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“It Is Not The FIRST TIME This Has Happened.” COMICS! Sometimes They Are Hot Off The Griddle!

John Kane

Hey old people, remember Sunday evening when you were a kid?:

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Urrrrrhhhh! Let’s take the Sunday Blues away with some piffle about our four colour floppy friends! COMICS!!!

SUPREME #64
Art by Erik Larsen & Cory Hamscher
Written by Erik Larsen
Coloured by Steve Oliff
Lettered by Chris Eliopoulos
Image Comics, $2.99 (2012)
Supreme created by Rob Liefeld

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Hu-ooFF! Well, that was horrible. As a comic, I mean. Look, I don’t have a problem with a change in direction and it’s a little soon to tell if I have a problem with this particular change in direction, but I have a problem with a bad comic which this was. Just page after page of people dying, things falling over, plenty of, as my son would say, “‘splodin‘!!!”. I hate to break thi sto everyone but that’s not actually a story as such. Sigh. I don’t have much familiarity with Erik Larsen’s work (the ’90s? Not really my best time for comics)  so I’m not counting him out yet. Yeah, maybe Erik Larsen can swing this one around. I’ll give him a couple more issues to do so. Turns out I’m that close to generous but this issue was pretty EH!

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Reckon them’s fightin’ words and wanna show me just how wrong I am? Well, you can buy this exact comic from  HERE!

FURY MAX #1
Art by Goran Parlov
Written by Garth Ennis
Coloured by Lee Loughridge
Lettering by Rob Steen
Marvel,$3.99 (2012)
Nick Fury created by Jack Kirby with Stan Lee

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I don’t know what they are feeding Garth Ennis on these days but the comics he’s producing would be Type 3 or 4 on The Bristol Stool Scale; this being as we all know optimal. In a worrying state of affairs Ennis has now produced two comics (see last week’s THE SHADOW) which are set in  convincing historical settings, peopled by satisfyingly sketched characters and which succeed in being both informative and entertaining. Which is why I had to bring my own shit joke to the party lest his regular, heh, audience feel at at a loss. Taking the first chapter’s title from TheThe softened my hardened heart but going on to deliver an intelligent, amusing and diverting comic  is what really sealed the deal here.

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Ennis is helped no end by the astonishing art of Goran Parlov. Goran Parlov is the kind of artistic wonder who can limit himself, largely, to the most banal of page layouts without inspiring new lows of tedium in my mind. He can do this because everything he puts in those panels is just right. It doesn’t hurt that his present day Fury looks  so gnarled and battered he resembles 19th Century armoire smoking a cigar while clad in plaid slippers and a fluffy robe. Yeah, this was VERY GOOD!

(Yes, I am aware Nick Fury was created by Jack Kirby with Stan Lee and that I said I wasn’t going to purchase any more Marvel products which failed to acknowledge the contributions of The King.  Either my LCS forgot or decided that my professed liking for Garth Ennis’ non puerile work and Goran Parlov’s anything superceded this. Okay? Either way I got a good comic and I still think it could have had the words “created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee” on it without upsetting the balance of Life itself.)

TRIO#1
Written and Drawn by John Byrne
Coloured by Ronda Pattison
Lettered by Robbie Robbins
IDW, $3.99 (2012)
Trio created by John Byrne

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Mark the time. The super-hero funnybook is dead. I’m surprised to find John Byrne’s DNA on the corpse but then it’s always the ones that love hardest that end up hating enough to kill. I’m a bit sore because I lost my shirt on this one; my money was on one of the TV Breed. One of those guys who just keep parping it out until the comics cognoscenti just give in and allow quantity to supercede quality. Yeah, I figured the smoking gun would be in the clammy hands of  one of those guys with all the imagination of an empty cardboard box, one of the dialogue guys, one of the post-it notes and flow-chart guys, y’know, the sophisticated guys. But like the most surprising game of Comics Cluedo ever, in the end it was John Byrne in the LCS with The Fantastic Faux. A super team of characters called “One”, “Two” and “Three” could only mean one thing; the death of imagination.

