Thursday, December 18, 2014

CHRISTMAS TIME IS HERE AGAIN

On television they’re trotting out Miracle on 34th Street, The Grinch, It's a Wonderful Life and seemingly-infinite variations on A Christmas Carol.  Here at Creation Point we have our own Yuletide tradition, a short Christmas tale of mine called The Truth About Santa Claus:  offered annually as a kind of cyber Christmas present.  My way of wishing all of you who visit this site the happiest of holidays and the most magical of Christmases.  I offer it again this year—along with a trio of wonderful illustrations by my friend and collaborator Vassilis Gogtzilas.  So grab a plate of Christmas cookies, pull a chair up close to the fireplace and enjoy.

THE TRUTH ABOUT
SANTA CLAUS

“THERE IS NO SANTA CLAUS!”

He’d been thinking about it for days—ever since he heard Big Mouth Jenny Rizzo announce it on the school bus—and he didn’t believe a word of it, not one word.  (Well, maybe ONE.)  But Cody had to be sure, absolutely, positively sure—

—and that’s why he was hiding behind the couch at midnight on Christmas Eve.



His mother was there, asleep in his dad’s old easy chair, the reds and blues of the Christmas tree lights making her look peaceful and happy and impossibly young.

The tree, by the way, had not ONE SINGLE PRESENT underneath it.

That didn’t make sense.  If there WAS no Santa Claus, if his mother was the one who bought the presents, wrapped the presents, stacked them under the tree, then how come she hadn’t done it?  How come she wasn’t awake RIGHT NOW arranging them all?

He got scared.  Maybe there wasn’t going to BE a Christmas this year.  Maybe Mom had lost her job and they didn’t have any money and so she COULDN’T buy him any presents and—

And then Cody glanced over at the windows and noticed that it was snowing.

Or was it?

If that was snow, it was the WHITEST snow he’d ever seen.  It was snow as bright as moonbeams, as bright as sunlight, as bright as...

Stardust.

Quickly, but quietly (he didn’t want to wake his mother), he scurried to the window and looked out.

It was coming down and coming down and COMING DOWN all across town, whirling and whipping, spinning and gyrating, out of the night sky.  Glowing so brightly that it almost hurt his eyes to look at it.  And Cody saw that it certainly wasn’t snow, and it absolutely wasn’t rain, it wasn’t ANYTHING he’d ever seen before.  But each drop, no...each flake, no... each BALL of glowing WHATEVER IT WAS, seemed to pulse and spin, soar and vibrate, as if it were alive.

And the stuff, the magical WHATEVER IT WAS (and he knew now that it was magic.  He just KNEW), wasn’t collecting on the streets, wasn’t piling up on the rooftops.  It was MELTING INTO (that’s the only way he could put it:  MELTING INTO) every house (no matter how small) and apartment building (no matter how big).




EVERY house and apartment building.

EVERY.

He looked up.

And there it was:  coming RIGHT THROUGH THE CEILING of Apartment 3F, HIS apartment, swirling, like a tornado of light, around the chandelier and then down, down, down—

—STRAIGHT FOR HIS MOTHER.

At first he almost yelled out a warning, “Mom!  Wake up!  MOM!”  But something made him stop.

Instead of yelling he ducked back behind the couch and watched, eyes peering over the top.

Watched as the light-tornado wheeled around his mother, so fast, so bright, that he could hardly even SEE her.  But he COULD see her.  Most of her, anyway.

And what he SAW...

The light poured in through the top of her head, through her eyes, through her chest, through her toes.  It lifted her up—still sleeping!—and carried her out of her chair and across the room.  And as she floated—

—she started to change:

Her hair became white, her nose became red, her belly ballooned like the most pregnant woman in the history of the world.  Her feet grew boots, her head grew a hat, her nightgown grew fur.  An overstuffed sack sprouted, like a lumpy angel’s wing, from her shoulder.  And then—

AndthenandthenandTHEN, it wasn’t his mother there at all, it was him, it was SANTA CLAUS!  STANDING RIGHT THERE IN CODY’S LIVING ROOM!  Santa Claus who, with a laugh (exactly like the laugh Cody always knew he had, only better) and a twinkle in his eyes (exactly like the twinkle he’d always imagined, ONLY BETTER) reached into his sack and pulled out package after package, present after present, and placed them, carefully, like some  Great Artist contemplating his masterpiece, under the tree.

