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The Cipher 04/13/11: “Golf Wang”

April 13th, 2011 by | Tags: , , , ,

this is what the devil plays before he goes to sleep

created: I haven’t been sleeping well. My throat hurts, so every time I swallow, I wince. Apparently, every time I swallow in my sleep, I wake up. That’s right: I’m the guy who wakes up an hour after taking sleeping pills. It’s had the odd effect of increasing my productivity, though. I’ve been dashing out stuff at work and at home like mad. I’m this close to getting out in front of every deadline I have control over. Crazy.

-Got a lot of irons in the fire (two, in fact, with another probably coming tonight), but all that’s up now is a little bit about Stan Sakai

-and ten Marvel books for June


go to school with this

consumed: But forreal though WHY DOES MY THROAT STILL HURT!!!!!

-Have I linked this Charlie Huston piece at Mulholland Books yet? I like this cat a whole lot, and the conclusion he comes to is interesting. I like his commentary on the piece over here, too.

-You know what’s nice about comics? There’s so many good ones that I can be well-versed in the greats and have a fantastic library without having to give Will Eisner any props for The Spirit and Ebony White. “It was just the times! Ha ha! Not racist!” Nah son, that looks pretty racist, especially for 1972, but I guess ’cause Ebony was an Upstanding Honorable Guy Who Gets The Job Done it’s okay that he’s drawn like a pickaninny. Doing a smug strip like this is dumb, too. Why should I give you the time of day? Sheer skill only goes so far, man. Spotted at Diversions of the Groovy Kind.

-While I’m on the subject I guess:

-Jonathan Hickman is the guest on the new Word Balloon podcast. Skip ahead to 1:13:00, when Hickman answers a question and goes into things he wouldn’t feel comfortable writing.

-I can respect Hickman’s point (glibly paraphrased: “I’m not completely comfortable writing black guys because I feel like a faker, and that’s not the kind of writer I want to be”), but at the same time… at a certain point, you gotta man up, man. I (inelegantly) talked about this a while back, but you can’t let the possible reception throw you off your game.

-What’s more, black people aren’t so different from other people. You know what black people hate? Taxes and nagging moms. You know what black people love? …if you do, let me know, ’cause I’m real uncomfortable with the concept the concept of love.

-But seriously, if you can write space aliens, secret histories of the world, and time travel, I’m pretty sure you can write a believable black guy. Just go for it, man. Do some reading. Take a look at some magazines. Flip through a history book. Research it like you would anything else. Run it by a friend. Some people will not like it, others will, so just soak up the feedback (“Oh, so I was a little wrong when I did ______”) and keep it moving. You’ll get better.

-Also, please add some more colored folks to SHIELD. The world’s a big place. Thanks in advance.

-Ellen Page is pretty interesting. I liked her AV Club interview, particularly the stuff on how she chooses to go about her career, and all of these sketches of her by dope artists is pretty cool. As far as Inception goes, her and Joseph Gordon-Levitt shared the only real moment of humanity in the entire movie (the stolen kiss) so I’m pro-Page.

-This is mind-boggling:

-If I tried to pull this as a kid (“Oh, that was a lie. I didn’t mean it, I just wanted to say something.”) my mom would’ve beaten me in the street and I would’ve deserved it. Jon Kyl is either a hero or scum. The country we live in, man. We keep electing creeps.

-Colbert cracks up during this bit, and I really can’t blame him:

-That’s really, really funny stuff, and it gets even funnier because of Colbert breaking character.

-Did anybody see Norm Macdonald’s new show last night? I missed it.

-Norm wasn’t funny to me at all when I was a kid, but he’s legendary these days. Me Doing Stand-Up was funny, and so is stuff like this:

-I pay three bucks a month for Yen Press’s Yen Plus. It’s pretty okay, but the highlight by far is still Kiyohiko Azuma’s Yotsuba&!. Funniest comic, man. I liked this bit from the new chapter. Read it right to left.

-So much of Yotsuba&!‘s humor revolves around being mean to Fuuka.

