The Amateur Everything

Karthik Kakarala, head of Solar Shadows Records, 2nd year student in the Xavier University School of Medicine at Aruba, contains a sampling of what rattles around in his mind upon this Tumblr. This is not a Twitter. Expect bouts of verbosity, regardless of whether it's for better or for worse.
Thu Nov 25
soulvice:

stormthebastille:

When people bash this book (or Grant in general) , I can’t help but laugh cause it shows that some people who read comics want everything handed to them on a silver platter and don’t want to think outside the box.

I still completely disagree with you here. I really don’t have the mentality of wanting everything I read in comics to be handed to me on a silver platter. I like riveting suspense and plot detail, I just want it to actually make sense. There are other writers who make us “think outside the box” without coming off as convoluted as hell. But go ahead, laugh at us.

I’ve read, whether in comics, graphic novels, text-only literature, plenty of incessantly obtuse constructions of art.  I won’t get into my film tastes or the music that I myself create, because that would be too far a tangent (even though it would honestly help prove my point on a multimedia foundation).  Anyway… Grant Morrison is repeatedly showing a blatant disregard for the utility of having any Theory of Mind for the reader.  I’m certain that it all seems organized in his head, I really am, but to a lot of us, it seems like he jumps the shark in the last 1/6th of basically every arc that he’s written in the last 6-7 years, cramming in everything that he didn’t see fit to suggest anywhere else, in some attempt to shock, knowing that throwing the reader into a tailspin will cause a significant amount of loyal fans to rationalize and bridge the gap in a collaborative attempt to make it work.  Kudos to anyone who is that devoted to anyone, anywhere.
Y’see, any point that could possibly productively occur ends up getting blocked off, in a case like this.
Basically, Nicole and I will be laughing back at you (or maybe just me… I accept that I could possibly be the lone jerk, here), even though we know that we can help it, because that’s a lot of money to repeatedly waste in some sort of delusion that “thinking outside of the box” is occurring.  One can be experimental, taut, and incisive, and there is a continuing succession of creators who prove that.
I don’t consider Grant Morrison to be one of those these days, with my experiences across-the-board.  His beginnings are just fine… every single time.  I am split on his middle progressions, and his endings have been a convoluted mess.

soulvice:

stormthebastille:

When people bash this book (or Grant in general) , I can’t help but laugh cause it shows that some people who read comics want everything handed to them on a silver platter and don’t want to think outside the box.

I still completely disagree with you here. I really don’t have the mentality of wanting everything I read in comics to be handed to me on a silver platter. I like riveting suspense and plot detail, I just want it to actually make sense. There are other writers who make us “think outside the box” without coming off as convoluted as hell. But go ahead, laugh at us.

I’ve read, whether in comics, graphic novels, text-only literature, plenty of incessantly obtuse constructions of art.  I won’t get into my film tastes or the music that I myself create, because that would be too far a tangent (even though it would honestly help prove my point on a multimedia foundation).  Anyway… Grant Morrison is repeatedly showing a blatant disregard for the utility of having any Theory of Mind for the reader.  I’m certain that it all seems organized in his head, I really am, but to a lot of us, it seems like he jumps the shark in the last 1/6th of basically every arc that he’s written in the last 6-7 years, cramming in everything that he didn’t see fit to suggest anywhere else, in some attempt to shock, knowing that throwing the reader into a tailspin will cause a significant amount of loyal fans to rationalize and bridge the gap in a collaborative attempt to make it work.  Kudos to anyone who is that devoted to anyone, anywhere.

Y’see, any point that could possibly productively occur ends up getting blocked off, in a case like this.

Basically, Nicole and I will be laughing back at you (or maybe just me… I accept that I could possibly be the lone jerk, here), even though we know that we can help it, because that’s a lot of money to repeatedly waste in some sort of delusion that “thinking outside of the box” is occurring.  One can be experimental, taut, and incisive, and there is a continuing succession of creators who prove that.

