Saturday, January 10, 2009

Witless Dictionary #3--The K-Box

Once again I bring the flow with another in the focused totality of my peculiar idiomatic phrasing in an effort to make this "talking about comics" stuff easier to understand.

That's the theory, anyways. If it fails, remember--my intentions were good.

Now let's do this:

The K-Box [as in "Getting up on the,"]: Not unlike "getting up on a soapbox," the act of pontificating about comics (retcons, ill-considered plot turns, One More Day, etc.) that in the process of doing so causes any actual good points and reasoned arguments to be subsumed in what can only be termed self-immolation. Usually ends with some variation of the phrase "die in a fire."

In other words--no one can hear the good points you're making since the noise you're making while doing so it is drowning them out. And because it's on the Internet, it will probably be around forever.

Named after the original originator, naturally.

Author's Note: In the interests of full disclosure--I have all too often gotten on my K-Box in the past, so I'm just as guilty as anyone for throwing the fire and brimstone around. One of the reasons I started Witless Prattle in the first place was to see if it was possible to have thoughtful discussions of comics and the state thereof without it being necessary to whip myself up into a foaming froth.

Y'know, just for a change.


Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

You know, it was a long, long time ago, during the days of Fanboy Rampage, but I remember when K-Box could engage in intelligent discussion without ever resorting to that kind of foaming rhetoric. Haven't really seen him around lately, so I'll take your word for it that he's gone the way of Jesse Baker, but... yeah, that sort of mania is a manifestation of the worst aspects of fandom, and can send the more casual fans running for the hills.

Kazekage said...

I occasionally pop into K-Box's LJ from time to time to remind myself NOT to give over to that urge to go rabid (no matter how much red meat the general silliness of comics seems to throw me) but yeah, I recall as well that he seemed capable of reasoned discussion.

The rule of thumb was, however, that once he started speaking in ALL CAPS, rationality and reason was beyond him. :)

I'd forgotten all about Jesse Baker, sadly. He would have been ideal for this definition, wouldn't he?

It needed a definition, honestly. Too often the malcontents just get lumped into a great bin marked "basement dwelling fanboys" but there could stand to be what Eddie Izzard once said, "A bit of a crowbar separation."

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

I wouldn't be at all surprised if he ended up venting bile so often out of sheer frustration - it's so easy to get worked up with all the stupid things Marvel and DC do, and I'm as guilty as anyone of flying into the occasional rage-athon, but... well, you know what they say about sound and Nick Fury...

Perhaps moreso than K-Box, because not only is Baker easily wound up, he's completely insane even when maintaining a degree of calm, such as his "prediction" that the culprit behind Wanda's reality hijinks in "House of M" would be Ben Reilly because Marvel hates Ben Reilly and will make him the scapegoat for all bad things that happen to all people.

Especially since the malcontents are so easy to spot. I can't tell you the number of spats I've had at Newsarama (back when it was still a site worth visiting) because I'd criticize Marvel, and their valiant defenders would label me a DC troll despite the fact that I was saying "Hey, I don't even read DC, I like Marvel, I want Marvel to be better, and that means not doing the bloody stupid crap they've been doing."

Kazekage said...

Venting bile does it scant justice, Diana. On his LJ, every time the subject of OMD/BND comes up, it's like friggin' Gotterdamerung.

My standard thing now is less "anger" and more "put my head in my hands and massage my temples to ease THE HURTING." That, and reading the solicits and thinking, "Uh, really Marvel? Hawkeye and Mockingbird in their own book. In 2009. That's what you wanna do?"

I need to refamiliarise myself with Jesse's ranting--that Ben Reilly theory is a hoot and a half (and no more or less comprehensible than what we got) I wonder how far we are from some leading light at Marvel ramdrodding through Ben Reilly: Rebirth. :)

I can hardly imagine you as a DC troll any more than I could see you as a die-hard Dr. Who fan, Diana. ;) I think I touched on that in yesterday's post--lord, you can't even have discourse on the state of superhero comics not without people coming at you and making all sorts of assumptions and generally hobbling any attempt to establish a dialogue. Problem #20 with comics fans--everyone's shouting, no one's listening.

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

So I see. Wow. He also seems to have a slightly unhealthy fixation on the concept of a "cougar" companion for the new Doctor Who. Which I'll grant would make for an interesting dynamic, only it seems like an odd thing to be so... passionate about.

Sadly, the answer to that will always be "Uh, yeah, why not? What could be better than [insert stupid concept here] in [insert year here]?"

Oh, he had some real gems back in the day, and I'm sure someone somewhere on the Interweb made an archive for posterity's sake. As for the Ben Reilly Comeback Clock... we're talking about the administration that green-lighted Onslaught Reborn.

