Friday, May 22, 2015

HEY! You should check this out..: Merry Month of Marvel: History of Marvel Comics Pa...

HEY! You should check this out..: Merry Month of Marvel: History of Marvel Comics Pa...: Okay, bear with me here as this gets a little twisty and weird. A lot of stuff happens in a short period of time as it makes the change...

Merry Month of Marvel: History of Marvel Comics Part 3: From Atlas to Early Marvel

Okay, bear with me here as this gets a little twisty and weird. A lot of stuff happens in a short period of time as it makes the changes to go from Atlas and early Marvel to the comics we know today and love or hate.
Jack Kirby

While Goodman had an empire going with published works and magazines of which comics were just a small part. Goodman was considering closing down that division. The reasons he did not close it are murky at best. There are different points of view but lets start with artist Jack Kirby, who after his split with Joe Simon, and losing a lawsuit to DC was having trouble finding work.
Joe Simon

According to Kirby, when he arrived at the offices, Stan Lee was in a chair crying and they were moving out furniture and Lee begged for help saving the company. Kirby also said that he told Lee to tell Martin to stop moving the stuff out, he would make books that sell, but according to Lee and others Mr. Kirby was prone to hyberbole and no one was moving out furniture and Stan says he is not much of a crier. He loved that Kirby was there and enjoyed working with him but would never have begged for help to save the company.

taStarting with Strange Worlds #1 and doing the cover and artwork on a 7 page story "I Discovered the Secret of the Flying Saucers."  This lead to a 12 year run that changed comics, Kirby helped elevate simple science fiction and monster stories with his artwork. This lead to Strange Tales, Amazing Adventures, Tales of Suspense, Tales to Astonish, and World of Fantasy.

With the titles of stories that Stan Lee came up with like "I Created Spoor, the Thing that Could Not Die!" Later the writer/artist teams worked even more closely together in what would become called the Marvel Method. The writer would give a description of his story and the artist would draw amazing scenes based in it. It helped everyone and helped Marvel not only stay open but become bigger.

Jack Kirby drawing

For several months in 1949 and 1950, Timely did bear a circle logo with Marvel Comics but the first modern comics with the label were the science fiction anthology Journey into Mystery #69 and teen humor mag Patsy Walker #65 both in 1961, each had a box with MC on the cover. Goodman would return to the Atlas name for his next comics company in the 1970's.

With DC bringing back superheroes in the 1950's and 60's such as The Flash and Green Lantern, The newly named Marvel choose to follow suit.

Check with us in the following day and next week for the final few blogs on the history, catching us up to modern day.

Friday, May 8, 2015

HEY! You should check this out..: Marvel at the History Part Two: Atlas Comics

HEY! You should check this out..: Marvel at the History Part Two: Atlas Comics: Yes, I was in the Daredevil Tv Show. It is Friday, so it is time to take another look at where Marvel Comics came from and how it is w...

Marvel at the History Part Two: Atlas Comics

Yes, I was in the Daredevil Tv Show.

It is Friday, so it is time to take another look at where Marvel Comics came from and how it is what it is today.  We know it has grown, it has a whole movie universe that connects with their TV shows. They are part of Disney and that universe and Netflix has a whole series of shows coming out under the Marvel name.

You have already read the very start in a Timely manner I hope, if not check it out here(Timely Comics) from there we heading in to Atlas Comics.  
I was NOT in any Fantastic Four movie.

This was Goodman's 1950's comic book company that evolved from Timely Comics, and was one of two direct forerunners to Marvel Comics. The other is from the 1970's and was called Atlas/Seaboard Comics. This was the end of the Golden Age of comics and Superheroes were becoming less popular and things had moved on to almost everything else.

Atlas took what Timely had started doing and writing stories on everything. Stick with me, Horror, Westerns, humor, funny animals, men's adventure/drama, crime and war comics.  Timely had done these, but Atlas branched out to include jungle, romance, espionage, medieval adventure, Bible stories, and sports comics.  Like many other publishing companies they had humor stories about models and career woman.

Starting in November of 1951, Goodman started using the Atlas globe logo, though another company called Kable news distribute his stuff with the logo and a big K.

