REVIEW: End of Month Reviews #30 - June 2006 [spoilers]

Tom Russell milos_parker at
Sun Jul 9 22:46:17 PDT 2006

Saxon Brenton wrote:
> [REVIEW] End of Month Reviews #30 - June 2006 [spoilers]

God bless End of Month Reviews. :-)

> Bush43 #20-39
> An Artifice Comics [AC] series
> by Jason S. Kenney
>      Now here's an ambitious project. Jason is putting out an issue of
> _Bush43_ each weekday over the two month period from early June.
> Needless to say, that's a whole lotta prose.

Actually, I'm kind of embarrassed to say, but I think I've gotten Bush
burn-out.  I got to the end of Week 3, and that's it.  Since I am
enjoying it (even though it is kind of "paced for the trade"), I will
be coming back to it eventually, and probably writing more reviews at
that time.

> Green Knight Annual #1
> An Eightfold [8Fold] series
> by Tom Russell
>      By the looks of it, a bridging story between the death of the first
> Green Knight in issues 1-7 and whatever Martin Rock gets up to now that
> he's inherited the mantle from his old mentor.  Anders Cradle throws
> Martin out of his life in a particularly petty manner, and since
> Martin's previous bases seem to have been compromised Martin sets up
> his new base at a church which, by amazing coincidence, is not only
> administered by a pastor who is a superhero fan, but which also has an
> unused superhero base below its cellar.  And just in time, too!  For a


>      All perfectly good adventure, including slightly goofy bits like

That's probably the best compliment you can give me, "perfectly good

The impulse of many serious superhero writers and readers is towards
"major" stories, towards the crossover events and the
status-quo-shaking everything-you-know-is-wrong six-part story arcs.
I'm told that these stories are more complex and mature.

I'm not sure if I agree with that.  I would say that it's easier, in
theory, to plot what passes for a story arc these days than it is to
write a single, self-contained story, with its themes developed in a
limited number of pages.  And I think it's easier for a writer to shake
up the status quo than it is for that writer to work within its
confines, or, for that matter, to establish a status quo.

And this is what I'm trying to do with this ANNUAL: I'm setting up the
status quo for one of the new Green Knight books.  One, you say?

Well, there's another author who has expressed interest in writing the
Green Knight, and I'm very enthusiastic about passing the reigns onto
him.  At the same time, I have some stories that I want to tell, and so
I'll be telling them in another series, both before and during when and
if he gets his started up.  But, anyway.  Status quo.

Status quo can be a treat for a reader, and a challenge for a writer.
Status quo denies cheap stunts like killing off girlfriends or publicly
revealing a secret identity.  If this month's story doesn't effect next
month's story, and doesn't depend on last month's story, how do you
make that story important, how do you make it count?  The answer is, by
making it a good story.  A memorable one, well told and vividly
rendered.  It requires a writer to create good plots and better
villains, to be more creative and better at developing themes, all in a
fairly limited space.

And that, basically, is what I'm going to try in my Green Knight
series.  Which, by the way, needs a title-- I want to distinguish it
from the Green Knight miniseries.  Any suggestions?

> Martin's concerns about people with alliterative initials (what, *all*
> of them have been nothing but in the past?) and the secret origin of
> the giant typewriter museum.

Lately, I've really developed a lot of love for the Giant Typewriter
School of Writing.  I'm working on a JOURNEY INTO story as we speak
that begins with a gigantic Chessboard that uses real people in lieau
of pieces.

I have a feeling that this style of writing is generally looked-down
upon by superhero fans everywhere, but it's what I like and I write
primarily for my own reading enjoyment.

>      There's also religious themes, both overt and covert.  Were those
> coincidences (the secret base under the church, the discover of Tightly's
> file on Rockhopper and Riana only after Green Knight returns to close the
> filing cabinet) merely trappings of a pulp style story, or indications
> of divine intervention?  I also wonder if after all the years of being
> self sufficient as the nameless vigilante, that the shift to the high
> profile Green Knight ID might be subconsciously prompting Martin to
> begin relying on something external to himself.

I think, since Martin is operating out of a church, that the religious
themes will pop up from time to time; the other great thing about
self-contained stories operating from a status quo is that an author
can use wildly divergent tones in a short period of time, from high
adventure to moody detective work to the poignant to the irreverent.

Martin is using the Green Knight in a very particular way: to become an
inspirational force in his community.  Because of this, he will become
a part of that community, to the degree that he is comfortable doing

Good observations, all.  Thanks.

> Master Blaster #5-6
> 'The Road Back'   (The Return of Ven-Dorr, Parts One and Two)
> A Legion of Net.Heroes [LNH] series
> by Tom Russell

> outside his hospital room.  Expect a climatic fight scene against
> Ven-Dorr next issue.

You betcha, and it's going to be a doozy. :-)

>      As ever this series earns it Acraphobe label.  However, in defiance
> of my previous schadenfreude appreciation of Master Blaster's antics,
> the scene I liked best in this arc was where WikiBoy thanks Sister-State-
> The-Obvious for *asking* him whether she can edit him for an audio-visual
> presentation.  I guess I've reached my limit for his self-centred malice.

I thought it was kind of a sweet moment, myself. :-)

> Nostalgics #2
> `Inherently Disconcerting'
> An Eightfold [8Fold] miniseries
> by Tom Russell
>      Jason Righteous' recollection continue.  You know, it must be really
> irritating for Jason to do his best to integrate socially and be rejected
> while someone makes it.  Personally I'm of the temperament that I'd not
> be inclined to bother after the first time, but then I don't have a
> superhero's temperament either.

I'm not sure if it requires a superhoer's temperament; some people are
just not made to be solitary animals, and thus being desperate for
human contact, they keep trying.

I know that I'm that way.


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