Monday, 24 March 2014

TooBusyThinking's 10 Least Favourite Comic Books From 2010 to 2014

For the penultimate post here at TooBusyThinking, I thought I'd nominate my 10 least favorite comics from the last four years. To my surprise, the list was remarkably easy to write. Whereas yesterday's piece about my favourite moments from the same period - - find it here - took a great deal of chin-stroking,  the material that - shall we say -  seriously disappointed me came immediately to mind. Of all the many comics that I've flinched at since 2010, what follows is in a class of its own.

The books that follow are in no particular order of preference, and I'm certainly not trying to suggest that each is as bad as the other. Some of what follows is self-evidently more despicable than its fellows. Just to have to think about the wretched things again is trying enough. To have to try to rank them was beyond my powers of perseverance. Finally, the presence of a creator's work on this charge sheet isn't meant to suggest anything of their achievements elsewhere. There are writers and artists in what follows who've produced comics that I cherish, and most probably always will.

Since I've written about all these comics before, I'll keep my words to an absolute minimum while adding links to reviews from TooBusyThinking's back pages.

1. Dan DiDio and J G Jones' Manbat Out Of Hell, from 2013's Batman Black And White -  here, here and here.
2. Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo & Jonathan Glapion's Batman #17 - here.
Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham's Batman Inc #8 - here.
4. Alexandro Jodorowsky and Jean-Claude Gal's Diosamante - here.
5.  Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo's Rorschach #1 - here
6. Dan Slott, Humberto Ramos & Steve Wacker's Amazing Spider-Man #685 - here.
7. Frank Miller's Holy Terror - here, here & here
8. Mark Millar & John Romita Jr's Kick Ass II - here
9. Peter Tomasi & Fernando Pasarin's Green Lantern Corp #1 - here
10. Brian Azzarello & Cliff Chiang's Wonder Woman #7 - here
 
Just one more post to go .....

23 comments:

  1. Great round up!

    I find myself referring back to my own brief post about Spider-Man Friendly Neighborhood Torturer. . . as it is just the worst from the established comics (that I have read - that Man-Bat seems pretty awful, tho) - but without having wasted my time and money Holy Terror! seems indefensible.

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    1. Hello Mr O:- It really should be said that it was you that pointed my snout in the direction of that dreadful ASM issue. As .... disappointing a reading experience it was, I'm very grateful to have had you point me towards it.

      And Holy Terror? It's a spiteful, evil book. And I don't use that word "evil" without a great deal of thought, I assure you.

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  2. Your eloquence in the posts that originally discussed each of these is one of the many reasons I'm going to miss this place so much. You've provided a beneficial service to your readers and, to the extent they may pay attention, the current industry itself.

    More than that, I'm certainly going to miss reading someone who says better than I can what it is I want to say.

    -mikesensei

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    1. Hello Mike:- Thank you for the kind words :)

      I must say, it's great to have a chance to swap a few words with you before the blog finally closes - in less than 48 hours, in fact. Thanks for being such a friend to the blog, and I hope the world treats you with uncommon gentleness :)

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  3. Colin, I feel there should be a plaque hung somewhere to the memory of Holy Terror. It should read either NEVER FORGET or (if you're into Astro City) TO OUR ETERNAL SHAME.

    It's a good time to be thinking of Holy Terror - it just appeared on a list at Cracked as one of "5 Disastrous Attempts at Political Commentary in Comic Books."

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    1. Hello Michael:- I would subscribe to such a memorial. I'd particularly appreciate it being 100 foot tall and made of brightest neon, placed, say, 10 feet away from wherever Frank Miller lays his hat.

      Funny you should mention that Cracked list. They linked to TooBusyThinking, which I appreciated. It brought thousands of readers into my Holy Terror pieces. A nice, unexpected touch for this last week on the blog :)

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  4. I'll miss this blog, Colin, but good on you for keeping the quality posts going right up to the end. It has been a real pleasure reading your thoughts about comics (the good, the bad, and the ugly)

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    1. Hello Kazekage:- Thank you, I really do appreciate you saying so.

      Mind you, if I can't get the FF series of posts that keeps getting away from me finished, this blog may never end! Never mind, one more post to go :0

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  5. Sent here by a link on The Middle Spaces on Facebook and I loved these articles. I haven't read comics in 30 years but I am really into the discussions and criticism of the medium that is happening these days.

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    1. Helo Eric:- Thank you for saying so! I appreciate Mr O's Facebook for sending you this-a-way. If you've not been a comics reader for so long, I would imagine what's been written across the board must seem .... unexpected. I'm glad you've enjoyed your visit.

