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Comic Book Legends Revealed #302

Welcome to the three hundredth and second in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous three hundred and one

Comic Book Legends Revealed is part of the larger Legends Revealed series, where I look into legends about the worlds of entertainment and sports, which you can check out here, at legendsrevealed.com. I’d especially recommend you check out this installment of Music Legends Revealed, which sort of ties into today’s theme by telling the story of how Alice Cooper’s song for the Man with the Golden Gun did not make it on to the film’s soundtrack!

Follow Comics Should Be Good on Twitter and on Facebook (also, feel free to share Comic Book Legends Revealed on our Facebook page!). If we hit 2,000 likes on Facebook or 3,000 followers on Twitter, you’ll have the option to get a bonus edition of Comic Book Legends the week after we hit 2,000 likes or 3,000 followers! So go like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to get that extra Comic Book Legends Revealed! Not only will you get updates when new blog posts show up on both Twitter and Facebook, but you’ll get original content from me, as well!

Special theme week – all the legends this week involve British comics in some capacity!

Let’s begin!

COMIC LEGEND: Alan Moore took over the Captain Britain strip because of a disagreement Alan Davis had with the previous writer over a story involving Northern Ireland.

STATUS: True

As you all know (and I discussed recently in a Comic Book Legends Revealed installment), Alan Davis and Alan Moore had a very famous run on Captain Britain for Marvel UK during the 1980s. Moore took over from writer Dave Thorpe.

What’s interesting is WHY Thorpe left the book.

You see, in a two-part storyline that was set to appear in Marvel Superheroes #384….

Thorpe decided to address the problems in Northern Ireland between the Catholic and Protestants in Belfast by having Captain Britain go to Belfast (where half the teens there adored him and half the teens hated him).

Davis did not agree with the story. In an interview with Amazing Heroes, Davis noted, “I didn’t find anything entertaining about this or the story. At best it was for adult conumption, at worst it was insulting.”

Davis went to their editor and after she checked with the higher-ups, she came back and told Thorpe to re-write the script. Thorpe felt that Davis was afraid of backlash over Davis’ Irish parentage, but Davis insisted that he just “didn’t feel the subject matter was suitable entertainment for the age group our comic was aimed at.”

Thorpe’s re-write was basically the same story, only now instead of Belfast and involving Catholics and Protestants, the comic took place in “Fablest,” where the Coalitch and the Rottenpasts warred with each other. The Rottenpasts had descended from the Dutch and grew orange trees. The Coalitch grew potatoes.

Davis refused to draw this story, either.

So their editor told Davis to re-write the story himself (the time constraints did not give them time to do a brand-new story), and he turned it into a story of two rival gangs…

With Captain Britain getting himself involved in their fight…

After a fill-in story for Marvel Superheroes #385, the story was finished in #386, with a fairly pat ending…

Thorpe and Davis were at odds on the strip, and editorial was forced to choose between them, and Davis “won.” So with #387, Alan Moore took over as the writer of the strip, and the rest is, as they say, history.

Thanks to Fritz Hood for suggesting this one! And thanks to Alan Davis and Amazing Heroes for the information!

COMIC LEGEND: Warren Ellis’ Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis is a re-worked Excalibur script.

STATUS: False

Recently, Warren Ellis did a mini-series starring the X-Men with artist Kaare Andrews.

Commenter David asked me the other week, when I featured a legend about how Ellis re-worked his unpublished End Times script into Ultimate Extinction:

I have another Warren Ellis one for you. Me and most at my LCS believe that Warren Ellis reworked an unpublished Excalibur script into Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis. Is there any truth to this?

Ellis did have an awesome run on Excalibur. Could it be true?

I found this same story being repeated over at Comic Bloc, by a poster named Sentinel119:

I feel that this was a leftover Excalibur story that Ellis just retooled to fit with the Astonishing X-Men. It seems like Emma should be Rachel, Cyclops should be either Nightcrawler, Storm should be Meggan, Wolverine should by Kylun, and Beast should be Captain Britain. I wish I could have seen this story with those characters. It would have been so much better.

So I asked Warren Ellis about it, and he said no, specifically noting that there were no leftover Excalibur scripts.

In addition, after I noted that it sounded weird to me, since Ellis did not even USE Kylun in his Excalibur run, Ellis noted that he had to look Kylun up on Google to even see who he was!

