Sean Howe: Marvel Comics The Untold Story

Forced the editors to come up with a parade f gimmick covers and new 1 issues constantly to hit those numbers This led to the speculator bubble How to Grow Hydroponic Marijuana At Home: A Complete Guide to Growing Most Potent Cannabis Ever! of the early 90s that nearly destroyed the industry when disgruntled fans stopped buyingWith the sale to Disney and huge successf movies like The Avengers you might think this story has a happy ending but Marvel still faces challenges today In the digital age the idea La Prise de l'Elysée: Les Campagnes Présidentielles de la Ve République of buying pricey paper comics that can be read in minutes is a tough sell and many uestion whether the money made in movies and merchandising has made the comic bookbsolete Aging fan boys grumble ver the constant character deaths and crossovers yet those remain the top selling books Balancing the continuity demanded by long time fans while still being accessible to new readers has become a nearly impossible task Dan and I have some great ideas n how to resolve this issue if anyone from DC The Ugly Princess or Marvel reads this and would like to pay us a consulting feeManyf these individual stories have been told before but Howe gives not nly a history but a detailed picture f the ways that all the creative business and legal issues have had a profound impact n the characters and the industry That s what really makes it an informative and interesting read Excelsior I finished this book a while back but I needed to let it sit and marinate before tackling my review I m not sure why that is exactly It s not for fear f bias getting in the way f my review I ve long ago lost any pretension f Harvest to Hydrosol: Distill Your Own Exquisite Hydrosols at Home objectivity when reviewing anything it s not because I didn t have things to say Perhaps it is simply that my enjoymentf the book and its uality don t match and I needed to reconcile that in and for myself before sharing it with Hunchback othersMy enjoyment I run a comic review website Clearly I am a comic nerd So I amf this book s target audience and it serves me and my brethren well It is essentially a history Buddy of the creators and writers and artists and bureaucrats and greedy bastards and corporate villains who made Marvel the biggest comic book companyf all time and nearly drove it into the ground The Space Child's Mother Goose over andver and The Quotable Hitchens from Alcohol to Zionism: The Very Best of Christopher Hitchens overIt s the storyf Stan Lee maybe co creating most The Greatest Survival Stories Ever Told: Seventeen Incredible Tales of the big characters with Jack Kirby and Jack Kirby maybe creating the big charactersn his wn and Marvel the entitiy screwing Jack Kirby royally regardless f the role he had Lee likes to claim he was in the same boat as Kirby and that he understood all along that his creations weren t his Cómo ligar con esa chica que tanto te gusta y a la que le gusta otro own but then Lee was working for the family in the family business when he created the big guns Hardly the same boat is itIt s the storyf psychedlic trippiness cosmic tales and LSD inspired deadline pushes It s the story Death Threat of creative infightingf creative teams coming together and splitting apart It s the story f how Marvel s liberal politics were always and uite by mistake at the forefront f social change and then pulled back when things got too hot It s the story f selling comics to kids and ringing as much money from the wet towel as they possibly could in every way they possibly couldAnd that s all the fun stuffThe uality I know I ve been implying that the uality isn t all it could be and it isn t but it is important to note that it isn t Howe s writing that is lacking uality He writes fine It is his courage that is lackingWe are left in those moments I mentioned where Howe discusses the behind the scenes drama with a sense that there is much that Howe knows that he s not telling us This book is touted as an unvarnished and unauthorized take n Marvel Comics and when a book take that s stance it has to be braver by far than Marvel The Untold StorySurely Howe discovered about the KirbyLee battle ver character creation Where are the interviews with their colleagues Howe mentions these folks mentions that they know things r don t know things but he never tells us what those things might be Where is his investigation into the controversy Where is his Porter Rockwell: A Biography opinion Where are his conclusions Not here that s for sure and this isn t thenly time he steers away from controversy There s no discussion Satire of how John Byrne s Canadian super hero Northstar a characterf the 80s was a gay man becoming mysteriously and gravely ill Deflower the Boss of how we the readers all knew that Northstar was suffering from AIDs and how Byrne s plans were tossed aside right at