Burning Talking Points
Home of BTP Presents

Apr
04

I have recently been thinking about things that I have done in the past. I made friends and lost friends. I have pissed people off and made a lot people laugh. You come to certain mindset when you reflect on your past. For me, I always said regrets made me who I am and wouldn’t want to change that, which is true. I am not going into many details about this nor will I, but I am not one that is afraid of saying the following.

To those at Crawlspace,

I am sorry. I apologize for letting my anger and my overly sensitive nature at that time getting the best of me. I know it has been over 2 years, but I am sorry.

Walter

 

P.S. Why do I always have to start new blog with an apology?? Heh…

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Apr
02

Sekirei

Walter and Walter discuss Sekirei and anime in general

Check out this episode

Mar
24

Last time I wrote Comic Books Suck, and invite Dan Dido and Joe Quesada to read it. I am sure they did not because of the title alone. Not that I am surprised, it was done on purpose. I tried to make it sound like my podcast with over the top antics and “geek rage”.  I am now going to get to the heart of why I am not reading comics. They are not being written for my age group. Personally, I don’t think they are for any age group.

The age group they are shooting for is the 16-25 year old male market. It never have been so belatedly obvious than when the “New 52” came out with their over the top sexified antics of Starfire and Catwoman. It was further push forward when the Amazons in Wonder Woman raped men. (DC and rape to things that keep being put together; I am sure in the future people are going to say that woman was DCed) I saw the tread of what I termed a while ago “Shock and Awe” writing. I feel the whole “Flashpoint” and “New 52” is just that, shock and awe writing. With lone exception being Batgirl, majority of the “New 52” is gimmick-filled story that have no substance, no identity, and worst thing is no heart.

The big two have used this gimmick of forcibly trying to shock the reader with their stories without giving the readers a moment to relax. While some don’t like it, Dan Slott did it right with Doc Ock Spider-man. He planted the seeds two years ago for his story and let it grow on its own. In comparison, “New 52” was rushed and mandated by the DC editorial staff at the behest of Dan Dido and Geoff Johns wiping out certain parts of continuity. There was no warning to their follow writers and just slammed that power hammer down of authority for their own selfish reason, and it didn’t matter that people reading were enjoying themselves.

Marvel, on the other hand, has gone the way of saturation of their characters. Being an Avenger is no longer special or an honor if everyone can join the group by knocking on their front door. Spider-man tried, or invited, to the join the group on two different occasions and fail; Spider-man did join as a “reserve” member in the late 80’s early 90’s. He wasn’t a full member until “New Avengers”. X-men grew in membership that “House of M” had to happen because there were too many mutants. Standalone books typically where sheltered from this for the most part; then Civil War happened. Everyone was in everyone else book now. Events came back to Marvel in a major way. Now we cannot go a year without something “major” happening.

What am I getting at here? Good question to ask. I am saying that the focus become more about events or going back to the past then just plain telling a good story. My favorite story off all time is the “Death of Jean Dewolfe” because there were so many layers to it. You saw a full characterization of Spider-man and his pain. You got a mystery. You a buddy cop action drama with the addition of Daredevil learning Peter’s identity. That story arc had it all. It wasn’t an event. It was just a great story that was masterfully told by a writer not trying to “shock and awe” the reader with over the top gimmicks.

The stories in comic books today have become more about sex, over the top graphic violence, and the “we are right” mandates. It isn’t about just telling a story anymore or creating something from the heart. When I first started to read comics in the early 70s, I was a child that liked the pretty pictures. As I grew, I appreciated the writings of Lee, Diko, Conway, and Stern in this entrainment medium, with the expectation of Gail Simon and a few others, that isn’t happening anymore.  We currently in the “90s” mode of writing, all flash no substance, which was happening the comic book boom. There isn’t one remembered story arc anymore because of events and reboots. There is no growth.

The characters, no matter how many times you change the costume or universe, have become static in growth. Meaning, the big two aren’t going to allow a character to grow beyond a certain point nor use their past to create stories. Marvel and DC have because their own worst enemy. They are afraid of moving out of their comfort zone, we wouldn’t have the “New 52” if DC weren’t afraid of their own character’s continuity, because they have this perfect point of stopping character growth to keep him/her “fresh.” Marvel Now! is about adding a boatload of titles about the same character that go nowhere. DC “New 52” is about throwing things against the wall covered in Marvel’s old ideas and seeing what sticks.

Both companies need use their continuity to create stories; DC has shot themselves in the foot with the “New 52” in this case by wiping out continuity. They both have painted themselves in the corner with this idea of continuity is a rock tied around their neck and not as a tool. Going back to when I read my first comic for the writing, I wanted to learn more about Spider-man’s history with the Scorpion. I wanted to learn more about why Lex hated Superman. Why is Bruce Wayne Batman? Why is Wonder Woman opinion of men weird? Those questions drove to learn more about these characters by going in back issue bins, talking to people, and my dad buying me the comic book encyclopedia for Christmas one year. This is how I learn to appreciate the writer and not the artist.

I love Comic Books. I think they are wonderful way to teach kids to love reading, but I can’t say that anymore. I wouldn’t let any children under the age of 14 read a comic book from Marvel or DC anymore because of the graphic violence or blunt sexual overtones. There is no heart in these stories. There is no freedom in these stories. Worst of all, there is no hope in these stories. Marvel has no unique characters anymore. DC has made everyone like Batman with a tragic past. Marvel’s characters have no future of getting married, especially Spider-man. DC thinks woman are there to be raped or used as sex toys for male characters. This is why I think that today comic books suck, they have no heart.