I don’t consider Grant Morrison to be one of those these days, with my experiences across-the-board.  His beginnings are just fine… every single time.  I am split on his middle progressions, and his endings have been a convoluted mess.

(via endearingpsychosis-deactivated2)

Thu Nov 18

my philosophy on comics pt.2

theotherdynamicduo:

Okay, so in part one of this mostly gratuitous in-depth look at my views on comics you guys saw how I felt about the Marvel vs. DC issue and also got a look at some of what I am reading currently. This time around I want to settle an issue that I have tentatively addressed in previous posts but haven’t gotten the chance to fully explore. That’s right, this post is entire devoted to Grant Morrison’s run on Batman. I know some of my followers hate him with an undying passion while others love what he’s doing with the series. I have to say, Batman and Son, R.I.P. and Final Crisis were all overly convoluted and extremely disappointing. I loved the idea for Batman and Son/The Black Glove but the way he wrote it made the story nearly incomprehensible. R.I.P. and Final Crisis were just altogether nonsensical and unenjoyable. When he started Batman and Robin I decided to give him another chance and while it made sense and the plot seemed to have a definitive direction, some of the executive decisions he made on that series (his portrayal of Jason for one) still left a somewhat bad taste in mouth. When it came time for the Return of Bruce Wayne, I was excited and afraid all at once. Once I began to read it, I just became frustrated at the callous attempt at retcon, the near plagiarism of Captain America Reborn and the fact that I was, yet again, thoroughly confused up until the series’ end. That is all the bad things I have to say concerning Mr. Morrison. However, I just picked up Batman: The Return and Batman Inc. 1 (as well as the rest of the Road Home one shots I was missing) yesterday when I went to my local comic store. I am hooked! Morrison’s pitch for the League of Batmen 2.0 has none of the frustrations that burdened his earlier works AND the great ideas he was tossing around at the beginning of the run make their return here. I am excited to see where he is taking this series and am willing to give him a second chance. That is to say, to those of you who think Grant Morrison has lost his touch, I implore you to go spend 7 bucks at your comic book store. It just might change your mind.

Well, since you seem to share my opinions on Morrison, all the way up his most recent disaster, I might give this a shot.  But I’m on record multiple times for saying that the main part where he jumps the shark tends to be the end of an arc… or basically every single arc with him behind it since at least the last 6-7 years (¿New X-Men, anyone?).

So: I have no doubt that the beginning of these ideas will prove to be enjoyable, actually.  If he does anything akin to trying to resolve anything, however, I will be far more wary about spending money, considering how long I’ve been trying to be impartial, in more than one universe.  He’s able to make good pitches, but his ability to fully execute them has not had a good track record.

If I just hated what he did outright, it would be simple.  I would never buy anything he wrote, and it would be the easiest budgeting decision I’d ever made since picking up a book of any kind with money that I took out of my pants pocket.  As I just said, though… it’s much more complicated… much more frustratingly complicated.

(Source: )

Sun Nov 14
I vaguely recall that he used to be able to end things1,2.
1. Yes, I’m doing an intentionally goofy mimicking job of the expression on the cover.
2. I’m still irritated about this.  Literary and art rages are not limited to literature and gallery art, with me.

I vaguely recall that he used to be able to end things1,2.

1. Yes, I’m doing an intentionally goofy mimicking job of the expression on the cover.

2. I’m still irritated about this.  Literary and art rages are not limited to literature and gallery art, with me.

endearingpsychosis-deactivated2 asked: Grant Morrison, will he just go die in a fire already? He ruins Batman's death, he thinks he can now ruin Batman's return... who lets him write so much anymore as it is? Why hasn't DC revoked his privileges?

Also, props for the Red Lantern shirt. Definitely.