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But look, in his defence, no one loved the super-hero funny book as much as John Byrne. He loved it so much he hid it away and protected it from reality. Up there in the big house with the pool. Pretending nothing had changed and if it had, well, it wouldn’t last. See, John Byrne knows super hero comics are still big it’s just the audience that got small. You just have to give ‘em comics like back when they loved them. Back in the ’80s. The magical hey-day of ALPHA FLIGHT! This isn’t a comeback it’s a return, it’s the return of cape comics, the return of the way they should be done, the return of the way they were done when they were done rightIt’s the return of an ’80s issue of ALPHA FLIGHT. Sure, it’s the best issue of ’80s ALPHA FLIGHT ever published but it’s still just an ’80s issue of ALPHA FLIGHT. It’s now 2012. Here’s the corpse of super-hero comics now, caked in make-up, going on eighty trying to pass for eighteen. Nothing sadder. Sure, it may be EH! but they’ll love it in Pomona.

You can prove the audience for this comic didn’t leave twenty years ago by buying it from HERE!!!

FATALE #5
Art by Sean Phillips
Written by Ed Brubaker
Coloured by Dave Stewart

Image Comics, $3.50 (2012)
Fatale created by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips

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Well, I gave it 5 issues and I was hoping this one would turn it around. It didn’t. A spooky rinser, people in hats swearing and a demon who can come back from the dead but can’t bring back his eyes. I guess you could say it was a bit like James Ellroy meets H.P. Lovecraft, y’know, if they’d both had flu at the time, or you’d only seen the covers of their books, or you had in fact never actually read them just read about them. In the end FATALE pretty much ended up being the John Byrne’s TRIO of independent creator-owned comics. Familiar stuff delivered familiarly; that’s not going to make me run about like my underpants are on fire no matter who is involved. Sure, I’m all for Team Independent but not if they are as bland as the alternative. Being creator owned is a magical thing but for a reader comics still have to be better than EH!

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Possibly not the most popular opinion regarding this comic book! Why not make up your own mind by purchasing if from HERE!

MUDMAN #3
Written and Drawn by Paul Grist
Coloured by Bill Crabtree
Image Comics, $3.50 (2012)
Mudman created by Paul Grist

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Wait! I’m getting a pulse! turns out the cape comic isn’t dead after all, it just has to keep up with the times is all. This one’s about a normal kid in a timelessly sleepy English seaside town who is, through events and stuff ,suddenly not normal in a way that involves mud and being a man made thereof. It’s got a breezy lightness of tone that might work against it; sometimes it seems not a lot has happened but really quite a lot has. As Owen Craig (Mud Man when he’s not Mud Man) finds his powers have opened up new possibilities for him physically the environment around him seems to change in concert. Using the fixed point of Owen’s discoveries as the present Grist fills in the Past and hints at the Future while parts of each encroach on Owen’s life and, as is generally the way of things, threaten it.

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Grist is really good at keeping the tone light while at the same time giving the threats real weight.  He also excels at teasing about future developments; so much so that the next issue just can’t get here quick enough. But what Grist is best at is storytelling; in the words and pictures sense, natch, this being a comical periodical and all. He may be a bit too good at it because reading the comic is so effortless, practically intuitive, that it’s quite likely the reader might forget to credit the incredible talents and the deft wielding of same that made it so. From soup to nuts, from top to tail, from mud to man MUD MAN is VERY GOOD!

Or is it? Find out by buying it from HERE!!!

 

And we’re done. If you’re going to hang about don’t forget to lock up and put the key back through the letterbox.

Have a good weekend and always remember COMICS!!!

