A Geektivus For The Rest Of Us

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User Info: Zeus

Zeus
1 month ago#91
ParanoidObsessive posted...
With Stephen King, there seems to be only one of two possible responses to a movie being made based on his books - he either praises it for improving upon his original, or he loathes it with a passion for differing from his original.


I question a lot of the praise, which often seems more of a contractual obligation than anything. Back before defamation clauses became a big thing, sincerity really meant more.

ParanoidObsessive posted...
Of course, that's still one more response than Alan Moore is capable of.


Ha!

ParanoidObsessive posted...
As much as I'm aware that this is a sacrilegious statement, I've never really liked Gaiman as a writer.


Which kinda brings me to an interesting point. While I'm okay with Neil Gaimon as a *comic book* writer -- although at times I feel like he's trying too hard -- I've had mixed feelings about him as a traditional author, having read a few of his short stories.

In general, though, his work conveys a sense of mystery and wonder missing from a lot of popular entertainment today. So even when I get the impression he's more interested in creating art than telling a story, I tend to enjoy the ride.

ParanoidObsessive posted...
A large part of that stems almost entirely from his work on The Sandman, though.


Full disclosure: Death of the Endless is probably among my top 25 favorite female comic book characters. I loved her goth-but-not-goth look coupled with her cheery countenance. I know those kinds of contrasts seem a little cliche and I'm usually a little critical of such dissonances, but it really worked for me.

Otherwise I recall enjoying the first few volumes when I read them some years ago.
(\/)(\/)|-|
There are precious few at ease / With moral ambiguities / So we act as though they don't exist.
WhiskeyDisk posted...
It might be worth revisiting Sandman with fresh eyes--the writing on Sandman is actually quite good, at least thru what should have been the conclusion of the entire thing in Kindly Ones before he was pestered into beating a dead horse and adding several unnecessary books to the series that were obviously cash grabs.

Yes, but the problem is, my eyes really haven't changed all that much over the last 25 years. While in some cases, I DO appreciate things more as an adult than I did as a teen or younger, for the most part if I disliked something then, I probably dislike it now (and vice-versa for things I like).

The other problem is, in a world bordering on near-infinite availability of media content, it becomes extremely difficult to give second chances to things that already failed to win me over in the past, because I barely have time to give to the things I actually WANT to devote time to. Which ties in to the echo-box nature of the modern digital era and the encroaching decline of pop culture in general. Eventually, we're all going to be living in our own personalized pop culture bubbles that only shallowly intersect with others across the narrowest of spectrums.



WhiskeyDisk posted...
I'll never understand hating a work of art because of it's fandom (unless we're talking about bronies or Juggalos, then by all means hate away).

So what you're saying is, you absolutely DO understand hating a work because of its fandom, you just disagree when it comes to which fandoms should be judged that way.



WhiskeyDisk posted...
Nobody is asking you to cavort around comic-con dressed as Destiny and it's not like reading Preludes and Nocturnes is going to have you suddenly running out to Spencer's or Hot Topic for a spiked choker, a Marilyn Manson lunch box and fishnet arm gloves ffs.

Yeah, but it's not that so much as... when people are constantly praising a work, but then you look at those people with a critical eye and find yourself somewhat repelled by what you see, it becomes harder to accept their recommendations with anything resembling a neutral stance. So you go into the work already biased against it, because you assume it will be terrible because terrible people like it.

Of course, once there the work may be so profoundly great that it overcomes that initial bias, but if it's baseline enough, the fandom may easily be enough to sway you away from liking something you might otherwise have found relatively inoffensive.

And again, in the modern era, where we're constantly evaluating tons of media based on the smallest and vaguest of criteria to determine whether or not it's worth investing more time in, the bias generated by a fanbase may be enough to kill your interest in a property forever.

It sort of ties into how, a lot of times when a game is super over-hyped before release, I tend to instinctively reject it long before I know anything about it. Whereas specific recommendations from people whose opinions I trust and generally share have a much greater chance of imparting a positive bias.

But like I said, the fandom is only PART of what I disliked about Sandman.

(More on this later in my reply to Zeus)



WhiskeyDisk posted...
Just sayin PO, at our age I think we've long passed the point of having to justify our interests in the context of "I like "x", but I'm not like those other people that like "x"".

