Sunday, June 10, 2012

Bechtloff Book Club: The Dark Age: Grim, Great and Gimmicky Post-Modern Comics


I had high hopes for this book. But those hopes, well they didn't pan out. Lots of stuff has been written about the golden and silver age of comics, even about the bronze age, but not much about the dark age. Probably because it's not fondly remembered. This book defines the dark age of comics as 1985 when Crisis on Infinite Earths came out to the present. I personally think that this past decade or so is separate from the dark age, perhaps you could call it the cinematic age both for the volume of comic books movies and the decompressed story telling common in comics right now. But that's a topic for a different time.

I didn't even get all the way through this book. I skimmed the parts on Valiant for example because I just don't care. And I totally skipped the chapter on the Crow. Fuck I hate the Crow, it's lame navel gazing faggoty goth bullshit.

A few parts of this book were interesting and informative, but much of it was boring and some of it flat out pissed me off. For instance it rips on the energy Superman a shit load. Now as I said in my last post I'm a fan of that time in Superman history but OK fair enough I know a lot of people weren't and it wasn't for everybody. But then under most ludicrous comics of the dark age it puts X-force at number one. Because it was dogshit? No, because of the multiple cards placed in the poly bag. In fact it says " We're not casting aspersions on the work of writer Fabian Nicieza or artist Rob Liefeld here" Why the fuck not? Fabian is a good writer sometimes but X-force was dogshit and Leifeld is completely synonymous with sucking. So energy Superman is too stupid for you, but mother fucking Leifeld you don't want to bad mouth? Oh and it also covered the Batman movies (up to Batman Begins) and even Catwoman. Saying of Catwoman "Can a movie with Halle Berry in a skintight costume cracking a whip really be a waste of time?" OK first of all the answer is yes apparently it can. And I say that as someone who very much has a soft spot for a woman with a whip. Second of all, not to harp on it, but how is Energy Superman fucking gay, but Halle Berry's Catwoman is defendable?!

Then in a chapter on 'Cheesecake' in dark age comics it starts with this: "Comic book geeks are more concerned with check-lists than bedpost notches. so it's no wonder that a cover showing an implausible busty heroine has never hurt sales. It can get awfully lonely when your best pickup line is: 'Wanna see my mint-condition Spider-man #1?'" You know what author Mark Voger, go fuck yourself. Perhaps the last pussy you saw was the one you came out of, but don't put that shit on the rest of us nerds. Because for every socially awkward comic book nerd in high school there's a cute goth girl with daddy issues. And have you been to a comic con lately? Males may still be the majority of comic fans but there's still a great deal of women involved in the this sub culture as well.

Also this book would have been a little better if it would have focused less on shit like Valiant, and Evil Ernie and the Crow and what not. Sure that shit was hot at the time but it should have spend more of it's pages on what was going on at Marvel, DC, and Image because that's the stuff where the impact is still felt today. It's not 1995 anymore, nobody gives a shit about Evil Ernie or Brian Pulido.

So I don't recommend this book unless you find it for less then $10.

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