We’re wrapping up the first issue right now and the series should debut in the fall.
Speaking of splendid artwork, if you look below you’ll find a page by my extraordinarily talented Savior 28 collaborator Mike Cavallaro. It’s from a story called “That Which Is Most Needed”—our contribution to the upcoming Occupy Comics benefit book, proceeds of which will go to support the Occupy movement. (Hmmmm. That narrator looks awfully familiar...)
Something else I want to bring to your attention is the Albany Comic Con: a one-day affair that takes place on June 10th in (no surprise) Albany, New York. I’ll be there along with Ron Marz, Jim Starlin, Matthew Dow Smith, Todd Dezago, the legendary Joe Sinnott and a host of others. Cons like this are the anti-SDCC—providing an intimate environment where comic book fans and creators can mingle freely and no movie stars need apply. More info right here.
Finally, a gentle reminder that my Mighty Thor Annual will be in stores on June 6. “Scrier’s Game” is a decidedly cosmic tale featuring the thunder god, the Silver Surfer, Galactus, Scrier, Oblivion and the enigmatic entity called The Other. (Here’s a Newsarama interview I did about the project back in April.) The art is by Richard Elson,who deftly combines Buscema-like elegance with Kirbyesque power. (Don’t ask me why the page below—provided by Marvel.com—says this is from the 2011 annual. Unless of course Thor used his hammer to travel back in time and took our story along with him.)
The Adventures of Augusta Wind is ©copyright 2012 J.M. DeMatteis & Vassilis Gogtzilas; “That Which Is Most Needed” is ©copyright 2012 J.M. DeMatteis & Mike Cavallaro; Thor is, of course, ©2012 Marvel Entertainment (but let’s not forget that he was created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee).
Some great thoughts on demonizing others, JMD. I agree you with that most people want to do right by others, and that includes politicians and the wealthy. Life has its share of temptations for rich and poor alike that distract us from simple human kindness, which is why it's always nice to read gentle reminders of a basic truth I think we all understand (but sometimes forget).ReplyDelete
Augusta Wind looks great, and you know I'm always excited whenever you do work for Marvel! I'll admit I'm not current with Scrier's status quo, so I look forward to seeing who and what he really is. Again!
Now if you can just do a Judas Traveller story...
Does Judas Traveller still exist in the Marvel Universe, David? He's certainly a character ripe for a relaunch.ReplyDelete
Glad you liked the preview of the OCCUPY story. It's one I'm very proud of. And be sure to let me know what you think of the THOR story when it comes out next month.
I don't know if he does or not! Last I recall, he was revealed to be a mutant who deluded himself into thinking he was centuries old. When some of his posse betrayed him, the loyal ones whisked him off and he was never seen again. I liked it when he was more like the Beyonder, to be honest. A guy who's as powerful as he says and messing with other people's minds just to see what makes them tick.ReplyDelete
I think there was real potential for a "This Man, This Monster!" kind of moment, where Judas learned to value others by looking at the world through Peter's eyes.
I will definitely let you (and everyone else who will listen) know what I think about the Thor story.
And have fun with IMAGINATION 201...I wish I could be there, but I guess I'll have to settle for dropping by in astral form!
I never bought the "deluded mutant" explanation. I thought Judas was a fascinating character in his own right; maybe a little too powerful for the Spider-Man universe...but ripe for exploration, down through the centuries.Delete
Leaving for the workshop in just a few minutes, David: I'll keep my eyes peeled for your astral form!
I've been longing for a new Demattes Thor Story ever since you "Thor: Chaos Misunderstanding" story. And I am sure that this Augusta wind stuff will be good as well, lets just Ihopw I can remember about it come pull list day.
And as far as this Albany comic con jazz goes, I think it looks (as the kids say), " Up tight out of sight, everything is going to be alright... with a splash of bondiggity, yo." Yes, I clearly have my finger on the pulse of youth culture. It looks like what a comic show should be... a comic show. Too many shows have pushed comics to a second thought, with far less effort going to get comic folk than getting2nd and 3rd rate TV and Movie people. Sadly however Albany is a tad to far of a drive from Detroit.
Wishing you nothing, but goodwill and hipness from here to the stars,
You're right about the Albany Con, Jack: there's a real charm (and sadly a real rarity) about a convention that's JUST for comics. Those are the ones I enjoy most.Delete
Hope you like the Thor story. Check back in and let me know!
This will be the first Marvel comic I've bought in about 2 years.ReplyDelete
I'm flat out excited to see Scrier and the Other revisited, the DeMatteis run in SS vol. 3 was probably my favorite run on that title, mainly because the characterization of the Surfer (both personality and power) was so spot on and so different than the more mundane Starlin/Marz interpretation that seemed to have settled in on the title.
