High Five! Comics

Posts Tagged ‘Comic-Con 2009

Rob already wrote about Rucka and his women, I’m gonna write about Geoff Johns and the DCU heroes. Greg Rucka: Female Heroes as Geoff Johns: SubTrinity Justice Leaguers.
Is there a DC fan alive who doesn’t have a total Bro-Crush on Geoff Johns? I don’t think so. Geoff writes the capes better than pretty much anyone out there. Someone at SDCC this year asked him if he’d ever consider doing some creator-owned work, he said “You know what? I just love writing for the superheroes.” You get the feeling this dude loves Hal Jordan just as much as you do.
Granted, that’s a feeling you get from a lot of comic writers, but with Johns it’s particularly intense. I love Barry Allen. He is, bar none, my favorite – and Hal Jordan ain’t far behind him. Geoff Johns brought Hal and Barry back to life – and when he did it, he managed to not only pay homage to all the work that had gone before him, but to add layers to the continuity of both characters that made their universes richer and more interesting – not your average retcons.
JOhns writes for the DCU with an unparalleled respect for the heritage of the characters. Some of these heroes are older than my grandparents – giving them their due is probably not the easiest accomplishment in the world.
Some writers can be a bit put off by the intensity of comics fans. We are a SERIOUS BUNCH. You’d think Hal and Barry were REAL to hear me talk about them. But bless Johns’ ever lovin’ heart, he returned every high five we presented to him, including a pretty impressive Air Five across the room at the 2000+ strong Blackest Night panel. A lot of creators have indulged our obsession with the high five, but none with a massive Air Five across a packed panel.
The dude likes slurpees and drinkin’ and breakfast cereal and comics and has one of the most hilarious twitter feeds I’ve ever seen (@GailSimone wins that contest, though.) And he’s writing Blackest Night, which honestly is one of the best EVENT series I’ve ever read.
Johns takes the concept of an emotional spectrum, different colors representing different emotions – which in the hands of another writer might turn out completely trite – and applies it to the psyches of the DC heroes in astounding ways. As I wanted to scream at the twits Rob ran into at the comic shop the other day, THIS IS NOT A ZOMBIE COMIC. The Black Lanterns don’t want to eat your brains, they want to break your heart.
I’ve got some buddies who don’t really cotton to Johns, which is fine, it takes all kinds. I’ve converted a lot of people to Capes & Tights by loaning them Green Lantern: Rebirth, but some folks just aren’t interested in the mythos. Some folks are more into the non-superheroes or the weird ass not hero-y at all books. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got a healthy appreciation for non-Cape & Tights books, but I love my heroes too. I wanna holler “HELL YEAH!” in the middle of an issue, and right now, Johns does that better than anyone else.
So, here’s a three (vodka-laced) slurpee High Five! salute to Geoff Johns and his ability to raise the dead.
Johns understands High Five etiquette

Johns understands High Five etiquette

Rob already wrote about Rucka and his women, I’m gonna write about Geoff Johns and the DCU heroes. Analogy time!

Greg Rucka: Female Heroes :: Geoff Johns: SubTrinity Justice Leaguers.

Is there a DC fan alive who doesn’t have a total Bro-Crush on Geoff Johns? I don’t think so. Geoff writes the capes better than pretty much anyone out there right now. Someone at SDCC this year asked him if he’d ever consider doing some creator-owned work and he said “You know what? I just love writing for these heroes.” You get the feeling this dude loves Hal Jordan just as much as you do.

Granted, that’s a feeling you get from a lot of comic writers, but with Johns it’s particularly intense. I love Barry Allen. He is, bar none, my favorite – and Hal Jordan ain’t far behind him. Geoff Johns brought Hal and Barry back to life – and when he did it, he managed to not only pay homage to all the work that had gone before him, but to add layers to the continuity of both characters that made their universes richer and more interesting – not your average retcons.

Johns writes for the DCU with an unparalleled respect for the heritage of the characters. Some of these heroes are older than my grandparents – giving them their due is probably not the easiest accomplishment in the world.

