Monday, November 20, 2017

A JLI REUNION

Back in April, at the East Coast Comicon, we (Keith Giffen, Kevin Maguire and yours truly) had a Justice League International  30th anniversary panel—and video of the event has just  appeared online.  The sound is a little wonky in spots—there were no microphones—but, if you're a JLI fan, I think you'll enjoy this.

79 comments:

  1. This is a really neat Justice LEague fansite, but that will have to be for later.

    In case you are wondering, yes, DOOMSDAY CLOCK is dedicated to Len Wein. The forgotten architect of Watch.. I don't know, something.

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    1. It's dedicated to Len? That's great! I didn't know that.

      We'll soon be shifting from a JL fansite to a Tomazooma The Living Totem fansite. Hope you enjoy it!

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    2. A dedication in the biggest comic event in over a decade? An event I am actually reading.

      Pretty big. My Guess is Stan Lee will be the only other one to have that happen... assuming the elder god he made a deal with changes his mind.

      It is also saving DC's bacon. I also think it will end up doing more than they intend it to.

      There was a rumor, that was quickly squashed, that there was a plan to do a Swamp Thing anthology series with multiple writers and artists doing stories. All as a tribute.

      Shame it won't come to pass.

      Jack

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    3. I hadn't heard about the Swamp Thing tribute but, boy, would I have loved to have been part of it.

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    4. As I said, it was a rumor, that was quashed, so such a project is not in the works.

      That having been said, if it ever did become a thing, I would certainly purchase it... with money.

      Unfortunately, the most likely thing thing that would cause it to take hold, would be a major anniversary. That wouldn't be until the 50th in 2021.

      I suppose, it could be done as a PR move, to raise money, for the Hero Initiative of something that Mr. Wein cared deeply about that need money.

      Of course, with both creators sadly passing away last year, it COULD just be a tribute, or a Halloween event for next year. Weekly, and all of that.

      Yeah, it could be complete with post or pre-story mentions about the book and the creators.

      While all of these are possible, what it really would need is someone to get DC on board.

      Jack

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    5. The comic idea, or how to make it happen?

      When you consider the wide swath of creators who would want to participate, it would almost assuredly sell decently.

      Think about it, people who knew Wein and Wrightson, people who were inspired, people who just love the character.

      If anything would draw Moore back to DC (and that is a big if) it would be a something honoring Wein and Wrightson.

      By the way is Wein pronounced Ween or Wine. Every name I've known that ends in "ein" has been "ine." Just to settle a conversation around teh shop.

      I think someone needsmake a call to DC head offices about this project... but if I have to an appointment, you may have to do it.

      Here are three things to encourage you...

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxRS8f1nkDY

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3H5zXh6MVvg

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGK6QBXihcw

      If that doesn't inspire you, nothing will.


      Jack

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    6. It's pronounced WEEN. Thanks for the inspiration!

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    7. Huh, I always thought it was "WINE," though if I had to guess, it was probably changed in pronunciation when his family came to America.

      In the German language you always pronounce the second letter when you have two vowels side by side.

      But, whatever, I have just making a jackass out of myself for a decade and a half... give or take.

      I do have to warn you, you will never get that Swamp Thing heme out of your head. So, wither this project comes to pass... or you go insane.

      Either way, fun to watch.



      Jack

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    8. You have an odd idea of fun. : )

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  2. I wonder if DC releasing their most popular books twice a week will cause some issues they may not anticipate.

    I am curious if it may make readers view once a month as being too slow after a point.

    If that does happen I wonder what the solution is.


    Jack

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    1. Interesting question. I think the twice a month model in some ways replaces the days when a single character had four (or more) different titles coming out every month. (Not that there aren't multiple titles right now, but, in the past, I think we had many more.) But I totally see your point.

      On the other hand, I wonder if the twice a month model is resented by some because it puts a hole in their budget. If, for instance, you love a certain creative team on Batman and you used to pay for that entertainment twelve times a year, what happens when that team is coming your way twice a month and you have to cut out other favorite titles in order to afford it?