21 Responses to “ “It Is Not The FIRST TIME This Has Happened.” COMICS! Sometimes They Are Hot Off The Griddle! ”

  1. Uh, you do realize that the tone of that review largely validates Byrne’s general crankiness? I mean, just your average issue of Alpha Flight in the 80s regularly outsold what Avengers vs. X-Men #2 did last month. Mudman #3, on the other hand, sold a whopping 3,766 copies in the Direct Market, so it’s not exactly like your approved version of super-hero storytelling is any more vibrant and viable than Byrne’s.

    Which isn’t meant as a defense of Trio, which I would rate only a bit better than “eh”, but it’s that the work isn’t so terrible which makes a burp of such striking contempt so odd. I mean, if you wanted to rip Byrne a new one for his Next Men relaunch where he’s let his now years long preoccupation with time travel contaminate the work to near unreadability, that would at least make sense.

    Mike

  2. I got a good comic and I still think it could have had the words “created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee” on it without upsetting the balance of Life itself.

    Well said. If I had to wager what they are scared of, it is that once you admit that 70% at absolute minimum of their “universe” is “CREATED BY JACK KIRBY” as you would put it, (maybe they put Spidey and Wolvie in so many books just to keep that percentage down! har har) they are pretty much halfway to admitting legal defeat (which they would of course deserve).

    Were you making a joke, though, or do you really rely on your LCS owner to police your Kirby/Marvel personal boycott? Sounds a bit fox/henhouse to me. Also, would credit really be enough for you to drop it? I would think money would also be necessary, right? (My understanding is the family only gets paid for Cap, although I haven’t even been able to verify that except that Brubaker told me so on a tweet once).

    Mudman looks great though! I will wait for the trade because after about 6 months of the “weekly habit,” I am again “part of the problem” (thank you LCS-owner for your racist online screed, you totally saved me some money).

    Hmm, I feel I should apologize for subconcisously aping your style in my comment on your piece! At least in that last paragraph with the non sequiturs.

  3. One, Two and Three? Rock, Paper and Scissors? Genius I tells ya, genius!

  4. So, TRIO is basically Mr.Fantastic as a woman, Grey Thing and a guy who looks like Razorfist, right down to the mask? This is kind of underwhelming.

  5. @MBunge: Um, wouldn’t I have validated Byrne if I has said that TRIO was a great comic? Writing comics like comics were written when people actually bought comics isn’t going to make people buy comics again, because it turns out people didn’t buy comics back then purely because of the way they were written. There’s an unhealthily fetishistic air about TRIO. The whole comic is a wilful refusal to acknowledge any developments since, what, 1985? That’s no good for anyone.

    I don’t know, maybe I was a bit harsh but with TRIO he’s just played into everyone’s hands and played into every cliché his name conjures these days. Having said all that…having said all that I will say that TRIO is probably better than AVENGERSVERSUSWHATSITWHOSITS. I was willing to spend money on TRIO after all. There’s worse on the that scale than EH! tha ken, big lad.

    Also, it would only make sense to have a pop at NEXT MEN if I liked it as little as yourself. I don’t. You want comics to be popular again, so do I. You like John Byrne comics, so do I. And then the differences begin and then the differences become everything. A house divided and all that stuff. Sure, maybe MUD MAN isn’t any more viable than TRIO but it is more vibrant. I can only shout about that vibrancy in the hope that it becomes viable. I appreciate your thoughts, as ever.

    @Hieronymus Bosch: I guess money would be nice, but I’m just after credit for The King first; baby steps and all that. (And yes, after The King, then we go an about everyone else. Shhhhh! It’s a secret!) Yes, Simon & Kirby do get credited on CAPTAIN AMERICA comics so has been done which proves it can be done so…hey, let’s do this thing, Marvel! (I don’t know if there is cash with the credit on CA those big timey comics folk don’t Twitter me!)

