Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Looking To The Stars - A New Look But An Old Attitude

So how does that look, kids?

A new logo for the new Inside Pulse 3.0 site reorganization. Gone is the monochromatic 1970′s album cover logo that we all came to know and love. Now we have a logo that is colorful – a logo that is exciting – a logo that hints of inspiration and frontiers as of yet explored!

The same old trite platitudes and purple prose are still here, though, as you can plainly see.

Ah, wait a moment! I see some new people there among you. Well, don’t be shy or worried. This is a week of new beginnings. Doubtlessly you wanted to try something new with all the places at Inside Pulse you usually visit. Some of you came from the movie section, wondering perhaps if we had anything to say about the Spider-Man movies here. A few of you have come from the TV section having just watched Who Wants To Be A Superhero? or seen the preview for Heroes and you’re a little curious about the books upon which such things are based. Or maybe you’re just wandering in from somewhere else for the sake of wandering. I know that feeling well.

I’ve roamed far; farther than any other man of my family ever wandered. I’ve seen all the great Cons of the A-Kons, the AnimeFests, the O-Cons and the Wizard Worlds. I’ve roamed in the unknown countries south of the black kingdoms of Canada, and east of the Lake of Worth. I’ve been a comic shop salesman, a cos-player, a critic, a web-comic writer, a reviewer- hell, I’ve been everything except a writer for a professional company and I may be that, before I die.

(There’s a great literary reference I am paraphrasing there. Be the first one to e-mail me with the exact title and author and I’ll print your name here for all to see next week. I’ll give you one hint – it’s not in a comic.)

To tell something about myself seriously, which I rarely do for this is so little that is serious about me, I have been at this game for quite some time. I only got into the comics hobby about ten years ago but I have more than made up for lost time. My mother, a wonderful woman and a librarian, was of the opinion that all comic books were low literature and I didn’t get much exposure to them as a child as a result. But she didn’t stop me from collecting superhero action figures nor from watching cartoons. I built up a health love of Spider-Man, Batman and Green Lantern as a result of that.

And then, at my first job in a bookstore that shall remain nameless, I was unpacking magazines and saw what was to be my first comic book. Green Lantern #90. My first reaction upon looking at it was “That guy on the cover isn’t Green Lantern!” My quest to figure out who he was led me to a local comic shop and the rest is history.

I started writing about comics shortly after that. I’d always been a writer and a comedian, so it was natural that I try and write something funny relating to my new hobby. As a lark, I submitted a piece (a crazy little article about how Batman and Robin was a badly re-edited attempt at a Batman Musical) to the now legendary Fanzing and was quickly brought on as a regular contributor and eventually as a monthly columnist.

But all good things must come to an end and owing to the expenses for web-servers and traffic (this being in the days before blogs made such things a lot cheaper and easier to run), Fanzing shut down operations. But I was not without a fan-base even then, astonishing as that fact was and still is to me today. And one of those fans was starting a new magazine.

His name was Ben Morse and while he has gone on, rightly so, to bigger and better things, he was the one who gave me a shot writing for the new comics section at a little website that was, at the time 411 Wrestling. Which begat 411 Mania. Which begat Comics Nexus. Which brings us back to today.

I’ve been described by one luminary as the Eddie Izzard of Internet Graphic Literature Commentary – everybody has heard of me, they either love me or hate me and nobody remembers my name until someone else describes me to them. I also occasionally do dress in women’s clothing, but only in my professional work as an actor.

I’ve had my praises sung by such people as Gail Simone, Kevin Smith, Ben Raab and Randy Milholland. My name has been cursed by the likes of Ron Zimmerman, Rob Liefeld and Scott Kurtz. If you judge a man by his friends and enemies, let me be so judged.

On a personal note, I spent three years working for a comic shop as a salesman. I was one of several writers for a short-lived web comic, based on our magazine, called 144 Anima. I hold a Masters of Information Science and Technology and a Bachelors in Theater Arts. I’m currently employed (not as much as I’d like) as a Part-Time Librarian somewhere in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Donations in exchange for any joy my writing brings you are welcome but not necessary.

The reason I mention all of this is so that you know where I am coming from when I state an opinion. Despite that, this column is not about me or my thoughts or what I am doing in my life. I have a private blog for that and most of you would probably be bored stiff by it.

To my mind, this column is two things. First, this is a place for fans of all walks – from those who have been double-bagging their books for a while to those who are just getting into the hobby or are coming back to it after a long absence – to be able to read upon the news, as told from my inexplicably popular perspective. Second, this is a place to showcase the wonders that are inherent to fandom in the Comics Genre to those who never thought about certain aspects of it.

The only set rule about what you will read about here is that it will, in some way, relate to the world of comic books. You will find discussions of movies and TV shows based on comics or created by people who work in comics here. I’ve written, a few times, about games based on the comic book genre. Occasionally, I’ll do quick reviews of everything I read in a week or one in-depth review about a particularly significant book, good and bad. Links to good webcomics or blogs you should be reading will oft be posted. Also, I have been known to write humorous rants in the style of Dennis Miller – before he sold out to become a poor man’s John Stewart on MNF. The irregular bit of satire and parody has been known to drip off my pen. And there might even be the odd interview with someone who is a part of the business and fun of comics, be it a professional writer or a professional cos-player.

In short, this is not a column about comics – this is a column about the emotions that comics inspire in us all. Love. Hate. Joy. Wonder.

And yes, even Hope.

Tune in next week. Same Matt time. Same Matt website.

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1 comment:

  1. That was a helluva introduction . . . to a column I've been reading for . . . well . . back to when I first discovered 411 Mania . . . :)
    Looking forward to what's to come . . . !