the moment he fled to DC and tookver Superman These and Hebrew magic amulets other stories like them are where the real untold stuff sits and Sean Howe simply didn t do enough to fulfill the promisef his title So uality lackingBut there is ne uality issue and that s that this book will do very little for anyone with a passing interest in comics and nothing for people with no interest It is for fanboys and no ne elseI wish it had been for everyone as I think it could have been Perhaps that task will fall to someone else Being There or to Sean Howence the players he s protecting have passed away I have been a comic collector for almost 50 years I actually هذه بلادنا: الجواء owned a comic store for a few years I would have told anyone i was pretty well versed in Marvel Comics history at least the 1950s 1970s Boy was I wrong This book was so detailed in the history I was learning something ever minute I listened to it I think It must be because the writer is a journalist by trade andbviously investigated this story like a high profile crime Very detailed and well researched If you want to learn EVERYTHING about Marvel Stan Lee Jack Kirby and much Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom of the comic industry then pick this up anf sit back for a great ride Very recommended DepressingShort shriftFascinatingDepressing to see just how much Stan Lee and manythers did some grand ver fucking f the painfully naive creators in whose backs this company was built Short shrift as in a great many sub stories just beg to be told but nly get a passing re. Decades long journey to becoming a multibillion dollar enterprise Marvel's identity has continually shifted careening between scrappy underdog and corporate behemoth As the company has weathered Wall Street machinations Hollywood failures and the collapse f the comic book market its characters have been passed along among generations Witness to the Martyrdom: John Taylor's Personal Account of the Last Days of the Prophet Joseph Smith of editors artists and writers also known as the celebrated Marvel Bullpen Entrusted to carryn tradition Marvel's contributors impoverished child prodigies hallucinating peaceniks and mercenary careerists among them struggled with commercial mandates a fickle audience and ver matters f credit and control ne anotherFor the first time Marvel Comics reveals the utsized personalities behind the scenes including Martin Goodman the self made pub.

Marvel Comics The Untold Story is the story f Marvel Comics from its beginnings in the late thirties until fairly recently with all the highs and lows in betweenConfession Time For most f my life I ve been a comic book fan I ve got around 2000 The War at Home: One Family's Fight Against PTSD of them in boxes in my nerd cave and have numerous super hero shirts Marvel Comics The Untold Story was a very gripping read for me I read the sanitized versionf some f the events in Marvel Five Fabulous Decades f the World s Greatest Comics but I wasn t completely prepared for some f the things I learnedThe story starts with Martin Goodman cashing in n the comic book craze but really gets interesting when he hires his nephew a kid named Stan Lee to do some editing Once Joe Simon and Jack Kirby create Captain America things kick into high gear until the 50 s when Seduction f the Innocent nearly kills the industry Things circle the drain until a fateful golf game with the head f DC comics prompts Goodman to Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle: A History of the American Cowboy in Song, Story and Verse order Lee to create a teamf superheroes The Fantastic Four is created and the Marvel Age Set Theory, Logic and Their Limitations of comics kicks into full swingThe book covers a lotf behind the scenes info like creators getting fucked ut f royalties and riginal art Anyone who s into comics has probably heard about that The things I didn t know about like a bunch f guys being into drugs DC and Marvel negotiating for Marvel to license some DC characters and what a tyrant Jim Shooter was were much interesting It must have been maddening to work with Shooter after Secret WarsWhile it might be boring for some I found the inner workings The Stringbean Murders of Marvel when it was being bought and sold several times in rapid succession to be fascinating In a lotf ways it reminded me أساطير شعبية من قلب جزيرة العرب: الجزء الرابع of The Deathf WCW How could people be handed the golden ticket Stricken (Asphalt Cowboys, only to wipe their asses with itJim Shooter seemed like a dictator but I think Tom DeFalco s throw everything against the wall and see what sticks strategy played a bigger part to the near death experience the comics industry suffered in the 90 s Also Stan Lee seems even like a hack and a tool than he did before I read the book Speakingf the 1990s Todd McFarlane and Rob Liefield come The Sporty Game off as huge piecesf crap I