When he was done, Santa Claus stood there, grinning and shaking his head, as if he couldn’t BELIEVE what a beautiful tree this was, how wonderful the presents looked beneath it.  As if this moment was the greatest moment in the history of Christmas, as if this apartment was the only place in all the universes that such a Christmas could ever POSSIBLY happen.

And then the MOST amazing thing happened:

Santa Claus turned.

He turned slowly.  So slowly Cody couldn’t even tell at first that he was moving at all.  And—slowly, SLOWLY—those twinkling eyes, that Smile of smiles, fixed itself on the two boy-eyes peering, in wonder, over the top of the couch.


And what Cody felt then he could never really say:  only that it was better than any present anyone could ever get.  Only that it made his heart so warm it melted like magical WHATEVER IT WAS, trickling down through his whole body.  Only that it made him want to reach out his arms and hug Santa Claus, hug his mother, hug his father (and FORGIVE him too, for running out on them) and his aunts and uncles and cousins (even his Cousin Erskine who was SUCH a pain) and Big Mouth Jenny Rizzo (who really wasn’t so bad most of the time) and all his  friends and teachers and the kid in his karate class who always smelled SO BAD and, embarrassing as it sounds, it made him want to hug everyone and everything in the whole world including rabbits and snakes and trees and lizards and grass and lions and mountains and, yes, the EARTH HERSELF.

Cody wanted to hold that gaze, to keep his eyes locked on Santa’s, forever. (Or longer, if he could.)  Wanted to swim in that incredible feeling, drown in it, till GOD HIMSELF came down to say:  “Enough!”

Except that he blinked.  Just once.  But in that wink of an eye, Santa was gone.  Cody’s mother was asleep in the chair again and, for one terrible moment, the boy thought that the whole thing must have been a dream.

Except, under the tree:  THERE WERE THE PRESENTS.

Except, out the window:  THERE WAS THE SNOW, the rain, the magical WHATEVER IT WAS, shooting up, like a blizzard in reverse, from every house, every apartment building.  Shooting up into the heavens, gathering together like a fireball, like a white-hot comet—

—and fading away into the night:  going, going...

Gone.

Without so much as a tinkling sleigh-bell or a “Ho-ho-ho.”

Not that it mattered.

Cody looked at his mom.

Cody kissed her.

“I love you,” he said.  And he was crying.  Happy tears.  Christmas tears.  Like moonbeams, like sunlight.  Like stardust.

Mom stirred in the chair, smiled the softest sweetest smile Cody had ever seen. “I love you, too,” she said.

And then she drifted back to sleep.

Cody sat at her feet, warming himself, warming his SOUL, by the lights of the tree.

And soon, he, too, was drifting off to sleep.  And as he drifted, a wonderful thought rose up, like a balloon, inside him.  Rose, then POPPED—spreading the thought to every corner of his mind.  Giving him great comfort.  Great delight:

“One day,” the thought whispered, “when you’re all grown-up, when you have children of your own.  ONE DAY,” the thought went on...

“It will be YOUR TURN.”

Merry Christmas.

Story ©copyright 2014 J.M. DeMatteis
Art ©copyright 2014 Vassilis Gogtzilas

76 comments:

  1. Well, it's time for the annual conversation i suppose.

    Dematteis, there is no such thing as Vassilis Gogtzilas. I'm sorry, but you are old enough to know.

    Funny thing, Of those movies you mentioned I really like half... How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and A Christmas Carol (I did make the point that I liked it clear right? Just worried).

    Though admittedly I have never seen A miracle on 34th Street, so I have no opinion on it at all. Point it I still Really like "Night of the Meek." Also MArvel Two-In-One #8. Seriously go to the MArvel wikia and look uo the plot, its awesome and nuts at the same time. Its Gerber.


    Have a fun Thursday!

    Jack

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    1. Vassals does exist, Jack. Although, truth be told, I've never met him in person, so...

      Yes, you absolutely made that point about ACC.

      "Night of the Meek"? You know I love it.

      I remember reading that MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE issue back in the day and enjoying. Of course, it was, as you said, Gerber, so why wouldn't I?

      I spent Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday sick in bed, so the fact that I'm up and moving on Thursday means it's a very fun day.

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    2. I see that auto-correct changed Vassilis into Vassals. (Shakes fist at computer.) (It just tried to do it again.)

