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Topic: "Marvel Comics, The Untold Story" (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post ReplyPost New Topic
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David Miller
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Posted: 13 January 2013 at 11:08am | IP Logged | 1  

As a kid I though it was cool when creators switched companies. I wonder I fans got mad at Neal Adams for his X-Men run. 
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David Plunkert
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Posted: 13 January 2013 at 11:33am | IP Logged | 2  

My guess is that the more naturalistic work of  the artists that followed Kirby: Buscema, Colan, Romita, etc reflected a ground shift of reader and/or editorial taste and the appearance of Adams was an earthquake. Style aside... Marvel had more artists doing more comics by the mid 60s and Kirby's presence was much less pervasive.

The artists coming in the mid 70's (J. Byrne, Cockrum, Mike Grell, Starlin, Brunner, etc) Sure looked like they were influenced more by Adams and Steranko than Kirby on a surface level. The Kirby influence is still there but its not a driving force.

The exception being Rich Buckler's Kirby cribbing in the mid 70's.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 13 January 2013 at 11:37am | IP Logged | 3  

As a kid I though it was cool when creators switched companies. I wonder I fans got mad at Neal Adams for his X-Men run.

••

A thing to keep in mind is that "brand loyalty" is a fairly specific phenomenon. The greater number of readers, back in the day, followed characters, not companies, and not artists. It wasn't really much of concern where particular artists were working. And many a kid wondered why his favorite characters didn't meet up more often, oblivious to the fact that they belonged to different companies.

(This persists in civilians. I mentioned a while back that a family I'd just met visited the Studio during the holidays. Mom, Dad, two teenage daughters. I was showing them the art on the walls, and giving them mini-history lessons, and they seemed somewhat perplexed when I tried to explain to them the significance of the two spreads I have from the first SUPERMAN vs THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. I could not quite impress upon them that this was, in its day, a BIG DEAL. The idea that Superman and Spider-Man belonged to different publishers seemed somewhat elusive.)

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Robert Bradley
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Posted: 13 January 2013 at 12:05pm | IP Logged | 4  

David - I would say that the early work by George Perez had a lot of Kirby in it, and so did Keith Giffen.

Herb Trimpe and Barry Windsor-Smith (both a little earlier I'll admit) were greatly influenced by Kirby (or perhaps even instructed to draw like him like Buckler was on the Fantastic Four).

The great thing about the top artists in the '60s (Romita, Kirby, Kane, Buscema, Colan, Swan, Schaffenberger, Heck, Infantino, Adams, Sekowsky, Andru, Ditko, Wood) is that their styles were all distinctive.  You knew who the artist was immediately, even without looking at the credits.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 13 January 2013 at 12:22pm | IP Logged | 5  

The great thing about the top artists in the '60s (Romita, Kirby, Kane, Buscema, Colan, Swan, Schaffenberger, Heck, Infantino, Adams, Sekowsky, Andru, Ditko, Wood) is that their styles were all distinctive. You knew who the artist was immediately, even without looking at the credits.

••

Why, you must be mistaken, Robert! As we know -- being constantly told so by ennui-engorged fanboys -- Marvel in the 60s had a "house style" and EVERYONE was required to draw that way!!!

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John Byrne
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Posted: 13 January 2013 at 12:25pm | IP Logged | 6  

The artists coming in the mid 70's (J. Byrne, Cockrum, Mike Grell, Starlin, Brunner, etc) Sure looked like they were influenced more by Adams and Steranko than Kirby on a surface level. The Kirby influence is still there but its not a driving force.

••

My principle influence, coming in, was definitely Neal*, but there were elements of Kirby and Ditko, and ghosts of Bellamy and Hampson lurking about!

––––

* Some may know I "auditioned" for an issue of CAPTAIN AMERICA, back in my fan days. Writer Steve Englehart showed the pages to Neal, who's response was reported to me as "This is okay ME, but what can HE do?"

(Years later, Neal did a DOOMSDAY + 1 pinup for CHARLTON BULLSEYE. Upon seeing it, my first thought was "This isn't very good Neal." Then I looked again, and realized what it WAS, was REALLY good ME!)

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Robert Bradley
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Posted: 13 January 2013 at 12:42pm | IP Logged | 7  

Why, you must be mistaken, Robert! As we know -- being constantly told so by ennui-engorged fanboys -- Marvel in the 60s had a "house style" and EVERYONE was required to draw that way!!!

