Saturday, January 7, 2012
PILGRIMAGE TO TOKYO
friend of mine. Yet I am close to being insanely jealous of Martin
and his lovely wife Pam. I’ll get back to that in a bit.
Mad Scientist #24 [$5] sports a monster-rific cover and new logo by
Mark Maddox. Its 44 interior pages contain five equally terrific
articles. Arlt is the author of three of them: a history and spot-
on analysis of Godzilla vs. Hedorah (Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster)
and the latest installment of his ongoing series discussing Doctor
Who. He’s up to the seventh season of the latter. That’s two and
I’ll tell you about the third in a bit. You can feel the suspense
building, can’t you?
The learned Allen A. Debus contributes “Lovecraft’s Paleontological
Time Travels,” an intriguing study of the ancient history of those
who walked the Earth before man. Comics writer John Rozum adds a
fond remembrance of Movie Monsters: Monster Make-Up & Monster Shows
to put on, a 1975 Scholastic Book Club offering. Two more reasons
to recommend Mad Scientist #24.
Then there’s the third Arlt article, the one that has me insanely
jealousy: “Mad Scientist Meets the Oxygen Destroyer.” It’s a trip
report of Martin and Pam’s experiences with G-Tour 2, a journey to
Japan with other Godzilla devotees. Even though, as pastor of the
First Church of Godzilla (Reform), I should be above jealousy and
other negative emotions, I lost it when I saw this:
dispatched my Lord and Master in the first Godzilla movie. Also in
the article is a photo of Martin holding the diving helmet worn by
the tragic Serizawa in that legendary film.
I’m monster-green with envy of Martin and Pam’s Japanese adventure.
The article only covers the Godzilla-centric portion of their trip,
but I would love to read more (as in “all”) about it. If my dream
of visiting Japan remains unrealized, maybe I can vicariously enjoy
it through my friends.
Mad Scientist remains one of my favorite magazines. For ordering
information, visit the website.
I just started reading Showcase Presents Batman Volume 5 [$19.99],
but, one story in and I already wanted to gush about it. The book
reprints Batman stories from Batman #216-228 and Detective Comics
#391-407 from 1969-1971.
The story I read was “The Gal Most Likely to be Batman’s - Widow”
by Frank Robbins with art by Bob Brown and Joe Giella. The cover
for that issue - Detective Comics #391 - is by Neal Adams.
Let’s talk about the cover first. Under a “1963 Class Predictions”
header, we have “photos” of Ginny Jenkins, her marrying Batman, and
her standing at his grave. Even in black-and-white, the design and
content of this cover is intriguing and inviting. Today’s pin-up
covers can’t hold a candle to it.
The story? What a pleasure to read a Batman story in which he isn’t
a psychotic douche bag. I like this Batman. He’s both smart and
compassionate...and he’s pretty much a supporting character in his
own story as Robbins skillfully makes Ginny and her would-be beau
the focus of the tale. Brilliant.
Bob Brown? I have loved his art since he followed Jack Kirby in
took over Challengers of the Unknown. He drew a muscular
and rugged Batman that worked well with Robbins’ more realistic
scripts. The Denny O’Neil/Neal Adams team did outstanding work
during this time, but guys like Robbins, Brown, and Irv Novick also
did some first-rate comic books.
Showcase Presents Batman Volume 5 is definitely recommended. I’m
looking forward to revisiting these great stories.
Bloggy thing reader Mike Chary asked:
“What about the moral rights of Ditko and the others who created
the characters Watchmen was based on?”
That’s a good question and one I had not given a lot of thought to.
Now that I have...
While those Charlton characters were admittedly the starting point
for Watchmen, there were only superficial similarities remaining by
the time Watchmen was published. Doctor Manhattan’s origin is more
like Gold Key’s Doctor Solar than Captain Atom’s and, beyond the
origin, there’s simply no comparison.
Nite Owl bears the closest resemblance to Blue Beetle, his Charlton
counterpart, but I don’t see anything of Nightshade in Watchmen’s
The Peacemaker and Thunderbolt are starting points for the Comedian
and Ozymandias, but the personalities and histories of the Charlton
heroes aren’t remotely like those of the Watchmen characters.
As much as I might disagree with much of Ditko’s political twaddle,
Rorschach is not the Question. Rorschach is a social misfit unable
to interact with the normal world around him. The Question is able
to function very comfortably in the normal world.
Now, if you’re talking my sense of morality, I think DC should give
a taste of the Watchmen financial action to the creators of those
Charlton characters whose creators are known to us. But if you’re
talking Ditko’s sense of morality, I just don’t know. Some of his
past statements seem to indicate that he doesn’t believe work-for-
hire creators are entitled to any further compensation beyond their
original paychecks. But, without seeing any recent Ditko statement
of creator rights, I’m not really sure where he stands.
I’d love to hear how other comics professionals and readers would
answer Mike’s question.
Thanks for spending a part of your day with me. I'll be back
tomorrow with more stuff.
© 2012 Tony Isabella