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    3. Yes Dematteis, he exists in all of our hearts (except for me since I don't have one), but he has no physical form. Vassilis is more of a feeling.

      You were sick on the first two nights of Hanukkah? Was it gelt-intake related? Is it the magic of Hanukkah that cured you?Or was it something lame lie "medicine" and "bed rest" working with your "immune system."


      I like to think that as you watch one of the 8 billion renditions of A Christmas Carol this year, you'll think of my analysis about the inverse in meaning, and curse me for ruining the classic tale in your eyes. Although I don't think it should have.

      More to come?

      Jack

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    4. It was a rabbi in a white beard, riding in a sleigh that cured me, Jack.

      Haven't watched ACC yet, probably tonight.

      And now I'm off for last-minute Christmas errands!

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  2. Being sick sucks. I had some stomach bug last week. Glad to see you're better for Christmas. My favorite Christmas show? Santa Claus is Coming to Town. Any show with a Fred Astaire puppet is aces in my book.

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    1. The only thing that would be better would be the Fred puppet dancing with a Ginger Rogers puppet!

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    2. And, yes, I'm on the mend, thanks! Let's all be healthy for Christmas!

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  3. A delightful, charming story that encapsulates the magic of Christmas. Love it as always. And the illustrations are perfect.

    Speaking of Christmas favorites, we have a family tradition of watching Batman: The Animated Series' "Christmas with the Joker" and Justice League's "Comfort and Joy." If you haven't seen the former one already, you'd doubtless appreciate Dick Grayson's attempts to get Bruce to watch IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE.

    --David

    --David

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    1. I think all the Batman episodes are streaming on Amazon, David. I'll try to check it out. Sounds right up my alley.

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    2. If you get a chance to watch it, let me know what you think. And the Justice League episodes stream on instant Netflix, so you can check "Comfort and Joy" out for free!

      --David

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  4. I always enjoy reading this story during the holiday. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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  5. It's a very beautiful story !

    I want to hug everything and everyone right now, even the guy who piss me off all the week in my job... What kind of magic is that ? :D

    Merry Christmas to you and your family !

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  6. And a very Merry Christmas to you and yours, Frey! Hope you have magical holidays!

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  7. I just found out that Ursala K. LeGuin had her work turned into an animated movie. That's weird.



    Jack

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    1. legends of Earthsea.


      Jack

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    2. Was that Earthsea? I thought Miyazaki's son did that. It was good.

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  8. Merry X-mas to you and your family, J.M.!!

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  9. Alright Dematteis, I know that they are all your friends or at least colleagues so I will understand if you decline answering, but I still have to ask.

    Of the post clone Spider-team; you, Defalco, Dezaggo, and Mackie (lot of "D" names) what would be the placement in a foot race. Both then and now.

    Jack

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    1. All I can say is I'd probably come in last—then AND now.

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    2. Didn't Defalco have a habit of sucking on stogies? That'll probably slow you down. I'd put my money on Mackie to win, he was the youngest of you guys right?

      I do think that was an under appreciated era in Spidey (and comics in general. The whole back to basics, just good stories with good characters thing is great. I remember the movement being largely spearheaded by Wadi and Busiek.

      Comics and their style change though over time, just like music, one way must give way to the next. I do wonder if the era of long, big, and decompressed may have reached its end. While there are plenty of those stories I really like, I find myself no longer reading some writers I really like just because I am sick of big. That is part of why I like JL3000 so much, yes it is about big things, but really it is about the team and the individuals. Also the comedic bend is nice.


      Jack

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    3. I have great respect for both Busiek and Waid, but I don't recall them having any influence on what I...or the other spider-writers...were doing at the time.

      DeFalco doesn't smoke cigars any more, Mackie's only a few years younger, Todd Dezago was the youngest and I suspect he'd win, hands down. Not because of his age, but because the guy is a ball of energy.

      And this may be the silliest discussion we've had yet.

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    4. I didn't mean a direct influence, but rather that the eras whole "its okay to be a hero" thing that sweeped the industry around late 96 or early 97. The idea of combating the grim and gritty era and returning to basics, ell I'm not sure if they started the big push but I do associate them with being the biggest faces of it. With works like Astro City, Spider-Man: the Lost Years, Kingdom Com, and volume 3 of Captain America they were certainly the ones most associated with it.

      I believe he did smoke cigars in the late 90s right? Still, there would probably be some long term effects.

