Wednesday, March 16, 2016

COMIC CULTURE

Terence Dollard, an associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, is the host of an excellent video podcast called Comic Culture and I recently had a conversation with him that covered my collaborations with Keith Giffen, my work on Spider-Man, my writing workshops and other things. The video is embedded below for your listening and dancing pleasure. Enjoy!

88 comments:

  1. Very glad to have a chance to see this interview ! Thanks for sharing it with us. It was very interesting :)

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  2. You did forget a comic you consider the best, "Going Sane."

    Multiple times you have said that is your best superhero work.

    Also, once again you are interviewed, you even talk about the site multiple times, and you don't even mention your hero... me. Little disappointing Dematteis, and by a little I mean a lot.

    Finally, that interviewed In spire me. I will do it, I think. Good on you.

    Jack

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    1. You're absolutely right about "Going Sane"—but, in the moment, one can't always remember everything. It's the nature of interviews.

      "Do it"? Do what?

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    2. Again/ Even in a response you forget to mention your hero? Its a dark day at Creation Point.

      I'm aware of the nature of interviews. I would have just thought that since you have said that you have said you correct people (even if just mentally)when they say Kraven's Last Hunt is your best superhero work.

      I simply had a reaction based off of an internal connection, simply from this site. There is no problem in forgetting. I just wouldn't have expected it in an interview involving Kraven's Last Hunt. There are plenty of things I don't expect to happen that do.

      I will say this, almost every interview with you comes down to Spider-man and JLI. If I ever interview for some kind of comic fan publication the topic will be Seekers Into Mystery, Justice League REALWORLDS, Going Dane, and Defenders... just to mix it up.

      Finally, let's not get into my personal life.

      Jack

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    3. I understand, and totally appreciate, why people want to talk about JLI and KLH, but I also appreciate the interviewers who want to talk about my career in broader terms.

      I've found over the years that the audience for my work is broken up into different segments. Some seem to only know my work with Giffen, others are focused on the superhero work, primarily Spider-Man, and others know me from the creator-owned material and only want to talk about MOONSHADOW , BROOKLYN DREAMS or ABADAZAD.

      There are worse problems, right?

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    4. Agreed, and I understand why Spider-Man and JLI are discussed more, they are your most high-profile and widely read runs.

      It would just seem that something clearly intended for fans of the medium would delve deeper, or at least cover more varied ground as time goes by.

      Don't get me wrong, this is not criticism, while yes you should always strive to find a unique an angle as possible, these interviews are largely done by non-pros. Slack of course can be given, especially when they want hits.

      It is more personal frustration. Those viewers or listeners at a time may not have heard these things, but as a fan I have. It is of course unfair to judge someone for my own mental ripples.

      The interview itself was well done, especially over Skype which can have its own challenges.

      No the only problem really was that the guy being interviewed didn't mention me, even after the website was brought up. Inquiring minds want to know.

      Jack

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  3. Forgot, you made Marvel's "Silver Surfer... this is your life."

    http://marvel.com/cards/264/silver_surfer.this_is_your_life/start

    Jack

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    1. That's nice. I really love the Surfer.

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    2. I did mention you, Jack, but it was in Secret Code. Watch the interview four or five hundred times and I know you'll figure it out.

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  4. I'll always want to talk about Moonshadow. After that would be Captain America and your run on The Defenders. I would call those your best super hero comics.

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    1. It's interesting, Douglas: It's only been in the past ten years or so that both CAP and DEFENDERS have been mentioned by fans with both appreciation and regularity. Back when they came out, DEFENDERS was either ignored or disliked and my CAP run never elicited much more than a shrug either way. (Memory may be distorting this, but that's how it felt.) Sure, there were people who "got" both those books, but they were a small, loyal group. As time has passed that has really changed. And I'm very grateful for it!

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    2. Your run on the Defenders was the first comics I made the effort to pick up every issue, rather than hit or miss as my interest at the newsstand spinner rack varied each month. The story and characters and approach to the supernatural held my attention and gave me my first appreciation for the long form story telling that comics can excel at in the hands of talented creators like yourself.

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    3. Thank you, Mike: That makes me smile.

      I think there's a Defenders: Six-Fingered Hand collection coming out in the fall. It'll be nice to see that material back in print.

