Tuesday, January 17, 2017


2017 is the 30th anniversary year for both Justice League International and Kraven's Last Hunt. As a way to kick off the celebrations, I offer two videos from a few years back. The first is from an Canadian documentary series called Ink: Alter Egos Exposed. The embedded episode is called "Villains" and it concludes with a discussion of KLH, where I talk about the story and how it evolved.

The second video is part of a documentary called Out of Print.  It's a short, but informative, chat about JLI.

So break out the cake, pop the champagne and let's get those anniversary parties started!


  1. Now I feel old and I want cake. Thanks a lot! :)

    1. There's a difference between being old and being oldER. Older we can't avoid, old is a state of mind. Enjoy the cake, Douglas! : )

    2. Yeah, I have days when I feel 12 then there are days when I feel like The Ancient One. I went with Devil's Food cake. Seemed appropriate. BWAH HA HA!

    3. I know exactly what you mean, Douglas. One of the great things about comic books is that they keep you young. That helps on this Ancient One days.

    4. That should have been "THOSE Ancient One days." Sorry!

  2. Off subject but also '80s: Your Cap 275 was brought up by the current Cap writer in a Twitter argument regarding the nazi who was punched during the ascension of Putin's pawn yesterday. It's on Bleeding Cool if you wanna take a look. That was a great issue by the way...

    1. Thanks for pointing that out, Jeff. Sad, isn't it, that the story still has relevance today?

      I have to agree with Nick Spencer (and Cap): either we believe in free speech or we don't. Either we honor the law or we don't. There are many other ways to fight back without resorting to violence. Just ask Gandhi and Martin Luther King. For that matter, ask the people who'll be marching in Washington today.

    2. I'm no fan of Nick Spencer's writing style, but I do agree with him on this. And I guess you too Dematteis, of course I own that comic so suppose I agreed with you first.

      No one is saying not to confront Nazis, just not physically. Actually, if they are harming someone, I don't think anyone would care.

      There is a reason that that SUPER conservative group the ACLU (hopefully that was read sarcastically) defends Neo-Nazi groups. The first amendment is important. That should probably be a bi-partisan view.

      The irony of the whole thing is that trying to stop people from saying things you don't want to hear is pretty fascistic.

      Of course, with statements that you couldn't talk ill of the Iraq war without insulting the troops, college campuses trying to stop speakers they don't agree with, a poll showing a shocking number of college kids who want laws to limit free speech, and every president of the 21st century except the one who just took office and said he would has gone after journalists... maybe the First Amendment is just a relic from another time.

      Nazi's are vile human beings, can we maybe not adopt their tactics and nature, even if it is to oppose them?

      Maybe it is the nature of social media making so many people think of themselves as mini-gods, they want to stop anything that offendeth their ear, and the rights of their followers are without validity.

      Go, that's depressing. Maybe this can lighten the mood...



      That might not be enough, gonna have to go for the big guns...


      let's hope that was enough,

    3. That story of yours is blowing up all over the comics related web sites. One of my favorite Cap runs and one that I revisit frequently.

    4. Sounds like we're pretty much in agreement here, Jack.

      I'm out and about so I'll check out the links later. Thanks!

    5. Guess everything old is new again, Douglas. Although I'm sorry that particular story is so relevant right now.

      And thanks for your kind words about the Cap run. It seems to have gained more fans with the passage of the years. Back in the day, I don't recall much reaction, positive or otherwise. Now people talk to me about it all the time.

    6. Its just as well, this is the better version of the first link's performance:

      I read after I wrote that that the guy who did the punching was a member of an anti-fascist group. I don't know if its true, but if it is the words of Nietzsche (I believe)which came to mind about those who fight monsters becoming them.

      A pretty well kn own comic writer (I won't use his name) actually came out against it and then bowed to social pressure and agreed with the action. Its always good to know that people who make their money off of free speech are such staunch advocates.

      Now w are starring at a third in a row presidential terms with contempt for journalists, and us little guys are all trying to destroy the first amendment.

