Tuesday, January 26, 2021

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JOHN AND SAL!


It's been a significant few days in the Spider-Man universe:  January 24th was the 91st birthday of the great John Romita, Sr—the artist whose work made me fall in love with the character when I was in junior high—and today is the 85th birthday of the equally-great Sal Buscema, whose run on Spectacular Spider-Man is the stuff of legends.  Both are among the finest artists—and nicest people—to ever wield a pencil in this business and I wish them the very best.  

Thanks for the extraordinary work, gentlemen.  We are blessed to have you!



12 comments:

  1. I'm Just hoping that these two are tapped by Marvel for the issue 1000 of Amazing Spider-Man in six years , or for something involving the 60th anniversary of Amazing Fantasy 15 next year.

    I know it is early, but with so many talented creators , start collecting the work early Marvel. There is so much that can be put in.

    SPidey very likely would not have gotten this far without those two giants.

    You have between one and six years to convince them... Dematteis. Hop to!


    Jack

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    1. As long as I get to write stories for them, it's okay with me!

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    2. Can you write them? Can YOU write them? Can YOU write them!!?

      Well, that really isn't my department, Dematteis. But here is the deep dark secret the higher ups and Marvel and DC for some reason don't want you knowing...

      Fans like it when classic creators return. The books usually sell well, and the fans are happy... especially when the creators get more freedom than not.

      I don;t know why they fight it, but they do. I mean, I know you have to provide a place for new talent, but blocking out the old is a really bad idea.

      In fact, if you want my opinion, if Marvel were thinking, they would look around and notice how many great creators are still capable of creating, but not being fully utilized, then how many films and TV projects are based on their work, THEN notice how many trades there are of those work for people to consume, and start giving the creators a chance to return to their character,

      Offer continuity free chances to write their thesis statements on the character.

      -Englehart returning to Captain America, Dr. Strange, and the F.F.
      -Frank Miller's final say in Daredevil
      -A new Nocenti/JRJR Daredevil mini series...I can't help but think Ms. Nocenti would have something to say about these modern times.
      -WOlfman's Dracula: The End
      -Roy Thomas writes the final days of Conan (The 90th anniversary of the character is next year.
      -Defalco finally gets to write the Spider-girl finale he wanted.
      -Simon's Thor faces the Twilight of the Gods the same month his wife tells her Power Pack Magnum Opus
      -Priest's fond farewell to the Black Panther.
      -A Spider-man stale for Gerry Conway, Roger Stern, Marv Wolfman, Christopher Priest, Peter David, ad what the Hell even that Dematteis guy too (assuming he isn't off living in the gutter somewhere.

      Not necessarily "The END," but teh story they would tell with no limits.

      It could even be a chance for beloved creators to write characters they wanted to, but never had the chance:

      -Gaiman's F.F., Dr. Strange, and Silver Surfer
      -Brubaker's Spider-Man
      -Peter David's Fantastic Four
      -Englehart's Daredevil (he had an unrealized plan)

      etc. The list of possibilities is almost endless
      -

      The events have long since stopped selling well (with an exception or two), but they still keep pumping them out. This would be a fun change of pace.


      AS for #1000 itself, I think if you accepted Peter Parker is a multifaceted character, with many sides to who he is, and made sue to play it up, and not have too many overlaps, you could have every living Spider-man writer and artist contribute, stories and pin-up pages, and have it all work


      Jack

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    3. I'd pay good money for some of those series you propose, Jack! (And do we have room for a Giffen-DeMatteis-Maguire FF mini?)

      I'd work for Marvel again any time. The ball, as always, is in their court. (Right now, I'd be content to finally see my SPEC SPIDEY run collected.)

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    4. That collection might not be too far off. The current writer of Amazing SPider-Man has been pretty heavily influenced by that era, and that sun specifically.

      It is not really the same tone, but a lot of the elements are there.

      The story is... I don;t know... halfway through? And since Harry Osborn going after Pete, possibly his death, and other elements, I would not be surprised if a trade or omnibus comes out. Its a Disney company, there has to be some cash grab.

      As for the rest of it

      Jack

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    5. I welcome the cash grab with open arms. :)

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    6. Did you know that you have a law firm in Detroit?

      Anyway, I can't say I care one way or another if this book of Dematttei/Buescema Spider-man comes out, since I won all the issues, but if it does will you stand in line at a show to have Sal Buescema sign it for you?

      As for the resurgence of comic creators from the past now...

      It would be interesting to read a lot of those stories. Writers like Englehart returning, whose heyday was the 70s and 80s... well, it would be interesting to see how those sensibilities mesh with a modern world.

