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Old 07-22-2004, 08:21 AM   #24
Old Dude
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Just finished reading "Tales to Astonish: Jack Kirby, Stan Lee and the American Comic Book Revolution" by Ronin Ro.

Pretty interesting book if you're into the history of the comics industry. Or if you're just a fan of Lee or Kirby or Ditko in general.

Martin Goodman (the publisher) comes off as a bit of a villain, which is probably inevitable for anyone on the business end of a creative effort, but otherwise, I thought the book did a good job of staying objective and of identifying who contributed what to what, the battles over creative rights, market forces and so forth.

For those more interested in the creations than the creators, it also had many interesting tidbits about how certain characters were originally inspired, conceived or designed and conflicts concerning the directions in which they were taken.

For example, back in the 60's, at Marvel, the artists did most of the story plotting, and the writers mostly handled captions and dialogue, after the fact. (This was the reverse of te way DC and most other companies operated at the time.) One of the reasons Steve Ditko quit illustrating Spider-Man was discontent over the way Lee was developing the character and changing the plots. (Turns out Lee knew what he was doing, obviously)

Lots of insights into the personalities of the key players as well - especially Jack Kirby.
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