He feels like a glass shrimp in a pink panty

The only Republican presidential candidate who openly professes to accepting that evolution and global warming are proven facts also declares himself a Captain Beefheart fan. Jon Huntsman, please don’t drop out of the race. I have no intention of voting for a Republican candidate, but i’m liking the cut of your jib.

Update: wait a minute…. Huntsman, you devilish panderer! REO Speedwagon and Styx too?! I’m wounded, sir. How dare you reach out to Beefheart fans!

more Grant Morrison: interview & what’s not in interview

Fluxtumblr linked the Rolling Stone interview/profile of Grant Morrison, but what’s better is that Matthew mentions some of the material that seems to be left out of over 100 pages of interview transcripts.

Honest criticism of Mark Millar? I don’t really want Morrison to bash Millar, but the way that Morrison wrote so glowingly of Millar in Supergods was too much. At least he’s conscious of his friend’s flaws.

Weirder, was what Matthew mentioned about Morrison, Meltzer, Identity Crisis, and rape in comics… very strange observation there. Again, in Supergods, i don’t recall any words Morrison had for Identity Crisis but praise.

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: 1969

This isn’t a review. That’s already been covered well enough over on this site. I wound up agreeing with most of that, unlikeable but fascinating. Yeah, i could go with that. Even an Alan Moore misstep is still better than most comics (and cheaper too! Initially i borrowed it from bookstore, but when i returned it the next day, i noticed that it’s only $7.95?! SOLD!)

Some notes, definitely out of order:

  • In the epilogue in 1976, Allan Quatermain looks just like John Constantine.
  • Mina Harker’s seeming failed experiment with superheroes (Seven Star League,) especially with the personal museum and group shots, were highly reminiscent of Watchmen.
  • Dystopian future. It won’t be surprising to find there are a couple of V for Vendetta references upon re-reading.

With the next volume of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, it might be that we’ll see Moore decides to lampoon his own work a little more. With his admission of his ignorance of contemporary culture, his interpretation of 2009 looks like it will be strange. I don’t blame him. It’s nearly impossible to imagine what characters will define this age, and almost certainly, Moore will get it wrong… but at least it will be his wrong, which will again be interesting.

Seeing Jack Carter march around in this volume was weird.

the Purple Orchestra turned more into ’70s prog lyrically when Moore indulged in his magick. It got a little purple indeed. He would have been better off pastiching Magma lyrics.

Supergods

This post has been in draft for over a week, but it’s still unfinished. There might be revisions and additions.

The new Grant Morrison book took me by surprise. It didn’t appear on my horizon. A friend has mocked me for not yet watching the Morrison documentary Talking With Gods, but getting so worked up about the book that i read it in a single night.

Some of the comic book analyses seemed to be rewritten versions of what i read in Douglas Wolk’s Reading Comics (which is better at it. Excellent book if one gives a damn about comics.)

The movie stuff annoyed me, as i don’t give a damn about comic book movies. they always fall short of expectations. Morrison professes to love comics, but i’m sensing some desire for him to complete that jump to screenwriting. The more that he went on about costuming in the Batman movie franchise, the more he went off-track.

It could have used more biography. Those memories were insightful in providing context to his creations. He seemed to rush through his time as a struggling creator moonlighting as a mod-psych pop star. Morrison spending more time explaining his adventuress in the East would have been interesting too. As for the cosmic stuff, those were the absolute favorites. He could have stayed rambling about 5D vision for the rest of the book easily. Messianic Morrison is with no doubt the best.

His comics i dig for the most part. I think he lost the thread after All-Star Superman and Seven Soldiers. Since i read Supergods i revisited some material from recent years to figure out where his head is at. His Batman run is good enough but Final Crisis was an unfinished mess. I re-read that in a single night to conclude that it probably needs to be twice as long, as characters appear obviously important, but contribute so little relative to the story that appears on page that it’s suspicious. He’s probably passing that off as a feature of the comic, that he’s inviting the reader to re-explore the comic to discover or imagine why these minor characters are so vital, but no…. i loved Seven Soldiers when it first came out1, and i’m still finding Easter Eggs in there. Final Crisis feels frustrating instead.

An unattractive facet came out in that Morrison seems very much a company man. The faint praise that he gives Marvel now annoyed me, especially because his dear friend Millar has been fucking up for years. Civil War’s tentpole title was NOT worthy of praise. The better stories of that mess came out of Slott and Gage from what i recall.

