Blog Archives

The change of illusion

Six li’l issues of The Avengers. Do they really bear the whole weight of the history of Marvel Comics, and perhaps even of fan culture’s creative intestinal torsion? It can’t be that simple, but even at age thirteen-fourteen, I knew something was happening.

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Context!

I love me a timeline. This one’s built mostly from Sean Howe’s Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, mainly because I couldn’t help but scribble it out as I went along. In the year since I did that, so many of my posts presume knowledge of the content that it’s simply good sense to get the thing on-line for reference.

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And the horse you rode in on

visionhyperionAsk any comics fan: over thataway is Marvel and it’s [insert string of fervent adjectives and loaded nouns], and over thisaway is DC and it’s [insert string of fervent adjectives and loaded nouns]. You choose your flag and you wave it. The rest are fringe. As my Brit Lit informed me, it’s “RCs to the right, Prods to the left, and fancy buggers in the middle.”

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Stillborn

newuniverse2This is the fourth post in my accidental series regarding several retries to recapture the early Marvel spirit, including Give me liberty, I, said the Fly, Striking twice, some day, and here, as promised at last, the New Universe.

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It is unwise to annoy cartoonists

lifeinhell2One does not discuss superhero comics without considering John Byrne most seriously. Read the rest of this entry

Hitting bottom

Grrr! Fear me! Is anyone listening?

Grrr! Fear me! Is anyone listening?

In stories, there is just about nothing worse than the evil of evil failing to be evil. This post concerns the supervillain whose single contribution to comics is to provide the gauge of bad-guy quality with its lowest indicated reading. Read the rest of this entry

EEEEEEAARRRHHAHH!

woodgod1Woodgod – oh my I loved this. It was Marvel Premiere 31, bought with my own hands and much revered – I’m sad not to have it today. Even now it stands as Bill Mantlo’s redemption for me.

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Today is for taboo III: Mess-Factor

xfactor14This is the third of three posts about Marvel mutantdom in the late 1970s and 1980s; the previous two were Today is for taboo and Today is for taboo II.

I’ll open with perhaps the most rage-inducing comics-geek phrase I can produce: I like Cyclops better than Wolverine. Read the rest of this entry

Fwafe fonflif!

cerebus81I saw Cerebus the Aardvark #1 on the stands in my comics shop in Monterey; I was twelve. Read the rest of this entry

Explain the Legion to me

1958, Al Plastino

1958, Otto Binder (writer) & Al Plastino (art)

I promise to ask this with humility and respect if you promise to answer without blithering. Blithering about the Legion of Superheroes seems to be almost a whole subset of comics fandom, comparable perhaps to Glorantha moonbats such as myself in the role-playing hobby. Jacobs & Jones’ The Comic Book Heroes, not otherwise sentimental, breaks down into slobbers about it for a whole chapter. I am sure someone out there can manage better.

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‘Verse this

Cool! We nailed it! Oh wait ... why can't it move? And it seems unable to breathe ... and its wrists are bleeding ...

Cool! We got it all stretched out up there and we nailed it! Oh wait … why can’t it move? And it seems unable to breathe … and its wrists are bleeding …

It’s the worst thing ever to happen to my experience of Marvel and other superhero comics.

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Never heard of’em

... which happen to be our very own writers and editors!

… which happen to be our very own writers and editors!

I’d been reading comics for about four years. I had read Origin of Marvel Comics, and Son of Origins, I’d struggled with The Steranko History of Comics volume 1,  I had my issues of FOOM coming in the mail, and I had an envelope stuffed with Marvel Value Stamps. I was eleven, I was finally afforded an allowance that didn’t vanish with a single candy bar, and more than anything in the world, and as far as real life is concerned, considering I’d already met Leonard Nimoy, I wanted to be in on the ground floor of a new, world-beating, mighty Marvel comic magazine. Read the rest of this entry

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