1) Apart from the obvious inspiration, what made you decide to develop a site like www.blogofoa.com? A couple of things acted as a primary motivation for me, the first of which is how much I felt I owe to the Green Lantern mythos. I was born with a birth defect that required a lot of surgery at birth, and I still deal with some of the ramifications of it even today.
As a child, I needed to maintain calm to deal with some of the episodes which quite often were life threatening and Hal
Secondly, I just wanted to be an ambassador of sorts for the hobby much like the guy’s on the Raging Bullets DC podcast – they are genuinely interested in the books they read and spend their time talking about what they like rather than focusing on the negative, which is a marked difference to most of the comics Internet discussion sometimes.
So I wanted to be another voice talking about the books I’m really enjoying most from DC right now.
2) If you could compare your site to a movie or a piece of music, what would it be and why? Hmmmm…. This is going to sound corny, but I’m going to say the theme from the film “The Last Starfighter”, one of my favorite fun movies from the ‘80’s. It’s kind of a big brassy piece of music that evokes a spirit of adventure and heroism. I’d like to think that the www.blogofoa.com (and our podcast the Podcast of Oa) are trumpeting the quality of the Green Lantern books!
4) In your opinion, how would you class, classify, and rate, the current Green Lantern comic books, post DCnU? It’s great that there are four titles that make up the Green Lantern family of books – that hasn’t happened since the early nineties but it goes to show how cyclical things are. My favorite book is the main Green Lantern title, I’m really loving the return of Sinestro as a Green Lantern and Hal having to deal with life without the ring. Having these two guys team up really provides a great opportunity to explore two characters which have so much history together yet Johns finds new ground to explore. Hal and Sinestro are two guys that hate the other but yet have tremendous respect each other, although ego prevents that from being said. And they go together like nitro and glycerin!
The Green Lantern Corps book and New Guardians both fight for second place and are a tie overall for me. I love the rings to the wall action that the Corp book provides and the mysterious Keepers are very intriguing. Peter Tomasi is doing a great job keeping the action ratcheted up! Meanwhile I love the exploration of the emotional spectrum that Tony Bedard is writing in New Guardians and for me seeing that there is more to Kyle that we previously thought and learning that he wasn’t chosen at random is something I know I needed to make the character more palpable for me as a longtime fan. Plus you can’t go wrong with Tyler Kirkham’s art!
The Red Lantern Corps book has the toughest sell in my mind. There is a definite challenge to write a book about a cast of characters who can’t carry on a conversation! I think that a reader’s enjoyment of a book depends on how their taste marries with the creative team’s vision for the book and the reader’s expectations going in. While I like the contemplative nature of the book and the exploration of rage and anger, it’s certainly not the book I expected so while I’m not disappointed with the book, I’m don’t look forward to it quite as much as I do the other three
Jones’ original plot for that story arc which was solicited at the time called for a Green Lantern civil war that resulted in Hal leaving the Corps to make way for a new Green Lantern from Earth that would have let Hal rest on the shelf for a while. It would have been interesting to see where that might have gone, but if not for the way things worked out we might not have had the current run from Geoff Johns, who REALLY gets what’s going on in Hal’s head.
Steve Englehart had a pretty good run with Hal, too. Hal’s just a guy with a lot of issues like the rest of us, but somehow he manages push through it and remain in one piece!
Guy is someone you either love to hate to hate to admit you love! The Giffen stories really defined the character and there’s just something fun about a guy who has no filter and is willing to say what he feels no matter how brash it sounds. At the end of the day, he’s the kind of friend that will take you to a bar for a good time and then gets you in a fight while he stands grinning in the corner. But he’s also someone who you’d want to have your back…..so long as he doesn’t get distracted!
I don’t have a lot of history with Kyle to be honest. After “Emerald Twilight” I read Green Lantern for about a year and I couldn’t connect with him. I know part of stems from my feelings for how the mythology was handled to make room for him, but I did give the character a fair chance and couldn’t get past it. I didn’t hate the character, but Kyle just didn’t resonate with me. That being said, I’m glad that Kyle wasn’t cast aside to make room for Hal’s return because I know for a large number of fans, like yourself, Kyle is as much your Green Lantern as Hal is mine and there’s plenty of room at the Green Lantern table for all four of them to shine without being at the expense of the other. And I’m finding more about Kyle to like as time goes on!
When you see an alien member of the Corps, you know there’s a story behind that character that makes them special and there’s a reason that this being was chosen that makes you want to find out more. I find that the number of ways the writers have come up with all these characters that are alike in their purpose but each with a unique and interesting back-story is one of the most attractive parts to the mythos.
I think the Guardians have certainly had a colored past. They were always these all-knowing beings who saw the universe for the bigger picture at the expense of the value of the parts that make it up, but we’ve seen that change and evolve under Geoff John’s tenure. Now we’re finding that there was more to the creation of Green Lantern Corps than we thought and the Guardians have a much more checkered past that we thought, which I find very exciting. One thing that has re-energized me by the current state of the GL books is that there’s not only a sense of discovery for new readers, but there’s this sense that there was a lot that us long time readers never knew.
OK, I know there are some who’s call it a ‘retcon’, but I feel like all of this doesn’t change or invalidate what we knew, we just didn’t know all that we thought we did! It’s kind of like having this piece of cloth that we’ve stared at until we know every thread and then Johns comes along and unfolds that cloth to reveal a much larger tapestry with a tons of square feet of material we never knew lurked in the folds.
The same thing with the whole emotional spectrum – it’s such an obvious concept yet no one saw it right before all of our noses! And Johns has done some neat things in the naming of some of the emotional entities. Just take a look at the meanings of Proselyte and Ophidian on Wikipedia – that’s not coincidence! So I love that he took some time to think out some of this stuff – his approach is intentional with everything he writes and very rarely is there a throwaway scene. They may not all be obvious or pay off in the immediate future, but you know that down the road it will come back and hit you between the eyes.
All those stories were such fun to read, and it’s interesting to re-read them and think of what it must have been like to have been a reader at the time not knowing how those books would shape a whole industry, but relishing in the newness of it all. The stories were very simple and much shorter – a two-issue arc was uncommon from the looks of what I’ve read, a sharp contrast to what we have today in terms of decompressed storytelling and the complexities of modern comics writing. In the end, it’s amazing to see creations from those bygone eras still thriving today through re-interpretation and evolution of those core concepts. I think fans really owe a lot to people like Schwartz, Broome and Nodell for what they’ve given comics fans over the years. It’s a shame that none of them are around to see how the comics medium has gone on to seep into other forms of media! We just lost another great in the passing of Joe Simon.
8 ) Do you have any amusing stories where your site is concerned? Well we’ve had a current running joke between myself and my podcast co-host, Bill Giancoli. Early on we were discussing the whole emotional spectrum and began to musing about whether or not there were more Corps out there beyond the ROYGBIV group and Bill, a former stand-up comedian, quipped about there being a Corps for anxiety and dubbed them the Sea Foam Lantern Corps! We had a listener pick-up on it and design a logo for them and he went so far as to make us t-shirts! So we of course worked up an oath for them:
Knees that tremble,
Hands that shake.
From your phobias your mind might break.
Don’t you worry, never fear,