Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Seventh Coming of Jim Roeg (Maybe)

How many times do you have to die and be resurrected to qualify for Jean Grey status?

I peeked out of my burrow a few days ago and saw that Mike Sterling has Double Articulation listed as “retired” on his blogroll. My first thought was: wow, Mike Sterling is really organized. I should do that with dead blogs on my link list. Waitaminnit… I’m what?

Let’s call it semi-retired—the semi-retirement peculiar to new parents. Kid arrives, castle walls spring up, drawbridge retracts: fortress of solitude. Well, not from the inside, of course. Inside everything’s cake and ice cream. And like the Lady of Shallot’s garret, a little bit squirrely. But it’s okay, because you’re so in love that you don’t notice. Until someone reminds you that the world outside the castle thinks you died. “Retired.” Which, of course, you did. So, here I am again. Blame Mike Sterling!

And speaking of blame, it would be easy to blame the kid for my disappearing trick. He is, after all, my new excuse for everything. But that’s not the whole story. Looking at it now, I can’t tell whether my vague disenchantment with comics over the past year was an inevitable side-effect of parenthood or the result of a whole confluence of other things. Was I burnt out by the demands of work and family? You know it. Was this a particularly bad year for comics? I kind of think it was. At the very least the “event fatigue” I’d been fighting finally got the better of me. On the other hand, it was such a good year for me personally, how could the satisfactions of fanboy obsession do anything but pale in comparison? Perhaps I was just getting tired of generating all this chatter, the endless rehearsal of my by now all-too-predictable “opinions.” Is there a blogger out there who doesn’t confront that particular nausea at some point? And let’s be real: Double Articulation had been clawing and gasping its way across the desert with prey-birds circling for at least a year before this most recent “hiatus.”

So, what now?

To be honest, I’m not sure. I’m feeling contemplative but lazy and not particularly fanboyish these days, though that may change I suppose.

I’m buying far fewer comics than I once did. Nostalgia acts, mostly. Titans. Outsiders. They’re not particularly good, but 1983 is a harsh mistress and, in any case, I’m not so much reading as clinging to them—in a “these fragments I have shored against my ruins” kind of way, you understand. Green Lantern does a better job than either of these titles at capturing the sense of richness that I, rightly or wrongly, associate with the DC universe of that earlier era, so it has become the “cornerstone” book for me of late. Like many, I admired but did not particularly enjoy Final Crisis and need a break from Morrison’s exhausting delirium. Green Lantern is the cotton candy version of the same thing, so of course I’m wolfing it down. I’m still mostly off Marvel, though I tried the new (old) New Mutants, predictably. Eh. I don’t know. I’ve been rereading Mike W. Barr and Jim Aparo’s magnificent Batman and the Outsiders—what ever happened to comics like THAT?

God, I’m grumpy this morning. Back into the burrow, Roeg!