SEMI-REGULAR MUSINGS FROM THE SEMI-REGULAR MIND OF WRITER J.M. DeMATTEIS
Happy New Year to you as well.
Thanks, Douglas! As John Lennon sang, "Let's hope it a good one, without any fear..."
look Dematteis, I disagree, you don't want a chimp mowing your lawn. Yes, it sounds funny and cute, but it gets old fast. Especially when the whole not knowing how to tell time, or what a job thing comes into play.Not to mention they are wild animals. And there is that whole thing.I think that you are much better having your New Years resolution should be...re-establishing anthologies as a legitimate and present force in comics.No chimps.JAck
A chimp mowing my lawn? I know there's a joke in there somewhere, Jack, but I can't find it!
Then watch "Marge and Homer turn a couple play." An episode of teh sipsonsNow, I believe you have anthologies to respark.Jack
That should be "The Simpsons." Apologies.Jack
No worries, Jack: If we all had to apologize for our typos, there'd be no time for anything else!
Well, I didn't want you searching for an episode of "Teh Sipsons."Do you know what is weird about your work on Weird War Tales?I'll clue you in on something weird I noticed as I was reading some back issues I bought.So, thereare a lot or easons Ilike Weird War Tales-As a history buff as well as sci-fi and horror fan, the mix is great.-The singular theme of War can force some real creativity-I like anthologies in general-some of the best covers ever-A lot of great talent came to those pages.One other thing though, is the ever present symbolism. I don't want to shock anyone but war, while sometimes a necessity, is bad. It isn't a fun place to be.By being a war comic and horror comic it merged those two idea. War was Hell in a hole new way.Whether plainly stated or just there because of the theme, it was clever way to make an old point.Being a hippio, you went a long with that, usually in a more blatant way. One instance, had you telling a tale where a gypsy send a soldier who was battle hungry to the world of not-Conan.Neglect of The Romani people's desire to stop Nazis for the same reason as Jews aside, I do think it is interesting you weren't too much of a hippie to not use the word "gypsy."Now this was often par for the course, war is bad tales as the point, not just the symbol.Then came the Creature Commandos. Now, I would first like to say, I LOVE the Creature Commandos. Who wouldn't.However, it turned it to a supernatural war adventure book, opposed to both a strict anthology and constant symbol of the horrors of war.Certainly, that was not all t was. Those element from before remained (even if the anthology elements did sometimes mix with adventure more), but the recurring nature created a least a slight shift.Just interesting observation of how things can come from strange places. Weir War Tales (and the Creature Commandos + GH.I. Robot) FOR LIFE!Jack
"War was hell in a whole new way." That's perfect! I never really thought about those stories in that way, but you're absolutely right.Speaking of your love of anthologies: coming very soon from Amazon streaming, a PKD anthology series:https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/05/arts/television/with-electric-dreams-philip-k-dick-gets-the-tv-anthology-treatment.html?smid=pl-share&_r=0
I DO love anthologies. Always have, and even more as I get older. From Twilight Zone to Tales from the Crypt.I don't know why and I even like think PKD's short fiction is superior to his novels... even if I enjoy both.However, I would be lying if I said that it isn't a bit weirs that a giant organization, with a history of poor treatment of workers, driving down wages, and uncomfortable relationships with both local governments and intellectual property, seems to have cart blanch on Dick's work.It is almost like something out of a PKD story.I know that his daughter is involved, and his children are usually protective. Still, it is a might bit uncomfortable that is has come to this.I'll still watch (once I figure out when and how), but it is still uncomfortable and weird.Just an observation. Next, I will tell you how to bring anthologies back to comics (and it is doable, possible to work, and real)...Jack
I love Weird War Tales too! Did you know that all of the following comic book legends made their debut in Weird War Tales:JM DeMatteisWalter SimonsonFrank MillerMarshall Rogers (my second favorite Batman artist of all time)I've been thinking of starting a Weird War Tales collection. I currently only own one original issue...Weird War Tales #70 (signed by JMD!). Some of those issues are super expensive, so it does make it difficult begin. I do think I'll start with some less expensive issues. I have one of the TPBs (the collected Creature Commandos). As Jack said though, the covers are so incredible I feel as though I need the original issues.