So yeah, not an adaptation of an Excalibur story.

Thanks to David for the suggestion and thanks to Warren Ellis for the information!

COMIC LEGEND: Alan Moore wrote and drew a BJ and the Bear story.

STATUS: True

Reader Jeff wrote in a few weeks back to ask,

“A friend told me that Alan Moore once wrote a comic book about BJ and the Bear. Is that for real?”

Amazingly enough, Jeff, it is, in fact, for real.

BJ and the Bear was an American comedy series about a freelance trucker (BJ) and his pet chimpanzee (Bear) who traveled the country in their cab over semi truck, having all sorts of misadventures while being constantly harassed by the somewhat corrupt Sheriff Lobo, who actually was popular enough to get his own spin-off!!

In 1982, BJ and the Bear got an annual over in the United Kingdom by Grandreams.

In it, Moore produced TWO articles (text and art). One was a piece on CB radio slang. The other was a short story about monkeys. I’ll show you the latter story…

For the other one, check out Pádraig Ó Méalóid’s great LiveJournal site devoted to the works of Alan Moore.

If you appreciate Pádraig’s work (and why wouldn’t you? It’s great!), maybe you’ll think of throwing him a couple of bucks. I know he’s had some money issues with some cancer problems last year. I just gave him five bucks. You can donate a buck or two here. I figure it’s nice to appreciate cool comic sites like Pádraig’s, and we’re only talking a few dollars, right?

Thanks to Jeff for the question! For the record, the CB story mentioned was later ALSO used in a Dukes of Hazzard Annual. I wonder if those Duke boys will ever show up in the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? One can hope!!

Okay, that’s it for this week!

Thanks to the Grand Comics Database for this week’s covers! And thanks to Brandon Hanvey for the Comic Book Legends Revealed logo!

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is cronb01@aol.com. And my Twitter feed is http://twitter.com/brian_cronin, so you can ask me legends there, as well!

Here’s my book of Comic Book Legends (130 legends – half of them are re-worked classic legends I’ve featured on the blog and half of them are legends never published on the blog!).

The cover is by artist Mickey Duzyj. He did a great job on it…(click to enlarge)…

If you’d like to order it, you can use the following code if you’d like to send me a bit of a referral fee…

Was Superman a Spy?: And Other Comic Book Legends Revealed

See you all next week!

77 Comments

Brian, in part 1 that’s Marvel Superheroes 394 not 384. Captain Britain was long gone by 394. Do you need a scan of MSH 384?

What the heck, Grand Comics Database? Letting me down! :) Thanks, Philip, I’ve added the right cover.

“You’ll go ape over these strange-but-true stories of our furry friends and their monkeying around!”

Please tell me Moore didn’t write this part.

Man, I know I’ve read some other stuff Davis wrote later, but those Captain Britain pages are really horribly written.

I dunno, Mutt, that totally sounds like Moore in campy pastiche mode.

MSH is a superb title. It and it’s sister title Rampage were superb UK reprint titles and well worth hunting down.

It’s funny, although Davis way slicker and more polished now, something about the crudeness and rawness of that earlier art style of his is incredible, in some ways better than his art now.

Hey, the GCD’s only as good as its contributors. Someone (and yes, I know who, but I won’t say) submitted that cover to the wrong slot back on 2009-12-26. But having said that, I’ve submitted a change to move the bad cover to the correct slot, and upload the new one you have here to the slot for 384.

Please let us know of any other incorrect data that GCD may have, either on the page with the specific error, or here: http://errors.comics.org/ . We try to make quick corrections as new information comes in. And now anyone can submit corrections directly (subject to approval) if you so desire.

“Thorpe felt that Davis was afraid of backlahs over Davis’ Irish parentage”

backlash, not backlahs. ;)

Yeah, I wasn’t seriously complaining, Allen (I even threw in an emoticon!). The GCD rules.

cool beans, Captain Britain and BJ & the Bear

Could you help in clearing up an issue with BJ & the Bear? I need a confirm about the status of the tv series. I believe it was representatives from the DVD company Shout Factory that second handidly let slip during a questioning if they could try to release BJ & the Bear on DVD, that they thought it had been damaged by that fire at Universal a few years back. This information is not common knowledge and he did not speak with certainty if I recall correctly. This has been a while but if you could look into the matter with your much better resources than I, can you tell us if the tv series, BJ & the Bear has been lost to fire and if so, what other series or films were casualties from said fire?

