Author: Keith Silva

Keith Silva is “Not for Everyone”

EDITOR’S NOTE: I’ve been sitting on this piece from THN Ombudsman Keith Silva for almost a month now, trying to figure out a way to respond that wasn’t simply defending against his points, but making points of my own. I wanted to talk about how a rating like “skim it” has taken on a negative connotation when it shouldn’t, and how a phrase like “not for everyone” is just a simpler way of saying something to the effect of “look, I loved this thing, but you should know going in that it’s really weird/scary/gory/violent/surreal.” I wanted to talk about my own unabashed love for the superhero genre, and why those kinds of comics will always have a huge impact on THN, even as we strive to be diverse. There’s also the idea of explaining to guys like Frank Barbiere and Jim Zubkavitch that they’re part of the “1%” to contend with (see below). I was going to try to work this into a longer “Nerd Fight” column, but after revisiting Keith’s essay, I’ve decided that there’s nothing to be gained from that because we’re BOTH right. Last week, Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson addressed a group of comic retailers at a ComicsPRO event in Atlanta. During his speech, Stephenson spent several minutes shitting on everything from superhero comics to licensed properties to variant covers. He definitely made some strong...

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Get Your Hubris Outta’ My Chutzpah or How Matt Baum Was (Sort of) Right

To the ebullient Kacie Baum: I am sorry. I loathe admitting it, but that sly devil with the haircut somewhere between Alec Baldwin in Glenngarry-Glen-Ross and Mike Score from Flock-of-Seagulls, Matt Baum (pictured) … was right. Like Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, Baum knows pornography when he sees it. And apparently I wouldn’t know porn if a succubus with blank eyes, bat wings and dozens of phalluses ejaculating from her ‘lagoon of mystery’ beat me about the head and shoulders … or something like that. I wrote a post for this here Two Headed Nerd web thingy a ways back about my support for a dense, inscrutable and downright weird creator-owned comic, Black Kiss II, by no less than the flaming genius-God, Howard Chaykin. At the time, Black Kiss II was getting banned in the UK and in Canada quicker than you could say Jenna Marie Massoli. My essay was less about Black Kiss II or censorship — I was happy to admit I had no idea what was going on or if it was any good — and more about supporting offbeat and oddball creator-owned work over more milquetoast fare. Podcast raconteur and fellow THN anarchist, John Littrel, recently talked on the Burnt Weiners podcast about reading several comics long after his enjoyment had ceased. Let’s call this behavior: ‘hate-reading,’ which is slightly different from hate-watching i.e. watching...

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Be the Baum, Do the Patrick

I believe in comics. (Trust me) when forces conspire, take Lady Macbeth’s advice: ”… screw your courage to the sticking place, And we’ll not fail.” Wait! Wait! It’s my only Shakespeare reference, scout’s honor. There was a ‘screw’ in there that must have gotten your attention. I promise; I’m going to talk about Justin Jordan and Jim Zub in a minute. First, I want to mention the legions of imaginary (?) sex partners Matt Baum claims to have had. A couple of episodes ago, Baum began saying how he is not racist, that he has had sex with multiple partners of whatever race or ethnicity he and Patrick were trying not to offend. My memory may be spotty, but I think he was talking about the Bhutanese when he said something about how important it is to champion the ‘stuff you like’ — be it movies, music, comics, sexual partners — and to write about it, talk about it, have sex with it, whatever. The point is: ”Just Do It.” I wanted to write something ‘seasonal’ this month for THN — you know, end-of-the-year-summation-sort-of-stuff — instead of another one of my screeds about the creator-owned comics no one is buying. I’ve been writing about comics for all of ten months. It started with a blog moved on to Comics Bulletin and I’ve done a bit here and there for...

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I’m on a Boat: Why I Didn’t Pass on The Massive

Creative-types (writers, artists) live for Armageddon; bunch of Galactuses (Galacti?) with fancy pens, tables that cant and paper. What really gets these ‘Gods of Oblivion’ off happens only after all ‘the poundin’, the hollerin’ and the screamin’ ends — once it’s O.K. to prefix said apocalypse, disaster or crash with the word ‘post-,’ the hyphen helps accent the whole bloody business. I’m not an end-of-days-kind-of-guy. If (or when) the living dead do run amuck and the market for recycled urine begins to rise and day-to-day living requires a lot more camping, I’m going to be pissed and not much of a happy camper either. I seem to be the 1%, however, when it comes to these post-‘what-have-you’ type tales because if there is one thing that there is no shortage of in our (as yet) zombie-free world it’s post-apocalyptic fiction. Other than survivalists with a hard-on for the second amendment, sickos on the make for oceanfront property and outdoor enthusiasts who love to dress in layers, the appeal of post-apocalyptic fiction is hope. In a post-crash world, the grass is always greener on the other side because it has to be, the genre demands it. Here’s the other thing about ‘post-disaster’ fiction, it’s always a comment on today’s ills tomorrow; Thunderdome is inevitable, I get it. In Channel Zero and DMZ, Brian Wood was in full-on ‘eater of worlds’...

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NERD FIGHT: Letting Go

This may be a continuing column where multiple THN contributors argue about nothing or Joe and Matt may kill it because they feel threatened. I wanted to call it Gleek to You Two-Headed Nerd, but Baum calls the shots so we go with the less esoteric (and more the unimaginative) Nerd Fight. Begin! How many issues do you read before you stop reading a series? Keith Silva: This being THN, I should probably start with a few dick jokes (after all, I did write this) so here goes: Aaron, you are endowed with one of the biggest … pull lists I have ever seen. I mean, good God man(!), that thing is massive and week-to-week it only gets bigger. Your endowments aside, some of us keep shorter, shall we say tidier, pull lists — it’s the motion of the ocean not the size of the vessel or whatever guys with small pull lists say to feel better. Now, the one thing you can say about a guy with a big pull-list is that he reads a lot of ‘on-goings,’ i.e. his ‘monthlies’ are (ahem) many and epic. Yes, we live in tough economic times (blah, blah, blah) and one must pick and choose, discern if you will, which comics one reads and which he does not especially when one does not have the power and the glory (and a...

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