Tuesday, July 9, 2019
Just one more episode to go...
As I'm ( cough cough ) 'homaging' Avengers #176, let's talk swipes.
When I was a kid, Rich Buckler drove me crazy with his incessant copying. But in the last few years before his death, Rich said in interviews that he was actually paying tribute to his colleagues when lifting a Kirby or Buscema pose.
Maybe that's true, and certainly, Buckler seemed like a real stand-up guy, both in his support for his collaborators and the help he gave newcomers. So I do feel slightly guilty for coming down on him, but I also can't change the way I felt about swiping as a kid.
But let's not forget Wally Wood's credo:
Never draw what you can swipe
Never swipe what you can trace
Never trace what you can photocopy
Never photocopy what you can clip out and paste down.
Mind you, he could get away with it. He was Wally Wood.
So: Swiping. Copying. Acceptable or not?
Tuesday, July 2, 2019
Because YOU DEMANDED IT!!!!
Yes, it's another Collectors' Item Classic, as we present ( god help us ) another original Kids strip from the '70's!
David The Barbarian is from roughly the same period as the previously exhibited The Big Fight, except I drew this one instead of Sean. Which is why he plays the girl. It's amazing he still speaks to me really...
Tuesday, June 25, 2019
Who woulda' thought Gareth Thomas off Blake's 7 would turn out to be so angry...?
We're talking massive events. Yeah, you know what I'm talking about.
And as this week's Podium was suggested by our old pal kiyote76, here he is with his take:
Do you enjoy big extended story arcs or massive crossovers by committee - ie; a number of writers & artists working together? And if so, which ones?
My own answer to this, naturally, would be a flat no. I hate that shit. And do you know who we have to blame for starting all this malarkey? I lay the blame squarely on two of my very favorite creators - Gerber & Colan.
Stop & think about it: Phantom Zone #1-4 was the first actual 'event' mini-series - where a massive threat brings ALL the supergoofs together to fight a menace that can destroy the universe as we know it.
Now because it was Gerber & Colan (and not, let's say, Bendis) it was all done in four issues - with no crossovers, no special side-series or special one-shots, no massive hype or fanfare - just 4 comics that told a story from beginning to end. And it was fairly enjoyable, too.
Then a couple of years later, Crisis on Infinite Earths happened - and then the floodgates burst.
Now personally, I feel this all started with Englehart's Avengers / Defenders War, or, even farther back, Gardner Fox's annual JLA / LSA meet-ups. But actually, we can't really blame either of those gents.
As kiyotye says, it all really began with Crisis On Infinite Earths. And I probably don't need to say it, but I don't engage with this kind of thing AT ALL.
How about you?
Tuesday, June 18, 2019
Ok, is that all clear now? Oh, wait...
Here's a simple one. We were talking briefly about swapping comics last week, and of course, I'm always banging on about Arnold never swapping anything good ( true! ), as well as Dean never swapping anything good ( true! ), while Dave freely admits he only became friends with some people at school so that he could go through their collections and grab what he wanted.
I mean, in the UK, we even had a Saturday morning TV show called Swap Shop, where kids could phone in and trade stuff ( never quite sure how that worked - who paid the postage? The BBC? )
So swapping was a big thing, and a regular thing for us lot, and I'll be putting more of it in the strip, but what about you all?
Did you swap? And are there classic stories about what you managed to get?
I'm sure he'll tell us the details, but again, I do remember Dave once getting thirty comics he wanted off of somebody for the one issue of Marvel Team-Up they needed.
Can anybody do better?
Tuesday, June 11, 2019
And meanwhile, over at:
When did you graduate from superhero comics? You know what I mean: When did you first realise there actually were any other comics besides DC or Marvel?
( And before anybody says it, Dave figured it out round about the time of Crossgen... )
For me it's as clear as day. We were all round this kid Dean's house, swapping comics, and I came across these...
BEM was earth shattering enough. A fanzine?!!! You mean there are other comic fans?? What, outside Rec. Road and everything?? But Star*Reach & Eerie were revelations from the mountain itself. Jeff Jones, Berni Wrightson, Jose Ortiz, Paul Neary, Gene Day, Joe Staton, plus artists you'd never heard of, but were equally as great.
What were these comics? Where would you even get them? And what will Stan say when he finds out I'm not a True Believer anymore?
Dean, by the way, was nearly as bad as Arnold Lipshitz at swapping the good stuff, but I did manage to get that issue of Star*Reach off him...
Soon after this, me & Philbo discovered Cambridge's legendary remaindered bookshop, and subsequently made a pilgrimage there every Saturday, where we got stuff like this:
And of course, this:
Not to mention all those great Tempo newspaper strip collections, like these:
So that was it for me. That's when I fully realised there was more to life than just superheroes, and fell in love with the form of comics, rather than any specific genre, and it's why I'll read any kind of comic, as long as it's good. How about you?
Tuesday, June 4, 2019
And meanwhile, over at...
Here's a fun one that we may've skirted around previously, but I don't think outright asked. Courtesy of kiyote, who did you really want to BE when you were a kid? You can pick TV shows and movies as well as comics if you like.
Oh, and who were you like REALLY?
Me? Well, obviously I really wanted to be:
As for who I was really, I was who we all were...
How about you?
Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Guest Stars galore...
Here's a fun one: How have things changed for us Comic fans? What do I mean? Well, when we were kids, admitting that you read comics was basically an open invitation to every bully in the land to take a poke at you.
Fellow classmates ridiculed & insulted you, ( 'Comics?? Those are for little kids!' ) while grownups patronised you, if you were lucky. Remember having to placate your parents friends by telling them the only reason you collected comics was to sell them when they were worth something? Dave Berg sure did:
I often tell the story of the time me & Philbo were on the train home from a comic buying trip, sometime in the early '80's, poring through our acquisitions, and I vividly remember seeing the ticket collector openly sneering at us. Until Sean pulled a Richard Corben book out of his bag, and then the guy's expression changed to shock...
But we don't seem to live in that world anymore. Since the movies, suddenly everyone's a card carrying Marvelite, and comics are cool. ( Ok, not the comics themselves I know, just the characters, but that's a different question and not what I'm asking really ).
I have friends who go to the films and ask me who this or that character is, what happens next to them, when Stan's going to appear, and so on. Ok, I also have one friend who sat through the entirety of Endgame only to say 'Well, it was a bit silly, wasn't it?' But there's no hope for him...
We genuinely do seem to live in a world where, as Marv Wolfman said, 'We' won.
No, most people are never gonna read Black Kiss, or Maus, or even Watchmen. But you're not bullied or made fun of for liking this stuff anymore, and after a lifetime of it, that genuinely astonishes me.
I'm interested. D'you all feel the same? At risk of opening the floodgates, any experiences you'd care to share? Good or bad, from then or now...