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  6. Hi Colin,

    These are indeed some spectacularly horrible moments. I actually like Wonder Woman most of the time, but I keep it in the back of my mind, that this isn't the REAL Wonder Woman. Same thing with John Stewart being whiny. John's whole schtick from back in the day was that he bucked authority.

    But hey, the New 52 Universe.

    That Batman/Manbat thing in the Black and White book was truly truly gawdawful however.

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    1. Hello Sally:- You're right, of course; it is important to remember that the Nu52 takes on these characters are no more objective than the ones that each comics reader creates for themselves. The ratio of fine comics to rotten ones since the Nu52 kicked off has been shamefully low. But so what? We know who the real Amazons are, and we know who John Stewart is too.

      And I guess it says a great deal, that the man who's in charge of DC was also directly responsible for Manbat Out Of Hell.

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  7. Colin, I'd certainly agree about Kick Ass - I read a few issues of CLINT and the violence in it was way too much and I'm normally fairly open minded. Does CLINT still exist - I haven't seen it on sale recently but I haven't been looking.

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    1. Hello Colin:- CLINT! as cancelled .... Memory said it happened some 18 months ago, but it may have been sooner. It was a rotten business, although Millar got very little criticism for it, for its publication frequency had collapsed before a largely comics-free last issue turned up.

      Having said that, I am very much enjoying Jupiter's Legacy and StarLight. For my money, they're a read return to form from Millar and well worth trying out.

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  8. Colin... as depressing as it can be to think about the worthless, witless examples of modern "superhero" comics you've mentioned above... even more saddening is the fact that this wonderful blog is soon to reach the end of its life. I don't read a lot of new comics any more ( from a general dissatisfaction with mainstream funny books ) so I've been glad that Too Busy... has been around to steer me in the direction of the good stuff and help me avoid the tripe. Your posts here have always been erudite, fair, fiercely moral ( but not self-righteous ), thought-provoking and, above all, entertaining. So, thanks yet again for all the hard work and I hope to meet up with you again soon in other corners of t'internet....

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    1. Hello cerebus660:- It's very much appreciated that you should the above. To share an enthusiasm, and to hope to do so as honestly as possible, is really what blogging is about. Of course it is! I always thought of it as meeting friends for coffee and chatting about what we've read. I shall certainly miss doing that.

      Mind you, as I may have mentioned in another comment above, the FF piece that I'm currently struggling to finish keeps expanding; I'm beginning to think that part of my mind is determined to stay blogging forever :)

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  9. Rorschach was almost sublime in its rubbishness. I want to track down the original script and frame it page by page across my wall. In the centre I'll have the panel of the guy in the cubicle, with a candle on either side as a shrine to all that is naff.

    Out of curiosity, did you ever read the other three issues? I was fully expecting the senseless violence to be capped off with a "vigilantism doesn't pay" moment, like the old crime comics. But that never happened - the series was 100% on the side of Rorschach all the way through. I'm not sure it could have got any closer to self-parody...

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    1. Hello Neil:- Good for you for persevering with Rorschach. That really does show determination. I'm afraid that I could bear too; that first issue was so terrible, so insulting, so creatively bankrupt, that I had no doubt it would end up glorifying poor Rorschach. I couldn't imagine the project not doing so. DiDio seems convinced that such is what his audience demands, and appears - in comics such as his own ManBat Goes To Hell - to believe that reactionary tales are worth telling.

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  10. I dont know why I thought of you (but than why not? :-) ) but do sample the absolutely DELIGHTFUL Brigadier Gerard stories that Conan Doyle wrote when he was heartily sick of the cold-blooded rational Sherlock Holmes. :-D They are a complete hoot, and show once and for all that the stiff upper lip of the British was always a schoolboy fiction. :-D

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    1. Hello gl_hater:- Your recommendations are always welcome here. I don't know of he Brigadier Gerard stories, but I'll certainly keep an eye out for them.

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  11. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=18521656
    Although I liked the absolutely sentimental "how the brigadier lost his ear" story as an introduction better - its true, we men really wish we were that self sacrificing in love. :-) all this while the lady in question is ONLY amongst the top 20 beauties he has ever loved. :-D
    http://www.sshf.com/encyclopedia/index.php/How_Brigadier_Gerard_Lost_His_Ear

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    1. Colin could even combine his interests - Graphic Classics have adapted a few of the Gerard tales into comics form (such as in their Arthur Conan Doyle volume).

      Gerard is so much fun; think Bertie Wooster, only caught up in the Napoleonic Wars.

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    2. Hello Michael:- Bertie Wooster caught up in the Napoleonic Wars? Consider me doubly sold :)

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