Welcome to the four hundred and ninth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous four hundred and eight. This week, who is Scott Seva and how close did he come to portraying Spider-Man on film? Did Jerry Siegel almost write “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” Finally, what behind the scenes reason led to the whole “Ms. Marvel gives birth to her own boyfriend” plot in Avengers #200?
I’ve written in the past about Mark Ginocchio’s blog, Chasing Amazing, where he writes about his quest to collect every issue of Amazing Spider-Man ever made. Mark wrote me with an idea for a column where he would take a look at the gimmick covers from the 1990s and give his take on whether the comic in question was just a gimmick or whether the comic within the gimmick cover was good. Hence “Gimmick or Good?” We begin with 1990′s multi-cover Spider-Man #1…
Spider-Man #1 (published August, 1990) – script and art by Todd McFarlane
Superstar artist Todd McFarlane’s first foray into both scripting and illustrating his own series is also considered one of the prime contributors to the comic book collector speculation bubble that dominated the first half of the 1990s. McFarlane was fresh off a stint on Amazing Spider-Man where he truly made a name for himself as the illustrator responsible for the co-creation of Venom. After asking off ASM essentially because he was bored of doing artwork for someone else’s story (something McFarlane himself explains in the notes page at the end of Spider-Man #1), Marvel, in a show of appeasement, decided to make McFarlane the focal point of what was to be their fourth ongoing series dedicate to the Wall Crawler (fifth if you count the Marvel Tales reprint series). In addition to having McFarlane’s name and a “collectible” #1 issue tag to create buzz about this series, Marvel also published multiple variant covers using different ink colors (silver, gold, platinum, etc.). The variant cover idea became so popular, that retailers even took advantage of a printer error on some of the interiors, selling a “Blue Lizard” variant (with a price mark-up, of course) based on the poor mix of yellow and cyan on somebody’s printing press.
But what about inside the comic?
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Go follow Comics Should Be Good on Twitter (if you have Twitter, that is – if you don’t, you can go sign up). Here is our Twitter page… http://twitter.com/csbg. And here are the Comics Should Be Good writers who are on Twitter (the links go to the person’s Twitter account) – myself, Greg Hatcher, Chad Nevett, Kelly Thompson, Bill Reed, Greg Burgas, Sonia Harris, Melissa K. and Ken H.
I update the blog’s Twitter account updates whenever a new post is put up on the blog, so it’s an easy way to keep up with the blog. In addition, I post new content on the blog’s Twitter account.
Now on to the bit!
So every week, I ask a question here. You reply to it on our Twitter page (just write @csbg with your reply) and our blog sketch artists will each pick one of your suggestions and I will post them here every week. So every week you will have a new question and you will see the choices picked from the previous week. Here is an archive of all the previous editions of The Line It Is Drawn!
To qualify, you have to be following us when you reply – so go follow us and then give your answer to the following question/challenge (All suggestions due by 9:00 AM Pacific on Friday).
The topic is…
Every fifty installments, this will be the theme! Mash-up a comic book character and a famous music album cover!
Read on for the sketches that came about courtesy of the last question/challenge!
In honor of Cyclops and Uncanny X-Men #1, the theme is superheroes gone bad! Pick a superhero that you’d like to see our artists depict as a villain. What would Superman look like if he was a bad guy? Or Captain America? You get the picture. If they feel like it, our artists might even draw a villain as a good guy fighting the villainous hero (if they feel like it, of course).
Every week, we will be examining comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent). Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of The Abandoned An’ Forsaked. Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.
Today we look at how Marvel ever expanded their retconning when it comes to Norman Osborn and his involvement in Spider-Man’s life, including the “death” of Aunt May.
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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Superhero comic books have provided me with some incredible lessons in life. Superheroes can be selfless, generous, helpful and resourceful individuals. They are flawed, just like the rest of us, but despite (and sometimes because of) those flaws, superheroes still manage to do good.
In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Japan and ensuing tsunami, multiple problems maintaining the countries nuclear reactors are being wrestled with. Amongst all the recent worldwide natural disasters, this threat of nuclear radiation is a man-made one. While fears and concerns about the outcome are varied, as a source of fictional drama, comic books have always embraced the idea with a plethora of radiation-created superheroes.
In an effort to stop worrying about what the future holds, I took a look back at how comic books have treated radiation in the past. I thought about titling this “When Radiation is a Good Thing”, but that seemed a little tasteless. However, by highlighting the superheroes who got their power through exposure to radiation I hope to bring some levity to the moment, so here (in no particular order) are ten of them that I like best.
Much like a delicious turkey, today’s post is moist, delicious, and has a stranger’s hand up its arse. Much like the vegan option, tofurkey, it tastes like whatever you cook it with and is beloved by hipsters everywhere. Yes, we’re well past Thanksgiving by now, but that’s okay, because this column is always comprised of leftovers.
Now that I’ve alienated all six of my readers, we can move on.
Pain, anxiety, joy, love, disgust, fear, enthusiasm, isolation, mistrust, desire… If humanity is a condition, then adolescence is a disease, in the most literal sense of the word. Dis-ease. The absence of ease. In fact the one feeling that hardly ever gets thrown around is ease. Continue Reading »
A few quick odds and ends from the week that was in rapid-fire fashion.
“This will be our… Independence Day!” Join with me, fellow Americans, as we celebrate the anniversary of that movie with Will Smith and Bill Pullman! I don’t know why this country makes such a big deal about it every year, but… … Declaration of what?
So, leave it to the holiday weekend when no one’s reading for a (compared to recent weeks) double-sized Brunch filled with links to actual content, rather than just other links. Onwards!
As a designer, I love clothing. It is basically packaging for humans. Just like packaging, the function is two-fold; 1) Packaging gives a clear indication of what is inside, and 2) Packaging facilitates the use of whatever it contains. Extending this to clothing then, the primary function of any item of clothing is to convey something clear about the wearer to world, and then to create ease and efficacy of movement. Continue Reading »
This week’s episode of Sunday Brunch is like buying a gallon of skim milk instead of a quart of whole. So you get all the fatty comments from me cut off, but a whole lot of comics nutrients. Something like that, anyway.
QUESTION OF THE WEEK: If Batman was a flower, what flower would Batman be?
A linkpost on a Sunday? What is this, 2009?
In talking to my American comic book reading friends, I’m beginning to see that my experience of comic books is pretty different from theirs. While they grew up watching superhero cartoons on TV and buying the superhero comics that went along with them, I didn’t have much access to either of those mediums so I took another route. Continue Reading »