Writer. Creator. Large mammal.

Search results: "label/03 Marvel Comics" (Page 1 of 10)

DC’s First Editorial Standards, Marvel Profanity

Not Who Are These Guys 

Sorry. It’s taking longer than I thought to put the reference together for that post, which is about the essential natures of classic characters.

Coming soon.

Clean Up on Aisle WW

In my review of New 52 Wonder Woman #1-4, I complained about Wonder Woman head butting a centaur. Seemed to me that would hurt her as much as the centaur. Several commenters insisted that the head butt is a legitimate hand-to-hand (head-to-head?) combat tactic.

I suppose that if you slammed the hardest part of your head into the squishier, more breakable parts of someone else’s, the nose and mouth, for instance, they will be hurt worse than you so I concede the point. But, don’t you just hate it when you get those nasty tooth shards stuck in your forehead?

Read More

Action Comics

This comment got me into full honking mode:

srp has left a new comment on your post “Regarding What Has Gone Before and a Modest Propos…“:

With regard to the earlier discussion of writing and decompression (much of which I agree with), I would like to emphasize a particular pet peeve about modern superhero comics: Lousy action sequences.

To me, action sequences in a superhero comic are like musical numbers in a musical or fight scenes in a martial arts movie. They are not disposable interludes that can be kissed off to advance the story. You’d think, in a decompressed environment dominated by fanboy aesthetics, that the action sequences in modern comic books would be awesome. But they aren’t, in what I consider a lamentable lack of craftsmanship.

Typical fight scenes now lack clear spatial relations, identifiable figures, logical and continuous flow across panels, and any semblance of consistency in who wins and why. All the characters are superimposed on each other in melee fashion with no sense of perspective. Mutant comics seem to be the worst offenders these days, but it’s a pervasive problem. (Something similar has happened in the movies, with many action films using quick-cut close-ups during fight scenes that make it difficult to tell what’s going on, but it doesn’t always happen.)

Lack of attention to superhero action scenes undermines sales to both the youth/new-user market and the established older market, since what is cool about superheroes, especially of the Silver Age type, is their distinctive visual and kinetic properties. I don’t mind the later “realistic” style that stressed winning with the first blow and mostly portrayed mismatches (e.g. Ellis and Moore) because a) there’s a certain logic to those choices, since even super people wouldn’t tend to pick fights they might not win and b) they usually depicted these swift battles in a clear and compelling visual manner. But if you’re decompressing, a long, high-quality set of battle scenes seems like a legitimate mode of storytelling because one thing superheroes are ABOUT is the skillful exercise of their powers under stress.

I suspect that modern creators take a somewhat “adolescent” attitude toward action sequences–they don’t want to be seen as “childish” by playing up the fantasy aspect of the characters, preferring to dwell on various extrinsic shock stimuli to seem more “adult.” But getting to see Iron Man use his resourcefulness to figure out and defeat the Raiders for an issue (to take a typical mediocre example rather than a classic) was a lot more entertaining and satisfying than much of what gets printed now.

Posted by srp to Jim Shooter at January 11, 2012 7:44 PM

Read More

Marvel Cut-Ups

JayJay here. I’m posting one of Jim’s answers to a comment as a mini-post since it’s kind of fun and about one of everybody’s favorite, but least known, Marvel Bullpenners.czeskleba commented:

A couple people have mentioned the old rumor that Ditko uses his old original art as cutting boards. Most likely that is an urban legend, based on Greg Theakston’s misunderstanding of what he saw at Ditko’s home. Here’s an insightful analysis of the claim by Bob Heer, which credibly debunks it: http://fourrealities.blogspot.com/2008/08/curious-incident-of-cut-artwork.html

The notion that Ditko would do that to his original art is not consistent with what I’ve read about him. He may not value money that much, or be motivated by it, but he certainly does not have contempt for his own past work.


I submit this to the “cut-up artwork” speculations: When I worked briefly at Marvel in 1969, I was supposed to be an assistant to Stan — assistant editor, I guess. What I actually did was anything that needed doing. It was a small group, and everybody pitched in and did whatever was necessary. Therefore, I not only proofread, checked scripts, checked artwork and did “editorial” things, but I did lettering corrections, small pencil and ink corrections (once they found out I had marginal art skills) and…PASTE-UPS.

Read More

Marvel Layoffs – 1996

JayJay here. Jim is taking care of other business today so I found another old news article for you. I thought it was an interesting aspect of Marvel history in the wake of some of Marvels’ most recent layoffs.


SUPERMAN – First Marvel Issue – Byrne’s Plot

JayJay here. Jim wrote, in a previous blog entry, about the time in 1984 when Marvel Comics was negotiating with DC to publish Superman comics among others. Read that original entry here. John Byrne had submitted a plot to Jim for the first Marvel issue of Superman. Many of our readers have been curious about that plot, so as he promised last week, here is more information.

It Isn’t Fair…

…to show the actual plot here. Sorry if you’re disappointed. Though he gave me a copy (in 1984), it’s Byrne’s story. Maybe he’ll publish it.

