Thursday, May 3, 2012
Marvel Comics: The Road to The Avengers movie
I've been quite cantankerous-- about the
completely gushy fan boy praise and idolisation
that gets heaped on Stan Lee--for quite some time.
Lee brags on self while overlooking and even
ignoring the achievements of his fellow collaborators.
Lee's selfish and erroneous
presentation that he built Marvel Comics
single-handedly is irritating as hell;
he was talented and prolific, but there were a
multitude of other hard-working, talented folks
who went uncredited, underpaid,
harassed, denied royalties, denied credit
for creating/co-creating/designing/plotting, etc.
Lee is a narcissist of the highest order
who has openly stated that 'artists aren't
that important to a story.' Lee gave out basic
story ideas in a few seconds, which his talented
artists and scripters took and transformed into a
complete story, including new details and depth--
which Lee promptly took credit for, naturally!
I could go on and on about creator rights
and fair treatment, credit where due,
and a history of mistreating its artists,
but instead let me give praise to the
folks who really built Marvel Comics!
If you know a way to produce comic books without
artwork (and co-writing, and inking, and
lettering, and editing, and coloring, and office workers)
please let me know!
(artist, inker, co-plotter on classics such as
THE AVENGERS, TALES OF SUSPENSE (Iron Man);
created visuals for Tony Stark, second Iron Man costume,
Pepper Potts, Black Widow,
Hawkeye, and more.)
Penciller of classic THE AVENGERS and
SILVER SURFER runs, artist on
Sub-Mariner, Amazing Spider-man, Fantastic Four,
Thor, and a huge CONAN run.
Illustrator on Captain America, and
long-term DAREDEVIL and DOCTOR STRANGE artist,
artist for TOMB OF DRACULA,
HOWARD THE DUCK
Long-term artist for THE INCREDIBLE HULK,
artist on THE DEFENDERS and many others,
drew 1st Wolverine appearance
Artist, Co-plotter, Designer, Story-teller,
Creator of the Marvel House Style used to
guide all other artists;
Co-created most major original Marvel characters, including
X-MEN, THE AVENGERS, IRON MAN's look,
CAPTAIN AMERICA, THOR, SILVER SURFER,
THE FANTASTIC FOUR, HULK, and more.
Major contributor both visually and with plots.
Long held the record for longest consecutive run as penciller
on a book with same writer (F.F.).
Predominant cover artist.
Prolific artist and creative mind with a heavily influential
design aesthetic which influenced multiple generations.
Truly THE KING.
Plot Assistant, Promotions, Secretary,
She was the hard-working glue that kept the ties
between all aspects of the creative TEAM intact
Writer, Penciller, Inker, Colorist
Redesigned page and panel design,
brought influx of pop art into comics medium,
artist on Captain America, Hulk, X-Men,
and NICK FURY, AGENT OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
JOHN ROMITA, SR.
Penciller, Inker, Cover Artist, Art Director
Artist for major run on THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
and DAREDEVIL artist
Penciller, Inker, Colorist
Worked on Doctor Strange, The Cat,
Crazy, Not Brand Echh, The Hulk,
Artist, Designer, Inker
Co-Creator of THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN,
artist on The Hulk and Iron Man features,
introduced unique and different style of
psychedelia into comics scene
Pencilled and Inked Daredevil
(designing the famous red costume)
and drew Dr. Doom and horror stories
Writer, Plotter, Artist
Writer/Artist on RAWHIDE KID,
Scripted 1st appearances for IRON MAN,
THOR, ANT-MAN, co-plotted many stories
Penciller on The Defenders, Captain America, a 10-year-run on
The Incredible Hulk, Thor, and many more
Inker, Editor, V.P. of Operations,
Production Manager, V.P. of Special Projects
Inker and Penciler
Writer, Penciller, Inker, Cover Artist
Artist for AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
Co-Creator new Captain Marvel, Adam
Warlock, Iron Fist
Prolific writer, including classic runs on
THE AVENGERS and UNCANNY X-MEN,
writer on Doctor Strange, Conan, Fantastic Four;
Co-Created THE DEFENDERS, "WHAT IF?"
Writer, Editor, Editor-In-Chief,
Co-Creator of Wolverine, New X-Men
Artist on such titles as Power Man,
Captain America, Invaders, Ghost Rider
Co-Creator of CAPTAIN AMERICA
Artist, Writer, Colorist, Painter
Co-Writer and Artist on CONAN THE BARBARIAN,
Seminal inker, long-time Kirby inker
on Fantastic Four
Writer, Editor, Editor-in-Chief,
Worked on FANTASTIC FOUR, X-MEN,
Penciller, Inker, Colorist, Cover Artist
Inked Neal Adams on classic X-MEN
and AVENGERS runs
Inker, Editor, Production Manager;
Helped Marvel expand internationally
critically-acclaimed run on THE AVENGERS,
co-creator of Shang-Chi, Hellcat, West Coast Avengers,
and Beast's transformation,
writer for Doctor Strange, Amazing Adventures,
wrote the classic CAPTAIN AMERICA story
where Cap gives up the costume to become Nomad
Writer, Scripter, Co-Plotter
Writer THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN,
(co-creator of The Punisher,)
Writer Thor, Fantastic Four, first DC/Marvel
crossover (Superman Vs. Spider-man,)
BLACK WIDOW and Inhumans solo stories,
co-creator Werewolf by Night, Man-Thing,
Tomb of Dracula, and Man-Wolf
ground-breaking artist and
pioneer of new style for comics;
Inker and Colorist,
Artist for classic runs of UNCANNY X-MEN
and THE AVENGERS
No slight intended to anyone not mentioned--this was just
a small example of how many talented, worthy, good people
have been given the shaft by Stan "The Corporate Man" Lee
with his refusal to acknowledge all the creative minds that built
It does take a village, ya know.
There were a slew of freelancers, artists, scripters, editors,
office staff, and more who contributed to making these
characters, those comics, and a thriving business.
Great memories of being entertained are precious,
and I think the people that created those memories deserve
recognition and gratitude.
Possibly think of sending a Thank You note to any of
the surviving folks listed above, or to a modern comic
talent. Post a blog of your own dedicated to them,
or share this one with your friends.
And, after you buy a ticket to see THE AVENGERS
(or buy Thor and Cap on DVD--because I'm not foolish enough
to believe that most comic fans will put the call to do right by
boycotting the movie above personal enjoyment,) why don't you
consider putting some money in the pockets of the
folks responsible for all those years of enjoyment?
Your movie ticket pays Disney, Paramount, and Stan"The Mouth" Lee,
but a donation to the following goes to those artists
still living and the estates they left behind.