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Old 03-14-16, 09:46 PM   #26
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Re: Stan Lee's Universe

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Originally Posted by Spiderbite View Post
Whatever. Even if he doesn't consider Kirby or Ditko an equal partner, does it affect what was created? As I said before, at the end of the day, it doesn't mean shit and doesn't affect me either way. I like Stan Lee. I like Steve Ditko. I don't really care for Kirby but I appreciate his legacy. Nothing said nowadays is going to change that for most people.
This is pretty much how I feel (except with higher regard for Kirby ). Yeah, Stan probably got too much credit at the time, but all have a great legacy now, and it doesn't really bother me one way or another.
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Old 03-15-16, 08:26 AM   #27
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Re: Stan Lee's Universe

I just read a quote about Lee and Kirby's creation of the Fantastic Four that summed it up best, especially since both of them seemed to change their creation stories quite a bit over the years.

from Lee & Kirby: The Wonder Years by Mark Alexander pages 25 & 26

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The more you study comic books, the more you'll reach the inescapable conclusion that most of the early Marvel superheroes were merely recycled past. Almost all of them can be traced back to older comic book characters, comic strips, pulp fiction, movies, television, old radio serials or classic literature.

Once you get past that, the rest is easy to dope out. The real innovation wasn't the Marvel superheroes themselves. It was their verisimilitude, their solid connection to reality; their flaws, their romantic dilemmas, their pathos, their humor, their introspection, their snappy dialogue and their ironic take on life as a superhero. Stan Lee contributed that. All of those elements are found in Lee's pre-FF writing and scripting. None of Jack's pre-1961 superheroes were neurotic, tormented or self-analytical. As Gil Kane observed, "It wasn't until Marvel started the superhero stuff that sales started to improve. Stan had a lot to do with the characterization which was appropriate for the time; it was fresh and filled with mock irreverence. And that's not Jack, that was Stan."

What Kirby did was more obvious. He took those hackneyed, recycled action heroes and made them come alive in panel after panel of rapid-fire action rolling at breakneck speed. His dramatic, energetic figures and his never-a-dull-moment Citizen Kane camera angles electrified the pages; it was like nothing the comics had ever seen.

And from the beginning, right up until the end, both men had input on the book's storyline. So who created Fantastic Four? Stan Lee and Jack Kirby - or, if you like, Jack Kirby and Stan Lee - that's it and that's all. Neither man could have done it without the other.
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Old 03-15-16, 08:36 PM   #28
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Re: Stan Lee's Universe

After all is said and done these guys suck compared to the writers and artists that took over these characters.
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Old 03-16-16, 06:35 AM   #29
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Re: Stan Lee's Universe

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After all is said and done these guys suck compared to the writers and artists that took over these characters.
Well, that's a ridiculous statement.
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Old 03-16-16, 07:58 AM   #30
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Re: Stan Lee's Universe

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Well, that's a ridiculous statement.
Really? Have you gone back and read their stories? Do they really hold up? If they do for you that's fine. For me they aren't as good as when they were new. Besides, if you go back and read Stan's stories and his Soapbox page they all sound ridiculously the same; month after month.
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Old 03-16-16, 03:39 PM   #31
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Re: Stan Lee's Universe

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Really? Have you gone back and read their stories? Do they really hold up? If they do for you that's fine. For me they aren't as good as when they were new. Besides, if you go back and read Stan's stories and his Soapbox page they all sound ridiculously the same; month after month.
It's not a fair comparison.

Sequential art today is not the same as it was in 1933 with Famous Funnies, or in 1938 with Action Comics #1, or in 1956 with Showcase #4, or in 1961 with Fantastic Four #1, or in 1970 with Green Lantern #76, or in 1986+ with take your pick of anything written by Frank Miller and Alan Moore, or in the early to mid 90s with anything X-Treme, to the modern era today. Everyone is entitled to their own preferences but I (hypothetically) wouldn't talk shit on 1950s comics just because I prefer 1980s style comics.

The interplay between the words and art has changed over time. The audience for these books has changed a bit over time. There are multiple different purposes for the sequential art form that can drastically affect quality depending on whether you're trying to sell action figures or tell a personal memoir. The goals of the marketplace have effected how the stories get told. Technology has changed the way the art can be printed and displayed.

Like anything, some of the old stuff holds up well, some of it doesn't, and some of it sits in the middle where the base ideas or concepts are good but the execution wasn't great or doesn't fit modern sensibilities.

You can find all sorts of vapid, empty headed non-stories being published each and every month all the way through today's modern era, so it's not like it smelled like roses after whatever arbitrary date or time frame you want to set. There's a ton of garbage still being printed today by the big two that's utterly forgettable and inconsequential if not downright bad.

