On April 25th and 26th, I'll be participating in the online Mainframe Comic Con, which will benefit the Hero Initiative, the Red Cross and other charities. Admission is free and there will be opportunities to contribute to these fine organizations. Hop on over to their website for more details.
Safe stay, stay healthy!
Dematteis, your from Brooklyn right? Right?ReplyDelete
So... Rosie the Robot from the Jestons, was she (or rather will she be) built in Brooklyn? Will she work there at some point before working for the Jetsons? Is it just programmed in, and if so, why? It is a very specific accent.
I mean, I get Bugs Bunny having a Brooklyn accent, that is just using logic.
But, why Rosie? It is weirdly specific for a robot to have.
Well, there's a question I've never been asked! No, she wasn't built in Brooklyn, but the person who created her was clearly a Brooklyn native.Delete
Sorry, that's the best I can do! : )
Well... one of them was. William Hana was from New Mexico.Delete
Interesting fact, season one of the Jetsons ended in 1963, but season two started in 1985. That is weird.
The series also ended with the 1990 movie, George O'Hanlon (the voice of George Jetson) actually died while making the film. So did Mel Blanc (also original voice of Bugs Bunny, for 59 years).
If you're looking for a fun read, you should check out Mel Blanc's autobiography, THAT'S NOT ALL, FOLKS. I loved it.Delete
Maybe I will Dematteis... maybe I will.Delete
There is something interesting about creations of people born in the first three decades of the 20th century that makes things seem s timeless.
Looney Tines, Marvel Comics, Hanna Barbara, Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick, Rod Serling, Norman Lear, and more all made works very much of their time, but seem to resonate across time.
Even very well crafted works of fiction, that can be enjoyed forever, seem very much rooted in the time period they were made.
Just look at the biggest name in entertainment born after WWII, Steven SPielberg.
Jaws, E.T., and Jurassic Park are all great movies. You can introduce them to anybody, and they are likely to enjoy the. However, they feel very much of their time in tone and style.
Conversely, I first saw the Jack Benny Looney Tunes episode at the age of five, but didn't know who Jack Benny was until the more seasoned age of seven. Still, that was one of my favorite shorts.
Then there was "Hollywood steps out."
Think how many times Marvel's early days have been updated for adaptions, and still work.
Compare that to, something everyone tends to at least appreciate, Sandman by Neil Gaiman. It is well done, and I did not read it when it first came out. Still, it feels very much of that strange post Reagan/pre90s boom era.
Lear's most known works were drawing from the times, often the headlines, but don't feel as dated as say... Diff'rent Strokes, which had broader appeal.
Maybe the constant change they saw in their life, roaring twenties, to Great Depression, to WWII, to the boom of the post war years, along with the drastically different upbringing from their parents born in the 19th century, gave them a concept of what changes and what doesn't.
I don't know.
Now, here is a link to one of the greatest Spider-Man fan films of them all:
Where? Where is "one of the greatest Spider-Man fan films of them all"?Delete
By the way: I LOVE that Jack Benny cartoon you mentioned.
Technically, it is a film about one of his villains, but it is very creatively done.Delete
Remember, it is a fan film, so remember to be cool about it.
Be cool Dematteis.
It is interesting how The Jack Benny Show lived on for millions of kids, long after the show ended and left the airwaves, but as a mouse.
I'll give it a look!Delete
As for Jack Benny... I raised both my kids on old Benny radio shows. My daughter wrote several papers about the show, even when she was in college. Most of their friends, I'm sure, had no idea who Jack Benny was!
What classes were the papers for? Math? I am just not sure where Jack Benny would be applicable.Delete
Maybe her friends knew, and maybe they didn't. I knew, and I am probably closer to her age than yours.
She did a presentation in grade school, complete with a cardboard replica 1940s radio; another one, I think, in high school (maybe in English class?), I forget the actual assignment; in college, she took a class on race and (my favorite) used Rochester's history as a way to discuss the evolution of black entertainers in popular media.Delete
Oh. That is disappointing. I was hoping she just started riffing on an Algebra test where she didn't know the answer.Delete
Hope you enjoy the fan film whenever you get a chance.
Also, a thought... Was Tomb of Dracula by Marv Wolfman Game of Thrones before Game of Thrones?