I think it's a common mistake that fans make - there might have been a house style of storytelling (with Kirby showing Buscema, Romita & Steranko with layouts as an example), but the art for Marvel & DC at the time had a lot of variety.

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David Plunkert
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Posted: 13 January 2013 at 12:54pm | IP Logged | 8  

David - I would say that the early work by George Perez had a lot of Kirby in it, and so did Keith Giffen.

Herb Trimpe and Barry Windsor-Smith (both a little earlier I'll admit) were greatly influenced by Kirby (or perhaps even instructed to draw like him like Buckler was on the Fantastic Four).

iiiii

I agree Robert, especially about Trimpe and BWS. Although Smith developed away from Kirby after a few years.
Giffen was definitely strongly influenced by Kirby but he's coming in a bit later than the mid 70's crew of artists. 
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David Plunkert
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Posted: 13 January 2013 at 1:03pm | IP Logged | 9  

My principle influence, coming in, was definitely Neal*, but there were elements of Kirby and Ditko, and ghosts of Bellamy and Hampson lurking about!

iii

To my eyes... the Ditko influence comes through on your FF run.
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Eric Smearman
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Posted: 13 January 2013 at 1:47pm | IP Logged | 10  

^ I agree. I think I saw it mostly in your inking at the time.

Edited by Eric Smearman on 13 January 2013 at 1:56pm
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Robert White
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Posted: 13 January 2013 at 2:41pm | IP Logged | 11  

I think the reaction to Kirby around the time the New Gods ended had a lot to do with the rise of Neal Adams's style and other similar artists coming into the field. I myself didn't "get" Kirby when I started reading comics and flat out didn't like his style. Watching a recent Kirby documentary, I noticed that it seemed to be split on who liked Kirby and who didn't when they first encountered him. (Walt Simonson and Barry Smith loved him, while Neal Adams and a few others didn't initially.) 

I of course have completely reversed my positions and now view him as one of the greatest artists and stylists to ever work in the medium, rivaled only by the likes of Eisner, Moebius and a few others. 

This being said, I agree that Kirby benefited greatly from the "sharpness" Lee brought to the dialog and the overall emotional tone of the comics. 
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Jason Czeskleba
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Posted: 13 January 2013 at 4:58pm | IP Logged | 12  

 David Miller wrote:
As a kid I though it was cool when creators switched companies. I wonder I fans got mad at Neal Adams for his X-Men run.


Adams didn't leave DC to work for Marvel, however; he was working for both companies concurrently.  The year he drew X-Men he was also the regular artist for The Brave and the Bold, and continued to draw many covers for DC.

As a kid I didn't like it when a creator I liked left a title I liked, regardless of whether it was because they were switching companies or just switching to another assignment for the same company.  I wouldn't say I got "mad" but I felt disappointed when it happened.


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David Plunkert
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Posted: 13 January 2013 at 11:25pm | IP Logged | 13  

I of course have completely reversed my positions and now view him as one of the greatest artists and stylists to ever work in the medium, rivaled only by the likes of Eisner, Moebius and a few others. 

iiii

Robert, hopefully my opinions on why Kirby was denied extra compensation won't be confused with my evaluation of his work. Kirby is by far my favorite comic book artist and I count him as a major influence.







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Joel Tesch
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Posted: 14 January 2013 at 9:39am | IP Logged | 14  

I don't disagree but isn't that kind of what DC did? They hyped Kirby is Coming!, gave him his own little corner of the universe to create, and it didn't translate into sales. We all look back and realize that it was great stuff but there was no appreciation at the time. When Jack returned to Marvel, the creativity was still there but the sales weren't. To some, it probably looked like Kirby needed Lee to sell comics. 

Hard to argue with that, isn't it?

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Peter Hicks
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Posted: 14 January 2013 at 10:38am | IP Logged | 15  

JB - When the news broke that you were leaving Marvel to revamp Superman, was the reaction from Marvel corporate-type staffers one of hostility, or did they wish you well hoping you might come back one day?
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John Byrne
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Posted: 14 January 2013 at 11:14am | IP Logged | 16  

JB - When the news broke that you were leaving Marvel to revamp Superman, was the reaction from Marvel corporate-type staffers one of hostility, or did they wish you well hoping you might come back one day?

••

First, remember that I was not originally leaving Marvel. I had already planned to scale back on the FF, doing the writing only, with the possibility of John Romita Jr taking on the art. I intended to continue working on Marvel books at the same time I handled what was expected to be a single Superman title.