Certain elements of those old stories and characters are timeless and that's why they've been embedded as core elements of many of these characters to this very day. Could someone re-write something like Fantastic Four #1 to bring out some complexities a bit more without 100 million caption boxes describing what the art is already showing us? Sure. And it's been done in certain respects to very limited success. But you can't unring that bell and pretend like Stan & Co. didn't tell that story and hit those beats first. That's why so frequently these characters return to the status quo of what they originally were - that's what people know and love and new readers fall in love with all over again.

Did other writers add on to these characters and stories and mythologies? Absolutely. Was it better than what the original creators originally did? There isn't a blanket answer for that. And it's not a fair question because you don't get those additions or changes or new elements unless you start with the character as originally created. That's part of what makes sequential art with capes-and-tights what it is - someone else is going to come along later and add to or change or improve or make worse after you've had your chance with the character. The comparison between Bill Finger's Batman in Detective Comics #27 and Frank Miller's in Batman #404 isn't a fair comparison in the slightest. The character changed 100 different ways between 1939 and 1987. There's almost a Ship of Theseus argument that could be applied to a lot of these characters.

You can have your personal preferences, you can definitely critique the art and literary form of sequential art over all of time, but to make a blanket statement that "After all is said and done these guys suck compared to the writers and artists that took over these characters." is indeed ridiculous, not a fair comparison, and is pretty ignorant.
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Old 03-16-16, 06:01 PM   #32
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Re: Stan Lee's Universe

^^ They had good ideas and some are timeless but as I stated earlier it is the later artists and writers that added to the mythology that makes it better. Anyone can have a good idea but making it really good OR really bad does take a lot of different people. Like making a car; no one person's idea can make it great. It does take a committee; don't think otherwise. Maybe "suck" is a bit harsh. I take that back.
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Old 03-16-16, 07:07 PM   #33
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Re: Stan Lee's Universe

Kirby's art is still as dynamic and fresh as ever. Remember, he didn't have computerized aids or digital coloring available to him.

Lee's writing style is so dated as to be almost unreadable to modern readers. Their comic plots are okay for the most part and could work today with a fresh coat of paint.
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Old 03-17-16, 06:36 AM   #34
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Re: Stan Lee's Universe

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Really? Have you gone back and read their stories? Do they really hold up? If they do for you that's fine. For me they aren't as good as when they were new. Besides, if you go back and read Stan's stories and his Soapbox page they all sound ridiculously the same; month after month.
Sure I've gone back and read their stories. They are the essentially the SAME stories that everyone who has come after them has revisited to one degree or the other. The concepts and the plots were laid out for guys like Byrne or Bendis. Not to diminish their writing at all, they both did wonderful things with the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man, respectively, but they built off of stories that were written in the 60s.

Stan's writing style certainly doesn't work today. I get that. But the concepts are still used and the stories continue to be retold. Take any issue of Ditko's Spider-Man and the story being told through those drawings holds up against anyone today. And probably exceeds anyone today, IMO.

If you prefer those who came after to the originals, good for you. I'd take a Ditko issue of Spider-Man over any McFarlane issue every day of the week.
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Old 03-17-16, 10:37 AM   #35
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Re: Stan Lee's Universe

You also have to remember that kids and teens were reading these stories one month at a time. They didn't have the luxury of reading 50 issues back to back in two days which definitely hurts these stories when you read them now.

Look at TV shows in the 70's. Many are unwatchable now because they are the same episode over and over. But back when you watched them once a week and there would be months between seasons, they didn't seem so bad.

Product of their time. Does that make them any less influential or important? No.
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Old 03-17-16, 10:46 AM   #36
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Re: Stan Lee's Universe

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For me they aren't as good as when they were new.
That's going back a long way to remember how we felt. And we're all different people from who we were back then.

There are things to enjoy about both the original material and what came after it, and it's natural to have a preference based on multiple reasons. I don't care to reread the first dozen issues or so of either the Avengers or the FF. The great thing is that we have so much material available and can choose what we want to read.
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Old 03-17-16, 12:48 PM   #37
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Re: Stan Lee's Universe

When I started reading in 1973 I was 8 years old. Yeah....I'm that old. I was already reading the reprints of whatever Marvel book I can get my hands on and most of the stuff Stan, Ditko or Kirby wasn't good at all to me. I started reading when Steranko, John Buscema, Neal Adams and so forth was doing great artwork work and writers such as O'Neil and others were doing great stories.

