Friday, November 17, 2006

Seven Hells, Jim Shooter and David Lapham

Seven hells has a great post on the Conway-ization of the JLA and exactly where Meltzer is pulling some plot threads and ideas from. And not in a bad way. It brings to mind a comment that Jim Shooter once threw at me that I've thought about on and off over the years.

David Lapham was drawing Warriors of Plasm at the time, and Jim had taken him over to meet Neal Adams, expecting that Neal would deliver a tough critique to the rapidly evolving artist just to sort of "give him a nudge." And Neal ended giving David a rather nice critique, letting Jim down. What Jim said that he was after was, and I'm forgetting all the context of the conversation here, so bear with me, to stop David from going whole hog on just doing things "his way". "There is always that point in an artist's development that they start to decide to do their "Iron Man" or their "Spider Man" and you have to control that."

And I found myself thinking, some of the heroes that I remember best were when the artists broke out of the house mold and did their versions. That was when things got fun. Those "non-generic" versions were the ones that burned their way into my brain. And, clearly, when Gerry Conway came over from Marvel in the '70's to DC, he brought as much of the Marvel style as DC's editors would accept, so we got a watered down "Marvel-style" JLA among other books.

Much like when Busiek wrote his "Avengers Forever" mini-series (with the killer Pacheco artwork), he was continuing the great Englehart Celestial Madonna saga as well as following up Thomas' Kree/Skrull war. Nothing wrong with that at all, except that he got caught in the continuity trap for too many issues. But it certainly let us know when little Kurt started reading comics.

I would say that there is nothing wrong with creators bringing their passion and love of their favorite issues to modern comics as long as they don't get so mired in the continuity that they spoil the story. Or if they start bringing back the Freak in Iron Man. Lets just not go there.

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