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Author Topic: SHAZAM! Screenplay Writer Says 40's Captain Marvel stinks  (Read 8324 times)
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Michel Weisnor
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« on: April 11, 2007, 04:09:12 PM »

http://johnaugust.com/archives/2007/captain-marvel-reader

"Why Iím not including the vintage collections

DC publishes hardcover anthologies that gather up decadesí worth of Captain Marvel comics. If I were writing a dissertation on the evolution of the Captain Marvel character, these would be invaluable. But Iím not. So every time I read one of these, Iím struck with the same realization I encounter trying to watch The Honeymooners or a black-and-white movie: Wow. Old things suck.

Yes, I know that will piss off the vintage comics fans, who insist that the original incarnations are the purest forms of a character. But what you quickly realize is that old-time comic books were awkwardly written, crudely drawn, and bewilderingly inconsistent with their rules. They were making up the art form as they went along, and todayís comic books are better for the accumulated wisdom.

Vintage fans are free to disagree. Thereís a vast but finite amount of comic books to last them through their days.

Beyond that, are there great books Iím leaving off, either intentionally or accidentally? Almost certainly. The comments are your chance to add to the reading list." - John August screenplay writer of future Captain Marvel movie





Pretty strong words dedicated toward original creator C.C. Beck and readers. I am not an authority on comics but I respect and appreciate imagination, longevity, and mastering of an artform. To label C.C. Beck's original work, in such a matter, shows simple ignorance. DC only released a few Archives with the following comics:

1  Flash/Thrill Comics #1, Whiz Comics #2-15
2  Whiz Comics #15-20, Special Edition Comics #1, Capt. Marvel Adventures #1
3  Whiz Comics #21-24, Captain Marvel Adventure #2, 3, America's Greatest Comics #1
4  Whiz Comics #25, Captain Marvel Adventure #4-5, America's Greatest Comics #2, Master Comics #21

These were hardly the refined Captain Marvel comics. So, yes, perhaps the fundamentals of artwork and storytelling were still being created. The best was still yet to come. 
 
« Last Edit: April 11, 2007, 04:47:25 PM by Michel Weisnor » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2007, 04:15:58 PM »

Good.  Another movie I don't have to worry about seeing, and another 10 bucks that can stay in my wallet.
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2007, 07:44:50 PM »

Well, to some extent he's right and to some extent he's wrong. He is right in pointing out that comics in their early days were making up how the form was supposed to look, and yes, at times it was very awkward.

For example: notice that no comic in three decades has used "transition" captions. By that I mean "And So, Later..." or "Meanwhile...."

The reason for this is because comics have discovered how to transition smoothly enough that transition captions aren't NEEDED.

At the same time, it is a mistake to assume all change in comics moves necessarily in an "upward" direction. For instance, note the current unpopularity of thought bubbles and "Editor's Note" asterisks, two things that are something comics can do no other medium can do.

I think he might be jumping to conclusions about the source material. Captain Marvel DID suck in his early years, for which the archives exist. He did have several good stories later on as the comic was allowed to take shape. It's like picking up a SUPERMAN SHOWCASE and figuring out that Superman stinks, because of art by guys like Plastino and writing by Binder.

Well, YES. But give it a few years.

Then again, he talks about the cartoonishness of the art. Sure, C.C. Beck isn't my cup of tea (he's really, the Joe Shuster for CM3), but then again, what about the incredibly lush Mac Raboy and his CAPTAIN MARVEL JR.?

The point here is that many types of interpretations of a character exist. You don't HAVE to fill your Captain Marvel with mentally retarded wastes of time like the Crocodile Men from Punkus or the Goatman. You don't HAVE to have it be hallucinogenic and lighthearted. There's room for diversity.

On the other hand, I'm glad someone is tellin' it like it is about the Honeymooners. My least favorite part about an unfunny comedian dying, is that you have to pretend he "taught us how to laugh."
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« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2007, 11:30:22 PM »

That guy is an idiot.

The archives haven't gotten to the good stuff yet, and at this rate it never will. Boy, is DC ever slow.

« Last Edit: April 12, 2007, 04:11:08 AM by Super Monkey » Logged

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jamespup
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« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2007, 01:25:09 AM »

Is the "black and white movie" crack his idea of a funny joke?

or could he really be that much of an a-hole?   

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Johnny Nevada
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« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2007, 02:52:24 AM »

Yeesh.... sounds like another example of Hollywood's fine "talent" these days to me, though the fact that he wrote the Charlie's Angels movies probably says a lot. (A movie writer that hates black and white movies?! [/Johnny Nevada's mind implodes])

Semi-off-topic:
- I liked the Honeymooners as a kid. And yes, I still like its pastiche "The Flintstones" too (before someone remarks on it)... :-p

- Can't imagine anything with a character as sorry as Eclipso in it as "superior" to the Golden Age stuff...

Count me in in the "save my $10 for something else" category as well...
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2007, 10:43:22 AM »

As I've never thought much of Captain Marvel - I find the so-called "whimsy" nauseating - I'm not 100% against the idea of August NOT drawing on it for his source material.

God knows, they don't need to squeeze in the Lieutenant Marvels or Uncle Marvel. (Unless they can give Fat Marvel and his grotesque bare ass a tasteful shower scene - which is a horse of a different color entirely!)

I know, I know, as Classic Comics Fans we're supposed to be totally bitter and humorless and have a persecution complex of Nixonian proportions, but it's obvious John August was being facetious with a statement like "old things suck." Like when I say "kill whitey" when I'm denouncing Pat Boone and all the other spazzes that co-opted rock and roll.

I can't find it in me to disparage August. He wrote BIG FISH, one of the few movies that I've been able to share with my father. What the H-E-L-L has Otto Binder ever done for me? If I was a puppy and both August and Binder were calling me to run to them, I would mull on it for all one billionth of a second before leaping into August's arms.

Since when has appreciation for material ever been more important than professionalism? And the guy that wrote BIG FISH has professionalism and the ability to get a job done.

Heck, Chris Priest, who wrote the greatest BLACK PANTHER run this side of Don MacGregor, admits he dislikes the Panther and only wrote the character because he didn't get the chance to write DAREDEVIL. Curt Swan hated the Legion of Super-Heroes and it was always his least favorite assignment.
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« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2007, 02:30:18 PM »

Julian Perez writes:

Quote
As I've never thought much of Captain Marvel - I find the so-called "whimsy" nauseating - I'm not 100% against the idea of August NOT drawing on it for his source material.

But see, here's the problem.  Why option a property when you have no intention of being faithful to it?

This has always been Hollywood's problem; they find a popular concept, decide to capitalize on the popularity with a film and right off the bat change everything that made it popular in the first place.

But, you argue, Captain Marvel's popularity is in the past.  Captain Marvel was created for a different generation.  Captain Marvel would never work today if done the way he was then.

Exactly. So find something else to make a movie about.  Leave Cap alone and let him live in the past where he was great and at the top of his game.

Here's an idea: if you're going to start from scratch, why not create your own character and name him something else?  Hmm?  I'll tell you why not; because your concepts can't stand on their own merits and the only thing bringing audiences in will be the name-recognition generated by earlier, better creators than yourself.  It's the old bait-and-switch.

I hadn't realized this moron wrote the Charlie's Angels movies.  That alone is reason enough to avoid this film like the plague.

"Old things suck."  With luck, maybe he won't ever have to transition into that category himself.
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