Welcome to the Mr. Silver Age Discussion Section!
I'm Craig Shutt, aka the "Mr. Silver Age" behind the Ask Mr. Silver Age column for the Comics Buyer's Guide. Captain Comics has generously offered up this space due to the ongoing troubles with maintaining a Forum over at CBG's site. I hope to continue the interesting historical discussions and wacky fun we’ve had there for many years.
Don’t let the “Silver Age” portion of the title confuse you: discussions here can range over any portion of comics history or even current comics that relate to ideas or stories from the past. If they were that restrictive, I wouldn't be able to post the cover I just did over to the left, which has been one of the favorites at the CBG Forum, don't ask me why.
There’s really no restriction on what we can talk about here, except that we must remain respectful of others’ opinions, even as we explain why they are dead wrong. In other words, just like Cap’s other sections.
Likewise, don’t take that “ask” portion of the CBG column literally.Certainly, questions are always welcome (and there are only a few dumb ones). But any topic someone wants to start a thread to discuss is fair game. Just like Cap’s other sections.
I look forward to regathering the Legion of AMSA Fans at our new home and hope that you regular habitués of Cap’s Forum will quickly add this section to your regular haunts.
Glad to see you here, Dave! I'm also glad to see the Prince remains at the top of your Must-Read pile and is never far from your uploading folder. I think the only thing we actually agree on about Goody and his value in being posted around here is that his issue sports the greatest cover line in the history of comics.
BTW, I found that we can control the size that our photos appear, which goes way beyond CBG's sites's capabiities. If you download a GCD cover to your folder and then post it, I think it shows up as being 400 pixels and displayed Full. But you can change that both with the position and by changing the number of pixels. For instance, to make it smaller and wrap it, set the image to Left and make the pixel count 200.
That's what I did for my Goody cover, and it looks good (and fits nicely on my screen without much scrolling). You can set it anywhere you want to make it the size that looks best with what else you're posting.
It's really nicely flexible, and that should be handy when we post some of those cover-heavy posts.
Needless to say, the editing function is a definite plus, as long as we find all our typos within 15 minutes. That should be enough.
Well, I’d written the following response to Andrew Horn's query before Mr Silver Age summed it all up in a more concise version. I’ll present the TL:DR form anyway as there might be some extra useful info in it...
First of all, it's great to have you here, Craig, and all the friends you've brought along. New voices are always welcome. Having read your first few posts, I'm looking forward to reading more of them. I'm a huge fan of the Silver Age Superman in particular, although my reading of him is pretty much limited to what they've put out in the Showcase 'phonebooks'. Since I have yet to read the bulk of those great 60s stories, I was glad to see that your piece on Superman on Trial wasn't too spoilery.
Regarding how things work around here, well, I'm not a moderator but I think I can point out a few things. There are 3 ways to post if you want to start a new topic: 1. Blog posts (at the top of the home page), 2. Discussions in the Forum (bottom half of Home page) and 3. Group Discussions. (The specialist subjects over there on the far right.)
1) A Blog Post, like Craig has already done. The advantage is that it sits on the main page until another 5-6 blog posts arrive and knock it off. (Usually about 4-6 days). Certain members have regular 'columns' that they post there. Captain Comics' reviews, Commander Benson's authoritative Silver Age columns, X-phile Chris Fluit's wide-ranging columns mainly focusing on more recent comics and comics-related fare, and Powerbook Pete's useful list of this week’s comics. As far as I know there is nothing to stop anyone from posting a blog up there too. I've written a handful myself. The advantage is that in the short term, they get more attention and consideration but they sink largely out of sight out of mind once they fall off the front page.
2) We've largely settled on The Forum in the bottom half of the home screen for most of our discussions. The big advantage is that unlike the blogs, it will stay on the front page for as long as people are replying and will pop up back there when anyone revives it. Some discussions, particularly reading or viewing projects, can be months (or even years) long. We love a good long in-depth discussion of some corner of Geekdom on this board. Somewhat particular to the Ning board is the functionality that the opening post stays on the top of the page no matter what page of the thread you are on, so it can be useful to put in references or links that people reading the thread might want to refer back to. This Captain Britain thread is a good example. The opening post can be edited as often as you like, but replies in the thread are only editable for 15mins. I think we are all still finding new ways to use the Ning forum, but feel free to start a thread with any questions about making it work. (Discussion opening posts can be edited at will, but edits to blog posts need to be approved by our venerable Captain before going up. As do the initial Blog posts.)
Once you go into the forum, you’ll see that there are separate sections for TV and Movies, General Non-Comics discussions etc. There are general threads for ‘movies I’ve seen lately’ or ‘What Comics have you read today?’ if you just want to drop a quick comment. Personally, I find the conversation flows better if you start its own thread for bodies of work you are going to be reading or viewing in a systematic way, like our Dark Shadows and Godzilla threads.
3) The third option is the Discussion Groups on the right hand side. We’ve largely stopped using them for a couple of reasons. For one, you need to be a member of that group to post. This isn’t a big deal, but ‘it’s a thing’. The other disadvantage is that once something is posted in these areas, we only know about it for the short time it is mentioned in the news stream on the left of the home page. So you might post the most astounding thread-starter that we’d all love to participate in, but none of us would know it’s there. Generally a topic has more chance of being picked up and commented on if it’s on the Forum.