The balls on that guy.  As we’ve discussed before, Grant Morrison seems to need to overdo it way beyond even the natural necessary drama of a comic book, regardless of whether he’s writing for DC or Marvel.  He treats characters like he’s able to write richly psychological effects on them, and he’s lost touch with how a human being perceives anything a while back.  Then, because his convoluted crap looks vaguely like someone’s mind or space and time itself are breaking, people applaud wildly for his ability to spur on half-baked ideas that spawn Salvador Dali rejected scenes in the endings of his garbage.

So people buy his overdone, overwrought stuff, and Grant Morrison apologists rationalize all of his half-assed, last-minute screwups to his setups, because he used to be able to sort of write.

At this point, I’m more consistently comfortable reading any Wolverine book, regardless of whether it’s properly maintaining any continuity concerns, and we know how I feel about that.

For a while, the shirts offered were… okay.  A better one popped up somewhat recently, though.  Pictures will occur.

But those props?

Night: Successful.

EDIT: If he caught fire and somehow survived, he would just write some veiled reference into it, and when everyone discussed how crappy it was, he would talk about it as being a dark time in his life.  Bah.

Sat Nov 13
batwoman:

Necessary reaction post to Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne’s conclusion.

I’m really glad that all three of us reacted in relatively the same way to this nonsense.  
Oh well, guess I didn’t need that $4 for anything… or the $20 that preceded it.

batwoman:

Necessary reaction post to Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne’s conclusion.

I’m really glad that all three of us reacted in relatively the same way to this nonsense.  

Oh well, guess I didn’t need that $4 for anything… or the $20 that preceded it.

(via endearingpsychosis-deactivated2)

Thu Oct 21
soulvice:

stormthebastille:

loansharkofbliss:

RBJGERGFERNFGERJFKERF AWESOME. HOLY SHIT

If you read this today and you didn’t get giddy like a schoolgirl, you need to stop reading comics this very instant…Morrison has done it again!

We’ll see about that, sir. I still need to go comic book shopping. Ugh. 

Batman and Robin has seemed pretty decent under Morrison’s tenure, thus far.  His other shenanigans make me a bit wary, unwilling to go “all in” on this, until Bruce Wayne returns outright.  Morrison needs to complete an arc without making it a clusterfuck before I can do this “Morrison has done it again!” train.  

soulvice:

stormthebastille:

loansharkofbliss:

RBJGERGFERNFGERJFKERF AWESOME. HOLY SHIT

If you read this today and you didn’t get giddy like a schoolgirl, you need to stop reading comics this very instant…Morrison has done it again!

We’ll see about that, sir. I still need to go comic book shopping. Ugh. 

Batman and Robin has seemed pretty decent under Morrison’s tenure, thus far.  His other shenanigans make me a bit wary, unwilling to go “all in” on this, until Bruce Wayne returns outright.  Morrison needs to complete an arc without making it a clusterfuck before I can do this “Morrison has done it again!” train.  

(Source: red-blood-cells, via endearingpsychosis-deactivated2)

Tue Sep 14

soulvice:

stormthebastille:

tychokepler:

stormthebastille:

soulvice:

sunshadowpoet:

soulvice:

psyourtoastisburning:

stormthebastille:

wow…this is amazing.

It would be if Captain Marvel didn’t suck.  He’s like the Dan of Marvel.

DISAGREE. I love Captain Marvel. HAVEN’T YOU READ KINGDOM COME? He’s such a bamf in that.

Wait… Scott, ¿are you referring to Captain Marvel as if he belongs to Marvel?  I mean, maybe you referred to him in terms of the Marvel family in the DC books, but I’m not so sure that I’m finding any proof to support that theory of mine.

Perhaps you need some clarification.  

Anyway, I really wish that Captain Marvel (DC) was written for a bit more consistently these days.  I’m basically saying that how well Captain Marvel comes off seems to be a measure of whether the writing is awesome, because ol’ Billy Batson and his superheroic alter-ego don’t seem to write themselves.  This is most recently evidenced by how relatively pointless Captain Marvel is in Final Crisis.  Grant Morrison doesn’t really seem to have any idea of what the hell to do with Captain Marvel, for the most part, and it shows pretty blatantly.

