

Now, that's a bit better than my rambling, flailing attempts to realize why the livejournal entry Kali'd found bothered me, isn't it?

Now, I don't blame Feminism mind you. Or even applying politics and symbolism. We need to do these things. We also need to vent. It's just that our society is set up so that it's damned hard to get looking into how it really works and still remain humorous. Nevertheless, I'd always thought I would be able to.

I was wrong, though. I missed that joke for three days.

Three Days.

And it's not just me. I've noticed an upswing towards the serious in the Comics Blogosphere, lately. More political posts and cynical jabs at company direction, less jokes. Now, I've got nothing against politics and issues, they need to be discussed. And damn it, we all need to vent when we're mad about a creator or an administrator. But ultimately, we're all here for a little escapism (which is why it makes me so angry to see sexism creep in), aren't we?

Though fun places like Seven Hells, Absorbascon and the Invincible Super-Blog seem unaffected on the surface, I still had a surreal argument with Chris Sims. We ended up on opposite sides. Normally, I'm the grim n' gritty emotional superheroics supporter, and he's the one who wants to see jokes and car batteries thrown. But in this argument, Sims actually said "Look, I can read a story about Batman and cry..." (We'll pause here for pseudo-masculine ridicule).

I was worried, and it convinced me I need to get my votes in quick. I'd been avoiding the lists, so as not to be influenced by outsiders (Chris is safe as he has no influence on anybody), but I promised myself to read through them once my entry was mailed. So I did a Technorati search on links to the Great Curve's 50 Greatest of DC Challenge to find them, and I have one question for you, Blogosphere.

Why am I the only blogger with Ambush Bug on the list?

(Sheesh, you guys say you want a lighter, more fun DC Universe...)


  1. You're not the only one with AB, Ragnell. Check out my list - and there's another that I saw somewhere, too.

    That said, your Elseworlds post was indeed funnier - and just as insightful - as your prior post on the topic. (Maybe I can use this as an example of revision for my writing students?) But I don't think I have seen a noticeable grimming-down of the comics blogs, overall.

    But I don't get around as much as you do.

  2. Um, because Ambush Bug is about as funny as Lobo?

    Oh wait. There are probably people who think Lobo is funny too.

    Oh, I'm such a misery. Excuse me while I go away and think about kittons for a bit.

  3. I'm wondering if it's fatigue over the badly written dark stuff and the Big, Dumb Events 'n' Crises that aren't much more than thinly transparent attempts at hype and potboiling. I've noticed a fairly sharp divide over Infinite Crisis, between those who absolutely love it and those who hated it. Maybe a lot of people are just fed up with the state of comics, seeing the big success of manga, especially with it taking up more shelf space in mainstream bookstores (and I have seen complaining about this, including stereotypical presumptions about US comics being pushed out for "SO MUCH PERVERT PORN").

    I've just been totally disillusioned by everything. I'm normally fine with grim, gritty stuff if it's written well, but after Infinite Crisis and the Titans OYL Depress-athon, I and other fans (not necessarily because we liked the cartoon) want something "fun" and not stuff where certain characters are brutally torn apart in a juvinile attempt to be "mature." And I loved bits of Great Lakes Avengers I saw that have Squirrel Girl tear apart the current dark and bloody trend. But then I also got probably more pissed off than I should have at Absorbascon's and Comics R Good?'s (still unfunny, though) jabs at Pantha's death. And, especially with the whining and moaning when the rumors of Superboy's death first came out, all I could think is the hypocrisy over creepily enjoying the darkness when it happens to "other" characters (and want a "lighter" universe?), but when it hits someone they like, then they get all up in arms.

    Maybe I should just start compiling long, annoying, dorky rants for my own site instead of clogging the comments section of other's people's blogs with my whining...

    And I'm so close to sending a list of three or four DC characters I really only care about just to bring up their numbers. Don't want Beast Boy, for example, to be stuck in limbo...

  4. Ambush Bug just missed my list, sadly. I'll have to write a "Forgotten Heroes" post to give a little exposure to numbers 50-60 (as if the universe gives a flying fig...)

    But as far as lighter characters go, Krypto is on my top 25 and who's more fun than a Super Dog?

    Plus my blog did highlight Captain Tootsie lately...

    (The shameless plug is now past. You may resume your normal lives...)

  5. I haven't put up my list yet, but rest assured, ol' Ambushie is on there.

    I couldn't find room for Cheeks the Toy Wonder, though.

  6. Hey, humor's not totally out! Even while wallowing in despair over the desecration of my beloved Cassandra Cain I managed to find time to poke fun of Hal Jordan...

  7. Because I never found Ambush Bug funny. Much too heavy handed for my taste.

    And if you can't laugh at the extremeness of the Rolling Head of Pantha (AND of the reaction's to it, it makes comics in general pretty hard to enjoy!

    Remember, severed limbs are the giant props of today.

  8. You can always blame me. It will probably inflate my ego a bit, but it's ony fair.

  9. And if you can't laugh at the extremeness of the Rolling Head of Pantha (AND of the reaction's to it, it makes comics in general pretty hard to enjoy!

    Yeah... Phantom Lady's death must've been a real screamer too, huh? Why should I be laughing at a scene that's supposed to be tragic, especially with a character I like? If this all is the sort of thing that makes comics "enjoyable," maybe I should quit.

    I mean, what are you laughing at? Pantha, or Johns' crappy writing? Because it sort of undermines your "criticism" when Johns made the same damn jokes you guys do at the expense of a character (especially when Superboy death jokes are in short supply in comparison).

    But you know, I'm just a, emo, jaded, oversensitive crank, so whatever.

  10. er, I haven't submitted my list, but I've been thinking about it and PREZ is #1, followed by Flex Mentallo and the team of Green Arrow and Speedy.

  11. Walaka -- Thanks, knew I'd missed some.

    Maerionette -- I hereby label you Loeb Fan. :)

    JLG and Scipio -- Normally, I'm more than willing to host a fight, but I've had a long day at work. Please don't.

    Fortress -- Oo, Krypto missed mine.

    Dorian -- I saw! (And Cheeks missed mine too, I wanted to keep Joan there)

    Diamondrock -- Hehehe

    Scipio -- Well, at least we agree on Darkbutt.

    Mickle -- Okay!

    Anonymous -- I never got to read Flex.

    Sean -- Ooops, I was too busy scanning that one for a reason to rebut the Kyle trashing. Sorry! You are forgiven for disliking Green Lanterns (For now...)

  12. Sorry for stirring up trouble. I went overboard with my crazed fanboy rage again...

  13. I've only posted my bottom 25 so far, but rest assured, Irwin Schwabb made my top 10; I am mad at myself for neglecting not only Cheeks, but also Quantis, the Koala That Walks Like a Man (awwwww, cute!)

  14. AB was in my top 10. Batman (the only one of the Trinity that made my list) came in around 14.

    Jonah Hex? #1!!!

  15. Yeah, I'm still working on my writeup as well, but I've got Irwin at #8.

  16. JLG -- That's okay. Read some Ambush Bug and get your mind off your troubles for a little bit.

    Cap'n Neurotic -- Awww, cute!

    Dwayne -- Ahh, a Western fan. :)

    Dr Flem -- I saw your Final Ten, nice!

  17. Ambush Bug was one of the silliest, most non-sensical comics ever created. And naturally one of the funniest as well. That Marionette thinks it's a loss doesn't surprise me. Then again, I've spent enough time reading her archives that I have no idea what she DOES like.