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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Legends Revealed #181

This is the one-hundred and eighty-first in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous one-hundred and eighty.

Let’s begin!

COMIC LEGEND: John Byrne based aspects of a Fantastic Four antagonist on Neal Adams.

STATUS: True

Neal Adams is a proponent of the theory that the current state of the Earth is different than it was millions of years ago, and that the Earth has actually expanded since then.

The theory is that the continents used to be one gigantic land mass, but as the Earth expanded, the continents broke apart and the oceans were formed.

Adams differs from other theorists who support this topic in how he believes the expansion occurs. His theory is that there is an electron/positron pair production within the core of the Earth. Pair production is the theory that a particle and an anti-particle combined would produce energy. Adams believes it is this energy that causes the Earth to expand.

Generally speaking, this theory of an expanding Earth is not an accepted one in the scientific community, who have all generally accepted the theory of continental drift (explained via plate tectonics) as practically undisputed fact.

However, there are those who still do continue to support it.

In any event, in a storyline during his awesome run on Fantastic Four, John Byrne introduced a fellow named Alden Maas, who was a Walt Disney type who also subscribed to the expanding Earth theory, and actually came up with a plan to use the Human Torch’s supernova flame to re-ignite the Earth’s core and make the Earth expand to help take care of the growing population of Earth.

The Mole Man gets involved as the drilling to the Earth’s core interrupts his world.

While initially Byrne did not intend to base the character on Adams (most likely, originally it was supposed to be strictly a Disney pastiche), as the story went along, it seemed more and more like Adams – enough so that Byrne knew that whether he intended it or not, people would certainly see the character as based on Adams. So Byrne decided to go all out, even naming the character Alden Maas (an anagram for Neal Adams).

And visually, the similarity is certainly there.

Anyhow, Byrne has routinely expressed great admiration for Adams, so this is not some hack job on Adams or anything like that. Maas is not even really much of a villain in the piece – he’s doing what he thinks is for the betterment of Earth. Byrne is just slightly poking fun (if you even wish to call it that, it’s barely even poking fun) at Adams’ theories.

Thanks to John Seavey for suggesting I cover this one!

COMIC LEGEND: Marvel once “adapted” a Tom Wolfe story in an issue of the Incredible Hulk.

STATUS: True

In the late 60s and early 70s, Marvel had a certain status among the New York intellectual circuit. The legendary “New Journalist,” Tom Wolfe, for instance, was a great admirer of Marvel, even appearing in an issue of Doctor Strange.

However, that did not prepare the world for Marvel actually adapting Wolfe’s “These Radical Chic Evenings”” story for an issue of the Incredible Hulk!

Wolfe’s story “These Radical Chic Evenings” first appeared in an issue of New York magazine.

Later it was collected as one-half of a book of the two essays by Wolfe, released in 1970, titled Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers.

“These Radical Chic Evenings” was the story of a party Leonard Bernstein threw at his New York apartment for his rich, liberal friends who wished to support the Black Panther party. In the article, Wolfe satirizes these rich white people as the “radical chic,” people who are supporting causes like the Black Panther party more for social status than for actual interest in the cause. For instance, Wolfe notes that for the party, Bernstein dismissed his normal staff of black workers and hired white South American servers for the party. So I think you get the basic picture.

Well, the next year, Wolfe and Marvel did an adaptation of “These Radical Chic Evenings” in an issue of the Incredible Hulk, written by Roy Thomas (art by Herb Trimpe and John Severin).

In the issue, a liberal couple decide to throw a party for a cause. Their daughter wants them to do a party for women’s liberation, but they tell her no, because one of their friends already did a party on that topic!

So their topic of choice? Why none other than the Hulk himself!

Of course, their angry daughter decides to picket the party and get the superhero supporter of women’s lib, the Valkyrie (I didn’t think to specify, but as my pal Kurt mentions in the comments, this is the women’s lib supporter, Valkyrie, not the Defender hero by the same name), involved.

Hilarity ensues.

Here are a couple of pages (courtesy of layne, who also supplied the Neal Adams picture from the previous legend) from the issue, including Wolfe himself appearing at the party in his trademarked white suit!

Trippy stuff, no?

EDITED TO ADD: My pal Kurt thinks it is worth explaining that Wolfe did not co-write the story, he just gave permission for his name and likeness to be used. Kurt also thinks the story is more like a parody than an adaptation.

Thanks to layne for the pictures!