      Okay, I need to change gears. I'm getting super depressed, how about this...

      I bought some Spider-man comics from several different eras, and I noticed a changing view of the city. Not just in thing like say crime and the look, those things can and have changed over the years and decades. Rather the way characters interact with the city.

      I'll cut to the chase, over time the people in the streets are interacted with in different ways, more recently it is less.

      That is hardly all, also the views are different. how much wall crawling, and how high he swings across the city.

      Even the the type interactions in places of business and homes.

      It isn't even by writer or artist, it is largely by era. As I said, much of this are things that maybe shouldn't change through things like economic or crime-prevention evolution, or even landscape of an area.

      One could say it is because fewer creators actually live in New York these days, but most of these things would just be living in any city, or area.

      Just a strange thing I noticed.



    7. Strange and interesting, Jack. And worth exploring further. I'll be waiting for your article, "Spider-Man and the City"!

    8. Hard to believe it's been 30 years. I remember trying to impress my parents with the urgency of getting me to the comic store as quickly as possible, because issues of KLH were selling out. A few times I had to visit more than one comic store. If memory serves, it was because the WEB OF SPIDER-MAN and SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN issues didn't typically sell as much as AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, and the crossover thing was still kind of new. So retailers didn't always realize that they'd be selling as many issues of WEB as ASM that month! But that's just a theory. Did you ever hear anything about the sales side of things?

      I do remember the really cool Black & White promotional posters some of the stores had.

      There are so many things I love about KRAVEN'S LAST HUNT. The mysticism, the window into a previously flat villain's soul, the poetic language, and a conclusion where Peter's victory doesn't come from avenging himself on Kraven but saving the city from Vermin and Vermin from himself.

      And I think Jack is on to something with the way Spidey interacts with the city from era to era. In the 70s and 80s, claustrophobia creates a sense of community. Maybe that's not the right word, but it seems like Peter and his cast didn't have as much personal space then, as there's always random background characters populating the street and the buildings, often interacting with Spidey. That's just my very unscientific analysis.

      Maybe we could get a KLH sequel where Paste Pot Pete realizes that no mere man could stop him as easily as Spidey does, so he must actually be possessed by an ancient entity known as "The City." Paste Pot Pete buries Spidey in glue, ingests the skyline, and proves he's better by accomplishing the one thing Spidey never could...waiting in line at the DMV for his license...


    9. So we'll call the story "Pete's Last Paste"? I'll see if Zeck is available! : )

      Always touched by your love of KLH, David, and impressed by your analysis of the story. And I'm always grateful for the long life that story has had.

    10. I have a mini comic I do called Kapitan Kalamazoo (Yes, that's the way it's spelled.) Currently the hero who is just a large, upper case K is battling the evil Dr. Terrapin for the soul of the city of Kalamazoo. The city, steeped in Indian Lore has a sentient consciousness and Dr. Terrapin's plan for Urban renewal is destroying the city. Good stuff

    11. What do you mean you "think" I'm right. I'm a mortal man, and perfectly capable of being wrong... just apparently not here.,

      I wonder if it has anything to do with something else I noticed.

      I'll use 200 as a bearing, but I won't claim that it is 100% the best year.


      I noticed that after that, comics had a much more polished and studied lok to them. Like an artist went to class.

      I also noticed that say pre-2000 the Daily Bugle felt like a bustling newsroom where as after it just kind of looked like some people working. Post-2000 a sketchy neighborhood looked run down, before you felt Peter might get mugged.

      I think that has something to do with the over the top nature of comic drawing, and the need to explode ideas at people vs. the art school idea of making things look pretty and polished. Kirby,Miller, Eisner, Ditko, and Starlin are a lot of things...put polished was never among them. Even Romita who had such beautiful art had a chaotic feel of motion and excitement.

      Of course... the writing of it changed for city's as well, so they might just be unrelated anomalies.

      There is something else I have been toying around with.

      There is a website I once put a link to that talked about the F.> being the great American novel.