    Oh fret not my LCS is staffed by lovely homunculi who endeavour to meet my needs at all times. Being a customer though I like to be as big pain the rear as possible so I have provided them with a List of Stuff Never To Send as well as a List of Stuff to Always Send. Alas, sometimes the two lists intersect and they have to make a judgement call. As in this FURYMAX case. There are also Special Exemptions such as Howard Victor Chaykin. But there are also Special Exemptions To The Special Exemptions as in the case of WATCHMEN A PRIORI where even HVC wouldn’t get my money, because Alan Moore is still alive. Ah, customers – the bane of every business! You will totally forget to buy MUD MAN in TPB when it comes out!

    Also, I realise it’s probably quite hard for my LCS to keep an eye on which Marvel comics were co-created by Jack Kirby since Marvel don’t put that information on them. HO! HO! HO!

    @JohnByrneSaysOnTwitter: Y’know, I do think it’s a kind of genius. An evil kind. It did make me laugh anyway.

    @AndyD: Pretty much. Not-Namor also turns up just in case anyone had any doubts. To be fair, none of the main characters are Caucasian so that’s a nice change right there.

    Thank you all, one and all, as ever!

  6. @John K (UK)

    I’m sorry, John. I have this grand fantasy at commenting on all the articles I haven’t yet in one grand go, but I don’t think that’s realistic. I know I scribbled down my thoughts somewhere as I was reading them, but all I recall is thinking was that JUSTICE INC 2 part prestige series by Helfer/Baker was a bit of a challenge for me to hunt down a few years ago, but it was damn awesome and I wish more people read it. Also, I hated INCOGNITO, too.

    Oh, and that joke about being a serial killer…some days I wish I was. I’m pretty sure the pay and the hours are better, but I’m super duper squeamish. ^_^

    Thoughts on this column.

    I bought and read TRIO, too. I think your Sunset Blvd take is really, really good. I thought pretty much the same thing you did. TRIO is John Byrne fully embracing all his cliches, good and bad. It’s a comic made by and made for people who want it to be 1982 all over again. While there’s some good there, that approach has a lot of problems. The prose was just awful, especially the dialog. Then again, that’s giving a short shrift to the prose which was over-the-top awful.

    I got the same impression from TRIO I got from the original Ditko SPEEDBALL series back in the late 80s-early 90s. Both books are examples of artists fully embracing the superhero comics they used to make.

    The shame with both is they are founding fathers and have so much they could teach and share with the next generation, but both are so far up their own asses they’d rather keep putting out books like it’s 1962/1982 again and tell the rest of us to screw ourselves.

    (That sounds a bit angry, doesn’t it? Oh well.)

    MUDMAN is *awesome*. Anyone who enjoys the fundamentals of 1960s Marvel superhero comics but wants to see the results of someone taking the best of every development since then and putting all of it to work with the creator’s own personal touch would love MUDMAN. “Vibrant” is almost underselling the book because it’s so good.

    But in a way, Grist is his own worst enemy. Books like MUDMAN and JACK STAFF are clearly the results of tons of hard work. Due to the amount of work involved, Grist’s promises of monthly shipping are unrealistic. Grist would be better served waiting until he has a good deal of work stored up and then releasing that work incrementally.

    FATALE…the statement about it reading like the work of someone who’s read of Ellroy and Lovecraft but not having read Ellroy or Lovecraft is the 2nd most apt thing you’ve ever said. (The ULTIMATE HULK v WOLVERINE/Sistine Chapel comment is still my favorite.) The shame is Brubaker and Phillips have produced evidence they can make smart, gripping comics. I still adore SLEEPER and CRIMINAL was top notch. But it feels like when they stray outside their lane and try incorporating other influences, it doesn’t work out. That’s ok, because we’re still getting the work of two guys trying to stretch the medium and refine their voices. I’d rather read that than John Byrne’s latest attempt to redo his Fantastic Four book from 30 years ago.

  7. John Byrne just announced on his website that Trio is only going 5 issues and then he’s taking a vacation from IDW. I guess first issues sales must have been really bad because as of 3 months ago it was supposed to be ongoing if sales were good enough.

    http://www.byrnerobotics.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=41760

  8. I don’t know what it is about Ed Brubaker, but he has written some stuff that I thought was as fine as anything out there, and then the same man also writes stuff that is really crap. Any theories as to the bi-poles? I can appreciate that no one is always on their game, but he seems particularly swingy to me.

