Thursday, March 13, 2014

True of False: More Bronze Age Writers Should Have Emulated Bob Haney's Style.

Doug: True or False -- More Bronze Age writers should have emulated Bob Haney's style: master of the done-in-one, and continuity be damned! Wouldn't that have been zany!


William said...

If we're judging by that sample panel, I'm going to have say False on this one.

Anonymous said...

False for me too. Give me epics like Secret Empire, Celestial Madonna or even a two-part cliffhanger anytime.


Doug said...

It's funny, Tom -- I read FF #94 last night in research for a potential topic for our second foray into the Super-Blog Team-Up. Anyway, in Stan's Soapbox, he remarked how much negative mail Marvel had received in response to his declaration a few months prior that Marvel was going to cease continued stories in favor of done-in-ones.

I like either, but a done-in-one has to be pretty good to make me smile. Some of them seem rushed, or just have a flimsy plot designed to be tied up quickly. I also prefer at least 2-parters.


Edo Bosnar said...

Much as I like a lot of Haney's stories, I'll have to say false on this one. It was nice that Haney continued to write his quirky, Silver-Agey stories well into the 1970s, but if everybody - or even just a significant number - of writers was aping his style, the Bronze Age just wouldn't have been as cool.

J.A. Morris said...

I generally enjoy Haney, even "light" stories where Batman & the Teen Titans clean up the neighborhood.
I recently read one of those hardcover reprint collections of Haney/Aparo B&THB issues. They're fun,but most of them haven't aged well.

I found the best part of them to be Aparo's great art, not Haney's storytelling. I felt that there were too many generic gangsters as villains, and other menaces who should've been beneath Batman by that point.

I agree with Tom, but I don't think you need to compare it to Marvel's more famous storylines of the Bronze Age. I'd say that even silly Marvel Team-Up stories like "The Tomorrow War" are superior to most of what Haney was offering at the time.

mr. oyola said...


To everything (turn, turn, turn) there is a season. . .

And Haney had his.

I don't mind some occasional zaniness I mean, comics and superheroes are absurd at their core (then again, wasn't isn't) and I have a soft spot for stuff like Daredevil in a fat suit. . .

. . . But the Bronze Age benefited from its attempt at seriousness, even if that seriousness now oftne seems silly in retrospect.

As for done-in-ones: I agree that that are hard to get perfect, but when they are good they are GREAT. However, I think the best way to structure a comic serial is a mix of one-off stories with two to three issue arcs (with rare ventures into 4 or 5 issue arcs - ever more than one every 2 years).

Too bad these days everything seems to be a long decompressed arc.

Anonymous said...

Wow Doug, imagine if Stan's declaration had held up. As it is, sounds like a great WHAT IF? "WHAT IF Marvel had ceased continued stories at the beginning of the Bronze Age?" - maybe written by/starring Bob Haney (and, of course, said WHAT IF? would be a done-in-one).


Anonymous said...

If we're voting, I vote False.

If that's what we're doing, then stop reading here.

If we're discussing, then the can of worms is opened. If I'm remembering my Haney correctly, he was not only known for short contained stories but trying to be current/contemporary in his story telling. But then the times started passing him by. Most, but not all, characters are adults. What about the teen or, as with Power Pack, pre-teen characters talk/act? How quickly would they be out of fashion? Do you write for the now or the tomorrow? One of the things I loved about those old back issues and reprints was to see how things were back in the 60s. In the Kree/Skrull War, Rick and Nick (did it on purpose) called people "Clyde". Who the heck was Clyde? For character books, write the continuing stories, please, it makes them worth reading. For the team-ups and showcases, one and done gets it to work. But remember, when creating, they're is no rules!!!!

The Prowler (alarmed that Steve's site is down ONCE AGAIN).

Anonymous said...

I'd have to go with false. I have nothing against zaniness in general, but I LOVE continuity. If continuity is ignored, it kinda kills the suspension of disbelief for me.

Mike W.

david_b said...

Silly silly silly question.

Done-in-ones would have prevented.. so.. much.. advancement.

Interesting to ponder, yet ultimately defeating.

Haney certainly didn't own the single-issue format, that's obvious. But I'm sure both respective universes would not have florished in the Bronze like they did if they'd have stayed in single ish formats.

- David_B (soon to sworn in as a new command Inspector General..)

Garett said...

Absolutely yes! Haney's writing in Brave and Bold rocks. It goes beyond quirky into genius territory. I don't think many people could emulate Bob Haney easily--Stan Lee's style was much easier to ape. Haney's unexpected twists and turns, his casting a spotlight on under-used characters (instead of, for instance taking a popular star like Wolverine and overexposing him to the point of nauseam), his distinctive dialogue ("BLAZES!")...all that and more adds up to entertainment!

Now I love Aparo's art, so how much of the appeal is Haney vs Aparo? I've read a few non-Haney B+B stories by Aparo, and to me it's not nearly as good. Haney worked reasonably well with Adams on B+B. I'd love to have tested Haney out with Byrne, Perez, Wrightson, Garcia-Lopez, Romita Jr., etc.

Also perhaps I can turn the question around--how would it have been for Haney to add multiple-issue arcs into his storytelling? His single issues are very would've been interesting to see him take on...Crisis on Infinite Earths!! : ) I didn't like that epic much at all, but by Haney?? That would be entertaining beyond description!

I agree with Mr. Oyola that the best is single issues, with some 2 and 3 issue arcs. But...I don't see how Daredevil in a fat suit has anything to do with Haney's writing. His writing contains quirkiness, but that's certainly not its's not just broad silliness like a fat suit. I also disagree with J.A. that they haven't aged well--I only read most of these stories for the first time a few years ago, and the lack of continuity with the other titles of the time is actually what makes them timeless. Finally I disagree with Edo that these are Silver-Agey stories...most Silver Age stuff I find deadly dull and lacking in creative vitality...Haney was a powerhouse of creativity who was constantly interesting and new. Well ok, maybe "Silver-Agey", but not "Silver Age".

Haney had his Masters Degree from Columbia University and published a number of novels outside of comics, plus served in the Navy in WW2 at the battle of Okinawa. I think he's an interesting, vital writer with more going on than he's given credit for here. Ok now that I've disagreed with everybody, I've had my say! : )

Anonymous said...

I's have to go with the majority here and say false too. While Haney's stories were quirky to say the least they were somewhat entertaining for the most part. You have to treat his output like alcohol - enjoyable in small doses, but toxic if taken in large quantities!

- Mike 'total abstinence' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Edo Bosnar said...

Wow, Garett, that was a very impassioned argument in favor. Still don't think I agree with you, but I enjoyed reading it.
I do, however, agree with your characterization of much Silver Age fare (at DC at least) as dull and lacking in vitality - which can NEVER be said of Haney's work.

Garett said...

Thanks Edo. Well someone had to do it! Haha : )

I find the deadliest culprit in comics to be boredom. I was looking at an Adam Strange Showcase recently, thinking of buying it for the early Infantino art. But I didn't think the stories were going to be exciting enough...has anyone here read that series?

I think many Marvels are also boring though. The soap-opera style of writing has a superficial excitement by having conflicts amongst the heroes, but I find that gets tiresome pretty quickly. I've always responded to the creators in comics, and I look for vitality in an artist or writer. Guys like Kirby for art and Haney for writing go beyond the ordinary rules with new ideas and unexpected connections, constantly surprising the reader.

Related Posts with Thumbnails