      It also implied that the "true" timeline of the Fantastic Four ends in 1989.

      Now this theory is the idea is that it is a different team since histories change for time, and several other things I won't go into.

      I always thought it was just when the writer got less enthusiastic. However, there were some back to basic pushes around that time which felt a bit odd, not bad stories, but odd.

      Marvel was atypical in the fact that time progressed. The characters had clear chapters to their lives which led into each other, regardless of creative team. SPider-Man, in High school, college, Post-Gwen, post-college, early married years, are all like chapters. Things get crazy, but the personal life progresses normally.

      However do to corporate meddling these occaisonally end in terms of back to basics where fluidity is scrapped for what "should be." For lack of a better term a less true continuity. No longer a person living life, but controled by other forces, it isn't false or even bad, just an almost separate feel from what came before.

      I realized that almost every Marvel character has experienced this. All have them had their final moment as it were.

      F.F. - I won't get into it.
      Hulk- The end of Peter David's run
      Iron Man - Civil War
      Hank Pym - Onslaught
      Thor- No where near expert enough to make his call
      Spider-Man - Well the Final Chapter, it isn't many people' favorite story, but I do think it was just that
      X-Men - the exiting of Chris Claremont from the team.
      Daredevil - The end of volume 1
      Silver Surfer - Greg Pak's mini series
      Dr. Strange - 2000
      Captain America- the end of Brubaker's run

      Now this is not bout quality, it is about flow. Please ask me to go into detail, I would love that.

      Remember it isn't about good or bad, but rather a fluidity to the character's life.

      Now Dematteis, I believe you have inks to check out, or I'll make you straighten paper clips, and..eat...stew.


    12. Maybe we should send Kapitan Kalamazoo after Paste Pot Pete!

    13. I think that Kaptain Kalamazoo should work on addressing the flaws of downtown being one big one way street.

      Now that...THAT would be a hero I could believe in. Make me believe again..please.


    14. I think Marvel's a little litigious to pull that off. Also, can't believe I spelled litigious right the first time. Maybe I can invent a glue based villain of my own.

    15. Jack, if you want copies of the mini let me know. Also, you are correct about the one way street thing. It is so bad down there.

    16. As a child, Buckley "Buck" T. Williams sold glue to support his family during the Great Depression. Sadly, people stopped buying glue from street bucket vendors and Buck fell on even harder times with no way to make ends meet.

      But all that changed when the same accident that gave Daredevil his powers and mutated four famous turtles irradiated him, too.

      Buck now possesses a psychic bond with his bottomless bucket of glue, which draws its endless supply from a breach in the dimensional wall that separates the glu-verse from our world. Buck also has incredible will power, or 'stick-to-itiviness,' and the glue vapors have unnaturally prolonged his lifespan. You'd never guess he was ninety-seven years old!

      Taking up the mantle of "Glue-Bucket Bill," he now believes that every enemy he encounters is possessed by "The City," a mystical entity responsible for the corporatization of glue.

      Fun facts:

      --Glue-Bucket Bill first appeared in the anthology mag WE HAVE NO IDEA WHO'S BUYING THIS BOOK BUT WOW THE MARKET IS BOOMING #237.

      --Buckley "Buck" T. Williams is the only alter-ego name that Stan Lee has never misremembered (take that, Peter Palmer!)

      --A loner by nature, he occasionally teams up with Bungalow Bill.

      --In an uncharacteristic move, writer J M DeMatteis once revealed that there's no compelling psychological explanation for why Buckley acts the way he does. He's just really, really weird.


    17. Hurray! I will send you an issue when it's done.

    18. David, I can, with your permission use all of that minus anything that references any actual comic book characters.

    19. Also, nice Beatles reference, David.

    20. Interestingly, I've always thought of KLH as one of a few Spidey stories that would make for a good 'final' tale. Not literally final, but just a great place to leave the hero's story. The reader could decide where Peter goes from there.

      In some ways, it reminds me of the O'Neil Batman story where he walks into the sunset with Talia. Of course, the adventure picks up again the next month...but definitely comes across as a potential ending.

