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Vincent S. Moore Presents:










Omnibus #1

Hey, folks, it’s been a weird week or so here at Casa de Moore, going through some personal stuff.

But I promised Marc I would write the column up until our winter break, which I’ll talk about later.

To fulfill that promise and to keep myself writing this crazy column with some kind of regularity, I bring you the inaugural Omnium Gatherum Omnibus, where I just vibe on about different topics. I may pick up on ideas discussed here in later columns and I may not.

Let me know what you think or if there’s any particular topic you readers would like me to talk about further.

****************

The main reason my mind wasn’t up to crafting a full blown column this week was my mother was scheduled for hip replacement surgery this past Tuesday.

She just turned 79 last Sunday. That’s a lot of years of living on this planet, as she might say. She is in reasonably good health and was looking forward to getting her hip fixed so she could go back to walking properly and keep on keeping as long as she can.

Now, I’m the youngest in the family. My mom’s baby and the sensitive artist type. I also lost my father when I was seventeen and still in high school. So no matter what my mother’s mood was in regards to this surgery, her age meant we had to have certain talks about what to do in the event of her death and the like. Not the kind of conversation one thinks of having with one’s parent. But it’s part of life. So I listened and agreed and understood everything I was told, all the while a part of me was growing more and more worried.

I mean, it’s not like hip replacement is an uncommon operation. One of the ladies I chant with had it done last year and is tearing up the sidewalks and other places with more energy in her step. I wanted that for my mom. But still that worry was there.

On the very day the surgery happened, I wasn’t there at the hospital. There are other reasons I won’t go into as to why I was miles away, but a pretty good one is that I could do nothing but wait to see what happened. Not something I do well when it comes to my mom. Besides there will be time for that when that which waits for us all comes for her. And I’ll deal better then.

For now, on that day, I needed to not be there and to do anything else in the world.

So I wasn’t there.

And I did a whole lot of other things to keep my mind occupied, away from worry.

Of course, everything worked out and she is resting in her hospital room, sleeping as I write this. And she will go through rehab and other things to get used to walking with her new hip in the days and weeks to come.

And my mind, hopefully, can go back to normal.

With good fortune, I’ll have more years to spend with Mom. How many more, I don’t know. But I will do my best to enjoy each and every moment.

****************

In an interesting bit of coincidence, I just finished reading Casanegra by Blair Underwood, Tananarive Due, and Steven Barnes this week.

It’s a mystery novel with aspirations of becoming a Hollywood property, introducing us readers to Tennyson Hardwick, struggling actor with a dark past, who finds himself in the unfortunate position of having to solve a murder to save himself from prison. It was a very good book and I’ll do a proper review next month, because I want to read it again, it was that good.

What was coincidental about reading this book is the hero’s struggle to deal with the failing health of his father. Just as I was going through some of the same thoughts myself, it was comforting to see that I am not alone with having to face that strange yet inevitable turn of events when parents and children change positions in life.

I hope, when that time comes, I can handle it just as gracefully as Tennyson did.

****************

I had the pleasure of reading Scalped #6-11 last week during my shift at Comics Ink. If none of you out there have had the pleasure, the best way I can describe the book is Wiseguy meets Thunderheart. Full of powerful character work and great writing. My only complain was the art, but it’s typical of a Vertigo title. While I wished for clearer, better drawn art, it was the story that kept me turning pages.

Do yourselves a favor and check out this title.

Don’t wait for the trade, get the issues. It’s more fun reading it that way.

****************

Consanguinity does not a family make.

I just had to say that.

‘Nuff said.

****************

I also made the mistake of reading the first issue of Warren Ellis’ Doktor Sleepless at work.

I loved and pimped the hell out of Transmetropolitian back in the day. I loved what Warren did there and then.

That was then and this is now.

In contrast to what I said about Scalped, the art was nice on Sleepless, crisp, clean, and serviceable. Too bad the story wasn’t there in any recognizable fashion. Stringing together a bunch of throwaway lines and ideas doesn’t cut it as story. And I’m not interested or intrigued enough to see what develops.

I still don’t know what I read.

And I read and understood all of The Invisibles.

Go figure.

****************

So JMS wanted to take his name off of One More Day? Well, for what it’s worth, the quality of the writing in strong and well done. The idea still sucks, but it’s well written. That beats Civll War by a thousand miles and then some.

I just wonder how Joe Quesada explains this storyline to his wife. I mean, he has basically advocated the end of a marriage in public for years now by claiming that Spiderman’s life would be more interesting and full of great stories if he were single. How does that go over at home?

Getting rid of Peter and Mary Jane’s marriage is fine, I guess. Joe Quesada’s the editor in chief at Marvel and I’m not. He can do that and is doing that obviously.

But, wasn’t Ultimate Spiderman supposed to be the book that appealed to those who wished for an idealized version of Lee and Ditko’s Spidey?

