Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A 'Slight' History of the Golden Age of Comics Books: Super Heroes: A Wordy Introduction

As the title of this blog states, this is for all things "Inside My Head". Up until now, it's all been stuff that's already in there...but I want to use it for things going in as well.

In all things I like, I like to know the full history. Movies, TV, Radio, Music, Comic Strips, etc. I like to know the whys and wherefores and what inspired and drove the contributors to said art-forms. To do this I need to be able to view/read/listen to everything that ever came down the pike in that medium.

One thing that's been difficult has been Comic Books. Something that's been near and dear to my heart since I was old enough to turn the pages by myself.

Someone smarter than me once said, "Comic books are the one type of book a child will pick up and read without being told to...and the one form where, they will go to the dictionary and look up a word they don't know, to better understand.", I think that's true.

The reason it's been difficult to read all that came before me has been that, it's financially prohibitive to go out and buy comic books from the 1930's-1960's because of the collectors market that's come into being. When comic books are anywhere from 4 to 7 figures per copy...it ain't gonna happen. I have no dead uncles ready to die and leave me a fortune. I've checked.

Historical books have been printed, but usually all they ever print are cover images...I want to read the stories, dammit! Also, these books are hampered by copyright restrictions and financial obligations of their own. Some are produced in black and white (at least in part...and this is decidedly a color medium), there's a limited audience for high print runs which raise the cover price and the douches at DC and Marvel who are the majority owners of this material are...well...douches and prohibit much of anything being done with their shit that they are unable to count the shekels for themselves.

That being said it's only fair to say that, DC and Marvel have actually done a nice job of presenting their past material themselves over the past 10 years in nice "Archive" or "Masterwork" reprint series...but at $50 a pop...what's a poor schmuck like me to do to be a completest?


The information age is truly upon us and I now, with the investment of some man-hours and some hard drive space, can glom onto a rich supply of comic books which I have only had the pleasure to hear about for decades, and can finally appreciate first hand. I love it.

Over the last decade or so plus, I have come to garner a rudimentary sense of what came before...and with the structure of this blog I can sort it out in my "head".

The realm of Comic Books covers a wide range of genres, Super Hero (by the way, this phrase and the word "Superhero" are copyrighted and trademarked jointly by DC and Marvel...I'd like to take this opportunity to say "Fuck You"...you cannot restrict my language with legal shit), Humor, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Western, Horror, Crime Stories and on and on. In my initial study, and for the time period I'm focusing on, I'm sticking with S*per H*roes (there, happy?) as the framework and will go back and uncover the other layers later. More on why and the breakdown's of time periods in future posts.

I've invited as many S*perh*roes as I can (i.e. "Heroes of a Superical nature") down to "The Drink Hole" for some one on one's as a visual aid...they're lining up outside now at the Registration table.

I hope you enjoy what's to come and join me as a fill up my head with more useless stuff.

A smart guy would split this in-depth study into a separate blog to better market it and allow search engine crawlers to find it. The reason I don't have any set subject matter category for my blog is just what my profile says, quoting Balzac..."If my mind was a river, it would not be very deep, but it would be wide.".

Inside my head are many things and interests. I'd get bored covering the same thing every day. So don't worry, while this will be a semi-regular topic, my mind will continue to wander and my head will "dunk" in many waters.

I hope you'll come along.

It'll be fun!

I promise!

Tomorrow: What the heck is "The Golden Age"?

P.S. To the lawyers at DC (a Time-Warner company) and Marvel (a Disney subsidiary), I will be talking about Comic Books published by (DC's original names) All-American Comics, Detective Comics, National Publication and (Marvel's former name) Timely Comics in my research. Cartoons I draw of characters of these characters fall into the legal view of "parody" and are allowed be law. If I publish digital versions of actual/original comics, stories or images, let it be known that this is a "review site" and any reproduction falls under "fair use" of copyrighted material. May the Flying Spaghetti Monster bless the digital age. Freedom of information is freedom of self.

If any of the original artists or writers of these characters are still alive, I'll be happy to pay for use of their creations. The corporate stooges who inherited the titles, did nothing but show up to work in a tie...they can "Suck it!".

1 comment:

Marco said...

Great Loudon Wainwright interview from August - totally off topic of course for this post


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