To be fair, at our age we're supposed to hate everything, especially new things that are beloved of "the young".

"Wall of Text'D!" --- oldskoolplayr76
"POwned again." --- blight family
Zeus posted...
Which kinda brings me to an interesting point. While I'm okay with Neil Gaimon as a *comic book* writer -- although at times I feel like he's trying too hard -- I've had mixed feelings about him as a traditional author, having read a few of his short stories.

I feel like he tends to shade off into genres that don't interest me all that much, telling stories from perspectives I don't necessarily like or relate to. So his work tends to alienate me, even as I appreciate that he puts a lot of work into it, and is fairly well-read himself (and thus, all the literary and mythological references). So while I am capable of understanding why some readers - including some readers whose tastes I actually respect - might like him, it's not really an opinion I can share.

It's worth noting that, in spite of how much people praise Good Omens, I never really liked it all that much (in spite of being a big Terry Pratchett fan). It's also worth noting that, as much as people gushed over the episode of Doctor Who that Gaiman wrote a few seasons ago, I kind of hated it.

I kinda-sorta liked his story in the Roger Zelazny memorial collection (it's a Night in the Lonesome October homage), but it was basically a pastiche of a different writer and trying to emulate a different style/tone/mood (which went layers deep, because the story he was referencing was ITSELF referencing another writer's work), so it's not really all that indicative of his own work anyway.



Zeus posted...
In general, though, his work conveys a sense of mystery and wonder missing from a lot of popular entertainment today. So even when I get the impression he's more interested in creating art than telling a story, I tend to enjoy the ride.

I feel like he's the Tim Burton of written work (or maybe Burton is the Gaiman of film). Which is not necessarily a compliment.

To Gaiman's credit, I feel like he doesn't fall into the trap of repetition of style as much as Burton does, but there's still a similar sort of ethos there, and it's one I don't really relate to all that well. I might sum it up by describing him as a more visceral sort of writer, whereas I prefer a more cerebral approach, but it's kind of hard to articulate exactly WHAT I feel about his work, or how to define it.

It's one of those "I know it when I see it" sort of situations. And I've never really been cut out for criticism on a theoretical level (which is why I find it hard to "rate" movies beyond "I liked it/I disliked it". I tend to react to things on a more gut level, and it's hard to put that into words.



Zeus posted...
Full disclosure: Death of the Endless is probably among my top 25 favorite female comic book characters. I loved her goth-but-not-goth look coupled with her cheery countenance. I know those kinds of contrasts seem a little cliche and I'm usually a little critical of such dissonances, but it really worked for me.

Death: the High Cost of Living is the book that probably alienated me from his writing the most, and is the main reason I never really felt like dipping deeper into The Sandman as a whole.

I kind of like her as a concept, but I don't necessarily like how he writes her, or the situation she's in in that story, or any of the people she's interacting with.

Again, that story is a huge part of why I tend to associate his style with a very specific cultural scene, and unfortunately its a scene that fails to speak to me on almost every level.

I did admittedly sort of like Marvel 1602, though, so I guess that's a plus for him.

"Wall of Text'D!" --- oldskoolplayr76
"POwned again." --- blight family
Also, to be fair to him, at the time of his initial popularity boom, when he was getting lumped in with Frank Miller and Alan Moore as THE "mature" writers, he always seemed like the least terrible of the three to me. Given the choice between the three, and being forced to be trapped in an elevator with one of them for a few hours, I'd probably pick Gaiman.

"Wall of Text'D!" --- oldskoolplayr76
"POwned again." --- blight family
Oh, and incidentally, a lot of the things I dislike about Gaiman's work (especially when it comes to Sandman) are the same sort of things I disliked about early White Wolf (in spite of the fact that I loved the setting in broad strokes).

When every second page in a Vampire book is quoting Bauhaus or Siouxsie and the Banshees while the Changeling book is constantly harping on the innocence and wonder of youth and making repeated Gaiman references, it sort of gets a bit grating after a while. The feeling of hipster-ish pretentiousness and art student angst is basically mixed directly into the ink they printed all of their books with.

