Friday, December 19, 2003

The best of Time, the worst of Time: I hate that's comics columnist, Andrew Arnold, spells comics with an "x." It drives me absolutely crazy. It's more than a little bit pretentious, to say nothing of unnecessary. But that's neither here nor there, I suppose.

What's a little interesting is his list of 10 Best Comics (I refuse to spell it with an "x") of 2003. Okay, it's not really interesting, because if you read his column with any regularity, you pretty much know his tastes: "Blankets," "Persepolis," "The Yellow Jar," etc.

The interesting part comes in at the end, when he names "The Worst" of 2003: Neil Gaiman's "1602."

"Writer Gaiman, who helped propel DC comics into the adult market with his 'Sandman' series, and penciler Kubert re-imagine the likes of Spiderman, Daredevil and Dr. Doom in the Elizabethan age. But the change of scenery breathes no new life into these once-exciting characters that have ossified into little more than corporate icons."

Now, I don't know that I'd consider "1602" the worst of the year (I can think of many titles and many writers who deserve that honor), but I agree with Arnold's assessment. "1602" is dull as dishwater. I read the first three -- or was it four? -- issues, and was bored senseless. I realize I may have had some lofty expectations from Gaiman, but ... damn, "1602" is lifeless.

What fate befell the Fantastick four? I'm guessing they grew tired of waiting for something -- anything -- to happen, and just drifted off-course.