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    2. I've noticed that exact thing you mentioned.

      There did used to be more titles for say... Batman (what did that end with 83 a month, before the New 52), bu those were all different titles.

      So right now, really enjoying Action Comics . I actually look forward to each issue(which is a shock, given my complicated history with the character).

      I am also really enjoying Daredevil, and twice I have wondered if I missed an issue because it has been... gasp... 3 weeks since I last bought an issue.

      Decompression already makes things hard to connect at times, given multiple months that you have to hold onto plot elements, but what happens when I remember the plots to one book so much more clearly.

      I don't think it will really matter in the end, because I believe that the twice a month is temporary to re-establish characters.

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    3. Of course, the real problem facing comics right now is money.

      Jack

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    4. From a business perspective, double-shipping makes a lot of sense. Someone who buys a core book like ASM won't necessarily buy a satellite title like PP:TSSM, so there's probably a bit more cushion for sales there. Where you could have just bought ASM when it was monthly and ignored SSM or WOS (excluding crossovers) you can't do that now. You're making at least an $8 a month commitment to get Spider-Man's story.

      But I'm very much agreed that from a reader perspective, there is a budget crunch issue. Most people have a pre-set amount they can spend on comics regardless, so double-shipping essentially halves your purchasing power.

      That said, Marvel Unlimited provides fans with more purchasing power than they've ever had before. You can read anything Marvel has published recently with a six-month lag time for the price of a Netflix subscription. That's HUGE in my opinion. It's a great way to keep up with everything that's going on the larger MU that you can't afford to purchase on a monthly basis.

      Now on to other ways double-shipping has shaped the industry landscape.

      I think one of the most unfortunate side effects is the decline of the artist's brand power. Artists cannot keep up with a twice-monthly schedule year-round, so they generally draw one story arc of two or three issues and then pass the baton to another artist. You end up with two creative teams on most books: Writer X/Artist A and Writer X/Artist B.

      This can create the mistaken impression that any artist can be 'plugged in' to the writer's vision without an impact on the final product. And you're essentially doubling the writer's exposure while halving the artist's (even though their work output is technically the same). The writer's name is on every book, while the artistic teams vary.

      So with the current landscape, the DeMatteis/Buscema run on SSM might have been the DeMatties/Buscema/Artist X/Artist Y run, in which case it's a lot easier to just say "the DeMatteis run." And you might have ended up with Buscema drawing SSM 189 but not 200.

      That's just my take on it from the outside, though. I've never heard any artists comment on which model they prefer, or if there's any truth to the idea that artists are mistakenly seen as less important to the final product now than a decade ago.

      I also think it limits the writer's flexibility. Because the artist on deck needs lead-in time, they probably can't change any important plot points at the last minute. Or it wouldn't be very kind if they did! "Hey, Artist X, I need you to erase Harry from every scene in SSM 201. Turns out he's dead!" :) (I know that's not exactly how it would have played out, I'm just being hyperbolic.)

      --David

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    5. Great points, as always, David. Thanks!

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    6. What I think causes problems wit flexibility is these writers summits Marvel has, where they plan out a year of work.

      Then there is the six issue story arcs for everything.

      It becomes hard to course correct with that model. Forget god or bad, what about fan appeal?

      Marvel just saw that,people really didn't want Cap as a member of HYDRA... let alone its head.

      Whether it was the worst comic ever, or complete brilliance, is a discussion that is beyond the point. People didn't like it.

      There was a year and a half build up, and there was a backlash almost immediately, it should have been easy to beat it back to JUST a CAP story of or the resolution.

      It was however too built into everything, the plans had been laid.

      Ever since Civil War, everything at Marvel has been so planned out and seemingly regimented, that what used to be like steering a jeep has become an ocean liner.

      I have also heard tell that writers have to pitch their entire run, even if it is for three years.

      I don't know if that is true, but things change in three years. Things change in three months.... three days... three hours.

      Plans are great, but they can;'t be treated like gospel.

