Sunday, August 9, 2020

What I Did on Summer (and Spring, etc.) Vacation

There's a condition known as writer's block where a writer is unable to produce anything new. The ideas aren't there, or nothing seems right, so nothing is written. When I look back at the dates of my last posts on this blog, I myself am surprised at how quiet it – and thereby I – have grown on the subject of comics. It seems as though I have writer's block.

In fact, that is not the case. Not only have I written a great deal on other topics, posted elsewhere or manifested some other way, but I have even written quite a bit about comics since the summer of 2017. As it happens, a good deal of what I have written has not been posted. So perhaps one might say that I have had poster's block.

In the past two and a half years, I have in fact posted quite a bit about Doomsday Clock while it was in the process of being published, but scarcely about anything else, with just a few posts about Grant Morrison's The Green Lantern and one on Heroes in Crisis, whereas back in 2017, I posted on no fewer than eight different creative works across film, TV, and comics. And then, after a very detailed analysis of Final Crisis, this blog has, aside from the aforementioned foci, gone silent.

Part of that has been due to the overall interruption in regular life that has affected all of us over recent months and recent years. But in the meantime, I have begun unpublished posts about, among other works:

• Grant Morrison's Supergods.

Twin Peaks: The Return.

• Scott Snyder's work on Dark Nights: Metal and Justice League.

• Grant Morrison's The Green Lantern.

• Frank Miller's Superman: Earth One.

• Tom Taylor's DCeased.

• Tom King's Heroes in Crisis.

• Brian Michael Bendis' Superman series.

• The 2019 Joker movie.

Why write things and not post? Or: Why begin a post and not finish? There isn't one reason that applies in every case, but three reasons came up often:

1) I enjoyed a particular work but just didn't have much to say about my enjoyment. That was certainly true of Tom King's Batman, Morrison's Green Lantern, and Bendis' Superman titles.

2) I was nonplussed when a work that seemed to have great bearing on the future of other storylines fizzled, reaching an end with no impact on what was to follow. I could say that of Doomsday Clock and Superman: Earth One and some others.

3) I had things to say but they weren't very nice. This was true, in particular, with the aforementioned works from Scott Snyder. I found myself beginning posts that explained in great detail why his works brought me little pleasure and mucked up the cosmology of the DC Universe. I also found myself variously displeased and even sickened by DCeased and sorry that I had picked it up. And even as I wrote down these opinions, I found that they were exactly the kind of piece that I did not enjoy when some other commentator posted them about some other work: If a reader does not enjoy a work, why not move on to the other things in life? And as I moved on to the other things life, this blog went quiet.

That said, I am enjoying one series so much that I will remain silent no longer, and my next post will be about that series. See you soon.


  1. Please post your unpublished blogs on Twin Peaks The Return, it is one of my all time favorite shows and I would very much appreciate your analysis! Looking forward to your next post, there are a number of comics that I was curious of you were enjoying.

  2. Good to know you are well. I understand your thoughts on these various comics. I've had the thought that we were forever spoiled by Grant Morrison's Batman run, and that it is difficult to muster the analytic energy to think or write about much of what's come since.

    My one recommendation for you: DC's hardcover "Wanted: The World's Most Dangerous Villains" collection published earlier this year. It is, in the words of a poster elsewhere, a Whitman's sampler of the Golden Age and early Silver Age. I think you'd enjoy it, given the mix of talented writers and artists who little knew they were laying the groundwork for so much that's come since.

  3. Glad to hear from you rikdad truly great comic analysis is hard to come by and since I've taken a break from currently published series to read old classics most fan discourse doesn't have much appeal.

  4. I know that you don't like to leave overly negative reviews but I would like to hear your takes on Scott Synder's DCU stuff as I've heard mostly good stuff about DKM and more lukewarm stuff about JL (still need to read the stories myself). I think it would be interesting too as Dc seems to be grooming Synder into their next Johns or Morrison.