  9. Listening to my iPod, I just had a thought about the observation that MUDMAN is selling less than ALPHA FLIGHT did in the 80s and the conclusion all comics should be like TRIO and not MUDMAN.

    I’m from a town that’s about 20-30 minutes from Akron, OH. Akron is the birthplace of New Wave group Devo, popular in the late 70s/early 80s, and garage hard blues band The Black Keys, a group currently experiencing worldwide popularity. In the 70s, music sales were WAY higher than they are today. I don’t see how that means The Black Keys should just give up now.

  10. “Nick Fury created by Jack Kirby with Stan Lee”

    Oh how kind of you to give Stan even that much credit! /sarcasm

    You know, Kirby was obviously the most creative creator in the history of comics, and yet so many of you guys still manage to find ways to overrate him.

    Like it or not, the Marvel Universe would not have caught on had it not been for Stan’s contributions. Why? Because Stan’s words and directorship of the line gave the characters, well, CHARACTER.

    That’s why Kirby’s other creations will always be sort of hollow shells, whereas the work he did at Marvel had a creative spark and synergy that led to endless, often successful repackaging from forthcoming generations of readers. The New Gods, on the other hand? I love Kirby’s New Gods stuff, but the characters are all hollow and history has shown that you can’t really do much else with those characters other than retread Kirby’s ONE storyline with them. (Final Crisis? Okay, so Morrison could sort of repackage Kirby’s characters once, for a handful of issues, to debatable degree of success.)

    You’d think that after three decades now of shortchanging Stan at every opportunity that you guys would learn that this tactic doesn’t actually produce any lasting benefit for Kirby or his name. People in the know have always known that Kirby was the more creative one. But potshots like “with Stan Lee” are just the latest in a long line of whining about the wrong things to the wrong people.

    Fury was created by Stan and Jack (or if you prefer, “Jack and Stan”, since Jack drew him and Stan after all was ONLY the captain of the whole goddamn boat who organized pretty much everything and gave the characters personalities). And the Fury that caught on was actually due to Stan and Steranko (or “Steranko and Stan”). Decades later, Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch are more responsible for what Fury “is” than Jack Kirby is. Does Jack still deserve co-creator credit? Absolutely. Does he deserve top-billing for Fury’s creation? If you like. Would I like to see Kirby get creator credit in most Marvel books? Yeah.

    But if you’re going to take shots at Stan Lee just because that’s the smarmy thing to do, just go fuck yourself, dude, because in the BIG PICTURE Stan Lee did more for comics than anyone.

  11. TRIO is fine for what it is, which is a throwback team book done in the style of the 80s. Whether there’s an audience for that is another matter entirely, but on its own terms, it’s a decent enough comic. Most of Byrne’s output in the last few years has been just plain bad. This is simply very retro and, in the current market, very niche. But then MUDMAN is also very niche. I don’t see the throwback aspect as making TRIO inherently any more pointless than, say, IDW’s POPEYE revival, which is also essentially just an exercise in recreating the comics of the past for the entertainment of people who like that sort of thing.

  12. @Chris Hero: Don’t apologise! Ever! The Internet will kill and mount you! JUSTICE INC was awesome wasn’t it? With that and THE SHADOW Helfer and Baker made some killer comics. They shouldn’t have worked as comics either; Baker had to practically draw inbetween Helfer’s walls o’words but it was great somehow. Ah, Andrew Helfer!

    Oh, you aren’t a serial killer! I’ll get Quantico to cancel that APB they put out for any LCS to contact them, y’know, should someone come in claiming to be from out of town and looking for ADVENTURE TIME variant covers. You don’t fool me with your mind-games; the only collage you’re making is a human collage, you animal!

