Welcome to “Flush that S#!t” a new discussion-like column by Tony “DeadFett” Mourlet and Keb Ellis. It focuses on the hot news items of the week, and both Tony and Keb will be discussing them in as much opinionated detail as possible. This “Premier Edition” is basically a test-run to gauge some reader reactions and thoughts, so please feel free to comment in the thread when you’re finished (if you finish). I’ll even admit that it’s quite long, but we’re trying to work out the bugs.
In this edition, we will be covering: The footage from the upcoming Spiderman movie, the passing of Dave Cockrum, DC’s new Minx Line, Civil War #6 delays, Preacher coming to television and Superman’s longevity as a pop culture icon. Enjoy!
Keb: Hello and welcome to the premier edition of Flush that S#!t, tonightâ€™s feature will cover the hottest topics in comics news, and youâ€™ll get our opinions on them because thatâ€™s what this is all about! Iâ€™m Keb Ellis and my co-host is Tony â€œDeadFettâ€ Mourlet. Tonightâ€™s first topic is the footage from the next Spiderman film. I just want to say that footage just drove my anticipation levels for this movie up by like…800% percent. What’d you think?
Tony: I think it looks awesome…my worry though is that they’re doing too much stuff in it
Keb: You know what, I feel the same way.
Tony: I mean 3 possibly 4 villains and Gwen Stacy? Seems like an awful lot for a 2 hour movie
Keb: Gwen Stacy AND a black costume?
Tony: Yup, played by Bryce Dallas Howard
Keb: To be honest, I haven’t kept up with the news for this movie, but I’ve been waiting for it. My biggest concern is all the hype Marvel’s been giving it. Can Sam Raimi write and direct another masterpiece?
Tony: I think he can…but when I see all he’s putting in this movie I think of Batman and Robin *shudder*. Granted, Raimi is better than Schumacher but it just seems like an awful lot. Oh yeah…and I hate Venom too.
Keb: It looks a bit layered too. This is the first Spidey movie with multiple villains, and they seem to be Spiderman fighting one, then the other, then the other, and that tends to hurt a story. I dislike Venom, but I think he’s being used in the hopes that there will be a fourth movie.
Tony: Agreed…I think it’ll be Mysterio, then Sandman, Goblin 2 and finally Venom at the end.
Keb: One thing about the comics is that Venom comes and goes. I remember a two-parter in Amazing Spiderman written and drawn by Erik Larsen that brought Venom back to fight Spiderman, and then he left. I can see this happening. Remember that he also seems to come and go in Ultimate Spiderman as well.
Tony: oh…I’m sure they’re setting him up for a bigger role in the 4th movie
Keb: Let’s hope it doesn’t involve his symbiote giving birth…
Tony: dear lord…
Keb: What about Sandman as a villain? I like that move.
Tony: I do too…they can really take advantage of today’s CGI to make it look cool
Keb: It could also work to make a really obscure villain cool. Sandman in the comics has had a pretty dull career.
Tony: I don’t think so
Keb: I do. He can’t decide whether he’s good or bad.
Tony: That was during the 90’s and doesn’t count.
Keb: EVERYTHING counts!
Tony: Sandman is a classic Spidey villain.
Keb: The classic villains aren’t really hyped. I mean, other than the Goblins, Doc Ock and Venom, Spidey usually makes quick work of his villains and then eats a cheese sangwich.
Tony: That’s because of the era they came from.
Keb: Agreed. What do you think of the black costume? I hate it!
Tony: I’m meh on the black costume. I prefer the classic suit. And god help me, the Iron Spidey has grown on me.
Keb: Something is wrong with you. I love Spidey in the black suit BUT the silver web-lining pisses me off.
Tony: I don’t like the black movie suit…the silver lining sucks
Keb: I saw it and said “F$@& that noise!”
Tony: I wonder if the suit will have that lining when Venom is wearing it
Keb: If it does, that’ll look lame.
Keb: Anyways, onto the next topic. Last weekend comics legend Dave Cockrum passed away. It was very sad.
Tony: Very sad indeed. He never gets the credit he deserves.
Keb: No he doesn’t. Call me insensitive, but I find it to be a bit overwhelming the response he gets. I mean, he’s one of many underrated silver age artists, but people seem to take these creators passing a bit too seriously.
Tony: Most people do with all types of celebrities but Dave’s case is sadder than others. Marvel could’ve helped him more than they did.
Keb: Marvel could be helping a lot of people more than they do. What really gets to me is this short-term celebration of their work, and then everyone just seems to move on like nothing happened. Eisner died last year, everyone went nuts with the “Eisner was the greatest” and putting tributes up for him, then a few month later, nothing.
Tony: Hate to say it but I think people like to jump on the bandwagon in cases like those. If it wasn’t for him and Wein the Claremont and Byrne would’ve never been able to what they did on Uncanny.