      The other story that always comes to mind is ASM 200, which brings Peter Parker full circle in a lot of ways. He runs into the security guard from AMAZING FANTASY 15, only this time he stops a fleeing criminal (without powers, no less). And he confronts the burglar who killed Uncle Ben, refusing to kill him (though he dies from a heart attack).


    21. And back when we were doing the Clone Saga, we were going to REALLY send Peter and MJ off into the sunset to live happily ever after. I wonder what ever happened to that plan?

    22. I think that became the new series called 'Renew Your Vows' And Ben Reiley (sp) is back in his own title again. Old becomes new that whole 'circle of life' thing.

    23. Everything I just typed got deleted, and I need to get to bed, so I'll just hit the high points.


      My older brother went to WMU, and lives in Battle Creek. I can tell stories about the headaches that one way street can give a guy.

      Point is, I'm glad I gave you your next issue. When you want to send me royalties I accept cash and check. I know, I know, I'm all heart.

      As for KLH or #200 being the possible end, strongly disagree. Neither one gives an impression that teh story is over, but rather tat a chapter has finished. Given the nature of the medium, both are pretty god at giving a feeling that more is to come. At the end of KLH, you want to know how the now solidified marriage that it took almost a decade to get to willl pan out.

      Yes, in a decade of darker street level and Pete getting the holy hell kicked out of him at every turn, it is a strong Cap. The fact that he had a troublesome time with romeance, with Debra Whitman bening accidently abused by him, Black Cat completely rejecting the idea of Peter Parker for teh Spider, and MJ being the only woman to fully accept both sides of Peter, that adds more fuel.

      The story however kept you wanting more, there was expectation and excitement for what came next. The marriage was legitimized and you needed to see what was next for those crazy kids.

      The best ending to the Spider-man mythos was Amazing FAntasy 15, given that it reads like a one and done (like all Stan Lee origins minus F.F.)

      That isn't what I ma talking about. I'm also not talking about good or bad. Each one of those characters (with one exception) have had stories I really enjoy after the departure.

      It is about a disruption in the continual moving forward of a character, either through a step backward or inorganic large move in their lives.

      also there was a point where Dematteis will say all the old comics still exist and I point out that he is looking at it as a writer and not a fan. then say that continuity is something fans like, and this division between fan and writer has been growing over the past decade or so. That is is sort of a problem. it is all one big, admittedly fascinating, tangent... but a tangent none the less.

      The rest was an explanation about why I chose those moments for each character which I will address later.





    24. Sure, Douglas feel free to use it.

      As far as sending Pete and MJ off into the sunset, it's certainly an interesting concept! I feel like Peter would have inevitably regained his powers even if he had been a clone, as that's just the nature of comics. But who knows? The Clone Saga would have been a real game-changer if it had played out as originally intended. Maybe Pete would have occasionally showed up in an advisory capacity, like Bruce in BATMAN BEYOND. Just not old and cranky. And I really, really like the idea of giving poor Pete and MJ a break! They certainly earned a 'happily ever after.'


    25. As I recall, the idea was that Pete and MJ would pop up periodically and join in Ben's adventures. And I agree that, if we'd done it as planned, it would have been a pretty fantastic new era for Spider-Man. (And, eventually, someone would have undone it!)

    26. Watched/listened to all the videos, Jack, and enjoyed them!

    27. You're right on the money re: everything old is new again, Douglas. Especially where the Clone Saga is concerned!

    28. Glad you enjoyed them, Dematteis. Who would have thought a song by McCartney to comfort Julian Lennon could be so jazzy.

      I also like to mean that the humor in Scoobs Apocs will get ally dark, because of that clip. I know it won't but I like to think it

      Also, hope that champagne you mentioned in the original post was domestic, my fellow freelancer. You are going to need it for health care.

      I'm sure exploring the idea of who Ben is and was seemed fun, but those damn fans couldn't let go of there precious Peter Parker. We are just the scum of the Earth.