      I don't know why I thought Mackie was the youngest. I saw a picture of him once from his Ghost Rider hey-day, and he just looked young.

      Of course Defalco still might win if all those years of writing Thor seeped into his head he might start yelling, "In the name of da all-fader let me pass or I'll send you straight to Valhalla!" You don't compete with someone yelling that. Not to mention as the only one wjho had editorial experience, and with all the turn over there in the 90s you may have thought he was still your boss, or that he at least had strings to pull. "No Mr. Deralco, Please after you."

      Finally, I'm sure there are stupider conversations that have been had, and if not... there will be!


      Jack

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    5. We ALL looked young back in the "Ghost Rider hey-day"!

      Tom would never use his power to intimidate me in a foot race. He's just too darn nice.

      I look forward to stupider conversations in the new year. Hope it's a good one for you, Jack!

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    6. Look when the Asgadian blood starts pumping even the nicest of guys become blood-thirsty vikings.

      And, yes everyone looked younger then. This however would have been 1992-93, maybe 91 so that would have put him squarely in his late 30s if the was around your age, but in that picture I would have guessed maybe 27. Ma have been the lighting, or maybe he just has a baby-face, I don't know.

      Jack

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    7. Maybe the picture was taken a few years earlier...?

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    8. 1991 was 23 years ago. We ALL looked good.

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    9. And some of us had considerably more hair!

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    10. Sorry, sorry. I said Spider-man the lost years, I meant to say Untold Tales of Spider-man. Of all the places to make that mistake too. How embarrassing.

      Jack

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    11. Nothing to be embarrassed about, Jack!

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  10. Is a comic cult classic becoming a full on Graphic Novel bible?

    http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2010/08/31/comics-you-should-own-flashback-dr-fate-1-4-1-24/

    http://guttertalkcomicsblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/j-m-dematteis-masterpiece-dr-fate.html

    Jack

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    1. Yeah, I've seen those.. Now if we can just get DC to collect the series.

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    2. I told you, as soon as I finish collecting they'll be collected. I have about 5 more issues. So start writing that intro.

      Jack

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    3. Right. I forgot the plan. I'll get to work ASAP!

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    4. Good stories. I'd rather have a collection of your Man-Thing stories.

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    5. I'm fine with that, too, Douglas. Maybe we'll see both in the new year. Speaking of which...

      Happy New Year to you and yours.

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  11. If you want a testament to the power of comics, all I can say is that there is a theory that Marvel will replace Peter Parker with the ultimate Miles Morales, and I am fine with that as long as Peter Parker gets his happy ending. I don't want to get into a whole thing of whether that will happen or not, because it really doesn't matter in terms of what I am saying. Speaking as a guy who hasn't read Spidey off the rack on the reg since a little after the marriage was undone, I really want Peter to have that happy ending. Spider-man should be able to go off into the sunset with MJ and live at least a peaceful life.

    Think of how powerful that is, the testament to comics, Marvel, Stan Lee, and every writer and artist then and since. Its the magic of comics. Just like a friend moving off to a new job in another city, you can look past it if they are happy, Peter Parker can fully step down and I can be happy if this FICTIONAL character swings off into a happy life... with MJ.

    The magic of comics.

    Also, I know this isn't your department, but is there a reason that a while ago comic cover switched to pin-up style? I just want to know. I get it if you don't know, just curious. Is it style or worrd from above?

    Jack

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  12. Nice thought, Jack. That said, I don't think Peter Parker will ever be gone. He's like Clark Kent or Bruce Wayne...there may be temporary replacements, but the original will always return.

    I don't know why the switch to poster covers. I like a cover that really reflects the story inside the comic book. The best covers tell an entire story in a single image and that art is lost when we start to depend on those pin-up shots.

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  13. I remember an old issue of What If? Where three other people got the powers of Spider-Man. It didn't work for any of them and ended in the death of Flash Thompson if I remember it correctly. At the end of every story Peter was able to study the spider and make a serum that transformed him into Spider-Man. The Watcher explained that in every facet of the multiverse Peter Parker is always Spider-Man. I liked that story.

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    1. I never read it, Douglas, but it sounds great. Having spent so much time writing SPIDER-MAN, Peter Parker is like a dear old friend. I can't imagine a world without him.

