De facto

I’m really excited for the new Spider-Man movie. Homecoming was just about everything a Spider-Man movie ought to be, I assume the next one will be the same. Kevin Feige, bald cappy who needed to add P.G.A. behind his name on credits to feel special, he gets it. Because there’s only so good a Spider-Man movie can be. It only has so much potential. The character, I mean. Like, there are maybe two good Spider-Man stories. One is “Kraven’s Last Hunt.” The other one is… what, Gwen Stacey? They’re decades old. And Gwen Stacey was six or seven years into the character’s run. And I’ve never actually read it. So maybe it’s crap and everyone loves it with nostalgia glasses.

Marvel movies have, for the most part, stopped disappointing because they’ve gotten to be exactly what they need to be–Disney for teenage boys. Disney Princes if you would. And Tom Holland’s Peter Parker is a fantastic Disney Prince.

The original Superman and Batman movies spoiled the superhero genre to some degree. The first Superman was too good–then Chris Reeve was too good in the sequels, as well as the rest of the cast (mostly)–while it took Burton until Returns to really fulfill the artistic potential of what he’d implied in the first Batman. Superman makes sense for a grand epic thing. It’d be nice if Captain America could do the same but in hindsight, it probably can’t. Thor can’t. The DC movies all have this grandiosity which they don’t deserve, whereas the Marvel movies avoid it entirely (it’s a damn shame in some cases, Ed Norton’s Hulk deserved better). It’s always been easier to ascribe actual greatness to DC (Comics) while dismissing Marvel as entertainment fodder.

It’s entirely possible there will someday be a great Marvel movie. There won’t be a great DC movie. I was wrong back in 2005; David S. Goyer was DC’s last, best hope. Though at least Zack Snyder would’ve kept the failures interesting. And the first half of the extended Batman/Superman is almost a great Lois and Clark movie. It’s at least a good one.

tl;dr? I’m excited for Spider-Man: Far From Home.

And apparently this post is going to qualify for my daily writing.


Yellow Isn’t a Good Title for Something About Flow

I have a problem maintaining intention between drafts. Think of something, write it, which was fine for short stories. Longer short stories not as much, but 3,000 words? Doable. Easily doable by grad school. Then I started a novel and had to change it up. But I’ve always hated starting a piece of writing and returning to it before it’s not drafted. Beginning, middle, end, whether fiction or non. I used to stay up all night before a major paper was due will all the research assembled so I could keep the flow. And I got a lot of compliments for the flow in grad school.

But with Summing Up, not being a reactionary blog, I started and saved to draft unfinished a post earlier today. I’m not sure if people realize how fetishized writing was for professionals. That robe in Wonder Boys was a little but not a lot. It was feasible. People only starting writing with a specific brand of Scotch is real. Capital L Capital W Literary Writing was obsessed with its potential preciousness and precociousness. Maybe it still is, though it’s got to be hard when so much good content appears outside that discipline? Industry? Factory?

One of my things–going back to freshman year of college, still during my… shudder… screenplay phase–was writing out that intention. Generating the intention. Drafting it. I didn’t yet apply that system to academic writing because, hey, I was in a Comp class. Well, it was more than just Comp, but still. That class was when I realized even wasting opportunities in my high school, I passively picked up a lot more relevant skills for college success than I’d have believed. Big outlook change.

Anyway, while I don’t necessarily need a blather blog or a word count blog, it might be nice to get more comfortable blogging in a variety of situations. I wrote three blog posts last Friday–Unbreakable, Love and Rockets #48, and The Buccaneer. In reverse order. Something like 2,500 words, which used to be a pretty good count for a word count. At least, in 2005 or 2006. So at least Summing Up has a function. It’s still in need of a point, but I no longer think of it as the same kind of writing task.

That all said, it’s going to be pretty funny if the blog just ends up being a review of cat products. I just ordered a cat litter mat from some obnoxious online cat specialty store. We had one before but it was that cheaper mesh rubber so Gregory tried to eat it. This thing appears to be enclosed cheaper mesh rubber and Gregory usually gets not to eat cloth.

Though there was that time after we first got him I thought he peed the bed but it just turned out he’d been licking it for four hours.

And, look at that not really visible enough Gutenberg detail, I’m very near 500 words and I think this post more than qualifies. Hopefully there was a not too directed flow.

Oh, wait, the biggest problem with the mat wasn’t Gregory… it was Shaz and Fozzy peeing on it to show the bathroom was each own’s turf.

No, I don’t think Gregory ever chewed on it when they’d peed it. He wisely avoided the room.

I’m a sucker for “ambitious” licensed tie-ins

I literally just came up with this topic. It’s 4:38 PM and I’m typing, it was 4:37 PM when I saw the tweet inspiring this subject matter. Dark Horse Comics is doing an Alien3 comic based on William Gibson’s unproduced screenplay, which might not be any good. It’s been available for years. But it’s hardly the first unproduced genre sequel getting turned into a comic. Dark Horse did The Star Wars–based on an early Lucas draft–right before they lost the license and it was kind of good. It had good things in it anyway. Boom! did the original Rod Serling Planet of the Apes, which… is better than the movie? It started back when Avatar did the original Frank Miller Robocop 2 script as a comic.

It sucked as a story, but it had cool art. And Boom!’s adaptation of the Robocop 3 script (which is suspect, since Miller’s Robocop 2 script apparently had a lot of the eventual 3 material)–entitled Robocop: The Last Stand–was awesome. Thanks to the artist but also because the script didn’t get in the way of the artist.

I’m not sure what else there’s been. But I’m always curious and I always slog through the comics even though they’re only marginally better than regular licensed comics, which are usually godawful. Except Boom!’s Sons of Anarchy book, which was legitimately good.

It wasn’t one of these do-over books, it was just a good licensed tie-in.


That interest of the potentiality of a thing is one of my last vestiges of youth.

So why do I still care about these darn do-over comics? It’s a low time investment, it’s kind of interesting, the art can be good, it also can be reassuring when a thing never had a chance (Planet of the Apes never, it turns out, had a chance with me). I’m also always bewildered why licensed comics can’t be better. Is it just because they’re inherently fanfic? Though we’ve reached the point, time-wise, where everything is fanfic. So why aren’t fanfic comics as good as fanfic movies or fanfic TV? Though, I suppose that’s the question. Why aren’t comics as good.

Why don’t mainstream comics reach the same levels of, I don’t know, sublimity–even in moments–as other entertainment mediums. They can. Jemm, Son of Saturn made me cry. Garth Ennis can get me ugly weeping with a Punisher war comic. So why is it so hard for the rest of them to find even kernels of emotional honesty.