Friday, May 9, 2014

Reader's Choice - The Open Forum

Doug: To be honest, it's just a busy time around the BAB. Today we're throwing wide the doors to the Open Forum and welcoming you to provide the topic(s) for today's conversations. In the past, we've encouraged everyone to follow along with whatever the first commenter proposes. But hey -- by now we have a mature enough audience that we won't have any trouble juggling three or four topics. So it's all yours, all day long. As long as you keep to the spirit of the post, which is topics that cast a bit of a wide net, we'll be fine. Have fun!


Anonymous said...

Famous films you've never seen? I've never seen Ghostbusters or any Beatles films, apart from Yellow Submarine. Or what about the one perfect comic you'd put in a time capsule for future generations to read ?

HannibalCat said...

Artists whose work you didn't enjoy when you were first reading their comics and now embrace wholeheartedly. I am ashamed to admit I didn't 'get' Jack Kirby or Gene Colan back in the '70s, but now love them both. And I just managed to get almost the entirety of The Invaders on ebay and am therefore reevaluating Frank Robbins' art.

Fred W. Hill said...

Taking on Hannibal's topic, for me it was Steve Ditko. My initial reaction to what little I saw of his art in the early '70s was negative, as in, ugh, this is terrible! Gradually, tho', I came to appreciate his talent, especially on his classic runs on Spider-Man and Dr. Strange. When he didn't let his Objectivist philosophy overwhelm his artistry, Ditko was a great plotter as well as artist, certainly on par with Kirby.

david_b said...

Two good topics..

1) ET. I actually started standing in line for it at college for a Sunday $1 showing, but with all the families and kids in line, I just asked myself, 'Really....??' and left. I made it a point to start watching some classic/near-classic films from the '60s and '70s, like 'Dog Day Afternoon', etc..

2) Classic timecapsule comic..? Can't quite do one issue, but Secret Empire story arc (169-176), Avengers/Defenders clash and ASM 121-122. Totally.

3) Definitely Kirby fits the bill for HannibalCat's topic. I won't go as far as buying Robbin's art, but I've had to review Kirby's '70s work I breezed past back in the day. Always enjoyed his '60s FF, but I'd like to read his DC work on Jimmy Olsen and his more renoun work someday soon.

Anonymous said...

Famous films? Gone with the Wind and Casablanca. But, I just picked up All the President's Men for $3 in a DVD cheapie bin the other day. In light of our recent visit to the Secret Empire story I thought that was $3 well spent.

Perfect comic? Wow that's a toughie. Every comic that I can think of that made an impact on me is at least a two parter. So if I'm allowed to cheat and go with an obvious one (two) it would have to be ASM 121-122. Those 2 comics literally changed my life.

Artists? Believe it or don't - Sal Buscema. My main comic book buddy couldn't stand him back in the day. He had something against the way he drew mouths (?). So I blame my friend for my initial bias. But now - love Sal!


Anonymous said...

david_b, as I think we've noted before, it's scary how you and I seemed to be Marvel zuvembies for about the same time span as we both found a way to weave 121-122 and Secret Empire into this discussion. :-)


Edo Bosnar said...

Great topics!

1. David B. and Tom - you took the words right out of my mouth. I have never, ever seen ET nor Gone with the Wind, and I am actually quite proud of that fact now.

2. Time capsule comic? Agree that it's hard to pick just one. I suppose I could cop out pick collected editions, e.g., the Black Panther or Warlock Masterworks volumes, or any of the one of the reprints of the Dark Phoenix saga.
But I'll stick to the spirit of Colin's suggestion and say it's a toss-up between: Marvel Premiere #32 (the Monark Starstalker story by Chaykin), Marvel Team-up #79 (Spidey & Red Sonja) or X-men Annual #3 (the best annual ever - seriously).

3. Seems like all of us Bronze Age kids had our initial qualms about Kirby and Ditko - I certainly fall into that camp. I'll also say that even now I'm not wholeheartedly a Kirby fan. I do admire his work in so many titles, but not so much in others. As for Ditko, like Fred, I truly began to appreciate his work when I read his runs on Spider-man and Dr. Strange.

david_b said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
david_b said...

Tom, awesome call on 'Presidents Men'.. I read a lot of Watergate books from William Safire and other noteable authors, but actually never saw that movie until I was in Kuwait the first time. Excellent movie by far.

I mentioned a few weeks ago I picked up Kutler's 'Wars of Watergate' and I thought I read the best books on it until I read that one. HIGHLY recommend.

