Sunday, September 28, 2014


A new routine has emerged in the past month or so for the posts I write for sites outside of Comics Matter. Every other Thursday now sees the publication of both a new "1987 And All That" column on Comics Should Be Good and a new Iconographies post at PopMatters. Which is kind of cool, having a regularly scheduled day where all of a sudden my writing shows up on sites with sizable audiences. It's my big bimonthly moment. Huzzah for me. This past Thursday, I wrote about Infinity Inc. #34-44 and She-Hulk #8. I felt pretty so-so overall on Infinity Inc., and with She-Hulk I was specifically impressed with its use of the shared Marvel universe, pulling ideas from it without actually crossing over with or requiring the reader to bring any outside knowledge from other series.

Something I Failed to Mention
I didn't so much forget to talk about the below page from the end of Infinity Inc. #34 as I did decide not to spend time in the actual column on it, since I had a lot of other ground to cover there and I knew I could give this its own space on my blog. Take a peek and then meet me below:
This weird anti-smoking DC house ad has a lot about it that amuses and also somewhat irks me at the same time. It's ridiculous on the face of it to use Mr. Bones as the spokesperson for not smoking. One of the foundational elements of his character is that he loves smoking, and pretty much does it constantly, except in places where he's forbidden to do so. Even then, he complains and tries to find ways around the rules as often as possible, because he just loves smoking so damn much. And though he's kind of a villain, he's also very sympathetic, funny, and sweet-looking, so just because he does something doesn't necessarily make that thing seem bad. It does make it seem badass, because Mr. Bones has invisible cyanide skin, causing his skeletal appearance and making his powers super-fatal. What I'm saying is, Mr. Bones runs the risk of making smoking seem cool all the time, so drawing specific attention to smoking through him feels like a misguided choice. Also, the actual image of the anti-smoking ad—I believe it's drawn by Todd McFarlane and Tony DeZuniga because they also drew the rest of the issue, the signature says "M/D," and McFarlane co-created Bones, but I'm not 100% sure—makes it looks like Bones is leaning in and offering the cigarette to the reader. His line of dialogue—almost certainly scripted by Roy and/or Dann Thomas, Bones' other creators and the writers of the issue—could also be interpreted that way. I think the intended sentiment is No matter how young and invincible you feel, cigarettes can still harm/kill you but another legitimate reading of it would be It's never too soon to start smoking! If it weren't for the huge "DON'T SMOKE" at the bottom of the page, I'd be way more inclined to see this as pro-smoking propaganda than anti-. Everything about it makes smoking look powerful, seductive, and awesome, except the red block letters forcefully and somewhat awkwardly included at the end. It's a hilariously self-defeating but also annoyingly poorly-planned effort.

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