My recent post on Marvel

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My recent post on Marvel

Postby Jeremus » Wed May 12, 2010 6:24 pm

I've got my postcards. I'm going to mail one a week on Fridays (so it will be there on Monday to start off their week). I will write something simple on each card like "Please bring back Nightcrawler" in blue marker. I don't know what it will accomplish except to be like a mosquito in their ear.....which is really annoying since I had one buzzing around last night.

Annoying's good. :poke
I'll be satisfied if they just roll their eyes and throw it away.....as long as it keeps reminding them of Nightcrawler. :tail
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Postby neling4 » Wed May 12, 2010 7:28 pm

I don't know what to write anymore.:(

I left a message for Joe Q. on his question thread, which he hasn't responded to for two weeks now, and asked him very politely to "Bring him back, Bub!"

I left a message on Tom Brevoort's blog, asking him when Nightcrawler would be back.

They never respond.

I'll try postcards.
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Postby Wahnsinn » Wed May 12, 2010 9:31 pm

Tom Brevoort seems to keep up with his Formspring.
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Postby Angelique » Wed May 12, 2010 10:59 pm

Hee. I sent Joey Q a copy of the comic my kids did.
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Postby neling4 » Fri May 14, 2010 3:08 am

I posted a question on Formspring, so that will be the end of that. Every time I ask one of those Marvel editors a question, they disappear.
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Postby Bamfing_Bob » Fri May 14, 2010 10:47 pm

PirateKurt wrote: In Excalibur he even had a fullbody teleporting accident where he was in a solid wall, though it hurt him it did not kill him.


Where can I find this? Approx what issue?
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Postby neling4 » Fri May 14, 2010 11:10 pm

It's in Excalibur, I believe the Ellis run. I'll see if I can find it.

Not Ellis, but Richard Ashford, drawn by Ken Lashly (Excalibur #72) and Terry Shoemaker (Excalibur #73). Kurt teleports into a wall on the last page of #72, and Kitty phases them out of the wall on the first page of #73.

[Edited on 15/5/10 by neling4]
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Postby Bamfing_Bob » Sat May 15, 2010 4:17 am

Thank you. That just goes the show that writers suck. God can strengthen Nighty to teleport from Las Vegas to Utopia (easily 500 miles) but not to simply teleport away two feet sans robot arm?
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Postby Jeremus » Sat May 15, 2010 5:59 pm

I sent my first postcard.
It felt like scooping out one tiny cup of oil out of the Gulf and saying I did something to solve the problem. :\

I'll keep doing it though.
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Postby PirateKurt » Sat May 15, 2010 10:53 pm

neling4 wrote:I don't know what to write anymore.:(

I left a message for Joe Q. on his question thread, which he hasn't responded to for two weeks now, and asked him very politely to "Bring him back, Bub!"

I left a message on Tom Brevoort's blog, asking him when Nightcrawler would be back.

They never respond.

I'll try postcards.



I am thinking...seriously about responding with photocopies of LAST MONTH'S and THIS MONTH'S receipts from the comic shop. LAST MONTH. 110 dollars, this month, 15. 95 dollars I didn't send off to marvel I normally would.
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Postby Angelique » Sun May 16, 2010 4:09 am

^Do that! Money talks, after all.
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Postby neling4 » Tue May 18, 2010 2:34 am

Maybe I should send a photocopy of my dwindling pull list.

I just checked Tom Brevoort's blog on formspring. My question keeps disappearing and I keep posting it again.

I found this interesting post:


My favorite X-character has always been Cyclops, though he's changed a great deal since the days when I liked him best. But you've definitely got to give props to the X-Office--for years, Cyclops suffered under the stigma that he was boring, or old-fashioned, or corny, or trite. But in recent years, he's really moved back towards the center of that world in a major way, and is clearly the prime mover of the X-Men's world.


I'm beginning to think they are delusional at Marvel, Inc.