      As for twice a month, I don't think it will be permanent at DC. Green Arrow I believe already dropped it. I do think it was just to get all the story needed for a post-DOOMSDAY CLOCK DC.

      But, that isn't the money problem.

      continued...

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    7. My local comic shop got a call from VALIANT, and asked them about their sales. Now they guy they talked to is a big supporter of Valiant. He said however he thinks the price is too high. The person on Valiant's end said they heard that a lot.

      The average Marvel comic is $4.00. Lets think of things in terms of marvel comics as a unit of measure.

      -A pizza and 2 liter cost 2 Marvel comics.

      -A copy of Fantasy and Science Fiction (the science fiction and fantasy periodical of record), with over 250 pages of short stories, novellas, novelettes, cartoons, and reviews is just over two Marvel comics.

      -A CD with usually around an hour of music is between 2-3 MArvel Comics.

      -A movie ticket (which people say is over priced) costs 1 and a half Marvel comics for 90min to 3 hours of entertainment.

      -Hulu is two marvel comics a month, Netflix about three.

      -fresh chicken, the good stuff, from the grocery store is a Marvel comic and a half by the pound.

      A comic book these days takes what? 3 or 4 minutes to read?

      The comic industry looks at their products and asks if it is good. Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

      However, what they need to ask is, "is this good enough... for the price."

      Every comic becomes a bigger gamble, if you try something new.

      I dropped a book recently because I thought, "it is good, but not enough to drop $4 a both along with every other comic I bought."

      Conversely, Alterna Comics cost $1.50. I bought an issue from them Wednesday and thought it was "eh," but for a $1.50, I'll see if it picks up.

      Is it inconcievable that many of the replacement characters Marvel put out recently didn't do well because hardcore fans of the originals viewed this as a good chance to save$4.00 bucks until the original came back?

      It is kind of a lot of money for 4 minutes, and a gamble on maybe I'll like it?

      Part of it requires an honest look at the current economic climate. It starts with 35 years of beating the Hell out of the working and Middle class (the buyers of comics).

      From that comes the fact that the gap between is rich and poor is larger than in decades, and that means more people making less money.

      The current generation makes on average 20% less than the previous generation at the same time.

      Increase in a stagnant minimum wage as primary income.

      WE still aren't sure how accurate unemployment numbers are.

      And according to a Forbes article than last year, almost 1/3 of working Americans are freelance or independent contractors. Which often means lower pay, but even in the best cases means more financial commitments (no unemployment insurance or health insurance for starters).

      So, new readers become less likely. Then there are the older readers, who often view it more like an addiction to kick than a hobby.

      Of course the REAL danger is the denial many people in the comic industry. Jim Lee almost got crucified last summer when he said comics were in danger.

      The question becomes how much of a future is there for comics?

      And that is a question that must be faced not with optimism, or hope, but sober reality.

      Because if they aren't,the answer will be given it them, and it will be none.

      Jack

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    8. Serious food for thought, Jack. Thanks!

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    9. And that is without getting into the breakdown of the creator/reader/business/retailer relationship.

      So, the question is.... What are you, J.M. Dematteis, going to do about it?

      Yeah, I am putting it all on you.

      I'm not kidding. Chip-chop-chip.

      Jack

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    10. I look forward to your report on how to save comics, and the ensuing revelations made by the "Creation Point Brain trust."


      Jack

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    11. Saving comics isn't my gig. My job is to write the very best stories I can.

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    12. At this point, I think saving comics is everyone's gig.

      Whatever.

      However... were there creative retreats during your Marvel tenure?

      Jack

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    13. Not full company retreats, but we'd have Spider-Man retreats, X-Men retreats, etc. With Spidey, the writers and editors (we were all in the NY area) would meet every few weeks at the Marvel office and then periodically all the artists would fly in and we'd go to some hotel for a two day summit. Which was always fun.

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    14. I believe that is what happened, I do.

      But in my head, you all met in a cabin deep in the woods. You would argue about how to end the clone sage as you roasted marshmallows.