What's funny, George, is that, back when I started my career, I had no idea that WEIRD WAR TALES even existed. It wasn't a comic book I was ever aware of. But when I heard Paul Levitz was taking pitches from new writers, I went out and gobbled up WWT and HOUSE OF MYSTERY and all the other anthology comics so I could get a sense of what Paul was looking for. Not only was my first published story in an issue of WWT, my first full-length story also ran in the book. A 22 pager called "The War on the Edge of Reality." It was about a PT Boat drifting between parallel universes. From humble beginnings...!
They did a Showcase release that costs a fortune now. Definitely needs a re release in color. I'd buy that.
Oh. So Weird War Tales is something to look down on, eh?Seriously though, How do these covers not BEG you to buy themhttp://cache.coverbrowser.com/image/weird-war-tales/78-1.jpghttp://cache.coverbrowser.com/image/weird-war-tales/90-1.jpghttp://cache.coverbrowser.com/image/weird-war-tales/94-1.jpghttp://www.coverbrowser.com/image/weird-war-tales/8-1.jpgThe symbolism of the second cover (and corresponding story) about how the Nazis may be defeated, but that their true horror is undying and something to be mindful , is unbelievable. If if if it probably wasn't planned.You probably run into a lot of people who over-analyze and dive deep into beloved tales of Spider-Man and Batman, but I'm probably the first to do it with Weird War Tales.Jack
Also, at least four issues have covers directly connected to your stories. True. And only one I'm counting is Creature CommandosAlso, think the weirdest person to be involved is Robert Kanigher. He was incredibly talented with creating (just to name a few) Sgt. Rock and Unknown Soldier, with lengthy runs on each.That may seem odd to say that is well... odd... that he is involved with this book. But those stories always stressed the realistic horror of War. None more than Sgt. Rock. Well, a much as you could at the time. I think that may, MAY lend some credence to my theory on the uniqueness of this series.Jack
Those SHOWCASE books tend to go out of print quickly and then, as you note, go up in price because of it. It'd be nice to see a big, color WWT collection.
Those covers, Jack, are from an era when comic book covers had to TELL A STORY...a skill that we seem to have lost. An image had to excite the imagination and make you HAVE to buy that issue.
I was a huge Sgt. Rock fan when I was a kid. Kanigher was great. And Joe Kubert? Nobody better. It's weird to me, looking back, that I loved war comics so much, considering that I can't tolerate war stories now, but not only did I love ROCK and the other DC war comics, there was a time when the only Marvel Comic I bought was SGT. FURY!
Well, I'm sure they will come announce a series of Weird War Tales collections the day after I finish my collection.I certainly agree with the lost skill. There is a lot of well done art on covers, but seeing Spider-Man swing at you for the 5 billionth time, (well done or not) it is easy to pass up.Then there is the whole fine arts in comics vs. personality discussion.Jack
By the way Dematteis, don't forget your first comic writing Spider-Man (Marvel Team-Up 101) was a spin-off of a scene in a Defenders comic, both of which could be considered Weird War Tales in themselves.As for the covers...I can't help but wonder how many good comics have fallen but the wayside, because the cover wasn't reflecting what was inside.Or how many weird ideas, only got their need audience because the cover let those fans know what is inside? There are no commercials for comics. Well... the Ultraverse had two... but mostly no. A synopsis in solicitations can only tell you so much. People miss out or get burned all the time.You have to be selling that right up to the point when some one is holding it in their hands.Fantastic Four, Hulk, Swamp Thing, Man-Thing, Starlin's Captain Marvel, Spider-man, Hell... Captain America, Superman , and Batman, all got their fan base to open them up by having covers that made people look inside. Something that made them look different.E.c. Comics covers can't be looked away from. They are framed perfectly, they are eye catching, and they give you an idea of what you are about to be reading.Maybe part of the reason (not the only one) that new characters have trouble catching on is because just having a pinup or basic issue makes it look like its just another story everything else.Covers becoming more like pin-ups, no words on them, a loss of thought a balloons and even thought captions (the quickest way to get you connected with a character. There has to be a reason, and I am truly fascinated by what it might be. I mean, its too common to be coincidence, and comics ARE a business, there has to be a reason, right?Am i the only one whose curiosity is peeked enough to wonder?Jack
I couldn't agree more about covers. Perhaps my favorite comic book cover of all time is Kirby's cover for the first part of the Galactus story. I remember seeing it in an ad before I ever read the story and my young mind CREATED AN ENTIRE STORY based on that image. That's what a great cover does. It stimulates the imagination and makes you want, desperately, to see what's inside that book.
