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Author Topic: CARY BATES FANS  (Read 10572 times)
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Klar Ken T5477
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« on: October 17, 2005, 10:57:05 PM »

Somebvody had to do it and Beppo's busy with Streaky again. :wink:

Bates - fave stories?
Bates - stories that are feh?

Bates - no Sman

Bates - where is he now? Running a motel off the old Highway?

Me - loved his stuff in the early mid 70s for the most part and between him, O'neill and Maggin they were totally bronze age
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« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2005, 12:06:19 AM »

To get this thread going here is a must read:

Cary Bates and Elliot Maggin: The Men Behind the Super-Typewriter
by Guy H. Lillian III
http://superman.nu/a/Creators/men-behind-super-typewriter.php
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« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2005, 12:39:11 AM »

I'm only halfway through this interview (for some reason, I'd missed it on the site before now), and I am amazed.  A fantastic interview, echoing darned near everything I have to say about what's presently wrong with DC today.

Specifically:

Quote

Cary Bates:  I don't like comic writing that is pretentious - there's a lot of that going around.  The reason for that is - and this has been told to me by older people, and I agree - that a lot of people grow up just reading comics, and writing comics from that.  A lot of the older writers wrote other things - Edmond Hamilton wrote science fiction.  Alfred Bester was in radio and s.f. - and came to comics from a varied background.  People who grow up reading comics and nothing else find themselves writing a strange kind of thing inspired by comics.


Quote

Elliot S! Maggin:  I work for National because I'm not interested in writing for college students what should be read by kids.  I think the only reason anyone over fifteen should enjoy reading a comic is a kind of whimsical one - because it would have made him happy when he was a kid, not because it boggles his mind now.  It should take more than twenty well-illustrated pages to stretch the perceptions of someone that age or older.


If these aren't two of the most dead-on statements ever made about comics in general and what's wrong with comics today specifically, I don't know what is.

Dakota Smith
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« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2005, 12:47:17 AM »

Quote from: "DakotaSmith"


If these aren't two of the most dead-on statements ever made about comics in general and what's wrong with comics today specifically, I don't know what is.

Dakota Smith


The sad part is that was from Sept. 1974, oh how things have change... no wait Wink


Cary Bates worked on some cool TV shows:

W.I.T.C.H. (2005) TV Series

Gargoyles (1994) TV Series (writer)

Christopher Columbus: The Discovery (1992) (screenplay)

Superboy (1988) TV Series (story) (episode "Run, Dracula, Run") (story) (episode "Young Dracula")

Jem and the Holograms  (1985) TV Series (writer)
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"I loved Super-Monkey; always wanted to do something with him but it never happened."
- Elliot S! Maggin
JulianPerez
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« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2005, 06:30:50 AM »

It's amazing to discover that the reason so many great things you loved as a kid were so great because of talented people involved in them coming from the comics field.

I'm not in the LEAST bit surprised Cary Bates was involved with JEM - at the risk of sounding cliche, that show was truly, truly, truly outrageous! By far one of the twenty greatest Saturday Morning cartoons ever, right up there with the original JONNY QUEST, EEK THE CAT, and the now overly appreciated but justifiably adored MYSTERIOUS CITIES OF GOLD (which does in fact, live up to the hype).

When somebody told me Sean McLaughlin was involved with ANIMANIACS, I nodded my head and laughed. That show was pretty funny, if you discount the irritating people that have turned it into a civilization. "Oh joy! Now I can quote something other than Monty Python!"

When watching CONAN THE DESTROYER (the only GOOD Conan movie) I noticed a difference between it and its unsatifying, pretentious predecessor: in the credits list for DESTROYER, it had all the old 70s Marvel Gang, just about - Roy Thomas, Gerry Conway.

Imagine my surprise too, to find that TRANSFORMERS was co-written by Marv Wolfman, with story consultants Roy Thomas and Steve Gerber, the guys that gave Marvel-style heart to those big robots.

My love of Cary Bates, has no end. One of my favorite Cary Bates stories is the demented but brilliant "Hero Under Glass" where Superman is exposed to a radioactive cloud that would turn him into a werewolf. So, he does what any of us would do in such a situation: build a giant glass phone booth in the middle of the city and sit in it, and not explain to anybody why you're there. The sequences of Superman fighting crime from the glass case were absolutely priceless: he stops a thief getting away a mile away, for instance, by a well-timed super-stomp that sends their car flying like a soap bubble. It also helps this story featured a guest-appearance by Chemo, a giant vacuum cleaner with a sack the size of the Chrystler Building, and Curt Swan art.

The moment this story skyrockets to genius is when Bates has Superman go on a date with Lana, and in the last panel, he says "We can go anywhere you like - just not somewhere they serve pheasant under glass!" HA HA HA HA HA! THE END.

I think I've written volumes on Cary Bates's wonderful SUPERBOY AND THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES,  a run eclipsed only by Jimmy Shooter himself.
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« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2005, 07:03:03 AM »

That interview kind of ticked me off, and I suppose I can justify their statements by noting this was an interview released for marketing purposes and so they're following a script.