COMIC LEGEND: Gambit was originally meant to be Longshot

STATUS: False

Reader John K. wrote in to ask:

A few years ago i stumbled across a zygote on the internet that claimed that Gambit from the X-men was actually intended to be Longshot who had recently left the book to find himself after the Siege Perilous stuff in Uncanny X-men. So I am curious, is this, or any part of this true?

Well, John, first off, Longshot, as far as we could see, never actually went through the Siege Perilous.

Rogue (Uncanny X-Men #257), Dazzler (#251), Colossus (#251), Havok (#251) and Psylocke (#251) were the only X-Men from Australia to actually go through the Siege Perilous.

Longshot left on his own accord.

That said, of course, that does not mean that Longshot was not still intended to be Gambit, as just because he didn’t go through the Siege Perilous does not mean that he could not have been changed otherwise. Especially due to his relation to Spiral and the Body Shop.

However, Chris Claremont did not intend Gambit to be Longshot, rather Gambit was going to be a new villain with ties to Mister Sinister (granted, the original conception of Mister Sinister, not the one that ensuing writers came up with).

I discussed a lot of this topic in an installment of Comic Book Legends Revealed almost exactly two years ago!

Thanks for the question, John! And thanks again to Chris Claremont for the information about Gambit’s origins!

Okay, that’s it for this week!

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is cronb01@aol.com.

See you next week!

81 Comments

Marvel really needs to get a couple of omnibi out collecting Byrne’s FF run. Ditto for Simonson’s Thor run. Seems like a couple of no-brainers to me.

Wow, now I finally know how to pronounce “chic.” Thanks Stan! Make Mine Marvel!

I hate to get all technical here but “adaptation” is not the right word for that Hulk story. Adaptation implies that Wolfe’s article was turned into a comics narrative a la Classics Illustrated. While Roy Thomas’s story is obviously inspired by the article, it’s more of a parody than anything else. And while Wolfe gave Marvel permission to use his title and likeness in the story, he did not actively participate in its creation (nor that of his later appearance in Doctor Strange). Finally the Valkyrie who appears in the issue is not the later Defenders super-heroine but a construct of the Enchantess (but Val’s history is so ridiculously convoluted that only hardcore continuity geeks like me can hope to keep it straight).

Does Adams still hold with the expanding earth theory? The story was published in the eighties when there was still some discussion over whether continental drift was accurate, but the evidence is solid now. I recall the other major faction in the fight were those who felt the earth’s surface was essentially carved by elemental forces like magma pushing mountains up and the seas cutting coastlines but that doesn’t mean that there were respected scientists (as opposed to crack pots) who put their own spin on continental drift by saying the Earth expanded. I guess what I’m trying to politely work out is did Adams fall in with a loony psuedoscience theory (something that has happened to far too many good men) or was it just something he considered while the debate was raging and then set aside?

Adams still believes it.

Here is his website where he discusses the stuff.

http://www.nealadams.com/morescience.html

“did Adams fall in with a loony psuedoscience theory (something that has happened to far too many good men) or was it just something he considered while the debate was raging and then set aside?”

I believe he’s still pushing the expanding earth theory.

Interesting how someone like Neil Adams would still believe an all but disproved theory. Reminds me of this guy I used to work with. We were both system engineers so he’s not brainless. Anyway, he truly believed the earth was only 5000 years old, dinosaurs were mythic creatures that never existed and Heaven was a small place, which could fit only 2000 people, and was filled and the doors locked centuries ago.

Wow. That’s wild. What a wingnut. I’m read those FF issues a dozen times, but I never considered Alden Maas to be anything but a version of Walt Disney. Thanks for blowing my mind. These are my favorite type of legends.

What was the issue number on that Hulk story?

Sorry, Matt, I meant to include the Hulk cover but forgot to put it in there.

I edited it in there now!

“Siege Perilous” is the greatest name for anything, ever.

Technically, the Valkyrie in Defenders was also a construct created by the Enchantress (though I don’t know if memories of her first incarnation carried over), but with a different host body. It was later explained as the soul of a real Valkyrie channeled by the Enchantress’ magic.

“I Am Furious (Green).”

Heh. Oh, that’s VERY good.

What’s really unbelievable is that anyone could honestly think the fannish, derivative, unoriginal hackwork of John Byrne is “awesome”.

Neal Adams is still pushing the expanding Earth idea…

http://www.nealadams.com/morescience.html

I’d imagine the Longshot/Gambit rumor comes from an issue of UXM where Wolverine and Gambit are sparring in the Danger Room and Wolverine comments that Gambit moves a lot like Longshot.