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    4. That will be great (and yes, I will buy it. Marvel listens to money... and they need to know they can make money by bringing back the classics).

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    5. Thanks, as always, for your enthusiastic support!

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  5. I think the Internet has brought more people who liked the series to light because the lines of communication have become more open than before.

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    1. Totally agree about that. But I also see it at conventions, especially with CAP. For years I didn't see, or sign, much from that run and now I see those stories regularly. Perhaps the character's movie popularity has something to do with it?

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  6. That could be true. I have been a CAP fan since I was little so it would be hard for me to say. I do like that of all of the Marvel movies released they have stuck pretty close to original mythos for CAP. I am excited for the new CIVIL WAR film in May.

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    1. The one I'm really looking forward to is DOCTOR STRANGE.

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    2. well, strictly speaking, you can't KNOW something will be good, or in this case awesome, until it is experienced. And Aren't you the one always speaking out about judging something before it is out Dematteis. That does work two ways.

      The better thing to be excited about is when you tube puts out a video from the theater out entitled, "Weird babels incoherently at vendor.

      That will of course be J.M. Dematteis saying, "By the Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth, I will have on ticket to Dr. Strange boy." then "Praise be the eternal Vishanti and a thousand thanks to you for the ticket son, and may the moons madoor shine upon you."

      Then of course, "By the crimson bands of Cyttorak I said a small drink. I apologize, but at these prices Even the winds of Wattomb would have trouble moving the stacks of money needed to pay for even a medium.""the popcorn is delicious though, I must say it is as if warmed over the the flames of the Faltine themselves."

      Needless to say, Mrs. Dematteis will not be accompanying him to the cinema that evening. That is one Clea who will be back in the Dark Dimension cursing the invention of smart phones.


      Also, shaved down to a mustache. Maybe eve a cloak. Dematteis, not the wife.

      Jack

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    3. I'm wearing my cloak right now.

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  7. Now I want to go to the movie with J.M. DeMatteis.

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    1. I think you underestimate how in character he will be.

      Side note, local band (for em anyway) The 3D Invisibles, wrote a song about Doc Strange called "Master of the Mystic Arts" waaaaaaaaaaay back in the 80s. I say waaaaaaaaaaay back, but I was alive then so..

      Point is, you don't want to go see Dr. Strange with Demattteis unless you are an uber Dr, Strange fan. He will accuse you of bowing down before Dormammu or even an agent of Silver Dagger. even if you are, well...

      Jack

      P.S. The 2nd season of Daredevil was great, if anyone is interested. Despite Miller's characters having a major role (plus the obvious Stan Lee ones and a Gerry Conway) and being set in modern times, it felt like Nocentti's New York. I want to know if this guy who created the series read/reads comics.

      Recomended

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    2. I'm a pretty big Dr. Strange fan. Not a huge fan of the new incarnation. And I was a big Daredevil fan until the penultimate episode of season 1 and then it ruined it for me. Have no plans to visit season 2 at all.

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    3. First off, I have to say I completely agree with you about the current Dr. Strange. I don't even want to call him Dr. Strange he is so off character. How about Mystic Mark? And I am so sick of this quirky phase in comics. Its as bad as the grim and gritty, but way more annoying. Not everything has to be gritty, but it also doesn't have to quirky. And My God, what os with the womanizing and meeting in bars. Nevermind, I'm just so glad someone will say they see what I see. Thank you. Doc is one of my top 5 characters, and tjhe first charactert I collected every solo story of (followed by Silver Surfer, CAptain America, The fantastic Four for en Grimm, and hopefully soon Daredevil)and I thought I was going insane. Thank You, just so much.

      As for Daredevil, I actually wasn't hugely into season 1. I liked Ben Urich and Wesley a whole lot, but Matt seemed to be a Batman lite, while Foggy and Karen were just annoying to me. I the end, I thought it was okay until the last few issues when it seemed to lose its way, in some instances the problems were for nothing more than shock value.

      This season however fixes Matt, giving him his brash, affable , and even joking at times self. Foggy is fixed... Karen is still annoying as all Hell. The story is tighter though, and Punisher (a character who I'm not the biggest fan of) is done well and is engaging. Elektra is done much like the Kingpin, where it is off from the comics, I wouldn't want to supplant the four-color version, but there is enough their to satisfy my geeking.