Doesn’t mean I can’t tell you the tale in my own words, as faithfully as possible.

The Story

The first chapter is entitled “KRYPTON.”

As in the classic origin, scientist Jor-El has discovered that his world, the planet Krypton is going to explode sometime soon.

Could be today, any day, but surely within a month.

Jor-El is a member of Krypton’s ruling “Council of Twelve.” Warning tremors shake the Council room, but the other members refuse to believe the danger is real. Jor-El is angry. Let them all die, then!

At home, Jor-El talks things over with his wife, Lara, who is six months pregnant. He has a plan to save her and their unborn child, at least, to which she tearfully agrees.

Read More

Marvel’s 25th Anniversary in Variety

JayJay here. Jim is otherwise occupied today so I thought I would come up with something to fill in and also spotlight what one of our readers, the wonderful JediJones, has accomplished… He has compiled a list of Jim’s work that is available on Amazon. We appreciate all the trouble he went to!

JediJones comments:

I just compiled a list of links of Jim’s trade paperbacks available on Amazon. I inserted Jim’s affiliate link code so he should get full referral fees if you buy through these links.

Jim, Amazon also has this bibliography page with a form for you to make updates to it. It’s missing most of your titles so you might want to update it and then you can link to it here. It might also be worth posting direct graphic links here to the pre-orders for the new Secret Wars I and II trade paperbacks. (Thanks! I will work on that!–JJ)

Marvel Avengers: The Korvac Saga (Marvel Premiere Classic) (Collects Avengers #167-168, #170-177)
Marvel Secret Wars
Marvel Secret Wars II
Marvel Secret Wars Omnibus (Collects Secret Wars #1-12, Thor #383, She-Hulk #10)
Marvel Secret Wars Omnibus Alex Ross Variant Cover (Collects Secret Wars #1-12, Thor #383, She-Hulk #10)
Marvel 44 Years of the Fantastic Four DVD-ROM Collector’s Edition (Collects #1-519, Annual #1-32, with ALL comic pages including all Bullpen Bulletins written by Jim)
Marvel New Universe Star Brand Classic – Volume 1 (v. 1) (Collects #1-7)
DC Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, Vol. 5 (DC Archive Editions) (Collects stories from Adventure Comics #340-349)
DC Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, Vol. 6 (DC Archive Editions) (Collects stories from Adventure Comics #350-358)
DC Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, Vol. 7 (DC Archive Editions) (Collects stories from Adventure Comics #359-367, Jimmy Olsen #106)
DC Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, Vol. 8 (DC Archive Editions) (Collects stories from Adventure Comics #368-376, Superboy #147)
DC Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, Vol. 9 (DC Archive Editions) (Collects stories from Adventure Comics #377-380, Action Comics #378-387, #389-392)
DC Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, Vol. 11 (DC Archive Editions) (Collects stories from Superboy #203-212)
DC Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, Vol. 12 (DC Archive Editions) (Collects stories from Superboy #213-223, Karate Kid #1)
DC Legion of Super-Heroes: Enemy Rising (Collects Vol. 4 #37-44)
DC Legion of Super-Heroes: Enemy Manifest (Collects Vol. 4 #45-50)
Dark Horse Gold Key Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom Volume 1 (Collects #1-4)
Dark Horse Gold Key Magnus, Robot Fighter Volume 1 (Collects #1-4)
Dark Horse Gold Key Turok, Son of Stone Volume 1: Aztlan (Collects #1-4)
Valiant Harbinger: The Beginning (Collects #0-7 recolored)
Valiant X-O Manowar: Birth (Collects #0-6 recolored)
Valiant Archer & Armstrong: First Impressions (Collects #0-6 recolored)
Valiant Solar, Man of the Atom: Alpha and Omega (Collects #1-10’s backup stories)
Valiant Solar, Man of the Atom: Second Death (Collects #1-4)
Valiant Magnus, Robot Fighter: Steel Nation (Collects #1-4)
Valiant Magnus, Robot Fighter: Invasion (Collects #5-8)
Valiant Rai (Collects #1-4)
Valiant Harbinger: Children of the Eighth Day (Collects #1-4)
Valiant X-O Manowar Retribution (Collects #1-4)
Valiant Shadowman (Collects #1-3, 6)
Valiant Unity Saga Volume 1, 2, 3 & 4 (Collects Unity crossover)
Defiant Warriors of Plasm The Collected Edition (Collects Warriors of Plasm #0-4, Splatterball #1)
Broadway Comics Inherit the Earth (Collects Powers That Be #1, Shadow State #1-2, Fatale #1-6)

I’ve been going through old stuff as well and I ran across an issue of Variety that had a special section for Marvel’s 25th Anniversary. I scanned some of the pages. Click the images to enlarge.

Jim has promised to tell the story of working with George Romero on Mongrel soon!

The Secret Origin of The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe – Part 3

Issue # 15 of a 12-Issue Limited Series and Other Tales to Astonish

Just as I stayed out of Larry Hama’s way on G.I. JOE, and stayed out of Archie Goodwin’s way on EPIC Illustrated and EPIC Comics, I pretty much left Mark Gruenwald alone and let him do his thing on The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe. The series wasn’t what I had envisioned or what I would have done, but that was okay with me.