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  14. It was the Feb. 1978 Issue #7 Issue. I cheated and looked it up. I find it fascinating that I probably haven't read that story in decades but it, along with some many other comics I read in my youth are still so clear to me.

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    1. I think that's true of many of us who grew up comic-obsessed, Douglas. Those stories meant so much to us as kids that they're branding in our brains.

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  15. I was hoping not to get into whether or not it would happen, or if Peter would be replaced and if it would last. In the context of my point it really doesn't matter. My point was largely about the emotional response, and how such a strong reaction is rare outside of comics. or at least very strong the medium.

    Aside from that it is also somewhat of a meaningless discussion since Marvel is going to do what they're going to do.

    As for the cover talk,I think you (and I for that matter) are in the majority. I often hear the words "looks nice, but boring" about covers. The old cover style was like an add for the book, a last ditch effort to get you to buy. Honestly there have been comics I've gone back and bought later after finding out what they are about, but if they would have just had the cover depict what was going on in the book I probably would have picked it up.

    Jack

    PS Just in the interest of the facts, the Watcher has already been proven wrong on that statement multiple times.

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  16. Speaking of covers and the Watcher: My all-time favorite comic book cover is FANTASTIC FOUR #48 (the first Galactus story), which features the FF, the Watcher and a group of bystanders all standing in awe and fear as...Something Terrible (we don't see what it is) approaches. One look at that cover and my young brain began imagining what the story was. The image excited me, filled me with anticipation, made me want to read the story. Now THAT'S what a great cover should do.

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    1. Man-Thing 17. When I saw that in the back issue bin, I had to read it. I remember being a teenager and doodling drawing after drawing in my notebook trying to capture that raw power.

      Then of course there was every comic I got at the drug store as a kid that I came up with 50 stories in my head before even getting I even got home.

      Recently Vertigo did something interesting were the cover was the first page of the story.

      Jack

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    2. I feel like that Vertigo trick was done way back when, but I can't remember the details. In any case, it's clever and inviting!

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    3. I don't know if they did it in the past, but the one I'm talking about was in October of 2013. I'll say this though I couldn't wait to read those issues.

      I'm sure that as soon as someone makes an older style cover and it puts it on a book bought by a lot of people, the style will return.

      To be fair, there are a lot of things done by the big two I don't get. For instance, MArvel has a desire to increas the diversity of their characters, especially by having more female characters. Well, that's all well and good, but why create new ones when there are great female characters that are relatively unused? A female Thor? What about Valkyrie? She was a great character, and already having a connection to Asgard and Thor could lead to a rich set of stories. I just don't get why in the search for female characters the likes of Valkyrie, Hellcat, Misty Knight, Dagger, Silver Sable, Firestar, Namorita, Moondragon, and so on and so forth, are ccast aside. It seems they would be more likely to bring in readers.

      Jack

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    4. If they seem to have been cast aside, Jack, I suspect it's only temporary.
      Marvel has a stable of characters they want to exploit in film and television and, as we've seen, even the most obscure characters can end up starring in their own blockbuster. No way they're going to let those characters go.
      Having written Valkyrie and Hellcat back in my DEFENDERS days, I'd love to see the two of them teamed up again in their own book. Could be a lot of fun.

      All that said, I think both Marvel and DC NEED to create new characters and not just depend on the legacy of the 60's and 70's.

      Delete
    5. The creation of new characters is a great thing. I especially think so for villains, with every writer wanting tell the definitive Batman-Joker or Spider-man/Green Goblin tale it gets sort of repetitive at time.

      The issue comes from what happens after they are created, too many of the characters I listed were shuffled off after a decade closed out, and many of their male counterparts suffered a similar fate. Once created and used they are forgotten.

      The major issue I have is how and why the new brand is being created. It is merely to fill a slot. Which in itself is not really a problem, I mean characters like On of Satan and GHhost Rider were created to fill a desired horror slot, but the origins are slightly different.

      BEing created to be female, end of story, on its surface is fine. It's wide open as to what they can be . The problem is that when Marvel or DC does things like this they make the character a bit too perfect. The flaws that make a character interesting are forgotten because the idea of "being a good role model" are put into place. This only leads to a character with little shelf life.

      If marvel is set out to prove that they aren't closed off to women, there already existent characters who have interesting back stories seem like a better place to start. I remember a Silver Sable comic where she held off the Punisher, who at the time was one of the company's most popular characters.