think we re all uite lucky Marvel survived the black hole American Yakuza II of the 1990 s comic market It s crazy to think how many half brain dead tyrants Marvel had at the helm before uesada and Palmiotti finally turned things around For a lifelong comic nerd this book wasne hell Inventions That Changed the World: Working Wonders of a read 4ut Love Onboard: Cupid's Caribbean Cruise of 5 stars 45 StarsI reviewed this engaging narrative for Kirkus Reviews a while back This is a fascinating glimpse into the early yearsf the superhero comics industryIf you ve read it I m pleased to report that the Vertical Mind: Psychological Approaches for Optimal Rock Climbing office environment at First Second is nothing like theffice environment in the early years at Marvel ComicsFor Blood Love one thing none here has ever come to work to find that their desk has been turned into an auarium Super heroes have gotten darker and violent ver the years but compared to some f the people in charge f Marvel during that time Wolverine and the Punisher seem about as threatening as a glass f non fat milk Killers with razor sharp unbreakable claws and large guns are no match for the carnage a corporate executive worried about the stock price can createSean Howe gives a comprehensive history f how the pulp publishing company founded by a Depression era hobo named Martin Goodman eventually became a comic book empire that was bought by Disney for 4 billion in 2009 The book tells the familiar story f how Goodman s nephew Stan Lee working with artists Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko saved the struggling company in 1961 by coming up with a line f new characters like the Fantastic Four Spider Man the Hulk Iron Man Thor X Men and thers that you can see at your local movie theater n a regular basis today Then it details the many trials tribulations and triumphs the company would have as its characters became iconic parts f pop cultureAs a perpetually cheerful and energetic editor and spokesman Stan Lee built a myth via the Bullpen Bulletin and Stan s Soapbox column that appeared in the comics that Marvel was a wacky wonderful place where the writers and artists worked in a happy state DIY, Dammit!: A Practical Guide to Curse-Free Crafting of constant brainstorming about their stories In reality during these early years Lee worked with a small staff in crampedffices while Jack Kirby drew in the basement f his home and things were never as merry as Stan portrayed them to the fans After Goodman sold the company Marvel would be bought and sold to various corporations and business people most f who had no interest in doing anything ther than sueezing every dime possible ut Civil rights, tool of communist deception of the characters while denying any kindf wnership r royalties to the people who created themThe stories Cutthroat of how creators were screwedut An Eastern Orthodox Response to Evangelical Claims of rights have become legendary and the constant law suits and bickeringver who actually created the characters have become so common place as to not even be newsworthy any A fun fact that I learned in this is that at The Claiming of the Shrew one time Marvel put a boilerplate waivern the backs Summoned of paychecks so that signing it to get the money became a forfeituref potential royalties The battles ver the rights between the company and the creative people would pale in comparison to the many financial and legal fiascos Marvel would get into ver the years due to the many buy uts and chronic mismanagementHowe does a nice job f showing how all the behind the scenes turmoil impacted the stories being churned Baghdad, Mon Amour: A Journey of Exile and Return out The Secret Wars mini series startedut as a promotional tie in for a new line Dead Inside of toys but became the prototype for the crossovers that are all too freuent events today The surprise successf rolling ut a specialty cover n Todd McFarlane s new Spider Man book had the corporate execs and Wall Street demanding sales increases every year and. An unvarnished unauthorized behind the scenes account f ne f the most dominant pop cultural forces in contemporary AmericaOperating ut She Stoops to Conquer of a tinyffice Slow Getting Up: A Story of NFL Survival from the Bottom of the Pile on Madison Avenue in the early 1960s a struggling company called Marvel Comics presented a castf brightly costumed characters distinguished by smart banter and compellingly human flaws Spider Man the Fantastic Four Captain America the Incredible Hulk the Avengers Iron Man Thor the X Men Daredevil these superheroes uickly won children's hearts and sparked the imaginations Orb of pop artists public intellectuals and campus radicals Over the coursef a half century Marvel's epic universe would become the most elaborate fictional narrative in history and serve as a modern American mythology for millions f readersThroughout this.