      Then you and Defalco would argue about who gets the last marshmallow. It would get ugly.

      Then you, Dezzago, and Defalco would all come together to play pranks on Mackie... since he was the only one who didn't have a name that stared with "De."

      Then you would have a capture the flag game against the X-Men staff.

      Ahhh... summer nights. I guess, I never went to Summer camp. Too expensive.

      Still, now that you think about it, isn't that what REALLY happened?

      Jack

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    15. Hey I have a question...

      Is there any story you wrote that was just viewed as another comic (albeit perhaps a good one), but you thought that there was something special in it?

      I know you always say Dr. Fate and "Going Sane" however, those are cult classics. Going Sane, even got a trade release in time for a major Batman film.

      For example (using Dematteis as a lens, since anyone else would cause a murderous rage):

      1. The first Issue of Spectacular after the Clone Saga
      2. Defenders #101 and follow up with Sunshine and Devil-slayer (was that his name)?
      3. The Silver Surfer run, had some points.


      Just to name a few. I stayed away from creator owned, since that is a more complicated area.


      For that matter, if you can remember back when you were a fan, were their any stories by creators that YOU considered amazing, that history sort of looked over?


      Jack.

      P.S. If you ever wander int a place that sells comics again, buy the first issue of "Batman: Creature of the Night," and any other issues that may have come out.

      If you haven't read the now over a decade old companion piece Superman: Secret Identity, pick that up.

      Trust me, you'll be grateful. Look up the plot of each, and tell me it doesn't tackle your fancy. Even better in practice.

      What? I said saving comics was everyone's gig. This is my part. Or part of my part.

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    16. DeZago, DeFalco and I never pranked Mackie. We pranked Danny Fingeroth!

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    17. The important thing is that you and Defalco fought over the last marshmallow.


      The whole thing falls apart otherwise.


      Jack

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    18. It was actually the last slice of pizza.

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    19. Well... that just destroys the whole thing.

      How do you make pizza over a campfire?

      Now, up is down, black is white, Barry Allen is the most interesting FAlsh. It all madness... makes no sense anymore

      For all I know, Fingeroth and Mackie pranked YOU.

      Is this some kind of PKD story? I-I-I, need to get a grasp on reality.

      Is a leprechaun going to mug me tonight? I DON'T KNOW... not anymore.


      Gleepa-gops-Gloopa. That might be the new language.


      pizza cooked over a campfire. Ridiculous. I expect a writer of people with superpowers and are buried alive by former Russian nobility, mother and step-son soulmates who combine into a helmeted magician to combat evil, and aliens who are addicted to Oreo's to be a bit more grounded in reality

      pfff... campfire poizza. That people would want to eat no less.

      Jack

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    20. You see, Jack, we're all city boys born and bred, so we camp out in HOTELS and send out for pizza.

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    21. This all took a weird turn, and should come to an end.... before my mind explodes.

      Jack.

      P.S. Was Gargoyle influenced by Kirby's Demon, in any way?

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    22. In terms of stories that I hold in high regard that may have slipped under the radar (if that's what you mean): First thing that comes to mind is the GARGOYLE mini-series I did with Mark Badger for Marvel in the mid 80s. At DC, I'd say my SPECTRE and DR. FATE runs, both of which had single issue stories I'm especially proud of.

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    23. And speaking of Gargoyle: Yes, the visual was influenced by Kirby's Demon, one of my favorite Kirby creations, but the character himself was very much his own thing.

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    24. While I do appreciate the bombastic nature of The Demon I prefer the much more complex Gargoyle. That four issue mini series is one of my favorite things. I read it frequently at least once a year.

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    25. Thank you, Douglas! I would love to see Marvel (finally!) collect that mini-series. I think it's one of the very best Marvel Universe stories I've ever done.

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    26. Thanks Demattesi, I was asking for somebody else.

      One final thought on your retreats.

      I can't imagine a hotel would be too fond of your bonfires in their rooms.

      Take it from THIS city boy, never give the cops good cause to break out the nightsticks. They hurt.