-Tyler, the Creator’s Bastard came up this morning while it was raining. It triggered a funny thought. I latched onto Jay-Z in a big way once he started talking about his experiences as the child of a single mother. “Where Have You Been?” was incredible to me. I was what, 16? 17? Whenever that Dynasty joint dropped. I was putting that on mix CDs like it was going out of style and at all appropriate to give to a girl you liked. I was that high on it.

-Listen:

Do you even remember the tender boy you turned into a cold young man?
with one goal and one plan: get mommy out of some jam
She was always in one
Always short with the income, always late with the rent
You said that you was comin through
I would stay in the hallway (waitin), always playin the bench (waitin)
And that day came and went
Fuck You! very much you showed me the worst kind of pain
but I’m stronger, and trust me I will never hurt again

-So tell me if this exceprt from Tyler’s Bastard” is all that different from “Where Have You Been?”:

My mother raised me a single parent so it’s apparent
That I got love for my mother, none of you other fuckers
Are much important, I’m getting angrier while recording
I’m feeling like the Bulls, I’ve got a Gang of Wolves
Odd Future is children that’s fucked up on they mental
Simple but probably not, fuck ‘em

-Being able to relate to music in some way is vital for me, whether through the pleasure of living someone else’s life or affirming some aspect of my own, and Tyler’s rapping about the same stuff I’ve been struggling with for years. I think I would’ve been an Odd Future fan in high school.

-The beat on “Yonkers” is so hard. I bought it off iTunes a while back, just because.

-Video ain’t safe for work, I guess.

-Wolf Gang.


losers can never win me, you can never offend me

David: Uncanny X-Force 7
Esther: Yes: Batgirl 20 Maybe: Batman and Robin 22, Red Robin 22, Superboy 6 (would have been a yes, but ugh, crossover) New Artist and a Story About Huntress and Catman? Oh, HELL Yes: Birds of Prey 11
Gavin: Batman And Robin 22, Booster Gold 43, Justice League Generation Lost 23, Captain America Fighting Avenger 1, Carnage 4, Deadpool 35, Incredible Hulks 626, Iron Man 2.0 3, New Avengers 11, Punisher MAX 12, Secret Warriors 26, Ultimate Comics Avengers vs New Ultimates 3, Uncanny X-Force 7

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14 comments to “The Cipher 04/13/11: “Golf Wang””

  1. I’m not comfortable writing certain characters because I’m too lazy to do the work, and that’s why I am a mediocre writer.

    But, yeah, about SHIELD. As much as I dislike the idea, the world is a big place and last time I checked some crazy scientific, technological, and spiritual/other that are just plain g-d amazing occurred in Central Asia. There’s a fabulous Foreign Affairs article about the region and its role in being the heart of the Islamic/Persian/Asian interregnum between Greece and the Renaissance. (I saved a copy, so I’ll find it and come back with the info).

    Hell, if following Jess Nevins on twitter (@jessnevins. Follow him, all of you. If you already do, open a new account and follow him twice) has taught me anything it’s that there was some amazing stuff going on in Cuzco and the Inca/Andean Empires (http://jessnevins.tumblr.com/post/2978947557/the-inka-empire-and-qosqo-their-capital) that would easily be retconned into this SHIELD mythology.


  2. That first line was just about me. As for Hickman, I’m not going to presume any further reason to justify that discomfort. I am just disappointed because it seems like a weak reason.

    Oh. India. AFAIK, the only thing Marvel’s ever done there is Claremont’s second GeNext mini.


  3. So I guess I can count on no Black Panther cameos in FF for the foreseeable future huh? And we can ignore ALL of the Wakandan Tech advances throughout history? And when we look at Nate Richards/Rama-Tut/Kang history for the umpteenth time, Hickman will give us the Heston Ten Commandments?

    Wow, as much as I am a history buff with high hopes for SHIELD, I am so disillusioned with this book’s writer as of now. I got til June to get over it but sheesh Hickman can do Aliens in FF and a bunch of Asians and Germans in Secret Warriors, but black people he can’t do? As Riley Freeman would say: “Bitch move Hickman…Bitch Move!”


  4. Seeing OF in Austin twice during SXSW was an experience. They’ve also managed to give away a bunch of quality music for free that makes me actually want to give up money for whatever they want to charge me for. Goblin and the physical release of Blackenedwhite can’t come soon enough.