Thankfully, the later releases sort of start to drop that mentality (which is probably a good thing, because if the entirety of White Wolf had stayed Anne Rich pastiche/hippie propaganda/childhood wonder squee that it started as, I probably wouldn't have fallen in love with it as much as I did once it settled the f*** down and started acting more like a game than an emo kid's high school poetry.

"Wall of Text'D!" --- oldskoolplayr76
"POwned again." --- blight family

User Info: WhiskeyDisk

WhiskeyDisk
1 month ago#96
ParanoidObsessive posted...
Given the choice between the three, and being forced to be trapped in an elevator with one of them for a few hours, I'd probably pick Gaiman.


Now I can't say I've ever met or conversed with Miller or Moore at any length but I am a bit biased in that regard where Gaiman is concerned having had the opportunity to have a couple of beers with him after a book signing for the release of Neverwhere. I've told the story here many times so I'll save you the particulars but the man seemed very down to earth and humble to a fault given the praise being heaped upon him at the time and the bubble his core fandom had the power to create. Not at all what I'd expected. Certainly not the self absorbed ball of angst and brooding I'd anticipated under the false premise that The Lord Shaper was an author proxy. If anything, his self insertion character was Hob Gadling if I had to guess.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that he (at least as of just over 20 years ago) was certainly not a pretentious, navel gazing "artiste" despite it being easy to expect that of him.
http://i.imgur.com/4fmtLFt.gif
http://s1.zetaboards.com/sba/ ~there's always free cheese in a mousetrap.

User Info: shadowsword87

shadowsword87
1 month ago#97
ParanoidObsessive posted...
Also, to be fair to him, at the time of his initial popularity boom, when he was getting lumped in with Frank Miller and Alan Moore as THE "mature" writers, he always seemed like the least terrible of the three to me. Given the choice between the three, and being forced to be trapped in an elevator with one of them for a few hours, I'd probably pick Gaiman.


Hm, you seem to have all of his writing seen through the lens of Sandman.

Most of his books are children's books, a bit creepy, and then a bit weird meta-narrative, and then it's cool.

User Info: The Wave Master

The Wave Master
1 month ago#98
I know I've been absent, but I'm fighting the flu. I get a flu shot every year like nornal, but apparently this batch for this year is only 10% effective so I now have a boil under my right nostril from rubbing the mucas away all the time. Also, Scarlett is sick because I'm sick too. Things are just rough right now.

I have been grinding inPetsona 5 too. It's just the tiredness and sickness from the flu is preventing me from playing as much as I like right now.
We are who we choose to be.

User Info: Zeus

Zeus
1 month ago#99
Speaking of things re-visited, I recently rewatched Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog which as good or better than I remembered. However, Dr. Horrible himself comes off as a much worse character this viewing since -- while we're supposed to feel badly about Hammer being with Penny because he doesn't truly appreciate her or share her outlook -- I was more cognizant of Horrible being EXACTLY the same, given that he only learned about the fro-yo from spying on her, he consistently lies just to agree with her, etc. On some level, this reading helps me appreciate the loser/dork dynamic of Dr. Horrible compared to Hammer's jock/bully role. While Horrible is more intelligent, he's certainly no better than Hammer in many regards.

And f*** the fact we still haven't had a sequel.

ParanoidObsessive posted...
So what you're saying is, you absolutely DO understand hating a work because of its fandom, you just disagree when it comes to which fandoms should be judged that way.


As for me, while I can "understand" the principle, I also think it's flat-out stupid. There are a lot of works with terrible fanbases with which I want no association, but I still enjoy the work. Likewise, a creator's other activities usually don't turn me off their work because (for the most part, anyway) I can separate the creation from the creator. Granted, that's a little harder to do with actors and actresses when they have their usual appearance and mannerisms.

ParanoidObsessive posted...
Yeah, but it's not that so much as... when people are constantly praising a work, but then you look at those people with a critical eye and find yourself somewhat repelled by what you see, it becomes harder to accept their recommendations with anything resembling a neutral stance. So you go into the work already biased against it, because you assume it will be terrible because terrible people like it.


Terrible people can also like good things. I know people who both tout Trailer Park Boys (completely awful) and Rick & Morty (which I wound up enjoying but held off *because* I thought little of the people promoting it... although that might have been for the best since it hits its stride later on). Likewise, people with otherwise good opinions can sometimes praise awful things.