      Typical Spider-man writers, think the rules don't apply.

      Its like when Roger Stern too control of bakery for three days when he was high on creating the Hobgoblin.

      They had to call in Bill Mantlo to talk him down, if I recall. Spidey writers only respect other Spidey writers.

      Jack

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    27. Marvel was VERY generous in those days. We actually had suites with pizza ovens.

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    28. Wait a minute. I know I said this should be put to bed, but I have a question.

      If you have pizza ovens why order out for pizza If you had a habit of ordering for pizza, why spring for one?

      How long did it take Mantlo to talk down Stern? I know that was my point, but I am curious.



      Jack

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    29. Well, Marvel was so generous that they gave us money to hire our own chefs. So we didn't actually send out for the pizza itself, but for the pizza chefs to come to our suite, with all the ingredients,. and make fresh pies for us.

      Someone's gonna read this nonsense, think it's true—and it'll end up on Wikipedia! : )

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    30. Nonsense? At Creation Point? Will, I suppose there is a first time for everything I guess.

      When has this website ever been anything but the utmost of seriousness?

      Jack

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  3. Forgot to post here on Thursday. Just wanted to let everyone know that The National Novel Writing Month is over and I made the goal of 50k words. That's a lot for a month, right?

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    1. Congratulations, Douglas! Well done!!

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    2. Number of words being good is a sliding scale. In reality, that is about 3 pages a day.

      I know a woman who researched, wrote, edited, and set up with a publisher, 2 books in two 1 month sabbaticals.

      Writing also happens to be her job.

      What would be more interesting is how proud you are of those pages. That is what I want to hear about.

      How many times did you back to polish? How extatic were you when you realized a sentence was just what you wanted?

      Did the self-imposed number help/Expedite the process, or frustrate?

      I want to know how you felt in the process.

      Also, why are people only allowed to write novels in November? That seems odd, and who is enforcing this... with my tax dollars!?

      I look forward to hearing tales of your crafting the perfect paragraph, for your voice to flow.

      Not you, Dematteis. You do that a lot already.

      Jack

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    3. National Novel Writing Month is a yearly event for writers in November. It is purely voluntary and no tax dollars are expended in its creation or maintenance. I finished on November 30th and handed it to my daughter to read who will then hand it to my wife to edit. Then I will look at her notes and do the necessary polish. I am proud that for the first time in four attempts, I have reached the goal in the allotted time. The self imposed number does lend air of immediacy to those of us who don't write professionally. I never felt frustrated, but I did realize that to make the goal a certain amount of words needed to be produced daily or I would have to play catch up which I did more than once and it was rough.
      How proud am I? I'm proud I finished it, does that count?
      Now, that I have answered these questions to the best of my ability I will tell you what the plot of the book is;
      It take the idea that Kevin Smith never made another movie after Clerks. No one came to see it and no studio picked it up. He becomes depressed and quits trying. He becomes a private eye in Leonardo, NJ and it's twenty years later. There is someone killing children in his city and he has to try and find out who it is. I had fun with it.

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    4. It DOES sound interesting.

      The taxes thing was a joke, by the way. Just, apparently, not a very good one.


      Jack

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    5. I know, I was responding with another joke. I thought yours was funny. :)

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  4. Dematteis I have a question... an Earth question.

    Granted, this causes you to go back to 1982, so no blame if you can't answer.

    However, your Marvel Team-Up issue with Spider-man and Daredevil, I believe it was the first time they met since since Miller took reigns on ol' Hornhead.

    Was that in your mind, at the time? DD did seem kind of Miller inspired. Or at least less the carefree style he had been before.

    The ending, which you may have to look up (if that is even possible). But it seemed like a hybrid of a Dematteis ending with a Miller Daredevil style.

    For that matter, what were your thoughts on his run when it started, or when he came back for "Born Again" (which I say is his best work, not to bad mouth DKR or Batman: Year One mind you)?

    It is largely considered a seminal work, and for very good reason. But you started writing about the same time Miller did, and I don't think you ever hear what his contemporaries from those days felt.