      It isn't without its problems, and I wouldn't say get a Netflix account just to watch it, but if you find yourself at home on a Sunday with nothing to do and you have an account, it may be worth watching at least one episode. It isn't perfect, but I can at least promise that there are no major shock value scenes like in the episode I think you are talking about.


      Jack

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    4. I only saw a few episodes of the first season, Jack, but I might give it another chance down the line. So much to watch and it's hard to keep up.

      FLASH and SUPERGIRL do a great job of filling up my TV superhero card.

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    5. The Man of Tomorrow and I have a... complicated relationship, so his distaff counterpart cousin is no real draw for me. My mother though who loved the characters in the 50s and early, early 60s and is a big fan of the Reeves films, watched 1 episode and then walked away apparently.

      As for Flash, this is a case where the closer they keep it to the comic the less I care. I like the Flash... Wally West and Jay Garrick. BArry Allen is boring, he is always been boring, that is why he died and should remain dead. IN fact, they painted themselves into a corner when they brought him back. The Flash characters had spent 20 years saying how perfect he was. So, either they shatter that illusion, or make him boring. Boring.

      Also, I thought revising his origin to his Mom being dead by the Reverse Flash, which I hear is a big part of the series, seemed needlessly dark and done.

      Now, I haven't seen it, but if it is anything like Arrow, I'm out. I love Green Arrow, and when I watched the episode of Arrow with John Constantine I thought it was just the lamest thing.

      Personally, I think DC is still too influenced by Smallville. I'd love a Spectre or Sandman Mystery Theatre series. Or even a Green Arrow reminiscent of Mike Grell's run... even setting it in the same era could be really cool. Blue Beetle and Booster Gold could be great. What about the oft forgotten Nemesis. I think following Ostrander's lead could make for a great Suicide Squad show... which lets be honest is more logical than a film.

      As for DD, if people say it is possible jump to season 2 first. Season one is kind of dark for the sake of dark and Matt doesn't feel like Matt all the time. The secondary characters are interesting though. There is always summer though when those other two are in reruns.

      Jack

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    6. I don't think FLASH is anything like ARROW, Jack. It's a different tone and a different spirit. There are some dark elements, sure, but the overwhelming tone is light, bright, colorful superheroics. Wonderful characters. Intriguing stories. Solid acting. I've never been a major fan of the character in the comics, but I really adore this show.

      And, as noted elsewhere on this page, I think SUPERGIRL is the best iteration of the Superman mythos since the first Christopher Reeve film. And if I said it twice, it must be true! : )

      Oh, yeah—and Melissa Benoist who plays Kara/Supergirl is fantastic.
      And...J'onn J'onnzz!

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    7. FLASH and ARROW are flip sides of the same coin in a lot of ways.

      FLASH is more colorful on the surface, but in some ways it actually has a darker heart than ARROW, because it revolves around this idea that Flash can't undo his mother's murder. I've never liked that particular concept, because even when Barry 'died' in COIE, he at least accomplished something.

      ARROW, on the other hand, kicks off with DARK! GRIM! HOPELESS! but over time you find out that Oliver Queen is a big softie, probably even more so than Barry, in spite of outward appearances. Deeply traumatized, yes, but Oliver actually puts faith in people in ways that I can't even imagine Barry doing. And he has a more fundamental character shift than Barry when he swears off killing and tries to become a better hero.

      I'm not arguing that ARROW is better than FLASH, mind you, just pointing out some interesting differences that are just beneath the surface. Take them as you will, and it's possible I'll have changed my mind by the end of the day!

      --David

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    8. Always there with the fascinating insights, David...and always appreciated!

      However dark FLASH gets,it never feels too dark to me, and the larger emphasis is always on the light: on the heroes striving to do the right thing, the good thing, the decent thing. That's just as true...maybe moreso...for SUPERGIRL.

      I'm not knocking ARROW, by the way, just pointing that out.

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    9. I've never known you to knock ANYTHING, JMD.

      And tonally, FLASH and SUPERGIRL are definitely the most Silver-Agey, optimistic superhero narratives around these days. Very enjoyable, family friendly stuff. FLASH is probably my favorite show right now, period.