      So in short my issue is not so much in creation of new characters, but rather the how and why and what happens when they swirl together.

      While I'm complaining, if Hollywood weren't so narrow minded in how superheroes are to be portrayed I think a Blue Beetle/Booster Gold sitcom would be great.

      Jack

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    6. I honestly think that if your Dr. Fate series was written just a few years later it would have been a Vertigo book.


      Jack

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    7. Good thoughts, Jack, as always. You can't create a "role model," you have to create a full-bodied character, with all the inherent flaws.

      Keith Giffen said from the very beginning that the best way to do our JL was as a sitcom. And Blue & Gold would certainly do well in that arena.
      Too bad Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons are already working!

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    8. I agree about DR. FATE—especially when you consider the fact that our original editor was Karen Berger!

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    9. Dematteis, are you saying that you inspired the creation of Vertigo? Some one is a tad full of themselves

      I personally think that Doc Fate didn't get bigger than cult status and lacked a spotlight was because in the post crisis years DC tried almost every type of story. I also think that is what inspired Vertigo, as a way to keep the diversity, but at the same time heard it into a place where it is less competitive for more well known properties. Doc Fate just was too soon, and missed the point where they started incorporating lesser known superheroes like the Doom Patrol. I think it would already be in trades if had been one of the first Vertigos. Think how many create post-crisis stories are still lacking, or just recently getting trades.

      Jack

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    10. Actually, Jack, in a weird way I kinda/sorta DID inspire the creation of Vertigo. Karen Berger was a good friend of mine and when she graduated college, with a degree in journalism, I was the one who sent her up to DC to be interviewed by Paul Levitz (who was looking for an assistant). If I hadn't done that, Karen wouldn't have ended up at DC and Vertigo would have never happened.

      (Of course I can't take credit for Karen's enormous talent and her brilliant editorial vision.)

      Also: There was a point in the 80's, when I was under contract to Marvel, where I almost went back to DC. One of the books they offered me was SWAMP THING. (Marty Pasko, who had been writing the book, was done with his run.) I decided to stay at Marvel and (among other things) do MOONSHADOW and SWAMP THING was given to a new writer from England: one Alan Moore.

      So: Karen Berger AND the Alan Moore SWAMP THING? The two elements that became the bedrock of the Vertigo line? Your honor, I rest my case!

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    11. Fascinating. Although technically that is less inspiration as it is being bizarrely responsible for the cogs coming together.

      Although, my continued views on a Booster gold and Blue Beetle sitcom didn't make ith through. Sad.


      Jack

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    12. Absolutely. It's just one of those odd, wonderful happenstances.

      If some comment of yours didn't make it through, chances are it was lost in cyberspace. Try posting it again.

      Delete
    13. I figured that is what happened to the post. Either that or you were so disgusted with a world that wouldn't allow such brilliance to be a real show that you destroyed all trace of its existence so you would not be thrown into caverns of depression every time you visited your own site.

      either or.

      I'll re-post later.

      jack

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    14. So, I'll try top re-post as best I can:

      Well, I'm not sure about casting Galecki or Parsons (largely because I'm not very fond of heir current work together, but more so...) because I'm not sure either could play Booster Gold well. He is a very different animal.

      Still, I can see the pilot now...

      It opens with Blue Beetle walking through the Justice League's secret base, as he overhears them chastising his pal Booster Gold. Beetle thinking it sound intense comes in and to his associates defense. As this begins he informs Blue beetle as to what he did. Unfortunately he is very quite about it and he lies. After a passionate speech the League informs him what Booster did, as they are both kicked out

      Next we see the duo sitting at a diner in full costume, and Ted is furious. Gold tries to convince him that it is for the best. However, Beetle is giving him the "I can't hear you, because I hate you" treatment.

      Booster continues bugging him telling him about the brand new superteam they'll join. Ted is hardly wiling to listen.

      After some time alone soul-searching Ted realizes being a superhero is the best thing he did and it gave his life meaning,. and of course that it torpedoed his personal life, so he really has no choice. He seeks out Booster Gold.

      His partner is found working out of a storefront in a not great part of town, after having only hours ago signed the papers. Having drained his savings on the down payment, he is ecstatic to see Ted. He out pours emotion telling his best friend that it would all mean nothing without him, and Beetle is conned into funding the operation.

