I’m unbelievably tired of all the snark and hate on the internet. It seems that every time I go to any comic book news site, message board, facebook or twitter there’s an overabundance of people bashing books or complaining about the pricing of comics, the creators, the companies and even other fans. Anything people can find to complain about it seems they do.
You have the audacity to like something that someone else deems awful? “Well, how dare you!” You enjoy event comics in the same way a majority of the planet enjoys big budget summer movies? Well, let me tell you… “You’re part of the problem! You’re why things suck! You’re the reason I suffer from event fatigue!” You want to tell a creator that you hope he dies in a fiery car crash? Just give yourself an anonymous internet handle and go to town. Why have a heart when you can have anonymity?
That’s my biggest problem. You see, I love comics. I’m also incredibly aware that my time on earth is fairly limited. So why would I ever want to focus so much on things that I don’t love and enjoy? I’d much prefer to work hard on creating an atmosphere where people can appreciate and share things that they enjoy. I don’t feel that I’m any good at reviewing comics. I’ve tried (as you can see in a few videos on this very site) but I’ve never felt very comfortable in the “reviewer” role. On one hand it’s the old “if you don’t have anything nice to say” and on the other it’s that I feel like it would be pretty bad of me to review a comic, having never even tried to create one.
What I can get behind is spreading my enjoyment of comics and everything pop culture. Comics, movies, music, television shows. I even tend to give a little bit of personal history in there as well, all while not using an anonymous internet name. This way you know that what I’m saying is what I actually feel instead of hiding behind anonymity.
The idea for this column hit me while I was riding my bike home from my local comic shop after listening to some friends talk about 1990s comics. They weren’t being overly harsh, but the ‘90s tends to get the broad stroke treatment of, “It’s all foil-embossed crap with a hologram card slapped on it.” The ‘90s comic era gets a bad rap. Some of it very well deserved, but a lot of it not. I have a problem with the overall distaste for ‘90s comics because that was my golden age of comics.
I was 12 in 1992 when I first discovered comics. If you were around for the actual “Golden Age” you were witness to the birth a time lost-soldier named Captain America who fought a war for basic human rights. In my “Golden Age” I witnessed the birth of a time-lost soldier named Cable who fought a war for basic human and mutant rights. You might laugh at the comparison between the two characters and that’s fine, but to my 12 year old mind there is no difference. It’s the experience of discovering something new, something for yourself that is so wonderful.
My father thinks that “Maggie May” by Rod Stewart is one of the greatest songs ever written, while I tend to think that “Stars” by Hum is. There is no right or wrong answer in our observations. There is just our perception which is affected by our own memories and personal nostalgia. My comic taste is deeply entrenched in my first discoveries of comics, as well is my musical taste, or even what my favorite foods are. I feel like everyone holds a special place in their hearts for their first discoveries from childhood. Things that spoke to them, that they felt were created specifically for them, at that moment in time. This is why I’ll always hold a special place in my heart for Avengers wearing brown bomber jackets.
Going forward, I’d like to focus this column on discussing my love of comics. It might not always be ‘90s comics. If I feel the need to talk about older comics, and how I discovered them, the impact that they had, and particular memories that I have with them, I will. I’d also love to hear other people’s thoughts on the things I’m discussing; what your first introductions to comics were. I’d just like to create an environment where there’s a little more excitement and happiness about comics, and a little less snark. I’d like to shine a light on my discovery of comics and all the pop culture things that I love and appreciate in the hopes of being able to wax nostalgic, spark conversations, reminisce about my youth and show an appreciation for the things that influenced who I’ve become.
So there it is; my personal mission statement to add a little more positivity to this corner of the internet. Hopefully you’ll be inspired to share some of your own personal Golden Age stories as well and continue to join me on a trip back to my past.
Tune in next time for another installment of My Golden Age. “Our heroes secret origin: How our hero learned to the fight the power!”
Good stuff, Sean!
Like Geoff Johns always says, “Every comic is somebody’s first comic.”
Looking forward to reading more, sir.
You mean you have an opinion, and I have an opinion, and they differ…and it’s okay?
