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  1. #1
    Fantastic Member Tugger's Avatar
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    Default Jim Shooter Isnít Happy with Current Marvel Comics


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    I think he has a lot of good points. I also think the market has unfortunately changed drastically since his time, with a lot of those changes being the result of some of his policies. (Not to say I blame him for it. He made the right decisions at the time.)

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    Some of the stuff he brought up like writing for trade and how every book doesn't sell 100k anymore is just how the market is these days. While there are problems with how Marvel does variants it seems like he's against the idea of them in general and I feel like he didn't really answer the question about preventing creators from going to Image.

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    Astonishing Member Abe's Avatar
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    A nice one from the full version of the interview:

    Comics have more in common with single malt scotch than they do with other kinds of publishing because it’s a relationship.
    So that's the secret!

    Thank you, Sir, for some of the best memories of my childhood.
    Last edited by Abe; 11-25-2017 at 02:45 AM.

  5. #5
    Ultimate Member JKtheMac's Avatar
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    Indeed it is always worth finding the original interviews instead of just reading the Media reaction or the clickbait. It can be found here:

    http://www.adventuresinpoortaste.com...ives-and-more/

    My overall impression, Shooter is on automatic in this interview. Good value when talking about his own days, but incoherent on modern comics and movies. Very clearly he hasn't read a Marvel comic in quite some time, and mostly just flicked through and saw the art (possibly ten minutes before this interview).
    Last edited by JKtheMac; 11-25-2017 at 04:29 AM.

  6. #6
    Astonishing Member Nomads1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiamatty View Post
    I think he has a lot of good points. I also think the market has unfortunately changed drastically since his time, with a lot of those changes being the result of some of his policies. (Not to say I blame him for it. He made the right decisions at the time.)
    Agreed. However, he did make some bad calls in his days also. Everybody does. Still, one of the best in my book.

    Peace

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    Quote Originally Posted by JKtheMac View Post
    Indeed it is always worth finding the original interviews instead of just reading the Media reaction or the clickbait. It can be found here:

    http://www.adventuresinpoortaste.com...ives-and-more/

    My overall impression, Shooter is on automatic in this interview. Good value when talking about his own days, but incoherent on modern comics and movies. Very clearly he hasn't read a Marvel comic in quite some time, and mostly just flicked through and saw the art (possibly ten minutes before this interview).
    Yeah, I haven't read the interview yet but I can't imagine that Shooter would have anything of real worth to say about current Marvel. He's just far too out of touch with it. But I love hearing his thoughts about his days. He was interviewed for a few articles at Back Issue magazine years ago and his recollections were fascinating but he was apparently displeased with how Back Issue quoted him (I believe in an article talking about the Peter/MJ marriage) and refused to grant them any more interviews. A real shame as Shooter presided over such a pivotal era of Marvel and, for many, ranks as one of the all-time great EiC's of the company.

  8. #8
    Ultimate Member JKtheMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prof. Warren View Post
    Yeah, I haven't read the interview yet but I can't imagine that Shooter would have anything of real worth to say about current Marvel. He's just far too out of touch with it. But I love hearing his thoughts about his days. He was interviewed for a few articles at Back Issue magazine years ago and his recollections were fascinating but he was apparently displeased with how Back Issue quoted him (I believe in an article talking about the Peter/MJ marriage) and refused to grant them any more interviews. A real shame as Shooter presided over such a pivotal era of Marvel and, for many, ranks as one of the all-time great EiC's of the company.
    Indeed. He is of course controversial. The kind of figure it is always fun to read about and read the opinions of. However this interview doesn't really add to those older interviews. Still trotting out anecdotes on Jellowjacket punching Janet for example.

    He seems to have only read the headlines on Secret Empire. Apparently they made Steve a Nazi! Who knew!

    And I love the way he evades the challenging question of Claremont after moaning about stories not resolving and decompression. I think the truth would be more more like 'I stayed out of his way because he was making us lots of money.' Which admittedly he also alludes to.
    Last edited by JKtheMac; 11-25-2017 at 07:01 AM.

  9. #9
    Incredible Member Skedatz's Avatar
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    Of course he isn't. He never is happy about a company he's not basically running because he could've always done it better in his mind.

  10. #10
    Cosmic Curmudgeon JudicatorPrime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skedatz View Post
    Of course he isn't. He never is happy about a company he's not basically running because he could've always done it better in his mind.
    A trait common to all of us. Especially fans.

