Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Lightening the Load

Doug: About a month ago we ran a post asking you what you'd pack if you were running away from home. You could choose a comic book, a writer, an artist, etc. Today we're going to flip it around. You've indeed hit the road -- or should I say the friendly skies? See, you've made your getaway not on foot with a knapsack, but rather you have a huge steamertrunk full of all of your prized possessions. And you're in a Darth Vader hot air balloon! Suddenly, as fate would have it, ya know, the balloon begins to lose altitude. Not so good. In an effort to stay airborne and on your course of escape you decide you have to start chucking stuff over the side of the gondola.

Here's your charge today -- you have with you your entire collection (past or present). In order to lighten the load, you begin "losing stuff" in a sort of reverse priority. Start with one writer, then one artist, one character, one comic book title, one toy you owned but never played with, one TV show you are certain never got a rating by Nielsen, and one snack food. Oh, and just because you're in a panic, how about the shirt off your back -- tell us the ugliest or most undesireable article of clothing ever purchased on your behalf!

Credit where credit is due -- the former post, as well as today's, were inspired by a suggestion made by commenter Richard back during our request for creativity. Thanks, Richard!

Abandon ship!


david_b said...

I had to read the question a few times to understand. I'd say I'd start with all remaining DC Comics, 'cept for my vintage Cardy Titans and Green Lanterns. Next would be my Mego custom projects I never 'quite' finished.., along with some lesser valued figures.

Then I'd simply land, provided I'm on a distant primitive island where villagers are now worshipping me because they think I'm a god sent from above with oodles of obscure, vintage MIB stuff, I'd use my aircard&laptop to blog my adventures as their new deity, courting maidens while my dwindling battery power holds out.

Sorry.., off-subject..?

("..back to decaf...")

Anonymous said...

I would probably just start by dropping the highest cover-price comics over the side first. I think 75 cents is the most expensive I have. Except for D.C. "Dollar Comics." Then I'd move on to 65 cents, 60 cents, and so on, making exceptions only for a particularly special issue here and there. Last to go would probably be my Spidey Super Stories and Super Friends and various Archie super hero comics

--matt alias Anonymous

William said...

WRITER(s): Mark Millar - The man just seems to delight in trashing classic characters. See Civil War and Marvel Knights Spider-Man. (Runners-up: J. Michael Straczynski, Brian M. Bendis and Grant Morrison).

ARTIST(s): Al Milgrom - Because he ruined more comics for me than I can count. See PPTS Spider-Man and the Avengers (East and West Coast). (Runner-up: Carmine Infantino, because you know, he's Carmine Infantino).

CHARACTER(s): Almost any knock-off of an A-List character. See Scarlet Spider, various Spider-Girls, Spider-Women, Daken (dark Wolverine), X-23 (girl Wolverine), Bat-this, Bat-that, Super-everything! Aaaaggg!!!

COMIC TITLE(s): J. Michael Straczynski's Amazing Spider-Man. JMS did more damage to the character of Spider-Man than the marriage, Clone Saga, One More Day, and Brand New Day combined. See the brilliant "magic spider" theory and stories like "The Other" and "Sins of the Father", etc., etc., etc. (Runners-up: Civil War. I know it was only a mini-series but I despised it so much that it caused me to basically quit reading comics for a couple of years. And also pretty much anything by B.M. Bendis. The man is menace to comic-book society and must be stopped).

TOY: Once when I was a kid, I made the mistake of not asking for anything specific for Christmas and my parents got me a bunch of toy trucks and cars. Uhg! I always hated toy trucks. I never knew what to do with them. Needless to say they all went back to the store and I used the money to buy GI Joes and the Lone Ranger and Tonto action figures (and their horses of courses).

TV SHOW: (There are so many bad shows, I'm going to go with one that apparently people actually watched because it was on for many years). "Family Matters" with Urkel. I think I tried to watch it once and 10 minutes in I realized that I would have to lower my I.Q. by 50 points in order to find it the least bit amusing (even ironically so).

