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Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Not Looking Forward To Licking Green Arrow's Backside?

Fortunately, the new DC superheroes stamps are self-adhesive.

Marvel is scheduled to get their own pane of stamps next year. So, the pointless diversion becomes guessing which 10 Marvel heroes, artists and representative issue numbers will make the cut. My guesses:

1) Spider-Man--Steve Ditko--Amazing Spider-Man #19 (w/Sandman)
2) The Hulk--Herb Trimpe--Incredible Hulk #105
3) Captain America--Simon & Kirby--Captain America #109 (1969)
4) The Thing--Jack Kirby--The Thing #6 (1983)
5) Wolverine--Jim Lee--Wolverine #2 (1982 mini-series)
6) Iron Man--Don Heck--Invincible Iron Man #47 (1972)
7) Storm--Dave Cockrum--Storm #6 (2006)
8) Thor--Walt Simonson--Journey Into Mystery #125
9) Daredevil—Gene Colan—Daredevil #27
10) The Human Torch—Dick Ayers—Fantastic Four #54

I figure that like DC, they'll stick to 1) single charactes, rather than teams, given the size of the stamps; 2) golden and silver age characters and artists, with the exceptions of Wolverine (for obvious reasons), and Storm, who is, Invisible Girl aside, the highest-profile female Marvel character; and 3) covers that are as clean and non-violent as possible--which is why I can't see an Elektra stamp.

Other speculation?

Been waiting on those stamps.

As to guesses, I'd say yours are correct, although I wouldn't be surprised to see a Punisher stamp.
I thought about the Punisher, but if the Postal Service will airbrush a cigarette out of Robert Johnson's mouth, I'm skeptical that they would allow a gun-toting psycho with a skull on his chest. If Wolverine does show up, I wouldn't be surprised to see the claws safely sheathed. There's very little violence in the DC stamps. I bet those pictures were chosen very carefully.
I think the Thing will be on one. I just feel that way. It'll be kirby's rendition wearing a trenchcoat, fedora and sunglasses.

When will the post office do a hip hop producers stamp series? I want my Jermaine Dupree stamp!
Hey, and I'm reposting all my Martian Vision articles, which used to be at a site that doesn't exist any more. I have many of them up at martianvision.blogspot.com, with many more to come.

You might enjoy them. Or, like many Modern Age fans, you might read them and yearn for death. (Not yours.) But few if any have read them and come away unmoved, one way or t'other.
We might see a Silver Surfer, and possibly a Ghost Rider, that last depending always on how the movie does.

I imagine I'll think of other possibilities as time goes on. Maybe a Luke Cage?
I just looked over your entry on Comic Book Nation, which inteested me because I'm getting an exam copy to look over to see if it might be useful for the course I'm teaching this winter. I notice that you touch on the relative quality of superhero comics in the mid-1970s, which we talked about here last week. I was born a bit later than Wright (1971) but I jumped into superhero comics perhaps a bit earlier, in early 1975--unfortunately, exactly one month after DC's 100-page super-spectaculars ended.

Still, the stands were flooded with DC and Marvel reprints, (not to mention the invaluable Origins of Marvel Comics paperbacks, and the 30s to the 70s DC anthologies) so it was a good time for a little kid to gain some understanding of what had come before. From a very early age I had a copy of Feiffer's Great Comic Book Heroes--I carried that thing around like a teddy bear. As a 12-year-old I was a devoted fan of Eisner's Spirit sections, with a subscription to the Kitchen Sink series. And while I enjoyed the current comics, I knew even then that the genre had seen better days than Gerry Conway and Ernie Chua. It's too bad that some of the best work had such spotty distribution. I did buy Gerber's Howard the Duck and Defenders, but I don't know if I ever saw a copy of Tomb of Dracula or Warlock on the stands (my intro to the Warlock storyline was with its conclusion in the much more popular Marvel Team Up and Avengers annuals.)
Kirby and Ditko could account for just about all of the stamp art, but I bet in the name of stylistic diversity they'll only give them Spidey and the Thing, the single Marvel characters with whom they're most associated. Even then Spidey could well go to someone like Romita or McFarlane.

Oh, wait, that's *not* the only Kirby guess I made. My feeling on Simon & Kirby for the golden age Capt. America is that's the only way I see the Golden Age being represented. The original Human Torch is cool, especially drawn by Carl Burgos, but his lack of connection to the FF dooms him. And the Sub-Mariner is almost entirely unknown to the public.

Back to the DC stamps, I'm glad to see Jim Aparo's Aquaman, Kubert's Hawkman, Swan + Infantino twice, and I think it's funny that the Green Arrow picture by Kirby really isn't--the art was altered from a Kirby drawing of a different archer character, in order to make the cover for the Kirby Green Arrow reprint comic a few years back. To my eye, the three images that work best as stamps are the Superman and Wonder Woman character shots, and the cover to Batman #1.
As I say in the article, I enjoyed the CBN stuff about the Golden Age and the crime comics, et al. But I'm not a scholar of that era, and could not possibly fact check it. When he got into writing about comics I knew well, his error rate became (in my opinion) unacceptable. I wouldn't teach from that book under any circumstances; I have to assume there are better texts out there... not least of which, the comics themselves (or reprint editions).
David Carrier's The Aesthetics of Comics is quite good; I'm currently skimming The Education of A Comics Artist and I'm about to re-read The Language of Comics, a collection of academic essays. I think Gerard Jones' Men of Tomorrow is a great history of the mainstream industry. I'm also going to check interlibrary loan for Wertham's Seduction of the Innocent. McCloud's Understanding Comics is a given. But yes, most of the focus will be on primary sources. Eisner's "The Dreamer" is a possibility, as it reads like a fictionalized memoir of the birth of the comic industry.
I have a comics history by Gerard Jones and Will Jacobs that I can't remember the name of, but it was horribly erroneous, and devoted an entire chapter to frickin' THE TROUBLE WITH GIRLS, which they probably thought was funny, but not in a book where they gave one entire paragraph total to Gerber and Englehart combined, and stated that Hank Pym was only interesting when he was beating his wife.

But I haven't read MEN OF TOMORROW. If Frank Miller can come back from the horrible Bat Devil stuff with the wonderful BORN AGAIN, maybe Jones can get some redemption, too.
Men of Tomorrow is fascinating when dealing with the business side of early comics, involving gangsters, bootleggers and hustlers--and in describing the Manhattan that gave rise to those who forged the industry. It's also revelatory about Jerry Seigel (I never knew until this book that his father had been murdered in a store hold-up--shades of Thomas Wayne)--and the contrast between the supposedly street-hardened sharks in NYC and this poor, ambitious, and eventually embittered amateur in Cleveland are striking. That's the heart of the story; Jones rushes a bit through late 40s and early 50s on his way to the finish line.
Is it fiction? Like KAVALIER & KLAY? Say, why not teach from that? I'm not wild about much of the novel, but I love the Early Days of Comics stuff.
Non-fiction--and a perfect companion piece to those sections of Chabon's book.
As you've probably seen in the article, I had some email back and forth with Bradford Wright -- he wrote me after seeing the article on the 'net to 'correct' some errors I made. One error I did indeed correct, the other couple I proved to him weren't errors on my part, but on his... after which, he shut up and went away.

What does all this have to do with licking Green Arrow's backside?
Wednesday, July 26 was a long time ago. Update this bitch. Dammit.
did someone say GREEN ARROWS?! so very ferocious.
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