Snobs

This week Chris accuses Walt of being a comic book snob. Walk takes offence. Will the boys come to blows or will they work things out: tune in to find out.

Please let us know what you thought of this week’s show: your comments are important to us so please leave your thoughts down in the comments field below.

Are you a comic book snob?

Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija

Walter Durajlija is an Overstreet Advisor and Shuster Award winner. He owns Big B Comics in Hamilton Ontario.

Articles: 1700

34 Comments

  1. This is a tough one. Everybody loves their own collection more than anybody else’s! Does that make me a comic book snob? I love the Fantastic Four, and don’t own a single John Byrne issue! Horrors! I love Daredevil, but I don’t own a single Frank Miller issue! Ye gads! I used to love Spider-man, but quit buying when John Romita took over! I try not to even admit things like this because of the backlash! “John Byrne wrote some of the best FF ever!” But, in my humble opinion, his figures are willowy, insubstantial ciphers apart from The Thing. “Frank MiIller is the greatest artist on Daredevil since Gene Colan!” Seriously? How come he is only barely passable even with an inker like Klaus Janson? “John Romita is THE Spider-man artist!” I think he should have stayed on the romance comics. I mean, come on! FF artists like Bryan Hitch, Steve Epting and Leonard Kirk blow Byrne right out of the water! Daredevil artists like David Mazzucchelli, Alex Maleev and Michael Lark leave Miller in the dust where he belongs (again, just my opinion)! And I don’t even want to get into my opinion of John Romita for fear of being tarred and feathered by an unruly mob! We, all of us, have our preferences, of course, but some of us have serious misgivings about certain artists. That’s just the nature of the beast. But, unless my opinion on these artists is solicited, I try to keep my personal tastes to myself. Am I a comic snob? You bet! I think most of us are! But as little as I appreciate Byrne, Miller and Romita (unlike many people I’m sure), I try not to go so far as to refer to their stuff as “swill.” Jeez, Walt!

  2. Of course I’m a snob ! I’m a comic book collector- that AUTOMATICALLY makes me a snob !! What’s more- I collect comics for the fun of it, not because I think it will make me rich. That AUTOMATICALLY makes me better than the teeming hordes of mouth breathing, knuckle dragging INVESTORS beneath me !!! I wipe my nose at them- lowly mud dwellers!!!

    Mel- some interesting comments as usual. I don’t mind Byrne’s work at all & thought his Fantastic Four run was quite entertaining. I bought most of ’em brand new & dug out a few back issues that I had missed from my LCS’s back issue bins. I have read them all & need to re-visit them again. I can understand if you do not like his style, but ya gotta give him some credit- he could always tell a story, unlike some of today’s superstars! IMHO his work does not begin to wane until we get deep into the 1990’s, but by then- a lot of stuff began to happen that wasn’t too good.
    Now Frank Miller- one of my gods back in the 1980’s- I realized fairly quickly that it was not his art that I was loving, but his storytelling. He was not really an artist on DD -he was a layout guy, kinda like Kurtzman on Two-Fisted Tales or Frontline Combat, with Janson finishing the art. Most of the work on Daredevil looks like storyboards for a movie. He told a fine story, but the art is not fabulous. He did get better though- I think RONIN was quite good & of course Dark Knight is as good as it gets for Miller. By the time we get to Sin City, I was done with him & have not gone back. For me, Miller ends with Sin City [ a piece of CRAP-IMHO!].
    A tid-bit on Miller- I was studying animation at Sheridan College back in the 1980’s & was running around flapping my yap to anyone who would listen about how great Miller was. One of my instructors took an interest & had a look at the DD issue that I was carrying around [ with bag & board!]. He flipped through the book & said “this guy isn’t very good- his art is awful!”. He pointed to a panel that showed DD crouching on a roof top-”look at this leg, the knee looks like it is broken ! I don’t think that that pose is anatomically possible!” . He then tried to redraw the pose that Miller had put DD in & could not do it! I think he broke a pencil. I did not care- Miller was god!

    What do we look for in comics? Do we want every artist to look like Neal Adams, Russ Heath or Frank Frazetta ?? I am quite happy to look at Wolverton, Kurtzman or Robert Crumb too! I did not care that Miller could not draw a knee- it’s the thought that counted ! The idea was conveyed- DD has knees! I got it!

