Daily Archives: August 5, 2012

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

DC softball team logoI’ve been reading DC Comics titles since the late 1970s, before I even reached double digits in terms of age. As such, I’ve read, from time to time, of the exploits of the comics publisher’s softball team over the decades. Back in the day, its accomplishments and defeats were chronicled occasionally in the pages of its various comics in supplementary/advertorial material. In recent years, the folks responsible for Blog@Newsarama have kept the industry apprised of the team’s games.

On Facebook the other day, I stumbled across a link to a blog, the DC Bullets blog, which offers more detailed accounts of the team’s efforts and no doubt the fun its members have on the field. Honestly, I don’t have much of an interest in rec-league softball in New York (or anywhere else, for that matter), but what caught my eye wasn’t the link to the game report, but the team logo (seen at the right).

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Quick Critiques – Aug. 5, 2012

Black Kiss 2 #1 (Image Comics)
by Howard Chaykin

When I was a comic-loving teen, I was focused exclusively on the super-hero genre. While my best friend didn’t buy and read as many comics as I did, he had a more varied cultural palate and a willingness to delve into more unusual subject matter. As such, he had Chaykin’s Black Kiss lying around his room. I thumbed through it and was riveted… but not by the strength of the acclaimed work. I was a teenager, after all. It was the strong sexual content that grabbed my attention. More than 20 years later, I can’t recall what Black Kiss was about at all, but it’s been mentioned by those in the know with such respect, I felt compelled to check out this followup as someone no longer a slave to his baser desires and as someone who’s actually touched a boobie. To my disappointment, I found a confusing confluence of imagery. The first half of the comic boasts an odd, unwelcoming, stream-of-consciousness-style approach to the narrative. Chaykin does an excellent job of capturing the culture of a different time, but I honestly have no idea what the story is meant to be about. Its sudden shift to a different backdrop — the Titanic — doesn’t help with the confusion. Before the first plotline can take root, the audience is jarred away, whisked to a more coherent, focused narrative that’s nevertheless just as devoid of context and clear meaning.

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