That has to be the best issue of the Hulk ever.

Adams was on “Coast to Coast AM” talking about this stuff not too long ago. I don’t recall whether he was on with George Noory or Art Bell.

I agree with R

That Hulk issue sounds awesome!

I love Adams’ work, appreciate his battle on behalf of Siegel and Shuster, and his ongoing pioneering efforts for creators’ rights.

But when I stopped by his table at a San Diego Con a while back, he was going on about a theory of reality that evoked colorful memories of wasted days and nights from years past. I usually concluded those experiences with a warm bowl of cereal and a long nap. This time, I split after a polite interval, though I still think Neal is a national treasure. Or an inter-dimensional one, perhaps.

Anytime I read Roy Thomas’s take on the women’s lib movement, I become slightly ill.

“Adams was on “Coast to Coast AM” talking about this stuff not too long ago. I don’t recall whether he was on with George Noory or Art Bell.”

George Noory on March 16th 2006.

I don’t know why I know this.

Robert

Uh… Neal… if the Earth was once a solid mass and expanded, creating the oceans… where’d all the water come from? Stick to art and leave the geology to actual geologists.

Neal Adams was interviewed on the Skeptics Guide To The Universe a couple of years ago:
http://www.theskepticsguide.org/skepticsguide/podcastinfo.asp?pid=51

They also had a follow up discussion about Adams:
http://www.theskepticsguide.org/skepticsguide/podcastinfo.asp?pid=52

-Derek

Byrne’s run on the Fantastic Four is awesome.

In his defense, it is possible to accept continental drift and an expanding earth at the same time. The continents fit together better if we do. See “The Earth is expanding and we don’t know why.” (New Scientist., Vol. 104, No. 1431, p. 27 – 30)

I think Neal is arguably the single best comic books artist ever, but man, that expanding Earth theory stuff is just so wacky and unscientifically supported it’s embarrassing.

One of the most surreal websurfing experiences I had was when I came across a thread on scienceblogs.com about Neal Adams’ nuttery. Not only did Adams himself show up to defend his ideas, but Norm Breyfogle of all people came to the thread to debate him. Breyfogle, to his credit, wanted to keep an open mind and hear what Adams had to say, but ultimately he acknowledged that Adams was full of it.

http://scienceblogs.com/goodmath/2006/12/wacky_physics_it_must_be_right_1.php

Think what you want of Byrne as a person or of his work in the last decade, but his run on FF is one of the classics.

I totally agree with Joe. Byrne’s FF is awesome and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.

I think reader John K. has confused Roma’s Siege Perilous with Forge’s Great Gate. Nine X-Men including Longshot sacrificed themselves to close his gate, their souls were forfeit, their lifelines broken only to be brought back by Roma. All this happened in Uncanny X-Men 227. Roma then gave (or left) the Siege Perilous with the team after transporting the Reavers through it in 229.

a) Byrne was, in fact, awesome, at least up until his Next Men series. This is a scientific fact. For evidence see Essential X-Men Volume 2.

b) I could give two shits what kind of psuedoscientific baloney Neal Adams puts on his website…he’s NEAL FUCKING ADAMS! He could be a charter member of the Flat Earth Society, a Scientologist, believe that dinosaurs rode cavemen to work, it don’t matter. For evidence see the Neal Adams Batman Hardcovers, Volumes 1-3.

The neal adams stuff makes me think of George Perez and his women wrestling fetish thing. I was truly stunned when I found out about George’s love for fetish wrestling.

It’s not that surprising.

I get the impression some people didn’t like the X-Men australian issues as much as I did. I came into the X-Men the day they moved into that Australian outback compound and never looked back. I thought it was great. Longshot, though, what is he, technically? He’s not really human and has two hearts. Hmm.

1) Byrne’s FF is awesome and the only FF run ever that can be compared to Lee/Kirby. And I agree with Aqualad that everything Byrne did until and including Next Men is awesome.

2) With real madmen like Dave Sim and Frank Miller and Orson Scott Card around in the comic book industry, Neal Adams’s beliefs seem pretty tame. And the only difference between Adams and more than half of the world’s population is that Adams’s unscientific bulshit isn’t harming anyone.

The X-men (many of them) went through the Siege twice. The first time was 227 (the end of the “Fall of the Mutants” cash-over) and they showed up down under. The second time they were all reincarnated or some crap. That’s when Storm reappeared as a teenager, Psylocke got brain-swapped, etc. I think that was after Inferno.