    Feel free to not a answer any of this.

    Jack

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    1. Long time ago, but I don't think I was trying to be Milleresque in any way. I'm sure I was trying to be consistent with whatever DD's current portrayal was—that was my job—but I don't think there was any major influence on the way the story was told or the creative choices I made.

      I don't really remember my reaction to Miller's first run, but I LOVED "Born Again." That—and BATMAN YEAR ONE—are my favorite Miller stories. As great as Frank is on his own, I seemed to connect with the Miller-Mazuchelli team in a deeper way.

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    2. Fair enough.

      I agree with your assessment, though would probably put his original DD run and single issues between above the Bats: Year Fun, but I don't see Mazzuchelli as why.

      They are both smaller stories. DKR is a big examination of society an philosophy, and aging.

      Year ONe and Born Again are about men.

      One thing I think is interesting... that you probably won't... is that Daredevil Born Again came out the same year as Watchmen and to a lesser extent DKR.

      However, it is the inverse of them... much more WAtchmen. Yes, in the way I already mentioned, about characters being more important than the ideas. DKR doesn't really have that issue to the same degree.

      It is the opposite view of decunstruction. DKR to some degree, and WAthcmen to a larger one are done to show that superheroes would just be selfish, broken, a******s. That they would if anything be worse people, just packaged better.

      Born Again strips Daredevil of everyhting superficial. The law degree, the wealth... any money really, even the costume and his friends. Foggy joins the Kingpin's law team and Karen betrays him.

      His silver age self is tarnished, I believe there was a discussion here about how Devil-Slayer's hippie pal and Karen Page both acted as MArvel's sacrificial lamb for baby boomer excess and rebellion they cozied up to in the 70s. It was the only times the negative sides of the 60s revolution was ever really discussed in MArvel.

      But we have already been there.

      Point is, what could hurt more than his Lois Lane becoming a porn star/hooker/addict who betrays his greatest secret? It should destroy everything heroic in him.

      NO! Matt rises up and proves the hero is the man, not the costume. He even forgives Karen for ruining his life, no questions asked. Saves Hell's Kitchen. Saves Karen. Stats a new life.

      It is a testament to the heroic nature and beauty found in the dignity, compassion, and will of men.

      The Avengers show up, but Thor is like a storm come to life. Iron Man is cold and machine like. Captain America is compassionate, but at a loss as he struggles to accept the change in soldiers and their treatment over time.

      This is not a spitting int he face of heroes, or a denial that they exist. It is a statement that their humanity is what makes them human, and it is vital. That anyone can appeal to the better or worse sides of their nature.

      Truly one of the greatest Christmas stories ever written that really captures the holiday's greater meanings.

      You forgot it was a Christmas story, didn't you?

      And that is why it should be remembered in the annals of comic history as much or more that DKR, which I did like.

      Jack

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    3. The thing I remember most about BORN AGAIN—and I haven't read it since the original issues came out—is that every issue had a moment that grabbed me emotionally. And, for all the entertainment value, that doesn't always happen in comics.

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    4. I haven't read it since a week before Thanksgiving, my Senior year of High School.

      I should really re-read it.

      Anyway, granted, that was after 1986, but it wasn't last month either.

      Those emotional grabs are strong all right, and I think that goes right back to it being so human of a story. Miller really makes you feel for Matt and AS Matt.

      How long did it take before anyone knew if Mother Maggie WAS his mother, or Matt just wanted her to BE his Mother.

      You were lost in the confusion along with Matt.

      You shivered with Matt.


      When you see Matt with Karen at the end, you are relieved.

      I think Born Again and Kraven's Last Hunt (no I am not saying this just because this is your website) are forgotten to soon.

      They do much what DKR and Watchmen do, explore a more deep view of Superheroes and their tropes, except BA and KLT are more optimistic about the character.

      They just have the handicap of being in continuity and within the main books.


      Jack

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    5. Well, I'm happy to be mentioned in the same breath with BORN AGAIN. Thanks.