  5. Well, what’s the usual refrain? “Wakanda is super-isolationist.” Basically Marvel took Stalin’s cure for a problem, “No man, no problem,” and applied it forever and eternally to Wakanda.

    Hickman’s Siege: Secret Warriors one-shot was so abysmally awful as an idea* that I stopped reading comics and pretty much caring about them until a month or two ago, and even then I missed the comics community I hung around (Penny Arcade forums). This just makes me especially disinclined to take him seriously anymore. Of course, I stopped listening to Word Balloon because I realized I wasn’t getting much payoff from my impression of his kissing the guests’ asses.

    So, yes, I am That Guy. I am limply excoriating Hickman based on one line in Brothers’ post, but you know what? I’ll live.

    *Seriously, who the Hell approves a pitch for a book that is “Steve and Nick plan a get-together as Asgard falls while Phobos murders the fuck out of 100 Secret Service agents in an attempt to kill the President for not having figured out a way around not being able to fire Norman Osborn before his father, who as a god is GUARANTEED to return to the point that he told his son so, was ripped in half live on TV”?


  6. “So much of Yotsuba&!‘s humor revolves around being mean to Fuuka.”
    She’s a bit of a dork though, so she often brings it on herself.


  7. dude, you gotta get your throat checked out or something, come on!!! yikes.


  8. I like Hickman a lot but “I won’t write black dudes because I might fuck up” is some weak shit. Just do it.

    @James Meiers: I love you dudes who are so fragile and/or so determined to be mad as hell that one incident makes you quit comics FOREVER, FOR REALS GUYS.


  9. @James Meiers: how does one comic make you stop reading all comics


  10. Spectacular Spider-Man #226, where Ben Reilly was revealed to be the real Spider-Man, made me stop reading comics on the regular for four years. Of course, I was 13 and didn’t know any better.


  11. If you were 13, why did you give a crap? Seriously, it’s not like you had decades of experience with reading about the other guy. (SSM 226 didn’t bother me, because I knew it wouldn’t stick.)

    As for Hickman, I haven’t listened to the podcast. But a couple of the Secret Warriors are black, and there was that one guy in SHIELD… (the organization, not the book) …but I think he’s dead now. Hmm…

    Going by David’s paraphrase up there, he didn’t say he doesn’t write black characters, but that he’s not completely comfortable doing so. Which, hey, I gotta give him props for honesty.

    Race is a tricky subject for liberal white guys. We’re very scared of saying/doing the wrong thing, which means we usually just do nothing. Refusing to confront race can be as insiduous as actual racism (or maybe moreso because it’s more subtle and hidden), because it simultaneously catagorizes black people (or whomever) as “other” while denying that there is a problem.

    Hey, look at me; I went to grad school!

    As for SHIELD (the book), I think some of the complaints here stem from what the reader wants the book to be, versus what the writer wants it to be. Hickman clearly is casting SHIELD as the MU equivalent of the Illuminati/Stonecutters, which necessitates that it focus on Western Europe/the Renaissance. It’s not some grand history of the world (not yet, at least). We have seen snapshots of other cultures/periods, so maybe those ties will be expanded upon as the series goes forward.


  12. @clay: That’s a stupid question. You don’t need decades of experience to not like a story. I quit comics around when Josh did (maybe a few months before) due to Onslaught and the Clone Saga, and those comics were bad. Besides that, his point is that one comic making you quit comics entirely is stupid, like something a 13 year old would do.


  13. Okay, but not liking a story because it’s bad is different than not liking a story because the identity of it’s main character may be in question. (That’s not, inherently, a bad story.) “Swamp Thing isn’t really Alec Holland?!? I’m never reading comics again!!!”

    I just think it’s weird that a 13-year-old, without spending years attached to the status quo of a book, can get offended by a change in that status quo. I think that the clone saga (again, setting aside its actual quality, which isn’t what I’m discussing) would’ve been the exact type of story that I would’ve found exciting when I was 13. Why? Because I didn’t really care who Spider-Man “really” was, so the plot twists would’ve intrigued me.

    It was just a throw-away comment, anyway.


  14. Sweet Lord, that Will Eisner mess is best described as fascist.