      The series would mostly focus on the two dealing with villains who have lame powers, like hovering 2 inches off the ground or the ability to turn tin into swiss cheese (but only tin and only into swiss cheese) and guys who dress up like chickens in business suits with ridiculous ideas, all of whom think they are soon to be world dominators or major power players. The-y of course are really just nusiences with collateral damage.

      Jack

      P.S. have you ever watched the Venture Brothers? It has a bit of a JLI feel and the Monarch's henchmen are vaguely reminiscent of Booster and Beetle.

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    15. Time to get out there and pitch your idea to the CW, Jack.

      A writer friend of mine actually came up with a great pitch for a SUPER BUDDIES animated series that uses the storefront scenario. Maybe we'll see it one day.

      I know I've seen at least one or two episodes of VENTURE BROTHERS. My son, who works for Adult Swim, showed them to me. That said, although I remember enjoying them, I don't remember anything else about them!

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    16. I don't know a lot about the themes of TV stations theses day, but I feel that it isn't moody enough for the CW.

      ABC-Not family centric enough.
      AMC- Too upbeat.
      CBS- Not pop culture-y enough
      FOX-Too much of a grave yard for comedies. it would have to be animated, and if I go that route it opens up Carton Network/Adult Swim. I feel it would ruin the integrity.
      Any premium would just want to jam "adult material" were it isn't needed.
      Cable seems to be mostly dominated by drama.
      NBC is the best bet, and who knows how safe that is.
      Time for an online campaign: BeetleandBoosterNeedAHome.com you are born... as soon as we get someone to do it. Plus we can adopt this for a plot in the back half of the season, or a subplot early on for a few episodes. God, this writes itself. How do you not come up with ideas for it?

      I would recommend giving the Venture Brothers another look, especially if you have a memory of liking it. The parodies of the F.F., Doc Strange, and Spider-man are themselves pretty interesting for any comic fan.

      Of course I'm going out on a limb and guessing you haven't seen BAtman: MAsk of the Phantasm yet, so all things in their time I suppose.

      Jack

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    17. Yes, all things in their time...

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    18. While we are talking about Ted and Booster, did it shock you that they kind of stole the show in JLI?

      It's sad really though. Such a great idea may never be realized.

      While we are on the subject, I remember a fan film I saw a few years back that was basically a JLI story, where Power Girl is trying to find a real job. Maybe I should see if I can find it for ceation point...



      Jack

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    19. I remember seeing that Power girl film. A lot of fun, as I recall.

      Were we surprised that Beetle and Booster stole the show? Absolutely. It just kind of happened on the page and we followed...and that's the way the best stories work.

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    20. I remember someone complaining that Blue Beetle changed too much and became a joke in JLI. As someone who only read the barest of bones of pre-JLI beetle, I say he is far more interesting with the twinge of humor.

      Post 1985 comics were all so serious. That not only can be a drag, but it also flies in the face of the realism they tried to promote. Goofy things happen in real life all of the time. That in essence is why you sign so many JLI comics. The fans sometimes realize what the industry doesn't, which I think is a part of the on the page leading comes.

      The fact is comics are different than any other media. The creators seem more connected to fans. partially because they have the strongest connection to remember when they were just fans. I can't think of any other medium were big names and indie-no-names sit mere feet from each other on a regular basis. A medium fans can just come up and talk to creators about their work. look, there are plenty of bad things to say about comics (as there is of any medium) but let us just bask in that glory I mentioned right now. let us be honest comics fans and creators, we re a special breed.

      sorry for the tangent, to enjoy this:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6oPHBeoB-w

      Jack

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    21. It is a unique, and uniquely intimate, connection between comics pros and fans. I enjoyed it when I was a kid writing letters to Stan Lee and I enjoy it now.

      As for Johnny Cash singing "In My Life"—there's a LOT of life in that voice, so it's a great match of singer and song.

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  17. My favorite trick cover was an issue of Superman that had a slick cover and colorforms that you could move around the elements of the cover. I still have that one and I will pull it out from time to time. Any time I find one in the quarter bin I buy it and give it to one of my kids or grandkids.

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  18. That's great! AND it brings back memories of many magical childhood hours passed playing with Colorforms. I loved them!

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  19. Watchmen pioneered the "Vertigo trick": each cover was a close-up of something that appeared on the first panel or page. Happy '15!

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    1. Right back at you, Jeff: hope it's a great year for you and yours! (And thanks for the info!)

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