While in this request I might as well tag on some other things I have heard on the Internet, these may be better for your tv and film legends, but a confirm, did Hallmark really intend to drop their Laurel & Hardy and other Hal Roach films in the sea or plan to destroy them? I have heard this for years, and UCLA stepped in and saved them. Also did, and I am certain of this but I think more people need to know, Hallmark destroy all of the original masters of Filmation series, like He-Man and She-Ra? I know the DVDs are based off of UK copies. Please if you pursue such a story, look into the common practices of storage of material and if it is common to destroy such things. I am starting to wonder if many of the short lived shows I liked in the past are still sitting around or if they have been destroyed.

You know, I quite like Alan Moore’s art; I wish he’d do more.

Then again, he’d probably get in an argument with himself and refuse to work with himself anymore.

Quite funny about the non-political Thorpe and Alan Davis stance of Belfast. Considering now, Brit/Scotts writers like Millar, Morrison and them..have no compunctions discussing American politics and social issues.

Times are a changing

Yes, but to be fair to Davis, he is consistent as far as I know. He didn’t do political stories about the UK but he also didn’t do them about the US either. Meanwhile Millar, Morrison and others discuss US politics and social issues but they did the same with UK politics and social issues in their careers as well. I don’t really see any hypocrisy or inconsistency, if that’s what you were getting at.

1) No offense to Moore, but chimps don’t have tails.
2) is it just me, or is that Astonishing X-Men cover one of the worst pieces of art published in a professional comic? It looks like 12-year-old fan art.

Warren Ellis also didn’t use Rachel Summers in his run on Excalibur. She was yanked from the book in issue #75.

I have to disagree about the Astonishing X-men art. I personally dislike it, and am not a fan of the choices in stylization that were made for it at all. However it doesn’t look amateurish or like fan art to me; even though it’s not my cup of tea it still looks professional. I think it has some odd design choices and is a bad fit for for the X-men, but unlike say Liefeld, it looks like it was done by a pro. To me at least.

Juan Charro Ninja

February 25, 2011 at 1:13 pm

When I first read the heading ” a BJ and Bear story”, all I could manage to get was a homoertoic piece of fannfiction of old Mr. Moore about Captain Britain or the life of bscure Watchmen characters or even a Twilight of the Gods feature between John Constantine and Batman.

That is some really messed-up anatomy on the girl in white on the X-Men cover. Looks like the artist was so busy drawing ass and big boobs and pouty lips that he broke the poor girl’s back in the process! Looks like she’d be about two feet tall sitting on the floor, compared to Cyclops’ extra-long spine as shown. Why is she standing like that at all anyway, just to show off her ass? Why not just draw a big vagina on the cover and get it over with.. It just occurred to me that it’s probably supposed to Emma Frost, who in most of the portrayals I’ve seen is taller than Cyke’s pectorals. Editor asleep at the switch.

I loved BJ & The Bear…I met Greg Evigan at a Sci-Fi con..he was there being ignored for the Tek Force series, so i got to chat a little and just thank him for childhood memories of playing truckers on the playground. (I thought it spun off from Lobo, not the other way around, but I couldn’t tell you for sure either way).

Now…imagine if you will…a world where instead of an Alan Moore written Green Lantern Short story, Geoff Johns based his creative drive around this BJ & the Bear story….

I want this to somehow lead to a Warren Ellis Kylun story.

Yeah, that X-Men cover really does look liks something a teenager drew in his binder during his math class.

The “great” Alan Moore? BJ and the Bear?!

I read that he disagreed with the magazine’s direction and transferred all his rights over to the artist. When he realized that he, himself, was the artist, his brain exploded. Then a race of microscopic nanobots invaded his skull, vaporized the remaining brain matter, and took control of the human organism once known as “Alan Moore.” This was related in a story published by Comico called “AND THEY CALLED HIM… ALAN NO-MOORE!”

Have people never seen Kaare Andrews’ art before? He always exaggerates that way. It’s called “cartooning”.

It’s not my cup of tea, but it’s obviously not a product of inability or ignorance.

We have never heard of this “cartooning.” Teach us, oh wise one.

I do like how even his defenders say they don’t really like his stuff either, though.

