Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 18
  1. #1
    Mild-Mannered Reporter
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    28,916

    Default CBR: When Words Collide - Feb 8, 2010

    Tim stops time to look closely at the Daredevil work of Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev, this week through the lens of the four panel sequence that comprises the epic run's opening page. Comic book realism, exposed.


    Full article here.

  2. #2
    Ben L FunkyGreenJerusalem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    12,020

    Default

    Think of an atrocity like Richard Kelly's "Southland Tales," for an example of that.
    Wow.
    The other week people 'pretend to like Pink Floyd', and now this.

    You really should stick to comics mate.

    Southland Tales may have been a failure, but what a glorious noble failure it was.
    The best Phillip K Dick adaptation that he never wrote.

    As for DD, I tuned out of the run, reading in trades, when it really wasn't going anywhere.
    The Typhoid Mary arc was the last I read, but it was a conversation between Foggy and Matt, where Foggy made brilliant points about why Matt shouldn't be DD, and he knew he wasn't - which went through a few pages - and were then brushed aside by Black Widow accusing Foggy of being jealous.
    I'd loved it up until then, but the points shouldn't have been raised if we weren't going to be given an answer, and particularly not if they were going to be dismissed with something so pithy.
    Last edited by FunkyGreenJerusalem; 02-08-2010 at 05:53 PM.
    ADVERTISE HERE!

  3. #3

    Default

    No, Southland Tales is legitimately terrible.

    Foggy is always the voice of reason, and the women in Matt Murdock's life always screw up any listening to the voice of reason. That's how the game is played.

    Also, that scene -- that scene you hate -- is better than Pink Floyd.
    Timothy Callahan
    CBR Staff Writer

    Reviews -- My CBR Reviews/Articles
    GeniusboyFiremelon -- My Blog

  4. #4
    Ben L FunkyGreenJerusalem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    12,020

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TimothyCallahan View Post
    No, Southland Tales is legitimately terrible.
    Did you only watch it the once?
    I mean I loved it for the visual spectacle alone, and if you hated it, there's no reason you would watch it again, but it actually ties together a lot better than you initially think after watching it.
    (Not that it ever makes up for that last line).
    The problem comes from the amount of exposition they have to get through by having the first three chapters missing - keeps the audience totally in the dark, and confused, for way too long.
    As I said, it's a failure, but a glorious one.

    And any film where a cop shoots a room full of people, and then pauses and says 'Flow My Tears' is aces in my book.

    Foggy is always the voice of reason, and the women in Matt Murdock's life always screw up any listening to the voice of reason. That's how the game is played.
    It works for the characters, and to keep the story going, it's just in that scene, too many good points were raised for the reader, for it to not get answered beyond one line.
    And, it was a ripper of a scene.
    I stuck with it after that for a bit, but when it seemed like we were never going to get given an actual reason for those issues getting pushed aside, beyond 'that's how it goes with DD', it killed it for me.

    Also, that scene -- that scene you hate -- is better than Pink Floyd.
    At least they doesn't smell as bad as you!
    ADVERTISE HERE!

  5. #5
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    7,751

    Default

    I'm not sure I'd agree that Bendis represents a shift away from romanticism. Seems to me he's trying to use realist techniques to tell a different sort of genre story - a crime story starring superheroes, rather than a straight superhero story.

    Which raises the question of just how anti-romantic his result is, since the very fact that he's chosen to focus on criminals (or superheroes) means that those characters are being represented as somehow more interesting, more important than "ordinary" people. IOW, they are being romanticised at some level, no matter how "realistic" Bendis's dialogue might be, or what sort of wringer he might put his protagonist through.

    I'd even question the apparent realism of the dialogue, which reads as highly stylized to me, in the sense that it follows the patterns and conventions of American tv drama and crime movies.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    145

    Default

    I'm aware that the Bendis/Maleev DAREDEVIL issues have been praised. Douglas Wolk, for example, reviewed their work enthusiastically on Salon.com back in January 2006. What I'm most interested in, however, is insight into why his DAREDEVIL issues are so good and his ____ AVENGERS issues so terrible. Is it a matter of being able to transfer plot material, characters, etc., from his crime fiction source material to the comics in DAREDEVIL and being unable to do that in ____ AVENGERS? Did he rely less on retcons as a way of generating story premises in DAREDEVIL? I'm assuming that artistic techniques were used equally well in all the series, and that DAREDEVIL issues had far fewer problems with scientific concepts and terms being handled incorrectly.