[Edited on 18/5/10 by neling4]
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Postby Wahnsinn » Tue May 18, 2010 7:13 am

From what I gather, the questions aren't supposed to appear right away. They go to him, and he can choose when/if to answer them. He mentioned in an answer to an older question that he gets something like 300 questions each day and that getting an answer to your question could take weeks. :shrug
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Postby neling4 » Tue May 18, 2010 1:33 pm

Wahnsinn wrote:From what I gather, the questions aren't supposed to appear right away. They go to him, and he can choose when/if to answer them. He mentioned in an answer to an older question that he gets something like 300 questions each day and that getting an answer to your question could take weeks. :shrug


Thank you, Wahnsinn. I guess I didn't need to post the same question three times.
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Postby Wahnsinn » Wed May 19, 2010 4:05 pm

No problem. :D

I've sent a couple questions so far and am pondering another. He seems to answer around the same time of day everyday, so I wouldn't be surprised if timing plays a factor in what questions he answers first. Maybe he sees the most recent questions first?
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Postby neling4 » Thu May 27, 2010 11:04 pm

Joe Q. hasn't answered a question on his Cup O' Joe blog since Friday, April 23.

Just saw this:

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page ... e&id=26599

He completely ignored all our Nightcrawler questions.

[Edited on 8/6/10 by neling4]
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Postby Paty » Mon Aug 16, 2010 12:34 pm

Heh...
You think the Q is gonna answer any more? He is off in LaLa land and has appointed Alex Alonso and Brevoort to be his mouthpieces because he "trusts " them...???!!!

But actually, ladies and gents, I think I have figured something out.

Back in the bad old days of Hardass, some really BAD monetary decisions were made. they farmed out major characters to other publishers... in a classic mishandling of resources and corporate raiding...and , in esence, killed Gruenwad , who died of a broken heart...literally, I understand...because he loved the old Marvel.

But during these bad monetary decisions and shenanighans, Marvel pimped out the X empire to Fox... who made the first X movies... which... surprise! surprise!!... turned out to be BLOCKBUSTERS... because Avi Arad sat on the quality control of at least the first several Marvel movies. Now, fox still has the rights to the X franchise and takes most, if not all the profits and can continue to do so as long as they put out X movies.

The X franchise, under Claremont, was the strongest leg of Marvel's output...and to stupidly do this kind of a deal for short term money was a horrible and unutterably brainless thing to do... but that is corporate raiding, kiddies.

Now, with fox owning the rights to profit from X franchise movies... not Marvel... how does one void that contract and start over with one's own money making stuff??? YOU DESTROY ALL THE CHARACTERS OF THAT UNIVERSE AND START OVER.

if the characters bear no resemblence to the ones licensed lo, these many years ago, it may be possible to void the original contract so you can make your own movies... where the big bux are!!!

The boyos who don't want to build on thirty years of continuity seem to have been systematically tearing down the core characters and characterizations ... or killing off characters they cannot warp... so that the Claremont universe can no longer be said to exist...
does that sound like warped logic? well... this ain't spock, here... this is Marvel... and marvel is warped these days ... at least to my mind.

I cannot, for the life of me, figure out any other reason for Marvel to destroy the X franchise ... as they seem bound and determined to do! Jealosy of Claremont is one factor, of course... and the disrespect for him and Dave is so blatant that even the blind can see it. but it still doesn't explain this pogrom against the characters.

OK... Morrison started it with a systematic assult on the characters... but morrison is a sleazy brit who hates the american fascination with superheroes. He is over at DC now, making a shambles of THAT company... sigh...
but that madness didn't have to continue... so why has it? I can think of only one reason...no one comits monetary suicide unless there is a good reason in their greedy little hearts and warped brains... so there has to be a REASON for the seemingly crazy decisions made for the X franchise... which is rapidly being destroyed. The only thing I can think of is MONEY... MOVIE MONEY!!! And, I believe, fox still controls the money factor on the X franchise. so let's destroy the dog so that tail can't wag us...let's destroy it all and start over!!!

Then Marvel can do it's own X movies and get all the bucks for them... right? and is this a Marvel solution or a Disney one?

Cuz, believe me, folks, nothing else makes any sense! and as warped as this reasoning is, it is the only thing I can think of...
Anyone else got any other ideas? I am at my wit's end with the bad money decisions at Marvel. I cannot see how money people who are otherwise savvy about money matters can be doing such stupid things... as allowing their most lucrative franchise to be totally destroyed and disintegrated. there has to be a reason behind this... and this is the only one that makes any weird sort of fiscal sense to me. I don't know how feasable it is or the legal ramifications of such a move... but I am grabbing at straws here to try to understand this corporate machination. Will the lawyers in the group think about this and tell me if this is a possible or viable solving of that contractual faux pas?