And what happens if and when Sony decides to feature the wedding of Peter and MJ in Spiderman 4 or 5? Will we see the comics running to reverse the rewriting of history? Will Satannish show up and offer a deal to undo the magic just to get Mephisto’s goat? Or will it be The Beyonder coming back and feeling that there’s something wrong with the Marvel Universe 616?

All I want to know when are we going to get back to telling cool adventures with the superheroes. Huh?

Because all of this realism and post 9/11 conservatism bullshit is way past boring.

****************

I’m staring at my copy of the Captain America Omnibus, the one with the first 25 issues of Ed Brubaker’s run.

I’m staring at because I promised Marc I’d review it for the column.

I’m staring at it but not reading it because what I’ve read up to this point is boring me to death. Now, that last sentence does not count as a review, damn it. I’m not going to cheat on this one. I will finish reading the damned thing so I can review it for next week.

However, man, at this point in time I would rather have to go to China on a slow boat or get a root canal than read that thing.

And that’s bad.

Again, that’s not my review. So don’t quote me on it.

****************

The holiday season at the end of each year is a weird time for me anyway.

Being a Buddhist, Christmas is a nice cultural artifact to me but I no longer have the strong connection to it. I have the great memories of decorating the tree and opening presents and the not so great memories of dinners with the extended families (see my comment above for what I think of these times) on both sides of my bloodline.

All I see nowadays are people running and rushing around, trying to buy whatever new toy for boys and girls of all ages is out for sale. And the pleas for charities of all kinds and the crazy nonsense fights over what place Christmas has in a supposedly plural society. And on and on until the break of dawn.

I see these things and just watch it all happen and don’t feel any real attachment to any of it.

In a lot of ways this is the freest time of year for me.

Oh, I go to holiday parties and meet with some family and many friends and exchange gifts. I just don’t feel that anything would be missing from my life if those things didn’t happen. And a lot of times, I don’t make a big deal about receiving gifts. I’ll give what I can but I don’t worry if I don’t receive or receive after New Year’s.

If anything, I go about my life the same way I do the rest of the year.

But I do get a kick out of watching everybody else be driven nearly mad by the expectations this time of year brings.

Maybe that makes me a Bad Buddha, eh?

****************

I do want to come back to this idea in the new year: that those of us who still read superhero comics are addicts.

We are addicted to reading the adventures of characters we fell in love with as young boys and girls at some point in time. It’s a love that is deep and powerful and keeps us going back to titles that under ordinary circumstances we would have stopped reading a long time ago. Like abuse victims.

I know this because I’ve done it. I’m guilty of this. I kept reading the Fantastic Four even when the book was bad, when I wasn’t completely thrilled by what I read. I kept reading because as long as I could still read something, anything featuring those four fantastic characters I had fallen in love with, I would suffer through just about anything.

So, you can blame me for my part in supporting the bulk of the run published during the 1990s. I accept it. And what’s sadder is I still have those issues in my collection.

Now, because many of us--some but not all--are addicts, this explains why Marvel and DC can do just about anything to the books and we will keep coming back for more.

We are Superhero Baseheads, hear us grovel and whine and moan for more punishment. Just as long as we get our fix.

We have a higher esteem for those paper gods whose adventures we love and crave each and every week than we do for ourselves.

This explains the Civil Wars and Infinite Crises and the One More Days and all the other crap coming out these days.

Because what alternatives do we have?

Watch Heroes? Doesn’t compare to Claremont’s X-Men or Stan and Jack’s FF.

Read more alternative comics? Even though that has been the secret wet dream of many, it’s just not going to happen. If faced with the choice between living my own real life and reading a comic about somebody else’s real life, I would hope I’m not desperate enough or lack of any sense of irony to do so willingly.

Read manga? Sorry, as much as I like titles like Bleach and Negima and Kurohime, they just don’t hit the same sweet spot a good, solid issue of the JLA by Grant Morrison or Dwayne McDuffie does.

Which means I and others like me are doomed to suffer the slings and arrows of bad editorial decisions and vacuous writer summits and endless shipping delays and overwritten, under-dramatic, puffed up superhero comics.

There are times when I feel like a complete strawberry, standing on the corner, offering blow jobs and other things, just to read a good superhero comic.

So much for wish fulfillment power fantasy.

****************

Okay, folks, the power of the multiple coffees are running out and the eyes are reddening faster than a freshly slapped silly nerd’s stomach.

It’s time to call it a night.

Er, I mean, time to finish this up and proofread it and send it to my editor early, with enough time to make changes and what not. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Next week, as promised, by hook or by crook, my review of the Captain America Omnibus. I’d better finish it or Marc will sic the hounds on me. Although, if he sent the strippers after me, he might get a better result.

After that, I--along with the rest of the band--will be taking a long winter’s nap. We here at the Comics Waiting Room will return in the new year of 2008 with fresh columns and ideas and all kinds of ways to cause trouble.

In the meantime, head over to Comics Village and read an interview with yours truly. It’s not much but neither is my comics career up to this point. One of many things I will resolve to work on next year.

Y’all take care out there in Internetland.

Namaste.  

Vincent S. Moore

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