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Thursday, April 12, 2007


Have to appreciate the honesty here (which I'm assuming will be quickly trampled on and shot). But this is what blogs are really about: having an avenue to say what you believe and having the world (or at least our world) comment on it. Anyway, here you go...



Power of Shazam
Screenwriter John August has an interesting primer on the character at his blog, including a pull quote that's sure to send some ripples through fandom: "DC publishes hardcover anthologies that gather up decades' worth of Captain Marvel comics. If I were writing a dissertation on the evolution of the Captain Marvel character, these would be invaluable. But I'm not. So every time I read one of these, I'm struck with the same realization I encounter trying to watch 'The Honeymooners' or a black-and-white movie: Wow. Old things suck. Yes, I know that will piss off the vintage comics fans, who insist that the original incarnations are the purest forms of a character. But what you quickly realize is that old-time comic books were awkwardly written, crudely drawn, and bewilderingly inconsistent with their rules. They were making up the art form as they went along, and today's comic books are better for the accumulated wisdom."


sammy.the.k said...

I 98% agree with him.

Unknown said...

1st time post...

It all depends how far back in years we are talking. I was able to pick a comic in the 80’s and it contained a complete story. That same book was only $.75 cents. Today everything worth picking up comes in 6 issue arcs that set fans back $25.00. I’m not saying that this is bad form of story telling but basing it on the, “accumulated wisdom" of a specific (connoisseur of comic books) individual does come into play.

Is the art and story better? Not in all cases. I picked up Byrne’s Avengers West Coast run for $.75 cents and issue and fell in love with both his plot and pencils. 15 years later I gave his $2.00 an issue Demon run a try. I only stuck around for the first few issues. He reached a new level with his penciling abilities, but after issue 5 I felt the book lost direction.

If your come back is yeah that’s Byrne for you…let’s talk Bendis. All Bendis does is take every character (book) he writes and turns it into a crime-noir feature. It makes for a hell of a tale, but keep in mind that story your reading might have already been told in the 1940’s in some pulp magazine or serial.

garv said...

Like all blanket statements, "old things suck," is simplistic and inaccurate. The same thing applies to the opposite statement. I have often heard critics lament that the movies today aren’t as good as they used to be. The truth is that from the silent era to the present day, the vast majority of films have been crap, but every once and awhile you encounter a masterwork that keeps you coming back to the theater. The same applies to comics or any art form.

The work of Buster Keaton, W.C. Fields, and Preston Sturges can stand proudly next to the work of the Coen Bros., Edgar Wright, and Terry Zwigoff.

When it comes to comics, there was great storytelling even predating the comic book form. John August should look at the work of George Herriman, Windsor McKay, E.C. Segar, Milton Caniff, Roy Crane, Hal Foster, Harold Gray, and Walt Kelly. After that, I doubt he’d be able to say “old things suck.”

Civilian Reader said...

Not all bad music sucks. Some of it sure does, but not all of it.

It's the same with "classic" movies. Yeah, some of them are great, but some of them are seriously dated and over-hyped.

There's nothing wrong with liking new things - you have to believe that new things can be improvements on past releases or whatever. After all, if there was, fewer people might have given Brad's books a chance - and that would've been a real shame.

Civilian Reader said...

Sorry, that (above) was meant to read "not all OLD music sucks". Poor editorial from me, apologies.