Wednesday, September 15, 2004


I had a couple of experiences today that made me decide to write this, that I've sort of been meaning to put down for a while.

First, I finished reading Tales To Astonish by Ronin Ro. Despite the cover that suggests something more, it's a biography of Jack Kirby. I note this not as much as a nitpick, but more because there's something more than a little ironic that a book that is critical of Marvel Comics policy of giving Stan Lee full credit for things he only deserves half-credit (arguably less, in some cases) for billing itself, which is only tangentially about Lee, under the subtitle "Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, And The American Comic Book Revolution".

Ultimately, my only real problem with the book, since I don't know the inaccuracies referred to my Mark Evanier in his summary review, is that it gives so much more credit to Kirby's Marvel material than the work that followed. I'm a mich bigger fan of The New Gods and Kamandi than I am of the Marvel stuff. Ok, partly because I'm a big dork. And, sure, I can appreciate that the Marvel stuff is more disciplined... but that's just it...

What I love most of all is a big fat burst of creativity. Structure has its place, but, really, anyone can do it.


If I decided I wanted to build a house, I could do it. Sure, I'd have a lot of reading to do and I'd have to practice my carpentry skills on smaller projects, but, if I were determined to do so, I could do it. What I'll never be able to be is Frank Lloyd Wright, and I'm ok with that.

The same goes with the basics of a beginning, middle and end story. Anyone can do it if they really put their minds to it. What's cool is when someone who really has amazing stuff in their head just throws it out for everyone to see.

Ok, the metaphor is flawed. Obviously one would rather live in that adequate, structurally sound house that I built than a failed design of Wright's. But honestly, none of us really lives in a comic book or a book or a movie, and I'd find way more to learn from and look at in the sketches for his flawed design, knowing it was flawed design, than in looking at the rudimentary house that I might one day learn to build.

This was proved again later, watching Wild Zero, the craziest goddamn Rock & Roll, alien invasion, zombie, romantic comedy you ever did see. It stars Guitar Wolf, a kick ass little Ramones-like Japanese combo, as themselves as an alien invasion somehow spreads the countryside with zombies.

Look, explaining it will ruin it. If you're anything like me, and, despite the fact that reading my blog ups your odds slightly, you probably aren't, you should just run to the local video store and grab a copy off the shelf.

This is exactly the kind of movie that excites me. Some motherfucker with ideas dripping out his ears and putting them down in a way that shows the excitement he has. American society has learned to accept well-structured banality as better than spirited, living creativity that colors outside the lines here and there.

I think that's wrong. I think it's kind of ugly. But mostly, I think it's incredibly stupid.

Remember, "Love has no borders, nationalities, or genders!"

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