Jack, you said "There are no commercials for comics." I remember seeing comic book commercials when I was a kid (in the 1980's). I specifically remember seeing ones for GI Joe (which I collected at the time). I'm not sure if these links will work...if not, please just google them and you'll find it:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Has8Bkm5skkAdditionally, I was watching re-runs of "Big Bang Theory" on TBS a few months back and I saw a NEW comic book commercial for the Doomsday Close series by DC:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9zXJYNwRGASo, comic book commercials are out there every now and again. I've even seen commercials for local comic book stores. They are so infrequent that they are memorable when I see them.
I also sait that the Ultraverse had commercials...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXlTvUgUj7AIts very 90s.So there aren't MANY comic commercials. I believe that my point about covers still remains valid.And GI Joe is a bit more complicated. Originally there couldn't be a G.I. Joe tv show, because there was a law that kept kids programming from being 20 minute to\y commercials. It was eventually repealed in the 80s (obviously).So, they went to Marvel (who actually came up with all the characters and character traits of G.I. Joe and Transformers. The idea was to get kids sucked in through the comics as a sort of advertisement for the toys.So those commercials were more like commercials for (well done, props to Larry Hama)commercials.Or I guess you could view the whole thing as one long commerical that requires multiple media.Finally, Really on Big Bang Theory? Everyone I know who reads comics hates that show. Weird place to advertise.Of course if you want to get REALLLY technical a local comic shop (the now closed Comics Archives) would run commercials... which were more for DC Comics as a whole.Those commercials were actually made by DC, and given to local comic shops t put their store in at the end.I fund it on Youtube for a different store in a different state.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aYz9RtFuD8Of course, both that DC Comics commercial and GI Joe one have two things in common... as well as the Ultraverse one. They were made at ties when the comic industry was doing better, and they are no longer on telelvision so... They aren't commercials currently for comics.I didn't know about Doomsday Clock. Still... I believe my point is still valid.Man... Englehart, Gerber, James Robinson, and Mike Barr did some great stuff for that company. It's gone now. Too bad.Jack
Jack, you said "Finally, Really on Big Bang Theory? Everyone I know who reads comics hates that show. Weird place to advertise."I read comics and I love that show. The past few seasons not so much, but the first five seasons or so, I loved it. Still do. I watch re-runs all the time.
For the record: I love BIG BANG THEORY. Look forward to it ever week. So there! : )
Well, at my local comic shop the show is rather despised. In fact, I've seen on guy go on a rant about it for... well, longer than anyone should rant about a television show.In fact it is so reviled that mere reference to a comparison is enough to make sure that same guy clench his fists and avoid hitting someone.And it isn't even a comparison, it is a view of the show as a whole and a long diatribe as to why it should have been cancelled long ago.Sean may be anoutler in extremeness, but certainly not with a view of annoyance, and wodering how something llike that could still be on the air.Personally, I hate the show for many of the reasons I dislike a lot of shows of a similar style. Which is the prevailing reason.I have also accepted that the types of popular culture that takes off is a mystery even to those who make it.Yes, that store (and the people I meet outside of it) for the most part are in varying shades of dislike.And since I used the words "Everytone I KNOW," I will say my point is again valid.Thought I really have no concern one way or another what anyone else enjoys in the privacy of their own home... as long as concentric was given by all parties. Those captive hyper-mutated Gila Monster fights to the death against the homeless have to stop.Hey Dematteis, Scoobs Apocs-Is Henry Hudson mall a real place, or are you just trying to sound cool by name dropping a Dutch explorer who died with his sons, adrift in a bay?Weren't they last out west. Was that areal time move. If it is fine, and it doesn't really matter. I just want to know what kind of crazy adventures I missed.Why did Shaggy loose the green Arrow Beard, and I don't mean the in universe season (I assumed he shaved), I am more curious how the creative decision came about. Though, if you want to share the in-universe reason...What is your take on the Superman problems:B) Why won't society accept him anymore? Why do people have not only seemed to look past him, but look down on the Man of Tomorrow with derision and contempt? Can he be brought back to his glory.And two links to good songs:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fuLqODl7hghttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anS6bcPpvoQAnd just in case you want to chime in and give some geeks a thrill, I stumbled upon this, somehow:http://comicboards.com/php/show.php?rpy=mub-2018010801183570&layout=thread.Take care JAck
The SCOOBY issue had a two month time jump.Shaggy shaved because...he felt like it.I don't look down on Superman with "derision and contempt" and I think lots of people still love the character. In fact, the essence of the Superman mythos is presented beautifully, and very successfully, every week on SUPERGRIL. (Melissa Benoist is the best thing to happen to Superman since Christopher Reeve.) They could have a great, hugely successful Superman movie tomorrow with the right script and right tone.That's in the media...if you're talking about the comics, I'm wayyy out of the loop. I don't know what the character's current situation is so I can't comment.I will (along with millions of others) will continue to watch and enjoy BIG BANG. Love the show, love the characters.