    Hey now, I wouldn’t say you sounded angry about Byrne, rather frustrated. It is frustrating. As to SPEEDBALL I think that was when Ditko (mindful of his treatment over Spider-Man) was just doing what he considered fair work for the pay. I dunno, the stuff Ditko does off his own back these days looks interesting (i.e. nuts) rather than stuck in the mud.

    I am glad you like MUD MAN. I am less glad that your review was better than mine. Grrr. Grist says he’s super-serious about keeping MUD MAN regular and timely but, y’know, he’s just one guy so if he gets ill or life just happens or something…it’s a problem isn’t it? His KANE series has gone to OGN to ensure it only comes out when it’s ready but…there hasn’t been one since he announced that (I think?) I’d rather have some Grist than no Grist but, yes, I see the problem and agree totally. But while folks are waiting for the next issue of MUD MAN (which has been regular enough so far, Kids!) they could always buy his KANE or JACK STAFF TPBs and read them in the meantime!

    Akron, OH sounds like something from NEW GODS, which makes Akron OH, EXCELLENT! And you remain far too kind.

    @JohnByrneSaysOnTwitter: If I thought I had anything to do with that I’d feel a proper shit. But I doubt I did so I hope John Byrne has a nice holiday.

    @SteveU: Um, I don’t want it to look like I’ve got it in for Ed Brubaker, because I haven’t. I will say I too find his work far more variable than the Hive Mind claims. But, in his defence, Ed Brubaker seems to comport himself like a decent person; even if he does not remove that perpetual hipster hat of his in the presence of ladies.

    Open question to the house: Ed Brubaker – more variable than popularly perceived? If so, WHY?!?

    @DFav: Fiery! What with all those plurals you appear to be under the impression I am a schizophrenic or the front for a shadowy cabal with a hidden agenda to rob Stan Lee of what is rightfully his. I’m not. Going the way of Stan Lee not getting enough credit is an interesting approach. As is telling me to go fuck myself. I guess this dialogue is at an end, sir. I will strongly suggest you stay away from the Comics Journal Roundtable comment threads on HAND OF FIRE though; I will do you that favour. I am bloody smarmy though, you got that right, pal.

    @Paul O’Brien: I don’t know I actually like Byrne’s more recent work. I don’t mind John Byrne you know! Honest! I think it is awesome that there are comics for people who miss Thimble Theatre. Good old Roger Langridge!

    Thank you all for the magic of each of you.

  13. @Paul O’Brien

    I see your argument about TRIO being purposefully retro and I think it has merit. I guess I would be more likely to agree with you if John Byrne didn’t have a forum where he only allowed sycophants to post about how he alone is the only person who makes decent comics and the rest of the market is full of idiots and morons. Langridge isn’t pretending like POPEYE is the way comics should be made, he’s been very upfront about making a retro comic to recapture a feeling of a past time.

    What frustrates me is Byrne could contribute so much to the medium if he’d just accept that time marches on. Look at Neal Adams. It’s my understanding Batman Odyssey is a throwback to the crazy 70s psychadelic days, but Adams is also totally open and willing to work with new creators and try to contribute his wisdom to the new guys.

    @John K

    Funny enough I actually loved SPEEDBALL as a young boy. I thought it was campy and cheesy as Hell, but that was part of the appeal to me. Looking back, I don’t think the campiness was the result of Ditko giving a lesser effort; I think he thought that was good comics. The more recent MR. A stuff is also…I’ll be kind and say “retro.” But I definitely agree with you that Ditko isn’t being a stick in the mud, he’s just doing the best he can while being true to his morals. So, good call there. It’s not fair of me to lump him in with Byrne, who seemingly wants to work with the corporate people but has burned every possible bridge. Ditko’s simply telling everyone, “Thank you, but no. I’ve been burned before and I’d rather work with the only guy I trust, me.”

    BTW – Why does no one ever gang up with pitchforks and torches against Ditko like they do with Moore?