Just don't show Galactus disrespected and I'll be ecstatic. :-)
Very glad I could get you to pick up a Marvel again, Benjamin, and I hope you enjoy "Scrier's Game." Don't worry about Galactus: I wouldn't dream of disrespecting him! In fact, in the course of the story he proves, once again, that he is not to be messed with; and that even the other cosmic entities would do well to tread carefully around him.Delete
Thanks for checking in. And be sure to let me know if you enjoyed the THOR ANNUAL (or if you didn't!). Best -- JMD
Just checking back in to let you know I LOVED Thor Annual! Loved the "retcon" of Mikaboshi (it needed to be done), loved the portrayal of Thor and Surfer; and boy you weren't kidding when you said Galactus wouldn't be disrespected.Delete
Great issue, WELL worth the money!
The only problem now is that I want to see more of Scrier & The Other.
If Marvel gives you a Surfer reboot, I'm definitely on board.
Very glad you enjoyed it, Benjamin. As someone reared on Kirby, I love the comic book "gods" and it was great fun tossing all those characters together into a cosmic stew.Delete
I'd love another crack at the Surfer. One of my two or three all-time favorite characters.
Well Mr. Dematteis, I suppose the time has come for those recommendations you asked for oh, so long ago.ReplyDelete
Well, there was this comic by a writer I'm sure you never heard called the Life and Times of Savior 28. Truly it was one of the bes... I kid. I'm not just going to blow smoke at you. However this does leave us folk with a bit of a challenge. First off, the time frame. "The past decade," is a some what vague term. Do you mean exactly a decade? as in 2002? or like the decade that recently ended? is 2000 the year to back to? Or is it more round robin? do the late 90's count? add on to that the pressure of picking the right one. I mean who is to say what we think is the best, you'll agree with.
Well here it goes, to save complications, the review will start with another post. and to save time I'll be as precise, yet long-winded as possible.
Well, for starters the last decade of comics, in my humble opion did not start off so well. Until about 2006 I was more or less on autopilot. Sure there where some quality tales, but I rarely felt I was seeing anything to write home about. Titles were more or less dropped then picked up again later. And to make it worse stories were expanded to way more issues than they needed to be in mainstream books (a trend that sadly continues). And Writers were brought in from Hollywood, some good, some bad, but almost all cave Straczynski treated it as a hobby causing huge Delays and agrivated fans. And worst of all, I was a long time fan who STILL seemed lost in the Marvel confusion. And as far as DC goes, look I like DC just fine but I'm marvel guy when the day is done (and a Batophile), but a lot of it still seemed off to me. So why did I say all this? Just to be clear. I want my opinions t be known now. Anyway though, the back half of the decade seemed to get better. It finally seemed like comics again.ReplyDelete
So, here it goes...
For starters, I'm going to go with a pair of mini-series:
1) "Silver Surfer: Requiem"- An alternate time line story which portrays the final days of the Silver Surfer. I love ol' chrome dome, and I found this to be very loving tribute. It is both old and new. It does something with the Silver Surfer no one else ever did, or even thought possible, but also felt sort of like a continuation of of the spirit of the old Lee- Buscema tales. I would recommend this to long time fans and brand new readers. It is one of those stories that really stays with you. A truly touching tale.
2) "Fantastic Four: Unstable Molecules"- A tale of the F.F. as they could have been. The idea behind the tale is the fictional concept that Stan and Jack based the F.F. on real people., We see all for of them as they are in the comics, only sans powers and stuck in the 1950's. It is easy to spout off all the cosmic tales the $ endures, but in the end it is the personalities and the drama that came along with us that made us fans, and this highlights it. It is as close to a Harvey Pekar written F.F. tale as one can get. If I may borrow a line from a review... "You almost expect them to dawn there costumes at the end of it." A story which shows they may be Marvel's first family,. but they were comics first dysfunctional one.
Now some Weird choices:
1) Captain America #600, but not all of it.- Okay the thing is this, it's a good story, but "best" no... except one little back up feature. A story written by Mark Waid about the then believed dead Steve Rogers' personal belongings being auctioned off. It includes his police Badge, a peace flag he once marched with, his avengers I.D. card, some comic pages drawn by ol' Rogers himself. It is a nice look back at his history, but it is also a representation of what he meant to all us fans, and the fluidity of the American dream. There is also a tale in in it about Ms. Rosentals life, a very good story, but best? maybe just a tad shy of it. still very good.
