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lyra

What do you hate or like about comics past vs. now

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As much as I like the fact that older comics were longer and able to get through a simple story in one issue, instead of just 3 panels per page like today they had upwards to 10 per page. Some of the current storylines such as Y the Last man could have 6 or more issues packed into one silver age comic equivalent. I believe the main problem with modern comics is they stretch out the stories so they can pack in a trade paper back.

 

What I like about old comics. They were available everywhere at your local drug store or 7-11. It was possible to collect a majority of the titles because Wolverine was only in the Uncanny x-men not off in six or more monthly titles. The guy can be everyone at once he's god. I liked the artwork there was more emphasis on background as opposed to foreground like today. There seemed to be more original superheroes’ in the pre-1987. The cover art also seemed to be better there are far more classic cover's pre-1987 than today. The problem is there are so many comics to choose from with a shrinking audience so they have to create loud comic book covers usually with big breasted women to lure the older male audience.

 

What I don't like about old comics. Man, they had some really bad stories and they always talked about using their powers to do this and that "I'll use my heat vision to melt this iceberg” or my super strength to lift this wall. The coloring back then was really weak for interiors the covers looked good but the toilet paper grade sandpaper was really horrid to hold. I liked the addition of baxter paper early in the 80's. The stories were often simplistic and lacked intellectual depth though this changed with Miller and Alan Moore.

 

What I like about new comics. The coloring and printing techniques are amazing they can make ultimate Spiderman look amazing despite it really not being all that great graphically. Variety of themes (not just super-heroes) this is almost a direct result of the aging audience of comic book buyers. The rise of specialty stores and the internet has allowed us to purchase and discuss such obscure titles as Hell blazer. It is just amazing you can buy any type of comic you want today. I like that covers now despite most being crap can be just as good as fine pieces of art Dave McKean or Time Bradstreet are far superior cover artists pre 1987. There are also professional authors writing comics today.

 

What I hate about new comics. It seems everything is geared toward big breasted women who dress like strippers. Remember large boobs are more likely to hinder your athletic ability and cause back pain. I can't stand that the attitudes of wolverine and the punisher instead of being atypical are no the norm. Everyone wants to be the man with no name the lone wolf. Marvel seems to be more concerned about making toys and films than their comics. I hate that they've priced comics to so high that I no longer bother to collect marvel anymore. The proliferation of so many x-men and Spiderman titles is a joke and the variants that fan's clamor for are a joke. I can't stand that people pay to have their comic encased in plastic like carbonized han solo. You’re essentially saying the story does not matter just the value when you do that. I talked to the owned of my local shop about Miracleman issue 15 and asked if he read it. He had it on his shelf and he said no because he planned on getting it graded.

nuff said.

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There is a terrific book about 1987-current comic scene called The Dark Age. It deals with the 'bad' parts of your evaluation of that time period. I have to think on this subject more before I have anything meaningful to add other than pointing to that book.

 

 

Here is a link, btw: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/189390553...glance&n=283155

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If its Present vs now, the fact that im alive to read them, i was born 1987.

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The 1980s were basically a decade of little money for me, so I never got into comics during that time. Given how much better than was supposed to be than now, I'm glad, because then I'd be really unhappy about the comics scene now. As it is, I'm not.

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Lyra, you pretty much said it all in your original post.

 

LYRA:

The coloring and printing techniques are amazing they can make ultimate Spiderman look amazing despite it really not being all that great graphically.

 

Well spotted! :D But I'd rather have a comic drawn well and printed on pulpy paper than drawn by Mark Bagley and printed with the comic-book equivalent of vocal filters.

 

Comics used to be disposable; they were cheap to buy and we had comparatively low expectations. Now comics are printed on archival-grade stock and cost around A$6 a throw, which the stories and art rarely justify. By and large the content of comic books is still disposable.

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Well, I definately liked the price better in the past than now!

Also, your value for money. You would get an entire story in two issues, today stories that should fit in two issues are stretched out to 6 issues. That pisses me off! Not all comics are like that today, but it's sure as hell harder to find two-part stories today than it was in 1987. And, I'm talking about just stupid superhero meets supervillain and kicks his ass stories being stretched out to fill 6 issues today. Only really important stories with tons of stuff happening were stretched out over more than 3 issues.

 

Besides that, it's hard to compare and contrast. They both had their good and their bad. There's a lot of comics I have problems with today, but there's a lot of comics I really enjoy reading, and that was the way it was in 1987 too.

Nostalgia value is always important too.

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What I don't like about the older comics is that the characters talked too much during action sequences. Spiderman: guilty as charged. Plus, the dialog usually described what was going on in the panel, whch mainly wasn't necessary as the art could tell the story.

 

What I like about new comics is the high tech coloring techniques and thick paperstock. Mkes everything look purty.

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Before I hated the overindulgence in long speeches during fights like Lou, as well as the way every issue was 'the most amazing issue yet'. Oh, and in the 70's they all seemed to want to confuse and disturb, including the 'lighter' ones like spidey and x-men.