    I also lost interest in Spider-man when Ditko left. I just could not get into Romita. Even the stories did not have the same flavour. Ditko was god. I have most of the Ditko issues in their original form, I do not own a single Romita issue. I just find his work…too bland. His work is not terrible, it just does not call out to me. Now Sal Buscema!- that stuff REALLY is terrible !!! Ugh !!!

    Now I should go and listen to that podcast- maybe I’ll find something else to write about !

  3. I have a USPS shipment that has been lost in transit for 10 days now…I’m not sleeping real well, it’s about $7000 worth of books…next thing you know these clowns start telling me that The Kraken has taken my package to the bottom of the ocean!!!

    Love you guys! every time I refresh that tracking page I’m going to be thinking ‘c’mon you good thing, beat the Kraken!!!’)

  4. Holy Cow ! $7000.00 worth of comics ??? What are you collecting- Marvel Team-Up ???

    I hope your package is insured. Where is it coming from ? I have fond memories of receiving a rare 1920’s Polish army helmet from a seller in New Zealand a few years ago- he sent it by DHL, it took about three days to get to me & cost me $50.00 for shipping [ and no taxes or brokerage ‘coz he sent it as a gift !!!].

    The last Kraken I saw came in a 750ml bottle. Let us know when you get your stuff so we can all sleep!

  5. Regarding the topic:
    I know I’m an elitist, pretty much am in anything I like; if it’s a bicycle, stereo, motorcycle or cutlery – I want the good stuff (note I didn’t say ‘the expensive stuff’ there’s a difference).

    For comics my snobbery comes from economics – with a 4 week shipping journey versus ‘The Giant Squids of the Pacific’ – there’s no point importing swill. You don’t spend $5 shipping on $3 books!

  6. Live frog, when I read about your MTU problems I feel for you, high grade MTU in early issues (less than #40) is extremely difficult to find!

  7. Spider- MTU does show up in high grade- comics4less [on ebay] seems to get a few every few weeks, raw VF to NM copies- I used to get ’em for $10.00-$20.00 a couple years ago. Now they are fetching $30.00 to $60.00, with some going higher! Heritage has been flogging CGC copies too & some have gone into the hundreds of $$$’s !! Check their archive for the latest sales. I have most of the issues that I want & was trying to upgrade some of my copies. It was fun while they were cheap, now it has just become frustrating…a waste of time & money. There is no market ‘correction’ happening in MTU yet! Some would say-“they have room to grow!!”

  8. “Of course I’m a snob ! I’m a comic book collector- that AUTOMATICALLY makes me a snob !!” I don’t see eye-to-eye with Dr. LIVE FROG very often, but this time he took the words out of my mouth. ’nuff said

  9. oh, fellow snobs, I need to publicly thank Mel for his recommendation of Ed Brubaker’s Reckless series, just finished my 4th issue (out of 5) and they are fantastic…also finished The Fade Out (act 1 of 3) and am absolutely riveted by it!

    LF, I’ll get to his other work too, thank you for your recommendation on the Criminal series!

    The only problem with the books is they are so good that I keep mistakenly thinking that my wife may want to share the excitement with me….let me tell you now gentlemen, she, categorically, does not wish to share the excitement! She used some big words, then she used some short words, none were positive.

  10. LF
    I think you’re correct in saying that Miller and Byrne had solid storyelling licks, but their art was never to my taste (I look for realism in people like Michael Lark and Steve Epting). Now, for “cartooning” I hold Wolverton, Kurtzman and Crumb in the highest esteem! Romita was, as you say, “too bland.” And he had nothing to offer in the storytelling side of the formula! On the FF, I love Mike Wieringo’s work for his feel for “cartoon realism,” and, of course, Mark Waid’s storytelling licks! But I swoon over Steve Epting and Bryan Hitch! I guess, when it comes right down to it, I am actually an art snob! So sue me!

