Think of what it must have been like for those creators taking the very first steps into the brave new format of the graphic novel. Not Will Eisner who’s generally acknowledged as the progenitor of the format, but a little later on, think of Chris Claremont and Brett Anderson, writer and artist respectively on the X-Men graphic novel, God Loves, Man Kills which would eventually become the basis for the 2003 hit, X2: X-Men United.
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Maybe NYPD Blue did it best, in those days Back When. At least Blue did it better than Homicide: Life on the Streets, when the two seemed in competition for the gritty-realism-brought-to-TV crown. It was that sense of the panoramic, but a panorama forced outwards to the edge of the scene. Each crime scene the intrepid detectives from the 15th found themselves investigating would be subjected to a panning shot, and usually thereafter a tracking shot or two to follow the detectives thru the same scene. Certain things would always hit. The old lady in her robe and slippers smoking, or maybe the Korean bodega owner, or maybe the homeless guy with the shiny, new watch.
It was a visually evocative, and ultimately, a beautiful way to tell a story. And in the Fall of 92, and for nearly every year later for a decade, it became a wonderfully elegiac way to shot New York, one that infused the TV show with that quintessential urban energy of the place itself. In the thousands of scenes that comprise the entire 12 seasons of NYPD Blue, the map and the territory become one.
For WZW, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. never said “I have a plan…”
Could Beethoven, even in his deafness, have retained the memory of perfect pitch? Could his music be nothing more than the rigorous working out of an abstract calculus? A working out on a scale of genius far beyond any of us?
If you’ve missed out on the first two issues of Larfleeze, not to worry… well, maybe worry a bit. Maybe go out and go find them, because you’ve really missed out on a secret treat. But if you’re worried about picking up with issue #3, not to worry. There’s an easy introduction to the current dilemma faced by our not-quite-so-intrepid protagonist, by way of (of all things, if you can imagine), postures, poses, places really.
“Put on your stockings baby, cos’ the night’s getting cold,” Bruce Springsteen’s lyrics from “Atlantic City,” a track from his inhumanly dark Nebraska album, haunt me still. But it’s Justin Jordan’s upcoming issue of Green Lantern: New Guardians that puts this lyric into strange and possibly far darker context.