Where the Wild Things Are was, for me, too weird and intense to be enjoyable. When I mentioned that to a friend, he said, "Well, I love the movie. It's not meant to be enjoyed."More examples from Mike:
Which BLEW my mind. In my opinion, media is supposed to be enjoyable. If it wasn't, we'd spend our leisure time doing something productive. But it fascinates me how often I've been told that I have to suffer through a non-enjoyable part of a movie or videogame to get a reward. Shouldn't all of a work be fun and enjoyable and rewarding, not just the end? It seems that more and more we are being asked to suffer through things that are supposed to be fun.
More and more I'm hearing, "Oh, that movie was cool, but the story was crap," which is odd to me because the story, for me, IS the movie. Sure, there are things that can augment the story and make up for faults, but if, in the end, the story is complete crap, nothing can make up for that.
I guess I've just been pondering the perceived purpose of media and what people expect it to convey. I guess your [Kate's] post on LOTR also got me thinking about this again because that is one book that for me is absolute TORTURE to get through. It is not fun at all to read. But the story is cool.
In the end, I feel that media should be fun; that doesn't necessarily mean explosions and action. It means that the journey to the point should be enjoyable. Not many endings can justify a long and painful trip. The difficulty of the journey--whether in a video game, movie, or book--can change the level of enjoyment for some people; whether it increases or diminishes the fun depends on the person.
Regarding Grant Morrison's Batman: R.I.P. and Joe the Barbarian: I do like Morrison's ideas. I mean, OF COURSE, Batman would be prepared for mind control. He's Batman. But it's Morrison's writing that is the most frustrating for me. His style of writing, in my opinion, does not suit monthly installments. He's a guy that has the picture figured out ahead, but only gives you pieces until the end (even then sometimes he leaves the point a mystery), which works great in a single, whole work. But this does not always transfer well to a serial format as the reader often forgets the clues and pieces presented before the next installment. This may explain why the only positive experience I've had with the man has been in trade format.Break and note from Kate: I feel like I spend entire semesters trying to pound this one simple concept into my students' heads: present a point, then evidence, then explain that evidence.
It's also very hard to form a cohesive and clearly communicated narrative or story when the pieces are so scattered and delivered at such long intervals. Morrison strikes me as a man who, when arguing, would jump to and fro from explanation to evidence to point and back again rather than presenting a point, then evidence and an explanation of that evidence.
Back to Mike:
It's interesting because the very characteristic about his writing that I feel is his weakness is often hailed as his strength. I feel Morrison has little sense of direction, moving from idea to idea with no sense of flow or transition, until he finally runs out of ideas and tacks on the ending. Most people disagree. I suppose it's like Picasso. As long as all the pieces are there, it doesn't matter what order they're in. While I love that in art and visuals, I don't always appreciate that in writing.I respond in the first comment.
As for Joe, it's classic Morrison in that you won't understand what's happening until he reveals the back story, but the back story won't be revealed (most likely) until the end of the comic, so not much is going to make sense until then. For me, that's frustrating, as I'd have to read the thing over after it's done to understand. While some people feel that having to read a work multiple times to understand it indicates depth, I feel it indicates poor communication.
The true sign of depth is when you can read something, fully understand the main story or argument, then discover more meaning and symbolism upon rereading. Some people may feel Morrison fits this definition. I would theorize that many of those people have mainly read his work in collections, which, as I said before, is a better venue (a single, self-contained and complete work) for his style of writing.
In general though, his writing is like someone giving a lecture in Hebrew to a room of English-speaking people, and, upon concluding, handing out an English-Hebrew dictionary. While the audience now has the tools to understand what the speaker lectured on, not many have the time or inclination to invest the effort it would take.