    As to your open question – I think Brubaker is waaaay more variable than popularly perceived. I attribute the infallibility of Brubaker to his good work being so good that everyone has begin to overlook the warts. Plus, when he does stumble, it seems to me it’s from trying to grow as a writer and who can get mad at that?

  14. @John K

    I forgot…Akron, OH is just down the road from both the birthplace of Brian K Vaughn and the house where Superman was created. So, yeah, it’s a magical place. ^_^

  15. Akron? You get higher and higher on my list, man. I’m from Lisbon and also frequently describe it as “a little town about x minutes away from y.”

  16. JohnkUK
    Hey, when you first started on the site, I didn’t get it. But I get it now. Your stuff is good to read. Like Wheaties.

    I had Justice Inc#3 as a boy. Good.

    Hearing that idw is (likely) canceling this Trio thing I had never heard of and will never read, makes me kinda sad for JByrne. I have to bet he feels like he is personally getting canceled, you know? What sort of “vacation” could he have planned? He should go the self-published route, at least he would save himself the indignity of being cancelled by the IDW interns or whomever.

    can I express an unpopular opinion? Like, this whole credit to dead guys and money to their heirs movement? I think people who worked on the properties that have become valuable should get credit and compensation.
    But I can’t get too worked up over the heirs, you know? I understand that old JKirby supposedly busted his tail feathers creating those great pages to support his family. And I can see fans wanting that mission to be accomplished. But those kids are grown, you know? They should feed themselves.

    As far as I am concerned, we should be wondering why these characters will never be public domain, not sniping over which group of living people (that had nothing to do with the generation of the characters) gets which portion of the loot.

    And I don’t buy marvel or DC comics, at all really, but mostly just because they’re terrible. Just about every time I do, I regret it. Action comics #6 was pretty good, though.

    I DO think that Alan Moore should take out his magic snake and funk some people up, though. On GP. The new watchmmen books look…not so good. I’ll never know, I guess.

  17. Mateor,

    I also question – really question – that the only decent outcome of Kirby getting recognition comes down to giving his heirs money.

    He was wronged throughout his career but I wonder how do you go about making that right?

    I think if you really want to be square with the larger scheme you build a set of rules and contracts. Call them “Kirby Principles” or some such and conduct business in an ethical way from here on out.

    There will always be certain positions that will be work for hire and I believe companies should be free to offer work for hire contracts. However, I feel that creators should be allowed to counter offer to work under these “Kirby Principles.”

    If the company doesn’t wish to employ that specific genius under those specific rules then it is back on that genius to name his or her price. Everybody has one.

  18. @Chris Hero: You live in a cool place, or near a cool place anyway. Even J_Smitty agrees and he makes his donuts the coolest way of all -by hand! Where I live someone saw a badger once. Or it could have been a bush agitated by the wind. Opinions differ.

    I think no one messes with Ditko because he just keeps himself to himself. The last time he was publicly vocal in a way that could have upset fans was way back when Stan Lee started to edge him out of the picture credit-wise; Mr. D. soon put a stop to that. I think the lesson here is that in genre Comics you are apparently allowed to walk away; as long as you never criticise what you have walked away from.

    @mateor: That’s really lovely of you but, no, I don’t get it either. I think I am terrible and I really do mean it when I thank everyone for their patient attention.

    Hey, express away, I’m not the Boss of You! I think you’d be surprised how popular your ‘unpopular’ opinion is. C’mon, I think Kirby’s Kids do feed themselves; they aren’t all living in a trailer sucking up benefits waiting for The Marvel Money to come in. Way I see it it’s just he was their Dad, y’know, maybe the Kirby Kids just want their Dad to get a little bit of what he deserved in life? Sure it’s a bit C19th, but respecting the dead’s alright by me. I am holding up a sad puppy now, trying to break your hard heart. Because, of all hearts, your heart is hardest of all, @mateor. I don’t know about The Kirby Kids but all I’m asking is that Marvel treat Kirby like DC already treat Kirby, see, there’s a precedent and everything! It’s right there in front of everybody!