If an editor or a creator knew the fundamentals, had an approach that seemed reasonable and had the chops to pull it off, well, all righty then. It was never my goal to Shooter-ize everything. I just wanted to make good comics, and I realized there were many ways to go to get to that goal.

(ASIDE: For instance, Editors in Chief before me had always taken personal charge of designing the covers and writing the cover copy. It seemed to me inevitable that a sameness to the covers would creep in after a while. I’m not talking about a consistent “Marvel feel” or even a house style—I mean staleness—“oh, that again” syndrome. Didn’t matter who the EIC was, or how talented. The covers Len Wein created under his own administration as well as those he created as freelance cover editor for Marv, in my opinion, fell into a rut, to a certain extent. Too many covers featuring two big figures duking it out. To much similar copy: “Can you guess the shocking secret of…?” “This one has it all” “Not even your (enchanted hammer or whatever) can stop Name of Villain!” Archie Goodwin’s covers, too, fell into a certain pattern.

As soon as I became reasonably confident that an editor had a clue about cover design, I butted out and left the covers up to him or her. Even if some weren’t as good as I would have liked, or as good as I would have done, better to have more variety, I thought.)

Read More

The Secret Origin of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe – Part 2

First This
My sincere apologies. This post was supposed to be yesterday’s. Yesterday’s was supposed to be Saturday’s. Prepping for the New York Comic-Con and some of the business I hope to accomplish there ate up a lot of time. Sorry.
Jane’s Fighting Ships, the Marvel Encyclopedia and Where It Went From There
Wikipedia, of course, has the origin of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe wrong. Wikipedia is great if you’re looking up fusion reactors or the Fort Ancient Culture but generally full of errors if you look up comic book things, especially any related to me.
In early 1982, I was in the Barnes & Noble on Fifth Avenue and I came across this very cool book, Jane’s Fighting Ships. Every page or so had a clear picture of a warship plus its specifications and key information.
Wow. Nifty-keen!
There were other, similar books, too, notably Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft.
Extra groovy!

Read More

SUPERMAN – First Marvel Issue!

Sometime in February, 1984, my secretary (it was okay to say “secretary” in those days) the wonderful Lynn Cohen told me that Bill Sarnoff was on the phone. Not his secretary, Bill Sarnoff himself, holding for me.

Great Scott!

Bill Sarnoff was the Big Cheese, I forget his exact title, of the publishing arm of Warner Communications. Among the operations under his purview was DC Comics.

Bill introduced himself, as if that was necessary. What he wanted to talk about was licensing the publishing rights for all DC characters to Marvel Comics.

Holy hegemony, Billman!

Bill said, more or less, that Marvel seemed to be able to turn a substantial profit on publishing comics, as opposed to DC, which consistently lost money, a lot of money, and had for a long time. On the other hand, LCA (Licensing Corporation of America), Warner’s licensing arm did very well with the DC properties, while Marvel “didn’t seem to do much licensing.”

I guess the few million a year we made from licensing, mostly from Spider-Man, seemed paltry to him, what with the fortune that just their big four, Superman, Batman, Robin and Wonder Woman brought in.

I told him I thought Marvel would be very interested, and that I would discuss it with Marvel’s President, Jim Galton.

So, I did. I told Galton about my conversation with Sarnoff. Galton said he’d give Sarnoff a call.

The next day, I went upstairs, poked my head into Galton’s office and asked whether he’d called Sarnoff and, if so, how that went?

Galton said he told Sarnoff we weren’t interested.

I was stunned. Why not?!

Read More

Some Marvel Tales and Other Horror Stories – Part 4

My Favorite Hap Kliban StoryThe Hap Kliban story took place in San Diego, but the back story begins in Chicago. I believe this was in 1981. Could be wrong. Anyway, that year, the Chicago Con was the weekend before the San Diego Con. Because the trade show part of the San Diego Con started Wednesday (I think) it made sense to go directly from Chicago to San Diego, rather than return to New York in between.

The San Diego Con was new Marvel Publisher Mike Hobson’s first convention, I believe. He was going to join me and the Marvel con-tingent there.

Chicago was a terrific show that year. Among other things, I remember meeting this aspiring young artist, a kid named Mark Silvestri. I liked his stuff. Claremont heard about it and swooped down on him like a mutant hawk.

When at conventions I often took con people and creators, especially Marvel creators, to lunch or dinner on Marvel. It was a little thank you for all they did, for representing Marvel at the con, for general good will and PR. You know. So, one afternoon, I asked a couple of Marvel guys if they’d like to have dinner at Lowry’s. Lowry’s is a classy Chicago joint famous for its prime rib, in case you are a vegan and therefore unaware of notable carnivore hangouts.

Len Wein and Marv Wolfman overheard me and asked if they could come along. Well…both were DC guys at that point, but, why not? They’d done plenty of dinners’ worth of work for Marvel, and…why not?

Read More

Page 1 of 10

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén