Sunday, March 9, 2014

"Boy, I've Always Wanted to Ask..."

Doug: Karen and I are considering venturing into new territory on the Bronze Age Babies, but we want to ask for your input and perhaps even assistance first. With the discussion over the past couple of weeks of my attending the March 14-16 Indiana Comic Con in Indianapolis, Karen and I have mused on the possibilities of expanding our horizons by reaching out to some of the Bronze Age creators who might be so inclined as to answer a few questions. This is sort of where you come in.

Doug: One of my proposals to Karen was that if either of us encounter a writer or artist at a con we should introduce ourselves, maybe hand out some sort of leaflet about the blog, and ask if the person at hand would mind if in the near future we sent them a few questions. Those questions might concern some general topics our readers have broached, or they might be very specific to a series of comics being currently reviewed on the BAB (I do intend to ask Steve Englehart about writing the character Leila, currently featured in our "Secret Empire" reviews). Of course we've all recently seen the power of having a creator chime in on a specific subject in the amazing contribution Kurt Busiek made to our Vision/Original Human Torch entry in the second Super-Blog Team-Up.

Doug: Today we're asking for you to propose questions that might be sent to one of the five creators below. Now there's no guarantee at this point that we're moving forward with this; but we did want to gauge interest in this as a future endeavor of ours. At the present time, the following Bronze Age creators are scheduled to appear at the Indiana Comic Con -- here's hoping that I (and Redartz, too!) strike gold and get to meet these folks who have brought so much comics pleasure to our lives. Hyperlinks will take you to their work or discussion on their work as it has appeared here on the BAB.

Rich Buckler

Steve Englehart

Bob Layton

George Perez

Keith Pollard


Anonymous said...

I'd like to ask Rich Buckler this: When you replaced John Buscema on Fantastic Four why was your artwork a carbon copy of Jack Kirby ? Even individual Kirby panels were re-created identically - was this a homage or were you ordered to do it? ( I know you'd never dare actually ask this but you did ask for questions !)

Anonymous said...

I meant to say Kirby panels were re-created NEAR-identically.

Doc Savage said...

Buckler has answered this before: he believed the transition from one artist to another should be as smooth as possible. This is similar to how Romita tried to look Ditkoesque in his early Spider-Man work. It actually makes a great deal of sense: outside of comic books, where else do you get jarring changes in art? Certainly not animation or comic strips, where one must follow a model sheet.Would anyone buy Disney comics, Bugs Bunny comics, or Scooby Doo comics if the characters suddenly looked off? It only seems to be allowed in super hero/action-adventure comic books. Is it artist ego that dictates one must not draw the character as one's predecessor did?

Anonymous said...

Matt, Rich Buckler was following on from John Buscema not Jack Kirby so logically his art should have been imitating Buscema's if he believed in transition. My question still stands.

Comicsfan said...

Colin, just adding that your point would have applied to Buckler's brief work on Thor, as well.

Doc Savage said...

Given that Kirby established the look of the FF for 100 issues, I think you have your answer but either just don't like or don't understand it.

Anonymous said...

Hmm don't have any suggestions about questions for these comics titans. but regarding the question about Rich Buckler's art imitating Kirby's - I think most artists at that time (and perhaps even today)were trying to maintain consistency by preserving the visual look of a comic even when artists were changed.

This usually meant that the incoming artist tried to mimic the previous artist's style as much as possible; this was probably important on successful series like the FF and Spidey. If Buckler had continued longer on the title we most likely would have seen a change in his style. No matter how much an artist attempts to imitate a next artist, eventually his or her own personal style will come out.

- Mike 'amateur artist' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Humanbelly said...

Honestly, I would probably be more interested in hearing from them about more working-in-the-industry type questions. Personal-creative-process questions can often yield uninteresting or unenlightening answers because a) the process is rather private for any artist, and/or b) artists can't often articulate their process very well, and it's just boring to have it explained. It would be neat to hear the writers (Englehart, say) talk about how the process differs for them depending on the artist; and the same from the artists-- which writers are easier/harder to work with and why.


Karen said...

"Given that Kirby established the look of the FF for 100 issues, I think you have your answer but either just don't like or don't understand it."

Actually Matt, I think Colin and Comicsfan asked a completely legitimate question, and I don't understand your need to make such condescending remarks to them. I don't know if you're trying to stir something up or what, but let's just leave this kind of thing to other forums. We like to keep things peaceful and friendly here at BAB. Lively debate is great and encouraged but let's keep it from devolving to personal insults.

