Sunday, 24 May 2009

Has it really been that long?

I've been busy, folks, so, er...sorry about that!

Anyway, I'm currently on Hiatus from work, a glorious, family-filled 3 month break in which I get to chase Junior Pipe around the place, take afternoon naps, read, exercise, read, have long lunches, read.

It's also affording me some introspection time - so, what do I want to do now time. Family pipe is great, life is good, I'm working in the field I love, getting paid enough to be comfortable, and yet...

I've been reading X-Men comics. In between books, I've gone back to the very start of the series (using the fantastically cheap essentials collections, hundreds of black and white pages for just over a thousand pennies - at least on Amazon). It came about when I was talking with someone about the X-Men via a discussion about the latest Wolverine movie (a terrible, mess of a film, by the way), and that someone asked me to recommend some stories or give them some back ground on the team. I've not followed X-Men for a long while, but was an avid fan back in the day (the Claremont run - which covers nearly 2 decades, I think) and thought I had a pretty good handle on most of what went on. But I didn't.

The X-Men is some of the densest character history in comics, layer upon layer upon layer upon idea upon creative team, with very little retconned or done away with. To be frank, it's a mess. Almost every character has died at least twice (I think Cyclops is the only character that hasn't?) everyone has had a love interest with everyone else, Wolverine, someone who is a fan favourite, has more history for someone who supposedly can't remember their past, than anyone else. And there are hundreds of them, moving in and out of group affiliations, and time and space - people come from futures that don't exist to save the past that hasn't happened on a weekly basis, it's really a mess.

So I went back to the first few issues, which are tough going, if only because Stan Lee is a terrible writer, and also because they have dated very poorly. They're interesting in that the beats and ideas are not established yet (mutants work with the government, no, hang on, they are feared and hated, no wait...etc) and characters appear for the first time that now have a lot of history and baggage. It's fun, in a way, but also a little bit embarrassing. One can see why, in the early years, the book wasn't as popular as others, and was almost cancelled.

All this has made me think long and hard about one of my little goals in life, I've always wanted to write a comic book, and has got me thinking and researching the possibility of self-publishing something. The problem of not being able to draw for toffee aside, I'm really thinking long and hard about it.

We shall see though. With only two months left before work starts up again, who knows what will happen...


pdore said...

Man, you don't blog for months and then you come back & someone gives you a test - what a bummer!
Glad you're enjoying your vacation - isn't it great not having too much to do? Fun to read about the early X-Mens! I don't remember when I came in, but I remember some early Nightcrawler ones that I thought were pretty cool. I think that the comic peaked with the Phoenix story though - really I think one of the all time great comic book stories & not done justice by the movies (of course). I remember Stan Lee writing editor's responses back to forlorn fans that were really moving - great series! I liked Kitty Pride too, but things started to get a little grim & I lost interest. Keep up the blogging!!

Peace & Love,


Anonymous said...

I didn't know Patrick was such a comic book reader. Hhmm...clearly comic geeks run in the family. :)

Love you,