Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Moment Of Reflection

Since I started this blog, I have dipped in and out of comic book discussion.

Rarely have I touched too deeply before I get distracted by, say, giant robots. And that's likely the way it'll stay.

Today I spent a bit of time going through the comics of the Flashback Universe and El Gorgo!. (The exclamation point is part of the title, hence the non-standard usage.) In my totally unprofessional amateur opinion, these (along with Dr. McNinja, of course) are probably the future of the "superhero" genre-webcomics that package themselves in some degree of the superhero tradition. (They're a lot of fun, and they're free if you're strapped for cash. Sounds like a good bet to me.)

Not weighed down by the complex legal issues or endlessly ponderous history of the "mainstream" comics, these comics are light and good fun, every bit as smart as their print cousins without the ugly baggage and stagnation, mostly because the writers care and it shows.

But enough about that.

Lots of people talk rather derisively about "comics of the '90s." Nearly my entire experience with these comics as such, their height, so to speak, comes from two or three comics that I got for Christmas one year. (An issue of Supreme, which was hilarious. This alongside the Silver Surfer graphic novel, some totally incomprehensible thing I barely remember which was also from the '90s, and... something I've totally forgotten at this point.)

These comics have a penchant for, among other things, particularly exaggerated anatomy, excessively large firearms, shoulder pads, pouches, drool, and other things that a lot of comic book readers hate. (They also like to use terminology like "extreme," although they usually spell it "X-treme" to tell you just how extreme it really is, which is something else a lot of comic book readers hate. If you use "X-treme" somewhere and you're not being tongue in cheek, I think you're doing it wrong.) Ironically, the cartoons of the same time period tended not to share in the same visual language very much (granted, the X-Men cartoon had Bishop, Cable, and the '90s lineup and costumes, but it was kind of required to because it was meant to attract readers to the curent comics-its storylines were all based on much older stuff).

Here, then, is the '90s comic-iest of all '90s cartoons, which even has that one guy who seems to show up in every '90s comic who has his hair sticking out of a no-skin costume and a quarterstaff/bo weapon.


-Signing off.

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