I should probably explain.
So, I read a coffee table book about Marvel from the 90s that talked about ToD in the supernatural section. I still have the book somewhere.
Anyway, before I read ToD, I read that section, and it talked about how (At the time of the books publication) it would have been tempting to make the main characters Wolfman wrote about to be like the Punisher. No life outside hunting.
However, WOlfman made them well rounded characters that could have happy lives, if not for the interference of a certain Lord of the Dead.
A lot of the problems with horror movies of the past 20-25 years. is that they don't do that. The assumption is that because the characters are going to die, why not make the deaths almost cathartic for the audience.
This isn't exactly good for horror. Connecting and liking the character, like in ToD, makes you fear for them. I don;t want to blow any your mind, but horror and fear tend to go well together.
As I understand it, Game of Thrones hit people hard because they cared about the characters when they died.
You may be thinking "Game of Thrones" isn't horror, well neither is Tomb of Dracula. Its more of a dark supernatural adventure comics.
Tomb of Dracula's monthly release date does almost feel like an epic.
Maybe both were popular for the same reason. Good character work on main characters facing daunting supernatural odds.
Having read TOD and watched GOT, I don't see many similarities beyond both being epic tales with rich characters, but you can say that about a lot of stories. That said. George RR Martin is a comic book fan (you can find his letter in an early Fantastic Four Fan Page) and good buddies with Len Wein, which means he was probably buddies with Marv, too, so you you never know...!Delete
Correct me if I am wrong here Dematteis, but weren't Wein and Wolfman friends from before their comic book writing days?Delete
They adventured under the name Wein and Wolfy, and if they didn't they should have.
George R.R. MArtin's first published work was in a comic fanzine, with art by.... you guessed it, The Jim Starlin. The.
Dr. Weird, I believe.
My point about Tomb of Dracula and GoT, is more conceptual in pushing tension through fear for characters based on how much you like them.
An ongoing story is hard to keep tension going, especially over years.
Unlike, say Spider-man, who rotates villlains, there is just one in Dracula. This sets up an idea of inevitability. Either Drac kills the hunters, or they kill him.
It is an ever coming threat. Especially given how popular the series became, there was guaranteed to be an ending.
SO there had to be an increased amount of fear. Best way to do that, create characters that you want to live, as well as characters that only come in to their lives to mingle and die.
This is in contrast to what say, Stephen king does, where he will create characters to die, will craft them in a chapter, and then kill them in the same chapter.
Bu, no matter how popular Game of Thrones got, there is one thing it will never have that Tomb of Dracula did... Harold H. Harold.
Well, now you've really got me up for a reread of TOD.Delete
I think you're selling Stephen King short with that description. One of the things that always disturbed me about his work was the fact that characters that you loved and journeyed with, characters you identified with and expected to survive, were killed off. Kind of like the end of GOT's first season.
In any case, all hail Marv and Gene Colan. I'm gonna go look for a collected edition!
Stephen King doesn't write horror, fantasy, or science fiction. He writes character studies. The rest is just scenery.Delete
There are certainly cases Like say Nick and Stu in the Stand that you expect to live... but do not.
However, I would argue that is not how he builds tension.
Spoilers for books written 30+ years ago...
In Salem's Lot, I will always remember the chapter that sets up the hunchback that works in the auto yard. They go on about his hopes and desires. How hard his life had been, just to kill him.
In IT there are several chapters that introduce kids as characters, talk about hard home lives, the history of why they found them self out in the middle of the night.
Then... he killed them.
I would argue the ability to fully form a character in a single chapter, who you think will be a bigger part, then kill them is one of King's greatest strengths as a writer.
Good luck trying to find an affordable Tomb of Dracula collection these days. Marvel Essentials have become a thing of the past... sadly.
But if you can find some essentials in goo shape COlan's aft almost looks better in black an white.
Colan is great in black and white.Delete
There are a bunch of TOD collections available over on Amazon.
So... Wonder Woman was made of clay, and is Greek. Does she just freaks out every time she hears "OPA!"?Delete
WHen she goes to the Louvre or British Museum and sees all the Greek and Roman statues missing limbs and even heads, is that like a horror show for her?
