F. Simon Grant

F. Simon Grant

I'm a fiction writer and a collage artist.

  • F. Simon Grant
    Published about a year ago
    Steve Ditko's Vision of Eternity in Dr. Strange

    Steve Ditko's Vision of Eternity in Dr. Strange

    Steve Ditko will be remembered most for co-creating Spider-Man and Dr. Strange with Stan Lee (and may deserve more of the credit than Lee, depending on who you ask). He drew some of the most loved Spider-Man stories but some of the absolute best Dr. Strange stories. That's rare for creators—most later artists try to one-up the creator and many succeed, but only with Dr. Strange do all later creators merely present inferior imitations of Ditko. This is perhaps the biggest difference between Ditko's legacy on Spider-Man and Dr. Strange. Spider-Man became the face of Marvel, but Dr. Strange has remained a relatively obscure specialty title about which you might say, "Spider-Man is great standard superhero stuff, but if you want a real advanced, mind-blowing experience, you have to check out Ditko's Dr. Strange." Since Ditko perfected it right out of the gate, I'm tempted to say Ditko ruined Dr. Strange by being so good, but I don't want to belittle the other great artists who worked on the title. Gene Colan and Frank Bruner are iconic; Paul Smith, Michael Golden, Kevin Nowlan, P. Craig Russell, and Chris Warner are all magnificent; Chris Bachalo and Peter Gross are two of my personal favorites—the list goes on and on. I love most of the artists who have worked on the title, but I think even they would admit they're merely shadows of Ditko.
  • F. Simon Grant
    Published about a year ago
    The Wasp Who Never Laughs

    The Wasp Who Never Laughs

    The most unbelievable and dream-disrupting moment in Ant-Man and the Wasp is when Hope Van Dyne, in her first costumed appearance as the Wasp, delivers a hurrincanrana to some nameless villain minion. Far more than all the growing and shrinking gimmicks, far more than the moment when characters breath heavily in sub-atomic space through their lungs which are smaller than oxygen molecules, this hurricanrana moment made me want to say, "Are you kidding me?" My response to this small moment mirrors my response to a lot of moments in the MCU: I forgive it because it's a cool moment and looks awesome while at the same time the hardcore comic book nerd in me has to say, "Are you kidding me?" Black Widow performed the exact same move in her first appearance in Iron Man 2. Again, it didn't bother me too much when Black Widow did it because it is a cool-looking move, but imagine Evangeline Lilly didn't have a mask and had long red hair, how would you distinguish her from Black Widow (other than a few wacky shrinking tricks here and there)? Honestly, as a wrestling fan, I always mark out a little when I see a hurricanrana in a movie, but it's a silly move for a trained combatant to employ: to throw oneself crotch-first at an opponent just to flip him upside down. It seems slightly less efficient than using one's arms (or any part of the body other than the crotch) to accomplish the same thing. Surely, the silly choice in attack maneuvers is rooted in remnants of a sexist Hollywood where it made sense, for example, for Xenia Onatopp to kill people with her thighs in Goldeneye, but it may never be a problem if Black Widow was the only one who did it for that one second in that one movie. Maybe she was a big fan of Lucha Libre, and she's so cocky she thinks she can get away with luchador moves in the middle of a mortal battle with gun-toting enemies. This might be a compelling and unique part of her character except we barely know anything about her other than some "red in [her] ledger" which nobody has bothered to explain or develop. Making Black Widow the most badass character in most movies seems to be a bulwark against feminist criticism, but giving her a few unique likes and dislikes would have been just as effective. We know she has an eye-rolling intolerance of Tony Stark's man-child silliness, but so does Pepper Potts. In Iron Man 2, what makes her anything more than the Pepper Potts who fights? I know she occupied some of the most hated parts of Age of Ultron, Natasha's romance with Bruce or the revelation of her infertility, but these came off more like wrongheaded, awkward attempts to make her a unique, fleshed-out character, and they rolled her back to blandness in subsequent incarnations as, perhaps, a response to the feminist backlash. Sure, there were so many other things that could've made her unique other than infertility and romance, maybe the whole red ledger business could have finally been a thing, but their response was to make her less of a character instead of risking more awkwardness. What is her journey in Infinity War other than punching a hundred more monsters? The Wasp's indistinctiveness seems to be a manifestation of the mistaken belief that this one early version of Black Widow is the only female character who won't garner feminist backlash.
  • F. Simon Grant
    Published 2 years ago
    Blockhead

    Blockhead

    Blockhead :oR: Leaps Away
  • F. Simon Grant
    Published 2 years ago
    Monster Heel
  • F. Simon Grant
    Published 2 years ago
    Duck Duck Goose
  • F. Simon Grant
    Published 2 years ago
    Myrmidon

    Myrmidon

    Myrmidon :oR: The Organ Damage of Puppet Shows