I’m sorry, but that’s not how the internet works.
Still…we’ll let it slide this time.
Welcome aboard, and looking forward to more!
Nice man. I can feel the love. I read AvX earlier today, and while I dreaded the groans of comic book ‘fans’, I myself was smiling from ear to ear as I read it. Another fantastic event from Marvel.
Glad you enjoyed AvX #1. I really liked the 0 issue (a total 90’s gimmick) and am looking forward to picking up issue #1 this week. Thanks for the kind words!
I can already feel the self-loathing bile rising in me but… I agree.
As a guy that enjoyed his first comic book, which featured a Mr. Ben Reilly, this thought has not been far from my mind. The Clone Saga I think is the perfect symbol of that whole era. Yes some stories were god-awful (Maximum Clonage anyone)and some were great stories I would never want to part with (Spider-man: the Lost years was great and if Amazing Spider-man 400 didn’t get to you, then it’s doubtful any comic could), but more importantly, if you just read them straight through, and forget the 2-year long annoyance older readers felt at the time, it actually averages out to a fairly good story.
And what’s more, let’s not forget this era also brought some widely acclaimed stories, Starman, Ostrander’s run on Spectre, Moench’s Batman run, countless great Legends of the Dark Knight stories. And let’s not forget hidden gems like the New Warriors, the Death of Illyana story, and many more
In reality though when people trash the 90’s what they really mean comics from 1992-1994 and a little less heavily to 1996, and really just the big visibly bad stuff like Spawn, Youngblood, and you fill in the Image book, as well as the odd gimicks like electric Superman.
Of course though I agree with the overall premise of this essay, I find it odd coming from someone who just last week was spouting off in contempt about a young man buying a “Morrison X-men” trade. Sop could it be possible the good idea hides a truer fascistic view on comics?
Ahhh Scratch… How I never tire of your endless efforts to gain my attention. My intention for this column is to discuss why I enjoy the comics that i do, to try and spread a bit of good will on some books that sometimes get lumped in with what some people consider to be bad 90’s comics. Again, i’ll just be going with my opinion, and why I enjoyed them in the hopes of maybe getting someone to take a second look.
Now, with that being said I do believe that I’ve explained multiple times why I don’t particularly like Morrison’s run on New X-Men and dislike the fact that people tend to always go towards that run when discussing good “jumping on” points for new readers. I have also, and will always be completely honest that my view of Morrison’s run on the book will always be overshadowed by a personal tragedy that happened to me around the time that book was coming out. It’s just not my X-Men, it won’t ever be. I’ve read it more than once, I own the entire run, I just don’t think it holds a candle to the many great runs on the X-Men that came before it.
First of all, don’t call me that. Second, don’t think of it as an attempt to get your attention but rather to undermine and poison your psyche.
And I don’t know why you had a problem with my post, I agreed with you about the 90’s unfairly being lumped in as all bad, I even did what you “forgot” and added examples, really you should be thanking me for helping to pick up the slack.
Now, to cap things off, slick. I wasn’t judging your contempt for the story (since God knows I thought it sucked) but rather your methodology. Just last week you took it as a personal attack, or seemingly did, when Mullins told a young man the honest opinion of many people on both sides… including those who think it was great. What’s more I have personally seen you go on about it’s lack of quality to people. So, all rambling aside, my point is that you are just as guilty of exclusive views on material, as anyone. This is view of opinion supremacy is what leads to the over reaching statements such as “the (0′ were all god-awful for comics.” Of course this is not an uncommon view, almost all comic readers are guilty of it. The fact is we participate in a medium that at it’s best was never really huge for mainstream adults. This leads to hyperbolic statements and stern opinions, and since the pool of people can still be as varied as the larger world but smaller as well these extreme views and statements will naturally foster and be held tighter without willingness to reexamine, especially since as I said the pool of thought is smaller so no matter how varied you are less likely to have a large number of people trying yo at least get you to accept it as at least a logical choice for someone else so it can often come off as an attack on your personal beliefs.