His praise for Identity Crisis was the Big Problem. That was a steaming turd. i HATE that thing. It was exactly the problem of doing something nasty and unforgivable for the lone sake of pretending to be “mature.” The crimes were nonsensical. Meltzer is an awful writer. Because Morrison not only refused to omit it from his book, but PRAISED it soured me to Morrison himself.

His undertow of bitterness on how Marvel undid so much of his run on X-Men looks very silly in that i was reading Brubaker’s Gotham Central the other day, only to realize some good characters were completely screwed over in some of DC’s recent revisions, almost out of spite. Renee Montoya is now the Question. Crispus Allen was killed and made the Spectre. I suspect DC pulled that shit because Brubaker jumped ship to do Captain America and Iron Fist. yeah, i would have preferred X-Men to continue on the path Morrison put it on2, but to pretend DC is any different is foolish.

oh, and his near complete abdication of acknowledging any indy (non-Image) comic other than Flaming Carrot (because a movie was made of it) was pretty telling.

  1. Then again, it’s the even older stuff i prefer, especially Animal Man, Doom Patrol, the Invisibles, and Flex Mentallo. []
  2. The Whedon run actually pisses me off, despite the resurrection of Colossus []

more authors to investigate on reading Vila-Matas

My ignorance is boundless. In the early morning (my best time to read,) I have been searching names on my smart phone with Never Any End to Paris open before me. Vila-Matas is referring to all sort of people I might have heard of, but never remembered or pursued. ‘

  • Edgardo Cozarinsky. Argentine. His name didn’t seem familiar, but Borges on Film is sitting on my shelf, unread. Where to begin seems a tough choice. Maybe Urban Voodoo? Bill seemed more excited about The Moldavian Pimp. Here’s him interviewing David Rieff on Susan Sontag’s diaries. That’s a bit of a tangent.
  • Copi. Argentine cartoonist and playwright. I’ve never heard of him, but he collaborated with that group Pánico that included Arrabal (whose The Tower Struck by Lightning is sitting on my shelf queued up) and Jodorowsky (hell yeah.)
  • Julio Ramón Ribeyro. Peruvian writer. Again, don’t know where to begin. I’ve only spotted two collections of his short stories translated to English so far.
  • Boris Vian. French. I’ve stumbled onto him before, oddly and most recently, when i was messing around with the customer service website at work. It’s horrible, in that my bookstore carries so few books, even compared to the inadequate selection we carried several years ago. However, when i get bored at work, if a foreign author pops into my head, i search the name, then click the translator or person who wrote the foreward, to see if any unfamiliar authors appear. Messing around with Ramond Queneau rewarded me with Boris Vian last night, and it was quite the surprise that Vila- Matas dragged him back to my attention this morning. One of the commenters on this video that turned up calls him “the jazz pataphysician.”

tools in Crete dated to 130,000 years ago

This “human precursors went to sea” piece seems odd. Tools were found resembling hominin tools in Africa 700,000 years ago in Crete. Crete was geographically isolate by the Mediterranean. The dating of the tools winds up placing them at 130,000 years ago, which they decide is 100,000 years older than humans used craft to cross open water.

These guys are supposed to be Homo erectus. It seems like Homo floresiensis only became a species because some Homo erectus sailed to an island and became geographically isolate. The earliest H. floresiensis bone is dated 74,000 years old and they didn’t become that size overnight. Homo erectus was definitely floating around open waters early than 30,000 years ago, (especially since they were supposed extinct by that time anyway.)

Let’s just say that these Cretans were Homo heidelbergensis though. All that’s been found at this site are a bunch of older styled tools. No bones. I don’t know when they were supposed to have been supplanted by the Neanderthals completely, but if they were isolated like H. floresiensis was, they could have survived into more recent times.

foot bone found at Denisova site

What might be a Denisovan foot bone has been excavated from the same layer of the cave that the Denisovan finger bone was found. Both are roughly 40,000 years old, but the problem with declaring it definitely a Denisovan bone already is that Neanderthals were in that area at the same time and only two Denisovan bones have been identified to date. The New Scientist article notes that the team’s enthusiasm hints that again they have been able to extract DNA from the bone and it’s not Homo sapiens or Neanderthal.