    This text from the column, Summarizing the plot of issues #26-60 interests me not at all, and the plot isn't what matters anyway. It's the style, the mode of the storytelling that matters. doesn't make much sense. A writer's style isn't the substance of a story. Creativity and craftsmanship in a plot are what distinguish original fiction from formula fiction, since the other elements in a story won't vary as much. Since plots are a major weakness in Bendis's ____ AVENGERS material, one might infer that his DAREDEVIL plots are the weakest elements in the stories.

    SRS

  7. #7

    Default

    Style is ALL that matters in analysis. If you want plot summary, you can just read Wikipedia entries. Are structural techniques part of style? Yes. But I don't have any interest in merely summarizing the plot.

    Yeah, I'm interested to see how his Avengers stuff holds up as a cohesive (or non-cohesive) whole. I'm doing a big reread of all that stuff for a special CBR series of articles (not columns) in April. But for those, I WILL mostly be summarizing the plots, trying to see what the story actually is.

    I know. I am a bundle of contradictions. (But it's also a different assignment, with different expectations.)
    Timothy Callahan
    CBR Staff Writer

    Reviews -- My CBR Reviews/Articles
    GeniusboyFiremelon -- My Blog

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    145

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TimothyCallahan View Post
    Style is ALL that matters in analysis.
    Style can be the most interesting part of a story to analyze when a story works well, but I've seen too many people dismiss plot content as unimportant at the outset of their pieces. Producing tight plots might be difficult to do in superhero stories, but when the plot is strong and tight, the resulting story is marvelous. And when a plot is broken, the excellence of the writer's style isn't worth examining.

    Wikipedia provides practically no plot information on DAREDEVIL issues, unfortunately.

    SRS

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    7,751

    Default

    No, I'd have to agree with the writer on this one. Plot is simply one element of a story and by no means necessarily the most important one.

    Not to say that designing a well structured plot isn't a legitimate skill or that plot-driven stories can't be fun to read and even worthwhile creative endeavours in their own right, but I think it's very unfortunate that as casual readers/viewers/consumers we've all been trained to feel that that's really the only kind of "good" story there is, that story is in fact largely plot and little else. Which just isn't the case.

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    145

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by berk View Post
    No, I'd have to agree with the writer on this one. Plot is simply one element of a story and by no means necessarily the most important one.
    Whether a story is character driven, plot driven, or has a theme-based plot, the story still has a plot, and the integrity of the plot is what makes the story and the effects of events on the characters believable. It's great to opine that a story's plot isn't necessarily the most important element in it, but analyzing a story requires describing how the elements are put together for a unified effect. Dismissing the importance of the plot before even reading a story would be foolish.

    I'm especially wary of emphasizing the importance of style re Bendis's material, because many of his Avengers stories have failed disastrously due to their plot and characterization deficiencies. "Avengers Disassembled," for example, had three major discontinuities regarding the Scarlet Witch's power, the conception of the twins, and her memory. Singly, one of them would have severely damaged the storyline; together, they destroyed it -- but one wouldn't know that, from what various people have said and written about it.

    If analysis is to be done with any intellectual rigor, doing it requires identifying all the problems with a story. Elevating style above the other elements can be a way of avoiding responsibility for missing plot holes, factual mistakes, logical inconsistencies, or, in Bendis's case, the mishandling of scientific concepts that ruined several storylines. The response to an author's style is also more subjective than the response to a plot and characterization, so if the response to style-focused analysis is negative, the writer can discount the response as being due to bias.

