Sunday, September 16, 2012

I do not care for this blurb.

It's white on light blue, so it may be a little hard to make out, but it says, "Fun like watching The Venture Brothers or listening to The Ramones," and is attributed to "Kelly Sue DeConnick, Captain Marvel" (the former being a professional comics writer, the latter being the title of one of her current comics, the probably-not-long-for-this-world series for Marvel comics.

The blurb appeared on the cover of It Girl! and The Atomics #2, and thus must be referring to It Girl! and The Atomics.

I don't like it.

I've watched The Venture Bros. I've listened to The Ramones. And I've now read both issues of It Girl!, and I'm afraid I can't find anything the three have in common.

In what way is the cartoon series The Venture Bros like It Girl...? They both have bearded, red-headed scientist characters. And...that's all I can really think of.

In what way are The Ramones like It Girl...? I got nothing. I think an argument could be made of similarities between Madman and some of character creator Mike Allred's comics with the work of the Ramones, but I don't see anything in these 40-50 comics pages that seem at all like the Ramones.

Now, it's possible DeConnick was simply grabbing two random things that she also enjoyed and using them as signifiers by which to gauge her enjoyment of the comic book—she did say it was fun like "watching" and "listening" to those two examples, rather than saying it was fun like those two examples themselves, but, if that's the case, it's a pretty poor blurb for Image to put on the cover (Why not go with "Fun" and leave it at that?), and it requires a little too much rhetorical reach.

Not to mention how subjective "I liked reading this comic book as I like listening to this band or watching this TV show" is as a measure of the quality of a book, or even the endorsers endorsement of that book.

It would be a little like me saying, I don't know, "Faith Erin Hicks' artwork is charming, like an old-fashioned doughnut shop with a horseshoe-shaped bar lined with stools built into the floor or a crayon-drawing of a pony that actually looks more like a cat taped on the office refrigerator," or "She was wearing a really pretty dress, like Vince Locke's ink line or a church bell ringing nine o'clock in the evening in December."


Akilles said...

True, I would guess.

JRC, the OWL Says Who said...

I think she is saying something like: If you like the meta-comentary of shows like Venture Brothers, and homages to older eras, than you will also like this.

Venture bros is a pastiche of older cartoon cliches and has transcended them to become its own thing at this point. Also, the show is an homage to the "Alex Tooth" style of design, two things that are part of understanding Mike Allred's esthetic, and--for a lot of his fans--key to their appreciation of his work.

The Ramones work in this same way, because as much as they were the 'godfathers of punk' they were also an homage to the rock sound of the late 50s, early 60s ala Phil Spector, but 'cranked up' a bit. From a concept side, the Ramones pared down 'comic book' style silhouettes--the idea that a reader should be able to identify the characters just on their shape alone--are also an indication of elegant Tooth design premise.