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 Post subject: Faux Grit
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2005 10:47 pm 
Paul O'Brien takes on the dire Infinite Crisis uber-mega-crossover.

From a review of Countdown to Infinite Crisis:
Quote:
Infinite Crisis is of course DC's major crossover event for the summer. We know it's a major event because it's so very big. This issue is 80 pages long. That's big. That's a big event. It has three writers. That's how damn big it is. No one writer can write a writing this big. It takes three. They take turns to hit the keys. Geoff Johns does consonants in the first half of the alphabet. Judd Winick does the rest. And Greg Rucka? Vowels. Only in this way can a story so big be written safely.
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In this issue, the Blue Beetle gets killed. Perhaps future issues will feature equally earth-shattering events. Maybe Detective Chimp will sprain his ankle. This will be big, because it will be in a crossover.
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The most depressing thing about Countdown is that, like Identity Crisis before it, it seems to see the fact that earlier stories were fun and upbeat as something which has to be explained away. Loudly insisting that you're above childish things isn't a sign of maturity. It's a sign of adolescence.


From a capsule review of Villains United #1:
Quote:
And yet another Infinite Crisis lead-in, to join Day of Vengeance, OMAC Project, Countdown to Infinite Crisis, Prelude to Infinite Crisis, Crisis on Infinite Crises, Now That's What I Call an Infinite Crisis, Whoops Vicar Is That Your Infinite Crisis and I Can't Believe It's Not A Finite Crisis.


And, finally, the namesake for this post, his essay Faux Grit, in which he takes the comic book industry to task for getting "depressing" confused with "deep":
Quote:
...we seem to have ended up with an unspoken assumption among many writers and readers that downbeat and grim equals intelligent and somewhat deep. It doesn't. But merely adopting that style gives a book the impression of a depth it simply doesn't have. It's a bit like teenagers wearing black.
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Comics are hardly unique in this. Indie cinema is full of dreadful films based around the principle that misery is somehow clever. The inexplicably acclaimed WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE is basically an entire film based on the tediously banal insight that it would be very depressing if everything in your life went wrong. It's vacuous nonsense. It's my least favourite film of all time, not because it's miserable, but because it's so obviously convinced that it's saying something clever. It is insufferably pretentious.


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