Wait I said rambling aside, sorry about that. I sort of went off on a riff there. But what I was really getting at, buddy-boy, was that you were coming off with a bit of a persecution, oh-woe-is-me, vibe. I’m just trying to keep you honest.
P.S. as much as I can have a problem with the wide-swinging statements you criticize, you know who does that? Mr. Murray, and I’ll hug a Dutchman before I sit back and let that living God be bad-mouthed across the web-erverse.
Mr. Pigeon pointed out something to me last Wednesday, he pointed out(accurately I might add) That some non-regulars to Back to the Past’s Wednesday “New Comic Fest” every week might misunderstand this. You see Mr. Pigeon have a somewhat tounge-in-cheek, “Played for laughs” adversarial relationship. I made the mistake of forgetting to perhaps turn on , or maybe turn back on, the early days filter of our acquaintanceship.
The goal, was to bring in more people to the page by having a sort of good-Nature back and forth. However, as I said I did make the mistake of coming in with the larger force that we built up to, not the kid-gloves that a project like this needs in the beginning to nurture it.
So, rest assured, this is neither a typical “Nerd-War” played out in vicious hate speech about non-issues of comic books, nor is it a some new shot fired in an ongoing war. You don’t have to worry, getting in between us in an argument is not akin to choosing sides between a cold-war president or the Soviet Premiere.
Rest assured Sean and I…. well Sean anyway can be a perfectly reasonable person to know, and has given me little reasons to believe hes wishes to dictate Comic reading lists to folk despite their preference.
You’re a good man M. Lapham, even if you don’t believe it. I look forward to our continued back and forth and bringing as many people as we can into our “Wednesday New Comic Friendship Fest” both in the store and online.
I also am looking forward to future contributions from you, observations, and the day you speak with your dying breath “Pigeon, I’m still not your friend, but thanks for the effort.”
Oftentimes while sitting upon my throne of skulls gazing into the abyss, I’ll ponder on the trials and tribulations of you mere mortals. I’ve come to the conclusion that you two need to man the filth-flarn-filth up.This is what caused World War III at the shop last week. This is what almost broke up the Reed Richards and Ben Grimm of Back to the Past. I’ve gotten more brutal remarks from my grandmother. Also Scratch, I would never allow you to be subjected to the foul gropings of a Dutchman. Who knows what kind of vermin you would come away with.
P.S. 90’s comics were garbage.
Thank you for stepping down from your throne of skulls to let me know I should man the filth-flarn-filth up Mr. Murray. Expect tons of manliness when we see each other next.
Maybe your 90’s comics were garbage, mine were brilliant. Also, what kind of a tough guy that sits atop of a skrull throne says p.s.?
The PS stood for Published Scott Lobdell so I can see where someone would find that lame and girly. Anyway, enjoy your NFL SuperPro, Sleepwalker, Ravage 2099 and other assorted 90’s “gems”. I’ll be reading my awesome autographed issue of Scalped.
PS( Purely Superfluous) It’s true that Michael Bay didn’t rape your childhood memories of Ninja Turtles. I DID! They were asking for it.*
* For the possible one other person reading our nonsense, read Pigeon’s article on the “raping of childhoods” on this site to get that last joke.
You leave Scott Lobdell out of this! The man’s a saint!
and Lucifer was an angel. Stalin wanted to be a priest. And Scott Lobdell made the x-verse and marvel almost two separate entities. And the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were nothing but a rip-off of Night Court. I roll with Murray on this one, yo.
words, words, words. Nonsense. Schtik, schtik, schtik. I hate you.
Yes Sean, typically when one types words are what come up, and if you are looking for a stick may I suggest the woods, they are filled with them, yo. Also I suggest you check the dictionary since the preferred speelling of fallen pieces of tree limbs is s-t-i-c-k. I’m glad I could help you even if you do hate me, yo. Anf finally claiming to be someone else if if nothing else the height of rudeness to the person you claim to be, yo.
Peace and love,
Mr. Murray, I’m just glad that you and I are on the same page visa vie the dutch… and even more happy that you draw the line of non-involvement in a place which saves me from there breed. And I am Ben Grimm right?