As I said, I was hoping for the real world reason for Shaggy's lack of facial hair.I'll just assume the artist got tired of drawing him as Green Arrow. Fair enough.But IS that a real "Henry Hudson Mall" or are you trying to be cool by referencing Dutch explorers who died in a small boat in the'r own bay."Melissa Benoist is the best thing to happen to Superman since Christopher Reeve."That is a 40 year period, so I guess that its good to know that Marv Wolfman, Jim Starlin, Roger Stern, Louise Simonson, John Byrne, Dan Jurgens, Geoff Johns, Kurt Busiek, Joe Kelly, Joe Casey, Mark Waid, Steve Gerber, and everyone who wrote Superman in that 40 year time period are but a blip in the mythos of the Man of Steel when compared to an actress who hasn't played the character for not even three years.Even outside of the comics, I would probably say TimDaly, Bruce Timm, and Paul Dini did a really good job of mixing the far out with the grounded on Superman: TAS. And Dwayne McDuffie did a lot (with them) on JL and JLU.She must be one Hell of an actress. That is a large pool of talented people to just leap over in such a short period of time, and I presume that it was even in a single bound.I personally have no interest in the CW shows, what I have seen of each I found uninteresting. I am curious if with the new Black Lightning show, Barry Allen will call him a "token black," like in the comics. There's a reason why he's my least favorite Flash.As for the world outside of comics? Absolutely. Without a doubt people think Superman is lame. That is why they did a gritty Man of Steel reboot. That is why they paired them with Batman instead of a solo sequel.It has been that way since the 80s. They just hate him. There is actually a documentary on Youtube, where a longtime Superman fan tries to get the bottom of why this is.There is even a song about it.In the comics, which as you say you are out of the loop, I think he has actually started a resurgence.Making it one of the many books that tie into Doomsday Clock, but the lead one, I think has brought many comic fans who never liked Superman (and there are a lot) in out of curiosity for the larger story.Well, that is actually in Action Comics. But, Action Comics is written by old pro Dan Jurgens, most likely as a sign of good faith to longtime fans, but also an experienced person to usher in the new.Of course, the man of Steel has a lot more problems than that, with even the most devout fans (maybe exclusively) unable to agree on just who the REAL Superman is.Some people swear it is the Bronze Age Superman, others point out that the Post-Crisis is more inline with the original. unlike say, Spider-amn, whose eras are more about the type of stories and points in his life, Superman's are different interpretations.In many ways the Silver and Golden Age Superman are like night and day.Personally, my history with the Man of Tomorrow is a bit...wonky, maybe even unique. So with it brings a somewhat unique view of the whole issue.Finally..."I will (along with millions of others) will continue to watch and enjoy BIG BANG. Love the show, love the characters."Well, that is your right as an American. You can enjoy whatever you want. Of course it is also your right to cut your leg and dive into shark infested waters.Just be careful who you have that conversation with at comic shops and shows. It can be dangerous.Jack
I said there is a reason why Barry is my LEAST favorite Flash, right? A typo there could give a very, VERY wrong idea.Jack
By the way, speaking of the last Son of Krypton, next time you need proof that there is good on Earth, just look at this (courtesy of Lost Brave and The Bold)...https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-NTwQpPBzo-k/Wj-i3tbm31I/AAAAAAAADwg/6-uCcC6Sv7U6gBYnQ-SKhlAQPH3r2pFZACLcBGAs/s1600/2082.jpgJack
Read my reply again, Jack. When I said Benoist was the best thing to happen to the Superman mythos since Christopher Reeve, I wasn't talking about comics. Accuracy in snark is imperative here at Creation Point.No, there isn't a real Henry Hudson mall. But Albany isn't far from the Hudson Valley, so...We took a time jump with the Scooby book and the change in Shaggy's look was meant to underscore that.