      Also did the links make you feel less bad about the rotting away of the first amendment throughout the 20th century.


    29. This PAste Pot Pet entity called the city fascinates me, but seems completely ignored in the synopsis.

      It also strikes me that PPP could do much better in a city without superheroes. WHy notmove?

      Simple, he loves the city. It means everything to him. His parents were absent a lot, so the city became a playground. Every bit of advice you were supposed to get from parents he got from the streets.

      He fell in with some bad kids that would travel all about town.

      He eventually fell into villainy, and would at times try to go straight. The problem outside the city scared him. The biggest city in the world became a giant crib. Even had a nervous breakdown when he tried to leave once.

      All those old haunts brought out the worst parts of him again. He fell into old habits.

      Getting rid of Spider-Man is one last ditch effort to become a person who does right by the city instead of wrong.

      THis CIty entity plays off of that. Like addiction whispering into a junkies ear saying that this is all you need to be happy. The extremes just dont matter anymore.

      IN the end his psyche is pudding, and that lovable loser we came to identify is sacrificed and saves Spidey to save the city. WHich is just too much of a break for him.

      He leaves the city to start a new life, but now he is a far worse criminal, the kind in a suit. After seeing all those ba influences become better people through work, time and family, (it happens thro8gh out the city) he knows he is not who he is or wants to be. HE might as well be who he fears he was.


    30. Hey, thanks everyone. I think the addition of Glue Bucket Bill is exactly what my story line needed for Kapitain Kalamazoo. If anyone sends me address; David, Jack, JM I will be happy to send you copies when it's done.

    31. Re: Ben. I suspect that, as time went on, we would have ended up with two different Spider-books, one featuring Ben in NYC and one featuring Pete and MJ.

      Re: champagne. Truth is, I don't drink. So the champagne is...metaphoric.

    32. Dematteis, that sounds like a horrible, horrible life. I'm going to need you to never mystically switch bodies with me. No excuses.

      And honestly, until I heard years later that Ben was supposed to be a way to get Spider-MAn at square one, I assumed Peter Parker was intended to return and Ben leave town as the Scarlett Spider.

      It isn't that far fetched. War Machine, Thnderstrike, this would not have been a new thing for Marvel to do in the 90s.

      Ben in NYC and Peter in... Portland. That hipster, or I guess in the 90s Punk? Whatever.

      It could have been good, although it probably would have made more sense for Ben to be in another city since Peter would be demanded by the fans for Peter to be the original Spider-man n name and clone numbering.

      We damn fans. Keeping creators employed with our purchases, and then having the gall to not want to pay for something we don't want. Can you imagine? God I hate us!


      At some point you may want to just go splitzies with someone at a show and sell them there.

      Just saying.

      Also, and I am 100% serious about this, my brother who went to WSU was named Bill. I swear.

      And I just have to say, if you want to make him look like a villain, all I can say is...YES. Absolutely. HE tried to drown me in Lake Michigan. He made a noose out of a a chord for window blinds. He tortured me for 13 years. As an adult he's still a jackass.

      Of course, he is technically the one who got me into comics (even if he did make fun of me for reading them until the movies started coming out, then it was all "hey lets chat") so...complicated.


    33. David,
      I thought I would post this here. I have finished the origin issue of Glue Bucket Bill. If you would like copies feel free to email me your address.
      It was fun.

  3. I read something off my Twitter feed that if you were into the punk scene in the 80s (I was) you probably ran into Nazis on a regular basis. I'll have to see if I can find the link when I'm not at work.

  4. Jack, I attend two shows a year Cinema Wasteland and Motor City. I volunteer at Motor City so no chance of a table there and mini comics aren't really a Wasteland kind of thing. That being said, I really make them for me. I have people who get them on a regular basis, but I rarely, if ever charge for them. I have a copier right behind where I sit at work and make copies for free so, no real over head. Now my zine, Divine Exploitation, I make that through Create Space and charge five bucks for that. I still tend to give away more than I sell.