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Just A gentle Clearing Of The Throat.

John Kane

No, I haven’t got any actual content for you. Sorry about that but what with one thing and another (mostly the other) it just ain’t happening. Lest anyone think I had died, succumbed to The Fear or worse I just did some Coming Attractions and studded them into a load of words about nothing.

Coming Soon: Statue Fondling For Beginners!

So I thought we might have a little chat you and I.

I mean when I got the call from Mr. Hibbs I just went NuuuRRRR! and kind of ran at the whole business with my chin tucked in to present less of a target. See, if I think about doing something I, well, I never do it. (Judging by the shape of my life I do a lot of thinking.) A pause has occurred so I thought I should maybe introduce myself and, no, no need to guess my name as it’s John Kane and I’m a recover….oh, wrong room.

I am an old Englishman. I use the JohnK (UK) thing not because I am proud of my birth nation (I came of age in the ‘80s so developing pride in my country was never on the table) but because of the Internet. I did start out as “Lamont Cranston” (obviously!) but there was sudden outbreak of decisiveness and I tried to use at least a close approximation of my own name. Sadly other people tended to share whichever username I came up with and, well, some of those people had opinions I didn’t want to be associated with. Sticking (UK) on the end solved that. Just in case you thought I was going to start banging on about The Raj or how you Yanks backed the wrong horse when you decided to strike out on your own.

Coming Soon: Euro-Filth!

Turns out after trial and error that I’ll not really be concentrating on current comics due to a number of reasons. These being the reasons which now follow. Current comics are pretty well covered and the people covering them do it far better than pretty well. I could still add my voice to the crowd but probably won’t because I just can’t do the whole timeliness thing. Once a month I send some money to my LCS and they send me some comics. What I can write about current comics depends almost totally on what’s in that box. Why do I send them money and why do they send me a parcel? Because my LCS isn’t very local at all. I used to live near them but now I don’t but since they have a nice clean shop with knowledgeable, helpful staff, a wide range of stock embracing both the mainstream and the margins and the owner looks like Billy Batson I continue to do business with OKComics in Leeds.  (Am I allowed to mention them, Mr. Hibbs?) It’s mostly the Billy Batson thing, though.

Coming Soon: IMMIGRANT!: The Graeme McMillan Story As Told To John Byrne!

So, the contents of the box dictates what I write. Because if there’s nothing in the box I want to talk about I go in the garage. This contains The Kane Archive and I reckon the stuff therein is sufficiently temporally and creatively diffuse that talking about it should be of value. Of course, whether that talking is itself of value is out of the garage’s hands. Actually, you know what, the next time that box arrives I’m going to write something about everything in it. (Obviously this will be the precise moment my LCS sends me my backlog of Housewives At Play.) What? Oh, of course I could have pretty much any comic within hours of its release! I am aware of that. I am aware of the processes involved and since I share the magic of my life with someone who works in IT those processes pose no obstacle. But…yeah, stealing innit?

Coming Soon: A Visit To The World’s Favourite City Ends Quite Badly For All Involved!

And, no, no I don’t think comics were better in the past. I don’t think they are better now either. Because I’m always reading comics from all over the Timestream I tend to see all comics as being Now. I mean, this is clearly a horeshit way to approach things that totally flies in the face of sense and really gives it the frights what with its flapping wings and all. It’s a bit like that theory of Time Alan Moore keeps pushing about how every moment is occurring at exactly the same instant and if we could find a way to look we would see a whole lot of images we’d rather no one else saw probably involving the bathroom and unorthodox use of hand wash on areas other than hands during our teenage years.


Coming Soon: The Gilbert Hernandez Of The ’50s!

Apparently I just didn’t try hard enough this year as Santa deigned fit to not grace me with any comics whatsoever. I have a sneaking suspicion that Santa shares the household attitude of “humour but don’t encourage” when it comes to comics. So no CONVERSATIONS WITH HOWARD VICTOR CHAYKIN for me! A book I am actually hesitant to get as I fear it can only disappoint expecting as I am transcriptions of conversations with Howard Victor Chaykin as he goes about his humble business on a daily basis. Basically I’m hoping to read about him telling the milkman that it “ain’t the heat, it’s the humidity!” or bemoaning to his grocer that surely chocolate bars used to be bigger, or maybe his hands were smaller back in the day and, hey, I hear eating fish gives men titties what with all the hormones in the water. It’s probably just some incisive comments on the art of comic bookery or something though. I don’t know, do I, Santa!?


Coming Soon: How To Honk Off An Entire Generation of DC Fans In Three (Fantastic) Issues!

