Thursday, April 28, 2005

Ode to Giffen

Here is an old chestnut I dug up from early late 2003.

It is inspired by John Keats' "Ode to a Nightengale" (By INSPIRED, I of course mean totally plagarized from John Keats' "Ode to a Nightengale")...

"Ode to Giffen"

My heart aches, and a lousy comic numbs
My sense, as though a Liefeld book I had read,
Or worse, some Raab/Kavanaugh story too dumb
to mention, too bad not to dread:
'Tis not that Jurgens' JLA was so bad,
But being compared to Giffen's high,
That JL/I/E/OU, glorious in its measure,
A good comparison would hardly be had;
Especially Jurgens' half-assed try,
Thereby numbing my reading pleasure.

O, for art of vintage Giffen for me to see,
Like back in the days of the Great Darkness,
A style mainstream, yet unique enough for me,
Enough that I look back at it with Great Fondness!
O for an ongoing series full of his drawing,
Full of Saturn Girl, Chameleon Boy...and Darkseid,
With his grim visage that we saw,
His purple head incredibly awing;
And the pawns of Daxam arriving to further turn the tide,
Levitz always had plenty for Giffen to draw:

Fade away, dissolve, and now quite forget
What style of Giffen's art you once had known,
But do not be weary and please do not fret
For his newer style should not make you groan;
Where there now grows on his head a few, sad, gray hairs,
Where youth grows pale and there's a change in his eyes;
Where there is thought that he's full of sorrow
And perhaps some despairs,
There is instead a glorious, wonderful surprise,
For Giffen's style, like Bob Dylan's, is all about to-morrow.

Away! Away! The style of old,
Like Dylan, Giffen is not concerned with the views of the populace,
So now, instead of lines so bold,
Giffen has lines slightly amiss:
Where once was light
And cheery like the glades
And evervescent views,
Giffen now draws like the night,
With sweeping gray shades,
Like Dylan's Tom Thumb, he now sings the blues.

It's this shade of Gray, I say
Defines his writing, as well,
For his heroes have feet of clay
Which fit the stories that he would tell.
Blue and Gold, Fire & Ice, Guy Gardner and Maxwell Lord:
Nary a writer post-Giffen could clean of the dirt you
Would need to see their heroism unwind;
For those like Jones and Jurgens quickly got bored
With heroes whose virtue
Was not instantly visible to their mind;

So Maxwell Lord became a villain,
And Guy Gardner a transforming alien,
And the Legion writers were more than willin'
To make that book a reverse Pygmalian;
Now there's no gray shades, only Black and White,
Demonstratiing a lack of imagination:
Even though the books began to lose money!
Still, the writers felt that they were right,
And that Giffen's work was an abomination,
After all, he did commit the awful sin of making comics funny!

That's right, That's right, How could I have slipped?
I have not mentioned Giffen's greatest gift,
The voice of humor that deftly wripped
Off the veil of seriousness and gave comics a lift;
He started with Ambush Bug, the Fourth Wall
Smashing down scamp, but it was
On JL/I/A/E/OU where he really made his mark;
It started with #8 and that laughing call,
BWAH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA twas
What blasted Giffen's humor book right out of the park.

Don't get me wrong, Giffen has had some bad luck,
His scripting has led to some unfortunate text,
Take Trencher, for example (come on, WTF?),
Yet I'll always be there, no matter what comes next.
Adieu! Adieu! As my thoughts of Giffen ends,
No more can I dream of a funny JLA book,
Or heroes who are not perfect through and through,
Except ,of course, the back issues, where lay my friends,
But wait, why give me that funny look?
Formerly Known As The ....Who....?

2 Comments:

Blogger Johnny B said...

Your poem is clever, without any filler...

Me, I wish Giffen had been able to do Thriller!

It was proposed, you know, with Bob Fleming writing- first as a Salvo miniseries, then a full on revival in the mid-late 80s. They did Ambush Bug instead. Sigh.

4/28/2005 9:56 PM  
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