The Australian arc wasn’t totally terrible, except for the introduction of Jubilee, who was essentially a Boom-Boom knockoff, but it does mark the beginning of the end for me. The deathblow was “Inferno.” I got into it with…annual 2 I think, where they meet Arkon for the first time. By the time Inferno rolled around, I was sick of Marvel tacking Wolverine into everything they could find, turning perfectly good badguys into bad, one-dimensional protagonists (Punisher), and Claremont’s inability to finish arcs that he started. I also have problems with the future storylines, but that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms.

Just to make the Valkyrie origins clearer, that FIRST incarnation of Val would also many, many years later become the most RECENT incarnation of Val (from the Busiek / Larsen DEFENDERS v 2).

Samantha Parrington.

In between he first and most recent incarnations, Valkyrie was bonded to the body of Barbara Norriss (sp?), via an enchantment by the Enchantress.
That spell eventually led to several splits between Norris & the Valkyrie essence (including one where Valkyrie DIES (at the end of DEFENDRS v1) and her spirit is later embodied by a student in England (Doctor Strange : Sorcerer Supreme # 1 – 4) and yet another where the spirit is taken within the form of a completely DIFFERENT woman for a short while (a VALKYRIE late 1990′s one-shot & an issue or two of the Ghost Rider from the same time (iirc)).

However, the spirit of the true Valkyrie would remain in Asgard (after Samantha Parrington regains the power), only to perish in the Ragnarok that befell Asgard at the end of the last THOR series.

As far as I can tell, THAT (“real”) Valkyrie has yet to be shown as one of the returned Asgardians, but the Sam Parrington version was in the Avengers training grounds (Initiative), was contacted by Nighthawk for possible inclusion for his “Last Defenders” AND is NOW one of She-Hulk’s LADY LIBERATOR’s (the same name that Samantha’s Valkyrie had started up in an issue of AVENGERS).

*whew*

It’s complicated.
There are a few other twists in there that I left out but that’s’ the whole enchilada pretty much.
I can only hope that I remember it all correctly.

~P~

Hey all…

1) Neal Adams, as far as I can see, is somewhat of a nut on that. But it makes me really wonder how many people on this thread actually understand all the mechanics of continental drift (I’ll be the first to admit I don’t…unless it’s reeeally simple…Just sayin’).

However, Aqualad, you’re hilariously good and a big part of me agrees with you.

2)WTF? George Perez is into wrestling with women??? Whoa. I’ll be wiki-ing that in a minute.

Uh, wow.

Also, Rene, I’m sorry, but what’s up with Miller and Card? I know Miller’s VERY conservative, but we got one them jobs in the white house currently (just currently). Maybe you’re from overseas or one of the coasts, but those are pretty common here.

What’s up with Card, though? Guess I’ll look him up to, but tell the crowd.

And here I thought I new the out-of-school stories of most these guys- Brian…great job as usual. Not only is this one of the highlights of my week, It’s gets some great threads going.

3)Man, the XM seige cover is great. The Hulk entering shot is perfect. For Byrne, I’ve always hated his stuff, even as a kid when he was doing NEXTMEN, but the funny thing is when I read the Dark Phoenix stuff, I didn’t even realize it was him. His style is just from a different time (and it hasn’t changed-at all).

4) -Sorry Guys-wouldn’t mention it except for the synchronicity, but I was just ripping on my boss; literally, the most brilliant person I know-believes that Europeans evolved from Neanderthals and other humans evolved from distinct proto-humans. I’m sure his neighbors warn people, “Listen…Neal’s a great guy, and he’s really famous in his profession…but if he starts on the ‘expanding earth’ thing…we’re cuttin’ out.”

Anyway, great job, as always, Brian. Thanks all…

The Siege Perilous, by the way, is hardly a Claremontian invention. It comes from Arthurian legend, where it’s a chair reserved for the knight worthy of the Grail; anyone else who sits therein drops dead.

“What’s up with Card, though? Guess I’ll look him up to, but tell the crowd.”

I forget off-hand which religion he’s an extremist for (Mormons?), but he’s virulently anti-gay and anti-global warming.

OK, first off, Rogue went through the Siege Perilous in 247, not 257. An amusing typo, since the cover for 247 is right above that quote. :)

But more importantly….”However, Chris Claremont did not intend Gambit to be Longshot, rather Gambit was going to be a new villain with ties to Mister Sinister (granted, the original conception of Mister Sinister, not the one that ensuing writers came up with).”

