Archive for February 11, 2008

R.I.P.: Steve Gerber

February 11, 2008

Steve Gerber, 1947-2008

Oh dear God.

Gerber was one of the new breed of writer who re-invigorated and re-invented comics in the 1970s.

It’s difficult to convey what that group of writers did back then. It was really revolutionary, just as the personal computer was revolutionary. I’m not certain that all of them aspired to write comics. And perhaps that’s the very reason they did and could do what they did.

The existing guard saw themselves as producing entertainment for children, with perhaps a passing nod to adolescents. They were probably ashamed, around other adults, of what they did for a living. These new guys came in and tore up the place, ripped out the very foundations, and created a brand new structure. If they had to write comics, it’d damn well be the kind they wanted to write and read. They attempted to push comics out of its insular ghetto into a wider world. They didn’t want to be ashamed of how they made their money.

They not only excited readers, they inspired other writers.

Had they not come along, I’m convinced comic books would have died out by the end of the 1970s. We’d have nothing but “classic reprints,” irregularly published to coincide with the release of a television or movie spin-off. Comic books would only be something nostalgic and permanently twee.

Gerber was also at the forefront of changing the rules of writer ownership too.

He was one of the best, one of the good guys, and he will be missed.

— from Warren Ellis

A Spirit That Can Conquer The World

February 11, 2008

Ever heard of The Guoliang Tunnel?

You have now.

No, don’t run to Wikipedia. Click up there first.

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

Ecclesiastes 9:10

Meanwhile, here in what is allegedly my country, keeping eyes open is strenuous.

It didn’t used to be that way …

sgtyork001.jpg
“There ain’t nothin’ I can’t get if I set my mind to it!”Sergeant York

I Wake Up Some Days To Find The World Has Gone Mad

February 11, 2008

Microsoft is buying the maker of the Sidekick.

AT&T is providing WiFi to all Starbucks stores.

ACCESS and MontaVista Linux are getting all cuddly.

Things tend to happen in threes (like those damned three buses that always appear; the deaths of three celebrities; the third thing I can’t think of right here). But I have a feeling there’s more to come. Another three?

They Haven’t Suffered Enough

February 11, 2008

Will the [Crappy] WGA Deal Go Down?
Don’t be surprised if writers revolt over this one

I heard smart arguments, and I heard nonsensical arguments (like that of the bigtime agent who described the TV show runners as “the plantation owners” and the TV writers who worked for them as “the cotton pickers, who should just damn well be grateful they have health and pension and get back to work already”).

Emphasis added by me.

Some of you think I’ve exaggerated the contempt writers are held in.

Here is some schmuck — who probably has a wonderful wardrobe — who creates nothing, who is nothing but a buttinski, a leech, a parasite, a hemorrhoid on the ass of creativity, a cancer on two legs, and you see how much value he has for writers.

That is how it is.

And now let me say how it should be: Writers Guild, take that agreement and tell them to shove it. It stinks. Continue the strike and break the bastards.