Keb: The thing with Dave Cockrum is that most everyone who’s an X-fan should know. Some people care too much, and others don’t care at all. There should be a happy-medium when it comes to paying tribute to past artists. And yes, he and Len Wein did their best work pre-Claremont. No one really gives a rat’s arse though, because Claremont and the other guy are more celebrated. I’m waiting to see if Marvel will release all his stuff via trade on his passing.
Tony: And that’s my problem with it…Wein and Cockrum should be just as celebrated. I’m sure Marvel will do that and I’d like to see them donate some of the proceeds to his family or charity.
Keb: They should!
Tony: Speaking of Marvel, how do you feel about Civil War being delayed…again?
Keb: Well, as someone who passes it over at the shops, I’m saying “F$@& that noise!” but from a critical aspect of Marvel comics, I think it’s bad business.
Tony: Well, I read Civil War and honestly I don’t mind the delays. I’d rather have quality over punctuality.
Keb: No doubt. When it comes to a good story, it doesn’t matter when it comes out, but I think for a series like Civil War, which will probably go unnoticed in a few years, it hurts. You want to make as much as you can with a series like this and it hurts when people are getting angry over delays.
Tony: People may get angry but they’ll still buy it when it comes out
Keb: Of course!
Tony: Where it does hurt though is the casual fan thatâ€™s just getting into comics
Keb: Yes! Someone’s going to get bad expectations from series’ with delays. It hurts the buying.
Tony: The delay may kill the anticipation for new readers.
Keb: As long as it doesn’t turn into a Seven Soldiers #1, I think it’ll do alright.
Tony: Hahaha…very true!
Tony: At least Civil War has received attention from major media outlets.
Keb: Yeah, it has. The thing that bothers me about the delays is that they don’t explain anything beyond “Something do to with the tie-ins” and leave it at that. I don’t see much hype over the tie-ins
Tony: No…first it was McNiven was behind…this time it’s McNiven has strep throat, and I’ve really enjoyed the tie-ins I’ve read so far.
Keb: Strep throat is a bitch.
Tony: Indeed. McNiven’s art is worth the delays though.
Keb: I hope people understand why an artist who can keep a schedule is important to a publisher.
Tony: Aren’t too many of those left though.
Keb: John Romita Jr.!
Tony: Not a fan.
Keb: Something IS wrong with you, dude.
Tony: how about Mark Bagley
Keb: Yeah him too.
Tony: sorry I don’t like people with square heads
Keb: I don’t like anorexic teenagers who talk funny…
Tony: I respect Romita Jr but his art just isn’t my thing
Keb: F$@& that noise!
Tony: NO, YOU F$@& THAT NOISE!!!
Keb: No, you go f$@& a goat!
Tony: I’m not a goat f$@&er
Keb: Yeah, whatever! DC has announced last week a new line of comics, Minx, aimed at teenage girls. There is a surprising push to get this out there. Thoughts?
Tony: I like the idea…comics need new readers and just men in their mid 30’s who like to bitch about continuity.
Keb: I like the idea too. I don’t like the market though.
Tony: Really? Why not?
Keb: Teenage girls don’t read. They talk on their cell phones and go to the mall and look at clothes. If they’re looking for a market, they’re selling these books to those 40+ comic readers looking to get something nice for their daughters. Remember “Marvel Tsunami”?
Tony: I look at it this way: Comics are like soap operas for young men who grow into adults
Keb: So is wrestling, boss.
Tony: Yeah…and I hate wrestling. But if they can snag a lot of the teen girls who are reading manga–
Keb: then you have a market right?
Tony: exactly! Girls read manga and that’s the market DC is aiming for.
Keb: But a lot of girls who read manga don’t want to make the jump to comics, much like boys who read comics not wanting to jump into high literature.
Tony: The world of comics as it is doesn’t have much to offer teenage girls, just look at how women are portrayed in mainstream comics. Almost every woman in comics is shown as a voluptous superbabe with gigantic boobs!
Keb: But the same can be said for any group outside of the male 14-50 age range. And I’ve never read a manga that’s popular with teenage girls, but what’s to say that the same things Minx is marketing will be the same as those? I think the largest problem with writing a Minx comic would be avoiding teenage girl stereotypes.
Tony: Embrace the stereotype. Give them something to relate to instead of Batwoman, who’s a lesbian to simply get males 14-50 to give a shit about the character.
Keb: Remember that most girls are going to want to read something they can relate to. The OC and similar shows pull in the teen females because they can relate to those types of characters. But there has to be a line drawn. Remember that while you’re marketing to one group, other groups are going to be reading.
