You Knew It Was Coming: Lethem Hired By Marvel

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Huk-L, Monday, 2 May 2005 19:50 (sixteen years ago) link

I, for one, welcome our new literary overlords.

Jordan (Jordan), Monday, 2 May 2005 20:02 (sixteen years ago) link

Imagine if this had happened in the 60s and 70s.
Gore Vidal's Fantastic Four!
Tom Wolfe's Electric Acid Spider-Man!

Huk-L, Monday, 2 May 2005 20:05 (sixteen years ago) link

i would rather see chris claremont writing for the new yorker, frankly

strng hlkngtn, Monday, 2 May 2005 21:39 (sixteen years ago) link

I was thinking just the other day that it was time Omega The Unknown came back. I suspect that the new series is going to be Deep Thoughts about Comics and Childhood and Masculinity though rather than pot-fuelled stories of Omega vs the space mutants.

Tom (Groke), Tuesday, 3 May 2005 08:11 (sixteen years ago) link

It'll be almost as good as The Escapist!

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Tuesday, 3 May 2005 08:40 (sixteen years ago) link

Keep hope alive, you joyless cynics!

Fan of Deep Thoughts (popshots75`), Tuesday, 3 May 2005 11:47 (sixteen years ago) link

Liefeld would be the perfect artist for this. Lethem's meaningful narration, Liefeld's distended musculature - GOLD!

David R. (popshots75`), Tuesday, 3 May 2005 11:48 (sixteen years ago) link

Hmmm...Lethem kinda blows though.

n/a (Nick A.), Tuesday, 3 May 2005 18:10 (sixteen years ago) link

3 out of 4 Lethem books that I've read (Motherless Brooklyn, Gun with Occasional Music, And She Climbed Across the Table) are great! And the fourth (Amnesia Moon) is still good.

I have high hopes, but whether it's good or not, I'm glad he's putting his money where his mouth is instead of just using comics for pulp credibility or nostalgia symbols (if that is indeed what he's doing in Fortress of Solitude and Men & Cartoons, neither of which I've read yet).

Jordan (Jordan), Tuesday, 3 May 2005 18:22 (sixteen years ago) link

i haven't read men & cartoons, i kinda get the feeling it's 'omg i could totally just geek out over this. watch me!' but i might be wrong. i liked fortress of solitude alot; it's, um, problematic but it rang very true and mirrored to certain extents my own childhood enough for me to adore it. the comix refs work very well, the music refs even better (and more key to the story really i think despite the title), avoid the sense of 'these are here as shoutouts/credgrabs/nostalgiaprompts' that poprefs can be in fiction. i'm a little wary of this - frankly hacks tend to be a much better way to go at crossing mediums this much. but lethem has shown he can do genre work (and mystery at that) so who knows? i don't get the feeling he's gonna approach it as a mystery writer though.

j blount (papa la bas), Tuesday, 3 May 2005 18:34 (sixteen years ago) link

Yeah, I think the main reason I'm optimistic is because he loves genre fiction and he's good at it. Besides the mystery/sci-fi splice in Gun..., he did a romance/sci-fi splice in And She Climbed Across the Table and post-apocalypse in Amnesia Moon. I'm more excited by the prospect of Lethem doing comics and more genre-play than autobiographical fiction.

Jordan (Jordan), Tuesday, 3 May 2005 18:51 (sixteen years ago) link

i really like lethem's genre stuff (haven't read his comics oriented stuff), but suspect his strengths won't translate well and he'll come off as watered-down morrison or something. but hell, it's worth a shot, right?? anyways, i'm with tom - pot-fuelled space mutants is the way to go,

dave k, Tuesday, 3 May 2005 21:01 (sixteen years ago) link

to be honest considering how (ahem) rockist his views on comics are i would imagine this to be awful - the fortress site has a bunch of essays which all disappointed me criticism-wise (even tho fortress itself i like) (not that i particularly have anything to add to what mr blount sez: but i dunno, can i repeat again that another friend of my age group (ie NOT EVEN BORN YET in the 70s) had it recommended on the grounds of relevance-to-his-life)

fortress is of course playing with the genre "Great American Novel" amongst others

tom west (thomp), Tuesday, 3 May 2005 21:28 (sixteen years ago) link

men and cartoons has pretty much my favorite back cover on a book ever.

tom west (thomp), Tuesday, 3 May 2005 21:29 (sixteen years ago) link


Tom (Groke), Saturday, 7 May 2005 21:45 (sixteen years ago) link

two years pass...

Finally got around to reading the first issue. Pretty good! It didn't blow minds or anything, but it's way solid and the writing wasn't too wordy or look-at-me (and the art seems pretty unique?). Never read the original.