      It would also would be interesting to see all the people who say they wish comics were like they were in the 80s, JUST action stories without messages, have to ask "when did Ann Nocenti get political?"

      I mean, if there is one thing we can say about Ms, Nocenti in the 80s, it was that here stories were very paint by numbers, and devoid of any commentary or personal voice.

      Who knows how many great stories never got written by some of these guys because it would hurt continuity, or they just never got a chance to write a character for whatever reason.

      I think it would get good results would be mostly good. Post-Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns, one of teh big problems is that many writers are focused on doing something ground-breaking, and can lead to an uneven portfolio, with things being both really good and really bad.

      Back in the day, they learned the basics of writing like story structure and charter, and just let the groundbreaking stuff happen. So, even there worst is entertaining.

      This is part of the reason I lament more people of your generation not going into editing.

      But, I digress.

      I hate to break this to you Dematteis... please, brace yourself, I don't want you to faint... I don't have the ability to make this happen.

      However, I will admit that like all fans in nerd culture, I know better how to run a franchise than those running it. How lucky you are that we are never wrong.

      Now, I will admit, I don;t have any experience in comics, but I am a freelancers. At least in my world, there is the option of pitching things. SO, if you have a great idea... maybe that route?

      For that matter, most of those names are probably on your Christmas card list, and the ones that are not there is probably a pipeline to through that list.

      You could all get your ideas together, and go present them as a whole. Maybe as a temporary imprint called "Marvel Age Legacy" or some such bullshit.

      You could even act as the editor. Since it is out of continuity, you probably wouldn't have to commute. It would be less stuck behind a computer as you complain (though I have to question how you type your stories) as it is talking with friends, and creators you respect and are a fan of.

      You could even have the chance to sit across from Nocenti and Defalco and say, "revenge time. Now, what piece of your heart and soul YOU crafted should I cut?"

      while we are fantasizing. Let's throw in the Stephen King Man-Thing I have always said Marvel should have and I'll volunteer to be your Assistant Editor. I'll even wear shoes.

      Shame this won't be run with though, the idea is even more perfect than I realized.

      With all you guys going to comic shows more, every appearance would be a chance to talk up the books. Not just in New York and San Diego, but if Defalco is in Topeka or Englehart in Seattle, or even the extremely unlikely Wolfman on Buffalo, each stop is a chance to talk up these passion projects.

      This is a great idea that will never be.. That is all kinds of depressing. This is why I get mad for people making me believe in comics or feel hopeful again.

      I blame the Irish. And the internet. Is there an Irish base internet I can blame?

      Jack

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    7. Maybe we need to build an entire comic book company out of this. The one prerequisite is you have to have some gray in your hair to be hired!

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    8. SO... no baldies?

      Not to mention, you might get an ageism suit.

      They actually tried a comic company using mostly experienced writers from the Bronze Age that mostly moved on from the big two... it was called the Ultraverse.

      Don't know if you ever read it, but there was some pretty good stuff, like Gerber's Sludge, Mike W. Barr's Mantra (continuing what some call the most interesting idea from Camelot 3000), James Robinson's Firearm, and Englehart's Strangers and Night Man.

      It saw moderate success... then Marvel bough the book, booted the old timers (or so the story goes, you were at Marvel then, feel free to clear up the myths), and it collapsed. Part of it may have been the industry problem's at the time, but the newer books also didn't read the same.

      There is actually a joke around comic store about indie books proved the views of the 90s. Image promoted art over story and thrived, because the shark made them. Valiant promoted editorial, plot, and continuity above all else and became a mourned legend the shark respected. Malibu praised the writer, and created a company so good the shark ate them.

      Just a thing told around the comic shop campfire. You'd be surprised how well Archies and Little Lulu's cook marshmallows.

      It is certainly a cool idea I would back... but it would still be cool to see legendary creator and legendary creations meet with few holds barred.

      Maybe one day.


      Jack

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  2. Just because one doesn't have hair ATOP one's head doesn't mean one doesn't have plentiful gray hair elsewhere on one's head.

    I certainly remember Malibu, but I didn't read any of the books. Although I heard good things about them.

    Young people suing older people for ageism? There's a flip!

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  3. thanks for remembering these greats. never went to New York until decades later but felt it was familiar to me because of John Romita Sr's Spider Man

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    1. Romita was drawing Spidey when I first became a fan of the character, so his vision of Peter Parker and his world remain very special to me. Both he and Sal are, as you said, greats. And both are true gentlemen.

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