I'd also like to treat myself to the swashbuckling Dick Lester "Musketeers" movies from the '70s. Love to watch Oliver Reed, York, and Rachel Welch together. Great lighthearted fun.

Ditto on the life-changing effect of ASM 121-122, where I'd throw in 123, just for the perfect coming-back-to-earth story with Luke Cage, perfectly timed.

Let me add Batman 251, a fav O'Neil/Adams Joker story for most of our collective here.

Anonymous said...

Edo, I have real "guilt" about never having sat through GWTW. And now it's always on cable, all day long most times. Between that and DVR I have no excuse. But whenever I come close to watching I start thinking "Hmmm, it's 4 hours long...I must have something more important to rearrange my sock drawer or comic collection."

I should just adopt your stance and be proud.


Dr. Oyola said...

I can't think of any famous films I haven't seen (though there must be some still). When I first got Netflix I made a point of always dedicating one of the three discs I got back in the day to a "classic" - so I finally say Casablanca, and Godfather I & II, and French Connection and Manchurian Candidate, etc. . .

I've seen Gone with the Wind, you're not missing anything.

As for time-capsule comic: In addition to some of the other choices mentioned I'd but in Amazing Spider-Man #248 (by Roger Stern and Ron Frenz (inked by Austin) - "The Kid That Collects Spider-Man" is a great story that really captures something about not only the character, but our affection for him.

Can't think of an artist - until the last ten years I had a hard time identifying comic writers/artists names -they were familiar, but I never bothered to codify the knowledge - much better at it now.

But even as a kid I loved Kirby b/c the old FF reprints in Marvel's Greatest Comics were among my faves.

Humanbelly said...

I've never caught GWTW in one sitting either, but really do need to make the effort at some point so I can appreciate it as one single piece of cinematic narrative. EASY RIDER is sitting in a bag in my comic book room (part of a huge DVD stash gift from my sister), and I'd say that certainly fits the question here. Recently watched COOL HAND LUKE for the first time w/ my wife (from the same stash), and have to say that it's a profoundly puzzling, unsatisfying film that is jam-packed w/ memorable, iconic moments and performances. . . as well as now-familiar actors as youngsters in bit roles.

I'm not sure I'd go w/ Spidey 121 & 122 in a time capsule-- do they represent as well if they're isolated issues, being read out of context? Well, maybe.
But, nah-- I'm goin' with my PERENNIAL favorite: INCREDIBLE HULK #111-! "Shanghaied in Space!"


J.A. Morris said...

I'll have to think about the film question.

Re: perfect comics, it's obviously not from the Bronze Age, but Amazing Fantasy #15 is still great, if heavy handed. So much of what became part of the Spider-mythos is there in the beginning.

If we're sticking to the Bronze Age:
As for issues I read off the rack, Captain America #250 (Cap for President) is still excellent, and X-men #143 (Kitty Pryde's Christmas Eve alone) is one I read every Christmas season.

Artists I didn't like:
Just like Fred, I didn't like Ditko at first either. And for a while, the only Kirby I'd seen was stuff inked by Colletta or Chic Stone (I still don't care much for that stuff). Now I know better.

Abe Lucas said...

1) I've never seen Lawrence of Arabia or Fantasia. However, there are a ton more classic films I've not seen and I include non-English movies in this, too.

2)Bill Sienkiewicz is amazing; I just didn't think so back in the Bronze Age back when my preferred artists were the likes of Byrne and Perez.

3) Classic time capsule comic for me is Our Army at War #233, "Head Count" by the immortal team of Kanigher and Kubert. I first read it when I was just ten but the passing years have only made it resonate all the more with me. "Make War No More."

Murray said...

1) Missed movies: never saw Titanic. A few years ago I made a pact with my social circle to stop *gasping* in horror when someone had never seen a particular movie. To instead take it as a way to sales pitch the idea and discuss. Trying for a positive conversation starter as opposed to the too common "Unclean! Unclean!" reaction.

2) Time capsule comic. That is a toughie. Just to toss a few contenders: Legion of Superheroes-"The Great Darkness Saga". A gleaming little jewel in the middle of the solid gold Walt Simonson run - Thor #356. A cute and heartfelt tale of Hercules and Thor. Of more recent vintage, Amazing Spider-Man #678-679. Dandy, almost entirely self-contained two part time travel story.


3) The top of my "callow youth" shame list is Curt Swan. It wasn't until I was sweating in Art College that I appreciated that man's skill in anatomy and faces.

Good questions, chaps!

Anonymous said...

(1) There are tons of famous movies I've never seen: Cabaret, Schindler's List, Sixth Sense, lots of newer ones...I just saw Shawshank Redemption a few months ago.