      And, yes, the emotion was really the key for me. DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, to me, was a triumph of storytelling. The story itself isn't my favorite Batman story, but the WAY MILLER TOLD IT was breathtaking. BORN AGAIN had both the storytelling and the story. That's—not to take anything away from DKR (as if I could!)—why I prefer it.

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    6. The problem with DKR in terms of emotional resonance, is that it all happens in the first half.

      You can connect well with a Batman that feels past his prime, that he is of no value anymore.

      His rise back to self worth.

      The second half is Batman being batman. It feels like a singular narrative from a narrative stand point, but not necessarily an emotional one.

      Plus, Bruce's emotions are more muted through out the whole thing. Matt is more self aware that Bruce is.

      And, I think Miller has a different view on Daredevil than Batman, being his first pro writing "gig."

      Man Without Fear feels more in touch with humanity, and inseccurity, and complexity, than any of Miller's other post-1990 work.

      again to as you say, "not to take anything away." He just sort of fell in love with archetypes... even ones he made up.


      Ronin is another good example of miller having a less honestly emotional character than MAtt. And that come out First.

      Even Elektra: Assassian (which I always thought kind of framed her as child like internally) had her and the other charters acting more architypically. The exception being the SHIELD agent, who I can't remember, since it has been so long.

      Which may be why he steals the story from Elektra.

      Actually, I believe Denny O'neil was Millers editor on both Daredevil AND Batman: Year One.

      Now, he probably was on DKR as well, but Goodwin would have been on Elektra. Somebody else certainly was on his indy work.

      Could O'Neil bring out something in Miller... besides organization, and a firmer guiding hand?

      But how does that explain Man Without Fear? Stronger instinct-memory connection?

      INteresting...ish.

      Miller is certainly a... unique... talent. What if Denny O'Neil is the key to understanding him.

      I have often said many of his less popular works are the result of fans turned editors... an opinion of course.

      It could...COULD.. be that since his first writing job was such a runaway success, then followed exclusively short runs or one-shots, he developed a different relationship with the fundamentals of the skill/craft.

      Jack

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    7. I know that Denny was the editor that helped form Frank, more than any other. A brilliant guy, a superb writer and a gifted editor: Denny is one of the greats.

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    8. Denny O'Neil's greatest gifts as a writer was the ability to make the human connection to even the headiest of concepts, and to always keep the story moving.

      A Denny O'Neil comic doesn't waste a single inch of space in any given comic.

      One of the biggest shames in comics is that his Daredevil run is largely forgotten. There is some great work in those comics, and smart too

      Matt Murdock dealing with inadvertently causing a suicide... man I'm not sure many writers NOW would dare to touch that, and even if so deal with it so humanely.

      Good God, was there a single bad issue of Daredevil in the 80s?

      I never met Denny O'Neil, but I would be more than happy to, so I can only speak to his work. He seemed like he really got people and both loved them, and... not detested .... but was often very disappointed in them. Like he expects us to be better, but is to aware of himself to judge harshly.

      I got a bit off topic. Sorry.

      Jack

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    9. Nothing to be sorry about. You're praising Denny O'Neil and that's okay with me!

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    10. Who wouldn't praise Denny O'Neil?

      Seth? Probably Seth.

      I will say, I think the best way to understand Miller's career compared to other creators is through the lens of rock musicians.


      Jack

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    11. By the way,I don't know anyone named Seth, I assume he is one of your acquaintances.


      Jack

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    12. Look up two (possibly three, depending on how you view it) posts.

      Jack

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    13. While you try to to straighten out your jerk pal Seth, I have a question.

      On a scale of 1 to 10, how offended would you be if your story "Spider-Dreams" (from ASM#700), was the official cannon of the Spider-man universe after 2007, in my head?

      Like in my noggin, that is how it goes, no matter what the pages that are printed from here on out say.

      Jack

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    14. Your head has my full permission to make it canon.

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    15. In my head it already is. Just don't tell Quesada... or do, I mean what are the odds he cares what I think?

