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Sunday, December 21, 2003

Journey into Ignorance: Words vs. Words
by Phantom Jackoff

Writing is such a subjective thing, it's almost impossible to argue about it.

But it's fun.

My local bag lady and I go round and round all the time, neither one ever giving in. Those fucking soda cans are mine, you skanky old hag. But I digress.

I'm right, course, but she's entitled to her bags full of old newspapers.

Even if she's wrong about the cans.

We agree on one thing: Catwoman is one of DC's better written comics. The character is interesting, not two-dimensional like most of her counterparts, and Ed Brubaker's scripts are a sheer delight. Her recent switch to the side of "good," (granted it's her own definition of "good") was a brilliant move. I hope I can turn to the "good" side some day. Until then, I will remain the Champion of the "mediocre." And speaking of which...

I've hated the art of Catwoman almost since the beginning. There's something about simple, quality linework that successfully suggests a brilliant, pop noir environment that just makes me teeth hurt like I accidentally chewed up a ball of tinfoil. Well, maybe it wasn't an accident, but goddamnit, there's not enough popcorn in the average package of Jiffy-Pop, and no matter how much I e-mail the company's president, those bitches won't listen. "Suggested serving size" my pock-marked ass.

With Paul Gulacy coming on board in issue #25, and delivering shoddy, subpar work that instantly ruins the book for anyone with the slightest taste, we have the perfect combination of good writer (Ed Brubaker) and completely inappropriate, title-destroying artist. With all due respect to previous good, skillful, gifted artists like Darwyn Cooke, Javier Pulido and Cameron Stewart, fuck the fuck off. Take your cartoony cartoons and cartoon 'em right up your cartoony ass. In other words, the previous work was too cartoony for my tastes. If there's one thing I fucking hate, it's cartoons. I hope to Christ this is coming through some how. With all due respect, of course. (Cartoony fuckers!).

Sorry, Gilbert Hernandez, Alex Toth, and Jack Kirby, but I just can't take an action comic seriously when the characters look all "cartoony," like they stepped out of Archie or Little Lulu, and I'm secure enough in my manhood to admit I like Little Lulu and frequently find myself "pitching a tent" when reading her sexy, saucy adventures. Schwing!

But I would not like Lulu drawn by Gulacy, Sam-I-Am. I would not like Lulu drawn by Gulacy on a train, I would not like it, uh, on a train.

I believe that different styles of drawing have their place. I believe that every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings. I believe that children are the future. Treat them well and let them lead the way. A child could certainly have seen that Epic was going to go tits-up long before Phantom Jack ever saw the light of day. If only I listened to the goddamned, motherfucking children. Lead, you little bastards!

Anyway. I was explaining to you how Mike Oeming sucks.

For example, we have "regular" "talented" "gifted" hack artists on comics, and then we have "failures," artists on comics meant for kids like "Powers," "Love and Rockets," and of course, the utter failure of such cartoony cartoons as "Powerpuff Girls" and the Justice League and Batman books based on the cartoon shows, and very unpopular with anyone with pubes. Except Michael Jackson. I understand a Buttercup poster was seized in the raid on the Neverland Ranch. That Michael Jackson, I told him to be more careful. He gives NAMBLA a bad name, when really, we they are a fine organization dedicated to the simple, undeniable belief that every boy needs love, especially in his ass.

These cartoony failures are less detailed, feature exaggerated physical characteristics and are simply, simpler, you simps.

This is not a bad thing, just a different thing. A thing that demonstrates once and for all what a staggering sack of fecal matter I am. But in case there's any doubt:

I, Phantomm Jackoff, am saying that the art based on the cartoon shows is less than the "regular" work. I wish I was "regular," but I really hate eating all that fiber, and besides, who's to say one agonizing visit to the toilet per week isn't, somehow, superior? Think of all that time saved by eschewing smooth, daily bowel movements. A determined diet of cheese and salty snack-products has me "regular" in my own way -- each Thursday morning, just after arriving at my imaginary newspaper job, I sequester myself in the ladies room (remember, not afraid to admit I like Little Lulu!) and desperately try to exorcise the dry, defiant log of waste material that is my weekly bowel movement. It is, simply, simpler. And painful. And O, Lord, the smell.

So, if we agree that these cartoony comics based on cartoony cartoons are simpler (and more cartoony!), then we have established an art level. Up here, in "La la la, I Can't Hear You-Land," the "regular" artists are for more discerning readers like myself and down there, in "I Like Love and Rockets-Land," the animated stuff is for...others. Simpletons. I want to use the "C" word so bad. Darwyn Cooke fans, you know who you are.

That being said, I hope the Brubaker-Gulacy team stays around on Catwoman through the release of the Halle Berry Catwoman movie. I would prefer people who masturbate in the theater like I plan to enjoy the film picking up a copy of the Gulacy illustrated work so they can get a truer picture of what comics are all about. And I hope all of you reading this will repeatedly stab your pre-frontal lobes with a shrimp fork, so you can get a truer picture of how my mind works. When it does.

Along the same lines, since I can't talk about art I dislike and not mention Marvel, I might have enjoyed the recent Human Torch series if someone other than Skottie Young drew it. I'm sure Skottie would be fine on some projects, but it's jolting to have him draw a character like the Torch so differently that he'd hardly recognizable. What's with the triangular jaws anyway? I'm all jolted! And if anyone is still reading this, does it not take balls of steel to compare a piece of shit like the Tsunami Human Torch with the subtle, wondrous joy that was the pre-Gulacy Catwoman? Not to cry sour grapes here or nuthin' -- I'm sure the fact that Marvel utterly and completely dicked me over and made me look like a fucking idiot with my many months of ridiculous "Phantom Jackoff" columns has nothing to do with me bringing in this comparison completely out of left field. Also, I like the smell of my own feet after a long day at work bound up in my restricting footwear. That's the smell of freedom!

To close, I know I didn't change any minds. I'm sure that a large number of people agree with me and another large number thing I should be stabbed with the Torch's pointy chin. Or a shrimp fork. Luckily, the website that inexplicably thinks my worthless words are worth posting for all the world to see provides a forum in which I can be completely revealed as the specious hack I not only am, but always have been.

So read the comments below my original article, and watch the weather change.


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