I later revisited the early Marvel stories in my teens and early 20's and they were still bad. I guess it's just me but the books that were made when I started reading for the most part are still good. Anything after 1990 I can't seem to get into either with a few exceptions.
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Old 03-17-16, 12:56 PM   #38
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Re: Stan Lee's Universe

Comic books from the 70s have their own problems. Every writer thought it would be so "cool" if they inserted contemporary, hip lingo in their dialogue.
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Old 03-17-16, 12:58 PM   #39
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Re: Stan Lee's Universe

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Comic books from the 70s have their own problems. Every writer thought it would be so "cool" if they inserted contemporary, hip lingo in their dialogue.
Especially, the hippie lingo from the late 60's and early 70's. It's cringe worthy in the Teen Titans books.
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Old 03-17-16, 01:18 PM   #40
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Re: Stan Lee's Universe

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When I started reading in 1973 I was 8 years old. Yeah....I'm that old. I was already reading the reprints of whatever Marvel book I can get my hands on and most of the stuff Stan, Ditko or Kirby wasn't good at all to me. I started reading when Steranko, John Buscema, Neal Adams and so forth was doing great artwork work and writers such as O'Neil and others were doing great stories.

I later revisited the early Marvel stories in my teens and early 20's and they were still bad. I guess it's just me but the books that were made when I started reading for the most part are still good. Anything after 1990 I can't seem to get into either with a few exceptions.
I'm about the same age, and Buscema, Sterankok Romita Jr. etc. are the sweet spot for me as well, though I still enjoy Sal Buscema (he's better than Liefield!), who seemed to draw all the books I read as a kid. But I like the '60s stuff as well.

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Especially, the hippie lingo from the late 60's and early 70's. It's cringe worthy in the Teen Titans books.
I have no idea what you're talking about.

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Old 03-17-16, 01:25 PM   #41
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Re: Stan Lee's Universe

And don't forget

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Old 03-17-16, 01:28 PM   #42
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Re: Stan Lee's Universe

^^ I forgot about Snapper. Yeah...that was bad.
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Old 03-17-16, 01:31 PM   #43
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Re: Stan Lee's Universe

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I'm about the same age....
Correct me if I'm wrong but I recall you saying your from the Bay Area also and shopped at the Comic Collector's Shop in downtown San Jose?
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Old 03-17-16, 06:56 PM   #44
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Re: Stan Lee's Universe

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And don't forget

Never read those books, but was Snapper's finger snapping explained every time he appeared like "claws that will cut through anything and bones that can't be broken" or "the totality of my psychic powers?"
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Old 03-17-16, 07:09 PM   #45
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Re: Stan Lee's Universe

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Correct me if I'm wrong but I recall you saying your from the Bay Area also and shopped at the Comic Collector's Shop in downtown San Jose?
That was me! Now when I visit I usually hit the comic shop in Vallco Fashion Park, which I guess is going to be torn down. Not sure where I'll go then.
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Old 03-17-16, 11:55 PM   #46
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Re: Stan Lee's Universe

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That was me! Now when I visit I usually hit the comic shop in Vallco Fashion Park, which I guess is going to be torn down. Not sure where I'll go then.
Yeah, they're gonna tear it down but you can check out the "new" Comic Collector Shop in Sunnyvale. The owner was also a customer of the original store.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/comic-collector-shop-sunnyvale

Last edited by mrhan; 03-18-16 at 12:00 AM.
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Old 03-18-16, 10:39 AM   #47
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Re: Stan Lee's Universe

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Yeah, they're gonna tear it down but you can check out the "new" Comic Collector Shop in Sunnyvale. The owner was also a customer of the original store.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/comic-collector-shop-sunnyvale
It's farther away for me than Vallco, but I'll definitely take a look, thanks.

Moving to Cupertino Comic Talk.
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Old 03-18-16, 10:55 AM   #48
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Re: Stan Lee's Universe

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It's farther away for me than Vallco, but I'll definitely take a look, thanks.

Moving to Cupertino Comic Talk.
Ok, back on topic. Even though I don't care for any of the old stuff I kept it all; not knowing they would become key issues. At least they are worth a shitload now.
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Old 08-09-16, 10:32 AM   #49
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Re: Stan Lee's Universe

I was down in Cupertino last week and hit the Comic Collector Shop! It was a bit too floppy-centric for me, but it was cool to visit, and the guy at the register (not the owner) told me about the history and pointed out the vintage sign. I almost left without anything but found a cheap floppy miniseries (some kind of non-Starlin Dreadstar follow-up).

I was trying to figure out where Legends had moved to, but I guess it's still in Vallco? I was thinking everything was gone from there but I guess not. By the time I figured this out, I didn't have time to drop in.
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Old 04-16-17, 07:50 PM   #50
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Re: Stan Lee's Universe

Got Stan to sign my copy of DC Comics Presents: Superman (2004) today in Brea, CA. Everyone in line had no idea he wrote the script for this one. Just his "Just Imagine" stuff. I was the belle of the ball afterwards with fans asking to take pictures of the book.

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