      --David

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    10. Yeah, they're both wonderful. Looking forward to the Big Crossover!

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    11. I watch Flash. I do not watch Arrow. JMD insists I watch Supergirl so I will be doing that in the near future. I like the vibe of The Flash. It's like watching a comic book. Plus, Tiger Shark? Need I say more? Also, I would so watch a Sandman Mystery Theater show. That sounds like the coolest show ever. One of my favorite comic books.

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    12. Yeah, never thought you'd see someone like Tiger Shark done...and done well!

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  8. Great interview, JMD! I love the conversation about KLH, Kraven, and "The Big Why."

    I agree with pretty much everything Jack said about DD Season 2. I'll just add that the pacing feels a bit more in keeping with a comic book. The first season was enjoyable, but slowed to a crawl in places, and suffered from some really odd creative choices. (Everyone who's seen it knows the big one...)

    Honestly, if Season One kind of bored you, I'd recommend just skipping it entirely for now and getting to the really good stuff. And yes, Season 2 is reeeeeallly good!

    Best,

    David

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    1. Maybe I'll check it out. As noted, there's so much great TV out there, it's a big commitment adding one more to the list.

      And glad you enjoyed the interview!

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    2. Yeah, that one creative choice felt like a shock for shock's sake and a huge slap in the face to any actual fan of the Daredevil comic. My opinion, of course.

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  9. I haven't seen Supergirl yet, but am a huge fan of The Flash. And, yeah, Jack the episode you think I'm talking about is exactly what soured me on Daredevil. I'm glad that I'm not the only one who finds KAren annoying.

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  10. I love Supergirl, Douglas. It's got such heart and soul. I think it's the best iteration of the Superman mythos since the first Chris Reeve movie. The show gets off to a kind of wobbly start, but it keeps getting better. Plus: Martian Manhunter!

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    1. I do love Martian MAnhunter. I think you have sold me.

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    2. In the most recent episode, he was eating Chocos (although they'll always be Oreos to me). That made me very happy.

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    3. It amazes me when TV is the go to place for exceptional super hero storytelling. The movies tend to fall short when considering the DC Universe.

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    4. If someone had told my 12 year old self that I could turn on the TV and watch Supergirl and the Flash every week, he would have fainted from sheer joy.

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    5. Personally, as a comic fan, I can't wait for this fad to end.

      One big issue I have is an increasing style of comics being more about the creator than the creation. Then there is designing comics and their stories to appease fans of the TV and films, but who will never pick up a comic.There is also an ever growing view of how it can fit into movies or TV shows.

      And its not like DC or marvel have done great in taking advantage of the new attention. Sales have dropped not risen.

      Once comics are no longer seen as an avenue to Hollywood, it will be back to just comic fans.

      Its like what happened with stand-up comedy int he 80s and 90s. everyone got a sitcom, most failed, and after a decade of popularity, it shrunk. But, it was back to just people who loved to performing and watching.

      That is a deconstruction I think will actually be good for comics.

      Jack

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    6. Re: the fad ending. I think the superhero genre will be a part of moviemaking from here on out, it's not going away; but I also think that, at a certain point, the current glut will reach a peak and settle down. It won't be the massive inundation that we've experienced in recent years.

      Where all this will leave comics...I have no clue.

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    7. It is a common misconception that superhero hits are new. It has been building since the 70s.

      In 1978 Superman came out, that series continued until 1987. IN 1989 Batman came out, a series that continued until 1997, Blade picked up just after that and started the current string.

      There were also a smattering of comic films like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Mask, Mystery Men, and the Phantom (which I liked no matter what anyone says).

      Then there were TV shows going back that far like Wonder Woman, Incredible Hulk, Lois and Clark, and Smallville, for that matter the 60s batman show and 50s Superman shows had huge revival in interest in this era.

      All one really has to do is look at science fiction in the 90s and smaller Fantasy in the 80s and epic fantasy in 2000s. Big boom followed by a decade of almost no attempt to do such films.

      Its all ebb and flow,when something rises it has to fall, and superhero media is going to have one hell of a fall. For God's sake the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been building up things since the first film. Once Infinity War comes out... what next? There is no status quo to return to like the comic equivalent.

