Thursday, July 14, 2005

Okay, so I read this online column (and listen to the podcast) from this aging nerd, Augie DeBliek. To be honest, it just kind of makes me feel better about myself. Anyway, in today's column, he describes his travel woes as his flight from New Jersey to San Diego for the big comics convention, originally scheduled to take off at 11:50 am, finally left the ground at 6:30 pm. And at the end, he says:

"Of course, none of this might have been necessary if they had just kept the original departure time of 11:50 a.m. that everyone on the plane had purchased their ticket for. I think it's kind of sleazy for an airliner to change a flight's schedule like that. If they pull that trick next year, they're not getting my business again."

And the thing is, if you're that dissatisfied with a product or service that you're going to make some sort of ultimatum-type statement like that, then what you really need to do--I think--is just take that final step and just not fly that airline again. Because what I'm hearing is a problem worth complaining about, but worth putting up with. Well, if it's worth putting up with, because you--or Augie--believe that the problems are an anomaly, a result of circumstances beyond anyone's control, then it's not worth complaining about, because that's just the way things are. And if you don't believe it's an anomaly or unavoidable, but is actually the fault of the airline, then just use another one next time. Fool me once and all that. Am I saying I'm not for second chances? Well, yeah, I suppose I am, but what I'm really saying is that I'm for people just not assuming that they'll get a second chance, thus giving them a stronger incentive to get it right the first time. And I'm for people recognizing when it's worth complaining about something without doing something about it, which would be never. If it's worth talking about in negative terms, then you need to follow up with action. Otherwise, shut up.

Which is a really long way for me to explain why I'm not complaining too much about the DC Comics miniseries leading up to their big Infinite Crisis event crossover miniseries spectacle shebang hullabaloo, even though they are turning out to be some pretty pedestrian, dull comics indeed. (I'm not including Rann/Thanagar War in that, because I like Dave Gibbons too much, but I could have included it... Okay, I guess I just did.) As a kid, I used to love these sorts of big crossover things, and I don't know if this one isn't appealing to me because I'm an adult and my tastes have changed, or because it's just not particularly good. Probably both.

But I've been reading them, because they all lead into this Infinite Crisis thing that's supposed to affect all the DC comics, and I wanted to be on board with that. However, now I find myself questioning whether I really want to read it after all. It's going to be written by Geoff Johns, who almost single-handedly drove me away from superhero comics with his atrocious Green Lantern: Regurgitated miniseries. (Yes, I was already teetering; that comic drove me over the edge.) But it'll be drawn by Phil Jimenez, which means it'll be really pretty. On the other hand, so's Otherworld, the Vertigo comic he's writing and drawing, which isn't superheroes, and which he's taking a break from to do Infinite Crisis. But I thought I'd gotten past the days when I'd buy a book just for the art.

But here's the rub: the events of Infinite Crisis are supposed to affect all the DC universe comics, and I don't want to be lost when the DC comics I read are affected. On the other hand, the only DC universe comics I'm currently getting, as of my current order, would be Birds of Prey, Supergirl (and who knows if I'll still be reading that by the time Infinite Crisis comes out), Gotham Central, and Plastic Man. And Plastic Man probably won't be too heavily affected at all.

So, that's not many books to worry about. But I just read that Gotham Central, the comic that focuses on the police in Batman's world, and thus doesn't leave the bad taste in my mouth that the other Batman comics do these days, will be crossing over with Infinite Crisis. And, as part of the tie-in, Captain Marvel, perhaps one of my most favorite superheroes, more so than even Superman, almost on a level with Batman, will be guest-starring in Gotham Central. So... I don't know. But until I decide not to get Infinite Crisis, I can't really bitch about the whole thing, because that would be hypocritical.

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