    1. As I look at the unpublished drafts I accumulated concerning Snyder's work, I see an amusing pattern. I have five files, each longer than the last, none reaching a finish. Not one of them would make a suitable post without further work and the most recent is six months old, so I might have to scramble to resuscitate my line of thinking. I found that my short post about Zero Year way back in 2013 started to assemble those thoughts, but nothing that I've written takes it to a conclusion.

      I see from such measures as Amazon product ratings shows that a lot of people have enjoyed his work, and I am pleased whenever someone enjoys a work of art, even if the person doing the enjoying isn't me. So I'm not sure that I will post on this now or ever, but – believe it or not – I found myself with a lot to say about the two simple words of the title "Zero Year." I might pick up that thread.

  5. Glad to hear that you will be blogging again. I have to say that I share your ambivalence towards a lot of DC's output right now. It's certainly declined from the heights of Morrison's Batman and Final Crisis. I've been trying to catch up on what I missed since Morrison finished Batman Incorporated, and there just isn't much there to draw me back in as a regular reader. Dare I say some aspects of Snyder's run, and other 2010s events like Convergence and Darkseid War, are simply direct lifts and rehashes from Morrison's work? And I simply have no interest in a gory zombie miniseries.

    Looking forward to hearing about what you actually did enjoy!

  6. Thanks for the many thoughts; superseding all of this post and thread, I have just read that DC Comics has made major cuts to staff. I'm not sure if this will affect the titles that we read or it if affects other sides of the business more, but it is a bit of grim news for many individuals, to be sure. Morrison's Multiversity seemed to take a dark outlook on how business difficulties could impact the industry and its creative ventures, but the news itself speaks most loudly. I hope that everyone affected bounces back in some way, and I will be posting soon.

  7. Welcome back the prodigal son.

    It's interesting to see the list of works you'd have blogged on and the reasons you listed for not doing this.

    I would rather enjoy your thoughts, positive or negative, frivolous or deep, as I've always enjoyed your musings and found them to be thoughtful even in cases where I may not have enjoyed the work as much as you.

    As for your third listed reason, I would actually disagree with you there. Most people that seem to enjoy bitching on the internet are to put it nicely, simple minded, or to state it more bluntly, stoopid with two O's. They bitch relentlessly with no extra thought given except to pile on. Whereas even in your more negative reviews such as Kingdom Come or Infinite Crisis I came away not just seeing the flaws in the work, but a better understanding oh how they did and didn't work, and taking that thoughtfulness onto newer works I'd read.

    So I do hope you'll get around to publishing those "Lost Files" even if it's simply to say you disliked it.

    And two minor things. It's Frank Miller's Year One, Earth One is JMS which confused me for a moment. Also since you're much too polite to say it, I will. Tom Taylor is trash. He writes everything from the perspective of some Reddit fanboi who found himself with keys to the Kingdom and decided wouldn't it be totally cool if superheroes had to kill each other in the most goriest and outrageous ways possible. Ugh.

    Looking forward to your coming posts, Rikdad. Welcome home.

  8. All of the projects you mentioned have my interest! Literally can't wait to read those! Glad to hear you're well. When I was getting into comics about 3 years ago, I loved reading your post on Morrison's Batman. Made me a Morrison fan for life.

    1. Thank you so much. I have just gotten that next post out, and there should be more to follow!

  9. It's been tough without Rikdad. Glad you are okay, and still thinking.

    1. Thank you! I am still thinking, and I hope we are all enjoying some of the stuff out there as much as I have been.

  10. Can you publish a book containing your insights regarding Grant Morrison's Batman run? It is INDECIPHERABLE without your help. I'm saying this even though GM is my favorite writer, he just needs a strong editor or something else that he just didn't have during that time.

    1. Well, Doc, I don't know about a book, but perhaps I'll consider a post that ties some of my existing posts together.

  11. You’re back! What great news in such an otherwise dreary year. Looking forward to so many more Rikdad posts. Nothing else compares or even comes close.