LNH/REVIEW: Kid Review's Roundup - March 2014

Andrew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Wed Apr 30 14:53:10 PDT 2014

On Mon, 28 Apr 2014 01:11:52 +0000 (UTC), Tom Russell wrote:

> On Sunday, April 27, 2014 3:39:02 PM UTC-4, Andrew Perron wrote:

>> "The problem is... Knockout Mouse's inner thoughts have had a lot of 
>> the same quality. As have Martin Rock's, actually. And Lacey Trimmer 
>> often gives off a similar defensive, something-to-prove vibe. If it 
>> wasn't for Roy Riddle and Dr. Fay breaking things up every once in a 
>> while, the cast would pretty much be insecure, kinda bitchy people 
>> bouncing off insecure, kinda bitchy people.
> Let me start by saying, of course and as always, that this is a valid
> criticism/reaction to the work, because that's the vibe you got, and I'm
> not one to say that my reading of my own work is any more or less valid
> than yours, nor is it for me to make that determination, etc. However, my
> read on the characters is a little different, and it could be that I just
> didn't "do the work" that was necessary to convey and explore certain
> qualities I was aiming to convey and explore.

Note that these impressions are largely a product of reading 20 and 21 in
quick succession, so the specific story needs and/or headspace of the
author in writing those ones may be involved?

> Derek does have moments of doubt, and of depression, and generally has
> some self-esteem issues, which may partially be due to his past and, more
> generally, his age-- twenty can be a very difficult year for an angry young
> man who has lost his father. But I think his biggest hang-up isn't
> necessarily with how he sees himself, but with how others see him. Derek,
> in his better moments, knows that he's good at this-- he has save the
> world. Twice! But no one seems to give him credit for this-- at least in
> his own mind, the world sees him as the clumsy kid who was hanging off the
> side of the building in his first-app and followed it up by running
> face-first into the telephone pole. He wants desperately for people to
> recognize the talent he knows he has. To be taken seriously.
> Knockout Mouse's doubts and anxieties parallel Derek's, and this is
> deliberate, but there is an important difference, and it's that Bethany
> isn't overly nor overtly concerned with perception. There's a scene in this
> issue where Bethany tries to explain how she's worried that she
> accidentally killed one of the mooks. Derek keeps harping on about "don't
> worry, they'll clear you"-- she can't get across to him that it's not about
> how other people see her.

Oh yes. And that's a good difference, but... hmmmmm. I wonder if my
quandary is less... like, what they're feeling, and more the way it's
portrayed. Like, I can see these differences pointed out, but the thought
and dialogue associated with these attitudes feel very similar.

> Again, I'm not saying that Derek doesn't have doubts vis-a-vis "should I
> be in this line of work", just that I think the defining issue (if he can
> be tied down to one) is how others see him. There's a moment in this issue
> where Derek reads Bethany's report of the break-in, and she continually
> gives him credit and refuses to take any for herself. There's a line that
> goes something to the effect of he can't understand why someone so talented
> would constantly dismiss their accomplishments. 

This, by the way, was a line that felt realistically frustrated, without
falling into that "too similar" bin.
> One thing Derek is working towards-- and this is something that will come
> to the fore in the next installment-- is figuring out his "niche" in the
> four-colour world. I don't want to get too much into it and spoil anything,
> but it isn't a niche that's going to necessarily give him the recognition--
> at least publicly-- that he wants, and that is something he'll have to deal
> with.

Ah, yes. He'll be more like JLA Batman, a thinker over a punch-Cthulhu-er.

> I think-- and this might become more apparent as we get to know Lacey,
> especially outside the confines of Derek and Martin's negative opinions of
> her-- that Lacey *absolutely* knows she's up for it. It's going to be hard,
> but she's going to do it. She's a hard-nosed professional who can be very
> mercenary about getting the job done. And (not to spoil too much here), but
> the next Mighty Medley will hint that by 2014 at least, it's paid off for
> her, at least professionally, in a big way.

Very cool. <3 Again, tho, it's more about how she acts and presents
herself, y'know?

>> "In other news, these people are *really bad* at keeping their 
>> identities secret. It's cute!"
> Well, Derek is, and that could easily compromise Martin's identity.
> Whether it has or not yet is still an open question, though Martin and
> Derek are unclear about whether or not Dr. Fay knows Martin's identity.

Well, I was mostly thinking of the lists of people who we know know their
identities. It's-- both of them are pretty long.

>> "Huh. I totally got what was going on there - someone who broke through 
>> their emotional barriers just soon enough to get a moment's 
>> understanding of what they had before it was gone, and tried to make up 
>> for it too late. Honestly, I kinda expected to see more of him than we 
>> eventually did."
> I had planned for more Anders, though still in a limited way; he doesn't
> really fit in the action context as he wasn't going to ever put on a
> costume, become a villain, etc. But the feedback I got, both private and
> public, was overwhelmingly negative. One thing about working in a serial
> format is that you can emphasize what is popular, and re-tool or abandon
> what isn't. "Anders is a dick" was a pretty constant refrain, so when the
> opportunity presented itself for him, and his company, to leave the
> picture, I went that route.

Dangit. It figures; I also really liked the untap mechanic, and Tribal, and
Future Sight.

>> "It's an interesting idea, but I don't think it quite works for me. I 
>> guess it's just the way the metaphor's supposed to work - the idea of a 
>> self-destructive but passionate love that ruins you for other people 
>> never made sense to me except as an expression of deeper problems.
> It doesn't for me, either. That's not really what I was going for. First,
> let me clarify my approach to the Romance titles in general by stating that
> none of the Romance stories I wrote/write are love stories, as romance and
> love are mutually-exclusive things.

That's an interesting idea. Explicate, please!

> So I didn't really intend for this story to be a metaphor, or at least not
> one for any kind of love. If it was a metaphor for anything, it's for the
> unbearable missing *something* some people have in their lives. They don't
> and perhaps can't ever know what it is, but they feel the lack of it
> acutely.

I got that part. I guess it just felt like... like the hole in her life
wasn't the same shape as the thing that was supposed to go in it, y'know?

>> "Wow, I'm being kinda harsh on Tom this time 'round. 
> No, you're not being harsh at all. I learn something from every review,
> even when the reviewer didn't care for the story in question.

See what I mean, folks? <3

Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, awesome polite.

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