      I've also heard a lot of non-comic readers say they are getting sick of the style. That means that it is a bout 1-2 years away from that meaning anything.

      The backlash will be huge. Will it be a total end? No, the Netflix series will probably continue, there will be a return on a smaller scale a decade or so later. But for a while it will be considered too much of a long shot.

      As for the future of comics, I was being optimistic. That is the best case scenario, with some people becoming true believers from the movies, now seeking something to replace their former method for their fix.

      However, with Marvel flirting with $5.00 a comic and putting out books people are luke warm about, they may not out live the fad themselves. If you pay $5.00 for 22 pages that better be some of the best damn 22 pages ever.

      In many ways DC Rebirth may be DC's last stand. With how much of their readership they lost after the New 52, this attempt to fix things just may irritate too many fans if it flops. Of course I am not hoping for this.

      Jack

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    8. I watched an episode of Supergirl. The one with The Flash. Yeah, I like it. I'll go back and watch the rest.

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    9. And you haven't even seen the Martian Manhunter yet! Hope you enjoy 'em, Douglas. There are some wobbly episodes along the way, but the show keeps getting better and better. And Melissa Benoist is absolutely perfect as Supergirl: she makes even the wobbliest episodes watchable.

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  11. I'm waiting to see if DCs Rebirth will bring back the creations outweighing the importance of the creators. I remember back when Spider Man and The Hulk had TV shows. All it ended up resulting in was a blurb on the covers exclaiming; Now A Hit TV Show! Never really impacted the comics and I liked that. Marvel has approached that differently. When the first X-Men came out there were a bunch of titles. When The Avengers movie came out there were a bunch of titles on the stands. Now Marvel feels confrontational in their storyline decisions. New Captain America movie, in this case Winter Soldier resulted in a Winter Soldier book, but no Steve Rogers. The character in Thor is not who is in the movies. It almost comes across as they are purposefully keeping the two formats separate. I was at our local store recently and a little guy asked his dad about an new Avengers poster on the wall and his dad was just dumbfounded he didn't recognize a lot of the new versions of the heroes. Don't worry I filled them in. The kid was happy with the explanation, but the poor dad seemed more confused than before.
    I also await the movie glut to reach it's apex and comic books to return to some degree of normalcy.

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    1. There can be healthy synergy between comics an their media spin-offs. For instance, vital parts of the Superman mythos came from the radio show and then were integrated into the comics.

      All things in balance, right?

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    2. I remember a magazine format HULK comic that followed the old TV show. It was okay, but the show worked because of Bill Bixby. I have never thought that translates well from screen to paper. But I do like when multiple media sources influence others.

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    3. I wrote a couple of stories for the black and white HULK magazine when I first started at Marvel, Douglas. The book was very much grounded in the (so-called) real world. Of course the Hulk-outs were bigger and better!

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    4. It also gave us Firestar of the New Warriors, who no matter what anyone says...Dematteis... I like.

      I was never sure where theat Hulk magazine was supposed to be... or rather what. I know that the original intent was to be Hulk stories between Hulk 6 and his first appearance in Tales to Astonish. Did it change from that. No matter what, it gave a good Starlin story that involved... surprise, surprise...suicide, and of course the controversial Shooter story.

      I don't mind bringing in things from other media as long as it doesn't destroy good things that were. Changing the name from Daily Star to Daily Planet no problem... killing off a character to match up or replacing one with a movie one... a bit off. It all depends on how it is done.


      What I meant though, is something WAY more annoying. There is a trend of stories whether Marvel, DC, or indie, of making the books about them.

      Stories used as soap boxes are annoying. I don't mean tales like O'Neil or Gerber where critiques are used drama or action for the story, just lectures.

      Or having a Marvel comic take pages out to attack people who criticized you on twitter. Or constant references.

      I'm sorry, but for mainstream books with beloved characters it is especially about the characters not the writer. With the indie books, it SHOULD be like that because otherwise its bad writing, but I suppose there can be more leeway.

      Or when I read a story, almost always meh at best, and they rad like auditions for TV show jobs or movie pitches. They aren't even good or complete stories.