“original conception” – OK, I need to hear the story on that one.

“original conception” – OK, I need to hear the story on that one.”-Kyle

Seconded.

“I forget off-hand which religion he’s an extremist for (Mormons?), but he’s virulently anti-gay and anti-global warming.”

Ohhh, yeah, I’m lookin’ this guy up. I read “Seventh Son”, but never knew.

Edit above- credit sean

I came across Neal Adams’ philosophy on the continental drift thing a couple of years ago, but heck, as someone whose own beliefs (well, actually, more like my *suspicions* … I don’t think there’s much at all that I actually *believe*) in any number of areas can more or less be summed up by quoting the ALICE IN WONDERLAND line about having “sometimes … believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast,” I’ll not be casting stones.

Frank Miller? A vile excuse for a human being & an utter blight on comics, if his last several years of work is any indication, but probably not actually unbalanced.

Dave Sim? Nuttier than 10 fruitcakes.

Orson Scott Card? Crazier than batshit. Sort of sad to think that he & Mike Allred share the same religion, but at least Mike seems to be an extremely nice guy.

Im a conservative, and a comic book reader. i realize 95% of comic book creators are liberals or at least left of center. i notice the jabs at my beliefs that are in the books, they’re usually subtle but sometimes blatant. ive come to accept that and it doesnt bother me much, but what really bothers me is that in the rare occassions you do have a conservative writing comics, its like the end of the world to some people. is it so hard to accept that some people might have a different view of things than you??

That Hulk story is a bold piece of satire, I couldn’t imagine ANYTHING like that getting printed today. I remember reading it as a child and loving it.

Thanks for answering this one, Brian! It’s been bugging me on and off ever since I found out about Adams’ support for the expanding earth hypothesis, and I’m really glad you could get to the bottom of it. (I should have spotted it from the “Alden Maas” name, though.)

@ELongo

I don’t think anyone dislikes Miller or Card because they are conservative. They dislike them because Miller is a (perceived) misogynist and Card believes homosexuality should be outlawed. He even wrote an essay with a strong implication Mormons should revolt against the US Government if they grant same sex marriages.

It has nothing to do with conservatism. It has everything to do with sanity.

Orson Scott Card is far from insane. Agree with him or not, he has not shown himself to be irrational in his essays, at least the ones I read. Do you have a link to the Card essay you mention?

Dan Bailey: “Dave Sim? Nuttier than 10 fruitcakes.” Erm? Could you elaborate? I know he’s deeply religious, having read though the Torah, the Bible and the Koran, and now considers himself a Muslim, which I personally consider fair enough. If he found inspiration and faith through actually reading the books, he has far more right to call himself Jewish, Christian or Muslim than most other people who would lay claim to either one of those positions…
He actually wrote a really good essay on the differences between what is written in the Koran, and non-Islamic customs and traditions that have wrongly become Sha’ria over the centuries, but because (like most “Christians”) most “Muslims” haven’t actually read their Holy Book for themselves, they believe what they are told, rather than what they have read and understood for themselves…
Some (okay, A LOT) of his writing is anti-feminist, however, the vast majority of that is anti-MILITANT-Feminism… He also spends plenty of time attacking chauvinists as well…
Basically, I would describe Dave Sim as a complicated, slightly bitter, anti-corporation fanatic. But not actually insane…
Although, as much as I admire what he’s achieved in comics, and as much as I enjoyed reading his work, I don’t think I’d have him round for dinner…

Orson Scott Card’s essay on marriage being a sacred institution that should not be diluted by same-sex marriages confounded me… This from a Mormon who can have how many wives?!?!? Definite nutter…

Frank Miller… Um.. Love his art… Love laughing at his writing. Think he’s a psychopath with severe mother issues…

All in all though, sounds like Neal Adams is onto a winner… :-)

By that I mean Neal Adams would be welcome at my dinner table anytime!

@Blackjack

In defense of Mormons, Polygamy is no longer condoned by the Church of Latter Day Saints. So that’s not really a fair criticism.

