Unca Ben

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  1. I do like all the articles written by Ditko that you've posted. Seen a few of 'em before, but they're always interesting. Ditko seems... intense. And there's nothing wrong with that.
  2. And I agree with this. It is all the exaggerated and incendiary language that I can't help but notice. And one-sided sources. If a point can be made with critical reasoning, then there's no need to attempt to manipulate a readers emotional response. And I couldn't help but notice that only the sourced quotes that supported the claim that Stan demanded that the artists come up with the stories were referenced; it took "Stan's defenders" to bring up the Romita and Steranko quotes that contradicted the narrative. And here's an incendiary language example: Martin Goodman reneged on his agreement about royalties for Captain America with Joe and Jack. Joe later sued (twice?) over ownership of Captain America and settled out of court. That's what happened. To make the statement, "Goodwin straight out stole Captain America from Jack and Joe" elicits an emotional response from the reader and isn't completely accurate. Why the need for this kind of inflammatory statement if logic and reasoning with a brief factual account of martin's behavior in this - but without the potential emotional manipulation- can make the same point. Using this rhetoric, who did Joe and Jack "steal" Captain America from? ...so Martin "stole" from Joe & Jack, who had "stolen" from Shorten and Novick. It seems everybody was playing fast-and-loose with intellectual properties back then. Not just Martin. (although he was more guilty of this than most) If DC could successfully sue Fawcett over the similarities between The Big Red Cheese and Superman, then this could have been a no-brainer. In the Patrick Ford blog about Ditko's Sore Spot article, Patrick injects his own remarks, that without careful reading, might be attributed to Ditko ( appending the following text [BECAUSE IT IS ACTUALLY THE PROPERTY OF THE ARTIST.] at the end of a Ditko quote). Ditko wrote no such thing, in fact Ditko has stated the opposite. But that didn't fit Patrick's narrative. And mixing in opinions among historical narrative ... eg: "Stan's shallow writing". -I think that was another of Patrick's. I don't remember. All this to manipulate the reader to a predetermined conclusion. ...and I'm not a "Stan Lee sycophant' - not that you said I was, but why the need for more inflammatory rhetoric when other phrases that might further the conversation in a constructive manner might be used? LASTLY - when I gave examples of what I thought were great Stan Lee stories (Sons of Serpent, first Titanium Man story arc, etc) you compared them to the Galactus Trilogy, arguably one of the greatest arcs in Marvel silver age history. I submit that most of Jack's own FF stories aren't in the same category as the galactus Trilogy, either. I submit that the stories that I cited are in the same category (or better) as many of Jack's FF stories. Why use the galactus trilogy instead of the Infant Terrible - or the Impossible Man - or Tomazooma the Living Totem? I would rate Sons of the Serpent up there with The Brutal Betrayal of Ben Grimm (FF 41-43) which to me is a great Kirby FF story arc. Why the need to use such an (outstanding) outlier as FF48-50 instead of the body of work as a whole. (which was what I based my statements on) Anyways, it's great chatting with you on the subject. And i've really enjoyed your latest Archie installments. Your love of the medium is abundantly clear! Edit: I realized that I've used this post to comment on two separate topics. It was easier for me. Mea Culpa
  3. That is one downfall about reading through a series at once; kinda like binge-watching an old television series. Reading a series issue after issue without a month (or two) wait between issues may magnify repetitious themes, dialogue, characterizations, etc. Same with T.V. series. M.A.S.H. is a good example for television. There are plenty of others, I'm sure. There's a big difference (IMO) between being exposed to something for the first time with week(s) or month(s) between successive installments, and binge watching or reading all the installments in short order - especially if it's been read or viewed before, and if the content has become familiarized by word-of-mouth accounts, articles & features on the subject, and subsequent imitations.
  4. I didn't say that anyone claimed Stan sat around doing nothing. But with all the incendiary language being bandied about in this topic and the "Stan stole FF 51" topic, it could lead one to view it that way. Once again, I am referring to the timeframe when Stan, Jack and Steve were creating the marvel superhero universe. More than 8 books a month, then. My post was aimed at the way in which journalists and authors commonly use methods to elicit an emotional response in the reader. One method by which journalists fool the general public is by using very broad assumptions and to slap incendiary labels on individuals whom they don’t agree with, rather than relay the information in a factual genuine way. I can provide examples from both threads if needed.
  5. Stan worked pretty hard, I imagine. During the heyday, Stan was editing 10-16 books a month (I'm not sure where the 8 book a month limit for silver age Marvel came from; if you check the newstand feature on Mike's Amazing World website, Marvel was putting well more than 8 books a month on the stands - usually 10 to 15 or 16). All these books would pass thru Stan's desk at least twice (pencil stage and then after lettering & inking). Stan was also writing a good share of these. And writing the dialogue for everything from the FF to Modeling with Millie. Approving covers. Deciding which artists and inkers to pair. The Bullpen page and letters pages. Promotion, promotion, promotion. And other day-to-day stuff. (and yeah he had Roy for much of this time - not at the early stages, though) By comparison, in the years and decades that followed, and after Marvel expanded and hired multiple editors and assistant editors, an editor would handle maybe 6-10 books a month, at most. Stan was doing double that plus all the other duties noted above when He, Kirby and Ditko were building the House of Ideas. A phenomenal amount of work, when you think about it. DC was putting out a little more than twice as many books each month during that time. How many editors and writers did they have during this same time? To think that Stan was sitting around while others did all the work and he took all the credit doesn't reflect the reality of the early silver age "bullpen". The Marvel method of creating a book was as much a necessity as anything else. That is not to say Stan didn't end up taking advantage of it.