      That is the worst. Except maybe when characters are warped to draw in none-comic readers who don't care about comics at all.
      Good God, i hop DC Rebirth is good, a success, and sets comics on the right track again. Especially with price (maybe even a bit lower) because if I pay $5.00 for 22 pages sight unseen that better either be the best damn comic ever, or it will be my last. And I think I'm not in a minority on that, you can only take advantage of your fans (read addicts these days) before they say enough. Marvel.

      Jack

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    5. Yes, the Hulk magazine started as a way to fill in the character's "missing years" and then morphed to capitalize on the popularity of the TV show.

      Re: REBIRTH. I have a lot of faith in Geoff Johns: he's a smart, creative guy and an excellent writer. With him at the helm, I suspect the relaunch will be a good one.

      I agree with you about the $5.00 price point. I'm old enough to remember buying ten comics for a dollar! (That's right: I'm thirty-nine.)

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    6. Geoff Johns is really talented, If you haven't read his JSA, Thing: Freakshow, or Superman story he did with Busiek :Up, Up, and Away" do it.

      When I met him he just wanted to talk comics, and not even his, but comics and characters as a whole. He really loves the medium, and if anyone at DC can right this storm then its him.

      However, if I remember he was also a voice in crafting the much rejected New 52. And other than that, how much can one man do?

      I am optimistic about a few series that are coming out, and I'll at least give the one-shot that starts it a chance.

      Hell, I'll try the just to support the lower prices.

      Which brings us to the other point. Marvel's big event this summer will be $5.99 for the first issue and $4.99 for the rest. If this is the beginning of that as a common practice Marvel may be in for a very rude awakening.

      For all the kvetching we fans do, and their is admittedly a lot, I think you'll agree we are in the end flexible to a large degree and put up with more than fans of most mediums would.

      You mentioned when you could get 10 comics for a dollar, now if you are a sole Marvel zombie, depending on what you get and what issue it is, 5 comics for a twenty is the best you can do and even that is up for grabs. However, everyone I know is buying fewer marvel (and DC) comics now anyway, so it all evens itself out.


      No matter what it is in life, you can only push people so far before they push back.

      Jack

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    7. I hope, for the sake of the industry, that REBIRTH does well.

      And, yes, I agree that comic book fans are flexible. Kvetching is part of the fun...but they're a loyal, dedicated, passionate lot and I, for one, am grateful for them!

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    8. well, we do what we can.

      Jack

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    9. I love that the REBIRTH announcement is that all comics in the DC line will be 2.99. Smart move DC. Even the introductory story at 80 pages will be 2.99. Pretty classy DC. I think that Marvel should follow suit. They have all that movie money, right?

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    10. I'm not sure that the $2.99 is class, but rather necessity. They have lost a lot of readers in the past few years.

      And technically speaking, Disney has the movie money. Who knows how much of that actually funnels back to comics. There is a point though, that with a big company backing you, direct money would be less of a necessity for the day-to-day.

      Beyond that, Marvel owns their printing supplies. Unlike Image, Dark Horse, or even DC I believe, who do not. All of whom have cheaper comics.

      Of course, Disney in all forms of media and merchandise love to gauge people... so, complicated.

      Then of course there was Marvel's owners in the 90s arbitrary raising prices, after they saw the fans were fine with it when it was necessity.

      It's fitting given who the company's mascot is, but it is all a very tangled web.

      Jack

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    11. Speaking of price...
      The $6.00 Marvel comic I bought this week (it was pretty fat so I'm not angry) was the 75th anniversary issue of Captain America, complete with back up features by other writers, Greg Rucka, Tim Sale, and Joss Whedon.

      I was wondering if they reached out to you. I find the choices odd for two reasons. I'm sure the stories will be good in those backups (Have not actually got time to read it yet) but they are so recent, I would think that this opportunity would be one to jump back with eclectic writers from across the characters storied history.

      Also, with the acception of a movie that didn't star him and doing the art on a comic where the second issue was almost a decade late... none of them have a history with the character.

      Just wondered


      Jack

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    12. Nope, nobody reached out to me. I certainly would have been happy to participate in Cap's anniversary.

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    13. And because of that, a few more people just forgot Bernie Rosenthal (regardless of if you used her int he story). One of them's name was Jeff.