So in December of 1953 to June 1954, Atlas tried to bring back The Superhero.  In the series Young Men, we see the return of The Human Torch, Captain Amercia, and Sub-Mariner. Other comics such at Captain America and Men's adventure brought more superheroes to the forefront.

Though Goodman's idea was to see what was popular and put out a ton of magazines and comics based on that. Westerns and War Dramas, then suddenly Drive-In movie monsters, sometimes even other comics. When EC was doing well with its horror comics suddenly so is Atlas, pumping out a ton of horror comics. They were profitable but cheaply made product turned out by talented but low paid artists, making the art beautiful despite it all.

The Atlas bullpen of writers was a stable of five writers(called editors). Stan Lee, Hank Chapman, Paul S. Newman, Don Rico, Carl Wessler, then in the teen humor department they had Al Jaffe(who would go on to write for MAD magazine). Daniel Keyes, who would write Flowers for Algernon, was there in 1952.

The artists were varied and included the veterans Carl Burgos who created The Human Torch and Bill Everett who was behind Namor. Joe Maneely, Russ Heath, and fledgling up coming Steve Ditko. While Rawhide Kid and Two-Gun Kid were introduced at this time, they have not connection beyond the name to the later Marvel heroes.

In the style of following popular titles, Atlas had such comics as Homer, The Happy Ghost(Casper, The Friendly Ghost), Homer Hooper(Archie Andrews), Melvin the Monster(Dennis the Menace), and even Sergent Barney Barker(Sgt. Bilko). Millie The Model was still with us, you remember she started back in Timely, she ran 207 issues well into Marvel's 1970's launching spin-offs along the way.
Can the Punisher just kill this knock off?

Hey kid, your shirt doesn't fit.

At least this never made a movie.

Because I was not allowed in Riverdale...
Dan DeCarlo would later take over Millie the Model. From that he went on to handle and have a hand in creating Josie and the Pussycats, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and other Archie staples. They also had a high school series called Patsy Walker that was created in 1945 and went all the way till 1967 with THREE spin offs. Patsy Walker herself would be brought into Marvel as the supernatural powered Hellcat.
I became this!

The good days were soon to end, from 1952 to late 1956, Goodman put out his comics to newsstands through his self owned disturbing company Atlas News Company but he shut this down in 1956 and started using American News Company, the nations largest distributor and pretty much a monopoly.

American News Company had been found guilty of restraint of trade and ordered to divest itself of the newsstands it owned. Its biggest client, George Delacorte, announced he would seek a new distributor for his Dell Comics and paperbacks. The owners of American News estimated the effect that would have on their income. Then they looked at the value of the New Jersey real estate where their headquarters sat. They liquidated the company and sold the land. The company ... vanished without a trace in the suburban growth of the 1950s

With no other choice, Goodman turned to Independent News(owned by Rival DC) who said fine by only 8 titles per month. The last comic to bear the Atlas globe logo was Dippy Duck #1. They were backed into a corner, they had given up their own distributing company and wholesalers were pissed they went with American News Company, since the new distributor was the rival they limited everything.

Soon layoffs came, Lee had paid for quite a bit of artwork and comic strips but never used them, he stored them in a closet and as things were being cut, Goodman found them and was upset he had all these stuff in a closet that he had paid for. He had enough to go for several years, they used it in Strange Tales and World of Fantasy. Stan Lee was part of the few still there and helped put them together and rehire artists as they could.
I am Stan Lee before Cameo's

As they hired them back, they had moved on from the Atlas Name....

They were not Atlas for long really, and Goodman made so strange choices which lead pretty quickly to the end. They seems strange now anyway but who knew what was going on behind the scenes and in his head. It looks like most of what he did was short term ways to save money. 

Again, not many heroes here, the same ones we have already seen for the most part, But the is amazing they were not sued, of if they were I didn't find anything about it. Homer the Happy Ghost? Really? WOW. Also amazing that Millie the Model is one of their longest running comics. Then who knew a teen drama, almost Archie like female would become a superhero? 

Come Back NEXT FRIDAY to see Pre-Superhero Marvel!