Robin Olsen:

I just can't help thinking that Kirby's sales figures didn't help his cause any, either, and maybe not enough READERS were "accepting" Kirby's more ambitious stuff"

Okay, folks. Let's focus. I wanna hear what DC comics WERE "successes" in the early 70's. I wanna know whose books WEREN'T getting cancelled left-right-and-center.  Because it sure as HELL wasn't GREEN LANTERN-GREEN ARROW, or DEADMAN, or AQUAMAN, or HAWKMAN, and frankly, most of the DCs from the early 70's were books I wouldn't touch with a ten-foot-pole, so I'm a bit in the dark as to exactly what they were publishing.

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...What is/was it , BTW , Henry that you so disliked about " most " of National's early 70s release sheet ???????

I often think when Jack Kirby pitched his new books to DC they thought they were getting Captain America (Mr Miracle), Thor (New Gods) and Fantastic Four (Forever People) and they were understandably disappointed they weren't the out and out Marvel super-hero titles they expected.

Of all the titles that Kirby did for DC in the 70s, the closest to an actual "super-hero" book he did was The Sandman and 1st Issue Special: Manhunter. And both of those were Golden Age revivals. In fact, maybe the GA reprints of the Sandman, Manhunter, the Newsboy Legion and the Boy Commandos in his Fourth World titles only reminded the DC honchos of the type of books they really wanted from Kirby.

I knew I was forgetting a humor title... thanks for the memory jog on Larry Harmon's Laurel and Hardy. One of the all-time worst comics DC ever assembled, by the way (I say "assembled" because there's no real indication that anybody on staff at DC had anything to do with it... they look more like stuff imported from Europe that was hastily relettered and slapped together overnight).

 

A Date with Judy got recycled a couple different ways. In one of the DC Specials, they just changed her name to Candy, and otherwise left the stories more or less intact. Also, there was a Scooter giant that has unmistakable Drucker art, but I've never been able to place exactly where it came from (the GCD is no help on this one). If somebody would put together a list of all of Drucker's DC work, I would be much obliged.

...Yes , what I said , LHL&H (Larry Harmon , the " best-known Bozo The Clown " , also apparently had the cartoon/mersh rites to Stan & Babe .) was apparently reprinted UK-originated material...I bought it at the time and liked it . Why would they have relettered it ??? To take out Brit spellings of " colour " , " labour " , "centre ", etc. ?

  As I said , I have seen a repro of a Superman-gag cover to the never-published LHL&H  #2 .

  #1 received a house ad , as I said , perhaps DC canceled it after it was too late to pull the first ish - and its PR - entirely .

  Thank you .

Dave Blanchard said:

I knew I was forgetting a humor title... thanks for the memory jog on Larry Harmon's Laurel and Hardy. One of the all-time worst comics DC ever assembled, by the way (I say "assembled" because there's no real indication that anybody on staff at DC had anything to do with it... they look more like stuff imported from Europe that was hastily relettered and slapped together overnight).

 

A Date with Judy got recycled a couple different ways. In one of the DC Specials, they just changed her name to Candy, and otherwise left the stories more or less intact. Also, there was a Scooter giant that has unmistakable Drucker art, but I've never been able to place exactly where it came from (the GCD is no help on this one). If somebody would put together a list of all of Drucker's DC work, I would be much obliged.

Very astute observation!  At some level, this is probably very true...

 


Dandy Forsdyke said:

I often think when Jack Kirby pitched his new books to DC they thought they were getting Captain America (Mr Miracle), Thor (New Gods) and Fantastic Four (Forever People) and they were understandably disappointed they weren't the out and out Marvel super-hero titles they expected.

...Thank you , Robin :-) .

Robin Olsen said:

Emerkeith, in case you're interested, there are reprints of British comics with Laurel and Hardy over at COMIC BOOKS PLUS. I don't remember exactly WHICH ONES, but, hey, you might see something ELSE you like while you're searching -

Question about the mod-era Diana Prince/New Wonder Woman. When Diana regained her powers was there any mention again of her missing memory of I Ching? I'd be surprised if there'd been no follow up to those wilderness years where Steve Trevor was killed by Doctor Cyber, Paradise Island disappeared into another dimension, Cathy Perkins arrived and Diana opened a boutique.

Maybe someone mentioned it here and I missed it, but among the DC humor titles still going at the time of Kirby's return to DC was The Adventures of Jerry Lewis, which staggered along until its 124th - and last - issue in May/June 1971.

 

By the way, the early 1970s at DC was the absolute high-water mark in any comic publishers' history in my opinion, I just wish I could say anywhere near the same for the writing - especially the dialogue - in Kirby's books.

Regarding Dandy's question, WW's memory loss was brought up again at the start of the recently-reprinted Twelve Labours storyline. WW found out about it, and that was her motivation for asking the JLA to put her on trial. Dr Cyber came back later in the sequence.

It's a tricky thing.  When I was a youngster, I didn't understand how the creative process works.  I thought the writer conceived the entire story solo, and directed the artist what to draw, panel by panel.  I think it even did and does work that way sometimes; John Byrne has referred to his role on some assignments he has taken on as the "art robot".  I didn't understand what the editor, or the inker for that matter, did.

It wasn't until I was in my teens and had read up a bit that I understood what the "Marvel Method" was.  I didn't know how collaborative the process could be.  It could be (for example) Stan and Jack kibbitzing (sp?) for hours in the office, in a car, etc; it could be Stan giving an artist a one sentence plot: next issue, Spidey fights the Rhino, for example.; the plotting could be 50/50 or it could be 95/5, either way, the artist is doing a lot more than just drawin' them purty pitchers.

Stan Lee didn't draw anything, but he wrote, he plotted, he did dialogue.  Jack Kirby and other artists didn't and don't just do static drawings, they are storytellers in every sense of the word.  Let's please not have the argument again, but I can see why there is such contention over credit: there is so much overlap.

I'm using Kirby as an example because he tried it all: he drew, he plotted, he supplied dialogue, he could tell a story with his pencils alone.  Opinions are all over the map on Kirby's work, as it is on many creators, no one is universally loved or panned, though some come close.

I'm still to this day a little fuzzy on what a comic book editor does or should do.  I do think the job requires a specific skill set and that even the most talented creators (yes, even the writers) do not necessarily make a good editor.  To me, it's like a coach in pro sports, the best players don't always make the best coach.

I think someone like Kirby being an editor came about maybe because Jack wanted as much control as possible over his storytelling; or he had editors that made him think he could easily do the job.  I haven't read enough of the work Kirby edited to offer an opinion on whether or not he was a good editor, but I can certainly offer the opinion that Jack was a dynamic and unique storyteller. 

I've always been of the opinion that the writer-editor position, prevalent at Marvel prior to Jim Shooter becoming EIC in 1978, wasn't a good thng, excluding Roy Thomas,  Roy and the others that were writer-editors - Len Wein, Marv Wolfman, Gerry Conway and others - would leave Marvel for DC within a few years after Shooter took over, and DC let them be writer-editors, but only for a while.  I just believe that as a general rule, two sets of eyes are better than one as far as editing goes.  It's just human nature to not be self-critical; I think Roy was the only one who could do it.  Certainly a lot of mid 70s Marvel books needed better editing than they had, again, just my opinion.

It's tricky because it's rare to have someone have all the skill sets and be good at every facet.  Creator X can be a great artist and storyteller.  BUT - can they plot well on their own?  Can they supply good dialogue?  Can they do what an editor does, and do it well?  It's so subjective.

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