Comics Should Be Good Mailbag for 11/12
Here’s the latest installment of a weekly reader interactive segment on the blog, where I answer reader-submitted e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org (and other e-mails that don’t require responses).
Reader Rhodri T. wrote me this one awhile back, but I was waiting to ask Mark Evanier about it, and I did this past week.
Something I’ve wondered for a while but didn’t really know where to find the answer: Who wrote the Marvel credit boxes in the 60s? logic would suggest Stan Lee for the most part, but the way they were always so derogatory to the letterers, Sam Rosen and Art Simek mostly I believe, makes me wonder if they wouldn’t have objected, even though it was in jest? So maybe the letterers did these themselves?
I presumed it was Lee doing it, but I’ll admit that I’ve never heard anyone speak about this specifically, so I asked the always informative Mark Evanier, and he graciously answered that yeah, it was Lee doing the credit boxes, although he added:
Other writers like Roy Thomas and Gary Friedrich wrote ‘em on issues they scripted, though Stan (as editor) occasionally fiddled with them to get them into the proper style.
So there ya go!
Thanks a lot, Mark!
A few different folks wrote in to ask about the name change to Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed.
Well, sadly, country singer Keith Urban’s lawyer sent us a cease and desist letter about using the word “urban,” so I had to drop it.
Seriously, though, awhile back someone mentioned to me that they thought “Comic Book Legends Revealed” sounded better than “Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed,” and I actually agreed, that DID sound better, so I eventually got around to changing it a few weeks back.
Reader Pitr S. wrote in to ask:
Your posting of the Mazzucchelli cover reminded me of a question I’ve been looking for an answer to for some time. Who was the first person to place so much importance on Martha Wayne’s pearls? More specifically, who drew the first incarnation of the now-oft-used image of her necklace snapping and the pearls scattering? Was it Frank Miller in DKR? That’s the earliest example I can think of, but I don’t know if he was using someone else’s motif.
Good question, Pitr, and not one that I can answer with 100% certainty, but I am pretty darn sure that yes, it was Miller who first made the big deal out of the pearls (which the film Batman Begins recently used to good effect).
If someone out there can find an earlier use, let me know!
Reader Daniel really wants to promote Megan Rose Gedris’ “I Was Kidnapped by Lesbian Pirates,” so here is a link to Gedris’ website for the book.
Nick Marino (here is Nick’s website) wrote in to ask:
There was a short period in the mid to late 90s when I stopped reading comics regularly (ha! me and lots of other people!), and it was right around this time when Marvel came out with Over the Edge, featuring a rotating cast of Marvel Edge characters. Back then, I missed out on any interviews or other behind-the-scenes material on this series and the Edge imprint. I picked up the Over the Edge books from a quarter bin in the early 00s and thoroughly enjoyed most of them. For example, there’s a Mr. Fear tale with Daredevil, a great Daredevil and Black Panther team-up, and an incredible Elektra story that all seem to exist somewhere between Marvel Adventures and Marvel Knights. What happened with this imprint? Do the Over the Edge stories factor into current character histories? Are these “in continuity”? (And for bonus points, what happened to Over the Edge penciler Robert Brown? He had a great Bachalo-meets-McFarlane style.)
Over the Edge was part of Marvel’s ill-fated plan in the mid-90s to split the company into different “groups.”
Around that time, Marvel had also been experimenting with 99 cent comics (to little success), and they decided to give the “Marvel Edge” line of comics (which basically meant the heroes who weren’t connected to other groups) a spotlight 99 cent comic book.
The silliness of pairing the Hulk, Daredevil, Ghost Rider, Doctor Strange and the Punisher in a “line” of comics was spotlighted in the “Double Edge” crossover where John Ostrander and Kim Yale had to somehow bring all the characters together for a ridiculous storyline involving the Punisher being brainwashed into killing Nick Fury, who Punisher ultimately “kills” at the end of the story (leading into Ostrander’s new Punisher series).
I actually liked Ostrander’s Punisher series, although Tom Lyle would be about the last guy I’d ever think of for a Punisher series, and I guess that made sense, because the series was about as far from the Punisher concept as you can get (or so we thought at the time – we did not, of course, know that the days of the Punisher as Magic Avenging Angel was going to be upon us in a few years).
Anyhow, Over the Edge WAS in continuity, it was just designed to be read by a new reader.
The Daredevil stories, for instance, take place in continuity right before Karl Kesel’s run on the book.
Over the Edge features, I believe, one of the last stories ever written by Mark Gruenwald before his tragic passing.
Robert Brown was part of another failed 99 cent comic, Marvel Fanfare, which also made a big point about being “in continuity.” Stephen Jones was the artist paired with Brown on both title – they tended to do every other issue.
As for Robert “REB” Brown, the last I heard from him, he was doing licensed comics eight years or so ago, like the Undertaker comic book. If anyone knows what Mr. Brown is up to, let me know!
Reader Chris McAree has an interesting question…
I really don’t know if you can help me with this but it’s been bugging me for years! One of my first introductions to American comics was through Frank Miller’s Daredevil. Now living as I do, about 80 miles from my nearest comic book store, and at the time, not having my own car (I was about 8!) I used to pick up the occasional TPB to fill in missed issues and the like. One of my friends lent me “The Elektra Saga,” which, naturally, I thought was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Years later, when the Frank Miller Visionaries series came out, some of my friends bought them for me as a birthday present. Being a chronic insomniac I actually read them in one long and slightly inebriated sitting, after celebrating my birthday with my friends. The next day it occurred to me that there were several scenes that I could remember reading as a child, that didn’t seem to be present. At first I ascribed this to having had a couple too many drinks, and skipping pages, and later, after scouring the TPBs and not finding the missing scenes, I broke open the long boxes and rooted out all my old DD issues. Still without success, I had begun to wonder if I had imagined the scenes, until I stumbled across a copy of The Elektra Saga on eBay and the penny dropped. One quick delivery later, and I had found, among others, a character defining scene featuring Elektra on an airplane, then later, brought before the Jonin of the Hand.
Now, after this long preamble, my question is this; were these extra scenes written by Frank Miller? They fit together so nicely with the other excerpts from Miller’s run, that since discovering these “link” scenes I have always wondered whether they were Frank’s words, or who it was that did the excellent job aping his style? Can you help?
Fine question, Chris.
Okay, first off, the Elektra Saga comics reprinted a little-seen Elektra story from Bizarre Adventures #28 in Elektra Saga #1, so right there, most people don’t recognize this story.
That said, yes, Miller and Klaus Janson sprinkled in some new material within some of the issues of Elektra Saga, on top of the brand-new (very cool looking) covers to the issues…
The nice publicist, Margot, has sent me a bunch of stuff about the new Hellboy II DVD.
Here is an online Hellboy II card game.
Margaret from IDW let me know about a big sale that IDW Publishing is having for those folks in the San Diego area.
On Saturday, December 6th, from 10am to 3pm, IDW is trying to clean up its warehouse by selling off as many of their comics as possible, at very low prices!
The sale will be held in IDW’s parking lot, 5080 Santa Fe St, San Diego, CA 92109.
SeqArt dropped me a line about the upcoming release of the Legion of Superheroes essay book edited by our friend and yours, Tim Callahan.
Pretty darn cool looking, Tim!
*cough*send me a review copy*cough*
Man, I must have had something stuck in my throat.
I believe that’s it for this week!
Be sure to send me an e-mail to email@example.com with the subject heading “Mailbag” if you want to be included in next week’s mailbag!
So far, you folks have been sending quite a few interesting e-mails – keep it up!