 

Now I dislike the fact that everything has to be 'original', when this usually just means disregarding good ideas, and finding new and very bad ones. Like there was one in spiderman where a US senator had been an ex mercenary who was working with aliens and had become a giant blob of chewing gum (sort of). Why can't we just have more cornball? More I say!

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With the comics from the past I liked that there was a more of a fantasy element, everything did not have to be grounded in reality and be dark, and depressing. There is enough of that in the real world. I want some escapism.

Remeber the good old days when the toughest thing a hero had to worry about was stopping his/her arch-nemsis from robbing a bank or some other melodramatic world conquering scheme. Nowadays the villians kill, rape, torture, civilians and the families of heroes.

And sweet innocent, lovable and interesting supporting characters did not have sudden dark and disturbing pasts that came from nowhere and where totally against character just to be used as a plot device to trouble our heroes.

(JMS, I am looking directly at you!)

 

I too miss the more "bang for you buck" era of comics. When in some cases you would get 2-3 stories in an issue. A main story and maybe a few back ups. More pages of story in issue than 6, 7, or 8 issues today.

 

Also, I miss about past comics that appearances of non-starring characters was a big deal. For example, The Inhumans were not in every FF comic, so when they would appear in an annual or a few issues it was a treat. Nowadays the the companies want to spin-off as many characters into their own books as fast as possible. Another example: X-Men, Uncanny X-Men, X-Factor, Wovlerine, and on and on and on and on............. Wolverine, I believe, guest stars in every Marvel book now It just lessens the specialness (new word!) of his appearances. Remeber when there was just Uncanny X-Men and it was possibly the best comic on the shelves? Marvel did not have 50 "different" X-titles, they focused on one title with their resources and thus it was excellent.

 

There are two good comics today that stick with this mentality and I love them for it. Jack Staff and Invincible. Both books are great and very entertaining with a variety of characters as support. Both creators, Paul Grist and Robert Kirkman respectively, could easliy spin-off a half dozen books each using some of their support characters, but they don't. They save the appearance making the reader wait and anticipate for the next appearance of the favorite character. The character's appearance has more weight when it is once in a while. Why buy Invincible to the Guardians of the Globe if they have a book of their own? Why buy Jack Staff to see Q, Tom-Tom the Robot man, or the Druid if they have their own books?

 

Although, the good old days weren't always good, and tomorrow ain't as bad as it seems.

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OK, the past you referred to was before 1987, and that was what I addressed above, but now I have a rant.

Yes, there a ton of reasons that comic books were overall awful in the early-90s, and one could rant about that all day, but I have two major rants about the early-90s "Fantastic Four".

 

A.)The death of Reed Richards and Dr. Doom-After that issue was published, pretty much every reader wrote in and asked, "When will Reed and Doom come back? I hope it's soon." and everytime the editor replied, "Sorry. Reed and Doom are really dead. Just forget about it and move on."

After literally MONTHS of the editors saying, "There is no way Reed and Doom will ever be back.", eventually the fans started to write in saying, "I know you said Reed and Doom will never be back, and I still they will, but I'm sorry to see them go. They were two of Marvel's best characters."

Then, Reed and Doom came back (obviously!) and the editors wrote, "We fooled you all! You never thought Reed Richards and Dr. Doom would survive, but they did!"

No! You did not fool anyone! You LIED to the readers to make your story work! Everyone knew Reed and Doom were coming back and they all wrote to the letter's page and said so, and the only reason they started to somewhat believe that Reed and Doom were dead was because the editors kept telling them that Reed and Doom were really dead! Your story did not work!

 

B.)Alicia Masters marries Johnny Storm in issue #300, later ret-conned to reveal that Alicia was a Skrull all along-This plot made absolutely no sense! It was obvious that the story of Alicia falling in love with Johnny and Johnny wanting to marry Alicia was a shoe-horned in plot, as it was totally out of character for both people, but Roger Stern (the writer at the time) made it work, and Johnny and Alicia got married. But, the story-line just didn't work and the fans just didn't buy it, and everyone got bored with it before long, so how do you write your way around this without making Johnny Storm, Ben Grimm, or Alicia look bad? You ret-con it! Of course, Alicia was a Skrull all along!

This made no sense! There was not one hint that Alicia was really a Skrull in all the years the marriage of Johnny and Alicia story-line took place, until it was decided to ret-con the whole plot. But, it got the marriage out of the way, in a wholly improbable manner.

Then, readers start writing in asking, "Did you really plan that Alicia was a Skrull this whole time?" and the editors kept replying, "We always had the story plotted out that Alicia would be revealed as a Skrull."

No you did not! If you had planned this story out, you would have given us some hints that Alicia was really a Skrull, and you never did! You came up with this story-line over night to explain away an inconvenient plot.

 

OK, my rants over, but I absolutely hated the way the editorial staff at Marvel would lie to the fans and act like their readers were all complete morons.

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