Elliot Maggin, in particular, talking smack about the "Marvelous Competition" feels especially forced and phony to me, especially considering Maggin adopted and used the Marvel approach HIMSELF, with characterization-centered stories and emphasis on consistent worldbuilding and multi-comic interconnectivity, near constantly! Without Marvel, Elliot Maggin's work would be totally different and the influence of its approach is very overt in his case. Some of his punchy dialogue is such that if I put a black sticker over the writer credit box I'd swear it was Stan Lee writing it (and I really mean that as a compliment; nobody wrote dialogue like Mr. Leibowitz did).

I wrote a post about this before, but King Kosmos is quite obviously based on the blueprint of Kang the Conqueror.

Maggin may talk a lot of trash about the competition, but the fact of the matter is, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Bates on the other hand, was the more Weisengerian of the two writers, with stories based around a weird concept with a twist ending.

Quote
Cary Bates: I don't like comic writing that is pretentious - there's a lot of that going around. The reason for that is - and this has been told to me by older people, and I agree - that a lot of people grow up just reading comics, and writing comics from that. A lot of the older writers wrote other things - Edmond Hamilton wrote science fiction. Alfred Bester was in radio and s.f. - and came to comics from a varied background. People who grow up reading comics and nothing else find themselves writing a strange kind of thing inspired by comics.


Yeah, and this weak fluff might actually fly, if it wasn't for the fact he was talking about Marvel in 1974. Of all the times in comics history that this might be true, and they're saying it about Marvel in 1974? Give me a break! In 1974, we had Stainless Steve Englehart on AVENGERS, SUPER-VILLAIN TEAM-UP, and DEFENDERS. Steve Gerber writing MAN-THING and HOWARD THE DUCK. Even the worst works of that year Marvel was putting out, Gerry Conway on FANTASTIC FOUR, or the guy that wrote KA-ZAR whose name escapes me at the moment, was nonetheless readable and kind of cool. There was Bill Mantlo, Doug Moenich, Don MacGregor, the aforementioned two Steves, and even Roy the Boy hit more than he missed. To find a similar convergence of talent, you'd have to look back to the Renaissance.
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"Wait, folks...in a startling new development, Black Goliath has ripped Stilt-Man's leg off, and appears to be beating him with it!"
       - Reporter, Champions #15 (1978)
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« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2005, 07:04:34 AM »

Quote from: "JulianPerez"
One of my favorite Cary Bates stories is the demented but brilliant "Hero Under Glass" where Superman is exposed to a radioactive cloud that would turn him into a werewolf. So, he does what any of us would do in such a situation: build a giant glass phone booth in the middle of the city and sit in it, and not explain to anybody why you're there. The sequences of Superman fighting crime from the glass case were absolutely priceless: he stops a thief getting away a mile away, for instance, by a well-timed super-stomp that sends their car flying like a soap bubble. It also helps this story featured a guest-appearance by Chemo, a giant vacuum cleaner with a sack the size of the Chrystler Building, and Curt Swan art.

The moment this story skyrockets to genius is when Bates has Superman go on a date with Lana, and in the last panel, he says "We can go anywhere you like - just not somewhere they serve pheasant under glass!" HA HA HA HA HA! THE END.


That's a very enjoyable story -- but like most stories of that era with Chemo in them, it's by the lovely and talented Len Wein.



Some of my favorites Bates stories are "The Miraculous Return of Jonathan Kent" two-parter, the multi-part Luthor story about two issues later, "The Dying Days of Lois and Lana," "Superboy's Wild Weekend Out West" and the delightful "Clark Kent's Mynah Dilemma" from SUPERMAN FAMILY #197, which I have a page from.

I also think Bates's FLASH was wonderful, particularly the yearlong story centering on the death of Iris, and the Don Heck run that followed.  The Dr. Alchemy/Mr. Element story in that Heck run (one of the chapters was "The Day It Rained Flash") is a major treat.

I also have Cary's screenplay for SUPERMAN V, and it's a treat, too -- a very nice Brainiac story.

kdb
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2005, 07:11:55 AM »

Quote from: "Kurt Busiek"
That's a very enjoyable story -- but like most stories of that era with Chemo in them, it's by the lovely and talented Len Wein.


Ooops! Well, it FELT like a Bates story, I suppose.

There was one Len Wein story I loved in the "Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told" TPB with Batman against the Calendar Man that was brilliant and sharp. What can I say about the guy that created "Krakatoa, the Living Island?"

Quote from: "Kurt Busiek"
I also think Bates's FLASH was wonderful, particularly the yearlong story centering on the death of Iris, and the Don Heck run that followed. The Dr. Alchemy/Mr. Element story in that Heck run (one of the chapters was "The Day It Rained Flash") is a major treat.


You once worked with Don Heck - what was he like?

Quote from: "Kurt Busiek"
I also have Cary's screenplay for SUPERMAN V, and it's a treat, too -- a very nice Brainiac story.


WOW! Now this I haven't heard of. Please, give details!
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"Wait, folks...in a startling new development, Black Goliath has ripped Stilt-Man's leg off, and appears to be beating him with it!"
       - Reporter, Champions #15 (1978)
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