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!


Matthew E said...

Welcome back! I hope you leave the door open to posting more if you ever want to post more.

Question for you. I'm in the middle of moving to Ottawa. What's your comic shop of choice?

Jim Roeg said...

Thanks, Matthew E--and welcome to Ottawa!

As for comic shops, there are really only two that I am familiar with of the ten or so in the city: Silver Snail and The Comic Book Shoppe, both on Bank Street, both in Centretown. I prefer Silver Snail, which is where I've been going since I arrived in Ottawa a few years ago. The staff is wonderful, the service excellent, and the store is both well-organized and somewhat crammed, both of which are things I like in a comic store. Check with the store to be sure, but I don't think they give discounts on subscription orders; they do sell at US cover price, however. (At least, they were doing that--I may have lost track. I'm a bit vague with money matters--not that I can afford to be!)

My preference for Silver Snail over The Comic Book Shoppe is not a particularly informed one, as I don't think I've ever actually purchased anything in the latter and have only been in the store a couple of times. I'm going more on gut feel and ambiance. Certainly the two stores have quite distinct personalities. The Comic Booke Shoppe has a more fan-community feel to me--I think they tend to do more events, gaming, and such. I think they also have a discount policy too, but don't quote me on that. The Silver Snail feels very businesslike by comparison--again, I like that, but some of my friends find this a controversial choice. To each his own!

Matthew E said...

Thanks. I've actually been working here since January and commuting back to Toronto on weekends; we don't move into our new house for a couple of weeks. All I keep hearing is about what a great place it is to raise a family. That may be so but I like it anyway.

David Golding said...

I've re-added you to my blogroll in anticipation of at least a slow trickle of posts! Have you been reading Seaguy? Scott Pilgrim? Did you see Watchmen? Never mind---I preferred your ponderings on older pleasures over reviews of what's new.

Jim Roeg said...

Cool, David. Thanks. It will be a slow trickle, but it will at least be a trickle. And you're in luck--I'm more interested in the old stuff these days anyway.

Matthew E: good luck with the move!

plok said...

Aha, there you are, Jim! I've been expecting you.

I was going to write something once: "On The Lifespan Of Blogs"...possibly we could say something interesting about just what it is that makes someone just plain stop, and what makes them pick it up again. Myself I think it's about how ferociously you jump into it in the first place -- then when you lose that commitment, you feel like you can't come back, and don't want to. You ask what you do it for, perhaps, and then find you don't really have an answer.

I don't do it that way, though, and I suspect you don't either. Bring on the trickle!

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