Some writers can be a bit put off by the intensity of comics fans. We are a SERIOUS BUNCH. You’d think Hal and Barry were REAL to hear me talk about them. But bless Johns’ ever lovin’ heart, he returned every high five we presented to him, including a pretty impressive Air Five across the room at the 2000+ strong Blackest Night panel. A lot of creators have indulged our obsession with the high five, but none with an Air Five!

The dude owns like 20 Michigan shirts (at least I hope it’s more than just the one), he likes slurpees and drinkin’ and breakfast cereal and comics, has one of the most hilarious twitter feeds I’ve ever seen (@GailSimone wins that contest, though), and he gives ice cream to kids who wouldn’t get any otherwise. And he’s writing Blackest Night, which is honestly one of the best EVENT! series I’ve ever read.

Johns takes the concept of an emotional spectrum, different colors representing different emotions – which in the hands of another writer might turn out completely trite – and applies it to the psyches of the DC heroes in astounding ways. As I wanted to scream at the twits Rob ran into at the comic shop the other day, THIS IS NOT A ZOMBIE COMIC. The Black Lanterns don’t want to eat your brains, they want to break your heart.

I’ve got some buddies who don’t really cotton to Johns, which is fine, it takes all kinds. Granted,  I’ve converted a lot of people to Capes & Tights by loaning them Green Lantern: Rebirth, but even then some folks just aren’t interested in the mythos. Some folks are more into the  not hero-y at all books. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got a healthy appreciation for non-Cape & Tights books, but I love my heroes too. I wanna holler “HELL YEAH!” in the middle of an issue, and right now, Johns does that better than anyone else (see: Green Lantern #44.)

So, here’s a three (vodka-laced) slurpee High Five! salute to Geoff Johns and his ability to raise the dead. Thanks, dude!

I hope he has more than one. Maybe we should start a Michigan Shirt drive.

I hope he has more than one. Maybe we should start a Michigan Shirt drive.


The High Five! Crew, Sunday Conversation with DiDio* Panel, SDCC 2009
(the backs of our heads, anyway.)

“…I felt disenfranchised as a kid, I was a loner – kind of a geek, you know – I liked comic books, like everybody else here. And you tried to fit in with the regular world, but man, you stuck out like a sore thumb; so you found like three friends that you could be friends with til you’re 80.”

That’s how Billy West began the tale of his search for an artificial larynx.** On the last day of this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, my husband, myself, and our man-at-arms, Rob, stumbled into the Cartoon Voices panel to nab good seats for the last DC-related panel of the weekend. While we killed an hour in a panel we might have otherwise skipped over altogether, one of the panelists began riffing about his early days in voicework. After a few minutes, we placed his eerily familiar voice – it was Fry! Billy West of Futurama! I high fived him at the end of the panel.

Modern geeks have been able to band together in groups larger than three, thanks to the internet, which we invented. Geek culture is rampant – just look at the ticket sales for JJ Abrams’ Star Trek, or the clamor over Iron Man 2, or the fact that Comic-Con attracts over 125,000 attendees – pop culture has become geek culture. Being a nerd is more socially acceptable than ever, but when you’re a 25 year old married woman who would really like to get off work a little early to make it to the comic shop, most people are still going to think you’re weird.

Everyone wants to wear the geek mantle now, but there’s a world of difference between someone who liked Star Wars and someone who knows what R.A. Salvatore did. There’s a big difference between someone who thinks Heath Ledger was the best Joker ever and someone who’s read The Killing Joke. There’s a huge difference between someone who dug the X-men cartoon back in the nineties and someone who knows who Abigail Brand is.

There are levels of geek. Sure, the whole world’s a little bit geeky, but only some of us know the difference between the Justice Society and the Justice League.

High Five! wants to speak to the geeks, the real geeks. We want to indoctrinate the not-so-geeky and educate the sort-of-geeky. And we want to drink a lot of beer in the process. Stay tuned!

*Check out DC’s official podcast of the Sunday Conversation panel here.

**I caught the whole thing on tape! The video will go up as soon as I’ve determined whether or not I was a very bad girl for recording it.


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