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Friday, 7 April 2017

Ah, You Comic Fans Are To Blame!

I thought this cartoon was quite apt but cannot find the source.

I think that last posting -Howlermouse's "Marvel Comics -Comics or Politics"- shows just what is going on with Di$ney/Marvel.

You have a very small stable of writers who are allowed to write some pretty dire stuff but when called out about this they resort to name-calling, denigrating fans and even insisting "I never wrote any such thing, moron!" And you post the page they wrote....shut off.

Creatively, what made Marvel comics explode in the 1960s-1970s were two things.

Firstly, you had the talent.  The artists and the writers who all knew their jobs and got paid for that work and creativeness.

Secondly, you had Stan Lee. He had been in the business, starting with Timely in the 1940s (yeah, Alan Moore could not even get that fact right). He was about to quit comics because he wanted to "write the Great American novel" but his wife told him to give the comics one last go -his way. It worked.   Comic creators, because of the way they lived, were not great salesmen and tended to be rather shy -some a little ashamed that they made a living from comics. Marvel might have lasted a year or two had it not been for Lee adopting the "showman" approach -which surprised quite a few contemporaries because Lee was not some big extrovert. Most agree the "Showman" act was just that.

Lee gave story ideas, artists drew them in their styles and then Lee added the dialogue. The difference between what Lee wrote and what Kirby wrote is quite obvious but the point is that Lee still loved comics and found that not just youngsters read the comics so he knew, as a shrewd editor, that you give the readers what they want.  Something DC simply refused to do (they screwed it up when they got Kirby in the 1970s, too!).  You do not treat the readers as half literate schmucks. You treat them as intelligent readers who want characters, stories and things that are relevant to them. Marvel had a diversity of characters in the 1960s while I believe DCs first black character had to wait for Kirby to arrive (do some research!).

Read Marvel Comics -The Untold Story to find out how new owners eventually decided they wanted more money and screw creators...and Lee.

Then we had Jim Shooter.  Much maligned but he loved comics and had worked as a writer in the field from the age of 13 (?).  Like Lee, he knew you had to respect readers and give them good stories and good art. Yeah, some bad things said about him by creators but the truth is that there are two sides to every story and creators can be bitchy little bastards -some out just to promote their own egos (read that Marvel book to learn how the fan boys got into Marvel and started running things down -in the UK that killed our comics- even sneaking unedited work to printers)..  Shooter had to contend with creators and their gripes as well as management and to be honest, you read about Shooter at that time and it almost sounds like he was having, or was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

But Lee and Shooter took responsibility for their comics.  When comics consisted of professional writers and artists the work was done, pay cheque handed over. Fans happy.

In a way, though he was very professional, I think Roy Thomas has to take a degree of blame.  He pulled in hip young talented, often to the point of kicking out established creators with proven track records.  Creators wandering the park at night stoned out of their heads (read that book), being prima donnas and getting up to all sorts of deviousness that really would or should have gotten them fired. In a way, Thomas seemed not as editorially a hard nut as Lee or Shooter (there is no arguing about the comics at that time).

But creators jumped ship to DC vowing never to work for Marvel again as the company gave their great talent little respect.  Then they argued with DC and swore never to work for them again...and jumped back to Marvel.  You can get confused watching "Extras" on dvds because the same faces pop up to slate how DC was better than Marvel....or how Marvel was better than DC...usually with that nasally snort of derision you expect from silly schoolboys who think they are great.

In the 1990s Marvel died.  If you have read my posts on the West Coast Avengers for instance, or Silver Age Marvel....some links:

Bringing in British talent that, quite honestly, was not up to the job.  The Avengers (NY) shut down the West Coast Avengers because the WCA HQ had been infiltrated by enemies a couple times. Does that m,ake sense to anyone?  The Avengers mansion in New York was infiltrated by the Space Phantom, Masters of Evil (a few times), Ultron (by appointment on a regular basis), Kang, Powerman (the original one), Swordsman....the list could go on and on.  Either the writer had no idea or just wrote whatever came to find.

But the new editors had no idea what they were doing.  Art could sometimes be VERY poor, stories were slap-shod and there were murmurs of the old "TV and video games are taking away comic readers" excuses.  Everyone and anything but poor editing, scripting and art.

The art and writing talent became smaller and that is no good for creativeness.  Now the writers at DC and especially Marvel see themselves as great authors and writers of serious prose, maybe even TV or movies.  You question something they wrote you are verbally abused in the most unprofessional manner, name called and worse.  This, DC and Marvel seem to think is okay. Fuck you fans keeping us in our jobs by buying our books!

The management and editors sit back -I was seeing this first hand at the old Bristol Comic Expo where DC execs were allowing people like Howard Chaykin to respond with answers like "You want continuity in comics? Fuck you. This is comics. No such thing"  And then more insults aimed at British comic fans and the execs?  Just sat back and nodded agreement.  Bob Wayne even responded to someone asking why there was a DC panel if DC were not willing to answer any questions about their comics? "I'm only over here to visit the Cat Woman movie set"  My question: "Are you just here to insult your fans?" was ignored as they looked at another person.

The SJW (Socially Justified Warriors) lost Marvel a lot of fans as the company pandered.  It failed. You stinking fans! Yes, everyone's and anythings fault but their own. A bit like Donald Trump.

SJWs have focussed on comics (that they know nothing about and have never read), wargaming, fantasy role games such as Warhammer 40K, crafters (?!!) and even people who are other SJWs. Brooklyn Beckham gets a native American as a tattoo and it is racist and culturally offensive....because these very sad people will get what they want, the only thing they want, attention. Either they have sad and very lonely lives, not surprising, or had a troubled childhood. You'll note that about 95% of SJWs lurk behind pseudonyms -proof of how sincere their beliefs are (it is probably down to the fact that most You Tubers these days delete their comments, make them the butts of jokes or ignore them.

Blaming the SJWs completely is wrong.  You need to blame Di$ney who think that if they do what SJWs demand it will bring in the cash.  They've found it doesn't.  But it's too late now.

Di$ney knows it but they'll keep wringing the money out of what they can. People at Marvel just....well. The fans see it.  I mean real fans not the ones who jump in and think its great Captain America is an Hydra agent or has changed character...9-10 times over the last few years. Those are saps with wallets.

Even comic stores see it though a few, along with the shyster dealers, are still telling people "Buy these titles -in a few years you can ask any price you want for them!"  Remember the over-hype for Sub-Mariner comics and sky high prices because "there's a big movie coming"? I said there was no movie. There is no movie planned with that character. But I got "the dealers know what's going on!"  I just hope you have managed to sell and get your money back!

Go to You Tube and watch Comic Trips videos where you'll see how cheap those "rare/expensive" comics are.  Or the My Comic Shop documentary or ANY of the real documentarties where you will learn just how you are being ripped off by dealers.

Marvel....will it last? I was a Marvelite from age 6 and I finally gave up in 2012 though, as you'll have seen in past posts, I have received review trades of The Avengers. Now I just do not care. And die hard Star Wars comic fans giving up on the Star Wars comic from Marvel??? wow

Write and talk as much as you want. Marvel lasted up until the late 1980s had a resurgence with Busiek and Perez on The Avengers when it was brought back but screwed them over for a new "hip" name who literally ruined the title (again).

Us old farts have our memories and we'll not taint them with the Di$ney Marvel.

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