2)Action Comics 900- I am not a Superman fan. I did however by this issue for a family member, and read this very moving tale. In this issue is a 10 p[age story of Jor-el's attempts to get Kal off Krypton. Once again, not a Superman fan, but even I dug this. A true showing of parental love, but not only in the way you are thinking. I think it is best said with a line from this tale, "I know it is a lot to ask, for a child that isn't even yours."
Don't worry there is a bit more coming, along with hopefullythe return of... my old closing line.
Now for the (hopefully) final batch.ReplyDelete
Fantastic Four: Yes Mr. McDuffie's run on F.F. was great, and the current run is pretty great, but if I had to say just one F.F. run of the past decade, it would be Mark Waid's. He Knew what he was doing. It was one of the few pre-2006 comics that was truly great, that I really couldn't wait to read. True, it starts a tad slow, but once it hits it's stride by the story "Unthinkable" the book was on an unstoppable roll.
X-Factor: Peter David returned to X-factor it has been unbelievable. He took the 3 most beloved and associated charaters from his first run (Madrox - my personal fave x-character, Strong Guy, and Wolfsbane) along with a host of other 2nd-5th string characters and made something special. A deep blend of pathos, noir intrigue, humor, characterization, and classic style superheroes tales, and excluding the messiness of every other X-book ever, this is a classic run still going on to this day. If ever you were a fan of Peter David this is totally worth looking into. Be warned though, it technically starts in the Madrox mini series. Characters you never gave a second thought about (like say Shatterstar) will start to grow on you.
Batman: The country's most famous superhero had some good tales in the first half of the decade, but the best comes at the end. Two I'm sure will-be-classic runs occured here. First Paul Dini of "Batman the Animated Series" fame takes a spin. A classic run of short, engrossing, entertaining stories starring a very human Batman who you like and feel for. I would even recomend the best stories of this run. And it was all in Detective comics. The Second great is by Scott Snyder, which started in Detective, but jumped to Batman with the new 52. It starts with some tales of Dick Grayson as the bat delving into dark stories where batman actually detects. When Bruce Wayne returns to the cowl he is again human and beatable. Two great runs of the bat, which try to shed the nigh Fascist so popular in the decade.
Daredevil; First id Ed Brubaker's run. Bru is the true mental heir of Frank Miller. Daredevil at his most Noir. Most importantly, Brubaker manages to follow in Miller's step and create one hell of an enjoyable epic, but not simply retread Frank's work as so many have. And Second Mark Waid's run. The complete opposite of Brubaker, but just as enjoyable. Fun Stories, and really getting into Matt's personality, yes Stan's devil in it's purest form since. A scarlet-Clad, swashbuckling, smart mouth daring us to ask ourselves, "What's so wrong with being happy?"
Criminal/Incognito/Fatale: Three titles one run. The first is a Noir crime thriller, the second one a crime thriller set amongst Pulp refugees, ant the final a Noir Lovecraftian Mystery. All together they are maybe the best crime tales from any medium in the last decade. Once again Brubaker brings home the gold. Some of the best. Maybe even surpasses Miller's work in the genre.
Godland: I loved this series, even if it has one of the worst shipping records ever. Stan and Jack inspired tale... probably a bit more Jack though, with a tad of Stalin mixed in and sprinkled with PKD. I really can't describe this series, but it rocks. A superhero laced cosmic rush to enlightenment... or maybe just a new frontier and alien weirdos.
I have tree more recomendations, but I sadly have to go now.
Wishing you nothing, but goodwill and hipness from here to the stars
Jack (boy, that felt good)
P.S. sorry for the long answers, but you said you wanted the best, and I think you deserve to know why I recomened them. It's a fairly short list, but a reading test too. Sorry. Til the Real final post, have fun.
Thanks for taking the time to make these recommendations, Jack. VERY much appreciated.Delete
The only one of these series that I've read is GODLAND -- my son turned me on to it a few years back -- and I totally loved it. You're right about it being a blend of Kirby and PKD, yet it very much maintains its own identity. A wonderful read.
I'll have to check out some of these others, as well, Thanks again!
