Monday, June 16, 2014

Prefer A Zine?

If you're not a blog fan you can read my posts in zine format at  With each PDF file you can view an issue online or print it out and read it later.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Sports & Shakespeare


(C) 2014 Ray X

I've always been lousy at conformity.

In a previous post I mentioned that I don't like the works of Shakespeare.  To most writers that's outright heresy.

I also don't like professional sports.  "Did you see the game last night?" No, I have an active independent mind.

I've seen attempts to make sports palatable to sci fi nerds.  One experiment was a 1960s comic book series called Strange Sports Stories.  It featured plots like this: a wimpy kid eats a mysterious berry and becomes a super high school athlete; a man playing golf on Mars who stops an alien invasion; a future society where playing sports is outlawed because it's too dangerous.  That last one involved some rebel athletes who save the day and have sports legalized again.  A very depressing ending.

My anti-pro-sports viewpoint doesn't mean I'm against exercise or anyone going out and playing a friendly game of softball.  The Olympics typify what I hate about pro sports: greed, unbridled capitalism, the push for conformity -- "You catch the Olympics last night?" -- illusions of grandeur, egotistical athletes, taxpayers being screwed when the Olympics chooses their city as a venue and bankrupts the place while the real operators walk away with the Big $...

So don't try to appeal to my SF interest by having a story about future Olympics, aliens competing against each other while the host planet is bankrupted by the event.

I was thinking the other day what other kind of mash-up could be made with sports.  I see it now: pro sports with a Shakespearean theme.

"There's the snap.  Quarterback Julius Caesar has the ball, looking for an opening.  Wait, what's this?  His teammates are surrounding him, taking daggers out from hidden pockets in their togas.  No, it can't be -- they're stabbing Julius!

"Julius falls to his knees.  He looks up at one of his teammates.  Wait, what is he saying?  Listen..."

"Et tu, Butkus?"

Monday, June 09, 2014

Batman: Kathisophobe?

By Ray X

After bingeing during my younger years I hardly read comics books, especially those way overpriced floppies from the Big Two.  It's the same stuff recycled ad nauseum.  How many more times will Galactus threaten to pig out on planet Earth after promising never to do it again?

I find reading about the business of comic books and related media more entertaining.

Disney owns Marvel, Warner Brothers owns DC.  And between the two corporate competitors WB is the worst.

Let's face it: too many corporations have idiots in key positions.  As in know-nothing idiots.  They make decisions without taking the time to learn the product or service they're providing. Ergo, crap reigns.

Like the time a comic book fan/film director was pitching a Superman movie plot to the guy who made the final decision.  The fan/director was going on about how he would tell Kal-El's story.

The studio exec was puzzled.  He asked: "Who's this Kal-El character?"

And if you don't know who Kal-El is then you shouldn't be deciding on any project, movie or other media, portraying him.

Apparently that kind of studio exec unawareness/self-centered stupidity has been affecting DC Comics editors, if you believe the stories told on the Net.

The writer and artist working on the Batwoman comic wanted the heroine to marry her girlfriend.  But the editors said NO.  Not because of the gay marriage controversy but because -- so the editors stated -- that all DC heroes can't be married, they have to suffer, darkness is the main theme.

I'm tired of this nonsense trying to transform some clown in spandex into a tragic Shakespearean figure.  I hate Shakespeare, the most overrated writer shoved down the throats of high school English class students.  (Hemingway comes in a close second.)  Let superheroes be superheroes.

Sure, you can have drama with superheroic stories.  But wallowing in gut-wrenching tragedy all the time -- boring.

But the best example of micro-brain micro-mismanagement is when the order came down From On High that Batman never sits down, never show Batman sitting.  It’s common knowledge that he never sits, said an editor.  Of course if the jerk who issued that decree ever bother to READ any Batman comics...

And so creators have left DC because of such editorial interference.  What I find funny is that DC (and Marvel) end up rebooting their characters, throwing out all previous history to start anew.  So why not let Batwoman get married?  In a few years there will be another company-wide reality-bender crisis and you can unmarry her.  Who cares?  It's all imaginary stories.  Let's the creators create.  That's why they were hired, right?

DC Comics editorial hyperlogic clearly illustrates how corporate polyps are destroying America -- right down to its comic books.