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Saturday, September 30, 2006

Tales from the Bag part 3

Ok, there's still more in the bag. Let's see what other goodies came out...
The same year that Raiders of the Lost Ark was released to theaters, the first comic book based on everyone's favorite archaeologist also appeared in stores. Marvel Comics, released “Raiders of the lost arc, the movie adaptation”
It was hugely successful and Marvel smelled the lovely green scent of dollars. So they decided to milk it a little and make a full blown series out of it. Of course, the story was already told and George Lucas really wasn’t going to script the comics for Marvel, so they decided to give the series a spin and invent Indy-stories of their own.

The series lasted until March of 1986. The 3 year run produced 34 comics and two more movie adaptations for both The Temple of Doom and The Last Crusade, the latter of which came out shortly after the series ended in 1989.

Most famous creator that worked on the book was Spider-man co-creator and original artist Steve Ditko.

I'm not sure why either, but Marvel had Ditko draw eight issues of INDIANA JONES in the mid-1980s.
Unfortunately, all the Indy faces appear to be altered by John Romita. Why give Ditko the book if either the editor or Lucasfilms didn't feel he could draw Harrison Ford's face?
As a matter of fact, this was common practice at the time at Marvel.
Romita was now Creative Director or something which basically meant that he “fixed” errors and touched up other people’s work.

The good thing about the books is that the stories were a lot like the movies, same style, same great mixture of humor and action, and Indy is…well he’s the Indy we all know and love.
The bad part is that the art isn’t always very good, a lot of different artists, a lot of different styles and not all were suited for a comic which had to show a retro-look…. The stories were set in the 40’s so they needed a faux-Golden Age look.

Finally here’s a list of a few creators that worked on the book….

John Byrne - Terry Austin David Michelinie - Ron Frenz Denny O’neil Archie Goodwin Herb Trimpe - Vincent Colletta - Joe Rosen
pretty impressive list for such a low-key book. Legend has it that most creators loved to work on the book because they were such big fans of the Spielberg-Lucas creation…Indiana Jones

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Tales from the bag part 2

Well the second batch I pulled out of the Mbag where all Hulk comics from the early 80's...I remember buying some of these straight of the stands, but never read the other 90%. These were all pretty cheap, all books are VF to NM and cost me 70
cents each...how's that for a bargain

Let me start by telling that I like the Hulk....don't ask me why but I always seem to enjoy his books, his appearances etc...
My very favorite Marvel book is probably Marvel Fanfare #7 where the Hulk takes on the combined might of Unus the Untouchable and the Blob (Hulk wins...of course).
But I never seem to volunteer Hulk as one of my favorite characters when asked...not that I'm ashamed of being a Hulkofile...it's just that well I don't really see him as a hero, but then again I don't see him as a villain either...he's just there....the Incredible Hulk...a force of nature, the strongest one there is.

The Hulk books have never been one of Marvel flagship books, but has been a steady seller throughout the years. One of Marvel oldest characters (Hulk #1 predates Spider-man) the Hulk has always been a major force in all of Marvel's events, crossovers, specials, end-of-the-universe stories etc, Can you imagine a major Marvel story without the Hulk ? In short, the Hulk just IS.

Now, like a lot of people the first time I had ever heard of the Hulk was through the Bixby/Ferrigno TV-series, took me years to find out that Hulk was actually a comic-book character (I was a DC-kid initially) and I believe it's still a sort of stigma attached to the character which prevents people from picking up the comics. A shame really because the Hulk has a lot more debt than that growling green giant that pushed over cars and knocked down plywood walls in that 70's TV show.

But once I started reading the Hulk I realized what a great character he is....both arguably the most powerful of the terrestrial Marvel characters and an innocent, naive man-child as well.

Peter David gets props as being the best Hulk writer and his astounding long run of nearly 12 years (#330-467) was probably the only 90's Marvel comic series that was really any good...of late the Bruce Jones 4-year run was very good as well, but most of the pre PAD (Peter Allen David) books get no respect. People claim it's all lot of stories where The Hulk just runs across a monster or an alien and they fight. But the few stories I have read from this period were pretty good, a lot of grade-A villains, a lot of visiting heroes (FF, Avengers, Doc Strange et etc.) and a nice balance between the simple (stupid ?) Hulk and the wimpy but intelligent Banner.

So now I have a nearly complete run of #250- #325 in front of me...give me a few weeks to read them and I'll reblog to tell you how I found them.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Tales from the Bag part 1

Yesterday an M-bag was delivered to my house containing about 200 comics.
Always a happy occasion, but this time I was even more delighted as the M-bag had been in transit for...wait for it...I'm not kidding you....101 days

The comics were paid for in January 2006 and sent in May (don't ask)....they should have arrived in 28 to 42 days...they didn't.

The Mbag wasn't shipped to a wrong address, customs never touched it, it didn't fall of the boat and float around for a few months...it just took 101 days. Good thing patience is a virtue. To be honest I never thought I would ever see the package again and that the comics were lost for ever.

Talking of which, I really bought a bunch of really strange stuff this time, no A-titles, not even B-titles...
Curious ? Well I'll be spotlighting a few of the titles over the next few weeks.

Here's the first series from the "big bag of fun" Doctor Who (Marvel) 1-18
Doctor Who comic *strips* have appeared almost continuously over the past
35 years, but this Marvel run from 1984 was the only ongoing comic book series and was basically a repackaging of the classic (UK) Dr Who Comics weekly strips. The comics themselves have no ads at all and have thicker covers than most comics of that time and lasted for 23 issues.

Art was done by Dave Gibbons of Watchmen fame with Walt Simonson illustrating the "fact" pages with info about this new (for Americans) hero. Stories are basic, but a lot of fun and they star the best "Doctor" of all time...Tom Baker (Fourth Doctor)...the last 5 issues star Peter Davidson (5th Doctor) but I was really interested in those, so I'm happy with the first 18 issues
I also love the fact that the books are written in a real cliffhanger style, just like the original TV series, the final panel of the book always shows the Doctor in a no-win-close-to-death situation...tune in next week/month for the conclusion kids