Controversial! Fun And Also Games! First Comic Book related blog to be featured in the Australian National Library's Pandora archive.
Film, music and comic book history expert. Available to hire for public speaking, lectures, writing and almost anything else. Four time Rondo Award nominee. Author of several books and hundreds of articles.
Why so quiet? Because I've been working hard on a new web-site for none other than artist Armando Gil. All going well it should be launched sometime before Christmas. So far there's loads of great art - original art from Conan with John Buscema, original art from Xena, from the Avengers Annual that Armando inked Michael Golden on and loads more, plus art you've never seen before (the tiger here is but one example out of several). I'm going all out on this one so hopefully the wait will be worth it.
(Spider-Man by Jim Mooney and Bob Almond, created especially for the Mooney biography)
In this second part of the on-going excepts of the as yet unpublished Jim Mooney biography, Jim talks about how he adapted to the so called 'Marvel Method' of creating comic books. You can read more about Mooney at Marvel here.
--------------------------- (A strapping Jim Mooney, 1950s, posing as an artists life model) SPIDER-MAN & THE ‘MARVEL METHOD’
One of the by products of the ‘new’ Marvel was the ‘Marvel Method’ of producing comic books. Unlike other comic book companies of the time – in particular DC – the ‘Marvel Method’ was simply a method of production in which there is no script. In this method, a writer and an artist meet to talk about the story, both brainstorming and coming up with ideas, though the writer hypothetically had the final say. The writer would describe a paragraph summary of the forthcoming issue to his artist. The artist then went and drew it, elaborating, construct…
(The last collaboration. Joe Sinnott inked this Jim Mooney blue line sketch of Ms Marvel in 2006)
In 2005 Jim Mooney and myself agreed that I'd be the one to write his life story. During the next year we spent a fair bit of time on the phone talking to each other and covering all the aspects of his life. We also corresponded, sending material, photos and art back and forth, and in doing so managed to capture the feel of his life, his art and his career. Jim's main regret was that his memory was failing somewhat due to age, thus it wasn't as sharp when he wanted it to be, other times he'd speak in detail about events dating back to the 1920s with such a clarity that I could imagine being there. These conversations exhausted him somewhat and most were brief, well brief for me, lasting around 30 to 45 minutes in length. Each time we spoke Jim would do his best to answer my questions (which I'd email through beforehand, mainly topics of discussion, in order to prepare h…
I've had a few people ask why have I not been on Facebook before and I've always given the same answers - 1] I don't have the time to devote to everyone there and 2] the other half's ex is a stalking arsehole. Now in order to not have to keep explaining this I've decided to throw it out there for all to see.
How much of a stalker is her ex? Well we have a restraining order out against him, which he's breached three times in the past two years. The last time he tracked her down via her Facebook account, which we promptly canceled. So now we share the one Facebook account, under my name, and it's closed off. That is you can visit it, but you'll have to be a pal to see the whole lot. Sorry about that - blame the 47 year old cretin who has no job, lives in a boarding house, is a fantasist and who, if only he'd been home when I visited with a baseball bat this wouldn't be an issue, finds he can't let go after all these years.
As anyone knows I rarely do reviews - why? I don't get sent copies of books nor do I get paid for them, unlike some other web-sites you see that are dedicated to reviewing comics (the difference is they'll not tell you that Marvel, DC, Image etc etc send over books and a little cash on the side for someone telling the world that an item is worth reading). I do get asked to do reviews from time to time and I consider them carefully, but each and every review I do, unless I state otherwise, is because I like a book and I've gone out and bought it. Having said that I'll be damned if this isn't one of the best comic book biographies I've read since Bill Schelly's tome on Otto Binder. Schelly has a unique gift when it comes to writing these books, and that gift is showing the rest of us how these books should read. He's set the bar high with his previous volumes and this is no exception - it's a b…
While we have a few minutes to spare I thought I'd share some covers and information, along with an oddity, on the Horwitz line of Marvel Comics in Australia. Along with Kevin Patrick, the Horwitz company has been covered in detail, so anything you might need can be found here,here and here.
Horwitz published a variety of Marvels in Australia, focusing mainly on the western and war titles dating back to the original Timely/Atlas pre-code period. Books such as Kid Colt, Outlaw Kid, Rawhide Kid and others (eventually I'll throw all the covers up of the books I have on hand) along with several Charlton titles, also predominately war and westerns. However it appears that Horwitz did dabble in superhero books publishing all too few titles from the Marvel range. Sadly, as with the bulk of comic books issued in Australia in the 1960s, details and actual copies of these books are scarce at best, however what does remain brings forth more questions than answers.
If art like this still exists, and it does, then why does Marvel insist on having artists redraw and retouch art for inclusion in both their Masterworks line and now the Essentials?
Essentials you say? Indeed. I've been critical of the Essential line after buying a copy of Peter Parker #2 and finding some of the pages to be very lacking in quality, indeed they appeared to be poor quality, eighth generation photocopies, such as the panels shown here. At the time I approached Marvel editor Tom Brevoort to discuss the varying quality of the Essential line and was given this reply as an explanation, " In the case of the SPECTACULAR SPIDEY volume, the stats for those stories were either in horrible condition, or lost or discarded over the years. I've detailed in the past how maintenance of the reproduction warehouse wasn't anything resembling a priority during the bankruptcy years; stuff like this is the inevitable result years later." Fair points. Tom also explained t…
Back in the late 70s, right after writing the definitive Batman, I quit comics for the first time to write my first novel, The Point Man. It was about a normal guy, Max August, who got caught up in an espionage war between two magickal forces. On Max's side was Cornelius Agrippa, a 494-year-old alchemist who had obviously mastered the art of being Timeless - never-aging, never dying on his own, but able to be killed. The Point Man, set in 1980, was a one-shot for Dell, and I never planned to write a sequel.
But when I decided to quit comics a fourth time or whatever it's been, I had an idea. What if Max himself had learned the art of being Timeless, say in 1985, and had not aged since then? Stories about immortal guys are almost always about guys who are 500 years old, but what about a guy who was now just twenty years into it, forever in the prime of his life, as his friends began to age or even die? What about a guy who was just 20 years into it and was really understanding t…