    (Oh, and just to clarify my position generally: Stan Lee can have all his credit etc. as well. It’s not like there’s a finite Credit Pie and if Jack gets some then Stan gets less. Credit Stan Lee by all means but credit Jack Kirby, Don Heck, Steve Ditko, Bill Everett, Larry Lieber, etc. etc. I don’t see what’s wrong with that.)

    I don’t know why these characters aren’t ever going to be public domain, it’s mysterious stuff. It’s not as if vested interests can change The Law by the application of huge amounts of money in the right places, what with it being impartial and all, eh? Maybe these companies wouldn’t be so sweaty about Public Domain if they dealt with their creators more decently and consequently had IPs to replace the ones (which should be) falling into the PD. It’s all linked in a way isn’t it? The Cycle of Life! Or Anti-Life maybe?

    Yeah, I’m with Alan and his magic snake too so I won’t be seeing the new WATCHMEN stuff either. I quite fancy that WATCHMEN toaster they are hawking now though. Hmmmm, evil toast!

    @J_Smitty: I like your “Kirby Principles”. But I think people should just conduct business ethically anyway. This is why they medicate me.

    May all your faces recoil in pleasure from my insistent and needy thanks!

  19. What a great point re: the credit pie. I think because we sometimes focus on our favorites people see bias and malice where there is literally none. “yOU PIOUS bAsTard! STAN LEEEEEEEEE wAS GREEEEAAAAAAATER THAN EVERYONE gOO F YOURSELF!!!”

    And really, I agree completely. Ethics, you know, they taught our grandparents in small classrooms and farm fields!

    But in this instance I think it might be a nice rally point. A rattling of the ethical sabre by a group of uniquely qualified individuals that could effect a change that would improve the overall creative situation for the future while simultaneously honoring a titan from the past. A far better legacy than a meaningless cash payout at least.

    Of course, that would require said group to keep from fighting each other over the honor of falling into a dirty pile of said money ala B4W.

    I need to stop now before the Kirby Principles turn into “No, digital comics are the WAY” pt.2

  20. Thanks for the reply, and I obviously seen the argument you know? But I bet if the starving Kirby children were willing to forswear all incomes, Unca Jack’s hologram would guest star with Stan lee til the end of Hollywood.

    If it was about credit, it’d be over. But still, nothing to argue over, for sure. Thanks for the responses, I feel like I a part of the solution! Or whatever.

    As long as they don’t fuck with Ditko. Ditko was boss. And he is willing to fight anyone at anytime. They don’t leave him alone because he walked away. They don’t mess with ditko because he would stomp their ass.

    Does anyone remember when Dave Sim and Scott McCloud solved all these problems in the early nineties? Or is it just fogies like john and me that remember that stuff?

    I double dog dare you to read Spawn #10 and not have yr mind BLOWN! Captain America is in Hell, yo.

  21. I never knew what the trouble was,Image comics should have left Superme alone.How they started with him and his looks.You can’t tell me some one could not drw him almost right on,I have.Those drawings with that crazy like long hair wave that they did for a some time.Could not said it and laughed everytime I saw it.The othe looks down the line kept going back and forth looking older looking younger.Then making him like a right on copy of Superman,only a comic writer instead of a reporter.I am sorry anyone whop kept with him,I could not.How he was first done was the best,older a little receding white hair and looking mean almost all the time.As a matter of fact Image should have done or let some one do a 12 or 13 inch tall detailed number one Supreme action figure.That would have been great.Image comics missed the boat on that.I could see that they may have needed to tone him down from being such a killing bad ass.But his looks should not have been touched and that supreme place with all the supremes no no no.That was going so 50’s and early 60’s kid like sorry,Image had one cool dude the way he staated.I have not picked him up since he became the comic book writer.If they evry do the number one Supreme as his bad ass self action figure like I said I’d run out to get one.Bye and so sorry Image comics,I really miss thee SUPREME the one and only.

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