  6. I re-read the “Sore Spot” blog that had been linked, noting which text was blog author Patrick Ford’s comments and which text was direct quotes from Ditko’s essay. I don’t have a copy of the original Sore Spot essay. I wish I did. It should be noted that at least one paragraph of the original essay quoted in the blog may be truncated at the beginning. In his blog, Patrick Ford remarks that "Ditko had very harsh and extensive words for the comics community and its attitude towards stolen art", and that seems to be the thrust of Ditko's essay. In the essay, Ditko is condemning the comics community (at the time) for their stand that Kirby had an “unqualified right” to all of his pages held by Marvel except for the pages held by others that were immorally or illegally taken from Marvel. Ditko states that this hypocritical stance of the comic community (C/C) was a counter to the comic company’s claims that they were the self-evident owners of the art pages. Ditko even laments that Marvel, despite their responsibility to protect their valued material, easily tolerated losing a piece of their property to crime. In the quote from Ditko where he states “...(we) who are denied our 'original artwork' and are being 'deprived of a portion of (our) livelihood?”, Ditko is using the comic communities (nonsensical) view on ownership, not his own. Now, when Ditko was talking about what pages he got back as a “gift”- which in another essay he stated that Marvel had a right to do – he was complaining about all the missing pages and about the conditions attached to the return of the few pages he got back. That was to point out the large number of missing pages. And where were all those missing pages? Most were with the “thieves market” – who the comic community (at the time) seemed to be giving a pass. (at least in his eyes) The main point of Ditko’s essay “Sore Spot” seemed to be about the untenable view held by the comic community regarding art ownership of stolen pages. The number of pages he got back was a secondary (but interesting) point in the essay, at best. -That, by my lights, was the theme of Ditko’s essay. I’m gonna look for a copy of the original.
  7. This seems in conflict with the essay he wrote that I posted above. In the first essay, Ditko concludes that the company owns the art page. Yet, in the 'Sore Spot" essay Ditko claims that he's being "deprived of a portion of his livelihood' by the art that wasn't returned to him. Am I missing something? (could be) Is Ditko saying that he's being denied a portion of his livelihood by not getting art back even though it isn't his property? I tried to steel-man his collective argument, but I find it difficult to do)
  8. Nobody wrote dialogue like Stan. I loved his work. If there is one thing he could have done differently (besides giving due credit and compensation to others) it should have been to break off the quotation mark key from Kirby's typewriter when Jack left Marvel. He would have been doing Jack a favor.
  9. I'd say Robert Downey Jr ended up making more off of Marvel than any other individual. To the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. Stan owned the rights to the characters? Nah. When Marvel got back in the superhero game in the early 60's I sincerely doubt if anyone involved had envisioned a long game. Superheroes (other than Batman and Superman) had a short shelf life. The characters and stories, like the comics, were disposable. They were flying by the seats of their pants and so documenting who came up with what would have been a waste of precious time. Only after it became clear that there would be long term value to these ideas did questions of authorship arise (except for Ditko- he wanted plotting credit and compensation at the time). And Ditko has stated that Marvel owned the characters and that he received proper compensation for his contributions (other than his plotting dispute with Stan) and that he had no rights to the characters. Speaking for myself and as someone who was around at the time, yes the FF and Spidey were regarded as the 2 best titles, but my friends and I also enjoyed all the other Marvel books as well. They were all great. The Avengers' Sons of the Serpent 3-issue storyline. Iron Man's three-parter with the Titanium Man. Daredevil's classic three-part battle with the Cobra and Hyde where DD lost his enhanced senses. The Sub-Mariners' six part Quest serial in TTA. The Hulk storyline with the Stranger and the Abomination. And so on. All great, all well received by the fans. Stan would quickly leave a book after Ditko or Kirby left? Stan stayed with ASM for 70-plus more issues after Ditko left. It seems like there's a lot of revisionist history and hyperbole being bandied about to try and make a point. Super hero comics need heroes and villains. I guess when those properties become popular and profitable beyond what was originally expected, the creation of those properties need heroes and villains, too. Question: When Simon and Kirby ran their own company, did they extend creators rights to their work-for-hire? Did they return original art to the artists working for them? If those line of books ended up like the Marvel properties did, would Simon and Kirby be regarded in the same way as Martin Goodman and Stan?
  10. Hijack away! I love this stuff! It's totally in keeping with the topic!
  11. Yep. A true love of the medium without a thought of monetary value. The purity of childhood.
  12. I had a small pile of extra covers that I liberated from their books but they never made it into the scrapbook. Here's two.
  13. Finally, this was tucked away with the scrapbook - it's contemporaneous and indicative of how I grew up: comics and the space program. So I included this just for fun.
  14. p128 p129 (sendaway pic of Stan) plus MMMS flex record in sleeve p130-131 ...and a lot more stuff.