One Day At A Time

First off, as you may have read a few other places, Paul "Zeus" Grant died a few weeks ago. That probably means very little to most of you, but for those of us early adopters of comics-talk on the internet its kind of a big thing. Zeus was a key part of Doug Pratt's Comics forum on the old CompuServe, back in the days of dial-up, and no-picture intarwubs. That's where "The Savage Critic" original came from, that old CompuServe forum, and Zeus was one of the biggest boosters of me writing on the net about our beloved funny books. Zeus was a big man, and a happy man, and he burned with passion for funny books, in a really "old school" kind of way -- he read nearly everything, and he was really passionate and enthusiastic about it all, and that's a really rare thing.

Zeus (and his son Phillip) came to San Francisco on a couple of occasions, and each time I was struck by what a kind and wonderful man he was -- he was the kind of a man who really didn't have a bad word for anyone, and who really embraced his passions deeply, but never took anything too far. In a lot of ways he was a real model of how one should communicate on the internet, and he was genuinely passionate about what he loved. Not in a "things should try to suit me" kind of way so many modern fans are, but in a genuine love for the medium, for the form, and for the people who made them.

When I think about "the old days", Zeus is up on the top of that list (along with Carl Pietrantonio, Lou Perez, Cheryl Harris, well and so many others really), and it was a real punch in the gut to me when I read that he died.

Rest in Piece, Zeus, and my deepest condolences to Phillip Grant who was loved by his pop like no other.

How about a review?

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #545: The final part of "One More Day". The thing that gets me here is that it really isn't a "Marvel" comic. Marvel's remit, or so they've claimed over the decades, is that they're "realistic", that they (and I think this is a direct quote from Quesada [or maybe Jemas]) "don't DO 'Crisis'es" -- things flow from story and from character rather than from outside events.

So, yeah, from any kind of a "classical Marvel style" POV this is probably the worst comic idea they've had since, dunno, "teen Iron Man" really? I mean, seriously: the Devil offers to change time and rewrite history so that Aunt May is never shot, but MJ and Peter lose their love because of it? Jinkies.

I know there has been a certain amount of "retcon creep" over the years, of course -- the Marvel characters never were involved in the Cold War, now it is Desert Storm or something -- but, GENERALLY those were about things that probably didn't matter *that* much. Maybe it doesn't matter WHICH war was involved, or if it was "the reds" versus "terrorist extremists" or whatever, but I think this is the first time that Marvel has flat out said "yeah, well that stuff never ever happened, deal"

It's... well it's such a DC move, y'know?

I mean, this means that pretty much every Spider-Man story since 1987 (or, possibly, before) didn't actually happen, or at least not in the way you remember. This issue makes it very clear that, at the least, the "unmasking" never occurred, which seems to me knocks CIVIL WAR off its pins a bit (I mean, then why is Spidey even in The Avengers, in the way he is these days?), and that's just the tip of the iceberg, isn't it?

That's cheap, and it is lousy, and it is, I think, a betrayal of what Marvel is and what Marvel does, and the fact that it happened from editorial fiat (AND has been telegraphed in much of Q's public statements over the last 2-3 years, rendering the potential "suspense" of the story as basically nil) makes it that much worse.

This was a CRAP idea, and was handled in a bludgeoney awkward way from a plot perspective. Big big thumbs down from this reader on the meta level.


...and maybe this is just the tiredness of the holidays mixed with the mad rush for the truncated new comics day speaking (plus I'm getting a cold), but I pretty much didn't hate this individual issue of the comic book, as an individual reading experience. fact, I kind of liked it.

Throwing out all of the meta stuff, all of thinking this was a good or bad idea, all of the plot-hammering, and this, as a single individual entertainment unit was actually pretty decent. There felt like honest emotions on display, genuine moments of pathos. An impossible situation and they make an impossible decision, and they still love each other, maybe more than ever before, and there's a really clear "way out" dangled in front of them, when 20 years from now under a different editorial regime, they decide to reinstitute the wedding, and they'll be able to do so. The writing was strong, and I even thought that Q's art worked in this chapter where it didn't in the first three), and yeah, I was touched a little bit by some of the moments inside.

So, yeah, TERRIBLE fucking idea, clumsy and anti-Marvel staging for the bludgeon of it, but this single individual issue of it? A (low) GOOD read, in and of itself.

Yes, I'm surprised with my thoughts too.

What did YOU think?


That old tyme music: Hibbs' blast from the past

I love Harris Miller II, attorney to the comics stars. Upon seeing my "reintroduction" to the site, he sent me this email. Obviously, from the intro, this isn't the FIRST Savage Critic, but here's one Harris archived from 10/6/1993! So, it's been at least 14 years...