(2) Time capsule comic...I'd definitely agree with ASM 121-122 (which were reprinted together in Marvel Tales #192, thus keeping to the single issue rule!)

(3) As for artists I didn't appreciate till I was actually took me a while to recognize how good John Buscema was; in my younger days I thought he was just average, but later I realized how good he was...same with Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez.

Mike W.

Anonymous said...

I echo the good Doctor's sentiment, until my later years I was not fully aware of the creative teams when I was reading comics. To me, Gil Kane was the way Spider-Man was supposed to look. Just recently, I would have to say Frank Robbins. I think I may be seeing him in a different light.

For comic(s), I would put X-Men 137, The Fate Of Phoenix in. I know it's a bit of a cheat being a double issue, but hopefully in the future, no one will know what that means.

I have never seen any of the Twilight Movies. I've seen scenes as I've walked through when my daughter was watching.

A few questions I'll throw out. Is the Hulk once again becoming the forgotten Avenger? I have heard nothing about a new movie in development.

Time machine question, if you had one, would you go back or forwards?

The Prowler (nothing succinct to add).

William said...

1. A couple of classic movies I've never seen are Casablanca or Citizen Kane. I'd like to see them both someday.

2. I'm going to stick by the request for one perfect comic to put in time capsule, and go with Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1. That was a pretty epic comic that hit all the right notes that make up a great Spider-Man story. It was by Lee and Ditko, it had Spidey fighting the Sinister Six (a team featuring all of his major villains of the time) and it featured Peter Parker struggling with his inner demons and feelings of inadequacy. Face it true believers, that one had it all.

3. As for an artist who's work I never enjoyed but have learned to appreciate. This one might shock people, but I'll have to say Neal Adams. For some reason I never liked his work as much as I thought I was supposed to. It was just too photorealistic for my tastes. I've always preferred the more cartoon style work of artists like Kirby and Ditko (and even Byrne, who's a lot more cartoony than Adams). However, I recently picked up a couple of trades featuring Adams' old work on Batman, and I must say, he did a hell of a good Batman. I enjoyed his work on that very much.

Humanbelly said...

I'm switching my comic vote to go with William's choice. That 1st Spidey annual could certainly be in the running for a "Best Single Comic of All Time" contest.

[Ooh. OOOOH! Do I smell a possible return topic for a Bracketology event-??? I know, Doug, I know-- I never seem to let that topic rest in peace. . . heh. . .]

I don't think I was all that familiar w/ Spidey when I read it the first time, and I LOVED it even then. Can't believe I used to own it. . .

I think I actually liked Ditko and Kirby right off the bat, then fell out of love w/ them for many years, then became re-enamored w/ a deeper appreciation more recently. But for the most part, artists that I didn't really like to begin with have remained artists that I don't much care for even now.

Wait. . . wait. . . Bill Everett. There's one. His Golden Age style tended to leave me cold, but he did some work in later years on the Hulk feature early on in Tales to Astonish that was simply great. . . and practically unknown. And you look at it and realize that this guy was an incredibly gifted visual story-teller, but never had enough volume of work at that point to gain the attention he may have deserved (one hears rumors of serious drinking problems and such). So-- give me Bill Ev for the win--!


Redartz said...

Never have seen any Godzilla movies. Just not a fan, I guess.

As for the comic, I'm joining William and HB; Spiderman Annual 1 may indeed be the best single comic ever published. Humor, drama, great villians, special features: this book truly lacks nothing!

As for an artist, Gil Kane was an acquired taste. As a kid I was put off by those nose shots, but later came to appreciate his style and energy.

Anonymous said...

William, I'm with you buddy - never seen Citizen Kane either.

Time capsule comic, hmm... yeah, I got the Spidey annual #1 here, so I'd put that in. That, or one of my X-men issues from the Claremont/Byrne/Austin era.

Artists who grow on you? Well, when I first saw Gil Kane's art work I thought, 'Heck, no human being can have contorted limbs like that, and what's up with all the up nostril shots?'. Now that I'm older and wiser, he's one of my all time favourite artists.

- Mike 'gonna make my own videos someday' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Rip Jagger said...

I've never been able to sit all the way through Gone with the Wind. I've never seen Chaplin's The Great Dictator.

The perfect comic is a hard one indeed. I'd have to go with Avengers #93 by Thomas, Adams and Palmer. There's something utterly satisfying about that comic despite its place in a sprawling saga.

An artist I had to warm up to was Mike Sekowsky. His work always struck me as clumsy, but years later I see this storytelling and discover his figures not so much awkward as oddly realistic.

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