Mar
22

A few years ago I wrote an article called “The Why”, https://burningtalkingpoints.wordpress.com/2010/12/24/the-why/, which explain my reasoning on it is sometimes bad to “deconstruct” or “bring back to basic” characters in comics. I believe it is a basically a selfish move on the part of the Big Two, Marvel and DC. Since then, I have stop reading comics all together because I was tired. I was tired of events. I was tired of retcons. I was really tired of crappy stories for 3-4 dollars. At one point in my life, I was spending about 300 dollars on comic monthly and mostly to Marvel. It started to change after OMD. DC started to get more of my money and a few indie comics. Then, it stop. What happened? I will explain.

FREAKING DCnU HAPPENED!!!

After DCnU, I stop. Just plain stop buying comics because of lazy editorial mandates. Lazy story telling and cheap gimmicks. I tried really hard to give the “New” DC a chance. I hated it, expect Batgirl, because IT IS NOT DC! IT IS DC TRYING TO BE MARVEL!  Then there is the list of characters that were “benched” by DC. Who are they? Here is a list:

25. Ryan Choi

24. Dr. Mid-Nite

23. Hourman

22. Renee Montoya(The new Question)

21. Elongated Man

20. Plastic Man

19. Hawkwoman (Shayera Hol)

18. Union

16. Aqualad

15. Blue Beetle (Ted Kord)

14. The Endless

12. Chloe Sullivan

11. Sgt. Rock (World War II)

10. Negative Man & Elasti-Girl

9. Metamorpho

8. Element Woman ( Who was introduce in the new 52 at the very beginning but POOF she is gone)

7. Adam Strange

6. Miss Martian

5. The Metal Men

4 Bizzaro(SCREW YOU HEL-L)

3. Doomsday (Not that I want this character to come back, but I am talking about DC here…)

2. Stephanie Brown

1. Wally West

:That is what people with blogs are saying they want to read. What do we get Vibe…FREAKING VIBE IN HIS OWN BOOK! I did hear a demand for Vibe to have his own book. HELL, I don’t think there was a demand for Vibe period! This why I stop reading comics, the people in power at either Marvel or DC are not listening to the readers. The lack of vision to make money and just plain stupidity of editorial staff is astounding. A perfect example would be the firing and rehiring of Gail Simon on Batgirl. From Jim Lee’s awful redesigned costumes to Geoff Johns and Dan Dido lack vision made me walk away.

Now Marvel, the company that wants to “shake things up,” needs to stop. Just stop. How many Avengers books are there now? 300? Spider-man is now Doc Ock? We have more Hulks than X-men. X-men have be even more confusing. I agree Marvel, you shook things up to the point where no one can join in the fun. None of Marvel’s, and DC for that matter, isn’t easily accessible anymore. This because event after event after event syndrome. You need to let things settle down before you can shake things up. Characters have to be unique and give the reader the feeling that there is one of them in the universe. Now is just a mish mash of everyone blending in with everyone else? There is no real distinction between the books anymore and that is sad. Stop trying to “shake things up” and just tell some stories without including everyone hero in the universe in the next major event this summer. GIVE IT US A REST ALREADY!

What am I trying to say here? It is the freaking 90’s again. As one that had to deal with epic amount of bad stories, Heroes Reborn, Zero Hero, and Clone Saga, I don’t need to see it again. No more foil covers, No more variants, No more shock and awe writing, just plain no more! Editors just edit! Stop with you arsine mandates about “how the character is supposed to be because that is the way character was when I grew up” IT IS NOT 1995 ANY MORE! GET A GRIP! You base has grown up in intelligence and aware of cheap gimmicks.

Both Marvel and DC need to clean up their mess. It is a big mess. They have alienated readers that have been loyal to them. They are trying new technology, but they are falling short on story telling. Their artwork has been questionable for a while now. There is no real leadership at the top that is stepping back going, ”hmmm….Maybe we have gone too far here and need to bring it back a bit.” Yes, I know both companies are saying the digital market has been growing, one question about that, how many are new customers and not readers with the pass? Just saying that’s all.

Part of the problem here is the Internet. We are more aware of what is going on in comics now than in the last two decades. Some of the mystique has disappeared because of the Direct Market change and interactions with writers. The readers themselves have helped this along to a certain extent by staying quiet and buying the books they don’t like. I love comics. I love reading them. I hate these comics because they aren’t fun. DC is where everyone is like Batman and no one is a hero because it is the right thing to do. Marvel is about self-service to editors and writers, readers be damn! DC is the same way too because ask Dan Dido, Geoff Johns, or Jim Lee about that list of characters. Especially the top two, you will not get a answer because they don’t want them back. They don’t want to make money or bring more readers in because they are right and we are wrong for caring about those character. THAT IS BRILLANT! That will make them money….SHEESH!

Jan
23

 

Stephen Frey is over 30 years old, he has enjoyed Japanese Animation for most of those 30 years.  So what does a 30 Year Old Otaku do with all the anime he has watched over the years?  Why he reviews them and puts the reviews on the Interwebs for all to see!

The first review is nice and simple: a little diddy you may have heard called Spirited Away.

Check out this episode