Tuesday, 31 January 2023

Speak Your Brain! Part 47. If you could go back in time...

Thanks to Charlie Horse 47 and Killdumpster for their sponsorship of this post, via the magic of Patreon

The Steve Does Comics Megaphone
Image by Tumisu
from Pixabay
I've no idea how but this month seems to contain an endless parade of Tuesdays.

But that's good news for all lovers of free speech, as it means we get even more of the feature that's so big the internet can barely keep a lid on it.

That feature is, of course, the one in which the first person to comment gets to decide what the topic of the day might be, 

Might it be arts, carts, cards, cars, marts, Mars, bars, darts, smarts, parts, films, flans, plans, books, bagels, cooks, nooks, crooks, ducks, drakes, pixies, rocks, socks, blocks, music, mucous, fairy tales, fairy lights, Fairy Liquid, fairy cakes, Eccles cakes, myth, moths, maths, magic, tragedy, comedy, dromedaries, murder, larders, Ladas, mystery, mayhem, molluscs, Moorcock, May Day, mangoes, bongos, drongoes, bingo, Ringo, Pingu, Ringu, Christmas Day, New Year's Day, Doris Day, Marvin Gaye, Marvin the paranoid android, Brookside Close, Ramsay Street, Coronation Street, Albert Square, Scarlet Street, Dead End Street, chickenpox, the Equinox, parallelograms, rhomboids, androids, asteroids, The Good Life, the Next Life, pomegranates, raisins, grapes, currants, blackcurrants, figs, waves, granite, marble, marbles, maples, staples, fables, stables, sofas, eggs, pegs, legs, dregs, moons and supermoons, Supertramp, Supertrams, streetcars, desires, sodas, sausages, eggs, whisky, broth, Bath, baths, Garth Marenghi, Garth Brooks, Garth Crooks, Bruno Brookes, Bruno Mars, Mars Bars, wine bars, flip-flops, flim-flam, flapjacks, backpacks, see-saws, jigsaws, dominoes, draft excluders, blockheads, blackheads, dunderheads, deadheads, webheads, flowerpots, flour bags, shower bags, shower heads, mop heads, Deadheads, Bill and Ben, Ben and Jerry, Margo and Jerry, Tom and Jerry, flour pots, bread bins, bin bags, body bags, body horror, shoddy horror, doggy bags, bean bags, handbags, glad rags, silk, milk, mink, coal sacks, cola, cocoa, dodos, Dido, Soho, Solo, silos, windows, day-glo, Hey ho, sago, winnebago, bagels, eagles, beagles, seagulls, glue, Gloy, Oi, Joy, Bostik, pancakes, Eccles cakes, Bakewell Tarts, Fabulous Wealthy Tarts, Mr Kipling, Rudyard Kipling, pizzas, pastas, pastors, baking soda, sci-fi, Wi-Fi, Hi-Fi, sewage, saunas, suet, Tomorrow People, yesterday's men, Forever People, Party People, purple people-eaters, Blobs, Globs, slobs, snobs, Sheila Steafel, steeples, Silurians, Sontarans, Sea Devils, sins, suns, sans, sense, sludge, slumps, sumps, pumps, sunshine, slime, soup, sandwiches, servants, Sultanas, Santana, Sultans, grapes, grappling, grippling and sandcastles?

It might be but that would be one huge debate.

Still, until you - or someone very like you - comments below, we're not going to know just what that topic will be.


Anonymous said...

If you could go back in time and read a comic book through the eyes of an 8 to 12 year old, which would it / they be?

Charlie in the Age of Arsenal

Steve W. said...

Thanks for the topic, Charlie.

Off the top of my head, it'd probably be something like Nova which was always touted as an attempt to do an early-1960s-style Marvel comic in the mid-1970s. Given that aim, I would assume my eight-year-old self would have enjoyed it more than my teenaged self did.

Steve W. said...

I suspect the same would also have applied to the early Captain Britain stories.

McSCOTTY said...

As much as I really enjoyed those early Dave Sim Cerbus comics as a 18/19 year old, I think that 11/12 year "me" would have really loved them.

I would have liked to have read those early 2000AD comics as an 8/9 year old instead if a , 16 or 17 year old . I found it a bit childish and missed some great stuff .

Anonymous said...

This will be a huge generalisation, however for me it will be the better silver age DC comics. As an 8 to 12 year old I did read a significant portion of Marvel comics (via Marvel UK) but read virtually no DC comics. When I did get some old DC collections, as a late teen, they did seem a bit simple and naive, which is reasonable given their intended readership. Given how fondly a lot of silver age DC is remembered, I sense I missed out.


Colin Jones said...

Steve, on the last Tuesday in December you reviewed the Marvel UK monthlies from 40 years ago (December 1982) and I assumed you'd be reviewing the monthlies from January 1983 on the last Tuesday of January but you haven't so did you forget?

Steve W. said...

Colin, I must confess I thought I'd already done it. It seems I haven't. Thanks for reminding me. I shall tackle the subject at the weekend.

Anonymous said...

Much praised Alan Moore comics, which I never read between 8 & 12 (or ever!)


Colin Jones said...

I can't really think of any comics I'd want to read as an 8-12 year-old but I have re-read comics as an adult which I first read aged 8-12 and, seeing them through adult eyes, I've cringed at the total lack of even the most basic scientific understanding (but that's true of much of science-fiction too of course).

Anonymous said...