I freely admit, I not only do not understand the convolutions of legalese... I don't want to understand them. but SOMETHING has gotta be driving this pogrom of established characters... of popular and charasmatic heroes. and, to my mind, it has to do with movie contracts and the big bux those contracts represent. It is the only thing that makes any sense.

the golden rule of any entertainment industry is "make new fans and keep the old... one is silver, but the other is GOLD!!!" they are alienating the old, golden, fans by the bucket load... so what are these moneymen thinking...cuz make no mistake... it is all money driven... all this mayhem... all this craziness...all this destruction of one of the sustaining pillars of the Marvel Universe.

anyone else got a take on this? My head hurts from trying to understand what Marvel is doing. LOgically, what they have ben doing for the past several years, makes no sense at all... unless you factor in the money issues they had with Fox... and you DO have to factor those in...although most people don't know about them... but when you do factor them in...it begins to look like a bad AIM plot to take over the world. Sometimes the real world is stranger than fiction...

this might make a better storyline than the ones they are foisting on us these days... whatta ya think?

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Postby neling4 » Thu Aug 19, 2010 2:53 am

I have no idea what Marvel is thinking, but what I have been hearing from my LCS is that comic sales are down considerably, and it is no longer worth his while to stock much that isn't on his customer's pull lists. According to him, and others I have spoken to, the comic book genre is dying. The older readers are getting older, and the younger generation does not care for comics, they prefer video games.

That is certainly true of my family. I doubt my kids would even know who Nightcrawler and Wolverine, etc are, if it weren't for me and my books.

I'm one of the "Golden Age" readers you mentioned, over 50 and still clinging stubbornly to the hobbies of my youth.

When you say AIM, do you mean AOL Instant Messenger or American Indian Movement? I didn't know either was planning to take over the world, but then I am often oblivious, lol! :)
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Postby Wahnsinn » Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:58 am

I suspect she meant the evil organization in the MU. ;)

Regarding the slow death of comics, I suspect part of it's because comics don't seem to be as fun as they once were. With as little engagement as I often feel when reading certain books, I can understand how a new reader might have a hard time getting into this (rather expensive now) hobby. They often are too busy making a point to tell the story behind it. There's also far too much effort put into writing "clever" captions and dialogue.


What's Marvel thinking? Good question, and money likely has a lot to do with it. I understand that, to a point; after all, they do need to make enough to support the production of any given book. The trouble starts when sales begin to interfere with or even dictate the creative process, as is the current rumor about the vampire arc starting off the new X-title.

Honestly, I think the biggest problem facing the X-line is editorial interference. The big stories are being put together by committees led more by editors than writers. Instead of letting the writers write, the editors are handing down plot goals that the writers must include. "Someone needs to die for this Reason in that Event. Eeny meeny miney mo …" "We want that to happen. Make it so!" The editorial staff is the common factor in the last few panned runs of oft-praised writers on UXM. Brubaker, Milligan, and Fraction are regarded as good writers. I see nothing but praise for Fraction's Iron Man, but he's getting hammered for UXM by the people who read both titles. My husband likes Brubaker enough to follow his writing from title to title, but he did not like Brubaker's UXM run at all. Milligan's run seems largely forgotten. It doesn't make any sense unless editorial interference is considered.
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Postby Angelique » Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:47 pm

Good writers doing terribly on X-books makes sense if the point is to sabotage the X-franchise. Editorial interference may also be a factor. It raised a lot of red flags even a year or so ago when I read Joey Q say stuff like how the spotlight's going to be on Cyclops.
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Postby Paty » Thu Aug 19, 2010 11:48 pm

heh...
they have these big editorial meetings to plot out what is happening in the next year. How did that start??? Gee... maybe it was an outgrowth of Morrisonn's invasion of NY... in which he did NOT involve the scads of other superheroes who LIVE there... ya think? so now, all plotlines must be coordinated cuz the fans rose up and pointed out that it made no sense... and they had to fix it with an interjected blurb or word balloon saying they were all in Brooklyn on a wild goose chase... or something equally INANE!!!