SNACK FOOD: JELL-O - it has the texture of something you would scrape off the bottom of a boat.

CLOTHING ITEM: My sister-in-law once gave me a shirt, and on the front of it was and image of a drawing of a hand drawing itself. Not only was it the ugliest shirt ever, I weighed like 200 pounds and it was a medium. (Runner-up - my brother-in-law once gave me a belt for Christmas that was obviously used (it had bends, stress marks and wear around the holes). I think he pulled it out of his closet. Also, his waist at the time was like 30 and I was a 36, so that was great). Stupid in-laws.

Doug said...

TV show -- and this comes from when my own sons were little guys: Teletubbies. Talk about lowering one's IQ!!

Matt alias anonymous -- funny what you say about the humor mags. I never really had any because they weren't my cup of tea. But if I did, they'd be the first things tossed overboard.

My mom once got me a ribbed-waist shirt for Christmas. I think she bought it in the 80-year old man section, when I was around 35.


Anonymous said...

Matt alias Anonymous sez: I prefer my super heroes at least semi-humorous. I just can't take "serious" and "super hero" in the same sentence...well, seriously.

P.S. I thought Al Milgrom was pretty good. And I quite enjoy that oddly angular Carmine Infantino style on the later Flash comics and Dial H For Hero.

Edo Bosnar said...

First off, I have to say: that balloon is sweet!
Second, I think I want to land on david_b's island, too.
As for things I would jettison, I'll try to stick to pre-1990 stuff, to keep it more "Bronze Age"; anyway -
Writer: ... this one's actually tough, because I can think of any number of stories that weren't written well by writers whose work I otherwise liked (Claremont, Mantlo, Shooter, etc., etc.) but not one single writer from back then whose work I just couldn't stand...
Artist: I'll agree with William and say Carmine Infantino - I often did put comics back on the spinner rack if I saw his art in the interiors (sorry matt: I even preferred Don Heck to him on those later Flash issues, and only bought Dial H regularly because I sent in a few designs and kept hoping they'd be used).
Series: Team America.
Toy: that stupid Spider-man "web-shooter" thing that was just a suction-cup dart attached to a string.
TV show: as William noted, the field is immense, but I'd have to say Three's Company (never, ever understood the appeal, nor why it lasted so long).
Snack food: anything with marshmallow filling.
Clothing item: this hideous, brown 100% polyester shirt with with floral/vine motif designs and a huge collar that I had to wear for picture day at school when I was in third or fourth grade.

Frank C. said...

For my contribution, I'm going to intensify the dillema . . .

I've only brought the stuff that I LIKE!!!

So here are the least of my favourites . . .

Writer: Denny O'Neil? Cary Bates? Len Wein? Marty Pasko? Ahhhh!!! I can't decide!

Artist: I'm so sorry . . . Sal Buscema--down you go. :'(

Character: Green Lantern. Strangely, that wasn't so painful.

Title: Spectacular Spider-Man--I've still got Amazing!

Show: The Powers of Matthew Star.

Toy: That stiff, zip line Spider-man figure (can't remember it's proper name.) So precious, but he doesn't move and the zip line is broken!

Clothing: Every pair of sandals I was ever forced to wear. Girl stuff!!!

Doug said...

If I step on anyone's toes, I don't care:

Any "reality show" can be not only thrown overboard, but in a sack weighted with cinder blocks when we're flying over open water. Take your American Idol, Dancing With the Stars, Wife Swap, The Bachelor, and all of the shows about Pawn Stars and Swamp People. My care-o-meter just doesn't register for these publicity-seeking leeches. The Kardashians and Snookie? Why do I even know of these people??

In retrospect, the Teletubbies look pretty good.

I feel better now.


Doug said...