Intriguing question, Charlie. I don’t have a simple answer off the top of my head, but please bear with me as i work it out in Real Time…

I actually WAS twelve when I began buying and collecting comics on a regular basis, and as far as I’m concerned, it was the PERFECT time to be exposed to the various splendors of the Bronze Age. At Marvel, you had Mike Ploog, Tom Sutton and Colan/Palmer drawing the Monster comics, Roy Thomas and John Buscema on Conan, Steve Englehart and Our Pal Sal on Captain America and The Defenders, Englehart and Jim Starlin on Master of Kung Fu and Captain Marvel, Billy Graham on Luke Cage, Frank Brunner on Dr. Strange, Don McGregor and Rich Buckler on Black Panther, Conway and Andru on Spidey. Over at DC, you had Wein and Wrightson on Swamp Thing, Michael Fleisher and Jim Aparo on The Spectre, Jack Kirby on Kamandi and The Demon and Mr. Miracle (not to mention vintage Cap, Thor and FF stunners in Marvel’s reprint books). I mean, that’s some heady stuff right there. It was magical. Seriously, I can’t complain.

Would I have had an equally awesome Young Nerd Experience if I had start getting comics regularly in the Early 60s? Witnessing the birth and accelerated evolution of the Marvel Universe as it happened, when Stan, Jack, Steve, and the gang got it all together and forged something shiny and New out of scraps of the Old? While the squares at DC tried to keep up, going all Go-Go Checked and Super-Hip? I’m sure I’d have loved it, all of it. But also, I actually did appreciate them from a distance — watching the various Superhero TV shows (both DC and Marvel, plus assorted Hanna Barbera knock-offs like Space Ghost and Mightor) and checking out the comics at spinner racks at the supermarkets and drug stores but rarely talking Mom into buying any. I still got a weirdly vivid impression of who and what the characters were.

Same thing with the 1950s. I’m sure it was amazing for kids of the era to read all those insane Pre-Code Horror Comics hot off the spinners. Especially when the backlash started gathering steam — that ‘Forbidden Fruit’ thing must have been an extra-special enticement. But again — my impression of what 50s Horror Comics were, from a discreet distance, was exciting in its own way. And fortunately, when I started acquiring reprints of the EC comics in the late 80s, they didn’t disappoint.

I do sometimes envy kids of the Early 1940s, as they got to experience the very first wave of Comics. I’m fascinated by Golden Age comics, but I rarely enjoy them as much as I think I should. They’re definitely written for a ‘Kid’ audience and the artwork is often just too crude. But I can easily understand why pre-teens of the era were blown away by them. And I’m still somewhat drawn to them myself, as an adult.


Anonymous said...

Oh, and Charlie — do you have an answer to your own question?


Anonymous said...

8-12 is quite a wide age range, subjectively speaking. I mean, at 8 I could really enjoy comics like Justice League #107 and #108 - the crossover with the JSA and Freedom Fighters - uncritically. But four years later I'd have thought it was a bit dumb, and was mad for anything by Dauntless Don McGregor, who would surely be widely acknowledged as a towering literary giant once comics were recognized as the greatest artform of the modern age.
Kids, eh?

If anything though, I'd probably prefer to be reading comics through 17 year old eyes, and be able to encounter American Flagg, Love & Rockets, Cerebus, Marvelman and V for Vendetta for the first time again.
And enjoy getting up to er... the sort of other new things I did at that age.


Anonymous said...

Oh, before I forget, belated congratulations to British readers on the occasion of the third anniversary of Brexit yesterday.
Good to see independence is going so well.


Colin Jones said...

On Tuesday evening there was a debate on Radio 4 about Brexit which I considered listening to but decided against it as I couldn't bear any more arguments pro and anti the subject. Brexit is clearly a disaster but we're stuck with it and the EU wouldn't take us back anyway - France would veto our return for a start.

Colin Jones said...

Today (February 2nd) is Candlemas Day, the 40th and final day of the Christmas season but Advent begins on December 3rd so only 10 months to go!

Unknown said...

Thanks for your nice replies all!

Ole Charlie is late to the party given Steve will bless us today with a new 50-years-ago, hopefully including Hero for Hire and Justice League covers! :)

My inspiration for the question was looking at the 40-years-ago covers and wondering which I would have preferred as a kid starting to read comics.

Would I have preferred the bombastic Kirby and Romita on FF and Cap in the late 60s / early 70s to Byrne and (whomever) in the 80s?

I finally read the 80s Byrne FF, inspired by this site, a few years ago and found them quite enjoyable. Yet obviously Kirby / ROmit are not Byrne.

So whose art would have won the day for a young kid assuming the stories were more/less equal.

Also sometimes Charlie wonders how he would have perceived Spidey had he not read the Death of Gwen sequence as it was published. Would ignorance have been bliss for Charlie?

Curious Charlie in the Age of Arsenal

Unknown said...


Yes, reading the GAs as an adult can be hit miss. I actually enjoy them for the simplicity and total lack of coherence at times. ANd of course not all the art was crude, e.g., Quality's line of heroes.

Still hard to believe thought that Fawcett's Captain Marvel and Co were selling a million issues a week of Captain Marvel, Captain Marvel Jr., Mary Marvel, Marvel Family...

And those EC's... Geeze were they captivating when I first started reading them as a teen (in reprints, duh). I have no idea how a 10 year old would have processed them.

And the Gangster Mags from Lev Gleason like Crime Does Not Pay... the first time I read one around the age of 14 my stomach actually churned from all the machine gunning. Maybe a 10 year old would be naive and enjoy that, though?