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Topic: What do you miss? (Comic book edition) Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Adam Schulman
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Posted: 09 July 2019 at 9:00pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Comic books being on newsstands. 

Costumes that didn't looks like they take a decade to draw. Simpler is usually better. (I really wish Wonder Woman would go back to her George Perez costume.)

I wish I could say I miss the days before Event Series but I was 12 when SECRET WARS and CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS came out. So, I was born at the wrong time, so to speak. 

Marvel seemed to be finally getting its sh*t together in the late '90s, or at least trying to do so, and then Joe Quesada, Brian Jemas and Bendis proceeded to make most Marvel books unreadable for almost 20 years. 

I miss Wolverine still having a past clouded in mystery and Charles Xavier and Cyclops not being so morally compromised. 

DC's Vertigo and Wildstorm imprints. Not every title was a gem, but some really were. 
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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 09 July 2019 at 9:30pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Lack of mature or serious capital A art/capital L literature pretensions I would say (and the prices that matched those), and yet it was good to try for that too sometimes, just not to measure everything by some standard a Gary Groth or whoever might champion by way of a b&w indy sold in specialist shops in relatively small numbers. People seriously trying to make the most extreme super person or fantasy comic as an important leap of maturity for the artform spent 95% of the time failing spectacularly I feel.

Also, how about getting the basics solid and putting things like cross-overs, another/new #1 or special anniversary number, and variant limited-edition blah-blah-blah crap further down the list? People dare to dip their toe in on a comic they don't want to feel corralled into buying a whole mess of other books and stuff 'or else'.

What the British comics had in terms of bonus posters and badges and things taped to the front page.

And yes, fun... not of an egotistical celebrity on the rise in-group type of thing but of people enjoying their jobs and wanting to share a ride with  readers as opposed to being collected or ranked against others by fans. The older pros seemed to have that even if some of them got knocked as not as 'important' or collectable as whoever the new hot flashy name may be.


Edited by Rebecca Jansen on 09 July 2019 at 9:31pm
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Bob Simko
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Posted: 09 July 2019 at 9:36pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Those 100 pagers from DC...the big Dollar comics like Adventure, and those
bags of 3 comics you'd find in drug stores and 5&10 cent store...those were
the best.
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 09 July 2019 at 9:47pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Totally agree on both counts, Bob. 
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Shane Matlock
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Posted: 09 July 2019 at 11:41pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

I miss being surprised when something came out that I wasn't expecting and finding it on the spinner rack at a local convenience store or drug store. 
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Eric Jansen
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Posted: 10 July 2019 at 3:08am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I miss...

STEVE GERBER.  He was the best writer when pencilers were king.  He missed the era of writers being top dog, and I think he would have been treated very well then.

CURT SWAN.  Sort of the other side of that coin, he was sort of shunted aside just as writers (especially British and cynical writers) were on the rise.  I wish he could have kept working during the rise of the independents.  IRREDEEMABLE showed how a Swan mimic could do quite well in the modern era, and I would have liked to see Swan try his hand at crime stories like ROAD TO PERDITION and licensed classic characters (that are flooding the market these days) like DOC SAVAGE and THE PHANTOM.

MARVEL MAGAZINES.  I loved the format, color, and story approach of Marvel's magazines in the 70's & 80's.  The MOON KNIGHT feature in the back of THE HULK magazine is probably my all-time favorite comic.  And I enjoyed the b&w magazines too!  (Also loved THE SPIRIT MAGAZINE!)

MARVEL TEAM-UP and BRAVE AND THE BOLD.  Why can't we just have fun things like team-up comics again?

MARVEL PREMIERE and SHOWCASE.  Some of my all-time favorite comics are a lot of these one-shots (or two or three-parters) that gave great origin stories or new starts.

And I miss ONE VERSION of each character!  I'm so sick of, for example, the movie Superman being different than the Superman who appears on SUPERGIRL, versus the two previous movie Supermans, and the New 52 Superman versus the CRISIS Superman or Frank Miller's Superman or Straczynski's version, etc.  (When I was a kid, there were TWO versions of Superman--the Earth-1 version and the Earth-2 version--and they felt like separate characters to me...and I liked both of them!)
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Adam Schulman
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Posted: 10 July 2019 at 12:48pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Steve Gerber is my favorite superhero writer of the '70s. His DEFENDERS issues alone put him at the top. The guy did "weird" better than anybody else. 

I agree with Eric about Curt Swan. Put him with the right inker -- like the late, brilliant Al Williamson -- and suddenly there's nothing "dated" about his style. 
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Ray Brady
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Posted: 10 July 2019 at 7:53pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I miss there being a sense of history behind these characters. I miss having the feeling that I basically understood who any given character was, and with a little effort, could eventually catch up on their entire biography. These days I can't look at a new title without having to question what version of a character I'm looking at.

When I look at the July solicitations for Marvel, it seems about a third of the titles are #1s. I'm not seeing any issue numbers above the low 40s. So when I see Captain America #12, I have to wonder, what exactly happened 12 issues ago? Was the series just renumbered as a marketing gimmick? Was the title rebooted? Was the entire Marvel universe rebooted? If I pick up an issue of Captain America from two years ago, am I reading the same character?

Why does Venom have a higher new issue number than Captain America? Why do the Runaways have a higher number than the Fantastic Four? Why is Squirrel Girl the most mature series in the entire line-up?

Once upon a time, I could go into a comic shop and find the latest issue of the X-Men on the rack. If I liked issue 123, I could go find issue 122 with high confidence that I would be reading about the same characters. At present, I have no confidence that I understand who any of these people are.
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Conrad Teves
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Posted: 10 July 2019 at 8:47pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Agree on the fun. Too much angst nowadays.
Spinner racks. (with sampler packs!)
One-shots.
Also (and not the industry's fault, obviously), summer vacations from school where I had nothing more pressing to concern myself with than going down to a convenience store or gas station to peruse the spinner rack. I'd plop down a buck for a comic book, a can of soda, and a candy bar.  I really miss that.  Didn't know how good I had it.

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Peter Martin
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Posted: 10 July 2019 at 9:15pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

A key thing that was crazily good at the time I started going Marvel nuts was that you didn't have to be a discerning buyer. Take your pick, you were in for a treat. Walt on Thor. JB on FF. Claremont and JR Jr on X-Men. Mazuchelli on DD. Stern and Buscema on Avengers. Doc Bright on Iron Man. Defalco and Frenz on Spider-Man. This was on offer when I started out. Put on a blindfold, reach out to the spinner rack; you couldn't go wrong!
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Koroush Ghazi
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Posted: 11 July 2019 at 8:45am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Good point Peter. The newsagents near me didn't stock the popular titles in sufficient quantities, so some months if I couldn't find the books I wanted I'd opt for an alternative Marvel book or two to keep me entertained. It was pretty uncommon for me to feel ripped off, as they all had their charms. Frequent cross-references and guest appearances also made it feel like I was still reading a story that was part of the same universe.
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Eric Ladd
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Posted: 11 July 2019 at 9:10am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

As with many of you, I miss not knowing. Sometime in the late 80's to early 90's it became fashionable to know something about a comic or character before it's release. A status symbol for whatever reason. Now that we have the alternative and things can rarely if ever be revealed in a meaningful way I would much rather go back to vague, misleading ads along with waiting a month for things to unfold.
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