(Fanboy) Masturbation Can Be Fun

(Fanboy) Masturbation Can Be Fun

Jul 21

(Isn’t that a lyric from Hair or something? Why do I remember lyrics from Hair? I saw it once in college. That’s it.)

So Valerie D’Orazio brought up an interesting point in her review of Blackest Night #1 (which, OMG NAME DROP, quoted me in its opening lines):

But the oft-tossed phrase "fanboy masturbation" seems to imply that masturbation is somehow bad. That fanboys should not be engaged in the act of masturbation. What would be the opposite of "fanboy masturbation?" Resisting the urge to buy that copy of Blackest Night and instead take a chance on a graphic novel like Alex Robinson’s Too Cool To Be Forgotten?

That’s a fair point. It would be highly cool if we all bought more Alex Robinson graphic novels, and there really isn’t anything wrong with fanboy masturbation. In fact, I indulge in it frequently. Then I write about it here. (EWW)

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I think where I was going in my original convo with Pal Jeff was that if you decide to judge something like Blackest Night (or any mainstream superhero comic) based on its ability to engage/attract/make any fucking sense at all to “new readers,” you’re fooling yourself. Which is where my brain latched onto the “fanboy masturbation” concept.

Stuff We Like This Week: July 17 Edition

Stuff We Like This Week: July 17 Edition

Jul 17

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In an effort to combat our occasional…okay, okay, near-constant negativity, we give you a regular feature full of nothing but love — Stuff We Like This Week. Appearing every Friday, SWLTW will recap the things that have set our little nerdly hearts aflame within the past seven days.

Jeff and Matt BS About Comics: Blackest Night #1, Part 2

Jeff and Matt BS About Comics: Blackest Night #1, Part 2

Jul 16

Matt and Jeff have been confabbing about this week’s Blackest Night #1. Matt is turned off by the violence; Jeff is tolerating it. Part 1 ended with a precarious cliffhanger of the “Cyclops is dead!” variety. Is Cyclops really alive? Keep reading.

Yesterday, in our discussion of Blackest Night #1, Matt asked, “…this is all really just fanboy masturbation, right?”

Potential SPOILERS after the pic!

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Jeff and Matt BS About Comics: Blackest Night #1

Jeff and Matt BS About Comics: Blackest Night #1

Jul 15

Blackest Night #1 is in stores today. Ever since its announcement in 2007, we’ve watched the build up across the two main Green Lantern titles (and perhaps every other book writer Geoff Johns has handled). Was it even possible to meet expectations when you’ve had so long to build anticipation for a zombie superhero epic?

Matt and I try to figure out the answer. I dug it (though I have some reservations). He didn’t. This is how it went down, and it’s safe to assume there are major SPOILERS below the picture:

I Smell A Massacre...I Mean, A Mystery!

Let's Help John Ostrander.

Let's Help John Ostrander.

Jul 15

During one of my “back in” periods of comics collecting between high school and 2005, I happened to pick up a #1 issue on a lark. It was Heroes for Hire #1, published in 1996, and it was by John Ostrander and Pasqual Ferry.

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It was absolutely great. What I remember most about it was the great characters and humor, so rare in superhero comics even today. That’s directly attributable to Ostrander.

Chances are, if you think back on the comics you enjoy immensely or even love to little pieces, you’ll find something written by John Ostrander. Suicide Squad, Grimjack, The Kents, many Star Wars comics, The Spectre with artist Tom Mandrake (one of those runs that’s been on my “must-find” list for years now)…the list is long and admirable. He helped create Oracle and Amanda Waller in the DCU, two completely unique and compelling characters that remain active today, more than twenty years after their introduction.

As you may have read already, John Ostrander is in need of some financial help.

John recently under went a surgical procedure called Glaucoma Filtration Surgery (trabeculectomy). The surgery is a treatment when medications cannot lower eye pressure enough. Excess interior fluid in the eye or pressure erodes the optic nerve – that’s basically what glaucoma does. Over the past several decades, John had grown resistant or allergic to some of the meds he had been taking that have kept the pressure down. This site helps explain the procedure and this is a good general site about glaucoma itself.

As of now, the surgeries have been deemed a strong but tentative success for John. Unfortunately, like so many Americans, John’s rather expensive health insurance didn’t cover all the costs of saving his eyesight… not even near. The procedure was done in Boston and required two separate week-long trips to Boston, as well as repeated follow-up trips to track his progress and make adjustments.

John was aware that he could not afford the surgeries on his own; that’s when we, his friends and family in the comic book field, decided we had to do something to help. Too often in the comics world we find ourselves holding events after we’ve lost a creator who has given us so many years of joy. Now we have a chance to help one before its too late- after all it would be terribly hard for John to write dialog for pages he cannot see.

There’s a number of ways to help out Mr. Ostrander, all of them housed at the Comix4Sight website. A charity auction at the upcoming Wizard World Chicago show needs both donations and bidders. Or just click through to the site and donate via PayPal.

Hearing about beloved creators who face near-insurmountable financial hardships due to health issues is a too-frequent occurrence. We should all give whatever we can to help out Mr. Ostrander, and any other writer, artist, or other comics professional who finds themselves stuck in this tough spot. This is an industry that has grown rich on the contributions of freelancers who deserve our support and help when the companies that have become fat and bloated on their work refuse to act.

If you can spare them, toss a couple bucks in the direction of Comix4Sight. It’s a good cause for a great writer.