    Lastly, about continuity: A large number of people have tried to rationalize the character discontinuity in "Avengers Disassembled" by saying that the Scarlet Witch was subconsciously insane, just had a spontaneous psychotic break, or offered other absurd reasons for the insanity, all of which ignore the fact that a writer dictates what happens to a character in any given story. She doesn't exist outside of it. The only thing that enables a character to be transferred from one story to another is continuity. It's been popular in recent years to dismiss the importance of continuity, but that's because continuity tests a writer's intelligence and creativity. If he can craft an entertaining story that respects continuity, he passes the test; if he dismisses the importance of continuity, he's effectively saying he lacks intelligence, creativity, or both.

    SRS

  11. #11

    Default

    If he can craft an entertaining story that respects continuity, he passes the test; if he dismisses the importance of continuity, he's effectively saying he lacks intelligence, creativity, or both.
    What do you mean by continuity, though? In Daredevil #1, it talks about Matt Murdock being 8 in 1952 (or something like that -- I don't have the issue in front of him). Clearly Daredevil is not in his 60s right now. Is that ignoring continuity? Where do you draw the line?

    Because you clearly draw the line at the level of small detail, where I don't think that stuff matters at all. In fact, that kind of continuity detail -- particularly considered over a decades-long period, is DESTRUCTIVE to storytelling.
    Timothy Callahan
    CBR Staff Writer

    Reviews -- My CBR Reviews/Articles
    GeniusboyFiremelon -- My Blog

  12. #12
    IntrePoop Reverend rev sully's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    272

    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by TimothyCallahan View Post
    What do you mean by continuity, though? In Daredevil #1, it talks about Matt Murdock being 8 in 1952 (or something like that -- I don't have the issue in front of him). Clearly Daredevil is not in his 60s right now. Is that ignoring continuity? Where do you draw the line?

    Because you clearly draw the line at the level of small detail, where I don't think that stuff matters at all. In fact, that kind of continuity detail -- particularly considered over a decades-long period, is DESTRUCTIVE to storytelling.
    Huzzah! And I appreciate what you said about being a "bundle of contradictions". Eastern Sages say that a man on the path to Enlightenment is comfortable with his contradictions but iDigress...

    Bendid/Maleev's Daredevil was so good...I stopped reading after Decalogue. Not that Brubaker isn't good, I am just not familiar with that part of the Body. It's all new if I haven't read it yet.

    I need to bring it up again. The parallels with Knight's Daredevil and MAX' ALIAS
    I wrote this in 2004 after ALIAS came to an end. THE PULSE?...it really was "meh".
    http://thechannelocho.blogspot.com/2...66475393599829
    I was knee-deep in that hooplah! I was loving every month. I have yet to read the run in the Omnibus format or even collected. gawd, it has been a while since I read Daredevil. I really haven't read any TPB of it. I was on with Kevin Smith's TPB versus Mysterio (I actually got teary eyed with the scene with Spidey on top of the bridge, remembering murdered loves). That was good too setting the stage for Bendis/Maleev. There is just so much good to those years. I see Typhoid Mary, "Hello, Matt...Burn!". I see, "L'chaim, fatass!". I remember it in its hue of Absolute Coolness.

    But I would like to posit that ALIAS as a complete story could be better than his work on Daredevil. maybe. I dunno. I like the whole "wink, wink" Purple Man had at the 4th Wall-ish about Continuity in ALIAS. It's almost Grant Morrison-ish. Plus Gaydos' art is awesome. ALIAS is a comic I have suggested numerous times and lent out. It was handy to pick up in the 4 TPBs for lending's sake.

    It was a very special time for MARVEL comics. I was really buying 50/50 with DC at the time (it's gotta be 95/5 DC favor today). I am on the hook for SIEGE #1-4 I am proud to say. Bendis Event in 4 issues? I'm interested.

    "He who knows best knows how little he knows" -Thomas Jefferson

  13. #13
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    145

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TimothyCallahan View Post
    What do you mean by continuity, though? In Daredevil #1, it talks about Matt Murdock being 8 in 1952 (or something like that -- I don't have the issue in front of him). Clearly Daredevil is not in his 60s right now. Is that ignoring continuity? Where do you draw the line?