For artists, I'd probably toss some DC mid-level guys like James Sherman and Ric Estrada. I never liked the Legion of Super-Heroes as much after Grell's tenure ended.

Over at Marvel, the aforementioned Al Milgrom, and of course the latter years for Heck and Infantino.

Anonymous said...

Matt alias Anonymous sez: can we toss over stuff we don't actually have? if so, then out goes pretty much any D.C. comic book post-"Crisis on Infinite Universes." And all Marvel comics after around 1988 or so.

Garett said...

TV show: Dynasty. Never understood the appeal of this when it was at its height.

Characters: Aquaman and Wonder Woman. Despite some good artists who have worked on them, like Aparo and Perez, I find these characters very dull. Wonder Girl in the Teen Titans has more verve.

For reality shows, I tend to like them for one season, then they're predictable.

Doug said...

Matt --

In your world, you ran away with your best friend, so to lighten the load you chucked his collection overboard!!


Edo Bosnar said...

Zounds! (I've always wanted say that ...)
I see now that I forgot to include a character. And again, the field is immense, so I'll stick to characters that were inexplicably given their own series, and go with Dazzler. And since I also had about the first dozen issues of the series, I'd toss that out right after Team America...

Redartz said...

First writer to go: Grant Morrison. Final Crisis was the most lugubrious , muddled story I've ever read. Like some of his work, but still wish I'd never started the Countdown.

Artist: George Tuska. Just can't get past those crooked villain teeth.

Character: right with you William. Out go all the knockoffs!

Title: Secret Wars 2. Once was enough.

Show: the Office. Watched it once and simply found it unfunny, and a colossal bore.

Snack: Pork rinds. Deep-fried fat. Ugh.....

Toy: paddle ball. Never could get the hang of them, and the rubber band always broke and you lost the ball.

Clothing: in high school, I had a wide brown belt with a huge "Boston" belt buckle. The band's logo was in glittery rainbow colors, and the gold buckle was huge. Hideous...

Matt alias anonymous- love those humor books too. Arrgh!, Not Brand Ecch, the Archie books, all good fun.

Doug- You pegged the Teletubbies. They are scary!

Karen said...

Doug: Dumping James Sherman? Really? I liked his Legion work better than Giffen's. I'm probably in the minority, I know.


Doug said...

Karen --

I'd dump Giffen before Sherman, actually. Not a fan, really.

I keep trying to think of a snack I'd lose, but if you could see me you would know that there aren't many snacks that I don't like; or that don't like me!


david_b said...

I suppose....., based on excellent comments provided thus far by anyone, here's my 'chuck list'..:

1) Any comic created after 1977.

2) Any Robbins, Tuska, Milgrom, Grell, or Bronze-Age Heck drawn comics.

3) Snacks? Agreeing with Edo on marshmellow-filled items, such a disappointment from the first bite forward.

4) TV..? I only collected what I like, but anything 'reality-related' or Rosanne-related found would have been chucked.

5) Terrible clothing..? A lot of items my wife buys for me, and insists I keep because it's 'a gift'..

6) Any Arista-labeled CDs from the 80s, SUCH horrendous/tinny sound quality.

7) Perhaps an 8-Track tape or two..

NOTE: This is actually good timing, since I was heading to the basement to purge/sell this week, since finally purchased the 13" Marvel Legends Giant Man BAF (complete), so I can pay that off, Doug.

Anonymous said...

Matt alias Anonymous would like to chuck these characters: the entire Green Lantern Corps, all X-Men introduced in the '90s, all Justice League members who couldn't carry a solo comic book, and all the knockoff characters mentioned before (except I liked Supergirl)!

My poor friend's collection is dwindling but I gotta keep my stuff!

Steve Does Comics said...

I'll mostly stick with Bronze and Silver Age stuff as that's mostly what I know about.

When it comes to a writer, I'd probably go for Michael Fleisher. I loved The Spectre but his work on other strips - especially Atlas Comics' titles was genuinely appalling. He deserves to go for Ironjaw #1 alone.