      I should point out, that isn't a number between 1 and 10.

      The most unbelievable and fantastical thing about it, is you defied heaven and Earth, disrupted the cosmos, and spit in the eye of creation, and... took a Marvel character out of New York, in that story.

      How angry was that letter from the head office? Was Joe QUesada saying you'd never work in this town again?

      Call me an optimistic fool, but I think there are still some Spider-stories rambling around the ol' Dematteis brain.

      Jack

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    16. Well, I've written a couple of episodes of the new Spider-Man animated series, if that counts.

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    17. It counts to your ban account, and I am happy about that.

      But as a Spider-man story? No. Not to me.

      Sorry, not saying its bad work, just that it doesn't count for me.

      And I know my opinion is all that really matters to you. Or maybe its bagel sandwiches. It is definitely one that you only care about, my views or bagel sandwiches.

      Jack

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    18. And now the DeMatteis uber fans demand to know which episodes those are...please??

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    19. Bagels...? No, let's not start a debate about bagels. Please!

      (A Brooklyn-made, fresh-from-the-oven "everything" bagel is the best, by the way.)

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    20. My two episodes are set for the second season, Douglas. They're in the first season now, so we have time before I send out the alert. I'm hoping there will be a season three so I can do more. I had a great time with these. It's a vision closer to the more recent Spidey movie than the comics, but it's always fun to reunite with Peter in any form and the folks running the show are great people.

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    21. A true bagel has a chewy texture to it that would not lend itself all that well to a sandwich. Most bagel sandwiches are not made with a true bagel.

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    22. But perfect for cream cheese! (I can't believe we're getting into this!)

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    23. There was a bagel debate?

      Where was I?

      Look, I may think there are a lot of things New York needs to get over itself about.

      I may be annoyed at their cultural theft from other parts of the country (stealing punk from Detroit comes to mind).

      I may think that they can be way to thin skinned about themselves as time.

      Overpriced, with an undeserved since of superiority.

      And that all comes from a place of genuine love, by the way.

      But bagels? Nope, that is all theirs. Ben Reilly once said you cant get a good bagel outside New York, to Janine Godbe.

      I wouldn't go that far, there are good bagels outside New York. But the best?

      Nope, that is one truly deserved honor. You want an argument, that isn't one for me.

      Believe it or not, I have no great love or hate for my native part of the world, any place else I've lived. I just think New York isn't the only place with great stuff.

      But a war of bagels, can only be had between burroughs. This is a Brooklyn-Bronx-Manhattan-Staten Island-Queens affair.

      I will say, they best I ever had was in a (then) not super built up working class neighborhood (again at the time) in Brooklyn. Followed closely by one in Queens.

      Now, Peter Parker hates me. Sorry, Pete. I love ya, but taste buds don't lie.

      I will say... I do think there is an economic aspect to it. Because the worst I had (in the city) was also in Brooklyn, but in a nicer area.

      But, I'll leave this the the New Yorkers.


      Still doesn't count as Spider-man.

      Issue 800 is coming up soon, maybe you'll get a chance to do something there. Of course... I don't know how soon that would have to be, so you may have missed your shot.

      It will com out somewhere between May and June.

      But pierogi's...that is a fierce, uncompromising debate. Coney v. New York City Street Hot Dogs you are wrong.

      Much like New York vs Chicago with Pizza, New York vs. the rest of the world in bagels is settled in favor of the Big Apple.

      Jack

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    24. Oh, and Happy Hanukkah.


      Jack

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    25. Thanks for settling that. Now about those pierogis...!

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    26. Don't tell me what to do or what kind of holiday to have, Dematteris.

      Of course, the week before Hanukah, their was some driedeling at my local comic shop.

      As for the pierogi thing, I'm going to leave it alone. I don't want to embarrass you or that Podunk-one-horse-whistle-stop-gee-whiz hometown of yours.

      It is not a pandora's box you want opened.

      Jack

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    27. At least you didn't argue about the dogs...


      Jack

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    28. Well, best pierogis will always be Michigan. :)

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