More generally, expectations and preconceptions can be a bit of a double-edged sword. When I go into something expecting disappointment or dislike, I think I've sometimes been more receptive to appreciate certain elements. Likewise, the height of my expectations can have a tendency to exceed the quality of a work, resulting in a more critical eye.

ParanoidObsessive posted...
It's also worth noting that, as much as people gushed over the episode of Doctor Who that Gaiman wrote a few seasons ago, I kind of hated it.


He apparently wrote at least two. Unless you mean the one he wrote and directed?

http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/The_Doctor%27s_Wife_(TV_story)
http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/Nightmare_in_Silver_(TV_story)

He wrote & directed "The Doctor's Wife," which, when reading the details, didn't ring a bell at first until I recalled that the sentient asteroid was harvesting TARDISes from Time Lords. I remember the whole thing being a little odd even by Doctor Who standards but I can't really enough to comment further.

However, "Nightmare in Silver" was a pretty good episode. That one I enjoyed quite a bit and it felt completely in keeping with the rest of the series.
(\/)(\/)|-|
There are precious few at ease / With moral ambiguities / So we act as though they don't exist.
WhiskeyDisk posted...
the man seemed very down to earth and humble to a fault given the praise being heaped upon him at the time and the bubble his core fandom had the power to create. Not at all what I'd expected. Certainly not the self absorbed ball of angst and brooding I'd anticipated under the false premise that The Lord Shaper was an author proxy. If anything, his self insertion character was Hob Gadling if I had to guess.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that he (at least as of just over 20 years ago) was certainly not a pretentious, navel gazing "artiste" despite it being easy to expect that of him.

Yeah, that's sort of what I meant. I've always sort of got the impression that, while he seems a bit of a proto-SJW and maybe a bit of a doormat, he also seems like a really genuinely nice guy who is intellectual but not self aggrandizing, nor so disconnected that he'd come across like a creepy weirdo. I could see socializing with him in ways I couldn't ever imagine myself ever wanting to talk to Alan Moore or Tim Burton.

A lot of British comic writers *cough*Moore*cough*Morrison*cough*Millar*cough* sort of come across like insufferable a******s, both in interviews and also in the context of their work. Gaiman's always seemed like a decent, relatively normal sort of person who happens to write weird, mythological s***.



shadowsword87 posted...
Hm, you seem to have all of his writing seen through the lens of Sandman.

To be fair, that's because I'm old, and because it (and related spin-offs like the Books of Magic, Death, Lucifer (by proxy), etc) was the bulk of his work when I first became aware of him. By the time he became a "literary writer", I'd already long since formed my opinions about him as a "comic writer" (whereas he was already pretty well established as a more serious writer by the time you would have become aware of him).

Yes, he's written a lot of stuff since, but my opinions of Sandman are always going to at least color my perception of his other work (and I'm apt to pick up on the similarities and tendencies that span his body of work as a whole). And it's kind of easiest to critique his style by referencing Sandman because that's also one of his more mainstream works (at least for people in a geek topic). Good Omens and American Gods are probably right up there, and Coraline and Stardust might follow close because of the movies, but I think a lot of his other stuff (including Mirror Mask and Neverwhere) are a bit more of a deep dive.



shadowsword87 posted...
Most of his books are children's books, a bit creepy, and then a bit weird meta-narrative, and then it's cool.

That's not really a plus for me, because I've never really connected with "children's" or "young adult" writing for decades. It's part of why I've never really liked Harry Potter, either.

That's also why I brought up Changeling earlier - they're both sort of in the same boat for me. Where it's like, "You have to recapture your sense of childhood wonder and whimsy to really appreciate this," and I'm like, "I didn't really have either one of those things even when I WAS a kid." I sort of leap-frogged from stuff like Monster at the End of the Book as a wee lil' one, to Choose Your Own Adventures and the like in elementary school, to Asimov and Tolkien and beyond before I'd even gone through puberty.

Honestly, about the only "young adult" books I have any fondness for at all at this point is probably the Dark is Rising series (which is part of why I loathed the abortion of a movie they based on it so very, very much). Most else I tend to disconnect from pretty quickly if I try and read it now.

"Wall of Text'D!" --- oldskoolplayr76
"POwned again." --- blight family
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