    Spider, I just knew you would love Brubaker’s Reckless series! I have also been hunting down some other key issues (I think Walt might have inspired this particular search) that seem to have fallen off the radar or never made it on. After I saw the first appearance of the Illuminati in New Avengers #7 leap from $3 to $45 between Overstreets (the previous guide didn’t even note it as the first appearance), I wondered what else was buried in that run. How about the first appearance of Maria Hill in #4 for only three bucks?! Or the debut of Ronin (#11) and the revelation that Ronin was Maya Lopez (a.k.a. Echo) in #13, each of which can still be had for a mere three bucks! I’ve also noticed things like Daredevil Vol.2 #58 (first modern Night Nurse) going crazy on Ebay while languishing at $3 in the guide! These are some of the bargains we were talking about a while back when you suggested a “Reader’s Corner.” Email me some time and I can send you my list of a whole bunch of such books at five bucks and under with art by the likes of Maleev, Williams III, Hughes, Immonen, Lark, Muth, Ribic and more. All great realists in their own right!

    so long for now, mel

  11. Don’t worry Spider, those giant squids only like surfacing in the summer… wait…

    I’ve read all that Brubaker crime stuff and it is fantastic, I’m a big fan of the whole genre going back to the classic Noir movies, Brubaker not only does the genre justice he even adds to it.

  12. Spider, the few regular comic books I ever talked my wife into reading were Blade Runner and Optic Nerve. But, I have to also give her credit for having read every single comic I ever had a hand in. Oh, and I also talked her into a bit of Harvey Pekar, and Colin Upton’s two issues of Canadian Squalor, the first about meeting Harvey for the first time, and the second his thoughts on Harvey’s passing. And, while Kim has never really had any appreciation for super heroes (although she recognizes good art when she’s looking over my shoulder!), she really enjoyed most of the Marvel films (No, Martin Scorcese, they are not just “theme parks!” And besides what would Martin Scorcese know about theme parks? He’s quite obviously too short to go on the rides!).

    And Walt, I just knew, with your discerning tastes, that you would love Brubaker. He has really tapped into that noir pulp crime genre in the best possible way! Defintiely beyond “swill!” Wow. You may never live that down, old chum!

    cheers, mel

  13. Well, an old comic buddy of mine just dropped by for a beer after reading these comments at home, and was just laughing his Asterix off. “Snob?! You’re the biggest frickin’ (and he didn’t say “frickin'”) art snob I have ever met! You won’t even buy a Mazzucchelli unless he did the inking as well as the pencils!!!” Well, I guess, guilty as charged! When I told him I thought Mazzucchelli inked by others was often just swill, he damned near split a gut! Sorry Walt. I couldn’t resist. I’m afraid we may all be getting a bit of mileage out of that faux pas! But, take heart! Apparently I’m “just a fussy old bastard!” Good thing me mum isn’t alive to hear that!

  14. You’ve got that right Jim! But, there are only a couple o’ dozen of us. We might just be on something!!!

  15. Remember Theodore Sturgeon’s maxim “90% of everything is crap”. Is there anything really beyond Batman and Spider-Man? Publishers have historically thrown a lot of books against the wall hoping for another hit. 80 years later there is just a lot of crap on the wall.

  16. dddthunderbolt, I think you took a wrong turn into this group. Please give mel and LIVE FROG your street address and they will come visit and straighten you out.

  17. Well…I have only thirteen words to say to dddthunderbolt!

    “Why must we love where the lightining strikes, and not where we choose?” Guess who!!! If you buy what you love to read, your collection will never lose value in your lifetime!

  18. Yep, lots of crap on the wall….most of it from the 1990’s on….encased in plastic & sold to clueless nimrods as ‘investment’ pieces.

    That reminds me- I haven’t read Ted Sturgeon for a while… where is my copy of WORLD’S UNKNOWN #6 ??

  19. Hey Chris!- speaking of house calls- we should all get together & read the entire run of Dazzler [all 42 issues!] in one sitting!- it’ll be fun !!! You can bring your slabbed copies & we can help you polish them! Woop!

  20. Hey, don’t I get a CBD No Prize for coming up with a kinder, gentler Theodore Sturgeon quote than dddthunderbolt?! And Gerald, I think Dazzler was a one shot that just got way the hell out of hand!

  21. Crikey! Yes, Dazzler lingered on for about six dull years!- but several issues near the end have real nice Sienkiewicz covers & Paul Chadwick art….I can’t recall how many of these remain in my collection…I will have to descend into my sub-basement and do some digging!!!

  22. Just wait until Dazzler becomes a TV show….I hear Disco is making a comeback!!! Didn’t she fight the Hulk in an early issue? Now there’s a fight for you !!

  23. Strangely LF, Disco stilll lingers! Remember that the next time you have to apply CPR! “Ah, ah, ah, ah! Stayin’ alive! Stayin’ alive!” Disco can actually save a life! Can’t say the same for Punk!