Another prime example is how pathetic he basically was in a duel against Thor back in DC vs. Marvel.  I admit, however, that it would completely suck to go up against Thor in general.  

That all said, this image is awesome, regardless.  

PFFFFFFT!

KARTHIK! Grant Morrison can’t write anything worth reading now-a-days, so naturally his portrayal of Captain Marvel in Final Crisis is terrible. And I do agree with you, he really had no idea what to do with him, so it sucked. But I think Final Crisis sucked as a whole anyway.

As for that battle you mentioned… Mm, yeah, Perhaps more bad writing. But it’s not for his lack of being a good character. I still like him, he is potentially interesting… He just has to be well written, which I think should be a standard for every character.

Basing your opinion on a writer due to one project you didn’t like isn’t the way to judge someone’s writing ability. 20+ years ago, he brought  heroes out of obscurity and made them icons. 15 years ago, he made Aquaman a bad ass. 10 years ago, he wrote an X-Men comic that developed new stars while highlighting drama only matched by Joss Whedon. Grant Morrison took over Batman five years ago that is only rivaled by Gotham Central for best Bat book in the last decade. Currently he and Geoff Johns are developing the DCU for the next decade and doing a great job where time and time again, people have failed.

Not trying to argue in any sense but I’m just interested in what other titles written by Grant in the last 5 years besides “Final Crisis” have you read? 

Also, Grant will be writing a Captain Marvel story by the name of “Thunder Dome” next year.

Thunderworld, actually.

It’s going to be pretty great.

Thank you, I must’ve heard it wrong when I was at the panel at SDCC. 

Did I say that I was basing my opinion on one graphic novel? No, no I did not. I am just particularly outraged by it in particular. Seeing as Morrison is your favorite writer, you obviously have a bias of some sort. I’m not saying he could never write, I’m saying he can’t write lately. Far be it from me to try to stop someone from reading Morrison’s stuff lately, but it just isn’t good. Most of the ideas are good, yes, but it’s not written in a way that is enjoyable to read.

Not only do I hate Final Crisis, I think Arkham Asylum: A Serious House On A Serious Earth was an absolute abomination. I can’t believe that that piece of crap is regarded as being one of the all-time best graphic novels. It’s so fucking bad. I was legitimately furious when I finished reading it. Batman R.I.P. is also just as convoluted and ridiculous and Final Crisis, only maybe a little less so. Even still, I wasn’t a fan of R.I.P. I’ve been following Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne and I’ve honestly been pretty disappointed and weirded out by it. You have no fucking idea how excited I was to hear that they were bringing Bruce “back” and then I am left with… whatever this crazy mess is turning into.

I really. Am just. Not. A. Fan.

Some of his JLA stuff was good… A while ago.

I’m sure Karthik will have something to say of his work for Marvel. I haven’t read much Marvel except for lately, so I cannot judge his work there.

Yeah, until he pulled what is consistently becoming his more recent inability to know how to end things, regarding his “New X-Men” run.  

What makes him so disappointing time and time again is that last-lap problem, let alone a fairly disjointed sense of how another mind is going to process the build-up, in plenty of cases (see what Nicole mentions earlier).  The comic book clerk summed up some of my issues by stating, “It would be kind of nice if Final Crisis was reprinted with this “missing” chapter.  No, really… I really liked #701 and #702, genuinely.  Enough that I’m worried he’s going to jump the shark all over again, if he follows his pattern from the last decade or so.  

Look… I know what he wants to do.  I get that.  Cool.  His follow-through is significantly lacking.  It’s like eating a candy bar and thinking “Hey, this is pretty decent,” and then you get confused because the last bit of filling was finished with sand.  You don’t think of the bites before, you think, Why the hell couldn’t they have just paid enough attention to not put sand in my candy bar, damnit?

The fact that he’s been capable of being a good writer is why I’m all the more disappointed, now.

(Source: caveofcool, via endearingpsychosis-deactivated2)