Alan Moore doing a BJ & the Bear story?!? That’s mind-boggling…

Alan Moore doing a BJ & the Bear story?!? That’s mind-boggling…

I think of this like Robert Mitchum’s calypso album, the back cover of which says, “Surprised that Robert Mitchum sings calypso? It would be stranger if he couldn’t.”

strangely enough

February 25, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Personally, I would be interested to see what Dave Thorpe’s script would have been like and whether Alan Davis’ (an artist I have loved since I read DR and Quinch when I was 8 by the way) reasons for refusing to draw Thorpe’s orignal story were genuinely ‘non political’ or down to his own Irish roots not allowing any critisism of what the accepted family belief was. Living in Glasgow with a mixed parentage, were we are stuck with the Irish situation in microcosm, it would be interesting to see whether Davis has an ulterior thought process as so many people do here in anything that seems to get written, even innocently.

Genius, Aaron. Genius.

I think Alan Moore was channeling Karl Pilkington for those stories. Chimpanzee that!

BJ and the Bear!!

I bet Alan Moore could write one hell of a Sheriff Lobo solo adventure, too.

I barely remember that show.:)

What was truly amazing was Moore’s long-lost script for the Enos spin-off comic. That was going to be epic.

Next up we’ll learn about Warren Ellis’ Dr Quinn; Medicine Woman tale.

Great installment this week.

I do like how even his defenders say they don’t really like his stuff either, though.

I never said I “don’t really like his stuff either.” You’re putting words in my mouth.

I said I don’t like these particular stylistic choices when applied specifically to the X-Men. It’s a very skilled and professional picture to me, but I just don’t like it except for the Emma Frost. However if he used those exact same stylistic choices on another more suitable property, I’d love it. Regardless, it doesn’t look amateurish to me.

Kind of like how I don’t like Humberto Ramos doing Wolverine, but I love him doing Impulse. Or how Sam Keith’s style always looks off to me on a down to earth, played straight book, but on a book that is twisted, it looks brilliant to me. Another example, Kyle Baker’s stylistic choices on Captain America: Truth didn’t work for me, but on Plastic Man and Deadpool Max it’s brilliant.

This is Kaare Andrews stuff when he’s not cartooning and is doing a more straightforward style.
http://www.samruby.com/AmazingSpider-ManE/Large/AmazingSpider-Man478.jpg
http://www.spiderfan.org/comics/images/spiderman_v2/029.jpg
http://www.spiderfan.org/comics/images/spiderman_v2/028.jpg
http://www.spiderfan.org/comics/images/spiderman_v2/027.jpg

While I am no stranger to artists pursuing other interests than photorealism and many of my favorite artists have been called “cartoonish”, that X-Men cover is really ugly. “Being blind has good sides too” ugly. “Is this some sick joke?” ugly. Of the four people who apparently drew the cover, one had some idea what he was doing while the person who drew that thing which probably should be Emma Frost should be forbidden to ever draw anything ever.

That’s funny, the Emma was what the only part I liked! Heh

Excelsior,

As T. pointed out, Alan Davis has remained pretty consistent in his stance on writing about issues regardless of the country, as have the other writers/artists he mentioned. If you’re implying hypocrisy because two people from the same country have a different opinion then… I honestly don’t know.

It’s not just bad cartooning, it’s bad figure drawing, period.
Something those people called “comic book artists” have heard about. People who call themselves cartoonists have more leeway, but basic figure structure is important for any character.

Emma’s torso here looks like it’s from another, much smaller, person (or a child, which is disturbing) except for the giant tit which is attached in such a way that it would be just above her navel if she turned around. Maybe that’s why she’s standing that way..

Yeah, the “four people who apparently drew the cover” comment really nails it. What looks so inept about it is that the characters don’t have any connection to each other. Aside from the puzzling anatomy for Emma and Beast and Colossus apparently cosplaying as Cyclops, they’re not drawn to the same scale, and they don’t seem to be occupying the same space. It really does look like just random notebook sketches that were inked & colored and slapped on the cover. I could see how having independent evidence that the guy whose name is on it has done some solid work otherwise could color someone’s perception of it as essentially “well, it ain’t pretty, but I guess it must be art,” but to me it just looks like he submitted his little nephew’s drawings as a prank.

