At a Caltech symposium in 1971, Ray Bradbury had said the following: "Thousands of wild-eyed boys have fallen in love with Edgar Rice Burroughs and had their lives changed forever. He has probably changed more destinies than any other writer in American history."
Clarke then spoke up: "I want to go along with Ray Bradbury's views on the importance of Edgar Rice Burroughs. It was Burroughs who turned me on, and I think he is a much underrated writer. The man who can create the best-known character in the whole of fiction should not be taken too lightly!"
and the guy who created the second best known or some would say the best known character...Steve Ditko is virtually unknown to most of the world most likely
life might be so much easier if we could only forget
For all of those griping about the Conan comic going off the rails or not coming out on schedule, you should check these out. ERB Inc employs several artists hailing from the "pulp revival" period of mainstream comics -- the 1970s. Artists like Pablo Marcos, well-known for his work on the '70s-era Conan comics. Tarzan is being done by Benito Gallego, who has been compared to John Buscema. The writers stick to the texts. They don't try to make David Innes "emo", nor do they have Carson Napier visit Duare's mother. Martin Powell, who writes several of the comics, just received the prestigious Golden Lion award from the Burroughs Estate.
The comics come out on schedule every month. A mere $1.99 a month gives you access to all of the comics. Webcomics aren't my favorite format, but I still think these comics are a bargain. Plus, you're supporting ERB's legacy.
Post by KiramidHead on Jun 14, 2018 15:08:57 GMT -5
I'm in the middle of Mike Carey's Lucifer. The first couple of story arcs aren't that great, but it really picks up from there. The book is generally better when it's trying to be Sandman than when it tries to ape Hellblazer.
I've been using my downtime at work lately to take advantage of the various sites providing scans of Golden Age public domain comics, reading them roughly in order starting from 1938. I'm in early 1940 now. A few random thoughts and observations:
Will Eisner is the major workhorse of the business at the time, and his studio was responsible for most of the best work happening early on. His Hawks of the Seas, a pirate swashbuckler about a hero who's on a crusade against slavery, is good enough to be a newspaper strip. Another Eisner comic, Espionage, about a top hat and monocle-wearing super spy called Black X (Black Ace for a short while), is consistently good. Eisner seems to make a point of varying his perspective as much as possible to avoid simple close-up or medium shots of the characters. Vern Henkle, for instance, is a solid artist but his comics are almost nothing but images of characters talking, and George Brenner's comics about the Clock, the first masked crimefighter in comic books, look like they were designed to be adapted as cheap matinee serials (comics that just want to be movies - we've come full circle!).
In the early Black X stories, the hero generally gets through everything unscathed, but Eisner seemed to figure before long that making him work was more dramatic, so Black X starts getting shot, stabbed, or generally beaten up at least once per story.
Jack Kirby wasn't Jack Kirby yet. He was still using names like Jack Curtiss and Curt Davis. He drew the opening chapters of a Count of Monte Cristo adaptation that were quite nice-looking, and he did this weird science/horror series called The Diary of Dr. Hayward that was pretty cool.
Despite the celebrated image of Captain America punching Hitler months before Pearl Harbor, comics basically went to war immediately after Poland was invaded, and some even before. Some comics featured the heroes fighting the Germans, like Bill Everett's Amazing Man, many others used fictionalized stand-ins to represent the general rise of international fascism, but quite a few books clearly had war on their brains the whole time.
Manly Wade Wellman contributed a few scripts to MLJ's Pep Comics (the book featuring the Shield, a patriotic superhero who wasn't anywhere near as cool as Captain America). They're just fun little sci-fi/fantasy stories. The art wasn't too hot, alas.
Before he co-created Batman (and then screwed over his partners), Bob Kane did a bunch of funny animal comics and humor strips, like the Disney-inspired Peter Pupp, that were really quite good. You'd never know he had it in him going by his awkward attempts at more realistic drawings in Batman.
Eisner's best artist was Lou Fine, who I've always heard about but whose art I can't say I've seen too much of. It turns out...he's really good. The Flame is my favorite of the early superhero wave mostly because of Fine's art. Whenever Fine draws a lead story, it's a must-read for me.
An obscure superhero named Shock Gibson appeared in a series called Speed Comics. His stories are pretty mediocre, but his origin story, which features a scientist in his lab being simultaneously struck by lightning and splashed by all his chemicals, was lifted almost verbatim for the Silver Age Flash, with the only noteworthy difference being that Shock becomes a Superman knock-off. Speaking of Superman knock-offs, I finally read Eisner's Wonder Man, who appeared in one issue before being sued out of existence by National. Eisner's writing and art are clearly superior to Siegel and Shuster's work, but Wonder Man is such a transparent Superman rip-off that there just isn't much fun to be had in his one appearance.
Wonder Man's replacement in Wonder/Wonderworld Comics is a magician hero named Yarko the Great. I'm not much for pre-Dr. Strange magician heroes but Yarko is very cool, mostly because his adventures can get really trippy. He fights the Devil and the Grim Reaper, travels through other dimensions, and always has visually stimulating expressions of his powers instead of just making stuff go "poof" and happen.
Chuck Dixon and Graham Nolan's return to DC - Bane: Conquest - is really good. The story is basically about Bane becoming motivated to try and take his criminal empire multinational, which puts him primarily in conflict with Kobra. Batman and Catwoman play supporting roles to some extent. The art is very nice, classically well-drawn comics, and Dixon is really the one writer I've encountered who really groks Bane, which makes sense since it's his character. He's never been a showy writer, so the dialogue is replete with lots of characterization without dropping anvils on the reader (e.g., Bane is highly intellectual and assumes a commanding posture even when he hasn't earned it, but also arrogant and won't admit that even if he's not addicted to his drugs, he's at least getting high off of them, among other points). The story is gritty yet very funny in parts. Just a straight-up fun comic book.