Doug: We are traveling tonight and tomorrow, but Sunday some time I'll be able to get back into the Marvels post. Just let me know whenever it's my turn. Thanks for setting that up. I have some time today to look for art. I already entered the image of the Goblin on Gwen's windowsill, holding her body.
Karen: Thanks for getting the art for the Marvels piece. I'll get to it again this weekend but I think we're nearly done. I read your remarks last night, and you were so right -I read this book quite differently this time around. The art was the same -spectacular -but the story hit me more deeply, and perhaps more sourly? I don't know. I suppose I reflect on life a lot more now than ever. I guess I can connect with "old" Phil more than I ever could before!
Doug: I actually had about 10 minutes to scout some art, so it's in. Nice image of Luke Cage, the Kree-Skrull War splash, a pic of Spidey fighting the Goblin, and the full-pager of Capt. Stacy's death. Seems to cover all the bases.
Looking ahead, have you had much time to plow into Darwyn Cooke's massive book (The New Frontier)? I've read up to when Hal becomes GL. It's weird. I like it, but I'm thinking if I'd read it as a monthly I would not have liked it as much. For those steeped in DC lore, they would probably have loved it. But the DC lore I got in a panel or two of Perez's History of the DC Universe was a better-sized helping for me. I'm speaking of the Challengers, Slam Bradley, etc. here.
Karen: I haven't done more than skim through the book. I did read the whole thing years ago -when I got a copy from the library, and had a lot of time on my hands. It truly is massive. I always wonder about that difference in experience, getting something as a monthly versus reading it in large chunks (or all the way through). I recall reading Watchmen as it came out and never feeling all that thrilled by it -it seemed more exploitative than anything -but perhaps taken as a whole work it comes across differently. I did just order the blu-ray of New Frontiers and it should be here this weekend. I loved it when we first saw it, but my husband didn't care for it at all, so we never bought it. But I got it for less than $20.
Doug: Inspiration - do you want to do a partner Open Forum on reading installments vs. reading tpbs/hardcovers? When "that's all we had" we were stuck on a 30- or 60-day cycle. Now -- piece of cake to gather as many as 25 issues together in one volume.
Karen: Hmm, that might have some legs. I don't have a ton of memories to pull on, but maybe we can put something together. I'm sure the readers would have something to say about it.
Doug: One general thought that comes to mind: the in-story recap of the previous issue. At a 30-day interval, necessary. In a tpb, drives me nuts. The Wolverine mini-series by Claremont and Miller is egregious in this regard. I think Claremont cut/pasted the same lines to begin each issue!
I think my read of "Winter Soldier" was greatly affected by the large graphic novel format. In installments, I'd have lost the build-up of suspense over a several week period. But sitting on the couch, I just kept reading. And reading. And...
Karen: So the basic argument might be something like the difference in the joys of anticipation versus the pleasure of deeply immersing oneself in a work? I think as I get older, the latter is better for me, as it gets more difficult to keep in mind all the details of things I read or (in the same category) serialized TV shows. Perhaps this is also why 'binge' TV watching is so popular? Who can remember what they read in a comic or saw on a TV show a month before?
Doug: I don't even know -- do modern comics have letters pages? I suppose with the Internet that would be a waste of time, since by Wednesday evenings blogs and websites would be rife with feedback anyway. But most of us have knocked the fact that many of our tbp and hardcover collections do not contain either the letters pages or the Bullpen Bulletins. For many of us, those really anchor the reading experience. So from that standpoint, seeking out the original comic books would be better.
But we are, after all, discussing reading at the time. So, if I was still reading new comics today, I think I would have been one of those who would have by now switched to the trades for my pleasure. But I wonder, as a child, what my memory was like -- I don't really recall digging out the previous month's issue to refresh my memory as to what happened, the various subplots, etc. So maybe this whole line of thinking is something I'm coming to as someone who is almost 50 (14 months away!).
Karen: As a young kid, I did read my comics several times -but I think they were also just more important to me, and I didn't have the concerns of work, and life in general, taking up so much of my time, so the events in the books were always fresh. I'm not sure I'd want to give up that sense of anticipation. but then we're talking about the 70s versus today's instant gratification culture. I'm sure I would be an entirely different person if born into today's world! But knowing I could see what was happening to the characters every month, or having to wait a year to get it collected -that might be really tough! That doesn't really apply to me now though, as I don't keep up on current books.
Doug: OK gang - there you have it. So what do you make of all or any of our thoughts above?