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Bob Sharen Archives - Comics Should Be Good! @ Comic Book Resources

1987 And All That: Strange Tales #1-7

A column in which Matt Derman (Comics Matter) reads & reviews comics from 1987, because that’s the year he was born.

StrangeTales_1Strange Tales #1-7 (Marvel) by Bill Mantlo (#1-6), Peter Gillis, Bret Blevins (#1-6), Chris Warner (#1-4), Larry Alexander (#5, 7), Terry Shoemaker (#6-7), Al Williamson (#3), Bob Wiacek (#6), Gerry Talaoc (#7), Randy Emberlin, Christie Scheele (#1, 3), Glynis Oliver (#2, 4-6), Paul Becton (#7), Bob Sharen, Ken Bruzenak, Jim Novak (#1-3), Janice Chiang (#4-5, 7), Ken Lopez (#6), Carl Potts

With a book like Strange Tales, where every issue is divided between two different narratives (or any number of narratives, but in this case it’s just the two), you always want some sort of connection to tie the stories together, something to bring unity to the title. Obviously the stories should work individually as well, but it’s nicer when there’s a bond between them, an identity to the series as a whole that fits with each section’s own goals and attitudes. Strange Tales is split evenly every issue between Cloak and Dagger and Dr. Strange, the two titles which it replaced. Because they’re both continuations of previously existing comics, it would be understandable if there wasn’t a ton of cohesion between their respective outlooks or aims. Whether through editorial design, creator collaboration, or sheer dumb luck, though, the two halves of Strange Tales find common ground almost immediately, and continue to examine the same core concept, though still in their own ways, right up through issue #7 where their narratives actually collide and briefly become the same. Both Cloak and Strange wrestle with remaining heroic while sometimes needing to act unheroically, and this struggle quickly becomes the center of Strange Tales. But the two men deal with their shared problem differently and end up in different places because of it, so their stories stand apart even as they come together, thematically and literally. Continue Reading »

Year of the Artist, Day 232: Jim Lee, Part 1 – Alpha Flight #53

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Jim Lee, and the issue is Alpha Flight #53, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated December 1987. Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 227: Norm Breyfogle, Part 1 – New Talent Showcase #11 and Marvel Fanfare #29

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Norm Breyfogle, and the stories are “Pacer” in New Talent Showcase #11 and “Story” in Marvel Fanfare #29, the first of which was published by DC and is cover dated November 1984 and the second of which was published by Marvel and is cover dated November 1986. Enjoy!
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1987 And All That: The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21

A column in which Matt Derman (Comics Matter) reads & reviews comics from 1987, because that’s the year he was born.

SpiderWed1The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21 (Marvel) by David Michelinie, Paul Ryan, Vince Colletta, Bob Sharen, Rick Parker, Jim Salicrup, and Jim Shooter

Mary Jane Watson and Peter Parker’s marriage is a weirdly divisive subject for some people, but I don’t personally have too strong an opinion on whether or not Spider-Man ought to be married. When it happened in 1987, it was pretty much a gimmick, an editorially mandated special event designed to sell comics based on the novelty, as opposed to being a story that someone felt needed to be told. As such, there’s only the faintest impression of a plot in this comicbook, despite its extra pages and the fact that then editor-in-chief Jim Shooter is credited with the plot and David Michelinie with the actual script. It’s hard to imagine Shooter’s role amounting to very much more than telling Michelinie, “Spider-Man gets married, even though he and Mary Jane both have doubts.” I’d believe he contributed less than that, because that’s about 90% of what the issue contains, and I want to give Michelinie and the artists some credit.

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Year of the Artist, Day 210: Todd McFarlane, Part 4 – Spider-Man #5

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Todd McFarlane, and the issue is Spider-Man #5, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated December 1990. Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 168: John Romita, Jr., Part 2 – Amazing Spider-Man #246 and 250

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is John Romita, Jr., and the issues are Amazing Spider-Man #246 and 250, which were published by Marvel and are cover dated November 1983 and March 1984, respectively. Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 75: Kelley Jones, Part 2 – The Micronauts: The New Voyages #14

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Kelley Jones, and the issue is The Micronauts: The New Voyages #14, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated November 1985. Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 74: Kelley Jones, Part 1 – The Micronauts: The New Voyages #1

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Kelley Jones, and the issue is The Micronauts: The New Voyages #1, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated October 1984. Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 41: Kevin Nowlan, Part 1 – Doctor Strange #57

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Kevin Nowlan, and the issue is Doctor Strange #57, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated February 1983. This scan is from Doctor Strange & Doctor Doom: Triumph & Torment (which includes other Strange and Doom stories), which was published in 2013. Enjoy!
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Trade paperbacks, older editions, and miscellaneous for August 2013

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“Someone got hurt, someone got high, some of them left the rest behind”
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Trade paperbacks, older editions, and miscellaneous for February AND March 2013

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Last month, I didn’t get a chance to finish all of these before I went to the convention in Seattle, and then I was busy when I got back. So this month, we get a double dose of trades and books I’ve read and such. That means this is really long, and I apologize for that!
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Frantic as a cardiograph scratching out the lines, Day 346: Web of Spider-Man #87

Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. As it’s now December, I will be examining the LAST pages of random comics, so watch out for SPOILERS! Today’s page is from Web of Spider-Man #87, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated April 1992. Enjoy!
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Frantic as a cardiograph scratching out the lines, Day 327: Spider-Man #2

Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. Today’s page is from Spider-Man #2, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated September 1990. Enjoy!
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Frantic as a cardiograph scratching out the lines, Day 274: Avengers West Coast #57

Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. Today’s page is from Avengers West Coast #57, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated April 1990. This scan is from Avengers West Coast: Darker Than Scarlet, the trade that was published in 2008. Enjoy!
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Frantic as a cardiograph scratching out the lines, Day 227: Uncanny X-Men #135

Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. This month I will be looking at four writer/artist duos, as voted on by you, the readers! This week features Chris Claremont and John Byrne! Today’s page is from Uncanny X-Men #135, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated July 1980. Enjoy!
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