      Jack

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    14. Now that IO have read it, it wasn't bad. I do think making it part of a larger event was foolish.

      It just didn't feel like a celebration, or at least a fitting one, for an iconic character that has encouraged for 3/4 of a century.

      I'm not sure there will be another big anniversary for the character where there are still former Timely employees alive. How about a Stan Lee/Ken Bald story.

      It probably should have been a one shot or mini series showing how fluid yet concrete Steve is.

      Like I said, the bonus stories weren't bad, but as a guy who loves Cap when you plaster "75th anniversary" that should have weight. And the main story being part of a larger Avengers story. And a cover re-creating Captain America as Hitler, but with Steve in the Hitler position?

      Of course DC didn't do much for Supes and he as the first of his kind.

      I know there just fictional characters, and I know comics are not the main business, and they can do what they want. It is just a little depressing for the state of comics. None of their creators knew if they would last a year... and at 3/4 of a century with legions of fans that is impressive... I don't know, I just would have wanted more.

      Sad, yet understandable.

      Jack

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  12. I knew I liked those stories for a reason!

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    1. I'd hardly call my contributions classic...but I DID get to work with Gene Colan. What an honor!

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    2. Jack, I'm not a big fan of changes that appear solely designed to line up film and comics properties, like when the X-Men started wearing leather in the comics. (Didn't mind it in the films.)

      And I was a huge fan of Firestar on SPIDER-MAN AND HIS AMAZING FRIENDS, but never read much about her in the comics. I seem to recall she was on the New Warriors during the Clone Saga, back when Ben Reilly had joined up with them, and maybe they had some short-lived chemistry?

      It's easy to take the Marvel and DC film and television properties for granted these days, but I remember Stan Lee breaking my heart quite frequently with 'upcoming' film projects in Stan's Soapbox that never materialized or went straight to DVD. (The James Cameron Spider-Man being one of those that vanished.)

      I don't recall the HULK magazine. That's funny that it morphed from an 'untold tales' into a spinoff of the television show.

      I enjoyed HULK re-runs as a kid and I was really excited when they brought Thor and then Daredevil into the films, even if the adaptations were terrible. In those times, you just took whatever they gave you! And it really annoyed me when they killed Hulk off and never brought him back!

      Hulk is an interesting character, one I'd love to see your take on, JMD. There's been so many incarnations that it seems wide open for interpretation. I could definitely see a spiritual angle working for the book, especially since the Hulk can see ghosts and is terrified of his dead father. Or, you know, maybe he just gets mad and smashes stuff. That's cool, too!

      --David


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    3. I'd love to do the Hulk as a classic "dark fantasy," David, playing up his monster roots. (Imagine a Mike Ploog Hulk!) And those kinds of stories open up the door for both psychological and spiritual tales.

      Not that anyone's asked me!

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    4. That Dark fantasy idea was what that Starlin story was, he is taken to another planet with warring wizards.

      I always thought the original idea should be re-explored. The idea of a character exploring B-movies is pretty cool to me.

      Also, you should be glad that Cameron Spider-Man never came to be, if you ever heard what it was going to be...it was just God awful.

      Jack

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    5. Hard to judge a potential movie on an initial outline. Especially when the director is as talented as James Cameron.

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    6. In the end its a moot point. However, when Dr, Octopus goal is to send a house to heaven... I think with or without superheroics I don't care about that movie.

      If you ever get a chance to look up information about it, I would suggest it. It is seriously bonkers.

      Two interesting facts about the film that never was...

      1. The movie is partially why Spider-man the animated series was green lit and all of why there was no origin episode in season 1. They did not want to be repetitive.
      2.On a personal note, when the Marvel trading cards were big and especially when they were advertised in comics, my older brother would tell me that they were from the movies storyboards. I was extremely excited for that never was film, all because of my older brother's filthy, filthy lies. Give me a break, I never even even bought any of the cards until way after they stopped making them. Why buy a pack of cards when you use that money on an actual comic? Still... no movie.. not even the Raimi ones I liked... could ever compete with what my fevered imagination concocted.

      Interestingly, the guy who did the voice of Peter/Spidey in the cartoon could actually have been great live action too. He played Greg Brady in the 90s Brady Bunch films.


