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Dean Haspiel

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26th June 2013

11:52am: Visionary vs Technician
Remember when our favorite franchise superhero comics were written and drawn by writers and artists for their imagination and not their technician skills?

When I say "technician," I mean more along the lines of editorial and marketing dictating stories and style to the talent. I've read too many articles where talent is hired only for said talent to quit 2-issues later. Why does that keep happening? And, frankly, the only DC Comic I read is Snyder/Capullo's BATMAN. Marvel has a better track record of publishing titles I can read sans crossover [I don't care about the current Ultron crossover but I cherish/love Hawkeye, Daredevil, and Indestructible Hulk]. Hell, Marvel still takes a healthy risk publishing the indie/Silver Age likes of Mike Allred [FF] and I'll buy anything John Romita Jr. draws [that Captain America/Rick Remender series is bananas = shades of Kirby's '70s Cap run]. Basically, I'm responding better to the franchise superhero comics that are made by - what appears to be - talent that is kinda/sorta left alone to their own devices. Yes, we have TONS of great comix being produced independently and in other genres but my comment was directed towards Franchise Superheroes which have become, to my mind, more and more dictated from up top than ever before and I don't like most of 'em. Sorry. A lot of those comics are too mean and ugly and gross. Sure, an Archie superhero comic book like New Crusaders and [upcoming] The Fox are harder to sell to a market already deluged with superheroes [supported by blockbuster movies/etc.] but, dammit, they're good superhero comics; for boys and girls AND adults. I'm 46 years old. Does it show?

I would posit that some franchise publishers are taking their lead from hit TV like GAME OF THRONES and trying to be as disgusting because it seems to be popular among the masses. I'd prefer to see/read a MAD MEN-type treatment on Superman [or Lois Lane] but that probably wouldn't fly. The kind of stuff they do on TV is more vile than the horror/slasher movies you could only see in Times Square in the 1970s or read in your B&W underground/indie/alt comix. I couldn't believe what I saw on network tv via HANNIBAL. Wow. When did TV make me a prude? It's insane how our pop culture embraces violence. And, speaking of THRONES, it seems no one can have a conversation without fucking each other [literally]. Titillation television has made its way into our franchise comic books and it's boring and lame and sad. I bought comic books for escapism and hope. Instead, I get 4-color rape.

I will state, for the record, that TV [like a lot of comix] have only gotten better. We just gotta reign it in a little, huh? Leave some stuff for the imagination. Quit spelling it out and spoiling our plot twists and endings. Okay? BREAKING BAD and SCALPED are great examples of near perfect works of art and literature. Balanced well with the likes of MAD MEN, PARKS AND RECREATION, HAWKEYE and DAREDEVIL. 'Nuff said.
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