META: Wish Fulfillment, WCs, and Mary Sues

Dave Van Domelen dvandom at
Sun Mar 12 14:14:58 PST 2006

In article <20060312181200.88658.qmail at>,
Tom Russell  <milos_parker at> wrote:
>   Later that afternoon, I discovered that we both had
>an intense interest in comics.  He seemed to warm up
>to me initially, and asked me if ever read BLUE
>MONDAY.  No, can't say that I have.
     Love it.

>   What about SIP?
>   SIP?
>   Oh, right.  I've heard of it, but I never...

     Left me cold the one or two times I read it as an OPB (Other People's

>   No.

     Love it.

>   He listed a few more titles, all of which I greeted
>with a shrug.  He then asked me what I had read, what
>I thought had value.  I rattled off a list of personal
>favourites (and, my tastes are admittedly fairly
>popular ones)-- Busiek (early THUNDERBOLTS, AVENGERS,

     Love 'em.


     Don't care for either.  DeZago is actually on my "drop the book if he's
put on it" list.

> some Alan Moore (WATCHMEN, of course, but I also liked TOM STRONG),

     I can take or leave him.  He's better when he's not trying to be a
Serious Writer With Depth.

> He snorted and told me that he didn't read superhero comics.  He read
> serious comics.

     Dude, love 'em as much as I do, I wouldn't call JtHM or Blue Monday
"serious" comics.  JtHM has, if anything, all the power fantasy stuff of
superheroes turned up to 11.  I expect a lot of people define serious comics
as "everything in the world except superheroes," although Shaun sounds like
he mostly considered serious comics to be ones where the conflicts are
romantic rather than physical (JtHM aside).  In other words, if your main
source of drama is "will he/she/they sleep with me?" rather than "can I
defeat him/her/them in mortal combat?", you're a Serious Comic.  Especially
if it's all slice-of-life and the plots make no sense (because, of course,
real life doesn't make sense).

     Dave Van Domelen, "The superhero who could be YOU!"

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