Don't try to email me at that address below (if it survives posting) -- haven't used it since the end of the 20th century!

Look how much longer the ratings list was back then!!!!

I like my new format better though....

Thanks, Harris!!!!



To: All
Sent: Wednesday, October 06, 1993 10:29 PM
Subject: The Savage Critic 10/6:

Because YOU demanded it! The exciting, no-holds-barred return of the Savage critic, featuring the best one word review column in town! We'll start this week with part 2 of the 9/29 shipment, but first, let's put thel rating system in perspective. In ascending order:

Unreadable Crap Terrible Awful Sucks Thud Yawn Eh O.K. Good Very Good Excellent

One special "rating" that doesn't fit on the chart: Don't care. This is reserved for subject matter that I couldn't care less about or am unqualified to judge. Additionally humor comics will be judged as "funny" or "not Funny"

Other superlatives are more or less equal to excellent.

Also, I reserve the right to change or add to the ratings at anytime, for any reason. You'll just have to muddle along.

I will not personally spend my money on any book rated merely good or lower.

Onto the final batch from last week:

Dances with Demons #3: O.K. Blazing Combat: Vietnam & Korea #2: Eh Vietnam Journal: Khe Sanh #3: Eh Days of Wrath #2: Eh Death's Head II #12: Awful Incomplete Death's Head #11: Crap Genetix #2: Unreadable crap Killpower #3: Unreadable Crap Chiller #1: Good, but not worth $7.95 for an incomplete story Dinosaurs for Hire #8: Funny Ferret #5: Terrible Protectors #13: Terrible Tor #4: Good Go Die: O.K. Femforce #65: Crap Good Girl Art Quarterly #13: Crap Flare #13: Unreadable Tigress #6: Unreadable Murcielaga she-bat #3: Crap Elfquest: Blood of 10 chiefs #2: Good Hugo Tate: O, America: Very Good Jason Goes to hell #2: Unreadable crap Jurrasic Park #4: O.K. Kip #3: Awful Lost Laughter #3: Good Meteor Man #4: Terrible Post Brothers #33: Very Good Ninja High/Speed Racer #1: O.K. Speed Racer w/ Ninja High #2: O.K. Zillion #1: Crap TekWorld #15: Terrible Vixen Wars #5: Unreadable crap Xenotech #1: Yawn Mia Farrow-Woody Allen Story: Unreadable crap Raven #1: thud Wandering Star #3: good

That covers *every* non-reprint, or children's comic that came into my store on 9/29. Let's move on to the first half of 10/6:

Team Titans #14: Awful Darkstars #14: Awful Nightstalkers #14: Yawn Guy Gardner #14: Yawn Kamandi #6: Thud JLI #58: Sucks Eudaemon #2: O.K. Negative Burn #3: Good (if a little uneven) Children of the Voyager #4: Very good Shadowman #21: O.K. HArbinger #24: Yawn Magnus #31: Eh Hard Corps #13: Yawn X-O #23: O.K. Deadpool #4: Thud What if? #55: O.K. Action #693: good Warriors of Plasm #3: Crap FF #382: Crap Spidey 2099 #14: O.K. Freex #3: awful Hardcase #4: Good Sludge #1: Very Good (W/ Rune #A: Eh) The extra 55 cents for 3 pages of BWS, 1 page of Magnor, and more (effectively) ads *is* a supreme burn. 3 pages just don't cut it - this wasn't even a *taste*. And FIVE dollars for shipping the "free" comics you get for buying ELEVEN others is a monumental ripoff.

Saint Sinner #3: Unreadable Lethal Foes of Spidey #3: Crap Night Thrasher #4: Crap Static #6: Very Good JL Task Force #6: Eh Ren & Stimpy #13: Funny Cable #5: Eh Warlock Chronicles #6: Crap Showcase #11: Good Titans #103: Unreadable Robin #1: Good Catwoman #4: O.K. X-Men Annual #2: Eh. Batman & Superman Magazine #2 (comics): Way excellent (the Rest): Don't care Law Dog #7: Very good Monster Menace #1: Cool Batman Adventures #14: Excellent ("The Goy Wonder", indeed!) Spawn #14: Very Good Hitchhiker's Guide #1: Good adaptation Wolverine: Killing: Excellent Animal Man #65: Very Good Swamp Thing #137: Stupefyingly terrible Hellblazer #71: Excellent Batman/Houdini: Devil's workshop: Excellent The Upturned Stone HC: Excellent

That's it for now -- more as I get to it (todays' batch represents 6 and a half hours of my time!)

That was my opinion, now what's yours?