Well, I am glad you found some ToD, but if you get the soft cover versions, I believe they only got about thirty of the 70 issues collected.
I love the idea of Diana, completely horrified by headless, armless statues!Delete
Well Dematteis, if you ever write JLI again...Delete
For that matter, why do the Gotham police keep letting Bruce Wayne take in orphans? There is no why those kids aren't coming to school bruised and beaten, and they don't know they fight crime.
He is taking advantage of the very crime he alleges to hate.
Hopefully, reading Tomb of Dracula will causes you to write a post about Marvel horror in the 70s. I heard ToD outsold a lot of Marvel Mainstays.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if Ken Burns lived in the Mar...vel universe?
Also, times are not teh best right now, but here is a asong to remind us there were harder times...
Batman and young orphans? That's one of those places where we all have to do a major suspension of disbelief. If we didn't, it would be impossible to keep reading Batman comics!Delete
That "Ken Burns" video is very clever.
And, yes, we've made our way through worse situations. We'll get through this.
Is it really THAT much of a suspension of disbelief that a billionaire would put his needs above the safeguarding of people, and that the establishment would cover for them?Delete
Have you read the newspaper over the past...forever?
Though, that is why Stan was smart to drop the idea for the most part, and age up Bucky to a late teenager who was raised by the military.
Yeah, I know, Rick Jones, but he was mostly throwing HIMSELF into harms way.
Hope you at least enjoyed the tunes.
Batman: Champion of the 1%!Delete
I did enjoy the music. Thanks!
And then there are the folks the golden and silver age batmen wouldn't let into the country club.Delete
However,Batman only wished he was the champion of the 1%. That title goes to Iron Man.
Stan Lee once said that one of his goals with the creation of Iron Man was to make people care about an unlikable character.
It is a testament that he did just that, and created a character with that realistic of character flaws (this is not about the quality of the stories, just what happened, and what it looks like in the real world).
-In the Captain America: Civil War film, after going on about the dangers of powers, enlists Spider-Man.. a high schooler.
-He became Secretary of Defense... despite no real military training or knowledge. But he was rich.
-After failing at that, and after Civil War he was put in charge of SHIELD, an espionage agency... which he knew less about, somehow with higher stakes.
- Just before Civil War he found out about the Registration Act and didn't give a heads up to anyone but Peter Parker who he swore to secrecy, and claimed it was for national security reasons.
-IN that same story, hired Titanium Man to run a false flag attack.
-Operated the Iron Man armor drunk. I know a guy who had to spend the Thanksgiving weekend in a drunk tank because he was slightly over the limit, but sober while driving. Tony was Black out Drunk.
-IN the comics, after Civil War he drafted teenagers with powers into boot camp. I don't believe quitting was an option It varied from writers at the time. But in really young group (12 maybe... yeah) was actually referenced as being like the Hitler Youth.
-He arrested Captain America in the MCU, for NOT breaking laws. Yeah, he the U.N. can;t draft laws. He was arresting him for nothing.
-IN the same movie, despite the biggest issues leading up to the accords being his fault, he opted for an action that would police everyone with enhanced powers (regardless of hero status), and have their Constitutional rights violated (several). A group he is not it.. because he just uses a suit of armor. Nothing stood in his way.
- He faked his death in the late 80s, and didn't seem to understand why his friends were angry at him for it.
-In both the comics and MCU, he is belligerent when Congress want as briefing on his very dangerous technology. Then it is stolen, kills/endangers innocent people, and he is not even humbled by that. Because it is his, and civilians be damned.
-He also built a gulag in the Negative Zone, which has severe mental effect on the average person, for heroes. Then villains. Then when it was attacked, he left all the villains there to die.
-He claims to be the smartest man on Earth but that is CLEARLY Reed Richards, except in the MCU where it is Black Panther.
-Thought he wore a mustache better than Dr Strange. Come on, that alone.
There are certain wealthy people in the world who people seem to really take issue with, and Tony has all of their traits.
Stan... you mad visionary you.
And that is the superhero of the last decade.
Point is, Bats has a long way to go.