The artist would I suppose have to be Frank Robbins. I feel a bit guilty because I loved his short-lived stint on The Shadow, and what I've seen of his work on Luke Cage was fine, but usually his stuff simply hurt my eyes and my brain.

The one character. She's not Bronze Age but I'll make an exception for her. I've always hated Jubilee from the X-Men. Go away, you horrible child, with your annoying "super-power".

The one comic book title? I've never liked war comics, and Nick Fury's Howling Commandos did nothing to change that. Argh! Percy Pinkerton or whatever he was called.

The one toy I owned but never played with. I can't think of any.

The one TV show. 99% of people reading this'll never have heard of On the Buses but I'll nominate it anyway. A 1970s sit-com about a thieving bus driver whose boss looks like Hitler. In between bouts of stealing, the main character returns home to verbally abuse and bully his literally Special Needs sister. For some reason, despite it being one of the most notoriously vile and unpleasant TV shows ever made, it still gets shown virtually every day somewhere on British TV.

The one snack food. Wagon Wheels. Completely inedible unless you've had all taste buds removed.

The ugliest or most undesirable article of clothing ever purchased on my behalf? I'd better not say. The person responsible may be reading.

humanbelly said...

Okayokayokayokay-- let's see if I can pull this off. Great responses thus far. I'm going to assume that a) we're talking about stuff we do each personally own/saw/whatever, and b) that it doesn't seem to be limited to the Bronze Age, necessarily. So. . .

1) Writer: Todd McFarlane (sp?) when Marvel gave him his own, new Spidey title (SPIDERMAN) to run with as artist/writer. . . and we suddenly saw why he'd been strictly an artist up until that point. Worst. Dialog. Ever.

2) Artist: Ahhhh, I'll still go with Don Perlin. I think both Al M & Don H are considerably better visual story-tellers than he is/was.

3) Title: Sheesh, throw every Heroes Reborn title in the air, and pick one. Although-- I feel like the FF one may have been the most egregious perversion of the original characters.

4) Oops, character: Mark Hazzard: MERC (or whatever-- dreadful New Universe guy).

5) Toy: Man, perhaps a few too many candidates. There were at leasty a couple of gimmicky board-games that never, ever got played at all.

6) TV show: Ahhhh, already pre-empted with Three's Company. It's the show that cured me of being a tele-holic, as it were. Couldn't believe TV had finally sunk that low. Dennis the Menace was a close second (despite a solid supporting cast).

7) Snack food: Cripes, the early versions of granola bars that you'd get from vending machines. Just like eating particle board.

8) Unwanted Clothing: The antiquated (even for the 60's) clunky orthopedic shoes for my flat feet that I was forced to wear throughout the entirety of elementary school (until we found a podiatrist that had worked his way into the 20th century). Yeah, those are ALWAYS great to try to run bases in during recess kickball. . .


Edo Bosnar said...

Steve, I've not only heard of "On the Buses" but also watched a few episodes. I completely agree with you: it is thoroughly unfunny and actually kind of depressing, in that everything about it is so vile yet it's apparently meant to be comical.

Rip Jagger said...

Here is my jettison list:

Comic - New Avengers (since the cancellation of the original series) hits the skids. I'd wish I could undo the memories as well. At least it's saved me a ton of money since the team has gotten so popular.

Writer - No books by poser Judd Winnick! He gives a bad name to all self-conscious claptrap.

Artist - Steven McNiven might impress some folks, but he leaves me ice cold. He reminds me of the worst work from Boris Valejo, slick but lifeless. He gets the heave.

Character - Lady Death and any variation on her. I've never bought an issue, but the covers are an endless parade of soft porn shots, one after another. It's time to exit.

Toy - The stinkin' electric football game I got as a kid which never worked right and all the little plastic dudes just raced for the sidelines. At least we had fun using the quarterback to fling foam footballs at one another.