Comics should not be written by committee... NEVER!!! they are when there is an agenda that requires everyone to toe a specific line. Plot by committee will kill good writing! the only thing that will kill comics is bad writing.

there will, I hope, always be a market for people who want action and adventure and don't have the bucks to put out for x box or game boy or I aps or programs. If they are aimed only at male teens... or in the case of the x books, male adults with warped views and arrested debvelopment in social skills and morality... then they wil go the way of the dodo.

Marvel editorial... which has no resemblence to competant editorial... doesn't know what it's demographic is, any more. they refuse to accept that teen boys are not, by and large, readers, now that there are action adventure games on their computers etc. The readership needs to be females, who like to read, and minority groups that cannot afford the expensive electronic toys. And YES!!! Heroes need to be heroes again and comics need to be action and adventure and FUN!!!

Dave hated that since the success of Dark Knight, all the superdoops had to be grim and gritty... and so do I. That only works for Batman!!! Where IS the fun? Where is a "Kitty's Fairy Tale"? Where are the afternoon ball games? where is the lofty moral status that marked a HERO??? Certainly not evident in the leadership of the X Men these days. Where are the strong women who don't wear bustiers and give us twat shots and who should be in the bad guys roster, not the x men!!!
The fantasy aspect of comics that allows us to suspend our sense of disbelief at the powers and how they work is the escapism that these books provide. Stan kept a few regular kid troubles to give the readers something to identify with... but our world is hard enough to deal with these days and we need a return of the superhero for us to fantasize about and look up to and try our best to emulate.

Yeah, it is a different world than it was when I worked at Marvel. Not as idealistic... but we still NEED that idealism. We still need some outta sight adventure to take us out of our situations at home or school... or life itself. Good writers would have built on the strong, solid foundations of what Claremont laid down... but that hasn't been done. Hardass started it...with his own agenda... and his plants at marvel, like brevoort, are continuing the pattern. And I would like to know who is paying them to destroy Marvel... cuz they couldn't be doing that any faster if it WERE true.

The other culprit is the comic shop venue to begin with. The comic shop people order the books... and there are comic shop people who will NOT buy certain books even if their customers order them!!! They are basically acting to control what the readers want and get. When comics were in every village drug store on the revolving rack... every mom and pop store across the nation, instead of just a few stores in major areas, no one told people... no I will not order that book. I have heard reliable reports of people wanting the new mutants forever book and their comic shops refusing to buy it cuz the owners have a hate on for Claremont and a love affair with other writers. That blows my mind almost as much as the other craziness of Marvel making the shops buy inflated orders of certain books in order to remain on their distribution list... which I have heard about a number of shops, so I can only guess it is true. And the money guys at marvel would DO that...make no mistake... or at least they USED to... cuz who knows what is going on with Disney owning the company.

Yeah... I meant the old Marvel Villain team Advanced Idea Mechanics... or some such appellation...LOL not AOL or anoty other newby invention... I am OLD, kiddies!!! I talk in pre-FOOM Marvelese!!! LOL... y'know, back when comics were worth reading and only cost thirty five cents or less!!!
Back when there was a story every issue and the big arguement around the office was whether extended stories that took up more than one issue were valid comic work!!! Back when an ARC had four or six STORIES tied together by a common theme... not four or six vignettes tied together to form a story!!! MAYBE!!!

and yeah...maybe the kids with their Ipods and Kendalls and such will be the readers of the future and the printed word will cease to exist... but I ain't gonna bet on it until we get past dec 21, 2012!!! ... you know... when the asteroid strikes and we go back to the stone age...or the sunspots kill off all the satelites and we don't have that kind of electronic expanse of info any more... and maybe we will go back to printing four color comics with real presses instead of electronic glossy crap! DC has figured it out. they have gone back, in a lot of their books, if not all... to non glossy paper... so that a comic book feels like a REAL comic book again ... instead of a glossy magazine. It's not newsprint, for which I am grateful cuz that acid based paper was doomed in the long run... but, probably, Baxter... a grade that is acid free but still retains the non glossy feel of a real comic book. but that's DC...

I am surprised that Marvel hasn't thought of that... That kind of paper has to be a lot less expensive than the glossy stuff. They could sell less comics and still show a profit... and considering the quality of the stories lately, they may soon need to do that just to justify their existance.

I gave up a whole way of life and family to work for the Marvel that was... I wouldn't WANT to work for the Marvel that IS now. and I know people who once dreamed of working for marvel and who will not have anything to do with it now. What a waste! What a shame! and I still think that this kind of sabotage can only be a preplanned event...it takes a lot to tear down something so solidly constructed in the minds and hearts of fans... but they seem bound and determined to do it... and I wanna know WHY!!!

