Comics are not film. Film can do some things we can’t. But we have a far larger toolbox.
Archived entries for quotations
Carl Safina of the Blue Ocean Institute said, “The oil blowout, the bank bailout, mortgage crisis, all these things are absolutely symptoms of same issue … we still need police to protect us from a few bad people … for the last 30 years, we’ve had a culture of deregulation caused directly by people we need to be protected from buying the government out from under us.”
The country’s highest court said that the woman — whom it didn’t identify — had failed to demonstrate any connection between experiments at the CERN collider outside Geneva and the apocalypse.
The Federal Constitutional Court in the western Germany city of Karlsruhe threw out the woman’s appeal because she was “unable to give a coherent account of how her fears would come about.”
From the Telegraph.co.uk.
Cause really, if you’re bored and you’re listless, you just need to get yourself an enemy.
“Nature is no longer a creation to defend, but a divinity to worship,”
That’s a line from a Vatican review of the film Avatar, releasing in Italy this week. Which is keeping in line with Darth Pope’s Benedict XVI’s fear that modern ecology and environmentalism will give rise “to a new pantheism tinged with neo-paganism, which would see the source of man’s salvation in nature alone, understood in purely naturalistic terms.” This is coming from a pontiff that’s been called “the green pope” by third party observers because of his acknowledgment of things like eco-refugees, climate change and poor shepherding of the world’s resources. Which makes me think that this current pope isn’t so much worried about the environmental apocalypse that is baring down on us because maybe he sees it as a means to drive people back to the church. Has your poor fishing village been washed away because of rising ocean levels? Turn to Christ, especially the Catholic Christ!
Snake oil salesmen hawking for souls.
I really do hate this new pope.
From The Register:
An American “Reaper” flying hunter-killer robot assassin rebelled against its human controllers above Afghanistan on Sunday, and a manned US fighter jet was forced to shoot the rogue machine down before it unilaterally invaded a neighbouring country.
The Reaper, aka MQ-9 or Predator-B, is a large five-ton turboprop powered machine able to carry up to 14 Hellfire missiles – each capable of destroying a tank or flattening a building. It is used by the US and British forces above Afghanistan as a “persistent hunter-killer against emerging targets”.
According to USAFCENT Public Affairs:
The aircraft was flying a combat mission when positive control of the MQ-9 was lost. When the aircraft remained on a course that would depart Afghanistan’s airspace, a US Air Force manned aircraft took proactive measures to down the Reaper in a remote area of northern Afghanistan.The statement goes on to say that the errant killdroid “impacted the side of a mountain” and that there “were no reports of civilian injuries”.
And then William Gibson’s perfectly timed and executed snark-tweet:
GreatDismal That Reaper drone went rogue because it had heard of a wedding party in the adjacent country. They have a taste, now.
I’ve worked in television, and there are a hundred people between you and the audience. I’ve worked in film, and there are a thousand people between you and the audience. In comics, there’s me and an artist, presenting our stories to you without filters or significant hurdles, in a cheap, simple, portable form. Comics are a mature technology. Their control of time — provided you’re not intent on reversing universes (or even if you are) — makes them the best educational tool in the world. Hell, intelligence agencies have used comics to teach people how to dissent and perform sabotage.
When done right, comics are a cognitive whetstone, providing two or three or more different but entangled streams of information in a single panel. Processing what you’re being shown, along with what’s being said, along with what you’re being told, in conjunction with the shifting multiple velocities of imaginary time, and the action of the space between panels that Scott McCloud defines as closure… Comics require a little more of your brain than other visual media. They should just hand them out to being to stave off Alzheimer’s.
-Warren Ellis from his talk at Dundee University
You could encode a wall of graphic novels and a stack of hard drives full of interviews into a form readable by Google Maps and spit out a KML file of every city street in the world where at one time Garth Ennis has been in a booth at the back with a beer, Grant’s been at the window with a vodka and a notebook, and I’ve been outside with a handheld computer and a cigarette.
-Warren Ellis from the newest Do Anything.
The Grant in this context is Grant Morrison.
These three men, plus Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman, define the Anglophile Invasion of American comics. They have bettered it in immeasuarable ways and I am horribly jealous of them all.
Wait, no. Not jealous. Jealous has as streak of something in it that isn’t right. A bitterness when there should be sweet and savory.
I want to be one of the people that talk about these creators like they talk about Jack Kirby, and I want to be where they are now.
The next question is, can we invent things on the fly, create things that have never been created before, in real time?
I bring this up because real time creation is a key factor of the Singularity. In order for technology to keep advancing an exponential rate, you need to decrease development time. You’ll literally need to be able to think with your hands.
God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of his own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players, to being involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a dealer who won’t tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.
