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Topic: eternals....was jack kirby ahead of his time? (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post ReplyPost New Topic
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John Byrne
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Posted: 28 June 2006 at 5:22am | IP Logged | 1  

I picked up issue 1 of Gaiman's Eternals and
thought it was interesting
enough. Not original mind you but interesting.

***

Only "interesting"? But, my God man! This is
Gaiman showing us how (in his own words) Kirby
"got it wrong". Surely it must be BRILLIANT!
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Darren Taylor
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Posted: 28 June 2006 at 5:38am | IP Logged | 2  

The breif times I've seen Alan Davis draw those characters I've been tantalised. People like JB and Alan seem to plug into these characters in the spirit in which I imagine they must have been created and it's annoyingly frustrating to catch only glimpses of their takes on the characters.


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John Byrne
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Posted: 28 June 2006 at 5:50am | IP Logged | 3  

I think one of the reasons I like Alan Davis' work as much as I do derives from that fact that he and I seem to have very similar "philosophies" to approaching the characters and concepts. That is, neither of us are embarassed by doing superheroes, and neither of us feel any great need to assure our potential audience that we, too, understand how silly these things are. No winks, in other words.

Kirby was the same. He could do the most outrageous stuff -- "Goody" Rickles?? -- but always with a perfectly straight face. He knew that pointing out that the Emperor has no clothes belonged in separate, parody stories, not in the stories proper.

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Darren Taylor
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Posted: 28 June 2006 at 6:15am | IP Logged | 4  

And there in lies perhaps the litmus test between those in the industry that should and shouldn't be doing the work!

I mean it's one thing to say that when fans begin to demand "more" from the comic characters they read that perhaps they should move on. The same maybe true for the proffessionals who feel that they -need- to point out that the Emperor is in fact naked!

There would be any number of publishers prepared to produce this materials so it's not like they would be out of work, just not damaging the characters that were pre-existing.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 28 June 2006 at 6:32am | IP Logged | 5  

Problem is, we now have a high percentage of "Winkers" in the business, playing to a high percentage of same in the audience.

As the marketplace has shrunk, especially following the collapse of the Speculator Boom, we have seen the long-term, hardcore fans become a larger and large presence, even tho their actual numbers remained unchanged. Many of those, as we see here each day, are able to "play the game" and accept superhero comics for what they were intended to be. Many (as we also see here from time to time) are not. Since a substantial portion of those who have made the cross from fan to pro fall into the latter group, alas we see far too many instances of writers and artists being "clever" and playing to the wrong part of the audience.

Wrong, at least, in terms of any hopes for a recovery of this industry. I can't imagine potential new readers being turned on by stories that basically tell them how stupid the characters and concepts "really" are.

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Darren Taylor
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Posted: 28 June 2006 at 6:45am | IP Logged | 6  

For me as a child I liked lots of flash and no substance. Sound belittling to say so but as a kid do we worry about paying taxes or mortgages? No. We are quite ignorant of life and concentrate soley on living.

So the same is true of our demands on our entertainment[edited to add] the romantic stuff got in the way of all the Lightsabre action in Star Wars for example[end of edit]. The games we play and the comics we read should reflect that. (This is not to say that there isn't a market for other types of comics it just feels that there is no longer the option there for kids)

I was less interested in Peter Parkers problems but more interested in seeing Spiderman swing through the city, trounce some bad guys and fire off some quips.

As I grew and matured Peter's problems seemed to add a little more substance to a character I already enjoyed and on rereading the original material I see that it was always that way, not some recently dreamed up retcon.

If I was reading comics as a kid now I doubt I'd have gone beyond my original purchase. The first comic I ever picked up was an Atari Force by Garcia Lopez and this was sheer randomness at work because here in Scotland at the time it really was a lottery what turned up in the Newsagent. What would I get if I  randomly chose something from what's on offer these days.

I'm a father and my children  have a passing interest in comics. This interest is only because the have access to my old comics and not because the local shop carries anything that interests them or that their Father would allow them to buy.


Edited by Darren Taylor on 28 June 2006 at 6:46am
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Brian Hunt
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Posted: 28 June 2006 at 7:39am | IP Logged | 7  

I've always liked the concept of the Eternals and I totally "geeked out" when I saw John Romita Jr's name attached to the project.  I buy anything that he pencils the same way I buy anything with JB's name attached.  The first issue was OK, and I'm looking forward to the rest. Gaiman's name on the project doesn't move me one way or the other.  JB's post on Chariot Of The Gods has me actively Googling to see what that's about.
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Karl Bollers
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Posted: 28 June 2006 at 7:44am | IP Logged | 8  

Slightly behind the times, really. Even the most staunch Kirby-boosters (of which I am definitely one!) admit he cribbed most of this from "Chariots of the Gods". That book was already eight years old (and largely discredited) by the time Kirby launched THE ETERNALS (original title "Return of the Gods".)
****
True, but in Kirby's mind he probably thought that he was presenting or (representing) the material for kids as opposed to adults, kids who might not have been necessarily familiar with "Chariots of the Gods."
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Karl Bollers
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Posted: 28 June 2006 at 7:51am | IP Logged | 9  

Only "interesting"? But, my God man! This is
Gaiman showing us how (in his own words) Kirby
"got it wrong". Surely it must be BRILLIANT!
*****
I read it last week, and as a big Kirby and Eternals fan, I was pleased to see that Gaiman wasn't acting as if Kirby "got it wrong." It was actually very true to the spirit of "the King" and didn't disavow his work at all. So far, it's a refreshing homage. I can't get  the next issue soon enough.


Edited by Karl Bollers on 28 June 2006 at 7:55am
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Jonathan Weiss
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Posted: 28 June 2006 at 7:55am | IP Logged | 10  

Only "interesting"? But, my God man! This is
Gaiman showing us how (in his own words) Kirby
"got it wrong". Surely it must be BRILLIANT!

***********

Know what you mean. Haven't been too impressed with anything Gaiman has
done in recent years - especially the Marvel stuff. I can't help but remember
the line that was once said by Paul McCartney (talk about crossing threads)
"People thought the BEATLES were anti-materialistic. That's a huge myth.
John and I literally used to sit down and say, ''Now, let's write a swimming
pool.'' In my mind, the same goes for folks like Miller and Gaiman when they
play with superheroes.
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Richard Stevens
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Posted: 28 June 2006 at 9:01am | IP Logged | 11  

My reading of Gaiman's first issue is that it happens after the Kirby series.
Am I reading it right?

I found the Eternals via back issues in the late 1990s, and it was love at first
sight. This new series doesn't slam me over the head like Kirby did, but
who could? I think it still looks pretty good, even compared to the King.
(JRJR is carrying a great deal of the power on this project)
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Simon Matthew Park
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Posted: 28 June 2006 at 9:28am | IP Logged | 12  

Chariots Of The Gods by Erich Von Daniken (and The Day The Gods died by his partner in literary crime, Walter Ernsting) is hilarious stuff. Bad science, but great entertainment. Personally I'll read anything with Von Daniken's name on it, for pure entertainment value. I'd also suggest Return To The Stars and The Stones Of Kiribati, if you're looking for pure, unbridled hilarity. Just don't believe a word of what you're reading, and you'll have a great time.

Oh yeah, and the Mana Machine has to be read to be disbelieved (another contribution by Ernsting). Don't say you weren't warned!

 

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