Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Well, Shazam!



Screenwriter John August (Look him up yourself. I haven’t liked any of his movies that I’ve seen) is being raked over the coals today almost as badly as Don Imus for his holier-than-thou pronouncement that the original CAPTAIN MARVEL comics were crudely drawn and inconsistent and he CERTAINLY isn't going to base his upcoming screenplay on them. Like classic TV, he says, "Old things suck." Ever the diplomat, let me point out that…well…those comics WERE crude and inconsistent! However…and it’s a BIG however…perhaps more than any other Golden Age comic, the adventures of the so-called "Big Red Cheese" became streamlined and stylized so that they looked little like other comics. Through the art of
C. C. Beck, Kurt Shaffenberger, Mac Raboy and Pete Costanza (amongst others) Fawcett’s Marvel Family took on a clean, modern look and feel and developed a perfectly workable and unique mythology. Yeah, I agree, those early WHIZ stories are crude. Even Simon and Kirby’s take on the character was more interesting than good. Skip 1940 then and cut to, say, 1947 or 1950 and discover the inimitable whimsy that permeated the best stories of Billy Batson and crew. Oh and "Old things suck" he says? Pity him, my friends. He’ll never know the joys of the Marx Brothers, Laurel and Hardy, The Three Stooges, CASABLANCA, CITIZEN KANE, the early BEATLES, Sean Connery’s 007, EC’s, Steranko art, underground comics or, depending on where he draws the line at "old," maybe even the original STAR WARS! Perhaps some friends of Mister August’s could perform an intervention and force him to watch Karloff’s FRANKENSTEIN.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Agreed. This guy does not know his history about Captain Marvel and how great a book it was - and as proven in the sales between Superman and Captain Marvel esp in the 1950;s the Captain is KING.

The "old stuff" is GREAT. I am currently reading a graphic novel I picked up from Amazon : THE MONSTER OF FRANKENSTEIN by Dick Briefer. The material was years ahead of its time (and like the EC books was pre-CCA).

Captain Marvel and Frankenstein will always have a place in my collection!!!

Emilio Pacheco said...

Hi, Steve. I haven't come here in a long time. The main reason is that the domain name "blogger" was blocked where I work, so I can read your posts, but I can't see the pictures. And the pictures are the heart and soul of your blog. Here at home I can see them, but there isn't much time for surfing the net. My English language blog is abandoned for now, but I won't delete it yet. I can always come back to it when I find the time.

I took the liberty of taking a peek at your Site Meter stats, specifically the "By referrals" list. I have only recently discovered all the information Site Meter provides and I was appalled to discover that Brazilians don't know how to use Google! Most of them (well, us) just type a "request" in plain language, thinking Google will not only understand it but comply with it! There are many search arguments beginning with "I want" or "find" or "search"! Some people "explain" in detail what they want, like "I want to learn everything about photo journalism" or "find songs about this or that on the Internet"! Some of these searches are so funny that I decided to create a weekly feature on my blog: the "clueless searches of the week". Actually, it was rather frustrating to discover that most people find my blog by accident. Well, not all of them. A long time ago I had nothing to write about so I decided to post a picture of a Brazilian actress I found particularly attractive. It so happened that this actress is now starring in a prime time soap opera that began in March, so the visits to my blog jumped from 90 to 150 a day! And just because of that one tiny picture! So much for all my intelligent and witty writings! Right now the visits have gone down to 132 a week, just like your blog. In your case, a lot of people find it looking for Linda Blair. But I have noticed that your visitors are much better informed than mine.

I'll try to come back here more often. Keep up the good work.

Emilio Pacheco said...

Correction: where I wrote "132 a week", read "132 a day".

Poptique said...

Ol'Johnny August is sadly mistaken - old stuff rules!

Big Fish and Titan A.E. - now they "sucked" a bit, didn't they? (if I must drag myself into a Laurel & Hardy type tit for tat...)

Then again, both of those films are now "old" so maybe he's right after all...

Cassie said...

I can't figure out how to track down your email from this site but I just wanted to send you a link:

http://blogs.usatoday.com/popcandy/2007/04/a_chat_with_wri.html#more

sam kujava said...

Michael Uslan is a producer of the
Shazam movie project. I'd like to
hear what HE thinks about the
screenwriter's comments.
At the very least, Uslan needs to
do some major damage control!