Redartz said...

Here's a couple questions:

For Steve Englehart- Your Avengers lineups were wonderful; loved the Beast and Hellcat for example.Given the popularity of the Avengers movie, what do you think of the lineup that was chosen, and what substitutions would you have suggested?

For George Perez- You have illustrated some classic, and often very complex, stories (Crisis on Infinite Earths, for example). What would you say was the greatest challenge to you, as and artist, to illustrate?

Edo Bosnar said...

I agree with HB's suggestion for the Englehart question. Also, I generally agree with his idea about work-in-the-industry comments from these guys.

The thing is, a few years back Buckler wrote these exhaustive memoir-type posts for both the Diversions of the Groovy Kind and 20th Century Danny Boy blogs. Those absolutely fascinated me and I'd love to see him provide more information like that.

As for Pollard and Perez, maybe some kind of question that would cover their very earliest assignments at Marvel and what that was like - especially since both did some of their earliest work on the short-lived Inhumans series in the mid-1970s.
And specifically for Pollard, how he got assigned to do the art on two of Marvel's flagship titles, Spider-man and FF (plus Thor), at the same time, and what that was like (i.e., did he have a good handle on it or was it actually overwhelming?), and what he thought of the various writers, characters, etc.

Doug said...

Redartz --

Thank you -- that's awesome!


Doug said...

Thanks, Edo.

One of the questions I'd ask both Perez and Pollard would be their feelings toward being inked by Joe Sinnott. I'd ask them to compare or contrast their personal feelings of Sinnott embellishing their pencils against the role Sinnott had in providing a somewhat seamless look to the title through a hall-of-fame of artists.


david_b said...

Frankly, not a question but a vote of support, I found Pollard FAR more cooler on FF than Byrne or Perez. Obviously a personal preference here, but Pollard was awesome in providing great art just before ish 200, probably my fav second to Buscema/Sinnott (or third after Kirby/Sinnott).

And Karen, great response..!!

Let's keep this fun for everyone.

J.A. Morris said...

Here's question (not for Bronze Age creators) but for Doug & Karen:
Do you have business cards for Bronze Age Babies? I know it might sound silly, since blogging not your "real" job. But when my wife & I attended the Nostalgia Con last Fall, we made some business cards for our Holiday Film Reviews blog at Staples for under $20.00 (no, blogging isn't our "real" job either). It might be worth your while to get some made for such an occasion, I found it works better than a flier or leaflet, and feels a bit more "professional".

Sean Budde said...

Am i the only person who thought Buckler's Kirbyish style looked even better than Kirby's own style? :o)

Doug said...

Hi, JA --

I have drawn up a handbill (how's that for old school) for Karen's approval. I hadn't thought of business cards. I wonder if it would be too busy, since we'd want our URL, Twitter handle, and both of our email addresses?

Something to ponder. Thanks for the suggestion!


Anonymous said...

I would be interested to know how the process of publishing a comic impacted the process of writing/creating a comic. One example, Englehart's storyline in Capt America was impacted by Kirby's return to Marvel. The dictate became Steve had to be back as Capt America so Kirby could have the character. Other examples, a writer may have a storyline plotted out and in the middle, BAM, deadlines happen and now your flow is interrupted by two fill-in issues. You're writing FF and suddenly, your editor tells you for four issues, the FF is now gonna be the Hulk, Wolverine Ghost Rider and Spider-Man. As an artist, you're working with a great writer but you never get the plot until the Thursday before a Wednesday deadline. You've worked out all your breakdowns and suddenly Thor's armor changes. When drawing, would you prefer a solo character with a large supporting cast or a team book. I would think a solo book where you have to come up with different clothes/outfits for the supporting cast would be more difficult than a team book.

When we saw the Vision in clothes or in his human disguise, was that the writer directing the artist or the artists drawing something and the writer working it in? T'Challa's mask changing during his first appearance in the Avengers. Those type of things.

The Prowler (wondering what squares Doug got in the Snow Pool '14).

Doug said...

Prowler --

I like it! One of the things I'd like to know is which creators or combinations of creators worked "Marvel Method" and which worked from full scripts. Concerning the four artists, how much input did they have on plotting? Did that change with certain writers?



david_b said...

I was thrilled to have Steve E. email me personally a few years ago, to answer my questions on his development of Sam Wilson, one my all-time favorite characters, as well as the strengths of his Avengers and Defenders tenure.

Most importantly, I just wanted to profusely thank him for entertaining us all for generations.

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