Which do you prefer and why?

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Have only read one 1963 book, so I guess it's Big Bang by default for me.

I'm not familiar with Big Bang but I was very unimpressed with 1963.

I tried Big Bang a few times and never could get into it. I liked 1963 though, it was good not great. And 1963 never did finish.

I'm not sure what you're referring to but others seem to. Can you fill me in?

Big Bang was a retro series which published its own universe of Golden, Silver and Bronze Age characters. It was originally published by Caliber, but was later picked up by Image Comics where it ran 35 issues plus several specials and a mini-series.

 

1963 was series of six interconnected one-shots loosely based on the Marvel Universe of 1963. It was to have concluded in an "Annual" featuring the Image mainstays and set in the present day, but it was never concluded.

 

 

I was sorting a few boxes the other day, one thing lead to another, I ended up re-reading some of these comics, and was curious what the rest of you thought of them.

 

Oh ok, thanks. I'm not familiar with either but 1963 sounds a bit more appealing to me.

I liked the Big Bang books that I've read, but they were often hard to find.

Comparing Big Bang and 1963 is a little like comparing Star Trek and Star Wars in that there's so much more of one, but the other is somewhat higher profile. For me, I think I prefer Big Bang. One time I was standing in line at my LCS behind a woman and her son, who wanted to buy Spawn. (I think I've told this story before, but not for a while.) The mother wasn't at all convinced, but the clerk was giving the sale his best shot. No one asked me, so I kept my mouth shut and didn't offer an opinion. In my hand, however, was a copy of Big Bang #13 featuring The Sphinx drawn by Jeff Weigel. (There's a guy who's work I'd like to see more of and can't imagine why Marvel or DC haven't snatched him up by this time.)

 

Big Bang #13 offered everything the mother was looking for, and everything I would have been looking for, too, when I was her son's age. If I'd've read by the the time I was standing in that line, I would have recommened it to them both.

I have a love-hate relationship with 1963.  I admired the work and attention to detail that went into it, but the attitude behind it seemed more mocking than loving, so it tended to leave a bit of a bad taste in my mouth.

I've seen Big Bang books, but never read any.



Doctor Hmmm? said:

I have a love-hate relationship with 1963.  I admired the work and attention to detail that went into it, but the attitude behind it seemed more mocking than loving, so it tended to leave a bit of a bad taste in my mouth.

I've seen Big Bang books, but never read any.

 

 


1963 has a split personality when it comes to its attitude to early Marvel comics. On the one hand the stories themselves are every bit as inventive, fun and lovingly put together as early Marvel. They glow with affection for what they are pastiching. They are real tributes from the creative giant of one era (Moore) to the creative giants of another ( Kirby, Ditko and Lee)

On the other hand, the editorials, letters pages and ads are the kind of incisive satire that only genuine disappointment and anger, combined with deep familiarity with the subject matter, can produce.

I was, and continue to be, very happy with that balance. Much of the behaviour of comics companies was shameful (or in the case of a lot of the surrounding culture, just foolish, in hindsight). However, I feel creators, including Moore after he'd moved on from 1963 and Supreme, sometimes throw the baby out with the bathwater by confusing the product with the system that produced them, and writing off both.

1963 makes the distinction, and the immitation elements are the sincerest form of flattery in them.

I was initially going to posit that you were comparing apples with telephones with these two, Jeff, but Big Bang as a whole and the comic pages of 1963 both attempt sincerely to recreate what was great about the comics of yesteryear. 'Apples' and 'Apples'. Only 1963 also has the 'Telephone' elements of the caustic satire of comics culture of the time, which probably doesn't come into Big Bang comics.

I've only read a few Big Bang comics. They seemed well thought through and well-produced, but they were such a close pastiche of what is now available in DC's Showcase volumes, down to the dopplegangers of Superman, Batman et al, that perhaps they are somewhat redundant now. Like drinking 'Own Brand' coke instead of the real thing.

In contrast, 1963 created *parallel* versions of Marvel's characters. Although they were similar, and could be mapped onto them, were also quite clever original creations in their own right. 1963 also had more fun with the specific historical period than Big Bang did - which echoes how Marvel was probably more engaged with its times than DC was during the Silver Age.

Darin and Figs have pretty much nailed the problems I had with 1963. I’m still working my way through the color issues of Big Bang, then I plan to move on to 1963, but I’ll be reading only the stories and not the editorial material. I can see the “apples to telephone” comparison; that’s what I was getting at yesterday with Star Trek/Star Wars. When I compare the franchises, I prefer Star Trek, but when I compare just the movies, it’s Star Wars hands down. I think “pastiche” is a pretty good description of what’s to be found in Big Bang comics. They are not “just like” Golden Age comics (as many assert), but half the fun is picking out the creators, stories and characters being honored (and I do think “honored” is the proper term).

The editorial from the first Image issue begins: “They say that a society’s heroes serve as a mirror of its culture. What a perfectly dreadful thought. What are we revealing about ourselves when we choose to peer into a mirror that scowls and grimaces back? Enter Big Bang.”

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