Scattershot by Jordan Ferguson
The worst feeling in the world [okay, fine, not the worst, I'm sure childbirth or a hernia feels worse] is that moment when my laptop dings to inform me I have a column today that I have completely forgotten about. My days, friends, they sort of just bleed into one another. They say it happens in the autumn years.
So you take to the Internets, looking for the news of the day, to discover... theres really nothing happening, aside from a slew of advance reviews for that new Mark Millar/Frank Quitely book out on Image this week, a story that this space's ongoing Mark Millar embargo precludes me from commenting on [yes, I'll still read it. But only for the art].
But then two thoughts pop into your head! One, a cop-out late Detroit Free Press columnist Bob Talbert used to lean on, offering a smattering of ideas in point form [I think he called it something folksy like, 'Outta My Monday Moanin' Mind]; two, the old Bullpen Bulletins Marvel used to run in the 80s with the similarly styled "ITEM!" lists. I find both are a reliable format to purge a number of unrelated scattershot thoughts out of the brainpan. Let's shake the colander and see what strains through.
POINT!: Somewhere in the Yonge-St. Clair area, buried like so many Atari 2600 E.T. cartridges, are hundreds of VHS tapes of 90s-era Japanese anime. There's some garbage, some porn, fansubs of films still unavailable in North America, and full runs of classics like Neon Genesis Evangelion, The Vision of Escaflowne, and Cowboy Bebop. When I moved from Midtown to the East End in 2010, I took the plastic video game peripherals, I took the designer toys, and I took the sneakers and ball caps. But the anime was the one thing I couldn't hold on to any longer. Forgetting that I didn't even have a VCR anymore, anime began to feel like the most overtly childish items in my possession. Unable to find a buyer, I abandoned them.
The recent addition of shows like Trigun and Samurai Champloo to Netflix this month has caused me to take a moment to reassess my relationship with all things Japanese. It's still not a pretty picture. I made it through two episodes of Champloo and half an episode of Trigun [and I owned Trigun!] I'll always have a soft spot for the design aesthetic for giant robots, and shows that flip the script on the formula will always be appreciated [looking at you, Utena] but once you watch enough of it, the repetitiveness of the formulas become painfully obvious. Once fans start trying to cover up the clichés in a shroud of 'type' [no, no, Love Hina isn't lazy crap, it's a 'harem' anime!] I have to jump ship. But I'll probably never be out for good: a friend recently sent me a message about a show called Flowers of Evil which not only wins for using Baudelaire for the title, but has the added benefit of getting fans all butthurt over its use of rotoscoping, which draws animation over live action footage, leaving [in this case] muddy and ill-defined character models. Nothing like whiny anime fans to get me on board. Here is a link for context.
POINT!: Granted, I don't spend much time immersed in the comics hype machine, but is Age of Ultron really amounting to much in terms of fan excitement? It's a fine, if ultimately inconsequential feeling little jaunt into the sort of future dystopia the kids love so much. Events in the last issue suggest the series may actually result in some lasting changes, but time travel is the easiest sandbox to rake over again. It just feels to me like that 'Our Worlds At War' crossover in the Superman books years ago. Just a... thing that happened, no real impact, quickly forgotten. But who knows, maybe they can go back in time and make Cyclops stop sucking.
POINT!: Man. How sad are we all that Saga is on hiatus again?
POINT!: Seeing as I type this that the rights to Daredevil have reverted back to Disney/Marvel, meaning that Hornhead might start showing up in the shared film universe. Be interesting to see what filmmakers could do with the recent sunnier, Mark Waid take on the character than the typical tortured, 'Marvel's Batman' take most gravitate towards. Anything to scrub the memory of ginger Affleck out of our collective minds.
POINT!: If you haven't seen it yet, seek out Patton Oswalt's 9-minute, off the dome improvisation of how he'd combine the Star Wars and Marvel universe, while filming a guest spot on Parks and Rec. It's something to behold.
POINT!: Much as I enjoy Game of Thrones as a whole, and hot blondes as a rule, I find myself taken aback by just how little enjoyment I get out of Daenerys's plotline. I think I checked out that moment in Season 2 where she asked the guy in Qarth to hand her a fleet of ships, you know, just cuz she thinks she should be Queen, n'shit, and then gets her back up that the dude doesn't just go, 'Derp! D'aww, okay!' Even though her win this week was cool to watch, I admit to groaning when she hit the screen.
POINT!: Sticking with GoT for a minute, with this week's episode I began to worry that show is becoming dangerously close to becoming one of those 'Everyone is Awful' type of shows. Having spoiled enough for myself on Wikipedia to know where the direction of the characters are generally going, and watching the various levels of manipulation and torture being doled out to everyone, I'm getting the creeping feeling that this show may just be too much of a bummer by the time the third season wraps.
POINT!: And it's well beyond the scope of this column, but don't even ask me about Mad Men...
As you can see, friends, I have many concerns. But I think that's all that's pressing me at the moment. I promise next month I'll check my calendar more often, and provide something resembling cohesion.