-Terry Pratchett, GOOD OMENS
Pratchett was one of the most fruitful and creative minds this world has ever seen. His simple, wry sense of humor will make people smile long after he and I have passed to dust. But, that’s been cut short by a rare form of early onset Alzheimer’s disease. When he was diagnosed in 2007, I was utterly fucking livid. One of the greatest writers on the planet was sentenced to a slow, withering death of the mind, to be trapped inside of a cage of flesh and confusion. I was also horrified. That fate is one of my greatest fears, and one that if I live long enough, I know I’ll have to face.
Today is also Terry Pratchett’s birthday. He turned 61 today. If you’ve got a nickle or two to spare, and a thread of kindness in you, might you consider making a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association in his name? The equivalent of only 3% of the money spent on cancer research is spent on Alzheimer’s research. I don’t know about you, but I can handle dying to my own stupidity and bad living. I can’t handle the light in my head getting snuffed out.
If I am right, then [religious fundamentalists] will not go to Heaven, because there is no Heaven. If THEY are right, then they will not go to Heaven, because they are hypocrites.
I have a running daydream where Asimov and I share a bottle of whiskey while looking out of a country lake. He seemed like his would make the best sort of drinking partner. He was staggeringly intelligent and creative, but cared more about good works and his fellow man that beating you down with an intellectual cudgel. His laugh would be a full gufaw, and echo out over the lake, scaring the waterfowl. He would speak quickly, betraying his Jewish heritage and Brooklyn upbringing, but each word would be thought out and meaningful.
I found out today that Asimov’s death from heart and liver failure in 1992 was the result of AIDS. He had become infected with HIV during heart surgery nine years earlier. The blood transfusion they had given him during the operation were tainted with the virus. Asimov didn’t want the stigma of the virus to taint his life and people’s perceptions of him, so he hid the fact from the world for the last years of his life. His wife revealed this to the world in a collection of Asimov’s diaries that she edited and released in 2002.
The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.
-HP Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu
(Figured since I was talking about him already…)
Grant Morrison sat down with Wired to talk about his recent comic writings. I’ve pulled out the choice bits.
We’ve deconstructed all our icons. We know politicians are lying assholes, we know soap stars are coke freaks, handsome actors are tranny weirdos and gorgeous supermodels are bulimic, neurotic wretches. We know our favorite comedians will turn out to be alcoholic perverts or suicidal depressives. Our reality shows have held up a scalding mirror to our yapping baboon faces and cheesy, obvious obsessions, our trashy, gossipy love of trivia and dirt.
We know we’ve fucked up the atmosphere and doomed the lovely polar bears and we can’t even summon up the energy to feel guilty anymore. Let the pedophiles have the kids. There’s nowhere left to turn and no one left to blame except, paradoxically, those slightly medieval guys without the industrial base. What’s left to believe in? The only truly moral, truly goodhearted man left is a made-up comic book character! The only secular role models for a progressive, responsible, scientific-rational Enlightenment culture are … Kal-El of Krypton, aka Superman and his multicolored descendants!
So we chose not to deconstruct the superhero but to take him at face value, as a fiction that was trying to tell us something wonderful about ourselves. Somewhere, in our darkest night, we made up the story of a man who will never let us down and that seemed worth investigating.
I don’t know if we’re so much inured to apocalypse as almost sexually obsessed by it. We could only love apocalypse more if it had 4 liters of silicone in each tit. Think of all those videogames where the Earth’s overrun by insect-aliens or there’s been an atomic war and we’re stumbling in the ruins with a gun we stole from a zombie. We should be grateful that we live in a culture so insulated from true horror it can afford to play with fear as entertainment.
“The truth is, I think I’m famously awful at developing games. Before, I’d walk into the office, wave my arms and say ‘I’ve just had a cool thought’ — usually after severe alcohol abuse — and that lead us to spending a lot of money very foolishly on things that weren’t going to get anywhere.”
One can even set up quite ridiculous cases. A cat is penned up in a steel chamber, along with the following diabolical device (which must be secured against direct interference by the cat): in a Geiger counter there is a tiny bit of radioactive substance, so small that perhaps in the course of one hour one of the atoms decays, but also, with equal probability, perhaps none; if it happens, the counter tube discharges and through a relay releases a hammer which shatters a small flask of hydrocyanic acid.
If one has left this entire system to itself for an hour, one would say that the cat still lives if meanwhile no atom has decayed. The first atomic decay would have poisoned it. The Psi function for the entire system would express this by having in it the living and the dead cat (pardon the expression) mixed or smeared out in equal parts.
I suspect I have spent just about exactly as much time actually writing as the average person my age has spent watching television, and that, as much as anything, may be the real secret here.
“I’m a nasty piece of work, chief. Ask anybody.”
You can see more of Derek’s work here.
Science fiction writers, I am sorry to say, really do not know anything.
-Philip K Dick
“It’s all true.”
-Mark Waid, talking about the multiple continuities and versions that comic books tend to spawn. Specificially, he was asked which Superman story was the true Superman story.