I certainly get what Anonymous was saying about Sam Keith and Kyle Baker, though. Those guys are great. Baker’s done great work in a number of different styles, though. Truth wasn’t my favorite by a long shot, but his early moody work on The Shadow stands out for me as much or more than his straight-up cartoony Plastic Man style.

I think the Astonishing X-men cover is definitely ridiculous. And I agree the cover is ugly but not because of the cartoonish and deformed characters themselves but moreso the placement thereof. The interiors (by the same artist) are actually pretty decent imo.

And can one say that ‘garish’ and ‘deformed’ aren’t good descriptors for the character’s personalities? Doesn’t it make a certain kind of sense to depict them that way?

I mean. It’s an ugly cover for many reasons. Just not for the obvious ones imo.

While I feel that you *can* discuss social issues in superhero comics, I can see why Davis would find The Troubles too controversial at the time. It was a very harsh reality, and comics *were* meant mainly for kids back then. Things have changed a lot since then.

The Ellis Legend didn’t do much for me, mostly because I’ve never cared for his stories. I don’t hate him or anything, it’s just not my cup of tea.

Same thing (mostly) with Alan Moore, though finding out he wrote about BJ And The Bear IS the kind of fascinating trivia I like to read here. :)

I will say that I have no beef with Logan on that cover. Can’t quite tell if he’s leaning on an invisible wall or Riverdancing, but he looks fine to me. It’s just everything else about it.

So THAT’s who Sherrif Lobo is. Decades later, a throwaway Simpsons gag suddenly makes sense!

I’m wondering, since the conversation turned that way, if that Astonishing cover’s problem (other than what some people don’t like about the figure work) is that it appears that the 4 figures were done separately, then put together (badly, I’d say) in photoshop or something. Hence the lack of background and the appearance that they aren’t really all together.

Why Marvel editorial would allow that to happen is another matter…

And forgive the double post, but I have to wonder if that BJ and the Bear (forgive my giggles over the name…teeheehee) story made it in the Staros Report (’96 or ’97, forget which one) bibliography of Moore that Chris Staros did. Have to dig that out and look.

And i have to apologize for America. The UK gave us Doctor Who and Monty Python, and you guys got BJ and the Bear. Forgive us :)

Ok, this is going to be a quadruple post, apologies again.

People are making the “Alan Moore would get into an argument with himself and not let things get reprinted” jokes, but actually, there is an Alan Moore written and drawn strip from the ’70s that he wouldn’t, as of the mid ’80s, allow to be reprinted anywhere. I originally was thinking it was Maxwell the Magic Cat, but I believe the one that he wouldn’t allow to be reprinted was called “The Stars My Desecration” (yes, Desecration). I believe I read about it in the Eclipse US reprints of Axel Pressbutton and Laser Eraser (the first issue of the 2 different minis).

And last thing right now, based off my last post, have you ever covered the “legend” about who was behind the pen name “Pedro Henry”? I think now it’s common knowledge that it’s Steve Moore, but it apparently wasn’t quite so common by the time that Axel Pressbutton first came out in the States. Dunno if you’d count it as a legend, though…

So THAT’s who Sherrif Lobo is. Decades later, a throwaway Simpsons gag suddenly makes sense!

That’s too funny. Sheriff Lobo is one of those weird phenomenons of pop culture where something is SUPER popular in its day, but is largely forgotten years later. There are a million 80s properties revived nowadays, some with no more than a cult following, but a show like Sheriff Lobo that would never happen with, despite the fact it was pretty popular in its day.

[…] to Comic Book Legends Revealed, Alan Moore wrote a BJ & The Bear comic (sorta). That. Is. Awesome. This is also awesome. (via […]

Good stuff, especially the BJ and the Bear/Alan Moore thing.

Just a minor correction for you. You write, “The other was a short story starring Bear. I’ll show you the Bear story…” If you actually read the text on those pages, it isn’t a short story at all, and it actually has nothing to do with Bear. It’s a collection of three “strange-but-true” stories featuring monkies.

Travis – according to the Moore bibliography, there’s a story called “the Stars my Degradation” printed in Sounds magazine in the early ’80’s. Is that it?

Say what you will about that Andrews cover for AXM, it’s still better than anything Quitely did on X-Men…

I’ve never heard of ‘adult conumption’ before. Sounds like it could be a problem . Could you please insert the ‘s’?