And Starlin, Don't forget Starlin. And come on, the Archer siblings and there relationships were straight out of Stan's wheelhouse.Delete
Wishing you nothing, but goodwill and hipness from here to the stars
I lovedloveloved Starlin's work on WARLOCK and CAPTAIN MARVEL, Jack. Some of the best comics of the 70's, building beautifully on Kirby's NEW GODS work, but forging a distinct identity of its own. Not familiar with the "Archer siblings."Delete
I meant the main characters in Godland. I just felt Adam (our Hero)and his sisters all acted in a very Stan Lee written way.Delete
And Starlin is great, and that exactly why I wanted to give him credit. He does us Detroit folk proud. And his non cosmic stuff is great too. His Batman Even excluding "a death in the family" was classic. But a slightly less look at his cosmic stuyff was the 2006 mini series "Mysteries in Space" it was enjoyable. Not Thanos saga level, but definetly good. Also Starlin wrote "Death of the New Gods" because really, who else could have.
Wishing you nothing, but goodwill and hipness from here to the stars
Oh! Somehow I missed the "Archer" reference!Delete
Yes, Starlin was, and is, quite a talent. Hope they pay him a small fortune for using Thanos in the AVENGERS movie!
From the looks of it, I'll also being picking up my 1st Marvel in about 2 years--the last being your Thor mini from Chaos War. Sounds & looks really good. Liked the sentiment and words for the Occupy page, too. The guy talking looks kind'a familiar. I'm sure I'll figure it out sometime. : ) Thanks for sharing, JM.ReplyDelete
A pleasure, A. Jaye. Hope you enjoy the THOR story.ReplyDelete
I'm still trying to figure out why that guy looks familiar. I think I might've gone to high school with him!
CBR had a vote for greatest Spider-Man creators and you're at #4.ReplyDelete
My reaction: ONLY #4??!!!!
You're #1 on Spidey in my book!
I JUST saw that, David. It's always nice to be appreciated. I suspect #3 is Roger Stern, #2 is Stan Lee and #1 is Stan with Steve Ditko (they've given that team a separate category). And that sounds just about right to me. Stan is in a league of his own and Roger really is one of the great Spider-writers.Delete
And Captain America writers. And Doctor Strange writers. The guy's amazing.
That said, I profoundly appreciate being #1 in your book. Thanks so much!
I think you're right about the top three.Delete
Truth be told, I'm not sure it's fair to distinguish Lee/Ditko if they don't do the same with Lee/Romita.
Romita, Sr. is clearly a big part of Peter Parker's transition from misunderstood loner to a romantic lead with a fleshed out supporting cast. And he's the guy who really brought Spidey's visual to the forefront of the comic world, grounding some of the weirdness with more romantic elements. If not for Romita, I don't know that Spidey would have survived long enough for Ditko to get the appreciation he deserved. He re-energized the book when Ditko's departure could have sunk our hero!
Of course, any attempt to separate creative teams in terms of influence is a fun and futile gesture. Impossible to say, for instance, whether KLH would have hit the same nerve if Mike Zeck hadn't been the artist.
You're right about the good company. I'm happy to see Conway so high on the list, not because of "The Night Gwen Stacy Died!" so much as the overall tone of his work. Where Lee proved that anything could happen to Peter Parker, Conway established that everything would. I don't think anyone ever recaptured that relentlessness until the second Clone Saga!
Been reading some Len Wein, too, lately, and I'm impressed by his craftmanship. He didn't really do anything too terribly shocking, but it's a solid and engaging run. I especially like "The Deadliest 100 Yards!" which has surprisingly little to do with Spidey...
And Roger Stern is a master. Everything he touches turns to gold.
I think the gave Lee-Ditko a separate entry because Ditko is credited as plotter for most of his run, which makes them an official writing team. That said, the Marvel style, as Stan practiced it, made most of the artists, at the very least, co-plotters, so they all contributed to the writing. And, from what I've heard, Romita—who remains my favorite Spidey artist—contributed in a big way. (I was thrilled when I got to work with JR, Sr. on "The Kiss." What an honor!)Delete
I bow to no one in my admiration for the great Len Wein: a wonderful writer, very consistent, able to deliver terrific stories whatever series he's on. (That said, my favorite Len stories are things like SWAMP THING and DEADMAN: he does so well with the supernatural, infusing it with humanity and heart.)
We're in absolute agreement about Roger Stern and Gerry Conway, too. Roger is the unsung hero of 80's Marvel. He really had the Midas Touch. (And I'm sure he still does!)
I haven't read Wein's supernatural work, but that makes sense. "The Deadliest 100 Yards!" has a TWILIGHT ZONE vibe, and Spidey is about as peripheral to the story as he could possibly be while keeping his name in the title. I think that's why it stood out.Delete
If you've never read the Wein-Wrightson SWAMP THING run, David—go order it right now. It's classic stuff: moody, poetic and heartfelt. When it came out there was absolutely nothing like it in comics.Delete
I've been meaning to get around to it...Delete