Monday, March 2, 2009

10 Things That Made 80's Comics Awesome: Part One


Few things brought me as much comfort as seeing his name in the "CREDITS" box. When you saw this man's name, you knew you were going to get legibility. Now matter how much dialogue writer Chris Claremont threw his way, he would make it seamlessly fit onto the page.

No matter the artist, Jim Cockrum, John Byrne, Paul Smith, Barry Windsor-Smith, or John Romita, Jr., Orzechowski helped ease the transition by keeping his lettering simplistic and consistent. On a personal note, the Golden Age of The X-Men franchise sort of ended when his name quietly disappeared from the credits.


I simply wouldn't be as big a fan of comics as I am without these books. For anyone old enugh to know, do you remember how great it felt to wave your copy of The Official Handbook in someone's face and let me put emphasis on the "OFFICIAL" part, and let them know there was no way in HECK The Thing was stronger than The Hulk, because it said so...

Right there. (Points.)

On. The. PAGE!!!! (sticks out tongue)

And you wonder why I'm the comics smart-aleck I am today.

As for DC's Who's Who, it cemented why I am a DC Comics fan to this day. I'll never forget how awesome it was that DC had the brilliance and foresight to match a character up with the creator most associated with a character.

Golden Age Superman went to Golden Age artist Wayne Boring while Modern Superman went to Modern Day re-creator John Byrne. As my mom used to say, "It was too much like making sense."

To this day, Catwoman, Dolphin and Phantom Lady hold a special place in my heart for being rendered by the late Dave Stevens. Clear and concise, this series gave the DC Universe a sense of vast scope and interconnectivity. Both, to a kid just simply trying to become a fan, hit exactly at the perfect time. Now, if we only had some way back then to tell if The Hulk was stronger than Superman....


Harvey Jerkwater said...

Loved those comics. "Who's Who" introduced me to the riches of the DCU, back when I was a Marvel-only kid just barely branching out. Great stuff. (Except for that godawful super-bright printing process...ack.) So many great characters, and so many dumb ones with charm, just begging to be read about.

I think you could hand the collected "Who's Who" or Marvel Handbook to a ten year old boy who knows zero about comics and he'd be fascinated. Whole worlds, man! Secrets and lore! Kids eat that stuff up. Hell, I still do.

Nate said...

Yeah yeah, Hulk can powerlift more than The Thing, he is the worldbreaker

But Ben Grimm still takes him in a fight.

Siskoid said...

Oh my God Devon! I couldn't have said it better myself! Right down to the three Who's Who beauties (what a difference a suggested nipple makes)!

Rob S. said...

Oh, Who's Who... the art on them spoiled me. I picked up a few issues of the Marvel handbooks, and while they were more comprehensive, they were so much less visually interesting that I stopped bothering with them.

Nik said...

They are way overdue to reprint Who's Who in a Showcase Presents or something. I picked up the Essential Marvel Universe one-volume book a couple years back and geeked out in bliss for days over it, what fun. And a black-and-white Who's Who wouldn't have the absolutely horrible eye-bleeding colours of the time.