You're right, of course; it's nearly impossible to maintain any kind of rational ongoing discourse with the greater portion of the fandom. They're the ones who go to conventions and sit in a crowded room for three hours just to ask Joe Quesada why Thor couldn't beat Iron Man in issue #92 when he beat him easily in issue #12.

Kazekage said...

"Unhealthy" is putting it nicely. I used to think of myself as something of a libertine back in the day but K-Box's MILF fetish makes me think "Man, maybe limits aren't the worst thing after all."

After seeing that Marvel is releasing a comic called Rampaging Wolverine I totally agree. Nothing they do would surprise me at this point, even the senses-shattering return of Nightcat.

I'm googling now. *L* And hey, didn't they solicit an X-Men/Ben Reilly story story a little bit ago? If we're now crossing into that forbidden ground, I wonder how far away Teen Tony is?

(I hope it's very far away. I'm doing an Iron Man Week here soonish, and oh lordy, brace yourself for the Crossing. That's all I'll say.)

I think if you're willing to ask Quesada questions that don't involve the terms "what the hell" and "Ninjak" in the same sentence (and even then, as a complicated kind of protest/performance art), then I should be allowed you brick you up in the panel room with him. We're never gonna get anywhere if we can't actually bring creators to some kind of account, and how many other ways do we have to do it?

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

And it's just as you said: whatever merit the idea may have, it's lost beneath the frankly creepy mania with which he pursues it.

I'm maintaining that if they keep this up Wolverine will go the way of Punisher and Venom in the mid-'90s (that is to say, become so overexposed that he burns out completely) and then we'll be free of him, at least for a while.

Keep me posted, I could use a good laugh. :D I'm not familiar with Teen Tony (which may explain why I haven't become this yet, but...well, I actually think the Ben Reilly thing was ahead of its time. Could've been a great story if they'd kept things a bit low-profile, focused more on the identity crisis and less on riffing off Gene Kelly with "Les Clones".

None, sadly. But then, I suppose if you had a legitimate gripe with Marvel or DC, you wouldn't spend obscene amounts of money to go wherever they hold court just to flip them off.

Kazekage said...

Yeah. This is an awful metaphor, but it's a lot like seeing a hundred-dollar bill floating in a backed-up toilet.

Now I'm hoping for Wolverine: Lethal Protector, which will surely mean the beginning of the end for all this nonsense.

I think they did--it may even be out now. It's part of that X-Men/Spider-Man series. I think they could have done something intriguing with it as well, had it been a self-contained Age of Apocalypse thing like they'd meant it to be. However, it got hijacked as a One More Day like solution and . . .

Teen Tony . . .hoo boy. That's gonna be a doozy. Very few comics do I bitterly hate, but the Teen Tony issues are by far and away the worst comics I've ever read.

I suppose, but by the same token is it any more or less a justified expense when you spend all that money just to ask some boneheaded continuity question?

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

I recently saw him in action talking about "Final Crisis" over at the Critics. He basically made the same argument as Paul and Al over at HTA, which is that both "Final Crisis" and "Secret Invasion" sound a lot cooler in theory, in interviews, than anything that actually saw print. It's a good point, no matter who makes it... but when you preface that with comments like "The storytelling actually would have felt LESS pointlessly masturbatory if it had consisted entirely of a photo of Grant Morrison ACTUALLY masturbating", it shifts the tone of the discourse so much that you just can't take him seriously.

Fingers crossed... we're at 14 Wolverine books and counting. Of course, you have to wonder what they'll do when the Origins movie comes out...

And the rest is (retconned) history. :)

Looking forward to it...

I suppose that for the people who ask those sorts questions, it is worth the money to hear from the horse's mouth (or other less-flattering body part if you're so inclined) whether Hulk really could beat Thor in a fist-fight.

Kazekage said...

I was so glad to see him at the Critics--it was like the whole Rampage thing was going again for one, brief, shining moment. That said, yeah, that was probably not the best way to lead off your actually otherwise fairly salient point.

However, K-Box is K-Box and as such, is destroyed by the very things that drive him. :)

I'm banking on Wolverine Family, myself! That said, I will shut up about Wolverine completely if the cover scheme proposed by Al and Paul at HTA actually comes to pass.

Sadly. That said, Life of Reilly does make a strong argument for the ol' clone.

It's coming soon . . .plague willing. ;)

I suppose so, but 1) that people that dumb have that kind of money when I don't makes me very sad. 2) If you have that sort of money, there are so many way better things you could be doing (some involving girls) and 3) The Hulk would cream Thor in a fist-fight because the Hulk can always get madder and therefore stronger, Thor just has the belt of strength thing.