Ambidextrous 285: Keyboard Courage
Ambidextrous #283- Seal the Deal
I mean, besides writing hundreds of great comics over the last two decades, and proving to be one of the medium’s most imaginative and progressive storytellers. Even his interviews are consistently fantastic, as it’s obvious no one thinks about or approaches comics the way he does and likely never will. So it’s been a little strange and depressing to watch he and his intentions in regards to Final Crisis and Batman R.I.P. eviscerated in such an immediate fashion. Because it sounds to me that what people are really saying is that “Grant Morrison can only be Grant Morrison when I want him to be and anything past that, he can just ____ off with all his big ideas and smart talk.”
Here’s the thing though---it’s not that he thinks he’s smarter than you…you think he’s smarter than you and you’re projecting this inferiority complex into his work. Dude isn’t trying to trick you, he’s just intentionally writing comics in a different way and believing that enough people will respond to it. He’s giving some of us a lot more credit than we deserve, and if that’s your final message to him, congratulations. I’m sure he gets it now. You were expecting him to rewrite the original Crisis and put different characters in it, simply because the word Crisis was in the title. You were expecting him to write another arc of JLA, but this time J.G. Jones would draw it. You were expecting him to give you that same “big event” you’ve read over and over again, so you could complain about that.
For argument’s sake, let’s assume some of you might even be right - even if it’s true that he overshot the mark completely, or packed too much story and too many cuts into the series, or didn’t leave a long-lasting change in the DCU…so what? So ____’in what? You bought some comics you didn’t end up liking. Donate them to a local charity. Light them on fire. Anything. If their mere presence somehow pollutes the sanctity of your sacred collection, then don’t put ‘em there. Grant Morrison has more than earned the right to do Final Crisis exactly the way he did it, and we gave him that right. How in the world could you not expect him to do something a little crazy? Did you forget that he was writing the thing, or all the other books from him that you loved? And how stupid is it that after years of people complaining about “decompressed” stories, we’re now complaining that there’s too much story in books? Unbelievable.
On top of all this came the announcement that Morrison wouldn’t be coming to the upcoming New York con, due to a family issue. Naturally, it wasn’t long before some moron came in and insinuated it was because of the online response to Final Crisis. That he was concerned about what the fans might say. Spoiler warning, but the notion that Grant Morrison would fabricate a family emergency because he’s too “afraid” to face supposed critics of his recent best-selling storylines is both hilarious and disgusting at the same time. If you’re actually sitting at home and believing something like that, I really do feel sorry for you and implore you to find some kind of life that has nothing to do with comic books. By saying that, you just embarrassed yourself in a very public way and no one should listen to a word you have to say from now on.
Grant Morrison is not afraid of you for a lot of reasons, but let’s just focus on this one…literally none of you that have been going on and on and on about how indefensible and horrid Final Crisis was will ever have the balls to tell him that to his face. I mean, hey, it sounds real cool and clever when it’s all typed out, but if you ran into him at a convention, you’d shake his hand and say, “I love your work.” That is an indisputable fact that I’d put money on. Which suggests only a couple of possibilities. One, the overpowering rage and venom is mostly fraudulent and people are simply piling on because it looks “cool” to crap on Morrison’s head right now. Or two, fans really do feel this strongly about the whole thing, but are hiding behind their monitors because they lack the courage to say even a fraction of this nonsense to the guy’s face. Either of these situations is pretty indefensible and again, tells people not to listen to you.
If you genuinely think these stories were absolute crap, that’s cool, but don’t pretend that there aren’t plenty of other people that loved them and can’t wait to read them all over again. We disagree about the effectiveness and overall quality of a story, but do keep in mind that the numbers say these were the two most successful storylines that DC put out this entire year, and I would think that suggests someone was taking a liking to this incomprehensible mess. Sales numbers don’t only matter when we’re talking about the Spider-Man books. A ton of people bought this, and kept buying it because they were into it and needed to see what happened next. I mean, either that or fans were buying it strictly out of habit and thereby deserve to have their money taken away from them anyway. Bottom line, some of us loved it, some of us didn’t, and we’re going to have to find a way to live with that like fully functioning adults.
I hate that seeing stuff like this continues to nauseate me, but clearly it does. The Internet is quickly going to become the most important tool that the industry has to survive and thrive in the new century, and stuff like this makes everyone look dumb. This is why it’s so difficult to leverage online fan support into anything truly meaningful and progressive…because we spend so much time being assholes about things that really don’t matter. If one of the greatest writers in comics can’t do a book like this without a bunch of uncivil pricks crawling into his ass about it, then maybe comics really are doomed. Because we don’t want anything different…or we want it purposely isolated to certain books, characters, and events. I’m sure it’s easier to ignore that way.
Repeat after me---having the ability to spend money on comics does not justify my engaging in all manner of message board douchebaggery (thanks, Jon Stewart) that frankly is quite sad and again reinforces the idea that the ‘net is to be discounted at every single turn. Then apologize to the man, and don’t type anything else unless you have the guts to say it to that person’s face. Try proving for once that you deserve someone putting more thought into something you’re going to read than you ever would. Otherwise, what you’re really telling someone like Grant Morrison (or whoever else has the absolute gall to attempt something a little different) is “don’t bother.”
And why in the ____ would we start telling creators that?Ambidextrous 284: Yes, I Hate Digital Comics Ambidextrous 283: Seal the Deal