That is one really really ugly X-Men cover. Yuck.

Yeah, Sean, I think you’re right, “degredation”. And I do know it was from Sounds, so yay!

But I guess my point was that he’s ALREADY “gotten into a fight with himself” and won’t let someone reprint that work. Like with Bissette and 1963.

I seroiusly doubt any Ellis’ non-used scripts for Excalibur would not involve some sort of Pete Wisdom character.

It’s not that it’s cartooning, it’s that it’s got no fricking purpose. It looks like just a random bunch of figures standing there, with a bunch of shadows placed randomly.

As to my other comment, I actually read the story and it appears that that is not Bear the chimp but actually a monkey, So my apologies to Moore and Glycon.

I’m not sure which was the most absurd part of “Astonishing X-Men:Xenogenesis”: the cover where Kaare Andrews gave her a gigantic booty; or the page in #2 where Emma defeats a gang of soldiers by dangling her boobs in front of them.

No fooling! That actually happened!

I seriously doubt any Ellis’ non-used scripts for Excalibur would not involve some sort of Pete Wisdom character.

Yeah, very good point. Where’s the black-clad chain-smoking world-weary Brit with a mystery-shrouded black-ops past who offers sardonic commentary concerning the story’s events? Unless of course Emma Frost, with her faux-English accent & mannerisms, can be classified as Warren Ellis’ stand-in in “Xenogenesis” for his requisite character trope?

Maybe the XMen story was something that was rattling in Ellis’s head as far back as Excalibur (as in, had he stayed on the book, maybe he’d have done a story like that), but never got to script level.

What else is cool is how Brian can just contact Ellis like that and ask about it. Is there any other entertainment industry where there’s such easy access to the stars? Way cool.

@Mark Drummond She actually defeated the soldiers by using telepathy. The boob-dangling was just an extra bonus that Kaare Andrews added.

Also, damn, do I love Alan Davis’ art. Now, THAT’S an example of good art that’s also “cartooning.”

I wonder why Kaare restrained himself from having Emma put her legs behind her head and giving the soldiers a crotch shot if the boob-dangling was just a “bonus”.

And what’s the point of his “bonuses” in this series anyway? Were readers supposed to masturbate to them?

I feel that way about a lot of fanservice, frankly.

I got the impression Andrews grossly exaggerated his “fan-service” in order to parody the more standard variants of fan-service out there.

Well, as far as “cartooning” goes, I’ve seen far uglier than that X-Men cover. But I agree that the real problem is that the figures don’t look like they belong in the same drawing. I can see what the artist is going for; there is a lot of interesting covers in classic comics that are “montages” of characters in different places and such. But that isn’t clearly indicated in this cover. It looks like a normal group shot, until you look at it for another second and realize they’re all out of synch with each other. Very disorienting.

T., personally I find the wave of 1980s remakes to be very depressing and yet another sign of the creative bankruptcy of Hollywood. And I say that as a guy who grew up in the decade. I’d much rather watch the originals than suffer through a remake of TRON or LOST BOYS or NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. Those were very interesting movies in their time. I feel like the remakes just drain all the soul out.

And make me feel damn old too.

Ah, yes, because there were no remakes of ’60s movies in the ’80s, or ’40s movies in the ’60s, or silent movies upon the invention of sound…

Seriously, there’s a lot of things about Hollywood to bemoan. But that they’re doing remakes, adaptations and sequels, just as they have for literally the past hundred years, is not one of them.

On the Thorpe and Davis story. David Thorpe writes an intro to the Panini comics reprint of the story that came out recently. He confirms that Davis took exception to the story but Thorpe did finish the compromised version himself. He is credited with the script in issue 386, only the fill in story in #385 has a story credit for Alan Davis alone, so maybe not 100% accurate to say that Davis was asked to rewrite the strip.

On the point of political sensitivity in comics it has to be remembered it was a different time and a comic aimed primarily at kids. Thorpe himself points out that a few years later Garth Ennis was writing some very upfront and critical stories about Northern Ireland in the adult 2000ad book Crisis.

C’mon, when you consider the SF/fantasy/horror films of the 1970s or 1980s, for instance, 95% were not remakes. There were sequels, sure. I was not bemoaning sequels. There were “inspired by the past” movies like Indiana Jones and Star Wars. But comparatively few remakes. INDIANA JONES, TERMINATOR, ALIEN, NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, GHOSTBUSTERS, JAWS, FRIGHT NIGHT, BACK TO THE FUTURE, BLADE RUNNER, WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT, ET, GREMLINS. A wealth of fantastic fiction that were not remakes.

