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Swain here. Me and Adrian started chatting after seeing Neal Adams' Batman Odyssey #1 (he saw it, I still haven't) and the idea of free passes came up.
A free pass is when someone, doesn't matter who, gets a pass for what is basically sub par work for them, and you won't call it for what it is. Many a Neal fan were on-line doing just that when Odyssey's preview pages were posted—looking at his current work through Green Lantern/Green Arrow tinted glasses (even though it ain't 1970 anymore).
Don't get me wrong. I give out free passes from time to time myself. I think we all do on some level. But calling something crap doesn't...well...crap all over the great stuff that person did or will do, does it?
Most people who know me know I'm a big music nerd as well as an art nerd. I adore Elton John, Prince, Peter Gabriel and Stevie Wonder. One of my favorite bands to come out in the last 13 years is a Scottish band called Travis.
That said, all the stuff Elton's written for Disney has been utter wackness. Prince—I've not liked much since the symbol album. Peter Gabriel's Up CD was so God awful that I sold it two weeks later (didn't want it in my house and I adore him). Stevie's lowest had to be I Just Called to Say I Love You and Travis' 12 Memories disc gave me amnesia.
I still love them all for their past work, but give 'em a pass for the nonsense they're doing today.
Bringing it back to comics, it doesn't take any of the greatness away from Frank Miller's Dark Knight, Born Again or Batman Year One to say Dark Knight Strikes Again and The Spirit sucked. And they did.
The conversation between Dwight, Adrian and I also veered off into free passes for comics coming out late as hell, outrageous original art prices, lack of professionalism and common courtesy. We went there.
So many fans will look the other way if it's their favorite guy or gal and act like they're not being mistreated—when they really are. That's bullsh*t.
Listen in and see what you think. Our goal wasn't to dump on folks just for the sake of dumping. It was to encourage us as fans to be more honest. If it's great, hey, let's celebrate it. If it's just okay or bad...let's call it for what it is.
**If you're squeamish or easily pissed off, we must warn you—this audio is disturbing. Names have not been changed to protect the innocent (ha).
Check for the Jack Kirby birthday Easter egg at the very end. That was fun.
And Dwight would like it on the record that he dug Kneel...ummm, Neal's cover for Batman Odyssey #1.