TV show - The Apprentice has got to end. That show elevates one of the smuggest, crudest, banal figures in the history of American culture. Donald Trump is an embarrassment to one and all, but sadly most don't realize it yet. What an ass!

Snack food - The second snowball. I always wondered why I couldn't find just one since I rarely got around to eating the second one. I love them, but two were always too many.

Clothing - What I wore to my high school prom should be outlawed so future generations can never commit the same atrocity. Or perhaps a burgundy hounds-tooth tuxedo with two-tone burgundy and sliverish platform heels is what you like.

Steve Does Comics said...

Edo, I actually watched the first 10 minutes of Hammer Studio's "On The Buses" movie, on Youtube last night, to see if it was as bad as I recalled. It genuinely made my skin crawl.

Anonymous said...

Every issue of Justice League not written by Gardner Fox!

Anonymous said...

Comics - In recent years, I’ve bought up a few entire collections, the surplus of which I really need to sell on eBay, partly for the cash, mostly for the space and partly to find them a good home. I’ve never collected or read DC comics, and yet I have long boxes full of them...and nowhere to sit down in my house except the toilet.

Matt – you make a FANTASTIC point. There is now an almost perfectly inverse relationship between cover price and value, isn’t there. WOW!

Writers – Tony Isabella or Gary Friedrich could go without upsetting me much.

Artists – I’m not actually going to say Frank Robbins, just in case I ever do get the chance to throw him out of a balloon. I want no evidence.

Characters – there’s a few Marvel characters I regard as worthless (Hi Dazzler), but on other threads, my fellow BABer’s have mentioned the likes of Arms Falling Off Man, Matter Eater Lad, Bouncing Boy etc and I realise that the Marvel Universe can’t compete. Isn’t there,
like, ‘Super Dog’ as well?

Snack food: there used to be a bar called Mint Cracknel in England which was LITERALLY painful to eat. It was like chocolate-covered broken glass. Google it. Seriously, it must be the only chocolate bar where you need to know your blood type before you bite into it.

David B – every Marvel comic created after 1977? Why ‘77, praytell? Who was created then who escapes your wrath? Ms. Marvel, the Champs? I suspect you chose 1977 because it’s post Xmen, pre Star Wars. Correct?

Toy - Roller skates. I hate roller skates.

TV - Steve – you’re right. On the Buses was irredeemably dire. Apparently, in the 1970’s, the top rated show in Yugoslavia was On the Buses...... dubbed into Serbo Croat. It could only have been an improvement. I’d like to have seen Hammer make a proper Hammer film out of it.

Having said that, I’d have to go with ANY reality show. Appalling as On the Buses was, it did not cause the airwaves to be filled with thousands of hours of other substandard sit coms about public transport. Big Brother etc are just a race to the bottom taking everything with them. And I mean everything.


david_b said...

Richard.., sorry 'bout 'going curmudgeon' when I rattled off '77, but just picked it out of the sky. Totally subjective, my fav characters (Luke Cage probably being one of the last new ones...) were all created before '75 and there were a few issues of say Avengers or MTU from around that time I still had little interest in but not too many.

So to clarify, I didn't have any interest in any new heroes/villains created after that period either. Only ones that came close were newer New Titan members.

Edo Bosnar said...

Richard, since I now live in a part of the former Yugoslavia (Croatia), I can tell you that British series, esp. the sitcoms (good or bad), tend to be quite popular here, although I'm not sure how well-liked "On the Buses" was. Shows that were really popular here include "Black Adder," "Allo, Allo" and "Only Fools and Horses" - in fact, pretty much anything starring David Jason gets high ratings.
Anyway, Croatian Television reran the series during a late afternoon slot about 10 years ago - that's how I saw a few episodes and concluded that it is pretty atrocious. Also, it was not dubbed, which is generally not done here, but subtitled.

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