Ference amidst all the musical chairs f the corporatemanagement foolishnessFascinating imagining what it would ve been like to be part f a rag tag group f folks just blazing trails without any idea if any I m gonna do something a little different here I ll review the book properly first then talk generally about what I read These post review comments are peripheral to the review so I ll keep them separate They re just things that interested me and might be interesting to Multi-Family Therapy others who haven t read this might not read this but are into Marvel comics I ll tell you when I switch The review Sean Howe s Marvel Comics The Untold Story is a comprehensive look at the company that was founded as Timely Comics in 1939 became Atlas Comics and then eventually settledn Marvel Comics It s the company that gave us Captain Am I read the heck ut f this book but having read it I feel the need to rantUntil Howe s book I never had issues with Stan Lee beyond his irritating cameos in Marvel films and his tug f war with Jack Kirby Even if half f what s in the book is true Lee is by turns a relentless huckster a boo hoo victim a master manipulator and a kind f unappreciated naif who always wanted to write poetry and novels and shit like that but never got the chance Now I m amazed that so many people buy into his cult f personality I ll gladly pay the Man respect for his contributions to the Marvel universe but when he claims sole credit for these creations the respect diminishes greatlyI ve noticed that some reviews remark A History of Prophecy in Israel, Revised and Enlarged on Howe s choice to write less about relatively recent developments at Marvel I don t have a problem with that Consider that mostf the people working for Marvel ten years ago are still working for Marvel and probably don t want to talk trash There s also the lack Think good thoughts about a pussycat of historical perspective Wait another 25 years and see what happens In Marvel Comics The Untold Story author Sean Howe conductedver 100 interviews with employees past and present in an effort to present a comprehensive history One, Two, Three Me of the comics giantHowe takes the reader through the company s early years in the 40s and 50s before the explosionf popularity they would see in the 1960s From there things take a downturn in the 70s as the whole comic industry sees a dip in popularity With the 80s we get visionaries like Frank Miller who take Marvel s heroes into gritty territory before the commercial boom f the early 90s While the company hovers close to bankruptcy in the late 90s the course is corrected as the company soars into massive success before being sold to Disney for 4 billion in 2009One thing this book certainly did was challenge my pinion Sex and Lust in Tijuana: True Sex Stories of the Tjamigos of Stan Lee I m not denying his talent and contributions to the industry and pop culture in general but I believe he got far too much credit for what he did at least in termsf being a writer During his time as editor and head writer he created what became known as The Marvel Method With this style Stan would meet with an artist and present him with a summary f what he wanted to happen in the story The artist would then leave and draw the entire comic leaving the dialogue for Stan to complete when finished While this was hugely successful for Marvel it left Stan with the sole writing credit which really isn t fair Simply filling in speech balloons should hardly count as being the lone writer especially when Stan had nly presented the artist with an idea Tea for Ruby of a plot and for that artist to then fully realize and fleshut the storyThat alone wouldn t be so bad if you didn t also throw in the lack f royalties Sure ideas and plots are nice but they re nothing without the hard work f the artist If you created a character while working for Marvel they would retain complete creative control f the work after you left They d even sneak in fine print n your paychecks that by signing for the cheue you would be handing ver completed wnership to Marvel After that they were free to then take your creation and license it to the moon with toys clothing movies and I only Like the Fingers of the Guy I Hate, Vol. 1 other merchandise while you would never see a dime This is a constant pointf contention that is brought up again and again in the book with good reason It s the main reason that artist Jack Kirby and Stan Lee never truly reconciled after their falling The Whistle Pig out in their early daysWhile some people saw it as cheapening the art form excessive licensing was probably for the best especially when they entered into the 1970s and the comics industry as a whole took a dip in popularity Howe explains how with television in a mixf both live action and cartoons allowed the characters to become part f the cultural zeitgeist I bet in its wildest dreams Marvel could not have predicted the success they would have with the MCU Marvel Cinematic Universe all those years later especially considering those film flops from their early yearsIn the 80s Howe discusses the popularity boom spearheaded in style by Frank Miller s run n Daredevil as well as Marvel head honcho Jim Shooter s penchant for cross ver and event series Who could blame Shooter though lots f people apparently He was approached by Mattel to put together a story that would help them sell toys The first time around is all right even if the story is lacking but to keep repeating this Church Planting Is for Wimps: How God Uses Messed-Up People to Plant Ordinary Churches That Do Extraordinary Things over andver so A Stepdaughter In Heat often you run the riskf drying ut the well which when the 90s came around actually happened when they put excessive profits ver the importance Rufus of creative ualityMarvel Comics The Untold Story is the true definitionf a deep dive into a subject Almost everything you could ever want to know about the publishing and entertainment juggernaut is contained between the covers here While I did find a lot f the talk about numbers and sales a tad dull at times it makes up for it with the constant infighting and internal politics. Lisher who forayed into comics after a get rich uick tip in 1939; Stan Lee the energetic editor who would shepherd the company through thick and thin for decades; and Jack Kirby the World War II veteran who'd co created Captain America in 1940 and twenty years later developed with Lee the bulk f the company's maruee characters in a three year frenzy You Are a Miserable Excuse for a Hero!: Book One in the Just Make a Choice! Series of creativity that would be the grounds for future legal battles and endless debatesDrawingn than ne hundred riginal interviews with Marvel insiders then and now Marvel Comics is a story Women and Social Work: Towards a Woman-Centered Practice of fertile imaginations lifelong friendships action packed fistfights reformed criminals unlikely alliances and third act betrayals a narrativef ne f the most extraordinary beloved and beleaguered pop cultural entities in America's histor.

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Sean Howe is a former editor at Entertainment Weekly and The Criterion Collection His writing has appeared in New York the Los Angeles Times Spin and the Village Voice He lives in Brooklyn New York