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ron bailey
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Joined: 16 October 2016
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Posted: 30 March 2023 at 4:55pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

"Without the powerful narcotic of nostalgia, I wonder how I would respond to those old comics, so often crudely written and drawn."

I take great delight in looking back at some of those and realizing what sophisticated work was produced by creators that didn't just phone it in even though they must not have been doing their "dream" work like the generations fans-turned-pros that came after them. 

I discovered them mostly through creators speaking to who inspired them when they were coming up, and it's been amazing to see what they were capable of with such "limited" means.The two Alexes, Roth and Raymond come immediately to mind, but there are plenty of others. "Limited" is in quotes because of the power of the brush in those past eras has largely been lost in later creators. 

Anyway, this lightweight Jonny-come-lately fan thanks you for the recommendations :)
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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 30 March 2023 at 5:25pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I remember thinking I wished someone would do to the early X-Men comics what George Lucas did to THX-1138... upgrade the text lightly and have art more fully finished (so many early Marvels look like rough layouts). Now it's impossible for that to be done by Lee and/or Kirby but that was my original idea... if these comics are going to stay in print like European albums such as Tin Tin and Asterix have, refurbish them for the ages...

Now, coming back and catching up on what I missed I see there were some things like this done, but the attempt on the X-Men was maybe too altered in script, and fatally, not anywhere near top Kirby art-wise and instead in that faddish 'extreme' style of the early '90s... blechh. Anyone want a copy of Professor Xavier And The X-Men #1 (1995)? I sure don't, and I used to really like Jan Duursema art (Herb Trimpe went even further in his deformation to that style so you can have Fantastic Four Unlimited as well).

Can you imagine Avengers #1-8 with more time having gone into it originally, something like prime FF circa #44-62? Kirby's best full art and Stan thinking through a couple things that extra bit further? I suppose as with some movies that have been 'remixed' or changed in any way there are going to be people wanting the exact original (but what are back issue comic shops for? you'll just have to pay)... but I saw Blade Runner when it came out and I far prefer the later edition(s)! Okay... Star Wars I don't agree much with what Lucas added, and I did see them in the theaters.

I guess it 'is what it is' and what it was... comics here were, and to some degree still are, a cheap medium with an ephemeral dated aspect to it, plus frequency was a very firm situation in the early '60s. Lee and Kirby were turning out a lot of volume, setting a high standard in one way but paying the price in some other ways (like Vince Colletta erasing backgrounds to have pages in on time and make a living wage).

Edited by Rebecca Jansen on 30 March 2023 at 5:28pm
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Pedro Cruz
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Posted: 31 March 2023 at 9:24am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

As an european, I must say that what seduced me and continues to seduce me about those old north-american comics was precisely the brute, primitive, child-like look they have. French-belgian comics of the ligne claire school, like Tintin (especially the later "improved" editions), can be so precise and pristine that they almost look like they were done by machines. On the other hand, there is such crude humanity on the pages Kirby, Ditko and their peers did, that I can't help but feel there were actual flesh and blood individuals behind their creation.
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Craig Earl
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Posted: 31 March 2023 at 5:30pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I read those early Marvels knowing when they were produced, and so that clearly adds to the enjoyment (they are sooo clearly products of the 60's; think of that early Spider-Man issue with The Living Brain as an example). 

It's like hearing the crackles on a motown 7 inch single; it's not crystal clear - but it's better because of that.




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Doug Centers
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Posted: 31 March 2023 at 6:42pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Tho nostalgia helps smooth over some rough spots of those early stories, even back when I first read them I allowed my mind to fill in the gaps adding what I felt was the creators intent. Ah imagination...
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