    Because you clearly draw the line at the level of small detail, where I don't think that stuff matters at all. In fact, that kind of continuity detail -- particularly considered over a decades-long period, is DESTRUCTIVE to storytelling.
    I believe you're drawing false distinctions by arguing that all aspects of a character are equally important. The non-aging of the adult characters and the rapid maturation of kids into young adults are genre conventions -- confusing to someone unused to the genre but easily adapted to.

    Maintaining continuity is simply a matter of editorial control. The Ultraverse had a bible; TV series routinely have bibles; I'd guess that novelizations based on TV shows are checked by editors for continuity errors. Writers who are serious about their work have character profiles they generate and use.

    If continuity is unimportant, then Marvel shouldn't be even publishing the HANDBOOK OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE-type publications. They're obsolete before they're even published.

    In any case, it's futile to claim that Bendis's characterization of the Scarlet Witch in "Avengers Disassembled," for example, is acceptable in terms of continuity. His characterization turns her inside out -- negates the reasons that she was ever created and used by other writers (with the exception of Byrne, obviously, who wrote pure formula fiction).

    Do you seriously think that a character could be turned from a heroine in one story into a raving psychotic in another, and then back to sanity in the next, or given another personality altogether, based on what the writer of a particular story wants to do with her? That's The Imbecile's Guide to Writing Comics.

    SRS

  14. #14
    IntrePoop Reverend rev sully's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    272

    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven R. Stahl View Post
    I believe you're drawing false distinctions by arguing that all aspects of a character are equally important. The non-aging of the adult characters and the rapid maturation of kids into young adults are genre conventions -- confusing to someone unused to the genre but easily adapted to.

    Maintaining continuity is simply a matter of editorial control. The Ultraverse had a bible; TV series routinely have bibles; I'd guess that novelizations based on TV shows are checked by editors for continuity errors. Writers who are serious about their work have character profiles they generate and use.

    If continuity is unimportant, then Marvel shouldn't be even publishing the HANDBOOK OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE-type publications. They're obsolete before they're even published.

    In any case, it's futile to claim that Bendis's characterization of the Scarlet Witch in "Avengers Disassembled," for example, is acceptable in terms of continuity. His characterization turns her inside out -- negates the reasons that she was ever created and used by other writers (with the exception of Byrne, obviously, who wrote pure formula fiction).

    Do you seriously think that a character could be turned from a heroine in one story into a raving psychotic in another, and then back to sanity in the next, or given another personality altogether, based on what the writer of a particular story wants to do with her? That's The Imbecile's Guide to Writing Comics.

    SRS
    Yeah but even the Julie Schwartz' School of Resetting extends to the House of Ideas. Or the Geoff johns/Sterling gates may have lifted from MARVEL...the Include Everything continuity bridges. I mean....I thought Mysterio was dead-dead. Nope....only Comic Book Dead. It's "mostly dead' like in the Princess Bride! For Real!
    I base this thought on a paraphrase from an introduction to one of my trade paperbacks about Julie Schwartz & my love of CRISES.
    Continuity is the bane of loving a funnybook. Grant Morrison's Batman over-story was about respecting & including the continuity. What defines Daredevil's modern continuity to me as a casual reader? Daredevil: Yellow by Loeb & Sale.

    ZUR-EN-ARR!!!

    "He who knows best knows how little he knows" -Thomas Jefferson

  15. #15
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    145

    Default

    The reason that bibles are created and used, and that experienced writers work from character profiles is that the characters and concepts in them are known to be solid. The only reason that multiple versions of characters exist is the lack of editorial control -- an unsupervised writer thinking, Well, if I do this or have him act like this, it'll be a good story. Who cares if it's not consistent with other stories. It's the editor's job to care.

    The success of shows that use bibles and the repetition of plot material at Marvel, with or without continuity, refute the idea that continuity is damaging. It's the least inventive writers, the ones who rely the most on crude characterizations and plot devices for their effects -- Bendis has arguably made his living from "idiot plot" stories -- who pay the least attention to continuity. They're demonstrating their inability to create.

    SRS

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •