Saturday, December 1, 2012

a brief history of time

i guess 1975 is really the beginning of the modern era. Stan Lee , well he changed it all, bringing us all these screwed up introspective heroes. He began in the early 1960s, the next Paradigm shift was Neal Adams, and a new wave of incredible illustrators, Adams, Steranko, Bernie Wrightson , they advanced the medium, and overnight comics were more grown up with a deeper realism.
   They held court through the late 1960s and into the early 1970s, then something happened and comics hit a pot hole, Lee was gone, and the great Artists who had breathed life into the industry had taken off to go it on their own. Which was a bust for them..and us. but the same thing would happen all over when a great and talented group would desert Marvel for Image in the mid 1990s, so history repeats itself i guess.
   George Perez and Marshall Rogers lept things a live, till the next big thing happened, and it would happen in the least expected place. The X-men was as close to cancellation as comic could come, the misfit mutants had hit a rut…but help was on the way and that help would transform Marvel comics. Chris Claremont teamed up with John Byrne on the uncanny x-men.
  I guess i collect comics more for the art first and the writing second. It makes sense as comics are a visual feast. And a collector can tell right off the back if the people writing and drawing a comic are into or if they are just in it for a pay check.
  Its all about the Process.  John Byrne on uncanny X-men is a man just bursting with creativity, and giving all in he has, John Byrne on Fantastic Four is a man collecting a paycheck.
  Byrne and Claremont were like the Lennon and Mccarthy of comics, and absolutely perfect team, who created magic. their run on X-men thrilled me, and i anticipated every next issue as though awaiting a gift.
  It all culminated with x-men 137: the fate of the Jean Grey and her Pheonix persona. great art and great  writing. Jean Grey gives her life for her friends. and amazingly enough just 4 issues later they would top themselves with days of future past.
  then they broke up, but Claremont kept the x-men going with a string of talented artists, but to me it was not the same.
  Things began to look bleak again the along came Frank Miller, and his re-imagining of BATMAN, and the Dark knight ..Brne went to reboot The Fantastic Four..but once again Comics hit a creative void.
   and then something amazing happened…somewhere about 1990 a new wave of artist appeared almost out of the blue, Jim Lee, Todd Mcfarlane and many others, Mcfarlane made his mark on Spiderman, while Lee joined with Claremont to make the X-men just as big as it had ever been, and besides these great young guns, Miller was still around ad others made it a new golden age, and then along came independent comics and comics like Preacher, the comic book shops were buzzing again, it was like a new golden age…..and then Alex Ross threw it all over the top with Marvels….and then Kingdom Come for DC…..but then…
   It all came apart…all these young artists…well they took off to ply their trade for Image comics laboring over characters no one cared about, while back at Marvel and DC things went Haywire. Gimmicks, reboots and nonsense , every comic was made to feel like a collectors item..with special covers, the death of major characters etc…after awhile i loss interest.
   And now we are here

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