Re: Superman and Mickey Mouse. That's a team-up I'd write!
Well, I just hope this isn't the end of things in Scoobs Apocs being named after explorers who died on their explorations.Next stop, Magellan National Park!I will say, the Shaggy, Velma, Velma's sister-in-law, Fred,Daisy emotional knot is very enjoyable.I can't wait for the upcoming (I assume) talking head issue. I think anything but fun, interesting and perhaps deep is unlikelyNow, I knot that this is dangerous ground, but God knows I'm going to tap dance right across it...If you look at my reply, to that reply, I acknowledged the "...comics" part as I talked about the resurgence in comics.However, you used the words "in the media," and since comics ARE media, and mass media at that (for how long is anyone's guess). So, comics would be included.Accuracy IS important in snark, isn't it? And hyperbole is dangerous.Good ol' Tim Daly.Jack
Hey, Dematteis, could you help me with a question about your Captain America run?So, I think part of the issue with comics (and really society as a whole) right now is nostalgia goggles. Not just about how good things were, but about what was and wasn't there.Recently, your run was brought up as an example of a Cap run with no social commentary.That is where you come in. I seem to remember some. I was hoping if you could tell me if I'm remembering correctly.I remember:-Free Speech in talks with even giving disgusting speech rights-Indian rights-Gay rights (though a bit more underground. Important to not, you never wrote ANYTHING about GATE RIGHTS... you'd probably have to see the typo I fixed to get that.-A discussion with Cap defending pacifism to Nomad-Shinning a light on the good days not always being so good.I feel like people are only focusing on some things... but not others to make gripes about well... the good old days. Damn, Marvel should get on reprinting that.And for the record, I think a lot of writing across media has gotten too heavy handed, and sacrificed story and character for a point to be made. I won't name names.I just think that this delusion that there was ever a time when comics had no social commentary is weird.Speaking of which, I also remember a lot of character work in your issues.Am I remembering right? Am I going nuts with any of this?Jack
My CAP run had plenty of social commentary. Not in every issue, certainly, but it was there, loud and clear. And, as you say, perhaps some of it was more subtle...and grew out of character. But it's there for sure.
I have a writing question. A famous comic book writer, who shall remain nameless, has been quoted as saying, 'But that’s what us storytellers do, we spin lies'. I never considered storytelling 'lies'. What's your opinion?
In BLOOD: A TALE a character said, "I'll weave you lies more accurate than truth." In MOONSHADOW, the narrator said, "Call this memoir fact, fairy tale or whatever else may give you comfort, but there are moments that remain true under any classification." If you're writing fiction you are, by the very nature of the form, making things up, using imagination; so you could say fiction is the art of telling magical, wonderful lies. But the goal of fiction is to use those lies to get at the truth; often a deeper truth than non-fiction or straight reporting can ever get to. Truths of the heart and soul.You could, of course, say that a story that serves the truth could never be considered a lie, so there's that way of coming at it, as well. So I think lie, in this context, is not the same as the everyday definition of the word.Does that make sense? And does it address your question?
It does make sense and it does address my question. I guess my issue is that to me the word 'lie' has a negative connotation and I consider fiction to be a positive medium. You know what I mean? I don;t think I like things I enjoy to be referred to as lies
I totally understand that, Douglas. Especially in our "fake news" world where truth is in such short supply.
Well, I read that story as well (or one that used similar language), and that phrase was in relation to lying to readers about what was coming up.Jack