OK... people say comics are old hat... they are over... and I say no. there will always be a market for stories of heroism and adventure... for dreamers of fantastic adventures... and until we get back to that golden ideal, things are gonna get worse. I never thought back then that I would actually wish for the Comics Code again... but not having sex and violence and murder to fall back on in lieu of stories , made the writers write stories. IN EACH ISSUE. Maybe a ban on arcs...

Maybe Disney needs to step in and do some housecleaning and get rid of all the Hardass plants...like Brevoort... who knows?

Coitainly not this ol' broad...
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My recent post on Marvel

Postby Wahnsinn » Fri Aug 20, 2010 7:49 am

It seems Disney stays out of the way when it comes to comics and largely lets the Marvel kids play in their sandbox unfettered. At least, that's what I've heard. For that, I won't lay the blame at Mickey's feet. After all, the current comic trends were all well in place long before Disney bought Marvel.

I've been watching Brevoort's Formspring and posting the occasional question. Some of them have yet to be answered, unless I missed it, and I doubt the oldest ones ever will be. It's a shame because one was about the flawed mechanics of Kurt's death, but I digress. While he seems to give fairly honest answers about older stuff, he seems to be towing the company line on the new stuff. He is, as every other vocal editor or writers seems to be, a fan of Cyclops. I challenged Scott's plan to fetch Hope with a short-range teleporter (Kurt) by sending that teleporter to her via a long-range teleporter (Ariel), who could easily have simply returned to Utopia with Hope and had the whole issue resolved in seconds. He justified Scott's decision by citing Ariel's popularity, apparently failing to notice that he wasn't looking at it from the character's point of view; after all, Scott wouldn't know that Ariel's not popular on the other side of the 4th wall. I suspect he's not the only key editor at Marvel who thinks with that kind of flawed logic.

I have a hard time believing that they would actively try to destroy the X-franchise, though. When Marvel's main goal is to get readers spending as much cash on their books as possible, making one of the high-selling franchises so bad that even the collectivists might drop it works against that goal. I think somebody high up, likely Quesada, has some vision in his head of what he wants the franchise to be, and he's using his power to make it so--fans and accurate characterization be damned! And what writer can really function under such circumstances? Additionally, that idea seems to be regressing business practices to the same ones that caused so much trouble in the '90s. What the Powers That Be seem to have forgotten is that much of the audience is made up of people who were around during that period, and those people won't fall for the same trick twice.
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My recent post on Marvel

Postby Paty » Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:39 pm

I agree...
the pattern that is beginning to be blatant right now is the same one that Hardass seemed to have in the nineties. writers of the period used to tell confidents that the stories they turned in bore no resemblence to the ones that were printed, even if THEIR names were on the credits. He wasn't called "white out Bob" in the offices for no reason. so this latest atrocity does not surprise me. It's the Harris era all over again. and that's not surprising either, since Brevoort is a Hardass implant.

In any event, I went to my local comic shop and cancelled my pull list except for the forever series. In spite of harassment from the morrison creepoids and a boycot of buying claremont titles by certain comic shop owners, Claremont is still a gifted storyteller and one of the only hopes Marvel has of dragging it's sorry butt out of this morass of their own making.

what I cannot understand is the owner of Marvel... Perlmutter before and Dsney now, ignoring some of these destructive trends. that's not like disney. they keep a pretty tight rein on their properties. Now, they have only been in control since the beginning of the year, so maybe they are biding their time and collecting data , but I cannot think they will put up with this kind of destruction for long. If you are gonna spend BILLIONS to buy a company, you are gonna research, and you have to be able to see the trends and tides of prosperity and decline...and make some connections regarding them. Claremont is the writer emertus of the X empire. He created it with the help of Dave and Len and took it to the heights with the help of other artists... to form a major leg of Marvel's structure. The systematic destruction of his work by Hardass and others of his ilk continues to this day. Disney is a creative company... it cannot be blind to what is happening, even if it's main venue is not comics. They know what their audience... both adults and kids... and you have to consider BOTH...male and female... and you have to consider BOTH...wants. And the audience for ratville is the SAME audience youhave for comics!!!

