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January 22, 2008

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Chris Mautner

Craig and Charles --

Not to take over your comments section, but drop me an email if you get a chance. I want to know if you guys would be interested in talking about TB over at Blog@.

Scott Hatfield, OM

Just thought I'd say the big stylized 'DOOOOOOM' panel is also reminiscent of Steranko, as the first time I ever saw one of those was during his turn in Captain America. It's interesting that, given the limitations of the genre, how quickly idiosyncratic habits become fixed with particular artists. Who can forget the geometrical action arcs with lightning-bolt accents indicating contact of Sal Buscema, having seen them?

CharlesWHatfield

Hey, Scott, wonderful to see your comments here! And thanks for the shout-out yesterday on your blog.

It's my brother, folks. Check out his blog http://monkeytrials.blogspot.com for smart discussions of, among other things, science education, evolutionary theory, and creationism.

I've added one of Dad's proud Panama pictures to the sidebar of the site (that's me writing at age seven, and a close look would show one of YOUR homemade comic books, replete with black cover, next to my elbow). Heh.

You're right about artist's habits, or tics. Most comic book artists repeat themselves unself-consciously: remember those low-angle nose shots of Gil Kane's? What I find especially interesting is the way fans pick up on those tics and develop a liking for them. Last Friday Tom Spurgeon, at comicsreporter.com, asked readers to list "Five Things in Comics That Make You Happy" and many such tics were listed: Kirby's eyeball close-ups, Frank Quitely's chins, Romita's women's hair, and so on. Both Mike Manley and I listed Steve Ditko's hands. Check it out at http://www.comicsreporter.com/index.php/five_for_friday_102 (quite a long list!).

Dave's Long Box ran a funny thread a couple of years ago (http://daveslongbox.blogspot.com/2005/11/saliva-strand-syndrome-silent-killer.html will get you there) about Saliva Strand Syndrome, another habit that some have traced back to Sal Buscema (though "Ghastly" Graham Ingels of EC fame did it earlier, and memorably (ugh)).

Siskoid

Great stuff! Your retcon comment inspired me to write today's column at http://siskoid.blogspot.com/2008/01/pass-retcon-im-feeling-mmemonic.html

I wonder what you'll think. Great blog by the way, I'm glad I found it.

CharlesWHatfield

Thanks for the kind words. A pleasure to follow the thread from your site, to Chris's, to ours. :)

Ben Towle

Speaking of the big stylized 'DOOOOOOM'... As I recall, it makes a post-Steranko, but pre-Iron Fist appearance in Walt Simonson's run on THOR. It's interesting not just how these sorts of things get fixed with individual cartoonists, but also how they get referenced and copied to the point that they start to become part of the language of the art form (at least within certain genres and styles) much like "Kirby crackle" has.

Siskoid

That's also what DOOM made me think of - how Simonson's Thor run began.

CharlesWHatfield

Walt Simonson: best Thor since Kirby & Lee, and best New Gods since Kirby. Of the two, I like the Thor best (nobody's Fourth World besides Kirby's ever really does it for me, though once I got over my initial prejudice Simonson's Orion had its grand moments).

Recently, Jim Starlin has succeeded in creating a New Gods even harder to like than Gerry Conway et al.'s in the late mid-70s. Ptui.

Siskoid

I understand Starlin's place in the "great creators pantheon", but I can't really like him. There was something there in the 70s, but since... eeeech. The writing leaves me cold, but perhaps worst of all, I find his anatomy extremely awkward.

If he didn't have his rep...

CharlesWHatfield

His New Gods thing is a logical step for him, but, man, it's just awful. What is going on at DC, that the New Gods need to be euthanized this way? Tosspot, please.

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