Jordan, Monday, 22 October 2007 02:44 (thirteen years ago) link

i like how the cover is kind of masquerading as 1x indie comic

thomp, Tuesday, 23 October 2007 18:59 (thirteen years ago) link

two months pass...


R Baez, Thursday, 27 December 2007 20:28 (thirteen years ago) link

I really enjoy that Omega series!

Mr. Perpetua, Thursday, 27 December 2007 22:12 (thirteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...

Went into the CITY to deliver my 'Omega the Unknown' cover to Marvel.For some reason I thought it was on Fifth Ave at 17th, but it was 37th. When things like this happen I tend to take the long walk and look at the city, which I did.

Lots of sights. Smart people, dumb people, pretty people, ugly people, freezing hotdog and sausage vendors, smokers hanging out in clumps outside buildings like cranes and jackals by watering holes, Yellow cabs nowadays with designy flowers on the hood running red lights, polite drivers deferring to pedestrians, pedestrians abusing the privilege, giant hairy ugly dwarf smoking a stogie 'blocking the box' with his Hummer2, the Empire State Building from underneath where you can't see it as happens to ants passing by Paul Bunyan's foot, guys trying in vain to collar passersby to discuss global warming, hip hop dudes in million dollar leather jackets with full congo jungles scenes embroidered thereupon on their way back to the ghetto, crazy faddists in those skeleton body hoodies which when zipped up become grim reaper burkas, normal looking girls with babies they were crazy enough to have by these calaveras, fucking idiots on cel phones not minding personal space. The reds, the grays, the blues of NYC in winter. The beautiful fresh cold air gridded with contrails.

At Marvel they directed me around the corner to some vaguer hole in the wall they called 'the mezzanine'. Mezzanine? It was a door through a janitorial area. There was a locked glass door at the end of the corridor with a card entry slot. There on the floor, by the door, was a pile of packages, but also some thrown-out pizza boxes in the same pile. I knocked politely about 3 times then banged the shit out of it until the irate kid who was supposed to be manning that station appeared, yelling at me that I could've thrown it on the discarded pizza boxes and I told him no thanks. Is this any way to run a Death star?

posted by gary

Mike Dixn, Friday, 18 January 2008 14:43 (thirteen years ago) link

six months pass...

so Omega's over now. it didn't get less convoluted at the end, and the silent finale felt more like petering out than the affecting conclusion he was probably going for, but there was some really good stuff along the way.

Jordan, Thursday, 24 July 2008 15:46 (thirteen years ago) link

I gotta reread the whole thing - I didn't quite suss out what was going on there in the last issue.

Oilyrags, Thursday, 24 July 2008 15:47 (thirteen years ago) link

eleven months pass...

OK - this was great - like really great. Mind is blown. But I also have to admit that I have no idea what that book was actually about. Can anyone help me?

(also I've never read anything else of Lethem's except Gun, With Occasional Music like 15 years ago, so I have no idea what frame of reference he's coming from exactly - guess I should read Fortress of Solitude?)

Nhex, Tuesday, 7 July 2009 04:03 (twelve years ago) link

i would rather see chris claremont writing for the new yorker, frankly
― strng hlkngtn, Monday, May 2, 2005 9:39 PM (4 years ago)
^when you're right, you're right.

Why? I forget what biologists have suggested. (forksclovetofu), Tuesday, 7 July 2009 18:25 (twelve years ago) link

nine years pass...

I've read this at last, about a decade after it ended. I found it pretty terrific.

I was thinking just the other day that it was time Omega The Unknown came back. I suspect that the new series is going to be Deep Thoughts about Comics and Childhood and Masculinity though rather than pot-fuelled stories of Omega vs the space mutants.
― Tom (Groke), Tuesday, May 3, 2005

Tom Ewing is admirably knowledgeable about comics but his prediction in this one case wasn't correct. The comic has nothing directly to say about masculinity (which come to think of it has never been a great JL theme as such), and doesn't play on nostalgia and 1970s childhood as Tom seemed to fear it would. It's pretty much a self-contained exciting adventure with intelligence and digressions. Though I think I agree with nhex above that some of what is actually happening is not that clear.

the pinefox, Saturday, 18 August 2018 09:43 (three years ago) link

I remember loving this, although it was over a decade ago since I last read it. IIRC it's a well-drawn and well-plotted coming-of-age story and at the time it made me think, why aren't more comics like this?

At the same time I kind of put it alongside the Lapham Batman story, City of Crime, as a really exciting longform story where the author seems to be above sticking the landing on the end of the story.

Chuck_Tatum, Sunday, 19 August 2018 18:49 (three years ago) link

E.g. It's 11 issues of complicated plotting followed by a will-this-do final issue

Chuck_Tatum, Sunday, 19 August 2018 18:51 (three years ago) link

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