Mike Hobson, then head of Publishing, wished me luck. He said he thought this would be good for DC, "and anything that good for DC will be good for the industry, and so good for Marvel."

Shooter, meanwhile, ordered massive rewriting and redrawing of the return of Jean Grey issue of FANTASTIC FOUR -- an issue he had approved in full just a few weeks before.

And THAT was when I realized I would have no choice but to leave Marvel.

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Fred J Chamberlain
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Posted: 14 January 2013 at 11:17am | IP Logged | 17  

Just got ahold of both Origins of Marvel Comics as well as Sons of
Origins. Looking forward to the nostalgia of revisiting these volumes as
well as reading Stan's reflections, since I avoided those pages when
first coming into contact with the books. Between this, Dan Dare
volumes, various fiction and non-fiction works and original art leads that
I find here...... this place is killing my bank account!!
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John Byrne
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Posted: 14 January 2013 at 11:53am | IP Logged | 18  

... this place is killing my bank account!!

••

You're welcome!

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Greg Woronchak
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Posted: 14 January 2013 at 12:34pm | IP Logged | 19  

Just got ahold of both Origins of Marvel Comics as well as Sons of
Origins

Bring on the Bad Guys
and Greatest Super-Hero Battles are worth getting as well (sorry <g>).
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Fred J Chamberlain
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Posted: 14 January 2013 at 12:35pm | IP Logged | 20  

I remember the first as well as the Women of Marvel book. I'll likely track down these two as time goes on.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 14 January 2013 at 1:50pm | IP Logged | 21  

…the Women of Marvel book

••

THE SUPERHERO WOMEN -- one of the all-time clumsy titles!!

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Stephen Robinson
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Posted: 14 January 2013 at 2:03pm | IP Logged | 22  

JB: I had already planned to scale back on the FF, doing the writing only, with the possibility of John Romita Jr taking on the art. I intended to continue working on Marvel books at the same time I handled what was expected to be a single Superman title.

SER: If I could only invent "sliding" technology so I could visit the parallel universe with a Byrne/JRjr FF run!

Regarding Superman, it occurs to me how fans usually refer to the '60s-era Superman as the "Weisinger" Superman and the '70s-era Superman as the "Schwartz" version. However, fans will refer to the character you worked on as the "JB" or "Man of Steel" Superman. My point with this is that it felt like DC putting a toe in the water -- the changes are all connected to one artist and essentially one run, and once the artist leaves, the changes could leave with him. It would seem to me that if DC's intent was to overhaul Superman, it needed to put editorial full support behind it -- no one thinks of the late '80s version of Superman as the Helfer or Carlin-era Superman.

(Unfortunately and with all respect to Carlin, what I think of as his "mark" on the character is the "triangle" concept, in which the books were essentially weekly... and very frustrating to read as back issues. In fact, I revisit them rarely for this reason. What I loved about the book when JB was on it was that each title had its own "feel.")

****
JB: Mike Hobson, then head of Publishing, wished me luck. He said he thought this would be good for DC, "and anything that good for DC will be good for the industry, and so good for Marvel."

Shooter, meanwhile, ordered massive rewriting and redrawing of the return of Jean Grey issue of FANTASTIC FOUR -- an issue he had approved in full just a few weeks before.

SER: Shooter is a fascinating character. Whenever I read his account of events, I'm not sure if he's lying to others or actually lying to himself. Though I suppose it's all academic as you're ultimately being lied to.

He seems to lack the self-awareness to concede that such a strong negative reaction toward him and his actions by a variety of people can't translate into "I was a good man, good boss, who never made any mistakes." At least concede that mistakes were made, that there were things you regret, even if your overall intentions were benign.
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David Plunkert
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Posted: 14 January 2013 at 11:08pm | IP Logged | 23  

First, remember that I was not originally leaving Marvel. I had already planned to scale back on the FF, doing the writing only, with the possibility of John Romita Jr taking on the art.

iiii

...well.... that probably would have been cool. 




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Flavio Sapha
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Posted: 15 January 2013 at 4:27am | IP Logged | 24  

JB, ever talk to Shooter about the LOSH?
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John Byrne
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Posted: 15 January 2013 at 5:31am | IP Logged | 25  

JB, ever talk to Shooter about the LOSH?

••

Good heavens, no!!

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