The few remakes there were, like THE FLY, were very different from the original movies, enough to become their own movies, particularly because you had a authorial voice like Cronenberg’s.

Today, everything SF/fantasy is a damn remake, it seems. The only thing I like about this utter lack of originality is that Hollywood finally learned to respect source material, so we can get superhero movies that are faithful adaptations.

The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo is actually being re-run on a digital channel service called RTV or Retro Television – They show re-runs of old Universal TV shows for local stations to program on their new high number digital channels that they got with the conversion from analog to digital TV. no BJ and the Bear, however.

neil Gaiman wrote about Duran Duran in his early career too, when you are starting out, you write what people will pay you to write.

Yes Gaiman wrote a Duran Duran book, Grant Morrison worked on the Zoids toy spinoff, John Wagner, Pat Mills and Alan Grant who went on to do a History of Violence, Marshall Law and Lobo were on staff with girls comics writing stories about ballerinas and horse shows.

I think it’s something lost on many budding creators that more often than not you have to start with what you can get and Grant Morrison wasn’t magically given Animal Man by DC, he’d been writing anything anyone would let him for peanuts for about 10 years before he got that gig.

Andrew Perron

March 2, 2011 at 2:50 am

Actually, you might be surprised how much *was* a remake in the ’80s. Many of these, though, were stealth remakes, and I think part of the reason it seems so much bigger now is that they’re more willing to admit these are remakes. There’s a good list here:

http://www.pajiba.com/seriously_random_lists/here-we-go-again-on-our-own-remakes-from-the-eighties.php

And I agree that people don’t realize how much work one usually has to put in *before* one becomes famous.

…God/Yahweh/Roddenberry, Emma has one UGLY ass on that cover.

I think a lot of the “there were no Sci Fi remakes in the 70’s and 80’s” was the medium, other than some Flash Gordon serial type things, hasn’t really been around long enough to return to remakes. But a lot of the stuff was inspired by those serials, or remakes of cowboy or samurai movies or the like. Star Trek itself was pitched as “Wagon Train to the stars”. You’d have remakes of more tried and true genres. Pale Rider/Shane.

But along the route of horror…it seemed everything was a remake for a long while. Hammer lived off of recreating everything Universal had already done. They put their own current spin on it, but nothing has been remade in more versions than Dracula. And various Frankensteins, werewolves, mummies, and everything else in that era.

Calling BJ and the Bear a comedy is an insult to the word comedy. I remember looking forward with dread the nights that show came on… Lame, lame stories that make me squirm even years later…

“While I feel that you *can* discuss social issues in superhero comics, I can see why Davis would find The Troubles too controversial at the time. It was a very harsh reality, and comics *were* meant mainly for kids back then. Things have changed a lot since then.”

Not for the better, IMO. I wish writers had at least a bit of Davis’ restraint these days. They may not necessarily be FOR kids anymore, but when there is not one book in the New 52 that a kid CAN read, there is something wrgong.

“Why Marvel editorial would allow that to happen is another matter…”

Ed… it..? Is that something that used to be part of the comics production process in the old days? Sounds intriguing.

“And i have to apologize for America. The UK gave us Doctor Who and Monty Python, and you guys got BJ and the Bear. Forgive us”

Actually, talking of BJ being destroyed, Monty Python’s Flying Circus was almost destroyed as well. The BBC (and other networks) would often just tape over old shows, as nobody thought there’d be a future market for them to be shown again. This is why so much early Dr. Who is also missing.
They were set to tape over Flying Circus and Terry Jones thought “no, this isn’t right”, and took them home to store in his garage. His foresight is the reason we have the show to watch in reruns and on home video.

“I think a lot of the “there were no Sci Fi remakes in the 70?s and 80?s” was the medium, other than some Flash Gordon serial type things, hasn’t really been around long enough to return to remakes”

If you mean the genre, Scientifiction/Science-Fiction/SF has been around about as long as movies have. And thirty years before the ’70s-’80s was its golden age on film.
Two of my favourite movies from the 1980s are remakes (The Thing and The Fly).

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