Personally, I hope they DO step in and sort this mess out. they are the only ones with the power to do it. If they are destroying the X empire of Claremont simply to re start it and possibly recover the rights to do X movies, then I don't think we can do anything about that. If not, they gotta be made aware of the total disaffection of a vast majority of fans out here. The ones that are finally turning their backs on something they have loved for three or four decades... or better...and are walking away from the slowly dissolving corpse... and I don't mean just Nightcrawler's corpse... I mean MARVEL'S!!!

The Camelot that I gleefully endured six and a half hours of commuting per day to work at no longer exists. Will it ever rise again? Not if current trends of anti heroism continue to decimate it. Heroes do not kill. Heroes cannot make deals with the devil!!! For any reason. And we NEED the heroes. We need their ideals in a rapidly devolving society that lets electronic toys teach it's children how to function in the society. Kids need icons to look up to and maybe emulate...and adults need heroes to sigh wistfully at and cheer on and tell their kids and grandkids about.

Scott isn't a glorified boy scout any more... he is a decorated murderer. What a waste. Murdering is wolverine's bag. He's the thug... the strongarm of the crew. What does it say about our taste in heroes when someone like an unbridled wolvie ... whith his unending bloodlust... is considered a hero??
In the early books, Xavier kept him in check... but no longer. ..and if he did step over the bounds, we didn't see it and could maybe still think he was worthy of being called a hero. HE ISN'T A HERO... hE HAS PROBABLY KILLED MORE PEOPLE THAN MAGNETO AND EVERY ONE OF THEM HAS TO BE UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL AND VERY VERY BLOODY. uGH! And lest you think I am a goody two shoes of faint heart, this comment was made by someone who has been up to her elbows in the hot blood of a buck she has just killed herself... and was gutting out so the meat wouldn't spoil before she could drag it out of the woods!!!

but I digress... sigh...

I am an old fogey... I loved the heroism of the early Marvel and despise the current cyniciam and vileness of the current profferings. and you know something? If this is how it is gonna go, I am glad I am old and won't be around to see the eventual collapse. I would love to see a rebirth of idealism and heroism... but I ain't gonna hold my breath or hope to hang that long. and I really wouldn't want to raise kids that are reading this kind of crap. I would give them the classic reprints and say... this is how it should be!

But I do know one thing... all those thousands and tens of thousands of diehard fans who have finally walked away from reading the comics probably didn't walk away willingly... they were driven away by the current storylines and devolvement or destruction of characters they once loved. And these diehard fans are no longer giving comics to their kids and grand kids to read... cuz they aren't worth the paper they killed decent trees to print them on.

That's just my take on it...
Paty
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Xavier drools!
Write support the Claremont Magneto! Cast a vote for complexity in characterization! And write to protest THE USELESS KILLING OF NIGHTCRAWLER !!!
Write to :
Isaac Perlmutter , Alan Fine, Alex Alonso and Nick Lowe at
Marvel Entertainment Inc.
135 W 50th Street
New York, NY 10020
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My recent post on Marvel

Postby Angelique » Fri Aug 20, 2010 6:50 pm

Wahnsinn wrote: I challenged Scott's plan to fetch Hope with a short-range teleporter (Kurt) by sending that teleporter to her via a long-range teleporter (Ariel), who could easily have simply returned to Utopia with Hope and had the whole issue resolved in seconds. He justified Scott's decision by citing Ariel's popularity, apparently failing to notice that he wasn't looking at it from the character's point of view; after all, Scott wouldn't know that Ariel's not popular on the other side of the 4th wall. I suspect he's not the only key editor at Marvel who thinks with that kind of flawed logic.


You would be right. But that's because a lot of the "editors" actully have limited writing/storytelling experience and no experience with copy editing or art direction.

Or they honestly believe that comic books are not worthy of good, polished stories. I don't care to recall how many times I've heard, "They're just comic books," used as an excuse for poor storytelling. I know comic book companies are capable of giving us better, and I want better.
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My recent post on Marvel

Postby Elfdame » Fri Aug 20, 2010 6:53 pm

Hooray for old fogeys. We rock. :love
"Humanity is a parade of fools, and I am at the front of it, twirling a baton." From Chapter 9 of _Brother Odd_ by Dean Koontz / from Chapter 10: "Life you can evade; death you cannot."

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