Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Hoopla! - Episode 48: In which we say farewell to 2007...

Hello and welcome to Hoopla!

So, here's the deal...

I have a computer at home, but it pretty much sucks... if you ask it to do anything more complicated than send an email, it pretty much goes into shock and the whole thing crashes. Which sucks. So, when I'm working on Hoopla!, I use the computer at my office, which isn't actually my office but the guy I work for doesn't use it, so he's sort of lent it to me for the past several years...

You may be wondering, "Why is this guy telling me about his stupid computer and his office that isn't really his office?"

Well, the reason is this... on Friday afternoon (the 21 of December, that is) the GMU building shuts down and does not reopen until January 2. And my-office-that-isn't-my-office is inside that building. So, that means that there's pretty much no way for me to do Hoopla! again until after the new year starts.


I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all (both?) of you for reading this and to extra-especially thank those of you who took the time to write to me... it's much appreciated.

In an ideal world, I'd have the time and energy to put together some kind of "Best of 2007" list that would be the very height of hilarity and yet would also serve as a heart-felt tribute to all the fine, fine comics that have been published in the past year...

Such a list would have undoubtedly included Jeff Parker's Marvel Adventures: The Avengers, The Irredeemable Ant-Man, Civil War (I know, I know.. the critics all panned it. Too bad. I thought it was fantastic and that it served to make the Marvel Universe a MUCH more interesting place...), Ultimate Spider-Man, Proof, Agents of Atlas, Doctor Strange: The Oath, Immortal Iron Fist (and yes, I find it somewhat remarkable that an Iron Fist series is in my best of 2007 list, but there you go...), Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, New Avengers: Illuminati, Silent War, Runaways (particularly the last few Vaughan issues), Nova, Godland (Even though it's kind of petered out these past few months), All-Star Superman, World War Hulk (Hey, it was action-packed fluff, sure, but it was damn good action-packed fluff!), M.O.D.O.K.'s 11, The Deadpool/GLI - Summer Fun Spectacular, the final issues of 52 (except for those crappy World War III issues that all came out on the same week), The Brave and the Bold, Justice Society of America (especially the current Kingdom Come storyline), and probably a bunch of other stuff that I can't think of right now.

Perhaps I would have indulged in some sort of "Best Writer of 2007" kind of thing... and, no doubt, the winner of that would have finally, ultimately, inevitably been Jeff Parker.

Because he's awesome.

[For what it's worth, I think I'd have to give second place to Brian K. Vaughan who, in 2007, wrote the kick-ass Doctor Strange limited series, finished his superb run on Runaways, has almost finished a four-part Faith story in Buffy, the Vampire Slayer that actually surpasses the arc written by Whedon, and helped get the Lost TV series back on track. Now that's what I call a productive year!]

I would also, no doubt, have taken the time to single out some of the very worst comics to come out in 2007. Such a list would have been dominated by Countdown and all its many cross-overs, but I would have taken the time to also ridicule the Spider-Man: One More Day storyline, Flash: The Fastest Man Alive and the whole misguided killing off of Bart Allen, Amazons Attack, and possibly a few others that I have, through the grace of God, been fortunate enough to erase from my memory.

Biggest disappointment... Grant Morrison on Batman. It really should have been amazing and yet, it's really, really not. And it took me way too many issues to admit it to myself.

I was in Grant Morrison denial, I'm afraid.

The other biggest disappointment of 2007 was the big Wildstorm debut of Authority (Grant Morrison! Gene Ha!), WildCats, etc. What a fiasco that was!

And, too, let us not forget Dwayne McDuffie's debut on Justice League of America. I was totally psyched for that... but I've had to drop it after just a couple of issues because it is so very, very bad.

Perhaps such a column, had I the time to do it right, would also feature some of my favorite covers from 2007, interspersed throughout.

And, no doubt, I would have taken a paragraph or two to bitch and moan about the current direction imposed upon the vast majority of DC's titles, almost all of which are bogged down in continuity-incest of the very worst kind, and almost all of which continue to rely on the deaths of b-list characters in a very jaded attempt to maintain interest in their fictional universe.

I could try to make some funny ha-ha's about Dan Didio and the damage he's done to the DC universe, but the truth is, it's gotten to the point where it's not even a little bit funny to me.

It's just offensive.

All told, I'd say it's been a great year for comics... sure, there's been lots of dreck, but I can' t think of a year since I first started collecting comics when you couldn't make a compelling case that an all-time peak had been reached for truly awful comics...

But the good stuff... Yum.

There was lots and lots of good stuff.

On a more personal note, 2007 was an outstanding year for me... I've made a ton of progress on my dissertation and will hopefully be finished by the end of next summer... plus, I got to spend lots of time with friends this year, doing fun stuff like travelling to Florida and drinking lots and lots of yummy alcoholic beverages...

The biggest event for me in 2007, however, was issue #247 of my life, which featured the debut of a brand-new character... Mie.

We've been together for just about a year, now, as our first date was on or around January 4, 2007... and she'll be moving in with me at the end of December. So, that's pretty cool.

When I think back to her original appearance, she was drawn slightly differently and the writer hadn't quite gotten her dialogue style right... but from the very start I knew that I wanted to, someday, have my own prestige format limited series with her.

That's my humble little dream, anyway...

So, here's hoping that 2007 was good to you and that 2008 will be even better... the world seems to be a tad bit more f*cked up than usual, at the moment, but I am hopeful that better times are ahead for all of us...

Best wishes to you all and I'll see you on the other side of the New Year!!!

- Paul


Anonymous said...

Looking back now with the superior wisdom of The Future (tm), I've come to the conclusion that this and most of your previous posts were very 2007.

Also, while I've got the floor, I just want to say that I started watching "Stardust" since I enjoyed the (audio) book, but then the suckiness of the movie oozed out of my television and stained the floor. Can you suggest a carpet cleaner that will get rid of this gooey mess?


- the The Hulk

Paul said...

Haven't actually seen "Stardust" so I'm not sure how best to deal with that situation... Perhaps you should have watched "Stardust Memories" instead...?

- Paul