Announcing...Graphical Exegesis

For some time I’ve wanted to write about comics on this site, but, being me, that involved a tremendous amount of handwringing. New release reviews are hard to do because I don’t tend to get to read all my books right on Wednesday and reviews after that rapidly decrease in value. Additionally, I’m familiar with the internet. As I freelance for Marvel.com, I know if I wrote reviews of other company’s books (especially DC’s) that were anything less than wildly complementary, the hoots and hollers of “biased” and worse would block out any fun I’d have in writing them. Similarly, any positive reviews of Marvel books would be met with similar skepticism. So, that’s out.

 How are you not going to trust this guy to tell you about comics? (photo from the writer's personal collection)

How are you not going to trust this guy to tell you about comics? (photo from the writer's personal collection)

Here is the solution: GRAPHICAL EXEGESIS. Longform reviews of multi-issue storylines or a creator’s/creators’ prominent run on a title. It removes the time constraint as these books are not the latest releases so there is no need for the immediately timed review. It removes the question of bias because, typically, these books have been around for a bit. (Quick exception: I’ll get to Waid’s DAREDEVIL soon, no doubt. 1-27, I expect. Yes, they’re recent. Yes, his run is still going on. Daredevil’s my favorite character and I love the book so you all can deal with it. Feel free to scream bias if you want, but I just love me some Daredevil.)

Some of these will be one-off columns. For instance, I’m considering looking back at KnightsEnd, the Batman storyline way back when that brought Bruce Wayne back to the cape and cowl after Bane broke his back. The arc is about 8 or so issues and there’s no reason to take more than one post out to discuss it.

On the other hand, long runs are more issues and often have bigger ripples. Those will get more idea.

 Coming at ya! (image from superheroes-or-whatever.tumblr.com)

Coming at ya! (image from superheroes-or-whatever.tumblr.com)

So is the case with the inaugural GRAPHICAL EXEGESIS: Grant Morrison’s JLA. Beginning tomorrow and running about a week, I’ll be looking back at Morrison’s (and Howard Porter’s, too, predominantly) work on the DC superteam, beginning with two books that “foretold” its arrival, running through the end of the Mageddon arc and encompassing the fill-ins and one-shots that sprung from it. It’s a lot of books and I don’t plan to rush it.

Going forward I want your input as well. What do you want me to dive into? What are you aching for Tim Stevens to analyze? What did you love that others don’t seem to that you are hoping I’ll join with you on? What did you loathe while others adore that you are hoping I can confirm those others are dopes about?

To that end, I’ve set up a poll at SurveyMonkey. Go there. Vote. I’ve got some suggestions, but there is a place to fill in your own suggestions that are not there and I encourage you to go for it. I thank you in advance for your input.

Then, tomorrow, we get things started with….wait for it….UNDERWORLD UNLEASHED. Say what?! You’ll see, people, you’ll see.

  "Not yet, Neron. Tomorrow. Just relax, man. You don't want to look desperate." (image from hyperborea.com)

 "Not yet, Neron. Tomorrow. Just relax, man. You don't want to look desperate." (image from hyperborea.com)