I hope this info nudges anyone sitting on the fence towards posting sooner rather than later.
(The smilies folder on the bottom right corner there is very easy to use. Just copy the HTML version of whatever gif you want to use. If you are bothered that is...)
>Sometimes, it can get ugly around here, particularly when the topic comes up as to which comics did the greatest damage to the Silver Age, threatening in some cases to bring the entire decade of the 1960s crashing down around our heads as kids ran screaming from the spinner racks in fear and disgust, and angry parents vowed to the hapless shopkeepers, "I'll see your store closed down if you dare expose my innocent young son to that kind of horror ever again." Like, say, this here comic book.>
Nice to see the reappearance of Dave "the man doth protest too much methinks" Blanchard, making a truly signature entrance. As for me, I have my own ideas on which comic did the greatest damage. I wouldn't pretend to make an absolutist statement that this is the culprit but I would submit that was rather more responsible than the Prince for opening the door to the entropic slide into decadence.
Were I to be given those two choices, and I agree there were other notable candidates so I don't have to pick one of them, I'd have to go Dave's way first. Scooter was fairly unique and showed DC trying something different, which was a good thing. Granted DC had no clue what it was that it was doing, which hurt the book's chances to be popular. But it wasn't like anything else out there, and it lasted a good long time. Those early issues really weren't bad, and they should've worked to figure out how to make them better rather than throwing in the towel and turning it into a bigfoot Archie-style book.
Whereas the Prince was a mediocre semi-superhero hiding behind an on-going "mystery" title logo. Mediocre writing, mediocre drawing, and no ties to anything else in the DCU. He's not bad enough to be good, and nowhere near good enough to be good. That's what could do in the SA.
But I think we can all agree that Goody is as clear a sign as anything could possibly be that the SA ended sometime before he showed up.
As perhaps the first person to post a cover of Goody Rickels on the old Mr. Age Forum, I am quite pleased to see the Goodster given his proper due as the mascot of all that's good and wonderful about Silver Age discussions (even if they veer slightly outside the boundaries of the Silver Age itself).
Since Goody has already made his first appearance, I guess it would be up to me to throw a note of caution out there to those new to the Mr. Age Forum: Sometimes, it can get ugly around here, particularly when the topic comes up as to which comics did the greatest damage to the Silver Age, threatening in some cases to bring the entire decade of the 1960s crashing down around our heads as kids ran screaming from the spinner racks in fear and disgust, and angry parents vowed to the hapless shopkeepers, "I'll see your store closed down if you dare expose my innocent young son to that kind of horror ever again." Like, say, this here comic book.
The truly frightening thing about the Prince was that, while he was a third rate Doctor Strange and he made the bland feature he replaced (Mark Merlin) look good and was by no means a potential Justice Leaguer, he fulfilled all the qualifications for JLA membership. He was a contemporary hero on Earth with super powers and his own strip! Can you imagine what would have happened if Julius Schwartz and Gardner Fox just lost their common sense for a moment and added him to the roster?
With all the super-hero films out there, there could have been Prince Ra-Man: The Movie! It probably would have starred Nicholas Cage!
Eclipso and Prince Ra-Man together in one book - can't believe that one didn't sell like hotcakes! Especially with that cover - that is one ugly looking book.
And by the way - welcome to Mr Silver Age, glad to have you here.
Thanks, Doc! You may change your mind if we keep posting covers like the ones above. Sadly, I think that will probably happen.
I'm glad to see this new forum, Craig, and look forward to many scintillating discussions!
I don't see why Prince Ra-Man gets so much grief. Personally, I love his noodles.
A couple of things about art:
When you're first uploading/posting the art you have a number of options, some of which are illustrated. For example, there are four or five options for placement. "Full" stops the copy for the art, and resumes after the art. "Left" places the art on the left and wraps the type on the right side; "Right" places the art on the right and wraps type on the left. There are a couple of others; if you squint at the tiny illustration you can see what each button does.
Also, you can opt to have the art placed as a smaller size than you scanned, and put a thumbnail in your post that readers can expand to full size with a click. I do this with most of my covers; I scan (or size with Photoshop) 72dpi and 650p depth, but insert a thumbnail at 200 or 250, or whatever fits best. For the solicitations, the thumbnails are only 100p deep because that keeps them from overlapping with the next solicit.But with a click, you can see the full 650.
But the best part is this: If you're unhappy with how your art is sized -- say you discover that two are overlapping -- right-click on the art and a window pops up with EDIT and DELETE options. Click on Edit, and you can completely re-do all your options! This is a relatively recent tool, and one I use a lot. You can move your art within your post with a simple cut-and-paste.
There are two downsides to ning that I've discovered. One is that they have changed the blog tools three or four times now with no word of warning. Suddenly, one fine day, your options have changed and you have to learn how the new tools work. Fortunately the changes are never major or counter-intuitive -- just a weird, occasional stumbling block. And since the changes are nearly always for the better (like adding the EDIT function for art), I really can't complain. The other is that in some types of posts the responses are chronological, whereas in other kinds of posts they are the reverse. That's annoying, but hardly end of the world stuff.
Also, I should mention that we've only been at ning for a year or two. Our previous site, captaincomics.us, is still up in read-only -- and since I'm still paying for the storage, by all means take a look! There are bajillions of posts there on all sorts of topics.