Tony: That’s why I say embrace the stereotypes
Keb: But what about those Lisa Simpson types who are going to see these and say “This is so wrong”? I think one of the biggest problems with literature in that market is that it doesn’t focus on empowering young women, but showing them what they are.
Tony: Youâ€™re always going to alienate a certain group but I think the Lisa Simpson type is the audience they should be pursuing.
Keb: as do I but there’s a HUGE dilemma by pursuing that market. It comes down to “How do you show a young girl female empowerment without losing her interest?”
Tony: You have a point. I’d be curious to see how many young women read Wonder Woman.
Keb: Probably not many. I think the line can be successful, especially with Shelly Bond and Karen Berger behind it, but I’m still a bit skeptical.
Tony: Okay, so it was announced that HBO is going to adapt Preacher for a show. What do you think about this?
Keb: F$@& that noise!
Tony: Not thrilled with it?
Tony: why not?
Keb: Never was too enticed by Preacher in the first place.
Tony: I’ve never read it but I think it’s the perfect media for the material from what I know of it.
Keb: Well, it’s an HBO series, and they’re known to get touchy. A big concern would go to how much of the original material gets censored for the air. Some comics media can get heavily censored especially if they want viewers.
Tony: I still think it’s a better idea than making it into a movie. A movie would try for that PG-13 rating
Keb: Well, Vertigo movies thus far have been rated R. It depends on how far television execs want to take it too. A very violent and controversial book or comic may really piss people off, and that’s what I felt was the aim of Preacher when I read the first issue.
Tony: I don’t see that problem from the network that airs the Sopranos, The Wire, Big Love, etc. all of those are very edgy shows.
Keb: The only HBO show I’m familiar with is Entourage (which kicks all sorts of ass), so I’m not sure what their content is usually like. Oh, and Oz.
Tony: Exactly…that’s why Preacher is in good hands at HBO.
Keb: Yeah, I can see that now.
Tony: Oz featured so much male rape and killings.
Keb: And Ernie Hudson, the black Ghostbuster!
Tony: I have seen shit that’ll turn you white!
Keb: Ha! I think adapting a comic book to TV really depends on execution and direction. Vertigo series’ are prefect for adaptations and even a dummy can take a Vertigo series and turn it into something good (like they did with Constantine)
Tony: My concern with Preacher is Mark Steven Johnson.
Keb: I’m not familiar with him.
Tony: He did Daredevil.
Keb: Ohâ€¦did you hear a toilet flush?
Tony: Although he may have more freedom with Preacher than he did with a Marvel property.
Keb: True. Like I said â€œgood for adaptationsâ€.
Keb: Speaking of TV and movies again, DC has been releasing a butt-load of Superman stuff on DVD over the past year, and that gets me thinking about the longevity of Superman as a pop culture icon.
Tony: I think Superman is beyond just being a pop culture icon. His symbol is probably one of the most recognized things all over the world.
Keb: Again, longevity. Do you think that can last?
Tony: absolutely! It has for 70 years.
Keb: See, I get this feeling that it won’t. I don’t see someone 300 hundred years from now picking up The Death of Superman and reading it and being impressed. I think the icon will last, but his stories won’t. The icon will be imbedded into the minds of human as the pinnacle of human evolution though.
Tony: Well of course the stories won’t but I think they’ll know Superman 300 years from now where as I don’t see the same for any other comic character
Keb: I agree, but I think the stories are more important than the character. If you look at the great novel, the stories last, not the characters.
Tony: Superman is bigger than his stories…people who have never read a Superman story still know who he is.
Keb: Yes, but great characters are made by great stories. No one would give a rat’s ass about Shakespeare’s characters if they weren’t so story-driven.
Tony: True…but none of his characters had a big red S on their chest.
Keb: Hamlet did. Sorta
Tony: â€œSortaâ€ isn’t having it though
Keb: An S on the chest does not make him the best (that rhymes)
Tony: Agreed…but he’ll be known and remembered more than any other comic character.
Keb: I think so. Spiderman’s given him a good run for his money though.
Tony: Spidey is but he’s not nearly the icon Supes is.
Keb: He’s not nearly as lame as Superman though.
Tony: Agreed but that’s because Spidey doesn’t wear his underwear on the outside
Keb: or an idiotic cape!
Tony: Yeah…capes suck
Keb: F$@& that noise!
Tony: YEAH!!! F$@& THAT NOISE!!!
Keb: Hey settle down! Anyhow, that’s all the topics we have on the hot stove for tonight. I’d like thank my strikingly handsome co-host Tony Mourlet and I’d also like to thank cookies for being awesome. Iâ€™m Keb Ellis and this has been the premier edition of “F%&@ That Noise!” Tony, you get the last word!
Tony: Thanks everyone for taking the time to read the ramblings of two comic fans. Until next time, remember to wipe and wash your hands.
Posted originally: 2006-12-03 10:01:05