Though I do wonder if it says something about our society that Superman, who had a humble upbringing, was DCs big name until the 80s when Batman took over. Also that Spider-Man, when accurately portrayed as a hard-luck, working class citizen was the big name in superhero movies in the 2000s, but was supplanted by Iron Man as the "human hero."
Especially since the MCU made Peter almost a sidekick, or at least student of Stark.
Hmm. Also, if Stark and Wayne's both need to control everything from personal tragedies, in contrast to Spider-Man and Superman is because the latter two having a more grounded life were able to accept life's problems easier.
Purple Monkey, dishwasher.
I've never been a big Iron Man fan. I read the comics, but the character has never really resonated with me. That said, I've very much enjoyed Robert Downey's movie incarnation, especially the first Iron Man movie. But the character will never be anywhere near the top of my pantheon.Delete
I've enjoyed the recent Spider-Man movies but I haven't particularly enjoyed the "Iron Man Junior" aspects of them, with all the gadgets and gizmos that go along with it. And, as others have noted, it's like Tony Stark is more important in Peter's life than Uncle Ben. But who am I to argue with success?
"Who am I to argue?" are you sure you are a comic fan?Delete
There was a small point when I was a teenager when I was somewhat into Iron Man.
However, I realized I was more appreciating the writers ability to tell a story than the actual character.
RDJ is a good actor, and interesting as Iron Man, but after A Scanner Darkly, everything else is playing for second best of the 121st century.
For good AND ill, realistically and to the purpose of the story, his charisma clouds how... not a good person the character is much of the time.
As for the MCU Spider-Man, I think that might have been the best example of divide among comic fans on a portrayal.
It seems many comics readers (like myself) missed the scaled down, hard-luck, man-on-the-ropes, outcast Pete is in the comics.
For decades, Captain America was the only Avenger Peter seemed to like. He was not beloved by much of the populace.
Does that make it a bad interpretation of the character? I wouldn't go that far, but I do think it can make the character alien to reader who that specifically sticks out as a main point.
I have not seen the second one, but I felt the first was a well-crafted film, that the Vulture was great, but Peter didn't necessarily grab me.
One of the reasons is that I always loved the loner aspect of the character, but now he is a sidekick to Iron man, and he has a...Ned... to talk to about his issues.
Even if everything lines up perfectly, that one part missing will disconnect me from the property to an extent.
I will admit, it is hard to boil down nearly 60 years of content to a movie or two and not miss anything.
I agree with much of what you're saying, Jack—especially that very last point!Delete
The one add on I would have to the last part is the term "live action."Delete
Into the Spider-Verse got all the classic parts of Peter Parker down Pat with Peter B. Parker.
I think the language of animation, with stronger visual cues and exaggerated features and movement as a possibility can get ideas across easier, and no have to spend as much time on something as a live action movie.
Granted, it is not the same as a single comic panel of Spider-Man being booed by a crowd, as he worries about Aunt May in one thought balloon, and then beaten by Doc Ock in the next.
I have always felt one of the best strengths comics have is that you can get inside a character's head. You can get to know the character as a complex and nuanced person in just a couple pages. A feat that could take a good half hour in a live action film.
The most important thing to remember that I wrote is that Dr. Strange wears a mustache better than Tony Stark. That is just the way it is.
I thoroughly enjoyed INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE (and hope Ben Reilly makes it into the sequel).Delete
Your point about comics' great strength is spot on.
I actually am not that interested in an Into the Spider-Verse sequel.Delete
I LOVED that film, but the heart of it was the relationship between Miles and Peter B. Parker. I am just not sure they can catch that lightning in a bottle again.
Without that relationship it would still have been a good move, but not a great one.
I'm a big fan of yours, Mr. DeMatteis!ReplyDelete
I have a lot of questions for you!
I want to thank you for the story with Kraven the Hunter!
You have discovered this character in a new way!
I hope you will answer my letter
P.S. Sorry for my English I wrote using Google translator :)
Sincerely, your fan from Moscow Sergey Bitkin
Hello, Sergey! I'll be happy to answer a few questions.Delete
Hope you and yours are safe and healthy. Hello to all the Russian fans!