  11. #11
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    The funny thing is that even though Shooter, like most old-school comics pros, dislikes decompression, he provided one of the best explanation of why Marvel comics were "decompressed" compared to classic DC comics:

    Back when I was a kid most comics, most DC comics were done by what I would call extremely fast pacing. Every panel was a scene. I remember old Legion of Super-Heroes comics with every panel starting with a caption. ďSoon, at Legion headquartersĖa fateful meeting!Ē Youíd have the Legionnaires sitting around a table one would say, ďWe must pursue the space pirate.Ē Next panel, the art showed a Legion space ship chasing the pirate ship. The caption read: ďLater in deepest spaceÖĒ Dialogue coming from the Legionnairesí space ship: ďThereís Roxxas, the space pirate!Ē Next panel, in which the pirate ship was damaged, another caption: ďAfter a massive battleÖĒ ďWe got him!Ē Every panel was a scene! And they were able to do a lot of story in very short space. At that rate, you could do War and Peace in 24 pages. But it was kind of dull, kind of dry.

    [...]
    When Marvel came along in the early í60s one of the big revolutions was slower pacing. [...]

    When the scene wasnít actionóletís say it was a conversation, or a romantic sceneóKirby, Ditko and other Marvel creators might slow the pacing down. Play it out. Drive the emotions home. I worked for DC Comics in the mid í60s. The editors there used to howl at this stuff, Marvel Comics. Theyíd sit there and say, ďLook at this. They got two pages of the guy talking to his aunt! Oh, my God the kids are going to be bored to tears!Ē Iím thinking, ďFirst of all, weíre not all kids, second, no weíre not. No weíre not.Ē I didnít say anything because I wanted to keep the job. My family needed the money.

  12. #12
    Traveler of omniverses Thor-Ul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gurkle View Post
    The funny thing is that even though Shooter, like most old-school comics pros, dislikes decompression, he provided one of the best explanation of why Marvel comics were "decompressed" compared to classic DC comics:
    Well, is easy to understand: we go from one extreme to the othe other only to end in the same point as before: it is kind of dull, kind of dry.
    "Words change our spirits, but we also change the spirit of the words "

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    Ultimate Member Lee Stone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKtheMac View Post
    Indeed. He is of course controversial. The kind of figure it is always fun to read about and read the opinions of. However this interview doesn't really add to those older interviews. Still trotting out anecdotes on Jellowjacket punching Janet for example.

    He seems to have only read the headlines on Secret Empire. Apparently they made Steve a Nazi! Who knew!

    And I love the way he evades the challenging question of Claremont after moaning about stories not resolving and decompression. I think the truth would be more more like 'I stayed out of his way because he was making us lots of money.' Which admittedly he also alludes to.
    I think one of the things about Claremont (and others of that era) was that even though there were dangling plot threads and years-long subplots, each individual comic would still have a satisfactory climax and conclusion.
    The main difference with comics today is that the main plot, not subplots, is what's being stretched out for trades, which leaves many issues with nothing but cliffhangers or filler to get from point a to point b.
    "There's magic in the sound of analog audio." - CNET.

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    In one of her essays in the third X-Men omnibus, Louise Simonson (who worked for Shooter as editor on X-Men for many years and then as writer of X-Factor and Power Pack) talks a bit about what Shooter wanted in a story.

    Famously he believed that every issue should be intelligible to a reader who might be reading the series for the first time, but he also believed that, quote from Simonson:

    Within the context of a continuing story, each comic needs to have that clear beginning, a conflict, and a resolution of at least part of the problem. Shooter explained this in his famous (or infamous?) Little Miss Muffet paradigm of the perfect story:

    Who: Little Miss Muffet
    Where: Sat on a tuffet
    Doing what: Eating her curds and whey
    Intro villain or problem: Along came a spider
    Intro conflict: And sat down beside her
    Build suspense: And frightened Miss Muffet
    Resolution: Away!
    It wasn't that Shooter wanted stories to be done-in-one, but he wanted every issue to have a conflict that gets resolved in some way, and he famously liked internal conflicts. His favorite story construction was the famous idea of "I can't... but I must!" where the hero is torn between what he wants to do and what it's his duty to do, or has to push himself beyond his limits to achieve the goal, or something like that.

  15. #15
    Better than YOU! Alan2099's Avatar
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    I'm with Shooter. Whie he may have made some mistakes and a few weird decisions, I certainly liked things in his era much more than I do in the modern one.

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