@T

http://mormontimes.com/mormon_voices/orson_scott_card/?id=3237

@ Lawrence. Fair play. I didn’t realise that. But I still don’t think his “long letter” really makes any real sense…

While many of Card’s arguments only pertain to members of his Church (and a church has a right to regulate the behaviour of its members, sure), some of his views are more “general”. Dear Orson Scott Card has said that gays should be jailed, for instance (http://www.nauvoo.com/library/card-hypocrites.html):

“Laws against homosexual behavior should remain on the books, not to be indiscriminately enforced against anyone who happens to be caught violating them, but to be used when necessary to send a clear message that those who flagrantly violate society’s regulation of sexual behavior cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within that society. ”

Thank you very much, Orson! It’s awesome that you think those laws regulating sexual behaviour should not be “indiscriminately enforced,” but by all means, choose some of us to be examples to be sent to jail to discourage the rest of us to live full, happy lives! Keep us in the closet and afraid! Yeah, by all means, I should be a second-class citizen just because I’m not partial to your choice of which holy book written centuries ago I should follow.

“Some (okay, A LOT) of his writing is anti-feminist, however, the vast majority of that is anti-MILITANT-Feminism”

He claims he’s simply anti-feminism or anti-militant-feminism, but it goes beyond that. I have read him say, straight out, that he believe there is sufficient evidence that women are intellectually inferior. Also, that women being given the right to vote was a mistake. The dude is clearly anti-woman.

I actually disagree with Card about gay marriage and think he’s extreme in some of his views. I just don’t think he’s insane. Same goes for left-wingers like George Soros and Michael Moore, I STRONGLY disagree with them. But insane or crackpots? I wouldn’t go that far.

I especially disagree with his views about keeping gay marriage illegal.

As for encouraging Mormons to revolt, I assume this is the paragraph in question?

How long before married people answer the dictators thus: Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage, and help me raise my children in a society where they will expect to marry in their turn.

I don’t think he means a physical revolt but a revolt at the ballot box.

I wouldn’t say we left-leaning comic book fans flip out about conservative writers and artists. Chuck Dixon, Mike Grell, Frank Miller, Bill Willingham, John Byrne, and Ed Hannigan have had success in the field. Hell, I’ve enjoyed comics by all of them. As with Judd Winnick and his using comics as a liberal soapbox, it is when the beliefs interfere with the work that fans get annoyed. The only time I can recall an artist with a conservative viewpoint losing work because of it is when Mike Miller (IIRC) made anti-gay statements. (And if I’m misremembering, please let me know) I think most readers can separate the man or woman from the work. (except for in Byrne’s case, maybe)

Card used some strong language in his statement (“mortal enemy,” “I will act to destroy…”), but I don’t think he’s insane. A fanatic, definitely, but not one with a classifiable mental illness. Completely wrong, too. How could the legalization of gay marriage have *any* effect on heterosexual marriage? My marriage won’t change. His marriage won’t change. The whole argument is ridiculous.

Here’s Chris Claremont’s explanation for the origin of Mr. Sinister.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuIqMtB4J3M

But insane or crackpots? I wouldn’t go that far.

I doubt many of us actually mean that literally. Still, it reminds me of the time I was at Comic-con in San Diego and my friends Tim and Kurt and I were laughing about how clearly, working in comics makes you crazy, and rattled off the list of evidence.

Steve Ditko- freaky manifesto voice-over in place of an interview in the video Masters of Comic Book Art
Neal Adams booth: “Ask Me About The Expanding Universe!”
Frank Brunner- bragged how his psychedelic drug use made his comics possible
Dave Sim– misogynist loon manifesto
Grant Morrison– any number of quotes, but we cited his story of being kidnapped by aliens in the book Writers on Comics Scriptwriting
Alan Moore- various claims of working magical rites as documented in The Birth Caul and elsewhere

…and so on. Now, we didn’t REALLY think those guys are all clinically insane, and they’ve all done amazing work. but still, you rattle off the list and seeing them all in a row, you can’t help but conclude that a lot of industry pros are, well, not too tightly wrapped.

And those are just the BIG ones. Let’s not even get into all the small-scale stuff like alcoholism and weird quirky work habits and all the other stuff documented about comics pros over the years.

Card’s not insane. He’s just a nasty bigot.

@Greg Hatcher

Yes, that’s what I meant by my “sanity” comment; I was merely being snarky.

In the case of Grant Morrison though, he really is insane. And thank God for that.

That Hulk story really looks like some interesting social satire. And this is from the 70s, back when comics were still actually read by kids! It’s obviously poking fun at some of the showy, superficial kind of liberals who were into causes because they were fashionable, and very pleased with themselves. I can imagine the creators working in Manhattan offices ran into those people all the time. And, c’mon, what ISN’T funny about the Hulk attending a dinner party?

If he literally believes any of the things he has said about homosexuality, then I would say he’s crazy. Gay people are less happy? The existence of homosexuality damages heterosexual families?