Thank you very much, Mr. Dematteis! Russia has a difficult situation,but it is not the same as in the United States,and especially the city of new York.I hope everything is going well with you and your loved ones. And now the questions. 1) What attracted you to the character Kraven-Hunter? In what way do you think it differs from other Spider enemies? ( Take the same venom or Green Goblin) 2) You couldn't tell me where to find a list of your works?(it's very interesting to know what you wrote besides ASM And Spectacular Spider-Man) There is not much information about you on the Russian Internet :( 3) have You ever been eager to visit Russia? Naturally, when the fight against the virus is over... I'm sure a lot of Russian fans want to take a picture with you and get an autograph! I still have questions about the Spider,but that's enough for the first time :) Be healthy!Delete
You can find all the info you'd ever want about KRAVEN'S LAST HUNT here at Creation Point, Sergey.Delete
As for my other work, I found this list. It's not complete (I noticed omissions, like JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK and THE GIRL IN THE BAY), but it will certainly fill in many gaps:
Hope that helps!
Actually, Sergey, both those series I thought were omitted ARE on this list, so I guess it's pretty complete!Delete
Of course, who could forget the song always playing in DEmatteis heart...ReplyDelete
I have never heard this song before. But maybe I didn't look deep enough in my heart.Delete
So, what your REALLY saying is that Spider-Man: The Lost Years and Spider-Man: Redemption were actually a reconstructive look at Kerouac.ReplyDelete
Showing that the views he held in the 40s and 50s, about the road leading to enlightenment was ultimately unsustainable in the back 1/5 of the 20th century and beyond. That our personal baggage is too ingrained from the modern world, and new identities and true rebirths are antiquities from another world.
That Kaine himself was a representation of the type of inner demons Kerouac dealt with in his life, an dhow now we can't use it or live with it the same way, That our minds will always bring it back to us. We can ever really ignore like Kerouac, or out rune them.
Well, I don't think I agree with the sentiment (or hope I don't), but it is an interesting look into the mindset behind the story.
Yeah...that's exactly what I was saying! : )Delete
That said, I read, and enjoyed, both ON THE ROAD and DHARMA BUMS many years ago. My memory is that DHARMA BUMS was the book that really stuck for me.
Speaking of Dharma Bums...Delete
I suppose you are right Dematteis, a great hero does often need great supporting characters.Delete
And of course, you are right that great supporting characters can get overlooked because of the more flamboyant main character,
Since you asked, my nine favorite (in order) supporting charters in Comics are:
1.Mary Jane Watson-Parker. (I won't change teh last name)
2. Ben Urich
3. Lois Lane
5.Pip the Troll
Falcon doesn't count, he is a superhero an shared the title with Cap for a while. Same for Ollie Queen.
Good list! And every one of them are terrific characters.Delete
But who's Janine Godbe?
You're right, and apologize. Elizabeth Tyne.Delete
I always thought it would be cool to, in the spirit of Flashback Month, have an event where the stories focused on a side character.Delete
Just one issue of interesting character work.
The real question is, who are your nine favorite.
My goal is to make you relapse into your listing addiction.
Nine favorite side characters? Hmmmm... Off the top of my head (which means that as soon as I'm done I'll think of others I like more!). And I'm including a few characters of my own creation:Delete
1) Mary Jane
2) Aunt May
3) Jack Monroe/Nomad
4) Bernie Rosenthal
5) Max Lord
7) Ira (from Moonshadow)
8) Uncle Ben
9) The Daring Disciple (from Savior 28)
10) Jack Small and Petey the Demon (from Doctor Fate)
Not a bad list yourself, however a few pointsDelete
1) Jack Monroe was a masked adventurer, so it is borderline, but I will allow it. Mostly because I like the character. Also... his name was never in the title like Ollie and Sam.
2)I said nine, not ten. Let alone eleven
3) Oberon? How is a beer a side character.
Anyway, a fine list.
"A Fine List"? Wasn't that a Laurel and Hardy movie? : )Delete
Glad you approve, Jack!
I wouldn't know, I'm not a Laurel and Hardy fan.Delete
Also, just so you know, As some one not currently living in your state (and on behalf of mine), I DON'T want New York to have to declare bankruptcy over trying to save its citizens lives.ReplyDelete
Just in case you guys were stating to wonder.
No, wasn't wondering at all. But thanks for the sentiment!Delete