      Jack

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    7. "Send a house to heaven"?! Okay, I'll have to look that one up!

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    8. I looked it up again after I posted this. My memory was fuzzy. Doctor Octopus( who was actually a professor and called himself Spider-man half the time) wanted to steal a paper from Peter Parker to blow up the Earth. The goal was that said explosion would send him to God's rue heaven". In the climax his house was shot into space killing him.

      Then there was his weird catch phrase.

      Its worth a read just for the oddity factor.

      Sorry things got jumbled up. Still insane though.

      Jack

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    9. I'm sure it's out there on the web, Jack. I'll search it out. Thanks!

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    10. That's where I first read it after someone suggested it to me... or snippets at least. That is how it travels. The question who will you then unleash it on?


      Jack

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    11. http://www.scifiscripts.com/scripts/spidermanscriptment.txt

      Seems different than what you described.

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    12. Keep in mind it has been several years sine I read this. I'll read it again to see how mind jumbled it.... but I hate starring at screen to read for that long so... later.


      Jack

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    13. I don't know what to tell you Dematteis. That isn't what I read. Maybe one is a forgery, or a later draft, or there is some alternate reality thing at play, or some damn Dutch conspiracy, or something, but I read a very different script.

      That one is still not great though.

      Jack

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    14. Since you didn't get the bizarre story I promised (still no idea why), I'll give you these...

      1. The question of why Batman doesn't kill the Joker is ridiculous. When the Joker is caught he is given to the authorities, and been paraded out by countless judges, juries, and in front of cops and even just the citizenry of Gotham. All of these people have deemed that the Joker is too sick to be killed for his crimes. Even the Spirit of God's Vengeance when penned by Ostrander saw BAtman defending the Joker's right to life and showed he was as much a victim of his insanity as anyone. When all that crazy was removed what was left was suicidal at the very thought of his crimes.
      The statement that Batman should do what society has already been deemed immoral is a sickness of society. It is the desire for something that your society says is wrong to be done for you to benefit... but you want none of the moral responsibility, even on the level of elected officials or those payed with your taxes.
      In short, why doesn't Batman kill Joker? Why doesn't society?

      2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnT8cuEJ4Qs


      Jack

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    15. Thinking about it, the story you describe reminds me of a Spider-Man script I read back in the eighties, pre-Cameron. Maybe that's what it was...?

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    16. The real reason Batman can't kill the Joker is that, if he did, there wouldn't be any more Batman-Joker stories. : )

      On a more serious note, if Batman killed the Joker...or any villain...then that would open the door for him to be running around Gotham like the Punisher, killing every bad guy he deemed unworthy to live. That's not Batman. And, as you said, if even (the DCU version of) God has compassion for the Joker, then Batman shouldn't be the guy to do it.

      Nice song. Thanks!

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    17. Always with the bitter sarcasm, eh Dematteis?

      Instead of dwelling on it, I'm going to just believe they're all forgeries and no script was ever written for any Spider-man movie. Even the ones that were made... those were just improv.

      I'd honestly be okay with DC killing off the joker.He is incredibly over used.

      My point was not about the nature of whether it is right to kill a killer or is you should show them mercy, That is a powder keg waiting to happen.
      Rather pointing out that it is wrong to want someone to take steps you yourself would not be willing to. Bruce Wayne is a member of society, there is no reason to believe he would be drastically removed from the general consensuses just because he wears a cape and cowl in his free time.

      Glad you dug the song, but not surprising. Everyone knows hippies love folk music, I hear it is how they bait traps for them out west.


      Jack

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    18. I actually did understand your point.

      I was once lured into a bear trap by an early Dylan song.

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    19. well... at least it was an early Dylan song. No sham,e in being tricked by anything Dylan int he 60s.

      Jack

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  13. The beautiful thing about comics is that it isn't just one vision, or even one team of creators. It's all building on what your predecessors did. A sort of media based around the Twilight Zone episode, "A Game of Pool." Entirely based off of the idea expressed in the episode's line (currently paraphrased) "That's my best now lets see what you can do."

    No creation, no matter how amazing or evolutionary exists in a vacuum. It is the most honest and American of mediums.

    Jack

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