Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Follow the Leader: Episode 58: Out of Comics; Drawn Back In!

Martinex1: It is Tuesday, so Follow the Leader!  Jump on board and comment behind one of our regulars who will get the conversation started.  Cheers!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Pulled from the Pack: Marvel Calendars!

Martinex1: I am going to keep my own comments pretty sparse today, as I feel the pictured samples here speak for themselves.  The annual Marvel Calendars that ran through the Bronze Age were special.  Each published calendar was itself an event with thematic influence, fantastic art, and interesting tidbits.  

I particularly enjoyed the 1976 Bicentennial edition with our favorite heroes clad in revolutionary garb.  But no matter the year, I liked reading the daily notes, anniversaries, and bullpen blurbs.  The calendars were another way that Marvel reached its customers and readership and brought them into the fold.  It was FOOM, Bullpen Bulletins, and Stan's Soapbox rolled into a beautiful spiral bound once in a year package.

So here is a large smattering of examples from those days long ago.  Which were your favorites?  Which did you own?  And did you manage to keep these nostalgic collectibles intact?  (Thank you to the posters, and collectors on the world wide web for all of the various photos and making this post possible). Cheers!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Short Cuts: Award Shows...

Redartz:  This weekend is Grammy weekend; that is, the music industry's Big Show is presented Sunday night. Indeed, we are right in the thick of awards season. Recently we had the Golden Globe Awards, soon the film industry's Academy Award presentation (the Oscars) will be upon us. Then there are the Tony awards for theatre, the People's Choice Awards, the MTV Music Awards, and so on. Even the comics industry has it's Eisner Awards (which aren't televised, unfortunately). 

So today let's chat about these shows. Which do you watch? Which do you avoid like a press-hounded celebrity? Do you try to catch any Oscar-nominated films? Do you follow the Grammy nominations, perhaps sample some of the music (each year the Grammys release a CD compilation of nominees; I pick it up each year)? Do you think they accurately reflect the each industry's creative apex, or are they just a bunch of empty glitter? Step up to the mike and make your speech. Don't worry, we won't cut you off..


Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Quarter Bin: I'm Seeing Red (Hues and Tones)!

Martinex1: I have expressed before that I enjoy covers that use monochromatic (or nearly monochromatic) style.  The less mash of colors, the more attracted I am to a book.   It is not for everybody I know, but I find it appealing.  Today let's take a look at "red" books that use the bold color as a wash and as a background.  We will also gander at comics that have varying red hues - from sunburst orange to slightly pink. 

As you consider your choices for today, choosing only four out of the broad offering, consider how the color was used and if it truly met the need of the cover's story.   Let's start with some of the more consistently uniform use of red.  After hours of comparing and contrasting, I found that the Marvel heroes rose to the top.  The Fantastic Four particularly used the color frequently and in aggressive amounts.  Perhaps in their case the coloring of their uniforms lent itself to a nice contrast.   But in general, Marvel liked to use the technique.  Although there have been earlier examples, the introduction of the modern Vision in Avengers #57 set the standard.
 When used more as a background or an accent color, red still pops when on the rack.  Harvey Comics used it as a nice contrast to their uniformly colored characters like the white Casper and the yellow Baby Huey.   Their characters like Wendy and Hot Stuff, however, used it sparingly for obvious reasons. Likewise we start to see other comic companies using red in backgrounds.  The Fantastic Four continues to use the color liberally. Characters like Daredevil have many examples but typically by limiting the background and focusing on the costume.




As a primary color, surely red has an advantage.   It has continuously been used as a basic element of costume coloring from Spider-Man to Daredevil to Deadman, Red Tornado, Adam Strange and countless others.  But does it work as a main cover element?

 Does the color of rage and anger float your boat when it comes to comic covers?   Do you have other more majestic examples to share for comparison?  Which of today's offerings are the most compelling?  Which used the palette to the best advantage?   Would these leap off of the spinner rack when positioned amongst other hues?   Which are your favorite four - based on aesthetics and not monetary value?   Why do you appreciate the graphic elements of those particular examples?

Enjoy the day and keep the BitBA conversation going today by sharing your color commentary.  Cheers! 

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