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Let pulp be pulp

Dale Peck might not be the nicest critic in the business, but this article is worth a read.

And, for the record: what’s wrong with genre books, intelligence-insulting or not? It’s nobody’s business but their own if James North Patterson’s readers find him engaging. If Stephanie Meyer’s fans think the Twilight Saga speaks to them, who’s it hurting? You might answer that it’s hurting them but, aside from the fact that I disagree with this assessment, I also don’t think it’s anyone’s problem but theirs. Water seeks its own level and so do books. If there’s a sea of readers waiting for the next terrible tome from Dan Brown to pour down on them, far be it from me to dam the flow, or damn it for that matter. But can we please PLEASE PLEASE stop pretending that these books are anything other than what they are?

[…]It’s time to stop trying to fool readers or make writers corrupt their work for the sake of sales. Let pulp be pulp and literature be literature, and if the twain should meet, as it does in the work of Philip K. Dick, Jim Thompson, and Donald Goines, let readers make that choice, not editorial boards desperate to shore up the bottom line.”

http://www.mischiefandmayhembooks.com/2011/01/422/

- Dale Peck

Photo
Astro City by Kurt Busiek (words), Brent Anderson (art) and Alex Ross (covers). Published by Image Comics originally, currently under Homage Comics/Wildstorm Signature.  Ongoing series, 1995-present.
In the mid-90s, before people grew truly sick of the “darker and more realistic take on superheroes” came Astro City, a series that, figuratively speaking, spit in the face of convention. There’s none of the sneering grim’n gritty that worked so well for folks like Mark Millar, Garth Ennis and Frank Miller. There’s no smug mocking of the silly caped crusaders of the past, just a love of superheroes that almost seems like a throwback to the Silver Age of comics. Busiek understands his heroes, perhaps more than any other writer working today, and it shows in every page. Only Alan Moore’s superb run on Supreme can match Astro City when it comes to building a world that feels both fresh and familiar, neatly sidestepping every cliche and slightly tweaking every stereotype you know so well in a way that’ll make both inkstained veterans and freshfaced readers go all fuzzy inside.
Excellent art coupled with great stories and believable characters make this a series you need to read, but it’s the earnest love that lives in every page that makes Astro City a modern classic in the making.

"And then […] there is Astro City. Which traces its lineage back in two directions - into th world of classic superhero archetypes, but equally into the world of The Kryptonite Kid, a world in which all this stuff this dumb wonderful four-colour stuff has real emotional weight and depth, and it means more than it literally means.
And that is the genius and the joy of Astro City.”
- Neil Gaiman
"There’s the central task facing artists who make up new  superhero comics: to restore the genre’s essential luster. Busiek,  Anderson and team have weighed in with their best efforts, and I’m  plenty impressed. I trust you will be, as well."
- Frank Miller

Astro City by Kurt Busiek (words), Brent Anderson (art) and Alex Ross (covers). Published by Image Comics originally, currently under Homage Comics/Wildstorm Signature.  Ongoing series, 1995-present.

In the mid-90s, before people grew truly sick of the “darker and more realistic take on superheroes” came Astro City, a series that, figuratively speaking, spit in the face of convention. There’s none of the sneering grim’n gritty that worked so well for folks like Mark Millar, Garth Ennis and Frank Miller. There’s no smug mocking of the silly caped crusaders of the past, just a love of superheroes that almost seems like a throwback to the Silver Age of comics. Busiek understands his heroes, perhaps more than any other writer working today, and it shows in every page. Only Alan Moore’s superb run on Supreme can match Astro City when it comes to building a world that feels both fresh and familiar, neatly sidestepping every cliche and slightly tweaking every stereotype you know so well in a way that’ll make both inkstained veterans and freshfaced readers go all fuzzy inside.

Excellent art coupled with great stories and believable characters make this a series you need to read, but it’s the earnest love that lives in every page that makes Astro City a modern classic in the making.

"And then […] there is Astro City. Which traces its lineage back in two directions - into th world of classic superhero archetypes, but equally into the world of The Kryptonite Kid, a world in which all this stuff this dumb wonderful four-colour stuff has real emotional weight and depth, and it means more than it literally means.

And that is the genius and the joy of Astro City.”

- Neil Gaiman


"There’s the central task facing artists who make up new superhero comics: to restore the genre’s essential luster. Busiek, Anderson and team have weighed in with their best efforts, and I’m plenty impressed. I trust you will be, as well."

- Frank Miller