“but what really bothers me is that in the rare occassions you do have a conservative writing comics, its like the end of the world to some people. is it so hard to accept that some people might have a different view of things than you??”

Actually, Card is a socialist / communist, I believe, so don’t be so quick to claim him.

And, yes, when the different view of things extends to denying people equal civil rights, it’s not a different view that can be tolerated. That’s extremist, not just “conversative”, like the difference between radical Islamic terrorists and people of the Muslim faith.

“Here’s Chris Claremont’s explanation for the origin of Mr. Sinister.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuIqMtB4J3M

Wow, thanks.

That sounds much better than what we eventually got. I wonder what the X-Men books would look like now if Claremont never left (when he returned, he wasn’t the same – if he had been given more creative control in the first place and never left, things would be different).

>>Grant Morrison– any number of quotes, but we cited his story of being kidnapped by aliens in the book Writers on Comics Scriptwriting<<

Barry Smith chronicles quite an alleged UFO experience of his won in TwoMorrows’ STREETWISE. Which doesn’t make him insane — or, rather, if it *does*, my own shelves of UFO & paranormal books raise all sorts of doubts about my own mental processes as well — but is … interesting.

>>Actually, Card is a socialist / communist, I believe, so don’t be so quick to claim him.

Given Card’s apparent embrace of a resoundingly conservative religious group (well, *sociopolitically* conservative, that is … the whole idea of basing a religion on what amounts to an early 19th century version of CHARIOTS OF THE GODS is a bit unusual, I suppose, though offhand every religion I’ve ever heard of is based on similarly unlikely precepts), not to mention his homophobia, I’m not sure the left would accept him, either.

@Lawrence
In defense of Mormons, Polygamy is no longer condoned by the Church of Latter Day Saints. So that’s not really a fair criticism.

It depends what you mean by condoning. Mormons condemn the PRACTICE but they support the PRINCIPLE of polygamy – see D&C 132, current temple sealings, previous prophets still revered, no apology, etc. (I was a Mormon for 36 years). Loving this thread by the way!

I too am conservative politically, and I read comics. My suggestion to everyone is “judge the art, not the artist.”

I like books by Frank Miller and Alan Moore, and yet I can think of very few things they would agree on politically. Being good at {writing | drawing | singing | whatever } says exactly nothing whatsoever about their competence or expertise in any other field. If I worried about the beliefs of any of these creators, I’d have a much narrower selection.

I could do without the snark directed at conservatives, however: that a given person disagrees with you about any given issue does not make them a bad person – it just means that you haven’t persuaded them of your position yet.

Interesting how someone like Neil Adams would still believe an all but disproved theory. Reminds me of this guy I used to work with. We were both system engineers so he’s not brainless. Anyway, he truly believed the earth was only 5000 years old, dinosaurs were mythic creatures that never existed and Heaven was a small place, which could fit only 2000 people, and was filled and the doors locked centuries ago.

I know. I feel the same about Christians

“And, yes, when the different view of things extends to denying people equal civil rights, it’s not a different view that can be tolerated. That’s extremist, not just “conversative”, like the difference between radical Islamic terrorists and people of the Muslim faith.”

Very well said Sean. Agree completely. You can’t always just say “we agree to disagree” on stuff like this. Do I think less of creators whos’ views are very different than mine? Depends on the view. With Adams I wonder what’s going on in his brain but I wouldn’t stop reading/enjoying his stuff. Card though? Not so much.

I always felt that the John Byrne run on FF seriously ran out of steam after its first couple of years, right after the Trial of Reed Richards. It picked up again at the end with the Johnny Storm Hero and the Nick Fury/time travel stories, but there were quite a few issues that pretty much left me cold, like the one you’ve shown.

I always appreciate hearing reminders of the difference between islamic terrorists and Muslim people. It’s a crucial distinction that isn’t noted often enough, imho. To me it’s similar to the difference between a crazed Palin supporter and a real Christian, or the difference between a brutal Zionist and a true Jew

And I agree with David that we shouldn’t judge the creators by their beliefs, with a provision that they shouldn’t make sharing that belief a bigger priority than telling a story (unless a story is being particularly presented as a philosophical/political/pro-religion/pro-pagan/propagandist piece).
I think both Alan Moore and Frank Miller have blurred that line occasionally.
And Grant Morrison? He has squatted right over that line and dropped an Eric Cartman-style dump right on top of it, from time to time.