Oh, I did get some comics stuff but without the comics. I mean I got some magnets with DC characters on. I don’t know what they are for but, yes, they are fine magnets with DC characters on them. I got a wallet with MARVEL comics covers. There’s just something humorously appropriate about receiving an empty wallet festooned with MARVEL characters. These were nice, thoughtful gifts but the best was a Captain America T-shirt adorned with a B/W Jack Kirby splash page. There were also Jack Kirby images on the wallet.  I can tell you now that everyone’s Christmas Day was enriched no end by the sight of an old man self harming himself with shattered Christmas baubles and shrieking like a fishwife about  how Jack Kirby Never Gave Up On US!  Man, kids sure can cry a lot when they get going. Got some book vouchers though and you know what they went on (books).So, yeah, judging by the lack of four colour gifts I guess I just wasn’t hungry enough this year according to Santa.  Christ, that Santa. What a judgmental prick.

Coming Soon: “British People In Hot Weather!”  – Not Just A Fall Song!

Did you have a nice Christmas? I hope SO!

What comics did Santa bring YOU?

And as ever my thanks to The Savage Critics for letting me blemish their site and also to all who read, comment and generally endure me out there in the wilds of The Internet. It is not unappreciated at all. REALLY. Actrually, you could probably just go right on ahead and say it’s appreciated. If, you know, you were emotionally demonstrative.

Next time: Proper content!

Cheers and have lovely weekend!

12 Responses to “ Just A gentle Clearing Of The Throat. ”

  1. Your choices for “coming attractions” are quite nice. Exciting! And Different! It is Ah Pree Shee Ate Ed.

  2. Very nice! It’s about like the secret origin of Dr. Strange, in that we had to wait a couple installments to get it.

    Sadly, this means you can look forward to JMS utterly cocking up your life history in another forty years or so.

  3. That was pretty entertaining from someone who reckoned they had nothing to say!

    I am curious as to where some of those images are from.
    Slightly disheartened by the last one though, I had been hoping all the 70’s war comics was building everyone up for your take on the ultimate comic book war series – Charley’s War!
    (And I don’t think there’s a single picture of a tree in the entire series, unless someone is being hung from it by their superior officer. And the poms whinge about the cold in that.)
    Does this mean there actually other British war comics worth reading?

    Santa, through my girlfriend, brought me Kirby comics – The Demon and Devil Dinosaur omnibus (though the website she ordered from has had delays with Devil Dinosaur, so that still hasn’t arrived. I’ve got a printout of the receipt though!). The perils of Internet shopping.
    The Demon is cock full of goodness – his double page splash of the fall of Camelot is amazing.
    Comics related gifts were the Green Lantern and Captain America films on dvd.
    GL is possibly worse than everyone says, and CA… I don’t understand people using the word good in relation with it. Expectations for cinema must have dropped considerably. It’s better than Green Lantern, but not good.

    If you need your Kirby itch scratched, but your shop isn’t sending you any, you should get the digital version of Twomorrows ‘Lee & Kirby The Wonder Years’. I’ve started working my way through it, and it’s good fun – especially watching the author try his hardest to not give either creator too much individual credit, lest it weight them as sole creator. It’s got plenty of little bits I hadn’t heard of before as well.

  4. Whoops! What the H?
    I meant to say, the Demon is CHOCK full of goodness, I swear!

  5. Looks like I won’t be reading the Demon . . .

  6. @J Smitty: I was kind of thinking it was me who should be more appreciative, not you sir! Still, taken with thanks.

    @Jeff: Apparently pretending to be a doctor is against the law so I can’t do that anymore. Stupid rules! However, I am very much like Dr. Strange in his current “my powers don’t work under these circumstances.” iteration. i.e. totally bloody useless.

    Oh my giddy Aunt, that JMS STRANGE series! It was certainly a bold move for him to, cough, base it on the little seen art-house flick THE MATRIX but I think one or two people noticed. I have no idea why JMS is venerated so but I’m like that about a lot of the “Fan Favourites”. I try not to let it show though. (Haw!)

    @Ben Lipman: The source of the images must remain secret to build antici…pation! They aren’t all I’ll be doing; I was just testing out how they’d scan. I mean, what kind of animal would miss CHARLEY’S WAR out of a War Comics round-up!? There’s some great Brit War Comics as I hope to demonstrate. Poms whinge about everything, dude. It’s what makes us so magical!

    Well, I’d say lady-wise you’ve got yourself a keeper there! I hope you get your DEVIL DINOSAUR. Ignore people like Mr. Graeme McMillan who scoff at it. DD is incredible, wait’ll you read the Kirby version of Adam’n’Eve! It’s totally KOIBY!!! Kirby’s DEMON is incredible I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, man, the wonders on those pages are sure for the ages!