  24. Gee, Mel-I don’t know…but John Lydon [Johnny Rotten] is quite talented & could probably save a life. Many punk bands were hardcore, such as Dead Kennedy’s & Black Flag.. they sang about what was wrong with the world & tried to make us think. It was not just a wall of noise! They may have been trying to save our lives…watch AMEN’s ‘The Price of Reality’ & tell me that Casey Chaos is not trying to save your life !!! Punk is not dead !

  25. Well LF, I have to grudgingly agree with you that Punk’s not dead. It’s just staggering around in a drunken haze! And, by the way, I’m glad you brought up WECA books! I hadn’t pulled out any of mine for a couple of months, so I just sat down with a stack of Canadian Heroes and had a ball. I only have about a third of that run, but they are just so full of great Canadian content, I feel like singing O Canada every time I finish one! I also happen to be a huge fan of black and white books, especially Bob Crumb, Chester Brown, Adrian Tomine, Colin Upton, John MacLeod, and Eddie Campbell. In fact, every story I have ever had published was in black and white, either lovingly rendered realism by my cousin Rick or oddball cartooning by yours truly, in anthologies such as Caliber Presents, Negative Burn (Volume II) and Growing Up With Comics.

    And, by the way, doesn’t Theodore Sturgeon sound like an ugly fish named after one of The Three Chipmunks? Just saying.

  26. Yes, I am a comic snob, as are we all. Wait, Dazzler? Dazzler appeared in February 1980, 7 months after Disco Demolition night in Chicago. Between those dates there was the slow exit of disco with Donna Summer still going strong. Late 1979 brought new wave to the radio, so really, would Dazzler have done better if she was called New Wave, and had half a shaved head or a better style. Marvel kept Disco going until the late 1980s. Thanks Marvel! That was sarcasm, or was it snobbery.

  27. Have you seen what X-Men #130 CGC 9.8 is getting ?? If someone decides to make Dazzler into a TV show, it’ll go nuts ! Of course, I think she needs a reboot- dance music is not dead, far from it- but she would look better as a Death Metal Queen!! Go on YOUTUBE & listen to some ARCH ENEMY or AGONIST [ same singer-Alissa White-Gluz ] or even SEMBLANT & tell me that she would not be awesome screaming out this stuff !!!!!??? Ditch the roller skates & put on some high heels, yum yum !!

    Mel- not all punk bands are stumbling around in a drunken haze- some of the newer people [such as REFUSED] adhere to a ‘straight edge’ lifestyle, which means no drugs or likker amongst other things. Drugs & alcohol are very old school, and still have their adherents to be sure.

    I love black & white comics! I also love black & white movies & have a ‘thing’ for silent movies too ! Colour is SO over-rated !!! I almost got caught up in that black & white mess back in the 1980’s, but thankfully was able to realize that most of it was crap [ including TMNT ] and was able to resist. Poison elves & radioactive gerbils did not turn my crank- there was even a book that came out that had no artwork inside at all- just panels full of word balloons !!! Most of these books never even made it to the shelves in my local comic book shops- they IMMEDIATELY went on the wall for $10.00 or $20.00 !!! That really pissed me off & helped me to ignore them. Within a year or so, most of that crap was in the dollar bins! What a wasted effort!

    Don’t remind me about animated chipmunks! The sorry state of animation in the 1980’s is why I never pursued animation as a career !! Ugh !!

  28. I’ve been off this post for a couple of days, I check back in and its like I walk back into a bar to find everyone rowdy and drunk, good thing I got Meli with me…

    dddthunderbolt is a great handle, I like Dazzler way more than I like Punk, Gerald wins the best line of this thread, I’ve seen Active Jim reading an Active Comic

  29. See, Walt, you turn your back for a minute and the inmates have taken over the asylum!

    And LF, you are so right about the state of modern animation! I still have to get my kicks from the likes of Tex Avery, Max Fleischer and Chuck Jones, the Holy Trinity of fine animation, and some of the Disney Studios output. I also highly recommend The Sinking of the Lusitania (1918) by the great Winsor McCay. There is a wonderful Milestone Collection made with the cooperation of Le Cinematheque Quebecoise which includes not only a collection of all of his existing films (including, of course, Gertie the Dinosaur) but also the documentary Remembering Winsor McCay by film historian John Canemaker. Chuck Jones himself once said, “The two most important people in animation are Winsor McCay and Walt Disney.”

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