ParanoidObsessive

November 23, 2008 at 1:55 am

>>> The X-men (many of them) went through the Siege twice. The first time was 227 (the end of the “Fall of the Mutants” cash-over) and they showed up down under. The second time they were all reincarnated or some crap. That’s when Storm reappeared as a teenager, Psylocke got brain-swapped, etc. I think that was after Inferno.

Actually, they didn’t GET the Siege until the end of issue #228, when Roma gave it to them as a means of getting rid of villains they defeated without having to reveal themselves to any authorities (and thus blow their “we died in Dallas” cover). Also, Storm never actually went through the Siege at all (being kidnapped and “de-aged” beforehand).

>>> Sorry Guys-wouldn’t mention it except for the synchronicity, but I was just ripping on my boss; literally, the most brilliant person I know-believes that Europeans evolved from Neanderthals and other humans evolved from distinct proto-humans.

Some recent studies have started to suggest that, rather than existing as a separate species that simply died off and was replaced by Cro-Magnon, Neanderthals may actually have interbred with Cro-Magnon and contributed at least some of their genetic material to modern man, so your boss’ theory isn’t completely insane.

The problem with deriding people for believing something that sounds crazy compared to what we “know” is true is that, often, we find out we didn’t know half as much as we think we did.

>> Marvel really needs to get a couple of omnibi out collecting Byrne’s FF run. Ditto for Simonson’s Thor run.
>> Seems like a couple of no-brainers to me.

Both are collected in “Visionaries” trades. I have the Simonson Thors; and was looking at the Byrne FF’s in the shop last month, to re-read the FF-vs-Superman story.

Is an “omnibus” something different?

whos crazier than religious types like mike allred?
the not so great unwashed posertheists like DanCJ and dan bailey.

Steve Ditko- freaky manifesto voice-over in place of an interview in the video Masters of Comic Book Art
Neal Adams booth: “Ask Me About The Expanding Universe!”
Frank Brunner- bragged how his psychedelic drug use made his comics possible
Dave Sim– misogynist loon manifesto
Grant Morrison– any number of quotes, but we cited his story of being kidnapped by aliens in the book Writers on Comics Scriptwriting
Alan Moore- various claims of working magical rites as documented in The Birth Caul and elsewhere

…and so on. Now, we didn’t REALLY think those guys are all clinically insane, and they’ve all done amazing work. but still, you rattle off the list and seeing them all in a row, you can’t help but conclude that a lot of industry pros are, well, not too tightly wrapped.

Don’t forget Denny O’Neil and his rabid liberalism. Some of his in-story rants from Green Lantern/Green Arrow are cringe-inducing and as insane as anything Ditko has done.

Wow. I didn’t know all that about Card.
Still REALLY enjoyed Ultimate Iron Man.

And talking about creators pushing their views on stories, anyone ever read Ditko’s Mr. A? Most of them are literally just Objectivist ESSAYS with a few pictures of black and white cards.

I’m late to this party but thought that this blog reflecting on Orwell’s reflecting on the life of Salvador Dali might be relevant…

http://volokh.com/2009/09/28/roman-polanski-george-orwell-and-salvador-dali/

I really find it hard to believe that Gambit is not a reworking of Longshot… Let’s see, flashing eye; super agility; the throwing of multiple thin items at once, often held between the fingers; charming, lady killers, and of course the name often-confused/near-synonym… Gambit, Longshot?

I personally always thought that Gambit’s costume gave away his true origin. If you compare it to Archangel’s around that time, you see the similarities in style of someone who’s been altered by the hand of Apocalypse. Really it would have been a great way to rework the bright and sunny Longshot (who didn’t need reworking) into the dark, edgy type of character that was gaining so much popularity at the time.

Ultimately that’s the type of story that was going on in Uncanny… everyone’s gone, lets track ‘em down and make everything right. I really loved the fact that Claremont spread the team to the four winds and then (very) slowly brought them back together. Like every young kid at the time I loved Wolvie and still remember fondly when he, jubilee and the new Psylocke show up in Genosha, not knowing the rest of the X-family is going to be involved… and thus started x-tinction agenda, which I remember loving all but some of the terrible are that surfaced in the cross-over books.

[...] Themen: Dragonball, Doujinshi, Comedy Stile: Computer koloriert, Fineliner Charaktere: Bardock, Radditz Unterthemen: Kurz- Doujinshi/Manga/Comic/ComicstripAuszug "Hulk":http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2008/11/13/comic-book-legends-revealed-181/ [...]

Rogue went through the Seige Perilous in issue #247, not #257

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