The Short Version
You'd be doing me a very big favour if you'd take a moment and nominate any title or titles from next week's comics release schedule which you'd like to see reviewed at TooBusyThinking. The advance shipping lists can be found here and here. The "nominations" won't close until next Wednesday mid-day, 9th May, so anytime that suits you between now and then would be splendid for me.
The Slightly-longer Version
It's a somewhat risky strategy. It could all end in an embarrassing silence. But if I may, I'd really appreciate your help, and I hope you'll not mind my asking.
The problem's simple enough. My writing's just not good enough, though I'm not meaning to suggest that I'm suffering any great burden of angst about the matter. It's just something that I have to work at.
And so, when I look back at last weekend's piece about misogynistic comics criticism, for example, I'm disappointed by what a clodhopping slog it is. I hope its content has something of value, but its form just isn't anywhere near good enough. And though the little whiny excuse-monger in my head has a full set of misdirections just waiting to be played as get-out-of-jail cards - too little time, too much to say, a challenging subject, and so on and on - the truth is that the work just doesn't swing. It lacks wit, it's too stodgy, it's knee-deep in six-clause sentences. It does a job, but it's only a fraction of the job that it ought to be doing
Writing for "Q" has been a tremendous eye-opener. The expectations there are, by necessity, so constricting that they're counter-intuitively liberating. There's not a word to waste, and it constantly amazes me how much can be suggested, if not of course actually discussed, in so few sentences. Under that pressure, style starts to mutate not so much out of affectation as necessity. The job done demands that every word gets focused on, while the awareness that there's never going to be the necessary space for everything inevitably encourages a desperate kind of innovation. Choices have to made, favourite moments murdered, and those are quandaries that I need more of. Quite frankly, I've been writing four-sided prog concept albums when I ought to have been working on singles that have that have the final chorus wrapped up and fading somewhere between 1.50 and 2.20.
I've got all the freedom I could want to write my typical pieces both here and at Sequart, and I fully intend to keep taking advantage of that. But I really must start embracing less autonomy, and that's where you might consider helping out. I know it's a cheek to even suggest it, but perhaps you would consider nominating a comic or three from next week's release schedule for me to write about. What I'd love the chance to do is buy and review whatever - if any - the most suggested titles are by noon next Wednesday. The hope would be that there'd be at least one mainstream super-book and one comic from beyond the tightest of tight-underwear titles to talk about. It doesn't matter if those are comics which I've discussed before. It doesn't matter if one generous soul and one alone has suggested a single comic. The point is simply that the choice won't be mine.
The reviews themselves would be relatively short and hopefully sharp. As I said above, Q's taught me the value of restrictions. So, 150 words for the third choice, if there is one, 250 for the second, and 450 for the first.
In the unlikely event that there's something you'd like to see discussed here at TooBusyThinking, or if you'd just be willing to help a floundering blogger out, please do add whatever titles you care to below. (You're more than welcome to mention why you think a comic, for good or ill, is worth a visit, though I fear the budget won't run to graphic novels.) You can find a list of next weeks titles here and here, although if you use the latter, you'll need to scroll downwards.
You really would be doing me a favour. I've only some 2 000 hours left out of the 10 000 I set out to spend on this blog when I started, and it's about time I raised my game. Less choice, more restrictions; I'd welcome your help.