    I’m not really into comic book movies but GL stars Ryan Reynolds and my lady will NOT watch anything with him in since he ruined BLADE: TRINITY for her. I won’t watch CAPTAIN AMERICA until, well, you know: that whole Kirby Thing with Marvel. Which of us is the most stubborn? It’s a toughie!

    My LCS will send Kirby stuff if I ask, after all there’s plenty of DC reprints as you know but that TwoMorrows book sounds inneresting!

    @Pete: Aw c’mon Pete. Forgive Ben Lipman’s slip of the tongue. It shouldn’t be any surprise DEMON is cockless after all in comics cocks always get a bum deal. And who now isn’t imagining a Kirby penned cock. Like a fish finger surrounded by fertile Krackle! More scary than seductive I think. Gil Kane, however, with his Power Amoebas…Oh, God, what am I doing…

    Thanks to all!

  7. I’ll just say it…you’re my favorite columnist on all of the Internet. Matthew Brady is pretty damn awesome, Abhay is ridiculously awesome, and there are some non-comics stuff I *really* like, but column wise, you just knock it out the park every week. Some of it is your intelligence and some is your passion, but it adds up to all awesome. Keep up the awesome work, John.

    BTW – Moore’s theory of time you mention above? That’s the currently accepted theory of time in quantum physics. So, that one is not the ravings of an old man. Sadly, I know a lot about quantum physics and all of it means bumpkis to comics, but I just wanted to use it somewhere!

  8. I don’t really know how to respond to that, Chris Hero, except to say thank you very much. I can only offer the sincere hope that you manage to put your bad comic book shop experiences behind you one day.

    OMG! The Quantum Physicists totally stole that off Alan Moore! I am not reading another book about Quantum Physics until they make things right! I am willing to make that sacrifice.

    Quantum Physics, eh? Judging by your various Internet Commentating you know a lot about a lot of things, sir. Me, I know some stuff about comics that were originally printed on toilet paper and can quote lines from The Medusa Touch. I’m sorry, Chris Hero, but clearly there can only be one winner here.

    Thanks again, sir.

  9. Hee hee. I’m becoming fairly convinced I’m the only person who comments on the comics blog world who went to engineering school, so I think I look a lot more knowledgeable than I am! Trust me, I’m an idiot.

    You’re passion combined with your intelligence makes you a thrilling read each and every time out. I always know you’re going to pull out some hilarious analogy for whatever connection you make. Me? I can just add my paltry math skills or bring up something I read about physics once that I probably remembered wrong.

    Bad comic shops are a Quixote-like quest of mine…I badly want them to be better. I get really sad when an opportunity for customer service is missed because there’s a *ton* of great stuff out there no one ever finds out about because too many shops only sell new superhero comics.

  10. @John – I live with a lovely English lass, in a suburb where my Aussie drawl puts me in the minority due to the waves of UK migrants washing up our fine shores… and it rained most of this summer, so I know of pommy whinging!

    I once boycotted all Marvel products for a year or so after Joey Q said homosexuality was a subject that would only be dealt with in MAX comics. I believe soon after, Marvel launched New Avengers and started Civil War, so the boycott was easier done than said!
    I only caved before he withdrew his comments due to a hardcover sale where I picked up Waid and Ringo’s first FF hardcover and, somewhat regrettably, Vaughn’s Runaways HC.
    (Which oddly had gay kids in it – it was an odd Marvel policy, said to keep bigots upset about Rawhide Kid onside… yuck).

    Despite people saying X-Men, Thor and Cap films are good, from the two I’ve seen, there’s no reason for you to break boycott at all – even if they are on sale.
    I think Iron Man 1 is the only good film Marvel studios has made – I think I may start boycotting them for cruel mistreatment of the film medium.

  11. @Chris Hero:I don’t know. I think a requirement of being an engineer is being slightly clever. Otherwise a lot of things will start falling on a lot of people. Hey, never tear yourself down, sir. Other people like doing that and who’d want to deny them their little pleasures! I know you only mean the best with regard to LCSs, I was just teasing!

    @Ben Lipman: I knew someone as awesome as your lady had to be English! As for Marvel: I know! It’s like they actually go out of their way to dare you to boycott them! At least it saved you from the horrors of CIVIL WAR and NEW AVENGERS! Man, folks sure don’t have a high quality threshold when it comes to comic book films. Wait, I liked DOBERMANN! But then I’ve never read the comics. IRON MAN was okay, I guess.

    Thanks as ever to you both!

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