META: The Greats

Tom Russell milos_parker at
Tue Apr 11 15:56:01 PDT 2006

Jamas Enright wrote:
> On Mon, 10 Apr 2006, Tom Russell wrote:

> > The Rogers essay is worth seeking out, BTW.
> <googlegooglegoogle>

Thank you for the link, Jamas. :-)

Another great LNH series would have to be LNH TRIPLE PLAY.  Jeff
McCoskey took characters who could be mere gag characters and made them
something more, gave them that little something extra.

I like the way, for example, that Self-Righteous Preacher is almost
heroic in TRIPLE PLAY # 5.  It's an unusual amount of depth for the
character, and his appearance in LIMP-ASPARAGUS LAD # 55 follows along
the same lines.  (If I had explored this aspect of him rather than the
facile "repressed dark side" angle-- or if I had explored the
"repressed dark side" angle with more depth and percision-- I'd be much
more comfortable about my use of the character.)

But even characters who remain "mere" gag characters are never exactly
that; a lot of times, The Original Joltin' One extrapolates from the
core concepts behind the characters.  For example, when Jeff McCoskey
writes Super Apathy Lad, SAL is so apathetic that he doesn't even use
vowels.  It would be much effort to open his mouth that much.  It's a
nice touch. :-)

Kieran O'Callaghan-- the author of the wonderful FISH Force, an LNH
historian, and a friend, now lost to the sands of time-- picked LNH
TRIPLE PLAY # 3 (The Valentine's Ball) as one of the best uses of
Multi-Tasking Man, ever.  In this story-- a classic of character work
and sweet subtle goofiness-- Multi-Tasking Man is assigned to every
committee in preparation for the ball.  It's a hilarious new angle on
MTM, much more surprising than just describing the three-to-seven
things he's doing all at once.  And that's what you get out of LNH
TRIPLE PLAY: new angles and new approaches to classic characters and

The origin of Hooded Ho'''od Win (# 1) is hilarious, and yet has a
surprising amount of emotion and tension.  # 4 & # 6 are the beginning
parts of Retcon Hour and Catalytic Conversions, respectively, and
they're fun reads.  # 2 is part eight of Looniverse Adrift and while it
might seem daunting at first, particularly since the story starts _in
media res_ and throws a laundry list of Legionnaires at you, it's a
fine piece of dramatic writing, especially in the context of the larger
crossover story.

One problem with the series, at least for the casual reader, is that so
many of the stories-- six out of the ten-- are parts of crossovers.
And it's not that those stories aren't as good as the others (they
are), or even that they are a bit inaccessable (they're not); it's just
that when I know I'm missing part of the story, it's hard for me to
enjoy it.  The solution is to read the crossovers themselves-- but I'd
rather sit down and read them out of a desire to read that particular
crossover (particularly because crossover stories are usually fairly
lengthy); not because I want some context/closure to the one part that
I currently wish to read.

I'd tell you more about # 7-10, but I haven't gotten a chance to
re-read them yet.  But I trust McCoskey, and on the strength of # 1-6,
I recommend the entire series whole-heartedly.


More information about the racc mailing list