Thursday, 6 January 2011

Axel Grease

Well, it's the start of a new years and some big news with Axel Alonso replacing Joe Quesada as editor in chief, after a 10-year spell in the role that makes him the second longest serving Marvel EIC after Stanny boy. I'm cautiously optimistic: having briefly talked to Alonso at a Bristol convention, he seems like an intelligent guy and he's well respected within the industry (other than the infamous Darwyn Cooke fight).

I'm a Marvelite at heart but I feel the company is in such a creatively bankrupt mess that the only stuff I've bought from them over the past few years has been the Dark Tower and Stand collections. I'm hoping Alonso will bring a new vision and reinvigorate the company as Quesada did but there are two points that make me rub my chin with suspicion: Quesada remains as Chief Creative Officer so his vision may still trump Alonso's but if not, Alonso has apparently been performing some of the EIC tasks for a while anyway so maybe some of Marvel's current fare is his fault anyway.

My lack of interest in Marvel's current output makes me think back to the 80s and 90s...I grew up with comics in the 70s but was really excited by them in the late 80s and early 90s when I could afford to buy more stuff and there was lots of fun, interesting stuff coming out. Somewhere along the way, I've lost that pure joy of comics. I still love the medium and adore some work I pick up, but that zeal has long gong.

I have kept a few classic runs: Uncanny X-Men, JLI, Preacher, Starman, New Teen Titans, the Giffen LSH, David Hulks, etc but by and large I'm currently enjoying more work found slightly off the mainstream. Manga and Euro comics have made up a small part of my reading but I really enjoy rediscovering older work from artists who could REALLY draw: 80s fare like Stevens' Rocketeer or Schultz's Xenozoic Tales and classics like Wally Wood's sci fi work, Williamson's work, Frazetta's comic work and Raymond's Flash Gordon.

Currently I'm nearing the point where I can dip into a collection of Williamson's work and a collection of unknown (in the UK) 1950s newspaper strips, with a Frazetta collection eagerly awaited. These older works have also led to a comic series I've been grabbing back issues of, which will probably be the subject of an upcoming post...

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